Elkhart Camp Casey

A Nonviolent Campaign to End the War in Iraq

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Friday, December 9

Deep snow had crushed in the edges of the tents, but temps were about 17 degrees. Nice! The snow caused cancellations from Huntington and Goshen, but others braved the snowy roads from Fort Wayne and South Bend to bring our total to eleven for the "Recruiting Slowdown Action."

We had a brief training at Agape Missionary Baptist and then headed to the military recruiting center. No media, land owner, or police (we had called them to give them a heads up) were there. Teams of two entered the office and had a half hour of good interchange before a recruiter, whose relative had died in Iraq, arrived and called the land owner to protest our presence. He was a bit more friendly than his son on Tuesday, but wanted the police, who had arrived by that time, to remove us.

Simultaneously, the flowers we had ordered for each of the three recruiting offices arrived with their notes celebrating with the recruiters the closing of the recruiting efforts! We talked about lawyer opinions, called Fort Knox to get an okay for the recruiters who still wanted to talk with us to proceed, and explained how important it is to get the diversity of opinions about Iraq on the table so we can together uncover answers to the problems facing our world in Iraq. After 90 minutes, and after all the recruiting office doors had "Closed" signs hanging out, we departed feeling that it was an important witness.

In the afternoon we visited the Islamic Center in Mishawaka and had a good conversation with the cleric Mohammad. He had suggestions for contacts in planning further the Camp Casey in South Bend, scheduled for January 7-22.

Chris Long from South Bend, who spent two nights in a fifth tent, worked diligently to highlight each of the markers at Camp Casey with luminaries. Beautiful!

Another house meeting at Rachel Hartzler's in Goshen had 15 people in attendance. The group left with three action foci:
1) learning more about depleted uranium weaponry (start with a google search)
2) developing a listening/healing center for veterans returning from Iraq
3) helping churches to get on board with a focus on the "opt out" right that youth have.

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