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Writings by Kathy Kelly

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Killing Blind

photo credit Maya EvansLajos Zoltan Jecs survived October 3rd in the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, which the U.S. bombed for well over an hour, at fifteen minute intervals. The bombing continued, despite frantic communication by the hospital staff who told U.S., NATO and Afghan officials that their hospital was under attack. Afterwards Jecs reported the indescribable horror of seeing patients burning in their intensive care unit beds.

Let It Shine

photo credit Dr. Hakim

This past summer, collaborating with Wisconsin activists, we decided to feature this refrain on signs and announcements for a 90-mile walk campaigning to end targeted drone assassinations abroad, and the similarly racist impunity granted to an increasingly militarized police force when they kill brown and black people within the U.S.

Replanting

In early August, people assembled outside of the Los Alamos nuclear weapon laboratories listened to Beata Tsosie Pena’s advice and perspective during a gathering organized by Campaign Nonviolence.

Beata said that she and her community have tried traditional forms of activism, to no avail, and so now they try their form of activism which involves praying to the spirits. They pray to the spirits for the politicians and they wish the politicians would pray to their ancestral spirits. She also invited us write solidarity letters to the Tribal Leaders of the Northern Pueblos to acknowledge our presence “inside the lands they hold sacred.”

Hearing All Voices

Brandy, who lives down the hall, told us that each night a little bird sings a song outside their window. She and her roommates wonder if the bird is confused, if it thinks the sun is rising when the prison floodlights turn on, after sunset. Gypsi, my roommate, who lives in Kentucky, says we hear the song too, and it’s a bat! I like the notion of little bats delivering nocturnal songs to us before we settle in for the night.

The Storm Is Over

photo credit Charles O'Rear, EPA 1973Photo credit Charles O’Rear, EPA 1973Lightning flashed across Kentucky skies a few nights ago. “I love storms,” said my roommate, Gypsi, her eyes bright with excitement. Thunder boomed over the Kentucky hills and Atwood Hall, here in Lexington, KY’s federal prison. I fell asleep thinking of the gentle, haunting song our gospel choir sings: “It’s over now, It’s over now. I think that I can make it. The storm is over now.”

Sing Another Song

photo credit Chris Downer CC BY_SA 2.0Photo Credit Chris Downer CC BY-SA 2.0April 2, 2015
Here in Lexington federal prison’s Atwood Hall, squinting through the front doorway, I spotted a rust-red horse swiftly cantering across a nearby field. The setting sun cast a glow across the grasses and trees as the horse sped past. “Reminds me of the Pope,” I murmured to no one in particular. “What’s that?” Tiza asked. I tried to explain,

Crosscurrents

Professor Yang Yoon MoProfessor Yang Yoon Mo on Jeju IslandBy the time I leave Kentucky’s federal prison center, where I’m an inmate with a 3 month sentence, the world’s 12th-largest city may be without water. Estimates put the water reserve of Sao Paulo, a city of 20 million people, at sixty days. Sporadic outages have already begun, the wealthy are pooling money to receive water in tankers, and

St Patrick's Day Greetings from Prison

green triumphs over greygreen triumphs over greyAtwood Hall’s food service decided to serve roast beef and corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day. I enjoyed my oatmeal, but feel appreciative of efforts to interrupt monotony and tedium here. Blissfully, nature trumped anyone’s efforts!



Possibility of Escape

FMC Lexington (photo credit: asylumprojects.org)FMC Lexington (photo credit: asylumprojects.org)It was a little over two weeks ago that Marlo entered Atwood Hall, here in Lexington federal prison. Nearly all the women here are nonviolent offenders. When I first saw Marlo, her eyes seemed glued to the tiled floors as she shuffled along hallways. I guessed her age to

A Pivot on the Peace Island

Kathy Kelly at Jeju IslandKathy Kelly at Jeju IslandJeju Island, South Korea – For the past two weeks, I’ve been in the Republic of Korea (ROK), as a guest of peace activists living in Gangjeong Village on ROK’s Jeju Island. Gangjeong is one of the ROK’s smallest villages, yet activists here, in their struggle against the construction of a massive naval base, have inspired people around the world.