ACTION ALERT: A Mother’s Day Message to the President — Disarm! Disarm!

May 9th, 2021 - by Mimi Kennedy / CODEPINK & Julia Ward Howe

ACTION ALERT: Moms and Nukes
Biden is proposing $30 billion for new nuclear weapons in 2022. Tell Congress that is unacceptable.

Mimi Kennedy / CODEPINK

(May 8, 2021) — You might know me as Marjorie from the CBS show Mom, where I help my friend Bonnie adjust to her life as a recovering alcoholic and single mother. What you might not know about me is that my real life also revolves around issues of motherhood and caregiving. Like all mothers, I am outraged that my children, and all children, have to grow up in a world where militarism is prioritized over human needs and nuclear annihilation could occur at any moment.  

ACTION: Can you take a moment right now to contact your representative in Congress and tell them: NO new funding for nuclear weapons!  

Mother’s Day didn’t begin with brunch and flowers to show affection and appreciation for individual moms. Before Mother’s Day was commercialized, individualized, commodified, and depoliticized, it was a poetic call that emerged from the horror of the carnage and suffering during the Civil War and the economic devastation that followed. The original Mother’s Day proclamation, written by Julia Ward Howe in 1872, said: “From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: Disarm, disarm!” 

A century and a half later, this call continues to resonate as our military is armed to the teeth and President Biden is proposing a $13 billion increase in Trump’s already out-of-control military spending. His proposed budget includes $30 billion for“modernizing”our nuclear weapons, while the world is calling for countries to eliminate these weapons. It is also unconscionable to spend billions on nuclear weapons when right now, during this pandemic, far too many mothers in America remain unable to keep their children properly fed, housed, healthy, and safe. 

At the end of the day, the military budget is decided by Congress, not the President. Congress is right now deliberating on the 2022 budget and they need to hear from their constituents! Contact your senators and representatives and tell them “No Nuclear Weapons!” 

My passion as an activist mom stems from seeking peace and disarmament and discovering how we can live together creatively rather than violently. That’s why I serve on the board of Progressive Democrats of America and have always supported the anti-war work of CODEPINK. 

Never at any time have we been more in need of health care, rather than warfare. Throughout this pandemic, the top one percent has grown even richer while countries around the world cannot get access to vaccines thanks to pharmaceutical patents. Our priorities have got to change. 

More important than roses, gifts, cards, and breakfast in bed, let’s use this time to come together and stop further destruction. The violence perpetrated by the U.S. war machine affects mothers in Palestine as they witness their children being routinely arrested and abused. It affects mothers in Saudi Arabia, whose daughters need the permission of a male relative to travel, marry, divorce, and engage in other key life events. It affects mothers in Venezuela and Iran as they try to raise their children under crippling U.S. sanctions that severely limit access to food and medicine, including to treat COVID-19. 

The violence of militarism reaches all corners of the world and there is nothing more violent than nuclear weapons. We can’t let the 2022 budget include $30 billion for new ones. Take action now! 

Toward peace, Mimi Kennedy 

Mother’s Day Proclamation:
Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World

Julia Ward Howe

Again, in the sight of the Christian world, have the skill and power of two great nations exhausted themselves in mutual murder. Again have the sacred questions of international justice been committed to the fatal mediation of military weapons.

In this day of progress, in this century of light, the ambition of rulers has been allowed to barter the dear interests of domestic life for the bloody exchanges of the battlefield.

Thus men have done. Thus men will do. But women need no longer be made a party to proceedings, which fill the globe with grief and horror. Despite the assumptions of physical force, the mother has a sacred and commanding word to say to the sons who owe their life to her suffering. That word should now be heard, and answered to as never before.

Arise, then, Christian women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country, to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: Disarm, disarm!

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence vindicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of council.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take council with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, man as the brother of man, each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality, may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient, and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

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