Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Night When The World Came Down Upon Peter Paul Markin’s Head-With Roy Lichtenstein’s 1968 Time Magazine Cover Of Bobby Kennedy In Mind

The Night When The World Came Down Upon Peter Paul Markin’s Head-With Roy Lichtenstein’s 1968 Time Magazine Cover Of Bobby Kennedy In Mind

Lithograph of Robert F. Kennedy on Time magazine

By Bart Webber (with the ghost hand of Sam Lowell on his shoulder)

The ghost of the late sorely lamented Peter Paul Markin has hovered over this publication long after his early, too early demise back in the 1970s (and in its sister publications as well as a quick recent glance indicated starkly to me upon investigation). Maybe it because we have begun reaching a milestone, 50th anniversary commemorations of various youth-defining events, maybe arbitrary, maybe as the late scientist Steven Jay Gould was fond of saying mere man-made constructs and no more but which has infested a number of us older writers some of who knew Markin personally and others who have been influenced by the hairy tales of his existence. (The younger writers mostly, as one told me, could give a fuck about an old junkie has been who didn’t have sense enough to not try some crazy scheme to get rich quick in the cocaine trade against the growing Columbian cartels so what could he expect.) Almost every event during this commemoration period had Markin’s imprint on it. (We always called him Scribe but I will stick with his surname here.)

Therefore it does not take much to flicker a flame if something going back to those days jumpstarts renewed thoughts of Markin. That happened one afternoon recently when Si Lannon was on assignment to do an article on the Cezanne Portraits exhibition at the National Gallery and as is his wont (and Sam Lowell’s too especially if Laura Perkins is along) he runs up to the National Portrait Gallery to see what is up there. Not much since the last time he was there except on a wall on the first floor under the title Remembrance there was Roy Lichtenstein’s famous Time magazine cover of Robert Kennedy done in the spring of 1968 shortly before his assassination in California after his primary victory over Eugene in June of that year. Si was so shaken by that picture that he immediately called me and I thereafter called a few other guys and the mere mention of that cover got us back to Markin square one.

See Markin, beyond being the guy who in our circle named the fresh breeze coming through the land for what would be called by others the Generation of ’68 and which we thanks to Markin we were card-carrying members was also far and away the most political of us all. Saw that any dreams of that newer world he was always hassling us about was going to require serious changes in the political winds. Moreover Markin had from I don’t remember how early on but as long as I had known him tied his fate to becoming some kind of politician, some kind of mover and shaker in that newer world. As for me I could have given a damn about politics then since I was starting up my printing business and, truth, was busy trying to get into my girlfriend’s pants. Not Markin though he had spent that whole spring working his ass off for Robert Kennedy, had gone up and down the East Coast trying to recruit resistant students not only to vote for Bobby but get out on the trail. That student resistance factored in by the fact that Bobby had not gotten into the presidential contest until after Lyndon Baines Johnson the sitting President and odds on favored in 1968 to win the election decided after the debacle of Vietnam, of Tet, not to run and the previously “Clean for Gene” crowd was reluctant to go with Bobby. Saw him as an interloper.       

Here is the beauty, maybe treachery now that I think about the matter, of that bloody bastard Markin before Lyndon blew himself up and Bobby entered the fray he was sitting on his freaking hands perfectly willing to      
give Johnson a pass as vile as Vietnam was against the expected contest against Richard Nixon. Didn’t think whatever lukewarm and ill-formed sympathy he had for McCarthy’s anti-war positions he could beat Nixon (or anybody else he once mentioned after the New Hampshire primary upended politics for good that year with McCarthy’s better than expected showing-wasn’t Bobby-like ruthless enough). Two minutes after Bobby announced he called up some Bobby operatives he knew from the Boston mayor’s fight in 1967 and was on his way.     

When Bobby went down I think, and this is only speculation on my part since I didn’t see him much after he went into the Army and then afterward headed out to California to start “a new life,” something went out of Markin, some sense that the whole thing had been a mirage and that he was doomed. He always thought of himself as doomed, spoke of it sometimes when he was depressed, or things were tough at home. So as the ghost of Bobby Kennedy showed up on that Lichtenstein cover know this the ghost of Markin is right there too.           

