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Peace Concert/Rally on September 11

September 11, 2011
Penn Valley, CA

Inspired by an Egyptian friend and former exchange student, the Peace Center of Nevada County in the Sierra foothills hosted a peace festival in Western Gateway Park on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Musicians included: Music: Achilles Wheel, Beaucoup Chapeaux, Cool Hand Uke and the Enablers, Tom Wernigg, The Anytime Band, Purdon's Crossing, Team Sport, Neil Bledsoe and Friends, and Paul August. The sharp political lyrics of the Anytime Band criticized US foreign policies with great specificity, and in one song asked, "What could we have done with that [war] money?!"

Organizers Carol Ann Jones and Colleen spoke to the crowd about the connection to the Egyptian uprising, and their feeling of needing a counter-response to the US government's messages of "terror" and war over the past decade. Children’s Storyteller Karen Olson provided crafts activities to children.

Introduced by Sean, a young man getting his early childhood education degree, Janet Weil gave the keynote address, focussing on the impacts on young people of the 10 years following September 11. She talked Barbara Lee's bill to repeal the sinister Authorization to Use Military Force, which she was the lone congressmember to vote against on September 14, 2001. Giving as an alternative to violent responses to terror, Janet cited the Norwegian people's rejection of Islamophobia and xenophobia after the July 22 lone terrorist attacks. Her speech ended with the small but attentive crowd on their feet chanting, "Freedom is stronger than fear!"

Janet and Kathy Greene were hosted to dinner by the peace center folks the evening before. Janet presented CODEPINK campaigns, answered questions especially about October 6 actions in San Francisco in conjunction with October 6 in DC, and heard about local organizing in the area.

At both the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon events, people were happy to have their photos taken with "Make [ ] Not War" signs.