Thank you all for joining us as we pay tribute to Chris Che Matlhako, a comrade and friend. I first met him in 2018 at the First International Conference Against US/NATO Military Bases, which was held in Dublin, Ireland. I chaired a panel on the US Africa Command, AFRICOM, and Chris was a participant along with Paul Pumphrey and Ann Atambo. It was my first encounter and only in-person encounter with him, but it was very meaningful to me. It played an important role as I learned more and more about internationalism, especially as it pertains to Africa. This is a small portion of Chris’ remarks for that panel, “There are US bases, compounds, port facilities and fuel burners in 34 African countries, including in regional hegemons Kenya, Ethiopia, and Algeria.
Hyun was a tireless advocate for peace on the Korean Peninsula. Every generation has its leaders who build powerful movements; she was among the giants of our time. Beginning in 2018, Hyun served as the U.S. National Organizer and then the Campaign Strategist for Women Cross DMZ and our Korea Peace Now! campaign. Her ability to move an organizing and advocacy agenda was instrumental to building the Korea Peace Now! Grassroots Network, which consists of more than a dozen chapters across the country. This multi-generational, grassroots, people-powered movement that Hyun helped create is what led to the first Congressional resolution calling for an end to the Korean War with a peace agreement.
Tucson, AZ - It is with heavy heart that the news of the passing of longtime anti-imperialist organizer Chuck Kaufman reached communities on December 28. Born in a small Indiana town, Chuck’s life saw travels to numerous countries, most notably in the Latin American countries most firmly in the crosshairs of U.S. imperialism. In 1987, as Reagan’s illegal Contra War against Nicaragua ravaged the country in an attempt to kill the successful Sandinista Revolution, Chuck answered the call for solidarity. He gave up his advertising business and joined thousands of other U.S. solidarity activists to help in the coffee brigades in Nicaragua aimed at helping the country produce commodities that could help fund the new government projects for the poor and working class.
Being a leader in the movement to end apartheid in South Africa was probably the greatest achievement of the man's life work, and it should come as a surprise to no one that this is the focus of his many obituaries, along with the Nobel he was awarded in 1984. After Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, he was remembered by the establishment in much the same way, as a leader of the movement against apartheid in the US. The fact that he had become one of the most well-known and well-loved voices of the antiwar movement in the United States and around the world at the time of his death has largely been written out of the history books, a very inconvenient truth.