Monday, March 24, 2008

Chattanooga Hosts Peace Rally

CHATTANOOGA RALLY FOCUSES ON ANTI-DU MESSAGE
by Wes Rehberg

The peace and anti-occupation rally on Saturday March 22 organized by
Chattanooga's United for Democracy and Justice became strongly
focused on an anti-DU munitions message as well as a rally against
U.S. involvement in the death and destruction in Iraq. Bringing Herb
Reed, Iraq war veteran, to Chatt helped a great deal. More than 100
persons marched and then rallied, a good turnout.

Even more significant, I think, was the concientizaci├│n on DU
munitions, the raised consciousness and conscience on the issue of
DU's toxic and radioactive contamination. Herb had stayed while in
this part of Tennessee with a Vietnam war veteran and his
theologically sensitive spouse, Terry and Kate Stulce, who witnessed
his needs for meds like morphine, methadone, a muscle relaxant, and
others -- and he dined with the dozen of us or so for breakfast and
dinner who organized the march and rally, so folks here had an
opportunity for close contact.

Plus, we had radio airtime on popular talk shows in town, an hour on
Friday and Saturday each -- Joy Day, a key local organizer, and I
addressed things on Friday on Fred the Show, with Jeff Styles, who's
open to this kind of conversation; and Herb and Terry spoke on
Straight Talk Radio on Saturday, with John Wolfe, a left-wing lawyer
who co-hosts the show with a right-wing commentator. Local print
media covered the rally, but just one connected the DU and war/
occupation issue, even though a reporter for the big paper in town
heard the talks. The other rally speakers - Chris Lugo, Kate, and
Sandy Lusk, picked up on the message as well.

And, amazingly, we seem to have collected enough in donations at the
rally to cover Herb's airfare from South Carolina and shuttle-from-
Atlanta costs, plus expenses for park fees, band (Mesa Rio) and sound-
system rental -- all the out-of-pocket expenses we organizers had
fronted. Herb obviously got his message across.

Hopefully the DU weapons message will remain solidly connected to the
other heinous crimes the U.S. is committing abroad and at home.

Reminder of the web site for the documentary, "Contaminated Forever":
http://contaminated-forever.wildclearing.com

Wes Rehberg

W & E Rehberg
Wild Clearing
http://www.wildclearing.com
http://www.nonviolentways.org
skype: wildclearing

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