Category Archives: Justice and Sustainability

Voices for Creative Nonviolence Farewell and Forward

VCNV Farewell Letter

Kathy Kelly, writing on behalf of the Committee to Oversee Closure of Voices for Creative Nonviolence: Sean Reynolds, Sarah Ball, Ken Hannaford-Ricardi, Kathy Kelly, and Bob Alberts 

 

VCNV is closed down but here are some important efforts that continue…


Voices for Creative Nonviolence UK 
(www.vcnv.org.uk) is not closing and will continue its work ably led by Maya Evans.

The Afghan Peace Volunteers (ourjourneytosmile.com) and the Global Days of Listening (globaldaysoflistening.org) will welcome ongoing communication and solidarity.

We at Voices U.S. will be archiving our website, and closing our bank account, in early 2021. We again thank all who have so generously supported us. We pledge to return-to-sender any checks
we receive after November 10th. All of the money in our account will be disbursed.

Any funds designated for the Afghan Peace Volunteers will be sent to them, and we hope to assist their budget requests for the Afghan calendar year which runs from March 2020 – March 2021.

We will also make, and additionally encourage, donations to:

  • Voices for Creative Nonviolence UK (www.vcnv.org.uk)
  • Jesuit Refugee Services projects in Kabul (1627 K St NW Ste 1100, Washington, DC 20006). Voices members have regularly visited JRS projects, including education efforts, within a particular refugee camp, and have known of JRS’ admirable work in Kabul since our first visit in 2010. Checks can be sent payable to Jesuit Refugee Services, with “Kabul projects” written in the memo section and/or with an accompanying note designating that the contribution is for JRS’ projects in Kabul.
  • Emergency Surgical Center for Victims of War, Afghanistan (https://en.emergency.it/projects/afghanistan-kabul-surgical-centre/). Voices members have regularly visited their hospital in Kabul since our first visit to Afghanistan in 2009. Donations can be made through Emergency’s website.
  • Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Fund (https://yemenfoundation.org/) Donations can be made through the website or checks can be made payable to: Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation (YRRF) and mailed to: 3216 74th Place SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040

Over the years, we have collaborated with several other organizations whose work we also plan to support with contributions. These include:

  • World Beyond War (worldbeyondwar.org)
  • Witness Against Torture (witnessagainsttorture.com)
  • The Nuclear Resister (nukeresister.org

    and

  • The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 (kingsbayplowshares7.org)

 

The Costs of War: A Discussion (online event Sunday 10/25@4pm)

Zoom Panel and Discussion on The Cost of War

 
We have an excellent lineup of guest speakers and plenty of time for questions from the audience. 
 

All wars have large costs, which the political, financial, and governmental elites instigating the conflicts would rather the citizens minimize –but pay for. With a “volunteer military”, outsourcing, drones, and “smart bombs”, the war-makers attempt to hide the costs of war. The true story, however, is much grimmer.

 

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Register to attend and automatically get a link for the event 

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Please plan to join us and to hear from our four panelists:
 
***Veteran of the “War on Terror” Brittyn Calyx who will talk about the cost of war on the individual veteran and the impact of war on their own life.
 
***Vietnam veteran, artist, and peace activist David Giffey, who will speak on the societal costs of war,
 
***Dr. Eileen Ahearn, a long-time psychiatrist at the VA in Madison, Wisconsin who will take a look at war and moral injury and
 
***Rev. David Couper, who brings his experience as a veteran, former Madison police chief, and Episcopal priest, and will discuss the militarization of policing.
 

Each panelist will be given about 10 minutes to speak, followed by Q&A. We will use the Zoom chat box to field questions from our panelists.

Facebook Event for Costs of War Discussion

 

It will be so good to hear from you there.
Peace
Fran Wiedenhoeft, faw231@aol.com608-576-7416
VFP

VFP Celebrates International Women’s Day 2020

International Women’s Day

March 8, 2020

#IWD2020 #EachforEqual

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. This day has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

An equal world is an enabled world, a gender equal world.
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias.

Take action for equality.

~


 

War disproportionately affects women and girls.

In conflict, existing inequalities become magnified and social networks are broken down, making women and girls more vulnerable to sexual exploitation and violence. Yet, we don’t often hear about the women working for peace.

