May 5, 2013 (Cinco de Mayo)
Border Nation: The Rise of the Immigration Enforcement Industrial Complex
Speakers: Daniel Stein and Todd Miller
Presentation, Conversation and Light Lunch
Daniel Stein and Todd Miller discussed their recent trip to the US/Mexico border. Resources to the Border Patrol and the militarized border enforcement apparatus have dramatically increased over the last 20 years. But the border hasn’t only stayed put on the U.S. southern boundary. It is all over the place: from the country’s boundaries to small gated communities, from the Super Bowl to Native American Nations. Vast inequalities and disparities between peoples, and the walls used to separate them, have become both profitable and logical to a burgeoning Homeland Security market. Fundamental to understanding today’s immigration debate is that the United States has become a Border Patrol Nation.
Todd Miller has written and researched U.S.-Mexico border issues for more than 10 years. He has worked on both sides of the border for NACLA, Witness for Peace, and BorderLinks, and writes for the NACLA blog Border Wars. His book project, Border Patrol Nation (City Lights Books), seeks to examine the powerful industry and mentality that the increasing armed, uniformed presence on the boundary has produced throughout the country, and the powerful, yet often unnoticed, impacts it has on national life and debate.
Daniel C. Stein grew up on Staten Island and has spent time in Latin America both studying and travelling. Through multiple trips to Mexico and throughout Central America he has developed an understanding and interest in the effects of US foreign policy on Latin America. As part of this book project, he seeks to better understand the reach of US foreign and military policy at home.
March 18, 2013
They Take Our Jobs by Aviva Chomsky—A Book Discussion
An indispensable guide to the current debate on immigration. If you are at all uncertain about how to deal with anti-immigrant arguments, you will find Chomsky's book a perfect response. She makes her points with clarity and uses unassailable evidence while offering constructive short-and long-term solutions. —Howard Zinn
The book may be purchased at Beacon Press www.beacon.org
October 2, 2012
Peace Pole Dedication:
|WaFoo ensemble performing in the Sanctuary: Yuuki Koike (Flute/Sax), Ippei Ichimaru (Sashin/Percussion) and Kazuo Nakamura (Bass)|
On August 6 and 9, 1945, the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by two nuclear weapons dropped by the United States. Within four months, 166,000 were dead in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki, killed by burns, debris, radiation sickness and other effects of the bombs.
The story of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, sixty-six years ago, was retold in word and music on Staten Island, on Sunday, August 7 at the Unitarian Church of Staten Island. The program, part of the Arthur Foise Summer Forum, began with music by pianist David Jones and singer Jeannine Otis. It was also told in the music of WaFoo, an ensemble of musicians who blend Japanese and jazz art forms. The ensemble performed two original pieces by bassist, Kazuo Nakamura.
The story of one survivor's experience was told in a video, "Witness to Hiroshima" - a short 16 minute documentary film by Kathy Sloane, about Keiji Tsuchiya who uses 12 powerful watercolors to tell the story of his experiences in Hiroshima as a 17-year-old soldier immediately following the dropping of the atomic bomb. While the film addresses a horrific moment in history it emphasizes how Mr. Tsuchiya has directed his life toward purpose and healing through his lifelong commitments to advocating for atomic survivors and opposing nuclear weapons.
|Mary Campbell and Kathy Santo enact the story of Sadako Sasaki, below a collection of origami cranes.|
Mary Campbell and Kathy Santo enacted "Paper Crane Journey; Carrying Sadako's Prayer", the true story of Sadako Sasaki, a young victim of the Hiroshima atomic bomb disaster. She was only two years old when the bomb fell and seemed to be unharmed, but at the age of twelve she was diagnosed with "radiation sickness", an aftermath of the bomb's effects. She takes an old story to heart: If a sick person folds a thousand origami cranes the gods will grant her wish and make her well again.
Sadako died on October 25, 1955. Her friends and classmates folded the remaining 356 cranes to make a thousand. They dreamed of building a monument to her and all the children who were killed by the atom bomb. In 1958 the statue was unveiled in Hiroshima Peace Park. Each year on August 6, the anniversary of the bombing, thousands of people bring paper cranes to adorn the statue.
Following the presentation, participants walked in a solemn procession, carrying messages of peace down to the Kill Van Kull waterfront for communal song and reflection, where they were met by White Feather Ancestral Teachers of Wisdom, Native American drummers.
|White Feather Ancestral Teachers of Wisdom drumming|
Since 1945, no nuclear weapon has been used in a war, and to make sure that they never will be again, commemorations have taken place around the world to retell the story and recommit humanity to a world of peace without nuclear weapons. This commemoration was co-sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Church of Staten Island and Peace Action of Staten Island.
|Procession with Peace Pole|
The Unitarian Church of Staten Island, as a member of the Building Bridges Coalition, is participating in the traveling Peace Pole project conceived by Building Bridges. On Sunday, May 22, we installed it during our worship service with the help of our youth. This Peace Pole, with its message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in many languages is a world-wide symbol of harmony, respect and cooperation between different cultures. It is traveling to 18 places of worship on its way to a permanent installation near the ferry terminal on September 11th. It was at the UCSI from May 22nd to June 4th.
|Setting the Peace Pole|
The Peace Pole Project was started in Japan by Masahisa Goi (1916 – 1980), who dedicated his life to spreading the message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth”. The dynamic musical trio, Brother Sun, played and sang during the service and held a concert that same evening at 7 p.m. (click on "music listen" on the Brother Sun web site and you can hear their beautiful melodies)
Our children and youth played an important part in welcoming this symbol. In the beginning of the service the children and youth carried the Peace Pole to the front of the sanctuary to music by our special musical guests. During the chalice lighting, the Explorers class led the congregation in reciting Gandhi's prayer just as they do in class.
During the Words for All Ages, the children, youth and adults marked a map of Staten Island with small paper peace poles showing the location of 18 houses of worship that will host the Peace Pole. Each participant read a short description of each house of worship. The installation included The Peace Pole blessing, prayer and message by Rev. Susan Karlson.
For more information about the Peace Pole Project, go to: http://www.worldpeace.org/
For more information on past Social Justice events, click here for the archives.
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