January 13-20, 2003
“I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In January this country will again celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the anniversary of his birthday. United For Peace encourages anti-war organizers to develop working relations with churches, community groups and others already planning MLK commemorative activities. We have an opportunity to bring the full legacy of Dr. King’s work and life to bear on this critical time… the legacy of linking the struggle for racial, social and economic justice to the call for peace.
Several activities are being planned for Washington, DC and locally around the country during this period. United For Peace has assembled an initial calendar of activities – see below – and we hope your group will be a part of this important week of anti-war and social justice activism.
Included in the week’s plans is a national training workshop and conference in Washington DC being organized by Black Voices for Peace on Monday, January 20th, the national MLK holiday. On this same day, Black Voices for Peace and United for Peace are calling for local actions all around the country.
The national workshop and rally and the local actions will be important steps in strengthening the leadership of African Americans and other people of color in this new anti-war movement. (For more information, contact Black Voices for Peace at 202-232-5690 or United For Peace at 202-862-9740 x.3038.)
In addition to these events, International ANSWER has issued a call for a mass mobilization on Saturday, Jan. 18th. Many organizations within United For Peace will be actively participating in this demonstration. We know each such mobilization contributes to the growth of this movement and as such we support the broad diversity of nonviolent activities opposing this war. www.internationalanswer.org
While many people will go to Washington, DC, this period will be an opportunity for strengthening our work locally. Our power is found in the combination of national mobilizations and ongoing local activities.
United For Peace urges local groups and coalitions, as well as national organizations, to organize and promote a full week of activity in January. We encourage you to post your activities on our web site at www.unitedforpeace.org.
INITIAL CALENDAR, subject to change:
(Jan. 11 – Local events on West Coast)
Jan. 13 – Local educational and outreach activities.
Jan. 14 – Possible day for high school student and other youth actions.
Jan. 15 – MLK Birthday
(1) National fast for peace not war. Initiated by the Shalom Center, National Council of Churches, Business Leaders for Social responsibility, and Congressman John Conyers. People encouraged to donate the money they would have spent on food for that day either to organizations that give medical aid to Iraq (thereby violating U.S policy in an act of CD) or to donate that money to organizations here in the U.S. that feed the hungry.
(2) Black Voices for Peace (BVFP) will host a protest at the Senate office buildings from 11:30 am until 2:00 pm. (exact location to be announced), against the policies of “Trentlottism” in the Congress and other branches of the government–policies which promote racism, war, the assault on civil liberties, and cutbacks in human needs funding. This event will have participation from Iraq Pledge of resistance.
Jan. 16 – Noon time gatherings at local federal buildings, recruitment centers, etc. for vigils, leafleting and other activities.
Jan. 17 ? Women Rising for Peace and Justice: A National Day of Women’s Anti-War Activism; also Jewish Holiday of Tu B’Shvat, the midwinter festival day for celebration of the rebirthing of trees, ceremonial meal.
Jan. 18 – ANSWER Coalition mass mobilization in Washington, DC
Jan. 19 – (1) Black Voices for Peace and United For Peace call for Peace With Justice Sunday at churches and other religious and faith-based institutions, focusing on MLK Jr’s three pillars – racism, poverty, militarism.
Jan. 19 – (2) National civil disobedience action organized by United For Peace in Washington, DC (details still being worked out).
Jan. 20 – (1) Black Voices for Peace with support from United for Peace calls for local protest actions, educational events and other mobilization activities around the country focusing on Dr. King’s legacy of opposing militarism, racism and poverty and linking these three pillars of evil in the struggle for peace and justice.
Jan. 20 – (2) Black Voices for Peace will sponsor, “Living the Legacy of Action Against Militarism, Racism, and Economic Injustice: A National Workshop and Rally for Peace with Justice in Washington, D.C. Action workshops from 10:30 am until 1:30 pm. National Rally from 3 until 6 pm. at Plymouth Congregational Church, 5301 North Capitol (Riggs Rd/Missouri Ave. at No. Capitol).
Jan. 15 – 20: The Iraq Pledge of Resistance call for local civil disobedience events over the course of the Martin Luther King days.
——————————————————- —– United For Peace, a national campaign bringing together more than 100 organizations committed to stopping a new war against Iraq, understands that public protest is a central part of the work we must all be doing. United For Peace provides a structure for a wide range of groups to work together on both nationally coordinated local activities and major national mobilizations. We also support the many efforts that are underway around the country, organized by different coalitions and networks.