PEACE PROBE by Gene Stoltzfus


Shine the Light: Homeland Security by peaceprobe
January 19, 2006, 10:03 am
Filed under: Politics of Empire, Shine the Light: Wash. DC

Homeland Security

Yesterday we walked in front of one of the offices of the Department of Homeland Security. Because of the newness of its status the department lacks stately old buildings or imaginative new architectural creations. Like its work Homeland Security is a patchwork of old buildings and agencies spread around the city with main offices at Nebraska and Massachusetts Avenues near American University where I once studied international affairs. 

When I walked the streets Nebraska and Mass Ave. 35 years my fellow students were focused on Southeast Asia. I suspect that the courses in Southeast Asia have now shriviled into thin picking to be replaced by Middle East studies. International Affairs studies tends to follow the international crisis. When I began my studies at the School of International Service the library collection on Viet Nam was just over one foot long. By the time I departed a couple years later it had grown to an entire section. Something like that is happening now in Persian Gulf studies I am sure. I hope that there isn’t some kind of hidden cosmic principle that posits the inverse relationship of books (knowledge) to the cosmic energy of violence unleashed from Washington. One change is that there is now a University department set aside to study conflict. I understand that some of the classes are held in a building financed by a Saudi arms dealer. That’s part of the Homeland Security neighborhood.

As we walked silently in front of the homeland security folks we gave leaflets to persons coming and going. Some people looked the other way. A few took the leaflets and two persons smiled and talked for a couple moments. There is plenty of police protection at Homeland Security. Apprarently there is a peck order to that too. Police are mostly black. Important people are mostly white male with a few females occasionally seen in taxis that come and go.
Now here is the content of the leaflet.

Shine the Light
On Those Held Captive by War and Occupation

From January 15 through January 29, 2006, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is carrying out a series of processions in Washington, D.C., starting each day at institutions that bear key responsibility for the military occupation of Iraq and closing with a prayer service at the White House.

Shining light on a hooded detainee, a torchbearer leads candle-carrying participants walking in prayerful silence. The hooded detainee represents all persons held captive by war and occupation, including four Christian Peacemaker Teams members – Tom Fox, James Loney, Norman Kember, and Harmeet Sooden – kidnaped on November 26, 2005 and still missing in Iraq.

The call to “Shine the Light” on the abuse of detainees and hostage-taking comes out of CPT’s advocacy for Iraqi detainees and their families since 2003. CPT’s work was partially responsible for the 2004 disclosure of the abuses committed by U.S. soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison.
Church groups, civic organizations and supportive individuals are invited to join CPT’s daily “Shine the Light” processions. Bring battery-powered candles to illuminate the Pentagon, the State Department, the U.S. Capitol, the CIA, and other government and private institutions that share responsibility in creating, implementing, blessing, and profiting from the Iraq war.
For more information:

go to http://www.cpt.org/iraq/shinethelight.php for details about each day’s scheduled procession
gather each morning at Washington Peace Center; 1426 9th St. NW (at P); 10:30am
call 312-933-0546 or e-mail <light@cpt.org>

Pray
with us:

An End
to the
Occupation

An End
to the
Abuse of all
Detainees

Freedom
for the
Peacemakers

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