On April 29, in a packed Monroe County Library meeting room, Veterans for Peace President Mike Ferner gave a lecture titled "Beyond Iraq and Afghanistan."
Ferner, who has been to Iraq twice, once before the 2003 U.S. invasion and once afterward, said, "I am basing much of my statements on the 'Beyond Vietnam' speech which Martin Luther King gave at the Riverside Church in April 1967. It is a sad commentary on our times that much of what King spoke is still true today."
Ferner, who lives in Toledo, was brought to Bloomington by the Bloomington Peace Action Coalition (BPAC), the Bloomington branch of the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom and peace activist and Bloomington Alternative contributor Linda Greene.
The second teach-in sponsored by the IU student activist group Indiana Students Against War (ISAW) focused on the global “War on Terror” and attracted about 40 people to the four-hour event on April 2.
ISAW member and teach-in moderator Sandrine Catris said in her opening remarks that the purpose of the teach-in was twofold: to recruit more activists and to critique the War on Terror.
“ISAW believes that if people honestly and openly discuss what is happening that they will become activists,” she said.
About 75 people attended the Indiana Students Against War's (ISAW) first of several planned teach-ins on the IU campus. This four-hour event on Jan. 22 at the Indiana Memorial Union focused on the violence happening in the Occupied Territories of Gaza and the West Bank.
“The purpose of our gathering is twofold,” moderator Sandrine Emmanuel Catris said when opening the event. “First, we realize that the mainstream U.S. media and politicians have been mis-educating and misleading the U.S. public about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The hope was that the teach-in would help everyone better understand that the situation in the Middle-East has nothing to do with a war between Judaism, Islam or Christianity for that matter, but that it has everything to do with colonialism and imperialism, she said.
“Our second goal is to recruit more activists,” Catris continued. “ISAW believes that positive social changes can only happen through activism and the building of a grass-root movement devoted to social justice.”