The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) is organizing an action in D.C. on September 22 as part of the week of actions of Campaign Nonviolence. The action is "Sowing the Seeds of Hope: From Congress to the White House".
We will be visiting the office of Paul Ryan as one of the members of Congress who is doing so much to hurt the people of this country and of the world. Then we will go to the White House where we will deliver a similar letter to President Obama and engage in an act of nonviolent civil resistance.
We will be mailing the following letter to Paul Ryan's office and then delivering it in person on September 22. Please let me know if you want to sign onto the letter at email@example.com. Many of you have already signed onto a similar letter to Obama, but if you haven't and still want to sign onto that letter contact firstname.lastname@example.org
And please join us in D.C. on September 22. We will begin the day in the cafeteria of the Longworth House Office Building at 9 AM and eventually go to Paul Ryan's office by 10 AM. After some dialogue at the representative’s office, we will reconvene at the Edward R. Murrow park at noon for some very good speakers and then process to the White House where there will be an action of nonviolent civil resistance. Please let me, Malachy, or Max know if you are able to risk arrest.
NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE
325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
Representative Raul Ryan
1233 Longworth House Office Building,
Washington, D.C. 20515
September 12, 2015
Dear Rep. Ryan,
As representatives of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR), we are writing to request a meeting with you or a senior member of your staff. At this meeting, we would express our concerns about our government’s continuing wars and military incursions around the world and how this impacts global poverty and the threat to our planet's climate and habitat. The suggested date for a meeting would be September 22. We realize that you are on the opposite ideological spectrum from us. For example, we believe in gun control, the necessity of raising taxes on the wealthy, citizenship for the undocumented and marriage equality. Though we have major differences with your political perspective, we still hope that we can engage in dialogue. We are in a crisis situation in this country and in the world, as the pope has written.
Therefore, NCNR has issued a call to action: “We call upon people of good will to come to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 to actively participate in a witness of nonviolent civil resistance calling on Congress and the White House to take meaningful action as we confront the climate crisis, the unending wars, the root causes of poverty, and the structural violence of the military-security state.” While the president has recently taken laudable steps to avoid war with Iran and reduce carbon emissions, significant action is still needed to end fracking, to stop the XL Keystone Pipeline, to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels by banning offshore drilling for oil including in the Arctic, and to address the planet's looming climate catastrophe.
Unfortunately, except on occasion, instead of using the State Department, our government instead orders the Pentagon to deal with conflict. Such behavior in concert with our allies greatly contributes to a violent and destabilized world. The U.S. use of armed drones by the military and the Central Intelligence Agency has inflicted enormous human suffering, is unconstitutional, and is only creating more “terrorists.” Congress should cease its hostile rhetoric and sanctions against North Korea, Russia, and Iran. Furthermore, the US should seek a diplomatic solution to the civil war in Syria, disband NATO, and end the increasing military presence in Southeast Asia, commonly referred to as the "Asian Pivot," which threatens China. Furthermore, Congress must end all military aid to Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the other countries in the Middle East. A new approach must be taken to free the Palestinians from over half a century of violent Israeli oppression. Diplomacy is the only answer to stop the cycle of violence. Violence and war are not the answers to conflict, as invariably noncombatants suffer the most. Diplomatic efforts to end the sanctions and hostile relations with Cuba are a good example of the positive path that can be taken and should be followed with other countries labeled as our enemies.
Nuclear weapons can never be used, and the plans to use a trillion tax dollars to "upgrade" the nuclear arsenal is madness. A recent study by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, an independent think tank that works closely with the Pentagon, reports that the actual costs for updating the nuclear triad — the intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarines and aircraft capable of delivering nuclear warheads will cost $1 trillion dollars. This is beyond senselessly wasteful! It is immoral and actually illegal under international law to possess such weapons capable of global annihilation thousands of times greater than the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These tax dollars must be re-allocated towards reviving our sagging infrastructure and supporting social services desperately needed by the poor.
Almost half the people on this planet live off less than $2.50 a day and around 22,000 children die every day due to poverty according to UNICEF. However, the U.S. has continued to expend half of the federal discretionary budget on warmongering. Besides wasting tax dollars, untold number of lives have been lost or injured, millions of refugees live unsettled lives and ecocide is being committed on Mother Earth. "Six years after the onset of the financial and economic crisis, hunger remains high in the United States. The financial and economic crisis that erupted in 2008 caused a significant increase in hunger in the United States," according to the World Hunger Education Service. As you know, the banks were bailed out, but the people were left to suffer the consequences. In addition, the World Hunger Education Service states that in the US "In 2013, there were 45.3 million people in poverty. This is up from 37.3 million in 2007. The number of poor people is near the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty statistics have been published."
According to the National Center for Children in Poverty "More than 16 million children in the United States – 22% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level – $23,550 a year for a family of four. Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses. Using this standard, 45% of children live in low-income families." Congress is seeking more than half a trillion dollars for the Pentagon 2015 budget. Instead, the Pentagon budget must be radically reduced with the savings going towards programs to lift people out of poverty.
We look forward to a meeting in order to discuss the issues raised in this letter. We have detailed specific solutions which include severe cuts to the military budget, ways to alleviate income inequality and how to deal with climate chaos. Of course, we vehemently reject the Ryan budget which takes from the poor and gives to the rich. And your proposed budget calls for more military spending. We believe Pope Francis will address the U.S. Congress. As you know the pope has been a leader calling for serious steps to be taken to address the climate crisis. In addition, Francis has called into question our economic system and the resultant income inequality and the wars which have a direct impact on the poor and on our planet. We hope you will listen to him and follow his call for a nonviolent way of addressing conflicts.
We have requested a meeting on September 22, as during that time Campaign Nonviolence is calling for a week of actions around the U.S. in which the issues of the climate crisis, poverty, and war are addressed. We, members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, are heeding the call on behalf of Campaign Nonviolence. We look forward to your response to our request, and hope that there will be an opportunity for dialogue. As the majority leader of the House Ways and Means Committee, you must take bold action to confront climate chaos, inequality and militarism. And we are prepared to work with you on these crucial matters.
National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs