2019 Peace Day and Climate Strikes Recap

Catastrophic climate change is an imminent danger facing the world.  This year for International Peace Day, the U.N. declared the theme to be “Climate Action for Peace”.  Taking action on climate change is vital as a way to promote peace throughout the world.  Ending war and militarism are vital if we are to create a sustainable future.

VFP members and chapters across the country marched in local Climate Strike actions and took part in many different actions and events to celebrate International Peace Day. 

Check out the recap of local actions below! Click on image thumbnails for full-size images.

Don't see your chapter on here? Email a short description of the event or action your chapter attended to samantha@veteransforpeace.org.

Chapter 1 - Tom Sturtevant Chapter (Auburn, ME)

VFP Chapter 1 had a table at the Common Ground Fair hosted by the Maine Organic Farmers Association that lasted three days and had over 50,000 attendees. At another site, they hosted a successful poetry reading.




Chapter 9 - Smedley Butler Brigade (Boston, MA)

Members of VFP Chapter 9 took part in the Boston Climate Strike. Senator Markey stopped for some photos.

Chapter 13 - Tucson, AZ

Members of VFP Chapter 13 took to the streets for a local Climate Change Strike Protest in addition to taking part in the 2019 Youth and Peace Conference at Pima West Campus in Tucson!

Chapter 19 - Riverside/ San Bernardino County, CA

VFP Chapter 19 held their 14th annual International Day of Peace event on Sunday night. The event featured several speakers, musical performances and recognized members of the community for their service in various fields handing out several "peace day awards."

Chapter 26 - Chicago, IL

Members of VFP Chapter 26 took part in the local student Climate Strikes. From their Facebook page: "Inspiring to be out here with so many of Chicago's youth taking the lead and discussing climate change."

Chapter 34 - New York, NY

On Sunday, September 22nd, VFP Members in Chapter 34 took part in the People's Mobilization to Stop the US War Machine and Save the Planet Rally and March (part of a series of actions that took place in NYC). The event featured Cornel West, Roger Waters, members of the Embassy Protection Collective, Extinction Rebellion, music by Ben Grosscup plus many solidarity, climate crisis, and resistance groups.

Check out some of the photos below, and view the full photo album here.

Chapter 50 - Traverse City, MI

VFP Chapter 50 hosted events on 9/21 and 9/22 that included a peace pole planting, the Mayor of Traverse City proclaiming International Peace Day in Traverse City, music, speakers (including: Honorable Thomas J. Phillips, Golam Rabbani (a lawyer of Bangladeshi Supreme Court and International Social Worker), and Elon Cameron, (one of the founders of Up North Pride)), and a march for peace.




Chapter 55 - Joan Duffy (Santa Fe, NM)

VFP Chapter 55 joined the local Youth Climate Change Gathering and Climate March.

Chapter 57 - Vermont, Will Miller Green Mountain

VFP Chapter 57 was invited to an annual International Peace Day program conducted by local students, held this year on September 20 to coincide with the Climate Strike. The event was attended by hundreds of students who gave speeches and performed music and dance.

Chapter President Richard Czaplinski was invited to open the program and gave a ten minute speech that included the mission of VFP, the importance of fostering peace, details of the US National budget (growing debt, budget deficit, and huge defense budget). The speech stressed that we can no longer continue to support the growing militarization of the US and other countries and must reduce military spending and use the funds saved to cope with the climate emergency.

Chapter 72 - Portland, OR

VFP Members in Portland took part in a number of Peace Day and Climate Strike actions including a Student Walkout for Climate, Climate Fair, and Climate Action for Peace.

Check out some photos below and visit VFP Member Dan Shea's YouTube channel for videos of the Climate Strike and Climate Action for Peace.

Chapter 91 - San Diego, CA

San Diego Veterans For Peace Chapter 91 members joined several different Climate Strike actions in solidarity around the county. Check out the photos below!

Image 1: San Diego VFP member Jim Brown joined SanDiego350 members at Encinitas Village Gate Middle School's strike, September 20, 2019

Image 2: Michael Brackney (helmet), Kate Beckwith & Gary Butterfield joined the Sunrise Movement San Diego Climate Strike & March at Senator Feinstein's office downtown on 9/20/19

Image 3: San Diego VFP members Ed Fox and Jim Brown were joined by Encinitas councilwoman Julie Heinz at Encinitas Village Gate Middle School's Climate Strike on September 20, 2019

Image 4:  Dave Patterson, SDVFP Chapter member, took part in Ramona's Climate Strike on 9-20-2019

Image 5: SDVFP Chapter 91 members Jack Doxley, Paul Ross & Gary Butterfield at the SDSU Climate Strike, Friday morning, September 20, 2019

Chapter 99 - Asheville, NC

VFP Chapter 99 co-sponsored their local International Day of Peace alongside Elder and Sage Community Gardens. They also named local member Said Abdallah their 2019 Peacemaker of the Year.

