Local anti-nuclear activist awaits federal trial from her West Hill home

first_img“This choice to do the Kings Bay Plowshares symbolic disarmament is very familiar and very old for me, it’s part of my lineage,” she said, but is also a step toward “attending to what I had been leaving out a lot, to my shame, which had been racial justice in my community.” Her brother and sister joined a Plowshares action in Connecticut, and soon Clare followed suit. Carried out on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the action was not only about the threat nuclear weapons pose to people “over there,” Grady said. The action was meant to address how nuclear weapons are used daily to uphold injustice at home. Grady holds a banner at the Kings Bay administration building. (Provided photo) Grady found the action empowering. “I realized, ‘Oh, they’re not asking the government to do anything. They’re doing it.’” Racism, extreme materialism, militarism – Dr. King called these the “giant triplets” that must be conquered in his 1967 speech condemning the Vietnam War. ITHACA, N.Y. – In the early morning hours of April 4, 2018, Clare Grady arrived at the Kings Bay Naval Base on the coast of Georgia, where the Trident nuclear missile system is stored. She’d traveled there with six other anti-nuclear activists, but they parted ways in the parking lot: two to a monument to nuclear weapons, three to the bunkers where weapons are stored. “They walked into that courtroom singing Irish rebellion songs. They walked in with joy, and to declare that joy to the jury,” she said. When the verdicts came back not guilty, the gallery broke into song again with a rendition of “Amazing Grace.” “It is not another person, but maybe the institution that represents you, or certainly with your government doing something with your money in your name, that’s yours to change. And if your church is doing something in your name, that’s yours to change.” A Family History of Activism “We repent of the sin of white supremacy that oppresses and takes the lives of people of color here in the United States and throughout the world,” the Kings Bay action statement prepared by Grady and her six compatriots reads. “We resist militarism that has employed deadly violence to enforce global domination. We believe reparations are required for stolen land, labor and lives.” “I was born into a family of faith-based resisters,” Grady said. The judge presiding over the case has spent months deliberating on a Religious Freedom Restoration Act motion to dismiss all charges on the basis that the co-defendants’ actions were an expression of religious beliefs. A date is not yet set, but a trial is expected to begin in Georgia this spring. The group’s symbolic disarmament took aim not just at the Trident system’s potential, but at its everyday use. “It’s not just if we launch these weapons,” Grady said, “but how they are used every day like a cocked gun. Even if you never pull the trigger, you are using that gun.” The Grady family moved to Ithaca shortly after the trial, more than four decades ago. John taught at Ithaca College while expanding the scope of his activism from war protests to prison abolition. Clare brought a film about the Attica Prison uprising into Ithaca High School and was disheartened by “academic” critiques of its composition. She felt stifled. Tagged: anti-nuclear activism, clare grady, kings bay 7, Kings Bay Plowshares Nuclear Disarmament Case, plowshares “That was a formative thing in my life. For all of us five kids,” Clare said. Mary Anne Grady Flores, the eldest of the kids, was 14 at the time. She remembers her dad as a savvy strategist who invited jurors to take notes and ask questions, and the group of co-defendants claiming power in the courtroom. Grady’s first memories of a courtroom date to 1971. She was 12, living in a 12-story building in the Bronx in a family of eight. Her father was an organizer first and sociologist second, working on the periphery of several draft board raids as J. Edgar Hoover cracked down on Vietnam protesters. Her mother, Teresa, used yoga breathing techniques to calm her sister, also Teresa, after a harrowing encounter with FBI agents in the building elevator. When agents knocked on the apartment door, her nana said in a thick Irish brogue, “Go away will ya.” Her family drew her back to Ithaca, but would also continue to push her toward activism as Clare worked to determine what she would compromise on and what she would confront relentlessly. Grady, 60, a longtime Ithaca Catholic Worker, and Martha Hennessey, granddaughter of Dorothy Day, headed toward the Strategic Weapons Facility, Atlantic building, the base’s administrative headquarters. It was dark, but they were in plain sight. There were workers in the parking lot, workers inside the building, Grady said in a retelling of the action featured on Democracy Now. With Hennessey, Grady strung crime scene tape across the door to the building and hung an indictment for war crimes. The two poured small vials of their blood on the ground. They held a banner reading, “The Ultimate Logic of Trident: Omnicide,” and spray painted the walkway, “Love One Another.” At the Griffiss Airforce Base in Rome, New