Rejoice! All prison sentences are complete. As of yesterday all the KBP7 have finished their home confinement after prison terms.
Patrick O’Neill finished his incarceration and removed his ankle monitor last Friday. “At a time when the prospect of climate change imperils our planet,” he wrote in a letter to supporters last week, “the military-industrial complex is moving full speed ahead on a path that could lead creation to doom. And worse, all of this madness has the full support of all three branches of government, and the Church! To reverse climate change we must abolish war; to abolish war we need humanity and especially people of faith to reject violence and war-making.”
43 months after sentencing with 5 months of prison and 6 months of home confinement in a friend’s apartment in NYC, Carmen Trotta, returned to St. Joseph House yesterday and became the last of the KBP7 to begin the 3 years of probation. “We hope this is the invisible reality we have made visible,” Carmen said during his closing statement at trial. “The outrage of God at these weapons that may destroy [God’s] creation, and his beloved –- ourselves.”
Liz McAlister, the first of the KBP7 to be sentenced with time served, was granted early termination of supervised probation in October. She’s been living with her daughters in New London, Connecticut, but recently moved to a memory care facility nearby. Please write her in care of Kate Berrigan at 110 Hempstead Street, New London, CT 06320. If you’d like to come and visit, reach out to Frida at 860-389-8566 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Liz’s short term memory is pretty much gone and her long term memory is going fast, but her gospel non-violence and her belief in community remain bedrock strong.
Martha Hennessy finished her home confinement at her farm in Vermont and is now able to travel between there and Maryhouse in NYC and says that she is grateful to God to now be with family and community. She asks “Please pray for all prisoners to be returned to their families.”
Clare Grady is home and off home confinement and an ankle monitor as of September. She is inspired by many things these days including the messaging that has come from climate activists who are finally putting U.S. militarism as the number one CO2 emitter on the planet, the number one killer on the planet and the number one colonizer. She encourages people to view this 14 minute video by Koohan Paik-Mander for the occasion of the COP26 summit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZa89k0c5yU
Mark Colville who was released from the federal prison in Brooklyn in September with no further home confinement informed us yesterday that, “This morning I was summoned to the federal probation office in Bridgeport, CT, where I was served notice of a violation hearing scheduled for December 3rd at 4pm in Hartford federal court. At issue is my refusal to comply with the drug-testing, which is clearly not appropriate in my case. I’m also refusing to pay any restitution or court costs. In light of my son Isaiah’s cancer diagnosis and ongoing treatment, we will attempt to postpone this hearing with the assistance of a court-appointed lawyer, who at this point has yet to return my call.”
For reasons of conscience, Fr. Steve Kelly, S.J. has refused to comply with the 3 years of supervised probation. When he failed to report to the probation office in Georgia after his release in April after 36 months of detention, a warrant was issued for his arrest. He remains at large.
On November 12th, Mark Colville received the Western New York Peace Center’s Peace Award on behalf of the Kings Bay Plowshares in Buffalo at their 54th Annual Dinner. WNYPC works on many of the issues raised by the KBP7 and understands the value and significance of the work being done to unite struggles. WNYPC has many connections with the defendants through the work of the Upstate Drone Action group witnessing to end killer drones at Hancock AFB in Syracuse and with Witness Against Torture, working to shut down Guantanamo. Mark’s excellent 23-minute talk will be uploaded to the front page of the website, hopefully by mid-December.
Two days ago a denial of the appeal by Clare, Martha and Carmen about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was issued by the circuit court in Georgia. This was not unexpected in view of the negative comments and attitudes of the judges in the oral arguments in August. It is not known if they will pursue this appeal further. Several others of the KBP7 have appeals on different issues pending.
We wish to thank everyone for their support of this action with both financial donations and physical solidarity actions. Much work remains to be done to end the nuclear menace which is threatening the whole world’s future.
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News Flash! Today the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 activists and community join people across the nation focused on the Georgia State Court in Brunswick, as all three defendants were found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery. It took 74 days to have charges brought against the 3 white men over a year ago. The killing of Ahmaud shows us much work is needed to undo our country’s deep racism. The guilty verdict affirms, even in the deep South, that Black Lives Matter!