I was arrested today at the King of Prussia facility of Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest war profiteer and nuclear weapons manufacturer. Today is the holiday when we particularly honor the birth and life of Martin Luther King. How better to do this than to act in accord with his own life and teachings? I and other members of the Brandywine Peace Community were peacefully attempting to deliver Martin Luther King’s message that we must cease building weapons that could destroy mankind.
Besides being faithful to the legacy of Martin Luther King, today’s activities are faithful to the spirit of the original Plowshares Eight (including Dan and Phil Berrigan), who were arrested at this same facility in 1980. Today’s action took place directly behind the King of Prussia Mall and in front of the King of Prussia Cinema, a location with high activity and visibility.
In the words of Martin Luther King, spoken at Riverside Church on April 4, 1967:
“A time comes when silence is betrayal…spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government….Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered…True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring…We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation….In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. .. We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation.”