[OCC News] OCC News No. 2 - Peace Fest 2009 edition

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OCC News

Nov 13, 2009, 5:26:48 PM11/13/09
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OCC statement on the tragic shooting at Ft. Hood
Like the rest of the country, we were saddened to learn of the tragic shooting at Ft. Hood on Nov. 5 that killed 13 people and wounded over 30 more. We join with many groups within the GI Rights movement (Under the Hood, IVAW, MLTF and others) to respond with a statement that brings to bear the perspective we have after working with servicemembers and veterans who have physical and hidden wounds from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. To read our statement and find links to the others, please visit our website at http://centerforconscience.org/2009/11/13/statement-on-ft-hood-shooting.

Action Alert
Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has placed a hold on a bill that would help veterans and their caregivers obtain much needed health care and compensation. Please contact Sen. Coburn and, as a constituent, demand that he end the hold and allow the bill to be voted on. For an article with more info, see http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/11/military_veteransbill_delayed_110209w/

Leave a message for the senator at his office in Washington D.C. at 202-224-5754 or Oklahoma City at 405-231-4941. Send an email from this web page: http://tr.im/emailcoburn

Upcoming OCC events

Fall Peace Festival
Can you believe it's that time of year already! Yes, it's the Fall Peace Festival on Nov. 14 and one of the key events for Oklahoma City's peace and justice community. We'll again have a table, where we'll be distributing literature, catching up with friends and asking for signatures on our peace advocacy petitions (this year our issues are Afghanistan and nuclear weapons). So please stop by and say hello and add your name to the call for peace around the world.

Saturday, Nov. 14, 10 AM to 4 PM
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave, OKC

Rethinking Afghanistan
As of this writing, President Obama is still deliberating about how to proceed in Afghanistan. It is vital that the peace and justice community communicate with him, as well as with those who will have to fund the war in Congress, about our desire for an end to military action and a committment to non-miitary strategic solutions.

We purchased the new documentary "Rethink Afghanistan" and showed it on Oct. 14. We are now cosponsoring, with the Oklahoma City Peace House, another screening and discussion of this important film.
Nov. 22

To help promote this event, you can download a flyer here: http://centerforconscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/rethink200901122.pdf

We have the DVD in our library, so if you want to borrow it (you are welcome to organize a screening for your group), let us know. If you want to obtain your own DVD, please do so through our website (http://centerforconscience.org/2009/10/02/occ-to-screen-rethink-afghanistan-on-1014/), as we will get $5 for each purchase made there.

PETITION. As part of the film's release and promotion, the filmmaker, Robert Greenwald's Brave New Foundation, is distributing a petition calling for "civilian solutions for Afghanistan." You can sign or download a print copy at the website http://rethinkafghanistan.com .

We want YOU to counter-recruit
Counter Recruitment is "on the march" in OKC. We had the privelege of hosting a fantisic Counter-recruitment workshop this summer featuring the expertise of Ft. Worth activists from Peace Options. Now we are moving forward with reaching out to Oklahoma City high schools with our "Work Without War" project. We invite you to join us, and especially to tell young people about this opportunity to get involved with this work.

We've got a couple of meetings scheduled, and will also be adding a section to our website to promote and facilitate this project. Get involved!

Nov. 21 - planning meeting at Red Cup, 1:30 pm.
Organizing for our workshop in January, and planning for other outreach opportunities.

Jan. 9 - Work Without War workshop
CR intensive at Scissortail Social Space, 1-3:30 PM. We'll be doing hands-on training, role-playing and introducing volunteers to the best resources for their own education on the topic, and the best tools for raising public awareness. Mark your calendars and plan to attend. Students especially needed for peer outreach!

Recommended reading

Introducing The Peace Report
OCC's co-founder and staff attorney, James M. Branum, has begun publishing an occasional newsletter called The Peace Report so that he can keep his friends and supporters "in the loop" about his work defending GI war resisters, aiding conscientious objectors and supporting the GI Rights Movement. The first issue includes an article James wrote for the Oklahoma Revelator called "90 Years of GI Resistance in Oklahoma." Subscriptions help fund James' important work. http://peacereport.org

Daniel Ellsberg's memoir
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Distinguished Fellow Daniel Ellsberg is releasing installments of his memoirs "The American Doomsday Machine" through the NAPF's website. Ellsberg spent six years researching and consulting with the US government on nuclear war planning, and is best known for releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971. http://wagingpeace.org/menu/issues/nuclear-weapons/ellsberg.htm

Global Conscience
Zed Books has published a new book, Conscientious Objection: Resisting Militarized Society, edited by Özgür Heval Çınar and Coşkun Üsterci. The War Resisters League published a good review of the book here: http://www.warresisters.org/node/798

Funding our work
Please remember OCC during your holiday charitable giving. We are under the fiscal care of Joy Mennonite Church, and donations are tax deductible. You can mail to the address below, or use a credit card on our web site.

Odds and ends

Let's Discuss
We are going to be making the old Yahoo Group into a more general discussion list for those who choose to participate in a conversation about Oklahoma peacemaking, GI Rights work, alternatives to militarism and the like. You can join by sending an email to okobjector...@yahoogroups.com or, you can visit the web page for that group, (groups.yahoo.com/group/okobjector), where you can unsubscribe or update your membership (such as to a less-frequent mailing).

On Facebook? Become a fan of OCC's page:

Our next business meeting is on Dec. 6 at 2 PM at Joy Mennonite (note the time change for this month only).


Oklahoma Center for Conscience  - centerforconscience.org
Donations are tax deductible. Mail to OCC, 504 NE 16th, OKC 73104

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