Thursday, May 31, 2012

More from the NATO FREE FUTURE summit



These photos came from the opening session of the summit.  There was a total of 300 people registered, many more showed up later in the day after they finished with their marches.

Feminist Criticism of NATO workshop

This workshop was done by Ingeborg Breines (Norway), Inge Hoger (member of parliament in Germany) and a couple of women whose names I did not catch (they were not listed in the program either).    They started with a discussion of the causes of war:  capitalism, chauvinism, racism, militarism, patriarchy (the dominance of males).  The values associated with this is power, hierarchies, rivalry, competition, deep individualism, and exploitation of nature.  No place for female values like concern, conciliation, solidarity, collective values.  Since women are the ones usually responsible for child rearing, they end up being invisible in our societies.

Structural power is socially created, strongly connected with capitalism, militarism, racism, and sexism.  NATO is a tool of war, which means militarization, which means only working under a patriarchal structure and and hierarchical structures. 

The presence of troops in a country means that rape, violence and sex workers go up.

UN Resolution 1325 was to promote interests and well being of women in conflict situations.  Implementation started in 2010. Resolution 1325 was passed to insure participation of women at the peace negotiations, to prevent violence against women. The aftereffects of passing this UN Resolution was various unintended consequences, since it was implemented by a patriarchal system. 


Alternatives would be the development of a culture of peace, including gender justice. 

The German member of parliament said that integration of females in the US military has increased acceptance of the military in US society.  She sees sports (like the Winter Olympics) as a public campaign for the armed forces.  In Germany, 20% of females in the military are victims of sexual assault.  In the USA, 33% of females in the military are victims of sexual assault.  Military service is not the route to female empowerment.

UN Resolution 1325 was used to incorporate women into a sick system, rather than alter a sick system to accomodate and empower women.  More information at www.nobelwomensinitiative.org. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Photos of the panel on Afghanistan




The above photos came from the NATO FREE FUTURE summit, and were taken during the workshop on Afghanistan.  The three young women in the middle have parents who are Afghans, and they have relatives living in Afghanistan lately.  They talked about what it feels like to listen to news reports and wonder if it is your cousins or aunts or uncles who have been bombed and killed.  It was quite intense and quite emotional at times. 

The panel was on how to end the conflict in Afghanistan, and the agreement was that the US has to end it by leaving.  They also discussed possible reparations. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Iran panel at the NATO FREE FUTURE

Photo: I took this of the panel that did this presentation.  Starting from the left, there is Kevin Martin, Andrew Lichterman, Phyllis Bennis, audience member, Peter Lems, Michael Veiluva.


Iran Panel

Friday, May 18, 2012

I attended a panel on “Iran’s nuclear program, dialogue and the imperative of moving beyond threats at the NATO FREE FUTURE summit.  Here are my notes.

Mike Veiluva spoke about how opposition in Iran is not invisible, and that Iran is part of IAEA.  In 2005, Iran started enrichment again, mainly due to US sanctions.  Enrichment of 5% or less is for nuclear power, enrichment of over 20% is done for research (small amount) and no evidence of enrichment for nuclear weapons program.  IAEA does not inspect the five original nuclear powers and Israel, India and Pakistan.  In Israel, the nuclear weapons program is ignored by everyone.  Iran is being discriminated against.  The UN told Iran not to enrich, but they are any way, and now being sanctioned for this enrichment.  Press reports are based on fear, not facts.

Phyllis Bennett talked about the role of Israel and the neo-con talk of war on Iran.  Israel also pushed for war on Iraq, and did US neo-cons, but the US neo-cons are not in power right now.  She discussed the question of why is Israel so concerned about Iran getting nuclear weapons – because it is a threat to Israel’s monopoly on nuclear weapons, but it is not an existential threat.  There are also political realities.  Israel is very far to the right, and they like to claim existential threats to keep up the occupation of Palestine going.  Israeli politicians prefer a Republican in the White House, per this speaker.  Israel and the US both have “red lines” concerning Iran, but they are not identical.  The US will not accept nuclear weaponized Iran, and Israel will not accept Iran being “capable” of producing nuclear weapons.  It is not really clear what “capable” really means in Israel.  Many US leaders have said that war on Iran would be a disaster. 

Peter Lems (AFSC) said that $2.2 million is spent every minute for the US military.  The behavior of the US has shifted more to the military since the terrorist attack on 9-11.  He said that he found economic sanctions to be a form of warfare from studying what the sanctions do to Iraq.  Iran has lifted subsidies on basic commodities; they are pushing Afghan refugees out of Iran, and they are curtailing education and health care.  India and Pakistan are not honoring the sanctions.  Peter said we need to have a connection to the opposition in Iran.  US policy is horrible and very militarized and needs to be removed.  US policies to Iran are full on “reduce their power” and the US is also trying to distort their relations to neighboring countries.  He feels our best approach is to control US military spending. 

Andrew Lichterman said we need long term movement to stop nuclear power everywhere.

Kevin Martin (Peace Action) said that sanctions have real consequences for Iran that causes more suffering.  The US is trying to change the government’s behavior by making the people suffer.  He said that nuclear weapons are for deterrence, this is true for all nuclear powers and Iran too.  Diplomacy is the answer, not war and not sanctions.  He commented on ad by Massachusetts Peace Action and passed around a picture of it.  Kevin said we need to push for a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East and removing US forces completely.  He also recommended citizen diplomacy. 

