Several buses will take Mainers down to Boston Common on October 27 to participate in one of 11 anti-war demonstrations planned nationwide for that day. Organizers expect 10,000 people will show up in Boston; more than 100 "peacekeepers" were trained over the last two weekends to help maintain a non-violent atmosphere during the march and rally.
Speakers will come from various organizations, including Iraq Veterans Against the War and the AFL-CIO, in addition to individuals like progressive historian Howard Zinn and Iranian-American human-rights activist Rostam Pourzal. Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be appearing at the Trinity Church in Copley Square that day, too.
For those who are staying in Portland Saturday, Peace Action Maine will celebrate its 25th anniversary here with two anti-war speakers: Kathy Kelly, and David Smith-Ferri. Kelly, a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, is a co-founder of the international organization Voices in the Wilderness, which protests economic sanctions in the Middle East and the war in Iraq. She also wrote the foreword to Smith-Ferri’s latest book of poetry, Battlefield without Borders (Haley’s Publishing, 2007), much of which was written in Iraq.
From “Visiting Ahmed’s Family,” written in Baghdad in 2002:
I step outside with Haider
to kick a deflated soccer ball in the rocky yard.
For half an hour we are two boys with a ball,
defying time, celebrating the present moment.
Beyond us, the Saddam City ghetto breaks like a wound, oozing in every direction.
Somewhere in the Persian Gulf, battleships gather.
I cannot yet see how brightly Haider’s future will flash,
but as I put the ball down and prepare to leave,
I can hear its concussive blast.
For more information about the Boston event, visit www.newenglandunited.org. For more on the Peace Action Maine anniversary, see www.peaceactionme.org.
: This Just In
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