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Writings by Voices

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A Proportionate Response

August 21, 2006

See also: Grieving Relatives of Qana Massacre Emerge From the Rubble to Bury Their Dead, (Aug 22), Kathy Kelly speaks with Ami Goodman on Democracy Now! Kathy attended a funeral that took place in Qana where an Israeli airstrike on the town on July 30th killed 29 people.


Upon arrival in Beirut in early August, 2006, Michael Birmingham met Abu Mustafa. Michael is an Irish citizen who has worked with Voices campaigns for several years. Abu Mustafa is a kindly Lebanese cab driver.

Having fled his home in the Dahiya neighborhood which was being heavily bombed, Abu Mustafa was living in his car. Abu Mustafa joked that he sometimes went back to his home in the already evacuated area of the Dahiya, just to take a shower or sometimes a proper nap. His family was living with relatives in a safer area. Toward the end of the war, Israeli bombs blasted buildings quite near his home. He tore out of the suburb in his cab and made that his home until we met him again on August 15th.

The Massacre at Qana

August 19, 2006

Two days ago, driving toward the village of Qana, we saw men at work, creating neatly aligned rows of rectangular cement structures that would soon be ready for burials. On foot, we entered Qana, thinking we should at least identify the site where a massacre had taken place when, on July 30th, an Israeli bomb hit a building that sheltered children as they slept. It took five hours for ambulances to reach them. Statistics differ, but the most recent Human Rights Watch report estimated that twenty-three were killed.

Turning a corner, we saw men arranging white plastic chairs for guests who came to mourn with family members in the funeral tradition. The men sat in front of one home. Women were next door.

August 15 Update from Lebanon

August 15, 2006

Greetings from Beirut, where day 2 of the cease fire might signal very rapid change. If road passage is quickly repaired, many groups are ready to begin reconstructing areas in southern Lebanon, Beirut suburbs, and other areas destroyed by the past month of warfare. Hassan Nasrallah has vowed that Hezbollah will undertake reconstruction in southern Lebanon.

Approaching a Ceasefire

August 13, 2006

Here in Beirut, explosions rocked the city during one ten minute stretch in the afternoon and again this evening. Periodic distant thuds assured us that the approach toward a cease fire would be fiery, deadly.

Farah and I told our Irish friend, Michael Birmingham, that the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina should help all of us understand how it’s possible that profiteering and murderous forces would consider depopulating an area for mercenary gain. Michael is legend for being our most cynical companion, albeit our saint. “Come on,” he said, “don’t tell me you’re serious.”

Peace on Trial

July 24, 2006

This July in Dublin, five peace activists were put on trial for disarming a U.S. warplane parked on the tarmac of Ireland’s Shannon airport.

In February, 2003, with the U.S. completing its build-up for “Shock and Awe”, these five activists broke into an airport hangar which the U.S. was using as a “pit stop” for planes en route to the war zone. They had dubbed themselves the “Pitstop Ploughshares” and, following the biblical injunction to hammer their weapons into plowshares, they took a hammer to the nosecone of a C48 U.S. Navy supply plane and disabled it. You’ll find full details at www.peaceontrial.com.

The Distance from Guernica to Lebanon

by Ramzi Kysia
July 17, 2006

As I write this, I can hear Israeli warplanes flying overhead, breaking the sound barrier and rattling all of our windows. In the distance there are explosions. I don’t know where the bombs are dropping, but it’s not close to me. I can’t hear the screaming of the survivors from where I sit.

Hezbollah and Hamas may possess the ability to kill dozens of Israeli civilians and terrorize countless others, but they are not an existential threat to Israel. As events on the ground have unmistakably demonstrated over this past month, today it is Israel that is a clear and present danger to the further existence of the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples. A danger, if not to their very lives - then certainly to the continuation of their nations.

Antiwar’s Front Door

by Ceylon Mooney
July 6, 2006

I was arrested again yesterday.

On July 5, Voices for Creative Nonviolence finished their 300-mile Walk for Justice by walking 2 blocks from the VA hospital in North Chicago to MEPCOM—also known as “Freedom’s Front Door”—the command center for the 52 military entrance processing stations across the country. At MEPCOM—at the threshold, so to speak—we read names from a list of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians killed by this most recent war. For this, we were arrested and charged with criminal trespass.

MEPCOM NVCD

July 12, 2006

By Diane Hughes

Although lack of sleep is generally not the best preparation for any undertaking, let alone nonviolent civil disobedience, despite a restless night and a bit of bronchitis, I felt determined to participate in the last day of the Voices for Creative Nonviolence Walk for Justice to the Military Enlistment Processing Command at Great Lakes Naval Base. This day would also provide an opportunity to participate in the nonviolent civil disobedience that Walk organizer Jeff Leys had hoped would complete the Walk.

For some time I had done what’s expected of good and faithful citizens who disagree with wayward government policies: I’d become informed from various sources, participated in vigils, organized educational programs, communicated with my Senators and Congressman, written letters to the editor, and voted for the lesser of two evils. With an increase in death and injury of Iraqi citizens and US soldiers, escalation of US hegemony, even more accounts of Administration lies, torture and unwarranted imprisonment at Guantanamo, and extraordinary rendition, my fear, anger, sadness, and frustration moved me beyond dialogue to a desire for action.

Ed Kinane's Court Statement for March 20th Pentagon Action

July 7, 2006 *

Alexandria VA, 7 July -* In a federal district court Ed Kinane was tried for “failing to obey a lawful order” at a demonstration on March 20th at the Pentagon. On March 20th —the beginning of the fourth year of the U.S. invasion of Iraq— Kinane and fifty other nonviolent activists were arrested as they swarmed over (and under) a five foot-high barricade set up by Pentagon police as the group sought to go to the Pentagon to meet with Donald Rumsfeld._

Kinane choose to defended himself without an attorney. The following is his statement to Judge Jones. Kinane was sentenced to pay a $50 fine and $35 in court fees, although Kinane stated, “Your honor, I will not pay fines for illegitimate and politically-motivated charges. I will not pay fines levied against me for my nonviolent civic activism.”

The following is Ed Kinane’s statement to Judge Jones.

Walk for Justice Concludes: 3 Arrested at U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command

Diane Hughes, Ceylon Mooney and Jeff Leys entering the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command Diane Hughes, Ceylon Mooney and Jeff Leys entering the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM) in North Chicago on July 5th (Photo: Mike Ferner)

By Jeff Leys, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
July 5, 2006

On July 5, three of us entered the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM) to nonviolently resist the war in and occupation of Iraq. We sought to read the names of U.S. soldiers and Iraq citizens who have died in the war. Immediately upon entering MEPCOM’s property, we were met by base security. We began to read the names of the dead and were quickly arrested. Charged with trespass and facing up to six months in prison, our first court appearance is scheduled for July 20th.