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A ‘Living Graveyard’

By Judith Scherr
Friday November 24, 2006
A ‘Living Graveyard’
A ‘Living Graveyard’

Kali Grosberg of Berkeley lay down on the sidewalk in front of the Oakland Federal Building on Tuesday. Two friends wrapped her in a shroud and placed green rosemary springs on her still body. 

Fourteen other “bodies” lay scattered in a way that people entering the Federal Building had to walk through the “living graveyard” coordinated by the Ecumenical Peace Institute of Berkeley to remind people of the 2,500 U.S. and allied troops killed in Iraq and the estimated 665,000 Iraqis who have perished. 

“My conviction from the beginning was that the war was illegal and immoral,” said Berkeley resident Tom Luce, who was distributing flyers. “The war started illegally. The militarism has ruined our reputation as a democratic country. We want to be the bully on the block.” 

Passers-by looked at the bodies, which often sparked conversation. “We never should have been there in the first place,” said one man to no one in particular as he passed quickly by. 

Another, who declined to give his name, was unsympathetic. He told the Daily Planet his son is fighting in Iraq. Asked why the son was fighting, the man said, pointing to the demonstrators: “For Iraqi freedom—he’s fighting so they can do this crap.”