Fear, hate and nuclear weapons threaten to rewrite facts under the Trump administration as we are guided to endless wars and endless military spending under a President who had to ask why we do not use Nuclear Weapons.

Together, we can resist the politics of fear and hate of the new Administration, and create communities that work for all of us, guiding U.S. foreign policy away from war, and towards sustainable peace. Sign up now to volunteer with Peace Action New York State:



Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis

This Vote Will Change Everything: End U.S. Complicity in War Crimes in Yemen

The full House of Representatives will vote on ending ALL U.S. support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen. The coalition is responsible for 2/3rds of civilian deaths in the crisis, the famine crisis and the world’s worst cholera outbreak. How will your Representative vote? Tell them to vote YES, and support H. Con. Res. 81.

Connect to your Representative by dialing 202-224-3121 today. Tell them to SUPPORT H. Con. Res 81.

Want to do more? Schedule an in-district lobby meeting with your Representative. Use our lobby packet to get comfortable talking about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and print and deliver a copy to your Representative’s in-district staff member Follow our guide here to schedule an in-district meeting.


H. Con. Res. 81 Summary

Sponsored by Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA17), Walter Jones (D-NC3), Thomas Massie (R-KY4), and Mark Pocan (D-WI2), H. Con. Res. 81 directs the President to remove U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen, except those engaged in operations directed at Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, within 30 days after adoption of this concurrent resolution, unless the President requests and Congress authorizes a later date, and unless and until a declaration of war or specific authorization for the use of U.S. Armed Forces has been enacted.


Why We Support H. Con. Res. 81:

U.S. weapons are being used against civilians by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen. Last week, Amnesty International reported that a U.S. weapons was used against a residential building in Yemen’s capital in August 2017, killing 16 civilian, including seven children. 17 more civilians were injured. In another attack last year, U.S. weapons were used in airstrikes on a funeral hall – while a funeral was in process. 140 people were killed. The Saudi-led coalition is responsible for two-thirds of civilian deaths in the conflict, but despite this widespread targeting of civilians, U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia have continued. The United States must stop arming the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, which is actively committing human rights violations , and has proven to have little regard for the agreed upon tenets of the 2008 Ottowa Convention – using cluster bombs to devastate civilians, military targets and critical infrastructure.

It would be in line with recent popular opinion to avoid inevitably contributing to a war on foreign soil that is responsible for  widespread faminedisplacement and the loss of innocent lives. It would also make sense to reject this sale due to the potential cost of inaction, and the possibility that allowing an ally to indiscriminately violate terms in the Geneva Convention  and destroy a population’s source of food will serve to further destabilize the region, and will further damage America’s reputation; increasing the odds of eventual radicalization and animosity.

The US has the opportunity to hasten the peace process by denying Saudi Arabia the tools needed to continue devastating Yemen, as this war has cost Saudi Arabia $5.3 billion alone in defense spending during the year of 2015, and led them to surpass India in terms of largest arms importer during same year. Saudi Arabia has felt the economic impactof such relentless bombing, and coupled with it’s recent oil production woes, the US has an opportunity to apply soft economic pressure and work with the UN to re-open the peace process; to aid a nation in critical condition.

U.S. military operations in Yemen are a violation of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which authorized sweeping powers for the Executive to launch military strikes against persons, nations and organizations involved in the attacks on September 11th. Since originally authorized, the 2001 AUMF has been used more than 37 times in 14 countries, but debate on the AUMF has been blocked by House leadership. To regain Congressional authority over war powers, and to prevent their continued expansion, Congress must proactively oppose military escalation in Yemen.

Celebrating Peace & Supporting Student Organizers

Thank You for Supporting Peace & Peace Action New York State!

Last Friday, we celebrated Peace Action’s 60th Anniversary with 300 of our closest friends, allies and accomplices at the historic Riverside Church in Manhattan. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us. Together, we celebrated the lifetime achievements of Harry Belafonte, in his tireless activism for peace and justice, and awarded LaDonna Brave Bull Allard the William Sloane Coffin, Jr. Peacemaker Award for her heroic work defending the sacred at Standing Rock. We also heard from Ben Cohen, the night’s keynote and incredible philanthropist, about endless military spending & what it is really costing all of us.

If you missed the celebration, some photos and videos from the night are available on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/PeaceActionNY, and more incredible event photos, taken by Matt Weinstein, are available here.

If you were unable to support Peace Action New York State programs at Friday’s fundraiser, will you support our organizing work with a contribution today?

Your donation will support programs like our upcoming Anti-War Campus Organizing conference, bringing together over 100 students from the Peace Action network with leading racial justice, gender justice and environmental justice organizers, addressing war & peace as a fundamental issue of intersectional justice.

This conference features speakers from Iran, Korea, Kenya and Yemen, bringing together communities most impacted by U.S. militarism – at home and abroad. Click here to see the line-up of expert speakers and the conference schedule, and click below to make a donation to make sure this conference is accessible and low-cost to students of all backgrounds.

donate now

Thank you for all you do for peace.

