Sunday, March 19, 2006

Camilo Mejia spoke with Laura Flanders about the 241 mile march

RadioNation with Laura Flanders featured some amazing commentary, strong discussions and great music. Alexander Cockburn rightly noted that "Here we are 3 years into the war" with "two of 3 Americans" feeling the invasion of Iraq was a "bad idea" and the "biggest chickens are in DC." They can't find their voice on the war, with few exceptions (Laura Flanders noted that there were some exceptions on this in the House) and they can't find a spine that will allow them to stand upright in support of Russ Feingold's motion to censure the Bully Boy.

"What are they waiting for?" wondered Flanders, a feeling we think our readers can relate to.

But what we wanted to focus on was one guest, Camilo Mejia. For someone who gets so little attention from the media, Mejia is well known to readers and community members. That is because of the alternative media such as Flanders, Democracy Now! and various other outlets.
Since corporate media isn't interested (and it's not), it's up to alternative media to share these stories.

Former Iraq veteran and former jailed Conscientious Objector, Mejia is one of the strong voices speaking out against the occupation. Saturday, on RadioNation with Laura Flanders, he spoke on his latest action: a long distance march led by Fernando Suarez del Solar, Pablo Paredes, Aidan Delgado and himself. The 241 mile march, which started in Tijuana and will end in San Francisco, is an attempt at "raising Latino voice of opposition to the War in Iraq."

Mejia told Flanders that the number of people marching in each area varies due to the fact that "local people march with us." The march's goals including building awareness not only of Latino opposition (and encouraging opposition) but also to get people to see the relationship "between the war in Iraq and the situation in New Orleans."

"It comes down to greed," Mejia said. "It all comes down to human greed."

To get "people to the conection very clearly, you have to have the marches, the demonstrations."

The route for the march can be found here and events are currently listed through March 21st with a note of "more to come."

Latino voices have been a strong part of the anti-war movement and a large number of veterans of the Iraq war now speaking out are Latino such as Mejia, Paredes and Delgado. Aiden Delgado told C.S. Soong on KPFA's Against the Grain that he felt this resulted from the fact that Latinos are more likely to be familiar with the US actions in other nations and, therefore, more willing to question official pronouncements by an administration.

Why the march? Mejia summed it up with this, "You have to help people understand that it's not just a war happening half-way around the world, it's happening here."

Sunday's broadcast of RadioNation with Laura Flanders will include guests Christian Parenti of The Nation and Linda Foley, president of the Newspaper Guild. Flanders will also be discussing alternatives to war with UNICEF president Carol Bellamy.
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