The April 22nd conference, to be held on Earth Day at Winooski High School in Winooski, Vermont, will bring together coalition members and interested Vermonters through workshops, panels, and actions that answer the conference’s key question: what it will take to build a world beyond war? A tentative conference schedule is below:
9:00 to 9:30 AM Registration, Coffee, Exhibits, and Networking
9:30 to 10:30 AM Keynote Presenter: David Swanson, A World Beyond War
10:45 to 11:45 AM Workshop Sessions
11:45 to 12:45 PM Lunch, Exhibits, and Networking
12:45 to 1:45 PM Workshop Sessions
2:00 to 3:00 PM Workshop Sessions
3:15 to 4:30 PM Closing Session Presenter: Pat Hynes, Traprock Center for Peace and Justice
David Swanson is Director of World Beyond War (worldbeyondwar.org/). His books include: War Is Never Just, War Is A Lie, War No More: The Case for Abolition, and When the World Outlawed War. He is the host of Talk Nation Radio. He has been a journalist, activist, organizer, educator, and agitator. Swanson helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011. Swanson holds a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. He blogs at davidswanson.org and warisacrime.org and works as Campaign Coordinator for the online activist organization rootsaction.org. Swanson also works on the communications committee of Veterans For Peace, of which he is an associate (non-veteran) member. Swanson is Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter and contact him at [email protected] .
Pat Hynes is the Director of the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice (http://traprock.org/). She is a retired Professor of Urban Environmental Health and has worked for decades as an educator, researcher, writer and activist on issues of environmental justice, feminism, and the health effects of war. Her book, A Patch of Eden: America’s Inner-City Gardeners, documented the social and environmental justice capacity of the community gardening movement in inner cities of the United States. She is committed to building with others the Traprock Center as an informational and educational resource for activists, educators, and students. Pat has had several of her articles on war, militarism, peace, and related concerns published online: Hynes/MyTurn: Down the Same Rut: Don’t Bomb Syria!, When Veterans Speak Out about Truth of Iraq War, Vietnam: An Unfinished Debt, Reflections on Troop Withdrawal in Afghanistan, Mothers Day for Peace – a Blessing, Federal Budgets Are Moral Documents, Beatitudes for Veterans Day, Local Budgets and War Spending: A Reflection for Tax Day, April 15, Peace Negotiations in Afghanistan: Where are the Women?, and War Weariness, Military Heft, and Peace Building, Mercenaries in the Marketplace of Violence .
- “North Korea – Deterrence, Preparedness or Preemption” with Andrew Schoerke. This Workshop includes the current state of military preparations to make a preemptive strike on North Korea. The educational component would provide a real time glimpse of how the branches of the U.S. military services would respond to an order to attack North Korea. The solution that would offered would describe how individual action would be the key to stopping a preemptive attack. Individual actions would include taking local action by joining active community organizations, participating in demonstrations, marches and direct non-violent actions.
- “How to Get Rid of All Nuclear Weapons” with Timmon Wallis and Vicki Elson. Getting rid of nuclear weapons, which threaten all life on this planet, is one small step towards a world beyond war itself. This will be an interactive, participatory workshop for those who want to seriously get down to the business of getting rid of these weapons, once and for all. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) just won the Nobel Peace Prize for getting 122 countries to agree to a new treaty which finally, and definitively, criminalizes everything to do with nuclear weapons. That’s the good news! Finally there is something we can DO about these weapons. We don’t need to wait for our government to sign this Treaty. We can start right here, right now implementing the new Treaty – as citizens, as faith communities, as businesses, colleges, towns and states – just as we are doing to meet the Paris Climate Accords, despite the government’s opposition. Complying with the Nuclear Ban Treaty is about boycotting and divesting from the 20 companies who make nuclear weapons for this country, and building an unstoppable movement from the bottom up, that will finally pressure politicians to take action on this most urgent and important of issues.
- “The Meaning of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Israel?” with Sandy Baird and Mousa Ishaq. For decades the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by the state and armies of Israel and the support of the United States for Israel have been a major source of conflict, in the Middle East. Now, the President of the United States, Donald Trump has deepened that conflict by asserting that he will move the US embassy to Jerusalem asserting against international law that the Israeli occupation of that city is permanent. As Palestinians , the United Nations and most of the world argues, this recognition of Israel’s claims to the entire city puts an end to any hopes of a two state solution where the State of Israel and a future Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine will live side by side in peace. This workshop will examine the meaning of this move by President Trump and more important ask “”What Next?”
