Sunday, December 10, 2017

NJ Towns Must Respect Democratic Rights of Residents - No to Anti-BDS Resolution(s)

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

NJ Anti-War Agenda Publishes the following Statement from Maplewood community members against anti-democratic rights and anti-freedom resolution that was considered by Maplewood Township that would have supported silencing of any criticism of Israel and its repressive treatment of the Palestinian people.

At this point it appears as if Maplewood is holding off on moving forward which highlights the importance of the kind of work done by the folks that pulled this letter together.  Measures like the one that had been proposed in Maplewood have actually been passed in Caldwell, Millburn and Livingston, NJ.  Be encouraged to borrow from this letter if it is helpful to opposing similar measures in other NJ towns.

TO THE COUNCIL OF MAPLEWOOD TOWNSHIP:

We, the undersigned SOMA residents, are writing to express our adamant opposition to a resolution submitted on November 21 to the Maplewood Township Council condemning the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel (BDS) by three nonMaplewood residents.

This resolution is part of a campaign to effectively deny American BDS supporters their constitutionally protected right to boycott. At the federal, state, and local level, a coordinated anti-BDS campaign is seeking to prevent Americans from employing their protected right to engage in political speech and action, including criticizing and boycotting foreign governments.

The resolution, which condemns the non-violent, Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice, and equality for the Palestinian people, also attempts to obscure the crimes and abuses perpetrated by Israel and to mischaracterize and suppress the Palestinian struggle for justice.

Modeled on the principled movement that brought down apartheid South Africa, the Palestinian BDS movement is a rapidly growing international movement made up of unions, academic associations, churches, and grassroots movements across the world. The BDS movement has garnered the respect and support of Black Lives Matter, as well as the United Nations, Amnesty International, and the ACLU, and many other people of conscience. In its commitment to freedom, justice, and equality for all, the BDS movement is part of the shared struggle of people of color against racial and economic injustice.

The Palestinian BDS call urges nonviolent pressure of Israel until it complies with international law by meeting three demands:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Palestinian land
2. Providing full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties

Instead of attempting to refute these demands on principled grounds, the presenters of the resolution attacked BDS for being anti-Semitic. But there is nothing in the BDS call for freedom, justice, and equality that is anti-Semitic. In founder Omar Barghouti’s own words, BDS “consistently and categorically rejects all forms of discrimination and racism, including antiSemitism.” Growing Jewish support for BDS is evidence of that.

The presenters also attempted to suggest that Israel is a beacon of democracy. In fact, Israel is a settler colonial and apartheid regime. Beginning at its founding in 1948, Israel ethnically cleansed 750,000 indigenous Palestinians, who have never been allowed to return to their homes, although the right of return is guaranteed under international law. This tragic event has devastated the lives of millions of Palestinians, including the Palestinian signatories of this letter. Israel maintains an ongoing violent military occupation of the West Bank and subjects Gaza to repeated brutal bombing campaigns and a barbaric blockade. Meanwhile Israel’s settlements continue to swell, while Palestinians living in Israel are subject to racist laws and segregation policies, making them second class citizens in Israel. A state that gives different rights to different people based purely on their religious identity cannot be described as a democracy.

Finally, the resolution presenters asserted that BDS threatens peace because it promotes a “hateful agenda.” BDS actually offers the best chance for peace because it is based on an agenda of freedom, equality, and justice, derived from international law.

At a time when the right to dissent and protest in this country is increasingly under attack, we call on the Maplewood Township Council to categorically reject the campaign attempting to smear BDS, deny its supporters their constitutional protections, and provide cover for settler colonialism and apartheid.

At a minimum, the township council should make sure a full and open discussion of the resolution and the issues it raises takes place, one that includes voices of Palestinian SOMA residents. As supporters of equal rights for all, we enthusiastically welcome that debate.

Signed by 28 residents of Maplewood and South Orange

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Peoples Organization for Progress Front and Center Against War

One of the forefront organizations in NJ that is working to organize a stronger anti-war effort is People's Organization for Progress.  At almost every anti-war protest in NJ that has taken place in recent month's, Lawrence Hamm chair of the People's Organization for Progress has played a swivel role in giving quorum to move forward with an event.  We usually try to get 3 or 4 people initially to agree to call a protest assuming that they will take responsibility to make sure all the steps are taken to make sure that it is successful in various ways.

It is Lawrence Hamm, on behalf of POP who has delivered, without rental cost, a sophisticated sound systems with very capable community amplification.  POP also has a wealth of its trademark signs around almost every important issue out there - including on every aspect of the escalation of US wars and threats.  While Chair Hamm, and often Ingrid Hill transports the POP protest infrastructure, sound, signs and other materials, POP also always delivers numbers of participants - it does not just throw its name on the flier.  Many of the protests against US wars in recent months have been well attended by the yellow shirt styling POP membership.

Every decision made by Peoples Organization for Progress is vetted at the organization's Thursday General Assembly meetings that occur  Every Thursday 6:30 pm, 224 W. Kinney St., Newark NJ.  The meetings feature guest speakers, presentations, topical discussions, panels - along with a host of presentations by POP members and guests proposing POP involvement in various initiatives.

NJ Anti War Agenda recently spoke with POP chair Lawrence Hamm. According to Mr. Hamm, The Peoples Organization for Progress (POP) was founded in 1983 and in its constitution, one of the listed “aims and purposes” is to “work for world peace.”  Mr. Hamm explains that  POP's origins are  from the  “revolutionary Black nationalist” period when progressive Black nationalists saw the struggle for peace as part of their work – “to people like WEB Dubois, Paul Robeson, and others for whom peace was at the top of the agenda.  They always worked for peace and against the threat of nuclear war.  There has always been an explicitly anti-imperialist dimension to the revolutionary Black nationalist movement.  POP inherits those aspects of the movement.   We try to bring the best of the Black liberation movement into the present and future,” he states.

Speaking on the connections between the war at home and US wars abroad, Mr Hamm explains: “As Dr. King pointed out there is a facile relationship between imperialist wars abroad and poverty at home.  The latest budget  put forward by the Trump administration called for a $54 billion increase in the military spending and a $54 billion decrease in spending on social programs.  Martin Luther King said in his speech on the Vietnam war that we drop bombs on Vietnamese children abroad and explode the bombs of poverty at home.  In the last 16 years in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq we’ve spent $5 trillion.  Imagine what we could have done with $5 trillion at home!  How many schools and hospitals could have been saved?  How much public housing could have been funded?  We could have eliminated homelessness.  When all is said and done we have accomplished in Iraq and Afghanistan only the destruction of those countries.”

On POP’s future anti-war plans, Mr. Hamm explains:
“We definitely are going to continue to support the work of NJ’s anti-war coalition  and NJ Peace Action particularly in opposing war with North Korea which would be disastrous. . . .   Beforehand POP had protested on the corner of Broad and Market opposing the US attacks on Syria. . . . We will continue to oppose possible war in Korea, war in Syria, to call for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and to oppose unjust imperialist wars abroad. . . . We oppose these wars because they are wrong, we end up supporting dictatorships and opposing progressive governments that don’t agree with US foreign policy.

These wars are disastrous for the people in the countries.  We have caused immense suffering and killed 100s of 1000s of children.  When not directly involved the US is supporting governments like the Saudis and their adventure in Yemen, committing crimes against humanity. Then we have to help people to understand how using resources for war take away resources from use to meet domestic human needs.”

POP was instrumental in mobilizing massive NJ participation in anti-war protests in NYC and NJ in the early days of the latest (and still ongoing) US war in Iraq.  On Iraq, Mr. Hamm states:  “10,000 Americans killed in Iraq, millions of Iraqi, many of them children . . . we’ve gained nothing.  And the wars were proven to be based upon a lie.”

POP plans to make another focus of its antiwar work, the situation in Libya which Mr. Hamm referred to as something that “Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton” have to take responsibility for.  “They helped turn a country with the highest standard of living on the African continent according to the UN and it now is a failed state and now Black People are being bought and sold in a slave market in Libya.  We’re going to be speaking out about that very shortly . . . We’ll be having something at one of our meetings and probably in the streets.”

Speaking on the subject of Africom, Lawrence states “US troops are all over Africa . . . for geopolitical and economic reasons, due to contention among the great powers, which never ended after World Wars I and II albeit it is perhaps more subdued.  In some periods the contention is violent and in other periods it is political – where politics becomes a substitute for warfare.  That’s why we see so many US troops all over the world.  That’s the underlying cause.

The reasons given (by the US) is that we are going to fight the radical Islamist groups or support democratic movements or oppose dictatorships – those are the political reasons that they give.  While they might be engaged in battle with different groups they are there to secure the resources of Africa. . . . One of the reasons Obama had his pivot toward China is because China is a rising economic power and the US is struggling to hold on to the markets they have and to not be pushed out by China in other markets.  And that’s what China is doing.

The only card the US holds right now is that it is the dominant superpower and it tries to translate that military might into economic benefit.

The Chinese go in and try to partner with the governments while the US just wants the resources and does not want to give anything in return unless there’s 1000% interest.  When the US gives foreign aid it becomes a debt trap .”

Contact and some regularly scheduled calendar items:

General Assembly Meeting Every Thu 6:30 pm, 224 W. Kinney St., Newark NJ
Justice Monday Protest Every Monday, 4:30-6 pm outside Rodino Federal Bldg, 970 Broad St., Newark NJ
Recruitment (Almost) Every Saturday, noon, corner of Broad and Market, Newark, NJ

Several of the recent anti-war protests have occurred at the Martin Luther King Jr. monument on MLK Dr.

http://njpop.org/ 973-801-0001

Saturday, December 2, 2017

RU Working for the CIA and DIA / US Imperialism

 Rutgers Targum recently reported that Rutgers has a close to $2 million Defense Intelligence Agency grant establishing  “a federally-designated Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC CAE)”

Its purpose is to develop intelligence programs and inform and educate Rutgers Students.  Operating out of the Orwellian named “Rutgers Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety,” Rutgers has established a Center for Critical Intelligence Studies (CCIS) directed by Rutgers Criminal Justice professor John Cohen.  Cohen has an extensive intelligence background most recently working for the Homeland Security Department.  Rutgers also offers a minor in Critical Intelligence Studies (CIS) through this program. 