Two Actions for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Take Action for the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

While North Korea and the United States continue down a path of nuclear threats and devastation, we stand with the 122 countries around the world who adopted the UN Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons. Especially in these times, there are actions our Senators and Representatives should take today to move us toward a world without nuclear weapons.

Today is the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Will you make two calls today for sane nuclear weapons policy? 


1) Call Senator Gillibrand’s Office: 1-202-224-4451

Senator Gillibrand should be a co-sponsor of S.200 the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, which would resign in this Administration’s threat of the use of nuclear weapons and make sure we are not responsible for the deaths of millions of North Koreans who have nothing to do with the actions Kim Jong-Un. Given current co-sponsors, there is no reason why Senator Gillibrand should not be on this legislation.

Here’s what you can say when her office picks up: “My name is _____ and I am a constituent concerned about the continued threats of nuclear war. I believe that the only nuclear security is a world without nuclear weapons, and where this Administration doesn’t have unrestricted access to a nuclear red button. I hope Senator Gillibrand will: co-sponsor S. 200 the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act and oppose the $1.2 trillion dollar proposed modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, a weapons sytem we should never use. I hope Senator Gillibrand will also issue a statement of support for the nuclear ban treaty, which was adopted at the United Nations by 122 countries and points us towards a nuclear-free future, which has been called for by both President Reagan and President Obama.”


2) Call Your House Representative’s Office: 1-202-224-3121 (or you can find their direct office number here)

Here’s what you can say when his/her Office picks up: “My name is _____ and I am a constituent concerned about the continued threats of nuclear war. I believe that the only nuclear security is a world without nuclear weapons, and where this Administration doesn’t have unrestricted access to a nuclear red button. I hope my Representative will: co-sponsor HR 669 the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act and oppose the $1.2 trillion dollar proposed modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, a weapons sytem we should never use. I hope my Representative will also issue a statement of support for the nuclear ban treaty, which was adopted at the United Nations by 122 countries and points us towards a nuclear-free future, which has been called for by both President Reagan and President Obama.”

Several New York Representatives are already co-sponsors of this legislation: Representative Clarke (D-NY9) was an original co-sponsor. Other NY co-sponsors are: Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY12), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY8), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY7), Louise Slaughter (D-NY25), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY13) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY10).

After my meeting with Representative Nadler’s staff in-district last week, we received an email that same day that he had joined as a co-sponsor on this legislation. Will your Representative be next?

Thank you for taking action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Together, we will win.

Peace,

Kate Alexander
Policy Director, Peace Action New York State

P.S. If you have another 2 minutes, please call Senator Schumer’s office (can’t get through in the DC number? Try the office nearest you) and use the same script you used for Senator Gillibrand’s office. He is in the leadership in the Senate and may be unlikely to join as a co-sponsor, but that doesn’t mean we’re letting him slide.

 

Just Announced: Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream!

Time is running out to buy your ticket to Peace Action Fund of New York State’s 60th Anniversary Gala, where we will be honoring Harry Belefonte with our Life-time Achievement Award. Standing Rock hero LaDonna Brave Bull Allard will be our William Sloane Coffin, Jr. Peacemaker Award recipient, and our emcee will be Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK.

And, we are proud to annouce our keynote speaker will be Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

This is an event you won’t want to miss- buy your tickets today!

The gala dinner will be held on Friday, October 13, 2017 at the historic Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive in Manhattan from 6 – 9PM. Join us for a night of inspiration and music to celebrate Peace Action’s 60th anniversary

Help continue the work of the nation’s largest grassroots peace network which began 60 years ago in New York City as the Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy and merged with the Nuclear Freeze movement in the 1980’s. The work of Peace Action is needed today more urgently than ever, and our influence is growing. In the recent National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) vote, Senator Gillibrand and nine New York Congressional Representatives, Clarke, Espaillat, Jeffries, Meng, Nadler, Serrano, Slaughter, Tonko, and Velazquez, voted no on the $700 billion bill to fund U.S. endless war and militarism. This is the momentum we have to keep going, and it is through the support and involvement of each of you that we will continue to do just that.

Click here to buy tickets, become a host, or buy a journal ad for the event. 

We look forward to celebrating 60 years of peace activism with you and hope to see you there. 

Celebrating Peace Activism

On this year’s International Day of Peace, Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace (GVCP) will be honoring our very own Kate Alexander, Director of Policy and Outreach, with the Genesee Valley Peacemaker Award at their 45th Anniversary Celebration. 

If you haven’t gotten the opportunity to meet Kate yet, below is a little more about her: 

Kate Alexander is a peace advocate and researcher with 12 years experience in community organizing. Her previous work experience includes community organizing with Planned Parenthood in Arizona, war crimes research and assistance in a genocide trial in Bosnia, community peace-building work in Northern Uganda, and writing reports for United Nations bodies on women’s rights violations in Syria and Iraq. She is committed to the leadership of diverse, historically marginalized voices in peace advocacy and processes globally, to reshape their own communities post-conflict and challenge inequitable power structures that are the root causes of conflict. She is a frequent public speaker on women’s leadership for peace globally, nuclear abolition, U.S. defense spending and U.S. military strategy.

