~ from MDC Brooklyn, by Sr. Megan Rice

April 6, 2014

Dear sisters and brothers, at-one-with us all in this Beloved Community of participants in support of disarming now, and transforming now, the nuclear-industrial complex, wherever it rears its rapacious heads!

Greetings from the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn. I arrived about ten days ago, after a BOP transit tour, to be the 60th detainee, added to the 59 already here since the closing of the women’s unit at FCI Danbury, one month ago. (You may know, FCI Danbury is being re-readied for men again.) We are all together in the stage of pioneering the women’s unit in two huge buildings here among the 3,000 men prisoners for whom it was built.

I was taken from Ocilla on March 18 to Lovejoy, GA, detention center for about six days, then flown March 24 for an overnight stop in Oklahoma City, where all layers of thermals etc. were removed from each of the 16 women and 100+ men flying from Atlanta with us. Brrrrr!!

Early the next a.m. with one other woman destined for Danbury Camp and 100+ more men, all of us in T-shirts & cotton khakis in 30º weather, got flown to Newburgh, NY, arriving by mid-p.m. After a long wait there, I was called to a van with one other woman destined with me for this MDC Brooklyn. We arrived March 25th, Tuesday night, at 7 p.m.

I could never fully describe the kindness with which a guardian angel guard (male) walked me through “intake” in about 15 minutes, while I ate my baloney & cheese sandwich (brown bread! turkey baloney!), the first meal of the day for me except for two apples given to me by my sister passenger, “Tiffany”, on the way from Newburgh to Brooklyn.

Then, dressed in more new clothes and with sheets and blankets, we got taken by 8:00 p.m. to unit 6 on the 6th floor. There we received the warmest welcome from the ex-Danbury settlers who generously outfitted me with their surplus from Danbury – sweats, t-shirts, socks, food – you name it! So, “Go by opposites!” It’s good to be 84 and the next young thing only about 70, if that! The United Nations is represented among a large population from Brooklyn, Queens, and up-state New York towns – Watertown, Ithaca, and Plattsburg – well-represented, with one loner from near Florence, AZ.

These ten days have been spent sleeping off the journey, and beginning to learn the many ropes (rules) governing the approved “Contact list” for email, phone calls and mail, and a visitors list.

Good books are available and I’ve started learning about writers and times I never had time to read before – Catherine di Medici (!), The Mercy by Toni Morrison, and now Rabble-Rouser for Peace, the biography of Desmond Tutu, a long-time hero of mine whom I tracked down for all his speaking events while in N.Y.C. one year in the late 1980s, accompanied by three very politically-savvy homeless men from Franklin Men’s Shelter in the Bronx. Tutu gave them great hugs after each event.

Again, I thank each of you from far away places who continue to write to us. As I send my love and thanks and blessings, please also send mine and yours to Greg and Mike in Leavenworth and Bradford, when you write to them.

Love & peace, and know great things are happening despite appearances!

Megan Rice s.h.c.j.