August, 2007, Volume 14 Nr.
12, Issue 231
Mowing As Protest.
Twisting Panties And Squeezing Gonads.
On May 1,
2006, we (Jozef, JeanneE and Dylan Hand-Boniakowski, Southern
Vermont Veterans For Peace Chapter 88 members) declared our lawn
a War Dead Free Zone. A little over an acre in size, the
lawn is situated on a 16 acre homestead in the hills of Vermont. We cut it by pushing a mechanical reel
mower that uses no petroleum products to run. Other than the cost
of the mower (about $90.00) there is no expense in cutting our
lawn, except, perhaps, for the occasional part, i.e., a handle,
that may break. Since we use no oil nor petroleum products
to cut the grass there are no war casualties as a result.
Our lawn is not part of the blood for oil exchange so
deeply embedded within our culture and economy.
benefits of manually cutting the lawn include a good aerobic
workout contributing to better health. There is no exhaust
other than huffing and puffing. There is no smell other
than that of various mint and other aromatic plants. There
is no noise other than the slight rattle of the reels, the
gears, the songbirds and the wind. There is the time outdoors savored as we catch our breath and notice the garter snakes, other fauna and flora with which we share our land.
There is the gratitude of the grand mountain views and the great fortune of living
at the northern end of the
Taconic mountain range. There is the savings of not buying
gasoline for a power mower, nor oil, nor tune up parts. The
best benefit of manually cutting the grass, however, is not contributing
to the Iraq war dead by not using petroleum products on the
- Push mowing an acre of a hay
hard work especially in May and June when the growth is
faster than one can keep up with it. It takes 3
hours per day in 3 shifts over a period of 3 days to complete
one cutting. Things get a bit easier around the 4th of
July. The same area can be then cut in 2 days at 3
hours or less per day. Walking along at a fast pace,
quickly clipping the tops of the grass provides plenty of time
- Why Bother? Because I Have
- Once in while as I struggle
pushing and sweating I ask
myself, "Why bother? Why do I go to all the trouble and
time of cutting an acre of grass by hand and foot when an old 1964 Cub
Cadet tractor with its 42-inch mower can do it in just under an
hour-and-a-half? Surely, the impact of one person push
mowing their lawn in protest of the illegal and immoral war in
Iraq is not going to make that much difference. Or, does
it? It does to me.
On July 17, 2007, George W. Bush
signed the executive order entitled, "Blocking Property of
Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq".
Bush by imperial fiat declared,
- I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President
of the United States of America, find that, due to the
unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security
and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of
violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and
undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and
political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian
assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of
the United States to take additional steps with respect to
the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303
of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of
August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps
taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and
Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004.
As a consequence of his majesty's
declaration, our little "War Dead Free Zone" is illegal
whenever the government chooses it so! The
Ultimate Leader has given himself the power to declare any act
by anyone as being against the Iraqi war and thus,
supporting the "enemy". If one protester pushing a
lawn mower in opposition to the illegal and immoral Iraq war can
elicit the wrath of fascists in the White House, then there is
hope still that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights can be
defended and protected. Evidently, one protester with a
push mower can twist the panties of the powerful. This is
good. Tens of millions, however, would put their gonads of
corruption in a vice grip called impeachment.
The August 12 - 18, 2005, issue
Express", reported on Hala Faisal, who was arrested
after walking nude in a Washington DC park protesting the war in
Iraq. Ronda Keysen, writing in "The
naked truth about the power of protest today" discusses
whether one person's protest can make a difference? Hala
Faisal's lawyer, Daniel Perez, making reference to another
solitary protester, Cindy Sheehan, believes it can. Perez
Yesterday it was one woman
sitting in front of the president’s ranch, today it is one
woman taking off her clothes...and
tomorrow it will be somebody else. Ultimately, it is
going to force the Bush administration to cut its losses and
get the hell out.
- Ronda Keysen ends her article
with the validation of the power of the lone protestor.
She quotes Hala Faisal and draws a defining conclusion as
why Faisal stood alone and naked protesting the Iraq war.
"I was feeling very
shocked when they took my hands and put it in the metal
things,” she said of the handcuffs. The police officer
seated beside her in the patrol car, however, confided that he
too opposed the war.
