Until a week or so ago, whenever I left the house for a walk in my very pretty Fernway neighborhood in Shaker Heights, Ohio to get some fresh air, a change of scenery and exercise, I would wear my black Veterans for Peace tee shirt featuring the organization’s white logo, complemented by my embroidered military baseball cap indicating I’m a Vietnam veteran who served with the First Infantry Division (“Big Red One”) in Vietnam. (I was a reporter, then editor, the division’s newspaper from July, 1967 to July, 1968.)
Several of the homes in my neighborhood feature black-and-white yard signs reading “Black Lives Matter.” It’s a perfectly appropriate, reasonable thought, but not enough–I thought.
A week ago yesterday I finally received in the mail a tee shirt I had ordered about two weeks earlier. It, like my Veterans for Peace tee, is black and says in very large letters on the front, “Black Lives Matter.” I’m having fun wearing that shirt now on my walks and essential visits to stores, always wearing a mask, of course, in stores.Read More
Contact: Mark Weber, 216-870-1594
The Board of Cleveland Peace Action condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the murder by Minneapolis police officers of George Floyd, unarmed and handcuffed, a Black man and city resident. This latest murder of an African American citizen calls to mind earlier cases of police killings of people of color: Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, and Breanna Taylor to name a few. Beyond the usual expressions of concern by civic and political leaders, there is a desperate need for systemic change. Two concrete reforms should be mentioned.
- In this time of pandemic devastation, we need a transfer of investment from the military budget to a domestic peace budget which directs funds to shoring up our public health programs, our public schools, and public service jobs for those who have no work due to the virus. Jobs, health, and education should be our top priorities as a nation.
- We also need to review the role of the police in our communities…especially communities of color. Programs aimed at militarization of local police must be halted. Quasi-military police training programs, like the one given to some Minneapolis police officers by Israeli companies, must be ended. Police are supposed to the servants of the people and not an armed force sent to occupy them. The time for rhetoric and “thoughts and prayers” is past. Cleveland Peace Action demands action NOW.
We’ve been missing our monthly rendezvous at the pub and we hope you have too. Plotting how to meet virtually during the pandemic, we’ve settled on ZOOM meetings.
On Tuesday June 9th, Philip Metres will read some poetry from “Shrapnel Maps,” talk about the role of the arts in peace and justice work, and reflect on his 25-year personal journey, seeking a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis. DOORS OPEN AT 6:45 – MEETING STARTS AT 7:00 PM
We’ll do our virtual best to provide “interesting conversation and camaraderie,” as always. As for food and drink, it’s BYO. Grab a brew or whatever is your cup of tea. Curl up at home and join us via laptop or phone. You can actively participate with or without video. See June 9th on our Calendar for more on connecting via Zoom.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting. When: Jun 9, 2020 06:45 PM Eastern Time Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIldOquqD0sGtHzFuTZj-j0uFNUH_0bngh4 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting on June 9.
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the world, Cleveland Peace Action calls upon the United States and Israel to immediately end the blockades or embargoes that they have imposed. It is critical that badly-needed medical supplies and personnel be able to enter all nations in order to treat people and families suffering from the virus. End the blockades and embargoes now!
*****In Iran, there are almost 70,000 confirmed cases of the virus with almost 5,000 deaths. The US maintains sanctions against this country after the President Trump tore up an arms control treaty negotiated by the Obama Administration.
*****In Gaza, Israel maintains a 13-year-old blockade of this tiny strip of land that is home to more than 2 million people. With many hospitals destroyed due to Israeli bombing and medical supplies kept out by the blockade, the people of Gaza face a grim future as the virus begins to spread in this densely-populated land and there are about 60 ventilators.Read More
As the COVID-19 pandemic rivets our attention, imagine how 1.8 million Palestinians feel, living in Gaza, densely populated and mostly cut off from the outside world. With our freedom and security under siege by pandemic, we can begin to appreciate life there. Palestinians in Gaza are used to such confinement and danger, living under Israeli-Egyptian military siege since 2007. The USA’s $5 billion annual contribution of weapons, military equipment and technology helps maintain it.
On March 22nd, the first two COVID-19 cases were announced in Gaza. They are two Palestinian men, aged 30 and 40, returning from Pakistan, now quarantined in Rafah on the Egyptian border. As COVID-19 spread in neighboring Egypt and Israel, the Hamas-led government began quarantine of travelers into Gaza. Given the limited capacity of Gaza’s healthcare system due to the blockade and three Israeli offensives over the past 12 years, an outbreak would be catastrophic. For example, Gaza has fewer than 200 test kits and about 20 available ventilators.Read More