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Prisoners for Peace Day

 Norman Lowry, Jr., Lancaster, Penn. 

Norman Lowry, Jr., Lancaster, Penn. 

Today is International Prisoners for Peace Day. According to War Resisters' International, South Korea leads the world in imprisoning people of conscience; all military conscientious objectors in that nation receive a mandatory 18-month sentence, with no options for alternative service. 

The United States doesn't escape that list. Norman Edgar Lowry Jr. is serving the 6th year of a 7-year sentence for blocking the entrance to a military recruiting station in Lancaster, Penn. In August of 2011 Lowry was arrested while trying to talk military recruiters "out of their jobs." He was previously arrested and jailed for seven months after breaking the windows of military recruiting vehicles. 

The judge in the 2011 case offered a plea bargain in which Lowry would either promise to never block a recruiting station again, or serve the maximum sentence. Lowry chose to serve time. He responded, "It seems quite absurd to me to think that I am being asked by a society that supposes itself to be free and peace-loving, to cease breaking laws that cover up and protect the obvious tyranny of unconstitutional wars ..." 

Read War Resisters' list of imprisoned social-justice workers here. There are mailing addresses for prisoners of conscious if you'd like to show a resister a kindness, to help deal with the stress of imprisonment. You can write to Lowry here: Norman Lowry, Jr., SCI Dallas, 1000 Follies Rd., Dallas, PA 18612, USA.