Skip to comments.Parents mourn children killed during protests
Posted on 08/16/2003 12:28:29 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
The unique pain that comes from losing a child is still fresh on the faces of Cindy and Craig Corrie.
And although it's been five years since environmental activist David Nathan "Gypsy" Chain was killed, his mother, Cindy Allsbrooks, still lives daily with her pain.
She lost her son, and the Corries lost their daughter, in separate incidents of what is called confrontational, nonviolent activism -- placing oneself in harm's way in fervent defense of a cause.
That level of commitment led to the death of Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist killed in March after she stood in front of an Israeli army bulldozer in an effort to protect a Palestinian home.
And it spurred Chain, a 24-year-old Pasadena resident, to confront loggers in California, where he was crushed by a tree felled by a logger working for a Maxxam Corp. subsidiary.
The Corries are in Houston for a series of events that local activists are holding to honor their daughter, who was a member of a nonviolent, pro-Palestinian peace group called the International Solidarity Movement.
At some point during the visit, they will sit down with Allsbrooks to talk about the most devastating event that can happen to a parent.
"These young people do go out and put themselves on the front lines," Allsbrooks said this week from her home in Coldspring, in San Jacinto County north of Houston. "But because they are nonviolent activists, they don't look for violence to happen to them."
But it does.
The Corries are traveling the nation, telling their daughter's story, in hopes of gathering enough grass-roots and political support to pressure the Bush administration into conducting an independent investigation into her death.
They are as dissatisfied with the Israeli army review as Allsbrooks was with the police investigation into her son's 1998 death. The accused in both incidents were absolved, although eyewitnesses said they had purposefully killed the young activists.
"Rachel admitted to me that she was frightened, but she wanted to do it," said Craig Corrie, 56, as he and his wife toured an art exhibit. "She needed to do it."
Walking around the Station, at 1502 Alabama, the Corries listened as a curator explained why a refugee tent was pitched in the front room of the cavernous art space.
The names embroidered on the tent -- in heavy, black thread that forms stark block letters -- are those of the 418 Palestinian villages destroyed, depopulated or occupied by Israel since 1948, the curator said.
"It's so dramatic to see, to have a visual like that," said Cindy Corrie, 55.
The oatmeal-colored tent would have been familiar to Rachel Corrie, who put her life at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., on hold to be a peace volunteer in the West Bank and Gaza.
Many Americans don't even know about her death, local activists said, because it was overshadowed by the start of the Iraqi war three days later.
"I want people to know that Rachel was making the world safer for Israelis, Palestinians and Americans," Cindy Corrie said.
Her husband recalled that, when Rachel told them of her plans, he wished she would work at a soup kitchen instead.
"You really can't ask your child to be less than they are capable of being," Craig Corrie said.
Witnesses said Rachel Corrie was wearing a neon orange jacket as she stood on a mound of dirt in front of a Palestinian house that was marked for destruction in an Israeli effort to block arms smuggling. They said she was clearly visible to the soldier in the Israeli army bulldozer when it rolled over her and backed up.
The Israeli army cleared the soldier of wrongdoing, concluding that he had not seen Corrie.
Nathan Chain was the peacemaker in his family, so much so that his aunts loved to take him on road trips because he kept his cousins from fighting. Allsbrooks said she wasn't surprised when her son joined Earth First to protest the destruction of old-growth redwood forests.
Chain was killed while he and other Earth First protesters were trespassing on Pacific Lumber Co. property near Eureka, Calif. Their tactics included blocking trucks, camping in trees to prevent them from being cut down and putting themselves in front of trees chosen to be logged.
California authorities concluded there wasn't enough evidence to file charges against the logger. They found that while he had threatened the protesters, he wasn't aware that Chain was in the path of his falling tree.
The company settled with Allsbrooks out of court. She said she had no idea how much danger her son was in because he was participating in nonviolent protests.
"I would never try to stop Nathan from following his heart," Allsbrooks said. "But if I had known that I was going to lose my son to that, I would have intervened in any way possible."
Professors take on role as high priests of activism*** As they gathered downtown earlier this week to protest the war in Iraq, a motley group of students and activists busily readied the tricks of their trade. A couple of men gingerly laid on the sidewalk two cardboard "caskets" topped with plastic flowers and the bloodied heads and body parts of baby dolls. A man wearing a white Cheshire cat mask hung a severed fake head of Vice President Dick Cheney, with a "666" scribbled on its forehead and plastic sword speared into the top. A young woman expertly dabbed white and black makeup on a young man's face to evoke an image of a ghoulish skeleton.
But the leader of the pack simply donned his professor's gown.***
A CLASS STRUGGLE: Tenure of Avowed Marxist Controversy jolts College***"In a nutshell, it means I have a fundamental disagreement with capitalism," he said. "I think that capitalism is a system based on exploitation and oppression and domination and racism and war and lots of other things.
"So I'm totally opposed to capitalism, and I think that the majority of the people of this country ought to get together and transform the system," he said. "I think we need to replace capitalism with some kind of democratic socialism."***
War dissent on campus: A problem or not?****Some commentators find the report alarming in a very different way than its authors intended: not as evidence of rot in the ivory tower, but as evidence of a climate in which free speech is threatened and criticism of US policies is labeled unpatriotic. Writing in USA Today, Don Campbell, a lecturer in journalism at Emory University in Atlanta, derides the council for sounding like ''a pack of Joe McCarthy wannabes.''
Critics accuse the council of making a mountain out of a molehill. They point out that antiwar fervor has been notoriously low on most campuses and dismiss the list as a mishmash of vague comments about breaking the cycle of violence and finding alternatives to war.****
Campus Marxists are a funny bunch--until they end up running your country ***Both of my grandfathers were exterminated by Stalinist terror. My father and mother both barely escaped the Gulag. But here I am, with PhD students, being treated to a one-hour discussion about "homophobia" on campus. My colleagues are agonizing about how "Homophobia-Free Zone" pink stickers must be put on every door in the university. "But what if a professor or a teaching assistant refuses to have one put on his door?" one of them asks indignantly. After a few seconds of silence, another answers, "Well, then a committee might just have to be set up where these people will be taken to account." Serious head-nods follow. ***
International educators conference held in Cuba*** HAVANA - President Fidel Castro told a group of educators from around the world that education can create a better world by helping to resolve social problems, such as the nagging racial discrimination that still exists in Cuba. Closing the international educators conference here on Friday night, Castro told hundreds of participants that over four decades his socialist government can boast high marks for its primary school programs. But he said secondary education here needs serious improvement.***
Eco-Crimminal***Both Congress and federal law enforcement are well-aware of eco-terrorism's destructive potential. Rep. George Nethercutt, R-WA, summed up the situation well when he asked "How do we deal with this home-grown brand of al-Qaeda?" at last year's House Subcommittee hearings, proposing improved intelligence and less restrictions on law enforcement authorities. However, many members of the media, local prosecutors and judges, university administrations, and city governments aren't quite as well informed.
If they took the threat of ecoterrorism seriously, would the University of Oregon permit a conference of unrepentant ex-terrorists and career criminals, all of whom advocate lawbreaking in some form or another, from civil disobedience to murder, to use their taxpayer-funded facilities? If they took the threat of ecoterrorism seriously, would a court in Nebraska, three months after 9/11, shunt three Earth Liberation Front activists charged with felonies into a "diversion" program which allowed them to escape with community service - without even a trial, without even criminal records? Local governments would be wise to listen to radical environmental and animal rights activists and take them at their word; this might prevent future crimes. Would a hundred San Diego firefighters have been needed to put out a three-alarm fire in the middle of San Diego August 1st, a fire that did $50 million in damage and endangered the lives of hundreds, if just a few policemen were monitoring the preparations for the concurrent "Animal Liberation Weekend," attended by many Earth Liberation Front activists?***
National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Working Group***Created in 1983, the Eco-Justice Working Group of the National Council of Churches provides an opportunity for the national bodies of member Protestant and Orthodox denominations to work together to protect and restore God's Creation. (Click here for a list of denominations which participate in the Eco-Justice Working Group.) 'Environmental Justice' is an holistic term that includes all ministries designed to heal and defend creation. Eco-Justice is an even broader term that includes efforts to assure justice for all of creation and the human beings who live in it. A major task of the Working Group is to provide program ideas and resources to help congregations as they engage in environmental justice. Please continue to browse our website to learn more about what we do and the programs we offer.***
National Religious Partnership for the Environment***The Partnership is integrating care for God's creation throughout religious life: theology, worship, social teaching, education, congregational life, and public policy initiative. And we seek to provide inspiration, moral vision, and commitment to social justice for all efforts to protect the natural world and human well-being within it.***
Such a gentle, loving soul.
A good place to start looking for their answers.
No, they die because they are so self centered they think they CAN'T die. They think they are so important that nobody would dare kill them even accidentally. They are pathetically ignorant of the real world. Their parents failed to instill any sense of caution or they would know better than to stand in front of a dozer (which has limited line of sight) or anywhere near a tree and a chainsaw.
This is natures way of weeding out those who are too ignorant to allow to reproduce.
Typical liberal mental disfunction. Violence didn't happen to them, Darwin caught up with them. They placed themselves in the cross hairs of physics. A falling tree, a bulldozer with limited line of sight.
So is this statement some attempt to make them appear to be martyrs in some violent confrontation? It seems to me all the violence was on their part, everyone else was simply going about their business and doing their jobs. Speaking of jobs, maybe they should have been on one.
One activist's journey: Jailed protestor is free ***GREENLAND - A Portsmouth woman is free after spending 29 days in a maximum security prison for her actions during a peace protest in Massachusetts. Lauren Cannon, 29, was released from Framingham Women's Prison on Nov. 11, a day earlier than she expected because of the Veterans Day holiday. One of the first things she did was go for a long walk on Wallis Sands.
Cannon's prison experience has clearly had a profound effect. "Everything was illuminated when I drove down my road and the leaves were all down and I realized fall had passed me by," said Cannon, on a break from her job at the Women's Feminist Health Center. "There's a heightened sense of awareness about everything.
..Cannon was jailed for criminal trespass for blocking the driveway of Raytheon Inc.'s Andover, Mass., facility. She and five members of the Lawrence, Mass., Bread and Roses Affinity Group were protesting the defense contractor's manufacture of guidance systems for Tomahawk cruise missiles _ recently used by the United States in Iraq and Yugoslavia.
."The disproportionate number of Spanish and African Americans in prison is really connected to the billions of dollars we spend to go overseas and kill Iraqi innocents," said Cannon. "When we're spending that much money on weapons of death we're not spending it in the streets here to feed people or provide health care."
Cannon wants to work with a national program called Alternatives to Violence, which teaches communication and conflict resolution skills to inmates. "I think it's going to be a great place for me to start doing some prison work," she said.
Cannon said she also has a new "secret" focus for her research into possible graduate schools. She has added law schools to a list that already included health care and midwifery.
Cannon will be speaking about her experiences at 12:15 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Dover Friends Meeting House and again in Portsmouth at the Unitarian Universalist Church, date and time to be announced. ***
Anti-War Protests Have Big Price TagsTuesday, March 18, 2003 - Fox News - [Full Text] SEATTLE - Large anti-war protests come with a hefty price tag. Money is needed to rent or buy stages, sound systems, permits and portable toilets, and tabs often run as high as $200,000 per demonstration - much more than the average grassroots peace group will ever have in its coffers.
So who is picking up the tab?
