East Bay Peace Action Annual Gathering Oct. 9, 2022 2 p.m.

Presenter: Kevin Martin, President Peace Action, the nation’s largest peace and disarmament organization,

Speaking on:

Multiple Crises: Which should peace activists address and how?

Kevin has served in a Peace Action leadership role since 2001. Previously, he served as Director of Project Abolition, a national organizing effort for nuclear disarmament. Kevin’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation and numerous other national publications as well as radio and television outlets. Kevin has traveled abroad representing Peace Action and the U.S. peace movement on delegations and at conferences in Russia, Japan, China, Mexico and Britain.

Zoom Information:
https://bit.ly/EBPA2022
Meeting ID:
839 8555 4936
or call 1 669 644-9141

Volunteer for Peace Voter

Peace Voter 2022 is looking for volunteers

Have you plugged into any of the hot elections around the country yet? I’m reaching out today to ask you to join us as a volunteer, from the comfort of your home, in our Peace Voter 2022 candidates’ campaign.

Here at Peace Action we’ve picked the close, competitive races where there are huge gaps between the pro-peace candidates we’re supporting and their far-right election denier opponents. It’s mid-September. If you want to take action in this election season, now is the right time!

Can you sign up to participate in Peace Voter 2022 today?

Even just a couple hours, taking action at home, can help gain votes in a whisker close race. Signing up on the form puts you on the list as a potential volunteer. There are a myriad of ways to volunteer including phonebanking and sending texts and the like. We’ll reach out to you to help you plug into some of the most important races in the country.

Democracy and foreign policy, war, and nuclear weapons are inextricably linked. If Democracy further erodes in this country, the risk of nuclear war increases. Decisions around war and the use of nuclear weapons are already far too undemocratic. We’re fighting to change that. But if we don’t have better representation there is only so far we can go.

I know we are all so busy in our lives. But, as you well know, this is a pivotal moment for our country. It’s time to step up. 

We’ll be taking action for pro-peace candidates like Mandela Barnes, who has been a Wisconsin Peace Action member, against incumbent senator Ron Johnson who tried to push the fake electors scam to steal the 2020 election. We’re backing John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, Rev. Warnock in Georgia and many, many other close races. Please join us. 

Can you sign up with us today, to make this election cycle a strong one for peace and democracy?

Jon Rainwater
Executive Director
Peace Action

From out friends at Roots Action

Great news!  The Ballot DISCLOSE Act, AB 1416, is now on Governor Newsom’s desk and needs only his signature to become law.

AB 1416 is desperately needed because wealthy special interests spend tens of millions on deceptive ads that mislead voters about who supports and opposes ballot measures — but nonprofits Californians trust rarely have as much funding to let voters know the truth.

The Ballot Disclose Act will level the playing field by adding to the ballot a short list of who really supports and opposes each measure so it’s accessible to ALL voters.

Sign *NEW* PETITION for Gov. Newsom to sign AB 1416, even if you signed before!

The petition sends an email directly to Governor Newsom after letting you edit.

GRAPHIC: Sign here button

Due to Big Money’s misleading ads, voters often mistakenly vote against public interest ballot measures supported by organizations they trust — and vote for measures they might reject if they knew who truly opposed them.

This is a major problem in California.  Seventy-nine percent (79%) of likely California voters said it was important to them to know who supports and opposes ballot measures when they vote, but only 21% said they were very confident that they do.

AB 1416, authored by Assembly Member Miguel Santiago working with principal coauthor Senator Henry Stern, and sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign, addresses this by simply but powerfully adding a short list of supporters and opponents (maximum of 125 characters each list) to each measure on the ballot.  The names come from the ballot arguments in the Voter Guide, the 100+ page booklet that many voters are too busy with work and family to study.

AB 1416 can go a long way toward breaking Big Money’s undemocratic grip on ballot measure contests — but only if the Governor signs it now!

Click here to send your message to Governor Newsom.

GRAPHIC: Sign here button

Below is part of what we’ll email for you.  You can edit before we send.

    I’m writing to ask you to sign AB 1416, the Ballot DISCLOSE Act, a bill crucial to providing transparency to voters about who’s for and against ballot measures…
    That’s why I stand with a broad coalition of organizations asking you to sign AB 1416 to ensure every voter has this vital information when they vote.

Urge Biden to promote diplomacy for Ukraine

Sept. 13, 2022
From Jon Rainwater, Peace Action

Dear Peace Friends,
This week marks a week of action for peace in Ukraine. While news of Russian troops retreating from parts of Ukraine is encouraging, ultimately this conflict can only be turned into a sustainable peace through smart negotiations and diplomacy.
Indeed, diplomacy has already accomplished key successes, opening up channels for grain exports from Ukraine and securing inspections to help protect Europe’s largest nuclear reactor. But there is so much more diplomatic work to be done. President Biden is right that “at some point along the line there is going to have to be a diplomatic settlement.” But how long will it take for “some point” to arrive? Wars of attrition can grind on for years, as the belligerents seek to gain territorial advantage and put off inevitably negotiated solutions.
That’s why I’m asking for you to contact the White House and urge President Biden to take these critical steps to help bring an end to the war in Ukraine. 
Ask Biden to
– Call for a ceasefire to end the bloodshed and allow time for negotiations.
– Offer U.S. support for negotiations towards a settlement between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine’s “Istanbul proposal” and the earlier Minsk agreements provide possible models.
– Directly engage with Russia to reduce U.S./Russia tensions, avert miscalculation, and to build a viable European security arrangement that includes nuclear arms reductions.
– Support debt relief and debt cancellation for Ukraine as it copes with the destruction of the war.
Ultimately there is no military solution to this intractable and complex global crisis. The longer the conflict goes on, the more bloodshed there will be. At the same time, the United Nations is warning of years of global hardship that include global “stagflation”, a refugee crisis, and severe disruptions to trade, food security, and human development. The UN is calling for urgent action to address this crisis, warning of a looming catastrophe that could bring global destabilization, starvation, and mass migration on an unprecedented scale.
Please contact President Biden today and demand to take these crucial diplomatic steps to help bring an end to the war in Ukraine.
Thank you for everything you do for peace,
Jon Rainwater
Executive Director

Call to action: STOP WAR IN YEMEN

August 10, 2022
From National Peace Action

President Biden, during his campaign, promised to end U.S. weapons sales and military support for Saudi Arabia. On his first Monday in office, 400 organizations from 30 countries demanded an end to Western backing of the war on Yemen, creating the most extensive anti-war coalition since 2003. Just a few days later, on February 4, 2021, Biden announced an end to U.S. participation in offensive operations in Yemen. Despite President Biden’s commitments, the U.S. continues to enable the blockade – an offensive operation on Yemen – by servicing Saudi fighter jets and providing military, intelligence, and diplomatic support for the Saudi/UAE-led coalition. The blockade and resulting humanitarian crisis have only worsened since Biden took office.

This May, a War Powers Resolution to bring an end to U.S. participation in the war was introduced in the House and currently has 113 co-sponsors. If you contacted your representative to co-sponsor that bill, thank you very much! Now, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have introduced a companion bill in the Senate. The Yemen War Powers Resolution would further Biden’s pledge by ending U.S. support for Saudi-led attacks on Yemen, including:

  • Ending U.S. intelligence sharing for the purpose of enabling offensive Saudi-led coalition strikes.
  • Ending U.S. logistical support for offensive Saudi-led coalition strikes, including the provision of maintenance and spare parts to coalition members flying warplanes that are bombing Yemen.
  • Prohibiting U.S. military personnel from being assigned to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany Saudi-led coalition forces engaged in hostilities without specific statutory authorization.This resolution is considered “privileged” in the Senate, and as such could be voted on very soon! I need you to contact your Senators today and urge them to support the Yemen War Powers Resolution. 

Please contact Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Alex Padilla today and urge them to co-sponsor and support this crucial life-or-death legislation!

While there is currently a fragile cease-fire that has halted Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on civilians, there remains an inhumane aerial and naval blockade in place that is limiting travel and preventing food, fuel, and medical supplies from entering Yemen. Since the war began in 2015, more than 377,000 people have been killed – 60 percent of which can be attributed to non-military reasons such as hunger, disease, and lack of clean water. In that time, the Saudi-led coalition has conducted over 23,000 airstrikes in Yemen that have killed almost 19,000 civilians, all while the U.S. has administered nearly $55 billion in military support to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Both the House and Senate have passed Yemen War Powers resolutions in recent years, only to have them vetoed by former President Trump. With all the uncertainty the coming mid-term elections provide, this could be our last best chance to fully commit the U.S. to end all participation in this brutal war. 

That’s why I need you to contact your Senators today and urge them to support the Yemen War Powers Resolution.

This could be a pivotal time for the Yemeni people, and an opportunity to help end the greatest humanitarian crisis on our planet. Thank you for taking the time to urge your Senators today to support the Yemen War Powers Resolution!

For peace in Yemen,

Jon Rainwater
Executive Director
Peace Action

Love to Afghanistan Feb. 14, 2022

A Call from National Peace Action:

Call your Senators & President Biden! Stop the humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan!

While East Bay Peace Action is unable to sponsor a vigil at this time, in support of the day of Love to Afghanistan, please consider calling your Senators/Reps on Valentine’s Day to take action to end the crisis in Afghanistan.

When the United States military pulled out of Afghanistan, the Biden administration responded by choking off assets to Afghan banks and economy by freezing the reserves of the Afghan Central Bank held in the U.S. They also imposed sanctions on those doing business with Afghanistan and cut off aid. Jobs and income disappeared, people could not afford to buy food and mass starvation is now occurring.

Members of both parties have sent letters to the Biden administration asking that these policies change in order to stop this humanitarian disaster. A December 20 letter to President Biden signed by 48 members of Congress states: “As you transition into a new phase of our relationship with the country and people of Afghanistan, we stand with American allies and humanitarian experts in urging the United States to avoid harsh economic measures that will directly harm Afghan families and children. This means conscientiously but urgently modifying current U.S. policy.”

On Valentine’s Day, we send our love to the people of Afghanistan by demanding that the Biden administration unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets so they can restart their economy and feed their people.

Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the UN, warned that millions of Afghans are on the “verge of death,” urging the international community to fund the U.N.’s $5 billion humanitarian appeal, release Afghanistan’s frozen assets and jump-start its banking system to avert economic collapse. 

Call Congress today at the Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121.

1. Dial the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121.

2.  Ask to speak to your Senator and/or House member [you can call three times to reach all three!]

3. Once connected, say (in your own words as much as you can):

“Hello, my name is ___________  [your name] and I am a constituent from _________ [your city]. I am calling because I want to ask __________ [name of elected] to take action regarding the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. I oppose President’s Biden’s current plan to confiscate the Afghan Central Bank’s assets and set aside half for 9/11 victims’ families and half to a special “trust fund” for Afghanistan. The Afghan economy is collapsing precisely because the Central Bank’s assets have been frozen. We should be unfreezing the assets to help the collapsing Afghan economy, not giving them to 9/11 victims or diverting them to a “trust fund” for unspecified uses.”  

More info at:

http://www.peaceaction.org/2022/01/27/what-we-must-do-for-afghanistan

EBPA joins call to hold Pentagon accountable to drone

Today, East Bay Peace Action joined the call to hold the Pentagon accountable to the tragic loss of 10 lives in an August 2021 drone strike. You can add your name here.

Hold the Pentagon Accountable for the Drone Strike that killed 10 Innocent Civilians

On August 29, 10 members of the Ahmadi family, seven of them children, were killed by a U.S. drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan.

How was the Pentagon held accountable for this horrific crime?

They weren’t. The Pentagon investigated itself for killing 10 innocent civilians and found no negligence and no need for disciplinary action. 

This cannot stand. The Ahmadi family and all innocent civilians who have been killed by U.S. drone strikes need justice. 

Sign your name to call on Congressman Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and Senator Jack Reed, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee to conduct an independent investigation into this horrific crime. 

Dear Chairman Smith and Reed, 

On August 29, 10 members of the Ahmadi family, seven of them children, were killed by a U.S. drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The media has been reporting that a “watchdog” has concluded an “independent” investigation that the Pentagon did nothing wrong in a drone strike that killed 10 innocent civilians. What they fail to mention is that this “watchdog” was Air Force Lt. Gen. Sami Said. That’s not an independent investigation–the US Air Force is a branch of the U.S. Military!

As Chairman of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, you each have the power to call for a truly independent investigation into this horrific crime that killed 10 innocent civilians, seven of them children. The Ahmadi family and the American public deserve to know how this happened and who will face consequences for killing 10 innocent people, especially given that whistleblower Daniel Hale was sent to Federal prison in July for releasing government documents that addressed the same faulty intelligence and other problems inherent to the U.S. drone program that led to the August 29th attack.

The Pentagon must be called upon by people around the world and by the U.S. Congress to make public all of the communications and logs, including communications with the White House, pertaining to the August 29, 2021 drone attack. 

