Action Program Adopted by the National Conference to Bring the Troops Home Now!
Part 1: Preface
Given the escalation of the
To end the U.S. wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and re-orient the nation’s priorities from empire building to solving the pressing needs at home, we need to join and support the rising mass social movements embracing the broadest popular sectors of society – which should be independent of, but welcome support from, all political parties as well as those outside any party. A winning antiwar movement must be integrally linked to the struggles for jobs, education, housing, health care, civil rights and liberties, social justice, labor’s rights, immigration rights, the rights of youth and children, environmental protection, gender rights, gay rights, and fundamental human rights. It must join those groups focused on those issues as well as the traditional peace movement.
History has demonstrated time and again that the combination of these qualities coupled with an inclusive, collaborative and representative leadership can change the course of history.
This was the case with the massive social movements that were constructed to end the Vietnam War, win formal civil rights for excluded races and peoples, advance the cause of women’s equality, and challenge the prejudice and discrimination against LGBT people. It was the same unity in action that brought into being a massive trade union movement that challenged the previously dominant forces of the corporate elite and wrested unprecedented victories in the quality of life and culture for working people
Today we face the challenge of perpetual wars abroad becoming part of our national culture as are unceasing attacks on the quality of life and the standard of living at home. We are witness to multi-trillion dollar bailouts of the same institutions that have brought grief and pain to countless millions and obliterated hard won social and economic gains that were a century and longer in the making.
Our youth are subjected to an economic draft that places them in harm’s way around the world, where poor people fight for their right to self-determination and resist interventions for profit and plunder. Women and children are the primary civilian victims of war both abroad and here at home, where education and social service budgets are slashed while pensions, health care, wages, union rights and civil liberties are under siege.
Trillions are expended to fund increasingly privatized wars fought in large part with mercenary armies and to maintain 865 military bases around the world. Meanwhile veterans — first place in the statistics of the homeless and unemployed — are compelled to fight for denied benefits to treat horrific diseases caused by U.S. biological and now radiation-emitting weapons of war, while the people of destroyed nations suffer the same, but magnified, and long-term horrors. Moreover, they are subjected to successive incidents of grotesque and inhuman torture.
We are confronted with imperial wars over control of markets and natural resources, including the very fossil fuel resources whose continued use threatens the future of all humankind. We call for support of the Transition Town Movement, where in over 30 cities nationwide people are mobilizing to prepare their communities for the end of the fossil fuel era. These sustainable initiatives include self-sufficiency in food, shelter, energy and community, with emphasis on psychological and moral support in the expected difficult times ahead. These efforts are independent of the actions taken by the political leadership of the country.
Our love of humanity,
opposition to expanding wars and occupations unleashed by the Pentagon, and
respect for international human rights and humanitarian law, including the
right of self-determination for all peoples, require that we demand of the
We also recognize that
We also demand of all nations the abolition of nuclear weapons,
inclusive of development, maintenance, storage sale and use of weapons.
Given that the
Part 2: Proposals for United Actions
The Rainbow PUSH
Coalition and the United Auto Workers (UAW) have invited peace organizations to
endorse and participate in a campaign for Jobs, Justice, and Peace.
We endorse this campaign and plan to be a part of it. On August 28, 2010,
and mobilize for the Saturday, October 2nd "One Nation" march on
Washington, DC initiated by 1199SEIU and the NAACP, now being promoted by a
growing coalition, which includes the AFL-CIO and U.S. Labor Against the War, and
civil rights, peace and other social justice forces in support of the demand
for jobs, redirection of national resources from militarism and war to meeting
human needs, fully funding vital social programs, and addressing the fiscal
crisis of state and local governments. Organize and build an antiwar
contingent to participate in the march. Launch a full-scale campaign to get
endorsements for the October 2 march on
Endorse the call
issued by a range of student groups for Thursday, October 7, as a national day
of action to defend education from the horrendous budget cuts that are laying
off teachers, closing schools, raising tuition and limiting access to
education, especially for working and low income people. Demand “Money for
Education, not U.S. Occupations” and otherwise link the cuts in spending for
education to the astronomical costs of
4. Devote October 7-16 to organizing local and regional protests to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan through demonstrations, marches, rallies, vigils, teach-ins, cultural events and other actions to demand an immediate end to the wars and occupations in both Iraq and Afghanistan and complete withdrawal of all military forces and private security contractors and other mercenaries. The nature and scheduling of these events will reflect the needs of local sponsors and should be designed to attract broad co-sponsorship and diverse participation of antiwar forces with other social justice organizations and progressive constituencies.
6. Support and build Remember Fallujah Week November 15-19.
7. Join the new and existing broad-based campaigns to fund human needs and cut the military budget. Join with organizations representing the fight against cutbacks (especially labor and community groups) to build coalitions at the city/town, state and national level. Draft resolutions for city councils, town and village meetings and voter referendum ballot questions linking astronomical war spending to denial of essential public services at home. (Model resolutions and ballot questions will be circulated for consideration of local groups.) Obtain endorsements of elected officials, town and city councils, state parties and legislatures, and labor bodies. Work the legislative process to make military spending an issue. Oppose specific military funding programs and bills, and couple them with human needs funding issues. Use lobbying and other forms of protest, including civil disobedience campaigns, to focus attention on the issue.
