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Nobel Peace Prize for Peace

Alfred Nobel's will, written in 1895, left funding for a prize to be awarded to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Most winners in recent years have either been people who did nice things that had nothing whatsoever to do with the relevant work (Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for promoting education, Liu Xiaobo for protesting in China, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for opposing climate change, Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank for economic development, etc.) or people who actually engaged in militarism and would have opposed the abolition or reduction of standing armies if asked, and one of whom said so in his acceptance speech (the European Union, Barack Obama, etc.).

The prize goes disproportionately, not to the leaders of organizations or movements for peace and disarmament, but to U.S. and European elected officials. Rumors swirled, prior to Friday's announcement, that Angela Merkel or John Kerry might win the prize. Thankfully, that did not happen. Another rumor suggested the prize could go to defenders of Article Nine, the section of the Japanese Constitution that bans war and has kept Japan out of war for 70 years. Sadly, that did not happen.

The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday morning to "the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011." The Nobel Committee's statement goes on to actually cite Nobel's will, which Nobel Peace Prize Watch ( and other advocates have been insisting be followed (and which I'm a plaintiff in a lawsuit demanding compliance with, along with Mairead Maguire and Jan Oberg):

"The broad-based national dialogue that the Quartet succeeded in establishing countered the spread of violence in Tunisia and its function is therefore comparable to that of the peace congresses to which Alfred Nobel refers in his will."

This was not an award to a single individual or for work in a single year, but those are differences from the will that no one has really objected to. This was also not an award to a leading war maker or arms dealer. This was not a peace prize for a NATO member or a Western president or foreign secretary who did something less awful than usual. This is encouraging as far as that goes.

The award did not directly challenge the arms industry that is led by the United States and Europe along with Russia and China. The award did not go to international work at all but to work within a nation. And the leading reason offered was the building of a pluralistic democracy. This verges on the watered-down Nobel conception of peace as anything good or Western. However, the effort to claim strict compliance with one element of the will is quite useful. Even a domestic peace congress that prevents civil war is a worthy effort to replace war with peace. A nonviolent revolution in Tunisia did not directly challenge Western militarized imperialism, but neither was it in line with it. And its relative success, compared with the nations that have received the most "assistance" from the Pentagon (Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, etc.) is worth highlighting. An honorable mention for Chelsea Manning for her role in inspiring the Arab Spring in Tunisia by releasing communications between the U.S. and Tunisian governments would not have been out of place.

So, I think the 2015 award could have been much worse. It could also have been much better. It could have gone to work opposing armaments and international warmongering. It could have gone to Article 9, or Abolition 2000, or the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, or the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, or the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Arms, or the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, all of which were nominated this year, or to any number of individuals nominated from around the world.

Nobel Peace Prize Watch is far from satisfied: "An encouragement to the Tunisian people is fine, but Nobel had a much greater perspective. Indisputable evidence shows that he intended his prize to support a visionary reorganization of international affairs. The language in his will is a clear confirmation of this," says Tomas Magnusson, Sweden, on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize Watch. "The committee continues reading the expressions of the testament as they like, instead of studying what type of 'champions of peace' and what peace ideas Nobel had in mind signing his will on Nov. 27, 1895. In February the Nobel Peace Prize Watch lifted the secrecy around the selection process when it published a list of 25 qualified candidates with the full nomination letters. By its choice for 2015, the committee has rejected the list and, again, is clearly outside the circle of recipients Nobel had in mind. In addition to not understanding the least bit of Nobel's idea the committee in Oslo has not understood the new situation in the committee's relation to its principals in Stockholm," continues Tomas Magnusson. "We must understand that the whole world today is under occupation, even our brains have become militarized to a degree where it is hard for people to imagine the alternative, demilitarized world that Nobel wished his prize to promote as a mandatory urgency. Nobel was a man of the world, able to transcend the national perspective and think of what would be best for the world as a whole. We have plenty for everyone's needs on this green planet if the nations of the world could only learn to co-operate and stop wasting precious resources on the military. The members of the Board of the Nobel Foundation risk personal liability if a prize amount is paid over to the winner in violation of the purpose. As late as three weeks ago seven members of the Foundation's Board were hit by initial steps in a lawsuit demanding that they repay to the Foundation the prize paid to the EU in December 2012. Among the plaintiffs are Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland, a Nobel laureate; David Swanson, USA; Jan Oberg, Sweden, and the Nobel Peace Prize Watch ( The lawsuit follows after a Norwegian attempt to regain the ultimate control of the peace prize was finally turned down by the Swedish Chamber Court in May 2014."

Undrone Upstate


Oct. 7th – 21st, 2015

Oct 7, 2015: Undrone Upstate is a pro-peace, anti-drone demonstration and walk to educate the public on drone operations in the Western New York region.  The group will be walking about 165 miles from the Hancock Air National Guard Base, a national Reaper hub, to the Niagara Falls Air National Guard Base. Both bases are sites of drone operations, including training and remote piloting of drones over Afghanistan. The walk will include outreach programs at colleges and community centers along the way, including Rochester, Brockport, and Niagara Falls.

Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence will speak at a kickoff event Sept 6 at 7pm at All Saints’ Church, 1340 Lancaster Avenue, Syracuse and join the walkers for the first few days.  Kathy has been to Afghanistan many times as a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, joined other walks for peace and justice, and has been arrested protesting drone warfare outside of U.S. military bases.

Medea Benjamin of CodePink will join the walkers when they arrive for a rally at Niagara Falls Air Base.  (Details on website below)  Medea has written ‘Drone Warfare’, a book that clearly describes the disturbing issues that surround drone warfare.   CodePink has facilitated anti-drone conferences in Washington DC and CodePink members are a regular force at drone protests at Creech Airforce Base in Nevada.   

Targeted drone assassination is Obama’s favored weapon against "global terrorism." Outdoor markets, wedding parties, and village meetings have all been subjected to drone attacks, carried out on secret evidence and with little regard for human bystanders. The Department of Defense plans to increase its use of drones by 50 percent over the next four years.

The purpose of the walk is to heighten public awareness of the mindless murder and relentless terror perpetrated in our names by the criminal use of killer drones on terror suspects. Members of Upstate Drone action were among the first to investigate drone warfare and actively begin protesting this illegal and immoral campaign.  

 For details of events associated with the Undrone Upstate walk,  go to, or go to the Undrone Upstate Facebook page.

Nobel Foundation Sued Over Peace Prize

A Press Release from the Nobel Peace Prize Watch

RE: Nobel Foundation - lawsuit against misappropriation of funds – violating intended antimilitarist purpose of the Nobel peace prize

The controversy over peace prizes disconnected from the specific peace vision of Alfred Nobel is now coming to a head in a lawsuit initiated by Mairead Maguire, a Nobel laureate; David Swanson, USA; Jan Oberg, Sweden; and the Nobel Peace Prize Watch. None of the members of the Board of the Nobel Foundation had responded when the time limit set in a notice of litigation expired on Tuesday. The plaintiffs have retained attorney Kenneth Lewis, Stockholm, to have the Stockholm City Court declare the prize to the EU an illegal use of the Foundation´s funds. In December 2012 the members of the Board of the Nobel Foundation did not heed protests from four Nobel laureates, Mairead Maguire, Perez Esquivel, Desmond Tutu, and the International Peace Bureau, who in a letter had warned that “The EU is clearly not 'the champion of peace' that Alfred Nobel had in mind when he wrote his will."

