Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

National Antiwar & Social Justice Conference in Richmond, Virginia


MEDIA CONTACT:  Phil Wilayto - Editor, The Virginia Defender; Coordinator, 2017 UNAC Conference   Ph: 804-247-3731 or

Hundreds of activists from around the United States and many other countries will gather in Richmond, Virginia, June 16-18 for a national conference: “Stop the Wars at Home & Abroad: Building a Movement Against War, Injustice & Repression!”

The conference, to be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, is being hosted by the United National Antiwar Coalition, one of the largest progressive coalitions in the country. An all-volunteer organization, UNAC was founded in 2010 on two basic principles: opposition to all U.S. wars and interventions, and support for the right of all oppressed peoples to self-determination.

The conference will consist of three days of panels, workshops, discussions, a Saturday evening rally with cultural performances and a Sunday march to Richmond’s African Burial Ground to declare UNAC’s support for the Community Proposal for a nine-acre Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park.

As of June 6, more than 100 organizations will be represented, with more than 60 speakers, including:

  • Adeeb Abed, Founder & President, Arab American Association of Central Virginia

  • Ajamu Baraka, 2016 Vice Presidential Green Party candidate; Founder, Black Alliance for Peace

  • Brian Becker, Director, ANSWER Coalition

  • Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder, CODE PINK

  • Matyas Benyik, Chair, ATTAC-Hungary (Budapest, Hungary)

  • Maurice Carney, Executive Director, Friends of the Congo

  • Ana Edwards, Chair, Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project

  • Sara Flounders, Co-Coordinator, International Action Center

  • Glen Ford, Executive Editor, Black Agenda Report

  • Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

  • Ewa Groszewska - Co-Organizer, Social Forum of Eastern Europe​ & Coop. Bet. East & South​ (Wroclaw, Poland)

  • Tamara Hansen, Mobilization Against War & Occupation (Vancouver, Canada)

  • Jaribu Hill, Executive Director, Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights

  • Rebecca Wooden Keel, Southerners On New Ground (SONG) (Richmond, VA)

  • Margaret Kimberley, Editor & Senior Columnist, Black Agenda Report

  • Ray LaForest, Director, Haiti Support Network

  • Joe Lombardo, Co-Coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)

  • Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst; Co-Founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

  • Charo Mina-Rojas, Afro-Colombian activist with the Colombian Ethnic Commission for Peace (Colombia)

  • Prigarin Alexandr, Professor, Dept. of Archaeology & Ethnology of Ukraine, Odessa National University (Ukraine)

  • Adria Scharf, Director, Richmond Peace Education Center

  • Malcolm Suber, Take Em Down NOLA; New Orleans Workers Group

  • David Swanson, Co-Founder & Director, World Beyond War (Charlottesville, VA)

  • Clarence Thomas, International Longshore & Warehouse Union (Oakland, CA)

  • Carolina Velez, ICE Out of RVA (Richmond, VA)

  • Gail Walker, Executive Director, IFCO / Pastors for Peace

  • Whitney Whiting, A leading Community Activist in the campaign to stop the Atlantic Coastal Pipeline (Richmond, VA)

  • Phil Wilayto - Editor, The Virginia Defender (Richmond, VA)

  • Ann Wright, Ret. U.S. Army Colonel, former diplomat & now active member of CODE PINK and Veterans for Peace

  • Kevin Zeese, Director, Popular Resistance

  • And a Representative from Raise Up Fight for $15

Plus speakers are from many other countries, including Canada, Colombia, the Philippines, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine and Venezuela, as well as participants from Burundi, Nepal and Nigeria.

The admission fee for the conference is $35, or $15 for youth and low-income workers. Those with more means are encouraged to contribute more. People will be able to register at the conference, but space is limited, so those planning to attend are encouraged to register as soon as possible on the conference website: 

For more information:, Facebook: UNAC Conference 2017 or

United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
PO Box 123,  Delmar, NY 12054  


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