U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome Italy anti-war demonstration in Rome

Past Events


Solidarity with Bradley Manning
December 17, 2011

No to "war as usual"
March 19, 2010

Winter Soldier Europe
March 14, 2009

Palestinian Flags Flutter
Alongside Peace Banners

January 17, 2009

Close Guantanamo Now!
January 17, 1009

10-Day Vigil for Gaza
January 8-18, 2009

Supporting La'Onf
October 29, 2008

Free the Cuban 5
Sept 13, 2008

Cheney in Chains
Sept 8, 2008

No Bush, No War
June 11, 2008

May Day ILWU Solidarity Action
May 1, 2008

War Tax Day
April 15, 2008

World Social Forum Global Day of Action
Jan 26, 2008

Shut Down Guantánamo Now!
Jan 11, 2008

No U.S. Military Base in Vicenza
Dec 15, 2007

Meeting Iranian Artists
Dec 05, 2007

End the War in Iraq, No War on Iran
Oct 27, 2007

Report on Final Days of No Dal Molin Festival in Vicenza, Italy
Sept 16, 2007

Camping for Peace in Vicenza, Italy
Sept 12, 2007

Impeach Them Both +
Judiciary Fax Blast

July 23, 2007

I-M-P-E-A-C-H !
April 28, 2007

4th Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq
March 20, 2007

No Dal Molin, Vicenza, Italy
Feb 17, 2007

Congress: Act Now to End the War
Jan 27, 2007

No Military Bases, Vicenza, Italy
Dec 2, 2006

No War, No Cluster Bombs
Sept 23, 2006

Protest Calling for Cease-fire in Lebanon
July 26, 2006

Military Spending
Bean Poll

July 18, 2006

Stop the Escalation
in the Middle East

July 17, 2006

Refusing to Kill
July 06, 2006

Shailja Patel:
Poetry in Times
of War

July 05, 2006

Troops Home Fast
July 04, 2006

Italian Vote on
Military Missions

June 27, 2006

Peace Parade
June 02, 2006

Michael Uhl of
Veterans for Peace

April 29, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Hidden in Plain Sight

April 26, 2006

War Tax Day
April 15, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Hotel Palestine: Killing the Witness

April 12, 2006

National Anti-war Protest in Rome
March 18, 2006

Soldiers Against War
March 18, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Aristide and the Endless Revolution

March 15, 2006

Women (and men!) Say No To War
March 8, 2006

An Eyewitness Account of Post Katrina New Orleans
March 2, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Life and Debt

February 09, 2006

Vote to Renew Italian Mission in Iraq
February 09, 2006

Cindy Sheehan
February 06, 2006

NBC Today
Show Blitz

February 06, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
The Revolution Will
Not Be Televised

January 26, 2006

Cindy Sheehan
In Rome

January 18, 2006

Crimes & Lies:
with Dave Lindorff
and Maurizio Torrealta

January 13, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Peace Propaganda and
the Promised Land

January 12, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
The Oil Factor

December 15, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Plan Colombia

December 01, 2005

Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre
November 30, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Wal-Mart

November 17, 2005

Protest at U.S. Embassy: White Phosphorus in Fallujah
November 14, 2005

Control Arms Petition
at Piazza Chiesa Nuova

November 12, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Invisible Ballots

November 10, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
The Corporation

October 27, 2005

Movie Night:
Viva Zapatero

October 25, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Hidden Wars of
Desert Storm

October 13, 2005

Anti-war rally
at U.S. Embassy

Sept 24, 2005

USC4P&J Social
at the Beehive

June 22, 2005

Die-In with
Articolo 11
at Palazzo Chigi

June 21, 2005

Collecting Photos
with Control Arms

June 18, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Unconstitutional

June 16, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Outfoxed

June 09, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Weapons of
Mass Deception

May 19, 2005

Vigil at Palazzo Chigi with Articolo 11
May 05, 2005

Vigil at Palazzo Chigi with Articolo 11
April 28, 2005

Vigil at Palazzo Chigi with Articolo 11
April 21, 2005

International Day of Protest
March 19, 2005

A Real-Time Awakening?

