TNP to U.S. Government: Cease and Desist (Preparing for the Unspeakable)

Greg, Megan and Michael have been clear.  First – They are not guilty of any charges brought against them as a result of their Plowshares action at Y-12.  Second – The following statement explains the U.S. Government’s obligations to cease its continuing preparations for nuclear war that constitute a breach of U.S. and international laws.  Here is their full statement. Continue reading

Transform Now Plowshares Action Statement

Editor’s Note: This is the action statement the members of Transfrm Now Plowshares carried in to the y-12 nuclear weapons facility on July 28th.

**********

A STATEMENT FOR THE Y-12 FACILIITY

“Come let us go up

to the mountain of God

to the house where God lives.

That God may teach us God’s ways

That we may walk in God’s paths….

For God will bring justice among the nations and bring peace between many peoples. They will hammer their swords into plowshares

and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not lift swords against nations. No longer will they learn to make war.

Come, let us walk in the light of God.”  Isaiah 2 Continue reading

No Prison Time for last of Y-12 Resisters

This just in from The Nuclear Resister BlogNo prison time for the last of 13 nuclear disarmament activists in court for a July 5, 2010 action at the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex, Oak Ridge, TN – On March 21, David Corcoran was sentenced to 150 hours of community service, a $1000 fine and 2 years of probation.  Three dozen supporters applauded when he walked out of the Chicago courtroom.

Here is David’s statement before Judge St. Eve:

Judge St.  Eve, I thank you for taking time to be with us today and I thank Sandy McNichols who took time to do my Presentence Investigation Report.

I thank you Raj for being here to do your job as Prosecuting Attorney  and of course I thank Sarah, my Defense Attorney, for guiding me through this maze of pleading guilty.

I also wish to thank all of those who sent support letters and who took time to be in court today, some coming from as far away as Tennessee and Kentucky

Judge, I want to reiterate that when I committed an infraction of civilian law twice before, I was protesting with thousands of others the U.S. sponsored School of the Americas which trains Latin American soldiers to torture, rape, assassinate, murder and massacre their own innocent civilians, men, women, and children.

David at Y-12

But in this incident I was protesting against the evil of nuclear weapons that contaminate the whole earth and corrupt the people who use them or threaten to use them.  Running through the very field where the 13 of us gathered to pray, is a creek that is so contaminated with nuclear byproducts that it is posted with signs warning people not to eat the fish that might be caught there.

If you so choose to send me to prison for this offense, I ask that you consider my health problems and the advice of my thoracic surgeon.  If you impose a fine, it will simply take money away from the poor that we donate to.  In the words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower:  In the end every penny spent on the military, the wars, the weapons, constitute a theft from the poor.

The support letters submitted to you, testify not so much to my integrity, as to the cloud of witnesses that stood with us in that field.  They are also opposed to nuclear weapons that continue to contaminate our moral resolve.  Your sentence effects all of them as well.

I do wish to clarify the statement I made to you in the letter I sent you and is included in the presentence investigation report where I said I stand here before you sinful and sorrowful.  I am sinful and I am sorrowful for the existence of nuclear weapons but not sorrowful for protesting against them.  The evil is not that I broke an unjust law but the evil is that of nuclear weapons which threaten the continuance of all life here on earth.

I stand for peace, Judge.  That’s what my life is all about.

Thank You!

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

Y-12: David Corcoran enters plea agreement

(From the Editor:  Here is a Y-12 Resistance update from Ralph Hutchison of OREPA)

as expected, David Corcoran entered a plea agreement in federal court in illinois on wednesday, december 28. the agreement is a simple plea of guilty for his july 5, 2010 action at the Y12 nuclear weapons complex in oak ridge, tn. dave’s record places him in the 0-6 months sentencing range. no word on the sentencing date.

as most of you know, dave’s health prevented him from joining his colleagues and co-defendants at trial and sentencing in tennessee. we are pleased he has been able to have his case moved, but we sure miss him and barb!

please continue to hold dave and barb in the light as they move forward through this process.

