VFP 92 Submits Two Resolutions for VFP National Convention
Last month Greater Seattle Veterans For Peace approved, for submission to the national convention, two resolutions. The first resolution is "Concerning Amazon.com, Inc." and the other is "Supporting Democracy, Equality, & Peace in Palestine". You can read the full text of both below.
CONCERNING AMAZON.COM, INC.
This resolution is submitted on behalf of Veterans For Peace, Greater Seattle, Chapter 92
WHEREAS, the Seattle Times (March 31, 2012) reports, as of December 30, 2011, Seattle-based Amazon.com, Inc. had annual sales of $48.1 billion, an annual profit of $631 million, and a market value of $78.7 billion; and
WHEREAS, the Seattle Times (March 31, 2012) reports: "Last year, amid a troubled economy, United Way of King County said it received record donations from some of the area's largest companies" but it received nothing from Amazon and "In a city noted for its big-time philanthropy, Amazon has been a small-time donor"; and,
WHEREAS the Seattle Times (April 2, 2012) reports that: "The world's largest Internet retailer [Amazon] currently collects sales taxes from customers in just five states giving it a price advantage [as against local retailers] of up to 10 percent in most of the country" and "States have lost more than $52 billion during the past six years due to untaxed Internet purchases"; and,
WHEREAS the Seattle Times (April 3, 2012 and May 10, 2012) reports credible allegations of illegal, sweatshop-like conditions and practices in several Amazon warehouses resulting in significant worker injuries and mistreatment; and,
WHEREAS independent bookstores: 1) Are essential for the "discovery and nurturing" of talented new writers (Boston Review, Nov./Dec. 2010); 2) Help foster a sense of literary community among costumers (PolicyMic, Dec. 2011); and, 3) Contribute significantly more money to the local economy than do large national/multinational retailers (American Booksellers Association, undated); and
WHEREAS the Seattle Times (April 3, 2012) reports: "Early on, Amazon took a hard line against unions. A high-profile organizing effort by the Communications Workers of America at an Amazon call center in Seattle ended in 2001, when the center was shut down and some 400 workers were laid off ..."; and,
WHEREAS a 2008 report by John Logan of the London School of Economics found that Amazon deployed anti-union consultants in Britain and "The union involved in the organizing drive at Amazon, the Graphical Print and Media Union, stated that the company mounted the most aggressive campaign it had ever encountered and accused management of sacking a union activist and committing other unfair practices"; and,
WHEREAS the Christian Science Monitor (December 3, 2010) reports: "WikiLeaks ... was ejected from Amazon cloud-based servers, apparently under pressure from US politicians" and, quoting CNN.com journalist Rebecca MacKinnon, "[Amazon] sent a clear signal to its users: If you engage in controversial speech that some individual members of the U.S. government don't like–even if there is a strong case to be made that your speech is constitutionally protected–Amazon is going to dump you at the first sign of trouble"; and,
WHEREAS in a December 15, 2010, email bulletin Veterans For Peace (VFP) President Mike Ferner stated "Amazon wasn't a major revenue source" and announced that the VFP Executive Committee had "voted to break all commercial ties with" Amazon and urged "our members, supporters and the public to boycott Amazon"; and,
WHEREAS, according to VFP Treasurer Nate Goldshlag, the VFP boycott of Amazon was rescinded "some time last year", i.e. in 2011, and VFP has reestablished its commercial ties to Amazon; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by VFP in National Convention assembled in Miami, Florida, August 8-12, 2012, that Amazon.com, Inc.'s corporate values and practices are inconsistent with the values and practices of VFP; and be it
FINALLY RESOLVED that VFP should end its affiliation with Amazon.com, Inc.
SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY, EQUALITY, & PEACE IN PALESTINE
This resolution is submitted on behalf of Veterans For Peace, Greater Seattle, Chapter 92
WHEREAS in 1947, Palestinian Muslims and Christians comprised about two-thirds of the population of Palestine—the territory today comprising Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem—while Jews comprised only about one-third of the population and owned less than seven percent of the land of Palestine; and,
WHEREAS the 1947 partition of Palestine against the wishes of the Palestinian people and "the establishment of a Jewish State" there by violent means in 1948 violated the Atlantic Charter of 1941 and violated the "peaceful means," "justice," "equal rights," and "self-determination" principles of Article 1 of the United Nations Charter; and,
WHEREAS the Jewish majority in Israel exists as a result of the violent expulsion and ongoing exile of Palestinian refugees, now numbering 4.8 million from 1948 alone; and,
WHEREAS in 2005 the US State Department indicated that the Palestinian population living in Palestine exceeded the combined Jewish population living in Israel and the OPT while the "Jewish state" nevertheless exercises de facto sovereignty or control over all of Palestine; and,
WHEREAS a scientific poll conducted in November and December 2008 by the Palestine-based Arab World for Research and Development for the One Voice Movement found that the "final status" option that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza (WBG) most strongly support (82%) is "Historic Palestine – From the Jordanian river to the sea"; and,
WHEREAS a scientific poll conducted in August 2010 by the Palestine-based Arab World for Research and Development found that 91% of Palestinians in the WBG say that "historic Palestine—from the Jordan River to the sea—as the national homeland of the Palestinians is essential or desirable" as the "final status" outcome of any peace agreement; and,
WHEREAS a scientific poll conducted in June and July of 2011 for the US-based Israel Project found that only 30% of Palestinians in the WBG accept "permanently a two-state solution with one homeland for the Palestinian people living side-by-side with Israel, a homeland for the Jewish people" while 66% agreed that the "real goal ... should be ... one Palestinian state" in all of Palestine; and,
WHEREAS the polls cited above clearly suggest that if Palestinians actually living in Palestine were free to exercise their right of self-determination then there would already be one Palestinian state in all of Palestine; and,
WHEREAS the Israeli and American governments succeeded in blocking the September 2011 bid of the Palestinian Authority for UN recognition of a Palestinian state in the OPT, demonstrating their clear opposition to a 'two-state solution'; and,
WHEREAS as a peace organization based in the United States—the major diplomatic, financial, and military underwriter of the State of Israel—Veterans For Peace (VFP) has a special duty to work for a just peace in Palestine; now, therefore, be it,
RESOLVED by VFP in National Convention assembled in Miami, Florida, August 8-12, 2012, that the Israel-Palestine conflict is a major area of concern and involvement for VFP; and be it,
RESOLVED that the system of ethnic/religious segregation, inequality, and injustice which currently exists in Palestine and which is inherent in the 'two-state solution' is a form of apartheid and, thus, not consistent with the values of VFP; and be it,
FINALLY RESOLVED that VFP stands in solidarity with the growing number of Palestinians, Israelis, and others calling for the peaceful creation of one democratic state in all of Palestine with equality for all of its citizens.
