By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post
Internationally known peace activist John Dear gathered with more than 300 protesters Sunday at Ashley Pond Park in Los Alamos to commemorate the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“We’re here again like we’ve been coming every year to call for the abolition of all nuclear weapons,” Dear told the Los Alamos Daily Post. “Today we are joined by the architect of the civil rights movement, Jim Lawson, so with his presence we are all called upon to fight for nuclear peace … I encourage everyone at the Laboratory to quit their job and work for nonviolence and world peace.”
Dear has spent more than 30 years speaking to people around the world about the Gospel of Jesus, the way of nonviolence and the call to make peace. The former Jesuit was ordained in 1993 and is now a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Monterey, Calif.
For many years, he wrote a weekly blog for the National Catholic Reporter, and is featured regularly on the national radio show “Democracy Now!” and the Huffington Post.
Dear has been arrested more than 75 times in acts of civil disobedience against war; and spent eight months in prison for a Plowshares disarmament action. In the 1990s, he arranged for Mother Teresa to speak to various governors to stop the death penalty. He has two Master’s Degrees in Theology from the Graduate Theological Union in California, and has taught theology at Fordham University.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu nominated Dear for the Nobel Peace Prize saying in part, “He has led by example through his actions and in his writings and in numerous sermons, speeches and demonstrations … He is a man who has the courage of his convictions and who speaks out and acts against war, the manufacture of weapons and any situation where a human being might be at risk through violence. For evil to prevail requires only that good people sit on the sidelines and do nothing. John Dear is compelling all of us to stand up and take responsibility for the suffering of humanity so often caused through selfishness and greed.”
Dear said Sunday’s protest rally in Los Alamos was filmed and broadcast around the world.
“Yoko Ono tweeted to 2 million followers encouraging them to watch today’s event and actor John Cusack tweeted to a million and a half followers,” Dear said.