old to find a job as an executive or a principal in a school district.” “We’ve hired two or three retired colonels,” Texas Bank president Sinkin confirmed, “and found them very good organizational people.” Every year the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce sends a mission to Washington, D.C., to protect San Antonio’s military base funding. This year, in March, the pilgrims included Maria Berriozabal and County Judge Leo Mendoza. They hosted receptions in Washington for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Senator John Tower. John Miller, a Mennonite who staffs the St. Paul’s Square Peace Center, in an old drugstore near downtown, said, “The general public who work on the bases as civilians are really hesitant to get involved with peace work. They wonder what it would mean for their jobs. The whole idea of a need for a `strong defense’ permeates the city…. . I don’t think the idea’s been accepted that because the military is here we’re more insecure than secure. In case of a nuclear attack, we’d be a target. “Pastors have church members who are very connected to the military, so they are less free to speak their minds. There are some interdenominational pastoral groups that have military chaplains and therefore the peace stuff always gets downplayed.” Peace activism in San Antonio, Miller said, has included the operation of the peace center, work with the Democratic party on sending freeze supporters to the county and state party conventions, a speakers’ bureau, and the organizing of a demonstration when El Salvador’s president came to a San Antonio luncheon with Mayor Henry Cisneros and others. “If San Antonio has maintained a somewhat healthy [economic] base,” Berriozabal concluded, “it was because the military was present.” But San Antonians speak with hope about getting off the military dole. “There is a widening of the base of San Antonio’s economic activity where we’re not really dependent on the military for our survival,” Sinkin observed. “In the last ten years,” said Hernandez, “industry moving in and the whole selling of San Antonio as a sunbelt city has changed the focus. There is more regular private sector business coming in.” San Antonians speak of new jobs in electronics, medical research, and the importexport business. “Since my lifetime, Kelly has been the principal employment office,” Jose Siller said. “San Antonio is going through a change right now. . . . I’m Pho to by Al ic ia Dan ie l COPS President Sonia Hernandez sure people will look for jobs other places than the military. People will be Greenham Common, England April 1, 1984 /T WAS a perfectly clear morning in London, sufficiently atypical to raise spirits considerably. As I made my way by subway, train, and bus towards Greenham Common, I felt as excited as my fellow Sunday excursionists, but more pensive. This journey felt like a solitary pilgrimage, as if I were approaching world headquarters of the peace movement. As I got on the bus to Newbury, the nearest town to Greenham, four young British women decorated with peace buttons caught my eye. Fellow pilgrims. With some trepidation derived from guilt over my nationality, I introduced myself. They welcomed me warmly into their midst, and we began a conversation that was to last for hours. Beverly Burris is an assistant professor of sociology at Trinity University in San Antonio. Greenham Common Peace Camp can be addressed c/o Newbury, Berkshire/ENGLAND. leaving the bases.” I asked Siller if he would prefer a government job in a peacetime pursuit. “Oh yes,” he said. “I’d be willing to change.” But for the present the dependency remains. “If there’s any city that’s targeted by the U.S.S.R., it’s San Antonio,” said Hernandez, “precisely because of the military bases, so it’s hard to keep it out of your mind. But the day-to-day needs of our facilities are the thing that we’re most concerned about, and that’s what we deal with. Otherwise we would be paralyzed. “One thing about COPS,” she continued, “is that we’re very realistic about those arenas where we can have an influence and that’s what we stick to. If we thought we could really make a difference, we would jump into the nuclear freeze thing and expect to see results.” 1=1 This was Mothers’ Day in England, they reminded me, and it promised to be a special celebration at the women’s camp. Also, the Thatcher government had recently been making statements to the effect that the peace camp must be out of the area by April 2, giving as an excuse their alleged need to widen the road to the missile base. Today, a special show of solidarity was expected. In September, 1981, fifteen or twenty women had marched from Cardiff in Wales to Greenham Common to protest the announced installation of Cruise missiles there. Upon arriving in Greenham, the women decided to stay. Supporters came with tents and blankets, and the camp was born. It has lasted, despite considerable harassment from both the government and from local residents, for two-and-one-half years. At least two opposition groups have been formed: RAGE, or Residents Against the Greenham Encampment, and Women for Defense. Local vigilante squads have attacked the camp during the night, throwing animal blood and excrement on it. Repeated evictions and THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11 A Pilgrimage to Greenham Common By Beverly Burris
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