Friday, February 22, 2008

Central City Against the Wars

Pastor Eric Gabourel opened the meeting.

Last night in the Tenderloin, a dozen or so of San Francisco's long time grassroots activists came together with a slightly larger number of neighborhood folks to talk about how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not only trash those unfortunate countries and people, but also make a hell of life in the central city.

The gathering was hosted by the Providence Christian Center aka the Hot Dog Church, which is a member of the Pentecostal Charismatic Peace Fellowship.

Organizer and poet James Tracy welcomed the assembled concerned citizens. "People in the Central City are already know struggling to get by on the streets -- so they just go right on to struggling against wars and empire...."

Lisa Grey Garcia, aka Tiny, of Poor Magazine reminded folks that they don't need a bunch of academics to tell them what to think, that they are all experts in the "scholarship of poverty."

Max Elbaum and Attieno Davis brought a stark message from War Times/Tiempo de Guerras:

If the U.S. can be forced to withdraw completely from Iraq, many positive changes become possible.

But if the U.S. continues its military occupation, every problem facing people here, in Iraq and across the globe will get worse.

Attieno tried to help people imagine what a "billion" -- 1,000,000,000 -- might mean. The cost of the U.S, war in Iraq is closing in on 500 billion dollars -- today it is roughly $496,700,000,000. The mind boggles. All that money is being stolen from the people of this country. For an accounting of what the war is costing you and me, check out the National Priorities Project.

When life is hard, art matters. This sister sang passionately to close the presentation part of the meeting.

And then, folks got down to business. After some discussion, the result is a new antiwar group in the neighborhood calling itself Central City Against the Wars -- wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and on San Francisco's poor. So the peace movement grows.


Molotov Mouths Outspoken Word Troupe said...

Thanks for coming! War Times rocks and I hope that something positive will come out of this effort. However, I'm not quite sure if I spoke (or was quoted) correctly. I wouldn't say that just because folks struggle they automatically struggle against war, just that their experiences give them the raw strength and analysis to be awesome organizers if they choose. No big deal, hope to work with you in the future.

janinsanfran said...

Thanks for coming by. You actually did say something pretty close to what I quoted (wrote it down) but you said it like a poet says it and I just wrote like a reporter, so of course I didn't convey the meaning ... Sorry.

Great event.

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