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On Friday June 30, the International Peace Coalition (IPC) held its fourth meeting with approximately 60 organizers from Argentina, Germany, Guinea, Nicaragua, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the United States, and other nations participating in the proceedings. The meeting could be best characterized as a strategy session on how to expand the IPC through various means of direct action such as street organizing, social media, political interventions, and classes with the goal of not only preventing the immediate threat of global thermonuclear war but laying the foundation for a durable peace—a New Paradigm.
Moderated by Anastasia Battle of the Schiller Institute, the meeting began with a very concise strategic overview by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and leader of the Schiller Institute and initiator of the IPC, outlining the heightened danger of war between Russia and NATO in the wake of the mutiny by Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner mercenaries against the Kremlin. Apparently Western Intelligence agencies had advanced knowledge of the event, an event which could have led potentially to chaos in the largest nuclear power, but made no effort to alert the Russian leadership. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche contrasted this to the support President Putin had offered to the Bush administration after the 9/11 attack. Would it really be preferable to have the strongest nuclear power fall into chaos with potentially catastrophic consequences?
She also pointed out that there are now voices in Russia such as Prof. Sergey Karaganov, head of the Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, who are calling for the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Karaganov’s colleague, Prof. Dmitri Trenin, at the same time is warning that Western elites have lost the fear of nuclear weapons, and with that the sense of the consequences of their policies. Zepp-LaRouche then laid out the root cause of the conflict—a geopolitical showdown between two systems: one system—the unipolar system—which clearly has gone under, and the rise of a new system represented by the nations of the Global South asserting in a very legitimate way their right for economic development.
This was demonstrated recently at the June 22–23 Summit for a New Global Financing Pact hosted by President Emmanuel Macron in France, where President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa asserted that if the West is serious about helping the nations of Africa, it should finance the Inga Dam project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which would bring electricity to 12– 15 countries. Africa currently has 600 million people without electricity. She ended her opening remarks by emphasizing the urgent necessity of a New Security and Development Architecture which allows the development of all countries on the planet as the only means to address the current disarray.
Much of the ensuing discussion centered on IPC plans for a peace rally at the United Nations scheduled for August 6, the 78th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. A flier will be produced for the event as well as a unique website listing all of the participating groups. Plans are also in the works for sister events everywhere possible both leading up to and on the day of the event. A suggestion was made that the IPC should strive to get at least one person from every country in the world to make a video in support of the peace rally, which could be posted on the website. Several participants highlighted the importance of bringing more young people into the peace process through campus organizing and other means. There were also many useful suggestions of various social media platforms that could be used for expanded outreach, and suggestions of numerous peace groups that should be contacted for networking purposes. Generally participants were very enthusiastic about the opportunity to strategize with like-minded people on concrete actions necessary to bring about a lasting peace.
Dr. Rev. Terri Strong proposed that the IPC draft a policy paper—to be presented to world leaders — detailing the detrimental effects of massive spending on military ventures, thereby draining money and other resources away from social programs which would benefit their own populations. The example of Germany was mentioned, where, because of budget cuts, the healthcare system is in a state of collapse. Were a fraction of the money being spent on military expenditures used instead for healthcare this problem could be resolved. It was decided that a social policy paper be drafted specific to the needs of each country in the form of a petition to be presented to the leaders of these various nations.
Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche ended the discussion answering a question posed to her about gun violence in the United States. She made the point that violence in the small and violence in the large are interconnected. The U.S. currently experiences a mass shooting every fourteen hours, which is insane. But where does this come from? She then went through the history of how the U.S. military used various methods to break down the natural resistance humans have to using weapons to kill other humans, ultimately resulting in point-and-shoot video games which were subsequently marketed to the general public — including children who are now being turned into mass killing machines.
Her solution—totally coherent with the goals of the IPC—is to launch a campaign among schools, churches, teachers, parents, etc. to start a mass movement centered on the idea that the basis of humanity is love. JFK’s 1963 “peace speech” should be used as a pedagogical device along with aesthetical education to help people discover the true nature of what it means to be human. This is necessary to move civilization to a New Paradigm of international relations, without which we will not succeed in keeping humanity alive.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche (Germany), founder and leader, Schiller Institute
“I think we have reached the point in the history of mankind where we absolutely have to make the jump beyond geopolitics because geopolitics was the cause of two world wars in the 20th century and if we do not get over the idea that there are legitimate interests of a nation or a block of nations against another block of nations then the seeds of World War III will remain there no matter what happens now in the short term. So I think the idea of the One Humanity—I have been suggesting to look at it from the standpoint of Nicolas of Cusa’s Coincidence of Opposites … which is a method of thinking that you can at any moment—no matter what problem you are dealing with—always can conceptualize the One which has a higher power than the Many. And in respect to mankind the One Humanity for sure has a higher power than the many nations or groups of nations. And I think we have to teach people to think in terms of the One Humanity; the interest of human civilization and the joint future of mankind.”
