We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation…. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” April 4, 1967
UFPJ webinar: The Enduring Nuclear Threat; A Deeper Look
Tuesday, March 30, 2021: 8-9:30 pm EDT; 7-8:30 pm CDT;
6-7:30 pm MDT; 5-6:30 pm PDT
Click here to register.
The recent entry into force of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons brought a welcome positive moment to a bleak disarmament landscape. But none of the nuclear armed states have joined the Treaty, and all are expanding or modernizing their nuclear arsenals. This webinar, hosted by UFPJ, will provide an update on nuclear weapons policies and programs and an overview of relevant developments in international law. It also will suggest the need to rethink familiar approaches to disarmament, and to shift the focus of disarmament advocacy from recognizing the effects of nuclear weapons to analyzing the causes of nuclear arms racing and of the risks of war among nuclear-armed countries – the same root causes driving many of our other most pressing crises. UFPJ is pleased to host this webinar featuring three internationally recognized advocates for nuclear abolition: Jackie Cabasso, John Burroughs and Andrew Lichterman. READ MORE
18 Years Ago the U.S. War on Iraq Began & Why I Oppose Hawaii’s Homeland Defense Radar as Continuation of War
In a recent commentary, Col. Ann Wright (ret.) writes: “Today, Friday, March 19, 2021 is the 18th anniversary of the U.S. government political decision to invade and occupy oil-rich, Arab/Muslim Iraq, a country of 32 million persons. U.S. elected officials and their advisers decided it would be in the U.S. national security interest to attack and overthrow the Iraqi government. We saw how the military attack on Iraq which was based on the lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives, homes, infrastructure and culture, and unleashed a whirlwind of unintended (or sometimes intended) consequences that we are dealing with even now 18 years later.” Read the full article here.
Black Alliance for Peace calls on Biden Administration to Abide by Terms of Afghanistan Peace Agreement
The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) Solidarity Network calls on the United States to abide by the 2020 U.S.-Taliban agreement by exiting Afghanistan by May 1. The BAP Solidarity Network encourages anti-imperialist, anti-war people and organizations to sign a petition demanding that the Biden administration exit Afghanistan. Within days of taking office, the Biden administration signaled it would not abide by the U.S.-Taliban agreement, citing the importance of supporting a “stable, sovereign, democratic, and secure future for Afghanistan.” “This is the same language we hear whenever the United States and NATO conspire to destabilize foreign countries hostile to U.S. and European capital,” says Danny Haiphong, co-coordinator of the BAP Solidarity Network. READ MORE
Honoring Dr. King’s Full Legacy – “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”
April 4, 2021 will mark the 53rd anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s tragic and untimely assassination, and the 54th anniversary of his prophetic speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” In the years following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, peace and justice groups in Oakland, California started organizing annual April 4 public participatory readings of Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech in front of the Federal Building. These readings have served as powerful community-building experiences and have since been organized by groups around the country. This year, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to curtail our public gatherings, we invite you to listen to a recording of Dr. King giving this speech, as you read the text and reflect on its meaning today. READ MORE
The Poor Peoples Campaign: “Our wage and our vote is our power!”
As voting rights are under attack and too many people are without living wages, we know that we can’t wait any longer to make our voices heard. Every Monday for the first 100 days of the new Biden-Harris administration, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is holding dynamic Moral Monday actions, virtually, involving tens of thousands of people, to promote its 14 Policy Priorities to Heal the Nation: A Moral and Economic Agenda for the First 100 Days. Take action: Send the 14 Policy Priorities to your elected officials and join next week’s Moral Monday and let your voice be heard. UFPJ is a national organizing partner with the Campaign. READ MORE
Haiti Can’t Breathe!
It is unacceptable that the United States and Organization of American States (OAS) are supporting Jovenel Moïse in his attempts to grab power in Haiti. His term as President officially expired on February 7, 2021. There is no justification for extending his term by a year. Moïse has been operating outside of the bounds of the Haitian Constitution for years, including his 2019 dissolution of Parliament, recent firings of Supreme Court justices and persecution of political opponents. Most troubling has been the State violence in response to huge peaceful demonstrations, which has included attacks on journalists, targeted killings of activists and a massacre in a poor neighborhood. We stand in solidarity with our neighbors in Haiti, and we demand that the U.S. and OAS reverse course, denounce Moïse’s attempt to stay in power and call on him to resign. Jovenel Moïse’s term expired, but he decided to stay in power with the support of the U.S. and OAS. Join us in telling them to keep their hands off Haiti!