York, Grady hammered on a B-52 re-equipped to carry missiles in 1983. At an Army recruiting center in Lansing, New York, she spilled her blood with a group called the St. Patrick’s Four in 2004. She served two years in federal prison in West Virginia and six months in Philadelphia for each action. At her West Hill house, Grady finds herself in a familiar place. April 4, 2018 was not the first time Grady spilled her blood at a military site, and it’s not the first time she’s staring down a lengthy federal prison sentence. The legacy of faith-based resistance runs deep in her family, and she feels her parents’ commitment to justness “almost like cellular memory.” Grady and Hennessey waited while security guards drove by and left them alone. They joined Mark Colville and Patrick O’Neill at “the shrine” to nuclear missiles, as they call an on-site monument. They waited while security guards passed en route to the bunker, where Carmen Trotta, Elizabeth McAlister and Steve Kelly were the first to be arrested. Devon Magliozzi A year after the action, the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 are facing charges of conspiracy, destruction of property on a naval installation, depredation of government property and trespass – charges carrying up to 25 years in federal prison. McAlister, Kelly and Colville remain in Glynn County Jail while Trotta, Hennessey, O’Neill and Grady are awaiting trial from their homes on $50,000 bonds, wearing ankle monitors. All are prepared to fight an application of the law that they consider unjust, to stand up for what Grady calls “the supreme laws of the land” that prohibit weapons of mass destruction. She canvassed with the United Farm Workers in California and learned how the labor movement had compromised on racial justice. She dallied with college courses in New York City while enmeshed in a circle of Chilean artists and activists. “Suddenly I’m in another world,” she said of her transition from what she remembers as a 10 percent white school in the Bronx to a 90 percent white school in Ithaca. “I couldn’t wait to leave.” As much as Kings Bay is a continuation of her life’s work, though, Grady is trying to change the peace movement from within, too. The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 carried out their symbolic disarmament on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. (Provided photo) The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 carried out their symbolic disarmament on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. (Provided photo) In addition to her ankle monitor, Grady has a curfew and needs permission to travel outside the Ithaca area. These restrictions have scarcely cut into her local organizing work, though. ‘When bloodshed is being carried out in my name, I need to not just talk about (it)’ The Trident missile system, Grady said, “is a weapon of force in a whole sequence of weapons, down to the police gun on the street, to enforce the systems of white supremacy and global capitalism, which all lead to environmental destruction.” What’s yours to change? For Grady, the answer is expansive. Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] or 607-391-0328. More by Devon Magliozzi Grady learned of the Plowshares movement soon after it launched in 1980, when a group of activists hammered on nose cones in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and invoked the book of Isaiah’s exhortation to “beat swords into plowshares.” Preparing for Trial in Ithaca As Grady readies for her case to be heard, a group of organizers is coordinating support for her and her six co-defendants. A petition has been circulated to peace activists around the world, with signatures from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rev. Dr. William Barber, and four other Nobel Laureates. Addressed to Attorney General William Barr, the petition asks for the charges against the Kings Bay 7 to be dismissed. “We who share the moral vision of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 proclaim our support for their courage and sustained sacrifice and call for the immediate dismissal of all charges against them. The defendants invite us to act creatively. They invite us to join global coalitions working to promote governments’ adherence to, and full implementation of, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” it reads. Clare remembers hearing Howard Zinn testify that the war in Vietnam was about resource extraction. She remembers hearing Elizabeth Good, a mother who’d lost her son in the war, sobbing before resolving to testify. She remembers the pandemonium that enveloped the gallery as the jury read not guilty after not guilty for each of the counts faced by each of the defendants. Featured image: Clare Grady at her West Hill home. (Devon Magliozzi/The Ithaca Voice) But Grady wasn’t worried about getting caught. Following a family legacy of Catholic resistance, Grady considers anti-nuclear actions and their adjudication to be part of bearing witness to government violence. “These actions were similar concrete expressions of my religious belief that when bloodshed is being carried out in my name, I need to not just talk about (it) but also and