Saturday, September 22, 2018

Those Daring Young Men In Their Flying Machines-In Honor Of Icarus’s Progeny- With Cary Grant And Jean Arthur’s “Only Angels Have Wings” In Mind 

By Lance Lawrence

A tear comes to my eyes every time I hear the name Johnny Cielo, yes, Johnny, one of Icarus’s latter- day sons who was a pioneer in aviation when that was tricky business-when flying by the seat of your pants really was something more than a quaint saying. (By the way for passport trouble purposes, for cons and scams, for ducking the law, John Law he called them Johnny Cielo had many aliases; Johnny Too Bad, Johnny Blade, Johnny Blaze, Blaze Johnson, Johnny Icarus, Izzy Johns and who knows how many other those are just the ones I remember but I will use his real name, assuming that it is for my purposes here). Yes, Johnny was a piece of work, was somebody who gave as good as he got and who had that flight dream from very early on, from the first day he heard about Wilbur and Orville Wright and their successors. Johnny though was strictly a fly boy adventurer, although he could have had a piece of Alleghany Airlines and lived on easy street for the rest of his life. Could have been flying Piper Clubs for the country club rubes to gawk over. But our Johnny was not built that way, didn’t want to become an extended cycle repair shop guy, didn’t have Howard Hughes’ overweening desire to own it all, whatever “it” was for the moment.       

Some people, even people knowledgeable about the history of aviation in America, have claimed they never heard of Johnny Cielo until you mention the Barranca air service set-up. Then they are all ears-not so much about the aviation part, the desperate flights to get the mail out, to get stuff delivered to impossible places, but about Johnny’s red-hot affair with film siren of the 1930s and 1940s Rita Hayworth. Yeah, there was plenty of truth to his exploits with the females, with high class dames like Rita back then. Rita who was every military guy’s favorite pin-up and if not then second. Johnny led Rita a merry chase, had her abandoning that very promising and lucrative Hollywood career to follow him to the wilds of Barranca down in Central America and then ditched her leaving her no choice but to grab the next best thing (this before the Aga Khan took his run at her and snagged her for a while-even “a while” most guy’s idea of heaven). Left Rita for some vaudeville tramp down on her uppers, somebody who couldn’t even stand in the same room as Rita but Johnny was funny that way-would stay with one woman just so and that not long. Told them straight out his fly-boy life was it and he did not expect a woman, wouldn’t ask a woman to follow him where he was going. And he was right, just ask Rita who did and got not even a by your leave.   

Maybe it is better to begin at the beginning, or at least how Johnny got down on his own uppers so bad he had to take a shot a running a fool’s errant airline down in sunny Banana Republic Barranca. Johnny got deep into running dope, you know, marijuana, opium stuff like that way before most people even know what the hell illegal drugs were about from sunny Mexico up north. Did it for a few years, made a ton of money and proceeded to blow it on dames, various experimental airplane projects and hand-outs to every drifter he ran across. Then one day an agent for whatever cartel he was working for at the time, such things are murky and best left murky told him he was through, that they had some new boy, their boy who would run the merchandise.

Johnny thereafter needed work, needed it bad to keep up with the fresh but expensive Rita. Nothing doing around America for a guy whose last job was a dope smuggler so he headed south to Central America when his old friend and comrade Letts Fagan said he had a deal for him if he came fast. The deal was a secured route for a mail and express delivery for everything south of Mexico to what the hell Antarctica if he wanted to go that far if they could set up the route through some pretty tough terrain in the days when propeller was king and planes still wobbly in inclement weather. Heading out he told Rita he was going, he didn’t expect her to follow, wouldn’t ask her to but can you believe she said “let’s go” and as a sign of her own seriousness she was ready the next day to travel-a world record maybe for a woman with a big wardrobe and plenty of luggage to pull off. Johnny was impressed-and pleased.      

Things started out pretty well for Johnny and Rita and Johnny and his new airline. Looked like he would meet all the deadlines imposed by the contract and by his own daring. Pulled a few rabbits out of the hat to get through a bunch of horrible weather to deliver whatever there was to deliver-typical Johnny Cielo magic. Then the roof caved in, or rather that tramp from some northward-bound tramp steamer trampled into town looking for some sweet sugar daddy- or a Johnny kind of guy. She wasn’t choosey especially when she found out that Johnny was carrying Rita in tow. Two minutes after she saw him she had him in a backroom at Lett’s restaurant doing whatever she wanted, whatever he wanted. (We are all adults and know what was what but when some guy, some Johnny latter-day devotee wrote up his biography the guy left the hard sexual description part out, just like they were doing in the films in those but you know as well as I do, and I know, because before the end Johnny told me, it was oral sex, a blow job, said she was good at that, Rita too, but you had to coax Rita and not the tramp.)

Okay even tramps have names, as if it mattered to Johnny or any other guy when a woman leads him to some backroom, so hers was Jean, Jean Smith I think Johnny said she called herself. Like I said Johnny had a fistful of aliases, so she probably did too. She was from nowhere, had done nothing but was something new and shiny for Johnny and that was that. Of course two dames, a glamour gal and a tramp or any combination thereof, working the same guy in the small blistered and balmy town are not going to make anything work in the end. That was when Rita blew town, went back to Hollywood to be knocked off by the Aga Khan for a while until she got bored. (The funny thing and even that biography guy didn’t know about the situation until I sent him a letter and he looked the stuff up after Rita blew that Moslem prince off and went back-where else Hollywood not Brooklyn or wherever she was from she and Johnny went under the sheets again for a while until she blew him off-nice trick. Johnny always spoke highly of his sassy redhead after that though-always had that glean in his eye when he mentioned her name. 

The tramp won round one. A big win but Johnny was all business for a while trying to make the nut with that fucking two-bit contract that must have been written up by a Wall Street lawyer it had so many escape clauses for the owners. Johnny had by his own reckoning, a half dozen ex-World War I planes of no repute, or something like that to get the mail and goods over the hump. Tough going, very tough as he lost a few guys who like him would rather die than not fly so they took risks, big risks, just for the hell of it. And nobody, Johnny made sure of that, mourned out loud about the dead guy, grabbed his smack sack possessions and divvied them up so no moony stuff. After one guy got, a guy who was supposed to buy this Jean a steak when he tried to make a play for her behind Johnny’s back, to sit with the angels, that what they called it she sniffled up and Johnny told her to shut up or follow Rita (Johnny could be cutting). Here’s the real deal Johnny part though-five minutes after the guy flamed out Johnny was a sky pilot taking the undelivered load over the hump and back in some kind of hurricane. (That “hump” not the Burma World War II hump that almost broke the backs of English and American pilots but through Condor Pass the next country over from Barranca.)   

As We Pass The 1st Anniversary Of The “Cold” Civil War In America-A Tale Of Two Boston Resistance Events –Join The Resistance Now!

As We Pass The 1st Anniversary Of The “Cold” Civil War In America-A Tale Of Two Boston Resistance Events –Join The Resistance Now!

By Si Lannon

The headline to this piece is something of a misnomer as the “cold” civil war in America as I have been calling the great expanding divide between left and right, the oppressed and the oppressor (and its hangers-on including, unfortunately, a not insignificant segment of the oppressed), the haves and have nots and any other way to express the vast gulf, getting wider, between those siding with white rich man’s power and the rest of us, since this cold civil war has been building for a couple of decades at least. The Age of Trump which started officially one year ago though is a pretty good milestone to measure both how far we of the left, of the oppressed, have come and to measure the responses by the oppressed (the ones not hanging on to the white rich men) a year out in Year I of the Age of Trump Resistance.

Two local signposts, let me call them, stick out this weekend of January 20th. One, the Women’s Rally on Cambridge Common on the 20th organized to commemorate the anniversary of the historic Women’s mega-rally and march in Washington and it’s gigantic satellite event on Boston Common, The other a cultural/political event organized by Black Lives Matter and its allies held in the historic Arlington Street Universalist-Unitarian Church in Boston on the 21st.

Those two events which I attended in person in my capacity as a member Veterans Peace Action (VPA, an organization which my old friend Sam Lowell who will take the spotlight below got me involved in as fellow Vietnam War veterans) while they share some obvious over-lapping political perspectives to my mind represented two distinct poles of the resistance as it has evolved over the past several years.

No one, including I assume the organizers of the Women’s Rally, expected anything like the turnout for the 2017 Inaugural weekend event on the Boston Common or else they would have had the event on the Common so I did not expect a tremendous turnout. That event could not be duplicated and moreover over the year some of the anger over the Trump victory, etc. and maybe just plain horror and discouragement would have sapped some energies. However the several thousand who showed up represented a good turnout to my mind.

What I didn’t expect was the rather celebratory feeling that I got from the crowds as the poured into Cambridge Common from the nearby Harvard MBTA subway stop. I was positioned along with a number of my fellow VPAers as volunteers to insure the safety of the crowds and any threaten action by the Alt-Right who were said to be “organizing” a counter-rally at the Common as well. (In the event that small clot of people were isolated and protected by the Cambridge police without incident. We kept our side cool as well.)

