Tag Archives: North America

Peace and Justice Organizations call for Freedom for Julian Assange

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

A petition from United National Antiwar Coalition

Imprisoned Wikileaks founder, journalist and free speech champion Julian Assange today faces life imprisonment for telling the truth about U.S. war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and at the U.S. torture base in Guantanamo Bay.

Assange faces charges under the 1917 U.S. Espionage Act. Prosecution under that WWI anti-democratic law placed thousands of antiwar activists in prison for exercising their free speech right to protest WWI.

Ironically, the Dec 19, 2021 New York Times front-page two-part series entitled, Hidden Pentagon Records Reveal Patterns of Failure in Deadly Airstrikes, follows in Assange’s footsteps in reporting U.S. war crimes, yet The Times staff writers remain free.

Some 100 Times reporters evaluated Pentagon confidential document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. These included reports on 50,000 U.S. airstrikes on Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan conducted under the Obama and Trump administrations. The Times on-the-scene reporters subsequently confirmed tens of thousands of civilian casualties – collateral damage.

“The [Pentagon] documents,” according to The Times, “identify children killed or injured in 27 percent of cases; in The Times’s ground-breaking reporting it was 62 percent.”

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Question related to this article:
 
Julian Assange, Is he a hero for the culture of peace?

Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

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The Times and several other major publications worldwide reprinted much of the same Pentagon material that Assange’s Wikileaks released to the world. Yet Assange faces a life in prison for publishing the truth.

The persecution of Julian Assange by the U.S. government is a threat against free speech and free press. It is also a threat to the Peace Movement and all movements for social change since without information and the ability to speak and write freely about U.S. wars and war crimes we are greatly limited, and the people of the world are kept in the dark.

Therefore, Peace and Justice organizations and activists demand:

Free Julian Assange!
No to U.S. wars!
Freedom of the press!
Free journalists!
Free speech!

Initial signers:
Organizations:  United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), ANSWER coalition, Code Pink, Black Alliance for Peace, International Action Center, US Peace Council, Veterans for Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), World Beyond War, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Popular Resistance, Alliance for Democracy, Ban Killer Drones, People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism and Racism, Free Palestine Movement, International Solidarity Movement (Northern Calif), Palestine Children’s Welfare Fund, Syria Solidarity Movement, NakbaTour, Resumen Latinoamericano, One State Assembly, Association for Investment in Popular Action, Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, Sanctions kill Coalition (Editor’s note: We have added CPNN.)

SIGN HERE

USA: Bernie opposes exorbitant defense spending bill

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from Nation of Change

Outraged at his colleagues for incessantly fighting against social welfare programs while promoting corporate welfare, Sen. Bernie Sanders declared his opposition against the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which would cost at least $778 billion.

“Many of my colleagues tell the American people, day after day, how deeply concerned they are about the deficit and the national debt,” Sen. Sanders said Tuesday in a press release. “They tell us that we just don’t have enough money to expand Medicare, guarantee paid family and medical leave, and address the climate crisis to the degree that we should if we want to protect the well-being of future generations. Yet, tomorrow, the U.S. Senate will be voting on an annual defense budget that costs $778 billion – $37 billion more than President Trump’s last defense budget and $25 billion more than what President Biden requested. All this for an agency, the Department of Defense, that continues to have massive fraud and cost overruns year after year and is the only major government agency not to successfully complete an independent audit. Isn’t it strange how even as we end the longest war in our nation’s history concerns about the deficit and national debt seem to melt away under the influence of the powerful Military Industrial Complex?”

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Question for this article:

Does military spending lead to economic decline and collapse?

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In 2018, the Defense Department reported to Congress that from fiscal years 2013 to 2017, over $6.6 billion  had been recovered from defense contracting fraud cases. In 2020, the DOD Office of Inspector General reported that 395 of its 1,716 ongoing investigations—or approximately one-in-five—are related to procurement fraud.

Due to the fact that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report earlier this year determining that the DOD has wasted billions of dollars in less than a decade due to corruption and fraud, Sanders has called for defunding the U.S. military, which consecutively has the largest budget in the world without any reasonable justification. In addition to losing the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. military remains a perpetual drain on the economy despite repeated incompetence and corruption.

Sanders added, “Further, it is likely that the Senate leadership will attach to the National Defense Authorization Act the so-called ‘competitiveness bill,’ which includes $52 billion in corporate welfare, with no strings attached, for a handful of extremely profitable microchip companies. This bill also contains a $10 billion handout to Jeff Bezos for space exploration.

“Combining these two pieces of legislation would push the price tag of the defense bill to over $1 trillion – with very little scrutiny. Meanwhile, the Senate has spent month after month discussing the Build Back Better Act and whether we can afford to protect the children, the elderly, the sick, the poor and the future of our planet. As a nation, we need to get our priorities right. I will vote ‘NO’ on the National Defense Authorization Act.”

As his fellow legislators drag their feet in opposition to repairing failing infrastructure and improving healthcare for all, Sanders remains well aware that the NDAA passes every year with an overwhelming majority due to all the political contributions from defense contractors and lobbyists. By reducing the exorbitant defense budget, more money would be available to improve the quality of life for most Americans.

But as President Eisenhower warned in his farewell address, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

On Tuesday, Sanders took to twitter and wrote, “No. Congress should not provide a $10 billion handout to Jeff Bezos for space exploration as part of the defense spending bill. Unbelievable.”

Film review: Oliver Stone’s new JFK documentary

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

A review by Michael McCaffrey in RT.com

Stone’s new documentary, ‘JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass’, isn’t perfect, but it’s vitally important. He goes back into the assassination case with a fervor and has produced an insightful film that’s well worth a watch.


Trailer of film

Stone’s ‘JFK’ hit theaters in 1991 and sent shockwaves through Washington and the corporate media because it was a compelling cinematic counter-myth to the equally fantastical Warren Report.

The Praetorian Guards of the establishment in the halls of power and press met the film with ferocity as they set out to debunk and defang it, because it directly challenged their narrative and thus their authority. They failed. ‘JFK’ was nominated for eight Academy Awards and brought in over $200 million at the box office. More importantly, though, it broke the spell of public indifference and somewhat loosened establishment obstruction with regard to JFK’s assassination.

In the film’s wake, the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 was passed, and the Assassination Records Review Board set up and funded.

Now, some 30 years later, Oliver Stone is back, this time with a documentary streaming on Showtime, ‘JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass’, which sticks its thumb in the eye of those who mindlessly espouse the ‘official’ story of JFK’s assassination as the truth.

As someone interested in the assassination, and who has read a multitude of books on the subject across the spectrum, from Gerald Posner’s ‘Case Closed’ and Vincent Bugliosi’s ‘Reclaiming History’ to Jim Marrs’ ‘Crossfire’ and James W. Douglass’ ‘JFK and the Unspeakable’, finding a decent documentary worthy of a watch on the topic is a challenge.

Thankfully, Stone has stepped up to the plate with ‘JFK Revisited’ – a serious and worthy work that offers a coherent, if limited, counter-theory to the official assassination line.

The film runs to a brisk two hours, features a bevy of talking heads – including John M. Newman (whose ‘JFK and Vietnam’ and ‘Oswald and the CIA’ are terrific), David Talbot (who wrote ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’ – also fantastic), Robert F. Kennedy Jr., James K. Galbraith, Dr. Cyril Wecht, and Dr. Henry Lee – and is a well-paced primer that would be a useful launchpad for anyone interested in diving even deeper into the case.

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Question related to this article:
 
Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

What are some good films and videos that promote a culture of peace?

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There’s a four-hour cut of the film that will purportedly be made available to the public in the new year, and I’m looking forward to seeing that version, as I assume it gets more into the specifics of who did the actual shooting – a subject the at-times-rushed two-hour version foregoes in favor of more foundational topics.

The film does examine a plethora of fascinating JFK assassination topics, though, including the following: Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s numerous and obvious connections to the intelligence community. The Warren Commission’s, intel community’s, and media’s knowing distortions and deceptions regarding the assassination. The fantasy of the magic-bullet theory. The contradictory medical evidence from Parkland Hospital in Dallas, and the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. The remarkably similar plots to kill Kennedy in Chicago and Tampa, leading up to Dallas, which included other Oswald-esque patsies Thomas Arthur Vallee and Gilberto Lopez. And the story of Abraham Bolden, the first black secret service agent, who allegedly tried to inform the authorities of the Chicago plot, but instead of being hailed a hero, was railroaded and sent to prison.

‘JFK Revisited’ also spotlights the struggle between Kennedy and the political establishment. His famed American University speech of June 1963, where he laid out his vision for a new, peaceful US foreign policy, opens the film. This vision is foundational to ‘the why’ of Stone’s theory regarding the assassination, as it provides a motive for the intelligence agencies and military to act to remove a president they deemed soft on communism and weak in general.

Kennedy wanted to promote anti-colonialism, normalize relations with Cuba, not make the same mistake as the French in Vietnam, and have détente with the Soviets, even including combining efforts in the space race.

The intelligence community and the Pentagon had a very different and much more nefarious agenda. They were busy eliminating Lumumba in the Congo, fomenting a military coup in France, conjuring both the Bay of Pigs and Operation Northwoods – which would use false-flag terror attacks on US targets to force a war in Cuba – and pushing for American escalation in Vietnam.

This is why Kennedy moved to reduce the CIA budget by 20%, fired CIA warhorse Allen Dulles (who, curiously enough, would become a powerful member of the Warren Commission), and famously declared he would shatter the CIA into a million pieces. According to Stone, the CIA beat Kennedy to the punch, as it shattered his skull into a million pieces in Dealey Plaza, on November 22, 1963.

The gaping, gangrenous wound at the heart of America, which rots our national soul, was born on that fateful day, and it still festers and it still matters.

Unlike both malignant political parties and the shameless corporate media, Oliver Stone – whose status as pariah is the fuel that powers all his documentaries – understands this, and he’s trying to heal that wound by seeking out the truth about JFK’s killing.

While the establishment may ignore ‘JFK Revisited’, the general public shouldn’t. It’s a useful and insightful film for anyone who wants to understand their government and what it’s willing to do to maintain both its grip on power and the lucrative status quo.

Seek out and watch ‘JFK Revisited’. It isn’t perfect, but it’s vitally important.

Pittsburgh : Black leaders seek ‘city of peace’

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article from the Post Gazette

A month ago, a group of African American lawmakers announced an initiative to curb the wave of gun violence and violent crime throughout Allegheny County.

The group, which calls itself the Black Elected Officials Coalition, announced it would begin a series of community events to promote peace in the streets. Democratic state Rep. Ed Gainey, who represents Lincoln-Lemington and is favored to win the Pittsburgh mayoral race next week, acted as the primary spokesman for the group, raising dramatically the expectations for the BEOC’s access to resources and cooperation across bureaucracies.

Mr. Gainey said the lawmakers, in cooperation with partners in government, the nonprofit sphere and law enforcement, would work together with at-risk young people to “create a city of peace” and promote a culture of nonviolence. This is a tall order, but not an impossible one, especially when elected officials are willing to stand behind their work with their names and reputations attached.

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Question related to this article:
 
How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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Even before BEOC was formed, Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess, whose district includes Homewood, East Liberty and Garfield, had been working with Councilman Daniel Lavelle, whose district includes Downtown, the Hill District and Oakland, on the Stop the Violence Trust Fund.
 
Both councilmen are deeply involved in the effort to give $9 million to the Center that CARES, a Hill District nonprofit that deploys a dozen outreach workers to seven neighborhoods where most of the violence has been centered. All studies show that early intervention before neighborhood beefs escalate is the key to curbing conflicts.

This initiative will be one part of the strategy that these elected officials will lean on in the coming years. What BEOC proposes goes far beyond the usual “throw money at the problem and hope for the best.” These are elected officials who understand the nature of the problem and are heartbroken by the disappointing results of previous efforts.

This is too important to be left to law enforcement to figure out. The BEOC believes it has the empathy and motivation required to make this initiative a game changer.

Others on the coalition are Allegheny County Council members Olivia Bennett and DeWitt Walton and state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill District.

For their willingness to put their names and reputations on the line, the Black Elected Officials Coalition deserves our respect and appreciation. If the coalition succeeds, it will help Pittsburgh to serve all of its people, including those formerly without hope and left to settle scores on their own, in the streets.

USA: Women Rally for Abortion Justice Amid ‘Unprecedented Attack’ on Reproductive Rights

. HUMAN RIGHTS .

An article from Common Dreams (licensed under Creative Commons – CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. )

Amid an escalating Republican assault  on reproductive rights and a looming U.S. Supreme Court reckoning, women and allies across the United States and around the world took to the streets Saturday to #RallyForAbortionJustice and defend Roe v. Wade.



(frame from video by @Molly JongFast
)

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Washington, D.C, New York City, Los Angeles, and more than 600 other cities and towns, according to Women’s March, the event organizer.

“No matter where you live, no matter where you are, this moment is dark—it is dark—but that’s why we’re here,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood, told  participants at the Washington, D.C. protest. “It is our job to imagine the light, even when we can’t see it. It is our job to turn pain into purpose. It is our job to turn pain into power.”

At the Houston rally—where signs read “Abort Abbott” in protest of S.B. 8, Texas’ draconian abortion law signed earlier this year by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott—more than 10,000 people turned out, with many chanting, “Our bodies, our choice.”

In Washington, D.C., Women’s March executive director Rachel O’Leary Carmona described the wave of GOP anti-choice laws in at least 16 states as an “unprecedented attack” on reproductive rights.

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Questions related to this article:

The struggle for human rights, is it gathering force in the USA?

How effective are mass protest marches?

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“For a long time, groups of us were ringing the alarm bell around abortion access and many of us were told we were hysterical and Roe v. Wade will never be overturned,” Carmona told  USA Today. “But now it’s clear that our fears were both rational and proportional.”

Women’s March  says  that by refusing to block the Texas law—which bans abortions after six weeks  without  exceptions for rape or incest, and offers $10,000 bounties for vigilantes who successfully sue anyone who “aids or abets” the medical procedure—the Supreme Court “effectively took the next step towards overturning Roe v. Wade.”

In May, the Supreme Court announced it will hear a challenge to Mississippi’s near-total abortion  ban , a case that author Lauren Rankin  warned  “may very well be the death knell for Roe v. Wade” given the high court’s conservative supermajority.

 Nearly all  House Democrats  came together  last week to pass the  Women’s Health Protection Act  (WHPA) in response to the Texas law and amid  mounting fears  that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe.  According to  the advocacy group Equal Access to Abortion, Everywhere, the WHPA would establish “a statutory right for health care providers to provide, and their patients to receive, abortion care free from medically unnecessary restrictions, limitations, and bans that delay, and at times, completely obstruct, access to abortion.”

However, the bill faces an uphill battle in an evenly split Senate in which anti-choice Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)  oppose  the measure.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted Saturday that Americans “support the right to a safe, legal abortion.”

Speakers at Saturday’s rallies emphasized the harm caused by anti-choice laws. Planned Parenthood of Illinois senior director of public policy Brigid Leahy  told  the Associated Press at the Springfield march that women started traveling to Illinois two days after the Texas law took effect.

“They are trying to figure out paying for airfare or gas or a train ticket, they may need hotel and meals,” she said. “They have to figure out time off of work, and they have to figure out childcare. This can be a real struggle.”

United States and Canada : International Day of Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

A survey by CPNN

Here are 159 events for the International Day of Peace located in all the United States except West Virginia and Wyoming, as well as 5 events in Canada in four provinces. In order to save space, one event is given in detail for each state and province and internet links are provided for the others.
The events were listed in Google during the week of September 21-28 this year under the key words “International Day of Peace,” “peaceday” or “Journée Internationale de la Paix” or were listed on the following websites:
Campaign Nonviolence
International Cities of Peace Facebook
In addition to the above events, there were several hundred singing events listed on the websites of One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace, but it was not possible to distinguish events of 2020 from events in previous years.


Here are excerpts from the articles.

* * * CANADA * * *

MANITOBA

MANITOBA: The week of September 15–21, 2021 has been proclaimed as “Peace Days” in Manitoba by the Honourable Minister of Education, Cliff Cullen. It is with hope, that the celebration of Peace Days in Manitoba will encourage educators, students, parents, and community members to participate in activities that promote peace and compassion throughout the year.

NOVA SCOTIA

HALIFAX : Peace Halifax is a day-long festival offered as a gift to the people of Halifax in honour of the United Nations International Day of Peace. Events at Halifax Central Library. Click here for video

ONTARIO

TIMMINS: People are invited to attend the opening of the Schumacher International Peace Park on Tuesday, Sept. 21. . . The new park, located near Little Pearl Lake, includes a peace garden and decorated peace poles. Each pole will have “May Peace Prevail on Earth” written in a different language. . . . The unveiling ceremony is at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at the Schumacher Lions Club Park behind the McIntyre Arena

TORONTO

QUEBEC

ST MALACHIE: La Grande Marche pour la Vie (Sept 6-Oct 14) We will be marching from all 4 directions in the province of Québec towards the provincial capital. This will be a marche for the protection of all forms of life – plants, animals, soil, humans, water, air, trees. We will be walking through many towns giving room for kids and youth to speak about the life they want on earth. This is a walk to give voice to action for protecting our only home – earth and it’s beings.(Survey continued in right column)

* * * UNITED STATES * * * *

ALABAMA

OPELIKA : We will all meet up and gather in our Samford Community with everyone family an friends invited and guests.Starting off with a devotional and song scripture. After that get our young people lined up for the Peacemarch and in our city. Then Ready for the Rally and Celebrate Peace Day with City Officials! Have fun with music and snacks will be provided.

CAMP HILL
HUNTSVILLE
SCOTTSBORO

ALASKA

ARIZONA

SEDONA: Sedona celebrated International Day of Peace with the fifth year of the Sedona Human Library – 15 Human Books and 100 readers dissolving our biases and prejudices and creating understanding – Unjudging someone. Also with our Meditation Mondays – in four locations – people collectively meditating for peace – for there to be workd peace we need to transform our own inner conflict – Inner peace. And on Tuesday we celebrated our connection in community with Sedona Dances for Peace honoring all the work of peacemakers throughout the world in so many ways!
Many of also participated in the Ekam World Peace Festical Launch and our peacemaker Sherab Shey Khandro continues Follow the Peace Trail online. These events are in partnership with sponsors Sedona Public Library, Rotary Club of Sedona, City of Sedona, Arizona Community Foundation and local community partners (El Rincon, Vino De Sedona, Sedona Arts Academy, Yoga/meditation/healing studios and more!

PRESCOTT
TUCSON

ARKANSAS

FAYETTEVILLE: The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra will accompany a rare public screening of the silent anti-war film classic All Quiet on the Western Front, at the U of A’s Faulkner Performing Arts Center, in recognition of this year’s Sept. 21 observance of the United Nations International Day of Peace. The musical score was arranged by Mont Alto’s pianist and director, Rodney Sauer, and this is only the third time it will have been performed in public.  This special screening of All Quiet on the Western Front will be held at the Faulkner Performing Arts Center on the U of A campus at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 21, and is free and open to the public. The celebration is sponsored by the Department of Communication Film Appreciation Society; the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology; and the Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education.

LITTLE ROCK

CALIFORNIA

SANTA BARBARA: Join us for a special night on September 21st, the United Nations designated International Day of Peace as we award the UNA Santa Barbara Peace Prize 2021 to Roger Durling! Roger Durling has put our community on the world map as a destination for important international film world premieres. We’ve noticed many of the films in the SBIFF are on important topics in the world. They are artistically compelling, to be sure, but they are also enlightening and help people connect more to the world, to issues and struggles across it. Peter Yeo, president of A Better World campaign, will be our special guest speaker. Live music performance from Jackson Gillies too!

MANTECA, CALIFORNIA
BAKERSFIELD
CASTRO VALLEY
EUREKA
LONG BEACH
LOS ANGELES-GARDENS
LOS ANGELES-PAX CHRISTI
MORRO BAY
NOVATO
ORANGE
SAN DIEGO BAHAIS
SAN DIEGO PEACE RESOURCE CENTER
SAN FRANCISCO
SUNNYVALE

COLORADO

MONTROSE: Week of Unity and Peace. A peace prayer gathering will be held at the Peace Pole in Ute Indian Park.

DENVER
LITTLETON

CONNECTICUT

MYSTIC: Join us for a reflective walk at the Peace Sanctuary as we observe the International Day of Peace. Please note this walk is of moderate difficulty over uneven terrain. Meet at the bottom of the driveway at the Peace Sanctuary, located at 233 River Road, Mystic.

BOLTON
FARMINGTON
NEW LONDON
NEWTON

DELAWARE

PEACE WEEK DELAWARE

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

DC PEACE TEAM : 9/22 We will offer an ONLINE Restorative Justice Conversation with Native American Anita ‘JoJo’ Shifflett from 7-9pm EDT. 9/25 We will offer an ONLINE Spirituality and Restorative Justice

DC HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER
DC NONVIOLENCE INTERNATIONAL
DC VIETNAM PEACE COMMEMORATION COMMITTEE
INTERFAITH COUNCIL OF METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON

FLORIDA

WINTER PARK: The International Day of Peace, Sept. 21, marks the start of the 19th Annual Global Peace Film Festival, which presents a selection of feature-length and short films at various locations in Winter Park. Themes include civil and human rights, environmental and social justice, immigration, LGBTQ+, and music. There will be both ticketed and free opportunities to watch a virtual rendition Sept. 27-Oct. 1 on the website. peacefilmfest.org

DUNEDIN
FORT MYERS
KEY WEST
MIAMI BEACH
ORANGE CITY
ORLANDO
SARASOTA

GEORGIA

ATLANTA: In recognition of the International Day of Peace, the Rotary Club of Gwinnett County and the Ismaili Council for the Southeastern USA invite you to attend their peace and unity program. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will deliver the keynote address virtually. Dr. Mahmoud Eboo, Aga Khan Development Network Diplomatic Representative to Canada, will also deliver a virtual address as a distinguished speaker for the event.

SANDY SPRINGS
SMYRNA
VALDOSTA

HAWAII

HAWAII: The Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i and its network of Buddhist temples across the state, along with the United Nations Association of Hawai‘i and the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa KTUH radio station will celebrate this year’s Ring Your Bell for Peace Day at 9:01am local time (7:01pm UTC) on 21 September. Invitations to participate in the event were sent to the governors of all 50 US states, as well as mayors of all of the Hawai‘ian islands. People from around the world can also join by completing a registration form at the Honpa Hongwanji website.. . .Buddhist temples in Hawai‘i, including the West Kaua‘i Hongwanji, Lihu‘e Hongwanji, and Kapa‘a Hongwanji, will participate in Peace Day by ringing their bells.

HAWAII PEACE AND JUSTICE
HONOLULU PACIFIC JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION CENTER

IDAHO

BOISE : Gates of Hope.

ILLINOIS

DEERFIELD: Please join the Bahá’is of Deerfield at the Deerfield train station garden on Tuesday, September 21st at noon as we dedicate a new public bench and commemorate the UN’s International Day of Peace. We’ll say a prayer for peace and unveil a new public bench. This event will take place outside. We ask that all participants wear a mask. We hope to see you there!

CARBONDALE
CHICAGO CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAMS
CHICAGO PEACE SCHOOL
CRETE
DEKALB
LINDENHURST
MURPHYSBORO
ROCK ISLAND

INDIANA

HUNTINGTON : Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters. We will be observing Action Week September 18-26, 2021 by holding a Prayer gathering for Non-violence Wednesday, September 22nd.

INDIANAPOLIS

IOWA

IOWA CITY: At 4:30 p.m., visit the Blackhawk Mini Park in the Ped Mall for the dedication of a stainless-steel peace pole, a new piece of art that features the word peace in several languages on its sides. This dedication is in honor of International Day of Peace, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and is themed “Recovering Better for a Sustainable and Equitable World.”

CHARLES CITY
DAVENPORT
DUBUQUE

KANSAS

WICHITA: Global Village (radio show) marks International Day of Peace. The program highlights topical tunes from a variety of artists from around the world, including Third World, Vieux Farka Touré, Sameer Gupta, The Holmes Brothers, Edwin Starr, and more.

KANSAS CITY

KENTUCKY

NONVIOLENT OWENSBORO : at 9/11 Memorial; Nonviolence Conflict Resolution in Education with Robin Wildman; International Day of Peace Celebration on the Riverfront.

LOUISVILLE: DREPUNG GOMANG CENTER FOR ENGAGING COMPASSION

LOUISIANA

NEW ORLEANS: Academy of the Sacred Heart. September 21. This morning, Preschool and Lower School gathered together in the Philippine courtyard to observe the United Nations International Day of Peace. We kicked off our all-school Red & White Spirit Day with prayers in hopes that peace may be realized among all people.

MAINE

SOUTH PORTLAND: Mahoney Middle School continued its tradition of celebrating International Peace Day. We again studied the origins of the day in Connections groups while we learned how our own attitudes toward peace complement out school’s commitment to kindness and respect for all people. Thanks once again to Mrs. Pitt for her energy, enthusiasm and faith in peace and to Mrs. McQuinn and Mr. Kozaka for their help organizing our “Stand for Peace” activity. Click here for their video

MARYLAND

ACCCOKEEK : Little Friends for Peace will be doing a week-long Peace Week at the Chance Academy in DC. We want to provide teachers, students & support staff with the tools and practices for conflict resolution by building a culture of peace at the school.

LJAMSVILLE
NATIONAL HARBOR

Question for this article

What has happened this year (2021) for the International Day of Peace?

(Survey continued from left column)

MASSACHUSETTS

WORCESTER : The Center for Nonviolent Solution has three events planned for Campaign Nonviolence:
Tuesday, September 21, Peace Vigil at Lincoln Square in downtown Worcester.
Tuesday, September 21 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Robin Wildman of Nonviolent Schools Rhode Island presents on Kingian Nonviolence in Education, virtual.
Sunday, October 3: 2:00 -3:30 p.m. – A walking tour of Worcester’s peace history.. . .

CHELMSFORD
BRIDGEWATER
CAMBRIDGE
CUMMINGTON
FOXBORO
NEWBURYPORT
SPRINGFIELD
SWAMPSCOTT

MICHIGAN

LANSING : For those of us in Greater Lansing, one way we can celebrate peace is by taking part in an annual event known as PeaceQuest, which happens during the entire month of September. PeaceQuest is a series of peace-related events to not only celebrate our oneness as a people, but also mark the 40th anniversary of the United Nations International Day of Peace, which was adopted by the UN on Sept. 21, 1981. Events will highlight the efforts of individuals, organizations and governments that take action to end conflict and promote peace, as well as encourage others to do the same. For a full list of PeaceQuest events, visit peacequestgreaterlansing.org/events-schedule/.

MID-MICHIGAN SCHOOLS
OAKLAND UNIVERSITY
OKERNOS
TRAVERSE CITY

MINNESOTA

MINNEAPOLIS : Friends for a Nonviolent World. Join artist and educator Susanne Crane as we take a thoughtful walk through the art on Nicollet Mall. Leah Robshaw Robinson of Friends for a Non-Violent World and her associates will present mini workshops on peace & conflict resolution. Singer-songwriter Elisha Marin will also perform for us!

MISSISSIPPI

SOUTHAVEN : 9/21, 2:15 PM to 4:00 PM at the Olive Branch Senior Center. Yogis perform 108 Sun Salutation for peace and enlightenment on the solstices and equinoxes.

MISSOURI

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI: The local community is invited to join us for our 2021 International Day of Peace Commemoration on Tuesday, September 21!

MONTANA

HELENA : Oregon City UMC

NEBRASKA

GRAND ISLAND : Nebraskans for Peace

NEVADA

RENO : Reno’s Weekly Peace Presence Vigil. Since the first week of October, 2001, when the United States began bombing Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 attacks, a group of peace-minded people in Reno has gathered weekly. . . We will reflect on the 20 years of purposeful public witness to peace and nonviolence at this final Peace Presence Vigil. 400 S Virginia St. / corner of Liberty & S Virginia St.

LAS VEGAS

NEW HAMPSHIRE

CONCORD : New Hampshire Peace Action. September 20, 7 pm: Peace & Justice Conversations: Palestine Education Network Two peace activists, Will Thomas and Sandra Yarne, who have visited Palestine and Israel will discuss how the United States supports the oppression of Palestinians. . .

DOVER

NEW JERSEY

MAHWAH : Event listing from Mahwah Public Library – Teen and Tween Schedule: Tuesday, September 21 from 3:45 PM to 5:00 PM, Today is International Day of Peace, and teens in grades 5 & up can join us and help spread messages of hope and positivity by making a beautiful pinwheel for peace!

NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE: Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice and community members gather to celebrate World Peace Day September 21.

TAOS NONVIOLENCE NEWS
TAOS ELCA ROCKY MOUNTAIN SYNOD CREATION CARE TEAM

NEW YORK – UNITED NATIONS

United Nations Events :
International Day of Peace Youth Observance
Friday, 17 September 2021, 10:00-11:30 a.m. EDT
A youth observance for the 2021 International Day of Peace will take place online on 17 September 2021 at 10:00 -11:30 a.m. EDT, with the participation of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Messengers of Peace and students from around the world.
— Peace Bell Ceremony
Friday, 17 September 2021, 3:00-3:30 p.m. EDT
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and the President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid will celebrate the International Day of Peace (21 September) in the Peace Garden at United Nations Headquarters by ringing the Peace Bell and observing a minute of silence
Secretary-General’s message
This year’s International Day of Peace comes at a crisis point for humanity. COVID-19 has turned our world upside-down. Conflicts are spinning out of control. The climate emergency is worsening. Inequality and poverty are deepening. And mistrust and division are driving people apart at a time when solidarity and collaboration are needed more than ever. As a human family, we face a stark choice — Peace or perpetual peril. We must choose peace. That is why I call for a 24-hour ceasefire today. And by working in solidarity for a lasting, sustainable peace every day, we can tackle the issues facing us. We need peace to urgently deliver lifesaving vaccines and treatment for COVID-19. We need peace to recover from the pandemic and re-build shattered systems and shattered lives. We need peace to level the playing field and reduce inequalities. We need peace to renew trust in one another — and faith in facts and science. And we need to make peace with nature — to heal our planet, build a green economy, and achieve our net-zero targets. Peace is not a naïve dream. It’s a light in the darkness. Guiding us to the only pathway to a better future for humanity. Let’s walk the pathway of peace as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.

NEW YORK

NEW YORK CITY : Walk of Shame with CODEPINK. We will be hosting a walk from the BlackRock headquarters to the UN on the International Day of Peace. Along the way, we will stop at corporations in New York City to call out their role in the war machine and environmental destruction across the world and “award” them their very own War Machine Walk of Shame Star. Our event will conclude at the UN, where we will make a plea for peace, for the safety of ourselves and our planet. Join us on this powerful and educational event that shows us how the war machine is everywhere–including in our very own neighborhoods. WHEN September 21, 2021 at 12:00pm – 2:00pm (EDT) WHERE March route starting at BlackRock Headquarters NYC, 45 E 51st,

CUBA
GENESEO
HARRISON
LAKE GEORGE
NEW YORK CITY – WORLD TRADE CENTER
NEW YORK CITY – RISING TOGETHER
NEW YORK CITY – PAX CHRISTI
ROCHESTER
SARATOGA SPRINGS

NORTH CAROLINA

MOORESVILLE: Students at The Brawley School created a display with pinwheels in recognition of International Day of Peace.

NORTH DAKOTA

FARGO: International Day of Peace . Event starts on Tuesday, 21 September 2021 and happening at Fargo Public Library, Fargo, ND.

OHIO

DAYTON : The Peace Museum will be celebrating the International Day of Peace by gathering in front of the new Museum location on downtown Dayton’s Courthouse Square. With guest speakers and live music from the World House Choir, the museum will give a sneak peek of our new home at 10 North Ludlow Street downtown. The Museum is expected to open to the public in late fall of this year.

CINCINNATI
CLEVELAND
COLUMBUS
FREEMONT
TOLEDO

OKLAHOMA

NORMAN : Norman Peace Team. Light a Candle for Peace, 7:00 p.m., September 21st. We will hold a candlelight vigil to commemorate the International Day of Peace. The location will be at the recently-erected Peace Pole at Rotary Park in Norman, OK. In addition to a candle-lighting vigil, the evening will include readings of peace, music, and a moment of silence for those who gave their lives in the pursuit of peace.

OKLAHOMA CITY

OREGON

SALEM : Oregon PeaceWorks & Association for Communal Harmony. Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; We will mark the 41st International Day of Peace with a symposium entitled “Making Peace Happen: Working for an Equitable & Sustainable World”

EUGENE
HILLSBORO
PORTLAND

PENNSYLVANIA

PHILADELPHA -PEACEDAY PHILLY: – Listing of all events
Fliers for specific events:
Walking while Black:L.O.V.E.is the answer; Concerting peace; Peace in the Streets; Restorative justice; Roots and Branches program

FRANKLIN
GETTYSBURG
LANCASTER
PHILADELPHIA ARTS EVENT

RHODE ISLAND

WESTERLY : Members of the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly will share their interpretations on the theme of peace during the month of September in honor of the International Day of Peace. Ten of the works on display will be selected for cash awards courtesy of a group from the Westerly-Pawcatuck International City of Peace.. . . “Visitors to the gallery and to the gallery’s website will be invited to consider each peace-themed work and to vote for their favorites,” says gallery member and artist Lois Lawrence, writing in her monthly email about upcoming shows at the gallery, noting that September will also feature the works of photographers Ardie Harrison and Nancy Nielsen.

KINGSTON

SOUTH CAROLINA

COLUMBIA : Carolina Peace Resource Center

SOUTH DAKOTA

SIOUX FALLS : One Book Siouxland
Number

TENNESSEE

OAK RIDGE : The International Friendship Bell and Peace Pavilion in Oak Ridge will serve as a gathering place for activities observing the United Nations International Day of Peace on Tuesday, Sept. 21. With a featured Music for Peace program presented by the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association, the evening will include a “Gardens for Peace” design raked into the gravel karesansui garden at the Bell. The program also includes comments about the peace garden project and from Peace Pavilion architect Ziad Demian on the tradition and technology in the Pavilion design. Oak Ridge Girl Scouts, who began organizing and participating in the Day of Peace observation in 2015, will lead singing and present quotes for peace. They will also have activities for children, including raking a small personal Japanese rock garden to take home.

MEMPHIS

TEXAS

AUSTIN : Each day from Sept 18-26, Nonviolent Austin will hold a daily vigil at noon in front of the state capitol. We’ll have a different vigil theme and musician each day. Nonviolent Austin will also join the Texas Poor People’s Campaign Rally on Sept 20th on the capitol grounds.

SAN ANTONIO

UTAH

SALT LAKE CITY : Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. SEPT. 20th @ 6PM, We are having a celebration for the end of nuclear weapons. It will be a potluck picnic in the north central section of Liberty Park. All are welcome!

SALT LAKE CITY GANDHI ALLIANCE FOR PEACE

VERMONT

VERMONT COUNCIL ON WORLD AFFAIRS: The Vermont Council on World Affairs will observe the International Day of Peace on Tuesday with speakers talking about peace locally and globally, with a “sub-theme” focusing on current events in Afghanistan, organizers said. . .. The schedule includes several other events related to Afghanistan, including: A celebration of Lida Nadery, the Vermont Council on World Affairs 2021 person of the year. Nadery is an Afghan woman who works on peace-building in Afghanistan, specifically with women and girls. A panel on current events in the country featuring Ronald E. Neumann, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, and Paula Nirschel, founder of the nonprofit Action for Afghan Women.A keynote speech from Jim Sciutto, CNN’s chief national security correspondent, who will bring insights from his time reporting in Kabul 20 years ago and analysis on the U.S. response to Afghanistan. He also plans to speak on the link between journalism and peace in the age of disinformation.

LINCOLN
SHELBURNE

VIRGINIA

NORFOLK : Members of the Hampton Roads Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons held a Vigil for Nuclear Disarmament at the US Federal Building in downtown Norfolk, VA.

GOODE
HARRISONBURG

WASHINGTON

TACOMA: On the United Nations International Day of Peace, Tacoma events will take place at Thea’s Park, 405 Dock St., 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Among the presentations, music and food, numerous dignitaries will be there including Mayor Victoria Woodards, Pierce County Councilman Ryan Mello, Hilltop Action Coalition Board President Brendan Nelson, Tacoma Sister Cities President Clare Petrich, Tacoma Refugee Choir, Steve and Kristi Nebel, and 2021/22 Tacoma Peace Laureate Marilyn Kimmerling will be presented with a medallion for the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize. . . . The highlight of the day will be the dedication of a new 12-foot stainless steel peace pole that bears the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the languages of Tacoma’s 13 sister cities. . .

BELLINGHAM
OLYMPIA
SEATTLE

WISCONSIN

EAU CLAIRE : Community Coalition for Non-violence

United States Conference of Mayors Calls on the United States to Welcome the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and to Act Now to Prevent Nuclear War and Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from Pressenza (reprinted by permission)

At the close of its 89th Annual Meeting, held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on August 31, 2021, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Executive Committee unanimously adopted a bold new resolution Calling on the United States to Welcome the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons [TPNW] and to Act Now to Prevent Nuclear War and Eliminate Nuclear Weapons.


The resolution calls on the United States government “to welcome the Treaty as a positive step towards negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on the achievement and permanent maintenance of a world free of nuclear weapons.” It continues: “The United States Conference of Mayors welcomes the June 16, 2021 Joint Statement by President Biden and Russian President Putin in which they ‘reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’; and calls on the Biden Administration to reduce nuclear tensions through intensive diplomatic efforts with Russia and China, and to actively pursue a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals in conformity with requirements of international law preceding the TPNW by decades.”

