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AlienLove: Peace

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 Truth To Power: Sister Rice Goes After the Bomb

Peace
Federal authorities are treating an 85-year-old Catholic nun like a nuclear saboteur.

By Peter Weiss

Last March, Sister Megan Rice stood before a federal court in Cincinnati. Along with her companions Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, the 85-year-old Catholic nun was appealing a serious conviction.

Their charge? Sabotaging the “national defense.”

Sabotage, which conjures up images of derailed troop trains or water poured into the gas tanks of military vehicles, is a charge prosecutors hardly ever invoke in peacetime. What could these gentle activists have done to warrant it?

On a summer’s eve in 2012, they made their way to the federal Y-12 Nuclear Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. There, the Department of Energy warehouses the enriched, weapons-grade uranium used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

Armed only with bolt cutters and small hammers, the three defendants cut their way through a number of fences to reach the storage building. In a series of symbolic gestures of protest, they poured some of their own blood on the outside of the building and hammered away a tiny piece of one of its corners.

Then they prayed, sang hymns, and waited to be arrested. They caused no functional damage to the building and didn’t attempt to enter it.

Pressed by federal prosecutors, the three people of faith refused to accept a guilty plea for “depredation of government property.”

They believed that the object of their protest — a nuclear weapons arsenal capable of wiping out the human race — was infinitely more criminal than their act of protest itself. So the government, in an unprecedented demonstration of spitefulness, raised the charges to sabotage. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, April 26 @ 16:27:47 EDT (2713 reads)
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 Action Alert: Marching for Justice with Peace

PeaceFrom: United For Peace & Justice

A national mobilization is being called for Saturday, August 24th to commemorate the historic 1963 Civil Rights Movement March on Washington. This mobilization called by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King III, the National Action Network (NAN) and many other partners including the King Center and Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC) is coming at a critical time with the attack on voting rights and the recent Trayvon Martin verdict. United for Peace and Justice, has been participating on the national mobilizing calls and is working with the march organizers to insure that peace is an important part of the message.

In 1967 after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his now famous Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence speech, other Civil Rights leaders and King’s detractors told him he had no business speaking out against the war. They said he should stay in his lane and only talk and work on Civil Rights. But King understood that, “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” He chose to be unambiguous and loud about his opposition to the war in Vietnam. However, King had already spoken out about the evils of war in his 1964 Noble Prize Lecture. He talked about the triple evils of racism, poverty and war. He warned the world that, “mankind's survival is dependent upon man's ability to solve the problems of racial injustice, poverty, and war…”

These words are just as important today. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, July 26 @ 19:14:57 EDT (936 reads)
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 Opinion: It is Time to Stop Our Killing to Stop the Killing

PeaceUnited for Peace & Justice Action Alert

It has been one month since the Boston Marathon bombing. United for Peace and Justice is deeply saddened by the attack and hope that the families and victims are finding some healing and peace. UFPJ stands in solidarity with them and all victims of political violence and war around the world. UFPJ strongly condemns this act of terrorism. We call for an end to the use of violence, terrorism and war as a means to resolve conflicts. As our nation struggles to make sense of this horrible attack on innocent people, UFPJ believes we must take a step back and ask questions and reflect not only about the alleged bombers’ actions but also about our own.

Many questions remain unanswered, but a few things are clear. For the past twelve years the U.S. government has conducted military operations in Muslim countries displacing millions of people, and maiming and killing thousands. Many of the victims have been women and children. This has led many to believe that the U.S. has declared war on the religion of Islam. Today the U.S. military is possibly gearing up for an attack on another predominately Muslim county Syria.

As we mourn the loss of U.S. lives we must ask ourselves what the loss of Muslim lives means to us? Should we expect Syrians, Yeminis, Pakistanis, Iraqis, Afghans and others to accept loss of life in their countries as a result of attacks that are ostensibly to keep our country safe? Do we believe that these military operations can continue and there will be no repercussions for the “collateral damage” of their loved ones’ deaths? ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, May 13 @ 21:20:47 EDT (804 reads)
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 War News: Silence of the Drones

PeaceBy Ray McGovern

Several friends of mine are among the 35 American activists assembling in Pakistan in recent days in an effort to seek ground truth on the impact of U.S. drone strikes on civilians there. I will be holding them and their Pakistani hosts and co-travelers in the Light, as my Quaker friends like to say, and will now try to do my part in what follows to put this dangerous journey in perspective.

The American group, organized by Code Pink Women for Peace, is meeting this week with a wide swath of Pakistanis, including representatives of the various political parties. Today, former U.S. diplomat and Army Col. Ann Wright was scheduled to address the Institute of Strategic Studies, Pakistan’s largest think tank, which advises the Foreign Office.

