Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Peace Activist from Charlottesville Headed to Afghanistan
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. – From April 1st to 10th David Swanson of Charlottesville, Va., will join a group of international peace activists meeting with ordinary and prominent Afghans in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The trip has been organized by Chicago-based Voices for Creative Nonviolence ( http://vcnv.org ) and among the groups participants will meet with is the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers (http://livewithoutwars.org ). Swanson plans to meet with women’s groups and other activist movement leaders, including Dr. Ramazan Bashardost. Afghanistan’s former Planning Minister, Bashardost is a current member of the National Assembly of Afghanistan and finished third in the official tally of the 2009 presidential election.
Swanson and his colleagues will be visiting Afghanistan at the invitation of both Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers and the Open Society Organization (of Afghanistan, not to be confused with the Open Society Institute started by George Soros; there is no connection between the two similarly-named groups).
During 2010, Voices for Creative Nonviolence members spent three weeks in October and again in December as guests of the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, first in Bamiyan and then in Kabul. Together, they met with representatives of various NGOs and with leaders of civil society. They also met with Afghans who have been displaced by the war and now endure wretched conditions in a Kabul refugee camp. The Afghan youngsters recalled their own harsh refugee experiences as “days of misfortune.” In December, they presented to Afghan media their own “December Review” as an alternative to the one issued by the Obama administration. They call for an end to war and are determined not to exacerbate spiraling violence based on desires for revenge.
Swanson has recently published some thoughts on the upcoming trip:
“On Visiting an Unwinnable War”
“Afghan and Pakistani Nonviolent Tradition”
On March 19, Swanson and 112 other demonstrators were arrested at the White House for advocating the position of two-thirds of Americans that the Afghan War should be ended.
Members of Voices for Creative Nonviolence have already been in Afghanistan for a couple of weeks and have been posting reports on their activities online
To learn more about Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, visit http://ourjourneytosmile.com
Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org) has deep, long-standing roots in active nonviolent resistance to U.S. war-making. Begun in the summer of 2005, Voices draws upon the experiences of those who challenged the brutal economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.N. against the Iraqi people between 1990 and 2003.