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Nonviolent Resistance Acts

For July 4, Passengers on U.S. Boat to Gaza Call for New U.S. Declaration of Independence - from Israel

By Henry Norr
July 2, 2011
Athens, Greece

235 years after the American colonies declared independence from Britain, the passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza call for a new American Declaration of Independence, this time from Israel.

The passengers issued their call from the decks of the U.S.-flagged boat, The Audacity of Hope, which is currently confined to a Greek military pier near Athens, while its captain sits in jail.

“Don’t Look Away—The Siege of Gaza Must End”

June 16, 2011

In Late June 2011, I’m going to be a passenger on “The Audacity of Hope,” the USA boat in this summer’s international flotilla to break the illegal and deadly Israeli siege of Gaza. Organizers, supporters and passengers aim to nonviolently end the brutal collective punishment imposed on Gazan residents since 2006 when the Israeli government began a stringent air, naval and land blockade of the Gaza Strip explicitly to punish Gaza’s residents for choosing the Hamas government in a democratic election. Both the Hamas and the Israeli governments have indiscriminately killed civilians in repeated attacks, but the vast preponderance of these outrages over the length of the conflict have been inflicted by Israeli soldiers and settlers on unarmed Palestinians. I was witness to one such attack when last in Gaza two years ago, under heavy Israeli bombardment in a civilian neighborhood in Rafah.

The Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers Invite Us to the Next Global Day of Listening

June 14, 2010

Dear friends,

Peace from Afghanistan, specially to those with the Caravan of Solace far-away in Mexico, who strengthen us with their poetic struggle.

From Afghanistan, we need you to know : Walking together is not a weakness. It is our everything.

We thank you for walking differently.

Drones on Trial: Narrowing the Gap Between Law and Justice

Fourteen peace activists were on trial for trying to hand-deliver a letter to the base commander at Creech Air Force Base in April of 2009. Their letter laid out concerns about usage of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drones, for surveillance and combat purposes in Afghanistan. The Creech 14 believe that the usage of remote aerial vehicles to hunt down and kill people in other lands amounts to targeted assassination and is prohibited by international and U.S. law. Soldiers carrying M16s stopped them after they had walked past the guardhouse at the base entrance and a few hours later Nevada state troopers handcuffed the Creech 14 and took them into custody.

The Law Versus Justice Vegas Anti-Drone Trial Makes History

Fourteen anti-war activists may have made history today in a Las Vegas courtroom when they turned a misdemeanor trespassing trial into a possible referendum on America’s newfound taste for remote-controlled warfare.

Judge delays decision in ‘Creech 14’ drone trial

Judge Jansen told the packed courtroom that he needed to take about two to three months before he would render a written decision on the case. He set the date for that decision to be at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 27, 2011.

Drones on Trial in Las Vegas, Sept 14th 2010

After a week of demonstrations and vigils in April of 2009, the activists entered Creech Air Force Base to highlight the injustice of the military’s use of drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Members of the US Air Force based at Creech Air Force Base control the drones used in these expanding wars. After a night in jail, the protesters were fined and given a trespassing charge.

Serving Time for Peace in Sweden

I tell them about how we went into Saab Bofors Dynamics in Eskilstuna in October 2008. There we hammered on the bazookas as a part of a campaign within our antimilitaristic network called “Mischief” (Ofog). “Did you really call the police and waited for them at the scene of the crime?” the young guy asks in disbelief. “Yep, it is a part of civil disobedience. To take responsibility for your actions” I say. Is he also a part of your network” asks the young man and point at the picture of St Francis of Assisi on my t-shirt. “No” I answer “but it is fair to say that the shared our conviction of nonviolence.”

Dying-In to End the Wars

June 29, 2010

On February 22, 2010, Chris Gaunt began conducting a weekly sit-in at the local offices of her US Senators, Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin, in Des Moines, Iowa, urging them to refuse any further funding for war. A number of other local peace activists joined Chris in conjunction with The Peaceable Assembly Campaign. As part of the sit-ins which took place during office hours, Chris made a point of connecting with the office staff, person-to-person, while she endeavored to educate them on the dire urgency of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite these efforts, it was clear that the Senators themselves were not willing to seriously consider voting against war funding or even listen to the rationale that Chris and others were offering. Chris recognized that, to be taken seriously, more had to be done.

On March 11, 2010, Chris changed the weekly peaceful sit-in to a peaceful die-in. She lay down on the floor as if she were dead, with a note explaining that she would remain there until she could get a straight answer from the senator about cutting off funds for the wars. The office staff called on the police to physically remove and arrest her. She and others have returned to conduct die-ins nearly every week, a total of eleven times, since. Speaking of the results, Chris describes the opportunities she has had to interact with a variety of people, including Senate staffers at all levels, both in Iowa & DC, Federal Building Security Officers, Police Officers, Prosecutors, and now Judges.

Below is a poem Chris wrote about her experience as well as an excerpt from a letter to Senators Grassley and Harkin and their staffs.

U.S. Boat to Gaza Seized by Greek Authorities and Captain Jailed

July 2, 2011

Contacts:
In Athens – 30-694-266-3852
In New York – Leslie Cagan, 347-581-1782

After a two hour stand off at sea, the U.S. Boat to Gaza – The Audacity of Hope – was seized by the Greek Coast Guard and forced to return to the port of Piraeus under military escort. The boat’s captain has been put in jail, charged with disturbing sea traffic–which includes endangering the lives of those on the ships– and disobeying a police order to remain at dock. The crew is being detained on the boat, which is being held at a military dock just outside Athens. Most of the 36 passengers remain on the ship in solidarity with the captain and crew.

Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Colonel, responded strongly to the arrest of the American captain of the U.S. Boat to Gaza. “I think it’s outrageous what the Greek government is doing to our captain who was taking a group of Americans to challenge the illegal Israeli blockade. We call on the Greek government to release our Captain and dismiss all charges.”

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