This is the website for the local chapter of Veterans For Peace in Western North Carolina, based in Asheville.
We're also on Facebook: Veterans For Peace Chapter 099

You don't have to be a veteran to belong, just a person who wants peace and is committed to taking action to achieve it.

Joan Baez is quoted as saying, "Action is the antidote to despair."

If you feel despair at the many costs and endlessness of our wars please consider joining us in taking action.

Statement of Purpose

We, as military veterans, do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace. To this end we will work, with others both nationally and internationally

To increase public awareness of the causes and costs of war 


To restrain our governments from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations 


To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons 


To seek justice for veterans and victims of war 


To abolish war as an instrument of national policy. 


To achieve these goals, members of Veterans For Peace pledge to use non-violent means and to maintain an organization that is both democratic and open with the understanding that all members are trusted to act in the best interests of the group for the larger purpose of world peace.

For More Information (Including how to become a member): www.veteransforpeace.org


Join us for the weekly vigil at Pack Square Vance Monument, Tuesdays from 4:30 to 5:30pm.
JOIN VFP OR RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP
MONTHLY MEETING TIME: Second Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm

Note that we are currently meeting at The Center for Art and Spirit, One School Road, in West Asheville

Our phone # is:
(828-490-1872)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New sign

This is a picture of Ron Harayda beside the new sign saying that Veterans for Peace will be cleaning up Roberts Street in the River Arts District of Asheville.  Across the street is the Phil Mechanic Studio, where the Vets for Peace Chapter 099 office is located.  This office is staffed from 11 AM to 3 PM Tuesday to Saturday.  Stop by and visit us!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Vigil and arrests at Pack Square on Veteran's Day

 
APD waited until after midnight to arrest these three veterans, so that they would not be arresting Veterans on Veterans Day.  They arrested these veterans for staying at Pack Square past the curfew.  They were charged with second degree trespass and released.   

Earlier in the evening, there was a vigil and a reading of the names of US military who were killed in our wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.


The suspects are Kenyon Canoll McClellan, 72, of Wezeltown Road, Old Fort; Jonathan Scott Geler, 25, of Buchanan Road, Asheville; and Kindra Ajanemi Phillips, 41, of Grandview Road, Asheville.

Twenty-eight Occupy Asheville participants were arrested and charged with minor offenses following vigils at the Vance Monument on Nov. 2 and 5.
 There were 24 arrested (or cited) on November 2, 2011 after a vigil for Scott Owen.  Four more were arrested on November 5, 2001.  In October, there were eight arrested for the same offense outside of City Hall.  Total arrested for staying in the park after curfew:  39.

Photos came from Kindra Phillips Facebook page.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some VFP Chapter 099 members at Freedom Square

 These photos were taken on October 8, 2011 at Freedom Square in DC.  This was the beginning of the STOP THE MACHINE!  CREATE A NEW WORLD! protest that is still ongoing.  Above is Ken Ashe talking to another veteran.  The next picture below is Ymani Simmons, with a couple of other activists.  She is wearing her Veterans for Peace shirt.  And the last picture below is Paul Turner, another local Veterans for Peace Chapter 099 member.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Some views of Freedom Plaza - October 2011

The national Veterans for Peace have a large presence here at this protest.  We are now in day three, and here are some photos from the first day (October 6, 2011) when the march to the US Chamber of Commerce returned to Freedom Plaza.





Thursday, October 6, 2011

Helping Homeless Veterans into Housing -- September 10, 2011

 
Thanks to all of you who helped in any way with the event at the Veterans Restoration Quarters this past Saturday morning.

The Land of the Sky UCC folks met with members of Veterans for Peace 099 and several veterans from the VRQ.

There was a flurry of activity as many "welcome home" baskets were assembled for those veterans who are transitioning from the center to independent living in their own apartments. Baskets were stuffed with
donated linens, towels, dishes, kitchen utensils, lamps, cleaning materials, brooms, tools and the like. There were some big items as well that got taken to the storage facility at the VA. A  mattress, bookcase,
TV, microwave oven, etc.

 There was a short program during which we got to hear from three of the veterans who told us their stories. We had coffee and refreshments and the children present made refrigerator decorations for the transitioning vets.

It was a worthwhile event and I wanted to thank everyone who participated.

Susan Carlyle


"Every year I am moved by the stories of the veterans, and one of our members was very moved by what Ken Ashe had to say re: how the militarism of our nation impacts those who serve.  She shared his words with everyone in church on Sunday."

--Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss
Land of the Sky UCC
www.landoftheskychurch.org

photos by Susan Carlyle

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Decade Too Long: two Afghanistan veterans explore nonviolence in Afghanistan


Sponsored by VFP Chapter 099

Saturday, October 1, 2011 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Simpson Lecture Room, A-B Tech, 340 Victoria Rd., Asheville, NC
~ Donations appreciated ~


Brock McIntosh is a student who is still in the National Guard pending his Conscientious Objection application. His views are his own and do not represent those of the Army National Guard or any other branch of the United States military. Brock had dreams of becoming a special forces medic until he started learning about the people and realities of Afghanistan, at which point he realized that the US military would never be capable of bringing peace - through force - to Afghanistan. Brock spoke in Asheville at Speaking Truth to Power: a permanent state of war on April 9, 2011.

Jacob George served in the Army Special Forces and completed three tours in Afghanistan. After leaving the Army, he briefly returned to school before selling all of his possessions and embarking on a bike tour, A Ride Till The End, with other veterans and supporters, speaking in schools, churches, and other community spaces about his transformation toward peace and reconciliation.

They recently returned to Afghanistan with a delegation from Voices for Creative Nonviolence where they joined forces with Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, who seek to encourage widescale, person-to-person relationships towards peace and reconciliation, with a resolute commitment to nonviolence, non-killing and the well-being of ALL people. We hope to Skype with them for live conversation.

They will be accompanied in Asheville by Russ Ritter, a well-known poet from the Ozarks, who is the 2003 Association of College Unions International (ACUI) National Poetry Slam Champion, 03-04 Ozark grand slam Champion, and 2004 Arkansas Poetry Slam first runner up and, Jerrad Hardin, an organizer with civilian/soldier alliance and the acting (civsol) regional coordinator for the SE United States. He has worked as a civilian ally to IVAW since the launching of their first campaign, Operation Recovery, in 2010.

This group of impassioned peacemakers will educate, enlighten, endear and entertain you with their stories, music and poetry.

Come meet them! YouΚΌll be glad you did!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Organizing 101: Effective Social Change — led by Mike Ferner* September 23 & 24, 2011



Grieving about dashed hopes for change? Don’t mourn—Organize!

Friday evening 6:30-9pm North Asheville Library, 1030 Merrimon Ave, Asheville
             Presentation, Discussion
Saturday 10am-4pm: (Battery Park Apartments—Rooftop Garden, 1 Battle Square, downtown Asheville)
            Workshop I, Lunch, Workshop II

Presented by VFP Chapter 099's Center for Peace Education & Training


Reserve your spot. Contact:  Clare Hanrahan    828-242-5610    email:  newsouthnetwork@gmail.com

Donations welcome

If you advocate for change, this event is for you whether your issue is peace, social justice, the environment, the economy, human rights…whatever.

What can we do to: stop these wars; save the planet; distribute wealth equitably; end racism…???

Mike says: “There may be more ways than one to get there, but this much is certain: we, the relative handful of committed believers, aren't going to get there on our own. Gleanings from history and my own experience tell me the best way is still found in Joe Hill’s last words: ‘Don't mourn for me, organize!’
“We must do more than fix the wrongs. We must make the rules, define the terms, run the show—in a word: govern ourselves….It is precisely when we learn how to gain the power to govern ourselves—not  just the power to fix the wrongs—that we will be able to reorder these systems to serve the common interest and create a better life. And not coincidentally, it is when we begin to take organizing seriously that we will begin this journey.
“As Asheville goes, so goes the nation—or at least the movement! I am so looking forward to working with you on the most time-tested (and unfortunately these days, seldom used) method for social change. Warning: Numerous times through this process you will say to yourself, ‘What?? (or possibly even “WTF”)  I know that!’ or ‘Huh?  We're already doing that.’ You will be right. We will be teaching each other.  It will be exciting, tedious, frustrating, great fun...and revolutionary.”

