Earth Democracy: Our Bold Agenda for the State of the UnionPublished on February, 47 2018
A lunch group of WILPF members who attended the historic “Closing U.S. Military and NATO Bases in Foreign Countries” conference held in Baltimore on January 12-14, 2018. Front row: Alan Shorb and Nuri Ronaghy, Ojai, CA. Back row: Jeanne Sears, Baltimore; Dianne Blais, Virginia; Nancy Price, Sacramento; Katherine Flaherty, DC; Robin Lloyd, Burlington. Photo: Ellen Thomas
By Nancy Price
For a world of peace and freedom, mark your calendars and plan for spring actions for people and the planet! From now to the primaries and on to the fall “midterm” elections, time to speak truth to power. Time to change the story and set forth our bold agenda for the “state of the union” and how we’ll make “our dream” a reality for:
Peace and Freedom
Nancy Price, representing WILPF US, joined the Coordinating Committee for the historic “Closing U.S. Military and NATO Bases in Foreign Countries” conference, www.noforeignbases.org, held in Baltimore on January 12-14, 2018, launched by the new Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases. The conference was a sequel to the 2016 and 2017 World Beyond War conferences
Ellen Thomas of Disarm/End War kept watch over the WILPF table and WILPF US members joined peace advocates from across the country and Nepal, Cuba, Congo, South Korea, Ireland, Canada, Germany, the Philippines, and Okinawa in Baltimore.
Nancy organized the “Environment and Health” plenary specifically to highlight impact on the health of military and civilian base personnel and surrounding communities not just from the better-known impacts of nuclear weapons, Agent Orange, Depleted Uranium and chemical/ biological agents, but from the “alphabet soup” of air, land, and water pollution from bases that contributes to accumulating body burden and impacts prenatal development and to disease throughout our lives.
As WILPF member Patricia Hynes, who spoke, makes clear in "The Polluter Is Not Paying", it’s almost impossible to hold the US military and government responsible and accountable in the US or anywhere else. Marie Cruz on the Navy Base in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and Susan Schnall on Vietnam made clear how many decades it took to negotiate some clean-up and compensation. Furthermore, as extreme weather pummels US installations, contamination and buried munitions are uncovered and spread.
Please read and consider signing the “Unity Statement” at noforeignbases.org and scroll down on the home page.
From a War Economy to a Peace Economy
We must change the story of empire based on military intervention and war to protect national security, human rights, and democracy around the world. For a start, the conference passed resolutions proposing a united day of actions April 14-15 and a Global Conference Against U.S. and NATO Military Bases sometime this fall.
Can we break from war? Not if we allow current top generals rooted in their belief that the Vietnam War was not lost by the military, but by civilian policymakers who resisted staying longer and unleashing greater destruction. As Danny Sjursen explains, we are moving from Vietnam to the War on Terror to what’s called Generational War, intractable wars of long duration and immense destruction with China and Russia added to the list of enemies.
People and the Planet
A peace economy would fund human needs and protect Mother Earth. On World Water, Tax and Earth Days, we’ll reject the administration’s narrative of deregulation that endangers our families, communities and the planet, undermines healthcare for all and the social safety net, and expose the new Infrastructure Plan as the colossal giveaway of our tax dollars and public funds that it is, allowing corporations and Wall Street to profit from privatization and the deregulation of environmental protections. Read this five-point exposé of the administration’s “big scam” of drinking water systems, but remember all infrastructure—highways, bridges, ports, and much else—is included as corporate profit centers.
For these days of action and as the election season heats up, we’ll provide you background materials and “Ask the Candidate” questions.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help writing these materials.