November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.
Black Voices for Peace on January 20, 2003
Plymouth Congregational Church, Washington, DC
Black Voice for Peace, the national network of Black activists working for peace and justice, brought the Black community and other supporters against the US administration's march to war on Martin Luther King's Holiday on January 20, 2003. The event, organized by Damu Smith (founder, Black Voices For Peace and Executive Director, National Black Environmetal Justice Network), brought together speakers and performance artists for the 2000 people who overflowed the church. The outpouring of support demonstrated that the Black community is a strong basis of support for the peace movement, and that leaders in the Black leaders are leaders in the peace movement as well.
There was an wide array of gifted speakers. Pictured below, with notes on their comments, are Dr. Ruby Sales, Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, Dr. James Forman, Re. Graylin Hagler, and J. Winter Nightwolf.
Reverend Dr. Carolyn L. Boyd, Pastor and Founder, Spirit of Truth Center, started with a prayer. "We cry no war ...We pray for peace....We pray that peace imparts every aspect of our lives."
Dr. Ruby Sales, former SNCC activist and director, Spirit House, asked "What do we say to a man who sent flowers to the grave of Jefferson Davis? What do we make of a people who would President Bush a standing ovation? We'd better pay attention. We're being driven by right wing idealogues who want to build a white world." (We apologize for not having a photo of Dr. Sales.
Ralph Nader, Founder, Public Citizen, 40 year consumer advocate, recalled that the Gulf War was "the most preventable war of the century." That war, and its aftermath - the economic sanctions, have killed one million Iraqi's, including a half-million children, he siad. The U.S. "deliberately targetedZ" water treatment and electrical and other facilities, going after Iraq's infrastructure. Saddam Hussein is a treat to his own people, but not in the way that President Bush is as he beats the "drums of war." Nader noted that the majority of Americans still say that President Bush has not proven that Saddam is a threat to the U.S.
Nader asked - "Who supported Vietnam? People like George W. Bush, who evaded the draft." As did Cheney, Wofowitz, Ashcroft and Rush Limbaugh, he said. They were not conscientious objectors. Rather, they were "belligerent draft dodgers."
For years the US deterred countries that had weapons of mass destruction without a preemptive strike, he said.
And, "the government wants to know all about us," while not wanting us to know what the government is doing, he said. He quoted the President as saying - "I don't need to explain why I do things. That's the interesting thing about being President."
War talk diverts attention from health care, homelessness, child poverty, invasions of privacy, racism and environmental problems, he said.
He noted that last year President Bush had not met with any anti-war coalition, no clergy, civil rights representatives, or women who oppose the war. He demanded that the White House open itself to the people who have been waging peace.
Cynthia McKinney, former member of Congress, 4th District, GA, said we have "guided missles and misguided men." She said "we won't forget that our troops are getting sick from Halli-burton's food. We won't forget that the President's first act after 9/11 was an order denying troops deployment overtime pay....Instead of zapping troops with drugs to turn them into killing machines," we should turn attention to health care for vets, she said. (In the above photo, Jeremy Corbyn, British MP (Labour) and a member of the coordinating board of the Stop the War Coalition in the UK, is seen in the upper left. Mr. Corbyn was a guest of Traprock Peace Center that weekend in Washington, DC. He conducted many media interviews and met with leading peace activists while he was in DC. He was quite impressed with the Black Voices for Peace event and the community that turned out for it.)
The Clara Muhammad School Chorus was among many fine performers.
Dr. James Forman recounted stories about Dr. Martin Luther King. One story recounted Dr. King's private statement that he supported the concept of socialism.
Rev. Graylan Hagler, pastor of the host Pylmout Congregational Church, encouaged the audience with accounts of mass protests across the country - with over 100 cities in protest, from Washington, DC to Albequque to San Francisco. "We have a War to Stop, a Movement to Build, and Empire to Prevent."
J. Winter Nightwolf, The Nightwolf Show/WPFW, native American activist, reminded us that we are all brothers and sisters of each other. There are good and bad of every color, he said. He expressed the solidarity of native Americans with the struggles for justice of African-Americans and others who seek justice.
We're sorry not to have photos and accounts of other speakers, which included Dr. Ron Daniels, director of the Cennter for Constitutional Rights; Bill Fletcher, Executive Director, TransAfrica and a founder of United for Peace and Justice; Verna Avery Brown, Pacifica Radio; Larry Holes, organizer, International A.N.S.W.E.R., and Phyliss Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies. If anyone has accounts or photos of speakers not shown above, we'd be pleased to include your contributions on this page.
Page created January 25, 2003 by Charlie Jenks.; photos and story ©Charles Jenks 2003.