State of the Anti-War Movement With Greta Zarro and Ana Milosavljevic

By Fortress on a Hill, April 28, 2023

Gretta Zarro from World Beyond War and Ana Milosavljevic join us for a wide-ranging discussion on the state of the anti-war movement and deciding whether to make connections with allies with whom we may not share all the same values.

Greta Zarro has a background in issue-based community organizing. Her experience includes volunteer recruitment and engagement, event organizing, coalition building, legislative and media outreach, and public speaking. Greta graduated as valedictorian from St. Michael’s College with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Anthropology. She previously worked as New York Organizer for leading non-profit Food & Water Watch. There, she campaigned on issues related to fracking, genetically engineered foods, climate change, and the corporate control of our common resources. Greta and her partner run Unadilla Community Farm, a non-profit organic farm and permaculture education center in Upstate New York.  Greta is the Organizing Director at World BEYOND War. Greta can be reached at

Ana Milosavljevic is an anti-war activist from Boston who in the past 4 years helped to organize protests against war profiteer recruiting on college campuses, against a war with Iran after the assassination of General Soleimani, and against US involvement in the ongoing war in Yemen. She is now studying journalism in Lisbon, Portugal.


Anti-war movement discussion

Henri: [00:00:00] Well, welcome everyone to Fortress On. A Hill, a podcast about us foreign policy, anti imperialism, skepticism, and the American way of war.

I’m Henri, my pronouns are he and him. Thank you so much for being with us today. With me are my, my two amazing co-hosts, uh, Jovanni and our, one of our new co-host, Shiloh Emelein. How are you guys both doing this afternoon?

Shiloh: Doing really well, Henri. Thank you.
Jovanni: Doing, doing very well. Excited for this, for this, uh, program today.

Henri: So we are [00:01:00] here with Greta. And Anna Milo, um, to talk about, uh, just in general the state of the anti-war movement. For the last 20 years, the US has been on the war path, either directly or by proxy, despite an American plurality against wars and the sources wasted in them. The war machine continues facilitated by both parties taking turns in office.

It has estimated that America’s Middle East wars have displaced over 50 million people, and in Iraq alone has taken over a million souls. Yet the current administration is playing a dangerous game of chicken with nuclear armed Russia as it continues to escalate a grueling conflict in Ukraine and still has an appetite to create tension in the far east with nuclear armed China.

So we, what we want to discuss is what’s the, what is the state of the anti-war movement in all of this? First we have, we have, uh, Greta Zarro as a [00:02:00] background in issue-based community organizing. Her experience includes volunteer recruitment, engagement, event organizing, coalition building, legislative and media outreach, and public speaking.

Greta graduated as valedictorian from St. Michael’s College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology. She previously worked as New York organizer for leading nonprofit food and water watch. There she campaigned on issues related to fracking, genetically engineered foods, climate change, and the corporate control of our common resources.

Greta and her partner run Unadilla or Unadilla Community Farm, a nonprofit organic farm and Permaculture Education Center in upstate New York. And Greta is now the organizing director at World Beyond War. Greta, welcome to Fortress On A Hill.

Greta: Thanks so much for having me.

Henri: And next we have, I’m gonna try to say it.

Say it, say it again. [00:03:00] Um, Anna Milo saic, who is an anti-war activist from Boston, who in the past four years helped to organize protests against war profiteer recruiting on college campuses against the war with Iran. After the assassination of gener, general Soleimani, and against us involvement in the ongoing war in Yema Yemen, she is now studying journalism in Lisbon, Portugal.

Anna, welcome to Fortress On A Hill.
Anna: Great to be here.
Henri: All right. You’re Jovanni. You’re up man.

Jovanni: Thank you both. Thank you both for coming. Um, I’m excited about this call. Um, I just wanted to start asking you about your organizing, uh, what drove you to, um, the anti-war and peace activism? Uh, let’s start with, uh, Greta.

Greta: Yeah, so I guess my path was an interesting one. Um, so my parents had an organic food store when I was growing up, and that was really my introduction into, um, looking at [00:04:00] various issues and, and that, in that case, through the lens of the food system, looking at, uh, the environmental impacts of our food choices. Of course, social, cultural impacts and health impacts. Um, and then growing up I became a vegetarian and I was kind of exploring, you know, how can we make change in all these different ways? And I always sort of had this, um, desire to make change on the systemic level. I knew I wanted to do something. I, I thought about different career paths, so

maybe I could be a nutritionist or a fitness trainer or something, but I thought I wanna do something broader on the, on the systemic or structural level.

Um, and then fast forward, uh, a lot, um, I ended up, I was in grad school studying food studies and I took a internship with Food and Water Watch. And that was really my introduction to what is organizing, uh, and the notion of being able to organize ourselves and, and get people together to use their people power to put pressure on elected officials and other decision makers to make policy changes.

Um, [00:05:00] and I really related to that. I loved the, the power of organiz. So I was an intern with Food and Water Watch, um, and then later took a, a job with Food and Water Watch, um, and was mostly, you know, as my bio says, was mostly working on issues of, of food and water, like GMO labeling and fracking and, um, the impact of those, uh, on our food system.

Um, and then at the same time, uh, you’ll hear me speak a lot about what I call my two-prong approach. So at the same time as I was kind of getting involved in all this policy stuff, um, I was also seeking very sort of, um, tangible level change on the ground in my life. Uh, and so I discovered wolfing, which is the worldwide opportunities on organic farms.

And I had grew, I had grown up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I, I had no background of, of a rural environment at all. Um, and this was in college. I, I started woofing and, you know, kind of really learning those hands-on skills of how do we grow our own food and, uh, living off the grid and that [00:06:00] kind of thing.

Um, and so then I wanted to blend the two concepts of structural change and on the ground change. Um, and again, fast forward sort of, I, I ended up getting involved with UN Community Farm in upstate New York, which is where I currently live. And, and I run, uh, it’s a nonprofit farm education center. And so I was at one point sort of splitting my time between New York City, working with Food and Water Watch, and also trying to spend time on the farm upstate.

Um, eventually made the decision to move full-time to the farm, um, and then had to leave my job at Food and Water. And then I was looking for something that I could do remotely, and that’s when I discovered World Beyond War, which allowed me to work remotely and still do the organizing work that I love, but from the Farm Off grid.

Um, and it was really, you know, I had no background in peace or anti-war activism. My background was in this environmental kind of food system work. Um, but I, you know, immediately realized the intersections between all of these things and [00:07:00] how the war system is really connected, as you know, as well, I’m sure we’ll talk about too.

You know, environmental destruction, climate change, um, you know, it’s all sort of one corrupt capitalist system that has all of these different tentacles. Um, and World Beyond War really spoke to me because we do take that intersectional approach. Um, so that’s how I, that’s how I got involved. That’s how I got to, to work with World Beyond War and here I am five years later.

Jovanni: Thank you. Thank you. Awesome. Um, anna.

Anna: Yeah, so my path to anti-war ent, imperial journey or or organizing was, um, that my parents actually immigrated from Serbia during the wars of the nineties. So I grew up learning a lot about the disastrous role the US played, uh, there, you know, the US bombed its hospitals, factories, infrastructure. Uh, and so there’s a lot of devastation, uh, that I, that I even saw when I would go there to visit my [00:08:00] family. I remember as a kid, um, driving around in downtown Belgrade the Capitol, and, and there were still. Buildings that were, uh, bombed and just decimated in the center, uh, from the US bombing campaign. Uh, so, you know, I grew up learning from my family a lot about, um, the role that the US plays globally.

Uh, and, and realized, you know, through that and, and by growing up that Serbia was not an anomaly actually, and that that’s really how the US operates globally, uh, which is by bullying smaller, poorer countries, both economically and militarily, to then to the interest of the US elite. Uh, so I had that personal connection, but also saw that, you know, there was really a dire need for, for people in the US to be organizing against the madness.

So around 2018, I got involved in organizing in Boston against, uh, the US’ involvement in the war in Yemen in particular. But then as was mentioned, and, and we’ll talk [00:09:00] about, uh, participating in some other, uh, other organizing against the war with Iran and. And, uh, yeah. Other things that we’ll talk about.

But yeah, that’s a little bit about, uh, how I got here.

Jovanni: Interesting. I was deployed to the former Yugoslavia, um, in 96. And matter of fact, um, Greta invited me to a panel once and, and, um, on that to talk

about that and the role of nato, et cetera. That’s, that was NATO’s first, first actual war, right?

Greta: Yep.

Jovanni: And, and the panel, there was someone also, uh, from the region, I believe she was from Serbia as well, and she, and she was talking about, uh, she was describing cuz she was actually in it when the bombing, she describing how everything went down. I think she lost both her parents in the, during the bombing.

And she was raised by, by grand grandparents. Is that what it was? Greta?

Greta: I can’t remember the details, sorry. But I do remember her describing being a child as the bombs were falling.

Jovanni: Yeah.
Anna: Fascinating. We’ll have to talk about that more, [00:10:00] but yeah.

Jovanni: Let’s move along. We wanted to, to have this discussion is we wanted to talk about the state of the, of the American anti-war an or peace, uh, movement. You know, where they’re at, you know, what’s the state of it today? I followed World Beyond War, uh, a lot, uh, follow, uh, David, uh, writing. Um, and I went, uh, went to, um, to a convention or conference they had back in, in a poli was 16, was a grid. That’s what we met.

Greta: Um, oh, that was, uh, no war 2018 in toronto, 2018.

Jovanni: Yes. Yes. Uh, so I’ve been following, so in one of the interviews that, that, uh, um, That David, uh, um, wa was participated in, he was asked the same question. What’s the state of the American, anti-war movement, you know, where they at? He said that, you know, it’s still alive. It’s still there. There are problems, there are challenges, but it’s still there.

And, and he gave a couple examples of, of things that, that have, uh, um, [00:11:00] have occurred, um, and, you know, actions and successes, with the anti-war movement. Um, but, uh, but I’m asking you right, do you know most people are anti-war principle, uh, but do you feel they are anti-war in action? Uh, do you feel that most of the, uh, of the activism here in the United States, um, tend to neglect this factor?

Right? Um, do you feel that, uh, it’s a priority for, for activists here in the United States?

Greta: Yeah, I mean, I can just chime in. I feel in the US it’s really, I think it’s a big challenge for us as an anti-war organization or anti-war movement to activate people because war is far off, right? People don’t see war in their day-to-day lives. Um, it’s very different than the Vietnam era where there was the draft and, and the visuals on the mainstream media of the war. Um, so I think that our challenge as organizers is to make war visible. Um, and we can do that in many ways through [00:12:00] storytelling, through having the webinars like the one you described, Jovanni, with you and Anna Maria goer talking about that firsthand experience of war.

Um, I think that also our challenges, you know, in organizing we say, you know, meet people where they’re at, connect to something that resonates with them. So if war is this far off concept and feels like a complicated geopolitical thing, well what does resonate with people? Is it their pocketbooks hurting and the economic state of the U.S. You know, is it climate change? Um, and then sort of our role as organ, as organizers is to connect the dots between those things and talk about how war is one of the leading contributors to climate change, how war is sucking $2 trillion a year, uh, globally, and to connect those dots and make it feel like something that matters to them.

Anna: Yeah, it’s interesting. I, I’m not really sure that most people in the US are, are even anti-war and principle. The war propaganda is, is so strong that I think a lot of people [00:13:00] see US wars, especially if there’s no troops deployed as a way for the US to, you know, promote freedom and democracy. And we see that rhetoric constantly and in the media.

Uh, so I think one of the key tasks for the anti-war movement is to educate people on the reality. What, what is the US doing around the world with 800 plus bases? Uh, and clarify that actually what it is doing is not in the interest of most people. You know, the people benefiting off of U.S. Hegemony are CEOs and politicians.

It’s not everyday people. So I think we need to really work to put that at the forefront and connect that to people’s everyday struggles. Um, and in terms of, um, in the activist community, I think it’s very tricky because, There are activists working on this, but especially when Obama was elected, the anti-war movement just fell asleep.

And, you know, he was elected on all these false promises that people just [00:14:00] accepted. And even when, you know, he continued and escalated all of the same wars, um, people were not, were not stepping up to really question and oppose them in the same way as when Bush was around. And I think the same thing has unfortunately happened now with Biden, that a lot of the people that were vehemently opposed to different wars under Trump are, are silent.

And, um, I think it’s an indictment of the larger political system because Biden’s policies are just a continuation of Trump’s, you know, which are continuation of Obama’s and, you know, this goes beyond war, but also touches things like immigration and, and the opioid crisis and healthcare and, and so many other things. But I think that’s the kind of broader point that we have to, like, struggle through with people.

Jovanni: Just, just to clarify what I said, uh, um, people are in principle, uh, against war in United States. Is that what you mentioned, when Obama ran, he ran against the War of Iraq and he got all the support and, and all his vote and everything. Like you said, a lot of the, the anti-war, uh, [00:15:00] groups that were active, uh, during the Bush era, you know, seemed to be not so much anti-war, mostly anti bush, right?

But, but they voted for, for Obama because of, of his rhetoric against the war in, in, in Iraq, which was the time was very visual and, and, and the media and stuff like that. Um, Trump ran on the same, on the same thing. You know, Trump ran on the same thing, um, you know, calling out, hillary Clintons, you know, war mongering, uh, calling out, you know, uh, Obama’s, but war mongering calling out even Bush, he’s own party.

Jeb Bush, I, if you remember one of the, one of the debates. He called out Jeb Bush and his brothers were mon and Iraq and everything. So you saw a lot of people who identify as conservative, right. You know, supported, uh, Trump or, um, because of his what seems to be anti-war rhetoric at the time. But the same thing was continuation, right? Um, then you got, you know, you got, you got, that’s what I mean by principle. But people at principle are against, against war, but in action, you know, might say some something different.[00:16:00]

Um, uh, Shiloh, go ahead.

Shiloh: Yeah, I just had a follow up question around, um, I’m not sure how connected the two of you are with like younger, um, activists, but I was curious if you are, like, what differences do you see in young people today, um, in their

views of war militarism, um, as opposed to like generations before them or, um, our generation and so on.

Greta: Sure. Yeah. I guess do you wanna go first or should I, okay. Um, yeah, I was just gonna say from what I see, and especially so with the, with my farm hat on, um, we run, uh, an internship program for young people in usually like 18 through 25, roughly. Um, and so we get a lot of people coming through that program and what I’m seeing is, In, in my generalization, uh, is that those people, those young people are really interested in kind of the hands-on work that I was talking about.

The what I, what I’ll label as like [00:17:00] regenerative work. And we also saw that like with Covid, with the growth of the mutual aid networks. And I feel like there’s this craving. And I also, as a young person, I also say I, you know, I’m speaking for myself as well, there’s this craving for, you know, things that are concrete, that are tangible that we can change in the here and now.

Sort of li almost lifestyle changes, but beyond that, community level changes as well. Um, and I think for me and from others that I talk with, I think it’s also kind of a reaction to the fact that we see like Washington as gridlocked, like as we just talked about. Like, it doesn’t matter who’s in office, right?

The same policies are continuing Republican, Democrat, Republican, democrat. And so while Washington is gridlock, and it seems like our politicians are corrupt, we can make these, you know, on the ground changes to basically create the alternative system that we wanna see. So that’s where I see a lot of young people kind of moving in that direction.

And then also, of course, we see it relatedly, young people, really involved in the climate justice movement and also in social justice struggles, racial justice struggles. [00:18:00] Um, and all of these things are interconnected as, as we’re talking about. It’s all, and you know, the war machine is at the nexus of all of this, but I think that people don’t necessarily use that framing.

And I think that’s our challenge is to, again, kind of connect the dots. And when I talk to, for example, interns in our farming program and talk about my, my world beyond war work, they, they, you know, instantly usually agree with me and, and see this whole interconnection, but they don’t necessarily label themselves as anti-war activists. Maybe more I would say, anti-imperialist or anti-capitalist. Um, so I think again, kind of trying to bring all these pieces together is, is the challenge.

Anna: Yeah, absolutely. I think also there’s a distinction for me between, you know, in general young people, let’s say students and universities or something like that, they, they tend to be, I think, pretty apathetic and pretty focused kind of on their careers and, and a lot of them actually now, For example, were born when, you know, [00:19:00] the occupation of Afghanistan started.

So like they don’t even know a time when there was, you know, anything different. And these wars have just been endless. Um, and so this is, I think, a bit different and more heightened than let’s say, you know, the Vietnam era. I think a lot of, you know, older folks that were participating in that movement, um, there’s a very different, you know, climate and atmosphere.

Um, but yeah, I agree with Greta in that, in the space of people who are already coming forward and kind of participating and organizing, uh, people are pretty excited and about linking, uh, imperialism and, and these issues to, you know, capitalism and what is the system about and how do we actually come together to transform it. So that’s, I think definitely, uh, yeah. It’s great to see.

Jovanni: Defining imperialism. I know both of you use the word imperialism and, and it’s a word that gets thrown around a lot, uh, but I’m not sure people actually understand what that means.

Anna: Yeah. So to me the difference between anti-war and anti-imperialist is that, uh, [00:20:00] people who are anti-imperialist are not, uh, opposed to all wars, especially ones of, of liberation. That’s the key, uh, difference for me. Whereas anti-war is some, you know, people in those spaces can tend to say, you know, they’re pacifists and stuff like that, but anti-imperialist is, I think, different.

It’s more against, um, imperialism and capitalism as a system, uh, that yeah. Dominates peoples around the world. So that’s the difference to me.

Greta: Yeah, I would agree with that. And I guess maybe building off of that, like. Maybe in the past. Usually imperialism is like essentially colonialism, right? Invading another country.

Um, often is what it’s associated with. But I think also like what you’re getting at Anna is like, it’s this larger thing now. Like as we live in a globalized world, like when we throw around that term, I think that many of us are talking about something beyond the nation state. This sort of larger multinational conglomerate system capitalist.

Absolutely. I think that’s a really key point because [00:21:00] yeah, imperialism, uh, it has, has changed a lot over like the last hundred years. You know, be, before there were colonies and kind of direct, uh, subjugation of people and exploitation and now it’s a little bit more subtle in the sense of, you know, what I would say is neocolonialism where a country is nominally independent, but their government, uh, serves the interests of a larger power. Yeah. China, the us, Russia, what have you. Um, so yeah, I think that’s a really important distinction cuz I think a lot of people think of imperialism is simply that, just colonialism and it’s, it’s completely, you know, shifted now.

Henri: In talking just about the anti-war movement, overall that I, I kept thinking about how the different social indicators for the average American citizen to worry about that like they would’ve had with bodies coming home from Vietnam and or even, you know, the news coverage of, of like the, the first Gulf War or the beginning of [00:22:00] Operation Iraqi Freedom that we.

We’ve gotten so good at developing war that isn’t war actually waged by Americans and beyond dead Americans coming home or potentially wounded ones. Um, what else are Americans going to find value in that they’re going to say, this is wrong. I want something to change. Or at least I want to understand the situation. You know, between things like sanctions, between things like special operations forces that can have little lily pad bases that can come up at a, you know, in a short time and also leave in a short time. Um, the use of drones that we have gotten so good with the tiny force we have now compared to, say, the Vietnam era, but it is also completely sectioned off what most people would, what the, the things I think most people would look for in terms of deciding they’re going to oppose a war. Especially because we, and, and, and the biggest part of that is because Americans are so [00:23:00] ignorant. Of, of, of the imperialist nature of, of our country, of all the things that we’re actually doing, of creating economic systems in places where US corporations take over. And any agency that the people that live there would’ve had is now gone. Ordinary Americans aren’t looking for these things. They’re not worried about that kind of stuff.

Greta: And as you’re speaking, for me it’s just kind of bringing me to the word of othering, right? And the fact that we like these other, these other countries that those cultures are, are othered and it’s, it’s, as you said, it’s sort of off the American radar, right? They don’t, there’s no reason for them to necessarily care about that. And so, I think that’s kind of our job as activists and like world Beyond War, especially being a global network that was really central when we were founded was to be a global network. And we knew that we can’t just be from one country alone calling for the abolition of the entire institution of war,

but that we needed this global movement from all aspects from those who are, whose countries are the invader and from those who are on, [00:24:00] you know, the invading side and from everyone to talk about the impact of the war machine, especially the US War machine.

And so, you know, part of our work is, um, kind of citizen, citizen to citizen diplomacy and, you know, cultural exchange and just the value of having webinars and international networks that we can do now with, with technology and to try to kind of humanize the other.

Jovanni: Going back on imperialism. So I found here, um, Len Len’s five characteristics of imperialism, right? Uh, one, the role of economic concentration. Two, the dominance of finance, capital three, the importance of capital export. Four, the spatial stratification of the world as a result of corporate dominance. And five, the political dimensions of the spatial stratification of the world. Um, so those were the, those were the, uh, characteristics that he gave, uh, back in early in the early 20th century.[00:25:00] Like you said, uh, Anna, uh, the world has changed, uh, uh, uh, a lot throughout the year, throughout this past a hundred years. Uh, back then there were different centers. There were several centers of capital back then. You have the, the British, you have the French, uh, Portuguese.

But today this seems to be the, it seems to be more blurred, like you mentioned earlier, the centers of capital seems to be around the globe. Uh, used to be dominated by just a handful of different corporate, corporate entities.

Anna: No, that’s, that’s, that’s helpful. Yeah. I mean, I think his words still ring true today.

I mean, the core I think is, is consistent, but you know, back then it was primarily through, um, yeah. Colonies and, and you know, through the different liberation, um, struggles throughout the 50 sixties, seventies, that’s changed. And now, yeah, it’s a bit more, uh, discreet. But I think at the, at the core, at the root, it’s, it’s the same system operating[00:26:00]

Jovanni: so, as far as the, as far as resisting, um, war, is kinetic war the only method of war activists should be concerned with? Or should activists also, you know, be keen to the other, uh, ways of, of making war, creating harm, like economic war, information war, cyber war law, fair, diplomatic war, psychological war, war by proxy funding, oppositions to destabilize, and all these are elements of, of post generation warfare or hybrid war. How do you see this?

Greta: Yeah, I mean, I think that those are all really important aspects too that we need to be educating people about. Um, sanctions especially, you know, you mentioned that’s something that we work on and do fact sheets and webinars on, and there are many groups who are dedicated just to that issue. Um, but I think, I mean, this, this question relates to everything we’ve just been talking about in terms of imperialism and the sort of amorphous, global capitalist way that it takes shape in all of these different facets and, you know, the, the [00:27:00] control of the media and all of that. So it’s, it’s all related and it’s all something we need to be working on.

And I think it just, you know, emphasizes the importance of education and for world beyond where we have these two prongs of education and, and action. First debunking, what are the myths of war debunking, what people are seeing on the mainstream media, providing that storytelling from firsthand accounts and through various educational materials to educate and then put that knowledge into practice through activist campaigns.

Um, so that’s, Really, a big part of our role as activists is basically making our own media as we are doing right now through this podcast, um, to put out a different narrative. Um, and, you know, we’ve seen so, so many exciting and creative ways that that’s happening, like with the growth of subs and, and other platforms that have allowed people to start getting out, uh, a different narrative.

Anna: Yeah, I agree. I think they’re all crucial elements of it and of the US war machine especially, you know, for example, diplomacy. Um, because I [00:28:00] think it, things like that can be used to really deceive people into thinking the US is actually a force for good but it’s not, it’s, uh, just another way for the US to try to secure its interests.

A really good example of that is the Iran nuclear deal. You know, the US went into this, I don’t think out of the kindness of its heart, but really to try to buy off a section of the Iranian elite to, you know, Uh, be subservient to US interests. Uh, and ultimately, you know, the issues internal to the US kind of, uh, led to that being scrapped. And even now it’s, it’s not actually clear if that’s gonna ever happen again. Uh, especially with the role of China in the region. Uh, and even I think it was just today that, uh, Iran and Saudi Arabia kind of have outlined, um, potentially, uh, normalizing ties. Uh, and it seems like China has played a role there as well.

So, um, things are really kind of spiraling for the US in that sense. Um, but I think diplomacy in that sense, you know, needs to be [00:29:00] exposed for what it is. Uh, and then just a little bit on the sanctions as well. I think, uh, the

sanctions on Russia in particular are, are a key way to expose this to people because the sanctions actually haven’t hurt Russia.

They’ve mainly actually strengthened it and forced other countries to straight, uh, with them in the rubal. Uh, and you know, with that it’s hurt people, you know, for example, in Germany and, and other, and other places all around the world because, uh, the sanctions are, uh, cutting them off from access to Russian goods and all of that.

So what is that really about? I think we have to be pulling that, um, front and center with people.

Jovanni: Yeah, just, just, so just to reiterate what you’re saying is that, and what, what, uh, Greta said there are groups that are dealing with educating people with sanction, right? I think, uh, um, like over 40 countries, over over 40 countries being sanctioned, right? The majority of those sanctions country are countries in the global south who depend on global north, uh, [00:30:00] capital to develop, but by sanctioning you pretty much cutting them off from, core center capital, and you pretty much, it’s a way of, collective punishment to the whole entire population because now the country pretty much is commiserated, uh, they’re, they’re pushed more into poverty because of the sanctions.

Right. Uh, Russia, you mentioned, right, it’s the first time actual country that size, um, have ever been sanctioned. You know, to this point, I mean, I think Russia right now leads to the world as the, as the most sanctioned country in the world. And because of that, because of that, the other sanctioned countries, right, you know, um, are pretty much, uh, consolidate around this, this, uh, you know, you know, Russia, China and stuff like that.

And because of that, um, the, the sanction regime that was being used against poor nations, uh, pretty much it is losing, its, its, um, its ability to continue this, this way of, of war making. [00:31:00]

Anna: Um, yeah, absolutely. I think that’s, that’s, uh, very much what’s happening and really relates to the overall imperialist system, which I think there are some serious fractures right now.

Uh, and I think we can all agree that, you know, the fracturing of a US dominated imperialist system is not a peaceful process. So there’s a lot to really mobilize around and oppose in, in so many senses.

Jovanni: Shiloh?

Shiloh: Yeah, I had a couple of questions. I guess we wanted to ask you more specifically, Anna, about, um, your work. The war in Yemen and bringing attention to the assassination of General Soleimani um, and the consequences there. Um, so how do you feel these two issues have been, um, dealt with or presented to the American people and also dealt with by activists and, and [00:32:00] the anti-war movement?

Anna: Yeah, I think with. Upsurge that happened after the assassination of Soleimani was really noteworthy. I mean, I know in Boston there were, there were huge demonstrations against it. Uh, something we never saw and didn’t ever see an opposition to the war in Yemen, for example.

But people, I think rightly saw that a potential war between the US and Iran would be devastating. And, um, yeah, but I think there was a failure again on the part of the anti-war movement to, you know, uh, translate that upsurge into a larger movement and consistent organizing with people that stepped forward. Uh, so I think that was a big issue that needs to be talked about. And I, I think it relates to some of the other things we wanted to talk about around like silos and, and some of the stuff that came up with the rage against the war machine. Um, but in terms of the war on, uh, in Yemen, yeah, I mean, [00:33:00] I think there’s still not really any substantial movement. I mean, there’s been people who are organizing against it for the last six, seven years who are still doing it. But, uh, in terms of widespread opposition with the, in the US public, which actually I think polls show most people don’t support it, but that obviously doesn’t always translate to people getting involved. Um, so that’s, that’s a real barrier just because, yeah, I mean, the US is supporting the Saudis. It’s not, you know, troops on the ground, but it’s basically us war in many, many, in all senses, all of their senses. Um, what I’ve found actually is a key issue on this is the, the real hypocrisy, uh, by these so-called progressives and Democrats who denounced this war when Trump was in office. But now that Biden is in office, refused to do anything, uh, refuse to say anything, do anything. Um, and I think. [00:34:00] Again, without calling them out and without staying, you know, vigilant about the opportunism of politicians, the anti-war movement is, is not going to advance. So I think that’s something that’s really come up with, with Yemen in particular.

Um, some are just not willing to go there. They kind of would rather stay silent on the Democrats, but then if there’s a Republican attack, then, and I just don’t think that’s really gonna get us this, you know, the support we need.

Henri: Go ahead, Greta.

Greta: Which is, oh, well I was just nodding my head in agreement and I mean, um, it was a historic moment right under the Trump administration when the war, uh, war Powers resolution was passed. That was incredible. But it was only passed because they knew Trump would veto it, uh, and then now they won’t put it up for a vote. It was just, you know, really, really disheartening when Bernie wouldn’t put it up for a vote under Biden’s administration.

Anna: Yeah, absolutely.

Jovanni: Absolutely. So, so talking about media, you mentioned media earlier, Greta. Um, so, and we mentioned earlier the, you know, the anti-war, we went [00:35:00] back in particular in the sixties.

You know, there was another act before the sixties. There was another one in, in the actual, uh, um, in the early 20th century, big one, uh, against, against the first World War. Um, but, we’re talking about the, uh, uh, the anti-war movement in the sixties, right? So back then we had like a thousand newspapers, right? Country had over a thousand newspapers. Right? But there were only, there were only three news. Hundreds of thousands of people come out, you know, for, for, you know, to end the, the war in, in Vietnam. And back then we had, we had about over a thousand newspapers, right?

But only had like three, three television channels, right? You know, a, B, C, N, B, C, and, and what’s the other one? A, B, C, N, B, C, I forgot the other one, right? Four with the, with, with, with, uh, public, with, with pbc, right? Uh, with the public network, public television, right. So, uh, everybody, everyone was watching the same thing.

But even with the lack of, you know, with the media that we had back then, you know, we still, people still came out and the, and the troves and the thousands, you know, and they [00:36:00] were all across the country, you know, the Washington law and, you know, they were just, you know, all these speakers come out, you know, Martin Luther King, you know, Most people came out, all these organizations. There was like a, there was like a real ecosystem of different organizations, you know, working together and, and uh, uh, you know, to end the war, to put pressure on Johnson, on and on, on Nixon to end the war in Vietnam. Right. Today we have like, the huge ecosystem of information, right? We have social media, we have all these, you know, we have like over a thousands different channels on, on Netflix, and, and we have, we have all this media. We have like an abundance of media now, right? But it’s difficult to get people out, you know? Can you, can you talk about that contradiction here?

Greta: Yeah. Well, I mean, in one sense it’s information overload. You can open up your phone and read about any problem happening in any corner of the world, and it’s like, there’s thousands of problems. What do we put our attention to? So I feel like [00:37:00] that’s one aspect of this. And of the other, of course, is the corporate control of the media and the fact that the, the talking heads that we’re seeing on the media are often, you know, former, uh, people from the government, former elected officials, former government administrators, who are now put up as the talking heads on the media. So it really comes down to, to our job, again, as activist organizations, to create our own media, to, um, through storytelling, through webinars, podcasts, world Beyond War runs, online courses as well. So I think that’s our, that’s our big challenge is to break through. And I think another thing I was gonna flag is just that I think even for those who may agree with us, one of the challenges with anti-war organizing, maybe in comparison with other issues is that, again, it feels so large and it’s this huge sort of geopolitical dilemma and how can we actually make a difference?

And so one of the things that I try to focus on is breaking it down into smaller concrete, tangible steps that people can actually make a difference on. And in my mind, the thing that I, that resonates with me is divest because we can [00:38:00] really make a difference on the individual level, the institutional level, or municipal level divesting from weapons manufacturer.

So that’s just one example of a campaign that we work on. Um, but I think that’s our big challenge too, both the media you’re talking about, but then also then, okay, once we get someone to care, what can we actually plug them into where they feel like they’re gonna make a difference on these huge issues?

