The November 2005 Edition of Street Spirit

A publication of the American Friends Service Committee


National AFSC AFSC Economic Justice BOSS Website



In this issue:

AFSC Honors War Resisters

David Harris: A Stirring Call to Conscience

Leonard McNeil: Resisting 'Rich Man's Wars'

Karen Meredith: A Mother's Plea for Peace

Not One More Death, Not One More Dollar

Massive Police Sweeps in Contra Costa County

Housing First for Poor Families

Landlords Sue to End Just Cause

Struggle to Save the Free Box

YEAH! Shelters Homeless Youth

Gentrification in Berkeley

New Home for East Bay Law Center for Poor

Wal-Mart Pushes Philanthrophy

Sutter Health's War Against Health Workers

Growing Gulf Between Rich and Poor

Inequality in America

Poor Leonard's Almanack: On Forgiveness


October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005





Street Spirit is published by American Friends Service Committee.

All works are copyrighted by the authors.

The views expressed in Street Spirit are those of the individual authors alone, and not necessarily that of the American Friends Service Committee.

AFSC Honors the Inspiring Legacy of War Resisters

During coast-to-coast candlelight vigils, the peace movement passes on the light of conscience from one generation of war resisters to the next.

by Terry Messman

"SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT." A candle's light shines at an AFSC peace vigil.

On October 26, 2005, hundreds of peace vigils were held across the nation to honor those killed in the war in Iraq and protest the announcement of the 2000th U.S. military fatality. From coast to coast, peace activists and families of war victims held candlelight vigils to shine a light of hope in the darkness of war and death. In the radiant light of those candles, one could almost see the peace movement pass on the light of conscience and resistance from one generation of war resisters to the next.

On October 27, the evening after 2,000 war deaths were announced, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) held a gathering to honor the resisters of past wars and learn from the legacy of conscientious objection. On that evening, the past, present and future of antiwar resistance were all gathered together and commingled as war resisters from past generations passed their lessons on to resisters of the present.

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David Harris: A Stirring Call to Conscience and Resistance

Vietnam War draft resister David Harris addresses the AFSC peace event, "Remember the Draft." Lydia Gans photo

"To be the person I wanted to be, I would not sit back and be the nameless assassin of thousands of people in Southeast Asia who had done nothing but live where they were born. I think all of us owe a debt to all of those people out there, not just those whose names we remember, who made the sacrifice to make our country something different than it was at the time." -- David Harris

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Leonard McNeil: Resisting 'Rich Man's Wars, Poor Man's Fights'

Leonard McNeil (left) was a draft resister during the Vietnam War. He later counseled Tahan Jones (right) who resisted the first Gulf War as a conscientious objector. Lydia Gans photo

"As I mentioned, 1968 was a very watershed year for me. Because what it did for me was, once I made the political and moral stance to oppose the war, and oppose the government, it set me on a path of being in the movement for political and social change that I will never relinquish." -- Leonard McNeil

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Karen Meredith: Impassioned Plea for Peace from a Gold Star Mother

Karen Meredith of Gold Star Mothers for Peace speaks at the AFSC event honoring antiwar resistance. Her son was killed in the Iraq War. Lydia Gans photo

"Lt. Ken Ballard was my only child. He was 26 years old when he was killed. The impact to me is that I don't get any grandchildren. I don't get to plan a wedding. And these "dog tags" that I wear, that my son wore, were given to me when they gave me his body. This is all I have left." -- Karen Meredith

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