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This week at a glance.

Dec 18

Ownership humans finally unconstitutional
•Tree resident descends to earth

Dec 19
The Civilian Public Service alternative to war
•Democratic election in Dominican Republic
•Arab Spring begins

Dec 20

Vietnamese organize against the French
•Vietnamese organize against the Americans
•Army doctor says no to Gulf War
•Vermont protects gay couples

Dec 21
Red Scare
•Three anti-war Americans in Vietnam
•Resisters have friends on the outside
•Soviet Union peaceably dissolves

Dec 22
Radio Free Alcatraz
•Toys for Guns
Dec 23
Progress in prison
•WWII soldier executed
•First U.S. Vietnam war fatality

Dec 24
League of Nations leaking members
•Pres. Truman pardons
•Pres. Bush pardons

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December 18, 1865

Following its ratification by the requisite three-quarters of the states earlier in the month, the 13th Amendment was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution, ensuring that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude... shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

"Selling females by the pound"

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Ecology and Society
Greek proverb

December 18, 1999

Julia Butterfly Hill descended from her tiny platform 180 feet up in a giant redwood tree (sequoia sempervivens) named "Luna," after perching there for 738 days to protect it from loggers. Luna survived a chainsaw attack in 2001 but still stands.    



"The question is not 'Can you make a difference?'  You already do make a difference.

It's just a matter of what kind of difference you want to make during your life on this planet."

– Julia Butterfly Hill

In Honor of Julia Butterfly Hill and Luna

Luna TodayEarth Medicine


December 19, 1940
Civilian Public Service (CPS) camps were established for conscientious objectors following the institution of the first peacetime draft (a year before the attack on Pearl Harbor).
It was the first time members of peace-oriented religious groups (e.g., Quakers, Mennonites, Church of the Brethren) could legally avoid military conscription.


Fire fighting. CPS 30, Walhalla, Michigan (Brethren)

Though they worked nine-hour days except Sundays, they had to pay their own room-and-board, and were not released from the camps until 1947.

Civilian Public Service

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December 19, 1962

Juan Bosch Gaviño was elected President of the Dominican Republic in its first free elections in 38 years. The election of journalist and writer Bosch followed shortly after the end of 31 years of military dictator Rafael Trujillo who had been assassinated the previous year. Bosch was overthrown by a U.S.-backed coup just seven months later.

Bosch’s brief political career

Juan Bosch Gaviño

¿Habla Espanol?

(paz=peace in spanish)

December 19, 2010

Police in a provincial city in Tunisia used tear gas late on Saturday to disperse hundreds of youths who smashed shop windows and damaged cars, witnesses told Reuters.
The beginning of Arab Spring.


Read more (Reuters)

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December 20, 1946
The morning after Viet Minh forces under Ho Chi Minh launched a nighttime revolt in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, French colonial troops cracked down on the communist rebels. Ho and his soldiers immediately fled the city to regroup in the countryside.
That evening, the communist leader issued a proclamation that read:

Ho Chi Minh, Paris 1946

"All the Vietnamese must stand up to fight the French colonials to save the fatherland. Those who have rifles will use their rifles; those who have swords will use their swords; those who have no swords will use spades, hoes, or sticks. Everyone must endeavor
to oppose the colonialists and save his country. Even if we have to endure hardship in the resistance war, with the determination to make sacrifices, victory will surely be ours." The first Indochina War thus began.

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December 20, 1960

North Vietnam announced the formation of the National Front for the Liberation of the South (usually known as the National Liberation Front or NLF), designed to replicate the success of the Viet Minh, the umbrella nationalist organization that successfully liberated Vietnam from French colonial rule.

National Liberation Front flag

Ho Chi Minh biography

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December 20, 1990

Kansas reservist Dr. Yolanda Huet-Vaughn refused orders to serve in the first Gulf War (Desert Storm) and was later sentenced to prison. The Kansas medical board withdrew her hospital privileges.

"The issue was not whether I belonged in the military but whether the military belonged in the Middle East waging war. I did not want to focus on the personal decision. I was trying to focus on the decision for which each and every American would have to be responsible." — Yolanda Huet-Vaughn

What if they gave a war and nobody came?

Peace Demands Action
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"a wearable poster"

Union printed - Detroit made

December 20, 1999

The Vermont Supreme Court rulled in Baker v. State of Vermont that homosexual couples were entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples of the opposite sex.

History of the Freedom to Marry

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December 21, 1919

Amidst a strike for union recognition by 395,000 steelworkers, the "Red Scare" was launched with the deportation of Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, and some 250 other radicals. They were deported to Russia aboard the S. S. Buford ("The Soviet Ark").


Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman also organized against World War I

J. Edgar Hoover, heading the Justice Department's General Intelligence Division, advanced his career by implementing to the fullest extent possible the government's plan to deport all foreign-born radicals.

 S.S. Buford

  "Sasha & Emma"
Read more about Emma & Alex

"All wars are wars among thieves who are too cowardly to fight and who therefore induce the young manhood to do the fighting for them."
- Emma Goldman, 1917

Emma Goldman
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December 21, 1965
American political activists Tom Hayden, Staughton Lynd, and Herbert Aptheker began a visit to Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam. Invited by the North Vietnamese, they went despite the U.S. travel ban.
Lynd and Hayden wrote “The Other Side” following their trip,
explaining the Vietnamese perspective.

Read more

Our take on
"All we are saying"

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December 21, 1968
Hundreds of supporters visited jailed Vietnam War resisters at Allenwood Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania, organized by the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Peace Dove
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The dove from the
'68 & '69 Vietnam Moratorium

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December 21, 1991

Eleven former Soviet republics and Russia peaceably declared an end to the Soviet Union and formed the Commonwealth of Independent States. Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,  Uzbekistan and Ukraine agreed to cooperate on the basis on sovereign equality.


December 22, 1969

The original Radio Free Alcatraz, a pirate radio station, broadcasted for the first time through Berkeley, California’s Pacifica radio station, KPFA. The voice of Alcatraz was Johnny Trudell, an ally of the American Indians who had occupied Alcatraz Island, the site of the former prison in
San Francisco Bay.
John Trudell speaks with news media representatives regarding negotiations with the federal government
for title to Alcatraz Island. Trudell, known as "the voice of Alcatraz,"
The National Park Service, which now runs Alcatraz, is considering reviving
a podcasting radio service of the same name.
Hear a sample:

"I think it's the
responsibility of
every human being,
not just those who
wear the identity of
poet, activist, voter,
religious person...
it's the responsibility
of every person.
Our responsibility
is to use our
as clearly and
coherently as
we possibly can."

– John Trudell

December 22, 1993

Operation “Toys for Guns" was begun in New York City through the efforts (and $10,000) of I.M. Rainmaker, CEO of an electronics company. Conceived in cooperation with local police concerned about crime fed by too many guns and the glorification of violence, the program offered a $100 voucher redeemable at Toys ‘R’ Us
for a firearm turned in to the police.
How it happened


December 23, 1943

A 135-day strike by 23 conscientious objectors (COs) ended dining hall segregation at Danbury Federal Penitentiary in Connecticut.
The number of conscientious objectors had increased from 15 in early 1941 to 200 by the time of the strike.

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Union printed - Detroit made

December 23, 1944

General Dwight Eisenhower endorsed the finding of a court-martial in the case of Eddie Slovik, who was tried for desertion, and authorized his execution. It was the first such sentence against a U.S. Army soldier since the Civil War, and Slovik was the only man so punished during World War II.
He made no secret of his unwillingness to enter combat, but his pleas to be reassigned to noncombat status were rejected.
Eisenhower ordered that Slovik's execution be carried out to avoid further desertions in the late stages of the war.
Eddie Slovik

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"Happy holidays to you & yours, Carl . I really appreciate reading of the struggles that have been won & lost, ahead of our own times.
It's SO important to remember ..... and to teach others ..... and you allow us to do it in a simple straight forward way.
Very best always."
- PJ the English Lit lady
Miami, FL

December 23, 1961

James Davis of Livingston, Tennessee, was killed by the Viet Cong, the insurgents in South Vietnam, and became the first of some 58,000 U.S. soldiers killed during the Vietnam War.
Lyndon Johnson later referred to him as “the first American to fall in defense of our freedom in Vietnam.”

Over two million Vietnamese would die before the end of the war.

James Davis

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December 24, 1924

Costa Rica indicated its intention to withdraw from The League of Nations to protest lack of progress on regional issues, particularly U.S. dominance of the hemisphere.
The Monroe Doctrine, declared by President James Monroe in 1823, established the U.S. sphere of influence encompassed the entirety
of North and South America, as well as the Caribbean island nations.
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December 24, 1947

President Truman pardoned 1,523 of the 15,805 World War II draft resisters who had been convicted and served time in prison for their offense. Five years later on the same day, shortly before leaving office, he granted full pardon and restoration of civil and political rights to former convicts who had served in the peacetime army or who had not been covered by his earlier pardon, as well as all convicted peacetime deserters.
Read more

December 24, 1992

President George Herbert Walker Bush pardoned six Reagan administration appointees in the Iran-Contra case, among them former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, and Robert McFarlane, the President’s former national security advisor.
He did so with less than one month to go in his presidency, and one week before Weinberger’s trial on four felony charges was to begin.
These people and others were responsible for selling arms to the revolutionary government of Iran in hope of the release of hostages held in Lebanon, despite then-President Ronald Reagan’s repeated pledge not to negotiate with hostage-takers.
The Iran-Contra Boys
Otto Reich /Elliott Abrams /John Poindexter/Edwin Meese George H.W. Bush/Casper Weinberger/Oliver North/Robert McFarlane
continued (info, photos, links). . .

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-Cathy, Terra Haute, IN

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