Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Proposal: Monthly Rally in Newark Against US War Escalations / Threats #NJSaysNoToWar

Newark youth holding up signs opposing US war on Korea
Largely with the local support of the Peoples Organization for Progress, anti-war activists including
Newark residents and those from surrounding communities have converged on the Martin Luther King Jr. monument for protests against the various escalations and threats of war by the US administration 3 times since early April. The events have also received strong support from NJ Peace Action and the Green Party of New Jersey.

We are now considering a proposal to make this type of activity a monthly event, picking a particular Friday of each month. 

The proposal is not just to show up for an hour plus protest and then go home but to incorporate into the effort a concerted organizing drive with the goal of connecting to the local pedestrian and vehicle traffic and to integrate the war issues we are raising with the related devastation of the war related economic issues and how the war economy directly and adversely impacts the Newark community.

The monthly event should include organizing during the “in between” times and in the hours before each gathering as well as during the gathering to reach out and connect with pedestrians, shop owners, labor organizations, schools, religious institutions, housing and other outlets in the surrounding blocks.

The most recent anti-war protest we held at the MLK monument occurred Friday June 2.  Prior to the protest, Ruben Mendez and I spent about an hour and a half reaching out on the neighboring blocks, including near the St. Benedicts Prep school Newark Arts High School and also including on the campus of Essex County College.

New tradition.  Cleaning
MLK statue before start of
event.
We shared the flier with a write up of the event and what our anti-war demands throughout the nearby street corners.  For those who expressed support for our anti-war demands, we invited them to hold signs protesting US war moves and threats against Korea.  About 20 people agreed and also allowed us to take pictures with their phones as well and agreed to post the pictures to their social networks.  Some of those we photographed confirmed that it was the first time they had ever held up a protest sign.

We will certainly be doing further follow up to explore expanding a connections with the local youth and others.   The goal will be to determine ways to increase local participation perhaps through the selection of the themes of our events – and possibly also by incorporating music and poetry and other artistic presentations into the events.

The following would be some of the goals of the monthly anti-war presence and the accompanying organizing drive:
Philippine Solidarity Committee
Representing
1. RESPOND TO WAR MOVES: The monthly protest would respond to the developments – acts of war and threats as they occur in the in between weeks and would continue to press demands.  It would also provide an established point of connection for any need for emergency response as dangerous escalations including toward nuclear confrontation should occur.
2. RESEARCH / PRINTED PAPER: The organizing effort would develop information and written materials about exactly how the US war escalation is directly impacting the city of Newark through cutbacks and under funding of Newark’s schools, housing, SNAP, recreation and other basic human needs of the community.  Perhaps a 4 page newspaper will be utilized and distributed regularly at the events and during the in between organizing efforts.
Mothers Day Proclamation 
3. INTEGRATED ORGANIZING: The organizing drive will also continue to share and promote information about other struggle oriented activism occurring in Newark including the events of Peoples Organization for Progress and other organizations on the forefront of various Newark struggles.  Any printed material would include information about events and how to get involved in such organizations.
4. OFFER SMALL FIRST STEPS: We will develop ways for people to participate in very small ways initially, like the picture taking described above and use that as a way to help local people get more comfortable with greater participation in our events and like minded community events.
Green Party Governor Candidate
Opposes US War Moves on Korea
5. SYSTEMATIC ORGANIZING: We will develop an approach to the local schools including St. Benedicts and Arts High School and Essex County College, local businesses including shops that are willing to have our printed materials on display, local religious institutions, local unions as well as to those facing the rigors of the criminal justice system at the nearby courthouse.  We will develop outreach to the various constituencies in the close by area.  We will also reach out to organizations around Newark, to Rutgers Newark student body and faculty and brainstorm an approach that at least informs all of the movement infrastructure of Newark with the hopes of engaging more and more constituencies in our activities.
6. SHARED VENUE: We will link our anti-war protest to the demands of various like minded struggles and offer the venue for unified protest as need be given the developments that are occurring on the ground in Newark.
7. STIPENDED ORGANIZING: We will explore through use of “fund me” sites the potential to collect funds to offer stipends to one or more organizers that will be committed to moving this process forward.

FIRST STEPS: This is the proposal.  Of course an early stop of the proposal will be to present it to the POP General Assembly (which meets each Thursday, 6:30 pm at Abysinnian Baptist Church, 224 West Kinney Street in Newark – a few blocks from where we have been protesting.)

I am proposing that keeping with the other events we have organized recently in Newark – we shoot for Friday 4:30 pm (time can slide either way) – I would propose the first Friday of each month but if others have reasons why it should be 2nd, 3rd or 4th – that could be considered as well.

Organizations should circulate the proposal to their membership and begin the decision making process.

Feedback, ideas and support for the proposal can be offered on the form at this link:
https://goo.gl/forms/ukakjXxs3F2g5R082

You can also call or text 908-881-5275 or write bwitanek@igc.org .

You can also join the discussion on Facebook.

News coverage of June 2 Mothers Day Anti-War Protest.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Mother's Day for Peace action on Friday June 2nd

Event on Facebook - Please RSVP and then invite your friend list!

Retweet announcement

Coverage in Newark Patch

BREAKING NEWS!

Given the events of today with the US administration withdrawring from the Paris Climate Change accord, the anti-war protest that was already scheduled for Newark, 4:30 pm at the MLK Monument near Old Records Hall on MLK Boulevard will also demand that US rejoin the Paris Climate Change Accord and take genuine action to reverse planetary climate change.


On June 2, 1872, Julia Ward Howe held the first “Mother’s Day” in New York City as an action to speak out about the human cost of war and to plea for peace. All these years later, her call has not yet been answered. Mothers have long been on the forefront of the peace movement; we must honor and continue their efforts to build a world where all of our children are safe and healthy.

Today the struggle is bigger than ever. Though American governments have a long history of violence and imperialism, regardless of the political party, the current administration is particularly concerning, with its instability and lack of care and diplomacy.

  • NORTH KOREA: A second - and now a third - carrier is on its way and two nuclear armed submarines - typically each of which have the capability of taking out 240 cities - are among the US war fleet off the Korean peninsula.
  • SAUDI ARABIA: The arming of Saudi Arabia with its latest annual round - this year $110 B of armaments including tanks, artillery, helicopters, armored carriers, combat ships, and an assortment of other advanced weapons systems. Saudi Arabia is supporting proxy forces in Syria and pressing for all out war on Iran, while conducting US supported warfare and imposing genocidal hunger on Yemen
  • SYRIA: US illegal attack on Syria and its ally forces inside Syria and the attempt of US to declare "no go" zones for Syria and Syria aligned ground forces inside of Syria's borders. Reports that US of late has succeeded in the highest incidence of Syrian civilian casualties inside of Syria.
  • IRAN: Incendiary rallying by Trump with his Saudi counterparts calling for all out war upon Iran and Hezbollah militias. This would effectively lead to abandonment of the Iran Deal, which everyone acknowledges has been upheld by Iran.
  • AFGHANISTAN: Civilian casualties in the US-involved war in Afghanistan are at an all-time high due both to air war and unexploded ordinance on the battlefield left by all factions. Afghanistan was also the site of exploding of the $14 M MOAB bomb. The administration is currently planning another surge of US troops into Afghanistan.
  • IRAQ: Civilian casualties continue to mount in Iraq with the latest reports of another massacre of over 100 Iraqi civilians from US air strikes.

In response, a coalition of New Jersey activists has been building and we invite all who care about the future of this world to join us. A variety of actions are being planned, the next of which is the “Mother’s Day For Peace” demonstration. We will gather on Friday, June 2 at 4:30 PM at the MLK Statue, MLK Blvd and 13th Ave (Near Old Records Hall) in Newark NJ, in honor of the original purpose of Mother's Day: "a call to action to improve the lives of families through health and peace."

We are gathering to demand the immediate cessation of these threats and actual acts of war escalation and specifically:

  • An end to threats against Korea, a withdrawal of all US forces from the region of the Korean peninsula and the restoration of diplomacy toward the formal end of the Korean War
  • An immediate end to regime change-driven Syria policy and a restoration of diplomatic pursuits toward ending the conflict there.
  • The cancellation of the $110 Billion sale of armaments to Saudi Arabia and an end to US support of the US-Saudi War in Yemen
  • An end to threats against Iran
  • No increased US troops to Afghanistan
  • The withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria
  • An end to the use of drone missile strikes and targeted assassination
  • Stop US support for destabilization in Venezuela and stop the increased US militarism in Africa and the Philippines

All are welcome to join us. Mothers are particularly encouraged to speak out against war and for the needs of our families and communities, but this is a struggle for people of all ages, ethnicities, abilities, religions, genders, and sexual orientations. This is part of the struggle for LGBTQIA rights, for protection of our environment and climate, for children’s educations, for health care, and for social justice of all kinds. Without peace, we can have none of the things we care about.

In keeping with the Mothers Day theme - we are offering to assist parents and care givers with coverage for their children - the site of the rally has a cul de sac around the Martin Luther King Jr. statue with an area that is a significant distance from the road.  We will have volunteers on stand by that can relieve parents, guardians and caregivers during the event.
The organizers (so far):

NJ Peace Action
Occupy Bergen County

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Marshall Plan: Self Delusion of US Exceptionalism

I was asked the following question by a reporter:

Good morning! I really would like to ask your comment. The US Congress published the resolution celebrating the success of the Marshall Plan. It was an American initiative to aid Western Europe, in which the United States gave over $13 billion in economic support to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of World War II. The goals of the United States were to rebuild war-devastated regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, make Europe prosperous once more, and prevent the spread of communism. Modern resolution «calls upon all Americans to rededicate themselves to the ideals that inspired the Marshall Plan: international cooperation, democracy, free enterprise, and universal respect for all».

If you don’t mind I would like to ask you about your attitude to the Marshall Plan. What is your attitude towards this plan? Nowadays is it still necessary for America to promote democracy in the world and to support financially other countries? 

I also may call you if it is more convenient .Thanks in advance for your answer!

And I responded:
When the United States destroys a nation and people like it did in Iraq or in Libya - it owes unconditional reparations to the peoples - who it has slaughtered - also for the infrastructure it has destroyed. It is a debt that is never tallied nor ever paid. Instead US will use aid as a means to attempt to control what kinds of business interests allied with what political forces is put into power - not for democracy but to exert the kinds of power and control that the US intended to impose in the first place with its military might. Democracy is a word the US uses as cover to justify subterfuge, pressures, political support, military support but the real interests pursued by the US include resources, cheap labor market, consumer base, political, strategic and military ends including basing and other means to extend the US imperial reach,

There is nothing wrong with richer nations providing genuine assistance to other peoples and nations in need but it is never without a price when the US is providing such assistance - it is always with ulterior motives.

The US should also provide such assistance domestically to meet the full needs of its own people - including recovery and support for Puerto Rico, restoration of water at FLint and other cities around the nation, full funding for schools, single payer health. These aspects should be universal but should also be domestically provided but instead resources are expended on military extension of power and other means to extend power and maintenance of an imbalance where a very infinitesimal part of the US and world population controls most of the wealth and an overwhelming majority of world must suffer for a bare existence.

Marshall Plan would be ok if it was motivated by peace and well being and a true spirit of world cooperation. It is obvious to most of the people of the world that is not the case.. It is US exceptionalism that allows the powerful in the US to maintain its self delusion that it is with benevolent purpose, as opposed to as a means of extending empire and power - that US aid is provided to other nations and peoples.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

NJ Continues to Mobilize to Oppose War Escalations / Threats - Report from Newark






April 26 Report

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Report on Apr 26 Newark Protest Against Threats of US Attack on Korea #NoUSWarOnKorea
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#NoUSWarOnKorea

On April 26, the same day that the White House called an all Senate meeting to promote possible military action against North Korea, about 25 area anti-war protesters, led by Peoples Organization for Progress, the NJ Green Party and NJ Against US War on Syria and the Middle East held a protest rally to state unconditional opposition to the idea of any US military attack against the Koreas.

The protesters held hand made and pre-printed signs stating "Peace with" and "No US Attack On Korea".  They used a sound system to communicate to car drivers and passengers as well as pedestrians about the dangers of any such attack on Korea.

Through the sound system, each time vehicles queued up at a red light, Bob Witanek warned the vehicle passengers of the potential for "Hundreds of thousands of casualties North and South of the DMZ" in Korea and the potential of the conflict pushing toward full blown nuclear war with China and possibly Russia.  He also highlighted the billions being spent on US war operations as New Jersey still has never fully complied with the court order to fully fund Newark schools - as well as highlighting a litany of other unmet human needs.
What about a War on BROKE!




The passers by were invited to take pictures of the protest to post on social media and according to the organizers of the rally, several dozen did so, both from vehicles and among the pedestrians.

One father with his toddler daughter in a stroller stopped by to join the rally and after having his picture taken with a sign saying "Give Peace a Chance" his toddler daughter indicated with her outstretched arms and her finger motions that she wanted to hold the sign.  The father concurred so a the sign was given to her and when they left she clutched to the sign as they traversed down the block - taking the protest down the road.

I believe when we have events like this one where there is pedestrian traffic – we should put effort into this tactic – encouraging passers-by to agree to participate – even if just for a minute – holding a sign and allowing us to take a photo of them holding a sign. We should have a handout to give them with a  #HT Hash tag that links to more information about the event.  We can offer an idea of a phrase to put with the posting and contact / URL information.  This will serve as a social network bullhorn to spread our message even further.

Before the rally closed, dispensing from his usual speech, Peoples Organization for Progress Chair Lawrence Hamm played "Give Peace a Chance" and "For What It's Worth" through the sound system, ending the rally that was often times offering expressions of anger about the current situation on a peaceful note.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjrIS-ZN3yE&feature=youtu.be
According to Bob Witanek, a rally organizer, one of the goals of the various organizations that have been rallying against the war moves of the current US administration is to develop throughout New Jersey the ability to respond to war escalations and threats with larger numbers on short notice.  This is the third such rally during the month of April, earlier rallies in Newark and Highland Park responded to a missile attack on Syria and the use of an MOAB, the largest non-nuclear bomb in the US war arsenal in Afghanistan.


Meanwhile, also on April 26, the Leonia Vigil for Peace and Justice continued its persistent ongoing protest against US war making at a vigil protest action in Teaneck.

Here are link to a Bergen Record and Peace News blog article on a rally by Leonia Vigil for Peace and Justice from earlier this month:


In the lead up to the event, we first proposed the idea of an emergency response to the White House bipartisan war meeting in a blog article and then – once Wednesday evening in Newark was decided for the event, a second article / press release provided the details.  The two articles were widely shared to about 50 area activist groups on Facebook and the combined readership of both articles was over 1600.  Though at least 4 of us sent the press release to multiple Essex County outlets we were unable to garner interest in actually covering this critical and timely protest event.

Organizations that have been driving the efforts to respond to the growing threats of war in NJ include:
People’s Organizationfor Progress
NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East
Green Party of New Jersey
Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War
NJ Peace Action

While we are not coordinating with them yet – this is another group with activities in motion on the ground around protesting the war moves and threats of the US administration.

Leonia Vigil for Peace and Justice https://www.facebook.com/LeoniaVigil

Other organizations we hope to incorporate into the efforts to unify NJ against war include:
NJ Philippine Solidarity Committee and
Jersey City Peace Movement

(and all others interested in participating and activating against US war actions and threats)

NJ Against US War on Syria and the Middle East, with approved support of Green Party of NJ is 
setting its sites on Bedminster where it has been reported President Trump could be spending some time this summer at his Trump National luxury golf resort.


