Photograph and Composition By Betsy L. Angert ©
Recently, the political blogosphere has been buzzing with talk of action, activism, and conventions. Some are seeking a connection to “real” American heroes. Bloggers wish to show their support for the people that truly serve this nation. Still, they want to promote peace. This announcement might offer the opportunity some crave. Veterans For Peace is hosting a National Convention. The conference will begin August 10 and close on the 13th. Speakers such as author John Perkins, peace loving Mom, Cindy Sheehan, and anti-war activist, Dahr Jamail will welcome attendees. I will share the schedule and specifics below.
Years ago, I discovered Veterans For Peace accidentally. I was an active member of the Orange County Peace Coalition. A person I not yet met, placed a request into the Coalition’s cyberspace. James Ameen, veteran and co-organizer of Arlington West, Huntington Beach project, was looking for assistance. Mr. Ameen was planning a performance piece, an installation, and a work of art. He was documenting the deaths from this country’s most recent aggression, and memorializing these.
Mr. Ameen and co-coordinator, Tom Lash, another Veteran for Peace, were focused. They were seeking persons willing and able to contribute time and energy to their effort. The hope was that they, along with others, would enlighten a seemingly apathetic public. They would tell their personal tales of war and discuss the occurrences in Iraq.
I helped to construct, sand, and paint wooden crosses. I placed these in the sand on the beach each weekend morning. Twelve hours later, I lent a hand in loading these crosses into cars and then taking them to a safe storage.
Each week I collected and updated the information necessary for the display. I typed comments, created a database of passer-bys and interested parties. I placed flowers on these headstones and I met many Veterans and active duty service persons during this endeavor. Hours were dedicated to Peace and peace activism. There were plenty devoted to destruction that passed by the installation. They spoke of their beliefs; I listened and discussed my own.
For me, the time I spent engaging with Veterans For Peace was fruitful. Now, that experience might be yours. I received this announcement and I wish to pass it on to you dear reader. This is another opportunity for activist to unite.
Seattle, Washington, University of Washington Campus
August 10 – 13, 2006
“Sow Justice, Reap Peace: Strategies For Moving Beyond War.”
Convention SpeakersJohn Perkins, Cindy Sheehan, and Dahr Jamail head an All-Star cast of speakers to the 2006 Veterans For Peace National Convention.
And that’s not all. This is shaping up to be an incredible list of speakers, and it doesn’t even include The Musicians!
John Perkins, Cindy Sheehan, Dahr Jamail, Ann Wright, Ray McGovern, Brian Willson, Jennifer Harbury, Elliott Adams, Stacy Bannerman, Antonia Juhasz, Pablo Paredes, Malik Rahim, Bruce Gagnon, Diane Benson, Monica Benderman, Camilo Mejia, Majorie Cohn, Diane Rejman, Simona Sharoni, Diane Wilson, Anthony Arnove, Bridgett Cantrell, David Cline, Michael McPhearson, Gerry Condon, Eli Painted Crow, Mike Ferner, Vivian Felts, Ellen Finklestein, Lynn Fitzhugh, Tina Garnanez, Jennifer Harbury, Ed Heim, Andy Heims, Evan Kanter, Dan Kenner, John Kim, Kathleen McFerran, Alene Morris, Steve Morse, Paul William Roberts, David Swanson, Bob Wing, Todd Boyle and more . . .
You will not get a recital of old, familiar material. You will get the state of the art, the leading edge of thinking. You will be in a conference room with Ray McGovern or Brian Willson or Dahr Jamail, in a discussion with other leading activists.
This will be the biggest convention of the year for any serious student of nonviolent political change.
Everyone in this struggle is welcome. Please join us!
Veterans for Peace Convention – August 10 – 13, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
2:30 – 3:45
? Chapter Organization/Innovations: Spreading the Peace/Anti-war Movement: Why is it so White and Middle-class? (Michael McPhearson and Bob Wing)
? Communication: Hearts and Minds: Spiritual Activism in a Time of War (Stacy Bannerman)
? Environment and Culture: A World of Hurt or Hope: The National Security Implications of Global
? Warming and Abrupt Climate Change, (John Seebeth)
? Human Effects of War: Finding the Way Back Home: Readjustment and Traumatic Stress (Drs. Bridgett Cantrell, Scott Michael, and Evan Kanter)
? Veteran Support: Vets4Vets, Peer Support, and Empowerment Groups for Iraq-era Veterans (Jim Driscoll. Kelly Dougherty, Garett Reppenhagen)
? Issues of War: War profiteering and U.S. Strategic Goals in the Middle East (Dahr Jamail)
4:00 – 5:15
? Chapter Organization/Innovations: Walking to New Orleans (Malik Rahim, Vivian Felts, Ward Reilly, Michael McPhearson et al)
? Communication: Creating Safety Through Connection: Nonviolent Communication (Kathleen Macferran)
? Environment and Culture: Agents of Destruction: DU and Agent Orange (David Cline et al)
? Human Effects of War: Writing About War by Live video feed from Toronto (Paul William Roberts)
? Veteran Support: International Panel (Frank Houde et al)
? Issues of War: Nuclear weapons (Carol Reilley Urner)
Friday, August 11, 2006
9:45 – 11:00
? Chapter Organization/Innovations: Counter recruitment
? Communication: How to Speak the Truth in Difficult Times (Alene Moris)
Environment and Culture: The Peace Movement, Knowing What to do Next (Elliot Adams)
? Human Effects of War: Health Consequences of War: Challenges Beyond the Battlefield (Drs. Gene Bolles and Evan Kanter)
? Veteran Support: An American Peace Veteran in Vietnam (Diane Rejman)
? Issues of War: The Politics of Obedience: Breaking the Habit of Voluntary Servitude (Brian Willson)
11:15 – 12:30
? Chapter Organization/Innovations: Waging Peace Workshops, an Overview (Elliot Adams)
? Communication: Voices of Women Veterans – (Ann Wright, Tina Garnanez and Eli Painted Crow)
? Environment: How Can We Avert the Converging Catastrophes of Global Climate Change, Global Oil Depletion, and the U.S. War Response to Oil? (Roland James)
? Culture: Creating a Culture of Peace (Ellen Finkelstein)
? Veteran Support: Alternative Medicine Breakthroughs and PTSD and PTSD and EMDR – the End of the Nightmares (Lynn Fitz-Hugh and Dan Kenner)
? Issues of War: Structural Causes of War, Todd Boyle, and Antonia Juhasz
2:00 – 3:15
? Chapter Organization/Innovations: Chapter Building (Patrick McCann)
? Communication: Practicing Nonviolent Communication (Bob Hendricks)
? International Issues: Israel/Palestine (Souliman al Khatib and Assaf Oron)
? Issues of War: Lies, Secrecy and Lawlessness – How to Stop the Coming Police State and Protect Yourself Along the Way (Ray McGovern and Ed Hein)
? Veteran Support: Resisting in the US and Canada (Gerry Condon and Pablo Paredes)
? Issues of War: Impeachment (David Swanson and Mike Ferner)
3:45 – 5:00
? Innovations: Passing the Torch: Training Youth to be Peace Activists (Youth panel from FOR)
? Communication: Media (Virginia Rodino)
? Culture: Unity Beyond War Time (Andy Himes)
? Human Effects of War: Torture (Jennifer Harbury)
? Veteran Support: GI Rights and GI Advocacy (Steve Morse)
? Issues of War: Axis of Evil v. Great Satan (John Amidon, John Kim and Keith Leitich)
We really hope you can join us. It promises to be an exciting event. Last year’s convention in Dallas kicked off Camp Casey, the Bring Them Home Now Tour, and the Katrina Relief Effort in the Gulf. There is no telling what kind of momentum we’ll generate this year. Come to Seattle and be a part of history!
For more information and to register please see the following links:
Register By Mail Form:
Register By Phone: 206-543-7634
Veterans For Peace National Office
216 S. Meramec Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63105