Further discussion said that sanctions have doubled the price of goods in Iran.  We asked how do we push for diplomacy, and how to make the US government to make good  on it’s commitments.  The US did not sign the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) but the treaty said that the five powers who nuclear weapons (at the time of the treaty) had to get rid of them.  Iran is NOT violating the NPT.  We should support people’s struggle for democracy, and our primary task is to stop the US’s war making.  Sanctions are destabilizing and a form of war.  A nuclear war will cause a large famine, and a nuclear strike on Iran will kill 10 million people.  They recommended bird-dogging candidates and writing LTEs and calling talk shows.  They also recommended building issues in the Occupy Movement and holding workshops with Iranians. 

HAVAAR:  Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions and State Repression

Monday, May 28, 2012

Upcoming events in the Asheville area this week


UPCOMING EVENTS

05/29/12 STRONG HEART LAKOTA SOLIDARITY PROJECT PRESENTATION AND FUNDRAISER
The Strong Heart Lakota Solidarity Project is a unique human rights and social justice collaboration between the traditional Lakota Strong Heart Warrior Society and the Four Directions Solidarity Network to record and document human rights abuses committed by the United States Government, the puppet Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) government, and others against the grassroots, traditional, and full-blood Lakota Oyate (people).  The solidarity documentary team of Thembi, Carolyn, and Naomi have been on Pine Ridge since April 29. They are working on the invitation of the elders, and working closely with members of the Strong Heart Warrior Society. The Strong Heart Warrior Society takes its direction from the elder women of the tribe, the traditional form of government of the Lakota. Time is 7 PM and location is Wall Street Coffee House.

05/31/12 TRANSITION ASHEVILLE PROGRAM
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm at the West Asheville Library, 942 Haywood Road.  A New Approach to Water: For a Water-Sustainable Asheville

05/31/12 SAFE ALTERNATIVES FOR FUTURE ENERGY CAROLINA MEETING
Our next SAFE Carolina meeting will be on May 31, Thursday at 6:30 PM at North Asheville Library on Merrimon Avenue.  Lou Zellar from BREDL (Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League) will discuss the upcoming SC Dept of Health and Environmental Control waste water hearing and how we may respond to Duke's application.  We are also looking forward to his direction in our general campaign to stop the Lee nuke plant.   At his suggestion we have obtained a copy of the application ( 3 binders worth) which he has reviewed and will explain to us.  I have been talking with the SCDHEC office who told me the hearing would concern 1) the amount of water withdrawn from the Broad River; 2) the temp of water returned to the river; 3) chemical content of water returned.  For more information, e-mail lsredoark@gmail.com or call 252-4536.

06/02/12 VETERANS FOR PEACE FILM SHOWING
The film "Hidden Battles" will be shown by WNC Veterans for Peace, Chapter 099 at the North Asheville Public Library.  This film deals with the psychological impact of killing on the lives of five soldiers of widely different nationalities and in very divergent conflict situations.  It is an hour long.  Free and open to the public. Time is 7 PM. You can see a trailer at www.hiddenbattles.com.

06/02/12 BURTON STREET COMMUNITY DAY
This is presented by GO!  Starts at 2 PM and goes until 8 PM at 134 Burton Street.  Activities include:  talent showcase, dance party, basketball tournament, break dancing workshop, games for kids.  This event is for the whole family and food is prepared by GO Kitchen-Ready.  Also, we’re raffling tickets between now and June 2. Visit online at http://greenopportunities.org/go-gear/raffle-ticket/ and enter the chance to win a stromer electric bike! Raffle tickets are $10.  Come ready to celebrate community and support an inclusive green economy. We’ll see you there!

06/02/12 to 06/06/12 END MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL WEEK
The Alliance for Appalachia's "End Mountaintop Removal Week" will be in Washington DC this June 2-6th, 2012.  http://ilovemountains.org/wiw

06/02/12 GREEN PARTY MEETING
The Buncombe County GREEN Party's business meeting is free & open to the public. It will be held from 10 AM to noon, upstairs in the Fortune Building, 729 Haywood Rd., West Asheville. Contact Ronald @ 828-LUCK-180 or Larry @ 828-225-4347 for more information.

06/03/12 ASHEVILLE LISTENING PROJECT
This is a community conversation on public safety called “Do You Feel Safe in Your Community?” will feature Asheville Police Chief William Anderson and Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan, with respondents from the African-American, Latino, GLBTQ, and Neighborhood Watch communities.  The presentations and conversation among the panelists will be followed by facilitated small group conversation among all present, in the manner of the Listening Project.  The program will take place on Sunday evening, June 3rd, from 7-9 PM at Congregation Beth Israel, 229 Murdock Avenue, Asheville, 28804.  It is free and open to the public.

06/03/12 PUBLIC FORUM ON HEALTH CARE
Dr. Gray, Director of the NC State Medicaid Program and Dr. Paulus, CEO of Mission Healthcare, will speak and answer questions about the Affordable Care Act from 3 to 5 PM at New Hope Presbyterian Church at 3070 Sweeten Creek Road in Asheville.  Free and open to the public.  For more information, call 828-277-1083 or email patdeck@gmail.com.

06/04/12 ASHEVILLE BUNCOMBE FOOD POLICY COUNCIL MEETING
The Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council will convene a Meeting of the Whole on Monday, June 4, 2012 at UNC-Asheville’s Wilma Sherrill Center from 4-6pm. It’s been an amazingly productive few months, and we’ve seen incredible participation and results. We will convene to report on progress, prioritize goals, and assess our processes. As usual, this will be a highly interactive meeting with room at the table for everyone who cares about creating a food secure community.  See the latest newsletter for more information about what’s happening!

06/07/12 VETERANS FOR PEACE MEETING
Time is 6:30 PM and location is VFP HQ at the Phil Mechanic Studios: 109 Roberts Street in Asheville. VFP Chapter 099: http://vfpchapter099wnc.blogspot.com/

06/08/12 AWARD LUNCHEAN HONORING JOE EBLEN
Live o’Mike presents its first Michael T. Danforth Community Service Award to Joe Edlen.  Time is 1 to 2:30 PM at Friendship Hall at First Congregational Church at 14 Oak Street, Asheville.  Cost is $25 per person.

06/13/12 THE FOOD NETWORK MEETING
The Food Network provides support, publicity, and cross-pollination of ideas between the Asheville Food Policy Council and regional organizations/efforts for the creation of a healthy and resilient food supply in Asheville and Western North Carolina.  Upcoming plans include a film series, as well as free gardening and food-related classes.  Next Meeting: Tuesday, 6/13 at 7:00pm in West Asheville (contact Mary Lou for directions: marylou.kemph@yahoo.com).  For more information about the food group email Dylan: livingvision@yahoo.com

06/14/12 OCCUPY HENDERSONVILLE CAMP
This camp will run from 6-14-12 to 6-17-12.  More information from their Facebook group.

06/28/12 - 06/30/12 KNOW NUKES Y’ALL SUMMIT
This event will be held in Chattanooga, TN on the campus of UTC.  Summit talks will include the ongoing Fukushima Disaster in Japan, the US Nuclear Complex, and a Positive Energy Future!  This event will be a combination of SUMMIT for those who come for the whole event, and also an opportunity for those who want to attend the educational workshops on a one day basis.  Pre-Registration runs thru JUNE 7 at $40 for the SUMMIT – with a one-day rate of $20.  Summit Registration includes program + breakfast + lunch + reception Thursday evening; does not include lodging or dinners.  Registration is open now:  http://knownukesyallsummit.org/

*******************************************
ONGOING EVENTS
*******************************************
SUNDAY
Episcopal Peace Fellowship holds a weekly vigil from 5:30 to 6 PM at All Soul's Cathedral on the first and third Sundays.
Spirituality working group of Occupy Asheville will be at Pritcahrd Park from 1-3 PM on Sundays for meditation training, and individual spiritual counseling for anyone who feels in the need. And on the 4th Sunday of every month at Pritchard Park, they hold an event to promote the health of the planet.

TUESDAY
Veterans for Peace have a weekly vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square, Vance Monument
Occupy Asheville Meet Talk Act Nonviolent Affinity Group meets at 4:30 PM at the Chocolate Lounge (second floor) at 10 South Lexington in Asheville. Contact earthsun2@gmail.com for more info.

WEDNESDAY
Haywood Peace Vigilers have a weekly vigil at 4 PM at Haywood Country Courthouse in Waynesville.
Asheville Cop Watch meeting at 5 PM at Firestorm Cafe.

THURSDAY
Asheville Homeless Network meeting at 2 PM at Firestorm Cafe.

FRIDAY
Women in Black have a vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square (Asheville) on the first Friday of the month.
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the City Hall in Hendersonville

SATURDAY
Transylvanians for Peace and WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility have a weekly vigil at noon in front of the courthouse in Brevard.

OCCUPY WALL STREET ASHEVILLE
Go to www.occupyasheville.org for more information, or call 888-378-0788. Information on Occupy Asheville late breaking events: http://www.occupyasheville.org/events/ 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Security theater in Chicago

 This was the sign at the Dunes Park station.  At first, the restrictions were due to start on May 19, but they covered up the "19" and put in "20".

 On May 20, we had to switch trains at Hegewisch, IL.  The line of cops down there are searching all the bags and purses (only allowed one) and the line on the right is the line of passengers.

 Close to the spot of the rally on May 20th, these garbage trucks were sitting.  One was turned sideways to block the street.  Clearly a back up crew to block the streets.

Arrest vehicles after the march.  I don't think they were used much at that point in time.

 Chicago Police walk in single file alongside the march on both sides.  They did this around the black bloc (some pictures on them later this week).  I kept being caught between the police and the black bloc, so I dropped out of the march.

Along the march route, a bunch of cops with motorcycles.  I did not see any sign of police behaving badly, although a few of them gave me horrible looks later in the day (I was easy to identify as part of the rally, I was carrying signs and had stickers on).  Most of the police were nice and friendly, though.  I saw LOTS AND LOTS OF SECURITY THEATER AND LITTLE REAL SECURITY.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Photos from the NO TO NATO rally and march

 This is from the march.  I was sitting on the side.  I dropped out of the march because I kept finding myself between the black bloc and the police.  More photos on that later this week. 

 From the rally - cool photo, cool idea.

 Part of the crowd at the rally.  It got bigger as the day went on, until we all left for the march.

Stage at the rally.  One of the speakers was a member of Parliament from Germany, and Jessie Jackson Jr also spoke. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Upcoming events in the Asheville area this week

Photo from the NO TO NATO rally in Chicago on May 20, 2012.  More photos to come.


UPCOMING EVENTS

05/23/12 SAFE SCHOOLS FOR ALL COALITION MEETING
Safe Schools for All Coalition is a local coalition of organizations and individuals that meets four times a year to collaborate on ways to educate about bullying in our community. The next meeting is Wednesday, May 23 at Buncombe County Central Office. The coalition highly recommends the viewing of the movie Bully, which is rated PG13. Now showing at Carmike theatres, it is a great way to start a conversation about perpetrators, targets, bystanders and advocates with tweens and teens.   For more information, contact Deborah Miles at dmiles@unca.edu.

05/25/12 WNC PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MEETING
The next WNC PSR monthly meeting was rescheduled for 5/25/12.  Brown Bag lunch at noon with meeting from 12:30 to 2 PM. Everyone is welcome. Please go to www.wncpsr.org  for more information, which includes how to get there and other details.

05/25/12 TRANSITION ASHEVILLE FILM SHOWING
In Transition 2.0 is an inspirational immersion into the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. You’ll hear about communities printing their own money, growing food everywhere, localizing their economies and setting up community power stations. It’s an idea that has gone viral, a social experiment that is about responding to uncertain times with solutions and optimism. In a world that is awash with gloom, here is a story of hope, ingenuity and the power of growing vegetables in unexpected places.  Time is 6:30 PM and location is West Asheville Library.  Free and open to the public.

05/26/12 OCCUPY MEMORIAL DAY
From 12 to 3 PM, there will be music, info tables from several Occupy Asheville working groups and the Really, Really Free Market.  Donations will be accepted and split between the Beloved House and the Occupy Asheville arrestees who face court costs and fines.  A General Assembly will follow this event.

05/31/12 TRANSITION ASHEVILLE PROGRAM
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm at the West Asheville Library, 942 Haywood Road.  A New Approach to Water: For a Water-Sustainable Asheville. 

06/02/12 VETERANS FOR PEACE FILM SHOWING
The film "Hidden Battles" will be shown by WNC Veterans for Peace, Chapter 099 at the North Asheville Public Library.  This film deals with the psychological impact of killing on the lives of five soldiers of widely different nationalities and in very divergent conflict situations.  It is an hour long.  Free and open to the public.   You can see a trailer at www.hiddenbattles.com.

06/02/12 BURTON STREET COMMUNITY CENTER
Saturday June 2, 2-8pm at the Burton Street Community Center Green Opportunities and Burton Street Community Day.

06/03/12 ASHEVILLE LISTENING PROJECT
This is a community conversation on public safety called “Do You Feel Safe in Your Community?” will feature Asheville Police Chief William Anderson and Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan, with respondents from the African-American, Latino, GLBTQ, and Neighborhood Watch communities.  The presentations and conversation among the panelists will be followed by facilitated small group conversation among all present, in the manner of the Listening Project.  The program will take place on Sunday evening, June 3rd, from 7-9 PM at Congregation Beth Israel, 229 Murdock Avenue, Asheville, 28804.  It is free and open to the public.

06/02/12 to 06/06/12 END MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL WEEK
The Alliance for Appalachia's "End Mountaintop Removal Week" will be in Washington DC this June 2-6th, 2012.  http://ilovemountains.org/wiw. 

06/13/12 FOOD NETWORK MEETING
The Food Network provides support, publicity, and cross-pollination of ideas between the Asheville Food Policy Council and regional organizations/efforts for the creation of a healthy and resilient food supply in Asheville and Western North Carolina.  Upcoming plans include a film series, as well as free gardening and food-related classes.  Next Meeting: Tuesday, 6/13 at 7:00pm in West Asheville (contact Mary Lou for directions: marylou.kemph@yahoo.com).  For more information about the food group email Dylan: livingvision@yahoo.com.

06/14/12 OCCUPY HENDERSONVILLE CAMP
This camp will run from 6-14-12 to 6-17-12.  More information from their Facebook group.

08/08/12 - 08/12/12 VFP NATIONAL CONVENTION IN MIAMI FL

09/03/12 DNC NATIONAL CONVENTION IN CHARLOTTE
This event goes until 09/08/12.   PROTEST THE DNC!  Already, organizations and Occupy movements across the country are making plans to mobilize to be in the streets of Charlotte during the DNC. For more information on the Coalition to Protest at the DNC and to find out how your organization can join, please visit http://protestdnc.org.


*******************************************
ONGOING EVENTS
*******************************************
SUNDAY
Episcopal Peace Fellowship holds a weekly vigil from 5:30 to 6 PM at All Soul's Cathedral on the first and third Sundays.

TUESDAY
Veterans for Peace have a weekly vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square, Vance Monument
Occupy Asheville Meet Talk Act Nonviolent Affinity Group meets at 4:30 PM at the Chocolate Lounge (second floor) at 10 South Lexington in Asheville. Contact earthsun2@gmail.com for more info.

WEDNESDAY
Haywood Peace Vigilers have a weekly vigil at 4 PM at Haywood Country Courthouse in Waynesville.
Asheville Cop Watch meeting at 5 PM at Firestorm Cafe.

THURSDAY
Asheville Homeless Network meeting at 2 PM at Firestorm Cafe.

FRIDAY
Women in Black have a vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square (Asheville) on the first Friday of the month.
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the City Hall in Hendersonville

SATURDAY
Transylvanians for Peace and WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility have a weekly vigil at noon in front of the courthouse in Brevard.

OCCUPY WALL STREET ASHEVILLE
Go to www.occupyasheville.org for more information, or call 888-378-0788. Information on Occupy Asheville late breaking events: http://www.occupyasheville.org/events/  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why I protest NATO


Photo from Pajhwok Afghan News

The American military claimed responsibility and expressed regret for an airstrike that mistakenly killed six members of a family in southwestern Afghanistan, Afghan and American military officials confirmed Monday.  -  The victims were the family’s mother and five of her children, three girls and two boys, according to Afghan officials. – NYT
+++++++++++++++++
The US probably would not have license to bomb children like these without getting NATO to go along with their evil, evil plans.    And I am SO SICK of hearing about the "regrets" for killing off innocents from the US military.  The people responsible for this atrocity SHOULD BE IN JAIL FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A LETTER

Paul Appell sent this letter to his favorite midwest writer, Robert Koehler and forwarded it to me.  I felt it was deeply inspiring and moving, so I'm passing it on. It uplifted my spirits and I think it will do the same for you all. Thanks Paul. See you soon. 


Robert,

As you are well aware, the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago is shaping up to be reflective of times of today.  Chicago’s mayor is being Mr. Tough guy.  As Tony Judt observed in his book “Ill Fares the Land”, being tough in the past meant being willing to undergo pain.  Judt points out that today being tough means being able to inflict pain upon others.  The Mayor has even brought in the pain ray machine for crowd control that General McCrystal refused to use in Afghanistan-the Assault Intervention Device.

One of the groups that is not intimidated by threats of pain, incarceration, and even possibly death from the snipers being brought into the city is the Veterans Peace Team, which will be having training on the 18th and 19th and will be going to the summit (as close as possible to hand over a letter to NATO) along with their fellow Veterans For Peace members on the 19th and will be supporting the Iraq and Afghanistan vets as they hand over their medals to NATO on the 20th.  Veterans Peace Team is dedicated and committed to standing up to the violence of the state.  No threat of pain or fear will deter us from standing up for truth and justice and defending the rights of others to speak out.

Many of us on the team have fought in wars.  Some members are non vets, but membership is always maintained at a minimum level of 80% veterans.  In the case of us Viet Nam vets, we put our lives on the line daily for a year or more for a lie.  We certainly are willing to do as much for truth and justice. 

Personally, I know that whatever pain may await our standing up for truth and justice, it will not be as intense as the pain I received from a mother when I told her that her only son had been killed in Viet Nam.  I still feel every blow to the chest that she gave me.  What made it so eternally painful was the fact that there was nothing that I could truthfully say that would have justified her son’s death.  When one of my men was killed in Viet Nam, there was nothing that I could write to the parents to justify his death.  I am quite confident that if I receive any blows from the security people, it will be temporary pain, not eternal. 

There are a few of us on the team that have undergone low level pain through long distance running.  Tarak Kauff is the first person to have run around the continental US, averaging about 30 miles a day.  I had my picture on the front of the Sun Times many years back because of an interview that Phil Hersh did with me when he worked for the Sun Times.  I had won a 50mile race in Aurora.  With ultras there is always a period of pain that one undergoes, especially when the body switches from burning sugar in the blood to burning fat.  When a friend and I were training for a 100 mile race on the Appalachian Trail, he had t-shirts made up that said PINE track club.  PINE was an acronym for “pain is no excuse” for dropping out of the race.  At the upcoming NATO protests, I consider that to be applicable.

I so look forward to standing up at the NATO protests.  I cannot over emphasize the importance of this to me personally.  There are two quotes that represent why this is important to me.  Sitting Bull is reported to have said, 

“Warriors are not what you think of as warriors.  The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life.  The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others.  His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.”  

Martin Luther King responded to John Carlos, when Carlos asked King in a small Harlem hotel room during the discussions of a possible boycott of the 68 Mexico Olympics why he was going back to Memphis when it was common knowledge that he had received death threats if he came back to Memphis.  King responded, “John, I have to go back and stand for those that won’t stand for themselves, and I have to go back for those that can’t stand for themselves.”  In a much smaller way, that is what I and others on the Veterans Peace Team hope to do.  As Odetta  sang in her song “This Little Light of Mine”, we are gonna let it shine.

If you are around during the events and want to speak to any of the impressive members of the team,   the training will be held at the Center for Inner-City Studies at 700 East Oakwood Blvd.  The event to attempt to hand the letter to NATO will start at 2pm at Roosevelt Road and State Street.  On the 20th we will be in support of IVAW at the big rally and march.  My cell number is 309-335-1549.

A fan of you empathetic writing,

Paul Appell

Monday, May 14, 2012

Actions on May 9, 2012 at Bank of America in Charlotte

Some local folks are in this video:

Upcoming events in the Asheville area this week

Windmills on the mountains in West Virginia.


UPCOMING EVENTS

05/17/12 CHILD & FAMILY ADVOCACY DAY IN NC
Action for Children NC will host a day of advocacy at the NC General Assembly, training on key issues, special guest speakers.

05/17/12 SAFE ALTERNATIVES FOR FUTURE ENERGY CAROLINAS MEETING
The time will be 6:30 PM and the location is Wall Street Coffee Shop in downtown Asheville.  We are concerned citizens from WNC collaborating to STOP the WS Lee Nuclear Plant in Gaffney, SC, just 60 miles from Asheville. ALL ARE WELCOME.  For more info contact:  Laura at Lsredoak@gmail.com or Kris at krissysjake@gmail.com.

05/18/12 WNC PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MEETING
The next WNC PSR monthly meeting will be at a private home near the VA Hospital.  Brown Bag lunch at noon with meeting from 12:30 to 2 PM.  Everyone is welcome.  Please go to www.wncpsr.org  for more information, which includes how to get there and other details.

05/19/12 - 05/21/12 NATO IN CHICAGO
“Won’t you please come to Chicago, for the help that we can bring?  We can change the world, rearrange the world, it is dying - to get better.”  G-8 SUMMIT MOVED TO CAMP DAVID.

05/19/12 BEAUTIFUL RESISTANCE – COMMEMORATING THE NAKBA
Al-Awda and the Muslim American Society (MAS) of Charlotte would like to invite you to “Beautiful Resistance”- Commemorating the Nakba Through Theatre and the Arts, with Dr. Abdelfattah Abusrour.  This will be held at the MAS Center at 4301 Shamrock Drive in Charlotte.  Time is 6 PM.  For more information: Khalid Hijazi at sumood67@yahoo.com.

05/20/12 NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN MEETING
No further information.

05/20/12 ETHICAL SOCIETY OF ASHEVILLE MEETING
The next platform meeting will celebrate the founding of the Ethical Culture movement (May 15, 1876) with "Ethical Heroes – From Jacob Riis to Eleanor Roosevelt" presented in reader theater style Sunday, May 20th, 2:00-3:30 PM, at the Friends Meeting House, 227 Edgewood Road in North Asheville.  The play written by Ethical Society of Boston member, Stanley Wayne, features seven ethical heroes and will be performed by members of the Ethical Society of Asheville.  There will be a discussion period following the presentation. Following the meeting, there will be time for informal conversation. All are welcome!

05/20/12 HOMEWARD BOUND FUNDRAISER
Paul Robeson through His Words & Music will be performed by Derrick McQueen at NC Stage Company 15 Stage Lane (off Walnut St., across from Zambra) in Asheville.  Tickets $50.  Time is 5:15 for refreshments and 6 PM for the preformance.  Go to www.hbofa.org or 828 258-1695 x254 for more information.  Indicate “Tickets” in the purpose line if you donate online.

05/20/12 BEAUTIFUL ACTS OF RESISTANCE
Charlotte Friends Meeting would like to invite you to “Beautiful Acts of Resistance” talk.  The program will include a light breakfast, along with a brief description of Al-Rowwad's activities and conversation with Dr. Abdelfattah Abusrour.  Time will be 8:45 to 9:45 AM at Charlotte Friends Meeting at 570 W. Rocky River Road in Charlotte.  More information at jwilda@yahoo.com.

05/23/12 SAFE SCHOOLS FOR ALL COALITION MEETING
Safe Schools for All Coalition is a local coalition of organizations and individuals that meets four times a year to collaborate on ways to educate about bullying in our community. The next meeting is Wednesday, May 23 at Buncombe County Central Office. The coalition highly recommends the viewing of the movie Bully, which is rated PG13. Now showing at Carmike theatres, it is a great way to start a conversation about perpetrators, targets, bystanders and advocates with tweens and teens.   For more information, contact Deborah Miles at dmiles@unca.edu.

05/26/12 OCCUPY MEMORIAL DAY
From 12 to 3 PM, there will be music, info tables from several Occupy Asheville working groups and the Really, Really Free Market.  Donations will be accepted and split between the Beloved House and the Occupy Asheville arrestees who face court costs and fines.  A General Assembly will follow this event.

06/02/12 VETERANS FOR PEACE FILM SHOWING
The film "Hidden Battles" will be shown by WNC Veterans for Peace, Chapter 099 at the North Asheville Public Library.  Time to be announced.

06/03/12 ASHEVILLE LISTENING PROJECT
This is a community conversation on public safety called “Do You Feel Safe in Your Community?” will feature Asheville Police Chief William Anderson and Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan, with respondents from the African-American, Latino, GLBTQ, and Neighborhood Watch communities.  The presentations and conversation among the panelists will be followed by facilitated small group conversation among all present, in the manner of the Listening Project.  The program will take place on Sunday evening, June 3rd, from 7-9 PM at Congregation Beth Israel, 229 Murdock Avenue, Asheville, 28804.  It is free and open to the public.

