[pjw] INFO: End the Afghan War Thurs 11/19; end of Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Mon Nov 16 13:44:46 EST 2020

PJW supporters and allies

Our allies at Voices for Creative Nonviolence sent us two emails in the 
last two days. The first, below, lists a webinar taking place this 
Thursday, November 19 with high-profile speakers including VCNV's 
cofounder Kathy Kelly talking about ending the war in Afghanistan. That 
announcement talks about a congressional hearing this week about 
perpetuating the Afghan war. Frankly, it's irritating that the mainstream 
echo chamber (and most politicians) are fighting against the idea of 
taking all the troops out, perhaps in part because it's a plan by the 
otherwise deplorable Donald Trump to do so. (Though as I've pointed out 
before, the removal of _troops_ doesn't mean the US war would end, with 
drone strikes and airstrikes likely to continue unless we demand 

The second, which arrived today, announces that VCNV (USA, but not UK) 
will be shutting down operations at the end of 2020.

It sounds as if the largest reason is the difficulty in their direct 
action tactics riding the wave of the pandemic. They can't directly visit 
Afghanistan, protest drone strikes while marching hundreds of miles across 
various states, or do other community organizing in the way that was 
possible before March 2020.


They were founded in 1995 as Voices in the Wilderness, directly 
challenging the US sanctions on Iraq by deliberately taking medicine and 
children's toys to that country in acts of civil disobedience, gathering 
stories and exposing the very simple tenet that *sanctions kill*.

I was able to join one of their earlier delegations in late 1996 and went 
again in early 2002, not long after 9/11.

We've partnered with Kathy Kelly on numerous events here in Portland and 
hope to do so again, whether by remote or in person.

It does NOT sound as if the decision was financial, as they are turning 
over money designated to the Afghan Peace Volunteers and returning any 
donations that come in from this point forward.

Just to echo one thing we discussed at our quarterly meeting on Saturday, 
while many organizations are either going all-virtual (shutting down their 
offices and working remotely) or finding it difficult to continue 
financially, PJW is doing all right thanks to your generosity.* While we 
have had to readjust some of our program work (no large rallies/marches 
planned, Portland Copwatch has suspended in-person copwatching and mass 
trainings), our educational work continues.

I'm sad to see VCNV go away but look forward to their new incarnation, 
which sounds like it will be focused more locally in the Chicago area.

OK, here's that info on the webinar, which is being hosted by World Beyond 

-dan handelman
peace and justice works

*- but we do welcome more donations!
    A fundraising letter should be arriving soon for many of you;
    donations can be sent to
    Peace and Justice Works
    PO Box 42456
    Portland, OR   97242
    or donate on line: http://www.pjw.info/pjwdonate.html

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2020 17:25:54
From: Voices for Creative Nonviolence <info at vcnv.org>
Subject: Thursday Nov 19 Webinar- Ending the Afghan War

Please join panelists Kathy Kelly, Matthew Hoh, Rory Fanning, and Danny 
Sjursen, with Ann Wright moderating.


** Thursday, Nov 19 7:30p-9:00p Eastern Standard Time
Webinar: Ending the War on Afghanistan

REGISTER: https://actionnetwork.org/events/webinar-ending-the-war-on-afghanistan/

The U.S. war on Afghanistan is in its 20th year. The morning after this 
webinar, the House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing 
(https://armedservices.house.gov/2020/11/hasc-schedule-november-16-20) on 
keeping it going. If you're from the United States you can click here 
to email and phone your Representative to ask them to end the war and 
attend this webinar. You can also share this page with friends who might 
want to attend. And you can think of questions you plan to ask.

Ann Wright will be our moderator. Panelists will be Kathy Kelly, Matthew 
Hoh, Rory Fanning, and Danny Sjursen.


Click "Register" to sign up. You will receive a confirmation email with 
the Zoom information for the event. Be sure to check the box to "Yes, opt 
in to email updates" in order to receive important information for the 
webinar, including the Zoom link and the recording afterwards.

Ann Wright is a retired Army Colonel who became a US diplomat for 16 years 
in US Embassies in Grenada, Nicaragua, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, 
Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. She was on the team that reopened 
the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in December 2001 and remained five months. On 
March 13, 2003, Wright sent a letter of resignation to then Secretary of 
State Colin Powell. Since that day, she has worked for peace, writing and 
speaking all over the world and has returned three times to Afghanistan. 
Wright is co-author of Dissent: Voices of Conscience.

Kathy Kelly has been a founder of Voices in the Wilderness, coordinator of 
Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and member of World BEYOND War?s Advisory 
Board. During each of 20 trips to Afghanistan, Kathy, as an invited guest 
of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people 
in a working class neighborhood in Kabul.

Matthew Hoh has nearly 12 years' experience with the United States? wars 
overseas with the Marine Corps, Department of Defense, and State 
Department. He has been a Senior Fellow with the Center For International 
Policy since 2010. In 2009, Hoh resigned in protest from his post in 
Afghanistan with the State Department over the U.S. escalation of the war. 
When not deployed, he worked on Afghanistan and Iraq war policy and 
operations issues at the Pentagon and State Department from 2002-8. Hoh is 
a member of the Board of Directors for the Institute for Public Accuracy, 
an Advisory Board Member for Expose Facts, North Carolina Committee to 
Investigate Torture, Veterans For Peace, and World BEYOND War.

Rory Fanning went through two deployments to Afghanistan with the 2nd Army 
Ranger Battalion, and became one of the first U.S. Army Rangers to resist 
the Iraq war and the Global War on Terror. In 2008?2009 he walked across 
the United States for the Pat Tillman foundation. Rory is the author of 
Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger?s Journey Out of the Military and 
Across America. In 2015 he was awarded a grant from the Chicago Teachers 
Union to speak to CPS students about the United States' endless wars and 
to fill in some of the blanks military recruiters often ignore.

Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army officer, contributing editor at 
Antiwar.com, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, and 
director of the Eisenhower Media Network. He did combat tours in Iraq and 
Afghanistan and later taught history at West Point. He is the author of a 
memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: 
Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge and Patriotic Dissent: 
America in the Age of Endless War. Along with fellow vet Chris ?Henri? 
Henriksen, he cohosts the podcast Fortress on a Hill.

This event is supported by World BEYOND War, RootsAction.org, NYC Veterans 
For Peace, and Middle East Crisis Response.

** Host Contact Info: Greta, greta at worldbeyondwar.org

More information about the pjw-list mailing list