Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, May 20, 1988
Peace activist addresses
BY JEFF HASS
Peace activist Brian Willson, who made headlines
last fall when he lost his legs after being hit by a train
during a protest against contra aid, told Ann Arbor
residents they should not allow the U.S. government to
commit violent acts.
"We need a revolution of consciousness so that the
rest of the world can live in peace and justice," Willson
told the 100-plus crowd at Ann Arbor's First Presbyte-
rian Church last Sunday. "The national security of the
United States means injustice for everyone else in the
Willson criticized American militarism and
intervention abroad, citing the Vietnam war and U.S.
aid to the contra rebels in Nicaragua as examples. He
said he has not paid income taxes for several years to
avoid "complicity" with U.S. foreign policy.
"That's my money out there (in Nicaragua), and it's
killing people, and its for a lie," Willson said, relating
a conversation he had with a Nicaraguan peasant during
a visit to the country in 1986.
Willson lost both legs below the knee last Septem-
ber when a Navy munitions train struck him outside
the Concord Naval Weapons Station in California. He
was attempting to block the tracks to protest the ship-
ment of weapons to the contras in Nicaragua.
Since then, Willson said, "I have received far more
than I have given up... I have millions of new friends
all around the world." The accident, he said, gave him
the publicity and "moral authority" necessary to further
He said he plans to return to Nicaragua in June, in
response to an invitation made by the Nicaraguan gov-
ernment, to establish a "people's embassy."
The crowd, including many University students, re-
acted favorably to Willson's speech.
...criticizes U.S. policy
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