A tragic day in Vietnam and, years later, a metamorphosis

February 4th marks the 54th anniversary of one of the darkest days of my life–the horribly-gruesome killing of U.S. Army 1st Lt. Billy Joe Blacksten, 23, of Versailles, Missouri, who served with me in the First Infantry Division in Lai Khe (LieKAY), South Vietnam.  His death occurred early in the Tet Offensive during a nighttime rocket and mortar attack.       On the night of the assault I was in a bunker next to my “hooch” (barracks), along with about eight other GIs, around 100 yards from where Lt. Blacksten died.       

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Well, that was a pleasant, unexpected surprise. I refer to an exchange this evening between yours truly and five young men heading to FirstEnergy Stadium for the contest between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Cleveland Browns. As I stood about the length of a football field from the southwest gate of the stadium on West Third Street wearing my 55-year-old U.S. Army field jacket, my U.S. Army Vietnam Veterans First Infantry Division baseball cap and holding my peace flag, the young men shouted “USA!! USA!! USA!!”–the classic mantra of flag-waving jingoes.  I “returned fire,” shouting “PEACE ON EARTH!! PEACE ON EARTH!!” Much to my surprise, the young men then shouted back, “PEACE ON EARTH!! PEACE ON EARTH!! PEACE ON EARTH!!” Very impressive. That was a first.       

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Orientalism & Settler Colonialism in Palestine

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TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2022 – In case you missed it – view on YouTube

US “freedom” and the creation of the Israeli homeland were both built on the ashes of atrocities known as settler colonialism. Cleveland Peace Action’s settler colonialism series begins with Mazin Qumsiyeh, historian, naturalist, and front-line activist. Professor Qumsiyeh is on the receiving end of settler colonialism in the Occupied West Bank of Palestine and is a leading spokesperson for Palestinian human rights. He will present an historical view, the current situation on the ground in the Occupied West Bank, and how people in the US can turn around the struggle for freedom and self-determination for Palestinians.

Part II of our series on Recognizing Settler Colonialism features Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, February 11, 2022, on her new book, Not A Nation of Immigrants: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion.

The Israel Lobby: A Threat to Democracy

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On Tuesday December 7, 2021, Walter Hixson, retired distinguished professor of the University of Akron spoke on “The Israel Lobby: A Threat to Democracy.”

View this program now on YouTube

Professor Hixson has written numerous books, among them two books about the Israel Lobby: Israel’s Armor (2019) and Architects of Repression (2021). He is also a columnist and contributing editor for the magazine, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.  Q & A will follow Professor Hixson’s remarks.

This event is free and open to the public. Prior registration is requested.

Contact Mark Weber – 216-870-1594 – [email protected]

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Cleveland Peace Action Movie Night
Tuesday, October 19th, 7 pm

A BOLD PEACE! tells the story of how Costa Rica abolished its army in 1948, allowing investment in health, education and the environment, enhancing the well-being of its citizens.

Cleveland Peace Action Education Fund presents a virtual film screening on Tuesday, October 19 at 7:00 pm ET. Guests are welcome to participate in a live chat beginning at 6:30 pm ET, watch the livestream film screening beginning promptly at 7:00 pm ET, and join the live post-screening discussion at 8:00 pm ET. 

To watch the film and chat: Go to the Film Screening Room and enter this video password: [email protected]

Screening Room opens with live chat: 6:30 pm ET – Film Screening: 7:00 pm ET – Post-Screening Discussion: 8:00 pm ET on Zoom. Read film synopsis and watch the trailer.

“A fascinating documentary…Tells the remarkable story of war avoided, or transcended, again and again and again…By the film’s end, this way emerges not simply as possible, not simply as a curiosity, but as the model for the future.” – Robert Koehler, Huffington Post

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