On Thursday, May 5, the White Plains vigilers were honored with a special award from WESPAC Foundation in White Plains, in recognition of their “unwavering commitment to peace and social justice.” The White Plains vigilers have been protesting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan every week on Saturdays at 1:00 PM at Main St. and Mamaroneck Ave., since before the Iraq War began in 2002.
The award was presented at the WESPAC Foundation’s 29th Annual Awards Dinner at the Women’s Club in White Plains. Col. Ann Wright was the keynote speaker. Other honorees included the African American Men of Westchester, and Women in Black Saturday Vigilers from New Rochelle.
Cross posted from: http://www.stopthesewars.org/
“…The imperial wars rage on. U.S. drones rain missiles down on innocents in Pakistan; hundreds of children die daily in Afghanistan because of the war; contrary to what the President says, the occupation in Iraq continues. The devastation and misery caused by the U.S. invasion of Iraq has not even begun to be addressed. The United States, rather than bringing democracy and freedom to the Iraqi people, has destroyed their country—perhaps beyond repair.
On March 19, 2011, a broad coalition of U.S. military veterans consisting of members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, March Forward!, Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Peace will gather at the White House in solidarity to demand peace. The veteran-led action will be supported by a large array of activist groups including ANSWER, Fellowship of Reconciliation, CODEPINK, Voters for Peace, United for Peace and Justice, World Can’t Wait, Peace Action, and the War Resisters League.
Veterans will gather to support Bradley Manning, who should be venerated as a hero instead of being incarcerated under conditions amounting, literally (and legally) to torture. We call for an immediate end to the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of PFC Bradley Manning during his military confinement.
Records and videos allegedly downloaded by Manning revealed horrendous war crimes committed by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, widespread torture by Iraqi authorities with full knowledge of the U.S. military, previously unknown estimates of the number of Iraqi civilians killed at U.S. military checkpoints, and the massive Iraqi civilian death toll caused by the U.S. invasion.
As veterans, we well understand and cherish the obligation of military personnel to refuse illegal orders and beyond that to prevent and expose war crimes. We know there is no excuse for following, either actively or passively, illegal orders.
We understand the need for justice. Our demand is clear, straightforward, and undeniable. Bring to justice those who committed war crimes, not those who report them—who heroically refuse to be a part of state-inspired mayhem and murder.
Veterans and others will gather en masse at the White House as we did on December 16, 2010, and again refuse to move. We have three clear demands for the President. End these wars and occupations. Expose the Lies. Free Bradley Manning.
“The speeches were over. There was a mournful harmonica rendition of taps. The 500 protesters fell silent. One hundred and thirty-one men and women, many of them military veterans wearing old fatigues, formed a single, silent line. Under a heavy snowfall and to the slow beat of a drum, they walked to the White House fence. They stood there until they were arrested.”—Chris Hedges
“We have become a killer nation and our economy is addicted to endless war spending. The Congress and the White House have been taken over by the corporate oligarchy and they have drowned democracy.”—Bruce Gagnon
America’s corporate rulers understand that their power depends upon a subdued, sedated and manipulated public—a public fed lies and fantasies that can, when needed, be manipulated by fear or coercion. But as the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt show us, the people can triumph over entrenched power, lies, fear, and coercion.
Forty-four years ago at Riverside Church in New York City Martin Luther King said, “Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.”
On March 19—the anniversary of the brutal invasion of Iraq, where over a million Iraqis and almost 5,000 U.S. soldiers died with thousands more grievously injured—as the occupation of Iraq and the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan continue unabated, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, March Forward! and Veterans For Peace will bring the largest ever veteran-led nonviolent public civil resistance to the White House.
Our resistance will grow in numbers and strength; and like a hungry lion, our resistance will not abate, will not cease, until our appetite for peace is sated.
Busboys and Poets, 5th and K Streets NW
Speakers and live music
Housing will be available Friday night at St. Stephen’s Church, 1525 Newton Street NW (corner of 16th Street), AFTER 9 pm. Please do not go to the church before 9 pm. Anyone staying at the church must be respectful of whatever else may be going on there at the time.
You will need a sleeping bag. There are no secure provisions for leaving belongings at St. Stephen’s. If you need to leave personal belongings somewhere, we will have a room at the Harrington Hotel on Saturday for that. More details later.
Saturday, March 19
St. Stephen’s Church, 1525 Newton Street NW (corner of 16th)
12:00 pm, Lafayette Park, H and 16th Streets NW
Civil Resistance at the White House
For more detailed information email stopthesewars [at] gmail.com.
Housing will be available Saturday night at St. Stephen’s Church, 1525 Newton Street NW (corner of 16th Street). You must leave the church by 7 am Sunday morning. Anyone staying at the church must be respectful of whatever else may be going on there at the time.
You will need a sleeping bag. There are no secure provisions for leaving belongings at St. Stephen’s.
Sunday, March 20
Rally and March to Quantico for Bradley Manning
Main St. and Rt. 1 (Jeff Davis Hwy.), Quantico, VA
See bradleymanning.org for more information.
Two 56-person buses have been reserved for five hours. Board buses in front of Union Station, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE, in Washington, D.C., at 12:30 p.m.
Buses will be boarding to return from Triangle/Quantico at 4:30 p.m.
To reserve tickets for the bus ($10 round-trip): www.couragetoresist.org/bus
Housing will be available Sunday night at St. Stephen’s Church, 1525 Newton Street NW (corner of 16th Street), AFTER 9 pm. Please do not go to the church before 9 pm. Anyone staying at the church must be respectful of whatever else may be going on there at the time. You will need a sleeping bag. There are no secure provisions for leaving belongings at St. Stephen’s.
For more info, visit: http://www.stopthesewars.org/
March & Rally, Union Square, 14 St & Broadway, New York City
Saturday. April 9 – NOON
Bring U.S. troops home now: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan!
End the sanctions and stop the threats of war against the people of Iran, North Korea and Yemen.
No to war and plunder of the people of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa!
End U.S. aid to Israel! End U.S. support to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the siege of Gaza!
Trillions for jobs, education, social services
End to all foreclosures
Quality single-payer healthcare for all
A massive conversion to sustainable and planet-saving energy systems and public transportation
Reparations to the victims of U.S. terror at home and abroad.
End FBI raids on antiwar, social justice, and international solidarity activists
End the racist persecution and prosecutions that ravage Muslim communities
End to police terror in Black, Latino and Native American communities
Full rights and legality for immigrants
End all efforts to repress and punish Wikileaks and its contributors & founders.
Immediate end to torture, rendition, secret trials, drone bombings and death squads.
Sponored by United National Antiwar Committee (UNAC)
PEACE ACTION OF NEW YORK STATE 2011 ANNUAL MEETING
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Please come and help plan our actions and goals for the upcoming year!
Please email Kitty Reddington at kitty [at] panys.org or call 646-723-1749 to RSVP if you plan on attending the annual meeting and after-party!
Keynote Speakers . . . Judith LeBlanc, national field organizer, Peace Action & Martin Melkonian, adjunct economics professor at Hofstra University
Workshops on . . . Fundraising, Grassroots Organizing & Membership Growth, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, Drones, Nuclear Zero, UNAC April 9 Demonstation, Move the Money (from war to peace)
Proposed Agenda (revised – this supercedes the agenda on the flyer):
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Breakfast & Business Meeting
10:35 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. Welcome from PANYS & the Westchester Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute for Nonviolence
10:55 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Group Presentation: Membership & Grassroots organizing & Fundraising (Don Shaffer, PAFNYS + Michele Rowan, Peace Action of Staten Island
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch with speaker Judith LeBlanc (Peace Action National)
1:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Workshop Session #1
1. Cost of War Sign – New Priorities Network – Move the Money: Jane Dehawkhurst (Broome County Peace Action) and Judith LeBlanc (Peace Action National)
2. Nuclear Zero: Larry Wittner (Upper Hudson Peace Action)
3. Drones: Jerry Lotierzo (Peace Action of Central New York)
2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Break
2:15 p.m. – 3:10 p.m. Workshop Session #2
1. Afghanistan: Judith LeBlanc (Peace Action National)
2. Israel/Palestine: Paul Rehm (Upper Hudson Peace Action) + Jim Clune (Broome County Peace Action)
3. UNAC April 9 demonstration: Joe Lombardo (Upper Hudson Peace Action)
3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Workshop Reports & Award Presentations
4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Keynote Speaker – Martin Melkonian (Hofstra University)
4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closing Remarks – Alicia Godsberg (PANYS)
5:15 p.m. After Party (optional) – Socialize with Peace Activists from around the state at: Dorry’s Diner (468 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY)
Please email Kitty Reddington at kitty [at] panys.org or call 646-723-1749 to RSVP if you plan on attending the annual meeting and after party!
Supporting our annual meeting is the Westchester Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute for Nonviolence, www.mlkwestchester.org
December 17, 2010
Ray McGovern, Daniel Ellsberg and Chris Hedges amongst dozens of protesters arrested outside White House
View Slideshow of Photos from the demo (Photo credit: Andrew Courtney)
From the award-winning director of The War on Democracy comes John Pilger’s latest work, The War You Don’t See. This hard-hitting exposé scrutinises the effects of the media during wartime, asking what is the role of the media in rapacious wars.
When symbols are separated from facts and the facts don’t matter, could the media be accused of conspiring to play down the carnage and of using ‘embedded journalism’ to amplify the lies? This documentary unveils the war you don’t see and allows you to make up your own mind.
WAR PROFITEER ALERT!
STOP THE WARS MARCH
TO ITT CORP. CEO STEPHEN LORANGER’S HOUSE IN GREENWICH, CT
Saturday, October 23, 12:30 PM
US Post Office, Arch St. & Greenwich Ave., Greenwich Map
What’s Going On? ITT Corp., with corporate headquarters in White Plains, NY makes bomb and missile releases for drones used in Afghanistan and Pakistan, among a variety of military hardware. ITT’s CEO Stephen Loranger was paid $14 million in 2009.
ITT and Loranger lobbied this year through the Aerospace Industry Association for continued funding for the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. ITT, according to its web site, derives 58 percent of its income, over $6.3 billion in 2009, from its military contracts. The company spent $ 2.5 million lobbying Congress in 2009 – 2010 (to date). ITT has contributed about $223,000 to House and Senate candidates so far in the 2010 elections.
We will be taking our anti-war message to the neighborhood of Mr. Loranger to emphasize that war is coming daily to homes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and that Mr. Loranger’s style of living is related to war profits. Mr. Loranger and his military contractor colleagues possibly have a more powerful voice in war decisions than members of Congress.
This may be the first protest in this area to draw attention to the political role of war profiteers in the wars that began 10 years ago with the invasion of Afghanistan. We hope people from throughout metropolitan Connecticut and New York will join the march. We will be calling on Mr. Loranger to begin lobbying for an immediate withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and we will be urging investors to divest themselves of ITT Corporation stock.
The walk from downtown Greenwich to Mr. Loranger’s neighborhood is approximately three miles round-trip. The Greenwich police have been notified of the march and have no objection to it; no permit is required. The march will be held rain or shine.
The march is endorsed by: WESPAC Foundation, No War Westchester, Code Pink Westchester and the World Can’t Wait [list in formation]
A profile of Mr. Loranger and ITT appears at www.freewestpoint.org
Contact: Nick Mottern (914) 806-6179 nickmottern [at] earthlink.net
Download flyer at www.NoWarWestchester.org
Please make the utmost effort to be in Greenwich on Saturday, October 23rd.
Julia Ward Howe
Cross-posted from: http://www.peace.ca/mothersdayproclamation.htm
Mother’s Day was originally started after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons. Here is the original Mother’s Day Proclamation from 1870, followed by a bit of history (or should I say “herstory”):
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!
Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement
of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.
Julia Ward Howe
Mother’s Day for Peace – by Ruth Rosen.
Honor Mother with Rallies in the Streets. The holiday began in activism; it needs rescuing from commercialism and platitudes.
Every year, people snipe at the shallow commercialism of Mother’s Day. But to ignore your mother on this holy holiday is unthinkable. And if you are a mother, you’ll be devastated if your ingrates fail to honor you at least one day of the year.
Mother’s Day wasn’t always like this. The women who conceived Mother’s Day would be bewildered by the ubiquitous ads that hound us to find that “perfect gift for Mom.” They would expect women to be marching in the streets, not eating with their families in restaurants. This is because Mother’s Day began as a holiday that commemorated women’s public activism, not as a celebration of a mother’s devotion to her family.
The story begins in 1858 when a community activist named Anna Reeves Jarvis organized Mothers’ Works Days in West Virginia. Her immediate goal was to improve sanitation in Appalachian communities. During the Civil War, Jarvis pried women from their families to care for the wounded on both sides. Afterward she convened meetings to persuale men to lay aside their hostilities.
