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Peace Plans for Central America

August 17, 1987

On Aug. 3, I was one of 34 anti-contra activists arrested in a nonviolent civil disobedience action at the Van Nuys Air National Guard Base to protest the guard's involvement in military maneuvers and supply missions to Central America. Of our group, I was one of only six people who chose to spend a day in jail while awaiting my arraignment (the charges were dropped the next morning).

During my 28 hours in jail where I was treated as something less than human, I could not help but reflect upon the irony of my situation. Why do nonviolent peacemakers such as myself end up being branded criminals and silenced behind bars when people like Lt. Col. Oliver North who indeed carry out illegal (and I might add immoral) activities are glorified as heroes? Who are the real criminals anymore? It truly is a strange democracy that we live in.

In the face of "Olliemania," I believe that patriots like myself who yearn for the day when the United States will truly represent our greatest value, freedom, through a non-intervening foreign policy, must stand up, be heard, and take courageous heroic action to demand an end to our militaristic imperialism, especially in Central America.

KEN BUNKER

Venice

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