Bill Leikam tells us about a fight between two of his foxes. Alexey Prokhorenko report in from Warsaw, and we discuss the plight of Russian men who left the country to avoid being mobilized to kill Ukrainians; now they may be unable to get visas to Western societies because the NATO countries are excluding Russians — even those who are themselves opposed to Putin. There is a discussion about the desirability of promoting a ceasefire now. Andre Sheldon describes how war has hardened people’s hearts and claims that Naomi Klein and Beatrice Fihn are uniquely able to help combine the peace and climate movements. For the video, audio podcast, transcript and comments: https://tosavetheworld.ca/episode-543-global-town-hall-jan-2023. Guests:
war, people, peace, country, issue, Russia, Warsaw, fossil fuel, day, Russian, problem, Istanbul, places, Metta, group, train, world, thought, passport, André
Alexey Prokhorenko, Bill Leikam, Richard Denton, Alan Haber, David Millar, Adam Wynne, Andre Sheldon, Charles David Tauber, Peter Brogden, Metta Spencer, Elizabeth Ecker Vanderploeg
Bill Leikam discussed his observations of a pair of grey foxes he has been monitoring. The female, nicknamed “Big Eyes,” attacked her mate, leaving him with a limp. This is unusual, as the two foxes generally get along well and engage in playful behavior. They have since made up and were seen hunting together. Leikam has monitored 27 foxes, and this is the only pair he has seen fight in such a manner as mates.
In the same conversation, Peter Brogden talked about his Russian relatives and the challenges they face due to tensions between Russia and other countries. Brogden’s nephew married a Russian woman several years ago, but they have since divorced due to strains between their two countries. Peter is uncertain if he will be able to travel and meet them in person.
Alexey Prokhorenko, a Russian who left the country to avoid being drafted, shared his experience of leaving Russia and living in Istanbul and Warsaw. He discussed the difficulties faced by Russians trying to leave the country and the high cost of airfare. Prokhorenko was able to obtain a humanitarian visa for Poland and has been living there for over two months. He finds it more comfortable and welcoming than Istanbul, despite fewer Russians in a similar situation being present in Warsaw. However, he also faces uncertainty regarding his ability to stay in Poland after his visa expires in one year.
The participants discussed the experiences of many Russians who oppose the war in Ukraine and are attempting to leave Russia. They highlighted the disparities faced by different groups, as individuals with government connections and money can easily get visas and enter Western countries, while those who left to avoid fighting in the war, like Alexey Prokhorenko and Konstantin Somoilov, struggle to obtain visas.
The group emphasized the importance of supporting Russians who oppose the war and promoting discussions on changes in Russia’s political structure. Metta proposed creating a talk show featuring Lloyd Axworthy, Alexey, Konstantin, and others to discuss the exclusion of Russians from immigration to Western countries.
David Millar introduced the concept of the Nansen passport, a document that allowed refugees to travel without a national passport in the 1920s. Metta mentioned that Lloyd Axworthy has discussed the idea, suggesting it could be revived. Alan Haber pointed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a basis for arguing the right to leave one’s country without persecution. He proposed the idea of international citizenship and urged efforts to have such passports recognized for entry into other nations.
Alexey Prokhorenko mentioned the challenges in discerning “good Russians” from “bad Russians” and the complexities of issuing passports to the right individuals. Metta Spencer and Elizabeth Ecker Vanderploeg emphasized the importance of finding peaceful solutions to conflicts and addressing the root causes of wars. Andre Sheldon advocated for a global peace movement, emphasizing the power of nonviolence in bringing together people with opposing opinions. Richard Denton discussed the potential of youth movements, such as the Fossil Fuel Prohibition Treaty, in addressing global issues like the use of fossil fuels and the threat of nuclear weapons.
Andre Sheldon emphasized the importance of uniting the peace movement and climate movements as the first part of a plan to create a chain reaction. He mentioned the need for an emergency action plan that focuses on action rather than pacifism. The attendees discussed how the climate crisis and peace movement can be connected, with many agreeing that wars result in environmental devastation and hinder cooperation between countries.
One participant suggested converting military jobs into environmentally sustainable jobs, like transitioning from manufacturing armored personnel carriers to producing trains. Another idea was to divest funds from the military and fossil fuels, making it more difficult for companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman to receive financing from banks. Organizations like ICANN and World Beyond War have also been working on divestment initiatives.
A participant mentioned the need for better transportation options, such as long-distance trains connecting Europe, to reduce the reliance on airplanes and the associated carbon emissions. The group agreed that the connection between the environment and war is clear and that the only way to protect the environment is through international cooperation and prioritizing peace over rivalry and destruction.
Next the panel touched on language disputes, the situation in Bosnia, trauma transmission, and conflict in Africa, particularly Congo and Liberia. The city council’s decision to abandon the dual alphabet system, Cyrillic and Latin, in Croatia has stirred up ethnic tensions, which could potentially lead to violence in the coming months. The situation in Bosnia is also tense, with continued conflict between the Serb Croat and Bosniak communities.
Traumatization, if not addressed, will be passed down from generation to generation, perpetuating the cycle of war. This has been observed in countries like Ukraine and throughout Africa. Congo’s situation is particularly dire, with various tribes and factions fighting for power, while the international community remains mostly silent. The panel emphasized the importance of addressing trauma and providing support at the grassroots level in countries like Haiti, Congo, and Liberia.
One participant mentioned the idea of bringing climate and peace movements together, suggesting that leaders like Naomi Klein and Beatrice Fihn could unite the two causes. They proposed the Secretary-General should bring these influential women together to create a united front addressing both climate and peace issues.
The panel also discussed Canada’s approach to sending forces to Haiti, with previous attempts proving unsuccessful. They considered the potential impact of leadership changes on this decision. Finally, one participant mentioned participating in the first Earth Day, highlighting the long-standing connection between environmental and peace movements.
Metta encourages the use of tosavetheworld.ca, a platform for sharing thoughts and ideas on these matters. Charles emphasizes the dangers of unaddressed trauma, stating that unresolved issues from historical events, such as World War II, continue to affect present-day conflicts. He also expresses concern over patriotism as a mental illness, which he believes needs attention and treatment.
The discussion moves to the topic of child soldiers, with Metta mentioning the unique work of Romeo Dallaire, who has focused on this issue. Charles suggests contacting Shirley Whitman, the executive director of the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, to learn more about their efforts.
Metta then returns to the subject of Russian emigres, mentioning Alexey, who is currently in Warsaw. She believes that these individuals who left Russia to avoid participating in war could have a significant impact on the country due to their opposition to the conflict. Metta suggests creating a Russian-speaking forum where these emigres can discuss ideas for improving Russia’s systems, such as the judicial system, economy, and electoral system. She proposes hosting a show twice a month to facilitate these discussions and connect Russian emigres worldwide.
Metta Spencer suggests that someone should be collecting names and email addresses of people who have experience or knowledge about Russia’s political situation. She believes that there is a need for a talk show in Russian to discuss and plan ways to fix the flaws in the Russian system that have led to the current situation. Alexey Prokhorenko agrees, adding that fear and disbelief in grassroots initiatives have contributed to the lack of change in Russia. Many people are afraid to speak up due to potential repercussions on themselves or their families.
Alexey explains that Putin’s approach to repression is random, making people feel as if they could be targeted at any time. Despite this, Metta observes that some people in Russia are willing to speak up publicly, while others are more cautious. Charles David Tauber brings up the quote from Einstein that “unthinking obedience to authority is the greatest enemy of truth,” emphasizing the fear element in these situations. Metta responds that it is not just obedience to authority but also conformity to social groups that can lead to problematic behavior and thinking.
Participants express appreciation for the intense discussion and the opportunity to think about these issues.
Metta Spencer 00:00
This is a machine-generated transcript, so it contains errors. Do not cite it without checking for yourself by watching the video and catching any obvious errors. On the last Sunday of every month Project, Save the World holds an open, global Townhall. For everybody who’s interested as activists in the world. This one is already underway. It’s January of 2023.
Bill Leikam 00:16
There’s not too much going on with the foxes. This one pair of foxes that are I’m monitoring, right now. When was it it was two three days, nights ago nights, okay? They’re they’re night critters. Anyway, the, the female who I called Big, big eyes, attacked her mate, and they had a little spat. It was short, it was in, he walked away with a limp. And normally, when they get into into a scrape like that a real all out fight, they go for the hind leg, and the ears, because that’s the way they can handicap their opponent to the point where their opponent can’t defend themselves with their injured hind leg. The grey fox can no longer climb a tree to escape a coyote that marked it for dinner. And so that, that was a bit unusual, because those two grey foxes truly, truly like each other. They have fun together, they chase each other and they wrestle and they do all kinds of things just like their pups would. But they haven’t had any pups so they can still hold on to those youthful ideas and actions and so forth.
Metta Spencer 02:05
What do you expect to come of this? Do you think they’re going to get a divorce? Or have they made up, or what’s the story?
Bill Leikam 02:12
Oh, they’ve made up there last night they were hunting together.
Metta Spencer 02:16
Oh well, does this has happened very often?
Bill Leikam 02:20
No, no, I’ve only I’ve only seen them get into into a disagreement…
Metta Spencer 02:26
Well, what I mean, often in the world of grey foxes, do many couples have spats?
Bill Leikam 02:34
Well, I, I’ve own, I’ve only monitored what 27 foxes? And these two are the only two that I’ve seen actually fight with one another in this particular way, as mates. I’ve seen, I’ve seen fights between grey foxes who are of a different family a different group. But were mates, that’s pretty rare.
