Monday, October 10, 2011

30 Day Care-a-Van to Bring Our War $$ Home Finale

Finale event of the Bring Our War $$ Home  30 day Care-a-Van around Maine, held Oct 9, 2011 at UMaine Augusta and in honor of Indigenous People's Day. The #Occupy movement was on everyone's mind and often spoken of as HOPEFUL!
Program: Overview of 30 Day Care-a-van Events -- Bruce Gagnon; Honoring Wise Earth Stewardship vs. For-Profit Use of Natural Resources -- Lisa Savage; Report Back from October2011 in Wash DC, and Indigenous People's Land Use Support by VFP -- Dud Hendrick; Maine in Environmental Crisis and Our Advocacy -- Hillary Lister; Poetry Readings -- Lee Sharkey, Henry Braun; Songs -- Judd Esty-Kendall, Dan Ellis; audience participation and announcements.

Lisa Savage, CODEPINK Maine Local Coordinator remarks on 10-9-11:

Thank you to everyone for being here today. Thank you for bringing food and ideas for all of us to share. I am grateful for the opportunity to share a meal and to speak with you.

Thank you to the Earth, the water and the sky for upholding us and sustaining us.

Thank you to the ancestors, who taught us how to live respectfully on our planet.

This is an auspicious time for people to come together and affirm the vision of a world they would want the grandchildren and great grandchildren to inherit.

The original human beings had a wisdom that modern people often forget to remember.

They forget when they spend even one cent on killing other humans. They forget when they allow for-profit corporations to hijack the food supply for human beings. They forget when they allow health care to be privatized and turned into a for-profit service. They forget when they allow post secondary education to become a means of enslaving entire generations to a lifetime of debt. They forget when they allow for-profit corporations to pollute the ponds, lakes, rivers, seas and oceans. They forget when they allow killer robots to enrich the few while burning up children, women and men who are just going about their lives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Gaza, and Iraq. They forget when they allow war profiteers to drain the national treasury.

The original human beings were guided by the wisdom of grandmothers. In many tribes, women collectively pooled their wisdom and chose the elder women to guide the process of choosing leaders. These grandmothers had the power to appoint a chief, and the power to remove a chief.

In the Wampanog language the word for woman means: she who has the final say.

Where did modern humans step off the path of life and onto a path of pursuing death for profits?

Arguably, at least on this continent, this misstep occurred in 1492 when a corporatized effort to seek wealth in foreign lands bumped into the island of Hispaniola and thought India had been reached.

In the event, it did not matter much that it was the wrong continent. When pillage and theft are the motivators, any wealth will do.

Tomorrow the modern warfare state has a holiday to commemorate the ghastly events that followed on European “discovery” of the American continents.

We come together today by choice to re-purpose this holiday, and to honor the original inhabitants of North America and their deep wisdom about stewardship of the earth's natural resources. Today we celebrate Indigenous People's Day on our final event of the 30 Day Care-a-Van to Bring Our War $$ Home and put them to work.

Today we stand in solidarity with the people, mostly young adults, who have poured into public spaces to demand an end to rule by for-profit corporate government. #OccupyMaine is going strong – some of us visited them yesterday in Monument Sqaure, Portland. #OccupyAugusta is gaining strength – on Oct 15 people will gather in Capitol Park near the State House with the same demand. #OccupyWallSt and #Occupy Washington DC have received international press coverage, and that coverage has spread our demand – the demand to Bring Our War $$ Home – literally around the world. A giant pink banner with the BOW$H slogan was the backdrop for Russia TV's coverage, and a contingent holding a BOW$H banner marched proudly past Al Jazeera's reporter in Washington DC on Oct 6.

Thank you activists for spreading this message of hope so far beyond the borders of our beloved state of Maine!

This is an auspicious time for people to come together and affirm the vision of a world they would want the grandchildren and great grandchildren to inherit.

Let me reflect on another development of the Maine campaign to bring our war dollars home: connecting with college students around the state. The Care-a-Van kicked off with a grassroots media event organized by WERU Community Radio and held at Unity College. Many students walked away from that event wearing a t-shirt with one of five fantastic bow$h images created at various campaign Draw-a-thons over the last two years. The Care-a-van visited Umaine Farmington for leafleting on student debt as compared with military spending. It visited Bowdoin College for a teach in on Afghanistan. There a young man said, I am a freshman here at Bowdoin. My parents lost our home because my sister has leukemia and the medical bills were huge. I stood in front of the bank that repossessed our home in Mass. And a policeman told me I couldn't stand there without paying $50 for a permit from the town. The young man said to those in attendance at Bowdoin, we freshmen sit around and talk all the time, about how something is terribly wrong in this country. We don't know what to do.

I told him, talking to other people about what's wrong is the first step. And you are doing that right now. I was terribly sad for his family, but I felt overjoyed that the Care-a-Van had created an opportunity, a space, for him to bring his story into the public conversation.

The Care-a-Van went to Umaine Orono last week. A peace action group on campus met up with Care-a-Van organizers and helped leaflet before a talk by Prof. Doug Allen. Yesterday two of those student organizers turned up in Monument Square to connect with the General Assembly of #OccupyMaine. It was exciting when Jessi Clement turned to me yesterday and said, So I have a statement I brought that I wanted to make. Let's use the people's microphone I said. I had already seen her practice using the mike. She was still a little shy. I said, I will stand right beside you. Then Bethany Louisos of the Free Change collective in Portland stood right beside Jessi on the other side. And Jessi called out

Mike Check.
(audience response)

We are not lacking

in the dynamic forces

needed to create

the future.

We live immersed

in a sea of energy

beyond all comprehension

But this energy

in an ultimate sense

is not ours by domination

but by invocation

we must believe

that we are care for-profit

and guided by

these same powers

that brought us into being”

Thomas Berry

Jess then taught us a mudra, a hand gesture from the Hindu tradition, a particular mudra that gives strength to though and matter, and is used to put more force behind plans for the future. I would be happy to share it with anyone who is interested today after our program concludes.

This is an auspicious time for people to come together and affirm the vision of a world they would want the grandchildren and great grandchildren to inherit.

The Care-a-Van to bow$h was modeled on a caravan conducted by my Pink sisters and allies in Northern California. They began at an occupation of a sacred site, a shell mound on the northern edge of the San Francisco bay. Native people and their allies have been holding that space to prevent developers from covering it with for-profit real estate parcels. That caravan ended at their state capital in Sacramento by joining an occupation conducted by Calif teachers.

Today we conclude our Care-a-Van here at yet another college in Maine, at a center dedicated to upholding human rights for everyone, with an event honoring the wisdom of indigenous people's stewardship of the environment. All over the globe native people are resisting the theft of their land and their coasts – on Jeju Island, in the rain forests of India, on Okinawa, at Da Molina, Italy, in the great western desert of the United States of America, sacred to many tribes, a space which the Pentagon proposes to turn into a militarized airspace.

To the Pentagon and its many corporate leeches we will continue to present our demand in every way we can imagine:

Bring our war $$ home!


Next planning meeting for the Maine Bring Our War $$ Home campaign: Sat Oct 29, Augusta.


1 comment:

Ben Young said...

Kids must start their education in day care center so that it will enhance their skills and talents. Since they are still kids, we also give credit to the teacher who must have a high patience for these kids.