Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans returned their war medals to NATO on Sunday, at the conclusion of a mass march through Chicago's downtown that took the marchers to the security perimeter surrounding the NATO summit at McCormick Place. One by one, the veterans explained why they were returning their medals, dedicating their action to "my brothers and sisters affected with traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder," "the 33,000 civilians who have died in Afghanistan that won’t have a monument built for them," "the one-third of the women in the military that are sexually assaulted by their peers," "Private First Class Bradley Manning, who sacrificed everything to show us the truth about these wars," and "the children of Iraq that no longer have fathers and mothers." Read more... Photo: Navy vet Todd Dennis of Madison throws back his Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Photo by David Soumis.
Fourteen anti-war activists may have made history in a Las Vegas courtroom when they turned a misdemeanor trespassing trial into a possible referendum on America’s newfound taste for remote-controlled warfare. The so-called Creech 14, a group of peace activists from across the country, went on trial 9/14 for allegedly trespassing onto Creech Air Force Base in April 2009. From the start of today’s trial, prosecutors did their best to keep the focus on whether the activists were guilty of allegations they illegally entered the base and refused to leave as a way to protest the base’s role as the little-known headquarters for U.S. military operations involving unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, over Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.
But a funny thing happened on the way to prosecutors’ hope for a quick decision.......
Sami Rasouli of Muslim Peacemaker Teams and Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project (and a good friend of WNPJ) discussed the withdrawal of US troops on the December 16 edition of Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Speaking from the city of Najaf, Sami invoked George W. Bush’s infamous declaration after the fall of Baghdad, saying, "In terms of destroying Iraq, it’s really 'mission accomplished." View the story here...
Last week, the citizens of Deer Isle, a town of about 1900 residents off the coast of Maine, voted at their annual town hall meeting in favor of a resolution that "commands Maine's member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the second Maine Congressional District to oppose all legislation brought before the U.S. House of Representatives that provides further funding of the U.S. warfare and U.S. military occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan." The resolution passed with a 67% "yes" vote.
On October 18th, Dane County Board Supervisor Kyle Richmond introduced resolution #145, "Calling on Congress and the President to Redirect U.S. Military Spending to Address Critical Domestic Priorities: Bring Our War Dollars Home."
Speaking at a press conference that afternoon in support of the resolution were Supervisors Richmond and Melissa Sargent, the Chair of the County Board Health and Human Needs Committee, along with representatives from AFSCME Local 1871, Madison-area Urban Ministry, the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, and Veterans for Peace. Click here to see pictures from the event.
If you'd rather fund community needs than a bloated and growing Pentagon budget and live in Dane County, please contact your Board Supervisor and County Executive Joe Parisi to register your support for the resolution.
The Capital Times reported that the resolution is "part of a national effort to press the Pentagon on reducing military spending so more money can be devoted to helping people in the U.S. ... WNPJ said $2.3 billion from Dane County taxpayers has been spent on war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001."
Passed by the Dane County Board on January 10, 2013 with a vote of 26 supporting, 5 opposing and 5 absent or abstaining:
On January 10, the Dane County Board passed a "Bring Our War Dollars Home" (BOW$H) resolution introduced by Supervisor Kyle Richmond and drafted with help from WNPJ, on a vote of 26 supporting, 5 opposing and 5 absent or abstaining. The resolution urges the President and Congress to redirect resources from the excessive U.S. military budget, to fund housing, jobs, veterans, infrastructure, debt reduction and environmental programs, and encourages other local governments to pass similar resolutions.
Interested in passing a BOW$H resolution in your community? We'd love to help! Contact us at 608-250-9240 or diane<at>wnpj<dot>org.
WNPJ member group Voices for Creative Nonviolence's recent "Covering Ground the Ground the Drones" peace walk brought concerns and facts about drone warfare to people across Iowa and beyond.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported: "The 14-day anti-drone march from Rock Island to Des Moines has drawn activists from here in Iowa City and as far away as England.
Countdown to Zero, a documentary produced by Participant Media, the producers of An Inconvenient Truth and Food Inc, will open on August 13 at Sundance Cinemas in Madison. The film describes the threat that nuclear weapons pose to all of us, and urges us to work towards a goal of total worldwide nuclear abolition (the "zero" in the title.) But some peace groups have raised questions about the film, calling attention to information it has left out, and even raised concerns that the film could prove useful to those who want to generate public support for an attack on Iran.
While President Obama was delivering a speech inside the White House about his administration’s review of the situation in Afghanistan, more than a hundred antiwar protesters, many of whom had chained themselves to the White House fence, were being arrested outside. The protest was organized by Veterans for Peace, and among those arrested was Penatagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who offered a strong response to attacks on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. "This lynch mob mentality is America at its lowest," Ellsburg said. Read more about the arrests at the White House...