Join Peace Action New York State (PANYS) for an online discussion on military recruitment practices targeting low-income and immigrant youth and how to respond with sustainable options.
Leading the discussion will be author Sofya Aptekar, an Associate Professor at CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. She will be joined by Ramón Mejía, National Organizer for the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.
While the popular image of the US military is one of citizen soldiers protecting their country, the reality is that nearly 5 percent of all first-time military recruits are noncitizens. In Green Card Soldier, Sofya Aptekar talks to more than seventy noncitizen soldiers from twenty-three countries, including some who were displaced by conflict after the US military entered their homeland. Their stories—stitched through with colonial legacies, white supremacy, exploitation, and patriarchy—show how the tensions between deservingness and suspicion shape their enlistment, service, and identities.
Ramón Mejía enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 18 to support his family. His experience in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 led him to convert to Islam and develop into an outspoken advocate and organizer against U.S. wars and the growing militarization of our communities.
Giving voice to a little-heard group of immigrants, Green Card Soldier shines a cold light on the complex workings of US empire, globalized militarism, and citizenship. It highlights the need for united action to defend immigrant and LGBTQ rights, end white supremacy and promote anti-militarism.
The event fee is $25 for general admission, $10 for students and those on a low income. All proceeds to benefit the advocacy work of Peace Action New York State. Register here.
WHAT: Poetic Justice is an intimate evening with local poets writers and artists – including world-class guitarist Mir Ali – who’ll present works based on the theme of social and political justice. Iranian human rights issues will also be discussed.
WHEN & WHERE: Friday, 6/16: 7pm at the Meeting House, 5658 Main St, Williamsville, NY 14221.
WHO: Organized by Nadia Shahram, Esq, mediation attorney, author, activist, founder and president of Coalition for the Advancement of Moslem Women; Gunilla Kester, author and poet; and the WNY Peace Center (WNYPC). All are welcome.
The WNY Peace Center has been working for human rights since its inception as part of Rev. Dr. King’s Clergy & Laity Concerned in 1967. It pursues its mission of “Peace through Justice at home and abroad” through a wide range of activities, including through the arts.
Mir Ali is a world-renown guitarist, playing classical, Flamenco, Latin and world music. A composer and recording artist, he has won numerous awards, including the Hollywood Award of Excellence for his score for the movie “Roots and Branches. As a Pakistani-American, he is well aware of justice issues, and we are more than thrilled that he’s agreed to play at the event.
WHY: Iranians are suffering mightily under a murderous regime: an average of 5 people are being executed per day. The killing of Mahsa Amini in 9/22 by the Morality Police has led to an uprising with the slogan of #WomenLifeFreedom; and young people, women, and the population at large are risking their lives to stand up for those principles. This event will give a window into the situation, including the jailing of two female reporters who first reported on the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, and possible responses.
A petition is also available, urging the UN to renege on its outrageous assignment of an Iranian regime representative as head of the UN Human Rights Council.