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A Special Camp Casey Family Reunion
This past Thrusday my Mother and I traveled to Austin, TX for a Camp Casey Family Reunion. We attended the Camp Casey Peace Awards and I was honored to accept the Camp Casey Peace Institutes first Young Activist Peace Award. I was especially inspired by being in the company of so many great people working for Peace including Willie and Annie Nelson and Ann Wright. The award ceremony was a great reunion of some amazing activists and wonderful musicians who played some awesome music. Our plan was to leave the next day on the last flight out of Dallas. We had flown into Dallas and driven from there to Austin. After realizing that we weren't going to be able to make our flight we pulled off onto an exit from the interstate and realized we were a matter of minutes from Crawford, TX. After checking to see if we could find another flight out in the morning, and making a quick stop to stock up on more batteries for our camera, we made a decision. We would be taking a detour to Camp Casey and join the camp-goers who were holding a demonstration on Prairie Chapel road - the road which leads to Bush's ranch.

Camp Casey is an amazing experience no matter what time of the year you attend. My Brother, Uncle, and I attended last August during the middle of a drought during 100 degree weather. We stayed a week and despite the heat, and some frustrations with our tent and being stuck in a tent with each other for a week, we had an absolutely amazing and truly life changing time at the Camp. We met so many activists from all over the country who came to support Cindy and the peace movement. I was especially glad to meet so many amazing Iraq war Veterans who told their stories such as Geoffrey Millard, Grant Collins, and Cloy Richards. Speaking with the family members who had lost loves ones in this war was a heart wrenching but necessary task. More Americans should take the time to listen to the stories of people like Carlos Arredondo - who was notified of his son's death in Iraq on his own 44th birthday. All of the amazing activism groups such as Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, and of course Gold Star Families for Peace all helped make that summer week once of my most memorable weeks, but this second trip to Camp Casey was different - it stood out for an especially sad reason.

Camp Casey Easter stands apart from other Camp Casey events because it is the anniversary of Casey's death. Casey Sheehan was killed by enemy action on April 4, 2004, during his deployment in Iraq. It was Palm Sunday. Camp Casey Easter is an absolutely needed reminder of what this war causes. Sons, Daughters, Mothers, and Fathers are being killed in Iraq every single day. George W. Bush still has not met with Cindy - almost 2 years after she first approached his Crawford ranch in August of 2005. It is our duty as patriotic Americans who love our country and our troops, to stand up and demand an end to this war. Cindy Sheehan should never have had to stand up against this war, and Casey Sheehan should have never been sent to die in a war based on the President's lies. Not one more Mother like Cindy should be forced to bury their own child in a war caused by lies and continued because of a wanna-be cowboy's ego. Over 3,200 American loved ones have been killed in this war. It's time we send the message to Congress and the Bush Administration that the American people want our troops brought home.
1 Comments
Posted on Sat, 07 April 2007 07:00 by Ava
Posted by Ava


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does story on PeaceTakesCourage


Teen's anti-war Web site draw 2 million a month
Alabama 16-year-old publishes Peacetakescourage.com

Turns out the new world looks a lot like the old one: a white house in a leafy neighborhood of a Southern milltown; a soccer decal stuck to the trunk of a car parked in the driveway; a pink bicycle with training wheels in the backyard.

Even inside, there's nothing that hints this is ground zero for a 16-year-old home schooled redhead whose videos on her anti-war Web site have lit up the blogosphere with as many as 2 million visitors a month.

Peacetakescourage.com has attracted thousands of viewers, including anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, to express admiration for Ava Lowery, the site's unlikely founder. Detractors have e-mailed her more scorching sentiments, including death threats. One begins: "It's people like you who need to ... die and get raped while your corpse rots in the sun."

Lowery shrugs inside peacetakescourage.com headquarters: a lilac-painted bedroom. There's a computer on a desk, a hand-sewn teddy bear on her bed, a picture from the cult movie "Napoleon Dynamite" on the wall. She shows off a houndstooth hat like the one worn by the late Paul "Bear" Bryant, legendary University of Alabama football coach. She's a Bama fan.

"Whatever you imagine a Southern teenager to be, as far as sewing and being a goody-two-shoes, that's what I am," she says.

The old world and the new world collapse in the virtual world, allowing a red-state, middle-of-nowhere kid like Lowery to become a noteworthy voice of blue-state sentiment around the country.

Rolling Stone put her on its year-end honor roll of 2006's "greatest mavericks." She provided the closing video in Las Vegas for last summer's YearlyKos Convention, a widely publicized gathering of liberal bloggers and Democratic political hopefuls.

CNN interviewed Lowery after she posted one of her most emotionally searing critics called it exploitative videos. Titled "WWJD?" ("What Would Jesus Do?"), it features the soundtrack of a child singing "Jesus loves me, this I know" over a relentless photo gallery of bloodied and wailing Iraqi children. It ends with quotations from the Beatitudes ("Blessed are they who mourn"), with the child's singing replaced by an air-raid siren.

Her site that month got a record 2 million hits. She says it averages about 30,000 hits a day.

"This is cool stuff," says Markos Moulitsas, who runs Daily Kos, one of the Internet's most influential liberal blogs. "You used to have to live in a media center, otherwise you didn't exist. You had to be somebody with credentials and a fancy degree and know the right people to be heard.

"Suddenly there's a medium that doesn't care about those things," he adds. "This is a medium that rewards passion and energy. She's very much an example of that."


Continute reading here
10 Comments
Posted on Tue, 27 March 2007 12:44 by Ava
Posted by Ava


CNN Saturday Morning Video


Watch Video: Windows Media Player | YouTube

I finally have the video from my appearance on CNN Saturday morning online. The interview was live on March 17, 2007. You can read a transcript here.
5 Comments
Posted on Mon, 26 March 2007 05:54 by Ava
Posted by Ava


Iraq War Anniversary Vigils across the country tonight
I'll be attending one. Will you? Tonight, thousands of us from organizations across the movement will gather together to observe the fourth anniversary of the war through candlelight vigils. We’ll solemnly honor the sacrifice made by more than 3,000 servicemen and women, and we'll contemplate the path ahead of us. We cannot send tens of thousands of exhausted, under-equipped, and unprepared troops into the middle of an Iraqi civil war. Join us at a candlelight vigil tonight.

Click here to find an Iraq War anniversary vigil in your area.

Honor the sacrifice. Stop the escalation. Bring the troops home.

8 Comments
Posted on Mon, 19 March 2007 10:32 by Ava
Posted by Ava


New Video: Our Choice


Watch Video: Windows Media | YouTube


4 years into the war in Iraq over 3,200 U.S. troops have been killed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed, and billions of tax payers' dollars have been spent. After 4 years of war and 6 years of lies, the American people must make a choice and take a stand. Are you ready to end this war? Then get out there and say something!

0 Comments
Posted on Sun, 18 March 2007 01:08 by Ava
Posted by Ava


You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar
Over the past few days I have been trying to think about how to say exactly this: It was a stupid stupid move for Democrats to cancel the Fox News debate. In case you haven't heard, the Nevada Democratic Party has cancelled a presidential candidates debate that was set for this coming August. They had previously partnered up with Fox News who had been given the rights to broadcast the debate. We are always speaking about how Fox News is the most biased news on television. It's a news channel filled with the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. Why in the world would we cancel our chance to get our message across for Fox News viewers? Was it to send a message? Well the message was recieve, but I don't think it's the message Democrats wanted to send. They have come off as wimpy for not taking the chance to stand their ground, and they have come off as not caring enough about the votes of Fox News viewers. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

From The Nation:
Dennis Kucinich, now denied one of his few shots at a national audience, was the only Democratic candidate who spoke out against the cancellation.

"If you want to be the President of the United States, you can't be afraid to deal with people with whom you disagree politically," Kucinich said. "No one is further removed from Fox's political philosophy than I am, but fear should not dictate decisions that affect hundreds of millions of Americans and billions of others around the world who are starving for real leadership."

"I'm prepared to discuss the war, health care, trade, or any other issue anytime, anywhere, with any audience, answering any question from any media. And any candidate who won't shouldn't be President of the United States."

I couldn't agree more.
0 Comments
Posted on Tue, 13 March 2007 10:12 by Ava
Posted by Ava


New Video: Support our Troops and Veterans
Check out the new PeaceTakesCourage video. This is a re-edit of a video that I created back during election season 'o6, but I've redone it because the poor treatment of our returning troops and Veterans has only gotten worse.



Watch Video: Quicktime | Windows Media Player | YouTube


So often we hear the Bush Adminstration and war-hawks say: "support our troops." But what we don't here about is the fact that the VA has been short-changing mental health programs when PTSD problems are growing. Or the fact that the Bush Administration has proposed 10 BILLION dollars in Veterans health care CUTS over five years. Enough is enough! Support our troops - Bring them home and help them get the benefits they deserve!
20 Comments
Posted on Sat, 10 March 2007 11:58 by Ava
Posted by Ava


Are You There, George? It's Me, Ava.
Check out the newest issue of Mother Jones Magazine for an article about me, the website, and Sixteen Candles for Soldiers.


Are You There, George? It's Me, Ava.
By Samantha M. Shapiro

One crisp, sunny Saturday last fall, I found myself walking through the heart of downtown Montgomery, Alabama, heading toward the state Capitol. It was about a 10-minute walk, but I didn't encounter a single person. I could hear freight trains whizzing by the Alabama River, and did see evidence that a "You Know You're a Redneck When..." theme party was being planned for later that night. But without weekday office workers, there were no pedestrians and very little traffic of any kind. A technicolor replica of the 1950s gmc bus that Rosa Parks rode eerily circled the streets, which were otherwise as still as a diorama.

Gleaming white, neoclassical, its wrought-iron balconies giving it a touch of plantation style, the Capitol was built in 1850; 11 years later, Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the Confederacy on its steps. In 1955, Martin Luther King Jr. seized on Parks' refusal to sit at the back of a Montgomery bus as a way to bring attention to Jim Crow; a decade later the Capitol became the iconic destination of three marches from Selma that were key in ending it.

I was here for activism of a different age. I was going to attend a birthday party for Ava Lowery, a homeschooled teen activist who posts professional-quality antiwar video shorts on her website, peacetakescourage.com, from her bedroom in a small town about an hour's drive from Montgomery. Ava, whose videos have a worldwide following thanks to the blogosphere, had decided to throw her Sweet Sixteen party on the steps of the Capitol to protest the war in Iraq.....


continue reading at MotherJones.com
20 Comments
Posted on Thu, 01 March 2007 05:44 by Ava
Posted by Ava


New Video: Right-wing Love Letters


Watch Video: Windows Media Player | YouTube


Check out the new PeaceTakesCourage video. It was time once again to clean out the PeaceTakesCourage hatemail bag and share with you. Warning: This video contains poor spelling and foul language.

wink
91 Comments
Posted on Tue, 27 February 2007 06:16 by Ava
Posted by Ava


NEW VIDEO: California Dreaming?


Watch Video: Windows Media Player | YouTube


"Basically, um, it is like California with Baghdad as LA . . ." - Ann Coulter talking about Iraq.

The daily death toll in Iraq has risen above 100 a day and the civil war is only getting worse. California dreaming?

69 Comments
Posted on Fri, 09 February 2007 01:26 by Ava
Posted by Ava


Exciting News about Peace Takes Courage!

Exciting News about Peace Takes Courage!

