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Articles by: Kathy Kelly

“Would You Like A  Drink Of Water?”  Please Ask A Yemeni Child

“Would You Like A  Drink Of Water?”  Please Ask A Yemeni Child

This week, in New York City, representatives from more than100 countries will begin collaborating on an international treaty, first proposed in 2016, to ban nuclear weapons forever. It makes sense for every country in the world to seek a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons. It would make even more sense to immediately deactivate all nuclear weapons. But, by boycotting[Read More…]

Feed The Hungry, Treat The Sick: A Crucial Training

Feed The Hungry, Treat The Sick: A Crucial Training

  On June 15, 2017, theNew York Times reported that the government of Saudi Arabia aims to ease the concerns of some U.S. legislators over U.S. weapon sales to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis plan to engage in“a $750 million multiyear training program through the American military to help prevent the accidental killing of civilians in the Saudi-led air campaign against[Read More…]

Afghan Peace Volunteers at work in their permaculture plot in Kabul

Courage For Peace, Not For War, In Afghanistan

  When activists like me return from visiting the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul, Afghanistan, young seamstresses there often entrust each of us with about fifty sky-blue scarves. The word “Borderfree” is carefully embroidered, in English, on one end of each scarf; on the opposite side, they’ve stitched the translation in Dari, the language they speak. The scarves express their[Read More…]

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In Yemen, Shocked to His Bones

In Yemen, Shocked to His Bones

  The ruins carpeted the city market, rippling outwards in waves of destruction. Broken beams, collapsed roofs, exploded metal shutters and fossilized merchandise crumbled underfoot. In one of the burnt-out shells of the shops where raisins, nuts, fabrics, incense and stone pots were traded for hundreds of years, all that was to be found was a box of coke bottles,[Read More…]

The Shame of Killing Innocent People

The Shame of Killing Innocent People

  On April 26th, 2017, in Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah, the Saudi-led coalition which has been waging war in Yemen for the past two years dropped leaflets informing Hodeidah’s residents of an impending attack.  One leaflet read: “Our forces of legitimacy are heading to liberate Hodeidah and end the suffering of our gracious Yemeni people. Join your legitimate government[Read More…]

Angry, Desperate, Rejected

Angry, Desperate, Rejected

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King gave his boldest and perhaps most defining speech. It alienated liberal allies in the North and the Northern press, plus many in King’s own civil rights movement, and prompted President Johnson to withdraw King’s secret service detail. Exactly one year later, forty-nine years ago on April 4, he was assassinated. He said, “As[Read More…]

Reality And The U.S.-Made Famine In Yemen

Reality And The U.S.-Made Famine In Yemen

This week at the Voices for Creative Nonviolence office in Chicago, my colleague Sabia Rigby prepared a presentation for a local high school. She’ll team up with a young friend of ours, himself a refugee from Iraq, to talk about refugee crises driven by war. Sabia recently returned from Kabul where she helped document the young Afghan Peace Volunteers’ efforts[Read More…]

Friendship in Defiance of War

Friendship in Defiance of War

  Before making their home in Damascus, Gabe Huck and Theresa Kubasak had regularly visited Baghdad and other Iraqi cities, where they developed lasting friendships and deepened cultural awareness. Iraq was steadily deteriorating under thirteen years of U.S./UN imposed economic sanctions. Despite iron clad determination by U.S. policy makers to isolate Iraq, Gabe and Theresa repeatedly challenged the economic sanctions[Read More…]

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Divest From War, Invest In People

Divest From War, Invest In People

All Trump, all the time. With a punishing, disorienting barrage of executive orders, President Trump is reversing hard fought gains made in environmental protection, health care, women’s rights, immigration policy, and nuclear weapons reduction–with even more executive orders promised. In his inaugural speech, Trump proclaimed “America First”. The U.S. does rank first in weapon sales, in mass incarceration and in[Read More…]

White Silence Equals Violence: Awaiting A Verdict

White Silence Equals Violence: Awaiting A Verdict

This morning, here in Minneapolis, six jurors decided beyond a reasonable doubt that I am guilty as charged and my co-defendant, Dan Wilsonwas found innocent.  The court case stems from an action protesting the execution of Jamar Clark, age 24, who died in the early morning of November 15, 2015 outside a north Minneapolis apartment complex. Two Minneapolis police officers,[Read More…]

One of more than 750 crosses carried in a Chicago rally commemorating homicide victims on New Years Eve/ Photo By Ed Juillard

Eternal Hostility: A New Year’s Resolution

  January 1, 2017: This New Year’s Eve, 750 heavy wooden crosses were distributed to a gathering of Chicagoans commemorating the victims of gun violence killed in 2016. Rev. Michael Pfleger and the Faith Community of St. Sabina Parish had issued a call to carry crosses constructed by Greg Zanis. The crosses, uniform in size, presented the name and age[Read More…]

'This is not a gap between the tolerant and the intolerant,' writes Hedges. 'It is a gap between most of the American population and our oligarchic and corporate elites, which Trump epitomizes.' (Cartoon: Mr. Fish)

Steer Your Way

Since the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, I’ve given daily thought to the more alarming aspects of Trump culture.  Conversations among friends have been quite helpful, both here in the U.S. and in far- away Kabul from which I recently returned.  It becomes hard to envision constructive responses to Trumpism without a steadfast focus on[Read More…]

mothers and children inside a Kabul refugee camp Photo credit: Henrietta Cullinan

Human Rights Day, A Call To Care

December 10th marks the U.N. Human Rights Day, celebrating and upholding the indispensable and crucial declaration of universal human rights.On the eve of this event, I visited a refugee camp housing 700 families in Kabul. Conditions in refugee camps can be deplorable, intolerable. Here, the situation is best described as surreal. As I approach the entrance to the camp with my friends[Read More…]

Jamila, age 11, holds a neighbor’s newborn. Photo credit: Henrietta Cullinan

See How We Live

  Here in Kabul, I’m generally an early riser at the home of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, but I’m seldom alone. Facing exams, my young friends awaken early and then stay up late to study. Before sunrise this morning, eighteen year old Ghulamai sits in the kitchen, poring over his textbook. His efforts have made him number one in his[Read More…]

Where To Turn?

Where To Turn?

In July 1941, Albert Einstein, ten months a US citizen, wrote Eleanor Roosevelt asking her, as First Lady, to raise with the president the matter of lifting bureaucratic hurdles so that Jewish refugees threatened by Hitler’s final solution could be granted entry into the U.S. “I know of no-one else to whom to turn for help,” he wrote. But the U.S. government[Read More…]

A Good Beginning

A Good Beginning

It seems that some who have the ears of U.S. elite decision-makers are at least shifting away from wishing to provoke wars with Russia and China. In recent articles, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Thomas Graham, two architects of the U.S. cold war with Russia, have acknowledged that the era of uncontested U.S. global imperialism is coming to an end. Both analysts[Read More…]

Don’t Move! How USA Murders Unpeople

Don’t Move! How USA Murders Unpeople

Two major news stories here in the U.S., both chilling, point out how readily U.S. authorities will murder people based on race and the slightest possibility of a threat to those in places of power. On July 5th Baton Rouge police killed Anton Sterling in a Louisiana parking lot.  Sterling was a 37-year-old Black father of five selling CDs outside[Read More…]

What’s At Stake

What’s At Stake

In the historic port city of Yalta, located on the Crimean Peninsula, we visited the site where Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, in February of 1945, concluded negotiations ending World War II. These leaders and their top advisors were also present at the creation of the United Nations and other instruments of international negotiation and non-military cooperation. Tragically, the creation of[Read More…]

Why Go To Russia?

Why Go To Russia?

Since 1983, Sharon Tennison has worked to develop ordinary citizens’ capacities to avert international crises, focusing on relations between the U.S. and Russia. Now, amid a rising crisis in relations between the U.S. and Russia, she has organized a delegation which assembled in Moscow yesterday for a two week visit.  I joined the group yesterday, and happened to finish reading[Read More…]

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