That celebratory spirit, rather unwarranted given the defeats on our side over the previous year from Supreme Court justice to DACA to TPS to a million other injustices, flowed into the main thrust of the rally. Get Democrats, get women Democrats, elected to public office and “scare” the bejesus out of Donald J. Trump and his hangers-on. In other words the same old, same old strategy that the oppressed have been beaten down by for eons. Like things were dramatically better for those down at the base of society, down where everybody is “from hunger” with Democrats. Worse though than that pitch for the same old, same old was as the younger radicals say “who was not in the room, who had not been invited.” Who didn’t show up for the “lovefest” if it came to that. The representation on the speaker platform, always a key indicator of whose agenda and whose buttons are being pushed, looked like the old-time white middle-class feminist      cabal that has been herding these women-oriented political events for years to the exclusion on the many shades (and outlooks) of people of color. Not a good sign, not a good sign at all a year out when we are asking people in earnest to put their heads on the line for some serious social change.

Fast forward to the very next day at Arlington Street U-U Church in Boston where a Black Lives Matter event, co-sponsored by Veterans Peace Action, was held to a infinitely smaller crowd around black cultural expression and serious political perspectives. The cultural events were very fine, rap, music, poetry slam put on by skilled artists in those milieus. Interspersed in between those performances was very serious talk, egged on by the moderator, about future political perspectives, about the revolution, however anybody wanted to define that term, In short a far cry from what was being presented and “force-fed” in Cambridge the previous day.             

Now it has been a very long time since, except in closed circle socialist groups, that I have heard about the necessity of revolution (again whatever that might mean to the speaker), so it was like a breath of fresh air to hear such talk in Arlington Street Church, a place where legendary revolutionary abolitionist John Brown spoke, to drum up support for his Kansas expeditions and the later Harpers Ferry fights against slavery. Listening to the responses, as Sam Lowell who attended with me noted later, the missing links to the 1960s generation, to our generation, the last time a lot of people seriously used the word revolution, have left the younger activists in various states of confusion. That will be worked out in the struggle as long as people keep the perspective in mind. What bothered Sam, and me as well although I could not articulate it like him, were two points that seemed to have been given short shrift by the various talkers.

I was going to enumerate them but why don’t I let my recollection of what Sam said (edited by him before posting so very close to what he actually meant) to the gathering after listening to some things that as Fritz Taylor from the South, another VPAer and Vietnam vet used to say- “got stuck in his craw.” Sam had not intended to speak since he, we, thought the event was to be totally a cultural one so he kept it short but also to the point, to our collective agreement point:

“Hi, I am Sam Lowell for Veterans Peace Action (VPA), a co-sponsor of this great event. I didn’t expect to speak since I thought this would be solely a cultural event. But some comments here have got me thinking. First a quick bio point or two-like one of the sisters who performed I grew up in “the projects,” a totally white one, although still “the projects” with all the pathologies that entails and I have remained very close to those roots my whole life whatever successes I have had in breaking out of those beginnings. Early on, don’t ask me how or why, I came to admire John Brown, the white righteous avenging angel revolutionary abolitionist who fought slavery tooth and nail out in Kansas and later, more famously, at Harpers Ferry slave insurrection. He was, is, my hero, my muse if you can use such a term for avenging angels.      

A couple of points. One speaker mentioned a litany of oppressions which had to be eliminated by us, by society, by us as the most conscious of things like patriarchy, racism, classism, gender-sexual preference phobia for lack of a better term, a term that I could use anyway, capitalism and so on. What I have noticed though as people here have tried to struggle with all of that and come up with some kind of strategy is what Lenin, and others, have called imperialism, our American imperialism, which means against all the oppressed of the world we are “privileged” Americans privileged no matter what oppressions we face in this society.   

On this point I will bring back from the dead two important quotes from the legendary revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara-“it is the duty of revolutionaries to make the revolution.” We cannot spent our precious lives “purifying” ourselves of all the oppressions and all the ways we, in turn act as oppressors, so we are “worthy” of the revolution while the world outside this room suffers from our wrong-headed sense of liberation struggle. Second “we who are in the heart of the beast,” who are in America have a special obligation to bring the monster down. To fight the fight now and to be there when the masses rise up in righteous indignation.    

