The following is a play written by participants in the 2010 Romero 30th Anniversary Delegation and performed at University Lutheran Chapel, SHARE sistering parish, for their Easter vigil. We at SHARE applaud their creative approach to outreach and raising awareness, and are grateful for the laughter and joy that they have brought to the anti-mining struggle, so important for El Salvador today.
Daniel 3:1-29 (The Fiery Furnace)
Narrator reads the text from the lectern.
Intro: Throughout all time and history, people have vested their hopes and dreams in false gods: power and wealth and gold. Not just in the United States and El Salvador, but also in ancient Babylon...
(During this section, the slides go up) (3:1) King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden statue whose height was sixty cubits and whose width was six cubits: he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. (3:2) Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent for the satraps, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to assemble and come to the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. (3:3) So the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, assembled for the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Character Number One: (Pacific Rim) I am Pacific Rim mining company, I have the opportunity here in El Salvador to make A LOT of money! The gold here, nestled under the ground, underneath these paltry communities, is the key to my extreme wealth and power....muahahahaha
When they were standing before the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had set up, (3:4) the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, (3:5) that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, you are to fall down and worship the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. (3:6) Whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.” (3:7) Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Character Number One: (Pacific Rim with syrupy sweetness) Pacific Rim cares about the community in which it works. Free trade and open market systems help everyone. The gold mines here are the key, not only to my success, but for everyone. Help me help you so we can all profit. When Pacific Rim mines everyone wins! Together! (shakes hands with the audience) Will you help me? I have gifts for you....(passes around the gifts & phrases)
(3:8) Accordingly, at this time certain Chaldeans came forward and denounced the Jews.
Character Number Two enters and stands ominously....(Pacific Rim security guard toting large machine gun)
(3:9) They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O King, live forever! (3:10) You, O King, have made a decree, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble shall fall down and worship the golden statue, (3:11) and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire. (3:12) There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These pay no heed to you, O King. They do not serve your gods and they do not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”
Character Number Three (crowd organizer): We are not going to put up with this! We need to tell the truth about these mines! Neoliberal economics don't work, these mines are destroying our land and water and soil! (hands out signs)
Signs are lifted: berets are put on, fmln flag is raised, signs saying "stop the mines," "save our water!"
(3:12) Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought in; so they brought those men before the king. (3:14) Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is is true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednégo, that you do not serve my gods and you do not worship the golden statue that I have set up? (3:15) Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble to fall down and worship the statue that I have made well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire, and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?” (3:16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to present a defense to you in this matter. (3:17) If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. (3:18) But if not, be it known to you, O King, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”
SHOW DOWN: Pacific Rim is waving money around urging his side of the crowd to keep making noise, trying to get the other side of the room to come over. Demonstrators are urging their crowd to make noise. (Adlib a lot of noise!)
(3:19) Then Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face was distorted. He ordered the furnace heated up seven times more than was customary, (3:20) and ordered some of the strongest guards in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. (3:21) So the men were bound still wearing their tunics, their trousers, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the furnace of blazing fire. (3:22) Because he king’s command was urgent and the furnace was so overheated, the raging flames killed the men who lifted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Community Organizer: (Marcelo Rivera Pic- from mural?) was director of the Casa de Cultura in San Isidro, Cabañas, and was active in social justice and environmental struggles. Rivera made public denunciations of San Isidro Mayor Ignacio Bautista of the ARENA party. Rivera was also active in the national movement against mining projects that threaten El Salvador's principal watersheds. His lifeless body was rescued from a well on June 30th, with clear signs of torture. Que Viva Marcelo! (demonstrators respond Que Viva!)
Another Community Organizer: Ramiro Rivera Gomez (Ramiro Rivera Gomez Pic) was vice president of the Cabañas Environmental Committee and a leader in the resistance against the Pacific Rim Mining Company. After an attempt on his life in July of 2009, he was put on permanent security detail. He was gunned down and killed on December 20 while under the protection of two security guards of the Witnesses and Victims Protection Init of the National Civil Police. Que Viva Ramiro! (Que Viva!)
Another Community Organizer: Dora Alicia Sorto Recinos (Alicia Sorto Pic) was the wife of Santos Rodriquez, a farmer and active member of the Cabañas Environmental Committee. She and her husband were working in opposition to Pacific Rim´s proposed El Dorado gold mine. She was shot and killed December 26th when she was returning home from doing laundry in a nearby river. She was eight months pregnant at the time. Que Viva Alicia! (Que Viva!)
(3:23) The three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire. (3:24) Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up quickly. He said to his counselors, “Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?” They answered the king, “True, O King.” (3:25) He replied, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god.”
Community Organizer: Although our comrades have fallen, they are with us still. They are fighting alongside us for the truth. Don't you remember what Monsigneur Romero said "Y si me matan, resucitaré en el pueblo salvadoreño” "If I am killed, I will be reborn in the Salvadoran people!"
(3:26) Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and said ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. (3:27) And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men; the hair of their heads was not singed, their tunics were not harmed, and not even the smell of fire came from them. (3:28) Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him. They disobeyed the king’s command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship and god except their own God. (3:29) Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that utters blasphemy against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins; for there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.”
Conclusion: Throughout all time people have vested their hopes and dreams in false gods: power, wealth, and gold. And throughout time they have met their opposition in those who stand up for what is true and what is right. In Babylon, the US and El Salvador, we continue this fight today.