A new book on peacemaking by John Dear

The Nonviolent Life

A new book on peacemaking

By John Dear

 
Available now from www.paceebene.org
 
“In The Nonviolent Life, John Dear articulates a vision of the power, meaning and impact of the spiritually grounded nonviolent life—and invites us to put this into practice in both immediate and long-term ways.”   -Ken Butigan, author and activist
“How can we become people of nonviolence and help the world become more nonviolent? What does it mean to be a person of active nonviolence? How can we help build a global grassroots movement of nonviolence to disarm the world, relieve unjust human suffering, make a more just society and protect creation and all creatures? What is a nonviolent life?”
 

These are the questions John Dear—Nobel Peace Prize nominee, long time peace activist and Pace e Bene staff member—poses in this ground-breaking book. John Dear suggests that the life of nonviolence requires three simultaneous attributes: being nonviolent toward ourselves; being nonviolent to all people, all creatures, and all creation; and joining the global grassroots movement of nonviolence.  Nonviolent Life cover JPG

After thirty years of preaching the Gospel of nonviolence, John Dear offers a simple, original yet profound way to capture the crucial elements of nonviolent living, and the possibility of creating a new nonviolent world. According to John, “Most people pick one or two of these dimensions, but few do all three. To become a fully rounded, three dimensional person of nonviolence, we need to do all three simultaneously.” Perhaps then he suggests, we can join the pantheon of peacemakers from Jesus and Francis to Dorothy Day and Mahatma Gandhi.

In his new book, John Dear proposes a simple vision of nonviolence that everyone can aspire to. It will help everyone be healed of violence, and inspire us to transform our culture of violence into a new world of nonviolence!

John Dear is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. He is a popular speaker, peacemaker, organizer, lecturer, retreat leader, and the author/editor of 30 books. He has organized and participated in nonviolent campaigns for over three decades; been arrested some 75 times in acts of civil disobedience against war and injustice; and spent nearly a year of his life in jail for peace. Recently, John was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. For further information, see www.johndear.org

To order The Nonviolent Life:
Visit – www.paceebene.org
P.O. Box 1891 Long Beach, CA 90801
510-268-8765   info@paceebene.org

Anne Montgomery remembered: “new birth, new time, new humanity”

Editor’s Introduction:  Dear Friends, Art Laffin, of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington D.C., wrote the following remembrance of our dear friend (and co-conspirator in the creation of God’s vision of a world at peace and with justice for all) Anne Montgomery, who died last year on August 27th.  It is, as is appropriate, mostly in Anne’s own words.  Anne’s words and witness in her life live on long after her passing; may they give us all strength for the long journey.  In our common humanity and in Peace, Leonard

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Dear Friends,

Today is the first anniversary of Anne’s home-going to God. I/we give thanks for Anne’s life and for all she did to make the Word flesh! We know Anne is advocating for us as she is among the cloud of witnesses in paradise.

Below is Anne’s letter that she sent out describing her cancer and expressing gratitude to all those she walked with and accompanied in the earthly vineyeard.

Anne comforting a Palestinian girl as she watches her family's orchard being destroyed by Israeli bulldozers, August or Sept. 1998. (courtesy of Christian Peacemakers)

Anne comforting a Palestinian girl as she watches her family’s orchard being destroyed by Israeli bulldozers, August or Sept. 1998. (courtesy of Christian Peacemakers)

In light of the Empire’s ongoing violence, past and present, including now the latest US military threats against Syria, the below poem by Anne speaks to the heart of the matter.

Anne Montgomery–presente!

With gratitude, Art

March 1, 2012 letter Anne wrote to friends describing her cancer and really a final farewell:

“I have been on chemotherapy for cancer, and it seemed to be helping, but, last weekend I had breathing problems and tests showed a lung full of fluid and that continuing any chemo, etc. would not help. I have been blessed by so much support, personal, and medical, that I know I must share that in some way with all those across our world who lack so much and are near desperation, especially for their children. I also know that the Spirit prays at the heart of the universe and that creation is an ongoing journey of death and resurrection, however mysterious that process is. Because it is energized by Love, we can enter into it rather than count on our own weak efforts and vulnerabilities and worry about failures. When I made my final vows, our group was named, “Joy in the Faith,” I am coming to believe that must somehow be possible since it is promised in the Beatitudes and that those who have nothing show us the way.

I am constantly filled with gratitude to you all who have done the nitty-gritty work of peace and nonviolent action and invited me to join you. I hope to be able to do so in a new way. As Phil Berrigan said in his last letter, that work must come from our own vulnerability. Much love, Anne.

