Poetry & Prose

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Actors' Gang C9 Trial

 

The Play- "The Trial of the Catonsville 9"

9/17/9- play is given at University of MD...panel before hand. Actor’s Gang out of Culver City, Calif.. A review in the Wash. Post of 9/12 confirms what I have long thought about the play all along- that it is staid, preachy, etc. etc. G tells me no one ever told him the play was boring- and I can imagine why! The play is fine as a teachable moment, a let’s have a discussion afterwards w the audience type of play. It’s a documentary. A good play has to be exciting- hold interest, have narrative, have interesting persons. I mean- a sermon is one thing: I heard plenty of sermons in my youth and they put me asleep. They drove me from the church and I promised not to come back. And, I agree w what the 9 say in the play completely!

But, I see the Actor’s Gang version on 9/17/9. They have actually brought the play to life! Of course- it is not a play- it is a documentary. You know what the end is going to be. I was going to say character should develop in a play- but one of the actors tells me- but we do see how the characters of the 9 develop- from Guatamala to the US, for example. I tell the actors about the C-9 production at the Community College at Catonsville which had a lot of bells and whistles and how I thought- well it can be brought to life. But the Actor’s Gang version comes EVEN MORE to life- and why? : the intense acting most of all; also, the music, the pacing;  Judge Thompson played by a woman and made to be quite human- she WANTS TO KEEP HER JOB! The 9 know they’re losing their jobs. I find myself hearing the words for the first time and finding them extremely poignant. The recitation of the Lord’s Prayer almost brings me to tears- so simple. There are even moments of humor (although not many). Along with and more than the CCBC's, this is the best production I have seen.

John Kellam, the Direct or speaks of a strong Commedia del Arte influence. He has a theory of projection that is a very physical method- it has a name- samurai? suzuki? what? Makes the acting very intense. We go out after the 9/18 performance and I get to talking w  Patti Tippo, who plays the clerk and Marjorie Melville. She talks of getting the mannerisms of Marjorie down, or even the accents of the clerk- who refers to the trash baskets as “tresh” baskets (supposedly a Baltimore accent).. I get to thinking- but imitating the exact mannerisms of the person you’re playing may not be so important. The intensity of the acting carries the show regardless of the person being nailed- as George would say- referring to the many actors who have played him. Who cares if they “nail” it- unless the person played is that famous?

I joke w Adele Robbins (Tim Robbins sister- herself arrested for civil disobedience in 19?) who plays Judge Thompson- “you said a lot of wrong things Judge” and also, “I think I’m going to run away and join an acting troupe”. O the life of an actor- these people HAVE to be open- they have to be creative (they enjoy being on the road because they get paid- in Hollywood- it’s a labor of love). It is so exciting being around them and hearing about their craft, their lives in Hollywood. Not well paid, not glamorous….not at all.

High points of the play: Ms Robbins makes Judge Thompson almost seem sympathetic, play shows Sachs and Thompson  most articulate adversaries-Darst makes the quip which brings laughter from the audience: “How could I burn slum properties symbolically?”- to this, one of Sachs better probes,. Darst might better have answered the question- “Do you think slum properties have no right to exist?” of Sachs by saying- “Under capitalism, slum properties are a bad thing. But they do belong to the slum lord- are his bread and butter. Besides, there are people living in them. Ideally, you might consider burning them- they certainly burned them in the riots.” One has to think fast on one’s feet in a trial (one of the reasons I dropped out, or rather was never in- I wasn’t invited). Tom Lewis tells the prosecutor- “I’ve got 6 years to think about it”.

Adele's movie star brother- Tim, who had seen Gordon Davidson's version of the play in L A, makes the point, in an interview w Amy Goodman on "Democracy Now", that, after the wild anarchy of the Democratic Convention in Chicago, the 9 action, with its strait laced priests, gave those in the middle more reason to think about the issues. I had the thought that- altho the Chicago 7 used their court room experience to great effect- the 9 also, after all, had sought out the court to present their views- even though the court wouldn't let them- and the court in Baltimore should have been honored to have been so selected- but they weren't! The should have welcomed the 9 and, of course, should have acquitted them- wherehter by bold action by the Jude, ior by jury nullification.

I note- in the Baltimore 4's appeal to the supreme court which I find on the internet- the following:

"The trial was interrupted for five days due to the race riots in Baltimore following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the appellants press upon us that a mistrial should have been declared. If it had appeared reasonably likely that the jury might impute the acts of the race rioters to war protestors, or even that in the sight of the community race rioters and antiwar protestors are indistinguishable, then this argument might have some merit. However, though suggested in argument, there was no evidence to prove this relationship. Moreover, when the trial resumed, the judge made careful inquiry of the jurors to ascertain whether the events of the preceding several days would have any effect upon their ability to try the case in accordance with their oath. From the responses the judge meticulously elicited from the jurors, he was satisfied that the events in question would not affect their impartiality. There is nothing to suggest that the jurors were inflamed by passion or prejudice against war resistors, or that any of them felt such a degree of resentment or impatience as to impair unbiased judgment. "Appellate courts should be slow to impute to juries a disregard of their duties * * *." Fairmount Glass Works v. Cub Fork Coal Co., 287 U.S. 474, 485, 53 S.Ct. 252, 77 L.Ed. 439.

 

Chris Schultz (Tom Lewis), George Ketsios (Tom Melville), Helene and George Mische, Adele Robbins (Judge Thomson), Scott Harris (Phil Berrigan), Dave Eberhardt, Corey Lovett (George Mische), Jon Kellam, Director, either Ethan Kogan (John Hogan) or, I'm not sure, Colin Golden (David Darst)missing the actors for Mary Moylan and Marjorie Melville

Panel of 9/14/9 at U of Md- "Planning the Catonsville 9 Action"   JoeTropea, filmmaker, Brendan Walsh, Dean Pappas, Willa Walsh, George Mische

another panel-Liz McCallister, Max Obuszewski, Fred Guy, moi blabbing at Univ. of Baltimore before play on 2/11/11; Joe Tropeas was also on this panel and made a good remark- that the Catonsville action was "the most articulate" of the actions. It is justly the one that is remembered.

Over the years I learned more and more of the details of the Catonsville 9  action- as I attended many reunions, and watched the play and discussed same: Brendan Walsh's role as driver although an impatient Phil took the keys and drove- at least on the way out (Phil rode back in a paddy wagon!); Dean Pappas' role as phone liason, Willa Walsh and Marilyn O'Connor's role as press release distributors, why George's pants ripped, how Mary Moylan held the phone button down so that the clerks could not call out, how Dave Darst was look out, how Dan B filled the baskets, the fact that it took a long time for the police to come- they could have all walked away, easily! The 9 were actually tried by the state as well as the feds- although any sentences (were there any?) were run concurrent.

Visit by George Mische (G)  from 9/12-18/09 -in connection w play at Univ. of Md, College Park, Md.)

G tries me to rewrite what I put into Wikipedia on the C- 9 because I added a bit on the Plowshares action which G doen’t approve of; I tell him –no-I'm not going to change it- it’s something I believe. He yells- you’re not a part of the C-9. No, I retort- but I consider myself part of that movement. I tell him rewrite Wikipedia yourself if you don’t like what I said.

An honest debate about tactics- that I could see. G mentions people taking one step at a time- good- he mentions participation in electoral politics-good;building a large movement is good; that doesn’t mean Plowshares actions are to be demeaned, in my opinion,  and dismissed out of hand. G says they’re not part of “our legacy”. I tell him that the Plowshares actions make him look good- that is- a movement he helped start continues!

I begin to see how major disagreements and misunderstandings occur in history and how old friends end up enemies. G gets things twisted, as in telling me that my Cathy had been given the impression by me that I was in the Catonsville 9- where did he get that from? Or, that Nicole of the U of Md told me I couldn’t be a part of the panel- when I never asked her if I could.

Maybe 250 + raids by some one’s (who?) count- this needs verifying.

He speaks of 5 who did not join the Balto 4- was that true? who were they, besides Dean and Bill O'C- I ask- he doesn't know- then he tells me he saw in in a news article that I had in my basement- sounds like idle chatter. Dean agrees, he didn’t know of people who dropped out of the four- he certainly wasn’t one- he tells me on 9/17. I don't think the 4 action wouldn’t have gone on without me.  He also tells me I always feel “left out”! Who doesn’t? I DID feel left out at the time of the C-9- I don’t believe I had been asked to join- but probably wouldn’t anyhow. My problem with feeling left out is that I tended- because of my disposition to depression- to get stuck in a self blaming rut- the needle stuck on a record- it happened to me several times in my life- completely immobilizing me. So what- I’m happy now- I got through it.

George thinks that I have drunk the poison kool aide of the cult (Dan and Phil’s)- he likens them to Jim Jones or David Koresh- which is just plain silly. But in all fairness to George, there is a similar moment re Martin L King in the movie, "Freedom Riders" where a group of student freedom riders and trying to get King to accompany them and he refuses and they begin to refer to him as "De Lawd" sarcastically. Turns out he ws human, had feet of clay- just like Phil.  a Jesus comples? I think not. I tell C, I remember when that came up in our own CORE and how I thought then it was a "holier kind of thou" militancy I didn't like. O, she says- they were young and they had expectations of him he didn't fulfill.  "Freedom Riders" a must film, by the way! Must. Diane Nash- wow-her determined, purposeful face as a young woman- reminded me of Louise. Kernnedy's aide- Mr. Siegenthaler,  tries to convince her that going into Alabama/ Mississippi is suicidal? She turned the tables on me and gave me a lecture, he proclaims. Re possible egotism of Dan. Joe Tropea who is doing the documentary, tells me on 5/7 that Dan "hung up on me". He has been trying to get a more extensive interview. He talked for the Kunstler movie and the ?, Joe says. Maybe he is egotistical as George says, I reply- but don't take it personally. He is old and frail.

George tells me that people he knows on the Catholic left agrees w Plowshares- I remind him that Phil., Tom and Dan were part of the Plowshares-  (Dan and Phil were in the first Plowshares group- the King of Prussia action) that he should be proud that the actions continue in that way- he says they don't represent us at all- that Jonah House is a bunch of hucksters- it's ridiculous!

Hearing G talk about the various actions- they all seem to have very differing “camps” within them as in the Camden 28 divided into 2 camps- meaning? Re Giacchino’s (sp)  film- would it be fair or not- would it give too much play to Father Mc? Mick Doyle- you’ve got to remember these are strong minded people. The Chicago 15- or some there in came to the conclusion that Linda Quint was an agent- because she went undergraund and then surfaced and never had to to do time- sounds sworth investigating.

Generally G says people have been generous with their archives.

dave and george- i told u so!

I can't see Geo dissing Dan - for those who come to this site for history? see  Lee Lockwood's movie "Holy Outlaw" and you will see the greatness of Dan Berrigan. ...some of the high points?:

 

Dan's sermon in the cathedralish space (where?) when he pops up from the undergound?

 

Dan says: "We have chosen to become powerless criminals in a time of criminal power!  What can we do but present a solid wall of conscience to confront the war makers?

 

There are 100 ways of non-violent resistance...we must take courageous actions that are the moral equivalence of the separations and the suffering exacted by war!

 

And there's a note of humor: as one of the parishioners is asked:

 

"What do you think of Fr Berrigan's asking you from the pulpit to put your lives in jeopardy to protest the war?"

 

The elderly, white haired lady responds: "Well...that's his idea."

 

George visit of 9/17,18/10

g is 73- has 6 kids

I find myself feeling genuinely close to G,. almost as if he were a friend. Just that his reasoning, re Phil and Liz, is so perverse!  G tapes 90 minutes w me today- ground rules- i cannot write about any of it- think i'm going to obey that? no i am not- geoge doesn't read it anyway- wil he ever get his book together?

all i can say to george who gives me grief about what i have written in my notes re the interview w Bill O C:

  1. nobody reads my stuff (Thank goodness G hasn't read it! He would probably kill me!)
  2. when your (G's) book comes out the record will all be set straight
  3. do you have the insurance of who will edit or complete your book and put your notes into a book if you pass?
  4. i jokingly say- i may make you famous w my account before u do me w yours (of course G has no intention of making me famous) 

I offer him my hospitality and he abuses me?!?!?! He says Helene told him not to stay with me if he is going to get bent out of shape (like the last time).

He recounts again (some I have heard three times but I never tire because G is such a wonderful racounteur and character- a natural story teller (and he never stops talking!) amazing stories re helene at Allenwood- sneaking contraband (liquor) in- organizing fellow inmates, going to the hole, none of this covered that i ever read about- stories abt smuggling booze in and laying bottles on the fellow inmates beds- then telling all to smash them when finished- flush down the toilet

G was taken to the hole (Administrative Segregation- aren't their euphemisms great?) (same one Phil and I inhabited- and Richard Chandler) at Lewisburg for organizing other inmates at Allenwood. His wife,  Helene got Congressman (Senator?)  Ron Dellums to sign a letter in protest. George was tried in a kangaroo court in the prison- but in a phone call to Helene he asked her to bring a lawyer, ? Rudowski, from Philly and, with the help of conservative, ? Buckley (who was actually FOR prison reform) he revealed scams and corruption at Lewisburg and achieved reforms for prisoners there. George was always plenty gutsy. A rare person that would press on in militancy when others, due to fear, simply gave up!

what he found out about his father- an organizer for the Wobblies back in the teens? they were going to ship him back to switzerland

g's encounter w mafioso, Don Gotti and his wonderful story abt their feast and his refusal to join in- i have already recounted this

g's story abt Hoffa- you mean they haven;'t fed your men?

how Hoffa slapped Provenzano around and that was a no no

stuff re the camden 28- mick doyle- why some of the 28 did not want to cooperated w Giacchino- (not liking M Doyle's attempts to control the narrative?) (Doyle still a parish priest in Camden?)

giocondo and grady as main organizers of the camden action- grady organized 8 actions (at least)

betty metzger and her book on the raid on the fbi files at media; - that she was married to ben bagdikian

the flower city conspiracy and their having draft files, fbi files and states attorney's files- their action disrupted

george says he could raise a lot of money for joe- but he doesn't want any favorable treatment of liz or frida- long diatribes on them- frida at the progressive magazine event- all prima donna, ego stuff- liz at bill o c's ceremony as dour, same old my husband the prophet stuff

jim harney at bill's ceremoney and how saintly jim was- i sort of remember his presentation- none of us are saints

c notice that while g boasts of turning down offers, he definitely likes to get them

g has been thru heroic operations- stents, aneurism near his groin,

g on phil and dan's father- how they dissed him- geoge goes outside and joins him at a picnic table

g on phil in the heating ducts- g re how forest, harney, others did not like phil- how wenderoth was so scared and how scoblick spooked joe and neil from turning over boxes of info- a treasure for G because they are still scared of getting into trouble- Joe still a substitute priest

g's obsession re liz as a lier-how she is malicious? no- i say, just, like the rest of us, may have selective memory, exagerate certain things, get things wrong- how kathleen rumpf was wronged- how phil was a bully- no i tell george- the people who joined in these actions were strong enough to see thru the "mythologizing"- it's the right wing likes to call phil a mytholigizer

i can admit i felt shunned at the time of the c- 9- but i really didn't want to risk their action anyway! my withdrawal was a defense, protective mechanism

touching story re mary moylan and searching her out and how she should have been at the reunion at Goucher (83?) her being blind- g takes her to Camden

notes upon reading A Clumsy Grace by Charles Meconis the big actions? to me? 4,c-9, milwaukee, d-9, chicago, camden, media

forest decides against writing the book abt the Harrisburg 8 (7?)- he has a contract for w Knopf- he does not want to reveal inside secrets

Forest realized- the C nine action deserved "to b multiplied"

george's retreat re Milw 14- retreats in NJ mentioned to me by George

pg. 50 in meconis bk: Jim Harney, at the Milw 14 trial, says to the court:

"It seems to me that if we decide...that the war is irrelevant, that poverty in this country is irrelevant, you are in a concrete way asking the members of the jury to decide...that all of the men here are sheer lunatics...asking the jury to decide as tho there were no war going on...than all we dfo is go around burning draft records, and that's our thing?"

pg 55- bottom of page- a "delayed stand by" Phil Linden- a black participant in the actions Mcglaughlin and Wenderoth in Meconis bk- very out spoken- now- are they scared because ot the job positions they hold?

pg 62- details of the DC 9 trial- very interesting Liz on Delaware actions- all draft boards wiped out?

Panel at UMD of 9/14/?

Very interesting…discussion of bombing of math lab in Madison by Rev. Wimberly- one of the panelists- George is a brilliant presenter- he has given his spiel so often he has it down- highpts. Being:  Nuremburg principles- 3 components-citizens must stand up,  no blind following orders, no nation knows best, no…, what civil disobedience must have to be successful.

Film maker  (of “Hit and Stay”- I need to talk to him about this weak title- Maybe "Hit or Split"?) , Joe Tropea,  rides with us- we discuss how is he going to make it exciting. I watch a segment on the demo at Fed Ex field- it’s darn good.

Helene gives me the best description of the genesis of the C- 9- of all- of course she was there in DC- she says G came up with the idea- that he didn’t brow beat any one- that people voted to be in- that Tom and Phil were shocked at first. G says he came up to Phil at our trial and mentioned this.

I think of what I wld say if called upon- which I may well b- first of all that I like talking the prison lingo w  G- "Mr. Raconteur"- I gravitate to what I like: humor and the imagination- I’m a poet- g’s story abt the bulb going off in his head when the lawyer- says- you mean if these files were burned, they’re no duplicates?  The imagination to make connections, the education to make them…fact that c-9 play is rather a documentary- it is slow- like the long  French documentary movie, “Shoah”- not dramatically resistance like the exciting and action packed  movie about the  2 Jewish brothers who become partisans in the Polish forest; an exciting trial film would be the wonderful  animated movie on the Trial of the Chicago 7 one or the Camden 28  documentary by Giacchino. Actually I am on stage for the post play discussion. I get applause when I wish every one a Happy Rashoshonah. Also laughter when I make my cutomoary joke about being at the same time a Christian pacifist and a revolutionary Marxist!

Everyone loves a story: we have so many- story of G saving me from homosexual rape; Phil falling for Boyd Douglas, anger of Harrisburg 8 people at Phil for writing all these letters out of the joint that made the case against them; at the Univ. of Md. panel on 9/14- some one asks G why they took, the resisters to Lewisburg- and G tells a story about the FBI taking him on a round about way, so that- of all things- none of his comrades would spring him- which I doubt- also that they sent us to Lewisburg because they had a snitch- Boyd Douglas there waiting to set us up. Sounds good, but, in my opinion, doubtful. G is finding too much meaning in some happenings. I guess it’s possible and G would say I’m naïf/ naieve?

The higher law? It’s simple- build it around the sanctity of life- how many activist fundamentalist/ conservative anti abortionists have we had join us- working to end war?- they would, using the life is sacred mantra: become Marxists and fight poverty and want wealth distributed, they would join the Earth Liberation Front and work to conserve the planet, they would distribute condoms all over the place and endorse birth control, they would be for gun control and against capital punishment.?

I learn about and order Jerry Elmer’s book- Felon for Peace,  G says a Betty Metzger is working on one re the Media, Pa FBI raid,  also, there is a documentary “The War at Home”- about the student situation in Madison, Wisc. One of the panelists at U Md on 9/14- was going to school there and says at one point when the police were attacking an area where radicals lived,  the students were on the roofs with rifles. He also speaks of the bombing of the math lab, where one person was killed. This gentleman- Mr. Wimberly-  now a Presbyterian minister in foggy bottom, says that is when he decided to drop out and become a meat packer- his life had been changed.

letter from Frank Codaro- iconic midwestern potester- over 200 arrests?, Phil Berrigan Peace House, June, 2010-"Thanks so much for sending me to your web page ... I been reading your Phil B entrees with great interest. Seems George M was not a big fan of Dan and Phil. I met George at St John's this past Feb at the Catonsville Play. (see above link to panel discussion) Did not have time to talk to him about Dan and Phil but there was no doubt where I stood on Brothers Berrigans during the panel discussion...

What I appreciated most about your accounts is that while you were in the mists of the struggle of peace work, doing great and important work - like Catonsville, you all were plagued with what I call 'soap opera' - the reality of clashing egos. I long ago realized that nobody lives a life with out some measure of 'soap opera' & ego clashing! From Hillary Clinton to the local Church janitor -- we all are plaque by this curse. And long ago I knew that I was not going to avoid 'soap opera' & ego clashing in my life. This being true - I decide to live a live and do the work that was noble and important --- and suffer the inevitable soap opera that comes with being human....

 

dispatch from the front #9- to Frank Cordaro, Plowshares activist arrested over

« on: June 25, 2010, 12:07:35 PM »


 

What if you knew yr life was going to change tomorrow?

 

As in the Rilke poem where he writes:"You must change your life!"*

 

You might be interwiewing a prisoner as was Ulrike Meinhof

 

And jump out the window as he escaped and one of the guards killed?

 

And your life changed forever- a moment's decision "rolled into a ball"**- or,

 

What if you chose such a moment or fell into such a moment?

 

And what if you never chose such a moment at all?

 

 

* Rilke - "Archaic Torso of Apollo"

 

** TS Eliot- "a million decisions and revisions....

what if u were Lazarus returned from the grave?" etc.

 

 

 

RRBridgeman

Newbie

*


Dave,

What I like about your poem is its sense of urgency, searching – what if’s certainly challenges the reader, but what I would ask you to do is consider what Rainer Maria Rilke might have mean by “you must change your life.”…..

One of my favorite books of Rilke’s is ‘Letters To A Young Poet’ in which he tells the young poet, ‘ Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide……”

It seams to me Rilke would not put much stock in the what if’s of life, but as he says ‘If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator (poet) there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place. And even if you were in some prison the walls of which let none of the sounds of the world come to your senses – would you not then still have your childhood, that precious, kingly possession, that treasure-house of memories?’

For Rilke anyway, it’s all about the internal world of the poet……and in that life as poets we must ask ourselves what is……not what if…..if you get my drift.

I liked this poem because it sent me to thinking, mulling over the importance of what if scenarios, running those scripts about people and loved ones that I’m so good at and not surprisingly are wrong most of the time…..but hey maybe that’s what you intended the reader to do and if you did more power to you….

I liked it!

 

thanx to u bridgeman- rilke should have got his sorry ass off the pot and went and manned a barricade-let me see- at his time he could have started a save roas luxembourg office or joined the communists in germany but... just kidding

i think he would agree w yr. interpretation and i treasure yr sending it to me

but i also think he would honor the choice a revolutionary or revolutionary poet (altho there ain't many of them) would make- the revolutionary sinks into his revolutionariness if you will- in rilkean terms- just as keats sinks into a wave

lately i am loving the poet that sinks into the plight of the poor and the need to change things

if i had to name a noble poet in that regard?

bert brecht

andrea chenier, the french so called "revolutionaries" sent to the guillotine w his marvelous poem written in prison (i will remember it)

the poets in che's green book

 

actually fell into such a moment when i poured blood on draft files (in 67)- altho i knew it would have big repercussions- it was more like one thing led to another and there i was- doing that-

the fact that i sort of chose it intrigues me- yes it changed my life, and it was a life "high point"

but i was not so aware of the consequences

hen too, i just said f k it and plowed ahead- but i wouldn't do it again

nd that intrigues me about my friend codaro- to whom i dedicated the poem

 

Karl Rove at Goucher College, 9/16/9

9/16—Karl Rove speaks at Goucher College. Wine and cheese liberal President Sanford Ungar introduces him- probably under pressure from wealthy alums to bring a conservative to the campus. My friend, activist, Max Obuszewski and several others get up to read an inditement of Rove before he speaks. M is ushered out (although, thankfully, not arrested). A contingent of right wingers boos him and cheers as he is led out. They are Rove’s goon/ thug guard. Ungar remarks in ref to Max that Goucher believes in free speech. Tell that to civilians and American soldiers killed in Iraq. Disgusting stuff at a place of “higher learning”. Ungar responds to my letter- lists reasons for inviting Rove.

I have received your email and voice mail. I am quite surprised you would speak so definitively on this issue, without having attended the event last night. To be honest, I don’t have a lot of time for knee-jerk critics like you, but let me establish a few facts:

  1. As I explained last night, the cost of Mr. Rove’s visit was paid from a fund established by an anonymous donor who wants to assure that we have a broad range of speakers on campus; not a penny of college funds were spent to bring him.
  2. We do not have a list of “acceptable” and “unacceptable” speakers.  If you do, I wonder how you arrived at the consensus and whether you’ve persuaded any institution to endorse your lists. Goucher College does not have an ideology; it is committed to free speech.  Standing up and shouting and trying to prevent someone from speaking is disruption, not speech.  Yes, I had the disruptive people removed, and our students – none of whom were among them – were very pleased that I did so, because they wanted to ask questions, not shout.
  3. You can easily get a list of people who have spoken at Goucher in my eight+ years as president, and I think you’ll find many progressives among them.
  4. We are under no pressure whatsoever from conservatives – what a naïve and foolish suggestion.  You clearly know nothing about the college.
  5. You dropped my friend Marc Steiner’s name in your voice mail.  Although I have not spoken with Marc about this, I feel sure that he shares my understanding of free speech and would have thought it was a very interesting idea to have Karl Rove on campus for a conversation and dialogue.

Yours, Sanford Ungar"

 

You can imagine my response.