PeaceTakesCourage has taken me on an amazing journey over the past year. I went from being a frustrated citizen that felt like I couldn't make a difference to being proof that every person can make an impact - even if it's just a small one. Now I'm beginning a new journey, making my first documentary. Over the past few years I've been creating short videos about the war in Iraq. Now I want to expand that into a full-length film to help bring awareness about this war and it's effects.

This is an exciting move for me since I have a passion for film and an even bigger passion to end this war, but I need your help. Making a film costs money and that is where I ask for you help. Every dollar helps! If every person that visited this website contributed only 1 dollar we would be able to raise money for this film in no time at all. So I'm asking for your help in making this documentary. Please consider making a contribution to help fund an exciting new future for PeaceTakesCourage.

Thanks for your support,
Ava Lowery
Click here to contribute!


Be Part of the New Documentary!

If you are an Iraq war Veteran, have a family member who served, or just think that you would make a great addition to the documentary and are interested in doing an interview please contact me via email at documentary@peacetakescourage.com or by phone at (334) 524 - 6193 . We are still in the development stage of this film but we would love to hear from you!
1 Comments
Posted on Thu, 08 February 2007 12:18 by Ava
Posted by Ava


With a Huge Deficit, Are we Heading Towards Another Great Depression?
During his first Fireside chat on March 12, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt discussed the Bank Crisis in America. In the little over 15-minute informal address, the President spoke about the beginning of the process to reform the financial system, specifically discussing in this chat the banks. Many Americans, frightened by the ongoing Great Depression and the downfall of Wall Street and the trade industry, were swarming to the banks in order to withdraw money, causing the banks to be forced to close down due to in a short summary, running out of money. During the chat President Roosevelt warned Americans about how this was hurting the economy and put discussed with them the plan to reform the financial system.

From 1933 forward, President Roosevelt began creating reform programs known as the New Deal. The programs were created to stimulate demand and to proved work and relief for the many Americans living in poverty at that time. Government spending was increased by reforming the financials system - especially the banks and Wall Street, creating regulations that kept forcing down prices and profits for everyone, setting and enforcing minimum pices and wage regulations, creating competitive conditions in the industries, encouraging unions to raise wages causing an increase in the purchasing power of working class Americans, and cutting farm production to raise prices and make it possible to earn a living and support a family by farming . . . . . .
Read more 18 Comments
Posted on Fri, 02 February 2007 01:20 by Ava
Posted by Ava


See Ava on Nickelodeon This Weekend!

Host Linda Ellerbee spotlights concerned children who are passionately devoted to changing the world for the better. Among the various issues they tackle are human-rights violations, animal rights and the U.S. involvement in Iraq.

Tune into "Rebels With a Cause!" Sunday, Feb 4 at 8:30e/7:30c!

53 Comments
Posted on Wed, 31 January 2007 06:38 by Ava
Posted by Ava


500,000 March on Washington - Ava's Photos
Visit the forum to view my photo's of the massive march on Washington DC



January 27th was an extraordinary outpouring for peace in Washington DC and in communities all around the country. On Saturday, the National Mall was filled with the voices of 500,000 people committed to doing their part to end the war in Iraq and bring all of the troops home. And the energy in this massive turnout was electric!
7 Comments
Posted on Tue, 30 January 2007 03:02 by Ava
Posted by Ava


MASSIVE PEACE MARCH!
Well we just got back to the hotel from the massive peace march that went on today. Though the mainstream media is reporting it much lower, there were at least 400,000 people on the streets of DC marching to end the war today, if not more than that! We heard speeches from Dennis Kucinich, Sean Penn, Susan Saradon, Tim Robbins, and the best was of course from Rev. Jesse Jackson who had the crowd fired up and ready to march! We'll fly back home tomorrow and I'll have more details on this awesome experience and some photos then. If anyone else has photos of the march feel free to head over to the forum and post them. When I return home and can get onto my home computer I'll be sure to post links and photos here on the blog.

Peace now!!!

- Ava
20 Comments
Posted on Sat, 27 January 2007 07:00 by Ava

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