4, 2019, will mark the 51st anniversary of the assassination of the
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the internationally revered leader in
struggles against racism, poverty and war.
yet, in a grotesque desecration of Rev. King’s lifelong dedication to
peace, this is the date that the military leaders of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) have chosen to celebrate NATO’s 70th
anniversary by holding its annual summit meeting in Washington, D.C.
This is a deliberate insult to Rev. King and a clear message that Black
lives and the lives of non-European humanity, and indeed the lives of
the vast majority, really do not matter.
its founding, the U.S.-led NATO has been the world’s deadliest military
alliance, causing untold suffering and devastation throughout Northern
Africa, the Middle East and beyond. Hundreds of thousands have died in
U.S./NATO wars in Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yugoslavia. Millions of
refugees are now risking their lives trying to escape the carnage that
these wars have brought to their homelands, while workers in the 29 NATO
member-countries are told they must abandon hard-won social programs in
order to meet U.S. demands for even more military spending.
King’s words linking the three evils of American society: Militarism,
Racism and Poverty, and his deeply profound remark that every bomb that
falls on other countries is a bomb dropped on our inner cities, reveal
the deep-rooted relationship between militarism and the social, racial,
economic and environmental injustices that now impoverish whole cities
and rural communities and have plagued our society and the world for a
long time. It was exactly one year before he was murdered that Rev. King
gave his famous speech opposing the U.S. war in Vietnam, calling the
U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world” and
declaring that he could not be silent.
We cannot be silent either. As Rev. King taught us, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
year NATO has held its summits, people around the world have organized
massive protests against it: in Chicago (2012), Wales (2014), Warsaw
(2016), Brussels (2017 & 2018) — and 2019 will be no exception.
are calling for a peaceful mass mobilization against this year’s NATO
Summit in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 30. Additional actions
will take place at the opening of the NATO meeting on April 4. We ask
you to make every effort to join with us in Washington DC, or, if not
possible, organize a rally or demonstration in your area. We need to
show, in the strongest possible way, our opposition to NATO’s
destructive wars and its racist military policies around the world.
also invite you to add your, and/or your organization’s name to the
list of supporters of the anti-NATO, Anti-War and Anti-Racism mass
actions in Washington DC. Please go to the web site at http://no2nato2019.org to add your organizational or individual endorsement of the action or to make a donation to build the action.
During 2018, UFPJ focused on elevating campaigns that link U.S. wars abroad with the assaults at home on justice, human rights, democracy, and human and environmental needs. A year ago, at a meeting of UFPJ founders, former Co-Chairs, and current Coordinating Committee members, in St. Louis, we agreed to lift up the work of:
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
The Divest From the War Machine Campaign
The Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases
The Korea Collaboration Olympic Truce Campaign
As 2018 draws to a close, the Trump Administration has challenged all of us with new assaults on peace, human rights, justice, and our common security. Troops are massed on the U.S. Southern border to drive away migrants seeking asylum from violence. The devastating war in Yemen has created a horrific, humanitarian crisis with the overwhelming majority of the population on the brink of starvation, while Trump celebrates corporate profits made selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. Threatened U.S. abandonment of the lntermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty has added to the heightened threat of nuclear war, raising it to levels not seen in decades.
Never has Dr. King’s description of the triple evils of war, racism, and poverty permeating U.S. society rung so true. UFPJ’s mission is clear. We must continue to organize our national network to serve its main purpose: uniting organizations and individuals to take bold action to stop wars and violence abroad; to redirect the resources squandered on killing to repair our communities; and to build a culture of peace and justice to secure our future. Our 2018 campaigns were central to that mission.
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
This grassroots movement to affect change at state and local levels through sustained nonviolence was launched to bring together the broad range of constituencies needed to achieve Dr. King’s “revolution of values” and confront the intertwined evils of racism, poverty, militarism, and ecological destruction.
In the fall of 2018, the Campaign pivoted to address voter suppression. Citing the carefully targeted gerrymandering, reckless voter purges, and voter ID laws targeting brown and black people from Georgia to North Dakota, the Poor People’s Campaign offered a moral answer to the abuse of power we saw on Election Day. Then, in support of the families fleeing Central America who are desperately seeking a better life, the Campaign went to the Southern border to demand the demilitarization of border communities and the protection of migrants seeking refuge. The protesters, who included Fight for $15 workers, undocumented immigrants, and people impacted by the California wildfires, joined leaders from the American Friends Service Committee, Kairos Center, and Repairers of the Breach, to proclaim, “While politicians use the suffering of these refugee families to stoke a fear of who is coming towards our border, we are brought closer together in common suffering and hope.”
