from : Carol Wolman
The Mendocino Peace Action Group participated in Keep Space for Peace week with a teachin this evening. About 75 people attended, double what we had two years ago. More importantly, two years ago there were very few attendees under 50; tonight there were children, high school students, young adults, parents- people of all ages. The energy was high- very much the feeling of a growing peace movement.
In addition to our local speakers, we were graced with a comedy routine by our wonderful actress Sherry Glaser, and a performance by peace singers Pat Humphries and Sandy Opatow, who are touring to rouse the people with their beautiful, moving music.
I spoke about the future- how we have all been suffering from psychic numbing, a denial response to the threat of nuclear holocaust, for two generations now, and have at some level given up hope for any long term future. We think in terms of years rather than generations, and are oriented toward present pleasure rather than legacies.
The NonProliferation Treaty of 1970, with its pledge of eventual nuclear disarmament, embodied the prophecy of Isaiah 2:4- "They will beat their swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." The Bush cabal has negated that pledge with its Nuclear Posture Review and is foisting upon us a vision of the future based on perpetual war and the use of nuclear weapons.
The future does not exist. It will be what we make it. A new peace movement is snowballing, and we have a chance.
John Lewallen followed with a talk entitled "Uncle Peace Wants You". He stressed that World War Three is already going on, with lots of nuclear threats and jockeying, projection of weapons into space, and ongoing bombing of Iraq, with other hot spots. The only force in the world that can stop the American war machine is the American peace movement, and the whole world is watching to see if we have the strength and will to accomplish this. We have a great responsibility.
Shanti Lewallen, who just returned from Berlin, where he went on a fellowship to study "Polish punks" reported that he had many deep and serious talks with Europeans who are questioning American policy and double standards. He recommended that all young people should travel outside of the US and get a sense of what the rest of the world thinks of our administration.
There followed an outpouring of creative ideas and reports of creative actions. Rafael Borras has established Peace Alley in Ukiah- a place for activists to meet, discuss, hang out, rest. It opened with a Peace Art Show last week.
He and John Lewallen are planning an all day workshop in November at the Philo Grange, which will include training in nonviolent direct action, draft counseling, and education. John L.. is planning to give a series of lectures on war and peace. He and Carol Wolman want to do a weekly half hour show on KZYX, our local activist station, and a petition to this effect was passed around. Zac Zachary invited everyone to join the weekly peace vigil at Town Hall plaza in Ft. Bragg, Saturdays 1-3, and reported that positive response to the vigil grows week by week. The Women in Black also vigil weekly, on Friday evenings. Ananda is working on submitting a peace resolution to the Ft. Bragg City Council. The Pumpkin Parade takes place in Ukiah on October 26th, and Parents for Peace are looking for at least 150 walkers for peace, to match the Boonville County Fair parade. There is also another big demonstration in San Francisco that day.
The evening closed with dancing and drumming, as people broke into small groups to chat and plan. We don't have much time to turn the Bush war machine around. Let's do it!