Posts Tagged ‘Raleigh’

Matthew Hoh Speaks on Karzai Government

At our recent Peacemaker Dinner on May 16th 2013, Matt Hoh explained how the U.S. alliance with the Karzai government has in effect undermined its own mission in Afghanistan.  Listen to the video and learn the meaning of the military’s acronym VICE and why the Taliban is stronger than ever.

 

Raleigh City Council Cost of War Resolution

RESOLUTION NO. 2013 – 733

A RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS THE SENSE OF THE
RALEIGH CITY COUNCIL REGARDING THE USE OF FEDERAL
FUNDS TO MEET LOCAL FINANCING NEEDS.

Whereas the United States is currently engaged in military actions which are
nearing the end of their intended durations; and

Whereas, the ongoing economic situation in this country has resulted in reduced
revenue to both the private and public sectors, revenue which could be used to meet
critical infrastructure and other public policy needs;

Whereas, funding cuts to various programs such as community development
block grants have caused local governments to curtail certain services which are
beneficial to the public; and

Whereas, both state and local governments in this country face unprecedented
needs for repair and replacement of roads, water plants, waste water facilities and many
other public needs for which funding does not currently exist;

Whereas, funding for a constructive economy that sustains high level educational
opportunities, quality medical care, affordable housing, infrastructure repair and
maintenance, and environmental protections; and

Whereas, the end of the previously mentioned military conflicts may result in less
pressure on the federal budget in years to come; and

Whereas, the maintenance of a strong national defense is one of the primary
duties of the federal government as well as recognizing and caring for those who have
borne the battle in defending against terrorism;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE RALEIGH CITY
COUNCIL THAT:

1. The President and the United States Congress are requested to use any savings
occurring due to the end of any current military conflicts for distribution to state and
local governments for use in meeting human and infrastructure needs for those areas
in years to come.

2. The President and the United States Congress are requested to also use those funds
to begin and complete federal infrastructure and human needs, including support for
veterans of these conflicts.

Adopted:

March 5, 2013

Effective:

March 5, 2013

Prepared by the Raleigh City Attorney’s office

 

Raleigh City Council calls on Congress to “Bring Our War Dollars Home”

January 16, 2013

Press Release

CONTACT: JOE BURTON 919-851-5596

At its January 15th meeting, the Raleigh City Council joined the US Conference of Mayors and cities in 14 other states in approving a “Bring Our War Dollars Home Resolution.” The original resolution was submitted to the Council by ROWD (Return Our War Dollars) of Wake County with support from NC Peace Action and American Friends Service Committee.

After amending the wording, the Council approved the following: BE IT RESOLVED that the Raleigh City Council call upon the U.S. Congress and President Obama to end our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, bring our war dollars home, and use those and other savings in Pentagon spending 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.

ROWD of Wake County coordinator Joe Burton (pictured above) said: “Thanks to the Raleigh City Council for its approval of the Bring Our War Dollars Home resolution and the good message it sends to North Carolina’s Congressional delegation regarding federal funding priorities, as budget negotiations go forward in Washington.”

To read the rest of the resolution, please click here.

Raleigh City Council Resolution

 

January 2013

Proclamation calling on Congress to Fund Urgently Needed Services and Infrastructure Repair in Raleigh and Throughout the United States by Bringing Our War Dollars Home and Reducing Military Spending.

WHEREAS the members of the Raleigh City Council and the constituents we represent want to ensure the safety, as well as the physical and mental well-being of U.S. soldiers, veterans, and their families, and

WHEREAS more than 100,000 American soldiers have been officially injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 520,000 veterans or our Middle Eastern wars have filed disability claims with costs of their care expected to total between $600 billion and $1 trillion by 2040 (1), and WHEREAS, the US government has spent well over 1 trillion dollars nationally on the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, with North Carolina taxpayers’ share of that total at $34 billion, and Raleigh taxpayer’s share of that total is $1.7 billion (3), and

WHEREAS the core defense budget has gone up for an unprecedented 13 straight years and reduction in defense spending will help reduce the federal deficit (2), and

WHEREAS the $50 billion reduction in defense spending required by sequestration under the Budget Control Act (adjusted in real dollars) is equivalent to what was spent in FY2007 and will keep defense spending above the Cold War average (2), and

WHEREAS even with a reduction of $50 billion, the United States will spend more on defense than the next 17 nations combined, most of whom are our allies, and 3 times more than the Chinese (2), and

WHEREAS the severity of the ongoing economic crisis has created budget shortfalls at all levels of government and requires us to reexamine our national spending priorities; and in Wake County budget cuts causing layoffs, cutbacks, and continual damage to our public education system (4), and

WHEREAS 1.6 million residents of NC live in poverty with nearly 50% of those having incomes less than half of the federal poverty level; in Wake County 1 in 6 children live in poverty (5, 6, 7), and

WHEREAS, cuts to federal programs such as Community Block Development Grants (CDBGs) and the Home Investment Partnership program (HOME) have forced Raleigh and local agencies and non-profits to lay off staff, reduce or eliminate services, delay infrastructure projects and reduce program benefits to low and moderate income families; and

WHEREAS, funding for a constructive economy that sustains high level educational services for the K through college, job growth, equal access to medical care, low cost housing, infrastructure repair, environmental protections, and family financing throughout North Carolina, especially in cities such as Raleigh, has been diverted to wars and occupations, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that the Raleigh City Council call upon the U.S. Congress and President Obama to end our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, bring our war dollars home, and use those and other savings in military spending 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.

 

1. Gusterson, Hugh, “The Costs of War”, 2011 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September 6, 2011

2. Korb, Lawrence J., “6 Reasons to Keep the Defense Budget Sequestration Cuts”, Center for American Progress, April 3, 2012.

3. National Priorities Project, http://costofwar.com, Nov. 1, 2012.

4. Warren, Louisa B. “A Better Future Begins in Pre-K,” Policy & Progress, North Carolina Justice Center, Spring 2012, p. 13.

5. Hawes, Julia, “Poverty Tour Exposes Lack of Economic Opportunity,” Policy & Progress, North Carolina Justice Center, Spring 2012, p. 1.

6. Sirota, Alexandra Forter and Burch, Brenna Elford, “Dismantling Pathways to Economic Mobility in NC,” Policy & Progress, North Carolina Justice Center, Spring 2012, p. 1, 10-11.

7. http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/NC-County-Data-Poverty-and-Deep-Poverty-Rates.pdf

 

Tax Day 2012: Report

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.

Betsy Crites

      

 


    

Student Peacemaker Celebration Dinner

 
 

Learn more about our 2011 Winners and also our 2012 Winners.

February 20, 2012: Bring The War Dollars Home: Raleigh

 

Matthew Hoh addresses town hall attendees - with (from left to right) Congressmen Walter Jones (Dist 3), Brad Miller (Dist 13), and David Price (Dist 4); NC State Senator Ellie Kinnaird, Representative Paul Luebke, & NC Peace Action Director, Betsy Crites.

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 the NY 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 article about 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.

Congressman Walter Jones

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.”

Congressman David Price

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

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February 11, 2012: HKonJ 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 …
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October 29, 2011: Planning Conference for Long-Term Change


Reordering Priorities – Connecting Issues
A Planning Conference for Long-Term Change
October 29th, 2011

Report

Reordering our Society’s Priorities and Connecting 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.
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