Remember February 15, 2003? The World Said No to War!

November 29, 2011

The post below is from Leslie Cagan, former national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice (and currently a Peace Action Education Fund board member), but I was about to write a similar post on this subject. This will be a terrific film (I was interviewed for it last year when I was in London, but that’s not why it will be a great film!) telling a people’s history story that needs to be told about the peace rallies against war with Iraq in February 2003. In addition to the Kickstarter fundraising page below, the website for the film is at


I’m sure you recall that incredible moment when tens of millions of people in every corner of the world said no to war in Iraq. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and even all these years later the power of that day still resonates. 


A film that captures the global reality of Feb. 15, 2003 is being produced by a London-based filmmaker. His name is Amir Amirani and he may have already been in touch with some of you about this project.


As you might imagine, Amir and his team need some help raising the money needed to complete this project. I believe it is the only film of its kind, and therefore one that needs to see the light of day. I am sending you this message in the hopes that you in turn can help spread the word. Some of you getting this have your own large email lists, some of you are with organizations that have significant lists, and some of you might have both! 


The key here is to get this message out far and wide, and to move quickly. Amir has set up a fund raising effort on an internet outfit called Kickstarter –  an easy to use, on line way for people to make donations. But he needs help getting the information out to large numbers of people in this country. (There are several organizations in England and other European countries already circulating this to their lists.)


I believe many people will want to make a donation to this important piece of history-recording, especially since they can give any amount and it will all be meaningful. All you have to do is send a brief note explaining the project – feel free to use what I’ve said here – and encouraging people to make a tax deductible donation.


This fund raising system is time-limited, so if you can do this….and I certainly you can….it is important that your messages go out this week sometime. Be sure to include this link  


And you might want to make these points:


1. Donations through Kickstarter have to be made by December 13th – and their fund raising goal has to be met or else they will get nothing.

2. Nobody gets charged until they reach their goal. It’s only a pledge at this stage.

3. The fiscal sponsor for this effort is the Film Forum and all donations are totally 100% tax deductible.

4. It takes just a few minutes to pledge on a secure Amazon payment system – it’s really quick and simple.

5. Every dollar counts – whether it $1 or $100, there is no such thing as a donation that is too small or one that is too large!


And please be sure to ask people to share the message with their own email lists.


Thanks everyone…



Leslie Cagan

Send the Senate some Sense!

November 22, 2011

As early as next week, the Senate will consider amendments to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and cut Pentagon spending.

Over the summer, we sent a strong message to the President. Thanks to your work, a record twenty-seven Senators signed a letter to the Administration calling for withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Let’s beat our record! Send a message to your Senators today

It just makes sense.

The Global War on Terror has become the longest, most expensive war in U.S. history. Our nation spends more on the military than the next 17 nations combined. Now, our economy is wrecked and conservatives are threatening cuts to critical human needs. It’s time to move the money!

But after three months of talks, the bi-partisan members of the so-called Super Committee have announced they’re giving up. With a mandate to identify over $1 trillion in federal spending cuts over the next 10 years, the committee has failed to reach an agreement.

Shackled by corporate lobbyists, the Super Committee has failed to make the sensible cuts to Pentagon spending that we need to save our nation’s economy.

Let’s send the Senate some sense! Send a message to your Senators to vote in favor of amendments to end the wars and move the money.

Thanks to your calls, comments, letters to the editor, and even protests, Congress has not been able to escape the mounting public pressure to Move the Money from wars and weapons to human needs.

Let’s keep up the pressure!

Call Congress: Super Committee Move the Money!

November 18, 2011

November 17, 2011, the 2-month anniversary of the start of the 99% movement, people have hit the streets in hundreds of cities across the country.

This morning, thousands surrounded the New York Stock Exchange. Hundreds were arrested, many for the second or third time since the start of the movement.

Among the arrestees was retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis. “All the cops are just workers for the one percent, and they don’t even realize they’re being exploited,” Mr. Lewis said. “As soon as I’m let out of jail, I’ll be right back here and they’ll have to arrest me again.”

The first in a series of ongoing actions, the protests are expected to continue throughout the day, with occupiers planning on taking their message into the subways throughout Manhattan this afternoon.

As their November 23 deadline draws near, the Super Committee did not escape the attention of the 99%. At a fundraiser for Senators Kyl and Hatch this morning, occupiers chanted “Put people first! Make Wall Street pay!”

Let’s amplify the message!Call toll free now! 888-907-1485

Tell your Senator and Congressional Representative: Put people first! Move the money from wars and weapons back to our communities! The rich and corporations must pay their fair share and move the money from the Pentagon to human services and create jobs.

Power to the peaceful,

Judith Le Blanc
Field Director
Peace Action

Nov 17: Power to the Peaceful 99%

November 16, 2011

You can’t evict the 99%. Agnes from Community Voices Heard, an East Harlem based organization of low-income people, working to improve the lives of the community said,  “Don’t get it wrong. They’re fighting for us, for my granddaughter.”

After the eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park early yesterday morning, Agnes and thousands of labor, clergy and community groups flooded lower Manhattan in solidarity. We must all be there for Occupy Wall Street November 17.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, “They can take away the tarps and the tents, but they can’t slow down the Occupy Wall Street movement.”

You can’t evict an idea whose time has come!

The 1% have created havoc in the economy, in our communities and around the world with wars and occupations. Time for economic and racial justice. Time to move the money from wars and weapons back toour communities. Time to take a stand in New York City on November 17.

Today we are challenged to become more than organizers for peace, we must be organizers for peace and justice.

1. Call 212-New-York or (212-772-1081) to express your outrage to NYC Mayor Bloomberg.

2. Mobilize for an outpouring of the 99% on Thursday, November 17.

Are you in CT, NJ, Eastern PA?  Come to NYC to make it the biggest action in the country. Or find a solidarity action in your area.

They can’t slow us down now. The Occupy movement has changed the political terrain. The systemic inequalities have been named. Now we must stand in solidarity with the right to occupy by making clear that we need to fund our communities and not the Pentagon, war profiteers or the rich and their corporations. We must organize the peace and justice movement for the needs of the 99%.

In New York City, we will gather at subway hubs in the 5 boroughs and Occupy the subways as we head toFoley Square for a 5 PM peoples assembly. Then a festival of lights will encircle the City Hall and proceed across the Brooklyn Bridge. Join us!

Power to the peaceful,

Judith Le Blanc
Field Director
Peace Action

Bonjour from France!

November 15, 2011

Last week and weekend in Paris, I was honored to represent Peace Action at the international conference of our good colleagues le Mouvement de la Paix (French Peace Movement). I was the only U.S. person there, among a few hundred peacemongers from France, Israel, Senegal, Germany, Britain, the U.K., Belgium and Russia (and I may have missed a few countries!).


Le Mouvement de la Paix (like our British colleagues at the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, whose conference I attended last fall) is very similar to Peace Action, both in terms of its grassroots organizational structure (they have chapters all over France) and the issues it focuses on.


Topics addressed at the conference ran the gamut of peace concerns, from the economics and human rights angles of creating an international culture of peace, to more specific issues and campaigns such as global reductions in military spending and the arms trade. I spoke on the last two topics, as well as nuclear disarmament, from the perspective of Peace Action’s and the U.S. peace movement’s current organizing campaigns.


Also, I met twice with leaders from key European peace organizations regarding plans for organizing around the NATO/G-8 Summit next May in Chicago (more on that in the coming months). Our allies from Europe, as well as Canada, plan to come to Chicago to stand with us as we address the issues of war and the international economy, and call for more peaceful and sustainable alternatives. We are already at work on planning a speaking tour, an educational conference and street actions around this opportunity next spring.


The conference and meetings, though sometimes a bit challenging with language differences, were a terrific relationship and fellowship building experience for me, and I hope by extension for Peace Action. We have worked for a long time with peace movement colleagues around the world as a trusted ally, and this conference was just a continuation of that work. I always come away from interactions with our sisters and brothers from many different countries, cultures and backgrounds exhilarated to learn from their struggles. I am always convinced that not only is another world possible, it is inevitable!


–Kevin Martin, Executive Director


Tomorrow, we will honor the other 1%: our service members and veterans.

November 10, 2011

Less than 1% of the nation serves in our Armed Forces, and like many of you mentioned in your comments on the Iraq War, we are deeply gratified that many of them are returning home this winter. However, it has not escaped our attention that for many, this is not a homecoming, but rather a redeployment to Kuwait, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

At Peace Action, we will continue to work hard until each and every service member comes home.

Amidst unemployment, a 12-18 month backlog at the VA, and a rising suicide epidemic, returning veterans are marching with the 99%. Source: Veterans News Now.

But what are they coming home to?

Crisis of employment: With a record high average number of deployments under their belts, our veterans are returning home to face a higher rate of unemployment than their civilian counterparts.

Crisis of care: An alarming suicide epidemic is pervading the military, with active-duty memberstaking their own lives at the rate of one every 36 hours. After a decade of continuous war, PTSD rates are as high as 50% among deployed troops. Despite this alarming epidemic, the average new claim processing time at the VA appears to be an astounding 12 to 18 months!

Meanwhile, both the House and Senate Veterans Committees are willing to cut funding to Veterans Affairs.

Peace Action says: Move the Money!

By cutting wasteful Pentagon spending, we could save billions of dollars from our federal budget. Billions of dollars that could be used for critical human needs, such as care for our returning veterans.

Your generous contribution to Peace Action will help build the movement to Move the Money from wars and weapons to human needs. Honor our troops this Veterans Day by helping build a more peaceful and just world.

Move the Money and Super Committee Toolkit

November 7, 2011

NEW Peace Action Move the Money Toolkit 

The US Labor Department announced that the economy created 80,000 jobs in October.  Economists say that twice that number of jobs need to be created every month for the next ten years to bring the unemployment rate down from 9% to 5%. There is no better argument for “moving the money” from weapons and wars to fund jobs creation and community services.

The Congressional bi-partisan “Super Committee” has been visited repeatedly by lobbyists representing the military industrial complex as the Pentagon decries a “doomsday scenario” if their budget is cut.

Maximum public pressure is needed now to press for cutting into the 58% of federal discretionary spending the goes to the Pentagon and for nuclear weapons complex.

Peace Action’s Move the Money Toolkit includes background and materials to use, if your Senator or Representative is on the “Super Committee’.

No matter where you live, send a message to the “Super Committee”  using the social media info in the toolkit.

As the Committee’s November 23 deadline approaches for sending their proposals to Congress, we need to gear up for the “full court press” on all the members of Congress.

Move the Money Toolkit has military budget background background information, educational materials and leaflets. Download leaflets and add your local contact information.

Circulate the link for the Move the Money Toolkit on community and activist listservs.

We gathered  great material from Peace Action affiliates, created new pieces or borrowed from sister organizations. Thanks to Upper Hudson, NY, NH, NC, Montgomery County and NJ!


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