Bix invites Pope Francis to Jeju Island

Bix and Gilberto are nearing the end of their stay on Jeju Island.  Here is a photo showing them in solidarity with the people of Jeju, in opposition to the construction of the naval base there.

Bix & Gliberto on Jeju (1)

More News (from Bix) From Jeju Island

October 3, 2013

Re: News from JeJu

From: Bix

We began the day once again with the 100 deep bows. After that Gilberto and I sat in blocking action at the gate with three nuns, our deep bow leader, and Iffka, a young, compassionate woman from Berkeley.

As we did the deep bows facing into the yard, huge trucks ready to exit would stop before us and the drivers would rev the motors so the trucks quivered and clanked–much like a bull before its charge. However, the trucks would be forced to turn to another exit. DSC06693-1-640x470

During the two hour blocking action I felt a deep grandfatherly affection for the three young women who are the main organizers. The time at the gates is a time of deep contemplation and prayer as the cement trucks come to enter. By then many police are assembled. The head policeman reads the warning to move. We remain seated there. They carry us, sedan chair style, to the side. Once the squad of trucks is in, the police leave and we return to the middle of the gate. This is repeated 3 or 4 times in the morning.

I felt a deep connection with all there: the nuns, organizers, villagers. This feeling of connection spread to the young policepersons who are held in bondage to this system. I felt a great connection and compassion for the nuns who were carried to the side and circled by the policewomen. I also felt a poignancy and compassion for the policewomen who probably didn’t like what they were doing and probably felt some of the same things the nuns were feeling.

Word has come that a typhoon may hit Jeju tomorrow. What is most striking about this is the fact that the farmers of Jeju also pray for the typhoon to come. The typhoon will rip up their fruit, vegetable, and tangerine crops as well as destroy their green houses where most of the crops are grown. Jeju is a basic agricultural island. Yet farmers will pray for this howling and uprooting force to hit the island because the last time a typhoon hit, it carried away and destroyed a good part of the naval base construction.

gillchun talk sonomaSo deep is the opposition and resentment at the building of the naval base that farmers will suffer the loss of their livelihood with the hope the typhoon will carry away this monster from its peaceful shores.

However, I feel that this spirit of resistance that has been nurtured and grown in this faith filled community has more power than the typhoon or American militarism.

Blessings to All
Bix

Note: Jeju is 16 hours ahead of Northwest time

Bix and Gilberto are to arrive back at the Seattle/Tacoma Airport
Monday Oct 7th at 2:55 PM

Disarm Now Plowshares Alert! Time to plant Seeds of Peace!!!

Many of you have undoubtedly seen the one-in-a-million Bix Tacoma Action Figure, created by local (Tacoma) artiste R.R. Anderson.  It’s a wonderful tribute to our selfless Friend Bix.  Well, Monsieur Anderson has done it again.  But this time there’s even more!

That’s right Kids!!!  Now, you can get your very own Father Bix Anti-Nuke Sunflower Seeds.  Yup – Sunflower seeds are a symbol of a nuclear weapons free world.  Part of this story is that sunflowers (really do) absorb certain radioactive elements from the soil and water, and have been used to clean up radioactive contamination in places like Chernobyl.

And besides; sunflowers just seem to make people happy.  Plant a bunch of these subversive seeds and you can have your very own field of sunshine.  (AND make a statement for a world free of the scourge of nuclear weapons).

This subversive, comic moment brought to you by local artist par excellence, R.R. Anderson!!!

This subversive, comic moment brought to you by local artist par excellence, R.R. Anderson!!!

Bix and his companions in the 2009 Disarm Now Plowshares action cut through fences and made their way over the course of many hours across the massive Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in the dark of night on their way to the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific.  That is where the Navy stores the thermonuclear warheads for the missiles that are carried on its nuclear ballistic missile submarines.  Their purpose?  To symbolically disarm the weapons stored their – turning them “from swords into plowshares.”

Along the way the five brave souls sprinkled sunflower seeds.  And so a bit of sunshine might have one day sprouted in the evil darkness of a place dedicated to the preparations for the murder of upwards of millions of people and quite possibly the end of civilization as we know it on this small planet.

So get your very own Father Bix Anti-Nuke Sunflower Seeds today (just in time to plant) from the Central Tacoma Radical Media Exchange!  Spread a little subversive sunshine.  You’ll be glad you did.

