Sunday, August 14, 2022

Baltimore Activist Alert -- August 15 - 21, 2022

19] Make calls with the DNC – Aug. 15 & 16

20] COVID Test and Treatments Global Access Campaign Aug. 15

21] All in PA Statewide Virtual Phone Bank – Aug. 15 & 17

22] Election Protection webinar – Aug. 15

23] Progressive Harford County Monthly Meeting – Aug. 15

24] See the film “The Vow from Hiroshima” – Aug. 15

25] Train to Get out the Vote Phone Banking for the DNC – Aug. 15. 17 & 20

26] End U.S. support for the Saudi-led war – Aug. 15

27] Plan Colombia – Aug. 15

28] National Organizing Call – Aug. 15

29] Gorbachev/ Shultz Legacy Youth Award – Aug. 16

30] We Are All Organizers – Aug. 16

31] Voter Protection Phone banks with Common Cause – Aug. 16, 19 and 21

32] Russia out of Ukraine protest – Aug. 16

33] Deep Canvass Skills Series training – Aug. 16

34] Make calls for Beto – Aug. 16, 19 and 20

35] Examine the massive 2023 military budget – Aug. 16

------

19] – Make Calls virtually with the DNC National Call Crew to voters in battleground states to build strength for the 2022 Midterms. Please email digitalorganizing@dnc.org. Sign up for up to eight shifts on Mon., Aug. 15 from 2 to 10 PM ET, and six shifts on Tues., Aug. 16 from 2 to 8 PM ET. For a training, sign up at https://events.democrats.org/event/440875/. Sign up at https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/388091/?followup_modal_context=nonexclusive_newsletter_most_popular_virtual.

20] – Ryan Harvey [gtwaction@citizen.org] wants you to attend on Mon., Aug. 15 at 3 PM an Activist Briefing: COVID Test and Treatments Global Access Campaign. The decision to prioritize pharmaceutical monopolies’ profits over global access to COVID vaccines, tests and treatments continues to kill thousands of people around the world each day. Fortunately, public health advocates in countries like Colombia, Peru, Chile, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, India, Indonesia and more have had enough and are pushing back hard!  Hear from members of the Trade Justice Education Fund about the next steps in the campaign for global vaccine justice.  RSVP at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_a4DkkW30TrOvcdNqcFiz3g?link_id=2&can_id=4b9d4061aec5469758759317ac0f5285&source=email-tell-congress-no-secrecy-in-us-indo-pacific-trade-talks-3&email_referrer=email_1631272___subject_2107824&email_subject=monday-activist-briefing-covid-test-and-treatments-global-access-campaign.

21] – Join a Pennsylvania Statewide Virtual Phone Bank, hosted by All in PA 2022.  On Mon., Aug. 15 from 4:30 to 6:30 PM and Wed., Aug. 17 from 5 to 7 PM ET, join the phone bank. Sign up at https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/445906/?followup_modal_context=nonexclusive_newsletter_most_popular_virtual. Talk with voters about electing Pennsylvania Democrats up and down the ballot!  You'll need a computer, reliable internet service and a browser program, such as Firefox or Chrome. This will continue through September 1.

22] – The Emergency Election Protection Coalition is happening at 4:30 PM ET on Mon., Aug. 15. Please submit any questions to: Solartopia@gmail.com. Sign up at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYldumtrjIiH9L7_KfcFV1n8ynuO3anTGwp. Progressive Democrats of America are part of the coalition.

23] – On Mon., Aug. 15 at 7 PM ET, attend a Progressive Harford County Monthly Meeting. RSVP at https://www.mobilize.us/progressivemaryland/event/481987/?followup_modal_context=organization_newsletter_custom_recommendations.  Participate in a post-primary election review. Some of the endorsed candidates will speak about how the primary went for them.

24] – On Mon., Aug.15 at 7 PM ET, the Reel & Meal film series will screen “The Vow from Hiroshima,” shortly after the anniversary of the first dropping of the atomic bomb in Japan.  The event will be both in-person at the New Deal Café in Greenbelt, MD and online via Zoom. Register at https://tinyurl.com/ReelnMealAug15).  Bullfrog Films portrays Setsuko Thurlow as a passionate 85-year-old survivor of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.  It weaves her own moving story into that of her growing friendship with a second-generation survivor, Mitchie Takeuchi. Setsuko was miraculously pulled out of a fiery building after the bomb was dropped but was unable to save her 27 classmates who were burned to death alive. That experience shaped her life forever. She has tried to keep her pledge made to her friends, that thereafter no one should ever again meet their horrible fate.

