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More on Jesus Hurtado

Jesus Hurtado on December 3, 2006A few days ago I posted (below) comments about a memorable meeting Nov 21 with a man, Jesus Hurtado, who had participated in the 1989 Hunger Strike at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Dec 3, we had a small (6 people) but excellent meeting with the man, Jesus Hurtado. It included one other of the other 1989 Hunger Strikers, Jerry Rau, and we had a rich discussion.

We agreed to reconvene on January 17, 2007, at St. Joan of Arc.

Jesus provided the Hunger Strikers Summary of their 19 day Strike at the St. Paul Cathedral. It is accessible here.

There are lessons to be learned from the 1989 Strike which apply directly to today’s Peace Movement. There is a serious need to take a new look at tactics and strategies to achieve attention toward Peace in this century.

At another meeting on Nuclear Non-Proliferation on Saturday, Dec 2, Steve Leeper of the World Conference of Mayors for Peace revealed a very stark difference in citizen response to the nuclear issue between the present day and a few years ago. He noted a recent march in New York City which the organizers proudly estimated at 40,000 participants, in contrast to a march on the same issue in 1982 which was estimated at 1,000,000 participants.

Mr. Leeper also noted that the traditional large NGO support for movements such as Mayors for Peace initiative seems to be eroding as these groups are having more difficulty sustaining themselves, much less helping others. This, plus the financial needs for a professional campaign to call wider attention to the current nuclear proliferation crisis makes is necessary for more direct citizen action and financial participation. (His group has 1500 mayors as members, representing hundreds of millions of people worldwide.) Their website is www.2020visioncampaign.com. The seeming immensity of Mayors for Peace does not translate into an adequately funded advocacy organization, since each mayor joins for minimal dues. Citizen funding and activism becomes more and more essential to do any kind of adequate outreach programming. Your help in making more mayors aware of this group is solicited.

Without my active knowledge, I was probably a tiny part of that anti-nuclear movement in 1982. My 1982 Thanksgiving/Christmas Reflection to family and friends noted that I had been at the Vietnam Memorial the weekend it was dedicated (mid-October), and then noted this as well: “I’m thankful also to have heard Dr. Helen Caldicott speak on “The Madness of Nuclear War” on November 6,. Thankful too for being able to see a film on the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even more thankful to be able to find and talk with persons who survived the horror of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, including some sailors who were on the USS Arizona – my Uncle Franks tomb – that fateful day. Thankful to be able to tell you about my feelings. Hoping that our tomorrows will be filled with peace.”

That reflection went to family and friend 24 years ago; Jesus Hurtado and his colleagues witnessed to the world about El Salvador 17 years ago. That was a generation ago.

Ours is a new generation, and we need to measure our efforts and their effectiveness against those of the past. We can’t be complacent or satisfied with what we are doing. World conditions are far worse now than then, and the time is passing quickly.

Our grandchildren need our witness for peace.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 4, 2006 9:28 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Jesus Hurtado.

The next post in this blog is Cindy Sheehan, and the Season for Nonviolence.

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