Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation and Witness

As the country continues to grapple with two wars, the economic crisis, and social and environmental ills, Split This Rock offers participants opportunities to speak out, make common cause, and explore the many ways poets are working for change through their writing, activism, and community work. Co-Director Sarah Browning said, “At times of crisis, poetry that looks directly at our world and struggles to understand, to bridge differences, to imagine other possibilities than those endlessly repeated by politicians and pundits is more important than ever.”

Poets for Peace

As the United States escalates the war in Afghanistan, poets speak out.

Conference: ‘Rolling Back Militarism: A Task for the Global Movement’

At this time of global economic and environmental crisis, join activists from International & US based NGOs to find the opportunity – this conference is an invitation to engage in a strategic process, to examine our campaigning priorities and options, to explore new ways to challenge the militarism we see around us, and to build international connections and partnerships.

• Learn ways to help constituents begin to break with the culture and practice of militarism that is now a U.S. legacy• Set strategies to achieve more collaborative, peace-oriented policies from the Obama administration.• Rebuild relations between US peace movement(s), partners abroad, & key leaders from sister organizations.• Forge new alliances and exchange proposals for future joint work.

Emira Woods will be presenting the keynote address in this conference, and Phyllis Bennis will lead a presentation. For more information, you can read the conference flyer or register at www.peace-action.org.

Nebraska’s Annual Peace Conference: ‘What a Just U.S. Policy in the Muslim World Would Look Like’

Our Middle East fellow Phyllis Bennis will be speaking on U.S. policy in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the current state of U.S.-UN relations. She’ll also lead a workshop, “Responding to the Afghan Quagmire & Obama’s Vietnam.”

This event is sponsored by Nebraskans for Peace and the UNO School of Social Work. Registration information and a full schedule of conference workshops can be found here.

Conference: Who Decides About War?

“Who Decides About War” will be a national conference confronting essential questions raised by the U.S. invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. These questions are timely, as the political process that brought the United States into those wars is widely recognized today as having been flawed at best, dishonest at worst.

This engaging event will bring together activists and academics, public officials and veterans, lawyers and military families to accomplish two goals. First, to educate ourselves and each other about the issues involved, the state of the law, and alternatives. Second, to develop a statement of common principles leading to a more democratic, comprehensive, and durable national defense policy — one that will honor the Constitution and help keep the United States from entering into unnecessary wars.

Panelists will include:

Keynote Speaker Morton Halperin, Senior Advisor, Open Society Institute
Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies
Leah Bolger, National VP, Veterans for Peace
Elaine Brower, Military Families Speak Out
Prof. Marjorie Cohn, President, National Lawyers Guild
Sen. Richard Madaleno, State Senator, Montgomery County, Maryland
Geoff Millard, Chair, Iraq Vets Against the War
John Nichols, Esq., The Nation magazine
Benson Scotch, Senior Legal Counsel, Bring the Guard Home! It’s the Law.
David Swanson, Founder, AfterDowningStreet

The conference will go from October 2-3, 2009. More information and registration on the event can be found on its website.

Lifting the Veil

A Muslim-American reflects on Obama’s Cairo speech.

U.S. Militarism Rising As Elections Loom

As we prepare for the post-election and post-inauguration periods we know, whoever wins, four more years of protest, mobilization, and political pressure will be required.

Stealth Crisis

When pundits talk about the U.S. elections and foreign policy, they focus on Iraq and Iran. But the third member of the infamous “axis of evil” may prove to be just as influential.

Asia’s Olympic Debs

Like any coming-of-age event, the Olympics not only acknowledge transformation, they can be part of that transformation.