 

Daniel Ellsberg at Goucher 3/2/’10

As if in answer to my interchange w President Unger (back when Karl Rove spoke at Goucher) ? on 3/2/’10, Danel Ellsberg speaks at Goucher and I am invited to the supper before the speech, thanks to old AFSC friend, Fran Donelan. We have a sumptious meal (yes, shrimp or quiche- salad w egg plant, red pepper, mushroom- o mi god) at the President’s House in the woods- a Frank Lloyd Wright looking palace in the woods out by the beltway (Unger only stays there some times- he lives in dc) -photos w Dan, many old friends of the peace movement-Phil Berrigan’s wife, Liz McCallister, (not at the supper but at the speech) (Ellsberg speaks of throwing the infant Frida Berrigan up in the air) , Brendan and Willa Walsh, Max Obusweski (sp- Max please change yr. name!)), Joe Morton, Chuck Danels- even civil rights icon, Sydney Hollander is there, Taylor Branch. Sadly-a sign of the times- there is NO media. Actually- you are right dave (I MEAN LEFT- THERE IS NO MEDIA)- BUT  AMY GOODMAN (Democracy Now).

impressions: Ellsberg had been a marine- in the 50’s? a Harvard grad? I am dismayed, to the degree, that I might like to but never could give such a brilliant, commanding talk/performance- (he is interviewed by Unger at 8 before a crowd of some 700). He has great attention to detail and reviews the happenings around the publication of the Pentagon Papers for the assembled. He explains how he came to be a peace activist- that a certain Randy Keener? had made the decision to turn in his draft card and he had been inspired by him at an anti war conference at Haverford. He had gone into the restroom and broke down weeping. He realizes (as did I) that this is the way to go! He portrays the copying and collating of the Papers- his son, 13 yrs. old, helping, his daughter cutting the Top Secrets of the top of the pp. E blames himself for not getting the Papers out earlier- implies he might have personally ended the war that much earlier- (grandiosity?) (Wasn't it the NLF that stopped the war?) How he wanted his son to take part- although his wife strongly disapproved-how he imagined spending the rest of his life in prison- at a later point his young son asks him, "Dad remind me why it was we published the papers?"

(Ellsberg was acquitted at the Papers trial but has since, according to his count, been arrested 70 or 80 times). (My friend Max Obusjewski (sp) who sits at the same table at supper, I know has been arrested that many times- these guys rise to a different level and zone than I do) (I think I will just have to work on the artistic, poetry side of the peace movement).

He castigates Obama (for whom he did not vote) as making the same mistakes of Iraq and Vietnam- he discusses the Tonkin Gulf incidents, and the recently leaked McKiver memos that contradict Gen, McKrystal’’s and Obama’s call for more troops for Afghanistan. In Vietnam as in Afghanistan, the generals wonder why the Afghan troops are not as motivated as the insurgents? They are being paid by an occupying army. …it will be a losing war- Russian generals have said it as well as McKiver- and Ellsberg, is this conspiracy theorizing? imagines that there must be a team of plumbers in the current White House as there was in Nixon’s- investigating the leaks of McKiver’s memo. He speakes about constitutionality – the fact that Obama is a constitutional lawyer but has violated the Constitution 10+ times over- w wire taps, w torture, etc.etc.

I am able to ask E a couple of my favorite questions at supper- is he a leftist? No- a democrat- but “on the left”- a good question, he says. (Yes- how are we going to redustribute the wealth? deal w Wall St. games?) His influences? my old friend Barbra Deming, Joan Bondurant- the War Resisters league, Dave McReynolds, Dave Dellinger. During his speech he sztates that he is not a pacifist- he approves of W W II- the “English anti aircraft gunners were doing a good thing shooting down German bombers over London, the Russians, even under the Dictator Stalin- were doing a good thing fighting the Germans. The Korean War – a mixed bag- very few just wars. Saddam invading Kuwait- a just cause for us and our allies. Fran Donelan reminds me of Gene Sharp's writings, e.g. Politics of Nonviolent Action,   that, actually, violent action almost ALWAYS misses the point- is done too late- that we are not prepared to achieve non-violence w real UN peace armies, etc. etc. We always act out of unpreparedness- it's too late to use non-violence but violence is always a crude tool!

E refers to the German Democratic Republic several times and the motto of the STASI- Know Everything. How the police apparatus turns you against your friend, your lover. How J Hoover’s kept secrets in his personal safe- how the system of blackmail by police apparti works. He also mentions NSA a lot- our enemies down the road- that the only Congressman who might possibly investigate them- and to whom he would give secrets now-? Russ Feingold.

The most hopeful thing about the appearance is the Goucher Peace Studies program- which E points to- the 60 majors and minors, Dir. Seble Dawit- the youngsters who surround E w questions. Maybe we didn’t fail so much after all.

Not mentioned so much- the pain- the inner decisions- the divorce, how does he support himself (undoubtedly by lecturing-writing) ? to me E enters my pantheon of more establishment icons- the sort one sees published in the NY Review of Bks- Chomsky, Zinn, etc. He “has the juice”- I see him talking animatedly w Branch and then, B’s wife rolls her eyes. hmmm maybe they were talking abt the weather-but then, Branch, Clinton’s friend- probably needs a tonic, wake up blast from some one like E.

On 4/26/11, I demonstrated against Karl Rove myself inside the Meyerhoff Sytmpony Hall where he was debating democrat Howard Dean (see home page at the bottom).

THANK YOU, DAN

 

On 10/6/'09- I read the following- one of Phil's last statements- on Wikipedia Phil Berrigan-  sounds like him: sounds good!!!

 

"The American people are, more and more, making their voices heard against Bush and his warrior clones. Bush and his minions slip out of control, determined to go to war, determined to go it alone, determined to endanger the Palestinians further, determined to control Iraqi oil, determined to ravage further a suffering people and their shattered society. The American people can stop Bush, can yank his feet closer to the fire, can banish the war makers from Washington D.C., can turn this society around and restore it to faith and sanity."

 

note by DE- Phil had a real sense of poetry!! note "warrior clones", "shattered society" and, "yank his feet"

Molly Rush (of Plowshares 8-now w the Thomas Merton Center)  writes from Pittsburg re G-20 protests in Sept., 2009 - naturally note of this was in the mainstream media- mainstream sux

 

"The Merton Center Anti-War Committee sponsored a legal, totally peaceful march & rally on Friday the 25th with many, many groups and 8000 participants. There were any educational programs, workshops, speakers, including international and Joseph Stiglitz, 2 tent cities protesting bailouts and refugees created y U.S. policies.

The anarchists did their thing on the 24th. On the evening of the 25th the police surrounded & arrested at least 80 people, including over 50 students & others who were totally uninvolved & trying to disperse as ordered. The police wore riot gear, pepper-sprayed the crowd, shot rubber bullets & injured others. Lawsuits will be filed. We are supporting these violations of civil rights.

We [the TMC] were not part of their unpermitted protest on the 24th in which a man from California broke windows and damaged ATMs. I suspect he may have been a provocateur, although I don't know that. I do know the group - only about 200, a number of whom were local, made themselves, probably naively, vulerable to infiltration.

The city was locked down, businesses closed, 4000 police & military from all over."

Review on Amazon of DVD "Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind"- John Gianvito

Along with the book: "Peoples History of the U S" by Howard Zinn, this dvd brings many, certainly not all, U.S. progressive heroes back into consciousness. This is the kind of dvd that will find a greater and greater audience, unless, of course, we destroy the world through nuclear warfare or environmental catastophe in which case there will be no more audience for any thing.

This dvd will achieve more and more listeners as the word spreads that here is a portrayal of, a memorial to the greatest citizens of this land. Not the ones that most history books praise-not the Presidents or the generals or the captains of industry....rather the ones- who were right in their struggles (although usually they were ON the left - politically)...the ones who fought for correct causes, the causes of the people, the causes of the underdogs, the causes of Native Americans and of slaves- often fighting for causes that have been neglected.

The graves and monuments to progressive heroes are shown in this movie, interspersed with shots of wind through leaves or grass, shots of surroundings to graves and monuments as well as the monuments, etc. It is also a tribute to victims- and in the sense that the US loves a winner- this dvd will not a best seller. Once "winner" is redefined- that is when this dvd will become a best seller. The grave sites of workers killed by management, or of Henry Thoreau, or of John Brown or of Frederick Douglas that are showed in this dvd are not the monuments of losers. The wind through the leaves and trees does indeed say, along with Mother Jones: 'DO NOT MOURN, ORGANISE", or it says that Joe Hill is still among us- as a spirit that spurs us on to fight back.

There are moments in the film when the director chooses to show pencil or pen drawings- and I don't see how that adds a great deal- but, otherwise, this dvd is a unique hit to some one of a certain persuasion.

The fact that the momuments are, in some cases, out of the way or overgrown- adds to the poignancy of the dvd. Although, I predict- that if we can make progress-(it's a big IF) there will be bigger and more monumental offerings to these heroes- just as the statue to Martin Luther King is coming on the mall in DC, or similar to the great rock carved to Crazy Horse in S. Dakota.

This dvd is the sort of media needed to counter the prevailing media- which makes monuments to athletes or movie stars and not to high school teachers or revolutionaries. But it is the revolutionaries who change things.

And this is the kind of quiet dvd that changes things.

 

antiwar demo- Lafayette Sq., 3/13 or 20/'10

To: [email protected]'

Subject: Re story in issue of 5/2010

 

"Why men love war"- well, women can be callous too- e.g. Laura Bush sleeping through her victim's funeral- but men- jeepers creepers- what a bunch. As a man who converted to militant non-violence long ago I can attest to a better way. Men need training: anger management training, how to negotiate training, sensitivity training (Get in touch with your feelings), etc.,etc. etc. Please some one train them/us?

Maybe we could begin experimenting with chimps who have also been shown to be violent. Maybe drugs are the answer.

In the 60's we learned a lot about non-violence and my ex wife (a sensitivity trainer and management consultant), along with civil rights and peace heroes,  taught me everything I know about how to be loving, caring and compassionate. Alas that's all died down now. We ended the draft only to have the National Guard and volunteer army pop up in its place. Will we ever learn?

This is my second letter on the May 1o issue- where issues of war and men's love lust for it are discussed. Something  seems amiss in Mr. Thomas' excellent article- "Why men love war".  Robert E Lee is quoted "It is well that war is so terrible lest we grow too fond of it." This brings to mind a character for whom I have a great deal of affection- the late J D Salinger's Holden Caulfield- who could sniff out the "bogus" and the "phony" wherever it occurred. The Lee comment is at least hypocritical in that he sent many men to their death, and I'm quite sure that the men who loved war- Teddy Roosevelt for example is one mentioned in your article were whistling thier bragadoccio in the wind- unless they were truly insane. A sane man naturally fears deaths and the agonies attending it in battle. Men may pretend to like war- after it is over and strut and parade around.

Were he honest Lee might more honestly have said- "It is well that war is so terrible lest we grow too fond of it, but I myself have propagated a goodly portion of it suh."

Quite frankly I am sure men would rather throw away their rifles and go swimming. We must work for the day when there is a statue of the deserter in the park- on his horse or not,

Review I did for amazon on the movie-5/2010-  "Kunstler- Disturbing the Universe"

:An excellent movie- my only question- did Kunstler have a previous marriage with children? What happened there?

Otherwise, having met Bill myself and agreeing with all of his causes, with only a couple of exceptions- (1st trade center bombing for example), here. a unique and rare lawyer is portrayed. I was saddened that there are less Bill K's. He in fact, tells the famous joke about a lawyer and a spermatozoa, in one of the features. The one in a million sperm at least turns into a human being.

Think of this- what is the golden law? it is- "them with the gold writes the laws!" This movie portrays Kunstler in the best/most known trials of radicals thru the 60's and 70's. It shows what his family had to endure. We can be thankful that K existed as long as he did, bercause in many other countries he would have been killed right away. The U.S. stifles progressive lawyers in its other way- offering up such inducements as money and giving progressive lawyers no recognition or prominence or jailing them.

In a country with a right of center Supreme Court- one is happy to see Bill winnning before the highest court in the land. The film ends with a speech by K in which he exposes a system that cloaks itself in the so called "respectability" of the law. But was Jesus killed legally?, he asks-Yes, is his answer? . He posits the possibility that through history more innocent individuals have been killed by courts than by criminals.

Hopefully more such films will be made. We need them in a country where this viewpoint, this perspective is kept very, very quiet by the powers that be. Daughters, Sarah and Emily have given us a wonderful memorial to a wonderful man. Should be shown in all law schools.

wonderful quote from K in the film : "the terrible myth of organized society- that everything that's done through the established system, that's "legal"....that word has a powerful psychological impact- it makes people believe that there's an order to life and that a person that goes thru this order and is convicted has gotten all that is due him and therefore society can turn its conscience off,,, trials have an aura of legitimacy- it's possible that more men have died at the hands of legality than illegality- tryrants learn that a semblance of legality helps out..."

I was so glad to have got Bill;'s autograph in my Trial of the Catonsville 9- (can't remember when I met him) - he had been everywhere from the Freedom Rides thru C-9, Chicago 7, Wounded Knee, Attica, etc, etc.

Here Freewebs as I was cutting and pasting- erased a fair sized stuff on Kunstler- I don't even know where to look for it- the company is a fiendish site- full of problems and with not very helpful chat staff. May I just say here- F u k freewebs- they are assholes.

