START:Monday, January 27, 2020•6:00 PM•Eastern Time (US & Canada) (GMT-05:00)
END:Monday, January 27, 2020•7:00 PM•Eastern Time (US & Canada) (GMT-05:00)
HOST CONTACT INFO:Greta, firstname.lastname@example.org
The United States has nearly 1 million active duty personnel stationed at 1,000+ domestic military bases. On top of that, it has over 150,000 military troops deployed outside the United States on 800+ bases in 80 countries (that’s 95% of all foreign military bases worldwide!). On this webinar, we’ll be joined by Leah Bolger, Tom Hastings, and Robert Rabin to talk about 1) why bases are problematic, and 2) how to run a grassroots campaign to shut down a base.
Leah Bolger retired in 2000 from the U.S. Navy at the rank of Commander after twenty years of active duty service. Her career included duty stations in Iceland, Bermuda, Japan and Tunisia. She witnessed first-hand the impact of U.S. military bases abroad. Communities living near bases often experience high levels of rapes committed by foreign soldiers, violent crimes, loss of land or livelihood, and pollution and health hazards. On the webinar, she’ll discuss the social, economic, and environmental impacts of bases – and the work that World BEYOND War does to advocate for base closure.
Tom & Robert will share lessons learned from 2 successful nonviolent grassroots campaigns to shut down military bases. Tom Hastings got involved in the campaign to shut down the Project ELF base in Wisconsin in 1978 and it took decades of nonviolent tactics to finally shut the base down in 2004. Robert Rabin was part of a broad-based community leadership effort to remove the U.S. Navy from Vieques, Puerto Rico. He was arrested multiple times and spent 6 months in U.S. prison for nonviolent civil disobedience. The campaign succeeded in 2003 when the U.S. Navy base in Vieques was finally shuttered.
We’ll discuss why bases are the central feature of U.S. foreign policy, which is one of coercion and threat of military aggression. We’ll talk about why the closing of U.S. bases and the removal of U.S. military personnel are critical to the elimination of war. And we’ll examine what strategies and tactics have been used successfully to close bases, and how you can replicate this success in your community!
The webinar will be hosted on Zoom and livestreamed via Facebook. Participants can join via a device with an internet connection, or dial in via telephone. Once you register, you will receive an email with the livestream link and call-in information. The webinar will be recorded and available for viewing afterwards.
About Our Panelists:
Leah Bolger retired in 2000 from the U.S. Navy at the rank of Commander after twenty years of active duty service. Her career included duty stations in Iceland, Bermuda, Japan, and Tunisia and in 1997, she was chosen to be the Navy Military Fellow at the MIT Security Studies program. Leah received an MA in National Security and Strategic Affairs from the Naval War College in 1994. After retirement, she became very active in Veterans For Peace, including election as the first woman national president in 2012. Later that year, she was part of a 20-person delegation to Pakistan to meet with the victims of U.S. drones strikes. She is the creator and coordinator of the “Drones Quilt Project,” a traveling exhibit which serves to educate the public, and recognize the victims of U.S. combat drones. In 2013 she was selected to present the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Memorial Peace Lecture at Oregon State University. Currently she serves as the President of the Board of Directors of World BEYOND War.
Tom Hastings is a professor of Conflict Resolution at Portland State University and Coordinator of the BA/BS degree programs. He is Director of Peace Voice, a co-founder of the Portland Peace Team, author of several books focusing on nonviolence, on the Academic Advisory Council of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, faculty with the James Lawson Institute, a former Catholic Worker, and a two-time Plowshares resister.
Robert Rabin has lived in Vieques, Puerto Rico since 1980. He worked as a high school teacher in Vieques from 1981-1990. He is the founder/director of the Vieques Historical Archives and the director of the Fort Count Mirasol Museum in Vieques. He is a founding board member of the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques (1993-2007), which was a leading grassroots organization protesting the U.S. Navy’s presence in Vieques. Robert has extensive experience writing and speaking for academic, cultural, and community entities in Vieques, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the U.S., and elsewhere.