Friday, May 19: S. Brian Willson joins us from Portland, Oregon to read from his memoir, Blood on the Tracks. 7pm.
"Brian Willson's courage, integrity, and dedication to peace and justice and to a sustainable society have been an inspiration to all of those who seek to change the course on which we are lurching towards destruction. His memoir should be read and pondered, and its lessons should be taken to heart by those who hope to create a more decent world." —Noam Chomsky
"Brian Willson has lived one of the more interesting and inspiring lives of any peace activist in recent American history. His story deserves to be read and absorbed by people of all persuasions: militarists as well as anti-militarists." —Peter Dale Scott, author of The War Conspiracy
"No one has gone deeper into the heart of American militarism and moral despair than Brian Willson, paying an immeasurable cost, only to come out intact on the other side. His brilliant extendedreflection not only gives us light but also hope: this is what it means to be an upright human being in a world of violence and lies. He can't be stopped! Thank God Brian Willson has written his story: we Americans need it desperately." —Mark Rudd, author of Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen
After serving in the Vietnam War, S. Brian Willson became a radical, nonviolent peace protester and pacifist, and this memoir details the drastic governmental and social change he has spent his life fighting for. Chronicling his personal struggle with a government he believes to be unjust, Willson sheds light on the various incarnations of his protests of the U.S. government, including the refusal to pay taxes, public fasting, and, most famously, public obstruction. On September 1, 1987, Willson was run over by a U.S. government munitions train during a nonviolent blocking action in which he expected to be removed from the tracks. Providing a full look into the tragic event, Willson, who lost his legs in the incident, discusses how the subsequent publicity propelled his cause toward the national consciousness. Now, 23 years later, Willson tells his story of social injustice, nonviolent struggle, and the so-called American way of life.