Tag Archives: Veterans for Peace

Fasting to end sanctions that kill children

My friend, Sally-Alice Thompson, is a long-time peace activist. She’s a retired WWII Navy veteran approaching 96 years old. So she’s seen a lot in her day, and she’s always been action-oriented.

She has belted out protest tunes with the Raging Grannies; picked up her walking stick in 2014 and walked 13 days from Albuquerque to Santa Fe to spur action to get money out of politics; traveled 450 miles by foot and by bus with a group of Americans and Soviet citizens in 1987 from what was then Leningrad to Moscow to promote peace and nuclear disarmament; walked nine months from LA to DC in the Great Peace March against nuclear weapons; started the Albuquerque chapter of Veterans for Peace along with her husband, a former state legislator and also a veteran; was instrumental in founding and supporting the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center; and has taught school, written books, and sheltered refugees in her home. And this only skims the surface of what makes Sally-Alice tick.

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Sally-Alice walking to Santa Fe in 2014 (photo credit Santa Fe Reporter)

So when it became clear that US sanctions against Yemen, Iran, Haiti, Venezuela, Gaza and elsewhere were killing hundreds of thousands — perhaps millions — of children, Sally-Alice thought “someone should really do something to end this horrific foreign policy of sanctions against the most vulnerable.” Then she thought “I’m someone, and I can do something!”  

Sally-Alice launched her hunger strike to raise the public’s awareness. She started her Fasting Against Sanctions and Sieges (FASS) on June 16 in Albuquerque, NM. She’s asking people who support her to sign her petition, here.

“I am fasting because I empathize with the many hungry children of the world, so I am joining them in their suffering. I am outraged that our country is engaging in sanctions and sieges that result in starvation of babies and children. I am profoundly saddened that my government interferes in the affairs of other countries, refusing to acknowledge their sovereignty and to respect their dignity.

I especially grieve for the children. I grieve for the children of Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and Iran, who are suffering because of the illegal sanctions imposed on those sovereign nations. I grieve for the hungry children of Gaza and Yemen, children who are hungry because of my country’s support for immoral sieges that deliberately prevent food from entering the places where they live.

I am almost 96 years old. The short remainder of my life is inconsequential. The remainder of the lives of those children may be very important. If allowed to develop normally, who knows what they may become? Are we depriving the world of a future great composer? Or maybe a talented playwright? One can only speculate, because they’re dying of starvation.

Those children have a right to live!

Permitting our country to continue down this road of genocide is completely unacceptable. So I have decide that instead of asking, ”Why doesn’t somebody do something about it?” I looked in the mirror and said, “You’re somebody, do something.”

I invite anyone who shares these feelings to join me in my fast, by skipping a meal or fasting for a day or longer. I would like to know and thank anyone who joins me.  PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE MY PETITION here.

Please contact me at sally-aliceanddon@juno.com. I hope this can start a movement to eliminate sanctions and sieges.

Sally-Alice explains her reason for fasting on this 20-minute Latitude Adjustment podcast, here.  She’s my hero.

Center for Peace and Justice celebrates 35th anniversary

Sally-Alice Thompson 2019 – photo credit Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal

 

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Filed under Hunger Strike, People, Uncategorized, US Policy, Video

Memorial Day hypocrisy

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I can’t wave the American flag, sing the American anthem, or wear red-white-blue paraphernalia this Memorial Day holiday.

It’s not that I don’t want to. Everyone wants to feel proud, and to cheer their “side.”

Despite the official line about this holiday being about honoring the veterans, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, all the evidence proves that we (the collective “we”) don’t give a damn about our veterans or their families.

If we did, we wouldn’t send our young men and women off to fight wars based on lies.  Actually, we wouldn’t send them off to fight any wars except as a last resort.  Instead, the USA fights wars of convenience and opportunity, because we (the collective “we” again) suck at diplomacy, especially in the Middle East. Our warriors and future veterans are used as pawns on a global chessboard with the MIC (military industrial complex) and fossil fuel special interests making all the moves.

Many of our warriors are sent on multiple tours of active duty, year after year after year, returning home with severe PTSD, while we scratch our heads wondering why gun violence is on the rise on our city streets.

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If we gave a damn about our veterans, we would prioritize their health care needs and make sure they’re not waiting months (in some cases years) to see a doctor, instead of scratching our heads and wondering why suicide rates among veterans is rising.

If we truly honored their service and sacrifice, there wouldn’t be a single homeless or unemployed veteran on our streets.  The facts tell a different story.

VA Homelessness

There’s a disturbing disconnect in what Americans say and what Americans do. I won’t be part of this hypocrisy.

If you feel compelled or moved to celebrate Memorial Day, send a monetary donation to Veterans for Peace.

Stop your car when you see the next homeless person on the street (there’s a very good chance he or she is a veteran) and offer to buy him/her a meal. Sit, eat with them, and listen to their story about their service.

Write your member of Congress and tell him or her what you really think about 1/2 trillion dollars directed towards defense.

The US Congress overwhelmingly passed, and President Obama signed, the $1.15 trillion omnibus spending measure that contained $572.7 billion for defense in a succession of votes in the House and Senate on Friday. (Dec. 18, 2015)

Vote for Bernie Sanders. “Bernie Sanders’ surge is partly fueled by Veterans” – Boston Globe June 28, 2015).

Bernie-Sanders-Vets-Advocate

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Filed under Politics, Uncategorized, US Policy