December 06, 2016
Coalition of 53 Organizations Oppose General Michael Flynn’s Appointment as National Security Advisor. Veterans For Peace signed on to this letter.
December 5, 2016
Dear Mr. President-elect,
We are organizations representing millions of Americans, writing to express our deep concern with your appointment of Lt. General (Ret.) Michael Flynn to the position of National Security Advisor. While deserving respect for the time he has served our country in uniform, we feel General Flynn is unfit for serving in this critical post. His appointment will damage America’s standing in the world and pose a threat to our national security.
December 01, 2016
Chapter 104 in Evansville, Indiana celebrated their annual Scholarship award. This year it was an incredible evening of peace talk inspired by our 2016 Gary E. May Peace Scholarship winner, Addison Paul and VFP National Executive Director, Michael McPhearson.
The award was funded by donations from organizations, including the Evansville Branch of NAACP, Operation Support on the Home Front, C. Larry Rhodes Insurance, Jobs with Justice and individuals from the area. The general theme of the scholarship program is “Promoting Thought to Abolish War”. Individuals were asked to write about one of four questions posed by Veterans For Peace members. The award is named for the co-founder and long term Chair of Veterans For Peace, Gary May, in honor of his dedication to peace and advocacy for veterans and victims of war.
November 16, 2016
by Lucas Berard
My experiences have allowed me to see the relentless cycle of fear, anger, attack, and retaliation- and I do everything I can now to throw a wrench into the machine that is profiting off of so much human suffering. A machine fueled by hateful and demeaning rhetoric, and thrives in societies that lack empathy for other peoples and cultures.
Years into this self-imposed mission, I’m still surprised to see so many folks turn their nose up when I mention the concept of pursuing peace- like it’s a dirty word or something. Peace is noble, peace is strength, peace is the central message of many religious leaders, including Jesus Christ. Read the red words. Never once does he glorify war and fighting, but spoke against it numerous times. He preached love above all else, especially when it’s difficult or even downright risky.
Like Armistice Day, we’ve lost a part of what we once were, and we’ve been drifting toward larger and longer conflicts ever since, and we’re losing our empathy, a critical part in any respectable and sustainable people or country. I believe that if we can reclaim that empathy, we will reclaim a part of what it is to be an American, and in doing so, find solid, peaceful footing again.
Peace is possible- but it takes a real, determined desire to create and sustain it. If we truly wish to honor our veterans, both here and gone, as well as our own country, we must remember the true costs of war; they are far steeper than most of us realize.
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."
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