May 20, 2016
Hello Fellow VFP members,
We are embarking on an ambitious "Extremists for Peace" Music Video Project. We have just launched our Kickstarter fundraising campaign. Please click on the link below to see our short promotional video and narrative of what this project is all about.
Several chapters from different regions of the country will be participating in the actual video including: North Carolina, New Mexico, San Diego & Los Angles, Minnesota, New Jersey & New York plus all the chapters in New England. For those chapters that are not directly participating in the actual music video please send us you best still photo of your chapter, hopefully with your banner and flags. At the end of the film we intend to have a collage of pictures from different chapters. There will be limited space but we hope to get as many up on the end of the video as possible.
Also, this project will cost approximately $15,000.00 (including a companion CD). If possible please make a small donation, every little bit helps.
Our national VFP BOD and six individual chapters have made generous contributions to the project.
Please click the link below to take you to the campaign:
May 17, 2016
Photos from a very cold Saturday May 14th at Capital square with VFP members, Steve Books and Randy Converse, manning the table. Also included are other tabling shots from previous tabling events.
The Memorial Mile consists of 6,500 + miniature tombstones that are set up along Monona Drive. They represent the U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and have been set up since 2007 to remind everybody of the cost of war.
May 13, 2016
“What happened to us was a shakedown by gangsters wearing police uniforms and judges’ robes, not for the sake of justice, but to maintain the civic infrastructure behind the glittering façade of Las Vegas with dollars squeezed out of its poorest citizens.”
“The degree of civilization in a society,” wrote the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky, “can be judged by entering its prisons.” As a frequent visitor to Nevada in recent years, I have often been surprised by the cultural diversity and spiritual richness that can be found in Las Vegas. Still, I think that Dostoyevsky was right. A more accurate assessment of the degree of civilization in Las Vegas and for the broader society that the city claims to be “The Entertainment Capital” of can be made by entering the cells of the Clark County Correctional Center than by going to the top of the Stratosphere, cruising the Strip or even by taking in a Cirque du Soleil show.
I was one of twenty five arrested by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police at Creech Air Force Base, the center of drone assassination by the US Air Force and the CIA some forty miles northwest of the city on March 31 and April 1. “Shut Down Creech” was a weeklong convergence of activists from around the country. Most of us staying in tents at a makeshift “Camp Justice” in the desert across the highway from the base, our days of discussion, study, song, reflection and strategizing built up to a dramatic series of coordinated actions, including street theater and blockades, that disrupted the lethal business as usual of Creech. While we expected to be arrested, this was not our desire or our goal. Once again, the police arrested the wrong people as they abetted the criminals and took those who acted to stop a crime in progress down town to be booked.
May 13, 2016
In the early morning of May 15, 1970 two young Black men were slain and twelve young Black people were wounded at Jackson State College by Mississippi State Police and Jackson City Policemen. At 8am that same day I was discharged - “honorably”, they said, as a Conscientious Objector - from the United States Marine Corps.
For at least twenty years following that date I often introduced myself or was introduced as a dissident, anti-war Marine who had been “discharged in the same month of the killings at Kent State”. Throughout those years I countenanced, and indeed contributed to, a narrative - “Four dead in Ohio”. “They hadbegunkilling students!” This particular narrative makes little if any mention of the Jackson State deaths and never, within my hearing range, of the deaths of the Black students at Orangeburg State College in South Carolina in 1968, where three had been slain and twenty-eight wounded.
May 06, 2016
U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain Captain Christopher John Antal resigned from the U.S. Army Reserves on April 12, 2016 in opposition to U.S policies regarding militarized drones, nuclear weapons, and preventive war. Antal stated he could not serve as a chaplain for an “empire” and could not “reconcile his duty to protect and defend America and its constitutional democracy and his commitment to the core principles of his religious faith including justice, equity and compassion and the inherent worth and dignity of every person” with policies of the United States.
His letter of resignation stated that he resigned because he could not support “unaccountable killing: through the U.S. armed drone policy and the Executive Branch claiming “the right to kill anyone, anywhere on earth, at any time, based on secret evidence, in a secret process, undertaken by unidentified officials.”
May 04, 2016
At the end of May, President Obama will visit Vietnam, where he will have an opportunity to burnish his foreign policy legacy. Obama has taken some bold steps in that direction: He engineered a critical agreement with Iran to defuse its nuclear program, and he recently traveled to Cuba and began the process of normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
But Obama needs to do more to overcome his hawkish foreign policy legacy. His administration has killed thousands of people — many of them civilians — with drones and manned bombers. The vacuum created by his regime change in Libya destabilized that country and led to the rise of ISIS (also known as Daesh).
May 03, 2016
VFP Chapter 27 member Andy Berman spoke at the CAIR Press Conference on Islamophobia organized by the Council on American Islamic Relations, along with Black Lives Matter, NAACP and other organizations in St Paul, Minnesota, on April 5, 2016. The event received good local newspaper and TV coverage.
April 29, 2016
In photo: VFPer Ann Wright (Hawaii) and Leslie Harris Associate member Dallas)
April 28, 2016
Central New York VFP and IVAW participated in a news conference in front of the Syracuse, NY PD calling for the end of police militarization, racial profiling and the targeting of Muslims.
April 27, 2016
Twice monthly for about a decade, volunteers with Veterans for Peace installed thousands white crosses on the beach between Stearns Wharf and Santa Barbara Harbor, a poignant reminder of American lives lost during the Iraq War. The installation, known as Arlington West, paid homage to soldiers laid to rest at Washington, D.C.’s Arlington National Cemetery. “We did 10 years, then it seemed like nobody gave a damn anymore,” said Korean War veteran Ron Dexter, who’s been with the project since 2003. “So we took a year off and kicked around ideas about what people might respond to. We’re just trying to wake people up.”
While the spirit of the mission remains the same, Dexler added, its message has deepened and the name has changed to Costs of Wars. Beyond lost American lives, the installation showcases mounting numbers of refugees, entire regions in the Middle East destabilized by war profiteers, and the thousands of returning young soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“There is a simmering stew of discontent in this country,” said Bill Palmisano, an installation volunteer for 12 years. “The Occupy movement caught our self-appointed masters by surprise. Bernie Sanders is giving them heartburn and insomnia. There is no good defense against a peaceful movement for radical change, and I consider this installation a powerful device in the fight against war as an instrument of foreign policy. Plus, I get to work with the most caring, sharp, and engaged group of activists.”
Costs of Wars goes up again on May 1. Volunteers are welcome; setup starts at 8:30 a.m., and takedown is at 4 p.m.
Article first appeared on Independent.com - http://www.independent.com/news/2016/apr/26/arlington-west-evolves-costs-wars/
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