Michael Vosburg-Casey Print
Mike is married with Amy Vosburg-Casey. They live with their chickens in Atlanta, GA. Mike is a self-trained piano tuner who spends lots of time on Atlanta's streets with homeless people & others demonstrating opposition to our country's failed belief that for every problem a military solution exists. Mike is a member of the Open Door Community, a house of hospitality & resistance in the Catholic Worker tradition. Raised in the Catholic church, Mike attends the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, in Atlanta's Auburn Avenue neighborhood, home to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Monday January 29, 2007, Mike Vosburg-Casey was sentenced to 3 months & 10 days in federal prison. He reported to FCI Jesup Satellite Camp, GA on April 17, 2007. He was released on July 24, 2007.

Mike Vosburg-Casey's Statements:

Our of our country?s great Christian war Resisters, Ben Salmon, wrote, ?Either Jesus was a liar or war is never necessary.? But you don?t need me to tell you that. And, you don?t need me to tell you about the atrocities in Latin America that have been carried out by graduates from the School of Americas, nor about the patriotic duty of non-violent civil resistance. I know that you have heard these things and more. So, you don?t need to hear them from me.

And, while these concerns motivate all of us who have already & will in the future appear before you; I believe we have each been called to this place for a particular reason. And, I believe that each of us defendants have a particular message.

One of the reasons why I?m here is because I live in Georgia. I came here to work as a Jesuit Volunteer, first assisting people on the streets, or in some other sort of crisis, at Central Presbyterian church, across the street from Georgia?s capital building. The next year I worked for a small non-profit law firm, visiting with men & women throughout Georgia?s prisons. Then, I moved to the Open Door Community, a Catholic Worker-style community, serving the homeless in many basic ways, including offering hospitality through showers, hot coffee & shared meals. Now, in addition to my ongoing relationship with Open Door, I?m one of the pot washers for the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church?s soup kitchen. We are a congregation whose church building and shared missions are in the shadow of Dr. King?s tomb & legacy.

Additionally, we?ve got a few backyard chickens at our house in Atlanta. And, even with my amateur status as a chicken farmer & my animal husbandry ineptitude, I?ve learned that almost every night our chickens come home to roost. Our chickens have learned what they?re supposed to do, the rules they?re supposed to follow; and they do it.

In fact, I tend to get a little upset then Red the chicken goes over the fence next door. Yet, this sort of fence-hopping, free-thinking is exactly what we, as people need to value. Dr. King preached that hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, & toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. And so, we need to get outside these patterns of behavior. We need to find new ways to live & act.

The School of Americas has a history of teaching torture & other extreme measures of counter-insurgency & interrogation. And so, when soldiers are around those trained in these tactics we can see how the spiral of violence comes home to roost. George W. Bush has condemned the tortures at Abu Graihb. We know that there is a direct relationship between Fort Benning and this Iraqi prison. The treatment of detainees at Guantanamo is but another example of people acting out either what they were taught, or what they may feel is expected of them.

Additionally, as residents of Georgia, you & I have particular concern for how the violence taught at the School of Americas is coming home to our communities. While we haven?t seen Latin American-type death squads, I am concerned that the deaths of Kenneth Walker in Columbus & more recently Mrs. Kathryn Johnston?s murder, both at the hands of the authorities demonstrate this culture of violence. The SOA has been a center of the violence, hate & toughness which Dr. King teaches become multiplied in a descending spiral of destruction. And, my concern is that we see it having destructive effects in Georgia.

Our movement to close the School of Americas, and specifically my action, is founded on the ideal of love, sought through the means of non-violent direct action. And, by allowing our voices of dissent, by closing the SOA we can have a safer home, breaking free from at least some of this destructive cycle of violence, emerging into a new way.