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|This Memorial Day we remember all who have died in war and understand that no one wins in war…. We must remember the civilian victims, and their families, who are all equally human beings. Honoring and remembering some deaths while ignoring others not only perpetuates war, but also ignores the moral injuries of war, which some now recognize as a significant cause of veteran suicide.|
Veterans For Peace
A founding member organization of UFPJ
The Palestinian Struggle for Freedom Enters a New Phase
United for Peace and Justice supports the ongoing struggle for Palestinian freedom and has joined with all groups calling for an arms embargo on Israel and a ceasefire in the current conflict. In just 10 days in May 2021, Israel has massacred over 220 Palestinians in Gaza, almost one-third of them children. In the West Bank, they have been shooting protestors with live ammunition. Yet, the U.S. is still arming Israel with a new $735M weapons sale approved by the Biden Administration. Several Members of Congress have introduced a Joint Resolution of Disapproval (the first ever regarding a weapons sale to Israel) to block this sale. UFPJ has signed on to support this resolution along with many other organizations in response to a call from Jewish Voices for Peace. Find CODEPINK’s list of resources for Solidarity with Palestine here. Write letters to the editor, call your Representatives and do all you can to raise your voice on this long-standing, critical peace and justice issue. READ MORE
Middle East Treaty Organization statement on the violence in Israel and Palestine
The Middle East Treaty Organization, a coalition seeking to rid the Middle East of all weapons of mass destruction as a gateway toward regional security and peace, issued a statement on the current round of violence that is worth reading. “The overwhelming majority of people all over the world, they wrote, “are yearning for the same things: happiness, meaning in life, love, health care, physical security, education for their children and themselves, and a dignified standard of living. The overwhelming majority of people in Palestine and Israel are no different.” For the full statement, READ MORE.
The White Republic and the Struggle for Racial Justice
Bob Wing, past National Co-chair of United for Peace and Justice, has written a thought-provoking piece about movement strategies, “The White Republic and the Struggle for Racial Justice,” published on Organizing Upgrade. “Far from recoiling at Trump’s failed coup of January 6, the GOP is avidly regrouping around him and launching an even more ruthless campaign of voter disenfranchisement to seize power. The polarization between racist authoritarianism and a multiracial democracy is white-hot,” Wing writes. “There are many things that progressives need to do to win this historic fight. One of the less obvious, yet crucial, projects is to sharpen the conceptual understandings that guide our work.” READ THE ARTICLE
The Poor People’s Campaign: Launching a Third Reconstruction
On May 24, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival joined members of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity and the Congressional Progressive Caucus to celebrate their introduction of a Congressional Resolution titled, Third Reconstruction: Fully Addressing Poverty and Low Wages from the Bottom Up. This resolution is the result of the historic effort to summon the moral and political resolve of the nation to center the needs of the 140 million people who are poor or low wealth in order to change these conditions with moral laws and policies. Introduction of this Resolution launches a campaign building towards a massive in-person Moral March on Washington and Poor People’s & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly on June 18, 2022. READ MORE
Congress: Reduce the Pentagon Budget and Invest in Human Needs!
It is anticipated that on May 27th, President Biden will release his budget proposal, which is expected to include a request for a $753 billion Pentagon budget that would be billions more than the final Pentagon Budget enacted under the Trump Administration. The good news: Congress ultimately decides the Pentagon budget, not the President! We know that spending $753 billion on the Pentagon budget won’t make us safer. The real threats to our national security – pandemics, climate crisis, mass inequality, white nationalism – will not be solved by padding “defense” contractors’ bottom lines or building more nuclear weapons. Together with our progressive movement allies, we can send a strong message that we won’t accept a $753 billion Pentagon budget as the status quo. Contact Congress now!
End the Blockade on Yemen!
Despite an official call to “end U.S. support for the war on Yemen” the Saudi-led coalition — backed by the U.S.—continues to block basic necessities from reaching Yemen. At least 400,000 Yemeni children under the age of 5 could die of starvation this year without urgent intervention, according to four United Nations agencies. The blockade on Yemen prevents fuel from entering the country. A key to survival in any war zone, fuel heats stoves, powers engines, lights buildings, and allows for the economy to be rebuilt. Food remains at ports, unable to be transported to towns and villages where starvation is rampant. CODEPINK is calling on Secretary Antony Blinken to stop US support for the Saudi blockade, and demand that Saudi Arabia lift the blockade immediately. Add your name here!
