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Kathy Kelly
Kathy Kelly is a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and a co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness, a campaign to end economic sanctions against Iraq. She and her companions helped send over 70 delegations to Iraq, from 1996 to 2003, in open defiance of the economic sanctions. With members of the Iraq Peace Team, a project of Voices, Kelly lived in Iraq during the 2003 U.S. invasion and initial weeks of the U.S. Occupation. From Amman, Jordan, she has written regular reports, this summer, about the plight of Iraqis who have fled the violence in their country. (see Kelly has been involved in numerous nonviolent campaigns to end war, some of which have involved lengthy imprisonment. As a war tax refuser, she has refused all forms of federal income tax since 1981.

Entries by Kathy Kelly

Surveillance and Surveys in Kabul

(1) Comments | Posted January 11, 2016 | 9:01 AM

In Kabul, where the Afghan Peace Volunteers have hosted me in their community, the U.S. military maintains a huge blimp equipped with cameras and computers to supply 24-hour surveillance of the city. Remotely piloted drones, operated by Air Force and Air National...
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Visits and Conversations in a Kabul Winter

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2016 | 2:05 PM

Here in Kabul, last week, at the Afghan Peace Volunteer (APV) community home that hosts me, I watched Abdulhai and visiting activist Aaron Hughes work out ways to secure the greenhouse which they had partially assembled that morning. Warmed by the effort...
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Breaking Bread in Kabul

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 11:10 AM

Children at the Afghan Peace Volunteer's Borderfree Street Kids' School learn from Ellis Brooks and Dr. Hakim about resolving conflicts peacefully. Photo credit: Dr. Hakim.

December 15, 2015

Here in Kabul, over breakfast with Afghan Peace Volunteers (APVs), we easily...

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Flowers from Guantanamo

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 10:43 AM


December 20th

Here in Kabul, young friends with the Afghan Peace Volunteers look forward to learning more about "The Tea Project" in late December, when Aaron Hughes arrives, an artist, a U.S. military veteran, and a core member of...

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The Danger of Care

(4) Comments | Posted December 8, 2015 | 8:04 PM

"Why did they attack us? We were trying to serve people." --Khalid Ahmad, age 20, a survivor of the U.S. Attack on Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Kunduz Hospital.

Here in Kabul, I've been with fellow activists to see Khalid Ahmad, aged 20, who survived the U.S.'s October...

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Japan's Right to Renounce War

(0) Comments | Posted November 22, 2015 | 7:32 AM

Japan's Right to Renounce War
by Kathy Kelly

On November 7th, at the conclusion of a trip to Asia which included cruising on a U.S. aircraft carrier operating in the South China Sea, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter blamed Beijing for rising tensions in the region...

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Killing Blind

(2) Comments | Posted October 28, 2015 | 10:39 PM

October 28, 2015

Lajos Zoltan Jecs:

These are people who had been working hard for months, non-stop for the past week. They had not gone home, they had not seen their families, they had just been working in the hospital to help people... and now they are dead. These people...
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Learn Your Lessons Well: An Afghan Teenager Makes Up His Mind

(1) Comments | Posted October 24, 2015 | 1:35 AM

2015-10-24-1445664786-7586673-Esmatullah_Says__Enough_.jpgphoto credit: Hakim/Afghan Peace Volunteers

October 24, 2015

Tall, lanky, cheerful and confident, Esmatullah easily engages his young students at the Street Kids School, a project of Kabul's "Afghan Peace Volunteers," an antiwar community with a focus on service to the poor....

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The Obscenity of Our War

(2) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 11:52 PM

Before the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing in Iraq, a group of activists living in Baghdad would regularly go to city sites that were crucial for maintaining health and well-being in Baghdad, such as hospitals, electrical facilities, water purification plants, and schools, and string large vinyl banners between the trees...

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#Enough! A Campaign to End War and Focus on Food and Health

(1) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 1:06 AM

September 21, 2015

Some days ago, at the Afghan Peace Volunteers' Borderfree Center, I met Jamila, the mother of a little girl, Fatima, who comes to the Street Kids School there. The school is designed to help children working on the streets go...

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Let It Shine

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2015 | 11:49 PM

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna' let it shine! Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine."

These lines, from a traditional gospel spiritual song, eventually became a civil rights anthem. Our young friends in Afghanistan echo the resolve heard in this song. #Enough! they say, writing the...

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(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2015 | 11:41 PM

James Lawson addresses rally. Photo: Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal

Speaking on behalf of indigenous people in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, earlier this summer, Pope Francis apologized for the role the Catholic Church played in oppressing Latin America's indigenous people. He called for a worldwide...

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No Warlords Need Apply: A Call for Credible Peacemaking in Afghanistan

(2) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 4:51 PM


This blog was co-authored by Buddy Bell.

A second round of peace talks between Afghan government officials and Taliban representatives, expected to begin before the end of July, 2015, suggests that some parties to the fighting want to declare a cease-fire. But even...

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Pushing Up

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2015 | 2:24 PM


July 18, 2015

Last weekend, about 100 U.S. Veterans for Peace gathered in Red Wing, Minnesota, for a statewide annual meeting. In my experience, Veterans for Peace chapters hold "no-nonsense" events. Whether coming together for...

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Before the Dawn

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 8:40 PM

Each year, throughout the Muslim world, believers participate in the month-long Ramadan fast. Here in Kabul, where I'm a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, our household awakens at 2:15 a.m. to prepare a simple meal before the fast begins at about 3:00 a.m. I like the easy companionship we...

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The Storm Is Over

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 12:43 AM

Photo credit Charles O'Rear

April 11, 2015

Lightning 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...

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(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2015 | 7:53 PM

Yang Yoon Mo

March 15, 2015

By the time I leave Kentucky's federal prison center, where I'm an inmate with a three-month sentence, the world's 12th-largest city may be without water. Estimates put the water reserve of Sao Paulo, a city of 20...

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Possibility of Escape

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 11:42 AM

2015-03-10-1425958498-1987749-PossibilityofEscapephotocreditasylumprojectsdotorg.jpg The Federal Medical Center at Lexington. photo credit:
That is also us, the possibility of us, if the wonderful accident of our birth had taken place elsewhere: you could be the refugee, I could be the torturer. To face that truth is...
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The Front Page Rule

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2015 | 1:22 PM

February 15, 2015


After a week here in FMC Lexington Satellite camp, a federal prison in Kentucky, I started catching up on national and international news via back issues of USA Today available in the prison library, and an "In Brief" item, on...

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The Shift

(1) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 9:47 AM

February 9, 2015

"We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person oriented society: when machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered." - Martin Luther...

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