Sunday, December 17, 2006
A peace sign foliage wreath received international attention recently when a Colorado couple was chastised for their holiday decoration. The small town neighborhood association threatened to fine the couple $1000 for their display-described as "divisive" and "Satanic."
A Friends of Peace member in Waco thus placed a peace symbol light display (6 feet tall) on their roof in solidarity with the couple in Colorado. The image is seen here.
Actually, what symbol in this world could be more universal and inclusive. The hope for PEACE reaches the hearts of all peoples, and does not require adherence to any particular religious sect. For the "Holidays" are about the joy of life, and without peace, without survival, there can be no celebration.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Waco Friends of Peace sponsored a protest of a meeting that promoted the goal of locating the G.W. Bush library at Baylor University in Waco. Baylor University, the Waco Tribune-Herald and local businesspeople have been actively pursuing the library in hopes of building tourism and prestige for the city. And yes, some economic benefit might derive to Waco from having the Bush library here, including to some members of FOP. But we feel there is a higher good than money, and that opposing the library is a matter of conscience. We reject a monument that would glorify the Bush legacy. A legacy of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq (a war crime by international standards), lies and deception that placed us in that quagmire, the resultant deaths of almost 3000 Americans and 650,000 Iraqi civilians, the estimated ultimate cost of 1 trillion $$, torture, illegal surveillance, abuse of the US Constitution, environmental damage, and opposition to equal protection for all citizens (gays and lesbians).
The lecture was given at the Lee Lockwood Library on Waco Drive at 11:45a.m. About 10 of our members and other peace activists were there at the entrance as attendees arrived. An alternative viewpoint was clearly presented to those supporting the Bush library project. The "HONKS" from passing cars (see photo above) were nearly a constant symphony.
One courageous activist found his way inside the lecture carrying a sign that read "No War Crimes Library." He stayed throughout the lecture, his peaceful and polite demeanor adding to his stunning visual statement. Thanks to Carl for his efforts and for all the other activists who took their time to speak truth to power.
At one point we were threatened with sprinklers in an attempt to silence our voices but we persisted to ask the question: Does Waco really want another black eye--the presidential library of the worst president in US history, one likely to be impeached and removed from office?
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
TIME: Food Service 6p.m., Film and Discussion 6:30p.m.
LOCATION: Poppa Rollo's Pizza, meeting room, 703 N. Valley Mills Dr., Waco
EXTRA: Free Pizza (please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org)
This superb documentary was not shown at the major theaters in Waco, and has had only limited screenings here. Former Vice President Al Gore presents an eye opening and compelling view of the future of our planet-and our civilization-in the MUST SEE documentary of the year. This is a wake-up call that cuts through myths and misconceptions to deliver the message that global warming is a real and present danger. "An Inconvenient Truth" brings home Gore's persuasive argument that we must act now to save the earth. Each and every one of us can make changes in the way we live our lives and BECOME PART OF THE SOLUTION.
"In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are. You owe it to yourself to see this film." -Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.
"One of the most important films of our time." -Jeffrey Lyons, NBC's Reel Talk.
"It doesn't matter whether you're a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative...your mind will be changed in a nanosecond."-Roger Friedman, FoxNews.com
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Although Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's resignation may have inspired some to begin dancing in the streets, Dan Genz's glowing report, (Waco-Trib, Nov. 9) on his replacement, by Robert Gates, seems, just a mite too unwilling to examine all the facets of the man's previous experience.
In addition, the articles' focus on 'winning the war' in Iraq is ignoring the fact of an overwhelming message from American voters regarding the war. The Trib also seems unwilling to entertain the idea that this war was based on lies, and as such, it is unconscionable to continue to inflict such horror on a population that does not deserve it. Seventy percent of the Iraqi people want us to leave. Do they not get a voice in their future? So much for democracy. The 'war on terror' is not only a ghastly joke on the American people, but also an unholy perpetration of a 'war of terror' on men, women and children, who had nothing to do with 9/11. Who were not threats to the United States. Who just happen to be in the way of a cabal of oil pirate’s intent on looting a resource because of greed and a falsely perceived superior might makes right mentality.
Please don't be so ready to sacrifice the greater good of the United States, and the world, for a little local capital. Your readers deserve to hear a broader perspective on the replacement to Rumsfelds post.
In TomPaine.com Ray McGovern offers valuable insight into Robert Gates previous performance with the CIA and his relationship with those now pulling strings within this administration.
McGovern's background of 27 years as a CIA analyst gives considerable credibility to his analysis of Gates' CIA career that points to a 'more of the same' type of sycophant who was willing to 'fix the intelligence' in the Iran Contra affair of the 1980s. One who would not welcome the truth, at the expense of 'Cheney's energy plan', but would instead expect the same hard line loyalty from underlings that resulted in sound bites of 'smoking guns, mushroom clouds and wmds,' based only on the Bush administration pie-in-the-sky policy.
The American Public spoke up for truth and integrity on Nov. 7. Please honor us by presenting another view, from someone with in-depth knowledge and demonstrated integrity. America's', and indeed, the world's future depend on an informed public. Please do your job and give us information from various viewpoints, allowing us to make wiser decisions.
Kay Lucas of Moody is a loyal longtime worker and inspiration for the Waco Friends of Peace. She currently serves as a tireless director of the Crawford Peace House. Her work was vital in bringing the Iraq war debate to the national stage and ultimately in shortening this illegal occupation. The above letter is the original untouched version of her thoughts. A markedly edited version recently appeared in the Waco Tribune Herald.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
THE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2006
FOOD SERVICE 6P.M., FILM AND DISCUSSION 6:30
POPPA ROLLO'S MTG. ROOM (ENTER FROM INSIDE OR OUTSIDE)
703 N. VALLEY MILLS DRIVE, WACO
EVERYONE WELCOME, FILM FREE.
The true story of the Tipton Three, a trio of British citizens (Muslim) who were held in Guantanamo Bay for 2 year until they were released without charge. The film weaves interviews with the actual Tipton Three with dramatization of their environment, interrogation and torture. The torture which the US has committed has been well documented. But this film now brings to life the human reality.
Director: Michael Winterbottom, Mat Whitecross
Release Date: October 24, 2006
Run Time: 95 minutes
Rating: R for language and violence.
Filming Locations: Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan
"Amazing. A film of staggering force."-The New York Times.
"Brilliant Filmmaking."-David Edelstein, New York Magazine.
"A film every American voter should see."-Michael Moore.
"Treatment is proper...it is humane and appropriate and consistent with the Geneva
Conventions for the most part (emphasis added)"-Donald Rumsfeld.
"Best Director"-Berlin Film Festival 2006.
The film is even more timely now that Bush succeeded in ramming through Congress his Military Commissions Act, in an attempt to legalize his illegal actions, and protect himself and others from prosecution. With the new Democrat controlled Congress, will there be an attempt to turn back this law and/or close Guantanamo? Come see the film and join the discussion.
For information on action you can take: www.witnesstorture.org , www.actagainsttorture.org
The UN Commission on Human Rights, in a report of Feb. 2006, stated that "the legal regime applied to these detainees seriously undermines the rule of law and a number of fundamental universally recognized human rights, which are the essence of democratic societies," and concludes that "The US Government should close the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities without further delay."
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
The Waco freeway blog on election day was the biggest and most successful to date. About 6 activists blogged for over 5 hours over the very busy I35. We reached directly over 78,000 adults, with an unknown number of secondary contacts. Our messages included: Honk for impeachment, Bring the troops home now, and Had enough--vote democrat. The motorist reception was overwhelmingly positive, with a tremendous number of honks. No doubt the peace movement has played an important role in the public opinion shift against this immoral occupation.
Thanks to Dave, Melissa, Sammie, Carol, and Robert for their energy and endurance.
Bush snuck in to the polling station in Crawford shortly after 7a.m., carefully concealed by layers of secret service agents, large white buses, roadblocks, and lies. About 5-6 activists were there shortly after, including Friends of Peace members, led by Crawford Peace House founder Johnnie Wolf. A large banner was displayed, stating "Worst President Ever." Surprisingly, local voter response was about 50% positive. More evidence that the tide has turned against this administration, and that we are no longer in the minority.
Crawford Peace House supporters, Waco Friends of Peace members, and other activists met at the Peace House on Sunday, November 5th to speak against a US attack on Iran. The group of about 15 was led by former US ambassador Ann Wright who was interviewed by local TV media. The group then proceeded to the Bush Ranch checkpoint to make our presence known to those who would bring us Armageddon. The power of our signs was enhanced by the voices of great peace musicians.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Saturday, October 21st several Friends of Peace members staged a freeway blog (hand-held) on the pedestrian overpass at I35 and 7th street, near Baylor University. Thanks to Robert and Mark for their dedication.
We held large banners facing the north and southbound lanes reading: "Honk for Impeachment" and "Bring the Troops Home Now." The traffic was heavy, with activities at Baylor, and a football game scheduled for 2p.m. The reception was very positive, with MANY honks and only an occasional negative gesture. We were there from 11a.m. to 1:30p.m. Calculating an average of 65 cars per minute and 2 adults per car, about 40,000 adults saw our message. A tremendous outreach with minimal cost. And a strong statement for those passing through Waco--the last place they would expect to read these sentiments. With the war disapproval rate at 60% and the Democrats poised to control some of the Congress, we feel it's important to continue to speak out.
Two local media outlets were represented by photographers, but none of their shots were used--appears to be a blackout by the corporate media, which is feeling the pressure of a likely Republican defeat, and a possible decline in war profits if the Iraq occupation ends.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Thursday evening, 6p.m. food service, 6:30 film followed by discussion.
October 19, 2006
Poppa Rollo's Pizza meeting room, 703 N. Valley Mills
All welcome, film is free.
Rated R, for language and violence.
Iraq war from the veteran's perspective, a story Bush doesn't want you to see.
For more information, go to www.thegroundtruth.net
Sunday, October 15, 2006
"In November 2004, the Bush administration sent a team to the Ukraine to monitor the presidential election by recording the exit polls.
