Friday, August 25, 2006

Two Days of Nonviolent Direct Action in September

Direct Action Planned for September 26th & 27th at the U.S. Congress.
Peace-loving people are moving to make nonviolent history in September 2006.

September will put peace in Iraq back at the top the news agenda of this nation, and in a timely fashion. As national mid-term elections approach in November, the majority of American people now understand the folly and tragedy of the war in Iraq. Every day more and more understand that the war was a mistake and want it ended. Yet Congress is not heeding the voices or the will of the American people.

Therefore, the forces of nonviolence are on the move. Nonviolent opposition to the war in Iraq is emerging in many forms that are focused on reclaiming power in Washington, D.C. to end the occupation and bring our troops home. From Voters for Peace to Camp Casey III to Camp Democracy to the Declaration of Peace, people are committing their time, their treasure, their bodies and their energies to end
the war in Iraq and redirect the nation's business to meeting human
needs.

This month-long expression of people power to end the war in Iraq will culminate on September 26th and 27th with what promises to be two powerful, successive days of nonviolent direct action at the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. and in Congressional offices all across the country. On those two days and other September days preceding them, thousands of people will act across this nation and in its seat of power to stop the war-making business of Congress and redirect it to the business of peace-making.

The Declaration of Peace is taking the lead to organize September 27 actions both in D.C. and around the country, to be preceded by other activities that the Declaration of Peace is launching on September 21.

The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) is taking the lead to organize the direct action in D.C. for September 26.

Registration forms for these days of action are available online. People are being encouraged to use them so that plans can be finalized in light of the number of people who commit to the actions. The September 26th registration for the NCNR-organized action is available at www.iraqpledge.org. The registration for local and D.C. actions organized by the Declaration of Peace can be found at
http://declarationofpeace.org/. Organizers are also calling upon those who cannot risk arrest to come out and support those who do, as well as to participate in the pre-action rallies and other legal events.

The Declaration of Peace is a nationwide campaign to establish by September 21, 2006, a concrete and rapid plan for peace in Iraq, including:
• A prompt timetable for withdrawal of troops and closures of
bases
• A peace process for security, reconstruction, and
reconciliation
• The shift of funding war to meeting human needs

People across the United States are signing the Declaration of Peace
pledge, a commitment to take direct action if this plan is not created and activated by Congress by September 21, the International Day of Peace. From September 21–28, Declaration of Peace signers will highlight their opposition to the US occupation of Iraq, and support for a comprehensive peace process by taking part in nonviolent
actions, marches, rallies, demonstrations, interfaith services, candlelight vigils, and other creative ways to declare peace at the US Capitol and in cities and towns across the US.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Nonviolence Trainings at Camp Democracy


Here is a large part of my involvement with Camp Democracy at this point -- assembling and organizing the nonviolence trainings. On these dates Camp Democracy should either be on The Mall between Air and Space and the National Gallery of Art, or next to the corner of 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW (near the foot of Washington Monument).

Sept. 16 -- 10a.m.-1p.m.
Nadine Bloch
Gordon Clark

Sept. 17 -- 12p.m.-3p.m.
Mubarak Awad
Susan Crane

Sept. 18 -- 10a.m.-1p.m.
Michael Beer
Sunny Miller

Sept. 19 -- 10.am.-1p.m.
Tom Hastings
Judith Kelly

Sept. 20 -- 10a.m.-1p.m.
A)Ken Butigan
Liz Walz

B)Art Laffin
Judith Kelly

As suggested above, the permit situation is still a little bit in flux. But I think it will all work out! This is a great event with some different coalitions coming together -- women's rights groups, immigrant rights groups and plenty of peace and justice groups! There will also be movies, panel discussions, live music and more... Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Truth from the ground: A citizen report from Lebanon

The following is a citizen report from a native Lebanese on the ground. These are the kind of accounts most of us in America don't know about. I was with a couple friends this evening watching CNN for a few minutes, and the reporting was sickening. There was just this blind acceptance of what the Israeli military is saying and what our government has stated. I encourage everyone to look beyond the corporate, unquestioning mass media in our nation.

There are ordinary men, women and children in Lebanon being slaughtered by air attacks, and now by an actual invading ground force! Almost all of these people have very little to do with politics.

In other news, four peace activists were arrested for nonviolently protesting and standing in the State Department driveway today. They were demanding the U.S. stop blindly endorsing every thing Israel does and cease funding its military.

___
Dear All:

The below email is from a Lebanese friend who is explaining the situation out there.. Plz forward to everyone.. Thats the least we can do..


Dear Samar,



Ha! I think I am becoming a reporter now! First, we are still safe, but hardly anyone sleeps. The bombing has been continuous, day and night with no reprieve. We are in the mountains and we are awakened by the sound of the explosions. And it's not as if you

can just fall back asleep after hearing a bomb land. You can imagine what it is like if you are in Beirut. The situation is extremely serious.



I want to reiterate that we need your help in disseminating this information and hopefully getting it to the press. The news you are receiving is skewed. This is a well orchestrated war that Israel is carrying out. This is not a reaction to Hizbullah's apprehending two of its soldiers. It becomes clearer by the day

that there is a master plan that Israel is executing. Israel has literally kidnapped the entire country. One by one they are destroying every single road that leads out of the country. Just this evening around 8:00 p.m. we heard Israeli planes flying overhead only to hear a few minutes later on the radio that they

destroyed a mountain road that leads to the Bekaa valley. This road is further up the mountain from where we live, in a primarily Christian village.



On the news earlier we heard that of the 93 Lebanese killed, only 3 were soldiers. As of 8:30 p.m. more than 120 Lebanese are dead and over 500 wounded.



Yesterday they bombed a small port in Amchit, a Christian village about one hour north of Beirut. Why? The Israelis got wind that a French ship carrying medical supplies was arriving. Damaging the port they prevented these critical medical supplies from reaching

their destination.



Yesterday, my niece was attending a wedding-poor couple-could they really delay their wedding after months of planning? The wedding was held not too far from Jounieh, a major port about 25 minutes

north of Beirut, a Christian town and definitely not a Hizbullah stronghold (you know Jounieh of course). Everyone was on the terrace celebrating when Israel

repeatedly attacked the Jounieh port. My niece said that everyone ran into the church and prayed. The bride was crying. The groom was crying. My niece left the wedding flying down the main highway while bombs whistled by. Nice memories for the newlyweds.



This afternoon, the Israelis decimated a small Christian village,Ain Ebel in the south of Lebanon. The mayor was pleading with the UN for a cessation of the Israeli bombing so they could evacuate women and children, and eventually to get food and medical supplies. Again, Ain Ebel is far from being a Hizbullah basis.



In the southern suburb of Beirut, Israelis knocked out all telecommunications-both land and mobile.They just struck the airport again, as I have been writing this.

This must be the sixth or seventh time, I lost count!



Over 1 million Lebanese, that's nearly one third of the entire population has been displaced! Hotels, homes in the mountains are packed to the brim trying to accommodate these people made refugees

in their own country.



Is anyone really still convinced that Israel is attacking only Hizbullah targets?

is anyone really still convinced that Israel has a right to defend itself-and if so, in this way?



Even during the 15 years of war, never ever were all roads, ports, and airports simultaneously blocked. When I was in Saudi, we would fly to Cyprus then take the boat to Jounieh. Now there is no way out. Israel has kidnapped and trapped the entire country.

There are more than 17, 000 French citizens, more than 10, 000 English, more than 25, 000 Americans and many more other foreign nationals trapped because Israel has blown up all major roads,

bridges, airports and ports. Their actions are barbaric. The British Ambassador made a public announcement on television telling his compatriots that the roads are not safe enough to travel on for an evacuation and urged them to just remain at home. How reassuring! You hear news of evacuations, but we are all wondering

how anyone can get out when roads, bridges and ports have been damaged so severely.



Now, to end with a little story. A news item that I am sure did not make big news in the American press:



On June 21, 2006, about three weeks ago, The Daily Star, published an article about Lebanon expecting

complete support from the UN Security Council about a complaint the Lebanese government was presenting to them. The Lebanese were following proper international protocol. What was discovered? The Mossad has a

network in Lebanon and has assassinated at least 3 Lebanese citizens which the Israelis believed to be "terrorists."

I ask here: What is worse? Hizbullah's kidnapping two Israeli soldiers or Israeli agents coming onto Lebanese territory and assassinating its citizens? It's like having a North Korean secret service cell in the U.S. killing American citizens. Would the U.S.sit back and do nothing? It's an outrage. Yet, Israel destroys

Lebanon with impunity and no one pays attention to the infractions that Israel does. And what right does Lebanon have to defend itself? If Lebanon, dared to do what Israel is doing to it now, it would be labeled "terrorist."



I once again plead with you to get this news out. Israel is destroying Lebanon while the United States puts its head in the sand! These atrocities must stop!



10:10 p.m. The bombs are exploding. Another sleepless night ahead..



Rosie AKL.