The world was watching as the United States government prepared to launch
another war. This time against Iraq. Citizens of the United States
were being told that Colin Powell had presented “proof” to the United
Nations while world press reported the blatant lies in each point of his presentation.
George Bush’s handlers were making it clear there would be a massive
attack which no one could stop.
It was extremely depressing.
Sergio was around a lot and we always talked about it. He told me some
groups in Oaxaca were planning a march against the war which would end
up in front of the American Consulate in the center of town. He said a
lot of artists and theater people were planning to participate.
I had noticed a few days earlier that one anti-war protest in Madrid had
used a large replica of Picasso’s mural “Guernica” as its focal point.
We decided that a replica of our own on Alacalá street in front of the
consulate would be just the thing; international, artistic and very
We interrupted our schedules for a couple days and went to work. We used
four large theater flats from our stock. The guys jumped right in.
It was set up as a backdrop on a small stage on Alcalá. All day,
groups of marchers filed past as speakers proclaimed the message of “NO
A LA GUERRA!”
We felt very good about it. A lot of people commented about the
mural and we got a good bit of coverage in the local papers.
* * *
Too, I began to notice that the images of "Guernica" were being used
around the world to proclaim NO to this mad obsession by George Bush and
On the eve of the invasion, even The New Yorker magazine joined this
chorus of protest with its own powerful cover. No words necessary.
The controlers of George Bush could take no more. The State
Department "ordered" the United Nations to cover over the "Guernica"
replica in its headquaters, below. The world organization of
I thought often of Pablo Picasso, his strong statement about the war in
Guernica, Spain, and about the power of art.
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...NEXT: "ROUTINES" BY LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI