Tribute to an antiwar activist
ON TUESDAY, March 17, antiwar and social justice activists in Ithaca, N.Y., gathered to watch the documentary film The Trial of the St. Patrick's Four.
The film was screened to mark the sixth anniversary of an action of civil disobedience by four Ithaca Catholic Workers at an army recruiting center days before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The gathering also served as a mournful tribute to one of the four activists who participated in the action, Peter DeMott, who died February 19 in a tragic accident.
To a room packed with 200 people, the documentary illustrated the nonviolent yet courageous ways that Peter DeMott confronted the U.S. war machine for over two decades. Peter's commitment to opposing U.S. imperialism since his days in the Vietnam war has served as a source of inspiration to current Iraq Veterans Against the War members, as well as to community activists.
To send condolences or donations to the DeMott-Grady family please contact: Ithaca Catholic Worker, 133 Sheffield Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850.
Peter's relentless commitment and personal sacrifice left the audience committed to building the antiwar movement. Through the documentary, one gets a glimpse of the inspiring and conscientious person that he was, and how his political firmness led him to oppose not only one war in Iraq, but the whole for-profit system that is behind it.
Peter DeMott will be remembered as a gentle husband, father, brother, uncle, friend and a firm civil objector. His brave example will live on to inspire present and future antiwar activists.
Héctor Tarrido-Picart and Nevin Sabet, Ithaca, N.Y.