[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
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
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
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
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