Sunday, March 4, 2012

The eighth day of Lent: Wounded Warriors

The guy with the cans is back. Today is a beautiful day. No rain. Teddy and Rafael are encouraging him to leave. Today he is arguing that he is sick. Rafael agrees that he is sick, but is concerned as to what kind of sick he might be. There are worrisome signs. He moves, but just around the corner to the 86th Street doorway. Teddy tells him that if he is that sick, he will call an ambulance. His companion was concerned as well, but Rafael had overheard him say that if she continued to talk with us, he would punch her out. I want to call Reachout, but Danielle says that cutbacks have made them a lot more difficult to connect with. Just before we’re ready to call 911, he agrees to leave. 
John  and Melissa are back again.  They and Hope and Amanda are comepletely abosrbed in Matthew’s rehearsal. The music soars, voices weaving in harmomies. Amanda says that he should do an open rehearsal before their opening. I make a note to ask him.
Jason comes with a new idea. There is a silkscreen company that is going to be in need of space soon. In return for space, they could teach coop members the trade and upgrade the quality of their shirts and other items. 
Rosa has run out of time at the shelter she has been staying at in the Bronx. Dorot has been unable to help her. I recommend maybe theWestside Federation at Euclid Hall, draw her a map. She returns twice, so I finally walk with her the block and change to Boradway and 86th. Ultimately she will be back having failed to connect there as well, so I call to make her an appointment with their housing specialist.
I come back from Federal Plaza where Hope and I joined with the Justice Will Be Served campaign in their protest of the arrest of Chinese livery car drivers in Queens, the federal governent essentially acting as union busters on behalf of exploitative bosses. My friend Rabbi Michael of the Labor Religion Coalition was there as well. 
Immigrant workers under attack,
Stand up, fight back. 
Tonight is the Times Square Players premiere of Martin’s When Johnny Comes Home. It’s a sensitive play about a soldier coming back from Afghanistan badly wounded. And the struggles of his family to adjust. It’s a decent exploration of the issue. 
But what really makes the evening is the after performance talk by Andrea Brin Sawyer of the Wounded Warriors Organization, a national organization of those who are caregivers for severely wounded veterans. Her personal story and the story of their lobbying efforts to get justice for those who have served their cointry was profoundly moving. And once again, I felt that this is exactly what we want to have happening here. I’m thankful to Martin for having taken this on. 

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