Thursday, February 27, 2014

Grounds for Dissent: The First Pop-Up GI Coffeehouse comes to San Francisco

The first-ever Pop-Up GI Coffeehouse, Grounds for Dissent, was a great success last weekend as our tour made it to the Bay Area.  We packed the Veterans Media Center on Friday evening and all day Saturday with music, workshops, food and panels.  Thanks to all of you who are participating in the Coffeehouse Movement past and present, resisting militarism and building a just society.  We built community with great workshops that challenged us to think, to write, and to act while building solidarity.

On Friday we started with some pre-opening flyering of the nearby bicycle commute where we invited riders to stop in for a cup of coffee and to learn about the weekends upcoming events.  After that we were welcomed to Grounds for Dissent and promptly hit the dance floor.
Inviting bicyclists for a cup of coffee at Grounds for Dissent


Saturday morning started out with a surprise visit from a big part of the Shelter Half Coffeehouse which was located in Tacoma, WA from 1968-1974, Lyle Quasim.  Lyle’s generation of anti-war service members and veterans provided much of the inspiration for these modern day GI Coffeehouses when we all learned the history by watching David Zeiger’s film, Sir No Sir.

All throughout the day on Saturday, Becca von Behren from Swords to Plowshares and the Military Law Task Force was in attendance to help veterans with disability applications and discharge upgrades.  Saturday featured workshops which included BAY-Peace sharing their Theater of the Oppressed program, a Warrior Writers workshop led by Aaron Hughes, and a Critical Resistance led session on the connections between policing, prisons and militarism.  After an evening panel that included tour participants and Veterans for Peace, we finished the evening with an open mic.

Workshop with BAY-Peace

Thank you to Coffee Shop, Rainbow Grocery, and the Veterans Media Center for supporting Grounds for Dissent.  We’re also very grateful to the local organizing committee led by Civilian Soldier Alliance members with support from Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace members.

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