Plowshares activist released from prison; promptly arrested for alleged probation violation

News Release

9/12/2011 For Immediate Release

Plowshares activist released from prison; promptly arrested for alleged probation violation

A Plowshares activist was released today after serving the majority of her sentence, only to be promptly arrested for allegedly violating the terms of her probation. Continue reading

Lynne Greenwald back in Federal custody!!!

Dear Disarm Now Plowshares Supporters,

I have very serious and extremely upsetting news about Lynne. Here is what Theresa Power-Drutis just sent out that explains everything we know so far:

Lynne is currently in a US Marshals’ holding cell in Tacoma awaiting
transportation this evening back to the SeaTac federal detention
center. Continue reading

Lynne’s release and Bix’s sentencing

Whoa!  What a wild morning!!!

We were headed to the SeaTac Federal Detention Center a little before 10:00 this morning when I got a call from the videographer who is videoing for a documentary on Disarm Now Plowshares.  Lynne was already out!!!  Go figure; they never let anyone out early.  If anything, you end up waiting – sometimes well beyond the scheduled release time. Continue reading

Lynne Greenwald to leave prison on Monday

Friends,

Lynne Greenwald is scheduled to walk out of the SeaTac Federal Detention Center on Monday, September 12th around 10:00 am.  Just to clear the air, Lynne is not being “released” per se.  She will be under house arrest until September 26th when she will be fully released from Federal bondage (about time).  Here is the low down in Lynne’s own words. Continue reading

An Update, Invitations, and “Giving our Best…”

Sunday morning update from Joe Power-Drutis
May 1, 2011

SUSAN
Like Bix, Susan after leaving SeaTac is moving through Pahrump Nevada.
She phoned Leonard Eiger on Saturday 4/29 and, like Bix, was provided
a 60 second phone call that sounded like she was calling on a land
line, deep beneath the sea. Leonard could barely make out where she
was.

Digital phone systems being what they are today I really feel someone
would have to purposely initiate telephone glitches in order for the
calls to be so poor. But as it is, the Department of Punishment can
say that they got their free 1 minute call!!!!!

Though Susan is now east of California, here is hoping she ends up in
San Francisco with her two sons, and with many supporters like those
of the Pacific Life Community.

STEVO
Continues to sent out his Stevoglyphics at SeaTac via the insides of
envelopes; he is spectacular.
He speaks of “getting day dreams of hanging in here by my fingernails
for 3-4 weeks and seeing Bix walk in”!

LYNNE
Lynne sent a poem called “Anyway”; which is posted on Mother Teresa’s
wall in Calcutta.

People are often unreasonable, irrational and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be Kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some
genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be Honest and
Sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create
anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be Happy
anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do Good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your Best
anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

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

We invite you to our ongoing Festival of Hope!

FESTIVAL OF HOPE!
Sunday, May 1st
St. Leo Church
710 South 13th Street
Tacoma, WA 98405-4496
6:30 p.m.

• We will hear how Bix, Susan, Lynne, Sr. Anne and Fr. Steve are doing
in prison. We will hear more about how we can continue to support
them.
• Sr. Jackie Hudson will speak about an action she and Bix did in
Tennessee. That court date is in the beginning of May. It is possible
that Bix could be moved at any time now to Tennessee so he would be
available to appear.
• We will hear more about Ground Zero and the planned Mother’s Day
peace presence at Bangor on Saturday May 7th.
• We will pray and sing for peace.
• Please bring a dessert to share.

TUESDAY NIGHT INVITATION

All are invited to Jean’s House of Prayer (Bix’s residence) for prayer
every Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. 1414 S. Tacoma Way.

More on the Department of Punishment: The Atlanta Penitentiary is a Hole!

April 29, 2011 (from Joe Power-Drutis)

Unfortunately Bix remains in Atlanta

Kathy Boylan, Catholic Worker at Dorothy Day CW in DC, doting
grandmother, self avowed sleuth and coincidentally, dangerous sister
felon, knows something about the these federal hotels Bix has been
visiting. By the way when I say dangerous, she is so only to those who
abuse their positions of power and prestige; for more than once this
mild mannered woman has boldly exposed them for who and what they
are.

