“On May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was murdered by Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer. Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for seven minutes, suffocating him as Floyd pleaded repeatedly that he couldn’t breathe. Videos of the murder went viral with many noting the devastating similarities between Floyd’s killing and that of Eric Garner in 2014. In response, Twin Cities residents took to the streets to protest both Floyd’s death and the long legacy of anti-Black racism and police violence in the city and in our nation.
“While the four officers responsible for Floyd’s death were fired, we know justice has not yet been achieved.
“The protests have persisted, despite being met with increasing violence from the Minneapolis Police Department. Protestors have been tear-gassed and met with disproportionate use of force.
“George Floyd’s death is horrific, but not unique. America’s police and criminal justice systems are the legacies of our country’s white supremacist, slave-owning history. Structural racism persists across every facet of American life and is perhaps most evident in the way that law enforcement interacts with communities of color. All across the country, Black people are more likely to be harassed, arrested, and killed by police than their white counterparts.
“We have a national crisis of white supremacist violence against Black people in this country. In the past 10 years alone, we witnessed the deaths of thousands of Black people at the hands of police. Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and Philando Castile are just some of the names of those we’ve lost to racialized police violence.
“What you can do right now to help:
“At Indivisible, we believe Black Lives Matter without qualifications, asterisks, or add-ons. We also believe in the right for communities to protest and protect themselves against state-sanctioned violence.
“A note for social media: You’ll notice we didn’t link to video of any of these horrific incidents. That’s on purpose. Out of respect for those affected by these acts of violence, we urge readers not to continue sharing these traumatic videos and instead focus on lifting up the right voices, taking the right actions, and supporting the right organizations.
“What can Congress and candidates do?
We need transformative change in our country—and there’s no silver bullet. But here are a few things that elected officials and candidates can do right now: Ask your representative to co-sponsor the Omar-Pressley resolution. Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN-5) and Ayanna Pressley (MA-7) have introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning police violence. Call your representative and demand that they co-sponsor the resolution and speak out publicly about the need for the need for the House to pass it without delay.”
“Grassroots Global Justice Alliance joins community voices from across North America and around the world collectively condemning the murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Tony McDade in Tallahassee, Florida, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and so many more Black lives lost to white racial violence, police militarism, and structural racism in the United States. We stand with our family in Minneapolis, and the youth on the frontlines who have taken to the streets to demand true justice and system change.”
” As we bear the wounds of a murdering virus COVID 19, we also bear the lynchings of unarmed innocent Black people by police and vigilantes. The pandemic isn’t just COVID, the pandemic is white supremacy, police and prisons, capitalism, militarism, colonialism, patriarchy and mass displacement. Now more than ever we should be supporting Black-led organizing to defund the police, abolish prisons, and build communities of collective care not cops and cages. The revolution is draped in righteous anger and resilient dignity! We will not be stopped!”
—Siwatu Salama-Ra, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and the Freedom Team
” There is a long history of resistance to police violence in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Of course, the recent police murders of Philando Castile and Jamar Clark are widely known, but the list goes back for decades. Time and again the Black community has fought back while bearing the brunt of police brutality in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. These are the Cities that present a liberal face in the midst of the dirty underbelly of bad education, economic dispossession, criminal injustice, deep health and environmental disparities in Black communities. And now there is George Floyd, another police killing. The fissures are wide open. The rebellion is on.”
—Rose Brewer, Activist Scholar with Afro-Eco and leader in GGJ
Support Local Demands
The Minneapolis Police Department, like other police departments throughout the United States, has a historically notorious and racist track record. It would be wrong to view the murder of George Floyd as one singular event, rather the product (result) of systemic racism. Local organizers in Minneapolis are calling on the Minneapolis City Council to become visionary leaders by pledging to defund the Minneapolis Police Department and invest in the resources that really keep us safe and healthy, especially in Black communities, Indigenous communities and communities of color.
GGJ Member About Face: Veterans Against War has also issued an open letter to the Minnesota National Guard to Stand Down for Black Lives and refuse the call to deploy. “A moral choice lies before you. As veterans who have faced similar tests of conscience, only to realize too late that we chose wrong, we cannot stress enough the impact this decision will have on the rest of your life.”
If you, or someone you know, are considering refusing activation orders to deploy to Minneapolis, contact the GI Rights Hotline: 1-877-447-4487 or visit girightshotline.org. It’s run by civilians and offers free, confidential counseling and information.
If they have, thank them. If they haven’t, call or write and ask them to sign.
For details on H. Res. 152 — for Peace in Korea, read the story below:
A delegation of peace activists met in the Brooklyn offices of Representative Yvette Clarke. There were several organizations represented, including Peace Action, Women Cross DMZ and Brooklyn For Peace. They were organized under the auspices of Korea Peace Now and included three constituents of Rep. Clarke as well.
Unfortunately, Rep. Clarke was unable to attend due to a death in her family. Instead, we had a thorough conversation with her legislative and foreign policy aid, David Dorfman via conference call in Washington.
We were there to convince the Congress member to sign on to and support H. Res 152 which calls for a final declaration of peace to formally end the almost-70-year year state of war that has existed on the Korean Peninsula. This would go far to defusing the dangerous situation that continually teeters on the edge of a catastrophic war that cuold lead to the vast death and destruction.
The delegation asked Clarke to sign on to H. Res. 152 and join her colleagues on behalf of peace and diplomacy. Some of the signers include Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Nydia Velazquez and Barbara Lee as well quite a few more. Our delegation was puzzled as to why Rep. Clarke’s name has been absent from this important resolution.
We left the meeting feeling that we had made our point clearly and succinctly and Rep. Clarke’s aide agreed and promised to highlight the resolution by bringing it to the attention of Yvette Clarke.
PEJers Helping To Build Move The Money Campaign In The NY City Council
Jul 19, 2019
The campaign to have the NY City Council pass Resolution 747 has been gathering steam. And members of Brooklyn For Peace’s Peace And Economic Justice Committee have been in the forefront. Brooklyn For Peace is part of a large, diverse and growing coalition of over 40 organizations throughout the city. The coalition is called Move The Money – NYC.
First, a brief recap: Resolution 747, the so-called Move The Money From War To Our Communities resolution, was introduced in February 2018 by Manhattan Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. The resolution, if passed, would put our city on official record as opposed to bloated Pentagon war budgets that rob the city and its residents of money for vital public services. Sixty percent of the annual Federal discretionary budget goes to the Pentagon and other agencies for endless wars, unneeded but terribly expensive weapons, upgrading the country’s nuclear arsenal (which can never be used!) and maintaining hundreds of bases all over the world. That leaves scant funds for cities to repair their mass transit systems, build 21st-century schools, provide affordable housing and health care and so on. Resolution 747 urges Congress to change those lopsided spending priorities by making substantial cuts in military spending. In its latest iteration, the Resolution also calls for “in-depth” public hearings to determine the precise dollar amounts, now used for war, that could be freed up to be spent on urgently-needed public services. Hearings would allow the public and experts in the field to state their case for moving the money away from war and back to our cities.
Over 1,000 of these striking postcards with a quote on wasteful war spending by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have been collected.
A strikingly-designed postcard has been printed directed at City Council Members, urging them to sponsor and support Resolution 747. It should be noted that in addition to CM Rodriguez, seven other Council Members have co-sponsored the resolution. These are • Justin Brannan of Bay Ridge, • Margaret Chin of Lower Manhattan, • Antonio Reynoso of Bushwick and Ridgewood, • Carlina Rivera of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, • Deborah Rose of Staten Island, • Stephen Levin of Downtown Brooklyn and • Karen Koslowitz of Rego Park and Forest Hills in Queens. Of course, there are 51 Council members so there’s a long way to go and readers of this column should contact their CM and urge them to sign on. You can find your CM and their contact info here: bit.ly/my-cm.
Over 1,000 postcards have already been collected and last night at Brooklyn’s Celebrate Brooklyn concert series another 75 cards were collected by PEJ members who were greeted enthusiastically by concert goers. If you’d like to be part of this exciting campaign, simply write to firstname.lastname@example.org
The flyer that has been used to collect postcards to Council Members.
Click on the image to see it enlarged and note the 44 members of
the Move The Money – NYC coalition printed at bottom.
Brooklynites March Against War on 16th Anniversary of War in Afghanistan
BROOKLYN, October 7, 2017 — Dozens of Brooklyn residents gathered at Barclays Center on Saturday October 7 to mark the 16th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. Singing, chanting, and carrying signs protesting war and nuclear weapons, they marched through downtown Brooklyn before boarding the subway to join the city-wide “March To End Our Endless Wars” in Washington Square Park and the Vigil for Yemen in Manhattan’s Union Square.
Organized by Brooklyn For Peace and Fort Greene Peace, the activists distributed flyers to passers-by along Flatbush Avenue and Fulton Street urging people to call Congress demanding an end to U.S. participation in the wars throughout the Middle East that are causing high civilian casualties while failing to bring the region closer to peace and stability. (Click here to see the flyer.) Members of the Granny Peace Brigade, Green Party of Brooklyn, Military Families Speak Out/NYC, Peace Action New York State, War Resisters League/NYC, and World Can’t Wait also participated.
“These wars have turned functioning nations into wastelands, creating an enormous refugee crisis, and breeding hatred for the U.S. for the devastation its military has caused And here at home, the cost of fighting these wars, year after year after year, is draining funds from things that the American people need such as health care, mass transit, and education,” said Tara Currie, a member of Brooklyn For Peace.
If you agree with us that 16 years of war in Afghanistan are 16 years too many, join us to work for the elimination of war and the social and economic injustices that give rise to it. E-mail email@example.com to find out how you can participate.
Two Year Anniversary of Iran Nuclear Deal! Diplomacy Worked with Iran, It Can Work with North Korea
Brooklyn For Peace worked hard to persuade our Brooklyn representatives to support the Iran nuclear agreement. We applaud the following statement issued by Peace Action:
“On the two-year anniversary of its signing, the Iran agreement continues to exemplify the value of diplomacy. Thanks to diplomacy, we know that all of Iran’s potential pathways to obtaining nuclear weapons remain blocked. Even the Trump administration, which has made its disdain for the agreement abundantly clear, can’t deny the accord is working exactly as intended. Congress and the administration must work to uphold and defend the agreement and continue diplomatic discussions on areas of concern and cooperation.
“One of the crucial features of negotiations with Iran was our willingness to negotiate without preconditions. Yet when it comes to growing concerns over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the administration has instead opted for more ineffective sanctions and dangerous threats of military force. It’s time we apply the same diplomatic approach to North Korea that has proved successful with Iran.” Continue reading →
Brooklyn Says YES To Peace & Diplomacy And NO to another war! Grand Army Plaza Vigil Thursday, September 10th 5:00 pm
Please come out to the Brooklyn For Peace / MoveOn
Vigil at Grand Army Plaza Thursday, September 10th, 2015 at 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
• To support peace and diplomacy with Iran.
• To say NO to another disastrous war!
• To tell Senator Schumer – You were wrong on Iraq. And now you’re wrong on Iran! • To support and offer thanks to our Brooklyn Representatives
and Senator Gillibrand who have stood up and done the right thing
by supporting the agreement with Iran.
► Please share this by emailing or posting in social media. Use this link: bit.ly/sep10vigil
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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 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
Who We Are
The Peace and Economic Justice Committee could also be called the Brooklyn For Peace Direct Action Committee....Read more