Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sign the letter to Obama/Join us on September 22 in D.C.

NCNR will be sending this letter to President Obama in connection with the September day of action, Sowing The Seeds of Hope: From Congress to The White House which is the DC action for Campaign Nonviolence. You are invited to sign on to this letter by emailing here: malachykilbride@yahoo.com  also go to the Sowing The Seeds of Hope Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/1681885392045454/ 


President Barack Obama

The White House

Dear Mr. President,

     As representatives of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR), we are writing to request a meeting with you or a senior member of the administration.  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.

       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.” Although you have recently taken laudable steps to avoid war with Iran and reduce carbon emissions, significant action is 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.

     Instead of the State Department, your administration uses the Pentagon to deal with conflict, and 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.” Your administration 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. You must end all military aid to Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the other countries in the Middle East. A new approach must be taken by your administration 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 your administration's plans 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." Your administration is seeking more than half a trillion dollars for the Pentagon 2015 budget.  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 t deal with climate chaos.  We believe you will be meeting with Pope Francis on September 23 and that he will also speak before 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 president, you must take bold action to confront climate chaos, inequality and militarism.  And we are prepared to work with you on these crucial matters.


Joy First

Malachy Kilbride

Max Obuszewski

Representatives of the 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

No comments: