On Sunday, October 9, 2011, nearly 200 mid-Missouri residents gathered at Courthouse Square for "ENOUGH! Stand for Peace & Justice," a peace rally marking the 10th anniversary of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Below are prepared remarks that Peaceworks Director Mark Haim delivered at the rally:
Good afternoon, and thank you so much for being here. Your presence, your participation is the essence of our ability, our collective ability, to make the sorts of changes that are really needed right now.
It’s all of us, together, who, if we apply ourselves seriously, can turn this nation from a garrison state that spreads war, death and destruction around the world, into a far more enlightened land, where we live sustainably, care for our neighbors and the Earth, and promote peace and sustainable development around the world.
As you know, Friday marked the 10th anniversary of the U.S. War in Afghanistan, now the longest war in our history. This war has been nothing but a profound tragedy for all concerned. And, believe it or not, the Obama administration is planning another three years and three months, at least, of what they call “combat operations,” that is actual warfare. And, they are putting plans in place for an additional decade of continued U.S. military presence on the ground in Afghanistan. Essentially, they expect this war to continue at least through 2024.
This is unacceptable to me. I hope it is to you as well. If so, let me hear it. Your part in this chant is just one word, “unacceptable!”:
Afghan War Unacceptable
Civilian Deaths Unacceptable
Drone Strikes Unacceptable
GI Deaths Unacceptable
War Profiteers Unacceptable
$2 Billion per Week Unacceptable
Corporate Greed Unacceptable
Permanent War Unacceptable
Very good. Let’s try that again, one more time.
OK, I think we’re on the same page and now I’d like to share a little story with you. Click to READ MORE