Today I’m privileged to have Kathy Kelly as my guest on World Focus. Kathy is a long-time peace activist and author. Kathy was one of the founding members of Voices in the Wilderness and recently a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. As part of peace team work in several countries, she’s traveled to Iraq many times, notably remaining in combat zones during the days of both US-Iraq wars, that’s two wars. She’s been arrested more than sixty times at home and abroad. She’s written her experiences as targets of US military bombardment and also with inmates of US prisons. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Nobel Laureate Mairead Maquire.
Welcome, Kathy Kelly.
Kathy: Well hello, Blase. Thanks so much for inviting me.
Blase: Well, it’s just a pleasure to have you and I can’t help but think about the great legacy of Nelson Mandela today and his early reference to the phrase “apartheid has no future.” And, I think that was prophetic and I think we have to see it as an international statement. Apartheid has no future in Israel, in Gaza, no more ethnic highways for one ethnic group only, absolutely no future. It has no future in an economic system that is apartheid in our own country, in a justice system that is two justice systems – one for the reach, one for the poor. An economic system for the rich and the poor. All of this is apartheid and I think Nelson’s message to us is apartheid has no future.
Kathy: I’m so glad to hear you underscore what was so apparent throughout his life, that he wanted to educate people and do it through his own actions. Sometimes I think people are maybe feeling vulnerable – I know I am – to saying “Well, this kind of inconvenience – if I get involved with this campaign or that campaign it might cost me some of my income or cost me my job or cost me time away, maybe to do an overnight in jail or longer, and then you think of Nelson Mandela and how his commitment to ending apartheid could survive all the long years in Robbins Island and another prison for 26 or 27 years. And he emerged from that with his values intact. He still remained, throughout his life, such a beacon for pointing to what could be possible, and I think you’re right about internationalizing that message and not accepting apartheid anywhere.