Milada Marsalka’s Memoirs Now Available in New Haven

PAR Planning Committee

pursuing-peaceMilada Marsalka, founding member of PAR (1993), long-time president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, New Haven County Branch, and a fiery activist in countless struggles for peace, labor rights, equality and justice, had the foresight to write about her life. She died in 2000 at the age of 95, leaving a manuscript that could inform and inspire others.

Through the diligence of Milada’s nieces, Regina Stevenson and Catherine Nathan, Pursuing Peace: Memoirs of Milada Marsalka has been published.

Thanks to New Haven/León Sister City Project, a box of books was shipped to New Haven. You can purchase your copy of Pursuing Peace from PAR for $15. Please call Paula at (203) 562-2798 to arrange your pick-up. This book makes a great gift!

For a description of the book go to the publisher’s site: wordassociation.com/memoir%20book%20page/ pursuingpeace.html.

Report on Jewish Voice for Peace National Meeting

by Shelly Altman, Jewish Voice for Peace

Several members of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) New Haven chapter were among the 600 attendees at the bi-annual JVP national membership meeting in Baltimore, March 13-15. The weekend was filled with inspiring keynotes, fact-filled breakout sessions, hands-on workshops and planning exercises, and a somber and moving Jewish memorial service for those who lost their lives during the brutal assault on Gaza by the state of Israel this past summer.

A significant focus of the event was the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS is a non-violent call by over 150 organizations in Palestinian civil society for three actions by Israel: ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall; recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194. The call is conditional on these, and includes an end to BDS once they are implemented. BDS is not punitive but simply a means to achieve Freedom, Equality, and Justice for Palestinians long denied these fundamental human rights.

While the Israeli election occurred 2 days after the end of the JVP meeting, the racist rhetoric of Benjamin Netanyahu, his promise to maintain the occupation indefinitely, and the endorsement of his values by the Israeli electorate only serve to raise the importance of using BDS as a tool to achieve human rights for Palestinians. Find out more about the BDS movement at http://www.bdsmovement.net.
Rabbi Brant Rosen of JVP spoke from the heart: “I’d like to suggest that a deeper understanding of this value [love of the Jewish people] should not stop at love just for fellow Jews. After all, while the word Yisrael does refer to the Jewish people, it also literally means ‘one who wrestles with God.’ Seen thus, we might interpret it as love for all who struggle, to love all who fight as we have for freedom and justice and tolerance in the world, to stand in solidarity with those who struggle against tyranny, and are beaten, imprisoned, tortured or killed for doing so…these are the members of our tribe, perhaps our most sacred tribe.”

Angela Davis concluded her stirring plenary by remarking “We are compelled to speak back with the voices of our humble solidarity, and one of the most important of these voices is Jewish Voice for Peace. Carry on!”

JVP New Haven contact info: web: www.jvpnh.org; email: newhaven@jewishvoiceforpeace.org; facebook: jvpnewhaven; twitter:@jvpnewhaven.

An Invitation to Environmental Groups to Join in Peace and Planet Events

Kim Stoner, Board of Directors, Promoting Enduring Peace

Promoting Enduring Peace would like environmental groups to join us in mobilizing a broad coalition in support of nuclear disarmament this April in New York City.

Specifically, we invite you to participate in the Peace and Planet International Conference for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just, and Sustainable World on April 24 and 25, and the rally and march on April 26. When representatives of the nations of the world gather at the United Nations for the 5-year Review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we want to deliver the message to these representatives that the peoples of the world want good faith negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons, as required by the Treaty since it entered into force in 1970.

Despite the end of the Cold War and President Obama’s pledge in 2009 to seek a “nuclear-free world,” there are about 17,000 nuclear weapons in existence worldwide, including over 7,000 in the US and 8,000 in Russia. According to a recent federal report on modernization of the US nuclear arsenal, over $1 trillion will be spent to upgrade US nuclear weapons over the next 30 years.

Proliferation of nuclear weapons also increases the likelihood of their use in regional conflicts, such as between India and Pakistan. This would, of course, result in tremendous human mortality and suffering and regional environ-mental effects from the blasts, the pressure waves, direct radiation and radioactive fallout. In addition, even a relatively small regional nuclear war (using 50 weapons on each side) would have devastating global environmental effects by sending vast amounts of smoke and soot into the atmosphere resulting in a nuclear winter lasting for a decade or more.

The continuing threat of nuclear weapons has, for many of us, been present our entire lives. As a result, it requires a big psychological step for us to realize that the nuclear war culture, like the reliance on fossil fuels, is an aspect of our civilization that can and must change.

Please join us in organizing for the Peace and Planet events. For the specific demands of the organizers, please go to www.PeaceandPlanet.org.

Volvieron! They Returned!

by Augusta Girard, Promoting Enduring Peace

For decades the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO)/Pastors for Peace has been working for an alternative people-to-people foreign policy. PEP has supported the work of IFCO for many years, having given their 1993 Gandhi Peace Award to Reverend Lucius Walker, Jr., founder of IFCO, and recently having had Gail Walker, Director of IFCO, in New Haven deliver a lecture on “Why the World Needs Cuba.” Embracing this long overdue victory we will continue our support and work to end the Cuban blockade once and for all.

From IFCO:

Today, we join the Cuban people in celebrating a successful step toward new diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba!

We applaud President Obama for acting on the desire of the vast majority of people in the US – and Cuba – who want normal relations between our two countries.

 

While this is a step toward what we’ve been working for, there’s still much to be worked out and analyzed. We know that the right-wing won’t go down without a fight. Our Work Continues!

 

Although we commend President Obama’s action in releasing the remaining members of the Cuban Five and taking steps to normalize relations with Cuba, we know that there will be ‘blowback’ from the right-wing who need Cuba as an enemy.

The National Network on Cuba, which PEP has been a member of for over 20 years, released a statement in part saying:

“The recent focus on Cuba including today’s release of the Five, the upcoming Summit of the Americas, exposure of USAID’s nefarious efforts to subvert Cuban society, and the Cuban medical missions fighting Ebola, present an opportunity for all of us committed to Cuban solidarity. We must now increase the demands that all aspects of the blockade be lifted, that Cuba be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, and that the Cuban right to self-determination and sovereignty be respected.”

Please call the White House or email President Obama and say “Thank You.”

Email your senators and members of Congress! Let them know you support normalization of relations and a repeal of the Helms-Burton and Torricelli legislation against Cuba.

Why the World Needs Cuba

by Augusta Girard, Program Director, Promoting Enduring Peace

On Nov. 13, PEP had Gail Walker of IFCO/Pastors for Peace come to New Haven to talk about her organization, her thoughts on Cuban American relations and Cuba’s role in the world. With over 15 years of involvement with IFCO, she staffed more than 15 caravans of humanitarian aid to Cuba and Central America and worked extensively with marginalized communities including the Garifuna in Honduras and Nicaragua. With 40 people in attendance, Ms. Walker spoke for an hour.

gail-walkerThe following are excerpts from her speech: “Cuba continues to be an example on so many different levels. An example of environ-mental sustainability is that successful Cuban models in areas of food, housing and health are now widely replicated throughout Latin America. Cuba also leads the world in hurricane planning and as an island nation is acutely aware and already researching climate change vulnerability of coastal zones. It’s also created an alternative model of development that places ecology and humanity at its core. So it’s become a world leader in ecological, organic farming and urban agriculture.”

“In short it is clear that there are changing attitudes around Cuba, whether it be in the Cuban American community where there’s been pole after pole, which have been quite fascinating… amongst more politically conservative politicians and mainstream media… It’s just the fact that there are one after another that are kind of really speaking out about this 50 plus year old antiquated outdated – fill in the blank – policy I think is impressive and hopefully significant and will mean things will change.”

