Representatives of Wisconsin peace organizations visited the Lakeshore area Wednesday during President Barack Obama’s historic trip to Manitowoc, the Manitowoc newspaper reported.
Steve Books of Mount Horeb and Caroline Greenwald of Madison, representing Veterans for Peace, Clarence Kailin Chapter 25, Madison, and the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, brought their message of peace to the park at South Eighth and Quay streets in Manitowoc as people lined the streets waiting for the president’s motorcade.
Dr. Jeff Patterson, national president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, is among those chosen as Madison heroes by writers for Isthmus, the alternative weekly. Patterson, at right in photo, founded the Wisconsin PSR chapter (a WNPJ member group) in the early 1980s and has worked for nuclear disarmament and warned of the dangers of nuclear power.
Bonnie Block is a founding member and former Chair of WNPJ and a participant in Fast for Justice 2011, a nationwide campaign organized by Witness Against Torture to call attention to those now being held without trial at Gauntanamo and other U.S. military sites. Nine days into a liquids-only fast, she writes to her Senators, Herb Kohl and Ron Johnson, to demand "an investigation by an independent prosecutor in an effort to bring to justice all those complicit in torture" and to remind them of Martin Luther King's warning:
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it."
A federal judge has dismissed all charges against 131 antiwar protesters who were arrested on December 16 at the White House. The protest was organized by Veterans for Peace and included many veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, along with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. Those who participated in the action stated that the dismissal was "clearly a victory for opposition to undeclared wars which are illegal under international law, have led to the destruction of societies in Iraq and Afghanistan, bled the US Treasury in a time of recession, and caused human rights violations against civilians and combatants." (Full press release below.)
|Voices for Creative Nonviolence founder Kathy Kelly speaks to Russian TV from Afghanistan, saying, "This is a land that belongs to the people of Afghanistan. A prior question should be what do Afghan people want for their country? Not, what kind of designs does the United States have on their resources.” Read more...|
May the Dawn of 2011
May it appear with the lasting hope,
For an enduring peace and better tomorrow.
May it bring on every sad and anguished face,
The flush of joy, mirth and cheer;
May it end the era of tyranny and injustice,
Sami Rasouli, Muslim Peacemaker Teams - Najaf, Iraq www.reconciliationproject.org
Learn more at http://vcnv.org/category/afghanistan
The "Dear Afghanistan" campaign aims to gather messages of peace to the people of Afghanistan from people all over the world, this New Years Day. In the words of Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, which has helped organize the campaign, "You can let Afghan people know that their lives matter as much as yours. Assure them that the U.S. government’s war is unacceptable to you and that you are working to end it." To participate, send an email to CallAfghanistan@gmail.com to