by Erwin Freed, Socialist Resurgence, March 8, 2022
[Below is an excerpt from the article, which can be read in its entirety at socialistresurgence.org/2022/03/08/connecticut-activists-rally-in-solidarity-with-ukrainian-victims-of-the-russian-invasion].
Responding to an international call initiated by major antiwar groups, activists in Connecticut organized an emergency protest at the Federal Court Building in New Haven in solidarity with Ukrainian victims of the ongoing Russian invasion on March 6. The main slogans of the international call, initiated by Code Pink and two British antiwar coalitions, were “Stop the War in Ukraine! Russian Troops Out! No to NATO expansion!” The international call also opposed U.S./EU sanctions against Russia, which are a way of waging war by economic means, and demanding opening borders to refugees.
Endorsers of the Sunday action included Unidad Latina en Acción, New Era Young Lords, Promoting Enduring Peace, Mending Minyon, 350CT, International Marxist Tendency (Socialist Revolution), Socialist Resurgence, and a number of individual members of local clergy, labor, and other social movement groups. The protest was quickly organized on an emergency basis in a collaborative manner with much collective discussion on slogans, speakers, and building activities by activists from endorsing groups. Despite the limited time to build the action and bad weather conditions, over 100 people showed up to listen to a broad range of speakers, to stand in solidarity with Ukrainians struggling against Russian occupation and against U.S./NATO intervention.
Speakers at the demonstration connected the war on Ukraine and mounting inter-imperialist militarism with a diverse range of different local and international issues. Stanley Heller of Promoting Enduring Peace kicked off the rally by denouncing the Russian invasion and calling for international solidarity for the Ukrainian people and Russian antiwar activists, as well as victims of imperialist violence in Syria and Yemen.
Melinda Tuhus, speaking on behalf of 350 Connecticut, spoke about the devastating human and environmental cost of militarism. Melinda pointed out how “the war in Ukraine highlights dirty energy’s role in destabilizing our geopolitics,” giving specific examples of how the war and responses by various countries and companies have horrific implications for the environment. This includes a planned increase in liquified natural gas by the United States, a type of fuel whose production releases methane emissions, which are 100 times worse for the climate than CO2. She pointed out that “militaries around the world, with the U.S. far in the lead, consume massive amounts of oil and gas” and that the U.S. military’s almost $800 billion budget should be converted to human needs.
Nika Zarazvand, a local Iranian activist involved with many struggles for justice, spoke about the devastating effects of sanctions for working and oppressed people. She mentioned her own experience: “As an immigrant from Iran, I am used to people not knowing anything about my country other than the talking points of sanctions and nuclear weapons.” She continued that her family members in Iran were unable to access COVID vaccines, PPE, and health care due to the crippling unilateral sanctions on Iran. In the U.S., Nika’s family members “are interrogated for over two hours at their own bank … because they send money to Iranian medical students in Ukraine.”
[See past issues of PAR and visit kingsbayplowshares7.org for more information on the Kings Bay civil disobedience against nuclear weapons and the trial]
Mark’s Facebook posting of Feb. 3 Update: my noncompliance hearing in Hartford tomorrow morning is canceled!
At the eleventh hour comes a communique from the judge which reads in part:
“ORDER: The Court has been advised…that (1) restitution has been paid in full by Mr. Colville’s co-defendant [Translation: the government has already stolen the inheritance of one of my co-defendants against his will], (2) Probation does not object to the Court’s waiving the drug testing condition because Mr. Colville does not have a history warranting such a condition, and (3) Mr. Colville is otherwise responsive to the Probation Office, makes himself available for home and office visits, and is respectful and communicative… [I]t does not appear that there is a need to hold a hearing on any violation. Nor does the Court see why it would be productive to have a compliance review hearing in light of the above. If the Probation Department believes at some point in the future that such a hearing is necessary, it shall file on the docket either a violation report or a request for a compliance review hearing with a clear explanation setting forth the reasons such a hearing is necessary. Further, unless anyone objects within 7 days of this order, the drug testing condition will be considered waived. Accordingly, the violation hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow (2/4) is CANCELLED. Signed by Judge Michael P. Shea on 2/3/2022.”
