Nearly 100,000 hand-fired clay figures, representing lives lost in the Iraq war, will be the backdrop on Friday for an Iraq Moratorium action in the California community of Aptos, near Santa Cruz.
The display is the work of artist Kathleen Crocetti, a high school art teacher, who told the San Jose Mercury News :
“I’m doing this to help people visualize the number of people killed in the Iraq war. We need a physical connection to that number. I thought we went into the war under false pretenses, and I can’t sanction pre-emptive war.
I feel such shame and sadness in my name as an American,” she said. “I feel responsible for the pain and grief because of this war.”
The 4,000-plus small white clay figures, each holding a U.S. flag, represent dead American service members. The 92,000 dark clay figures, behind the Americans like a shadow, represent Iraqis. She uses the number from Iraq Body Count, which includes documented civilian deaths. It is a very conservative number; others estimate the count could be as high as a million.
On Friday, as individuals and groups across the country interrupt their regular routines to mark the Iraq Moratorium and call for an end to the war and occupation, people in Aptos will peacefully protest the war during rush hour on the sidewalks in front of the Resurrection-Aptos cemetery where the figures are displayed. The evening’s vigil, with music and poetry will be near the memorial in the cemetery.
The action is one of many taking place on Friday, Iraq Moratorium #15. Despite the election, despite a proposed, sketchy new US-Iraq status of forces agreement, the war drags on and on.
The President-elect and the new Congress need to know that we want our troops home — and not in three years.
The Iraq Moratorium website includes a list of actions planned across the country on Friday, and suggestions for individual action. If you can’t make time to take part on Friday, consider a donation. The killing has to stop, and we have to stop it.