The basic question was “where is my vote”. Many believe the demonstrations were the largest since the Islamic revolution of 1979. Tehran city hall estimated the numbers of demonstrators at around 3 million. One particular and important element in the demonstrations was the nonviolent way Iranian youth showed their opposition to the result of the election. It was amazing to see how intelligent these young people are. 3 million people in the “silence rallies” in the streets of Tehran invited one another to keep quiet. Slogans like “ my silence is stronger than your gun” were not skeptical. They showed growth and maturity in these young people,
Religious and Grassroots Leaders Urge Clinton to Suspend Military Base Talks with Colombia
Bases deal “presents enormous dangers for entire hemisphere”
Last Tuesday I saw a powerful documentary film, Made in L.A., at a private screening in New York City hosted by the United Methodist Committee on Relief. The film was produced a few years ago, so perhaps you've seen it — on PBS television, or in a film festival. If not, this is a great time to check it out, as it is being re-released due to the debate about comprehensive immigration reform in the United States. The film addresses issues of low wage work, sweatshops, immigrants' rights, organizing, and women's empowerment, as well as international workers solidarity.
I was delighted to learn today that Made in L.A. is going to be broadcast tomorrow night, August 11th, on some 70 PBS stations nationwide. Here's the announcement I received:
President Obama was forced to address the growing clamor in South America opposing plans for U.S. military use of bases in Colombia to carry out regional operations with a wide and ambiguous mandate. “We have no intent in establishing a U.S. military base in Colombia,” Obama said on Friday.
But whether the bases are "U.S." in name is of no import. The proposal has always been for U.S. military use of national bases in Colombia, which is how the U.S. works at military bases in Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador, and many other countries in the world. The Pentagon does not acknowledge “U.S. bases” in Iraq, for example. Obama’s announcement doesn’t change anything of what has bothered so many Latin Americans and U.S. citizens who hoped for better from Obama’s government.
Yesterday was the 64th anniversary of the atomic destruction of the city of Nagasaki, Japan. Over the period of less than a week, more than 250,000 Japanese died in 1945 due to the bombing and radiation from those two massive blasts. At the same time that protests were taking place across the United States — at places like Los Alamos, New Mexico; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Laboratories in California; the Nevada Test Site; and other sources of U.S. nuclear weapons development and testing — several U.S. peace activist colleagues of the Fellowship of Reconciliation were in Japan during the past few days.
The British institution Talk Together and the Saharawi Journalists and Writers Union (UPES) announced yesterday that the Moroccan government prevented 14 Saharawi and Moroccan students (seven of each) from leaving Morocco to attend an international meeting called Talk Together in Oxford. This event in England focuses on peaceful conflict resolution and intercultural dialogue between youth from the United Kingdom, Norway, the Philippine,s and the refugee camps in Tindouf. The project has won support from British MPs, the European Commission, and the British Council.
Truth and reconciliation for Iran
To unify Iran, we suggest greater freedoms, an end to outside interference and a truth and reconciliation commission
The International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) has just forwarded the exciting news that it will be hosting a meeting next week between Tibetan and Chinese community leaders. The message from Johannes Schot, executive director of IFOR, reported:
The International Secretariat is herewith proud to announce the news that the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, in cooperation with the Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association, has invited the Dalai Lama for a conference in Geneva between Chinese and Tibetan scholars, scientists, journalists and other members of Chinese and Tibetan civil society. The conference is proceeding as planned, held from 6 — 8 August.
This fall in New York City, FOR will hold our first Peace Banquet and Boat Cruise on Sunday, October 11th from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. This special "Peace on the River" celebratory event and fundraiser will be held in the glass-enclosed "Bateaux New York," which will cruise on the scenic Hudson River with views of Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn.