Category: war

Why I wasn’t there

August 24, 2013

Me, holding a sign in the 2011 King Holiday Parade in Oklahoma City.

Me, holding a sign in the 2011 King Holiday Parade in Oklahoma City.

I slept quite a bit later than usual today, thus missing the OKC event marking the anniversary of the MOW in 63. I think my body knew what my brain didn’t (yet): I did not want to go and listen to a lot of chants and speeches, and hear not one goddamn word about war or the warlike violence our nation perpetrates in the name of national security. You know, the shit Dr. King would say, if, by the grace of providence, he was here to mark the milestone with us. I didn’t want to see the JROTC/color guard leading the march like they do the MLK events in January every year, not just in OKC but across the nation. A “tradition” that is an unforgivable perversion of King’s values, and a knife in the heart of his legacy. Or witness the abominable (but very well funded) contingent of military recruiters, whose only goal of participation is to ensnare some poor kids into their crime syndicate.

If I am wrong, and I learn that “war” was uttered at least once, I will be properly chastised and sorry to have missed the historic occasion.

I will also be extremely shocked.

James M. Branum stands beside a Marines truck holding a sign with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. Branum's group, the Oklahoma Center for Conscience, and the Marines were both participating in the 2011 King Holiday Parade in Oklahoma City.

James M. Branum stands beside a Marines truck holding a sign with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. Branum’s group, the Oklahoma Center for Conscience, and the Marines were both participating in the 2011 King Holiday Parade in Oklahoma City.

April 4

April 4, 2011

An email from my friend Batch, director of the Oklahoma City Peace House:

To commemorate this April 4th memorial of Martin Luther King’s assassination, a friend sent me this 9-minute video of excerpts from King’s speeches – a short 9-minute history that not only allows us to think of King as one of our very best, but also a true prophet of God. He would be 82 now.

Dr. King’s whole 22-minute speech against the War in Vietnam:

Dr. King made this anti-Vietnam War speech on April 4, 1967.
He was assassinated one year later, to-the-day: April 4, 1968.

Share with friends. Keep the memory alive.

Blessings, Batch

Arlo’s Thanksgiving classic, with illustrations by Andrew Colunga

November 25, 2010

This is a fun addition to the annual ritual of listening to Alice’s Restaurant on Thanksgiving Day — illustrations of the story. Now you can watch the story (as you are listless after gorging yourself), and it’s much like hearing a childrens’ fairy tale read to you, since the song is so iconic now. You sort of hear and think of things you might have glossed over during the last dozen or so years, LOL!

Only negative: There’s a rather unceremonious mid-line break between the videos for parts 1 and 2. Part 2 is also embedded below the fold.

Palestinian Human Rights talk by co-founder of ISM

November 11, 2010

Huwaida Arraf

Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement

Just got back from an AMAZING talk by Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement. She spoke for two hours about her own experience as a Palestinian-American who went to Israel to work and how that evolved into dedicating her life to seeking freedom and human rights for Palestinians in the Middle East. Yes, it was long, but the story — including horrifying details of the attack of the flotilla this past May — was riveting.

An OKC chapter of ISM is forming, so get in touch with Kathy McCallie if you are interested. The talk was videotaped and I’m told it will be on YouTube in a day or two (I’ll update this page when it’s available). I highly recommend it.

Rena’s got 3 things you can do right now to support the troops

November 9, 2010
  • Support IVAW’s Operation Recovery and sign their pledge. “We need 4,823 more signatures to meet our goal of 10,000 by Thursday, Veterans Day,” they say.

    Iraq Veterans Against the War has launched the Operation Recovery campaign to stop the deployment of troops suffering from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma. Thousands of troops are being re-deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq despite suffering from serious trauma from previous combat tours.

    The Operation Recovery campaign will defend soldiers’ rights to heal and hold accountable those responsible for re-deploying traumatized troops. They need the support of people like us behind them to make this campaign a success. Without the use of traumatized troops, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could not continue.

  • Demand and stand up for the truth about US warmaking. Our servicemembers deserve no less and American citizens are entitled to know what is done in our name.
  • Really the bottom line is: Don’t forget.
  • Rena’s got 3

    October 24, 2010

    a dial featuring the number 3I’ve always liked the number three, well at least since I was about 4 and one day it hit me that I liked it (maybe year 3 looked good in the rear-view mirror at that point) and ever since that’s been my number. It’s the one thing I’ve kept with me all this time; I’ve moved all over the country and not kept in touch with my former friends or kept much in the way of mementos; most of my opinions, feelings and even parts of my body have radically altered over time; but the fondness for 3 “still goes on” (okay, sorry).

    (Those who know me will be shocked to know that I have the remotest kind of positive feeling for any number at all, even such a non-complicated and non-threatening one such as 3. Well, now I’m out of the numbers closet, I guess, but I promise you, 3 is the only number I can remember or make perform any useful function.)

    So, in honor of the ever-present trinity in my heart, I’m offering you a threesome — 1, 2, 3, links for your counting, browsing and reading pleasure.

    1. Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things – a very helpful guide prompted by the Juan Williams/NPR flap, as Amanda at Pandagon notes, “so that you can spot “Muslim garb” and know when to be afraid.” (Of course, the terrorists on 9/11 were wearing quite nondescript Western clothing, but let’s not bicker about little details when there are flames of hate and fear to be fanned.)
    2. Find out what happened this week in history — definitely not approved by the Texas State Board of Education.
    3. The New York Times describes the race in Oklahoma State House district 84 between incumbent Republican (and conservative Christian nutjob) Sally Kern and 30 year old attorney Brittany Novotny, who happens to be transgender, as “competitive.” I don’t know that it’s been polled, so have no inkling what they are basing that assessment on, but it’s a glimmer of hope amidst otherwise depressing state political prospects, so I’ll take it.

    So there you go, now you’ve got 3.