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Grassroots America, A Non Profit
November 12, 2007

Respect for IVAW and MFSO on this Veteran's Day. Please watch this video.
 
 Greetings!
A Letter from St. Augustine
 

Why, Mommy?

 

Why indeed.  I died on Veterans Day 11/11/07 at 11 a.m in St Augustine as one of 3860 US soldiers, 141 journalists and 1,100,000 Iraqis. Lying on the hard ground, seeing nothing and hearing footsteps and muffled conversations, throughout it all, one child's plaintive voice broke through: "Why, Mommy?"

 

"Because they're tired, honey."

 

Twenty people, dressed in black, solemnly and silently marched the entire length of St George Street to the dirge-like beat of a drum. Signs around their necks noted numbers of dead US soldiers, dead Iraqis, dead children and dead journalists. At predetermined places, the twenty laid down dead on the ground for ten minutes while peacekeepers passed out flyers, outlined bodies with chalk and protected them from any potential injury, intentional or otherwise. The police dutifully showed up to tell the group to move on after their second die-in attempt. They were "blocking the flow of foot traffic".

 

Tired, hell yes. While this small group protested the Iraq "war", others were celebrating sacrifices made there and in other wars. Care was taken to make sure the demonstration was respectful and peaceful but incredibly, there are still those who equate Iraq with the 9/11 attacks, still those who say "You people disgust me" and even worse, still those who will not meet your eyes, take your flyers or rouse themselves from their apathy and despair to take a stand.

 

Tired, hell yes. While this small group protested the war, draft dodger Dick Cheney was at Arlington Cemetery giving a ten minute speech honoring Iraq veterans while co-draft dodger George Bush was addressing troops at an Army depot in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania. Clearly wars are fought by the little people, bravely and selflessly, while the power elite sit home safely, making speeches and suppressing dissenters. These two criminal draft dodgers have no business and no right to say anything about those who have sacrificed and died in war yet there is no outrage about this?

 

Tired, hell yes. While twenty people in the streets is a decent turnout in St Augustine, while countless people thanked us for what we were doing, while many others sadly honored their war dead, why aren't there more of us in the streets? Demonstrators today included members from Veterans for Peace, St Augustine People for Peace and Justice, Grandparents for Peace and Citizens in Action. Where is the general population? Are you dead too? Thank yous are great but actions speak louder than words.

 

We're all tired but the outrage is building. Many anti-war activists are becoming more radicalized. Orlando's protest on 10/27 was a first in unity with nationwide demonstrations that day. Activists from the sixties are showing young activists how it's done and young activists are adding their own creativity. Status quo government is worried and suppression of dissent and First Amendment rights is growing. Something's got to give.

 

St Augustine's first "Die In" ended at noon, auspiciously with the church bells pealing loud and long on a beautiful sunny day. Could it be the beginning of the revolution? Could it be the beginning of the truthful answer to the question "Why, Mommy?"

 

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won.  There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.    Think of it--always."       Gandhi

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Survivor's Guilt
By Corporal Cloy Richards

I stare at this paper and don't know what to say
I don't feel right saying "happy memorial day"
I don't find anything happy in the price you've paid
We're both just pawns when this game called war gets played
My body came home but my spirit just stayed
That hot Iraqi day when you were slayed
Watching my back so I could sleep unafraid I heard the explosion from
where I laid
And instantly I watched the skies go grey
I watched my life just float away
How could things go this way
You were my brother in arms and you took my place
But not like the way that car bomb took your face
And blew off your limbs
When I think about it my head starts to spin
I get noxious when I think of your family
I want to tell them I truly am sorry
I'm sorry your son died protecting me
This isn't the way things were meant to be
You see that day your son took my duty
Your brother sacrificed four 4 hours of sleep
So he could go guard a gate for me
Your fiancée took my fate from me
I'm sorry your father took my place for me
I'm sorry I can spend memorial day with my family
Today should have been a memorial for me
At least then the survivor could have lived guilt-free




 

"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop!  And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!" - Mario Savio

Tina Richards
Grassroots America, A Non Profit
Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.
This email was sent to keth@awakening-healing.com, by tina@grassrootsamerica4us.org

 



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