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Peace and Economic
Marchers To Cuomo: “Keep Interfaith Hospital Open!”
Nov 12, 2013
Dozens of employees of Interfaith Medical Center marched, along with their supporters, last night. Forming a human chain in front of the hospital, the marchers demanded that Governor Cuomo end his plans to shutter many of Brooklyn’s hospitals – health facilities that serve large sections of Brooklyn’s working class communities – leaving them without access to medical care.
Fightbacks against the austerity policies of corporate-oriented elected officials are heating up … in Brooklyn and around the country. People are saying NO to priviatization, cutbacks, layoffs and closures.
Brooklyn For Peace, which participated in last night’s demonstration, says that spending priorities in Congress that favor war over people’s needs must be changed if local services are to be saved and expanded.
Sign the petition to Stephen Levin, City Council Member, Mayor Michael R Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYC Comptroller John C. Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Trustees of New York Public Library, Trustees of Brooklyn Public Library, and Trustees of Queens Public Library, which says:
“We demand that Mayor Bloomberg stop defunding New York libraries at a time of increasing public use, population growth and increased city wealth. Shrinking our library system to create real estate deals for the wealthy at a time of cutbacks in education and escalating disparities in opportunity is not only unjust, it is a shortsighted plan that will ultimately hurt New York City’s economy and competitiveness.” –Source
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 email@example.com 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.
Students at Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies
taking the BFP Penny Poll
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.
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.
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:
For Tax Day – A Street Corner Speak Out Against War Spending
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 >>>
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.
ThisSaturday, 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.
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.”
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.