This strategy was chosen as a certain indicator of accurate election results, because historically these polls have been over 99 percent accurate.
Yet the same month, as exit polls showed that John Kerry not only won the 2004 election but did so by a significant margin, our government-controlled media pundits, noting the wild discrepancy between the exit polls and the news that Bush had won, could only ask, "How did the exit polls, for the first time in their history, get it so wrong?"
Substantial studies of the irregularities in Ohio and other key states have shown that the exit polls in 2004, as in previous years, were amazingly correct.
The question that looms next month is, given the fact that every major poll in the nation shows the Democrats significantly ahead, if the exit polls again reflect a Democratic win but the GOP manages to pull off another "miraculous" win, will the corporate media again abjure their responsibility to report the evidence that our democratic process was sabotaged?
Or will they ask the right questions this time?"
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
1. OCTOBER 5, 2006: WORLD CANT WAIT/DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME.
The FOP joined over 200 other cities in a protest of the Bush administration policies--particularly illegal war, torture, illegal detention, decimation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. A nice group of 10-12 of us were at the Valley Mills/Waco Drive intersection from 5 until 7:30 p.m. during rush hour. Our banner "Honk for Impeachment" received a very positive response. The Waco police attempted to thwart our protest, but we knew our rights and persisted. It was a very successful action.
2. OCTOBER 7, 2006: LIVE FREEWAY BLOG.
Two of us held the "Honk for Impeachment" banner in the overpass on I35 near Baylor facing the southbound lane for about 2 hours. We were stunned at the positive response--nearly constant honking, including 18 wheelers and pickup trucks. This is a first for Waco and a tremendous way to reach a huge audience and raise awareness. We will be back. (See photo above).
3. OCTOBER 19, 2006: "THE GROUND TRUTH."
Our film for the month is a documentary about the reality of the Iraq occupation from the viewpoint of the soldiers. A powerful film all should see. Poppa Rollo's Pizza meeting room, 703 N. Valley Mills. 6p.m. food service, film and discussion start at 6:30. Film free to public, all welcome.
4. BOMBING OF IRAN??
There is a lot of evidence this may happen, but there is no doubt many bush neocons want it to. The date Oct. 21st is being mentioned. We all hope bush will not create another disaster for the world, but we should be ready to publicly object if it does. Who else in Waco will speak out?
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Friends of Peace is gathering signatures on petitions -- paper and online -- towards the goal of presenting them to local elected officials. Because our members come from number of different municipalities in McLennan County, we chose to address our petitions to the county commission as well as any cities that we can.
Please sign the online petition, or if you would like to get some of the hard-copy petitions and collect signatures in person, email us and we'll get some to you. For more info about impeachment and the grassroots campaign to pass resolutions in cities accross the country, see articlesofimpeachment.net.
Join our low-volume announcement/newsletter list to keep up with our activities in the Waco area.
Friday, August 18, 2006
All our meetings are free and open to the public. Although we are now having the program meetings in a restaurant, you are not obliged to place an order to attend. The menu includes vegetarian items, beer and wine.
New schedule for program meetings:
(usually a film or forum)
Poppa Rollos Pizza
703 N. Valley Mills Drive,
in side room accessible from front parking lot
6:00 pm - chat, place orders individually (optional)
6:30 pm - program, followed by discussion
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Friends of Peace will present the Waco premiere of Why We Fight, a documentary feature about the American war machine. Unforgettable personal stories are woven with commentary by a "who's who" of military and beltway insiders. Featuring John McCain, Gore Vidal, William Kristol, Chalmers Johnson, Richard Perle and others, this important film launches a bipartisan inquiry into the workings of the military industrial complex and the rise of the American Empire.
Inspired by President Dwight Eisenhower's legendary farewell speech (in which he coined the phrase "military industrial complex"), filmmaker Eugene Jarecki (The Trials of Henry Kissinger) surveys the scorched landscape of a half-century's military adventures, asking how – and telling why – a nation of, by, and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a system whose survival depends on a state of constant war.
The film moves beyond the headlines of various American military operations to the deeper questions of why – why does America fight? What are the forces – political, economic, ideological – that drive us to fight against an ever-changing enemy?
And leaves the viewer with a haunting fact:“It is nowhere written that the American empire goes on forever.”
The film will be followed by a brief discusison period.
When: Thursday, Aug. 10 , 6pm
Where: Poppa Rollo's Pizza, 703 N. Valley Mills Dr., side room (accessible from front entrance)
Free and open to the public; food orders optional.
For more info: 254.744.1682.
Feel free to save, print, post and distribute our flyer for this event -- click here or on the image for the full size pdf document.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
WHEN: PROTEST AT BUSH LIBRARY MTG.
WHEN: WED. JULY 19TH, 11:15A.M-12:30P.M.
WHERE: OUTSIDE THE BRAZOS BELLE REST. ON BRAZOS RIVER
REASON: This is a mtg. to "better prepare Waco to be the site of the Bush Library." We do not favor a monument to a President who started a war in violation of international and US law, authorized torture, illegally spied on US citizens, and attempted to dismantle the separation of powers. Although the library would bring $$ to Waco, we feel money should not blind us to the acts of this criminal president.