Second and last point. One speaker a few minutes ago mentioned that it seemed impossible that we could win against, 
I assume she meant the American ruling class, through the route of violent revolution so she projected by non-violent alternative which seemed to my ears rather utopian. She mentioned that the other side, the ruling class, had the heavy military advantage and so that route was precluded. That statement showed a lack of “imagination” which is the theme of this event. No question right now an armed uprising would be ruthlessly crushed. But when the masses rise and are determined a funny thing happens at least if you read history. The military splits along officer and soldier lines, the fighters of the war, the grunts, either go over to the people or go home. The cops go into hiding. 

 I would use the example of the Vietnam War which a lot of Veterans Peace Action members are very familiar with. At some point around 1968, 1969 the troops, the grunts on the ground in Vietnam, hell, here at home too began to essentially “mutiny” against the war in fairly big numbers. That army became unreliable, was in many ways broken both by the futility of fighting a determined enemy and vocal opposition at home. And that was not even close to a revolutionary situation but will give you an idea what that situation would look like as the masses rise. If it ever happened where will you be? Thank you.        

Medea Benjamin: Taking on the Military Industrial Complex: The “Launch” of the Massachusetts Raytheon Anti-War Campaign Thursday, September 27 @ 7pm Cambridge Friends Center, 5 Longfellow Park (off Brattle Street coming out of Harvard Square, Cambridge)

Medea Benjamin: Taking on the Military Industrial Complex:
The “Launch” of the Massachusetts Raytheon Anti-War Campaign
Thursday, September 27 @ 7pm
Cambridge Friends Center, 5 Longfellow Park (off Brattle Street coming out of Harvard Square, Cambridge)
Come hear one of the U.S.’ most prominent war analysts, anti-war speakers, and activists give us insight into ongoing U.S. wars and what we can do about them. Medea Benjamin is co-founder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace. Her latest book is Inside Iran; The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran; it aims to re-educate the American public to prevent a war with Iran. 
Medea will analyze our ongoing wars and outline a new strategy for stopping these wars focused on divestment from war contractors and the financial institutions that back them.
Hear about our new Raytheon Anti-War Campaign to oppose the Saudi-U.S. war in Yemen and U.S./Saudi/Israeli sanctions and threats of war against Iran. Raytheon is the largest war contractor in Massachusetts which provides various forms of critical support to the Saudi military – including the weapons and bombs inflicting a catastrophe on Yemen and its people.
Sponsored by Veterans for Peace/ Smedley Butler chapter; Massachusetts Peace Action, Friends Meeting at Cambridge/Peace and Social Concerns Committee; American Friends Service Committee
For Information: MAPA, 617-354-2169,; Paul Shannon 617-623-5288
Supporters of the Raytheon Anti-war Campaign protest Raytheon’s support for the U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen at the Raytheon facility in Cambridge on August 20

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Pardon Reality Winner!

Pardon Reality Winner!

On June 3, 2017, NSA contractor Reality Leigh Winner was arrested and charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly providing a media organization with a top-secret document that analyzed information about alleged Russian online intrusions into a U.S. election.

Winner has now been sentenced to five years in prison, the longest sentence ever given in federal court for leaking information to the media.

Several months before Winner's arrest, the FBI’s then-Director James Comey told President Trump that he was (in the words of a subsequent Comey memo) “eager to find leakers and would like to nail one to the door as a message.” Meanwhile, politically connected and high-level government officials continue to leak without consequence, or selectively declassify material to advance their own interests.

Friday, September 21, 2018

When Old Pete Ruled The House-With Banjo Man Pete Seeger In Mind

When Old Pete Ruled The House-With Banjo Man Pete Seeger In Mind  

CD Review

By Zack James

Pete Seeger: headlines, footnotes and-a collection of topical songs, Pete Seeger, Smithsonian/Folkways, 1999
“You know you are wrong Seth about that first time we heard folk music, Woody Guthrie folk music in Mr. Lawrence’s music class back in seventh grade at old Jeramiah Holton Junior High,” Phil Larkin told one Seth Garth former old time music critic for the now long gone The Eye. Paid music critic a not unimportant point back in the day when alternative newspapers like The Eye survived and flopped on the sweat of unpaid unrequited volunteer labor and today too when the social media are flooded with citizen critics by the barrelful and everybody claims some expertise. Paid or not though Seth had called up Phil to verify what his fellow folk aficionado Jack Callahan and more recently drinking partner at the Erie Grille had told him when he had called upon Jack to refresh his memory about the first time he/they had heard a Woody Guthrie song. Jack had told Seth about the time that Mr. Lawrence had tried to unsuccessfully ween the class away from their undying devotion to the jail-break rock and roll music that was sweeping up youth nation just then. Then being the late 1950s. Seth had accepted what Jack said because he was after all a fellow aficionado, even if Seth had had to shoehorn him into the genre at the beginning and because he knew that Jack would not spread word around that Seth was not totally on top of every bit of arcane folk music lore around.  