I’m calling on you, Congressman Adam Smith and Senator Jack Reed, to initiate a truly independent investigation into what many international human rights lawyers have said clearly violates international law. 

Connecting Racism with Militarism

Brittany Ramos DeBarros

East Bay Peace Action wishes to thank Brittany Ramos DeBarros for speaking on Racism and Militarism at the 2021 Annual Gathering. A recording of the talk and transcript are available below. A Spanish translation is forthcoming.

To learn more about Brittany please visit brittanyforthepeople.org
To learn more about East Bay Peace Action, please visit eastbaypeaceaction.org

East Bay Peace Action Joins Call for Reduction to Military Budget

April 23, 2021

Today, East Bay Peace Action has signed on to the letter below to allies in Congress, asking them to send a letter to relevant committee chairs expressing opposition to the proposed $753 billion military budget.

To: Rep. John Yarmouth, Chair, House Budget Committee; Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Chair, House Appropriations Committee; Rep. Betty McCollum, Chair, House Defense Subcommittee; Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Chair, House Energy Subcommittee; Rep. Adam Smith, Chair, House Armed Services Committee; Senator Bernie Sanders, Chair, Senate Budget Committee; Senator Patrick Leahy, Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee; Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chair, Senate Subcommittee on Energy; Senator Jack Reed, Chair, Senate Armed Services Committee; Senator John Tester, Chair, Senate Defense Subcommittee.

Dear Committee and Subcommittee Chairs:

As members of the United States Congress sent to Washington to provide oversight and serve our constituents, we stand united in our opposition to the proposed increased $753 billion military budget and urge you to reduce the military budget by at least 10% , exempting military pay and benefits, before the budget leaves your committee.

It is time to shift to a human-centered definition of security that prioritizes the urgent needs of those highlighted in the Poor People’s Campaign for a moral budget. The campaign points out that 87-million Americans lack adequate health care coverage, eleven million people are houseless, 35 million are food insecure and one in three Black and Latinx households are steeped in debt. .

We call for re-evaluating US priorities to reduce Pentagon and Department of Energy spending to instead invest in health care, education, housing, climate sustainability, racial justice and more. We call this the Peace Dividend: increased investment in public goods as the result of winding down US wars.

With President Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and his review of the necessity of 800 overseas bases in 80 countries, we expect and hope to spend less, not more on the military. We reject a proposed US pivot to Asia that increases troop deployments to the South China Sea, opens new military bases, and greenlights nuclear warships and mock nuclear strikes–all of which threaten to provoke another war, this one with a nuclear armed nation.

We stand united in opposition to spending billions of dollars in 2022, $1.7 trillion over the next decades, to develop new nuclear weapons that will escalate the arms race, increase the odds of a catastrophic accident and risk global annihilation.

Respectfully, we ask committee chairs preparing the military budget to remove expenditures for new nuclear weapons from the base bill or any document that merges with an overall budget bill, scrap the euphemistically titled “nuclear modernization” plan that fails to reflect modern thinking on the imperative of peace in the midst of a global climate crisis, budget to begin closing some overseas bases and re-evaluate billions of dollars for a US Space Force that will also escalate the arms race.

Again, we stand strongly united in our request that you reduce military spending for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget by a minimum of 10 percent before allocations are embedded in a final budget bill.

Sincerely,
Progressive Democrats of America
World BEYOND War
Greenpeace US
Rainforest Action Network
CODEPINK
Our Revolution
RootsAction.org
Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace
Veterans For Peace
World Beyond War-Central Florida
Rooms for PEACE
Seattle Anti-War Coalition
Massachusetts Peace Action
Women Against Military Madness
United We Dream Network
Peace, Justice,  Sustainability NOW
Nuclear Free World Committee
Dallas Peace and Justice Center
Peace Farm
War Resisters League
Witness for Peace Southwest
Green Party of Pima County
NH Veterans for Peace
Veterans For Peace Chapter 154
Veterans For Peace Chapter 181
Veterans For Peace – Santa Fe Chapter

National Peace Action Comments on Natanz Attack

Today, National Peace Action Executive Director, Jon Rainwater, commented on the problems raised by the Natanz Attack in Common Dreams:


https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/04/12/iran-says-israeli-nuclear-terrorism-could-have-led-catastrophic-crime-against

“If Israel is behind this while [Defense Secretary] Austin visits Israel this is shameless. Iran and the U.S. can’t let this derail diplomacy. Time to put in place a return to the JCPOA.”
—Jon Rainwater, Peace Action