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 5;00pm to 6:00pm.
JOIN VFP OR RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP
MONTHLY MEETING TIME: Third 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)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Veterans For Peace mark Armistice Day with 24 Hour Vigil


11 Nov 2012 - 12 Nov 2012


Asheville Chapter 099 of Veterans for Peace will commemorate Veterans Day with a day-long vigil acknowledging the true cost of war by maintaining a 24-hour presence at Vance Monument in downtown Asheville.

WHAT: Veterans for Peace Vigil
The Asheville based chapter of Veterans for Peace is maintaining a 24-hour presence at Vance Monument this Veterans Day Weekend to commemorate the true cost of war and advocate for a true and lasting global peace in the world.
Local veterans and community supporters will be standing from Sunday morning into Monday morning to draw attention to the true cost of war. A solemn reading of names of North Carolinians killed in Afghanistan and Iraq will begin at 11 AM and repeated again at 11 PM Sunday night. 

WHEN: Sunday morning 11 November at 9AM through Monday Morning 12 November at 9AM.

WHERE: Vance Monument at Pack Square, downtown Asheville, NC. The Vance monument is located at intersection of Broadway and Patton Avenue.

WHY: General Douglas MacArthur is quoted as saying 'A warrior above all seeks peace, because it is the soldier who bears the deepest scars and wounds of war.' It is because of these deep scars and wounds Veterans for Peace Chapter 099 believes in taking a stand for an end to war. 

The group seeks to illustrate the true cost of war as a tool of foreign policy and draw attention to undeclared wars, extra-judicial killings (a mock up of fighter drone will be on site for the duration of the vigil), and other consequences of war.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chapter 099 member in South Korea



 Missives from an Outpost of Empire

How did I end up in South Korea?  Never knew I wanted to visit the place before but the director of an anti-militarization group  (www.space4peace.org ) asked me if I would go to the Gangjeong Village to witness and report on these gentle people's struggle to preserve their way of life.

The problem:  there is a huge port now under construction to accommodate U.S warships.  It will be able to accommodate nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers along with all the accompanying support infrastructure that implies. 

Gangjeong is a peaceful village of fewer than 2,000 people who's livelihood depends primarily on raising tangerines, strawberries and fishing.  One of their traditions for many years has been to go out to Karumbai Rock, a large, flat expanse of lava flow at seaside, to worship and give thanks to life.

April 2012 this all changed.  Samsung, the main contractor, erected a fence around Karumbai Rock and surrounding areas and started blasting.  Only fragments of this sacred rock remain. 

This is all part and parcel  with President Obama's foreign policy “pivot” towards the Asian-pacific region that he articulated late last year. 

In some insane notion that the United States might someday “need” to go to war against China, our military planners (the military-industrial complex) have deemed it necessary to strengthen our stance of belligerence in the region.  This might not be the only new naval basing in the region. We are negotiating with the Philippines and Viet Nam to be able to place naval forces there also, but South Korea, having been a vassal state of the American empire for over fifty years now, was the easiest place to get started on this new confrontational stance.  

Remember the much talked about peace dividend we were going to reap with the collapse of the Soviet Empire?  I do.  Somehow we let that dividend slip out of our grasp.  The military planners and beneficiaries of empire have again manipulated the American people to, if not support, then at least be complicit in, a new global cold war.  And the people of Gangjeong Village and Jeju Island are paying an astronomical price for our hubristic and unrealistic dreams of greater empire.

My friend and I are now staying in a modest hotel here in Gangjeong village.  I noticed that there are few locked doors here and there is very little crime.  The people are friendly and seem to truly appreciate the life that they live.   As currently planned,  U.S. aircraft carriers will dock at this island paradise and perhaps 3,000 sailors at a time will take shore leave.  Ask the Philippinos what that is like.  Our naval base at Subic Bay supported a large industry of bars and brothels, pawn shops and tattoo parlors, and there is no reason to believe that it will be any different in Gangjeong.  Philippinos know, Okinawans know, and the people of Jeju Island know.

While Americans are being told that their social security is no longer secure and that our society can not afford to take care of everyone's medical problems, could it be that we are complicit in a multi- billion dollar strategy to destroy a sacred coastal region?  While we are told that huge cuts to our federal budget are necessary, we plan on supporting a hegemonic presence of military might to shore up flagging economic and moral authority around the world. 

Here in Gangjeong Village life is rather spartan comparatively speaking.  Electricity is readily available but is used sparingly.  Bath towels are the size of an American's hand towels and  bicycles and motorscooters are a common mode of transportation.  But the people are content with their way of life.  They have friends, family and a faith in a world that has always been kind and supportive.  They have good health because of good food, clean air and water, and plenty of exercise in their daily lives. Health care is reasonably priced and readily available.  Life is good for now, but the handwriting is on the wall and they rightly feel that their way of life is nearing extinction.

The naval base now under construction here is a product of outmoded, unrealistic thinking; the same thinking that brought us the recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.  It is a moral catastrophe being wrought upon people who's voice in this matter is but a cry in the dark.  While lecturing other nations around the world on their human rights abuses our country appears to take carte blanc to destroy the lives of anyone anywhere in the world that stands in the way of empire.

The people of Gangjeong Village say NO to the US naval basing.  They say NO to war and wish that they could live in peace with all people, including the Chinese.

A huge U.S. Naval presence here means that they will be a prime target in the imagined future conflict
between the U.S. and China.  Why should these gentle people pay such a heavy price for our unsustainable way of life? 

Chalmers Johnson in his trilogy of books starting with “Blowback”  outlines how the quest for empire crowds out democracy and that democracy and empire are really incompatible. 

If we, the people cannot stop our government from these reckless overseas pursuits then I'm afraid that our form of constitutional democracy is lost.  And that would be a tragedy for our children and grandchildren, not just the people of Jeju Island. - by Ken Ashe

 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Veterans for Peace office - prior to street clean up

 John and Kim and Ron and Jim posing for a picture.

 Susan C. and John and Ron at the office.  Kim C. is visible in the background.

 Kim and John and Ron and Jim and Susan O. in the office. 

Kim and John and Ron and Jim and Susan at the office, just before heading out to pick up the trash.

Street Clean up time

 John S. and Jim D. are discussing business prior to starting to walk the block and pick up the trash.

 Ron and Kim headed up Roberts street and looking for trash.

 Ron and Kim and Jim from the front on Roberts Street.



 Informal picture taken with the sign from the Adopt a Street program.

 Kim and Ron and Jim posing for the photo op by the Adopt a Street Sign
End result - does not look like a lot, but it took a while to get this picked up.  Ron and Kim in the photo.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"Walk a mile in her shoes"

This is an annual event in Asheville, and it is to raise funds for Our Voice, a local non-profit serving victims of sexual assault.  Some of the members of Veterans for Peace Chapter 099 took part in the walk this year.  Jim Brown took the pictures below of the event, except where he handed his camera to someone else to snap the photo (or maybe he had a timer?).

 Kim Carlyle, Jim Brown and Lyle Peterson at City-County Plaza.


 Lyle and Kim on the plaza.

 Jim Brown on the plaza.

 Kim Carlyle on the plaza.

 Lyle Peterson, Holly Jones, Jim Brown and Kim Carlyle on the plaza.  Holly is one of our County Commissioners.

Jim Brown in matching helmet, scooter, jacket and shoes.... this is a great photo! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Clean up day!

 Once a month, Veterans for Peace Chapter 099 does a street cleanup on Roberts Street.  This is the street of the Phil Mechanic Building, where the Veterans for Peace office is located.  Above is Jim Brown with some bags of trash.  And below is Lyle Peterson, Kim Carlyle, and Jim Brown.  The Phil Mechanic Building is in the background.  I was confused on the start time, so I got there just in time to snap these photos.  Good work guys!  The street and the parking lot look a lot better since we started doing this on a monthly basis.