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Torture Then
and Now

Fr Peter Hinde &
Buff Bradley at
SW Weekend 
of Witness

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Torture Then and Now

Peter Hinde

Southwest Weekend of Witness

Tucson, AZ
17 November 2007

Buff Bradley

Fr Peter Hinde

Buff Bradley

Southwest Weekend of Witness brought together activists and citizens seeking social justice to a Teach-In in Tucson, AZ and demonstration at the gates of Fort Huachuca to demand an end to the heinous US policy of torture and to the Bush War of Terror in the Middle East.  Father Peter Hinde and activist Buff Bradley speak on the recent uses of torture by the US government and its genesis from the time Columbus set foot in the Western Hemispere.

Southwest Weekend of Witness Against Torture

Father Peter Hinde has a remarkable history.  He served in the Pacific in WWII as an Army Air Force fighter pilot.  He was assigned an overfly mission of Nagasaki just 3 days after the United States unleashed the state terror of the nuclear age on civilian populations.  He personally witnessed the unprecedented destruction of nuclear weapons in its pure, raw form - before we all became enured to the idea that governments led a by a small handful of imperfect men motivated by the most selfish concerns now have the power to extinguish all life on earth.  In the following year he took his vows in the Order of Carmelites and has devoted himself to a life of faith and social justice.

In 2006 on the anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Carmelite NGO which is recognized by the United Nations, conducted a conference including 50 Carmelites and drafted the statement that follows.  Father Hinde read the declaration addressed to the US Ambassador in Lisbon as part of a Global Call for resistance to present US Policy in the Middle East.

Statement on the 61st Anniversary of the
Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings
August 6, 2006

Jesus said, "Peace be with you, as the Father has sent me, so I send you." (Jn 20: 21)

We Carmelites gathered in Fatima, Portugal for an international conference "Promoting Justice and Peace in a Globalized World" are present today on the anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to speak out and condemn violence in all its forms.

We condemn: war, the production and use of nuclear weapons, and violence committed by one nation against another nation.

We promote the teaching in Isaiah 2:4 "They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again."

We make this statement in solidarity with the international community as a global call in an effort to achieve peace.

Fr Hinde was ordained in 1952 and later served in the Carmelite mission in Peru with Sister Betty Campbell.  They became cofounders of Tabor House - a solidarity and resource center - in Washington, DC.  They subsequently moved Tabor House to San Antonio in the 1980s during the Reagan / Contra era when they focused on the issues arising from the Dirty War in Central America and made frequent trips to the region.  Perhaps too frequent as he was once captured by the Contras but lived to tell the tale.

His talk "The Disappeared" at the Southwest Weekend of Witness Teach In was largely based on his direct experience having conducted many funerals for those who were killed by US backed death squads.

Tabor House has relocated once again and is now in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Buff Bradley is a long time committed activist residing in the Bay Area where he works with the affinity group ¡Presente! on Latin American issues, Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas, and Courage to Resist which is an advocacy and support group for US military personnel that have chosen to take proactive steps in opposing the illegal war in Iraq.

As creator of the Courage to Resist Audio Project, he interviews GIs who have refused to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan - many of whom now reside in Canada. His affinity group, ¡Presente! was formed in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, and has been active in nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience in the San Francisco Bay Area. ¡Presente! "bottom-lined" the shut-down of Bechtel headquarters on March 19, 2003 the day that "Shock & Awe" - the assault upon Iraq began.  They have been involved in planning and carrying out other actions in the Bay area.

His is also a documentary video maker, who, along with his  wife, Cynthia, produced and directed the award-winning documentary Outside In.  The film features people who visit prisoners on California's death row. Buff is currently working on a documentary about immigrants in his local community.

His talk was based on research he conducted with the intent of producing another documentary film to be titled, A Long Darkness - America's History of Torture.  The film project is still seeking funding but he gave accounts of the history of torture used against indigenous people from the time Columbus set foot in the western hemisphere through the colonial era and US westward expansion under "Manifest Destiny," the slave trade and industry and continuing through Vietnam,  Iraq, Guantanamo and here in our prisons and jails.  No, US history is not pretty.

Finally, thanks to Mark Holdaway for permission to include his performance of "We Do Not Torture" recorded live by RFS! at the SWW Teach In.  Music by Mark Holdaway, Lyrics by and copyright 2007 Mark Holdaway & Ken Kennon.  Hear more of Mark's music check out his other projects and get a little 'Kalimba Magic" at

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SW Weekend of Witness
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Witherspoon on SWW Teach In

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Witherspoon on SWW Teach In

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Mark Holdaway
& "We Do Not Torture"
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