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 Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, WisconsinApril 11, 2003 Issue 

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 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 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, Wis..

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 this story).

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