Peace Tourism

Olympia has drawn the attention of the world as members of our community put their bodies in front of Stryker vehicles being shipped to Iraq, attempting to halt the militarization of our port. (Read the statement about why from the mouth of the horse, Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace.)
The ship left this morning carrying its supplies. Our fame only lasted a split second. The attention span of the world is short.
The port commisioners are likely pulling out their hair, nonetheless. They still had high hopes for that sports and convention center, and notoriety just ain't selling to tourists these days. Who wants to go to a Bridal Expo at the site of a world-famous tear-gassing? I guess its unlikely they'll be erecting a plaque.
But who knows? Maybe this kind of attention is exactly what Olympia needs to jump-start that tourism industry we've been talking about for years. After all, what was Crawford, Texas before Cindy Sheehan started Camp Casey, bringing thousands of activist-tourists including names like Joan Baez, Martin Sheen, and Steve Earle? When else have you heard of a town of 705 drawing that kind of crowd?
What was New Market, Tennessee before the Highlander Center?
And what was Faslane, Scotland before its peace camp that draws thousands of internationals annually, and has existed for over 20 years? It was a "hamlet", that's what.
Perhaps we should set up camp at the port, and invite the world to join us in our actions. Perhaps we should set up a convention center that looks more like the Highlander Center, a place for activists to come and learn organizing skills, and for pacifism conferences, and anti-racism conferences, and anti-globalization conferences. Maybe we could fund it through a partnership between the Evergreen State College and the city. What do you think, Olympia?


Blogger Rob Richards said...

To hell with the ship, thats a cute baby!

No better reason to fight for peace.

2:25 PM  

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