Fear, hate and nuclear weapons threaten to rewrite facts under the Trump administration as we are guided to endless wars and endless military spending under a President who had to ask why we do not use Nuclear Weapons.
Together, we can resist the politics of fear and hate of the new Administration, and create communities that work for all of us, guiding U.S. foreign policy away from war, and towards sustainable peace. Sign up now to volunteer with Peace Action New York State:
We Stand with Charlottesville
Most people I speak to today tell me that peace is not possible. But they believe peace is impossible because we live in a country that was built on violence and continues to embrace it.
We live in a country that was founded on genocide and slavery, promotes imperialism, celebrates militarism, and that continues to justify the possession of nuclear weapons.
We live in a country where both major political parties put responsibility on the Muslim community to denounce terrorism, while ignoring the fact that the biggest perpetrators of domestic terrorism are white men.
I speak now to white people, like me, who have seen Black Lives Matter protesters be threatened online for months. Whose silence enabled this violence in Charlottesville?
As peace activists, we must say, not just at rallies when the world is watching, but in our homes and always: Black Lives Matter.
Any silence in the face of hate enables violence and irrational fear, because we know that hate speech is violence, and it is a tool of this Administration. With hate speech, this Administration has unleashed violence against immigrant, indigenous, Muslim and Black communities at home, and may kill innocent North Korean people with nothing to do with war, who have suffered the most under their regime.
But the violence of this government does not define us because we will not let it silence or divide us.
We cannot rest until we recognize that every human being in the world has the right to live without a constant threat of violence, and that there is no U.S. global leadership when our actions at home and abroad erode this most fundamental human right.
Because, though our Administration now chooses war and violence, we can make another choice. As peace activists, we choose radical, revolutionary love. We choose diplomacy. We choose diversity. We choose to say Black Lives Matter.
We must be the rational actors of truth with empathy for those most impacted by our wars at home and abroad. We must not be the victims of fear falsely promoted by our Government.
We are peace activists because peace is not just the absence of war. It is the active rejection of violence against marginalized communities by the few who have too much power, abuse it, and have left wounds all over the world.
And the violence that threatens all of us is not far from us: It is here. It is in the White House.
You can count on me to never believe in anything but the power of the just. Of those who stand against evil where it exists. Of those who stand against prejudice, hate, and fear. Of those who stand for love.
And I count on you to join me.
NO WAR WITH NORTH KOREA
I'm not worried about North Korea launching nuclear weapons, but I am worried about the Trump Administration.
I am worried about the Trump Administration because we have a U.S. President who is improvising policy and threats on the use of the most dangerous weapon ever developed – and then doubling down on those threats.
President Trump improvised comments saying that "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."
After North Korea then threatened the U.S. territory of Guam, whose residents are unable to vote in federal elections, Defense Secretary James Mattis doubled down on the threat, saying "The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people."
In case you were wondering: that's nearly threatening a genocide of the North Korean people, who cannot be held accountable for the actions of this regime which has systematically oppressed them for decades. Genocide is defined as widespread and systematic violence, with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a recognizable group of people, for example, based on their nationality.
All of these threats are based off of the rhetoric of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, and demonstrably incomplete intelligence on its nuclear weapons program.
According to numerous reports, North Korea may or may not have miniaturized a nuclear warhead to where it could arm a delivery system like an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, but North Korea likely has not acquired the technology to fire a nuclear-tipped missile that would be able to re-enter the earth's atmosphere intact.
And, while we're worried about one nuclear weapon, North Korea is worried about the hundreds of U.S. nuclear weapons on ready-launch status that can be deployed within 10 minutes of President Trump giving the launch codes.
The United States has the clear strength in arms and has the obligation to pursue diplomacy before pursuing war. But the United States is keeping diplomacy off the table. The same week that Trump issued his "fire and fury" threat, North Korean diplomats met with diplomats from China, Russia and South Korea, four of the six parties of the six-party talks to stop North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
So, when Secretary Tillerson says that the U.S. can talk to North Korea when it stops missile tests, he's leaving diplomacy to the rest of the world and keeping the United States committed to war.