Metta Spencer 03:07
Well, congratulations for, I don’t know whether you had anything to do with it, patching it up, you know. So I have to explain to everybody that I have COVID now, I mean, day six of COVID. And so there’ll be moments like this when I have to cough. And I’ll edit it out afterwards. But this, I don’t know. There’s no way I could avoid coughing. Anyway. So thanks, Bill for this. And let’s see, I think Peter Brogden was here first. I know Peter has been sitting out in the waiting room for a long time. So Peter, you get to bring us up to date on your affairs first.
Peter Brogden 03:56
I’m reconnected here. I’ve got a bit of time for achange. But I still have questions. I don’t know, particularly relevant on this case with Russian relatives and things like that. I also have got some questions. I don’t know what to expect answers on things about small modular reactors, which seem to be pushed at the moment. And I don’t I would like to know a little bit more, about certain things about them and that’s about it. We’ve had a nice lot of snow this week. So I tried my skis, whether I can actually use them.
Metta Spencer 04:40
Oh yeah, but why don’t you bring us up to date about your Russian relatives? I think you may have mentioned that before, but you have to start over here now.
Peter Brogden 04:49
Okay, this was a marriage arranged in Cyprus through the internet. They married about five, six or it must have been six, seven years ago. It’s an, a nephew of mine, and a lady who speaks and writes very well in English. And she has an older daughter that must be about 20. now, and they now have it’ll be a six year old child in March. But they have gone through a divorce action because of the strains really between the two countries. So it’s still a question, will I get some traveling and get to meet them or not? That’s my question [inaudible].
Metta Spencer 05:39
So she’s in favor of Russia. And he’s not is that it?
Peter Brogden 05:43
Well, she, she lives in Moscow. And I guess the Moscow environment is very different from what we experienced here in Canada.
Metta Spencer 05:54
Yeah, that’s so sad. Oh, dear. Well, as a matter of fact, we are now being joined by a very wonderful Russian dear friend, Alexey Prokhorenko and I expect you will often want to hear from from him at Good. Good morning. Good afternoon, Alexeiy how are you?
Alexey Prokhorenko 06:17
Good afternoon. Good evening, actually here in Warsaw.
Metta Spencer 06:20
Yes, you are in Warsaw. I should tell people that you left. What I guess about October, right?
Alexey Prokhorenko 06:28
Metta Spencer 06:30
This is very immediately as soon as I gather, Putin had announced that he was going to mobilize people, which is the word we we usually call it draft. The draft is something different there. Anyway, so 700,000 Men, at least left the country in a hurry to keep from being mobilized. And Alexeiy went to Istanbul and spent several months there, and then moved to Warsaw. So how is everything in Warsaw? And please, do share with everybody if you don’t mind? Just starting, why do I think everybody wants to hear about a Russian who’s on the lam.
Alexey Prokhorenko 07:21
Hello, hello, everyone, I think people are having me here. It’s really exciting to be part of such a great discussion. And, well, I indeed, I left Russia on September 25, I guess four days after the mobilization, partial mobilization, quote, unquote, was announced. But actually partial means in a situation of chaos. Which I think Russian, the Russian army and the Russian state is in right now. Partial means that anyone can go to the army, regardless of the aptitude regardless of health issues. People have been drafted with severe myopia with diabetes type one. No one really cares. So you just get into into the army to the front, before you can really address the issue. So I decided that my struggle was over. I struggled against the war for seven months, seven months, starting February. But then I decided that when they started to just grab people on the streets, random people, I decided that I have to leave and continue my struggle outside of the country. So I left for Istanbul, I managed to get a ticket for a reasonable price compared to what people paid. Because I paid only $1.3 thousand for a ticket to Istanbul, people paid $10,000
Metta Spencer 09:09
What’s the usual price in peace time?
Alexey Prokhorenko 09:12
The usual price will be no more than four or $500. So but I was lucky. I was very lucky. Because people paid the three or four times that amount, people crossed the border on foot. They they bought bicycles in the…
Metta Spencer 09:35
We saw a lot of photos in those days of people lined up. I mean, most people on the news, I think saw lines of cars and people on bicycles. Yeah.
Alexey Prokhorenko 09:48
Yeah, there are some borders that you cannot cross on foot. You cannot walk across the border, you have to have a transport so even like a skateboard would go. But that’s even that’s it, yet to get out of the country to get the country became outright dangerous for its citizens, like me.
Metta Spencer 10:09
Yeah you have been In Warsaw, for what, two months or so?
Alexey Prokhorenko 10:13
I have been Warsaw since November 22. I was allowed to spend two months in Istanbul without making visa runs without getting additional documents. So I had to leave anyway. And I was lucky to get a humanitarian visa for Poland. And now I’ve been here for over two months, and I’m loving it now.
Metta Spencer 10:41
Are there more? Would you say there are more other? Well, I call you draft refugees or something? Would you say there are more people in Poland or in Istanbul, in your situation?
Alexey Prokhorenko 10:54
In Istanbul, there was quite a few. In Poland, there is few, because not many people have visas for Europe. Not many people were able to reach Poland, because Poland really does not allow for hope doesn’t allow the holders of tourist visas to enter the country. Like the Baltic states, like the Czech Republic, like some other countries of Europe, you can just even even if you have a visa, you cannot enter as a tourist, if you have a tourist visa. I was lucky to have been issued the humanitarian visa right in Istanbul. It was really very, very fortunate event for me.
Metta Spencer 11:41
But so there are not many folks like you there?
Alexey Prokhorenko 11:44
In Warsaw. No, no. no,
Metta Spencer 11:46
Okay, well compare the way they treat you in the two places. Is it more comfortable to be? I know you speak Polish. So that helps. But apart from that, is it more congenial to be in one in Warsaw or in Istanbul?
Alexey Prokhorenko 12:07
Well, let’s set apart the fact that I have the language here because it’s for the purity of our small, like experiment, or small research. Of course, apart from the language, it’s a lot more comfortable here. Because first of all, it’s a European country, something that I understand better than like the Oriental flavor.
Metta Spencer 12:36
I mostly thinking in terms of how other people treat you? Are they natural to you, then then then you found people being in Istanbul, or is it relevant?
Alexey Prokhorenko 12:46
They’re nicer here, I think in terms of I know where I stand here, because in Turkey, they were also nice, but I always had an impression that well, you never know. You never know how to behave in like certain situations. It’s always about bargaining about, about changing different agreements, for example, quite recently, Turkey in December, so after I left, Turkey, all of a sudden stopped issuing residence permits for Russians. For no reason, just many people, many people submitted their documents. And when they came for the residence permit, they were told no, we’re sorry, we don’t know. We just we’re not sure that you have enough grounds to stay in the country. You have enough. You’re, we’re not sure enough that you you will be really living here for ,for one year. So,, so in Poland, of course, there is a problem because I only have a visa for one year. After that I will have to invent something to really stay here. But I know that within this year, no one will really interfere and no one really will try to expel me or whatever.
Metta Spencer 14:21
Well, let me ask you a more general question that because it’s really relevant to the thing that I did. Yesterday, I sent you an email about this because it’s on my mind. There’s a man I listen to almost every day and learning Konstantin Somoilov I think is his name, who has a streaming show, where he talks about what it’s like to, to be what what Russia is like, and he’s been doing this several years. I didn’t run into him until after the war started. But when he left, he left Moscow the same as you did just probably the same pay to go to Tashkent. And he’s moved his family there and so on. And so he’s, he’s doing fairly well there. But here’s the situation, he, in in one of his nightly talks, the other day got rather emotional. Because he says that lots of the oligarchs or government officials, anybody who’s connected with the government, and everybody who’s connected government has to express openly their support for the government policy, the war. So they all do, and … Whether they really mean it is another matter. But they all, they all do, because they’d lose their jobs otherwise. So, all these these government, people and the oligarchs and people with money, if they say that they’d like a visa, they’d like to go to London, or they’d like to go to the US, or any place in the world, they are welcomed with open arms. He says, now, that may be an exaggeration, but they do not have any problems getting entry. But, the people such as yourself, and he, and these at least 700,000 other men who left the country because they didn’t want to go kill Ukrainians, they can’t get a visa. So although he’s there in Tashkent, and if he wants to go anyplace else, he can’t do it, because almost every other country says if you want a visa to come into our country, you have to apply for it inside your own country. So go back to Russia, and apply for a visa there. Of course, if they gotta go back to Russia, they’ll in many cases, well, terrible things will happen to either they will be, well jailed in some cases, because they, they have been speaking out against the country. These are people like yourself who oppose the war. And instead of welcoming people like that, like you and, and Konstantin, he says that most Western countries are excluding you, and saying, We don’t like Russians, so you can’t come in, but Russians with money, or government official connections can come in. And that’s what I find offensive, and he was quite angry, and rightly so. Now, here’s my theory. My feeling is, if we want to do anything as peacekeepers, peace builders, Peacemakers, to overcome the problems that Russia is going through, it’s going to be Russians that we have to support. I mean, Russians, Russians, are the only people who can fix Russia. And the only people who have the right values to fix Russia, many of them have, like you left the country. So we should be supporting and encouraging and loving people like yourself, and Konstantin and anybody else who left the country. And supporting supporting you guys, and encouraging a discussion of what kind of country you want to, what kind of changes that you want to have made, in in the politics of in the structure of your country. We should be doing everything possible to enable this conversation to go on right now. Yeah. And so what I want to do, I, as you know, I know, Lloyd Axworthy. I want to set up a conversation, a talk show, with Lloyd Axworthy, and you and Konstantin, and maybe one or so other people who have the same situation of being excluded from immigration to the western countries. Because just simply because of being Russian and, and see and put this to him. Now I understand the reasoning, the reasoning has to be if you left the country, we don’t know whether you left because you just plain don’t want to get drafted or inducted in the army. And therefore you might actually be in favor of the war and be supportive of Putin and so on.
Alexey Prokhorenko 15:40
They have to. Exactly.
Metta Spencer 19:33
We don’t want to let you in because we can’t we don’t have any good way of knowing which is which. But if that’s the case, then they should keep these other guys out too. For sure, right?
Alexey Prokhorenko 19:45
It’s not so easy. It’s not so easy, because most of the guys with the money have already taken like the effort and they made the effort to secure residence permit or even a citizenship in the Western countries, so there is no legal reason to keep them out. Because they have used their money, maybe corrupt money to secure legal, the legal right to live in the countries like France like Spain, maybe Poland, in some cases, I don’t know. Great Britain, the UK.
Metta Spencer 20:28
So I don’t know what kind of a test you would need to apply. What we really want to know is which of these guys are just the, getting out of the country, because they want to, you know, their draft evaders, not because of ideology, or, or commitments or ethics or anything like that, but just self serving reasons. And it but that they really support the government’s war. And if it was, you know, sort these two categories out, it would be a lot easier, we should be telling the soldiers, Listen, guys, if you want to defect, I think they do tell them in the field, they say, if you want to surrender and defect, here’s what you do. And they have a phone number or something you can call and then they arranged to meet you someplace and pick you up. And that’s, I think, if they, I hope they’re doing that on a big scale, because that’s what we want is we want to capture, you collect and make friends with, and encourage people who want to, you know, get out of the army. So, okay, I would like you know, do your other people thinking about this, all of you. If you if you have an opinion about what we’ve been saying, I’d like to have a little conversation about what you think should be done about people like Alexey. And I know Alexey’s values very well, because he’s been, we’ve been friends now for about a year, I gather, something like that, long enough for me to really know that he’s serious about opposing the war. So what are you my the rest of you folks think about this issue? What should we done about it? Anybody?
Bill Leikam 22:19
I wish I could stay in contribute to this, but I have to go.
Metta Spencer 22:23
Okay Bill, thank you for showing up and give my good wishes to your foxes.
Bill Leikam 22:28
Metta Spencer 22:28
Yeah, David Millar.
David Millar 22:31
I was just going to say that this reminds me of a discussion of the Nansen passport that was invented in the 1920s, which has fallen out of use. I don’t know who else is a specialist in this question. But I would be very interested in hearing from anybody on this call. Who, who has the knowledge about the past for I think the person is probably Doug Ross. But he’s on another call, which is simultaneously going on which I’m trying to cover as well, about the UN Parliamentary Assembly. So,…
Metta Spencer 23:07
Well I know, I know that Lloyd Axworthy is, of course a big authority because he’s the head of the World refugee and migration Council. And he is going to be one of the directors of Projects Save the World when we get it organized. And he mentioned in an interview I did with him a year or two ago, maybe two years ago. He mentioned the Nansen passport idea, which as you, as you say is no longer being used. I don’t know why it couldn’t be picked up again. But the countries want it because you know a lot of people say, well these guys were leaving the country, they may be people who just you know they they want the some of them do they I think Alexey has met people in in Istanbul or someplace who, who really favor the war but they just don’t want it to be their war. Yes David.
David Millar 24:10
I thought you wanted to hear from other people.
Metta Spencer 24:15
Peter Brogden 24:16
Question myself. My nephew has visited his daughter in Moscow with the now divorced wife but he was not staying in exactly their house but they’ve been there. And how does he get easily from England into Moscow? Do you know the choices of routes?
Metta Spencer 24:38
Do you know Alexey?
Alexey Prokhorenko 24:46
Well, I would either go by Istanbul Well, technically there is not a problem to go from, from Warsaw there is a bus going from Warsaw to Minsk. And then you can take a train to Moscow from there via Belarus. So technically, it’s not a problem.
Peter Brogden 25:08
I just don’t know how he did it. He hasn’t told me at this stage.
Alexey Prokhorenko 25:13
Istanbul or Belgrade. There are several hubs which still fly to Moscow.
Peter Brogden 25:19
Okay, so it’s not that difficult it just [inaudible] Yeah, do I [inaudible] myself to meet my new, great grand niece or is it just grand niece,…
Alexey Prokhorenko 25:32
I hope you can do it.
Peter Brogden 25:36
I just don’t know whether I can do it.
Alexey Prokhorenko 25:37
I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Metta Spencer 25:39
Alexey do you know of many cases like Peters in which some this family member members have the marriage is breaking up because they are on different sides of this war issue? Is this happening alot, have you heard of cases?
Alexey Prokhorenko 25:58
Well, I, I know personally, several, a few cases when people when men had to leave and abandon their families for at least for a while, go to a different country. And this Christmas this new year, even the opposition media invented some, like they published some articles on how to celebrate Christmas and New Year, when you’re apart, what to invent to make it feel like a holiday online. So how can you how you can arrange a zoom call to feel like you’re next to your people. Because really, this, this is, this has been a year of broken families. Some of ,some of them are together spiritually, they have the same ideas about what’s going on. It’s even worse when they have the opposite views. Whereas I have a friend,
Metta Spencer 26:59
That’s the case with Peters relatives.
Alexey Prokhorenko 27:03
I have a friend. He’s in Yerevan right now is my colleague, and we’re friends. And he uses quite strong words about the situation. Like his mother is supportive of Putin’s regime. And he says that my mother wants to make a bee beefsteak of me. That’s what he’s saying. And his mother is supportive of the war. So he is even afraid that that if he comes back to Moscow, he might help him land in the army he might help him do that.
Metta Spencer 27:46
Anybody else on this issue? Because I think it’s so important question. And I don’t know what to tell what you know where to go with that. How can we help these people?
Alan Haber 27:55
If I can offer an opinion, can I be heard?
Metta Spencer 28:02
Please, Alan? Yes.
Alan Haber 28:04
Yeah, Hi, Metta. Nice to see you and all. This is, of course, all political. This is, of course, all political, as to what the different regimes are, how they’re trying to pose themselves in relation to the war. But I think if we are to do anything, considering we as those for peace, we should refer to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and everyone has a right of freedom of movement in their country out of their country. It’s a human right to be able to leave your country and you’re blocked is a denial of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And I think we should, to the extent is peace people move this question at all, it should be too advanced, that people have the right to leave their country not to be persecuted. And that’s it. And if they’re not accepted, it’s because Poland or whoever is not want to recognize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for whatever their political reasons are. And NATO probably has a lot of similar feeling. But Universal Declaration of Human Rights is where we should be article 13 article 14.
Metta Spencer 29:24
Well, that’s certainly the case when it comes to leaving your country. But what but I don’t know that there’s anything in the, in the Declaration of Human Rights it says any country has to accept people from any other country. I don’t think there is.
Alan Haber 29:44
I remember when the time when the internet global citizenship, international citizenship was being promoted at the in Paris at the time in the universe, So Declaration of Human Rights, and the promoter will start to the UN territory. Their friend said, well, where’s your passport? He shows him these international passport, they said that I won’t do. So they send them to Germany. And the Germans won’t let him in. And so he camps on the border.
Metta Spencer 30:18
Alan Haber 30:21
Yes, and I think another thing to offer into this, is it people’s right? They desire and turn determine their own nationality is to accept a nationality or international citizenship, and to ask the lawyers that are around the world service surface Bureau, to negotiate that this this passport should be recognized to enter your country. Now how long you can stay is another question and how you negotiate whether you’re allowed to stay or whether you then gotta go to another country, and, but the right to leave your country has a right that everyone should have, particularly when things are as stinky as they are.
Metta Spencer 31:05
Thank you. Okay, and maybe, I don’t know whether it’s people want to speak to this issue? If not, we’ll open it up to anybody who has something on your mind that you would like to talk about. First? Is there anybody who wants to speak to this issue? Because I think it’s to me, it’s very crucial. It? No, I don’t see any hands or anything. Okay. Yeah. How about? Oh, Alexey your hand is up. Are you? You want to speak further?
Alexey Prokhorenko 31:40
Yeah, I’d like to say a few words about really this matter. If I’m the last one to talk. So I have a couple of things to say. First of all, I have a question here from Mr. Sheldon. What do I do? Am I able to work legally? Yes, I’m able to work with this visa. It’s another question of what kind of work I’m going to find here. Because I spent almost my entire career as a conference interpreter, English, German, Russian. And here, I’m trying to find a similar job. And in the meantime, I’m honing my IT skills, because it’s very important. It’s very, there’s very high demand for this profession here. And I’ve always been interested in that. And I’m trying to kind of look into that direction very seriously. Be a software tester, or even a software developer. And for the past month, I’ve mostly been busy learning stuff in that direction. But technically, I can work This visa allows me to do so to work legally here. And I hope no superstitions will prevent people from hiring me here. Secondly, about the passport. There were discussions last year I think about last summer about so called passport of a good Russian. The political emigres renowned political emigres from Russia, like Garry Kasparov, former chess, World World Champion in chess, and other other people of similar renown. They offered an idea that people that there there’ll be a passport of a good or decent Russian. But then they’re so the one that’s proven not to be supportive of the war. But then there came a lot of questions as to who would really issue those passports who would evaluate whether someone is a good Russian or a bad Russian, a decent or a violent Russian. And all this bogged down in, in discussions and the idea didn’t go anywhere, except ridicule and lots of jokes and up until now people. People are critical of it, and there’s lots of jokes about to good Russians. It’s a matter of like laughingstock for people. And
Metta Spencer 34:57
Obviously, a serious issue. It really Here’s what we want, but anybody can see that it would legally it would be a big mess. Yeah, you couldn’t really…
Alexey Prokhorenko 35:08
Who would authorize? Yeah, who would choose who tell a good Russian from a bad Russian. Yeah. But who would be the authority to give to issue those passports? Let alone like corruption, bribery. Okay, who’s to decide? Who’s proven to be qualified to discern between the between good Russians and bad Russians?
