For Father Frank Cordaro and Brian Terrell, demonstrations are nothing new - both carry an impressive resume of protests, as well as a few arrests resulting from them, usually for "crossing the line" at a military base or for other non-violent protests.
This time, though, they're in Storm Lake, organizing a "vigil" to be held while retired General Colin Powell speaks tomorrow at Buena Vista University as part of the American Heritage Lecture Series.
Terrell is the executive director of the Catholic Peace Ministry of Iowa, while Cordaro serves on its board of directors. Their most recent protest was in March at the Iowa Air National Guard in Des Moines, which has been involved in enforcing the "no-fly zones" over Iraq.
While Powell might bring them to Storm Lake, they say it is not Powell they are after.
"We're not up here protesting Colin Powell - we're not here to judge him - he may be a better Christian than I am," Cordaro said. "The question is, 'Why is BV still captured by the culture of war, as it claims to move students into the 21st Century?' It's a history that has ended."
Cordaro and Terrell arrived in Storm Lake yesterday and are spending the time leading up to Powell's lecture speaking with classes and taking part in several presentations.
They were invited to campus by faculty that "readily understood the education value of giving us an opportunity to raise other issues than Colin Powell may bring," Cordaro said.
Cordaro said their visit to Storm Lake and BVU is about taking an "honest" look at Powell. While the positive side of the Gulf War has been shown, Cordaro said the negative side has not been. Terrell said that without the other side of the story, Powell's visit would not be a truly "educational" event.
Read the rest of this article in the 9/21 Pilot Tribune.