A seminarian contributed this chapter about learning to love her enemies after a direct action at a military base to Radical Peace: People Refusing Waredited by William T. Hathaway. Because of her activism, this piece is posted anonymously to Young Anabaptist Radicals.
To celebrate Armed Forces Day the military base near my seminary held an open house, a public relations extravaganza to improve their image and boost recruiting. They invited the public in for a marching band parade, a precision flying show, and a sky diving demonstration. They even offered free lemonade and cookies.
A subversive seminarian, namely me, decided to disrupt the festivities and remind people that the military’s job is murder. I bought a jump suit and dyed it orange like the uniforms the prisoners in GuantÃ¡namo have to wear. I bought two U-shaped bike locks, three diapers, and a pair of rubber underpants.
All suited up, I had a friend drive me onto the base before people started arriving for the celebration. She dropped me off at the traffic circle just inside the main gate, kissed me on the cheek for good luck, and drove back out the gate. In the center of the traffic circle stood a flagpole flying the Stars and Stripes. I ran to the pole, fastened my foot to it with one bike lock and my neck to it with the other – pretty uncomfortable – and started shouting, “Close GuantÃ¡namo! No More Abu Ghraibs! Free the Prisoners!” People gawked as they drove by, some laughing like I was part of the show, some waving, some giving me the finger.