"The major anti-U.S. government demonstrations are organized by people who have been around for a long time, particularly the Workers World Party, which has existed for more than 30 years now and has always supported the enemies of the United States," said Herbert Romerstein, a retired agent of the U.S. Information Agency.
The Workers World Party describes itself as Marxist in nature.
Officially, protest organizers are groups such as Not in Our Name and International A.N.S.W.E.R., but the demonstration's sponsors have long histories of backing anti-government causes.
Not in Our Name is financed by the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization. I.F.C.O. is a million-dollar-a-year non-profit that supports Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and once sponsored a group headed by Sami Al-Arian - the University of South Florida professor being charged with fundraising for terrorist organizations Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
A.N.S.W.E.R. is an offshoot of the International Action Center, which intelligence officials say is a front for the Worker's World Party. A.N.S.W.E.R. canceled a scheduled interview with Fox News but a worker in the Seattle field office acknowledged there are ties.
"There are some Workers World Party members in A.N.S.W.E.R.," said A.N.S.W.E.R. coordinator Jim McMahan.
The International Action Center was founded by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who is a longtime public face of the anti-war movement.
The Workers World Party supports North Korea's brutal regime and I.F.C.O. defied U.N. sanctions when it made a trip to Iraq in the mid-1990s. Now, both are sugar daddies to the anti-war movement.
"The American people have the right to know whether stooges of [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Il or Castro or Saddam Hussein are involved in these demonstrations," Romerstein said.
The groups bankrolling these protests say they're spending their money the way donors would want, and protest organizers say it doesn't matter where the money comes from - the message is their own.
Others wonder if knowing the fringe politics of the people paying the bills might keep some demonstrators off the streets.
But anti-war organizers - regardless of their financial backing - are plugging ahead and are actually planning more aggressive action that they say will be hard to ignore, despite the fact that the United States is on the brink of war with Iraq.
"People will step up their actions, there will be active civil disobedience," said Simona Sharoni of United for Peace in Thurston County, Wash.
Direct Action, a San Francisco Bay-area group of anti-war veterans, has been drawing up their own battle plan should there be a war.
They say they will shut down 70 targets in San Francisco alone, including power plants, water systems, the Federal Reserve, oil companies, the Pacific Exchange and the Transamerica Building.
And their hit list goes beyond economic targets.
Some protesters are promising to chain themselves to fences at schools and day care centers so working parents will have to stay home from their jobs. Organizers say this will give others a chance to contemplate how war affects the children of Iraq.
"The civilians in Iraq are losing their lives and one day of work is worth a thousand lives," said Leone Reinbold, an anti-war activist in San Francisco.
Reinbold helped organize the World Trade Organization protest in Seattle three years ago. She blames the violence and damage on anarchists from the radical fringe, not the mainstream demonstrators.
All the same, police departments from coast to coast know that keeping things peaceful won't be easy.
"We know based on the last one that each preceding demonstration has been a little bit more volatile than the one before," said Deputy Chief Greg Suhr of the San Francisco Police Department.
Some protestors are vowing to bring traffic to a standstill, as they recently did on a Seattle bridge. But many wonder if paralyzing the morning commute and engaging in similar disruptions will win converts or make enemies of people losing patience with their tactics. [End]
Kelly, perpetually outraged and perpetually ignorant, takes the occasion of last week's massive demonstrations in Washington and San Francisco against the imminent war on Iraq to denounce one of the protests' principal organizers, ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), as "a front group for the communist Workers World Party."
The columnist goes on to identify Workers World with the Chinese and North Korean regimes, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic, "the mullahs of Iran, and the narco-gangsters of Colombia and the bus-bombers of Hamas." The principal device employed here, one long favored by witch-hunters, is the amalgam: throw everything together in the hope of creating the maximum fear and disorientation.***
Web of Creation***The Web of Creation is an interdenominational/interfaith organization working to provide on-line environmental resources for faith-based communities. We believe religion is a crucial factor in issues of ecology and justice.***
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