The Friends of Peace meet monthly, the third Tuesday of the month, 6 pm, at Poppo Rollo's Pizza
Westbank Meeting Room, 703 N. Valley Mills Dr., Waco, 76710. Free presentation and pizza/salad buffet.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Progressive Film Series: October, 2009


TITLE: RETHINK AFGHANISTAN.
GENRE: Documentary.
DATE: Thursday, October 8, 2009.
TIME: 6pm pizza buffet and announcements.
6:30 film and discussion.
VENUE: Poppa Rollo's Pizza, 703 N. Valley Mills
Drive, Waco. Front meeting room.
RELEASE DATE: September 2009.
PRESENTER: Harrison Ward, FOP and Results.
FEE: Free pizza and film.
We always attempt to bring you the freshest
and most timely film each month. Nothing could
be more vital at this time of the 8th anniversary of
the Afghanistan occupation. And the film is brand
new having just been released.
We are honored by your attendance and participation in this Waco progressive forum.

PROTEST 8TH ANNIV. AFGHANISTAN OCCUPATION, SEPT. 25, 2009: Healthcare Not Warfare.

WACO, Tx.--The Waco Friends of Peace will sponsor a "HEALTHCARE NOT WARFARE" protest, Friday, September 25, 3:15pm, at Congressman Chet Edwards office, 600 Austin Ave., Waco. The protest is in solidarity with protests which will take place across the country on the 8th anniversary of the occupation of Afghanistan, October 7. We call on Mr. Edwards to oppose any escalation of troops in Afghanistan, and oppose additional funding of the Afghanistan occupation without a timeline for U.S. withdrawal. We further request that Mr. Edwards support a healthcare "public option," or a single payer system. In a wealthy country such as the US, it is morally outrageous that some 40 million Americans are uninsured and that 45,000 Americans die annually due to lack of health insurance. The $130 billion currently proposed for Iraq and Afghanistan could fund universal health care for a year. We exhort Mr. Edwards to help change American priorities by voting for HEALTHCARE not WARFARE. (press release).












The action involved about 12 activists of all ages. We were excited to have some children participate, already developing a social conscience. We kept vigil outside Chet Edward's office from 3pm until 5pm. The reception from motorists was overwhelmingly positive. Three of us met for 30 minutes with one of Mr. Edward's
staff and had a productive discussion. The event was covered by the Waco Tribune-Herald which featured a large photo on the front of the Local section!! A photographer from the Baylor Lariat was also documenting the action. Thus we were very happy with the success of this protest. Our numbers were great for Waco, especially during work hours. Thanks to all the loyal FOP members, new folks, and kids who spent the time to speak their conscience. (We had the action
early as most groups are during this anniversary protest in early October. Due to absence of some members in October we needed to pick September 25).
























Monday, September 07, 2009

TEA PARTY COUNTERPROTEST 9/3/09



PRESS RELEASE.
For immediate release.
Sept. 3, 2009.
WACO, Tx.--The Waco Friends of Peace will sponsor a oounterprotest to the "Tea Party", today, 4:30pm, near Indian Springs Park in Waco. We believe that as one of the richest countries in the world, the United States has a moral imperative to insure all Americans have health care insurance. With a UN ranking of our health care of #36, and 40 million citizens uninsured, our system needs reform, to include a public insurance option, preferable a single payer system. All the major industrialized nations provide universal coverage, thus the United States can certainly afford to do so. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."
About a dozen of us faced 1000+ teabaggers--and we clearly won a moral victory. Our message
was clearly visible to all those entering the tea party (including national buses), and the media.
Although many of the teaparty folks were civilized, others were very angry and told us to "get out
of my country." One Hispanic girl who joined with us encountered racist remarks. And the media
seemed very hungry to report our side of this issue. We were covered by all 3 TV channels
locally and the Waco Tribune-Herald. So the reporting of this teaparty included a clear statement
that there are those in Waco who disagree with their viewpoint and that we consider healthcare
in the United States a human right.
Thanks to all the Friends of Peace members who helped out, and to our friends from Baylor Democrats who joined in with us and did media interviews.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

PROGRESSIVE FILM SERIES, September 2009


TITLE: CONSTANTINE'S SWORD
GENRE: Documentary.
DATE: Thursday, September 10
TIME: Pizza and announcements 6,
film and discussion 6:30pm.
VENUE: Poppa Rollo's mtg room,
enter from outside door on right
or from inside restaurant.
RATING: Unrated, suitable for
children.
AUDIENCE: All welcome.
FEES: Pizza buffet and film free.
RUN TIME: 96 minutes.
RELEASE DATE: Sept. 16, 2008.
Knowing that the right wing theocrats hand-picked Sarah Palin as their vehicle for gaining control of America and turning it into a Christian Dominionist nation, this documentary by James Carroll (who wrote the book of the same name) is especially compelling and insightful. Carroll is one of our favorite and most thoughtful of mainstream columnists(Boston Globe). Having been raised Irish Catholic and once been a priest, he has a remarkable insight into how religion and politics converge."Constantine's Sword" is a reflection and historical journey into how many denominations of Christianity evolved into a warring religion from the peaceful teachings of Jesus. Carroll focuses on the Roman Emperor Constantine who elevated the cross into a symbol that sanctified war, and made killing justified in the name of Christ and God.Carroll is the narrator and traveler who takes us on an expedition into how Christ's message became distorted over time, leading up to where the movie starts: the evangelical hot bed of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the evangelical takeover of the U.S. Airforce Academy in that city. He then moves backwards in time to about 350 years after Christ's death, interweaving his journey with personal remembrances of growing up in an observant Catholic family.Sarah Palin was the Trojan Horse that the End-Times crowd demanded McCain put on the ticket as the price to pay for unleashing their mailing lists and full-fledged support on election day. They were counting on McCain not making it through his first term, with Palin assuming office as a true believer who is even more indoctrinated into Armageddon theology than Bush.Carroll is a reflective, deliberating guide through the death and torture that are most reflected in the Crusades. But the Holy Wars have never really stopped there. They continue to this day, but under other carefully-crafted pretenses.And Sarah Palin is prepared now to go to war with Russia. McCain would start wars because he doesn't know how to do much except engage in conflicts. Palin would start wars because it's God's will.One of the best lines in this provocative documentary is Carroll noting that the Vatican didn't condemn the massive aerial bombing of Vietnam, but would have vociferously denounced the war if the U.S. planes had been dropping condoms on North Vietnam instead of high-powered explosives.
I found this to be a very thoughtful, carefully crafted documentary; yet it delivered a strong indictmentof the pro-war attitudes of some Christian churches. However, I recall that at the beginning of the Iraq war, the Pope strongly condemned the U.S. invasion. So maybe the churches have learned to a degree from past experiences. In any event, the film may be controversial to some Christians in the audience and should spark a lively discussion.
At this time of right wing hysteria and resurgence of racism, your attendance
and support of this progressive forum in Waco is vital. We are honored by your
presence and input.
BEFORE the film began the Friends of Peace presented its 2009 outstanding local activist
award to Mrs. Sara Haney.
Her plaque read: "for steadfast support and courageous activism for Peace and Justice."
Those who know Mrs. Haney realize the award was well deserved. She has financially supported
the group and has been a loyal and brave activist and she has taken to the streets many times
to speak truth to power. We are all grateful for her fantastic efforts.