[Ppnews] Jailed Nuclear activist Helen Woodson to be released after 27 years
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Feb 1 16:18:01 EST 2011
For your information, please see the following
letter regarding jailed anti-nuclear activist
Helen Woodson, as provided by Commissioner Sorgen.
Eric Brenman, Secretary
Peace & Justice Commission
City of Berkeley
Over the years we have spent time in prison and/or supported other
Activists who have been in prison for acts of conscience. We write to you now
with a special request on behalf of Helen Woodson.
Back in November of 1984, Helen was part of the Silo Pruning Hooks
action. She went to a Missouri nuclear missile silo along with Larry Cloud-
Morgan, Fr. Carl Kabat OMI and Fr. Paul Kabat OMI. With sledgehammer and
jackhammer, the group followed the biblical mandate of Isaiah to turn
swords into plowshares. They were convicted and received a varied number of
years of prison time for their action.
With the exception of a few days, Helen has been in prison ever
since. (A couple of times in past years when
released, she immediately engaged
in an action that resulted in arrest and being returned directly to prison for
She is scheduled to be released in September of 2011 after 27 years
Helen is looking forward to getting out, and at the age of 67 and with
health issues, has decided to now retire from activities that might
return her to prison.
It's been a long time since she's lived on the outside. She'll leave
Prison with a sweatsuit, plus books that she's accumulated. That's it.
Since she will leave prison with no source of income or health
coverage, she plans to apply for government
assistance, but it can take six or so
months for someone to find out if they are eligible to receive benefits. In
the meantime, in addition to things like food and clothes, she'll need to
purchase medications for multiple health problems, at quite a
significant cost. So she has asked friends to raise funds on her behalf (not
money to be used while she is in prison, but for the things she'll need once
Her living situation once she's released is still uncertain. It has
Been challenging for her to develop a plan that the Bureau of Prisons and
Department of Justice find suitable since Helen will be subjected to
Many conditions and restrictions after her release. The couple who have
Invited her to live with them are still waiting to be contacted to answer the
questions and receive the home visit needed to determine if Helen
will be allowed to live there. Helen is very much hoping that they and their
home will be approved. If not, she is not sure where she will be able to
live, and it's possible additional money will need to be raised to enable
her to rent a small place to live.
In the meantime, until this becomes more clear, it will ease her mind
significantly if she can at least know that she'll be able to pay for
the medicines she needs, and things like a winter coat. Can you help?
Since the beginning of the nuclear age, many thousands of people in
the U.S. and around the world have been arrested for anti-nuclear civil
disobedience, and hundreds have spent time in prison for these actions.
None of these people (not even long-imprisoned Israeli nuclear whistleblower
Mordechai Vanunu) have spent more time in prison than Helen Woodson. We ask
that you join us now in providing her with needed support as she embarks on
this huge transition after her many years in prison.
Please be as generous as you are able! Any amount, from $1 to $1000,
Will be gratefully received. Checks and money orders can be made payable
to the Nuclear Resister (with "for Helen" written on the memo line) and sent
to the Nuclear Resister, PO Box 43383, Tucson, AZ 85733. Secure online
donations can be made via paypal at the Nuclear Resister website at
The final screen please click on ³add special instructions to the seller²
and note that the donation is for Helen).
Hartford Catholic Worker
The Nuclear Resister
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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