March 2, 2007

Fundraiser for IVAW - Sunday, February 25

This event was sponsored by the Tappan Zee Brigade of Veterans For Peace (Chapter 60) and the Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice to raise money for a project by Iraq Veterans Against the War to go to New Orleans "to muck houses in the lower 9th," and was held at the Nyack Center, in Nyack, NY. The afternoon included a video of "Soldiers Speak Out" followed by a talk by Fernando Braga, IVAW, Chapter 2, NYC. The Program Organizers were VFPer’s Phil Greenspan, a U.S. Army veteran (World War II) and Jim Murphy, a US Air Force veteran, (Vietnam).

A large part of the program was devoted to poetry. The featured poet was Gerald McCarthy, VFP member who has been influential to the writing of other readers, such as Dayl Wise and Jim Murphy. Dayl said that Gerry's poem, "The Hooded Legion", about the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, DC, got him writing poetry. Gerry read from "Shoetown", working class poems of Endicott, NY, as well as some newer work from a forthcoming collection & beyond. I had never read his work & enjoyed what I heard. When his new book comes out, scheduled for sometime next year, I will get him to Albany for a reading & book-signing.

Fernando Braga performed a hip-hop poem about Katrina & the assault on the working class. Other VFP readers included Sam Weinreb and Jim Murphy, both from chapter 60, Thomas Brinson, chapter 138, Jay Wenk and Dayl Wise, chapter 58.  There was also an open mic sign-up for the community to share their poetry.  A student from Purchase College played the stand-up bass, Alison Koffler read a poem by Adrienne Rich, among other. I was the MC but left the signup sheet behind, so apologies to those left out of this summary.

The last I heard they raised about $600 after expenses, a good job. Check out www.veteransforpeace.org & www.ivaw.org.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

2007 International Spelling Bee Final two words:

QUAGMIRE & IMPEACHMENT


What Americans think, feel, vote, and say has zero bite.
When a million votes would be stolen, accountability - so slight.
The radical RepubliCons chose how to so waste our might ---
Just where, when, and why we HAD to START a fight.
Planned attack on Iraq, with 30 years more oil still in sight.
Must control the price and flow into OUR gas tanks, right?
Exxon-Mobil, BP, Shell - profits picture sure looks bright!
Picked unrelated threats, then faned the flames to such great height.
You know - 9/11, or a mushroom cloud type of fright.

Pulled the Towers, then with balled-up flags to plug their ears:
A Patriot Act - panic attack => revoke our rights to calm our fears.
How well, a shredded Constitution wiped away wasted tears.
Load the planes with C-notes, no bids please, as the dust clears.
Corporate warriors. No Draft! A private war it is - Three Cheers!
Fat cats, well fed by exce$$ greed, now six straight years.
Say what, a change of plan to end war profits? Sharpen up the spears!
Another traitor to be skewered, trot out the NeoCon-tradicting seers.
From Limpbowel, O'Rlie-to-me, and their ilk, we start to hear the jeers.
Some freshly think-tank-framed simplistic verbal smears.

Sad sight, so many flags draped over coffins never seen.
The sinister lies that filled them neatly hidden behind a patriotic sheen.
Human losses well disguised, and media filtered from our collective eyes,
By corporate puppet leaders, whose agendas we must now despise.

Pity the Iraqi families, alone with blood, pain, death, despair,
As pompous jingo windbags fill the U.S. propaganda-polluted air,
Can spews of false praise glory, hide truly neglected veterans' care?
Fox Snooze hype NOT, as your heroes, our loved ones lost;
Their blood for oil - spent badly – much too high this cost.
Keith Rupert Murderdoch, the boss who must be tossed!

Now past his "mission accomplished" day in years by more than four,
One so delusional Decider is still not looking for an exit door.
An occupation, one aggressor means it never was a war!
The stench, the smell - corruption, failures everywhere,
Yet all we hear is that which plays upon our deepest fear.
A drone of platitudes preached to stretch our stay another year.

"The job is almost done! "
"Must keep them Terrorists on the run!"
"We can't abandon Iraq until we've won."
"Another 30,000 surge, so send us your brave sons."
" Trillion dollar debts, their kids can pay these no small sums!"
"Waterboarding works. Don't call it torture. You're just chums!"
NO NO NO! Time true Patriots stand and shout "Impeach these Bums!"

Lean hard on leaders, like Lieberman, to not just lose their parties,
But to find our Republic again, while we still have one!
Target the REAL Axis of Evil => IMPEACH Cheney-Bush!
Perhaps small justice, but at least some!

Copyright 2007 by RRLedford - credit source if copied

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