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General News    H4'ed 5/27/19

70's, 80's Anti-War Heroes Call for New Anti-War Uprising

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Ron  Ron Kovic and Jackson Brown at Bonpane's Memorial
Ron Ron Kovic and Jackson Brown at Bonpane's Memorial
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Anti-war heroes and Hollywood stars,Blase's and other peace activists attended a memorial in honor of peace icon Blase Bonpane, remembering him as a peace hero and a role model for others to follow.

Blase Bonpane Memorial
Blase Bonpane Memorial
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Blase and his wife Theresa founded the Office of the Americas, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peace and justice throughout Latin America and the world. It is considered by many to be the counter to the School of the Americas, an organization that sponsors terrorism in Latin American countries.

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Theresa Bonpane
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"I believe that we may have to go to the streets again in this country in great numbers," Vietnam War vet Ron Kovic said. "It really doesn't matter how old or how young you are, whether you're are in a wheelchair or whether you're walking with that cane as Blase did... That day and those days are coming up ahead, regardless of how tired you might be. We've been there before. We've marched and we've demonstrated. We're going to have to do it again and we're going to have to bring the young people with us, students with us, great numbers of people""

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Though paralyzed in Vietnam, Ron came back to the U.S. and demonstrated against the war, feeling that was the patriotic thing to do. The movie, Born on the Fourth of July was written by Ron and based on his experience. Oliver Stone brought it to the screen with Tom Cruise playing the lead role. Ron has actively spoken on behalf of peace candidates, such as Congressman Dennis Kucinich. He has often spoken at anti-war demonstrations.

This sentiment was echoed throughout the speeches, along with the love of the speakers for Blase Bonpane. Blase spent a great many nights in jail as a result of standing up for peace and against the injustices done by our government. Blase's wife Theresa also went to jail a number of times for her exercise of free speech. Many in the packed auditorium had been arrested in peace demonstrations along with Blase and Theresa. One thing every attendee knew or learned was that Blase had saved lives through his work.

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Civil rights leaders, such as Reverend James Lawson , Delores Huerta and Martin Sheen spoke at the memorial, along with a host of other civil rights activists. Jackson Browne, who had also been close to Blase, performed a couple of songs. Mimi Kennedy introduced some of the speakers and read a statement from Jim Lafferty of the National Lawyers Guild.

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There were lots of stars in the audience, such as Jane Fonda (who brought her little dog) and Mike Farrell, the founder and President of Death Penalty Focus. That organization just had a big win with Gavin Newsom's suspension of the death penalty in California.

Though there were people of all ages as well as some service dogs in the audience, most of those present were above 70. Some were ready to march and some seemed very tired and disillusioned by the war agenda of the USA and especially by the war agenda of the Democratic Party. (Most came from the Democratic Party.) Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders were seen as the only two peace candidates running for President this year.

The question this raises is where are the Blase Bonpanes of today? Those who have the most to lose are the younger generation? What will it take for the youth to rise up as prior generations did against war? When World War III arrives it will be too late.

 

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Henry has been a professor of political science and legal ethics and an advisor to many successful candidates for public office. He is currently working on a book about the inequality crisis in America.
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11 people are discussing this page, with 23 comments


Neal Herrick

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Please explain to me why you think Sanders is a peace candidate. I've been looking for one with a chance to win.

Submitted on Monday, May 27, 2019 at 1:50:16 PM

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Art Costa

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Reply to Neal Herrick:   New Content

Tulsi Gabbard, a peace candidate, declared early on, before Sanders.


While the usual suspects declared (2 or 3), the threat of an insurgent candidate (both Sanders and Gabbard are seen as that) was met with an onslaught of unknown candidates including a Mayor Pete. The latter, lessor known than Juan Guaido, with about as much substance has taken media center stage, followed by "Uncle" Joe.


My guess is the faceless, mostly unknown mob are part of an attempt to ensure that Gabbard's message is overwhelmed on the "debate" stage.


More than any other issue, peace, will be denied, once again, a full public hearing.


So a "chance" to win in a rigged system is wishful thinking. I'm supporting fhe peace candidate while she's still with us.

Submitted on Monday, May 27, 2019 at 3:09:35 PM

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John Rachel

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Sanders is a "peacier" candidate. He gets a pass for his lapdog support for Israeli aggression, his on-again-off-again support for grandiose military budgeting, because of his admirable positions on domestic issues.

There's Tulsi Gabbard and Mike Gravel running on peace, that's it. No one takes Gravel seriously, so the "peace field" is pretty narrow. If Tulsi gets any traction, they'll pull out all the dirty tricks to marginalize her. That's what a political system built around war and conquest does.

Submitted on Monday, May 27, 2019 at 10:36:58 PM

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People in Massatack are going to hit the North Bridge to get whatever they want. Newest fine quality 4 page letter will gather them there in due time.

Submitted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 12:16:03 AM

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This is an amazing group of people, I met many of them when I lived in CA and worked on the Kucinich campaigns. Sorry to miss Blaise's service, thank you for the coverage!

Submitted on Monday, May 27, 2019 at 5:27:39 PM

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This article, as well as a discussion on the World Beyond War email list, prompted me to write: A Call for a World Peace Concert.

Submitted on Monday, May 27, 2019 at 7:19:41 PM

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Lives in the Balance

I've been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear
You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you've seen it before
Where a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war

And there's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interest runs

On the radio talk shows and the T.V.
You hear one thing again and again
How the U.S.A. stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends--
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can't take any more
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone
There are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

There's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can't even say the names

They sell us the President the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they're never the ones to fight or to die
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

Songwriters: Jackson Browne

Submitted on Monday, May 27, 2019 at 7:33:54 PM

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Lois Gagnon

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You will not get peace with any Democrat. Sorry. The Greens are the real peace party. It's in our platform. How many more times do we have to go through the same demoralizing process before people make the switch?

Submitted on Monday, May 27, 2019 at 8:37:15 PM

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John Rachel

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Reply to Lois Gagnon:   New Content

"How many more times do we have to go through the same demoralizing process before people make the switch?"

Great question, Lois. Democrats in Congress vote for war, approve grotesque, outlandish military budgets, offer the same stale excuses and nonsensical platitudes as the Rethuglicans. With a handful of admirable exceptions, there's no difference.

Submitted on Monday, May 27, 2019 at 10:32:41 PM

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Howie is the right candidate and I think he brings the right organizing principles. But the national party needs to build on Hawkins's leadership.


Ecosocialism is important basis for moving forward.

Submitted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 1:13:40 PM

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"The centerpiece of Hawkins' campaign for president is an 'ecosocialist Green New Deal' to convert to clean renewable energy with zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 a 'World War II-scale mobilization,' he said in a statement."

Well, I couldn't agree more that he brings the right ideas. Organization is another matter. The Greens, much to my disappointment and based on EXTENSIVE personal experience, are only organized at defeating themselves. Every Green I've tried to deal with from national down to local level for the past five years, are in massive denial about 1) the real obstacles they face as a party, 2) even the need for organization and some semblance of an effective structure.

If you or Lois have any way to address this, I certainly wish you would communicate it to them. Otherwise, the "wasted vote" demonizing by the Democrats and Republicans will become a reality written in stone and the Green Party will end up a sad footnote in American history books.

Submitted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 10:10:47 PM

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Our biggest obstacle is the corporate press. Even the local public stations go out of their way to trash us while refusing to include our candidates in debates. If you recall, Jill Stein and Cheri Honkola were tied to chairs for 8 hrs. back in 2012 to prevent them from entering a presidential debate venue.

Notice also how the Dems steal all our ideas and hollow them out in order to kill them before they have a chance to be effective.

The Greens are working very hard to organize and recruit people to run for office at the local and state level. I am a member of the Mass Green Party administration committee. I keep telling people, if you want to see the Greens succeed, get involved. We need people to grow the party. We are fighting an uphill battle in a corporate controlled system that continues to prove it is actually scared to death of us gaining any traction.

Here's the question progressives need to answer. Which is more doable, growing the Green Party or changing the corrupted Democrats?

Submitted on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 1:05:49 AM

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"Here's the question progressives need to answer. Which is more doable, growing the Green Party or changing the corrupted Democrats?"

Actually, there's a third way. That's to play down and ignore party labels altogether and talk to the people about what's important to the people. It's apparently a difficult concept to grasp because everyone is locked into the same narrative and playing by the same rules which guarantee the defeat of any real progressivism, and certainly the marginalization of any third party of any consequence. There's a way to do what I'm saying but I'm tired of talking about it. It doesn't fit on a t-shirt.

Submitted on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 9:08:37 AM

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nelswight

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OMG,JOHN, THERE IT IS IN A NUTSHELL, BUT STILL A VERY BIG SHELL, and more

difficultly doable.

Morally, ethically and honorably correct is part of why GREEN IS GOOD but in this phase

of senility where I now sit, I cannot even imagine how to grow the Green Party enough

in the few years I have left. Sorry, the deeper I probe the more pessimistic I become.

Submitted on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 1:30:03 PM

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I am so proud and pleasured to listen to you and Lois, John. Carry on, YOUTH.

Submitted on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 1:33:36 PM

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You will not get peace with any Democrat. Sorry. The Greens are the real peace party. It's in our platform. How many more times do we have to go through the same demoralizing process before people make the switch?

Submitted on Monday, May 27, 2019 at 8:38:21 PM

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Old rock stars can still draw crowds and get coverage. But it would be still if young musicians participated. Probably they fear that they will lose out if their music becomes too political. Think of what happened to the Dixe Chicks, who criticized GWB.

Submitted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 12:58:50 AM

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What I like about Jackson Browne, et al is not his age but that his music speaks beyond an administration to the ruling class policies.

Submitted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 2:59:43 PM

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Thanks for your time in posting this article. Nice pictures a good reminder of there should be no war(s).

There have been many wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and one of the longest wars in human history, Afghanistan. Unfortunately, there are people who believe lies and false flag operations to get their support.

Submitted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 1:04:29 AM

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Blaise led us on the International March for Peace and Justice in Central America, a life changing experience for 350 people from 35 countries. While we frequently mourn all the wars the USA has started, we don't often enough celebrate the ones we prevented.

Submitted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 3:26:48 AM

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There will not be peace as long as those who manage wars are invisible: The conspiracy of the world exposed

Submitted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 1:46:15 PM

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Your article is very thought-provoking. Generally, people need to look behind the popular narratives -- often pure propaganda -- to get to the truth. Then they need to act on their discoveries. This seems a bit much for most of us. So many cabals and conspiracies, so little time. So out of ignorance, we are led around like blind sheep. They say, "Trust us". I say, "Put them in prison and put everyday people in charge."

Submitted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 10:20:50 PM

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Henry Samson - thank you for being a part of us and sharing

your thoughts. You show a good batting average, Ted Williams

class.

Submitted on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 1:58:49 PM

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