Almost simultaneously, CNN was reporting a ground invasion by Israeli troops, further escalating the decades-old conflict.
Dr. Wayne Johnson, a retired UW-Parkside prof, told the three-dozen protesters, "the current disaster is only the symbol" of the long, painful history in the region. "There are more than enough thugs to go around," he said.
The Rev. Glen Halbe, a retired United Church of Christ minister, said, "we gather here in the blindness of hope." He charged that "Israel lied" about about dropping leaflets warning civilians to get out of the neighborhoods it was just about to bomb.
The crowd was led in the now-familiar anti-war chant: "What do we want? A ceasefire! When do we want it? Immediately." "Sustainable... now... end the blockade... stop U.S. support... a real peace process." Behind the protesters stood Santa's chalet, while the poles supporting their peace and U.S. flags were stuck in a mound of snow that just two weeks ago was a representation of Santa himself.
Pete Wicklund of the Journal Times has a more complete report on what the speakers said, and a response from Rabbi Martyn Adelberg of Congregation Beth Israel Sinai.
Upcoming events planned by the RCPJ include:
- Stand for Peace. Monthly Racine stand for peace will resume on April 18.
- Thursday, Jan. 8: “The Myth of Democracy in Colombia,” presentation by Sr Pat Chaffee, 7 p.m., Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church. 7th Street & College Avenue, Racine. Info: Wayne Johnson, 262/639-7149.
- Tuesday, Jan. 13: “Immigration, Race, & Ethnicity: The View from Wisconsin & Racine,” sessions on Tuesdays through 17 February, 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., HOPES Center, 506 7th Street, Racine. Info/registration 262/898-2940.
- Tuesday, Jan. 13: “War, Inc.,” Videos for Peace, 7 p.m., Peace Action Center, 1001 Keefe, Milwaukee.
- Thursday, Jan. 15: Regular meeting of the Racine Coalition for Peace & Justice. This meeting will be held at the Chancery Restaurant in the Racine Harbor.
- Wednesday, Jan. 21: Start of ten-week Spanish class, 4:30 pm or 5:30 pm, HOPES Center. Info/registration: Dixie VanRemmen, 262/554-5464.
- Monday, Feb. 2: “Health Care for All,” presentation by Wisconsin Senator Kathleen Vinehout, 6:30 pm, Siena Center, 5635 Erie, Racine 53402. Info: Sr Rita Lui, 262/639-4100 x1230.
- Thursday, Feb. 5: “Change Viewed from Abroad,” foreign student panel on the international response to Barack Obama, 7 pm, Olympia Brown UU Church, College & 7th Street, Racine. Info: Wayne Johnson, 262/639-7149.
- Thursday, Feb. 19: Regular meeting of the Racine Coalition for Peace & Justice, 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 7 p.m. at the César Chávez Community Center, 2221 Douglas Avenue (access and parking off Charles Street).
- Feb. 13-22: MayaWorks delegation to Guatemala. Info: 312/243-8050, .
- Tuesday, Feb. 17: “Fair Trade and Food Sovereignty,” presentation by John Peck & John Kinsman, Family Farm Defenders, 6:30 p.m., Siena Center, 5635 Erie, Racine 53402. Info: Sr Rita Lui.
- Tuesday, Feb. 24: “A Moral Foreign Policy,” presentation by John Nichols, Family Farm Defenders, 6:30 p.m., Siena Center, 5635 Erie, Racine 53402. Info: Sr Rita Lui.