Sunday, December 12, 2010

Action Alert: Rally For Peace On Earth: Washington D.C. 12-16-2010

Take A Stand For Peace!

An Anti-war Veteran Primer

In the beginning, there was Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc. (VVAW); a national veterans' organization that was founded in New York City in 1967 after six Vietnam vets marched together in a peace demonstration. It was organized to voice the growing opposition among returning servicemen and women to the still-raging war in Indochina, and grew rapidly to a membership of over 30,000 throughout the United States as well as active duty GIs stationed in Vietnam. Through ongoing actions and grassroots organizations, VVAW exposed the ugly truth about US involvement in Southeast Asia and our first-hand experiences helped many other Americans to see the unjust nature of that war.

Statue of Liberty Takeover - Not once, but twice...

 On December 26, 1971, fifteen VVAW activists barricaded and occupied the Statue of Liberty for two days in a successful attempt to bring attention to the antiwar cause. Simultaneous protests took place across the country, such as at the historic Betsy Ross house in Philadelphia (for 45 minutes) and Travis Air Force Base in California (for 12 hours). Other VVAW members in California also briefly occupied the Saigon Government consulate in San Francisco. VVAW occupied the Statue of Liberty a second time in 1976 to bring renewed attention to veteran issues.[30][31][32]

Winter Soldier - Detroit 1971  
The "Winter Soldier Investigation" was media event sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) from January 31, 1971 – February 2, 1971. It was intended to publicize war crimes and atrocities by the United States Armed Forces and their allies in the Vietnam War. The VVAW challenged the morality and conduct of the war by showing the direct relationship between military policies and war crimes in Vietnam. The three-day gathering of 109 veterans and 16 civilians took place in DetroitMichigan. Discharged servicemen from each branch of military service, as well as civilian contractors, medical personnel and academics, all gave testimony about war crimes they had committed or witnessed during the years of 1963–1970.[1][2][3

Operation Dewey Canyon III - A limited Incursion into the Country of Congress 

"This peaceful anti-war protest organized by VVAW took its name from two short military invasions of Laos and Cambodia by US and South Vietnamese forces. Dubbed "Operation Dewey Canyon III," it took place in Washington, D.C, April 19 through April 23, 1971. It was referred to by the participants as "a limited incursion into the country of Congress." .[17][18]

 "On Friday, April 23, more than 800 veterans, one by one, tossed their medals, ribbons, discharge papers and other war mementos on the steps of the Capitol, rejecting the Vietnam war and the significance of those awards. Several hearings in Congress were held that week regarding atrocities committed in Vietnam and the media's inaccurate coverage of the war. There were  also hearings on proposals to end the United States' participation in the war. The vets planted a tree on the mall as part of a ceremony symbolizing the veterans' wish to preserve life and the environment."[25]

In addition, they also rallied on capitol Hill...
"I would like to say for the record, and for the men behind me who are also wearing the 
uniform and their medals, that my being here is really symbolic. I am not here as John Kerry,but as one member of a group of one thousand, which in turn is a small representation of a 
very much larger group of veterans in this country. Were it possible for all of them to sit at 
this table they would be here and present the same kind of testimony." 
John Kerry to Senate Foreign Relations Committee, April 22, 1971

Operation Last Patrol - Facing off with Nixon at Republican National Convention, Miami 1972

"I was in Miami in 1972, with the California contingent of the Last Patrol, and was on the Silent March. We were faced off with the Florida Highway Patrol, and elements of the 82nd Airborne and Florida National Guard. There was fear in their eyes as we shuffled silently by, on our way to the Fontainebleau, where Nixon was holed up. 
        Our silence 
unnerved them, just as it was intended to do. I am sure that many of them thought that we were going to keep marching right up to the Fontainebleau penthouse (Nixon Bunker) and drag him out into the streets, for all to see and publically revile. They were visibly relieved when we pulled up and rallied around the front of the hotel and began making speeches supporting our Demands, and accusing Nixon and his cronies of being war criminals. You coulda' cut the tension in the air with a knife. What a rush!" (WH, The Veteran, Fall 2008)

Unity - Struggle - Victory

Vietnam Veterans Against The War at Paris Peace Accord Negotiations

Now We Again Take A Stand For Peace - Dec 16, 2010 -  Washington D.C.
Join Us!

VVAW members from all over the country are very much still in the fight for peace and justice.  There will be a contingent of VVAW members rallying under the VVAW banner in Lafayette Park for the Dec 16th demonstrations. They will be joining other anti-war Veterans organizations as they Take A Stand For Peace at the White House Fence.  If you are a VVAW member and will be in D.C. for this critical action, and would like to rally with VVAW; contact Bill Perry, Philly Chapter VVAW, at 215-945-3350 or 215-945-1259 for VVAW rally location and time.  Bill will be coordinating activities on location on behalf of the VVAW Veterans Advisory & Resource Caucus.