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his campaign for fiscal responsibility long enough to chase after a budget buster. And it also serves to remind us how skewed our high-tech priorities are. Instead of wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to buy a ticket on the boondoggle express, our legislature should be funding badly-needed THE TRAIN STARTED coming,” Mike Kroll remembers. He was standing with Brian Willson on the tracks of the Concord Naval Weapons Station in Northern California holding the protest banner. “And it seemed to be picking up speed. . . . First, I thought, ‘Shit, this is like something I saw in Stand By Me,’ you know where the kids were racing across the bridge and the train was coming and they look back and it’s bearing down on them. Then I thought, ‘Huh, I thought trains needed more time to stop than this one is going to use.’ Then there was kind of a hysteria, a panic,a reality that was moving along with the train down the tracks. And I began to actually hear the words from people alongside the train. ‘Please stop. Stop. You’re going to hit someone. People are on the tracks. Stop.’ “There were two men on the front of the train riding shotgun. They’re just standing there, checking obstacles on the track. They’re always on there, every train that’s gone by. One of them had this incredible smirk on his face, and he was shaking his head as if to say, `No. We’re not going to stop.’ The train kept coming. One of the three demonstrators on the track jumped off. Duncan Murphy, who was on the track, jumped up like a dervish and grabbed hold of the train. . . . If I had not moved my left shoulder would have been taken off. I saw Brian move to a semicrouch. He was moving himself up with his right arm. There was a very quizzical look on his face, the look of ‘is this for real?’ He certainly was not intending to get run over by the train. “Then the train hit him and pulled him under and continued over him with James Ridgeway’s column, “The Moving Target,” which is published by the Village Voice, appears regularly in the Observer. science education programs. Instead of issuing bonds to lure in scientific extravaganzas, the legislature should be building up the University of Houston’s superconductivity program. As for our Congressmen, they should be fighting to revive the space program, which has suffered terribly under the Reagan his body rolling around and bouncing like a rag doll. His foot flew off. I saw his arms rolling around. I thought he was dead. I think the train was going 20 miles an hour. The train went over him and did not come to a full stop for several hundred feet until it was entirely within the base. His wife rushes over. She’s a midwife and stops the bleeding in his’ stump with her skirt. His brains are visible through the hole in his head. His remaining leg was badly mangled. One ear was virtually off his head. It was just hanging there. It took almost half an hour for an ambulance to arrive. Paramedics came from across the base, and did virtually nothing. They took his blood pressure, did some first aid stuff, and said, ‘He’s alright.’ ” Tuesday, September 1, had begun like many other days in the large-scale Central American peace demonstration that had been going on since early June. The actions had been launched in response to reports made by the Pledge of Resistance, a network of Central American peace groups around the country, which had concluded that munitions were routinely sent from the Concord Naval Weapons Station to El Salvador. These included ammunition for helicopter machine guns, whitephosphorous rockets, and heavy demolition bombs, all of which are employed against civilian populations in El Salvador. Beginning on June 10, groups within Nuremberg Actions, a coalition of peace groups that seeks to encourage adherence to international law \(and thus refuses to participate in the Central demonstrations at the base. Each time a train loaded with munitions would emerge from the base, and cross a public highway on its short run to Port Chicago on San Francisco Bay, a ritual would be enacted. First, the demonstrators would inform officials on the base and local civilian law enforcement officials they intended to block the train. They administration. An orbiting space station, for instance, would be as pricey as the SSC, but it would offer a broader range of applications and yield more tangible results. Until we can meet fundamental needs like these, the supercollider should be safely packed away in the toy box of dreams. would then take up positions on the tracks as it slowly crossed the highway at a five-mile-an-hour snail’s pace, grinding to a stop before the assembled group. Thereupon police would arrest the participants. But on September 1, Willson, a 46year-old Vietnam veteran best known for his participation in a lengthy fast on the Capitol steps last year, held a press conference to announce a 40-day fast on the tracks. The fast, in turn, was part of the Nuremberg Actions. Willson duly held his press conference, the demonstrators informed the by now bored officials on the base of their intent to block the train, and then told the police. For their part, the police good-naturedly pleaded that if the group must stop the train, it do so before it crossed the highway. Otherwise, they would be confronted by hordes of angry motorists. Willson refused. Willson eventually was taken to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, where his left leg was amputated and his ear successfully sewn back on his head. His condition has stabilized, his spirit remains unmoved. As he told his friend Kroll, “I am a peace agitator now.” To help pay Brian Willson’s medical expenses, which could run as high as $150,000, his friends are asking the public to send contributions to the Brian Willson Fund, c/o his attorneys, Larson & Weinberg, 523 Octavia St. , San Francisco, CA 94102. A Walk on the Beach, A Breath of Fresh Air, A Discovery of A Shell, And Yourself .. . P.O. Box 8 Port Aransas, TX 78373 Blood on the Tracks The Munitions Train Stops For No One By James Ridgeway THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9