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
hell yes. While this small group protested the war,
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
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?
hell yes. While twenty people in the streets is a decent
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
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