NC Peace Action helped organize a very active presence in Chapel Hill with John Heuer and an SDS student speaking, entertainment by the Raging Grannies and Sacrificial Poets, and smaller groups at two sites in Raleigh. We got a total of about 100 signatures on a Costs of War petition, great picture and description in the Raleigh paper about the the display brought by Vicki Ryder with beads on a dowel. “They represented the projected 2012 US tax dollars that would go for military needs as opposed to other government programs.” Another small local paper, Carrboro, will publish a picture in its weekly edition.
In Raleigh, the large 40′ banner on the ground is the AFSC representation of their “One Minute for Peace” strip that lines up discretionary spending for the various departments. We also had a penny poll which engaged several passersby. In Chapel Hill, the balloons also represented the size of the military vs other departments.
The bottom photos are of the 2nd part of the event in Chapel Hill that merged with a protest of the Bank of America organized by a coalition planning a big action in Charlotte in May. We marched down to the BOA to deliver a letter to the CEO. They got the branch manager to fax the letter.
The Town Hall Meeting in Raleigh, February 20th, brought together 150 peace advocates to send the message for a need to reorder our priorities. We need to “Bring Our War Dollars Home and Restore Our Communities.“
The keynote speaker was Matthew Hoh, a former Marine and State Dept. official who resigned his post in Afghanistan in protest of US policies. He encouraged people to advocate for hearings for Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, the recent whistle blower on Afghanistan. See theNY Times brief and a link to the full report. Also view the video interview with PBS Newshour.
Mr. Hoh also quoted the World Economic Forum, which ranks the US 52nd in the world for math and science education. Even if you believe we need a strong military, he said, “you can’t have kids steering air craft carriers who don’t know math and science”. Read more about this in The Independent articleabout the event.
Hear more from Matthew Hoh on Frank Stacio’s “The State of Things”, airing on WUNC radio Thursday Feb 23rd, 9:00 and 12:00.
Three North Carolina Congressmen were present, Walter Jones (Dist 3), Brad Miller (Dist 13), and David Price (Dist 4). Each presented their views on the theme to “Bring Our War Dollars Home, Restore Our Communities.”
The three US Representatives were applauded for uniting around the message to move up the timetable for withdrawal of combat troops form Afghanistan to the end of 2013. See N&O article on the event and this issue.
Along with 84 others, including NC Rep. Howard Coble, they all signed a letter to the President, stating in part:
“The United States intervened in Afghanistan to destroy al Qaeda’s safe haven, remove the Taliban government that sheltered al Qaeda, and pursue those who planned the September 11th attacks on the United States; those objectives have largely been met and no longer require a large presence of combat troops in Afghanistan.”
State Representative Paul Luebke introduced the event. He spoke about how the Triangle cannot afford a regional mass transportation system. We finally had to pass a ½ cent sales tax increase to try to develop a fund for the system. Meanwhile we send away billions of dollars a year to be used for war making. Also participating as moderator of the press conference was State Senator, Ellie Kinnaird.
Several speakers from the audience talked about the hardships they face or the people they work with are facing. In an economic downturn, with so many people without work, how can we afford to continue funding a military bigger than the next 14 countries combined? (Even if we could afford it, is it wise?)
Rev. Nancy Petty, Senior Pastor of Pullen Baptist Church, closed the event encouraging the audience to make peace not war and be foolish enough to think that we can make a difference.
We extend our gratitude to the Congressmen, Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, Rep. Paul Luebke, and Matthew Hoh for their presentations and leadership and to all who attended, participated, and helped with organizing.
Please continue to be involved through our “Cost of War” groups. We need people to write letters to the editor, call Congress, plan educational events, fund-raise, and strategize. The next step of the campaign will be called “Peace Voter”. We will send a questionnaire to all candidates about these issues. Contact Betsy Crites at (919) 381-5969.
Bring The War Dollars Home: Restore Our Communities
Town Hall Meeting
Raleigh, Legislative Buidling
February 20th, 2012
HKonJ crowds gather on a cold February morning outside NC Capitol Building
H K on J (Historic Thousands on Jones Street coalition of 80 organizations) march and rally in Raleigh for a 14-Point People’s Agenda – diverse schools, affordable housing, workplace fairness, voting rights, equal justice and more. Saturday February 11, 9:30 a.m. we gathered at Shaw University (corner of Wilmington & South St.) and marched to the Legislature, 16 W. Jones Street.