A Sunday at Jonah House

11/14/10- After I retire at the Jail, I go to a Sunday Service at Jonah House and it is like coming home- I am ready to get back into the movement. I ask Liz McCallister, Phil B's widow, if she has read the latest book I have- Charles Meconis' With Clumsy Grace?-I  She responds- I lived through that - why would I want to read about it? Precisely!

Joe Tropea's Documentary Movie: "Hit and Stay"

Hit and Stay is a feature-length documentary about the antiwar movement. It takes an in-depth look at the Vietnam War era activists who attacked the Selective Service system and attempted to throw a wrench into the U.S. war machine.

Hit and Stay will be the definitive documentary about the Catonsville Nine and the actions that followed—the so-called Catholic Left, a group comprised largely of priests and nuns who destroyed draft records and raided the corporate offices of companies that profited from the war. This documentary tells their story in their own words with more archival footage and activists interviewed than any prior film. Interviewees include Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Bill Ayers, Amy Goodman, and over 30 activists from draft board actions.

Hit and Stay seeks to be a major conversation-starter about the antiwar movement (then and now). But we need your help to finish the project.

We, Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk, have been working on Hit and Stay since fall 2007; it’s been a labor of love. We’ve kept a shoestring budget until now and could really use your help in getting the film to post production. Funds raised in this first pledge drive will enable us to travel to the West Coast to finish shooting interviews, secure permissions and usage fees, and edit the film.

 

www.hitandstay.com, e-mail: [email protected]

 

Background:

In 1967, the Baltimore Four poured blood on a few hundred A-1 draft files and waited peacefully to be arrested. They hoped not only to spare a few lives by denying the Selective Service system recruits, but also to start a discussion about the morality of war and conscription and to inspire others to take similar action.

The following year, the Catonsville Nine, Milwaukee 14, and D.C. Nine followed up with similar actions carried out by groups of priests, nuns, and their friends. Their tactics and goals moved beyond symbolic action; in doing so they subjected themselves to serious prison sentences. They sought to put the war on trial as they were being tried for their acts of resistance.

Hundreds more soon joined in as a flood of similar actions followed throughout the early 1970s. Their tactics changed: Symbolic action gave way to concerted efforts to disrupt the Selective Service system, state by state. Activists stopped waiting around to be arrested and started trying to destroy as many induction files as possible and evade capture. Many of them took part in multiple actions. Many ended up serving lengthy prison terms.

Actions like the Catonsville Nine received massive media attention, others went uncovered by the press and unreported or even downplayed by government officials. But the government took notice and Hoover’s FBI set out to infiltrate the movement and nullify it as it did the Black Panthers, Weather Underground, and other organizations. By the mid-1970s, it seemed the government had succeeded.

But these actions inspired untold numbers of people around the world. And many of the so-called Catholic Left or Ultra Resistance activists have continued the struggle and are working toward a variety of causes today. This is their story in their own words.

Interviews and archival footage includes: (so far) ( Joe got many more):

 

Joel Andreas, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University

William Ayers, Weather Underground Organization

Les Bayless, Silver Spring Three

Dan Berrigan, Catonsville Nine

Frida Berrigan, daughter of Phil Berrigan and Liz McAlister

Jerry Berrigan, son of Phil Berrigan and Liz McAlister

Phil Berrigan, Catonsville Nine

Willa Bickham, support activist Catonsville Nine

Dick Bidwell, East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives

Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics, MIT

Thom Clark, The Four of Us

Frank Cordaro, Des Moines Catholic Worker, Gods of Metal Plowshares

Kate Doyle, Senior Analyst, National Security Archive

Dave Eberhardt, Baltimore Four

Jerry Elmer, participated in 4 draft board actions

Sarah Fahy, support activist East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives

Jim Forest, Milwaukee 14

Carol Gilbert, Gods of Metal Plowshares

Ted Glick, participated in 4 draft board actions

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now

Jim Harney, Milwaukee 14

John Hogan, Catonsville Nine

Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Steve Kelly S.J., Gods of Metal Plowshares

Joann Malone, D.C. Nine

Doug Marvy, Milwaukee 14

Father Paul Mayer, Hoover Vacuum Conspiracy

Liz McAlister, cofounder of Jonah House

Patrick McGrath, news reporter, WBAL-TV

Thomas Melville, Catonsville Nine

George Mische, Catonsville Nine

Helene Mische, supporter Catonsville Nine

Patrick O’Neil, Father Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker House

Dean Pappas, support activist Catonsville Nine

Ardeth Platte, Gods of Metal Plowshares

Stephen Sachs, former U.S. Attorney for Maryland

Marc Steiner, radio host WEAA-FM

Joby Taylor, Director, Shriver Peaceworker Programs, UMBC

Brendan Walsh, support activist Catonsville Nine

Rev. Joseph Wenderoth, East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives

Laura Whitehorn, former political prisoner, Weather Underground Organization

Grenville Whitman, support activist Catonsville Nine

Howard Zinn, Historian and Professor of Political Science, Boston University

 

In Armies of the Night (about the march on the Pentagon on Oct. 20th, 1967)- (seems to me I did not go as we were planning our action one week later)?)  Norman Mailer writes of the peace movement: "Brood on that country who expresses our will. She is America, once a beauty of magnificence unparalleled, now a beauty with a leprous skin. She is heavy with child... now the first contractions of her fearsome labor begins- can she, poor giant, tormented lovely girl, deliver a babe of a new world brave and tender, artful and wild?"

I began to think that my writing was closer to Norman's than anybody else's! eg over the top?

As of 2010- one must admit that the lovely girl delivered a child (the peace movement, green, womens liberation and gay rights movements)- but its developement has been arrested, as the nation has slid back into a morass of endless right wing wars.

email to anti warrior, David Swanson, 12/10-

 

you also know abt Paul Chappell (another great anti warrior) , no?

we have to continue chipping, chipping away

at 69, i don't miss the hurly burly of the 60's- i am a hopeless romantic and even admire baader meinhoff-(i am a marxist)- altho ricidulous tactics- basically i follow Howard Zinn

i juggle two fairly irreconcilable balls- xtian pacifism and marxist revolutionarianism- but Zinn actually reconciled them for me

you might take a quick look at my web site

google david eberhardt poetry and prose

mainly memoirs of draft actions, prison and berrigan (Dan B is still alive at 87- and I am close to Jonah House) (I argue w George M of the Catonsville 9 in that he thinks the Plowshares actions are hooey) (I can't agree!) (I'm a poet!)

 


a peaceable kingdom at Jonah House- Jerry Berrigan's son, Amos w goats

on 1/19/11 i write to david swanson- author of War is a Lie

 

from dave eberhardt (poured blood on draft records w father phil b)

Sorry to miss you here on 1/10 (baltimore) - i helped set up the event and max o got a book for me that u signed- sounds like- at 60+ people- you had a better than average event-

question for you- tell me what you think-i agree w u re war BUT- i juggle two balls in my head- one of revolutionary marxism and the other of christian pacifism- i think howard zinn comes closest to resolving the 2-always exhaust the non-violent techniques first- we always find ourselves acting violently in hindsight

if some asks me- are you a pacifist- i must say- no-i am an existentialist-i believe we must create the conditions in which non-violent solutions are necessary- i am an existentialist and do not want to b boxed into hypothetical situations or dogmatic statements-i am not concerned w the question of violence/non violence- i have better things to do- i believe my key mentor howard zinn was similar- if some one asks me a hypothetical question like- what would you do if a rapist was attacking your grandmother- i can answer- because it is a hypothetical question- i would pull out my light sword and dissolve the bitch

it's easy to say- non violence hasn't really been tried- to me it is- like ballet- the purest, the most artistic  pursuit (and i've done so and will continue to do so) (plowshares activists await trial in the state of washington as we speak- they are the exemplars of heroic action)

thus- yes- i reserve the right to b violent and can even see situations in which violence accomplished the good- (give examples) (cuba)(french and russian revolutions- yes- i know they were betrayed)  i can see a big difference between war and revolution

but violence is generally a 2 edged sword that cuts the wielder and we must b the peace we want in the word and there is no way to peace-peace is the way>/p>

interested in yr response- and realize you are busy

cc: max obuzewski-baltimore

 

agitator in chief swanson wrote me back immediately:

 

Hi David

 

thanks for your help! and your work for peace!!

I'm at [email protected] 434-296-4228 cell-202-329-7847

I agree with you pretty closely, but finding a time when violence did good does not of course prove that nonviolence couldn't possibly have done as much or more good.  Nor can one prove the opposite of course. I can't prove that skipping the Civil War slavery still would have ended and ended with speed and in a manner that meant less suffering than all those years of slaughter.  But I can suspect it.

And I can look at the successes that nonviolence has had, the very little it's been tried, and suspect that in most situations that now face us it is the better way to go.

I don't think I have to commit to using nonviolence when someone comes at me with a knife. But when it comes to LAWS i do favor absolutism on national violence.  I think we need to criminalize all war.

If a nation is attacked, it will resist, violently or otherwise.  But we don't have to formalize that in law, which allows such a loophole that people forget war was supposed to be illegal. Hope that explains my view a little :-)

 

David

 

3/20/11- A fabulous day to be arrested

On Friday, March 18th, I attend an event in DC at one of the Busboys and Poets mega cafes which is part of a weekend of anti-war protest- on Sat. the 19th, 113 are arrested at the White House for protesting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, then on the next day, the 20th- 31 persons are arrested at the Marine Corp base at Quantico. At he Friday event, I am able to meet my heroes- the present pantheon of anti war leaders. Ralph Nader is also there- a wise old man of the movement, but I am talking about the younger ones- Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, the writer, Chris Hedges, author of The Death of the Middle Class- and David Swanson, author of War is a Lie. Hedges has been coming on strong these days- with his incisive analysis- as in his latest book where he argues that our current institutions of media, education, culture, health care and politics have all become collaborators with the corporate state. The state is corporations. Hedges sees a shift from print to visual media and a play to fear with permanent war. I have known war since I was born.

"The elites and their coutiers in the liberal class always condemn the rebel as impractical. They dismiss the stance of the rebel as counter productive. They chastise the rebel for being angry. The elites and their apologists call for calm, reason, and patience. They use the hypocritical language of compromise, generosity and understanding to argue that we must accept and work with the systems of power. The rebel, however, is beholden to a moral commitment that makes it impossible to compromise. The rebel refuses to be brought off with foundation grants, invitations to the White House, television appearances, book contracts, academic appointments, or empty rhetoric. The rebel knows that, as St. Augustine wrote, hope has two beautiful daughters, anger and courage- anger at the way things are and the courage to change them. The rebel knows that virtue is not rewarded. The act of rebellion justifies itself."

"You do not become a "dissident" just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career- Vaclav Havel when he battled the communist regime in Czechloslvakia."

why does free webs make this next section into lines separated by a line? something to do with cutting and pasting. At least I'm learning what goes wrong- even if I can't fix it. Here is Hedges on the media:

"The media is plagued by the same mediocrity, corporatism, careerism as the academy, the unions, the arts, the Democratic Party and religious institutions. The media, like the academy, hold up the false ideals of impartiality and objectivity to mask their complicity with power. They posit the absurd idea that knowledge and understanding are attainable exclusively through vision, that we should all be mere spectators of life. This pernicious reduction of the public to the role of spectators denies the media, and the public they serve, a political role...the recuction of the media and the public to the role of passive spectators cuts off the possibility of conversation. Truth and news are not the same."

The current "free fly "zone over Libya may be rational. but how about refusing to join the coalition for the reason that, "we're tired of being the tip of the spear". I tell a reporter, archly, for Le Monde at the demo at Quantico, "Nous sommes tous Bradley Manning."

On the 20th we proceeded by bus from Union Station in DC  to the entrance of Quantico on the Jefferson Davis Hwy (also Rte 1) - to support Bradly  Manning who is being held in solitary confinement for his alledged role in leaking a film of collateral damage- showing U S forces by helicopter killing innocent civilians and journalists in Iraq. Wasn't he supposed to be reporting war crimes? It is a brilliant Spring day, and after a spirited ralley- more reported by the foreign press than our own, featuring speakers, Daniel Ellsberg and Colonel Ann  Wright, Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist- a resister, who turned against the war- the mother of a soldier, other refusniks and a friend of Bradley's, we march down to the gate to Quantico and the sculpture there that copies the larger Iwo Jima Monument to the marines up in Arlington. If you're driving south down Interstate 95, you'll see a soaring Air Force chapel to the left at the top of a hill and that is the turn off to Quantico.

The arrangement is  that five of we protestors would be able to cross the highway and deposit flowers at the base of the statue- but that is abridged to allowing  us to deposit flowers on the other side of a fence near the monument- the usual bait and switch. On the way back the five sit down in the middle of the road- Ellsberg has  been arrested over 200 times!

The five are joined by 25 others who emerge from the crowd lining the hwy- mostly, as far as I can tell- members of Code Pink. Code Pink has come prepared more than any other group- although there are members present from Courage to Resist, Vets for Peace, Iraq Veterans for Peace, and other peace groups etc. Code Pink has built a mock Jail/Cage and has members dressed like convicts and has hand held faces of Bradley Manning so that we can all be Bradley Manning. They provide the wording to imaginative chants as well. Mostly, the chant is "Free Bradley Manning".My friend, Max Obuszewski (who has been arrested 100 times)  was arrested and told me on Monday that everybody was processed out got out by the next morning- but with differing court dates and even differing charges. The police had an overkill presence- 8 or so on horseback in nearby woods, a phalanx  of 30+  swat dressed officers from the state police, an armored vehicle, dogs and soldiers armed with assault weapons. The basic charges were unlawful assembly and blocking the highway (with malicious intent?). The arrests happened in an orderly fashion- with those wishing to be arrested being pulled back through the advancing line of swat officers and taken to buses and then to the Prince William Jail at Dumfries. One young lady flashed back to a gang rape situation and was held face down as she freaked out and Col. Ann Wright was smashed into a large orange traffic barrel. The last person to be arrested is former Army Specialist Helen Gearhart, who served with the 1221st Transportation Unit for over a year in Iraq.

On the way back to Union Station one of the speakers, Jeff Paterson of the organization Courage to Resist told us his story- he had served four years, then was "stop lossed" (ex-tended duty but refused to go back to Iraq. As his squad headed out to their plane he sat down on the tarmac (this was in Hawaii), then awaited four months in the brig until his court martial where he received a less than honorary discharge. He knew the folks that were arresting him. They told him :"You're stupid- you don't know what you're doing....you're a faggot- but if you get on that plane you won't be a faggot". A fellow bus rider asks me about my own solitary confinement at Lewisburg and I tell her something I have just realized- that Bradley is actually in a good place- he is doing the right thing, he has lots of support- and even solitary can be endured if one has imagination, paper and pencil- a window to look out of. Bradley may go far if he realizes what's he's got!

exerpts from Max's letter to the Quantico Commandant- no answer, of course:   "We know that the excuse being given for Manning's nuidity at night is for his own safety- but that is not credible. The brig psychiatrist's repeated judgement is that such treatment is not well founded or necessary. The assertions that his treatment is "ordinary" are deliberately misleading. His status combining Maximum Security is unique and unprecedented for such a prolonged period as is the "Suicide Watch". It is abusive, punitive and therefore illegal. M's lawyer, David Coombs states, ' PFC Manning is held in his cell for approximately 23 hours a day. During his exercise hour he is barred from interaction with other prisoners.  The guards are required to check on him every five minutes by asking him is he is OK.  M is required to respond in a positive manner. At night, if the guards cannot see M clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is OK. He is not allowed to have a pillow or sheets. We are naturally concerned about his mental state.

dave's letter to Medea: "Keep me on a mailing list for upcoming demos- I would like to be a part- expecially now that I am retired- as I told you- I loved the Condoleeza Rice one (a Code Pink member approached this Sec. of State as she was speaking and held up to her a hand in a bloodied glove before she was hustled quickly off) (and this made national tv)- it reminded me so of our guerilla theatre stuff in the 60's- and I have always looked on our blood on draft files in that way. Of course,  we had the media then- they can be so helpful- as in the Condoleeza case- but they are hard to come by these days, as you know."

I was glad to become a member of the Code Pink "army" in Apr. of 2011 after my demo against Karl Rove (see Home Page at bottom) with this note: "Loved your note re Rove. You are indeed a CODEPINK member, with an added badge of courage." Medea

 

Medea and Code Pink members at Bradley Manning (the whistle blower) demo

Usual overkill

Another day w Bradley M

On 2/23/12, Bradley Manning was arraigned at Fort Meade, Maryland- meaning his case will proceed to court martial in June or August and he will be tried on 20 + counts- including leaking classified documents (to wikileaks) , unauthorized use of these documents, theft of same, aiding the enemy and so many others. He could receive a life sentence.
Of course, one of the items he leaked was a video of an Apache helicopter attack on Iraqis where civilians, including children, and Reuters newspersons were murdered by U.S. gunners (a documentary entitled     is now being shown ( see Washington Post article of 2/22 in the Style section entitled    ).
I - David Eberhardt, peacenik and Cde Pink member from Baltimore, Md. was able to address the court at the end of the proceedings and say, "Judge? Isn't a soldier required by law to report war crimes?" There were many other stretches of silence during the quite boring and routine procedure of arraignment- in which prosecutors, defense, and even Bradley all nod their heads in agreement with the Judge- but, besides wondering if Bradley's defense really wants loud demonstrations,  many other occasions where I could have shouted out this message- but- I was glad not to be hustled out of the courtroom, let alone arrested.
I chatted with Michael Ratner, down from New York from the Constitutional Law Center and looking after Jul;ian Assange's (wikileaks director) interests (Michael has much experience as a lawyer defending radical defendants- whether Bradley is one or not). I asked him if he had see the movie about the "White Rose"- the student group executed in Nazi Germany- had he seen the courtroom scene.
I can't say this ws too similar- what with the female Judge so unlike Herr what was his name, who screamed out insane Nazi proclamations- but, still....the comparison was unavaoidable.
The courtroom - with its spiffy US uniformed bailiffs- had an eerie, horrible feel- as if a humonguous train was bearing down on the petite Manning- it had the feel of a gas chamber entrance with all its hypocriseys (too strong)?
Press was there in abundance- possibly more from the rest of the world than the sleepy US which would rather not be bothered about war crimes. I would say- in the courtroom-20 media and 15 civilian. I do not know if Manning's relatives were present. I wish I had asked.
Bradley has not expressed a great deal of political involvement- p;erhaps wise given the sentence he faces.
But- the whole world is watching. I wish I had said that also.
  

Baltimore's Greatest Activist- after Phil B- Max Obuzewski

(combine w material written earlier on Max- where is it?) Max and I ride together down to DC and back to the Occupy DC demonstration of 10/6/2011 and I have a chance to catch up with his fabulous career. Max has been arrested 200 times or more, every important demonstration and action since the 80's. He first met Phil Berrigan when Phil was painting the AFSC office on 25th St.. Hailing from Johnstown Pa. where his father ran a cafe, Max was radicalized by the trial of the Harrisburg 8. He ways he's been a trouble maker all his life and was amazed that nuns and priests would take such anti-war actions. Since 2000 especially, and after 9/11- although forever involved in ati- war and anti military industrial complex demonstrations, Max's attention has turned to the NSA and all of the Homeland Securityapparatus that makes the Baltimore/DC area its home. Some 50 + persons became targets of Md. state police spying that had its genesis in the Republican Governor Ehrlich era, demonstrations at his inaugural, and in the death penalty demonstrations which have been ongoing through these years. Now working part time for the AFSC, as did I as a job counselor, and for his on Center for Non- Violence and the Pledge of Resistance, Max tells me about the police spying-how a certain "Lucy" infiltrated his group plannings while reporting to the police- how the spying was discovered and how the ACLU got involved (slowly) and trials brought forth new information on the tactics of the various agencies as lawyers brought forth secret documents through "discovery". Liz McCallister (Phil's wife) had been arrested for a blood pouring at the NSA- which is located near the Balto Washington Airport- between Baltimore and DC and there was a time when Max and the nuns and fellow protestors could walk into the huge complex- no more- especially after 9/11. The CIA and NSA, joining forces with the FBI or local police agencies has been subverting democracy at home and propping up right wing dictatorships abroad since the end of World War II. Now with 9/11, they all felt newly empowered to excercise free rein in their mal doings and find new justifications for increased government grants. According to Max, at least 15 groups had to be deemed terrorist and spied on in order to rise to a certain threshold of monies from the trough. Doubtless, this kind of spying continues today (10/2011) in that the government has always ginned up fear of an enemy to insure that pay for Pinkertons, FBIs, CIAs, NSAs, etc ad infitum  is assured.

a typical Max story; he is driving back from the Norfolk area where he has helped nuns enter a base and commit major non violent civil disobedience- knowing that he is driving illegally in that awaiting trial as he is or on probation- his driving priviledges in the state have been taken away- when an unmarked police car comes up behind him because he is reading a newspaper at a light or was it talking on a cell phone? anyhow- he does not stop because he cannot tell whether the car is a cop or some serial killer but! the female cop calls for back up and several other squad cars arrive and he pulls over. He also has a lot of anti war signs on the back seat. He gets to talking w the patrolmen who, it turns out, are Vietnam vets and ask him questions about the war and our participation in present wars. Max nervously awaits the info on his present status to come up on the data bases they are checking. It doesn't and he can proceed!!!

Let's turn our attention to the revolutionaries

One thing I couldn't figure out about them- the Weatherfolk- Ayers, Wilkerson, Whitehorn, Rosenberg? They actually thought there might be a revolution and acted accordingly. Me? I never saw it. I knew there wouldn't be.

The older I get (this on 5/6/11)- the more interested I became in this other strand of protest from ours (ours being the Catholic, non-violent left)- the SDS/ Weatherperson strand-  about which I knew little in the 60's; Here is what Cathy Wilkerson- a wonderfully articulate spokesperson for the "other strand" has to say about the Catonsville 9 in her book Flying Close to the Sun.

Which tactic works best when?- non-violence? non violence? Who talks about these issues today? Not on the Today show- C's book should be a best seller. It should be in every library and taught in every university.

Ms Wilkerson describes the action of the Catonsville 9- "On May 17th, a different kind of drama took the spotlight for a moment. Nine members of the Catholic left concocted a batch of napalm from a recipe they found in a Special Forces handbook. They then broke (note by me- the correct word would be "walked") into a Selective Service office in Catonsville, Md., removed a large batch of draft files, poured their napalm all over the files, and burned them. These activists, I thought, challenged the government's irresponsible wielding of power, not with equal and like power but by arguing that morality and sanity should trump raw power. They could have done a lot of damage after breaking in (she means "walking"), but they believed that by exercising a restraint of power they would demonstrate a more humane and intelligent way to engage with and resolve conflict. It was this restraint that was perhaps the most powerful element of the action, indicating that the perpetrators were rising above their own personal anger and dismay at the war, setting an example of a kind of leadership that was far more creative and thoughtful than that of the current administration.

While I was moved by the action, I didn't see the power of this restraint at the time. Instead, I thought these Catholic activists seemed to only be appealing to the morality of the people in power, but they stopped short of challenging the structures that supported the economy and government (this isn't correct- de. The 9 - especially George Mische and the Melvilles, enunciated at the time the connections between Latin America and our government- they took pains to do it at the trial.)

W goes on: "By then my thinking was that we had to raise the question of power at all times, finding ways to wrest concessions from those in power. I no longer thought that an appeal to reason or morality would convince anyone in the administration to replace the whole system with a more humane and egalitarian one." (Note by de- the 9 were appealing to fellow Americans- not to the power structure- they had no more illusions than did W.)

I found W's book to be exciting, revelatory, dead on, right on, very well written and incisively researched and inclusive and a little dull and humorless (we can't all be religious, humorous mystics like me- note how W blocked Jerry Rubin from taking the stage at one point!) (me- I think there is room for many approaches).. I wish there had been more interchanges between our two strands at the time. I saw that she didn't like Bill Ayers book- which I found, like hers- to be very helpful.

It occurs to me that W was and undoubtedly still is into the womens issues and womens liberation- I see no reason for us to b squabbling- am sure that Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorhn support womens lib.

more thoughts re this period after an event in honor of Panther Eddie Conway (still in a Md prison)- sponsored by Red Emmas in April, 2011:

  1. we (of the Catholic left) did not have an over all analysis- the welcome freight of history going back to Marx- to put all of our actions into the context of oppression by capitalism- the Panthers and Conway (still in prison in Md.) - to a degree- seem to get off on conspiracy theories like Cointelpro- or the government bringing drugs in the city- not once does Conway or Whitehorn mention this elephant sitting in the room- the fact that Capitalism must be turned over to Socialism- why be so afraid to say so- I'm not!!
  2. Non violence works as a tactic depending on the enemy- because of the racism in the country Conway ends up spending 40 years in prison and me 2- the police and fbi squashed the Panthers whereas our movement carries on (Code Pink, Plowshares) Non violence has the advantage of appealing to the best in the enemy and not assuming the enemy can't be changed!
  3. The issue of transparency as opposed to secrecy in the draft actions- it would b one question i'd call and ask Phil Berrigan, were he still alive- i'm hesitant to call weatherperson secret bombings or hit and run draft actions counter productive- but- it's an issue alright- i'm sure Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day would say so!

This book by Cathy W gets 5 stars from me- it is so eloquent- so revelatory of the issues that are still page one today. Books like these and Judith Rosenberg's and Mark Rudd's and Bill Ayer's and the books on ongoing anti war efforts- like Plowshares actions or the best book on the Berrigans - Disarmed and Dangerous- need to be taught from kindergarten on. Flying Close
to the Sun is the best book on the 60's issues I have read. I was disappointed to get to the end and find no grand solutions a la the Weather Underground Organization for us in 20011- the book had been so brilliant in every respect. All CW ends with is "hope"? But I can see where she's coming from.

