ADDRESSING A REALITY DEEPER THAN THE TRUMP SHOW – GO TO “SHUT DOWN CREECH”

While America is mesmerized by the pursuit of Donald Trump, this pathetic psychodrama is diverting attention from the deeper, horrible reality of the widening terrorizing, maiming and killing of hundreds of thousands of poor, people of color who are being subjected to the U.S. colonial wars.

At the spear point of these wars are U.S. Reaper drones, surveilling, stalking, terrorizing, assassinating, bombing and providing the music and lyrics of the government’s “Your Kids Won’t Have to Die in War” lullaby for the American people. 

Stir in a generous dollop of white acceptance, and these wars are good to go forever, augmented by relatively small units of special forces troops on the ground, who themselves are being treated like drones by the government and a befuddled, “thank you for your service” public.

And, Reapers are flying to more and more places, like mechanical birds signaling where the U.S. intends to go next to grab oil, gas, minerals and other resources.  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/09/world/africa/cia-drones-africa-military.html

From September 30 – October 6, 2018 you can take the so greatly needed step at this moment to call out the drone wars, in person, at the 4th Annual “Shut Down Creech” protest, outside the primary U.S. drone war control and training center, the ever-expanding Creech AFB.

Toby Blome, the relentless organizer of this event, notes also that you will also be able to protest the Pentagon’s plan to take over 300,000 acres more land north of Las Vegas, cutting into a major portion of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, to expand a bombing range.  

The land-taking will provide for training with a variety of aircraft and weapons, and will include a new, larger Reaper drone Hellfire missile firing range that will impinge on the headwaters of the Amargosa River, a desert river where “perennial surface flow has created lush riparian and wetland habitats that support endemic and sensitive species. The Amargosa Canyon contains some of the lusher cottonwood-willow gallery forest in the Mojave Desert.”  Presumably, the river would carry toxins released in bombing into the Mojave Desert and then Death Valley, where it disappears into an underground aquifer. http://mojavedesert.net/glossary/endemic.html and  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amargosa_River  The area also appears to be home to the Amargosa toad, a protected species. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2009/09/10/E9-21762/endangered-and-threatened-wildlife-and-plants-90-day-finding-on-a-petition-to-list-the-amargosa-toad

figurees2.png

Proposed Nellis Test and Training Range in southern Nevada, with the red dotted line showing the boundary of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. Creech Air Force Base is adjacent to the South Range, apparently a main reason the military wants to expand training operations in this part of the Range. Source: http://www.basinandrangewatch.org/Military-Base-expansion.html

Here is information on the protest, provided by Toby.

Usher in the "Age of the Healer,” & Abolish the “Age of the Warrior."

4th Annual SHUT DOWN CREECH,

September 30 - October 6

Details here:   shutdowncreech.blogspot.com

SPEAKERS WILL INCLUDE:

Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst for 27 years, turned political activist years ago, will have much to tell us about the CIA’s use of Creech AFB to carry out its racist policies via the covert killer drone program.  The U.S. Empire shows little regard to the human rights of those living under the watchful eye of the remotely controlled and weaponized reaper drones.  Ray, as a former CIA insider, will give us a fresh insight into today's CIA and the relevancy of Creech AFB to help carry out its murderous and racist policies under American exceptionalism.

Col. Ann Wright, global activist for peace and defender of social justice, will report on her participation and experiences with the recent GAZA Freedom Flotilla, and it’s many successes in standing up for Palestinian human rights.  She’ll probably have many other recent experiences to share from her ongoing global journey supporting peace and justice movements around the planet.

We welcome Ray and Ann to the 4th Annual SHUT DOWN CREECH.

Background

This summer 2,500 peace activists converged at U.S. Air Base Ramstein, in Germany, in their first courageous mass civil resistance to Stopp Ramstein!.   Ramstein, the largest foreign U.S. military base, plays a critical role in the U.S. Drone Killing Program by acting as THE KEY RELAY STATION in the U.S. global drone assassination program.  Without a relay base like Ramstein, the U.S. could not successfully kill remotely from the other side of the planet.  German activists demand an end to Germany’s complicity in the illegal and immoral U.S. remote killing apparatus.  As one German activist shouted out passionately and movingly in this video:  “Stop the Murder!”  At least 5 American citizens participated in the protest, including CODEPINK members Ann Wright, Toby Blomé and Elsa Rassbach.  Dozens of us blocked two merging roads into one gate for nearly an hour, and ultimately about 15 people were arrested, including 2 Americans.    It was an amazing collective stance for peace & justice, and the German police were remarkably humane and civil in how they responded.  Fortunately all were released after being detained briefly.

SF Bay Area CODEPINK calls on activists from across the country to converge this fall at Creech AFB for our 4th annual nonviolent, peaceful, mass mobilization to SHUT DOWN CREECH, and help us put an end to the barbarism of drone murder.  Per a NY Times article  over 900 drone pilots/operators are actively working at Creech, remotely murdering people in foreign lands, often away from any battlefield, while victims are going about their daily lives:  driving on the highway, praying at a mosque, attending schools, funerals and wedding parties, eating dinner with their family or sleeping in their beds.