Directed by Susan Strickler, the film explores the global dangers of nuclear weapons by showing Setsuko’s campaign with ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) and the peak of her decades of activism as she accepts the 2017 Nobel Peace Awards.  An update adds an epilogue about the ratification and enactment of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force last year, January 22, 2021. Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research will lead the discussion following the film. Over the past twenty years he has conducted many studies on nuclear fuel, nuclear weapons production and testing, and nuclear waste.

  See the film at the New Deal Café, 113 Centerway (Roosevelt Center) in Greenbelt, MD and enjoy the new wide-screen film projection system. Masks are encouraged. Please check the Cafe's Facebook page for updates on current in person guidelines. The café will open at 6:30 PM for those purchasing meals there. Please buy a vegan meal at the New Deal Café, which supports the mission focused on environmental, social justice and animal rights issues. To watch virtually, register at https://tinyurl.com/ReelnMealAug15.

  The Reel and Meal at the New Deal is a monthly film series focused on environmental, social justice and animal rights issues, presented by Utopia Film Festival, the Prince George’s County Peace and Justice Coalition and Beaverdam Creek Watershed Watch Group.  This month’s film is sponsored by Peace and Justice.  Go to www.facebook.com/reelandmealNDC and to https://fb.me/e/2HWVEn6D5. Email Lucy Duff at lucyduff@comcast.net. 

25] – Learn how to make calls to voters in battleground states on your schedule with the DNC National Call-Crew! The DNC National Call-Crew brings volunteer power to battleground states where it's needed most for the Midterms! In this Zoom-based training, you will learn how to make calls and get your questions answered through an amazing online community. After training, during calling hours, you'll be able to schedule shifts on the hour or stop by to call when it's most convenient for you. The first half of the session, you will be set up to call, and the second half you'll be making calls to voters in battleground states. The next trainings are on Mon., Aug. 15 from 7 to 8 PM ET, Wed., Aug. 17 from 7 to 8 PM EDT and Sat., Aug. 20 from 4 to 5 PM EDT.  Sign up at https://www.mobilize.us/northcentralmassvolunteers/event/440875/.

26] – Demand Progress [info@demandprogress.org] wants you to register on Mon., Aug. 15 at 8 PM ET for a webinar: Opening the Phone Lines to end Saudi War Crimes.  August is a crucial month for peace in Yemen. The truce continues to be fragile, and this is a critical moment to advocate for Congress to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war.  REGISTER at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_XYOOO80kQLubrCGqyaJpRw. Call and email our Members of Congress. Yemen can’t wait. 

27] – The Colombia Support Network invites you to join a ZOOM presentation and discussion with Adam Isacson of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) on Mon., Aug. 15 from 8 to 9:30 PM EDT. Register at https://forms.gle/GT8yacYvY142geup7. Isacson is currently the director for WOLA’s Defense Oversight Program. Colombia has been a central focus for his work, as Colombia has been the primary recipient of U.S. security assistance in the Western Hemisphere since the early 1990s. His path-breaking work at WOLA has focused on the Colombian Armed Forces and U.S. Government support for Colombia’s military, through Plan Colombia up to the present. Monitoring U.S. aid, and advocating for peaceful resolution to Colombia’s long armed conflict, has led him to visit Colombia more than 70 times. He has done work in 23 of the country’s 32 departments.

28] – Join the LIVE National Organizing Call on Mon., Aug. 15 at 8:30 PM ET with Jasmine Crockett, who’s headed to the US House from TX-30, to talk about how we grow progressive power in Congress. Dig into the importance of winning at the local level with Megan Green on her run for chair of the Board of Aldermen in St. Louis, MO and Robert Jackson on his race for re-election to the NY State Senate. RSVP at https://www.mobilize.us/ourrevolution/event/148017/?akid=3251.8252965.cUOrQl&rd=1&t=12. The next organizing call will be on Aug. 29.

29] – Basel Peace Office [info@baselpeaceoffice.org] is inviting you on Tues., Aug. 16 from 11 AM to 12:30 PM ET for the Gorbachev / Shultz Legacy Youth Award and Youth Fusion at the United Nations. It will be live-streamed on Basel Peace Office Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/BaselPeaceOffice/.

30] –  On Tues., Aug. 16 from 2 to 3:30 PM and 7:30 to 9 PM ET,  the Democratic National Committee has put together We Are All Organizers: Community Organizing Training. RSVP at https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/404981/?followup_modal_context=nonexclusive_newsletter_most_popular_virtual.  Learn how to organize in your community.  Community organizing focuses on the most important tools at our disposal: our relationships and our ability to talk with one another about things that matter. Go over the best ways to make a difference, and how to be a leader and organize in your community. You will receive a link to join on Zoom closer to the day-of.

31] – Join the Voter Protection phone banks with Common Cause to work together to demand bold changes to our democracy to create a government that represents all of us, not big corporations or special interests. Call voters in New Hampshire to connect them with Gov. Sununu and encourage him to veto SB 418 and voters in Michigan to recruit them for events happening around their state. These phone banks are subject to change based on variables outside of our control (i.e. a Senator's mailbox is full).

  On Sundays, call voters in Michigan to recruit them for events happening around their state. On Tuesdays (in partnership with Newburyport Indivisible-RISE), call New Hampshire voters to connect them with Gov. Sununu and encourage him to veto SB 418.  On Fridays, there will be the Our Democracy phone bank. These shifts also always will include training for first-timers before you make calls! Call on Tues., Aug. 16 from 4 to 6 PM ET, Fri., Aug. 19 from 4 to 6 PM, and Sun., Aug. 21 from 6 to 8 PM ET. Sign up at https://www.mobilize.us/dfadcoalition/event/376178/?followup_modal_context=newsletter.

32] – Join the Baltimore Nonviolence Center on Tues., Aug. 16 from 4:30 to 5:30 PM ET for joining the CODEPINK call for support demonstrations for the people of Ukraine.  Gather at 33rd and N. Charles Sts. The invasion of Ukraine has the potential to become a war extending throughout Europe.  Putin has destroyed Aleppo and Grozny and has threatened the use of nuclear weapons.  Russian soldiers were sent into the area around the contaminated and still radioactive Chernobyl nuclear plant. Now they stationed in the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe.   People who believe in peace and justice should come forward and take the risks of peace. Contact Max at mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net or 410-323-1607.

33] – People's Action [info@peoplesaction.org] hopes you will be available on Tues., Aug. 15 and Wed., Aug. 16 from 6 to 9 PM ET. This two-part Deep Canvass Skills Series training includes script structure, compassionate curiosity, storytelling, and assertiveness. Deep canvassing is one of the only tactics scientifically proven to reduce prejudice, inoculate people against fear-based messaging, and change hearts and minds on our most divisive issues in a way that lasts. Build a future where everyone can thrive, but to do that, we must heal the wounds inflicted by the people who want to divide us for profit. The strategy is called deep canvassing, which is about creating mutual understanding grounded in lived experience, instead of in debate or talking points. Deep canvassing was developed by organizers and volunteers in the LGBTQ rights movement as a way to turn the tide of a decade of losses at the ballot box.  Register at https://www.mobilize.us/peoplesaction/event/476151/.

34] – Beto for Texas [info@betoorourke.com] needs your help phone banking to help elect a new governor in Texas.  Sign up for a shift on Tues., Aug. 16 from 7 to 9:30 PM, Fri., Aug. 19 from 6 to 7:30 PM, Sat., Aug. 20 from 2:30 to 4:30 PM ET and Sun., Aug. 21 from 1:30 to 3:30 PM ET. Help make direct, personal contact with as many Texans as we can. You can join in from anywhere. Sign up at https://www.mobilize.us/betofortexas/event/438569/?utm_source=ema20220727-200206.

35] -- On Tues., Aug. 16 from 8 to 9:30 PM ET, join CODEPINK Congress and Massachusetts Peace Action for a Capitol Calling Party and examine the massive 2023 military budget and all that entails. Let’s mobilize opposition before the Senate votes this fall on an $858 billion military budget. That’s $45 billion more than President Biden requested & $100 billion more than Trump’s military budget. What’s in this behemoth? Plenty of giveaways to military contractors –$$$ for new nuclear warheads, new plutonium pits – $$$ for more F-35’s, $$$ for more weapons to Ukraine and $$$ for Israel’s Iron Dome. Also tucked into the NDAA is expansion of the use of foreign proxies and mercenaries against Iran, North Korea, Russia and China. Register at https://www.codepink.org/08162022.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph.: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Baltimore Activist Alert – August 14 – 20, 2022

Baltimore Activist Alert – August 14 – 20, 2022

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center.  Go to www.baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com

  If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to Max Obuszewski, BNC, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net.

1] Books, buttons and stickers

2] Web site for info on federal legislation

3] Get involved with NCNR   

4] Max is looking for tips on a garage or a storage suggestion.

5] Donate for medical care for US drone victim

6] Support the Pratt Workers United

7] Get a copy of HOSPITALITY, the Open Door newsletter

8] Knock on doors for Brooke – Aug. 14- 20

9] Canvass voters in Baltimore County with Allies for Democracy – Aug. 14  

10] High speed rail -- Aug. 14

11] Virtual letter writing – Aug. 14

12] Make calls with the DNC -- Aug. 14 - 16

13] Get out the Vote Phone Banking for Beto – Aug. 14, 16, 19 & 20

14] PDA Town Hall -- Aug. 14

15] Voter Protection Phone Bank – Aug. 14, 16, 19 

16] Hear from a Palestinian-American – Aug. 14

17] Protest at the Pentagon – Aug. 15

18] A report on famine caused by a nuclear bomb. -- Aug. 15 

-----

1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available.  “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Call Max at 410-323-1607.

