Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

news from Baltimore

Things have been happening here in Baltimore. Not only did the Catonsville and Baltimore branches have a fantastic celebration of WILPF's 90th birthday at Goucher College back on April 9, with our International president, Regina Birchem as the primary speaker, but on May 15 we held a Counting the Cost vigil across the street from the Homewood Campus of the Johns Hopkins University. Twenty-five people stood at this busy intersection holding a huge banner that read COUNTING THE COST OF THE WAR IN IRAQ with smaller banners that read, Counting the Cost of the War in Iraq, More than 1,600 U.S. and Coalition Forces and over 100,000 Iraqi Civilians have died. End the War! WILPF members were joined by people from Pax Christi, Military Families Against the War, Code Pink, and Baltimore's Pledge of Resistance. We ranged in age from a baby in arms to an 89 year old Baltimore WILPF woman. Our silent vigil was greeted with many friendly honks and people flashing the peace sign. The big disappointment....no students or faculty from Johns Hopkins or other nearby Universities showed up in spite of strong efforts to encourage them. It was exam week. I guess an hour away from the books was just too much to ask. Will it take a military draft to get students riled up enough to hit the streets? I know there are peacemaking students on campuses. We were just sorry none of them joined in this event.
On Monday, May 23 there was GREAT CELEBRATION at St. Peter Claver church in Baltimore, home parish of JONAH HOUSE of Berrigan Fame. Sr. Carol Gilbert was home!
After 30 months of incarceration for using her hammer on the tracks a nuclear missile silo in Colorada in Oct. 2002 she had been released from prison in Alderson, WV the day before. The really good news was that the probation office had said she could spend her three years of probation in Baltimore at Jonah House, instead of at a homeless shelter in Denver as they had previously decreed.
There was a loud cheer among the nearly 200 peacemaking Carol Gilbert fans as they learned that she could live at Jonah House in spite of the fact that it was the abode of that "terrorist/felon", WILPF sponsor Elizabeth McAlister. The Baltimore SUN wrote all about it in a fine article on Tuesday.
Check out www.baltimoresun.com May 24
Peace, you all. Phylup aka Phyllis Yingling

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