Tough Minds and Tender Hearts

by Kathy Kelley

I spent Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday in Washington, D.C. as part of the Witness Against Torture fast, which campaigns to end all forms of torture and has worked steadily for an end to indefinite detention of people imprisoned in Guantanamo, Bagram, and other secret sites where the U.S. has held and tortured prisoners.  We’re on day 9 of a twelve day fast to shut down Guantanamo, end torture, and build justice

The community gathered for the fast has grown over the past week.  This means, however, that as more people sleep on the floor of St. Stephen’s church, there is a rising cacophony of snoring.  Our good friend, Fr. Bill Pickard, suggested trying to hear the snores as an orchestra, when I told him I’d slept fitfully last night.

There is a young boy in Mir Ali, a town in North Waziristan, in Pakistan, who also lies awake at night, unable to sleep.  Israr Khan Dawar is 17 years old.  He told an AP reporter, on January 14th, that he and his family and friends had gotten used to the drones.  But now, at night, the sound grows louder and the drones are flying closer, so he and his family realize they could be a target.  He braces himself in fear of an attack.

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