December 06, 2013
Veterans For Peace joins the international community in celebrating and remembering the life of Nelson Rolihlahla "Madiba" Mandela.
Living in a world where injustice and oppression were legal tools of a White minority government to control a Black majority in their indigenous homeland, he came to symbolize the essence of the struggle to end Apartheid. His example of success in standing up to an immovable force to lead his nation to end the brutal practice of racism and segregation and then setting it on a course of democracy, peace and reconciliation has made him a moral voice for peace and justice in his country and around the globe.
Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary freedom fighter as well as a politician and philanthropist. He began his struggle for justice working in the system by joining the African National Congress in the early 1940’s. But frustration with the lack of change and reaction to the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre of 69 protestors by police turned Mandela to armed resistance in 1961. He and many resistance leaders were jailed for life by the South African government in 1963. Mandela’s and his comrades’ perseverance and an unprecedented international campaign for his freedom resulted in his 1990 release. He emerged from prison a changed man, saying of his departure, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.”
December 03, 2013
For their special Thanksgiving edition, TIME Magazine asked WikiLeaks whistleblower PVT Chelsea Manning what she's thankful for this year. Her answer was published alongside those from Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and 14 other well-known public figures. Her response, while demonstrating wisdom beyond her years, is one that many people who work for the betterment of society will appreciate:
"I’m usually hesitant to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. After all, the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony systematically terrorized and slaughtered the very same Pequot tribe that assisted the first English refugees to arrive at Plymouth Rock. So, perhaps ironically, I’m thankful that I know that, and I’m also thankful that there are people who seek out, and usually find, such truths.
November 25, 2013
Thousands gathered on Saturday, November 23 at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia (photos from the rally). The rally to close the SOA and to resist U.S. militarization was preceded by a People's Movement Assembly (PMA) at the Columbus Convention Center, where hundreds of people discussed important movement questions, and shared hopes, dreams and strategies for the future of SOA Watch in 20 groups (photos from the PMA).
Visit the SOAW Website for more updates to the Convergence!
November 25, 2013
The holiday of Thanksgiving, as we all know, marks a period of history that resulted in the slaughtering of thousands of Native Americans, the stealing and pillaging of their land, and the spreading of disease among their people. However, it also marks a unique opportunity for us to discuss peace and justice in various settings with individuals outside our typical audience. To many people, this holiday has come to represent the values of gratitude, reflection, and peace. The holiday season opens the hearts of people and can allow a seed to be planted within them. As peacemakers, we can use this time of year to spread the VFP message.
Please share the VFP Thanksgiving Day message. You can use this statement to write a Letter to the Editor, ask your church to post it in their bulletin, share it on social media, or print off the statement to post to local community boards.
November 18, 2013
Ellen Davidson is accompanying a delegation of U.S. military veterans in the West Bank. On Nov. 15, the delegation took part in the weekly demonstrations against the apartheid wall in the village of Bil’in. Below is the report from November 15. See reports from November 7, November 8, November 10 and November 15.
By Ellen Davidson
Al-Araqeeb: Bedouins Steadfast in the Face of Repeated Demolitions
Israeli dispossession of Palestinians from their homes and land is not limited to the occupied territories. Inside the Israeli borders, Palestinians, particularly Bedouins, face home demolitions and forced removal from lands they have cultivated for centuries.
The village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negev is one well-known instance. In July 2010, 1,300 Israeli police invaded and demolished the village. Village residents, with the help of Israeli and international activists, promptly rebuilt the village, which was then re-demolished. To date, Al-Araqeeb has been demolished 62 times.
The Veterans Peace Team visited Al-Araqeeb on Sunday, November 17, for the weekly vigil. We were welcomed by village leader Aziz al-Toury and his father, Sheikh Sayeh al-Toury. After settling us in a tent with tea and dates, Aziz and his father spoke to us of the history of their village. The main thing that came through was their passion for their land and their way of life.
Veterans Peace Team delegation participates in the weekly vigil in support of Al-Araqeeb village in the Negev. Photo by ELLEN DAVIDSON
November 14, 2013
The Senate could soon authorize the first steps to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. As currently written, the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act would give the president new abilities to transfer the 164 remaining prisoners from Guantanamo for trial in the U.S. or to other countries for release.
Unless the current ban on transfers is eased the prison could remain open indefinitely. As Veterans For Peace, we know this would be unjust and immoral.
November 08, 2013
In photo, members from VFP Chapter 101 in San Jose CA
Veterans For Peace calls for the observance of Veterans Day to be in keeping with the holiday’s original intent. Congressional Act (52 Stat.351: 5U.S. Code, Sec.87a) approved May 13, 1938, made November 11th of each year a legal Federal Holiday,“A day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”
The ceasefire on the, “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 along the European Western Front was such a relief to all those involved as the world had never seen such horror and carnage as World War I. The horrible conflict that had come to be known as the “War to End War” brought the bulk of humanity to contemplate abolishing war.
Veterans For Peace calls on its members and allies to observe Veterans Day by rejecting militarism and the glorification of war. We call on the nation to honor veterans and all those who have died in war by working for peace and the prevention of war. There is no better way to honor the dead than to protect the living from the fear, terror and moral deprivation of war.
November 05, 2013
Elliot Adams, Veterans For peace (VFP) member from New York State and past president of VFP’s National Board, this summer lived 80 days on 300 calories/pay in solidarity with the Guantanamo Bay Detainees and Pelican Bay Prisoner Hunger Strikers. He ended his fast at a mosque in Albany, New York by partaking in a meal with mosque members at sundown during Ramadan. Now on a West Coast speaking tour intent on swelling the social movement “Close Gitmo!” Adams makes a strong case from multiple perspectives, shifting the discussion from the evils of Guantanamo to why we will all be better off when it is closed.
In the 1960s, Elliott Adams volunteered for the Army and served as a paratrooper in the infantry in Viet Nam, Japan, Korea, and Alaska. Over time, Elliott transformed into a nonviolent warrior, applying himself to building movements focused on creating justice and ending our war culture. Elliott has been arrested repeatedly for the cause of peace. He has also served his community in a variety of capacities, including president of the school board, mayor of his village and president of the rotary club.
Call Phoenix Mayor Stanton Now: Support VFP Phoenix Chapter's Right to March in the Veterans Day Parade!
October 30, 2013
Veterans For Peace urges its membership to contact or write the Mayor of Phoenix, Greg Stanton to pressure him to support and advocate for the right of the Winter Soldier Chapter Veterans For Peace in Phoenix, AZ to participate uncensored in the city’s Veterans Day Parade.
His phone number is (602)-262-7111 and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 18, 2013
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