New mover Chris Cantwell blogs on his facebook about his experience at the Memorial Day parade in Keene yesterday. It’s called, “When and Where Exactly are the Time & Place for Peace?”:
Happy Nationalist War Propaganda Day!
Today, people across the country are holding parades, having barbeques, and taking the day off of work in celebration of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, who were conned into dying for the false religion of statism. They call this ritual, Memorial Day.
Personally, I find it all rather disturbing. I don’t think it is good that we send men and women off to die in foreign deserts, jungles, and cities. I don’t think it is good parenting to tell your children that they should grow up to be like the dead people. I don’t think I have rights granted to me by violent institutions or men who act as their agents.
It was with these concerns that I grabbed a sign and joined some fellow peace activists at Central Square for the Memorial Day Parade in Keene, New Hampshire this morning. It was a lot of fun, even if it was a bit early for many of our activists… Ian Freeman, Emberlea McCulligh, Darryl Perry and myself stood with our signs as the parade went by, and at the end of the parade we followed behind the last vehicle as if we were part of it. We walked past both supporters and detractors, through the cheers and through the jeers, I enjoy both equally.
Where the parade came to a hault there is a veterans memorial, where hundreds of people came to say “Thanks for being dead” to the men and women of the war machine. Now stopped, it was easier for people to come up to us and make it known just how they felt about our message, and they sure did.
One person called me a communist. Interesting theory, as my sign read on one side “Statism is not worth dying for” and on the other side “War is the health of The State”. I pointed out to him that I’m no fan of governance, and that communist governments aren’t exactly known for being peaceful.
Another referred to the peace symbol on another sign as “The American Chicken Footprint”, took me a minute to get that one… It was pointed out to him that it requires a lot of courage to stand for peace while others beat the drums of war. He proved our point by trying (unsuccessfully) to physically intimidate me and, knocked my sign out of my hand, before some other onlookers came to stop what they clearly thought might become a fist fight.
One said to me “Who do you think gives you the right to hold that sign?” I told her I was pretty sure any rights I have I was born with, and I think my parents were responsible for that one, but I’ve got a pretty good idea as to who would be taking my sign if it were outlawed…
But of course, the most common theme was “This is not the time or the place, we’re here to honor the fallen heroes, you’re being disrespectful”. Funny thing is, we seem to hear that “time and place” argument wherever we go and whatever we do. So if anyone would care to inform me just where exactly is this place and what time should I be there, and how long after I get there does the war stop? Provide me with this information, and I’ll be there, on time.
Till then, I’m pretty sure when I see military hardware rolling down Main Street, that’s exactly the time for me to get out the posterboard and markers. I’m just about certain that anywhere I see hundreds of people gathering to thank dead people for dying violent deaths at the hands of strangers a thousand miles away, is exactly the place for me to make an effort to inject reason into the conversation.
I’m also pretty sure that I’ve got a lot more respect for people when I tell them to stay home and live, than someone who tells them to go off and die. The incapacity for reason in some people is absolutely astounding. I’ve got friends who have to go out and fight these wars, I don’t take any pleasure in paying them any disrespect and disrespect is not my purpose. If my friend dies in a war, then I will mourn him by being sad, not with celebration, I will remember him by visiting his grave, not some government issued nationalist propaganda statue that represents him as part of some faceless collective, and I will honor him by fighting harder to prevent more of my friends from being senselessly murdered by the agents of a foreign government.
Friends or not, I don’t see the people who die in these conflicts as heroes, I see them as victims of fraud. Advertisements purchased with stolen money lured them into these violent institutions with promises of glory and treasure, then recruiters promise them the world while making light of the fact that they can be ordered to die by madmen who think nothing of constitutions or limitations of power. They are ultimately told that because 19 individuals from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates crashed planes into buildings in the US, they should go kill and die in the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Anyone who is of the opinion that I should just ignore all this and keep it to myself, or protest quiety in some “Free Speech Zone”, or be a facebook slactivist hoping my next status update is going to bring down the Leviathan once and for all, has another thing coming. I have moved hundreds of miles and left my pets and friends and family and career behind to make this stand in Keene, NH. I have been jailed, I have run for office, I have had my very life threatened in my pursuit of liberty and peace. So if you think you can repeat your propaganda to me, or discourage me with nationalist fantasies, or phsysically intimidate me, or discard my message by knocking a sign out of my hand, well pal, bigger men than you have tried and failed, but don’t let that stop you. Your confrontations only remind me how badly the world needs people like me to stand up.