The group has proposed formation of a vigil committee to coordinate protests there.

We are also considering a regularly scheduled - perhaps monthly - anti-war presence on the streets of Newark - stay tuned for decisions and details.
Those who want to get more involved can call or text 908-881-5275 and on Facebook join:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10212625640176367&set=oa.443595312653144&type=3&theater

As is usually the case, we some of us went out and broke bread (tacos) after . . . and discussed future anti-war organizing - if you on the line with us - and you got some time after - join us!

Otber recent actions:
April 7 response to US missile attack on Syria, Newark

Aptil 15 response to US attack on Syria, MOAB use in Afghanistan and threats against Korea, Highland Park

Of course these actions must grow in strength and frequency - as being reported - Democrats in Senate are starting to get in lock step with Trump's march toward (nucelear) war with Korea:
Dems lining up for war on Korea:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Peace Vigil – Oppose US War Moves – Somerset County Proposal

A perfect centrally located place for a Somerset County Peace Vigil is Bedminster, NJ.  While it also happens to be the location of Trump National luxury golf resort . . . that is just a coincidence.

It has been reported that Trump could be spending some time there on weekends this summer though it could just be news rumors.  In any event – if he should come to town and it happens to be on the day that we are going to be vigiling there any way – or we have the capacity to switch our next scheduled vigil to coincide with his visit – all the better.  That would give us an opportunity to leverage our regularly scheduled event to try to communicate a message demanding an end to various military actions and threats of military action by the US administration.

The ideal would be for us to be able to set up a committee of at least 5 Somerset County residents (that would not be an absolute requirement for the vigil host committee but it would be preferred that the committee have a strong Somerset County base).  The responsibility of this committee will be to assess that for any scheduled vigil – at least 3 from the committee will attend.  The committee will be responsible to make sure signs or sign making materials are delivered to the site at least 15 minutes before the scheduled event, that each event is well publicized and promoted, that press work is done, that community outreach is done, and that the precise nature of the activities planned are made clear to participants – that would usually mean to announce that the event is planned as a legal and safe event. 

If there was potential for a march or something like that – that would be made clear.  The committee would also investigate the local ordinances and determine the most appropriate courses of action.

I for one am willing to be a member of such a vigil committee – and I *am* a Somerset County resident.  So we already have ONE member of the Somerset County Peace Vigil Host Committee - should we be able to form such a thing.


Whether or not you are a Somerset County resident – if you would be willing to participate in such an event in Bedminster one or more times, please complete the entry form:

https://goo.gl/forms/QHhe6vjw0tiPavIj2

Once we have enough of a hosting committee we will start making a plan!

Monday, April 24, 2017

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Emergency Protest - NO US ATTACK ON KOREA! Wednesday, April 26, 4:30 pm, MLK Statue MLK Blvd / 13th Av, Newark NJ - (Near Old Records Hall)

Possible next step:

Peace Vigil – Oppose US War Moves – Somerset County Proposal


Emergency Protest - NO US ATTACK ON KOREA!  Wednesday, April 26, 4:30 pm, MLK Statue MLK Blvd / 13th Av, Newark NJ - (Near Old Records Hall)


Share this link:
Protest imminent attack on Korea http://bit.ly/2oGmvLt   #NoUSWarOnKorea


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Bob Witanek 908-881-5275 Call or Text

For the third time in the month of April, NJ peace and justice organizations are banding together for emergency protests against the war moves of the US administration.  In this case, NJ Against US War on and in the Middle East and the Green Party of NJ along with members of other state and local organizations are protesting to demand that there be "No US Attack on the Koreas," as they put it.

The priotest is planned for Wednesday, 4:30 pm at the MLK statue on MLK Boulevard and 13th Street, near the Old Records Hall in Newark.  The planned demonstration will occur on the same day that US President Trump is calling the US Senate to the White House for a meeting to discuss the topic of Korea.  The peace organizers believe that this indicates a stronger likelihood that the US could launch an attack on Korea.  They point to comments by the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley suggesting possible US strikes on Korea should North Korea attempt another missile test.  The US just completed naval exercises with Japan and the US air craft carrier and related war fleet, including a nuclear powered submarine, are reportedly headed toward Korea.  The Trump Administration had recently claimed that the same war fleet was headed for Korea when it was actually moving toward the opposite direction for the exercises with Japan.

