U.S Military Threat Against Iranian Tankers: An Act of International Piracy That Can Escalate into a War

by Al Marder, for the Executive Committee of the U.S. Peace Council

Iran’s daring decision to dispatch five oil tankers carrying the much-needed fuel for the struggling people of Venezuela is a definitive challenge to U.S. government’s illegal policy of unilateral economic sanctions and its naval blockade of Venezuela. Iran’s action has created a decisive test of the Trump administration’s willingness to continue its violations of international law and the UN Charter by taking military action against Iranian tankers.

The U.S. Peace Council strongly condemns any military actions against the Iranian tankers and calls upon the Trump administration and the U.S. government to put an end to its violations of the UN Charter immediately.

As Iranian tankers approach Venezuelan waters — the first tanker is expected to enter Venezuelan territorial waters on Sunday [May 24] — the Trump administration is scrambling to decide how to respond to a challenge that can determine the future of its policy of unilateral coercive measures against one-quarter of humanity. “We’ve got it [Venezuela] surrounded, it’s surrounded at a level that nobody even knows but they know. We are watching to see what happens,” he commented on the situation on May 20th.

Indeed, this has created a serious dilemma for the U.S. government. A military action against these tankers would be a clear case of international piracy that could lead to military confrontations, not only with the Venezuelan armed forces who are planning to escort these tankers in Venezuelan waters, but also in the Middle East as Iran would be expected to respond to such an act. It would also lead to increasing tensions with Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry has already warned against any U.S. actions to block the Iranian tankers.

Allowing Iranian tankers to port, on the other hand, would be the first sign of inability of the United States government to enforce its sanctions policy even near its own shores, and would trigger numerous additional acts of defiance by other sanctioned states. This could mean the beginning of the unraveling of U.S. unilateral sanctions policy, something that would have significant negative repercussions for U.S. imperialism’s policy of “full-spectrum dominance” of the world.
The outcome of the current challenge posed by Iran and the resistance of Venezuela — if the U.S government does not act irrationally — will have determining effects on the future of international relations and world peace. It will pave the way for a new phase of peoples’ struggle against illegally-imposed unilateral coercive measures and for restoring peoples’ rights to national sovereignty and self-determination throughout the world.

We call upon all supporters of peace and international law around the world to contact the U.S. White House at (202) 456-1111, and demand that the U.S. Government respect international law and not interfere with the porting of the Iranian oil tankers.

U.S. Peace Council
PO Box 3105
New Haven, CT 06515
(203) 387-0370
USPC@USPeaceCouncil.org
www.uspeacecouncil.org

On the 200th Birthday of Frederick Douglass Sept. 16

Al Marder, Amistad Committee

A public meeting commemorating the 200th birthday of the prominent African-American voice against slavery, Frederick Douglass, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Criscuolo Park, Chapel and James Street, New Haven at 10 a.m.. It was at this Park, then called Grapevine Point, that Douglass, traveling the country to encourage enlistment in the Army, addressed the volunteers for the 29th Connecticut Colored Infantry Regiment.

Invited as keynote speaker is Danny Glover, acclaimed actor and civil rights activist. Nathan Richardson, poet actor, will perform. Music will be provided by the Heritage Choral Society. Remarks by Connecticut political figures are also on the program.

“It is important, at this time, when the present administration is attacking all the social gains for which we have struggled all these years, that the New Haven community rally, recalling the past for the present. The Frederick Douglass Commemoration will provide that opportunity. Whatever the issue, we must come together,” declared Al Marder, President, Amistad Committee and Chairman, State of Connecticut Freedom Travel Commitee.

The event, which is free, is sponsored by the Amistad Committee, Inc., Office of the Mayor of New Haven, the Descendants of the 29th Connecticut Colored Infantry Regiment and the State of Connecticut Freedom Trail Committee.  Rain venue will be at the John Martinez School on James Street.

Stop Congressional approval of illegal and immoral wars. Support funding human needs.

Dear Peace Activist!

Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford asked the Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations to provide a LEGAL BASIS for the so called War against Terrorism. This would allow increased intervention in Yemen and Somalia. It would finally put a “legal” coating on, i.e., Congressional approval of, the illegal and immoral Bush/Obama/Trump wars.
We must organize an all-out campaign against this maneuver to “legalize” the aggression of US foreign policy!

We must couple this with our all-out unity approach against the Trump budget of pitting a shameless increased military budget against desperately needed funds for human needs!
The Peace movement must unite, mobilizing our members and allies.

Yours in peace, Alfred L. Marder, President
Greater New Haven Peace Council
Member of the World Peace Council

Celebration of the UN International Day of Peace

This Ginkgo tree is a gift to New Haven from Japan.

