September 25, 2004

Progressive Women 6: Activists (cont.)

These are some women who put themselves out front, on the line . . .

/>Kathy Kelly - of

Voices in the Wilderness -  . A Nobel Peace Prize

nominee several times, she has also gone to jail for her beliefs, stepped un-armed into

harm's way, defended the most vulnerable and exploited peoples with words, actions, and

love, and inspired thousands of us to keep on. A clip from her bio:


Kathy Kelly (M.A. Theology), 51, of Chicago, IL, helped initiate Voices in

the Wilderness, a campaign to end the UN/US sanctions against Iraq. For bringing

“medicine and toys” to Iraq in open violation of the UN/US sanctions, she and other

campaign members were notified of a proposed $163,000 penalty for the organization,

threatened with 12 years in prison, and eventually fined $50,000, a sum which they’ve

refused to pay. Voices in the Wilderness organized 70 delegations to visit Iraq in the

period between 1996 and the beginning of the “Operation Shock and Awe” warfare (March

2003). Kelly has been to Iraq twenty times since January 1996, when the campaign began.

In October 2002, she joined Iraq Peace Team members in Baghdad where she and the team

maintained a presence throughout the bombardment and invasion. Kelly left Iraq on April

19, 2003 and has returned there twice, for 17 day visits with team members who’ve

remained in Baghdad. She most recently traveled to Iraq from December 21-2003 – January

8, 2004 . . .

She was recently sentenced to three months in Pekin Federal

Prison Camp for her participation in a nonviolent protest calling for closure of a

military combat training school based in Fort Benning, GA. As a pacifist and war tax

refuser, she has refused payment of all Federal income tax for 23 years . .

Simona Pari, Simona Torretta, Ra'ad Ali Abdul Azziz and Mahnoaz

are aid workers, opposed to the occupation, who were kidnapped on 7th

September from the Un Ponte Per - office in Iraq. There is more about this at Free Our Friends -  .

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - .

On April 28, 1915, a unique group of women met in an International

Congress in The Hague, Netherlands to protest against World War I, then raging in

Europe, to suggest ways to end it and to prevent war in the future. The organizers of

the Congress were prominent women in the International Suffrage Alliance, who saw the

connection between their struggle for equal rights and the struggle for peace. WILPF's

foremothers rejected the theory that war was inevitable and defied all obstacles to

their plan to meet together in wartime. They assembled more than 1,000 women from

warring and neutral nations to work out a plan to end WWI and lay the basis for a

permanent peace. Out of this meeting the Women's International League for Peace and

Freedom was born.

WILPF's first International President was Jane Addams,

founder of Hull House in Chicago and the first U.S. woman to win the Nobel Peace


Physician, humanist, empassioned advocate for

nuclear disarmament and a true woman of peace is Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Dr. Helen


Helen Caldicott is recognized in every corner of the globe as the

most visible advocate for peace in the world. Her awards, acknowledgments and citations

fill pages - just to name a few: Peace Medal Award (United Nations Association of

Australia), which she shared with her husband, William Caldicott, who is equally

dedicated to the mission for world peace; Integrity Award (John-Roger Foundation), which

she shared with Bishop Desmond TuTu; Peace Award (American Association of University

Women); SANE Peace Award; Ghandi Peace Prize... and the list goes on.


Caldicott has written books (Nuclear Madness.- What You Can Do and Missile Envy),

developed dozens of video tapes and films, written scores of articles which have

appeared in nearly every major newspaper and magazine; spoken at major universities

throughout the world and has met with heads of state everywhere.

She founded

and headed Physicians For Social

Responsibility - and Women's Action For Nuclear Disarmament


Dolores Huerta -
As a teacher, Huerta saw first-hand

the effects of the working conditions on migrant farm workers’ families when their

children would come to school barefoot and hungry. She left teaching to work on their

behalf and in 1962 co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) union in California with

Cesar Chavez. Her work led to the passage of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act

(1975), the first “bill of rights” for farm workers in the United States. One of the

most respected leaders of the labor movement, she embraces nonviolent actions to fight

for change.
Granny D

- is 93 and running for the US Senate in New Hampshire. This is a clip from her speech

on 9/21/2001, Terrorism and the Four

Freedoms -
Our neighbors and children are being killed in great

numbers because Americans are not in control of the American government, and haven't

been for some time. And now we are being killed by our own airplanes, just as we were

killed in our African embassies in 1998 by our own explosives, which we gave to the

Islamic fundamentalists so that they would please kill our then enemies, the


And four months ago the current Bush administration gave $43

million to the current Taliban Regime so that it would please kill our enemies, the

heroin dealers of Afghanistan. Or was it to protect an oil pipeline? That's what we are

now learning.

Our subcontracting of death has never done us much good, with

Vietnam still the shining example, and with many other examples still bleeding in

Central and South America, Africa, and in Southeast Asia . . .
Thanks again.

More tomorrow. And thanks, Cyndy, my back actually feels a little better today. And

thank you, too, Gram Jhin, for carrying some of the weight for me today.

. .

. . . . . . . . . . . .
Be at peace