Kathy Kelly Imprisoned after Delivering Bread and Letter to U.S. Military Base

Peace Activist Kathy Kelly (left) with Nuria Mustafa (centre) and Jack Hynes (right) at Afri's 2003 Famine Walk in Mayo.
Peace Activist Kathy Kelly (left) with Nuria Mustafa (centre) and Jack Hynes (right) at Afri’s 2003 Famine Walk in Mayo. Photo: Derek Speirs

Former speaker at Féile Bríde, Kathy Kelly has just begun a 3-month prison term, having been arrested when she went to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter to the commander of Whiteman Air Force base Missouri, which operates drones over Afghanistan.

Here is an update from Voices for Creative Nonviolence, the organisation of which Kathy is the Co-ordinator:-

Co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Kathy Kelly will turn herself in to the federal prison camp in Lexington, KY on Friday, January 23. She will begin serving a three-month sentence for her June 1, 2014 protest of drone killings at Whiteman Air Force Base, in Missouri. 

Kelly asserts that drone warfare jeopardizes the security of ordinary people and that the U.S. Constitution protects her right to assemble peaceably for redress of grievance.  She was arrested  when she went with Georgia Walker and other activists to the gates of Whiteman Air Force Base  to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter to the commander of the base, which operates drones over Afghanistan. At her trial in December, Federal Magistrate Matt Whitworth found her guilty and sentenced her to three months. Continue reading “Kathy Kelly Imprisoned after Delivering Bread and Letter to U.S. Military Base”

Date for your Diary – Féile Bríde 2015

Afri - Feile Bride 2015
Féile Bríde 2015 will take place on Saturday 7th February in the Solas Bhríde Centre in Kildare town. The title of this year’s Féile Bríde is “Occupy the Imagination”.

‘Another world is possible’ – A simple and confident expression of an ability to step outside the existing paradigm and imagine an alternative! This ability to imagine, to voice the imagined, and to take action to manifest it, is a wonderful gift and holds the potential to a life well spent; a seed full of potential for change. Whether it be in the small fields of power within which we operate on a day-to-day basis or whether the net of imagination is cast farther to embrace other fields and other people, the role of the imagination in creating change is a vital one.

Speakers at this year’s Féile Bríde include those who similarly inhabit their dreams and make them visible. Bruce Kent, a name synonymous with peace-making and founder of an organisation that challenges the military mindset of countless generations, the Movement for the Abolition of War; Colin Archer of the International Peace Bureau, another life-long peace activist who similarly and consistently presents the kind of world that would be possible if we stopped sacrificing life in its many forms to the god of war and chose instead to put our focus and energy into the protection of life; Emanuela Russo, member of the Via Campesina and founding member of Food Sovereignty Ireland, by word and example occupies the imagined world where food production is in the hands of the people in respectful alliance with Mother Earth; And Salome Mbugua, working to bring about the world she dreams of in common with Brigid where justice, peace and human rights are upheld and hospitality is a belief in practice.

We invite you to join with us; to bring along your dreams and to add your voices to the dreamers’ discourse. Together, let’s ‘occupy the Imagination’ and discover what great changes we can help bring into being. Continue reading “Date for your Diary – Féile Bríde 2015”

Impressions from Féile Bríde 2014

This year’s Féile Bríde aimed to mark the issues of “Life: Source or Resource-Enslavement versus sovereignty.”  The day started with the beautiful music of harpist Fionnuala Gill as the Brigid flame was carried into the conference hall.  The event made connections across borders, nations and nationalities, attracting speakers and partners from East Africa to the West of Ireland, in order to tackle together the unequal distribution of resources and the threats to food sovereignty.

Contributors to Féile Bríde 2014: (from left to right): Abjata Khalif (Kenya Pastoralist Journalist Network); Mia De Faoite (Turn off the Red Light campaigner); Donal Dorr (author, theologian and Turn off the Red Light campaigner); Fergal Anderson (farmer and Food Sovereignty Ireland), and Pete Mullineaux (poet, dramatist and arts facilitator). Photo: Joe Murray

Speakers included Afri’s partner Abjata Khalif of the Kenyan pastoralist Journalist Network, Fergal Anderson a small farmer from the west of Ireland, veteran writer and campaigner on issues of human trafficking, Donal Dorr, and Mia De Faoite, a survivor of prostitution speaking from her experience. Continue reading “Impressions from Féile Bríde 2014”

A Selection of Poems from Pete Mullineaux

Pete Mullineaux

Pete Mullineaux, poet and dramatist, read out some of his poems at Afri’s Féile Bríde on Saturday 8th February in Kildare.  These poems are republished here with his permission.