Now More Than Ever -Join The Resistance-Your Life And Those Of Yours May Depend On

Now More Than Ever -Join The Resistance-Your Life And Those Of Yours May Depend On  

Greg Green comment:normally I am not much for hyperbole but the events of the past few years from endless wars to deportations of immigrants to foriegn interference in U.S. elections to persecutions of whsitle-blowers like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowdena nd Reality Leigh Winner to the never-ending cultural wars of which we progressives are on the short side to the shabby crowds running things in Washington to the nightmarish thought that one Donald J. Trump has his finger on the nuclear button is more than enough to disspell that notion. Call me Cassandra but now is the time to join the resistance to all of Washington's madness, both aisles (the Bush- Obama regimes only looks good in retrospect to the new low madness afoot not while we were living through them). It is no joke that your very lives and those you hold dear may depend on it. Join -Build the Resistance   

An Encore Salute To The Untold Stories Of The Working- Class 1960s Radicals-“The Sam And Ralph Stories”- For The Fallen-In Honor Of The Anti-War Soldier Timothy Kerrigan (1940-2015), Vietnam 1964-1966-RIP

An Encore Salute To The Untold Stories Of The Working- Class 1960s Radicals-“The Sam And Ralph Stories”- For The Fallen-In Honor Of The Anti-War Soldier Timothy Kerrigan (1940-2015), Vietnam 1964-1966-RIP

Allan Jackson, editor The Sam And Ralph Stories -New General Introduction

[As my replacement Greg Green, whom I brought in from American Film Gazette originally to handle the day to day site operations while I concentrated on editing but who led a successful revolt against my regime based on the wishes of the younger writers to as they said at the time not be slaves to the 1960s upheavals a time which they only knew second or third hand, mentioned in his general introduction above some of the series I initiated were/are worth an encore presentation. The Sam and Ralph Stories are one such series and as we go along I will try to describe why this series was an important testament to an unheralded segment of the mass movements of the 1960s-the radicalized white working- class kids who certainly made up a significant component of the Vietnam War soldiery, some of who were like Sam and Ralph forever after suspicious of every governmental war cry. Who also somewhat belatedly got caught up in the second wave rock and roll revival which emerged under the general slogan of “drug, sex and rock and roll” which represented a vast sea change for attitudes about a lot of things that under ordinary circumstances would have had them merely replicating their parents’ ethos and fate.        

As I said I will describe that transformation in future segment introductions but today since it is my “dime” I want to once again clear up some misapprehensions about what has gone on over the past year or so in the interest of informing the readership, as Greg Green has staked his standing at this publication on doing to insure his own survival, about what goes on behind the scenes in the publishing business. This would not have been necessary after the big flap when Greg tried an “end around” something that I and every other editor worth her or his salt have tried as well and have somebody else, here commentator and my old high school friend Frank Jackman, act as general introducer of The Roots Is The Toots  rock and roll coming of age series that I believe is one of the best productions I have ever worked on. That got writers, young and old, with me or against me, led by Sam Lowell, another of my old high school friends, who had been the decisive vote against me in the “vote of no confidence” which ended my regime up in arms. I have forgiven Sam, and others, as I knew full well from the time I entered into the business that at best it was a cutthroat survival of the fittest racket. (Not only have I forgiven Sam but I am in his corner in his recent struggles with young up and coming by-line writer Sarah Lemoyne who is being guided through the shoals by another old high school friend Seth Garth as she attempts to make her way up the film critic food chain, probably the most vicious segment of the business where a thousand knives wait the unwary from so-called fellow reviewers.) The upshot of that controversy was that Greg had to back off and let me finish the introducing the series for which after all I had been present at the creation.               

That would have been the end of it but once we successfully, and thankfully by Greg who gave me not only kudos around the water cooler but a nice honorarium, concluded that series encore in the early summer of 2018 he found another way to cut me. Going through the archives of this publication to try to stabilize the readership after doing some “holy goof” stuff like having serious writers, young and old, reviewing films based on comic book characters, the latest in video games and graphic novels with no success forgetting the cardinal rule of the post-Internet world that the younger set get their information from other sources than old line academic- driven websites and don’t read beyond their techie tools Greg found another series, the one highlighted here, that intrigued him for an encore presentation. This is where Greg proved only too human since he once again attempted an “end around,” by having Josh Breslin, another old friend whom I meet in the Summer of Love, 1967 out in San Francisco, introduce the series citing my unavailability as the reason although paying attention to the fact that I had sweated bullets over that one as well.      

