Linus Pauling Chapter Armistice Day 2018 Forum: “Confronting Imperialism”

On the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I…

VFP Linus Pauling Chapter joined the local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) to host a public forum for Armistice Day, “Confronting Imperialism.”

The November 11, 2018 event drew fifty five people from a wide range of political views and groups.

The objective was not to review the long history of US imperialism but to discuss various strategies to confront imperialism, colonialism, and militarism. We enjoyed a lively discussion of everything from revolutionary direct action to foreign policy advocacy to international solidarity.

The strong turnout from students, members of DSA, and the local Communist Party (CPUSA) group was very refreshing. They helped stimulate conversations not normally heard among the usual peacenik “choir” here, while emphasizing the connections between imperialism, violence in our streets, non-state actor blowback, and environmental degradation. These partnerships with our chapter will continue for future public education and radical activism.

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How veteran Kurt Vonnegut saw Armistice Day

“I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one and another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ day is not.
So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep.
I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.”

–from Vonnegut’s, Breakfast of Champions, 1973

Kurt Vonnegut during WWII

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VFP & DSA to host WWI Armistice Centennial Forum: Confronting Imperialism

Please share this event on Facebook and with your friends.

We need to #ReclaimArmisticeDay.

Of particular importance is the need to share this with and invite other groups you wouldn’t normally associate with anti-war, anti-imperialist work, e.g., NAACP, 350.org, faith-based social justice groups. All of our issues are very much intertwined because they are all rooted in the same capitalist system.

This is one reason VFP has adopted the catch phrase, “Peace at home; peace abroad.” The militarism reflected in our foreign policy is closely associated with the militarist policing of our streets and a big reason why we can’t address climate change, to name just two of the intersections.

Here’s the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1789526231158435/

And here are the fliers, in case you feel motivated to print a few to take to meetings or wherever–There’s also a screen shot of the flier below:

Full page: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4o5cmdh5x7x9ftw/ArmDay2018VFPDSAFull.pdf?dl=0

1/4 page: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hdfv1d5kup1gsqs/ArmDay2018VFPDSAQtr.pdf?dl=0

We are co-hosting this with the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and they, particularly their Anti-Imperialism Working Group, helped plan and advertise the event.

Thanks and we’ll see you on Nov. 11.

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World Beyond War Exclusive: Armistice Day, Not Weapons Day — Everything You Need for November 10th and 11th

“Must read” is over-used…but you’ve got to see this from World Beyond War.

The graphic alone is worth an extra click and some time reading a great (brief) piece by David Swanson.

Here’s the opening, but head over to the WBW site and check it out ASAP:

A few days after an over-hyped white supremacist rally in Washington, D.C., was massively outnumbered by people opposed to racism, and one day after 187 organizations (more than that now) publicly committed to turning out people to counter Donald Trump’s planned weapons parade with a parade for peace in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, and less than a day after the U.S. military said the weapons parade would now cost $92 million (which in fairness is a legitimate rounding up from the earlier estimate of $12 million according to the rules of Pentagon math), the parade of death and war profiteering….

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VFP 132 Member Seeks Ways to Serve Locally

Our local free independent weekly, The Corvallis Advocate, recently published a compilation of interviews with local folks, called Meet Your Neighbors.

One of our VFP chapter members, Dennis Stillwaggon, shared some thoughts on serving the community and with Veterans For Peace. For example, Dennis has worked for many years on restoring and maintaining the historic Whiteside Theater in Corvallis, an amazing venue for community events.

Dennis Stillwaggon

Veteran

Which branch of the military did you serve in, and what was your job?  When was that?

Navy, Electrician’s Mate (Reactor), 1972-1974.

Did you live in Corvallis before you went into the Navy?

I visited a few times – my grandmother was a Housemother at OSU and I stayed with her as a child sometimes.  My Dad was Navy so we traveled all around.  I arrived here in 1976 to go to school.  I wanted to study alternative energy.

Can you think of a way that your status as a veteran affects the way you think about being a neighbor?

It’s part of my public service motives, it’s why I volunteer for various community organizations.  There’s a sense of duty that you carry with you no matter where you serve or what you do as a civilian.

Are there ways that your neighbors treat you differently when they know you’re a veteran?

Some people attach their patriotic feelings to you because you give a tangible character to them.  Some people – very few – are disdainful.  Mostly people are appreciative of public service, much as with my relatives who are in the Fire Department. I’ve been present at the peace vigil at the Courthouse – about half the people who stand out there are veterans, and I also work the Veterans for Peace booth at the Benton County Fair. [emphasis added]  Sometimes I get negative reactions to that.  But I think most people are just appreciative of what you’ve done.

By John M. Burt (Corvallis Advocate reporter)

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No Trump Military Parade!

VFP 132 has just signed on as an organization supporting this.

thepotholeview.com

Please visit the “No Trump Military Parade” website to see the other organizations and to sign on as an individual (to help organize here or in DC). There are downloadable fliers at that site.

Stop Trump’s Military Parade!

(Currently scheduled for Nov. 10 in Washington DC)

Join a broad coalition of peace and justice groups to stop the parade before it happens.

If it does happen, join us in protest!

Here is the letter our VFP chapter signed:

The letter below will be published as an open letter and sent to members of Congress and the Washington DC City Council urging them to stop the military parade. All organizations are invited to sign on to the letter.

LETTER:

President Trump has ordered a military parade to be held in Washington, DC to showcase “the price of freedom” on November 10, 2018. This glorification of war, which will cost millions of dollars, comes at a time when the United States is provoking more war and the military industrial complex is consuming a growing proportion, now almost two thirds, of our discretionary spending. Militarism has invaded our communities where police treat residents as “the enemy,” demonstrators are met with tanks and recruiters are allowed into schools. Militarism has also infected our national psyche by normalizing violence as armed men shoot and kill in our schools, stores and offices.

We reject this gross display of power and violence. We call on you to stop the military parade.

We have had enough of war and are ready to put an end to it. Its basic purposes are to enrich the weapons-makers and to secure cheap resources and labor for global corporations. War is killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and displacing millions of people. US aggression is causing increased insecurity and an assault on our freedom as we must now submit to searches before we can travel or enter buildings that once had open doors.

The cost of war is great. Our infrastructure is failing. Poverty is growing, and the social safety net is disintegrating. Our children are hungry, our families are unhoused and our air, land and water are polluted. Our veterans are in such despair that 22 of them, mostly young veterans, are committing suicide each day.

We, groups who advocate for peace and justice, are organizing a celebration of peace in Washington, DC and across the country from November 9 to 11. On the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, we will march in a solemn procession to reclaim this day as a time to remember the cost of war and the preciousness of peace.

We urge you now to do all in your power to stop the military parade on November 10. The vast majority of people in the US and around the world crave peace.

If the parade goes forward, we will mobilize thousands of people on that day to protest it.

It is time to divest from the wars at home and abroad and invest in peace.

End of Letter.

 

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JROTC Shooting Programs are Dangerous to the Health 
and Safety of American School Children

Does your local high school have a JROTC program? Does the program use a shooting range?

This 25-page report documents the danger of lead contamination associated with the military’s JROTC marksmanship program in high schools across the country. The research examines the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and its regulation and enforcement of lead safety standards.

Research compiled by Pat Elder (pelder[at]studentprivacy.org and www.studentprivacy.org).

Pat is also the author of the definitive text on military recruiting in the U.S. See our post on that book here.

1,871 high schools have marksmanship programs affiliated with the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Program and the congressionally-chartered Civilian Marksmanship Program, (CMP). Children as young as 13 are regularly taught to fire air rifles that are classified as lethal weapons. http://www.studentprivacy.org/high-school-firing-ranges-by-state.html

Here’s just a sample of the 25-page report:

Today, a new source of lead poisoning in the U.S. is menacing 
the 19 million folks who go to indoor shooting ranges annually.
When fired, lead-based bullets and primers shed a cloud of toxins. Poor sanitation and inadequate ventilation let lead dust hang in the air and settle on surfaces, contaminating workers and shooters. The dust also settles on range-visitors’ skin, clothing and hair, and in car interiors. It’s then transported home, where it exposes family members to dangerous levels.
There are around 16,000 to 18,000 indoor firing ranges in the United States. But only 201 were inspected in the past decade, according to a report from the Seattle Times. That explains the more than 2,000 police and firing range workers who were found to have elevated blood lead levels from 2002 to 2012. Almost 3,000 more folks also were affected just by visiting ranges.
Time to get the lead out, Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, IA, November 20, 2014 Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz

Pat is leading a group calling for a congressional study on the JROTC-Lead contamination issue. Please contact him at his email above to learn more or get involved in your state.

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