BWW Discussion Meeting: Tuesday December 1st 2020

Brown War Watch will have our final meeting of the semester Tuesday at 7pm to discuss ongoing conflicts, developments in the military industrial complex, and pathways to peace.

As a graduate student group at Brown University, and in order to comply with university policy, our official meetings will resume in the second week of January. That being said, war and peace and the efforts surrounding them don’t stop for the holidays. If you are curious to learn more about what we’re doing or what we’re talking about always feel free to reach out to us at or through our facebook or twitter.

All political and spiritual beliefs welcome, united in the quest for a more peaceful planet. End the Endless Wars!

Please email for the Zoom link.


On Cuba and the US:
One of our members has graciously offered to present a bit on US-Cuba relations and History. Is Cuba a hapless country taken over by communists or an example of revolutionary resistance to American Imperialism? Through the presentation and following discussion we hope to all expand our understanding.

What does the Biden Cabinet mean for war and peace?
While there has been some criticism (Business InsiderJacobinScoopIn These Times) the worries of a hawkish cabinet are conspicuously absent from some US media (CNN [1,2], CNBC [1,2], Baltimore Sun). Is the incoming cabinet truly a return to an age of diplomacy that will make the world safer, or a harbinger of war and regime change to come?

Open floor – for any topic of discussion of concern or interest

BWW rewind: The Nuns, the Priests, and the Bomb

In February of last year Brown War Watch hosted a film screening of The Nuns, the Priests and the Bombs. This powerful documentary highlights the plowshares movement, and the daring group of Catholic anti-nuclear weapon activists that broke into a nuclear weapons facility in protest against these devastating weapons.

A description of the film from the website:

Are they criminals or prophets sending a wake-up call to the world?  

Since 1980, activists in lay and religious life have undertaken dramatic Plowshares protests, derived from the biblical injunction, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares,” incurring long prison sentences in an ongoing campaign to deter nuclear disaster.

A poster that advertised the event

Following the film screening was a panel featuring the film’s director, Helen Young, investigative journalist Alex Nunes, and activist Frida Berrigan. Check out the panel below:

Panel Following the film screening of The Nuns, the Priests, and the Bomb at Brown University in Feb 2019

Today, as we await the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to enter into force (after receiving the required number of ratifications in October), this film remains as relevant as ever. While the United States frequently flouts international weapons bans (such as the ban on cluster bombs) and international law (such as the repeated use of torture by the US on detained prisoners of war) this treaty provides a reminder of the horrors of nuclear warfare and an opportunity to highlight the moral arguments against their use.

BWW Discussion Meeting: Tuesday November 23rd 2020

Brown War Watch meets online every Tuesday at 7pm to discuss ongoing conflicts, developments in the military industrial complex, and pathways to peace.

All political and spiritual beliefs welcome, united in the quest for a more peaceful planet. End the Endless Wars!

Please email for the Zoom link.


The human costs of “the war on terror”
War crimes (WSJNBCNYT), civilian casualties (InterceptAirwars), and displaced peoples (NYT)

Discussion question: To what extent are we as citizens responsible for the war crimes committed by our governments, intelligence agencies, and militaries?

A Trump phenomenon or the status quo?
On the Trump administration relationship with Israel (NYTWashington Post) and Saudi Arabia (The NationPBS).
On the Obama administration relationship with Israel (Reuters) and Saudi Arabia (ReutersPolitico)

Discussion question: Is the portrayal of the uniqueness of Trump’s support for violent governments fact, fiction, or something in between?

Open floor – for any topic of discussion of concern or interest

Update: Bolivia

Great news from Bolivia! Despite strong arm intimidation and apparent voter suppression by the violent self appointed interim government, democracy has prevailed as Louis Arce wins the election.

In rough chronologically here are some sources and info on how we got to where we are now:

First for a bit of background, if you missed our event check out Bolivia on the Brink: Natural Resources, the War on Drugs, and the Future of Democracy, this provides great context of where Bolivia was going into and during the Morales presidency.

BWW, Watson, and CLACS presents Bolivia on the Brink

Next, a government overthrown, a story of US and OAS interference

The brutal slaughter of indigenous people by the Interim government

Reports of intimidation and voter suppression

Even still, thankfully, Louis Arce wins the election and the interim government peacefully steps down

Action Sheet: Bolivia

With unsettling signs emerging from Bolivia on election day (10/18/2020) – including militarized streets & intimidation of international observers –  we encourage the international community to keep their eyes steadfast on events there as democracy hangs in the balance.

