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Indybay Feature

Brian Willson: The The Unimaginable Journey of an American Peacemaker

Monday, July 18, 2011
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
1924 Cedar St
Berkeley, CA 94709

With Special Guest: Daniel Ellsberg

Brian's political memoir, Blood On The Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson, is due to be released in mid-June (PM Press). This memoir chronicles his long journey from a conservative country boy to graduate student of criminal justice and law, to disgruntled commander in Viet Nam, to becoming a double below-the-knee amputee after being intentionally run over by an accelerating U.S. government munitions train bound for Central America (with weapons destined to murder peasants seeking justice). Subsequent experiences provoked further expansion of his consciousness. It is his humble intent with this book to open dialogues with others so that he may not only share my insights, but learn from their experiences, as well.

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 for war, 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.

S. Brian Willson is a Vietnam veteran and nonviolent pacifist. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Information: Co-sponsored by 28 Bay Area non-profit organizations
Added to the calendar on Fri, Jul 8, 2011 9:20AM
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