Andrew Feinstein served as an African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament in South Africa for over seven years. However, he resigned in 2001 to protest the ANC’s refusal to launch an independent and comprehensive investigation into a multi-billion dollar arms deal which was tainted by allegations of high-level corruption. His account of the deal, the corruption, its cover-up and his attempts to investigate it are the subjects of his first book “After the Party: A Personal and Political Journey Inside the ANC”. He is also a founding Director of Corruption Watch, an NGO using case studies of grand corruption to develop policy proposals to combat corrupt behavior by corporations and governments. In 2016 he released the book The Shadow World, an investigation into the greed, corruption, and collusion that all too often exists among politicians, weapons manufacturers, felonious arms dealers, and the military.
Medea, co-founder of CODEPINK, has been an advocate for social justice for more than forty years. Since the September 11, 2001, tragedy, Medea has been working to promote a U.S. foreign policy that would respect human rights and gain us allies instead of contributing to violence and undermining our international reputation. She has organized many protests against the U.S. interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. Medea has also been on the forefront of the anti-drone movement. Benjamin is the author of nine books, including Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection. Her articles appear regularly in outlets such as The Huffington Post, CommonDreams, Alternet, The Other Words, and TeleSUR.
Vijay Prashad is a world-renowned journalist, historian, and professor whose books, essays and lectures have inspired millions. A prolific writer, his 20 books include The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution, The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World, and Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South. Known as a modern-day Franz Fanon, he is a frequent contributor to The Real News, Democracy Now, Counterpunch, and Alternet. Vijay has a sweeping worldview of both history and the present-day conflicts, which he weaves together brilliantly—and with wry humor.
William Hartung is the Director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. He is the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex (Nation Books, 2011) and the co-editor, with Miriam Pemberton, of Lessons from Iraq: Avoiding the Next War (Paradigm Press, 2008). His previous books include And Weapons for All (HarperCollins, 1995), a critique of U.S. arms sales policies from the Nixon through Clinton administrations. From July 2007 through March 2011, Mr. Hartung was the director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation. Before that, he served as the director of the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute. Bill Hartung’s articles on security issues have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, and the World Policy Journal. He has been a featured expert on national security issues on CBS 60 Minutes, NBC Nightly News, the Lehrer Newshour, CNN, Fox News, and scores of local, regional, and international radio outlets. He blogs for the Huffington Post and TPM Café.
A human rights defender whose experience spans four decades of domestic and international education and activism, Ajamu Baraka is a veteran grassroots organizer whose roots are in the Black Liberation Movement and anti-apartheid and Central American solidarity struggles. Baraka is an internationally recognized leader of the emerging human rights movement in the U.S. and has been at the forefront of efforts to apply the international human rights framework to social justice advocacy in the U.S. for more than 25 years. Baraka has also served on the boards of various national and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International (USA), the Center for Constitutional Rights, Africa Action, and the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights. He is currently an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report, a writer for Counterpunch, and is the National Organizer and National Spokesperson for the Black Alliance for Peace.
Jodie Evans, co-founder of CODEPINK, is a political activist, author, and documentary film producer who has been a visionary advocate for peace for several decades. Since the start of the 2003 Iraq War, Jodie has traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and Jordan on several occasions as a citizen diplomat. She has also traveled to Cuba to protest the prison facility at Guantanamo, and in 2015 she was one of 30 women activists from fifteen countries who crossed the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, calling for peace and reconciliation between the two countries. Jodie is the co-editor of two books, "Twilight of Empire: Responses to Occupation" and "Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism" and a contributor to “Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution.” She is currently writing a book about divesting from the unjust, extractive war economy and building a just, sustainable peace economy.
Miriam Pemberton is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and directs its Peace Economy Transitions Project focused on helping to build the foundations of a postwar economy at the federal, state and local levels. She co-chairs the Budget Priorities Working Group, the principal information-sharing collaboration of U.S. NGOs working on reducing Pentagon spending. In addition to articles and op-eds, her publications include two report series. “Military vs. Climate Security” compares federal spending on the two security domains, and argues for a shift of security resources toward mitigating climate change. “A Unified Security Budget for the United States” examined the balance of spending on military forces, homeland security and non-military foreign engagement and argues for a more peaceful, rebalanced security budget.
Maggie Martin is a Co-Director and Director of Organizing with Iraq Veterans Against the War. Maggie was in the Army from 2001-2006, and had three deployments to Kuwait and Iraq before leaving the army as a Sergeant in 2006. She joined Iraq Veterans Against War in 2007, joining a chorus of Iraq war veterans calling for immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq; reparations for the human and structural damages Iraq has suffered, and stopping the corporate pillaging of Iraq so that their people can control their own lives and futures; and full benefits, adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicemen and women. Iraq Veterans Against War is at the forefront of confronting military culture and reeling in the unbridled militarism that fuels the war machine both abroad and in our streets.
John is a national organizer with Global Zero, a leading international group dedicated to achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons, where he spearheads volunteer recruitment and mobilization across the United States. Global Zero is dedicated to eliminating the nuclear threat – including proliferation and nuclear terrorism – by stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, securing all nuclear materials and eliminating all nuclear weapons. They have spent years building a massive international coalition of influential political, military, business, civic and faith leaders – matched by a powerful global grassroots movement- that work to achieve true global zero. John is an avid national field organizer, and has organized on several progressive political campaigns with the Sierra Club, MoveOn.org, and Food & Water Watch.
Jacqueline Cabasso is the Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation, a legal organization dedicated to serving nonviolent peace and environmental activists. Jackie also serves as the North American Coordinator for Mayors for Peace, a coalition of cities around the world working toward the total abolition of nuclear weapons. Mayors for Peace has 7,453 member cities globally from 162 different countries and regions, who work to raise international public awareness regarding the need to abolish nuclear weapons and contribute to the realization of genuine and lasting world peace by working to eliminate starvation and poverty, assist refugees fleeing local conflict, support human rights, protect the environment, and solve the other problems that threaten peaceful coexistence within the human family.
Lisa Renstrom is the Co-Founder and Council Chair of The Divest Invest Initiative’s campaign to engage individuals across the economic spectrum in the global fossil fuel divestment and sustainable investment movements. She has served as the Executive Director of Voice & Choices, which advanced economic and environmental sustainability through large-scale change models and civic engagement. Later, as President of the national Sierra Club, she strove to engage all Americans in environmental protection and place energy and climate at the top of the Clubs priorities.
Garick Ruiz is the North American Advocacy Advisor for the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC). Garik is heavily involved in the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), the global movement to end international support Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law. The BNC works to strengthen and spread the culture of boycott as a central form of civil resistance to Israeli occupation, colonialism, and apartheid. The BDS movement is an anti-colonial movement, and Garik and the BNC work with other groups across the world to oppose colonization in all of its forms.
Susi Snyder is the Nuclear Disarmament Programme Manager for Pax in the Netherlands. Mrs. Snyder has published numerous reports and articles, notably, the 2014 and 2015 Don’t Bank on the Bomb: Global Report on the Financing of Nuclear Weapons Producers. She is an International Steering Group member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and a 2016 Nuclear-Free Future Award Laureate. Previously, Mrs. Snyder served as the Secretary-General of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
Larry Wilkerson is a retired U.S. Army colonel and former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. He is the Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Government and Public Policy at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. In addition, he has been published in The American Conservative, Playboy Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Miami Herald, the New York Daily News, and other magazines and newspapers across the country, as well as appeared on television with Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz, Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow, Wolf Blitzer, the BBC’s Hardtalk and Newsnight, and others. He has appeared in several recent documentaries also, including Alex Gibney’s “Taxi to the Dark Side” and Charles Ferguson’s “No End in Sight”. He was also chairman of the U.S.-Cuba 21st Century Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation from 2006-2010.