Kathy states “the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma city, built
recently, is not so bad. The environment is a little more relaxed; at
least there you can recognize the food that is served you. The Atlanta
Federal Penitentiary is a hole, the food served you there is
unrecognizable.”

I googled this USP and was reminded once again of the Cuban riots of
1987. It has history!!

Anne Montgomary

Anne and Susan remain together at SeaTac. Her first of a two month
sentence complete, she does not believe her address will be changed
and she will finish out her time there. Several times she sent short
letters for me to pass onto others. She did this because the stamps
allotted to them are restricted, for no good or otherwise reason; just
because the Department of Punishment can. Anyway, recently she was
told she cannot forward mail through a third party anymore. You know
Anne is quite a dangerous person. I guess if I were in the Fed’s
shoes, I would want to limit access to her too.

Steve Kelly

Amazingly so, a man who could write a book on noncooperation, remains
at SeaTac, Unit FA-4, in the general population and not in solitary
where he has normally spent so much time in so many prisons along the
way. Steve speaks very little about himself or his experiences but
does come back to Bix: “Bix humanized the environment…Yes, I’m glad to
have accompanied him, very consoled. He took care of me by our focus,
and we met good people, guards & priz-nerz along the way”.

Tacoma News story about Irma Gary House, talks of Bix and Lynne
Greenwald – Like namesake, Tacoma’s Irma Gary House stays the course  – The News Tribune April 27, 2011 – CW house struggles to continue work as volunteer director Lynne Greenwald – Disarm Now Plowshares activist sent to jail

Which fast do we choose? A reflection from Lynne

A Reflection by Lynne Greenwald
22 April 2011, Good Friday
FDC SeaTac

My second bunkmate at FDC SeaTac was Jan (not her real name).  She arrived one week after I began this short 6-month sentence.  She walked into our room cheerful and talkative, excited because the van that brought her from the airfield had a TV.

Jan explained she was here for “testing.”  Over 3 weeks time she gradually shared pieces of her life story.  I’m grateful to have gotten to know her for the short time we were on the same unit.  She’s left my life richer for putting a face and painful emotions onto a system of generational abuses and injustices.

Jan could not remember where she was or what the “rules” were.  Gradually, with a helpful community of women supporting her, she fell into the prison routine.  She has a great sense of humor, a transparency and vulnerability similar to a young child, loyalty to her family, pride in her Native American heritage, and a good, generous heart.

Jan is also a fighter.  I hear her voice so clearly when she would say, “I had to fight all my life, since I was a kid.”  She would take up a pose with her fists up, so it was possible to see this short, compact woman-child taking a stand against a threatening, often violent world.

Coming from a South Dakota reservation, Jan talked about having a job before having “brain surgery.”  It seems she had a ruptured cerebral aneurysm, leaving her weak on her right side and unable to speak.  Her recovery gives testimony to her survival spirit, and her challenges continue to frustrate her, taking her into patterns of conflict and self-destruction.

Jan was brought to SeaTac for a psychological evaluation to determine if she is capable of going to trial.  What led to this situation is unclear.  She drank, heavily at times, and spent time in holding cells.  The Reservation police knew her and seemed to have developed a way to keep everyone safe.  That is until one night when the responding officer didn’t know Jan.  She was home drinking heavily, there was a knife, “a long knife,” and Jan was shot in the abdomen.  She really doesn’t remember what happened.  She kept asking, “Why am I here when I was the one shot?”

Seeing the psychiatrist was especially traumatic.  “He thinks I’m stupid.   How would he like to have someone’s hands on his brain?”  Jan would explain, “Brain surgery changes you.”  She struggled to find names for objects, to recall names and recent events.  As her anxiety increased, her behavior deteriorated.  She would either “lash out” or “shut down.” 

