VFP099 in Asheville totally out of touch — again

VFP099 in Asheville, North Carolina has shown again that they are woefully out of touch with what goes on in the world of protests and activism.


Well, maybe not all of the members, but definitely a few of them are.


An online article which can be read at http://www.popularresistance.org/veterans-group-responds-to-president-obamas-call-to-war/ is being passed around by some of the members; basically just preaching to the choir.


While the article itself is well written and full of valid points, the main issue is with an email I received this morning that accompanied the link.


This article is sent from Kevin Zeese, a dynamic peace activist. John S.


I won’t give John’s last name to protect him from the ridicule and embarrassment that he would experience if his full name were to be known.


The fact that “John S.” touts Kevin Zeese as a “dynamic peace activist” shows John’s total lack of understanding and comprehension of Zeese, the peace movement or both and, by extension, the lack of understanding on the part of Veterans for Peace.


This isn’t the first time that VFP has gotten on the wrong side of an activist either.


Remember Cindy Sheehan?  The mother who camped out close to George W. Bush’s ranch when her son Casey was killed in combat?


She went on to ride a roller coaster of fame traveling around the globe being held out as a “dynamic activist” and “leader” of the peace movement.


Sheehan started to believe her press releases and allowed herself to be co-opted — that’s a phrase you find turning up a lot in VFP circles — by groups that were smarter than she with genuine causes to push.


Today Sheehan is just a caricature of her former self.  Zeese is also.  But that doesn’t stop some of the misguided VFP members from holding them out as examples of “dynamic activists”.




Kevin Zeese is a man who is unknown to 99.5% of Americans.  The .5% who have heard of him are divided, unequally, in their opinion of him.  A few, including “John S.” Feel that Zeese must have written the book about activism and should be revered along with Jesus Christ and Buddha.


The majority have no use for this “professional activist”.


Zeese was born in New York City in 1955 and grew up in Queens.  The product of public schools, he received a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Buffalo before graduating from the George Washington University Law School in 1980.


Zeese’s activistm has a long and varied history.  Unable to focus on one or two topics, he historically attaches himself to issues where he can be the benefactor of the media which at times fawns over the endless personalized press releases that originate from Zeese himself.


Listed on Zeese’s resume are:


— Chief Counsel for National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)

— Director of the Ralph Nader-connected group Democracy Rising

—  Worked on the 2003 gubernatorial campaign of Green Party Candidate Peter Cameojo

— Ran for the US Senate from Maryland where he finished a distant third

— His website lists him as “founder” and “organizer of Occupy Washington


And, well, that’s about it.  Not much of a resume.


Zeese’s bio on Huffington Post reads:


“Kevin Zeese is co-director of It’s Our Economy and an organizer of the National Occupation of Washington, DC and one of the original organizers of Occupy Washington, DC.”


Zeese shows his ignorance by claiming to be one of the “original organizers” of Occupy.  Anyone with even a basic knowledge of the Occupy movement knows there were no “organizers”; that was one of the downfalls of the movement.


In October 2011, Zeese did participate in a march that terminated in Freedom Plaza in Washington DC.  A public plaza made of concrete and stone, Freedom Plaza turned out to be one of two sites in the nation’s capital where an occupy type movement was held.  The other being MacPherson Square about five blocks away.


When Zeese, and his cohort Margaret Flowers, tried to exercise dictatorial control over the plaza, the occupiers threw them out.  You really have to be a scumbag if the occupiers didn’t want you.


Zeese was not alone however.  Many attempts by many groups of people to co-opt occupy were made.  Most efforts were held off as they were in Freedom Plaza, but many were successfully co-opted as the occupy movement in Asheville, NC.


For members of Veterans for Peace to label Zeese a “dynamic activist” is to belittle the work done by real activists and VFP needs to do a better job of monitoring whom they endorse.


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