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Peace & Nonviolence

Real Hope Is About Doing Something

Faces along the bar cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out, the music must always play,
All the conventions conspire to make this fort assume the furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are, lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night who have never been happy or good. - W. H. Auden

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Stop These Wars Or We'll Fill Your Jails

Chris Hedges, TruthDig

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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On Dec. 16 I will join Daniel Ellsberg, Medea Benjamin, Ray McGovern and several military veteran activists outside the White House to protest the futile and endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of us will, after our rally in Lafayette Park, attempt to chain ourselves to the fence outside the White House. It is a pretty good bet we will all spend a night in jail. Hope, from now on, will look like this.

Hope is not trusting in the ultimate goodness of Barack Obama, who, like Herod of old, sold out his people. It is not having a positive attitude or pretending that happy thoughts and false optimism will make the world better. Hope is not about chanting packaged campaign slogans or trusting in the better nature of the Democratic Party. Hope does not mean that our protests will suddenly awaken the dead consciences, the atrophied souls, of the plutocrats running Halliburton, Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil or the government.

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Related:

Stop These Wars Or We'll Fill Your Jails, David Swanson <http://www.opednews.com/author/author9.html>, OpEdNews.com<http://www.opednews.com>
You may not die for the Pentagon, but if you do not it will be your children or grandchildren. Would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or see your grandchildren killed?
Veterans for Peace (VFP) to Take a Stand for Peace at the White House Dec 16
http://evergreenedigest.org/content/stop-these-wars-or-well-fill-your-jails

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North Korean soldier at border wishes for peace

"I know that there were casualties on the South side," Lieutenant Choe Song Il told an APTN crew from Pyongyang he had been assigned to escort to the Demilitarized Zone. "I hope that such military conflict between North and South should never happen again."

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Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press/Las Vegas Review-Journal | NV

A U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter attack aircraft lands on the deck of the USS George Washington, during a joint military exercise off South Korea's West Sea, in South Korea's West Sea on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010. A supercarrier sent jets into overcast skies Tuesday in U.S.-South Korean military drills that North Korea warned could spark war, but signs of diplomacy emerged alongside the tensions over last week's deadly North Korean attack. (AP Photo - Wally Santana)

As the U.S. and South Korea ended war maneuvers following North Korea's deadly bombardment of a front-line island Wednesday (Nov 24), a North Korean soldier at the heavily armed border said he hoped for peace.

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The soldier, interviewed in the Panmunjom village inside the Demilitarized Zone, told the television news agency APTN that he was aware of the attack on the South Korean island and hoped tensions between the two sides would be eased "as soon as possible, in a peaceful way."

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"I know that there were casualties on the South side," Lieutenant Choe Song Il told an APTN crew from Pyongyang he had been assigned to escort to the Demilitarized Zone. "I hope that such military conflict between North and South should never happen again."

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Stop These Wars Or We'll Fill Your Jails

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  • You may not die for the Pentagon, but if you do not it will be your children or grandchildren. Would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or see your grandchildren killed?
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  • Veterans for Peace (VFP) to Take a Stand for Peace at the White House Dec 16
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David Swanson, OpEdNews.com

Here's an easy question: would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or die?

Here's a poorly kept secret: the wars that a majority of Americans want ended are not ending, and the war machine that a majority of Americans want cut back is growing.

Here's a situation that is not secret at all but too horrifying for us to acknowledge: if the war machine continues on its current course, we will not survive it economically, environmentally, or with any civil liberties or representative government intact. If we do not reach those catastrophes it will be because blowback or nuclear proliferation takes us out first.

Here's a well kept secret: many Americans are doing something about it, and Veterans for Peace is taking the lead. We're going to the White House on Thursday, December 16th to stop these wars!

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Veterans for Peace (VFP) to Take a Stand for Peace at the White House Dec 16, Tarak Kauff and Leah Bolger, Veterans For Peace

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  • On Dec. 16th, 2010, veterans and others will stage what will be the largest veteran-led civil resistance to U.S. wars in recent history. All of us in Veterans For Peace need to pull together to make sure those will not be empty words.
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  • Come to DC on December 16! VFP led action at the White House
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Their mission: rescue vets from the streets

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  • A nonprofit sends a crew out to feed, befriend and console soldiers and sometimes talk them into housing. The group also runs a crisis hotline and bushwhacks through bureaucratic jungles for weary vets.
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  • Go home' can be toughest order
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Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times | CA

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Chante Wolf

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Out near LAX, a dozen military veterans man a war room, strategizing day and night. Their mission is to bring other vets in off the ledge, to gather them up from the streets and shake the dust off them.

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With a budget of just half a million dollars a year, the team of "wild cowboys" is intent on saving lives, says the general of the nonprofit National Veterans Foundation -- an Alabama-raised, Lebanese Catholic Vietnam vet named Floyd "Shad" Meshad.

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Go home' can be toughest order, Kim Ode, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN
Almost 9,000 Minnesota female vets have served in the Middle East, dodging snipers alongside the men. Finding a place for them is tough - in both military and civilian life.

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Friends for a Non-violent World (FNVW) 2010 Holiday Fair

The annual FNVW Holiday Fair (this Friday and Saturday, Dec 3 & 4) has become a great place to pick up presents for the holidays; to enjoy food, friends, music and massages; and to help support FNVW and its programs.

Erika Thorne, Friends for a Non-Violent World (FNVW)

Quilts to be auctioned off at Holiday Fair

When: Friday, Dec. 3rd, 4:00 - 9:00pm; Saturday, Dec. 4th, 9:00am - 4:00pm
Where: Minneapolis Friends Meeting House, 4401 York Ave S, Minneapolis 55410-1455.

The annual FNVW Holiday Fair has become a great place to pick up presents for the holidays; to enjoy food, friends, music and massages; and to help support FNVW and its programs.

This year we will be offering three meals: Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast & Saturday lunch.

Our Vendors, massage therapists, used and new books areas, photo booth, and gift wrapping will continue as usual. Wonderful musicians will once more be adding to the ambiance.

An old friend returns, The Children's Store, but with the addition of a craft making area.

There will be new areas designed for guests to relax & visit with friends perhaps sampling our fresh baked goods.

We hope you're planning to come and to volunteer.  Click here to see and sign up for one or more volunteer slot.

We look forward to seeing you at the Holiday Fair!

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Fake Taliban Leader, Fake Elections, Fake Deadline, Real Trouble

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  • Afghanistan War, Nightmare without End for Troops, Innocent Civilians and US Taxpayers
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  • Truthout Editor's Note: This is taken from a press release from Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a leading voice for peace in congress.
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Dennis J. Kucinich, truthout

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Dennis Kucinich (Photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund)

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Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, a leading proponent of peace, today renewed his call to end the Afghan war after it was revealed that a self-proclaimed senior Taliban negotiator working with President Hamid Karzai and NATO officials was in an imposter.

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“The war in Afghanistan is taking place in a netherworld where facts and common sense have no place. Elections are fake. Our deadline to withdraw is a fake. Now, we learn that a fake Taliban leader has been leading us to believe that NATO was facilitating high-level talks between Taliban leadership and the corrupt Afghan central government we’re propping up. It was truly amazing that our government said we were negotiating with high-level Taliban leadership while at the same time we were stepping up air strikes to wipe them out.

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This Year's (2010) Demonstration to Close the SOA

As always, the weekend, from Friday November 19 to Sunday the 21, was full of events in solidarity with the victims of the foreign troops trained at the School Of the Americas on Fort Benning, from the six murdered Jesuit priests and the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador to a host of other well-publicized massacres and atrocities in Latin American history.

John Grant, Evergreene Digest

While the number of demonstrators was down this year, the enthusiasm and moral outrage of those attending the demonstration to close the School of the Americas was not diminished at all. Numbers were down for a host of speculative reasons, from the economy to internal issues within the Catholic hierarchy. The decade-plus effort to close the School Of The Americas (its history-avoiding new name is the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC) is led by Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois.

As always, the weekend, from Friday November 19 to Sunday the 21, was full of events in solidarity with the victims of the foreign troops trained at the School Of the Americas on Fort Benning, from the six murdered Jesuit priests and the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador to a host of other well-publicized massacres and atrocities in Latin American history. The weekend events culminated in a procession on Sunday during which the names of murdered victims are read aloud, followed by a collective response of "Presente!" As always, this procession was powerful and moving, ending with everyone placing the small white crosses they'd carried and other items into the chain link fence spread across the gate. By the end of the day, the fence is nothing but crosses, photographs and assorted mementos that sends a powerful symbolic message against the US tradition and policy of using military violence to secure domination. Then, it's all ripped down and tossed into city trash trucks.

Twenty-four people were arrested on Saturday and charged with unlawful assembly, failure to disperse and parading without a permit. The harassing nature of the unanticipated arrests made it clear the police were taking a tougher line than they had in the past years. On Sunday, four individuals climbed over the barbed wire-topped fence at the gate and were arrested inside the base. These latter will likely do real prison time; in the past it has been something like a six month sentence. On Saturday afternoon on the road to the gate there were a battery of squad cars with blue lights flashing. The party I was with was barred from walking down the street leading to the gate, something that had been very relaxed as far back as I can recall. The young officer barring our progress knew nothing, of course, about why he was barring us from proceeding. He was just a small cog doing what he was told. He added that he was happy to be working and was making some good overtime pay. A survey of patches suggested cops had been brought in from all over the region. The annual Veterans For Peace march on Sunday morning down to the gate was stopped and harassed over flag poles, something not done before.

One of the most obnoxious aspects of the procession is the regular loudspeaker blast from within the base. The man's voice proclaims how the US Military must preserve its detachment from politics and that there are avenues for proper redress of political issues in the democracy the Military is protecting .... and blah blah blah. Being aware that School of the Americas graduates use violence to influence local politics and knowing the tremendous power the US Military Industrial Complex has over all of our political lives and how the Military is up to its neck in "politics as usual," makes the repeated robot speech an especially offensive mockery. The subtext message is clear and strong: As an institution, we have the all the guns, the prisons, the media, the Congress and the President  of the United States in our pockets; you should feel lucky that we let you live.

Related:

Thousands Converge at the gates of Fort Benning for 20th Anniversary of November Vigil to Close the SOA, SOA Watch
Nonviolent civil disobedience action followed by indiscriminate arrests and targeting of journalists. Among those arrested by Columbus police were three journalists, including unrelated bystanders.

Photo Essay<http://picasaweb.google.com/115222483537430969851/SOAW2010?authkey=Gv1sR...

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Veterans for Peace (VFP) to Take a Stand for Peace at the White House Dec 16

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  • On Dec. 16th, 2010, veterans and others will stage what will be the largest veteran-led civil resistance to U.S. wars in recent history. All of us in Veterans For Peace need to pull together to make sure those will not be empty words.
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  • Come to DC on December 16! VFP led action at the White House
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Tarak Kauff and Leah Bolger, Veterans For Peace

Comrades, Brothers and Sisters,

The following sentence is critical, so please read on. On Dec. 16th, 2010, veterans and others will stage what will be the largest veteran-led civil resistance to U.S. wars in recent history. All of us in Veterans For Peace need to pull together to make sure those will not be empty words.

Many of us have grown so used to the state of war being a constant these past 10 years that people no longer see it as an emergency the way they did prior to the Iraq invasion, when millions of us turned out worldwide to attempt to stop the oncoming war. I want us return to seeing it as an emergency, a fire that must be put out and one that we will put our bodies on the line to extinguish. Many, if not most of us, engage in anti-war activities of one sort or another on a regular basis, usually in our own locales. This action described below is different. It is not meant to be yet another anti-war action among many where perhaps a handful of vets take a stand and get arrested, barely generating a blip on the screen of world and U.S. consciousness.

The purpose of this action is twofold, direct and simple, yet profound. By showing scores of U.S. veterans being literally dragged away from the White House as they demand peace, we expose the hypocrisy of a government that is waging (and promoting) worldwide, endless warfare during a season when we celebrate "Peace on Earth." But more important, it will vividly demonstrate that serious civil resistance is alive and well in the United States.

This will only happen if there are more than relative handfuls of us taking part. What we are asking is that your chapter support this, preferably by sending some (or all!) of your members to take part, but if you cannot do that, by enthusiastically spreading the word.

Here's what Doug Zachary wrote about his participation: "We are at a critical time in world history. Will the Western democracies continue to develop along the lines of Rousseau, Voltaire, Jefferson, King, Chavez and company? Or does the future hold a feudal world committed to slavery and fascism? The extent to which we resist is the extent to which there is reason to hope. Our witness, even if ignored in our times, will be on record and will inspire democratic revolutionaries far into the future."

To make sure it is not "ignored in our times," we have three top videographers, and excellent still photographers committed to sending out a record of our resistance worldwide. We also have enthusiastic support from large non-veteran organizations that will mobilize their members in support (see flyer).

When you look at the signatures on the letter below, you'll see many names you recognize, quite a few of our buddies, people who have been VFP stalwarts for years. What I'm asking is for all of us not to leave them hanging out to dry (Ferner says "freeze"). You get the picture. It's the season—the more the merrier. Let's demonstrate that VFP, when it comes to putting ourselves on the line, is a force for peace to be reckoned with.
If you want to be involved please e-mail stopthesewars@gmail.com or register online at http://www.stopthesewars.org, and we will keep you posted. Also, to make this a powerful reality, there will be expenses for banners, flyers, posters, legal, etc., so please make a donation.

For Peace and Solidarity,
Tarak Kauff
Veterans For Peace
Woodstock, NY
845 679-3299
takauff@gmail.com

Related:

Take A Stand For Peace!

During the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King called our government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." True then—and even more so today.

A few years before that, in 1964 Mario Savio made his great speech at Berkeley; at the end he says, "There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!"

There are children being orphaned, maimed or killed every day, in our name, with our tax dollars; there are soldiers and civilians dying or being maimed for life, in order to generate profits for the most odious imperialistic corporate war machine ever, again in our name. How long are we going to let this go on? Until it is too late, until this destructive machine destroys all of us and the planet to boot?

Wikileaks has revealed the documented horror of U.S. war-making, beyond what any of us imagined. It's time veterans and others express our resistance directly and powerfully by putting ourselves on the line, once again—honestly, courageously and without one drop of apology for doing so. It is not we who are the murderers, torturers or pillagers of the earth.

Profit and power-hungry warmongers are destroying everything we hold dear and sacred.

In the early thirties, WW1 vets descended on Washington, D.C., to demand their promised bonuses, it being the depths of the Depression. General Douglas MacArthur and his sidekick Dwight Eisenhower disregarded President Herbert Hoover's order and burned their encampment down and drove the vets out of town at bayonet point.

We are today's bonus marchers, and we've coming to claim our bonus-PEACE.

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Join activist veterans marching in solidarity to the White House, refusing to move, demanding the end of U.S. wars, which includes U.S. support—financial and tactical—for the Israeli war machine as well.

If we can gather enough courageous souls, nonviolently refusing to leave the White House, willing to be dragged away and arrested if necessary, we will send a message that will be seen worldwide. "End these wars - now!" We will carry forward a flame of resistance to the war machine that will not diminish as we effectively begin to place ourselves, as Mario Savio said, "upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus." and we will make it stop.

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We believe that the power of courageous, committed people is greater than that of corporate warmongers. But we will only see our power when we use it collectively, when we stand together.

With courage, persistence, boldness and numbers, we can eventually make this monstrous war machine grind to a halt, so that our children and all children everywhere can grow up in a peaceful world.

Join us at the White House on December 16th!

For a world in peace,

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Nic Abramson - Veterans For Peace, Elliott Adams - Past President,Veterans For Peace, Laurie Arbeiter-Activist Response Team, Ken Ashe -Veterans For Peace, Ellen Barfield-Veterans For Peace, Brian Becker-ANSWER Coalition, National Coordinator, Medea Benjamin - Co-Founder - CodePink for Peace, Frida Berrigan-War Resisters League, Bruce Berry-Veterans For Peace, Leah Bolger-Veterans For Peace, Elaine Brower-Anti-war Military Mom and World Can't Wait, Scott Camil-Veterans For Peace, Ross Caputi- Justice For Fallujah Project, Kim Carlyle-Veterans For Peace, Armen Chakerian - Coalition to Stop the $30 Billion to Israel, Matthis Chiroux-Iraq War Resister Veteran, Gerry Condon-Veterans For Peace, Will Covert-Veterans For Peace, Dave Culver-Veterans For Peace, Matt Daloisio-Witness Against Torture, Ellen Davidson-War Resisters League, Mike Ferner-President, Veterans For Peace, Nate Goldshlag-Veterans For Peace, Clare Hanrahan-War Crimes Times, Mike Hearington-Veterans For Peace, Mark Johnson - Exec. Dir. Fellowship of Reconciliation, Tarak Kauff-Veterans For Peace, Kathy Kelly-Voices For Creative Nonviolence, Sandy Kelson-Veterans For Peace, Joel Kovel-Veterans For Peace, Erik Lobo-Veterans For Peace, Joe Lombardo-United National Antiwar Committee, Ken Mayers -Veterans For Peace, Nancy Munger-co-President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Fred Nagel-Veterans For Peace, Pat O'Brien-Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Bill Perry-Vietnam Veterans Against The War, Vito Piccininno -Veterans For Peace, Mike Prysner-co-founder, March Forward, Ward Reilly-Veterans For Peace, Laura Roskos-co-President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Cindy Sheehan-Founder, Peace of the Action, David Swanson-author, Debra Sweet-National Director, World Can't Wait, Mike Tork-Veterans For Peace, Hart Viges - Iraq Veterans Against the War, Father Louie Vitale - SOA Watch, Jay Wenk-Veterans For Peace, Linda Wiener- Veterans F or Peace, Diane Wilson -Veterans For Peace, Col. Ann Wright-Veterans For Peace, Doug Zachary-Veterans For Peace

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