Similar events are scheduled in Islamabad until the weekend, when hundreds of Pakistanis will join the Americans in a caravan of cars and vans on the six-hour drive from Islamabad to Waziristan in the northwest, where the drones do most of their killing and maiming.

As I said good-bye to two of my friends late last week, their backpacks seemed extraordinarily heavy. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, October 01 @ 21:06:40 EDT (597 reads)
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 Action Alert: March on Wall Street South!

PeaceFrom: United For Peace & Justice (unitedforpeace.org)

The Republican National Convention began yesterday and we are less than a week away from the Democrat’s convention. Both parties will claim to have the right medicine to heal the sick U.S. economy and put the nation on the road to prosperity. And while there are importance differences between the parties, both will ignore key issues which affect all American, but especially the poor, working and middle classes, the unemployed, and people struggling to keep their homes . There will be little talk about the ongoing eleven years of war in Afghanistan and State Department/contractor occupation of Iraq. There will be no discussion about peaceful means to solve differences with Iran and there will be whispers if any talk about reigning in the power of Wall Street, banks and big corporations. This is why we, the peace and justice community, must make our presence felt and our voices heard.

March on Wall Street South September 2nd 2012 at 11 A.M.

Join activists from across the country to use the spectacle of the Democratic National Convention as a platform to raise people’s demands for justice on the world stage. Converge on Charlotte to March on Wall Street South and to say No to Democrat policies that favor banking, Wall Street and the 1% on the backs of the 99%. An opening rally will begin at 11A.M. and the march will step off at 1 P.M. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, August 29 @ 19:47:38 EDT (595 reads)
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 Opinion: U.S. Needs to Replace Pentagon's Approach With Peace Corps

PeaceBy Sherwood Ross

If the United States attempted to “conquer” by love rather than force of arms, it might be respected, not reviled, globally.

If the White House took an altruistic approach in foreign affairs---that is, if it rejected greed, exploitation, and war in favor of fair play, charity, and humanitarian assistance---it might enjoy such prosperity as exists beyond the dreams of its misguided rulers.

It is no naïve suggestion to urge the Congress to transpose the budgets and numbers of personnel of the Pentagon and the Peace Corps. Naïve is how one would define the Pentagon's 10-year-long failure to conquer Afghanistan by force of arms. Naïve is how the Pentagon can claim the U.S. has improved Iraq when that country far is worse off today than when the Pentagon first bombarded it eight years ago.

The U.S. has invested 10 years and $3 trillion in attempting to conquer Iraq and Afghanistan and what does it have to show for it, apart from the increased hatred of peoples throughout the Middle East? Congress has taken the Pentagon's road and what's been achieved apart from massive slaughter and despoliation of those nations and a bankrupt Treasury at home? For President Obama to prosecute these criminal wars, based on a tissue of lies, and to initiate new wars is naïve as well as criminal.

No, the goal of American foreign policy must be to serve, not to rule. There is strength and dignity in serving others---in building infrastructure, in opening schools and educating, in ministering to the afflicted. That's the way to win friends and influence people. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, July 30 @ 20:08:35 EDT (1165 reads)
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 Stories/Poems: You Rocked My World! (Thanks)

Peaceby Sherlyn Meinz

You Rocked My World! (Thanks)


It was 1968.
I was 15 as I walked by you,
so few, sitting with your signs
protesting the war
among the multitude of Nixon supporters
descending upon my hometown.

The sudden impact with Truth,
like running full-tilt into an invisible brick wall,
ripped the blinders from my eyes,
and they fell clattering to the ground.

Instead of squinting or scrambling
to quickly put them back on,
I looked around in wonder.
My eyes were open!


Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, July 05 @ 11:43:23 EDT (1497 reads)
(Read More... | 2956 bytes more | Comments? | Stories/Poems | Score: 5)

 Action Alert: Another 10 years for our military in Afghanistan?

Peace
You've got to be kidding!

From: United For Peace and Justice, unitedforpeace.org

On May 1st President Obama and Afghan President Karzai signed a 10 year Strategic Partnership Agreement paving the way for U.S. military involvement beyond the scheduled 2014 troop withdrawal date. Presented as a way to end the war, the plan continues to rely on military solutions rather than the peaceful alternatives desperately needed by the Afghan people.

Meanwhile the House of Representatives is poised to vote on a FY 2013 Defense Authorization bill, which contains another $88.4 billion to continue the war in Afghanistan.

