Organizations represented: CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, CWA, and OPEIU Local 2, and Plymouth Congregational Church
Our two-hour vigil in front of Walter Reed Medical Center continues with many signs that we are accomplishing our goal. The soldiers are coming out again, giving us a chance to make connections. It seems that it helps that the situation has stabilized. The Vigil has kept its focus and the "counter demonstrators" are way toned down. After the vigil was finished last week, the DC police came by and wrote up the Freepers. Clearly, it was because of their obnoxious and noisy behavior.
Before tonight's vigil two of the vigilers went door to door in the neighborhood. What they found was universal support for our presence and for what we are doing. We really appreciate this support because we realize our presence has drawn the loud, raucous Rove brown shirts.
Our singing during the vigil is mellow but spirited and gives the vigil a rich quality. Perry King who was with the vigil in the early days, has returned with his guitar and unabashed singing style. He's been joined by a young Takoma Park musician, Noah Wolf, who was so inspired his first time at the vigil that he wrote a song for the vigil which he played tonight. Leading in the singing was the Reverend Grayland Scott Hagler of Plymouth UCC who attended the vigil with his wife Reverend Noemi Parrilla-Mena of National City Christian Church. Reverend Parrilla-Mena led us in a brief closing prayer at the end of tonight's vigil. (From across the street, the Freepers screamed, "You can't pray to our god!" At that moment even the atheists felt sacred.)
We continue to see new faces at the vigil, as well as the grizzled vigilers of these past six months. Everyone participates with such love and dignity but with an easygoing demeanor. The Freepers tried so hard to make the vigil an ordeal but our steadfastness and discipline have won out.
Now, we are approaching what we all hope will be an historic weekend in Washington DC, when people in their thousands and thousands will come to encircle the White House. (Perhaps some of you will remember the attempt during the Vietnam War days to levitate the Pentagon. I guess nowadays that would be considered terrorism.) Well, we may not levitate the White House but we will deliver a message. On September 24th, THE LEVEE WILL BREAK! The waters will roll-our voices will be heard!
The night before there will be many events going on in the Washington area for the many people coming into our city for this special time. Among these will be a special edition of the Walter Reed Vigil. We hope many of our sisters and brothers who have traveled here will come to the vigil to stand with us-to show real support for our brothers and sisters inside Walter Reed (and the overflow of recovering soldiers hidden away in various hotels and apartment buildings around the area.)
Real support for our sisters and brothers who were sent to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan means Bring Them Home Now, it means the best health care possible for as long as needed, and it means FULL BENEFITS for the regular troops, the guard, and reserves.
It means good quality union jobs. It means a fully funded and well rounded education system for the vets and their children. It means housing. Air, water, and earth that are not poisoned. Tolerance. A Democracy that belongs to the People and not to faceless corporations, Wall Street, and the super wealthy. And most important a foreign policy based upon the family of nations and not the agenda of those seeking power, domination, and never ending war. WE NEED TO GIVE OUR YOUNG PEOPLE A WORLD WHERE JUSTICE REIGNS-WHERE OPPRESSION OF ONE PEOPLE OVER ANOTHER IS ABOLISHED-WHERE SLAVERY, BLOODSHED, AND ABUSE ARE ABOLISHED-WHERE CHILDREN CAN BE NOURISHED NOT STARVED, EDUCATED NOT BOUND IN CHAINS-WHERE WOMEN WILL WALK THEIR OWN PATH WITHOUT FEAR, AND WITH ALL THEIR ENERGY AND INTELLIGENCE UNLEASHED-WHERE MESSAGES OF TRUTH WILL BE LOUDER THAN THE TELLING OF LIES…
YES, A DREAM-IF WE WERE NOT CAPABLE OF DREAMING, WE WOULD NOT BE HERE!
Each of us who stands in our own way in the path of oppression do so because we can dream. We have dreams. And those dreams will be fulfilled.
Please pass the word around, let people know, especially those from out of town, to be in front of Walter Reed Medical Center on Georgia Avenue Friday, September 23rd, from 7-9pm.
OPEIU Local 2
For the Walter Reed Vigil