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,

Facebook Group:

Please Retweet:

1 comment: