Taos, NM CNV organizers held an event on September 27 called “End The U.S. War On The World”
Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry put out a nationwide call-to-action for local chapters to organize demonstration against not only the airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, but also our on-going military presence and wars in many other countries. Campaign Nonviolence Taos, Love-In-Action Taos members, and CodePink Taos members all participated in our local demonstration, totally fifteen – a decent turnout in this small, mountain town. Gathering on the main intersection of town, we held up banners and signs to the heavy traffic and pedestrians. Then we organized a short march around the historic Taos Plaza, which was hosting the weekly Farmer’s Market. Vendors and shoppers gathered along the edge of the plaza as we circled it, joining in with our chant of “People, planet, peace. War is not the answer. War is never the answer. Peace is always the answer!”
Upon returning to the main intersection, participants gave short speeches about their reactions to the airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. The expense of $70 million dollars per day of attacks was mentioned, and people suggested other uses of our tax dollars, including schools, universities, healthcare, renewable energy transitions, and more. Several of the participants stayed on the corner to continue demonstrating and Buddhist priest, Reverend Yamato, arrived to chant Tibetan peace prayers as we held up our “Stop Wars. Fund Our Future” banner and “War is Not the Answer” signs.
Later that evening, three local groups collaborated to offer an event as part of Campaign Nonviolence’s Week of Actions. Friends of the Palestinian People (a Taos, NM local group), Code PInk Taos, and Love-In-Action Taos hosted a film screening of the powerful documentary, “Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine” at Moby Dickens Bookshop in Taos, NM. Using the film as a way to deepen our community’s understanding of the situation in Palestine and Israel, a discussion of violence, nonviolence, and our role as US citizens was held after the film. Nearly 30 people attended, filling the bookshop. Many were moved to tears, burst of human connection and laughter, sighs of compassion and appreciation. Friends of the Palestinian People raised money for humanitarian relief in Gaza, and passed around a petition to our elected leaders, asking them to end U.S. military aid to Israel in light of war crimes during the recent attacks on Gaza. This screening opened up the opportunity of an on-going community film screening of awareness-building documentaries at our local bookshop. Love-In-Action Taos was also able to connect people to the study of nonviolent struggle, part of our on-going efforts with Campaign Nonviolence to build a culture of active nonviolence.
“Performed by the Palestinian National Theater and an African-American gospel choir for audiences all over the West Bank, Al Helm (The Dream): Martin Luther King in Palestine, is a film of a play, of the intense cultural exchange between two peoples, of the joy of new friendships, creative collaborations and eye-opening, life-changing experiences!”
Some of them also participated in the Santa Fe Climate Pilgrimage with Campaign Nonviolence Santa Fe and Albuquerque on Sept 20th.
Photo Credit: Rivera Sun and unknown photographer passing by.