Spend Valentines Day morning with Chris Appy

Brunch & Book Talk with American Reckoning Author
February 14, 2015 • 11am – 1pm
Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Ave., Portland

author photoCelebrate acclaimed historian and award-winning author Christian Appy, professor of history at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, upon the release of his new book, American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity.

Join Veterans For Peace Chapter 72 for a Valentines Day Brunch reception in honor of Christian Appy. Professor Appy is the author of two previous books on the Vietnam War, including the oral history, Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides, which won the 2004 Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction.

The chapter will present a special Valentines-themed award to the author at this event, along with four other local “truth tellers.” Sliding-scale admission $14-$20 includes catered brunch, talk and discussion with Chris Appy, plus access to the current Architectural Heritage Center exhibit, “Strength, Utility, and Beauty: Architectural Metal in the Gilded Age.” (Doors open at 10 a.m.) Tickets are available in advance through brownpapertickets.com and at the door on the day of the event.

Please note: Some parking is available at the gas station across the street to the north of the Architectural Heritage Center. For more information about this event, call Becky at 503-774-9197 or email info@vfpchapter72.org. For more information about Christian Appy, visit christianappy.com.

kbooradioVFP72′s Valentines Day Brunch  is proudly sponsored by KBOO Community Radio 90.7 FM. KBOO’s winter member drive is happening Feb. 4-14. Listen in and if you’re not a member, please consider joining! Discover the power of community radio….

Advance praise for American Reckoning:

Peter Davis, director of the Oscar-winning documentary Hearts and Minds: “Brilliant, beautiful, and painful…an essential book…[It] brightly illuminates the question we all need to ask ourselves: what is America’s place in the world?”

Nick Turse, author of the New York Times bestseller Kill Anything That Moves: “A triumph of originality… American Reckoning offers a fresh lens for understanding the United States in the context of its most controversial conflict as well as its 21st century wars.”

Marilyn B. Young, author of The Vietnam Wars: “Christian Appy…argues persuasively that we must remember the war and its consequences if we are to come to a full reckoning with the past and finally dispel the myth of American exceptionalism.”

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Exposing the Hidden Side of American War Culture

Ross Caputi, a former Marine who participated in the second siege of Fallujah, offers up this insightful piece in which he explores the underlying message of the latest collaboration between Hollywood and the Department of Defense, and its meaning for America. His essay starts like this:

“Chris Kyle built his reputation as a sniper during one of the most criminal operations of the entire occupation of Iraq, the 2nd siege of Fallujah.

“What American Sniper offers us — more than a heart-wrenching tale about Chris Kyle’s struggle to be a soldier, a husband, and a father; more than an action packed story about America’s most lethal sniper — is an exposure of the often hidden side of American war culture.”

Click here to continue reading…


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Celebrate the Centenary of the Christmas Peace Truce: Take your friends and family to see Joyeux Noël at Cinema 21

jn3This month Veterans For Peace Chapter 72 teams up with Cinema 21 in Northwest Portland to celebrate the centenary of the World War I “Christmas Truce” with three screenings of the acclaimed 2005 French film Joyeux Noël, a dramatization of the December 1914 event depicted through the eyes of French, Scottish and German soldiers. On Christmas Eve of that first year of World War I soldiers came out of the muddy trenches on both sides of the Western front and declared a temporary ceasefire in order to be able to celebrate the holiday and bury their war dead without getting shot at. They ended up singing Christmas carols for and with each other and exchanging gifts across enemy lines and there were even reports of friendly soccer kick-abouts. Although the truce was a brief period during the horrific, bloody “war to end all war,” it is a testament to the human desire for peace and a demonstration of the possibility for soldiers to lay down their weapons, recognize common humanity in “the other” and say “no” to war.

Click here to go to the Facebook event page and share with your friends!

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Phase 3 of Peace Memorial Park Restoration Completed

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Nov 8,2014 Planting Event.  Kudos to all who participated in Sat, Nov 8th planting at the Peace Memorial Park. Everyone pitched in and helped make this day a big success. Enjoying a beautiful sunshiny morning of gardening, were Barry, Tedine, Malcolm, Harvey, Marion, Will and Karen from VFP-Chapter 72. Community supporters and volunteers included: Joanne(VFP member) and her son, Chris Luchini (they have been to all our planting events) and Juanes Collazo from Portland State University. We had all 40 plants in the ground by 11:00 and spent the next couple of hours weeding, leaf-blowing and mulching with the leaves that Barry removed from the grassy areas. Malcolm, being on light duty due to recent surgery, was our photographer and worked at the tabling station doing community outreach. Our work was finished by 1 pm, leaving our team of volunteers time to enjoy the rest of a beautiful afternoon      2014-11-09 13.51.53 (462x640)

2014-11-09 13.48.36 (595x640)We were fueled with coffee donated by Peet’s as well as Voodoo Donuts. Both establishments were so generous that we had leftovers. These items were donated to SHARE Shelter for the homeless in time for Sunday’s breakfast.

In addition to our work at the Peace Memorial Park, Union Pacific will begin to clear out blackberry bushes and other brush that has become over-grown and unsightly. They will begin their work on Monday, Nov 10th and expect to have the job completed in 3 days.  When this is completed, there will once more be an overlook of the Willamette and downtown Portland, that can be viewed from the Peace Memorial Park.

Update: Union Pacific began work as planned on Monday, 11/10 and expects to complete work by Thursday.

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Nov. 8th is Fall Planting Day at Peace Park

fall planting graphicJoin Veterans For Peace Chapter 72 for a FALL PLANTING PARTY on Saturday, November 8th – 9 am to 3 pm — at the PEACE MEMORIAL PARK (at the intersection of NE Oregon Street and NE Lloyd Boulevard; just west of Convention Center).

This will be our third planting as we work to restore the park and make the peace sign more visible. Our goal is to get 50 plants in the ground, and we need your help!

PLEASE BRING: gloves, trowels, shovels, rakes if you have them. Refreshments and some tools provided. Heavy rain cancels; light—we can do it!! [Check this website for updates re weather.]

GETTING TO THE PARK: The park is located at the east end of the Steel Bridge, just west of the Convention Center, at the intersection of NE Oregon Street and NE Lloyd Boulevard. It is easily accessible by foot or bike from the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade. MAX Blue, Red, Yellow, and Green lines stop at the Rose Quarter, about a block away. MORE INFO: 206-484-3385.

About the Park

The Peace Memorial Park was established in 2006. It is maintained by VFP Chapter 72 members and volunteers. In Spring of 2013, Landscape Design students from Portland Community College’s Rock Creek campus submitted designs for a revitalized park. The chosen design features drought-resistant, primarily native, low-maintenance plants that look good year-round. Seventy-five feet in diameter, this is one of the largest peace symbols on the planet. We invite you to be part of this project!

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Armistice Day 2014: Ring out war, ring in peace

On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, please join us in Portland’s Pioneer Square (701 SW 6th) at 10:30 a.m., and bring a bell if you have one. At 11 o’clock we will circle around and ring bells together — 11 chimes — to celebrate the end of one of the bloodiest wars in history, and to call for cessation of today’s hostilities and for the end of all war.

Event sponsors:
Veterans For Peace Chapter 72
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Portland Branch
Code Pink Portland
Living Earth
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Recruiter Watch
St. Luke Lutheran Peace & Justice Group

More commonly known as Veterans Day in the United States and as Remembrance Day in Great Britain, many in the world peace movement prefer to remember November 11 as Armistice Day, a day that was to commemorate the end of war.

The day marks the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day and on the eleventh month,” in 1918. The WWI Christmas Truce, which centenary VFP plans to celebrate come December, happened in the first year of the war.

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Nicaragua Today

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Lifelong nonviolence practitioner tells his stories

David Hartsough book coverDavid Hartsough, co-founder of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, talks about his inspiring memoir, Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Nonviolent Activist (Oakland: PM Press, 2014).

Saturday, Oct. 18 • 7pm
Multnomah Friends Meeting
Sunday, Oct. 19 • 7pm
First Unitarian Church of Portland

Since meeting Martin Luther King in 1956 and working with the Civil Rights Movement in the south, Hartsough has over and over again found his way to exciting nonviolent direct actions all over the world. He has used his body to block Navy ships headed for Vietnam and trains loaded with munitions on their way to El Salvador and Nicaragua. He has crossed borders to meet “the enemy” in East Berlin, Castro’s Cuba, and present-day Iran. He has marched with mothers confronting a violent regime in Guatemala and stood with refugees threatened by death squads in the Philippines. Hartsough was a founder of Nuremberg Actions at Concord, California, and witnessed the events in which S. Brian Willson was run over by a US Navy munitions train during a publicized demonstration in 1987.

During the 1990s, Hartsough trained civilians in Kosovo how to use nonviolence to defend themselves in their struggle for justice. Inspired by those experiences, he began seeking partners to expand the defensive use of nonviolence more widely. By 2002, he had partnered with fellow nonviolent activist Mel Duncan to found the Nonviolent Peaceforce with the support of nonviolent leaders from 49 countries. The group’s first project began the next year in Sri Lanka.

Hartsough’s story demonstrates the power and effectiveness of organized nonviolent action. He shows how nonviolent struggle is being waged all over the world by ordinary people committed to ending the spiral of violence and war.

Hartsough’s book will be available for sale and signing at both book talks.

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THE GHOSTS OF TONKIN Comes to Portland

Ghosts of Tonkin very small imageSeptember 27 at 7:30pm
Lincoln Hall at Portland State University
Tickets: $20 available at the door, online, or by calling 503-725-3307

August 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. Bellingham TheatreWorks is touring a 60-minute theatre piece called The Ghosts of Tonkin, a drama about Wayne Morse and the origins of the Vietnam War. The play premiers in Bellingham and then tours to Portland and Eugene.

This award-winning play dramatizes the behind-the-scenes story of how seemingly well-intentioned public officials brought about one of the most devastating chapters in the history of the United States: The Vietnam War. The Vietnam War devastated two countries, toppled the President of the United States, and killed two million people. And one man tried to stop it before it began, Oregon’s Senator Wayne Morse.

In 1964, Oregon’s Senator Wayne Morse was an outspoken critic of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that authorized military intervention in Vietnam. Senator Morse was one of only two congressmen to vote against the resolution.

The Ghosts of Tonkin is based on telephone conversations, senate transcripts, recently declassified NSA documents, and other sources. In addition to Wayne Morse, characters include LBJ, Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, William Fulbright, as well as several fictitious characters.

In August, 1964, our smoldering involvement in Vietnam was ignited into all out war when the North Vietnamese attacked a US destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. But it was later revealed that the alleged attack, in fact, never happened. When the Iraq War began, people drew an analogy between the genesis of that war, and the beginnings of the Vietnam War. This made playwright Steve Lyons curious to learn more about the origins of the Vietnam War. That curiosity led to Wayne Morse and to this script.

Every performance is followed by a post-play discussion. In Portland, the post-play discussion panel includes playwright Steve Lyons as well as Joe Smith, a former member of Morse’s staff. The panel also features Vietnam vet David Leverenz, who served on the destroyer Turner Joy. KBOO radio host Jo Ann Hardesty moderates the discussion.

More information at www.BellinghamTheatreWorks.org

The Ghosts of Tonkin is presented in association with the Wayne Morse Center of the University of Oregon.


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Nicaragua Today

Yellow school bus travels to July 19th celebration

Hop on the bus!

Join us for a very special event
September 7, 2014 – 3:00 PM

214 NE Thompson, Portland, Oregon

Click here to download flyer pdf.
Click here for fb event page.

How has Nicaragua managed to avoid the violent crime and grinding poverty that are driving the mass immigration of unaccompanied minors from neighboring Central American nations such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to the U.S. border?

VFP72 members S. Brian Willson, Mike Hastie and Becky Luening traveled to Nicaragua (July 13-22) to help celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the 1979 victory of the revolution. They learned about some of the progress made by the Sandinista Government since reclaiming power in 2007 (after being voted out in 1990) as well as ongoing challenges the country faces. The three will share highlights of their trip along with a few photos and videos captured by Mike Hastie, followed by Q&A. Refreshments provided. Please join us!

SUGGESTED DONATION: Asking for $5 to $20 sliding scale to benefit VFP, but no will be turned away. Cosponsored by Occupy Portland Elder Caucus.

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