Bix is feeling fine…

(Update from Joe Power-Drutis 11/18/2011)

I just received a call from Bix. He sounded very well and was in
excellent spirits. He remarked how different he feels now than when he
first went to SeaTac on March 28th; he is much stronger and does not
have to relay so much on others to assist him. This is very good news.
He also provided me with his unit designation therefore we now have a
complete mailing address for him; and that is:

Fr. William J. Bichsel
# 86275-020 Unit FB
FDC SeaTac
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

I am certain he will be happy to hear from you. One further thought if
you are able to do this. Bix’s ability to read smaller type print and
writing has diminished over the last year or so. If you are able to
send your letters type written, using #14 fonts, I think it would make
his letter reading much easier. He is not requesting this, but over
time as I have typed much of his correspondence, #14 is the font I
have been printing out for him.

Prayer Sendoff Gathering for Bix – video & photos

This YouTube video has a blessing and some parting words from Bix:

This is a photo montage from still photos taken at the prayer sendoff:

Bix has self surrendered (a report from Joe)

Yesterday at 2PM Bix self reported to his old alma mater the Sea Tac
Federal detention center. The day was a perfect Northwest Fall day;
sun shining, blue skies and lots of color in the falling leaves.

He was in a very good spirit and health (as well as could be expected)
as he prepared to undergo another 3 months of prison life.

A special word of gratitude to Diane Whalen as she led our community
in blessing Bix and one more time saying goodbye to him at Jeans House
of Prayer prior to leaving for Sea Tac. I am so thankful for the
presence and open spirits of everyone who came to pray, to bless and
send Bix on his way. Your presence and your words had a profound
impact on Him. We called forth so many spirits to join us, both living
and dead, and Jeans House was packed with love and grace; especially
Jackie Hudson and all the Disarm Now Plowshares and Y-12 resisters,
along with Steve Kelly, Susan Crane, and Bonnie Urfer, Stephen
Baggarly, and Michael Walli who remain imprisoned.

How could Bix not be filled with strength as he entered the house
without windows, after the outpouring of love he experienced at Jeans
House. He was thankful John Fuchs reminded us of the meditation on the
Two Standards of St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises; do we stand with
Jesus or the way of the world. The choice is a personal one, and for
us all. I think we know where Bix stands.

At 1:55 he stood in the radiant sunlight and said “If I should see
that light before 3 months are up I might begin to worry”; then at
2:00 sharp he gave himself up.

No Bix, you for one have nothing to worry about. We know the Standard,
the flag you stand under.

Bix & Community: We Are Called!

Dear Friends,

The bright sun streamed through the windows of Jean’s House of Prayer today as roughly fifty people crowded together in prayer, song, faith, hope and community.  We came together in honor of our dear friend and co-conspirator in the struggle, Bill “Bix” Bichsel before he reported to SeaTac Federal Detention Center to begin serving his sentence for the Y-12 resistane action.

Joe Power-Drutis began our time together by bringing out his old and well-worn Bible, the pages of which, when he opened it this morning, opened somewhat prophetically to Isaiah.  He handed the Bible to Bix who read those prophetic words about turning swords in plowshares, and nations not lifting swords against other nations, and people not learning war any more.

Diane Whalen, the first female priest in Washington ordained by Roman Catholic Womenpriests, was invited to lead the remainder of the service. She began by inviting everyone to call out the names of those who were present in that space with us.  The already crowded house overflowed as a litany of names rang out: Jackie Hudson, Chief Leschi, Dorothy Day, Susan Crane, Anne Montgomery, Mother Teresa, Liz McAlister, Martin Luther King, Rachel Corrie, Phil and Daniel Berrigan, Chief Seattle, Steve Kelly…    The spirit of both the living and the dead were fully present with us.

Then Dianne asked us to pray today not only for Bix, but also for ourselves, for the oppressors, for the world so desparately in need of healing.  And then the people called out another litany, this one of things for which we need healing:

fear, anguish, judgement, sadness, idolatry, racism, self-rightousness, all forms of violence, apathy, nuclearism, US domestic and foreign policy, the 1%, homophobia, addiction, confusion, sexual violence, separation, despair, ignorance, mental illness, our prison system, denial, abuse, hunger, aggression, classism, childhood trauma, poverty, domination, selfishness, passivity, torture, dishonesty, slavery, damage to Mother Earth, war, sexism, homelessness, weapons…

Dianne then asked us to take all of these “illnesses” and imagine the healing oil of God’s love and peace, that we may act to heal them.

Lynne Greenwald shared the final passage from Jim Douglass’s book Lightening East to West.  In this passage Jim tells of the valley in the mountains of British Columbia where he lived at the time, and where he wrote this.  He spoke of the rock sculptures that were built over months or perhaps years, and which created a vision “so that the person, or community of persons who had sensed it could live in truth and peace.”  Jim then finishes with an invitation to each of us.

In our nuclear end-time, a vision of the kingdom demands concrete expression in the world if we are to live in truth and peace.  We need the patience and single-mindedness to form that vision of a global community out of the rocks of our own lives and communities, and to build up a vision of the kingdom of God on earth, from life to life, from community to community.  In our own valley of division and darkness, there is an invitation into Oneness, a transforming way to follow.

I believe that you and I are invited.  We are invited over the fences and into the heart of the Trident base.  We are invited down through tunnels and through vaulted doors into the War Room of the Pentagon.  We are invited into acts of ultimate perfect emptiness and compassion in the places of total destruction of life on earth.  We are invited into these places because they are ours.  In the nuclear age we live in darkness, in the absence of God, and the darkness is not separate from ourselves.  Going to the heart of Bangor or the Pentagon will bring no revelation of destruction.  We’ve been there every day of our lives.  In a time of total violence, our love has grown cold.

In walking into the darkness of these places which we know already in ourselves, we may eventually discover a tiny ray of light.  As we go more deeply with more faith and love into our own responsibility for darkness, that ray of light could intensify and fan out into the brilliance of a billion suns.  The Light in our darkness is real.  The transforming unity we seek is here. 

After more prayers, song and a Blessing Bix shared some thoughts with us.  He spoke of what an incredible community this is and how at times when he wanted to flee how different people in the community pulled him back into community.  “I am no more than who you are, or what you are, or who we are together.  And… I kind of have to blame you for the hope… that I could not do any of this without any of you.  But what I am called to, you, probably in greater ways are called to.”

Bix said that the strength of this community is marvelous, and that although the task ahead of us is daunting, the grace is abundant and we can walk in that, and that we should trust our hearts and continue walking and working together.  “To what much is given, much is expected.”

Bix gave thanks for not only coming together today, but for who we are as a community, for the coming together, and for the strength, the power and the grace, the wisdom and the good, and that it is humbling for him to be a part of that.

Bix finished by saying that “the graces you pray for today, I think they come to us as a community.  And I very humbly walk at this particular time, but we are all called and we all have strength beyond imagining, and it all comes from our community.”

After a blessing by Senji Kanaeda from the Bainbridge Island Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple and a rousing chorus of The Ballad of Disarm Now Plowshares (No, Nay, Never) , Bix said many goodbyes before walking out to the waiting car.  He was smiling all the way.

Although Bix will be in prison for three months his spirit, just like all those spirits present with us today, will be with us both individually and collectively.  I can already hear him calling to us through those thick SeaTac Prison walls – calling us, in Jackie Hudson’s immortal words, to take a step (or even a half step) outside our comforts zones.

We are called.  Can you hear it?

With Peace and Gratitude ,

Leonard

P.S. – I wanted to get this posted right away, so stay tuned for photos tomorrow, and hopefully a video as well.

Followup from Anabel Dwyer on letter to Judge Guyton

Greetings! Thank you so much for signing the petition letter to Judge Guyton about the Y12 resisters. More than 1000 signatures were delivered and all are part of the court record. To see the signatures and comments, click http://michiganpeacenetwork.org/petitions/Immediate-and-Unconditional-Release-of-Y12-Resisters. Please continue spreading the petition as David Cocoran has not yet been tried. As you may know, the sentences differed widely and unjust treatment continues.

For specific updates, see http://orepa.org/supporting-jailed-y12-resisters/. For the important sentencing statements of each defendant, see https://disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com/.

Work toward nuclear abolition is occurring at many nuclear sites around the country. Learn about them at http://www.nukewatchinfo.org and http://www.nukeresister.org.

Because of the outstanding support for the petition and these resisters, we are creating an email list about further Nuclear Abolition Actions. Please reply to this message if you would like to be a part of this list. Questions? Email me at anabeldwyer@yahoo.com.

I hope to hear from you soon and again, thanks for signing the letter to Judge Guyton. Together we can do it.

Anabel Dwyer, Michigan

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