Tag: Veterans for Peace

War is Not the Answer,

Never Was, Never Will

Recorded April 15, 2011 at Wellspring Sound in Acton, MA. Written by Pat Scanlon; music video by Perpetual Motion Pictures of Ashland, MA. Creative Commons license applies for all uses of this video.

“You may never know what results come from your actions. But if you do nothing there will be no results” Mahatma Gandi

Reclaiming November 11 for peace

Across the country, there’s a movement quietly taking shape to reclaim November 11 as a day of peace.

What is now called Veterans Day was originally designated in the US as Armistice Day, the day that World War I ended at 11 a.m.  on 11/11.  In the UK and elsewhere, it is also known as Remembrance Day or Poppy Day.

Peace too ‘political’ for Veterans Day parade

When is a veteran not a veteran?

When he or she is a Veteran for Peace, according to the committee which runs Milwaukee’s Veterans Day parade.

According to the committee’s logic, inviting non-veteran politicians to march in the Veterans Day parade is not political, but having the word “peace” in an organization’s name is.

Members of Veterans for Peace have again been barred from participation in Milwaukee’s Veterans Day Parade, although the parade website says the event is “Honoring all Americans who have served.”

The committee has refused to allow Veterans for Peace members – many of whom are combat veterans with Purple Hearts – from taking part in the observance on Saturday, Nov. 7, saying Veterans for Peace is “a politically motivated group,” and therefore not welcome.

So much for “honoring all Americans who have served.”

Chapter 102 members (I am one) did not ask to participate in the parade to make a political statement, but to take our rightful place in the annual event saluting all who served our country in uniform.

Yet the committee, which finds us “political,” invites non-veteran politicians — Scott Walker, Gwen Moore, Tom Barrett — to march in the parade, and welcomes veterans groups which are outspoken in support of military action and war.

The committee’s reply, from Chairman David Drent, said,

“There is no doubt that your organization is a politically motivated group. One visit to the organization’s website makes your views perfectly clear.

“We don’t make judgment on your purpose. End the war or escalate it carries the same weight with the board. A political statement is being made and there is no room in the parade for it.”

“We thank you for your service in our Armed Forces, but our goal has always been to have a day of honor that is 100% politically free.”

The committee’s decision was unanimous, he said.

Arlington West 6yrs.: Nov 3rd 2003 – Nov. 3rd 2009

November 3rd will be the sixth anniversary of the first installation of Arlington West on the beach. Veterans For Peace Chapter 54,  the Jim and Shirley Kennedy Chapter will set it up with friends on Sunday, November 1st and mark the sixth year that it has been installed on the first Sunday in November by citizens volunteering their time and talent to this community project to demonstrate the true cost of war.

It was set up weekly for five years but has been once monthly for the last year,  being the first Sunday of every month.

Citizens who wish to help the Veterans For Peace and friends with this effort should come between 7am and 9am for set up or at 3pm for takedown.  We set up Arlington West in fair weather only to protect the memorabilia left by families of the fallen.  Arlington West Santa Barbara was the original but has inspired similar displays across the USA.

Distress: December 26th 1971 and December 26th 2008

Back on December 26th 2006 I put together a post, for my site and a few others, in remembrance of an anniversary of a day my fellow Vietnam Veterans made a statement to our country, a statement of a Country in  Distress, Our Country!

A shoutout about not only our War of Choice but what our society was going through, Civil Rights Movement, care of the returning Vets, civil disobedience for the many failed policies, and more, the statement wasn’t really taken seriously except by the minority, as is usually the case, the country itself just dug deeper into it’s apathy and never came to terms with our War and Occupation and still hasn’t!

December 26, 1971

Two dozen members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War “liberated” the Statue of Liberty with a sit-in to protest resumed U.S. aerial bombings in Vietnam. They flew an inverted U.S. flag from the crown as a signal of distress.

Removed By Police Sunday…………

Yesterday, Sunday 11-16-08, I posted this report about Veterans and Military Family Members occupying a scaffold at the National Archives Building in Washington DC

Message Being Sent By Veterans: Defending the Constitution

Veterans Occupy National Archives

photo from Tony Teolis

We Just Marched On Veterans Day

I just got home from the big NYC Veterans Day Parade.