Jan was put in the “SHU” today – Special Housing Unit, “the hole.”  Earlier this morning she came back from the psychiatrist’s office extremely upset, verbally lashing out at everyone.  “He thinks I’m stupid  Are you in on it too  You are, aren’t you?”  She went to her room and soon came out crying.  Tears ran down her face as she sat next to me, trying to explain what was going on.  Other women tried to comfort her.

As we were eating lunch, Jan went up to the unit counselor, stood too close and said something.  She was sent to the SHU.  My last image of Jan is seeing her standing defiantly in front of prison authority.  I was transferred from the unit shortly afterwards.

I think of Jan’s mother and family back home waiting for a phone call.  These frequent calls and her memories were all that kept Jan connected with home.  Tomorrow is her son’s birthday.  He’s locked up in Rapid City.  Jan once told me, in relation to her son’s imprisonment, “There’s meth on the reservation.  Can you believe it?  It was in all the news.”  He’s the same age as my son, Noah.

I’m not sure anything could have really prepared me for prison.  Everything operates so differently from my personal and professional life.  Things like empathy, compassion, helping, strength-building are at odds with this system meant to punish people and deter crime.

Although there are many good, kind people working here, workers are here to support the prison.

So I’m left with many questions and a reflection.  Why are so many poor and non-whites locked up for nonviolent crimes, leaving families torn apart?  Why are so many professionals caught up in a system of supporting prisons, not people?  Why does it seem too simple to shift resources into mental health care, drug and alcohol treatment, education and jobs?  Why are some individuals getting rich off of the prison system?

“This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke, letting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke.” (Isaiah 58:6)

Many nonviolent resisters choose to witness within prison walls as part of an action intended to expose violence and injustice, and to begin the transformation process.  Let us pray for the strength to do this work.

Bix is in Oklahoma; Lynne is in a new unit.

Dear Friends,

Lynne Greenwald has finally been settled into what will be her permanent digs for the next 5 months.  She has been “designated” to SeaTac (meaning that’s where she will serve out her sentence there), and was moved from the unit where she was near Anne and Susan to a new unit (“Unit DA”; that’s Delta Alpha in prison guard speak). 

Lynne had her first visit with family members yesterday, and expects to get a job soon and also be able to have visitors beyond immediate family.  Please remember that we can’t just go and visit any of our friends once they have visiting privileges.  There is a very specific process whereby each prisoner designates potential visitors, sends a form to be filled and submitted for approval, etc. 

As for Bix, he’s been on the move again – from Nevada to Oklahoma!  Joe Power-Drutis’ update is below, and contains some words from Steve Kelly.  Check it out and stay informed.

Easter Peace and Blessings,

Leonard

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

April 23, 2011 (from Joe Power-Drutis)
BIX IS NOW AT THE FEDERAL TRANSFER CENTER IN OKLAHOMA CITY

As of today, Bix is at the Oklahoma City FTC. This link will take you to the federal prisoner locator site: http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/LocateInmate.jsp. Just type in Bix’s register number 86275-020 and his information will appear. It’s not a lot but at least it tells you where he is.

So the milk run journey continues. We know where he has been, where he is to end up; but we still don’t know where his journey is taking him; we know his court appointed attorney is in Knoxville Tennessee.

I received a couple of letters from Steve in the last few days and want to share some of them with you.

“Bix was taken today. My emotions are like an aquarium – I hold the image of him: chin-up, bag of medications, newly purchased sweat shirt, that all of the guys here say he will lose.”

(then in another letter)

“I’m feeling so many things. I have to be kindred spirits with you. You too care for our octogenarian……
such a mensch! 3 weeks – a privilege. Of course I made his bed whenever I could. His making the bed was the equivalent of me sprinting around St. Leo’s and your house —-but the company, sublime.”

Steve is trying to organize Bix’s writings and addresses (a massive undertaking, as Bix is a prolific writer). He will then send these to me for safekeeping until Bix returns.

Obviously missing Bix, still Steve maintains his dry wit. I sense he will stay in the general population for now as he completes these jobs for Bix and decides what his next move will be.

In this Holy Week, I am also sending out an excerpt from a Lenten meditation written by Susan Crane and a couple of invitations to join Plowshare supporters in Tacoma. (Editor’s note:  Just click on the links to see the items Joe refers to.)

Preparing for Holy Week

Lynne Greenwald
12 April 2011
FDC SeaTac

Concrete walls and locked doors
cannot take away images of bright lights,
fences and towers protecting tombs
of unimaginable horrors.

We remember fertile lands, natural
forests, mollusk-rich beaches, early morning
fog clinging to water and earth until
the sun brightens the sky,
exposing Olympian mountains.

Trident IS Illegal and Immoral.
We mourn. We cannot be silent.
Resistance is a song, a dance,
an act of love.
We must resist.

A letter to Disarm Now supporters from Joe Power-Drutis

Editor’s Note: Joe Power-Drutis has been working overtime fielding information requests from many, many people and staying on top of what’s going on with our friends on the inside. Here is an informational letter with loads of information he has accumulated.

***************
Dear Friends, April, 14, 2011

I have compiled this letter about the 5 Plowshares Resisters currently in the SEATAC Federal Detention Ctr. Please pass this information onto whomever you think might want to have it.

On March 28th, at the Federal Courthouse in Tacoma, the following sentences were handed down to the Disarm Now Plowshares Five for their Civil Resistance action at Sub Base Bangor on the Feast of All Souls, November 2, 2009.

Steve Kelly, S.J. and Susan Crane – 15 months in prison and 1 year supervised release.
Bill Bichsel, S.J. – 3 month in prison, 6 months electronic home monitoring and 1 year supervised release.
Lynne Greenwald – 6 months in prison, 1 year supervised release and 60 hrs of community service.
Sr. Anne Montgomery – 2 months in prison, 4 months electronic home monitoring and 1 year supervised release.

The group as a whole were assessed more than $5,000 in fines. They all entered SEATAC Federal Detention Center following sentencing.

Steve and Bix are cell mates which I think is very nice for both of them. Steve said Bix is overall more active, following his bout with a cold, and is making good use of his time with the other prisoners. Bix had been placed on ‘Restrictive Status’ from the time he entered SEATAC; however, as of April 13th he has been taken off that status. He believes the reason for his being on restriction is that he had refused to pay prison fines in the past. It was believed earlier that Steve was also on restriction but I have been assured he is not. And that also is very good.

Susan is in the same cell with Anne, Lynne is close by. She states they all are being treated very well by other prisoners and the guards. Many considerations she would not have expected have been shown to them. Bix reported similar experiences.

All 5 have expressed strong feelings about the united community support they received in the days leading up to their imprisonment. They felt strengthened by all of our prayers and strong support at St. Leo’s Sunday liturgy, the Festival of Hope on Sunday evening and finally at the gathering for prayer in front of the Court House on Monday morning and before the judge prior to being sentenced. They were particularly moved by the words of Fr. Pat Lee, S. J., Provincial of the Oregon Province and Fr.Steve Lantry, S.J., pastor of St. Leo’s at the 10:30 March 28th liturgy on Sunday morning. Also that day all were formally commissioned by the leadership of their communities, both religious and lay, to continue to witness to the truth and to enter prison at this time to further their mission.

Letters to all five is more important than you can believe. Anyone who has been in prison or in the military will remember a letter from home was like gold.

Here is the address to which you can address mail to any of the Disarm Now Plowshares five for now. Be sure to use the address format below and include both name and register number

NAME & REGISTER NUMBER
FDC SEATAC
(enter unit here ) ** Susan, Lynne and Anne are in UNIT GA
P.O. BOX 13900
SEATTLE, WA 98198 ** Steve and Bix are in UNIT FA-4

Name &Register Numbers:

Fr. Bill Bichsel 86275-020
Susan Crane 87783-011
Fr. Stephen Kelly 00816-111
Sr. Anne Montgomery 03827-018
Lynne Greenwald 40672-086

Besides general mail, you can go on line and print copies of articles you feel would be of interest to them. Error on the side of your hunches, there is so very little written stimulation for them, it is like a literary desert. Just sent it; 5 or 6 pages will get through. I would steer clear of cut outs from the newspaper, with the exception of cross word puzzles, they may get through, but it is an unknown. I sense what is getting through is the printed material on 81/2 by 11 paper.

