I am writing to announce the 6th annual Peter De Mott Peace Trot 5K/1M Memorial Run. This year it will take place on the solstice as well as Father’s day: Sunday, June 21st, 2015. We hope you will join us!
I write this letter on the 6th anniversary of Peter’s death. I’ve been trying to write it for a couple weeks now and between many interruptions and not quite knowing what to say, it has been only this morning that I have moment to think and did get inspired to write to you all.
Peter was strongly rooted in the teaching of the personalism of the Catholic Worker movement. He so much believed that each of us could make a difference by our actions to, in the words of Peter Maurin (one of the co-founders of the Catholic Worker movement), “create a world where it is easier to be good”. Peter De Mott took it seriously and he lived it everyday.
And so I am so grateful to be part of a community, the Ithaca Catholic Worker, that also is trying to take it seriously and live it everyday.
The Peter De Mott Peace Trot memorial run and fundraiser has been a significant way for our community to continue this spirit of personalism, and also to raise the money for the work that we are doing.
We continue to offer hospitality at the Peter De Mott Catholic Worker House, 411 S. Plain St. d Adams is the key person who makes this hospitality work. Says d: “Since we've been doing the work in little 'peaces' we've given hospitality to friends and neighbors. Some folks just come by for an afternoon catnap after long days of being on the street. Others have stayed for a few days or even a week. We've connected with our neighbors sharing the local grape harvest, and started a garden with Significant Elements young apprentices. New folks now living here bring joy: the three-year old livens up the spirit of the house for sure.”
In the past year there have been several folks dealing with eviction notices and our community has been able to lend a hand with resources to help prevent those evictions.
Many members of the Ithaca Catholic Worker have continued to be active with the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars. Last January the Hancock 17 went to trial for their peaceful protest at the drone base (in Syracuse) from which the drones are remotely piloted. These killer drones illegally drop bombs in Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing many innocent people. Clare Grady, Mary Anne Grady Flores, Mark Carver, and James Ricks--all members of our community--served two weeks in jail for their witness. In April we joined the national month of protests against militarized drones. Cornel West spoke in Syracuse and led a march to Hancock Field. In May, Mary Anne went to trial for trespass and violating an order of protection. A key feature of all the arrests and trials of protestors is the misuse of orders of protection to prevent demonstrators from returning to the base. There is no just cause for an order (supposedly to protect the commander) since all the direct actions have been nonviolent. Nevertheless Mary Anne was found guilty and sentenced to a year in jail. She is out on appeal. There have been several more trials between May and December--some guilty verdicts but some victories too--and the trials (including Mary Loehr and Clare’s) will continue well into 2015, as will our efforts to oppose war and the drone killings.
Meanwhile the violence at home continues: according to the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement report, every 28 hours a black person is killed by law enforcement, or a security guard, or a “vigilante” claiming self-defense. A few of our members were able to travel to Ferguson this past October in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We continue to reflect together on the links between violence abroad and at home, including our locality.
We also supported one of our members traveling abroad for peace. James Ricks joined the Interfaith Peace Builders African Heritage Delegation to Israel and Palestine and gave a report to the Ithaca community upon his return.
Last year we met our fundraising goal and hope to reach the goal of ten thousand dollars again from this year’s fundraiser. The money will help pay down the mortgage, pay house repairs (i.e. work on the foundation), supplies, travel, printing, and legal expenses.
We invite you to join us in this fundraiser. Ask your friends, neighbors, and colleagues to sponsor your participation in the Peter De Mott Peace Trot. If you are able, send us a check (payable to the Ithaca Catholic Worker, memo Peace Trot, address 411 S. Plain St. Ithaca, NY 14850) or donate online (www.peterdemottpeacetrot.org). Volunteer to help either on the day of the race, or during this time of preparation.
Ellen Grady, for the Peace Trot organizing committee, who are Tom Joyce, Oona Grady de Flaun, Heather Scott, Robert Sparks, and Blake Fall-Conroy
February 19th, 2015