TRAVELS WITH JACK

Below is an account of Jack’s travels from New Jersey to New Orleans via Fort Benning where he participated in the protest against the infamous School of the Americas.  Many thanks to Jack for both his work and for telling us his story.  He says:

We have to input goodness into the equation to replace the evil. Somehow I believe the key involves teaching people to have the courage to seek and act on their passion. This requires overcoming Fear and following the advice of Edward Said, “Fear is not allowed.”  Bush and the like have convinced me that Fear is a much more awesome tool than I at first imagined. So too is an AK-47 for that matter.  More on this later.

I’m now at New Orleans, the Big Easy. Wow!

I ended the planned anti-war portion of my trip two weeks ago when I left N.J

I spent last weekend at the SOA [now called Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, at Fort Benning, where torture is taught to Latin Americans, http://www.soaw.org/]. It was extremely powerful and a story in and of itself. Suffice it to say that it acted to replace my intellectual commitment to a fire in my heart.

SOA.jpg   Protest at SOA

Next, I went to the FL Panhandle and swam in the Gulf of Mexico this
Tuesday. Between the water and my companion, I found the experience
both healing and pleasant.

I ate Thanksgiving dinner in the French Quarter. I had an individual march for Peace down the center Bourbon Street. My Thanksgiving dinner was Gumbo, Fresh Bread, Shrimp Creole, Jambalia, Red Beans and Rice concluded by Bread Pudding. You can keep your turkey and stuffing.

I got to Common Ground yesterday. It looks like a war zone. They are clearing the area and the work is mostly being done by young people. I did a little work and realized it is too hard for me. We were working 100 yards from where the levee broke. I spent the rest of my time looking around, talking to people who lived there before Katrina and taking pictures of slabs that had been homes. I plan to visit again today and then head West. Of course, all of my plans are subject to spontaneous change.

I really had to come here. No amount of words and pictures could have provided the insight that being here is providing. I don’t think I will get this place out of my mind. In addition, I don’t think I should. I don’t know what I will do but my congress people will be getting correspondence from me.

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