To all the friends who were planning to come (tomorrow), I do apologize for the late notice and hope you check your social media before getting in the car. That said, it sure is nice to get a win once in a while! The Amistad Catholic Worker will celebrate tonight.
And tomorrow we will wake up again in a country that is still spending $100,000 per minute for the coming ten years on first-strike nuclear weapons. Indeed, we have work to do–especially in Connecticut, where a huge chunk of that money is being spent at the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in New London. So stay tuned for many more opportunities to resist this criminal government.
Peace and Joy and thanks… And the next round’s on me (in a really kind of wishful-thinking sort of way)!
by Ed Stannard, New Haven Register, Jan. 14, 2022
Mark Colville served 18 months in jail for his 2018 protest of the U.S. nuclear weapons program, and he’s still battling what he considers an idolatrous government.
Because he refuses to submit to drug tests or consent to disclosing his finances, Colville faces a hearing that could end up with him being put back in jail for violating the terms of his supervised release.
Colville was one of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, who entered the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia on April 4, 2018. Colville poured blood, hammered and wrote biblical texts on the monuments to the Trident D5 nuclear missile and was arrested, tried and convicted.
Since his release from the jail in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Sept. 10, 2021, however, he and his family also have been dealing with a more personal issue: his son Isaiah’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“It was diagnosed right about the time I was getting out of prison, so it was a big shock,” Colville said. Isaiah Colville, 19, will have his last chemotherapy treatment Monday, and the journey his family has taken has been complicated by the elder Colville’s legal issues.
“It’s a very aggressive form of cancer,” Mark Colville said. “You get tumors that grow very quickly, but the treatments, the chemotherapy regimen, is also very effective.” According to Luz Catarineau, Isaiah’s mother, the treatment gives her son an 80 percent chance of a cure. “But it’s still a very aggressive form of cancer. He’s not out of the woods yet,” Colville said.
Colville’s hearing originally was scheduled for early December. “We asked for a postponement until my son’s treatments were done … and the court wouldn’t give me that, the government wouldn’t agree to a postponement that long.” He was given until this past Monday.
Mark’s hearing has since been moved to Feb. 4. Updated information is at https://kingsbayplowshares7.org.
To read the above article in its entirety, please go to https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/New-Haven-peace-activist-dealing-with-son-s-16768112.php.
by Lucy Gellman, The Arts Paper, January 19, 2022
Al Marder listened from the corner of the screen, his head bobbing as Millie Grenough lifted her hands and began to conduct the impromptu New Haven Peace Commission choir. A cacophonous chorus of “happy birthday” rang out over the screen, voices lifted to give a centenarian his due.
Marder—a lifelong champion of worker rights, disarmament, anti-racism and literally keeping the peace in New Haven—turned 100 Tuesday evening with a clear call to do good in the face of climate disaster, economic depravity, global precarity and violence that has gripped both New Haven and the country. Speaking at a meeting of the New Haven Peace Commission, of which he is a founding and current member, he showed no sign of stopping as he entered his second century of life.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend the evening with you,” he said as commissioners kicked off the night with birthday wishes and a musical interlude. “The struggle for peace is not easy. We’re living in a society that’s built on guns and killing and we’re trying, you and I, to educate young people that there’s another way of living. A peaceful way, a just way, to treat each other as individuals without hatred, without killing.”
Marder has made peace—particularly labor rights, demilitarization, and a fervid commitment to anti-racism—his life’s work. Born in 1922 to Ukrainian immigrants in the city’s Hill neighborhood, Marder started growing his roots as an organizer before his 10th birthday. Some of his earliest memories are of an economically hard-hit New Haven as the city headed into the Great Depression. In an interview with Mary Donahue of Connecticut Explored in 2016, he recalled watching unemployed men come from the rail yard to his parents’ Oak Street grocery store, looking for something to eat.
Even at a very young age, Marder became committed to fighting for the wellbeing of his fellow New Haveners, and saw it as a struggle tied to the rights of workers and to the end of the military-industrial complex. At 16, he became the chairman of the Connecticut Young Communist League, publicly declaring a lifetime commitment to the cause that later made him a victim of invasive FBI surveillance. His years as a student at James Hillhouse High School were formative in and outside the classroom, as he spent organizing with a fire he still carries every time he speaks today.
[You can read the article in its entirety at www.newhavenarts.org and click on Arts Paper]
by Joan Cavanagh, New Haven Sunday Vigil for Peace and Justice
On August 29, 10 members of the Ahmadi family, seven of them children, were killed by a U.S. drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan. One branch of the Pentagon investigated another and essentially decided that the mistake was an unfortunate by-product of a usual days’ work that did not go quite as planned.
This strike gives us a small window into the methods and consequences of the war that the U.S. government is waging daily and the sense of normalcy with which its architects regard it. So does the air-strike on Baghuz, Syria in 2019, which killed an estimated 60 civilians and whose previously successful cover-up was revealed by the New York Times on November 13 of last year.
These “incidents” are the tip of the iceberg. In 20 years, U.S. drone strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan have caused thousands of deaths among non-combatants, the full extent of which remains unknown despite valiant attempts by watchdog groups, whistleblowers, and non-governmental organizations to document them. Many have gone unreported or underreported. The whistleblowers have been sentenced to prison.
This is the 21st-century face of endless war: anonymous killing by remote control, off the radar of most of us, although it is being done by our own government. The consequences for the immediate victims are obvious. Survivors face less visible but deeply scarring outcomes.
The role of these virtual warriors is unprecedented. Studies of post-traumatic stress disorder among them are necessarily in their infancy but an estimated 4% are already suffering from PTSD. Surely the cumulative psychological toll of witnessing the devastating results of their work will have a long-term impact that we cannot predict.
Historically, U.S. citizens, who have learned the truth of wars being fought, and war crimes committed in our names, have struggled to end them. We cannot possibly achieve a decent society while our nation is inflicting this kind of damage on the rest of the world. Please, learn as much as possible about these wars that the policymakers would prefer you didn’t concern yourself with, and act to help stop them.
Joan Cavanagh is part of the New Haven Sunday Vigil to “Resist this Endless War.” This is an edited version of a longer Forum piece in the New Haven Register on November 28, 2021, https://www.nhregister.com/opinion/article/Opinion-The-consequences-of-endless-war-16653302.php.
Join us at 1 p.m. Jan. 10 for a vigil either in person outside the Federal Courthouse in Hartford, CT or virtually to support Mark Colville, one of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7. Mark is being called back to court because he refuses to submit to drug testing which is one of the conditions of his 3 years of supervised probation. He contends it has nothing to do with what the 7 were sentenced for.
Meanwhile, Mark points out that the Federal court continues to protect nuclear weapons even though the possession of nuclear weapons is illegal under international law, (see the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons https://www.icanw.org). Right now, the US is spending $100,000 a minute for the next 10 years on the development and production of new nuclear weapons. These are stolen resources from the people of this world. It begs the question: Who are the real criminals here? And why are they not drug-testing the Pentagon’s nuclear war planners, whose criminality and terrorist threats now place the United States in the category of a rogue nation and whose work continues to threaten all life on this planet?
The vigil will be live-streamed on Facebook and Youtube. Further details will be on the website closer to the date. https://kingsbayplowshares7.org.
