Collateral Eye Opening…

Collateral Murder
By Teen4Peace

It was mostly dark on Friday night, on the corner of Shattuck & Allston in downtown Berkeley. The only light other than the streetlights, passing-by automobiles, and peoples' electronic companions (which they were buried in to escape the harsh realities of this cruel world), came from a video- being projected onto the side of the old Ross building.

This was not just any video being projected, it was the Collateral Murder video: the one WikiLeaks released back in April showing U.S. soldiers massacring civilians and injuring 2 small children. World Can't Wait had gathered up supplies to make this possible and I was out there with them talking to people. I was passing out fliers that explained the significance of the video on one side, and hosted Ethan McCord and others' "Letter to Iraq" on the back.

I had different, but similar, things I would say when I went up to people, but got back a wide variety of responses. Some people just walked away, or wouldn't stop at all, while others expressed their frustration and desire to do something about it. Then there were those who stopped, and questioned everything about the video to the point where I felt like I was being interrogated… well, actually there was one of those. He was a teenager, so being one as well, I decided I would approach him.

When I gave him the flier and told him this was the reality of the wars our government was trying to hide from us, at first he was silent, and focused on the projection. Then he looked at me with pain in his eyes, and asked me if there was any chance this was fake, if there was a possibility somebody made this up. He knew it was real, he later told me, but I think only wanted to believe that the horrors were not reality, because this was his future reality in the military. Yes, this 17 year old rising senior, wanted to join the U.S. Army right after graduation, and told me nothing would change his mind. I was in this position at one point too, so I had my suspicions of why he wanted to, but that wasn't the problem, the problem was that he wanted to, and I knew I didn't have much time.

I just told him what he already knew was corrupt about the current system, connected it to the wars, and connected the military with evil throughout the whole system. It was a mouthful, but when I was done, his focus was on the video, and more pain filled his young eyes. His eyes were wide open then, as if he had just woke up for the first time in a long time. He aimed his eyes right into mine and told me he had to go because his bus was pulling up. I felt horrible then, because I thought I could have said something better, that this might have been the kid's only chance to hear opposition to his life-ruining (literally) decision. But just as I was turning around to go pick up more fliers, and talk to some more folks, he opened his mouth.

The words he said made me turn around, give him a smile and stuck his face in my head permanently. He declared in a quiet, but sure voice that he was really going to rethink his decision and assess all other options. I've been thinking that if there were one of these kids for every video-showing that in no time at all, we'd be able to rebuild resistance in this nation, but rebuild it bigger and better and more sustainable. We need to open up eyes all across this nation to the horrors of the American Empire, and the entire system that thrives off of such evil. This video needs to be shown on every street corner, in every city, nationwide.  After all, change comes from the people, but so many people are asleep, and you can't do much when you're sleeping.

Let's wake people up from their sleep!
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