Fr. Kabat says to “De-Fence” is better than “Defense”

Dear Friends,

Our dear colleague in holy mischief, Fr. Carl Kabat, continues following God’s Foolish One down the path of nonviolence while continuing to throw wrenches into the gears of the empire’s machinery of death.  Here is a update on Fr. Carl’s early morning antics this Interdependence Day.  Following the update you can read Fr. Carl’s witness statement on today’s action at the new (and I’m sure greatly improved) Kansas City nuclear weapons plant (that produces approximately 85% of the non-nuclear components for our nations nuclear weapons). Continue reading

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Activists express concern for imprisoned priest

[Thanks to National Catholic Reporter Staff Writer Joshua McElwee for this article published in NCR Online on January 23, 2012]

Activists and friends of an 83-year-old Catholic priest imprisoned for an act of civil resistance are expressing some relief after prison officials responded to concerns he was facing unfair treatment in prison. The priest has not eaten since Jan. 10 to protest his placement in solitary confinement.

Jesuit Fr. Bill Bichsel was serving a three-month prison term in the Federal Detention Center near Seattle, Wash., for a July 2010 action at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., where a new nuclear weapons manufacturing facility is being planned.

Bichsel was moved Jan. 10 to a prison transition facility in Tacoma, Wash. He was sent back to the federal detention center in Seattle the next day because authorities said he had received an unauthorized visit at the transition facility.

Fellow activists say Bichsel has begun a fast since his return to prison, where he is being held in solitary confinement. The activists also were concerned that Bichsel, who suffers from blood circulation problems, was not receiving an adequate number of blankets to keep warm.

In a posting at the blog of the “Disarm Now Plowshares” group [2] Jan. 19, activist Blake Kremer said Bichsel had told him “it is very cold for me all of the time.”

“I cannot sleep at all,” Kremer reported Bichsel as saying during a phone call. “24 hours a day without sleep, fighting off the chill. I have asked for a jacket or a pillow or a mattress; they do not comply.”

Activist Joe Power-Drutis reported this afternoon on the same blog that Bichsel has now received extra blankets and is “much warmer,” following a support vigil for the priest outside the prison Sunday, which saw more than 40 people attend.

Power-Drutis also said there “remains a couple of other health related issues” that the activists “hope to resolve those soon through direct negotiation.”

Supporters say Bichsel was visited by Buddhist monks with the Nipponzan Myohoji order when he was moved to the Tacoma facility Jan. 10. They say the authorities at the facility reprimanded Bichsel for the visit and had him rearrested the next morning.

According to Kremer, Bichsel started his fast partly “to unite us as one and strengthen resolve against nuclear weapons” and would be appreciative of any who would join him in the effort.

A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons said that while he couldn’t comment on the case of a specific inmate, he did say that the “typical issue” for all inmates in the federal system is a blanket and sheet, and that there is a “full health services staff on duty at all of our facilities.”

“If we receive information either from the inmate or the inmate’s doctor on the street that there was some sort of pre-existing condition that was being treated, obviously we would pick up the ball from there,” said Chris Burke, a public information officer at the bureau’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“Now, sometimes, our doctors’ treatment may differ from what [the prisoner] was receiving on the street for a lot of different reasons. But those conditions will still be treated regardless.”

Before his imprisonment for the Y-12 action, Bichsel had served a three-month sentence in the spring of 2011 for a November 2009 act of civil resistance at the U.S. Navy nuclear weapons base in Bangor, Wash.

Supporters were concerned for Bichsel during that imprisonment, as he was transferred between at least six different facilities across the country.

Writing on the “Disarm Now Plowshares” blog, Power-Drutis said that a May visit to Bichsel in the Knox County, Tenn., Sheriff’s Detention Facility found the priest “a broken and very hurting soul.”

Twelve others participated with Bichsel in the 2010 action at the Y-12 complex, for which they faced sentencing in September.

Four others participated with the priest in the 2009 action, which saw the activists cut through the outer fences of the Washington state naval base before walking toward the center of the base holding a sign that read “Disarm Now Plowshares Trident: Illegal Immoral” and scattering sunflower seeds and hammering on a roadway and fences.

Among the other four who participated in that action was Jesuit Fr. Steve Kelly, who has been imprisoned since April at the Seattle facility, where he is serving a 15 month sentence. According to supporters, Kelly has been in solitary for most of his imprisonment.

Two of the other three people found guilty for the 2009 action have since been released. Susan Crane, a member of the Jonah House community in Baltimore, is still being held on a 15 month sentence at the Federal Correction Institution in Dublin, Calif.

[Joshua J. McElwee is an NCR staff writer. His email address is jmcelwee@ncronline.org.]

Copyright © The National Catholic Reporter Publishing  Company

Y12 RESISTERS RELEASE TODAY!

[[January 6th]]

All,

Thursday, January 6, 2012 marks the end of eight long months of imprisonment for Steve Baggarly, Mike Walli and Bonnie Urfer who are scheduled to be released today from prisons in Lisbon, Ohio; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Lexington, Kentucky. We celebrate their faithful witness against the destructive power of thermonuclear weapons, expressed so courageously at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the July 5, 2010 resistance action. For each of them, the Y12 action was one of many compelling actions in which these resisters have stood to speak truth to power. Their odyssey through the legal system took them to jails and prisons in Knoxville, TN; Maryville, TN; Ocilla, GA; and Oklahoma City, OK in addition to the facilities from which they are released today.

Still in custody is Bill Bichsel, who we all know as Bix. At last report, Bix was scheduled to be transferred to a transitional facility later within the next few days to serve out the remained of his sentence; he entered SeaTac prison to serve three months for his Y12 action in November.

The last remaining Y12 resister from the July 2010 action to be sentenced is Dave Corcoran, who entered a plea of guilty in late December and will be sentenced on March 21, 2012.

In the words of Dennis DuVall, codefendant of all those named above: RESIST ALWAYS!

peace,
ralph [Hutchison]

ps. since the may 9 trial of the Y12 resisters, OREPA has marked their imprisonment each sunday evening at 6:00pm with the singing of “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” at the conclusion of our weekly vigil at Y12, singing their names into the night air with great energy and hope. we continue to sing for bix and dave —

The only chain that we can stand
Is the chain of hand in hand
Keep your eyes on the prize—
Hold on!

Where to write the Y-12 Resisters

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Liz McCalister for the following update with the addresses for the 8 (including Bix) Y-12 resisters currently imprisoned following their trial in Knoxville.  Check the Blount County Adult Detention Center Website (where seven of them reside) for additional information on mail and telephone calls.  Bix will remain in Knoxville!

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

Here is the information for all 7 of those jailed yesterday:

To write the seven you need to address the letter:

(Inmates Name) Ardeth Platte, Carol Gilbert, Jackie Hudson, Bonnie
Urfer, Jean Gump, Steve Baggarly and Mike Wallie
Blount County Adult Detention Center
920 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Maryville, TN 37804-5002

In order to receive calls from them (i got a “courtesy call” of about
three minutes and was able to give jean the phone #s she asked for:
erik’s number and her lawyer’s number, and she said she would set up
an account for future calls), one has to have money on account at the
phone company the jail uses.One can create an account, according to
the recorded message, at 800 682 0707 or http://www.citytelecoin.com.

Bix’s mailing address posted earlier:

William Bichsel, IDN 1155703
Unit 2B
Knox County Sheriff’s Detention Facility
5001 Maloneyville Rd
Knoxville, TN 37918

There is no indication of a sentencing date and certainly no sense of
what that sentence is likely to be when it does happen

Thought you’d want to know.

Blessings.

Liz McAlister

Mom says: ABOLISH NUKES NOW!

CLICK HERE to see the full day’s schedule.  Click here for directions to GZ.  Hope to see many of you local folks there on Saturday! 

Questions: Contact Anne Hall, annehall@familyhealing.com, 206-545-3462, or Sue Ablao, gznonviolencenews@yahoo.com, 360-930-8697.

NUCLEAR ABOLITIONISTS TO FACE TRIAL AT THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE BOMB

Fellow Abolitionists,

Please read this news release and the following special message from the LANL Six regarding their upcoming trial at the birthplace of the bomb. Click here to learn more and get trial updates.

In Peace,

Leonard

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

On February 8, a jury in Los Alamos, New Mexico, will hear the case against six people charged with trespass during a demonstration against expansion of the nuclear weapons production complex at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The August 6, 2010 demonstration involved over 120 people, led by Think Outside the Bomb youth at the conclusion of their ten-day Disarmament Summer encampment in nearby Chimayo. They observed the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, with a spirited march through the town and up to the gate of the plutonium processing facility.

Eight people joined a sit-in at the gatehouse for half an hour until they were taken into custody by Los Alamos police. They were cited and released the same day. Two later pled no contest, and were sentenced to fines and probation. Continue reading

Sailing into the New Year with The Golden Rule

Friends,

At the recent trial of the Disarm Now Plowshares activists a retired U.S. Navy Captain who had commanded nuclear submarines during the Cold War testified on behalf of the Plowshares activists. Tom Rogers long journey had brought him to an understanding of the need to abolish these horrible weapons of mass destruction, that the government was not paying attention to people’s “legal” means of free speech, and that the Plowshares activists’ methods were justified.

In 1958 another retired U.S. Navy Captain, Albert Bigelow, embarked on his own journey of conscience and civil resistance when he and his peacemaking crew sailed the 30-foot ketch the Golden Rule toward the U.S. government’s atmospheric test site in the Marshall Islands in an attempt to stop nuclear weapons testing despite government prohibitions and a court injunction. Continue reading

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