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ACTION ALERT: November Trumparade Postponed but Anti-war Marches and Concerts Still Set to Continue


August 18, 2018
David Swanson / World BEYOND War & Kathy Kelly / The Progressive

One day after more than 187 organizations publicly vowed to counter Donald Trump's planned weapons parade with a parade for peace in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the Pentagon pulled the plug on Trump's $92 million show-of-farce. While the Trumparade has been postponed, a number of large counter protests, concerts, and foot-races are being planned -- in Washington, DC and in cities and towns around the world -- to celebrate Armistice Day, as a global day to honor peace.

https://worldbeyondwar.org/armisticeday

Trump Parade Canceled -- Peace Parade Goes Forward
David Swanson / World BEYOND War

A few days after an over-hyped white supremacist rally in Washington, D.C., was massively outnumbered by people opposed to racism, and one day after 187 organizations (more than that now) publicly committed to turning out people to counter Donald Trump's planned weapons parade with a parade for peace in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, and less than a day after the US military said the weapons parade would now cost $92 million (which in fairness is a legitimate rounding up from the earlier estimate of $12 million according to the rules of Pentagon math), the parade of death and war profiteering that was threatened for November 10th in Washington, D.C., has been canceled, or (as these things are always announced) "postponed."

Far from assuming no danger of the Trumparade actually being resurrected, organizers of the peace parade are planning to move forward as planned with a celebration of both Armistice Day and the prevention of the disastrous scheme to roll a giant middle finger to the world down Pennsylvania Avenue in the form of the weapons of mass destruction built by some of the top "contributors" to US election campaigns, dealers of instruments of death to dictatorships around the world, and prospective members of the nascent Space Force.

Events are being planned for the weekend of Armistice Day in Washington, D.C., and around the world. The plan is to:
* Celebrate No Trump Military Parade in Washington on November 10!
* Celebrate Armistice Day and Peace Everywhere on November 11!
* Sign up for any event on the world map here, or add a new one.
* If you can be in Washington, D.C., to celebrate preventing the Trump military parade, also sign up here.
* Also, join in the Women's March on the Pentagon on October 21-22.
* Come to a free peace concert in Washington D.C., November 9, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. planned by Code Pink.
* We'll also be part of Catharsis on the Mall, November 10-12, in Washington, D.C.
* Note also that the Kennedy Center in DC is opening a show about the WWI Christmas Truces on the evening of November 10.

Veterans For Peace is planning a silent march to all the monuments in Washington, D.C., on November 11.

November 11, 2018, is Armistice Day 100, a century since World War I was ended at a scheduled moment (11 o'clock on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918). For decades in the United States, as elsewhere, Armistice Day was a holiday of peace, of sad remembrance and joyful ending of war, of a commitment to preventing war in the future.

The holiday's name was changed in the United States during the US war in Korea to "Veterans Day," a largely pro-war holiday on which some US cities forbid Veterans For Peace groups from marching in their parades. Trump had planned for this year a super-pro-war weapons parade -- a Trumparade -- for Washington D.C. on Saturday November 10th, the day before Armistice Day.

Our goal (now partially met) was to get the weapons parade (until recently planned for November 10th) canceled but to carry through with our own peaceful Armistice Day celebration in Washington, D.C., and everywhere else on earth. If the Trumparade had not been canceled, our goal was to be bigger and make a more impressive showing for peace and friendship than the weapons parade made for war and hatred and profiteering greed.

We need your help planning Armistice Day / Remembrance Day events everywhere on earth, and adding our presence to those already scheduled. If you can start an event or a contingent to participate in a larger event, we can help you. The first step is: please enter it into our system so that it shows up on our map for people to find.

Event Resources:
Find speakers, videos, powerpoints, activities, and ideas here.
One activity for 11 a.m. wherever you are, or some other appropriate time, is bell ringing. Here's a kit from a Veterans For Peace chapter on a past Armistice Day.

Flyers:
World BEYOND War flyers.



The Trumparade of 2018: The Stupidest Idea
Since the Philadelphia Liberty Loan Parade of 1918

David Swanson / World BEYOND War

It's hard not to focus on the fact that Trump has picked the 100th anniversary of the first Armistice Day celebration for his weaponry parade (more on that below). But there was another parade a month and a half before the armistice that cries out for comparison because of its remarkable stupidity. I'm thinking of the Liberty Loan Parade in Philadelphia:

This was a parade to squeeze more money out of people to pay for war, to celebrate patrioti-nationali-militarism, and to reject fake news. I'll explain that last one.

World War I brought us a number of wonderful gifts: professional propaganda, alcohol prohibition, World War II "The Sequel!," and "Spanish" influenza. But one reason that this disease epidemic was called "Spanish" was that Spain was not at war, so Spanish media outlets were allowed to report that thousands of people were dying of a horrible disease.