Metta Spencer 35:32
Well, that’s the problem. I don’t know that there’s a solution. I don’t know, they need a lawyer. But I never heard of anybody who could even try it that, okay.
Alexey Prokhorenko 35:43
Before I came to work, so there was a, like, a session of, of emigrate parliament of Russia, here in Warsaw, in the beginning of November, and even that, like people who have opposition leaders, former members of the parliament in democratic times, even their legitimacy caused a lot of concerns among the opposition itself. Who are they, who they represent? Who they were elected by? So there was a lot of discussion on that on that point. And yeah,
Metta Spencer 36:22
Okay, thank you. Yeah. And we, maybe other people will have other questions for you in a bit. But let’s let’s go on and give a chance. We have a number of people that I don’t know personally, Elizabeth Vanderploeg. You came in early, and you have been sitting patiently, I haven’t read it yet. Hello, how are you? And who are you tell us about yourself.
Elizabeth Ecker Vanderploeg 36:46
Um, trust me, I’m nobody important. I’m just a nice retired lady. I am wondering whether we really do enough to actually work on having a negotiate peace, for that war before it gets any worse. I keep correspondence from Europe and you know, one of the comments that came, if you paid the payer enough, enough, sooner or later, he will respond. This war has been going on since 2014, that Americans have spent billions in Ukraine. We had a government that was very keen on sending or selling liquefied gas to Europe. And as we notice, now, this says that the rest of the world isn’t so enthusiastic about that war, the, you know, the gas prices have come down, because a lot of everybody’s buying the Russian gas still. And what is really the reason behind that, why you can’t put missiles around somebody’s country, and don’t expect them to react. I mean, remember the Cuban crisis. And we sort of say, Oh, naughty, naughty Russia, I don’t believe in any war. I spent my childhood being warmed by nice Canadians. And, boy, it’s never never gets us anywhere. I think we should work much harder to go and find a peaceful solution to that war rather than supplying them with more and more stuff. That’s just a lot of people making a lot of money on it.
Metta Spencer 38:26
Thank you. All right. That is definitely an invitation for further comment from general discussion about this issue. And we we haven’t had one for a while it’s been for one thing, it’s been a couple of months since we really had a conversation at all. But who has thoughts about that issue now, besides Elizabeth?
Elizabeth Ecker Vanderploeg 38:51
Metta Spencer 38:58
Andre Sheldon 38:58
Hello everyone, namaste. And more importantly, if I pronounced it right mirror. To address the issue, I think that we need a people movement. The people around the world want peace, they want negotiations. And so I’m proposing that there’s a new global peace movement can begin because of what Secretary General Guterres did in 2020. He stated that he wanted to call for a global ceasefire, because we needed money for the COVID vaccinations around the world. But what he really was saying was that war, that stopping war, affects all issues. And so the people want peace. Now is the time for something to come along and unite the people, and I believe that it’s the answer is non violence. Gandhi and King lived and died to teach us that the non violence is the answer. It’s a bit about anti war and stopping war but it’s also much more because it creates goodwill. And that goodwill creates trust and respect. That’s what we need. So my proposal is that the all the countries involved in the war, can save face and have an exit strategy by promoting saving lives. Because that’s what the people want. They don’t want people dying because of war. And so that’s pretty vague, but in its own right, but it translates into specific actions that can be taken, and that’s what I’ve been working on. And I have been fortunate to be now working with the International Bureau, the charter for compassion, the women wage peace in Jerusalem, who is a group that’s been Arab and Jew, opposites coming together. And that’s what non violence can do. It brings people with opposite opinions together. There’s the strength and power, and another power that just was evident in the United States, in the last few days, was the killing of a man by police officers. And the all the people on the news broadcasts are saying to everyone, how can we change our culture of violence? Well, the answer is non violence. I get excited about it, because there’s so many different avenues and so many groups, peace organizations trying to come together, and the formulas right in front of them. But Gandhi said, about non violence, first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win. So it’s time to win. And so anyone that wants to know more about what I’m doing, I’m going to put my head my email in the, in the chat, I’m looking for people to assist with specific elements because those groups that I mentioned, were a meeting with the executive director of the International Peace Bureau on Tuesday. And we’re all preparing a letter to send to the Secretary General, to ask him to grant me an audience to present my plan. I’ve already presented the plan to his staff. But now I’m ready to go back. So I need help in some specific things, so please, think about it if you want to join in, in many different areas, but to help me particularly right now. Please let me know. Thank you. Hello.
Metta Spencer 43:09
All right. Thank you, Elizabeth. Your hand is up. Do you want to speak again?
Elizabeth Ecker Vanderploeg 43:13
Yeah, I think this will very hypocritical. I mean, nobody cares about the war in Yemen. We are selling them vehicles to the Saudis and the war in Yemen is where is you know, nobody pays any attention to it. And I just found out by reading an article said we actually have a base in nature in Africa. They had been completely involved in the war on terror we never going into solve the war o terror unless we solve the problems that causes the war on terror.
Metta Spencer 43:49
Elizabeth Are you are you in Canada? Are you referring to Canada? I’m not sure where you live?
Elizabeth Ecker Vanderploeg 43:55
I’m in Canada.
Metta Spencer 43:56
Elizabeth Ecker Vanderploeg 43:58
And you know, as long as we we reach us the war is fine for some wars we like, other wars we don’t we are have we never supposed to have joined the war in Iraq. We have about 800 Soldiers right now in Iraq. And we have wars very very profitable for everybody. We just right now we very concentrated on Ukraine, but the rest of the world, there are wars everywhere and we are contributing right left and center. And even the war on terror is just whack a mole you killed one terrorist and the new one comes up unless you solve the problem. I think we have to go a lot deeper. What causes wars, and who is making money and as long as you can make a lot of money. We will have wars.
Metta Spencer 44:48
Thank you. Okay, Richard Denton. Hello, Richard.
Richard Denton 44:55
Yeah, okay. Hi Metta. Again, it’s you are sort of preaching to the converted. Because I agree with Elizabeth and Alan and Andre and Alexey. Everything that you’ve said, I think I don’t really have anything further to add to Alexey other than, yes, I agree that, quote good Russians should be allowed to come to the west. I think that, and I certainly agree with the pacifism of Andre. But I think what we also need is to, people are in their own little silos. And we all need to come together. I think that ICANN has done that with over 160 organizations. But I think that needs to be expanded. I think also, youth is our answer. The youth Friday’s for the future, Greta Thunberg, and others, they’re working on the fossil fuel prohibition treaty. And I think that as old gray haired people, we’ve done the Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, which is now international law in 68 countries signed by 92 countries. But we don’t have that broad appeal out to the public. Whereas the youth have that broad appeal out to the public, but the fossil fuel prohibition treaty is yet to go through the process. So one is a top down, the Treaty on the prohibition. One is a grassroots up the fossil fuel. But I think that these two need to come together at unfortunately, at the moment, the youth do not see the trillions of dollars that goes to the military, and that they are one of the greatest users of fossil fuels and the greatest producers of greenhouse gases as a segment of society.
Metta Spencer 47:09
Now listen, Richard, you mentioned this fossil fuel, abolition or whatever treaty? And I’ve heard of it, but I don’t know much about it. I bet very few people here do, can you explain what it is? And what the terms are that they’re asking for? And you say it’s young people who are running it? I’d like to I’d like to know more if somebody can explain it.
Richard Denton 47:32
Okay. Yes, basically, it is young people that are running it. It has three tenets or principles. One is that we don’t do any further exploration for new fossil fuels, two we use up the reserves that we already have. And three, we convert to renewable energy sources wind, solar, tidal, biogas, gas, etc. So those are the three tenets. It’s basically based on the Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. But it’s slowly gaining momentum through the process, but again, has to get up to the higher levels. When we look at getting up to the higher
Metta Spencer 48:27
Who’s in charge of running it? I mean, I maybe we should get an article about it in peace magazine or something, because I really don’t know enough. And I think probably we all need to know more. How can I get in touch with the people who are doing it?
Richard Denton 48:42
I can send you the references. That’s not a problem.
Metta Spencer 48:45
Okay. Good. Anybody else know about this fossil fuel? What’s it called?
Richard Denton 48:52
Fossil fuel prohibition treaty?
Metta Spencer 48:54
Prohibition treaty? And would they? I mean, how quickly would they actually try to, to rule out any use of fossil fuels? Is that part of it?
Richard Denton 49:05
Correct. And, again, where we’re I think we’re putting in the effort is at the municipal level. The federal level, as you know, you know, tends to be more right wing polarized, and so we’re not getting very much traction at the federal level, whatever country you want to talk about. But at the municipal level, we are getting a lot of people on side and so that’s where not only the Treaty on the prohibition is going with the ICANN cities appeal, with the back from the brink, down in the states push but also the fossil fuel is looking at getting more and more cities. to endorse it, and the idea is that whence they get enough cities that that will vote them push their respective federal governments to act. Survey after survey have shown that 70 to 80% of people want to get rid of nuclear weapons, but unfortunately, their respective governments do not.
Metta Spencer 50:23
Well, yes, but, you know, fossil fuels are not exactly in the same category. Because I mean, all of us lots and lots of people would love to quickly Oh, the name of the game is to get off fossil fuels as soon as we can. But you can’t overnight, you know, that’s the damn thing, you know. Nuclear weapons, if we abolish them tomorrow, there’d be no problem, we’d all be fine. But but if you if you said you can’t use any fossil fuels from now on, I don’t know how we get through the day. Right now.
Richard Denton 50:58
Well, it is a gradual process. Metta. I think, you know, individually, you know, I do the reuse, reuse, reduce recycle. I have an electric car. So, you know, individually, we can all do that. And I think, again, it’s to work on the municipal governments to, from a grassroots up approach to that the federal government’s of whatever country you belong to. So yes, it’s not going to happen overnight. But I think that by getting the grassroots getting cities to endorse the Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons by and also the fossil fuel prohibition treaty that this will then show the federal government that there is widespread support, and that they better get along with it, or they may get voted out of office.
Metta Spencer 52:01
Thank you. Okay, back to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Ecker Vanderploeg 52:03
Well war is very polluting we just said, we wouldn’t buy Canada to said it would buy some F 35 planes, they extremely polluting, first of all, they probably never going to work. But that will be one thing we could give up and we bought them just in case we get into a war with China or Russia. I guarantee you if we get into a war with China or Russia, very few of us will survive it.
Richard Denton 52:31
Correct? Correct. Okay. It’s that we’ve got a sort of a movement called Mutually Assured survival, as opposed to Mad mutually assured destruction. And I think that we need to also look at all of these global problems that the military can’t solve. And they, they all cross national boundaries. I’m all fit in favor of patriotism, but certainly not nationalism, which says my country is better than any other country. I find it’s interesting. I just traveled down the Dalmatian coast, as I think I was telling you Metta. And you look at national anthems. In Slovenia, the national anthem is about brotherly love and internationalism, the national anthem of Croatia and Montenegro is about how great their country is. But when you look at national anthems of France, Ukraine, Russia, the US, they’re all very merit military, risk-listic. And people are indoctrinated into that every day that they go take, [allegiance] sing it at school, etc. And I think that is something that certainly needs to be changed.
Metta Spencer 53:56
Thank you. Okay. I will, Alan Haber. Alan.
Alan Haber 54:03
Yes. Well, just that last comment, drew my hand right up. Because I think the entire framework that we have to emphasize and re emphasize, this is about ending the whole war system is a system of domination, imposition, hierarchy, patriarchy, and it works through all our institutions. But it leads us into a view of the US and the US and its allies dominating the world. And that leads us to destruction. And it is how do we get out of that system toward not full spectrum? Domination, which is the Pentagon slogan, honest as they are, but full spectrum cooperation, caring, sharing, helping, particularly healing from the last 5000 years of pathological insanity when rulers are able to murder at their will. So out of the war system to cooperation, caring, sharing, helping and healing.
Metta Spencer 55:08
Thank you. All right. Yes, Richard.
Andre Sheldon 55:11
I just have one quick statement. Hi.
Metta Spencer 55:11
I thought it was Richard.
Andre Sheldon 55:14
I guess Richard bringing up the climate movement and the climate crisis. When I make my presentation to the Secretary General I intend to mention that the first part of the plan is to unite the peace movement and the climate movements together. So that we can, then invite all the rest. If those two first come together then it starts a chain reaction. So, and then it, we implement what I call an emergency action plan. So it is not just about pacifism, it’s about action! And Metta, I hope you are feeling better too. You said that you had COVID, some of the people that just came on late, she said she has been, has a cold but it is part of COVID.
Metta Spencer 56:13
It’s COVID. I can’t say I’m enjoying it. But I consider myself quite lucky, because I’ve had four shots before. And so I think it’s much weaker than it would be otherwise. So yeah, if I inhale, I have a little inhaler here with steam, which does more good than anything else, if you find me sniffing at steam. That’s what I’m doing. Richard and then Alan Haber again.
Richard Denton 56:43
Okay, just to again, follow up on Andre, not only do we need to bring the two youth and the environment with the older, anti war peace groups together, I think we need a change of the whole system. At the latest that I’m interested in is also donut economics at Kate Raworth, I think has an excellent idea. She did a debate with two people, one who argued Professor argued for green growth, which means that we continue to do the exponential growth. But we do it, quote, “green”. So we have the electric cars, we tried to do co2 sequestration, we try to seed the clouds in the Arctic Ocean to reflect the sunlight. And you’ve had numerous speakers Metta that you’ve had talking about all this. Then you have the other side, which says that no, you need to change the whole system and not have growth at all, that it becomes sustainable. And so you go to alternatives of not producing the co2 in the first place. And I think that I certainly favor the latter. Although I am a realist and say that you probably need to do both. To get to that 1.5 degrees. I think also that it’s interesting that Metta, you’re probably infected with COVID 19, B x x 1.5. We’re talking about 1.5 degrees to limit our global warming, and this past week, the doomsday clock is set at 1.5 minutes to midnight. So this is the year of 1.5. Thank you.
Metta Spencer 58:59
Good and bad. Okay, thank you, Richard and Alan again.
Alan Haber 59:05
Yeah, well, the, the, the comments that they need to make a union, a connection between the peace movement and the environmental movement resonates with me, I work on Earth Day and Peace Day, both in our struggle for the commons in Ann Arbor. But I thought I would share with you an item of knowledge that I did not know about, until I discovered on a recent trip to Berkeley, California, that the reason earthday is on April 22. Does anybody know? That’s when it was set up in 1970s. When it actually, it derived from an effort to unify the peace movement and the environmental movement at San Francisco State in 1968.
Metta Spencer 1:00:04
Alan Haber 1:00:05
They viewed it as a red-green alliance. And they chose April 22 as the date for it, because they thought that would help the Alliance quality of this peace environmental connection? Because did you know that it is the birthday of Lenin?
Metta Spencer 1:00:27
Oh, no, I didn’t know that. Was that supposed to be a positive incentive, or, I’m not sure?
Alan Haber 1:00:33
Well, in the politics of the time, it was a very positive incentive. We see a one world anyhow that was very surprising to me. That was SDS, people back in the day and other radicals at San Francisco State. And that connection between peace-environment continued into the next year and into the scene, we really need an Earth Day that then became a national and global endeavor all over the world.
Metta Spencer 1:01:06
Well, I wish it now we may have somebody here with some better ideas about it, then I have. But I find it’s, we talk a lot about uniting the climate change issue with, with the war, war and peace issue. I don’t know how to do it. I, we need some clearer, better steps to take and logic tying the two together. I don’t see that much obvious connectivity between the two issues. Can somebody speak to that?
Alan Haber 1:01:50
Every one of those war jobs has to be converted to Right Livelihood. The Green New Deal directly addresses that, the conversion of the war economy to a peace economy that serves the needs of people. Money, more jobs that way, but people who are now working the war economy have to see that there’s a positive economic and moral future, if they get out of making nuclear plutonium pits and start harvesting almonds, whatever it might be. What I started in the Ann Arbor, we had a group at the time of the peace dividend, looking at all the government contracts in Michigan, relating to the military and how could those contracts be converted? And it’s a very interesting process to find the rocket makers trying to do something else, but that momentum of the peace dividend kind of disappeared. But we still need that sense of what does the new economy look like? Because there are many people who see themselves as dependents in the old economy. And they don’t put a moral judgment on it. They put a maintaining life and family judgment on it.
Metta Spencer 1:03:11
I should tell people who you are in terms of your history, you were the main honcho in the students for democratic society back in the day, SDS.
Alan Haber 1:03:23
Well, now we’re seniors for democratic society, but SDS sounds a lot nicer.
Metta Spencer 1:03:27
It’s, anyway, you really have a lifelong credential right there. Being such an activist at an early age, Alexey, you had your hand up for a moment and then took it down. I want to give you the floor again, if you want it. Tell us what was on your mind briefly.
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:03:46
I just would like to give Elizabeth the right to talk first.
Metta Spencer 1:03:50
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:03:52
And then I’ll continue.
Metta Spencer 1:03:56
Yes, Elizabeth, I guess you’re muted, I don’t know, are you?
Elizabeth Ecker Vanderploeg 1:04:04
I have an idea for retooling. Let them do fast moving planes that would be sort of similar to what they’re doing. And that would be a big, big improvement for everybody but keep them busy, because that’s one of the reasons why we have wars because particularly in the States, every senator wants to have more machinery in their cell in their state because it makes jobs and that would be a good thing. And I think at one point they were doing some stuff for in the ocean where they were making electricity from wave power. And that’s was they were able to do that too. That was similar and go and do that because as long as it is profitable, we will have wars and don’t forget that last war you know who won that? The Swiss.
Metta Spencer 1:04:58
Okay, actually, there’s an interesting connection. You know, Canada has been breaking these armored personnel carriers and sent selling them to Arabia, I think.
Elizabeth Ecker Vanderploeg 1:05:10
Metta Spencer 1:05:12
Yes. And and I looked at a couple of years ago, I looked into what that company had been doing before they started making these. They’re not tanks, but they should have like tanks. And it was that they had been manufacturing trains. So I thought, Well, why not go back to making trains? Instead of making armored personnel carriers? I haven’t got any, any much progress on that. But if anybody wants to start a campaign to reconvert, the company that makes armored personnel carriers in Canada, back to making fast trains, I’m all for it. Now that and Alexey, do you want to speak now? Or do you want to go back to Richard who has got his hand up? Yeah.
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:06:03
We can go back, Richard. But I have two points to make two brief points. Well, first of all, first of all, I was inspired by the idea of building more trains. And what really struck me always keep striking me in Europe, is that there are no long distance trains really here crossing the whole continent. So you cannot take a train from like Finland to Spain, or from Sweden to Italy, or from the UK to Greece. Yes you can. Like you can’t take a single train.
Metta Spencer 1:06:39
Maybe not fast trains. I took a train from Helsinki to London.
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:06:45
It was a single train.
