This Earth Day:
Tell Environmental Groups and Gatherings that
WAR HURTS EARTH!
To Save the Earth, Curb Militarism! An appeal for Earth Day, 2018
Thank you for clicking on the link above to take you to a sign-on letter we hope will receive a large infusion of signatories between now and April 22 (though it will stay alive after that for a while too).
Earth Day is just over a week away! People and communities are making plans, a lot of them focusing on eradicating plastic waste from oceans (and everywhere) as humans bury the planet in straws and bags and packaging–a serious problem. However, zero of 28 campaigns run by the Earth Day Network deal with the consequences of war and war preparations. We won’t stave off widespread climate chaos by ignoring probably the largest piece of this awful, toxic pie: Militarism.
There is a lot to focus on.
Tune into Just World Educational’s Facebook page on Thursday, April 19, at 5pm Pacific Time (8pm ET) for a 30-minute discussion about ways to bring militarism up in the coming week. It will be a conversation led by Gar Smith, the Director of Environmentalists Against War and editor of The War and Environment Reader. I hope you will join this online conversation! We are hoping for a lively interplay of Gar’s crisp points and creative memes with questions and action ideas from commenters like you. Gar will be joined by Jackie Cabasso of United for Peace and Justice, Mayors for Peace and Western States Legal Foundation.
We want as many people as possible to be thinking about the military influence on the environment when they attend Earth Day events this year. With encouragement, can we get more people to raise the issue in Q&A periods of speakers extolling the problems of everything but the Pentagon? Can more bulletin boards and community graffiti wall installations and sidewalk chalk zones be tagged with #WarHurtsEarth? Can more signs be carried with this message at marches and school assemblies? Can other memes on the topic be created and shared? Can we generate enough use of #WarHurtsEarth to force a response from hesitant groups? Can we get militarism added to intersectional agendas instead of put aside as not immediate enough, or too diversionary or polarizing, or too international for local consideration?
This is our challenge in the coming week. Please, let me know if you have any plans to work on this issue between now and April 22. Can you add it to a blog post or social media page? Will you add it to an email blast if you do such things? Thank you for working with the rest of us to publicize the “Curb militarism!” letter so the problem is taken up more visibly by people working to avert climate chaos.
King’s Bay Plowshares
There was another Plowshares action! I know these people. I have been good friends with five of them for a long time, actually. They went into the King’s Bay Naval Base in the state of Georgia, home to more active duty, first-strike, nuclear weapons than anywhere else, even Bangor-Kitsap in Washington where I have demonstrated and been arrested. The Trident D5 warhead is immoral and illegal, and we can’t give up trying to make that matter.
The last big Plowshares action was the Transform Now Plowshares that I posted about extensively in 2014 and 2015. saw my octogenarian friend, Sr. Megan Rice similarly cut through chain link fences and walked to the uranium processing facility at the Y-12 facility in Tennessee where all the uranium for the US nuclear arsenal is produced.
Clare Grady, one of the King’s Bay Plowshares wrote from Camden County Jail:
“We say, ‘the ultimate logic of Trident is omnicide’, and yet, the explosive power of this weapon is only part of what we want to make visible. We see that nuclear weapons kill every day by their mere existence. Their production requires mining, refining, testing, and dumping of radioactive material, which poisons sacred Earth and Water, all on Indigenous land.
We see the billions of dollars it takes to build and maintain the Trident system as stolen resources, which are desperately needed for human needs.
We see nuclear weapons as a cocked gun, the biggest gun, used 24/7 to ENFORCE the many layers of state-sponsored violence and deadly force required to maintain white supremacy, global capitalism, and global domination.
We invite others who have been privileged by these systems to join us in withdrawing consent from their deadly function and purpose. We live with hope for a nuclear-free, decolonized world.
Here is a great way to continue the witness against Trident. Have a crane folding party! Then send the cranes to Nikki Haley along with a message from ICAN, the Nobel Peace Prize winning group working to abolish nuclear weapons. You can even get some white postcards and write to the Kings Bay Plowshares during the party.
“Gaza Deserves Our Support”
Don’t blame Hamas, Egypt or the Palestinian Authority, bad as they can be. Don’t blame me if I don’t stay calm when talking about this: The Passover Massacre was inexcusable! I love me a good peace camp, and I know one when I see one. I have marched for justice all over the world, and I feel kinship with such a mass of nonviolent demonstrators as I have seen in Gaza as part of the “Great Return March” movement. Raising the issue of stone throwers or a few violent people or the influence of Hamas is so secondary to what the fundamental problem is as to be a distraction from what must be faced. Don’t ignore your eyes and pretend that Israel’s actions are anything other than reprehensible mayhem and bloodshed visited upon unarmed demonstrators who are fighting for their lives with a lot more dignity than their desperation might allow.
The people of Gaza–most but not all, refugees and their descendants from the Nakba of 1948–are basically locked inside one of the most densely populated places on earth as Israel showcases its horrific tools and tactics trying to lock away hundreds of thousands of people and spreading lies to demonize the victims. Israel (and the United States) is caging and slaughtering and starving the people of Gaza and accelerating the dispossession of the people of Palestine.
As I was writing this post, I shied away from using a term for the slaughter that I have since seen James Zogby use in his piece “Gaza Deserves Our Support” for Jim Lobe’s blog:
The entire affair has been more like a “turkey shoot” then a military confrontation, with innocent protesters who are captives in the world’s largest open air prison being randomly picked off by sniper fire. Even more sickening was the recently released video of a sniper shooting and hitting a Palestinian while his fellow snipers cheered his success. The Israeli response to this video has been to call for punishing the maker of the video and not the sniper who killed the unarmed protester.
Shammai, the strict sage of the Talmud, is rolling over in his grave because of the affronts to Jewish teaching being committed in the name of the Jewish people. Whether or not you are Jewish, I encourage you to join or at least visit Jewish Voice for Peace on the web, and come on our to events and actions organized by Palestinian groups, often in coalition with JVP, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) or other groups. Go on a delegation to Palestine, and bring back personal stories to share. Do something for Palestine today. I do feel it is especially incumbent upon Americans and Jews to try to stop what is being done in our name, and with unbridled support of both parties and all administrations. We must not stand aside.