February 12, 2022
A rally in front of the US Embassy in Kiev.
February 12, 2022
A rally in front of the US Embassy in Kiev.
Updated list of events:
https://freeukrainenow.org/2019/01/29/venezuela-un-security-council-speech-transcript-discurso-del-canciller-jorge-arreaza-ante-el-consejo-de-seguridad-de-la-onu-27-1-2019-la-grosera-intervencion-y-los-groseros-mecanismos-de-injerenc/ – español
From David Swanson
August 31, 2016
Speaking out against racism is one thing — and a wonderful and admirable thing it is — but choosing to do so by sitting out the U.S. national anthem, and then having others join in, or “come out” as routine national anthem sitters: this is fantastic!
A self-governing republic of thinking people (whose first thought should be “My god, what are we doing to the rest of the planet with all this pollution and all these wars?”) ought to have no use for mandatory flag worship, required hand positions, or enforced recitations of pledges of allegiance to colored bits of cloth. Or if only some people outgrow such practices, others ought to leave them alone about it.
The protest thus far is severely limited, of course. The primary reason that it is useful to break down required patriotism rituals is their intimate connection to militarism. Yet many are claiming other motives and swearing their steadfast allegiance to militarism. That’s OK. It’s still an enormous step, and one that thousands are thanking Colin Kaepernick for taking.
Of course the endless wars abroad fuel racism at home, and vice versa. The endless military budget unloads free war weapons on police, and free trainers in war mentality. The bombs dropped abroad still explode in the ghetto. And militarists are claiming just the opposite, in support of Kaepernick, alleging that bombing Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and Libya somehow creates Kaepernick’s “freedom” to sit out the national anthem while catching hell mostly from enthusiastic war supporters. Nonetheless, breaking a taboo is a tremendous first step to be followed by many more.
My concern with the national anthem and all such related ceremonies is chiefly the obedience and subservience to symbols of mass murder. But secondarily, the lyrics of the full song, and the earlier version of it, are absolutely unacceptable. That the third verse celebrates killing people who had just escaped from slavery, that the earlier version celebrated killing Muslims, and that the lyricist himself, Francis Scott Key, owned people as slaves and supported police killings of African Americans while shouting about “freedom” — these are all insurmountable hurdles if you’re trying to get me to respect or identify with this song that, let’s face it, is also awful as a piece of music.
But strip the song down to its current first verse, and it remains a celebration of war, of the mass killing of human beings, of a war of conquest that failed to take over Canada and instead got the White House burned. And during the course of that valorous piece of blood-soaked stupidity, Key witnessed a battle in which human beings died but a flag survived. And I’m supposed to stand, like an obedient mindless robot, and worship that glorious incident, and it’s supposed to matter what I do with my hand, but not what I do with my brain?
Nations don’t have to find their whole identity in war. The United States could celebrate democratic advances, heroic activists, rights won for all variety of previously disfavored groups. We could sing a song about creative nonviolence, generosity, bravery, kindness, and natural beauty. We could sing a song that offered friendship to the other 96% of humanity. We could have a widely covered national contest for the best new song, and perhaps bump these two hideous presidential candidates off the airwaves for a few moments.
Instead, it’s the Star Mangled Banner over and over and over. And, yes, I’ve been sitting it out for years. Welcome, Colin. We’ve been waiting for you.
December 7, 2015
Special Forces veteran Ben Griffin has called on military personnel and munitions workers to disobey and block the bombing of Syria ahead of a Downing Street protest in which ex-services personnel will throw down their medals in disgust at the war.
“If you work in a bomb factory, walk out. If you fill up bombers with fuel, stop it. If you fly missions over Syria, don’t release your bombs,” Griffin, who served with the Parachute Regiment and SAS in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, told RT on Monday.
“Our attack on Syria will make things worse. You only need to look at the outcome of our attacks on Iraq and Libya to see that.”
“We have no confidence in the government of this country to do the right thing, so we call on the public to resist participation in the ongoing slaughter,” he added.
Griffin made his comments ahead of a planned protest by other decorated British military veterans of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and Libya.
According to a blog by ex-services group Veterans for Peace UK (VFPUK), four military veterans of recent wars will cast off their medals outside Downing Street on Tuesday in protest at MPs’ decision to bomb Syria.
The action is set to take place at 1:00pm GMT on Tuesday and aims to oppose what the group terms “yet another attack on a Middle Eastern country.”
MPs voted on Wednesday to extend UK airstrikes from Iraq into Syria, despite widespread public opposition to the move.
Writing on the VFPUK website, Daniel Lenham, a Royal Air Force (RAF) veteran of Iraq and Libya, said he was casting off his decorations “in protest at the decision to bomb Syria.”
“We will hand back medals given to us for participating in previous attacks on the Middle East,” he said.
David Smith, who served with the Royal Green jackets infantry regiment, said: “I want to express my utter disgust at the decision to unlawfully bomb Syria, god help all those who are likely to suffer as a result of this action.
“I renounce all forms of state sanctioned warfare and violence.”
VFPUK claims to have 265 members, some of whom served as along ago as D-Day. The group hopes “to convince people that war is not the answer to the problems of the 21st century,” according to its website.
Video from RT
From RT, June 6, 2016
A massive march took place in the streets of Kiev to protest against the policies of the current Ukrainian government, calling for its resignation and economic reforms.
According to TASS news agency, up to 3,000 people took to the streets in Kiev on Saturday to protest against lack of reform and economic instability.
The people carried placards reading “We are hungry,” “Raise pensions” as well as some anti-LGBT slogans as they marched along Khreshchatyk Street to Independence square (Maidan Nezalezhnosty) in central Kiev.
Others called for the current administration to be removed and President Petro Poroshenko impeached, saying his government was unable to handle the problems facing the country.
Protesters demanded a raise in social welfare payments and an end to the unrest in eastern Ukraine. Reinforced police patrols ensured public order during the march.
Meanwhile, on Friday a Gay Pride march also took place in central Kiev. However, it ended very quickly after attacks by far right radicals. Members of the Right Sector nationalist group hurled smoke bombs and stones at the demonstrators.
Five policemen were injured, one seriously, and about 30 attackers were arrested, according to local media reports.
Previous to the event, Right Sector spokesman Artem Skoropadsky threatened the LGBT activists saying “there will be thousands of us” to counter the march, the Kyiv Post reported on Friday.
Political analyst Aleksandar Pavic told RT that there has been a rapid decline in living standards and human rights since the Maidan revolution in 2014, which resulted in the violent ouster of the former government by Kiev’s current authorities.
“After the Maidan 2014 nobody in Ukraine is enjoying a better life, except people at the top of organizations and structures that caused the Maidan revolution,” Pavic said.
Since Maidan, Ukraine has established an almost “oligarchical regime,” as the current government has excluded a “large fragment of the population from having a say in political life,” he said.
“If they look at their lives today and a year and a half ago I think they cannot but notice the big decline of living standards and even human rights.”
Even under Yanukovich’s rule Ukraine was “much closer to the European way of life,” Pavic said.
“They had peace, they had some hope of economic advancement, they had offers from both West and East,” he added.
Speculating on potential reactions from Kiev’s Western supporter-states to the recent unrest in the capital, he said there will be a public reaction, but “fundamentally nothing will change because they need these people to keep Ukraine in the Western orbit.”
“They’ve allowed the Right Sector to integrate with Ukraine’s national army. You have US army officers training units with members of Right Sector in them.”
The Maidan protests initially began as peaceful protest against then-President Viktor Yanukovich’s refusal to sign an EU association deal in late 2013. However the demonstrations slid into violence and resulted in a coup that toppled the former Ukrainian president and his government in February 2014.
The new authorities promised to undertake political and social reforms needed to meet the economic and democratic norms of the EU countries, so that Ukraine could eventually join the union.
While Kiev awaits concrete assurances from bloc members, EU leaders have been wary of welcoming its eastern neighbor.
“They have their right to have a dream, but maybe not membership in the predictable future,” European Council President Donald Tusk said at the latest Riga summit of the Eastern Partnership in May.
From Rick Rozoff
Xinhua News Agency
March 27, 2015
Czech people hold protest against U.S. army convoy
PRAGUE: A protest here on Thursday against U.S. soldiers’ scheduled crossing of the Czech territory marks the first public protest against the U.S. convoy that is to arrive in the Czech Republic from Poland on March 29.
The protesters said they did not like it that the U.S. soldiers had decided to go for a demonstrative ride in a convoy from a military exercise in the Baltics to their home base in Vilseck, Bavaria. They also opposed the soldiers spending the night of March 29 in the Vyskov barracks in the south Moravian region of the country.
The protest organizers said it was cynical to allow foreign troops to cross Czech territory in a year when they are marking the 70th anniversary of their country’s liberation and the end of World War II, especially given the aggravated geopolitical situation which calls for hostilities to be negotiated. This action only escalates the tension, they said.
The protesters also submitted two petitions. The first was against the presence of foreign troops on Czech territory and the possible building of NATO bases in the country. The second called for the Czech Republic to leave NATO, which the organizers considered to be a power instrument interfering in states’ sovereignty.
The U.S. soldiers held an exercise in the Baltic countries and they will arrive in the Czech Republic on Sunday from three directions. They will spend the night in the regions of Vyskov, Pardubice, and Liberec. On Monday, they will move on to Prague and then leave for Germany on April 1.
Click the links for more info:
World Beyond War Teach in on an Alternative Global Security System 5:00-6:30 p.m. on March 20 at UDC Law School as part of Spring Rising:
Details at SpringRising.org
New paper / book / audio book / eBook available soon at WorldBeyondWar.org
Coming out of a meeting held in Washington, DC, on January 10, plans are coming together for an antiwar intervention in the U.S. capital.
A series of events will be held just as the ongoing U.S. war in Iraq — recently restarted in a new form — passes the 12-year mark since the March 2003 invasion.
Here’s the schedule so far:
Wednesday, March 18: Peace gathering and fellowship.
Thursday, March 19th: Lobbying on Capitol Hill, followed by a tour of the war machine: homes and offices of war criminals.
Friday, March 20th: Afternoon and evening teach-in: Ending Current Wars, Ending the Institution of War. This event will examine ISIS and U.S. warmaking in Western Asia and elsewhere; the damage militarism does to the natural environment, economies, and civil rights; and how the war system can be replaced with a peace system.
Saturday, March 21st: Protest at the White House, followed by march.
This nonviolent intervention was originally proposed by Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox and the Soapbox People’s Network. It has been endorsed and will be supported by Amnesty International Charlottesville, the ANSWER Coalition, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the Baltimore Pledge of Resistance, CND CYMRU, CODEPINK, the Granny Peace Brigade of New York City, KnowDrones.com, Maryland United for Peace and Justice, Military Families Speak Out, the National Association Against Police Brutality, the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, the Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare, the No Fear Coalition, United National Antiwar Coalition, Veterans For Peace, Voices for Creative Non-Violence, WarIsACrime.org, Washington Peace Center, Witness Against Torture, World Beyond War, and World Can’t Wait.
To endorse, volunteer, get involved or learn more, go to: http://SpringRising.org
Contact Dede at: dede4peace (at) gmail (dot) com
Join and share on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/430232700485435