April 11, 2014
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April 06, 2014
Today the United Nations celebrate, "International Day of Sport for Development and Peace". VFP member Geoff Millard, living in San Francisco Bay Area reflects on this day and how VFP can use this tool to teach the values of sportsmanship, equality, and peace-building. .
It may sound kind of silly to some people but I believe sports can be a way to bridge divides rather than the drunken hate filled rage-a-thon that we tend to see here in the states. it does not have to be an arena where fans try to fight each other over a game of overgrown man-children beating on each other. It does not have to be misogonistic, hetrosexist, racist, and jingoistic. It can build peace and bring us together.
In 1914 during the most intense combat of WWI (you know the war to end all wars…) there was a Christmas Truce, where the soldiers fighting stopped and met between the trenches and played football (ok, soccer to us here in the states). I realize that there was a lot more to this truce than football but it is hard to imagine these soldiers getting so close without the ability to kick a silly ball around a dirt filled war zone for a few hours. Even well after the truce was called off, they would not fight each other. The sport bonded these people together in a way that few things could. In fact, on both sides, soldiers were reassigned because of their refusal to fight after this day.
April 04, 2014
For most of us, this weekend’s release of the latest superhero film, “Captain America: Winter Soldier” will be simply another night of fun entertainment at the theater. But Winter Soldier means much more than a cool sounding name for a fictional comic book character. There is a long legacy behind the name Winter Soldier that is much deeper in meaning. There is pain and suffering in that name. There is sacrifice, honor and healing behind those words.
To understand the real meaning of the name Winter Soldier we begin in 1776 with The American Crisis, a collection of articles written by Thomas Paine during the American Revolutionary War. Paine is best known for his extremely popular and successful pamphlet Common Sense, which argued for Independence from England.
“These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
April 04, 2014
Elliott Adams, past National President of Veterans For Peace and international peace activist, was arrested during a nonviolent anti-drone action at Beale Air Force Base on Tuesday, April 1. Adams lives in New York and is currently on a nationwide tour, speaking out about the importance of banning drone attacks, stopping war, and building a culture of peace. He has also been conducting Unarmed Peacekeeping Skills Training & Strategy Sessions around the country with the Meta Peace Team, whose goal is "pursuing peace through active nonviolence."
Also arrested was Adam's friend and fellow Veteran for Peace Richard Gilchrist. Gilchrist served in the army in Vietnam and has also travelled around the country speaking and taking action for peace.
April 01, 2014
The latest edition of This Issue features Doug Rawlings from Veterans for Peace. He shares his story of transformation into a peace activist while serving in Vietnam and the contemporary effort by the government to whitewash the Vietnam story and VFP's planned response. Rawlings also discusses the US 'pivot' into the Asia-Pacific, Ukraine, and the upcoming April 12 VFP rally at BIW during the 'christening' of the new Zumwalt stealth destroyer.
Bruce Gagnon hosts the show and works for the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and writes a popular blog called Organizing Notes.
March 26, 2014
Expanding on last year’s “April Days of Action,” this year anti-drone activists across the country are organizing “Spring Days of Action” throughout the months of April and May. VFP members and chapters that are near drone bases or manufacturers have been doing a great job keeping up the pressure. But if you don’t live near a drone base or manufacturer, there are still lots of actions that you and your chapter can do to actively oppose drones.
March 24, 2014
Chelsea E. Manning
Veterans for Peace
I would like to thank your organization for your support during my recent court-martial. I especially appreciate your efforts in raising funds, organizing petitions, public education events, and demonstrations supporting me in my case. Without your efforts, my court martial would not have been nearly as visible to the public, and many of these serious issues may have gone unnoticed.
In preparing for the appeals phase of my legal proceedings, I have worked with the Chelsea Manning Support Network (http://www.chel seamanning.org) to hire excellent civilian defense counsel, Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward of the law firm Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias & Ward of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both Ms. Hollander and Mr. Ward have achieved successes in complex, high-profile civil and criminal cases in the past,and fought to protect the U.S. Constitution, civil liberties and social justice through their work in Guantanamo, the Gulf Coast oil spill, and more.
March 19, 2014
Written by Matt Southworth, former VFP Board Member and Iraq veteran.
Anniversaries are often a time to look back and reflect. It was ten years ago today that the United States brought “shock and awe” to Iraq under the false pretenses of Iraqi involvement in 9/11 and possession of weapons of mass destruction.
We in the U.S. have all but forgotten those days, even after nearly 4,500 U.S. service members died in Iraq and over $800 billion were spent. The Iraq War was once the focus of a plethora of media coverage and congressional debate—it was even a campaign issue as late as the 2008 presidential election. The Iraq War, its false justification and the crimes committed to cover up the truth are now distant memories for most Americas, only 53% of whom think the Iraq War was a mistake.
March 17, 2014
Ruthie Cole, Eddie Bloomer, Elliott Adams(VFP member), Julie Brown(VFP member), Michelle Naar-Obed (wife of VFP member Greg Boertje-Obed), Chet Guinn, Steve Clemens were charged with criminal trespass while delivering indicitment on Monday, Mar 19th at the 132 National Guard Base in Iowa;
We come to the Des Moines Air National Guard base, today, as members of faith based and Catholic Worker communities and the Veterans for Peace who annually join for a week of nonviolent resistance to war and injustice. This week, we aim to raise a call against the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) commonly known as drones. We recognize that the slaughter of war always requires war makers to dehumanize the victims. Reliance on drones exacerbates the dehumanization because the technology allows war makers to kill a target without identifying clearly who the person is or what the person has done or is doing.
Therefore today we bring to this base the faces of several who have been killed as well as the desire of a young Afghan friend who says, "We want to live without war."
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said, "In a free society, few are guilty but all are responsible." If weaponized drones are flown from this base, we, along with RPA crews, share responsibility for consequences including death of targeted victims and whatever trauma is sustained by those who operate the drones.
March 17, 2014
About a hundred protestors from across the country gathered outside the Iowa Air National Guard Base Saturday morning.
Veterans for Peace teamed up with Des Moines Catholic Workers to spread the word against drones.
"We're trying to raise awareness here in Des Moines as to what's going on in Iowa and that's bringing the war directly home to Des Moines," said VFP member Gil Landolt.
People are concerned that it would turn Des Moines into an international target.
"They're bringing drones here to this base, right here in your city, actually flying them out of these air bases in the United States, so they're actually controlling them, they're actually pulling a trigger, they become a legitimate military target," said Elliot Adams, former national president of Veterans for Peace.
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