* * * * * * * * * *
Also note that January 11 will mark the twentieth year that the prison at Guantanamo has been open. Witness Against Torture is planning a small presence in Washington, DC this year and many other vigils around the country. There will be a vigil at the White House at noon and then participants will attend webinars at a nearby church. Some people will fast from their homes from Jan. 7-11 and get together on Zoom in the evenings. Details are at: http://witnessagainsttorture.com/2021/12/22/january-11-rally-at-the-white-house-20-years.
by Henry Lowendorf, Greater New Haven Peace Commission
It has become a tradition in New Haven to celebrate the birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a public reading of his brilliant speech, Beyond Vietnam.
The reading will take place at noon Monday, Jan. 17, via Zoom. Contact the Peace Council at 203-389-9547 or email@example.com if you would like to read or participate. To listen in solidarity, contact us for the Zoom link.
At a time when the people of our country and the world face an ongoing pandemic, economic deprivation, gross inequality in jobs, health care, housing, education, we celebrate the crystal clarity of King’s vision for peace and justice expressed during the brutal U.S. war on Vietnam 54 years ago. Today we call for ending the dozens of wars, blockades and gross interference in the political affairs of other nations waged by the U.S.A.
The Greater New Haven Peace Council invites you to join in reading this powerfully emotional and historical analysis that is today as relevant as it was when King presented it in 1967.
King: “I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.”
Congress is now passing a new military budget of three-quarters of a trillion dollars, a huge increase over Trump’s last budget, which itself was highly bloated over Obama’s. Military spending consumes over half of U.S. discretionary budget while the U.S. spends more on weapons and war than the next 11 countries combined.
King: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
Contact the Peace Council now to be added to the roster of readers or for the Zoom link to listen to the readings: 203-389-9547, firstname.lastname@example.org.
King called for an end to the madness of militarism, inequality and greed. Let’s settle for nothing less than a just transition to a Green, Peace Economy that works for all of us.
by Daud Shad, 2021 Yale College graduate
Members of the Yale community and beyond are joining the call for Yale to End Support for Warmongers! The US withdrawal from Afghanistan has renewed public scrutiny of the global military-industrial complex and the War on Terror, which has directly killed more than 900,000 people and cost over $8 trillion while completely devastating countries.
The recent resignation of Yale Professor Beverly Gage from the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy brings that public scrutiny even closer to campus. Professor Gage re-signed due to donor pressure to teach the program “the way Henry Kissinger would” and include Kissinger as advisor.
Kissinger, though admired by many in the American political elite, exemplifies all that is fundamentally wrong with the prevailing conception of “grand strategy”: the agency and precious lives of millions of people in foreign countries are disregarded for a chance at long-term hegemony for the most powerful country in the world. The devastation in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan are major examples of what practitioners celebrated by Yale, beyond Kissinger, have been instrumental in.
There’s a deep issue at the university where credentialism often trumps humanitarianism. In its foreign policy instruction, Yale seems to value the fame or title of an individual over a record that exemplifies care for human lives (e.g., no involvement in war crimes!). Tragically, many of the world’s poorest communities suffer from war and its immense consequences. Simultaneously, leading warmongers evade basic accountability and receive prestigious positions.
There are three policies we urge Yale to immediately implement in order to begin to disentangle the university from warmongering and imperialism:  Prevent donor conditions on academic freedom;  Adhere to a standard for Yale affiliation that would disqualify those involved in war crimes;  Refuse to invest in defense contractors.
Read the petition and sign it at tinyurl.com/YaleEndWar. Daud graduated from Yale College in 2021. As a student, he was co-coordinator for Dwight Hall at Yale. You can reach him at email@example.com.
by Thomas Breen, New Haven Independent, Oct 8, 2021
Twenty years to the day after the United States first bombed the Taliban, New Haveners officially put an end to one home front of the Afghanistan War — by laying a final stone commemorating last month’s military and civilian deaths from “forever wars” in the Middle East.
A dozen anti-war activists turned up Thursday night for that somber, cathartic ritual at the Broadway Triangle bounded by Broadway, Elm Street, and Park Street.
