December 5, 2019 - Ken and Tarak are home!, San Diego Veterans For Peace Hitting the Streets Again, Milwaukee Says Save Our VA, Golden Rule Update, Space Force, No To NATO, code GREEN: A Vision Beyond The Nuclear Agenda, Important Chapter Updates, Calendar and More!
Thank you all so much for supporting Veterans For Peace this week for #GivingTuesday! We were excited to see some new faces and eternally grateful for our members who continue to support our amazing organization! We are so grateful for all the ways in which you have supported and shared Veterans For Peace’s message of peace.
p.s. If you missed seeing us on social media or our email, you can still give here! For just $10 a month you can help us make sure Veterans For Peace continues fighting for justice.
Tarak and Ken are in the U.S.!
Both Ken and Tarak now have their passports and are back to the United States!
Their trial is currently scheduled for April 13, 2021, and they will be returning then, but also quite possibly before then for more efforts to bring attention to U.S. wars and Irish complicity therein.
From Ellen: "Thanks to everyone–both in Ireland and the U.S.–for all their support, including donations to cover legal and other expenses, signing petitions, sending postcards, visiting the Irish Embassy and consulates, writing letters, visiting the “lads” in Ireland, housing and feeding them, arranging speaking and other events for them, and just general moral support for them and their families back home. Every bit has been an important contribution to this effort. Together, we have pushed the issue of illegal U.S. military flights through neutral Ireland into the spotlight in Ireland, and have even made some inroads in the saturated U.S. media environment. There is always more to do, but this has been an incredible start. Thanks."
Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin Welcomes Nuclear Disarmament Discussion
On Sunday November 23, 2019 Pete Doktor, Rev. Tatsuo Muneto, Helen Jaccard, Dr. Seiji Yamada, Bishop Eric Matsumoto and David Atcheson presented a program on the Golden Rule Peace Boat and Nuclear Disarmament at Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin, designated as the lead temple for Jodo Shin Buddhism in Hawaii.
Thanks to kupuna Dr. Ha`aheo Guanson for the beautiful oli, pule and blessing to start our program.
Rüdiger Rückmann, Director of Advancement at the Pacific Buddhist Academy said, “Mahalo to all organizers of the event yesterday. It was one of the best I have ever attended. The hosts, emcee, and audience were outstanding, the topic excellent albeit frightening, and the speakers inspiring.”
Veterans For Peace has endorsed the most recent collaboration of a wide swath of organizations to reduce military spending.
It’s time to stop misdirecting hundreds of billions of dollars away from domestic and human needs to pad unnecessary budget lines for endless wars, failed weapons and the Pentagon’s corporate handouts. Doing so will make our country stronger and more just. Pentagon spending should be reduced by at least $200 billion immediately, which would free up $2 trillion or more over the next decade for domestic & international human needs priorities.
"The Trump administration is moving ahead with an effort to help more military veterans receive health care services away from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Milwaukee labor and vets groups have been arguing against the change for months, even holding a snowy protest on Veterans Day outside the VA hospital in West Milwaukee. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie weighed in on the dispute Wednesday from Washington."
San Diego Veterans For Peace Hitting the Streets Again
First time sleeping bag distributor, Maggie McGonigle, widow of Corporal Mark Garcia (USMC Reserve), went out downtown at night with Dave, Jim, and Kate on Wednesday, November 13th, to give out 24 sleeping bag sets.
"I was first connected with the San Diego chapter of Veterans for Peace near Memorial Day of 2017 because I'd heard that they have a display, known as "Arlington West", that acknowledges military service members who died by suicide with black tombstones. I wanted to have my late husband, Cpl Mark Garcia, USMC Reserve, as part of the memorial service, and Jim of the local chapter was gracious and welcoming. Given my late husband's passion for helping those less fortunate than him, I was thrilled to find out that one of SDVFP's biggest projects is the Compassion Campaign, which hands out sleeping bags to homeless people in San Diego."
VFP Advisory Board member Ann Wright was in London this past week, saying NO to NATO! You can see Medea Benjamin's video here! (Medea is also a VFP Advisory Board member!) Check the video out!
While there Ann and Medea also made time to protest Julian Assange's extradition. "In London yesterday, Medea, Kir, Tighe, Keith and I join the vigil for Julian Assange in front of the Home Ooffice! The next hearing date is February 23. We said “Don’t Extradite Julian to the US!!!!"
Chapter Reports are due Jan 10th! Please submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep it your reports to 200 words or less and photos need to be high resolution and include a caption.
Mark your calendars! Next Chapter Contact Call! December 17th at 7 p.m. CST To get the call in information email email@example.com
Trump’s Excellent Space Force Adventure
VFP member Bruce Gagnon is featured in this Washington Post magazine article about Trump's Space Force.
"Gagnon also suggested that the United States should take seriously proposals by China and Russia to ban the weaponization of space. Currently, the only treaty on the subject goes back to 1967 — the Outer Space Treaty, adopted by about 100 countries, including the United States, China and the then-Soviet Union. It forbids the placement of nuclear weapons in space but is silent on other types of weapons. China and Russia have proposed banning the placement of any weapon in space. The United States has rejected their approach, saying that there is no verification mechanism and that it would not forbid the stockpiling of antisatellite weapons on Earth."