“PAYING THE PRICE FOR PEACE”— Striving for Peace

“Paying The Price For Peace”

Striving for Peace

Amos Lassen

As I sat down to write this review, I realized that the first paragraph of the press kit I received says it all so much better than I could, so I am quoting it here as it was written. “In 1987, S. Brian Willson, a Vietnam veteran sat down on the railroad tracks outside the Concord Naval Weapons Station in California to protest a shipment of weapons intended to arm the Nicaraguan Contra army. Underestimating the U.S. Navy s intolerance for peaceful protest, Willson lost both of his legs and suffered a fractured skull when the train was ordered not to stop. This is the story of one man who literally put his body on the line to dissent his country s imperialistic nature after witnessing U.S. savagery during the Vietnam War that changed his political convictions. Realizing that his power came not from bearing arms, but from bearing the truth, Willson has become one of today s most resolute voices against war. Including interviews with Martin Sheen, Daniel Ellsberg, Alice Walker, Ron Kovic, and narrated by Emmy Award-winner Peter Coyote, “Paying the Price for Peace” is a film that will embolden all people who strive for peace.”

We see how the actions of one man who dared to challenge this country’s foreign policy decisions changed history. Willson saw his country once again preparing to go to war and decided he could sit back, especially after having served in Vietnam. Willson’s anti-war feelings came put of the fact that not only had he fought for the United States but that he lost both legs doing so. Those experiences caused him to speak out against the actions of the United States government as it was going to support an unlawful war against Nicaragua. The United States was funding an external force, (the Contras), to overthrow the democratically elected government in Central America.

We see Willson’s path to activism that include protests and demonstrations and his blocking that munitions train on the tracks at the United States Navy Weapons Station in 1987 during which he almost died. He was able to mobilize 10,000 supporters who joined him at the tracks. The purpose of the film is to rise consciousness and awareness that citizens can become more involved in the government’s actions and that peace is the ultimate goal. We see that Willson is joined and supported by many important friends. We have always heard that peace comes out of love and we see here that sometimes we have to push a bit to find that love.

Willson indeed paid heavily for peace and we see him as “an iconic champion of deep conscience, intelligence and humanity”. There is so much more that I could say about this film but I would that all of you see it and understand that each of us has the power to do something for what we believe.

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