May 14, 2013
This Saturday, May 18th—Please join us!
The Veterans Peace Council is hosting an Armed Forces Day Conference on the Veterans’ Peace Movement.
The conference is part of an extended project to answer the question: What now for the veterans peace movement?
May 10, 2013
VFP Members Pitch in with Petition, Media and a Visit
by Helen Jaccard, Chair, Environmental Cost of War and Militarism Working Group
Ten years ago May 1, the people of Vieques, Puerto Rico defeated the most powerful military machine ever, through mass civil disobedience and without firing a single shot. On May 1, 2003 the decades long bombing stopped and the bases were officially closed. People from all over the world supported the struggle on Vieques, and the activists and residents have an incredible victory to celebrate.
May 03, 2013
In this workshop members of Veterans for Peace and other veteran activists will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of strategic nonviolence and develop new skills for direct action and social change. Through hands-on activities, discussion, and practice we'll explore what makes nonviolent action an effective means of making change, how to build strong alliances with other kinds of activists and how to maximize the impact of various kinds of actions and civil disobedience. There will also be time to explore methods of de-escalation and how to stay grounded in situations of confrontation or conflict.
Over the two days of this workshop, we will
May 02, 2013
5 arrested, including VFP 187 Sacramento member vet Barry Binks. Several members of Chapter 187 participated.
MARYSVILLE/BEALE AFB– Five people were eventually arrested around 8 a.m. this morning after dozens of anti-drone demonstrators blocked the entrance to Beale Air Force Base for hours, resulting in hundreds of vehicles being prevented from entering the base.
The CHP had to be called in to clear traffic which had lines of hundreds of cars in several directions after peace advocates from Sacramento, San Francisco, Nevada City and as far away as Fresno protested President Obama's U.S. killer drone program.
Those arrested were briefly held on misdemeanor charges, which could result in six months in jail if convicted in federal court. In a similar action, 31 people were arrested at Hancock Air Base in Syracuse, NY Monday.
Last October, nine people were arrested at Beale during protests – and five are facing months in prison if convicted in a trial set for Sacramento Federal Court this summer (August 12).
April 29, 2013
275 People at Protest; 31 Arrested; in photo, VFP member John Amidon being arrested
Thirty one members of the “Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars” were arrested Sunday at Hancock Air Force Base protesting what is the illegal use of drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. Drones are flown from Hancock Field. Over 275 people marched in a solemn funeral procession to demand that Hancock Air National Guard Base cease drone strikes. People carrying banners and coffins identified countries where U.S. drone attacks have killed over a thousand innocent civilians. As they were arrested, some read the names of people who have died in the drone attacks.
People who participated in the demonstration, including some who were arrested, came from all over the country to raise an outcry against the proliferation of drone strikes abroad, including countries with whom the US is not at war. Drone use violates the US Constitution, Article 6, and International Law, which the U.S. has signed on to. Demonstrators also object to the militarization of the police and the growing domestic use of drones. The protesters raised the issue that drone use globally makes Americans unsafe because of the blow back effect.
April 26, 2013
VFP members came from as far away as Hawaii and New Hampshire to participate in "The People's Response" to the opening of President George W. Bush's library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX this week. The week's events were organized by lifetime Associate member Leslie Harris, member of Chapter 106 in Dallas, and included numerous activities such as an interfaith service, panel discussions and presentations, music, direct actions, and protest. On Wednesday evening Phil Donahue presented his film "Body of War" followed by a live Skype discussion with Tomas Young and his wife Claudia. The main event of the week was a rally and protest on Thursday at the same time as the library was being dedicated. Local organizers had to get a court order to be allowed to protest outside the campus of SMU.
April 23, 2013
The Minneapolis-St. Paul chapter of Veterans For Peace was acknowledged in the Congressional Record on Thursday April 18th by Congressman Keith Ellison who acknowledged something else as well: the illegality of war.
Inspired by a book written by VFP associate-member David Swanson titled When the World Outlawed War, Veterans For Peace and allies in the Twin Cities have been organizing efforts to commemorate the work of Frank B. Kellogg this coming August 27th. That will be the 85th anniversary of the signing of the Kellogg-Briand Pact in Paris, France -- a treaty that remains the supreme law of the land under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution and which bans war.
Larry Johnson of Veterans For Peace in Minnesota explained: "Steve McKeown, in our group, is one of the few people around who knew anything about the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and he got us going on it after David's book came out. As veterans, for peace, we are intimately aware of the maxim, 'First casualty of war is the truth', so if even most Minnesotans know nothing of Kellogg's Nobel Peace Prize and the still binding international law, what else are they not telling us?"
April 17, 2013
This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the closing of the U.S. Navy bombing range in Vieques, Puerto Rico. For six decades prior to 2003, approximately one trillion pounds of explosives were dropped in practice exercises.
After decades of protest and a campaign of non-violent civil resistance that began in 1999 and included the arrests of over 1,500 people, the Navy was forced to close the bombing range on May 1, 2003. Peace-loving people had defeated the most powerful military force in history without firing a single shot.
April 15, 2013
As Washington pushes to expand its drone warfare in Africa, hundreds have gathered in front of the White House to protest the “robotic killing machines” slaughtering thousands across the globe.
Organized by the ANSWER coalition, the movement is calling on the administration to stop the use of drones on foreign soil. The coalition urges its members to stop the US government as it “functions as a death squad government, permitting the president and military leaders to create secret ‘kill lists’ of people who have been selected for assassination.”
On the organization’s website people have voiced their reasons behind their protest.
“It's time we Americans join the rest of the world in condemning President Obama's barbaric drone killing spree, a policy that benefits the war profiteers but makes us hated around the world,” Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder of CODEPINK said in his post.
April 08, 2013
San Diego Veterans for Peace have been protesting outside a General Atomics facility in Poway every week for the past seven months. "Our fourth and fifth amendment rights are going to go up in a cloud of drones, if we're not careful," warned Dave Patterson.
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