Thursday, June 1, 2017

Coming to Richmond: June 16-18, 2017

What's coming?

United National Antiwar Coalition
UNAC Conference 2017

Check out the roster of speakers:

  • Adeeb Abed - Longtime Palestinian Activist; Founder & President, Arab American Association of Central Virginia
  • Willem Arondreus - 1 of 200 activists facing felony riot charges from the police kettle action during the Trump inauguration protests
  • Bahman Azad - U.S. Peace Council
  • Abayomi Azikiwe - Pan African News Wire
  • Ajamu Baraka, National Spokesperson and Founder of Black Alliance for Peace and V.P. Candidate for Green Party in 2016
  • Brian Becker - ANSWER Coalition
  • Medea Benjamin - CODEPINK
  • Maurice Carney - Friends of the Congo
  • Glen Ford - Black Agenda Report
  • Ana Edwards - Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project
  • Pat Elder - National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy
  • Bernadette Ellorin - BAYAN-USA
  • Sara Flounders - International Action Center
  • Bruce Gagnon - Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
  • Lawrence Hamm - People's Organization for Progress (POP)
  • Tamara Hansen - Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
  • Jaribu Hill - Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights
  • Rebecca Wooden Keel - Southerners on New Ground (SONG) - Richmond
  • Margaret Kimberley - Black Agenda Report
  • Cassia Laham - People's Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR)
  • Joe Lombardo - UNAC Co-Coordinator
  • Jeff Mackler- Socialist Action
  • Ray McGovern - Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
  • Charo Mina-Rojas, Proceso de Comunidades Negras en Colombia (PCN) and Colombian Ethnic Commission for Peace
  • Raymond Palatino - Chairperson, Metro-Manila Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)
  • James Ricks - Upstate (NY) Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars
  • Lee Robinson - All African People's Revolutionary Party (GC)
  • Adria Scharf - Richmond Peace Education Center
  • David Swanson - World Beyond War
  • Clarence Thomas - ILWU Local 10
  • Whitney Whiting - Virginia Community Activist in the campaign to stop the Atlantic Coastal Pipeline
  • Phil Wilayto - Editor, The Virginia Defender; Coordinator, Odessa Solidarity Campaign
  • Mekdes Woineshet - Movement for Black Lives Activist
  • Ann Wright - Retired U.S. Army Colonel & former diplomat.
  • Kevin Zeese - Popular Resistance Representative - Raise Up / Fight for $15

Monday, March 13, 2017

Join us at City Council on March 27

Mon. March 27, 2017, at City Hall, 6-7 pm – Please join the Defenders' Sacred Ground Project as we present a statement on the Community Proposal for a Nine-Acre Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park to Richmond's City Council during the Public Comment Period.

Let us know you're coming:

Sunday, February 12, 2017

As we build toward the June UNAC Conference ...

... it is our responsibility to understand how the US acts on its foreign policy just as we need to do with its domestic policy. That's why the theme of the conference this year is STOP THE WARS at HOME and ABROAD!

Today's topic is the Crisis in the Congo.

Excerpt from Friends of the Congo's
Congo Primer Questions and Answers: Congo Conflict

What is the source of the conflict in the Congo? The source of the conflict in the Congo is the scramble to control Congo’s vast natural wealth of gold, diamonds, coltan, copper, cobalt, uranium, tin and many other precious and strategic minerals. Nobel Laureate Wangari Mathaai says “these wars when you look at them, they are all about resources and who is going to control them.”

Is this an ethnic conflict between so-called Hutus and Tutsis? No. It is a resource war. Ethnicity is being used as a pretext to access and control Congo’s natural resources. Former Chief of the UNHCR famously warned in an interview he gave to the Financial Times of London, that “we must not forget that the international community has systematically looted the Congo.”

Has the United States or other Western powers been involved in this conflict in any way? Yes! Rwanda and Uganda are allies of the United States, some would even say they are client states to US and British interests. Both countries receive financial and military aid from the United States, World Bank and other Western institutions. This aid has continued unabated even during the invasions of the Congo. During a Congressional Hearing in 2001 held by Congresspersons Tom Tancredo and Cynthia McKinney, it was documented by experts under oath that the US provided military aid to Rwanda during its first invasion of Congo in 1996. Click here to read minutes from the hearing. Also, read the 2006 London Telegraph article “British Ally Behind World’s Bloodiest Conflict”.

United Nations Mapping Report (2010) - Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003

Please read the rest of the Congo Primer at 

Look for registration updates on the 2017 UNAC conference at and on Facebook. Meanwhile, Save June 16-18, 2017 on your calendar.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

!Presente! Fidel Castro 1926-2016

Coverage from Russia TV

and ABC News USA

and ABC News Australia

Monday, May 2, 2016

US Delegation part of Memorial for May 2 Massacre in Odessa Ukraine

US observers, including Phil Wilayto of The Virginia Defender and the United National Antiwar Coalition, documentary filmmaker Regis Trembly and activist Bruce Gagnon, were of the 3-4,000 people attending today's 2nd anniversary memorial of the massacre of pro-federalist Odessans which took place at the Trade Unions Building of Kulikovo Square in Odessa, Ukraine on May 2, 2014.
".... the May 2 memorial has emerged as an important focus in the fight to keep fascist forces in Ukraine from being able to intimidate their opponents into retreating from political struggle and at the same time strengthen their own role in the post-coup government. Another focus is a WWII veterans march planned for May 9 in the capital city of Kiev to mark the end of Nazi occupation. The march is being threatened by the paramilitary Right Sector organization. The elderly veterans, who often display socialist symbols, are saying they will march anyway and, if threatened, will defend themselves. There's also a lot of politics involved, but too much to get into here."

Monday, March 7, 2016

8th Annual Virginia People’s Assembly for Jobs, Peace & Justice

Make your plans now to attend the 2016 Virginia People’s Assembly For Jobs, Peace & Justice!

The 8th Annual Virginia People’s Assembly for Jobs, Peace & Justice will be held Saturday, April 23, 2016, at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church (1720 Mechanicsville Turnpike) in Richmond, Va. Doors open for onsite registration at 8 am, with the conference starting at 9 am.

The VPA is an annual gathering of people from many communities across Virginia who are engaged in a broad range of struggles. We are union members, community activists, ex-prisoners and prisoner advocates, immigrants, students, youth, elders, women, antiwar organizers, veterans, members of Black Lives Matter, members of the LGBT community, the physically and mentally disabled, environmentalists and more.

We are fighting against police abuse and for a $15 wage for fast-food and other low-wage workers. We are defending our unions and organizing the unorganized. We are struggling against war, racism, classism, and sexism in all their many forms. And with the VPA we help to bring together all those who are working to win justice for our local communities and for the world as a whole.

At the VPA we meet people from other communities and learn about their struggles. We share our own experiences. We make friends and allies, pass resolutions and plan future actions. Together, we help to build the progressive movement in Virginia.

Read the full announcement, with the call for resolutions and workshop proposals here. You can also register online today!

Please use our contact form if you would like to work with us in building a people’s movement in Virginia!