David Swanson, Author of War is a Lie, to Speak
Monday, April 25 at 7pm
ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave., Syracuse
Free (although donations welcome)
Author, activist and journalist David Swanson comes to Syracuse, speaking to celebrate the publication of the second edition of his groundbreaking book, War is a Lie.
War Is A Lie thoroughly refutes every major argument used to justify wars, drawing on evidence from numerous past wars, even those that have been defended as just. This is a handbook of sorts, an engaging, informative manual that can be used to debunk future lies before wars have any chance to begin.
An extraordinarily energetic and engaging speaker, David hosts Talk Nation Radio, is the campaign coordinator of Roots Action and is a director of World Beyond War. He blogs at www.davidswanson.org and www.warisacrime.org. See below for a sampling of his writing.
Say you're coming on his Facebook event.
A sampling of David's articles:
Protesting Trump’s Violent Rhetoric of Xenophobia, Misogyny, Ableism, and Islamophobia
On Saturday, April 16, a coalition of organizations, including SPC, came together to protest Trump’s rally at the OnCenter and hold an alternative rally. We worked with the Palestine Solidarity Collective, healthcare workers of 1199 SEIU, Workers’ Center of CNY, Vets for Peace, and THE General Body, as well as unaffiliated community members, to organize the rally and protest Trump’s message and the violence he incites and emboldens.
Read the coalition’s letter to the editor at Syracuse.com.
Over 300 people protested Trump’s rally with righteous anger and aimed at the violence Trump incites, his threats against immigrants, refugees, women, First Nations, and protesters, his mockery of people with disabilities, and his misogyny and homophobia. Trump’s message is not welcome in CNY. Our message was that we want a Central New York where immigrants and refugees, Muslims, and Latina/o/xs are welcome, without misogyny, homophobia, or transphobia, without discrimination against people with disabilities, without violence against dissenters and protesters.
Around 10 CNYers went inside and endured and disrupted Trump’s message repeatedly, facing the shouts and shoving of the crowd and Trump’s mockery as they were ejected.
The rally included speakers from many perspectives and origins including 1199 SEIU, the Southwest Community Center, Workers’ Center, Pal Sol, the ISO, the Islamic Society of CNY, SPC’s own Aly Wane who is also a member of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, the Syracuse University Student Association, Somos el Futuro, Vets for Peace, and more, as well as poets and those who disrupted Trump’s speech.
We Must End All U.S. Support for the Government of Saudi Arabia
A Statement from the Syracuse Peace Council on the Anniversary of War in Yemen
On March 25, 2015, a Saudi-led coalition entered the Yemeni civil war. , the fighting has killed more than 6,200 civilians and displaced millions, pushing the Arab world's poorest country, Yemen, to the brink of famine. We ask all people of conscience to join us in calling on the Obama administration and the US Congress to end the US alliance with Saudi Arabia and to stop providing the Saudi regime with military and diplomatic support.
One of the deadliest of the attacks of the war occurred just recently on March 15 when fighter jets from a Saudi-led coalition bombed a market in Mastaba, in Yemen’s northern province of Hajjah. The latest count indicates that about 120 people were killed, including more than 20 children, and 80 were wounded in the strikes. According to social media accounts, after the first strike, people rushed to rescue wounded and planes twice bombed the injured and emergency responders, a tactic known as double tapping. Intentionally targeting civilians and first responders is a war crime.
While U.S. fighter jets are not directly involved in the bombing campaign on Yemen, the U.S. is providing intelligence, weapons sales, and refueling for Saudi jets. After the March 15 market attack, a top United Nations official, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the high commissioner for human rights, said the Saudi coalition might be committing war crimes.
Among the weapons the US is providing to Saudi Arabia are cluster bombs. Cluster bombs can be dropped from aircraft. They open in mid-air and spread out over a wide area before exploding. Cluster bombs that fail to detonate or self-destruct become de facto land mines, land mines which can kill or maim unsuspecting civilians far into the future. Due to the danger cluster bombs pose to noncombatants, they were banned by the Convention on Cluster Munitions, a 2008 treaty signed by 116 nations but not the US.
In addition to Saudi aggression again Yemen, the Saudi regime is also repressing human rights within its own borders, reason enough to suspend arms sales. While President Obama scolds the Cuban government for curtailing free speech, his administration rewards the regime of Saudi monarch King Al-Saud. The execution and crucifixion in January of Sheikh Nimr al–Nimr, an advocate of a nonviolent strategy and an opponent of both Sunni and Shiite sectarianism, is a recent example of the barbarity of the Saudi dictatorship. The government carried out at least 157 executions in 2015, many of them by beheadings. Saudi Arabia's outrageous oppression of women is well known and, as Amnesty International has documented, the regime equates criticism of the government and other peaceful activities with “terrorism.” Dissent is systematically and violently repressed.
Despite Saudi Arabia's repressive domestic and regional policies, the Obama administration has approved $50 billion in new arms sales while US companies train thousands of Saudi military personnel. Technically, US human rights law, specifically, the Leahy Law of 2008, prohibits the US government from providing military assistance to foreign militaries that violate human rights. Unfortunately, Congress continually fails in its responsibility to enforce this law.
To reverse the horrific downward spiral of politics in the Middle East, the US needs to pursue a policy that respects human rights, that puts diplomacy before militarism. A critical element of such a policy would be for the United States to suspend all forms of support for the Saudi government and to any actors that violate human rights and commit war crimes.
From the Peace Newsletter
SPC In Action
Student organizers gathered comments about the proposed hydrofracking regulations at Nottingham High School. January, 2013. (Photo: Ursula Rozum)
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