- Rosa Parks was a lone
protester when she refused to give up her seat. The
lone protester may refuse to yield a seat, to leave a lunch
counter, to vigil for peace on a street corner, to walk
naked in a park, etc., even to push a lawn mower. They
do so because they have to. They do so to protect and
defend the U.S. Constitution so shredded by this regime. The lone protester is
driven by a sense of urgency that compels some action.
They exists an internal sense of obligation to do something, often
anything, that gets others thinking about why they are
protesting. Sometimes, as in the case of Rosa Parks,
this leads to drawing attention to and making right some ill
within society. With that in mind, let us
The Great Mandela
In 2006, USAToday
reported that at least 8,000 members of the all-volunteer U.S.
military have deserted since the Iraq war began."
Today, that figure may well be in the tens of thousands.
Perhaps as many as 40,000 have deserted. Many of them have
gone to Canada.
One lone protester who refused to deploy to Iraq is Lt.
Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to do so.
Watada's second trial is scheduled to take place on October 9,
2007. The first trail ended in a mistrial. Watada
maintains that his first obligation by the oath of office that
he took when he accepted his commission is to protect and defend
the U.S. Constitution. Going to Iraq would violate that
oath as the war is illegal. Watada's "refusal to
deploy to Iraq is based on his belief that participation in any
manner in a criminal war would be equal to aiding and abetting a
In the 1960s, the musical folk
group, "Peter, Paul and Mary", recorded the song,
"The Great Mandela". Perhaps, the unknown author
of this moving lyric writing as a lone protester of the insanity
of war. Whenever I hear the song, "The Great
Mandela", I am called to contemplate the many lone
protesters throughout history who refuse to kill. It is
difficult to listen to "The Great Mandela" and not
lament the sorry state of humanity.
So I told him that he'd better
Shut his mouth and do his job like a man
And he answered, Listen, Father, I will never kill another
He thinks he's better than his brother that died
What the hell does he think he's doing
To his father who brought him up right
Take your place on the great Mandela
As it moves through your brief moment of time
And if you lose, you're only losing your life
Win or lose now, you must choose now
With his meal of bread and water today
Tell the jailer not to bother
He is fasting till the killing's over
He thinks he's a prophet, but he's a coward
He's just playing a game, he can't do it, he can't change it
He lies still in his cell
It's been going on for ten thousand years
Tell the people they are safe now: hunger stopped him
We can hate now, we can end the world
Death had gagged his accusation
We are free now, we can kill now
We're not guilty: he was crazy
And it's been going on for ten thousand years
recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary
- And what is the net result
of the lone protester? And what of the protester
where "death had gagged his accusations"?
The result is that in time, the lone protester will no
longer be alone. And that is why the criminal Bush
administration finds it necessary to put the mechanisms in
place making protest against the illegal Iraq war illegal. They
know that they are liable high crimes and
misdemeanors. They know that the people are demanding
that they be made accountable and that justice be served.
July 10, 2007, the Reuters news agency reported that
the Iraq war has climbed to a record high and President
George W. Bush's approval rating dropped to a new low amid
growing dissent from members of his own Republican party
over his war strategy, according to a new USAToday/Gallup
poll....More than seven in 10 Americans favor withdrawing
nearly all U.S troops from Iraq by April (2008).
On July 6, 2007, a
survey by the American Research Group showed that over half of
the US public wants to impeach George W. Bush. Even more
want to impeach Dick Cheney. And the thug, Alberto
Gonzalez, will be the first to go. So let the lone
protester continue. Let the naked war protester walk
through the park. Let the war dead free lawns be
cut. Let the vigils continue. And then let them look
over their shoulders and see that tens of millions have joined
them. Let the protests continue until the fascists that
have taken over the government are kicked out of office and the
US Constitution and the Bill of Rights restored.
The spirit of
resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions,
that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be
exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised
at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. --
Vermont Veterans For Peace Chapter 88 invites you to
participate by declaring and making your lawn, no
matter how small or big a "War
Dead Free Zone". Or, may you protest in any
way you deem necessary to stop the insanity. As my
old timer, World War II veteran and Veteran For Peace,
Gene, says, "Impeach the sons of bitches".