2] –To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/.  Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.

3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR].  It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed.  It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to U.S. wars.

  To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.  Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.  

4] – Max is in need of a garage or a storage space.  Any suggestions would be welcome.  Contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.

5] – Here is the Go Fund Me link through which you can help Adel Al Manthari get the medical attention that he desperately needs: https://gofund.me/1a5fac07. Please contribute as soon as possible because he will not be able to get treatment until $10,000 is raised. BanKillerDrones.org is raising funds to help him. WESPAC Foundation is the fiscal agent for BanKillerDrones.org. In March 2018 Adel Al Manthari was grievously injured in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen that killed four of his cousins. The five men were driving to the village of al-Aqla to witness a land transfer. They never made it. Tens of thousands have been killed and maimed by U.S. drone attacks.  Adel survived, but now his health is in jeopardy because he can’t afford the medical care he needs.

6] – The workers at the Enoch Pratt Free Library have started a drive to organize a union calling themselves Pratt Workers United.  Go to https://www.prattworkersunited.org/. There is a letter of support for community members to sign at https://www.prattworkersunited.org/community-letter-support.

"Pratt Library workers are forming a union, Pratt Workers United. We are seeking pay equity for all, safer working conditions, benefits for part-time workers, and a voice in decisions that affect our work.”

7] – Consider getting HOSPITALITY, the newsletter of OPEN DOOR: A prophetic discipleship community honoring the Black Jesus, Dorothy Day and Martin Luther King, Jr.  You can call 404-290-2047 or emailopendoorcomm@bellsouth.net.

8] – Do some Door Knocking for Brooke in Your Neighborhood, hosted by Brooke Lierman for Comptroller.  Sign up for Sun., Aug. 14, Mon., Aug. 15, Tues, Aug. 16, Wed., Aug 17, Thurs., Aug. 18, Fri., Aug. 19, and Sat., Aug 20.  The door knocking takes place from 10 AM to 8 PM ET. Canvass in your community and share Brooke's vision to transform the Comptroller's office to work for every Marylander. YOU CAN DO THIS ON YOUR OWN TIME. Once you sign up, the team will follow up with everything you will need to knock doors including materials, a t-shirt, stickers, and a quick training. Register at https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/484676/?followup_modal_context=nonexclusive_newsletter_custom_marketing.

9] – Canvass voters in Baltimore County with Allies for Democracy on Sun., Aug. 14 from 10 AM to 3 PM ET. Meet at the Woodbrook Church, 25 Stevenson Lane, Towson 21212. Support local progressive candidates in Baltimore County by talking to voters, which is the most effective way to mobilize people to participate in our democracy. Training, carpools, buddies, and camaraderie are always included! This canvass will be for Paul Henderson for Baltimore County Council District 3. Find out about the candidates to support at http://www.alliesfordemocracy.com. Sign up at https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/456088/?followup_modal_context=nonexclusive_newsletter_closest.

10] – Usually, the Baltimore Ethical Society, 2521 St. Paul St., Baltimore 21218, meets on Sundays, and generally there is a speaker and discussion at 10:30 AM.  On Sun., Aug. 14, the platform is “The Present and Future of High Speed Rail in the US.” Dozens of countries around the world have constructed thousands of miles of High-Speed Rail (HSR) over the previous six decades. The US was an early adopter of the technology, but deployment stalled following the construction of the interstate highway network in the 60’s. Things are changing, however. This talk will cover the benefits of HSR, the history of HSR in the United States, and HSR systems or projects under consideration, under construction, or currently operating. . Email President@BEMOREthical.org for ZOOM login information.

11] – Join a Virtual Letter Writing program on Sun., Aug. 14 from 2 to 3 PM ET hosted by Vote Forward. Join the band of Good Trouble to write letters and postcards to reach potential voters in these important upcoming elections! RSVP at https://www.mobilize.us/pfaw/event/483329/?followup_modal_context=newsletter.  Go to votefwd.org and make an account; download twenty letters; and you will be shown how to write them at the event! Letters to underrepresented voters are a fun, easy, and highly effective way to strengthening our democracy by encouraging citizens from underrepresented communities to vote.

