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Peace and Economic
Supporting Diplomacy With Iran —
Which Way … War or Peace?
Jun 13, 2014
Brooklyn For Peace is supporting a Planning Meeting To Build Support for Diplomacy With Iran on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 9:00 am. The meeting which will take place at The Commons at 388 Atlantic Avenue [map] between Bond and Hoyt Streets. The meeting, which has the support of several NY organizations including Code Pink, Peace Action NYS, CREDO and Win Without War, was called by the Iranian-American group, BERIM! (BERIM means ‘Let’s Go!’ in Farsi).
A little background –
President Obama and U.S. Allies have decided to sit down with the government of Iran to see if a diplomatic solution can be found to the differences over Iran’s nuclear development program. Using diplomacy and negotiations instead of military pressure is a sharp departure from the Bush era with its wars “of choice” against Iraq and Afghanistan. Those wars left untold death and destruction in their wake. At home, the trillions of dollars wasted on war, has devastated our economy and destroyed our communities by diverting funds for badly-needed vital services.
But the negotiations have come under fierce attack from conservative hawks in the Senate and House. Representatives and Senators allied with AIPAC (The American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee, a powerful lobbying organization that advocates on behalf of Israel’s right-wing government), chief among them NY’s Senator Charles Schumer, have done their best to undermine the negotiations. They have demanded even tougher sanctions on Iran even while the talks are ongoing. And they have insisted that any agreement contain such severe conditions that, most experts, agree, Iran would abandon the talks. That would throw the negotiations into the trash and leave the military option as the only choice remaining. Another Mid-East war would be much closer to reality if Schumer and the others got their way. So far, President Obama has resisted the hawks and has asked Senator Schumer and other Democratic hawks to desist.
All this is against the background of a rapidly deteriorating situation in the region. An incipient civil war in Iraq and a full blown one in Syria are roiling the entire area. The administration is under intense pressure to use U.S. military force to try to stem the tide of events. The very same forces that pushed for war in Iraq and Afghanistan are at it once again. Senators John “Let’s stay there forever” McCain, Lindsey “I agree with McCain” Graham, the Neo-Con Chicken Hawks and Fox News all claim that the situation in Iraq is due to the hast withdrawal of U.S. forces and the “weakness” of the Obama administration. Their solution? Reintroduce U.S. forces, the sooner the better. If they had their way, American armies would occupy the region forever But, of course, the truth is that the wars were, and are, the root cause of the present conflicts and turmoil. Another war would be like pouring gasoline on a smoldering flame — it could ignite a regional or world war of unimaginable horror.
That’s why the diplomatic talks with Iran are of such urgent importance. Their success would be a great statement that war is not … is never … the answer. It only makes matters exponentially worse. On July 20th the first stage of the negotiations with Iran comes to an end. The talks can be extended or they can conclude with an agreement. Or they can be abandoned – a victim to the calls for military action. The idea of the June 22nd Planning Meeting is to brainstorm ahead of the July 20th deadline. We will explore ways to build public opinion to support the talks. And we will come up with ideas to keep the pressure on wavering Democrats in Congress. The President might be able negotiate a peaceful solution to the differences with Iran but Congress, with Senator Schumer in the lead, can put a kibosh on it. Our job is to rally pro-peace sentiment inside and outside of Congress to block those who would push us to another war.
You can be part of this movement to prevent another war by joining us on June 22nd.
If you would like to participate in the Planning Meeting, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rallying To Support Hunger Strikers
At SUNY Downstate Medical Center
March 9, 2013
Governor Cuomo is continuing with his threat to privatize or close this important health care facility and teaching hospital that serves a broad section of Brooklyn. Bringing the fight to stop layoffs and cutbacks at Downstate to a higher level, clergy and community leaders launched a 48-hour fast and hunger strike in defense of the embattled hospital and its employees who are being threatened with termination. Many hundreds have already been fired and critical care is laboring under greatly-reduced staffing and funding.
Hundreds rallied at the entrance to the SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
The rally to support the fasters was addressed by elected officials, Assembly Member Annette Robinson, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and NYC Public Advocate Letitia James. Union leaders and clergy also addressed the crowd. The meeting was chaired by United University Professionals (UUP) Treasurer Rowena Blackman-Stroud. UUP represents nurses and other skilled workers at the hospital.
Brooklyn For Peace members were in attendance. BFP has supported the struggle since its inception and a speaker representing the organization addressed the rally. Tom Gogan said that Brooklyn For Peace “would support this struggle until its won.” Gogan was also representing U.S. Labor Against The War. Take a look at photos and video from today’s event. Click HERE.
Schumer’s On The Warpath
And Brooklynites Tell Him NO!
Dec 22, 2013
If you’ve been following the news on Iran, you’ll know that dangerous developments in Congress threaten to derail the delicate negotiations that are being worked out between the United States, its major allies and Iran in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear manufacturing facilities.
These Congressional efforts, which demand new and tougher sanctions and severe restrictions on any and all Iranian nuclear material processing, are opposed by President Obama as he tries to reach an agreement using diplomacy instead of military might. Obama’s approach, which departs from the Bush era policy of “bomb first, ask questions later” has been one that the peace movement has advocated for years as the way to settle international disputes.
Residents in Ft. Greene lined up to sign an Open Letter To Congress that demands diplomacy instead of war with Iran.
In the Senate, our own U.S. Senator, Charles Schumer, has taken up the lead (along with Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirk (R-IL)) in introducing legislation, the sole purpose of which is, to scuttle the negotiations. Even though polls show that an overwhelming sixty-three percent of Americans, tired of two disastrous wars, favor Obama’s diplomatic approach, these Senators are taking their lead not from that peace sentiment but from the pro-war Israel lobbying group, AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee). The three Senators are among the top five in amounts received from the lobby group. The question needs to be asked: “Why, Senator Schumer, are you undermining your own president by pursuing policies that threaten to scuttle diplomacy and drag our country into yet another war in the region?”
Read the rest of this entry »
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.
For more photos of last night’s protest: http://smu.gs/1anrQLl
Sign the Petition to Save our Libraries!
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
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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 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
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:
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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
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! Read the rest of this entry »
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 >>>
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The Peace and Economic Justice Committee could also be called the Brooklyn For Peace Direct Action Committee....Read more
Brooklyn For Peace Opposes Escalation of Afghanistan War
Read our statement
Protest FBI Raids and Harrassment of Antiwar Activists.
See the results of our Penny Poll!
We invite you to join Peace and Economic Justice committee and get involved.
PEJ meeting schedule
E-mail us or call 718–624–5921 if you are interested in attending.