Click below to read Betsy’s speech at the 2012 HKonJ … Read more
Reordering Priorities – Connecting Issues A Planning Conference for Long-Term Change
October 29th, 2011
Reordering our Society’s Priorities andConnecting our Peace and Justice Issues were the themes of the October 29, 2011, NC Peace Action/AFSC conference in Raleigh. Fifty attendees representing 8 Congressional districts shared what’s happening around the state on the Move the Money campaign, collaboration with HKonJ, the Occupy movement, and other social/economic justice issues. People traveled from Charlotte, Asheville, Greensboro, Burlington, Pittsboro, and Chapel Hill, as well as from Durham and Raleigh. The conference opened with readings from inspirational figures.
Representatives of the Durham Peace Action organizing committee reported on their successful campaign “Bring the War Dollars Home/Fund Our Communities”. After getting 125 citizens to sign an invitation to elected local leaders, they held a Town Hall Meeting attended by 13 elected officials including Rep. David Price of the 4th district. An op-ed was printed in the Durham News section of the News & Observer, and cost of war resolutions have passed the Durham City Council and Durham County Commissioners. Read more
The Peace Booth helps fair-goers know there are viable alternatives to the militarism and violence so pervasive in the world. This year’s theme is War is Horrific, Peace is Heroic. Passersby can find friendly conversation, educational hand outs and petitions, as well as activities for kids. Stop and visit the Peace Booth or contact us to find out about volunteering!
Lake Junaluska Peace Conference “Abundance, Poverty and Peace: Seeking Economic Justice for all God’s Children”
The root and cause of war: the economic system. Keynote speakers will include David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World; George McGovern; Bishop Nkula Ntanda Ntamba, and more. Register by phoning 1 (800) 222-4930 or online at: http://www.lakejunaluska.com/Peace/
UPDATE! Durham County has already had great success with its flagship Cost of War campaign in the City of Durham. Due to this Durham Town Hall Meeting, in the Fall of 2011:
The Durham City Council called upon the president and Congress “to bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy and reduce the federal debt.” (Read full resolution here.)
The Durham County Commissioners called “upon the United States Government and President Barack Obama to responsibly end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring our war dollars home”. (Read full resolution here.)
Join us in Asheville on Wednesday, September 14th 2011 for a presentation on peace and why we are so passionate about it. We will start with a social time at 5:30 and then begin the presentation at 6 PM at Posana’s Restaurant on the corner of Patton and Biltmore, downtown Asheville. The meeting will be over by 7 PM. It is in the back room at the restaurant. Each of us will share who our group is and why we support BRINGING OUR WAR DOLLARS HOME, especially showing the connection of peace with environmental stewardship and why it is necessary that people for justice work together to bring about social, environmental and economic change in our area and the world. Please respond if you can speak a few minutes (less than 5 minutes) about your involvement in International Day of Peace Sept. 21. Please contact Rachael Bliss at 1 (828) 505-9425.
UPDATE! To read the full report and see what wonderful results we have had with the Durham Cost of War Campaign, please see the full report here and also get involved with the next phase of the campaign here.
Original Event Details:
As part of our “Bring the War Dollars Home: Fund our Communities,” show your support of this program by attending Durham’s Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, September 10th from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, the military budget has increased 67% but universities are forced to slash budgets and hike tuition, public servants are laid of, care for sick and elderly is reduced, and environmental protection is threatened. Read more
NC Peace Action seeks to discover, honor and award young leaders who are working on solving the problems that face our world. We invite nominations of young adults age 18-24 and students age 13-17 who are involved in community service or social justice work that relates to broader problems facing the world as a whole. To complete entry, nominees must write an essay describing their service or active involvement in the community and how it relates to the global community. See guidelines for more details.
Deadline for submission of both the nomination and the essay is October 1. The Grand Prize for each age group is a trip with Witness for Peace to Latin America in 2012. Second prize is a trip to Washington in March to take part in a youth program to learn how to lobby Congress. Click here for forms and details. Direct question to Betsy Crites, 919.381.5969 or firstname.lastname@example.org