FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On Oct. 7, the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the start of the so-called U.S. “War on Terror”, a group of justice and peace organizations and individual organizers are urging leaders of all U.S. religious denominations to end their “shocking” 20-year “near silence” on U.S. wars and to publicly oppose the U.S. “Over the Horizon” program to continue U.S. drone attacks and also to oppose war threats against China.
“Praying for the troops was a mantra of all religious groups and music to the ears of the Pentagon and its war contractors”, the peace advocates say. A letter addressed to U.S. religious leaders will be delivered in person at churches in Syracuse and Binghamton, NY, Des Moines, IA, Greensburg, PA and elsewhere as well as being released to the press. Praying for U.S. troops, the letter continues, “enables the war-makers to do their business blessed by the moral arbiters of America—religious communities.”
The letter, which was authored by Jack Gilroy, a member of Veterans for Peace, and is being circulated by the Ban Killer Drones network, says that the wars undertaken by the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq since Oct. 7, 2001 have generated “far greater horror than 9/11”.
The Ban Killer Drones network is comprised of anti-drone war organizers in U.S. communities in which there are killer drone control centers, such as Syracuse and Niagara Falls, NY; Des Moines, IA; and Horsham, PA, and of opponents of drone killing in other peace and justice groups.
Click here to see the aforementioned letter. A list of endorsers and a list of some of the places in which the letter will be presented on Oct. 7, 2021 follow below. The list also includes actions focused specifically on stopping drone attacks and working for peace.
ENDORSERS OF OCT. 7 DAY OF ATONEMENT STATEMENT
- Baltimore Phil Berrigan Chapter, Veterans For Peace
- Ellen Barfield, Baltimore, MD
- Mickie Lynn, member of Women Against War, Delmar, NY
- The Drone Death Walk, Philadelphia, PA
- Marie Dennis, Co-President (2007-2019) Pax Christi International
- Marge Van Cleef, Philadelphia, PA
- Pax Christi, Greenburg, PA
- Kathy Kelly, To End All Wars
- Des Moines Catholic Worker
- Des Moines Chapter, Veterans For Peace
- Ann Tiffany, Upstate Drone Action (NY)
- Ed Kinane, Upstate Drone Action (NY)
- Upstate Drone Action (NY)
- Father Tim Taugher, Binghamton, NY
- John Heagle, Chair, Gospel Nonviolent Working Group, AUSCP (Association of United States Catholic Priests
- Stephen V. Kobasa, for Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice, New Haven, CT
- Nick Mottern – Co-coordinator BanKillerDrones.org
- Peace Network of Western New York
- Vicki Ross, Peace Network of Western New York
- Johnny Zokovitch, Executive Director – Pax Christi USA
- Interfaith Peace Network
- NYC War Resisters League
- Paki Weiland, CODEPINK
- Brian Terrell, Catholic Worker, Maloy, Iowa
- Fr. Bernard Survil, Priest of the Diocese of Greenburg, PA
- Peace and Justice Works, Portland, OR
- New York City Catholic Worker Community
- Broome County, NY Peace Action
- Broome County, NY Chapter 90, Veterans for Peace
- Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Washington, DC
LIST OF ACTIONS PLANNED FOR OCT. 7
>> DES MOINES, IA: The Des Moines (IA) Catholic Work and the Des Moines chapter of Veterans for Peace are calling on people to join them on the steps in front of St. Ambrose Cathedral for an hour-long vigil starting at 11 a.m. in solidarity with the national “Call to Action: A Day of Atonement” at places of worship. Information: Frank Cordaro – Des Moines Catholic Worker – (515) 490-2490
>> GREENSBURG, PA: Pax Christi Greensburg will hold a vigil beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 7, 2021 on the sidewalk in front of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, 310 North Main St, Greensburg, PA. Pax Christi members will then enter the Greensburg Cathedral on their knees for the 11:45 a.m. daily Mass during which it is expected to hear prayed by the celebrant. Peace witnesses of all or no faith tradition — and not just Pax Christi Catholics — are invited to the vigil, bearing appropriate signs such as photos of the recent drone killing of 10 members of the Ahmadi family in Kabul, Afghanistan. Information: Fr. Bernard Survil, Priest of the Diocese of Greensburg, (ret.); Ph. 724-523-0291, firstname.lastname@example.org
>> NEW HAVEN, CT: Stephen V. Kobasa and Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice will remember the cost of the continuing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa by placing the September stone on the Memorial Cairn at the intersection of Broadway, Elm and Park Streets in New Haven on Thursday, October 7 at 6 pm. Each stone in the cairn represents one month that has passed since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. On each stone is a record of the deaths, civilian and military, reported during that month.
>> SYRACUSE, NY: On Oct. 7, Paul Welch, Director of Social Justice for the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, has arranged for people to gather at 11:30 a.m. at Columbus Circle in front of the Cathedral, where three speakers will address drones, war and nuclear weapons. At 12:15 pm, they will walk a block to Plymouth United Methodist Church in Christ to discuss racism and islamophobia. In conclusion, they will visit an Episcopal church to talk about ways in which military activity adds to the climate emergency. Information: Paul Welch – (315) 256-8613
>> NEW YORK CITY, NY: On Oct. 7th, at 11 a.m., members of Pax Christi New York City will hand out leaflets (see below) at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. At noon they will join the march commemorating the start of the Afghanistan war, organized by the War Resisters League, starting at noon at the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street and continuing across 42nd Street to the Times Square Recruiting Station until 1:30 p.m. https://nycwarresistersdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/afghanistan2021_call-to-action.pdf
>> LONG ISLAND, NY: On Oct. 9th, at their weekly North Country vigil, Long Island peace activists will hold a “Fly Kites not Drones” action in solidarity with the 10/7 actions.
>> BINGHAMTON, NY: A Binghamton Veterans For Peace and Peace Action team will hold an event at three local places of worship on October 7 starting at 11 a.m.: St. Patrick’s Church, 9 Leroy St.; then to Tabernacle United Methodist Church on 83 Main St.; and on to Temple Concord on 9 Riverside Drive. Participants will hold photos of the Ahmadi family and signs encouraging religious leaders to openly oppose the “Over the Horizon” drone attack plan and fear-mongering by the media, arms industry and U.S. government against China.
>> BROOME COUNTY, NY: Jim Clune, President of Broome County Peace Action, has written an opinion article in the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin ending with a call to be at local churches on 10/7.
>> ITHACA, NY: Members of the Ithaca Catholic Worker are sponsoring a multi-denominational event: A Day of Atonement, the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the War on Terror, Thursday, October 7th at 10:30 a.m. in DeWitt / Sean Greenwood Park for a short procession with Buddhist drumming, and for an 11 a.m. press conference. We are joining other witnesses nationwide observing the Day of Atonement. We will mourn the suffering and loss of life caused by the 20-year occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by the U. S. and call on the faith communities to end the silence on U.S. endless wars. We also oppose the continuation of war-making by the weaponized drone program, “Over the Horizon” used anywhere in the world, the increased emphasis on militaristic solutions for conflict with China, and the nuclear weapons build-up. War is still not the answer. Contact: Mary Anne Grady Flores: email@example.com
>> BRATTLEBORO, VT: On Sunday, October 10, zool Zulkowitz will vigil at a Congregational church with a banner: “Tax Dollars for Kids Daycare, Not for Killer Drones”
>> PORTLAND, OR: Peace and Justice Works rally on Friday, October 8th. 20 Years Later, the Afghan War is Not Really Over, Friday, October 8, 2021 5:00 – 6 PM at the Weekly Friday Rally for Peace and Justice Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill and Broadway; please mask up and stay distanced for safety. On Friday, October 8, Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity group will mark the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the US war on Afghanistan with a specially themed Friday Rally for Peace and Justice at 5 PM. Titled “20 Years Later, the Afghan War is Not Really Over,” the event will call attention to the ongoing US presence near and announced intentions to continue warfare in Afghanistan with an “over the horizon” military force. As usual the rally will last until about 5:20 PM followed by a short march around downtown Portland. PJW asks participants to wear masks and stay distanced for COVID safety.