Anna: Yeah, I think. There is a lot more media, but at the same time, I think most of it is owned by a few corporations. Right. And so it has changed, but it, it hasn’t, I think, and for me, I think the reason things were different back then is, is also related to, you know, the Black liberation struggle was kind of really ramping up and, and pulling people in and like, you know, working people were involved in these struggles and as well as like the world situation was different, right? There were a lot more, um, liberation wars, you know, all around the world against colonialism. And uh, I think, [00:39:00] you know, back then in the sixties, sixties particularly, China was still socialist country and it was kind of leaning in a lot of ways. And that obviously has changed, but I think there’s a lot. Elements of that period that, uh, allowed for and contributed to the reason the, the anti-war movement then was, was so much more successful. And we certainly need to, we need to learn a lot from that. Um, I just think with the media now, I mean, it’s, it’s so corrupt. Like, the only place you can hear of

against us involvement in Ukraine is Tucker Carlson’s show. I mean, what does that tell you? Really? Like this is, it’s ridiculous.

Jovanni: I don’t know. And I, I see a lot of intellectuals and a lot of generals and a lot of, you know, on Twitter and, and, and just twittering away and, and, and sharing all these articles and stuff like that. I’ll give you an example, right? I’m talking about social media now.

So when, uh, uh, Evo Morales was overthrown right? Uh, a few years back, right? You know, through a, through a parliamentary cool they call it now, right? [00:40:00] South. Cool. So we called it out, here in, in San Antonio, the groups that was, you know, involved here. So we called it out, um, online, and we wanted to do a rally downtown, right? We set out the call, we set out the press, you know, we did our press release and everything we put out, we had a, we had a Facebook page, you know, we had like, we had almost a hundred people right? Standing. I’ll go, we’re going, we’re going, we’re going, we’re going. Right? The day of the rally, 16 people showed up, you know, from a hundred people. How do you get from a hundred people? Just the 16 people showing up.

Anna: So what are you saying is, is the reason

Jovanni: There’s more, like you said, it’s like, talking about the information overload and everything, but just, it’s just, uh, what does it take to get people out, you know?

Anna: Yeah, I mean it, yeah, it’s really discouraging. I mean, I’ve have a lot of experience where you go to a protest and there’s five of you, 10 of you maybe. It’s just really discouraging, I think. [00:41:00] Uh, but I, it really underscores the need to make links with working people. I think, you know, people who really, really don’t have an interest in the system in the us nor the imperialism love the US government abroad. You know, like, I think that’s what is missing for, uh, for me. And, you know, it, it takes a, a lot. Um, I’m not saying it’s easy, but um, But yeah, I mean, I, I hear you. It’s really tough.

Greta: Yeah. I think also don’t get too discouraged because in organizing we have the term organizer math, which is essentially called the math of ps. And there’s this whole calculation you can do, like if you want, you know, 20 people to show up, you need 40 people to RSVP yes. If you want 40 people to RSVP Yes, you need 80 people who you contacted or whatever. And it just, it multiplies. So it just shows you like how many people you need to contact and how that trickles down between those who say yes and then those who actually show up. And so when I’m helping our chapter coordinators around the world, I

always remind [00:42:00] them of that and say like, don’t get discouraged. That’s just like an aspect of organizing that we have to be aware of and that, you know, then you have to kind of figure out your targets for how many you wanna show up and how many you have to reach. Um, but I think it also connects to what we’re talking about in terms of, um, you know, finding actions that resonate with people.

Finding things that they actually feel are worth their time. And I think in some ways, like the tactic of a rally is, is very overused. And so people might say, oh, another rally. Like, like, what’s that gonna do? And I think there’s certainly a time and place for rallies. I don’t wanna to say that you should never do a rally, but I just mean to kind of put it into that context and to think about like the larger campaign strategy and when certain tactics make sense, and again, what is gonna be compelling to people that they feel it will actually be effective and worth their time to show up.

Anna: Yeah, totally. I mean, I think there’s a need to discuss and debate various tactics. I think for me it’s also really primary. What is the content of the actions and [00:43:00] the tactics, right? Because I think if people see the basis to support, uh, or oppose a certain, uh, war or something like that, um, the tactics are, are secondary I think. I think they’re important, but I think the content and how you relate what the issue is to their lives and. And why it is essential that they take a stand and organize. I think that’s also fundamental to this question, but yeah, I think you bring up good

Greta: points too.

Shiloh: I wanted to follow up on something that, that you, uh, you mentioned Anna, around like, um, the only like mainstream media you can find, um, speaking out against, uh, the US proxy war in, in Ukraine and Russia is Tucker Carlson and, and Fox News. And, um, we spoke a little bit earlier about how like Trump ran as the supposed anti-war, uh, president, you know, claimed that his whole presidency blah, blah, blah, which we know is just on face value, just [00:44:00] bullshit.

But I wanted to know like what your thoughts on the, the right kind of taking a anti-war stance, um, kind of somewhat like infiltrating the anti-war movement a bit. Um, And then what, yeah. What other critiques do you have of the anti-war movement, um, specifically in the US but um, globally, as I know you’re in portugal now.

Anna: Yeah, no, it’s a very important question. Um, where to start. Well, I think that the right, having these different anti-war sentiments is reflective actually of. You know, their base, their so-called base, having them, you know, in rural America and people who, you know, paid the price with these wars, you know, their, their kids went and died. And, and a lot of people from that base are against it. And so, you know, as is the case with the Democrats, I think the Republicans want to co-opted and, and use it for their own means. Um, but I think [00:45:00] it, it is reflective of that real material basis to reach out and try to work across political spectrums, which is why I thought, you know, and I, I do think rage against the war machine was such an important initiative and, and protest and hopefully one of many. But, um, but yeah, I think, you know, these people are obviously opportunist and they’re not anti-imperialist. Like you even have Matt Gates sponsoring legislation to end US involvement in Syria, right? I mean, I think that should be supported. He’s not an anti-imperialist and certainly is not a friend of the people, I think. But uh, yeah, I just think it reflects deeper, um, anti-war sentiments that are, are left unlocked really by the anti-war movement because it is so sectarian or some people in it are very sectarian, unfortunately. Um, so yeah, I don’t know. I think there was more to it if you wanna, but hopefully that also helped in as a starting point.

Shiloh: [00:46:00] Greta, do you have any, um, yeah, just like general critiques of the anti-war movement and, um, what do you think could, uh, yeah, do you have any possible like resolutions or, or thoughts on what to do?

Greta: Well, I agree with Anna’s analysis. I, I mean, I live in a very, very rural place. Um, and so I can, I can affirm what you’re saying, um, in terms of my neighbor’s sentiments. Um, and, you know, rural America is hurting economically and, there’s been a migration over the past 50 to a hundred years into urban centers. You know, things are crumbling in the, in the rural sphere. Um, so I agree with you there is that sentiment of an, uh, possible anti-war or even broader, just kind of like fed up with the system and, you know, and, and Trump obviously fed off of that sentiment.

Um, So part of what we do, you know, at the farm actually is like building those bridges. Like yeah, we may not agree with every single point, you know, of other [00:47:00] people in our neighborhood. Um, but where can we find that common ground? Um, and, you know, for different reasons, I think that, you know, I was drawn to live in a rural area and start a farm and try to be self-sufficient.

It’s kind of a similar sentiment for them, right? It’s like both of us are critiquing the system and trying to get away from it and, you know, build a sense of

independence and self-sufficiency. And, um, with my world Beyond War hat on, um, also we. Have a nonpartisan view. You know, we are, we’re not associated with any political party.

Um, and we aim to, you know, draw people in from across the political spectrum, from a global perspective, um, just from all different backgrounds. Um, and, you know, we work with people who may have wildly different views from each other on certain things. Like, you know, especially if you sort of talk about hot button issues like abortion or something, right?

They may have very different views, but they can come together and they can work with World Beyond War because of that mutual interest in war abolition. So that’s something that we’re trying to [00:48:00] cultivate. Um, And I think, you know, to your point, Anna, it it’s very difficult because of the, the partisanship and the divisions in, especially in US society today.

