~ from FMC Lexington, by Kathy Kelly

Photo by Buddy Bell, taken of Kathy Kelly on January 23, shortly before she began her 3 month prison sentence

Photo by Buddy Bell, taken of Kathy Kelly on January 23, shortly before she began her 3 month prison sentence

The Shift

reprint of a letter from Kathy Kelly

“We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person oriented society: when machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” – Martin Luther King Jr., “Beyond Vietnam”

Here in Lexington federal prison, Atwood Hall defies the normal Bureau of Prisons fixation on gleaming floors and spotless surfaces. Creaky, rusty, full of peeling paint, chipped tiles, and leaky plumbing, Atwood just won’t pass muster.

But of the four federal prisons I’ve lived in, this particular “unit” may be the most conducive to mental health. Generally, the Bureau of Prisons system pushes guards to value buffed floors more than the people buffing the floors, walking the floors. Here, the atmosphere seems less uptight, albeit tinged with resigned acceptance that everyone is more or less “stuck” in what one prisoner described as “the armpit of the system.”

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Villagers and supporters on Jeju Island arrested, injured during government-ordered crackdown and demolition of protest site

1510500_10155127526210076_1407622643831701220_nby Felice Cohen-Joppa

[Thanks to Paco for his sharing of breaking news and the Gangjeong Village Story newsletter for background information.  Please scroll down to read the first-hand account from Ddalgi (Gangjeong villager).]

Resistance to the construction of a naval base on Jeju Island, S. Korea, which began in 2007, continues with daily mass/blockades, 100 ritual bows, community meals and other activities. More than 600 villagers and supporters have been arrested over the years, and many have spent time in jail.

An intense confrontation with authorities took place in Gangjeong Village on Saturday, January 31. There are initial reports of 24 arrests throughout the day, including the mayor, vice-mayor, priests and nuns.

Activists began to gather during the previous night, building barricades and a watchtower, with the aim of protecting a sit-in tent from government-ordered demolition. The protest tent had been erected on October 24 outside of the construction site for military housing in the center of Gangjeong Village, next to the primary school.

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One peace activist gets a $5,000 fine, another gets five years probation for entering Ft. Benning during protest to close the SOA

eve  nashua 2015 2-1

photo by María Luisa Rosal

from the Ledger-Enquirer

by Ben Wright

One School of Americas Watch protester was sentenced to five years probation and another was slapped with a maximum $5,000 fine Thursday for trespassing onto Fort Benning during the annual protest in November.

U.S. Magistrate Stephen Hyles sentenced Robert Norman Chantal, 62, of Americus to five years probation after pleading guilty and stating that he wouldn’t enter the post again. Chantal was dressed in a sad clown face during the Nov. 23 protest on Benning Road to close the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

Calling 83-year-old Eve Tetaz a bad citizen, the judge sentenced the longtime activist to pay a $5,000 fine but the woman with a many medical issues avoided prison time. She must pay the fine in 30 days or make arrangements, one of her attorneys said outside District Court.

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28-Year Crime Sprees of a Peacenik and a Colonel

Bonnie Urfer

Bonnie Urfer

from counter punch

by John LaForge

A former Army Brigadier General was busted two ranks and fined $20,000 this year after being charged with sexual assault of an Army Captain — a subordinate he reportedly threatened to kill if she revealed their affair. Jeffrey A. Sinclair’s multiple convictions should have gotten him thrown out of the military, sent to prison and registered as a sexual predator, but the judge in the case, Col. James L. Pohl, allowed him to retire as a Lt. Col. with full benefits and a $105,000 pension. Sinclair, 51, spent 28 years in the Army.

Meanwhile Nukewatch just celebrated the retirement of peace activist Bonnie Urfer, 62, who has stopped answering the Nukewatch phone after co-directing here for 28 years.

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Appeal hearing scheduled on sabotage charge for three imprisoned nuclear disarmament activists

Security Breach HEUMFThe Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has assigned the oral argument on the sabotage charge in the case of the Transform Now Plowshares – Greg Boertje-Obed, Michael Walli and Sr. Megan Rice – for March 12 at 9 a.m. in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Each side will be given 15 minutes to argue. The decision will probably come out weeks later.

For more information about the Transform Now Plowshares, click here.

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A Future in Prison

photo by Shane Franklin

photo by Shane Franklin

by Kathy Kelly

January 22, 2015

The Bureau of Prisons contacted me today, assigning me a prison number and a new address: for the next 90 days, beginning tomorrow, I’ll live at FMC Lexington, in the satellite prison camp for women, adjacent to Lexington’s federal medical center for men. Very early tomorrow morning, Buddy Bell, Cassandra Dixon, and Paco and Silver, two house guests whom we first met in protests on South Korea’s Jeju Island, will travel with me to Kentucky and deliver me to the satellite women’s prison outside the Federal Medical Center for men.

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Kathy Kelly begins 3 month sentence on January 23 at FMC Lexington for drone resistance

Screen-Shot-2014-06-02-at-1.27.39-PMby Jane Stoever

Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (based in Chicago), was sentenced on December 10 to three months in federal prison for crossing a line on the entry road to Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster, Missouri on June 1. Kelly was opposing all drone warfare, including drones guided by remote control from Whiteman.

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Activists hold mock funeral for the Earth at Washington State nuclear submarine base; 10 arrested for blocking traffic

Photo by  L. Eiger, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

Photo by L. Eiger, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

from Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

Activists from a local peace group blocked the main gate and staged a mock funeral at the Navy’s West Coast Trident nuclear submarine base in an act of civil resistance to nuclear weapons.

Over sixty people participated in Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action’s annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr’s life and legacy on Saturday, January 17, 2015. The event concluded with a vigil and nonviolent direct action at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Silverdale, Washington.

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Five activists arrested blocking entrance of world’s #1 war profiteer, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Brandywine Peace Community photo

Brandywine Peace Community photo

from the Brandywine Peace Community

On Saturday, January 17, people stood in front of the Lockheed Martin complex in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania as the voice of Dr. King echoed over the area behind the King of Prussia Mall with the sound of excepts of his sermons and speeches. There was also bell-tolling, peace songs by Tom Mullian, a litany drawn from Dr. King’s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize speech with the response: Lives Matter, Damn Their War Profits…Wage Justice, Wage Peace.

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Hancock drone resister convicted on unexpected new charge

12650368-mmmainDrone protester Bonny Mahoney of Syracuse, New York was convicted by Judge David S. Gideon in DeWitt Town Court on January 16 on a single count of trespass stemming from her arrest during a nonviolent protest at Hancock Air National Guard Base on April 28, 2013.

When Mahoney arrived in court on January 15 for her jury trial on charges of obstructing governmental administration (OGA) and 2 counts of disorderly conduct (DisCon), she was arraigned on a new charge (trespass) stemming from the same event where she was arrested 17 months earlier with 30 other protesters. Her reasonable request for some time to modify her preparations was refused.

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