Sisters report to prison
William Slattery awaits transport to Wisconsin
By Jeff Kurowski
Compass Assistant Editor
Sr. Caryl Hartjes, CSA, and Sr. Kathy Long, OP, both Appleton
natives, took another step on their journey to close the School of
the Americas (SOA) on Tuesday, April 8. Sr. Hartjes reported to
Federal Prison Camp, Danbury, Conn., while Sr. Long reported to
Pekin Federal Prison Camp in Illinois. Both will be serving 90-day
sentences for trespassing at the annual SOA protest, Nov. 17, 2002,
at Ft. Benning, located outside Columbus, Ga.
The annual protest marks the killings of six Jesuit priests in
El Salvador on Nov. 19, 1989. The School of the Americas, now
officially named the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security
Cooperation, is linked to training soldiers who have tortured and
killed thousands of civilians in Latin American countries.
"I believe our actions were successful in creating greater
awareness of what is happening in Latin America with the
disappearance of thousands of people at the hands of the military,
some of whom were trained at SOA," said Sr. Hartjes, who will serve
her sentence at a minimum security facility without walls or a
fence. "I am perfectly willing to embrace the consequences of my
actions. With our nation at war, it is even more imperative that we
are able to individually and collectively demonstrate and speak out
on our different viewpoints and be heard. This is a unique
privilege in the United States, the right of freedom of speech and
to demonstrate. I am grateful to this great nation that allows my
voice to be heard for peace and non-violence."
"My heart and prayers go out daily to all the people who are
suffering because of violence and war in their lives," she
continued. "I long for our nation to invest its resources in waging
peace, addressing human needs at home and abroad, and creating
relationships of respect and shared responsibility between nations.
In the United States, we have both the talent and resources to be
leaders in a global effort to accomplish this."
Sr. Hartjes will write letters about her experiences posted
online at www.csasisters.org. Correspondences may be sent
to: Caryl P. Hartjes 91376-020, Federal Prison Camp, Danbury, 33
1/2 Pembroke Road, Danbury, CT 06811-3099. Visitors are welcome,
but need a three-week screening and approval process prior to
visiting. Letters and cards are acceptable, but not packages.
A gathering was held to send off Sr. Long, a staff member at the
8th Day Center for Justice in Chicago, Sr. Dorothy Pagosa,
SSJ-TOSF, and Loyola University student Katie Bjorkman at Montrose
Drive in Chicago. Cars caravanned to Pekin for a press conference
and blessing of the prisoners of conscience.
The Sinsinawa Dominican Restorative Justice Committee invites
supporters to choose a day within Sr. Long's three-month sentence
to pray for her and write her a note. To participate, visit the
support calendar at www.sinsinawa.org/News_announcements/calendar.cfm. Letters may
be sent to: Kathleen Long 91388-020, FPC Pekin, P.O. Box 6000,
Pekin, IL 61555-5000.
William Slattery of Maribel, a student at Creighton University
in Omaha, Neb., is being held at the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer
Center awaiting transport to the federal prison in Oxford,
Slattery, a graduate of Notre Dame Academy, Green Bay, was
sentenced to six months in prison and a $500 fine on Feb. 12. He
was convicted of illegally crossing on to Fort Benning property
during the November protest. He agreed to immediate imprisonment,
and will be released in August.
(Valerie Graczyk, director of communications for the
Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, and Stephen Goerdt of the
communications office of the Sinsinawa Dominicans, contributed to