WCW Home Take Action Petitions & Letters to Sign 1/14/21 Writing Letters to the Plowshares 7
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From KingsBayPlowshares7.org

"I'm Going In There With Hope" - Patrick O'Neill

Driving through Ohio, about to begin a 14-month sentence for his part in the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 disarmament action Patrick O'Neill didn't sound like someone about to enter federal prison within minutes. "I'm going in there with hope. There's cause for optimism right now."

At 2 pm, Patrick O'Neill walked into the Federal Correction Institution (FCI) Elkton, in Lisbon, OH. He has already served 7-1/2 weeks pretrial. He should be released in 11 months with good-time credit. He might also get an early release to a halfway house. This father of eight, grandfather of 2, and devoted spouse of Mary Rider may be there until November.

Patrick called Steve Dear, his good friend of 40 years, to share his thoughts on what's ahead. "I'm ready to make some new friends, to tell you the truth. I want to start a book club reading Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. I'm going to join or start a prayer group right away."

"Another hopeful sign is January 22 when the Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons goes into full force. We have the rule of law banning nuclear weapons. And Pope Francis has completely and totally established the church's position that nuclear weapons are sinful. He's basically saying what (Jesuit Father) Dick McSorley said: 'It's a sin to build a nuclear weapon.' He's not talking about deterrence and some timeline. He's saying these things have got to go. I feel empowered by all that. We have some of the most important moral figures in the world speaking our language and now the law is on our side. I'm going to take a copy of the treaty in there with me and share it with the guys and maybe have a study session on it." (To find out about local US actions to plug into on Jan. 22, visit the NuclearResister.org website).

"I run every day. I might be running in place for a few weeks. It might be weeks before I get outside and get some sunshine. I might be in solitary (for COVID quarantine - 2 or 3 weeks). I'm not really fearful. I'm going in there with hope."

"One of the things that makes going to prison manageable and easier for me is the support of my family and friends. Thank you to everyone who is sharing in this journey with me."

Clare Grady is planning a Festival of Hope on Sunday, Feb. 7th, sometime in the afternoon, before she begins her sentence on Feb.10th. Her guests, including possible Irish Parliamentarian Clare Daly and First Nation Women leaders working to stop nuclear weapons and dumping, are to be announced soon. Watch for the next update. Clare's been assigned FCI Alderson, West Virginia, to begin a 12 month and 1-day sentence. She's already served 3-1/2 months pretrial and with good-time, she may be released after 6 or 7 months. She'll be traveling from Ithaca, NY with her family to report. Clare served 1 1/2 years at Alderson in 1984-85 for her part in the Griffiss Plowshares Action in Rome, NY with Liz McAlister.

Carmen Trotta and Martha Hennessy began their sentences on Dec. 14. They were quarantined for the first three weeks but are now settling into the prison routine. You can send our friends letters on white paper with blue or black ink but no drawings or colors. Use your full name in the return address. We are checking what else they may receive. Please check our website for any updates. You can read their prison reports at https://kingsbayplowshares7.org/category/jail-reflections/

Carmen Trotta #22561-021
FCI Otisville
Federal Correctional Institution
Satellite Camp
PO Box 1000
Otisville, NY 10963

Martha Hennessy #22560-021
FCI Danbury
Route 37
Danbury, CT 06811

Patrick O'Neill #14924-018
FCI Elkton
Federal Correction Institution
PO Box 10
Lisbon, OH 44432

Fr. Steve Kelly is still in the process of being transported in federal custody from Georgia to Tacoma, WA to appear in court for a probation violation. He completed his 33-month sentence for the Kings Bay Plowshares action in county jails prior to sentencing. We do not have any current address for him at this time. He sent this message from jail on Dec. 9, "Let's go back to the bedrock basics. We have the Isaiah 2:4 imperative of conversion. Let's continue to be open for inspiration and help each other to be God's instruments, in going from war to peace." He also said that he feels things are moving along slowly but satisfactorily.

Mark Colville is the only defendant not sentenced yet. He has already served 15 months pretrial in Camden and Glynn county jails. Mark received word from Judge Lisa Godbey Wood on Dec. 8th that she has granted him another stay of sentencing until Friday, Feb. 19 at 10 am. Mark will not waive his right to be sentenced in person before Judge Wood. Due to the pandemic, if Mark leaves Connecticut he must quarantine for 14 days upon return. Mark can't afford that time now as he's been the medically designated driver for his nephew Alexander, taking him 3 times a week for dialysis from New Haven to Hartford.

Liz McAlister was sentenced in June to the 17 months she had served pretrial with Mark and Fr. Steve in the two Georgia county jails. She just celebrated her 81st birthday in November. She participated in the Griffiss Plowshares action at the AFB in Rome N.Y. on Thanksgiving Day, 1983, and was sentenced to 3 years in FCI Alderson, W. Virginia. Liz is doing well despite living under 3 years of supervised probation restrictions in New London, Connecticut with her family.
 
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