Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice
The Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice was sponsored by the Network for a Nato-Free Future, a coalition of thirty U.S., Canadian and European peace, economic and social justice organizations.
There were be 28 workshops and panels at the Counter-Summit. It was convened at People's Church, 941 W. Lawrence, Chicago, Illinois, May 18, 19, 2012.
April 4 Cambridge MA Teach-In on NATO
"The 1% – What’s NATO Got to Do with It? Afghanistan, Libya, Russia, Iran, China & Economic Injustice" , A teach-in with Vijay Prashad, Ellen Frank & Joseph Gerson, was held April 4, 2012 Cambridge Friends Meeting, 5 Longfellow Park (off Brattle Street, near Harvard Square), Massachusetts.
- Peace and justice organizations, community based groups and Occupy are preparing to challenge militarism and austerity when the leaders of the NATO and G-8 nations meet in Chicago this May. Join us to learn what NATO and the G-8 have to do with the world’s wars, economic crises, and making the world safe for the 1%.
Joseph Gerson "is Director of AFSC’s Peace and Economic Security Program. He is a lead organizer of the May 18 Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice in Chicago. His most recent book is Empire and the Bomb: How the U.S. Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World."
Friday — May 18
Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice, People’s Church
9:30 Welcomes & Overview
9:50 Rebel Diaz Performs
10:15 – 12:00 Plenary – Laying the Foundations: NATO, Economic Globalization, and Economic Justice
- Vijay Prashad – Trinity College
- Tobias Pfluger - Tubingen Militarization Information Association (IMI); Party of the European Left
- Sarita Gupta - Jobs with Justice
- William McNary - Citizen Action/Illinois; Emergency Network to Save Cook County Health Services
5:15 – 6:15 Plenary – Campaigning for Peace and Justice
- Suraia Sahar - Afghans for Peace
- Tom Hayden – Chicago 8; Peace and Justice Resource Center
- John Nichols – The Nation, Free Press
7:00 Optional Film Showing: ‘If I Had a Trillion Dollars’
Saturday – May 19
10:00 – 11:00 Plenary – Vision and Campaigning for the Future
- Kathy Kelly - Voices for Creative Nonviolence
- Iraq Veterans Against the War Speaker TBA
- Tania Unzueta - Immigrant Youth Justice League
Throughout the Counter-Summit there were four workshop sessions, two on Friday, two on Saturday.
Workshop Session 1 (Friday, 1:00–2:45pm)
A New Economy is Possible: Jobs & Economic Justice vs. Militarism
Featuring – Teresa Albano (People’s World), Pierre Villard (Mouvement de la Paix (France)), Vijay Prashad (author of “Arab Spring, Libyan Winter”), Bamshad Mobasher (A New New Deal Project); Moderator: Libero Della Piana (People Before Profits)
- Around the world people are pushing back against the 1% and their policies that balance budgets on the backs of the 99% and prioritize military spending over human needs. This workshop will discuss current struggles for economic rights, workers rights, participatory economics and jobs, and address the economic impact of militarism and prospects for local and national organizing.
Featuring – Bruce Gagnon (Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space), Irene Eckert (WILPF Germany), Jackie Cabasso, (Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation); Facilitators: Joan Ecklein and Carole Urner (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom)
- This workshop will explore: why the current NATO missile defense system will negate any hope of nuclear disarmament and could lead to a new cold war; European struggles against these outposts of militarism; and overcoming obstacles to organizing against nuclear weapons, missiles and militarism in the United States.
Iran: Iran’s Nuclear Program, Dialogue & the Imperative of Moving beyond Threats
Featuring – Michael Veiluva (counsel, Western States Legal Foundation), Andrew Lichterman (senior research analyst, Western States Legal Foundation), Peter Lems (Education and Policy director for Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran at AFSC), Kevin Martin (Executive Director of Peace Action and Peace Action Education Fund), Phyllis Bennis (directs the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies); Facilitator: Judith LeBlanc (Field Director, Peace Action)
- This workshop will: cover the history of Iran’s nuclear program; examine the particularly problematic role of Israel, a de facto nuclear power acting largely outside the framework of international law; and explore the political landscape and projections between now and the US elections in November.
Move to Amend and Amend 2012 Strategy Session
- This workshop will: discuss Citizens United v Federal Election Commission; examine alternative legislation; focus on gathering local political support (through petitions, resolutions, initiatives, and referendums); clarify and prioritize what can be done; and explain specific strategies, places, and timelines.
Resisting Militarization of Youth
LWe share a bi-lingual, interactive workshop to: confront intersections between the military industrial complex, racist immigration policies, and the Cradle to Prison Pipeline; resist the militarization of our public schools; develop a counter narrative built on the globalization of solidarity; and teach young people about social justice.
The Role of the European Union in NATO Strategy
Featuring – Claire Chastain (Collectiv Anti-Otan, France), Roger Cole (PANA, Ireland), Claudia Haydt (European Left, Germany), Tobias Pfluger (IMI, Germany), Stefan Liebich; Moderator: Reiner Braun (IALANA,Germany)
- At the 2009 NATO Summit in Strasbourg the European NATO member states were accepted as a pillar within NATO. The implementation of NATO’s policies within Europe mainly follows the militarization of the European Union. This workshop aims to give an overview of armament in Europe and highlight alternatives for politics of peace.
Women Say No to War! Creative Tactics for Building Peace and Justice
Featuring – Nancy Mancias (CODEPINK Ground the Drones and Accountability Campaigner), Jodie Evans (CODEPINK cofounder), Medea Benjamin (cofounder of CODEPINK/[Global Exchange]; author of ‘Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control’), Pat Hunt (NATO/G8 organizer and CODEPINK Chicago coordinator).
- Rise up, get down, there’s an anti-war movement in Chi-town! Learn about CODEPINK’s engaging campaigns to end the occupation of Afghanistan, stop lethal drone attacks, prevent an attack on Iran, and bring our war dollars home. Find out how to bring creative tactics and tools for change home to your community.
Workshop Session 2 (Friday, 3:15–5:00pm)
Afghanistan: How Do Wars End?
Featuring – Kevin Martin (Executive Director of Peace Action and Peace Action Education Fund), Phyllis Bennis (directs the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies), Kathy Kelly (Co-coordinator Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare), Representative from Afghans for Peace; Facilitator: Peter Lems (American Friends Service Committee)
- This a strategy workshop looking at how wars end, and how we can work to bring about those conditions in Afghanistan. Will Iraq be the model? Or Korea? What are the steps the broad peace movement can take? What about reparations? Transitional justice? The need for a regional solution?
Generations of Globalization
- The goal of this workshop is to create space for an intergenerational dialogue and reflection on globalization. We will explore how personal identities influence our viewpoints, and discuss methods to move beyond stigmas that limit progress and the implications of globalization for future generations.
Getting it Right on Iran: Anti-intervention and the Potential for Global Solidarity
Featuring – Bitta Mostofi, Alma, Helia, Kouross
- Havaar is a grassroots group that opposes military action and the U.S.-led sanctions against Iran. We will discuss today’s movement in Iran and what it means to organize trans-national solidarity opposing war and sanctions in a new era of people’s movements.
Global Missile Defense in NATO Strategy
Featuring – Natalia Miranova (Russia), Pierre Villard (Mouvement de la Paix, France), Bruce Gagnon (USA), Subrata Ghoshroy (MIT, USA), Reiner Braun (Germany), Alexander Neu (Die LINKE Germany); Moderator: Ingeborg Breines (IPB, Norway)
- Global missile defense is the shield and modernization of the nuclear arsenal is the sword for global military domination. Its implementation is dangerous and takes up many resources that are needed for social needs. How can we stop this spiral of armament and what are alternatives of disarmament?
- The wealthiest actors employ NATO to ensure their orders are carried out in a combination of financial and military oppression called Imperialism, often pursued in the name of “protecting human rights.” We will analyze global capitalism’s imperatives to sequester the earth’s wealth and generate austerity, and discuss the social conditions and movements necessary to counter these imperatives.
U.S.-Russia and a Second Cold War
- The “new” arms race is emerging in an era when anti-war movements have largely put aside concerns about nuclear weapons after the Cold War. We will examine why nuclear warheads and military alliances persist 20 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the need for critical thinking and better education among social movements.
Wisconsin: Rebellion and Recall
- The occupation of Wisconsin’s State Capitol began in February 2011 after the Walker administration pressed legislation to weaken collective bargaining for public sector unions. Following recall elections that removed two Walker allies in the State Senate, the campaign to recall Gov. Walker collected almost a million signatures. The recall election will be held on June 5th.
Workshop Session 3 (Saturday, 11:00am–12:45pm)
Hidden Casualties: Environmental Damage of War and Militarism
- Extracting heavy metals and chemicals, and manufacturing, testing, and using weapons are causing massive environmental destruction and contamination, resulting in high rates of cancers, birth defects, and deformed animals. Participants are invited to share strategies and actions for protecting ecosystems from the ravages of war and militarism.
Featuring – Mary Zerkel (American Friends Service Committee), Terry Davis (Committee for New Priorities; Chicago Jobs with Justice), Matt Southworth (Friends Committee on National Legislation), Robert Clack (Metropolitan Tenant organizer), Iraq Veterans Against the War representative TBA
- This workshop will be conducted in a “fish bowl” format to facilitate an exchange of experiences and interaction between local grassroots organizers on the challenges and opportunities for building a movement to demilitarize the federal budget. No presentations, just facilitated discussion to maximize creative exchange between the panelists and audience. The starting point of the “fish bowl” discussion will be a recent successful struggle in Chicago to protect jobs and quality health care for veterans. And we will move the discussion to the broader strategy for long term movement building including a look at the immediate legislative and electoral struggles ahead.
