World Peace discussion


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message 1: by Héctor (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:16PM) (new)

Héctor John Lennon would have turned 67 years old last week had he not been murdered in 1980, at the age of 40, by a mentally disturbed fan. On his birthday, Oct. 9, his widow, peace activist and artist Yoko Ono, realized a dream they shared. In Iceland, she inaugurated the Imagine Peace Tower, a pillar of light emerging from a wishing well, surrounded on the ground by the phrase "Imagine Peace" in 24 languages. The legacy of Lennon is relevant now more than ever. The Nixon administration spied on him and tried to deport him, all because he opposed the war in Vietnam. Parallel details of the Bush administration's warrantless wiretap program and the Pentagon's participation in domestic spying, with mass roundups of immigrants, are chilling, and the lessons vital. Ono conceived the peace tower 40 years ago, at the outset of her relationship with Lennon. She grew up in Japan, surviving the firebombing of Tokyo. She told me, "Because of that memory of what I went through in the Second World War, it is embedded in me how terrible it is to go through war." She continued: "I thought of building a light tower, and John loved that idea, this light tower that just emerges once in a while. And so, he actually invited me in 1967, the first time that he invited me to his house. I thought it was a party or something, but, no, it was a very quiet day. And he said, 'Well, actually, I invited you because I wanted to know if you can build the lighthouse in my garden,' and I said: 'Oh, dear, no, no. It's just a conceptual idea. I don't know how to build anything,' and I was just laughing. But that's when he wanted this light tower, and that was 40 years ago." Forty years ago, the young couple became increasingly active in the anti-Vietnam War movement. The FBI, under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover, spent tremendous resources targeting critics, most engaged in perfectly lawful dissent. This was later exposed as COINTELPRO, the FBI's counterintelligence program, which for decades spied on, infiltrated and disrupted domestic groups (...) Today, revelations about current government wiretaps and surveillance continue. Verizon has just revealed to Congress that it supplied customer records to the government more than 94,000 times since 2005. The American Civil Liberties Union has uncovered collusion between the Pentagon and the FBI in circumventing the law to obtain financial and credit information on people in the U.S. I asked Yoko Ono to compare the Nixon and Bush administrations: "I'm not that concerned about professional politicians. I always believe that we can change the world by grass-roots movements. It is a very important thing to do. It is the first time that I realized that I respect America so much because there are so many Americans trying to shift the axis of the world to peace." With major anti-war demonstrations set for cities around the country on Sat., Oct. 27 (see, John Lennon's legacy lives on, from the illuminated sky above Iceland to the heavily surveilled streets here at home.

Read Imagine Peace—A Ray of Light in Dark Times by Amy Goodman

message 2: by Héctor (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:22PM) (new)

Héctor The majority of Americans and Iraqis oppose the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. Polls indicate that 70 percent of Americans are against the war and over 80 percent of Iraqis want coalition troops out of their country. In the four and a half years since the invasion, nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed and nearly 30,000 seriously wounded. There have also been an estimated 1 million Iraqi civilians killed and over 4 million have fled for their lives. The war has racked up a bill of over $600 billion of our taxpayer money and yet left Iraq a country in economic shambles and political unrest, and with a population living in fear of daily violence. (Check out the video to the right.) For the duration of this war, people in the United States have raised their voice in opposition. They have marched, signed petitions, held vigils and written to their elected officials. But it hasn't been enough. Yet. This Saturday, Oct. 27, United for Peace and Justice, the largest anti-war coalition in the United States, has organized 11 massive anti-war rallies to take place around the nation. Participating organizations include veterans and military family groups, as well as hundreds of national and local peace groups.

See What We Can Do to End the War by Tara Lohan

message 3: by Héctor (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Héctor Coordinated antiwar protests in at least 11 American cities this weekend raised anew an interesting question about the nature of news coverage: Are the media ignoring rallies against the Iraq war because of their low turnout or is the turnout dampened by the lack of news coverage?
I find it unsettling that I even have to consider the question. That most Americans oppose the war in Iraq is well established. The latest CBS News poll, in mid-October, found 26 percent of those polled approved of the way the president is handling the war and 67 percent disapproved. It found that 45 percent said they'd only be willing to keep large numbers of US troops in Iraq "for less than a year." And an ABC News-Washington Post poll in late September found that 55 percent felt Democrats in Congress had not gone far enough in opposing the war. Granted, neither poll asked specifically about what this weekend's marchers wanted: An end to congressional funding for the war. Still, poll after poll has found substantial discontent with a war that ranks as the preeminent issue in the presidential campaign. Given that context, it seems remarkable to me that in some of the 11 cities in which protests were held – Boston and New York, for example – major news outlets treated this "National Day of Action" as though it did not exist. As far as I can tell, neither The New York Times nor The Boston Globe had so much as a news brief about the march in the days leading up to it. The day after, The Times, at least in its national edition, totally ignored the thousands who marched in New York and the tens of thousands who marched nationwide. The Globe relegated the news of 10,000 spirited citizens (including me) marching through Boston's rain-dampened streets to a short piece deep inside its metro section. A single sentence noted the event's national context.

Full article in: War protests: Why no coverage? by Jerry Lanson

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