The following is a save-the-date announcement written by Joe Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee for a conference in Washington, DC, which HAW is co-sponsoring along with the AFSC and several other groups. It will take place at American University on Friday evening October 21 and Saturday October 22.
SAVE THE DATE!
October 21 & 22, 2011
“Peace in Asia and the Pacific: Alternatives to Militarization”
A U.S. peace movement capacity building conference
American University, October 21 & 22, 2011
Sponsored by: American Friends Service Committee, American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute, Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament, Historians Against the War, Korean Policy Institute, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Nodutol, Peace Action, (initial listing)
Keynotes by Madame Yan Junqi, Vice President of the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament and the Vice Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress and by Jae-Jung Suh, Associate Professor and Director of the Korea Studies Program at John Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies.* Background and Campaigning Panels and Workshops.
Additional information, including registration, will soon be accessible at www.afsc.org/pes.
Please join us and consider having your organization co-sponsor this uniquely important conference.
Even as the Pentagon has been pursuing its Long War across the Middle East and Central Asia, the campaign to contain China has been driving U.S. strategic war planning and military spending.
Our movements to prevent war and to address the impacts of the militarization of the federal budget are not prepared to the long term designs of the Pentagon, right-wing and the Military-Industrial-Complex to reinforce and deepen U.S. militarism across the Asia-Pacific.
As former U.S. Ambassador to China R. Stapleton Roy put it, “we poked China in the eye” by sending the nuclear powered and nuclear capable aircraft carrier the U.S.S. George Washington into the East China Sea “because we could.”
The U.S. still has more than 100 military bases and installations across Japan. In Korea, activists have engaged in hunger strikes and been jailed for opposing the decimation of their communities with new U.S. military bases. The U.S. now has tacit military alliances with Vietnam and India and is exploring the return of military bases to the Philippines. The National Military Strategy issued in 2010 also calls for expanded military cooperation with Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia and Singapore.
While the US economy stagnates under the tremendous burden of its military expenditures, China has poured resources into becoming the world’s workshop and building 21st century infrastructures and technologies. As the world’s financial centers tilt towards Beijing, new military spending in the region has increased the complexities of its territorial disputes with Japan and ASEAN nations with competing claims to South China Sea islands. A growing number of militarized “incidents” and violent conflict have also occurred on the Korean Peninsula.
The conference goals are:
· Build our movements’ capacities to understand and respond to these
· Identify and promote campaigns that challenge Asia-Pacific militarism and that advocate meaningful alternatives.
· Facilitate solidarity between U.S. and Asia-Pacific peace movements, advocates and campaigns
In addition to our keynote speakers, panels will be devoted to Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and peace movement campaigns
· Workshops to include:
Asia-Pacific Peace Movements
Southeast Asia [JT1]
Economic Realities & Dynamics of the Asia-Pacific
Global Costs of Miliarism
History 101: U.S. in Asia-Pacific
Nuclear Weapons Abolition
Other workshops to be developed
For more information contact: JGerson@afsc.org or phone: 617-661-6130.
*Madame Yan is confirmed. Professor Suh has been invited. This conference will also serve as the 4th Peace Forum organized by The American Friends Service Committee and the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament.