It was with great surprise that I saw the picture of our 2017 Catholic Worker demonstration at the Cromwell storage yard for Enbridge's pipes published with the Aug. 1 “Local View” column, “Pipeline protesters backed by rail interests.” The newspaper’s decision to publish that photo with that column indirectly connected our demonstration to Honor the Earth.

Let me be clear: I have great respect for the work of Honor the Earth; however, we did not come to that demonstration as representatives of Honor the Earth.

The Catholic Worker Movement is a conglomeration of autonomous houses held together by common principles based on the Sermon on the Mount and the Corporal Works of Mercy and Justice found in our Judaeo-Christian teachings.

The publication of the photo with the column further implied that Honor the Earth and, indirectly, the Catholic Workers are paid professional protesters. The column further implied that the money goes to “her less than transparent business” and that the activists representing Honor the Earth are spreading lies and misleading information at Winona LaDukes's command.

These were rather defamatory statements for which the writer and the News Tribune editorial page editor should be held accountable and required to provide proof. The editor certainly had a responsibility to separate the picture of the Catholic Worker demonstration from the defamatory statements about the intentions of Honor the Earth.

We Catholic Workers, along with many activists and water protectors, take the responsibility of protecting our world for the common good seriously, and we do it without pay.

Wasn’t it ironic that on the same day this column touting pipeline safety appeared, yet another Enbridge Energy pipeline ruptured in Kentucky, causing death and massive destruction and devastation.

The drilling, production, and shipping of fossil fuels must come to an end or we as a species will. Now, which one will end first?

Michele Naar-Obed


The writer is a member of the Hildegard House Catholic Worker and was one of 27 Catholic Workers from the Midwest region who offered prayers and sacred symbols inside the Cromwell storage yard.