The Granny Peace Brigade, joined by Kevin Augustine of Clarion Call, protested at 250 Broadway, the offices of the NYC City Council, on the planned city budget allocation of around $1.5 million for the US government’s military program of JROTC classes in 18 New York City High Schools. Funds are also provided under the federal military budget. (Click on thumbnails for larger images.)
Kevin’s silent presence in front of the building set a poignant note. He was dressed as a hobo grunt, a combination of a sad tattered clown and part weary homeless veteran, with several dummy/bodies lying at his feet. Clarion Call, with whom he volunteers, is a street-based pantomime promoting peace. The silent veteran reflects the thought that “actions speak louder than words.”
Looking at his sad face, one sees a familiar classic clown: Emmett Kelly. Kevin himself is the son of a veteran, who sadly took his own life when Kevin was only 12, one of the thousands of veterans committing suicide each year.
We were together asking questions. Should we as tax-payers permit the military to teach JROTC classes and sell the Army story? Where’s the balance of information on the realities around life in the military? How much better could these funds be used? Teaching of peaceful ways of dealing with conflict/conflict resolution? Arts? Music? Books? Computers? or even just making our schools safer…..and cleaner. Do we really want our schools to be making “boy and girl soldiers?” If NO, do call your city councilor.
Granny Peace Brigade: Eva-Lee, Joan, Edith, Barbara W., Nancy, Nydia, Tibby, Phyllis, Marty, with Kevin Augustine of Clarion Call
– Story and photos by Marty Rajandran