Beanery Online Literary Magazine

January 16, 2008

VOICES OF WILDERNESS: PEACE MEETING

Filed under: WR/BW CAROLYN — beanerywriters @ 3:33 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

—written by Carolyn C. Holland

During a discussion on peace issues this evening, Monte and I told others of a meeting we attended in Bath, Maine while traveling through New England in 2003. I told the others at the meeting that I would post my travel journal report on the Peace Meeting in the Beanery Online Literary Magazine.

One night I suggested to Monte that we attend a meeting where a woman from Iraq was speaking of her experiences being there during the war. It included a pot-luck dinner, so we purchased an adorable yellow-iced cake with brown mice on it.

When we arrived things seemed like they were loosely run, and I felt uncomfortable. No one seemed to know what was going on. The speaker turned out to be Kathy Kelly, a well-known peace movement leader of a loosely knit organization known as Voices of Wilderness.Most of the 75-100 people in attendance were there to protest the launching of a ship at the Bath Marine company the next morning. A couple from Albany told us the ship can launch nuclear weapons sixteen times as powerful as that used on Nagasaki, and he protesters believed that it would be better to spend the money on medical or other types of ships. Protesters came from Florida, Colorado, New York as well as locally. Later news reports said several of these people were arrested during the demonstration, because they didn’t keep their demonstration behind the proper lines.

Kathy Kelly was in a seven-story family-run Muslim-owned hotel during the bombing of Iraq. She said $1 billion of explosives were laser pointed on Baghdad, and 900 tons of depleted uranium was left. Kathy asked: What if that money had been directed to educational and social services?

She talked about being with the Iraqi families, and the effect of the bombing on them. “It’s hard when all you can do is wait for the city to be bombed,” she said.

Before the bombing, eight women went to the maternity hospital to have their babies by C-section. They felt it was better than having them during the expected bomb bombardments.

Babies were grinding their teeth morning, afternoon and night.

A group of teens became engrossed in playing a game of Risk. When they were told they could finish the game the next day, and an 8-year old responded: We might not be here tomorrow.

Civilians put themselves in danger by approaching guarded posts. Kathy asked: With no news, how do civilians know NOT to approach guarded posts?

Some of the peace persons placed themselves as human shields in there, and were issued fines of $10,000, which they still owe. Voices of Wilderness was fined $20,000 for taking medicine and toys to Iraq.

When an ob-gyn doctor in Florida was fined $100,000 for sending medications to Iraq, Florida newspapers didn’t publish the story.

Later in a motel room we saw an interview with Kathy. She said they had no intention of paying the fines because they didn’t want to support the war.

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