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Peace and Economic
Justice Committee

Brooklyn Poll Says: “Bring Our War Dollars Home!”

May 25, 2013

The Peace And Economic Justice Committee of Brooklyn For Peace has been busy. Very busy. Over the past few years we’ve been talking to our Brooklyn neighbors, about the lopsided spending priorities in Washington which favor war at the expense of human needs. Using a unique gizmo called the BFP Penny Poll, (see photos below) we have queried residents with this question: “If you were a member of Congress how would you apportion the Federal budget?” Handed a bag of 20 pennies, we ask them to allocate the money among eight spending categories (each represented by a plastic tube) such as military spending, health care, education, jobs, housing and the environment. The results were very telling and revealed a sharp disconnect between how constituents want their tax monies spent and what Congress actually has been doing with it, sending nearly 60 percent of our tax monies to the Pentagon and related military spending.

Take a look at the summary of our BFP Penny Poll results in the slide show below to see that Brooklyn wants new spending priorities in Washington. Brooklyn says bring our war dollars home to our communities!

Brooklyn For Peace will be setting up tables at various street fairs over the summer weeks ahead. We welcome your participation — it’s fun! Write to pej@brooklynpeace.org to join the campaign.

Take a look at our informative presentation. Click on the graph below.
When the slide show starts, use the controls at lower left to pause or advance.

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Students at Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies
taking the BFP Penny Poll

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At one table in Fort Greene people lined up to take
the Penny Poll. Given a bag of 20 pennies, representing
the Federal budget, people were asked to allocate their
money among categories such as the military, housing,
education and health care, among others.

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A closer look at our Penny Poll gizmo. Each tube represents a spending
category for residents to allocate their “tax monies” to.

 

THURS., May 9th
RALLY AND MARCH!
Defend SUNY Downstate Medical Center
BE THERE!

May 2, 2013

Please join Brooklyn For Peace and friends at
A Rally To Save SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Thursday May 9th, 4:15 pm
Location and directions at bottom of article.

As you might know, the combined forces of labor and community have won an important victory at LICH (Long Island College Hospital).

The board of directors of SUNY, which controls LICH, has backed off its plans to close the hospital. But even with the victory at LICH the threat is far from over. LICH is part of SUNY DOWNSTATE Medical Center. For over a year New York State and Governor Cuomo have been threatening Downstate Medical Center with cuts, layoffs and ultimately privatization or complete closure. That issue continues, unabated.

downstate

The closure or takeover of SUNY DOWNSTATE Medical Center by a for-profit entity would rob the community of necessary health care services, create more unemployment and poverty and have a negative impact on the world famous medical school which is associated with the hospital. Here’s what’s at stake:

Continue reading

For Tax Day – A Street Corner Speak Out
Against War Spending

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Apr 14, 2013

A boisterous Street Corner Speak Out was held on Saturday at the entrance to Fort Greene Park. The event, sponsored jointly by Brooklyn For Peace and Fort Greene Peace, marked this year’s tax day and was part of the Global Day Against Military Spending.

Speakers, singers and puppeteers helped “connect the dots” to Farmers Market shoppers, park-goers and passers-by. They challenged the almost $700 billion Pentagon budget which has been strangling funds for vital public services. Here in Brooklyn, they pointed out, six hospitals and two libraries have been slated for closure. The results are more unemployment and less services for the borough’s residents.

Another event is scheduled for this coming Monday, April 15 at 7:00 pm at the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, also in Fort Greene. This Part II of our Tax Day Actions will be a forum that clarifies the complicated issues involved in the budget discussions taking place in Congress right now.

Take a look at some video and photos of today’s Speak Out.

