Pushing the Envelope for Peace

by Nancy Eberg, Greater New Haven Peace Council

Our group has been involved in many diverse activities during the last year, some controversial. The Greater New Haven Peace Council opposes American intervention in the Middle and Far East, South America, and Africa; the rescission of many environmental protections and financial regulations; and the expansion of militarization.

We initiated the “Move the Money” governmental resolutions in New Haven which has spread across the country and was ratified by the US Conference of Mayors, resulting in public hearings showing how our taxes could be better spent on local issues than on war and weapons. Some of the Council attended international peace conferences in Cuba and Vietnam.

Our successful “No Foreign Bases” conference in Baltimore had representatives from around the US and the world. This was an attempt to form a more cohesive peace movement. Members of this group later engaged in an anti-war activity in NYC. Another anti-war conference at Middlesex College focused on American imperialism and the inherent violence in American society. Additionally, we held forums on the Cuban green energy initiative, Korea, and the opposition to the US military base on Jeju Island. The Board of Alders, at our request, held a public hearing with department heads specifying how decreased federal military spending could impact local government.

Our annual reading of MLK’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech was a success, despite the weather. We showed films high-lighting important issues, commemorated the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and met with our Congressional representatives. Also, we sponsored and engaged in other groups’ initiatives — activities on last year’s International Women’s Day, marches on women’s issues, gun violence, and immigration and the Greenwich anti-war demonstration, among others. Every Friday, pamphlets about the week’s current events are given out in front of City Hall.

Thus, it is evident that our group has, and will continue to, strive against this administration’s initiatives. We believe that diplomacy, not war, should be utilized to solve nations’ differences. Although right now our efforts seem to be exercises in futility, in the long run, we hope to prevail.

Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad. Demonstration NYC April 15

by Henry Lowendorf, Greater New Haven Peace Council

There is no way to peace without dramatically cutting the $700 billion Pentagon budget and ending the many wars the US started and is engaged in. STOP THE WARS AT HOME AND ABROAD!

The Trump administration, however, is proposing more war spending and all CT members of Congress voted with their colleagues to increase the Pentagon budget by $80 billion, a third more than Trump asked for. This is a recipe for more killing, more refugees, more cultural devastation and indeed economic disaster for our own country. STOP THE WARS AT HOME AND ABROAD!

Cuts to the funding of education, environment, jobs, health-care, science, civil rights, infrastructure can only be reversed when we stop funding war. Ending the internal assault on minorities, immigrants, people of Muslim faith, women, our youth – ending the mass killings – requires strong opposi-tion to militarization and warmaking. STOP THE WARS AT HOME AND ABROAD!

The No US Foreign Bases Coalition, which brought together many peace organizations (noforeignbases.org) and held a successful conference in Baltimore in January, resolved to organize a national day of demonstrations on tax day 2018. There will be demonstrations in San Francisco, Minneapolis, Chicago and New York.

From Connecticut we want to send a large contingent to New York. We also want to subsidize transportation in particular to encourage youth to participate. Please help organize this effort. Let us know you will march and bring a crowd April 15, 2 p.m., Union Square, New York.
Greater New Haven Peace Council (203) 389-9547, grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com

Peace and Fact-Finding Delegation visit Syria

by Henry Lowendorf, Co-Chair, GNH Peace Council

From July 24 to July 30, I co-led a delegation of peace activists and journalists to Syria. In talking with leaders of many NGOs and government ministers, we learned that the vast majority of Syrians support their government and the Syrian Arab Army, which protect them from mercenaries that terrorize the populations they control and which are paid for by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and armed by the CIA. The CIA provides supplies and free passage into Syria through Turkey and Jordan. Syrians believe in, and the UN Charter supports, their right to determine their destiny without interference from the United States and its allies.

syria-mapMy co-leader, Gerry Condon, vice president of Veterans for Peace, said this: “Almost everything we read about Syria in the media is wrong…The reality is that the U.S. government is supporting armed extremist groups who are terrorizing the Syrian people and trying to destroy Syria’s secular state.”

“In order to hide that ugly reality and push violent regime change,” continued Condon, “the U.S. is conducting a psychological warfare campaign to demonize Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. This is a classic tactic that veterans have seen over and over. It is shocking, however, to realize how willingly the media repeat this propaganda, and how many people believe it to be true.”

The Syrians we spoke with, especially Grand Mufti Hassoun and Orthodox Bishop Luca, refuse to see themselves split into narrow groups such as Sunni and Shia, or Muslim and Christian, or Kurdish or Arabic-speaking. This U.S. and Europe formulation is used to divide Syrians as it has with Afghans, Iraqis, and Libyans in order to weaken and conquer Syria. The Grand Mufti told us he is the Mufti of 23 million Syrians, the full Syrian population. The Bishop agreed.

The U.S. peace movement’s premier responsibility is to stop our government’s interference in Syria, its long-held policy of “regime change,” overthrowing the Syrian government to install a subservient client. We must allow Syrians to retain their national sovereignty. Once the foreign aggression ends, Syrians will decide who governs Syria.

For more information, call Henry Lowendorf at (203) 389-9547 or e-mail grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com.

Tax Day Leafleting April 15 City Hall, Brewery Street P.O.

Nancy Eberg, Greater New Haven Peace Council

Join us on Tax Day! On Friday, April 15, we will have two opportunities to attempt to educate and connect with the tax-paying public. Efforts will be made to emphasize where our tax dollars are going. For example, that $350 billion is allocated for brand new, state-of-the-art nuclear weapons in this federal budget.

From 12-1 p.m. we will meet in front of New Haven City Hall, 165 Church St., and from 5-6:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Brewery Street Post Office. Sponsored by the Greater New Haven Peace Council. Any questions, call Henry at (203) 389-9547, or e-mail grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

Dec. 10 Rally for Peace in New Haven: UN Human Rights Day

by Mary Compton, Greater New Haven Peace Council

The International Coordinating Committee of the Peace and Planet Conference, held in New York recently, called for public expressions on Dec. 10, United Nations Human Rights Day.

Many U.S. Peace organizations nationally have agreed to organize public expressions on Dec. 10, heralding the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights to create a peaceful world.

The Greater New Haven Peace Council and the City of New Haven Peace Commission have initiated a call for peace and will sponsor a public meeting on Thursday, Dec. 10 at noon, at the Amistad Statue in front of the New Haven City Hall. Speakers from a broad range of community organizations have been invited.

We call on all our friends who cherish peace to join us, to engage in creative peaceful, militant actions in our communities calling for ceasefires, an end to these wars, and peaceful inclusive negotiations including Syrian government. No U.S. troops to Syria. The human right to peace must be honored. Families, villagers and citizens have the right not to be violated by war. The enormous and irreplaceable resources spent on war are far better spent to address desperate human needs.

The surging dangers to world peace, including sending U.S. troops to engage in Syria, have created a crisis that with the slightest misstep can lead to World War 3. The bombings in France by terrorists are a blowback to the policies of accelerated aggression in the Middle East. The continued relations with the funders and sponsors of the various terrorist groups by the CIA and U.S. so-called allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have created a situation where U.S. weapons are fueling the terrorists and millions are fleeing for safety from the bombs for which the U.S. has a responsibility.

We must raise our voices for peace, against war! Insist on diplomacy and negotiations to end the wars in Syria, including the governments of Iran, Russia and Syria. Let us demand the Human Right to Peace.