Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Sacrifice of anti-nuclear protesters in Georgia jail will not be forgotten/Baltimore-bred activist Liz McAlister is relentless and courageous

  On Sun., September 29 from 3 to 5 PM, hear from five members of the Kings Bay Plowshares, Amy Goodman and Jeremy Scahill at Holyrood Episcopal Church, 715 W 179th St., NYC 10033.  The Plowshares are scheduled for trial on October 21 in Brunswick, GA. See https://www.facebook.com/events/2131554446950009/.

Sacrifice of anti-nuclear protesters in Georgia jail will not be forgotten
SEP 10, 2019 | 9:34 AM
Anti-war activist Elizabeth McAlister is pictured at Jonah House. She is the widow of Philip Berrigan, the recognized leader of the group of Catholic antiwar activists who came to be known as the Catonsville Nine. (ALGERINA PERNA/Baltimore Sun)

It has been a long time since Elizabeth McAlister and six other Catholic activists were arrested on April 4, 2018 while engaging in a disarmament action aimed at educating the populace that we are on the eve of nuclear destruction. So it was wonderful to read about her in her hometown newspaper (“Activist with Baltimore roots languishes in Georgia jail,” Sept. 6).

As the author Patrick O’Neill, one of the Kings Bay Plowshares, suggested, many of the younger readers will not be aware of the remarkable work of Ms. McAlister and her husband Philip Berrigan. And that is all the more reason to publish this commentary. Despite the circumstances, being incarcerated in “a miserable Southern jail” since the arrest, Elizabeth, I’m sure, is mentoring the other prisoners.

Moreover, like so many jails across this country, the Glynn County Jail is largely populated by “poor people, the mentally ill and those with addictions.” And rehabilitation is a foreign word.

Of course, the use of nuclear weapons could end life as we know it on Mother Earth. However, the U.S. nuclear arsenal is also a theft from the poor. The government is refurbishing these weapons at an estimated cost of over $1 trillion. I am sure officials at the Glynn County Jail would say that they do not have the funding to provide three meals a day to the prisoners. Imagine if our legislators listened to the Plowshares and abolished the nuclear arsenal and used those tax dollars instead for funding much-needed social services — anti-poverty programs, educational needs, environmental projects, homelessness elimination and Medicare and Medicaid.

In October, I will travel to Georgia to support these disarmament activists. It is the least I can do for the three in jail and the four wearing ankle monitors. The seven are all savvy peace and justice advocates so they well know that their sacrifice will not be rewarded by the judge or the prosecutor and probably not by the jury. Nevertheless, I and others know that the Plowshares are on the right side of the law.

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore
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Baltimore-bred activist Liz McAlister is relentless and courageous
SEP 10, 2019 | 9:59 AM
A South Korean protester holds a card during a rally to oppose end of the Korean War declaration in the upcoming summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un near the U.S. embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Kim's armored limousine, surrounded by his phalanx of burly bodyguards, rolled into Vietnam's capital Tuesday ahead of summit with Trump that's meant to deal with perhaps the world's biggest security challenge: His pursuit of a nuclear program that stands on the verge of viably threatening any target on the planet. (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

Patrick O’Neil’s account (“Activist with Baltimore roots languishes in Georgia jail,” Sept. 8) of Liz McAlister’s selfless commitment to ridding the world of nuclear weapons is a story of tremendous personal sacrifice. There are the horrible conditions that she has had to live under in jail, but also the tortuous passing of more than 500 days without being able to embrace her beloved grandchildren, watch them grow, calm their fears and give them comfort other than by her deeds which sing of faith and hope.

Her crime was a non-violent symbolic disarming of the major base of Trident submarines that possess enough nuclear weapons to end life on our planet. As a mother and grandmother, I am aware that at any moment by accident or impulse the nuclear weapons could fly and our grandchildren ‘s future wiped out. How grateful I am to Liz McAlister for what she has done for all of the world’s children. Those who fund and plan nuclear war are the criminals and we who say nothing are culpable as well.

Dr. Gwen L. DuBois
The writer is a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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