Go to our Peace And Economic Justice committee Photo Album

Brooklyn Reps vote YES on “Back to Work” Budget
Grimm abstains

March 20, 2013

Roll call number 85 in the House: on the “Back to Work” Budget.
Question: On Agreeing to the Amendment: Amendment 3 to H CON RES 25
Ayes: 84 (Democrat: 84; Republican: 0)
Nays: 327 (Democrat: 102; Republican: 225)
Abstained: 19 (Democrat: 13; Republican: 6)

Brooklyn Reps Clarke, Jeffries, Maloney, Nadler, and Velazquez voted in favor of the “Back to Work” Budget. Michael Grimm abstained. Thanks to everybody who called their Rep about this! Continue reading

Brooklyn Rallies To Save Interfaith Hospital

Mar 2, 2013

It was a cold, clear early March morning. But that didn’t stop Brooklyn residents from gathering in front of Interfaith Medical Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn to demand that the hospital be kept as a full service health care facility that surrounding neighborhoods depend upon. Some 500 letters to the state health commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah, had been collected and were to be mailed to him today at the culmination of the event: a press conference and protest demonstration, followed by a spirited march up busy Fulton Street to the post office at Restoration Plaza. Read more >>>

Read the rest of this story >>>

Two Things You Can Do
To Push Back Against Austerity
In Brooklyn

Feb 28, 2013

Here are TWO THINGS you can do right now to push back against the drive to austerity that right-wing, corporate forces are pushing locally and in Washington.

As you probably know, plans to close hospitals in Brooklyn are proceeding at full boil. Brooklyn For Peace, led by its Peace And Economic Justice Committee, has been joining coalitions that have been fighting the cutbacks, layoffs and closings at SUNY Downstate and LICH.

Now recent newspaper articles have referred to the imminent merger of Interfaith Medical Center, a hospital serving Bedford-Stuyvesant, with privately-run Brooklyn Hospital. The merger means that Interfaith would be very possibly be converted to a special-purpose facility, thus leaving Brooklyn with one less full-service hospital. Despite its perennially-poor financial status, Interfaith still provides health care as a last resort to large amounts of poor Brooklyn residents.

Demonstration at Downstate Medical Center against proposed layoffs and closing. June 28 2012.

This Saturday, March 2nd at 10 am, NY Communities for Change, along with others, will stage a press conference in front of Interfaith Medical Center (1545 Atlantic Avenue between Albany and Troy Avenues – A or C Subway to Throop Avenue station) [MAP] The press conference will announce the collection of letters to NYS Health Commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah, inquiring about the current status of Interfaith, information that is, apparently, being kept under wraps.

After the press conference, participants will march to Restoration Plaza on Fulton Street and deliver the letters to the post office there, mailing them to Dr. Shah.

Here are the two things we ask of you to help stop the merger and possible conversion of Interfaith Medical Center that would reduce health care access to the people of Brooklyn:

  • Sign on to the letter to the Health Commissioner. You can read and sign the letter here.
  • Join us at Interfaith this Saturday, March 2nd at 10 am. Show your solidarity with the people of Bedford Stuvesant and beyond who are served at this important public hospital.

Brooklyn For Peace believes that the drive to impose austerity on the American people is intricately linked to the fight for peace. It is the diversion of our tax dollars to fund the bloated military budget and the endless wars abroad that is strangling vital programs and urgently needed services for people’s needs. Combine those misguided priorities with unfair tax policies that allow the super-rich and large corporations to pay little or no taxes and you have a prescription for the austerity that confronts our people.

Please sign the letter here.
We hope to see you Saturday at Interfaith!

— The Peace And Economic Justice Committee (PEJ)
of Brooklyn For Peace

Brooklyn Marches On Albany
To Demand An End
To Layoffs At SUNY Downstate.

January 8, 2013

A coalition is growing in Brooklyn. Fueled by local clergy, union workers, community activists, patients and residents, the coalition organized a day of protest and lobbying in Albany. The message? Stop the layoffs, cutbacks and threats of closures at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Already some 400 workers have been given the pink slip at that important Brooklyn health care facility. And 1000 more jobs are to be lost in the months ahead if Albany doesn’t prevent it. Some 13,000 signatures on petitions to Governor Cuomo have been collected urging him to stop his “restructuring” plan which would accelerate the firings and cutbacks.

Brooklyn Tells Albany: End the cuts and layoffs at SUNY DOWNSTATE!
Bus riders from Brooklyn split into various lobbying
groups and visited state legislators.
See more photos and video HERE.

