30 Million take part in Iraq Moratorium actions

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

That’s theoretical, of course.

The number is extrapolated from the turnout for an Iraq Moratorium-sponsored event on the Third Friday of August in Cornwall, CT, home of the famous covered bridge.

Cornwall’s population at the last census was 1,434.  About 10 per cent of that population turned out for the Moratorium event.

That surpasses the record established by Hayward, Wisconsin, home of the muskie festival, which has had turnouts of 80-plus people even in the winter to call for an end to the war.  Hayward’s population is 2,100.  We had projected that if the entire country turned out at the same rate as Hayward, there would be 12 million people in the streets.

If we project the Cornwall numbers, there would be 30 million — although a lot of them might be eating and dancing instead of protesting.  The Hayward event was a vigil at the highway intersection, with signs, flags and banners, a monthly happening at the same spot.

Cornwall has tried another approach, with a different kind of activity on the Third Friday of every month.  One month it’s a film, the next it’s a speaker, then a letter-writing session, then a panel discussion, then a potluck, and so on.  The latest, record-setting event featured three bands.

So while there might not be 30 million people proesting on the streets, there could be 30 million dancing for peace.  

We’re already thinking about what we could do in Milwaukee to beat the 10% turnout.  Best idea so far is getting the Iraq Moratorium added as a sponsor of the next Springsteen concert.

The Moratorium, which asks people to do something on the Thurd Friday of each month to call for an end to the war and occupation, begins its second year on Sept. 19.  Find an event near you, see what others are doing, or share your ideas at IraqMoratorium.com , a brand new website.  

Here’s the report for Cornwall’s August event from the organizers:

Wow! Moratorium Day #12 was our biggest event yet in Cornwall. As many as 150 people took part in our Peace Fest at one point or another through the evening, despite prolonged, heavy rain which lifted only at starting time. The Peace Fest started out with a potluck supper in the pavilion at the town’s public Foote Field. After the feast was underway, a triple header of local bands took the floor.

First up was the well-named Homegrown Band, Cornwall residents all, a bluegrass outfit that plays for area dances. For most of their set, ace fiddler Rachel Gall laid down her instrument and instead tried her hand at calling figures for contra dancers. A slew of couples ranging in age from about five to about seventy five followed her instructions– or at least tried to–through some basic figures. Observers had almost as much fun as dancers.

Next came the Berkshire Stompers Brass Band, a marching band-style ensemble pulled together by Moratorium regular, Charlie Keil. Their 8 person line up included 6 horn players and 3 percussionists (Yes, we can count: the remarkable Holley Tierney played trumpet AND knocked out the rhythm with steel-soled tap shoes.) The band played intricate riff-based tunes to accompany chants like “Peace Is The Answer/No More War”, while the crowd joined in.  A special treat, Karl Saliter suddenly appeared during the last number juggling torches!

The last set was the stunningly talented trio, lespecial, young avant-rockers whose presence drew a large audience of local young’ns to their first Iraq Moratorium event. Lespecial was soon joined by folks from the previous bands and musically-minded friends for tunes that morphed into loud, powerful jams, closing out a great eventing.

The rain-defying turnout was no doubt helped by the fact that we got announcements on four area radio stations. While music ruled the evening, there were short talks about the Iraq Moratorium between sets. Despite a bit of disorganization around staffing a literature table and going through the crowd with clipboards, a score of newcomers signed the pledge, asking to be notified of future events. Well over $100 was collected for the national Moratorium clearing house, $40 of of it from an impomptu buck a ticket raffle of a one-of-a-kind lespecial t-shirt, donated by the band on the spot.

1 comment

  1. Plan now to do something for the start of Year 2 of the Iraq Moratorium.  It’s Friday, Sept. 19

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