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Recorded on Wednesday, June 5, this conversation among panelists in Kabul, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia was the latest in a series exploring key issues for Afghans. Please join the Wage Peace email list to hear about future events.

Background

A strategic partnership is right now being negotiated between the governments of Afghanistan and the United States. At stake will be the number and type of U.S. forces after 2014, whether those forces will have immunity from Afghan law, what type of access they have to bases in the country, and the focus of financial assistance the U.S. will provide in the future.

These are fundamental questions for Afghans, and will dramatically affect their future and their country’s stability and development.

Because the U.S. involvement is overwhelmingly military, we rarely hear about the goals of Afghan civil society and the type of relationship they would like to see with the U.S.

Join the conversation

Follow the conversation on Twitter by using hashtag #LiveFromKabul.

 

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In this two-minute video, Leah Davis explains how the Akron Time Bank provides a valuable economic alternative to people. Leah is a program associate for AFSC's Economic and Political Justice Program in Northeast Ohio.

More info on the Akron Time Bank is available on their website.

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Greg Coleridge, who directs AFSC's economic and political justice work in Northeast Ohio, explains why we need to push for a constitutional amendment which states clearly that corporations aren't people and money isn't speech.

Greg provides more context for his position in this article published in the University of Toledo Law Review.

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Greg Coleridge, who directs AFSC's work in Northeast Ohio, explains why democratizing our monetary system would dramatically improve our economy and the overall strength of our nation.

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Joseph Gerson's presentation at a forum sponsored by United for Justice with Peace at the Friends Meeting at Cambridge (20/May/13).

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Joseph Gerson's presentation at a forum sponsored by United for Justice with Peace at the Friends Meeting at Cambridge (20/May/13).

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My name is Iyyad Rayyan from Ramallah, Palestine. I am a middle child among five siblings, which is a typical size for a Palestinian family. Since I was in the 9th grade, I started taking evening English courses to improve my language skills. Going away from home for college was something that I wanted to do since I was in high school.

I moved to Iowa in the summer of 2011 to attend Grand View University and pursue a degree in accounting. I think that I did not give the transition as much thought as I should have; for example, I thought that my entire stay in the states would solely revolve around my academic performance in school.

The idea of serving the community was not something that I thought about until I attended a conference in Ankeny, sponsored by AFSC and focused on U.S. policy in Palestine-Israel. That conference was the first time that I saw Americans who are passionate about the Palestinian cause.

It took me some time to realize the responsibility I have as a Palestinian to educate about my country. This is a challenging goal; I knew that I would need help, something that would give me access to people and resources.

I have volunteered with AFSC for two years, and this involvement has led to a five-month internship. I have just started my internship after coming back from a training program in Chicago. That trip has increased my interest in the AFSC as a nonprofit.

AFSC recently hosted a speech by Rabbi Brant Rosen at Drake University. The speech addressed different aspects of the conflict, and the audience interacted actively with the speaker.

Currently, we have started working on a new goal – the SodaStream Boycott Campaign. This campaign aims to educate people about the consequences of using SodaStream, which is a device that turns water into bubbly soda. SodaStream markets itself as an environmentally friendly product that saves the environment by reducing the use of plastic. Yet, it constricts the water supply and land capacity of Palestinians, so what is friendly about it?

A product that is made on a settlement that is in direct violation of international law increases the complexity of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This product also uses land, resources, and underground water that belong to the Palestinians.

We are planning on using different methods and techniques to educate the public about this product and what threats it poses to the Palestinians’ reality.

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In 2013, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the world's largest for-profit prison corporation, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Thirty years ago, CCA pioneered the practice of incarcerating people for money, which has now ballooned into a multi-billion dollar industry.

At the American Friends Service Committee, we see nothing to celebrate. On May 13 in Tucson, AFSC held a press conference and demonstration to protest CCA’s prison profiteering in Arizona.

This video features Caroline Isaacs, Arizona Program Director for the American Friends Service Committee.
 
Photos: AFSC, CCA, iStock Photo, Shutterstock

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In May 2013, Kerri Kennedy, AFSC's Associate General Secretary for International Programs, discussed the ongoing civil war in Syria.

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With help from AFSC, a group of Iowa Dream Activists call for and win driver's licenses. This January 21, 2013 clip is from KCCI TV in Des Moines, and includes footage of interviews with young people who are being denied drivers' licenses because of their immigration status. The activists were protesting outside of the Iowa Department of Transportation because the DOT was refusing to issue licenses. 

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AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

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