For Immediate Release                     September 17, 2012
From: Nevada Desert Experience.
CONTACT: Jim Haber, Coordinator (702) 646-4814
Las Vegas, Nevada Community Event, September 23, 2012
(Las Vegas, NV). The Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada is partnering with Nevada Desert Experience and Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service to present a community event – The Ediger Memorial Interfaith Celebration of Active Nonviolence – on Sunday, September 23, from 3:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Islamic Society of Nevada, 4730 East Desert Inn Road.
The Celebration of Active Nonviolence comes on the heals of the International day of Peace, September 21. Families are welcome and encouraged to attend the free event (donations welcome) which will include a program of powerful panelists, useful exercises, heart-lifting music, stimulating dialogue and a complementary dinner. Childcare available.
About some of the presenters and prayer-offerers:
Vincent Harding, chairperson of the Hope Project; A Center for the Study of Religion and Democratic Renewal, will share the keynote presentation with Nobel Prize nominee Kathy Kelly. Co-founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Kelly recently returned from another of many delegations to Afghanistan in coordination with the Afghan Peace Volunteers. Harding was a close friend of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. and is credited with drafting one of King’s most outstanding talks, the April 4, 1967 Riverside Church sermon when he came out publicly against the war in Vietnam.
Mary Litell will share self-care techniques taught by Capacitar International in settings including refugee camps, prisons and schools. Rae Abileah of CODEPINK Women for Peace and Young, Jewish & Proud will talk about what inspires her to be a nonviolent activist today.  Ahmed Younis, Co-Author of the soon-to-be-released book American Blackness: Reflective Thoughts by Men of Faith, will offer reflections on the discussion from the perspective of an up-and-coming Muslim-American . The St. James the Apostle Catholic Church Gospel Choir will stir the audience to song. Prayers for Peace will be offered by representatives of many faiths, including Imam Aslam Abdullah, Bishop Dan Edwards, Pastor Gard Jameson, Rabbi Yocheved Mintz, Fr. Louis Vitale. Priestess Candace Ross, Sikh Teji Malik and Rev. Adolph Kunen.
As an expressive, community-building effort, a “Graffiti Wall for Free Expression” will be available for people to artistically share and blend their philosophies and hopes for a world free of wars, hatred and violence, and how we might create that here. A substantial library of hard to find nonviolence resources will also be on display.
The late Peter Ediger, local poet and peacemaker dedicated his life to the practice of nonviolence in many ways, both personal and political. Ediger’s work in his final months was to organize this event to help the world to begin “celebrating faith, hope and love as alternatives to cynicism, despair and fear” by engaging (all) communities into passionate dialogue of the true meaning of active nonviolence – any creative alternative to either passive inaction or countering violence with more violence.
Jim Haber, who has chaired the celebration’s organizing committee since Ediger’s death in February comments, “Participants will leave the Ediger Celebration with useful tools for helping cope with violence in their lives be it due to war or other abuse. People’s real-life stories will be discussed, of resisting violence without returning it and actually succeeding more than with violence and retaliation. The mass killings in Aurora CO, Milwaukee WI and elsewhere shouldn’t be seen as isolated from the violence and wars our country is engaged in abroad, especially since the U.S. produces more weapons than any other country, is responsible for over half of global arms sales and spends over $2 Billion every day on the military.”
Gard Jameson, lifelong philanthropist, author, scholar and Chair of the Interfaith Counsel of Southern Nevada, shares, “Hopefully we can escalate the quality of our collaborations catalyzed by the tragedy in Libya and the hope of a better world. Our event on the 23rd provides great opportunity for community engagement.”
Vincent Harding offers, “Part of what gives me hope is that wherever I go in this country in the midst of all the temptation to despair, I find women and men and young people and communities working to create an alternative to fear and despair….”
Kathy Kelly warns, “Over the past six decades, U.S. activists have made significant gains in movements for civil rights, women’s rights and labor rights. And yet, we must heed Dwight Eisenhower’s words, spoken three days before he left the oval office:  “Be wary of the unwarranted influence of the military-industrial complex.  Our gathering will help us plan and act with tough minds and tender hearts as we work toward ending the scourge of warfare..
People can get more information or RSVP (appreciated for food preparation and childcare) Please Visit Nevadadesertexperience.org or Interfaithsn.org.  Contact Us at (702) 646-4814 or Visit Us on Facebook – Ediger Celebration of Active Nonviolence.
Peace, Shalom, Pace e Bene!
# # #

Harvey Wasserman: America’s New Nuclear Showdown

Harvey Wasserman: America’s New Nuclear Showdown (on Counterpunch.org)

As Fukushima continues to leak and smolder, what may be the definitive battle over new nukes in America has begun.

The critical first US House vote on a proposed $36 billion loan guarantee package for reactor construction may come as early as June 2. Green power advocates are already calling and writing the White House and Congress early and often, gearing up for a long, definitive showdown.
Germany and Japan have made their decision—the “Lethal Atom” has no future.

The coffin nail is Fukushima. Substantial radiation still leaks from three or more of its six reactors. Volatile fuel rods are dangerously exposed. Various containment and fuel pool structures are compromised. Heat and radiation still pour into our global eco-systems, with no end in sight.
Thankfully, a global citizens movement helped lower the amount of plutonium-based MOX fuel loaded into Unit Three. Without that, Fukushima’s emissions would be far more lethal.

As it is, fallout continues to be detected across Europe and the United States. Fukushima is now rated on par with Chernobyl, by some estimates the killer of more than a million people.

… Read the rest here!

Easter Sunday Services End in 16 Arrests at Nuclear Test Site

Easter Sunday Services End in 16 Arrests
at Nuclear Test Site

RELEASE DATE: April 24th 2011
CONTACT: Jim Haber, 702.646.4814

At 12 noon today, April 24th 2011, 38 people gathered near the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). The group held interfaith prayers and then eight women and eight men were arrested for alleged trespassing onto the NNSS. The prayer-action included local members of the Western Shoshone National Council, Buddhist Nipponzan Myohoji monks from Washington state and Catholic Workers from Nevada. Other demonstrators came from Arizona, California, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wisconsin, The Netherlands, and Japan.
Today’s Easter services were the climax of a 60-mile walk from Las Vegas to Mercury along US
Highway 95. The annual pilgrimmage is the interfaith “Sacred Peace Walk”, which included a
musical ritual at the NNSS.

Fr. Jerry Zawada

The demonstrators include members of Nevada Desert Experience (NDE) and Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, including Fr. Jerry Zawada who celebrated Mass at less than half an hour prior to the ritual line crossing. NDE is an interfaith group based in Las Vegas which resists nuclear weapons and war. NDE has a long history of activity in this region near Creech Air Force Base, and NDE’s work helped lead to a cessation of full-scale nuclear testing in the early 1990’s.

The prayer-action today focused on stopping the flow of money into nuclear weapons development, protecting the Nevada Desert, and protecting all people from nuclear disasters
such as the recent one ongoing in Fukushima, Japan and the Chernobyl incident from April 26th 1986. One of the demonstrators from The Netherlands, Annabelle Parker said, “It’s a terrible crime that the US government has committed by stealing and contaminating this beautiful land from Western Shoshone people. I found this week’s Sacred Peace Walk to be a very strong spiritual action—I felt very much connected to the earth and everyone else.”

Another demonstrator, Iris Wolfe from Arizona, went further, “We must also consider the powerful effect of nuclear radiation on the earth and her capacity to support life including ladybugs, bees, earthworms and others. We are wholly dependent and cannot survive without the interaction of all life forms together.” Tomorrow and Tuesday, April 25th and 26th , NDE will hold 7:00AM vigils at Creech AFB and the NNSS respectively, in concert with global events commemorating the Chernobyl disaster.

Drone Warfare on Trial

Drone Warfare on Trial
Sept 30th, 2010
Drone warfare – assassination by unmanned aircraft – is arguably one of the most hellish spawns of the modern military-industrial era, and its use is becoming routine in the Af-Pak war, yet (what else is new?) there’s no debate about it at the level of national policy, just a shrug and a void.

The nation’s future is itself on a sort of autopilot. It belongs to the market forces, in tandem with the reckless, short-term strategic interests of the Pentagon and the politics of empire. There’s no moral voice at the core of this system – not even, any longer, a voice of common sense. We live in a spectator democracy: Our role is to gape at the spectacle. The news cycle runs 24/7 and tells us nothing, if the act of “telling” includes in its meaning an invitation to participate.

Like the students who sat in at segregated lunch counters and otherwise disrupted the nation’s Jim Crow status quo nearly half a century ago, we have to find a way to interrupt the false consensus of military-industrial America at the level at which it wages war and engages with the rest of the planet. Doing so takes persistence and courage – and sometimes a breakthrough occurs.

I bring you the Creech Air Force Base 14: Father John Dear, Dennis DuVall, Renee Espeland, Judy Homanich, Kathy Kelly, Father Steve Kelly, Mariah Klusmire, Brad Lyttle, Libby Pappalardo, Sister Megan Rice, Brian Terrell, Eve Tetaz, Father Louis Vitale and Father Jerry Zawada.

A year and a half ago, they were part of a 10-day vigil outside the base in Indian Springs, Nev. (about 35 miles from Las Vegas), protesting the Predator and Reaper drone flights over Afghanistan and Pakistan that are remotely piloted from the base. At the end of the vigil, these 14 activists entered the base illegally, carrying a letter, according to Kathy Kelly of the Chicago-based Voices for Creative Nonviolence, “we wanted to circulate among the base personnel, describing our opposition to a massive targeted assassination program.” They were arrested and charged with trespassing.

What happened at their trial in Las Vegas two weeks ago may turn the incident into more than simply a symbolic protest. What was supposed to be a cut-and-dried trespassing trial – a crime’s a crime, the law’s the law – ended up being something far larger than that.

Read more at link above…