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National Stand Down Day - An Inspiring Action!

Just as the U.S. Senate is coming out of the closet with bold voices against this war, it seems like everyday people across the nation are becoming more vocal about their opposition to this war. This Friday -- in Capitola and all over the United States -- people took time out of their schedules for National Stand Down Day in a statement against this illegal war.
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On National Stand Down Day in Santa Cruz, demonstrators spanned the sidewalk in front of the armed forces recruiting offices in Capitola.
National Stand Down Day - An Inspiring Action!

In front of the Military Recruiting Center on 41st Avenue in Capitola, over 50 activists gathered on Friday Nov 18th to call for an end to the Iraq war, and to bring our troops home now.

Spreading out along a whole block of 41st Avenue, participants carried signs, banners, and flags, and flashed the peace symbol to the passers-by! The response from the many motorists was very energetic and very supportive - lots of honks, thumbs up's, and peace symbols returned!!

Highlights included: a performance by the Raging Grannies of Santa Cruz including a new song, "Bring 'Em Home"; an A-frame display in Arabic made by David Hofvendahl of the names of 3000 Iraqi civilians that have died in the war ; the presence of a large contingent of counter recruitment teenagers from San Lorenzo Valley High School; and a brief memorial service for the six soldiers from Santa Cruz County who have died in the war.

One of the organizers, Sherry Conable, pointed out that it was through that very portal where the action was being held that each of these now departed young men had gone to sign their enlistment papers. Flowers were held for each of the six soldiers while the poem, "the Young Dead Soldiers" by Archibald MacLeish, was read. Afterwards, some flowers and a copy of the poem were left at the door of each of the four recruiting offices.

Late in the afternoon, two recruiters from the Marines came out to check out the action and engage in conversation with the protesters.

After experiencing such high and positive energy, a number of folks there expressed the desire to have a weekly presence on Fridays at this site, an idea being worked on now - watch for an announcement!

National Stand Down Day happened in 15 cities around the country, and was coordinated by the Iraq Pledge of Resistance

The day was called National Stand Down Day because "stand down" is a term used by the military for days when they have training, reviews etc., and so "stand down" from their normal duties.

Thus, citizens all over the country "stood down" for an hour or two from their normal duties to help bring this war and occupation to an end!


“The Young Dead Soldiers� by Archibald Macleish

The young dead soldiers do not speak. Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses: who has not heard them? They have a silence that speaks for them at night and when the clock counts.

They say: we were young. We have died. Remember us.

They say: we have done what we could but until it is finished it is not done.

They say: we have given our lives but until it is finished no one can know what our lives gave.

They say: our deaths are not ours; they are yours; they will mean what you make them.

They say: whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say; it is you who must say this.

They say: we leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning.

We were young, they say. We have died. Remember us.
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This is the sign in front of the offices. Notice the small mark on the lower right corner of the sign.
Words to the wise: this sticker tells it like it is. (Note: this sticker has been there for quite sometime and the protesters had nothing to do with its placement.)
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This sign names 3000 Iraqi civilians who have been killed in the war so far.
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The names on the front and the back of this sign represent a tenth of the OFFICIAL count of dead civilians in the Iraq War. Estimates by medical professionals put the count at four times higher than this number.
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The Raging Grannies start things off with a scathing, satirical rendition of a popular song.
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In honor of Santa Cruz County residents who have died in the Iraq War, Sherry read the poem, "The Young Dead Soldiers" and participants held a bouquet of flowers for each of them.
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Participants placed copies of the poem and bouquets representing the departed soldiers at the doors of the recruiters. Most recruiters had already left for the day.
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This participant peacefully dialogues with a recruiter.
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While the listed army values seem acceptable at first glance, one questions how much loyalty any solider owes a corrupt Commander-in-Chief who fabricated reasons for sending him to war and who went awol himself. How about "Integrity" at the top of the list and "Loyalty" near the bottom?
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This recruiter, whose name tag reads "Griffin," is looking tired, as though he is fighting sleeplessness, tears or both. Activists may never know if these actions make a difference, but they continue on. One can only imagine what the soliders stationed in Iraq or Iraqi civilians are going through right now.

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Re: National Stand Down Day - An Inspiring Action!

Thanks for the very fine coverage, and the wonderful pictures. Jan Harwood

Little children are being killed!

From Reuters, Nov 21- An Iraqi man holds a child killed in a shooting while the family was on the way to the town of Baquba, about 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, November 21, 2005. Witnesses and the Iraqi police said U.S. troops opened fire on a crowded minibus north of Baghdad on Monday, killing five members of the same family, including two children, and wounding four others. The U.S. military said it was looking into the incident but did not confirm its involvement or provide any other details. REUTERS/Hilmi

Re: National Stand Down Day - An Inspiring Action!

meanwhile, mainstream America is hard at work


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