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Veterans, Military Families, and Supporters Launch ‘Decade of War Awareness Month’
Anti-war groups highlight war economy as 10-year anniversary of invasion approaches
NEW YORK - September 8 - October 7, 2011 will mark ten years since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the start of the Global War on Terror. To commemorate this sad anniversary, a nation-wide coalition of anti-war groups—including Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), the War Resisters’ League (WRL), and Veterans For Peace—has launched a month-long campaign to promote relationship-building among people and communities affected by U.S. militarism and the war economy in both the U.S. and Afghanistan.
Decade of War Awareness Month, launched yesterday, features an online public education curriculum highlighting U.S. military spending, Afghan culture, Islamophobia and other effects of a decade of war both at home and abroad. The lesson plans aim to engage a wider public in reflecting on how the world has changed over the past 10 years by providing materials and support for community-based events. The pilot workshop, held in New York City on August 21, hosted the South Asian social justice organization DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving) and housing justice group Community Voices Heard.
“We wanted to explore how U.S. militarism and military spending relate to local campaigns for social and economic justice, both directly and indirectly, across a wide-range of issues,” says Ali Issa, a WRL organizer who developed the curriculum in conjunction with the South Asia Solidarity Initiative.
Decade of War Awareness Month will culminate on October 7 with a public forum in Washington DC entitled ‘War Voices: Building Community After a Decade of Struggle at Home and Abroad.’ Among the featured speakers will be organizers from the Labor, Education, and Anti-War movements, as well as Fatima Mojadiddy of Afghans for Peace, an international alliance of Afghans organizing for peace in Afghanistan and throughout the diaspora. “It’s an opportunity for all of us to share our ‘war stories,’” says Jose Vasquez, a former medic in the U.S. Army and IVAW's Executive Director.
For more information on Decade of War Awareness Month, or to access to the public curriculum, visit WarVoices.org.