Sr. Anne remembered by her Sisters (of the Sacred Heart)

(From the Society of the Sacred Heart, in memory of our Dear Sr. Anne.  We will post details on the celebration of Anne’s life here at Disarm Now Plowshares as soon as they are available.)

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Anne Montgomery, RSCJ

Birth: November 30, 1926
Profession: March 5, 1951
Death: August 27, 2012

Prominent peace activist Anne Montgomery, RSCJ, died Monday, August 27 at Oakwood, the Society of the Sacred Heart’s elder care center in Atherton, California. Known around the world for her commitment to peace, Sister Montgomery was incarcerated many times after witnessing to peace and justice through acts of nonviolent civil disobedience, in protest of nuclear weapons. Her life will be celebrated in a Mass of Resurrection at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 15, at Oakwood, 140 Valparaiso Avenue, Atherton, CA 94027. Burial will follow in the Oakwood Cemetery. Continue reading

In Memory of Anne Montgomery

Dear Friends,

Our dear friend Anne Montgomery passed away in the loving presence of her community this morning.  She is forever in our hearts.  The following was posted by the Society of the Sacred Heart. Continue reading

A Malicious Nun? Are you kidding me?????

The following article about Sr. Anne Montgomery and the Disarm Now Plowshares was written by Documentary filmmaker and Emmy award winning writer and producer Helen Young, and published in The Huffington Post today.

A Malicious Nun?

There are many words that come to mind to describe Sister Anne Montgomery, and her work but “malicious” is certainly  not one of them. Sister Anne, an 85-year-old Roman Catholic nun from the Society of the Sacred Heart who once taught students in Spanish Harlem and high school dropouts in Albany, also spent years working for Christian Peacemakers, an  ecumenical anti-war group. She has put her life on the line in some of the world’s most war-torn regions, including the  Balkans in the 1990’s, the Middle East, and more recently in  Iraq. Her life has been devoted to working for peace and on  nuclear disarmament. Continue reading

‘Violence ends where love begins’: A conversation with Sr. Anne Montgomery

by John Dear SJ on May. 01, 2012 in the National Catholic Reporter

Sr. Anne Montgomery is a legend in some peace movement circles. A member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, she has spent more than three years in prison for many civil disobedience actions against war, including seven Plowshares disarmament actions*; many years teaching in Harlem; and many years living with the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron, Palestine-Israel. Continue reading

Disarm Now Plowshares loses appeal (government loses moral values)

Hot off the presses from Courthouse News Service is news of today’s appelate court ruling on the Disarm Now Plowshares appeal of their conviction for the 2009 Plowshares action at the Bangor Trident submarine base. As usual, U.S. “law” (protecting government property) trumps the Hague Convention, Nuremberg Principles, the laws of war, every precept of international humanitarian law and pretty much every treaty to which the U.S. is a party. Why??? Because we say so!!!  Continue reading

Meet the Bangor 5

The following article was written by Helen Young, Documentary filmmaker and Emmy award winning writer and producer.  It was originally published in the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/helen-young/bangor-5_b_1346108.html?ref=impact&ir=Impact).  I know, I know; we all know them as Disarm Now Plowshares.  But dontcha think “Bangor 5” does have a catchy ring to it???  Helen is working hard to finish the documentary on Disarm Now Plowshares and get it distributed. Continue reading

Anne Montgomery’s physical health is deteriorating, though her spirit is strong

(Longtime peace activist says her health is on the decline, by Patrick O’Neill, published in the National Catholic Reporter Online, March 2, 2012)

In an email to friends, longtime peace activist Sacred Heart Sr. Anne Montgomery said her physical health is deteriorating and that she would no longer be able to tolerate the chemotherapy treatments she has been receiving.

The chemo “seemed to be helping,” Montgomery wrote in her email Friday, “but last weekend I had breathing problems and tests showed a lung full of fluid and that continuing any chemo, etc. would not help.”

Montgomery, who has spent years in jail and prison for acts of nonviolent civil disobedience, mostly against nuclear weapons, joined Jesuit Fr. Philip Berrigan, his brother, Daniel Berrigan, and five others for the first Plowshares action Sept. 9, 1980, when the eight activists (the Plowshares 8) entered a General Electric weapons plant in King of Prussia, Pa., and used carpenter’s hammers to disarm two nose cones on a Mark 12A nuclear warhead.

In 2011, Montgomery received a two-month federal prison sentence for her role with members of Disarm Now Plowshares, who entered a weapons facility in Washington state Nov. 2, 2009.

Anne and Steve Kelly, December 10, 2010, on the way to court during the Disarm Now Plowshares trial (photo by Leonard Eiger)

“I am trying to reach many friends, so please excuse this communication by e-mail and apologize to anyone you know whom I have missed,” Montgomery wrote. “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.”

A longtime volunteer with Christian Peacemaker Teams, Montgomery received the 2011 Peace Award of the War Resisters League.

Christian Peacemakers has sent delegations to many war-torn areas, including Haiti, Iraq and the West Bank. Montgomery has spent much of the last seven years with other Christian Peacemakers in Hebron, a war-torn city in the West Bank, said David McReynolds, who presented the League’s award to Montgomery.