Tne following are some background articles:

According to Bob Witanek, a co-founder of the NJ Against US War on Syria and the Middle East, " A US attack on Korea will result in counter retaliation and vice versa - that can within days result in the deaths of 100s of 1000s of Koreans (and others) north and south of the Korean DMZ.  There is extreme danger also of escalations regarding other world nuclear super powers including China and Russia.  Indeed we could be on the brink of devastating use of nuclear weapons by the US, Korea, China and Russia"
The group has set up a Facebook event: -
https://www.facebook.com/events/452209705119425/

For more information about the event, readers are encouraged to call or text: 908-881-5275 or write to: bwitanek@igc.org .

The NJ Against US War on Syria and the Middle East earlier this month, together with the People's Organization for Progress, Green Party of NJ and the Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War held emergency protests earlier this month, against the US cruise missile attack on Syria and the use of the MOAB, the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the US war arsenal in Afghanistan and to demonstrate opposition for further war escalations incuding against Korea.

Emergency Protest - NO US ATTACK ON KOREA! Wednesday, April 26, 4:30 pm, MLK Statue MLK Blvd / 13th Av, Newark NJ - (Near Old Records Hall)

Possible next step:

Peace Vigil – Oppose US War Moves – Somerset County Proposal



Emergency Protest - NO US ATTACK ON KOREA!  Wednesday, April 26, 4:30 pm, MLK Statue MLK Blvd / 13th Av, Newark NJ - (Near Old Records Hall)

Share this link:
Protest imminent attack on Korea http://bit.ly/2oGmvLt   #NoUSWarOnKorea

Please Retweet:

The pro-war corporate media links provided below are full of propaganda but they are provided to give background on the precarious position the world is in regarding US threats to attack Korea.

By now you probably heard that the POTUS Trump has called an all-US-Senate meeting for THIS WEDNESDAY, April 26 - to discuss the topic of Korea.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-nuclear-usa-senate-idUSKBN17Q1LR

The US has a war fleet that has completed maneuvers with Japan in the South Pacific and Trump has openly touted the idea of a preemptive strike on Korea.
http://www.newsweek.com/us-navy-carrier-war-drills-japan-north-korea-588787

Trump's UN Ambassador Haley is calling for US strikes on Korea should Korea attempt a missile test in the near future.

A US attack on Korea will result in counter retaliation and vice versa - that can within days result in the deaths of 100s of 1000s of Koreans (and others) north and south of the Korean DMZ.  There is extreme danger also of escalations regarding other world nuclear super powers including China and Russia.  Indeed we could be on the brink of devastating use of nuclear weapons by the US, Korea, China and Russia.
Our organization NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East together with the Green Party of NJ - after polling around NJ - is calling for an

EMERGENCY PROTEST TO DEMAND NO US ATTACK ON KOREA!
Wednesday, 4:30 PM, MLK Statue, MLK Blvd and 13th Av (Near Old Records Hall)
Newark NJ.

Facebook event - please click - RSVP and then invite your friends that might be interested:
https://www.facebook.com/events/452209705119425/

For more information:
You can reply by text: 908-881-5275

Join the group: 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Proposal: Regional Anti-War Protest Event July 16, 2017 9:30 am – 2:30 pm Outside the Trump National Luxury Golf Resort in Bedminster NJ


E
EMERGENCY ADDENDUM:
Please help out - everyone can at least share the link and can RT the link (tweet is embedded in link) - please fill out the form - answer the questions ASAP - let's nail our action down.
Share this link:
Protest imminent attack on Korea http://bit.ly/2pZUceS #NoUSWarOnKorea


Proposal: Regional Anti-War Protest Event July 16, 2017 9:30 am – 2:30 pm Outside the Trump National Luxury Golf Resort in Bedminster NJ

Call or text for information: 908-881-5275

Join the discussion of the proposal:  NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East

Please share this link widely:

Proposed Regional Anti-War Protest, Trump National Golf Resort, Bedminster NJ July 16

Recent reports hold it that Trump could be spending significant time in NJ in posh Bedminster at his luxury golf resort Trump National.  The signature event at this site for 2017 occurs this summer, the US Women’s Open 2017 – scheduled for July 10 – 16.

Our organization NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East has been discussing a proposal for a regional anti-war event outside the resort and our discussions have led to a proposal for an event on Saturday, July 15, from 9:30 am – 2:30 pm.  The rationale of picking Saturday is that it will enable the largest number of people to attend and it will also be a day when there is probably media focus on the tournament since it is getting toward the final showdown.  We might also attend any other events that occur during that week to promote the Saturday protest but for now we are choosing one event as the focus of our anti-war sentiments.

While there is no guarantee that Trump himself will be there that day – it is extremely likely that he will be showing his face at some point at these events – and Saturday is on the eve of the finale so he just might be there!  We believe that he will certainly be aware of our protests even if he is not there personally on that day.

We are not proposing protesting against golf, the tournament, the selection of the venue, we are not demanding a change in venue or anything like that.  The women in the tournament worked much of their lives to get there and we wish them all every success at the event.  Our only goal of organizing our protest there is as a means to communicate directly to the president our anti-war demands.

The US has waged protracted endless war since 2001 in Afghanistan and Iraq and has conducted numerous acts of war in at least 4 other countries in that area of the world including Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.  Recently, US has launched a volley of 59 cruise missiles into Syria, detonated the largest bomb in its non-nuclear arsenal, the so-called MOAB, in Afghanistan and has made dangerous threats against Korea.  There has also been threatening language directed at Iran by generals close to the current US administration.

The proposal is for a strong regional show of street resistance to dangerous war escalations that provide an existential threat to the earth’s inhabitants – that could lead to the unthinkable – an earth consuming thermonuclear war.  A great turn out and a strong message can possibly kick off a new era of street opposition to continuous war and the current round of escalation of U.S. acts of war and reckless threats of total war.  We believe this will be an effective way for our anti-war message to be heard by the US administration – even if not heeded.

While still in the proposal stage, prominent members of several important NJ organizations have already expressed interest and support of the proposal.  

This proposal is for a narrowly focused anti-war event – not a general anti-Trump rally.  Endless US war is systemically rooted like many of the other problems we are facing, and US war is interconnected to many other issues that will be touched upon in the context of our opposition to war – but our central demands will be to oppose the continuation of US endless wars and the escalations and threats currently being carried out by the current US administration.

Please join the discussion toward shaping the proposed events that is occurring in our Facebook group:
NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East .


For those not using Facebook, please call or text 908-881-5275 to express your interest and find out more about how to get involved.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

REPORT ON APRIL 15, NJ ANTI WAR GROUPS JOIN FORCES FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSES TO US WAR MOVES AND THREATS

Stay informed of emergent calls to respond to US war escalations and threats by joining (for Facebook  users):

For the second week in a row, NJ was able to mobilize emergency protests against escalation of US aggressive war moves and threats – on April 7 in Newark against the US missile attack on Syria and this latest one on April 15 against the US use of the largest non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal on Afghanistan as well as sending a war fleet to threaten Korea.

Like last week’s, today’s protest was organized with under 24 hour lead time.  It was initially called by the Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War.  Our organization NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East multiplied the effectiveness of the call by endorsing, creating a parallel Facebook announcement and expeditiously publishing a press release on this blog site.

In promotion of the event I shared the press release to dozens of Facebook NJ group sites – including some of the “resistance” and anti-Trump kinds of groups.  It was also tweeted – mostly to news reporters and outlets – receiving a smattering of ReTweets.  There was much support and further sharing and so far the press release has been read 1300 times.  This is an example of the importance of the outreach of an event and how it is not only about how many people end up showing up but the support that is galvanized by the pre-event promotions – and post event reporting (this write up).