Richard Moser Ejected After Attemptng to enter
Cohen stated in the Targum article that CCIS’s purpose is to establish education and training for students that want to enter in the field providing them with access to intelligence “professionals” (read spies and operatives) in the field and to provide training in preparation for an intelligence career.  Another aspect of CCIS is to provide training to those who are already working in the field as spies and operatives.  The CIS minor aims to prepare students in intelligence skills including writing, briefings and research.
Rich Moser feels bump on head

According to the article:  “Students are also given exposure to internship and study abroad opportunities ... The classes feature guest lecturers from the FBI, CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the  American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).”
AAUP Support at CIA Protest 1986
The minor requires 18 credits of related course work including Introduction to Critical Intelligence Studies, and Critical Thinking and Analytic Writing for the Intelligence Community.

The program is also offering a one week course IC CAE Certificate in Intelligence and National Security delivered by CCIS.

From the days of the Vietnam war, CIA research, recruitment and other operations as well as ties to the US war machine was a source of conflict between anti-war forces and school administrations.  In 1986, during the US war on Central America, 19 students and recent graduates (including this writer) were arrested protesting CIA recruitment at Rutgers in a blockade of the university president’s office in Old Queens.
Abbie Hoffman 

Now Rutgers is a hub, a major intersection where the Pentagon, the CIA and the other masters of war have full court access for recruitment, training, indoctrination on behalf of US imperialism.

Once again – and even more so now than ever, it is necessary for students with the support of the larger anti-war forces to resist this militarization of Rutgers.

Any faculty or students at Rutgers interested in working on putting together a teach-in at Rutgers on the crimes of the CIA, the DIA and the US intelligence in general, from over throwing governments and mass murder, raising of paramilitary death squads, subversion and intervention to thwart the sovereignty and democracy of other nations and peoples, the slaughter of 1000s from CIA and DIA operated drone weapons programs, drug running, money laundering and every other kind of dirty operation . . .please contact us through the number below.

 Rutgers now is directly complicit with these operations.  This collaboration with the 
Younger Bob Witanek
goals of US imperialism and war making around the planet needs to be confronted and protested by all those at Rutgers seeking peace and justice and an end to the interventionism of US imperialism.

I must interject a personal opinion - about our protest in 1986 - while we were unsuccessful in stopping CIA operations at Rutgers - painfully obvious in 2017 . . . the establishment of this massive operation at Rutgers proves THAT OUR PROTEST WAS RIGHT!

Students interested in organizing a teach-in and other activities on this topic should contact this writer at 908-881-5275 (text or voice).  Possible modest stipend available.  Also, contact same number for the following: offering stipend to any of the students enrolled in the CIA minor at Rutgers who would provide me the entire curriculum of all related classes - all assignments and all materials in use.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

People's Organization for Progress Instrumental in NJ Anti-War Efforts

The following is an outline of the article that #NJAntiWarAgenda will be running on Peoples Organization for Progress.  I would like to include some pertinent quotes from one or more POP members in response to these questions.

Larry Adams has offered to help but if anyone else wants to offer feedback on behalf of POP - please send to bwitanek@igc.org .

 Questions:

What is the guiding principle(s) of POP's dedidcation to anti-war struggle?

How is the struggle against wars abroad related to "war at home" struggles in NJ communities?

What are unique concerns of POP regarding anti-war issues?

What are some of the ways POP is likely to be participating in anti-war struggle in the next 6 months to year?

Is POP part of Black Alliance for Peace (Ajamu Baraka, Margaret Kimberley are involved)?

What are ways that people can get involved with POP anti-war work?


One of the forefront organizations in NJ that is working to organize a stronger anti-war effort is People's Organization for Progress.  At almost every anti-war protest in NJ that has taken place in recent month's, Lawrence Hamm chair of the People's Organization for Progress has played a swivel role in giving quorum to move forward with an event.  We usually try to get 3 or 4 people initially to agree to call a protest assuming that they will take responsibility to make sure all the steps are taken to make sure that it is successful in various ways.

It is Lawrence Hamm, on behalf of POP who has delivered, without rental cost, a sophisticated sound systems with very capable community amplification.  POP also has a wealth of its trademark signs around almost every important issue out there - including on every aspect of the escalation of US wars and threats.  While Chair Hamm, and often Ingrid Hill transports the POP protest infrastructure, sound, signs and other materials, POP also always delivers numbers of participants - it does not just throw its name on the flier.  Many of the protests against US wars in recent months have been well attended by the yellow shirt styling POP membership.

