Sunday, October 30, 2005

Paving The Way

FW:

________________________________

From: Nahikian, Marie
Sent: Sun 10/30/2005 10:33 PM
To: c2ea@post.blogger.com
Subject:

Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 4:18 PM
To: All Staff
Subject: Marching along
All,
16 people showed up to join the marchers yesterday, including myself, so it was a nice sized pack of folks walking through Maryland. The experience was unbelievable.

I'd like to make a specific push to those of you who are on the fence about going - GO!!! I could only go one day, but it was one of the more memorable days of my life, and many others I've spoken to agree.

The marchers are busting their butts and some are feeling a lot of pain. They continue on, but their spirits are heavily lifted by the morning appearance of more walkers. They understand that everyone has scheduling difficulties, and they are extremely grateful to see you for a day or a few. At the same time they know Housing Works has 400+ staff people and tons of them have not arrived yet.

Marching is sometimes fun, and sometimes difficult. The group is functioning like a smooth machine now. Not everyday is the same, but yesterday the van ride was comfortable (including a visit by the New Jersey police!) and the weather was perfect. There were breaks every hour or two with granola bars, drinks, and some little sandwiches, and lunch was some delicious fried chicken. People who got too tired to walk are free to ride in the bus or van that follows the trip. We got back to 13th st around 9pm, even after running into some traffic at Holland tunnel.

If you are on the fence, or if you are considering going and are not sure whether to go for just one day or more, I highly recommend it, and I know the marchers would appreciate it.

Jason


I need to add my voice to Jason's --

- for both staff + clients - marching for a day is the most empowering thing any of us can do - don't let this experience escape your participation. It will change your perspective + leave your heart full + feet sore - particularly anyone who is HIV+ or cares about folks impacted by this disease. Walking the tunnel or going to Washington for a day is important but not like "walking a mile (or 15) in their shoes."

-Marie Nahikian

Jason:

I could not agree with you more. I would really encourage folks to pick at least a day.

-Andrew Coamey

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C2EA Nor'easter Caravan

ray saying hi







raynald joseph from aids care ocean state in rhode island on the nor easter caravan started off yesterday in dorcester ma it was a good start except for the weather but that didnt stop the caravan from getting onto a good start today what can i say good day met a great deal of wonderful people that were very involved with hiv/aids activism on the wonderful campus of smith college all in all the caravan is doing well getting the word out to people about us and our demands and with each stop people are wishing us well and letting us know they fully support us everything is much appreciated from the hospitality of jerry and jon to the wonderful turn out at smith college thanks to elizabeth and hailey and even a thanks to the guy that gave us directions on the side of the road keep posted on us and we love and appreciate everything and everyone we have met out there

C2EA Nor'easter Caravan

Hey hey we're the Monkeys

Not sure if this works but lets give it a shot...

Click here to see us singing the monkeys

C2EA American Heritage Caravan

American Heritage caravan update # 10


By Vaughn Frick
American Heritage caravan rider

October 30, 2005
Chicago, Illinois to Indianapolis, Indiana

Last night at the Institute for Cultural affairs we met up with the Seattle caravan also on their way to Washington, D.C.
Tired, hungry, grumpy, stinky, and road-weary,it was utterly wonderful to meet up with another arm of the body of this movement.
Today our separate caravans will set off in different directions, next to meet in the belly of the beast of the United States of America.
Today also we met the 9 people from Chicago who will join our caravan on this journey to save our lives and breath life, hope, and the will to end the AIDS pandemic. Many of us on this caravan have no health care or medical insurance, and as was with those who suffered and died after Hurricane Katrina, we tenuously live our lives but a few days away from disaster and death.
I think of Lonny on this caravan who will loose the medications that keep him alive come the new year. If we fail, the new year will bring him death. His laughter that I hear today on this bus will be silenced.
This is the reality of America today as many of us daily slip beneath the surface of utter destitution down into our graves, often alone in the cold night, invisible.
I've met so many kind, generous, truly inspiring people on this long road of adversity lit by that eternal spark of hope, that this nation can be the America that was the dream we were told in our youth. The shadow-side of this dream today for many is nightmare; a bloody legacy of war, genocide, racism, and greed.
This hope burns bright in the hearts of those who have joined us today in Chicago. The American Heritage caravan is 23 people strong now. To look around the table this morning when we met, where everyone had a seat at the table, there was no doubt that what we have been able to accomplish so far is historic.
What started out as a caravan of mostly Gay white men has been doubled where the majority is now African American. We are represented now in this caravan by Latinos, by Native Americans, and by the strength of women. Many women had wanted to join this caravan, but the realities of their lives are that often they are the caregivers of their children and families, and it was difficult if not impossible to leave their families for the duration of this action.
Yet today they are here with us, along with those with wheelchairs and oxygen tanks.
This is what we must do to keep alive.
Tonight there burns a flame of hope in America.
To learn more of this campaign and caravan, and how you can help, please log onto: www.c2ea.org.







hello everyone,
TODAY was an exciting day, we went to SMITH college it was a real cool atmosphere
I hung up 289 prayer flags from NH there going with me all the way to washington DC
and all the way back to NH. The picture of me with Bongo (the dog) was Elizabeth's roommate's dog trying to join the caravan. Then we went to supper it was funny because we came across these (what i called minute men) guys dressed up, So Tom went over and asked if they would take a pic with us (Tom thought they were cute). I try so hard to keep them in line, but it's not working. Thank you Keene State College for the beautiful prayer flags, the Nor'easter made a prayer flag also.

France Sullivan

C2EA Nor'easter Caravan

Smith College - Northampton, MA







Wow, first we had such an awesome day, I am just gonna say a few shout outs and let the oters fill you in on the rest of the days activities. First... PLEASE leave us comments!

Secondly it was awsome, all three France, Ray and I was on the college radio state twice. Shout out to them! - Thanks ladies!

Let me give a shout out to some of our new friends from Smith College and so awesome job Elizabeth and Hailey! Fantastic job thanks so much for your hospitality.

Also a special hello - Hudson, Holly, Emily, Tejratan, Chris, Jane, Elena, Jessica, Liz, Lilith, and Becca - ok we tried to remember everyones names so sorry to those who we left out but Smith College - thanks for hosting us. We had two hours of awesome conversation and met some awesome folks. Just remember DONT walk out of that room and not do something... get in touch with your local folks and continue to net. I let the others share now :)

Hugs and leave us posts!

Tom Donohue
State College, PA

Paving The Way

5 more days to go!

Paving the Way Caravan (day 16)

Most of the marchers must have leather feet and rubber knees or something because there only seems to be a few select ‘special’ people who have the luxury of experiencing the woes of foot travel. We do get over it rather quickly and everyone is more than happy to return to pounding the pavement. We have seen the glory of visibility and felt the truth of love and kindness! We will keep on keeping on to DC.

We will voice our sane desires for the compassionate END TO AIDS. We demand a true morality concerning treatment of everyone infected and affected for as long as it takes. We will teach each other the value of family as it pertains to US and carry these same messages to the land across all nations.

Ours is a road of listening, sharing, healing, bonding, learning, feeling, helping, caring, and teaching.

Ours is a road of love.

To all caravans, supporters, hosts, family, and friends
Much love,

Eddie Fukui

*thank you to all the truckers on the road acknowledging us with a blast of the horn (are they telling each other about us?).

Paving The Way

Day 16 on the road with crew

Day 16



Today wasn’t so bad . We’re staying at a house in Baltimore City. We still haven’t walked into Baltimore City yet. We bus out to where we finished the day before and start walking. There are a few more war scars on our battlefield. My ankle has swelled up from all the walking. Dianne W. has a big blister. I think they are having a blister contest, who has the biggest and who’s looks the worst. Myself I would rather do without the walking scars. But, as I have learned on this journey things have away of working itself out. All in all things are going pretty well.  I think Mr. King is coming down with a cold.  It’s probably because we work up a sweat walking. Then stop for a bathroom break and it gets cold. Amos(aka The Black Hornet)  keeps twisting our chants around into his own personal love chants, but it breaks up the stress and we get a laugh in here and there.  Well I’m off to wash some clothes. Come and join us if possible, we are also open to see new face. Almost there if my ankle holds us. Miss you guys back in New York. Come join us for a day or two.

Sheila Peeples
JTP
Bronx Cobra

Paving The Way

Soul of the South Day 13

Day 13

We just had a prayer service in Phenix City Alabama/Georgia.  I don’t know if I should be posting this, but I was quite offended.  Most of the prayer service was preaching about God’s love, and God’s healing and spreading the good news and the bible.  Well, I’m not a Christian and I don’t think it’s right for someone to preach to me about spreading the Christian word.  I believe that religion is in each person’s heart.  I’m not knocking anyone’s religion by day, but the reason we are here in Phenix City is to end AIDS, not preach the bible.  We didn’t say one word about what we are headed to DC for.  In fact, I doubt if half of the room today knew we were going to DC.  I don’t believe in forcing people to a specific religion, and I feel that today the local event was more about religion, than it was ending AIDS.  One lady stood up today out of all the people there, and she said she wasn’t Christian, she was Buddhist.  She said that although she wasn’t Christian each religion had a “golden rule”.  Her quote was “Plant a tree under someone’s shade that you don’t expect to rest.”  I thought that was touching.  I’m not Buddhist either, but she recognized that not EVERYONE in the room was Christian.  I really admire her; I’m glad she said what she said.

The event today made me think about our current administration.  Our government was formed with a separation between Church and State.  Under our current admin., that line has been blurred.  Our president pushes his moral views (ie abstinence) and religious beliefs, which in turn, is killing people.  Abstinence is not working, and our current admin. continues to fund abstinence based programs.  We need prevention based on scientific facts rather than ideology.  I felt really pressured today into conforming to the majority of the room.  I felt stifled, because I was afraid to speak up against this majority.  I don’t want to feel like that anymore.  I WON’T BE STIFLED!  I WON’T CONFORM!  I WON’T DIE!

 

 

Chris Rothermel

Host Committee Organizer: Soul of the South, Houston
Campaign to End AIDS
rothermel.c@gmail.com

 

this is an audio post - click to play

ARLAN

C2EA ON TV: FROM CAPITAL NEWS 9, ALBANY

C2EA, FRONT AND CENTER ON ALBANY'S CHANNEL 9 WEB SITE!

LINK to CAPITAL NEWS 9 FULL STORY and VIDEO CLIP:

http://www.capitalnews9.com/content/headlines/?ArID=154976&SecID=33

Campaign to end AIDSUpdated: 10/29/2005 9:09AM
By: Kristina Krawchuk

"A nor'easter is heading this way, but it isn't the kind you might expect. You won't need boots and a heavy coat, this storm is filled with compassion and the need to wipe out an epidemic.

Mark Hayes of Housing Works said, 'You know what, AIDS is here in Albany, it's in Schenectady, it's in Troy, it's in Clifton Park, it's in Saratoga, it's in Glens Falls. And you know what? It's even in Plattsburgh.'
In fact, New York State has the highest number of documented HIV and AIDS cases in the country..."



LINK TO CAPITAL NEWS 9 FULL STORY AND VIDEO CLIP:
http://www.capitalnews9.com/content/headlines/?ArID=154976&SecID=33

C2EA Nor'easter Caravan

Day 2 - report while driving on I90!







Day 2 on our way to Smith College in North Hampton, MA! Here we are, the C2EA crew thus far... then our hosts... John and Jerry and the last pic is of a guy who helped give us directions!! Thanks Mr. Unknown name. He also signed one of our C2EA posters and he's coming along with us. He wished us luck and we were on our way! We are really excited, Elizabeth (which is also my neice's name :) shout out to my neices and nephews :) I wanna see a post saying hi to us CHARLENE!! *my sister*) she just called us to check in!

Tonight we are thinking about staying in North Hampton rather then going onto Albany - we want to do outreach along to some AIDS Service Organizations along the way tomorrow since we don't have anything scheduled... we'll just do things along the way. Thus far this trip has been so amazing... I've been really down lately and these folks I am with and have met have just jumpstarted me its been amazing! Until we get to Smith - enjoy... Hey! Dont forget to register we want your comments and support!

Tom Donohue
State College, PA

Paving The Way

October 30 2005 - Paving the Way

October 30, 2005

Paving the Way – Day 15

Well, yesterday was a hoot.  I spent the morning doing a laundry run and scoping out the house we will be staying at for four nights.  It started off with a 20 minute instructional pow wow between terri, myself, Robin, Val and Anthony (our lead driver).  We had spent the night at Ames Methodist Church which was about 30 minutes from our start off point.  While the marchers loaded up to get to the start off point at Route 40, our little group was going to go into Baltimore City to check out the digs and drop off 18 bags of laundry.

We spent 20 minutes going over which route we were going to take that would lead us into the city.  By the way, ALL routes lead into the city.  Once we decided on a course, us girls piled into the van and Anthony into the truck housing our luggage.  We had decided we would take the lead and Anthony would follow.  We promptly got onto the wrong road altogether and ended up going on this scenic, 40 minute drive through the rolling hills of Baltimore County.  We saw all the animals you would normally find on old MacDonald’s farm and the most beautiful stone cottages and farms.  We knew Anthony was driving behind us, shaking his head and muttering, “women, women”.  It was really cool.

Once we got into the city, what a surprise to get to our destination!  As someone in the group later said, ‘OMG, we’re in crack city!”  There are more boarded up tenement buildings on this block than there are actual residents and we have to have someone on watch, guarding the cars as well as someone in the house at all times.  The entire neighborhood saw us unload.  We’re hoping they think we’re just a big drug ring coming in to do some business on ebay or something, then we’ll be packed and out after we funnel millions of dollars into our swiss bank accounts, all done through laptops!  Since there’s a good diverse racial mix of us here, we’re hoping the residents will be scared of us.  I already took some time to get on the cell phone on the stoop and tried really hard to look nonchalant and tough at the same time.  I don’t know if it worked…….

Our host committee includes a woman by the name of Bettye from a CBASO named HERO and these folks are wonderful!  The house is roomy, very comfortable and it is so nice to be able to stay in one place for more than one night at a time.  A lot of love has come our way from these people and they have taken good care of us.  I’m surprised to hear from these guys how much inspiration and hope we are giving them.  Seems like we’ve made quite a stir these past 15 days and I’m happy to be getting this type of feedback.

I drove the rest of the day yesterday on a particularly dangerous strip of Route 40, which will not be finished until today’s run.  I had to drive up ahead of the marchers to avoid having cars swerve past the caravan of C2EA cars that were behind them, trying to protect their flank.  It was really dangerous and kind of scary, but I felt pretty invincible in that huge van I was driving.  I was very scared and protective of the marchers and I think I have to do the same thing today.
We picked up Julie Pena!!!  Yayyyy!  She’s joined us for the rest of the trip and I missed having her around.  She’s usually one of the core group and it was so awesome to see her come in last night.  Today will be a short day and we will end up at the city limits.  More to come.

Paving The Way

Day 16 from Diane

Day 16 from Diane

Diane Williams

It has been a good night for me. The sleep was very good. So glad to see Julie comes. I happy to see my C2EA family with me. Every one seems so happy this morning. To all my co-worker at housing works I miss everyone and thank every one that is holding down the house for everyone here. Anthony is hope that he getting some well deserve rest. To my son and daughter. I LOVE YOU FOREVER. Boss you know that I miss you.

Diane Williams

C2EA American Heritage Caravan

American Heritage caravan update # 9

By Vaughn Frick
American Heritage Caravan rider

October 29, 2005
Chicago, Illinois

Our caravan was well recieved in this city so rich with a history of political activism, a city where so many people live with HIV, where so many have died.
Our American Heritage riders were set up in comfortable accomadations at the Institute of Cultural Affairs. The Uptown neighborhood where we are staying is one of the most culturally diverse in Chicago, within blocks of where we are staying over 81 different languages are spoken.
The Institute of Cultural Affairs Community Resource Center in Chicago enables 24 agencies to provide health, support, and homeless services to the Uptown neighborhood's diverse population. Over 120,000 persons are served by these agencies each year. ICA's International Conferance Center last year provided space for 167 different organizations from around the world for 180 conferences and numerous meetings for urban research, exploration and service. Today this center hosted such groups as Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and an organization of Ghanian taxi-cab drivers.
For our caravan most of our stay here was one of rest, which for many Caravan Riders was touring the culture and sights of this international city.
Part of this culture was the near-by Gay district, or "Boy's Town" along the stretch of Halsted street. What happened on Halsted street, stays on Halstead street.
I hope.
Later in the afternoon over half of the American Heritage caravan riders met with our local supporters at the Test Positive Aware Network housed in a neighborhood impacted by a high percentage of HIV infections. Test Positive Aware Network was founded in 1987 by Chris Clason and 16 other individuals who were HIV positive. They came together with the belief that through the sharing of information and personal experiences regarding HIV that they could help each other. They believed that self-empowerment and information would help them to live.
TPAN is a community-based organization dedicated to providing services to persons infected, and affected by HIV. Service delivery is peer based, and the many needs of Chicago's HIV community is this groups only mission.
The majority of both the staff and volunteers are HIV positive, to better understand the issues, emotions, and concerns faced by their client base.
TPAN's motto is "Committed to living-committed to you."
Life.
Death.
Tonight the season of ghosts began to play on Chicago's streets as Halloween nears, the time when our dead are near.

To learn more about the Campaign To End AIDS, the American Heritage Caravan, and how you can help finally end the AIDS pandemic, please log onto:
www.c2ea.org.
To learn more about the Institute of Cultural Affairs:
Chicago@ica-usa.org
And to contact the Test Positive Aware Network:
www.tpan.com