On Jan. 3, I was arrested for civil disobedience at the Los Angeles Federal Building. I had never been arrested before. I was afraid to put myself in that position, but more afraid not to.
Arrest was my way of solidarity with the people of El Salvador whose lives, dreams, hopes and desires are arrested.
I was also there for the equally innocent victims here in the United States.
I am tired of washing blood from my shoes after praying in emergency rooms beside young bodies first shot up with guns then cut up like a side of beef by doctors trying in vain to save their lives. I am tired of burying 18 and 19 year olds, cousins and brothers, nieces and nephews of the same family. I am tired of the fear that grips the elderly who are afraid to come out at night because of the gang and drug violence that claims the lives of our youth.
I am tired of burying infants because mothers could not afford decent prenatal care right here in Southern California. I am tired of seeing teens drop out of school because they cannot keep up or because their families need them to work or because they have no hope of a decent income unless they sell drugs.
For these victims, the unknown of America and El Salvador, I risked arrest and for them I will do so again.
REV. WILLIAM T.
St. Joseph's Catholic Church