Fund Justice, Not War

Fund Justice, Not War - In 1967 Martin Luther King said that we must overcome the "giant triplets" of militarism, racism and economic oppression.  Toward this end, we seek to build alliances between the anti-war and social justice movements.  In solidarity with community allies, we are working to overcome the racial and  economic  divide and to support immigrant rights.  Contact Vicky Steinitz Vicky.steinitz@umb.edu or Susan Lees swlees@earthlink.net

Summary Notes: Fund Justice Not War Working and Planning Meeting - Jan. 25, 2006

 

The purpose of the meeting was to move UJP's social justice and anti-racism work forward by figuring out how to include more anti-racist and social justice work in what we do and figuring out how to build real alliances. The work is framed by the Fund the Dream analysis of MLK's triple evils: militarism, racism and economic exploitation and takes place within the context of UJP's continuing work with Chuck Turner and the District 7 Advisory Committee on building alliances between the anti-war and social justice movements.

 

Twenty people attended the meeting. They came from six UJP community groups - Cambridge, Waltham, Somerville, Newton, Dorchester and Arlington - and a number of peace and justice organizations - Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, Neighbor To Neighbor, United for a Fair Economy, Mass Coalition for Healthy Communities and the Free Youth Network.

 

Specific individual expectations for the evening were consistent with the original purpose and included: building local alliances across race & class. ending racism in political work, increasing the emphasis in the anti-war movement on economic justice, building a broader base for the peace movement, and focusing on cutting funding for the war.

 

We began by sharing the directions of our current work: What issues are "hot"? Where is there potential for local alliances, particularly working on MLK's triple evils - militarism, racism and economic exploitation.

 

We brainstormed the components of a FJNW campaign. Suggestions included focusing on: war contracting, wages/income inequality, allying with working class organizations in addressing economic exploitation; making sure that the agenda is defined by working class and low income groups, showing up and building relationships finding more leadership of color in greater Boston to work with; figuring out your town and where in socio/economic/political terms it fits in the region, work on state budget issues joining the Working Family Agenda and pushing statewide legislation combating anti-immigrant forces

 

There was consensus that we should prioritize building solidarity with communities of color and consider joining existing coalitions but that we should take our time, learn more about the issues and not latch onto the first thing that comes our way. Immigration emerged as a high priority.

 

We quickly introduced some tools/resources for FJNW work: "War and the Economy" workshop from United for a Fair Economy Community mapping activities Comparative census data Citywide Dialogues on Boston's Ethnic and Racial Diversity Mass Global Action proposal for urban-suburban dialogues on immigration

 

Next steps: People will take the discussion back to their community & peace &justice groups. Susan has created a list serve for people interested in the FJNW campaign. Fundjustice_not war@yahoogroups.com. Susan, Mike and Vicky will be collecting resources and making them available on the UJP website. FJNW will be a central topic at a brunch in the next 3 months and we anticipate a follow-up meeting in the not-too-distant future.

 

FUND JUSTICE, NOT WAR statement fall/2005

 

CALL FOR FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN OUR NATIONAL PRIORITIES! CALL FOR A MORAL BUDGET!

 

A solid and growing majority of this country is now against the war on Iraq, and there is deep discontent nationwide with the appalling priorities of the Bush Administration and the shameful government response to Hurricane Katrina. Resources that could have been used to save lives on the Gulf Coast - our money, our National Guard, our emergency response equipment - are instead tied up in an illegal and immoral war that continues to kill untold numbers of Iraqis and more than 2000 U.S. servicepeople.

 

We must end the squandering of resources and the taking of lives in a war that never should have happened. We must commit ourselves instead to addressing the urgent human needs in the Gulf Coast and in our own communities, and overcoming the racial and economic divide in this country. We must create a nation which cares about all its people, about people everywhere, about what happens to the earth, the water and the air, and about the kind of world we leave our children and grandchildren. This is the time to stand up and demand a dramatic change of political direction.

 

The US budget should be a principled document, a statement of our priorities as a nation and our commitment to the common good. Instead the current US budget statement is morally bankrupt. Our government continues to expand our obscene military budget, funding weapons contractors, a misbegotten war in Iraq and an expanding empire of US military might. At home our communities are being devastated, our infrastructure and disaster preparation lie in tatters, our real security compromised.

 

We must bring our troops home now and build a society which works for everyone. We must call for budget priorities which ensure that everyone has enough. Adequate food, health care, housing, education, childcare, meaningful jobs and adequate pay are basic rights for all human beings. Peace is only possible in an atmosphere of justice. United for Justice with Peace supports the demands of the Fund the Dream Campaign of Boston's District 7 Round Table Advisory Council - to end militarism, end economic injustice, and end racism. We support an end to institutional racism. This system of unequal access to the resources of society is directed at people of color, destroying and damaging the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Although racism is aimed at particular people in our society, it corrodes and corrupts our entire society. Ending white racism is a key factor in being able to change political direction.

 

From the UJP Fund Justice, Not War Campaign Working Group 

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