I'm on my way to Madison, Wisconsin, and I hope you are too, and not just for the beer and (veggie) bratwursts. Here are seven other good reasons:
- The Student Power Convergence, Aug. 1-5 (ending now, but folks sticking around).
- The Democracy Convention, Aug. 7-11.
- The Veterans For Peace Convention, Aug. 7-11.
- Marking the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki together with opponents of war.
- The opening of Dirty Wars with after-screening talks with Jeremy Scahill.
- The daily singing and protesting in the state capitol!
- And the big town hall meeting, Aug. 7, on "Illegal Wars, Torture & Spying: Millions Demanded Bush's Impeachment; Should Obama be Impeached for Continuing Bush's Crimes?"
Activists are converging on Madison, allowing for cross-fertilization and creative planning of future actions for peace and justice in the United States. I recently invited Roshan Bliss of the Student Power Convergence, Ben Manski of Democracy Convention, and Doug Rawlings of Veterans For Peace to discuss these events on my radio show, Talk Nation Radio. Click and take a listen.
The town hall on impeachment is, I think, the first of its kind I will speak at since Obama moved into the White House and began continuing the crimes for which a majority of Americans in various polls favored Bush's impeachment. It's not that I've turned down other invitations. It's not that I haven't been invited. This is the first Impeach Obama (for sane reasons) meeting I've heard of. Check it out. Also speaking: Coleen Rowley, Debra Sweet, Buzz Davis, Don McKeating, Joe Elder -- and you if you can make it.
by Veterans For Peace
The VFP Convention is the 28th such event. Veterans For Peace, a leading antiwar organization with members in every U.S. state and several other countries, will hold its 28th national convention at the Concourse Hotel at 1 Dayton Street. The convention, open to veterans and non-veterans, will feature speakers, entertainers, and workshops on a wide variety of topics related to the advancement of peace and the abolition of war.
Free public events include:
Lanterns for Peace,commemorating Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Aug. 6, 7-9:30 p.m. Tenney Park Shelter
Poetry Night, Aug. 7, 8-10:30 p.m. Room of One's Own Bookstore, 315 W Gorham Street
Activist Night with national and local speakers, open mic, music, Aug. 8, 7-10 p.m., Concourse Hotel Ballroom
Rally and Peace Parade, families invited, bring peace banners, Aug. 10, 4 p.m., State Street and Capitol Square
Tribute to Lincoln Grahlfs, Aug. 11, 9-11 a.m., Capitol Lakes Retirement Center, 333 West Main Street
Iraq Veterans Against the War Art Exhibit, Aug 7-11, Rainbow Bookstore, 426 W. Gilman Street
Speakers at the VFP convention include:
Elliott Adams, former VFP president, hungerstriker to close U.S. prison at Guantanamo.
Carlos Arredondo, Costa Rican-American peace activist and American Red Cross volunteer.
Leah Bolger,former VFP president, Drones Quilt Project.
Paul Chappell, Iraq War veteran, author, peace leadership director at Nuclear Age Peace Fdtn.
Ben Griffin, UK war resister.
Tarak Kauff, Vietnam War veteran, VFP board member, hungerstriker to close U.S. prison at Guantanamo.
Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence.
John Kinsman, president of Family Farm Defenders.
Sister Maureen McDonnell, OP, Dominican sister of Sinsinawa and a spiritual guide.
Michael McPhearson, Gulf War veteran, national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice.
Patrick McCann, Vietnam War resister, president of Veterans For Peace.
David Newby, founder of U.S. Labor Against the War and former President of WI AFL-CIO.
Scott Olsen, Iraq War veteran, shot in the head at Occupy Oakland.
John Peck, executive director of Family Farm Defenders.
Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive magazine.
Paul Soglin, mayor of Madison.
Margaret Stevens, VFP board member and Director of the Urban Issues Institute at Essex County College.
Nick Turse, journalist, historian, and author.
Mike Wiggins Jr., tribal chairman of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe.
S. Brian Willson, Vietnam veteran, author, activist, hungerstriker to close U.S. prison at Guantanamo.
Diane Wilson, Vietnam veteran, author, activist, fisherwoman, hungerstriker to close U.S. prison at Guantanamo.
Col. Ann Wright (ret.), recently returned from meeting with families of drone victims in Pakistan.
James Yee, former U.S. Army chaplain at Guantanamo, falsely accused of "aiding the enemy."
Entertainers at the convention will include Lem Genovese, Ryan Harvey, Solidarity singalong, Forward Marching Band, Madison Raging Grannies, Watermelon Slim, Honor Among Thieves, Jim Walktendonk. Also Regis Tremblay will be screening his new film The Ghosts of Jeju. A drones quilt will be displayed during the convention.