Robert Naiman / Al Jazeera & Just Foreign Policy & Campaign for Peace and Democracy – 2011-10-05 00:45:05
ACTION ALERT: On October 6 Let’s Make a Clamor for Peace
After ten years in a state of war, a number of actions can be taken to bring about peace
(October 3, 2011) — On October 7, 2011, the United States will have been at war for ten years. Let’s mark the occasion by making a clamor for peace so loud that Congress, the president, and big media will have to pay attention.
October 7 happens to fall on a Friday this year. If you get to choose, Friday is not necessarily the most strategic day to make a national clamor for peace, because
1) Congress will likely not be in session
2) Friday is, in general, a crummy day to try to get media attention and
3) even if these two things weren’t true or relevant, Friday is not a great day to try to hold public attention. People’s thoughts are turning to the weekend, and then the weekend erases the chalkboard.
Moreover, the press has to cover the anniversary of the war, but these stories are going to be largely written and produced before Friday. The default media narrative will be: America has lost interest in the wars, because of the economy and unemployment, because “the wars are already winding down”, or some other story that journalists or editors will make up. We have to beat this default media narrative. To beat it, we need to get in front of it.
So let’s mark the occasion on Thursday, October 6. Let’s have a national, “ecumenical” day of action for peace: to end the wars and cut the military budget.
By “ecumenical”, I mean this: everybody will “worship” in their own way. People who are willing to call Congress, will call Congress. People are willing to go to demonstrations, will go to demonstrations. People who get active online will get active online. But everybody who wants peace will do something for peace on October 6. In the comments below, tell us what you are going to do to act for peace on October 6.
Call Congress: right now, the Congressional “Supercommittee” is considering proposals to cut the US government debt by $1.2tn over ten years. One obvious choice: end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and cut the military budget.
Poll data shows that when you ask people “if the Supercommittee cuts the budget, where should they cut?” military spending walks to victory. But the military contractors and war profiteers, who have grown fat from ten years of war spending, are pressing Congress not to cut the military budget and to cut your Medicare benefits instead.
If you do nothing else for peace on October 6, call at least one of your representatives in Congress — particularly if they are on the Supercommittee — and tell them to end the wars and cut the military budget. The Congressional switchboard is 202-225-3121.
In this speech on the budget, I explain why people who don’t want Congress to cut domestic spending and want to save the hundreds of thousands of jobs threatened by domestic spending cuts should be pounding on the supercommittee to end the wars and cut the military budget:
Demonstrate: on October 6, peace advocates will occupy Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC. All around the country, “# occupy [city]” protests are already springing up in solidarity with the Wall Street protests. If you can get to one of these protests, go.
On October 6, raise the banner of peace. If “occupying” isn’t your cup of tea, have a vigil outside your Representative or Senator’s office, or a federal building, or any place where you will be visible to the public.
Send a press release to all local media the morning of the day before, and call the local media and make sure they got your press release and are thinking of coming.
Here’s an idea that might spark media interest: form a group called “Tea Party Patriots for Peace”, demanding cuts to wasteful big government spending on war. After all, war spending is the majority of federal discretionary spending. Stop taxing us to pay for war!
Buzz it up online: On October 6, help “action for peace” be a focus of attention online. Blog and comment about actions taking place for peace; share writing about and coverage of actions for peace by others. Help it be the case that you can’t look anywhere online on October 6 without seeing action for peace.
On Friday, October 7, don’t let big media say that Americans aren’t acting to press for peace. In the comments below, tell us what you are going to do to act for peace on October 6.
Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy.
Follow Robert Naiman on Twitter @naiman
October 6: Occupy Wall Street; Occupy your City
Joanne Landy and Thomas Harrison / Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Like you, we are thrilled to see what we all hope will be the beginning of a real movement of popular resistance to the mounting inequality, joblessness, student debt, poverty and militarism in the United States. In testimony to how democratic movements around the world inspire and strengthen one another, the Wall Street activists frankly credit the Arab Spring and the European street protests with stimulating their actions.
We at CPD welcome this broad anti-corporate upsurge — not only the audacious Wall Street Occupation in New York City, but the eruption of like-minded protests across the country. We urge all of our friends and supporters to participate in whatever way they can in the protests, and to take part in the unfolding discussion and debate about what the movement is for as well as what it is against.
In New York City, Liberty Square/Zuccotti Park, located at Liberty and Broadway in lower Manhattan, is occupied every day, 24 hours a day. If you are in New York, stop by. On Wednesday, October 5th there will be Community/Labor March to Wall St against Corporate Greed and the Big Banks from City Hall (250 Broadway) to Wall Street/Zuccotti Park (map), starting at 4:30pm and ending at 7:00pm.
You can check for daily activities — marches and other special protests — on the Occupy Wall Street website. To see how you can join events in other parts of the country, go to the Occupy Together website.
In addition, the Campaign for Peace and Democracy has endorsed the October 2011 Freedom Plaza protest at 13th St. and Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, starting on the morning of Thursday, October 6. As the October 2011 website says, “this is a gathering of people who support peace and social, economic and environmental justice. Our intention is to stay in Washington, D.C. as a unified presence. We will use ongoing actions of nonviolent resistance to disrupt the forces that corrupt our political process and undermine our rights and human needs. We will demand changes that shift power away from concentrated corporate capital and free us to create solutions that lead to a just and sustainable future.”
A list of supporting organizations, including CPD, is here.
For updates on these activities and on the Campaign for Peace and Democracy’s work for a new, democratic and non-militaristic U.S. foreign policy, join our Facebook group if you haven’t already done so.
In peace and solidarity,
Joanne Landy and Thomas Harrison
Co-Directors, Campaign for Peace and Democracy
New York, NY, USA