Fr. Steve Kelly’s message from jail to NYC Festival of Hope, September 29

It is my privilege to greet and thank you as you gather. I write in relay like a tenuous voice in the wilderness, as I’m among the wilderness of the incarcerated two and a quarter million folks comprising the human warehouses in the empire. It is resistance jailed, a price exacted by an empire, and I echo the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., an empire in its death throes as it clings to and mouths obscene threats with its lethal arsenal. A fire that is a direct theft of trillions from the poor.
And your presence today clearly demonstrates that while you can jail the resisters you cannot destroy the resistance. In this advent of our trial, we have a blue ribbon legal team to whom I’m sure you’ll show your own gratitude.
This trial and the preliminary process represents the second phase of our witness. It is the Kings Bay Plowshares’ attempt to continue with what began in nonviolence – and hopefully without arrogance – to convert the judiciary according to Prophet Isaiah 2:4.  As these judges historically legitimize the nuclear idols, we anticipate the government’s presentation of and the judge’s likely approval of motions preventing the jury from hearing our defense. The mechanism is an in limine – you’ll hear more about that if you don’t know already, but essentially it is, in the words of the late Phil Berrigan, a gag order.

I am encouraged by your presence to ask that this small effort of ours not be the last word in nuclear abolition.
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