July 09, 2016
Seven Anti-drone activists were arrested, cited and released,while protesting drone killing, and honoring the life of Muhammad Azam, a recent drone victim.
Next Occupy Beale Action: July 25 & 26, Mark your calendar!
162-Year-Old "Friendship Treaty" Between USA & Ryukyu Kingdom Continues to Oppress Okinawa in the Present
July 08, 2016
"162 years ago today, a Treaty of Amity was signed between the USA and the sovereign nation of Ryukyu, now better known as Okinawa before it was unilaterally and illegally forced into a territory of Japan. While this treaty affirms the historical independence of the Ryukyu Islands from both Japan and the USA, it also brings clarity to the historical context of Okinawa today, where the vast majority of Okinawans remain staunchly opposed to its continued US military occupation disproportionately concentrated on this small island chain, due to the continued colonial rule by both Japan and the USA where popular will expressed in local elections, legal challenges, non-violent civil disobedience and protest has been ignored for decades.
July 07, 2016
Anti-war supporters staged a demonstration in Westminster as Sir John Chilcot presented his long-awaited report on the UK's role in the Iraq war.
Organisers estimated around 150 protesters gathered opposite the building in which families of some of the British soldiers who lost their lives during the conflict were reading the report for the first time.
Ex-soldiers who served in Iraq joined leaders of the Stop the War Coalition, CND and other groups to demand "truth and justice" and called for Tony Blair and others to face the full force of the law.
One protester wore a mask of the former prime minister with fake blood on his hands.
Former soldier Ben Griffin who served in Iraq in 2005 called for Mr Blair and former foreign secretary Jack Straw to face criminal trials.
He said: "I was involved in attacking civilians in their homes, taking men who were then tortured by American soldiers in prisons.
"We were responsible for an occupation during which many of the Geneva conventions were broken."
Mr Griffin, a member of the Veterans for Peace group, added: "I'm sure the establishment would like to hold a lowly soldier to account for those crimes.
"But, however, it should be the people at the top. Tony Blair, Jack Straw, General Jackson, the head of MI5, the head of MI6. Those people should have criminal proceedings brought against them."
June 27, 2016
Lawrence Deems Egbert, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., a resident of the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore, died of a heart attack Thursday evening, June 9th. He was the oldest and the longest-surviving of the three sons of Lawrence D. Egbert, Sr. and Lyn Forsyth Egbert. He is survived by his wife, Ellen Barfield, his five children: Louise Egbert Treitman (Rick Treitman), Lexington MA; Ruth Egbert Walker (Ron Walker), Stillwater, OK; Dave Egbert (Imane Daher), Parkville, MD; James Egbert (Peg Murphy), Eureka, CA; and Ben Egbert (Thomas Lymenstull) of Dallas TX, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his former wife, Dorothy Staples Egbert, of Stillwater, OK and was predeceased by his former wife, Marcelle Hechemy Egbert. He was 88 years old.
Dr. Egbert was a retired professor of anesthesiology and public health. He earned several degrees from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from the University of Maryland. He was a veteran, having served both in the Army and Navy, and was stationed in Japan after the Second World War.
Lawrence was born in Champaign, IL and grew up in Washington, DC. He was a nationally-recognized anesthesiologist, publishing several important articles about patient care and racism in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. He worked at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He also served for several years as visiting faculty at Pahlavi University Medical School in Shiraz, Iran and the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.
In later years, he became an anti-war and anti-nuclear activist, a member of the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and a volunteer with Doctors Without Borders. He was also strongly opposed to the death penalty and was a nationally-known expert on lethal injection. In recent years he was the medical director of Final Exit Network—an organization that provides education and compassionate presence to those facing end of life choices. He was arrested and faced multiple trials for his work with FEN. He was active for much of his life in Unitarian Universalist district governance and social change committees, especially UUs for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. He was attending a Quaker Meeting in recent years.
Lawrence has lived with his wife Ellen in Baltimore for nearly twenty years. He did not own a car or a cell phone. He bicycled nearly everywhere he needed to go, rain or shine. A memorial service is tentatively planned for August 27th in Baltimore. Donations in his memory can be made to Physicians for Social Responsibility, Final Exit Network or Veterans For Peace.
June 17, 2016
All NC VFP members are invited to be part of an exciting opportunity to appear in a VFP music video to be distributed nationally (and beyond) to spread our anti-war message. You don't need to sing well -- or even at all!
Here's how it works:
We will assemble at 8:45 a.m. (sharp!) Saturday, June 25, in Raleigh.
Please park in the parking lot behind Subway.
If you're coming from a distance, we can provide homestays for you so that you can come in on Friday night (6/24) and be ready for the filming on Saturday morning. (Please contact me directly at 585-314-1413 if you’ll be needing Friday night accommodations.)
Once we're all assembled, we'll sing along to the chorus of an original song written for VFP by Pat Scanlon of Boston. The music will be played on a boom box, and we'll just sing lustily along. Our voices will never be heard on the final video. The actual sound track will be provided by a 40-voice chorus that recorded the song this past weekend in Massachusetts. But here's the tricky part: in order for it to look like we're really singing, we need to have about 40 folks in the video, so we need ALL HANDS ON DECK!
You'll need to be wearing a VFP shirt (any and all colors welcome.) We'd also like you to wear a VFP hat, or the hat of your service outfit, if you have one of those. We'll have some extra shirts on hand for those of you who might not have one, or you can order one from the VFP web site, if you've always wanted one of your own. Pat writes: "Only VFP banners, signs, flags, clothing and hats are to be in the film. The one exception will be for IVAW shirts and hats. Also, generic peace flags are acceptable." (If you have more than one VFP shirt, please bring any extras you might have to lend to a member who might not have one. Any and all shirt colors welcome!)
Our videographer, Ahmed Selim, tells me that the taping will take about two hours, since he'll be shooting us from many different angles and in several different locations. (We all can go out for lunch together when we're done.)
In the meantime, please listen to the chorus part of the song at:
We’ll be singing just the chorus, not the verses!
I suggest that you play this over and over until it sticks in your ear. Play it when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed at night and whenever you think of it during the day. That way, it will come naturally to you when we get together for the final filming.
And please familiarize yourself with the lyrics (below). You don't need to memorize them. I'll bring a "teleprompter.”
Please let me know if you have any questions, and let me know if we can count on you to be there (and if you'll be needing a homestay).
"They call us all Extremists 'cause we're out here in the street.
How Un-patriotic! Veterans For Peace!
They say we gotta watch them like never before,
'Cause there's nothing more dangerous than veterans against war."
June 13, 2016
“Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are vital but alone are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircraft, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe. ”
June 10, 2016
I did not fight for my country.
I lost, not because I threw the fight,
A lot of money changed hands that night,
Rest In Peace
June 10, 2016
Along with VCNV companions, I’m part of a 150 mile walk from Chicago to Thomson, IL, a small town in Northwest IL where the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is setting up an Administrative Maximum prison, also known as a Supermax. Prison laborers from U.S. minimum security prisons now labor to turn what once was an Illinois state prison into a federal supermax detention facility with 1900 cells that will confine prisoners for 23 hours of every day.
Drivers seeing us with our signs often wave or honk approval as they whiz past us on the road. “Education not Incarceration” says one sign; “Build hospitals, not Prisons,” says another. But yesterday, a woman speaking with Maya Evans, who is from the UK, surprised us with her venom. After listening to Maya’s suggestion that U.S. people would be better off spending resources on health care and education, the woman said, “Well, if we would shoot the bastards we wouldn’t have to put them in prison.” Razia, from Pakistan, also a walker, said “That’s what President Obama does overseas with the drone attacks.”
Razia’s right, I think, and sadly, as Adam Hochschild recently wrote in an article entitled Our Awful Prisons, “this prison-industrial complex is now as deeply rooted as its military counterpart. With both corporate profits and government salaries at stake, it will be equally difficult to shrink or transform.”
Hochschild also notes that 67.8% of U.S. prisoners return to prison within three years of their release. Who benefits from this system? Who are Senator Durbin and Representative Bustos aiming to please by favoring construction of a Supermax prison in Thomson, IL?
Each morning, before we begin walking, we form a circle and spend a short time thinking, together, about eventual inhabitants of the cruel cells we’re walking toward. Inmates will live in tortuous solitary confinement. How will their punishment affect their families and, for that matter, the employees assigned to punish them?
June 06, 2016
On Friday, June 3, 2016 a Navy Blue Angels pilot was killed and an Air Force Thunderbirds plane destroyed at air shows in the US. The loss of life and aircraft beg the question, why do we put our highly trained military people at risk to entertain the population and promote war?
San Diego Veterans For Peace has now embarked on a five-year plan to change public understanding of what the Miramar Air Show is actually all about. Here’s the short list of how we see it. The Miramar Air Show glorifies war with an exciting and colorful show of speed, power and noise. It celebrates the skills and machinery that exist to kill, maim and destroy. It misuses taxpayer’s money for entertainment and defense industry marketing and sales. It is dangerous - 10% of Blue Angel’s pilots have been killed in accidents. Miramar jets have already crashed in San Diego neighborhoods. It serves as a misleading recruiting tool for our unsuspecting youth.
Over the next 5 years we intend to encourage the public to recognize their exposure to skillful propaganda and eventually lose interest in the Miramar Air Show. We will work to steer the public to resist attending ... in sufficient numbers to make the show not worth the time, effort, risk and expense.
June 06, 2016
Yesterday was the take down of the Veterans For Peace installation of the Memorial Mile that consisted of 6700 miniature tombstones placed along Monona Drive. There were plenty of volunteers who started to arrive as early as 12:00 noon despite the advertised take down time starting at 3:00 PM. Because of the very enthusiastic efforts of early volunteers, the removal and packing up of the display was just about complete by 3:00.
Categories: Chapter 025
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