At this crucial moment, our network can make a unique contribution to peace.
In eight days Congress will vote on a military strike in Syria. We can reach out to our allies in the fight to cut the Pentagon budget and help block those in Congress who would sacrifice human services to launch a new war.
Please talk to your economic and racial justice allies and ask them to contact Congress with their own concerns. That will show Congress the opposition goes way beyond the peace movement. It’ll translate into more votes against military action in Syria.
Not all community groups are of one mind on Syria, nor see the need to speak out now. To strengthen our relationships, and come through this crisis on firmer footing for this fall’s battles over sequestration and the budget, we are asking you to:
1. Reach out to groups that you have been working with this year. Find out what they are thinking. Help talk through why it is important in our longer-term organizing to explore non-military solutions to the crisis in Syria. Members of Congress are being heavily lobbied by the White House, party leaders, military contractors, neocons and others who favor a military response. It is vital that they hear from a broad cross-section of the 60% of Americans who oppose a military strike on Syria, not just the traditional peace movement.
2. Ask our allies in the community, labor, racial and economic justice movements to contact Congress with their own views on this potential military action and on the deeper domestic cuts it will cause. We are attaching talking points that you can use in conversations with them over the next couple of days.
The crisis we are facing is a double one. It’s Syria now, but it will be sequestration, a continuing budget resolution and the debt ceiling or maybe a government shutdown in a couple of weeks when Congress takes up next year’s budget. By contacting our allies now we are also getting ready for joint action to save human services and cut the Pentagon.
3. Stay tuned:
-Check Peace Action’s PEACE BLOG http://peaceblog.wordpress.com/for daily updates and materials.
-Check http://newprioritiesnetwork.org/ for articles and backgrounders.
Mike Prokosch, New Priorities Network
Jo Comerford, National Priorities Project
Mary Zerkel, American Friends Service Committee
Michael Eisenscher, US Labor Against the War
Judith Le Blanc, Peace Action