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Sunday, February 04, 2007


Visualizing the dead

Back in November I wrote (and posted a newspaper picture) about the goings-on in the town of Lafayette, California (about an hour from me), where activists were using a private hillside directly across from a major BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) parking lot to erect crosses commemorating the American (only American) dead in Iraq, along with a "controversial" (because it supposedly violated local sign ordinances) sign listing the number of dead. Back then the number was 2839, and the number of crosses numbered only a couple hundred. Now the number is up to 3097, and the activists have been hard at work increasing the number of crosses.

On Friday, I happened to be in the vicinity, albeit with only a crummy camera-phone on hand (one of the problems with camera phones, evident in the picture below, is that most of them don't have lens covers, so the lens are easily smudged, leading to imperfect pictures, even worse than should be possible with their mediocre-quality lenses). To say that the display was impressive would be to put it mildly; I trust that even with this lousy picture you'll get the idea. The sign, as you can see, is still up; the City Council has kept delaying making a decision, no doubt afraid of offending people no matter what they decide.

Field of crosses commemorating American war dead in Iraq, Lafayette, CA

Imagine each of these crosses is a person standing there, alive. Now imagine each of them is lying there, dead. Now imagine a field large enough to hold 700,000 crosses or other grave markers. Now imagine a world without imperialism.

Now stop imagining and get to work bringing it about.

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