Keep Space for Peace Week International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space

Stop Drones Surveillance & Killing

No Missile Defense

No to NATO

End Corporate Domination of Foreign/Military Policy

Convert the Military Industrial Complex

Deal with climate change and global poverty

List in formation

  • Augusta, Maine (Oct 9) Augusta Women in Black vigil from 12:30 to 1:00 PM in front of Lithgow Library.
  • Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 3) Vigil across from administration building on Washington Street (Navy Aegis destroyers outfitted with “missile defense” systems built at BIW) 11:30-12:30 am   Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm (207) 763-4062

·     Boryong, South Korea (Oct 4)   No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK

·     Chongju, South Korea (Oct 7)   At Bus terminal.  No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK

  • USAF Croughton, England (Oct 3) National March & Rally at U.S. satellite communication and intelligence base. (Space communications, drones, bomber guidance, missile defence and command & control functions.)  12.00 midday to 3:30 pm. Special guest Robb Johnson. Evening peace concert after rally at Friends Meeting House in Oxford at 7:00 pm.  Oxfordshire Peace Campaign,  

·     Daejeon, South Korea (Oct 6)   At Chungnam university, Mokwon Univ, Daejeon Univ.  No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK

·     Hancock Air Base to Niagara Falls, New York(Oct 7-21) The Upstate Drone Action Coalition is planning a 165-mile Walk Against Killer Drones, from Hancock Air Base to the Niagara Falls Air Base with stops along the way in Rochester and Brockport. The goal of the Walk is to heighten public awareness of the mindless murder and relentless terror perpetrated in our names by the escalating use of killer drones.  Please let us know ASAP that you or others you know will be joining us for all or part of the Walk. Contact Peg Gefell at 585-313-6674 or at

  • Janakpurdham, Nepal (Oct 5) Introductory/ interaction meeting about Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and my experience of Okinawa, Kyoto and Hiroshima conferences. Social Development Path (SODEP)

·     Jeonju, South Korea (Oct 3)  At Jeonbuk University, Korean traditional village touring site.  No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest  only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK    

  • Kemijärvi, Finland (Oct 3) Peace defenders will hold a street protest against drone testing and war training area where NATO is feared to be preparing for war with Russia.
  • King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (Oct 10) Noon, Demonstration and kite flying in front of Lockheed Martin (L-M) at intersection of Mall & Goddard Boulevards.   L-M is making a killing in drone war and surveillance technology, building the remote-controlled unmanned planes and satellites that direct the drones and launch their deadly Hellfire missiles which L-M also builds. For more info Brandywine Peace Community, (610) 544-1818  or
  • Kolkata, India (Oct 11) Public Meeting at Kolkata organised by Mrs. Arundhoti Roy Chouddhury ( Global Network board member J. Narayana Rao to speak.
  • Kyoto, Japan (Oct 3) Kyoto Coalition against the U.S. ‘missile defense’ X-band Radar Base in Ukawa village will hold indoor Rally at 14:00 pm. The venue is Higashiyama Ikiiki Shimin Katsudo Center. And then, we will march on central Kyoto. The march will starts on 17:00
  • Largo, Florida (Oct 7) Demonstration from 4:30-5:30 PM at the Young-Rainey Star Center at the corner of Bryan Dairy and Belcher Roads in mid-Pinellas County, site of a Raytheon plant.  Raytheon was the fourth largest weapons contractor in the world in 2014, with sales of $10.2 billion, and is very active in drone production.
  • Maine Walk for Peace: Pentagon’s Impact on the Oceans (Oct 9-24) Join us in shedding light on the Militarization of the Seas as the US Navy (outfitted with missile defense and space-directed missiles) ramps up their global operations to encircle Russia & China. We will explore environment impacts of Navy on the oceans.  Walk from Ellsworth to Portsmouth, NH.  See flyer at
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota (Oct 14) Bridge vigil at Lake St & Marshall Ave.  Twin Cities Peace Campaign.
  • Montrose, California (Oct 9)  We will call to Keep Space For Peace at our weekly Montrose Peace Vigil, Fridays 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., at Honolulu Ave. and Oceanview BLvd., in the Montrose Shopping Park.
  • Nagpur, India (Oct 3) Mass Rally at Motibalgh jointly by S.E.C. Rly Pensioners Assn and Pragatisjheel Railway Mahila Samaj. Coordinator J. Saraswati.

·     Nagpur, India(Oct 3) Program on the dangers of weaponization of space at 11 AM to be held at the Women's College.

·     Nagpur, India (Oct 3) Program on the dangers of weaponization of space at 2:00 with the students at the National Social Work College.

·     Nagpur, India(Oct 4) Bernie Mayer (American Gandhi) will address a women's rally at 4:00 pm on how the masses can be attracted to struggle against space weaponisation through Gandhian technique.

·     Nonsan, South Korea (Oct 5)   No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK

·     Pyongtaek, South Korea (Oct 8) At Railroad station.  No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK

·     Sacramento, California (Oct 7) No New Wars, No Killer Drones. Sac Veterans for Peace weekly vigil, 15th & L, Sacramento. 4 – 5 pm.  All welcome. FMI: 916-456-4595

·     Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado (Oct 7) Protest at Air Force Space Command’s Space Warfare Center and new joint interagency combined space operations center that will bring the civilian spooks from National Reconnaissance Office and National Security Agency together with military space agencies like Defense Information Systems Agency.

·     Seongnam, South Korea Oct 9   (At traditional market) No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system  protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK

·     Seoul, South Korea (Oct 23) No to THAAD only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy protest rally when Security Meeting of US and S. Korea is being held. Organized by SPARK

·     Suwon, South Korea Oct 10   No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK

  • Tucson, Arizona (Oct 6)Vigil at Raytheon Missile Systems. Join the Raytheon Peacemakers as we demonstrate against war and those who profit from it.  Survival demands better ideas, not better weapons.  Hermans Road entrance. (3rd traffic light south of Valencia on Nogales Highway, the extension of South 6th Avenue). Park off Nogales Highway, between railroad tracks and highway.  Signs provided, or bring your own!  More info: 520-323-8697.

·     Vandenberg AFB, California (Oct 7) Vigil in solidarity with "Keep Space for Peace Week" at the main gate of space warfare base from 3:45pm to 4:45pm. For info, contact Dennis Apel at (805) 878-2614.

·     Washington DC (Oct 5) Pentagon will hold "Keep Space for Peace" and "No Weapons in Space" signs during Dorothy Day Catholic Worker weekly peace vigil. 7-8 AM

·     Washington DC (Oct 9) White House will hold "Keep Space for Peace" and "No Weapons in Space" signs during Dorothy Day Catholic Worker weekly peace vigil. Noon-1:00 PM

-        Keep Space for Peace Week is co-sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom


·        Download our full-size space week poster at:

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502  (blog)

Keeping Hope While Locked Out With No Voice

By Joy First

The voices of the people are not being heard as we are increasingly denied access to our government officials.  For many, we have wanted to believe that we live in some kind of representative democracy where we can express our views to those we elect and it will make a difference, but that is not the case.

A study published in the academic journal Perspectives on Politics found the majority of the American public has a “minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy” compared to the wealthy. 

Join us in DC on Tuesday


Join us at an event organized by the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Part of a week of actions with Campaign Nonviolence.


Meet in cafeteria in Longworth House Office Building at 9:00 am.

Together we will go to Paul Ryan's office at about 10:00 am.

Bring packets of seeds and photos or news articles of issues you would like to address i.e. war, climate crisis, poverty, institutionalized violence etc.

Leave Ryan's office around 11:00 or 11:15.

Take public transportation to Edward R. Murrow Park – 1800 block of Pennsylvania Ave. NW



We will proceed together from the park to the White House.

We'll hear speakers at the White House, read a letter sent to Obama, and some will protest even at risk of arrest but others need not do so.

Sign up here:

Put a Little Love in the Next Election

This article was first published by the Albany Times Union.
Politicians should work toward nurturing the ability to comfortably shift our understanding of others

Bombast, insults, shallow courtesy, authentic unkindness, corporate donations, lavish spending, rancorous debates: When observing presidential candidates, do you feel you're witnessing the best democracy has to offer? Ideal human qualities? Or just the opposite?
Where, for instance, is love?
Oh! A bad word in politics! Love rattles politicians' anxious determination to be tough. Love sounds soft, feminine. More bad words.
In my mind's eye I clearly see an autumn day at the park 12 years ago. My son had found a little wasp, struggling upside down in a pool of water on a slide. We watched it caringly, intending to help if needed, and suddenly, to my son's great joy, the wasp turned over and crawled out of the pool -- alive! We were elated, and my son happily began conversing with the wasp.
A father and his children approached. We explained to him to be caring toward the weary wasp we loved. But then, frozen in disbelief, we stared as he raised his massive boot and stomped it to death.

International Day of Peace 2015 in Central Virginia

Flyer here.

On Monday, September 21st, millions of people around the world will honor and celebrate the International Day of Peace, established in 1981 by the United Nations.  At the same time streams of refugees are fleeing areas of conflict around the world, especially from the wars in the Middle East.  People honor peace, people see the need for peace, but wars rage on. 

For Peace Day this year, we will learn about and honor efforts by some champions of peace who work to bridge the divides of enmity that fuel conflicts and wars.  We will also hold a “Be the Peace” meditation in concert with thousands of similar meditations around the world.  We will do all this in the Social Hall at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian Universalist, 117 Rugby Road in Charlottesville.  Our program will follow this schedule:
- 6:00 gather in the Social Hall
- 6:15 begin the “Be the Peace” meditation
- 6:45 close the meditation with a musical interlude provided by Heena Reiter
- 7:00 begin a panel conversation on Bridging the Divides of Enmity
- 8:30 conclude the event
Our panel will include:
Roy Hange who serves as co-pastor of the Charlottesville Mennonite Church and has worked with the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University.  Roy has spent many years in the Middle East and has extensive knowledge of the conflicts in that region.
Mary Reed who has worked to help AIDs victims in Rwanda, currently co-leads a program to help rebuild rural education in Cambodia, and resides most of the time at Thosamling, a Tibetan Buddhist nunnery in northern India.
Carroll Houle who, as a priest with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers of the Catholic Church, served in Tanzania for 21 years, in Kenya for 17 years, and at the United Nations in New York for 5 years.

Our panelists will share insights from their experiences.  Everyone attending can do the same, all in hope of strengthening our vision of a more just and peaceful world.  This event is co-sponsored by the Interfaith Cooperation Circle of Central Virginia and the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice.  The event is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served.

KEEPING HOPE ALIVE CAN INSPIRE US TO CONTINUE OUR WORK: Join Campaign Nonviolence week of actions September 20-27

By Joy First

As activists for peace and social justice, how do we keep ourselves going in a world where there is so much despair?  What we are facing today is enormous when we consider the systemic violence that leads to wars on several fronts, climate chaos, lack of health care, housing, and food, decline of the economy, police violence against people of color, a government that is totally unresponsive to its citizens and the list goes on and on.  We are living in a world that is unsustainable as things now stand.


Lampedusa (Italy) and Gangjeon Village, Jeju Island (S. Korea)

Geneva, August 24, 2015. The IPB is delighted to announce its decision to award the annual Sean MacBride Peace Prize to two island communities who, in different circumstances, show proof of a profound commitment to peace and social justice.

LAMPEDUSA is a small island in the Mediterranean and is the southernmost part of Italy. Being the closest part of the territory to the African coastline, it has been since the early 2000s a primary European entry point for migrants and refugees. The numbers of persons arriving has been rapidly increasing, with hundreds of thousands at risk while travelling, and over 1900 deaths in 2015 alone.

The people of the island of Lampedusa have given the world an extraordinary example of human solidarity, offering clothing, shelter and food to those who have arrived, in distress, on their shores. The response of the Lampedusans stands out in stark contrast to the behaviour and official policies of the European Union, apparently intent only on reinforcing their borders in the attempt to keep these migrants out. This 'Fortress Europe' policy is becoming more and more militarised.

Aware of its multi-layered culture, which epitomizes the evolution of the Mediterranean region where over the centuries different civilizations have blended and built on each others’ developments, with mutual enrichment, the island of Lampedusa also shows the world that a culture of hospitality and respect for human dignity are the most effective antidotes to nationalism and religious fundamentalism.

To give but one example of the heroic actions of the people of Lampedusa, let us recall the events of the night of 7-8 May 2011. A boat full of migrants crashed into a rocky outcrop, not far from the shore. Although it was in the middle of the night, the inhabitants of Lampedusa turned out in their hundreds to form a human chain between the shipwreck and the coast. That night alone more than 500 people, including many children, were carried to safety.

At the same time the people of the island are very clear that the problem is a European one, not theirs alone. In November 2012, Mayor Nicolini sent an urgent appeal to Europe’s leaders. She expressed her outrage that the European Union, which had just received the Nobel Peace Prize, was ignoring the tragedies occurring on its Mediterranean borders.

The IPB believes that the dramatic situation in the Mediterranean – constantly visible in the mass media - must be at the top of Europe's urgent priorities. Much of the problem springs from social injustices and inequalities resulting in conflicts in which the West has – over centuries -- played an aggressive role. We recognise that there are no easy solutions, but as a guiding principle, Europe should be honouring the ideals of human solidarity, over and above the cynical considerations of governments and profit/power/resource-seeking entities. When Europe contributes to the ruining of the livelihoods of people, as for instance in Iraq and Libya, Europe will have to find ways to help rebuild those livelihoods. It should be below the dignity of Europe to spend billions on military interventions, and yet not to have the resources available to meet the basic needs. The most vital question is how to develop cooperation between people of goodwill on both sides of the Mediterranean in a long-term, constructive, gender-sensitive and sustainable process.

GANGJEON VILLAGE is the site of the controversial 50-hectare Jeju Naval Base being constructed by the South Korean government on the southern coast of Jeju Island, at a projected cost of nearly $1 billion. The waters around the island are protected by international law as they are within a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (in October 2010, nine geological sites on on the island were recognised as Global Geoparks by the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network). Even so, the construction of the base continues, although building work has been halted many times by mass protests of people concerned about the base's environmental impact. These people see the base as a US-driven project aimed at containing China, rather than enhancing South Korean security In July 2012, the South Korean Supreme Court upheld the base's construction. It is expected to host up to 24 US and allied military vessels, including 2 Aegis destroyers and 6 nuclear submarines, plus occasional civilian cruise ships on completion (now scheduled for 2016).

Jeju Island has been dedicated to peace ever since around 30,000 were massacred there from 1948-54, following a peasant uprising against US occupation. The South Korean government apologized for the massacre in 2006 and the late President Roh Moo Hyun officially named Jeju an “Island of World Peace”. This violent history[1] helps to explain why the people of Gangjeon Village (population 2000) have been protesting non-violently for around 8 years against the naval base project. According to Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, "About 700 people have been arrested and charged with hefty fines that amount to over $400,000, fines that they cannot or will not pay. Many have spent days or weeks or months in jail, including a well-known film critic Yoon Mo Yong who spent 550 days in prison after committing multiple acts of civil disobedience." The energy and commitment shown by the villagers has attracted the support (and participation) of activists from around the world[2]. We endorse the construction of a permanent Peace Center on the site which can act as a focus for activities reflecting alternative views to those represented by the militarists.

IPB makes the award in order to increase the visibility of this exemplary non-violent struggle at a crucial time. It takes great courage to physically oppose the government's growing aggressive and militaristic policies, especially as they are backed by, and at the service of, the Pentagon. It takes even more courage to maintain that struggle over a period of many years.

There is an important connection between the two situations. Not only do we recognise the common humanity of those who resist without weapons the forces of domination in their own island. We make the argument that public resources should not be spent on massive military installations that only increase the tension between nations in the region; rather they should be devoted to meeting human need. If we continue devoting the world’s resources to military rather than humanistic purposes, it is inevitable that we will continue to witness these inhuman situations with desperate people, refugees and migrants, at risk while crossing the seas and at the prey of unscrupulous gangs. Thus we repeat also in this context the basic message of IPB's Global Campaign on Military Spending: Move the Money!


About the MacBride Prize
The prize has been awarded each year since 1992 by the International Peace Bureau (IPB), founded in 1892. Previous winners include: the people and government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, in recognition of the legal case submitted by the RMI to the International Court of Justice, against all 9 states with nuclear weapons, for failure to honour their disarmament commitments (2014); as well as Lina Ben Mhenni (Tunisian blogger) and Nawal El-Sadaawi (Egyptian author) (2012), Jayantha Dhanapala (Sri Lanka, 2007) the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2006). It is named after Sean MacBride and is given to individuals or organisations for outstanding work for peace, disarmament and human rights. (details at:

The (non-monetary) Prize consists of a medal made in ‘Peace Bronze’, a material derived from recycled nuclear weapons components*. It will be formally awarded on October 23 in Padova, a ceremony that forms part of the annual Conference and Council meeting of the International Peace Bureau. See details at: A further bulletin will be issued closer to the time, with details of the ceremony and information relating to requests for media interviews.

About Sean MacBride (1904-88)
Sean MacBride was a distinguished Irish statesman who was IPB Chairman from 1968-74 and President from 1974-1985. MacBride began as a fighter against British colonial rule, studied law and rose to high office in the independent Irish Republic. He was a winner of the Lenin Peace Prize, and also the Nobel Peace Prize (1974), for his wide-ranging work. He was co-founder of Amnesty International, Secretary-General of the International Commission of Jurists, and UN Commissioner for Namibia. While at IPB he launched the MacBride Appeal against Nuclear Weapons, which gathered the names of 11,000 top international lawyers. This Appeal paved the way for the World Court Project on nuclear weapons, in which IPB played a major role. This resulted in the historic 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Use and Threat of Nuclear Weapons.

About IPB
The International Peace Bureau is dedicated to the vision of a World Without War. We are a Nobel Peace Laureate (1910), and over the years 13 of our officers have been recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. Our 300 member organisations in 70 countries, and individual members, form a global network which brings together expertise and campaigning experience in a common cause. Our main programme centres on Disarmament for Sustainable Development, whose central feature is the Global Campaign on Military Spending.

Maine Peace Walk – Militarization of the Seas

Pentagon’s Impact on the Oceans

October 9-24

Ellsworth, Maine to Portsmouth, New Hampshire

The Pentagon has the largest carbon footprint on our Mother Earth.  Waging endless war consumes massive amounts of fossil fuels and lays waste to significant environmentally sensitive places on the planet – particularly the oceans.

The oceans are inhabited by a multitude of different life forms, from microorganisms to whales, many of whom are able to sense sound and use it to find food, navigate, communicate, and avoid predators. Navy sonar blasts wreak havoc on these creatures, disrupting their lives, leaving animals more susceptible to disease and lowered reproductive success, and sometimes injuring and killing them.

Because Navy sonars are extremely loud, depending on ocean conditions, that noise can travel at harmful levels for tens or even hundreds of miles, impacting huge numbers of animals. By the Navy’s own estimates, sonar noise can still be as high as 140 decibels 300 miles from the source, a level that is a hundred times more intense than the level known to result in behavioral changes in large whales.

Some of these exercises will even take place inside designated critical habitat for the already endangered right whale, frequenter of Maine waters. In fact, the Navy is now constructing a 500 square mile instrumented range off the coast of Georgia where it intends to conduct 470 sonar exercises annually - the Navy chose this site just offshore of the only known calving grounds of the right whale! In March 2015 Navy sonar testing near Guam led to the stranding of three beaked whales.

Shipyard Impacts in Maine

Pier-side testing of sonar occurs at Bath Iron Works (BIW) and at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery which results in significant fish kills. Navy off-shore weapons testing exercises puts toxic chemicals and hazardous materials and waste into Maine’s marine environment.

The Kennebec River that BIW fronts is often dredged in order to allow the deep hulled destroyers built there to get into the ocean.  Dredging takes a heavy toll on aquatic life.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has caused serious pollution of the local environment. The shipyard is on an island that the Pentagon considers as one of their facilities most vulnerable to climate change, particularly their dry-dock facilities. Rising sea levels could affect shipyard toxic waste sites which are now mostly right on the shoreline and would seriously impact water quality and sea life.

Ocean Acidification

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the early 1800’s, fossil fuel-powered machines have driven an unprecedented burst of human industry and society. Ocean acidification is the ongoing decrease in ocean pH caused by human fossil fuel emissions. Oceans currently absorb approximately half of the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuel. An estimated 30–40% of the carbon dioxide released by humans into the atmosphere dissolves into oceans, rivers and lakes.

Arctic Militarization Due to Climate Change

In early 2014 Maine’s Sen. Angus King went on a nuclear submarine ride under the Arctic Sea ice which is now melting due to climate change.  Admiral Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations was on the sub and said, “In our lifetime, what was [in effect] land and prohibitive to navigate or explore, is becoming an ocean… We need to be sure that our sensors, weapons and people are proficient in this part of the world,” so that we can “own the undersea domain and get anywhere there.”

When Sen. King returned from the trip he told his constituents that there has been "a 40% reduction in ice as a result of global warming."  He reported that "previously inaccessible" gas and oil reserves were now going to create "new opportunities".  King concluded, "I am convinced we need to increase our capacity in the region, something I intend to press upon my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee as we work on our military priorities for the coming years."

Rather than drill for more fossil fuels in the Arctic, and create a new arms race in that environmentally sensitive region, the US should be working to convert our military industries to build offshore wind turbines, rail, solar and tidal power.  According to studies done by the UMASS-Amherst Economics Departmentshipyards in Bath and Portsmouth could nearly double their number of jobs by building rail or wind turbines.  The Gulf of Maine has more wind power generating potential than any other place in the US.

Help Save Our Seas

If the seas die so do humans on Earth and much of the wildlife.  Now is the time to speak out for ending the massive military impacts on the world’s oceans and for conversion of our fossil fuel dependent military industrial complex to sustainable technologies. We will walk to bring attention to these crucial issues.  Please help us carry this message to the public by joining with us.

Maine Walk for Peace is sponsored by:  Maine Veterans for Peace; PeaceWorks; CodePink Maine; Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST); Peace Action Maine; Veterans for Peace Smedley Butler Brigade (Greater Boston); Seacoast Peace Response (Portsmouth); Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; (List in formation)  

To view the walk flyer and daily walk schedule please click here

Activists Want the U.S. Institute of Peace to Favor Peace

By David Swanson, teleSUR

The World may be shocked to learn United States government has an Institute of Peace; Orwell would not have been.

Gallup polling finds that much of the world believes the U.S. government to be the greatest threat to peace on earth. It comes as a surprise to many that the U.S. government maintains and funds something called the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) which operates out of a shiny new building near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., a building with a curved roof clearly meant to resemble a dove and yet somehow more closely resembling a giant brassiere.

George Orwell, had he lived to see USIP, might have been less surprised than most. In fact, USIP was created by a law signed by President Ronald Reagan in the year 1984, the year for which Orwell had named his dystopian novel back in 1948, when the U.S. Department of War had just been renamed the Department of Defense, and its mission of offensive war-making had been clearly announced to observers fluent in doublespeak. ”The Orwellian U.S. Institute for Peace is staffed and steered by some of our most committed proponents for war and mayhem, many of whom are in the revolving door between government and military contractors,” Alice Slater tells me. Slater is New York Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and serves on the Coordinating Committee of World Beyond War.

“Instead of supporting efforts for diplomacy and peaceful settlement of disputes,” she continues, “the ill-named Peace Institute advises Congress and the press on how [the United States] can bomb and arm nations around the world. We need to replace the warmakers with peacemakers and have an Institute that really serves the cause of peace in the 21st century when war is so obviously unworkable.”

    “...the Institute is designed to further U.S. empire and create a unipolar world where the United States dominates economically, militarily and politically.”

While the Institute of Peace was created in response to pressure from the peace movement, some peace advocates, in the end, opposed its creation, as they saw the writing on the wall. These included Noam Chomsky who, like Francis Boyle and others I very much respect, tell me that they view any effort to reform USIP as hopeless. Meanwhile, many peace activists, even in the United States, have no idea that USIP exists, as it has virtually no interaction with the peace movement. A movement in recent years to create a Department of Peace offers, to my knowledge, no evidence that the fate of such a Department wouldn't resemble that of the Institute.

And yet I believe that envisioning a radically reformed government in which a Department or Institute of Peace could actually work for peace is critical. And I believe there is hope for reforming USIP to the point where it does more good than harm. Kevin Zeese, co-director of Popular Resistance, tells me that “like the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other U.S. agencies, the Institute is designed to further U.S. empire and create a unipolar world where the United States dominates economically, militarily and politically. While people in the U.S. are trying to change this foreign policy, governments around the world should take steps to prevent these agencies from operating within their borders, as they will do all they can to foment dissent and create regime change to ensure governments cooperate fully with the United States and its trans-national corporations.”

Zeese's words are true, and yet USIP does do some work aimed at peace, including hosting speakers and producing publications aimed at peace, sending skilled mediators into conflict zones, making research grants, holding essay contests, and conducting conflict-resolution trainings whenever they do not overly conflict with the goals of U.S. imperialism. The trick is how to expand the good work done by USIP while exposing and opposing the bad.

Toward that end, a group of prominent peace activists has just launched a petition that it plans to deliver to USIP in late September. As the petition makes clear, while USIP claims that it is forbidden to oppose U.S. wars or to lobby against them or to promote peaceful alternatives to contemplated military actions, a careful reading of the 1984 law that created USIP reveals that this just isn't so. In fact, USIP regularly lobbies the rest of the U.S. government and the U.S. public in favor of wars, including the overthrow of the Syrian government -- and occasionally against wars, as in the case of USIP's support for the nuclear agreement with Iran.

“The agreement with Iran provides an excellent opening for USIP to promote the success of negotiations and diplomacy in achieving peace and international understanding,” says Elizabeth Murray, who served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government. “The U.S. Institute of Peace,” she explains, “could lead the way in resolving dangerous international crises by countering corporate media spin on Iran, Russia, Ukraine, and Syria, and by promoting peaceful alternatives to military 'solutions' that benefit few but the corporate-military industry. The world is awash in endless wars, floods of refugees and PTSD-afflicted military veterans. USIP can break this tragic cycle by working actively for peace.”

So it can, at least legally and logically and theoretically. And yet few believe that it will.  Preventing USIP from extending the model of diplomacy rather than war to numerous nations other than Iran is, primarily, the inclination of those individuals who make up USIP, including USIP board member and chairman Stephen Hadley, who urges the bombing of Syria and the militarization of Ukraine, while encouraging European nations to double their military spending, and himself profiting from war as a board member of Raytheon. Then there's USIP board member Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary at the Pentagon, who promotes higher military spending, an attack on Iran, and deployment of nuclear weapons to nations on Russia's border. USIP board member Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USMC, is career military as well. The new petition calls for the replacement of these three board members with peace activists, of whom USIP has none on its board.

It will be very interesting to see how USIP engages with those urging it to live up to the straightforward, non-Orwellian meaning of its name.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Hot and dry in the heartland: Radioactive Texas Waste Dump Threatens Key US Water Resource

By Paul DiRienzo


In a remote place in the desert of West Texas, outside the small town of Andrews, something dirty has been going on which threatens the water supply of nearly a third of America’s farmland (and perhaps the millions of people who eat the food grown using that water).  

Accommodating abuse: Critics of BlackLivesMatter# Practice Defiant Denial

By Linn Washington, Jr.


Over 1,500 miles separate Harris County, Texas and Harrison Township, New Jersey yet public officials in those two jurisdictions seemingly share a disdain for persons who protest against police abuse.


Petition Embed

Disarm! For a Climate of Peace – Creating an Action Agenda

World Congress on Military and Social Spending

30 Sept – 03 Oct 2016 Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

“Peace” by Bart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License:

The International Peace Bureau has worked for over 10 years to develop a program on Disarmament for Sustainable Development, with a primary topic being military and social spending. In 2011 we launched the Global Day of Action on Military Spending and in late 2014 a year-round Global Campaign on Military Spending.

The IPB World Congress 2016 will be the next highlight of this campaign, bringing together a wide variety of experts, advocates and speakers from around the globe, and including talks, presentations, roundtables, panel discussions, workshops, information booths, exhibitions, and cultural activities.

Go here:

Tell U.S. Institute of Peace to Work for Peace

The U.S. Institute of Peace has a great name, our tax dollars, and a terrible record. Let’s move it in a better direction.

If you’ve never heard of the U.S. Institute of Peace, please keep reading. It works everyday with your money in a fancy new building next to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. It just doesn’t work for peace.


If you know the USIP’s record and consider it a lost cause, please keep reading. This institute can be made to do some good. A number of us will be meeting with USIP in late September and bringing along this petition. Please click here to sign it.

The petition to USIP reads: “We urge you to oppose U.S. militarism and begin working for an end to U.S. war-making by providing to Congress and the public information on the disastrous results of recent U.S. wars and the superior results of nonviolence and diplomacy. We ask that you recommend to the President of the United States the removal from your board of Stephen Hadley, Eric Edelman, and Frederick M. Padilla, and their replacement by three seasoned peace activists, along with a recommendation to maintain at least three seasoned peace activists on your board at all times — right now there are none.”

The U.S. Institute of Peace is a federal government institute created by a bill signed into law in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan and funded annually by Congress as well as sometimes receiving funding from the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the military.[1] The law states that the “Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the Director of Central Intelligence each may assign officers and employees of his respective department or agency, on a rotating basis to be determined by the Board, to the Institute.”

The Institute has never opposed a U.S. war and claims that it can only support things, not oppose them. But in fact, the law only forbids it from seeking “to influence the passage or defeat of legislation … except that the personnel of the Institute may testify or make other appropriate communication when formally requested to do so by a legislative body, a committee, or a member thereof.” Most U.S. wars, including the war on Libya, the newly revived war on Iraq (and Syria), and the drone wars on Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, have been launched without legislation. And, even if there were legislation involved, it would not be at all difficult for USIP to ask a single member of Congress to request its opinion, thereby freeing it to provide its views and its research. USIP makes no claim that it cannot provide the public with information on the negative results of U.S. wars; it simply fails to do so.

The Institute in fact makes recommendations to Congress, including in formally presented testimony, it just recommends things like supporting the Syrian opposition, training and arming troops to fight both ISIS and the Syrian government, and creating a “no fly zone” in Syria, rather than working toward an arms embargo or aid or diplomacy.[2] The Institute has recommended diplomacy with Iran, and could do so in a dozen other cases, although its notion that weapons sales is part of diplomacy may be less than helpful.[3]

The law requires that the USIP Board include 15 voting members, including the Secretaries of State and “Defense,” the President of the National “Defense” University, and 12 members appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and each having “practical or academic experience in peace and conflict resolution.” The law also states that “No member of the Board may participate in any decision, action, or recommendation with respect to any matter which directly and financially benefits the member or pertains specifically to any public body or any private or nonprofit firm or organization with which the member is then formally associated or has been formally associated within a period of two years.” There are a number of mechanisms for removing a board member, including 8 or more board members making that recommendation to the President.

The USIP does do some work aimed at peace, including hosting speakers and producing publications aimed at peace, sending skilled mediators into conflict zones, making research grants, holding essay contests, and conducting conflict-resolution trainings, but such efforts are deeply compromised by the following concerns:

USIP board member and chairman, Stephen Hadley, urges the bombing of Syria and the militarization of Ukraine, while encouraging European nations to double their military spending, and himself profiting from war as a board member of Raytheon.[4]

USIP board member Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary at the Pentagon, promotes higher military spending, an attack on Iran, and deployment of nuclear weapons to nations on Russia’s border.[5]

USIP board member Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USMC, is career military.

USIP promotes the overthrow of the Syrian government.[6]

USIP is not known to have ever opposed a U.S. war, U.S. weapons exports, U.S. foreign bases, or U.S. military spending.[7]

USIP promotes trade embargoes, economic austerity programs, and electoral interventions as tools of aggression, not peace building.[8]

USIP funds many more supporters than opponents of militarism.[9]

USIP hosts pro-war talks by leading war advocates.[10]

Appropriate board members for USIP exist in large numbers, and many of them would no doubt be happy to serve. Here are a few examples of the many possible names: Kathy Kelly, Michael McPhearson, Ann Wright, Paul Chappell, Noura Erekat, Dennis Kucinich, David Vine, Matt Daloisio, John Dear, Bruce Gagnon, Phil Donahue, Mel Duncan, David Hartsough, Mubarak Awad, Leslie Cagan, Roy Bourgeois, Cornell West, Lennox Yearwood, Osagyefo Sekou, Phyllis Bennis, Andy Shallal, Helena Cobban, Noam Chomsky, Elliott Adams.

Appropriate events that USIP could host might include:
How to Finally End the Korean War,
Abolition of Armed Drones,
A Plan to Close Overseas Bases,
Why Does NATO Still Exist?,
How Can the Kellogg-Briand Pact Be Complied With?,
What Could $2 Trillion a Year Buy Instead of War?,
Military Abolition and the Costa Rican Model,
Pondering Polling: How Did the U.S. Become Seen as the Greatest Threat to World Peace?,
Pinkerism and the Myth that War Is Vanishing,
WMD Tales From Iraq to Iran,
Vietnam Syndrome: Illness or Health?,
Benefits of Joining the International Criminal Court,
If War Makes Us Less Safe Why Can’t We Stop?,
The Economic and Moral Benefits of Transition to Peaceful Industries,
The ICCPR Ban on War Propaganda,
Diplomacy in Iran: Why Not in Eight Other Places?,
Why Arm Dictatorships?,
Whose Land Is Guantanamo?,
The Convention on the Rights of the Child – Why Not?,
What Is Preventing Spacefaring Powers from Banning Weapons in Space?,
Why Not Reinstate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty?,
Should Palestinians Have Human Rights?,
Remembering the Maine, the Lusitania, Tonkin Gulf . . . What Would Accurate History Change?,
What Would Compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Look Like?

Reports USIP could usefully write include:
U.S. arms sales to each foreign nation, as compared to the sales of other nations — a report the Congressional Research Service has ceased producing.
U.S. military spending, as compared to non-military government spending — a report the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency has ceased producing.

Initial Signers of the Petition Are:
David Swanson
Coleen Rowley
Heinrich Buecker
Robert Fantina
David Hartsough
Medea Benjamin
Gael Murphy
Kevin Zeese
Jodie Evans
John Heuer
Norman Solomon
Elizabeth Murray
Thomas Drake
Ann Wright
Todd Pierce
Alice Slater
Kent Shifferd
Jeff Cohen
William Binney
Ray McGovern
Kevin Martin
Barbara Wien
Leah Bolger
Patrick Hiller
Jim Haber

5. ibid
9. ibid

Protest the Air Force Association "Arms Bazaar"

When: Monday, September 14, 2015, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. 
What: A Nonviolent Vigil and Prayer Service for Peace during the AFA $310 per plate banquet (please bring a candle)
Where: Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745. 
We will meet for the vigil at the corner of Waterfront St. and St. George Blvd., directly across from the Gaylord National Resort.


By Kathy Kelly

“A nation that will keep people in slavery for 244 years will "thingify" them—make them things. Therefore they will exploit them, and poor people generally, economically. And a nation that will exploit economically will have foreign investments and everything else, and will have to use its military to protect them. All of these problems are tied together.  What I am saying today is that we must go from this convention and say, 'America, you must be born again!'”  - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Speaking on behalf of indigenous people in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, earlier this summer, Pope Francis apologized for the role the Catholic Church played in oppressing Latin America’s indigenous people. He called for a worldwide grass roots movement that would shatter global corporate abuses of “the new colonialism.”  Political elites in the U.S. should follow his lead and apologize for the genocidal destruction U.S. people waged against indigenous peoples.  They should look toward indigenous people for guidance about ways to make reparations.

Good People Doing Bad Things

By Kent Shifferd

In World War II, good American boys who wouldn’t have kicked a cat flew bombers that set cities filled with innocent German children on fire. German boys, who were raised to be kind and decent, participated in the atrocities of the Holocaust. How is it that normally decent people who are raised to be kind and respectful of others can commit acts of horrible violence during wars? How do they put aside their normal reluctance to hurt others and make the decision to shoot or bomb not only enemy combatants but civilians including women and children?

Some years ago, the psychologist Albert Bandura listed eight mental tricks people play to disengage their consciences so they can perform the acts of violence they would normally abhor.

  1. Moral Justification: one is persuaded, for example, that killing the enemy serves a higher moral purpose such as protecting one’s country or serving God’s plan, etc.
  2. Euphemistic Labeling: people mask the true nature of behavior they know is unethical, such as labeling “enhanced interrogation” for torture, “servicing the target” for shooting the enemy, and “disinformation” for lying.
  3. Advantageous Comparison: as in “What I am doing is not as bad as what they are doing.”
  4. Displacement of Responsibility: Uncritically following orders, as in the Nazi concentration camp workers or SS execution squads.
  5. Diffusion of Responsibility: when a whole group decides on the unethical action or when the action is divided into many subparts, for example, the building of nuclear weapons. (“All I do is assemble this little electronic part.” Or, “I’m just driving a truck bring supplies—I don’t shoot anybody.”)
  6. Disregard or Distortion of Consequences: for example, when harm is inflicted at a distance (as in officers in Montana who guide drones that make “bug splats” in Afghanistan) or dropping bombs from a plane on “targets” even though women and children and old men are being killed below.
  7. Dehumanization: labeling the victims of one’s violence as non- or subhuman, as in calling Vietnamese people “slants” and “gooks” during that war, or Germans “Huns” in WWI, or Arabs “towel heads” and “sand niggers” in the First Gulf War.
  8. Attribution of Blame: or blaming the victim who is seen as deserving the mistreatment or seen as having brought it on themselves. For example, “These German civilians we are killing below should not have voted for Hitler; therefore they are to blame for our bombings.

Generally speaking, in the run-up to a war and during it, most or all of these powerful psychological techniques are employed by governments and their militaries on both sides.

Such propaganda is often based on lies made up by governments, as in the myth propagated in World War I by the British propaganda office that German lancers had speared babies, thus arousing rage against the Germans.

And I would add one other explanation—not a trick, but an existential situation.  Once a war has started and soldiers are caught up in it, it becomes a self-perpetuating “me or them” situation.  If I don’t kill them, they will kill me and vice-versa.  And if I refuse out of conscience to shoot at the “enemy,” my own military command will carry out a summary court martial and could execute me. 

To avoid the "me or them" situation, we have to learn critical thinking so we can see through the propaganda and lies that tell us harming others is tolerable under the conditions of war. Violence is not something that should ever be tolerated. The fact that we have to trick ourselves into making violence acceptable clarifies just how truly unacceptable it really is.

Kent Shifferd, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is the author of From War To Peace: a Guide To the Next Hundred Years and former Executive Director of the Wisconsin Institute For Peace and Conflict Studies.

Take No War Message to Senator Warner Today in VA Beach


WHERE: Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Forum
               FOUNDERS INN and SPA
               5641 Indian River Road
               Virginia Beach, VA 23464

WHEN: Noon until 2pm

WHY: Warner is ON THE FENCE. Obama needs  his support. Without this agreement, we are headed into WAR WITH IRAN. The warmongers are pouring millions into defeating diplomacy.

Sen. Kaine will also attend the forum. He already announces he will support the plan. We can thank him.

HOW: Non-violent peaceful presence outside the forum.

BRING: Signs saying "No War With Iran!", "Thank You, Sen. Kaine!", "Sen. Warner: Do You Want Another War?"

Kim Williams for Norfolk Catholic Worker/

Judges Nixing Keystone XL South Cases Had Tar Sands-Related Oil Investments

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

On August 4, the U.S. Appeals Court for the 10th Circuit shot down the Sierra Club's petition for rehearing motion for the southern leg of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline. The decision effectively writes the final chapter of a years-long legal battle in federal courts. 



Madison--20 activists from across the U.S. will participate in a pro-peace, anti-drone demonstration and walk from August 17 – August 25th beginning in Madison, WI and ending outside of Volk Field.  Marchers will be walking about 90 miles from Madison’s City-County Building to the Wisconsin Air National Guard base at Camp Douglas. The Air National Guard Base trains pilots to operate “Shadow Drones” that are used in surveillance, flying over other countries to determine targets for the Predator and Reaper drones.

The walkers aim to educate the public on racial profiling both locally, as it relates to the propensity of police officers to use violence against people of color; and internationally, as it relates to the propensity of drone surveillance to target foreign nationals deemed “nefarious” on not much more than a hunch, resulting in the death of innocent people, including many children.  

On Monday, August 17, in Madison’s Edgewood College, a kick-off event will begin at 7:00 p.m.  The daily walks will range from 12 -16 miles.

In Baraboo, on August 21st, at 7:00 p.m., a public event will be held at the United Methodist Church at 615 Broadway. 

In Mauston on August 23rd walk participants will be part of a discussion on fracking in the Community Room of the Mauston City Hall from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm.

The walk ends on Tuesday, August 25th, with a vigil against drones, from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the gates of Volk Field.  Some individuals may engage in nonviolent civil resistance during the vigil.

The Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars has been holding monthly vigils at the gates of Volk Field for 3 ½ years.

For information about daily starting times, and updates on where the walkers are at a given time, please call the contact numbers listed above.

The walk is sponsored by:

Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars
Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
Vets for Peace Madison Clarence Kailin Chapter 25
Vets for Peace Janesville Chapter 970
Upstate Drone Action
Madison Women's International League for Peace & Freedom
Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

Mark Warner Hides From Virginia Public

Senator Mark Warner's staff says he's holding only unannounced, closed-door meetings in Virginia this summer.

It's a good thing he doesn't have a job that requires knowing what the people of Virginia think about anything.

Virginians can click here to ask Warner by email to appear in public.

It's hardly an unreasonable demand. While Congress is on summer break, most senators and representatives attend publicly announced public meetings at which they speak about their work and hear comments from, and answer questions from, their constituents.

Warner could play a decisive role in upholding or rejecting the Iran deal (on which he has taken no public position), the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and all sorts of other projects of critical interest to the people of Virginia.

On the Iran agreement, Warner is on a shrinking list of Democratic senators who continue to maintain the pretense that they're carefully reviewing the data on whether peace or war is preferable.

On the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, rumor has it that Warner will be meeting behind closed doors to discuss imposing that inevitable disaster on Virginians.

The TPP itself is secret because, in the view of several who have seen it, if it were to appear openly the public would never stand for it. Maybe Warner has the same idea for himself.

Shouldn't he want to know what Virginians think?

Please forward this message to your friends in Virginia. Please phone and tweet Warner if you're from Virginia, and email him here.

Kathy Kelly Awarded 2015 Peace Prize

From U.S. Peace Memorial

The Board of Directors of the US Peace Memorial Foundation voted unanimously to award its 2015 Peace Prize to The Honorable Kathy F. Kelly “for inspiring nonviolence and risking her own life and freedom for peace and the victims of war.”

Michael Knox, Chair of the Foundation, presented the award on August 9 during an event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Nagasaki. This Nagasaki day event, hosted by Pace e Bene and its Campaign Nonviolence, was held on the stage at Ashley Pond, Los Alamos, New Mexico. This is the place, geographically, where the first atom bombs were constructed.

In his remarks, Knox thanked Kelly for her service, great courage, and for all that she has sacrificed. “Kathy Kelly is a consistent and clear voice for peace and nonviolence.  She is a national treasure and an inspiration to the world.”

In addition to receiving the 2015 Peace Prize, our highest honor, Kelly has also been designated as a Founding Member of the US Peace Memorial Foundation. She joins previous Peace Prize recipients CODEPINK Women for Peace, Chelsea Manning, Medea Benjamin, Noam Chomsky, Dennis Kucinich, and Cindy Sheehan.  Nominees considered by the Board this year include Jodie Evans, Dr. Glenn D. Paige, Coleen Rowley, World Beyond War, and Ann Wright. You can read about the antiwar/peace activities of all recipients and nominees in our publication, the US Peace Registry.

Upon learning of the award, Kathy Kelly said, “I’m grateful for the US Peace Memorial Foundation's recognition of realities about war and peace.  War is worse than an earthquake.  Following an earthquake, relief teams from around the world assemble, helping find survivors, comforting the afflicted, and initiating reconstruction.  But as wars rage, many people watch the killing on television screens, feeling helpless to make a difference.  Worse yet, many people sense with queasy discomfort that they themselves helped supply the weapons being used.  

It’s hard to look in the mirror and see lost opportunities to be peacemakers.  But we can become rehabilitated, as a society, transformed from a menacing, fearsome empire in decline into a society that earnestly wants to align with people dedicated to building peaceable societies.”

Kelly continued, “During a recent trip to Kabul, after listening to young friends envision growth of the street kid’s school they’ve begun, I felt a blend of relief and anxiety.  It’s a relief to behold the youthful resolve which has enabled children from three different ethnic backgrounds to join under the same roof and learn, together, to read.  It’s a relief to know that in spite of the fissures and the torrents of violence and despair, our young friends feel determined to persevere.

But I was anxious as to whether or not internationals would find the wherewithal to fund the school.  In a moment of pique, I raised my voice and insisted to my young friends that all of the countries who’ve fought in Afghanistan, and most especially the U.S., should be paying reparations. ‘Kathy,’ Zekerullah gently admonished me, ‘please don’t make people in your country feel guilty. Don’t you think most people would rather build than destroy?’”

Kelly concluded, “Zekerullah would deftly assure us that even as one hand holds a mirror for us to look into, the other offers to reassuringly balance us, hold us, steady us. The US Peace Memorial helps build this steadying influence, urging us to keep one foot planted amid people bearing the brunt of war, and one foot just as firmly planted amid those who nonviolently resist war making. The US Peace Memorial Foundation helps us find our equilibrium, helps us rise.”

The US Peace Memorial Foundation directs a nationwide effort to honor Americans who stand for peace by publishing the US Peace Registry, awarding an annual Peace Prize, and planning for the US Peace Memorial in Washington, DC.  These education projects help move the United States toward a culture of peace, as we honor the millions of thoughtful and courageous Americans and U.S. organizations that have taken a public stand against one or more U.S. wars or who have devoted their time, energy, and other resources to finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts.  We celebrate these role models to inspire other Americans to speak out against war and for peace.

Please help us continue this important work.  Join the Peace Prize recipients as a Founding Member and have your name permanently associated with peace.  Founding Members are listed on our Website, in our publication the US Peace Registry, and eventually at the National Monument.

Why Commemorate August 9th and the Ferguson Uprising?

By Michael McPhearson

As those committed to social justice in St. Louis prepare to mark the August 9th killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown Jr. by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, we know that many in the region would like us to just go away. Enough already, they say. Why commemorate something so sad and wrong, anyway? Let’s just move on.

But we’re at the beginning, not the end of this struggle. It’s not time to move on, and this day calls for reflection. We want to remember Brown’s life as well as commemorate the uprising of resistance against police misconduct generally, and the killing of Black people in particular.

We will remember and grieve with the Brown family. Families of countless people who have been killed by police violence grieve alone every day. This August 9th, we will remember Michael Brown and all lives lost to police violence. We have not forgotten Kajieme Powell or Vonderitt Meyers or countless others.

We will honor those in the Ferguson community who said no more to police violence and took action to stop it. Their courage and perseverance has inspired millions around the world.

And we will celebrate the activism of the St. Louis Region demanding long overdue and much needed change in how Black people are treated and perceived by police, the courts and the St. Louis community as a whole. We will celebrate as we plan and prepare to keep up the struggle. We know we face a long and difficult struggle. But we will not give up because we know that change will not come by itself, and we can no longer endure the status quo. To live, we must make the change that we seek.

Finally, we will commemorate the day to remind the St. Louis Region and the world that the movement for Black Lives is dynamic, creative and ready for action. We will not go back to a time when a Black person killed by law enforcement was only a headline, without scrutiny or accountability. We understand the system will not stop killing us unless we make it. We will see this struggle through, for we have nothing to lose but our chains, and everything to gain. We seek a world where we don't have to say Black Lives Matter.

We call on all people who want to see a peaceful and just world to join the movement for change. Don’t stand on the sidelines observing the struggle for Black Lives. Our community can only heal if we work together. The fight to end racism and the legacy of slavery is far from over.

To end police abuse, economic inequity and racist laws is not a win for Black people, it’s a win for all of us. We are a better nation because of slavery’s end and the Civil Rights movement’s relative success. We are a better, safer and more prosperous nation when all people receive fair and just treatment at the hands of government and fellow citizens. In commemorating Michael Brown’s death, we are redoubling our efforts to secure a world in which black lives really do matter. Now is the opportunity to be part of the change, on the right side of history.

Michael McPhearson is Executive Director of Veterans For Peace, based in St. Louis, MO, and co-chair of the Don’t Shoot Coalition. Don’t Shoot formed in the direct aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson. McPhearson is a former Field Artillery Captain in the United States Army. He served in the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division during Desert Shield /Desert Storm, also known as Gulf War I. He is a Distinguished Military ROTC graduate of Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina with a B.S. degree in Sociology.

Phone in Tonight

Tonight, Monday, August 3, 2015, 6-7pm CT
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Event coming up in Chicago on 27th:

Help Prevent a War on Iran! Public Forum in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 5, 2015


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Print and distribute flyer.

To be held exactly 70 years after nuclear age opened in Hiroshima (including time zone difference).

7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, 2015

At The Haven, 112 W. Market Street Charlottesville, VA 22902

Sponsored by World Beyond War, Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice,, and Amnesty International Charlottesville, (more welcome to join).

Video of event to be widely distributed.

Speaker: Gareth Porter, independent investigative journalist and historian who specialises in U.S. national security policy. He is the author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, and the winner of the Gellhorn Prize for journalism in 2012 for exposing lies and propaganda about the Afghanistan War. Porter spent two weeks in Vienna covering the final round of negotiations and is now writing the definitive account of the how U.S. and Iran finally reached agreement.

Also invited, not confirmed (so please invite them!): Rep. Robert Hurt, Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Mark Warner.

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