This time though the Editorial Board, now headed by Sam Lowell, intervened even before Greg could approach Josh for the assignment. This Ed Board was instituted after my departure to insure the operation would not descend, Sam’s word actually, into the so-called autocratic one-person rule that had been the norm under my regime. They told Greg to call me back in on the encore project or to forget it. I would not have put up with such a suggestion from an overriding Ed Board and would have willingly bowed out if anybody had tried to undermine me that way. I can understand fully Greg’s desire to cast me to the deeps, have done with me as in my time I did as well knowing others in the food chain would see this as their opportunity to move up.  

That part I had no problem with, told Greg exactly that. What bothered me was the continuing “urban legend” about what I had done, where I had gone after that decisive vote of no confidence. Greg continued, may continue today, to fuel the rumors that not only after my initial demise but after finishing up the Roots Is The Toots series I had gone back out West to Utah of all places to work for the Mormons, or to Frisco to hook up with my old flame Madame La Rue running that high-end whorehouse I had staked her to in the old days, or was running around with another old high school pal, Miss Judy Garland, aka Timmy Riley the high priestess of the drag queen set out in that same town whom I also helped stake to  his high-end tourist attraction cabaret. All nonsense, I was working on my memoir up in Maine, up in Olde Saco where Josh grew up and which I fell in love with when he first showed me his hometown and its ocean views.          

If the reader can bear the weight of this final reckoning let me clear the air on all three subjects on the so-called Western trail. Before that though I admit, admit freely that despite all the money I have made, editing, doing a million pieces under various aliases and monikers, ballooning up 3000 word articles to 10,000 and having the publishers fully pay despite the need for editing for the latter in the days before the Guild when you worked by the word, accepting articles which I clearly knew were just ripped of the AP feed and sending them along as gold I had no dough, none when I was dethroned. Reason, perfectly sane reason, although maybe not, three ex-wives with alimony blues and a parcel of kids, a brood if you like who were in thrall to the college tuition vultures.

Tapped out in the East for a lot of reasons I did head west the first time looking for work. Landed in Utah when I ran out of dough, and did, DID, try to get a job on the Salt Lake Star and would have had it too except two things somebody there, some friend of Mitt Romney, heard I was looking for work and nixed the whole thing once they read the articles I had written mocking Mitt and his white underwear world as Massachusetts governor and 2012 presidential candidate. So it was with bitter irony when I heard that Greg had retailed the preposterous idea that I would now seek a job shilling for dear white undie Mitt as press agent in his run for the open Utah United States Senate seat. Here is where everybody should gasp though at the whole Utah fantasy-these Mormons stick close together, probably ingrained in them from Joseph Smith days, and don’t hire goddam atheists and radicals, don’t hire outside the religion if they can help it. You probably had to have slept with one of Joseph Smith’s or Brigham Young’s wives to even get one foot in the door. Done.              

The helping Madame La Rue, real name of no interest or need to mention,  running her high-end exclusive whorehouse out in Half Moon Bay at least had some credence since I had staked her to some dough to get started after the downfall of the 1960s sent her back to her real world, the world of a high class hooker who was slumming with “hippies” for a while when it looked like our dreams were going to be deterred in in the ebbtide. We had been hot and heavy lovers, although never married except on some hazed drug-fogged concert night when I think Josh Breslin “married” us and sent us on a “honeymoon” with a fistful of cocaine. Down on dough I hit her up for some which she gave gladly, said it was interest on the “loan: she never repaid and let me stay at her place for a while until I had to move on. Done

The whole drag queen idea tells me that whoever started this damn lie knew nothing about my growing up days and had either seen me in The Totem, Timmy Riley’s aka Miss Judy Garland’s drinking with a few drag queen who worked and drew the wrong conclusions or was out to slander and libel me for some other nefarious reason. See Miss Judy Garland is the very successful drag queen and gay man Timmy Riley from the old neighborhood who fled to Frisco when he could no longer hide his sexual identity and preferences. To our great shock since Timmy had been the out-front gay-basher of our crowd, our working-class corner boy gay-bashing crowd. I had lent, after getting religion rather late on the LGBTQ question, Timmy the money to buy his first drag queen cabaret on Bay Street and Timmy was kind enough to stake me to some money and a roof before I decided I had to head back East. Done.

But enough about me.  This is about two other working- class guys, Sam Eaton and Ralph Morris, met along life’s road one from Carver about fifty miles away from where Seth, Sam, Timmy and a bunch of other guys grew up and learned the “normal” working-class ethos-and broke, tentatively at times, from that same straitjacket and from Troy, New York. Funny Troy, Carver, North Adamsville, and Josh’s old mill town Olde Saco all down-in-the-mouth working class towns still produced in exceptional times a clot of guys who got caught up in the turmoil of their times-and lived to tell the tale. I am proud to introduce this encore presentation and will have plenty more to say about Sam and Ralph in future segments.]


Allan Jackson Encore Introduction

All of us who were wounded in Vietnam, in the war, mentally, spiritually, physically, which I include myself in the mix had various ways to live our service down. As I have mentioned before I would estimate that the vast majority of the couple of million Americans who served in that conflict starting from serious America escalation in 1964 to the bitter end with the famous helicopter scene of people being airlifted off the U.S. Embassy rooftop in April, 1975 did so without rancor or without the damn war putting them in a very bad place like happened with Peter Paul Markin’s “brothers under the bridges” in Southern California and continues to happen with suicides, drug dependency and all the other pathologies of the post-traumatic stress of their service. Some like Markin fell down to drugs, hubris, exhaustion with life in the “real” world. Others, and I am in this cohort as well “got religion” about the issues of war and peace which they, we would never had experienced outside having to fight the monsters, the monstrous American war machine. That is what Ralph and Sam, who wrote this piece, admired about their, our friend Timmy Kerrigan when he passed away a few years ago of cancer.

In a way Timmy’s death which I did not hear about until a few weeks after he passed so I was not at his memorial service revived something in me, something about “revisiting” the why of how the Vietnam War twisted me in a direction that, given my up-bringing, never would have happened, would never have prompted me to spent the rest of my life trying to get “on the good side of the angels.” That at least in part is the genesis on the “why” of this series when the idea was first broached. The other bigger part to the why, the why beyond Timmy, which was recently re-enforced by Lynn Novack and Ken Burns’s PBS Vietnam War series was the need to “shout out over the rooftops” to the younger generations the need to oppose the war policies of the American government, to use our “street cred” as veterans to say no to war.

Unlike say the World War II veterans, Sam, Ralph, Timmy, my father’s war while they were as silent as we were about what went on in combat had a certain pride that came with victory over fascism which is what drove many of them into the ranks, that and patriotism after December 7, 1941, after Japan blew the hell out of the fleet at Pearl Harbor we had nothing to feel good about. Nothing. I remember while I was deciding on whether to go ahead with the project running into Fritz Taylor, a Vietnam veteran from down in Fulton County, Georgia who has occasionally written for this publication, told me that except for about a week at home he had never returned to his hometown he was so ashamed of what he had done, and could not tolerate the fake patriotism that still drove his parents, his fellow townsman at the time. Had stopped mentioning at all for many years that he was a Vietnam veteran and kept whatever was inside him inside. This from a guy who won a fistful of medals for his service (medals which wound up heaved over the fence at the Supreme Court building in down in Washington, D.C in 1971). Another driving wedge at the time was my meeting a veteran of two tours, two tough Mekong Delta tours, which meant really tough tours, up in Maine when I was visiting Josh Breslin’s hometown of Olde Saco who had been married twice (and divorced twice) and had never mentioned that he had been in Vietnam to either one of his wives. That sentiment was only re-enforced by the PBS series where the wives of two ex-Marines had known each other for a dozen years, the men were friends, and yet neither knew the other had served in Vietnam. Amazing. That only contributed to my sense of urgency in doing an encore presentation. As for beautiful Timmy Kerrigan Sam and Ralph can speak on that matter far better than I could.                         