Peoples Organization for Progress

General Assembly Meeting Every Thu 6:30 pm, 224 W. Kinney St., Newark NJ
Justice Monday Protest Every Monday, 4:30-6 pm outside Rodino Federal Bldg, 970 Broad St., Newark NJ
Recruitment (Almost) Every Saturday, noon, corner of Broad and Market, Newark, NJ

Several of the recent anti-war protests have occurred at the Martin Luther King Jr. monument on MLK Dr.

http://njpop.org/ 973-801-0001

Every decision is made by Peoples Organization for Progress is vetted at the organization's Thursday General Assembly meetings that occur  Every Thursday 6:30 pm, 224 W. Kinney St., Newark NJ.  These meetings are more accurately described as weekly events, often with guest speakers, presentations, topical discussions, panels - a long with a host of presentations by POP members and guests proposing POP involvement in various initiatives.

POP is very open to proposals from other organizations and those not yet part of the organization.  If you have a proposal for anti-war work that is consistent with POP's agenda and strategies, the following are the steps to bring it to the floor:
1. Contact POP officers with a brief description of your proposal, what meeting you would like to present and how much time you might need to present the proposal.
2. When you are scheduled for the meeting, be prepared with a succinct yet coherent presentation on the idea and how it corresponds to POP's policies and positions and how participation helps the POP organization as well as the anti-war cause you are advocating.
3. It is best also to develop a relationship with POP, consider becoming a dues paying member and possibly contribute regularly and to attend and support POP at meetings, protests and other POP events to demonstrate mutual support.
4. You should be clear what exact kinds of support and effort you are asking POP to commit to, the organization has a very demanding agenda - while it is a large organization with very active membership - its members and resources are spread thin due to all of the work it takes on.
5. You should be inviting POP to play a supportive role and not be trying to offload the organizing tasks upon the organization.  Be clear in what you are going to do to facilitate POP involvement.
6. Be prepared at the presentation for pointed and possibly difficult questions and lively discussion, even debate,

POP will usually approve proposals that are well prepared, consistent with their agenda, not overly demanding of resources and have a plan that does not overly depend on POP efforts to be successful.  The organization always comes through when it makes commitments - so if you have an important anti-war project, you should consider POP's participation in helping toward a more successful event.












The Struggle to End US Wars Abroad Ties to Struggle to End the US Wars at Home



This is a draft article for the pending printed publication for #NJAntiWarAgenda - I am looking for a few quotes to finish the article off - and any feedback, edits on what is written so far.  Please provide quotes or edit suggestions to bwitanek@igc.org .

The $700 Billion approved by both ruling parties in the US to give the current Trump administration Carte Blanche for all of the threats, escalations, bombings, deployments being carried forward is directly stolen from the funds needed to fix Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Texas and Florida, the funds needed for full sevices needed, to end hunger and malnutrition in the US, to provide free universal health care, to fully meet the educational needs of America’s youth, to rebuild the decadent roads and infrastructure, to maintain public control and availability of the internet, to provide full employment, etc.

The violence the US has wrought out upon nations throughout the world and the threats of violence, has come home to the US streets in the form of impunity for brutality and killing by police,  Furthermore police departments particularly in cities are getting increasingly receiving military training and millions in military and equipment are transferred from the Pentagon to local police forces.  Through racialized policing and meting out of sentencing, millions are incarcerated in inhumane conditions and forced into enslavement labor by the criminal justice system.

The military also has a significant presence in public schools, particularly in low income communities targeting youth for military recruitment as cannon fodder and to carry out the violent missions on behalf of US foreign policy.  Between mass incarceration and military recruitment and the toll that takes on the families with one or both parents removed, much of the adult population in impoverished communities is demobilized and unable to make a practical contribution toward resisting onslaught from the many forms of systemic oppression.

It is imperative for those who are working to oppose US wars abroad to recognize the connection to the conditions that are tantamount to a US war at home against its own domestic inhabitants.  Every effort must be made to show support for the organizations that are targeting the many domestic onslaughts including those of groups like Peoples Organization for Progress, Decarcerate the Garden State, efforts to support livable wages, free health care for all, full funding for education, safe and healthy communities and environment, support for labor organizing, etc.  Opportunities to organize educational events – even in the street – where the connections between these issues need to be pursued and organized.


We will make no progress in the struggle to oppose endless US wars of imperialism abroad without also taking head on the US wars at home against “our own people.” 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Strengthen Solidarity w/ Filipino People and Their Struggle for National Liberation in NJ!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: TONIGHT NOV 3: Please tune in at the livestream with Nato Reyes, Secretary General of BAYAN in the Philippines to talk about Trump's asia pacific tour tonight at 8pm. 
http://tinyurl.com/livewithnato Despite the explosive anti-U.S. rhetoric from the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last year, the US-Philippines’ neo-colonial relations remain intact.This neo-colonial relation continues and will play an even more important role now as the United States seeks to maintain its place as the dominant imperialist power in an increasingly multi-polar world.



In line with this, U.S. President Donald Trump together with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis is expected to visit the Philippines as part of their Asia Pacific tour and to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) East Asia Summit (EAS) this coming November 12 to 14. Through this tour, U.S. Imperialism will being pushing for expand neoliberal globalization and domination of the region, including trade wars, the U.S. military pivot to Asia, containment of China’s aggressive expansionism as well as war mongering in the Korean peninsula as well as increased intervention in the Philippines.