So it was a reputation thing Seth was worried about even these many years later. He had mentioned Jack and his conversation at the Eire to Phil in passing one afternoon and Phil had said he would think about any possible earlier listening. This was important since Seth had become very cautious about using any information not fully verified ever since early on in his journalistic career he had made the cardinal error of not checking out hearsay and rumor fully. He was berated by his tough editor for that mishap. Never again. So he was using his double check method on this question since he had been asked to write an unpaid article about the old folk days for the prestigious American Folk Song Review.    

Phil continued the conversation by telling Seth, “Tell that jackass Jack Callahan didn’t he remember that in fourth grade Miss (now Ms.) Winot had played This Land Is Your Land  on that old cranky record player of hers in order to teach us some kind of  civics lesson, taught us that we were part of a great continental experiment. Remember that she had played the Weavers’ cover of that song with Pete Seeger doing that big bass voice thing and some other guy whose name I don’t remember was booming out the baritone and Ronnie Gilbert who just passed away was doing a big time soprano thing.” Jesus, Seth thought to himself Phil was right, right as rain. The two spoke of a few other non-music issues and then they both hung up.           

That was not the end of it for Seth though, not for his article anyway. See Phil’s mentioning of the name Pete Seeger had sent a chill down his spine. Pete Seeger, and only Pete Seeger had been the reason that he had been ever cautious about sources. Back in 1965 he (and Jack and Jack’s then girlfriend now wife, Kathy, and he thought Mary Shea was his date) had attended the Newport Folk Festival that summer. That was the summer that Bob Dylan exploded the traditional folk universe by introducing the electric guitar into some of his songs. Did so on the stage the final night of the festival to boos and applause. Seth had been working his very first job as a free-lancer for the East Coast Other, another of the million small publications starting up and falling trying to find a niche in the print universe (free-lancer by the way since the usually cash-stripped publication had nobody else going to the concert so Seth got the assignment).   

Here is where Seth had gotten into trouble though. He had a friend, a sound man friend who worked at the Club 47 in Cambridge who was doing duty at that job for the festival. A couple of days later he had run into the guy in Harvard Square and had asked Seth if he knew what had happened on the stage the night Dylan went electric. The guy swore that Pete Seeger had at some point pulled the plug on Dylan in disgust at taking folk music out into the common trough of rock and roll. Seth could hardly believe his ears-this was the hook that he would run his story on. In the event he put this hearsay into his article. No big deal, right. Just something to spice up the piece. The article was published with that information in it. No problem for a while. About a month later he was called into Larry Jeffers office, the editor of the East Coast Other then and shown a personal letter to the publication from Pete Seeger disclaiming the whole story about pulling the plug on Dylan and was looking for a retraction. Seth immediately went to the Club 47 to check with the sound man. It turned out that the sound man had not actually seen Pete pull the plug but had heard about the story from one of Dylan’s sidemen. The newspaper issued a retraction and Seth had egg all over his face.          

The whole story of whether Pete Seeger pulled the plug or not on Dylan became part of the urban legend of the folk scene and still has devotees on both sides of the dispute long after Pete is dead and Dylan in out on another leg of his never-ending tour. But you can bet six two and even that one Seth Garth will be checking sources to see if Miss (now Ms.) Winot was the original proponent of Woody Guthrie’s music. Enough said.     

In Honor Of Troy Davis On The Seventh Anniversary Of His Execution By The State Of Georgia

In Honor Of Troy Davis On The Seventh Anniversary Of His Execution By The State Of Georgia 

Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now's the time for your tears."

last lines from The Lonseome Death Of Hattie Carroll, another case of an injustice against black people. - Bob Dylan, 1963

Markin comment (posted September 22, 2011):

Look, after almost half a century of fighting every kind of progressive political struggle I have no Pollyanna-ish notion that in our fight for a “newer world” most of the time we are “tilting at windmills.” Even a cursory look at the history of our struggles brings that hard fact home. However some defeats in the class struggle, particularly the struggle to abolish the barbaric, racist death penalty in the United States, hit home harder than others. For some time now the fight to stop the execution of Troy Davis has galvanized this abolition movement into action. His callous execution by the State of Georgia, despite an international mobilization to stop the execution and grant him freedom, is such a defeat.

On the question of the death penalty, moreover, we do not grant the state the right to judicially murder the innocent or the guilty. But clearly Brother Davis was innocent. We will also not forget that hard fact. And we will not forget Brother Davis’ dignity and demeanor as he faced what he knew was a deck stacked against him. And, most importantly, we will not forgot to honor Brother Davis the best way we can by redoubling our efforts to abolition the racist, barbaric death penalty everywhere, for all time. Forward.

Additional Markin comment posted September 23, 2011:

No question the execution on September 21, 2011 by the State of Georgia of Troy Anthony Davis hit me, and not me alone, hard. For just a brief moment that night, when he was granted a temporary stay pending a last minute appeal before the United States Supreme Court just minutes before his 7:00 PM execution, I thought that we might have achieved a thimbleful of justice in this wicked old world. But it was not to be and so we battle on. Troy Davis shall now be honored in our pantheon along with the Haymarket Martyrs, Sacco and Vanzetti, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and others. While Brother Davis may have not been a hard politico like the others just mentioned his fight to abolish the death penalty for himself and for future Troys places him in that company. Honor Troy Davis- Fight To The Finish Against The Barbaric Racist Death Penalty!

VFPeNews: International Peace Day Veterans For Peace

Veterans For Peace<>If you'd like to view this email in a Web browser, please click here.

Thursday, September 20th

International Peace Day

We know that the UN has presented challenges towards achieving a JUST peace. However, as veterans we know that peace is not achieved in the moments before a conflict, and the price of "peace" after war are countless lives lost, survivors scarred, civil society in tatters and resources wasted. A JUST peace is found by building communities that meet human needs. We are all too familiar that injustices felt through poverty, racial inequality, religious bigotry, collapsing inner cities and infrastructures, lack of universal health care, climate change and quality education contribute to war and insecurity.
If we want to abolish war we must help our fellow citizens here at home see the same connections. We need to understand that dropping more bombs, killing innocent civilians and resorting to military solutions is robbing the world's children of health care, education and meaningful jobs to build a safer and more secure future. We believe that as people see and understand this connection, they will stand up with us against war. We can then work together to put in place the building blocks necessary to build a sustainable and peaceful future.
To that end, we call upon our members, fellow veterans, supporters and greater communities to move beyond talk of ending conflict, and instead adopt and implement practices that build peace at home and abroad.
Read our entire statement and check out our action page

How Grassroots Activists Made Peace with North Korea Possible

Great article detailing the work of the Korea Peace Network, a coaltion that Veterans For Peace is a member.
"Amid the clamor and saber-rattling, however, a steady, persistent grassroots peace movement is working hard to counter the negativity. By influencing stakeholders behind the scenes, building new coalitions and reframing the narrative to promote negotiation as a difficult but worthwhile process, this movement has risen above “fire and fury” to chart the way toward lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Among the most important developments for the peace movement in the last year is the formation of broad coalitions. According to international scholar-activist Simone Chun, 2018 marked “the first time we saw a formidable, sustaining coalition with major American peace activists and the Korean activist communities.”
These coalitions have allowed actors to coordinate strategically in pushing for clear goals, like a formal declaration ending the Korean War and sustained diplomacy on a path to peace. These coalitions have also been key in elevating a range of voices, particularly those of Koreans, women and people of color, who have often been marginalized from the mainstream policy debates in Washington D.C."
Read the whole article
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Albuquerque Chapter passes Resolution to Save Our VA

On Thursday September 13, the United Veterans Council of New Mexico passed a resolution against the privatization of the Veterans Administration medical services.The resolution was introduced by the delegate from The Donald & Sally-Alice Thompson Chapter 63 of Veterans For Peace of Albuquerque and was approved without opposition.
Charles Powell sent in this reflection about the process of getting the resolution passed--which includes a great history of building a relationship with other veteran's organizations in Albuquerque.
"The United Veterans Council hosts events at the memorial, the major ones are on Memorial Day and Veterans Day each year. There was a period, although our VFP Chapter was a bona fide, dues paying member of the council, when our suggestions for program and speakers and requests to table were flatly rejected. They deemed us "too political." So we were relegated to the sidewalk outside the memorial grounds, where they even tried unsuccessfully to get the police to remove us.
Finally, with the help of the NM American Civil Liberties Union, we convinced them that a city entity cannot discriminate for political reasons. Since being compelled to admit us, relations have steadily improved. We attend monthly UVC meetings, our chapter helps maintain the roses on the grounds, and we help staff the visitors center, wearing our VFP t-shirts and caps and flying our flag . In recent years, on Veterans Day at the 11th hour, we have rung the Armistice bell to begin the program."
Read the Resolution and the rest of Charles' reflection!

