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Antiwar Panel Discussion


Book signing.  Art exhibit.
Free to the public.

Santa Monica, March 21, 2008, 7 pm.

Cost of Freedom (Howling Dog Press, 2007) is a unique book that documents the contemporary American peace movement. The book has been praised by Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Thom Hartmann, Harry Belafonte, Ralph Nader, and Ramsey Clark.

Challenging a belligerent, ask-no-questions concept of patriotism, in 2005 novelist Mike Palecek began gathering stories from peace activists across the U.S., asking their perspective on the “cost of freedom.” Along with Whitney Trettien, an MIT graduate student and Green Party activist, and Michael Annis, an independent publisher, they collected letters, articles, sentencing statements, songs, poems, collages and photos from activists around the country.

Cost of Freedom documents the everyday revolutionary acts of over 75 courageous men and women -- common citizens with an uncommon resolve for peace, truth, and liberty -- from a grandmother's stay at Camp Casey to a young man's counter-inauguration protest (and run-in with the FBI).

On Friday, March 21, 2008, at 7 pm, Track 16 Gallery will host Michael Palecek and three of the peace activists who've contributed to Cost of Freedom. They'll present a panel discussion on US foreign policy, the Iraq War, the Patriot Act and loss of liberties, and the status of the peace movement. Why hasn't it been more successful? What may the future hold? Will the upcoming elections change our foreign policy? Questions and comments from YOU, the audience, encouraged. Panelists include:

* Michael Palecek, an editor for Cost of Freedom, is a former federal prisoner for peace, a small town newspaper reporter, and the Democratic Party's candidate for Iowa's 5th Congressional District in 2000. He received 67,000 votes on an anti-military, anti-prison, pro-immigration platform in a largely conservative district.

* Elena Siff Erenberg has long been creating political art, lately focusing on antiwar mini-shrines and one-of-a-kind miniature political books (see right).  Her website: ElenaMarySiff.com.

* Thomas M. Sipos edits California Freedom, newspaper of the Libertarian Party of California. Upon assuming his post, he changed CF's editorial direction from silence to explicitly antiwar. Born to refugees from Communism, he wrote the anti-Communist satire, Vampire Nation. His website: Sipos.org.

* Rex Butters's poetry has been published in The Trestle Creek Review, Brain Vomit, the Free Venice Beachhead, Caffeine, verse & vice, Underground Forest, Bad Haircut Quarterly, Open Sound, and interband. He's reviewed music for All About Jazz and Folkworks, and performs improv with Black Shoe Polish.

Track 16 Gallery is at 2525 Michigan Avenue, Bldg C-1, Santa Monica, CA 90404. Free admission for this event -- March 21, 2008, 7 pm -- but please RSVP at 310-264-4678. Their website: Track16.com.

For info on Cost of Freedom, see: Costoffreedombook.blogspot.com.  Or email Whitney Trettien at: costoffreedombook@yahoo.com.

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