FEAST OF THE INNOCENTS:1991
In Memoriam: Mass Graves

by Sr. Anne Montgomery, RSCJ

A voice in Ramah — a voice in Panama, Iraq–
weeping,
as yet again, Herod proclaims new birth
a threat,
the young expendable,
beginnings buried:
bulldozed into ditches,
shoveled into unmarked graves,
cast into the sea,
or flamed to ashes.

But in the sand and sea,
grass and cinders,
in silences,
the question will not die:
“Where is the one who is born?”
the child who sees with one eye__
or not at all,
who walks with one leg–
or never again,
whose dreams were shattered by shrapnel,
hunger stilled by pain.

The year’s death reminds us of an old story,
a nightmare that will not go away,
but, dragon-like, rises from the sea,
blinds the dawn,
blasphemes God’s name and dwelling
with fire from heaven
on those, uncounted, who do not count:
“You the nameless, do not exist.”
So it has been decreed,
for to allow the naming,
to confess reality and promise,
means new birth,
new time,
new humanity

###

Sr. Anne Montgomery, Plowshares leader against nuclear weapons, dies; National Catholic Reporter Online; Aug. 29, 2012

Abolish Nuclear Weapons: Choose Life!

Editor’s Note: This is an article I was asked to write for St. Patrick Church, Seattle.  It was recently published in the Summer 2013 Roots of Justice, the parish Social Justice Newsletter.  Click here for the PDF reprint.

DSC_0093

Abolish Nuclear Weapons: Choose Life

by Leonard Eiger

“In a nuclear war there would be no victors, only victims. The truth of peace requires that all – whether those governments which openly or secretly possess nuclear arms, or those planning to acquire them – agree to change their course by clear and firm decision and strive for a progressive and concerted nuclear disarmament. The resources which would be saved could then be employed in projects of development capable of benefiting all their people, especially the poor.” (Pope Benedict XVI, World Day of Peace, 2006)

Decades before, the Archbishop of the Seattle Archdiocese, Raymond Hunthausen, was active in resistance to the U.S. stockpiling of nuclear weapons and the new Trident submarine-based nuclear weapons system, which included the Bangor Trident submarine base in Puget Sound just 20 miles west of Seattle. In 1981 Archbishop Hunthausen referred to the Trident submarines based there as “the Auschwitz of Puget Sound.”

The Church’s condemnation of nuclear weapons is grounded in the Church’s respect for life and the dignity of the human person. People of faith have been active throughout the movement to abolish nuclear weapons, and the struggle to resist Trident mirrors this history. Even before the first Trident submarine sailed into Bangor, people were coming together to build a resistance to it.

The Pacific Life Community (PLC), a small intentional community, formed to resist the coming of Trident to the Pacific Northwest. Two years later, out of the initial PLC experience, Jim and Shelley Douglass co-founded Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (GZ). The GZ community purchased land adjacent to the Bangor base, laying the groundwork for the long work ahead.

As the submarines came and the base grew, so did the resistance. In the early years resisters handed out leaflets at the Bangor entrance gates. When the first Trident submarine arrived it was met by thousands of protestors on land in addition to a small flotilla of boats.

Next came rocket motors, and then nuclear warheads, transported by trains to Bangor for assembly to complete the Trident nuclear missiles. These trains were met by huge numbers of people, many of whom risked arrest blocking the tracks leading into the base. Archbishop Hunthausen was present at some of these actions in solidarity with the resistance.

The Douglasses later moved to Birmingham, Alabama to start a Catholic Worker House, and GZ’s work continued. Today that work is as strong as ever. A new Center House has risen from the ashes of earlier structures on the grounds. Three annual actions ground our continuing resistance to Trident – Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Mother’s Day weekend and the Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration.

This continuing resistance, deeply rooted in nonviolence, is absolutely necessary in this time of renewed pursuit of nuclear weapons as a foreign policy tool. Besides the US Government’s buildup of its nuclear weapons research, development and production infrastructure, it is pursuing new nuclear weapons systems – among them a new generation of Trident submarines.

The new submarines, currently in research and development, are intended to replace the aging Trident nuclear weapons system, a relic of the Cold War. Twelve submarines will cost $100 billion just to build, in addition to hundreds of billions in operational costs.

Beyond the costs – For people of faith killing is simply wrong, and nuclear weapons, which are omnicidal by design, are an abomination in the eyes of God. His Holiness was clear in his 2006 statement – Nuclear weapons must never again be used; they must be eradicated, and we must dedicate ourselves to life-affirming ends.

May we choose life.

TRANSFORM NOW PLOWHARES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Transform Now Plowshares needs you to:
Write a letter, send a postcard, and help others to send postcards to Judge Thapar.

Click here to view the postcard to Judge Thapar on behalf of the Transform Now Plowshares.  Download it (PDF file) and take it to your local printer, get a stack of them made and take them to events and get people to sign them or just print off one copy for yourself, sign it, stamp it, and put it in the mail. We are hoping to get thousands signed and sent.

Greg Boertje-Obed, Michael Walli and Megan Rice are currently in the Irwin County Detention Facility in Ocilla, GA, awaiting their sentencing on September 23, 2013. The three were found guilty by a jury in Tennessee in May on two counts; interfering with or obstructing the national defense (sabotage) and depredation of government property. Both counts are considered violent acts and fall under the definition of “federal crimes of terrorism”

The maximum sentence that each of the three can receive is 30 years. Likely not to happen, however their sentencing guidelines which is often what judges use, can vary up to about 10 years.

At this point, the 3 have asked for their supporters and friends to write to the judge asking for justice to be brought back into their case in this sentencing phase. They are asking for downward departures from the high guidelines based on recognition that theirs was an act of nonviolence, hope, and love and NOT terrorism. There has been legal precedence for downward departures in at least 2 other plowshares cases where the defendants were convicted of “sabotage”.

The http://transformnowplowshares.wordpress.com/ blog site has posted 3 basic talking points for people to use in order to write a letter to Judge Thapar. The address for sending letters is also posted (see under “write the prisoners” tab on website). A personal letter to the judge will likely have a high impact on his discernment process.

Under the tab “write the prisoners” are 3 basic talking points for people to use in order to write a letter to Judge Thapar. The address for the where to send the letter is also there. A personal letter to the judge will likely have a high impact on his discernment process.

In order to make things even easier and in hopes of generating many letters to the judge, we have developed a postcard which has the letter and the address already written. All you need to do is sign it and put it in the mail. There is a bit of space for adding a sentence or two if you want.

Image of the postcard to Judge Thapar

Text of the postcard to Judge Thapar

Click here to view the postcard to Judge Thapar on behalf of the Transform Now Plowshares.  

So, download it and take it to your local printer, get a stack of them made on postcard stock and take them to events and get people to sign them or just print off one copy for yourself, sign it, stamp it, and put it in the mail. We are hoping to get thousands signed and sent. 

We NEED to get thousands signed and sent!!!

Michele Naar-Obed, obedsinduluth@yahoo.com

This will make a difference and the TNP needs your help with this. Thank you for your support.

PLEASE NOTE!  The PDF document has two pages; one side is the text of the postcard, and the other is the address side.

The Trial of Transform Now Plowshares: Many Acts of Hope (by Kim Joy Bergier)

Editor’s Note: This is a thorough retrospective (with lots of informative links) on the recent Transform Now Plowshares trial (from Kim Joy Bergier, Coordinator of Michigan Stop the Nuclear Bombs Campaign).

*******************

The stage was set for hope on April 23, 2013 during pre-trial hearings when for over an hour “Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark testified that continued production of nuclear weapons at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge could be considered unlawful, if not illegal, because it violates the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty signed in 1968 during his tenure at the Justice Department.” http://blogs.knoxnews.com/munger/2013/04/former-us-attorney-general-say.html#more

With that great news around 200 people, at least 55 from out of state, and a dozen reporters participated in some way during May 5th to 10th set of events around “The Trial of Transform Now Plowshares” (TNP3) for Megan Rice, Mike Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed. As Art Laffin so eloquently concluded: “Filled with a spirit of resurrection hope, we all sang together: “We Shall Not Be Moved” before entering the court.”

There were so many well written articles that I encourage you to read as many as you have time for, while most of the key articles can be found.  The latest information to follow the TNP3 so you can support them can be found on:   http://transformnowplowshares.wordpress.com/. On www.orepa.orgsee address and instructions for how to write to Megan, Mike and Greg (who are, as of May 23rd in Irwin County Detention Center a privately run jail in Ocilla, GA). You will also see how it is important to write to Judge Thapar via Bill Quigley and OREPA before September 23rd

An easy action you can take is by signing the on line petition at the bottom of the online article by Clare Hanrahan (see below). As time goes on even more video clips, pictures and articles are coming out, so I’ve added a few more links.  If you want direct links to TV coverage see my e-mail from May 14th (or reply to this to ask for it).

