Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"A Rose by any other name..."

New South Network of War Resisters' eclectic table of literature and info.
Dateline Johnson City, Tenn.
September 14, 2013

"A rose by any other name would smell 
as sweet."

Shakespeare's Juliet argues that the names of things do not matter, only what things "are."

The folks in Johnson City are demonstrating the truth of that adage.  They are keeping the best of the Occupy movement alive, building friendships throughout the mountain region, strengthening activism and  "promoting healthy communities through mutual aid."

Everyone Acting Together in Solidarity (EATS). put out the call to all comers for a "Free To You BBQ" on Saturday afternoon. And eat we did!  As a line up of talented mountain musicians kept the music flowing, a team of volunteers cooked up a feast seasoned with wide smiles and hearty hellos.

EATS organizer Lou P. on task at the BBQ
The picnic was held at the Old Kiwanis Park, a block or so from the James H Quillen V.A. Medical Center, so our assortment of literature from our Veterans for Peace 099 Chapter in Asheville was well received. 

Smiling servers at the "Free to You BBQ"
Many folks picked up copies of the War Crimes Times! which we distribute throughout the region, and keychains with the GI Rights Hotline Number. In the Volunteer State of Tennessee, there are many, many veterans struggling with the emotional and physical consequences of going to war.

Johnson City is just over the mountains from Asheville, NC. We crossed over the Appalachian Trail and past beautiful farmland and breathtaking mountain scenery.

"Mr. Paintman" mixing up colors
The beauty of Atomic Appalachia belies the nuclear dangers: We passed Erwin and the Nuclear Fuel Services Uranium enrichment facility that supplies fuel for the first-strike Trident Nuclear Submarines. We also drove  past the nearby road leading to the story-telling city of  Jonesborough, where one story is kept far too quiet: the presence of the Aero-Jet Ordnance weaponized uranium bullet factory, components of the widespread Military Industrial Complex that has such a devastating impact in the South.
Kevin, the Irish Balladeer

There were nice people everywhere in the park, sharing information, mountain music and art.

Coleman, who the kids came to call "Mr. Paint man"  brought cardboard and paint and set up a poster making table.  The kids loved it!
Something for Everyone at the EATS picnic

Clare was happy to see her old friend and fellow Irish traveller Retha Ferrell, who entertained us with mountain music under a shade tree, followed by Irish balladeer Kevin.   Inside, as folks shared the meal, two more lovely mountain musicians added their lilting voices to the day.

Thanks to  Everyone Acting Together in Solidarity( EATS!) and all who had a hand in making the gathering so fun.

Story and photos by Clare Hanrahan
On the Ground in the Southeast

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