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Peace Fair 2008
The Fifth Annual Brooklyn Peace Fair
Peace Fair Rocks Brooklyn
Featuring Debbie Almontaser, Amanda Diva, Abiodun, and more!
Saturday, April 26, 2008 the fifth annual Brooklyn Peace Day rocked Brooklyn! Held at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus and co-sponsored by Brooklyn For Peace and the LIU Student Government Association, the Fair attracted thousands from Brooklyn and beyond. It was an exciting culmination to a year of actions on behalf of peace and justice in the borough and the city.
A buzz of excitement filled the Schwartz Gym at LIU as people crowded the tables, attended the workshops, and watched the performers. Over a hundred community organizations participated, hosting information tables and leading workshops. David Tykulsker, Vice-Chair of Brooklyn For Peace, welcomed the crowd to the plenary session, where Carolyn (Rusti) Eisenberg, also Vice-Chair of Brooklyn For Peace, called for continued outreach and organizing.
The featured speaker was Debbie Almontaser, a long-time peace and human rights advocate, and founding principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn. Ms. Almontaser made an uplifting speech stressing the need for multi-national, multi-cultural unity in the fight for peace and justice. Borough President Marty Markowitz presented a proclamation declaring the day as Brooklyn Peace Day.
An array of performers — singers, poets, rappers, as well as a consortium of dancers from Brooklyn schools — dazzled the audience. Abiodun, one of the original Last Poets, delivered an impassioned performance. Inspiring acts followed by Raging Grannies & Their Daughters, Remi Kanazi, Aja Monet (Def Poet), Dragons of Zynth, Spiritchild, Stephanie Rooker, Queen GodIs, Invincible, Ra Hendrix, and Amanda Diva (Floetry) & Friends (Print, Peter Hadar, Outasight, and Africa Miranda). Ajah-Yo ended the day with Afro-Brazilian drumming and a peace parade through Fulton Mall.
Workshops addressed a broad range of international and local issues. Congressman Major Owens led a workshop entitled "Mobilization for Peace and Prosperity: Bring Our Dollars Home to Stop the Budget Cuts." State Senator Eric Adams led a workshop on "Youth, Race and the Criminal Justice System." Other topics included media criticism, the Iraq war, the Israel-Palestine conflict, nonviolent communication across genders and races, global warming and its connection to the Iraq War, gentrification and development In downtown Brooklyn, and the refugee crisis in Darfur.
The 2008 Brooklyn Peace Fair successfully brought together a diverse sampling of Brooklyn residents who are yearning for change. They want an end to the war and the expenditures for war that have devastated their communities. They want to turn the country in a different direction - away from war and destruction and toward peace and friendship. Their vision is a country where all people can enjoy their human and civil rights and lead lives of dignity and fulfillment. The Peace Fair was a culmination of months of activities on behalf of that vision. But it's also the basis of bringing people together to continue that struggle in the months and year ahead of us.
See more photos by Matt Weinstein.
High resolution photos available upon request
Peace Fair 2008 Highlights
Brooklyn Peace Fair 2008