06/02/12 to 06/06/12 END MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL WEEK
The Alliance for Appalachia's "End Mountaintop Removal Week" will be in Washington DC this June 2-6th, 2012.  http://ilovemountains.org/wiw

06/14/12 OCCUPY HENDERSONVILLE CAMP
This camp will run from 6-14-12 to 6-17-12.  More information on their Facebook page.

08/08/12 - 08/12/12 VFP NATIONAL CONVENTION IN MIAMI FL

09/03/12 DNC NATIONAL CONVENTION IN CHARLOTTE
This event goes until 09/08/12.   PROTEST THE DNC!  Already, organizations and Occupy movements across the country are making plans to mobilize to be in the streets of Charlotte during the DNC. For more information on the Coalition to Protest at the DNC and to find out how your organization can join, please visit http://protestdnc.org.


*******************************************
ONGOING EVENTS
*******************************************
SUNDAY
Episcopal Peace Fellowship holds a weekly vigil from 5:30 to 6 PM at All Soul's Cathedral on the first and third Sundays.

TUESDAY
Veterans for Peace have a weekly vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square, Vance Monument
Occupy Asheville Meet Talk Act Nonviolent Affinity Group meets at 4:30 PM at the Chocolate Lounge (second floor) at 10 South Lexington in Asheville. Contact earthsun2@gmail.com for more info.

WEDNESDAY
Haywood Peace Vigilers have a weekly vigil at 4 PM at Haywood Country Courthouse in Waynesville.
Asheville Cop Watch meeting at 5 PM at Firestorm Cafe.

THURSDAY
Asheville Homeless Network meeting at 2 PM at Firestorm Cafe.

FRIDAY
Women in Black have a vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square (Asheville) on the first Friday of the month.
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the City Hall in Hendersonville

SATURDAY
Transylvanians for Peace and WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility have a weekly vigil at noon in front of the courthouse in Brevard.

OCCUPY WALL STREET ASHEVILLE
Go to www.occupyasheville.org for more information, or call 888-378-0788. Information on Occupy Asheville late breaking events: http://www.occupyasheville.org/events/ 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Praying


Statue
The right to pray.
Any American can pray, silently or verbally, seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, in private as Jesus taught [1] or in large public events as Mohammed instructed. [2]
_____

[1] Matthew 6:5-8 (“and when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. . . . But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray. . . . And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”).

[2] 2 Quran 2:43 (“You shall observe the Contact Prayers and give the obligatory charity, and bow down with those who bow down.”). Muslims are obligated to attend the mosque at least once a week and other prayers may be said alone, but all prayer is always more acceptable to God in community. See PAUL GRIEVE, A BRIEF GUIDE TO ISLAM: FAITH, RELIGION, POLITICS (Carroll and Graf, 2006). Daily prayers within fixed times are done “with the entire brotherhood and sisterhood of believers facing towards Mecca from all around the world, following the same prescribed formula.”

Above from Judge Biery of Texas

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Upcoming events in the Asheville area this week

This is a photo of the "super" moon on May 5, 2012 in Iceland.  Also called the "flower" moon.  Found on Facebook.


UPCOMING EVENTS

05/07/12 MALAPROP’S EVENT
Monday, May 7, at 7 pm at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Zach Wahls, the young man whose You-Tube film defending his two moms lit up the internet, will present and sign his timely new book, My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family. Come learn about Zach Wahls and his family -- and remember to vote in the North Carolina Primary Election the following day, Tuesday, May 8!

05/08/12 PRIMARY ELECTION DAY -- LAST CHANCE TO VOTE IN THE PRIMARY
Please vote against the Amendment to the NC Constitution. 

05/09/12 BUS TO CHARLOTTE TO PROTEST BANK OF AMERICA
The Bus from Asheville May 9, Leaving 5:20 AM from Earth Fare (Westgate).  BREAK UP Bank of America Action at Shareholders Meeting at 8 AM - March to Share Holders Meeting for ACTION.  Late morning:   March to Bank of America Stadium for more Action & Speeches.  Mid afternoon:   March to Old City Hall for Demonstrator Action PARTY.  At 6 PM leave Charlotte bound for Asheville, arrival at 8 PM.  Cost $25 round trip. Call Jim at 828-777-4433 for more information or to reserve a ticket.  A few 1/2 scholarships are available.

05/09/12 ASHEVILLE GREEN DRINKS MEETING
The topic for this evening is Community Resilience & Emergency Prepardeness.  Time is 5:30 PM until 7:30 PM.  In the spirit of responsibility and prudence, and building on the rich heritage of the Appalachian traditions of self-sufficiency and interdependence with our neighbors, you are invited to come join our solutions building session on community building through preparedness.  Location is Posana CafĂ©, at 1 Biltmore Avenue, downtown Asheville.  Green Drinks Presents A very special event organized and sponsored by:  Transition Asheville & the Food Security Cluster of the Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council.  A panel of our city and county’s emergency response team and community leaders to discuss - Food Security in times of Crisis, Transition, and Emergency: A Community Forum On Resilience and Emergency Preparedness.  Confirmed Panelists:  Martha Salyers, Public Health Preparedness Consultant; Chris Pelly, Asheville City Council; Scott Bernette, Asheville City Fire Chief; Jerry Vehaun, Buncombe County Emergency Services; Alphie Rodriguez, YWCA Preventive Health Director; J. Clarkson, Director of Resource Development, Manna Food Bank.

05/10/12 - 05/11/12 PROTEST ALEC SPRING MEETING
Spring Task Force Summit Meeting in Charlotte NC.  More info:  http://www.alec.org/meetings/

05/10/12 IRAQ VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR EVENT
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)’s Right to Heal tour will be coming through Asheville on May 10 at the Firestorm Cafe.  The tour includes speakers who will highlight IVAW's Operation Recovery work at Fort Hood and how folks can get involved.  So mark your calendars. Here is a link to more info about the Asheville tour stop: http://www.ivaw.org/right-heal-tour-asheville.

05/11/12 SOCIAL JUSTICE PROGRAM AT UU CHURCH ASHEVILLE
The Social Justice program of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of AVL (corner of Charlotte St. & Edwin Pl.) will be: "Peru: Organic Agriculture & Water Protection in the Sacred Valley", a journey via colorful slides, with Cathy Holt telling of her 8 months in Peru - from initiating a Listening Project - to teaching a hands-on organic agriculture class at a local school.  Woven throughout is native culture, beautiful ceremonies honoring Mother Earth, and the water - how to purify the now polluted Sacred River.  Cathy has partnered with an organization aiming to provide permaculture classes this August. Permaculture is a system of designing with nature that helps to heal the land while improving productivity and sustainability, thus promoting community self-reliance.  Discussion to follow; No admission; donations will help support upcoming Permaculture classes.  For more: Lew Patrie 299-1242 or Cathy Holt 545-9681.  Time is 7 PM.

05/12/12 ASHEVILLE HOMELESS NETWORK BENEFIT
This will be an open mic at Firestorm Cafe and Books, and it starts at 7 PM.  Come one, come all - houseless, musicians, poets, comedians, street people, punks, occupiers, tent campers - all are invited.

05/17/12 CHILD & FAMILY ADVOCACY DAY IN NC
Action for Children NC will host a day of advocacy at the NC General Assembly, training on key issues, special guest speakers. More information to follow.

05/17/12 SAFE ALTERNATIVES FOR FUTURE ENERGY CAROLINAS MEETING
SAFE Carolinas will meet on Thursday, May 17th 6:30 PM at Wall St. Coffee Shop. The meeting will include a report back about national Sierra Club meeting and next steps for challenging the proposed nuclear reactors in Gaffney, S.C. For information call 252-4536 or email ennagiarc@gmail.com.

05/18/12 WNC PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MEETING
The next WNC PSR monthly meeting will be at a private home near the VA Hospital.  Brown Bag lunch at noon with meeting from 12:30 to 2 PM.  Everyone is welcome.  Please go to www.wncpsr.org  for more information, which includes how to get there and other details.

05/19/12 - 05/21/12 NATO IN CHICAGO
“Won’t you please come to Chicago, for the help that we can bring?  We can change the world, rearrange the world, it is dying - to get better.”  G-8 SUMMIT MOVED TO CAMP DAVID.

05/20/12 NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN MEETING
More information to come.

05/20/12 ETHICAL SOCIETY OF ASHEVILLE MEETING
Our next platform meeting will celebrate the founding of the Ethical Culture movement (May 15, 1876) with "Ethical Heroes – From Jacob Riis to Eleanor Roosevelt" presented in reader theater style Sunday, May 20th, 2:00-3:30 PM, at the Friends Meeting House, 227 Edgewood Road in North Asheville.  The play written by Ethical Society of Boston member, Stanley Wayne, features seven ethical heroes and will be performed by members of the Ethical Society of Asheville.  There will be a discussion period following the presentation. Following the meeting, there will be time for informal conversation. All are welcome!

05/20/12 HOMEWARD BOUND FUNDRAISER
Paul Robeson Through His Words & Music will be performed by Derrick McQueen at NC Stage Company 15 Stage Lane (off Walnut St., across from Zambra) in Asheville.  Tickets $50.  Time is 5:15 for refreshments and 6 PM for the preformance.  Go to www.hbofa.org or 828 258-1695 x254 for more information.  Indicate “Tickets” in the purpose line if you donate online.

05/26/12 REALLY, REALLY FREE MARKET
This will be held in Pritchard Park from 12-3 PM.  Everything is free!

06/02/12 VETERANS FOR PEACE FILM SHOWING
The film "Hidden Battles" will be shown by WNC Veterans for Peace, Chapter 099 at the North Asheville Public Library.  Time to be announced.

06/03/12 ASHEVILLE LISTENING PROJECT
This is a community conversation on public safety called “Do You Feel Safe in Your Community?” will feature Asheville Police Chief William Anderson and Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan, with respondents from the African-American, Latino, GLBTQ, and Neighborhood Watch communities.  The presentations and conversation among the panelists will be followed by facilitated small group conversation among all present, in the manner of the Listening Project.  The program will take place on Sunday evening, June 3rd, from 7-9 PM at Congregation Beth Israel, 229 Murdock Avenue, Asheville, 28804.  It is free and open to the public.