Brooklyn For Peace is part of that coalition and has been helping to collect signatures and promote news of the Governor’s plans to its members and constituents. Five members were part of yesterday’s rally in Albany. The organization’s Peace And Economic Justice Committee  sees the root cause of the attacks on health care lies not only in Albany but also in the skewed spending priorities in Washington which favors military contractors and endless wars over the urgent and vital needs of the American people. The annual federal discretionary budget allocates nearly 60 cents of every federal budget dollar for war and bloated Pentagon budgets but only five cents for health care. In a flyer distributed on buses this morning, Brooklyn For Peace said we should “close down the wars … not Brooklyn Hospitals.”

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The fight continues to build pressure on the state legislature to guarantee adequate funding of SUNY Downstate so that the layoffs can be stopped and reversed and public health care for Brooklyn residents can be guaranteed.

To see video and pictures from today’s rally, just go HERE.

Brooklynites To Congress: We Don’t Want Another War!

October 28, 2012

Members of Brooklyn For Peace’s Peace And Economic Justice Committee (PEJ) have been busy the past few weekends. Concerned that some in Congress are beating the drums of war once again by pushing for military action against Iran, they have been out on street corners asking residents to send postcards to Congress demanding that their representatives say “NO to another war!”

And they have been met with strong approval and strong opposition to yet another war — this time with Iran. Thousands of flyers have been distributed and some 400 postcards to the Brooklyn Congressional delegation have been collected and sent. The tables have been set up near Grand Army Plaza and Fort Greene Park at the busy Farmers Markets there.

The PEJ Committee plans to continue these activities to put Congress on notice that their constituents want diplomacy, not war, to be used to settle international disputes. The cards demand that “war be taken off the table,” that sanctions, which have done severe harm to Iran’s citizens, be ended and that the efforts should be made to declare the entire region a nuclear-free zone. The flyer points out that other nations, including Israel, already possess nuclear weapons. Yet this is almost never mentioned when Iran is discussed.


Flyers have been distributed by the thousands to residents in Brooklyn.

Continue reading

House votes $606 Billion for Military Spending:
Pentagon Spending Threatens Our National Security!
Brooklyn Reps Vote NO!
Senate votes next: Call our Senators!

The House of Representatives has once again sacrificed domestic security in the service of unnecessary wars and the profits of defense contractors.

The House spentjust 1 hour debating another year of disastrous war in Afghanistan!

Read this article by Carolyn Eisenberg to learn more.

The FY 2013 Defense Appropriations bill (HR 5856), which includes $519 billion for the Pentagon’s base budget and $88.5 billion for the war in Afghanistan, passed in the House of Representatives on July 19 with 90 opposing votes. (326 in favor, 90 opposed, 15 not voting.)

Four Brooklyn Congressional Representatives (Clarke, Nadler, Towns, and Velazquez) were among those voting NO. The same 4 also voted in favor of the amendment introduced by Barbara Lee, which would have required the safe and responsible withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan. If Clarke, Nadler, Towns, or Velazquez represents you, please call to thank them for their vote. Your call is imporant: we can’t take our elected officials for granted!
Continue reading

Downstate Workers Say NO To Layoffs

Aug 7, 2012

Hundreds of Downstate University Hospital workers and their supporters from communities around Brooklyn filled the streets in front of the hospital today. They were rallying to give a big and loud “no” to Governor Cuomo’s plan for layoffs there. The Governor has been crying poverty for state finances while, at the same time, steadfastly refusing to tax the wealthiest New Yorkers. People opposing the layoffs and cutbacks point out that a fair taxation program would go a long way to alleviate the budget crisis and would be much more equitable solution. Continue reading

 
Who We Are


Mission Statement

The Peace and Economic Justice Committee could also be called the Brooklyn For Peace Direct Action Committee....Read more

Stay Informed

Brooklyn For Peace Opposes Escalation of Afghanistan War

Read our statement

Inform yourself

Protest FBI Raids and Harrassment of Antiwar Activists.

Penny Poll

See the results of our Penny Poll!

Join Us!

We invite you to join Peace and Economic Justice committee and get involved.

PEJ meeting schedule
and
E-mail us or call 718–624–5921 if you are interested in attending.