PERSONAL NEWS #193
Tuesday, Feb 1st, I had an appt with my lung specialist, and TJ kindly came over from NJ to lend a hand. Not only with escorting me to the doctor appt, but he helped with lunch and a wee bit of grocery shopping. Good seeing him again and catching up on news. Visit with my lung specialist went very well, and I also had an X-ray done. That evening I jumped on the NYdoPeace board conference call and topic was mostly on Reso14, as it had recently garnered 7 new co-sponsors.
Thursday and Friday, Feb 3rd/4th, per my doctor’s orders, I worked half days at the office.
On Saturday afternoon, Feb 5th, I got a much needed manicure in my hood.
On Sunday, Feb 6th, I attended a HP cookbook signing at Borders on Park Avenue with several other TGTSNBN members. Afterwards, I hung out with Deanna at her apartment on West 13th Street before we headed down to Greenwich Village for a birthday/dinner party at Trattoria Spaghetto. [I got to meet Deanna’s adorable cat Dobby.] About 15 members of TGTSNBN attended the party and it was alot of fun. Good to see friends and acquaintances, plus eat tasty food and catch up on gossip.
Tuesday, Feb 8th, I participated with NydoPeace in the Valentine’s Day “create a card” campaign with messages about R14 to NY City Council members. NYdoPeace met at Kevin’s office on East 34th Street.
Thursday, Feb 10th, I joined other ‘Brooklyn for Peace’ Peace Fair committee members for a meeting in planning the fair on May 7th. Very productive meeting, great seeing everyone, as I’d missed the last meeting due to being in the hospital.
Friday, Feb 11th, was feeling abit under the weather, and took half a personal day from work.
On Sunday, Feb 13th, I got a much needed pedicure in my hood.
Monday evening, Feb 14th, I joined Carole in checking out space, and other features, at Simple Studios for the upcoming TRD on March 27th.
Tuesday evening, Feb 15th, I joined other NYdoPeace members for a conference call. We discussed “follow up” to the Valentine’s Day card campaign. Also, on February 15, 2003 I joined others in a huge, peaceful protest against the Bush/Cheney Regime setting the stage for war and occupation in Iraq. Eight years since I became an activist, and one of the best choices of my life. I've attached an article below by Kevin Martin on this same topic.
On Thursday, Feb 17th, I had an appt with the Fuchsberg Law Firm regarding “WTC Victims Compensation Fund”, and that I may be eligible for compensation. My “lung issues” are all 9/11 related.
Friday evening, Feb 18th, I volunteered at the WCW national office to assist with database work and pulling together items for a conference/forum at Judson Memorial church.
Saturday afternoon, Feb 19th, I attended the conference/panel discussion on “Building Resistance to FBI and Grand Jury Repression” at the Judson Memorial church near Washington Square Park. I also assisted WCW [ie: Bob and Sharon] with their tabling, plus handing out flyers.
On Tuesday evening, Feb 22nd, I treated my friend Larry to dinner and he assisted me with doing my taxes for 2010.
Wednesday evening, Feb 23rd, I joined other members of the NYC Tolkien & Fantasy group for its first meetup at Starlight Diner. Had a turnout of about 12 people and many interesting topics were discussed over the course of two hours, not just on Tolkien, but even on Tarot card readings.
Thursday evening, Feb 24th, I joined other ‘BforP’ Peace Fair committee members for a meeting in planning for the May 7th event. It was another productive meeting and we are moving along in steps towards the Peace Fair.
On Saturday morning, Feb 26th, Dana stopped by to clean my apt and was done by 12pm. I did errands around the neighborhood before heading into the city, down to Greenwich Village, for the “Grassroots Fundraising Conference” at the Brecht Forum.
On Sunday, Feb 27th, I headed up to CT for a day visit with my good friend Katherine. It was great seeing her, as it had been since October and our last get-together. We met up at Stamford train station and drove to Norwalk for a leisurely tasty brunch at a diner, plus catching up on news/gossip. Then back down to Stamford to do the “mall crawl”, continue our chatter on gossip while I picked up several necessary items. Afterwards we drove to her In-Laws home were Maurice was hanging out. Since his parents demise Maurice has been slowly sorting and packing up things in the house. While at the house we exchanged gifts, toodled around on the computer, saw two deer meander through the backyard and just hung out. I got back to NYC around 9pm.Eight Years Since Largest Demonstration in History
Kevin Martin, Peace Action Blog
Yesterday marked the eighth anniversary of the massive February 15, 2003 demonstrations against the (at the time) impending US war on Iraq. An estimated 12 million people marched around the world, raising our voices for peace and against pre-emptive war. It was the largest demonstration in human history. Judith Le Blanc, currently Peace Action's terrific National Field Organizer, was one of the main organizers for United for Peace and Justice, which coordinated the events in the US, and served as a liaison with peace movements abroad.
I'll never forget it. I was in New York, and it was very, very cold, but the joy of the beautiful peace-mongers clogging the streets of Manhattan was infectious. I had the distinct and unique privilege of being with colleagues from our sister peace group Gensuikin, who had come all the way from Japan to be with us in New York. They were not well-dressed for the cold, but they were so happy to be there.Were you there?
Or in the streets in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, London, Paris or elsewhere? I'd love to here your memories of the day, please share them if you feel so moved.
Though we had been working for months to build opposition to the war, we didn't really expect such a massive expression of the will of the people of the world to oppose George Bush's outrageous drive to war. In the weeks and days before February 15, I didn't think we could stop the war, but that day, I thought just maybe our voices were so strong and clear they could not be ignored. The New York Times gushingly editorialized the next day that we represented the world's second superpower, world public opinion against the war. (David Cortright titled his history of the anti-war movement of 2002-2003 A Peaceful Superpower
Of course we did not stop the war. George Bush ignorantly and arrogantly dismissed us as a "focus group" (Really? 12 million people, a focus group?)
The US war and occupation was, as we predicted, a calamity. Eight years later, Iraq is still a wreck, and it's not clear the US will completely remove all troops, bases and contractors by the end of the year, as we are obliged to under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Bush signed with the Iraqi government.
While most peace activists are focused more on Afghanistan and other issues, we must remain vigilant and hold President Obama accountable to this withdrawal deadline, and we must repay the huge debt owed the Iraqi people for the immense destruction of their country. I haven't seen any definitive estimate of what a just amount for reconstruction and reparations would be, but it must surely in the tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars.
Some decry the current reality that the peace movement can no longer rally millions of people in the streets to demand an end to the war in Afghanistan. However, we have turned the tide of public opinion against that war, and we are building powerful alliances to demand serious cuts in military spending in order to reinvest in human needs.
I am privileged to work for peace with brilliant, indefatigable activists all over the country and around the world. I am sustained in this work every day by what I know people can do when we come together, as the recent remarkable revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East have shown the world. And I'll cherish the memory of February 15, 2003 as long as I live.[Duchess Note: Amen to that Kevin! I to cherish the memory of 2/15/03, and how it sparked peace and activism in my heart. America, hear my plea, join me and folks like Kevin in the "peace movement". Together we can make a difference, we really can.]