In 1872, Julia Ward Howe, author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, proposed an annual Mother’s Day for Peace. Committed to abolishing war, Howe wrote: “Our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage… Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs”.
For the next 30 years, Americans celebrated Mothers’ Day for Peace on June 2.
Many middle-class women in the 19th century believed that they bore a special responsibility as actual or potential mothers to care for the casualties of society and to turn America into a more civilized nation. They played a leading role in the abolitionist movement to end slavery. In the following decades, they launched successful campaigns against lynching and consumer fraud and battled for improved working conditions for women and protection for children, public health services and social welfare assistance to the poor.
To the activists, the connection between motherhood and the fight for social and economic justice seemed self-evident.
In 1913, Congress declared the second Sunday in May to be Mother’s Day. By then, the growing consumer culture had successfully redefined women as consumers for their families. Politicians and businessmen eagerly enbraced the idea of celebrating the private sacrifices made by individual mothers. As the Florists’ Review, the industry’s trade jounal, bluntly put it, “This was a holiday that could be exploited.”
The new advertising industry quickly taught Americans how to honor their mothers – by buying flowers. Outraged by florists who were selling carnations for the exorbitant price of $1 apeice, Anna Jarvis’ duaghter undertook a campaging against those who “would undermine Mother’s Day with their greed.”
But she fought a losing battle. Within a few years, the Florists’ Review triumphantly announced that it was “Miss Jarvis who was completely squelched.”
Since then, Mother’s Day has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry.
Americans may revere the idea of motherhood and love their own mothers, but not all mothers. Poor, unemployed rmothers may enjoy flowers, but they also need child care, job training, health care, a higher minimum wage and paid parental leave. Working mothers may enjoy breakfast in bed, but they also
need the kind of governmental assistance provided by every other industrialized society.
With a little imagination, we could restore Mother’s Day as a holiday that celebrates women’s political engagement in society. During the 1980’s, some peace groups gathered at nuclear test sites on Mother’s Day to protest the arms race. Today, our greatest threat is not from missilies but from our indifference toward human welfare and the health of our planet. Imagine, if you can, an annual Million Mother March in the nation’s capital. Imagine a Mother’s Day filled with voices demanding social and economic justice and a sustainable future, rather than speeches studded with syrupy platitudes.
Some will think it insulting to alter our current way of celebrating Mother’s Day. But public activism does not preclude private expressions of love and gratitude. (Nor does it prevent people from expressing their appreciation all year round.)
Nineteenth century women dared to dream of a day that honored women’s civil activism. We can do no less. We should honor their vision with civic activism.
Ruth Rosen is a professor of history at UC Davis.
Reprinted with permission
Download Westchester May 2 Flyer
Download Westchester Peace Train Schedule
Hop on a Metro North Train and plan to arrive before 2:00 PM. Meet at Grand Central Main Lobby at 1:50 PM and/or assemble with Westchester contingent at 38th Street and 7th Avenue
Join with thousands from around the world for an International Day of Action, in connection with the Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference taking place at the United Nations. Bring your posters, your drums, your children and your neighbors to say to the world and the leaders who will come to the UN :
- We want a Nuclear Free Future!
- Fund Human Needs, Not War!
- End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!
- Protect the planet instead of destroying it with war and nuclear proliferation!
Sunday, May 2 Events Schedule
1:30 PM Assembly (7th Ave + South of 41st Street)
2:00 – 3:30 PM Rally
3:30 PM March across 42nd Street to the United Nations
4:00 – 6:00 PM International Peace & Music Festival in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
International Conference For a Nuclear Free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World
April 30 – May 1, 2010
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Address
International Conference at Riverside Church
On the eve of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address the “For a Nuclear Free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World” International Conference at the Riverside Church.
The UN Secretary-General’s participation in the international conference reflects the urgency and importance of the engagement of grassroots peace and disarmament movements in the drive to eliminate nuclear weapons. Ban is urging the nuclear powers to take immediate steps to fulfill their NPT disarmament obligation, and has put forward a “Five Point Plan” calling on them to begin their promised ‘good faith negotiations’ for nuclear weapons abolition.
490 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10027-5788
More info at: www.PeaceAndJusticeNow.org