In nations at war, such a report would have been unacceptably un-cheerful -- and therefore illegal. Few editors wanted to risk jail time to report on the flu in Woodrow Wilson's brave new world. The flu was fake news.

But the flu, which probably started in the United States, was spread among the soldiers fighting World War I. Woodrow Wilson knew he was sending young men off to die first and foremost from the flu. But he did so. And they brought it back to Philadelphia. Health experts warned against gathering a massive crowd together for a parade. They knew the flu would spread. But a war parade was deemed too important. It went on. The flu did spread.

It even spread, more than likely, to Woodrow Wilson, who apparently suffered from it while allowing the Treaty of Versailles to be crafted in a disastrous manner that had wise observers predicting World War II on the spot.

The disease epidemic we face now is not the Spanish flu but the American militarism: more weapons dealing, war waging, war threatening, and societal militarizing than anyone can keep track of. And the risk is of World War III. The poetic justice will not be Trump coming down with a case of war fever. He's already in the later stages. It will be all of us exhibiting symptoms of nuclear apocalypse.

Fortunately, a movement is growing to apply prevention rather than cure to this global health danger.

Find the "Stop Trump's Military Parade" coalition and sign up here.

November 11, 2018, is Armistice Day 100, a century since World War I was ended at a scheduled moment (11 o'clock on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918). For decades in the United States, as elsewhere, Armistice Day was a holiday of peace, of sad remembrance and joyful ending of war, of a commitment to preventing war in the future.

The holiday's name was changed in the United States during the US war in Korea to "Veterans Day," a largely pro-war holiday on which some US cities forbid Veterans For Peace groups from marching in their parades. Trump has planned for this year a super-pro-war weapons parade -- a Trumparade -- for Washington D.C.

Everyone who can be in Washington D.C. on November 11 (and possibly side events Friday November 9 to Monday November 12, 2018), should make plans now to be there.

If you cannot make it to Washington, work with us to plan now for local events where you are, whether the day is called Veterans Day or Remembrance Day, or something else. Here are some tools you can use:

Event Resources:
Find speakers, videos, powerpoints, activities, and ideas here.
One activity for 11 a.m. wherever you are, or some other appropriate time, is bell ringing. Here's a kit from a Veterans For Peace chapter on a past Armistice Day.


On Armistice Day, Let's Celebrate Peace
Kathy Kelly / The Progressive

(November 10, 2017) -- Wilfred Owen, an English poet who was killed in action exactly one week before the Armistice that finally ended World War I was signed, wrote about the horrors of living in trenches and enduring gas warfare.

In "The Parable of the Old Man and the Young," he revises the Biblical narrative about Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Believing God willed the slaughter, Abraham prepared to bind Isaac and slay him. Owen transforms Abraham into the European powers who were willing to slaughter youthful generations in the trenches of World War I.

Only in this telling, Abraham refuses to heed the angel who urges that the son be spared. The old man "slew the son, and half the seed of Europe, one by one."

Thirty million soldiers were killed or wounded and another seven million taken captive during World War I. Some 50 to 100 million perished from a flu epidemic created by the war. "Never before," writes author and activist David Swanson, "had people witnessed such industrialized slaughter, with tens of thousands falling in a day to machine guns and poison gas."

A stunned and exhausted West greeted November 11, 1918, the day the war came to an end, as its delivery from horror.

In 1938, Congress declared Armistice Day a legal holiday dedicated to the cause of world peace. In 1954 the holiday was renamed Veterans Day and morphed into an occasion for flag waving and military parades.

Now, members of the group Veterans for Peace are working across the US to recover the original purpose of Armistice Day. They are using it to call for adequate psychological and material support for veterans, to help them cope with the terrors they have been forced to endure. Above all, they work to abolish wars.

This year on Nov. 11, at 11 a.m., Veterans for Peace chapters across the United States will ring bells, recalling that minute in 1918 when, as Kurt Vonnegut wrote, "millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another."

"This event is more than just a historical remembrance," says Ed Flaherty, a member of the Iowa City Chapter of Veterans for Peace. "It is about today, about our pressing need to reverse the war-momentum and to take up the sweet burden of creating lasting peace."

Writing on behalf of the group's Tom Paine chapter in Albany, New York, John Amidon explains that the veterans will be "purposefully walking" in the local Veterans day parade because "we ain't marching anymore."

The tragically stubborn "old man" in Owen's poem rejected the angel's intervention urging him to choose life over death. We do not have to keep making that same mistake.

Armistice Day gives us an opportunity to acknowledge the brutal futility of armed conflict, the wastefulness of our military spending, and the responsibility we share to abolish all wars.

Kathy Kelly co-coordinates the group Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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