 

Zen Traffic Lights

 

Thank you red dragon

for teaching patience and humility,

so I may observe the green tiger

wisely.

 

And thank you red dragon

for showing joy in the moment;

so I will ride the green tiger

with enhanced pleasure.

 

And thank you red dragon

for reflecting my rage, mirrored

in calm cool green waters

to come.

 

Thank you…

thank you…

that’s enough now,

 

THANK YOU! Continue reading “A Selection of Poems from Pete Mullineaux”

Date for your Diary – Féile Bríde 2014

Féile Bríde 2014 will take place on Saturday 8th February in the Osborne Centre in Kildare town. The title of this year’s Féile Bríde is “Life: Source or Resource – Enslavement versus Sovereignty”.

Féile Bríde 2014 will look at issues of life, light and liberty with perspectives from our partner Abjata Khalif of the Kenya Pastoralist Journalists Network; from Fergal Anderson linking food sovereignty issues locally and globally, as a ‘small farmer’ from the West of Ireland; and Donal Dorr will be joined by a woman with personal knowledge of the issue of human trafficking to explore the meaning of slavery, sovereignty and sustenance. Continue reading “Date for your Diary – Féile Bríde 2014”

Peacemakers like Margaretta D’Arcy uphold the greater moral law

Photograph taken in solidarity with jailed Peace Activist Margaretta D’Arcy at “Airing Erris: The Media and Shell Corrib” in Ceathrú Thaidhg, County Mayo on the 18th January

Signs of hope and causes for optimism are still to be found amid the bleak picture often presented on the daily news. Despite the realities of war, climate change and hunger, we can find hope and inspiration in those who continue to resist, to struggle, to challenge, and even to celebrate.

Imbolc, the ancient Irish festival that marks the beginning of spring, is almost upon us. It represents a time of new beginnings after the long, dark winter. In Irish tradition, people celebrated this time on February 1st, and honoured Brigid, who was noted in legend as a strong and fearless leader that carried a torch for peace, truth and justice. Continue reading “Peacemakers like Margaretta D’Arcy uphold the greater moral law”

Dreaming for the Earth – Féile Bríde Reflections

A short report on “Dreaming for the Earth: Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change”, Afri’s 2013 Féile Bríde conference held on the 2nd February in Kildare

Walking on the Curragh
Walking on the Curragh

Afri’s 2013 Féile Bríde, “Dreaming for the Earth: Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change” was held in the new venue of the Osborne Centre, which is beautifully surrounded by a lake and native Irish trees.  This year the conference was aimed at tackling climate change, and opened with John Feehan, an expert on the Curragh, giving the history and uses of the Curragh, and then bringing the participants to the Curragh to explore the landscape for themselves.  John strongly encouraged locals interested in preserving this public space, to consider forming a taskforce to care for the Curragh, in particular, to tackle the rampant furze.

Continue reading “Dreaming for the Earth – Féile Bríde Reflections”

Féile Bríde 2013: Dreaming for the Earth

Feile Bride 2013

Féile Bríde 2013

Dreaming for the Earth: Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change

Saturday 2nd February, Osborne Centre, Kildare

The wonder and awesome beauty of our planet is also a reminder of her fragility, uniqueness and the urgent need to protect her. Our planet home is blessed with sufficient abundance to care for all but is increasingly reeling and groaning from relentless exploitation and abuse.

Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, describes his experience of seeing the Earth from space: “suddenly from behind the rim of the Moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth…home.”

Continue reading “Féile Bríde 2013: Dreaming for the Earth”

Impressions from Afri’s Féile Bríde 2012

Saturday 4th February 2012, Kildare Town

Mayra Gomez and Herman Tintaya carry the Brigid Flame
Colaiste Éinde students performing "What If"
Colaiste Éinde students performing “What If”

At the start of Afri’s Feile Bride, the pupils of Coláiste Éinde, under the direction of Pete Mullineaux, staged a remarkable drama that asked the question “what if?”. What if the world was organised differently, in a spirit of cooperation and compromise rather than of conflict and greed? I was reminded of a story told about the Irish revolutionary Peadar O’Donnell, who wrote an article critical of his erstwhile colleague Eamon De Valera and his record in government, especially the fact that half a million people emigrated from Ireland under De Valera’s stewardship. The story goes that De Valera rang O’Donnell to protest, claiming that had O’Donnell been Taoiseach half a million people would still have emigrated. To which O’Donnell replied, “Yes, Eamon, but not the same half million”. I like to think of the very different Ireland we might have now if those who had left had been able to stay, and if those we could have most done without had departed: what if? Continue reading “Impressions from Afri’s Féile Bríde 2012”