May 19, 2016
Submitted by Executive Director, Michael T. McPhearson
To celebrate the publication of Unsafe at Any Speed,and to motivate us to demand and build real democracy in our country, Ralph Nader has organized an event appropriately titled Breaking Through Power. We will gather for four days in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. and all of you are invited. I ask you to attend as it is a critical time in the struggle for peace and justice, and we are the peacemakers and justice seekers.
This election season, we see profound anger and frustration from people across the country. They are angry because deep down in their core they know that something is wrong, and they are searching for answers. Some national leaders are providing either the same old answers or answers that lead to hate and division. We who seek to peace and justice work to provide answers that address issues of human dignity and needs. Breaking Through Power provides an opportunity to envision these answers together. We cannot bring about the change we seek as individual movements or organizations. We must do it in solidarity.
May 06, 2016
From May 19th-31st, Veterans For Peace will display the Swords To Plowshares Belltower Memorial, near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. within sight of the Vietnam Wall.
The installation coincides with VFP Lobby Days, Memorial Day delivery of 'Letters to Vietnam Wall' , Ralph Nader's 'Breaking Through Power' conference at nearby Constitution Hall, and the arrival of 'Sam's Ride For Peace' led by 91-year-old USMC Veteran turned bicyclist Sam Winstead from Raleigh, NC.
The 24-foot-tall touring tower is covered with over a thousand silver wind-blown memorial plaques made from recycled cans. Wherever the tower appears, visitors add personal inscriptions to the plaques, ring the bell, and share stories about the many ways people suffer on all sides of war.
Can you volunteer to work any day shifts, night shifts, or during the set up/break down of the belltower? Please fill out this form. Day time shifts will be broken into 4 hour shifts. Night shift volunteers will be paired up, large tent and lawn recliners will be provided, but no "bedding" is allowed. One person should be wakeful at all times. This is our most critical volunteer need. It's a great place to be around Memorial Day! We will reach thousands from around the world!
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May 04, 2016
In 1970, two examples of student response to injustice and abuse of power occurred, one on May 4th and one on May 15.
Called by many the May 4 Massacre, four students were killed and nine wounded on the campus of Kent State in Kent, Ohio, when elements the Ohio National Guard fired on them. The confrontation and shootings happened while students were protesting President Richard Nixon announcing attacks on Cambodia.
In photo: Monument erected at Jackson State to murdered students James Earl Green and Phillip Lafayette Gibbs.
On May 14, on the campus of Jackson State College, now Jackson State University, in Jackson, Mississippi, students also protesting the invasion of Cambodia were confronted by city and state police. Shortly after midnight, the police opened fire on the students, killing two and injuring twelve.
10 Days Later - Jackson State
April 29, 2016
Seventy years ago before most of us were born, many in Congress were sure that the way to provide WWII vets necessary healthcare was to privatize the Veterans Administration health care system. The private sector can do everything better at a cheaper cost the Republicans argued. Truman and the Democrats put a stop to that argument.
Today the VA is under the strongest attack against it since that time in 1945.
But this time the Koch boys are behind it with their paid Ph. D’s and hack reporters and their front organization – the Concerned Veterans of America (CVA). See this article for more info. http://www.thenation.com/article/how-koch-network-exploited-veterans-affairs-crisis/
A small group of VFP and union members from WI have been fighting to stop the VA privatization effort for the last two years with limited success.
April 29, 2016
Two of the smartest, most experienced, most passionate, most awesome peace workers in the country. FREE lecture, with Q&A. Sponsored by Iowa Veterans For Peace and University of Iowa Center for Human Rights. Co-sponsored by PEACE Iowa, Iowa United Nations Association, 100 Grannies, and Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Kathy Kelly & Ann Wright present
Kathy Kelly & Ann Wright present
April 29, 2016
Letter to the editor submitted to the Ramona Sentinel by VFP Board President, Barry Ladendorf.
On April 20, I spent a couple of hours at the San Ysidro boarding crossing from Mexico into the United States along with Veterans For Peace members Jan Ruhman and George Johnson and other vets, supporters of Daniel Torres and the press.
We were waiting to welcome home former Marine Daniel Torres. Daniel came to U.S. as a young child with his family. He was raised in Utah where his father worked. He was not at the time of his enlistment a U.S. citizen. He lied about that because he wanted to serve his adopted country and prove his loyalty.
April 20, 2016
If you have suffered through or been impacted by the Viet Nam war, either as a military veteran or as a resister or as a partner of a veteran or a child or a sibling of a veteran or just as a caring citizen of this country, you need to know that your voice is needed. On Memorial Day, May 30th, we will be delivering letters to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) with heartfelt messages to those young men and women whose names are on The Wall. Please join us.
Your note can be one paragraph long or many paragraphs. It can be written to a specific name on The Wall or just as a general cry out against war. Last year we laid 151 letters and 32 postcards at the foot of The Wall in a ceremony that not only profoundly affected us but also those who read the letters as they passed by. Rest assured that your letter will be treated with the respect and caring it deserves -- this ceremony is not a political action. It is an act of remembrance and grief.
April 06, 2016
Our ride this year will be slightly different, a little longer and a total of 8 days and taking in Farmville and Richmond. Ahmed Selim has done a good job of scouting the trail and contacting people along the nightly stops and getting support.
We had six nations represented in our 2015 ride. We are hoping for more this year. We are focusing on our youth. We want to teach them that World Peace is just a thank you and a handshake away.
My wife's health issues have disrupted my training program, but Ahmed encouraged me to find time to be seen along the way. If I don't make the total ride, I'll try to be there when our leaders need me.
April 04, 2016
April 4th marks the 48th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is also the 48th anniversary of his speech; Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence, given at Riverside Church in New York City, exactly one year before he was killed.
Originally I thought I would write something about Dr. King and possibly this speech to commemorate the dreadful occasion of his death, but then I sat down and started reading this speech again and realized the best way to remember him is to urge people to read this speech. I have read it many times and each time struck by its clarity, how much I have forgotten, and what I see new.
King’s prophetic voice rings just as true today as it did in 1967. Today the U.S. continues to be the great purveyor of violence in the world, as our nation’s government wages war in Afghanistan, bombs people in Iraq and Syria, conducts drone warfare around the globe and U.S. corporation lead the world in arms exports.
Racism continues to be a central national question as seen by racially biased incidents around the country and the epidemic killing of unarmed Black people by police. Dr. King found himself talking to angry young Black men and telling them that,“Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems.”
April 01, 2016
The Golden Rule sails to the Pacific Northwest this year, leaving Humboldt Bay at the end of May and returning in mid-October. We need volunteer crew and captains (no license necessary). Sail with us and be an ambassador for peace, nuclear disarmament, clean energy and a sustainable future. Sailing the Golden Rule is a lot of fun! She's is 34 ft long with a wide 11 ft breadth and a 5 ft draft, making her very stable and easy to sail.
You can come aboard for just a few days if you have limited time. We encourage veterans, women, youth, indigenous people, people of color and various nationalities, and people with manageable disabilities to apply, even if you have only limited sailing experience.
The Crew Selection Committee will be meeting in early April, so if you want to be part of the first round of consideration for crew, send your application as soon as possible.
The crew application form can be downloaded at http://www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org/crew-application/ (under the Donate/Help/Crew menu). Return the application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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