Kathy Kelly and Georgia Walker found Guilty at Jefferson City Federal Court
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December 11, 2014 Voices for Creative Nonviolence 773 619 2418
Jefferson City, MO— On December 10, a federal magistrate found Georgia Walker, of Kansas City, MO and Chicagoan Kathy Kelly guilty of criminal trespass to a military installation as a result of their June 1 effort to deliver a loaf of bread and a citizens’ indictment of drone warfare to authorities at Whiteman AFB. Judge Matt Whitworth sentenced Kelly to three months in prison and Walker to one year of supervised probation.
In testimony, Kelly, who recently returned from Afghanistan, recounted her conversation with an Afghan mother whose son, a recent police academy graduate, was killed by a drone as he sat with colleagues in a garden. “I’m educated and humbled by experiences talking with people who’ve been trapped and impoverished by U.S. warfare,” said Kelly. “The U.S. prison system also traps and impoverishes people. In coming months, I’ll surely learn more about who goes to prison and why.”
During sentencing, prosecution attorneys asked that Walker be sentenced to five years of probation and banned from going within 500 feet of any military base. Judge Whitworth imposed a sentence of one year probation with a condition that Walker refrain from approaching any military base for one year. Walker coordinates an organization that provides re-entry services to newly released prisoners throughout Missouri. Noting that the condition to stay away from military bases will affect her ability to travel in the region, Walker expressed concern that this condition will limit her work among former prisoners.
Kelly’s work as a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence places her alongside people in a working class neighborhood of Kabul. She said that the day’s proceedings offered a valuable opportunity to shed light on experiences of Afghan families whose grievances are seldom heard. At the conclusion of the sentencing, Kelly said that every branch of U.S. government, including the judicial branch, shares responsibility for suffering caused when drones target and kill civilians.
Spending Time with People Trapped and Impoverished by Endless Wars
Abroad and at Home
Kathy Kelly Interviewed by Jerome McDonnell on NPR's Worldview
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Transcript by Voices for Creative Nonviolence
You’re listening to Worldview on WBEZ. I’m Jerome McDonnell. Activist Kathy Kelly is co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. She works to understand the lives of Afghans affected by war. With the Afghan Peace Volunteers, Kathy is recently back from her 16th visit to Afghanistan. Since the Obama administration extended U.S. troops to another year of combat in Afghanistan, she’s been sharing her thoughts on the effect of war on Afghan civilians. Thank for joining us again. Good to see you, Kathy Kelly.
Hello Jerome, good to be in your studio.
Tell us what you’ve been doing in Afghanistan. What do you do when you go work with Afghan Peace Volunteers there?
I think I mainly listen and learn...