And it’s there, there are people, right, who just won’t work with the other and, and they won’t work with anyone, you know, who doesn’t share their view on all these issues. And, um, you know, David Swanson, our executive director, when speaking about why he chose to speak at the rage against the war machine rally, he said, you know, basically he never agrees with like every point of the people that he’s speaking with.

Like, I got a rally or at a panel or something. Like, he’s not gonna be ever on an event where he agrees a hundred percent with the other people. Um, so just to say like, you have to agree with everyone, like you would never be able to speak at any event. Um, and so again, we just try to find common ground where we can.

Um, and in that case for that event, um, you know, we agreed with all the demands. The demands were actually really strong, including abolishing the war machine, which many groups won’t go so far as to include that demand, and that’s very much in alignment [00:49:00] with World Beyond War. So that’s why we were part of it, um, to try to build that big tent approach to try to find commonality, at least on this narrow issue of war abolition.

And, you know, if you’re asking me to sort of critique, and I guess I’m sort of segueing into that event, Um, I think one thing, watch, I wasn’t there, but watching the whole rally on YouTube, um, I was a little bit, uh, concerned or one critique was just that some speakers I think did deviate off and they started talking about other issues that were not necessarily central to the demands.

And I think some controversial issues like vaccines and other things, which I personally didn’t feel was the place to delve into that. So I would say that they should have focused more on the core demands, and I think David, our executive director, did a really great job of coming in and, and providing that abolitionist perspective that actually really was a core demand.

Um, so yeah, those are just some


Jovanni: Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, and, and speaking of that, right, which is interesting, [00:50:00] right? And talking about nato. Right. When, so, when the war, when, so when the crisis in Ukraine started back in, you know, in February 24th, 2022, uh, there were lots of discussions, right. And how to, to respond to, to the conflict, right?

Uh, there was a lot of, you know, there was some discussions and whatnot, and unfortunately I was, you know, with the minorities of the discussion, right. But, uh, some of the orgs, uh, and, you know, participate in the discussion and I’m, I’m name one, um, uh, dsa, for example, right? In the past, uh, critique nato, you know, but overnight just rehabilitated NATO and then became a pods for nato, right?

Um, um, and this is not the first time it happened, but, you know, it was, it was story, it was very disappointing from my part. You know, people that I’ve been with, you know, um, you know, um, And, you know, hearing the discussions, you know, all of sudden they were talking about, um, you know, sanctions all a sudden they were [00:51:00] talking about, a um, no-fly zones, you know, which nof flying films is actually attacked, you know? Um, but yeah. How do you feel about that?

Anna: Um, well, wow. I mean, yeah, I, I would love to see that, um, what they said because Wow. But, uh, because I think in the US we especially have a role to play in clarifying actually, what was NATO’s role in causing this war and provoking this war? Right. You know, I think it’s clear that that doesn’t justify a Russian invasion, and no one here is saying that. But also you can’t, you know, what’s the phrase? You can’t call the pot black when you’re pan? I don’t know. But anyways, so the hypocrisy is very evident and people in the US we, we need to, we need to be clarifying that to people. Otherwise we are just promoting US imperialism [00:52:00] and ultimately, you know, nuclear war, which is what’s on the line here right now.

Um, so yeah, that’s really outrageous, but yeah,

Greta: absolutely. Yeah. And World Beyond War often takes this nuanced stance, which we all are taking in this show, which is, yeah, exactly what you just said, Anna, that you know, we are not condoning the Russian invasion from World Beyond War’s perspective. We oppose all wars from anybody at any time, you know?

But at the same time, we have to provide that context too. And talk about NATO’s involvement, talk about the US’ involvement. So it’s a nuanced stance and we have just found that people can’t handle that. You know, there’s very few who can it. It seems that, again, it kind of gets back to just the divisiveness in our society, especially in the US these days.

And it’s just very black and white thinking. And if you say that you oppose sending weapons to Ukraine, then all of a sudden you’re a Putin apologist and the, there’s no middle ground. And so the [00:53:00] slogan that we’ve been using at World Beyond War, which David said at the rage against the war machine rally, is Russia out of Ukraine, nATO out of existence. And I think that that really sums up our position. And it was funny at the rally when David started that phrase, and he said, Russia out of Ukraine, I sensed there was almost a moment of hesitation, a gasp, because nobody was really critiquing Russia at the rally. So it’s like, whoa, that was a different perspective in a way. But then he circled back around and said, and NATO out of existence. And then the audience clapped and got on board with that. And so I just think it’s really important to have those two perspectives together and, and to have this nuanced stance. And that is our, that has have been a big challenge over the past year.

Jovanni: I’m show you, uh, I’m, share something real quick, uh, with you. Um, lemme share this share screen.

You guys see Yes. Evolved, uh, because the terrain that they’re now focused on is a different type of terrain. So [00:54:00] they need, uh, long range fires. Uh, you’ve heard ’em, uh, express a need for tanks, and we are, uh, doing everything that we can to get ’em, uh, the, the types of support, the types of artillery and munitions that will be effective in this stage of the fight.

Uh, and so we’ll get a chance to, we’ve done a lot as, as you know, you’ve seen, uh, the, what we’ve done here in recent past with the 800 recent 800 million authorization provided by the president, allows us to provide five battalions of 155 Howitzers, uh, hundreds of thousands of, uh, of, uh, rounds of un of, uh, artillery.

And so we’re also engaging our, our, uh, colleagues in, in other countries for the same type of capability. And we see indications early on. That they’re gonna, they’re gonna be, uh, many countries are gonna come forward and provide, uh, additional, uh, uh, munitions and, and Howards or so we’re gonna push as hard as we can, as quickly as we can to get ’em what they need.[00:55:00]

We want to see, uh, Ukraine, uh, remain a sovereign, uh, country, uh, democratic country able to protect its, uh, uh, its sovereign territory. Uh, we wanna see Russia, uh, uh, weakened, uh, to the degree that it can’t, uh, do the kinds of things that, uh, it has done, uh, in, in invading Ukraine. So it has already lost a lot of military capability, uh, and a lot of, uh, a lot of its troops, quite frankly.

And, uh, we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability. Uh, we want to see the international community more united, uh, especially nato. And we we’re seeing that and that’s, uh, based upon the hard work of number one, president Biden, but also, uh, our allies and partners who have willingly.

Leaned into this, uh, with us as we’ve impose sanctions and as we’ve, uh, moved very rapidly to demonstrate that we’re gonna defend every inch of nato.

The reason I showed you this, right, because going back to what you were saying Greta about, about education, [00:56:00] um, if, and, and how in tune, um, the anti-war movement or, or, or peace movement has to, you know, has to know, has to be educated on facts, on the ground, on what’s going on.

And, you know, we can’t be born yesterday activists, right? Um, and that was Lloyd Arthur, he, the Secretary of Defense, um, talking about all the material support that, that Ukraine is, is going to get from the west. Um, there’ve been opportunities. To, uh, to end this war. The beginning of the war in March, there was an opportunity to end it, you know, uh, there were talks, peace C talks, you know, last year and it was torpedoed.

Um, um, shortly afterwards, there was another one. It was also torpedo that the second attempt to end the war, right? It Boris, Boris Johnson, the prime minister of uk, did a personal trip to, to Kiev and told Zelensky that if he negotiates with Russia, you know, he’ll lose all [00:57:00] support from, from, from the EU and whatnot. Um, so every opportunity to end this right has been told Peter, right? From our perspective here, from here, from where we at. Um, You know, what can we do? How can we highlight that? How can we push, uh, our, our leadership to end this conflict? Because you’re in, you’re in Europe and you’re

seeing it firsthand how it’s happening in Europe, but we don’t see, we don’t have the same reaction here, the same nuance, the same, um, analysis here.

Uh, it appears so, um, and, um, yeah, I’ll leave that, that I’ll give you opportunity to answer.