Posted: 04 November 2012
United Bases of America Poster Are Here!
Last year, Richard Johnson of Canada's National Post produced an amazing graphic which illustrates that "Despite the pending troop withdrawals in Iraq and those in Afghanistan between now and 2014, the United States remains a superpower on a scale not seen since the days of the Caesars."
Greater Seattle Veterans For Peace obtained permission to do a limited print run as an educational and fund-raising project. These 15" x 24" posters are great for educators and activists and every office, classroom, and community cafe ought to have at least one. They are printed in full-color on high-quality glossy paper at a local union print shop. Posters start at $12 each with quantity discounts. Download an order form on the VFP 92 store page.
Educate and Motivate with "United Bases of America" Poster
In 2011, Richard Johnson of Canada's National Post produced an amazing graphic which illustrates that "Despite the pending troop withdrawals in Iraq and those in Afghanistan between now and 2014, the United States remains a superpower on a scale not seen since the days of the Caesars."
Greater Seattle Veterans For Peace obtained permission to do a limited print run as an educational and fund-raising project. These 15" x 24" posters are great for educators and activists and every office, classroom, and community cafe ought to have at least one. They are printed in full-color on high-quality glossy paper at a local union print shop. Posters start at $10 each with quantity discounts available.
Sharpen your VFP Image with All Season VFP Vests
The vests tie on the sides. They are 38 inches long and 16-1/2 inches wide (dimensions do not include the ties). The neck opening is 10-1/2 inches long by 8-1/2 inches wide. Vests start at $16 each with quantity discounts available.
This booklet came out of a long-running, very low-key discussion among members about how we engage the public in fostering an end to militarism and war. And the difficult question: how do we talk about war?
An artist with an international following for his work supporting peace and justice found that art reached people when it enlisted their empathy. Messages of rage and horror may support those already in general agreement, but may repel others. VFP 92 members Gerri Haynes and the late Abe Osheroff suggested try direct engagement with an enemy in conversation. Someone suggested we can use stories about how war manifests itself in situations at home. The trauma would be muted and the ways courage and love cope with appalling pain and loss can come to the surface.
The booklet is a collection of such stories. Our hope is that readers will share them with others and help the realization spread that - as Gerri Haynes has said - peace is imperative.
For More Information or To Order, Contact Sam Scharff via email @ empathy _AT_ vfp92.org.
The Chapter Newsletter, "Peace Call"
The Peace Call is published quarterly as a means of informing the membership of the activities and events of the chapter. The input has been highly representative of chapter 92 members and events, as well as highlighting those activities resulting from combined efforts of Washington chapters. The Peace Call Newsletter Page includes LINKS for downloading published issues, GUIDELINES for Input and DEADLINES For Submitting Content.
"Soldiers & Students" Counter-Recruiting DVD from PepperSpray. see the trailer, get a copy of Program Total Run Time: 49 minutes, 29 seconds. "Screen it, broadcast it, show it in schools: 'Soldiers & Students' is a tool for your use ...for those fighting against the war, and especially for those who are campaigning to get military recruiters off campus or otherwise keep young people from joining the military." -- Randy Rowland, pepperspray @ riseup.net
Iraq Exit Plans Video via WaTiR .Org: a Spring 2008 presentation that includes the "Responsible Plan," the "Von Sponeck Plan," and the PDA plan (from Progressive Democrats of America). The WMV file is about 100 MB. Thanks go to Todd Boyle.
Indepth topic coverage available via VIPIO/RADIZDAT Documentary DVDs. Note on jacket of each DVD: "Pass it on or return it, not a souvenier for your bookshelf... Noncommercial, educational sharing of documentaries. Never pay or charge for this DVD. Give it... based on pre-existing interest in this subject..." Contact Todd Boyle