Monday, October 24, 2005
First Annual DC Peace and Justice Awards -- Nominations Please
A call to the activist and education communities of Washington:
Please help us decide who should be given an award for their special contributions to the work of peace and justice in Washington, D.C.
Nominate someone or an organization you know who has worked hard this year to bring the world closer to a lasting peace and righteous justice. Tell us what they did and why they deserve recognition for their work. Share their work in a paragraph or two and come to the festivities on December 3rd at the Foundry Methodist Church at 16th & P, N.W.
Send these nominations to:
Thanks for all you do for peace and justice.
How Many More Must Die? Go to Memorial Bridge After 2000th Troop Death
How Many More Must Die? Go to Memorial Bridge After 2000th Troop Death (for more see http://www.dawndc.net)
All too soon, the number of US troops dead in Iraq will stand at 2000. Military Families Speak Out have called for actions when that regrettable moment comes to pass. The DC Anti-War Network (DAWN), in support of this call to action, and in strong support of the idea that the deaths of the 100,000, 150,000?, 200,000? dead Iraqis be remembered as well, call on us all to take action when that sad moment happens. Please go to the Memorial Bridge, between the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery (which is the nearest metro), and meet on the Virginia side of the bridge (south corner) at 6PM the evening following the announcement of the 2,000th death (if the death is announced before 9AM that day, the action will be that evening; if it is announced after 9AM, it will be the following evening – we will let you know). Many will be wearing black. We also will be providing signs.
“How many more must die before you take action?”
That is the theme guiding our particular action. As we struggled with how we should prepare for this action, we noted how sick it made us feel inside that we were planning for an action for the 2,000th US soldier to die knowing full well that some of those soldiers are still alive. Unfortunately, US policies in Iraq guarantee that the 2,000th death will be a reality, and so we are forced into the most cynical position of planning for an action while some who will be dead live right now. Furthermore, besides those 2,000 deaths, the figures at the time of this call’s posting show 15,120 US troops wounded, countless others returned home as casualties due to sickness or other reasons. Furthermore, this says nothing about the numbers of Iraqis
killed. Since April 28 of this year, 5,610 Iraqis have died as a result of this war, and that counts only those who have been verified through primary sources, a number we must reasonably believe is well below the actual number. It’s been a year since the Lancet medical journal estimated that more than 100,000 Iraqis had died in Iraq as a result of the war, and so we have no idea how many have died since then. What’s more, how many Iraqis have been wounded? How many are sick? How many lives have been shattered? We know that whether we consider the number of US troops dead or wounded, or the total number dead or wounded, the number is far too high. This war was wrong to start with, based on lies and misinformation, is wrong today as the death toll mounts, and will be wrong tomorrow. How many more must die before we can tolerate this no more?
How many more must die before you take action?
Please join us as we ask that question to motorists crossing the Memorial Bridge, and more importantly, please join us after this action ends. We need to convince people not to stand idly by as perpetual war rages on. We must take heart that the majority of people believe that this war was a mistake, but it won’t be enough until that majority stands with us in perpetual action. The Senate voted 97-0 this month for another $50 billion for Iraq war funding, even after 300,000 people took to the streets on September 24. These senators cannot be counted on to take on the Bush Administration. They also cannot be counted on to take action if we show up for one mass action and then go home. If they are going to listen, our action must be sustained. It really is up to us!
Friday, October 21, 2005
First Annual WPC Awards and Recognition Night, Dec. 3, at Foundry Methodist Church
Join us for an evening of fun, frolic and food, poetry, posters and prizes, with lots of music and dancing, and help us recognize those in our community who have worked selflessly and hard all year for peace, justice and unity in our community.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2005 6-9pm
Foundry United Methodist Church
16th and P Streets, N.W.
Admission: $10 in advance; $12 at door.
For advance tickets, fill out form below and return it to:
Annual Awards Dinner
Washington Peace Center
1426 9th Street, N.W. 3rd floor
Washington, D.C. 20001
Number of tickets ($10each): _____
Amount enclosed: ______________
The Washington Peace Center is a 501c(3) grassroots community organization working to foster peace, justice and harmony in the DC community. All contributions are tax deductible. All donations are welcomed.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Jim gave a talk at the Flemming Center Wednesday evening, October 12th, to bring into focus the similarities between the destruction of the American Indians and the buffalo and the U.S. aggression in Iraq. The talk can be found in a powerpoint presentation in the following url, or click on the subject of this Washington Peace Center blog entry.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Joan Baez at Operation Ceasefire
The lineup was getting crowded a little over a week before the concert was to take place, and they were still waiting on word from Donovan and Joan Baez, two icons from the 60s. Donovan was almost a sure thing, we were told. Joan Baez was not. She needed to be called. I volunteered to call her and had a number for a Code Pink woman who knew how to contact her. On the first call she told me Joan wanted to come to DC for the antiwar/global justice demonstrations, but she had a prior commitment. I asked if I could call again to find out if she’s available. I’d have to wait until after the weekend to know if Joan Baez could perform at Operation Ceasefire. After I failed to call her on Monday, I found out Tuesday that Joan Baez was part of Operation Ceasefire.
Her performance did not disappoint. Her voice is as beautiful as ever. How nice it was to draw up images of the 60s where she performed to an audience with much purpose and determination to end a war. I remember her in Lafayette Park in February ’75, a month or two before the war finally ended. She sang and Daniel Ellsberg spoke there. Gerald Ford was president. How nice it is to see and hear her still singing songs to end wars and injustices. Joan performed early in the concert, at about 3:30pm. She went after Congresswoman Maxine Waters spoke.
Donovan never appeared. We’ll have to get him for the next antiwar concert..
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Kennedy Center features China
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The month of October at the Kennedy Center is devoted to the country of China.
Today they had the Chinese National Acrobatic Team. They were amazing. Here's the proof.
Did you know that China owns much of the U.S. debt? As we go further into debt with paying for the war in Iraq, and as natural disasters demand more of our resources, we borrow on our children's future. We are borrowing from China. U.S. economists hope China's economy tanks, or at least the value of the yuan tanks, as we go further into debt. If the yuan tanks, our debt is less. Funny how government economists can play with our children's future relying on a country we've traditionally not trusted, and worse.
If peace comes through cultural contacts, China must be one of the richest countries in the world. The performance of the Chinese acrobats at the Kennedy Center today was superb.
Camp Casey Washington D.C.
Camp Casey broke camp on Tuesday, the day after four days of action were over. Camp Casey was the manifestation of the Cindy Sheehan Bring 'Em Home Bus Tour. It was a place for the media to get a story. There were grieving parents and grandparents who lost a child in the war in Iraq. There were also veterans and active duty military who hung around to have their say on the state of affairs for people in the military.
Camp Casey is traveling the country. It's a place for those who've lost something in the war to grieve openly and share their loss. Casey was the name of Cindy Sheehan's son who lost his life in Iraq. Maybe it's this open catharsis of the pain of war that caught on to make the cause of antiwar so popular.