ANDY LOPEZ MURAL MOVED FROM ROSELAND TO THE PEACE & JUSTICE CENTER AND WILL BE HERE FOR SIX MONTHS!
We've heard from people asking why we honored Andy Lopez at our 30th Anniversary Celebration. Here is the letter that Susan Lamont, Project Coordinator of the Freedom from Militarization Project, wrote to the Press Democrat in response to that question. It was published on November 1, 2o14.
Andy Lopez’s struggle
EDITOR: When Chris Smith wrote about the Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County, he left us with the image of an organization working for peace while honoring a boy who carried a simulated assault rifle (“Pushing for a more peaceable world,” Monday). Some readers were left wondering why.
Andy Lopez lived in a world that didn’t have his best interests at heart. In his short life, he dealt with poverty, racism, national borders used to exploit and demonize, a future offering lower wages and fewer opportunities for employment, a school-to-prison pipeline that profits off “his kind.” While corporate criminals went free, he was told it is criminal to join a gang.
And the gun? Andy had the misfortune to be a child in a culture that glorifies guns, war and violence, tempts children with aisles of war toys and screens filled with gore and allows young children to play with real assault weapons in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park under the approving eye of local police. And when he picked up on all the messages sent his way, the county used that to justify killing him.
Andy lived all the ugliness this county has to offer. We can’t bring him back to life, but we can honor his struggle.
Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County