Iraqis in crisis: What have we done? Kathy Kelly, peace activist

Kathy Kelly, a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV) spent four months of 2007 living among Iraqis who fled violence in their country. She believes that one way to prevent a “next” war is to continue to tell the truth about this war. Using anecdote and analysis, Kelly helps amplify the voices of people who’ve borne excruciatingly harsh consequences of a U.S. “war of choice.” Kelly, who has visited Iraq twenty-six times since 1991, lived in Baghdad during the 2003 “Shock and Awe” attack and invasion. VCNV urges U.S. lawmakers to end funding for the illegal and immoral war in Iraq.

Kathy Kelly co-coordinated Voices in the Wilderness, a campaign to end U.N./U.S. economic sanctions against Iraq. The U.S. government fined the group $20,000 for openly violating the sanctions. Rather than pay the fine, the group ended its ten-year campaign. However, with Voices for Creative Nonviolence, they continue working to end the war in Iraq and the Global War on Terror. Kelly has served time in U.S. prisons and jails for nonviolently challenging U.S. militarism. (She was sentenced to one year in maximum security prison for planting corn on a nuclear missile silo site.) She has taught in Chicago high schools and colleges for 16 years. As a war tax refuser, she has, since 1981, refused payment of all forms of federal income tax.