Tag Archives: North America

United States and Canada: International Day of Peace


A survey by CPNN

Here are 257 actions for the International Day of Peace located in 43 of the 50 United States, as well as 19 events in Canada in 6 provinces. In order to save space, only one event is given in detail for each state of the USA while internet links are provided for the others.

The events were listed in Google during the weeks of September 17-28 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 2023 from events in previous years, except for those Montessori schools that were new this year, as listed below.


Here are excerpts from the articles.

* * * CANADA * * *


“To be lasting, peace requires effort, ambition and dedication on the part of those who wish to leave a better future for future generations. Today, on the International Day of Peace , we highlight the importance of promoting a more peaceful and inclusive world and we renew our commitment to working with a range of partners around the world to build it. . . . In the face of significant global challenges, such as Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine and its far-reaching repercussions, we continue to stand up for peace, democracy, human rights and of the rule of law. . . In accordance with our Feminist International Assistance Policy , we also continue to promote the full participation of women in peace and security operations, for example through the Elsie Initiative , led by Canada . On this International Day of Peace, I encourage Canadians and our friends around the world to reflect on our shared values ​​of tolerance, compassion and cooperation. Only by working together now can we deliver a peaceful future to the world tomorrow.”


WESTMAN: The annual event will showcase an amazing line-up of activities, one of which is Kites for Peace. . . . “This year it’s really highlighted by a few things including Kites for Peace. It’s an initiative that goes world-wide. We were at the Boissevain Streetfest this past weekend and we were helping kids build their kites that they can fly at the Garden on Saturday afternoon from 1:00-4:00 pm. For those who haven’t made their kites yet, decorating starts at 11:00 am here at the Peace Garden.”


LONDON: On International Day of Peace, Fanshawe students are invited to guided yoga sessions with discussion of the importance of slowing down/meditation. There will also be free snacks.

MIDLAND: We invite you to join us to celebrate the International Day of Peace, bringing your thoughts and ideas to share. Let’s be part of the solution. Actions for Peace, presented by Ed Milewski, Thursday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m., Midland Public Library, 320 King St., Midland.

ST. CATHERINES: The lives of those who resisted Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany will take centre stage at an upcoming public lecture hosted by Brock University. It will feature esteemed scholar Kristin Semmens, Associate Professor of History at the University of Victoria and author of Under the Swastika in Nazi Germany.
The event coincides with the United Nations International Day of Peace.

THUNDER BAY: VIDEO: International Day of Peace Ceremony takes place at Waverly Park

TIMMINS: Peace Day Reception, Thursday, Sept. 21, noon, Schumacher International Peace Park. Celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace in the park located near the McIntyre Community Centre. This year’s theme is actions for peace. Lunch will be served and all are welcome.

WATERLOO: We invite you to be in community with us during #PeaceWeek2023, which runs from the international Day of Peace on September 21st to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th. Be sure to check back regularly to see which events you might want to attend and help promote:
The Urgency of Social Justice Event
Transformative Mediation Training
Speak Your Peace
Grebel Gallery Exhibit: Trinity Atomic Bomb Test


NDG stories
Peaceful and fun booklet
Comic book on Peace and Harmonious Relationships
Everyday Non-Violence: Participatory Theater
Pensees et Splendeurs de la Colombie Autochone
Queer Futurism
L’Egalite et la Paix
Le Dialogue Interconfessionnel

Montreal Centre de Services de Justice Reparatrice: The CSJR will organize two activities:
A workshop After violence, is it possible to find peace? offered by Geneviève Chenard.
A workshop for Truth-Reconciliation Day Miro Pimatisiwin – Wishing each other a good life with Atikamekw artist Marie-Claude Nequado and in collaboration with the McCord Steward Museum

Consulate of Colombia in Montreal: Sign up for the painting workshop to commemorate the International Day of PEACE. The Consulate of Colombia in Montreal invites, within the framework of the International Day of PEACE to be celebrated next Thursday, September 21, to register for the act of dignity, called: “Canvas of Resilience” to experience the healing power of painting as victims of the armed conflict and builders of peace. The activity will be led by the Colombian artist Camilo Arias.

* * * UNITED STATES * * *


TROY: TROY students will gather at Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor on the Troy Campus at 6:30 p.m. and, beginning at 7 p.m., will march, bearing international flags, to the Peace Dove statue, created by the artist Nall, on the Daniel Foundation of Alabama Plaza, located behind the International Arts Center. The march will be followed by a program, featuring student speakers and music.



MESA: In recognition of International Peace Day and in celebration of the first anniversary of the City of Mesa becoming an International City of Peace, a Peace Pole Rededication Ceremony is being held in the Mesa Community College Rose Garden. Sponsors include Mesa Community College, the City of Mesa, Rotary International, City of Mesa Police Department, The Children’s Benefit Foundation Inc. and St. Matthew United Methodist Church. . . . The finale will be “May peace prevail on Earth” communicated in Sign Language by Karen Palmieri, Chinese by Dr. Ruth Tan Lim, Hebrew by Dr. Mittman, Spanish by Zarco Guerrero, Greek by Christos Chronis, German and Luganda by Dame Precious Namazzi, and Arabic by Aeda Alkindi. All will join in the statement in English to close the ceremony.



LITTLE ROCK: On Sept 18th, 375 students at Washington Magnet Elementary School assembled in the schoolyard. Holding aloft peace art they created, they marched for peace through the neighborhood as part of Arkansas Peace Week. Ms. Aleta Posey, school principal, led the students in a chant: P-E-A-C-E, Wildcats Walk for Peace! Community groups like Pax Christi Little Rock joined in solidarity.



TIBURON: United Nations Association, Marin Chapter invites you to join us in celebrating the UN International Day of Peace. “An Evening with Peace Leaders.” Community Congregational Church of Tiburon
Be inspired, hear from everyday peacebuilders. Learn how we can model, support, and expand peacebuilding.
Honored Speakers
Tezikiah Gabriel, Executive Director, Pathways To Peace, Entrepreneur, Ordained Minister
RJ Jennings, Social Justice Advocate, Peace Alliance Board member, Executive Coach
Matthew Albrecht, Former Executive Director, The Peace Alliance, Author
Kimberly Weichel, Peacebuilder, Educator, Author, Non-profit leader/advisor (Moderator)



TOWAOC: The 15th annual Week of Unity and Peace will be held from Sept. 16 – 24 with a kickoff Community Drum Circle event on Saturday, Sept. 16. Culture Fest happens on Saturday, Sept. 23, sponsored by the Hispanic Project and the Ute Indian Museum on the museum grounds. A Peace Gathering at the Peace Pole in Ute Indian Park will be held at noon during Culture Fest with a Flags of All Nations ceremony to pray for peace around the world. . . The Western Colorado Friends of the Himalayas are sponsoring the Annual Peace Dinner again this year. The buffet dinner will be held at Guru’s Restaurant, 438 Main St., with the 2023 peace awards given out, followed by a program. Saturday, Sept. 23, Culture Fest begins at 10 a.m. celebrating our cultural diversity, with booths, food, music, dance, and displays until 4 p.m. This event is at the Ute Indian Museum.



NEW HAVEN: A new symbol of peace is taking root at the Sound School. To celebrate International Day of Peace on Thursday, the school held a ceremony next to a newly planted tree and peace plaque, featuring remarks by an “atomic veteran” who grew up in New Haven. . . . To commemorate the day, the City of New Haven Peace Commission plants a peace tree in a different neighborhood every year. . . . The event comes as the city has experienced several high-profile instances of violent crime. Goode said the commission is not naive about what planting a tree will do, but he thinks it’s a step toward creating a culture of peace.



Peace Week Delaware 2023 will run from October 7–15. This will be our eighth year of organizing this statewide series of events. Event organizers can create their own web listings and attendees may register for individual events and receive reminders as the week unfolds.



ARMS BAZAAR PROTEST: Art Laffin of Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, DC reports: Tuesday September 12 from Noon-1:00 PM, members of the DDCW, Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, and other peacemakers, held a prayer service and nonviolent witness outside the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD which once again is hosting the annual Air Force Association (AFA) “Air-Space-Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition,” what we call an “Arms Bazaar.” There are some 180 exhibitor booths at this year’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference, which began on September 11th and ended on September 13th. This witness was organized by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.



SARASOTA: The United Nations designated September 21 as International Day of Peace. In Nuestra Musica, we are celebrating it with Latinx Singers and Songwriters who dedicated their artistry to the causes of Peace and Social Justice. The songs presented are not necessarily protest songs, even though, some are. But the singers and songwriters are artist who struggled and fought with poetry, music and actions against totalitarian regimes, and some pay the high price of been censored, exiled and death. We are presenting songs from Argentina, Urugay, Chile, Spain, Brazil, Puerto Rico, US, Nicaragua and Cuba. Horacio Guarany, Pedro y Pablo, Leon Gieco, Joan Manuel Serrat, Rolando Alarcon, Jairo, Juan Carlos Baglietto, Chico Buarque, Patxi Andion, Paco Ibanez, Daniel Biglietti, Mercedes Sosa, Roy Brown, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Piero, Cuarteto Zupay, Jose Alfonso, Duo Guardabarranco and Pablo Milanes.

FT MYERS Peace Day Block Party (announcement since removed)


SANDY SPRINGS PAX CHRISTI: On September 24 at the main family mass at St. Jude the Apostle Church in Atlanta, we will start a monthly prayer vigil. We will pray for an end to gun violence and lift up the souls of those killed in mass shootings in the month as well as lifting up the names of the shooters. After all, like Cain they are our brothers and Jesus told us to forgive our brothers and especially these who are disordered or misguided.


HONOKA: Peace Day Parade & Festival with six days of peace-themed events. These include the Peace Day Parade and Festival (back after a three year pandemic pause), Honoka’a Business Association’s Peace Out Saturday street fair, and Katsu Goto Legacy Week in honor of the 19th Century “Hāmakuā Hero” and martyred Labor leader. The Parade will step off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 23, with an eclectic and colorful fusion of bands and dancers, street performers, floats and more. . . . Following the Parade, the Festival kicks off in the park’s football “oval,” with more music on stage, vendor booths, and peace displays. Proclamation, certificates and other activities begin at 12:30 p.m. Meanwhile, back on Mamane Street, “Peace Out Saturday” is happening, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. as people come to town dressed in their best tie dye and love beads. Throughout the day, peaceniks will find food trucks, pop-up vendors, music and groovy things to do for the keiki, like origami and giant bubbles.



CHICAGO Hundreds gathered at Daley Plaza on Monday for an afternoon of music and dancing as part of the 45th annual Peace Day Chicago celebration. . . . “As we continue to witness war and strife in places like Ukraine, and so many other nations, we need to be reminded that we play a part in our global communities,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said at Monday’s celebration. The free event included live music and performances along with a call-and-response for peace in every country of the world.

BATAVIA Second Annual Peace Day Celebration (announcement since removed)
LAKE ZURICH Ela Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony (announcement since removed)


NOTRE DAME: Join the Kroc Institute for lunch and various responses to the United Nations’ new agenda for peace. This event will take place in person, with a recording to be posted following the event to the Kroc Institute’s YouTube page.



DUBUQUE: Loras College Alumni Campus Center. “Making Peace in Our Polarized Society” presented by International Day of Peace Speaker, Dr. Peter Coleman. This year’s Peace Festival invites us to explore constructive conflict resolution and sustainable peace. We will learn how families, companies, communities and nations have found resolution beyond their once polarized viewpoints. Sponsored by the Dubuque International Day of Peace Committee



WIND HILLS: International Day of Peace, Thursday, Sept 21, Tibetan Buddhist prayer and readings from peacemakers to set us on a solid path.
Morning Practice for Nonviolence, Daily from 7:30-8am – Set a ground for awareness of nonharm with these morning meditations led by local peacemakers.
Peacemaker Conversation – Join us for a conversation with nationally known author, catalyst, and activist, Rivera Sun.
Monday, Sept 25, Noon, via Zoom and Facebook LIVE. Join us for a conversation with author Roxy Manning to explore a lived application of the Beloved Community.



LAFAYETTE: Lafayette Compassion Center.
September 21: International Peace Day Event
Sept. 23: We will have a labyrinth walk for International Peace Days of Action.


MADAWASKA: Skylandia Organic Farm in Northern Maine will engage in mutual aid with seniors, community members, and the Little Free Pantry at our local library


FREDERICK Peace Through Action USA will discuss how its capstone Calvert Peace Project works to build and nourish a culture of peace through an emphasis on social and civic engagements



BOSTON: This year’s event features a unique program of Music, Song, Arts & Peace Education led by emcee Dawn Duncan, including brief presentations by peacemakers such a Nichol Brewer-Lowry, Rev. Cindy Davidson, Isabella Fuentes, Dr. Ira Helmand, Dr. Jonathan King, David Shane Lowry, and Rev. Vernon Walker about their work. There will be art activities for children as well as musical performances by Miranda Henne, Toussaint Liberator, Alastair Moock, and Split Feather Singers. The day will conclude with the reading of a list of recent local victims of violence. We will walk to the nearby Garden of Peace to pray for peace among stones engraved with the names of these victims.

WESTON Council on Aging and Weston Public Library (announcement since removed)

Question for this article

What has happened this year (2023) for the International Day of Peace?

Students from Brooklyn visit the United Nations

(Survey continued from left column)


SOUTHFIELD: The city of Southfield, in collaboration with May Peace Prevail on Earth International™ Foundation, will host an International Day of Peace on Thursday, September 21 from 5–6 p.m. at the City’s Peace Poles located in front of City Hall.The event will begin with a presentation of colors by the Southfield Police and Fire Honor Guard followed by opening remarks from Councilman Lloyd Crews and a reading of the City’s International Day of Peace Joint Resolution by Mayor Siver. The event will also include presentation of the United Nation’s 2023 Theme for the International Day of Peace “Act Now!” by President of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force Faira Glenn followed by a rendition of “Let there be Peace on Earth” by MLK Task Force International Relations Committee Co-Chair Barbara Seldon. The event will conclude with a Call for Peace in All Nations led by Hope United Methodist Church Youth Representative Remington DeVaull.



SUPERIOR: Superior recognized the United Nations International Day of Peace on Thursday. Community members gathered at Superior’s Sister City Park where Superior Mayor Jim Paine issued a proclamation in observance of Peace Day. The event also served to honor and remember Jan Provost of Superior. She was a local peace activist and founded Northland Grandmothers for Peace in 1983. Provost served as president of Northland Grandmothers for Peace until her passing in April 2020. The mission of Grandmothers for Peace is to work for peace and social justice and strive to eliminate the nuclear threat.



KANSAS CITY: September 23 – 24. PeaceWorks will be holding its annual Art Fair for artists local to Kansas City. Beginning artists and diverse artists are encouraged to apply. We also are inviting many local peace and Justice organizations to have booths. We will have a tent for these organizations to give a short presentation about the issues they address and also for poets, musicians, singers and street theater pieces. Location: Theis Park.


GRAND ISLAND: Nebraskans For Peace Focus on DEI & Sustainability: Holding their event at the Hub Cafe, Nebraskans For Peace had great turnout for their Community Conversation on Food and Sustainability, featuring guest speakers who are farmers, cafe owners, and sustainability coordinators. Nebraskans For Peace also held their first in-person board meeting since before the pandemic, using some of the time together to work through a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training with Dr. Stephanie Bondi. On Sept 24, NFP board member Tom Genung was among those honored for their work over 15 years in a sustained nonviolent resistance to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. The ceremony was part of the 10th annual harvest of the Ponca Sacred Corn and took place on Ponca Nation land.


RENO: Life, Peace & Justice Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Reno, September 23 – We will hold our 3rd annual Day of Reflection. This year the title is Day of Reflection: “Why so Many Immigrants?” Moving from Sympathy to Empathy.


PRINCETON: Celebrate Peace Day with the West Windsor Human Relations Council. Theme: Actions for Peace – Peace starts with ME. It is a call to action that recognizes our individual and collective responsibility to foster peace



SANTA FE: StopForeverWIPP (our website)
1.Nuclear Disarmament Now! Join Us For Our Weekly Picket Fridays @ Noon To 1pm (Corners Of Guadalupe & Alameda St.)
2.New Mexico Environment Department
In-Person And Virtual Listening Session On Wipp’s Permit. September 22 2023 @ 5:00 PM-7:00 PM. Larrazolo Auditorium. Harold Runnels Bldg.


BROOKLYN PROSPECT PARK: In celebration of International Day of Peace, join Prospect Park Alliance and The Peace Studio for a book reading and signing of The First Day of Peace, a new children’s picture book by two of The Peace Studio’s co-founders, Maya Soetoro-Ng and Todd Shuster with illustration by Tatiana Gardel. The book offers a moving and modern take on the wondrous power of kindness and sharing.The event will include a reading of the book by Maya and Todd, alongside discussion and a fun peace-focused craft activity for kids and adults as well as a kids illustration workshop led by Tatiana. A light reception and the opportunity for book purchasing and signing will follow the reading.



MESSAGE OF SECRETARY-GENERAL GUTTERES: As we mark this International Day of Peace, people and our planet are in crisis.
Conflicts driving record numbers of people from their homes.
Deadly fires, raging floods and soaring temperatures.
Poverty, inequalities and injustices.
Mistrust, division and prejudice.
This year’s theme reminds us that peace is not automatic.
Peace is the result of action.
Action to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and ensure that no one is left behind.
Action to end the war on our planet and its natural gifts.
Action to uphold and protect the human rights and dignity of every person — especially as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Action to use the timeless tools of diplomacy, dialogue and collaboration to defuse tensions and end conflict.
And action for those millions of people living through the horrors of war.
Peace is not only a noble vision for humanity.
Peace is a call to action.
Let us commit to build, drive and sustain peace for all.

YOUTH PROGRAM: Video of Youth Event Programme, 14 September 2023, UN Headquarters



William Peace University (WPU) will celebrate its shared name and values with a series of on-campus events to mark the International Day of Peace. The day will start out with a gathering on the main lawn of the university at 3:20, featuring student art and an open-mic event. At 4 p.m. in Kenan Hall, a guest panel will participate in a live podcast discussing peacebuilding both internationally and locally. The panelists are worship leader, writer, and justice activist Angie Hong; development professional and peace activist Mustafa Rezaie; and cultural heritage and museum professional Alex Rose.



AKRON: Join the North Hill Community Development Corporation to celebrate the third annual International Day of Peace. Walk for Little Amal. Little Amal is a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl who has traveled across 13 countries meeting more than a million people. This fall, between 7 September and 5 November 2023, she will journey 6,000 miles across the United States in one of the largest free public festivals ever created. Amal Walks Across America comes to Akron on September 23rd, starting at Waters Park and proceeding to People’s Park on North Main Street.



TULSA: The Mother Earth String Band and Choir will perform Thursday, September 21 (International Day of Peace) at Park Grove Creative Community, 4241 S. 37th West Avenue, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. After performing at Earth Day observances on Guthrie Green last year, McCulloch got the idea of forming the band with some of the many talented women she’s worked with, or wanted to work with, over the years. Music, she says, is the tool that can help unite us in these divisive times, and reduce the stress and anger which divide us. “When you sing with people, and you remind them of how it feels to sing together – and the songs they heard when they were younger that they know – some of that falls away,” she said. “We’re trying to just sort of soothe the waters with music, because music heals. Music unites.”



PORTLAND: Join CODEPINK and other anti-war, anti-imperialist and peace organizations in marking International Peace Day in Portland! Hear from anti-war speakers and performers, talk with like-minded peace-wagers and build connections for future organizin



PHILADELPHIA PEACE DAY: Now in its 13th year, Peace Day Philly is helping to organize more than a dozen activities, some of which, including a meditation session and a workshop on grief, were held this past weekend. Hundreds of students are expected to participate in “Footballs Not Firearms,” a march and rally taking place Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Fairhill Square. PDP is collaborating with the Philadelphia Police Department on the event, and the Eagles are donating 150 footballs to give away to young people. Food, music and an art activity are also included. On Thursday, the day itself, PDP is organizing speakers and bringing drummers to the north side of City Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. At noon, attendees will participate in a worldwide minute of silence. Among the other activities planned for the week are an immigrant and refugee job fair from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday at 801 Market St.; a communication workshop at the Peace Center in Langhorne; and a virtual panel discussion about water access beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday. For more information, visit peacedayphilly.org.



SOUTH KINGSTOWN; Sunday, Sept 24, 2023 – We welcome you to our 2nd Annual Intention Fest celebrating peace and wellness with over 50 peace makers and healing practitioners, meditation tent, drum circles, yoga, reflexology, massage sanctuary, peace rocks and peace flags. FREE EVENT



ABERDEEN: Each year the International Day of Peace (IDP) is observed around the world on September 21. The International Presentation Association works collaboratively with other groups to realize our priority Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Achieving the SDGs will create a culture of peace for all. Please join the Presentation Sisters and others around the world at Noon local time to observe a minute of silence and then to pray for peace.


MEMPHIS: Campaign Nonviolence Memphis. Join us on Thursday, September 21, 8 PM Eastern, for our quarterly PAX Mass, celebrated on the International Day of Peace and the first day of the Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action.


AUSTIN: The Second Annual Austin Peace Fest will take place Sunday, Oct. 1, from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 2505 Princeton Dr., Austin, TX 78741.
Please invite your friends to bring a lawn chair, their refreshment of choice, and an eclectic musical taste.Donations support Nonviolent Austin. Other community partners include Texas Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry, Texas Poor People’s Campaign, and Indivisible Austin.



SALT LAKE CITY: Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. September 27, 6pm, Walk (as part of Defuse Nuclear War) from the Federal Building, 100 South and State Street, to Washington Square, 400 South and State Street, and then back to the Federal Building. We will carry our banner, “Nuclear Weapons are Illegal” and pass out flyers.


LINCOLN: Sunray Meditation Society. September 21, 2023: UN International Day of Peace Celebration -October 1 & 14, 2023: Join us for two online workshops nurturing Mother Earth this fall. On October 1st, Dr. Orest Pelechaty will offer teachings on bio-Dynamics. Then October 14th, Jose Rodriguez and Yulia Klimento bring their permaculture wisdom to the Sunray Peace Village.


CHARLOTTESVILLE: World Beyond War & Just World Educational. Time for a Ceasefire in Ukraine? – A public discussion featuring Medea Benjamin, Helena Cobban, Ray McGovern, and David Swanson.


LOPEZ ISLAND: Join us for the Lopez Library 2nd annual International Day of Peace sing-in. Each year, around the world in a consecutive time zone, thousands of children gather to “Sing for Peace” in their respective groups and share a peaceful story. Imagine, children singing a unified song for a 24 hour period! It’s simple AND Powerful!


MILWAUKEE: September 21, 2023. Peace Action Wisconsin Teach-In. We’ll discuss how to achieve peace in the time of heightened global conflict and tension. ​We’re part of the Global ​Week of ​Action to ​End the ​War in Ukraine Sept. 30-October 8, 2023. September 30 — Stand for Peace at Noon At 12:30 PM we will gather on the grassy spot kitty-corner from Collectivo for a rally


***** MONTESSORI *****

In addition to the events listed above, there were 107 new events in North America to celebrate the International Day of Peace on the website of the Montessori Schools, i.e. events that were not listed last year:

Alberta: High River
Arizona: Flagstaff, Litchfield Park, Phoenix (4), Sedona
British Columbia: Courtney, Lantzville,
California: Antioch, Carmel Huntington Beach, Oceanside, Valencia
Colorado: Aurora (2), Littleton
Connecticut: Avon, West Hartford
District of Columbia, Acton Academy
Florida: Fernandina Beach (2), Gainsville, Jupliter, Kissimmee, Miami, Middleburg, Naples, Palm Bay, Plantation, Rockledge, Stuart, Wellington
Georgia: Atlanta, Marietta
Hawaii: Kihei
Illinois: Chicago (2), Elburn, Elmhurst, Kildeer, Wheaton
Kansas: Lawrence
Maine: Auburn, Kingfield
Massachusetts: Newton, Quincy, Shrewbury
Michigan: Detroit
Minnesota: Lakeville, Prior Lake
Missouri: Jefferson City
New Hampshire: Manchester
New Jersey: Cherry Hill, Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Moorestown
New York: Cold Spring, Copenhagen, East Aurora, Glen Spey, Southampton
North Carolina: Charlotte, Henderson, Holly Springs, Old Fort, Pinehurst, Washington, Winterville
Ontario: Aurora, Caledon, Cambridge, Innisfil, Milton
Oregon: Newport, Portland
Pennsylvania: Bethlehem, Merion Station, State College, West Chester
South Carolina: Elgin, Fort Mill
Tennessee: Cordova, Knoxville (2)
Texas: Houston, Plano, Prosper, Round Rock, San Antonio, Sugar Land
Utah: Mantua, Riverton, Salt Lake City, Santa Clara, South Jordan
Virginia: Alexandria, Lexington, Lynchburg, Sterling, Virginia Beach, Woodbridge
Washington: Issaquah, Mountlake Terrace, Northbend, Spokane Valley, Seattle
Wisconsin: Racine

American Anthropological Association Endorses Academic Boycott of Israeli ‘Apartheid Regime’


An article by Brett Wilkins from Common Dreams (reprinted according to license of Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

The American Anthropological Association on Monday became the largest U.S. academic association to endorse a Palestinian call to boycott Israeli universities and other institutions complicit in what the group called Israel’s “apartheid regime.”

In a major victory for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian human rights, more than 7 in 10 of the 37% of American Anthropological Association (AAA) members who participated in the monthlong referendum voted in favor  of a motion  to back the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

With 12,000 members, the AAA is the largest U.S. scholarly group to support BDS’ boycott call. The motion applies only to institutions, not individual anthropologists.

“This was indeed a contentious issue, and our differences may have sparked fierce debate, but we have made a collective decision and it is now our duty to forge ahead, united in our commitment to advancing scholarly knowledge, finding solutions to human and social problems, and serving as a guardian of human rights,” AAA president Ramona Pérez said in a statement.

“AAA’s referendum policies and procedures have been followed closely and without exception, and the outcome will carry the full weight of authorization by AAA’s membership,” Pérez added.

The AAA motion, drafted in March, notes that ever since the Nakba, the 1947-49 dispossession and expulsion of more than 700,000 Arabs by Zionist Jews establishing the modern state of Israel, “Palestinians—including activists, artists, intellectuals, human rights organizations, and others—have documented and circulated knowledge of the Israeli state’s apartheid system and ethnic cleansing.”

“The Israeli state operates an apartheid regime from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, including the internationally recognized state of Israel, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank,” the motion asserts, adding that “Israeli academic institutions are complicit in the Israeli state’s regime of oppression against Palestinians… including by providing research and development of military and surveillance technologies used against Palestinians.”

(continued in right column)

Question related to this article:

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

Israel/Palestine, is the situation like South Africa?

(continued from left column)

“Israeli academic institutions do not provide protections for academic freedom, campus speech in support of Palestinian human and political rights, nor for the freedom of association of Palestinian students on their campuses,” the document continues. “Israeli academic institutions have failed to support the right to education and academic freedom at Palestinian universities, obstructing Palestinian academic exchanges with academic institutions in the U.S. and elsewhere.”

In a statement, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) said, “We thank the many AAA members who worked tirelessly to ensure the association was on record as refusing ties with Israeli universities complicit in Israel’s crimes against us. We thank those who took the time to learn from and listen to indigenous Palestinian voices.”

“The AAA membership vote to boycott complicit Israeli universities is wholly consistent with the association’s stated commitment to anti-racism, equality, human rights, and social justice and furthers the drive to decolonize anthropology and academia in general,” PACBI added.

The motion notes that a United Nations special rapporteur and groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and B'Tselem—an Israeli organization—"have confirmed that Israeli authorities are committing apartheid against the Palestinian people, and have documented the institutionalization of systematic racial oppression and discrimination."

Others who have condemned Israeli apartheid include former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and South African cleric and activist Desmond Tutu—both of whom were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize—and multiple cabinet-level former Israeli government officials.

Focusing on its field of expertise, AAA’s motion claims “anthropological frameworks and methods, ethnographic and archaeological, are actively used by the Israeli state to further its system of apartheid and ethnic cleansing,” and that the organization’s 1999 Declaration on Anthropology and Human Rights  states that “anthropology as a profession is committed to the promotion and protection of the right of people and peoples everywhere to the full realization of their humanity.”

Therefore, according to AAA, anthropologists have an “ethical responsibility to protest and oppose” human rights crimes, and “the discipline of anthropology, as the study of humanity, bears a distinct and urgent responsibility to stand against all forms of racism and racist practices.”

AAA also highlights U.S. financial, military, and diplomatic support for Israel, which the group calls “decisive” in “enabling and sustaining” Israeli apartheid, including the 56-year illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the unlawful construction and expansion of Jewish-only settler colonies there, and the “ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip.”

Last year, the Middle East Studies Association, the leading learned organization dedicated to study of the region, voted 768-167  to join the BDS movement, which counts more than 350 academic departments, programs, centers, unions, and societies worldwide among its supporters.

US prelates lead ‘Pilgrimage of Peace’ to Japan seeking abolition of nuclear weapons


An article by John Lavenburg in Crux

A “Pilgrimage of Peace” to Japan led by two U.S. archbishops will soon depart, with advocacy for the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide and for the creation of a peaceful global environment chief among their priorities.

Led by Archbishops John Wester of Santa Fe and Paul Etienne of Seattle, and joined by organizations and archdiocesan officials dedicated to nuclear disarmament advocacy, the delegation also hopes to strengthen ties with the bishops of Japan.

John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe, speaking at a recent forum held by Department of Energy officials at the Santa Fe Convention Center. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com

“During this Pilgrimage of Peace to Japan, I hope to encourage conversation about universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament and walk together towards a new future of peace, a new promised land of peace, a new culture of peace and nonviolence where we all might learn to live in peace as sisters and brothers on this beautiful planet, our common home,” Wester said in a statement.

Etienne, in a statement of his own, added that to build a community where humanity can flourish, it’s important to “keep educating ourselves, praying for peace, and appealing for verifiable nuclear disarmament, which reflects Catholic teaching and is the path for the common good.”

The delegation will depart for the pilgrimage on July 31, with an itinerary that includes stops in Tokyo, Akita, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. They will return to the States on August 12. The trip is funded by grants and personal contributions; according to organizers, no diocesan funds were used.

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

Religion: a barrier or a way to peace?, What makes it one or the other?

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The trip follows a May open letter from Wester, Etienne, Archbishop Peter Michiaki Nakamura of Nagasaki and Bishop Alexis Mitsuru Shirahama of Nagasaki, where they implored leaders of the Group of Seven countries to take concrete steps towards nuclear disarmament.

The letter came as G7 leaders met in Japan from May 19-21. Out of that meeting leaders from the G7 countries committed to working towards a world absent of nuclear weapons, and called on Russia, Iran, China and North Korea to cease nuclear escalation. Beyond the joint statement in support of nuclear disarmament, G7 leaders took no concrete steps towards that goal.

As of 2022, Russia and the United States have far and away the largest nuclear arsenals. According to data published in March by the Federation of American Scientists, Russia and the United States have 5,899 and 5,244 nuclear warheads, respectively. Third on the list is China with 410, followed by France (290), the United Kingdom (225), Pakistan (170), and India (164). No other country has an arsenal of more than 90 nuclear warheads, the data shows.

Both the Santa Fe and Seattle archdioceses, led by Wester and Etienne, have ties to nuclear weapons. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is the U.S. diocese with the most spending on nuclear weapons per capita, and contains two weapons laboratories and the nation’s largest nuclear weapons depository. The Archdiocese of Seattle is the U.S. diocese that has deployed the most strategic weapons.

Meanwhile, two of the dioceses the delegation will visit on the pilgrimage, the Dioceses of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are the only two dioceses in the world that have suffered from atomic attacks when the United States bombed both cities during World War II.

As part of the pilgrimage to Japan, the delegation will pray a novena for peace from August 1 to August 9, the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki in 1945.

Wester has been especially outspoken about the need for nuclear disarmament in recent years, prompted both by a 2017 trip he took to Japan, and the reality of his diocese’s involvement in the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal. In his statement on the upcoming pilgrimage, he said he holds out hope that one day nuclear threats can be a thing of the past.

“I hope one day, we will stop building these weapons, disarm our state and our world, and embark on a new future without the fear and terror of the nuclear threat,” Wester said.

