7th Annual BUILDING A CULTURE OF PEACE AND NONVIOLENCE: Overcoming Money in Politics
Saturday, April 18
Plymouth State University Boyd Hall
10:15 Keynote by Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell.
11:05 Bird-dog Training and Advanced Bird-dog Training
12:05 Brown Bag Lunch
1:00 Workshops Block 1
2:00 Workshop Block 2
3:00 March and Rally
10:00 WELCOME – Room 144
10:15 KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Room 144
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Wilkerson has criticized many aspects of the Iraq War, including his own preparation of Powell’s presentation to the Unite Nations. He appears as a frequent Republican commentator on The Ed Show with Ed Schultz on MSNBC commenting about the problems with Republican Party. An expert in foreign policy, Wilkerson offers honest criticism of America’s policies on war and militarism.
11:05 – 12:05 BIRD-DOG TRAINING – Rooms 001 & 005
Bird dog activists attend candidate events to speak their concerns publicly, for all to see and hear. They lift up the issues that matter and educate the candidates, the media who follow them and the public. We, New Hampshire residents, can shift the political tides of the nation through our incomparable access to the Presidential candidates. When we tell the candidates what’s on our minds, they listen. We affect their policy positions and their stump speeches. With good preparation, we can drive the political discourse towards justice, peace, and democracy. Led by American Friends Service Committee’s Governing Under the Influence Team – Olivia Zink, Addy Simwerayi, Judy Elliott and Eric Zulaski.
ADVANCED BIRD-DOG TRAINING- Room 236
If you’ve already been to an AFSC bird dog training, and you’ve been out bird-dogging more than once, here’s a chance to boost your skills. This workshop will cover bird-dogging strategy, adapting to the environment, and reporting on what happened. You’ll get chance to share your stories of successes and disappointments with other experienced bird dogs. Led by Arnie Alpert, Co-Director, AFSC/NH.
Block 1 Workshops 1pm to 2 pm
IS OUR WORLD REALLY ‘UNRAVELING’? – Room 144
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson will discuss “The Unraveling”, an essay by Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, wherein he describes a global scene–and specifically the region of the Middle East–as more like the Thirty Years War than the post-WWII cold but relatively stable conflict between the US and the USSR. What does such an unraveling of a half-century’s hard work by America mean and who or what is most responsible for this state of affairs? If Haass’ portrayal of the power situation in the world is accurate, what is the best course of action for the United States?
BIG MONEY, DARK MONEY, AND POLITICAL CORRUPTION AFTER CITIZENS UNITED – Room 005
Rick Bourdon will present a brief history of campaign finance efforts leading up to the Citizens United ruling. He will also cover trends in political spending, the rise in outside (independent) spending, corruption and the ongoing and proposed reform efforts. Rick Bourdon is a member of the board of Open Democracy, the Concord based reform group founded by Doris “Granny D” Haddock.
CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION AND MONEY IN POLITICS- Room 236
The last few decades, money has gained overwhelming influence over our political system, keeping us from addressing the most basic problems facing our country. The undue influence of large donors and special interest money has a significant impact on what public policy issues are addressed and which policy alternatives are considered. The policy and politics of addressing the challenge of climate change will be examined in the context of a post Citizens United v. the FEC campaign finance system. Rob Werner, NH State Director, League of Conservation Voters.
APRIL 18TH GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST UNFAIR TRADE – Room 001
Bonnie Wright will be speaking about the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), massive trade deals that will affect not only food safety and environmental issues, but all aspects of our lives. She will also discuss how Big Business has already stalled, and is trying to prevent our right to know what we are eating with the DARK Act, a federal bill recently introduced in Congress to block GMO labeling. Bonnie Wright is the founder of NH Right to Know GMO, a statewide grassroots network of safe food advocates. Volunteers work together to educate NH citizens, our state legislators, and members of the US Congress, about genetically engineered foods, commonly called Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs.
Block 2 Workshops 2 pm – 3 pm
PANEL DISCUSSION ON TACTICS – Room 144
Interactive panel discussion on how the goals and tactics of a campaign drive our movement. Olivia Zink, Grassroots Engagement Coordinator, AFSC/NH on bird-dogging, Lindsay Jakows, NH Campaign Coordinator for People for the American Way on local resolutions and Paul Brochu, NH State Coordinator for Stamp Stampede on culture jamming. Moderated by Susi Nord.
GMO: THE SCIENCE AND THE EVIDENCE – Room 001
Daniela Connelly and Laura Wolfer will present the hard results of years of personal experience from two separate fields of science regarding the use of GMO products. An explanation of the practice of creating GMO and the potential harms that result. Daniela Connelly, MD is a Family Medicine and Integrative Medicine physician. She and her husband run a meat CSA in Chester NH. Laura J. Wolfer holds an M.A. in Molecular Biology and an M.A. in Archaeology. She is an avid farmer, biodynamic gardener, and naturalist.
WHAT DOES YOUR SIGN SAY? – Room 236
Demonstrations and protests need good signs! A well-made sign provokes thought and starts conversations. Matt Lawrence, NH League of Conservation Voters and Eric Zulaski, AFSC, will discuss what goes into making good signs, and we will make signs for the 3pm rally.
PRISONS, PROFITS, AND POLITICS – Room 005
The USA leads the world in incarceration. One reason why: there is plenty of money to be made building prisons, feeding prisoners, providing them with health care, and even running the facilities. And where there’s money to be made, there’s potential for political influence to be purchased. This workshop will explore where the profit motive drives high rates of incarceration and look at a couple of examples, including the immigrant detention bed quota, the successful campaign to block privatization of NH prisons, and a new proposal to privatize the state’s juvenile detention facility in Manchester. Arnie Alpert is the Co-director of American Friends Service Committee’s (AFSC) New Hampshire program. Addy Simwerayi is interning with AFSC’s Governing Under the Influence project.
Conference Sponsors: NH Peace Action, Plymouth State University Peace & Social Justice Studies Council, PSU Office of Environment Sustainability, American Friends Service Committee-NH Program, Climate Action New Hampshire, Open Democracy, People for the American Way, Stamp Stampede.