Monday, August 17, 2015

A Modest Proposal: Replace Chicago Air and Water Show with S.O. Levinson Peace Festival

Chicago: birthplace of an idea

Every year they hold a war show on the Chicago lakefront . . .  and every year we protest.

How about if we all put our energy into something we can agree on?

And what if it could be something that is a GENUINE Chicago tradition?

Military hardware displays: who needs 'em?

"Welcome to the Chicago Air War Show"
Members of Chicago World Can't Wait engage in a little
friendly agitation at the 2015 Chicago Air and Water Show.
When I see the Chicago Air and Water Show, I can't help thinking, "This is just a big advertisement for war."

You may also have thought the same thing.

(Just don't say it out loud!)

One friend put it best:

It's funny how offended people get when you mention the Air and Water Show glorifying war and military toys while wasting millions of dollars. (happy I am no 'typical american').

Which is why, as long as there is a Chicago Air and Water Show, there will be more and more antiwar protests there!

See also:

I { love | hate } the Chicago Air and Water Show
Taking the NO DRONES! Message to the Masses at Chicago's Air and Water Show
August 16-17: Protest U.S. Kidnapping, Torture, and Drone Assassinations at the 2014 Chicago Air and Water Show Protest 

NIH: Not invented here

Oak Street Beach: Chicago
Blue Angels fighter jet team: not Chicago
One of the profoundest ironies of the Chicago Air and Water Show is that it pretends to be "Chicago-ish" by taking place on our beautiful lakefront -- that's the "Water" part -- but in fact it has nothing to do with Lake Michigan and everything to do with military air power.

Chicago has nothing to do with the military and military air power . . .

. . . UNLESS, of course, you count the fact that the Boeing Corporation recently moved its corporate headquarters here. (In which case, you may be tempted to ask, "Why do they get to drag us into their dirty business?")

Hmmm . . . Boeing Corporation . . . sponsor of the Chicago Air and Water Show . . . I think I see a pattern here . . . .


Boeing Has an Israel Problem . . . and Chicago Has a Boeing Problem
No Drones Illinois Endorses Call to Drop Boeing from Chicago Air and Water Show

A real Chicago tradition: PEACE!

S.O. (Salmon Oliver) Levinson
David Swanson has done a great service by pointing out that it was a Chicago lawyer, S.O. (Salmon Oliver) Levinson, that came up with the idea of outlawing war.  Levinson's inspiration laid the foundation for the Kellogg-Briand pact. (See "Chicago’s unknown hero of peace" on the World Beyond War website.)

Many people don't know that the US -- together with 61 other countries -- long ago signed onto the treaty that makes it illegal to wage war. Congress ratified the treaty, and it is the law of the land.

You can learn more about the Kellogg-Briand pact and Levinson's contribution when David Swanson comes to the Chicago area on August 27 -- see Fundraising Luncheon commemorating Kellogg-Briand Pact.

Chicago has always been plagued by "second city syndrome." You know: "Saturday Night Live is 'live - from New York!' but actually it all started here!!!" and "Everybody talks about the Empire State Building but the skyscraper was really invented here!!!" and  . . .  (etc. etc. etc.)

A S.O. Levinson Peace Festival would be an opportunity for Chicago to focus on something at which it is "first."

Air shows are a dime a dozen.

Military recruiting: who needs it?

Chicagoans are tired of screaming jets on summer afternoons . . . .

But a peace festival! That would be unique! That would be something to be proud of!


Tell organizations you are part of
that you want them to become
a founding sponsor of the
S.O. Levinson Peace Festival

(to replace the Air and Water Show!)

Related posts

There's been a lot of talk in recent weeks and months about the problem of gun trafficking in Illinois, and how we will never meet our goal of stopping the violence in our communities if we can't stop the flow of guns. Maybe it's time for us to eat our own dog food . . . .

(See What If Illinois Became a "War-Profiteer-Free Zone" ? )

What if we had a massive region in the heart of the country pushing back against the war-crazed conventional wisdom of "more weapons," "more consumption," and "more destruction of the environment"?

(See Another Modest Proposal: A Green, Demilitarized Midwest! )

I never quite understood how much of a Chicago story the Bomb and opposition to it really is. I can think of at least three reasons why people right here in Chicago -- today -- need to make themselves heard about nuclear disarmament . . .

(See Unfinished Business in Chicago (Nuclear disarmament, that is))

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