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Veterans For Peace National Convention in Miami


http://veteransforpeace.org

For Immediate Release - August 1, 2012

Veterans For Peace National Convention in Miami to Feature Alice Walker, Phil Donahue
Veterans For Peace will hold its 2012 National Convention in Miami, Fla., August 8-11. The event, which includes speeches, films, workshops, and musical entertainment, is open to the public and will feature prize-winning novelist Alice Walker, film producer Phil Donahue, activist Roy Bourgeois, and many other speakers. The text of a public service announcement follows the list of speakers below.

The theme of this 27th annual convention will be "Liberating the Americas: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean."

"No region in the world these days," said Veterans For Peace President Leah Bolger, "is as much on the forward march toward liberation. We are in the third century of the struggle to abolish the Monroe Doctrine. Advances (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Uruguay) exist side-by-side with setbacks engineered by U.S. imperialism (Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, etc.). We in the United States have a moral responsibility to change our government's view of Latin American and Caribbean nations as being our 'backyard' and sources of cheap labor and natural resources. It is time for our government to stop bullying the region and show respect and recognition for rights to national sovereignty."

The full schedule and registration information are available at http://vfpnationalconvention.org

Alice Walker
Pulitzer prize winning novelist and poet, teacher, and activist. Ms Walker will be a keynote speaker at the banquet Saturday, August 11th.


Phil Donahue
Media personality, writer, and film producer.
Mr. Donahue will present the film “Body of War,” which he produced, Wednesday, August 8th.

Father Roy Bourgeois
Activist and priest, founder of the human rights organization “School of the Americas Watch.” Father Bourgeois will be a keynote speaker at the banquet Saturday, August 11th.

Marleine Bastien
Haitian-American activist and Congressional candidate, Executive Director of “Haitian Women of America.” Ms Bastien will be a speaker at the opening plenary Thursday, August 9th.

Ann Wright
Retired Army colonel and former diplomat, author and activist. Ms Wright will co-facilitate a workshop about drones with Medea Benjamin, and will moderate a panel on Military Sexual Trauma.

Medea Benjamin
Activist and author, founder of anti-war organization “Code Pink,” and fair trade advocacy group “Global Exchange.” Ms Benjamin will co-facilitate a workshop about drones with Ann Wright and will speak at the Friday evening event.

Leah Bolger
Retired Navy commander and activist, President of Veterans For Peace. Ms Bolger will speak at the opening plenary on Thursday, August 9th.

David Swanson
Author, activist, and radio host. Mr. Swanson will co-facilitate a workshop entitled, Misleading America: U. S. Military Expansion Since the End of the Cold War.

Mike Reid
Executive Director of Veterans For Peace. Mr. Reid will host the Saturday Banquet.


Paula Caplan
PH.D., Fellow, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School;Associate, DuBois Institute, Harvard University. Ms. Caplan will facilitate the plenary workshop on War Trauma.


Camilo Mejia
First veteran from Iraq to publicly challenge the morality of the war and refuse to fight. Author of The Road from Ar Ramadi. Mr. Mejia will emcee the opening plenary on Thursday, August 9th.

Charlie Clements
Carr Center's Executive Director, widely respected human rights activist and public health physician. Dr. Clements will host an Academy Award winning documentary about his experiences as a guerrilla doctor in El Salvador in the 1980's, Witness to War.

Bruce Gagnon
Executive Director of Global Network, deeply involved in JeJu Island Action. Mr. Gagnon will co-facilitate the workshop entitled, Obama’s Pivot Toward Asia-Pacific: Dangerous, Destabilizing and Costly.


Dennis Trainor, Jr.
Producer of film, American Autumn: An Occudoc. Mr. Trainor will host a showing of the film on Thursday, August 9th.

John Lindsay Poland
Research and advocacy director of Fellowship of Reconciliation and founder of Colombia's Peace Team. Mr. Poland will host the workshop entitled, The Pentagon in Latin America and the Caribbean.

PSA text:
Veterans For Peace invites you to attend its 27th annual national convention August 8 - 11 at the Miami Marriott - Biscayne Bay (1633 North Bayshore Drive, Miami). The convention features Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker and Father Roy Bourgeois (initiator of the School of the Americas Watch at Fort Benning, GA) at the culminating Saturday night banquet with steel pan entertainment provided by pannist David DeSousa. Phil Donahue hosts Body of War, his film about Iraq veteran Tomas Young on opening night Wednesday. Marleine Bastien, Leah Bolger, DeAnne Graham and Camilo Mejia present at the opening plenary Thursday morning, and Medea Benjamin, Max Rameau, Dr. Jill Stein, and Rep. Frederica Wilson speak at the "Veterans Meet the Community" program Friday evening at Trinity Episcopal Catherdral, next door to the Marriott.

Movies (free and open to the public) are featured each day at lunch and in the evening. All activities except Friday night's event will be in the 3rd floor ballroom of the Marriott. Banquet tickets are $60, 4 for $200, or a table of 10 for $450. Exciting and informative workshops and plenaries take place all day Thursday and Friday (War Trauma/PTSD, Agent Orange, No War on Iran, Close Down the School of the Americas, Active-Duty GI Resistance, etc). A one-day pass is $25. For more information (including a schedule of events, workshops, and plenaries) visit www.vfpnationalconvention.org
#

ENDS

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