Thursday, July 26, 2012

On The Farm With Bradley Manning: How to Be Human

Flyer from last spring by Elizabeth Barger, CODEPINK Local Coordinator and co-founding member of The Farm
The Farm is an eco village established decades ago by a group of idealistic, intelligent people who wanted to learn how to be more human. My family came here to rest after the punishing heat and militarism of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, which was full of strip malls with recruiting offices offering “careers” to low income youth. Their glossy posters were paid for by the beleaguered U.S. taxpayer, who is about to pony up another $606 billion for “defense” in fiscal year 2013.

This glossy poster was given to us by one of the Kansas City area activist artists, Marc Saviano. It was made at his own expense and will go home to Maine to stand on the bridge with us on Sundays – because dissent is patriotic.
Today we'll get a full tour of The Farm including its sustainable water system, composting toilets, adobe style buildings, and the internationally famed Midwifery Center established by the revolutionary of humane birthing in the U.S., Ina May Gaskin. She and her husband Steven were among the group with Eliz and Joe Barger that drove out of the SF Bay area in the early 1970's, headed away from the mean city streets and back toward the countryside. Besides The Farm they founded Plenty, an economic justice project, and Kids to the Country.

Yesterday we chilled out by The Farm's swimming hole with a slew of city kids, mostly from Nashville, that were enjoying consensual splashing while learning to swim, share, and make bead geckos and squid. Oh, and there was also crawdad catching and a snake watching walk. Our grandson, who is 7, was included in their games and swimming lessons just as if he belonged to the group. Which he did. He was recovering from a hot morning mixing straw and red clay with the building crew, daubs of which remained after sluicing off in a solar shower.

The Farm is a teaching center offering all kinds of lessons in sustainable living. What I hope my grandson takes away is the notion that children are welcome, and that everyone cooperating makes for the best kind of life possible.

At each river or stream I've been grateful to rest beside I find Bradley Manning in my mind's eye, and I invite him to walk free with me beside the water.

Because exposing war crimes is not a crime, it is an act of courage and humanity.

Recorded interview on Press TV about Manning's imprisonment and alleged crimes.

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