- “Building Empathy and Hope with Kids4Peace” with Jeff Mandell and Kids4Peace Teens. Does violent conflict in the world seem like a tangled knot without hope of solution? Kids4Peace (k4p.org) provides that hope and is training our future leaders to be peacemakers. Kids4Peace is a grassroots interfaith youth movement dedicated to ending conflict and inspiring hope in Jerusalem and other divided societies around the world. To achieve this mission, our programs build interfaith communities that embody a culture of peace and empower a movement for change. In this hour we will: Explore immediate learnings to elevate your one-on-one and group peace-building skills. Hear directly from Kids4Peace Vermont teen ambassadors who have lived and studied with kids from Israel and Palestine. One component of a world beyond war requires citizens of the world to be able to disagree with their neighbors without taking violent action or depriving them of their human rights. This capability derives from the capacity to empathize and understand opposing points of view. Kids4Peace teaches these skills to understand and problem solve, starting by gathering small groups of people with opposing views together. Participants explore their traditions and customs, share the realities of their daily lives, and work to break down the stereotypes and fears that they have of the ‘other’. Recently in Jerusalem the newest group of 140 Muslim, Christian and Jewish families met for the first time. During the initial meeting, despite their differences, a new culture of unity and bonding was formed. After attending this workshop you will have some tangible knowledge and tools for creating a culture of peace in your community.
- “Everyday Nonviolence: A World Beyond Separation” with Catherine Cadden and Jesse Wiens. This presentation will have a focus on how to build empathic skills in the face of a world of separation and division. Whether conflict arises at work, at home or on the front lines, we always have a choice between connection and separation, between empathy and hatred. What do we need to transform within ourselves in order to make the choice that will be most life-serving? What kind of practical skills do we need to support ourselves in that choice? And then, what actions can we take? Participants will also learn how Play in the Wild! is bringing the principles of nonviolence alive in their international, multi-lingual programs, including Wild! Kids Camps, Retreats and Quests for youth and their Crossroads Mentoring Program for New American Youth. Crossroads trains mentors to support youth who have just immigrated to the United States. Created in partnership with the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, Crossroads offers a unique approach to dismantling systems of racism, sexism and cultural prejudice.
- “Economic Revolution: Five Systems to Change” with Gwendolyn Hallsmith and Henry Jacqz. The heart of the war machine beats to the drum of the economic elite – the economy needs to change substantially to build a world beyond war. Yet most of the economic systems that drive the problems we face are invisible to most of us – they operate in an unconscious and deliberately hidden world, protected by the guardians of the dominant paradigm.: This workshop will break down these systems into their component parts – Ownership, Money, Markets, Management, and Metrics – and illustrate how all over the world there are creative alternatives rising up through the cracks of the old system that point to a better future. Coops, community land trusts, public banks, complementary currencies, new markets for reformulated products, socially conscious business practices, gross national happiness, and genuine progress indicators are just a few of the alternatives that are already at work to transform the economic system to make it more just, sustainable, and happy. The workshop will feature a short skit about public banks, a game that reflects how some community currencies work, and a lively discussion about how to go about making the change we need.
- “The Impacts of US Militarism in Okinawa and Forewarning Regarding the F-35” with Adrienne Kinne. Adrienne will be sharing her report back from a recent Veterans For Peace US delegation to Okinawa. There, she and fellow VFP US members joined VFP Okinawa and VFP Japan members to learn more about the impacts of US militarism on the island and show solidarity to the Okinawan resistance. We also learned about Okinawan history, and current movements to oppose the growing US military presence. While Okinawa comprises just 0.6% of the land that is Japan, over 62% of US military bases are located there with great cost to the Okinawan people. These impacts have included environmental damage, noise pollution, threats to the waters and bays around Okinawa, disruption of their culture and society, and possible eradication of an endangered species, the Okinawan dugong. Learn more about the movement of the Okinawan people, which also includes opposing the increasing presence of US military aircraft flying over the island, which has been fraught with countless accidents over the years – a forewarning of what may come to Vermont with the basing of the F-35.
- “Fair Trade 101: Global Trade and Racism” with Amy Crosswhite. Trade has developed for three reasons: need, greed, or curiosity. The aim of this presentation is to give some background on the history of global trade and how trade has historically come at the expense of marginalizing people in the Global South. Capitalism is part of the many ways that exploitation is carried out. The Fair Trade Movement came about as an alternative trading system to ensure that producers in the Global South are given access to the global market, but also provided with basic human rights. The basic principles of fair trade and our role within the supply chain will be examined.
- “Seeing and Disrupting Racism within Predominantly White Communities” with Zymora Davinchi and Netdahe Stoddard. This presentation was developed for predominantly white audiences. It defines racism, walks participants through the concept of white fragility, and goes over how white fragility perpetuates racism and specific ways to disrupt this.
- “#MeToo and Global Feminism” with Robin Lloyd, Marguerite Adelman, and Peggy Luhrs. Is patriarchy about to topple? Or not? We are seeing the dangerous culmination of machismo and militarism in the person and government of Donald Trump. And women are responding not only here but around the world. This workshop will discuss some of the international movements led by women that promote peace. Women Cross the DMZ is mobilizing women globally for peace in Korea. Women are behind the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, signed by 122 nations last summer. As members of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom we promote women at the peace table (SCR 1325), The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women CEDAW, and support a 5th World Conference for women in 2022!. We welcome a discussion on this exciting phenomena.
- “The Cold War Then and Now: Cuba and Latin America” with Sandy Baird. Although the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, anti- Russian and anti -communist hysteria still fuels American Foreign Policy. In Cuba, our socialist neighbor in the Caribbean the United States mounted an especially virulent cold war of dirty tricks, embargoes, blockades and invasions to destroy Cuba, its economy, its people and its spirit.While President Obama eased this almost 60 year old policy the Trump administration is once again attacking Cuba and seeking regime change there. In this workshop we will examine the Cold War tensions with Russia which spilled over to Cuba and examine also the new Cold War against Russia and Cuba.
- “Social Regeneration Through Ecological Restoration” with Jon Turner. With an increase in demand for global collaboration, farmers play a vital role in sustaining healthy communities. This workshop will discuss the benefits and potential for on-farm interaction with examples of initiatives designed to improve health and well-being, while encouraging the use of appropriate agricultural practices that are adaptable in a changing climate.
- “Pipeline Politics: The Shocking Truth about Endless Wars in the Middle East” with Charlotte Dennett. Ever since the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11 tragedy, the American people have been told that American soldiers have been sent to foreign soils to eradicate Islamist terrorists threatening U.S. national security. Never (or hardly ever) has the American media provided a broader context in which the conflicts have taken place, namely, feverish competition among nations to obtain and control oil and natural gas supplies. The transportation of these vital fuels to foreign markets –most commonly through pipelines — entails complex diplomatic negotiations over pipeline routes. Typically, pipeline politics enter the fray when one nation refuses to grant transit rights to another because of political and/or economic disputes, coupled with fears of pipeline sabotage. This is the stage when treachery can replace civility, when wars are started or regimes overthrown. Huge offshore oil and gas fields are now undergoing development off the Mediterranean coast of Gaza, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula, escalating tensions in the region over ownership of the fields and potential pipeline routes. Billions of dollars in arms sales have been allocated to repressive regimes in the Middle East to “fight ISIS,” when the reality is the armaments—and our troops – are being sent to safeguard pipeline routes. Using maps to illustrate this point, the workshop aims to raise “pipeline consciousness” about the wars in the Middle East and then makes the links to the struggles in the U.S. against the Dakota Access Pipeline and Tar Sands Keystone XL The goal is to drive home the need for alternative sources of energy as a moral crusade, calling for an end to horrific human suffering, displacement, and deaths in the millions.
- “Anti-War Jeopardy” with Liam Daugherty. Are you excellent at Jeopardy? Test your knowledge (and a little bit of luck) with our version! It’s a great way to learn a bit about the military industrial complex while meeting people and having fun.
Jeopardy categories are: Anti-War Activists, Peace Movements, U.S. International Atrocities, Police Militarization, Cost of War, and Anti-War Song Lyrics. Prizes will be a part of this program.
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Winooski School District
60 Normand Street
Winooski, VT 05404