Sunday, January 28, 2018

NJ is Uniting Against US Wars At Home and Abroad – All Out Saturday February 3, 11am-1pm, MLK Monument, Newark

Contact: Bob Witanek 908-881-5275

A growing chorus of NJ organizations are getting behind a “NJ Anti War Agenda” initiative to hold monthly protests at the MLK monument in Newark to respond to what supporters believe is a growing US war drive targeting “nations and people throughout the planet,” for war and war threats according to one of the organizers, Bob Witanek.

The initiative grew out of a proposal approved at a December meeting of the Peoples Organization for Progress, an organization with weekly meetings at the Abysinnian Baptist Church in Newark.

The protests will occur the first Saturday of each month, from 11 am to 1pm at the Martin Luther King Monument on MLK Boulevard, near Old Records Hall.  The first one is scheduled for this Saturday, February 3rd.

The theme of the monthly protests is to “End US Wars at Home and Abroad.”

The protesters are responding to “rising threats of what they are calling “US War” against Korea, growing reports of atrocities and suffering in Yemen, the US support for “questionable” election results in Honduras and the “repressive” conditions there in the aftermath, plans to occupy Syria with 30000 US soldiers, a surge of more troops into Afghanistan, the US planned move of its embassy to Jerusalem, and other aspects that the war opponents believe are threatening greater amounts of US sponsored warfare around the planet, according to Witanek.

He further states that the sponsoring groups are also committed to ending “the US war at home against its own people, including the neglect of adequate relief in Puerto Rico, lack of full support for the needs of Newark’s impoverished community, growing ICE operations against NJ’s immigrant communities and the resulting detention and deportations and other actions.”

According to Lawrence Hamm, chair of Peoples Organization for Progress, “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.”

In addition to Peoples Organization for Progress and NJ Anti War Agenda, the monthly protests are being supported by NJPeace Action, Green Party of New Jersey, Socialist Party USA of NJ, IndustrialUnion Council of New JerseyUnion County Peace Council and Rutgers Students for Justice in Palestine.  Organizers state that there are several other organizations preparing to join in such support and that interested groups should call or text 908-881-5275.

According to Bob Witanek, the monthly protests are part of an organizing drive to reach out to the local colleges, high schools, religious institutions, communities that are in close proximity to the protest site at the MLK monument,

“We aim this to be more than a monthly pop-up protest.  We plan to work with students, local residents, community concerns committees of religious and civics groups, local businesses,  other local entities and the downtown Newark street traffic to invite participation and to explain the goals of the protests.  In addition to our anti-war themes, we will be presenting information about other related local struggles and providing music, poetry, theatrical and other artistic performances as part of the monthly events.”

Witanek states that copies of the newspaper entitled #NJAntiWarAgenda will be made available for no charge to attenders and visitors to the protests.  Local residents are also invited to stop by to have pictures taken with the signs and banners, even if they do not have time to attend the full length of the monthly events, according to Witanek.

Witanek states that the protest is entirely legal and that NJ Anti War Agenda possesses a sound permit for the events.

Opposition to US wars was also a theme of the recent Peoples Organization for Progress Annual MLK March on January 15 that started at ended at the same MLK monument with a couple hundred participating.

Those interested in participating and endorsing should call 908-881-5275, write to and visit,

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Goals for First Saturday Monthly Newark Antiwar Rallies

At a recent Peoples Organization for Progress (POP) meeting, the proposal for a monthly antiwar protest at the MLK Monument on MLK Boulevard, near old Records Hall, near the corner of Springfield Avenue and MLK Boulevard was approved.  The protests will occur on the first Saturday of each month,from 11 am- 1 pm.  Newark has confirmed that it was mailing the sound permit for these events.

The next one is scheduled for Saturday, February 3.

On Facebook:

For information or to find out how to become part of this organizing project, call or text 908-881-5275.