An important writing point concerning Bix: He is not yet receiving all of the eye drops his eye doctor has prescribed him. Prior to going into prison, on the best of days, when he was taking all of his drops as scheduled, he still was having problems reading. Without 2 of his 3 scheduled eye medications, reading printed material is difficult for him. Type your letters if you can and print it out in Ariel 14 as that size will greatly assist his reading..

I know crossword puzzles are a pastime joy for all of them. This is immediately something we can do. I will try to keep updating you on things like this.

Some other useful information: All of them are going through every channel they can to set up support services for themselves. The commissary is the only place they can purchase the things they need, and everything there is pretty pricy. They can access the commissary once a week.

Postage from commissary is very limited. Each prisoner is permitted to buy only 20 stamps a month and they must purchase them from the commissary. One of Bix’s attorneys attempted to leave a book of stamps for him but was not permitted to do so. Also, if someone sends stamps via mail, they will be confiscated. Susan told me there is no known reason why they are only permitted 20 stamps, those are the prison rules. This problem system wide; I have heard of this from other activists who have been in other prisons. Everyone very much enjoys hearing from people, even if they are limited in getting mail out.

Phones are available but they too are pricy, just the cost of doing business. Also I think there is sometimes a problem using the phone when you want to. I believe they will try and have the calls paid for from their personal accounts because calling collect is very expensive. Remember also that all of their calls are recorded. Some types of conversation would not be advisable for them to share. So in the event anyone is able to get a call out to you, you may possibly sense there may be something missing in their voice and communication, definitely big brother listening in is a problem.

They cannot receive any packages. I am unsure about photos; don’t have a ruling on that yet.

Their mail is opened and inspected; “subversive” or otherwise disallowed materials are blocked.
Newspapers, magazines, and books can be sent to them only through a book store or distributer and cannot be sent directly from us. If you know of a particular book, or magazine any of them would want, have it sent to them. Remember there is so little for them to read. I don’t think too many books or magazines will ever be a problem; worst that can happen is they will spread the books around and brighten the lives of their present community.

What folks may not know is that Bix may be removed from where he is sometime soon and taken to Oakridge Tennessee. He is scheduled for court following his being arrested at the Y-12 nuclear weapon manufacturing plant on July 5th. The process of getting there from SEATAC can take quite a bit of time; you become part of a state to state, prison to prison movement. This is of concern to us because it has been reported by a number of people that have gone through such a transport, that once in transit, medications seldom follow and you are powerless to secure them. There is active work happening to see what can be done to assure he does receive his medications in the event he is transferred.

For now Bix is still at SEATAC. Steve will give me a call as soon as he can after Bix is moved. I will let you know when I hear anything regarding his move. I spoke with his court appointed attorney in Tenn. He said he was alerted that Bix can be moved at any time. At the same time, even while I write, the attorneys in Tennessee are seeing what they can do to get a postponement of the trial. Hopefully they will be successful and I will be able to send you some hopeful updates very soon. Kathy Boylan from the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in D.C. is also dogging this and she’s been great. No greater advocate could one hope for.

For now this is pretty much all that I know. Forgive me if I have left anything out. Feel free to email me at jpdrutis@gmail.com or call me at 253-779-8362 if you would like something clarified. Also, you can go online and Google- “Disarm Now Plowshares” and on that website there is quite a bit of very good information dating back to November 2009, the time of the action. Two very committed friends, Chrissy Nesbitt and Leonard Eiger are maintaining the site for up to date information.

In solidarity with Bix, Anne, Lynne, Steve and Susan
My very warm regards,
Joe Power-Drutis
1418 So. G Street
Tacoma, WA 98405

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