Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014
Pardon anti-nuclear activists Gregory Boertje-Obed, Sister Megan Rice, and Michael Walli.
U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar in Knoxville, Tenn. sentenced 84-year-old Sister Megan Rice, a Catholic nun, to 35 months in prison and three years probation. Rice is a sister in the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. She became a nun when she was 18 and served for 40 years as a missionary in western Africa teaching science. Thapar sentenced 58-year-old Greg Boertje-Obed, an Army veteran who lives at a Catholic Worker House in Minnesota, and Michael Walli, a 64-year-old two-tour Vietnam veteran who lives at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker house in Washington DC, to five years in prison and three years probation as well.
The activists were found guilty on May 8 of sabotaging the plant and damaging federal property at the Y‑12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Officials said “there was never any danger of the protesters reaching materials that could be detonated or made into a dirty bomb…”
Protesters were engaged in a symbolic act to bring attention to America’s stockpile of nuclear weapons, which they view as both immoral and illegal …
Gregory Boertje-Obed, Sister Megan Rice, and Michael Walli
Boertje-Obed, Sister Megan Rice, and Michael Walli are members of Transform Now Plowshares, “an effort by people of faith to transform weapons into real, life-giving alternatives, to build true peace.”
Sister Megan Rice told the judge: “Please have no leniency with me … To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest gift you could give me.”
Their attorneys asked the judge to sentence them to time they had already served, about nine months, because of their record of good works throughout their lives.
A sentence of time served is fair.
Please sign both of the petitions asking President Barack Obama to pardon the three activists.
Kevin Alexander Gray
White House ~ https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-anti-nuclear-activists-gregory-boertje-obed-sister-megan-rice-and-michael-walli/hTh4PRLQ
Change.org ~ http://www.change.org/petitions/president-barack-obama-pardon-anti-nuclear-activists-gregory-boertje-obed-sister-megan-rice-and-michael-walli?recruiter=3098064&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_invitation
In the 20th century, Martin Luther King Jr. defined the problem of America under the weight of the “triple evils” of racism, economic exploitation and war. In the 21st, the case of Trayvon Martin has created an existential crisis for black Americans and allies engaged in the struggle for racial justice. It underscores, again, that for many millions of people the “ism” felt as the greatest threat is not capitalism or militarism. Yet these effusions of persistent racism are enmeshed in a context: of growing inequality under neoliberal economic regimes and of wide-scale state-sponsored violence globally. It is time for all people to revisit MLK’s “triple evils” in forming a strategy for resistance and a vision of the future — re-imagining what freedom might look like and how it might be achieved.
Kopkind’s 2013 Harvest Late Brunch fundraiser will be held Sunday, October 13, at 2 pm. Our speaker is Pamela Brown.
Pam was deeply involved in Occupy Wall Street and has continued in its offshoot organizing and educational projects, at the convergence of race, class and debt. She is a columnist for Tidal Magazine and an organizer with the People’s Investigation of Wall Street. She was a founding member of Strike Debt and the Rolling Jubilee, and has been involved in campaigns and writing projects including the student debt pledge of refusal and the Debt Resistors Operations Manual. With a background in philosophy and media arts, Pam is currently a doctoral student in sociology at The New School.
Kopkind is a living memorial to the great radical journalist Andrew Kopkind. Each summer since 1999 it has been bringing together journalists, activists and filmmakers for week-long seminar/retreat sessions with the aim of thinking deeply, acting consciously, living expressively and extending the field for freedom, pleasure and imagination.
Out-of-towners, we have some rooms and cabins, so contact us if you’d like to stay the night.
Please Come! We Look Forward To Seeing You!
Emergency Gaza Protest!
SATURDAY Nov. 17th @4pm
There will be an emergency Gaza protest on Saturday November 17th at 4pm at the South Carolina Statehouse.
Demonstrators call on President Obama, Israel, Hamas to end escalating violence & a ceasefire in Gaza!
Escalating violence in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian militants took a decided turn for the worse on Wednesday as Israel broke a tenuous truce and assassinated Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari in a string of airstrikes in Gaza. Hamas and Palestinian militant groups have retaliated by firing rockets deep into Israel, including at Tel Aviv. Over twenty Palestinians including children have been killed in the ensuing Israeli airstrikes and; three Israeli civilians were killed when rockets launched by Palestinian militants struck an apartment in Israel, the first Israeli civilian fatalities from rocket attacks this year. Israeli troops are massing on the border with Gaza and a ground invasion.
“It is well-known that Israel’s targeted killings of Palestinian militants in Gaza provoke rocket attacks in retaliation,” says President David Matos, who has traveled to Israel/Palestine twice on peace missions. “Israel deliberately escalated the violence by carrying out this targeted assassination .” At the same time, Matos notes that “an all out war in Gaza will be literal murder on both Israeli and Palestinian civilians caught in the cross-fire; it will take de-escalation on both sides to avoid that disaster.”
While the parties on the ground must de-escalate to avert further bloodshed, the US has considerable influence over Israel via the over $3 billion in military aid the US furnishes Israel every year.
“We call on President Obama to pressure Israel to stop its escalations and step back from the brink of war,” says Matos. “If President Obama goes along with more violence, blood will be on his hands.”
Institute for Middle East Understanding Timeline of Escalating Violence~
Execution of Justice by Kim Nicolini
With the murder of Troy Anthony Davis by the state of Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a 2009 capital punishment opinion of conservative associate, Justice Antonin Scalia, in which he ruled: “[T]his court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.”
Still, the ultimate victory for Troy Davis is that he inspired millions of people – around the world and here in the United States – who want to live in a more peaceful and less violent society. In that regard Troy’s life and murder by the government was not in vain. Sometimes it takes a single incident to shake people up.
Bruce Dixon, managing editor@Black Agenda Report: ” It’s great that so many people signed Troy Davis’s petition and made themselves so visible as opponents of the death penalty. But Troy was clearly and obviously innocent, and imprisoned for decades, ultimately executed anyhow. But until we stand up for the rights of ALL the imprisoned, convicted and formerly convicted, including all those whose innocence, however you construe that word, is not so obvious and those who may in fact not even be innocent —- till we stand for their human rights to education, to health care and a decent chance at life by radically shrinking and ultimately ending the institution of prison the machine that convicts the literally innocent will retain legitimacy and roll on, doing what it does. In other words, coming out to oppose the execution of an obvious innocent person like Troy Davis is low hanging fruit. It’s good that so many are wiling to reach for it. But we will rarely be able to save even these till we de-legitimize the institution of prison and chop down the whole rotten tree.”
- Amnesty International
To hear Kevin Alexander Gray’s interview click on header@top of page. To contribute time or money to organizations working to abolish the death penalty in the U.S. click on any or all of the provided logos. Click on Kim Nicolini’s artwork of Troy to link to his website which is being maintained by family and friends. Or start, help start or join an existing anti-death-penalty group.
- National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
The struggle continues.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Filed under Actions | Events, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Anti Death Penalty, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Historic Photos - People, Human Rights, Law Enforcement, Police Abuse|Brutality|Killings, Political Ideology, Protest, racism, Work of Comrades