Y-12 Prisoners on the move!

all,

here is an update on our friends. sometime this [Tuesday] morning, steve baggarly, beth rosdatter and bonnie urfer were whisked out of tennessee to points unknown. we discovered just after noon that they were gone.

by late afternoon we had heard from ocilla, ga—yes, their new home (a homecoming for steve and bonnie, i’m sure)

no idea how long they will be there. but here is the contact info if you are inclined to write.

Paula Rosdatter  10660
Bonnie Urfer   8957
Steve Baggarly  8955

the rest of the address is
Irwin County Detention Center
132 Cotton Dr
Ocilla GA 31774

so far as we know, as of this afternoon, mike walli and dennis duvall are still in blount county jail.

peace,

ralph [Hutchison]

Editor’s Note:  We keep all the Y-12 prisoners of conscience addresses regularly updated at the Nuclear Abolitionist Y-12 Witness Page.

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Steve Baggarly’s Y-12 Sentencing Statement

Steve Baggarly Sept 19, 2011 Pre-sentence Statement – Y-12 Trials

The y-12 plant in Oak Ridge enriched the uranium that is
contained in every nuclear warhead in the United States’ arsenal. It
first produced weapons-grade uranium for the atomic bomb dropped on
 Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. Kozo Itagaki was one mile from
ground zero on that day:

“Victims of the blast seemed like ghosts, without a vestige of
clothing on their sore and burned bodies and it was hard to
distinguish their sex if you didn’t take a close look. They were
tottering toward the park, avoiding people who had sunk to the ground.
They were asking for help and water in a faint voice, with their arms
held out, with their skin peeled and hung down like potato skins.
Supposedly they thought there must be some remedy if they could reach
the top of the hill. But the next morning those who finally reached
the top were dead, falling one upon another without being able to get
medical treatment.

Together with some relatively healthy soldiers I spent days
relieving injured people in the city, collecting corpses, burying and
incinerating them, putting ashes in order, and so on. At around noon
four days after the incident, when we were at rest, a boy (he looked
like a third grader) came up with tottering steps and said, “Soldier,
please give me water.” I looked at him and saw that the boy had a sign
of jaundice. He also showed signs of dehydration. His hair had partly
fallen out. Everyone there agreed that if he drank water he would die.
I said I would bring him some a little later, and told him to lie down
under the tree for a while. And we proceeded with our conversation.
Suddenly I noticed the boy drinking sewage with his head down deep in
the gutter nearby. He soon died.”

Now I am a parent of a child and whenever I recall the happenings
I imagine how hard the boy was crying for Father and Mother in his
heart, or if the parents had been on the spot how much they would have
felt frantic; and I regret that I didn’t let him drink water there and
then.

In Hiroshima, 100,000 people were killed instantly and another
100,000 died painful deaths within the next few months. Just the US
nuclear weapons ready for launching right now have over 55,000 times
the explosive power of that first bomb, and there are more in reserve.
As it is, the government is building three new nuclear bomb plants,
 including one at Oak Ridge, and is in the process of rehabbing and
upgrading every weapon in its stockpile to make them even more
powerful and to ensure they last into the next century. Through Y-12
nuclear weapons complex the Department of Energy, the US military,
Congress, the Federal Courts, the White House and the American people
conspire daily in preparation and rehearsal for the end of the world.

If the nation doesn’t repent of its nuclear idolatry, we won’t
even have the luxury of feeling regret should anything like the
following words of Jimmy Carter come to be:

“In an all-out nuclear war, more destructive power than all of
World War II would be unleashed every second during the long afternoon
it would take for the missiles and bombs to fall. A World War II every
second—more people killed in the first hours than all the wars in
history put together. The survivors, if any, would live in despair
amid the ruins of a civilization that had committed suicide.”

That such a possibility exists in a world filled with children is
unspeakable evil. The United States, as inventor of nuclear weapons,
the only nation ever to use them on human beings, and as perpetual
leader in the nuclear arms race, bears the greatest responsibility to
ensure such mass suicide never happens. At this critical time in
history, if there is to be any hope for stopping the proliferation of
nuclear weapons and moving toward a nuclear weapons-free world, the
United States must make good on international commitments to disarm.
It must act in spite of fear. With Manhattan Project-like
relentlessness, we must lead the world in a nuclear DIS-armament race.

If we as a people stop putting our faith in gods of metal, our
trust in superior firepower, seeking salvation in the DEATH OF
EVERYTHING… If we depart from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue
it, I believe we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the
living.

Lynne Greenwald Free! Join us in celebration (of FREEDOM)!

Dear Friends

Lynne walked out of SeaTac Federal Detention center at 10 a.m. on
September 26 and (surprisingly enough) was not rearrested. In her own
words, Lynne is “free at last!” And who was walking into the federal
building as Lynne was walking out? Anne Montgomery – who was there to
have her ankle bracelet removed– free at last.

Each Wednesday, the women of Irma Gary House* cook the evening meal at
Guadalupe House. Together with the Tacoma Catholic Worker, IGH invites
you to a “reentry potluck” tomorrow evening. IGH (where Lynne is
resident manager) welcomed two new residents, Julia and Rhonda, to the
house during the last few weeks – free at last.

Please join us in celebration of Lynne, Anne, Julia, Rhonda, and
freedom in all its manifestations.

We will provide a large pot of stew as well as delectable desserts.
Everyone else is asked to bring a dish that contains either fresh
fruit or vegetables. Or just grab a cantaloupe or carrot and come on
by. Fresh fruits and vegetables are in short supply at SeaTac and this
is the food that Lynne most missed.

What: Welcome Back/Re-entry Potluck
When: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 @ 6:15
Where: Guadalupe House
           1418 S 15th Street
           Tacoma, WA 98405

More info: Theresa 253 617-1405

* Located in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, New Connections’ Irma Gary
House provides a supportive, clean and sober home for women recently
released from correctional facilities in Washington state.

Lynne Greenwald is Home!

Friends,

Lynne Greenwald is OUT of prison! 

She has done her time, and to quote lynne, “I’m home and all is good!”  She got out yesterday, and went directly to the Federal Building in Tacoma where she met with the folks in the Probation Department.  I understand that while there she met fellow ex-con and fellow Disarm Now Plowshares resister Sr. Anne Montgomery who was there with attorney Blake Kremer; a most pleasant surprise indeed (a small, small world).

Lynne says “Thanks to everyone for all the support.”

That’s three out and two to go – Susan Crane is still playing the clarinet (among other activities) at the Dublin Federal Correctional Institution, and Fr. Steve Kelly still resides deep in the belly (Special Handling Unit most likely) of the SeaTac Federal Detention Center.  Funny… I’ve never thought of Steve as someone needing “special handling.”

Susan and Steve still have a long way to go until they walk out of prison.  Each got 15 months, and won’t be out until roughly the end of June 2012.  Check out the Contact page for their current mailing addresses and drop them a line.

Peace,

Leonard

Mary Dennis’ Y-12 sentencing statement – centered on the sacred

Sentencing Statement Sept. 21, 2011
 Mary Dennis Lentsch (Elizabeth Ann)

I bow to the sacred in each person in this room and to my sisters and brothers around the world.

I bow to the sacred in all plants and animals.

I bow to the sacred in all the gifts of creation found on planet Earth and in our Universe.

In order to protect all the sacred gifts of creation, I feel called to do whatever is necessary to abolish nuclear weapons. My years of nonviolent resistance and acts of conscience have their roots in my Christian baptismal promise to renounce and resist evil, and in the public witness of my religious vows as a Catholic sister.

My heartfelt conviction for resisting nuclear weapons is reinforced by a passage from the Bible. In the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 30 verse 19 we read: “…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life that you and future generations may live.”

It is a known fact that nuclear weapons are instruments of death and massive destruction. The explosion of a nuclear bomb gives off immense quantities of heat and energy, as well as powerful and prolonged radiation that cannot be contained in time and space. This violence of nuclear weapons has the potential to destroy all that is sacred—all living beings, as well as our ecosystems, and our planet.

At the peaceful gathering at Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on July 5, 2010, I carried a sign that read: “Continuing nuclear weapons production at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is in direct violation of the treaty obligations of the United States (The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Article VI), and therefore is a violation of Article 6 of the Constitution of the United States of America and fails to conform to our obligations under international law according to the ruling of the International Court of Justice, July 8, 1996.”

To my surprise a copy of this sign was not included in the Discovery Document from the government while the copies of two signs carried by other codefendants were included.

With my sign and nonviolent act of conscience, it was my hope to bring a lawless situation into the court of justice. It was my hope and expectation that the judge and jury would weigh in the balance of justice the gravity of the United States violating international law and the Constitution of the United States, with my puny action of calling attention to these violations regarding the continued nuclear bomb production at Y-12.

In the United States justice system, where it is expected that truth and integrity will be honored, should it not make a difference who breaks the law and what law is broken?

I am inspired and energized in my efforts to abolish nuclear weapons by the witness of Jesus, Nano Nagle, and so many other prophets who challenged unjust systems and oppressive government policies. Jesus resisted the unjust laws and oppression of his day. Nano Nagle, the foundress of the Presentation Sisters, resisted the government policies in Ireland by illegally giving religious instruction in her hedge schools.

Salvator Fink, a Franciscan priest, describes Nano Nagle in the following manner and I quote: “a woman whose love was stronger than viciousness, injustice, greed and violence that swamped her city and nation. She was a woman of indomitable courage, native shrewdness and indefatigable zeal for her faith. Challenging the brutal power of her people’s oppressors, she spent her life on the razor’s edge of danger.” As a member of the Presentation Sisters, I am inspired by the witness of deep faith and lived experience from this great woman.

