The Eastern Iowa chapter of Veterans for Peace marked its third anniversary by standing witness to peace along the RAGBRAI route near Fairfield on Saturday. During the time since receiving their charter from the national organization, Chapter 161 spawned two additional chapters, in Des Moines (Chapter 163) and Cedar Rapids (Chapter 169). From ten charter members, the groups have grown to include more than 50 members and associates throughout the state.
This year the Veterans for Peace 28th national convention is being held in Madison, Wis. from Aug. 7 through 11. Chapter 169 associate member Clarke Rieke will be conducting a workshop at the convention titled, “Broadening the Political Spectrum from Ghandian Resistance to Alternative Voting Systems.” Check out the convention web site here.
Among the speakers at the convention are Lake Superior Ojibwe Tribal Chairman Mike Wiggins, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, Founder of U.S. Labor against the War David Newby, Coordinator for the Voices for Creative Non-Violence Kathy Kelly, and Vietnam Veteran S. Brian Willson.
Coming from London, England to attend the national convention are two British Veterans for Peace, Ben Griffin and Michael Lyons. During their trip to the U.S., Griffin and Lyons will be making a tour of Iowa, speaking and participating in a series of events with the theme, “I will not fight for Queen and country.” Here is their schedule.
Aug. 12– Monday- Iowa State Fair Veterans Parade, Des Moines joining the Iowa Veterans for Peace delegation. Contact: Gil Landolt.
Aug. 13– Tuesday- Public Lecture. Coralville Public Library, Meeting Room, 7 p.m. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace Chapter #161 and PEACE Iowa. Contact Ed Flaherty.
Aug. 14 Wednesday- Public Lecture. Cedar Falls Mennonite Church, 215 W. 9th St., Cedar Falls, 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Cedar Valley Catholic Social Action Network, the Peace and Justice Center of the Cedar Valley, Workers for Peace/Iowa of Cedar Rapids and the Waterloo Catholic Worker. Contact David Cushing.
Aug. 16- Friday- Public Lecture, Chet Guinn’s Fire Station, 1041 8th St., Des Moines, 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Des Moines Catholic Worker and Veterans for Peace, Chapter 163. Contact Gil Landolt.
Contact Ed Flaherty if you would like to know more about the activities of the Iowa Chapters of Veterans for Peace.