King’s Bay Plowshares Update

Hello dear friends
Its been a long month that has only been bearable thanks to many of you that have decided to walk with us on this journey.
Mark and others were moved to a county detention center, on 5/7/2018, where people are held with less than a year to serve after conviction or have a pending trial.
If you wish to write to Mark you can send him a plain white pre-stamped post card. Pre-stamped postcards can be purchased at the post office.
You must only write in blue or black ink and It must have your return address or he won’t receive the postcard.
Mark Colville #015635

Glynn County Detention Center

100 Sulphur Springs Road,

Brunswick, GA 31520

5/10/18
They had their first appearance in court.
The important legal work that needed to happen was tabled for the next court date.
Their next court date was scheduled for 5/17/18.
5/17/18
They have their second court appearance.
Their court session started at 10 am and did not end until 7:30 pm.
It was a long day for them.
Jessica Stewart, a friend and member of the legal team sent this update of the day.
The reason for the long session was due to the members wishing to go proseé (defend themselves during their trial) had to be assessed for competency before being granted the request to defend themselves.
Hello Kings Bay Plowshares Supporters,
Our seven friends were arraigned yesterday in Brunswick, Georgia in the Southern District of Georgia Federal Court in front of Magistrate R. Stan Baker. All seven plead not guilty as expected. Except for Steve Kelly, who was not offered an option for pre trial release, they were offered the following strict conditions of release:
1. $50,000 surety, $5000 cash required to be posted
2. supervised release with home confinement & ankle bracelet
3. travel restricted to district(s) of residence and southern district of Georgia
4. passport surrender, and other restrictions.
As of right now, Martha Hennessy, Patrick O’Neill, and Carmen Trotta are willing to accept these conditions and hope to bond out and continue the witness by writing and speaking on the outside during the pretrial phase.  Liz McAlister, Clare Grady, and Mark Colville have decided, for the moment, not to bond out and accept these conditions. They may revisit this decision in the coming weeks or months.
The best way to support Mark, and our family/community would be to help us keep our doors open; financial donations to cover bills related to the ministering of the folks we serve at Amistad, your assistance in covering meals, working in the garden, and sorting donations that comes into Amistad.
The donations are then distributed to the wider community at no charge.
Friends of Amistad have the ability to do laundry, take showers, eat filling meals to sustain them throughout the day, so we could really use your help.
I have included in this email a reflection by Mark Colville, the link to the front page of the Tribune and Georgian that was published on the day of their indictment, a You tube video of our dear friend, Stephen Kobasa, being interviewed about the Kings Bay Plowshares, and a reflection that was printed in the New Haven Register, by our friend and clergy, Allie Perry, which you may have already received in a previous email.
A reflection from Mark Colville:
This was written after learning of the federal charges (handwritten on 3 postcards)
A BRIEF REACTION TO BEING CHARGED WITH 3 FELONIES AND A MISDEMEANOR BY THE U.S. DISTRICT COURT, BRUNSWICK COUNTY, GEORGIA
Thursday, May 3, 2018Once again, a federal court has plainly identified itself as another hall of the Pentagon by turning a blind eye to the criminal and murderous enterprise from which the Pentagon has repeatedly refused to desist for the past 73 years. According to international and constitutional law, both of which are binding and superceding law in all U.S. jurisdictions, the building and possession of first-strike nuclear weapons is a crime. Yet, apparently the U.S. District Court in Brunswick is content to let impunity and immunity reign supreme for those who would hold all of humanity hostage by terroristic threat, choosing instead to criminalize the right and duty of nonviolent resistance.

The destructive capacity of the D-5 missiles fitted for the six Trident submarines home-ported at Kings Bay is enough to kill an estimate of more than six billion people.* What the U.S. Attorney’s office asserts by the charges it brings today, and the charges it fails to bring, is that the genocide unleashed by the launching of those weapons will be a legally sanctioned event.

As a conscientious citizen of this planet, I refuse to accept the legitimacy of such a court, and I am proud to stand accused by it. In a spirit of hope and solidarity, then, I invite all who dare to dream with us of a future without a nuclear gun held to the heads of all our children, to stand in vigil with the Kings Bay Plowshares.

