The Catholic Worker Movement

Bromley Eviction Halted

By Dorothy Day

The Catholic Worker, September 1975, 3.

Summary: Praises the persistent, peaceful, and gentle methods used to halt the eviction of peace activists in a Cincinnati house–“picketing, leafleting, resisting, speaking the truth.” Keywords: nonviolence (DDLW #556).

As we go to press it gives me great joy to write of a victory on the peace front, a victory achieved by the valiant work of the younger members of the peace movement in the United States, which has long known the patient and long-suffering work of such bodies as the War Resisters and the Fellowship of Reconciliation, not to forget, to speak modestly, of the Catholic Worker. As of now, it looks as though our friends, the Bromleys, will not be evicted from the Gano Peacemaker house in Cincinnati, and that the sale of the house, which took place this last summer, will be annulled. Among others, credit can be given to Peggy Scherer, who, in addition to her manual labor here at the farm in Tivoli this past year, had continued her close collaboration with Chuck Matthei in Washington and other Peacemakers around the country. And Lee LeCuyer, who is a tireless worker at First Street, has also leafleted and picketed both in Cincinnati and New York. These are the ones who helped lead the movement which achieved this victory. Ernest and Marion Bromley’s patient hard work–picketing, leafleting, resisting, speaking the truth–has not gone unnoticed.

It is a lesson for us all in the peace movement that gentle pressure, constant hard work, a faithful, straightforward–one might even say respectful–adherence to the Scriptural command to love our opponents and to exercise the virtue of hope even when all seems hopeless, offer a great example of the pure means to achieve our ends. Jacques Maritain impressed this use of pure means upon us as in the earliest days of the Catholic Worker. This victory also gives us all a sense of joyful gratitude, not only for the hard work of the young people, but even for those in government office who can respond, as they seem to have, to these persistent, though gentle pressures. Let us pray that this “little” victory will give courage to others around the country to take a stand, which involves a real commitment to the “voluntary poverty” we all talk so much about.