Monthly Archive for June, 2012

Message from Dr. Song at Jeju Prison

Dr. Song Kang-Ho sent a message from Jeju Prison to share with people gathered at a candlelight vigil on June 28 in front of the construction gate at a naval base under construction on Jeju Island.

“The fire is brighter in the darkness. The Gangjeong village is a candle light of the dark period when the ghost of violence dominates […] The more increasing candles will eventually collapse the naval base that push the village, Jeju and our country into anxieties and conflicts. Even though a candle is small, the power of fire is great. We all have such great kindling in our hearts.”

Ms. Cho Jung-Rae, Dr. Song’s wife, was present at the event.

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Fifteen anti-drone protesters arrested at Hancock Air Base

From a press release sent by Mary Anne Grady Flores and Ann Tiffany

On June 28 at 1:41 p.m., 15 New Yorkers were arrested when they blocked the main gate of Hancock Air Base in Syracuse, NY, unfurling anti-Reaper Drone banners. The banners declared, “Federal Crime Scene, Don’t Cross!” with vivid illustrations of young victims of Drone strikes. One banner pictured Martin Luther King, Jr. stating “I have a dream!”, and next to him was Obama stating “I have a drone”. What has happened to MLK’s dream?

A war crimes indictment was read aloud, against the entire chain of command from President Obama on down, for crimes against peace and crimes against humanity, to base personnel at the gate. Shortly after the arrests began.

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Happy birthdays!

Helen Woodson made this beautiful card for us when she was in prison.  Today, June 26, is her first birthday outside of prison in 27 years, making the celebration for others of us who have a birthday today even sweeter:  Jack and Felice Cohen-Joppa, Ellen Barfield, Dot Fisher-Smith, and Sean O’Reilly… almost enough for an affinity group!

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Fr. Steve Kelly released from SEATAC

The jailers cut him loose! On June 21, Steve Kelly, SJ finished his 15 month prison sentence for participating in the Disarm Now Plowshares action. From left, Susan, Lynne, Anne, Steve, Bix. For more information:

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Two pensioners blockade Scotland’s Faslane Trident submarine base

On the morning of June 14,  two Trident Ploughshares activists sat in the road at the North Gate of Faslane Trident Submarine base, stopping any traffic from entering the base for 15 minutes as part of the Faslane Peace Camps call for 30 Days of Action.

Joy Mitchell, 79, from Berwick on Tweed and Joan Meredith, 82, from Malpas, Cheshire have taken action against nuclear weapons many times before.

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~ Post prison reflection from Susan Crane

Peggy Coleman, Susan Crane, Chet Collins and Larry Purcell in the FCI Dublin visiting room.

A Reflection on Coming Out of Prison: On Contradictions and Responsibility

From the Disarm Now Plowshares website

After the Disarm Now Plowshares action, trial and sentencing, I was in prison with a fifteen month sentence: an eye-blink in comparison to the sentences of most of the women I was with in FDC SeaTac and FCI Dublin.   FCI Dublin is a federal woman’s prison in California that is behind two fences and rolls and rolls of razor wire. There are about 1000 women there; 85% were foreign nationals, mostly Hispanic, who would be deported by ICE when their sentences were over.  I have no regrets about going onto the US Naval Base in Washington, where the largest stockpile of nuclear warheads are stored, and where 8 of the trident submarines that deploy the nuclear warheads, are homeported.

The time in prison was full of contradictions and bookended by two passages: a quote from George Bernard Shaw about prisons, and a story from the gospel of Matthew about the judgement of the nations. Both bring up the question of how we as individuals and as a collective are responsible for what is happening in the culture we live in. 

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~ Prison reflection from Lynne Stewart

We Must Raise The Level Of Our Resistance

Excerpted from Lynne Stewart’s letter to the United National Anti-war Coalition (UNAC) conference that took place March 23-25, 2012 in Stamford, Connecticut.

Too many wars, too much death and destruction on both sides…

And our ever-present legacy of these wars? Go down to your local “shelter for the homeless” or state prison and count the veterans… Watch any sport on TV and the ads that sell the glamorous, patriotic life of the military are the best that big money can produce. It attracts, as it is meant to do, the kids this government means to “throw away” in the projects of the big cities, on the farms that can no longer compete, in mines of Appalachia, in the immigrant communities. And these sons and daughters of “someone else” die; they are maimed; they are driven mad, in faraway places where people hate them and the flag they operate under. And then they come home to haunt us.

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The Nuclear Resister needs funds – please help!

Felice & Jack at the Nevada Test Site, October 2011

From activist and musician Joyce Katzberg:
Thank you, dear Jack and Felice,
for chronicling our hope these long years. I still carry my weatherbeaten copy of the April, 2003 issue of the Nuclear Resister [which chronicles over 7,500 anti-war arrests] in my purse to prove to people that there really IS a nonviolent resistance movement in our country. I love it when I see the light in their eyes when they see page after page after page after page of evidence of courage in the face of the Beast.
           XO Joyce

From activist Rachel Winch:
Dear Felice and Jack,
I was reading through the last edition of the Nuclear Resister today and was filled with such hope and inspiration. At times when it feels like all is lost, it is beautiful to be reminded of the creative resistance of people around the country and around the world.
Thank you for your work and your loving presence.
        Much love,             

From imprisoned Plowshares activist Steve Kelly, S.J.:
The Nuclear Resister – tracking, chronicling, supporting prisoners-of-conscience to nukes and war – deserves our material and constructive support. I’m not alone in saying I’m empowered by this newsletter, which serves as much more than a bulletin board or website. It is us – caring, taking pulse, hearing each other.
          God bless, Steve

June, 2012

Dear friends,

Letters like these recent ones, from old friends and new, remind us why we have continued to publish the Nuclear Resister newsletter for the past 32 years.

A few significant reasons stand out as to why this work remains as vital as ever – worthy of our time, energy and commitment, and of your continued support.

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~ Prison reflection from Steve Kelly, SJ

From issue #166 of the Nuclear Resister

Unrecognized political prisoner:
A Year’s Reflection

Or as Steve Baggarly of the Norfolk Catholic Worker wrote in a letter from jail:
“If the SHU fits…”  

Many folks, mostly activists, write to us with this first thought: “Oh, I could never do what you are doing”, meaning either months or maybe years of prison or time in the hole (segregated housing unit – SHU). In one way of course it could be true of the infirm or very inexperienced. It’s not necessarily true of the elders though. 

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Resisting drones in Missouri: “Let Justice Flow Like a River…”

Mark Kenney, Brian Terrell and Ron Faust in front of courthouse

by Brian Terrell

June 12, 2012

The United States District Courthouse in Jefferson City, Missouri, is a modern and graceful structure sitting on a bluff over the Missouri River. Less than one year old, it is a virtual temple in white marble, granite and glass, its clean lines all the more immaculate in contrast to its nearest neighbor, the crumbling 19th century hulk of the derelict and empty Missouri State Penitentiary, now a tourist attraction and occasional movie set. Set into the floor of the courthouse rotunda, executed in marble and bronze, is the image of the Great Seal of the United States, the eagle with arrows in one talon and olive leaves in the other, circled by a quote from the Bible, from the prophet Amos, “Let Justice Flow Like A River.”

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