From a local news article: "Abdallah, who was born in Palestine and immigrated to the USA in 1974, was nominated by Jewish Voice for Peace - Asheville and American Friends of Combatants for Peace - Asheville. Since moving to Asheville in 2013, Abdallah has been active in numerous efforts to make our community and world a better and more peaceful place."

Read the full news article.

Chapter 104 - Evansville, IN

Members VFP Chapter 104 gathered on Saturday to commemorate International Day of Peace and honor humanity’s quest for peace. Local members presented a young tree to gift to the City of Evansville as a gesture of good will. They say the tree symbolizes the belief that peace is possible when rooted in non-violence, justice, and respect for all people.

In a statement sent to local media, President of Evansville VFP Bart Lindenschmidt said, “We think the people of Evansville aspire to a peaceful community, and we share and support that desire as a fundamental need of people everywhere.”

Chapter 106 - Dallas, North Texas 
From Chapter 106 Member Leslie Harris:

Photo 1: VFP Chapter 106 took part in the Global Climate Strike Dallas kick-off event, where it was great to see so many young people come out to fight for climate justice.  Marine veteran Zen Biasco found a perch where he could remind the crowd about the US military's immense contribution to the climate crisis.
Photo by Dave Jensen, Ch. 106. 

Photo 2: As part of the Global Climate Strike week of action in Dallas VFP 106 hosted a gathering at BlackRock's Dallas office at 10:00AM to hold BlackRock to its own standards of being socially responsible by divesting from fossil-fuel extractors and the military-industrial complex.

In addition to owning more oil, gas, and thermal coal reserves than any other investor, BlackRock, the world’s largest investor in deforestation, is also the top investor in weapons manufacturers, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dyamics. The weapons from these companies are used in military strikes around the world, resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians and the destruction of the environment. These companies lie at the brutal heart of the military-industrial complex. In supporting them, BlackRock and its shareholders are making huge profits off of global suffering.
Photo by Leslie Harris.

Photo 3: Chapter 106 takes every opportunity to send its message of Peace with Iran. Taking place outside the George W. Bush Presidential Center, this was the fifth in our series of "NO WAR ON IRAN" demonstrations in recent months.
L to R; Bob Fusinato, Leslie Harris, Dariel Margarito Hernandez, Ron Unger. 

Photo 4: VFP 106 members joined the North Texas Light Brigade to light up Dallas City Hall during the Global Climate Strike Dallas week-long series of events.

Chapter 112 - Ventura/Oxnard, CA

From VFP Chapter 112 member Michael Cervantes: "The five VFP members set up on the lawn surrounded by a few hundred participants. Pertinent organizational tables were set up and we didn’t even know that was being allowed. A ground level stage was set up for speakers and musicians to play. Our VFP members set up on the lawn with our 6 ½ foot square missile chart lying on the ground in front of us. The chart attracted many, many passersby and many took pictures of it. We simultaneously set up our button display and many came by to pick one or two out, leaving us donations. The missile chart makes it easy to see that the military is a great cause of greenhouse gases."

Chapter 112 also made a donation to help local member Cindy Piester to travel to Washington DC and participate there. 

Photo 1: Jeff and Cindy at Global Strike in Washington, D.C. on September 20th.

Photo 2: Cindy Piester and Medea Benjamin block an intersection during Shut Down Washington DC Global Strike on September 23rd.

Chapter 147 - Adirondack, NY

Members of VFP Chapter 147 gathered with other local residents on Sunday to promote peace at the 11th annual Saratoga Peace Fair, part of the ongoing Saratoga Peace Week. “There’s a huge peace movement in this area,” said David LaCart, president of Chapter 147. “This is just a culmination of that. All of the groups come together promoting peaceful things and brotherhood and fellowship. We’re all like-minded here.”


Chapter 168 - Louisville, KY

 VFP Chapter 168 joined WFMP 106.5 FM and the Climate Report at the Climate Strike in Louisville.

Chapter 182 - Sgt. Barrios Memorial (Baja, Mexico)

Veterans For Peace Sgt. Barrios Memorial Chapter #182 had the honor of leading the UN Peace Day walk carrying the Mexican flag and an American flag with the peace sign instead of stars. 

"It was very humbling to be allowed to carry and represent a great peace Organization. VFP." - VFP Member Robert Vivar