Michael Uhl speaks in Rome

Michael Uhl, former Counter Intelligence officer and co-founder of "Citizen Soldier", the advocacy organization for veterans and GIs, offered a penetrating analysis of the parallels between the war in Vietnam and the current war in Iraq, during a panel discussion entitled "The Anti War Movement From Vietnam to Today: A Chorus of Voices Against War" held on Saturday, April 29th, at the Linux Club in Rome. Although the date for the encounter fell during a long weekend holiday period (Uhl's other engagements in Italy left him that date only for Rome) the turnout was surprisingly good, and as with all our events, included an international audience. [See the event announcement as well as Uhl's bio]

Among the speakers on stage with Uhl were Gianluca Peciola, Councilperson for the 11th Municipal District of Rome and a long-time social activist, Nella Ginatempo from the Italian peace movement Bastaguerra! (No More War!), Micaela Serino from the Rome chapter of Donne in Nero (Women in Black), Francesco Tupone representing the Linux Club and the Digital Freedom movement and, speaking for USC4P&J, Stephanie Westbrook.

There are striking parallels between the hype used to sell the Vietnam War to the American public and that used to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq today, claimed Uhl in his talk. And the same goes for the hidden reasons for both wars: for example, it is the fear of China as an economic rival that fuels the US desire to contain China’s sphere of influence and (in the case of the present military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan) to control its energy sources.

Indeed, according to Uhl, the recourse to imperial wars as an antidote to the decline in American economic competitiveness (and hegemony) probably explains much of the neo- conservative agenda. His words echoed similar statements in some of the videos shown in recent months at the USC4P&J Eyes Wide Open film series. Both Uhl and the films point out that, in 1988, when Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds, there was no move by the US to eliminate him; it was not until 2001, when he offered to sell Iraqi petroleum for Euros instead of dollars that the neo-cons started urging Bush to make a ”regime change”. In fact, the dollar, as the officially imposed currency, has been for decades a scam used by the U.S. to counterbalance its enormous trade deficit artificially.

Uhl also argued that, since Iran has recently announced it intends to switch payment for its oil exports from dollars to Euros, this may be the origin of the current saber-rattling against that country: Dollar über alles, even at the price of a disastrous conflict.

Ending on a note of circumspect optimism, Uhl said that fortunately grassroots America is beginning to awaken . In the 1960's, ordinary mainstream Americans -- people who would normally never take part in demonstrations -- started to swarm into the streets of America demanding an end to imperial adventures. If this should happen again, the politicos in Washington, fearing for their jobs, may think twice before refinancing the war.

Stephanie Westbrook bolstered Uhl's timid optimism by describing the various grassroots movements, which have not diminished, as predicted, but have grown in strength since the day Bush issued his "Mission Accomplished" statement, exactly three years ago. Indeed, at the very moment that Michael and Stephanie were talking, a huge anti-war demonstration - 350,000 people according to the organizers - was taking place in New York City. The Linux Club staff managed to download photos of the event in real-time from Yahoo! News and project them behind Stephanie while she and the Italian activists after her spoke.

It was hard to tell how many mainstream Americans were in the colorful crowd marching through downtown New York, with Cindy Sheehan, Susan Sarandon, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton at their head. But many could be seen standing on the sidewalk or behind opened windows along the way, watching in earnest... and maybe toying with the idea of joining the marchers. Uhl's hopes may be coming true.

Following the talk, a number of those present met up over a pizza with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, in Rome for a seminar at the Fondazione Basso, and Maurizio Torrealta of RAI News 24. When asked about probable coverage of the New York demonstration, Goodman quipped, "Democracy Now! will cover it but the mainstream media will cover it up."

Michael Uhl plans to take his message to other parts of Italy during his stay here, speaking at the May Day Aquilane festival in L'Aquila, in Florence at an event organized by U.S. Citizens Against War, again in Rome at the TekFestival for the international premiere of the new documentary Sir! No Sir!, as well as events in Bologna and Naples.

Patrick Boylan

Special thanks to Cesare Silvi for providing translations.

Additional Resources

Veterans for Peace:
www.veteransforpeace.org

Citizen Soldier:
www.citizen-soldier.org

Sir! No Sir!
New documentary by David Zeiger on military dissent during the Vietnam war
www.sirnosir.com

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