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Peace activists gather at eternal flame


The Fourth anniversary of the iraq war peace vigilOpposing forces on the Iraq War issue gathered at the Pillar or Fire, Pillar of Clouds  in downtown Clarksville last night. The FreeThinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties held a peace vigil at 7 p.m. Monday acknowledging the end of the 4th year of the Iraq War,  calling for an end to the conflict and the safe return of our troops from what they deem is an unwinnable war. Jeff Mackens and a half dozen pro-war pro-Bush supporters also gathered, waving flags at passers-by. Ironically, both groups offered the same basic message: support our troops. Their differences rest in issues of policy, not people.

At the center of the peace group was a large, stark white sign reading Every Life Is Unique, illuminated by a floodlight and clusters of candles at its base. The group also clustered candles on the marble base of the eternal flame to illuminate it, since the flame itself is not lit. Using songs, drumming,  poetic readings and personal statement, the group spoke of their support for the troops and their opposition to U.S. policies and censured the official lies that launched the war. In a moment reminiscent of the Vietnam era, the  sang Give Peace A Chance. «Read the rest of this article»

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Don’t question my patriotism!


Christine Piesyk, Local activistThis is in response to a personal letter I received from Jeff Mackens that indicated there will now  be opposing voices at peace rallies staged by the FreeThinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties. I want to thank our opposition first for peacefully co-existing with our rally and not disrupting our right to voice dissent. It might have escaped their notice, however, that we had the same message of supporting the troops, the same message that hundreds of people spoke about at the Walk In Their Shoes rally in Nashville Saturday (3/18), where empty boots were tagged with the names of the dead. The same message a majority of disenchanted Americans are also giving voice to.

Just in case you question any of our acts, or my motives personally, let me tell you something about me: I lost 17 friends in six years to Vietnam — many from the then 99th Bomb Wing in my northern hometown which deployed over and over again for ten years in a war that was as great a quagmire, with as little focus or resolution, as the current Iraq war. I was only 15 when my first friend was killed there — just six weeks after arriving in SE Asia. He was 18. By the end of that war, I had seventeen names to be etched later on the wall in Washington. «Read the rest of this article»

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