‘A Terrible Mistake’: Key Dems in US Oppose Biden’s Move to Send Cluster Munitions to Ukraine


An article by Kenny Stancil in Common Dreams (reprinted under license Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Several high-ranking House Democrats have joined human rights groups in expressing dismay over President Joe Biden's decision to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions—weapons that more than 120 countries have banned due to their devastating and long-lasting impacts on civilians.

Biden on Friday defended his move to send cluster bombs to Ukraine as part of a new $800 million weapons package, tellingCNN it was "a very difficult decision" made because "Ukrainians are running out of ammunition" needed to stave off Russia's invasion.

Biden's comments came after top Democrats on the House Rules Committee and the panels that fund the Pentagon and State Department denounced the White House in rare statements broadcasting discord within the president's party.

"The decision by the Biden administration to transfer cluster munitions to Ukraine is unnecessary and a terrible mistake," said Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. "The legacy of cluster bombs is misery, death, and expensive cleanup generations after their use."

"These weapons should be eliminated from our stockpiles, not dumped in Ukraine," she added.

"The Biden administration will probably think twice when the pictures start coming back of children who have been harmed by American-made cluster munitions."

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), ranking member of the House Rules Committee, said that he continues "to strongly support helping Ukraine stand up to Russia's brutal war of aggression."

"But cluster munitions won't help," he stressed. "They are indiscriminate weapons that disperse hundreds of bomblets which can travel far beyond military targets and injure, maim, and kill civilians—often long after a conflict is over. I urge President Biden to listen to our NATO allies, such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain, who oppose sending cluster munitions to Ukraine for the same reasons."

One hundred twenty-three nations—including 23 of NATO's 31 members—have joined the United Nations Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits all production, stockpiling, transfer, and use of the weapons. The treaty entered force nearly 13 years ago, but the U.S., Russia, and Ukraine have yet to sign it.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday published a report detailing the catastrophic effects that cluster bombs with exceptionally high bomblet failure rates used by both Russian and Ukrainian forces since the start of the war last year have already had and will have in the years ahead. Mary Wareham, the organization's acting arms director, said that "both sides should immediately stop using them and not try to get more."

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, said Thursday that she was "alarmed" Biden was even "considering sending cluster bombs to Ukraine." She pointed out that more than three dozen human rights and anti-war organizations had urged Biden in June to "remain steadfast" in opposing any transfer of the widely condemned weapons despite growing calls from congressional Republicans and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to send them to Kyiv.

U.S.-made cluster munitions have been used around the world for decades—including during Washington's wars on Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia—unleashing widespread destruction and littering landscapes with unexploded ordnance that still endangers unsuspecting civilians and hinders socioeconomic development generations later. HRW has documented how U.S.-made cluster bombs continue to cause grievous harm in various countries, including Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen.

The subcommittee Lee previously chaired has long blocked the transfer of cluster munitions, which were last exported from the U.S. in 2015. Although the U.S. destroyed roughly 3.7 million cluster bombs from 2008 to 2017 and they are no longer produced by any U.S. companies, the Pentagon is estimated to still possess about 3.7 million "obsolete" cluster bombs containing over 300 million submunitions.

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Questions for this article:

Can cluster bombs be abolished?

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As Arms Control Association executive director Daryl Kimball explained Thursday: "In 2008, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued an order to phase out by 2018 cluster munitions with an unexploded ordnance rate of greater than 1%… [and] in 2011, the Obama administration affirmed this policy."

"The Pentagon has, unfortunately, dragged its feet and in 2017 the Trump administration announced the 2018 deadline for phasing out non-compliant cluster munitions would not be met," said Kimball. "No new deadline for meeting that goal was set by the Trump administration or the Biden administration."

In December, Lee and McGovern were among the 11 Democratic members of Congress who wrote in a letter to Biden that the U.S. "should be leading the global effort to rid the world of these weapons, not continuing to stockpile them."

Congress has passed legislation forbidding the export of cluster bombs that leave behind more than 1% of their submunitions as "duds." However, Biden is using a rarely invoked provision of the Foreign Assistance Act to bypass the restriction on so-called "national security" grounds, increasing the chances that Ukrainian neighborhoods and farms will be polluted with de facto landmines. Ukraine is already facing a multibillion-dollar cleanup effort, de-mining experts say.

According toThe Washington Post:

The principal weapon under consideration, an M864 artillery shell first produced in 1987, is fired from the 155mm howitzers the United States and other Western countries have provided Ukraine. In its last publicly available estimate, more than 20 years ago, the Pentagon assessed that artillery shell to have a “dud” rate of 6%, meaning that at least four of each of the 72 submunitions each shell carries would remain unexploded across an area of approximately 22,500 square meters—roughly the size of 4½ football fields. . . . The Pentagon now says it has new assessments, based on testing as recent as 2020, with failure rates no higher than 2.35%. While that exceeds the limit of 1% mandated by Congress every year since 2017, officials are ‘carefully selecting’ munitions with the 2.35% dud rate or below for transfer to Ukraine, Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said Thursday.

"It's dismaying to see the long-established 1% unexploded ordnance standard for cluster munitions rolled back as this will result in more duds, which means an even greater threat to civilians, including de-miners," Wareham told the newspaper.

"The lack of transparency on how this number was reached is disappointing and seems unprecedented," she added.

As Politico reported:

Marc Garlasco, a former Pentagon official and military adviser at PAX Protection of Civilians, a Dutch NGO, noted that the actual dud rates in the field are much higher than those recorded during tests “conducted under perfect and unrealistic conditions.”

Comments from U.S. officials defending the decision do not allay the fears of many in the community, Garlasco said, expressing skepticism about the Pentagon’s latest test data showing lower dud rates.

Arms control advocates who were on a call with administration officials on Friday said that despite claims the cluster munitions being sent would have lower dud rates, there were no details about the types and sources of the cluster munitions the U.S. plans to send.

Congressional Democrats' December letter urging Biden to join the majority of the world's countries in outlawing cluster bombs was also signed by Reps. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

On Thursday, Jacobs and Omar introduced an amendment to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act recently approved by the House Armed Services Committee that would prevent the sale or transfer of cluster munitions.

Jacobs, Lee, McGovern, and Omar are all members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. But even some hawkish Democrats such as Rep. Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania are not hiding their disgust with Biden's about-face.

"There are some who will say that these weapons are necessary to level the battlefield given Russia's reported use of them," said Houlahan, co-chair of the bipartisan Unexploded Ordnance and Demining Caucus.

"I challenge the notion that we should employ the same tactics Russia is using, blurring the lines of moral high ground," she continued. "And I challenge all of us to remember that this war will end, and the broken pieces of Ukraine will need to be rebuilt."

Biden's move was praised by John Bolton, a notorious warmonger who has served in every GOP-led White House since the Reagan administration. It was also welcomed by some congressional Republicans, including far-right Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.), whose only complaint was that "it took too long."

Sarah Yager, HRW's Washington director, toldThe Hill that those "legislators, policymakers, and the Biden administration will probably think twice when the pictures start coming back of children who have been harmed by American-made cluster munitions.

Songs Dedicated to Abolishing War, Establishing Justice, and Fighting Climate Disaster


An email to CPNN from Mistahi Corkill


I link below my anti-war music video, No to NATO. I hope my song is useful for the anti-war movement to build up forces and strength to oppose those who wish to keep us in perpetual war. Build a people’s lasting victory for peace! Disband NATO! Bring the troops home! 

All the best!


page for Mistahi Corkill at Peace and Planet News

Question for this article:

What place does music have in the peace movement?

Video: No to NATO

Other released videos

Rome is Burning – Song written and recorded for the mass movement which erupted after George Floyd was killed
Move On
Killer Drones

The Trillion Dollar Silencer: Why There Is So Little Anti-War Protest in the United States


A book by Joan Roelofs on sale by Clarity Press.

The Trillion Dollar Silencer investigates the astounding lack of popular protest at the death and destruction that the military industrial complex is inflicting on people, nations, and the environment, and its budget-draining costs. Where is the antiwar protest by progressives, libertarians, environmentalists, civil rights advocates, academics, clergy, community volunteers, artists, et al? This book focuses on how military largesse infests such public sectors’ interests.

Contractors and bases serve as the economic hubs of their regions. State and local governments are intertwined with the DoD; some states have Military Departments. National Guard annual subsidies are large. Joint projects include aid to state environmental departments for restoration, and government-environmental organization teams to create buffer zones for bombing ranges. Economic development commissions aim to attract military industries and keep the existing bases and corporations. Veterans Administration hospitals are boons to their communities.

Universities, colleges, and faculty get contracts and grants from the DoD and its agencies, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Minerva Initiative. Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs are subsidized by the DoD. Civilian jobs in the DoD provide opportunities for scientists, engineers, policy analysts, and others.

Every kind of business and nonprofit, including environmental and charitable organizations like The Nature Conservancy and Goodwill Industries feeds at the DoD trough via contracts and grants.

Individuals, arts institutions, charities, churches, and universities succumb to the profitability of military-related investments. Pension funds of public and private employees are replete with military stocks.

Philanthropy is another silencer. The DoD itself donates equipment to organizations, especially those of youth, and lends equipped battalions to Hollywood. The weapons firms give generously to the arts and charities, heavily to youth and minorities. They also initiate joint programs such as providing tutors and mentors for robotics teams in public schools.

Our militarized economy is destructive and wasteful. How can we replace the multitude of dependencies on military funding and restore the boundary between it and civil society? Surely a first step is to see how military spending results in the complicity of civil society in its pernicious outcomes. That is what this book tries to reveal.

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Questions related to this article:
The peace movement in the United States, What are its strengths and weaknesses?

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Reviewer comments

“It is perhaps the most fraught question of our time, whatever happened to the anti-war movement? In this provocative and illuminating book, Joan Roelofs penetrates deep into the inner-workings of the vast political economy of war-making, revealing how the arms cartel has consolidated its power, captured our political system, infiltrated the media and stifled dissent. At a perilous moment in history, Roelofs has given us a call to action, loud and clear enough to awaken our anesthetized consciences.” JEFFREY ST CLAIR, Editor of CounterPunch, Author, Grand Theft Pentagon

“The Trillion Dollar Silencer is a masterful primer on an institution – the United States military — that has literally thousands of facets and functions, and about a thousand billion dollars each year to support its role in preparing for and making war around the world. Rich in explanatory images, charts and maps, the pieces of the puzzle that Joan Roelofs identifies are so many and so complex that even the most informed readers will learn something in every chapter. The book’s central question is how the military industrial complex has been able to acquire so many taxpayer dollars year after year and so much cultural assent to its overwrought, violent mission. The answers she gives will help us to reverse our otherwise continuing deadly and expensive course.” CATHARINE LUTZ, Professor Emerita of Anthropology and International Studies, Co-Director, Costs of War Project, Brown University

“The world’s leading weapons dealer and warmaker, the United States, may also have the least popular resistance to militarism. Why the quiet acceptance? This book helps us to become aware that darn near every inch of U.S. society has been infiltrated by the normalization or celebration of war preparations, that essentially our culture, not just our elected officials, has been bought. This book also provides guidance on what we can do about it.” DAVID SWANSON, Executive Director of World Beyond War and author of War Is A Lie

“Why is there so much acceptance of, and so little protest against, our war policies and all the other tactics of subversion employed by the military-intelligence-industrial complex to sustain hegemony. While the peace movement answers this question with reference to propaganda, fear and distractions, this book focuses on the enormity of the war machine’s penetration into numerous aspects of civilian life. The sections in the book on this penetration into philanthropy, nonprofit organizations and NGO’s are probably the most eye-popping portions of the book. Roelofs shows that the real goal is the construction of “the normal” in ways functional to the interests of the Pentagon, unconventional warfare institutions and military contractors.” PAUL SHANNON, Executive Committee of Mass[achusetts] Peace Action

“Now is exactly the right time for her highly recommended book.” W.T. WHITNEY, Counterpunch

“…for individuals and collectives who are already politically initiated and opposed to the US imperialist war machine, the present book would be of immense help to widen the cracks of this mighty system…” MANALI CHAKRABARTI, Research Unit for Political Economy, India

(Editor’s note: It has been called to our attention that another article published at this time describes a report on how American military contracts to so-called “think tanks” are able to inject their propaganda into the mass media. The article is Report Shows How Military Industrial Complex Sets Media Narrative on Ukraine. The report shows that Ukraine War coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, from March 1, 2022, through January 31, 2023 quotes 33 think tanks, all but one of which receive military funding.)

Daniel Ellsberg Has Passed Away. He Left Us a Message.


An article by Norman Solomon in Common Dreams (republished according to Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

When  Daniel Ellsberg died on Friday, (June 16) the world lost a transcendent whistleblower with a powerful ethos of compassion and resolve.

Daniel Ellsberg giving the peace sign in front of the White House during a 2011 demonstration calling for the end of the war in Afghanistan.
(Photo credit should read Karen Bleier/AFP via Getty Images)

Ellsberg’s renown for openly challenging the mentalities of militarism began on June 23, 1971, when he appeared on CBS Evening News ten days after news broke about the Pentagon Papers that he’d provided to journalists. Ellsberg pointedly said that in the 7,000 pages of top-secret documents, “I don’t think there is a line in them that contains an estimate of the likely impact of our policy on the overall casualties among Vietnamese or the refugees to be caused, the effects of defoliation in an ecological sense. There’s neither an estimate nor a calculation of past effects, ever.”

And he added: “The documents simply reflect the internal concerns of our officials. That says nothing more nor less than that our officials never did concern themselves with the effect of our policies on the Vietnamese.”

Ellsberg told  anchor Walter Cronkite: “I think we cannot let the officials of the Executive Branch determine for us what it is that the public needs to know about how well and how they are discharging their functions.”

The functions of overseeing the war on Vietnam had become repugnant to Ellsberg as an insider. Many other government officials and top-level consultants with security clearances also had access to documents that showed how mendacious four administrations had been as the U.S. role in Vietnam expanded and then escalated into wholesale slaughter.

Unlike the others, he finally broke free and provided the Pentagon Papers to news media. As he said in the CBS interview, “The fact is that secrets can be held by men in the government whose careers have been spent learning how to keep their mouths shut. I was one of those.”

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

The courage of Mordecai Vanunu and other whistle-blowers, How can we emulate it in our lives?

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Ellsberg’s mouth, and heart, never stayed shut again. For the 52 full years that followed his release of the Pentagon Papers, he devoted himself to speaking, writing, and protesting. When the war on Vietnam finally ended, Ellsberg mainly returned to his earlier preoccupation—how to help prevent nuclear war.

This spring, during the three months after diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, Ellsberg made the most of every day, spending time with loved ones and speaking out about the all-too-real dangers of nuclear annihilation. He left behind two brilliant, monumental books published in this century—“Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers” (2002) and “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner” (2017). They illuminate in sharp ghastly light the patterns of official lies and secrecy about military matters, and the ultimate foreseeable result—nuclear holocaust.

Ellsberg was deeply determined to do all he could to help prevent omnicide. As he said in an interview  when “The Doomsday Machine” came out, scientific research has concluded that nuclear war “would loft into the stratosphere many millions of tons of soot and black smoke from the burning cities. It wouldn’t be rained out in the stratosphere. It would go around the globe very quickly and reduce sunlight by as much as 70 percent, causing temperatures like that of the Little Ice Age, killing harvests worldwide and starving to death nearly everyone on earth. It probably wouldn’t cause extinction. We’re so adaptable. Maybe 1 percent of our current population of 7.4 billion could survive, but 98 or 99 percent would not.”

During the profuse interviews that he engaged in during the last few months, what clearly preoccupied Ellsberg was not his own fate but the fate of the Earth’s inhabitants.

He was acutely aware that while admiration for brave whistleblowers might sometimes be widespread, actual emulation is scarce. Ellsberg often heard that he was inspiring, but he was always far more interested in what people would be inspired to actually do—in a world of war and on the precipice of inconceivable nuclear catastrophe.

During the last decades of his life, standard assumptions and efforts  by mainstream media and the political establishment aimed to consign Ellsberg to the era of the Vietnam War. But in real-time, Dan Ellsberg continually inspired so many of us to be more than merely inspired. We loved him not only for what he had done but also for what he kept doing, for who he was, luminously, ongoing. The power of his vibrant example spurred us to become better than we were.

In a recent series of short illustrated podcasts  created by filmmaker Judith Ehrlich—who co-directed the documentary  “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”—Ellsberg speaks about the growing dangers of global apocalypse, saying that nuclear war planners “have written plans to kill billions of people,” preparations that amount to “a conspiracy to commit omnicide, near omnicide, the death of everyone.” And he adds: “Can humanity survive the nuclear era? We don’t know. I choose to act as if we have a chance.”

United States: Workers Rising in the South


A blog from the United Steel Workers

Workers at Blue Bird Corp. in Fort Valley, Ga., launched a union drive to secure better wages, work-life balance and a voice on the job.

The company resisted them. History defied them. Geography worked against them.

But they stood together, believed in themselves and achieved an historic victory that’s reverberating throughout the South.

About 1,400 workers at the electric bus manufacturer voted overwhelmingly this month to join the United Steelworkers (USW), reflecting the rise of collective power in a part of the country where bosses and right-wing politicians long contrived to foil it.

“It’s just time for a change,” explained Rinardo Cooper, a member of USW Local 572 and a paper machine operator at Graphic Packaging in Macon, Ga.

Cooper, who assisted the workers at Blue Bird with their union drive, expects more Southerners to follow suit even if they face their own uphill battles.

Given the South’s pro-corporate environment, it’s no surprise that Georgia has one of the nation’s lowest union membership rates, 4.4 percent. North Carolina’s rate is even lower, 2.8 percent. And South Carolina’s is 1.7 percent.
Many corporations actually choose to locate in the South because the low union density enables them to pay poor wages, skimp on safety and perpetuate the system of oppression.

In a 2019 study, “The Double Standard at Work,” the AFL-CIO found that even European-based companies with good records in their home countries take advantage of workers they employ in America’s South.

They’ve “interfered with freedom of association, launched aggressive campaigns against employees’ organizing attempts and failed to bargain in good faith when workers choose union representation,” noted the report, citing, among other abuses, Volkswagen’s union-busting efforts at a Tennessee plant.

“They keep stuffing their pockets and paying pennies on the dollar,” Cooper said of companies cashing in at workers’ expense.

The consequences are dire.

States with low union membership have significantly higher poverty, according to a 2021 study by researchers at the University of Minnesota and the University of California, Riverside. Georgia’s 14 percent poverty rate, for example, is among the worst in the country.

However, the tide is turning as workers increasingly see union membership as a clear path forward, observed Cooper, who left his own job at Blue Bird several months ago because the grueling schedule left him little time to spend with family.

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Question related to this article:
What is the contribution of trade unions to the culture of peace?

The right to form and join trade unions, Is it being respected?

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Now, as a union paper worker, he not only makes higher wages than he did at Blue Bird but also benefits from safer working conditions and a voice on the job. And with the USW holding the company accountable, he’s free to take the vacation and other time off he earns.  

Cooper’s story helped to inspire the bus company workers’ quest for better lives. But they also resolved to fight for their fair share as Blue Bird increasingly leans on their knowledge, skills and dedication in coming years.

The company stands to land tens of millions in subsidies from President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and other federal programs aimed at putting more electric vehicles on the roads, supercharging the manufacturing economy and supporting good jobs.

These goals are inextricably linked, as Biden made clear in a statement congratulating the bus company workers on their USW vote. “The fact is: The middle class built America,” he said. “And unions built the middle class.”

Worker power is spreading not only in manufacturing but across numerous industries in the South.

About 500 ramp agents, truck drivers and other workers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina just voted to form a union. Workers in Knoxville, Tenn., last year unionized the first Starbucks in the South.

And first responders in Virginia and utility workers in Georgia and Kentucky also formed unions in recent months, while workers at Lowe’s in Louisiana launched groundbreaking efforts to unionize the home-improvement giant.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to tell any worker at any manufacturing place here that the route you need to take is the union. That’s the only fairness you’re going to get,” declared Anthony Ploof, who helped to lead dozens of co-workers at Carfair into the USW earlier this year.

Workers at the Anniston, Ala., company make fiberglass-reinforced polymer components for vehicles, including hybrid and electric buses. Like all workers, they decided to unionize to gain a seat at the table and a means of holding their employer accountable.

Instead of fighting the union effort, as many companies do, Carfair remained neutral so the workers could exercise their will. In the end, 98 percent voted to join the USW, showing that workers overwhelmingly want unions when they’re free to choose without bullying, threats or retaliation.

“It didn’t take much here,” said Ploof, noting workers had little experience with unions but educated themselves about the benefits and quickly came to a consensus on joining the USW.

“It’s reaching out from Carfair,” he added, noting workers at other companies in the area have approached him to ask, “How is that working out? How do we organize?”

As his new union brothers and sisters at Blue Bird prepare to negotiate their first contract, Cooper hopes to get involved in other organizing drives, lift up more workers and continue changing the trajectory of the South.

“We just really need to keep putting the message out there, letting people know that there is a better way than what the employers are wanting you to believe,” he said.

(Thank you to Nation of Change for calling our attention to this article.)

United States: Labor’s Uptick Isn’t Just Hype


An article by Eric Blanc in Labor Politics (reprinted by permission)

Is the current labor uptick just more hype than reality? Numerous articles have recently made this   case, pointing to the continued decline in union density in 2022. This skepticism also appears to be the prevailing view among most national union leaders. Though rarely stated publicly, labor’s continued routinism suggests that few people up top see our moment as particularly novel or urgent.

Fortune 500 Companies Targeted by Unionization, 2021-2022

But contrary to these skeptics, there is compelling data indicating that things really are changing — and, therefore, that unions should immediately make a major turn to new organizing.

Consider, for instance, the statewide 2018 educators’ strikes, which were largely begun over viral rank-and-file Facebook groups. These were the first US strike wave since the 1970s, impacting millions of students and involving hundreds of thousands of school workers. Strike activity in 2018 rose to its highest peak since the mid-1980s and it remained high in 2019 as the wave spread to blue cities like Los Angeles and Chicago. The qualitative shift was even more significant: unlike in the Reagan era, the red state revolt consisted of work stoppages that were mostly illegal, statewide in scope, offensive in their demands, and generally victorious in their outcomes. 

Union membership numbers present a grimmer picture.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 273,000 workers joined unions last year. Yet because total employment rose at a faster rate, union density fell from 10.3 to 10.1 percent from 2021 to 2022. Clearly, we are not currently in an upsurge analogous to the 1930s. As exciting as recent campaigns may be, we should be sober about their very real limitations. 

Dwelling only on the continued decline of union density, however, misses the forest for the trees. One of the reasons why recent worker-driven campaigns are so qualitatively important is that they have won union elections at some of the largest corporations in the world. Amazon’s 1.1 million employees, for example, constitutes the country’s second largest workforce and Starbucks’ workforce is the eighth largest. 

Winning elections at these types of firms is a major development that is not captured by membership rolls alone. National unions have for decades generally avoided pushing for union elections at such large companies, believing not unreasonably that they were simply too powerful to defeat — at least under our current, threadbare and barely-enforced, labor laws. As such, the vast majority of years since the Fortune 500 was established in 1955 have witnessed zero, or at most one, union drives at the non-union companies on the list. In contrast, 2021 saw three such drives and 2022 saw eight. 

Given labor’s overall risk-aversion, it is not surprising that a majority of those organizing efforts were instances of what I call DIY Unionism — strikes and union drives that are initiated by self-organized workers and/or in which workers take on key responsibilities traditionally reserved for union staff.

(article continued in right column)

Question related to this article:

What is the contribution of trade unions to the culture of peace?

The right to form and join trade unions, Is it being respected?

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Labor’s opponents are well aware of this increase in worker-to-worker organizing. In a 2022 report, the notorious union-busting firm Littler Mendelson sounded the alarm:
“There has been a shift in how people are organizing together to petition for representation. What was once a top-down approach, whereby the union would seek out a group of individuals, has flipped entirely. Now, individuals are banding together to form grassroots organizing movements where individual employees are the ones to invite the labor organization to assist them in their pursuit to be represented.”

To be sure, workers at Amazon, Starbucks, Apple, Google, and other mega-corporations are still a long way away from winning a first contract. That will likely take many years, more intervention from state actors, and greater resources from established unions towards boosting, and defending, new organizing. But it is a major historical development that unionizing the US private sector’s biggest players no longer seems like a distant fantasy. 

The fact that these recent drives have won elections against such economic heavyweights helps explain why news coverage of unions shot up in 2022 — as does the fact that media outlets have become one of labor’s most dynamic growth areas.

Increased publicity about David versus Goliath workplace organizing, and negative publicity about union busting, is bad news for corporate America. Stories of ordinary workers taking on billionaire CEOs tend to spur copycat attempts. And coverage of illegal (or morally reprehensible) union busting tarnishes company brands, while increasing pressure on elected officials to defend and enforce labor law. 

When it comes to fomenting today’s pro-union zeitgeist, the growth of pro-union sentiment over social media is no less significant. To cite just a few examples: Antiwork — a misleadingly named Reddit group focused on exposing bad working conditions and promoting unionization — shot up from 80,000 members in early 2020 to 2.3 million members by late 2022. The labor-focused media outlet More Perfect Union has received 150 million views on its YouTube and TikTok videos. And videos of Starbucks workers walking out in response to illegal firings now regularly go viral, racking up millions of views and exposing the hypocrisy of a nominally progressive corporation. Starbucks’ Vice President of Partner Resources thus recently admitted that she had to turn off social media because it “has been very disheartening. And yet perception is reality in some way shape or form.”

Media attention on its own will not turn things around for unions, but it is nevertheless critical for keeping up momentum and bringing “the labor question” back to the center of US politics. Millions of workers are finally beginning to see that non-union jobs can become union jobs — and that they personally could play a role in making that happen.

No less important, coverage of recent union drives among white-collar and (largely female) pink-collar care workers has undercut the still-common myth that unions are just for white men in hard industry. Multiple worker organizer interviewees explained to me that the first thing they had to do was disabuse themselves and their colleagues of the assumption, to quote a New York Times tech worker named Vicki, that “unions are just for coal miners or something — not for us.”

Google analytics allows us to measure the increase in search queries last year asking the question: “How do I form a union?” The following graph captures a surge in bottom-up unionization interest, particularly in the wake of the highly publicized union win at Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse on Staten Island. Today’s active interest in unionization constitutes a major contextual difference from the 1990s and 2000s when labor’s halting turn to new organizing stumbled over the high staff resources required to spark workers to unionize.

Qualitative data also indicates that there has been an increase in individual workers directly reaching out to unions asking them to organize them — what unions usually call “hot shops.” To quote a cannabis industry worker turned Teamsters organizer in Illinois, “these workers are reaching out to us for help, so that’s unusual. It used to be we were seeking them out and now they’re coming to us. Our phones are ringing constantly with workers who want protection, higher wages, better benefits and accountability from these companies.” 

Put simply: despite the immense power of the forces arrayed against them, rank-and-file organizers today are continuing to take big risks to win power and democracy at work. Unions should follow their lead.

The Washington Consensus Supporting Sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela Is Breaking


An article by Branko Marcetic in Jacobin

Twenty-one members of Congress last week called for lifting US sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela, including most of the Squad. The pushback is needed: sanctions are a cruel economic weapon that hurts average people — and has spurred a surge of economic refugees.

Activists carry Venezuelan and Cuban flags during a protest rejecting President Joe Biden’s policy of sanctions on June 10, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Ringo Chiu / AFP via Getty Images)

One of the defining features of our era has been the loss of a domestic political appetite for more US wars. But a similar pushback to Washington’s use of sanctions has been slow to follow, despite the fact that US sanctions are demonstrably cruel, indiscriminate, ineffective, and often illegal.

The near-term prospects for a groundswell of US opposition to sanctions are basically nonexistent at this point. But we may be seeing the beginnings of one taking shape: last week saw twenty-one House Democrats send Joe Biden a letter calling on the president to end US sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela and review Donald Trump–era sanctions policy more generally, in light of the “border crisis,” which has seen a surge in migrants at the southern border (though one that is lower than expected ) since the expiration of the Donald Trump–era Title 42 order.

Calling the sanctions “a critical contributing factor in the current increase in migration,” the letter points to “their grave humanitarian toll on the peoples of those countries” and the “significant logistical challenges” it is creating for US authorities. But the letter also stresses that “there are also strong moral grounds” to lift the sanctions and that US policy should seek to not “exacerbate the suffering of the innocent people whose freedom we seek to advance.”

Organized by two representatives of border states, Reps. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) — a cochair of Biden’s 2024 campaign and Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) very first congressional endorser, respectively — the letter was cosigned by a number of progressive elected officials, including Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Chuy García (D-IL), and six of the newly expanded “Squad” of progressive and socialist members of Congress.

The signatures of Squad members Ilhan Omar, Summer Lee, and Ayanna Pressley were missing from the letter. Massachusetts representative Jim McGovern, who has repeatedly called on Biden to lift sanctions against Venezuela in the past, also didn’t sign the letter, and his Northampton office was met by protests from the Anti-Imperialism Action Committee, an anti-capitalist activist collective based in Western Massachusetts, and other activists as a result.

Some of the progressive signatories have taken this message to other platforms. At a May 11 House Agriculture Committee meeting, Rep. Greg Casar (D-TX) — one of the newly minted Squad members who won his seat in these past midterms — spoke about the failure of the decades-long US blockade on Cuba in fostering democracy and called for “revisiting our policies that push people out of their home countries,” emphasizing the economic costs to the US economy that result.

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Question related to this article:

Are economic sanctions a violation of human rights?

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“I don’t think that it serves us to be starving people abroad,” he said. “I think it helps Americans for us to be feeding people all over the world.”

Khanna similarly took this message to a venue where viewers are unlikely to have heard criticism of Biden’s continuation of Trump–era sanctions policy: MSNBC, on the Morning Joe  show.

“Look at what’s causing people to flee Venezuela and Cuba,” he urged. “The Republicans are saying, ‘let’s sanction them more.’ That’s causing more people to actually leave. Let’s look at rational sanction policy so we’re not causing the influx.”

Progressive criticism of sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela — both of which are explicitly aimed at fomenting regime change in the countries — have been backed up by Ben Rhodes, a foreign policy advisor for former president Barack Obama.

“This is an obvious thing that is sitting right in front of the Biden administration, to just go back to the kind of openness that we had at the end of the Obama years [and] make life better for the Cuban people,” he said in a recent MSNBC appearance, warning that the political cost for Biden stemming from events at the border would be worse than for lifting Trump’s “maximum pressure” sanctions.

This course has also been endorsed by leftist Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who said he had personally urged Biden to attack the root causes of migration to the US southern border, namely the “poverty and abandonment” endemic to those countries — and which US sanctions have unquestionably played a major role in causing. This comes a month after the US envoy of the Venezuelan opposition itself, which only a year ago was demanding that Biden not waver on Trump’s policy, implored the administration to end the sanctions, lest it turn Venezuela into “another Cuba.”

Despite this diverse chorus of voices pushing for sanctions to be lifted, it’s also running into a wall. That’s because, according to the Washington Post, the Biden administration is worried about alienating Cuban-American Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who wrote a counterletter claiming, as all sanctions enthusiasts do, that the policy has nothing to do with the exodus of people from both countries.

Menendez is a hard-line supporter of Trump’s sanctions policy, and is currently under federal investigation eight years after already once being indicted on separate bribery charges. When he finds time away from potential criminal prosecution, Menendez is a full-time hawk who teams up with neocon Lindsey Graham to push legislation undermining peaceful coexistence with China and Iran. Since it relies on him to push through appointments blocked by the GOP and to pursue its wider geostrategic goals, the administration has tended to give Menendez enormous leeway in driving its own foreign policy decision-making, something that likely won’t change anytime soon.

Still, the fact that there’s any disquiet being heard at all in Washington toward the ruinous and largely pointless US overuse of sanctions — a weapon that the Biden administration has used with record frequency — is an important development. Political shifts in the halls of Congress don’t happen overnight and are usually the fruit of months and years of small, symbolic measures like this letter, adding up bit by bit to slowly shift what’s politically acceptable. This progressive challenge to a president — one who’s otherwise enjoying near-dictatorial levels of obeisance from fellow elected Democrats — is a first step, and one that couldn’t have happened without the election of progressive insurgents to Congress.