There was a lot of State, National & even international media coverage about the Transform Now Plowshares Trial

The main way to know the history and news around nuclear weapons issues at Y-12 is Frank Munger’s Atomic City Underground blog: http://blogs.knoxnews.com/munger/

Several articles are on Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/search?blob=Megan+Rice 

May 11: AP “Nuclear Protestors, Including Sister Megan Rice, To Remain Jailed in Tennessee For Months” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/12/nuclear-protestors-sister-megan-rice-jailed_n_3262409.html

Dan Zak, writer of “The Prophets of Oak Ridge”, told us that it has been a long time since The Washington Post has printed the 1st 8 pages of their newspaper for one article. This is a masterpiece of research and team effort, giving more extensive coverage than any other media. See:http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2013/04/29/the-prophets-of-oak-ridge/

May 6 – 8, 2013, are three excellent reports of The Trial written by Ralph Hutchison, Coordinator ofOak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliancewww.orepa.org. The first report included this well-written description: “The redemptive parts of a day filled with tedious legal process of dubious value were the parts that sandwiched the hours in court. A rousing skit, simple, powerful and direct, on Knoxville’s Market Square drew curious onlookers as a bomb was transformed into a scenic landscape and dozens of supporters marched, chanting ‘Transform Now!’ and drumming on their way to the courthouse.”

A Japanese film crew was filming May 5th & 6th and will incorporate this in a special program in Japan!

May 13th “Woe Unto the Empire of Blood –Transform Now Plowshares Convicted and Jailed” by Clare Hanrahan includes a link to a petition on The White House website.  I think three key paragraphs are [with my additions in brackets]:

“In courtroom testimony, Sr. Megan Rice said she felt led by the Holy Spirit, and was ‘more and more surprised’ to find herself reaching the highly enriched uranium materials facility, HEUMF,where they spray-painted on the bunker’s northwest corner, “Woe Unto the Empire of Blood.” The HEUMF stores as much as 400 tons of the radioactive material, [enough to make around 10,000 nuclear weapons] shipped from throughout the U.S. and the world, to a facility referred to several times in the courtroom as “the Fort Knox of uranium.” No one was there to greet them, despite a security apparatus costing as much as $150 million dollars a year. 

In Knoxville on May 8, after two days of argument and testimony and with just 2 1/2 hours of deliberation, the federal jury of nine [white] men and three [white] women found the three seniors guilty of both charges: damaging government property over $1,000, and injuring the national defense, a sabotage charge levied by the prosecution after the defendants refused a plea agreement on a trespass charge and asserted their right to a trial. 

‘Clearly we were led by the Spirit in and around us’, Sr. Megan testified. ‘We needed to bring the truth…nuclear weapons are war crimes’. ‘They were the thermometer,’ Defense Attorney Bill Quigley said. ‘They didn’t cause the fever; they exposed it. Don’t blame the thermometer.’  http://www.opednews.com/articles/Woe-Unto-the-Empire-of-Bl-by-clare-hanrahan-130513-929.html

—————

On May 8th Col. Ann Wright gave excellent testimony with such credibility that any rational unbiased jury surely would have found these three nonviolent well-intended & loving activists not guilty of sabotage. Some of her report:

“Nine months ago, on July 28, 2012, three persons, with the snip of four fences found themselves in the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons complex beside the most sensitive and dangerous of all buildings in the nuclear weapons program of the United States–the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF). Sister Megan Rice, an 83 year old nun from in Washington, D.C, Michael Walli, a 63 year old veteran with two tours in Vietnam and now a “missionary” for the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker house in Washington, D.C. and Greg Boertje-Obed, 5[8], a Vietnam era Army medical officer and now a Minnesota house painter were arrested and charged with harming the national defense and causing more than $1000 damage to a government facility. In the case of the Y-12 Oak Ridge trial, a federal judge reprimanded the three defendants and convicted them to the county jail, citing dangers they had caused to national security. No U.S. government official was charged with dereliction of duty for jeopardizing national security in the lack of protection for nuclear weapons at the Y-12 Oak Ridge Nuclear Complex.” http://www.alternet.org/authors/ann-wright-1

—————–

May 18th, “Barbara Hickey: Judge should acquit Y-12 protesters on charges of sabotage”

The recent verdict of guilty in the Transform Now Plowshares case is a miscarriage of justice. All evidence presented at the trial showed incontestably that the three protesters are deeply committed to nonviolence and that all their symbolic actions were nonviolent, intended to bring a message of peace and healing to the bomb plant. Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed have been convicted of intent to injure the defense of the United States. Because their July 28, 2012, break-in at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant inadvertently caused a security crisis and subsequent shutdown of the plant, we are told that they intended this shutdown and that it imperiled national defense. Nothing could be less true. Let us all pray that Judge Thapar will see his way to uphold law and freedom, for the sake of us all.” http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/may/18/barbara-hickey-judge-should-acquit-y-12-on-of/

 

******I apologize that in my first report on May 14th e-mail I neglected to include Anabel and David Dwyer as part of the Michigan contingent. They were more involved than anyone from Michigan as Anabel was legal counsel,]; they attended all the pre-trial hearing and during the trial Anabel sat in the front row of the court room. Her report will be from a lawyer’s perspective.

I took 61 pages of notes during and around the trial. One of the main sentences I heard Judge Thapar say is that he could “understand why someone would want to stop nuclear weapons that can destroy all life”.

I shared with several key people during the trial the April 27th article on Knox Newshttp://blogs.knoxnews.com/munger/ After the “Wen Ho Lee scandal at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Lee was cleared of charges and won a big settlement.… on his reaction to the Y-12 break-in, [Bill] Richardson [former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Energy Secretary in the Clinton administration] said, “Well, there are still some security issues, but I didn’t think it was of the same magnitude of the Wen Ho Lee case.”  [Frank Munger asked him] “Why’s that?” “It didn’t seem as severe,” [Bill] said. “I’ve read about some of the steps that have been taken to deal with it, and I think they’re good. [Bill concluded.]”

Some video clips:

May 5th OREPA’s vigil by a Catholic female priest, Rev. Janice Sevre-Duszynska is on HeartoftheVision: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diI333zxiZ4 (where you can see 16 activists introduce themselves).

Knox News video clips:

1)    “Transform Now Plowshares protesters garner support on first day of trial”:        http://youtu.be/JMpvKiguyC4 (2:12 includes Denise Laffin, Megan Rice & Ellen Barfield) Published on May 7, 2013: “Scores of supporters were at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Knoxville today as the trial began for the three protesters who broke into the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant last July.”

2)    “Group shows support for protesters during trial”:http://youtu.be/1DICArw7tZY (3:18 )

3)    “Security guard confronts Y-12 protesters”:http://youtu.be/P8dQ6WTfKJE (1:22)

4)    “Reactions outside federal courthouse as jury finds Y-12 protestors guilty”: http://youtu.be/zvaITYO56do (2:00) includes Paul Magno, William Quigley, Ellen Barfield and circle of supporters singing “Keep on Walking” Published on May 8, 2013: “Supporters react outside the federal courthouse in downtown Knoxville as the verdict in announced that finds Y-12 protestors guilty of depredation of government property and inflicting injury to”

5)    “Songs, prayer vigil for Y-12 trio”:http://youtu.be/iZ29aiAy8Ik (1:07) with Art Laffin leading supporters in circle singing “We Shall Not Be Moved”

In time I plan to post some of my unique video clips to share on you tube as well, especially Megan, Mike & Greg’s sharings on May 5th during Festival of Hope and the skit on May 6th which became a fun dancing time then march to the courthouse.

Kim Joy Bergier, coordinator of Michigan Stop The Nuclear Bombs Campaign

http://michiganpeacenetwork.org/organizations/Michigan-Stop-the-Nuclear-Bombs-Campaign

Jesuit anti-nuclear activist back in jail for probation violation (article from NCR)

Editor’s Note: The following May 22, 2013 article by Seattle-based freelance writer Julie Gunter is reprinted from National Catholic Reporter Online: Jesuit anti-nuclear activist back in jail for probation violation.

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TACOMA, WASH. — A noted Jesuit peace activist who has spent over a decade in jail for nonviolent protest actions, mostly over nuclear weapons issues, has been returned to prison for probation violations.

Fr. Steve Kelly, who has been on probation since June 2012 after serving a 15-month sentence for breaking into a nuclear weapons facility, was sent back to prison May 20 by a federal judge.Kelly, 64, was transported from the SeaTac Detention Center to the United States District Court, Western District of Washington at Tacoma, to receive the 60-day sentence. With time served, he is expected to be released May 29.

Jesuit Fr. Steve Kelly is seen in a 2007 file photo, taken outside outside Fort Huachuca in Arizona. (CNS photo/Felice Cohen-Joppa, courtesy TortureonTrial.org)

Jesuit Fr. Steve Kelly is seen in a 2007 file photo, taken outside outside Fort Huachuca in Arizona. (CNS photo/Felice Cohen-Joppa, courtesy TortureonTrial.org)

More than a dozen friends and supporters, including members of Tacoma’s St. Leo parish community and his Jesuit superior Fr. John Fuchs, attended the hearing. Some also attended a vigil outside the courthouse an hour before Kelly’s court appearance.

Kelly was arrested March 29, Good Friday, for blocking a road outside the Lockheed Martin missile plant in Sunnyvale, Calif. A trespassing charge was later dropped, but he was taken into custody for an outstanding federal warrant associated with probation violations.

Kelly was on probation for the 2009 Disarm Now Plowshares action, during which he and four other activists cut through multiple security fences and accessed highly sensitive areas of the U.S. Navy’s Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific in Bangor, Wash., where more than 2,300 nuclear weapons are believed to be stored.

After serving 15 months in prison for that action, Kelly was released June 21, and his first probation violation occurred within 72 hours when he failed to contact his probation officer. He violated his probation again a couple months later when he traveled to Atherton, Calif., for the funeral of Sacred Heart Sr. Ann Montgomery, a longtime activist and friend who had been part of the Disarm Now Plowshares action.

In court May 20, Kelly made an emotional appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the healing of divisions between people. Other testimonies praised Kelly’s character and commitment to peace.

Fuchs addressed the judge on Kelly’s behalf stating, “Fr. Steve Kelly is one of my brother Jesuits … Our religious Constitutions commit us to working for peace and justice in our world, resisting all forms of violence and unjust war, following our consciences regardless of the consequences. Steve is being faithful to his vocation as a Jesuit.

“I know Fr. Steve very well, having directed him in a number of spiritual retreats, and I can assure you … that he is one of the most nonviolent, gentle and committed persons I know,” Fuchs said. “I only wish that I and the rest of us could be nearly as courageous as he has been in following his call.”

Over the past two decades, Kelly has been imprisoned for an estimated 12 years, according to St. Leo parishioner and friend Joe Power-Drutis. Kelly has been held often in solitary confinement because as a matter of conscience he refuses to work for the Bureau of Prisons while incarcerated.

Kelly discussed his unique witness in a 1998 interview with America magazine. “My hope is that the church will really become a peace church,” he said.

“I realize that what I’ve done is not what most people would call being an effective witness. I don’t expect the culture as a whole to change overnight. The people I would like to reach are people of faith and belief. As for what I’ll be doing in the future, as long as nuclear weapons are being made for use on human beings, I’ll try to resist their creation.”

[Julie Gunter is a Seattle-based freelance writer.]

###

Source URL: http://ncronline.org/news/peace-justice/jesuit-anti-nuclear-activist-back-jail-probation-violation

Steve Kelly and the final chapter of Disarm Now Plowshares prison time

Below is a brief report from Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa of The Nuclear Resister about Steve Kelly’s hearing yesterday in Federal Court.

Yesterday’s hearing and Steve’s resulting final bit of jail time will bring to an end the prison journeys of Bill Bichsel, Susan Crane, Lynne Greenwald, Steve Kelly and Anne Montgomery, at least for the their common journey as the Disarm Now Plowshares.

These five peacemakers willingly and without reservation came together to commit an act of spirit-led resistance to the scourge of nuclear weapons, knowing the price they would pay. And pay they did; the state (or should I say empire) does not take kindly to those who question its imperial intentions, let alone those who embarrass it with their Plowshares actions.  With thanks to each of these people of steadfast faith, courage and conviction.

***************************

Dear friends,Steve Kelly was given a 60 day sentence [both defense and prosecution asked for the minimum sentence] by Judge Settle for violating conditions of supervised release put in place at the end of his prison sentence for the Disarm Now Plowshares action. It’s expected he will be released in 9 days [around May 29th], since he’s been held in custody since a Good Friday arrest at Lockheed Martin in California, and gets credit for most of the time served… then his Disarm Now Plowshares file will be closed!

Attorney Blake Kremer, part of the legal team for the Disarm Now Plowshares, reports that there were eloquent statements in court made by Steve and supporters. Blake also forwarded a powerful legal brief written and filed with the court for the hearing by Steve’s standby counsel for the Plowshares trial, Roger Hunko [see the previous post at Disarm Now Plowshares].

Stay tuned – before long Steve will be able to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and enjoy the summer sunshine!

Peace,

Felice and Jack

Editor’s End Note: Here is an additional comment from Mira Leslie, who was present at court as a witness and supporter: Steve ‘s courage and presence is absolutely pure. He appealed emotionally to the judge to help abolish nuclear weapons.  There were about 15 supporters, and no doubt  Ann Montgomery was presente.

