Fr. Louis Vitale of Oakland, CA Arrested at Ft. Benning Print
Louis (Louie) Vitale, 77, from Oakland, CA, is a former Air Force veteran who became a Franciscan priest, pastor, and peacemaker. He co-founded the Nevada Desert Experience – a movement to end nuclear testing -- and Pace e Bene, an organization which transforms lives through education, resources, and nonviolent action for social change. Louie travels extensively throughout the United States speaking on Nonviolence; The moral dimensions of torture and drone warfare; and Living as a Peacemaker.

Louie has a PhD is Sociology, and has taught classes at colleges and universities throughout the Western states. For more than a decade he served as Pastor of St. Boniface Catholic Church, in a low-income neighborhood in San Francisco, CA, where he opened its doors to the homeless so they could sleep in the pews during the day.

Father Louie has engaged in civil disobedience for nearly four decades in pursuit of peace and justice. He has been arrested an estimated 300 times standing up against war, nuclear weapons and drones.

While protesting U.S. policy of training Latin American soldiers in torture techniques, Louie was arrested for trespass at the SOA Vigils in 2001 and 2005 for which he served prison terms of three and six months. After protests of U.S. complicity in torture at Fort Huachuca, AZ in 2006 and 2008, Louie served a five month prison term after his first arrest. The torture manuals used at the School of the Americas came from Ft. Huachuca. Ft. Huachuca is the home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and interrogation training school. Visit Torture on Trial to learn more.

When not in prison or traveling, Louie has been an active member of SOA Watch groups in the Bay Area. Louie’s indefatigable spirit, rootedness in nonviolence, and friendly personality are a continuing source of inspiration.