12] – Make Calls virtually with the DNC National Call Crew to voters in battleground states to build strength for the 2022 Midterms. Please email digitalorganizing@dnc.org. Sign up for up to four shifts on Sun., Aug. 14 from 2 to 6 PM ET, eight shifts on Mon., Aug. 15 from 2 to 10 PM ET, and six shifts on Tues., Aug. 16 from 2 to 8 PM ET. For a training, sign up at https://events.democrats.org/event/440875/. Sign up at https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/388091/?followup_modal_context=nonexclusive_newsletter_most_popular_virtual.

13] – Beto for Texas [info@betoorourke.com] needs your help phone banking to help elect a new governor in Texas.  Sign up for a shift on Sun., Aug. 14 from 2:30 to 4:30 PM, Tues., Aug. 16 from 7 to 9:30 PM, Fri., Aug. 19 from 6 to 7:30 PM and Sat., Aug. 20 from 2:30 to 4:30 PM ET. Help make direct, personal contact with as many Texans as we can. You can join in from anywhere. Sign up at https://www.mobilize.us/betofortexas/event/438569/?utm_source=ema20220727-200206.

14] – Alan Minsky for Progressive Democrats of America [info@pdamerica.org] wants you to attend on Sun., Aug. 14 at 4 PM ET a PDA Strategy Session: The Midterms and Beyond. RSVP at https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0tceuhrzsvHdymeeZRwb-i7X50FJa-HMR4.

Now that Democrats have passed major legislation, the stage is set for the midterm elections. Discuss how PDA will help defeat Republicans and win victories for progressives. The last two times a Democratic President was elected the Party held majorities in both Houses of Congress, just like today. Then, 1994 and 2010, Democrats suffered historic defeats in the midterms. How can we as progressives help prevent similar results? This problem will be the subject of Sunday's Progressive Town Hall.

One thing that is different in 2022 than 1994 and 2010 is the presence of a strong Progressive movement inside the Democratic Party. In fact, our wing of the Party is so sizable that Democrats will fail to maintain their majorities in Congress without a strong progressive turnout. Sadly, the Party leadership is centrist and will not be promoting a strong progressive agenda. Therefore, it'll be up to organizations like PDA and all of our activists to motivate progressives to vote. 

15] – Join the Voter Protection phone banks with Common Cause to work together to demand bold changes to our democracy to create a government that represents all of us, not big corporations or special interests. Call voters in New Hampshire to connect them with Gov. Sununu and encourage him to veto SB 418 and voters in Michigan to recruit them for events happening around their state. These phone banks are subject to change based on variables outside of our control (i.e. a Senator's mailbox is full).

  On Sundays, call voters in Michigan to recruit them for events happening around their state. On Tuesdays (in partnership with Newburyport Indivisible-RISE), call New Hampshire voters to connect them with Gov. Sununu and encourage him to veto SB 418.  On Fridays, there will be the Our Democracy phone bank. These shifts also always will include training for first-timers before you make calls! On Sun., Aug. 14 from 6 to 8 PM ET, Tues., Aug. 16 from 4 to 6 PM ET and Fri., Aug. 19 from 4 to 6 PM ET. Sign up at https://www.mobilize.us/dfadcoalition/event/376178/?followup_modal_context=newsletter.

16] – The next JEWISH-ISLAMIC DIALOGUE Coffeehouse is on Sun., Aug. 14 from 4:30 to 6:30 PM ET.  This event will feature JIDS Intern and Yale University undergraduate Yasmeen Abed.  A Palestinian-American who is double majoring in Political Science and Modern Middle Eastern Studies with an Arabic certificate. Yasmeen will be talking about her recent trip to Israel and the West Bank and what has led her to embrace peacemaking and interfaith dialogue.  This will be a face-to-face gathering that is open to a limited number of people on a first-come, first-served basis.  When you RSVP, you will be given the location.  Again, please RSVP to JIDS.Washington@gmail.com.

17] – There is a weekly Pentagon Peace Vigil from 7 to 8 AM on Mondays, since 1987, outside the Pentagon Metro stop.  The next vigil is Aug. 15 and it is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.  Email artlaffin@hotmail.com or call 202-882-9649.  The vigil will be outside the Pentagon's south Metro entrance and in the designated "protest zone" behind bicycle fences across from the entrance to the Metro.  By Metro, take Yellow Line and get out at the "Pentagon" stop. Do not go to the Pentagon City stop! Go up south escalators and turn left and walk across to protest area. By car from D.C. area, take 395 South and get off at Exit 8A-Pentagon South Parking. Take slight right onto S. Rotary Rd. at end of ramp and right on S. Fern St. Then take left onto Army Navy Dr. You can "pay to park" on Army Navy Dr.,  and there is meter parking one block on right on Eads St. Payment for both of these spots begins at 8 AM.  No cameras are allowed on Pentagon grounds. The restrooms are located inside Marriott Residence Inn on corner of S. Fern and Army Navy Dr.  

18] – Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility [gdubois@jhsph.edu] announced a press conference on Mon., Aug. 15 at 1 PM ET. Hear about a report on worldwide famine that could be caused by a nuclear bomb.  The report assesses new modeling of the catastrophic famine that would follow a nuclear war, and includes projections on the number of victims globally and in each country. This report has enormous implications for nuclear weapons policy and should be a very powerful tool in our work to help people understand the enormity of the threat posed by these weapons and the urgency of eliminating them. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War have organized a virtual press conference with the principal authors of the report Lili Xia and Alan Robock.  Here is the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvc-yprzgtGNzusIOXyD99XysJKurddAZX.

 To be continued.

Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph.: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Friday, August 12, 2022

Ukraine and the Peace Movement

 “Having this much in common, we should be able to have a fruitful discussion and perhaps find ways to engage in some common actions. Our ability to discuss these matters does not, however, extend to those who have excused or even supported Russia, or who, ignoring Russia’s primary responsibility for the aggression, want to blame the United States or NATO or the European Union for the war. Their support for Russia excludes them both from the peace movement and from the call for international solidarity with the victims of aggression.”

Published on Portside (https://portside.org/)

Ukraine and the Peace Movement

Stephen R. Shalom and Dan La Botz

July 19, 2022

Foreign Policy in Focus

https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/field/image/helpUkraine-2022-07-29.jpg

The global peace movement has in general an admirable history of opposing wars that have caused so much suffering over the years. Activists have championed peace and social justice from Vietnam to Central America to Iraq, helping teach the world that in place of death and destruction, xenophobia and intolerance, we can work to resolve conflicts peacefully while devoting our efforts to meeting real human needs. The peace movement has long pointed out the gargantuan waste represented by spending on war. If all the money spent on weapons of death had been redirected towards human needs, poverty and hunger could have been wiped out long ago.

And so, given our admiration and appreciation for the peace movement, we have been disappointed and a little surprised to find ourselves at odds on the question of Ukraine with people with whom in the past we have frequently marched for peace.

Here’s where we agree with the peace movement. First, we both oppose Vladmir Putin’s invasion and occupation of regions of Ukraine. We agree that Ukraine is an independent nation and that Russia is the aggressor. Second, we both sympathize with the soldiers and civilians who are dying and being displaced or forced into exile by this war. Third, we both oppose militarism and war and understand that NATO—while not directly responsible for this war—also represents a problem because it is a military alliance. In the early 1990s, with the fall of the Soviet Union, new structures of mutual security should have been built instead of expanding Washington’s Cold War alliance.

Having this much in common, we should be able to have a fruitful discussion and perhaps find ways to engage in some common actions. Our ability to discuss these matters does not, however, extend to those who have excused or even supported Russia, or who, ignoring Russia’s primary responsibility for the aggression, want to blame the United States or NATO or the European Union for the war. Their support for Russia excludes them both from the peace movement and from the call for international solidarity with the victims of aggression.

The peace movement, it seems to us, has made three arguments for its demands for diplomacy and peace now. First, U.S. support of weapons for Ukraine prolongs the war. Second, the provision of arms takes money from the U.S. budget that would otherwise be allocated to important social programs in the areas of housing, education, social welfare, and the environment. Third, the Ukraine war threatens to disrupt grain production and distribution and, by reducing supply and causing a rise in prices, will lead to mass hunger in the Middle East, North Africa, and other regions of the Global South. Let’s look at each of these arguments in turn.

Militarism and War

In considering the argument that aid to Ukraine promotes militarism and war, the starting point has to be: “Do you believe that a country that has been unjustly attacked has the right to defend itself?” If so, and if the country lacks the means to defend itself, is it entitled to receive arms from outside? Though the peace movement wants a world in which no disputes are settled by war, until such a world exists it cannot deny other peoples, such as the Ukrainians, the right of self-defense.

Some in the peace movement, of course, are absolute pacifists who believe that war is always wrong and counter-productive, even in cases of self-defense. Much of what pacifists say about war is extremely valuable: they note the long-term costs that are often left out of the cost-benefit analyses of the decision to take up arms, among them the regimentation of societies at war, the inevitable civilian deaths, and the brutalized sensibilities that afflict even the most virtuous warriors. Most of us in the peace movement are not absolute pacifists. We generally believe that, even acknowledging these costs, there are still times when military resistance against an aggressor is justified. Absolute pacifists disagree, but it would be extremely unlikely that even a pacifist who believed in justice would denounce someone for providing arms to a victim of aggression. So, there is no reason why the peace movement should attack the provision of arms to Ukraine.

