A List of Environmental and Telecommunications Events and Issues

August 1 to August 8, 1997

Published, Edited and Written by George Mokray for
Information Ecologies
218 Franklin St #3
Cambridge, MA 02139

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Tuesday, August 5 - Friday, August 8

Macworld Expo
World Trade Center and Bayside Exposition Center
Editorial Comment: I am spreading the rumor that Steve Jobs will announce he is taking over Apple again. But what do I know?

Friday, August 8 - Saturday, August 16
Applied Deep Ecology
Joanna Macy, Elizabeth Roberts, Elias Amidon, John Seed, Stephanie Kaza, Sarah Conn, Diane DePuydt, Fran Macy, Ken Otter, Mytombo Mpanya, Elan Shapiro, Libby Roderick, Bill McKibben
contact (707)874-2347 or ide@igc.com
High Mowing School, Wilton NH
registration: $675

Sources for Listings:
MIT _Tech Talk_ :
Harvard _Gazette_ :
Harvard Environmental Resources On-Line:
MA Executive Office of Environmental Affairs calendar:
Earth Day Network international/national listings:
Earth Day Greater Boston calendar:

Computer Organizations of NE (CONE) User Group List:
Signet Calendar of events:
Webmasters Guild

act-ma the Massachusetts activists mailing list:
subscribe by emailing majordomo@igc.apc.org, leaving the subject line blank and typing "subscribe act-ma" as the message

Peace and Justice Events Hotline at (617)787-6809

Table of Contents

Stop Poisoning the Planet

Editorial Comment: Steve Habib Rose (habib@world.std.com) posted this announcement to the Environment On Line Listserv (eon@world.std.com, to subscribe email majordomo@world.std.com and type "subscribe eon" as the message). In John Brunner's novel _Sheep Look Up_ (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN= 0345347862/alistA/) there is a radical group of environmentalists, followers of a character called Austin Train and thus called Trainites, who spray-paint stylized skull and crossbones figures with the tag-line of "Stop, you're killing me" everywhere they can. Sounds like this will be much more polite and possibly a lot more useful. Although there are times when I reach for a spray-can myself.

How do we stop poisoning our planet?
Two chat sessions to be held in The Garden Chat Room at

Session 1
How we are being poisoned.

Learning from the experiences of people with Multiple Chemical Sensistivity (MCS) and environmental illness.

Saturday morning, August 2nd
8:30 AM to 9:30 AM Pacific Standard Time
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
4:30 PM to 5:30 PM Greenwich Mean Time

Session 2
How do we stop poisoning our planet?

A dialogue among the environmental community, people with MCS, and anyone interested in healing our planet.

Saturday morning, August 9th
8:30 AM to 9:30 AM Pacific Standard Time
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
4:30 PM to 5:30 PM Greenwich Mean Time

The Garden Chat Room is located at
There are instructions at that site for connecting via other Chat clients such as MIRC. The Chat Room can be used by users of Java enabled browsers such as Netscape 2.02 or Internet Explorer 3 or above on a PC.

The Garden Chat Room is a collaborative venture of a a number of individuals and "organizations" including United Communities of Spirit, the Eden Ring and The Garden. We are hoping to provide a friendly, safe place for sharing on a number of topics including spirituality, personal growth, and world transformation. The Chat Room encourages considerate, honest communication. It is not a place for profanity, racist/sexist/homophobic language, sexually explicit discussions, verbal aggression, or proselytizing (trying to convert other people).

Looking forward to meeting you in The Garden Chat Room. Information about The Garden and the Chat Room are available at
http://www.thegarden.net Yours,
Steve Habib Rose

Publisher of The Environmental Industry Web Site

Table of Contents

Unknown Auschwitz Satyagraha

For all those 
in war 
       and the danger of war,
refugees and dispossessed, 
sufferers of famine, pestilence
and disaster
             on this day.

Unknown Auschwitz Satyagraha

On April 21, 1985 I saw a public television program on the Holocaust. It consisted of the survivors meeting at the Holocaust Memorial in Israel, Yad Vashem I believe it is called, looking for those they had lost and telling the stories of what had happened to them. Most of the images were tight close-ups of faces saying things the eyes would not forget.

One woman said she had been a prisoner working in a typing pool in Auschwitz. The SS officer in charge told her when she arrived that she was allowed three mistakes a day or off to the ovens. They worked twelve hour shifts and typed thousands of reports all in quadruplicate. And only three mistakes a day.

Eventually, she was transferred to another job, another SS officer. He seemed to be a gentleman and she couldn't understand why he was in the SS. On the first day, he took her to a storeroom. It was in chaos. He asked, "Do you think you can clean this up?" Of course, she said yes. He prohibited only one thing. She was not to open one certain door.

There came a time when she was working in the storeroom and heard screams. They were like the sounds "of a dying animal, being beaten to death, indescribable really." Naturally, they came from beyond the forbidden door. She had to open it. Behind the door was a set of stairs leading down. She descended and saw her gentleman SS officer beating a Polish worker with his belt in front of a group of workers. She said, "The workers looked up and were struck as if they saw an angel. They had no idea women had worked above them. We had no idea there were men there below." The SS officer looked up too and saw her. He told her to get out but she didn't move. He came up the stairs and told her to go back but she didn't move. She said, "I'm not a hero but something happened. I grabbed hold of his sleeve and wouldn't let him go. He told me to leave but I looked into his eyes, for minutes, for a few seconds, for me it seemed like an eternity. And still I wouldn't let go of his arm. Finally he said, 'It's all right, go.' But I looked into his eyes for another eternity, holding his sleeve for dear life. Then he said, 'It's all right. I won't beat them anymore,' and I walked back up the stairs."

Later, she found out that the SS officer had been beating a worker to death with his belt every week, but from then on he stopped. Still later, just before a death march, the workers sent her a pair of hightopped boots and she believes it was only those boots that kept her alive through the march. She was an angel for them and those workers were angels for her.

Perhaps this story shows us what might have happened if Gandhi had met Hitler. Mayber he would have held Hitler's sleeve and searched his mad eyes into his madder soul until Hitler too said, "It's all right. I won't beat them anymore."

That evening there was a story on the Cambodian Holocaust on _Sixty Minutes_ and the next morning on National Public Radio's Morning Edition a piece on the Armenian Holocaust.

The documentary I think was called "The Gathering", produced by Joel Levitch for Jason Films broadcast on April 21, 1985 on WGBH-TV Boston, MA.

Table of Contents

Is Mercy Possible?

After I wrote "Unknown Auschwitz Satyagraha," I read _Holocaust Testimonies : The Ruins of Memory_ by Lawrence L. Langer (Yale Univ Press,1991 ISBN: 0300052472) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0300052472/alistA/), a study of memory and the death camps. Since Langer was teaching at Simmons College in Boston, I called him and asked if he had ever heard this story or anything else like it. He didn't believe it. He could not believe that an SS officer would recognize his own humanity in such a way, in such a place.

At the time, I was thinking about doing another piece on the different versions of an incident involving a beautiful woman dancer who died in the railyard of Auschwitz. Primo Levi has written about it as have many other writers. Langer directed me to _Auschwitz : True Tales from a Grotesque Land_ by Sara Nomberg-Przuytyk (Univ of NC Press,1984 ISBN: 0807841609) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0807841609/alistA/) which has an afterword that refers to at least six different versions of this story.

When I read Nomberg-Przuytyk's book I found a story called "The Bewitched Sleigh." Nomberg-Przuytyk talks about her experiences on the death march away from Auschwitz in January of 1945. At one point, she finds herself at the end of the line, waiting for the bullet in the head that awaited stragglers. An SS obersturmfuhrer yelled, "Faster." When she answered, "I can't, my feet are sore," the SS man hurried over and asked, "You don't want to live? You want me to kill you?"

She answered, "I don't want to die, but I guess I have to."

"Schade [A pity]," he said. Just then, a sled drawn by two horses appeared on the side of the road. The obersturmfuhrer ordered it to halt and put Nomberg-Przuytyk in it and ordered the peasant driving to take her to the next city and leave her at the gendarmerie there. At the head of the column, the sled was stopped again by the SS and after the situation was explained, another SS man is ordered to ride with her in the sleigh. At the gendarmerie in the next town, the SS escort finds her a bowl of soup before the column arrives and she rejoins it.

Mercy from the SS once again. Langer may not believe that such a thing was possible but here is another example of humanity in the midst of the killing machine.

Years later, I was reading a column in _The Village Voice_, an obituary for a homeless activist. I no longer have the reference and no longer remember the name of the person. What I do remember is the description of what this man did at a riot in Tompkins Square Park in New York City. The police were going wild, clubbing everybody in sight. This guy picked up a mirror from the trash and started showing the cops their faces in their rage. It stopped them dead in their tracks. It was also one of the bravest things the columnist ever saw.

I think that perhaps here is the key to all of these examples of mercy and bravery. Once the torturer sees their own face in the eyes of the victim, it becomes impossible to raise the belt to strike again, to cock the pistol and aim it, to bring the raised club down with any force or anger.

I will try to remember that lesson. I hope that I never have to use it.

Table of Contents

The Begging Bowl

"Unknown Auschwitz Satyagraha" also exists as a videotape. While I was watching that TV program so many years ago, I sketched one of the faces of the old women telling their stories. It was not the face of the woman who told that particular story. When I made the video, I enlarged my sketch and used it as the visual part of the piece.

The title comes up against a white background and gradually the sketch fades in as I start telling the story. Slowly, the camera comes closer to the sketch, eventually focusing on just one eye. The story ends and the screen fades to black. It is probably the best video I have ever done.

It is also the only video of mine that has been exhibited - once in Chicago at a video poetry festival and once in New York City at the Museum of Contemporary Art for a show on courage.

I'll let you figure out the relevance to environment and telecommunications for yourself.

How "A List..." works:
If you want to have a listing included in "A List..." please send it to me before noon on the Friday before the event and if said even is deemed suitable for coverage, it will be included in the appropriate edition of "A List..." Articles and reviews, ideas, rants and opinions are also solicited. Publication is up to the erratic discretion of the editor.

"A List..." is also a listserv. You can subscribe or unsubscribe to the listserv by emailing a-list-request@world.std.com, leaving the Subject line blank, and typing "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" as the message.

"A List..." is a freeware/shareware publication. If the information is of any value to you, please contribute - money, information, encouragement, prayers and good wishes are all valid currencies for feedback and will be gratefully appreciated by
George Mokray
Information Ecologies
218 Franklin St #3
Cambridge, MA 02139

This publication is copyrighted to George Mokray and the individual writers of the articles. Permission to reproduce is granted for non-profit purposes as long as the source is cited.

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