Monday, February 26, 2007

A Spatialized Debate

The Lafayette Crosses Hillside Memorial to the US soldiers killed in Iraq manifests two phenomena within the anti-war movement. One is the prominence of aesthetic/spatial representations of the cost of the war such as the Lafayette memorial, Arlington West and the Quaker organized traveling memorial of empty boots. The other is activism in affluent suburbs. Interestingly, these phenomena became more apparent when signs voicing their opposition to the memorial were put up across the street. The new signs protest how the memorial exposes children to death and in doing so exposes the struggle over space and values in suburbia. This video attempts to expose how space and values are constructed together in suburban California. I hope it gives others in the anti-war movement a chance to reflect and learn. To watch or download video, click here.


Podcast from KCBS news

Doug Sovern reports on a podcast from kcbs news. Includes brief interviews with organizer Jeff Heaton an a Marine Corp vet. To download podcast click here.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Links 1/29-2/24/07

Andrew McGall From the community: How many crosses will it take? An opinion peice in the 2/24/07 contra costa times 1/29-2/24

March 17 Rally in Walnut Creek

Friday, February 23, 2007

Finished Gallery at SeatoSea

Ko Blix has finished a wonderful photogallery of the memorial at It comes in five sections,

To Make and Paint
To Carry and Plant
To Mourn
To Witness
Silent Witness.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Feb 12 City & Activists Make Deal: TV News Coverage

On Febuary 12th The Mayor, City Council and Memorial activists signed a Mutual Agreement of Understanding on to reduce the size of the Lafayette memorial's sign by half. Also, they agreed not to have candles at the base of each cross during future vigils. KTVU Channel 2 News reports on both what activists have to say at the Febuary 11th work day and the city council meeting itself. NBC 11 also reports.

Background: In November, when the memorial project began with 300 crosses, contreversy arose with in the east Bay Area suburbs. Peace activists and others quickly shouted there support while some condemned the project as a desecration to our troops and country. The contreversy hightened when a vandal knocked down the memorials sign that reads the number of war-dead. The city got ivolved when some people demanded it be taken down because the sign was larger than the sign ordinance allowed. A city council meeting was held on November 27th where people passionatley debated over the memoial's merits. I linked to a video of the 11/27/06 city counil meeting here video here.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Captain Neon and Other Illuminated Objects

On the days surrounding the January 11th vigil against troop escalation, a local artist named Erik, aka Captain Neon, donated an illuminated sign for the hillside memorial. The neon sign displayed the number of war-dead at the time. I decided to highlight the neon with this video. I also included other electrically lit objects captured at the vigil. I hope this frenzied collection of shots destabilizes and then illuminates the social and material context of the war and the memorial with in contemporary suburbia. Link to Video.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Against Escalation Pt2: A Song For Peace -betterquality

I discovered a remarkably better video format to use and believe this video is worth revisiting in better quality.

Footage from the January 11ths vigil to protest troop escalation where “This Little Light of Mine” was sang. Roughly 300 people came to the rally at the war memorial in suburban California. Link to video.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Great Crosses Photos on SeatoSeedotnet

Lafayette Iraq Memorial volunteer, Ko Blix, has posted great photos from the memorial at the page seatoseadotnet. Please go take a look at his To Make and Paint a Cross and January 12th Vigil: A Surge of Prostest.

Photos by Ko. on top we see organizer Jeff Heaton with many unpainted crosses. Below, Captain Neon adjusts the illuminated sign he made on the January 11th vigil.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

A Demonstration Against Escalation: Pt 2 -A Song for Peace-

Footage from the January 11ths vigil to protest troop escalation where “This Little Light of Mine” was sang. Roughly 300 people came to the rally at the war memorial in suburban California. Link to Video.