Justice Before Peace Statement On The Coming War With IranJun 19, 2020
To our fellow Americans,
(Who would rather be spending time with our families or enjoying our hard earned rest than working double-shifts, dealing with wage theft and our land-lord’s bullshit while listening to people pretend that America hasn’t always been this.)
It is with a heavy heart and more than a little disgust that we write this letter to you. It appears that the executive branch of the U.S government--the same one currently impeached for abuses of power and obstruction of justice--is gearing up for another unilateral and nonsensical war. We all know what this is, because we have experienced this before. We know that the talking heads speaking about security are really talking about money, for them and not for us. Their “security” never means making sure we are not living paycheck to paycheck, that our kids aren’t shot at school, or that our water isn’t poisoned.
When we ask for clean water or safe schools we get water bottles and classrooms that resemble prisons. We have seen this. Over and over again. A nation based on the exploitation of working people, immigrants, women, indigenous people and enslaved people stolen from Africa cannot export a freedom or a democracy it has never experienced. A President with no respect for the rule of law, no respect for other people’s bodies, no respect for his own military’s code of conduct is fundamentally incapable of orchestrating a war that ends in anything other than savagery, trauma, debt and increasing regional instability.
For the sake of our future, our moral integrity and, honestly, our own sanity we have to stop pretending that this isn’t the American way. A nation of laws wouldn't have let Mike Brown’s Killer, or Rekia Boyd’s killer, or Trayvon Martin's Killer or Sandra Bland’s Killer go free. A nation of truth would not have lied its way into a war that cost trillions of dollars and millions of lives. A nation of freedom could not prove so consistently unwilling to secure its citizens freedom from fear and freedom from want. A democracy would be required to get the consent of the people before it launched war in their name. Yet, this is how this country maintains power: war, not justice; propaganda, not truth; and the exportation of death, not freedom is the American way as far as our government is concerned.
The Americans for whom the experiment in democracy has failed, who have been forced to live at the bottom of the city on the hill, who have gotten the taxation but never the representation, all we can do is stand with the people in Iran whose leaders never consulted them either. All we can do is build with our people in our communities who know these tactics: attacking our culture, gaslighting our leaders, and policing our streets with false justifications of new security measures and sudden budgetary constraints that will be the domestic front of any new war. Anything built without us was not meant for us.
Protest if you want to protest. Write your congress person if you have one (#DCStatehood). But know, that at the end of the day, #WeKeepUsSafe. Vietnam and massive protests against Iraq have shown us that protests and speaking out is necessary but can’t stop war. We cannot make them care about the lives of everyday people. We cannot stop the wheels of military-industrial-complex with marches… but that doesn’t make us powerless.
The first step to organizing people to stop fighting their wars, building their bombs and feeding their greed is give our neighbors in the war industries an alternative. We can speak out and reject the simplistic notion that their opponents are our enemies. We can educate ourselves and our neighbors about Iran and the real interests in the region. We can disrupt the business of companies that profit from war until peace is better for their bottom line. If we organize mutual aid we can create alternative economies to help ensure that we have the food, water, belonging and community that we deserve. Strong communities with the ability to resist poverty drafts and mobilize to turn swords into plowshares are the only true guarantees to safety.
Never forget that while the gears of war can turn without our consent they cannot turn without our labor.
We, as always, are all we have. Stay connected and safe together.
Justice Before Peace co-founders:
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
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