Philip Berrigan Obit - Prrotest obsolete?
December 7, 2002 9:18 PM   Subscribe

Peace Activist Philip Berrigan Dead at 79 Yes, I know, obituaries are depressing. But this man was one of my very few heros. He fought a good fight, but in this age of corporate sponsored and government promoted dimunation of conscience can a single person "bearing witness" to the immoral actions that go on in this world really make a difference? Or is the idea of citizen protest just a quaint vestige of another era? [NYT link]
posted by ahimsakid (8 comments total)

 
---No. There are times when I'd like to just sit back in my rocking chair, but I'm going to fight all the way and hopefully die with my boots on,'' Berrigan told Reuters in a May 2001 interview at a federal prison in Ohio.

His public appearances against violence and militarism continued into this autumn, though he needed a walker to get around.

``Right to the end, in the midst of his dying, he was unflinching and unswerving in his call for a world without war,'' said Richard Deats of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an interfaith peace group that helped Catholics including the Berrigans, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton unify the peace voices of the church."
-from the NYT story
posted by troutfishing at 10:12 PM on December 7, 2002


What sad news, and what an unfortunate time to lose him. I've always been struck by the line "Deliver us unto each other," from a prayer by Daniel Berrigan and used subsequently in "I Had No Right," Dar Williams' tribute to the Berrigans.
posted by hippugeek at 10:25 PM on December 7, 2002


A loss. But it was because of folks like him that an anti-war movement kept building in the U.S., finally reaching the point that even those in Washington recognized that the war was creating a huge split among Americans and such a recognition eventually got the govt to pull out of Viet Nam rather than keep adding military to the war effort there. Enough protests in fact will work.
posted by Postroad at 4:58 AM on December 8, 2002


We are not killers, as America would stigmatize us, and indeed as America perversely
longs us to be. We are something far different. We are teachers of the people, who have
come on a new vision of things. We struggle to embody that vision, day after day, to
make it a reality among those we live with, so that people are literally disarmed by
knowing us.
- Daniel Berrigan, Letter to the Weathermen pdf file

Still Radical After All These Years

Plowshares actions in 1999

Berrigan is in excellent company

Shortcut 1968 provides an interesting audio montage depicting the times Berrigan lived in...music, speech excerpts and news clips from Democracy Now & Pacifica Radio. Worth taking 15 minutes to listen to. Followed by a look back at the political resistance on college campuses, specifically the Columbia University Strike of 1968.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:44 AM on December 8, 2002


The article from the Syracuse newspaper has some quotes from family members.
posted by maurice at 9:15 AM on December 8, 2002


"For swords into plowshares, the hammer has to fall."
posted by sheauga at 9:40 AM on December 8, 2002


Peace Activist, Author Philip Berrigan Dies - Washington Post
At a Pennsylvania trial in 1981, the judge snapped: "Nuclear warfare is not on trial here. You are."
As anti-war activist Philip Berrigan approaches the end of his battle, his conscience remains as clear as his mission - Common Dreams

The Beatitudes and Nuclear Resistance - Berrigan and McAllister

Fighting the Lamb's War: Skirmishes With the American Empire: The Autobiography of Philip Berrigan

Other books by Berrigan
The politicians share a history that may help in prison: They all spent years bucking the federal government," and Berrigan said that may be a badge of honor. "They only have one enemy in the federal joint and that's the federal government," he said. "Anybody who's stood up to the federal government is OK with them."
Young enough to wonder what's the deal with 1968? Check out The Strawberry Statement, also available as a movie.
posted by sheauga at 10:34 AM on December 8, 2002


One more quote, to address the question posed in the original post:

"One is called to live nonviolently, even if the change one works for seems impossible. It may or may not be possible to turn the US around through nonviolent revolution. But one thing favors such an attempt: the total inability of violence to change anything for the better"

Daniel Berrigan
posted by ahimsakid at 8:47 AM on December 9, 2002


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