No to NATO – Yes to Peace Speakers

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SPEAKERS FOR APRIL 3

NONVIOLENT ACTION PREP WORKSHOPS LEADERS:

NADINE BLOCH

Nadine Bloch is currently the Training Director for Beautiful Trouble. As an innovative artist, nonviolent action practitioner, political organizer, direct-action trainer, and puppetista, she combines the principles and strategies of people power with creative use of the arts in cultural resistance and public protest. Her work has been featured nationally and locally, in newspapers like The Washington Post and magazines from Ms. to Time. She is a contributor to the books Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution (2012, O/R Press), Beautiful Rising: Creative Resistance from the Global South (2017, O/R Press) and We Are Many, Reflections on Movement Strategy from Occupation to Liberation (2012, AK Press).  She is the author of a Special Report Education & Training in Nonviolent Resistance (2016, US Institutes of Peace.) Check out her column on the blog WagingNonviolence, “The Arts of Protest.”

If you’re a nonviolent activism trainer and want to help, please fill out this form.

SCREENPRINTING FOR JUSTICE WORKSHOP LEADERS:

The Sanctuaries is a new expression of a long lineage of artists, organizers, and visionaries who have shaped the rich culture of Washington, D.C. In 2013, twenty neighbors came together to create “sanctuaries” – sacred spaces where artists of diverse racial and religious backgrounds could build trust and take collective action. Today, the community comprises over 150 artists working across artistic media, from creative writing to hip hop to screenprinting. Through personalized coaching, rigorous training, and mutual support, the Sanctuaries empower rising leaders to put their creative and spiritual lives in service of social change. This can take many forms. For example, some of the artists embed with grassroots campaigns advocating for public housing; some amplify immigrant or LGBTQ voices through performances at anchor arts institutions like Woolly Mammoth Theater and the Smithsonian; some host healing circles at protests and rallies, or facilitate workshops at local synagogues, churches, and mosques for healing trauma through the arts; and much more. Take a look at some of the work these artists have done in the past.

MUSICIANS AND SPOKEN-WORD ARTISTS:

RYAN HARVEY
Ryan Harvey is a Baltimore-based musician and journalist, and the co-owner alongside Tom Morello of the activist-driven label Firebrand Records.

In 2016 Harvey wrote and recorded Woody Guthrie’s previously-unfinished “Old Man Trump” with Morello and Ani DiFranco, and this year released “Thin Blue Border,” an interactive digital-album themed around the refugee crisis recorded with trio-mates Kareem Samara and Shireen Lilith.

Follow Ryan Harvey on Facebook!

 

 

 

 

EMMA’S REVOLUTION
Emma’s Revolution is the dynamic, award-winning activist duo of Pat Humphries & Sandy O, whose songs have been sung for the Dalai Lama, praised by Pete Seeger, and covered by Holly Near.

With beautiful harmonies and genre-defying eclecticism, Emma’s Revolution delivers the energy and strength of their convictions, in an uprising of truth and hope for these tumultuous times. More about Emma’s Revolution here.

 

 

 

MEGACIPH
Megaciph is a socially conscious writer using his music to address social issues and advance progressive thinking. In 2006 he self published his first solo album, The Graduate Program. In 2008 Megaciph enrolled at The New School University to begin his post graduate studies in Nonprofit Management. Three years later in 2011, he self published his sophomore solo album, Migration of the Soul’d Kind and completed his M.S. Nonprofit Management with a focus on Arts and Culture. In 2014 Megaciph published CIVILiAM; an album inspired by his four years of service in the USMC. The album is filled with true stories and anecdotes from his tours in Okinawa, Cuba and duty stations here in the states. He has donated 100% of the proceeds from the CIVILiAM album to Veterans For Peace. Megaciph’s latest release, CodeSwitching (Sept 2017), is a collaboration with Queens native producer James Data. Megaciph is currently writing and recording new material to address the political, environmental and social ills plaguing our planet and human civilization.

 

ELEANOR GOLDFIELD
Eleanor Goldfield is a creative activist, and journalist. She is the founder and host of the show, Act Out! which airs on Free Speech TV as well as in podcast form. She is also the co-host of the podcast Common Censored along with Lee Camp. Her articles and her shows cover people and topics which corporate media either censor or misrepresent. She works in a variety of mediums and her performances blend music, spoken word and visual projections. She was also the co-founder and singer of Rooftop Revolutionaries, a political rock band born from the fight against capitalism and all the evils that stem from it. Besides speaking and performing, she assists in local action organizing and activist training. She is currently based in Washington, DC.

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

HOOR ARIFI

Hoor Arifi is an Afghan activist who has been involved with humanitarian works in Afghanistan since he was a young boy. He has worked as a Coordinator with the “Afghan Peace Volunteers” while living in Afghanistan.