Remember that we have no beef with the speaker Dr. Betty Flowers, rather with the concept of the Bush library.
NO WAR CRIMES LIBRARY
TORTURE IS NOT A WACO VALUE
NO MONUMENT TO TORTURE
IMPEACHMENT YES, MONUMENT NO.
DIRECTIONS: From I-35 heading North or South, take the University Parks exit. If heading North, go thru the light at Univ. Parks, continue straight a short distance, the access road then curves under the freeway. As you reach the other side of freeway you will immediately see the parking lot of Brazos Belle adjacent to access road, enter the parking lot. If heading south on I-35, after exiting, take a left at light (Univ. Parks), cross under freeway, take another left at next light, then follow access road as it curves under freeway, will see Brazos Belle on your right. If coming from downtown on Univ. Parks follow the directions just stated from I-35 south approach.
LOCATION: There are two entrances to the parking lot for the Brazos Belle. Near those within 10 feet of streets should be fine. Also, some apparent city park green zones adjacent to the entrance to the boat should be public areas.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
The Teach-In will feature a screening of How to Impeach a President, a documentary short featuring the attorneys of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). The documentary is based on the CCR’s book Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush. A discussion will follow about impeachment, why it’s important and what’s at stake for the citizens of Waco and the country.
The Center for Constitutional Rights was founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights demonstrators in the South. CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In March of 2005, CCR published the book Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush – the legal argument for impeachment in a clear, concise, and objective discussion. In four separate articles of impeachment, detailing four separate charges –warrantless surveillance, misleading Congress on the reasons for the Iraq war, violating laws against torture, and subverting the Constitution’s separation of powers – CCR makes the case for impeachment exactly as it would be presented by the House of Representatives to the U.S. Senate.
ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH: A National Teach-In is sponsored by Melville House Publishing and The Center for Constitutional Rights. The Waco area event is hosted by Friends of Peace (www.friendsofpeace.org).
This Waco area Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush Teach-In will take place on Wednesday, July 19th at 6:00pm at Poppo Rollo's Pizza, 703 N. Valley Mills Drive (in meeting room, entrance from inside or right side doors of front porch). The media is also welcome to attend. Please visit www.articlesofimpeachment.net to RSVP.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Our film this month will be a 2004 documentary about the Arab TV network Al Jazeera, called Control Room.
MSNBC called Control Room "an unnerving documentary profiling this unique network that’s faithfully watched by many in the Arab world yet reviled by the U.S. government and condemned by some Arab regimes as well."
"However one might feel about Al-Jazeera or about the war, one has to applaud director Jehane Noujaim for her deft, thoughtful handling of an incendiary subject.
"Virtually everyone we meet in this film has a point of view, but most of them are at least willing to discuss it. If the purpose of a good documentary is to stretch our horizons, challenge accepted assumptions and get people thinking and talking, this film is not only good; it is important, too."
Join us on June 21 at the Waco Central Library, Austin Ave and 18th St., downstairs mtg. rm.
5:30 pm - snacks and chat
6 pm - program, followed by discussion (the film is 84 min.long)
Editorial by FoP member Boyce Vardiman
We Americans need to pause now and then to add two to two and notice that the total is something more than one. “ONE” is the total regularly announced to us from Washington, from that “bully pulpit”and spoon fed us by most media, --a war against terror. September 11, 2001 we were attacked by terrorists, who “hate us for our freedoms” our leaders told us, so we were justified in invading Afghanistan (2), and to bring their chief spokesman, one Osama, and his followers to justice (+2). Never mind that Osama was our creation, a man of our choosing, our ally against Russia in Afghanistan; until he turned on us. At that point two plus two did appear to add up to more than “One”. Happily, most of our world neighbors were ready to join us in coordinated police action. But the “war on terrorism” quickly became the total for us, our single excuse, our “one” goal.
Through eighteen months of drum beating and flag waving it became clear that war had been on the minds of a cadre of our leaders in Washington since well before 9/11. In fact 9/11 was the beginning of a whole series of problems in simple addition for us. Quickly, there was a National Security Act, passed in the heat of anger, without even being read by many in congress. Since then thoughtful conservatives of the right and left warn of damage to our freedoms and civil rights. (+2) Our leaders repeated endlessly, without evidence, that Saddam was involved in 9/11. The demonization of Saddam Hussein continued in earnest. (+2) Yes, it really was difficult to further add to the man’s list of crimes. But let us not forget that he was our dictator. We supported and armed him in his war against the Ayatollahs in Iran. A good part of the weaponry that has IUD’d so many of our young soldiers and marines to death was made in America.
Next came the efforts out of Washington to add to the picture of Saddam’s wickedness the theory that he had WMD’s and was capable of quickly producing nuclear weaponry. (+2 more). As the Bush administration moved inexorably toward attacking Iraq, most of the world’s nations despaired of the thought. They urged, demonstrated, pleading with us to reconsider. (+2 more). Naysayers in congress, critics from the political left and right, demonstrators in towns, cities and universities across the land were labeled unpatriotic and non-supportive of our military. (+2 more)
It was finally revealed that our military and intelligence agencies has spied and listened without warrant, as required, on American citizens. (+2) All the while President Bush, who has yet to veto a bill out of congress, signing them all, even as he announced that he would not obey the laws he didn’t approve. (+2 more at least; this has to do with a president placing himself above the law).
The war in Iraq has now dragged on for more than three years, costing us over two thousand four hundred young Americans killed, close to twenty thousand maimed and wounded, and the killing of more than fifty thousand Iraqis. (+2 more at least) We get no real figures or budgeting from the Bush administration, but independent estimates of the cost of our Iraqi misadventure now stand at one trillion dollars. (+2 more) 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 add up to quite a score. But for the Bush administration the total is still “one”, the endless war on terror; with no thought of root causes, any culpability or change of direction on our part, consequences or costs. If there is to be some realistic math, it will be up to all of us as citizens.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Cheney to be greeted by protesters in Waco
Waco, Tx. - Activists from Waco Friends of Peace and other local organizations will demonstrate outside of the hotel where Vice President Dick Cheney will be attending a Republican campaign fundraiser on Monday. April 10. The protest will start at 10 AM outside the Waco Hilton.
Alan Northcutt, one of the organizers of the event said their their protest will be a peaceful one, intended to send a message to Republicans about the ill-conceived and poorly managed policies of the Bush-Cheney administration, noting that the vice president plays a critical role in the working of the executive branch.
"With Cheney's approval rating in the US at 18%, we will express the outrage of 246 million Americans over the policies and actions of this man," Northcutt said. "Cheney was one of the major architects of the illegal and counterproductive war on Iraq, a conduit for no-bid contracts for Halliburton, and a continuing proponent of torture by the U.S."
Those who wish to participate in this nonviolent civil exercise of free speech are welcome to do so. Banners and placards will be available, or bring one of your own. Other creative but peaceful displays are also welcomed. If counter-demonstrators are present, our "side" is asked to remain civil and not engage or debate them.
The Waco Hilton is located at 113 S. University Parks Dr.
For more information, see www.friendsofpeace.org.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Regular time, though: 6 PM.
The Crawford Peace House is at 9142 E. Fifth St., near the intersection of Rts. 317 and 185, just east of the RR tracks on 185.
1)Financial Report (Boyce Vardiman).
2)April 10th protest of Cheney fundraiser at Hilton Hotel in Waco.
3)April 19th film at Waco Central Library. "Control Room " (I obtained copy) or other.
4)role in April 1-14th "March to Redeem the Soul of America" and Crawford actions.
5)further Peace House report (rena).
7)any other member items.
8)Making banner(s) for the April 10th action.
Hope everyone can attend and provide their crucial input and artistic ability.
CHENEY REPUBLICAN FUNDRAISER
HILTON HOTEL, WACO
VP Cheney is back again for a fundraiser for Republican senatorial candidate Van Taylor and we will be back also to express our outrage.
Cheney was a major architect of the illegal invasion of Iraq, a conduit for Halliburton war profits, and a proponent of US torture.
TIME: Monday, April 10, 2006, assemble 10a.m., until approx. noon.
LOCATION: Near attendee entrance to the Hilton Hotel, probable sidewalk or Indian Spring Park across the street. (Hilton is 113 S.University Parks Dr.).
EQUIPMENT: We will make very large banners to ensure good visibility. Please make your own signs also.
* CHENEY: VP FOR TORTURE
* IMPEACH BUSH AND CHENEY
* WACO SAYS NO TO TORTURE
* CHENEY + WAR = $$$$HALLIBURTON/$$$$CHENEY
* CHENEY--NO $$$$ FOR TORTURE
(the recent immigration protests should erase any doubts about the effectiveness of protest)
Thursday, March 23, 2006
We will gather at the Hilton Hotel, where Cheney will be attending a fundraiser for Senate Candidate Van Taylor, at 10 AM and stay till about Noon. We will have signs and banners, but you are welcome to make and bring a sign for yourself. It's best if they do not have sticks or other attachments that could be construed as dangerous or threatening.
The Hilton is located at 113 South University Parks Dr., along the south side of the Brazos between Waco Drive and the interstate in Waco. Map/directions.
We will be carpooling over from the parking lot of the Brazos
Place Center shopping mall (where we have our demos). Meet there at 9:45.
Rena wants to meet for breakfast a little before 9:00. Anyone in for that?
Monday, March 20, 2006
A prime way to control people is with fear. Joseph Stalin was a master of this dark art. Stalin's communism was never the socialist contract of Marx, or even of Lenin. His was a dominion of fear. If voices or movements of opposition arose, just the threat of retaliation, banishment or disappearance would evoke fear sufficient to bring silence. Simply knowing the reach of the KGB could evoke compliance.
Fortunately, we Americans have not had to suffer under that kind of oppression. The decades of the cold war were sometimes fearful; especially the early years. After that we drifted into a sort of comfort zone framed by the threat of mutual annihilation. After the collapse of the Soviet Union we almost felt at a loss for someone to fear, an enemy with which to struggle.
With 9-11-01 came the awareness that our "bubble" of comfortable consumerism was vulnerable. We awakened to the realization that even with oceans to our east and west, our enormous investment in militarism and our status as the "wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth" we could still be threatened and hurt.
At the same time the ill-equipped individual who had been named our president less than nine months before discovered a meaning for his presidency. George W. Bush realized that he could be our "war president." He would do war with terrorism. Or perhaps it was Dick Cheney and Karl Rove who brought him to this awareness.
From late September 2001 George W. Bush's every utterance, and the words spoken for him, have been salted with the terms "terrorism," "terrorist" and "war on terrorists." Without having to say the word "fear," Mr. Bush, with the support of others of his administration, became "our fear leader".
Fear is a natural and useful reality. And the reality is that the United States is vulnerable. We are vulnerable to terrorists, criminals, unscrupulous business and industry, the deranged and extremists of all sorts who may decide, or be driven, to take out their anger, frustration, depression, hatred and desires for power and vengeance on our nation, on any and all of its people and on our many and far flung interests.
Just as fear was used in Soviet Russia to control the disparate "nations of peoples" within the USSR, fear has been used to control us of the United States since 2001. At mid March 2006, most of us will admit that the constant application of "fear" (of terrorists, of Al Queda, of "weapons of mass destruction in Saddam's hands", of references to "mushroom clouds") helped us to concede, even amidst protests, the attack and occupation of Iraq. The same fear, as well as a desire to trust our leaders, caused congress to similarly acquiesce.
Made docile by continuing application of the "terrorist" concept we have been unwilling to shout "not in my lifetime" as our civil liberties have been trimmed by the Patriot Act and our communications illegally spied upon. UNTIL THE LAST THREE WEEKS when it finally got through to us that operation of six of our major seaports were being bought by Dubai! Suddenly the continued "fear treatment" got our attention and we turned it around on the Bush administration! All the uproar might even have been a bit unfair to Dubai World Ports.
But maybe we have learned something about how to be better and more active citizens, even when we are afraid. The most treasured blessings we enjoy as Americans are our freedoms and civil rights. Unfortunately we have come to take them for granted, or to let them slide when our "fear bone" or "comfort nerve" is touched. Can we each "take the pledge" to live and protect our citizenship, even through fear?
The Waco Trib shocked us all and did a decent photo story on our protest on Saturday. Unfortunately they did not deign to post it on their web page, so I could link to it. Publication date 3/19/06, page 1C.
Here's Alan's report on the day:
The weather cooperated for the March 18th protest and we had 10-15 activists there. Our local traffic response was about 80% positive. Again we had new faces, including a couple from Whitney. Another couple appeared, voiced their support, and brought sandwiches from Jason's Deli for all of us. We rec'd great photo coverage from the WTH, which made a strong statement even without any text. Channel 25 started their 6 and 10 p.m. segments with our story. A young reporter interviewed us, and blended our comments with info about the Global Day of Protest!! So no doubt we raised the awareness level in the central texas area. Without our presence, the 3rd anniversary of this disaster would have probably passed unreported and without observance.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Saturday, March 18, 10 AM - ?
Corner of Waco Drive and Valley Mills (see update below for alternative rain site)
* BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW
* FROM IRAQ TO NEW ORLEANS, FUND PEOPLE'S NEEDS, NOT THE WAR MACHINE
* HONK FOR IMPEACHMENT
* END TORTURE NOW
Please join our peaceful protest at the busiest intersection in Waco.
1)Alternative site: in case of heavy rains saturday morning, the site is the Hwy.84/Hwy 6 overpass, just past the light in front of the big Richland Mall green sign. There is a big covered grassy area under the overpass. Closest parking is in the Mall area near the big green sign. Use caution crossing the streets to reach this site. (I cleared this site with Waco police).
2)SAFETY FIRST: please take great care in crossing streets and at the protest site, esp. if the streets are wet. Also, we must be extremely careful to CONTROL all signs and banners in the wind etc to be sure NOTHING blows into any roadways
3)Attitude: we can make a strong statement here in Bush country by our presence. But please no taunting, confrontation, or bad language.
4) Signs: consider water proofing any signs by covering them with the clear plastic adhesive laminate material.
THANKS for your help. For this statement to be made, only we can do it--we can't depend on anyone else.
Although US support for the war and for Bush has plummeted, Waco remains isolated and our voices are vital. We must speak out against illegal war, illegal spying, and torture. How can we remain silent when the actions of our government are done in our names? Who else will speak for the 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians?
If you can take even an hour or two from your busy schedule, your effort will be worthwhile. Some large banners will be provided. But please bring your own signs to express your personal outrage.
Sponsored by Waco Area Friends of Peace.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
The six year long and troubling shroud of secrecy surrounding the Bush II administration could be nearing penetration -- by we the people. It can't happen too soon.
The obsession with secrecy began even before Vice President Cheney convened his commission to form a national energy policy. Yet the full extent of those sessions, even the names of the participants, has been denied to congress, and to the public for almost five years.
