Help Donate to My Lai

Here is a more than worthy cause for your money or spare change:

 

Please Help Restore the Mural at My Lai
>
> During a recent trip back to Vietnam with Brian Willson, Becky Luening and Sandy Kelson ( March 28-April 22, 2016 ), I spent two days at the My Lai Massacre site in Quang Ngai. The very large mosaic-tile mural in the photo ( with Sandy and Brian ), depicts some of the 504 Vietnamese civilians murdered by American soldiers on March 16, 1968, in the last moments of their lives.
>
> While examining the mural up close, we noticed the artwork had badly deteriorated from years of severe hot and wet weather that causes such damage. I had a private conversation with the co-director of the museum. She had worked at the memorial site for 16 years. I told her I was a Vietnam veteran, and a member of Veterans For Peace, and that millions of Americans who were adamantly against the war, consider the My Lai Massacre site extremely important. I said to her that as far as I was concerned, the My Lai Massacre site is sacred ground, and one of the most important memorials in the world. After I said this, she broke down and cried. It was a very powerful moment for both of us. I felt a deep emotional connection to her, and a loving empathy that was so important in healing my soul.
>
> When I got back to my home in Portland, Oregon, I corresponded with her via email, and offered to raise the funds needed to restore the mural. She eventually replied that it would cost $4,200 to complete the restoration. Our goal is to raise this money soon so that the mural may be completely repaired by the 50th anniversary of the massacre on March 16, 2018. Some of us plan on returning to Vietnam for this important event. To contribute to this project, please make checks out to VFP Chapter 72, and mail to:
>
> VFP Chapter 72
> c/o Bob Projansky
> 3036 SE Taylor St.
> Portland, OR. 97214
>
> Please feel free to forward this information. With sincere appreciation for keeping a profound historical memory alive.
>
> Mike Hastie
> Army Medic Vietnam
> 509-869-7787


Visit the Vietnam Full Disclosure website at http://vietnamfulldisclosure.org

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VFP Convention

A handful of us are just back from an informative VFP convention in Berkeley. A magnificent time with much learned. We’ll be adding everything that we did learn shortly

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Two Showings of a Great Film

The film? Occupation of an American Mind. Here are the times and places and information about the film

4pm September 10th, Spokane South Hill Public Library

4pm September 17th, Spokane Argonne Library

Please visit our Facebook page for more information.

 

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VFP Awarded 2016 Peace Prize!

Veterans For Peace Awarded 2016 Peace Prize

 

The Board of Directors of the US Peace Memorial Foundation voted unanimously to award its 2016 Peace Prize to Veterans For Peace “In recognition of heroic efforts to expose the causes and costs of war and to prevent and end armed conflict.

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Controversial bus ad gets green light for Seattle streets

July 18, 2016 / Seattle, Washington – On June 23, and continuing for eight weeks, 14 Seattle Metro downtown buses are displaying the following paid advertisement: 20 MILES WEST OF SEATTLE IS THE LARGEST CONCENTRATION OF DEPLOYED NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN THE US. Included in the advertisement is a map showing the proximity of Seattle to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, home port for 8 of the Navy’s 14 Trident nuclear powered submarines.
The statement in the ad refers to the combined number of nuclear warheads deployed on Trident D-5 missiles on SSBN submarines based at Bangor and nuclear warheads stored at Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC). More than 1,300 nuclear warheads are deployed 20 miles west of Seattle at the Bangor submarine base.
King County Metro was initially hesitant to run the ad, and questioned the accuracy of the statement of fact regarding the number of nuclear weapons at Bangor. Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, provided corroboration of the statement. Kristensen provides the public and government agencies with analysis and background information about the status of nuclear forces worldwide and the geopolitical implications of nuclear weapons.
The bus ads are an effort by Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, a grass roots organization in Poulsbo, Washington, to reawaken public awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons.
Ground Zero member, Rodney Brunelle, said of the bus ad campaign, “We hope to generate a measure of citizen interest, and to begin a public discussion of nuclear weapons in the Puget Sound region. In this election year the danger of nuclear weapons ought to be a topic of discussion.”
On March 11, 2016, the 10th bi-annual Nuclear Deterrent Symposium was held in Silverdale to discuss the future of U.S. strategic forces. Rear Adm. Charles Richard criticized opposition to the Navy’s $100 billion plan for 12 new replacement SSBN submarines, proclaiming, “It’s a matter of priorities.” The new SSBNs would replace the submarines at Bangor. Rear Adm. Richards noted that the USS Ohio arrived at Bangor in 1982 to much protest, and stated, “We have taken that [nuclear weapons] out of the national psyche.”
The issues

* The U.S. is currently spending more on nuclear weapons programs than during the height of the Cold War.
* The U.S. currently plans to spend an estimated $1 trillion dollars over 30 years for rebuilding the nation’s nuclear facilities and modernizing nuclear weapons.
* The New York Times reported that the U. S., Russia and China are aggressively pursuing a new generation of smaller and less destructive nuclear weapons. The buildups threaten to revive a Cold War-era arms race and unsettle the balance of power among nations.
* The U.S. Navy states that SSBN submarines on patrol provide the U.S. with its “most survivable and enduring nuclear strike capability.” However, SSBNs in port and nuclear warheads stored at SWFPAC are likely a first target in a nuclear war. The latest Google imagery shows three SSBN submarines on the Hood Canal waterfront.
* An accident involving nuclear weapons occurred on November 2003 when a ladder penetrated a nuclear nosecone during a routine missile offloading at the Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor. All missile-handling operations at SWFPAC were stopped for nine weeks until Bangor could be recertified for handling nuclear weapons. Three top commanders were fired but the public was never informed until information was leaked to the media in March 2004.
* Public responses from governmental officials to the 2003 missile accident were generally in the form of surprise and disappointment.
* Due to ongoing modernization and maintenance programs for warheads at Bangor, nuclear warheads are routinely shipped in unmarked trucks between the Department of Energy Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas and the Bangor base. Unlike the Navy at Bangor, the DOE actively promotes emergency preparedness.
* Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility are involved in an environmental lawsuit against the Navy’s second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor. As a result of the lawsuit, plaintiffs discovered that while the Navy insisted the second wharf posed no new safety risk at the base, the federal agency responsible for explosives siting refused to grant approval. The case was filed in federal court in June 2012 and is currently pending in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
* On December 14, 2015, the Navy filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the release of emergency response plans that might benefit the public in the case of a nuclear accident at Bangor. The lawsuit is still pending.
The bus ad
The bus ads measure 30 inches tall and 144 inches in length and are posted on the sides of 14 Metro buses in downtown Seattle. An interactive map of the bus routes may be viewed at http://mapping.titan360.com/atlas.aspx?mapId=33301 The blue lines show routes that are scheduled for buses with the ads and the black lines show routes of buses that may carry the ads.
Nuclear weapons and resistance
In the 1970s and 1980s, thousands demonstrated against nuclear weapons at the Bangor base and hundreds were arrested. Seattle Archbishop Hunthausen had proclaimed the Bangor submarine base the “Auschwitz of Puget Sound” and in 1982 began to withhold half of his federal taxes in protest of “our nation’s continuing involvement in the race for nuclear arms supremacy.”
One Trident SSBN submarine at Bangor is estimated to carry about 108 nuclear warheads. The W76 and W88 warheads at Bangor are equal respectively to 100 kilotons and 455 kilotons of TNT in destructive force. One submarine deployed at Bangor is equal to more than 1,400 Hiroshima sized nuclear bombs.
On May 27, 2016, President Obama spoke in Hiroshima and called for an end to nuclear weapons. He said that the nuclear powers “…must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them.”  Obama added, “We must change our mindset about war itself.” 
___________________________________________________

The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action was founded in 1977. The center is on 3.8 acres adjoining the Trident submarine base at Bangor, Washington.  The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action offers the opportunity to explore the roots of violence and injustice in our world and to experience the transforming power of love through nonviolent direct action. We resist all nuclear weapons, especially the Trident ballistic missile system.

Upcoming Ground Zero events:
* Numerous activities with the historic peace vessel, the Golden Rule and Veterans for Peace throughout the summer. Our first event with the Golden Rule will be in Poulsbo on June 28. See http://www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org/.
* The annual Interfaith Peace Walk led by Bainbridge Island Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple takes place from July 24 to August 9.
* Ground Zero Peace Fleet with the Golden Rule in Elliott Bay on August 3.
* From Hiroshima to Hope event at Green Lake on August 6 commemorating the victims of the Hiroshima bombing 71 years ago.
* The Annual Ground Zero Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemoration on August 7 and 8 at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action with a vigil and nonviolent civil resistance at entrance to Bangor.
* Boats by Bangor on August 9, will be a flotilla of small boats, the Golden Rule and other sail boats in the waters of Hood Canal out past the perimeter of Naval Base Kitsap Bangor.
 
Please check our website at http://www.gzcenter.org/ for updates.
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BLM and the Reaction to Dallas

Hope everyone managed to attend the BLM rally in Spokane this past Saturday. Today we want to point out that, more than ever, movements like BLM need our support, even if it’s just a post on Facebook. After Dallas, we’ve heard the usual suspects with the usual slander (calling BLM a terrorist group or equivalent to the KKK). This is not surprising, but we must stand against it. And this article only shows how this is more than name calling. They’re arresting people for words.

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BLM

We here at VFP stand by BLM. Black Lives Matter.

Here is an event this Saturday, July 9th from 12-1 at Spokane County Courthouse

https://www.facebook.com/events/1135742613151018

 

Stand with everyday people who believe BLACK LIVES MATTER!

Join the NAACP, YWCA, Musicians Union, Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane, Sierra Club, Center for Justice, Greater Spokane Progress, Spokane Socialist Alternative, Spokane Regional Labor Council, and PEOPLE LIKE YOU!

We’re coming together for this vigil to share our grief and anger about the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philondo Castile, and to demonstrate our commitment to acting together to expose and transform this racist system of violence and oppression, not just policing but the entire criminal justice system, everywhere it reaches, and all the other systemically racist systems that it co-perpetuates, and the ideologies that power them.

Bring your families and friends to be part of this a powerful coming together to demonstrate our shared grief, anger, deep valuing of Black Lives!!!! and give folks in our communities a chance to connect with each other as well as to learn how THEY can be part of campaigns like the local police accountability & oversight organizing, the statewide John T. Williams Initiative 873 to change WA’s deadly force law by gathering signatures to bring it to the legislature, efforts to end the school-to-prison pipeline with a restorative justice and culturally appropriate schools approach, AND MORE.

Let us mourn together and ORGANIZE together, bringing people together around shared needs & values, with ways to experience and assert OUR OWN SHARED POWER, and push to change policies while changing the balance of power in our communities and society.

Want to help organize and spread the word? Please do!

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Encrypted Apps

And on the note of privacy, here are a couple encrypted apps: Whatsapp vs Signal. If you have any suggestions, please add them in the comments

 

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Privacy

However you pronounce the word, privacy is an important part of real freedoms here in America. That the state is so willing to take it away from us is not a matter of them caring about our safety but, first and foremost, watching us to make sure that we the people don’t challenge them (to say nothing of power within the government being highly skewed away from voted representatives and towards men in the shadows of government with little or no oversight). History is rife with such examples.

 

Nevertheless, here are Chomsky, Greenwald, and Snowden talking about the matter at hand.

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Peace in Our Times

Order your copy of Peace In Our Times Summer Edition 

Here’s the front page of the upcoming summer issue. Twenty-four pages packed with great articles, poems and graphics. Bundles are mailed out via media mail so can take a week or more to arrive and sometimes, rarely, but it does happen, the post office loses a bundle or two.  Then we have to send out a replacement bundle. The paper will go to print mid-July and be mailed out immediately. We want you to get the papers before the VFP convention in Berkeley so please do not order late!

Please feel free to forward this to friends

Peace in Our Times is for everyone!


Order Today!

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