Mark Colville

5/10/18
Kings Bay Plowshares Indicted
This was on the first page of the cover of the Tribune and Georgian, the local paper where they are currently jailed.

https://www.tribune-georgian.com/news/federal-grand-jury-indicts-anti-nuke-activists

Stephen Kobasa was interviewed about the Kings Bay Plowshares:

Sacrificing Themselves to Warn Governments Risk Omnicide

Allie Perry’s reflection was printed in the New Haven Register
I would like to thank you again for all your help during this time.
We do not take this action lightly and invite you to contact us if you have any questions about the action after having reviewed all the information I have shared.
If you wish to no longer receive updates please do let me know.
No judgement here.
Checks can be made out to and sent to the Amistad Catholic Worker
Amistad Catholic Worker
If you are looking to help out by donating your time.
Here are a couple of options.
Just let me know what free time you have and I can help you figure out how best to use it.
We could use your help to serve a meal.
We serve two meals five days a week.
Monday through Friday
Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 am
Lunch: 12-1 pm
The prep, serving, and cleanup usually takes up to an hour, before and after, each meal.
You will not need to have any experience in helping with the meals.
We are not a shelter nor a soup kitchen, so it’s simple and you will be fulfilled by the experience.
You will be able to pickup the flow very easily even when it’s hectic
Your presence is key.
Everything else will come through practice.
You can help us by working in the Amistad community garden.
The garden is located a couple of properties down from us.
We have many tasks that need to be fulfilled like weeding, chopping wood (fire wood is used to heat up The Oasis retreat house in PA), watering and eventually harvesting the crops.
We’ve had the pleasure of having clients from CT Mental Health help us plant some seedlings last week, so we are well on our way to a fruitful harvest and ahead of schedule I will add.
We will provide tools needed to work in the garden.
We get a lot of donations that include clothing, household items, and furniture.
Sorting donations of clothing (this can be done anytime including nights and weekends)
You can help us by sorting clothes by gender and size.
We usually have requests for sizes from several individuals regularly then we put out the rest on Thursday morning during “Give and Take” at no charge.
You could help us by picking up furniture.
We have a truck that one can use to do the pickup but not always the muscle power needed.
The furniture picked up is given to individuals and families that are in need at no charge.
We are always looking for help  cutting up potatoes, onions and peppers for our breakfast potatoes. (This can be done any evening)
I don’t always have much energy to do this task every night, after a long day at work, and covering both meals.
When I don’t prep the potatoes I supplement the meal by making oats or grits to add onto the plate.
You can help us by keeping our front yard clean.
We get a lot of goods donated throughout the week, some items good and some not.
Sometimes there is so much that our front yard looks unkept.
We want to be great neighbors but it’s hard to keep up the yard when I’m by myself at the house.
I could use some help receiving/sorting perishable donations.
We get donations of perishable items from Bishops, Big Y, Stop and Shop, Whole Foods, and the Long Wharf produce market.
These deliveries come in on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays.
Monday night we get a delivery of bagged lunches through Midnight Run.
Some of these donations comes during the day and others at night.
There is a practical way to help offset our budget by picking up an item or two while you’re doing your shopping.
The Amistad budget is pretty huge due to the purchases we make weekly.
These items can be donated after making arrangements with me by texting/calling me at 203-812-0340, or coming during the meal hours when someone is definitely at the house.
These are the items that are usually found on my shopping list.
We could use the following items:
-Pancake mix-complete just add water version is preferable
-Pancake syrup
-Milk-we go through about 1 1/2 gallons at each breakfast hour aside from using it to make oats and grits
-Cereal-any cold cereal would help
-Oatmeal-Steel cut oats works best for the overnight crockpot oatmeal recipe, but I can use whatever you drop off
-Grits
-Margarine – we use both margarine sticks and the tub version.
-Coffee
-Creamer-powdered preferred
-Sugar-we go through a 25 pound bag every week
-Napkins
-Rolls of paper towels
-Toilet tissue

-Cans of evaporated milk

-Powdered juice mix
-Eggs- we go through about seven dozens eggs a week, for breakfast sandwiches and the french toast batter.
-Pasta sauce
-Pasta
-Rice
-Beans
-Tomato sauce
Well I feel overwhelmed having put his email together and thank you for your patience and willingness to receive the updates.
Looking forward to hearing from you in any capacity you are wishing to share or communicate with me.
I talk to Mark several times a week so feel free to send me a message you wish for me to share with Mark the next I talk to him.

