Friday, August 17, 2012

Wake Up!

Join Us at the Air and Water Show Saturday
August 28, 12-4 PM
Every Summer Chicago has hosted an air and water show on its lovely lakeshore. Thousands of people flock to the beaches to watch the planes fly in formation, boats show off their newest devices. It’s a show for the whole family to enjoy. It’s also a show “to die for” as the masthead on our air and water show handout proclaims for the show is also a massive display of military might showcasing our newest weapons of mass destruction. It’s also a field day for military recruiters who view the crowded beach as a golden opportunity to sign up our young men and women for the armed services so they too can participate in this great show of military strength and prowess.
But there is something missing. Oh yes, death, the endgame of the purpose of these war toys. Death, destruction, injury of body, mind, and spirit are missing and so are the images of the those killed or maimed for life---the faces of the children, our collateral damage. It is for all these reasons and more that Protest Chaplains of Chicago have joined with other area anti-war activists to say “No” to this glorification of war.
Over the past two months we have participated in planning counter actions.  We have come up with a number of key roles for ourselves and other faith partners including Chicago FOR, Wellington Presente, and the Chicago Buddhist Peace Fellowship. One of our roles is to offer again a “protective presence” for our anti-war contingent especially the Occupy Chicago Movement who will be doing some kind of theater on the beach highlighting the real purpose of war and its real consequences. We will put on our bright yellow vests again and provide a protection for them from those who might be offended or angry that they are making visible and real the killing of people. We will also provide protection for those educating the public with our new drone replica from No Drones Illinois about the dangers of drone warfare and surveillance. And we will also safeguard a prayerful space for the Buddhist Peace Fellowship of Chicago to lead a meditation. In addition, we will assist FOR Chicago in creating a flag of peace prayers.
The prayer flag tradition has a long continuous history dating back to ancient Tibet, China, Persia, and India. They have been used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The Tibetian phrase is Dar Cho. “Dar” means to increase life, fortunre, health and wealth. “Cho” means all sentient beings. They are to hung with the attitude “May all beings everywhere receive benefit and find happiness.”
Protest Chaplains is honored to participate in this event with all its partners and allies and looks forward to seeing many of you there.  The Air and Water Show Peace Contingent which we are part of will gather around 11:30 near the West side of the North Ave Bridge. Look for the large MQ-9 Reaper Drone Replica.
If you have had nonviolence training, we still need peace guides, so please leave a comment with your email and someone will get back to you. Peace Guides are needed from 11:30-4:00 PM. If you would like to help out in some other way, handing out flyers or assisting with prayer flag making, also leave a comment.
Here is the writing we submitted for the handout:

The Morality or Immorality of Drone Killing
“The people of the United States would be horrified if they actually understood how many innocent people are being swept up in the maw of these wars. So people are just permitted to sleep. And its going to be very disturbing for the American people when they awake from the slumber to look out upon a world where there’s carnage everywhere that’s created by our nation with- out any legal process, without any constitutional basis and without any articulated justification.”
-       Dennis Kucinich
People across the globe who the US has deemed terrorists wake up to drones hovering overhead every day. The noise is incessant and so is the killing---targeted or suspected. Some reports indicate we are killing up to one person per day by drone attacks. So while the rest of the world re- mains awake or is on constant alert, Code Red, we in the United States, the country that now has thousands of drones (increased 40 fold since 2000) are asleep. Some might say we have been drugged by the illusion that any- thing and everything is permissible for the sake of our security (or another country’s resources). Others would say the use of drones keep our soldiers safe, out of harms way--- minimalizing causalities. Soldiers can go to work and kill from the safety of an air force base 8,000 miles away from the “enemy combatants” then return home and have dinner with the family. Still others might say, “We didn’t know.” But a growing number are begin- ning to wake up and say, “No, this is wrong. It’s against international law. It’s against our Constitution. It’s extrajudicial killing. It’s morally wrong.”
Wherever you are on this continuum we invite you to wake up and join Protest Chaplains in a theological conversation or dialogue about the use of drones for warfare and surveillance. Join us in the streets and online as we begin to question our country’s use of drones instead of due process, our President’s Kill List, the naming of all men above 18 years of ages as “enemy combatants” and the targeting of civilians including U.S. citizens. Join us as we speak out against the violation of our rights to privacy. Grounding the drones will take all of us using all the tools and strategies we have including our faith traditions and moral beliefs. Join us.
Please check out our other blog Awake to Drones to read about drone warfare and surveillance from a multi-faith perspective or visit Protest Chaplains of Chicago face book page for more information about drones, militarism and war, and the Occupy Movement
Also check out
Pakistan Federation of America Chicago (USA)
Said Khan

No comments:

Post a Comment