Stand Against Anti-China Hate!
As part of the U.S. government’s bipartisan efforts to escalate aggression towards China, Senators Menendez and Risch have introduced an expansive new anti-China bill. On April 21, the bill passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a 21-1 vote, and it will now go on to the Senate. Before it gets rushed through the legislative process with bipartisan support, let your senators know that military aggression and hostile competition are not the answer to the U.S.’s issues with China. Instead, cooperation with China on global crises is urgently needed for the survival of the planet and humanity. Tell Your Senators: Vote NO on Congress’s New Anti-China Bill!
WEBINAR: Asia-Pacific Elites: Money & Trade, and Foreign and Military Policies
The foreign policies of States don’t necessarily represent the interests of all their people. The countries of the Asia-Pacific region find themselves caught between two great powers as China-U.S. tensions increase. Economic and political elites seek ties to one or another of these powers—or both—that will be beneficial to them and will sustain their power—but often to the detriment of their people. The Asia Pacific Working Group is hosting a webinar that will provide background and analysis on the relationship between economic and military ties in the region. For information on the speakers and to register, READ MORE.
Act Now to Stop Nuclear Power and Ensure 100% Clean, Safe, Renewable Energy
This month, the White House announced that it wants to include a massive subsidy for nuclear power plants in President Biden’s $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan. The proposal would create a $200 billion bailout for all 93 currently operating nuclear reactors in the U.S.—and it would slash in half the budget for solar, wind, and other renewable energy. We can’t let nuclear power block renewable energy—our only real solution to the climate crisis. We can’t keep making radioactive waste and risking nuclear disasters that are endangering human health, especially in Indigenous, Black, and Latinx communities. ACT NOW: Tell the White House and Congress – no nuclear power in of the American Jobs Plan. READ MORE
Please Join the Sixth Annual Virtual Korea Peace Advocacy Week July 12-16, 2021
Join hundreds of people across the country in nationally coordinated virtual advocacy meetings to urge your Member of Congress to support a Peace Agreement to end the Korean War; life-saving humanitarian assistance; and other humanitarian issues such as lifting the travel ban, reuniting separated families, and repatriating the remains of U.S. service members. Prior to the advocacy week, you will be trained on how to lobby Members of Congress and you will be invited to educational webinars. During the advocacy week you will have 1 – 3 meetings with Members of Congress and/or their staff. Register here by June 21. READ MORE
Golden Rule Peace Boat Sets Sail from Hawai’i for California
On May 5, Ann Wright and Gerry Condon wrote: “After 21 months in the Hawaiian Islands, the historic anti-nuclear sailboat Golden Rule has departed from Honolulu, Hawai’i for the West Coast of the U.S. The Golden Rule first sailed from California to Hawai’i 63 years ago, in 1958, on her way to interfere with U.S. atmospheric nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, the site of 67 U.S. nuclear bomb blasts from 1952 to 1958. Under orders from the Atomic Energy Commission, the U.S. Coast Guard stopped the boat from leaving Honolulu. The arrest and jailing of Golden Rule’s captain Albert Bigelow, a retired World War II Navy Commander, and his crew of Quaker peace activists garnered international media attention and increased opposition to nuclear testing and nuclear weapons.” READ THE ARTICLE
Call for Organizing Peace Marches/Actions in Solidarity with the 2021 Peace March in Japan: May 6 to August 4, 2021
Gensuikyo (Japan Council Against A & H Bombs) calls on groups around the world to organize peace marches/actions in your communities, schools, and workplaces, irrespective of virtual or in person, in solidarity with the 2021 Peace March in Japan. The Peace March began in 1958 with Mr. Atsushi Nishimoto starting to walk calling for the prohibition of A and H-bombs. Since then, it has taken place every year in every prefecture, gathering wishes of Hibakusha and walking to the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Please send your plans/actions to Gensuikyo, who will report your plans/activities in a weekly peace march (virtual). Let’s walk and take action together to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. READ MORE
Listen to CODEPINK Co-Founder Jodie Evans on “What Could Possibly Go Right? Moving to a Peace Economy”
CODEPINK Co-Founder Jodie Evans recently joined “What Could Possibly Go Right?”—a project of the Post Carbon Institute that interviews cultural scouts, people who see far and serve the common good, and asks them all one penetrating question: In all that seems to be going awry and going wrong, what could possibly go right? Jodie addresses the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with analysis of how the war economy is embedded in the structures around us that are violent, oppressive, extractive, and destructive. We won’t end war until we end the war economy. It is time to lean into the peace economy, which is life, community, planet Earth, parenting, the commons, and healing. Listen to the episode here.
CODEPINK Co-Founder Medea Benjamin Disrupted War Profiteer General Dynamics
On May 5, 2021 General Dynamics held its annual general meeting in Reston, Virginia. CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin confronted the CEO and the Board with questions about the company’s weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and other repressive regimes, such as the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. General Dynamics is one of the world’s largest arms manufacturers, with a long-lasting contract with Saudi Arabia estimated at $1.3 billion dollars, providing weapons to a country waging war on Yemen that has already killed thousands of innocent civilians. While video recording was not allowed at the meeting, an audio of the discussion is available here.
Cuba Needs Syringes, Can You Help?
“Cuba is the only country to have shown genuine internationalism during this coronavirus crisis,” Noam Chomsky said about Cuban brigades traveling around the world to save lives. In addition to the brave doctors and nurses fighting the pandemic overseas on the frontlines, Cuba is developing four vaccines that it plans to share with developing countries. Cuba is about 20 million syringes short of the 30 million it needs to vaccinate its population. Now is the time to reciprocate that solidarity by helping us raise $100,000 to send syringes to Cuba! With a $50 donation, we can purchase 1,500 syringes; $100 will buy 3000! Click here to donate!
2021 Memorial Day Commemoration for Victims of War
Each year, as an alternative to the usual glamorization and glorification of war that accompanies Memorial Day, the Orange County, North Carolina Peace Coalition invites the greater Triangle community to its Commemoration for Victims of War — war casualties, military families, civilian casualties, and the social structure deprived of resources due to the many costs of war. We honor those in the military who have died, living veterans, and those who resisted, while bringing attention to the causes of conflict, the harm it does to society, and the many ways it intersects with other social ills. This year’s observance, a virtual gathering, will be held from 2:00 – 3:30 pm EDT, Monday, May 31. Zoom link for the event.
The Power of the Pen
United for Peace & Justice regularly signs onto letters and statements dealing with a broad range of important peace and justice issues, intended to influence government policy. With a new administration and Congress in place, over the last month, UFPJ was among 66 organizations that issued a Statement in response to dangerous anti-China legislation introduced in the Senate. The Statement, Cold War with China is a Dangerous and Self-Defeating Strategy, concludes, “If the U.S. government doesn’t change course quickly, this dangerous bipartisan push for a new Cold War with China risks empowering hardliners in both countries, fueling more violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and failing to confront the truly existential shared threats we face this century.” The Statement is cited in a May 19 article in Politico, “Progressives warn Biden, Congress against fueling hatred with anti-China measures.” UFPJ signed onto a Statement opposing President Biden’s Reported Plans to Nominate Rahm Emanuel as Ambassador to Japan. And UFPJ was among more than 250 organizations endorsing a House resolution introduced by Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan, and Rashida Tlaib opposing the sale of $735 million in American-made weapons to the Israeli government.
UFPJ is a diverse network of peace and justice organizations. If your organization is interested in joining UFPJ, please read our Unity Statement, and if it is consistent with your principles click here to join. Please donate to help us continue sending out “UFPJ Currents” to our members and supporters. And THANK YOU for all your work for peace and justice! Help us continue to do this critical work and more– make a donation to UFPJ today. Sent via ActionNetwork.org. To update your email address, change your name or address, or to stop receiving emails from United for Peace & Justice, please click here.