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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

The Front Page Rule

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2015 | 2:22 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 | 10:47 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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A Future in Prison

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 11:52 AM

The Bureau of Prisons contacted me today, assigning me a prison number and a new address: for the next 90 days, beginning tomorrow, I'll live at FMC Lexington, in the satellite prison camp for women, adjacent to Lexington's federal medical center for men. Very early tomorrow morning, Buddy Bell, Cassandra...

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Inside the Uniform, Under the Hood, Longing for Change

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 9:22 PM


From January 4 - 12, 2015, Witness Against Torture (WAT) activists assembled in Washington D.C. for an annual time of fasting and public witness to end the United States' use of torture and indefinite detention and to demand the closure, with...

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Drones and Discrimination: Kick the Habit

(2) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 8:14 AM

On December 10, International Human Rights Day, federal Magistrate Matt Whitworth sentenced me to three months in prison for having crossed the line at a military base that wages drone warfare. The punishment for our attempt to speak on behalf of trapped and desperate people, abroad, will be an opportunity...

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Climate Change Challenges: Support the Environment or the U.S. Military

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 2:43 PM

Having lived through the 1991 Desert Storm bombing and the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing in Iraq, I tread carefully when speaking about any danger greater than war that children in our world might face. I won't forget children in Baghdadi hospitals whose bodies I have seen, wounded and maimed,...

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Obama Extends War in Afghanistan

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 2:32 PM

News agencies reported Saturday morning that weeks ago President Obama signed an order, kept secret until now, to authorize continuation of the Afghan war for at least another year. The order authorizes U.S. airstrikes "to support Afghan military operations in the country" and U.S. ground troops to continue...

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Another 58.6 Billion for U.S. Troops in Afghanistan?

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 9:34 AM

Kabul -- Yesterday, in the Afghan Peace Volunteers' (APVs') "Borderfree Center" here in Kabul, I heard someone banging on the front gate and hurried downstairs to open it. As it happened, I was the only one at the Center that morning. Outside the gate stood two women with...

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Stop the Killing

(0) Comments | Posted October 19, 2014 | 9:36 PM

On August 9, 1983, three people dressed as U.S. soldiers saluted their way onto a U.S. military base and climbed a pine tree. The base contained a school training elite Salvadoran and other foreign troops to serve dictatorships back home, with a record of nightmarish brutality following graduation. That night,...

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Lessons Learned in the Bucca Camp

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 10:05 AM

In January of 2004 I visited "Bucca Camp," a U.S.-run POW camp named for a firefighter lost in the 2001 collapse of New York's World Trade Center. Located near the isolated port city of Umm Qasr, in southern Iraq, the network of tent prisons had been constructed by U.S. Coalition...

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A Teacher in Kabul

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 12:29 PM

Here in Kabul, one of my finest friends is Zekerullah, who has gone back to school in the 8th grade although he is an 18-year-old young man who has already had to learn far too many of life's harsh lessons.

Years ago and miles from here, when he was...

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(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 6:06 PM

Here in Kabul, Sherri Maurin and I are guests of the Afghan Peace Volunteers' recently formed live-in community for young women. Hollyhocks in the garden reach as high as the second floor of our living space. Rose bushes, morning glories and four-o-clocks have bloomed, and each day we eat tomatoes,...

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In Emergency

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 2:09 PM

Here in Afghanistan, Carmen, Hakim, Faiz and I went to Kabul's Emergency Surgical Center for Victims of War to donate blood. "Emergency" isn't just an apt description of the hospital's cases; it's also the name of the Italy-based charity that runs war hospitals and clinics across Afghanistan. Emanuele...

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A Pivot on the Peace Island

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 10:30 AM

Jeju Island, South Korea -- For the past two weeks, I lived in South Korea, as a guest of peace activists living in Gangjeong Village on South Korea's Jeju Island. Gangjeong is one of the country's smallest villages, yet activists here, in their struggle against the construction of a massive...

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We Don't Want You to Swim in the River

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 11:53 AM

In early April, 2014, the U.S. Navy unveiled its Mach 7 Magnetic Mangler, "a railgun straight out of Star Trek that can take out targets at 100 miles with a projectile flying at nearly 7,000 feet per second." So far, the U.S. military has spent $240 million developing...

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Salt and Terror in Afghanistan

(1) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 9:42 AM

Two weeks ago in a room in Kabul, Afghanistan, I joined several dozen people, working seamstresses, some college students, socially engaged teenagers and a few visiting internationals like myself, to discuss world hunger. Our emphasis was not exclusively on their own country's worsening hunger problems. The Afghan Peace Volunteers, in...

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 1:15 PM

Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.... A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation...
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Locked in Winter

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 3:46 PM

Kabul -- The fire in the Chaman e Babrak camp began in Nadiai's home shortly after noon. She had rushed her son, who had a severe chest infection, to the hospital. She did not know that a gas bottle, used for warmth, was leaking; when the gas connected with a...

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Afghan Street Children Beg for Change

(0) Comments | Posted December 31, 2013 | 9:47 AM

Kabul, Afghanistan is "home" to hundreds of thousands of children who have no home. Many of them live in squalid refugee camps with families that have been displaced by violence and war. Bereft of any income in a city already burdened by high rates of unemployment, families struggle to survive...

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War and Enlightenment in Afghanistan

(2) Comments | Posted November 24, 2013 | 1:54 PM

I've been a guest in Colorado Springs, Colorado, following a weeklong retreat with Colorado College students who are part of a course focused on nonviolence. In last weekend's Colorado Springs Gazette, there was an article in the Military Life section about an international skype phone call between U.S. soldiers in...

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