U.S. Imperialist, no.1 terrorist


In this context, let us remember that Philippines served as the United States’ blueprint for its Imperialist conquest. At the turn of the century, United States unleashed a genocidal war of aggression against the young Philippine republic. Particularly horrific is what is now known as the Balangiga massacre in Eastern Samar where U.S. troops murdered “everyone over the age of ten”. The U.S. even took the Bells of Balangiga as a war trophy which remains in US possession to this day. This war, dubbed as America’s “first Vietnam”, dragged on for an entire decade from 1899 to 1910 leaving 1.5 million people, mostly civilians, dead.


Despite the victorious eviction of U.S. military bases in 1991, to this day, U.S. Imperialism’s virtual occupation of the Philippines remains and is legitimized by various unequal treaties such as the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) of 1951, Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA), the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) of 1998 and the most recent Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), turning the entire archipelago into a U.S. military base. This is on top of the annual $180 million of U.S. military aid to the Philippines supporting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which is notoriously known for committing human rights violations against the Filipino people.


This continued U.S. military presence has been the cause of various atrocities against the Filipino people. The case of “Nicole”, a young Filipino who was gang raped by four U.S. servicemen  in 2005; the mysterious death of Gregan CardeƱo  in 2010, supposedly recruited as a translator to serve at a U.S. military base in Maguindanao he ended up dead; and most recently the murder of Jennifer Laude, a transwoman murdered by a U.S. serviceman Scott Pemberton in Olongapo in 2014.


International Solidarity vs U.S. Imperialism


The Filipino people have been waging an anti-imperialist struggle ever since the U.S. imperialism first set foot in the archipelago and this struggle is set to intensify. The Filipino people continue to wage an organized and protracted struggle both in the parliament of the streets, through Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance), a massive multi-sectoral alliance of progressive people’s organizations, as well as in waging a revolutionary armed struggle in the countryside through the New People’s Army (NPA) led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its revolutionary alliance, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).


Locally, through Anakbayan New Jersey, a Filipino youth organization based in Jersey City, there has been organizing for the local rights and welfare of the Filipino community and linking it to the national democratic struggle back in the Philippines. Anakbayan New Jersey has conducted educational forums on campuses and in communities, conducted campaigns and has built solidarity relations with the struggles in New Jersey.


It is high time that all people supporting peace and justice to pay closer attention and strengthen the solidarity to the Filipino people and their struggle for national and social liberation. To this end, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee (NJPSC) was established in June 2015 to gather moral and material support for the Philippine struggle. The NJPSC was able to successfully organize the annual Philippine Solidarity Week each February to raise awareness about the struggle in the Philippines. Also, earlier this year, the NJPSC was able to host a forum about the ongoing civil war in the Philippines between the Philippine government and the revolutionary movement. There is much more to be done and the NJPSC continues to invite and encourage various organizations, institutions and individuals to join the solidarity movement for the Philippines.


How you can get involved


  1. Join the international Call to Action against Trump’s visit to the Philippines and the Asia Pacific region, the neo-liberal agenda of the ASEAN and EAS, and towards building a movement of all people who support Philippine liberation and struggle for genuine independence from US imperialism!  
    1. Take  in the streets confronting the US military & economic pivot!
    2. Endorse the days of actions by filling up the form online (http://tinyurl.com/gtfoPhils)
    3. SIGN ON to the Unity Statement against Trump in the Philippines! (forthcoming)
    4. Donate to BAYAN’s People’s Caravan and Protest actions to confront Trump at Clark Airbase. You can Venmo @BAYANUSA or donate to BAYAN USA (contact Anakbayan NJ)
    5. Join the Resist US-Led War Movement by signing on to the Manifesto online (http://tinyurl.com/resistUSwars)
  2. Attend and support the national gathering of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) in Portland, Oregon  on December 9, 2017.
  3. Join the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee (NJPSC)
Contact:


NJ Philippine Solidarity Committee
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NJPhilippineSolidarity


Anakbayan New Jersey

Email: anakbayannj@gmail.com

This article will appear in #NJAntiWarAgenda - a printed paper to hit the streets very soon!

Related:
http://www.ilps.info/en/2017/11/06/people-in-asia-pacific-resist-trumps-visit-to-the-region/

Friday, October 27, 2017

#NJAntiWarAgenda Publication Coming Soon!

Permission granted to reblog - please link back!

We are getting ready to publish the first historic issue of NJ Anti-War Agenda in support of all of NJ area efforts  in opposition to the endlessly spiraling US wars of imperialism.  
The pending publication was discussed in a fine article by Gregory Dube, about the recent New Brunswick protest demanding support for Puerto Rico and opposition to US war escalations – see addendum for excerpt.



You can help #NJAntiWarAgenda hit the streets:

Your input:
If you have ideas as to what should be in the paper, want to help with one of the above articles or offer another topic, contact call /text 908-881-5275 / bwitanek@igc.org

TO HELP GET THE PAPER INTO THE STREETS, CALL OR TEXT 908-881-5275
One goal is for the paper to be truly representative of NJ organizations and individuals that are in motion based upon their anti-war agenda.