The idea of the monthly protests is not to be just a pop up protest - where we show up for an hour or two once a month and then disappear until the next month.  The idea instead is for an ongoing anti-war organizing drive in the area with the protest being a monthly exclamation point.  The following are some of the ideas for goals and aims of the effort:

Goals of monthly antiwar protest at MLK monument:

Establish connection to following students:
Arts HS and St. Benedict Prep:  Are there social concerns group sthere?  Any faculty advisors that could host our presentation to students?  Leaflet outside school?

Essex County College:  What are the activist groups?  Leafleting on campus.  Meet w/ students in cafeteria?  Find one or more point persons to work with there.

Rutgers Newark: Same as Essex County College

Religious institutions – start with ¼ mile radius from rally site – letter to presiding reverend, Imam, etc. any social concerns committee?  Extend invitation to participate – offer to speak to social concerns groups

Local businesses: Identify local barber and beauty shops where #NJAntiWarAgenda can be left – leave 15 – 20 at a time and replenish regularly

Music / Poetry / Performance Art: Solicit performances.  If possible offer modest stipends for local youth performers

Youth meetings: Develop rapport with local youth organizers, offer modest stipend for task like setting up a meeting with their friends at a pizza shop to discuss the events and participation

Pizza: As it gets warmer – we can encourage those who can not make it to the protest to pay for and have pizza delivered to the protest site.  This could be toward the end of the event – and if the weather is tenable we can share the pizza from the benches at the site.

Canvassing: Have leafleting and canvassing of community– starting with a ¼ mile radius.  Identify and leaflet at the closes housing to the event including any public housing.

Relationships with community organizations: A letter to all community activist groups explaining the purpose of the event and inviting participation and sharing of information about related struggles

Support for the POP membership recruitment drive coordinated by Steven Hatcher: This would  included assisting and supporting POP’s anti-war aspects and the monthly rally at those rectuiting sessions at Broad and Market on Saturdays

Over all – developing a working relationship with the community for a ¼ mile radius so that we are not just pop up protests that come once a month and disappear so that folks can know of the purpose and feel that the protests are part of the community and they are part of the protests even if they are unable to participate regularly.

Folks interested in this effort or if you have suggestions or feedback:

Call / text 908-881-5275
Write to

Thursday, January 4, 2018

All Out Jan 15, Newark, NJ: NO! to US Nuclear (or Any) War on Korea!

Event on Facebook

Happy new year from the US Government:

The former head of the joint chiefs of staff is stating that the US is closer to nuclear war with Korea than ever before; at right is what CNN looked like as midnight approached on New Years Eve.  Soon that was picked up by the media as the top story – sensationalist but absolutely horrifying.

Next day: Trump is telling us he has a button bigger than Korea’s, and we are supposed to proceed about our day – at work, school, in the home, and on the streets – like we are not possibly weeks away from ending most life on the planet!

Recall that recently Russia and China have tried to softly explain to the US that it can not attack Korea, Russia offering to set up negotiations and China trying to warn the US off.  Do you know what that means?

They got them too – and they will retaliate!  A nuclear attack on Korea is a dirty bomb attack on China and Russia given their close proximity to the radiation fall out – depending on the winds that follow any such attack. It is actually an “attack on our own people” because the radiation will travel back to US colonized islands in the Pacific and Hawaii, as well as the US mainland; winds blow and air, including radiation poisoned air, travels!

No, we cannot walk around like nothing is wrong. We need to protest in the loudest and most uncertain terms – NO TO ANY AND ALL US ATTACK ON KOREA – END US MILITARY THREATENING OPERATIONS IN THE REGION – WITHDRAW THE 3 CARRIER WAR FLEET FROM KOREAN AREA SEAS!

Fortunately in Newark, NJ, as it so happens, THERE ALREADY IS AN ANTIWAR PROTEST planned for Monday, January 15, at noon at the MLK monument.  This march, primarily organized by the People's Organization for Progress but supported by dozens of organizations, is part of the traditional annual march in Newark to commemorate and carry forward the struggles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This year the theme is:


The march and rally is multi-theme – one of the themes being anti-war.

I am imploring everyone that sees themselves as a peace or antiwar activist who is still in the struggle for peace to participate or otherwise concretely support this event.  Folks should also mobilize around all of the other themes, but let's make sure that we say a RESOUNDING "NO!" to the latest call for worldwide annihilation and against the call for nuclear war on Korea with signs and banners.

At this event we will carry the following banner that also promotes the going forward plan of a monthly protest at this same site – the first Saturday of each month from 11am-1pm.

(Interested in organizing protests at other sites against US war and threats?  Click here.)

We will be inviting all participants to have their pictures taken with the banner as a means to promote the monthly protests on everyone’s social network sites!

Let's build on the unity of this event and use it as an opportunity to show that NJ SAYS NO TO WAR WITH KOREA – NUCLEAR OR WAR OF ANY OTHER SORT!

Of course as always our protest is not just about Korea! The US is engaging in wars of one sort or another on every corner of the planet, including on its own people on the streets: massive theft they call tax cuts, neglect of the health and safety needs of the people, lack of support for Puerto Rico's recovery, ignoring the heating needs of the impoverished during these vicious winter days, the overall turning of backs on the needs of the people in every area, and on top of that, the growing daily violence toward the people, including violence of police with impunity, immigration agency crackdowns,and the growing insecurity of everyone!

To explain the issues touched on in the banner:

·        the reference to Honduras is that the US recently backed a very likely fraud of an election there, after previously supporting a coup and a prior veneer of an electoral fraud. We call for democracy for the Honduran people so they can determine their own future and oppose US involvement and support for fraud there;

·        the Palestinian activist depicted in the corner is Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh.  His legs had been blown off in an Israeli air strike a few years back.  On December 15 an Israeli sniper finished the assassination shooting Mr. Thurayeh in the head!  The banner honors him, and the depiction is a call for the rescinding of the Jerusalem US embassy decision, an immediate halt to US supported Israeli bombings in Gaza, and an end to the US supported Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

·       Of course, Diane Beeny’s expertly drawn sign in the upper left calls for diplomacy, not war, regarding Korea and Iran.

We ask that everyone who comes show support for the banner by making sure that they have their picture taken with the banner, sharing the picture in their networks,and making plans to attend and support the monthly rallies. The next one is on February 3.

The hot off the press NJ Anti War Agenda, a printed 8 page tabloid, will be distributed on the street for the first time at the January 15 event. You may take individual copies for your own reading or sets of them for distribution. Any donations collected by you in distributing the paper can be used for your own or your group’s organizing expenses.    (Join on Facebook) Text 908-881-5275 for distribution info.

I also want to implore all to click the link below and select one or more of the organizations – including the sponsoring organization of this rally, People's Organization for Progress, which has provided sound for many of the anti-war rallies that occurred in NJ in 2017 – to make financial contributions.  The masters of war that will reap billions spend millions to prop up their war agenda and we try to rag tag it with volunteerism and passing the hat at events. We need to pump some serious "no strings attached" funds into the streets to the organizations mobilizing against war so that we can stand a chance to block the US attack on Korea that could end us all.

Please forward this link and do everything you can to support and participate in this event.

Please comprehend these lyrics and let this song motivate your anti-war behavior in the weeks ahead:

Song Against US War on Korea

We got nuclear armed subs patrolling their coast

But we all like to think he is the maddest the most
We threatened to take him out Every other day
And then we get bent when he says He'll make us pay
B1s take off from the island of Guam
To harass the Koreans make them worry about the bomb
With 3 air craft carriers and a nuclear armed fleet
An ever imminent threat to bring the nuclear heat
The US dropping bombs all over the earth
With no concern about what life is worth
But they keep shouting it from the TV set
About the Mad Korean and his nuclear threat
The threat that is real to the entire world
Preemptive US attack to start the death swirl
Because China and Russia are not going to wait
They got em too so they'll retaliate
And when the first US city is in a mushroom cloud
With 1000s more on the way - funeral shroud
They said the Korean was mad but it matters no more
Because the world was incinerated in a nuclear war

Banner has been picked up:

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