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OtherPress

To alleviate the problem of articles from other press sources being reposted on this IMC site, this section allows users to link to articles published elsewhere, and to contribute and read comments on those pieces. Have something interesting to post?

 

News :: Labor & Class

Tyson: 60 Workers to Prove Status

HARRISONBURG, Va. - About 60 immigrant workers at the Tyson Foods plant in Harrisonburg have until Friday to prove their legal status in the U.S., or they will be fired and their cases turned over to federal authorities, company officials said.

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News :: Labor & Class

Welfare reform won't succeed without fair wages for all workers

Conservative economist David Neumark, who in the past has criticized efforts to raise the minimum wage, recently completed research that found living-wage ordinances help the working poor. "Living wages actually reduce poverty," he said. "If someone's getting up on a soapbox saying these are a disaster, they may believe it, but there's really no evidence."

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News :: Urban Development

Shockoe Stadium: $40 Million

Minor league ballparks don't come cheap these days. Try $40 million for the one proposed for Shockoe Bottom. Then add $18 million on top of that for other costs.

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News :: Globalization

Globalization Victims and Victors

Participants at University of Virginia symposium address the heated debate that spins around "the freer movement of goods, services, ideas, and people" worldwide.

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News :: Prisons

Pentagon was warned in 2002 of contractors

Pentagon was warned in 2002 of contractors
Abuse scandal includes use of private interrogators

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Commentary :: Indymedia : Media

Indymedia - Ideology Bringing You the News

The Charlottesville-based Loper website has posted an article about the growth of Indymedia, with some reference to Richmond Indy. We welcome your comments about the article--or Indymedia itself--and will publish the most representative on the Loper website, with full attribution.

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:: Civil & Human Rights

Message from an Iraqi mother

I mother's Story.. We need to do something. what I don't know. but let's get our heads together. We have to stop the occupation now.
This mother should be worrying if her child should be going to his friends house not bombs dropping.

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News :: Miscellaneous

Anarchist priest obeys conscience over law

Bill Frankel-Streit calls himself a married priest felon. He's also an anarchist.

By Brian Baer fredericksburg.com
Date published: 4/29/2004


Bill Frankel–Streit calls himself a married priest felon.

He's also an anarchist.

"I think the Bible is a handbook for anarchy," he said. "Jesus was an anarchist."

While the word conjures images of violence and destruction, to Frankel-Streit anarchy means communal living, harmony and peace.

Frankel-Streit was speaking outside the Louisa County commune he shares with his wife, their three children and other community members who bring the same vision.

In fact, a Little Flower community member, Bryan Buckley, is in Iraq now protesting the war. (related story)

A series of unplanned turns has brought him to this 17-acre slab of land that lies not only on the outskirts of Charlottesville, but also on the edge of cultural norms.

It’s a comfortable place for Frankel-Streit, now 49.

Each morning starts with a Bible reading, a discussion of its meaning and a casual outline of the day’s goals.

One recent to-do list included gardening, changing a tire, scooping horse manure and preparing puppets for an upcoming protest.

"It takes a lot of work to live simply," he joked.

It’s a place he can live out his idea of anarchy.

"I will not dominate anyone and will not let anyone dominate me," he said.

"No rulers. If you have love, you don't need the law."

Unfortunately for him, the law doesn't always agree.

He's been arrested about 20 times over the past 15 years for protesting war, foreign policy and military weapons.

"The United States signifies tremendous injustice and we're speaking to love and justice and compassion," he said.

"And that's gonna create conflict."


SEMINARY OR MILITARY


As a young child, Bill Frankel-Streit tore through so many World War II books that a relative told him he'd become either a military officer or the world's biggest pacifist.

It was 1960-something, with Vietnam on the horizon, and Frankel-Streit was trying to find himself in Hazleton, Pa., a conservative coal-mining town in the northeast part of the state.

His dad rang up customers at the local grocery and his mom kept things together at home.

He graduated from high school in 1972, with the country at war and a decision to make.

"It was either seminary or the military," he said.

In each case, the prospective uniform appealed to him more than the line of work.

He opted for the priesthood and plowed through eight years of seminary school and religious studies.

By the early 1980s, he was a priest—uniform and all—and he was making a name for himself.

It was not a good name.

Almost every Sunday, he was called into the bishop's office.

