Camp Casey Detroit--Day 18
At last night's MECAWI (Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice) meeting, it was decided to close down Camp Casey Detroit this Sunday, September 11. The consensus was to go out on a high note, and we're certainly anticipating that this weekend's visit by a busload of folks from the original Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas will provide just that opportunity. Besides, some of our most faithful Camp sitters must return to their jobs as teachers starting on Monday.
But what an accomplishment this has been! To keep a peace encampment going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 21 days in the middle of downtown Detroit has been an exercise in trust, commitment, community organizing and generosity. When I say that, I'm referring to generosity of time, creativity, hard work, food, money and community spirit. For Camp Casey Detroit has been all about community, and not just among us peace activists but among the men and women of our city who stopped to talk with us, shared our food and water, stayed to help us keep the Camp going, distributed our leaflets and petitions around the city, and became our friends.
And at the heart of it all was our shared commitment to bringing our troops home now!
So tomorrow night (Friday) we're inviting everyone to join us at Camp Casey Detroit for a potluck supper starting at 6 PM while we await the arrival of the Camp Casey Crawford busload of Militiary Families For Peace, Gold Star Families (those who have lost loved ones in the war on Iraq), and Veterans For Peace who are touring the country to demand our president Bring the Troops Home Now! Some of them will spend the night camping out with us at Camp Casey Detroit, and those who want a bed/couch, shower and the use of a washing machine will spend the night at our local Catholic Worker house--Day House--on Trumbull.
Saturday's activities will start with a Women In Black silent vigil at Camp Casey Detroit from 12 noon-1 PM, and will culminate in a massive peace rally at 3 PM sponsored by a coalition of Detroit peace groups and held in front of Camp Casey Detroit in Grand Circus Park (Woodward & Adams). At this rally we'll hear from our honored guests from Camp Casey Crawford. We're hoping to have a large turnout of folks from the Metro Detroit area, Ann Arbor and Windsor, Ontario.
Whoever chooses to will spend Saturday night at Camp Casey Detroit, and on Sunday our guests from Camp Casey Crawford will attend and speak at the 10 AM service at Central United Methodist Church across the street from our camp. On Sunday afternoon, they will get back on their bus and continue their cross-country journey toward Washington, DC and the huge Bring Our Troops Home Now! mobilization on September 24-26. Then we will strike Camp Casey Detroit and go home to our families who hardly know what we look like anymore.
As you can imagine, those of us who have spent a lot of time at Camp Casey Detroit over the past three weeks have mixed feelings about closing down the camp. On the one hand, it will be good to have the time and energy available for our pre-Camp lives, but on the other, we are going to miss one another and being part of such a tangible enactment of what we believe. I'm already feeling waves of loss wash over me every time I think of waking up Monday morning, knowing I won't be going down to the camp.
But we intend to keep the Camp Casey Detroit blog up and running even after the camp has closed. Hopefully it will provide an online community forum for Detroit area peace folks and others.
posted by Patricia