------
Recommended reading (whether you attend the event or not) : Introduction to THE POPULIST MOMENT: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America by Lawrence Goodwyn
http://www.ratical.org/corporations/PMSHAGAintro.html

* Mike Ferner is a writer and activist from Ohio who served two years as the national president and is currently interim director of Veterans For Peace. He was elected twice to Toledo City Council, organized for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) for 5 years, worked as communications director for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee the first three years of the Mt. Olive Co. boycott and worked as Communications Director for the Program on Corporations, Law &  Democracy. Mike also worked as a volunteer on the FLOC Campbell Soup Co. boycott through the 1980′s.  In the 70′s, organized two local anti-nuclear power groups in northern Ohio.
Mike traveled to Iraq twice, with a Voices in the Wilderness delegation just prior to the U.S. invasion in 2003, returning in 2004 for two months as an independent journalist. His book about those trips, Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran For Peace Reports from Iraq, was published by Praeger in 2006.
His activism includes several arrests for “disturbing the war,” including disrupting a session of Congress.  During the Vietnam War he served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman, took care of hundreds of wounded soldiers and was discharged as a conscientious objector.  Mike wrote the “Veterans For Peace Case for Impeachment and Prosecution.”
His main interest is in learning more about how the Populists organized the largest mass democratic movement in U.S. history and what that might mean today for popular uprisings looking for a better life.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

09/21/11 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE


The Second Annual Asheville International Day of Peace celebration, 4:30 to 7:30 PM at Pack Square. 
Mike Ferner, Executive Director of Veterans for Peace National Office will speak.  Entertainment includes Daniel Barber, Gerri LittleJohn, Deja Vu & Rhonda Weaver, Thomas Rain Crowe, and Greg Olsen.  For more information: www.peacetownasheville.org. 
Sponsored/endorsed by Veterans for Peace Chapter 099, Asheville Peacetown, Arts to People, the local UN Association, the B'hai community, the Mountain Area Interfaith Forum, the Social Action
Committee of the First Congregational United Church of Christ and other faith groups.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Speaking Truth to Power: faces of war

This 11-minute slide show was part of the "Speaking Truth to Power" event that was produced by chapter members Paul Turner and Ymani Simmons. Speakers at the event included Ray McGovern, former U.S. Army Intelligence Officer and 27-year CIA veteran and analyst; Gareth Porter, investigative journalist and historian who specializes in U.S. national security policy; and U.S. veterans Conor Curran, Brock McIntosh, Mike Prysner and Josh Steiber (veteran of the Wikileaks “Collateral Murder” company).

More videos of the event will soon be released and posted here soon. A DVD will also be available.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chapter 099 Goes the Extra Mile – In Women’s Shoes!


Team VFP099





It was the best kind of action: high visibility, low cost, and local. We enjoyed great media coverage, engaged many folks outside of “the choir,” and had fun. What’s more, none of us were arrested! In fact, the county sheriff and the chief of police were partners in the action.

On April 30, VFP Chapter 099 (Western North Carolina) members participated in “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” – The International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. Team VFP099 slipped on women’s pumps, high heels, and flats and took a stroll through downtown Asheville with hundreds of other men including city council members, county commissioners, business folks, and a dozen other “teams.”

During this event to raise funds for the local crisis center for women, we were able to connect our work to theirs. In a brief recorded interview, I explained that the violence that permeates our society expresses itself as both domestic violence and foreign war and that we must work together to heal our culture. Along the march route, we engaged bystanders and gave them copies of Sandy Kelson’s military rape awareness flyer and copies of the spring War Crimes Times, referring them to the page 19 article, “17 Veterans Sue Pentagon for Indifference to MilitaryRapes.”

You can’t measure goodwill, but I know our chapter gained some stature in the community (in addition to the stature we gained in high heels!). I’m sure, given our long-standing weekly vigil against the wars, we’re typically perceived as narrowly focused on a single issue. But now our neighbors have seen us more as regular, community-minded folks who share their concerns as well.  

We would do well to find more opportunities like this which give us a chance to connect our concerns to those of our communities.      

  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011