Many Disarm Now Supporters have asked about Steve Kelly – how he is doing and whether people can visit him. I can tell you, based on the letters I have received from Steve, that he has settled in to a deep and full routine in his monastery – the Special Handling Unit at SeaTac Federal Detention Center. Here is some additional perspective from someone who has visited with Steve at SeaTac.
Blake Kremer, an attorney who has stood with Disarm Now Plowshares throughout their legal proceedings, visited Steve a few weeks ago at the “behest” of John Dear and Dan Berrigan. Steve had told Blake months before that he did not want visitors while in the Special Handling Unit (SHU, also known as The Hole) – not legal visits, no visits at all. On this most recent visit Steve “strenuously confirmed” his earlier position.
Blake told me that Steve “says that he is doing well – he has a carefully planned day each day. He exercises, he prays, he meditates and does yoga: he told me that he does not have enough time in the day to do all that he wants to do. He understands that those on the outside are concerned that he is isolated, but he is simultaneously bemused by this concern. He knows that it takes little more than a day for a letter to reach him, and a day for a letter that he writes to get out. Steve says that this is ‘easy time’ compared to time he has done in other prisons, and that it will be over in June. The last thing that Steve wants now is more visits. Letters are great, but no visits. He and I had a nice long visit, and he made me feel quite comfortable in that he is at peace with his circumstances. More than at peace, he says that this is the consequence of a ‘damn good action.'”
That’s Steve – ever the concise ascetic.