Saturday Aug 11, 201206:21 PM GMT
Veterans For Peace National Convention: Liberating the Americas
Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:20PM
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Veterans For Peace is holding its 2012 National Convention in Miami, Fla., August 8-11. The event, which includes speeches, films, workshops, and musical entertainment, is open to the public and will feature prize-winning novelist Alice Walker, film producer Phil Donahue, activist Roy Bourgeois and others, many of whom have contributed to Press TV’s U.S. Desk in the past.


The theme of this 27th annual convention is "berating the Americas: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean."


Leah Bolger, the president of the anti-war organization said the American public has been “brainwashed” to hate Iran and pressure to prevent the U.S. from attacking it will have to come from outside the U.S. according to Mr. Sherwood Ross from Media with Conscience.


"No region in the world these days," said Veterans For Peace President Leah Bolger, "is as much on the forward march toward liberation. We are in the third century of the struggle to abolish the Monroe Doctrine. Advances (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Uruguay) exist side-by-side with setbacks engineered by U.S. imperialism (Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, etc.). We in the United States have a moral responsibility to change our government's view of Latin American and Caribbean nations as being our 'backyard' and sources of cheap labor and natural resources. It is time for our government to stop bullying the region and show respect and recognition for rights to national sovereignty."


The following is a list of speakers at the convention:


Alice Walker: Pulitzer prize winning novelist and poet, teacher, and activist.


Phil Donahue: Media personality, writer, and film producer.

Mr. Donahue will present the film “Body of War,” which he produced, Wednesday, August 8th.


Father Roy Bourgeois: Activist and priest, founder of the human rights organization “School of the Americas Watch.” Father Bourgeois will be a keynote speaker at the banquet Saturday, August 11th.


Marleine Bastien: Haitian-American activist and Congressional candidate, Executive Director of “Haitian Women of America.”


Ann Wright: Retired Army colonel and former diplomat, author and activist. Ms Wright will co-facilitate a workshop about drones with Medea Benjamin.


Medea Benjamin: Activist and author, founder of anti-war organization “Code Pink,” and fair trade advocacy group “Global Exchange.”


Leah Bolger: Retired Navy commander and activist, President of Veterans For Peace.


David Swanson:  Author, activist, and radio host. Mr. Swanson will co-facilitate a workshop entitled, Misleading America: U. S. Military Expansion Since the End of the Cold War.


Mike Reid: Executive Director of Veterans For Peace.


Paula Caplan:  PH.D., Fellow, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School; Associate, DuBois Institute, Harvard University. Ms. Caplan will facilitate the plenary workshop on War Trauma.


Camilo Mejia: First veteran from Iraq to publicly challenge the morality of the war and refuse to fight. Author of The Road from Ar Ramadi.


Charlie Clements: Carr Center's Executive Director, widely respected human rights activist and public health physician. Dr. Clements will host an Academy Award winning documentary about his experiences as a guerrilla doctor in El Salvador in the 1980's, Witness to War.


Bruce Gagnon: Executive Director of Global Network, deeply involved in JeJu Island Action. Mr. Gagnon will co-facilitate the workshop entitled, Obama’s Pivot Toward Asia-Pacific: Dangerous, Destabilizing and Costly.


Dennis Trainor, Jr.: Producer of film, American Autumn: An Occudoc.


John Lindsay Poland: Research and advocacy director of Fellowship of Reconciliation and founder of Colombia's Peace Team.



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