Saturday, March 25, 2006

VOICES AGAINST THE WAR—a great success!

Every now and then something happens that is just right: the right time, the right place, the right people, the right reason and the right spirit.

Sunday, March 19, 2006 was such a day. We are especially heartened by the many calls and emails we have received since from people telling us how good it made them feel to be part of such a gathering, how much they learned from the speakers, the films and each other and how they are strengthened in their resolve to assert their voices against the war. This in turn has inspired our resolve to encourage more people to become more active in ending this war.

Have you called your senator or congressman today?

We estimate 200 or so people attended the event on Sunday. Most of them were publicly protesting the war for the first time which has allowed us to expand our email list for future communications. People came not just from the North Fork but also from points south and west, including Southampton, Bethpage, Babylon, Flanders, Yaphank, Speonk, Westhampton Beach, Bayport, Patchogue, Sag Harbor, Hampton Bays, Miller Place, Holbrook, East Patchogue, Mastic Beach, Huntington, New York City and New Jersey.

VOICES AGAINST THE WAR was also designed to raise much-needed funds to continue the expansion of the Honor the Fallen Memorial—the lamination of more panels to memorialize the American soldiers who have been killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We succeeded far beyond our expectations by raising $3,310. This would never have been possible without the energetic, heartfelt support of our volunteers and the very generous donations from so many of those who attended the event and others who could not be present themselves.

We thank each and every one of you whose support made this into such a great success.

Friday, March 24, 2006

VOICES AGAINST THE WAR—highlights from the program

Our first speaker was MICHAEL HARMON who spoke movingly and frankly about the very difficult time he has spent as a returning Iraq vet. It is one thing to read about PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) and quite another to hear about the personal toll it exacts on a human being. He told us about the grueling life of a combat medic, living on a daily ration of two bottles of water and one portion of MREs, seeing young and old civilians being killed and wounded along with soldiers and gradually beginning to question why the US was in Iraq. He described the medical treatment he received from an overwhelmed VA hospital as “throwing pills at me” for what they diagnosed as “normal” feelings. He is now an active member of Iraq Vets Against the War and is studying to become a respiratory therapist.
Thank you, Michael, for coming to Riverhead and for offering to help us in our future efforts.

Does your elected official know that you exist?

CARMEN TROTTA of the Catholic Worker movement gave an impassioned speech in which he expressed his fear for his country, his belief that the system is broken and beyond repair, based as it is on both political parties being equally driven by a commitment to oil. In his own words:

"I am deeply fearful because in the last couple of years I have come to believe that we can no longer reform this country... Republican Party, Democratic Party ..they both want this war, they both need the oil. There is no way to
reform this country yet there is a world begging. The strongest political voice is the voice of the American people if they would begin to speak and if they would speak articulately."

We can learn from the enormous, vocal, Vietnam peace movement, he said, echoing the words of Martin Luther King that it is only out of community-based action that change can occur. Otherwise, Carmen believes, we will slip into chaos.

Have you called your senator and your congressman? Today?

JOHN PHILLIPS spoke about his former job as a New York City police officer in which he identified and brought to justice people who acted in criminal fashion. Using the same principles, he has investigated the administration’s activities after which he came to the same conclusion: these are criminal activities and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

Walking his talk, John was arrested at Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's office when he refused to leave the premises. "We have heads of state admitting to felony crime on television and we need to stand up and say this is unacceptable," Mr. Phillips told the court. "Their agenda is inconsistent with the rights of the American people," he said.
Does your elected official know what you think?

JOE GIANNINI, founder of East End Vets Against the War, said that the Iraq war is fueled by oil, hubris and greed. He quoted Smedley Butler who left the Marines in the mid-1930s and wrote: 'War is Hell: the profits are measured in dollars and the losses are measured in lives'."

Joe’s continuing activism will be channeled from now until November into support for the Band of Veterans, composed mainly of Democrat vets, who are seeking Congressional office this year.

He also told the audience: "I want to take back our government…I have made a decision I won't support any politician unless they stand with another Marine, John Murtha , who's already come to the conclusion (that we should withdraw our troops now).”

Have you called your elected officials this week?

We learned a few days ago that director Garrett Scott, had died of cardiac arrest while swimming in a public pool in Los Angeles. He was visiting his family before attending the Indie Spirit Awards the next day. He was 37. We send his family and team our condolences and thank them for the opportunity to show this documentary to our audience.

It gave people an up close and personal look into a platoon in Falluja, casting light onto what can often be a very mundane soldier’s life: it brought home to us how young and confused and seemingly leaderless these young men can feel.
It resonated very deeply with the more than 2,000 faces of the dead in the panels lining the halls and rooms of Vail-Leavitt Music Hall.

This documentary, created by Matt Dadonna, a Mattituck high school student and Greg Rothman, captured a demonstration organized by NFPOC last summer in front of the military recruiting offices in Riverhead. We are hoping to show this film to a larger audience of North Fork high school students.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


VOICES AGAINST THE WAR will be the subject of a call-in show with host Jay Oliver on WRIV-Riverhead (1390 AM) at 9.50 a.m. on Friday, March 17.

We hope you will tune in and call in--a great opportunity for your voice to be heard.


The rallying cry against this senseless war has brought Claudia Jacobs back to her folk and political musical roots! Raised on The Weavers by her Liberal parents, she got her first guitar at age 11 and hasn’t stopped performing since. Though Claudia (known as CB to some) has been on a hiatus from touring for several years and has collected an array of musical influences since then, she’s back in full swing. Claudia’s strength as a musician surely lies in her soulful live performance which is probably why she’s just now getting around to recording her debut CD.

Monday, March 13, 2006

fyi-This will be the 11th Honor the Fallen Memorial event

Since we formed NFPOC one year ago, we have shown the Honor the Fallen Memorial eleven times.

Our first event was on the second anniversary of the invasion, in Greenport, NY, on March 20, 2005.

Since then, the panels have been seen at the Ethical-Humanist Society in Garden City, the Methodist Church in Southampton, the auditorium at Mattituck High School, Quinipet Hall in Shelter Island, Shinn Vineyards in Mattituck, Hofstra University, New York University, Washington Square Park, Smithhaven Mall in Lake Grove and, on March 19 at Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, Riverhead.

We agree with Alice Walker when she said: "Activism is my rent for living on this planet."


We are not reminded often enough of the toll this war has taken on the Iraqis. Although we cannot begin comprehend the suffering of the Iraqi people, as they live with the daily destruction of their families, friends and homeland, we feel we must at least bear witness, from far away though it is.

Here are two offerings that will be on display at VOICES AGAINST THE WAR: The faces of nine children, men and women who have been killed in this war along with facts and figures that place these faces into their appalling context.

To date, there have been at least 33,000 identified Iraqi deaths. It is estimated that there are nine times as many unidentified as identified dead.

For context, Southold Town, home to North Fork People of Conscience, has approximately 22,000 residents. Perhaps comparing this to the 33,000 identified Iraqi dead will help make the numbers seem more real.

Driving instructions to Vail-Leavitt Music Hall

We look forward to seeing you at VOICES AGAINST THE WAR on Sunday, March 19.

To make sure you have no problems finding us, here are driving instructions to Vail-Leavitt Music Hall if you are coming from the west. For other directions, please visit or email us at

From the LI Expressway (495):
Take Exit 71 South and turn right at the bottom. Travel approximately 3.5 miles to the traffic circle, past the jail and other Suffolk County offices on right. You will see three gas stations (Shell, Getty, Gulf). Proceed 2/3 of way around circle past the Gulf station on the right. That is Route 25. Approximately 200 yards later and just before the traffic light, you will see a sign for Vail-Leavitt MH. Turn right onto Peconic Avenue .

For best parking, use the municipal parking lot halfway up the block on your right. Walk back to Peconic Avenue (past information booth) and then north toward Main Street. Vail-Leavitt Music Hall will be the 4th building on your right. Main entrance has a slate-stepped entrance alcove.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


We offer two postcards with the hope that they will provide more voices against the war--and add to the funds we raise for continuing our work on the Honor the Fallen memorial.

We will be selling them on March 19 for $1.25.

"War Bride" by Gina Gilmour, an award-winning North Fork artist whose work is currently on display at the East End Arts Council in Riverhead.

"Flag", a photograph taken at a peace demonstration by Barbara Earnzerhoff.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

NFPOC has a bank account!

NORTH FORK PEOPLE OF CONSCIENCE is now registered with the IRS as a not-for-profit corporation.

