March 31 2022 / Gary Ghirardi / NNOMY - I received an invitation from Rachel Brunke, a newly joined steering committee member of NNOMY and an organizer for Codepink San Pedro, to come up from our office in San Diego and participate in their Peace Week activities during the Memorial Day weekend.
Getting out of the The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth office and making it up to the Navy’s Fleet Week at Los Angeles Harbor was an eye opener on a few important levels.
Fleet Week is five days of celebratory militarism all packaged over Memorial Day with out a sign of the purpose of that day of remembrance for those who fought as combatants in US wars and lost their lives. Fleet Week is a window into the comfortable relationship the military enjoys with all types of corporate sponsors including the Fox Network, Princess Cruises, Wells Fargo Bank, UPS, Delta Airlines, Clear Channel and many more plus governmental entities like the City of Los Angeles and of course The United States Government.
The festivities include Navy ship tours, live entertainment, exhibits and displays, food trucks, live competitions and aerial demonstrations with jet fighter and attack helicopter fly-overs; it is a city fair of war without mention of the suffering that war causes to all involved.
A peace action is planned to run concurrently as a counter event held every year at what the organizers named Peace Park located across the boulevard in front of the Battleship Iowa museum. With local peace group push back by Codepink San Pedro, San Pedro Neighbors For Peace and Justice, Military Families Speak Out and the Veterans for Peace Jim Brown Chapter, the park is actually its own commemorative site from Labor struggle days in the 20’s and 30’s, originally the location of a dock workers bar where the workers gathered and organized.