Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases to Hold Rally in Baltimore

January 11, 2018

From January 12 to 14, 2018, scholars and activists from around the United States, as well as people from countries impacted and displaced by U.S. bases abroad, will gather at the University of Baltimore for a conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases, with a focus on how to close them.

The conference will be preceded by a public rally at 3 p.m. on Friday, January 12. Location: Centre and N. Charles Streets (One block south of Washington Monument)

Here's the conference schedule:

Here's a joint mission statement:

While the U.S. empire of bases continues to expand during the Trump presidency, David Vine, Associate Professor of Anthropology at American University and one of the speakers at the upcoming event, points out that "none other than President Trump asked during the presidential campaign, 'What are we getting?' by spending tens of billions of dollars each year to maintain some 800 U.S. military bases in around 80 countries. Trump's simple query reflects a broader questioning of the foreign base status quo by a growing group of people across the political spectrum, including politicians, policy analysts, academics, journalists, and even members of the military."

The number of U.S. bases outside the U.S. may be more than 1,000, depending how they are defined. John Lannon, who will be traveling from Shannon, Ireland, to Baltimore, notes that, "Ireland claims to be a neutral country, but it allows the U.S. military to use a civilian airport at Shannon. Almost three million US troops and their weapons have passed through the airport since 2002, making it a de-facto US military base."

Some bases have been recognized, if resisted, for many years. Cheryl LaBash, Co-Chair of the National Network on Cuba notes that "GITMO in Cuba is arguably the oldest U.S. foreign base. The Cuban government and people say, 'all Guantanamo is ours' and demand the return of its illegally occupied territory."

Patricia Hynes, professor of Environmental Health, will speak at the conference on some of the environmental damage done by bases. "The U.S. military," she notes, "consumes more oil than any other institution in the world. Every kind of chemical and biological waste has been burned in primitive, air- and soil-polluting pits at hundreds of U.S. military bases. U.S. bombing practice on Vieques, Puerto Rico, has left behind nearly two million pounds of toxic waste."

This conference will answer Trump's question about what we're getting from these bases and show how U.S. bases abroad are harming the lives of everyone from ordinary U.S. citizens to local host communities to U.S. military personnel and their families.

Speakers will also address useful purposes to which bases can be converted. Ray McGovern, founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, says that "NATO should repurpose its new $1.23 billion headquarters into a shelter for refugees from NATO's wars, stop the wars, and bind the wounds of the stranger, the widow, and the orphan."

Speakers available for interviews include:

David Vine, Associate Professor of Anthropology at American University in Washington, DC, and author of Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Overseas Harm America and the World:

Will Griffin, Member of the Board of Directors of Veterans For Peace:

James Patrick Jordan, National Co-Coordinator for Alliance for Global Justice, responsible for its Labor, Ecology, and Colombia projects:

Ray McGovern, Former CIA Analyst and founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:

Ajamu Baraka, 2016 Green Party candidate for vice president of the United States; National Organizer for Black Alliance for Peace:

Sara Flounders, Co-director of the International Action Center and a Coordinator of United National Antiwar Coalition:

John Lannon, University of Limerick. Founding member of Shannonwatch in Ireland, and member of the National Executive of PANA (Peace and Neutrality Alliance):

Margaret Kimberly, Editor and Senior Columnist at Black Agenda Report (BAR):

Hyun Lee, Member of Steering Committee of the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific:

Ann Wright, Retired US Army Colonel, and former US diplomat; Leading member of Veterans For Peace and CODEPINK:

Cheryl LaBash, Co-chair of the National Network on Cuba:

Patricia Hynes, Retired environmental engineer and Professor of Environmental Health:

Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson of BAYAN USA:

Lucy Pagoada, Teacher and activist from Honduras and citizen of the United States:

Leah Bolger, Chair of the Coordinating Committee of World Beyond War:

Pat Elder, member of the coordinating committee of World Beyond War, author of Military Recruiting in the United States, Director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy:

Elsa Rassbach, Member of the Coordination Committee, Stop Air Base Ramstein; Member of the (German) National Council, Attac, Germany:

Matthew Hoh, Member of the advisory boards of Expose Facts, Veterans For Peace and World Beyond War:

Bahman Azad, Member of Executive Board and Organizational Secretary of the U.S. Peace Council; Retired Professor of Sociology:

Marie Cruz Soto, New York Solidarity with Vieques:

David Swanson, Director, World Beyond War; Campaign Coordinator for

Additional speakers include:

Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Joe Lombardo, Co-coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition

Henry Lowendorf, Member of Executive Board, U.S. Peace Council

Alfred L. Marder, President, U.S. Peace Council

Nancy Price, Member of WILPF-US Earth Democracy Committee, and Co-chair of Alliance for Democracy

Phil Wilayto, Writer, speaker and organizer based in Richmond, Virginia; Editor of Virginia Defender; Coordinator of Odessa Solidarity Campaign

Maurice Carney, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Friends of the Congo

Rabindra Adhikari, President of Nepal Peace and Solidarity Council

Miguel Figueroa, President of Canadian Peace Congress

Rev. C.D. Witherspoon, President Emeritus of Baltimore Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Netfa Freeman, Organizer in Pan African Community Action (PACA)

Berta Joubert-Ceci, Member Americas Steering Committee, Women's International Democratic Federation

Ana Rebrii, Student and Activist in Odessa Solidarity Campaign

Madhawa Palihapitiya, Peace and Solidarity Organization Srilanka (PASOS)

Conference Endorsers: Alliance for Democracy • Alliance for Global Justice • Baltimore Nonviolence Center • Bangladesh Bar Council • Black Alliance for Peace • Canadian Peace Congress • CODEPINK • Environmentalists Against War • Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition • Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space • Granny Peace Brigade—NYC • Greater Brunswick PeaceWorks • Greater Boston Chapter of the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts • Green Party of the United States • Hands Off Syria Coalition • International Action Center • Labor Fightback Network • Liberty Tree Foundation • MLK Justice Coalition • Mt. Toby Peace & Social concerns • New York Solidarity with Vieques • Nuclear Age Peace Foundation • Pax Christi Baltimore • PCUSA • Peace and Solidarity Organization Srilanka (PASOS) • Popular Resistance • Roots Of Conflict • Syria Solidarity Movement • Traprock Center for Peace and Justice • United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ) • United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) • Upstate (NY) Drone Action • U.S. Peace Council • Veterans For Peace • War Resisters League • Women's International League for Peace and Freedom—U.S. Section • World Beyond War • World Peace Council

The Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases is a brand new coalition forming in the United States and building alliances abroad. Its coordinating committee can be found here: