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Voices for Creative Nonviolence has deep, long-standing roots in active nonviolent resistance to U.S. war-making. Begun in the summer of 2005, Voices draws upon the experiences of those who challenged the brutal economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.N. against the Iraqi people between 1990 and 2003. More about Voices

recent additions at a glance

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Redefining “Imminent” How the U.S. Department of Justice Makes Murder Respectable, Kills the Innocent and Jails their Defenders
How Is a Prison Like a War?The Similarities between Mass Incarceration and Mass Murder
Afghan Malnutrition - The Search for SolutionsMalnutrition Affects More than 40 Percent of Afghan Children, Killing Thousands Every Year
Left in the Dark: International Military Operations in AfghanistanA Report by Amnesty International
On The ListAPV's Duvet Project Distributes Blankets in Kabul for a 3rd Year

Reflections on Iraq - February 2008

February 28, 2008

Dear Friends,

I began this letter the other day on a bus returning from a two-day trip to D.C. where Maryknoll’s Social Concerns office had set up meetings with various groups to address the Iraqi refugee crisis. This was the third trip to D.C. since my return to the states in early December, part of an ongoing strategizing with Maryknoll colleagues as to how we might make real the desperate situation of Iraqi refugees. We’ve been able to convey concrete concerns and questions to a Congressperson with an entry to Homeland Security, to the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and others.

On this particular trip I was not traveling alone. I was accompanied by a dear Iraqi friend who was also going to D.C., and it was wonderful to have so many hours to catch up with each other. While on the bus a member of his family in Baghdad called on his cell phone, bringing their reality there close to us. Security has improved we heard due to the fact that the city is divided up with countless checkpoints and barriers. “It is like being in prison” he said.

Life in Iraq: An Interview - February 2008

Walid Waleed, interviewd by John Malkin
February 2008

Walid Waleed is 38 years old and was born in the Alkhaalij quarter of Baghdad. He now lives in the country side in a village in south-east Baghdad. He was married in 1997 and now has two boys and three girls; Ows 10, Mohammad 8, Nowras 6, Nibras 4 and less than one year old Ziena. Before the violence he lived as one big family, with about twenty-two people, but now they live in individual temporary houses. Walid studies journalism at Baghdad University and got practical experience as a guide for foreign journalists for many years. He has done interviews for magazines, newspapers and TV and helped Japanese producers make a documentary film about children during the US/UN economic sanctions. He recently produced an autobiographocal documentary about the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.

John Malkin interviewed Walid in January 2008. John is a writer, musician and author of “Sounds of Freedom”, a collection of interviews with musicians concerning spirituality and social change. He is a regular contributor to Good Times Weekly of Santa Cruz, California.

JM: What kind of newspapers/TV are available in Iraq now? How do people get news there?

Commemorating the White Rose: Resisting the Iraq War

February 24, 2008

We Will Not Be Silent (photo: Suzanne Sheridan): Chris Spicer, a Jesuit, and Abby Strozinski, student at Loyola University Chicago, in Representative Emanuel's office.We Will Not Be Silent (photo: Suzanne Sheridan): Chris Spicer, a Jesuit, and Abby Strozinski, student at Loyola University Chicago, in Representative Emanuel’s office.65 years ago, on February 22, 1943, the Nazi regime executed three German students because of their active resistance to the regime’s murderous global and domestic agenda. Known as the White Rose, nearly all participants were students. 29 members were indicted for promoting opposition to the holocaust and to World War II.

Here in Chicago, several dozen people gathered in early February to watch “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days,” a film about the White Rose movement which focuses upon the experience of Sophie, and to think about our responsibilities, today, to confront Congressional Representatives and Senators in the U.S. who fund and prolong the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seventeen people agreed to commemorate the 29 indicted White Rose activists by delivering white roses to people working in Representative Rahm Emanuel’s office. Rahm Emanuel is Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and consistently votes to fund the war in Iraq. We hoped that staffers would receive the roses and also engage with us in a conversation about Representative Emanuel’s position regarding the war in Iraq.Commemorating the White Rose (photo: Laurie Hasbrook): We remember the 29 individuals indicted by the German government for participation in the White Rose resistance effort during World War II.  Five were executed and most of the rest sentenced to lengthen prison terms.Commemorating the White Rose (photo: Laurie Hasbrook): We remember the 29 individuals indicted by the German government for participation in the White Rose resistance effort during World War II. Five were executed and most of the rest sentenced to lengthen prison terms.

Assessing House Voting Records on Iraq War Funding - Feb 15, 2008

February 15, 2008

Download Full Report as PDF

Congress is now considering President Bush’s request for an additional $102.5 billion in supplemental spending for the Iraq – Afghanistan wars. The central objectives of the antiwar effort must continue to be an end to all funding for the war in Iraq; an end to all military action against Iraq; and the complete and immediate withdrawal of all U.S. military forces from Iraq.

At the same time, it is important to examine the recent voting records of Representatives. An assessment of voting records will assist in developing strategies and tactics to use in lobbying Representatives to bring the Iraq war to an end. These strategies will no doubt include both legal and extralegal (i.e., nonviolent civil disobedience and nonviolent civil resistance) forms of lobbying.

The following assessments should be used as a tool in developing lobbying strategies rather than as the “be all, end all” assessment of Representatives and there are varying degrees of support or opposition to the Iraq war within each grouping that follows.

Download Full Report as PDF

Q & A: Iraq - Afghanistan War Supplemental, Feb 13, 2008

Download Q & A
PDF file - Q & A with charts
PDF file — charts only

February 14, 2008

Congress will soon begin consideration of an additional $102.4 billion in supplemental funding for the Iraq – Afghanistan wars. On February 13, Representative Jack Murtha (Chair of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee) announced that he intends to produce a final version of the latest 2008 Iraq – Afghanistan war supplemental spending bill by the end of February. After this it will be considered by the full House Appropriations Committee and then go to the full floor of the House for a vote. The Senate similarly is beginning to develop its version of the latest war supplemental spending bill.

The House bill will be developed behind closed doors. No hearings are scheduled between now and the end of February to discuss the bill in the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. It is not known when the final war supplemental spending bill will be made available to the public. It may well end up that the final supplemental spending bill is presented as a “fait accompli”—an accomplished act—on the floors of the House and of the Senate only hours before the vote is to take place. In May 2007, the final spending bill was not released to the public until about 6 a.m. on the morning of the vote. In December 2007, the funds for the Iraq war were tucked into a Senate amendment to an omnibus appropriations bill—an amendment available to the public only after it was submitted on the floor of the Senate by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

It is also highly unlikely that any language on partial troop withdrawal will be included in the supplemental spending bill this time around. Representative Murtha stated that he will recommend the inclusion of some form of withdrawal language in the bill, though stopped short of stating partial withdrawal language will in fact be included in the bill. However, such language was stripped out of the final version of war supplemental spending bills that passed Congress in May 2007 and in December 2007.

Therefore, it is critical that phone calls and lobbying—both legal and extralegal civil disobedience—be on-going at the offices of Representatives and Senators with the message being simple: Vote against any additional funds for the Iraq war.

You can contact your Representative and Senators via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

You can find out your Representative’s and Senators’ direct contact information by visiting the website of Contacting Congress

Following is a “Question and Answer” piece on the status of the Iraq – Afghanistan war supplemental as well as two charts that summarize the components of the war spending request.

January 11th 2008 Witness Against Torture - Chicago

January 11th 2008 Witness Against Torture - Chicago

CHICAGO – January 11 2008— 10 arrests were made at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago.

A Citizens’ Indictment was delivered to Chief Judge Holderman seeking relief for violations of international and domestic law by the United States and the City of Chicago. Specifically, the Indictment cited the use of torture by the United States in the so-called “global war on terror” and by the City of Chicago Police Department for its systematic practice of torture between 1971 and 1993, and on-going abuse of individuals. 22

Citizens Indictment of the United States for Torture and other International Law Violations

January 12, 2008

On January 11, 2008, this Citizens’ Indictment was delivered by hand to Chief Judge Holderman in the U.S. Federal court in Chicago and to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago. It was mailed to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

Following this hand delivery, the Citizens’ Indictment was read aloud in the lobby of the federal courthouse in Chicago. Participants dressed in orange jumpsuits and identified themselves as acting in behalf of those subject to torture and abuse at the hands of the United States and the City of Chicago. The ten people who signed this Indictment were arrested in the lobby of the federal courthouse—nine on a federal charge of failure to conform with directions and one on a state charge of trespass after he declined to walk when placed under arrest.

Download the Citizens’ Indictment in PDF form

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