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Fw: vitw update

-----Original Message-----
From: Voices in the Wilderness <>
To: Kathy Kelly (Kathy Kelly) <>
Date: 24 November 2001 17:34
Subject: vitw update

Dear Friends,

On Sunday morning, (November 25), at 9:00 a.m., several family members
who lost their loved ones in the attacks on the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon will lead the DC - NYC Walk for Healing and Peace. We'll
set forth from the front gates of Georgetown U. (Press Release follows).

Joining the walk will be two representatives of Voices in the Wilderness
UK, Matt Barr and Milan Rai, the Voices UK coordinator who has just
returned from a European tour with encouraging accounts of new
collaboration between Voices and several European groups committed to
nonviolent direct action.  Matt and Mil will join our next delegation to
Iraq which departs from New York City on December 4.  Ramzi Kysia is
already filing reports and updates from Baghdad (see website); we'll do
our best to remain in touch with you, from Iraq, during the seven weeks
that follow.  Looking further ahead, we hope many of you can come to NYC
January 20-22, 2002 for a teach-in and action to commemorate Dr. Martin
Luther King's call for nonviolence.  Please see our website to register.

Finally, and with apologies for the length of this update, we offer an
account of our recent effort to purchase 4,000 stamps, other than flag
stamps, for a postal mailing.  When Andrew Mandell and Danny Muller
politely made this request, the postal mail clerk called the Chicago
police.  The next day, Andrew was interviewed by a federal postal mail
inspector.  His reflection follows.

Dr. Hannah Arendt believed that even in the darkest of times we should
be able to expect some
illumination which would probably come not from theories or abstractions
but from the flickering and uncertain light which some men & women are
somehow able to kindle, against most of the odds, and shed over the time
they are allotted on this earth.  In these raw times, we place great
hope in the light offered by those who've said: "Our Grief Is Not A Cry
for War."


Kathy Kelly, Voices in the Wilderness, Chicago office

Family members of 9/11 victims to lead DC—NYC peace walk:  OUR GRIEF IS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Danny Muller:
November 24, 2001          Melissa Muro or
Joe Proulx: 646-208-2098

Washington, DC— Amber Amundson, whose husband Craig was killed in the
attack on the Pentagon, wrote shortly after the attack, “I call on our
national leaders to find the courage to break the cycle of violence.”
Sentiments like these have come from others who lost spouses, children,
brothers or sisters.  This week some of these mourners are going beyond
words, joining a walk that will link the two cities that were struck.
Their message to all they meet as they walk or assemble along the way:
Our grief is not a cry for war.

The group of survivors and friends will set off at 9 AM Sunday, November
25, from the front gates of Georgetown University in Washington, DC
(37th and O Street).   They will arrive the next Sunday, December 2, in
New York City.  In between they will walk some distances and shuttle
others, stopping in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Paterson and other
locations to take parts in events being organized by local churches and
other groups.

Craig Amundson’s brother, Ryan, will also join the walk. He states, “We
don’t want to see more widowed mothers like my sister-in-law, more
little kids without a dad like my niece and nephew, more moms and dads
outliving their son like my parents, or more brothers losing brothers
like me. The current reliance on military force does not confront the
political, social, and economic foundations of terrorism. By emphasizing
a military solution, the United States will not effectively combat

Buddhist and Franciscan monks will join the walk, as will leaders from
various faith-based and peacemaking communities.  Any persons who
support a call for nonviolence are welcome to join in the walk as it
moves north.  On November 25, walkers will proceed to St. Aloysius
Church (19 Eye Street) where they will welcome the public to a 6:30 p.m.
gathering at the McKenna Center.

A large decorated school bus will shuttle walkers between cities. Daily
itinerary updates available at This walk is endorsed by
AFSC, FOR,  Pax Christi USA, Peace Action USA, Veterans for Peace, War
Resister’s League, Voices in the Wilderness, and Women’s International
League for Peace and Freedom, among others.

Puzzling at the Post Office  by Andrew Mandell

So a few days ago when we went to post office to buy the stamps for our
mailing, we asked for stamps without the American flag. First we were
told to wait. It seems they were unsure if they had stamps at the post
office and would have to go in the “back” and see. The police officer
arrived after a few minutes. Questions, polite smiles, and professional
behavior but sadly another half truth as we were told to come back at
11:30 the next day when they would have the stamps ready for us.

The next day the lady at the counter was a bit puzzled as to what the
fuss was all about and sold me the stamps without going “to the back.”
It seems after all they do stock stamps at the post office. However the
U.S. Postal Inspector is not always in stock. Coincidentally he happened
to be there at 11:30 to invite me in “the back” to talk a bit about
mailing frequency, stamp choices, and the funding of Voices in the
Wilderness. He also wondered if he might come by the office and see the
mailing when it was done. A few days later he called to say that he
trusted us and that he would not, after all, need to inspect our mail.
He was a decent person, but he didn’t have to be.

The American flag is a fine looking banner and in its long history has
been the backdrop for the honorable actions and self-sacrifice of
individuals many of us can respect. However, colored cloth has neither
will nor discernment, and will fly just as majestically over plunder as
rescue, and this one has. A banner is like a word. Once it begins to
define different things among different people it can only hamper and
confuse dialogue. And the more important the dialogue, the more likely
the confusion. It becomes more apparent to us every day that the
conversations most vital to the future of our children are too important
to take place beneath ambiguous symbols reinforcing presumptions for
some, recalling terror for others.

Ravages of warfare descend on multitudes of actors, some of whom remain
free to choose forces other than  destruction to direct their actions.
While still holding hope for the forces of dialogue, negotiation, and
nonviolent resistance to evil, we're holding on to our choices at the
post office as well.

Voices in the Wilderness
1460 West Carmen Ave
Chicago  IL  60640

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