Some pacifists call upon victims of aggression to use non-violent civil disobedience or other means to resist. To be sure, civilian resistance and other forms of nonviolent resistance can be much more effective than commonly believed, and it is right for the peace movement to make this point and advocate for such policies. But it seems inappropriate for outsiders to tell Ukrainians as the bombs are falling that they must use only nonviolence or raise the white flag and surrender.

The peace movement believes in peace, but of course it doesn’t consider peace to be the only value. That’s why many peace organizations list peace and justice as their joint missions. Historically, the great majority of peace forces concluded that, while failing to resist Hitler’s armies might have led to peace, it would not have led to a better world. Likewise, at the time of the U.S. Civil War, acquiescing in the Confederacy’s secession would have secured peace but at the expense of the continuing horrors of slavery. In the case of Ukraine, war causes great harm to social justice along many dimensions. But surrender—for that is what peace at any cost means—also causes terrible harm to social justice. Putin has said he would eliminate Ukraine as a nation and the Ukrainians as a people, arguing that they are part of Russia. He wishes to conquer Ukraine and bring it under his authoritarian rule, in a society without democracy or civil liberties. So we ask, war or surrender? Which causes more harm? Can outsiders really judge that for Ukrainians?

The peace movement didn’t in the name of peace call for the Soviet Union or China to stop providing arms to North Vietnam, or for Eastern European Communist nations to discontinue the provision of weapons to the Sandinistas in the 1980s. Leftists and liberals didn’t consider the Western denial of weapons to the Spanish Republic in the 1930s an expression of peace but a failure of political will on the part of the democratic nations, if not a disguised sympathy for Franco.

In the past, of course, we have often opposed arms exports because they prop up human-rights-abusing regimes. But in this case, the weapons are an attempt to assist a people who have been unjustly attacked in defending themselves, just as was the aim of Lend-Lease to Britain and the USSR during World War II.

Some might argue that Vietnam and Republican Spain were progressive governments, while Ukraine is corrupt or even fascist. We believe that the character of the government is not the key issue, but rather the fact that it is engaged in a justified anti-imperialist struggle of national self-determination. When from 1935 to 1937 Italy made war on Ethiopia, most of the Left supported the latter even though Emperor Haile Selassie’s government was authoritarian and reactionary. The Left did so because it was important to support a sovereign nation against Italian Fascist imperialism, a regime that by 1936 was allied with Nazi Germany. The essence of the position is anti-imperialism and the defense of self-determination.

The case of Ukraine, however, is much easier to decide. Ukraine, which has had problems with foreign meddling from all sides and entrenched corruption, is fundamentally a democratic country, with leaders who have been replaced in elections. There are civil liberties, though undoubtedly under threat, especially under conditions of war. Like other nations around the world, it has a far right and neo-Nazi organizations, among them the notorious Azov brigade. These forces, however, have fared poorly in elections and do not control President Volodymyr Zelensky’s neoliberal government. Within Ukraine, there is a legal, democratic socialist left that some of us in the U.S. Left have been supporting.

While we believe Ukraine has the right to get arms wherever it can to defend itself, we recognize that the direct involvement of the United States or NATO could lead either led to a broader European war or to the use of nuclear arms. We should be vigilant and oppose any such development. And, if things get to the point where the Zelensky government is continuing the war contrary to the wishes of the Ukrainian population, then it would right for outsiders to object to shipping further arms. But polls—limited as they are in time of war—suggest that this is not currently the case.

Many on the Left have suggested that Washington is pursuing a “proxy war” against Russia and that it is pushing the Ukrainians to “fight until the last Ukrainian.” Of course, the United States would like to see a weakened Russia, but it is hardly the case that the Ukrainians are persevering only because of U.S. pressure. The Ukrainians fight of their own volition, and the United States cannot make them fight, though it could force them to surrender by refusing them arms. Indeed, it is clear that the Biden administration and other Western leaders are quite worried about the economic consequences of a long war and the risks to their other geopolitical interests.

The Arms for Ukraine and Social Spending

Long before Russia invaded Ukraine, the Biden administration found its congressional support too narrow to pass its social program. Holding a bare majority in the Senate, the Democrats could not overcome the undemocratic filibuster and the defections of one or two rightwing Democrats. Biden’s program has also suffered because of former president Donald Trump’s tax cuts and the failure of the Democrats to restore the higher tax rates on corporations and the wealthy.

A progressive tax policy could easily fund Build Back Better and arms to Ukraine. Aid to Ukraine would not have affected a single vote in Congress regarding Build Back Better.