This means we have a bank account and you can now make out your tax-deductible checks and donations to North Fork People of Conscience.

All proceeds from everything we do will be used to continue the heart-breaking task of expanding and maintaining the Honor the Fallen Memorial, which consists, so far, of over 120 laminated panels of photographs and biographies of American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We have nearly 400 new faces waiting to be laminated--that's another 22 panels. So far.

Our address:

North Fork People of Conscience
POBox 1330
Southold, New York 11971

VOICES AGAINST THE WAR: the bumper sticker

We also have a bumper sticker so you can raise your voice against the war as you drive around town.

Why not buy one for a friend who can't get to our event on March 19?

Cost $3.

All the money raised will go to support the continuation of the Honor the Fallen memorial project.


Just in time for March 19, we have created a VOICE AGAINST THE WAR t-shirt.

Black, with red and silver design and our logo, the short-sleeved t-shirt is available in a variety of men's and women's sizes for $15. Made in the USA.

If you'd like to reserve one, please email us at

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


We are honored to welcome four speakers, two of them veterans, one a retired NYPD officer and one a peace activist.

Here is some information on each of them. We hope you will be able to join us on March 19 so you can hear each of them in person, ask them questions from the audience or speak with them face to face at the end of the program.

JOE GIANINNI is a Vietnam Veteran. He served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968, as a U.S. Marine officer in the 1st Battalion 3rd Marines. In November 2004 he formed the East End Veterans Against the War.


MICHAEL HARMON is a member of Iraq Vets Against the War. This is what he told us about himself in an email:

“I saw the flyer and I am excited. I am glad I could help. I joined the army in May 2002 partly to do with 9/11. I was deployed to Iraq on April 2nd, 2003 as part of the initial invasion force. My unit was 1/67 armor battalion with the 4th Infantry Division out of FT. Hood,Texas. I was a combat medic (civilian EMT) and was 10 miles north of Baghdad. I spent 13 months in a blown out hospital that we called home. I received an Army Commendation Medal with Valor for saving 3 soldiers lives along with 2 other medics. I returned home on April 29, 2004."

Michael is planning to bring a film crew with him for a documentary they are producing:

“It is a short film by an NYU film student who has done many projects with BBC. He is really good for the cause and good for exposure. He said he would like to attend so he could see your wonderful display.”

We welcome Michael and his friends. We support their cause as they support ours—although of course it is really all one and the same cause!


JOHN PHILLIPS is a retired NYPD officer.
Following is the statement that he made to the court accounting for his action in Senator Clinton's office.

"The basis for my actions was to call to the attention of Senator Clinton the apparent misuse of our US military and the National Guard of the State of New York, subjecting them to injury and death and forcing them into combat against the civilian population of Iraq.

“The premise of this war has been proven baseless and therefore the continuation of this war constitutes a crime ! It is in the effort to halt that crime that I raise my objections.

“Since October 26, over 275 more of our military personnel have been killed! And it appears that a criminal motivation is perpetuating this war. We need to object to the inaction of our local leaders as to protesting the continuance of this crime, and investigating the reasons behind these actions.

“My conscience demands that I be here before you today. Just as that conscience dictates that it is my civil responsibility, upon observation of a violent crime in progress, to halt that crime for the protection of the victim or victims; and to report the details to the authorities responsible for the jurisdiction.

“I have probable cause to believe that a crime is being committed against the people of this state. And I bring that premise before you today, and while I am no longer an active police officer in this state, it does not lessen my responsibility to speak out."


CARMEN TROTTA is a leading member of Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker movement. He is a riveting speaker and we are honored that he has agreed to participate in VOICES AGAINST THE WAR.

Carmen has lived and worked at the Catholic Worker's St. Joseph's House on the Lower East Side of Manhattan since 1988. This hospitality house was founded by Dorothy Day in 1933 and offers shelter to the homeless and a soup kitchen for the homeless of New York City.. The Catholic Worker movement has been a 70-year experiment in radical Christianity based on community living, the acts of mercy and nonviolent resistance to war making. A major influence on Carmen has been his long time friend Fr. Daniel Berrigan SJ who was imprisoned during the Vietnam War period for burning draft cards. Along with his late brother Philip, Daniel Berrigan influenced the pacifist Catholic Worker movement dramatically.

For more information,