On Thursday, May 26, 2022, at 8pm Montana time, Peacemaker Mazin Qumsiyeh of Occupied Bethlehem in Palestine, a Palestinian peace and justice and nonviolent liberation leader and courageous advocate of human rights for all, presented a talk entitled “A Palestinian Reflection on the State of Our Planet” — sponsored by the Helena Service for Peace and Justice. Recordings of the presentation are available at the links below.
A recording of Kathy Kelly’s April 21 “War is Never the Answer” is now available at the following links:
- Zoom Recording (passcode: 2Ngn#ah!)
28 people were able to participate on April 21 — 8 at the Lewis and Clark Library in Helena and 20 online. Thanks to all who could join us then. For those who could not, please use the links above to watch the recording of the event.
An eight-week online course taught by Kathy Kelly starting July 2021
I’m writing today to invite your participation in a course called “Lay Down My Sword and Shield.” For eight weeks, spanning July and August, as part of the School for Social and Cultural Change, participants will study causes and consequences of war. Along with weekly written presentations and opportunities to respond with “Comments,” we’ll gather each Saturday for a one hour Zoom conversation.
When the course was offered in April and May of 2021, we were joined by young people from India, Afghanistan and Mongolia. Adding to international perspectives were participants from Kuwait, Ireland, and Australia. I hope the summer course will be equally inclusive of people from around the world and across generations.
Please visit the website https://sscc.teachable.com/ to learn more about this course as well as other courses being offered by challenging and thought-provoking teachers such as Noam Chomsky and Michael Albert.
“Lay Down My Sword and Shield” is designed to help participants clarify their views about participating in, paying for or in any way tolerating warfare. In April and May, 2021, we welcomed guest speakers such as Ken Jones, Ann Wright, Diane Wilson, Lisa Savage and Asma Qaisi to speak with us about military contractors, nonviolent campaigns to challenge militarism, environmental concerns about militarism, economic war through siege, and aerial attacks against civilians such as the recent Israeli assault on Gaza.
I’m mainly familiar with wars waged by the U.S., having lived alongside people trapped by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, there is much to learn from people still trapped in or seeking refuge from other warzones. Articles, interviews, films, art, literature and data will be presented about ongoing wars against Yemen, the West Bank and Gaza.
Participants in the April-May class initiated several helpful projects which will be available to future course members. Abdulhai Darya set up a website to feature peace activist causes which various course members advocate.
Doug Mackey collected recordings of each Saturday zoom call and made them available to all of us.
Others have written op-eds for their local papers, helped organize demonstrations protesting wars, and shared with us poetry, slide shows, and recommended videos for future use.
Here is the link to the school: https://sscc.teachable.com/courses
If you’d like to enroll, just follow the link. And below is information about the school’s sponsors.
With all good wishes to each recipient of this letter,
Kathy Kelly for “To End All Wars”
SSCC is sponsored/hosted by two organizations described and linked below — PARC Media and RevolutionZ. The sponsors handle maintenance, promotion, and other technical details, aiding faculty and students alike.
PARCMedia is a news and media project founded by two USMC veterans, Sergio Kochergin & Vince Emanuele. They give a working-class take on issues surrounding politics, ecology, community organizing, war, culture, and philosophy. PARCMedia offers video and audio podcasts and uses a space it maintains for all manner of gatherings, social, cultural, political.
RevolutionZ is a podcast hosted by Michael Albert. It addresses vision and strategy for a better future. It is all about what we want and how we get it. The word “Revolution” indicates attention to transforming basic underlying social relations and structures, not solely replacing bad actors and policies. The letter “Z” identifies with the web host, Z Communications/ZNet.
Climate crisis will be the most pressing issue the next President of the US will face. It is the most critical issue this planet has ever faced.
We are asking the DNC to reconsider their stance on not having a Presidential debate focused on climate change or allow the Candidates to have their own debate focused on the issue.
The climate crisis should be the most prominent issue on all Democratic Candidate’s platforms.
The DNC should be considering the climate crisis as its #1 platform issue as well.
That’s why Our Revolution Helena created a petition to Democratic National Committee, which says:
We are asking the DNC to reconsider their stance on not having a Presidential debate focused on climate change. Climate change is the most pressing and urgent issue the next President will face, we deserve to know what the Candidates have planned to save the planet.
Will you sign this petition?
From May 29 to June 2, Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action, the nation’s largest peace, nuclear disarmament, and justice action group — with more than 200,000 supporters nationwide — will be speaking in several Montana cities.
Martin’s Peace Action tour in Montana starts in Billings May 29, then Bozeman May 30, Butte May 31, Helena June 1, and Missoula June 2.
Kevin Martin has traveled abroad representing Peace Action and the U.S. peace movement on delegations and at conferences in Russia, Japan, China, Mexico and Britain.
This Peace Action speaking tour across the state of Montana is being arranged by the Helena Service for Peace and Justice (SERPAJ), founded 1990, and the Montana Peace Seekers network, founded 2001, with local co-sponsors in each community.
June 3, after 5 days of speaking and traveling across Montana and a brief rest with a visit to Glacier Park, Martin will head to Idaho and Utah for more meetings with peace action citizens.
About Kevin Martin
Kevin Martin is President of Peace Action and the Peace Action Education Fund, and joined the staff on Sept 4, 2001. Kevin previously served as Director of Project Abolition, a national organizing effort for nuclear disarmament, from August 1999 through August 2001.
Kevin came to Project Abolition after ten years in Chicago as Executive Director of Illinois Peace Action. Prior to his decade-long stint in Chicago, Kevin directed the community outreach canvass for Peace Action (then called Sane/Freeze) in Washington, D.C., where he originally started as a door-to-door canvasser with the organization in 1985.