Now I shall read the book again- and see what CW is really saying about violence vrs. non-violence. Please bear in mind that the Weatherperson bombings hurt no one!! Bear in mind that some property may have no right to exist. The actions of the United States government have resulted in needless deaths of millions- in Viet., in Iraq, in Afghanistan- our soldiers AND civilians. Contrast our actions of the 60's with that!!!!!!!!!!!

At the event in honor of Panther Eddie Conway- where Eddie spoke with us from the Md. Prison at Jessup over a phone, not once does Conway or Whitehorn mention this elephant sitting in the room- the fact that Capitalism must be turned over to Socialism- why be so afraid to say so- I'm not!! This is not to diss Eddie, who is an exemplary figure deserving of all our sujpport- just that he needs to get on the anti- capitalist bandwagon; he, like Laura Whitehorn (Laura was also at this event), probably is- he just doesn't want to trumpet it to hurt his case (still plenty of red scare politicans around).

following from Wikipedia: "The March 6, 1970 Greenwich Village townhouse explosion was a culmination of the political direction in which Weatherman had been headed, according to Whi.tehorn. “We were out of touch with what was going on, and we lost sight of the fact that if you’re a revolutionary, the first thing you have to try to do is preserve human life." Three Weathermen died in the explosion, Terry Robbins, Diana Oughton, and Ted Gold. Wilkerson's analysis of the town house accident is also critical- "Imagine," she says, "if we'd succeeded."

While Whitehorn continues to claim that great care was taken (during the numerous bombings), to ensure that no one would be hurt, including the janitorial staff, critics have pointed out that when a bomb goes off, there is always the potential for endangering lives, especially those of the emergency agencies responding to the scene, who are at risk by the very nature of such an intrinsically dangerous situation.

Feminist Education

In 1971, Laura Whitehorn helped organize and lead a militant takeover and occupation of a Harvard University building by nearly 400 women to protest the war in Vietnam and demand a women’s center. One of the founders of the Boston/Cambridge Women’s School,

Whitehorn helped establish the school as an alternative source of feminist education. Operated and taught by a collective of female volunteers until it closed in 1992, Boston/Cambridge Women’s School had gained the reputation as the longest running women’s school in the United States at the time.

The climate of militancy

The dead end of militancy and violence for their own sake was obvious after the townhouse explosion, says Whitehorn Events at the 1972 Republican National Convention protest led Whitehorn to question once more the need for militancy, confirming her belief that they should allow for militancy when guided by a political framework, but not militancy for militancy’s sake.

Laura Whitehorn

The social-justice activist talks about the Weather Underground, Black Panthers and the double standard of violent action in the U.S.

Laura Whitehorn

By Joe Tropea | Posted 2/24/2010

Laura Whitehorn

Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffehouse, Feb. 25

For more information, visit redemmas.org

Former Weather Underground Organization (WUO) member and U.S. political prisoner Laura Whitehorn appears at Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffehouse Feb. 25 to talk about the new book she’s edited, The War Before: The True Life Story of Becoming a Black Panther, Keeping the Faith in Prison, and Fighting for Those Left Behind.It's a collection of speeches, essays, and interviews by the late Safiya Bukhari, a Black Panther Party member and former political prisoner.

Bukhari served more than eight years in federal prison and, once released, she never tired of supporting and advocating for the support and release of political prisoners whose ranks include Marshall Eddie Conway (BPP), David Gilbert (WUO), Leonard Peltier (American Indian Movement—AIM), and Mumia Abu-Jamal (BPP), to name but a few. City Paper caught up with Whitehorn over the phone and through e-mails a few days before her arrival from New York, where she currently resides and works as a magazine editor.

 

City Paper:Joe Tropea of "Hit and Stay"  is the interviewer- Joe worked for the City Paper for a spell) : You were a member of the Weatherman/Weather Underground Organization. Could you explain how you become involved?

 

Laura Whitehorn: Joining Weatherman was a process for me. First, after a study group led by Fred Hampton for people who were involved in building the People’s Law Office (a Chicago storefront created to serve the legal needs of the black, Puerto Rican, and poor white communities), Fred took me aside to point out that the politics and feelings I expressed suggested that I was becoming “a revolutionary”—someone who believed that a fundamental reorganization of American society was needed. And about six months later, after witnessing repeated instances of police brutality against the black and Puerto Rican communities in Chicago, I jumped in. I chose Weather because, of all the [Students for a Democratic Society] factions, they seemed the closest to my own concerns— focusing on the war in Vietnam and racism.

CP: How large would you estimate the WUO to have been at its peak? If you had to guess, how many people were a part of WUO?

LW: I don’t know. But to me, the size of the organization is less critical than the fact that it existed in a sea of other groups with similar politics and direction—just as the Black Panther Party was not the only radical, internationalist black liberation organization of those years. Weather existed in an era when many young people around the world were questioning all the constraints we’d seen imposed on thinking and acting for basic human rights. Having grown up during the post-WWII years of focus on human rights and international law, and witnessing nations around the world—colonies—putting those laws into practice in revolutionary ways, we all felt moved to throw in our lots with what was an enormous, creative tide of human history. We were questioning whether in fact the U.S. was a democracy, as opposed to a fake democratic structure set up by a ruling class.

CP: One of the criticisms I’ve heard time and time again of the WUO mindset—and even the groups considered more benign by historians and peace studies academics, like the nonviolent so-called Catholic Left—was that it claimed the moral high ground (over Vietnam for example) and then it backed that up with violence. How do you respond to that?

LW: It is only in this country that the word “violence” stops all discussion cold—at least, when violence seems to be practiced by forces of left opposition. The basic morality of Weather and the Catholic Left, etc., was this: If you live in a country whose government is breaking international law and causing irreparable harm to oppressed people, you have a responsibility to try to stop that. To fail to act in some active manner because of respect for the laws of an illegal regime, we reasoned, is in itself immoral. We also asked, why is violence OK when used excessively by the police or the military, but somehow off limits for the victims of that state violence? We were moved by the war of national independence waged by the people of Vietnam, and saw that tactics derive their character from the goals for which they are being used. We also saw a huge divide between what violence meant to white, middle-class people and what it meant, a daily reality, in the lives of poor and oppressed people in the U.S.

CP: Many people know you as a member of the WUO, but many here in town may not know that you spent some time in Baltimore. You were arrested here. Can you talk about that?

LW: Actually, no one knew me as Weather until well after I was arrested in Baltimore. The only reason they know of me now is that I had to try to speak up, be known, in order to help bring attention to the fact that there are, in U.S. prisons, a large number of people serving long sentences as a result of actions taken in political movements—or, in other cases, people framed and imprisoned because of their political work. Right here in Baltimore, for instance, is Eddie Conway, locked up since 1970 in an extremely questionable (to say the least) case stemming from his membership in the Black Panther Party.

I was arrested—and later indicted—as part of the “Resistance Conspiracy case,” a series of small, armed attacks on U.S. government buildings and military sites, in protest of U.S. covert involvement against the people of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Grenada, and other countries. I served the first 10 months of my 14 years behind bars in Baltimore City Jail. At that time, the jail was so underfunded that women arrested in the heat of August had no winter clothes when they were still in jail in December. Almost every woman in the jail was in for some completely victimless crime. I really had to conclude that the jail itself was barely necessary, and almost every woman prisoner should have been released to some alternative form of corrections.

CP: It sounds like we still have the same problems here. What were most of the women in jail for then?

LW: You know, [drug] possession, sex work. I mean this country loves to lock people up and punish them. If they were addicted to martinis and sitting in board rooms, they wouldn't think anything of it.

CP: You were close to many members of the Black Panther Party. I think even today some people tend to think that the Panthers looked at members of the WUO as misguided and delusional. Fred Hampton once said that the WUO was "Custeristic, Chauvinistic, and opportunistic"—he said it exponentially more eloquently than that of course. How do you respond to that, and did Hampton ever soften his stance?

LW: Fred made that statement specifically about the Days of Rage—an admittedly misguided series of demonstrations in downtown Chicago in 1969, designed to deliver the message, “Bring the War Home,” by running through the streets, breaking windows, and daring the cops to stop us. It was not a good plan. The Days of Rage turned our message away from the political to the tactical, taking attention away from a statement about the Vietnam War and racism to one about militancy. Fred was also making a correct criticism of Weather leadership—the demo endangered the organization’s members and supporters.

But the more important aspect of our relationship to the Black Panther Party is, I think, represented in Safiya Bukhari’s book, The War Before. The book takes readers through the experience of the party from the early days on, showing how it was one expression of a broad movement of opposition to capitalism and colonialism in those days. The solidarity among the Panthers, Weather, the Puerto Rican Young Lords’ Organization, and many other groups of the era was based on a shared vision of the need to change the world, bring justice into existence, and, as Safiya wrote, “wait no longer for the realization of people of African descent as human beings in the eyes of mankind.” A pretty basic demand, I think, and deserving of action.

CP: You mentioned Eddie Conway earlier and when we last spoke you said that you may be visiting him on this trip. Is there any chance of him being released—any developments in his case? Because I think maybe some people here aren't as aware of him a Black Panther from Baltimore.

LW: I know that there are people in Baltimore, including Paul Coates, the head of the Black Classic Press, who know more currently and people at the American Friends Service Committee. [His case] is technical, but it's perfect that you say people don't know about him because that's the situation with political prisoners.

Picture it, if you're locked up at the age of 19 and you're part of a political group—and remember, we all thought revolution was coming so we didn't exactly have career and retirement plans. You get locked up at that point and a lot of your family has died or have moved and you have so few resources. So how do you get the word out? And yet, you are convicted of something you absolutely didn't do and the evidence was kind of shaky to begin with, you never had the resources to disprove it, or as in many of these cases the evidence was destroyed by the government. The only way that Geronimo Pratt in California, who's the most famous case, was convicted of a murder—the FBI hadhard evidence that he could not have committed [it] because he was in Oakland at the time and the murder was on a tennis court in Southern California. They purposely hid that information because they were covering up their counter-intelligence program. The only way it came out was by an FBI agent who was freaked out about what he had been a part of so he decided to talk about it. There are people who are locked up, they can't prove they're innocent—even though the proof that they're guilty is not very good, but it was good enough for a jury or judge so many years ago—and they don't have the resources to make their case. We might not know about Eddie Conway if it wasn't for Safiya. I know about him because when I was in Baltimore City Jail there were newspaper accounts about me, he saw them and wrote to me. He said, "Look, we know there's no law library in there. If you need law information, write to us> and we'll get some of the brothers to get it for you." I mean the solidarity was amazing."

 

Note by DE- Laura was at the jail as I worked there- I remember avoiding contact- would not have helped me in my job position.

Susan Rosenberg- she has come through!

Her book- An American Radical- is like a nineteenth century gothic novels- but with ALL THE DETAILS. As an ex federal prisoner myself (21 months for an anti- draft action) - you can imagine how moving I find this book.

I was tempted to guilt trip myself- good puritan that I am- but, hey- I was associated with blood on draft files- Ms. Rosenberg w dynamite, which she never used. Somehow she got caught up in the notorious Brinks robbery- which made her stay in prison so long.

Isn't the US Bur. of Prisons and government brave? Look at how they deal with the minorities- the blacks, the women, the Jews- they saved the worst treatment for them- so horribly disgusting- and, guess what- it's going on today. David Gilbert is still in prison. Susan details these atrocities- yr government's! Thank God Clinton gave her clemency. I got mine (a Pardon- differing from Susan's) from Ronnie Raygun. Having just finished Cathy Wilkerson's book I picked up Susan's- talk about stories that should be more renowned- stories that the  US does not want out. A very important section for me is where Susan quotes the French writer Daniel Singer: "in writing about  the Italian Red Brigades, said that when a self appointed guerilla group declares itself the leadership of a movement, it actually does harm to the social struggle. By substituting political violence for organizing people where they are, it shortcuts the necessary work of winning peoples hearts and minds. This description fit us to a tee." (de - this last sentence should be in bold)

I was part of an anti draft board action and remember thinking at the time- no, this country is not ready for a revolution.

I admired the bravery of the Weather Underground- but not their tactics nor logic- altho- then again- their tactics (strategic bombings) did "bring the war home" and hurt no one but themselves (at least in the town house explosion). I think of Che Guevara in Bolivia- somehow- I don't think Che would describe his band as a vanguard, the leadership of a movement- he actually thought the populus would rise with his band- as they did in Cuba. You want self defeating tactics- look at the US in Vietnam, Iraq and Afhanistan. There they are. The book, logically, lacks humor by in large- (except for the great dildo raid at Danbury) but there's love interest a plenty.

I smile to think of Susan now in her freedom- and, you can imagine. I wish her all the best.

The Issue of Guns

Letter to Indypendent Reader (7/17/'09) - a newsletter (from New York?) w articles one issue by young anarchists of Red Emmas and Baltimore so good to see the "yutes"- (my vernacular for youths)- arising? Indypendent Reader (not too sure of origin- looks to be by Red Emmas type youths) had just come out with a new newspaper- "City from Below"- first decent left newletter since SPARK and the SWP rag....enheartening.

some thots from an aging left peacenik in Baltimore: when I entered the civil rights movement here in 63 or so, the Communist Party was so underground you wouldn't have known they existed. They had been scared by the McCarthy stuff, but they had been stronger once- as a 500 + pg. gov't doc entitled "The Communist Party in Baltimore" would attest- (I know it exists but haven't read it).

There seems to be a general ignorance of our great labor struggles of the past- Debs, IWW, Wyndam Mortimer, Cannon, Dobbs, oh I could go on.

Even Hoffa's right wing book is pretty entertaining- Hoffa: The Unknown Story.

I've always wished the fragmented left would get together- and there are more groups than you think- because I go back to the days of SDS and the Mobe in Vietnam when quite a movement occurred- not to mention the civil rts. m'vt of which I was a part. Read Mark Rudd's book about the splits in SDS. People can change things- they always have!

The Weathermen were called terrorists by Nixon and company? When, as far as I can tell, only one or two right wingers were injured or killed and the Weatherpeople blew up three of themselves? Give me a break!

Should we call a conference? Why shouldn't we (the thought of informers irritates me- just look at their shoes- you can tell) (but I hate to give away our secrets).Who would organize same? O I vote for Red Emmas (in Baltimore)- such energy- such panache. I think we should try for more unity as difficult as that will be. And we shouldn't shy from announcing our platforms and our beliefs in socialism- now more relevant that ever- and it's always been very relevant in this sad assed, bread and circus, shallow society that thinks it's so great?!? We do not need to be ashamed of our correct path in the slightest!

I think we need to study history and avoid sloganeering. A lot of our stuff has been done before- and done better! We can learn.

I later realized that the young folks at Red Emmas were pretty much a chapter of the old I W W- I think we will have to go through socialism before we can get to anarchism. They seemed to be out of touch, romantic poets- with no belief in organising- except spontaneously- hence- NO press releases in Pittsburg....no belief in collective bargaining. Not a very realistic or practical political philosophy!

another letter sent: Monday, March 08, 2010 9:04 AM:

 

To: [email protected]'

Subject: Reading your current issue

 

and thinking about Baltimore's Independent (protestor and left) media past- in some of which I participated- from HARRY through Dragonseed to the City Paper and there were others- some thoughts. The best paper right now is hands down- SPARK, with its cogent analysis of capitalism.

I think of my friends (with whom I have worked) at Red Emmas and how I think that anarchism will only come after socialism and communism- the withering away of the state- and how youth and most protests (I'm 69) seem so disorganised today.

I think of the speaker the other day at Red Emma's (which I couldn't make because of a poetry reading) and his book How Non Violence Aids the State which is a sad idea- I've read some of it- and the author pays scant attention to the non violent martyrs like King or Berrigan from right here in Baltimore(I hope some one confronted this author!) and I'm not a strict pacifist- I'm an existentialist. But a title like this- in a superviolent nation and world simply DOES NOT HELP- what is he trying to say?

We are still dwelling in "the belly of the beast". We have to go left and work to create the conditions where non violence WILL work. Also- some property has no right to exist.

ß letters re: guns

i was saddened to call the brady gun violence group today (4/19) to hear that they have no email address becuz the opposition swamps them- no email address!

may i share the poem i sent to nikki giovanni- which she cld have read instead of the sad ass kissing one she did at the v tech memorial service

 

(for the victims of the gun massacre)

who made the glock

who made the walther

who sold them

who blocked laws that wld have restricted them

what terrorist was invited to speak at the memorial

actually for jonah house readers i will reveal

there were 2 governor kaine and president bush

why did not vt ask these questions

why will this happen again

 

best, dave

 

2011 letter to Read St. Blog article on assassination attempt on Reagan:

 

what was Reagan's position on guns?

I think I'm being fair when I say that:

I blame every gun death on the persons who made the guns, the persons who sell them, the shooters, and most especially- the politicians who kiss the a of the nra and do nothing to strictly control guns. I blame them more in the worse states- like Virginia- I think the Va. legislators are criminally responsible for the deaths at V Tech-and I think Arizona's should be tried accordingly.

I blame American and other males for their macho attitudes and I want nothing to do with it- and I am a man. I blame any woman who goes out with a gun owning man. They are all sick.

Those who do nothing on this issue may share the blame.

 

Letter to CNN:

 

Would it be possible for any of the anchors like Rick Sanchez or Jack Caffery or Wolf Blitzer or Anderson, Cooper, etc.- to get the gun control side- interview the Brady handgun group and there are others.

We never hear from them about sane steps that can and should be taken.

You never seem to want to go to far with this issue and I sense a genuine fear from you of delving into it-

why I don't know. Is it possible that you are afraid one of these nut cases might try to use guns on the media?

Timothy McVeigh told an interviewer at Waco, Texas when the Koresh cult went down how much he was afraid that the government would take his guns.

There is definitely a connection to the right- easily more than the left and certainly not at all to the nonviolent movement- none of which three do you cover. The Supreme Court approves a twisted and questionable interpretation

Legislators in Virginia, where Virginia Tech took place, cannot even close a gun show loophole.

Congress cannot ban assault weapons. If these weapons were used on their families- would they change their minds? Police in Pittsburg died at the hands of a gun fanatic- and yet the media seems silent.

Is it that you all carry guns or are in favor of same?

What is it with American men- (no women have done a Columbine or Va Tech- think about that) that we cannot protect our own people from the gun lovers- some of whom even argue that more guns would help- which it undoubtedly wouldn't. All we have ever had is more guns!

 

The following was printed in the "Russia Today" insert in the Wash. Post of 11/18. a letter in 2011:

 

a response to the article on Michail Kalishnykov

 

Please pass to editorial department? Thank you- keep up the good work.

Is there a peace movement in Russia? I never hear about it.

Who was the Tolstoi character that loved peace? I know Russians are capable of deep thoughts.

The pain that Mr. Kalashnikov has caused, the grief, the suffering. His statements and your article seem naieve and self serving.

I am an American leftist, a peacenik- a Trotskyite- who believes in the redistribution of wealth. I have been imprisoned for my beliefs. I can see defeating fascists- but inventors of weapons- such as the atomic bomb or the AK 47, really deserve no praise. In the end they do more harm than good.

If the weapons inventors are sincere about love, kindness and peace- they should devote the rest of their lives to peace as did Nobel who invented dynamite.

For the little good their inventions do- such as defeating fascism, they do far more bad. Is Mr. K proud of the Taliban who are using his weapons today? and who used them against young Russians? Where is the arms control?

I am for strict gun control- in the US and Russia.

We must work to create the conditions where non violence is a successful tactic- NOT- the AK 47s. I admire freedom movements as much as any one- and yet- how many freedom movements have turned into he same old despotisms? e.g. Lenin leads to Stalin?

I admire Che Guevara- and yet he died as he lived- by the sword. His egotism led him to defeatist tactics in Bolivia. A true hero? Gandhi! Let the sword makers throw away and disown their weapons. Suggested reading for Mr. K?

The "Sermon on the mount" from the Bible!

 

(extra note to the Russia Now staff- how about moving a bit to the left?)

A Presentation on  John Brown

10/15/'09- This weekend will mark the 150th anniversary of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry- with many events to commemorate it in that West Va town so close to us.

Is violence justified if the cause is right? In relation to the Vietnam War- I participated in militant- non-violent protests which I do think helped to end the war- if only slightly. Probably the TET offensive by the National Liberation Front did more to end the war than our actions here in the states.

Non-violence is so much easier on the conscience- so much less likely to keep the violence going. Those who live by the sword tend to die by the sword. But I think the conditions have to be right for non-violence to work. Naturally we should try to create those conditions.

But still I waver. John Brown's cause was right. Frederick Douglas balked at Brown's enterprise- telling him correctly that he was walking into a "steel trap". But...did the steel trap turn Brown into a heroic martyr? He predicted the bloodshed of the Civil War correctly and that freed the slaves. 100 years later- a non-violent civil rights movement eradicated some of the vestiges of the slavery/Jim Crow system in our neighborhood to the south (and Maryland was torn!)

We cannot be wrong who work to create the conditions where non-violence will be the winning tactic.

And yet...if the cause is just- as Brown's surely was...

Maybe it's an existential decision and the answer is blowing in the wind. But we can influence this wind!?!

On John Brown BJB- and translated into the french (but not by me- by (if the ' marks come out as something else in what you're looking at?  they're supposed to be ' )

 

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,

He has loosed the fearful lightening with his terrible, swift sword,

His truth is marching on.”- Battle Hymn of the Republic- Julia W Howe

 

Mes yeux ont vu la gloire de la venu du Seigneur,

Il pietine la recolte ou ont muri les raisins de la colere.

Il a dechaine son éclair implacable avec son prompt, terrible gleve,

Sa verite est en marche.

 

  1. On Oct. 16 in 1859, at the federal armory located at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, now West Virginia. John Brown and 22 others attacked in order to get weapons for what they hoped would be a slave uprising. The raid failed after 37 hours and Brown and his men were arrested, taken to Charles Town, W. Va. And imprisoned. B was murdered ("executed") by hanging with 11 of his men by the state at Charles Town on Dec. 2nd, 1859. 10 others died in the raid. When JB died at the age of 59, he was trying to attack slavery below the Potomac River- to bring the violence back to slave owners and Virginia and the heart of what would become the confederacv of states seceding from the Union. When JB was born May, 1800 in Torrington, Connecticut- approx. 1 million men, women and children held in slavery; when he died, there were 4 million held in slavery in America's Southern states.
  2. Le 16 octobre, 1859. John Brown etait age de 59 ans. Avec 22 autres personnes (dont 2 de ses fils, et 5 Noirs), ils attaquerent l'arsenal federal a Harper's Ferry dans le Maryland, pour obtenir les armes necessaires a ce qu'ils esperairent devenir une revolte d'esclaves. Au bout de 37 heures, la raid fut un echec et B et ses hommes furent emprisonnes a Charles Town, W. Virginia jusqu'au 2 decembre quand John Brown fut pendu avec 11 de ses hommes. Quand John Brown mourut, il essayait de s'attaquer a l'esclavage au sud du fleuve Potomac en portant la violence plus pres de la Virginie, de ses proprietaires d'esclaves et au coeur de ce qui deviendrait la Confederation des Etats qui allaient faire secession de l'Union. Quand John Brown est ne en mai 1800 a Torrington dans le Connecticut il y avait environ 1 million d'hommes, femmes et enfants maintenus en esclavage quant il mourut, il y avait quatre millions d'esclaves dans les Etats du sud en Amerique.
  3. JB hated slavery from an early age. His father was an abolitionist who was a part of the underground railroad for escaping slaves in Ohio. As a child, JB witnessed a slave boy friend beaten and said, "from that moment on I swore eternal war against slavery". In 1831 negro Nat Turner led a slave revolt in southern Virginia in which 55 whites were killed- and a great many more blacks in the back lash after the revolt. JB idolized Turner, he was inspired greatly by the black slave revolts. In 1837- a white abolitionist printer named Elijah Lovejoy had been harrassed and murdered by a mob in Illinois. Afterwards, at a church meeting held in the north to denounce slavery, B got up and announced: "Here before God in the presence of these witnesses, I consecrate my life to the destruction of slavery"
  4. John Brown haissait l'esclavage depuis sa jeunesse. Son pere etait un abolitioniste membre du Achemin de faire souterrain ("underground railroad") dans Ohio, pour les esclaves en fuite. Enfant, John Brown fut le temoin du passage a tabac d'un de ses amis, un garcon qui etait esclave. Il dit : "a partir de ce moment j'ai jure guerre eternelle contre l'esclavage". En 1831, un noir, Nat Turner, mena une revolte d'esclaves dans la Virginie du sud. 55 blancs furent tues et beaucoup plus de noirs dans les repercussions qui suivirent la revolte. John Brown a adore Turner qui l'a beaucoup inspire. En 1837, un abolitioniste imprimeur nomme Elijah Lovejoy, un blanc, fut harcele et assassine par une foule dans l'Illinois. Par la suite, dans une reunion tenue dans une eglise du nord pour condamner l'esclavage, John Brown se leva et announca: "Ici, devant Dieu, devant temoins, je voue ma vie a la destruction de l'esclavage".
  5. Before the Harpers Ferry raid, in 1850 B had organized black friends into an armed resistance movement called the United States League of the Gileadites. In 1852 the anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin was published and widely read. From 1854 until 1858, took place what became known as the war for "Bleeding Kansas". The opening of the Kansas territory precipitated a mad scramble for control by pro slavery and "free soil" elements. Of course, white settlers were not talking about the sovereignty of the native Americans already on the land for thousands of years. They meant to insure that white settlers got the land and the politics they preferred. In Apr. 1854 the New England Emigrant Aid Society was formed to help "free-soilers" create colonies in Kansas. This aroused the pro-slavery people. Called "Border Ruffians" from Missouri, they interfered in elections in Kansas. They also attacked the town of Lawrence, and in return John Brown led a massacre at Pottawatomie Creek, killing five pro-slavery settlers- he was definitely the leader of this pay-back/send-a "message raid". B had already won a battle at Black Jack, Kansas and had liberated 11 slaves in Missouri whom he personally led some 1,500 miles to Canada in the winter along the western underground railroad. They were assisted by Native Americans and sympathetic whites.
  6. Avant le raid sur Harpers Ferry, John Brown avait organise en 1850 ses amis noirs dans un mouvement de resistance armee, appele La Ligue americaine des "Gileadites". En 1852 le roman anti-esclavagiste La Case de l'Oncle Tom fut publie et lu par beaucoup de monde. De 1854 a 1858, eut lieu la guerre connue sous le nom de guerre pour le "Kansas sanglant". L'ouverture du territoire du Kansas a precipite une ruee folle pour le controle de cet Etat, entre d'une part les elements en faveur de l'esclavage et d'autre part ceux qui voulaient en faire un "territoire libre". Bien sur, les colons blancs ne parlaient pas de la souverainete des Indiens qui se trouvaient sur cette terre depuis des millenaires. Ils voulaient s'assurer que les colons blancs obtenaient la terre et le systeme politique qu'ils preferaient. En avril 1854, la Societe d'aide aux emigrants de Nouvelle Angleterre fut formee pour aider les partisans d'un "territoire libre" a installer des colonies au Kansas. Cela fit reagir les pro-esclavagistes. Appeles "Border Ruffians" (bandits de frontiere), ils intervenaient depuis le Missouri dans les elections du Kansas. Ils attaquerent la ville de Lauwrence, et en represailles, John Brown mena une attaque a Pottawatomie Creek, fit 5 morts parmi les colons pro-esclavagistes ; John Brown etait sans aucun doute le meneur de ce raid de represailles. Il avait deja gagne une bataille a Black Jack au Kansas, et avait libere 11 esclaves au Missouri, qu'il avait personnellement emmenes sur quelque 2300 km, jusqu'au Canada, le long du "chemin de fer souterrain" de l'ouest. Ils etaient aides par des Indiens et par des Blancs abolitionnistes.
  7. As it outraged the white South, news of B's raid electrified the country, and Northern abolitionists gave John Brown considerable financial support due to lectures he gave. In 1847 B had already proposed guerilla warfare against slavery to the noted black abolitionist, Frederick Douglass. According to one author, "Douglass believed that B was overestimating the propensity of black slaves for rebellion". D thought that they would instead be held back by a steely, wise cynicism born of many years "abuse and broken promises". It was not that blacks did not want freedom, D told Brown, "it was just that they were generally averse to suicide". Douglass refused JB when invited to join him at Harper's Ferry. But Brown hoped that the Allegheny mountains- spreading down from Pennsylvania through  Maryland and into Virginia would provide a natural fort, a base from which to go and recruit slaves.
  8. En meme temps qu'elle scandalisait le Sud blanc, la nouvelle du raid de John Brown stupefia le pays et les abolitionnistes du Nord et elle donna a John Brown un soutien financier considerable, grace aux conferences qu'il donnait. En 1847, John Brown avait deja propose a l'abolitionniste celebre Frederick Douglass de mener une guerilla contre l'escalvage. Selon un auteur, "Douglass pensait que John Brown surestimait la propension des esclaves a la rebellion. Douglass pensait qu'ils seraient retenus par un sage cynisme faconne par des annees de mensonges et de promesses non tenues. Ce n'etait pas que les Noirs voulaient pas de la liberte, expliquait Douglass a Brown, "c'etait seulement qu'ils repugnaient au suicide". Quand Brown l'invita a le rejoindre a Harpers Ferry, Douglass refusa. Mais Brown esperait que le massif des Allegheny qui s'etend a travers le Maryland et la Virginie fournirait un fort naturel, une base de depart pour recruter des esclaves.
  9. JB was very much influenced by his religion- New England Puritanism and Calvinism and he was convinced that he was God's chosen instrument for the liberation of the slaves, that "God would be his guard and shield, rendering the most illogical movements into a grand success".
  10. John Brown etait tres influence par sa religion (le puritanisme calviniste de la Nouvelle Angleterre) et il etait convaincu qu'il etait l'instrument choisi par Dieu pour la liberation des esclaves, que "Dieu serait son gardien et son bouclier, transformant les mouvements les plus illogiques en un grand succes".
  11. In the practical sense, of course, the raid failed in its objectives as no one joined them. But the Harpers Ferry raid WAS successful, in a certain sense, whether B lived or not! It was merely Not a military success. As the song goes, "John Brown's body lies a mouldering in the grave, his truth goes marching on", inspiring others even though he failed to leave with the weapons, he failed to gain adherents, he was caught and executed.
  12. Sur le plan pratique, bien sur, le raid echoua dans ses objectifs et personne ne les rejoignit. Mais le raid sur Harper's Ferry etait en fait un succes, que John Brown fut vivant ou mort. Pas un succes militaire. Comme dit la chanson, "le corps de John Brown git, se decompose dans sa tombe, mais sa verite poursuit son chemin", en inspirant d'autres meme si Brown, n'a pas reussi a prendre les armes et a gagner des partisans, et meme s'il a ete arrete et execute.
  13. Henry Thoreau again, known for his thoughts on non-violence and passive resistance, also wrote- "I do not wish to kill or be killed. But I can foresee circumstances in which both these things would be by me unavoidable". And, "It was JB's particular doctrine that a man has a perfect right to interfere by force with the slave holder, in order to rescue the slave. I agree with him. I shall not be forward to think him mistaken in his method who quickest succeeds to liberate the slave. His were the very best men you could select to be hung".
  14. L'ecrivain Henry Thoreau, bien connu pour ses idees sur la non-violence et la resistance passive, a ecrit : "Je ne souhaite pas tuer, ni etre tue. Mais je peux imaginer des circonstances dans lesquelles ces deux choses seraient inevitables pour moi." Et, "C'etait une doctrine propre a John Brown qu'un homme a parfaitement le droit d'intervenir par la force contre un proprietaire d'esclaves pour afin de sauver l'esclave. Je suis d'accord avec lui. Je refuse de croire qu'il se soit trompe dans sa methode pour liberer les eclaves au plus vite. Ses hommes etaient les meilleurs, qu'on pouvait choisir pour la potence."
  15. B passed a note to a guard on the morning of his hanging: "I, John B am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land: will never be purged away; but with blood. I had as I now think: vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed; it might be done". B had written over 100 letters out from his cell during the two months in prison while awaiting execution (I believe that JB realized how important his death and imprisonment were- not just the doomed last stand).
  16. Au matin de sa pendaison, Brown passa une note a un garde: "Moi, JB, suis maintenant tout a fait certain que les crimes de ce pays coupable ne seront expies qu'avec du sang." Maintenant je sais que je m'etais flatte en vain que cela pourrait se faire sans verser beaucoup de sang." Brown a ecrit plus de cent lettres depuis sa cellule pendant les deux mois qu'il passa en prison dans l'attente de son execution. ( Je crois qu'il a realise l'importance de sa mort et de son incarceration - pas seulement celle du raid damne sur Harper's Ferry.)
  17. "So perish all such enemies of Virginia!" cried Col. JTL Preston- "all such enemies of the Union!" But I rather think the great black abolitionist- Frederick Douglas, had a more useful and true statement about the execution: "Until this blow was struck", he said of the attack on Harper's Ferry, "the prospect for Freedom was dim, shadowy and uncertain. The irrepressible conflict was one of words, votes, and compromises. When John Brown stretched forth his arm the sky was cleared, the time for compromise was over, the armed hosts stood face to face over the chasm of a broken Union and the clash of arms was at hand!"
  18. "Que tous les ennemis de Virginie perissent de cette facon!", s'est exclame le Colonel, "et tous les ennemis de l'Union". Mais je prefere croire que le grand abolitionniste, Frederick Douglass, etait plus dans le vrai quand il dit, "Jusqu'au moment ou ce coup (le raid) a ete porte, la perspective de la Liberte etait mince, faible et incertaine. Le conflict irresistible etait seulement fait de votes, de mots et de compromis. Quand John Brown a tendu le bras, l'horizon s'est eclairci. Le moment de faire des compromis etait passe, les armees se sont fait face par dessus la faille d'une Union eclatee, et le bataille a commence."
  19. The reknowned preacher, Beecher had sermonized: "Let no man pray that B be spared. Let Virginia make him a martyr. Now he has only blundered. His soul was noble; his work miserable. But a cord and gibbet would redeem all that, and round up B's failure with a heroic success." B, as a prisoner, read this and wrote in the margin, simply, "Good". Said to B, "You and your handful of men cannot cope with the whole South". To which B replies, "I tell you Doctor, it will be the beginning of the end of slavery."
  20. Le predicateur celebre, Beecher, declara : "Que personne ne prie pour que Brown fut epargne. Que la Virginie fasse de lui un martyr. Maintenant il a seulement trebuche. Son ame etait noble, son oeuvre miserable, mais la corde et la potence redresseraient cela, et transformeraient l'echec de Brown en un succes heroique." Brown, quand il etait prisonner, a lu cela, et a simplement ecrit dans la marge, en reponse : "Bien." On a dit a Brown, "toi et ton petit groupe d'hommes ne pouvez pas prendre d'assaut le Sud tout entire". Brown a repondu, "Je vous le predis, Docteur, ce sera le debut de la fin de l'esclavage."
  21. FIN. Looking at JB helps us to see the forces opposing one another leading up to the Civil War. His is an interesting example of conscience to a cause. In this day and age with its talk of terror, some would call JB a "terrorist". He certainly terrorized those in the pro-slavery camp who knew of his raids in Kansas and then at Harpers Ferry. I think that the slave holders were the real terrorists of this piece of U.S. history. JB was a revolutionary martyr.
  22. FIN. S'interesser a JB nous aide a voir les forces opposees qui ont conduit a la Guerre Civile. Il est un exemple interessant du role joue par la conscience dans une cause. Aujourd'hui on appellerait John Brown un terroriste. Il a certainement terrorise ceux qui etaient dans le camp pro esclavagiste et qui etaient au courant de ses raids au Kansas et a Harpers Ferry. Je pense que les proprietaires d'esclaves etaient les vrais terroristes de cette partie de l'histoire americaine. John Brown etait un martyr revolutionaire.


Renehan writes, "As Douglass quickly learned, B adhered to his own unique, garbled military analysis- a twisted logic that made him deem indefensible positions defensible. One of B's Kansas recruits, George Gill, was to recall that B's military planning always seemed to have one fundamental flaw."

Don't you jes love that 19th century lingo?

One of those Gary Cooper, Clint Eastwood, gunfighter, silent, laconic Americans. Good with a Sharp rifle!

"This is a beautiful country", B said (according to Cox in his book Fiery Vision)), walking towards the scaffold- "the scaffold was on the high part of a plowed field at the edge of town, and just beyond the field the land began to dip into a valley. In the distance, the Shenendoah River shone in the sun and a soft haze covered the Blue Ridge mountains; I have never had the pleasure of seeing it before", B is quoted- same sort of haze we see today. I wonder how much of what we read about B is true and how much poetic license or apocryphal? At least we have the material he actually wrote. I think that the way of thinking- in that century was a bit different from ours- a bit more courtly, polite, certainly better turned, more eloquent phrasings. At the same time these times were rapacious, violent. Brown's captors "(in quotes)- gentlemen of ole Virginny- indeed the future general of the confederacy- Robert E. Lee; the front men for the mobs that had done unspeakable atrocities to some of B's men- used their bodies for target practice in the River, shot them in the back, so forth and so on.

On the scaffold B says "I hope they will not keep me standing here any longer than necessary". Can this be true? "He was as cool and as firm as any human being I ever saw under the circumstances"- an eyewitness. Also his statement re his dying son in the Fort B This is a hardness, a commitment one can see in the photographs. As B had said earlier, "Talk, talk, talk- that will never free the slaves", and, "Caution, caution, (optional- Danton's 'Audace, toujour audace'- not like Madame ?, who before the guillotine fairly well shit in her pants"(Dave what did she say) (of course she had nothing to stand for, nor had she done anything wrong).

From JB by Peterson: "Brown saw a black woman holding a small child in her arms. He stopped for a moment in his course, stooped over, and with the tenderness of one whose love is as broad as the brotherhood of man, he kissed it affectionately" (note the painting). Sentiment + politics ==s what?BS? Did this actually happen? But, later, various blacks stepped forwards to claim that they had been the ones that he kissed!!!

Was JB a terrorist? Consider, Osama Bin Laden? JB differs in that he demands rights for all. Timothy Mcveigh ? (Oklahoma City bomber) - who likened himself to JB- but McVeigh, who invokes the Kipling poem "Invictus" as his mantra- is all about me-me-me. JB stood for the rights of all- especially the marginalized and impoverished! The real terrorists were those who later became great generals for the south who captured JB- i.e. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson and JEB Stuart- all present playing a role in B's capture at Harper's Ferry- even John Wilkes Booth- future assasinator of President Lincoln was present at JB's execution. Lincoln, by the way, unlike B . Although he hated slavery was ready to compromise with the south to preserve the Union. Lincoln thought slavery might end in about 100 years.

 

 

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