Tag Archives: North America

USA: 200+ Unions Launch Network to Push for Gaza Cease-Fire


An article by Brett Wilkins from Common Dreams ( licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Seven national and over 200 local labor unions in the United States on Friday announced  the establishment of a coalition to promote a cease-fire in Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

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The American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the Association of Flight Attendants, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, the National Education Association, National Nurses United (NNU), the United Auto Workers (UAW), and the United Electrical Workers (UE), and 200 local unions and labor organizations launched the National Labor Network for Cease-fire (NLNC) to “end the death and devastation” in Gaza.

The coalition says it represents more than 9 million union workers—”more than half the labor movement in the United States.”

“The war between Israel and Hamas has continued unabated since Hamas brutally attacked Israel on October 7, killing 1,163 people, and taking 253 hostages,” NLNC said in a statement.

“Israel responded with an onslaught that has killed over 28,000 Palestinians and left over 67,000 others injured,” while “1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced, and humanitarian aid remains mostly blocked from those in need,” the coalition added.

NLCN is calling for:

° An immediate cease-fire in Gaza between Israel and Hamas;
° Restoration of basic human rights;
° The immediate release of hostages taken by Hamas;
° Unimpeded full access for humanitarian aid; and
° A call for a cease-fire by U.S. President Joe Biden.

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Question related to this article:

How can war crimes be documented, stopped, punished and prevented?

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

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In his strongest statement yet, Biden—who has been dubbed “Genocide Joe” by some activists for his staunch support for Israel—said  Friday that he has called for a “temporary cease-fire” during private phone calls with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Leaders of the seven unions—most of which have already called for a cease-fire—issued statements underscoring the imperative for peace.

“The UAW has a long tradition of calling for peace and justice for working-class people across the globe, and we live that tradition today,” UAW president Shawn Fain said. “In that spirit, we call for an immediate end to the U.S. government’s funding and support of this brutal assault on Gaza.”

Carl Rosen, UE’s president, said: “The support for a cease-fire is overwhelming. We can’t stand by in the face of this suffering. We cannot bomb our way to peace. We express our solidarity with all workers and our common desire for peace in Palestine  and Israel.”

APWU president Mark Dimondstein said that “as a union that stands for equality, social justice, human and labor rights, we unite with unions and people of goodwill around the world in calls for a cease-fire, for justice and peace. The cries of humanity call for nothing less.”

Bonnie Castillo, the NNU’s executive director, asserted that “nurses cannot allow our patients and our colleagues to continue suffering from the traumas of war.”

“We vow to protect and heal all people, and it’s our duty to speak up for every human being’s right to a life free of violence,” she added. “We’re calling for a cease-fire now before one more life is lost, before one more family faces injuries or illnesses.”

The NLCN’s formation follows last week’s cease-fire call  by the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor federation.

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Exclusive: Putin’s suggestion of Ukraine ceasefire rejected by United States, sources say


An article from Reuters (reprinted by permission)

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s suggestion of a ceasefire in Ukraine to freeze the war was rejected by the United States after contacts between intermediaries, three Russian sources with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters.

The failure of Putin’s approach ushers in a third year of the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War Two and illustrates just how far apart the world’s two largest nuclear powers remain.

Frame from video about proposal

A U.S. source denied there had been any official contact and said Washington would not engage in talks that did not involve Ukraine.

Putin sent signals to Washington in 2023 in public and privately through intermediaries, including through Moscow’s Arab partners in the Middle East and others, that he was ready to consider a ceasefire in Ukraine, the Russian sources said.

Putin was proposing to freeze the conflict at the current lines and was unwilling to cede any of the Ukrainian territory controlled by Russia, but the signal offered what some in the Kremlin saw as the best path towards a peace of some kind.

“The contacts with the Americans came to nothing,” a senior Russian source with knowledge of the discussions in late 2023 and early 2024 told Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.

A second Russian source with knowledge of the contacts told Reuters that the Americans told Moscow, via the intermediaries, they would not discuss a possible ceasefire without the participation of Ukraine and so the contacts ended in failure.

A third source with knowledge of the discussions said: “Everything fell apart with the Americans.” The source said that the Americans did not want to pressure Ukraine.

The extent of the contacts – and their failure – has not previously been reported.

It comes as U.S. President Joe Biden has for months been pushing Congress to approve more aid for Ukraine, but has faced opposition from allies of Republican presidential nomination frontrunner Donald Trump.

The Kremlin, the White House, the U.S. State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) all declined to comment.


Putin sent thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, triggering a full-scale war after eight years of conflict in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces on the one side and pro-Russian Ukrainians and Russian proxies on the other.

Ukraine says it is fighting for its existence and the West casts Putin’s invasion as an imperial-style land grab that challenges the post-Cold War international order.

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Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says he will never accept Russia’s control over Ukrainian land. He has outlawed any contacts with Russia.

A U.S. official, speaking in Washington on condition of anonymity, said that the U.S. has not engaged in any back channel discussions with Russia and that Washington had been consistent in not going behind the back of Ukraine.

The U.S. official said that there appeared to have been unofficial “Track II” conversations among Russians not in the government but that the United States was not engaged in them.

The U.S. official said Putin’s proposal, based on what has been publicly reported, was unchanged from past demands that Russia hold on to Ukrainian territory. The official suggested that there appeared to be frustration in Moscow that Washington had repeatedly refused to accept it.

Putin told U.S. talk-show host Tucker Carlson last week that Russia was ready for “dialogue”.


Intermediaries met in Turkey in late 2023, according to three Russian sources.

A fourth diplomatic source said that there had been Russian-U.S. unofficial contacts through intermediaries at Russia’s initiative but that they appeared to have come to nothing.

The U.S. official said he was unaware of unofficial contact through intermediaries.

According to three Russian sources, Putin’s signal was relayed to Washington, where top U.S. officials including White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Central Intelligence Agency Director Bill Burns and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met.

The idea was that Sullivan would speak to Putin’s foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, and set out the next steps, one of the Russian sources said.

But when the call came in January, Sullivan told Ushakov that Washington was willing to talk about other aspects of the relationship but would not speak about a ceasefire without Ukraine, said one of the Russian sources.

The U.S. official refused to be drawn on any details of Sullivan’s purported calls, or whether such a conversation with Ushakov took place.


One of the Russian sources expressed frustration with the United States over Washington’s insistence that it would not nudge Ukraine towards talks given that the United States was helping to fund the war.

“Putin said: ‘I knew they wouldn’t do anything’,” another of the Russian sources said. “They cut off the root of the contacts which had taken two months to create.”

Another Russian source said that the United States did not appear to believe Putin was sincere.

“The Americans didn’t believe Putin was genuine about a ceasefire – but he was and is – he is ready to discuss a ceasefire. But equally Putin is also ready to fight on for as long as it takes – and Russia can fight for as long as it takes,” the Russian source said.

The Kremlin sees little point in further contacts with the United States on the issue, the Russian sources said, so the war would continue.

Writing by Guy Faulconbridge in Moscow; Additional reporting by Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Alex Richardson

American Attitudes about the Conflict in Ukraine


A survey by the Gallup Poll


° Republican support for Ukraine war has withered since start of conflict

° 41% of Americans say U.S. is doing too much to support Ukraine

° Democrats remain steadfast in support of current approach to Ukraine

° 64% of Americans say neither side is winning the war

1. Helping Ukraine Too Much or Too Little?

As the harsh winter months approach in Ukraine, Americans’ views on the war there have shifted, with a plurality now saying the U.S. is doing too much to help Ukraine. Forty-one percent of Americans overall say the U.S. is doing too much, which has risen from 24% in August 2022 and 29% in June 2023. Thirty-three percent, down from 43% in June, say the U.S. is doing the right amount, while 25% believe the U.S. isn’t doing enough.

2. The Partisan Divide on the War Effort

Both Republicans (62%) and independents (44%) increasingly see the U.S. as doing too much to support Ukraine compared with when Gallup began asking this question in August 2022.

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Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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3. Ending the War or Going Long?

Another key question that has loomed over the conflict since it began is how it ends. In August 2022, a majority (66%) of Americans believed the U.S. should support Ukraine in reclaiming its former territory, even if this resulted in a prolonged conflict. That view has waned but not completely shifted, as 54% of Americans maintain that view. Forty-three percent now favor the U.S. trying to help end the war quickly, even if that means Ukraine cedes territory to Russia.

4. Partisans on “Staying the Course”

Partisan shifts have been significant on the question of how to end the war, with a majority of Republicans (55%) now preferring to end the conflict as soon as possible. Independents have also shifted notably on this question and are now divided evenly between those who support a prolonged conflict, with Ukraine regaining all lost territory, and those who would like to see the war end as soon as possible. Democrats continue to favor helping Ukraine regain its lost territory.

5. Financial Aid and Its Limits

While nations across Europe have contributed to the war effort in Ukraine, the U.S. has provided the lion’s share of support, which has become a hot political topic among some congressional leaders calling for limits on the funds being committed to Kyiv. Today, 61% of Americans say the financial aid Ukraine receives from Washington should have limits, with over eight in 10 Republicans sharing this view. Thirty-seven percent of Americans, including 65% of Democrats, believe the U.S. should continue to provide aid as long as Ukraine requests it.

6. Who’s Winning the War?

And finally, a question Gallup began asking in June of this year is who, if anyone, is winning the war? Today, 64% of Americans say neither side is, a seven-percentage-point increase in this view since the summer, when the world was awaiting a Ukrainian counteroffensive that stalled because of Russia’s military entrenchment across the Donbas. Interestingly, the view that neither side is currently winning the war is the only question on the war where there is at least some consistency across party ID, with little to no differences among Democrats, independents and Republicans. Democrats, however, are far more likely than Republicans and independents to believe Ukraine, rather than Russia, is winning.

The Rez of the Story: What is a culture of peace?


An article by Vince Two Eagles in the Lakota Times (located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, USA)

Yesterday, February 4th, was recognized as the “International Day of Human Fraternity by the United Nations.” The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls for we humans to “…reaffirm our commitment to bridging divides, fostering religious understanding and cooperation among people of all cultures and beliefs. Together, let us forge a path towards a more peaceful, just and harmonious work for all.”

The headline reads, “Human fraternity for peace and cooperation” on the UN website. The very valid question, “What is the culture of peace?” is asked and answered as follows:

“The culture of peace is a set of values, attitudes, traditions and models of behavior and ways of life based on:

1. Respect for life, ending of violence and promotion and practice of non-violence through education, dialogue and cooperation;

2. Full respect for the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States and non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law;

3. Full respect for and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms;

4. Commitment to peaceful settlement of conflicts;

5. Efforts to meet the developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations;

6. Respect for and promotion of the right to development; Respect for and promotion of equal rights and opportunities for women and men;

7. Respect for and promotion of the right of everyone to freedom of expression, opinion and information;

8. Adherence to the principles of freedom, justice, democracy, tolerance, solidarity, cooperation, pluralism, culture diversity, dialogue and understanding at all levels of society and among nations; and fostered by an enabling national and international environment conducive to peace; (Source: A/ RES/53/243).”

The UN site goes on to state:”We need — perhaps more than ever before — to recognize the valuable contribution of people of all religions, or beliefs, to humanity and the contribution that dialogue among all religious groups can make towards an improved awareness and understanding of the common values shared by all humankind.”

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Question for this article:

Can the vision of a culture of peace help inspire action?

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“We also need to underline the importance of raising awareness about different cultures and religions, or beliefs, and the promotion of tolerance, which involves societal acceptance and respect for religious and cultural diversity, including with regard to religious expression. Education, in particular at school, should contribute in a meaningful way to promoting tolerance and the elimination of discrimination based on religion or belief.”

“Furthermore, we must acknowledge that tolerance, pluralistic tradition, mutual respect and the diversity of religions and beliefs promote human fraternity. Thus, it is imperative that we encourage activities aimed at promoting inter-religious and intercultural dialogue in order to enhance peace and social stability, respect for diversity and mutual respect and to create, at the global level, and also at the regional, national and local levels, an environment conducive to peace and mutual understanding.”

“Within that frame, the General-Assembly took note of all international, regional, national and local initiatives, as appropriate, as well as efforts by religious leaders, to promote inter-religious and intercultural dialogue, and in this regard took note also of the meeting between Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad al-Tayyib, on 4 February 2019 in Abu Dhabi, which resulted in the signing of the document entitled ‘Human fraternity for world peace and living together’.”

“Following the devastation of the Second World War, the United Nations was established to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. One of its purposes is to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems, including by promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.”

“In 1999, the General-Assembly adopted, by resolution 53/243, the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, which serves as the universal mandate for the international community, particularly the United Nations system, to promote a culture of peace and non-violence that benefits all of humanity, including future generations.”

“The declaration came about as a result of the long held and cherished concept — contained within the Constitution of UNESCO — that “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” The Declaration embraces the principle that peace is not merely the absence of conflict, but also requires a positive, dynamic participatory process, in which dialogue is encouraged and conflicts are resolved in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation.”

“On 20 October 2010, the General-Assembly in resolutionA/RES/65/5 pointed out that mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and established World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith. It further recognized the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and religions to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people.”

“At the core of all the faith systems and traditions is the recognition that we are all in this together and that we need to love and support one another to live in harmony and peace in an environmentally sustainable world. Our world continues to be beset by conflict and intolerance with rising numbers refugees and the internationally displaced in a hostile and unwelcoming world around them. We are also, unfortunately, witnessing messages of hate spreading discord among people. The need for spiritual guidance has never been greater. It is imperative that we double our efforts to spread the message of good neighborliness based on our common humanity, a message shared by all faith [and non-faith] traditions.”

“The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 4 February as the International Day of Human Fraternity, with resolution 75/200.”

And now you know the Rez of the story.

Doksha . . . (“see you later” in the Sioux language)

United States: The Black Choreographers Dancing Toward Justice


An article by Hannah J. Davies from Hyperallergic (produced in collaboration with the Arts & Culture MA concentration at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism)

Since it began over a decade ago, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has celebrated the literal movements of its participants. People protesting killings of Black people have not only marched in the streets; they have krumped, twerked, vogued, and resurrected the electric slide of the ’70s and ’80s in often impromptu responses to the emotions underpinning their demonstrations. Black choreographers, in turn, have woven the grief, anger, and sadness of the BLM movement into formal concert dance.

Choreographer Chanel DaSilva’s Tabernacle (2023) (photo by Amitava Sarkar, courtesy the Dallas Black Dance Theatre)

Choreographer Kyle Abraham presented “Absent Matter” in 2015, just two years after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, ignited BLM and one year after the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. A work of fluid and athletic gestures, Abraham’s performance took its cues from hip-hop, ballet, and politically minded anthems like Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright.” In 2016, David Roussève’s “Enough?” — with an accelerating choreographic phrase danced to a soundtrack of Aretha Franklin — asked whether dance can be a sufficient medium for considering the brutality often inflicted on Black people.

Now (January 2024), eight years later, that question is being answered in the affirmative on major dance stages around the United States. Choreographer Jamar Roberts’s “Ode,” a somber and sensuous dance first performed in 2019 as a response to gun violence, was restaged for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 65th anniversary in December. Last May, Chanel DaSilva’s “Tabernacle” premiered at the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, fusing Afrofuturism, hip hop, and African dance in a direct response to BLM. And last fall, as part of the French Institute Alliance Française’s (FIAF) Crossing the Line festival, the French-Malian choreographer Smaïl Kanouté’s “Never Twenty One” made its New York debut, its title borrowed from a BLM slogan. A trio of dancers whose bare arms and torsos were emblazoned with words like “death,” “negro,” and “PTSD” engage in movements akin to mortal combat onstage, punctuated by moments of kinship, in homage to people of color killed through gun violence in the US, South Africa, and Brazil before they had reached their 21st birthdays. After the performance at FIAF, one audience member noted that she had cried 63 times while watching.

While there is a clear difference between dance erupting on sidewalks and performances choreographed for the stage, there is overlap between the two forms. In addition to a sense of urgency, they share some of the same movements and gestures. In “Never Twenty One,” for example, the spasmodic krumping motions that originated in South Central Los Angeles in the ’90s were seen in protests in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd. One audience member animatedly joined in from her chair during the show at FIAF in perhaps an unusual move, but in another setting, it would be almost rude not to.

Dr. Shamell Bell, a dancer, Harvard lecturer, and one of the founding members of the Black Lives Matter movement in Los Angeles, explained to Hyperallergic the importance of rooting such pieces in lived experience and “[reaching] out to the people that you’re supposedly wanting to bring attention to.” Having begun her career dancing on the streets as a youth activist, Dr. Bell now works on performance pieces that, like “Never Twenty One,” play with the conventions and traditions of vernacular Black dance genres to shine a light on difficult topics.

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Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?, What is, or should be, their role in our movement?

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Dr. Bell served as a co-social impact director for Ritual of Breath Is The Rite to Resist (2022), a transmedia opera at Dartmouth and Stanford that brought together dance, music, visual art, and text. Composed by Jonathan Berger and choreographed by Neema Bickersteth and Trebien Pollard, the piece was loosely based on the last moments in the life of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old African-American man who was killed by a New York City Police Department officer in 2014. His final words — “I can’t breathe” — became a major slogan for the BLM movement.

“We asked the community what they needed to heal,” Dr. Bell said. “One of the most important aspects of doing performance as activism is making sure it has tangible resources for and connections with the community it matters the most to.”

Dr. Bell reached out to Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, and others who had lost children to police brutality, not only entering into a dialogue with them but also creating rituals aimed at supporting them emotionally. In a similar vein, Kanouté incorporated the testimonies of bereaved families into his piece at FIAF, including haunting monologues in multiple languages that comprise the show’s soundtrack. Both works go beyond archiving the experiences of their subjects to also provide a space for grieving. “Dance is a healing modality,” Dr. Bell added. “And we need to heal ourselves in order to heal this world.”

Of course, BLM and other movements for racial justice are just the latest chapters in a long history of Black cultural activism in the United States. Artist and academic Stafford C. Berry Jr., a scholar of what he describes as “African-rooted” dance at Indiana University, told Hyperallergic that these choreographic works extend and are part of “the trajectory and existence of Black lives from enslavement up until now,” adding that the BLM movement “is really a contemporary recapitulation of our earlier movements.” Mentored by the influential choreographers Chuck Davis and Kariamu Welsh, Berry noted that he has long drawn inspiration from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and ’70s, which emerged in tandem with Black Power. Even so, Berry sees the BLM movement’s resurgence in recent years as a step forward in understanding Blackness in America. Berry noted that the works that BLM has inspired have been “bold and unapologetic, by people who are centering themselves and trying to figure out what BLM means for the United States, and the world.”

This certainly seems true of Kanouté, who is based in Paris and was inspired by what he described to Hyperallergic as the “powerful echo” of events in the US to look at the loss of Black lives across the world. “We had a young man called Nahel [Merzouk] who was shot by the police,” he said, catching his breath backstage after the FIAF performance as he recalled the case of the 17-year-old boy of North African descent who was killed by French police last June, sparking protests across France. “The racism and separation I grew up with was under the surface, but now it’s come out.”

In the same way that popular dance can offer a sense of hope and resistance at protests, there is a cathartic quality to Kanouté’s work. Despite the frequent choreographed clashes among the three men on stage, “Never 21” was infused with a sense of truly owning and embracing Blackness and Black joy in its many forms. Kanouté explained that he draws particular inspiration from Black communities living in cities like Johannesburg and Rio de Janeiro, whose joy often exists side by side with danger and precarity.

“They have to create their own identity, their own music, their own dance, because they don’t know if tomorrow they will still be there,” Kanouté said. “In that kind of atmosphere, you create powerful things.”

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David Malcom Krieger, Man of Peace


An obituary from Waging Peace

David Malcom Krieger, man of peace, passed away on December 7, 2023 and left the world with one less champion.

David was born on March 27, 1942 to Herbert and Sybil Krieger in Los Angeles. The family settled in the San Fernando Valley where his father was the first pediatrician. David attended North Hollywood High before heading to Occidental College where he graduated with a degree in Psychology. He was getting his PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawaii when he met and married Carolee, his wife of 57 years. He did get the PhD, too.

David traveled to Japan to study as part of his PhD work and was so moved by what he experienced and learned in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that he dedicated the rest of his life to abolishing nuclear weapons and achieving peace. He was drafted into the army during the Vietnam War almost simultaneously. However, his clarity of mind and morals would not allow for participating in war and killing. He was, as far as we know, the first Officer in the Vietnam War to sue for Conscientious Objector status.

In 1972, David came to Santa Barbara to work as an assistant to Elisabeth Mann Borgese at the Center for The Study of Democratic Institutions. Here he collaborated with some of the greatest minds of the time on the subject of democracy. He and Carolee stayed in Santa Barbara, raising their three children among the blood orange trees and peacocks on the property they worked tirelessly to convert from rocks and weeds to the artists’ and gardeners’ paradise that it is now.

In 1982, David, Frank Kelly, Wally Drew, and two others founded the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. This was to be David’s proudest accomplishment. David Krieger led the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation until his retirement in 2019. His work, educating, advocating, writing extensively, and speaking all over the world about the dangers of the nuclear age and the insanity of the nuclear arms race helped advance the cause of peace with justice, particularly among young people, however, also with nearly everyone he personally encountered. David’s charisma, honesty, and depth of knowledge on the subject were hard to disagree with. David Krieger was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize ten separate years.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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David developed a passion for karate when he was in Japan in his early 20s. As with everything he was passionate about, he dedicated himself to being among the best at it, earning his black belt in the Shito-Ryu form, and founding and running his own Dojo, Pacific Karate-Do Institute. He taught many Santa Barbarians karate in the 1970s and 1980s, and counted some of those former students among his closest friends.

David loved to play tennis and for years, his free afternoons and weekend mornings were spent playing with some of his other closest friends.

David was also a prolific poet. He found poetry to be an excellent way to express his impression of world events and daily joys.

David Krieger was a man of thought, of conviction, and of honor. He wanted to make the world safer, more peaceful, and ultimately a kinder and more just place for everyone and everything. He never stopped believing it was possible. In his honor, we admonish you to carry this work on.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to: The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

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Here is an excerpt from his last message as President of the Nuclear-Age Peace Foundation:

When we founded NAPF in 1982, the world was adrift in nuclear dangers. We began with a belief in the necessity of awakening people everywhere to the dangers of the Nuclear Age – a time in which our technological prowess exceeded our ethical development. This dilemma continues today. For nearly four decades, we have been a steady, consistent and creative voice for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons.

As the calendar page turns to 2020, we are working to create a peace literate world, based upon empathy, caring, kindness and overcoming fear, greed and trauma: a world in which nuclear weapons can be abolished and stay abolished. Our Peace Literacy Initiative, headed by Paul K. Chappell, a West Point graduate, goes to the root causes of war and nuclear weapons. It is a profound way of waging peace.

As the next generation prepares to take the helm at NAPF, I ask you to believe in the power of our work now more than ever. We have exciting plans to scale up our Peace Literacy work and deliver measurable and increasing impacts over the coming months and years.

USA: Union Leaders Join Progressive Lawmakers in Demanding Gaza Cease-Fire Now


An article by Brett Wilkins in Common Dreams ( licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Leaders of major U.S labor unions joined progressive members of Congress at a Thursday rally and press conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., where they implored President Joe Biden to support a cease-fire in Gaza without delay.

Leaders of unions including the United Auto Workers (UAW); the Postal Workers Union; and the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America held a press conference outside the Capitol, where they were joined by Democratic U.S. lawmakers including Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

“The world has seen enough slaughter and devastation. Peace is the only path forward," UAW president Shawn Fain—who recently led the fight for historic new contracts for Big Three autoworkers—told attendees. "While we call for a cease-fire, we also condemn antisemitism, Islamophobia, [and] anti-Arab racism, all of which are growing in our nation at this moment and must be stopped.”

“As union members, we know we must fight for all workers and suffering people around the world. We must fight for humanity,” he added. “That means we must restore people's basic rights and allow water, food, fuel, humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. We must also call for the release of all hostages.”

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

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Bush, the lead sponsor of a congressional cease-fire resolution drafted in October, said that “as an activist and organizer and a proud daughter of a former union member, I know that the foundational message of every guild is to stand with the people, to fight for their dignity and to advocate for those most marginalized.”

“Our humanity needs a cease-fire, and that is precisely why I’m so happy to have unions here today to join in this fight,” she added, “because we know that unions know how to organize. Unions know how to mobilize and galvanize and energize.”

Thursday’s rally came as Israeli forces continued attacking Gaza by land, air, and sea. Since the October 7 Hamas-led attacks that killed more than 1,100 people in southern Israel, over 70,000 Palestinians have been killed, maimed, or left missing by Israel’s retaliatory war, which many critics have called genocidal.

Additionally, around 1.9 million Gazans—or over 85% of the besieged strip’s population—have been forcibly displaced, and hundreds of thousands of cases of infectious diseases have been reported.

While Biden this week privately decried what he acknowledged as Israel’s “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza, the president remains a staunch Zionist who is seeking $14.3 billion in additional U.S. military aid to Israel atop the nearly $4 billion it already receives annually from Washington.

Tlaib, who introduced the cease-fire resolution with Bush, said, “I’m a proud daughter of a UAW worker, and I know my Yaba (father), if he was here, he would be so proud.”

“The UAW taught him he deserved human dignity, even though he only had a fourth-grade education, even though he was Palestinian, even though he was Muslim," continued Tlaib, who last month was the target of a successful House censure motion over her defense of Palestinian rights. "On that assembly line, he was equal to every single human being on that line. Who did that for him? The United Auto Workers did that for him.”

I’m so grateful for each and every one of your voices in this movement to save lives,” she added. And I’m proud to stand alongside you all. So today we raise our collective voice to say, “Enough is enough. Cease-fire now.”

(Editor’s note: One day after the above press conference, America’s largest health-care union, 1199SEIU , voted also to demand a ceasefire in Gaza.)

Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission hosting nonviolence youth summit at Hall STEAM Magnet High School


Excerpts from text of video at Yahoo News

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of unity, service and nonviolence, the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission is hosting their 2023 Nonviolence Youth Summit: Building a Culture of Peace.

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Question for this article
What’s the message to us today from Martin Luther King, Jr.?

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Dorothea Wilson joins us live from Hall High School in Little Rock to help us learn more about today’s summit about building a culture of peace: “Commission officials say they’re going to be discussing topics like non-violence, anti-bullying and financial literacy.”

Principal Carlton McGee tells us that this event is very important not only to our students here at Hall, but the community of Little Rock as a whole. “Because here at Hall we foster a culture of non-violence in our students and that is the same goals that the summit sets out to achieve.”

Program director Diana Shelton tells us this year ten such summits have been organized. “We go across the state of Arkansas with these programs, encouraging and empowering our youth to be change agents for their community and to make our world a better place.”

“The workshops include alumni who are super excited to come back and give back to their school. and so, we have the community as partners.”

In memoriam: Betty Reardon (1929-2023)


An article from the Global Campaign for Peace Education

Betty A. Reardon, internationally celebrated as a founder of the field of peace education and feminist peace scholar, passed away on November 3, 2023. She was the co-founder of the Global Campaign for Peace Education.

The child of Julia Florence Reardon (Burke) and Michael Augustus Reardon, she was born on June 12, 1929 and brought up in Rye, New York where she attended Rye Grammar School and then Rye High School. She spent her adult life as a resident of New York City.  She held a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University, a master’s degree in history from New York University, and a B.A. in history from Wheaton College, Norton, MA.  She is survived by nieces Noël Menadier, Christie Menadier, Coley Menadier-Fisher and husband Rick Fisher, great nephew Adam Fisher and wife Whitney Timmons, great nephew Grayson Fisher, nephew Mark Menadier and great nephew Burke Menadier and great niece Kalani Menadier, niece Dani Menadier Thorn and great nieces Sabrina Thorn and Savannah Thorn.

She began her teaching career at Rye Country Day School, and then in 1963 she began her work in peace education as Director of the Schools Program with the Institute of World Order. What intrigued and drove her was an interest in war, not as an isolated eruption in human affairs, but as a social system justified by particular ways of thinking. She had a hunch that not only the structures of society, but the structures of consciousness as well, could, and should be, transformed through a comprehensive education for and about peace. Betty Reardon’s life-long endeavor has been informed and shaped by this perspective and these formative experiences.

She held prominent roles in the establishment and work of key institutions that define the field of peace studies and peace education, including the founder and long-time director of the Peace Education Center and Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, the founder and director of the International Institute on Peace Education, the General Coordinator, of the Feminist Scholar Activist Network on Demilitarization, Coordinator International Network of Peace Education Centers, the founding Academic Coordinator of the Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education,  the Director of the Peacemaking in Education Program, United Ministries in Education, Executive Secretary of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction, the School Program Director, Institute for World Order, New York, NY, the Associate Director of Leadership and World Society (LAWS), and a founder of the Peace Education Commission of the International Peace Research Association.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

How can we carry forward the work of the great peace and justice activists who went before us?

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Dr. Reardon also held a number of prestigious visiting professorships, including the Savage Chair, Distinguished Visiting professor of International Relations and Peace, University of Oregon, the A. Lindsay O’Connor Chair in American Institutions, Colgate University, Visiting Professor of Peace, Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Visiting Professor, Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba, Japan, Visiting Professor, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan, Visiting Professor, Department of International Relations, Ritsumeikan Unviersity, Kyoto, Japan.

In addition, Dr. Reardon was an accomplished scholar of peace studies and peace education.  She published numerous articles, books, book chapters, and reports, and has presented scholarly papers at numerous scholarly meetings. Her essential works include:

° Comprehensive Peace Education (Teachers College Press, 1988);
° Educating for Global Responsibility (Teachers College Press, 1988);
° Women and Peace: Feminist Visions of Global Security (State University of New York Press, 1993);
° Educating for Human Dignity (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994);
° Sexism and the War System (Syracuse University Press, 1996);
° Tolerance: The Threshold of Peace (UNESCO,1998);
° Passport to Dignity: The Human Rights of Women (PDHRE, 2001); and
Education for a Culture of Peace in a Gender Perspective (UNESCO, 2001).
° The Gender Imperative: Human Security vs. State Security. (Routledge, 2010).
Betty A. Reardon: A Pioneer in Education for Peace and Human Rights. (Springer Press, 2015)
° Betty A. Reardon: Key Texts in Gender and Peace. (Springer Press, 2015)

Her many prestigious awards include:
° the Pomerance Award for contributions to disarmament efforts within the UN system,
° Nomination and honorable mention for UNESCO Peace Education Prize by ICAE, IPRA, WCCI,
° the American Association of University Women (AAUW) New York State Peace Award,
° Golden Balloon Award for Peace Education from World Children’s Association (presented at the United Nations),
° the 1986 Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing for Sexism and the War System,
° the 1994 Peace Studies Award from the Peace and Justice Studies Association,
° the 2000 Jane Adams Peace Activist Award,
° Distinguished Alumna Award from Teachers College Columbia University, 2004,
° Volvo Heroes nomination 2006,
° Nomination for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize (among 1000 women nominated as a group).
° Nomination for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize by the International Peace Bureau (Norway).
° The 2010 Sean McBride Peace (International Peace Bureau).
° The 2013 El-Hibri Peace Education Prize (The El-Hibri Foundation)

World War II, and then later, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and the Feminist movement were formative in the development of her worldview. In the face of the horrors of world war, she believed, as early as the fifth grade, that there must be an alternative to war, and in the face of racism and sexism she pondered early on the limits and possibilities of justice.  In these formative experiences were the seeds of her fundamental approach to peace, as both the elimination of violence and the establishment of justice.  She chose to be a teacher, believing that education was the key to a peaceful and just world.
Betty Reardon was a tireless student, exponent, and advocate of peace, justice, and peace education. She mentored and inspired generations of educators, scholars, and activists through her teaching and scholarship.

Israeli War on Gaza Sparks ‘Largest Mass Mobilization of Jews in American History’


An article by Brett Wilkins from Common Dreams (licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaims in genocidal undertones  his army’s “holy mission” to invade Gaza, Jewish American peace activists are ramping up their nationwide effort to bring about a cease-fire in the three-week war.

Jewish Voice for Peace: Thousands are sitting in at Grand Central Station demanding a #CeasefireNOW

“We’re watching a genocide unfold in real-time. In just three weeks, the Israeli military has killed over 8,000 Palestinians in Gaza, among them over 3,000 children,” Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) said early Monday. “That’s more than the annual number of children killed  in conflicts across the globe since 2019.”

“Jewish people all throughout the United States are protesting in unprecedented numbers against Israel’s destruction of Gaza and the United States’ unwavering support,” JVP noted, with Liv Kunins-Berkowitz, the group’s media coordinator, calling the movement “the largest mass mobilization of Jews in American history.”

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Questions related to this article:
Can International Pressure Stop the War in Gaza?

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“We will not sit by as a genocide is waged in our name.”
JVP, along with Jewish-led groups—mainly IfNotNow—and allies have held demonstrations large and small across the United States since October 7, when Israeli forces launched their latest war on Gaza following the Hamas-led attacks on southern Israel that killed 1,400 people.

“From Albuquerque to Minneapolis, Seattle to Miami, Washington D.C. to Detroit, students, elders, faith leaders, and activists… are organizing sit-ins in congressional offices and blocking streets as they demand an immediate cease-fire in Gaza,” the group continued, adding that demonstrations have also been held in cities including Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

On Friday evening, thousands of JVP members and allies took over  Grand Central Station in Midtown Manhattan, where more than 400 people were arrested while holding a sit-in and hanging banners that read, “Cease-fire Now,” “Never Again for Anyone,” “Palestine Should Be Free,” and “Mourn the Dead and Fight Like Hell for the Living.”

“For decades, Jewish Americans have criticized the Israeli occupation of Palestine. American Jews are no longer willing to be silent—they are speaking up louder than ever before and taking to the streets to demand an immediate cease-fire,” Kunnis-Berkowitz asserted on Monday. “We will not sit by as a genocide is waged in our name.”

While the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has thwarted international efforts to bring about a cessation in hostilities, a group of 18 congressional Democrats led by Rep. Cori Bush  (D-Mo.) has introduced a resolution urging the administration to push Israel for an immediate de-escalation and cease-fire in Gaza.

Some co-sponsors of the resolution—especially Muslim Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who is Palestinian—have faced bipartisan indignation, right-wing death threats, and in the case of Tlaib, a censure motion brought by far-right Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. Critics have noted the irony of Greene—who once suggested that a "Jewish space laser" started a California wildfire—baselessly accusing Tlaib of antisemitism.

“There can be no business as usual while our tax dollars are used to fund a genocide in Palestine,” JVP insisted. “From congressional offices, to the halls of the Capitol, to the center of New York City, we will do everything in our power to demand an end to U.S. support for genocide and apartheid,” referencing the billions in annual U.S. military aid to Israel.