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."
She was looking for direction and she got nothing from her parents.
The Plight of the Workers
Is Socialism possible? Is it needed? Is it desirable? These are questions that can only be answered with brute, hard facts. The following is a list of facts concerning the rich, the poor, and everyone concerned...
In 1974, the Capitalist class (per household) was making over $125,000 anually (in 1966 dollars); in 1987, the Capitalist class (per household) was making over $160,000 anually (in 1966 dollars); and in 1995, the Capitalist class (per household) was making over $200,000 anually (1966 dollars). However, from 1966 to 1995, the middle class have been making little over $25,000 anually (1966 dollars), and from 1966 to 1995, the poor class have been making little over $8,000 anually (1966 dollars) and that figure has remained virtually unchanged for that time period. From 1966 to 1995, the Capitalist class had an increase in over $75,000 (1966 dollars) yet the other classes have not been getting an increase of income at all. [Source: U.S. Census Bureau, historical income and poverty data.] ***
Parents Seek Probe in Activist's Death, Seattle Times ^ | 03-19-03 | florangela davila
Craig and Cindy Corrie spent yesterday in Washington, D.C., demanding lawmakers begin a U.S.-led investigation into the death of their youngest daughter, Rachel. It's a shift for them to take up a cause, Craig Corrie said. It was Rachel who was always so socially and politically conscious. She was the family's activist.
*** Furthermore, life in a Communist nation with equal pay would far surpass life in a Capitalist nation with innovation. At least a Communist nation would offer food, water, clothing, and other necessities without too much work. In a Capitalist nation, we work 12 hours a day building expensive cars, so at the end of the day we can sleep in the gutter with only pennies of pay. How can any nation be so ignorant to boast of technological accomplishment when millions upon millions of its people are homeless and starving?
A Free Society
Marx is notable for observing the struggle throughout history of those without property. The Proletariat were slaves of the Romans, as Africans were slaves of Americans, so workers today too are under the yolk of brutal, tormenting labor. We are not driven by an intense hate of working. Rather, we are driven by the conditions that we have been living in: poor wage, merciless overseers, and long hours. With the vicious flog of commerce whipping at our backs, society and the economy became something to benefit the rich and powerful. Not providing us the fruits of our labor, the Capitalist class has become the most cruel and malicious class of beings. Disempowered and desensitized, filled with nothing but an unending angst about the world, there is no question why we have protests, riots, or anti-Capitalist Direct Action. We will continue to refuse and resist, our will being fueled by the growing injustice of Capitalism, the colossal brutality of a system that has destroyed so much.***
PARENTING for Peace and Justice which LINKS to
Oh boy. What's worse? Destroying a few trees and hydrocarbons? Or murdering hundreds of millions of people. Clearly that author misses the trees more. Perhaps his mindset is that "workers grow back".
I can't imagine they do think. Most of them are just a bunch of uneducated dupes taken in by a charismatic line.
To investigate what? She did something stupid and lost her life as a result. It was an accident and a tragic loss for her parents, but what is an investigation going to uncover? That their daughter was an idiot? Perhaps I'm missing some vital piece of information here.