41 Hearts Beating in Guantanamo

Photo: Witness Against Torture protestors march to the White House (Justin Norman)

by Kathy Kelly – January 13, 2018

January 11, 2018 marked the 16th year that Guantanamo prison has exclusively imprisoned Muslim men, subjecting many of them to torture and arbitrary detention.

About thirty people gathered in Washington D.C., convened by Witness Against Torture, (WAT), for a weeklong fast intended to close Guantanamo and abolish torture forever. read more

Death at the Gate – Ken Hannaford-Ricardi in Kabul

January 2018

The number of visitors passing through the Afghan Peace Volunteers’ (APVs’) Borderfree Nonviolence Community Center in Kabul is incredible. Each afternoon, nearly sixty high-school-age students attend free classes to prepare them for the rigorous KanKor test, required of every Afghan desiring to attend public university. By 8:00 this morning, women from neighboring districts had begun arriving on foot, by taxi, or on bicycle, bringing hand-sewn duvets which the young APV’s read more

Welcome to Kabul – Ken Hannaford-Ricardi


Our friend Ken Hannaford-Ricardi writes from Kabul, where he represents Voices for Creative Nonviolence as a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers. The 2010 photo of Kabul traffic is by Voices friend and delegate Mike Ferner.

December 31, 2017

It is a dream come true being back among friends in Kabul! Streams of dented Toyotas (They are all Toyotas!) with windscreens cracked like bolts of lightning still jockey for position on roads where traffic lights and common sense hold little sway. Carts read more

Remaining Peaceful Was Their Choice

December 31, 2017

People living now in Yemen’s third largest city, Ta’iz, have endured unimaginable circumstances for the past three years. Civilians fear to go outside lest they be shot by a sniper or step on a land mine. Both sides of a worsening civil war use Howitzers, Kaytushas, mortars and other missiles to shell the city. Residents say no neighborhood is safer than another, and human rights groups report appalling violations, including torture of captives. Two days ago, a Saudi-led read more

Stepping Stones to Change – Carolyn Coe

Photo: Mursal interacts with her teacher Naser during a Friday afternoon Bridge class, a class to encourage soon-to-be Street Kid School graduates to volunteer at the Borderfree Centre. Photo credit: Carolyn Coe

Carolyn Coe, representing Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org), writes from Kabul. While there, she is a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers (www.ourjourneytosmile.com).

December 2017

Amrullah has a small frame and a soft voice. He used to have a reputation as a fighter and would read more

Let Yemenis Live


Let Yemenis Live

by Kathy Kelly

December 23, 2017

On May 2, 2017, before becoming Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as Minister of Defense, spoke about the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen, a war he orchestrated since March of 2015. “A long war is in our interest,” he said, explaining that the Houthi rebels would eventually run out of cash, lack external supplies read more

The Quality of Mercy

The Quality of Mercy
by Kathy Kelly

November 21, 2017

During the spring of 1999, as part of Voices in the Wilderness’s campaign to end indiscriminately lethal U.S./U.N. economic sanctions against Iraq, the Fellowship of Reconciliation arranged for two Nobel Peace laureates, Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire, to visit the country. Before their travel, Voices activists helped organize meetings for them with a range of ordinary Iraqis affected by an economic warfare targeting the most vulnerable: read more

From the Ground Up

Photo: Masoumah invites Afghan mothers to speak about difficulties they face (credit: APVs)

October 30, 2017

On a recent Friday at the Afghan Peace Volunteers‘ (APV) Borderfree Center, here in Kabul, thirty mothers sat cross-legged along the walls of a large meeting room. Masoumah, who co-coordinates the Center’s “Street Kids School” project, had invited the mothers to a parents meeting. Burka-clad women who wore the veil over read more

Wrongful Rhetoric and Trump’s Strategy on Iran

October 14, 2017

Mordechai Vanunu was imprisoned in Israel for eighteen years because he blew the whistle on Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program. He felt he had “an obligation to tell the people of Israel what was going on behind their backs” at a supposed nuclear research facility which was actually producing plutonium for nuclear weapons. His punishment for breaking the silence about Israel’s capacity to manufacture nuclear weapons included eleven years of solitary confinement.

Yesterday, read more

Great Hunger – by Kathy Kelly

October 3, 2017

Earlier this year, the Sisters of St. Brigid invited me to speak at their Feile Bride celebration in Kildare, Ireland. The theme of the gathering was: “Allow the Voice of the Suffering to Speak.”

The Sisters have embraced numerous projects to protect the environment, welcome refugees and nonviolently resist wars. I felt grateful to reconnect with people who so vigorously opposed any Irish support for U.S. military wars in Iraq. They had also campaigned to end the economic read more