For The Fallen-In Honor Of The Anti-War Soldier Timothy Kerrigan (1940-2015), Vietnam 1964-1966-RIP

From The Pen Of Sam Eaton

Ralph Morris is a man of few words. Don’t get the idea though that he is not capable or if in the mood or if provoked of coming up with some pithy word or phrase but he is a not a writer in the senses that I am, that I like to write. But he is a man of few words nevertheless. Strangely he has made his living off of words, not writing them but printing them up being a printer by trade. That is a trade that he has pursued ever since in about third grade he read that one of his heroes, Benjamin Franklin of American Revolution fame, had been a printer. So he took that course up in high school, apprenticed with Joe Pringle who at the time had the only print shop in Carver, in Massachusetts the town that he grew up in, and eventually set up a shop there. A successful shop until the past few years when he realized that print technology had changed so much and that he was behind the times in the copying business (after having back in the late 1960s early 1970s been in the vanguard of the silk-screening end of the business when everybody wanted that kind of work done on posters and tee-shirts) and turned the business last year over to his oldest son, Jeff, who is more savvy in the new hi-tech world.

But enough of Ralph’s history for today Ralph has other troubles on his mind, troubles about having to say a few words, really more than a few words about the late Timothy Kerrigan at his memorial service, a few words about what Timmy meant to the organization they both (me too) belonged to, Veterans for Peace, and to Ralph personally. See Timmy was something like Ralph’s mentor way back when Ralph came back to the “real” world after eighteen month of service in Vietnam in late 1969 and was something of a basket case (Ralph’s term). Timmy had eased him along, eased him along about drawing some conclusions on the hellish war that Ralph had come to hate, hate for the savage things he had done to people with whom he had no quarrel, hate for the savage things his Army buddies had done to people they had no quarrel with, and most of all the unfeeling American government which had without the slightest hesitation turned him, them into vicious animals, nothing more. Yeah, Ralph had had plenty of troubles in his doped-up head when he got back, and was not sure what to do about it when his old friends, neighbors and working-class community were still gung-ho about stuff in a war they were clueless about, knowingly clueless.

Timmy, a half dozen years older than Ralph, had served in that same war earlier, very early on from 1964 to 1966 when ninety-five percent of the country could not show you on a map where Vietnam was if you gave them ten chances and had gone through his own adjusting to the “real” world problems. He got Ralph through the tough parts back in 1970 after he had been discharged. Moreover Timmy lived in Albany, the next town over and another working-class town which did not understand the murderous assault on the sensibilities of American soldiers who served in that theater of combat.

So Timmy and Ralph in a sea of benighted patriotism helped each other out when things got dicey. See Timmy, he and it seemed then every such soldier got “religion” on the issues of war and peace and turned against the war that they had fought honorably if erroneously in decided to do something more than hang out in ill-lighted barroom sulking or “shooting up” in some backroom dope den and joined an anti-war organization. Join in his case with a bunch of other guys, a “band of brothers,” some officers, some enlisted men, some who had seen combat and some on the edges of the military machine, some grievously physically wounded, some wounded in the head, who had formed Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), the famous organization which did a lot to turn public sentiment against the war. After all if the guys who fought the war called it by its right name, murder, had thrown their medals away, had walked in silent bedraggled cadence in the streets of major cities crying out to the heavens to stop the slaughter then most everybody had to at least give them a respectful hearing.

As everybody, or at least everybody from that generation knows, the generation of ‘68 Timmy called it from the year that the Viet Cong decided to try and take back the day, take back his and her country and not just the night which every savvy American private soldier if not every general knew belonged to him and her during the Tet offensive the American forces were ultimately forced to “skedaddle” in a hurry in 1975 and effectively ended the decade plus long American involvement in Vietnam. And that effectively ended plenty of political opposition to American war policy as the great majority of people, protestors and patriots alike, went back to “normalcy.” Ended too the big public face of VVAW.  

But see Timmy and Ralph (and I will add myself but under different circumstances explained later) were hard-headed if big-hearted guys. They took that “religious conversion” to fight against the seemingly endless wars the American (and other, believe me, other governments as well) government was determined to pursue as the greatest military power by far the world has ever known seriously and determined at some point that they would fight the “monster” until the end. So you could see them, mostly in Boston, occasionally in New York and whenever some national call came out in Washington, D.C. all through the years, some lean years when they were voices in the wilderness, some years like in the late fall of 2002 and early winter of 2003 when they were swallowed up in mass movements opposed to the impending war in Iraq. Timmy would be the rock, would steady Ralph when he got seriously depressed that their efforts were for not. Would remind Ralph that they, both Catholics so Ralph would see the point more readily, had plenty of penance to do for torching up half of Vietnam, gunning down half the poor benighted peasants who got caught in the cross-fire for no purpose. The both would be early members of a new organization of anti-war veterans that was formed in the mid-1980s to do that oppositional work in a more systematic and forceful way, Veteran For Peace (VFP) once the crowds thinned out. Yeah, Timmy was like that, was the rock as I too found out.   

