January 09, 2014
Yesterday a billboard went up in North Carolina. Not your typical commercial billboard. The placement and the content were unique. The billboard with graphic artwork depicting two kneeling black hooded prisoners practically screams "Close Guantanamo!" at passing motorists. The 28 ft long 12 ft. high behemoth is placed 4 miles east of I-95 on Hwy 70 in Johnston County, NC. The Johnston Co. Airport is home to Aero Contractors, operators of notorious CIA torture taxis that delivered "suspects" to Guantánamo and to CIA black sites around the world
The billboard is the inspiration of graphic designer Ellen Davidson and her partner Tarak Kauff, an ex-paratrooper and national board member of Veterans For Peace, who, along with artist Paul Keskey from New Paltz, NY, designed and are promoting the billboards. They hope to see the billboards appear at sites in cities and towns across the country. Kauff last year completed a 58 day hunger strike reflecting his desire to see Guantánamo closed, the force feeding and other forms of torture stopped, and the prisoners, most of whom have been cleared for release, actually released.
January 07, 2014
Healing Wounds of War
Some six centuries ago European colonization and genocidal war upon the indigenous people of this continent began. The wounds of that war are still bleeding. War upon the Navajo people beginning with the Spanish colonialists has been ongoing including the infamous enforced Long Walk in the winter of 1864.
Today, the Navajo Nation, or Dine' is essentially situated on 27,000 square miles of land within Arizona, New Mexico and Utah with a population of some 180,000 native people with a family poverty rate of 47%. Nearly 40% of homes are without electricity, 20% lack running water and nearly half lack plumbing. Unemployment is an astronomical 43%.
This is all a direct result of wars waged upon the Dine' people by the U.S. Military and Government, wars and treaties that stole their land, decimated their people and now a corporate controlled system that continues to systematically destroy their traditional way of life.
January 02, 2014
Beginning January 3, 2014, members of Veterans For Peace and supporters, hungry for justice, will take in no food from at least 6 am to 6 pm every Friday (some are fasting from midnight to midnight). They will wear orange wristbands and attempt to engage people they meet during the day about Guantánamo Bay and the wider injustices of the so-called “War on Terror,” as well as the U.S. policy of longterm solitary confinement and the oppression of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
If you would like to take part, please fill out this form.
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.
September 06, 2013
For the second time in less than three years President Obama is leading an effort to take the U.S. to war. Calling on Congress to follow his lead, the President’s reasoning is to punish Syria for alleged chemical weapons use and to deter future deployment of this obscene and banned weapon. The President claims military action and killing more people is necessary to protect American values and national interests and to enforce international norms.
August 28, 2013
Veterans For Peace strongly opposes U.S. military intervention,whether direct or indirect, in the war that is currently raging in Syria.
U.S. military aid to rebels in Syria only deepens the suffering and increases the casualties among the Syrian people. It destabilizes the region and risks escalating the conflict into a regional war. It violates the U.N. Charter and international law.
There should be no U.S. military intervention in any form, including a so-called “no-fly zone,” which would be a direct act of military aggression. Only the Syrian people can decide who should govern Syria.
Veterans For Peace calls for an escalation of diplomacy, not war. We call for a ceasefire from all combatants in Syria. We call for urgent diplomacy to stop the bloodshed and address the humanitarian crises in Syria and among Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.
Please take action and make your voice heard. Let’s stop a US attack in Syria before it starts.
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