Wednesday, September 18, 2013

World Can't Wait... End the War against the the People of Syria!

FLASH: World Can't Wait invites you … PeaceDaySF & EARTHDANCE, Sat. Sept. 21, Noon to 4 PM at UN Plaza, San Francisco (Civic Center BART, 8th & Market).
September 21 is the United Nations International Day of Peace. 
CodePink Women for Peace is again hosting Peace Day San Francisco, inviting everyone to rally and dance for peace with CodePink, March Against Monsanto, the Occupy Action Council, the National Organization for Women (NOW), Veterans for Peace, World Can't Wait and many more.  
 The World Can't Wait's booth will feature a scale-model drone, along with "Guantanamo prisoners" in jumpsuits, and lots of meeting people from all over the country and the world (it's still the height of tourist season) for intense, important conversations about the world, and about stopping the crimes of our government.  
VOLUNTEERS are needed to person our booth. You can help talk to people, give out flyers and ribbons, be in the Guantanamo tableau for 15 minutes or all afternoon, ….. we need you, so phone or email to say you can be there! (Come for an hour, or the day!....) 
As always, we also welcome photographers and videographers – it's sure to be a lively event. 
 Code Pink says: "Celebrate and demand peace at home and abroad.  Community, music and unity -- Peace, San Francisco style. Declare NO WAR ON SYRIA! Demand an end to chemical warfare abroad and at home in our air, water, soil and food supply." 
 Hear musicians and speakers address war in Syria, whistleblowers, drone warfare, mass incarceration, the industrial food complex and more.   
Speakers include Daniel Ellsberg, World Can't Wait, CodePink, Peace Alliance, NOW, Electronic Frontier Foundation, March Against Monsanto, Label GMO Campaign. 
Musical acts: Pamela Parker, Thunderground Collective, Camille Mai, Ashel Seasunz and the rising teen phenomenon, Ryan Cassata. 
 Watch the live stream from on Sept. 21 (12:00 PST, 9am EST).
 Check the schedule or register to volunteer online at:


Stop the next war before it starts . . .
News from the World Can't Wait - San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (All photos courtesy of Julian Field):
Our "US Hands Off Syria" action on Saturday was a first of its kind.  Just as the news was breaking about the U.S./Russia "deal" to strip Syria of chemical weapons, twenty people were hiking and biking toward the new span of the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge (just opened 11 days before).  World Can't Wait was joined by Code Pink; the National Lawyers Guild was also represented.  World Can't Wait had called for this first-ever protest on the new Bay Bridge, and with big colorful banners and signs, we planned to "walk and talk, wear and bear our message" (the bridge now has a bicycle-pedestrian path, totally visible to the car traffic).
As we were setting up, the police (California Highway Patrol) arrived.  So did news reporters and TV cameras (Listen to KPFA-FM news coverage here - scroll in to the 9:40 mark).  As we spoke to the press about the Syria crisis and our demonstration, the police were announcing "no demonstrations on the bridge." We announced back that we had a crucial message to bring, that the police had no right to suppress it, that protesters had won a legal case already over the right to march on the Golden Gate Bridge, and that we were starting our walk, now.

We hoisted our signs and banners and walked up onto the bridge.  As we made a slow procession with banners over the railing, there were 20 of us with media crews in front of us and police on bicycles right on our heels. 

We were very colorful and waving out to the passing cars.  Drivers started honking, waving back, throwing us peace signs and power signs.  (Of course, a few shouted or made hostile gestures too.)  Ten thousand cars cross this bridge every hour, so we were "talking" with a lot of people.

It was also a good place to talk with many of the other walkers and bicyclists, all out to enjoy a gorgeous sunny day on the new bridge.  Not surprisingly, many young and old took our flyers and said they too were against Obama's threats to bomb Syria.  Often their reasons were pretty basic  -- not seeing a good reason for another war, some saying that bombing Syria wouldn't hurt Assad as much as it could hurt innocent people, wanting the U.N. to be responsible for solving conflict; "Enough killing for peace already!" said one Midwestern tourist… 

Others weren't stopping but would flash peace signs as they passed.  We didn't meet many people supporting it – but they may have been the ones who refused a flyer, wouldn't stop to talk.
We stayed on the bridge for two hours and made a successful finale with some group photo time around our banners.

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