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Mark your calendars now for the 2010 Convention, which will celebrate VFP's 25th anniversary and look ahead to the unfinished work of promoting peace and progressive politics in a time of global war and economic retrenchment. The meeting will be held from August 25-29 and, fittingly, in Maine, the birthplace of Veterans For Peace in 1985. Portland, Maine, a vibrant, beautiful coastal city located on a peninsula in Casco Bay, will be the host city for the Convention under the sponsorship of VFP Chapters 1 and 3. The Convention Headquarters will be the Holiday Inn by the Bay Hotel and Convention Center.
The 25th Anniversary Convention is a unique opportunity for progressive, activist veterans from around the country to come together to understand the organization's past, to meet and enjoy its present, and to help plan its future in these fraught times.
Come to Maine in August. Let the voices of veterans be heard in their collective strength.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We learned this morning that the National Executive Council of the AFL-CIO has voted to support and mobilize its members for the October 2, 2010, march on Washington to demand "jobs, economic security, comprehensive immigration reform, a safe and renewable energy policy and a reversal of national priorities from making wars to meeting human needs." This march was initiated by SEIU Local 1199 and the NAACP.
NAACP President Ben Jealous announced the October 2 march at the NAACP convention in Kansas City in early July, explaining that "marchers will demand the change they voted for when Barack Obama was elected," and emphasizing the urgent need to "create jobs and stop moving money out of education and into wars and prisons." (Kansas City Star, July 12, 2010)
"This will be a chance to participate in democracy, change our country, and support Cleveland. It's like LeBron James without the arrogance, and you're the one who gets the exercise." --Tim Carpenter, Director of PDA
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), an activist organization founded in 2004, will hold a national grassroots leadership conference in Cleveland, Ohio, July 23rd to 25th. Hundreds of participants from around the country will train and strategize with the likes of local Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the Nation magazine's John Nichols, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, health insurance whistleblower Wendell Potter, immigrant rights organizer Salvador Reza, and Executive Director of the National Priorities Project Jo Comerford.
Join weekly protests against the militarization of youth. Every Wednesday: 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm Protest & Flyering outside Army Recruiters 143 Chambers Street @ West Broadway Bring your own sign, or use those provided. 866-973-4463 for more information.
Check out the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miUfJ87sulg
HEY ACTIVIST VIDEOGRAPHERS - SEND US YOUR VIDEOS
War Criminals Watch is having an exciting contest – we’ll post all appropriate videos on WarCriminalsWatch.org in September with the top four and winner specially highlighted.
And, if cartoons or comic strips are your thing, we are accepting that genre of entry as well!
We are in the midst of an absolutely horrendous oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. At the same time, our major concern has been war criminals – who also happen to have a tremendous interest in oil. Well, well, what do you know?
You can find some facts we have collected about a few of these culprits at www.warcriminalswatch.org. Use your creativity and produce a five-minute or shorter video on one or more of these planetary criminals.
* George W. Bush
* Richard Cheney
* Robert Gates
* William J. Haynes
* Condoleeza Rice
* And more
Posters of some of the above are also available.
David Swanson to Speak on "How We Fund Wars"
Cindy Sheehan, Jonathan Gold, and James Veeder were acquitted yesterday on the charge of crossing a police line, or as NBC described it: "Cindy Sheehan cleared of DC protest charge." When did protesting become a crime?
Elaine Brower and Matthis Chiroux were convicted of failure to obey a legal order, and Leflora Cunningham-Walsh was convicted of crossing a police line. They were given a $100 fine and may appeal.
Cindy immediately announced a protest of wars at the White House for 1 p.m. today. Can you join her there today or in the coming days?
I have been a pretty lonely voice over the last few weeks, talking about the clear and huge Public Health Dangers down-wind from the primitive burning going on at the site of the BP Gulf Disaster. A few good people have written or spoken about this danger,and provided much pertinent information. But there have been ZERO reports on the clear health hazards to residents down-wind from this burning in the corporate-owned U.S. national mainstream media. And surprisingly; considering the dangers, very little in the Independent Media, either: If there HAD been, i would not be writing this, and would be happy to work with those whose writing or organizing skills far exceed my own!
Maine Veterans for Peace is hosting the National Veterans for Peace Convention at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, August 25-29. This is our 25th anniversary and our chapter was the founding chapter so this is a big event and honor. We are working hard to ensure that the several hundred members attending along with hundreds of Maine friends will be rewarded for their trip.
Highlights—Over the course of the several days there will be: Poetry Night featuring Veteran Poets * Screenings of Highly Acclaimed Documentaries * Chris Hedges * Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul, and Mary * Ann Wright * Charlie Clements * Drumming Ensemble Inanna * Kathy Kelly * Lobster Bake * Banquet * Terry Tempest Williams * Penobscot Drummers * Rachel Talbot Ross * Dawud Ummah * Robert Shetterly Portraits * March and Rally
We Want Your Organization to Table
July 20th - On the 3-Month Anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Disaster - Join us to kick-off a week of actions that support people and the planet over corporate polluters like BP.
The BP blowout disaster began with an explosion that killed 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. This disaster has since devastated livelihoods and the future for people in the Gulf, as well as the ecosystem of fish, birds and other wildlife in this wounded region of the U.S.
July 20th also represents the 41st anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.
Two historic events, one an example of American aspiration and ingenuity, and the other of corporate polluters' undermining our economy, environment and democracy.
Dr. Diane West (center), who runs a program for women at U.S. Vets, a nonprofit in Long Beach, Calif., with transitional housing residents Margaret Ortiz (left) and Andrea Guara.
July 11, 2010 More than 240,000 female service members have been deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but for many, reintegrating into civilian life and trying to find employment is not within their reach.
The Department of Veteran Affairs has acknowledged that women are nearly four times as likely as men to end up homeless.
In Los Angeles, outreach efforts are under way to get them off the streets and into the VA's transition assistance program.
Obama warns corruption erodes faith in government: Hillary Clinton Blasts Steel Vise of Government Crushing Dissent
By Dave Lindorff
Finally, a politician has stood up and boldly denounced the creeping fascism that is gradually crushing democracy and political activism.
Not mincing her words, or trying to justify the jackboot, Secretary of State and 2008 presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton roundly condemned government actions that she said are “closing in the walls” on unions, rights advocates and organizations that press for social change or that shine a light on government shortcomings.
“Democracies don’t fear their own people,” she declared in ringing tones. “They recognize that citizens must be free to come together to advocate and agitate.”
Clinton even got the normally taciturn President Obama to join her, releasing a statement in which he said he was concerned about “the spread of restrictions on civil society, the growing use of law to curb rather than enhance freedom, and wide-spread corruption that is undermining the faith of citizens in their government.”
Take Action: Can "emergency" new nuke loans be stopped despite cover of war?
By Harvey Wasserman | July 1, 2010
Amidst a grassroots uproar over funding for the military, the nuclear power industry has again forced $9 billion in loan guarantees onto an "emergency" war appropriations bill for Afghanistan and Iraq.
Citizen opposition helped delay a similar vote scheduled last month. Now green energy advocates are again asked to call Congress immediately.
The move comes as part of a larger push for federal funding for a "new generation" of reactors.
Because independent investors won’t fund them, the reactor industry has spent some $645 million in the last decade lobbying Congress and the White House for taxpayer money.
This $9 billion is for two new reactors proposed for the South Texas site, on the Gulf of Mexico, and another at Calvert Cliffs, Maryland.
Continued operations of the two reactors now at South Texas are threatened by oil gushing from BP’s Deepwater Horizon. Calvert Cliffs is just 40 miles from the nation’s capital.
French and Japanese companies are among the leading candidates to profit from the loans. "Nearly all the major parts that would go into new reactors will be built overseas," says the Nuclear Information & Resource Service.
Take Action: These Peace Leaders Are Attending The United National Peace Conference - Will YOU Be There?
The conference will be held July 23-25, 2010 in Albany, New York. Among those who will be attending:
I will be attending the National Peace Conference because our duty to resist complicity in mass murder doesn't change with the season or the political party of the president. This war is illegal, immoral, economically catastrophic, and hopeless on its own terms. It is endangering and impoverishing us all. In the face of endless revelations that, just as we would, the people of Afghanistan hate being occupied, war proponents have resorted to advertising Afghanistan's mineral wealth. But seizing that wealth would be, like the rest of this operation, illegal and counterproductive. And unless bin Laden is hiding underneath the Lithium, this just takes us further from the equally illegal and counterproductive original casus belli of revenge. A smart and strategic fraction of the majority of Americans who oppose this madness can end it if we take heart, stay organized, and seize opportunities -- of which there are now many. Albany will be remembered as the beginning of the end of a crime against humanity. Who wouldn't want to be able to say they were there?
David Swanson, WarIsACrime.org
"I will be attending the National Peace Conference because the future of humanity requires a strong and determined domestic opposition to U.S. imperial wars. The Obama regime, like its predecessors, intends to take not one step backward in its drive to contain or kill all opposition to American global hegemony. The U.S. maintains close to 800 military bases in nearly 60 foreign countries, and will not withdraw from a single one of them unless forced to by the American people, or by military and political defeat. President Obama has taken up the imperial baton from where George Bush dropped it when the Iraqi resistance halted the U.S. Middle East offensive of 2003. Obama has widened the theaters of war in Asia and increased American military penetration of Africa. African Americans must reclaim our place in the front ranks of peace, especially now that the face of U.S. aggression is Black."
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report
by Linda Milazzo
Photo by Venice Paparazzi
There are some things we humans have just one of. We have one heart, one liver, one tongue, one nose... Of course, there are probable anomalies to even these similarities. I'm sure in the annals of medicine there are cases of individuals with multiples of even these, although physiologically, we humans need just one.
Peace of the Action would like to invite you to join us in the Capitol of the Empire for two weeks of protest.
Sunday, July 4th:
Meet up with us in Lafayette Park (across from the White House--Pennsylvania Ave side) at 1PM as we declare our Independence from Petroleum. Very few people can break this addiction 100%, but very few of us can't reduce our consumption by a significant amount. If you can't make it to DC, consider having a protest in solidarity with us at a local BP or ARCO/AMPM station.
Monday, July 5th-Friday, July 9th
Say "So long" to Drones!
We will be meeting in Lafayette Park every day at 9am to go to various places in DC (the Smithsonian; General Atomics, etc) to protest the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the illegal and immoral wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Tuesday, July 6th
Prime Minister of Israel, inyamin Netanyahu, is visiting the White House--we will be there to demand that the siege on Gaza is lifted and that the occupation of Palestine be ended with a solution that is fair to the Palestinian people.
Saturday, July 10th
Take Back the Land.
We will help a homeless organization set up a homeless camp in DC
Monday, July 12 to Friday, July 16th
War is a Racket!
Join us in Lafayette Park every day at 9am as we go to various locations in DC (recruiters' and war profiteers) to protest the preying on of our children by military recruiters.
Monday, July 12:
Trial of the Century for the POTA 3 and three others begins in DC City Court.
Creator of the website TomDispatch.com, Tom Engelhardt takes a scalpel to the American urge to dominate the globe in his new book, The American Way of War: How the Planet's Garrison State Brought Itself to Ruin. Activist, blogger, and author David Swanson will host the discussion on Saturday at 5:00pm Eastern. We hope you can join us at http://firedoglake.com
On April 13, 2002, an event occurred in Venezuela which was as world-historical for South America as the fall of the Berlin Wall was for Eastern Europe: a U.S.-backed coup against the democratically-elected government of Venezuela collapsed. The Bush Administration's efforts to promote the coup failed, in the face of popular resistance in Venezuela, and diplomatic resistance in the region.
Congress plans to close up this chapter on financial reform (HR 4173). Whether or not strong reform will be in this bill is TBD. With the BP disaster taking up all the news, Congress isn't hearing as much from citizens, and it's making them lean towards the banks. So far, our ongoing call-in days are swaying some conferees on derivatives reform. But, Thursday conferees will vote on the two remaining structural reforms in the bill, hard leverage limits and stopping taxpayer funds for derivatives.
Can you call Rep. Frank to help ask two key questions, creatively - ask if they support 716 and leverage requirements without loopholes for hedge funds. If not, cite the finance cash and ask how many calls from citizens is it going to take to outweigh the influence big bank lobbyists have had on their position?
Make your one call right now, Rep. Barney Frank (D, MA), (202) 225-5931:
Pick from these suggestions. "Hi, My name is _____ and I care about the outcome of the financial reform bill, HR 4173. I'm frustrated by the process for fixing the big banks. Congressman Frank needs to take this seriously and come out with a strong statement that the bill should not pass without hard leverage limits, without the derivatives desk spin off and without loopholes for derivatives trades and Scott Brown's favorite banks and hedge funds. What is his position?..
Rep. Frank has received $581,899 in campaign contributions in 2010, can you tell me how many citizen calls would be helpful for Rep. Frank to keep loopholes out of the derivatives and capital requirements sections?
Thanks so much, do you think Rep. Frank can read this article from economist Jane D'Arista on reform, "Why 716 is the Indispensable Reform"? We'd be relieved to know that Rep. Frank made his decision after reading this article."
by Linda Milazzo
Sometimes you just know when something's not right. You see it, or hear it, and you know instinctively there's something missing. You sense a faint beat where there should be a strong heart. You see a short phrase where there should be a full story. That happened to me just over a year ago in the early afternoon of April 24, 2009, when I saw the Los Angeles screening of THE SOLOIST, helmed by British director Joe Wright. The film just wasn't right.
The Obama Administration has unleashed its Federal Election Commission attacks dogs on Campaign for Liberty. They know our efforts to fight back against their statist power-grabs are succeeding and they want to shut us down.
By filling out the Declaration of Support below, you are sending a clear message to the Washington power structure that you will not be silenced. Go directly to Campaign for Liberty website. Or, read on
This battle is over a very fundamental idea - that Campaign for Liberty and our members should have a voice in lobbying their legislators and exposing the radical views of candidates for office.
Exposing what they're up to - that's what the powers that be can't stand. That's because they don't want Americans to know:
- Congress is spending at a record pace and has now left us over 13 TRILLION dollars in debt, with no end in sight.
- The out of control FED has not accounted for nearly 2 trillion dollars and has doubled our monetary base, risking our entire economy.
- The federal government has imposed a mandate that every American either purchase a health care product the Feds approve of, costing tens of thousands of dollars, or risk fines and jail time.
- The federal government has attempted to take away your 1st, 2nd and 4th Amendment rights, all in the past year, with more certainly to come.
We're exposing them - and holding them accountable as they come back home to seek reelection.
Of course, this may not sound like the end of the world. But just think: the FEC has an ARMY of lawyers and a budget of nearly $70 MILLION dollars. That's a lot of lawyers. Go to "Declaration of Support."
From United for Peace and Justice:
The controversy surrounding the McChrystal interview has focused new attention on the absence of a coherent strategy for Afghanistan. It also illuminates the fact that US military leaders are not intending to wind down the war any time soon.
This could end the period of Congressional sleep-walking, if we push. We need to make clear that napping through military failure, while squandering thousands of lives and billions of taxpayer dollars is unacceptable to constituents..
This is an important moment to keep calling members of the House of Representatives and to encourage friends, family and your organizations to do so as well.(Switchboard 202-224-3121)
Urge your Representative to take the following steps.
* Agree to vote NO on the $33.5 billion Supplemental for war spending.
[other less helpful steps omited]
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 8:30 am
Gather at statue of Columbus in front of Union Station
Demonstrate at House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's Speech on the Fiscal Crisis
The Columbus Room
Hoyer has been a hypocrite who opposes spending money except on wars and the military and who supports dumping another $33 billion into escalating Afghanistan.
Reportedly he will support cuts to the military (or what he calls "defense") but how much and what about the wars?
Bring the message: JOBS NOT WARS!