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 Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK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.
March on Washington, October 26
Please follow this link to our PHOTO ALBUM of the March.
Over 100,000 protested against war with Iraq in DC on the 26th, while over 40,000 gathered in San Francisco. National Public Radio and the New York TImes grossly understated crowd size, deeming the turnouts disappointing. See FAIR's call to action with information on contacting NPR and the Times. In our view, it was a great rally with a large and enthusiatic throng.
If anyone who marched in DC would like to contribute reflections on the day, please email us.
People Connecting -- Report from DC
by Sunny Miller, Director, Traprock Peace Center
"Many times we ran into friends and shared a hopeful embrace ... aware that honoring our hopes to stop this war will require many
more sacrifices than the kinks of a long bus ride."
Traprock passed on information about all the rides we knew of going to DC, and estimate that 3 buses, 15 big vans, and many cars yielded about 400 from the CT Valley, and many more from the Berkshires, Worcester and Boston areas. I went with a van group that included a veteran, two child rights lawyers, a nurse, 3 moms, a psycho-therapist, a director for economic development, three teens, and environmentalists. The ride itself was a time to connect. We compared stories of teens needing to sign a form to keep recruiters out of their personal files --and the V.A. refusing to publish the names of Gulf War dead, claiming the right of privacy.
We woke at 5 am to leave NYC in the rain, and poured out into the crowd by 11, finding our way. The clouds broke and a hawk soared by the Washington monument, reminding me that resistance to oppression is our l-o-n-g tradition.
The range of ages was encouraging, but most children stayed home. Parents were surely concerned both about the suspected sniper arrested only days before and about unwarranted arrests, such as the ones in April and September which we heard even scooped up people on their way to work, using crowd control techniques that were not violent, but intimidating. Back in New England in the rain, people rallied, sang, prayed and held banners in Greenfield, Northampton, Kingston, etc.
The Constitution Gardens site for the rally was soon overflowing its capacity. It was impossible to see the entirety of the crowd, unless you were in that helicopter circling in its chopper noise. We saw Jesse Jackson being interviewed by Amy Goodman for Pacifica radio, and will look for that at the Pacifica web site:
Charlie and I lingered to visit at length over literature tables. We saw the new picture book, "Children of Iraq," brought on a moments notice by Nobuyuki Asai of Unknown Pictures in NY. I shared the idea of stretching out these pictures on a clothesline and walking through our city streets. Young organizers with a stack of clip boards told us a group of 75 peace groups had met the night before--we have no way to confirm yet that this is true. If so we'll post that a.s.a.p..
Here and there I caught snippets of beautiful characters on video, and lost sight of our group while doing so. people from the Carolinas brought a big beautiful puppet of a brown-skinned woman and made gestures of prayer, sorrow and blessing all at once. At the periphery of the crowd, on the way back from the Vietnam memorial, we met Michelle on stilts, queen of hearts. The drumming and dancing in pockets built a rhythm of resistance. The variety of messages emphasized that there are so many reasons to forego an unnecessary war. It was easy to get lost in the magic of the moment.
Hawkers giving away socialists and communist newspapers were everywhere. I had a bit of conversation with one of them explaining that I can't support any movement that believes violence can overcome violence. Could we be more generous with information? I gave away only business cards with the web site, and vow next time to have a literature table, which creates lots of dialogue and also a home base for us to find one another.
I didn't see the beginning of the march. I have the feeling that it began organically, when people couldn't wait any longer and decided to move out sometime before all the speeches were finished. Looking for our contingent, I sat to watch the parade go by. I couldn't help getting up from time to time, and state signs went by. I asked the sisters of Notre Dame if they could host a speaker on Depleted Uranium, I asked Vermonters the same. I asked vets if they had heard the VA statistics on Gulf War casualties. It was a sharing time. I hope we're all inspired to keep sharing.
Many times we ran into friends and shared a hopeful embrace, all the while aware that our honoring our hopes to stop this war will require many more sacrifices than the kinks of a long bus ride.
On the way back I spoke with everyone I saw. Lawrence at the last rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike, was so excited to hear about DC. We showed one another our best books on these topics and I gave him the web site. He wants to come up to hear Doug Rokke speak for our Veterans Days tour.
It wasn't until Sunday night that I got my hot bath, soaking up the awareness that this is a privilege all deserve. There's a lot of work to do this month, connecting. Blessings on soaks in your tub! 413 773-7427.
Please follow this link to our PHOTO ALBUM of the March. More photos of the DC March can be seen at http://www.scottfray.com/peacemarch/
Page updated October 29, 2002 by Charlie Jenks