Occupying 26.2 Miles: Marathon for Peace 2011
December 2, 2011
Family & Friends,
Boosted by my partner Ellen and son James cheering me across the finish line, I completed my 2011 Marathon for Peace in 4:07:26 on Nov. 26. I ran a steady pace averaging 9 minutes, 27 seconds per mile and finished 6th out of 17 runners in a strong 60-64-year-old men’s division. This was my fastest time since turning 60 four years ago, but a long ways from the six 3:26-3:34 times I was able to run in my early 50s.
The day before the race we visited the recently dedicated Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington DC, where we were reminded that the fight for peace is an even longer haul than a marathon. It is also far more urgent and compelling. The “radical revolution of values” Dr. King spoke about four decades ago is more needed than ever; indeed, many of the words he spoke in his landmark ‘Breaking Silence” speech in 1967 read like a prophecy:
“A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth… A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
Today the #Occupy upsurge is spreading hope across the country and the globe. There are dozens of ways each of us can help turn that hope and energy into concrete victories, there is plenty of work to keep us all occupied. The project I work with, War Times/Tiempo de Guerras, is trying to do our part – and thanks to the generosity of so many of you, this Marathon already raised over $3,300 toward War Times’ 2012 budget. Additional funds would help a great deal; it’s not too late to contribute, please consider donating a dollar for each of the Marathon’s 26 miles. All donations are tax-deductible, you can donate on-line at http://www.war-times.org (in whole dollar amounts only) or send a check to War Times, P.O. Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609.
It is a source of hope to be connected to so many dedicated and generous partisans of peace and justice. And especially so when the tide is starting to flow our way!
Thanks, Peace, and Stay Occupied!
November 9, 2011
“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads on to fortune… On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures.” –William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
Family & friends,
Occupy Wall Street is today’s full sea (but without the gender one-sidedness of Shakespeare’s otherwise eloquent words). This wave of creative protest has inspired and engaged large portions of the beleaguered 99%. It has shifted the national conversation from deficits and budget cutting to inequality stemming from a broken system. The Occupy surge led by a new generation has opened up space for all kinds of changes that seemed off the table just a few weeks ago. It has given every one of us a chance to take the current, both by supporting the Occupy encampments in our localities (I Hella Love Oakland !) and by pushing forward the tide of social change on every issue and battlefront.
The Occupy movement, and the big protests that followed the recent police assault on Occupy Oakland, reminded me how much I loved marching, sitting and running in the streets back in the 1960s. But at age 64 I’m not as adept at direct confrontation as I was back then. So the way I run to build the movement has changed. I run Marathons to help raise funds for peace and justice projects – and once again it’s time for my annual Marathon for Peace (and my 30th Marathon overall). I’ll be occupied running 26.2 miles in the Northern Central Trail Marathon outside of Baltimore November 26 and I’m writing to ask for your support.
As in previous years, this run will benefit War Times/Tiempo de Guerras – the antiwar project I’ve worked with for the last decade. In today’s changed climate, there are big opportunities to persuade millions that there are close links between the economic afflictions faced by the 99% and war, empire, militarism and racism. That’s both an urgent and a long-haul task. The two dozen volunteers who staff War Times are determined to contribute all we can.
As many of you know, last year a dozen talented younger activists took over the tasks of writing War Times’ monthly columns and other articles. They’ve done a great job. Their voices can be amplified further if War Times can obtain the resources for an expanded presence on social media (you can find War Times on Facebook here) and in other areas.
Can you pitch in to support this work, perhaps with a dollar for each of my upcoming Marathon’s 26.2 miles? All donations are tax-deductible, you can donate on-line at http://www.war-times.org or send a check to War Times, P.O. Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609.
It is a source of both hope and endurance to be connected to so many dedicated and generous partisans of peace and justice. And especially so when the tide is starting to flow our way.
Thanks, Peace, and Stay Occupied!