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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Saturday, July 21, 2007

MEG in Detroit! to be continued

Bill board on Interstate Detroit

I am told that Dearborn, MI has the largest Middle Eastern American population in the states.

DON'T GO son!

I stood on a busy corner again today in Wyandotte – a ‘suburb’ of Detroit – and joined about 30-40 people who have been protesting the war since May. They began with 6 people at this weekly vigil and grow every week as passers-by, neighbors, friends join in.

As I stand, a young buff man with those kool mirror sunglasses, approaches me and asks if I’m in charge. I respond with a smile "I like to think I am – I’m not in charge of this vigil though."

He tells me "ma’am I’m a soldier on leave scheduled to return for my 3rd tour of duty in August."

I grab his arm, ask him his name, attempt to look deep into his eyes, and tell him “son, don’t go”.

He tells me he has to go. I tell him “no, you do not.”

He tells me he doesn’t like Bush either but he’s not going for Bush.

I tell him no one in this country wants him to go, but Bush and his cronies.

He tells me he will go to jail & he has a family to support.

I tell him he MIGHT go to jail; but he MIGHT not. He MIGHT be alive to support his family but he DEFINITELY will be alive to support his family if he doesn't go.

I tell him to call the GI Rights hot-line. He hasn’t heard of them.

He tells me he has men serving under him. I tell him it is even more important that he be the really brave example and doesn’t go. I ask him if he knows about Lt. Watada.

He tells me he’s not that brave. I tell him sure he is. He shakes his head, not believing.

There is a veteran for peace, a tall white older man, standing close by. I tell Sam to talk to the vet. I tell the vet Sam is considering going back for a 3rd time. The vet fails me and Sam and grabs his hand in a brotherhood of soldiers handshake, pound on the back, touching shoulders kind of embrace, and tells him “Best of luck man, I know you have to do it”.

I grab Sam & tell him not to listen to this fellow, who tells me I don’t understand. I say I understand too well how many billions of dollars the military has spent on brainwashing these young men into being more loyal to their buddies and commanders than their own conscience, mothers, wives.

I ask Sam what his wife says, his mother. He doesn’t answer. I tell him do NOT listen to this vet, whom I glower at, but to listen to me.

I make him promise to at the very least call the GI Rights hot-line and find out what his options are. I tell him he can call anonymously.

He promises me. I make him shake on it. I tell him he has given his word. He solemnly leaves.