Church members complained his sermons were too political. He talked too much about peace and poverty and love and not enough about Jesus, the Bible and God.

One member called him a Communist.

He took a leave of absence.

"I saw being a priest as being up on a pedestal," he said. "I was really ordained to be a manager of an institution, not to preach the gospel."


A NEW DIRECTION


He spent the next few years searching for answers beyond the traditional role of a priest.

He found them in the Catholic Worker Movement, a group of more than 180 communities "committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and forsaken," according to the group’s site.

"Catholic Workers continue to protest injustice, war, racism, and violence of all forms."

Frankel-Streit found not only a new direction, but also a wife.

The two were in a group that cut through three fences, entered a high-alert area and hammered on the right wing of a B-52 bomber at a military base in upstate New York.

They were protesting the first Gulf War.

The couple went to jail for two months, signed out to await trial, got married, then went back to prison to serve the remaining 10 months of their one-year sentences.

"I became a married priest felon all in one fell swoop," he said.

He and his wife, Sue, now have three children: Isaac, 11; Anna, 9; and Gabriella, 6. All are home-schooled—in reading, writing, math and, of course, the Catholic Worker Movement.


DIFFERENT WAY OF LIFE


The family now lives at Little Flower, the Louisa property purchased with an anonymous donation to their community.

This will be Frankel-Streit's first summer there. He spent last year in a federal prison after throwing blood on the steps of the Pentagon to protest the expected war in Iraq.

The property is different from other area homes in almost every way.

"May peace prevail on Earth" is written in four different languages on a peace pole that greets visitors at the foot of the long driveway.

With help from other Catholic Workers, the family has transformed an old log-cabin style home into a artsy stucco-surface lodge.

Cathryn Robson, a 32-year-old Catholic Worker from Australia, also has added two large tile mosaics to the outside walls.

Over the past several months, beavers have built a dam that caused a swampy lake to form in the front yard.

Out back, Frankel-Streit built the kids a swing set out of salvaged wooden posts and downed trees. The backyard also houses a large screened-in storage area that holds old signs, clothing and protest materials.

To the east, Frankel-Streit has almost completed a fenced-in goat pen, which he hopes will yield not only milk and natural fertilizer, but also fun for the kids.

A large swath of gardens fills about an acre to the west, where the community grows garlic, onions, carrots, beets, berries, peas, melons, broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes and herbs.

Robson spent a recent afternoon pulling weeds and grass from around the vegetables.

"I feel like I retired before I was 30," she said.

Much of the food at Little Flower is grown in the garden or donated. A good portion of it also comes from Dumpster diving at local grocery stores.

Frankel-Streit basks in the simplicity of his lifestyle and the conviction he says drives him.

"Why would anyone want to live any differently than this?"


‘ALLEGIANCE IS TO GOD’


Besides tending the home and the garden, those at Little Flower also spend time preparing for what they call "actions," demonstrations or protests that call attention to their causes.

On Tuesday, for instance, Sue Frankel-Streit helped Isaac and Gabriella move around on stilts they will use to make giant puppets at an upcoming march in Norfolk.

And on Monday, the community joined about 30 protesters in downtown Charlottesville where they used cardboard coffins and gravestones to "mourn the dead" in Iraq.

Police told the protesters to remove the gravestones before finally taking the signs away themselves.

Things got tense a couple of times, but no one was arrested. This time.

Frankel–Streit talks about his arrests with the pride of a child who just rode a scary roller coaster for the first time.

"I've been arrested every year since I started this, except when I was in jail," he said.

He slams the United States, capitalism, and a society he sees as willing to do whatever it takes to keep what it has and get even more.

"All of us have been born into this empire, and we've swallowed all this," he said. "There's a lot of unlearning that has to happen."

Don't listen for his voice at any public event where the “National Anthem? is played or where the pledge of allegiance is recited.

"I don't stand for that," he said. "I sit down. I think the flag is an idol. I don't have any allegiance to the flag. My allegiance is to God and justice and love and truth, and no country embraces that."

He knows his lifestyle comes across as odd and threatening to some.

But he also said he's speaking for a number of others who agree with his message, but don't know what to do.

"I want to open up people's eyes and hopefully give people hope and direction to enter more deeply into activism and speaking out to realize they're not alone," he said.

"We very much are trying to live out the Bible. We look back at the New Testament and say, 'Somebody's got to live it out.' "






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