Participating in the event were folks from as far away as Morris County, Bloomfield, Newark, Toms River and Jersey City.  In all there were about 30 who participated – a decent turn out with under 24 hours lead time.  Groups represented include of course the two groups that organized the event Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War and NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East, the Green Party of NJ, and a mainstay of anti-war demonstration and support in NJ, the Peoples Organization for Progress.

As occurred at the prior week’s event, Lawrence Hamm, Chair of Peoples Organization for Progress provided sound (my Megavox system is sadly in a state of disrepair).

Green Party’s Laura Genna was able to livestream the event on the Green Party Facebook page achieving 1000 views.  That video has been transferred, with Laura’s permission, to Youtube and is embedded in this article.

As far as signs go – between the bent up poster boards I had in my car – some already scrawled with anti-war slogans and some blank slates (or with blank sides) and the plethora of anti-war signs and blank boards that Central Jersey Coalition had – we had the whole rally covered.  (Though we are going to need some banners!)

The event attracted several non-traditional protesters in addition to the “usual suspects” – those of us that have been protesting war for years.  This is a very significant matter because it demonstrates that a more organized approach to mass organizing can result in a massive anti-war uprising which is the only way forward toward the world’s survival.  There was a student from a Jersey City college that has only been in the US for 3 months.  A college roommate of mine joined us – after I invited his participation just this morning.  Several other first time participants were on board and there was a decent number of  youth in the ranks.  Plus my younger son was out to his first ever protest!

As usual, there was a range of diverse and on point presentations from participants, we had an open mic format for that.  We were also pleasantly entertained by one of New Brunswick’s finest veteran activists Albert Valeri who accompanied his mostly a capella performance of a song in support of the NO DAPL movement with occasional pulls on his harmonica.

Included among the speakers was Sam Friedman of the Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War.  He stressed the intentions of the coalition to re-establish the anti-war vigil at the same site of this rally (Adelaide and Raritan in Highland Park) that it has maintained for much of the last almost two decades.

Other speakers included Manijeh Saba, Geoff Herzog on behalf of the Seth Kaper-Dale Green Party guvernatorial campaign, Adam Grele who gave a youth perspective on the prospects of inheriting a world slipping away to war, Bob Miller also of the Central Jersey Coalition, John Hickson one of my college roommates, Karlos Basak, a third party candidate for NJ governonr, Lawrence Hamm, Chair of Peoples Organization for Progress, who as we all know – always hits the high notes in his presentations and myself – I focused on the need to create a more organized response network so that we can mobilize the kinds of numbers needed to stave off the many pending disasters from US war escalations and continuations. 
I am not going to attempt to summarize their presentations – instead I encourage all to watch the rally portion of the event on the you tube video embedded here.

Afterwards about a dozen of us went up the block and broke bread (well bagels) at a local fine coffee and bagel establishment - reaffirming our solidarity.

So in two weeks we were able to mobilize twice in response to the current worldwide emergency due to the reckless,  murderous and disastrous US war-making policies.  However we need to strive for greater numbers and a more efficient means of circulating the call and a more committed constituency to move beyond social network support to actual physical participation.  We need to have 100s of people – minimally – at these events so we can start taking some streets and marching through our cities.
A separate article will be written shortly with a proposed plan for developing this response network to a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness – our survival depends upon it.

And if the United States does continue on this destructive path and does initiate or provoke a nuclear confrontation – all bets are off – school and work becomes irrelevant – the only reasonable approach at that point Is for all of us to get into the streets and not to go home and to shut this nation down.   Hopefully it does not come to that!


ALERT: As I finish this write up – North Korea has just attempted a missile launch – non-nuclear – that failed.  Be ready to respond to any potential US military response – which would be unreasonable . . . AND DISASTROUS!

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More pictures from the April 15 Highland Park Anti-War Protest:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.438093519869990&type=1