Divest from the War Machine
The “War Machine” is a massive, global, U.S. military apparatus that operates largely thanks to an alliance between the arms industry and policy makers. It prioritizes “defense” and corporate interests over human rights; military spending over diplomacy and aid; combat preparations over preventing wars; and profit over human life and the health of the planet. 64% of the federal discretionary budget goes to wars and militarism, rather than education, healthcare, or housing for the homeless. The companies that are part of this War Machine are making a killing on killing. Their priorities will never be our priorities.
UFPJ and many of our member groups joined the campaign, spearheaded by CODEPINK, beginning with a week of action in February to gear up for locally based work and identify financial institutions to focus on. These include city, county, or state retirement funds; university, hospital or religious institution endowments; and union pension funds. Divestment can be a powerful tool for peace. Divestment campaigns have already resulted in over $5 trillion being divested from the fossil fuel industry. CODEPINK’s Weapon Free Funds toolkit provides valuable tips for local organizing. In the fall, Divest from the War Machine’s Back to School initiative focused on recruiting students to challenge the investments of their colleges and universities.
Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases
The Coalition was launched when more than 250 activists came together for the Conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases, January 12-14, at the University of Baltimore. Its first actions included solidarity initiatives to demand that all charges be dropped against anti-Okinawa Base activists arrested in Japan. A Day of Protest Against Guantanamo followed on February 23rd, in solidarity with the Cuban people’s efforts to take back their territory, illegally occupied by the U.S. National Days of Anti-War Action took place on April 14th and 15th, in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and the San Francisco Bay Area.
November 16-18, the Coalition organized the first International Conference against US/NATO Military Bases, which was attended by nearly 300 participants from over thirty-five countries, and endorsed by over 700 organizations and activists. The conference called for the closure of all US/NATO military bases, with particular emphasis on U.S. bases in Guantanamo, Cuba, Okinawa, South Korea, and Ramstein, Germany; the old and new U.S./NATO bases in Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Scandinavia, and Ireland, as well as the bases newly established by the U.S, France and their allies on and near Syrian soil. It also condemned the establishment of the new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and its military bases in Africa.
Speakers highlighted the twin threats to humanity posed by global war and global warming, both driven by accelerating militarization. They emphasized the role of the U.S. and its allies, which have by far the largest military expenditures in the world. The Coalition will continue its activities in 2019. Mass mobilizations against NATO’s 70th Anniversary Summit in Washington DC, on April 4, are being planned in DC, in NATO member states, and elsewhere.
Korea Collaboration Olympic Truce Campaign
The on-again-off-again status of U.S.-North Korea negotiations to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, normalize relations and build a lasting and stable peace was a source of profound instability in 2018. Amidst the horror of North Korea’s nuclear tests and U.S. military threats, the South Korean people initiated a process to move the region away from crisis. It began with the nonviolent “Candlelight Revolution’s” overwhelming support for President Moon Jae-in’s commitment to engage with North Korea. Novel diplomacy between the two Koreas began with an inclusive Winter Olympics and led to the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula, adopted April 27 by North and South Korea, and the historic June 12 Trump-Kim summit in Singapore.
UFPJ and its member groups played an active role, coordinating through the Korea Peace Network. Women Cross the DMZ made visits to both North and South Korea, building peace together with Korean women. Veterans For Peace helped to write and distribute a People’s Peace Treaty with North Korea, endorsed by tens of thousands of people in the U.S. UFPJ signed onto and promoted a number of statements supporting the new diplomatic opening, including an Open Letter to the leaders of the U.S., South Korea and North Korea, signed by more than 100 U.S. peace, faith-based, professional, and Korean-American organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers. The March 28 Open Letter was presented by UFPJ National Co-convener Jackie Cabasso, at a well-attended press conference at the United Nations. At the June Summit, North Korea committed to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. and North Korea committed to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the repatriation of those already identified. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to North Korea. Hyun Lee, a leading Korean-American peace activist, perhaps best summed up the historic meaning of the summit. It was “a historic breakthrough in U.S.-North Korea relations.”
That two nuclear-armed States, having moved toward possible war for many months, reversed course and took an important step away from the brink, a step that could lead to a completely new path after 65 years of armed confrontation ought to be a cause for celebration. Yet in the days following the Singapore Summit the response to the Summit Declaration by much of the U.S. media and many elected officials was dismaying. Two senators introduced an amendment to the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act to prevent President Trump from withdrawing troops from South Korea, where the U.S. has 83 bases and some 30,000 troops.
UFPJ disseminated educational and informational materials and promoted local actions on our long-standing, initiatives, including:
GDAMS [Global Day Against Military Spending]—April 15th Thirty-eight community-based protests and actions in 15 states challenged our country’s warped and dangerous national budget, foreign and military policies. Pentagon spending will be $716,000,000,000 in 2019. Add another $66 billion for Washington’s wars from Afghanistan and Yemen to the Philippines. Before these increases, Pentagon spending equaled that of the world’s next eight biggest military spenders combined. Meanwhile, Trump proposes cuts to housing, food subsidies, education, legal assistance, and environmental protection. In this era of mounting assaults on the foundations of democracy, human rights and peace, each community-based action is a reassertion of commitments to democracy and human dignity.
Nuclear Free Future Month—August Since 2006 UFPJ has declared August “Nuclear Free Future Month”. In 2018 we kept the momentum going. With tensions escalating between the U.S. and Russia and the U.S. and China, and with nuclear-armed states engaged in unpredictable conflicts that could catastrophically escalate on the Korean Peninsula, in the Middle East and South Asia it was a time for action. Ominously, all the nuclear-armed nations are engaged in a new nuclear arms race. Yet, despite their animosities toward each other, they are united in opposition to the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (or Ban Treaty). And the original nuclear-armed states continue to ignore their obligations under the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to end the arms race and negotiate “in good faith” the elimination of nuclear weapons. August 6th and 9th marked the 73rd anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and rallies, marches, vigils and nonviolent direct actions took place across the nation and around the world. It was a key moment for citizens to enroll their mayors in Mayors for Peace!
It’s kind of ironic that, as WRFG 89.3 FM celebrates 45 years as a
formidable outlet for fact-based information and diverse quality music
that helps everyday people live their best lives, there is a war being
waged on facts and truth in order to enrich the already rich and empower
the already powerful.
Since 1973, WRFG has supported progressive efforts that uplift human
dignity and give people more control over their lives – bringing you
community voices and independent artists that you don’t get to hear on
mainstream media. The war of divisive ideas and restriction of resources
puts all of this at risk.
WRFG is a rarity – the only not-for-profit community radio station in
Georgia that is not affiliated with or owned or controlled by a radio
network, school, private company, or government. We are totally
independent, which means we can use the power of radio to help identify,
expose, and correct the wrongs of the past and present, not perpetuate
You can help keep truth and freedom alive on the airwaves by donating to WRFG radio today.
On the week of Thanksgiving, millions of Yemenis will be starving because of US policy in their country. There is a bill in Congress that could end this immediately. It’s time to act! Please ask your rep and senators to cosponsor HConRes 138 and SJRes 54 by calling 1-833-STOP-WAR today to end US involvement in the Saudi war on Yemen. The US has been complicit in war crimes in Yemen for years and it’s time to cut support.
With US military support the Saudi-Led Coalition has blockaded Yemen’s ports and stopped the flow of food, medicine, fuel, and clean water into the country. What has resulted is the worst man made humanitarian disaster on the planet right now with over a million cases of cholera and 14 million people on the brink of famine. Congress has never authorized U.S. military involvement in Yemen.
Justice loving Georgians this is OUR time to demand that every vote must be counted! Leave your school, take off of work, reschedule meetings, WE NEED YOU THERE!!
If you believe in democracy, if you believe that every vote should be counted, if you believe that we, the people, have a voice that must be heard….then we will see you this Tuesday, Nov 13 at 1pm at the capital.You must have an ID to enter the capital, please wear black and come prepared!
For those of you across GA that can’t make it, please make a video about any voter suppression you experienced on or before election day, please use the hashtag #counteveryvote and stories will be lifted up on counteveryvote.com
Gather your people in your county and go to you city halls or your state officials office and demand that every vote be counted! Let’s build synergy and energy across the state of Georgia! Post your actions on counteveryvote.com
Link to the FAcebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/288197891696366/
Greg Palast, the investigative reporter who just sued Georgia Secretary of State and GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, will screen The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Movie at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday, November 5 at 5:30pm. Palast will talk after the film about his suit against Kemp and answer questions.
THIS PROJECT is an experiment in liberation art and is the very first project of Resist: Atlanta’s Radical Art Community. A countercultural response to the social and political climate of our time, our artists will reclaim space and create a 60-minute simulation comprised of visual and performance projects and an interactive installation for attendees to navigate with the help of ally tour guides. This project and its ambassadors push back against: Racism, Sexism, Colonialism/Empire, Fascism, Transphobia, Homophobia, Islamophobia, Ableism and Xenophobia.
OUR ARTISTS are a group of 12 who feel deeply that art is central to revolutionary work. We are artists committed to creating that which “comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.” We exert the power of art and the story unapologetically. We wield our voices, our bodies, our minds, our hearts to dance, sing, write, speak, paint, move, shout–that the stories and truths of our people will be made known to all who encounter us. We artists of color, of non-men, of trans, queer, and indigenous identities. We are artists existing across religions and no religion. We are artists from underserved communities and disenfranchised communities. We are immigrants and the children of immigrants. We are loud and and we are filled with righteous rage.
A lyrical, polemical, musical road movie on dispossession and exile, hope and the possibilities of coexistence
“… Kathy Wazana’s lyrical documentary They Were Promised the Sea slowly unfolds its tale of a Moroccan-Jewish history that combined a deep multi-century sense of belonging with a hasty departure under the shadow of the Israeli/Arab conflict. The film unveils a complex portrait of intimately connected Jewish and Muslim lives in Morocco. … The film celebrates the mutual Muslim/Jewish desire to revive a precious past that had been partially eclipsed but which, as the dialogue in Hebrew and Arabic in the musical finale shows, remains vital and vibrant.”
–– Ella Habiba Shohat, author of Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation
“[…] explores an important episode in the history of the Maghreb, Palestine and Israel. A necessary contribution […] controversial and thought-provoking.” –– Joslyn Barnes, Louverture Films, New York: The Time That Remains; The House I Live In; Black Power Mixtapes “A beautiful, passionate and probing look into the intertwined histories of Jews and Arabs in Morocco and Israel/Palestine, a look back that inspires hope for the future.”
–– Richard Fung, Video Artist, Cultural Critic, Director: Dal Puri Diaspora
“Combining poetry, music and hauntingly gorgeous high definition images, Kathy Wazana has produced a film that offers viewers a journey of discovery and reveals a Judeo-Arab narrative that challenges the notion of an assumed historical enemy and the dominant view that Jews are refugees from the Arab world.”
–– Michael Ostroff, Director : Winds of Heaven, Canvas of War
“It’s the emotional, lyrical, and poetic quality of the documentary that shines […] a new way of looking at North Africa and Middle East issues.”
–– Barry Greenwald, director: Between Two Worlds, Who Gets In?
“… a splendid and deeply complex investigative exposé … brilliantly conceived and directed – so complex and wrenching … a prayer of hope.”
–– Evangeline Kim, National Geographic Music
About the filmmaker, Kathy Wazana
Kathy Wazana is a Casablanca-born, Toronto-based writer, translator, editor, turned documentary filmmaker, whose current work focuses on Jewish-Arab relations in Morocco and in Israel-Palestine.
In recent years, Kathy has turned her attention to studying and understanding Jewish-Arab relations through the history of Jews in Morocco and her own identity as an Arab Jew.
Kathy has worked in politics and the labour movement, in educational television, publishing and advertising, in government, public and media relations, and in international development, in France and in Canada. She is a life-long peace activist and advocate for equity and human rights.
The rupture provoked by the partition of Palestine and the creation of the State of Israel is the subject of Kathy’s first feature, award-winning documentary They Were Promised the Sea / Pour une Nouvelle Séville.She has presented her film in Jewish Film Festivals, universities, all over the world.
Since 1994, she has spent several years observing and documenting the Israel-Palestine conflict and the efforts of Israeli and Palestinian women and men engaged in a variety of peace initiatives at the political, community, academic and grassroots levels, in Canada, Morocco and in Israel-Palestine.
In Canada, Kathy has spearheaded several joint Jewish-Arab community-building initiatives, including the Playgrounds for Peace Fund (1996), Cooks for Peace, the Just Peace Seder and Community Mimouna (2002-2007, 2013)*. In 2002 she led a Palestinian and Jewish Canadian women’s mission to Israel-Palestine, co-authoring and publishing the mission report Speaking Through Walls – Women Building Peace in Israel-Palestine**. This summer, Kathy was one of the participants on the Gaza Flotilla.
Kathy Wazana is invited to present at the Year of Morocco at Kennesaw State University in October 2018 and we are delighted to welcome her to the larger Atlanta community for a screening of the film and discussion with Kathy, the filmmaker.
Benjamin will be sharing about his 11 months long journey and his commitment to raising awareness about human rights violations in Palestine. He walked 5000km (over 3100 miles) through thirteen countries. His walk took him through refugee camps, villages, deserts and meetings with parliament members.
RALLY AGAINST ENDLESS WAR
Wednesdays, 4 – 5 p.m.
Moreland Avenue & Ponce de Leon
Bring your own signs or use ours:
U.S. Drones Kill Kids U.S. Drones Create Terrorism Money for Jobs & Education –Not War & Occupation Boycott Israeli Apartheid We Are All Palestinians Healthcare – Not Warfare Black Lives Matter Living Wage Is a Human Right Climate Change Changes Everything Expand Medicaid in Georgia Close Guantanamo US Out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, etc. Bring the Troops Home Now