Jim Pandaru hold the umbrella for New Haven Peace Commission representative Al Marder. (photo: Aaron Goode)

Jim Pandaru hold the umbrella for New Haven Peace Commission representative Al Marder. (photo: Aaron Goode)

It is a sapling survivor of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945, and was planted in the United Nations Peace Garden (Ella Grasso Boulevard and Legion Avenue) on Sept. 18 at the opening of the International Day of Peace celebration in the West River neighborhood.

Neighbors at the ceremony. (photo: Aaron Goode)

Neighbors at the ceremony. (photo: Aaron Goode)

 

Al Marder to be Recognized Aug. 6 at New Haven Peoples Center Reception

A reception and fundraiser highlighting the history of the New Haven Peoples Center will recognize the leadership of it’s president, Alfred L. Marder over a span of 80 years for peace, equality and justice. The event will take place at Coogan Pavilion in Edgewood Park near Whalley Ave and West Rock Ave. from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, also marking Hiroshima Day.

Al Marder poses with New Haven peace activist and Peace Council member Mary Compton at the Peace Day celebration at the Amistad Memorial statue outside New Haven City Hall Sept. 21, 2015.  The statue was built thanks to his guidance and supervision. Marder is chairman of the Amistad Committee.  (photo: cjzurcher)

Al Marder poses with New Haven peace activist and Peace Council member Mary Compton at the Peace Day celebration at the Amistad Memorial statue outside New Haven City Hall Sept. 21, 2015. The statue was built thanks to his guidance and supervision. Marder is chairman of the Amistad Committee.
(photo: cjzurcher)

As founder of the Amistad Committee who served as chair of the City of New Haven Peace Commission for many years as well as the United Nations International Association of Peace Messenger Cities and the U.S. Peace Council, Marder has been called a “hero for peace.”

A resident of Westville, Marder has been active in New Haven since the age of 14 when he was a student at James Hillhouse High School. He expanded his vision through participation in events at the New Haven Peoples Center. The Peoples Center was founded in 1937 to provides social, cultural and educational opportunities for the community. With Al Marder’s participation, it was the site of the first inter-racial theater group in the city called Unity Players. This was one of many efforts that broke down racial segregation at that time.

Today the Peoples Center hosts the youth group New Elm City Dream, and is home to the immigrant rights group Unidad Latina en Accion as well as the SEIU 32 BJ janitors union and Greater New Haven Peace Council. The space is utilized by many social justice organizations.

The event will include an exhibition of Peoples Center memorabilia, remarks by Marder and refreshments. Donations will be accepted toward the restoration fund for the building which was erected in 1851. The Peoples Center, a site on the Connecticut Freedom Trail, is currently raising $10,000 as part of a grant to restore the windows, roof and entry door.

In his early years, Marder served as Executive Director of the Connecticut CIO Youth and Sports Organization and was President of the New Haven Youth Conference. During World War II and the fight against fascism, Al served in the U.S. Infantry from 1942-1946 in the European Theatre and received a Bronze Star. During the McCarthy period, as one who was persecuted for his ideas, he stood firm for civil liberties. He has supported every civil rights and workers rights struggle of his times.

Marder is known for bringing to light the story of the Amistad captives and its lessons of Black-white unity to achieve freedom. Through all the decades, Marder continues organizing, educating and creating positive change. His depth of knowledge, commitment to equality, powers of persuasion and indomitable spirit inspire generations in New Haven and throughout the world.

Requested donation at the door is $25 or what you can afford, no one will be turned away. Tax deductible contributions to the restoration fund can be sent to PERA / New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe St., New Haven CT o6511.

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History Lessons: U.S. Government Targeting of Activists. Al Marder to speak at New Haven Museum April 14

by Henry Lowendorf, U.S. Peace Council

Following World War I the government went after leftists and anarchists with the Palmer raids.
In the 1940s and 50s, following World War II, the government passed the Smith Act to attack Communists, trade unionists, filmmakers and other progressives.

In the 1960s the government created CoIntelPro to go after the Black Panther Party and anti-war activists.

In each case assassinations, arrests and expensive trials were used to protect the establishment from dangerous ideas spreading among the people. That the government violated the Constitution it was sworn to uphold? No matter. The press shouted approval.

A leader of the peace and civil rights movement today, Al Marder, the last remaining target of the Smith Act in CT, is interviewed by historian Mary Donohue in the spring edition of Connecticut Explored. Al will also be interviewed by Judge Andrew Roraback at the New Haven Museum on April 14 at 5:30 p.m. Marder is the President of the US Peace Council, President of the Amistad Committee, Chair of the CT Freedom Trail, former Chair of the City of New Haven Peace Commission, among others.

There are recognizable lessons for today.

For more information, contact Henry Lowendorf at (203) 389-9547, grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com.