(corrected) Christian-based direct action gathering, Leeds, 28th-30th July


Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you. (James 5:1-6)

The Body of Christ is under attack. From consumerism promising bliss in the form of the latest fad, to the creation and deployment of weapons capable of destroying whole villages in a heartbeat, to the relentless plunder and destruction of the world around us in the name of power and profit, the world is on a seemingly unending path towards self-annhiliation.

Within this, radical voices from the Christian tradition can seem few and far between. Church leaders, while reluctant, are willing to ignore prohibitions on the taking of human life when that act is sanctioned by the state. Fundamentalist groups continue to demand rights be denied to sexual minorities and call for the repression of women - in the name of the Christ in whom "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female". World leaders show their willingness to wage acts of war at one moment and profess their faith at the next, standing with one hand on a bible and another on the deployment button, proclaiming their righteousness in the face of mass murder.

There is, however, another face of Christ, one which rarely sees the light of day. This is a tradition which values human life over corporate greed, rejects acts of war regardless of their "justification", and proclaims the sharing, respect and protection of the natural world. If you are tired of lying politicians, corrupt businessmen, and mass murder in the name of "God", welcome. You are not alone.

prayer-i58 (Isaiah 58) was formed in 2005 prior to the G8 summit in Scotland, with the purpose of facilitating radicals drawing from the Christian tradition who wished to make their presence felt in the face of this gathering of global power. Since then it has evolved into a radical, Christian-based, anti-authoritarian network to help co-ordinate struggles around the UK and beyond. While based in the Christian tradition, prayer-i58 is open to all those who share a basic commitment to peace, love and anarchy.

From 28th-30th July, at All Hallows Church, Leeds (www.allhallowsleeds.org.uk), prayer-i58 will be holding a gathering to plan for action over the coming months. The two main focuses of this gathering are firstly, the Camp for Climate Action (www.climatecamp.org.uk) from 26th August to 4th September, an opportunity to bring together ecological activists to discuss, plan and act in defence of our planet. The second focus is Faslane 365 (www.faslane365.org), a year-long protest camp at Faslane Naval Base, home to the UK's Trident submarine missile project. Someone from the Faslane 365 group will be coming along to give information on direct action, the Faslane base, and the peace camp itself. Crash space and food will be available and the Sunday will be spent at the All Hallows service.

From experienced activists to the simply curious, this gathering hopes to provide a space in which people of similar ideas can come together to discuss and share with one another our thoughts, plans and dreams for another world.

www.prayer-i58.org.uk - www.almostfamous.co.uk/i58 - www.allhallowsleeds.org.uk
e-mail: prayer-i58@hotmail.co.uk

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? (Isaiah 58:6-7)