Author Archives: Buddy Bell

Living under the metal Osprey

OKINAWA—In late October 2015, I was with three Okinawa peace activists and a British solidarity activist on a tour of local resistance to U.S. military bases. After an hour of driving north from the city of Nago, crossing deep ravines and shimmering blue bays, we approached a dense forest, where the U.S. military’s only jungle warfare training center is situated, way up in the northernmost section of the island of Okinawa. Continue reading

The U.S. ought to un-swivel its China pivot

For the last week, I’ve been walking on a peace march organized by the Nipponzan Myohoji order of Buddhist monks. This march is similar in some ways to another: the Okinawa “Beggars’ March” of 1955-1956. At that time, farmers who had been forcefully removed from their fields by U.S. soldiers in the years following World War II acted peacefully to demand the return of their land, which was the source of their entire livelihood. Continue reading

Terrorism ‘insurance’ has expired

In 2002, at a time when insurance providers were unwilling to provide coverage for losses resulting from acts of terrorism, and when construction and utility companies were stalling in their development projects, Congress passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). They decided to socialize some of the financial risk, giving a federal government guarantee on insurance payouts exceeding 100 million dollars. Continue reading

Missouri judge convicts and sentences two peace activists for protesting drone warfare

Kathy Kelly gets 3-month prison sentence and Georgia Walker 1 year probation

JEFFERSON CITY, MO—On December 10, a federal magistrate found Georgia Walker, of Kansas City, MO, and Chicagoan Kathy Kelly guilty of criminal trespass to a military installation as a result of their June 1 effort to deliver a loaf of bread and a citizens’ indictment of drone warfare to authorities at Whiteman AFB. Continue reading

Sacred hearts, sacred lives: Children crossing the border

From July 13 to July 20, I drove a small truck from Minneapolis, Minnesota, down to McAllen, Texas. The truck went to Mexico and is now one of four vehicles on a ship destined for Cuba, a donation made possible through the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization/Pastors for Peace. The day after I arrived in McAllen, some local residents took a group of IFCO activists to Sacred Heart church in downtown McAllen. Continue reading

Backwards intentions in the ‘War on Drugs’

I’ll always remember a scene from my second day in Afghanistan, when 16-year-old Abdulhai asked me a question, in English. “Is this your first time in a backward country?” I could see at the time that his comment was spoken from a place of genuine frustration with trash-infested rivers, crumbling buildings, dust-choked air, and the way masses of starving, unemployed people are forced to live in tents or under bridges. Still, it is a sad fact that many of the young Afghans I met have a tendency to view themselves in this way: as a “tribal people” in the grasp of a “warrior culture.” Continue reading