Seeing Through the Smokescreen: War and Peace in Afghanistan
Between them, Kathy and Buddy have been to Afghanistan 15 times as invited guests of the Afghan Peace Volunteers. TheJustice for Afghanistan tour is part of a campaign calling for reparations to re-build Afghanistan’s agricultural infrastructure, which was destroyed by over thirty years of continuous war and occupation.
Afghanistan is in its twelfth year of a U.S.-led occupation. One thousand Canadian soldiers are supporting a corrupt government with military training. Despite its stated purpose of “helping the Afghan people,” military occupation is only fueling civil war and deepening poverty. Join two Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCN) activists for a rare, first-hand look at life under occupation in Afghanistan and to learn about their efforts to accompany the Afghan Peace Volunteers, a community of nonviolence in Kabul.
This speaking tour is the start of a Voices campaign calling for a program of independently administered reparations to re-build Afghanistan’s agricultural infrastructure destroyed by over thirty years of continuous war and occupation.
During each of 12 recent trips to Afghanistan, as an invited guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, Kathy has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in a working class neighborhood in Kabul. She and her companions in Voices for Creative Nonviolence believe that “where you stand determines what you see.” From 1996 – 2003, Voices activists formed 70 delegations that openly defied economic sanctions by bringing medicines to children and families in Iraq. Kathy and her companions lived in Baghdad throughout the 2003 “Shock and Awe” bombing. They have also lived alongside people during warfare in Gaza, Lebanon, Bosnia and Nicaragua. She was sentenced to one year in federal prison for planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites (1988-89) and spent three months in prison, in 2004, for crossing the line at Fort Benning’s military training school. As a war tax refuser, she has refused payment of all forms of federal income tax since 1980.
Buddy has been a co-coordinator with Voices for Creative Nonviolence since January 2012. Since then he has organized two 200-mile walks, one a few months ago to build opposition to a proposed drone base in Iowa’s capital Des Moines, and the other in protest of the 2011 NATO summit in Chicago. Buddy has visited Afghanistan three times. He was with the Afghan Peace Volunteers in November 2012 as they began the Duvet Project, an initiative to distribute locally-made blankets to needy families in the midst of Kabul’s extremely cold winter.
Free to the Public.