Thomas P. Healy
Civil disobedience lies at the heart of the American experience and expression of freedom and liberty.
Think not? Then consider the following partial list of historical activities: the Boston Tea Party, the colonies' break with the British crown that led to the Revolutionary War; the Underground Railroad and the struggle to end slavery; the women's suffrage movement; the formation of organized labor unions; the Civil Rights movement; and protests against the Vietnam War.
Second in a series of occasional reports on the former Jefferson Proving Ground.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service calls the 50,000-acre Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Indiana a place "where Nature has been given a second chance."
But the southern section of the site that lies just outside of the former munitions testing area is getting a second chance of a different nature - for business development.
Two decades ago, Howard Zinn pioneered a new way to write about the past with A People's History of the United States. His use of accounts from the marginalized victims of American culture rather than the usual reports of military and economic victors inaugurated a radical shift in perspective for viewing historical processes.
Using Zinn's methodology, Mary Ann Wynkoop has written Dissent in the Heartland: The Sixties at Indiana University, (IU Press) the first installment of what might eventually result in A People's History of Bloomington.
"The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" of weapons of mass destruction, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asserted during the buildup to war. Similarly, the absence of evidence of a peace movement - such as huge multi-city rallies - is not evidence of its absence.
Rumsfeld's dissembling quote regarding the presence or absence of WMD was part of the Bush Administration's ultimately successful media campaign to generate support for military action in Iraq.
First in an occasional series on the Jefferson Proving Ground
If you visit Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge this year you should follow the naturalist's adage to take only pictures and leave only footprints. You should also watch your step.
Indiana's largest preserve is laden with unexploded ordnance (UXO) - a vestige of four decades' use as the Jefferson Proving Ground (JPG), where the U.S. Army test-fired a variety of bombs, grenades and shells.
Dr. Helen Caldicott is one of the foremost peace activists of our time. Co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND, now Women's Action for New Directions), she has spent 30 years as an outspoken critic of nuclear weapons. She recently formed the Nuclear Policy Research Institute and lectures around the world on the dangers of nuclear proliferation. She spoke with Thomas P. Healy before addressing a conference in Salt Lake City.
"Nothing but baloney and crumbs." That's how Valerie Martin sums up George W. Bush's proposed new tax cut. "There's plenty of money for millionaires in the President's plan," she says, but "Social Security, healthcare, Medicare, education and homeland security all need priority over tax breaks for the wealthy."
Amid concerns about global instability in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, peace studies programs at U.S. colleges and universities are on the rise. And believe it or not, Indiana is at the forefront, with a half dozen programs at various schools.
WEST LAFAYETTE -- Calling the Bush Administration's invasion of Iraq "the most reckless, the most dangerous act of a U.S. president in the last 50 years," noted political analyst Phyllis Bennis presented a thorough analysis of the root causes as well as the victims of Gulf War II during a campus teach-in at Purdue University on April 7.
FORT WAYNE - Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, spoke at a benefit luncheon March 27 for One Church-One Offender, a faith-based initiative pairing nonviolent offenders with congregations for mentoring. He gave an evening talk at the Gates Sports Center on the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne campus, focusing on the good in all humans.