Currently, he is majoring in Politics and Business at a U.S. University. He also works as a facilitator with the “Afghan Diaspora Communities” trying to solve problems faced by Afghans at home and abroad.

 

 

REINER BRAUN
Reiner Braun studied German literature, history and journalism.
 Since 1982 he has been actively involved in the peace movement, working in the office of the “Krefelder Appeal” against new nuclear weapons in Europe. Since 1983 he has been Executive Director of Scientists for Peace and Sustainability (Germany) and since 1991 also of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES).
 Since 2004 Reiner Braun has been working for various projects related to the Einstein year at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and for the Max Planck Society. 
From 2006 to 2017 he was the Executive Director of  German IALANA Germany, the international IALANA. He worked from 2006 to 2012 also as Executive Director for the Vereinigung Deutscher Wissenschaftler (VDW), the German Pugwash group. 
Since September 2013 he has been Co-president of the International Peace Bureau. Braun has been engaged in the campaigns against the U.S. airbase in Ramstein and against NATO
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LEE CAMP
Lee Camp is the head writer and host of the TV show “Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp” on RT America, which is watched by millions around the world. He’s a former contributor to The Onion, former staff humor writer for the Huffington Post, and had a hit web series called “Moment of Clarity.” He’s toured the country and the world with his fierce brand of standup comedy, and George Carlin’s daughter Kelly said he’s one of the few comics keeping her father’s torch lit. Among his top accolades, he’s also had smear pieces done about him by the New York Times and NPR’s Weekend Edition.

 

 

 

BRITTANY DEBARROS
Brittany DeBarros is a U.S. Army combat veteran, an entrepreneur, and an activist dedicated to justice, opportunity, and liberty for all. DeBarros, an Army Reserve psychological operations officer, has been publicly denouncing the U.S. military’s warmaking. She has been a speaker for the Poor People’s Campaign. She has worked as Drop the MIC Campaign Co-Director for About Face: Veterans Against the War.

DeBarros has worked on economic and racial liberation issues in various capacities. She is particularly passionate about leveraging her experience as a Psychological Operations Officer to center narrative and behavior change in campaign strategy. She is based in New York City.

 

ANA MARIA GOWER
Ana Maria Gower is a Serbian-British mixed media artist focusing on the themes of memories, life path, and experiences of war. The origin of her artistic interests goes back to her own experience of surviving the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia and its capital – Belgrade. Being a 10-year old in a war zone, she witnessed the destruction caused by NATO involvement both during the conflict and for years after. Currently, Ana Maria’s work tries to depict an encounter with the forces of life, interpret it from the expressionist perspective, and present a distilled meaning to the people. The graduate of Central Saint-Martins (London, UK), she has participated in numerous exhibitions in the UK, Serbia, and the United States. She currently lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

KARLENE GRIFFITHS SEKOU
Karlene Griffiths Sekou is a lead organizer with Black Lives Matter Boston, public theologian and preacher, speaker, scholar, and human rights advocate.  Her work is international and intersectional focusing on disrupting and reimagining economic, educational, health, and social justice ecologies that have roots in geographic, racial, class, and gender imperialisms. Her question: How have colonization, capitalism, and cultural hegemonies shaped the structural entrenchment of hierarchies of the human and therefore, social inequities and injustice? Rev. Griffiths Sekou’s research is at the nexus of the religious, ritual, spirituality, performance aesthetics, political anthropology, and political identity in social movements. Karlene is also founder and curator of Imagine!, a public communal political arts space designed for reflection, conversation, engagement and facilitating courageous practices of cultural regeneration. She also holds earned degrees from Boston University School of Public Health, Vanderbilt and Harvard Divinity Schools, and is  currently a PhD student in Religion, Gender, & Culture at Harvard University.

 

MATTHEW HOH
Matthew Hoh is a former U.S. Marine officer and government official who resigned from his position with the State Department in 2009 over the escalation of the Afghan War. Matthew is a senior fellow with the Center for International Policy, a Veteran For Peace and an advisory board member for World BEYOND War.

 

 

 

 

MARIA ZAKHAROVA
Maria Zakharova is an activist and public lecturer based in Odessa, Ukraine. She has been a strong supporter of the Council of Mothers of May 2, which represents relatives of the scores of progressives murdered at Odessa’s House of Trade Unions by a right-wing mob on May 2, 2014, just a few months after the coup that overthrew the democratically elected president of Ukraine. Ever since the massacre, Zakharova has been promoting the demand by the Council of Mothers for an international investigation into who was responsible for the murders, addressing this issue at meetings, conferences and rallies across Europe and in the United States. Zakharova is a graduate of Odessa National Technic University with a degree in computer engineering. She holds a doctorate in Social Psychology and currently is pursuing studies in the field of Scientific Community.

SPEAKERS FOR APRIL 4:

GRAYLAN HAGLER
Graylan Hagler is Senior Pastor of Plymouth United Church of Christ, Washington, DC, and Chairperson of Faith Strategies, a collective of clergy consulting, advising, and organizing to bring justice issues into the heart of the faith community.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Hagler received a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion from Oberlin College, Ohio, in 1976. Rev. Hagler is the Immediate Past National President of Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice (MRSEJ). Rev. Hagler is a long-time social justice advocate and active in the Palestine solidarity movement. He recently returned from an all-Black delegation trip to Palestine consisting of Hip Hop and Spoken Word artists as well as an activist in the labor movement, and academic on Black Liberation and a survivor of the Rwandan genocide.

 

JARIBU HILL
Jaribu Hill is the founder of the Southern Human Rights Organizing Conference (SHROC), a biannual gathering of southern leaders. Jaribu’s work through the Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights and many other organizations over decades has contributed to the Black Radical Tradition in countless ways. Jaribu Hill is a licensed attorney. She is Founder and Executive Director of the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights. Hill is an author and an international spokesperson on Civil and Human Rights topics. In support of workers across the globe, Jaribu has traveled to Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean. Through her organization, Attorney Hill has provided legal representation and advocacy for hundreds of workers in the state. Jaribu was legal observer during the Women in War Crimes Tribunal, held in Tokyo in December 2000 and the author of the poem, Haunting Mirrors, written to honor Comfort Women and other victims of sexual slavery.

LUCI MURPHY
Luci Murphy began singing folk songs in the ’50s under the influence of the Equal Rights and Ecumenical movements. In 1975 she began her career as a self-produced and promoted concert/rally/recording artist, during which she visited Cuba for the World Youth Festival in 1978, China just before the normalization of relations with the U.S., Brazil for a grassroots organizers conference in 1979, and Palestinian camps in Lebanon in 1981. She studied and worked with Pete Seeger, Billy Vanaver, and Esther Mae “Mother” Scott. She has sung in support of the Wilmington 10, Palestinian, Haitian, and Central American refugees, Nicaraguan Sandinistas, Chilean anti-fascists, Texas farmworkers, striking nurses, Black union locals which were placed in receivership by their white internationals like BRAC in D.C. and the Shipyard Workers in San Diego; unemployed workers, D.C. tenants, the homeless, and victims of police brutality and frame-up. Luci sings in ten languages: English, Spanish, French, Kreyol, Portuguese, Nguni, Arabic, Hebrew, Cherokee and ki-Swahili. In addition to her performing activities, Luci has been on the leadership team of several community organizations: D.C. Chapter President of the League of Women Voters; Steering Committee Member of Health Care Now; Director on the National Board of the Gray Panthers of the U.S.; Director on the board of the Latin American Folk Institute, and more.

 

OMALI YESHITELA
Omali Yeshitela is Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party USA and the African Socialist International. Chairman Omali has developed the anti-imperialist political theory, African Internationalism, which explains the world through the eyes of the African working class and in solidarity with oppressed and colonized peoples around the world. Chairman Omali is the founder of The Burning Spear newspaper and theburningspear.com. He built the international Tribunal on Reparations for African People and popularized the concept of reparations throughout the U.S. Through the African People’s Socialist Party, he founded the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM), the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project, the African National Prison Organization, the African National Reparations Organization, and the African Socialist International. Over many years, Yeshitela has led countless struggles to stop the war against the African community, including campaigns to Free Dessie Woods, for Community Control of Housing, and Justice for TyRon Lewis. He is the author of countless articles and several books and pamphlets, including One Africa! One Nation!, One People! One Party! One Destiny! and An Uneasy Equilibrium. Chairman Omali Yeshitela speaks and organizes throughout Africa, the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe and elsewhere around the world, forwarding the struggle to liberate Africa and African people everywhere.

KARLENE GRIFFITHS SEKOU
Karlene Griffiths Sekou is a lead organizer with Black Lives Matter Boston, public theologian and preacher, speaker, scholar, and human rights advocate.  Her work is international and intersectional focusing on disrupting and reimagining economic, educational, health, and social justice ecologies that have roots in geographic, racial, class, and gender imperialisms. Her question: How have colonization, capitalism, and cultural hegemonies shaped the structural entrenchment of hierarchies of the human and therefore, social inequities and injustice? Rev. Griffiths Sekou’s research is at the nexus of the religious, ritual, spirituality, performance aesthetics, political anthropology, and political identity in social movements. Karlene is also founder and curator of Imagine!, a public communal political arts space designed for reflection, conversation, engagement and facilitating courageous practices of cultural regeneration. She also holds earned degrees from Boston University School of Public Health, Vanderbilt and Harvard Divinity Schools, and is  currently a PhD student in Religion, Gender, & Culture at Harvard University.

