portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements oregon & cascadia

actions & protests | imperialism & war s24 mobilization

Estacada Peace Rally, Saturday September 24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2005
CONTACT: Suzanne Dinsdale, Rally Organizer
503-630-4893,  suzdin@cascadeaccess.com

ESTACADA PEACE RALLY, SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 24

On Saturday, September 24th, citizens of Estacada will join millions of people around the world in calling for an end to the war in Iraq.
ESTACADA PEACE RALLY, SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 24

WHEN: Saturday, September 24, Rally 1:00 to 4:00 pm; March 4:00 to 5:00 pm; Candlelight Drumming Vigil 7:00 - 10:00 pm

WHERE: Estacada City Hall, Centennial Plaza, 475 SE Main Street (corner of Main Street and Highway 224), Estacada, Oregon. If it rains rally will be held at Estacada Junior High School covered play area.

WHAT: On September 24th, citizens of Estacada will join millions of people across the US and around the world to call for an end to the war in Iraq to stop the bloodshed of American soldiers and innocent Iraqi citizens. Not only has the death toll continued to rise, the cost to US citizens also has risen. Estacada citizens will hold a peace rally at city hall to support our troops and call for an end to the war. The rally will include music, and speeches by Mayor Bob Austin, local war veterans and activists Lloyd Marbet and Steven Amick. A march through the city will follow the rally, and a candlelight drumming vigil for peace will be held in the evening.

phone: phone: 503-630-4893

Great Estacada rally 25.Sep.2005 11:24

Steven Amick stevenamick@hotmail.com

Wonderful, peace and music-filled gathering under the huge firs in front of City Hall, followed by marching through downtown Estacada, with passing motorists honking and giving us the peace sign. It was great!!!
-- Stevem Amick
P.S: Here's the text of the speech I gave.

A RETURN TO ACTIVISM

Speech delivered at a peace rally in
Estacada, Oregon, on September 24, 2005
by Steven Amick

One day during the Vietnam War, after reading Joseph Heller's brilliant anti-war novel, Catch-22, at a navy base on Guam, I threw my uniforms away. I said wasn't going to help kill anyone anymore, I was done taking orders and I quit.
Life got a little complicated after that.
Soon, though, I was flying home to America and an honorable discharge. They told me it was an administrative procedure, for the good of the navy. It felt good to me, too - very, very good!
In May 1967, a friend with a car picked me up at the discharge center on Treasure Island, in San Francisco Bay. Except for the day my wife and I wed, and twice more, when each of our daughters was born, leaving behind the insanity of an unnecessary war was the happiest time of my life.
I wish such happiness, and as quickly as possible, for our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
That glorious spring day, nearly forty years ago, was also the start of a new enlistment for me. I joined a citizens' movement for peace, freedom, justice and equality. It was a broad-based movement, created and sustained by patriots like you. We were working to end a war, save our nation, revive its promise and reclaim its soul.
We wanted our young people to stop maiming and killing, and to stop being maimed and killed, in a military fiasco.
That war had become a quagmire, with no clear lines of battle, no readily identifiable enemy and no way to win. Sound familiar?

We wanted to bring our troops home to their families and friends, and put them to work at the never-ending task of building and sustaining the nation you love.
We wanted to stop destroying so many lives and wasting so much money. We wanted to stop a war based on lies - lies about body counts, lies about how well everything was going and lies about why we invaded a country that had not attacked or threatened us.
We wanted to stop the American Dream from becoming a nightmare.
The movement I joined then succeeded in bringing America's war in Southeast Asia to a halt. We won!
How did we do it?
We marched. We shouted. We sang. We carried protest signs and wore peace symbols. We rallied in parks and public squares. We held sit-ins and teach-ins.
We wrote poems, essays, songs, letters to the editor and leaflets against the war. We supported candidates for public office who campaigned for peace. We sat in front of trains that carried bombs. We closed universities that did war-related research.
We picketed recruiting offices, draft boards and induction centers, where agents of the government were using fear and false promises to lure our youths to war. Sound familiar?
We brought down two pro-war presidents. Lyndon Johnson abandoned his desire for a second term. There was dancing in the streets then, I'll tell you!
Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace during his second term rather than face trial for his crimes.
Before he left, public opinion had already forced him to abandon a war that cost the lives of 58,000 Americans and wounded 150,000 more - all, according to former Pentagon historian Daniel Ellsberg, to trick the American people into giving unquestioning allegiance, unlimited budgets and unconstitutional powers to leaders with insatiatiable appetites for all that, and more.


Our movement's victory did not happen easily or overnight. It took years of toil and sacrifice - some of us were beaten, exiled or jailed. But we WON! Our troops CAME HOME!!
Afterward, we tried to put all that strife behind us. We set about living lives of peace and prosperity, getting jobs, running businesses, starting families, rearing our children and enjoying all we could of the good life.
Some of us remained involved in politics, contributing time and money to causes and candidates, displaying lawn signs and bumper stickers, voting -- sending an occasional letter to a newspaper or government official.
Most of us stopped marching.
We ceased our protests and often gave up struggling against the cynical seekers of power who foment fear and use it as an excuse for their own brand of terrorism and tyranny.
These sociopaths manipulate elections -even steal them. They loot our national treasury for themselves and their cronies and seek to deprive us of our destiny, our democracy, and our dreams.
Most Americans - including those from generations before and after mine - have long been paying little heed to our government. We preferred the modern version of bread and circuses: rampant consumerism and electronic entertainments such as the TV sit-com "Friends."
Like David Schwimmer's character, Ross Geller, on "Friends," we were dismayed to discover that life had taken an ugly turn while we weren't looking. Who could blame us? We were on a break!
Now, however, it's déjà vu all over again. All of us must start paying attention:
to lies about weapons of mass destruction, which turned out to be non-existent;
to lies about a purported Iraqi connection with the mostly Saudi 9-Eleven skyjackers;
to lies about the growing piles of bodies in Afghanistan and Iraq;
to the ongoing and horrific assaults on our liberty, our rights and our republic by traitors to our American Revolution. Our flag is the Star-Spangled Banner. Theirs is a blood-and-oil-soaked rag!
We need to pay close attention when these thugs, whose single allegiance is to themselves and their cronies, and whose only ideology is greed -- try to scare us into giving up our Bill of Rights for their bill of goods.
These crooks are the liars, cheats and thieves who brought us Enron, who cut taxes for the hyper-rich while letting giant corporations steal workers' pensions and outsource their jobs.
These are the bullies trying to tear down our elders' Social Security safety net and all the other hard-won economic benefits for our poor.
These Machiavellians have shown us they care only about profits, not people; tax shelters, not housing for the homeless; torture, not tolerance; packing the Supreme Court, not providing justice for all; destroying freedom, not defending our Constitution; war, not Peace.
It is also time now to pay close attention to those sincere and well-meaning conservatives among us who say the only legitimate function of government is to protect people and property.
Then we must remind these good Americans that the Bush/Cheney/Rove regime failed to perform that duty on September 11, 2001, and that it failed again, four years later, in our storm-ravaged Gulf States.
In failing so miserably to perform that fundamental duty when faced with both man-made and natural disasters, these White House squatters revealed not only their incompetence, but also their indifference to anyone's welfare except their own.
That indifference extends to the needs of our veterans, our active military personnel and their families. Months ago, someone I know filled out and sent in an application to do volunteer work at the V.A. Hospital in Portland. No one bothered to reply.

War, I know - particularly war in which our nation is the aggressor - not only shatters peace, it also threatens freedom. I know, too, that the enemies of democracy are ruthless and relentless.
There is deep wisdom in a warning we were given more than 150 years ago by the eloquent Boston Abolitionist, Wendell Phillips. In a speech to the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in 1852, Phillips said ETERNAL VIGILANCE IS THE PRICE OF LIBERTY!
I'm certain that Thomas Jefferson, to whom that quote is often -- though inaccurately -- attributed, agreed with it in principle. He championed that principle with his every breath and each beat of his heart.
We must, too -- or watch wretchedly as peace, justice and equality, as well as liberty, are forever lost.
Decades after my political activism in the 1900s, I've learned that such activism is also needed in this new century. So I've retired from my career as a wage-earning newspaperman to stand up, speak out and strive for positive change.
All the evils of the old war in Southeast Asia - and more - are with us again. There's even talk of another draft! We are in another senseless war, with no end in sight.
It will take the same passion and perseverance to stop it.
I urge each of you to stand up, speak out and truly support our troops -- by returning them to their families, their communities, and all the work that remains to be done in this great and cherished land.
America needs them - and you!
I'd just like to say one more thing: I want you to know how honored I feel to be here with you today.
I am especially pleased to share this privilege with our next speaker. (Lloyd Marbet)
He also became a political activist during the Vietnam War. But he has no need to return to activism, because he never quit.

He made it his life.
Thank you! Support our troops! Bring them HOME!!! NOW!!!)

503-632-3656