October 18, 2019 - VFP Condemns Turkish Invasion of Rojava, Take Action for Jose, VFP at Fleet Week, Armistice100 Santa Cruz Award, VFP ROCK Presents, Stop Line 3, Environmental Victory over Formosa Plastics, Bring War $$ Home, Veterans’ Voices Uplift Peace, Presente! Thompson Bradley, and more!
Veterans For Peace Condemns Turkish Invasion of Rojava
Veterans For Peace condemns the Turkish invasion of Syrian Kurdistan and calls on the United States government to withdraw any support for the incursion. We also call for the United States to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the current crisis and to reopen our borders to allow in more refugees from this war torn region.
Jose Segovia Benitez, an honorably discharged U.S. Marine, was on a plane about to be deported to El Salvador (a country he has not lived in since he was a toddler) when he was given a last-minute reprieve. Immigration officials have given his attorneys five days (from October 16th) to file documents while California Governor Newsom considers granting him a pardon. Read more about Jose's case here.
What You Can Do:
Call California Governor Newsom's office at (916) 445-0873
During San Francisco Fleet Week, Veterans For Peace and CODEPINK took part in the 2nd Annual Peace Flotilla displaying messages of peace in contrast to the displays of war and militarism.
Two boats, the “Hokahey” and “Lil’ Wing,” sailed back and forth in front of the gathered crowds flying the Veterans For Peace and CODEPINK flags and displaying banners that read: “U.S. MILITARY #1 POLLUTER”, “AIR SHOW = MEGA POLLUTION”, “NO GLORY IN WAR” and “WAGE PEACE.”
Last year VFP Chapter 11 in Santa Cruz and other dedicated groups devoted themselves to honoring “Armistice Year” having monthly events culminating in a large celebration on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. Armistice100 Santa Cruz, by filmmaker L.B. Johnson documents those efforts, masterly weaving image, music, and narrative from a year of healing events. It was selected to be in the series of shorts on the theme, “Movement For Peace” in the Santa Cruz Film Festival and and won an award for best "Spirit in Action!"
On September 28th, VFP Chapter 27 joined a crowd of over 700 people in Duluth, MN to take action against Enbridge's Line 3 oil pipeline. The proposed line would be one of the largest crude oil pipelines in the world, carrying up to 915,000 barrels per day. For 5 years, First Nations, tribal governments, landowners, environmental groups, and communities across the Great Lakes have been fighting to #StopLine 3 and protect the water and future generations.
Diane Wilson, Veterans For Peace member and longtime environmental activist, had a big win this past week when Formosa Plastics agreed to pay $50 million for polluting Texas waterways. The case set a record for the largest settlement of a Clean Water Act lawsuit brought by private individuals, and in no other case have private individuals collected as much evidence to prove illegal discharges. Wilson said she never thought she would see Formosa reach an agreement of this caliber, “...it sends a notice to the rest of the plastic companies in the country that this should be the standard now, and I am very proud to be a part of that.”
Mark Foreman of VFP Chapter 102 testified earlier this month at the Milwaukee Common Council’s public hearing on the city budget. Supporters held signs behind him speaking out against the percentage of the city budget allocated to the police ("47% is Too Much") and another that said "Bring Our War $$ Home", citing the over $700 billion currently allocated to military spending (not counting the second largest payout (for veterans affairs), nor debt payments for prior military costs.
Earlier this month, Chapter 27 VFP member Larry Johnson received a Veterans’ Voices award from the Minnesota Humanities Center. The award is given to individuals who have: ”shared exemplary written works of poetry, prose, essays, memoirs, and more that speak to their military service and experiences as a Veteran.” At the ceremony, each winner read what they wrote, and Larry's writing was the first in the history of the event to mention being a veteran who is also working for peace.
(Photo by VFP member Harvey Finkle sometime in the '80s.)
¡Presente! Thompson Bradley
Veterans For Peace and the anti-war movement will miss dedicated activist Thompson Bradley. A member of VFP Chapter 31, Tom was a professor of Russian language and literature at Swarthmore College for many decades. Professor Bradley mobilized students and faculty against the Vietnam War. Later, he protested American military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. He mentored conscientious objectors and arranged for other faculty members to learn mentoring. Upon retirement from Swarthmore, Tom taught writing in the Philadelphia prison for 12 years. Read the full obituary.
Every year on November 11th, Veterans For Peace members and chapters "Reclaim Armistice Day" and push the celebration of peace into the national conversation on Veterans Day. With Armistice Day fast approaching, click the links below to request tabling materials from the VFP office, and register your local event or find an event near you on our Events Map.