Monday, May 14, 2012


We are planning an event for Monday, May 21, in Chicago to honor the memory of victims of #NATO violence. You can read full details of the event below.

This is a realization of the #RemembranceDay2012 commemoration I proposed several days ago.

We are inviting people everywhere to contribute the names of victims of NATO violence, using the hashtag #NATOvictims. We will recite the names as part of the service of remembrance on May 21. (You can view videos of the ceremony below.)

We've started assembling the names and stories of #NATOvictims on the World Can't Wait website.

Stay tuned for more details of the event -- to be released shortly.

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MONDAY, May 21, 2012 - Remembrance Day 2012

[ -- REVISED MAY 21 2012 -- ]
Protesters, Clergy, Community Gather to Put Focus on Victims of U.S. / NATO Wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Others

As the Obama administration expresses fury at Pakistani resistance to further NATO war operations and excludes Pakistan's president from the NATO Summit, members of the wider community will gather to memorialize people killed by U.S. airstrikes and drone attacks in Pakistan as well as in the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as U.S./NATO operations in Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere. Recognizing what veterans on Sunday called "the burden of blood that has stained these medals", Trinity Church has opened its lawn to expressions of grief and remembrance by the entire community.

"While billion dollar deals to continue U.S. and NATO presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan are discussed behind closed doors, we're putting the stories and images of the individual people, and families, harmed by these military actions," said Debra Sweet. "NATO is expected to announce combat troop reductions in Afghanistan, while leaving unresolved -- and hidden -- the daily killings and injuries by drones, detention, night raids that will continue for decades by with the apparatus the US/NATO has put in place there."

Local clergy, members of the international community, and protesters who marched Sunday will gather to emphasize their commitment to ending the wars and occupations -- in all their dimensions -- and focusing on the humanity of those who are often seen as "collateral damage" in modern wars.

Time: 12:00 noon
Location: Open air event on grounds of Trinity Episcopal Church, 125 E. 26th St., Chicago
More info: Details of the #NATOvictims campaign on the World Can't Wait website Remembering the Victims: #NATOvictims
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Memorial for NATO Victims-Religious Voices
Memorial for NATO Victims-Debra Sweet and Jill McLaughlin
Memorial for NATO Victims-Voice from Pakistan
Memorial for NATO Victims-More Voices
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Holding You In the Light: for those who have died ... in body, mind, or spirit

Gathering Song: Peace, Salaam, Shalom by Pat Humphries

Opening Words of Welcome: Rev. Loren McGrail from Protest Chaplains

Prayer of Forgiveness
We come today to this holy place occupied by the Holy Spirit and those who came here to protest and testify. With the words of the brave soldiers who threw away their medals still echoing, the images of children’s corpses still fresh, the blue scarves of the Afghan youth still fluttering, the drones still flying, the soldiers prepping for another deployment, men and women sexually assaulted, trauma denied healing, waterpipes blown up, whole families targeted as shields, we come seeking forgiveness for our ignorance, indifference or apathy. We seek forgiveness for the pain and suffering our government has inflicted on others in the name of freedom or liberation in our name. We kneel, we stand, we cry for the liberation of our country and the world leaders who seek peace through violence and endless war. We come to this holy place and time to seek forgiveness and assurance that another world is possible and that we may have the courage and strength to make it so. Amen

Song: This is My Song

Words: Debra Sweet, World Can't Wait

We Remember
Reading of names of people killed in NATO led wars. People come to the front and light a candle in remembrance of those killed in NATO led wars including our soldiers. We light two large candles in collective memory for the two million killed in Afghanistan.

Song: Keep on Moving Forward by Pat Humphries
1. We’re gonna keep on movin’ forward (3x)
Never turnin’ back (2X)
2. We’re gonna reach across our borders…
3. We’re gonna keep on loving boldly…
4. We’re gonna work for peace together…
5. We’re goona keep on movin forward…

Our Commitment to Another World Possible and On the Way
Side A: For the light of the spark of the divine in all of us making us one family.

Side B: We commit ourselves to keeping our hearts open to the suffering of all those affected and killed by global wars of terror.

Side A: For the light of the spark of the divine in all of us making us all sisters and brothers.

Side B: We commit ourselves to not become indifferent to all those who are victims of violence, bereaved by loss, isolated by trauma, imprisoned because of their consciences, or who live by fear.

Side A: For the light of the spark of the diving in all of us that makes dependent upon each other.

All: Because the world can’t wait, we commit ourselves to work for, pray for, advocate for a world without war, a world where resources are shared and all the people have dignity and freedom.

Liturgy by Rev. Loren McGrail and Rev. Luis Alvarenga from Protest Chaplains

See Flashback: Protesting NATO in Chicago - May, 2012

More related posts

People around the world are using the Twitter hashtag #NATOvictims to bring forward the names of the victims who are left invisible to us. People everywhere have already started to contribute to the commemoration.

(See It Will Be Remembered as the #NATOvictims Summit )

Sixty-seven years ago tonight, morning in Japan, a single B-29 dropped the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. This incredible blast destroyed most of the city and killed over 60,000 people almost immediately. Another 80,000 more died in subsequent months and years from the deadly radiation.

(See Our Dark Beacon: Prayer Vigil for Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 5, 2012)

But have we truly left the world’s darkness? I wondered as I watched the shadow the candle spread on the ground or on the wall, and the shadow my own head made. And I began to realize to my own dismay that this shadow we call delusion is not less real than myself or the candle. And I said, as I witnessed death snatch many around me with the speed of a wink, that we still stand with our backs to the sun. . . .

(See Logan Square Laments With Syria )