A near seamless stream of secrecy has followed:
* Even as it shamelessly played politics with the 9/11 tragedy, the Bush administration labored strenuously to hide why America was so unprepared.
* The secret plan to invade Iraq, no matter the questions, objections or warnings is still denied.
* Even the cost of Iraq, two hundred plus billion dollars and twenty five thousand military personnel killed, maimed and wounded is hidden as much as possible.
* There continues a torrent of denial, stonewalling, obfuscation and deceit about information the public has a right to know.
* Information has been denied the media, researchers, even congress.
An attack on working people and the middle class continues, secreted behind claims of "national security", warnings of terrorism and the "joys" of free trade. Jobs are exported by the million, family income slowly shrivels, and millions of citizens sink closer to poverty, even homelessness. Meanwhile the administration tries to keep quiet about the transfer of billions in wealth to the top 3% of our "elite" citizens.
There is that marvelously hidden secret efficiency and effectiveness of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Now we learn that the results of thousands of federal trials are being kept secret; despite sixth amendment guarantees of public trials. Add to that the imprisonment of hundreds at Guantanamo, the "disappearing" of "suspects" by rendition and the thousands in Iraqi prisons, often in total secrecy, most without charges or legal representation, and we have something closer to the former USSR than to American democracy and civil rights.
We woke a few weeks ago to discover that the Bush administration had illegally authorized domestic spying, (that*s spying on us, neighbors) years ago. The battle is now on between the administration*s once secret, now open, defiance, and those demanding that the FISA court be involved as provided by law.
There are "secrets" that the administration chooses not to talk about:
* That most Americans now have little to no economic or health security.
* That the 196 billion budget surplus left by the Clinton administration in 2000 is a 438 billion deficit in 2005.
* That American assets are being sold off, or bought up, by those nations holding our IOU's.
That famous bubble of secrecy burst in the last two weeks; as we learned that Dubai was set to buy operation of six of our major seaports! And that 80% of our ports are already operated by companies from other nations! The money we have borrowed, spent on energy, gasoline, diesel and goods, blown on a war of choice and refused to save, is now buying us out!
To top it all, we learned just over the weekend that the Bush administration is prepared (again in secret) to supply nuclear technology to India!
Finally, there is now the "open secret" of the dismay of our soldiers and marines in Iraq. Only 23% back the administration*s plan to "stay as long as needed". 72% favor withdrawal within a year, and 29% say they should come home immediately. All of this in a government that is supposed to be a democracy!
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Occupation: Dreamland is an unflinchingly candid portrait of a squad of American soldiers deployed in the doomed Iraq city of Falluja during the winter of 2004.
A collective study of the soldiers unfolds as they patrol an environment of low-intensity conflict creeping steadily towards catastrophe. Through the squads activities Occupation: Dreamland provides a vital glimpse into the last days of Falluja.
The film documents the city’s waning stability before a final series of military assaults began in the spring of 2004 that effectively destroyed it. Filmmakers Garrett Scott and Ian Olds were given access to all operations of the Army’s 82nd Airborne. They lived with the unit 24/7, giving voice to soldiers held under a strict code of authority as they cope with an ambiguous, often lethal environment.
The result is a revealing, sometimes surprising look at Army life, operations and the complexity of American war in the 21st century.
Presented by Waco Friends of Peace for our monthly program series. Free and open to the public.
FMI www.friendsofpeace.org or 254.744.1682
5:30 p.m. – Refreshments and chat
6:00 p.m. – Film, followed by group discussion
Waco Central Library, Austin Ave and 18th St. (follow link for map), Downstairs conference room
Help promote this film by printing, copying and distributing this flier.
* publicity for our March 15 film. Everyone who responded was in favor of Occupation Dreamland. This is a big and important film and I hope we can have a good attendance. Flyers will be available at meeting.
* planning for our March 18th action in Waco (3rd anniversary of Iraq war). Ideas for our specific message??
* considering our role in the "March to Redeem the Soul of America" march from Dallas to Crawford April 1-14, followed by 5-days of actions in Crawford. Consider becoming a sponsor for the march, and other participation.
* other items anyone wants to discuss.
Hope you can attend and provide your ideas and input.
UU church is in a residential neighborhood, but has a sign out front. (Map/Directions).
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Waco Central Library
Austin Ave and 18th St.
Downstairs conferance room
5:30 - Snacks
6:00 - film
Followed by a post-film discussion. For more info on the film, see this page.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Some subjects for discussion include: choosing a new film night at the library, possible 3rd anniversary Iraq action (March 18/19) in Waco, our support for the major Dallas to Crawford march April 1-14.
All are welcome.
-Waco Drive (Hwy 84) going North (fr. McGregor direction)
-Left on 18st. (one way)
-Merges into 19th (2 way)
-go for many blocks
-Left on Park Lake (light with a big HEB at the intersection)
-go about 9 blocks
-Right on 27th (at Fire station)
-Continue near end of residential street
-UU building on right with sign near street (4209 N 27th).