Today I face a sentence of prison for my nonviolent action resisting nuclear weapons. Like Jesus, Nano Nagle, and many prophetic witnesses before me, I accept the consequential suffering of my decision to follow my conscience.

It is my prayerful hope that the nonviolent energy of each person in this room, and all people around the world, could one day soon, insure the sacred gift of life and existence for all in a nuclear-free future. We must abolish nuclear weapons!

Thank you.

Bix’s Y-12 statement – choosing life over death

September 25, 2011 [from Joe Power-Drutis]

Bix recently returned to Knoxville to be sentenced along with 10 other
nuclear resisters for their part in the Y-12 civil resistance act of
prayer at Oak Ridge Tennessee on July 5, 2010.

The following reading is his statement to the court prior to being
sentenced. After making his statement he was sentenced to 3 months in
Federal Prison for this misdemeanor act. He was granted his request to
self commit but has not as yet been given a commitment date.

Bix’s statement to the court – September 12, 2011

        I wish to thank the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA) Community of Eastern Tennessee which is committed to peacemaking for their warm welcome. Especially do I wish to thank Erik and Libby Johnson for their embracing hospitality and the gracious sharing of their home; they are what peacemaking is about.

        On Sunday, September 11th, I accompanied Erik and Libby to the
service at The Church of the Savior of the United Church of Christ.
The pastor, Rev. John Gill, emphasized the power of INTENTION in our
lives – for good or for evil – for destruction of creation – for hurt
or for healing. The question for us is whether we will choose to live
with intention – with commitment – or simply float through life with
more or less good intentions.

        Since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki we know the
crucifying destruction that was unleashed on the Japanese people and
the contagious twin diseases of fear and hopelessness that were
ushered into our world by those weapons. We as a people have been
wounded by the unrepented acts of violence against the Japanese
people. We live in nuclear bondage in which violence and fear has
infected our body politic and culture.

        Will we, individually and collectively, as a people intentionally
allow the presence, maintenance, and intended use of these unrelenting
weapons of death or will we resist their very existence. We allow
these weapons when we are indifferent, unconcerned, or in the dark
about them; or when we accept judicial protection of them. Unless we
live with the intention to resist and abolish these weapons we will
continue on the walk of death we are on now.

        We can choose life or death. We can intentionally commit ourselves to
walk the path of justice, so that every human being of every race is
nourished with what is necessary for a full human life – in which the
joy and potential of our global family blooms; or we can walk the path
of self-gain and/ or “might makes right” which leads to spiritual
death and a shattered world.

        The words of Martin Luther King Jr. talk to our times: “I refuse to
accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a
militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I
believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final
word in reality.” Martin Luther King also reminds us that: “The arc of
the universe bends toward Justice.”

       With the hope that this court and Judge bends with the arc of the
universe, I wish to recommit myself to the pursuit of Justice and to
resistance to forces of death such as nuclear weapons. For me this
means that I, intentionally, with the grace of God recommit myself to
the following of Jesus in his non-violence, forgiveness, and love. I
ask for the aid and support of Francis, Gandhi, Martin Luther King,
Oscar Romero, the four churchwomen Ita Ford, Maura Clark, Dorothy
Kazel and Jean Donovan, Dorothy Day, Jackie Hudson and also my living
compatriots that I might follow faithfully, even unto death, in the
path of Jesus. This also means, to affirm what gives life and to
resist what brings death to all people and our creation.

        I do this in conjunction with Sr. Jackie Hudson, OP who has given her
life to the pursuit of Justice. I join my resolve with Sue Albao,
faithful partner of Jackie, to continue the work of Jackie Hudson.

Dublin FDC Road Trip: “cameras and prisons don’t mix”

Peter Ediger, Mary Lou Anderson, Sarah Thompson and Jim Haber were  returning to the San Francisco Bay Area from Reedley, California after Mary Lou and Jim gave a presentation at the Reedley Peace Center about their recent trip to Afghanistan with Voices for Creative Nonviolence as part of a March, 2011 peace delegation. They decided to stop at the Federal Correctional Institution – Dublin to visit Disarm Now Plowshares prisoner of conscience Susan Crane, but weren’t on the list to visit.  Fr. Louis Vitale met them at the BART station in Pleasanton and all five briefly did visit the prison, though not Susan.  Here’s the evidence (many thanks to Jim Haber):

"wanted a couple photos with anti-nuclear signs outside its walls. Well, the guards insisted that cameras and prisons don't mix, hence the poorly framed, not quite set up well photos."

After fleeing the prison, we took this image outside St. Elizabeth's in Oakland to show what our intent was to look like.

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