San Diego VFP new "Just Don't Go" Mobile Billboard

San Diego Veterans For Peace new "Just Don't Go" Mobile Billboard On Display Thursday, September 20th, 2018 from 4-6 PM
As part of its ongoing five year educational "Just Don't Go" outreach program, the San Diego Veterans For Peace have obtained a mobile billboard which will be driving around greater San Diego for the next week.
Read their press release!


The Women's March on the Pentagon encourages all those opposed to endless war to write #LettersToTheWarMachine, during our "Why I Oppose War" campaign.
The Pentagon's lust for endless war takes a heavy toll on the daily lives and the future of all people across the globe in a large variety of ways. It is a misconception that only those in war torn countries are impacted by the U.S. War Machine. Unfortunately, thanks to the ever expanding U.S. military budget and the Pentagon's lust for war, no corner of the planet is untouched from the War Machine's reach.
It is also a misconception that we can't do anything about this terrible reality. #LettersToTheWarMachine is an opportunity for you to speak your mind, to express your frustration, your anger and your grief, in writing. Writing down your thoughts becomes your plan of action. Your words peer up from the page and demand action from the reader. Expressing these emotions and demands clears your mind and readies you for the fight ahead, the fight against the War Machine.
Letters sent to use as part of this campaign will be featured on the Women's March website and many will be read aloud on October 21st at the Pentagon's fortress gates during the Women's March on the Pentagon.
Send Your Letter!

New Veterans Organizing Institute Announced!

Beyond the Choir launched the Veterans Organizing Institute (VOI) in January 2016. In the Institute’s inaugural year they trained 63 veterans in organizing and campaigning skills, holding training in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. The program is run by veterans
They are now accepting applications for their next training, scheduled for Dec 6-9, 2018 in Phoenix, AZ. The VOI is for progressive veterans involved in social change, or who are looking to get involved.
"We are living in a moment of unprecedented political flux with growing instability both at home and abroad. Our communities are increasingly under attack both from established political forces and rising right-wing extremists. Yet this is also a moment of tremendous opportunity as growing powerful social movements have created a new wave of civic engagement. Against this backdrop, we believe veterans leadership and action has never been more important."
Find out more!


World Beyond War is having their annual #NoWar2018 in Toronto this weekend!(Details here.)
Here is a note from them on how to tune in:
"We’ll be live streaming most of #NoWar2018 via our Facebook page!
Tune in this Thurday and Friday evenings and Saturday.
Each of the plenary sessions will “go live” a few minutes prior to the scheduled time (see conference schedule).

We will also be livestreaming the pre-conference book talk with Medea Benjamin on Thursday 9/20 from 6:00pm-8:00pm Eastern."

In This Issue:

International Peace Day

Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
How Grassroots Activists Made Peace with North Korea Possible
Leave No One Behind: Keeping Our Promise to Deported Veterans

Albuquerque Chapter passes Resolution to Save Our VA

Marching Against the End of the World: Disarm Trident
San Diego VFP new "Just Don't Go" Mobile Billboard
New Peace In Our Times Available for Order


International Conference Against US/NATO Military Bases

New Veterans Organizing Institute Announced!
Keep Space for Peace Week
ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
Upcoming Events

Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”

Veterans For Peace Full Disclosure has been actively working on a campaign to educate and inform the public on the true costs of the Viet Nam War.  They have used the recent documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick as a catalyst to point out all the pieces that have been left out.  One of the successful tactics they used was to put a full page ad in Variety, a magazine geared towards Hollywood.
"The organization Veterans for Peace (VFP) published personal responses to Burns’s series by a few of its members, some of them Vietnam veterans.  Unlike most of the U.S. veterans interviewed by Burns and Novick, these Vietnam veterans were highly critical of what their military had done to the people of Vietnam.  And they were highly critical of the dishonesty and the lack of moral vision they perceived in Burns’s filmmaking."
Read this great article that details how their campaign took shape!
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Leave No One Behind: Keeping Our Promise to Deported Veterans

Veterans For Peace member Alfredo Figueroa is heading up a project titled "Leave No Man Behind: Keeping our Promise to Deported Veterans".  Alfredo is a OIF and OEF combat veteran that recently graduated from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He recently was granted the Judith Lee Stronach price, which allows him to work with veterans that have been deported.  He is also on the board of Veterans For Peace's Deported Veteran Advocacy Project.
He is currently doing workshops around the Bay area but is available to come to local communities to talk about his project.
Alfredo is based in California and can be contacted via email to set up a potential workshop.  His email is:
Click her for more info, a bio on Alfredo and how you can help!
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Marching Against the End of the World: Disarm Trident