Observing that, “according to a report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, in 2020, the nine nuclear-armed states spent $72.6 billion on nuclear weapons, with the U.S. leading at $37.4 billion, or $70,881 per minute,” the USCM resolution opens with a stark warning from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

WHEREAS, on January 27, 2021, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced it is keeping the hands of its Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest we’ve ever been to global annihilation, stating: “By our estimation, the potential for the world to stumble into nuclear war-an ever-present danger over the last 75 years-increased in 2020,” and noting: “the existential threats of nuclear weapons and climate change have intensified in recent years because of a threat multiplier: the continuing corruption of the information ecosphere on which democracy and public decision-making depend…[T]he COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call.”

The USCM resolution underscores that “tensions between the United States and Russia and between the United States and China have increased dramatically, with flashpoints in Ukraine and Taiwan that could potentially spawn nuclear confrontations.”

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Question related to this article:
 
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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The USCM expresses its concern that “President Biden’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2022 increases military expenditures by $11 billion and extends funding for all nuclear warhead and delivery system upgrades in his predecessor’s budget, as well as its massive investment in the nuclear weapons infrastructure, to project nuclear weapons research, development, production, and deployment well into the 21st century, in violation of United States disarmament obligations under the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.”

The USCM resolution reports that “the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force on January 22, 2021, prohibiting the development, acquisition, possession, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons for those countries that have ratified it.” But it points out that, “while the TPNW represents the total repudiation of nuclear weapons by most of the states that do not possess them, the United States, the eight other nuclear-armed states and almost all of the countries under the U.S. nuclear umbrella boycotted the negotiations and have not joined the treaty.”

The USCM makes several concrete policy recommendations in its new resolution:

“call[ing] on the Biden Administration to fully incorporate United States obligations regarding non-use and elimination of nuclear weapons under international law into its forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review”;

“call[ing] on the President and Congress to cancel the plan to replace the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons and to redirect funds currently allocated to nuclear weapons and unwarranted military spending to address decades of inaction on infrastructure, poverty, the growing climate crisis, and rising inequality”; and

“call[ing] on the President and Congress to elevate arms control and disarmament as a federal priority by reestablishing the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.”

As recognized in the resolution, “Mayors for Peace, founded in 1982 and led by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is working for a world without nuclear weapons, safe and resilient cities, and a culture of peace, as essential measures for the realization of lasting world peace;” and “Mayors for Peace has grown to 8,043 cities in 165 countries and regions, with 219 U.S. members, representing in total over one billion people.”

Noting that, “The United States Conference of Mayors has unanimously adopted Mayors for Peace resolutions for sixteen consecutive years,” the USCM “urges all of its members to join Mayors for Peace to help reach the goal of 10,000 member cities.”

The 2021 USCM resolution was sponsored by Mayors for Peace U.S. Vice-President Frank Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa, and co-sponsored by Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton, Ohio and current President of the USCM; Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina and past President of the USCM; Patrick L. Wojahn, Mayor of College Park, Maryland; Roy D. Buol, Mayor of Dubuque, Iowa; J. Christian Bollwage, Mayor of Elizabeth, New Jersey; Jon Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford, Massachusetts; and William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The United States Conference of Mayors  is the official nonpartisan association of more than 1,400 American cities with populations over 30,000. Resolutions Adopted at annual meetings become USCM official policy.

Click here for the full text of the resolution.

58 Years After Historic Rally, Thousands March on Washington for Voting Rights, DC Statehood

. HUMAN RIGHTS .

An article by Julia Conley from Common Dreams (licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). to republish and share widely)

A summer marked by rallies, motorcades, and pressure campaigns targeting lawmakers standing in the way of voting rights legislation culminated on Saturday in the 2021 March on Washington, where thousands demanded that Congress pass far-reaching measures to protect and expand the right to vote. 
Demonstrators traveled  from across the country to mark the 58th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

As groups including the Poor People’s Campaign, Stand Up America, and Public Citizen have for months, thousands of protesters called on Congress to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and to eliminate the legislative filibuster to do so if necessary.

The  For the People Act  would grant statehood to Washington, D.C.; ban partisan gerrymandering; implement automatic voter registration for federal elections, and take other major steps to expand voting rights.
 

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Questions related to this article:

The struggle for human rights, is it gathering force in the USA?

How should elections be organized in a true democracy?

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The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore full anti-discrimination protections to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
 
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, was among  those who spoke  at the event—officially  called  “March On for Washington and Voting Rights”—as well as Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), relatives of the late Rep. John Lewis, and family members of George Floyd.
 
Addressing the crowd about statehood for Washington, D.C., Barber said the district’s nearly 700,000 residents have “been robbed” for more than 200 years.
 
“I didn’t say a thief came in,”  said  the reverend. “A thief is different than a robber. A thief is sneaky. But a robber takes your rights right in front of you.”
 
While right-wing Democrats including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are threatening the passage of far-reaching voting rights legislation with their support for the filibuster and claims that the bills are too “partisan,” Republican state legislators have  introduced  more than 360 bills restricting the right to vote, and dozens are moving towards passage. 
 
Speakers including the Rev. Liz Theoharis, who co-chairs the Poor People’s Campaign with Barber, connected ongoing attacks on voting rights to the climate emergency, economic justice, and the recent actions of the right wing-led Supreme Court—which gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013 and this week  blocked  the Biden administration’s extended eviction moratorium.

“We must protest, we must rally, we must organize and mobilize and sit in and stand up,” said Theoharis. “Not just for a day. Not just for a summer. But until all people are housed, until all people are fed, until all people earn a living wage.”

The cost of the global war on terror: $6.4 trillion and 801,000 lives

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from Brown University

Nearly two decades after New York’s Twin Towers fell on 9/11, the estimated cost of America’s counterterrorism efforts stands at $6.4 trillion.

That’s according to a Nov. 13 report released by the Costs of War project based at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

According to the report, since late 2001, the United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend $6.4 trillion on counterterrorism efforts through the end of 2020. An estimated $5.4 trillion of that total has funded, and will continue to fund, counterterrorism wars and smaller operations in more than 80 countries; an additional minimum of $1 trillion will provide care for veterans of those wars through the next several decades.

“The numbers continue to accelerate, not only because many wars continue to be waged, but also because wars don’t end when soldiers come home,” said Catherine Lutz, co-director of Costs of War and a Brown professor of international and public affairs and anthropology. “These reports provide a reminder that even if fewer soldiers are dying and the U.S. is spending a little less on the immediate costs of war today, the financial impact is still as bad as, or worse than, it was 10 years ago. We will still be paying the bill for these wars on terror into the 22nd century.”

In a separate report released on the same day, Lutz and Neta Crawford, another Costs of War co-director and a professor of political science at Boston University, estimate that between 770,000 and 801,000 people have died in post-9/11 wars. The total estimate includes civilian deaths — some 312,000 or more — as well as deaths of opposition fighters (more than 250,000), members of the U.S. military (7,014) and journalists and humanitarian workers (1,343).

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Question for this article:

Does military spending lead to economic decline and collapse?

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The Costs of War project, a joint effort between Brown’s Watson Institute and Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, was launched in 2011 with the goal of comprehensively documenting the costs of the United States’ counterterrorism wars in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Unlike accounts of war costs released by the Pentagon, Costs of War financial reports take into account not only Department of Defense (DOD) spending but also spending by the departments of state, veterans affairs and homeland security, as well as the cost of interest paid on borrowed funds. The Costs of War death toll is calculated based on casualty reports released by the DOD and Department of Labor, figures provided by the United Nations, and obituaries and other news stories.

“If you count all parts of the federal budget that are military related — including the nuclear weapons budget, the budget for fuel for military vehicles and aircraft, funds for veteran care — it makes up two thirds of the federal budget, and it’s inching toward three quarters,” Lutz said.

“I don’t think most people realize that, but it’s important to know. Policymakers are concerned that the Pentagon’s increased spending is crowding out other national purposes that aren’t war.”

This month’s new reports are among the first to be published in the Costs of War project’s “20 Years of War” series, which recognizes the anniversary of the beginning of the global war on terror with new research and updates to existing papers. The research series launched thanks to a $450,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, along with support from the Watson Institute and the Pardee Center.

All three of the Costs of War co-directors — Lutz, Crawford and Watson Institute Senior Research Associate Stephanie Savell— kicked off the “20 Years of War” series with a visit to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Nov. 13, where they presented their latest findings to the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services and an international pool of journalists.

“We have already seen that when we go to Washington and circulate our briefings, they get used in the policymaking process,” Lutz said. “People cite our data in speeches on the Senate floor, in proposals for legislation.

The numbers have made their way into calls to put an end to the joint resolution to authorize the use of military force.

They have real impact.”

UNAC statement: Ban nuclear weapons starting with the US! Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

A statement from the United National Antiwar Coalition

On August 6, we will once again recognize one of the most horrendous events ever to take place in human history. On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the largely residential city of Hiroshima. Three days later they dropped a second nuclear bomb on the city of Nagasaki. As many as 250,000 people, men, women and children were annihilated and many more died subsequently from the wounds, radiation poisoning and radiation-induced cancers. The United States is the only country to ever drop a nuclear bomb on people.

The stated reason for this barbaric act was to hasten the end of World War II. But many historians believe that Japan was ready to surrender before the dropping of the bomb especially once the Soviet Union entered the war against Japan and moved its forces into Manchuria. Germany had already surrendered, and Japan stood alone. At the time, some argued that the bomb should be dropped in Tokyo Bay in the water where it would have done far less damage and Japan’s leaders could see its destructive potential, but the decision was made to drop it on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki. Once was not enough, they had to do it twice.


Many people now believe that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not to end WWII, which was in its final days but to start the Cold War and show the Soviet Union and the world what the US could do if any country dared to oppose it.

One also wonders if dropping the bomb on non-white people played a role. Were Japanese lives valued less by the white supremacist US government, which maintained a segregated military during World War II? After all, people of Japanese descent, including US citizens were put in internment (concentration) camps in the US while people of German descent were not.

There was also serious consideration by the US of using nuclear weapons in the Korean war. The US actually sent the B29 bombers used to drop the bombs on Japan to a military installation in Okinawa along with the nuclear bombs and the fissile cores needed to make them work. This was in preparation for their possible use in the war. President Truman told a press conference in November 1950 that he would take whatever steps were necessary to win in Korea, including the use of nuclear weapons. General Douglas MacArthur, who was the “supreme commander” of the US led forces in Korea disagreed with Truman on the use of nuclear weapons in the war. So, Truman fired MacArthur and replaced him with General Matthew Ridgway, who was given “qualified authority” to use the bombs if he felt they were necessary.

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Question related to this article:
 
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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The problem the US administration faced with in the use of the atomic bomb in Korea were two-fold. The first was that the US public and certainly the people of the world were horrified after seeing the effects of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Much of this horror was accredited to the book Hiroshima by John Hershey which was published in its entirety in the New Yorker magazine in 1949. The book described the destruction and told the story of 6 survivors of the bombing. It led to a groundswell of opposition to nuclear weapons. The second problem for the US administration was that in 1949 the Soviet Union conducted their first tests of an atomic bomb, and the assessment was that they soon would have a workable weapon. Although nuclear weapons were not used in Korea, the military did several test-runs with their B29 bombers carrying conventional bombs.

Unlike WWII, the United States has consistently refused to end the Korean war. To the US government, it is still going on and they still intend to win. The US maintains a large troop presence in Korea at the border with the North and has conducted annual “war games,” which many consider practice invasions of the Democratic People Republic of Korea (DPRK), AKA, North Korea. These “war games,” typically include scenarios in which the US uses nuclear weapons against the DPRK. In recent years the US has provocatively sent nuclear capable bombers within 75 miles of the border with the DPRK. Yet in the upside-down logic of US Imperialism and its corporate media it is not the war games, the US troops on the border, or the nuclear capable flights that are provocative but the clearly defensive nuclear program of the DPRK.

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki opened the nuclear arms race that has led to today’s reality where it is possible to kill off the entire population of the world several times over. This is supposed to make us safer.

But the nuclear arms race was always one-sided, with the US making the new and more advanced systems, and then the Soviet Union and later China taking steps to do the same to gain parity. After the development of the atomic bomb, the US made the more powerful hydrogen bomb, then the Soviets did the same. The US then made missile delivery system and multiple warhead missiles, nuclear submarines, etc. and then others scrambled to gain parity. And now the US has announced it will develop a space force, so other countries feel the need to find a way to counter or do the same. Without the investment of money and effort that was put into these weapons of mass destruction, the world may have been able to address global warming, hunger, poverty, etc. That would have made us safer.

In recent years the U.S. has unilaterally withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, has initiated a $1.5 Trillion program to modernize the US nuclear arsenal and started the creation of the new military space force.

For these reasons, the United National Antiwar Coalition sees the main danger of nuclear war coming from the United States and believes that we in the US have a special obligation to the world to oppose that danger.

Ban nuclear weapons starting with the US!
Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki