By Kate Foran
Dissent without civil disobedience is consent. Philip Berrigan
Our friend Mark sits in a jail cell again
and I stand in the lunch hour line
under fluorescent lights
at the post office with my toddler
to buy a stack of pre-stamped postcards,
the only kind acceptable to mail,
written only in blue or black ink,
no stickers, glue, glitter, or pictures,
no letters or packages. Continue reading
First Congregational Church of Oakland recently made a decision to reduce their reliance on the police with the goal of not calling them, period. This is a statement they made to the media. We just had to share this.
First Congregational Church of Oakland is a multiracial church, and some of our own members have been followed, harassed, and even sexually assaulted by police officers. In addition, we live in the middle of an urban area experiencing an extreme housing crisis, so there are many unhoused people on and around our campus, some of whom struggle with mental illness and addiction, and the statistics show that Black and Brown people suffering from mental illness and addiction are among those most at risk of being shot by police even when unarmed. Continue reading
By Kate Foran
For my father at the start of the second Iraq War, 2003
You enlisted thinking
you were protecting something,
thinking maybe even
you were protecting me
when I was just a “twinkle in your eye”
and the crossfire lit the night
and missed you.
You did not know then
that you’d want to protect me
not from some enemy
but from the question,
Did you kill anyone, Dad? Continue reading
Reflection by Martha Hennessy
Camden County Jail, Woodbine, Georgia Jail
Kings Bay Plowshares
When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
“‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord
and against the Lord’s anointed one. (Acts 4: 23-26)
We walked in the dark, stars overhead, with Orion at our shoulder and the waning moon rising late. Praise to you Dear God, for this gift of Eden. There were fire flies and croaking frogs to keep us company. And to think the logic of Trident is the obliteration of Creation. What did God whisper to my ancestors and then to me? Swords into Plowshares! We don’t mean to make everyone furious, but why turn our blood and hammers into spray paint and bolt cutters?* Why continue to set the desecrated altar to the false idols of war? We walked onto a military base that harbors the ultimate destruction, and we prayed for the power of a message, of a witness that could reach many ears; conversion of free will towards life- giving work and away from death dealing false constructs.
We strung up crime scene tape over the model missiles and over the door to the Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic (SWFLANT), a place where war plans promise to take all we love. We wish to indict this war machine for what it is: immoral, illegal, and monstrous. Our foolish plans desire to see a world in which the suffering is lessened, our leaders begin to know what it means if they pull the nuclear trigger. Our action is an invitation to all for a change of heart that will bring us to true revolution.
*Editor’s note: the charging documents and the Magistrate referred to their possession of bolt cutters and spray paint, but ignored mention of the symbols of blood and hammers, which were used by the seven in their symbolic action.
By Frida Berrigan. Re-posted from truth-out.org.
“Our grandma is in jail,” Madeline tells a woman wrestling a shopping cart at Target.
“She went over a war fence and tried to make peace,” Seamus adds helpfully. “They arrested her, and she is in jail now.”
“Where?” the woman asks, looking from them to me in disbelief and maybe pity.
“We don’t remember,” the kids say, suddenly done with their story and ready to make passionate pleas for the colorful items in the dollar section over the woman’s shoulder. Continue reading
From Ellen Grady
Seven Catholic plowshares activists were detained early Thursday morning at the Kings Bay Navel Base St. Mary’s Georgia.
They entered on Wednesday nightApril 4. Calling themselves Kings Bay Plowshares, they went to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command: “beat swords into plowshares”. Continue reading