Sunday, November 23, 2008
Joe joins the Musicians Collective to Honor the Dead & Disapeared of Central America
Colombus, GA USA
Sunday is the main event as it were. A three and a half hour solemn procession with no spoken words. Only collective voices singing the names of the dead and disappeared of Central America. And after each name is sung 27,000 people sing in response "PRESENTE!"
It is like no other experience I have ever had. It is a three hour litany of the dead... that manages to heal and restore, uplift and nourish. In taking time for public grief at the atrocities committed in our name, with our tax dollars, we find a way to heal some very deep wounds.
Admission is free! It is a spiritual pilgrimage and appropriate for all ages.
This amazing protest event began in the early 1980s when Fr. Roy Bourgeois climbed over the walls of the fort, and began playing a tape recording of Arch Bishop Oscar Romero's Last sermon, to the Central American soldiers who were asleep in their barracks. The soldiers were being trained at US tax payer expense, to murder and terrorize their own people in the interest of US corporations. When they murdered numerous Catholic Clergy in Central America, including Romero and Fr. Roy's dear Friend Sr. Ita Ford, it became a very personal thing for Fr. Roy. He was arrested and served time for trespassing. The next year he was back with friends. Every year the movement to close this atrocious facility grows. Last year, we had about 27,000 people come down for the protest. AMAZING. Singing, puppets, mimes, artists, workshops, concerts... the whole thing is unbelievably powerful, and is what every protest movement could be. Peaceful, responsible, compassionate and strong.
www.soaw.org for more info