ACTION ALERT: Stop These Wars in DC on December 16
November 30, 2010 Veterans for Peace
The wars that most Americans want ended are not ending, and the war machine that most Americans want cut back is growing. if the war machine continues on its current course, we will not survive it economically, environmentally, or with any civil liberties intact -- if a nuclear blowback or nuclear proliferation doesn't takes us out first. Which would you prefer: go to jail for a few hours or live with the certain knowledge that your children and grandkids are going to eventually be killed?
ACTION ALERT: Stop These Wars in DC at 10 a.m. December 16
Not Another Day! Not Another Dollar! Not Another Life!
Join what will be the largest veteran-led civil resistance in US history. Join Us at the White House December 16
Here's an easy question: would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or die?
Here's a poorly kept secret: the wars that a majority of Americans want ended are not ending, and the war machine that a majority of Americans want cut back is growing.
Here's a situation that is not secret at all but too horrifying for us to acknowledge: if the war machine continues on its current course, we will not survive it economically, environmentally, or with any civil liberties or representative government intact. If we do not reach those catastrophes it will be because blowback or nuclear proliferation takes us out first.
You may not die for the Pentagon, but if you do not it will be your children or grandchildren. Would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or see your grandchildren killed? Is the question getting easier?
Here's a well kept secret: many Americans are doing something about it, and Veterans for Peace is taking the lead. We're going to the White House on Thursday, December 16th at 10 a.m.: http://stopthesewars.org
You may have other obligations, but do they outweigh what's at stake here? How about this question: If you can not risk arrest at the White House with us on December 16th to stop these wars, can you be there in support? Can you help with transportation or take photos and shoot videos and write reports? If you cannot be there in support, can you phone Congress and the media and demand the defunding of the war machine and an end to wars opposed by majorities of Americans in every poll?
The last time I was arrested at the White House we were "processed" at a table outside a jail and never entered any jail at all. Yes, it takes hours to do what could take minutes. Yes, the handcuffs pinch. But doesn't the knowledge that we are bombing families in other countries pinch a little too?
Don't take it from me. Take it from these people who will also be there:
During the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King called our government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” True then -- and even more so today.
A few years before that, in 1964 Mario Savio made his great speech at Berkeley; at the end he says, “There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”
There are children being orphaned, maimed or killed every day, in our name, with our tax dollars; there are soldiers and civilians dying or being maimed for life, in order to generate profits for the most odious imperialistic corporate war machine ever, again in our name.
How long are we going to let this go on? Until it is too late, until this destructive machine destroys all of us and the planet to boot?
Wikileaks has revealed the documented horror of US war-making, beyond what any of us imagined. It’s time veterans and others express our resistance directly and powerfully by putting ourselves on the line, once again -- honestly, courageously and without one drop of apology for doing so. It is not we who are the murderers, torturers or pillagers of the earth.
Profit and power-hungry warmongers are destroying everything we hold dear and sacred.
In the early thirties, WW1 vets descended on Washington, D.C., to demand their promised bonuses, it being the depths of the Depression. General Douglas MacArthur and his sidekick Dwight Eisenhower disregarded President Herbert Hoover’s order and burned their encampment down and drove the vets out of town at bayonet point.
We are today’s bonus marchers, and we’re coming to claim our bonus -- PEACE.
Join activist veterans marching in solidarity to the White House, refusing to move, demanding the end of US wars, which includes US support -- financial and tactical -- for the Israeli war machine as well.
If we can gather enough courageous souls, nonviolently refusing to leave the White House, willing to be dragged away and arrested if necessary, we will send a message that will be seen worldwide. “End these wars -- now!” We will carry forward a flame of resistance to the war machine that will not diminish as we effectively begin to place ourselves, as Mario Savio said, “upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus.” and we will make it stop.
We believe that the power of courageous, committed people is greater than that of corporate warmongers. But we will only see our power when we use it collectively, when we stand together.
With courage, persistence, boldness and numbers, we can eventually make this monstrous war machine grind to a halt, so that our children and all children everywhere can grow up in a peaceful world.
Join us at the White House on December 16th!
