| September 2022|
Racism robs people of their rights and dignity. It inflames inequalities and mistrust. And it pushes people apart, at a time when we should be coming together, as one human family, to repair our fractured world.
Instead of fighting each other, we should be working to defeat our true enemies: racism, poverty, inequality, conflict, the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. United Nations Secretary General António Gutteres
September 21, 2022, International Day for the Total Elimination of nuclear weapons, September 26
Achieving global nuclear disarmament was the subject of the United Nations General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946. Yet today around 12,705 nuclear weapons remain and countries possessing such weapons have well-funded, long-term plans to modernize their nuclear arsenals. More than half of the world’s population lives in countries that either have such weapons or are members of nuclear alliances, and nuclear dangers are growing. In 2013 the General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring September 26 the International Day for the Total Elimination of nuclear weapons. The purpose of the International Day is to further the objective of the total elimination of nuclear weapons through enhancing public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination. Learn more. International Day of Peace: “End Racism. Build Peace” – UFPJ Webinar Recording
Each year the United Nations International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21. The 2022 theme for the International Day of Peace was “End racism. Build peace.” To mark this day, United for Peace & Justice hosted a special webinar on September 21. Our featured speakers were Vernita Pearl Fort and Dr. Vincent Intondi along with UFPJ National Organizer, George Friday, who also introduced musical interludes. Watch the recording here. Passcode: J8a!a5h0. View the music, videos, and resources from the call at the following links: Bob Marley performing War / No More Trouble (Live At The Rainbow Theatre, London / 1977). The UN Secretary General’s 2022 Day of Peace message; Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman performs poem at the UN; India.Arie – One. Educational resources that George mentioned: White Supremacy Culture Characteristics and Dismantling Racism Works Web Workbook.The Ukraine War, Climate Chaos, Building Democracy & International Solidarity: Webinar with Rising Generation Organizers & Advocates
As the world changes around us, the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security invites you to join us in learning from the commitments, actions, and ambitions of the rising generation of U.S. and international organizers and advocates. Speakers: Aysa Marukel, leading opponent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, co-recipient of International Peace Bureau’s Sean McBride Peace Prize; Sean Conner, Deputy Executive Director, International Peace Bureau in Berlin, with experience in Central America; Giselle Herzfeld, Guardianship Campaign Coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center; and Nick Rabb, PhD Candidate studying disinformation and its effects, and organizer with the Sunrise Movement, MA Peace Action, and Dissenters. September 29, 2 p.m. Register here.
The Ukraine War Crisis Intensifies
On September 21, President Putin announced a mobilization that will conscript hundreds of thousands of Russians into the project of the Ukraine war. Putin made clear that Russia will proceed with referenda likely to lead to annexation of territory not only in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts but in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions as well. His address included a new round of nuclear threats. The political and military leadership of Ukraine and its NATO allies have stated that they will press forward nonetheless with their offensives to retake the lands occupied by Russia’s military, efforts that have shown increasing success in recent weeks. Positions are hardening on both sides and neither shows openness to a negotiated peace. Visit the regularly updated UFPJ Ukraine resources page for perspectives on the war and how we might hope to end it.
The Time to Prevent a “Hot War” with China is Now
After Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s and Senator Ed Markey’s ill-advised trips to Taiwan, tensions between the United Stated and China are once again rising. Nearly every week, China or the U.S. conducts combat maneuvers in the South China Sea or near Taiwan. The Committee for a SANE U.S.-China Policy maintains a running tally of provocative military maneuvers and close encounters, and describes the “intensified economic, political, and military competition…as a New Cold War, with a very real possibility of becoming a hot war – even a nuclear war.” With millions around the world devastated by wars and their aftermath, it could not be clearer that the people and the planet cannot afford another war. Tell your members of Congress to stand firmly and publicly for peace.Poor People’s Campaign: If we ever needed to vote for democracy and justice, we sure do need to vote now!
On September 19, The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival (PPC) launched a 50-day national voter outreach program to ensure that poor and low-income voters are a deciding factor in the upcoming midterm elections. In 2020, the PPC reached over 2 million poor and low-income voters before the general election. This season, the PPC aims to reach 5 million poor and low-wealth, low-propensity voters across 15 strategic priority states. With living wages, healthcare, voting rights and other issues critical to poor and low-wealth people on the ballot, this year’s elections are more crucial than ever. If we ever needed to vote for democracy and justice, we sure do need to vote now! Learn more and get involved!Supporting Pakistan in the Face of Climate Emergency
Pakistan is suffering from historic floods, which have impacted more than 33 million people. Floods have inundated a third of Pakistan, destroying homes, infrastructure, and land. This is not just a tragedy but also an indication of the horrific impacts of hyper-militarism and the climate crisis. A report-back from a recent rally in solidarity with those impacted in Pakistan reads: “The people of Pakistan have faced systematic dehumanization from colonial times to the global War on Terror, [and] the international reporting on the disasters is episodic and shot through with pity and contempt, not historical context.” Read more here. CODEPINK is raising funds for flood relief, and just hit $10,000 – if you have the means, please contribute here. Finally, join CODEPINK in urging President Biden to declare a climate emergency by signing on here.Unfreeze Venezuela’s Funds!
Latin America has been in the news this month, in more ways than one. During the UN General Assembly, leaders from across the Americas have made strong stands with the people of Cuba and Venezuela against US economic and political warfare. At the same time, Florida Governor DeSantis’ cruel PR stunt of flying migrants across the country is gaining attention. Many of these immigrants are coming from Latin American countries, including Venezuela, because of crushing US sanctions. Join us in standing with Latin American countries’ right to self-determination and economic prosperity, and tell Biden to unfreeze Venezuela’s funds and dump false interim president Juan Guaidó.End Cross-Border Bombings in Armenia and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq!
Recent news of intensified attacks on Armenia is deeply troubling. At the same time, more attention is being paid to the fact that the U.S. provides weapons to Azerbaijan and Turkey—the two principal countries waging war on Armenia. As we respond, and hold Armenia in our thoughts, we must also look at Turkey’s aggression elsewhere and the U.S. role. Did you know that U.S. military support to Turkey is also implicated in on-going bombings of Kurdish settlements camps in Northern Iraq? The End Cross-border Bombing Campaign, in coalition with CODEPINK, has just released a report on these cross-border bombings, entitled “Civilian Casualties of Turkish Military Operations in Northern Iraq (2015-2021)” – you can read the report and sign CODEPINK’s petition to #EndCrossBorderBombing here.UPDATE: $3.5 Billion of Frozen Afghan Bank Funds Will Be Used to Create a New Fund in Switzerland to Alleviate Afghanistan’s Growing Humanitarian Crisis
The Biden administration announced it would create a Swiss-based trust fund to pay for critical imports and help stabilize the Afghan economy. The fund will be run jointly by Afghan economic experts and Swiss officials. The U.S. is refusing to transfer any money to the Afghan Central Bank, known as the DAB, until it is “free of political interference.” The women-led campaign, Unfreeze Afghanistan, welcomed these developments but argued that “the Afghan people would ultimately be best assisted if these funds are quickly made available for Central Bank functions.” A senior research fellow at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in a detailed analysis of the important functions of a central bank argued, “Not only is this plan inadequate to the needs of mitigating Afghanistan’s humanitarian disaster and restoring a functioning economy, but its presentation as a practical compromise elides fundamental issues regarding DAB’s nature and duties as a central bank.”Read more.Golden Rule’s “Great Loop” Voyage Begins with a Bang!
The amazing voyage of the historic Golden Rule anti-nuclear sailboat is entering into an exciting new phase. In early September, the Golden Rule was successfully trucked from San Francisco Bay to the St. Croix Marina in Hudson, Wisconsin, about a 30-minute drive from Minneapolis. The Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter of Veterans For Peace had lobbied hard for the Golden Rule to begin its “Great Loop” voyage in the Twin Cities, and it has come to pass. Even before the 34-foot wooden ketch is back in the water, educational events are underway. Project manager Helen Jaccard, steering committee president Gerry Condon, and Captain Kiko Johnston-Kitazawa traveled to Duluth, Minnesota, where Duluth VFP and Grandmothers for Peace organized four days of events, and The Golden Rule is already getting excellent publicity. Read the full post!
Peace Activists Hit the Streets from D.C. to San Francisco
As the war in Ukraine continues to escalate, anti-war activists remain vocal and mobilized in opposition. Demanding a “Ceasefire now!” activists hosted anti-war events in DC, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Madison, Boston, Rockville, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, San Pedro, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Marcy Winograd writes: “Partners in the Peace in Ukraine Coalition condemn the Russian invasion but argue there is no military solution to a war that was provoked by the same neo-conservatives responsible for the disastrous US invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan”. Read more. Campaign Nonviolence Action Days Continue Through October 2nd
With 4,570+ actions across the U.S. and around the world, 2022 is Campaign Nonviolence’s most ambitious year of activities promoting a culture of peace and active nonviolence. Beginning on September 21, the International Day of Peace, the conferences, protests, and gatherings will continue through October 2, the International Day of Nonviolence. Check out what is planned. The Campaign Nonviolence Action Days Toolkit highlights the themes of the twelve days of activities – including ending poverty and gun violence, elimination of nukes, intergeneration climate action, racial justice, housing justice and much more. You’ll find talking points, tips for engaging media and posters that depict the many practices, actions, philosophies, and solutions encompassed by active nonviolence.Diffuse Nuclear War – October Month of Action
October 2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Soviet Union and U.S. engaged in a tense standoff over the installation of nuclear weapons in Cuba. It is widely considered the closest the two superpowers ever came to nuclear war – until now. While the dangers of nuclear war have risen sharply this year, very few members of Congress have risen to the occasion by speaking out or publicly urging measures to de-escalate tensions between nuclear powers and seriously revive negotiations for nuclear-weapons treaties and disarmament measures. This October, we demand attention be paid to the very real threat posed by nuclear weapons. Join the Month of Action! For the Oct. 2 Webinar — RSVP here; Oct. 14 — 16: Picket Elected Officials and Join Local Events – Find Actions Near You Near You and Co-sponsoring organizations.Lost Yet Connected in Time: Honoring Dissidents
In a recent CODEPINK radio episode, campaigner Danaka Katovich interviews Lisa Ling and William Neuheisel on the drone program, the case of whistleblower Daniel Hale, and the danger of the Espionage Act.Listen here to learn more about Hale’s case and the current state of the U.S. drone program. Also this month, Priti Gulati Cox has published a powerful piece, Lost Yet Connected in Time, about five portraits she has worked on of John Brown, Leonard Peltier, Philipos Melaku-Bello, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and Julian Assange. Gulati Cox characterizes these dissidents, many of whom are whistleblowers like Hale, as “thorns in the side of a state machinery that would rather they disappear from the annals of a dark, white-elitist history.” Read the powerful piece and view Gulati Cox’s art here.Watch the Webinar “Palestine and Lebanon: What is to be Done?”
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s (WILPF’s) webinar on September 13th raised questions and presented options about the situation in Palestine and Lebanon. U.S. foreign policy towards the region was a major focus of discussion. The presenters included Hanan Awwad, WILPF Palestine; Hala Kilani, WILPF Lebanon; Nada Farhat, WILPF US Middle East Peace and Justice Action Committee; Luci Murphy, WILPF U.S. DMV Branch Black Liberation Caucus; and Solfrid Raknes, WILPF Norway; with moderators George Friday, WILPF U.S. Black Liberation Caucus and Barbara Taft, WILPF U.S. Middle East Peace and Justice Action Committee. View the webinar here. The Black liberation Caucus of WILPF intends to construct a plan for solidarity with Palestinians. For additional information contact the webinar organizer, Theresa El-Amin: sarnetwork[at]gmail.com.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.