Some form of this group has been laying a stone every month at this site since December 2007. For the last time, Thursday night they placed atop a roughly 200-piece cairn a round, smooth stone inscribed in white with the number of U.S. military, Iraqi civilian, and Afghan civilian deaths from the month prior.
“Our last stone: September 2021,” Ioanna Gutas read as her peace compatriots stood in a circle around the diamond-shaped, makeshift memorial.
“No U.S. military killed. Civilians in Iraq: 40. In Afghanistan: 200.”
As the sun set, lights flickered on from Broadway’s shops and restaurants. The shadow cast by the nearby 20-foot-tall Civil War memorial grew longer. All eyes remained fixed on the pile of stones that had just received its final tribute.
“I learned a long time ago that there are things that are futile, but necessary. They have to be done,” said Stephen Kobasa, who helped found the memorial 14 years ago and who has attended nearly every stone-laying ceremony at the site on the first Monday of the month at 6 p.m. ever since.
“The witness has to be given. And the fact that we have done something to remember the dead is no small thing. It’s not everything. It hasn’t changed the outcome. But it has testified to another way of seeing the world, and I think we can lift that up and celebrate that.”
[The article can be read in its entirety at https://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/peace_cairn/]
Twenty years have passed since the U.S. kicked off its Global War on Terror.
An entire generation has grown up in an America where an endless war is being waged against an ill-defined enemy, and the whole world has become our military playground.
The House of Representatives only recently voted to end the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), first passed in 2001, by which the Congress abdicated its duty to evaluate evidence that might constitute a cause for war as well as its responsibility and accountability for making the momentous decision to kill, maim and destroy in foreign lands. The AUMF delegated war-making power to the President alone, and war has become a mere political talking point. Waging war is now a casual bureaucratic exercise instead of a painful decision. Formerly reviled practices such as “preventive” war, indefinite detention, and torture are accepted as normal. Our leaders have felt free to tell us lies to trick citizens into supporting wars, and when those lies were discovered, most people were OK with that.
The US left Afghanistan because it LOST THE WAR. Its national reputation has suffered because of its reckless disregard for others and because it abandoned its allies – notably women and girls, minority groups, and the social progressives – to their enemies. It abandoned the Afghans who relied upon the US and believed it had their backs. Notably, the US also lightly abandoned the Kurds not long ago, just as it abandoned the South Vietnamese almost half a century ago.
After a half-baked military misadventure in Lebanon during the Reagan administration and with the country still struggling with memories of the Vietnam War, then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger formulated the following doctrine:
- The United States should not commit forces to combat unless the vital national interests of the United States or its allies are involved.
- US troops should only be committed wholeheartedly and with the clear intention of winning. Otherwise, troops should not be committed.
- US combat troops should be committed only with clearly defined political and military objectives and with the capacity to accomplish those objectives.
- The relationship between the objectives and the size and composition of the forces committed should be continually reassessed and adjusted if necessary.
- US troops should not be committed to battle without a reasonable assurance of the support of US public opinion and Congress.
- The commitment of US troops should be considered only as a last resort.
The Weinberger Doctrine is not perfect, but if it had been applied to our decision-making over the past 20 years, it would have gone a long way toward preventing our latest iteration of endless war.
America needs to change. We have to make the care and development of our own country a priority. We need to ensure every person’s rights are respected. We need to end racism. We need to be better educated. We need to continue to develop new, clean technology. We need to set national financial priorities to support the general welfare instead of coddling the ultra-rich. We need to rein in our desire to use our military to roam the world punishing others for being “bad guys.”
We need to support the Afghan refugees.
We need to support the members of our military who were so misused over the last 20 years. Since 9/11, military suicides are four times higher than deaths in war operations.
Finally, we need to end this country’s addiction to war.
