Tag Archives: peace

6 Police cars + k-9 unit + psafe breakup peaceful fountain party

Roughly 30 students were peacefully enjoying musical stylings of Barefoot Junction outside 40 fountain today when psafe, middletown police, and a k-9 unit showed up. Is this the end of Fountain as we know it? Is wesleyan the new police state? Certainly something has changed at our wonderful university. If anything tonight is an unfortunuate allusion to the end of spring semester in ’08.

Please comment with any first hand acconts or corrections.

[EDIT] Jared Keller of Barefoot Junction writes:

We as a band do not know the specific details of the event, only that we were cut off mid-set by the authorities. We do not know why Middletown police showed up in the numbers they did. What we do know is that Wesleyan students behaved like champions tonight, allowing P-Safe and MPD to do what they had to despite how overly cautious and obnoxious their actions were. The best thing that Wesleyan students can do right now is give the authorities no legitimate reason to repeat last May’s incident by being orderly and responsive to their demands, and tonight’s party was a good example of the strategy we can use to avoid further ridiculous conflicts.

That being said, Fountain is far from done and Barefoot Junction will live to groove another day. Our resolve is strong, Ph.D program multiple credits, and our funk reserve brimming with vigor and zest. Contact us at jbkeller@wes for a funk injection. And remember: we shall return…

[Edited by Justin on 2008-09-12 at 12:48 AM.]

Peace demonstration in Middletown! Tuesday!

Yo, friends who want to stop the killing. WesPeace has been doing some planning, and now the ball’s in our court:

Peace Demonstration in Middletown, March to Recruitment Office

Tuesday, November 27th at 4 PM

  • Congregate at the Usdan Courtyard after classes, between 4:00 and 4:15
  • We will march down Wyllys, High, Washington, and Main to the Army National Guard Recruitment Office
  • One group will stage a sit-in at the office, pass out a flier detailing a few “top military recruitment lies,” (see below post) and talk to recruiters and passers-by. Others will continue to City Hall to follow-up on the presentation of the Middletown Common Council Resolution Against the War, reading the document aloud in front of City Hall.
  • If you plan to go into the recruitment office, please e-mail acasale@wesleyan.edu to get on the e-mail list for discussion of the plans and tips on civil disobedience. We will also talk before the march.
  • Bring signs & noisemakers and wear bright colors!

The message of our action is: END THE WAR! END THE MILITARIZATION OF YOUTH!

RSVP for the march to wespeace@gmail.com if possible, or just show up!

WesPeace is a coalition of students, faculty and administrators that meets on Wednesdays 12-1 in Usdan 108. To subscribe to the listserv, email “subscribe wespeace” to lyris@lyris.wesleyan.edu, leaving the subject line blank.

Ashley Casale ’10 at Dean’s Colloquium

If you hadn’t noticed, Ashley is awesome. On top of being awesome, she walked across the country for peace last summer (read about it in the Argus, or in the Chicago Tribune).

On Tuesday, she will be speaking with Michael Israel, the other person who marched the whole way with her, about their journey and student activism for a Dean’s Colloquium from 12:00 to 1:00 (lunch served). Location TBA. If you plan on going, RSVP to Lorna Scott at lscott@wesleyan.edu.

After the discussion, we’ll be making signs for the demonstration in Middletown (see above post), so stick around if you can!

Sophomore Treks Across The USA for Peace

Ashley Casale ’10 has been marching across the country (literally) to protest the Iraq War:

The idea for the march came to Casale last autumn. A freshman at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., she had attended war protests but thought that a cross-country march could attract more attention. She established a Web site, www.marchforpeace.info, sent out hundreds of fliers to other college campuses and contacted peace groups around the country. Israel, about to graduate a home-school high school program in Jackson, Calif., spotted a notice online. Though dozens of people showed interest, in the end, only Israel and another woman agreed to walk.

They set off from San Francisco on May 21, carrying 40-pound packs. By the end of the first week, the third marcher dropped out. Another activist told them they would never make it to Washington by their target date, Sept. 11. But they pressed on, crossing into Nevada and making their way across the desert in two weeks. Then on to Utah and Colorado.

Their determination has endeared them to many. After seeing the holes in Casale’s shoes, a man in Sacramento bought her a new pair of sandals. An elderly man in Colorado drove their packs ahead for two days and called his friends who lived along the route to arrange for shelter.

“I read about them in the paper yesterday and thought, ‘Oh my God, we have to help them,'” said Bobbi Benson, 48, of Boulder, who helped drive the packs forward through Colorado. “They just have such courage.”

‘This is the whole point’

On July 4, Casale and Israel walked the 20 miles from Loveland to Greeley, two towns in a solidly Republican corner of Colorado. As they trudged along the roadside, the Rocky Mountains dominated the horizon behind them. And before them, fields of wheat and corn stretched for miles.

“People who see us today might see us as un-American or unpatriotic,” said Casale, about to dart across an expressway ramp. “But I think this is the whole point of this country and July 4: People taking an active role, and speaking out.”

They walked for hours under the hot sun. When they finally made it to Greeley, someone yelled an obscenity out a car window. A few minutes later, a man in a Cadillac waved dismissively at them. But others honked support, signaling with a thumbs up or a peace sign.

And when they ducked inside a restaurant, one customer, Carla DeVries, 51, cheered them on. With perfectly coiffed blond hair and wearing a bright pink sweater, DeVries said she is a Republican and supports the war but said, “It’s refreshing to see anyone do anything that takes adversity.” She smiled at Casale and said: “You stick to your guns.”

Twelve hours after they began walking, the sun going down on Greeley and the rat-a-tat-tat of celebratory firecrackers echoing in the distance, the two marchers arrived at a beige split-level house, where someone had offered them a place to sleep. A gray-haired woman rushed to the screen door. “Welcome! Welcome!” called Jean Taylor-Smith, 74, embracing them on the doorstep. “We didn’t think you’d ever make it!”

Nearly halfway to goal

The two marchers were exhausted, but they also were nearly halfway to Washington. On Sunday they were near Gothenburg, Neb. A peace group has arranged a rally in Omaha, where they hope to draw large crowds.

“If I could have it my way, I would have hundreds of people out here. The more people the better. But I still don’t believe it’s insignificant that two people are marching,” said Casale, sitting on a couch drinking a tall glass of ice water, her list of contacts spread on her lap. “What we’re doing can be significant on a national level. But it’s also the individuals we meet. Everywhere we go, there’s someone we can meet and talk to.”

Taylor-Smith, standing in the kitchen, beamed with pride.

“One person can change the world,” she said, rushing to fill everyone’s water glasses, asking what the marchers wanted to eat. “These two will plant the seeds, and the movement will grow.”