Over the course of more than a decade, almost 2,000 U.S. troops have died and over 15,000 have been injured (many maimed for life) trying to create a stable Afghanistan at the cost of over half a trillion dollars. In the year since Osama bin Laden was killed, 381 more soldiers have died. The toll of death and destruction for the people of Afghanistan has been far worse. With all the loss of blood and treasure the U.S. has not been able to stop the Taliban nor create an effective Afghan government. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, May 08 @ 20:29:18 EDT (462 reads)
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 Occupy: Occupy Peace

Peaceby: David Krieger, Truthout | Op-Ed

The Occupy movement is demonstrating its durability and perseverance. Like a Daruma doll, each time it is knocked off balance it serenely pops back up. The movement has been seeking justice for the 99 percent, and justice is an essential element of peace.

For decades, our country has been in permanent preparation for war, spending over half of the total annual discretionary funds that Congress allocates on "defense," our euphemism for war.

World military expenditures exceed $1.5 trillion annually, and the United States spends more than half of this amount, more than the rest of the world combined.

The United States has been engaged in wars around the globe, from Korea to Vietnam, from El Salvador to Nicaragua, from Serbia to Afghanistan, from Iraq to Libya. In all of these wars, many in the 1 percent reap financial gains. Many large corporations, such as Halliburton, formerly led by Dick Cheney, are the beneficiaries of lucrative government contracts that support war, while it is mainly the poor who are enlisted to fight, kill and die in our wars. War is surefire way of transferring wealth up the social ladder.

It is time to wake up to being used as tools in warfare while others profit. War is not an effective or reasonable way to settle disputes. It uses up resources and destroys human lives. In war, people are expendable. Civilians all too easily become "collateral damage." In the nuclear age, civilization itself could become collateral damage. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, November 23 @ 18:48:11 EST (456 reads)
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 History/Culture: God's Hand

Peaceby: John Morlino, Truthout | Op-Ed

Her touch was gentler than anything I'd ever felt before - a tiny hand resting on my upper back. Standing in the middle of a tightly packed audience at Ohlone Park in Berkeley, California, made turning around something of a challenge. And while I was curious about who was responsible for that comforting gesture, I chose to remain still and not disrupt her.

The interfaith gathering I was attending took place on September 11, 2010. It was organized in response to Florida pastor Terry Jones' threat to burn the Quran - a plan he temporarily scuttled, following a wave of public condemnation. Over the course of the afternoon, passages from the sacred book were recited in both Arabic and English. Those readings were augmented by pledges of peace, love and understanding from participants of every color, age group and spiritual inclination. Still, the resulting atmosphere of solidarity and hope couldn't prevent the flow of images from a similarly strikingly sunny day from entering my mind.

I called my girlfriend the moment the second tower was hit. Afraid of a possible attack on the D.C. subway system, I implored her to leave her office - perilously located two blocks from the White House - on foot. As she and thousands of others evacuated the city, I drove five miles from our home in Maryland to an intersection we both knew well. In a chaotic scene straight out of a Hollywood disaster film, we somehow found each other.

Then-UN secretary general Kofi Annan had chosen September 11, 2001, as the day he would announce that the International Day of Peace would be commemorated annually on September 21. It would be, he wrote, "a day on which we try to imagine a world quite different from the one we know." A day for people around the globe to "try to picture hatred turning into respect, bigotry turning into understanding and ignorance turning into knowledge." ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, September 16 @ 00:04:04 EDT (492 reads)
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 Opinion: U.S. Needs To Replace Pentagon's Approach With Peace Corps

PeaceBy Sherwood Ross

If the United States attempted to “conquer” by love rather than force of arms, it might be respected, not reviled, globally.

If the White House took an altruistic approach in foreign affairs---that is, if it rejected greed, exploitation, and war in favor of fair play, charity, and humanitarian assistance---it might enjoy such prosperity as exists beyond the dreams of its misguided rulers.

It is no naïve suggestion to urge the Congress to transpose the budgets and numbers of personnel of the Pentagon and the Peace Corps. Naïve is how one would define the Pentagon's 10-year-long failure to conquer Afghanistan by force of arms. Naïve is how the Pentagon can claim the U.S. has improved Iraq when that country far is worse off today than when the Pentagon first bombarded it eight years ago.

The U.S. has invested 10 years and $3 trillion in attempting to conquer Iraq and Afghanistan and what does it have to show for it, apart from the increased hatred of peoples throughout the Middle East? Congress has taken the Pentagon's road and what's been achieved apart from massive slaughter and despoliation of those nations and a bankrupt Treasury at home? For President Obama to prosecute these criminal wars, based on a tissue of lies, and to initiate new wars is naïve as well as criminal.

No, the goal of American foreign policy must be to serve, not to rule. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, July 26 @ 21:29:38 EDT (590 reads)
(Read More... | 6928 bytes more | Comments? | Opinion | Score: 0)

 Politics: From Civil Disobedience to Civil Defiance

Peaceby: Ed Kinane, Truthout

"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience ... Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves ... [and] the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem." -Howard Zinn

Over the years, I've been jailed numerous times. Each such event arose from what is loosely called "civil disobedience."

The tactical value of arrest and ensuing "court witness" and "prison witness" is that they can generate news helping to bring vital, often neglected, issues to public notice. These mindful acts can boost solidarity and the grassroots campaigns in which they are embedded.

At a personal level, court and trial witness help us keep our "edge," maintain our focus, clarify our values. Such public stands impede co-optation. Court witness provides the opportunity to craft trial statements articulating why one has taken part in a given direct action. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, June 02 @ 21:52:04 EDT (566 reads)
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 War News: Making the Case From a Different Place

Peaceby: William Rivers Pitt, Truthout

A trio of ongoing and savagely expensive wars. A catastrophically expensive health care "system." A national infrastructure collapsing into rack and ruin even as millions go without jobs. Hundreds of tornadoes tearing the country apart from Oklahoma to Birmingham to Richmond to Washington DC, yet another blow to an already fragile economy that seems to be heading inexorably toward a double-dip recession. A brazen, headlong conservative plunge towards the annihilation of the social contract. A game of political chicken over the debt ceiling that could blast the country apart.

And what are we talking about?

Birth certificates.

Welcome, my friends, to the show that never ends.

If you've spent (read: wasted) any time over the last couple of days watching "mainstream" cable news channels, no doubt you found yourself drowning in yet another round of coverage of the "birther" issue, i.e., the accusation that Mr. Obama is not a citizen compelled the release of his Hawaii birth certificate, which kicked off yet another round of "It's a fake, he's not a citizen, WHAAARGARBLE!!!" nonsense from people who only get news coverage because newsroom editors love car accidents.

Oh, right, and royal weddings, too. Can't forget that. "Exxon profits jump 69%" got a line-item in the screen crawl at the bottom of CNN's broadcast on Thursday afternoon, right beneath the talking head who gushed about getting up early in the morning to watch the British festivities. One hopes the prince has his own birth certificate in order. Could be trouble if not. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, April 29 @ 19:43:41 EDT (653 reads)
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 International: Comparing Evils: From "Radical Peace: People Refusing War"

Peaceby: William T. Hathaway, Trine Day | Book Excerpt

Jamal Khan is an Afghan journalist who fled his country because of Taliban persecution and now lives in Germany. We met in the apartment of a mutual friend from the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft, the German Peace Society. Jamal is mid-forties, thin, with curly brown hair, tan skin, and clear green eyes that take everything in. We spoke in German, then later reworked the interview from my English translation.

Hathaway: "Do you miss your country?"

Khan:
"Only when I'm drunk, which isn't very often. Then I get stupidly sentimental.

"Actually I'm not a big fan of any country. They're all inhuman. They exist mainly as platforms for power. The rulers promote cultural rituals that make people identify with the place they live. Then they manipulate the people's patriotic emotions to get them to fight wars for them. We cling to the identification because it gives us a sense of security, of belonging to something greater. But the insecurity we feel is actually generated by the power the rulers have over us.

"Nationalism is really a mental illness. Breaking the hold these national identities have on us would be an enormous improvement for the world.

"Afghanistan has the same patriotic crap, the fatherland, hierarchies of male power. So I don't miss it. But every day I miss my family and friends there."

"What did the Taliban do to you that made you leave?"

"Threatened to kill me. That was enough." ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, March 12 @ 20:10:41 EST (746 reads)
(Read More... | 20567 bytes more | Comments? | International | Score: 0)

 War News: The Peace Movement & The Roller Coaster Ride of US War Policy

Peaceby: John Grant

It’s considered unsportsmanlike to say, “We told you so.” But since all’s fair in love and war and we’re definitely at war, it’s fair to say the peace movement has been right about the whole sordid reality of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That may sound audacious or ridiculous to some, especially to those knee-jerks who love to ridicule the peace movement while knowing nothing about what it really stands for.

It’s important to note here, that the peace/antiwar movement doesn’t have quite as extensive a public relations and propaganda program as that employed by the military and its supporters in the federal government and the mainstream media.

For instance, the peace movement doesn’t have well-funded, highly-trained Psy-Ops Teams such as Rolling Stone has shown the military has. So no one is able to brainwash US Congress members into cutting the military budget and de-funding the wars.

The peace movement also tends to be concerned about the poor, long-term ecological sustainability issues, improving education, creating jobs and figuring out affordable health care for all Americans, which is why we’re always attacking the Pentagon sacred cow and the runaway wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Finally, the peace movement suffers because we live in a world gone mad and few today seem to have the courage to listen to, and give credence to, a movement without guns and prisons. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, February 28 @ 19:05:51 EST (737 reads)
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