City Paper, February 27, 1988
Responses to: The Politics of Peace Park
By Michael Willrich
I AM ANGRY BEYOND WORDS FOR Willrich's rendition of "The Politics of Peace Park" (2/26). Every adjective used to describe the vigilers of Peace Park was derogatory if not slanderous. Yellow journalism is too mild, puke-colored would be more apt. Is it not enough that these people have shed the comforts and amenities of materialism to pursue salvation for the planet? The article is analogous to throwing a brick to someone drowning.
I was interviewed by those two smiling little boys. Everything I said about my five years of vigil was positive. We've gathered over 45,000 signatures on a petition for disarmament, we're seen by 3,000,000 visitors a year, we've had tens of thousands of conversations concerning the threat of extinction.
Did any of that get printed? No! The most I could have hoped for was an unbiased report, but that's about as possible as finding the earth's emergency exit. It doesn't exist. The only reason City Paper is still protected by the First Amendment is because it is not a challenge to the military-industrial complex or its accomplices, in fact it is an accomplice.
Just think, the rewards of perverting the truth, if done enough, can be a horrible, sudden death for us all.
RE MIKE WILLRICH'S COMPREHENSIVE story of February 26, "The Politics of Peace Park":
Mike describes my D.C. apartment as "more of a locker room arrangement" for the Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil than a headquarters… "a place where the protesters come to take showers, to microwave burgers...and sometimes to make love." In so doing he denigrates the role and talents of the vigilers.
If Mike or City Paper readers know of any locker room (or other additional accommodation) where vigilers can conduct even such activities, edit and view their own anti-nuke videos with members of other peace groups, prepare releases, legal documents, consult reference works, maintain correspondence and phone contacts throughout the country, or simply rest, please let me know. (Such are the activities described, demonstrated, or documented to your reporter during his visit to me. Such in all fairness are the functions of a headquarters.)
News of more extended hospitality should be welcome to the vigilers to emerge this month from Occoquan II at Lorton and in the case of Ellen Thomas from the. federal penitentiary at Lexington, Kentucky—all punished for sleeping in Lafayette Park.
One thing's sure: No one who has spent even one freezing, drenching night guarding-anti nuclear signs in the park along with the vigilers can read the story of their imprisonment without pain. I thank you for it.