She is a graduate of Brandeis University with a degree in International and Global Studies and a minor in Legal Studies, and was the 2012 recipient of the David A. Alexander award for Social Consciousness and Activism at Brandeis University. Kate is currently pursuing her MPA with a focus in Humanitarian Policy and Gender and Public Policy at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

If you’re in the area, please join us in celebrating Kate and all of her outstanding work as a peace advocate and community organizer. Below are more details for the event: 

Genesee Valley 45th Anniversary Celebration

on the International Day of Peace

Thursday, September 20th at 4pm

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 23 Main Street, Geneseo 

This family-friendly event, will include music, collaborative games, a keynote speech by

Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action, and the presentation of the Genesee Valley Peacemaker Award to Kate Alexander, Director of Policy and Outreach for Peace Action New York State

Here at Peace Action New York State, we are immensely proud of the work that Kate has accomplished, and hope that you will join us in congratulating her for this well-deserved honor. 

BREAKING: At UN, Trump Called for War. We’re Calling for Peace.

BREAKING: TRUMP THREATENS NORTH KOREA, VENEZUELA, IRAN AND YEMEN

Did you see Trump’s General Assembly speech at the United Nations today? Venezuela, North Korea, Iran and Yemen were all threatened with U.S. military action. While this Administration calls for endless war, we have to call for peace, and we have to demand that our Congressional Representatives call for peace, too.

Can you call your Senators and Representative right now at 202-224-3121 and tell them to OPPOSE any escalation in military intervention against North Korea, Venezuela, Iran or Yemen?

Armed conflict erodes human rights, it does not protect them. Already in Yemen, U.S. weapons are being used against innocent Yemenis by the Saudi-led intervention, which is responsible for 2/3 of civilian deaths in the conflict. The Iran Nuclear Deal is a milestone diplomatic achievement with real results for nuclear non-proliferation, and this Administration refuses to acknowledge that it is working, and is throwing it out. Threatening the “total destruction” of North Korea is threatening the lives of the North Korean people, who have suffered the most under their brutal regime. Suggesting that human rights in Venezuela could be protected by armed conflict flies in the face of everything we know about the state of human rights during armed conflict.

Can you call your Senators and Representative right now at 202-224-3121 and tell them to OPPOSE any escalation in military intervention against North Korea, Venezuela, Iran or Yemen?

Please spread this message, and together, we’ll stand opposed to endless, impulsive, destructive U.S. wars. And, if you are in the NYC area, please join us on October 7th to oppose endless wars.

I Was 6 When the 2001 AUMF Was Passed

Today marks 16 years of grief, terror and endless war. Today, 16 years ago, was the last time Congress authorized U.S. wars abroad.

On September 14, 2001, Congress passed the Authorization of Military Force (AUMF). The only dissenting vote in either the House or Senate was Representative Barbara Lee (CA-13), who feared the authorization would give the government a blank check for war without debate. In her speech on September 14th, 2001, Representative Lee explains why she was voting no: 

September 11th, changed the world, our deepest fears now haunt us. Yet, I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. Some of us must say: let’s step back for a moment, let’s just pause, just for a minute, and think through the implications of our actions today so that this does not spiral out of control. 

Representative Lee was right: this has spiraled out of control. Americans turning 18 today and enlisting in the U.S. armed forces were literally in diapers the last time these wars were debated. 

We must do better. Now is the time to advocate for peace and diplomacy, because lives depend on it. Here are four ways you can demand peace now:

1. What was your life like 16 years ago – the last time Congress debated these wars? As I write this, there are 3 people working in the PANYS office: Kate, Emily and Musabika. Kate was 12, Emily was 10, and Musabika was 2, the last time these wars were debated. Tell us what your life was like 16 years ago by taking a photo with our signs (like ours below!), and tag @peaceactionNY on instagram, facebook or twitter, and we’ll share your story.

2. Please, take a quick moment now and tell your members of Congress that you expect them to stand up and fulfill their responsibilities by repealing the 2001 AUMF, and debating whether to authorize continued, endless war in Afghanistan.

3. Call your Representative and Senators and tell them to repeal the 2001 AUMF. Use the call script here, or make your own, and call the Capitol Switchboard 3 times, to connect to both of your Senators and your House Representative. The number to call is: 202-224-3121.

4. If you are in New York City, please join us in the streets on Saturday, October 7th as we march with War Resistors League, Veterans for Peace, the Granny Peace Brigade and more to demand an end to these endless wars. The march will be Saturday, October 7th at 11:30AM, meeting in Washington Square Park.

Sincerely,

Emily Rubino
Grassroots Campaigns Coordinator
(I was 6 when the 2001 AUMF was passed)




Kate Alexander

Director of Policy and Outreach
(I was 12 when the 2001 AUMF was passed)


Peace News: Refugee Resettlement and Military Spending Edition

by Kevin Mercado Refugee Resettlement December 5, 2017, Bangladesh: Rohingya Refugees Are Being Trained to Save Lives Aid organizations are struggling to provide humanitarian assistance to more than 625,000 Rohingya refugees who fled military crackdown in Myanmar. “A... read more