Sunday, December 11, 2005

March against Hate News Update - Sunday December 11, 2005

Warmer December skys opened after days of tempest cold and, testing storms. Around thirty five town's people gathered at the Harwich Community Center to take to the task of becoming first responders to racism and hate. Included in Sunday's dignified walk were teachers from Harwich schools as well as school committee members, and students from both middle and high school, who walked together as equals. They walked down sunny Oak Street, on to the bike path, and stopped at the bike path rotary, where everyone read sections of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights aloud.

Three of the Harwich Board of Selectman Ed Mc Manus, Don Howell, and Robin Wilkins marched along to share their support with No Place for Hate and took a stand against the recent display of hostility in our "beloved" community. The walk was followed by a long moment of silence in rememberance of all victims of hate, racism and violence.

The topic and discussion following the walk was what to do next.
Homemade soups and bread from differing cultures were served outside the Red Cross shelter by organizers, who later shared this soup with the folks stranded at the Harwich Community Center.

We hope many supporters will attend Monday's BOS (Board of Selectmen) meeting to speak on this issue. Organizer John Bangert will also be attending the Harwich Clergy Association meeting on Wednesday, December 14th. John's presentation at this meeting has been scheduled since last month, when John was invited by Rev. Terry Newberry to introduce the No Place for Hate agenda. Unfortunately, the meeting did not occur before the march. Later, Jennifer Smith, Outreach Coordinator for New England's ADL office, will be visiting our town for educational and diccussion purposes. Anyone interested in participating in the discussion should contact John Bangert.

One of the members of the school committee, Polly Hemstock, who is now a member of our NPFH Harwich read this poem before the silent moment. Thanks to all!

Original Poem in German

Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Kommunist.

Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
habe ich nicht protestiert;
ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

Als sie die Juden holten,
habe ich nicht protestiert;
ich war ja kein Jude.

Als sie mich holten,
gab es keinen mehr, der protestierte.

English Translation

When they came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Boston Version

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

Hi John,

Representative Gomes asked me to contact you to let you know that she fully supports your efforts to make Harwich a "no place for hate" town.
Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

Brian Powers

Brian Powers
Administrative Aide
Office of State Representative Shirley Gomes


Great speaking with you today about Harwich getting involved with ADL’s “No Place for Hate” project – it is a very worthy program and we welcome you aboard!
Please keep us posted on your progress and let me know if we can help with anything.

Best regards and Happy Holidays,


Ted Meyer




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