importantly take action which clearly manifests my withdrawal of consent to such bloodshed,” Grady wrote in an affidavit submitted ahead of the Kings Bay trial. When John Peter Grady stood trial as one of the Camden 28, a group infiltrated by an FBI informant and charged for destroying draft files, Teresa brought the five kids to watch. After nearly two decades of working at Loaves & Fishes, Grady is well connected to social justice and religious groups beyond the Catholic Workers and her home parish of Immaculate Conception. She participated in the Shawn Greenwood Working Group, which pushed for truth and accountability after Ithaca police shot and killed a black man. She worked toward school equity following allegations of racial discrimination in the district. She routinely participates in interfaith discussions around indigenous claims to land and sovereignty.last_img read more

Troy University’s Baylee Smith crowned Miss Alabama USA

first_imgSkip Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson By The Penny Hoarder Published 3:00 am Tuesday, November 8, 2016 Smith is no stranger to pageants. She competed in high school pageants in her hometown of Tuscaloosa. She competed in the teen division of Miss Alabama USA for two years. “My sister talked me into being in the Miss Alabama USA competition three weeks ago so I had to really rush to get ready.”The Miss Alabama USA pageant has several phases of competition – interview, evening gown, swimsuit and on-stage questions.“I can talk to anybody,” Smith said. “I never meet a stranger. I think the interview was the strongest part of the competition for me.” Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Print Article Book Nook to reopen Email the author Smith was on cloud nine Monday and her excitement could only be tempered by an already busy calendar.“For me, this is a dream come true,” Smith said. “Even as a little girl I dreamed of something like this. To be Miss Alabama USA, how cool is that?”Smith’s platform for the 2017 Miss Alabama USA competition was anti-bulling.“To have the opportunity to travel around the state talking with young people about bulling is very important to me,” she said. “This is something important that I can do — something that I can do to, hopefully, make a difference. It’s important to me that I give back to my community – to my state.” You Might Like Relay for Life kicks off with Men in Pink wrap-up party SARHA CEO John Little poses with his award for raising the most money out of the “Men in Pink.” Beside… read more Troy University’s Baylee Smith crowned Miss Alabama USA Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Around the WebIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthMost 10 Rarest Skins for FortniteTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Sponsored Content Latest Stories The Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies… Troy University sophomore Baylee Smith was crowned 2017 Miss Alabama USA during the annual Miss Alabama USA competition Saturday night in Montgomery.Smith, who represented Pike County, will represent Alabama in the Miss USA competition next summer. The Miss USA competition will be aired on the Fox network and could possibly be held in Las Vegas. By Jaine Treadwell During the countdown process to the title, Smith said she was a little nervous and a little hopeful. But she was totally surprised when her name was called as 2017 Miss Alabama USA.“It’s still hard to believe,” she said. “But I’m so honored and looking forward to the opportunities that come with the title.”First, Smith will be involved with an area Relay for Life pageant. Then, it’s off to South Carolina for a state pageant and then to Tampa and that’s just the beginning of a whirlwind year for 2017 Miss Alabama USA.Smith is majoring in elementary education at Troy University. She is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and the student alumni association. She works with the after-school program at Troy Elementary School. When asked why a girl for Tuscaloosa chose Troy University, Smith had a quick answer.“I was tired of the big city and my first college tour was to Troy University,” she said. “I fell in love with Troy. My mother wanted me to do a tour at Alabama but I had made up my mind. Troy University was my first and last college tour. I knew where I wanted to go. Troy is a great university and the perfect place when it comes to Southern hospitality.”Madison Neal, also a Troy University student, was named to the Top 10 in the 2017 Miss Alabama USA competition. Neal is from Cleveland. Neal is a junior at Troy University majoring in broadcast journalism. She is a member of Kappa Delta sorority, Trojan Ambassadors and the Student Alumni Association. She works with the local Boys and Girls Club and the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center.She, like Smith, is no stranger to the pageant stage.“I’ve participated in pageants most of my life,” Neal said. “I grew up watching the Miss USA competition and wanting to compete one day.”Neal competed in the 2016 Miss Alabama USA and was in the Top 15.“This year, I was in the Top 10 so, maybe, I’ll keep moving on up,” she said, laughing. last_img read more