Last month Catholic Worker and long-time peace activist Brian Terrell was sentenced to six months imprisonment for taking part in a protest against drone strikes at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Tomorrow (Fri 30th November) Brian reports to Federal Prison to serve his sentence. He expects to be released in May 2013. Here he shares some final thoughts:
A last message as I prepare to ‘surrender’ to federal authorities in Yanton, SD, for six months on Friday. Thank you for the outpouring of support, prayers and solidarity in the weeks since my sentencing. My own responses to these many kindnesses have been haphazard and diffuse – if I have not replied to each one individually, it is not for lack of gratitude.
I have tried to use this time well. At home on the farm I have planted garlic, trimmed the goats’ hooves, done some winterization, spent time with community and friends here. I have also travelled to Syracuse to support another courageous and creative act of resistance against drone warfare at Hancock Air Field and made a tour of the mid-west, speaking in Minneapolis, Madison, WI, Chicago, and Columbia, MO.
There seems to be, in these last weeks, a new openness to speaking about the issue of the drones. It is as if with the dreadful distraction of the presidential election over, people are wiping the sleep from their eyes and are shocked to see the evil that had been festering while they were not looking.
I have had countless media interviews, both in the ‘movement’ venues and in the mainstream where I have experienced a more sophisticated level of discourse than usual. One you might want to listen to is with David Swanson. Below is a video done by Roger Routh
My timing could not be better and I am happy to have had the opportunity to speak to so many people and to be making a modest contribution to this crucial discussion.
My mailing address until the end of May will be:
BRIAN TERRELL 06125-026
FEDERAL PRISON CAMP
P.O. BOX 700
YANKTON, SD 57078
Yankton is one of the more comfortable berths that the US penal system provides. Letters are welcome, but I may be limited in out-going mail. If you write, I will be especially anxious to hear about acts of resistance and peacemaking in your communities. If you are too busy working for peace to write to me, I will be just as grateful!
Betsy and the others here on the farm will see that my commissary account is provided for. To contribute to my needs in prison and to the ongoing work here in Maloy, please send checks to Strangers and Guests CW Farm, 108 Hillcrest Drive, Maloy, Iowa 50836.
As I go away I am especially grateful for support of Betsy and our grown children, Elijah and Clara, and to Veronica and Becky at the Farm. I go in solidarity with the many friends working for peace, those around the US, Europe, Pakistan resisting the drones and my colleagues in Voices for Creative Nonviolence, some who are right now in Gaza and in Iraq and with Catholic Workers everywhere. I go in solidarity with prisoners every place, my heart especially hurting for friends I marched with in the streets of Bahrain last February who are now in prison there enduring torture and abuse that I will not be facing in my more privileged cage in Yankton.
I go without regret and with only a little anxiety. I look forward to a time of reflection and contemplation after several busy years. Hold me in the light, as the Quakers say. My love and prayers are with you all.