Listen 7:00- 8:00 pm (PST) to the WeThePeopleRadioNetwork.com and to our guests in the first hour- Ashley Casale and Michael Israel.
Listen 8:00- 9:00 pm (PST) to the WeThePeopleRadioNetwork.com and to our guest in the second hour- Mike Ferner, author of Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran for Peace Reports from Iraq, and a representative of Veteran's for Peace, a key organization mobilizing in Washington DC this month, for truth, for peace, for impeachment, pushing for a dramatic change in the direction that the US is headed.
In the first hour Ashley Casale and Michael Israel will share their experiences, and insights from their heroic March for Peace.
Ashley Casale(19) and Michael Israel(18) began their march for Peace in San Francisco on May 21, 2007 to protest not only the war in Iraq, but, also:
"-Nonviolent resistance to war efforts
-End of genocide in Darfur and all crimes against humanity
-Civil disobedience to social injustices and orders of war
-End of nuclear weapon holding and proliferation
-Principles of sustainability and global citizenship
"The March for Peace is an anti-war march. In the face of the United States at war just as the people of the 1960s were, our generation is comparatively silent. Now is the time to change that by speaking out and taking action. Joining the March for Peace, submitting peace manifestos and coming to the rally... shows opposition to the war in Iraq and to all war efforts globally. In addition to speaking out against the present wars, supporters of the March for Peace commit to nonviolent resistance to all war efforts unconditionally. The March for Peace is an anti-draft-registration movement and supporters are committed to nonviolence regardless of circumstances - committed to resisting war efforts consistently."
The March formally concluded in Washington DC on September 10, 2007 at a rally at the White House, but the marchers are still in Washington DC participating in events with multiple groups, including the major rally on September 15th, 2007 at noon at the White House which will also be followed by a week of actions which overlap with The Declaration of Peace's- Days of Decision- September 14- 21st- A Week of Nationwide Coordinated Actions.
In the second hour, our guest will be Mike Ferner, author of Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran for Peace Reports from Iraq, and a representative of Veteran's for Peace. The Veterans are also calling for a massive civil disobedience- a "Die In" on September 15th to dramatize the loss of 4000 American soldiers in Iraq.
Mike Ferner served on Toledo City Council and worked as an organizer and in communications for unions and nonprofits. He traveled to Iraq with Voices in the Wilderness just prior to the U.S. invasion, and in 2004 as a freelance writer. "Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran For Peace Reports from Iraq," is about those trips. He served as a Navy Corpsman from 69-73, was discharged as a conscientious objector, and joined VFP in 1985.
Mike may or may not be arrested and jailed in the next few days, but I hope he will be able to give us a firsthand account of his experiences, with his unique insight into the war, from within and outside of the military.
On his website, Mike posted this:
September 5, 2007
by Mike Ferner
St. Louis – His government broke his heart but it could not break Air Force veteran Charles Powell’s spirit. Fighting back tears, the 64 year-old vet stood tall and resolute in front of 400 of his comrades, describing in verse the final steps of a painful disillusionment.
Each summer during the national convention of Veterans For Peace, time is reserved for a Veterans’ Speakout, where any member can rise to say whatever is on their mind.
When the veterans gathered in 2002, prior to the invasion of Iraq, George Bush and the hawks of Washington were pounding away on the war drums. That year, Powell, who had served on a Titan ICBM launch crew during the Cuban missile crisis, read his poem titled, “I Won’t Let Them Take My Flag.” He noted the warmongers were “again waving my flag” as a buildup to invasion, and he countered what he felt was a manipulation of the national symbol with the following lines reminiscent of the great Langston Hughes.
“But to me ‘Old Glory’ still stands for the liberty, justice and solidarity yet to come. So I still wave it too. I wave it for health care, education, housing and food for all. I wave it for peace and love and I wave it for hope. Most of all, I wave it for the America yet to be.”
After four and a half years of war in Iraq, Veterans For Peace convened again this summer and Charles Powell was there as always. As his turn came at the Speakout microphone he struggled a few seconds to compose himself. Then, in a clear voice growing more determined as he spoke, Powell mirrored the pain, regret and anger in the hearts of so many who listened.
As a child I learned to Worship that piece of colored cloth.
My family, my school, the movies, TV taught me to believe that fragment of fabric stood for good things.
I watched my father, a World War II Army veteran, give homage to that wad of material.
As an airman I saluted that banner for the four years I served in the Air Force where I stood ready to help launch Titan Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles on command.
Then I became aware that the wonderful things for which that clump of colors is suppose to represent, have not been achieved.
I came to know that awful, unlawful, unwise and immoral acts have occurred under the stars and stripes.
But I still clung onto the belief and hope that someday, somehow conditions would change and the good things for which that rag is still supposed to stand would yet be realized.
However, I’ve been forced to come to my senses.
Now we have: preemptive war, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, stop loss, neglect of returning veterans, ignored infrastructure, billions of dollars squandered on war and occupation, extraordinary rendition, secret imprisonment, warrantless domestic spying, disenfranchisement of voters, stolen elections, torture, suspension of habeas corpus and denial of due process.
So, even though hearing “America The Beautiful” still increases my heartbeat.
Although seeing those stripes still brings a lump to my throat.
Even though the sight of those stars continues to bring tears to my eyes.
I won’t pledge to it anymore.
I won’t remove my cap.
I won’t stand in respect.
I won’t wave it.
I will salute no more forever.
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of peace groups planning local, regional, national, international, actions, events, prayers, dances, concerts, protests challenging the lies, the wars, the violence, the government complicity and support of oppressive measures.
This program will look at the individual and synergistic efforts of so many people converging for truth, peace and impeachment, at a time, when the Empire is poised to strike at America and expand the war into Iran.
On the show Mike Ferner mentioned anti-recruitment campaigns being launched by Iraq Veterans Against the War. Their website has some great resources and suggested actions, besides leafletting and protesting outside of their offices, include simply wasting the recruiter's time by telling them you are thinking of enlisting, to keep the from going after others. Another campaign was to "occupy Congressional offices" to let them know how uncomfortable it feels to have your "space" occupied and to let them know that the public isn't going to let them get away with "business as usual" allowing them to continue funding war at the expense of people and planet.