Thursday, March 10, 2011



A public meeting will be held in SUNY New Paltz Lecture Center 102 Tuesday, March 15, at 6:30 p.m., on the topic "What Next for the Middle East — More U.S. Wars in the Region or Peace at Last?"

The democratic uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa against dictatorships and repressive monarchies — in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Oman and other Arab countries — are of historic consequence and will ultimately transform the region politically and socially.

But what comes next? What will be the impact on Washington, which supported most of these regimes for decades before switching sides in the final days? And also what about Israel and Iran?

Meanwhile, the 8th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq falls on March 19 — a day of worldwide protests — and the 10th anniversary of the Afghan war is in a few  months. Both these wars are stalemated and have cost the U.S. trillions of dollars needed for jobs and social programs for the American people.

Here are the speakers at the March 15:

•  Brian Becker, the leader  of the ANSWER peace and justice coalition, will discuss the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.
•  Jack A. Smith, editor of the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter, will talk about the ongoing U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, western Pakistan, and Yemen.
•  Donna Goodman, New Paltz activist and union representative, will survey the costs of the wars and the uses to which this mountain of money could have been better spent.  She'll also mention union involvement in peace actions.
•  Michael Sussman, the well-known civil liberties attorney from Orange county, will focus on the erosions of civil liberties in the U.S. since 9/11.
• Barbara Upton will tell us about the weekly peace vigil she organized in New Paltz Nov. 10, 2001, which has continued Saturday after Saturday all these years, and is still going strong.
•  Claire Papell, SUNY student and activist, will underscore the importance of student peace and justice activism.
• Tarak Kauff, a Woodstock activist and member of Veterans for Peace, will speak about the importance of civil resistance, and also touch on the March 19 veterans actions in D.C.

The event is sponsored by the Activist Newsletter, and the New Paltz group Peace & Social Progress Now. Endorsers of the event include: ANSWER Coalition, Arts for Peace, CLASP, Dutchess Greens, Dutchess Peace, Middle East Crisis Response, MoveOn Council (Ulster), New Paltz Feminist Collective (SUNY-SA recognized), Orange County Democratic Alliance, Orange County Peace & Justice, Veterans for Peace, Woodstock Peace Economy, Zeitgeist Movement (SUNY-SA recognized).

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