At the award ceremony, Montgomery’s longtime friend Elizabeth McAlister praised her spunk, her discipline and her commitment. McAlister is a fellow peace activist who was jailed with Montgomery in West Virginia in the 1980s after the two participated in demonstrations against the U.S. military.

Reflecting on those days in prison, McAlister said:

“One night, Anne knocked on my door to share the news she’d just heard on her radio: that the United States had bombed Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi’s home and killed one of his children. We shared the shock and grief of that moment and, in our own fashion, we prayed. Prison is a hard place to hear such news; one feels so helpless. Praying with Anne made it bearable. Being with Anne made it bearable. And if I had had eyes to see, her present commitment to Hebron might have been visible at that moment.”

In the conclusion to her email, Montgomery wrote: “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”.

(Original article source: http://ncronline.org/news/people/longtime-peace-activist-says-her-health-decline)

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

A Day of Two Joys!!!

Today is a day to give thanks!

Sr. Anne Montgomery walked out of the SeaTac Federal Detention Center a little after 10:00 am.  A group of friends was waiting up on the “public” sidewalk overlooking the prison (lots of rules once you step onto the Federal property), and as Anne walked out the front door everyone swooped down the steps to welcome her back to the outside. 

This was Anne’s first taste of sunshine (it poked through the clouds briefly) as the SeaTac prison has no outside recreation area (if it has one at all).  We also noticed that all the cell windows were recently made opaque.  Now the prisoners still get some light, but no view of the outside world from their cells through the slit-like windows.

Anne’s face certainly shone brightly as she received the gifts of rhododendrons from Irma Gary House and a blue fleece jacket with welcoming messages sent by friends and supporters pinned inside.

We kept the welcome brief out of respect for Anne, and after a quick wave toward those she was leaving behind she headed off for some well-deserved rest.

Today is also the day we celebrate Fr. Bix Bichsel’s Birthday!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIX!!!!!!!  Here is a brief update from Tennessee (from Joe Power-Drutis) with a tale of two birthdays:

Yes our daring felons Jean and Bix moved one more year into the
octogenarian decade this week. On Tuesday, Jeans 84th Birthday, while
Erik, Ralph and I were visiting Ardeth, Jean came walking through the
visitors room on her way to her presentencing interview with the
probation officer and her attorney. We wanted to once again sing her
one more healthy round of ‘happy birthday’, but I think she preferred
we save our voices for Bix. So very considerate of her, well that’s
just the type of woman Jean is.

Erik and I are ready for tonight. With our voices rested and ready to
go we will see Bix this evening and will treat him accordingly. He has
been bothered by fluid in his ears since coming to Knoxville, could be
this will provide him the only significant buffer from Erik’s and my
gift. Please know we will be taking with us all of you who love and
care for him on this his 83rd birthday.

As I write a Tennessee downpour with lightning and thunder is putting
on a show. How I wish Bix could be here, he would really love the
power, sound, smell and feel of natures gift; each rain drop is huge,
reminds me of tears, the valley of tears. We cry nor just for him and
Jean,Carol, Ardeth, Jackie, Bonnie, Michael, Steve Baggarly and Steve
Kelly, Susan Crane, Lynne Greenwald, Anne Montgomery and all the
peacemakers in our world who suffer prison and hardship in order to do
their part to prevent nuclear devastation; but especially for those
who war and plan for war. Heavenly tears flow for those of us refusing
to see with our eyes and hear with our ears and apply the brakes to
the runaway train we are all riding.

Read Joe’s complete May 26th update at the Nuclear Abolitionist Y-12 Witness page.

Anne Montgomery to be released May 26th!!!

Dear Friends,

Sr. Anne Montgomery will be released from the SeaTac Federal Detention Center (FDC) on Thursday, May 26th sometime midmorning (around 10:00 am)!!!

Anne welcomes supporters who wish to greet her in the SeaTac FDC parking lot as she takes her first steps back on the outside.

We will gather in an appropriate public space as near as possible to the building entrance beginning at 9:00.  Bring your nonviolent spirit along with any words of love, support and encouragement for Anne, her fellow Disarm Now Plowshares prisoners of conscience, and all those who are unjustly imprisoned.

If you cannot physically join us on May 26th and would like to share some words with Anne, send them to me in an email and I will read them that morning.  Send your email to subversivepeacemaking@gmail.com

SeaTac FDC is located at 2425 South 200th Street, Seattle.  It is located just south of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, one mile west of Interstate 5, 200th Street exit (exit 151).  Click here for a map showing the FDC location.

ALL ARE INVITED TO A CONTINUED FESTIVAL OF HOPE AT ST. LEO’S CHURCH TACOMA. MUSIC, SPEAKERS, PRAYERS, UPDATES on Sunday, June 5th, at 6:30PM. Click here for more details and a flyer you can download. Please note that Anne may not be able to attend due to the conditions of her release, but at very least will send a special message to those gathered at the Festival of Hope.

As a final thought I would like to send out special good wishes to all our comrades in nonviolent resistance to nuclear weapons both here in the U.S. and overseas, especially those currently in prison or about to go to trial for their acts of conscience.

Peace,

Leonard

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