Some U.S. peace movement activists have criticized progressives in Congress for voting for military and economic aid to Ukraine while their social agenda (for a Green New Deal or Medicare for All) has yet to be addressed. But the support for Ukraine from congressional progressives has not led them to abandon their social agenda. Nor is it the case that, but for the Ukraine aid, the Green New Deal and other progressive legislation would have been enacted. U.S. spending on arms for Ukraine has had absolutely no impact on the country’s social budget, though it might if the war continues long enough or expands.

Hunger in the Global South

The peace movement is also rightly concerned about the impact of the Ukraine war on the supply of food to Africa and other parts of the global South. As one of the world’s leading grain producers, Ukraine has seen its shipments blocked by fighting in agricultural areas, and Russian troops have burned fields and attacked Ukrainian grain elevators and ports. True, if Ukraine were to surrender tomorrow, grain exports—limited by the damage already done by the war—could be resumed. But of course, if Russia ceased its military onslaught and withdrew its invading forces, grain exports could also be resumed.

To prevent the horrendous consequences of Russian aggression on the people of the Third World,  should the peace movement call for Ukraine to sue for peace and likely lose its sovereignty? No, it should call for Russia to end the war and withdraw from Ukraine. If it does not, we should pursue other ways of getting food to those in need. For example, we could call upon the United Nations General Assembly to use its power under the Uniting for Peace resolution (which is not subject to veto) to escort grain ships to and from Ukrainian ports. We should not call for unilateral action by the United States to protect grain shipments, which could be seen as a provocation. But a UN-authorized humanitarian escort would be quite different. Insurance carriers might be reluctant to cover vessels sailing into the Black Sea, but the European Union could offer the coverage. The key principle here is this: the peace movement should not demand that Ukraine give up its freedom because Russia is holding the Global South’s food supplies hostage when other less onerous solutions are available.

The Question of Diplomacy

The peace movement has a standard position in favor of diplomacy over war. But think about the Vietnam war. While many liberal opponents of the war called for “Negotiations Now,” the demand of the radical anti-war movement—made up of millions who marched in the streets—was “Out Now.” Their point was that the United States had no moral rights in Vietnam and therefore there was nothing for it to negotiate. It needed simply to withdraw its troops. The radicals knew, of course, that despite the demands of justice, the United States was unlikely to simply pick up and leave and that there would be negotiations. We also knew that Vietnam would negotiate, and we wouldn’t criticize them for doing so—it was their call—but we also understood that what happened on the battlefield would affect the outcome of any negotiations. So while we wanted peace, we supported Vietnam’s struggle for independence against the United States.

The same is true in Ukraine today. Justice demands immediate and unconditional Russian withdrawal from all of Ukraine. Russian anti-war activists have also taken this position. We say to Russia as we once said to the United States: “Out Now!”

In fact, like nearly all wars, this one will almost certainly end in some sort of negotiated agreement. But the nature of that agreement—whether the Ukrainian people will be able to continue to exist as an independent and sovereign nation—will depend on the military situation there. This in turn will depend on the political situation and the degree of solidarity with Ukraine throughout the world. Without foreign arms, Ukraine will be forced to accept a horrible agreement that could dismember the country or even end its independent existence and democratic government. With arms. they can win the war, reclaim all of their territory, and defend their democratic government or, if not, reach a settlement they find acceptable. Is the death and destruction that will ensue worth it? How can that be a decision of anyone but the people of Ukraine?

We share the peace movement’s desire to end militarism and war and to dismantle military alliances and end the threat of nuclear annihilation. NATO should be dismantled and replaced with treaties guaranteeing respect for national sovereignty and reducing military bases and arms. Wealthy nations like the United States, China, Japan, and the European Union have a responsibility to ensure that the Global South is free from hunger. With all of this in common, let’s open a genuine dialogue on the question of Ukraine’s right to self-determination and self-defense within the context of establishing a world that is more democratic, more equal, and more secure for all.

Stephen R. Shalom and Dan La Botz are members of the New Politics editorial board and of Internationalism from Below.

Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF) is a “Think Tank Without Walls” connecting the research and action of scholars, advocates, and activists seeking to make the United States a more responsible global partner. It is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.

FPIF provides timely analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international affairs and recommends policy alternatives on a broad range of global issues — from war and peace to trade and from climate to public health. From its launch as a print journal in 1996 to its digital presence today, FPIF has served as a unique resource for progressive foreign policy perspectives for over two decades.

We believe U.S. security and world stability are best advanced through a commitment to peace, justice, and environmental protection, as well as economic, political, and social rights. We advocate that diplomatic solutions, global cooperation, and grassroots participation guide foreign policy.

FPIF aims to amplify the voice of progressives and to build links with social movements in the U.S. and around the world. Through these connections, we advance and influence debate and discussion among academics, activists, policy-makers, and the general public.


Source URL: https://portside.org/2022-07-29/ukraine-and-peace-movement

Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs