October 14, 2016
Last weekend, members of Veterans For Peace gathered with allies and activists at the U.S.-Mexico border to stand against the militarization of the border and U.S-led violence in Central and South America. Headed by the organization School of the Americas Watch, or SOA Watch, the border convergence brought attention to U.S. practices and policies that contribute to displacement and violence in Latin America and beyond.
The four-day gathering comprised a broad-spectrum program that brought together labor, faith-based, political, and social justice organizations. The event was held on both sides of the border. On Saturday morning, VFP led a march of over 700 participants to the border. During the Saturday rally, Michael McPhearson, VFP executive director, spoke on the U.S-side of the border, and Hector Barajas, deported veteran and coordinator of the VFP Tijuana Chapter, spoke on the Mexico side. Following the rally, VFP led a workshop on deported veterans on the Mexico side of the border.
October 11, 2016
the following is excerpted from:
by Ellen Davidson
"STANDING ROCK SIOUX RESERVATION, North Dakota--Indigenous People’s Day in Oceta Sakowin began before dawn with a loudspeaker car driving through the camp urging everyone to “rise and shine; it’s a good day to protect the water.” The speaker encouraged “all my relatives” to gather at the south end of the camp on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation for a prayer to the sunrise."
"The crowd regrouped near the road with a line of cops in front of them. The dancers continued their presentation, and the crowd chanted “Mni wiconi—water is life!” and “What do you do when your land and water are under attack? Stand up! Fight back!” Members of the Youth Council spoke on bullhorns, urging protectors to be peaceful and not to taunt the police, while also explaining that we all need water to live, and that the protectors were doing this for the cops’ children too. “You can’t drink oil! Keep it in the soil!” they said.
Eventually, all the protectors in the tipi, including Tarak Kauff and Matthew Hoh of Veterans For Peace were taken into custody."
October 05, 2016
Zaytouna-Oliva taken in International Waters: Whereabouts of Participants Unknown
This afternoon, the Women's Boat to Gaza was making good progress to the shores and the women were emotional about meeting all the people in Gaza who were waiting for them. Some of the Palestinians had spent the night at the beach to greet them.
October 04, 2016
In addition to the egregious violations happening on native land in North Dakota, the same pipeline is being drilled under the Mississippi River, a source of water of millions of citizens, between Iowa and Illinois. Serious environmental damage has already been done. The ecological and economic impact of a leak would be staggering. Currently, protests are happening daily at this site and Veterans For Peace has been participating!
September 30, 2016
Executive Director Michael McPhearson recently gave remarks at the World Without War Conference. #NoWar2016
Below are his remarks in text:
Changing War Culture to Peace Culture
by Michael McPhearson
During the past decade I have been told on more occasions than I can count that my Veterans For Peace t-shirt or the idea of Veterans For Peace is a great idea, “but” - the person goes on to explain to me why peace is not possible. I have never met anyone who does not want peace or an end to war, but I have met countless people who do not believe we can achieve it. So that has led me to believe that the most entrenched obstacle we face is not the Pentagon, corporations or the military industrial complex. Our greatest challenge is to help enough people believe peace is possible so that we have the political and social will to achieve it. It is impossible for us to achieve our goals without a critical mass of people who also share a vision of a peaceful world. Most people simply will not work to achieve something that is not possible. Further, humans tend to create what they believe is possible and acceptable. If people believe peace is impossible and war is acceptable, they will not demand real and lasting peace but will expect and accept war. For some this may not seem relevant, however I believe it is extremely important because there is clearly not enough of us to bring about the changes we seek, which increasingly are changes we need for humanity to survive.
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