UFPJ Assembly a Great Success, Next Steps Decided
an article by United for Peace and Justice (United States)
from their website
It was terrific. Over 300 people from 35 states, representing close to 200 member groups of United for Peace and Justice, gathered the weekend of June 23-24 outside Chicago for the 3rd National Assembly of UFPJ.
The energy was high, and the conversation was deep. Not a moment of the assembly time was wasted as we met in full plenary sessions and small groups, over meals and even during breaks. Those who came to the Assembly understood the urgency of our common work, as well as the need to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the moment. By the end of the weekend there was agreement on a plan of work for the coming period, as well as a newly elected national steering committee for UFPJ.
The central action being called for by United for Peace and Justice is a day of regional, mass antiwar demonstrations in 6 to 8 cities around the country on Saturday, October 27th. The goal is to tap into the very broad sentiment against the war and to bring new people into the streets in numbers we have not yet seen. But instead of asking everyone to go to Washington, organizers from around the country decided it was time to offer people mass mobilizations closer to home.
The Assembly re-affirmed that the central focus of this coalition is our work to end the war in Iraq and bring all the troops home, now! Toward that end, there was agreement that UFPJ, as the nation's largest grassroots antiwar coalition, will have as our primary work a Campaign to End the War that includes a number of component parts:
* work to end congressional support of the war;
* counter-recruitment, support for military resisters as well as veterans and military families;
* projects to expose the economic costs of war and the military budget;
* engaging in the 2008 electoral season to project a peace and justice agenda;
* developing skills and organizing trainings for local groups;
* challenging war profiteers;
* a nationwide public education project.
There was also strong support for a campaign of decentralized actions and activities around the country, each initiated by different groups, beginning this summer and running through the fall. Helping to build these efforts will sharpen our call to end the war, while also making connections to several important and related issues:
Further information is available on the UFPJ website, including the Strategic Framework, Comprehensive Program and Structure and Functioning of UFPJ which were adopted at the National Assembly.
Question(s) related to this article:
The peace movement in the United States, What are its strengths and weaknesses?
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LATEST READER COMMENT:
CPNN has received the following story illustrating strengths of the US Peace Movement as it attempts to block an American war with Iran:
Anti-War Movement Successfully Pushes Back Against Military Confrontation With Iran
By Mark Weisbrot, AlterNet
Who says there's no anti-war movement in the United States? In the past two months, the anti-war movement has taken on one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States in an important fight. And so far, the anti-war movement is winning.
Here's the story: On May 22, a bill was introduced into Congress that effectively called for a blockade of Iran, H. Con. Res. 362. Among other expressions of hostility, the bill calls for: "prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran ... " This sounded an awful lot like it was calling for a blockade, which is an act of war. A dangerous proposition, especially given all the efforts that the Bush-Cheney administration has taken to move us closer to a military confrontation with Iran, the bluster and the threats, and the refusal to engage in direct talks with the Iranian government. . ...more.