Sunday, August 29, 2004

Light up the Sky: an ingenious form of protest

As a way to protest the policies of the Bush presidency,
New Yorkers and vistors to the city are asked to carry lights
during the night of August 30. The idea is the brainchild of
designer Milton Glaser. As the Light up the Sky explains:

"The Republicans have every right to meet and choose their
candidate in our city without abuse. At the same time their
convention creates an opportunity for all of us to express our
disagreement with the culture of militarizations and violence
that our current leaders represent. It is time to change the
meanspirited and abrasive tone of our civic discourse. We
need an alternative to the harsh and degrading words and images
that have filled our consciousness since the war began.

On August 30, from dusk to dawn, all citizens who wish to end
the Bush presidency can use light as our metaphor. We can
gather informally all over the city with candles, flashlights
and plastic wands to silently express our sorrowover all the
innocent deaths the war has caused. We can gather in groups
or march in peaceful confrontation without violence. Violence
will only convince the undecided electroate to vote for Bush.
Not a word needs to be spoken. The entire world will understand
our message. Those of us who live here in rooms with windows
on the street can keep our lights on through the night. Imagine,
it's 2 or 3 in the morning and our city is ablaze with a silent and
overwhelming rebuke. Light transforms darkness."

The gentle wisdom of Milton Glaser can be found in his essay,
"This is what I have learned." Among his ten life lessons are these:
"You can only work for people that you like."
"If you have a choice, never have a job."

The protest with light flows from Milton's always engaging, always
positive vision of art and action.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

We are not animals

The following message was sent (as part of a group mailing)
to my son, Brooks Winner, from an Iraqi high school boy,
Ghazwan Majid. They met in July at the Hugh O'Brien
Conference on Leadership (or "HOBY") in Washington, D.C.
I have changed the original all caps format, fixed some spelling
and added some punctuation; otherwise the letter is unchanged.
It's copied here with Ghazwan's permission.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

It’s me Ghazwan.
Well I hope that all of you are fine and having a
nice time.
Well we are fine (I meant our delegation) but the
others are not good.
Coz you know there are heavy battles taking place
right now in a Najaf and in Baghdad and everywhere
it is really bad.
To tell you about that I don’t wanna tell you but
I have to.
Our country is bleeding right now. I don’t know why
and how. The only thing that I know is hundreds of
people are dying everyday and I am writing my letter
under a heavy machine gun fire and under mortars shot
Please please pray for our people and try to tell your
people that we are (dying and bleeding). All of them
are innocent people, children and women and old men.
But there are some bad people who deserve to die. But
all of them are being killed right now and I’m not lying.
This is the truth.
I know you don’t like such stories, but I am just doing
the right thing and I am trying to stop that. But I can’t.
I don’t have the power. Please tell your people about
these facts and you have to think about us.
We are not animals (and we don’t like to be occupied).
And anyway I am not very good coz I am so nervous right now.
What have they done to be killed??????? What are the causes????
Who is responsible??????? ////And who will help????
And who will get better???? And who are dying???????
Thank you very much and I hope that this will be
thought about.