That's why I'm much more worried about the U.S. starting a nuclear war than the possibility of North Korea launching a nuclear weapon. We need to stand up to this Administration and to Congress now with one demand: NO NUCLEAR WAR.
Here are ways for you to take action now:
- Tell Your Representatives to Sponsor HR669/S.200 to Take Nuclear Weapons Out of Trump's Hands & Remove the Ammo From His Threats
Our Representatives in the House and Senate have the opportunity today to take nuclear weapons out of Trump's hands by co-sponsoring and passing HR669/S200, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons act. It would ensure that nuclear weapons cannot be launched on a whim, but that Congress must debate any possible use of the most dangerous weapon in the world, which was outlawed by 122 nations at the United Nations this July. Call Your House Representative and Senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them to co-sponsor HR669/S200 today.
- Buffalo Event: Vigil Against War & Stand for a Nuclear-Free Future and Against Wars
Saturday, August 12 from 1-2PM at Bidwell Park, BIdwell Parkway & Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo.
Signs welcome; some on hand. Come stand against war and war-mongering – so bad for all; and stand for a Nuclear Free Future. Sponsored by the Interfaith Peace Network and the WNY Peace Center.
- New York City-area Events: No War with North Korea!
Friday, August 11
7-8PM/Staten Island: Vigil for Peace with North Korea in Front of Rep. Donovan's Office
265 New Dorp Lane, Staten Island, 10305
Join us for a vigil in front of Rep. Dan Donovan's office on Staten Island to call for peace talks with North Korea. Tell our elected leaders to "Negotiate, Don't Escalate." Bring your signs and banners.
Sunday, August 13
11AM – 1PM/Brooklyn: Rally for Peace and Sanity
(Grand Army Plaza). Sponsored by Indivisible Nation BK, Indivisible Brooklyn and NY Indivisible
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1991895927700235/
Monday, August 14
12 – 1PM/Manhattan: Rally at the United Nations Headquarters to Stop U.S. Provocations Aimed at North Korea
(1st Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets, Across from the UN) Sponsored by UNAC-NYC
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1467744269974365/
5 – 8PM/Manhattan: Protest at Trump Tower – No More, No War: Tell Trump to End His Threats of Nuclear War Now!
(Trump Tower New York, 5th Avenue between 56th & 57th)
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/117255448926579/
J Street, Jewish Voice for Peace and the ACLU Nationwide all oppose this bill because of its chilling impact on free speech.
It would impose civil penalties of up to $250K and criminal penalties of up to $1M and 10 years in jail on individuals supporting or seeking information to support any boycott of Israel.
Thanks to Peace Action New York State staff Emily for getting it partially on video
UPDATE: Senator Gillibrand has formally REMOVED herself as a co-sponsor of this legislation! Grassroots power, once again, makes a big difference!
United Nations Adopts Historic Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, 122 Member States Sign On
July 7, 2017 New York City: Today, the UN has finished negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The treaty recognizes the limited strategic impact of the continued existence of nuclear weapons, the risks of their continued existence, and the gross humanitarian consequences of their development, testing and use.
The representative of Palestine stated, “The seats here are filled by those who want to send an unequivocal message to those whose seats are empty”. One of those empty seats was the United States, who along with other nuclear powers and their allies, boycotted the conference.
Peace Action New York State, a grassroots peace organization with over 5,000 supporters statewide, is disappointed in the lack of U.S. participation in the UN negotiations and hopes to see U.S. representatives show an increased commitment to nuclear disarmament.
“Despite the promises of past administration, the United States has 6,970 nuclear weapons, and spends approximately $61.3 billion per year on maintaining the arsenal – 20 times the cost of the U.S. commitment to the Paris Climate Deal, and 15 times the funding gap of the global refugee crisis. The United States is considering modernizing its nuclear arsenal, with $1.2 trillion in costs over 30 years,” said Kate Alexander, the Director of Policy and Outreach at Peace Action New York State. “These costs are unnecessary and dangerously erode our nation’s fiscal and national security priorities.”
“The continued existence of nuclear weapons perpetuates Cold War security doctrines much of the world is moving past, while locking the United States, Russia and North Korea into predictable but insecure patterns of aggression. This treaty is a global call to move past MAD theories of nuclear deterrence and towards a secure world that is free of nuclear weapons.”
122 Member States signed onto the treaty today. The full text of the treaty is available here: http://www.undocs.org/en/a/conf.229/2017/L.3/Rev.1
Today, the GOP-led House Appropriations Committee did something historic. They approved an amendment from Representative Lee that, if passed, would sunset the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).
The AUMF has been used by the United States over the past 16 years to authorize more than 37 military actions in 14 countries.
If passed, this amendment would repeal the AUMF within 240 days and apply “with respect to each operation or other action that is being carried out pursuant to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force initiated before such effective date”.
Our endless wars could end. We could stop sending troops into wars without a debate on an exit strategy for those wars. We could stop crippling our domestic economy to pay for the destruction of the Middle East. We could win, and today, we found out we could win with bipartisan support.
Your Membership Matters
Peace Action New York State is driven by the active membership of more than 5,000 supporters throughout the State. For maximum political power, for justice and peace, we need Peace Action New York State members in every Congressional District in New York. That’s our goal this year, and we need your support to make it happen. Will you join us? Click here! »
Because of PANYS members, we are making a difference. Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen unprecedented levels of opposition to an arms sale, international support for the United Nations and the abolition of nuclear weapons, and deepened our own community involvement to connect the issues of peace, religious freedom and gender expression. We’re working for a world with peace and justice for all.
This year, we want Peace Action New York State members in every Congressional District standing up for peace. Will you join us and become a PANYS member today?
Over the past two weeks, PANYS members in New York City took to the streets to demand a more peaceful and just world. We co-organized the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb and as PANYS members, WILPF volunteers and concerned world citizens, we marched in a torrential downpour through midtown Manhattan to demand support for a treaty to ban nuclear arms. The next day, PANYS member Sally was one of several peace activists arrested outside the U.S. Mission to the United Nations to demand that the U.S. stops boycotting these negotiations.
The week after the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb, PANYS members took to the streets of NYC again. Twice. First, we joined with Just Good Neighbors to offer support and solidarity to a mosque near our office that had recently been the subject of Islamophobic threats, including a bomb threat. We stood outside of the mosque during prayer service with signs of support and solidarity for our Muslim brothers and sisters, and spoke with many of our neighbors after, sharing thoughts of compassion, care and peace. Then, two days later, we joined the historic Resistance contingent of the NYC Pride Parade to connect the dots for a peaceful & just world for all.
That’s what being a Peace Action New York State member is about: showing up to oppose state-sponsored violence in foreign and domestic policies.
Will you join us? And, will you share this call to action with friends, family and allies for peace?
In peace & community,
Peace Action New York State, President
We've Been Busy
As the second round of UN negotiations to draft a treaty to ban nuclear weapons began, we showed up at the UN and in the streets to make it clear: we demand a nuclear free world!
On Thursday and Friday, we attended the second round of historic negotiations to draft a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. We witnessed diplomacy in action as countries came together in pursuit of a nuclear free world. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has aggressively opposed these talks, and during the last round of negotiations, had a press conference outside of the negotiating room to say the US would not be a part of building a nuclear-free world. Nikki Haley does not speak for us!
On Saturday, despite torrential downpour, we joined together with CODEPINK, the Women's International League for Freedom, United for Peace and Justice and other peace allies at the Women's March to Ban the Bomb to demand a nuclear weapons-free world – where no country has a legal basis for weapons that cause unparalleled damage. Rain couldn't stop us from having our message heard: we demand a nuclear ban!
On Sunday, we kept the momentum going at One Struggle, Many Fronts: A Peace & Planet Forum and stood united against nuclear arms, the arms race & the use of nuclear weapons while hearing from diverse communities most directly impacted by their development, testing and use.