|Die-In at Rhinebeck, NY - December 10, 2005|
See the images here
Saturday, December 10, 2005
An eerie silence fell over the normally bustling shopping village of Rhinebeck, NY this cold Saturday afternoon when at noon, and at the blowing of a trumpet, 50 people dropped to the sidewalks in a symbolic "die-in" to bring attention to the 100,000 Iraqi civilians that have died in the war.
Demonstrators lay on the sidewalks for 20 minutes while shoppers passed by.
Some passersby were confused at first and asked the "dead" if they needed emergency medical services. But they quickly became aware of what was taking place as they looked around and saw bodies all over the downtown area laying prone on sidewalks, in snow drifts, on steps and in doorways of closed shops and offices.
Normally full of chatter, shoppers and residents walked silently past the 50 bodies that lay along their way. Some look confused, a few annoyed, but many understood and their silence reflected the seriousness of the event.
"It looks like a nuclear war", one woman said. Of one couple, a man muttered, "Our boys are over there dying in Iraq and these kids are playing dead on the streets!" One woman walking by a demonstrator simply and quietly said, "Thanks".
Earlier, as demonstrators were gathering, reporters from the Kingston Freeman and the Poughkeepsie Journal interviewed students while Fred Nagel of the Dutchess Greens video-interviewed others for his public access TV show and for Activist Radio which can be heard on WVKR (91.3) on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:00PM.
The event was organized by seventeen year old Patrick Kelly of Red Hook High School with the assistance of students from nearby Bard College. At the end of the demonstration, students handed out hundreds flyers to shoppers as the normal buzz and chatter slowly returned to these bustling, affluent streets.
I asked one Red Hook High School student why she was doing this. She thought for a moment and said, "I don't think people are aware of the civilians that have died in Iraq". Another told me he was "very upset" with the way the President was running things. "He should be putting money into education," he said, while mentioning other commonly heard complaints about the way the Bush administration is handling the nation and the war.
These young students are aware of the world around them and decided to take action. Last Memorial Day, many of them marched behind a Peace Banner in the annual Red Hook village parade. They have attended demonstrations in New Paltz, Kingston and several times in New York City. Now they've brought their attentions to Rhinebeck and, if the mainstream media actually runs the story, to the region as a whole.
Images of the event will be posted much later this evening to http://www.bongoboy.com/peace
See the images here
You don't have to be a Pacifist to be against this war.
Jeff Green does this
Sunday December 11, 2005