[an update from Joe Power-Drutis]
Bix called! I knew valuable information was to be transmitted, I found myself wishing I was Ralph Hutchinson over in Knoxville with the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA). Back in May we took notes at the court proceedings of the Y-12 defendants. His notes delivered stories of detail and gusto; when I surveyed my puny notes, I sometimes wondered if we were in the same courtroom.
First, Bix sounded very good, his voice light and filled with spirit. He was only permitted 2 calls, one personal, one legal. He related why he was returned to SeaTac, which was not a surprise to either of us. Remember the “stipulations” I spoke of the other day? The first and main one for the Klingons was that Bix was not to tell anyone that he was leaving SeaTac. He had told them outright and repeatedly that he would never abide by such an order; well, they obviously didn’t care one way or the other, but this was basically the reason he was returned to SeaTac.
On the evening of the 10th, after he arrived in Tacoma, our most dear friends Senji Kanaeda & Gilberto Perez, Buddhist monks with the Nipponzan Myohoji Order on Bainbridge Island, walking and drumming with a group of students, on their way to the Trident Sub Base and the celebrations of today’s Martin Luther King vigil and action, made a small detour and stopped by the house Bix was in, to drum and pray for him outside the building for a few minutes.
Gilberto once told me that drumming generally has one of two effects on people; it either produces peace in one’s heart and being or it disturbs the heart in an attempt to awaken us to become aware. Both effects were to be witnessed that evening.
Bix was very happy to see and hear all who came to visit and wanted either to invite everyone in or go out and be with them. He had a strong sense they were angles, which gave him intense joy. He went onto comment that “it was so right they should be there”.
His captors on the other hand had a slightly different experience. First reprimanding him for being out of compliance (whatever that meant), he was told he was going to be “written up” and what happened was to be “reported”. The rest is history – in early morning he was suddenly awakened, grabbed out of bed, shackled, and returned to SeaTac by the marshals.
Their actions and manner of treatment made it known to him how he would proceed. Upon his arrival at SeaTac he made it clear he intended to be in complete non compliance with their demands; their recourse, which was to be expected, would be to place him in “protective custody or the special housing unit (SHU)” my words – “the hole”!
My friends Bix is at peace with all that is happening to him; and frankly, he’s in pretty good company. Yes, Steve is indeed nearby; but so is his long time companion, Saul of Tarsus, who knew something of what it meant to be in “the hole”.
He welcomes this time of solitude to pray and fast and meditate.
One meditation he shared was of the White Rose movement that came into being through a young girl and her brother and other students who came to understand they could no longer be silent while the Nazis sent millions to the gas chambers during the Holocaust. They did not want the German people’s moral failure to be there’s. They had the courage to act, at all costs, and to speak out, calling for passive resistance against Hitler’s regime. Imprisonment and death was the price they paid for speaking their truth. Bix reminds us, as we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, of Kings challenge to us “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”.
Now there’s a light meditation for you; while you are fasting and living in a 5’ x 10’ box!!
So many people have asked me to remember them to Bix. Please know that I did and am. A ten minute phone call comes and goes in a flash; but I shared with him how much he was loved by so many people and he very much knows and feels the love you send his way.
Then, without warning, the line goes dead!
At 10:30 AM on Tuesday January 17th Bix is to go before someone there at SeaTac, some type of prescheduled fact finding group/hearing, so that his captors can justify to themselves their reasons for treating him so unjustly. Susan Crane and I encourage as many of you that can, to come to the prison at SeaTac for an hour long vigil that will take place between 10 and 11 AM on the 17th. More on this later in the day as I talk with others and make plans. Susan assured me “you won’t be out there very long before Bix and Steve and all the inmates will know you are there and will be energized by your presence”.
Remember the Festival of Hope, St. Leo’s, tonight, at 6:30.
Happy Birthday Steve!