Roger Hunko’s statement to the court on behalf of Steve Kelly

Steve Kelly, SJ will appear in United States District Court, Western District of Washington at Tacoma, before the Honorable Benjamin H. Settle in the matter of Steve’s violation of the terms of his supervised release.

Steve, being arrested at Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, Good Friday (2103).

Steve, being arrested at Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, Good Friday (2103).

Many of you reading this need no explanation of the reasoning behind Steve’s noncooperation with the terms of his supervised release.  Others might ask why Steve did not simply comply and get on with things; make it easy on himself.  For Steve to do so would be tantamount to cooperating with evil; his deeply spiritually grounded resistance to nuclear weapons knows no boundaries.  Essentially, the court that tried, sentenced and continues to attempt to control Steve holds no moral ground and cannot, therefore, hold any real control over him (other than its ability to continue to bring him into court and hand down sentences, as it will do on Monday).  These physical applications of control are meaningless to a person of such deep spiritual grounding.  Steve truly is untouchable; beyond reproach.  The system that continues with the threat of use of nuclear weapons is morally and spiritually bankrupt, in addition to being illegal under international humanitarian law.  The courts of this land that do not allow defendants like Steve (and other nuclear resisters) to mount reasonable defenses in their cases are NOT doing justice; rather they are defending the indefensible actions of a morally bereft government.

A number of attorneys have given of their time and energy to defend the actions of nuclear resisters.  Roger Hunko is one of these people; Roger was Steve’s standby counsel in the Disarm Now Plowshares trial.  Roger has written some beautiful and powerful words on Steve’s behalf, which are contained in the following statement for Judge Settle’s consideration in tomorrow’s hearing.

With Thanks and In the Spirit of Resistance,

Leonard

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Case 3:10-cr-05586-BHS Document 258 Filed 05/18/13

The Honorable Benjamin H. Settle

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiff vs. STEVEN KELLY, Defendant

NO. 10 5586 BHS

DEFENDANT’S DISPOSITION MEMORANDA

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Father Steve Kelly comes before this Court on a violation of his Supervised Release.  The violation is a single count of his failure to report as directed in the original sentence. At the time of his sentence he informed the court that because of his conscience he could not comply with the supervised release provision of his sentence. As a result he did not report.

The sentence of Father Kelly did not come from a desire to commit evil, but to prevent evil. He and his colleagues wanted to peacefully protest our government’s proliferation and maintenance of the World’s largest nuclear weapon arsenal and the most advanced method of deployment. All in violation of international treaties and law. To that end Father Kelly and four comrades in peace cut through the fence at Bangor, Washington. The five committed participants traversed the distance to the area where the nuclear warheads for the missiles were stored. Supposedly Bangor is one of the most secure facilities in the world for storing such weapons of mass destruction. They were able to cut through two more fences without being detected and managed to put up a Plow Shares banner condemning the proliferation of nuclear weapons within feet of the igloos where the warheads were suspected to be stored. It was only after this prolonged journey that the Marines designated to secure the weapons arrived. Even though two of the committed peace activist were octogenarians and the rest were either in or close to their sixties. One of the five was taking nitroglycerin to prevent a heart attack. They were arrested, bags put over there heads and months later charged.

The five represented themselves with stand by counsel. I was standby counsel for Father Kelly. A task I am grateful to the Court for giving me the opportunity to meet this man and to participate in an attempt to assist him in his fight against nuclear weapons.

Father Kelly never denied what he had done. He was arrested while attempting to finish a prayer next to the weapons of mass destruction. He did not deny his purpose. He did not deny why he did what he did. His defense was that he was doing what was morally required to put his government and the general population on notice that the possession and deployment of such non discriminate weapons was a violation of international law and also the higher law of nature. He was not allowed to present that defense. He, of course, was convicted which he anticipated. At sentencing he informed the Court that he could not submit to the supervised release conditions because he felt he was doing the morally responsible acts.

He was arrested for failure to report on March 29, 2013. He has been held on a Federal detainer since that time.

At his first appearance he attempted to admit the violation, but Magistrate Creatura, deferred a finding till Your Honor could hear the matter. Father Kelly does not deny the allegation. He only avers that his conscience will not allow him to submit.

I was appointed to represent him on his supervised release violation

I have been practicing law for the last thirty four years. Almost exclusively in the field of criminal defense. I have never represented a man like Father Kelly, wholly devoted in trying to prevent an evil from hurting his fellow man, whether American or anyone else. A man totally committed to peaceful resistance. A man who is willing to risk his life to show others the right path.
In deciding what I could do to represent a totally conscientious person in a violation where he fully admitted both at sentencing and by his actions afterward that he would not submit to supervised release, I was at a loss. I then thought of going back to philosophers, intellects and others to see what defines a conscientious person.

I came up with the following:

1. Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it. Albert Einstien

2. Justice is a temporary thing that must at last come to an end; but the conscience is eternal and will never die. Martin Luther

3. The person that loses their conscience has nothing left worth keeping. Izaak Walton

4. Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one. Justice Louis D. Brandeis

5. Pity the poor, wretched, timid soul, too faint hearted to resist his oppressors. He sings the songs of the damned, ‘I cannot resist, I have too much to lose, they might take my property or confiscate my earnings, what would my family do, how would they survive?’ He hides behind pretended family responsibility, failing to see that the most glorious legacy that we can bequeath to our posterity is liberty! Old Chinese Proverb

6. Non-violent resistance implies the very opposite of weakness. Defiance combined with non-retaliatory acceptance of repression from one’s opponents is active, not passive. It requires strength, and there is nothing automatic or intuitive about the resoluteness
required for using non-violent methods in political struggle and the quest for Truth. W. Vaughn Ellsworth

7. A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi

8. Any attempt to replace a personal conscience by a collective conscience does violence to the individual and is the first step toward totalitarianism. Mahatma Mohandas K Gandhi

9. What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow; that is the whole Law: all the rest is interpretation. Hermann Hesse

10. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law … That would lead to anarchy. An individual who breaks a law that his conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law. Martin Luther King

11. The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. Martin Luther King

12. Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about his religion. Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and of service to your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place. Show respect to all people, but grovel to none. When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero . Tecumseh

I then compared these words to what Robert Oppenheimer said on his successful test of the first atom bomb. “I am Vishnu destroyer of worlds.”

But of course the Court must decide what to do with Father Kelly. In doing so it must consider U.S.C. 18 § 3553. The most appropriate section in this case being Section 6. The need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities among defendants with similar records who have been found guilty of similar conduct.

Under this cause number the Court has already sentenced Susan Crane on a similar violation. The Court ordered her to do 60 days in custody and terminated her supervised release. A similar result should be ordered in this case.

Dated this 18th day of May, 2013.
/s/ Roger A. Hunko
Attorney for Father Steven Kelly

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Editor’s Note: You can read this entire document as entered into the official public record at https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzRG1crlv8YMcGpaQ2w4VEtKaVE/edit?usp=sharing

Support vigils and court date for Steve Kelly!

Dear Friends,

On March 29th, Good Friday, Steve Kelly was picked up by the police while demonstrating at the Lockheed Martin missile plant in Santa Clara, CA.

In keeping with his spirit of ‘non cooperation’ an arrest warrant was floating around with his name on it for not reporting to the probation office after his release from SeaTac in June 2012. This current incarceration has him once again at the SeaTac Detention
Center outside of Seattle.

If you want to be in touch with him, his address is:

Steve Kelly, SJ #00816-111
FDC SeaTac
P.O. BOX 13900
SEATTLE, WA 98198

Steve will be going to Federal Court in Tacoma on Monday, May 20th at 11:30 AM – at that time a judge will determine if he is to serve additional time for non cooperation with his June release conditions.

At 10:30, an hour before his court date, there will be a support vigil in front of the court house; all who can attend are encouraged to do so. Following the vigil, at 11:15, you are invited to sit in the court room with Steve.

On Sunday, May 19th, there will be a vigil in front of the SeaTac Detention Center. As in the past, when Steve was there for 15 months,
our presence, and message was very helpful to him. Anyone leaving from Tacoma and desiring carpool information can call me at 253-779-8362. We will be gathering in front of the Tacoma Catholic Worker [1417 S G St Tacoma WA 98405] at 11:45 and leaving at Noon for SeaTac. Hope you can make it.

Wishing you well,

Joe [Power-Drutis]

 

Washington State: The Nuclear State

Jinsung Kim, a student at the University of Washington, produced this video focusing on Washington State’s nuclear weapons legacy as a class project.

It begins with Dr. John Findlay, UW Dept. of HIstory professor discussing the history and impact of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and then moves on to the Trident ballistic missile submarines based at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Kitsap County.  Interviews with Fr. Steve Kelly (of the Disarm Now Plowshares action) and Senji Kanaeda (a Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Monk) provide perspectives on Trident and nuclear weapons issues.  There is also footage of the Pacific Life Community vigil and nonviolent direct action at the Main Gate of the Bangor submarine base on March 4, 2013.

Please note that there is at least one error in the video: Lynne Greenwald was unable to give an interview not because she was in prison – she was not in prison at the time the video was being made – but because of her work schedule.

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