Ep. 64: “A Lifetime Seeking Peace” feat. Kathy Kelly

YouTube link

Working for a world without war

Kathy Kelly is a lifelong pacifist and peace activist. In her efforts to stop the US military machine, she has traveled to war zones around the world, engaged in countless acts of non-violent civil disobedience, and been arrested dozens of times. With her own eyes, she has witnessed the brutal costs of US aggression. Her reality has focused on things that most US citizens don’t even know are happening because the mainstream media and the political establishment studiously avoid them. She knows about the children who are killed or maimed and she speaks up for them.

Despite being witness to so much horror, she is not full of despair and does not believe that humans are intrinsically evil. She is clearly guided by love. I was so grateful for the chance to talk to her, as I have admired people like her my whole life. To me, such people are heroic — not sports stars or politicians or soldiers — but the rebels with causes: the justice seekers, truth-tellers, and rabble-rousers.

In our conversation, we talked about International Women’s Day (which happened to be the date of the interview); women’s rights and the politics of peace; the brutality of war; how most US Americans are ignorant of the consequences of US militarism; the effects of using drones and special forces; her visits to Afghanistan; the 30th anniversary of Desert Storm, the original US military attack against Iraq; what she learned on a visit to the Russian Federation; how militarism has become “the main religion in the United States right now;” the connection between US imperialism abroad and the repression of Native Americans domestically; her experiences in prison; the subject of prison abolition; and what keeps her inspired as an activist.

Kathy Kelly’s columns, as posted to Counterpunch

Voices for Creative Nonviolence website (archival)

World Beyond War

A School for Social and Cultural Change (SSCC)

Maine Natural Guard link that Kathy refers to

Music in episode introduction is “Glass bass” by Frankum & Frankumjay