June 5, 2010

A tribute to Rachel Corrie

I was hurrying about trying to get some last minute things done. Patty needed some help rounding up a few things for her show later in the day and I needed to put some last minute things together for the GI Resisters event with the War Resister Support Campaign that evening. And I wanted to make sure Quincy got to play with his friends at the Bark Park.

There was Dan on the side of the Elmwood with his huge peace flag sticking out the window of his car and several posters condemning the Israeli massacre of humanitarian activists on the aid ship, the Mavi Marmara. The ship was in International waters headed to break the blockade of Gaza when they were boarded by Israeli state pirates who murdered nine of the activists.

I stopped to let Dan know I thought of him twice in the last two days. The first time was when I was listening to a report about the Rachel Corrie, another ship headed to Gaza with humanitarian aid. He is the only person I encounter who makes some reference to Rachel Corrie just about every other time I see him. Sometimes it’s verbal, often it’s visual.

The second time was earlier in the day. I was putting up a poster about the War Resister event later that evening at Spot Coffee on Chippewa. There was a little postcard-sized picture of Rachel on the shelf under the bulletin board. I thought about her for a few minutes and then continued on. I mentioned it to him and he said he had been there earlier in the day.

Israeli pirate flag

He pops up anywhere, but more often than not I see him doing his counter recruitment work in front of a recruiter’s lair. He is committed to his issues and often defends them verbally from his post. The last time I saw him, he was on his way to do his annual vigil commemorating Rachel Corrie. She died after being mashed under the blade of an Israeli-operated CAT bulldozer while she was protesting the Israeli destruction of Palestinian homes. She was 23. All the reports I ever read indicated it was not an accident.

It seemed so right to honor Rachel by naming the Irish aid ship after such a heroic figure. She and the ship were on peaceful humanitarian missions into uncharted territories trying to help the Palestinian people with their basic needs. Needs denied by Israel and their main supporter, the United States.

Thank you Dan for taking the time to remind me and others about the people in these struggles.

No comments: