Thank you for being a longstanding supporter of Brooklyn for Peace! We owe a special thanks to those who supported our recent Pathmakers to Peace Gala, where each of our honorees highlighted the multiple emergencies we now face in every arena of public affairs. It is difficult to think of a time when the future of national policy was more ominous and the dangers so multi-faceted. Fortunately, the tide of resistance is already rising, as people are coming together to resist the bigotry, avarice, dishonesty and aggression released during this electoral cycle-–attitudes which threaten our society and the world in both familiar and new ways.
It is significant that during the recent presidential campaign one set of issues was largely neglected: the linked phenomena of U.S. militarism and interventionism, both underpinned by a “defense” budget that exceeds $600 billion a year. As we look to the future, it seems clear that the incoming Administration is even more likely than its predecessors to embrace military power and to assert American dominance as its approach to international affairs. This menacing international posture is integrally tied to major domestic concerns. When it takes over in January, the Congressional leadership, with support from the White House, is poised to break the remaining caps on military spending, while it cuts taxes for the wealthy, slashes the “social safety net”, and increases the extraction of fossil fuels which will exacerbate the climate crisis.
The voice of Brooklyn for Peace is needed now more urgently than ever. With your membership, your participation in our activities, and your financial support, we are determined to resist! Since 1984 Brooklyn For Peace has served as a respected community resource for people seeking to understand contemporary crises. We work to promote non-military alternatives to global problems and social justice here at home.
We plan to continue our educational and mobilizing activities, while working against violence and intolerance in our communities, and strengthening our connection to other grassroots organizations here in Brooklyn. Continue reading →
2016 Pathmakers to Peace Honors Moustafa Bayoumi, Frances Fox Piven, Opal Tometi, & Granny Peace Brigade
Nov 18, 2016
Several hundred friends and members of Brooklyn For Peace, Brooklyn’s largest and most active peace and justice organization, crowded into the historic Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights last night (November 17). They were there to celebrate the organization’s more than 30 years in fighting the good fight. But also to attend this year’s Pathmakers To Peace, the organization’s annual fundraising dinner, wherein those individuals who have led the fight for peace, equality and social and economic justice are honored.
Check out photos of the evening’s festivities here. See it on YouTube (full length, unedited.)
This year’s honorees were— • Moustafa Bayoumi, for his work addressing the impact of “War on Terror” on the Muslim-American community and on civil liberties. He is an English professor at Brooklyn College.
• Frances Fox Piven, for her work as a social theorist and welfare rights activist, particularly addressing issues of income inequality and political participation. She is a political science professor at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY).
• Opal Tometi, for her inspiration as a co-founder of Black Lives Matter. She is currently Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.
• The Granny Peace Brigade, for their role model of sustaining hope with activism in demonstrations opposing war, the violence of poverty and racism, and standing for human rights and justice globally and locally.
The affair was catered by Bassett’s who provided a wonderful array of appetizers and then a sumptuous buffet as well as plentiful desserts. Wine and spirits rounded out the evening’s gastronomic festivities.
The evening was moderated by Brooklyn For Peace Vice-Chair, Veronica Nunn, who also introduced two of the honorees. As for the speakers, the addressed the enormous problems confronting progressives with the results of the recent election installing a reactionary bunch of extremists who are now in control of all three branches of the Federal government. Brooklyn Vice-Chairs David Tykulsker and Carolyn “Rusti” Eisenberg pointed out the dangers of the moment. The honorees called for a broad unity of forces to lead the fightback and resistance to actions taken by Trump and the GOP Congress yet to come. They all resolved not to give in to despair but to increase their activism to meet the challenges ahead. The audience responded with cheers and applause, signalling their agreement to push on and win the battle, agreeing that it will be difficult and a long one but one that requires a fighting posture.
Please enjoy our photos of this uplifting and memorable event. You can view the photos here. See it on YouTube (full length, unedited)
Thanks to the individuals, community organizations, businesses, and service providers whose support made this memorable and uplifting event possible. Please let them know that you appreciate their commitment to peace and social justice! Continue reading →
If you share our dismay at the mounting cycle of violence—in which acts of terror as well as acts of war—create vast suffering for millions of innocent civilians, we hope you will continue to support Brooklyn For Peace. Since 1984, our organization has served as a community resource for people seeking to understand contemporary crises. We work to promote non-military alternatives in the Middle East and elsewhere, as well as humanitarian assistance for victims of war, and social justice at home. We are writing now to ask for your membership and financial support.
Since 1984, Brooklyn For Peace has been active in educating ourselves, our Congressional representatives, and our community on international and domestic issues. We hope to be a productive force in securing a peaceful future for generations to come. In the present context, we recognize the obstacles to achievement of this goal. But we also believe that educating and organizing are the only moral and practical pathways through which we can end our country’s propensity for war.
Although 2015 has brought its share of disheartening developments, we are encouraged by the recent nuclear agreement with Iran as a step in the right direction. It is an example of what can be accomplished when grassroots voices articulate a powerful demand for diplomacy and negotiation as the way to address conflicts. We are especially proud that here in Brooklyn our organization took the lead in building support for the Iran agreement with our Congressional delegation, despite powerful cross-pressures.
Our Pathmakers to PeaceAward this year honored Amy Goodman, host and producer of Democracy Now! at a gala dinner at the historic Plymouth Church. This event has been important in building bridges between organizations, connecting issues, and building our own community. Amy reminded us that, “It is so much harder to wage peace than it is to wage war, and we have to change that.” We ask you to join us in this vital work.
During the past year, your contributions enabled us to: (a partial list)
Provide an organizing framework which mobilized support for the nuclear agreement with Iran by collecting signatures on postcards, disseminating educational materials, holding meetings with our elected officials, and participating in vigils and demonstrations
Participate in the spring “Peace and Planet” mobilization, emphasizing the connection of environmental and climate justice with the movement for a world free of both nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons. We held two community forums on eliminating nuclear weapons and nuclear power
Participate in activities to raise awareness of Israeli apartheid policies, demanding equal rights and respect for international law. We have continued the sale of Palestinian olive oil, which supports the Palestinian economy
Build Brooklyn’s participation in the 5K Run, benefitting UNRWA’s Community Mental Health Program for Palestinian children in Gaza suffering psychological trauma and PTSD due to the relentless Israeli bombing campaign during the summer of 2014, as well as the prolonged blockade
Educate our neighbors on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which, if passed, will increase the social and economic injustices which lead to war. We organized opposition to the “Fast Track”, and participated in a Town Hall on the TPP
Brooklyn For Peace was thrilled to honor Amy Goodman, crusading journalist, host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, as our 2015 Pathmaker to Peace. The gala event took place on Thursday November 12, 2015, at the historic Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights.
Did you miss it? See it on YouTube, Click HERE to see photos. Amy spoke very personally about her own experiences which have led to her conclusion that grass roots movements are the way to win peace and still the hands of the warmakers.
It was also a night to showcase the role of Brooklyn For Peace, as Brooklyn’s oldest and most active peace and justice organization. BFP Vice Chair Carolyn Rusti Eisenberg, recalled the vital role of the group in the run-up to the recent victory in Congress with the approval of the Iran nuclear treaty. Tireless activism by BFP members was able to push Brooklyn’s Congressional delegation into supporting the Iran agreement—breaking the lockstep support for the pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC, which has been the usual scenario. This led to other Democrats all across the country, following the lead of the Brooklyn House members, thus consolidating the final vote.
Many thanks to all who attended as well as those who could not attend but supported this event in so many ways!
Look for the program journal which will be posted on-line shortly.
2014 Year in Review
Because of your contributions, this year we were able to:
(a partial list):
Sustain a full-time Program Coordinator, who is facilitating and energizing our programs. We continue to reach out to a younger generation, using cultural activities as well as social media.
Reach out to our neighbors with information, petitions, and postcards at street fairs and farmer’s markets. Continued outreach to our constituents to encourage our elected officials to oppose what now appears to be an endless war.
Hold a 2 week vigil against the war on Gaza at which we collected over two thousand signatures demanding an end to all attacks on civilians and an end to U.S. support of the Israeli occupation
Host community forums on a wide range of topics, including “Arts and Activism;” “In Search of a Nuclear Deal with Iran;” “The Invention of the White Race;” “The US in the Middle East;” “Whistleblowers and Surveillance;” “Life and Loathing in Greater Israel;” The Ongoing Genocide in Darfur and the Crisis in South Sudan;”; “Which Way Forward: Climate Chaos or Climate Justice?”; collaboration with Fort Greene Peace on a forum, “How Should the U.S. Respond to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria?”