8. Mid-March, 2011 nationally coordinated local teach-ins and protests to mark the eighth year of the Iraq War and to prepare for bi-coastal spring demonstrations the following month.
spring mobilizations in
10. Select a week prior to or after the April actions for
local lobbying of elected officials at a time when Congress is not in session.
Lobbying to take multiple forms from meeting with local officials to protests
at their offices and homes. We will attend the town hall meetings of our
Congresspersons and confront them vigorously on their support for the wars and
11. Consistent with the call to include broad
popular sectors of society in our efforts and to contend with the challenges of
12. National tours: Organize, over a series of months, nationally-coordinated tours of prominent speakers and local activists that link the demands for immediate withdrawal to the demands for funding social programs, as outlined above. Encourage alternatives to military/lethal intervention, relying on research and experience of local and international peace team efforts.
13. Pressure on
14. In the event of U.S.-backed military action by Israel against Palestinians, aid activists attempting to end the blockade of Gaza, or attacks on other countries such as Lebanon, Syria, or Iran, a continuations committee approved by the conference will condemn such attacks and support widespread protest actions.
15. In solidarity with the antiwar movements of
preparations against the Democratic
Peace Conference participants will organize immediate protests following any
hundreds of bunker-busters and conducting major war games near the
territorial waters of
self-determination and our demand of Out Now, the National Peace
Conference calls for Bringing All U.S. Troops Home Now!
16. Support actions to end the Israeli occupation and
repression of Palestinians and the blockade of
17. Support actions aimed at dismantling the Cold War nuclear, biological, radiological and chemical weapons and delivery systems. Support actions aimed at stopping the nuclear renaissance of this Administration, which has proposed to spend $80 billion over the next 10 years to build three new nuclear bomb making facilities and “well over” $100 billion over the same period to modernize nuclear weapons delivery systems. We must support actions aimed at dismantling nuclear, biological, radiological and chemical weapons and delivery systems. We must oppose the re-opening of the uranium mining industry, new nuclear power plants, and extraction of other fossil fuels that the military consumes.
18. Work in solidarity with GIs, veterans, and military families to support their campaigns and calls for action. Demand support for the troops when they return home and support efforts to counter military recruitment.
19. Take actions against war profiteers, including oil and energy companies, weapons manufacturers, and engineering firms, whose contractors are working to insure U.S. economic control of Iraq’s and Afghanistan’s resources.
20. Support actions, educational efforts and lobbying campaigns to promote a transition to a sustainable peace economy.
21. Develop and implement a multi-pronged national media campaign which includes the following: the honing of a message which will capture our message: “End the Wars and Occupations, Bring the Dollars Home;” a fundraising campaign which would enable the creation and national placement and broadcast of professionally developed print ads as public service radio and television spots which communicate this imperative to the public as a whole (which would involve coordinated outreach to some major funders); outreach to sympathetic media artists to enable the creation of these pieces; an intentional, aggressive, coordinated campaign to garner interviews on as many targeted national news venues as possible which would feature movement voices speaking our nationally coordinated message to the honed; a plan to place on message op-ed pieces in papers around the country on a nationally coordinated schedule.
22. We demand the immediate and total withdrawal of
mercenaries and contractors from
determination for the people of all countries. In this demand is the necessity
for full truth and transparency regarding all U.S./NATO actions and an
expanded development of independent news sources for broad public
knowledge of the state of the wars and occupations. We demand an end to
censorship of news topics and full democratic access to freedom of
information within the U.S. NATO Military Industrial Media Empire.
23. We call for the equal participation of women in all
aspects of the antiwar movement. We
propose nonviolent direct actions either in Congressional offices or other
appropriate and strategic locations, possibly defense contractors, Federal
Buildings, or military bases in the
24. We will convene one or more committees or conferences for the purpose of identifying and arranging boycotts, sit-ins, and other actions that directly interfere with the immoral aspects of the violence and wars that we protest.
25. We call for the immediate release from Israeli prisons of Mordechai Vanunu and for ending restrictions on his right to speak. We also call upon the Israeli
government to let him travel freely and
26. We oppose the prosecution for Bradley Manning for being the source of the
Wikileaks leaks. Manning has done what all GIs should do when they see
war crimes: expose them! Bradley Manning’s prosecution sends a message
that if you expose illegal activity in the military, you will be prosecuted. We
call for the unconditional release of Bradley Manning and an end to all war
27 We call for building and expanding the movement for peace by consciously and continually linking it with the urgent necessity to create jobs and fund social needs. We call for support from the antiwar movement to tie the wars and the funding for the wars to the urgent domestic issues through leaflets, signs, banners and active participation in the growing number of mass actions demanding jobs, health care, housing, education and immigrant rights such as:
25 - March in
29 & 30 - Boycott Arizona Actions across the country as racist
SB 1070 goes into effect, including the mass march July 30 in NYC as the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Mets.
All the other mass actions listed above leading up to the bi-coastal actions on April 9, 2011.
28 The continuations committee elected at this conference shall reach out to other peace and social justice groups holding protests in the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011, where such groups’ demands and tactics are not inconsistent with those adopted at the UNAC conference, on behalf of exploring ways to maximize unity within the peace and social justice movements this fall and next spring.