Anna: Yeah, no, that’s a very telling clip, I think, uh, on so many fronts. But, so it’s interesting just in terms of how things have unraveled in Europe. Uh, in particular in, in Germany for example, there have been a lot of recent protests with thousands of people, um, uh, demanding an end to, you know, Germany’s participation.[00:58:00]

Uh, and I. You know what, what Jen, uh, Lloyd Austin was saying about how NATO is united. Actually, that wasn’t really true at the beginning of the war, right? There was, uh, some, you know, fractures, uh, about how to go forward and what to do, um, and it seems like. From what I’ve read that the US really, um, forced Germany and, and others in NATO into a corner in particular with, uh, the North Stream bombings, uh, which was recently, you know, uh, published and we can talk about that. Um, but I think there’s a lot of resentment in places like Germany where people rightly see that, you know, the government is just falling lock in step with the US and now that the, the people are having to pay forward in terms. Lack of heat, spiraling prices, inflation, all that stuff. And so the links between all of those things are a bit more obvious. Whereas in the US I don’t think they are. Um, so much, uh, put forward and connected by, uh, folks in the [00:59:00] anti-war movement. Which relates to, I think the core issue is, um, yeah, having links with people in, in the working class, uh, who really don’t have an interest in this war, uh, and see the day-to-day effects of it, but also the broader capitalist system in their life. Um, I think that’s essential to, to really building a movement that can challenge and demand those things from the government. Cause I think that’s really the only way, um, that we can, we can win those concessions.

Greta: Um, yeah, I think. For me, I’m just sort of thinking through as an, as an organizer, activist, and. I would say that we need to expand the diversity of tactics that we do. Um, that in a sense, you know, the main tactic that I’ve been seeing in terms of opposition to the Ukraine war is, you know, rallies and petitions. Um, and so I would sort of challenge the anti-war movement and I to expand that. I’m thinking [01:00:00] especially of the notion of civilian based defense and the notion of non-cooperation, which, you know, we’ve seen historical examples of that. Danish workers under Nazi rule who were making, um, I think it was weapons parts or something, and they would be working and then at the end of the day they would unscrew the bolts to the parts and, you

know, we do have to redo the work over and over again. Things like that. Um, or you know, for example, we’ve seen in other movements like boycotts that have been successful. Um, so I just feel that we’re sort of, We have this very narrow vision of the tactics and that’s not going to end this war and this larger sort of war machine that we’ve been talking about. Um, so I’m, I’m trying to push us, uh, and I think it’s, I mean, what I’m saying is a very challenging point, but I think we need to, to go beyond the, this normal vision of the tactics. And, but I think the, the big challenge too is when you start talking about things like civilian based defense, boycotts, that kind of thing, it has an impact on us individually. You know, it [01:01:00] might mean not shopping for certain products that you usually shop for or whatever it is. And, and so that’s the, that’s the pressure point, right? Is like, are people going to be able to give up certain comforts, uh, to be able to take action on these issues?

Jovanni: Yeah. Just to add to what you’re saying about recently in Italy, uh, you have dock workers. Um, dock workers are. Refusing to load weapons into, uh, uh, ships that, that were heading toward to, to Ukraine, um, which is another tactic that, that had been used as well in Europe. Um, fortunately not, not so much here, Shiloh.

Shiloh: Well, I was just really like taken back by that clip that you shared. Like a few things stood out. Like the, the term, uh, uh, Lloyd Austin used the term colleagues in referring to like the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia found that interesting and telling, um, he’s just a shill, you know, as we know for the military industrial complex. Um, [01:02:00] and he, he’s like standing in like a factory that’s like a business factory. I, I found that really interesting too. And also I found, you know, this like hard line that the US and, and this administration is taking around, like, we’ll defend every inch of nato, Ukraine’s not part of nato. So what are you, what are you actually talking about?

Oh, I found that really interesting as well.

Jovanni: So, uh, I’m gonna show you another clip real quick. Um, another clip real quick and get your thoughts on it. So she’s Laurie Anderson. She’s the, uh, um, the Southcom South Command, uh, commander. Uh, and this is what she has to say. This region is, is, is Latin America, what she’s referring to.

Video clip: This region is so rich in resources, uh, rare earth minerals, lithium, the lithium triangles in this region. Uh, there are a lot of things that this region has to offer. The Beon Road Initiative, [01:03:00] 21 of the 31 countries are signatories over the last five years, 2017 to 2021. Uh, investment, uh, over 50 billion. I think it might be even closer to a hundred billion of Chinese

investment in this region. I think they’re playing chess. Russia is also prevalent in this region, and I think they’re playing checkers. I think they’re there to undermine, uh, the United States. They’re un, they’re there to undermine, uh, democracies and they all mean business. Whether they’re playing chess or checkers, they’re there to undermine democracy. And quite honestly, with all of the disinformation, uh, and the, uh, Russia today Espanol, Sputnik, Mundo, over 30 million followers on Russia, were on social media. I mean, this is very concerning. We have a lot of important elections coming up or just happened, uh, and we have to continue to stay engaged and [01:04:00] concerned with this region.

Jovanni: So, um, just to give context of what she’s saying, going back to the sanctions and all that, and before that, um, and we’re also coming up to the, uh, uh, the anniversary of 200, anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine this year as well. Uh, moron doctrine has been pretty much the gateway to, to Latin American intervention wars afterwards.

I mean, I was in high school when the, the war in, in, in, uh, again, invasion of Panama happened. You know, I remember that vividly. Um, shortly after that, you know, it was the war in Iraq. Uh, but what you’re saying is right, that, that the US finds, finds the, um, concerning that Latin American countries are diversifying their partners, right?

You know, you got bricks, which is, uh, an economic block of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Um, you have more and more countries pretty much preferring. [01:05:00] To do business with, with, uh, uh, with Chinese companies and Russian companies. Whereas before, um, if you could think back to Banana, the Banana Republics were, were pretty much American companies.

Like, uh, the United Food Company pretty much ran a country, you know, in Central American and whatnot. And she found that concerning, she found that concerning. So the, the, uh, the concern here in Latin America is right, given that, that we’re, we’re seeing a rupture to the international system, we’re seeing a rupture of American dominance capital, uh, there, there are more diversifications and more blocks and everything like that, that eventually, uh, the US aggression would, would, you know, would come back to Latin America, you know, to try to claim dominant again in Latin America, right.

Or not again, but to double down and dominance in Latin America. Um, what are your thoughts on that and how here in, in the core, you say, how does the, the [01:06:00] anti-war or the anti, uh, peace activist, uh, perils should respond

to, to this that’s, you know, to what she’s saying and, and what seems to, to be coming next.

Anna: Yeah. I mean, I think what you’re talking about is the economic competition between imperialist powers to redivide the world. And, uh, it’s not a, it’s not a peaceful process either, and I don’t think, you know, the influence of any of the imperialist powers in, in Latin America is generally positive for the people there. So it’s a real question of charting a third, a third way, and not reducing things to the two of lesser, or the one of lesser evils. Um, and I think, uh, in terms of how. The anti-war movement can respond. I mean, there’s a lot of people actually from Latin America in, in the US that uh, I think know, quite frankly the disastrous role the US has played in a lot of places and continues to play.[01:07:00]

Uh, and I think they, there’s a lot of, you know, issues too, because some people, you know, don’t wanna speak out if they’re undocumented, that sort of thing. But I think a lot of people from those communities, um, yeah, it would be great to mobilize them and make links with them. Um, but yeah, I think the larger point of just showing that the ventures of the US uh, in any of parts of the world, economic or militarily are really not in the interest of the people in the us, um, is, is I think the, the fundamental thing we have to grapple with.

Greta: Yeah, I would agree with all that. And I think it just emphasizes the importance of global organizing and again, kind of the, the perspective that World Beyond War has taken in our work, the approach we’ve taken in our work, um, that we need to be activating people from all corners of the planet and having international solidarity to show yeah, that the war machine in any part of the world is [01:08:00] not a positive thing, um, from any country.

