Your contribution can make a real difference for human rights and justice.
Help us continue our work for peace.
Make an online donation.
Become a BFP volunteer and help us with our community forums, vigils, outreach at schools and other activities
BFP Summary of Activities 2007
Reflecting our growing diversity, and success of our outreach efforts far beyond our initial base, we changed our name (effective September 1, 2007), to Brooklyn For Peace!
Starting with a vigil shortly after Jan 1 to mark the 3000th death of a US serviceperson in Iraq, we sent 6 buses of Brooklynites to Washington in a national mobilization to remind the newly elected Congress of the mandate of the election to end the war in Iraq.
During the year we continued to maintain a visible presence of opposition with vigils, city-wide marches, local Brooklyn events, and street tables.
In addition to generating thousands of postcards to Senators Clinton and Schumer, we developed the "phone-a-thon", encouraging our neighbors to make immediate cell-phone calls to our elected officials, demanding that they use "power of the purse" to bring the war to an end.
With Black Veterans for Social Justice, BFP hosted a film screening of When I Came Home; this was also a memorial for the late BVSJ Vice President, Ricky Singh, who had worked closely with BFP. The film exposes the national scandal of homelessness among veterans of America's wars. Film-maker Dan Lohaus was on hand at the event to speak about the film.
As Bush's administration ratcheted up its saber-ratttling threats against Iran, we developed our ten-point flyer "10 Reasons Not to Bomb Iran (or threaten to do so)".
A rally on October 13 at Brooklyn Borough Hall kicked off our campaign to bring this issue to front-and-center attention.
A reading and book-signing in November at BookCourt in Cobble Hill brought together David Barsamian, Ervand Abrahamian, Ph.D., and Nahid Mozaffari, Ph.D., to share their expertise on this topic.
Since Kings County has one of the nation's highest rates of military enrollment, we have taken on the challenge of cutting off this source of person-power for the war machine. Our leaflets "How to Go to College Without Joining the Military" (PDF) and "How to Travel and Have Adventures Without Joining the Military" (PDF) are regularly distributed at Brooklyn public high schools, along with information for students and parents informing them about how they can "opt-out" of the school releasing their personal information to military recruiters.
We developed our new brochure, "What You Should Know Before Joining the Military," which features the insight of returning Iraq War vets.
Additionally, we researched and produced an information sheet on JAMRS (Joint Advertising Market and Research Studies) which targets high-school and college-age youth with recruiting materials.
In March 2007, the month of the 4th anniversary of the start of the war with the invasion of Iraq, we marched through Fulton Mall to the anti-war drumbeat of The Samba School for Social Justice. The Samba School also led us in July at the 25th Annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade where our Mermaids 4 Peace were a big hit with Mardi Gras peace beads and a palm-cards advising participants to "Swim Against the Tide: Demand that Our Troops Come Home Now."
Working with Paper Tiger Television, we met with students at the El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice where we showed the film, Military Myths and presented information on alternatives to military recruitment.
We postponed our next Peace Fair until Spring 2008, in order to have time to put effort into our many other activities, as well as to change this event to the spring semester, allowing schools more opportunity to integrate this event into their curriculum. (The 2008 Peace Fair was co-sponsored by the Long Island University Student Government, on Saturday, April 26, 2008 at LIU's Brooklyn Campus!).
"Trick or Treat for UNICEF" engaged more Brooklyn schools this year, in our campaign to foster international awareness and social responsibility among elementary school children.
A major Forum in November on "History, Media, and Late-Breaking News in the Israel-Palestine Conflict" with journalists Daoud Kuttab, Larry Cohler-Esses, and Joshua Friedman initiated our Forum Series "Visions for Peace in Israel-Palestine."
Other educational events hosted by the Israel-Palestine Committee, in addition to an ongoing reading group, included:
On the 40th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, we sponsored one bus of Brooklynites to participate in a major national rally in Washington, DC. to protest U.S. support of the ongoing occupation.
Responding to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza created by Israel's blockade, we developed an information flyer and position statement, and participated in a series of vigils at the Israeli embassy.
Ongoing sales of Olive Branch Olive Oil (from West Bank Palestinian farmers) helped support the Palestinian economy, while allowing Brooklynites to enjoy and share this delicious Fair Trade olive oil.
At Drumming for Darfurin Prospect Park on April 29, 2007, speakers from the Darfur community in Brooklyn and other local leaders shared information on the genocide in Darfur, addressing the question of what we can do to help. Students gave the large, diverse crowd a treat with a spirited drumming session. Funds were collected to support the efforts of both the Darfur Rehabilitation Project and the Darfur People's Association of New York, which has continued collection of clothing and school supplies for internally displaced Darfurians in refugee camps.
We participated with other organizations to encourage NYC pension funds as well as individuals and corporate investors to divest from companies which support the current Sudanese government. We also participated with the Save Darfur Coalition in vigils and protests drawing attention to the current and ongoing genocide against Darfurians, in particular to the role of China in supplying airplanes and weapons to the Sudanese government.
A forum entitled, "Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise (and Demise?) of the New Imperialism," featuring Professor Greg Grandin, initiated our educational outreach in this area.
(Our Latin America Committee formed in 2008)
Media Outreach "War No More" is our once-monthly show on Brooklyn Community Access Television (BCAT), making our forums and programs available to those who could not be there in person. These programs are also available on DVD.
Fund-Raising and Community-Building
Generous support of foundations and individuals makes our work possible. Support has been provided this year by Independence Community Foundation, North Star Fund, Con Edison, Emigrant Savings Bank, NY State Office of Children and Family Services, and the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute.
Summer Sunset Under the Bridge at the International Center for Tolerance Education (featuring the late Grace Paley and Strings For Peace Quartet), a Mother's Day Plant Sale, several Jazz for Peace events, and several cultural events in partnership with the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture helped build our community and culture of peace, while raising funds and providing fun!
Believing that it's crucial to have active peace groups in many Brooklyn neighborhoods, we have encouraged the development of Fort Greene Peace, Bay Ridge Peace Action, and Bay Ridge Neighbors for Peace, as well as supporting the activities of Prospect Lefferts Voices for Peace and Justice.
Intern and Volunteer Opportunities
We provided opportunities for young people to engage in a concrete and practical way with our peace and justice work by offering opportunities for volunteers (particularly high school students with community service requirements, as well as energetic retirees) and interns (who receive a modest stipend).
E-mail Newsletter: Join our mailing list to say up-to-date on anti-war activities in Brooklyn.
Join Us! Become a member of Brooklyn For Peace, and advance our work for peace.