Veterans For Peace Chapter 74, located in the Metro Detroit area (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Monroe Counties), is named in honor is named in honor of Michael Gramlich, a southeast Michigan veteran who for over 40 yeas was a leading-edge peace activist. Michael's quest for peace began in earnest following his experiences with atomic bomb tests in Nevada. Veterans For Peace Seeks to increasing public awareness of the costs of war, restrain our government from intervening in the affairs of other nations, reduce the arms race as well as eliminating nuclear weapons, and to abolish war as an instrument of international policy.
Meetings & Events
Next Chapter Meeting - August 15th, 2020, 2pm
Due to the Corona pandemic, and the closure of our regular (Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center) meeting location, the Saturday August 15th Veterans For Peace Chapter 74 meeting will be by teleconference only. There will be no face-to-face meeting. To participate, at 2pm, August 15th, dial 563-999-1129 and when prompted, enter the Access Code of 721444. The only cost to participants are long distance fees to the teleconference provider’s location (www.FreeConferenceCall.com in eastern Iowa). Anyone can participate in this meeting, or any other VFP Chapter 74 event, be they veteran or not.
Current VFP Chapter 74 Newsletter
Report - VFP Arlington Michigan Display In Downtown Detroit On July 4th
VFP Chapters 74 (Metro Detroit) and 93 set up the Veterans For Peace Arlington Michigan display (one marker for every Michigan soldier killed in the Afghan and Iraq wars) in downtown Detroit on July 4, Independence Day up from 11am to 5pm, in downtown Detroit’s Grand Circus Park The display was supposed to be held on Memorial Day in May, but was postponed due to the pandemic and the associated “stay-home” directives.
It just so happened that a Detroit “Freedom March” held a noon event starting from Grand Circus Park to Campus Martius so around 100+ participants were made aware of Veterans For Peace and the purpose of Arlington Michigan (to honor those who have fallen, to provide a place to grieve, and to educate the public about the costs of war, as well as the needs of those returning from conflicts).
A special thanks go to the Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center & Gallery across the street from the display who remained open for the day to provide refreshments and restrooms while also allowing visitors to view the “Visions Of Peace” exhibit by young artists. The next planned display of Arlington Michigan will be on Saturday, November 11th (Armistice Day – Veterans Day) at Veterans Park in Ann Arbor. to honor those who have fallen, to provide a place to grieve, and to educate the public about the costs of war, as well as the needs of those returning from conflicts.
Message To VFP Members On Showing Up For Black Lives
(From Garett Reppenhagen, Executive Director of Veterans For Peace) - George Floyd’s death on May 25th was not new to the long history of police brutality disproportionate to Black people and communities of color. The ability to record video and share it broadly on social media allowed the world to witness the cruelty and disregard for human life that plays out so frequently but often times goes undocumented. It was the final straw to break in a long series of police violence and hate crime against black lives.
As protests and riots spread to every state in the nation it has drawn activists out from physical-distancing due to health concerns to challenge white supremacy, inequality and police violence. Our members have been among them. It has been incredible to see so many Veterans For Peace members take the streets to help demand a racially just society. White supremacy is a pillar of patriarchy, economic injustice and oppression that impacts us all.
Veterans for Peace stands in defense of Black lives. These are perfect opportunities to learn from and follow organizations led by Black people and people of color and our Black VFP members so we are building strong relationships and meeting the needs of the most impacted communities.
I know so many members of VFP have incredible organizing experience and have been on the front lines of movements for generations. I know you are creative and have powerful ways that can be an asset. That wisdom and legacy has incredible value. We will have moments in these coming months to be out in front on specific facets of this revolution.
Now is a good time to be humble. Be helpful. Be heartful. The most important way you can show up and be a good ally at this time is up to your POC organizers and VFP members in your local area. You should reach out before taking initiative in your community and establish a connection. Ask them, “How can I support you and what is the best way to meet your needs?”. Withhold from offering ideas or suggestions. It is not our place to lecture. It is not our place to make judgments. Be considerate to how they want you positioned, what you are wearing and what you do and say. Our actions can impact their success and their safety.
Be conscious of any privilege you might carry based on how others perceive you. Listen to Black leadership and voices of color. Listen to the youth of the movement. People are in the streets because they are not being heard in other venues. The expression is critical for the world to receive their message. If you show up with an open heart you can prove it by having an open ear. Be silent so their voices can be loud.
At the national office we are speaking to leaders in the movement to be a resource and to support them. We will reveal ways that more members can engage in calls to action and support roles that will build on our mission of peace.
We have made a strong call for our military and National Guard to #StanddownForBlackLives
Since then we are receiving calls from service members looking for options, resources, advice and encouragement to deny orders to mobilize against their own communities. We are in the early stages of organizing peer support advocates and trying to build out our network of educators.
If you haven’t seen our previous statements you can see them here:
Ideas For Non-Violent Action
In these difficult times, these 198 methods of nonviolent action have all been used in historical instances of nonviolent struggle - http://www.mapm.org/documents/198_nonviolent_methods_2007.pdf
Vietnam War - Full Disclosure
The Full Disclosure campaign is a Veterans For Peace effort to speak truth to power and keep alive the antiwar perspective on the American war in Vietnam -- which is now approaching a series of 50th anniversary events. It represents a clear alternative to the Pentagon's current efforts to sanitize and mythologize the Vietnam war and to thereby legitimize further unnecessary and destructive wars. The Full Disclosure web site - www.vietnamfulldisclosure.org - has sections on the Vietnam War Chronology, Educational Resources, Advocacy and more.