Blogs

Jul
11

Report from National Assembly to End the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars & Occupations

Tag: Peace and War

I'm encouraged by this assembly of major and minor peace organizations from around the country. We've agreed to organize a national protest (including both a demonstration and civil resistance) at the U.S. House office buildings and the White House on Monday, October 5th, 2009. We've agreed to organize local and regional protests on Saturday, October 17th, 2009. We've amended the language of the action statement to include a demand to end war crimes, including torture, as well as the wars.

We've agreed to organize a protest of the wars in the Spring of 2010 as well. Those of us who tried to amend the document to specify Friday, March 19th, 2010, failed. But that date can still be agreed to following further discussion.

Great workshops and strategizing here in Pittsburgh, where we've also planned to protest at the G-20 in September.

All of the above is paraphrasing. I'll post the official language of what we've agreed to when the National Assembly does.

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Jul
10

Audio: Norman Solomon, David Swanson, Mary Nichols-Rhodes on Ending Wars

Tag: Peace and War
IOT: End the Occupation, Redirect Funding July Call

Special Guests on this call was our Healthcare NOT Warfare Co-Chair Norman Solomon who updated us on Afghanistan. David Swanson and Mary Nichols-Rhodes updated us on the July Pittsburgh Peace Convention.

LISTEN HERE
Jul
10

Audio: Bill Fletcher and David Swanson on Obama and Activism

Tag: Political Ideas
Bill Fletcher Jr. & David Swanson: Assessing Obama after 5 months--Fulfilling the promised change or a presidency in trouble? hosted by Damon Azali-Rojas at Voices from the Front Lines Radio

Two progressive writer/activists--Black Commentator Executive Editor Bill Fletcher Jr. and Washington Director of Democrats.com David Swanson--take stock of the Obama Administration so far. Should progressives still be in "wait and see" mode or is this a presidency in trouble? 

Listen Now »
Jul
10

Congress Stands Up Against Signing Statements - Unbelievable But Aparently True

Tag: Political Ideas

This is the most encouraging thing I've seen in years: Congress standing up as a branch of goverment, not a party or the other party or both parties, but a branch of government attempting to represent the people and enforce the rule of law. I'm dumbfounded.

House overwhelmingly rejects signing statement By Walter Alarkon, The Hill

The House rebuked President Obama for trying to ignore restrictions to international aid payments, voting overwhelmingly for an amendment forcing the administration to abide by its constraints.

Jul
10

National Assembly to End the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars & Occupations

Tag: Peace and War

Hope to see you in Pittsburgh this weekend for this conference. Here's latest revision of a proposal I'll present:

Action Proposal

Organize a mass protest march and civil resistance against war funding at House side of Capitol Hill on the 8th anniversary of invading Afghanistan, on Wednesday, October 7th -- or alternatively on Monday, October 5th, to be closer to a weekend. Such an action can be combined with local district and state actions, and can include a protest at the White House or other appropriate target. But the House of Representatives is where we probably have the greatest chance of ending these wars. If we cut off the funding there, the Senate cannot provide it. We can influence House members with activities in districts, online, in the media, and on Capitol Hill. But not on a weekend when they aren't there. We need to be present on a weekday and lobby them before and after we march. There was an action earlier this year on Capitol Hill aimed at cleaning up the local power plant and raising the demand for action on the climate. While that struggle is far from over, the march and protest suggested a useful approach. A large number of people, including young people, were organized to march and to risk arrest. But people were invited to march without risking arrest, thus boosting the crowd size and reducing the chances of anyone being arrested. This action was held on a weekday with Congress in session, and marched adjacent to the House office buildings. An action like this one on the eighth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan, on Wednesday, October 7th (or Monday, October 5th), could send a powerful message of opposition to wars. Combined, of course, with lobby meetings and in-district actions. While such an action would be open to those willing to risk arrest and those not willing to do so, it would indeed fail to include those unable to participate on a Wednesday or Monday (except by making phone calls and holding in-district events). However, it WOULD include the people we intend to influence but which the corporate media cannot be counted to inform of our doings over a weekend. Some members of Congress might even JOIN us.

Jul
09

Beyond Belief: Another Way to Rethink Afghanistan

Tag: Peace and War

By David Swanson

This is not from the Rethink Afghanistan project, which has been producing so many great clips about Afghanistan (including their latest, Part 5, about women). This is a full length film from 2006 about two American women whose husbands were killed on 9-11-2001 who raise money for and visit Afghanistan women whose husbands were killed by American bombs. This movie is probably more relevant now than it was in 2006. It is extremely well done. It's called Beyond Belief.

The film does not attempt to make a thorough case against the invasion or ongoing occupation, but it makes a gut-wrenchingly complete case for the horrific failure of the wealthy world to share the meagerest crumbs with our fellow human beings. Here we watch two American women who have been overcome by their own grief but suffered no financial hardship take the usual steps to raise money ($140K) for a good cause, including bicycling from NY to Boston (we always give more money if people will bicycle or jog for it) -- while, it goes unstated, we are as a people dumping hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars into a far different approach. And then we see these women sit face-to-face in Afghanistan with women who look them in the eye and say "thank you, but I wish you had come before my children starved to death."

What in the world is the matter with us? Watch the clips below:

Jul
08

Reading the Rules of Disengagement

Tag: Peace and War

By David Swanson

Should soldiers follow illegal orders? Should they take part in illegal wars and occupations? And if they don't want to do so, what choices do they have? And what can we do to help them? These are some of the questions addressed in a new book by Marjorie Cohn and Kathleen Gilberd called "Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent."

From: http://www.gregmooreart.com/portraits.html

Jul
08

Two Ways to Pay As You Go

Tag: Political Ideas

By David Swanson

The day after ramming through nearly $100 billion more for wars and $100 billion in loans to European banks through the IMF, the majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer, introduced a "PayGo" bill, requiring that any spending be paid for with cuts in other spending. But having this law on the books would not have stopped the previous day's legislation. War "supplemental" bills are deemed "emergencies" and an exception is made for them. And lending money you don't have and can't be sure of getting back, through an unaccountable organization with a record of damaging those it claims to help, is not considered spending at all.

Jul
07

Cookout With Cindy Sheehan

Tag: Peace and War

Charlottesville, VA Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cindy Sheehan is deservedly the best known peace activist in the United States. Having lost her own son in Iraq, she has worked for the past five years to save others -- and she's not about to let up in her efforts to end our foreign wars and create justice around the world and here at home. More about Cindy: http://www.cindysheehanssoapbox.com

Please join Cindy for lunch at noon on Saturday, July, 18, 2009, rain or shine, at 707 Gillespie Ave, Charlottesville, VA, 22902. Cindy will talk about her new book.

Jul
07

March on Congress or President?

Tag: Political Ideas

By David Swanson

What if you had to choose your top priority for an activist campaign to change a government policy? Would you tell everyone to call and Email and write and try to meet with and protest the president? Would all your marches be to the White House, all your petitions addressed to the president, all your talk be about what the president should do? Or would you focus on Congress instead? Or would you just generally make noise, march around on Saturdays, and hope that both the Congress and the president hear about it? It might be ideal to protest, pressure, and lobby both the Congress and the president, but if you have to choose the top priority, which is it?

World Beyond War

RootsAction.org

War Is A Crime

Talk Nation Radio

There Is No Way To Peace

Peace is the way.

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