We Celebrate With The Muslim Community Network As They ‘Build The Dream.’
Apr 20, 2018
Brooklyn For Peace joined with many other community organizations in celebrating the success and growth of the Muslim Community Network at the New York Hilton last night in Midtown Manhattan. Several hundred supporters came together to enjoy dinner and camaraderie as the Network and its leadership honored allies and supporters. A silent auction was held to raise additional money to help move the group forward in the years ahead. The evening was held under the slogan “Building The Dream,” alluding to the right of all Americans to strive for a decent life free from threats, bigotry and repression.
Under the leadership of Dr. Debbie Almontaser and others, the Network serves to help and protect the city’s Muslim residents, offering varied services and building alliances to counter the Islamaphobia and repression of recent years, now made that much worse by the spewing of bigotry and hate from the Trump administration. It has joined with a wide array of other religious and community groups who have expressed their willingness to stand up and defend the Muslim community from attack.
Among those speaking were Mr. Ali Baba, the owner of several Turkish restaurants. Mr. Baba has been in the news recently when he gained notoriety for serving homeless people, offering them food and clothing. Also honored was Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. She and her congregation have been leaders fight for equality and justice for the city’s LGBTQ community and has stood side by side with the Muslim community when it’s been under attack.
The evening’s keynote speaker was Muslim author Sabeeha Rehman. She spoke eloquently of the struggle she faced as a Muslim-American woman. Her book which was distributed to attendees: Threading My Prayer Rug—One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim.
It was a memorable evening and we in Broolyn For Peace wish our friends in the Muslim Community Network peace and greetings of friendship and solidarity. We will always stand by your side.
Military Strikes Against Syria Are Illegal and Unconstitutional
Brooklyn For Peace supports this statement from Peace Action, in response to U.S. military strikes against Syrian government sites:
Washington, D.C. — April 13, 2018 — In response to U.S. military strikes against Syrian government sites, Jon Rainwater, Executive Director of Peace Action, released the following statement:
“President Trump’s decision to strike Syrian forces was impulsive, dangerous and a clear violation of domestic and international law. This attack endangers U.S. forces in the region, and invites escalation from Russia, Iran and Syria.
“Syrian civilians need answers, provided through an independent investigation, about who attacked them with chemical weapons, and how those parties will be held to account for their crimes. Syrian civilians need humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering and desperation caused by years of war. Syrians need refuge in safer countries, refuge that Trump has refused them. Syria needs sustained, multilateral diplomacy to end the war and achieve a lasting political solution. Above all, Syria needs peace, and missiles have never brought peace.
“Sadly, we’ve grown accustomed to a president with little regard for the law, and to a Congress with little interest in enforcing it. For a decade and a half, Congress has abdicated its solemn duty to decide when we go to war, leaving that power in the hands of the president. President Trump had no legal authority to attack Syria, and President Obama’s legal justification for sending U.S. soldiers to Syria was dubious at best. But Congress’ failure to reassert its war powers has rendered it useless in preventing illegal wars. Members of Congress must speak out and work to reassert congressional war powers in order to reverse this fundamental erosion of our democracy and alter the course of an increasingly reckless foreign policy emanating from the White House.”
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at www.PeaceAction.org.
Military Action in Syria Is Dangerous, Illegal, and Unconstitutional
BFP supports the following statement, released In response to President Trump’s threat of military strikes against Syrian government forces by Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action.
“President Trump’s threat to attack Syrian forces in response to a chemical weapons attack is a reckless, knee jerk reaction to a complex and dangerous situation. There hasn’t been an independent investigation into the chemical weapons attack, Congress still hasn’t debated or authorized the use of force in Syria, and there is still no international legal basis for U.S. military action in Syria.
“Trump’s ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ approach to foreign policy is the opposite of what’s needed in Syria. Escalation begets escalation, and with both Iran and Russia deeply involved in the Syrian conflict, there’s no telling where escalation might lead us.
“Instead of escalating our involvement in Syria by responding to an unlawful chemical attack with unlawful strikes, the president should support an independent investigation into the chemical attack and pursue diplomatic and humanitarian strategies for addressing individual war crimes as well as the conflict as a whole. Trump should also act on his stated desire to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria without delay, which would help de-escalate the conflict and give the U.S. more credibility in the diplomatic push to end the war.”
Brooklyn For Peace is an ally of New York State Peace Action. Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at www.PeaceAction.org.
Which Way In Korea? Threats and War or Olympic Truce and Diplomacy Actions we can take for peace
Did you miss our Forum on Feb 22, 2018?
Which Way In Korea? Threats and War or Olympic Truce and Diplomacy?
Is North Korea really a threat to the United States?
What’s the history of US nuclear policy toward North Korea?
What is the “freeze for a freeze” proposal?
What is the Olympic Truce?
Speakers Juyeon J.C. Rhee and William “Bill” Hartung addressed these questions to an audience gathered at the Brooklyn Commons, cutting through the biased and inadequate coverage which is generally available in mainstream media.
* Juyeon J.C. Rhee, Korean-born grassroots organizer, Board member of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development and the Korea Policy Institute, gave a basic and thorough history of Korea, and background on the current crisis and the Korean-American peace movement. She detailed the long history of treachery and domination by the U.S.
* William (“Bill”) Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, spoke to issues of U.S. nuclear policy as it relates to North Korea, particularly in view of President Trump’s recent threat of unleashing ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’ against North Korea.” He called for pressure on our Senators and House members to take a stand for diplomacy to head off the increasing danger of war.
The event was sponsored by Brooklyn For Peace. Co-sponsors were Fort Greene Peace, Historians for Peace and Democracy, and Peace Action New York State.
Three legislative initiatives are currently in Congress. They need more support and leadership from our Brooklyn representatives. Please contact the individuals who represents you in Congress (your own rep, and both Senators) to thank them if they have already signed on, and to urge them to do so if they have not. Congressional Switchboard: 877-762-8762
HR 669 /S.200 (Lieu/Markey) would restrict the first use of nuclear weapons. Rep. Donovan andSen. Schumer are alone among the Brooklyn delegation in not signing on to the House and Senate bills respectively as co-sponsors. We need to demand, especially of Schumer, that they do so! The others should be thanked and urged to take a more visible leadership role.
HR 4140/S.2016 (Conyers/Markey)and also HR 4837 (Ro Khanna) would prohibit an unconstitutional strike against North Korea. Reps Nadler, Clarke, and Velazquez have signed on to HR 4837 as well as HR 4140 but Jeffries, and Donovan have not. Maloney has signed on only to HR 4140. In the Senate, neither Gillibrand nor Schumer has signed on to S. 2016.
S.2047 (Chris Murphy) would prevent pre-emptive war against North Korea. Sen Gillibrand has signed on by Sen Schumer has not.
An overflow crowd filled the meeting room at the Brooklyn Commons tonight for An Evening for the People of Yemen. Some $2642.00 was raised through donations at the event and at Brooklyn For Peace’s dedicated Yemen fundraising page!
The money will go directly to Yemen for food aid to the people there who are facing severe malnutrition and starvation due to the US-abetted Saudi blockade of that suffering country. The donations go to the inspiring relief organization, Action Against Hunger, who BFP partnered with.
The event featured wonderful Arabic music by skilled oudist, Hadi Eldebek and his brother, Mohamad Eledebek on percussion. They thrilled the gathering as did the dynamic theatrical duo playwright Karen Malpede and actress Kathleen Chalfant who performed Malpede’s playlet “Dinner During Yemen.”
The program proceeded with hard-hitting discussion led by Yemeni activist Ibraham Qatabi and Amnesty International;s Sherine Tadros. Also speaking were Jen Major from Action Against Hunger and Michael Page for Human Rights Watch. A spirited Q&A followed the presentations.
This was a night to remember. Brooklyn For Peace performed a valuable task — raising money to concretely help people in Yemen as well as raising awareness in our community of a human catastrophe that has largely been kept off the front page. We reminded people of our responsibility as Americans to insist that our government desist from helping the Saudi regime in carrying out war crimes against the people of Yemen with its horrific bombing and its strangulating blockade.
Please take the time to contact your Rep in Congress and ask them to sign on to H.Con Res 81 ( Ro Khanna), which calls for withdrawal of US forces from Yemen. Thus far the only Brooklyn rep who has signed on is Carolyn Maloney. Also demand that the US follow Norway’s lead in halting arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Calls or e-mails to our Senators to encourage them to continue speaking out in support of S. J. Res 54(Sanders/Lee/Murphy). Senator Gillibrand is a co-sponsor of this resolution. Although Schumer voted in favor of it on a roll-call vote (March 20, 2018) he has not signed on as a co-sponsor. We need him to do so, and to take a leadership role in pushing it forward.
You can also continue to donate through our dedicated fundraising page.bit.ly/bfp2yemen
New Yorkers Say NO to Saudi Crown Prince And U.S.-Saudi War On Yemen
March 26, 2018 — Dozens of protesters showed up at Zuccotti Park today at 5:00 pm to protest the visit of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to U. S. corporate leaders. He’s looking to raise money for his criminal war, now three years old, conducted with devastating results, against Yemen and its people. The United Nations calls Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis: more than twenty thousand dead (many of them elderly or young children), a massive outbreak of cholera and hunger affecting millions of Yemenis, many teetering on the brink of starvation.
Saudi Arabia has, for three long years, bombed Yemen and nothing has escaped the destruction: schools, hospitals, stadiums, markets and other public meeting places have been bombed to smithereens. In addition, it has blockaded the ports of Yemen with the result that urgently needed medicines and food has been unable to reach these long-suffering people. Disease and hunger are rampant as a result.
None of this has been conducted in a vacuum. Many of the protest signs called on the United States to cease its aid to the despotic oil regime. The U. S has sold hundreds of billions of dollars of weapons to the Saudi dictators. And it has provided a wealth of logistical support in the form of refueling of Saudi bombers which, without such assistance, could not make their destructive bombing runs. Thus, U. S. taxpayers are helping to continue this criminal operation.
A Senate bill to cutoff this aid and end U. S. involvement was narrowly defeated last week, 55 to 44. The bill was sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders. More protest is needed and people are urged to call Congress demanding an end to U. S. complicity.
Today’s protest was small but powerful. Chants echoed through the Wall Street canyons: “Stop the bombing of Yemen! ” “Enough is enough!” “Saudi Prince not welcome here.” Speakers blasted U. S. participation in the war and urged Wall Street to stop and desist in meeting and financing the bloody Saudi war. The Crown Prince has been the war’s main architect and has the blood of innocent Yemeni civilians on his hands. Protests will continue throughout the week of this visit. More photos HERE.
Our five working committees meet regularly to plan and carry out work for peace, social justice and international law. You can also help us build bridges of peace by participating in our ad hoc task forces activities.