I am looking for folks to help finish up by offering to write some of the remaining articles.  I will help and I am collaborating with an editor so it does not have to be a Pulitzer winner or anything – I am looking for 200 – 300, maybe 500 words per article.  I might also need help in finalizing the lay out.  Also if there is any web designer that wants to take on setting up and very light maintenance of a website to promote the paper,

I am willing to work out modest stipends for the authors of the articles, any semi-volunteer production staff and web designers.

Contributions welcome:
Those who would like to contribute financially toward the printing or toward the work for the paper or a related website, you can do so at this link.  If you would like to discuss your contribution, please call or text 908-881-5275.

Articles so far:
Edit suggestions are welcome on linked articles and some of the articles below are pending rewriting for the paper.

Proposed Page 1:
Welcome Letter
Moving the Money – From War to Human Needs
US Itchy Finger on Nuclear Trigger

Proposed Page 2-3
What is Your AntiWar Agenda?
Afghanistan
Korea
Disaster Flier
Venezuela Solidarity Letter


Proposed Page 4-5

JC Anti War Protest Last Sunday of Each Month (since 2003) 12 – 2pm

Tutorial: How to Plan an Anti-War Protest


Organizing GIs

Finishing Up - Articles needed on the following topics:

Philippines and NJ Philippines Solidarity Committee
Peoples Organization for Progress
North Jersey Vigils
Montclair Vigil Site
Other Vigils Around NJ
NJ Peace Action
Green Party Antiwar Work
Organizing Youth Through Pizza Shop Meetings
Campus Organizing
Counter Recruitment
Organizing GIs
Russia
China
Africa
Iraq
Iran
Puerto Rico
Syria
War at home
Yemen
Other possible targets

ADDENDUM: Excerpt from New Brunswick Today article:
Bob Witanek, a Belle Mead resident and active member of the New Jersey anti-war community, echoed Herzog’s sentiments.
“Taxes should be used to better the lives of taxpayers, not blowing people up,” Witanek said.
“We have three aircraft carriers in North Korea and three to four nuclear subs off their coast, threatening to blow them off the map. Then we hear about the impediment in aiding Puerto Rico because of the ocean--that never seems to be a problem when it’s war we’re talking about.”
Witanek said that because of these and many other challenges threatening peace in the world, citizens need to get organized and make their commitment to peace formally known: a process he hopes to help facilitate with his upcoming publication "NJ Anti-War agenda."
The prospective eight-page tabloid will encourage those who consider themselves anti-war to develop positions against what he calls the "endlessly escalating imperial wars."

“Everyone needs to be engaged in this: we’re in a dire predicament right now. Everyone needs to be shouting. We’ve got to figure out ways to get people energized,” Witanek said.

Please RT:

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Veterans and GI's are Anti-War Allies!

Submitted by Richard Moser, Author, New Winter Soldiers

If you want to stop war and challenge the empire then help our soldiers and veterans organize. 


Our soldiers and veterans carry special knowledge.  They have seen first hand the horror and futility of war.  What we understand as endless war, empire and occupation they know through  personal experience.  Today’s soldiers and veterans have been treated worse by the US government than any generation of soldiers in well over a century.

In an effort to hide the war from the US public the burden has fallen heavily on approximately 1% of the American population to go into combat.  That 1% sees far more combat than soldiers did in WWII or Vietnam or Korea.  Two, three, and more tours are not uncommon.  This is far more than humans can endure. The consequences in PTSD, suicides and casualties are more than tragic: this is the empire eating its own.

But soldiers and veterans also have so much to teach us:  they know the machine and the know how to organize.  Their training can teach us the kinds of dedication and discipline we need to build a mass movement with real power to disrupt the war machine.  Maybe most important they can teach us how we can recapture the revolutionary spirit that once made America truly great. With a little help from their friends soldiers and veterans can once again be leaders in a new anti-war movement.

Since the Vietnam War there has been an unbroken tradition of opposition to war from servicemembers, veterans and their families.  During the Vietnam Era soldiers protested, refused combat, insisted on discussing actions rather than simply following orders and resisted the war effort in ways large and small.  As veterans they organized the Vietnam Veterans against the War and came to lead the anti-war movement in the early 1970’s. The Veterans For Peace and Iraq Veterans Agains the War continue the struggle.

Want to help our service-members stand against war and the oppressive conditions of military life?  The tradition of resistance continues.  Start by supporting any of the following organizations:


IVAW (Iraq Veterans Agains the War)

VVAW (Vietnam Veterans Against the War)






Gold Star Families for Peace 

Given support and an opportunity to stand up for the kind of values and ideals that they really wanted to fight for, a new GI and veteran movement is ready to spring to life. We saw that movement come alive when the veterans supported the courageous water protectors at Standing Rock.  Reach out to soldiers and veterans, build a civilian movement to support them, and when there are many Standing Rocks the soldiers and veterans will answer the call.


Richard Moser is author of “New Winter Soldiers: GI and VeteranDissent During the Vietnam Era.”  Moser writes at befreedom.co  .