Metta Spencer 1:06:47
Single, well we had to get on, they put us on the hovercraft to go across the channel, but otherwise it was not. That was 19. I don’t know. I don’t know maybe in the 80s. But surely you could then have a I don’t know what’s wrong. What Why have they changed it?
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:07:11
Now I don’t I don’t know why maybe the airplanes have become so popular that no one really is choosing the trains due to maybe of course, due to the reasons of speed. But it will it will look at this I just looked into the into the possibility of traveling, for example, Warsaw to Paris, Warsaw to Madrid. Not that I would like to do it now. But when I’m getting when I when I get settled here, I just would prefer to to ride a train than to fly because you have all the necessary connections, you can work remotely on a train, you don’t lose that time.
Metta Spencer 1:07:51
I think I’ve actually taken a train from Warsaw to Paris. I used to travel a lot on trains in Europe. So either they’ve changed the rules or something.
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:08:02
But it used to be here. There used to be a train from Moscow to Paris. Maybe you took that one. But now of course, it’s not around anymore.. Because then I have to I’ll have to check it. Once again. Maybe they still have that.
Metta Spencer 1:08:19
And I took a train not even that long ago from Paris to Kyiv. And then a different train from Kyiv to Moscow. But I don’t think I could do it today. Okay, anyway, I’m interrupting your train of thought, sorry about that. Excuse me.
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:08:36
Metta Spencer 1:08:37
But more Go ahead. If you’re through…
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:08:39
I just I think the connection between the environment and the war is pretty obvious. Because now, when we have a war in Europe, no one really thinks about environment people have more serious issues, people are busy. People are bogged down in rivalry, who makes more tanks and the tanks who make who gives more diesel for those tanks. So no one really thinks about the environment about nature. Large forests get burned to due to bombings so largest swaths of land to get devastated. So it’s all about like, a very barbaric rivalry between nations and environment can only be protected together when countries get together, not when there is like a zero sum game between the countries not when they when people are only busy inventing better or more, more cruel weapons, which destroy not only people but which also destroy animals, which also destroy forests and habitat and nature. So the connection is pretty obvious to me. Okay, maybe I’m missing the point. Maybe Maybe I’m being a bit naive. Sorry.
Metta Spencer 1:10:10
No, it all of those are real. It’s just I’m not sure how, how much how they fit the priorities of the people in the various movements. But you know, if we can, if we can do it clearly that is what, what we want to do. It’s just that I’ve not seen it done too well yet. Richard Denton, do you have thoughts? Again?
Richard Denton 1:10:35
Again, on a slightly different issue, but again, continuing on. Another issue is divestment. You talked about conversion from armored vehicles into trains. But also, I think that we need to divert money from the mill military to peaceful purposes. An example of that is, again, General Electric found that they were making components to nuclear weapons, but it was a very small part of their business. And so with pressure from ICANN and the Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, they have now gotten out of that. So, and again, what we’re seeing, again, coming back to Andre, that divestment out of fossil fuels, and out of the military is having an effect. ICANN’s program don’t bank on the bomb is removing about 70 billion per year. Unfortunately, over 600 billion is still invested in making nuclear weapons. But we’re slowly whittling that down and making it more difficult for the Boeing and Lockheed Martin’s and Northrop Grumman’s, et cetera, to be financed from the banks. And I think that other organizations world beyond war also has a divestment policy and promoting that. So all of these I think, are going to have an effect. And hopefully, again, we can get rid of nuclear weapons through divestment.
Metta Spencer 1:12:27
Angle. All right. Charles Charles Tauber, I haven’t greeted you today. How’s everything in Vukovar?
Charles David Tauber 1:12:34
Actually not too worried. The city council a couple of weeks ago, said that we’re not going to have two alphabets anymore. Cyrillic and Latin. So they’re making ethnic problems.
Metta Spencer 1:12:56
Is it going to be, which wins? Cyrillic or… Well Latin, obviously, because this is Croatia. Oh Okay.
Charles David Tauber 1:13:06
But, yeah, and the object is that this is going to disturb the ethnic balance here. Probably it will also disturb the ethnic balance within the police, within education and within healthcare. So I’m expecting difficulties perhaps violence in the next few months? I don’t know. But I would suspect some.
Metta Spencer 1:13:39
I didn’t know that. The the script was still a fighting matter. I haven’t heard it a
Charles David Tauber 1:13:48
A couple of people got killed a couple of years ago on script.
Metta Spencer 1:13:53
Yeah, Alexey you’re shaking your head. You disagree or what?
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:14:05
I’m sorry, I’m just shocked. I’m just it makes me shocked, me shocked. Just deeply shocked. Yes, sorry.
Charles David Tauber 1:14:14
And the situation in Bosnia also is not great. There’s still quite a bit of tension between all three communities. That is [Serb-Croat], Bosniak, that will say Muslim. On a couple of points with regard to peace, and you know that this is my being my stand going for a while, that unless something is done about the situation with traumatization in all of these countries, that this is going to be transmitted from generation to generation and war is going to continue. And I think that that’s the case with Ukraine. I think that that’s the case with a lot of places. It’s certainly been the case, that was I, at least one of the causes, and it’s not really acknowledged that way, but it was one of the causes of the wars here in the 90s. The other and nobody’s really looking at it. The other thing we haven’t talked about tonight, or at least as long as I’ve been here, tonight, is the whole situation in Africa. We’re working in Congo, in Liberia now among other places, and the situation in Congo is absolutely awful. And nobody’s talking about it really. Also, yeah, particularly in eastern Congo, with M 23, and all the various tribes, all the stuff, all the stuff that’s going on there, and we’re getting huge numbers of requests for more groups. So we’re kind of going crazy, to put it mildly. After the, after our meeting tonight, by the way, I will have a meeting with a couple of people in Haiti. And that’s another place where the tension is extremely high. Nobody’s talking about these things. Nobody’s really doing anything on the trauma issue. We seem to be like to take a image from 20 years ago around here, or 25. Were wolves howling at the moon. That’s the way we feel. Yeah, it’s pretty awful.
Metta Spencer 1:17:00
There is some talk here about Haiti, though, but not about your issue that is a therapy for victims. But you know, there was a request for Canada to to do more to send troops or something into Haiti. And I think that, that Trudeau is going to say no, that they’ve done it before and it doesn’t work, what they what has, in fact, we had an article in the current issue of peace magazine, by Tim Donais, who’d been in charge of peacekeeping mission in Haiti a long time ago. And he said, that it really has to work through solving the elites in Haiti, that the Haitian elites need to actually take measures of their own. Because it’s, you know, they can’t just expect other people to come and solve their problems.
Charles David Tauber 1:17:57
It’s, it has to get down to the grassroots level. That’s, that’s our feeling on it. All of these places have to get down to the grassroots level. The elites will fight with one another for as long as they can. In any of these countries in any of these regions. Certainly, that’s happening in Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, those kinds of places.
Metta Spencer 1:18:26
Well how, if you were in charge of serving the Haitian thing, but at the grassroots level, what would you do? Apart from group therapy? How would you organize reconciliation?
Charles David Tauber 1:18:43
Okay, look, I’m not an expert on Haiti. I don’t pretend I am, we’ve had a couple of meetings of that group. But I would organize, and this goes for Congo, and this goes for a lot of places. I would organize community groups, I would empower those community groups, through teaching people how to first of all deal with the traumas, but also how to organize themselves into nonviolent conflict groups, and to organize themselves into action groups to improve their own environment. That’s not being done anywhere. The education odds are very bad. In many of these places, that’s needed. There is, there are huge amounts of abuse of all kinds of people, women, children, in Congo, and Rwanda, and those kinds of places. And by the way, we’re working also in Liberia with a, a lot of drug addicts. And that’s a question of transmission from the civil wars of the 90s. And I’m hearing that that’s the case in Sierra Leone as well, and these people are on drugs. The kids, people in Congo are afraid of the kids, because when they go when they get out of the army, they have been taught to kill people. And so I’ve heard this a couple of times, that they’re afraid to deal with these kids, because they don’t know what will happen to them.
Metta Spencer 1:20:38
Well, thank you, you know, we’ve got two more hands up. And the same people are talking all the time. In Marilyn, you say you have to leave? Don’t you need to say something before? You haven’t even said hello. So at least say hello, Marilyn. What’s on your mind before you go? You, Marilyn. Well, I don’t know where she’s going already. And okay. I also want want to call on sorry, where? Somebody Schmidt when she go. Just a minute ago, I was seeing a woman named Schmidt, who had been here a whole time and hadn’t even been greeted. I think I discouraged her and she’s gone away. Sorry. Marilyn, do you want to say hi, before you go? Too late. Okay, let’s put up the two hands. Yes, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Ecker Vanderploeg 1:21:37
It’s me again. Okay. I think it is in France, where you can’t do any short flights, you have to take the train, it might be a different country. But I think it’s France. And but you know, the world should be run by kindergarten teachers, kindergarten teachers take the toys away with when the kids fight with them and as long as we supply ammunitions, etc. there will be war. And my understanding is that Ukraine was actually very heavily involved in the illicit weapon trade. And does anybody know what happened to that plane that crashed about a couple of months ago in Greece, which was full of weapons, it was an Ukrainian plane, full of weapons, and we never heard anything else about it. Does anybody know what actually happened to it?
Metta Spencer 1:22:32
I don’t remember hearing about it, anybody else?
Elizabeth Ecker Vanderploeg 1:22:38
We never hear the interesting things.
Metta Spencer 1:22:40
Yeah, it’s probably don’t have the press coverage. Okay, I wish I could call on somebody who hasn’t spoken yet. And Marilyn’s picture seems to indicate she’s still with us. But that’s probably not true. And Charles, you’ve spoken a little bit. Well, Adam, Adam, why don’t you let us know what’s going on with you?
Adam Wynne 1:23:06
Metta, I am sorry, I don’t know much as I’m listening to the conversation, but I’m also sick with COVID right now.
Metta Spencer 1:23:11
Yeah. Adam and I, we don’t know who gave it to whom but he works for me. And I got it before he did. So it must have been that I gave it to him. But I have no idea how I got it. Anyway, let’s see,
Adam Wynne 1:23:25
I was interested. I was interested to hear the comments about Canada not sending a force to Haiti, because when we sent it in the past, it’s not worked. And I’m curious if we’ve had that approach with other countries as well, where there’s been repeated conflicts, and at what point does the government draw the line? In the past I think we may have been more. I’m not sure if amenable or cordial is the right term, perhaps neither of them are but our Governor General for many years was Haitian Canadian, and would have been acutely aware of the situation in Haiti and she’s no longer in office. So I’m wondering if that may have also played a role within the decisions that were made? But I do apologize by having no camera. I do have COVID right now, it’s not a very pleasant situation.
Metta Spencer 1:24:18
Well, okay. Who come on now? Let’s have somebody who hasn’t spoken for a while Peter Brogden. Let’s go back to you. You’ve got it. Oh, no. Andre wants his hand up. All right.
Andre Sheldon 1:24:33
Hello, with regards to an emergency situation, the violence around the world is increasing. The war has hardened people’s hearts. It’s terrible. We’re in an emergency situation because of the the nuclear dangers and the climate crisis. So I say it’s all about leadership right now, is to bring the climate and the peace movement together, there’s two people that I think can bring their individual movements, all together to join together. And one is from Canada, Naomi Klein. She’s the foremost authority on the climate movement in, in the North America. And she’s listened to if she asked the people in the climate movement to do anything they would probably join. And on the other side and the peace movement, Beatrice Fihn from Switzerland from Sweden. She’s the most powerful woman in the whole world, I think, because of ICANN. If she asked the people to do anything, they would do it. Those two, when I go to the Secretary General, I’m asking him to bring those women together. I can’t do it. They don’t listen to me, which I don’t expect them to. But the concept that I’m proposing, I’m hoping they’ll listen to because it’s, it’s all designed around unity. That’s what Richard was saying. And all the leaders around the world are saying we need a mass movement, we need to unite under one umbrella. It’s right there I have to leave in about 10 minutes, but thank you so much, everybody.
Metta Spencer 1:26:27
All right, Charles.
Charles David Tauber 1:26:28
Yeah, a couple of things. First of all, you might, you mentioned Earth Day, and the connection between environment and peace. I participated in the first Earth Day back in my teens in the 60s. And we did some stuff with the first reactions of Greenpeace back in the early 70s, among others, among other things, we transmitted from the what was the name of the boat that went up to [inaudible]. We transmitted all that they made a transmission every day, and they transmitted it to us. And we put it into the alternative radio network at the states. So that brings back a lot of memories.
Metta Spencer 1:27:18
Rainbow, why are you talking about that?
Charles David Tauber 1:27:21
Yeah, the Rainbow Warrior. On top of our house in Portland, one of the Quakers had a something like a 10 meter aerial. And we were getting broadcasts from them every day and putting it into the alternative radio network in Portland, Oregon. And they were sending it all over the states. This, and I was driving up from Portland to Vancouver, virtually every weekend at a certain point. So this, this really takes me back.
Metta Spencer 1:27:57
We we still have some opportunity, we don’t have a radio network. But we have tosavetheworld.ca which is a place where there are public comments on all types of comments of our global issues, War and Peace, global warming, famine, pandemics, etc. So please, I really wish it got more use. Go there and post something every time you have a thought post it on the right comment column. And then if you see something somebody else’s posted, post your reply or your your response to them. Because we really could do much more if we would use the same website for people working in all of these different areas. That was my original idea of why why I created the website in the first place was the idea that we need a common place not just to unite those two particular issues, war and peace and, and cloud global warming. But all the others, the five, the four other global issues that threaten us, and yet it’s not used enough, so make better use of it, please.
Charles David Tauber 1:29:22
The other the other point I wanted to make is that I think we’re in a very, very dangerous situation, in terms of the trauma and the transmission of trauma for the world as a whole. I think that I know I’ve said this before, but I think that if we don’t do this, we’re certainly seeing this in the Balkans that this will explain. There’s I don’t see there’s an there’s any way around. I think we’re gonna see. I’d be interested to hear Alexeys comments on this too. That if we don’t do this, I think some of the the stuff in Ukraine comes from the Second World War. I. And we certainly see that here in Croatia and Serbia and Bosnia that the same that the issues. Every time I talk to somebody here about any of this stuff, I get a history lesson. And that dates back to the Second World War. And so I think that if we don’t deal with this, we’re really going to be in trouble. The other point is that I believe patriotism to be a mental illness. [Inaudible]. No, I’m not kidding about it. I think that it and I think it seriously needs treatment, and psychiatrists aren’t talking about it. And, and this is really a problem. I think Putin has it, but I think also Zelinsky has it. And I mean, a certainly a lot of the stuff in Ukraine, my God, Ukraine during the Second World War, I shudder to think what happened there. We had on Friday, we had world Holocaust day, the victims of Holocaust day. And those issues are still playing a role. And those transmission issues are completely there in all of Europe, in Greece as well. And what are we doing with a migrant issue, my lord. Croatia was just brought before the International Court of Human Rights, on the pushback issue. Greece is also having it’s issues in that regard. Look at Afghanistan. How many places are there in the world where this is going? I mean, if you look at Africa, it’s the whole continent. It scares the hell out of me, quite frankly.
Metta Spencer 1:32:24
Thank you. I think you’ve, I’ve seen a lot of heads nodding. When you talk about patriotism as a mental illness. I’ve never called it that. But I think a lot of us agree with you. Yeah. Alan Haber. You have your hand up. So Andre are you saying goodbye? Andre. Okay. Thank you.
Andre Sheldon 1:32:48
Yeah I have to go.
Metta Spencer 1:32:49
Take care, feel better, bye.
Alan Haber 1:32:50
Goodbye, Andre. I’ll be in touch. I like what you’re doing.
Metta Spencer 1:32:53
Alan Haber 1:32:58
So whenever Charles speaks, I’m very moved you he you are right on the cut edge of this war system. And I just wanted to underscore when I talk about a quick way of describing the peace system is full spectrum cooperation, caring, sharing, helping and healing. Healing is the trauma that everyone who has been in this war system is injured by it. And unless we see the transition to what is new, dealing with that injury, some places very much present and in your face, like child soldiers and so on. Other places, less obvious, but still there. So I just wanted to underscore that, and I appreciate very much what Charles David Tauber is doing in the agony of the experience. The experience is much wider, when I spoke to family in Israel, the grandmother said, Well, you can’t trust the Arabs. And her daughter, her granddaughter said, who’s a psychologist said, mother, You have to realize that our whole society is in a trauma from the wars. We have to see a different way of relating to the other, we’re all injured. And so right in the family, there’s this discussion of how we are injured and how we have to see a different way of looking at the others. The UN the UN resolution decade for reproachment is just over last year, that where the issue was how to see reproachment between cultures between injuries. And so there’s a lot of that come from that from UNESCO. And we’re now just about to end the decade for the culture of people of African descent, where the consequences of racism are dramatic. We just saw it acted out in Memphis, whatever drove those people, those black cops to brutalize, now, that’s not just them. That’s a whole history that’s played out. You have five in some way, innocent receptors or Social Pathology. So what Charles is doing, I really appreciate and I think we should all see that as part of the struggle we are in to recognize the injuries we are dealing with in ourselves and the people we are seeking to relate with.
Charles David Tauber 1:35:46
By the way, are you guys aware that Canada has one of the foremost foundations on child soldiers, the Dollar Foundation, the General Dollar Foundation, in Halifax. They are one of few groups, working with former child soldiers, and with current child soldiers. And that is a real pro. In many, many places. People are scared of these people, of these kids. Because they have been taught, as I said, before, to kill. So people are afraid to engage with this is what I’ve been hearing.
Metta Spencer 1:36:33
You know, I need to try again, Adam, remind me, let’s try to get to Romeo Delaire. Again, every time I’ve tried to interview him, he’s turned me down. But I think, you know, let’s try again. Because what his work with child soldiers is, is unique. I think, I don’t know anybody in the world who, who’s doing that. And I don’t know, really what he’s doing. But we certainly have people in common. Maybe I can get one of my friends to intervene with him and persuade him to let me
Charles David Tauber 1:37:11
Metta, he has an executive director called Shirley Whitman. You might try to get to her.
Metta Spencer 1:37:21
Okay. Who’s the who’s the guy? Oh, in California, I think who has worked for years and years and years. On this issue. I never, I don’t know of anybody in California, who’s done that. Child soldiers? Don’t know of anyone.
Charles David Tauber 1:37:40
Metta Spencer 1:37:40
Do you know, what group he is with or organization?
Charles David Tauber 1:37:46
He’s with one of the universities, but let me try and find it.
Metta Spencer 1:37:51
Okay, so if you post it, if you do find it, I’ll put it on the chat, or because the chat will be put into the public comments column. As soon as I get, you know, the show put up. So you can, we’ll always have the chat available there. But you can add it as a separate entry in the public comments column. Anyway, yeah. Thank you. Yeah, it’s certainly a very important thing to talk about child soldiers. I would like if nobody else has anything urgent, I want to go back to this thing that’s on my mind with Alexey because I kind of been I don’t know, I’ve wanted, I wanted Alexey to be engaged with this. But I can see that you got to find a way to set up your own livelihood in Warsaw and get secure before before I call on you so much on this. But my notion is, is this, that these people like yourself, and there’s, there could even be a million of you guys who left Russia, just at the time of mobilization, in order to avoid being sent to kill. That you guys should have, you’re the most promising bunch of people to have an impact on the country, because you oppose the war. And at least those of you who do oppose the war are the ones we want to deal with. And I agree, I don’t know how to sort the good ones from the bad ones. Because there’s every incentive for the bad ones to lie in order to get on that list of the good ones. So it’s not an easy thing to do. But, you know, then the notion that you, you do still have and will continue to have ongoing contacts with people in Russia, even those of you who will never go back, you’re going to still have family and friends there, and you’re in touch with them. And people in Russia are not in a position to take position against government publicly, but living outside the country you are. So you now are in a position to think and talk about how to fix the country. And nobody in that country is. I mean, I’ve talked to some people that I like a whole lot, who are still staying in the country, and they are holding their tongue some, you know, they can’t say much, even people who are extremely vocal, normally are not speaking up. So you are the only people who can make good suggestions. So you need to have a conversation, you need to have it in Russian, and you need to have it something like this global townhall only it ought to be structured a little bit so that one week, you’ll be talking about, I don’t know, the judicial system. And the next week, we’ll be talking about who’s going to regulate the economy. And the next week, you’ll talk about, you know, what kind of electoral system you believe in, or whatever. You talk, you could talk about the kinds of structural changes you need to make in the, in the system. So that when you get back into an opportunity to go home, if you ever want to go home, you at least have worked out some stuff. And, and so I want to facilitate that I want to have a show once, maybe twice a month, hosted by somebody like you speaking in Russian, with all the Russian emigres who’ve, who want to talk about solving these problems. And, and, you know, we can publicize it and, and invite people everywhere in the world, people have gone to Thailand, and I talked to somebody who’s gone to Sri Lanka, they can’t find any way to get a visa to the places that they want to go. So they wind up going strange places that they don’t feel they belong.
Alan Haber 1:42:10
Yeah, my next door neighbor.
Metta Spencer 1:42:12
You have one in Ann Arbor is that it?
Alan Haber 1:42:15
Yeah, two houses down?
Metta Spencer 1:42:17
Well, well take his name down and email address. Because my notion is somebody should be collecting the names and email addresses of people who fit that category. And these are not people who are immediately concerned about how to change the constitution of Russia, because they’ve got to get on their feet financially and find, you know, get the kids in school, and whatever needs to be done. That’s a totally, you know, consuming process for a while. But after they do, and starting right now, because some people are ready, we could start running a talk show in Russian, and it needs to be in Russian. So I can’t be, you know, I can’t be involved. I don’t know, Russian, but you and some of your friends, could I know that Andre Kamenshikov would be a good person. And there are probably others that would recommend, as I say, ringleaders of this thing. And let’s record it and put it on our website, and encourage other people to join in. And I think that, you know, we this is not just for the fun of people, or the pleasure of people wanting to contact each other for sentimental reasons. It’s, it’s really needed, as a way of planning had to fix the flaws that that have led to this situation where, I mean, you’ve got a government where it’s set up, so that one human being can start a war and nobody can stop him. Nobody can stop him. Now, something’s got to be done to fix that. And it shouldn’t be hard for people to understand that this is, this is an issue that they’ve got to deal with. Now, tell me, am I wrong?
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:44:18
You’re absolutely right, because we’re, one of the reasons why this hasn’t taken place so far is because we’re atomized were like. It has been already mentioned that we live in different silos, all of us. A lot has been done to make us that way make us behave that way over the past 25 years. If you look back at the history of Putin, he, you will notice that people, a whole generation has been brought up in a way to disbelieve any, any grassroots initiatives any disbelief, disbelief, any change that could come out of discussion. And that’s that’s another important reason. Not only just some immediate problems like survival, like getting some job here and there, it’s also disbelief. And then there’s fear. Because many people understand that they can, something can happen in their home country. I know a couple of people and I couldn’t put myself that some circumstances could happen back back home, may I call it that way still, because my mom is back in Russia. And if she needs immediate help, I might, I might have to just go back against all odds. And many people are scared to talk because they’re not, they haven’t yet severed all the ties with the with Russia yet. They’re unable to do so because they have relatives, they have the family there. And although they’re outside the country immediately out of danger, immune to danger. It might happen that they might either they’re hostages, their families as hostages, they can be, they can incur some damage, or they themselves might might have to might have to get back to to go back to the country. That’s very sad.
Metta Spencer 1:46:42
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:46:43
That’s very sad.
Metta Spencer 1:46:44
Well, it certainly is. But the the, in a way, it’s I don’t think you’re afraid to talk because you come on this global Town Hall all the time. And, and you you said things that clearly. You know, you’d get in trouble for saying at home, or you might get in trouble. How many people actually get in trouble? They said right at the beginning that if you do something like use the word war, instead of special military operation, you can get 15 years in jail. Okay, has anybody actually been sent to jail for 15 years or anything, any length of time doing that? How many people do you know of, who’ve actually experienced real repression as opposed to the threat of repression?
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:47:36
Well, it’s being done. It’s being done very randomly. So Putin’s approach is, unlike Stalin’s approach of mastery, practice. Putin’s, Putin’s approach is that of random repression, so okay, let’s take one in 10,000 persons, and let’s be really hard on them. Let’s not, let’s not touch every one of the 10,000s. But let’s make one, take one and make his life as poor as possible. So everyone can feel that that’s a lottery. Even though the chances are slim, I can be the next one after him. And it’s very random, the there is a feeling of chaos, the feeling is that the system is ungovernable unmanageable, and that it’s, it’s living a life of its own the system of repression. So you never know what can happen really.
Metta Spencer 1:48:40
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:48:41
But, I think the chance is slim.
Metta Spencer 1:48:43
How afraid are most of the people, you know, living you’re in touch with in Russia? How careful and cautious are they on the whole?
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:48:54
Mostly, they’re cautious enough to use the word special operations even in public in private in private messages.
Metta Spencer 1:49:05
Well, I watch,
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:49:08
I use, I’m using war. I use war myself.
Metta Spencer 1:49:12
I watch a video several times a week in which a guy goes around with a camera on the street and stops people and says, What do you think of the government? Or what, do you do approve of this war? And, and two thirds or so of them will give a straight answer, which is either yes or no. And they they do differ. And maybe a third of them will say I don’t want to talk about it. So I don’t know whether that’s a representative sample, but at any rate, it means that not everybody is scared to speak up in a way that they know they’re being filmed. And yet they say it and you know, they don’t seem, those people don’t seem to be afraid.
Charles David Tauber 1:50:04
Metta, I must go. But I want to remind people of a quote from Einstein, and this is something that applies here, as well. Namely, that “unthinking obedience to authority is the greatest enemy of truth”. And the point is that people are very much afraid, there’s a singer here called Thompson and named for the Tommy gun. Um, and I have, he’s a fascist, a very, they wear black shirts to his concert, they give the Nazi salute here. And when I approached the Jewish community about protesting his presence, they were extremely afraid of doing this.
Metta Spencer 1:51:04
Charles David Tauber 1:51:06
Extremely afraid. They, so they were, there is this whole fear element, which dates back from any time of dictatorship, even from Tito. So, Marko, Marko PERKOVIC is the guy’s name in reality, but I must go, because I have to have my group in Haiti now. But bear in mind that the element of fear that has been developed in all of these countries is huge. And people are even in the States. Would how many people go against the draft? How many people go against military what they laughingly call service?
Metta Spencer 1:52:06
Well, you know my answer on that is, if you don’t, certainly nobody would ever want to quarrel with Einstein, but, but I’m not sure that his formulation is adequate. Because it’s not just the obedience to authority. It’s it’s also conformity to a social group. I mean, the majority, I think our stupidities, our, you know, bad behavior and bad thinking, come from group dynamics, where we’re in a group of people that we like, and we want them to approve of us, we don’t want to make waves, we don’t want to offend anybody, or, or be thought of as odd. And so everybody conforms to everybody else. And there’s this dynamic this most, even if there’s no authority telling you what to do, people will say stupid things that will, you know, run their lives in really bad way, because of this group. Groupthink, and that really bothers me is not just bad people who do it, it’s organizations that I belong to that are very important to me, that I’ve seen the same kind of blunt, you know, willful, willful blindness, and ignorance and, you know, distorted thinking, because people want to be conforming to what the rest of the group thinks.
Charles David Tauber 1:53:31
Agreed. You forgive me, I’m still because I have the group up, but we’ll be in touch.
Metta Spencer 1:53:41
All right, my friend. Thank you for your work. Anybody else want to say a parting word before we split for the for the month? Yes. Peter Brogdon? Yes.
Peter Brogden 1:53:54
I certainly found it intense listening, hearing you talk about all of these things. And I have been out of it a little bit for one or two other reasons. And I’m very glad to be able to think again, and ask the questions of myself. At any rate, even if I can’t get around, asking a question on the screen. So I am very appreciative of what I’ve been able to hear in the last two hours. Thank you.
Metta Spencer 1:54:22
Thank you, Peter. It’s wonderful. Thank you all. It’s been a pleasure. I guess these things are not entirely pleasurable, but it’s good for us. Good for the soul. And and I think we all are making contributions and our healing is healing. Yeah.
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:54:42
Metta Spencer 1:54:42
There is a big heart on Alexey’s screen. So thank you. See you in a month. Take care. Bye.
Alan Haber 1:54:54
Bye. Bye. Thank you.
Alexey Prokhorenko 1:54:56
Thank you. Thank you very, very much.
We produce several one-hour-long Zoom conversations each week about various aspects of six issues we address. You can watch them live and send a question to the speakers or watch the edited version later here or on our Youtube channel.