Our fellow DC area activist-organizers,
There has been much change during the last couple years within the local peace and justice movement. The changes we have witnessed have included dissolution of the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN) as a group but not the commitment of several of its participants, there has been an increase in levels of nonviolent resistance actions, the revitalizing of the Washington Peace Center as a dynamic force in the wider DC metro community, and most recently the founding of a capacity-building coalition for future mobilizations, known as Activist Coalition of DC (ACDC). However, there is an important and vital need to share resources, creativity, and skills to unite collective energies and move beyond being only somewhat effective to being successful in our peace and social justice struggles. This needs to be our highest priority.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that the U.S. Government was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world, and that a nation that continually spends more on military expenditures rather than human needs is approaching spiritual death. We are at that twilight moment now as our government spends trillions of dollars on war while witnessing a collapsing economy. We strongly urge our fellow activists and other concerned citizens to turn out for a peace witness at war profiteer Lockheed Martin in Bethesda on Dr. King's Birthday, January 19th. This national death Dr. King spoke of is very near, and while millions celebrate Barack Obama's victory, we are troubled by his choice of known warmongers as top-tier advisors and cabinet officials who are closely tied to those responsible for our dying economy and those who have profited from the illegitimate, illegal and immoral wars and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.
We also call out and encourage everyone, followers and believers in King's dream and life of peace, to turn out early on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20th at McPherson Square for yet another witness for justice and peace. We will be handing out signs with President Obama's own most progressive quotes. President Obama must be held accountable to his own words and expressed promises. We must hold him responsible for the hope of real change he has instilled in millions. We cannot miss this opportunity. We must turn to hope and renewed life, and away from violence and death. This will be an important day for those of us working for peace and social justice to reach out to fellow citizens, encouraging them to join us in letting the new government know that we will not be silent.
We realize that different individual progressive activist-organizers have different foci, and the Washington Peace Center is interested in providing a home to all, possibly through official working groups and fiscal sponsorship. But there also comes a time when we must all come together, united in a common purpose. That common purpose is the end of war and occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the restoration of civil liberties and social justice at home.
We must be the change we wish to see. President Obama even said this election belonged to we the people, not him. With this victory comes responsibility. We cannot rely on politicians alone to bring the changes we wish to see in the world. This is why we are calling for a DC peace and justice unity meeting on January 29th, after the inauguration to set our priorities for the next year, and to help prepare plans for the major national mobilization being called for March 19th, the dreadful commemoration of shock and awe. Can you believe this will be six years of an aggressive and evil war on a nation, which never attacked us, and by our government's own information, never posed a credible threat to us? Let us get to work to accomplish small things separately, but together, united in a common purpose we can accomplish a great deal more. We believe we have the power to begin to galvanize the masses to bring about a more just and peaceful world in our time. Let us begin uniting and exercising that power now.
In peace and resistance,
Pete Perry & Malachy Kilbride
Board members of the Washington Peace Center
DC Unity Meeting
Reeves Center (14th and U Streets NW)