As you said, we don’t wanna replace US imperialism and the US War machine with any other country’s war machine either. And so really the issues that we’re talking about is this much larger kind of paradigmatic shift away from the way that we, the, the way that our society is structured now to a much more, in my mind, the goal would be a much more localized community centered society that could be more self-sufficient on the communal or regional level.

Um, and I think the, the vision, uh, that many of us sort of talk about is kind of a global local dialectic where we have more autonomy on the local level, more, you know, production of our own goods. But then we also live in a globalized world where we could have a structure like the UN or a reformed version of the un or there’s other models too, that world beyond where it talks about like an earth constitution or an Earth Federation. Um, so we do have to act as a global

society. We [01:09:00] can’t totally just disengage, but we need to find some better way to have this global community and then have more local economy as well. And I’ll just add that we’re all beyond words currently looking for a Latin America organizer. So this conversation is quite relevant. We’re trying to expand into that region and provide more organizing support in that region.

Shiloh: I just, um, Again, just, you know, this, the striking feminist imperialism that we see a, a woman four star general speaking about, uh, the military industrial complex. I’m just constantly reminded of the quote from Mark Lamont Hill that like, empires don’t have friends, they have interests.

And I think, um, each of you touched on that over and over, um, again, and I just really appreciate Yeah. The conversation and the time.

Jovanni: Just to add, just to add to that, that clip, um, and the reef configuration, right? So, so I know you recall, um, during the Trump era and you, [01:10:00] and you’re talking about the, uh, uh, migrants and whatnot here in the United States, you also gotta consider that they’re, they’re also particularly people, you know, they’re also aligned with imperialism and, and I’m thinking about South Florida. Um, you know, where they, where. The more harder you are in Cuba, the more popular you are in, in South Florida. Right. Uh, now you got the, uh, you got the Cuban and the Venezuela and the Asper over there. Um, on the Trump, I don’t know if you, if you remember this, uh, um, you know, from 17 to 18, from, from 20 17, 20 to 18, right.

The, the maximum pressure sanctions on Venezuela, the Trump enacted, um, according to the United Nations, right. Um, pretty much killed about 40,000 Venezuelans. Right. With thousand Venezuelans. And that sanction, the sanction was broken. You know, it was broken, which, which was enormous, right. It was broken through south to south relations when, uh, Iran, for example, sent tankers, uh, food stuff and everything, um, to [01:11:00] Venezuela, Trump threatened with using the US Navy to sink those tankers. So the, so the I Iranian government sent. Um, also with those tankers of food stuff and medicines and stuff like that. Then also naval, uh, Iran, naval ships to accompany them. So they ended up, they came to Venezuela, right? And then following that we have Russian support. Raso support, a lot of food stuff, uh, China support lot, lot of food stuff, and everything.

Because of the sanction, the, the, the threat of sanction is that if you break the sanction, you’ll be sanctioned as well. You know, so no one regional countries, you know, were afraid of actually supporting, uh, Venezuela. We took, it took

the, the initiative of Iran, followed by Russia, followed by China to break those sanctions.

Um, um, so yeah, so, so this, this rupture, this reconfiguration of, of the earth that we’re seeing right now, the world we’re seeing right now, just like, uh, uh, great Oak saying, um, cuz, uh, the s also, uh, push, push, um, Venezuela to be [01:12:00] more self-sufficient in the food stuff. Growing their own stuff. And I saw that in Cuba as well when I went to Cuba, Texas, in Cuba, Cuban Sanchez is 1960. So it pushed, has pushed them to grow their own, their food stuff, um, on market. Um, and uh, see your thoughts on that. And we can close after that.

Greta: I mean, I think everything you said just relates to everything that we’ve been talking about for this whole conversation and um, you know, we haven’t used the term yet, but I think essentially what many of us are talking about is a shift to a multipolar world instead of a unipolar world where the US is at the head of everything.

Anna: I think I see the it a bit differently. Um, I’m not necessarily, I think, so for me, a multipolar world kind of implies that it’s necessary for oppressed countries to align with one or another, you know, imperialist external power.

Um, and I. I think there is, generally speaking, a third, a third way [01:13:00] independent. And I think it’s essential to be working towards that, um, and supporting those independent initiatives, uh, across the world. And, and so, um, because I, I don’t see, you know, China and Russia and their kind of influence in, um, around the world as positive, similar to, I don’t see the influence of the US uh, across the world as positive.

I think they’re really all just buying for influence for markets, uh, for profit and to exploit people in these different countries. So perhaps we see it a bit differently, but I think that we agree on a lot, uh, too. And, and I think

Greta: that’s, Hmm. Well, it’s an interesting analysis. I’m certainly not, you know, supporting imperialism from a different country, you know, as I agreed with you earlier, that I’m not saying we should swap out, you know, us imperialism with Chinese imperialism or anything.

So, yeah, I think it’s, I think in a sense we agree with each other. Maybe it’s just the [01:14:00] terminology difference, but Yeah, I, I’m curious to hear more about your viewer. I hadn’t heard the critique of a multipolar world necessarily implying, you know, I certainly didn’t mean to imply, like, supporting imperialism from other countries.

Anna: Yeah. And I, I’m sorry if I’m, I’m not trying to put words in your mouth. That’s just what, for me, multipolar world means, you know, the, the competition between, uh, various, various powers. So, I mean, I’m curious if you can speak a bit more on kind of the, the distinction, um, because I certainly don’t think you sport Yeah.

Imperialism, but I just, what is the distinction then with

Greta: multipolar? Yeah, I guess I was just using the term in a broad brushstroke to mean not one power that has global hegemony the way the US does. So multipolar essentially meaning that, you know, power is shared across many different countries and regions of the world.

And, um, I guess also I would, you know, add kind of what I was saying earlier, how in world Beyond Wars materials we talk about. The need for improved [01:15:00] international frameworks, improved frameworks of global governance. Um, so I don’t know how exactly that fits into this conversation, but I think it is related in the sense of that as we’re talking about the sort of breaking apart of the power, we also need reform of our inter international institutions.

As I said, you know, the UN is very flawed and that’s something that we go into on, on World Beyond War’s website. So whether it is reforming or getting rid of the UN and and creating a different structure like an Earth Federation or there’s many different models that people have proposed. Um, so yeah, I guess the larger point is we need better global governance and we need to break apart the centers of power to have more distributed power worldwide.

I think that

Jovanni: is a good place to pause. Conversation continues. Um, any closing remarks? Um, before we end?

I’ll start with Anna.

Anna: Yeah, I mean, I think. I would just end on the fact that most people, the overwhelming majority of people in the us, uh, don’t [01:16:00] have an interest, uh, uh, with, uh, US imperialism. And there’s a basis for them to, uh, oppose it. And I think our task, uh, is really to unite with those people, connect with those people, uh, and ultimately I think have, you know, the interest of the working class really guiding the way the country is run.

Greta: Wonderful. Well, yeah, it was wonderful to be in conversation with you all today. Thank you for inviting me to be part of this discussion. And obviously these are very large issues that we’re grappling with. Um, and I encourage people to go to our website, world Beyond

If you wanna learn more about our work and get involved,

Shiloh: uh, yeah, I’m just, um, grateful for the conversation and the points that, that y’all brought today. Um, yeah, it was great. I, especially the end there, the like, uh, discussion around like perhaps differing views perhaps, that was a really wonderful example of like how [01:17:00] to, um, how to have conversation, like a generative conversation where you’re actually curious and asking questions and, um, not divisive, like, oh, we don’t, we don’t actually meet eye to eye.

It’s like, well, let’s, you know, let’s discuss what you mean by this term and, uh, break it down and that, that was really wonderful. And I, I just, yeah. Overall, just appreciate each of you, the work that you’re doing and the, the time that you’ve shared with us.

Anna: Yeah. Really well said, Shiloh. I just wanna say, you know, Really, really happy to have been in this conversation.

I think you know what you’re doing. Greta Jovanni Shiloh is amazing and, um, really excited to stay in contact and keep, uh, moving the struggle forward. So, yeah. Thank you again.

Jovanni: Absolutely. Absolutely. And thank you for joining us, uh, here at Fortress On The Hill. Um, and, uh, hope this conversation continues.

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