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.
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, will present a talk entitled “A Palestinian reflection on the state of our planet.”
Mazin Qumsiyeh’s presentation is part of the “War and Peace” series organized by the Helena Service for Peace and Justice (SERPAJ). In 2013 Mazin Qumsiyeh, Palestinian peace and justice and nonviolent liberation leader, courageous advocate of human rights for all, was named recipient of the 2013 Montana Peace Seekers Network’s Peace Seeker of the Year Award (PDF file).
- Time: 8:00 pm (Montana Time)
- Place: Plymouth Congregational Church, corner of Oakes and Winne, Helena MT
- Zoom Access: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81351288007?pwd=-a7VcEdMIxurRp8PFcprLWrBPE7R_b.1
Meeting ID: 813 5128 8007
Mazin Qumsiyeh, Ph.D. was born to a Palestinian Christian family in the Shepherds’ Field (near Bethlehem). He formerly split his time between the USA and Palestine and is a U.S. citizen as well as a Palestinian. He now he lives and teaches in Palestine, and is active in the daily nonviolent liberation struggles and campaigns of the Palestinian people against the illegal and brutal Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land.
Qumsiyeh has served on the faculty of both Duke and Yale Universities, researching and teaching Genetics. He now teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in occupied Palestine. He has served as chair of the board of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People and as coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Sahour.
He is author of several books, including Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle (2004) and Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment (2011).
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.
Join us via Zoom on Thursday, April 21, 6pm for:
Kathy Kelly: “War Is Never The Answer”
An evening (via Zoom) with Kathy Kelly
Kathy Kelly is President of the Board of World BEYOND War, was a co-founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and Voices in the Wilderness, and is a co-coordinator of the Ban Killer Drones campaign (https://bankillerdrones.org/).
Kathy Kelly’s efforts to end wars began during the time of the Vietnam war, more than 60 years ago, and have led her to live in war zones and prisons over the past 35 years. A three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee for her activism to prevent the spread of violence, Kathy has also protested nuclear missile silo sites, the bombardment of Yemen, the occupation of Gaza, and the US drone policy and, while imprisoned, she worked to empower fellow imprisoned women.
Kathy Kelly was the recipient of the 2005 Peace Seeker of the Year Award (pdf file) from the Montana Peace Seekers Network.
The Zoom presentation by Kathy Kelly, “War Is Never The Answer,” will be followed by questions and conversation via Zoom, and also an in-person gathering at the Helena Library.
Zoom Meeting Information
To participate together as a group in the Zoom video meeting, join this April 21 Zoom meeting at:
Meeting ID: 861 2117 0772
Facebook Event Page
- Helena Service for Peace and Justice (SERPAJ):
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HelenaSERPAJ
Helena SERPAJ contact: (406) 422-6303
About Kathy Kelly
Kathy Kelly has devoted most of her life to making peace. In 2009 and 2010, Kathy co-founded Voices for Creative Nonviolence. From 2010 – 2019, Voices organized dozens of delegations to visit Afghanistan, where they learned about casualties of U.S. military drone attacks. Kathy has participated in almost 30 peacemaking missions in Afghanistan. Voices also helped organize protests at U.S. military bases operating weaponized military drone attacks.
In 2003 while Kathy was in Baghdad, cradling an Iraqi child in her arms, she witnessed firsthand the US military’s massive, deadly “Shock and Awe” bombardment of Baghdad that began the 2003 invasion of Iraq (https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/03/16/shock-and-awe-then-and-now/).
Kathy was also a founding member of Voices in the Wilderness, precursor to Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and from 1996 to 2003, as a Voices in the Wilderness peacemaker, she brought food and medicine to Iraqi citizens and children’s hospitals in deliberate violation of the deadly, severe US (Bush and Clinton) and UN-imposed economic sanctions that began in 1990.
Kathy’s trips to Iraq began after it was revealed in 1995 by UNICEF and others that in the 1990-1996 period, an estimated 576,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died as a result of those sanctions — as reported in the New York Times. The 1990-initiated sanctions were a total financial and trade sanctions/embargo (banning essentials including medicines, chlorine need to purify water supplies, and almost everything) imposed by the UN Security Council through Resolution 661, adopted on August 6, 1990 (See also “The Secret Behind the Sanctions against Iraq” [pdf file] by Tom Nagy, and “Razing the Truth About Sanctions Against Iraq”).
On April 4, 2022, Kathy Kelly wrote: “I have long appreciated the Helena Service for Peace and Justice (SERPAJ), which reached out to me to suggest this April 21 gathering, for supporting peace team efforts to resist wars.”
- Kathy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathy.kelly.35325 and https://www.facebook.com/Kathy-Kelly-Peace-Activist-189069044486246
- Kathy Kelly: “Six Lessons for Peacemaking and Stopping the Spread of Violence, Learned in Places like Afghanistan and Iraq” Posted by Alex Poppe of Preemptive Love: https://preemptivelove.org/blog/kathy-kelly-six-lessons-for-peacemaking-and-stopping-the-spread-of-violence-learned-in-places-like-afghanistan-and-iraq/
- Bio at Voices for Creative Nonviolence: http://vcnv.org/kathy-kelly-long-version/
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.
Two Gatherings for Peace affiliated with Montana Peace Seekers are scheduled in Montana the week of January 5-11, 2020:
- Thursday, January 9, at 5:00pm in Helena.
- Saturday, January 11, at 11:00am in Butte.
Helena Gathering for Peace
- What: No War With Iran Gathering for Peace
- When: Thursday, Jan 9 at 5 p.m.
- Where: Memorial Park in Helena, MT
- How: Sign up to attend at: https://www.nowarwithiran.org/event/no-war-with-iran/127118/signup/
We will not be forced into another war.
Thursday, January 9, at 5pm local time (MST) in Helena (and in more than 360 other communities, https://www.nowarwithiran.org/event/no-war-with-iran/), the anti-war majority in this country will get visible to oppose Trump’s war and say #NoWarWithIran. It’s short notice, but please join Helena host Robyn M and others at 5pm in Memorial Park. If you have a battery-operated candle, please bring it. The gathering will be brief.
To access details about the Helena event tonight, and to invite friends to join you: https://act.moveon.org/event/no-war-with-iran-attend/127118/attend/
No War With Iran! Butte Demonstration
- When: Saturday JAN 11 at 11am – 1pm
- Where: Sidewalk Across From the Butte Civic Center
- More Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/658702844668552/
The Butte Area Rising Coalition (https://www.facebook.com/groups/229033757521011/) and Taking Action for Peaceful Solutions (https://www.facebook.com/ButteTAPS/) proudly co-sponsor a demonstration in favor of peace and against war with Iran, following President Donald Trump’s unauthorized actions and threats of illegal targeting of cultural and historic sites.
Please dress for the weather. Bring signs that are weatherproof if necessary. Prepare to make noise (bullhorns, drums, bells, etc.). We will stay on the public sidewalk and will in no way obstruct any pedestrian or vehicular traffic and will conscientiously respect any and all private property.
Dear Peace Action supporter,
This time of year, particularly with a holiday coming up, you and I ought to be enjoying some well-deserved summer relaxation, out there barbecuing and swimming
But the military-industrial complex never sleeps.
After last week’s vote in the Senate to block Trump from going to war with Iran, we have another bite at the congressional apple as the House National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) comes to the floor. This must-pass bill allows us to attach language that shows Trump that there is no appetite for war with Iran here in the U.S.
The House will take up the bloated National Defense Authorization Act next week. Out of the over 600 amendments to the bill, several would reduce spending and set important policy. One amendment we want you to push your reps to support is the bipartisan effort by Reps. Khanna (D-CA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL), which prohibits unauthorized military force against Iran. We are asking members of the House to cosponsor and then vote for the amendment.
In addition to that critical effort, we are asking House representatives to:
- Support any measures to reduce the wasteful and bloated Pentagon budget
- Support all measures that would help end our nation’s “endless wars”
The amendment on Iran specifies that Congress is willing to use its power of the purse — war funding — to block military action by defunding that use of force. If we can get a strong enough vote, it puts Trump on notice that he can’t go to war without a big, politically costly fight with Congress. We need to make sure that we get the type of Congressional opposition that was not there in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Luckily, it only takes a few moments to take action. So you can still get out and enjoy the summer … after helping to stop a war.
Thanks for all your efforts for a more peaceful world,
Peace Action’s Paul Kawika Martin reports that we could see votes in the House and the Senate this week or next on the Pentagon’s massive, over-inflated budget.
There are a number of amendments introduced that could have a real positive impact, from blocking a potential war with Iran to cutting wasteful and dangerous spending on nuclear weapons.
If you haven’t called your representative and senators yet, please do so today!
- Call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121
- Ask for your representative or senators, and when connected say:
- My name is ____ and I am a constituent living at (your address). I’m calling to urge Representative/Senator ____ to support amendments that would reduce wasteful Pentagon spending, end our nation’s endless wars, and stop the Trump administration from starting an unconstitutional war with Iran. I look forward to hearing why the representative/senator does or does not support these steps I feel are important.
Montana contacts added by Helena SERPAJ: