Tensions between the US and Iran remain extremely high between the US and Iran, since Trump ordered the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, an act that brought us to the brink of war. Such a war would be catastrophic politically, strategically, and morally. It would kill countless innocent civilians, and would further destabilize the Middle East. It would exacerbate the climate crisis. It would make no sense.
So at Occupy Elgin on Saturday, January 20th, our message will be No War with Iran. read more
Kathy Kelly, coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence and world renowned peace activist, will speak
at 2:00 PM
at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren,
783 W. Highland Avenue,
Elgin, IL 60123.
Kathy has been nominated three times for a Nobel Peace Prize. She and her colleagues have travelled into active war zones to live among civilians in the line of fire, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Gaza. She has brought back to Americans compassionate stories of the lives of those civilians. More recently, she has travelled to Russia.
Her topic for this talk will be Confronting State Violence.
The event is sponsored by Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice, the Witness Committee of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren, First Congregational United Church of Christ in Elgin, and by The Social Justice Team of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva.
Admission is free and all are welcome.
Light Refreshments will be served.
More Background about Kathy Kelly
Kathy Kelly, co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence, (www.vcnv.org) a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare.
During each of several recent trips to Afghanistan, Kathy Kelly, as an invited guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in a working class neighborhood in Kabul. She and her companions in Voices for Creative Nonviolence believe that “where you stand determines what you see.”
They are resolved not to let war sever the bonds of friendship between them and Afghan people whom they’ve grown to know through successive delegations. Kelly and her companions insist that the U.S. is not waging a “humanitarian war” in Afghanistan.
Kelly has also joined with activists in various regions of the country to protest drone warfare by holding demonstrations outside of U.S. military bases in Nevada, upstate New York, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
During late June and early July of 2011, Kelly was a passenger on the “Audacity to Hope” as part of the US Boat to Gaza project. She also attempted to reach Gaza by flying from Athens to Tel Aviv, as part of the Welcome to Palestine effort, but the Israeli government deported her back to Greece.
In 2009, she lived in Gaza during the final days of the Operation Cast Lead bombing; later that year, Voices formed another small delegation to visit Pakistan, aiming to learn more about the effects of U.S. drone warfare on the civilian population and to better understand consequences of U.S. foreign policy in Pakistan. She returned again to Gaza in November 2012 to meet with the survivors of Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense and to hear their stories.
From 1996 – 2003, Voices activists formed 70 delegations that openly defied economic sanctions by bringing medicines to children and families in Iraq. Kathy and her companions lived in Baghdad throughout the 2003 “Shock and Awe” bombing.
She was sentenced to one year in federal prison for planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites (1988-89) and spent three months in prison, in 2004, for crossing the line at Fort Benning’s military training school. As a war tax refuser, she has refused payment of all forms of federal income tax since 1980.
She and her companions at the Voices home/office in Chicago believe that non-violence necessarily involves simplicity, service, sharing of resources and non-violent direct action in resistance to war and oppression.
Occupy Elgin will meet on Saturday, September 5th, from 1PM till 2PM at the corner of Kimball Street and Grove Avenue in Elgin. We will focus on support for the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Support Iran Nuclear Deal!
A war with Iran would be even more disastrous to our troops, our society, and our position in the world than our recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The same persons who led us into those wars intend to provoke a war with Iran. In those cases, they told us that the war would be quick and easy and could be won mostly from the air. They were wrong then and they are wrong now. They are the major opponents of the Iran Nuclear Deal.read more
You can copy this letter and send it to Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth in an email or on paper. You can edit it to personalize your message, and you can modify it to make it suitable for other members of Congress.
The Honorable Tammy Duckworth, MC
1701 E. Woodfield Road, Suite 704
Schaumburg, IL 60173
RE: Please support the agreement with Iran
Dear Ms. Duckworth:
I commend your statement on your web site: “As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am also committed to working to ensure that our nation never again goes to war without fully considering and understanding the true costs. The effects of war need to be taken into serious consideration before putting our troops at risk.” I am confident that you agree both that Iran must not obtain nuclear arms and that a war with Iran would be even more disastrous to our troops, our society and our position in the world than our recent interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The same persons who led us into those wars have the stated intent of provoking war with Iran. Just as in those prior cases, they tell us now that the war would be brief, could be won from the air, and would not involve American troops on the ground. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.
The way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran without going to war is to approve the current agreement with Iran negotiated under the leadership of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry along with the leaders of the other nations with significant global power. This agreement has the approval of the United Nations and our key European allies. Only in the United States, the one nation which spends more on its military than all other nations of the world combined, the one nation which has military bases throughout the world, including in a complete circle around Iran, is the wisdom of the agreement being called into serious question. Objectively, this looks like hypocrisy.
Some argue that the agreement is not perfect from our nation’s point of view. Of course it isn’t. That’s the nature of international agreements. No one nation gets to impose its will completely upon others. The Iranians have agreed to a 98% reduction in their nuclear materials and a 67% reduction in their colliders, and to an unprecedented level of international inspections. They have insisted on advance notice for inspections of military facilities, since other, non-nuclear information could be obtained. Any questions about inspections are referred to an international body on which Iran has no voice, with the majority of votes in Western hands. Would the United States ever agree to such inspections within our country? Of course not, and you would never vote to approve that. But this is what the Iranians have accepted.
Please join our international security experts, our current and former ambassadors, and a clear majority of the American people in supporting this agreement.
The MENA Solidarity Network-US promotes awareness of, and support for, the ongoing wave of mass revolutionary struggles in the Middle East and North Africa–popularly known as the Arab Revolutions. We were founded by groups and individuals from the left and workers’ movements who recognized the need to oppose Western imperialist threats to attack Syria while also continuing to defend Syria’s popular revolution against the Assad dictatorship and its allies. We thus oppose all forms of imperialist intervention in the region while supporting popular struggles against all who would deny democratic rights or enforce economic exploitation. We are committed to the principle of international solidarity from below, which supports the struggles of the oppressed against their oppressors in all of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Palestine, Syria, Bahrain, and other countries. We cannot, as people of conscience, ignore the call for “Freedom, Dignity, and Social Justice” coming from revolutionaries throughout the region. We believe that these mass movements share deep socioeconomic roots and are the beginning of a revolutionary process that will continue to unfold in the coming years. We stand in solidarity with the people of the Middle East and North Africa as they go through this process and create their own history and oppose any intervention from our own government. We defend the rights of all people to practice, or not practice, any religious faith of their choosing. Based in the United States, we see a particular responsibility to defend Muslims from Islamophobic vilification and discrimination. We highlight and applaud the role of women in the revolutions, and support their full rights and equal participation in society and in the revolutionary process. And we pay particular attention to the struggles of workers and poor people, defending their rights and drawing attention to their struggles. We call upon all groups and people who agree with us to sign onto our statement and join our network to oppose US intervention and help build solidarity with our brothers and sisters struggling for freedom and justice in the Middle East and North Africa.
Promoting peace, a stronger democracy, and social and economic justice through education, dialog, and action