KATHY KELLY – Here in Kabul, I read a recent BBC op-ed by Ahmed Rashid, urging a â€œdiplomatic offensiveâ€ to build or repair relationships with the varied groups representing armed extremism in Afghanistan. Rashid has insisted, for years, that severe mistrust makes it almost impossible for such groups to negotiate an end to Afghanistanâ€™s nightmare of war. U.S. people should earnestly ask how the U.S. could help build trust here in Afghanistan, and, as a first step, begin transferring funds from the coffers of weapon companies to the UN accounts trying to meet humanitarian needs. The â€œgiantâ€ could be seen stooping, humbly, to help plant seeds, hoping for a humane harvest.
RIVERA SUN – Campaign Nonviolence is a movement to build a culture of active nonviolence. We share the stories of nonviolent action, drawing lessons, strength, and strategy from the global grassroots movements for change. Throughout the year, we look at historic struggles. The last week of April commemorated the 39th anniversary of the first protest of the Argentina’s Mothers of the Disappeared.
RAY MORRIS – We won something big last week and we want to make sure you know just how important it was. For over a decade, CREDO fought ferociously to protect Net Neutrality. Last week a federal court handed us a huge and game-changing win for the future of an open and equal internet when it rejected the lawsuit to overturn the Federal Communication Commissionâ€™s (FCC) historic Net Neutrality rules.
THE COMMUNITY TOOLBOX – Promoting Peace is a free online resource offering detailed guidance and links to resources for students and those working as advocates. Focused on concrete steps that can be taken as an individual, a family, a community, and global society it showcases evidence-based approaches shown to be effective in preventing and stemming violence and fostering more compassionate communities.
INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE – In the 12 months since the last Global Peace Index, increased conflict, terrorism and the refugee crisis suggests a less peaceful world. However, despite the increasingly unequal gap between peaceful and less peaceful nations, there are positive trends where the data tells a different story.
FRIENDS OF THE EARTH – More than 450 environmental, landowner, Indigenous rights and allied organizations that oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership tell Congress that pending trade deals threaten efforts to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
ROB OKUN – Millions of men will wake up Sunday to handmade cards, neckties, and, maybe, a new electronic gadget. Itâ€™s Fatherâ€™s Day 2016, a time to acknowledge dear old Dad. But beyond this increasingly commercialized day of purchasing manly presents lies a deeper, more important question: where is fatherhood in the U.S. going today?
TOM H. HASTINGS – After the horrific shooting in Orlando there are some facts we might want to consider.
PETER BERGEL – As some of you know, Iâ€™ll leave on June 15 to join a citizen diplomacy peace delegation to Russia for two weeks. I will take with me a peace message from the mayor and mayor-elect of Salem, OR and will, I hope, bring back peace messages from Russian citizens, decision-makers, academicians and journalists. I will also listen carefully to the Russiansâ€™ concerns, especially those that concern our own country.
DAVID SWANSON – In the early 1980s almost nobody from the United States traveled to the Soviet Union or vice versa. The Soviets wouldn’t let anybody out, and good Americans were disinclined to visit the Evil Empire. But a woman in California named Sharon Tennison took the threat of nuclear war with the seriousness it deserved and still deserves. She got a group of friends together and asked the Russian consulate for permission to visit Russia, make friends, and learn.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – The major argument for free public college and university education is the same as for free public education in general: like the free public elementary and high schools already existing in the United States, free public higher education provides educational opportunity for all and strengthens the American workforce.
MEL GURTOV – How should we evaluate Obamaâ€™s foreign policy record? Right-wing critics will of course excoriate Obama for all the usual thingsâ€”weakness against adversaries like Russia and China, negotiating with instead of subverting Cuba and Iran, eviscerating the US military, undermining relations with Israel. On the left, Obama is already being cast as another liberal leader whose actions failed to deliver on his promises, from Guantanamo to the Middle East. Historians will have plenty of things to quarrel about, but we need not wait.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – â€œFor over forty years our criminal justice system has over-relied on punishment, policing, incarceration and detention. This has ushered in an age of mass incarceration. This era is marked by sentencing policies that lead to racially disproportionate incarceration rates and a variety of â€˜collateral consequencesâ€™ that have harmed our communities and schools. . . .â€
DAVID SWANSON – President Obama went to Hiroshima, did not apologize, did not state the facts of the matter (that there was no justification for the bombings there and in Nagasaki), and did not announce any steps to reverse his pro-nuke policies (building more nukes, putting more nukes in Europe, defying the nonproliferation treaty, opposing a ban treaty, upholding a first-strike policy, spreading nuclear energy far and wide, demonizing Iran and North Korea, antagonizing Russia, etc.). Where Obama is usually credited — and the reason he’s usually given a pass on his actual actions — is in the area of rhetoric. But in Hiroshima, as in Prague, his rhetoric did more harm than good. He claimed to want to eliminate nukes, but he declared that such a thing could not happen for decades (probably not in his lifetime) and he announced that humanity has always waged war (before later quietly claiming that this need not continue).
KINGSTON REIF – A growing number of non-nuclear-weapon states are expressing support for the immediate commencement of negotiations on a legally binding agreement to prohibit nuclear weapons, despite strong opposition from those states that possess nuclear weapons and many U.S. allies. The contentious debate over how best to advance nuclear disarmament occurred at a meeting last month of an open-ended working group on disarmament taking place in Geneva this year.
RIVERA SUN – Every year in May, peace activists circulate Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Peace Proclamation. But, Howe did not commemorate Mother’s Day in May . . . for 30 years Americans celebrated Mother’s Day for Peace on June 2nd. It was Julia Ward Howe’s contemporary, Anna Jarvis, who established the May celebration of mothers, and even then, Mother’s Day was not a brunch and flowers affair. Both Howe and Ward commemorated the day with marches, demonstrations, rallies, and events honoring the role of women in public activism and organizing for social justice.