No to NATO – Yes to Peace Speakers

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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.”

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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.


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!



Eric Colville is an award winning singer/songwriter with songs placed on network television including ABC’s “All My Children” and PBS “Roadtrip Nation.” Eric has previously performed at the 30A Songwriting Festival and The Kerrville Folk Festival alongside many well-known songwriters including John Oates (Hall & Oates), Shawn Mullins, Loudon Wainwright III, Gary Louris (Jayhawks), and The Indigo Girls. Influenced by folk/rock of the ’60s, and often with a stylistic nod to ’90s alt rock, his songs are nevertheless eclectic in style. Colville writes of peace, love, and heartbreak, with lyrics at times defiant, at times introspective, and often whimsical. He is currently working on his third album to be released in 2019.



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.




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 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 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.


Rev. Karlene Griffiths Sekou is a public speaker with Black Lives Matter, a preacher, scholar, human rights advocate and community organizer. Her work is international and intersectional focusing on economic, educational, health, and social justice ecologies having their roots in geographic, racial, class, and gender imperialisms.

Her question: How have colonization, capitalism, and cultural hegemonies shaped structural entrenchment of hierarchy of the human and therefore, inequities? Rev. Griffiths Sekou’s research is at the nexus of the religious, ritual, performance aesthetics, and political identity.




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.






Lucas Wirl is a German peace activist working nationally and internationally on nuclear weapons, NATO, military research at universities, and closing military bases. He is co-chair of the international network No to War – No to NATO, Executive Director of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) (internationally and for the German Section). Among others he is involved in the Campaign Stop Air Base Ramstein, Scientists for Peace Germany, International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES), and the International Peace Bureau (IPB).




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.

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