For a world in peace,
Nic Abramson, Veterans For Peace;
Elliott Adams, Past President, Veterans For Peace;
Laurie Arbeiter, Activist Response Team;
Ken Ashe, Veterans For Peace;
Ellen Barfield, Veterans For Peace;
Brian Becker, National Coordinator, ANSWER Coalition;
Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder, CODEPINK for Peace;
Frida Berrigan, War Resisters League; Bruce Berry, Veterans For Peace;
Leah Bolger, Veterans For Peace;
Elaine Brower, Anti-war Military Mom and World Can’t Wait;
Scott Camil, Veterans For Peace;
Ross Caputi, Justice For Fallujah Project;
Kim Carlyle, Veterans For Peace;
Armen Chakerian, Coalition to Stop the $30 Billion to Israel;
Matthis Chiroux, Iraq War Resister Veteran;
Gerry Condon, Veterans For Peace;
Will Covert, Veterans For Peace;
Dave Culver, Veterans For Peace;
Matt Daloisio, Witness Against Torture;
Ellen Davidson, War Resisters League;
Mike Ferner, President, Veterans For Peace;
Nate Goldshlag, Veterans For Peace;
Clare Hanrahan, War Crimes Times;
Mike Hearington, Veterans For Peace;
Mark Johnson, Executive Director. Fellowship of Reconciliation;
Tarak Kauff, Veterans For Peace;
Kathy Kelly, Voices For Creative Nonviolence;
Sandy Kelson, Veterans For Peace;
Ron Kovic, Vietnam War veteran and author of Born on the Fourth of July;
Joel Kovel, Veterans For Peace;
Erik Lobo, Veterans For Peace;
Joe Lombardo, United National Antiwar Committee;
Ken Mayers, Veterans For Peace;
Nancy Munger, Co-President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom;
Fred Nagel, Veterans For Peace;
Pat O’Brien, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom;
Bill Perry, Vietnam Veterans Against the War;
Vito Piccininno, Veterans For Peace;
Mike Prysner, Co-Founder, March Forward;
Ward Reilly, Veterans For Peace;
Laura Roskos, Co-President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom;
Cindy Sheehan, Founder, Peace of the Action;
David Swanson, author; Debra Sweet, National Director, World Can’t Wait;
Debbie Tolson, Veterans For Peace;
Mike Tork, Veterans For Peace;
Hart Viges, Iraq Veterans Against the War;
Father Louie Vitale, SOA Watch;
Jay Wenk, Veterans For Peace;
Linda Wiener, Veterans For Peace;
Diane Wilson, Veterans For Peace;
Col. Ann Wright, Veterans For Peace;
Doug Zachary, Veterans For Peace
Endorsers of the December 16 Veteran-Led Civil Resistance against War
• Veterans For Peace
• Austin Center for Peace and Justice
• Backbone Campaign
• Courage to Resist
• Environmentalists Against War
• Fellowship of Reconciliation
• Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
• March Forward
• National Assembly to End the US Wars and Occupations
• Peace Action
• Peace Action Montgomery
• Peace of the Action
• Stop $30 Billion to Israel (Albuquerque)
• United National Anti-War Committee
• Voices for Creative Non-Violence
• Voters for Peace
• War Resisters League
• Washington Peace Center
• Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
• World Can’t Wait
Veterans Speak Out on December 16 Action
Ray McGovern, retired CIA officer and former US Army Intelligence officer. McGovern was a federal employee under seven US presidents over 27 years, presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House for many of them. In 2003, together with other former CIA employees, McGovern founded the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity or VIPS.
“I strongly and enthusiastically support these actions! May we move forward peacefully, nonviolently, and with great courage.” -- Ron Kovic, antiwar activist, Vietnam War veteran, and author of the memoir Born on the Fourth of July
“I speak and write a lot about these things; but there comes a time when if you don’t put your body on the line, then the speaking and writing becomes posturing. That time is now. December 16 at the White House.” -- Joel Kovel, author of Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine
“Those who know the full extent of America’s imperial reach have a unique obligation to let their fellow citizens know what is being done in all of our names. But it is more than an obligation for veterans, since many of us have served in America’s invasions and occupations abroad. Perhaps it is also a privilege, another chance to express our love for this country, this time putting their bodies on the line to demand that America once again join the peace loving nations of this world.” -- Fred Nagel, radio host and member, Veterans For Peace
“I listened today to Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech given at New York’s Riverside Church in 1967, “Why I Oppose the Vietnam War.” If any of us don’t know it, make it a point to hear it. His truth is timeless. When I hear it, I feel as deeply as possible, the necessity and the responsibility to be a Veteran For Peace. My conscience, my refusal to let the world change me are in the forefront of my existence. I will be with my brothers and sisters on Dec. 16.” -- Jay Wenk, member, Veterans For Peace
“I am shamed by the actions of my government and I will do everything in my power to make it stop killing innocent people in my name.” -- Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret), 1980-2000; National Vice-President, Veterans For Peace
“‘….to protect and defend the Constitution…’ I took that oath as a sailor, and later as a police officer. I don’t consider that oath to have an expiration date because I believe in accountability, justice and peace. Where I come from, we say: ‘You don’t have to stand tall, but you’ve GOT to stand up.’ Stand up December 16, 2010, at the White House.” -- Erik Lobo, member, Veterans For Peace
“When Barack Obama claimed that by not prosecuting the war crimes and crimes against humanity of the previous administration we would be able to go into the future with our core values intacct, he was condemning this country to have no moral future. He was, in effect, saying that our core values worth defending are imperialism and capitalism and hypocrisy. All three can only flourish in a climate of no accountability and a belief in the necessary ethic of collateral damage. It is our responsibility to change that.” -- Robert Shetterly, www.americanswhotellthetruth.org
“War for empire, endless and cruel war, resulting in untold suffering, destruction and death for millions, a war economy here at home that steals from ordinary citizens and makes the few enormously wealthy, these are powerful reasons for us to put our bodies on the wheels, the levers, the apparatus of this vile war-making machine and demand that it stop. Enough is enough. There is no glory, no heroism, no good wars, no justification whatsoever, it is all, all of it, based on lies. I’ll be in Washington on December 16 with other veterans, resisting this war mentality, demanding its end. -- Tarak Kauff, Veterans For Peace
“For what do I stand? First, I will not stand for: a Democrat, a Republican, a flag, a border, a government, or a war of any kind. I will stand for the People, to protect and defend the Constitution, for peace and justice. See you in Washington, D.C., December 16, Twenty-Ten.” -- Will Covert, Veterans For Peace
“I could not miss this manifestation of veterans’ strong condemnation of the wars, and of Obama for continuing them. In this season of supposed peace on earth, we who previously carried out US foreign policy with our bodies must speak out to say, ‘NO MORE! Bring the troops home NOW!’” -- Ellen Barfield, Veterans For Peace
“I have three granddaughters whose futures will be bleak unless we can reverse the American slide into endless war. It’s time to move the resistance up a notch. That’s why I’ll be joining the veteran-led civil resistance on December 16 at the White House.” -- Ken Mayers, Major, US Marine Corps Reserves(Ret’d), and member, Veterans For Peace
“Besides causing untold suffering and destruction, our futile and unending wars distract us from addressing unprecedented humanitarian and planetary crises. To allow war to even exist dishonors the teachers of peace who came before us. To fail to oppose war is to submit to those who make war. I choose to honor the peace teachers; I choose to oppose and resist the warmakers.” -- Kim Carlyle, Veterans For Peace and War Crimes Times
“I’m joining my fellow veterans on December 16 because, plain and simple, it is the right thing to do. I am against war, murder, and torture. Enough! I have a beautiful daughter and a very cute goddaughter. I owe them my best effort towards achieving a more just world. When we all stand up for peace war will end. -- Mike Tork,Veterans For Peace, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Vietnam 1965-1967, Mobile Riverine
“The trip to Washington will be an opportunity to stand in solidarity with fellow engaged citizens who are paying attention. As much as it will be a privilege, it is an obligation to add another voice to the growing chorus objecting to obscene wars that serve none other than the rich and powerful. The majorities in the lands subject to our occupations and wars object to our presence, and we the people share more in common with the victims in those countries than we do with the war profiteers here at home. Though we can expect the mainstream media to give little notice to our presence in D.C., that failure will only serve to make these truths more evident.” -- Dud Hendrick, President, Maine Veterans For Peace, Founding Chapter
“I will not be silent. I’m going to the White House to demand an end to these wars!” -- Mike Hearington, Veterans For Peace
“We are at a critical time in world history. Will the Western democracies continue to develop along the lines of Rousseau, Voltaire, Jefferson, King, Chavez and company? Or does the future hold a feudal world committed to slavery and fascism? The extent to which we resist is the extent to which there is reason to hope. Our witness, even if ignored in our times, will be on record and will inspire democratic revolutionaries far into the future. -- Doug Zachary, Austin, Texas, Veterans For Peace
“The Empire has met the Resistance and it is us! 12.16.10. Washington. Be there!” -- Mike Ferner, President, Veterans For Peace
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.