“It does seem that Cuba is certainly more visible today than it’s been in the longest time and my hope is that we – collectively we – IFCO, Pastors for Peace – we as a network of people that are interested in peace and changing attitudes whether it be here in Connecticut or across the country will be the voices that will continue to rise up and speak out against the blockade and work to see it lifted once and for all.”
For the entire speech go to PEPeace.org (Homepage slider).

Tomas Young – 11 Sept 1979 – 10 Sept 2014

by Augusta Girard, Program Director, Promoting Enduring Peace

In November 2013, Promoting Enduring Peace presented TV personality and producer director Phil Donahue for its first Mark Shafer lecture. Mr Donahue presented his award-winning documentary about Tomas Young, “Body of War.” Young was the voice for all the thousands of injured and dead soldiers.

Young joined the army when he was 22, two days after the 9/11 attacks. He had been in Iraq less than a week when he and fellow soldiers came under sniper fire. He was paralyzed from the chest down after being hit by a bullet in his spine.

tomas-young“Body of War” follows Young as a 25-year-old as he deals with his disability and finds his voice speaking out against the Iraq war and became an active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

On the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, Truthdig published “The Last Letter” by Tomas Young directed towards George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

“I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans-my fellow veterans-whose future you stole…

“I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.”

Promoting Enduring Peace joins the world in mourning a young man who should not have lost his life fighting in a war that should never have been fought.

‘Badhoneywell’ Makes Its Nationwide Debut | Truthout

The US government’s complicity in the Israeli siege of Gaza is no secret. Israel has the eleventh largest military in the world, which is in large part due to US military aid of over $3 billion annually. What remains in the shadows, however, is the alarming extent to which United States corporations profit from the Israeli war machine.

A prime example is Honeywell International Inc. The Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, a Canadian group, has documented a long-lasting and profitable economic relationship between Honeywell and the Israeli military, with many of their collaborations traceable directly to war crimes committed by the IDF. The 2010 attack in the waters outside Gaza against the “Freedom Flotilla,” in which nine activists were killed in an attempt to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza through the Israeli blockade, was perpetrated by a Sa’ar V Corvette, built by another US company, Northrop-Grumman. Yet that ship was armed by Honeywell-built torpedoes.

This relationship, in which Honeywell profits from some component of weapons production without appearing to be prominently involved, appears frequently.

via “Badhoneywell” Makes Its Nationwide Debut.

Milada Marsalka’s Memoirs Now Available in New Haven

by the PAR Planning Committee

Milada Marsalka, founding member of PAR (1993), long-time president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, New Haven County Branch, and a fiery activist in countless struggles for peace, labor rights, equality and justice, had the foresight to write about her life. She died in 2000 at the age of 95, leaving a manuscript that could inform and inspire others.

Through the diligence of Milada’s nieces, Regina Stevenson and Catherine Nathan, “Pursuing Peace: Memoirs of Milada Marsalka” has been published.

Thanks to New Haven/León Sister City Project, a box of books was shipped to New Haven. You can purchase your copy of Pursuing Peace from PAR for $15. Please call Paula at (203) 562-2798 to arrange your pick-up. This book makes a great gift!

For a description of the book go to the publisher’s site: https://wordassociation.com/memoir%20book%20page/pursuingpeace.html.

Training 4 Trainers: Nonviolent Campaigns

by War Resisters League, www.warresisters.org

APPLY NOW! Join the War Resisters League’s Training for Trainers, for people who want to develop training skills focusing on strategy development.

Do you want to:

  • Develop training skills for building nonviolent grassroots campaigns?
  • Deepen a gender and racial justice framework within your organizing strategy and training?
  • Train activists for creative and powerful nonviolent direct action?

Apply now and join activists from across the Northeast US for WRL’s Training for Trainers.

Read more

1 3 4 5