BEST HELLRAISER OR ACTIVIST GROUP - 2007
Every Wednesday at 7:00 a.m.—come rain, snow, bitter cold, or summer heat—members of Veterans for Peace and Women Against Military Madness, and many other peace activists, gather outside the front entrance of the Alliant TechSystems corporate headquarters in Edina. The mission is to challenge the company's manufacturing of various advanced weapon systems, including missiles, cluster bombs, and landmines. The activists count among their dedicated number the McDonald sisters—nuns from the St. Joseph of Carondelet order who are also actual sisters—and fearless longtime antiwar protesters. Many have probably lost count of how many times they've shown up outside Alliant Tech's doors requesting meetings only to be turned away by security guards. They do know that they have accumulated well over 650 arrests for nonviolent acts of civil resistance over the past 10 years, including, last fall, when 78 protesters were taken away during an action commemorating Gandhi's birthday. Some have spent a night or more in jail, and they are familiar with many a local courtroom, but these activists always return faithfully to their post, week in and week out, resolute in a shared commitment to end violence and war. "Who profits and who dies?" they ask. Someday, perhaps, the Alliant Tech leaders will give them an answer—or at least an appointment.