KEVIN ZEESE
Kevin Zeese is a member of World BEYOND War’s Advisory Board. He is a public interest attorney who has worked for economic, racial and environmental justice since graduating from George Washington Law School in 1980. He co-directs PopularResistance.org which works to build the independent movement for transformational change. Zeese co-hosts, Clearing the FOG radio which airs on We Act Radio, Progressive Radio Network and other outlets. He is recognized as a leading activist in the United States in the series Americans Who Tell the Truth. Zeese was an organizer of the Occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC in 2011. Zeese is co-founder of Come Home America which brings people from across the political spectrum together to work against war and militarism. He served on the steering committees of the Chelsea Manning Support Network which advocated for the Wikileaks whistle-blower, as well as on the advisory board of the Courage Foundation which supports Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers.

 

MEDEA BENJAMIN
medea Medea Benjamin is a co-founder of both CODEPINK and the international human rights organization Global Exchange. Benjamin is the author of eight books. Her latest books are Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection. Her direct questioning of President Obama during his 2013 foreign policy address, as well as her recent trips to Pakistan and Yemen, helped shine a light on the innocent people killed by U.S. drone strikes. Benjamin has been an advocate for social justice for more than 30 years. Described as “one of America’s most committed — and most effective — fighters for human rights” by New York Newsday, and “one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement” by the Los Angeles Times, she was one of 1,000 exemplary women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the millions of women who do the essential work of peace worldwide.

 

LUDO DE BRABANDER

Ludo De Brabander is a Belgian peace activist and spokesman for the organization Vrede vzw. He is a member of the international coordination committee of No to War – No to Nato. He was one of the main organizers of the two last NATO counter summits in Brussels (May 2017 and July 2018).

He is author of several books on NATO, militarization, the Middle East and the Kurdish issue. He travels regularly through the Middle East and writes about it in various printed and electronic publications.

 

MARGARET FLOWERS

Margaret Flowers is a Maryland pediatrician, and an advocate for single-payer healthcare and justice.

She is co-director of Popular Resistance, co-host of the Clearing the FOG radio program, and a former candidate for the U.S. Senate.

She obtained her medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and did her residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. She is based in Baltimore.

 

 

KRISTINE KARCH
Kristine Karch is a German feminist, peace and environmental activist working nationally and internationally on gender and environmental justice, on women and militarization, militarization and environment, delegitimization of NATO, nuclear weapons, and closing military bases.

She is co-chair of the international network No to War – No to NATO, she is a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Campaign Stop Air Base Ramstein, board member of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES), founding member and active in the women and environmental group EcoMujer, an exchange of views between women from Cuba, Latin America and Germany.

 

BEN GROSSCUP
Ben Grosscup leads songs at picket lines, rallies, marches, conferences, and house concerts to inspire and agitate for justice and peace. Drawing upon activist folk singing traditions, he brings new songs to the movement-building spaces where they are most relevant. He works with unions and other peace and social justice organizations to raise political consciousness and help people sing together for a common purpose. He has performed for nurses and teachers unions, climate justice organizations, anti-death penalty groups, indigenous rights groups, and other social justice groups. He performs a wide range of politically inspired music—much of it original. He is working on his debut CD release. Based in Greenfield, MA, Ben serves as Executive Director of People’s Music Network (www.peoplesmusic.org), a diverse community of singers, artists, activists and allies that cultivates music and cultural work as catalysts for a just and peaceful world.


ART LAFFIN
Art Laffin is a member of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, D.C. For four decades, Art has helped organize and participate in numerous nonviolent actions calling for the abolition of war, nuclear weapons, killer drones and all weapons, ending U.S. military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and worldwide, resisting torture and racial violence, upholding human rights for the homeless, immigrants, the poor and prisoners, and safeguarding the environment. He has been arrested multiple times for acts of nonviolent resistance and has been imprisoned for his involvement in the Trident Nein and Thames River plowshares actions, as well as for other nonviolent protests. He has also traveled to war zones in Northern Ireland, Central America, Palestine and Iraq to stand with people who are nonviolently resisting war and occupation. In 2016 he received the Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace Award.

 

PHIL WILAYTO
Phil Wilayto is a former organizer in the Vietnam-era GI Movement, founding member of the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality, editor of The Virginia Defender newspaper and author of “In Defense of Iran: Notes from a U.S. Peace Delegation’s Journey Through the Islamic Republic.” He coordinates the Odessa Solidarity Campaign, which supports antifascists in Odessa, Ukraine. A former staff reporter for the Richmond Free Press, his writings have appeared the (UK) Guardian, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Milwaukee Courier, Final Call, Counterpunch, MRZine, Global Research, TruthOut.org and Popular Resistance, among others. He has been interviewed by NPR, Democracy Now, Sputnik News, Russia Today and various Iranian news outlets, including the Islamic Republic News Agency and Iranian National Radio. He can be reached at DefendersFJE@hotmail.com

 

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