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Revelations: “Peace Begins in a Single Chair…”

August 03, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Eco-Justice, Education, Imperialism, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex, What People are Doing to Change the World

Ode to the chair

Pablo Neruda (from Odes to Common Things)

vineA chair in the jungle:
under the severe lianas
a sacred tree trunk creaks,
tangles of vines press high,
in the shadows
bloody beasts cry out,
majestic leaves descend from the green sky,
the rattles of snakes
quiver like bells.
A bird spanned the sprawling greenness,
like an arrow shot through a flag,
and branches hoisted high their violins.
Insects
pray in stillness,
seated on their wild bouquets.
Feet sink into
the black sargasso
of the watery jungle,
into the rainforest’s tumbled clouds.
I only request one thing
for the stranger,
for the desperate
explorer,
a chair in the tree of chairs,
a throne,
disheveled and plush,
the velvet of a deep easy chair,
eaten away by creepers.
Yes,
a chair, 
loving the universe, 
for the walkabout man, 
the sure 
foundation, 
the supreme 
dignity 
of rest!

Behind thirsty tigers,
bands of bloodthirsty flies,
behind the black expanse
of ghost-ridden leaves,
behind the low waters,
the thicket like iron,
perpetual snakes,
in the middle
of the thunder,
a chair,
a chair 
for me, 
for everyone,
a chair not 
only for the weary body’s 
rescue, 
but also for everything, 
and for everybody, 
to renew lost strength, 
and for meditation. 

War is wide like the light-starved jungle.
Peace 
begins 
in 

single 
chair.

Revelations: Bed Peace ☮ ☮ ☮

July 27, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Civil Rights, Education, Immigration, International Law, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex, Spirituality, What People are Doing to Change the World

BED PEACE ☮ ☮ ☮

Directed by Yoko Ono & John Lennon
Starring John Lennon & Yoko Ono
Bag Productions
Copyright © 1969 Yoko Ono Lennon.

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Revelations: For Peace

July 13, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Education, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex, Spirituality, What People are Doing to Change the World

Nobel Symphony

Performed by Philip Brunelle and the VocalEssence Chorus with the Minnesota Boychoir and Gustavus Adolphus College Symphony Orchestra. Charles Lazarus, solo trumpet.

Graphics credits: Creative Directors Piotr Szyhalski and Jan Jancourt with students of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with support from MCAD Design works (c) 2004

(c) 2001 Steve Heitzeg / Stone Circle Music
All rights reserved.

stone circle

Revelations: The Defiance of Flowers

May 25, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Education, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex, Spirituality

“War kills people and destroys human creation; but as though mocking war’s devastation, flowers inevitably bloom through its ruins.”

~ from “The First Decoration Day” by David W. Blight, 2011.
The People’s History of Memorial Day,
Zinn Education Project.

Revelations: Imagine

December 08, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Education, Intersectionality, Spirituality, What People are Doing to Change the World

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
         ― John Lennon ( October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980)

The Death and Life of John Lennon, by Pete Hamill

New York Magazine, December 20, 1980

“The news arrived like fragment of some forgotten ritual. First a flash on television, interrupting the tail end of a football game. Then the telephones ringing, back and forth across the city, and then another bulletin, with more details, and then more phone calls from around the country, from friends, from kids with stunned voices, and then the dials being flipped from channel to channel while WINS played on the radio. And yes: It was true. Yes: Somebody had murdered John Lennon.

And because it was John Lennon, and because it was a man with a gun, we fell back into the ritual. If you were there for the sixties, the ritual was part of your life. You went through it for John F. Kennedy and for Martin Luther King, for Malcolm X and for Robert Kennedy. The earth shook, and then grief was slowly handled by plunging into newspapers and television shows. We knew there would be days of cliché-ridden expressions of shock from the politicians; tearful shots of mourning crowds; obscene invasions of the privacy of The Widow; calls for gun control; apocalyptic declarations about the sickness of America; and then, finally, the orgy over, everybody would go on with their lives.

Except . . . this time there was a difference. Somebody murdered John Lennon. Not a politician. Not a man whose abstract ideas could send people to wars, or bring them home; not someone who could marshal millions of human beings in the name of justice; not some actor on the stage of history. This time, someone had crawled out of a dark place, lifted a gun, and killed an artist. This was something new. The ritual was the same, the liturgy as stale as ever, but the object of attack was a man who had made art. This time the ruined body belonged to someone who had made us laugh, who had taught young people how to feel, who had helped change and shape an entire generation, from inside out. This time someone had murdered a song. “

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Honesty

November 11, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Civil Rights, Gun Culture, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex, What People are Doing to Change the World

CI: Militarization, Surveillance, and the Police State, Part 2

August 28, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.

Militarization, Surveillance, and the Police State, Part 2
by nancy a heitzeg

“It is white power that makes the laws, and it is violent white power in the form of armed white cops that enforces those laws with guns and nightsticks.”  Stokely Carmichael, Towards Black Liberation 1966

Or maybe with tanks and drones. Add a few officers of color too.

Carmichael’s central premise remains unchanged, but the technology, and perhaps too the scope of the dragnet has changed.

In recent posts – Tagging, Tasers, and the Police State, Part 1 and Unpacking “Chiraq”: Repression, RICO, and War on Terror TacticsCI has explored the deepening connections between policing and war, the alignment of those two deadlyindustrial complexes  of our time – prison and military. The connections are both literal in terms of the use of military technology, but conceptual as well. The citizenry as “enemy” to be  battled and defeated.

No questions. No quarter.

Of course, this has been the experience of communities of color since colonial days, but the rapid expansion of the technology of mass surveillance and the tactics of war have spilled out into the populace at large, threatening even those they were once designed to protect.

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War Is Over (If You Want It)

May 25, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Imperialism, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex, Spirituality

John and Yoko’s Second Bed-in for Peace, Montreal:

Following their seven-day bed-in for peace at the Amsterdam Hilton in March 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held a second, similar event at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada.

They took corner suite rooms 1738, 1740 and 1742 at the hotel. Montreal wasn’t their first choice; initially they had planned to hold it in New York, but Lennon wasn’t allowed into the country due to his conviction for cannabis possession the previous year..

The bed-in caused instant worldwide media coverage, and Lennon and Ono spoke to up to 150 journalists each day. In the United States around 350 radio stations reported the event, carrying the couple’s message of peace and protests against the Vietnam war.

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