By Tara McHugh, Coordinator of SJPJC
On Monday, May 25th, advocates for peace gathered for a car caravan from Peace Corner (Stevens Creek & Winchester Blvds.) to Roosevelt Community Center. Memorial Day is a holiday honoring people who died while serving in the armed forces. However, the glorification of war in America is a disservice to people living without sufficient healthcare, housing, education, and other basic human needs. The finances and resources directed at the military feeds endless wars and wreaks havoc overseas. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this is putting the U.S. public and the world’s health in peril.
Despite the heat advisory, there were many different groups of people that participated in the Car Caravan for Peace including various community members, the Raging Grannies, Veterans for Peace, and most of the SJPJC Coordinating Council! We decorated our cars with signs proclaiming “Healthcare not warfare!” and “Cut weapons, not benefits” to decry our government’s prioritization of military funding and global imperialism over providing the necessary social services for people living in America.
Charlotte Casey, SJPJC Coordinating Council member and CODEPink of San José, spearheaded the event. Before the caravan took off, Charlotte walked around and collected donations for Community Homeless Alliance Ministry (CHAM), an organization founded by Pastor Scott Wagers which facilitates the distribution of necessities to unhoused people living in Silicon Valley.
“Given the constraints of the Shelter in Place order, the car caravan was one way we had to highlight the many ways in which our war economy is impacting our lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has unmasked in a major way the extent to which our for-profit healthcare system is killing people.It was also very refreshing to see those two temples to consumerism – Valley Fair Mall and Santana Row – completely deserted!” said Charlotte regarding the planning for the Car Caravan for Peace.
The caravan drove down Stevens Creek Blvd. to Downtown San José and finished up at the Roosevelt Community Center where CHAM’s Mercy Mobile was stationed. Pastor Scott and his team were providing supplies to people living in a nearby encampment as the caravan pulled in. We gave the collected donations to Pastor Scott, and he spoke about CHAM and ways that we may be able to help and connect with people living in encampments throughout the city.
Click here to donate to the important work of CHAM!
For more pictures of the event, click this link!