These are some more photos of our November 29, 2018 vigil to stop US support for the murderous Saudi led war against the people of Yemen. They were all taken by Alice Brody but came in too late to include in the original article about the vigil and our reasons for being there with the 34 backpacks. Thank you for the photos, Alice.
Women Against War’s Annual Gathering
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 5:30 PM
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 510 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville
Bring Savory or Sweet Finger Food to Share & Suggested Donation $10-25
Easy Parking Wheelchair Accessible Silent Auction
To help us plan, please RSVP to Maud Easter firstname.lastname@example.org
Through good weather and bad, through every challenging time, Trudy is always there for all our Capital District peace and justice work!
Trudy is a mainstay of Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, managing BNP’s website, promoting all our events in BNP’s Weekly Peace Email and organizing BNP’s movies and forums series.
Trudy also created and hosts the Peace Now video interview series featuring peace and justice activists, shared over multiple public access TV stations.
Come learn from advocate, author & activist Phyllis Bennis:
Her latest book is: ISIS, Syria & the US in the Middle East
Phyllis is author of Understanding ISIS & the New Global War on Terror: A Primer. She is Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., a key resource for peace activists.
Phyllis speaks widely across the US and around the world as part of the global peace movement. She has served as an informal adviser to several top UN officials on the Middle East and UN democratization issues. In 2001 she helped found and remains active with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. She has recently joined the national board of Jewish Voice for Peace.
Phyllis has written and edited 11 books, including Before & After: US Foreign Policy and the War on Terror; Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict; and Challenging Empire: How People, Governments and the UN Defy U.S. Power.
At our February meeting of the Beyond Afghanistan/No Drones Project we began planning for informational leafleting of the people who would be waiting to hear the Presidential candidates expected to come to the Capital District to campaign before the April 19th New York State primaries. Lots of enthusiasm and lots of good ideas followed.
We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to reach hundreds of people who waited outside to hear the candidate(s) of their choice.
The method we chose to do this was a combination of leaflets that included questions for candidates about how they would deal with ending the wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and now, Libya. In addition to informational leafleting we held our new banner “Wars Make Refugees” and several signs welcoming refugees and opposing Islamophobia.
Here’s the text of our leaflet (printed on bold fuchsia paper):
WARS MAKE REFUGEES: Candidate Questions
Wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen & now Libya, are fueled by US drone strikes, massive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the deployment of special forces. They are causing the deaths of innocent civilians, destroying communities and creating more refugees every day.
SYRIA: 9.5 million people already displaced. Will you support an international arms embargo, including US arms shipments?
IRAQ: Over 2 million people already displaced. Will you support negotiations instead of drone strikes & bombing?
YEMEN: 1.5 million people already displaced. Will you end US support for the Saudi-led campaign which is killing civilians and destroying the country?
Our first round of leafleting and vigiling happened on Monday, April 4, 2016. It was complicated by an unexpected snowstorm featuring 5-6 inches of heavy, wet snow that was still falling through mid afternoon. That limited the number of people who could be there but there were still stalwart leafleters and banner holders at the (Bernie less) Bernie Sanders rally at Capitol Park in Albany and the Hillary Clinton rally, at the High School in Cohoes.
Then on Thursday, April 7th WAW members and allies were there when Ted Cruz visited Mekeel Christian Academy in Scotia.
For more details about April 4th and April 7th please see Maud Easter’s blog article in the Times Union
The next round of educational leafleting took place on Monday, April 11th when three of the candidates all visited Albany and Troy on the same day, but thankfully at different times and in much more hospitable weather.
We were there for the Bernie Sanders rally during the many hours that people waited outside in long lines for his 2 PM rally at the Washington Avenue Armory, in Albany.
Some of us leafleted and held our banner and signs outside the John Kasich rally at LaSalle Institute in Troy. We were in place by 1 PM and stayed until the rally began at 2:30 PM.
And at 4 PM we joined the very large crowd outside the Times Union Center waiting to enter and hear Donald Trump speak at 7 PM.
Special kudos to Maud Easter, who took the ball and ran with it. Writing the first draft of the leaflet and above all juggling and fitting together all of the many moving parts that changed as we found out more about dates, times, locations, and special parking restrictions near the candidate venues.
Thanks to all who contributed time, energy and spirit leafleting, schlepping and carrying banners and signs, documenting in words and photos, sharing information, and organizing our presence at the Bernie, Hillary, Kasich, Trump, and Cruz events.
On Monday, February 17th, Grannies for Peace turned out in force for our annual Valentine’s Vigil. The vigil was postponed from the 14th as over 20 inches of Capital Region snow that day underscored grannies’ message that current climate extremes signal a critical global threat – with the US Pentagon the world’s #1 fossil fuel user. There were 34 of us in all – grannies, grandchildren thanks to Dot Richards and Maureen Aumand, other Women Against War members and even a group proclaiming itself The Men’s Auxiliary of Grannies for Peace!
We vigiled at the corners of Wolf Road and Central Avenue past which thousands of cars pass each hour. Lots of drivers honked approval as they read our large banners and signs.
Thanks to Kim Kennedy for making multiple War Causes Climate Change signs and to Maureen Aumand for getting two new large weather-proof banners printed: Protect Mother Earth from Climate Destruction and Pentagon =s World’s Largest Fossil Fuel User.
And thanks to all the grannies who lettered additional signs at our props-making meeting. We are excited to have all these props to bring this message to the Tulip Festival on Mother’s Day weekend and to Earth Day and other environmental events this spring. It’s clear that most people are surprised to learn that the Pentagon is the world’s largest institutional source of greenhouse gases.
We got good media coverage. Nice photos in the front section of The Times Union and on-line , nice footage and good interview with Barb Cooley on Channel 6 and an article in Roshni, the bi-lingual news magazine from the Capital Region for the South Asian Community.
Thanks to our wonderful photographer, granny Mabel Leon , we have a treasure trove of photos of the event – all in this articlel are Mabel’s, and there are more on Women Against War’s Waging Peace blog on the Times Union website. Click on all these links to enjoy more reports on the event.
Barb Cooley as co-coordinator was magnificent in organizing all the props and sharing wisdom as we coped with the local climate crisis. We were happy to learn that it could work to reschedule our event when the weather was truly terrible. So, for the future we will be able to avoid “snow or no snow” advance announcements!