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UFPJ’s 4th National Assembly, Dec. 12 – 14, Chicago, IL


Election results have poured in: Obama and Senate and House Democrats have won a large victory, taking firm control of both the executive and legislative branches, with both voter repudiation of the Bush legacy and the hope of large-scale change the backbone of their success. President-elect Barack Obama delivered his acceptance speech at Grant Park, Chicago, close on the heels of midnight, with the usual soaring rhetoric, encouraging all to join in the effort to "remake the nation…block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand." Just watching the reactions of Obama supporters in Grant Park, not to mention of those parading on the streets of major US cities late last night, waves of people from all different races and nationalities, was enough to evoke sympathy from even the most doubtful, those who have taken note of the oft-seen gulf between rhetoric and action.

 

This is an important time for activists of all stripes – to seize on the rhetoric and to demand of the new President-elect that the logic of action proceeds from it: 

  • ‘to put our people back to work’ and ensure not only the right to work but also the dignity of work, strengthening the hand of labor unions through such legislation as the Employee Free Choice Act and starting on the road to democratizing the workplace;
  • ‘to open doors of opportunities for our kids’ and invest in our children’s education, making this investment fair and equitable across school districts and the barriers of wealth;
  • ‘to promote the cause of peace’ and end the war in Iraq and mitigate the suffering of Afghanistan; and ‘to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm the fundamental truth’ of unity in diversity by ensuring that the will of the public becomes the law of the land, not scorned and ignored as has been the routine of the past.

 

This is the work that must be done.

 

Fortunately, United For Peace and Justice has scheduled its 4th National Assembly this December 12-14, little more than a month away – an Assembly that promises to be the opportunity for national, regional, and local activists to map out their future plans and designs.  Delegates from our 1,400 member groups – as well as from those who have not yet joined UFPJ – will have the opportunity to come together and plan effective and united action for the months ahead. Click here for more information on UFPJ’s 4th National Assembly.

 

The UFPJ National Assembly could not be better timed, as it arrives a mere six weeks after the November election and the openings it may create for change. Every major political force is now taking stock of the election results, what it means to their specific interests and how to proceed to implement their plans and goals for the future. The US peace and justice movement can be no different in these regards. The tasks are great, as the weight of two wars and an economic disaster are on the back of the nation and in the public’s consciousness. UFPJ’s National Assembly will be the time and place to take a look at what the peace and justice movement has accomplished thus far and to map out our common plans for the future. The political terrain may have changed, but the challenges remain as great as ever.

 

The UFPJ National Assembly will also recommit itself to building the broadest and strongest movement for peace and justice, anchored in the most-suffering communities: those of color, immigrants, working and poor people, women, LGBT people, active-duty military personnel and veterans, and youth. This National Assembly has the potential to break through some of the barriers that have prevented us from achieving our goals of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and of redirecting funds towards communities that need them the most.

 

Please join us at UFPJ’s 4th National Assembly in Chicago, this December 12-14, to connect with other national, regional, and local activists and organizers, all of us who need each other’s support and insight now more than ever. Let us build on the popular energy unleashed by the campaign and victory of President-elect Barack Obama and truly bring action and change to US foreign and domestic policy.

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