Sat, 25 Jan 2003 - Valdosta Daily Times
Section: Living the Life, page 10A
UU Church hosts opponent of the "War
VALDOSTA - Unitarian Universalist Church,
1951 E. Park Ave., hosts a speaker, 1 PM Sunday, on the church's
June the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association,
held in Quebec City, Canada, adopted a statement of conscience
supporting drug-policy reform and alternatives to 'The War on
Drugs', according to the church. In recognition of this assembly's
efforts, the local Unitarian congregation hosts Nora Callahan,
national speaker with Journey for Justice. Callahan advocates
change in current drug policy. This weekend, she will give a
presentation and offer discussion on alternatives.
Callahan, the co-founder/executive director
of The November Coalition, is journeying throughout the Southeast.
"Her mission is to educate/activate the friends and loved
ones of the nation's 450,000 drug prisoners to press for change
in current anti-drug policy," according to the church. "In
1997, Nora co-founded TNC with her brother, who had been sentenced
to 27.5 years in federal prison for cocaine conspiracy. TNC began
as a small group of citizens whose lives have been gravely affected
by the nation's anti-drug policy. TNC has grown to a nationwide
network of many thousands, including ordinary citizens alarmed
at the uselessness and societal damage caused by drug laws."
In 2001 Callahan married Chuck Armsbury,
who detoured into revolutionary activism in the 1960s and ended
up in federal prison. He is the editor of TNC's quarterly [newspaper],
The Razor Wire. The couple left Eastern Washington State
on January 8 to drive southeast in their motorhome for a five-month
5,000 mile 'Southern Journey' which is allowing them to visit
a variety of forums, conferences, etc.
At the TNC website, she describes how she
became involved: "My brother, Gary Callahan, had been imprisoned
for about seven years when he asked me to organize prisoners
with their loved ones to oppose the drug war. That was 1997,
and by that time I had learned that a five-year prison sentence
was considered crushing in any other country, and that our nation
was just about to take title of 'World's Leading Jailer.' "My
brother had 22 such crushing years left to serve. If you are
the loved one of a prisoner, you know firsthand this agony, the
feelings of helplessness, confusion and shame."
Nora Callahan & John Chase,
Journey for Justice - Unitarian Universalist Church, Valdosta,
GA, Sunday, January 26, 2003
For complete Journey coverage, visit The Journey For Justice Archive.