I might as well explain how I met Ralph and through him Timmy and then I’ll finish up about the why of the few words Ralph was having trouble gathering his thoughts about his, our, fallen comrade. (I should point out my organizational connection. I am an associate member of VFP not having had to serve in the military due to the fact that I was the sole surviving son after my father died suddenly of a massive heart attack in 1965 leaving me as the sole support for my mother and four much younger sisters. That VFP associate status except for a few organization items which are restricted to veterans is the same as veteran membership.) It all goes back to the spring of 1971 when I, along with a bunch of radicals and “reds” that I hung with in Saratoga Springs, New York from Skidmore College and other campuses around Albany and Troy, the town Ralph grew up in, were totally frustrated with the endless Vietnam War. Maybe not as frustrated as the Vietnamese who had plenty of reason to be in that condition, and more so than us but we were still desperately committed to ending the war. Ending the war by building a “second front” as some “movement” theoretician called it at the time and most of us bought into that designation as an act of solidarity with the Vietnamese (expressed in slogans like “Victory to the NLF (National Liberation Front)”and waving the tri-color NLF flag on the American streets.

The idea was simple, or so we thought, and the working slogan we used to organize the efforts kind of puts it in clear enough language-“If the government will not shut down the war, we will shut down the government.” Simple, right. Waltz into Washington on May Day (the international workers holiday although we linked it more to the socialist-tinged point of the day) like some Calvinist avenging angels and be done with it. Well, to cut to the chase, all we got was tear gas, police billy-clubs and the bastinado for our efforts as you could probably have figured out.   

Thousands of us were herded (which is exactly the right word) into the Robert F. Kennedy football stadium which was the main holding area (until that got too crowded and other locations were used) as the police and every other military and law enforcement unit in the D.C. area swooped down on us. Ralph and I met while in detention in RFK when Ralph noticed my VVAW button and asked if I belonged.  I said no that I had not served in the military but that my closest friend, my corner boy from high school in front of Mia’s Pizza Parlor in the Ocean  Street section of Carver, Jeff Mullins, had been senselessly killed in action in the Central Highlands and had written me letters a few months before he was blown away telling me how brutal things were there, how bad the things he and his buddies had to do there were and that if he did not make it back to make sure that I spread the word. So I did (and do) and so I wore the button in honor of him. Since Ralph and I were in detention for a few days (we eventually walked out of the place when we found out that there were exits in the place which the over-stretched law enforcement forces had left unguarded) something about my story, something about my life story and his kept us talking like two jaybirds (a little passed stashed dope and a ton of donated coffee helped with what I would find out later was actually “few words” Ralph).

Ralph explained that he had gone to D.C. on Timmy’s urging as part of the VVAW contingent that also was committed to the same action I was involved in but they wanted to have their own veterans’ brigade. See Timmy was a known activist/agitator for civil disobedience from early on in VVAW (as opposed to those like John Kerry who wanted to go the legislative or electoral route) and had been one of the steering committee organizers for the overall action such as it was. Timmy in later years, in VFP years as well would be a vocal and sometimes overbearing advocate for civil disobedience when the occasion called for it (and a couple of times when it seemed foolhardy but we went along carried by the force of his argument). That was strong Timmy (who was personally one of the gentlest people on the planet).

But here was the beauty of Timmy. He walked the walk. That May Day of 1971 VVAW wanted to surround the Pentagon and “shut it down,” symbolically somewhat like the anti-war forces had done in 1967 trying to “levitate” the building as described in Norman Mailer’s award-winning novel Armies of the Night. For his part in the attempt (they never got close just as we never got close when we tried to “capture” the White House). If all of this seems a little foolhardy now remember we were desperate to end the war and our governmental opponents and their hangers-on would have been just as happy to see our bodies floating on in the Potomac River as have their authority challenged. However Timmy, as a “ring-leader” had a special single cell provided for his efforts which he occupied for a week, including a few days on a hunger strike. Yes, Timmy always walked the walk. You could depend on that.                

I would meet Timmy some weeks later when I wound up going to Ralph’s house in Troy after I had decided to move for the year to Cambridge to join the radicals and “reds” there. We three talked for many hours then (and later) and I learned a lot from him, learned how to stay the course when times were not too good for the messages we were trying to get across. Learned too that one well-planned public campaign at the right time and with the right media exposure could push the movement along much further than the endless vigils of Quakers and pacifists, bless their souls.(My sisters by the way by then were all grown and were providing the main support for my mother since they were working and living at home-they also were as apolitical and/or as hostile as any anonymous pro-war sympathizers, especially my mother who I had many difficulties with then but that is for another day.)    

And that brings us to Ralph’s dilemma. Timothy Francis Kerrigan passed away after a long bout with cancer on July 10, 2015. Timmy, not a religious man, although he continued to unlike Ralph profess his Catholic faith, wanted not such ceremony but rather a simple service in which his VFP buddies, particularly Ralph, would say a few words (he had in the hospice before he passed away expressed a desire that they be kind words if possible but words of some sort nevertheless). See here was Ralph’s real dilemma though he wanted no “help” from me who usually would put his many times insightful thoughts into words. Well on July 15, 2015 the service in memory of Timmy took place. Here is what Ralph had to say:

“Some people are leaders by holding the mere mantle of official authority. Some people are leaders by the force of their arguments. Some people are leaders by example. Timothy Francis Kerrigan, my brother anti-war veteran, led by the latter two. Timmy was the conscience of VFP, Timmy walked the walk which needs no further explanation to this audience. He will be missed. Timothy Francis Kerrigan, Presente. Ralph Morris says good voyage-RIP, brother, RIP.’’   
Enough said.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Towards a World Without War...It Is Time To Resist The Next War Now Courage to Resist

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It's time to resist the next war now
Hi Alfred. You probably know that Courage to Resist has been at the center of the most significant anti-war campaigns of the post-9/11 era, from leading the campaign to free military intel analyst Chelsea Manning (2010-2017) all the way back to defending Lt. Ehren Watada (2006-2007), the first military officer to refuse deployment to Iraq.
President Trump seems to toy with the idea of new wars daily, from Iran and North Korea to Syria. The only thing that's certain is that we need to be ready to support the next wave of military resistance to endless war, but we need your help today to do so.
Together we need to raise $25,000 by the end of July. We have $1,000 in matching challenge donorsto double your impact today! Thank you to Anonymous (Grandmother for peace, Miami, FL) $500, Matt Lou (Vietnam veteran, Daly City, CA) $250, and Mary Albertson (Seattle, WA) $250. Are you able to be a matching challenge donor, either publicly identified or anonymously, of $100 or more? If so, please contact
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ACTION ALERT: Student/Farmworker Alliance announces “Pulling Back the Curtain on Wendy’s” Week of Action!

ACTION ALERT: “Pulling Back the Curtain on Wendy’s” National Week of Action, Oct. 22-28!

Students across the country are gearing up for a week of coordinated protests to expose human rights abuses in Wendy’s produce supply chain and demand a commitment to the Fair Food Program!

Earlier this summer, caving to massive pressure generated by the Fair Food movement’s national boycott, Wendy’s announced its decision to move the vast majority of its tomato purchasing away from the Mexican tomato industry to U.S. and Canadian greenhouses by year end. But we, as young people and steadfast allies to the CIW, are far from being fooled by Wendy’s new tomato sourcing strategy.

Contrary to the misinformation released by Wendy’s, including the claim of the”inherent benefits of safe, indoor working conditions” in greenhouse operations, this shift is nothing more than another PR ploy to deceive consumers. As CIW debunked early on, greenhouses do not inherently shield farmworkers from sexual violence and exploitation — and without meaningful enforcement and monitoring, abuses will undoubtedly flourish with impunity.
Wendy’s: we’re on to your empty sustainability rhetoric and your phony auditing schemes and we’re not going anywhere!...
Coalition of Immokalee Workers
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