Peace Almanac April

April

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Some unpredictable day in April is the Global Day of Action Against Military Spending.

April 1. use a fictional event

April 2. On this day in 1917, Jeanette Rankin took her seat in Congress, the only member who would vote against both world wars, and the only member who would vote against WWII.

April 3. On this day in 1948, the Marshall Plan went into effect.

April 4. On this day in 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke against the war on Vietnam. On this same day in 1968 he was murdered. This is a good day to celebrate his opposition to racism, militarism, and extreme materialism, and to study what happened. This is also International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

April 5. On this day in 1946, General Douglas MacArthur spoke about the ban on war included as Article 9 of Japan’s new Constitution. Article 9 includes language nearly identical to that of the Kellogg-Briand Pact to which many nations are party. “While all provisions of this proposed new constitution are of importance, and lead individually and collectively to the desired end as expressed at Potsdam,” he said, “I desire especially to mention that provision dealing with the renunciation of war. Such renunciation, while in some respects a logical sequence to the destruction of Japan’s war-making potential, goes yet further in its surrender of the sovereign right of resort to arms in the international sphere. Japan thereby proclaims her faith in a society of nations by just, tolerant and effective rules of universal social and political morality and entrusts its national integrity thereto. The cynic may view such action as demonstrating but a childlike faith in a visionary ideal, but the realist will see in it far deeper significance. He will understand that in the evolution of society it became necessary for man to surrender certain rights. . . . The proposal . . . but recognizes one further step in the evolution of mankind. . . . dependent upon a world leadership which does not lack the moral courage to implement the will of the masses who abhor war. . . . I therefore commend Japan’s proposal for the renunciation of war to the thoughtful consideration of all peoples of the world. It points the way — the only way.”

April 6. On this day in 1994, the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi were assassinated. The evidence points strongly to the U.S.-backed and U.S.-trained war-maker Paul Kagame — later president of Rwanda — as the guilty party. This is a good day to remember that while wars cannot prevent genocides, they can cause them.

April 7. On this day in 2014 Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa told the U.S. military to leave his country. Correa was concerned by the “very high number” of U.S. military officers meddling in Ecuador’s affairs. All 20 U.S. military employees, with the exception of the U.S. military attaché, were affected. This was the latest step to date in Ecuador’s efforts to regain sole sovereignty from the U.S. in the conduct of its internal security. The first step had been taken in 2008 when Correa had purged his own military whose forces had allegedly been infiltrated and influenced by the CIA. Then in 2009 Ecuador evicted U.S. troops stationed there when it refused to renew an expiring 10-year rent-free lease on a U.S. military base in the city of Manta on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. The U.S. Air Force euphemistically referred to this base as its southern most “Forward Operating Location” purportedly intended to stop drug trafficking from Colombia. Before the closing, Correa did make an offer to keep the base open. “We’ll renew the base on one condition,” he said, “that they let us put a base in Miami – an Ecuadorean base.” Of course, the United States had no interest in that proposal. The hypocrisy of the U.S. position was summed up by Ecuadorean National Assembly Member Maria Augusta Calle whom the New York Times reported as saying “It’s an issue of dignity and sovereignty. How many foreign bases are there in the U.S.?” Of course we know the answer. But on the question of whether U.S. bases in other people’s countries can be closed, Ecuador’s story provides one inspirational answer.

April 8. On this day in 1898, Paul Robeson was born.

April 9. On this day in 1947, first freedom ride, “Journey of Reconciliation,” was sponsored by CORE and FOR.

April 10. On this day in 1998, the Good Friday peace agreement was signed in Northern Ireland.

April 11. On this day in 1996, the treaty of Pelindaba was signed in Cairo, making Africa a nuclear-free continent and in theory making the entire southern hemisphere a nuclear-free zone.

April 12. On this day in 1935, 60,000 U.S. students went on strike against war.

April 13. On this day in 1917, the United States restricted civil liberties.

April 14. On this day in 1988, Denmark declares its ports nuclear-free.

April 15. On this day in 1967, 200,000 demonstrated in New York and 80,000 in San Francisco, including the first mass draft card burning. Also on this day in 1984, 250,000 people rallied for nuclear disarmament in Australia.

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Tax Day in the United States is a good day to protest military spending. This day is on April 15 unless the 15th is a Friday in which case tax day is the following Monday, or if the 15th is on Saturday or Sunday then tax day is on the following Tuesday.

April 16.This is Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in Washington, D.C., through compensated emancipation, just as much of the rest of the world ended slavery — without a civil war. Also on this day in 1971 U.S. veterans burned their medals at the White House to protest the war on Vietnam.

April 17. On this day in 1965, the first march on Washington against the war on Vietnam was held.

April 18. On this day in 1997, “Choose Life” plowshares action at Bofors weapons factory in Karlskoga, exporter of arms to Indonesia.

April 19. On this day in 1775, the American Revolution Begins.

April 20. On this day in 1999, Killings at Littleton, Colorado’s Columbine High School take place, where two teenagers killed 12 fellow students, a teacher and themselves — weapons making town

April 21. On this day in 1989, Chinese Students Begin Protests at Tiananmen Square.

April 22.This is Earth Day, and also the birthday of Immanuel Kant.

April 23. On this day in 1968, students at Columbia seize buildings to protest war research & razing Harlem for new gym.

April 24. On this day in 1915, the Armenian Genocide began.

April 25. On this day in 1974 the Carnation Revolution ended military rule in Portugal.

April 26. On this day in 1986 the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant in Ukraine, USSR, caught fire. This is a good day to oppose nuclear energy.

April 27. On this day in 1973 the British acting on behalf of the United States completed the eviction of all residents from Diego Garcia and surrounding islands. This is a good day on which to demand that they be given their islands back.

April 28. On this day in 1977 mothers held their first rally for the disappeared in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Also on this day in 1915,  the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom was founded at The Hague.

April 29. On this date in 1975, the last Americans hastily fled Vietnam, finally ending the era of, first French, and then U.S.-occupation. This is a good day to celebrate freedom, independence, and anti-imperialism.

April 30. On this day in 1977, 1,415 people were arrested protesting at a nuclear power plant in Seabrook, New Hampshire. This is a good day to oppose nuclear power.

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