The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region
Linda LeTendre's Waging Peace
by Linda LeTendre

Waging Peace

A Daily Gazette community blog
Linda LeTendre fights for a peaceful world.

I am not dead -- but things are getting worse

Reports of my death have been only slightly exaggerated. Life can get overwhelming at times -- and when you journey through life with a chronic illness it is sometimes difficult to get everything organized and done. Top off the chronic illness with the feeling of “Is it me or are things getting worse?” and you have a real personal disaster on your hands.

It was a gift to hear from a reader asking if I was OK and that he missed reading my posts and he informed me so do others. It was just the balm my spirit needed and it is nice to know that I am missed.

What has kept me going is a quote from my friend, Walt Chura, that goes something like this: “While speaking out seems futile, remaining silent is criminal.” Small comfort but right now I'll take it where I can get it.

While I was healing, Obama got his Internet kill switch, and considering that the Internet is the way a significant portion of the populace gets its news, the US. now joins such countries as Egypt and China who routinely black out news (translation: what the government is doing to the people). We used to be ranked 47th among nations in providing freedom of the press -- I am sure we've gone down a few notches since then and we're no longer in the top 50 but the bottom 50.

Here's an update of the anti-drone witness action at Hancock Air Force Base that almost got me arrested (April 22): The people who have been witnessing twice a month at the entrance of the base, without incident, for nearly two years began to get arrested at their bimonthly vigils. Seems the military was putting pressure on the local police to get rid of them. A violation of posse comitatus? Free speech perhaps? At least DA took the time to read the entire statute under which people were arrested (and the locals tax money was spent) and at the end it states that people have to be blocking roads or emergency vehicles before it is considered an offense for which one can be arrested. We were doing neither. The charges were “dismissed in the interest of justice”. And after more than two months my friend John Amidon finally got his digital camera back from the local constabulary. No word on if they kept the “evidence” that was supposedly on said camera.

My friends and fellow peacemakers continue to receive the Sacrament of the Handcuffs quite regularly at Hancock. Their last action on June 28 resulted in 15 arrests. I am so grateful to each of them for their faithful witness. I think Ellen Grady and Ed Kinane must have chairs reserved for them in the Town of DeWitt court by now and are on a first name basis with court officials. You can see the action by clicking HERE.  “Civil Resistance at Hancock: Closing the Gate On War Crimes.” This 15 minute documentary  shows Mary Snyder at 87 years young being arrested. What an inspiration.

I am doing things to recharge myself -- the annual peacemakers retreat at Pyramid Life Center week before last and it was a big help to be with that community to pray and reflect on why we do what we do.

The 14th annual peace conference at the National Kateri Shrine in Fonda happens on Friday, August 17 and 18. This year's theme is “Cross the Line: A  Call to Revolutionary Love.” Bishop Tom Gumbleton (who introduces himself as “Tom Gumbelton” -- never “Bishop Gumbelton”) is offering a day long retreat on Friday. Kathy Kelly (Voices for Creative Nonviolence), John Horgan, and David Swanson (War Is A Crime) will be some of the speakers and presenters on Saturday. These are some of the biggest names in the peace movement.

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