10 Years + Counting talked with organizer Prachi Patankar about the South Asia Solidarity Initiative and War Resisters League‘s call to action at Zuccotti Park. Below is the group’s invitation, followed by an interview with Prachi about the work they do:
October 7, 2011 marked 10 years since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the start of the Global “War on Terror.” Issues related to US-led wars and militarism should be central to the visions that are forming at #OccupyWallSt and the other #Occupations around the country. In an effort to highlight the devastation US militarism has caused across the globe for decades, we are creating an artistic intervention at Zuccotti Park. Snapshots of US military actions over the last 60 years will be displayed on signs in a bold embodied expression meant to spark discussion and include the voices of occupied peoples. We will also be distributing information on how to engage with the super-committee, with the internal committees of #OccupyWallSt as well as Afghan and Iraqi-led peace groups. Join us!
1. Please describe your project. What inspired you to tackle this issue?
An artistic intervention at Zuccotti Park to highlight the devastation US militarism has caused across the globe for decades
2. What have you learned from this project? Were there any surprising
We did this action at Central Park in 2003 at one of the first anti-war
rallies against war on Iraq. Many people at Central Park commented that this was a educational experience for them to learn about how long US has been intervening with military action across the world, where they still have bases. It inspired many to participate in the anti-war movement.
3. How do you wage peace each day? Any pointers for the rest of us?
I, as part my group South Asia Solidarity Initiative work in collaboration and partnership with many peace organizations, collectively spread the anti-warmessage and awareness about it broadly. We collaborated with the War Resisters League recently to produce a popular-education curriculum to connect the issues of war and the domestic economy.
4. If applicable, how can people get involved in your project?
We want people to participate in this action on Friday, October 14. We expect to repeat this action in many different forms at various places. We hope that people will be inspired to replicate it all across the country to highlight the issues of war as central to the demands of the Occupy movement.