This Sunday is International Women’s Day. World BEYOND War is celebrating women dedicated to abolishing all war and replacing it with a security system based in feminism and peace. Leveraging frameworks like the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 1324—which requires parties in conflict to prevent violations of women’s rights and to support their participation in advocating for peace—we work not only to affirm the critical role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflict but also to encourage and facilitate the role of women in abolishing all war.

War is not women’s history,” says Virginia Woolf. “War is only an invention, not a biological necessity,” affirms Margaret Mead.

It was once said that it was impossible to abolish legalized slavery and dueling. Once deeply embedded in societies of their time, these practices are now, if not fully in the dustbin of history, universally understood to be eliminable. Now, let’s make war a thing of the past!”

In peace and feminist solidarity,

Alex McAdams, World BEYOND War

 


Code Pink

CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.

Founded in fall 2002 as a grassroots effort to prevent the US war on Iraq, we continue to organize for justice for Iraqis and to hold war criminals accountable. We actively oppose the continuing U.S. war in Afghanistan, torture, the detention center at Guantanamo, weaponized and spy drones, the prosecution of whistle-blowers, U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine and repressive regimes.

 


 

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

 

On 28 April 1915, during World War I, a unique group of 1,136 women from warring and neutral nations gathered in The Hague, the Netherlands, to discuss how to end the war and ensure permanent peace. The meeting ended with the foundation of the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom. 

The organizers of the congress were prominent suffragists, who saw the link between their struggle for women’s right and the struggle for peace. They believed that the full and equal participation of women in the decision-making processes was necessary to achieve sustainable peace.

 


 

Find more ideas about International Women’s Day

 

Over 500 Join in Parade Opposing War Profiteers & F-35 Weapons Threatening Madison

Wisconsin State Journal  |  Saturday, February 29, 2020  | 
*Headline – Brad Geyer of VFP-Madison

Picture by Paul McMahon

Veterans for Peace-Madison Statement in Support of Opposition of F-35’s

“A chant of “take your planes and go away” grew in intensity as several hundred protesters temporarily blocked Anderson Street near Madison Area Technical College early Saturday afternoon.

A passing driver honked along to the beat, adding to the festive atmosphere. Keeping pace with swinging big-band music from the Forward Marching Band, protesters of all ages, including whole families, held signs reading “Noisy polluting jets,” “Tell the truth,” “No nukes,” and simply, “No!” 

The march was organized by the Safe Skies Clean Water Coalition, a grassroots organization that opposes basing a squadron of $90 million F-35 fighter jets at Truax Field in Madison. The protesters peacefully marched from the intersection of Anderson and Wright streets to outside the base of the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing.

Steve Lyrene, of Madison, said he joined the protest because he believes the planes would be “noisy and polluting” and a symbol of “America’s aggression and warlike presence.”

“That’s not what Madison is,” he said. “We’re not a warlike people, and we don’t want to push people out of established housing.”

 

 

 

It isn’t just the noise that concerns opponents of the F-35s. The Safe Skies coalition has decried the potential environmental impacts of construction in areas contaminated with hazardous PFAS chemicals; the cost of the F-35s relative to domestic needs such as education and employment; the capability of the planes to deliver nuclear payloads; and the potential displacement of low-income families and people of color who live close to Truax Field.

Picture by Paul McMahon

Madison remains the top choice among five Air Guard bases under consideration, despite impacts to local housing and the environment outlined in a final environmental impact statement released Feb. 19.

Those in favor of basing the F-35s in Madison, including the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, say the squadron would boost the local economy, create dozens of jobs, and keep the 115th Fighter Wing and its estimated $99 million annual economic impact at Truax Field.

Ald. Grant Foster, whose 15th District would be one of the most affected by increased noise at Truax Field, was watching the protest march from the opposite sidewalk. For the second time, he and Ald. Rebecca Kemble, 18th District, will introduce a resolution opposing the F-35s during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Foster said. The resolution will likely be up for discussion during the council’s March 17 meeting.

“I don’t see how anybody can stand by and say this is a good idea, based on the final (environmental impact statement),” Foster said.

Foster said he was somewhat disappointed by Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s recent statement about the F-35s — specifically, that where they will be based is a federal decision, not a local one.

That’s why some protesters expressed feeling like wheels are turning somewhere out of reach.

 

“I get that impression,” Lyrene said. “There’s this sense of powerlessness, like we don’t have a voice. It’s sad that people aren’t being listened to. But that’s why we’re doing this — to make our voices heard.”

Vicki Berenson, a member of Clean Skies, doesn’t believe the F-35s are a done deal.

“It’s totally not a foregone conclusion,” she said. “We just don’t know what the answer will be.”

The final environmental impact statement was published in the Federal Register on Friday. After a 30-day review period ending in late March, a final decision will be issued by Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett.

Find the background data and facts on our concerns at Safe Skies Website


Photographs marked are from Paul McMahon

Heartland Images Photography,  4317 Tokay Blvd

Madison WI  53711 608-215-5031 (cell)

Photos:  www.flickr.com/photos/heartlandimages

Bio:  www.linkedin.com/in/heartlandimages

Hundreds march on Truax Field to protest basing F-35s in Madison


Veterans for Peace-Madison stands with Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin and the concerned citizens engaged in the struggle. We oppose F-35’s coming to Madison, we oppose F-35’s anywhere and we oppose the war machine and its crimes. 

We oppose the racism and systemic racism that forces brown, black, natives and the poor to sacrifice their health and quality of life so that corrupt politicians can enrich the billionaire owners of Lockheed Martin and the corporate rulers connected to the Chamber of Commerce: US Chamber and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.  We oppose the effect that these jets and the military will have on children. 

We must not allow the pollution of our water and soil to continue while the US government avoids accountability for around 80 years of PFAS forever chemical pollution and burn pits. This has poisoned much of Monona and Madison’s groundwater.

The F-35A, is a combination stealth fighter and bomber and can carry several B61 nuclear bombs with a range of less than one kiloton of explosive mayhem to 50 kilotons. That seems to be a lot of environmental impact, when compared to the 12-kiloton bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Is the hundreds of billions dollar cost of this latest child of the military-industrial complex worth it? As a low-flying stealth bomber capable of carrying nukes, it is an extremely risky and potentially destabilizing war machine in an already unstable world, whether you consider the Middle East, the near east, or the far east. One error in deciphering a tense situation could set off a nuclear tit-for-tat that would produce the worst environmental impact statement of all.

One only has to read nuclear war planner Dan Ellsberg’s recent “The Doomsday Machine” to learn of the horrors American cities could experience, and that we have been living on the brink.

The Pentagon has hyped the F-35 as a “computer that happens to fly,” and Lockheed Martin says there are 8 million lines of software code which control weapons deployment, communications, radar and flight controls. Given the extent of computer hacking continuously going on, what could anyone have to fear with a flying computer carrying nuclear weapons?

Veterans for Peace works to end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons, and to abolish war as an instrument of national policy. We do not want to see nuclear-enabled stealth fighter bombers stationed here in Madison — or anywhere, for that matter. 

The cost of F-35 fighter jets, Lockheed Martin calls it the “F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,” is phenomenal and will be paid by taxpayers. A recent book – Preventing War and Promoting Peace: A Guide for Health Professionals – tells that Lockheed Martin claims that parts of the F-35 are “built in forty-five states.” That makes it possible for politicians across the U.S. to claim that the F-35 and, therefore, the defense industry, will produce jobs everywhere. Compared to needed civilian jobs that could be funded for much less taxpayer money, the sum for F-35s is enormous and the jobs to be produced are few.

Lockheed Martin is the lead contractor for F-35s, and “…the world’s largest defense contractor,” according to the book, edited by William Wiist and Shelley White.

With a (current) price tag of $1.4 trillion per plane…[F-35] has become the most expensive weapon system in history…punctuated by reports of one malfunction after another, from flaws in the fuel tanks that made the planes vulnerable to lightning-caused fires, to criticism of its maneuverability….”

The F-35 program is projected to use most of the U.S. budget for aircraft through 2030, the authors write.

The size of the US military machine is massive and currently causes more violence than it prevents. The US has far more bases, jets, aircraft carriers than anyone. Our military spending is more than the next seven nations combined. We do not need F-35’s for defense. This is war profiteering and imperialism.

None of the effects on human beings were improved in the final Environmental Impact Statement, in fact, the US government made no effort to alleviate the impacts. The money is there to protect people, the choice is made to serve the war profiteers and harm the people.

For Peace & Justice,

Bradley J. Geyer