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Veterans for Peace Engage in White House Civil Disobedience to End WarTim King Salem-News.com
"Hope demands for others what we demand for ourselves.
(SALEM, Ore.) - "Hope will only come now when we physically defy the violence from the state. All who resist, all who are here today, keep hope alive. All who succumb to fear, despair and apathy, become an enemy of hope."
At least 100 people were arrested in a Civil Disobedience at the White House. They gathered to protest the continuing wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and in Iraq.
The accompanying videos are very moving, as stated by Debbie Menon of MyCatBirdSeat.com, "Chris Hedges' extraordinarily anti-war soliloquy is inter-cut with interviews with Veterans from recent wars."
Author Daniel Ellsberg and retired CIA officer turned political activist Ray McGovern, were among those protesting. Each brings a lifetime of real experience to an event like this.
Ellsberg has a hard time saying, "Afghanistan" as it seems to begin with "Viet..." for hom. Finally he simply said, "Vietnamistan".
He also said regarding the present conflicts, "It is not going to change by a Presidential initiative. it'll only be because the American public has awakened to their responsibilities and to the realities of this war. Now Bradley Manning has helped bring this home..."
Veteran News Correspondent Chris Hedges, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City offered words that in spite of everything negative that has passed, leveraged the hope of those in attendance and, through the excellent video coverage below, will continue this appeal as long as it is necessary.
This is a time when journalists are increasingly doing activist work and we at Salem-News.com commend and applaud the efforts of Hedges and Ellsberg and McGovern and also Dr. Margaret Flowers, an outspoken pediatrician, for doing what is right.
From Chris Hedges' Speech:
Once again, there is a message that sounds incredibly similar to something Christ might have said, yet that is not the point. But the idea of offering your better side and turning your other cheek and trying to love your enemy is exactly what Jesus Christ encouraged people to do.
Once again, the 'rabble rousers' being arrested and persecuted are those pushing the message of peace.
Once again, we recall that if Jesus lived today, I mean if a person with his ideas had real power, they would be viewed purely as the enemy by the pro-war conservative military mindset of America. Oh yeah, and they would also likely brand him a 'terrorist'.
No wonder these veterans are so angry.
The American war veterans who speak in this video are perhaps the story's most poignant aspect; some wear masks that represent the people killed in the Middle east as a result of US military aggression. They wear signs around their necks with the names of those Iraqi and Afghan people, who at least on this day, were not nameless at all.
As Wikipedia explains, Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than fifty countries, and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times, where he was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years (1990–2005).
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