My friend Kathy Kelly is now behind bars, in prison in Lexington, Kentucky. Kathy, an internationally recognized peace activist, is serving a three-month prison term for crossing the line onto Whiteman Air Force Base property. She and Georgia Walker were attempting to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter to the base commander, asking him to stop his troops from piloting lethal drone flights over Afghanistan from within the base.
Last Spring, on April 18, 2014, Kathy was with us at Beale Air Force Base on Good Friday. She spoke during the prayer service and joined as thirteen of us crossed the line onto base property in a nonviolent direct action against drone warfare. Those of us who stepped over the line were not only protesting against remote control killing but were taking a stand for justice, compassion, and peace. On Good Friday we grieve for the death of Jesus and countless others through the ages, but also put our hope in resurrection.
The arrests on Good Friday arrests brought the total number of people arrested in March and April to 32. Charges against all of us were subsequently dropped.
Demonstrations against drones and nonviolent actions and arrests continue at drone sites around the country, including Beale. I believe that these actions at drone bases around the country are raising awareness of the tragic killing of innocents by remote control. Although being arrested at the gates of Beale seems to be a low-risk action now, it could change at any time.
Still, perhaps you will find it in your heart to join us, as a participant or as a supporter of peace. The next time we gather at Beale will be on February 18, Ash Wednesday. Find out more or join the event at the Earth Justice Ministries Facebook page. The plans are similar to last year’s Ash Wednesday service and nonviolent action at Beale.
We are also planning to host Kathy Kelly here in Nevada County when she is released from prison. We might even go with her again to Beale. We do know one thing: she won’t stop demonstrating for peace and neither will we. Jesus calls us to be peacemakers, and that’s just what we intend to be.
See the Democracy Now interview of Kathy Kelly about going to prison. Read Kathy’s recent article, My Future in Prison, where she presents her insights about the connection between the drone killings across Central Asia and the Middle East and the “compulsively vengeful and diseased criminal justice system” here at home. She points out the importance of supporting the Black Lives Matter protests and the March 4-6 protests to Shut Down Creech Air Force Base.
Follow Sharon’s blog by clicking the “Follow Sharon Delgado” button at the right or by “liking” the Shaking the Gates of Hell Facebook page. Read Sharon’s blog Retained with Kathy Kelly at Beale on Good Friday. Other blog postings about actions and trials related to Beale demonstrations can be found here. Stay up to date about ongoing Beale protests at the Occupy Beale AFB website or Occupy Beale Facebook Page.