- This workshop will provide: an overview of NVDA strategy and methods; information about past actions and strategies used against NATO in Europe, where organizers built an anti-NATO movement with different organizations from various countries; participatory demonstration of NVDA methods utilizing videos, photos, and discussions; a discussion of how European and U.S.-based actions against NATO relate to one another, including similarities and differences of strategies and tactics.
- Using Grassroots Global Justice Alliance’s frame “No War, No Warming, Build a People’s Economy,” this workshop will discuss NATO, the G8, and connecting the war on people, economy and environment with popular responses for justice arising across the world.
Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, and Corporate Globalization
- This workshop integrates analyses of the military industrial complex and of corporate globalization and the way these technologies manifest the irrationality of the system as a whole. It will present opportunities to bring these issues into emerging locally-focused movements that so far have focused mainly on the financial aspects of the current crisis.
U.S. Military Interventionism in Latin America
- The No to War-No to NATO network and LACIS present a workshop that seeks to address questions such as: What are the long-term implications and social impacts of the integration of the Global South into military systems commandeered from the Global North? What forms of resistance to NATO and militarism have emerged in the South vs. the North? What forms of cooperation between North and South have developed and where is there opportunity for further solidarity?
Using Art and Film to End the War and Secure the Peace
Featuring – Karen Light (The Many Faces of Afghanistan, contributing artist), Lillian Moats (Foreshadowing, contributing artist), Brenda Friedman (Afghan Lament, contributing artist), John Pitman Weber (Learning to Walk Again, contributing artist (muralist)), Ali Pinschmidt (Program Coordinator, Community Supported Film); By Skype video from Afghanistan: Zahra Sedat (filmmaker and Founder and Director of Open Society Organization in Afghanistan), Jamal Aram (filmmaker and Program Coordinator of Community Supported Film); Facilitator: Peter Lems (Education and Policy director for Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran at American Friends Service Committee)
- Community Supported Film and the American Friends Service Committee will illustrate the importance of including Afghan Civil Society perspectives in conversations about the short- and long-term future of Afghanistan. Featuring these works, this workshop will use the power of the arts to create a bridge between the people of our countries.
Workshop Session 4 (Saturday, 1:45–3:30pm)
Chicago National Lawyers Guild Presents Know Your Rights Training
- This workshop will help to prepare participants to deal with possible police and security services’ excesses during the NATO Summit.
Feminist Criticism of NATO Featuring – Ingeborg Breines (IPB, Norway), Judith LeBlanc (USA), Samira Hamidi (Country Coordinator of the Afghan Women’s Network, Canada), Inge Hoger (Die LINKE, Germany); Moderator: Kristine Karch (No to NATO Women’s Network, Germany)
- We see NATO misusing UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (on Women, Peace and Security) and therefore misusing women since NATO’s nature is not of peace and security. We will discuss ending militarization and war with the aim of strengthening women’s rights.
Making Finance Work for the 99%: The Campaign for a Speculation Sales Tax in IL
- The demand for finance to pay for the economic collapse is growing, and one of the most important ideas is a financial transaction tax (FTT) which taxes the trading of financial assets by hedge funds, banks, and others. This workshop will discuss the “A Dollar for Jobs” campaign by Jobs with Justice and others for such a tax in Illinois.
People’s Movement Assembly to End Poverty in the US: One Class, One Cause
- This workshop is a People’s Movement Assembly that will focus on: the state of poverty in America; how poverty today differs from poverty of the past; how today’s poverty affects different sections of the working class (based on race, nationality, gender, age, ability, etc.); and The World We Are Fighting For – Collective Strategies & Actions to End Poverty.
Pivot & Partnerships: 21st Century NATO & the Asia-Pacific Military Build–Up to Contain China
- NATO has a “new strategic concept” that includes “partnerships” in Asia-Pacific, while Washington’s “pivot toward Asia & the Pacific” focuses its military build-up on encircling and containing China and Iran. This workshop will explore these developments, their impacts on “host nations,” popular resistance, and how our movements can respond.
US/NATO Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Removal Long Overdue
- The U.S. is the only country that has nuclear weapons in other countries. Within NATO’s policies include maintaining a massive nuclear arsenal and “nuclear first strike.” This workshop will analyze the new nuclear weapons doctrine from the perspective of peace-politics and will show alternatives towards a world free of nuclear weapons (and NATO).
Veterans Fight for the Right to Heal
- IVAW is fighting for the right to heal. Come learn about how this fight can end the war in Afghanistan, change US failed foreign policies, and heal the civilians, service members, and veterans so devastated by these policies.
Sunday — May 20, March
- Noon; March will begin.
- April 4 Cambridge MA Teach-In on NATO with Vijay Prashad, Ellen Frank, and Joseph Gerson, By swolman on February 24, 2012
- NFF website, Conference Workshops, By swolman on April 13, 2012, accessed May 12, 2012
- NFF website, May 18-20 Events in Chicago By swolman on February 17, 2012, accessed May 10, 2012
- nato-Free Future website, accessed May 10, 2012