Kevin’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, CounterPunch, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Village Voice, The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Progressive, Z magazine and many other publications. He has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio, Fox News, MSNBC, BBC-TV and radio, and many other local, national and international 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.
Kevin Martin’s Writings and Interviews:
The Virginian-Pilot: “U.S. Should End Role in Yemen’s Civil War”
USA Today: “Experienced Diplomats Badly Needed”
CounterPunch: “President Obama Should Meet A-Bomb Survivors”
More Kevin Martin articles at CounterPunch: Links at https://www.counterpunch.org/author/kevmar0098/
- U.S. Support for the Bombing of Yemen to Continue (September 14, 2018)
- The Libya Model: It’s Not Always All About Trump (May 25, 2018)
- Trump’s Military Madness Parade Actually Makes Sense (But Must Be Stopped!) (February 9, 2018)
- Capitalize on the Olympic Truce, Formalize a Freeze for Freeze with North Korea (January 31, 2018)
- We Just Paid our Taxes — Are They Making the U.S. and the World Safer? (April 24, 2017)
- Let’s Come to Our Senses on Nukes (March 31, 2017)
- Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It? (December 5, 2016)
- No Fly, Safe and Humanitarian Zones — in the United States, not Syria (November 17, 2016)
- US to the Rest of the World: “We Can’t Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, Because We Rely on Nuclear Weapons” (November 4, 2016)
- Whose Finger? On What Button? (September 16, 2016)
- Obama Should Go to Hiroshima, But Not Empty Handed (April 21, 2016)
About Peace Action
Peace Action works for smarter American approaches to global problems. If we want to address problems like war, the nuclear threat, poverty, global warming, terrorism — the U.S. needs to work together, cooperatively, with other nations.
It also means overcoming the partisan politics and divisive rhetoric that often drown out alternatives to war. By getting regular Americans involved, we build the political will needed to break through that deadlock. Our success comes from engaging average citizens in foreign policy issues like no other organization.
Updated May 27
Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action, the nation’s largest peace and justice action group will be in Montana May 29 through June 2 for a Speaking Tour, arranged by the Helena Service for Peace and Justice (SERPAJ, founded 1990) and the Montana Peace Seekers Network (founded 2001), with additional local co-sponsors in each community.
Wednesday, May 29: Billings
7:00 am: Speak to the Democratic Breakfast Meeting at the McCormick Café, 2419 Montana Avenue (arranged by Tom Towe, former Democratic legislator, civil rights lawyer and member of the Billings Quakers).
10:00 am: Program hosted by EcoAngelas, 420 Grand Avenue
6:00 pm: Talk and community conversation at the First Church Billings (UCC/United Church of Christ, whose minister Rev. Mike Mulberry, has been coordinating immigration/refugee rights activity locally).
Local co-sponsors in Billings currently include the following:
- Montana Peace Seekers
- Billings Friends meeting (Quakers)
- Billings Unitarian Universalists
- Billings DSA (local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America)
- Sunrise Movement Billings
- EcoAngelas info[at]angelaspiazza.org
Thursday, May 30: Bozeman
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm: A talk by Kevin Martin/Peace Action and community dialogue at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building, 325 N 25th Ave in Bozeman.
Bozeman DSA will provide snacks and free childcare in a room adjacent to the speaking area for attendees.
Martin will talk about how individuals and small groups can best take action to oppose the US military intervention in other countries, particularly those in the news today: Yemen, Venezuela, and Iran.
- Bozeman DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) https://www.facebook.com/bozemandsa/; https://bozemandsa.org/
- Montana Women For… Peace, Equality, Justice: https://www.facebook.com/montanawomenfor/
Friday, May 31: Butte
6:30 pm: Kevin Martin will conduct a community conversation on “Endless War” in the Highlands Room of Montana Technological University’s Student Union Building. Topics for Martin’s Butte visit include Venezuela, Yemen, and Iran, as well as disarmament, militarism and citizen activism. He will facilitate a dialogue with the community about how individuals and small groups can best act to oppose US military intervention in other countries.
Butte TAPS has also arranged for an interview with Clark Grant on community radio KBMF, http://www.butteamericaradio.org/
- Butte TAPS (Taking Action for Peaceful Solutions)
- Montana Peace Seekers
Saturday, June 1: Helena
10:00 am: TV interview for Helena Civic TV on the Our Revolution Helena TV program
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm: “Venezuela, Yemen, Iran: Peace Now or More Endless War? Community Conversation with Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action” https://facebook.com/events/417601842151918/:
A dialogue between Peace Action’s Kevin Martin and the Helena community about how individuals and small groups can best act to oppose US military intervention in other countries, particularly those in the news today: Yemen, Venezuela, and Iran.
Location: Helena’s public (Lewis and Clark) library
5:00-8:00 pm: Free supper followed by talk and community conversation: “In a Time of Trump and Endless U.S. Wars: A Conversation on Peace, Disarmament, Militarism and Citizen Activism with Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action”
Location: Plymouth Congregational Church (UCC/United Church of Christ), 400 S. Oakes, upstairs Fireside Room
- Helena Service for Peace and Justice (SERPAJ) — https://facebook.com/HelenaSERPAJ/
- Our Revolution Helena: Helena Progressive Action Network — https://facebook.com/OurRevolutionHelena/
- Helena DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) — https://facebook.com/helena.mt.dsa/
Sunday, June 2: Missoula
2:00 pm: Kevin Martin will talk about the current state of conflict in the world and possible consequences for the 2020 elections. Then we’ll discuss how we can resist/dismantle the permanent war machine.
Location: Goodworks Ventures, 129 W. Alder Street