10/5/12

Peace Vigil at Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza

At 6 PM on October 7, advocacy organization Veterans for Peace will host Stop These Wars, a peace vigil marking 11 years of war in Afghanistan, at the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Plaza, 55 Water Street in lower Manhattan.

Veterans for Peace and its friends will honor the fallen—both military and civilian—from the Viet Nam War through the U.S. wars and occupations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, and elsewhere.

Because the vigil challenges the NYPD's arbitrary closing of the memorial at 10 PM, participants are warned that arrest is possible.

Many of the vets taking part in the October 7 event were arrested at the memorial last year on May 1, when the NYPD enforced a 10 PM curfew to end a peaceful assembly of Occupy and union members coming back from the May Day parade. Eight members of Veterans For Peace and two members of Occupy Faith were arrested for refusing to leave the plaza.

On October 7, some vets, who intend to remain overnight, will challenge the curfew again. Activist vet Paul Appell quipped that, since war zones stay open all night long, so should the memorial.

Anyone dedicated to ending violence in the world is invited to join the vigil. Be on notice that no violence, provocation or threats, including property destruction, will be condoned by the organizers.  All participants, including the NYPD, are asked to respect the memorial, the vets, and their commitment to non-violence.

Speakers include:
  • United For Peace and Justice National Coordinator and Veterans For Peace national board member Michael T. McPhearson 
  • Margaret Flowers
  • Glen Ford
  • Viet Nam veterans Mike Hastie and Bishop George Packard
  • Iraq War veterans Jenny Pacanowski and Javier Ocasio
  • Chris Hedges
  • Rev. Donna Schaper 
  • Kevin Zeese, and 
  • Michael Zweig from U.S. Labor Against the War. 
Performances by Ariel Zevon (yes, she's Warren Zevon's daughter) and Doo-Occupy, David Rovics, and Viet Nam veteran and blues musician Watermelon Slim.

For more information, see StopTheseWars.org.

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