Let’s all spread the message – Swords to Plowshares!  Ditch the Nukes!

Notes from the journey #2

Editor’s Note: This is an introduction (by Joe Power-Drutis) to what we hope will be a series of reflections by our dear Bix following on Bix’s and Joe’s trip to Oslo and many other European destinations in December 2012. 

Technically speaking he lives at one of the Tacoma Catholic Worker
houses, Jean’s House of Prayer. In actuality, he lives in a 10’ x 12’
room, on the first floor of this rather incredible home. When entering
his space one is struck by an immaculately made up, single bed in the
center of the room (no doubt early Jesuit training). After that, the
décor takes a steep dive. Boxes, books, papers, photographs, and
random articles of clothing are strewn haphazardly in interesting
patterns on the bed, desk, and book shelves. Only those who come to
know the room’s occupant are likely to recognize this as “command
central” where so many of us bring our dreams and share our struggles.

A few days ago, I was about to leave this room after receiving
marching orders. Looking up from his desk, Bix squinted through well
worn glasses and said, “You know, I believe we can get rid of these
nuclear weapons.” If he had made that statement 45 years ago I would
have jumped up saying, “All right, I’m all over that, let’s get to
it!” He was bigger than life and exuded utter confidence in all he
undertook. Who didn’t get behind a person of such assurance? At nearly
85 his physical abilities, and mine, lead me to consider somewhat less
lofty goals. I wanted to say, “There is medication that can help with
such ideations;” or, “How about right after lunch.” However; I decided
sarcasm would not be well received; anyway, the look in his eyes
showed he absolutely believed in the validity of his statement.

This morning in that twilight world, somewhere between dreams and
wakefulness, the thought came to me, “if you had faith the size of a
mustard seed.” Perhaps we have to become very small before we can
transform the impossible into the possible. Look for yourselves, Matt
13:31 & 17:20, Mark 4:31 and Luke 13:19; is there something there?
When speaking of abolishing nuclear weapons, Bix did not use the term
“hope;” he said he “believes” that getting rid of nuclear weapons is
possible!

A number of people have asked when I would complete the story of our
recent trip to Sweden, Norway, and the UK. I generally replied, “Very
soon,” instead of the more honest answer, “I have no idea how to bring
completion to this story!” Finally, I told Bix that this doesn’t seem
to be a story of exactly who we met or what was said. Although these
things important, something more holistic is at play here and I am not
the one with the knowledge or spirit to express it. Bix said he would
take this on and I let go.

His writing about our journey to Europe and conversations with peace
activists there is almost finished. Over the next few weeks I will
post these writings in bite-sized pieces as he wishes. In the
meantime, here are some words from Bix’s heart:

“We return from our trip bolstered by the motivating truth that most
people of the world do not want to kill each other. The vast majority
of people of the world want their children to be able to live life to
its fullest potential. No matter what the obstacles to human
interaction, the human connection of all people runs as a conduit of
energy in a subterranean layer of our earth.”

“It was heartening to see that the ecumenical voice of the Church of
Scotland, Baptists, Catholics, and Quakers has been a strong moving
force in opposing the Trident Nuclear Submarine system. Today, 75% of
the people of Scotland oppose this system of mass destruction. I was
inspired to bring this spirit of resistance back to our Pacific
Northwest. We have to realize that we are all part of a global
community. The dream we share in common – the need for a world without
nuclear weapons – can continue to grow and flow back and forth across
the water that separates us.”

Bix Reflects on COMMUNITY

Friends,

Here is video from the November 10, 2011 prayer sendoff for Bix before he re-entered prison for his ongoing resistance to war-making and nuclear weapons. In this clip, Bix reflects on the rich blessings and strengths of COMMUNITY.

Peace,

Leonard

Bix receives Greater Tacoma Peace Prize

Friends,

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you (I know; most of you already know Bix) to the 2012 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Laureate, Father William “Bix” Bichsel, S.J.  Last night, June 2nd, Bix received this award at the annual Spring banquet of the Scandinavian Cultural Center, PLU. Continue reading

Sunday at SeaTac – The Video

Rodney Herold captured the spirit of the day as we vigiled at SeaTac Federal Detention Center on Sunday, January 22nd. Here is his video:

Bix has been returned to SeaTac!!!

[An update from Joe Power-Drutis]

My mother in law, the very wise late Mary Powers used to say “fool me
once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”.

Oh Bix – you are always so ready to trust the enemy, even love the
enemy, fact is to do anything else but that would be contrary to your
nature – Nonetheless, did you not hear what Captain Kirk said “the
Klingons can’t be trusted”!!!

So picture this, Saturday January 7th – we’re sitting there at SeaTac
and I’m telling him the Nazi’s have something up their sleeve – Bix
says I need to work on my trust issues – I tell him he makes a comical
Charlie Brown and that Lucy invariably will always pick up the
football at the last minute and Charlie Brown will always land on his
bald head!! Well, in forty five years I can count on one hand the
number of times he has listened to my advice, a little like talking to
your children, and this wasn’t going to be one of them.

So – Bix is back at SeaTac. What can I say. I was in the process of
going to Progress House today with some supplies and a letter from his
Primary Care Doctor about medical care issues when I was informed that
he was returned to SeaTac Federal Detention, probably yesterday Jan
11th. Everyone has closed lips. So what’s new about that.

Once again, referring to my report a couple of days ago – once you are
in the custody of BOP, they own you and literally can do whatever they
want with you, providing no explanations, anytime they want.

So now, here’s the real question. Get it right and you get an “A” on
your final; it’s a tough one, a fill in the blanker, none of this true
or false stuff.

Question: Why can BOP do this to Bix?

And the Answer is: Because _ _ _ _ _ _ _ !

If you’ve answered the question correctly, it means you’ve been doing
your homework!

I’ll be back at you just as soon as I have more information. I will
say this though, based on my conversation with several of the people
in that system, I generally believe he is OK and that he remains in
good health. After all, Blake and Oratai did see him on the evening of
the 10th and he was in very good spirits. Whatever happened after
that, who knows, anything is possible with BOP and once again the only
thing that is consistent with them is their in-consistence! Once again
to Blake and Oratai, your quick action to go and see him lets us know
he is probably ok; and we are all very grateful for your timely
intervention.

And to you, our Master, Fr. Steve Kelly who lives in solitary
confinement at the Federal Detention Center SeaTac in total non
cooperation with the Klingons – wipe that smile off your face!

Bix is now in Tacoma

Plowshares news January 11, 2012 [from Joe Power-Drutis]

Bix did leave the Federal Detention Center SeaTac yesterday, January 10, sometime in mid morning and arrived at his destination, a federal transition house in Tacoma’s hilltop, sometime in early afternoon.

When we had not received any word from him by 7PM, I phoned Blake Kremer and he went to the house I was told Bix should be at, to confirm that he had arrived.

Blake and Oratai went immediately to investigate and were able to both see and talk with Bix for a short while before they were informed that he was not permitted to see anyone at that time.

Bix at his prayer sendoff, ,11/10/2010

Apparently this facility has a 72 hour “black out” period; during which time the new person cannot make contact with the outside world. It boggles the mind to understand why the bureau of prisons dictates that an 83 year old man in poor health must travel, unescorted, for a number of miles and hours, with no money in his pocket, by public transportation, and at the end of his travels cannot inform anyone
that he has arrived at his destination without mishap.

Once again, Why? Because they can!!!! Such an incredible lack of decency and commonsense.

Blake and Oratai found Bix in very good spirits. Bix reported that his journey from SeaTac to the transitional house went well and that he was feeling good.

Oratai, being Tacoma’s premier gourmet cook, took a tasty meal for Bix but was told their residents were not permitted cooked food from the outside; only packaged items. So, in the end they could only leave a bottle of water.

A very big thank you Blake and Oratai, for your willingness and speed in tracking down Bix. I am certain by your presence and gift of food, Bix was able to feel once again he was in the neighborhood of friends and all who love and care for him. You took all of us with you.

So, with the 72 hour black out period, I suspect we will not have contact with Bix until sometime on Friday, January 13th. Once I hear from him I will send out more information about his situation at this new facility. At this point in time, the above information from Blake is the only knowledge I have of Bix, other than his location, which is:

Tacoma CSC
922 South “J” Street
Tacoma, WA 98405

My understanding is that he cannot be called at this facility and that
on Friday he will be able to confirm if we can write to him at the
above address.

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