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Highland Park / New Brunswick – Central Jersey Coalition Leads Anti-War Vigils and Protest Rallies

HIGHLAND PARK / NEW BRUNSWICK
Anti-war Protest Coordination
Held Monthly Protest Vigil for 11 Years – Now on Standby to Organize Emergency Actions in Response to US War Escalations

Locations: Usually at Raritan Ave/Rt 27 north of the Albany Street Bridge in Highland Park
Alternate Locations: New Brunwswick at the corner of Albany & George Street or at “the Fountain” at the corner of Livingston Avenue and George Street

Contact:


Since 2004, the Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War has kept opposition to US war making in the spotlight in the Highland Park / New Brunswick communities.  Through 2015, the coalition maintained a monthly vigil on Raritan Ave/Rt 27 north of the Albany Street Bridge in Highland Park.  It began on April 14, 2004 to commemorate those who were killed after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March, 2003. Originally called the Iraq Memorial Wall Vigil, it included huge black panels with the name, age, rank, and date of every U.S. soldier killed. In 2008, the panels of the Wall became too numerous to continue to display on a weekly basis. However, the vigil continued another 6 years.

The coalition continues to organize protests at that site, and sometimes on the corner of Albany Street and George Street or at the Fountain on the corner of George Street and Livingston Avenue both in New Brunswick in response to US war escalations and threats,

According to one of the groups coordinators, Ellen Whitt:

"We look at the vigil and our group as against the endless war on working people at home and around the world.

We have a weekly announcement email list that includes many events in the Middlesex County area. People can sign up for this and it includes the time and place of our monthly Planning Meetings.  Contact noendlesswar@gmail.com   to join the contact list.

Every six weeks we sponsor Marc's Place Coffeehouse where we invite speakers to lead a discussion of important current issues including war, social justice and the environment. It also includes performances by area musicians and poets. The coffeehouse is nearly 12 years old. It brings together activists and people new to these issues to discuss how to fight back effectively."

Next Coffeehouse event:
Oct 21: Fighting Racism and Changing the System-Where Do We Go from Here

According to Ellen, top concerns as far as US war escalations go include:
“North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Middle East - Syria, Iraq, Palestinian”

However the coalition stands ready to respond to any and all such war threats as they surface.

Folks can plug in to help improve the effectiveness of the events and activities by:

Attending Planning Meetings to help plan future activities and our work with other groups, volunteerinh to help with the coffeehouse, helping with outreach (includes tabling at community events, distributing leaflets, social media).

According to Ellen, the Coalition works with many groups and is also formally part of other coalitions:

“We are members of the NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice and NJ Renews. We work with the local chapter of Jewish Voices for Peace, Food and Water Watch, New Labor, Interfaith-RISE (refugee resettlement), DIRE (Deportation and Rapid Response Equipo), among others.”

Related to the coalition’s opposition to war, the group also focuses on
“immigration, environmental, labor issues and issues related to the Middle East. We have frequently worked with both NJ Peace Action and the Coalition for Peace Action,” a
ccording to Ellen.

“We are generally trying to build stronger connections with local and regional groups on issues where we agree to expand our reach,” she added.

Most recently on Monday October 1, the coalition led a rally demanding "Money for Puerto Rico, Not for War!" at the corner of Albany and George in New Brunswick.

All those interested in helping to organize a better Central Jersey response to the US war threats are encouraged to contact Central Jersey Coalition AgainstEndless War today!

Also, please spread the word, contribute and attend:



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tutorial: How to Plan an Anti-War Protest

Planning an anti-war event

Care needs to be taken in organizing events in opposition to US warfare.  Having a well prepared plan, a good core group of organizers and participants, goals for the event, and an organizing strategy will greatly enhance success.  Some first steps include:

Determining the goals for the event. 
The following is a sample of possible goals:
- To express opposition - to deployment of naval fleet, selling of weapons, or bombings, etc.
- To educate the public - about a policy, consequences, expenses, and the overall disaster it will likely cause at home and abroad.
- To reach out to the local community - offering opportunities for participation.

Pick an appropriate location. 
Things to consider include:
- Safety
- Parking
- Visibility to vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
- Ability for interaction to share printed hand-outs and speak with passersby.
- A route to march from that location through visible markets and communities, if the opportunity for such event expansion presents itself.
- You can also pick a location that is appropriate for the issue you are addressing, such as in front of your elected officials' offices, at a recruitment center, at a Federal or State Building if you are asking for something from the Federal or State government, corporate headquarters for a company such as Boeing, etc, though the benefits of a strategic symbolism need to be weighed vs. potential community outreach.

Identify individuals and organizations with whom to partner. 
- Look for those who not only support the goals but are also willing to participate in organizing and publicizing the event.  A core group of 2 - 4 individuals is ideal to get things rolling.

Identify the organizations that are sympathetic toward anti-war sentiments and activities in the area.
- Identify the local schools, community centers, businesses (for instance, beauty parlors and barber shops),  places of worship, parks, housing developments, and other proximate opportunities that might aid in the distribution of information.

