This Saturday (3rd Sep) I am repeating the visit I made a month ago to anti-war prisoner, British Naval Medic Michael Lyons serving 7 months for refusing to deploy to the war in Afghanistan.Parishioners local to me voiced interest in writing letters of support to Michael which I could take to him.If anyone from CTC wishes to do the same please don't hesitate to private message me through this website.

 

God Bless,

Stefan

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On the 3/09/2011 I embarked on my second visit to Michael Lyons currently residing in Colchester Military Correction Unit for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan.
It was a beautiful sunny morning and I felt more relaxed this time round knowing now the formalities and procedures of the unit.As it was an a.m visit the visting party was smaller with no sniffer dogs.The duty guard that ushered us in I noticed had my family name on his uniform ID to the exact spelling and we shared some breif family history.He being from Aberdeen, I explained my Grandads predicament of having to leave Glasgow for Dagenham Fords works on the decline of the Clyde shipbuilding industry.
Even though we had initial formalities last time of meeting someone for the first time in strange circumstances etc I still found Michael very easy to get on with.This time round it was extremely relaxed and with all the formalities of introduction dealt with last time I feel we talked sincerely and openly from the heart.
He looked very well indeed and obviously has a very strong spirit which radiates through him.
We talked about the politics surrounding his situation and I explained a little of my past experiences as an ex Marxist and once member of the Communist Party before my conversion to Catholicism.I was pleased to find Michael was already very aware of the surrounding political persuasions ready to use his case to suit their own particular ideologies and I likened his moral objection to war as a pure flame of conscience that could very easliy be stifled and extinguished by the the surrounding impure politics.I read to him some messages of support from my local Parish and left some reading material with the guards for Michael on second world war objector Blessed Franz Jägerstätter and I very much hope they allow him access to it once they've assessed it. 

Last Sunday (9th Oct) I made my final visit to Michael Lyons on the eve of his possible release at his appeal that coming Thur.Unfortunately Michael lost his appeal and now has the remaining four or so weeks to serve of his sentance.Michael didn't hold much confidence in positive outcomes from this appeal and was simply looking forward to the day to spend some time with his wife whom he only gets to ring three times a week.My visits coincide with the 'First Fridays' of the month which have become 'Pro-Life' days originating with Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in its modern form and the idea of making reparation for the sins of others is also prominent in the messages given by Our Lady to the children at Fatima in 1917.We discussed that Michael would be released a week before the next 'First Friday' weekend and from that point onwards we would keep contact via email.Over the three visits I've made to Michael I've found a similar soul outraged and at the same time greived by the injustice around us that ultimately led him to take his stand and landed him in incarceration.We discussed the demise of the antiwar movement due to political highjacking this being highlighted by the dismal turnout at the antiwar march in London last Saturday (8th Oct) and how much more effective it would be with the church behind it and without people being turned off by the ideological motives of the few blurring the peace message.Michael read the Catholic Truth Society material I left him on my last visit regarding Blessed Franz Jägerstätter and as an Austrian conscientious objector during World War II who was sentenced to death, executed, later declared a martyr and beatified by the Catholic Church he found it inspirational even himself not being of any particular faith.Michael also passed this material on to another Catholic he knew of at the detention centre.
On departing Michael thanked me again for visiting him during his sentance and stated he was glad to have someone of a similar mind to chat too.My parting thoughts were will I be visiting anyone else in the near future who see's Michaels bold stand and begins to grow a conscience from a small seed planted by anothers actions that result in the laying down of their own weapon of war.
We hope and pray.

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