United For Peace and Justice organizes its activities around several major areas of work. Some of this work are key programmatic focuses that are supported by working groups. Other issue are ones that we care deeply about and do what we can to support by amplifying the work of member groups or engaging in solidarity actions as needed. Key Program Focuses: Iraq: UFPJ has, throughout its history, strongly called for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, and calls on the Obama administration to move forward with troop withdrawal immediately. UFPJ continues to take action as needed to end the US military and economic occupation. Afghanistan: Since September 2001, U.S. military forces — under the auspices of NATO action — have waged war in Afghanistan; and now, in the name of fighting the ‘good’ war, the Democratic Party, which controls Congress and the White House, has promised escalation in Afghanistan. UFPJ is taking a lead in exposing and stopping the horrors and costs of nine years of irrational, illegal, counter-productive, and deadly military action. The war in Afghanistan has brought neither security nor a reduction of terrorist groups nor freedom for the women of that country. Thousands of civilians have been killed and the already-weakened infrastructure is being further destroyed. Thousands of U.S. troops have been killed and deaths will rise. UFPJ calls for an immediate withdrawal of U.S./ NATO forces from Afghanistan with a negotiated just settlement involving Afghans, neighboring countries and international parties. The Afghanistan Working Group connects antiwar organizers from both national and local peace organizations. We develop action plans, share information about the Afghanistan war and the movement to end it, and lift up successful antiwar work. We participate in a monthly series of vigils at congressional offices, send action alerts on developments and Congressional action to UFPJ supporters, and produce literature and gather resources. We have a discussion listserv and a biweekly conference call. Write to join our listserv or write for information. The AWG’s convenors are Cole Harrison of United for Justice with Peace (Boston) and Janet Weil of Code Pink. Click here for the Afghanistan Working Group webpage, with resources, fact sheets, etc. Nuclear Disarmament/Redefining Security: This August will mark the 65th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the threatened use of nuclear weapons remains at the heart of U.S. militarism. Despite his soaring rhetoric, President Obama has recently requested “well over” $180 Billion over the next ten years to maintain and modernize nuclear warheads and their delivery systems, and a nuclear weapons complex including new bomb factories in New Mexico, Tennessee and Missouri. The administration is also promoting a “renaissance” in nuclear energy including new uranium mining on Navajo land. We spent a full year organizing and mobilizing with international partners for amajor conference, rally, march and peace festival in connection with the recently concluded month-long Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in New York City. The NPT Conference did not produce the breakthrough we were hoping for and we will forge ahead as part of a growing and intensifying international campaign working for a treaty to abolish nuclear weapons. In a recent breakthrough, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously called on Congress to slash spending on nuclear weapons and redirect funds to meet the urgent needs of cities. We believe that nuclear disarmament should serve as the leading edge of a global trend towards demilitarization and redirection of resources to meet human needs and protect the environment. Please join us! — Convener: Jackie Cabasso, War Funding and More – Legislative Working Group: What We Do: Our working group helps to connect people and groups across the country who are pressuring Congress to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to redirect military spending to domestic needs. Effective Congressional work requires more coordination than other antiwar activities. Individual members of Congress are most likely to respond positively, if colleagues are encountering similar pressure from constituents. People who looking for ways to move Congress have found it helpful to be aware of approaches that are being used around the country. By connecting to the Legislative Working Group, you can receive and share information about the varied initiatives that are being implemented. Joining Legislative Working Group: Just send an email to: –give your name, organization (if any), names of Congressional Rep and Senators. If I Join This List-Serve Will I Drown in Emails and Requests for money? No. But we will keep you updated on relevant developments in Congress, information about what other national and local groups are doing, announcements of “call-in days,” vigils and other forms of protest as well as useful resources. You will also be invited to participate in occasional conference calls. Co Conveners: Gael Murphy CODEPINK and Rusti Eisenberg Brooklyn for Peace To call your member of Congress and ask them to join the Out of Afghanistan Caucus, stop funding the wars and bring the troops home,Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121. OTHER KEY AREAS OF WORK Military Spending –There are a number of member groups working to develop campaigns to fund jobs and human needs by cutting the military budget. The Peace Economy Project has been hosting regular strategy calls and a number of groups are collaborating on a workshop at the US Social Forum. We like the idea of collaborating on a grassroots campaign that can rebuild a base, expand lists and put pressure on policy makers to shift our economy to jobs and justice not war. Solidarity Work and Building Alliances: The UFPJ network encourages member groups to reach out to and build relationships with the labor, environment and immigrant rights communities. We are exploring/pursuing collaborations or solidarity actions as they come up. UFPJ will also continue to educate and take action to prevent or respond to crises as they happen–whether it be the global gathering for climate justice in Bolivia, the racist law in Arizona or the deadly attack against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. UFPJ wants to keep our network informed and connected. Palestine/Israel: We will continue to work to end U.S. military and economic aid to Israel that facilitates the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the apartheid policies of the Israeli government. The recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Humanitarian Flotilla has opened up a new moment where the possibility of changing the US policy is greater that ever. UFPJ will continue to support efforts to end US support for the occupation of Palestine Truth-In-Recruitment/GI Resisters/Military Families: We support organizing and peaceful opposition by those in uniform — including military resisters — to illegal policies of aggressive war, occupation, and violations of the Geneva Accords and international standards. This includes strengthening our work with military families, veterans, and truth-in- recruitment efforts, as well as demanding the troops be fully cared for when they get home. Civil Liberties/Torture/Immigrant Rights/Accountability: The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan distort our nation’s priorities and are inseparable from the ‘war at home’: the undermining of democracy, and the attacks on immigrants, youth, people of color, the poor, women, LGBT people, and working people. The undermining of civil liberties has deepened the general erosion of democracy in the country: the ripping away of voting rights, attacks on the rights of workers and immigrants, attacks on human/civil rights (including those of women, gay/lesbian/bisexual/ transgendered (LGBT) people, people of color, and ethnic and religious minorities), and the deepening assault on the environment. The struggle for peace is essentially bound up with the struggle for democracy, and for social and economic justice in the U.S. Building alliances between constituencies based on common needs and solidarity remains essential to winning concrete victories for justice at home and peace around the world. Climate Justice: The US military is the largest consumer of fossil fuels and thus the greatest contributor to co2 emmission. UFPJ understands that unless we can stem the militarization of our world, we will not be able to save the planet . We will continue to educate and take action in solidarity with impacted communities as needed.