War Tax Resistance Resources for Tax Season 2021
Tax Day is a holiday of sorts for war tax resisters. Local war tax resistance groups often take to the streets on Tax Day to promote their displeasure with about 50% of the federal budget dedicated to past, present, and future military expenses. The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) is providing more online resources as part of a Tax Season 2021 campaign, focusing on four themes: (1) 4 more years of militarism, (2) militarism here and abroad, (3) U.S. health care, and (4) the climate crisis. War tax resisters refuse to pay some or all of the federal taxes that pay for war. While you can legally refuse by lowering your taxable income, for many people war tax resistance involves civil disobedience. READ MORE
Crackdown on Freedom of the Press in Iraqi Kurdistan
On February 16, 2021, the Second Erbil Criminal Court, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, sentenced five journalists—Sherwan Sherwani, Guhdar Zebari, Hariwan Issa, Ayaz Karan and Shvan Saeed—to six years in prison for “espionage” following a blatantly unfair trial. The case has garnered significant attention from Iraqi and international human rights, civil rights, and freedom of the press organizations, all of which emphasize its many legal irregularities. All the defendants made allegations of torture and other abusive treatment that the court failed to investigate. “Confessions” by the accused were submitted in court. All five defendants said the confessions were made under duress and were not accurate. ADD YOUR VOICE to the international outcry! READ MORE
Webinar: For Peace in Korea, No More War Drills! – video recording now available
On Feb 18, 2021, a consortium of groups held a webinar on the 60-plus year history of the costly and provocative annual U.S.-ROK (South Korean) combined military exercises, and why it’s critical to end them to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula. The speakers were: Wooksik Cheong, Director of Peace Network (South Korea); Catherine Killough, Advocacy and Leadership Coordinator of Women Cross DMZ (U.S.); and Jovanni Reyes, Member Coordinator of About Face: Veterans Against War (U.S.). The webinar was moderated by Ann Wright, Retired U.S. Army Colonel, Former U.S. Diplomat, and Coordinator of the Korea Peace Campaign of Veterans For Peace. Click here to watch the video recording. Also, read Jovanni Reyes’ oped, “I Took Part in the US-South Korean War Drills. They Make All of Us Less Safe.” UFPJ was among 387 U.S., South Korean, and International Organizations that signed onto a statement calling on the Biden Administration to suspend U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises.
Watch: China is Not Our Enemy Webinar with Jodie Evans and Journalist Ben Norton
Join us in spreading the word that China is not our enemy. Instead of driving hatred with China we need to turn our energies into cultivating peace and cooperation so we can all work together to confront the problems arising from ongoing climate catastrophes, global inequality and growing fascism — which is much more frightening than China will ever be. You can watch an informative conversation about the campaign with CODEPINK Co-Founder Jodie Evans and Journalist Ben Norton on the CODEPINK YouTube channel here
Webinar: The International Nuclear Disarmament Agenda; Civil Society Perspectives from Seven Key States – video recording now available
In the runup to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference scheduled for this August at the United Nations, the international Peace & Planet Network, a project of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, is holding a series of webinars to share information and analysis and to coordinate efforts to hold the nuclear-armed states accountable to the NPT Article VI commitment to engage in good faith negotiations for the complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals. The first webinar, “The International Nuclear Disarmament Agenda: Civil Society Perspectives from Seven Key States” took place on February 23, 2001, featuring civil society speakers from the United States, Russia, China, the UK, Israel, and Iran. Click here to watch the video recording. READ MORE
Tell President Biden: Defund the Pentagon!
The Biden Administration is poised to propose a budget with the same level of Pentagon spending as last year. Sign your name here to tell President Biden to Defund the Pentagon and in support of the letter that Representatives Barbara Lee, Mark Pocan, Jake Auchincloss, and 47 additional members of Congress sent to President Biden urging him to cut the Pentagon budget for the Fiscal Year 2022.
Join CODEPINK Congress every Tuesday Night at 5PM PT/8PM ET
Join CODEPINK Congress! We’re demanding greater accountability from Congress. Mobilize co-sponsors and votes for peace legislation. Sign up to be a part of great change in the Congress! On Tuesday, March 23 at 5PM PT/8Pm ET we’ll take action in solidarity with Haiti! Sign up here to join CODEPINK Congress. The Congress Action Toolkit will help you contact Congress, contact the Biden Administration, track legislation, and contact the media.
Vietnam Era Anti-war Film F.T.A. Restored and Available Online
“A document of disarming anti-authoritarian nerve… infectious and energizing.” – IFC
United for Peace and Justice has been asked to alert our community of peace activists about a restoration of “F.T.A.,” a film of a controversial anti-war comedy show that toured U.S. army bases at the height of the Vietnam War in 1971, with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Holly Near and others. It was directly engaged with and inspired by veterans against the war and, naturally, it upset U.S. military higher-ups. In spite of positive reviews and business, the film version was quickly taken out of circulation due to political pressures and has been difficult to see for decades. Watch the trailer here. A number of independent theaters are holding online showings of the film for a nominal cost. For more info and tickets, visit: kinomarquee.com/fta
The Power of the Pen
United for Peace and Justice regularly signs onto letters dealing with a broad range of important peace and justice issues, intended to influence government policy. With a new administration in place, over the last month, UFPJ joined with dozens of other peace, justice, human rights and racial justice organizations in letters to President Biden calling for Diplomacy with the Middle East, Not More War and urging the President to Sanction Mohamed Bin Salmon for his Role in Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder. We also signed onto a Statement Opposing Rahm Emanuel for Ambassador Post.
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.
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