How Do You Tell the Kids that Grandma Is in Jail for Resisting Nuclear Weapons?

H14_Ploughshare-activist-arrest-on-US-submarine-base3By 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

How Do I Reassure My Children About the Future When the Future Is Terrifying? An activist’s lament.

imagesBy Frida Berrigan, Re-posted from TomDispatch.com and MotherJones.com.

As a mother and an activist, here’s what I’ve concluded as 2018 begins: It’s getting harder and harder to think about the future—at least in that soaring Whitney Houston fashion. You know the song: “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way…” These days, doesn’t it sound quaint and of another age? Continue reading

What Will It Take to Ban the Bomb?

ban

A “ban the bomb” sign outside of the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

By Frida Berrigan, re-posted from Waging Nonviolence

When I was a young teenager, I would venture down to the basement where my father had his desk. He’d be plugging away at letter writing, or working on a talk or article. I’d wait quietly by his side for a few minutes before interrupting him to say goodbye, on my way to the movies or to meet up with friends.

He’d look at me with bright blue eyes and say something to the effect of: “You know what time it is, Freeds?” Continue reading

Missives of Love and Conscience

book reviewBy Bill Wylie-Kellermann, written for On the Edge, A Detroit Catholic Worker paper

The Berrigan Letters: Personal Correspondence Between Daniel and Phillip Berrigan , arrived here by post unbidden from Orbis, just days before the news of Daniel’s death in NYC (+April 30, 2016+). I carried it east to the wake and funeral. It was soaked with rain in my pack during the procession from Mary House (NY CW) to the church.  Its stiff warp and wrinkle is a sweet remembrance.

The publication was initiated by Dan himself with such events on the horizon.  It is a gift, even if one that suffers from the haste of getting it into his frail and failing hands. Continue reading

Guns for Tots

toy guns.jpgBy Frida Berrigan, Re-postd from TomDispatch

I remember well going to the rodeo at Madison Square Garden in New York City with my six-guns proudly strapped to my hips. I was probably eight or nine years old and those two ivory-handled — okay, undoubtedly plastic — revolvers were probably from a Hopalong Cassidy line of toys. That cowboy character was a favorite of mine on TV and, of course, with my friends I regularly played “cowboys and Indians.” But far more of my war play — we’re talking the early 1950s — came out of World War II, my father’s war, even though the country was then involved in a bloody stalemate of a conflict in Korea. Continue reading

The Power of Prayer: Christian Witnesses at Guantanamo

23226554212_b10f208352_o.jpgBy Frida Berrigan. Reprinted from Sojourners Magazine.

“Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.”

Mohammed Ahmad Said al Edah is a 52- or 53-year-old citizen of Yemen. As of Nov. 16, 2015, he has been held at Guantánamo for 13 years and 10 months. As of January 2010, the Guantánamo Review Task Force had recommended him for transfer to Yemen provided that certain security conditions were met. Continue reading

It Runs in the Family

OR Book Going Rouge…this book is about how parents can create lasting and meaningful bulwarks between their kids and the violence endemic in our culture. It posits discipline without spanks or slaps or threats of violence, while considering how to raise thoughtful, compassionate, fearless young people committed to social and political change — without scaring, hectoring or scarring them with all the wrongs in the world.

This week we got a chance to talk with Frida Berrigan, author of It Runs in the Family: On Being Raised by Radicals and Growing into Rebellious Motherhood. Continue reading