New York City
April 4th 2009
It is Time to End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
It is Time to Address the Economic Crisis by Cutting Military Spending
"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. April 4, 1967
Our country and our world are confronting grave problems – wars and occupations, poverty and inequality, the climate in crisis, and whole economies collapsing under the weight of war spending and greed. The election of President Barack Obama represents significant – though not yet sufficient – progress towards fulfilling Dr. King’s dream "that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Now we must advance the dream "Beyond Vietnam."
On the April 4th anniversary of Dr. King’s prophetic "Beyond Vietnam" speech, delivered at Riverside Church, we will gather in New York City determined to lead our nation in the new direction so many long for. For the first time in too long, we will march filled with hope. Now is the time that our movements for racial justice and economic equality, our movements against the wars and occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere, our movements for a new economy based on people’s needs, green union jobs and sustainability will ALL come together to say YES WE CAN! Yes We Can move beyond war. Yes We Can build a new world of justice, equality and peace.
On April 4th, we will bring our urgent message to the financial center of Wall Street. Our call will be heard in Washington, D.C. where Congress and the administration must take action to end these seemingly endless wars. Our call will be heard by millions of people around the world who share a common vision of a new world and hope for real change in the United States.
We look forward to April 4th when massive numbers of people will be in the street in a unified and nonviolent call to cut military spending and to fund human needs and ecological sustainability. Our nation must drastically reduce and redirect its military spending to reflect an entirely new foreign policy based on diplomacy and international law instead of military force, on global cooperation instead of domination, on a plan to live as a part of the world community instead of using brute power to stand astride the globe like the colossus of old.
Our nation must end torture and return to the rule of law; our justice system, that disproportionately locks up people of color must be fixed; and our economic policy must be rooted in our communities and not an out-of-date notion of trickle down growth.
Our hope is in the people. Our power has never been greater. We must build on this momentum in every school, every place of worship, every trade union hall, and every community center. A massive shift in our national priorities is crucial if we are to meet the urgent needs of our communities: for jobs, housing, health care, education, transportation, and for justice and equality.
We have hope knowing that our powerful grassroots movements for peace and an end to militarism, for racial, gender and economic justice, for sustainable energy, for human rights and human needs, are coming together to provide the support, the pressure, and the demand in the streets that is necessary to make sure our new administration and the Congress can deliver on their promises of a new direction.
Together we can bring Dr. King’s legacy to life. Together we can build that new world. Join us in New York City on April 4!