Identify "hooks and hot-buttons" that would engage the local population and invite participation by passersby.
- Identify the particular issues that are important to the local population and how it relates to the anti-war effort, if reasonably possible.
-  Identify any activities that would interest and bring in the people, such as artistic performances, open mic, and local activist speakers.


 Pick the date.
- The event date should be based upon the definite availability of you, the main organizer, and at least two or three others. 
- Try to ensure a small group is present when starting.   A group is far more likely to receive attention and interest from passersby than a few individuals.
- If your protest/vigil has 4 or fewer attendees, you can turn it into an "informational picket" where the attendees hand out fact sheets, etc.  Sometimes you can build a bigger crowd from passers by depending upon objective circumstances and your approach to the public.

 Plan the publicity.
A layered, multi-channel approach should be used:
- Social networking which could be used to reach individuals as well as organizations.
- Local media which could result in pre-event publicity as well as event-day coverage.
- On-the-ground pre-publicity directed at the local neighborhood through fliers and advance canvassing. 
- Event day live casting of (at least) key parts of the event and photographing the participation.  Use  hash tags on the photos, video, articles, etc. as well as on event signs.  This will make it easier for people to follow your organizing efforts.  (We use #NJAntiWarAgenda, for example.)
- Following the event, be sure to write and post reports with photos, blog, and generally use social networking to celebrate the successes of the event.

Have a time-lined plan for the event.

- The sequence, staffing, and estimated duration for poetry and music, presentations, speeches, info-booths, printed hand-outs, pedestrian engagement, etc.
-  Organizers should have a means to gather the contact information of participants and anyone who shows interest.
- If you are planning to have speakers, it is important to organize a sequence of speakers at your protest, beginning with the most important speaker or the speaker addressing the most important topic, make sure that you have several speakers at the beginning who will describe the whole story within the first 10 - 15 minutes of your program. It is usually useful to ask speakers to stick to a time limit -- whether it be 5 or 10 minutes per person-- just so you can have some measure of control over the program. Be intentional about the people you invite, the topics you want them to cover and the effectiveness of the speakers you choose. 

Material Support

A small amount of funds could make the event more successful.  The following are some items that might need to be purchased to make the event more visible and have a more coherent message:
- Poster board and markers.  You can have pre-made signs or you can allow participants to make their own signs as they arrive.  You should have suggested slogans but encourage them also to express their own anti-war agenda on their signs.
– If the topic is likely to be revisited at future protests, banners with demands, the names of participating organizations and #HashTag phrases that you are using to brand your events could be helpful.
 – About 100 copies of half sheet fliers (cut in 2 to make 200) – depending upon the amount of pedestrian and vehicular traffic are key in communicating a clearer message to those you encounter during your event.
– A sound system – it could be a bullhorn or a more sophisticated rechargeable battery pack sound kit - makes for a more coherent rally type event and gives you an opportunity to address those hanging around, walking by or in vehicles passing the event.  They can be rented, purchased or borrowed from seasoned activists who happen to have their own sound set up.

Literature:

It is important to have a written piece explaining the purpose of the protest, including contact information what demands you are expressing.  Include information about how to join your group on social networks.  Hand outs promoting a local event are encouraged.  NJ Anti-War Agenda will be made available for this purpose to distribute at your events – contact 908-881-5275 to arrange to get a bundle.

Permit:

While you do not need a permit for a protest on public sidewalks and right-of-ways for protected free speech, many towns have local ordinances against sound amplification.  While the constitutionality of such ordinances is questionable, sometimes it is easier to acquire a permit or to at least communicate to local officials or police to minimize the possibility of having your activity shut down or curtailed.  Those experienced with organizing events in the town or city you are operating in can advise on whether or not a permit is advisable.  If a permit is required, especially for sound, it is important to find out how long it usually takes to get that permit and plan the date of your event accordingly to allow yourself enough time to get the permit.

Organizing:

These events should not be pop-up events but should be tied to an organizing drive in the neighborhood.  Ideally supporters of the event should work the areas earlier on the day of and in the days and weeks in between events – to talk about the protests, the reasons and how they relate to the struggles of those in the neighborhood.  The goal is to build a movement that engages the entire community – not simply to take a principled stand.  The demand is stronger when it is backed by genuine community support.

Add a social component.
- If possible, invite folks to meet afterwards for a casual chat at a local restaurant or cafe.  Keep the organizing light but do touch on the next steps.  Determine if anyone is interested in helping to organize future events.
We can help you.

NJ Anti-War Agenda is networked with a number of organizers with experience in arranging events, so help is just a phone call away at 908-881-5275.

We are partnered with the following organizations that have also been instrumental in such organizing - you can contact these organizations as well for support and assistance in putting these events together:
NJ Peace Action (973)876-1023

Peoples Organization for Progress  (973)801-0001

Green Party of NJ
Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War  (
732)771-7882

Jersey City Peace Movement Protest @ Journal Square Last Sunday of Every Month

Highland Park / New Brunswick – Central Jersey Coalition Leads Anti-War Vigils and Protest Rallies