My friend and fellow peace activist, Don Bryant, who helped organize a peace rally on Market Square across from Cleveland’s iconic West Side Market on West 25th Street this afternoon, asked me to speak to the assemblage, comprised of around 25 people,including a few Iranian immigrants. Here’s what I said while wearing my 53-year-old U.S. Army field jacket and holding my peace flag:
“Happy Chinese New Year!!…the Year of the Rat…seems appropriate, considering who’s in the White House. Some people have said to me, ‘Where are the stars? There are supposed to be stars on that flag.’ And I said, ‘The stars are in hiding. They’re in hiding. They’re ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted with all the death, destruction, instability and chaos we have caused in the Middle East. Millions upon millions of refugees, and it all started with us.
“Some people have said to me, ‘Your flag disrespects the American flag…desecrates the American flag.’ And I said, ‘I have a different perspective. I was in Vietnam for a year and from my perspective it doesn’t disrespect or desecrate the American flag. It respects peace….respects peace. People who have not been in a war–have never experienced the bitter taste of war–will never ever respect peace to the same degree I do. It just can’t happen. It’s impossible..not even come close.’
“Some people have said to me, ‘We have to have war before we have peace.’ And I said, ‘If we never had war, wouldn’t we always have peace?’ Makes sense to me. Seems pretty obvious. As you know there is a flagpole on top of the White House with an American flag flying at the top. If I had my way I would put my peace flag on that pole, but I would fly it above the American flag. Thank you.”
Shelley Rose, Ph.D.
Tuesday, February 11th, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Market Garden Brewery, 1947 W 25th St, Cleveland
Dr. Rose will discuss the physical and online spaces of activism and protest events in the 20th and 21st century, including the use of social media as a tool for organizing in cases like Standing Rock. As a historian, she examines the changing modes of protest events as well as common practices between activist communities.
Shelley Rose, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of History at Cleveland State University who specializes in protest history and digital humanities. She is the author of several articles on gender, protest, and European history and leads the Protest Spaces transnational research network.
Free and open to the public. [email protected] is a monthly meeting featuring interesting conversation, camaraderie, food and drink.
My experience promoting peace to Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins fans heading to FirstEnergy Stadium for the Sunday, November 24th game was, as usual, a mixed blessing. While my peace message was mostly supported or at least tolerated, one Browns fan tagged me with a brand new moniker–and it wasn’t pretty. My gig lasted three hours before the 1 p.m. game, ranging roughly from 10:15 to 1:15, with yours truly cheerily greeting folks with a smiling “Good morning!” and once past noon, saying “Hi!” while standing about 100 yards from the southwest gate of the stadium. A few remembered me from earlier games, but a couple of fans noticed I had not been there for the previous game–a Thursday night battle against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which will be remembered eternally for the fight between the Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett and Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph.Read More
Cleveland Peace Action supports Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) for her reintroduction of House Resolution 2407. HR 2407 forbids U.S. aid to Israel to be used for the jailing and incarceration of Palestinian children in the West Bank, which has been under illegal Israeli military occupation for more than a half-century. Each year between 500 and 1,000 Palestinian children are thrown in jail by Israeli occupation forces. Then they are often subjected to torture and abuse before receiving a “trial” in a military tribunal, usually without legal representation and with court documents in Hebrew, not Arabic. Cleveland Peace Action applauds the example set by Rep. McCollum who has put her values of democracy, tolerance, and equal rights for all into practice with the reintroduction of this important bill. Cleveland Peace Action urges Cleveland Area voters to contact their U.S. Representatives and ask them to support HR 2407 by becoming a co-sponsor.
This action coincides with our No Rights/No Aid campaign urging Congress to restrict military aid to Israel until the rights of Palestinians are equal to the rights of Israeli Jews. https://www.facebook.com/No-RightsNo-Aid-100418671345351/
For further information, please contact Cleveland Peace Action at [email protected] or 216-205.1427.