ONE WILPF: Standing in solidarity across WILPF US, April 22, 2017Published on April, 56 2017
Solidarity events are moving forward in 26 branches across the US, and the benefits for WILPF US and for our branches are wide-ranging. Turns out, Solidarity is fun and empowering. These events connect us to one another and to new allies in our communities. They raise our visibility and amplify our voices.
The theme that members chose is Peace & Planet Before Profit. Every participating branch will take and share a photo of that branch with a banner or sign that features the theme, which was chosen by member vote on the ONE WILPF Calls. The theme connects the issues of Climate Justice, Environmental Concerns, Women & Human Rights, Peace, Militarism, Disarmament, and the importance of #MoveTheMoney from a war economy to an ethical budget that addresses the real human needs of the majority of Americans. These issues are deeply entwined, but that connection is invisible to most Americans. On Earth Day, WILPF US is pointing out the glue that holds them together.
View all photos submitted by WILPF US Branches here.
It’s NOT too late to get engaged. For more information, email email@example.com.
- Make a basic sign that says [your location] WILPF demands Peace & Planet Before Profits.
- Bring your sign to the local Earth Day events.
- Order some CLIMATE JUSTICE+WOMEN+PEACE Infographic cards to hand out (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Talk to people about the military budget overshadowing all human needs in our nation’s budget.
- Talk about the historic Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty being negotiated right now at the United Nations, with 123 nations demanding to BAN the BOMB!
- Start organizing now for a June 17 Women’s March to Ban the Bomb in your town, and sign people up on April 22! Bring a clipboard and sign folks up to march with you on June 17.
- Stay in touch with people who sign up, between now and then, so they remember. Perhaps hold a social gathering to discuss their concerns about peace, the planet, corporate takeover of our democracy, and nuclear weapons. Host a potluck in a church basement, or arrange a casual meeting in a coffee shop. Listen well. Being heard empowers people and encourages them to share leadership.
A Milestone for WILPF US
This is the first time in anyone’s memory that WILPF US branches have coordinated across the nation on a single theme and spoken with one voice on an issue. This is building our skills for strategic collaboration that takes advantage of our national and international identity. Exercising our solidarity muscles in a few coordinated Solidarity Events during the year will not only strengthen our national visibility, but will also have benefits for the individual branches.
Community Building—Many of our branches are experienced collaborators, but some are not. And some who do collaborate do so with only a narrow group of fellow peace activists, “the usual suspects.” This theme, which crosses many issues and connects them powerfully, offers the opportunity to connect with environmentalists, women’s rights activists, city domestic abuse shelters, human trafficking programs, education advocates, labor activists, the local scientific community, health care proponents, and human rights activists, including refugees and immigration rights. We’ve encouraged branches also to engage with local artists, schools and universities, drama classes, and musicians. We hope branches are making these connections. They will serve us well as we move forward.
Gaining Visibility—Participating branches will help us raise visibility nationally, because we will be posting the banner and sign photos of all our branches the weekend of April 22. But, by reaching out to new allies and forming new collaborations, we’ll also be increasing the connections and amplifying our voices in our local communities. The media will be contacted, both by the participating branches and by WILPF US, to underscore the importance and solidarity of this event.
Gaining New Members—Branches can certainly use this event, even if it’s just the banner photo, to gain support from community members who stand with us on this issue, even if they have not yet joined WILPF. Asking others in the community to be part of your event, or to stand with you for the group photo, can stir their awareness of WILPF and increase their potential commitment to joining us.
When People See Us in Action, they understand more clearly who we are and what we stand for, and they are more likely to join us. These Solidarity Events are putting our mission and theories about peace and planet into action.
What’s Next? June 17—Women’s March to Ban the Bomb!
In a rare moment of outreach, International WILPF’s Disarmament Program Reaching Critical Will has asked for collaboration and solidarity from our WILPF US branches.
Big News! Right now, following a decade or more of quiet, patient diplomacy by Reaching Critical Will staff, over 123 non-nuclear nations are gathered at the UN to negotiate a historic Nuclear Ban Treaty. This is not a nonproliferation treaty or a nuclear test ban treaty. This is a treaty that aims to abolish nuclear weapons once and for all. Despite the heavy-handed efforts on the part of the US to oppose these negotiations, they are going forward. The world is finally standing up to the nine nuclear nations and saying Enough Is Enough.
The New York–based Reaching Critical Will staff, with Ray Acheson leading, is planning a June 17 rally and march in New York City, the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb. The point is to raise awareness for this treaty negotiation in a nation where our media has squelched any effort to let Americans know that the world is finally reaching critical will on this issue. Ray Acheson is asking US WILPF branches to organize sister branches in cities where we have a presence, and to use these marches as a way of raising awareness of this historic treaty and the determination of most of the world to take steps to abolish nuclear weapons.
This June 17 event will probably be the second Solidarity Event we take on as ONE WILPF. The majority of call participants during the March ONE WILPF CALL voted in favor of acting in solidarity with Reaching Critical Will to organize these local “sister marches.”
Start planning now for June 17. We can help! Sign up to help organize this in your community, as an individual at-large member, or as a branch. Send an email to email@example.com with the subject line “Sign Me Up.”
The 26 WILPF US branches (in no particular order) participating in the April 22 Solidarity Event are:
Greater Phoenix, AZ
Greater Philadelphia, PA
Peninsula/Palo Alto, CA
Monterey County, CA
Humboldt County, CA
Essex County, NJ
East Bay, CA
San Jose, CA
San Francisco, CA
St. Louis, MO
Des Moines, IA
Ann Arbor, MI
Santa Cruz, CA