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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

A Teacher in KabulA story of hope from Afghanistan
Privilege and CourageSherri Maurin's further reflections from Kabul
Telephone Calls From Iraqa letter from Cathy Breen
Website Experiencing DifficultyPlease click "more" to view earlier content
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Iowa: 30 Day Sentence for Resisting Iraq War

Cordaro Gets 30 Days after Protest:
The anti-war activist was arrested last month during a sit-in at the Des Moines office of Sen. Charles Grassley

By Abby Simmons
Des Moines Register
October 6, 2007

Anti-war activist Frank Cordaro left a Polk County courtroom in handcuffs Friday after receiving a 30-day jail term for his latest protest.

The 56-year-old Des Moines man pleaded guilty to a trespassing charge along with two other people who took part in a sit-in last month with several high school students at U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley’s Des Moines office.

Our Bonhoeffer Moment

Voices for Creative Nonviolence (Co-Coordinator)
October 2, 2007

The Bonhoeffer Moment of nonviolent civil resistance and disobedience to the world war being waged by the United States is clearly at hand. As Congress considers an additional $190 billion to fund the Iraq – Afghanistan war through September 2008 and as the threats of war against Iran become increasingly loud, it is time for us to learn lessons from the German resistance to Hitler, to the Nazi regime and to the war waged by the German nation-state. We must engage in the Long Resistance to this current world war, using every nonviolent means to bring about its end.

I was set to be tried on October 2 for an act of nonviolent civil resistance at the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command. The judge dismissed the charge the day of the trial. Following is the closing statement I prepared for the jury trial in Waukegan, Illinois.

Charges Dismissed in Illinois Antiwar Trial

October 2, 2007

WAUKEGAN —A judge in the 19th Circuit Court of Illinois today dismissed trespassing charges against an antiwar activist stemming from a civil disobedience demonstration last year at the nation’s command center for processing military recruits.

Before jurors were even picked in the trial of Jeff Leys, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, the Illinois State Attorney in the case moved for dismissal of the charge. Referring to yesterday’s bench trial before Judge Patrick Lawler which resulted in the acquittal of a reporter arrested at the July, 2006 demonstration with Leys, as well as the absence of the police officer who was the state’s key witness yesterday and presumably would have been today, the prosecutor moved the charge be dismissed. Judge Lawler granted the motion and Leys, prepared to represent himself “pro se,” walked out moments later.

Letter from Amman -- September 28, 2007

September 28, 2007

Amman, Jordan

Dear Friends,

It is Friday morning and there is a hushed atmosphere in the city as people observe this welcomed day of rest. Businesses are closed and the streets are silent. Two weeks into the holy month of Ramadan, I continue to enjoy the slower pace. It challenges me to try and live more intentionally.

Des Moines, IA High School Students Arrested at Senator Grassley's Office

Students sit to take a stand: 4 D.M. war opponents who refuse to leave Grassley’s office are arrested

By Abby Simmons
Staff Writer
Des Moines Register
Published September 22, 2007

Keyboards clacked as staff worked in U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley’s downtown Des Moines headquarters. And, still, the kids sat in a circle on the floor of the small office, talking war and peace while passing around a copy of Thomas Merton’s “The Nonviolent Solution.”

Discount the out-of-place setting - and the eventual arrest and criminal trespass charges filed against four Des Moines high school students who refused to leave the Republican’s office in protest of the Iraq war - and it was just another peace meeting.

Letter from Amman -- September 14, 2007

September 14, 2007

Amman, Jordan

Dear Friends,

It is Friday, the second day of Ramadan. The last week and a half since my return to Amman has been full of visits, some more “formal” as with the UNHCR or colleagues from the states, but for the most part with Iraqi friends and families. Too many stories to recount. Too many emotions still churning within me. There has been a lot of movement in the four and a half months since I was here.

Several families have moved to other areas of the city, and I need to track them down. One 18 year old lad decided to return to his family in Baghdad. It seems he could no longer bear to be alone, and decided to go back into the fiery furnace. I had hoped we could find a way to get him to the states on a student visa, to live with a loving family and finish high school; something concrete to give his family in Baghdad hope. A father who lived down the street was forced to move to Syria with three of their young sons in order to be reunited with his wife and their youngest son. The mother and two year old child had gone to Baghdad earlier this year as her father suffered a heart attack. When they tried to return to Amman, they were refused entrance. I often wonder how they are faring in Syria? For some time now the border between Jordan and Iraq (by air and land) has only been open to Iraqis with residency or for important business people or officials. Since Sept 10th, we hear that Syria is requiring visas from Iraqis to enter.

Seven Peace Activists Arrested in Madison, WI in front of Senator Herb Kohl’s Office in Occupation Project Action

See also: The Capital Times article, 7 war protesters arrested

By Joy First
Sept 7, 2007

On September 7, 2007, seven peace activists were arrested in Madison as they blocked the sidewalk with crime scene tape in front of Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl’s office. The seven arrested were Cassandra Dixon, Flo Evans, Joy First, Jamie Haack, Janet Parker, Karin Sandvik, and Susan Spahn. This was the first arrest for nonviolent civil resistance for Flo Evans, Jamie Haack, and Karin Sandvik.

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