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A deadly monster. Part 2: Its outmatched and divided opposition

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Let's briefly look at three of them; the oldest, the largest and a war veteran's group. They probably represent in their current status the outer limits of what has been and can be accomplished by fragmented groups with limited resources in their opposition to the monster. But they could also represent the nucleus for an organized, unified and systemic approach to achieving the reforms necessary to topple the monster. Neither this triumvirate nor the rest of the corpocracy is going to be toppled by a "thousand cuts." To think so is fanciful. 


The War Resisters League (www.warresisters.org) was started in 1923 (just imagine the number of wars and lesser wars the League has been resisting since then). It has a small, paid staff and volunteers in the national office and numerous committees and taskforces. It has chapters in almost half of the states. It also has an international affiliate. It apparently eschews grants or money from big foundations and the government and depends instead on donations from individuals and from corporate matching gift programs. 

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Some of the activities mentioned on its website are storytelling, witnessing, protesting, challenging military recruitment, organizing and training for nonviolent direct action, and offering "on-the-ground" education.


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Peace Action (www.peace-action.org), according to its website is "the nation's largest grassroots peace network with chapters and affiliates in states across the country [and] nearly 100,000 activists and experienced organizers---." Its 2010 annual report lists 15 board directors, a staff of 10, and revenue of over $330,000 with $50,000 from foundations. Its activities include grassroots organizing, developing policy and strategic proposals, petition campaigns, citizen lobbying, lobbying visits to Congressional members and their staffs, and capacity building. Two-thirds of its long range plan addresses capacity building (e.g., growth, fund raising, governance and organizational design) rather than outcome-oriented reform initiatives. It lists over 15 "friends and allies," but how they actually interact with Peace Action is unclear.



Veterans for Peace (www.veteransforpeace.org) was founded in 1985 by 10 U.S. veterans in response to the global nuclear arms race and U.S. military interventions in Central America. It now has approximately 5,000 members (down from more than 8,000 members in the buildup to the U.S. invasion of Iraq) in 150 chapters located in every U.S. state and several countries. It is recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization by the United Nations, and, its website says, is the only national veterans' organization calling for the abolishment of war. VfP has six staff members and 13 board members. Its annual revenue, totaling nearly one half million dollars comes primarily from members' dues and gifts and the rest from grants, earned income (e.g. the VfP store) and non-member gifts.  


VfP has 150 some chapters and more than a dozen working groups. According to its website, VfP has collaborated with dozens of organizations and sponsored thousands of activities promoting peace. They include educational and ceremonial projects (e.g., "exposing the true costs of war" and tree planting memorials); holding peace poetry contests; "healing the wounds of war" (e.g., supporting the lawsuit filed against the U.S. chemical companies by survivors of the toxic "agent orange" used in Vietnam); and helping to rebuild Iraqi's potable water system devastated by US military and economic interventions and sanctions.

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The Peace and Security Funders Group: Too little funding, too little collaboration


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Retired organizational psychologist.

Author of The Devil's Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy in the Lurch; America's Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying; and Corporate Reckoning Ahead.

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