Anti-War and Militarism News

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A "Wear Orange" walk across the Golden Gate Bridge on June 8 recognized the gun violence epidemic and . honored its victims. Orange was the color Hadiya Pendleton, murdered at the age of fifteen in Chicago, wore and has become the symbol of the movement for gun safety laws. It was one of hundreds of events across the country organized by chapters of Mom Demands Action for Gun Sense in America and other organizations that promote non-violence. At the Marin overlook, protesters holding photos of lost loved ones gathered around the statue, The Lonely Sailor.
U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been sent back to jail after refusing to answer questions before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Manning had been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in Virginia’s Eastern District to appear for questioning about her 2010 leak to WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of State Department and Pentagon documents about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manning was imprisoned from 2010 to 2017 for the leak. President Obama commuted her sentence before he left office.
Thu Mar 14 2019 (Updated 03/20/19)
San Francisco Bay Area Says Hands Off Venezuela
Venezuela has been in the crosshairs of the U.S. since 1999 when Hugo Chávez began implementing socialist reforms. Upon Chávez's death in 2013, Nicolás Maduro was elected President. Maduro's second inauguration was on January 10, 2019. On January 22, U.S. Vice President Pence offered Juan Guaidó the presidency of Venezuela and Guaidó then appointed himself "Interim President." Trump recognized the self-appointment, in effect instigating a coup against the Bolivarian government. Several protests and marches have been held in the Bay Area to demand the U.S. take its "Hands Off Venezuela." On March 16, thousands marched in D.C.
In shocking news to the Santa Cruz activist community, Sherry Conable passed away on February 4. Sherry participated in and organized countless political demonstrations and anti-war events over the course of decades in the Santa Cruz area. On March 8, a celebration of Sherry's life was held at Peace United Church, where family and friends wore the color pink to honor Sherry's work with CodePink.
On February 17, members of the greater San José Japanese American community commemorated the anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. At the same time they protested the National Emergency Trump announced two days earlier in order to build his wall on the Mexico-U.S. border. Allies from the South Bay peace activist community joined with those gathered in the local Japantown, one of only three left in the United States.
Sun Nov 25 2018 (Updated 11/26/18)
14 Million Yemenis Face Famine and Disease
The war on Yemen has created the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world today. On November 20, while the President and Congress members prepared for Thanksgiving feasts, San Francisco activists and members of the Yemeni community gathered in front of the city’s Federal Building to protest US support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen. Their protest followed a similar action in San Francisco's Union Plaza earlier this month. It was only after activists organized protests that Nancy Pelosi agreed to be a co-sponsor of the bill.
Wed Nov 14 2018 (Updated 11/15/18)
Ringing a Bell for Peace
Veterans for Peace chapters across the nation gathered on street corners in major cities to commemorate the original Armistice Day by ringing bells 11 times at 11am on the eleventh day of November. In San José, Chapter 101 held a ceremony in front of City Hall. WWI ended on November 11th in 1918 and one year later the world came together in realization that war is so horrible it must end forever. That was the first Armistice Day; Congress officially changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954.
May 14 marked the 70th anniversary of the Nakba in Palestine. Senior members of the Trump administration gathered for the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, sparking massive protests across Palestine. Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition into a crowd who gathered in Gaza, killing 58 and injuring 2,771. The following day, over 1,000 Palestine supporters showed up in San Francisco, San José, and Santa Cruz.
On April 13, the United States, together with its British and French allies, launched one hundred and five cruise missiles from sea and air striking three alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria.  Anti-war protesters CodePink Women for Peace responded immediately with actions the following day in front of the Pacific Heights homes of Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Later in the afternoon of April 14, an emergency demonstration at Market and Powell in San Francisco demanded an end to the bombings.
Congressman Jimmy Panetta, who represents California's central coast, was a member of a Democratic congressional delegation that visited Israel on March 26 to congratulate the nation on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of its government. Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the delegation, stated ahead of their visit, “There is no greater political accomplishment in the 20th Century than the establishment of the State of Israel." Also on March 26, Israel's army announced that “dozens of snipers" would be deployed in Gaza – and four days later, over 750 Palestinians were shot during Land Day demonstrations.
Wed Apr 4 2018 (Updated 05/24/18)
Israel Attacks Land Day Protests Across Palestine
On March 30, massive protests were held in cities across Gaza on Land Day to start a six-week mobilization leading up to al-Nakba Day on May 15, which commemorates the expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland in 1948 to make way for the state of Israel. Near Gaza border fences, Israeli forces used live ammunition to kill 17 demonstrators. 1,416 Palestinians were wounded, 758 of whom were shot by live ammunition. The U.S. has used its veto power in the United Nations Security Council to block a UN investigation into the Israeli military killings in Gaza.
On March 14, thousands of San Francisco Bay Area students participated in a national walkout against gun violence, with 1,500 marching in the suburb of Menlo Park alone. However, not all went smoothly for some Bay Area students seeking to express themselves. One district superintendent in the South Bay accused students of not thinking things through, and stated that “Organizations have their own agendas and they’re using kids as pawns."
On March 8, protesters gathered in front of Visa headquarters in Foster City. They called on the credit card company to block sales of assault weapons. Shortly after they delivered 150,000 signatures on a petition to company representatives, VISA issued a statement to the press saying “We do not believe Visa should be in the position of setting restrictions on the sale of lawful goods and services." Protestors returned to renew their demands one week later.

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