Report on "Stand Against Torture Sunday", Dec. 23rd

It was a powerful scene, provoking many to think about the issue of torture and what is being done in our name, some for the first time, drawing expressions of sympathy and support from many, and a violent/vicious response from some hard-core, torture-hardened, reactionaries.
Despite a drizzle and forecasts of cold, heavy rain, all together, 40 people turned out at one point or another throughout the afternoon – activists and supporters from World Can’t Wait, A.R.T. (Activist Response Team), Catholic Worker and Witness against Torture. A group of youth who had planned an action against the war in Iraq themselves in the same area later that day, joined us and we “fused” our two plans into one, first in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and then going around Rockefeller Center and in front of its world famous annual Christmas tree.
Many held printed signs: “NO TORTURE – We Won’t Live in a Torture State – Impeach/Drive Out the Bush Regime”, along with “Waterboarding is Torture – Torture is a Crime Against Humanity”, while others knelt in orange jumpsuits and chains. There was a giant banner “Lies + Torture” that had previously been hung at an action in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. An agitator brought out the basic message: “Today, this government is torturing people in Iraq and Guantanemo, Cuba in our name. Torture is wrong, it’s a crime against humanity, it’s criminal, and it must be stopped. The criminals in the White House need to be impeached for their crimes and driven out.”
A number of people took orange ribbons or got “impeach the war criminals” buttons. A woman who came by with her children was heard telling them when she first spotted us, “listen to them – we are going to learn something important here today”.

The response of reactionaries was striking. None denied that torture was being done, and instead were brazenly upholding it. Several times they jumped out of the crowd and hit the heads of people kneeling in jump suits and hoods. Twice they started to attack our speakers. It was a scene right out of “Redacted”. Their wives and families seemed ashamed/horrified by their actions and would try to pull them away.

At 4:00 PM we switched, with a smaller number of us heading swiftly through Rockefeller Center and in front of the Christmas tree, led by the youth with a boom box playing the John Lennon song, “The War is Over – Merry Christmas” and along with our anti-torture signs, two hand-made displays: “This is a Christmas to Remember” and giving the number of Iraqis and Americans who have died in the war. It was a memorable scene, and we got an extremely favorable response from the crowds coming out to see the tree. All sorts of media photographers appeared, snapping lots of photos.

It is hard to estimate precisely, but several thousand altogether saw our actions and some were deeply affected by it.

WCW Gift Ideas: Give a gift declaring your committment to peace, justice and end of the crimes of Bush Regime.

Give gifts with a conscience and a vision.
Some ideas:
Get/give the new 2008 calendar with stunning / inspiring photos: $15.00 (plus $10.00 for shipping/handling if ordered on line). Get 5 or more to give to everyone on your list -- 5 or more, $10.00 each. Email us to arrange getting them to you:
Give a $50 or $100 donation to World Can't Wait on behalf of a loved one or friend as your present. We will send you a certificate to put in your holiday card to the person, if you like. You can donate on line.
Give a package of orange ribbons, a bandana, or tshirt.
Gifts are available on line at e/ and we will have an assortment of gifts at the above concert, or call us.

Jazz Means Peace Benefit December 17th


@ The Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery @ Bleecker st.

A Jazz series dedicated to building a permanent alternative peace culture by supporting Peace Organizations and celebrating America’s unique classical musical art form; JAZZ

Monday December 17th. 8pm – 10pm: RADAM SCHWARTZ & “CONSPIRACY FOR POSITIVITY” with Radam Schwartz – organ, James Gibbs III - trumpet, Anthony Ware – alto sax, Misha Fatkiev – guitar, Joe Brown Jr.– drums

308 Bowery: F train to Second Ave 6 train to Bleecker 212-614-0505

Monday December 17th. 8pm – 10pm:

$8 admission + 1 drink minimum

Benefiting: Brooklyn For Peace, World Can’t Wait, Peace Action NY, and War Resisters League

Get your ticket now (Get them here on-line - your PayPal computer receipt will be honored at the door in leiu of a paper ticket) or reserve a ticket to be picked up at the door by emailing .

Regular admission tickets: $8

Make a donation: Urgently needed for organizing to BRING TO A HALT the criminal program of the Bush Regime. Give the gift that will keep driving through the new year!