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SEGMENT #10:  S. BRIAN WILLSON - WAGING UNCONDITIONAL PEACE

Caption: “In nonviolence, the masses have a weapon which enables a child, a woman, or even a decrepit old man to challenge the mightiest government successfully.  If your spirit is strong, mere lack of physical strength ceases to be a handicap.”        Gandhi

Introduction by Kris Kristofferson:  “On Sept. 1 1987, S. Brian Willson began a protest at the Concord Naval Weapons Station near Oakland, Calif.  That’s one of the places that send out the weapons that have killed or injured tens of thousands of people in Central America.  Brian delivered a letter to the Base Commander telling him that on that day he’d begin using his body to block the trains carrying its weapons.  His hope was that if they stopped the train to save one human life, they were not far from understanding they could also stop it from destroying many human lives, each of equal value in Central America.

“They must have known he meant business.  One year earlier, with three other veterans, he’d gone without food for 36 days on the steps of the Capital to persuade Congress to stop the killing in Central America.  Brian Willson, former high school jock, former Air Force Security Officer in Vietnam, former dairy farmer who’d received the commendation for his work with the traumatized veterans of Vietnam, was run over that day.” 

“He put himself in the place of the people of Central America and in doing so, he opened up the deepest truths of human existence.  For the life and times of Brian Willson had turned him into a Satyagraha, a practitioner of the nonviolent resistance to evil, the path taken by Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and Archbishop Romero of El Salvador.  Brian trusted that even greater than the power of a speeding train, is the power of truth and love.  He showed a new kind of heroism, the kind that may just bring the world back from the brink of self-destruction.  He acted on his faith in the unity and sanctity of all life and that if one person will speak and act upon this truth, it will open the hearts of many and provide us a way out in this most desperate moment.”

S. Brian Willson:  “Five percent of the people of the world live in the United States but we consume 40 percent of the resources of the world.  We have become used to thinking that we have a right to all that we have no matter what damage we do to the Earth or to other people.  We have become detached and disconnected from reality.  We have become detached from the Earth.  We have become detached from the feelings and lives of people elsewhere if it interferes with our right to maintain our lifestyle and standard of living.  I would submit to you that we’re on a course leading to inevitable annihilation.  Martin Luther King said the issue is not between violence and non-violence; it’s between non-violence and non-existence.   The course we’re on in the “First World” is a course of ultimate destruction.  Do we want to be part of this course of ultimate destruction or do we want to be part of hope and affirmation and justice for all people of the Earth and for the Earth itself without which we cannot live?  Yes, I’m talking about a non-violent revolution of consciousness. A consciousness that is able to understand how we’re all inextricably connected to each other on this Earth and to the Earth itself and that if we violate those fundamental principles, we do so at our own peril.  Yes, we can continue to live in this delusion and the denials of reality because it’s painful, it’s frightening.  Sometimes, it’s terrifying just as Vietnam vets have understood it’s terrifying to face the truth, especially when you don’t have anybody to talk to.”

“How can we continue as a civilization of We The People, if we have to do it at the expense of maiming and murder of people all over the world whether it’s in Angola, or El Salvador, or Guatemala, or Nicaragua or Kampuchea or Vietnam? Or South Africa?  Are we going to watch this happen again?  Do we just go about our business as usual and know that another 5,000 people will be killed in our name?”

“Or do we have to think about a paradigm shift that somehow is able to experience the anguish of the Earth and the anguish of the Nicaraguans and the anguish of the El Salvadorans, whose lives are being threatened by our guns and our money because we have to protect our National Security.  Well, I hope, and I challenge all of you to think, but more importantly, to feel, in your heart, how you might be able to act in such a way so that the world can live in peace and justice.  And I’m liberated, I’m free to stand anywhere, anyplace, and tell them they cannot continue to kill mothers and fathers and children in my name as a citizen of the United States. So I ask each of you to search your hearts, as to what your truth is, for being a citizen of the earth, promoting justice as a foundation for peace.”

“It’s not going to happen magically, and I think it’s not going to happen by relying on these political structures and institutions in Washington.  I think we’re going to have to wage peace in the most extraordinary ways whether our government wants it or not.” 

“And so I simply say that you will know in your heart, I believe, what to do.  But I know that without a non-violent revolution of consciousness, we will not survive as a civilization or as a planet. We are at an extraordinary point in history where we can choose to have peace if we want to pay the price.  And what more glorious goal and value do we want than peace for all people?” 

“And so I look forward to working together with you all, with we the people, to build a new society, a society that understands that we are not worth more, and they are not worth less and that we will be willing to pay the price and take the risks to wage peace with all fellow and sister human beings.”

“I feel ever more empowered to wage unconditional peace.”

Crowd in Spanish: “El Pueblo! Unido! Hamas Cera Vencido! The People! United! Will never be defeated!”

END VIDEO

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