Dennis Speed (US), Schiller Institute, New Jersey
“The dropping of the atomic bomb was a great crime. And the dropping of any atomic bomb at any time is a great crime. There has to be a way—and there was a way at the time in 1945—for humanity to come up with a different solution…. We need to bear witness to that and we need to think about doing that where people all over the world … can participate….”
Colonel Richard Black (US, ret), former head of the Pentagon Criminal Law Division, former Virginia State Senator
“I think it’s important—and also to realize—that what is happening on the battlefield is very important to what’s happening with the peace movement. Because despite the media hype and rhetoric the fact is that the Ukrainian counter-offensive launched several weeks ago has run into a Russian wall-of-steel. It is an absolute Slaughter and a disaster…. [A]t some point this cannot continue; it just won’t. And when that becomes more obvious, whatever your movement is doing with the rallies and so forth I think will gain enormous strength as it becomes more obvious what a disaster this is on the battlefield.”
Jimmy Gerum (Germany), Lighthouse Media
“I want to stress again about the importance of the media. You know the hypocrisy of the worldwide media has increased to a really high level and [with] our initiative in Germany we are looking for international contact to journalists because we think we have a special situation in Germany—also in Middle Europe—that we have a very strong public broadcasting system; and this public broadcasting system joins the hypocrisy, and we have a duty to change this…. And I want to ask everybody who knows and has contact with independent journalists: let’s have a media strategy because peace starts with honest media.”
Ron Bettag (US), Schiller Institute, Texas
“Every activity done between now and then [Aug. 6]—and I know there’s a longer arc we can look at to the 21st of September which is UN day; a day of peace. It’s also Kennedy’s speech at the UN. So there’s a dynamic here that we definitely could all just put our sights on and continue to organize everybody to do as Dennis [Speed] said: even these smaller events will have a real effect.”
Nick Brana (US), chairman of the People’s Party, Rage Against the War Machine Organizer
“I want to just confirm that Rage Against the War Machine is totally on board. I’m totally on board; the People’s Party is totally on board with the August 6th action. And so kudos and credit to everybody who has really worked hard to put it together…. The People’s Party, you can count us in and we’re looking forward to it…. Also very happy to see this Coalition growing and excited to be taking part in it and help out however we can for August 6th and beyond.”
Karen Ball (US), Pax Christi, San Antonio
“Pax Christi arose out of the French and the Germans coming together as Catholics and saying: this is insane that we’re killing one another when we have the same belief system…. Catholic social teaching talks in terms of how we should be working towards peace. So I’m going to reach out to leaders at this particular [Catholic university] to see whether this might be something that—an event that we can plan on campus.”
Dr. Bolivar Tellez (Nicaragua), professor, Central University of Nicaragua
“NATO has given all it could give to Ukraine. All that is left for them to do is to deploy military units on top of the so-called advisors; so they have destroyed Europe and are destroying the United States. That is my comment and I’m at your disposal for any cooperation that I can offer from Nicaragua. Greetings and thank you.”
Ruben Dario Guzzetti (Argentina), Argentine Institute of Geopolitical Studies (IADEG)
“There was a international seminar sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Science in which some 25 people including myself participated. The topic wasn’t specifically the issue of peace but was also included among the many presentations…. No specific initiatives were brought forward on this specific topic [peace] and we have another meeting this afternoon. We have great hopes, for it is a meeting in which multiple organizations will participate… together to generate a joint initiative. I will present the proposal of doing something for August 6th and we will strive to build awareness of this issue.”
Bernie Holland (UK), No2NATO
“Regarding these 6th of August events: I’ve heard all the plans from your side of the Atlantic. It’s in the UK we need to get [events]. This is why I was hoping here’d be more people from No2NATO on this call. So I’m going to make a point of this at the next No2NATO meeting; that I’ve been on this call with you today and that this initiative is very important…. It’s not just in the US; … it’s a global existential issue we’re talking about. So I’m going to try my best to mobilize other organizations I’m involved with here in the UK as well to take very seriously the idea of events to correspond with [those in the U.S.].”
Dennis Small (US), Schiller Institute, Virginia
“I think if we make a special effort and a focus to quickly pull … together for example an international meeting like a couple of the others that were talked about here but within a week or so—to pull together handfuls of youth from these different countries with this focus of the One Humanity and organizing jointly for peace, I think this is the kind of thing that could be a spark plug for the broadest possible mobilization.”
Rev. Dr. Terri L. Strong (US), AME minister from Memphis, TN; Chair of the Actions and Global Concern Committee of the Church Women United
“I just finished writing a social policy for the Church Women United for the committee that I chair and it’s a social policy on war and peace.… [A]nd I had the idea to get a lot of signatures for that social policy and present it to … the presidents and leaders—those who are actively in war as well as those who support the war such as the United States being one of the main contributors to the Russia- Ukraine War, so far as all kinds of resources and finances as well as weapons. And so I was wondering if this group would do the same thing: write a social policy [paper], get a million signatures and present them to the heads of state of all of the countries that are in war?”
Juan Carrero (Spain), President, S’Olivar Foundation
“I’m thinking particularly of the young people…. As Dennis [Small] said they are the future. Our means of reaching out to them—a hundred thousand may not be such an easy task. But perhaps ten thousand may commit … to support only parties that agree with leaving NATO. We have always had better success when we commit to specific tasks…. At this time the power of the media is crushing—they [youth] are completely captured. But perhaps this direct contact with the youth would make it possible to get ten thousand young people from all of these countries who will commit to only voting for parties that support leaving NATO.”
Darrell Nichols (US), former president, Northwest Ohio NAACP, Southern Leadership Conference, UAW member
“I’m kind of plugged into several places [social media platforms] that have a very large listening audience. And it would be kind of off topic, but I do know some people that are hungry for a different type of content and there’s probably nothing more urgent right now. It [peace] just needs to be a conversation that people are aware of. So we’ve got a few resources and if I can help in any of that regard—I’m even thinking—you know we’re for Chrysler. We’ve got 7,000 people working in my plant and maybe if there’s a way that somebody could help me we could approach the UAW membership and get that spread throughout the United States.”
Mamadou Dathe Diallo, Guinean American League of Friends for Freedom
“I’m very excited. It’s my first time to be here, and some of my colleagues are here, and we are representing an organization called GALFF: Guinean and American League of Friends for Freedom. We are originally from West Africa and now here in the United States. And we are very, very excited and glad to be part of this because we have lived to see war in West Africa: Liberia; some of you guys might know Sierra Leone; Ivory Coast and places like that. We have seen what wars can do to humans—innocent people: women, disabled people. So we decided to form this organization in Indianapolis to make sure whatever we can do to stop wars—to stand against wars—whatever can bring destruction to humanity that we are against it and we will … fight to stop it.”
Abdoulaye Balde (US), Guinean and American League of Friends for Freedom
“I am a medical doctor from West Africa and I am from this organization called GALFF. Thank you very much for organizing this coalition. This organization is better than the United Nations; better than any organization I can think about. I am going to ask the Almighty—the owner of the heaven and the earth and everything between—to give you victory….”
Jason Banyer (Switzerland), Büezer und KMU Partei
“I am from Switzerland and I’m the chairman of that party of the Büezer Partei. And we organize and educate young people especially through social media. We make a lot of videos which are provocative and make people think and sometimes even change people’s minds on the question for instance—mainstream media how they portrayed this war as a war for democracy even though it’s clear that it is an imperialist war being waged by the West. We are for workers rights and especially for neutrality. Because here in Switzerland we see neutrality as the best way of being anti-imperialist because there are certain left-wing people or left-wing groups, and the greens and social Democrats and so on, which want to push for sanctions; which want to push for war; even which think that somehow it is progressive to support a war. And we push against this imperialist propaganda and we try to expose these warmongers.”
Jose Vega, (U.S.) Interventionist, Organizer Schiller Institute
“I’m here in the United States. I’m known for doing interventions—I know in the UK they call it door-stepping. It’s where you go to the politician’s event or something and then you—well you step on their door; you interrupt them while they’re speaking for bringing attention to something like the possibility of nuclear war. And I want to emphasize also the power of street action too and actually being out in the street with a table and some signs…. I have 76,000 people who follow me on Twitter now and I find that my followers are most responsive when I post something of an action. So the other day I posted a video of me being out in the street with Diane Sare with a sign that said “No Joe” and then there’s a picture of a nuclear bomb behind it. That got a couple thousand likes. You know people really seem to resonate with action rather than just online content. They really like to see people out on the street and I think this would be true for any country that is on this [IPC] call right now. You know if people were just out in the street with signs that just said something like “No to NATO” or “Prevent Nuclear War,” that would be very powerful and that’s exactly what people on social media are starving for.”
Angela Mc Ardle, Libertarian Party Chairwoman, Rage Against the War Machine Organizer
Irene Mavrakakis (US), Liberty Speaks, Rage Against the War Machine organizer
Martin Schotz, (US) author, “History Will Not Absolve Us: Orwellian Control, Public Denial, and the Murder of President Kennedy”
Bernard Allen-Bey (US)
Robert Cushing, Association of US Catholic Priests (AUSCP), Pax Christi GA, former priest
Dr. Jur. Wolfgang Bittner (Germany), Jurist, Author: “We Are in War Mode”
Wolfgang Lieberknecht (Germany)
Liz Augustat (Germany), Peace Through Culture
Christine Bierre (France), Solidarité et Progrès
Dr. Balkrishna Kurvey (India) President of the Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament and Environmental Protection
Juan Carrero (Spain), President, S’Olivar Foundation
Fredrick Weiss (US)
Juan Gomez (Chile), World Without Wars and Violence
Donald Ramotar (Guyana), former President of Guyana
Martha Rollins (US), Int’l Peace Delegations: Ibero America, Columbia, Cuba and Palestine
Ulf Sandmark (Sweden), President Schiller Institute, Sweden
Joyce Hall (U.S.), Pax Christi Texas
Klaus Fimmen (Germany), Bueso Party
Diane Sare, (U.S.) Senate Candidate, New York
Anastasia Battle (U.S.) Organizer, Interventionist and Editor-in-Chief, Leonore Magazine
**Affiliation for identification purposes