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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Monday, March 17, 2008
DFA Reminder: Vigil Wednesday 6pm Against War & To Bring Troops Home
Hello Everyone!

In This Update:

1. Vigils Wednesday For 5th Anniversary Of War And To Bring Our Troops Home
2. Special Film Presentation: Winter Soldiers
3. Friday Night Progressive Film Festival

1. Vigil Wednesday For 5th Anniversary Of War And To Bring Our Troops Home

This Wednesday, March 19th, is the fifth anniversary of the United States' invasion of Iraq. Please join with us and millions of other people around the world for peace and to bring our troops home at a special candlelight vigil and reading of the names of the dead at the bandstand in City Park in downtown Glens Falls at 6pm.

As our local Moveon organizer Kate Austin notes: "Regardless of what you think of the war, and what strategy you think is best, I think we all can agree that the goal is peace, and we can communally mourn and honor the nearly 4,000 American soldiers and countless Iraqi civilians. These are people, not chess pieces."

If you watched the evening news you saw the claims the "surge," and thereby the war itself, is a success. Those who follow events closely know this temporary lull has been bought with wholesale bribery that will make things much worse in the long run. The surge has succeeded-- in distracting people from this terrible war and dumping it on the next President's desk, no more.

That makes it doubly important we turn out to show our opposition, that we aren't buying the propaganda, and we aren't acquiescing. I know this has gone on for a long time. When we discuss this in our meetings I can see the fatigue in everyone's eyes. But everyone matters at special moments like this.

Those wishing to come are asked to please R.S.V.P. at

During the event the names of Americans lost in Iraq will be read in a form of counterpoint, along with major losses of Iraqi lives, with one person reading the names of those lost in each year. A separate reading of those lost from New York and Vermont will begin the event. A poem will be read at the end followed by the playing of taps. The reading of the names of the dead will begin at 6pm.

Those wishing to participate in the reading of the names are asked to come at 5:30pm. Kathy notes "Please bring your own candle and something to prevent wax from dripping onto the park grounds. Some have inserted a candle through the neck of an inverted cut-off plastic liter bottle; others have inserted a candle through a hole in the bottom of an inverted waxed paper cup. "

There will also be a candle light vigil at 8pm at the corner of Broadway and Church Streets in Saratoga Springs, followed at 8:45pm by a march to Congress Park.

Here's a final thought for extra motivation from Lisa Scerbo: "The financial costs have rocked our economy. Nobel Prize winning economist has Joseph Stiglitz has stated that so far the cost to our economy is $3 trillion to $5 trillion. The US military spends $720 million per day in Iraq. In the time it takes to read these short paragraphs we will have spent $600,000.00 in Iraq. While the war in Iraq has been a disaster for most Americans and Iraqis, it has been a smashing success for others. It has been a smashing success for Defense contractors such as Halliburton and KBR. It has been a smashing success for Alqeda who have seen their recruitment numbers soar. It has been a smashing success for the Taliban who are controlling large areas of Afganistan since the Iraq war has distracted our efforts there."

Hope to see you all there! Again, to RSVP:

2. Special Film Presentation: Winter Soldiers

After the Vigil In Glens Falls, The Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe will be presenting a special showing of Winter Soldier to benefit the Iraq Veterans Against The War: There will also be continuous showings of Winter Soldiers at the Arts Center in Congress Park from 1pm until 9pm

Wed Mar 19 7:30 pm ** FILM FUNDRAISER ** Donations will be collected for Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)
WINTER SOLDEIR (1972) Vietnam Veterans Against The War 96 min. RT Rating = 100 %
In 1971, with the My Lai massacre still vivid in the public consciousness, 109 Vietnam War veterans gathered in a hotel in Detroit and, in front of news journalists and a collective of young filmmakers, spoke frankly about their experiences in Vietnam. They called themselves the Winter Soldiers and their testimonials are devastating: women raped and disemboweled, children murdered, prisoners thrown from helicopters, ears severed, villages burned, and families slaughtered. Almost instantaneously, a pro-war backlash set out to discredit the veterans and their stories, and though their brave confessions were hailed by many senators and congressman, the news media never aired any of the footage. The filmmakers who were present, including Barbara Kopple (HARLAN COUNTY U.S.A.), masterfully edited the three days of interviews into a single 96-minute presentation. Almost as harrowing as the accounts themselves are the haunted looks and the trembling voices of the young men as they speak opely of becoming debased monsters who were willing to commit atrocities. Though the film seemed to be inexorable evidence that Vietnam war crimes were commonplace rather than anomalous, the film received scant screenings, and the stories never reached the majority of the American public. During the 2004 presidential election, the Winter Soldier Investigation resurfaced in regards to John Kerry's involvement with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and his role as a pivotal organizer of the event. A group of veterans, indignant over any supposed defamation of soldiers and their actions, set out to attack Kerry's wartime credentials, and to paint the Winter Soldier stories as spurious and fabricated. In 2005, more than 30 years after it was made, WINTER SOLDIER received general distribution, and the film remained as unsettling and pertinent than ever. The charges that the men were imposters seem ludicrous in the face of these blistering and self-crucifying descriptions of human behavior in wartime. The film stll evokes a visceral response and raises questions of what, eventually, may be revealed about military abuses and crimes in Iraq. Contact Matt Funiciello at for more information.

3. Friday Night Progressive Film Festival

And the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe continues its Friday Night Progressive Festival with:

Fri Mar 21 7:30 pm Adirondack Progressive Film Forum
FOLLOWING SEAN (1969) Ralph Arlyck 87 min. RT Rating = 86 %
Filmmaker Ralph Arlyck first met Sean while living as a graduate student in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury neighborhood at the height of the 1960s. The city was awash with the trappings of America's cultural revolution-the San Francisco State University campus flooded with cops in riot gear, the Haight filled with drifters and idealists, and, on the third floor of Arlyck's building, a come-one-come-all crashpad apartment. It was from this top floor commune that the precocious 4-year-old Sean would occasionally wander downstairs to visit and talk-and one day Arlyck turned on his camera. Sean's casual commentary on everything from smoking pot to living with speed freaks was delivered in simple sincerity throughout the soon-to-be famous 15-minute film. This First Child of the notorious decade may have shaken the audience with his simple sentence- "Sure, I smoke pot"-but it was his barefoot impishness which would encapsulate the hope that lay in front of the nation: a promise of infinite possibility. Thirty years, three generations, and a lifetime later, Arlyck has returned to San Francisco in search of who the adult Sean might have become. And what he finds, to his surprise, tells him as much about his own east-coast migration as it does about the Californian life he left behind-that the choices we're handed and the choices we make are, very often, quite odd bedfellows.

Thanks Everyone! See you all Wednesday for the 5th Anniversary,

Larry Dudley

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