The “we” in the title is the crew of anti-war veterans and friends who have had a presence in the parade since the war began. Our contingent was led by members of Iraq Veterans Against the War carrying American flags. Among the others reporting for duty were at least three area chapters of Veterans For Peace (including mine, NYC’s Chapter 34), Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out and a group memorializing the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (whose actual veterans are now too few and too old to join us as they had in years past).

Don’t get me wrong. Our whole contingent totaled under fifty people and we were by a considerable margin the scruffiest and least military looking one in the whole parade.

And quite possibly the best received.

We were toward the rear of the march. While the organizers didn’t, this time, slot us at the very end, they put a very loud sound truck with a deejay directly behind us and forbade us to carry any signs or posters other than organizational banners.

Nice try. They neglected to amputate the fingers with which we all made the peace sign and to remove our vocal cords. So anti-war chants, especially the cadences led by Ben Chitty, echoed in the valley of Fifth Avenue the whole way from 27th Street to 55th. Meanwhile, marchers on both sides of the contingent directed a steady stream of explanatory slogans and talk to those watching.

Now, Veterans Day doesn’t draw the crowd you’ll find at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or on the rare occasion when a New York sports team wins something, but we didn’t pass a single block that wasn’t at least half full of spectators.

And we were overwhelmingly greeted with peace signs, thumbs up, clapping and enthusiastic yells. It was striking. Even people who went out of their way to attend a Veterans Day parade, and an awful lot of them were veterans themselves, were thrilled to see and hear us voicing their own feelings:

Bring Them Home Now!

The people of this country want this war over and they want it over yesterday. It is up to us to keep the heat on those now in power–and on those who will, blessedly, take their place in 70 days–to bring this fiasco to an end. So I encourage you, in the strongest possible terms, to observe the Iraq Moratorium one week from this coming Friday. You can act by yourself or with others, but please do something to observe the first antiwar mobilization since the election which will be national in scope.

Ay Berlusconi! Dig my Tronolone!

I’ll bet you thought I was gonna be spending another one of those boring suburban Mondays at home.

Well you’re wrong. I’m in DC right now. Surprise. 🙂

Here’s Desiree, myself and Liz of CodePink protesting outside the White House while Bush and Italian President Berlusconi were having a press conference. We brought megaphones and my “Yessongs” drum to protest the building of a US military base at Dal Molin. Over 25,000 people – 95% of the people living in Vincenza – do not want the base.

We were told that they could hear our protests in the Rose Garden. I was yelling funny stuff like “AY PAESAN, WHADDAYA DOIN’ IN THERE WITH THAT STUNARD BUSH!” Some of our chants were in Italian: “BASTA LA GUERRA!” and “NO ALLA BASE, SI ALLA PACE!” Eventually the Italian version of the Associated Press, ANSA, came out and interviewed us. We are also now frontpaged on the “No Dal Molin” web site.

One of the things I was yelling for my own amusement was “Ay Berlusconi! Dig my Tronolone!” My maiden name, Tronolone, means “thunder”. The family name is not exactly as common as “Smith” on this side of the pond, but it is a prominent one in northern Italy where they are trying to build the base. I mentioned to the ANSA people what my maiden name is and snarked that I come from a proud family tradition of fighting against Emperors. (In the 1110 AD, the Tronolone family stood with three other Milanese baronies against a forced assimilation into the Holy Roman Empire by Frederick Barbarossa.) The ANSA reporters were amused.

Vets on McCain & Life On The Ledge

The following video ad was produced by veteran  inlookout and linked, in the replys, in an initial writeup posted at Vet Voice after the Debate.

John McCain Loves Cutting Veterans Health Benefits

Veterans Occupy National Archives Building and Much More

“Arresting Bush and Cheney for war crimes will honor our oath to the Constitution,” vets say.


On Tuesday morning, September 23, 7:30am, at the front of the National Archives Building on Constitution Ave. in Washington, D.C., five military veterans will risk arrest as they climb a 9-foot retaining fence and occupy a 35-foot high ledge to raise a 22×8 foot banner stating, “DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION.  ARREST BUSH AND CHENEY: WAR CRIMINALS!”  

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