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Channel 10 News previews our (last) weekend protest:
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Please spread the word about this event throughout Texas (and beyond). We need a good turnout to make sure George Bush knows he cannot escape reality by retreating to Crawford for a weekend in February -- or any other time.
Camping and RV hookups available in Tonkawa Falls RV Park, Weston Inn (McGregor), Lake Waco, Mother Neff State Park and other nearby facilities.
NOTE: CAMPING OR PARKING ON PRAIRIE CHAPEL RD IS PROHIBITED BY COUNTY ORDINANCE. ABSOLUTELY NO USE OF CAMP CASEY II FOR THIS ACTION.
Weekend at Bush ranch to include protests
Opponents of the US occupation of Iraq, the gutting of safety net programs, and other policies conceived and enacted by its allies in the legislature in Washington, will stage a nonviolent protest this weekend during the President's visit to his Crawford ranch.
The vigil will take place at the intersection of Prairie Chapel Road and Mattlage Road, at the first checkpoint, starting Saturday morning at about 9 AM. Since parking is prohibited in the area, participants should gather at the Crawford Peace House starting at 8:30 AM; from there they will be shuttled to and from the vigil site throughout the day.
For more info, go to www.friendsofpeace.org or call 254-480-9008.
Monday, January 30, 2006
"King George" himself to attend Waco protest countering State of the Union
* * *A public SOTU watch party will give Wacoans an opportunity to count and counter administration lies, distortions, cronyism, corruption, illegal activities, wasteful spending, environmental destruction and other crimes and scandals during the past year
4 - 6 pm: Rush-hour demonstration at the intersection of Waco Drive and Valley Mills. Huge banners will proclaim "Disgrace of the Nation" and ask passing motorists to "Honk for Impeachment". SPECIAL GUEST: "King George" will be wearing his crown and waving and enjoying his imperial powers. All those concerned about administration policies and determined to preserve the right to dissent even in "Bush Country" are invited to join in.
7:30 - 9:30: A SOTU watch party will allow those who are alarmed by the true "state of the union" and tired of hearing the same old lies and witnessing the dissolution of our peace, security and liberties to not only commiserate with each other, but to discuss ways to stop appointments and legislation that hurt and disempower average Americans. Location: Poppa Rollo's Pizza, 703 N. Valley Mills.
For more info, see previous post or or call 254-480-9008.
(cross-posted to Friends of Peace, Heart of Texas Peace Action, and Heart of Texas IMC
Call to Action: SOTU protest in Waco
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
In Waco, area residents will gather from 4 to 6 pm at the southwest corner of Waco Drive and Valley Mills to greet rush hour traffic with signs, banners and other visual displays. Organizers say their intention is to express their concerns about President Bush's war in Iraq, illegal domestic spying and other issues.
"The US is in a constitutional crisis with the Bill of Rights and our three-branch form of government under attack by the Bush administration." said Alan Northcutt, of Waco Friends of Peace, one of the event organizers. "I believe citizens have a responsibility to fight back under the first amendment and express their opposition to Bush's policies."
Participants also plan to convene later in the evening, during the speech, at another location to be announced.
Some key points to be made by the demonstrations:
* Rather than State of the Union speech it is Disgrace of the Union.
* Protest in solidarity with many around the country and world who decry unconstitutional and imperialistic activities.
* Our democracy is threatened by an imperial president who believes in the unitary executive and seeks to destroy the checks and balances that have preserved this nation for over 200 years.
* Say no more to: routine lies and distortion, endless wars, torture, war profiteers, corruption in Washington, personal attacks on administration critics, hiding or outlawing of dissent, illegal spying on Americans, bigotry, intolerance, environmental destruction.
"We feel at this time of a crisis in our democracy we must be highly visible," Northcutt said. "It's important to make a statement that Waco is NOT monolithic Bush country."
For more information about the action, call 254-486-0099 or go to www.friendsofpeace.org.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Venue: Waco Central Library, 1717 Austin Ave., downstairs mtg. room (map)
Time: Snacks 5:30, Film and discussion 6:00
More information: 254 752 9621 ext.226.
WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception is a documentary film describing the role of the mainstream media before the invasion of Iraq and during the occupation. The filmmaker Danny Schechter is a veteran producer who previously worked for CNN and ABC. The film points out that prior to the war the media did little more than serve as a cheerleader for Bush. For example, only 3% of new sources during broadcasts were from anti-war voices. He notes the Iraq war is "war as entertainment", complete with countdown and kickoff. Further, the anti-war movement seemed to be invisible because the major networks denied airtime for ads from those opposed to the war. (More info on film here)
Please attend and enlarge the progressive thoughts and actions here in Bush country. Thank you.
"Sometimes, to be silent is to lie."
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
(usually a film or forum)
Poppa Rollos Pizza, 703 N. Valley Mills Drive, in side room accessible from front parking lot
6:00 pm - announcements, place orders individually (optional)
6:30 pm - program, followed by discussion
1st Sunday - Business meeting
Waco UU Church, 4209 N. 27th
6 - 7:30 pm
We usually have some refreshments to share.
See entries on main page for special event listings such as demonstrations and study groups.