the Cleveland peace scene
Hello fellow peace lovers! My name is Abbey Fox, and I am junior at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. I had the opportunity to meet the awesome people of Peace Action last May when I lobbied with them in DC against the war. It was one of the most educational and effective experiences of my life, and I encourage everyone that reads this blog to join this organization (if you haven’t already).
Regardless, I, like Christian, am new to this “blogging” thing, so I will try my best to make sense in this internet forum.
The Cleveland peace scene sure is up and running. Classes began in late August and so has the progress on campus. I’ve started volunteering/hanging out at the Catholic Worker House of Cleveland on Wednesday nights. The Catholic Worker Movement is something that I find extremely interesting, as the people that live there (the workers) take on a vow of poverty to live and work with the poor. The workers are also extremely involved in nonviolent direct action, which I got to see on Labor Day weekend. In Cleveland, there is a military air show every Labor Day weekend, and the workers (and their friends) held a protest outside of the gates. We passed out packets of seeds, symbolizing seeds of peace; whereas warplanes plant seeds of war. There were about 15 protesters and we had a pretty kicking drum circle going. I can’t articulate the necessity of surrounding yourself with people that share your similar views of peace and nonviolent resistence. It really keeps the fire alive within yourself.
Regardless, at the end of the protest, five of the workers decided to enter the air show themselves and participate in civil disobiedence. They held a die-in very close to a warplane and sang songs of peace and prayed. They also held a banner stating: “These planes are not entertainment. These planes kill.” It took about fourty-five minutes for the police to arrive, and they were escorted out, and arrested. However, many airshow attendees gathered around to watch the event. They made their statement. It still baffles my mind that nonviolent protesters could be arrested for laying on the ground and singing. What is this world coming to?
Besides hanging out with the Workers these days (please goggle the Catholic Workers if you don’t know much info about them!), things have started up on campus. A few good friends of mine and I have formulated a chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, which is working closely with the Peace Action chapter of Cleveland. On the International Day of Peace (Sept 21), we held an event entitled, “Camp out for Peace”. We gathered on the quad around 8pm and listened to speakers and talked about peace. Speakers included reps from Peace Action, Dennis Kucinich and his wife Elizabeth, Food Not Bombs, and student organizations. At one point in the night we had nearly 50 people in attendence, which is monumental for our small, conservative school. We closed the night around 2 a.m. with fair trade s’mores and a performance by our favorite anarcho-folk band, Stars and Strikes. It was a highly successful event, and not very hard to plan. We had a lot of support from academic departments (Political Science, Applied Ethics, Campus Ministry) which really aided the process. Give it a try at your school!
The UPRISE! tour is coming to campus next weekend. I can’t wait for three days of education of the military-industrial complex, direct action, and of course, peace. I’ll be sure to report back with my thoughts.
Entry filed under: Uncategorized.