WE MUST STOP THESE RACIST KILLINGS NOW!  

Shockingly, one recent report indicated that about 80% of all drone strikes go totally unreported.  We must stand up for the right of all people around the planet to be safe from the terror of remote controlled slaughter from abroad.  Drone killing is spreading like wildfire  with at least 10 countries now who have used drones to kill.  The U.S is fully responsible for this uncontrolled Pandora’s box, by developing and proliferating these horrendous weapons without giving concern to the long term consequences.

WE MUST STOP THE MURDER

Last April our protest at Creech was reported in over 20 states across the country by mainstream media, including TV, radio, print and military media, thus reaching tens of thousands of Americans about our resistance to these covert and brutal practices.  It is remarkable the impact a small handful of peacemakers can have with a well-planned action.  We need you to help us educate the public and awaken the consciousness of U.S. military personnel.  Drone operators themselves are victims of this inhumanity by bearing deep psychic wounds within.  Through our twice daily vigils, we call them over to the side of peace, and encourage them to assess the consequences and reality of having a daily job of remote-control murdering.   U.S. drones are the main tool used to terrorize and dominate the planet. We must stand up to these barbaric policies and the system that gives little thought to the world our children’s grandchildren will be living in, and the harm it is doing now to our young men and women in uniform.

RISE AND BE A VOICE AGAINST THE MADNESS

JOIN US AT CREECH THIS FALL, September 30 - October 6.

Check out our updated website for details on the  4TH Annual SHUT DOWN CREECH.

REGISTER HERE.

Let’s show the Germans that we have a thriving U.S. resistance to U.S. Global Militarism and Drone Killing too!

We hope to see you there,

Eleanor, Maggie, Toby, Ann, Mary and Tim

Check out these inspiring videos of this summer's 2018 drone protest at Ramstein, Germany:

Great Overview of Stopp Ramstein (13.5 min - watch the first and last 2-3 minutes)

CODEPINK members, Elsa Rassbach and Toby Blome, interviewed by RT.  (3.5 min)

Sweet 1 minute Peek.

Won’t you also join us in standing up against the illegal and barbaric U.S. drone program? 

Join our nonviolent direct action, or come as a supporter.

In Closing:  Inspiring words 

from Rafael Jesús González, Poet Laureate of Berkeley,  Xochipilli Men's Circle

"We cannot say the purpose these millenniums of the Patriarchy have served, but their lopsided reign is toxic and has maimed and sickened men and women and greatly harmed the Earth. It must come to an end. Women, our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters must now take the reins for we men have made a botch of things. Women must take their power and men must step aside, follow, and support them even as we heal and liberate ourselves by freeing and honoring that which is feminine in our nature: loving, caring, nurturing. We must all free ourselves or none will. The long, long Age of the Warrior must come to an end and we must usher in the Age of the Healer.
Please lead us, our sisters. Together we must heal and heal the Earth or court the demise of all that lives."
Ometeo.
Quilticoyotzin

Attachments

Preview YouTube video Stopp Air Base Ramstein 2018

ARE WE ON THE FIELD OF COMBAT IN THE HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM?

The high school classroom is a battlefield of ideas.

It is the primary formalized place of struggle in which U.S. society attempts to indelibly imprint its values on young minds when they are possibly at their most vulnerable, when they are sorting out what attitudes and behaviors will enable them to experience sex and romantic love.

The intensity of the struggle increases as the dominant white culture is called more and more into question, and the word “colonization” becomes a common term among young people who apply it to all forms of oppression and exploitation as they courageously seek love across traditional racial, ethnic, religious, economic and gender lines.

In this emotional maelstrom, young people are also challenged existentially to reverse the processes of global warming and war in the face of corporate-fueled arguments that global warming, war and a raging consumer culture are essential to a healthy economy, one in which they will be able to pay off their student loans.

And within all this there is the question of how widely across the global human community one will be socialized to hear the voice of conscience and to act upon it.

It is no wonder that the U.S. military works hard to get into the high school classroom.

So, as the new school year approaches in the U.S., a basic question for those of us who seek to stop wars, including drone attacks and global military oppression, is: Are we engaged on the high school classroom battlefield?

From my personal experience, it can be hard to get into classrooms to speak about peace.  School administrators know that this kind of talk is likely to lead to: examining colonization and the theft of national resources at gun-point; the connection between colonization for oil and climate change; and colonization of native people, black people, Hispanic people and other intentionally marginalized people inside an outside the U.S.  Then there is the colonization of U.S. minds by U.S. corporations.  And, of course, there is the reality of the destruction of the lives of the people targeted for colonization and of the lives of the U.S. military people who are ordered out to do the colonizing.

https://lithub.com/mukoma-wa-ngugi-what-decolonizing-the-mind-means-today/#_ftn6

In spite of the difficulty getting into the classroom, there are those who persist.  Here are two extremely inspiring initiatives that may help you in preparing to enter high school classrooms.

How Much Military in the Classroom?

The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice in Northampton, MA, has just released the third edition of its Military Recruitment Report.  The Center says it is the only report of its kind in New England.  I think it is a unique study in the U.S.  The report, based on analysis of public records and questions to public high schools in Western Massachusetts, grades the schools on how open they are to military recruiters. 

http://www.theresistancecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/MRR.2018-07-19-1.pdf  This report is a “must-read”.

Speaking to the difficulty in raising the subject of peace in high schools, the Center said:

“Despite this being the third time we’ve published such a report, many schools still do not comply with our requests, or often ask for a prohibitive amount of compensation to gather this information. Even worse, a number of schools simply do not bother responding. Because we strongly believe that exposing and decreasing the influence of military recruiters upon our young children is something we should prioritize, The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice soon will be hiring another staff member to research and publish (and organize around) the next edition of our report.”

The Center is creating a toolkit to help parents, students and community members to speak about militarism and peace in their high schools.  To receive the toolkit call (413) 584-8975 or email demilitarization@theresistancecenter.org

Bringing Veterans into the Classroom.

One of the most persistent, informative classroom peace education programs in the U.S. is being conducted by World Can’t Wait.  http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1170/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1384048

Here, Stephanie Rugoff, the coordinator of this project, answers questions about the WCW program.  If you would like to know more, she can be reached at: wearenotyoursoldiers@worldcantwait.net.

How does one go about getting into a school classroom?

We are invited by the teacher or professor or by the principal or assistant principal.  This generally comes about either by word of mouth - such as one colleague suggesting us to another; by meeting educators at conferences; and by seeking invitations by announcements on various websites, social media, organizational email lists (such as the material World Can't Wait sends out) or listserves catering to educators; by calling, emailing or visiting school administrators requesting possible visits to their schools. It takes persistent work to do this with a lot of follow-up.

Have teachers ever tried to play down or shut down what you are presenting?

Most teachers invite us because they care about their students, and the world, and want to present the dangers of joining the U.S. military at this time, especially against the hard-sell of the military recruiters.  Having veterans who have lived through wars of aggression, and are willing to talk truthfully about their experiences, is a bonus for them.

Not everyone who invites us, though, is in agreement with our point of view.  However, they - whether, for example, a teacher or an administrator - feel that students should have the opportunity to hear both sides of the issue about the role of the military and the nature of what military service entails. They believe in critical thinking and the ability of students to hear varying opinions, do research and come to their own conclusions. Sometimes, if a teacher is selected by an administrator to have our presentation in his or her class and is not enthused about the visit, then he or she doesn't prep the students (either for or against) and the discussion doesn't flow as well because the students don't have the context or background information with which to integrate what we're presenting. We once had a situation, in another city, not New York City, where there was a dispute among the high school faculty and some teachers disrupted a presentation during an assembly.  We were told we couldn't return to that school.  We did have one school where a parent protested the visit (other interactions with any parents in high schools, which are rare, have been positive).

Do your speakers talk to the students about the historic pattern of U.S. colonialism, enforced by the military, as an explanation for why we are at war?  Smedley Butler would be a poster child for the imperial enforcer who woke up and spoke out. 

Yes, we do speak about U.S. war history.  Each veteran has his own views, and has done his own study.  We share our view as World Can’t Wait, that humanity and the planet come first and that nothing good can come of U.S. intervention anywhere in the world, especially now, when there is the most serious threat of U.S. aggression by the “America First” Trump/Pence regime.

And yes, we include a quote from Smedley Butler on our Resources page for teachers: 
https://docs.google.com/document/d/11aro2mO9E8-yPUYqmbKYpb_JWyhRgVjMnW7Lw3poWnw/edit

Can you summarize students' reaction to the information you present on colonialism and wars?  What connection is there to activism?  Is there any larger meaning for effective messaging to students and the public in general?

Student reaction to the history of US wars, the brutality of current wars and the inhumanity of much of what goes on in the military is generally one of dismay. Students are often surprised at the reality we present, as they didn't realize how awful much of this is. Most had been unaware of the military acts being carried out in their names. For the most part, most of the students are clear that they don't want to be part of this (although a few, often thoughtful young people, do want to enlist and see for themselves). 

However, we have found that - just as in the general public - there is a broad gulf between the realization and rejection of what's involved in these U.S. wars and any conviction that they have or should have any agency in changing what is being carried out. So, just as in all our activist work, I think there are at least two parts to what we do.  The first is informational - creating the knowledge or awareness of just what is going on.  The second is agitating or organizing for active opposition, for creating an enormous visible public opposition.

We are always ready to go if students express interest in taking action.  Doing so is something we certainly try to introduce as an option, put it out there as something to consider.

Learn more at
WeAreNotYourSoldiers.org
WorldCantWait.net
RefuseFascism.org
 

PLEASE SEND YOUR THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCE ON HIGH SCHOOL PEACE EDUCATION TO: nickmottern@gmail.com

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