Thank you

Luz Catarineau-Colville
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Block Party 2017

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the annual Amistad Catholic Worker Block Party on Saturday, with special thanks to Paul Bronson and Vertical Church of West Haven, who blessed us with a beautiful grill!

The grill was certainly busy as it helped our hard working grill masters make lunch and dinner. The food was plentiful, nutritious and delicious: corn on the cobb, pasta salad, pasta with and without meat sauce, hamburgers, hot dogs, sliders, rice and beans, cakes, cupcakes, watermelon, cookies, and a donation of pizza!

There was also a popcorn, cotton candy and sno-cone truck, horseshoe game, bounce house, and a sprinkler that kids could run through.

Everything started with a moving prayer service at 11am and the party went from 12-9pm. If you were unable to make it out this year, consider coming out July of 2018 to celebrate with Amistad!

Block Party.jpg

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Work for Mercy

Work for Mercy-Video

Above is the link to a song that I wrote, inspired by the great work of the Amistad Catholic Worker House. The lyrics are as follows:

Dorothy Day and MLK
Showed us a different way.
March for jobs, help the poor
Don’t go around starting wars.
We believe this legacy is to build
Beloved communities.
Reach for me, I’ll reach for you
Together we will make it through.

Chorus: Until all non-violent prisoners are free
Every day that we breathe we will work for mercy.
And no one in this world should go hungry
You don’t have to worry we will work for mercy.
Work for mercy.

They can’t build a wall to keep out love,
Our mandate is from God above.
Ban humans, keep us apart,
But the evil lives within their hearts.
We’ll rise up, we will stand tall
Justice be done though the heavens fall!
-Chorus-
I may be black, you may be white
That doesn’t mean we have to fight.
There’s no such thing as might makes right,
We won’t back down, we’ll take back the night.
And we might not always agree
But we can live in harmony
Cuz I need you, and you need me.
Doing this work is gonna make us free.

-Chorus, Repeat Chorus and fade-

 

2017.  Sarah Mckenzie Raven

This song would not have been possible without the labor, guitar and background vocals of Brian C. Granger and the use of the audio studio at the Lawrence Kansas Public Library.

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Meaningful Work

Schedule Updates:

There is a Foot Care Clinic This Saturday at 5:30pm- Dinner included.

The summer dinner schedule for kids (under 18) is from 5:15-5:45PM Mon-Fri. Through August 18th.

The Annual Block Party (in front of Amistad) is Saturday July 29th. It begins with a short prayer service at 11AM and the party continues until 9PM. EVERYONE is invited!

 

 

Meaningful Work:  Community Based Activism and Theology

by, S. Raven

On Sunday July 16th, Michael Littig with The Uprising and Mark Fisher Fitness hosted a salon featuring activist and public theologian Mark Colville in New York City.  Mark was joined by his wife Luz and his son Justin.  The subject of the salon was, “How to take meaningful action in our society.”  If anyone knows something about meaningful action it is Mark Colville, a man who has dedicated his entire life to the service of others.  Mark and Luz met in the Bronx as young adults doing community organizing at her former elementary school.  They married and together founded the Amistad Catholic Worker House in New Haven CT in 1994.

Both Mark and Luz described the challenges and blessings that come along with the work they have chosen- work that is not just professional but very personal as well.

Mark explained that his faith journey is what lead him to the work that he is doing.  He never intended to be a political player, however the actions for peace and justice that he has been involved in are often interpreted as being political.  He had to look at himself and ask, “Who am I?” “Where am I going?” “Who am I supporting?”  This deep level of introspection is not surprising for anyone who knows this self-proclaimed introvert.  Despite his introversion, Mark manages to speak out against injustice wherever he goes, and like Saint Francis he preaches the gospel all times (with his actions) and only uses words when necessary.  In recent years Mark has been a part of: the #BlackLivesMatter movement, support for the Standing Rock Sioux against the illegal oil pipeline, support for the name change of Calhoun College at Yale, on-going support for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, worker’s rights, undocumented immigrants, and of course anti-war/anti-drone demonstrations. Whew! If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. On top of all of the peace and justice movements he is a part of/supports, Mark somehow finds time to cook meals at Amistad with the help of Luz and other community members.

Mark also hinted at very deep theological and philosophical positions, and unfortunately there was not nearly enough time for him to flesh those out in great detail. He described God’s preferential option for the poor with the image: “God sees the world through the eyes of the poor.” And here Mark was not only talking about the economically disadvantaged but also the poor in quality of life; the disinherited and oppressed.

During the Q&A when Mark was asked about where he sees the line between his own autonomy and surrendering to God’s divine plan, Mark struggled to answer. The struggle was there because for Mark this is a false dichotomy. He is fully an individual who operates out of his own free-will, and fully surrenders to God. There is no line of demarcation between the two. As he explained, “I meet God in my conscience.” There, in his conscience is where the impetus and mandate to act on the behalf of others comes from. But he went further to describe a community conscience whereby he discusses actions with Luz and other community members before he takes them. He therefore does not see himself as a single actor moving forward by his own steam, but a part of a broader community that supports and reinforces the work that he participates in through the grace of God.

One thing that struck me by his talk was the overwhelming humility that came through in everything Mark said. He is so modest and unassuming that I imagine he is really going to dislike the fact that I have written an entire article about the talk he gave. But it is important that this modern philosopher/theologian/activist/hash-slinger’s words and actions be passed on to the next generation and anyone that is yearning for deeper meaning in their lives, anyone who is searching for a way to live authentically and to the betterment of their community.

To find out more about the great work of the Amistad Catholic Worker House, or to get involved, contact them at:

The Amistad Catholic Worker

203 Rosette Street, New Haven, CT, 06519

amistadcwh@yahoo.com; (203)415-589619225250_10213356252522979_4799981223842511112_n

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As The Cold Weather Descends…

As the cold weather descends, we at the Amistad Catholic Worker invite you to join in an urgent work of mercy…

Almost two years ago, a movement for justice, human rights and refuge for the homeless began at our table here at Amistad; a campaign called “Where, Then, Shall We Go?”  which brought together a strong coalition of concerned citizens, both homeless and housed. It started as a response to proposed legislation being scheduled for deliberation at New Haven’s Board of Alders, which would have imposed a 10pm curfew on the New Haven Green, along with the City’s enforcement of its seasonal policy of closing the overflow shelter, sending more than a hundred additional people to New Haven’s streets on a nightly basis.  Through several months of action which included marches on City Hall, press conferences, meetings with Mayor Harp, the claiming of unused public land as places of refuge for people with nowhere to go, and denouncing city development plans which failed to address the dire need to increase the low income housing stock, we were able to expose and decry several intolerable realities in our city that still need to be changed.  Among these realities:

  

  1. Not only are there not enough shelter beds to accommodate the entire homeless population in our midst, but the City has no intention of either acknowledging or addressing that obligation.  As we were literally told at Mayor Harp’s office in July 2014, the City has no answer to the question: “Where, then, shall we go?”
  2. Economic reality in our city and state- namely, the vast shortage of jobs that pay a living wage- combined with dwindling housing subsidies an uptick in gentrification plans which leave the poor behind, have created a permanent underclass of people in our urban centers who will remain homeless on any/every given night.  As long as these conditions persist, efforts to find scarce apartments for people who are currently homeless, while crucial and necessary, will never eradicate homeless.  Only systemic change can achieve that.
  3. IN NEW HAVEN, THERE IS NO PLACE FOR A PERSON WITHOUT SHELTER TO GO WHERE THE LAW PROTECTS THEM FROM ARREST, HARASSMENT, OR EVICTION. The failure of New Haven to provide adequate shelter, combined with it’s refusal to recognize the right of homeless people to take refuge, together, on unused public land, effectually criminalizes homelessness.
  4. The United Nations Universal Declaration On Human Rights has expressly condemned policies and laws that are currently enforced in cities throughout the United States, including New Haven, that criminalize homelessness.

Many who share the table here at Amistad have, on their own initiative, assumed leadership roles in the “Where, Then, Shall We Go” campaign, exposing the hardships that homeless people in New Haven face by having their legal status constantly jeopardized.  Regrettably, their efforts have not yet resulted in a commitment from the city government to implement even the simple policy changes which would decriminalize their homelessness.  On the contrary, it has come to light now that some in positions of power in our city are renewing their pursuit of legislation imposing a curfew on the Green.

In light of this continuing and intolerable situation, we’ve begun a community project meant to respond to the immediate needs of our friends who now face another harsh Winter on the streets, in the way, on the margins, and quite probably entangled in the criminal justice system.  Through the grace and diligence of volunteers from several area churches, a large (16’x16’) wooden platform has been built aboveground in the backyard of the Amistad house of hospitality.  Now we want to raise a shelter around that floor, one that is sturdy, insulated, environmentally responsibly built, and welcoming to friends and strangers in need of emergency hospitality. 

Can you help?  We’re looking for friends to join us on Saturday, November 7, at 9am, to begin this project.  If you have any particular skills related to building things, this would be most welcome.  We also need to raise at least $1000 to cover the building costs.  Please contact us if you’d like to be involved.  (To make a donation, checks can be made payable to Amistad Catholic Worker, or you can go to our website and use the Paypal donation button:  amistadcw.wordpress.com).

Thank you.  Peace and Blessings….

The Amistad Catholic Worker

203 Rosette Street, New Haven, CT, 06519

amistadcwh@yahoo.com; (203)415-5896

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Thursday: A Festival of Hope

The Amistad Catholic Worker invites you to join us in celebration of our confrontation with the principalities and powers in resistance to endless war and illegal drone strikes.

This Thursday, November 20th, we will gather in hope, in celebration and in resistance, at St. Anthony Church, 25 Gold St. (off of Washington Avenue), New Haven, 6:30pm.  There will be plenty of food and fun.  Mark Colville of the Amistad community will speak about drones and their victims, his nonviolent act of resistance and trial, and how the courts are colluding with the Pentagon to keep this murderous program beyond the reach of law.  We will also discuss the challenges ahead for the Amistad community, and how we can face those challenges together.
*****
There will also be a performance: Orkestar BAM (https://orkestarbam.bandcamp.com/album/fahrrad-glockenspiel-polizeiwill play a half-hour set around 8:00. Expect yummy Puerto Rican food!
*****
On September 18, 2014, Mark was convicted on five criminal charges for walking peacefully to the front gate of the 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Airfield in Syracuse, NY, along with YDS students Creighton Chandler and Greg Williams, to deliver a People’s Order Of Protection For The Children OfAfghanistan.  Mark and his family/community are preparing for his sentencing on December 3rd, in a court that has gone to extreme lengths to justify the U.S. government’s extrajudicial killing and crimes against humanity perpetrated through weaponized drone strikes.  Before the trial, Judge Robert Jokl threatened to give Mark the maximum penalty allowable, which could amount to more than two years in prison.
*****
Note: As you who have supported us in the past know, this situation has placed a stress on the life of the Amistad Catholic Worker, and with Mark away it will continue to increase. We need people to think of ways to help us, both financially and by lending a hand to our work of hospitality. Please put some prayerful  consideration into this, and join us if you can! For more information, call Frances Goekler-Morneau:  (203)676-2066; (203)562-6165

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Mark speaks against the drones

Mark will be speaking on this topic all across upstate New York over the course of the next week.

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