Kathy Engel: Bring the Troops Home Fast

Letter sent to East Hampton Star:

Sunday July 9, 2006

Dear David and Community:

Every morning I wake in panic. Somehow in coming out of my bleary middle of night half consciousness I hope and pray the war and occupation of Iraq will have ended. And then, like millions around the world and this country, I attempt to breathe, pull myself together, and go about my work and life, trying to function in the face of dissonance and horror.

For years, in hope of prevention and then since the invasion began, enormous numbers of people have marched, picketed, lobbied, stood in vigil, performed, made art, written, engaged in non violent civil disobedience and manifested opposition to the war and occupation in a multiplicity of ways.

On July 4th, 2006, in Washington D.C., across from the White House, CodePink Women for Peace and Gold Star Families who’ve lost family members in the war, began a Bring The Troops Home Fast in the tradition of Gandi, King, Cesar Chavez, and recently the former president of the TransAfrica Forum Randall Robinson, whose fast regarding U.S. policy towards Haiti was a catalyst for change. Some long term fasters will not eat until late September. Others, myself included, fasted on July 4th and will fast one day a week, or more, in support. More than 3,500 throughout the country have joined the fast, with local support groups nationwide. The Fast represents a step up in dramatic, imaginative, bold, visible opposition to a war and occupation that are causing massive devastation and shame, in our names and with U.S. tax dollars.

In early August I plan to go to Washington D.C. with poet Alexis De Veaux, and possibly others, representing our group KickAss Artists, to perform for the fasters and stand in support. I invite East Enders to join the fast, publicly. And if anyone wishes to send a message of support which I will take when I go to Washington you can e-mail to me at KAEDecember@optonline.net.

In mid August the fasters, including Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan, and Code Pink founders, will return to Crawford, Texas “Camp Casey”, where Ms. Sheehan began her encampment last summer near George Bush’s home.

Check troopshomefast.org or CodePink4Peace.org for more information. Join the fast. Show the administration, and the world, that the majority of us are prepared to do more than quietly object to this stain on history in our names.


Kathy Engel