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Jan 15th Reports of Anti-War Actions taken on the Anniversary of this 20 Year Ongoing War on Iraq!
Monday January 17, 2011 10:37 by Ciaron - Giuseppe Conlon House, London Catholic Worker
- White House, Whitehall, London, Dublin, Menwith Hill, Wellington, Christchurch, Brisbane
VID (3 mins 14 secs)
100 folks vigil outside the White House at 7 pm Saturday Jan 15th. (Martin Luther King Day in the United States), the exact prime time for U.S television that the 20 year ongoing war on Iraq began Jan 15 1991. These 100 foks outside the White House were joined insimutaneous oppostion at U.S. embassies in Dublin, London, Wellington also at Menwithhi HI and in Brisbne and Christchurch.
January 15, 2011 marked the 20th year since the United States began to bomb Iraq. Since then millions of Iraqi people have been militarily occupied, injured, starved, killed, tortured, and imprisoned. Millions more have become internally displaced or refugees in other countries.
The purpose of this witness in Washington, D.C. on January 15th was to draw attention to the fact that the United States has been using military force for 20 years that has led to the slaughter of Iraqis and the destruction of their country.
It is our hope the United States will instead follow the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to abolish war and injustice.
Mass at Sacred Heart Church 16th & Park Road NW "Mass of Repentance for War"
celebrated by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Sponsored by Pax Christi Metro DC
Assemble at 16th & Park Road NW
(bring signs, banners, puppets)
“March to Stop the War”
March down 16th street to the White House
Vigil outside the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Teach-in at Foundry United Methodist 1500 16th St. NW
Live music, films, and guest speakers and activists including:
* Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
* Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Non-Violence
* Medea Benjamin co-founder of Code Pink & Global Exchange
* Mike Ferner of Veterans For Peace
* Celeste Zappala of Gold Star Families Speak Out and Military Families Speak Out
* Ann Wright(by video) former United States Army colonel and retired official of the U.S. State Department
* Andy Shallal, Iraqi-American artist, and propietor of Bus Boys & Poets
* Camilo Mejia, GI Resister, Conscientious Objector & Iraq War Veteran
* David Swanson of Warisacrime.org
* Liz McAlister of Jonah House
* Sue and Bill Frankel-Streit of Little Flower Catholic Worker Farm
* and more!
Candlelight Vigil outside the White House
marking the time the Tomahawk Missiles exploded in Baghdad (bring your own light)
Co-sponsoring Groups: The January 15 Peace Committee, Witness Against Torture, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Gold Star Families Speak Out, Code Pink, United National Assembly Committee, Consistent Life, WARISACRIME.ORG, Peace-Action, Veterans For Peace, Christian Peace Witness, War Resisters League, Answer Coalition, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, United For Peace and Justice, Gray Panthers, Pax Christi Metro DC, Little Friends for Peace, Peace With Justice Mission(DC), Dorothy Day CW(DC), Father Charlie Mulholland CW(NC), Northern Virginians for Peace & Justice, Maryland United for Peace and Justice, Gray Panthers of Metropolitan DC, Peace-Action Montgomery County (MD), Jonah House (MD)
A Reflection on the Day by Ted Walker
January 15th, 2011, marked the baffling convergence of not only what would have been the 82nd birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but also the 20th anniversary of the day the first US bombs dropped on Iraq in Operation Desert Storm. And so, appropriately, Kathy Boylan and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker helped organize a full day of prayer, anti-war demonstration and a peace teach-in.
We gathered in the morning along with Pax Christi Metro DC, the New Jerusalem Community from Philadelphia and many others for a Catholic Mass of “Repentance for War,” celebrated by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, the founding president of Pax Christi USA in 1972. Art Laffin led a moving litany of saints and lights of the peace movement throughout history, and the songs were beautifully inspiring. In the first reading taken from St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews we heard, “No created thing is hidden from God; everything is uncovered and stretched fully open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.”
From the Church, we marched with banners and horns and leaflets all the way down 16th street to the White House. There we created a large circle on Pennsylvania Avenue for speakers, song street theatre, a recording of Dr. King’s “Time to Break the Silence” speech given at the Riverside Church in 1967.
Then over 200 people gathered for an 4 hour-plus teach-in at the Foundry United Methodist Church, where we heard one powerful speaker after another; Iraq War veteran Camilo Mejia of Veterans Against the War who spoke of the horrors he saw at the hands of our military leaders in the field; Celeste Zappala from Military Families Speak Out who told of losing her son Sherwood senselessly as he searched for “WMD’s” our government knew weren’t there; Kevin and Joyce Lucey related the horror and sadness of losing their son Jeffrey to a post traumatic stress induced suicide upon his return from Iraq.
The evening rounded out back at the White House for a candlelit vigil held simultaneously in London, Bribane, Welington, and Baghdad. And when we returned to St. Stephen’s, we packed up a couple of cars and vans and 30 of us headed out to the countryside to spend the night at the Peace Oasis for our day of retreat.
During the teach-in, Liz McAlister of Jonah House remembered something that troubled her about the response of the peace movement 20 years earlier at the start of the first Iraq War. “The spirit wasn’t right,” she said, “What was the movement saying? ‘Don’t give us another Vietnam!’ and other such slogans.” But Liz warned, “Be careful what you dream for, because you might just get what you wish... they didn’t give us another Vietnam, but another Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., BEYOND VIETNAM: TIME TO BREAK SILENCE
Refection on January 15th. by Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
I'm up early this morning to write the script for a brief street theater that people will enact in front of the White House, commemorating the hundreds of thousands of people who died in Iraq as a direct result of U.S. military and economic warfare. How necessary it is to stay with the image of hospital wards, under economic sanctions, turned into death rows for infants.
And yet, unfailingly, we witnessed generosity, forgiveness and acts of friendship in each home we entered, in Iraq. The same has been true in our visits to Afghanistan.
I can't help but find hope in the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King this weekend. He concluded his Riverside church speech, ("Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence") by calling for neighborliness. In his lonely and often threatened struggle to unite people in nonviolent resistance to racism, militarism and greed, he was hounded by the FBI, viewed suspiciously by powerful elites, and compromised even by well-meaning liberals. Yet he still rang the bell for neighborliness that crosses beyond families, tribes, creeds and nation states.
On day five of our fast (to close Giantanamo www.witnessagainsttorture.org here in Washington, D.C. and following a day when as many of us as could secure appointments returned with bleak news about the utter unwillingness on Capitol Hill to see the men horridly imprisoned in Guantanamo as neighbors, we look to communities of nonviolent resistance to fuel our belief in Dr. King's vision. We must escalate the level of risks we are willing to take on behalf of peace, asking always where and how one can live with honor in a warrior culture that daily maims, tortures and kills people- potential neighbors- who've meant us no harm.