Unfortunately, all of the nuclear weapons states boycotted the Treaty negotiations, and in the United States, politicians, the media, as well as the Church are completely silent about it. So, the message of the Plowshares movement continues to move through the land—if governments won't disarm, the people must. Molly Rush, one of the original Plowshares 8, later wrote that as she hammered on the warhead nose cone she "put a hole in one and a dent in another. And, I thought, these things are as vulnerable as we are, and we can undo what has been done."
Read the Entire Piece
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New Peace In Our Times Available for Order

A note from the PIOT team:
We’re very excited about the fall issue of Peace in Our Times. Two great lead stories that you can see on the front page – one by Vietnam veteran and wilderness advocate Doug Peacock on the de-listing of grizzlies from the Endangered Species Act and what that means not only for the grizzles, but also for the threats to our land and water. In ‘Why I’m going to Ireland ...’ David Swanson writes brilliantly about the importance of the upcoming global conference in Dublin against U.S./NATO military bases. This issue is filled with compelling, well-written articles and dramatic pictures about the urgent state of affairs in the United States and the world.
Articles include
  • Chris Wright on the wave of young socialists winning Democratic primaries
  • Jane Regan on immigration and its root causes
  • Howard Machtinger on why combatting white privilege is in everyone's interest
  • Col. Ann Wright on the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla
  • Daniel Borgstrom on why no one, including John McCain, should be called a war hero
  • Kathie Ragsdale on a federal suit challenging U.S. corruption in Iraq
Plus pieces by Alice Kurima Newberry, Gideon Levy, Marjorie Cohn, Dave Zirin, Denny Riley, Brittany Ramos DeBarros, Miko Peled, Ellen Barfield, and others.
To be sure you don’t miss out on this very important issue please place your order before September 21. Those of you with annual subscriptions please check to see that it has not run out.
Order Now!
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International Conference Against US/NATO Military Bases

Global Campaign Against US/NATO Military Bases is Organizing a 3-day International Conference Against US/NATO Military Bases on November 16-18, 2018, at the Library Hall, Dublin, Ireland. It will be live streamed for the international audience.
The conference will feature international experts. Several expert panels will discuss the economic, political, environmental and health costs and impact of US/NATO military bases in various regions of the world, including Central and South America, Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.
The Conference is jointly organized by Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) and Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases (USA), and is endorsed by the sponsoring organizations of the International Campaign.
Make sure to register now!  If you are Veterans For Peace member and attending the conference, please contact
Recently the Canadian Peace Congress (CPCon), the U.S. Peace Council (USPC) and the Mexican Movement for Peace and Development (MOMPADE) held their fourth Trilateral Meeting on September 13, 2018 in Moca, Dominican Republic in conjunction with the Hemispheric Peace Conference of the World Peace Council and its affiliates on this continent. Upon the conclusion of their meeting, the delegations of the three organizations issued the following statement:
"The participants express grave concern that the accelerated drive to militarization, aggression and war threatens the very future of humanity, and call for urgent measures to stop and reverse the arms race, to sharply reduce bloated military budgets and to redirect these funds to peaceful and socially useful purposes to raise wages and living standards, improve social programs and protect our environment. Urgent efforts are required to prevent the modernization of nuclear arsenals, to ban the militarization of outer space, and to move in the direction of general and comprehensive disarmament, including the ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons"
Read the Entire Statement
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Keep Space for Peace Week

Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space is planning their International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space for Oct. 6-13th.
They now have a list of actions up and encourage you to take action in your local community! 
Check out this list of actions, resources and contact information


Save the Dates: Upcoming Event

Sept 19-21 - 2nd Annual Conference in Havana, Cuba on "Realities and Challenges of Being a Zone of Peace in Latin America and the Caribbean"
Sept 21 - International Day of Peace
Sept 15-23 - Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions
Oct 6-13 - Keep Space For Peace Week
Oct 20-21 - Women's March on the Pentagon
Nov 11 - Armistice Day
Nov 16-18 - 2018 SOA Watch Encuentro
Nov 16-18 - International Conference Against U.S./NATO Military Bases in Dublin, Ireland
Nov 27-29 - International Youth Conference: Reaching High for a Nuclear Weapon Free World, Prague, Czech Republic

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