Past Speakers

 

         Photojournalist David Bacon:

"Protecting Oil Companies and Attacking Unions -- US Policy in Iraq and the US"

 

At the invitation of Grandmothers Against War and US Labor Against the War, about 100 people gathered at La Peña Cultural Center on November 7, 2010 to hear labor journalist and photographer David Bacon discuss  “Protecting Oil Companies and Attacking Unions - US Policy in Iraq.”

 

According to Bacon, the  story of the US banning Iraqi labor unions and opening the door to foreign investment in the natural resources of Iraq is another example of the Obama administration’s continuation of Bush policies.  In fact, Iraq has been the victim of Western imperialism for centuries, and the struggle for the rights of the Iraqi people continues today as the US invites in private companies and threatens union officials with arrest if they try to organize.

 

For an in-depth version of Bacon’s report click here.

View David Bacon’s photos here.

 

 

Ground Military Drones

 

On Saturday, June 12, 2010 at the Berkeley Public Library Grandmothers Against War hosted a Community Forum: Drone Warfare: moral? ethical? legal?

 

Video:  "Administration Must Disclose Information About Illegal Drones Use"

Responding to a request from Grandmothers Against War, the ACLU produced a video explaining why using drones to kill individuals with suspected links to terrorists is illegal.  

Click here to see this video.

 

Speakers:

Rita Maran, Ph.D. writes and lectures on rule of law, torture, the

UN, international and women's human rights, and U.S. Government

policy and practice on human rights.

 

Rev. Michael Yoshii is pastor of Buena Vista United Methodist

Church in Alameda. He worked against the rounding up of Muslims,

Arabs, and South Asians following the events of 9/11 and helped

organize public support for military resister Lt. Ehren Watada.

 

Yasmin Qureshi is a human rights activist involved in social justice

movements in South Asia and Palestine. She has presented workshops

at Stanford University and De Anza College focusing on the Mumbai

attacks and the use of drones and war in Pakistan.

 

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Andrew Lyons: "Clearing Landmines in Afghanistan"  

 

On January 22, 2010, Andrew Lyons of Halo USA ( http://www.halousa.org ) who has served as a director of mine clearance in Afghanistan, spoke at Books Inc. in Berkeley.  Andrew explained how his organization works with local deminers to clear contaminated areas in a country in the midst of war.   

 

Grandmothers Against War hosted the talk to help promote the clearance of the deadly remnants of decades of war in Afghanistan that maim or kill an average of 80 people every month, hinder agricultural production, trade, and access to water and schools.

 

A selection of recent books about Afghanistan was available for sale.  Books Inc. donated a percentage of the sales to HALO USA.

 

 

 

           

"Obama's War" and a Discussion with Conn Hallinan

 

On January 10, 2010, at the Berkeley Public Library, Grandmothers Against War showed the “spectacular and unsettling” Frontline documentary, “Obama’s War.”   Featuring veteran correspondent Martin Smith, who traveled across Afghanistan and Pakistan to provide an on-the-ground report of Obama’s strategy (prior to the announcement of escalation), the documentary sparked a thought-provoking discussion, led by Conn Hallinan, an analyst for Foreign Policy In Focus, a member of the Institute for Policy Studies, and a columnist for The Berkeley Daily Planet.  Conn’s speech aboutAfghanistan to an enthusiastic audience convened by Grandmothers Against War in February 2009 can be found under Resources.

 

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A Discussion with Malalai Joya

 

On Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009 at the Northbrae Community Church in Berkeley, Grandmothers Against War hosted a discussion with Malalai Joya, an Afghan politician who has been called “the bravest woman in Afghanistan.”

 

As an elected member of the Afghanistan parliament, Joya publicly denounced the presence of warlords and war criminals in the parliament.  Subsequently she was suspended from that institution on the grounds that she had insulted fellow representatives.  Her suspension is currently under appeal. 

 

Joya has written a memoir, A Woman Among Warlords.  In her presentation, Joya poignantly and passionately described some of her political and personal experiences that are featured in her memoir.  She also discussed how she perceived the long-term damage and destruction occasioned by the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

 

Among the endorsers of this event were the AAUW Oakland Piedmont, the American Friends ServiceCommittee/SFBerkeley/East Bay WILPFCode Pink, the National Women’s Political Caucus – Alameda NorthPeace Action West, Samina F. Sundas/American Muslim Voice (org. for identification only), and the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club.

 

See: http://www.malalaijoya.com/

 

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Conn Hallinan “Afghanistan:  The Next Quagmire”

 

On Saturday, February 28, 2009, in Berkeley, Grandmothers Against War sponsored a talk on Afghanistan by Conn Hallinan, an analyst for Foreign Policy In Focus, a member of the Institute for Policy Studies, and a columnist for The Berkeley Daily Planet.  In his presentation, "Afghanistan: The Next Quagmire," Hallinan briefly reviewed Afghanistan’s recent history and then placed U.S. policy towards the region in an understandable context. He clarified how events in Afghanistan must be viewed regionally and how economic interests have shaped U.S. policy, particularly in relation to the construction of an oil pipeline through Afghanistan. The event was co-sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists.  Because the presentation and question and answer period generated such enthusiasm, GAW is making this audio recording of the event available.

See Resources to download the four audio files of this presentation.

 

 

 

Yalda Asmatey, “Afghanistan and the United States:  The Next 4 Years”

 

At a GAW-sponsored event on Saturday, November 15, 2008 at the Berkeley Public Library, YaldaAsmatey, an Afghan-American PhD student at UC Berkeley, spoke on "Afghanistan and the United States:  The Next Four Years."  A dynamic  and personable speaker, Yalda was born in Kabul and came to the U.S. as a refugee in the early 1980s.  She has been returning to her homeland since 2002. 

 

Yalda offered a brief history of Afghanistan, and, in the process, gave us a framework with which to analyze the current conflict in Afghanistan and the role of the U.S. military. She ably conveyed the historical complexity of alliances among various groups in Afghanistan and attempted to convince a somewhat skeptical audience about the necessity of the U.S. remaining in Afghanistan – this time to “get things right.” Her talk motivated a lively question and answer period and reinforced GAW’s belief in the need for more educational events on Afghanistan.

 

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