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Diane Lopez Hughes, SOA 11 PDF Print E-mail
On January 28, 2008, Diane was sentenced to serve 45 days in prison and pay a $500 fine. She began serving her sentence immediately. She was released from Muscogee County Jail on March 11, 2008. (back row, left to right): Ed, Stephen, Chris, Ozone, Gus, Art. (front row, left to right): Michelle, Joan, Diane, Le Anne

Read some of Diane's thoughts from jail.


With our cat, Callie, I am one of two females in a family full of men: husband Patrick; sons Devin (27) in Denver and Brendan (25) in the Mojave Desert in CA, and Spot the cat. After 15 years at St. John's Hospital working in surgery, hospice and home health, first as a registered nurse, then as an MSW, I retired from the day job to spend more time working in peace, justice and environmental activism. In addition, I'm a volunteer parish nurse at St. Joseph Parish in Springfield and in the Franciscan Sisters' Justice and Peace Office.

I'm a member of the Pax Christi USA National Council, chair of the Global Restoration Priority of Pax Christi USA, member of the ex com of the Sangamon Valley Group of the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club (on negotiation team for recent SC/CWLP energy agreement), member of the Springfield Dominican Anti-Racism Team, co-convenor and founding member of Pax Christi Springfield (IL), member of the Mary Wood Branch of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, facilitator of Springfield's Grassroots Interfaith Team, member of Greater Springfield Interfaith Association, a Franciscan Associate, and a Nonviolence Facilitator with Pace e Bene, an Oakland, CA-based center for nonviolence.

Nonviolent Civil Resistance - 8/2005 at the Nevada Test Site/against nuclear weapons; 5/06 in New York City outside the office of then-US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton/against the detainment of Guatanamo prisoners and the denial of habeas corpus; 7/06 at Great Lakes Naval Base in North Chicago/to end the War in Iraq and 11/18/07 at the SOA at Ft. Benning, GA/to close the SOA.

Participated in Pediatric Surgery program in Guatemala (1993); monitored presidential election in El Salvador (2004); and participated in Witness for Peace delegation to Cuba (2005).

Activism includes organizing congressional delegations and citizen lobbying in Springfield and Washington, DC; calling peace friends into action (recent Days of Decision: We the People Declare Peace and other similar weeks of information, education, prayer and action); coordinating the weekly Saturday noon peace vigil outside the Federal Building; and encouraging folks to think outside the imperialist box.

I enjoy challenging my spirituality, walking, practicing yoga, biking, reading, traveling, watching movies, gardening, and listening to music.

Court Statement:

As a health professional I have always believed in the concept of holistic health – that in order for a body to be healthy its physical, spiritual and social needs all have to be addressed. And when a person's health is assaulted, the whole family can be affected.

The reason that I retired from my work in hospice was not only to volunteer as the parish nurse minister of my church, but also as a member of my community with our homeless friends and as a member of my world community which suffers because our family in many parts of the world suffers. That is one reason why I crossed the line at WHINSEC.

As the daughter of a Guatemalan father, I am a member of an extended family that has experienced both sides of the conflict in that tortured country. In the late nineteenth century my grandfather was a general in the Guatemalan army. His mother was an indigenous woman. So my relatives have included those who have been repressed and those who have directly participated in the repression. And my own government trains Guatemalan soldiers in techniques that support the repression, disappearance and murder of their own citizens and those who would help them in their quest for a better life and just treatment. And I believe that the attitude that allows this practice is also responsible for our domestic and foreign policy that disrespects individuals and promotes injustice.

When will the healing begin? Not until my country, our country, stops training in torture and repression. Not until we educate ourselves in nonviolence instead of violence as the way to bring health to our world family.

My faith impels me to love God and God's creation. And I believe that love is also the only path to true freedom. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Violence cannot end violence; only love can do that."

I crossed the line at WHINSEC and prayed on the grounds to bring attention to the teaching of torture and assassination. When enough people learn the truth about this school and act to end these practices, the healing can begin.


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