Report from United National Antiwar Coalition conference on Monday June 26

Last weekend, several hundred activists gathered in Richmond, VA for the United National Antiwar Coalition conference (. Our two guests at the Labor Forum program from 4:30-4:55pm are Ajamu Baraka, Black Alliance for Peace and Taryn Fivek, International Action Center, who participated in the conference. The Labor Forum considers the struggle against imperialist war and intervention a key part of winning workers’ rights and power. We will ask our guests about the conference discussion and any future action plans.

The Labor Forum airs every Monday from 4-5pm on WRFG 89.3FM, is streamed on wrfg.org and has a mobile app. For more information, see wrfglaborforum.org

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Cuba’s Formal Response to Trump’s Speech on Policy Changes

Below is the full statement released Friday, June 16  by the Cuban government.

On June 16, 2017, US President Donald Trump delivered a speech full of hostile anti-Cuban rhetoric reminiscent of the times of open confrontation with our country in a Miami theater. He announced his government’s Cuba policy, which rolls back the progress achieved over the last two years since December 17, 2014, when Presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama announced the decision to re-establish diplomatic relations and engage in a process towards the normalization of bilateral relations.

In what constitutes a setback in the relations between both countries, President Trump, gave a speech and signed a policy directive titled “National Security Presidential Memorandum”, which provides the elimination of private educational “people-to-people” exchanges and greater control over all travelers to Cuba, as well as the prohibition of business, trade and financial transactions between US companies and certain Cuban companies linked to the Armed Revolutionary Forces and the intelligence and security services, under the alleged objective of depriving us from income. The US president justified this policy with alleged concerns over the human rights situation in Cuba and the need to rigorously enforce the US blockade laws, conditioning its lifting, as well as any improvements in US-Cuba bilateral relations to our country’s making changes inherent to its constitutional order.

Trump also abrogated Presidential Policy Directive “Normalization of Relations between the United States and Cuba”, issued by President Obama on October 14, 2016.  Although said Directive did not conceal the interventionist character of the US policy nor the fact that its main purpose was to advance US interests in order to bring about changes in the economic, political and social systems of our country, it did recognize Cuba’s independence, sovereignty and self-determination and the Cuban government as a legitimate and equal interlocutor, as well as the benefits that a civilized coexistence would have for both countries and peoples despite the great differences that exist between both governments.  The Directive also conceded that the blockade is an obsolete policy and that it should be lifted.

Once again, the US Government resorts to coercive methods of the past when it adopts measures aimed at stepping up the blockade, effective since February 1962, which not only causes harm and deprivations to the Cuban people and is the main obstacle to our economic development, but also affects the sovereignty and interests of other countries, which arouses international rejection.

The measures announced impose additional obstacles to the already very limited opportunities that the US business sector had in order to trade with and invest in Cuba.

Likewise, those measures restrict even more the right of US citizens to visit our country, which was already limited due to the obligation of using discriminatory licenses, at a moment when the US Congress, echoing the feelings of broad sectors of that society, calls not only for an end to the travel ban, but also for the elimination of the restrictions on the trade with Cuba.

The measures announced by President Trump run counter to the majority support of the US public opinion, including the Cuban emigration in that country, to the total lifting of the blockade and the establishment of normal relations between Cuba and the United States.

Instead, the US President, who has been once again ill-advised, is taking decisions that favor the political interests of an irrational minority of Cuban origin in the state of Florida which, out of petty motivations, does not give up its intent to punish Cuba and its people for exercising the legitimate and sovereign right of being free and having taken the reins of their own destiny.

Later on, we shall make a deeper analysis of the scope and implications of the announcement.

www.truthdig.com

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The Government of Cuba condemns the new measures to tighten the blockade, which are doomed to failure, as has been repeatedly evidenced in the past, for they will not succeed in their purpose to weaken the Revolution or bend the Cuban people, whose resistance against aggressions of all sorts and origins has been put to the test throughout almost six decades.

The Government of Cuba rejects political manipulation and double standards in human rights. The Cuban people enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms and can proudly show some achievements that are still a chimera for many countries of the world, including the United States, such as the right to health, education and social security; equal pay for equal work, children’s rights as well as the rights to food, peace and development. Cuba, with its modest resources, has also contributed to the improvement of the human rights situation in many countries of the world, despite the limitations inherent to its condition as a blockaded country.

The United States are not in the position to teach us lessons. We have serious concerns about the respect for and guarantees of human rights in that country, where there are numerous cases of murders, brutality and abuses by the police, particularly against the African-American population; the right to life is violated as a result of the deaths caused by fire arms; child labor is exploited and there are serious manifestations of racial discrimination; there is a threat to impose more restrictions on medical services, which will leave 23 million persons without health insurance; there is unequal pay between men and women; migrants and refugees, particularly those who come from Islamic countries, are marginalized; there is an attempt to put up walls that discriminate against and denigrate neighbor countries; and international commitments to preserve the environment and address climate change are abandoned.

Also a source of concern are the human rights violations by the United States in other countries, such as the arbitrary detention of tens of prisoners in the territory illegally occupied by the US Naval Base in Guantánamo, Cuba, where even torture has been applied;  extrajudicial executions and the death of civilians caused by drones; as well as the wars unleashed against countries like Iraq, under false pretenses like the possession of weapons of mass destruction, with disastrous consequences for the peace, security and stability in the Middle East.

It should be recalled that Cuba is a State Party to 44 international human rights instruments, while the US is only a State Party to 18.  Therefore, we have much to show, say and defend.

Upon confirming the decision to re-establish diplomatic relations, Cuba and the United States ratified their intention to develop respectful and cooperative relations between both peoples and governments, based on the principles and purposes enshrined in the UN Charter.  In its Declaration issued on July 1, 2015, the Revolutionary Government of Cuba reaffirmed that “these relations must be founded on absolute respect for our independence and sovereignty; the inalienable right of every State to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system, without interference in any form; and sovereign equality and reciprocity, which constitute inalienable principles of International Law”, as was established in the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by the Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC), at its second summit held in Havana.  Cuba has not renounced these principles, nor will it ever do so.

The Government of Cuba reiterates its will to continue a respectful and cooperative dialogue on topics of mutual interest, as well as the negotiation of outstanding issues with the US Government.  During the last two years it has been evidenced that both countries, as was repeatedly expressed by the President of the Councils of State and of Ministers, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, can cooperate and coexist in a civilized manner, respecting the differences and promoting everything that benefits both nations and peoples, but it should not be expected that, in order to achieve that, Cuba would make concessions inherent to its sovereignty and independence, or accept preconditions of any sort.

Any strategy aimed at changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba, either through pressures and impositions or by using more subtle methods, shall be doomed to failure.

The changes that need to be made in Cuba, as those that have been made since 1959 and the ones that we are introducing now as part of the process to update our economic and social system, will continue to be sovereignly determined by the Cuban people.

Just as we have been doing since the triumph of the Revolution on January 1st, 1959, we will take on every risk and shall continue to advance steadfastly and confidently in the construction of a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation.

Havana, June 16, 2017

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A Call for Unity & Action! A National Conference to Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad-June 16-18

A Call for Unity & Action! A National Conference to
Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad
Building a Movement Against War, Injustice & Repression
A National Conference hosted by the
United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
June 16-18 in Richmond, Virginia

All across the United States, people are rising up against the destructive policies of Donald Trump and Congress. Massive protests took place during Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. The next day millions of women and their supporters turned out in some of the largest mobilizations seen in decades. From solidarity vigils to clashes in the streets, the people are defiantly saying we will not accept the ultra-reactionary policies spewing forth from the White House. No wall! No ban! No deportations! No more police murders! No attacks on reproductive freedom! No Dakota Pipeline! No oppression of lesbians, gays, bisexual and trans people! NO WARS!

But the reactionary policies keep coming, while the Democratic Party is trying to position itself as the only viable opposition – the same party that chose as its standard-bearer one of the most despised presidential candidates in recent years, leaving voters with a choice between a racist, misogynist, xenophobic, billionaire bully and a Wall Street-serving war criminal.

There must be an alternative to the neoliberalism of the Democrats and the nationalist-populism of Trump. We need an independent movement to address both the economic needs of poor and working people and the escalating attacks on the Black community, immigrants, women, unions, LGBTQ folks, refugees, Muslims, the physically and mentally challenged, youth, students, the elderly, Mother Earth – all of us. And we need to END THE WARS that are promoted by both major parties, from the ongoing wars in the Middle East and Northern Africa waged during the Obama years to the threats against Iran and North Korea coming from the new administration.

If we can build that united movement, we can unleash the power of the people in ways that will make a real difference.

But first we have to know each other, across the lines of race, gender, geography, age, culture and issues. We have to sensitize ourselves to every form of oppression. We have to understand what the government, under both Democrats and Republicans, is doing in our name to our sisters and brothers in other countries and how that affects us here at home.

We need to come together in an action-oriented conference where we can meet each other, learn from each other, support each other, strategize together and leave with a coherent plan for united, effective action.

That’s the purpose of the conference “Stop the Wars at Home & Abroad: Building a Movement Against Wars, Injustice & Repression,” to be hosted by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) June 16-18 in Richmond, Virginia.

We can do this. The alternative is to keep protesting while the Democrats – funded by the same big banks and corporations as the Republicans – reposition themselves to co-opt our movement and smother it under another sorry choice between the lesser of two evils.

We don’t have to choose between cancer and a heart attack – we can decide to live. We don’t have to be divided – we can choose unity. We don’t have to accept defeat – we can resist and win!

Join us June 16-18 in Richmond, Virginia, as we help forge the broad united front that can mount a real resistance to wars, injustice and repression!

Register Today!

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For more information, contact UNAC:
Phone: 518-227-6947
SnailMail: UNAC, PO Box 123,  Delmar, NY 12054
EmailUNACpeace@gmail.com
Website:  www.UNACpeace.org
Website:  UNAC Conference 2015 (includes videos)
Facebook: United National Antiwar Committee
Facebook: UNAC Conference 2017
On Twitter, Follow  #NoNewWars  #EndWarAtHomeAndAbroad
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Rally on Tuesday, June 6: Stop U.S. Intervention in Venezuela

The history of US intervention in South and Central American countries is long and bloody with support for military coups and right-wing governments that engaged in brutal repression, civilian massacres, massive corruption and the impoverishment of working and Indigenous and African descended peoples.

 
A scenario similar to the 1973 coup in Chile is being visited upon the progressive government of Venezuela with open involvement of US corporations and the US administration to affect regime change against President Maduro and overturn the advances of the Bolivarian Revolution.
 
The International Action Center has initiated a call for Days of Solidarity with Venezuela and its people who are determined to make change benefiting the majority of the country’s people.
 
In Atlanta, on Tuesday, June 6, there will be a demonstration at CNN at the corner of Marietta St. and Centennial Olympic Park from 4:30-5:30 to demand “US Hands Off Venezuela” and expose CNN for its biased reporting.
PLEASE share the event and bring signs and banners.

In solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and the Venezuelan People

For additional information, see www.iacenter.org or Facebook Page for the event.
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National Conference: “Stop the Wars at Home & Abroad!” June 16-18, 2017

Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad
Building a Movement Against War, Injustice & Repression!
A National Conference hosted by the
United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)

Una Conferencia Nacional Organizada por
la COALICIÓN UNIDA ANTI-GUERRA NACIONAL

June 16-18, 2017
Greater Richmond Convention Center
403 North 3rd Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Join activists from the many domestic and international struggles as we build unity against the Trump Regime and the underlying system responsible for imperialist wars, poverty, racism, sexism, the oppression of LGBTQ people, attacks on Muslims and undocumented immigrants, environmental destruction and all forms of injustice.

Read the full Call To Action here.

Program

Workshops

For more information, contact UNAC:
Phone: 518-227-6947
SnailMail: UNAC, PO Box 123,  Delmar, NY 12054
EmailUNACpeace@gmail.com
Website:  www.UNACpeace.org


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SUPPORT Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition with your financial help

Thank you for choosing to support Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition with your financial help. All major credit and debit cards are processed securely online through PayPal.

PayPal accounts are accepted too.

To MAKE A DONATION please click on “GPJC Support“.

Checks and money orders can be sent to “Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition”, PO Box 133016, Atlanta, GA 30333.

GPJC Membership Form

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Veterans On the March • Memorial Day in D.C.

Veterans On the March!

Stop Endless War • Build for Peace!

“War is a racket: A few profit, the many pay!”– Major General Smedley Butler, USMC

May 29 and 30, 2017  Washington DC

May 29, 2017:  Letters to the Vietnam Memorial Wall • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

May 30, 2017: Lincoln Memorial • White House

Hundreds of Veterans and allies gather at the White House December, 2010 to demand Peace
Hundreds of Veterans and allies gather at the White House December, 2010 to demand Peace

In response to President Trump’s outrageous budget proposal, including a $54 billion increase for the Pentagon, VFP and other veterans groups will not be silent. Planning for this was started in response to VFP’s galvanizing statement about Trump’s Military Budget and our desire and responsibility as veterans, citizens and human beings to express our strong resistance to his policies and our commitment to find a better way to peace.

The Trump administration recently fired 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria, in violation of international and U.S. law. After that, the largest non-nuclear bomb was dropped on Afghanistan, an impoverished country that has suffered enough already. Trump has been making threats towards North Korea that could initiate a nuclear war – WWIII. He says, he will not tell anyone ahead of time what he will do.

Donald Trump and his administration appear to be destroying this planet with utter disregard for our children and grandchildren.

Veterans cannot be silent. On May 29th and 30th Veterans For Peace and other veterans groups will be in Washington, DC, to make our collective veterans’ voices heard loud and clear and we invite you to join us!

On Memorial Day,  Veterans For Peace will gather for a solemn and respectful occasion to deliver letters at the Vietnam Memorial Wall and to remember all combatants and civilians who died in Vietnam and all wars. We will mourn the tragic and preventable loss of life calling for people to abolish war in the name of those who have died and for the sake of all those who live today.

On the 30th we will boldly and loudly demand an end to war, an end to the assault on our planet, an end to abuse and oppression of all people and to stand for peace and justice at home and abroad.


Veterans For Peace Demand Peace at Home • Peace Abroad!

1. Dismantle the U.S. Empire at Home and Abroad

2. Close U.S. Bases on Foreign Soil – Bring the Troops Home

3. Ban Nuclear Weapons

4. Redirect the Pentagon Budget – Money for Education, Healthcare, Infrastructure and Sustainable Green Energy

5. Dismantle Corporate Control of our Government

6. Dismantle the School to Prison/Military Pipeline

7. Stop Persecution of Migrants and Immigrants

8. End Sexism and Gender Discrimination in the Military

9. Respect and honor First Nation Sovereignty and Treaties

10. End Racism and Racist Violence

Schedule:

Monday, May 29: Meeting at 9 AM at the Bell Tower, adjacent to the Wall for a briefing by Doug Rawlings and an opportunity to read some of this year’s letters; 10:30 AM, we deliver letters to The Wall; from 11:30 to 12 we proceed ½ mile to MLK Memorial; at 12:30 we begin a public reading of MLK’s Riverside Church address, his Beyond Vietnam speech. After the MLK event we gather back at the Bell Tower to engage with the public. At 6:30 PM we meet for a social gathering at Busboys & Poets.

Tuesday: May 30: 11 AM rally at Lincoln Memorial w/hour of short, uplifting speeches, then after the rally VFP will be going to the White House fence to demand our meeting with the president. We will read the letter from VFP President Barry Ladendorf asking for a public meeting, which will have been sent previously to the White House.

We will have legal support and musical accompaniment.

To RSVP for the event, please fill out this form.

Share the Event on Facebook.

Housing in the DC area: http://washingtonpeacecenter.org/masshousing

For more information contact Tarak Kauff, VFP National Board Member, takauff@gmail.com, 845 679-6189 or 845 706-0187

For more information on the Letters to the Wall project contact Doug Rawlings,  rawlings@maine.edu, 207 500-0193

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