January 2009

Peace, Plunge, Bling!

January 23, 2009 05:44.03 PM

Peace, Plunge, Bling!
January 23, 2009

"This IS us singing, "Peace, Salaam, Shalom" with Holly Near and percussionist extraordinaire, Robin Burdulis, at the first ever Inaugural Peace Ball! The event was sponsored and organized by Iraqi-American artist, poet and Busboys & Poet's owner, Andy Shallal."

(Read more below... this is the text-only version of our monthly e-newsletter. To see it in full color, photos and all, join our e-list at the top right of this page!)

In This Issue

Obama Day
Inaugural Peace Ball
Glam Peace Tees
NEW!! Jan 31 NYC
New Song and Video
KOMF is 25
Loss, Gaza, Peace

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What a week!

Obama Day

Well, this is not us, standing in the cold and finally getting to watch the swearing in on the jumbotron. Our assistant, Ann, took this from her spot on the Mall, near the Washington Monument.

We caught Obama's speech over the loudspeakers blocks away, standing amid thousands of people who just wanted to get as close as we could to this moment. Even though we weren't on the Mall or in viewing range, it was moving to hear Obama's voice ringing out and to witness people listening intently and, occasionally, calling out a "Yes!" to a particularly well-made point.

And, we heard some great stories:

Neighbors, Jamie & Bea, rode their bikes into DC that morning. After leaving the bikes at Union Station (yes, there was a bike valet!), they walked as part of a throng of thousands through the 395 Tunnel. Folks were shoulder to shoulder, singing "This Little Light of Mine," as they inched closer to the Mall.

Even earlier, acclaimed Middle East scholar and author, Stephen Zunes, and his daughter, Kalila, took the 4am Metro. They were rewarded with standing room as close to the action as you could get without a ticket. They said folks were spontaneously singing together in a spirit of celebration that has lasted in the DC area.

Inaugural Peace Ball

This IS us singing, "Peace, Salaam, Shalom" with Holly Near and percussionist extraordinaire, Robin Burdulis, at the first ever Inaugural Peace Ball! The event was sponsored and organized by Iraqi-American artist, poet and Busboys & Poet's owner, Andy Shallal.

The Ball was a blast! Great speeches and music from the likes of Harry Belafonte, Alice Walker, Amy Goodman, Dick Gregory, Joan Baez, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Michael Franti, Angelique Kidjo and more. There were lots of folks we knew from the activist and peace movements, but also plenty of folks we didn't know. A great sign that they wanted to be at the Peace Ball to celebrate the historic day!

Glam Peace Tees

Okay, so if you noticed that Sandy's "Salaam, Shalom, Peace" tee gleamed just a little more brightly than usual in that photo, you were right.

We decided to glam it up for the Peace Ball and created the Inaugural Rhinestone Glam Peace tee! (Here's the close up photo.)

Now, we're offering a limited run of those shirts--44 of them, of course!--to you.

Pick the size, style and color of the shirt you'd like and we'll hand-glam it for you, applying glass beads on the Arabic, Hebrew and English words for peace and on the emma's rev swirl on the shoulder.

These shirts are not up on our website and are only for our emma's e-listers, like you. So, if you want one, drop an email to sandy@emmasrevolution.com with your choice of size, style and color and your address. We can take a credit card over the phone or you can send us a check. Email us for details. The Glam Peace tees are $60 each.

And, in a Post Inaugural Special, our BarackStar shirts are now 44% off!

Order a Glam Peace Tee!

NEW!! Jan 31 NYC

Then, wear your glam peace tee in NYC on January 31st for a "Post Inaugural Ball."

This special concert is also an opportunity to network with a spectrum of the community from around the country pledging to make real the change President Obama campaigned on.

We'll be performing with percussionist extraordinaire, Robin Burdulis, for a convergence of activists, educators and friends at the Sequoia Restaurant on the East River at the South Street Seaport. Expect "breathtaking harbor and city skyline views" . . . and delicious food.

Originally scheduled as a private event, we can now make it available to you. Hope to see you there!

New Song and Video

Check out this video of our first song of 2009, "Let's Go Swimmin'!"

We wrote it for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (the same group we wrote "Kilimanjaro" for) and we recorded it at Wellspring Sound in Acton, MA with Eric Kilbourn featured on mandolin.

The Polar Bear Plunge was designed to bring attention to global climate change and make clear our demand to the new Congress and President to "Keep Winter Cold!" . . . all by getting folks to agree to "jump into cold bodies of water - or ski down slopes in our shorts!"

It was 37 degrees out as we gathered on the beach near Annapolis, MD with more than 100 people who were ready to jump into the chilly Chesapeake Bay. We wanted to sing something to encourage them . . . and have a little fun doing it.

It's our first song inciting people to take off their clothes for change! A good start to the year, indeed. Hear the full song on our MySpace page

KOMF is 25

2009 is the 25th anniversary of Pat's writing of "Keep on Moving Forward/Never Turning Back".

We'll be doing something big to celebrate and we are now compiling stories, photos, soundclips and video of how and where the song has been sung over these twenty-five years.

We'd love to hear from you! Send us note about the time you sang it in your community, a recording or video of your choir singing the song, a photo from the demonstration where you heard the song sung, a playbill or program from that performance in your community or church, etc.

Contact us at pat@emmasrevolution.com and keep on singing loudly!

Loss, Gaza, Peace

Since we last wrote you in the beginning of December, many wonderful things have happened--the New Year, the new administration, a new song --but some terrible things have happened, too.

Over the holidays, we suffered the loss of our beloved aunt, Lorna Opatow. She was a pioneering businesswoman, a loving sister, aunt and friend, an adventurous traveler, a wonderful supporter of our music and one of our favorite supersheros.

We felt such grief and shock at her death. We also felt some relief that our aunt had lived a full, long life and left quickly, as she had always wanted to.

And there was Gaza. What grief and shock there. So many lives lost. So many at such young ages. And so many lives on all sides twisted by fear, hatred and anger.

We don't condone bombings by Hamas, nor do we support the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank by the Israeli government and the denial of necessary resources to the people of Gaza. We are outraged at the incursion by the Israeli government into Gaza and its purposeful and blatant timing. We are relieved that the offensive has subsided for now. We are hopeful that, with continued pressure, there will be investigations into the bombings and targetings of Palestinian homes, schools, hospitals and UN buildings and the use of white phosphorus against civilians. And, especially, that there will be real diplomacy to bring real safety, stability and equality to the peoples of Israel and Palestine. We are devoted to an end to extremism on both sides.

As Sandy said at the Inaugural Peace Ball before we sang, "Peace, Salaam, Shalom":

"We have sung this song with you all in the streets and in the concert halls since we wrote it after September 11th. As an American Jewish woman with family and friends in Israel, I know that we have to continue to sing this song, even in the midst of the horrific events in Gaza, to make these three words a reality."

Let's continue to work for peace in the Middle East and everywhere.

Our shirts demonstrate for peace at the Pro-Israel/Pro-Palestine/Pro-Peace Rally, NYC 1/11/09

We wish you all the best for 2009 and we thank you so much for your continued support of us and our music.

We enjoyed singing with you all in 2008 in 19 states and the District of Columbia and we look forward to singing with you again this year!

Peace,

Pat Humphries & Sandy O emma's revolution

email: sandy@emmasrevolution.com web: http://www.emmasrevolution.com

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