While nuclear weapons governments and their bomb-making industries are criminally sleepwalking into what could mean the end of our planet’s life, many others – scientists, high-level military, citizens and whole countries – are countering the weapons holders’ political idiocy with principled intelligence. At their 40th reunion in Los Alamos, New Mexico, 70 of 110 physicists who worked on the atomic bomb signed a statement supporting nuclear disarmament. When have the brightest scientists of their day ever admitted that their most notable work was a colossal mistake? On February 2, 1998 retired General George Butler, former Commander of US Strategic Air Command addressed the National Press Club: "The likely consequences of nuclear weapons have no…justification. They hold in their sway not just the fate of nations but the very meaning of civilization." Sixty other retired generals and admirals joined him calling for nuclear weapons abolition.
Winter's arrival in the northern hemisphere brings increased concern about the war in Ukraine--now in its tenth month. Concern about the suffering of civilians under siege, and the fate of millions of refugees. Concern about the energy crisis and militarization in Europe. Concern about war-related food shortages in Africa. And concern about the possibility of a civilization-ending nuclear war. In the face of these compounding disasters, the world's people are confronted by the apparent readiness of Russia, Ukraine, the U.S., and NATO to dig in for a long war in which there will be no winners. Veterans For Peace (VFP) shares all of these concerns. As far back as 2015, we called for the withdrawal of all NATO forces from Ukraine's borders with Russia.
There was once a wing of the Democratic Party that stood up to the war industry. J. William Fulbright, George McGovern, Gene McCarthy, Mike Gravel, William Proxmire, and, of course, Dennis Kucinich. But that was largely decades ago. The new Democrats, especially with the presidency of Bill Clinton, became shills not only for corporate America, but the arms industry. The massive military budget, $858 billion in military spending allocated for fiscal year 2023, is an increase of $45 billion over the Biden administration’s budget request, and nearly $80 billion more than the amount appropriated by Congress for the current fiscal year. What happened to the Democratic Party? Why has it become impossible to question war and the massive expenditures on arms?
We, members and retirees of the ILWU, are very concerned about the Coast Committee’s public statement of March 3, 2022 on the war in Ukraine. It diverges from the many anti-war positions that our union has taken even when it was unpopular to do so. The ILWU has always criticized NATO’s war moves. Since the end of World War II we’ve opposed U.S. wars and coups in Korea, Vietnam, Angola, Serbia (former Yugoslavia), Cuba (Bay of Pigs Invasion), Chile (coup), El Salvador and Nicaragua. On May Day 2008, ILWU shutdown all West Coast ports to oppose the “imperialist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan” (as the Caucus resolution read). We have taken action at the point of production against U.S. wars and the apartheid government in South Africa.
In the drizzling rain, I yank up the military recruitment sign and throw it into the tall grasses on the side of the road. If anyone asks, I didn’t “destroy” government property. I merely relocated it. Think of me like a windstorm. A peace-loving, nonviolent windstorm countering military recruitment. Who knows how many lives I saved with this simple action? Perhaps it saved the teens that were considering enlisting as they rode the school bus past these signs twice a day. Perhaps it will help some innocent civilians overseas who so often bear the brunt of our nation’s addiction to war. Maybe it will slow down the profiteering warmongering of military industrial complex to realize they can’t count on enlistment rates. The military recruitment sign was one of two shoved into the sides of the main road in my rural community.
During the two years the cartoonist Joe Sacco and I spent on our book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, written out of the poorest pockets of America, we invariably encountered heroic men and women who — against overwhelming odds — rose up to fight lonely and often losing battles on behalf of the oppressed. Bill Means, Charlie Abourezk and Leonard Crow Dog in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Larry Gibson and Judy Bonds in the coal fields of West Virginia. Lucas Benitez, Laura Germano and Greg Abbot in the produce fields of Florida. The men and women in Zuccotti Park during the Occupy Wall Street movement. When set against the crushing poverty, environmental degradation, corporate abuse and despair they opposed, the victories they amassed were often miniscule.
Duluth, Minnesota - As Mother’s Day approaches and the war in Ukraine rages on local activists with the Grandmothers for Peace want to call on women across the world to unite and re enforce the importance of peace. In 1870, a writer, Julia Ward Howe wrote the ‘Mother’s Day Proclamation’, which was a call to action asking mothers to come forward and unite in promoting world peace. Grandmothers for Peace want to remind the community of this proclamation in honor of Mother’s Day to continue to stand united against the war in Ukraine. “We think it’s important to raise this issue of peace because it is so important, we are very concerned as grandmothers for peace with the escalation of this war, we are always against war, there is a solution because we feel as civilized people, that war is not the answer,” Sharla Gardner, Grandmothers for Peace, said.
Leaders of the World Peace Council (WPC) and its member organizations, as well as prominent figures, academics, anti-war activists and friends in solidarity with Cuba, are present in the event, to be held until Thursday, May 5. According to the program, WPC President Maria do Socorro Gomes, that organization’s Executive secretary Iraklis Tsavdaridis and Venezuela’s Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Ron Martinez are also attending the Seminar. According to the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), the meeting will demand the cessation of the arms race being developed by the United States along with its allies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Participants will also support the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Peace Zone, endorsed by the heads of State and Government of the region in January 2014.
Called to enact the Old Testament prophecies of Isaiah and Micah, Plowshares activists seek to “turn swords into plowshares, spears into pruning hooks and train for war no more.” It was this call to action that led Clare Grady, Martha Hennessy, Liz McAlister, Mark Colville, Carmen Trotta, Steve Kelly and Patrick O’Neill to enter Kings Bay Naval Base in St. Marys, Georgia on April 4-5, 2018. Once inside, the activists split into three groups. One (composed of Trotta, Kelly and McAlister) went into the fatal force zone, investigating the bunkers housing nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Grady and Hennessy put up crime tape and carefully poured blood at the entrance to the administrative building as a symbol — according to Grady’s affidavit — of “offering life” and “withdrawing consent.”
It was an Earth Day to remember. On a beautiful sunny spring day, our local citizen coalition Reject Raytheon in Asheville, North Carolina pulled off a three-part demonstration for the protection of the earth and earthlings and against the U.S. military-industrial complex. We rallied, we paraded, and we took direct action. The event on Friday, April 22, began at 10 a.m. in the Bent Creek River Park, on the banks of the French Broad River. The park sits exactly next to the new bridge being built for the 1.2 million square foot Pratt & Whitney plant and in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Parkway bridge over the river. Across the river from the park is a dirt road, called Old River Road, that provides access to the many trucks coming and going from the plant every day. On this morning, it was busy, full of power and commerce.
The war in Ukraine rages on, and the war mentality, promoted by propaganda on all sides, generates ever more devotion to keeping it going, even escalating it, even considering repeating it in Finland or elsewhere based on having “learned” precisely the wrong “lesson.” The bodies pile up. The threat of famine looms over many countries. The risk of nuclear apocalypse grows. The impediments to positive action for the climate are strengthened. Militarization expands. We desperately need a global call for a ceasefire and serious negotiations — meaning negotiations that will partially please and displease all sides but end the horror of war, halt the madness of sacrificing more lives in the name those already slaughtered. Basta! Enough is enough. Let’s all turn out on May 7th. No need to travel. Do local events.
Beneath the façade of chest-beating patriotism, however, lies an anti-war movement. Just as it is diverse in its motivations to oppose the war, this movement is decentralized geographically and appears not unified enough to move as one force.
We are Northwestern Dissenters. We are a revived campaign in which previous students laid the foundation for the fight against militarism on campus. Dissenters is a national anti-militarist, anti-imperialist and abolitionist organization leading a generation of young people to take back what has been robbed of us from the war industry, reinvest in life-giving institutions and mend our relationships with the earth. Dissenters is building chapters of young people on college campuses all across Turtle Island that stigmatize militarism and force powerful elites and elected officials to divest from death and invest in life and healing. Militarism has infiltrated the world, but we are the generation who can remedy the harm it has inflicted.
Minneapolis, MN - Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) is still saying “No to war” as the group celebrates 40 years of organizing and fighting back. On January 16, 2022, people gathered on the spot where WAMM held its first demonstration in 1982. They stuck signs in the snowbanks and fences, and their chants were heard for blocks around, “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation!” “Coups and sanctions cost lives, we don’t believe the media lies!” Back in January 1982, more than 100 women attended the WAMM’s founding conference where they decided, “No meeting without action!” Kristin Dooley, WAMM’s director, described the first-ever march, “They braved the ungodly cold weather to walk along University Avenue near the University of Minnesota.”
An online media company is suing social media giant Facebook for falsely smearing it as a Russian state-controlled propaganda outlet. Maffick, the owner of In The Now, Soapbox and Waste-Ed, has filed a lawsuit against Facebook in a Northern California district court for defamation, intentional interference and violating section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, unjustly causing them economic and reputational harm, claiming that Facebook’s actions represent unfair competitive practices. Go to any of the Maffick-owned Facebook pages, including In The Now ...