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Currently Browsing: Action for Peaceful Tomorrows

International Peace Leaders Comimg to Eugene

Taking Action for Peace
March 15th, 7 p.m.
Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High Street

Kevin Martin, national president of Peace Action, and
German peace activist Reiner Braun will be speaking in Eugene.

Issues they address will include:

  1. Could U.S./NATO Conflicts with Russia trigger WWIII?
  2.  Whose Finger? On What Button? The Urgent Need to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Trump or No Trump.
  3.  Stopping Fascism and Militarism, and Building Beloved Communities in the era of Trump.
  4.  US/NATO and Russian relations – stop hacking and escalating, start talking! Pursuing nuclear disarmament and common security in Europe and the world.

Kevin Martin, is President of National Peace Action, which has been organizing for Peace since 1957. He joined the staff in 2001. Kevin previously served as Director of Project Abolition, a national organizing effort for nuclear disarmament, from August 1999 through August 2001. Kevin came to Project Abolition after ten years in Chicago as Executive Director of Illinois Peace Action.

Reiner Braun is a leader in the German and European peace movements and co-president of International Peace Bureau. He brings a critical perspective on US/NATO relations with Russia, and nuclear disarmament issues.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact CALC staffer Michael Carrigan at 541.485.1755 or calcpeace@gmail.com

Michael Carrigan at CALC at 541.485.1755 or www.calclane.org

Nuclear Policy in the Trump Administration: Real Dangers, Real Possibilities

Nuclear Policy in the Trump Administration: Real Dangers, Real Possibilities, via Skype at Rm. 145 Straub Hall, 15th & Onyx, on the UO campus, Sunday, February 26, at 4 pm.

As the Ploughshares Fund points out: President Trump could launch 140 nuclear warheads in the time it takes to write 140 characters.

If this terrifies you, come learn more. Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) and Radical Organizing & Resource (ROAR) Center present Joseph Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund who will be skyped in to Eugene. He is the author of many books and articles about nuclear matters and a frequent commentator for the media.

Program sponsors see these issues not only in the context of potential nuclear dangers but also as a major diversion from the need to attend to climate matters and peace.

For more information, contact CALC: email calcpeace@gmail.com or phone 541-485-1755

Co-sponsors of this event include:
Women’s Action for New Direction (WAND | Lane Community College Peace Center | Taxes for Peace | Veterans for Peace | Chapter 159 | Beyond War |
UO Beyond War | UO Global Zero | UO Sustainability Center

Cirincione has an excellent Guest Opinion published in the February 19, 2017 Eugene Register Guard.

To Standing Rock from Rural Oregon

 

From our friends at Rural Organizing Project (ROP):

 

rop_classic_logo_100Last month, the water protectors at Standing Rock celebrated an unprecedented victory when the US Army denied the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross the Missouri River. This partial but critical victory, along with a brutal blizzard marking the beginning of a particularly harsh North Dakota winter, changed the dynamics and priorities for water protectors on the ground. Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II, as well as many indigenous leaders and organizations at Oceti Sakowin, asked water protectors who were not prepared to stay for the winter to head home.

 

The fight for clean water at Standing Rock is far from over. Most of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is already built, and the US Army’s denial of this permit only delayed drilling on one river crossing. Notably, the decision to deny the drilling permit was actually made by the US Army — the Army of Corps of Engineers recommended the approval of the river crossing. The Trump Administration could reverse this decision, making the situation at Standing Rock all the more tenuous. Alarmingly, the US Senate just named Sen. Hoeven, former North Dakota governor and outspoken supporter of DAPL and the Keystone XL pipelines, the chairman of the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

 

This decision came down a couple of days before a contingent of over 50 rural Oregonians was scheduled to depart for Standing Rock. We engaged bus riders in a decision-making conversation, and reached consensus around sending a smaller crew of rural Oregonians with supplies once the weather improved (now scheduled to leave tomorrow — weather permitting!).

 

In preparation for the arrival of this contingent, ROP had a small “advance team” of six rural Oregonians, including builders, human dignity group leaders, and ROP staff, already on the ground in Standing Rock with all of the supplies needed to set up shelters for over 50 people. After we shifted our plans to send a smaller contingent, the six of us in Standing Rock immediately put these much needed supplies and our resources to use at Sacred Stone Camp.

 

Sacred Stone Camp is the original resistance camp in the movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, established in April on land owned by LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, Standing Rock Sioux tribal member and Lakota historian. There are many people committed to living at Sacred Stone through the harsh winter who gathered there as early as April, including elders and families with small children. LaDonna has asked that people remain at Sacred Stone to see the fight through.

 

The ROP advance team arrived right after a blizzard had swept through the area, with the temperatures continuing to drop. In below-zero temperatures, cold is not just a passive discomfort, but a force to reckon with. Even as we kept moving and working throughout the day, we had to take shelter and stand around woodstoves every hour or so to warm the tips of our fingers and toes before heading back into the cold.

 

Fortunately, we had a wonderful team of rural Oregonians equipped with skills in construction, winter truck driving, community organizing, and cold weather camping. We set up three sturdy winter tents after building solid wood floors, insulation and wood stoves to support a kitchen, dining area, and emergency sleeping area. We helped clean up camp by hauling garbage and recycling, and moved and repaired vehicles that were stalled out by the weather (the extreme cold kills car batteries and gets people stuck in ditches!). Despite the cold, we felt warmed and welcomed by the incredible people we met at camp.

 

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Amidst the harshest of winter conditions, we heard from many campers who were steadfast in their commitment to stay until the fight is over — “until there is oil running through that pipeline” or “until the black snake is dead”, with great hope for the latter. Many people on the ground do not trust that the Army decision will be upheld, and have heard that construction is still underway on other segments of the pipeline route. We were amazed by the resilience of the people who continue to keep watch over the water as others look away. For many people at Standing Rock, looking away is not an option. The survival of their culture and community depend on this fight. They are fighting for their home.

 

We learned so much about the resilience of the community at camp, with people meeting each other’s daily needs in a rural and under-resourced area, assisting each other in daily survival in conditions that are shutting down major roads and interstates. When there are blizzards or extreme cold snaps, volunteers walk the camps to make sure that people have what they need to survive the night. Cooks prepare warm meals, thawing food that has frozen in transport, creatively navigating the challenges of food preparation in cold and crowded tents with camp stoves. Medics tend to people who are suffering from injury, illness, and trauma — a service that has been critical in light of police road blockades and poor road conditions that have blocked or delayed access between emergency responders and the reservation. For those of us who live in rural counties and unincorporated communities, we understand that things like emergency response, mental health services, or basic road maintenance are not a given. Among so many lessons, Standing Rock teaches us what it looks like to reach out to each other to creatively solve problems in the spirit of mutual aid.

 

Hundreds of rural Oregonians across the state gathered supplies, fundraised, and organized in their home towns to raise awareness of the inspiring work of water protectors at Standing Rock. Another team of rural Oregonians is gearing up to head back to Sacred Stone tomorrow, January 9th. The supply run will take remaining supplies that we gathered in November, updated with specific requests from our contacts at camp, including propane tanks, a huge walled tent, stoves, and sleeping bags. While at camp, they will set up the gear they’re bringing, participate in work crews, and make supply runs. Shifting from one big bus trip to two smaller supply runs has allowed volunteers to remain more flexible with timing (our winter weather sure hasn’t been cooperative!) and to show up in solidarity in ways that are requested by and accountable to indigenous leadership. We could still use your support! All of the funds that we collectively raise will be used to purchase additional top priority supplies for the water protectors at Standing Rock, such as firewood and propane.

 

After we decided not to take an entire bus to Standing Rock, many of the folks who had planned to be on that bus gathered in Cottage Grove to discuss the ways that rural Oregon could continue to stand with Standing Rock. An amazing crew of riders from Klamath, Jackson, and Josephine Counties decided to organize a rally in Grants Pass to urge people to withdraw their money out of Wells Fargo, a major funder of DAPL.

 

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On December 15th, dozens of people gathered outside of the Grants Pass Wells Fargo with banners and a megaphone, engaging customers in conversations about the connections between the bank and DAPL, and the impact on the Standing Rock Tribe! This action in Grants Pass was one of hundreds of events planned in December as part of a global month of solidarity for Standing Rock.

 

Now is critical chance for water protectors to defeat DAPL! On January 1st, the contract for the pipeline expired, which means investors and oil buyers are now able to end their relationship with DAPL. Continued visible pressure on investors like Wells Fargo and US Bank could further weaken DAPL during a time when water protectors have already succeeded in an
unprecedented victory.

 

unnamed-2Divestment campaigns work by starving an unethical company from their main motivation for doing harm: money. Because our money is connected to DAPL through the places we do business at home, divestment is a campaign that we can hold in our small towns, with our neighbors and elected officials. Public colleges and town budgets are often invested in banks like Wells Fargo. Many people across the country are now standing with Standing Rock by pressuring their elected officials to move public money away from funding DAPLNow is a great time to move your own money (be sure to share with your friends, neighbors, and on social media!), hold a rally outside of your local branch of one of the major banks that hope to profit from DAPL, or talk to your local elected officials about where public money is being held and invested.

 

The struggle in Standing Rock has felt deeply personal for many people across Southern Oregon, where we’ve been engaged in our own struggle to stop the Jordan Cove Project and Pacific Connector Pipeline, a 234-mile fracked gas pipeline that would cross all the major rivers in the Southern half of the state. The pipeline would go under the Klamath River, impacting tribal communities from the Klamath Basin to the Yurok reservation at the mouth of river in Northern California.

 

Many people from throughout the Klamath watershed spoke out against the pipeline here at home, and also put their lives on the line traveling to Standing Rock and supporting the resistance there. While I was in North Dakota I got an exciting call from home — the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission upheld their decision to deny Pacific Connector — we won! This is the first natural gas export pipeline in the US to be denied by FERC. As with DAPL, the fight to stop fracked gas export through Southern Oregon and Coos County is not over: the Trump administration could overturn this decision. If this happens, it will be critical that we stand with water protectors here at home.

 

The fight for clean water continues across the country, including in Flint where folks still are still hauling bottled water home because of the lead in their tap water. As we continue to send love and resources to water protectors in Standing Rock, we must also look to the land we live on. This is an opportunity to connect the dots between the fights for Indigenous lands and clean water in Standing Rock to what is happening in our hometowns. This is a crucial moment for human dignity groups to build relationships with Indigenous and Native communities and leadership locally. Seek out the unsung stories about the longer history of where we live. How can we be showing up locally for human dignity and justice? When we allow the fight to change us, to build our resolve for community and solidarity here at home, that becomes one lasting legacy of the sacrifices that people have made at Standing Rock. Water and life depends on it!

 

Sincerely,
Grace

 

Is joining the National Guard a good way to pay for college?

 

After a period of basic training, getting a monthly salary for National Guard training one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer, plus getting tuition paid, certainly has worked well in the past for some students who have joined the National Guard.

Here is a caution light however, because of recent changes to the National Guard.  Now National Guard units are “twinned” with an Active Duty Army unit so that they all have the same level of training for the time they are deployed together to combat or some other overseas commitment.    Active Duty Army units do have some time at home, but are periodically deployed overseas.  As a member of the National Guard or any branch of the military, you must deploy with your unit.  Where you are with your educational schedule makes no difference.

Last school year National Guard recruiters phoned many students at the University of Oregon and Lane Community College with great sounding deals to join the National Guard and get tuition paid.   Recruiters did not tell students about the new changes, which mean that at any time over the 8 years of their commitment, they could and likely would be called to active duty for some period of time.

So enlisting in the National Guard may still be a student’s choice, but heed this warning about likely disruptions to one’s education schedule.   The National Guard is no longer just a group of people, wanting to help in local or regional emergencies. They are a branch of the military.

Before enlisting, check out other alternatives to achieve your goals…

 

CALC’s Truth in Recruiting program

 

 

Keep Oregon National Guard Home

 Groups ask Oregon Governor Candidates to Keep National Guard Home

20 peace, veterans, faith and social justice organizations, political parties and a military family, including CALC,  sent a letter to the candidates for Oregon governor asking them to pledge to keep Oregon’s National Guard from being deployed to undeclared war zones.

The letter, attached below, was sent to the four declared candidates in the Democratic, Republican, Independent and Libertarian parties, as well as the general emails for the Pacific Green Party (a signator to the letter), the Progressive Party, the Working Families Party and the Constitution Party.

The letter asks for a response by July 29th. Peace and Justice Works, which has been coordinating efforts to Keep Oregon’s Guard Home since 2005, will report back any responses and post them under the letter at <http://www.pjw.info/guardletter2016.html>.

For more information contact Peace and Justice Works at 503-236-3065 or <campaign@pjw.info>.

July 5, 2016

Dear candidates for Oregon Governor:

We are writing to you to get your opinion on a crucial life-and-death matter for many Oregonians: The deployment of our National Guard to Iraq, Afghanistan and possibly Syria, Libya and Yemen* without Congressional authorization.

In 2011, President Barack Obama withdrew most American troops from Iraq. In August and September of 2014, he began building troops back up in Iraq, sending others to Syria, and bombing both countries in an effort to repel the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS). While we are peace loving people and do not support the violent tactics of ISIS, we also believe that the US presence in the region is feeding the insurgency leading to a never-ending escalation.

Moreover, President Obama is relying on the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force which was cobbled together after 9/11 to go after those responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington. It was never intended as an open-ended “war on terrorism” without borders.

The Congress has been reluctant to vote on a new authorization bill. In early May 2016, Rep. Barbara Lee led a bipartisan effort to urge a vote on whether to authorize the war on ISIS.
Rep. Lee, others push House to debate war against Islamic State
<http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Rep-Lee-s-bipartisan-effort-to-open-debate-7465184.php>
Unfortunately the effort to repeal the 2001 Authorization failed 138-285.
<http://news.antiwar.com/2016/05/18/house-rejects-bill-that-would-lead-to-debate-on-isis-war-authorization/>

One of the most recent American service persons to die in Iraq was a National Guard member from Washington state who grew up and went to school in Oregon.
Forest Grove, UP grad dies in Iraq non-combat incident
<http://www.kgw.com/news/local/us-soldiers-dies-in-noncombat-incident-in-iraq_/182347795>

And, perhaps most significantly, an active duty Army Captain is suing the US government for deploying him to a combat zone without Congressional authorization.
Deployed Army captain sues Obama over ISIS fight
<http://www.armytimes.com/story/military/2016/05/04/deployed-army-captain-sues-obama-over-isis-fight/83942016>

A number of groups from around the state of Oregon have been urging the Governors of this state to Keep Oregon’s Guard in Oregon, from Gov. Kulongoski in 2008 to Gov. Kitzhaber in 2012 and Gov. Brown last year. <http://www.pjw.info/guardhomeletter2015.html>

While several deployments of the Guard have happened in the interim, we urge you to pledge not to send any more Oregonians into an unauthorized and ill fated war.

We hope you will let us know your opinion on this matter so we can share a fact sheet with our constituents. We are non-partisan groups interested in finding alternatives to war as a solution to the world’s problems.

We look forward to your prompt reply by no later than July 29, 2016.

Thank you

Dan Handelman
Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group

Michael Carrigan
Community Alliance of Lane County (Eugene)

S. Jenika
Veterans for Peace Chapter 72 (Portland)

Bart Bolger
Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter 132 (Corvallis)

Allen Hallmark
Veterans for Peace Rogue Valley Chapter 156 (Medford/Grants Pass/Rogue River)

Ed Pool
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 141 Bandon, Oregon

Michael Taylor and Linda Marshall, parents of Iraq combat Veteran
members Military Families Speak Out* (Portland)

Kelly Campbell
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

Susan Cundiff
Oregon Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)

Leah Bolger
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Corvallis Branch

Natasha Beck
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom-Portland

Ellie Gunn
Yamhill Valley Peacemakers (McMinnville)

Nancy Greenman
Albany Peace Seekers

Ivend Holen
Citizens for Peace & Justice (Medford)

Elizabeth Hallett
Ashland Peace House

Philip H. Randall
Central Oregon Peace Network (Bend)

Emma Lugo
Pacific Green Party

Jordana Sardo
Freedom Socialist Party

Recruiter Watch PDX

Malcolm Chaddock
Individuals For Justice (Portland)

Max White and Will Singer
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network Portland

* US sends troops to Yemen, steps up anti-Qaeda strikes (AFP 5/7)
<http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/us-sends-troops-to-yemen/2764406html>
U.S. establishes Libyan outposts with eye toward offensive against Islamic State
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-establishes-libyan-outposts-with-eye-toward-offensive-against-islamic-state/2016/05/12/11195d32-183c-11e6-9e16-2e5a123aac62_story.html>
The US continues to argue about language to explain how the President is keeping his pledge not to put any “boots on the ground” in Iraq an Syria:
As More American Boots Hit the Ground in Syria, U.S. Parses “Boots” and “Ground” (Intercept 4/29)
<https://theintercept.com/2016/04/29/as-more-american-boots-hit-the-ground-in-syria-u-s-parses-boots-and-ground>
and tries to explain why Americans bombed a hospital in Afghanistan even though the US has supposedly ended its combat role there.
US military’s hazy “noncombat” Afghanistan role creates confusion in hospital bombing (Wash Times 5/1)
<http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/1/us-militarys-hazy-noncombat-afghanistan-role-creat/print/>

cc: Kate Brown, Democratic Party
Bud Pierce, Republican Party
Cliff Thomason, Independent Party
James Foster, Libertarian Party
Pacific Green Party
Working Families Party
Constitution Party
Progressive Party

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