If you’re wondering what you can do we’ve put together an action sheet that may help.

The action sheet contains info on who you can donate to, who to follow (on twitter) to keep up to speed with what’s happening, some sources to learn more, and a helpful tool to help you find the contact info for your reps in the house and senate. You can download a pdf that that includes hyperlinks below. Feel free to download and share!

If you just want the links without downloading the file they can be found below the download button.

Donate to:
Andean Information Network


Listen and Watch:
Bolivia and Brazil at the

Reflecting on MAS’ Legacy and
Bolivia’s Future

Find contact information by
entering your zip code
here for the House,
and by sorting the table
here by State for the

Panel: Bolivia on the Brink

Join Brown War Watch, The Watson Institute, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean studies for a panel on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 1PM EST for a zoom panel about the upcoming Bolivian election.

The event is free and open to the public. To Register click here:

This panel, Bolivia on the Brink: Natural Resources, the War on Drugs, and the Future of Democracy, aims to spotlight the upcoming October 18th elections in Bolivia. Following the November 2019 coup, and multiple postponements of the election by the current unelected government – democracy in Bolivia is now in a precarious position. Hosted by CLACS at the Watson, BWW will moderate a discussion with experts on both the War on Drugs, and Bolivia’s vast natural gas resources – sites and motivation of long-term American interventionism and militarism. The panel will explore how US intervention has contributed to the current and tenuous state of democracy. The panel will discuss the social and economic contestations that led to the election of the Morales government in 2005, its 14 years in power, and the high stakes of the upcoming elections. 

More info on the amazing panelists:

Bret Gustafson is Associate Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. Gustafson’s work focuses on the anthropology of politics and the political, with a particular interest in Latin American social movements, state transformation, and the politics of development. His research has engaged Indigenous movements in both Bolivia and Guatemala. He is the author of, Bolivia in the Age of Gas, recently published by Duke University Press (September, 2020). In this new book, Gustafson explores how the struggle over natural gas has reshaped Bolivia, along with the rise, and ultimate fall, of the country’s first Indigenous-led government. Though grounded in the unique complexities of Bolivia, the volume argues that fossil-fuel political economies worldwide are central to the reproduction of militarism and racial capitalism. His first book, New Languages of the State: Indigenous Resurgence and the Politics of Knowledge in Bolivia (2009) was also published by Duke University Press. He is the co-editor of, Remapping Bolivia: Resources, Territory and Indigeneity in a Plurinational State (SAR Press, 2011), and Rethinking Intellectuals in Latin America (Vervuert, 2010). He has published in Latin American Perspectives, Anthropological Quarterly, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology among other peer review scholarly journals.

Kathryn Ledebur is the director of Cochabamba-based policy think-tank, the Andean Information Network (AIN), and a visiting fellow at the University of Reading, UK. She is an expert on international drug policy, human rights, alternative coca and drug control strategies. Ledebur has written extensively for the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), and published in Stability: International Journal of Security & Development. AIN provides information and analysis to NGO colleagues, the media, and international policymakers on developments in Bolivia and the impact of U.S. government and European policies. Working closely with civil society organizations in Latin America and in the United States, AIN promotes policy dialogue and the development of pragmatic alternatives that address the underlying economic, social, political and cultural needs of Bolivia.

Les Robinson is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History, and Co-President of Brown War Watch.

If you have questions feel free to email us at

Brown War Watch presents: No Vietnamese Ever Called Me N***** (1968)

Online Film Screening: Wednesday September 23rd 6.30pm

Discussion: approx. 7.40pm

PLEASE RSVP for the link :

The unflinching 1968 documentary film which confronts the interlocking of RACISM & WAR, among a plethora of other injustices that remain urgently contemporary. 

The film will be followed by a discussion with Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies, Dr Françoise Hamlin, hosted by Les Robinson, Brown War Watch Co-President and PhD Candidate in History.

NVECMN follows 400,000 protesters along their march from Harlem to the United Nations building as part of the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam’s April 15, 1967, New York City march. Interwoven through the protest footage is an intimate interview with Black Vietnam war veterans that provides a radical perspective on the plight of returning Black G.I.s – disproportionately sent to fight the war overseas, returning home to a “Thank You” of continued racial and economic discrimination.

Director David L. Weiss’ use of verité results in an electrifying portrait of Black anti-war protesters and veterans as they speak out about social protest, life in Harlem, and the connections between racism and war. The film captures the inextricable link between Black liberation and the anti-Vietnam war movement.The event is co-sponsored by the Departments of History and American Studies.