The New Haven Sunday Vigil is every Sunday from noon to 1 p.m. at the intersection of Broadway, Park, and Elm since 1999. newhavensundayvigil.wordpress.com
Frank Rohrig, PAR subscriber
Join with the mutually departed spirits of two feisty, caring and compassionate women, Caroline Bridgman-Rees and Elaine M. Rohrig, who spent their lives caring for the well-being and betterment of others. It shall be with the collaborative caring spirit of both aforementioned “patriots” and today’s like-minded men and women, that we can move to expedite that Egalitarian Society we (the people) were promised in the attainment of world peace, and our very salvation via the essential DEMAND for PARITY in the decision-making process of governing our citizenry.
Seeing as how we’ve recognized the realities of life’s “evolutional changes” via modernization’s awareness of reasoning, truth, facts inclusive scientific substantiation, the very threat to our Secular Republic Democracy on Jan. 6, 2021, with the seditious insurrection requires a reaffirmation of historical facts in lieu of the propaganda and lies that have been initiated, instigated and propagated bringing us to the potential state of pernicious outcomes. It appears that the prerequisite in today’s (2021) political realm seems to be continually facilitated by our ever-growing body of lying, gutless, propagandizing hypocrites that moneyed interests have bought to continue their pillaging of our nation, shall not be abated until a revolutionary movement that negates the multitude of injustices that divide us are first exposed as was done during our 1700s/1800s Era of Enlightenment, and then defied and negated permanently.
We as a nation are more divided now (2021) and more subject to the detrimental outcomes of our present status than after the insidious seditious insurrection, our comparative era prior to our nation’s Civil War via “Sectional Strife” for roughly a decade of hateful racist violence that occurred during our mid-1850s to 1866. The distinction and difference is, of course, that historic period of blight on our humanity and civilization itself was fought with the weaponry of antiquated origins such as “muskets, swords, and cannons.” Henceforth a century and a half of man’s/male’s more aggressive character traits imbued at birth has been his impetus in the creation of enough powerful weaponry of assorted capacities to exact human annihilation throughout the world.
This is the present state of our nation/world (2021) and we are inundated on a daily basis via a variety of communicative sources of the awareness and substantiation that our nation/world has become more violent than at any other time throughout history; and its provocation more easily and ignorantly justified by those amongst us who seek to bring some form of harm to our Democracy and our humanity for all “fellow beings.” Jan. 6, 2021, must be our nation’s clarion call for our nation to unify in a collaborative way to deal with our societal injustices that have been with us since our founding as a Secular-Republic-Democracy; and pursue that promise of the Egalitarian Society “we the people” were promised in order to negate this claim of superiority and supplant our dominant male governance with the right and righteous equally “weighted voices and votes” of PARITY (50% Males/50% Females) throughout our entire nation within a 4-year time frame. Doing so shall be our pathway towards providence, and societal betterment for all.
The Egalitarian Quest
Frank Rohrig, 541 Naugatuck Avenue, Milford, CT 06460, (203) 877-2492
Oct. 5, 7 and 10: National Nurses United: National Medicare for All Postcard Parties
Friday/Saturday, Oct. 22/23 – 2021 Annual Meeting of Physicians for a National Health Program, now fully virtual. RSVP: pnhp.org/2021-annual-meeting
Saturday, Oct. 30, 4 p.m.: National Nurses United: priority districts Medicare for All phone bank. RSVP: zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEuceCgpj0tGdWgH_Q4Awb5kd9OAXuGuPa8
Monday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m.: National Nurses United: priority districts Medicare for All phone bank. RSVP: zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAqdeuoqT8pHdZsk1PM04WAP0JS7I1erYy2
The next Medicare for All CT virtual monthly meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, October 12, at 7 p.m. Onwards, to guaranteed healthcare for all!
Medicare for All CT: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“No country has suffered the way the United States has. Americans make up less than 5% of the global population, but account for nearly one in five of the world’s 2.3 million deaths. […] If the nation is serious about learning the lessons from this pandemic, it should reconsider implementing a universal health care plan like Medicare for All.”
— from the Medicare for All CT Facebook page