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Third of Saint Patrick's Four Sentenced
Teresa Grady: Friday, Jan. 27th, '06 11:30 am
1-Article: Mother and Activist, Clare Grady, Sentenced in Federal Court, by Katie Quinn-Jacobs
2-An old note from Peter DeMott, via Sheila Parks
Clare Grady : Sentenced to 6 months- Federal Prison.
By Mary Anne Grady Flores
My sister Clare began her statement in the court today by thanking Judge McAvoy for the leniency that he showed in sentencing Peter DeMott, our brother-in-law, because Peter's brother, Fr. Steve DeMott, Maryknoll Missioner, is battling terminal brain cancer. Peter is Steve's health care proxy for this second bout of cancer.
Clare addressed the Federal District Attorney, Miroslov Lovric, correcting his description of an action she participated in, back in 1983, as blowing up a plane, equating her and the group as "terrorists". She stated that she wanted everyone to be very clear that they did not blow up a plane. She said that she and her codefendants hammered on the side of the B52 bomber (a 1st strike weapon system-illegal under international law) with house hold hammers. She said that there was a statement calling her group terrorists, and that when Judge Howard Munson of the Federal Court in Syracuse was asked about the truth of this statement, he responded that they (the Griffis Plowshares) were "no more terrorists than his mother." Clare insisted that words be used carefully and accurately when describing what had happened.
When addressing the characterization, by Mr. Lovric, that the defendants were teaching their children contempt and arrogance towards the law, Clare began by asking her daughter's Rosie and Leah to stand. She shared that she has taught her daughters to love one another, to treat others as they would want to be treated and to love their enemies. She has taught them to have respect for law as it upholds life. On the issue of arrogance, Clare said that the St. Pat's 4 came to the military recruiter's station with humility and vulnerability, kneeling and praying after pouring the blood, ready and willing to be accountable personally for their actions. They were ready to be tried, taken to jail, separated from family and loved ones, from a position of vulnerability, not from a position of power and arrogance. Clare quickly ended by quoting Dr. Martin Luther King.
"There is nothing wrong with a traffic law which says you have to stop for a red light. But when a fire is raging, the fire truck goes right through the red light......Or, when a person is bleeding to death, the ambulance goes through those red lights at top speed...... Disinherited people all over the world are bleeding to death from deep social and economic wounds. They need brigades of ambulance drivers who will have to ignore the red lights of the present system until the emergency is solved.......Massive civil disobedience is a strategy for social change which is at least as forceful as an ambulance with it's sirens on full." (READ ARTICLE BELOW)
January 25, 2006
Mother and Activist, Clare Grady,
Sentenced in Federal Court
by Katie Quinn-Jacobs
"As a mother who knows the preciousness of children, not just mine, but all children. I want the court to understand that before we walked into the recruiting station [March 17, 2003] a million people had already died in Iraq from U.S. imposed sanctions, half of them children," said Clare Grady as she testified at her sentencing today in Binghamton federal court.
Grady was sentenced to six months of federal prison and ordered to pay her share of restitution for participating in a symbolic act of non-violent resistance at a military recruiting station outside Ithaca, NY on the eve of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Grady's two daughters, Leah Sayvets, 16, and Teresa Rose Sayvets, 14, stood in the court gallery as their mother spoke, "We are raising our children to love God and one another. Not to kill or cooperate with killing. To know that law is here to uphold life and not the other way around. We would like to teach our children to act from their conscience, responsibly, and for the greater good."
Last September, a federal jury found Clare Grady, Danny Burns, Teresa Grady and Peter DeMott, (known as the St. Patrick's Four) not guilty of federal conspiracy charges, but guilty on the misdemeanor counts held against them. The federal case was the second time the Four had been tried for the same incident. Their state level trial ended in a mistrial when the jury could not come to a decision, splitting their vote nine to three in favor of the defendants. The federal prosecutor picked up the case after it was brought to their attention by former Tompkins County District Attorney, George Dentes.
During the federal trial last fall, Grady informed the jury about her travel to Iraq before the war in 2002. She had met with a group of Iraqi mothers during the trip and spoke with them through an interpreter. After the women described the hardships of living under U.S. sanctions, they asked Grady about her own children. When she showed them a picture of her two daughters, the Iraqi women kissed the each of the girls in the photo before handing it back to her. Grady then asked the jury to consider "the love that's necessary to make that bridge."
The encounter with the Iraqi women was what drove Grady to carry photographs of mothers and children to the recruiting station during the act of civil disobedience that ultimately brought her, almost three years later, into federal court in Binghamton, NY. When Grady attempted to enter the photos as evidence for the jury during her federal trial, the judge denied her submission. But today in court, Judge McAvoy accepted a packet of 102 photographs with the names and ages of New York State military who had died in Iraq from Grady.
Judge Thomas J. McAvoy stated this morning that he feared anarchy would ensue if others followed Grady's example. Prior to pronouncing the court's sentence on her the judge emphasized his duty to protect the public from Grady's unlawful actions.
Grady said, "I go to jail as part of the public discourse about the war in Iraq."
Paul Sayvets, Clare Grady's husband, was joined by dozens of his wife's supporters today. Before being handcuffed, Grady blew kisses to the crowd of family and friends assembled in the courtroom.
Katie Quinn-Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Ithaca, NY. For more information on the St. Patrick's Four, see http://www.stpatricksfour.org
A old note from Peter DeMott via Sheila Parks.
Many years ago, more than twenty, Peter either gave this to me or gave it to our Plowshares group. I really loved it. Then I lost it and could not find it and Peter could not either. I have found it again a while ago through a google search. Have sent it out this morning to a lot of people, for every reason, and now to you.
THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no person could have dreamed would have come their way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." Sometimes attributed to Goethe, sometimes not.
Have a bold and miracle filled day.
Expect a miracle