December 2, 2013
Dear Friend of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy,
We write to ask for your support at a moment when protests and struggles for justice, freedom and ecological survival are erupting throughout the world. These struggles are embattled – whether they are Egyptians from the “third square” movement resisting both the military government and the Muslim Brotherhood, or Syrians trying to build an alternative to the murderous Assad regime on one side and jihadi-type fundamentalists on the other. In Greece, people continue to fight both fascists and a government that nourishes them with its relentless austerity policies. In Iran the struggle for freedom has not yet been won, but recent elections expressed the hopes of the majority for democratic reform.
We need your help to continue our work in support of those movements at this critical time. Information on how to donate is on our web pageand at the end of this letter.
In the United States, an enormous part of the population, maybe even a majority, is in varying degrees hostile to military interventionism abroad and ever-worsening corporate domination, erosion of civil liberties, and economic inequality at home. We’ve seen the birth of a movement for a $15 an hour minimum wage, strikes and protests by low wage workers at Walmart and other employers, courageous immigrant struggles, and widespread revulsion at the government’s vast surveillance program.
New York’s mayoral elections in November showed that people were fed up with Bloomberg’s racist “stop and frisk” regime and his stubborn defense of the 1%. Polls show that even socialism is no longer the taboo it once was. In Seattle a socialist candidate won a seat on the city council, and in Minneapolis another socialist came close to doing the same. But it’s clear that U.S. politics remains trapped in a political system that is committed to the prosperity and power of corporate and military elites domestically and throughout the world. To challenge and ultimately to break this stranglehold, we still have major struggles ahead.
CPD believes that the first step towards the creation of an alternative to war and oppression is to promote solidarity among movements for peace, human rights and social and environmental justice within the United States and across national boundaries throughout the world – including solidarity with democratic forces in countries whose rulers are at odds with the U.S. government.
Below are some of our 2013 activities:
Striking Greek teachers
- For the second year, our co-directors went on a fact-finding and solidarity trip to Greece, the country serving as the testing ground for extreme austerity in the West. We participated in a rally on the occasion of Greek Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos’s visit, and we collected signatures for three petitions – in support of the anti-fascist struggle in Greece, in support of striking Greek teachers, and in defense of Savvas Michael-Matsas and Constantine Moutzouris, both sued by the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn. Michael-Matsas was the target of an anti-Semitic campaign calling him "an agent of the international Jewish conspiracy against the Greek nation who is trying to provoke a civil war in order to establish a Jewish-Bolshevik regime."
- We demonstrated with the AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement at the Greek Consulate to protest racism, homophobia and violence. We co-sponsored a rally on the anniversary of the 1967 coup that brought the brutal regime of the colonels to power, and joined a protest against the Greek Minister of “Public Order and Citizen Protection.” We arranged a meeting for SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras with editors and staff at The Nation, and co-sponsored a forum with SYRIZA-NY, "Neoliberalism and Working Class Resistance in Greece." In June we co-sponsored three panels on the Greek crisis at the Left Forum.
EDWARD SNOWDEN AND CHELSEA MANNING
- CPD worked in the 1980's to enlist U.S. anti-war and labor movements in defense of the rights of Solidarity activists against government repression. This year we translated into English and submitted to The Nation an "Open Letter in Defense of Edward Snowden" by four prominent former Polish Solidarity leaders. In August we asked people to sign petitions to Obama to pardon Chelsea Manning.
- We issued a statement “We Oppose Both a U.S.-led Attack on Syria And the Brutal Regime of Bashar al–Assad. We Support a Democratic Syrian Revolution!” and in August we asked people to call their member of Congress and tell them to vote against an attack on Syria. We organized a Syria roundtablewith Thomas Harrison, Joanne Landy, Molly Nolan, Michael Karadjis, David McReynolds, Assaf Kfoury, US Labor Against the War (with a comment by Michael Eisenscher), Salameh Kaileh, and Joseph Daher in response to a personal statement from Harrison and Landy. (For more on Syria, see videos and transcripts from the Middle East North Africa Solidarity Network-US teach-in “Syria in the Context of the Arab Uprisings.”)
- We joined a September rally sponsored by Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions and State Repression, directed to both President Obama and President Rouhani. We supported Havaar’s “Iran Sanctions=Silent War” campaign, and co-sponsored a forum “Sanctions as a Tool of War: A Comparative Look at Iraq and Iran,” as well as a Left Forum panel.
- In August Tom Harrison wrote an article for New Politics, Egypt: The Revolution at the Crossroads. In the fall we asked for signatures in defense of Mexican intellectual and trade unionist Dr. Edur Velasco Arregui, and co-sponsored a forum with Afghan women's rights and anti-war activist Malalai Joya.
CPD depends on your contributions, so please give as generously as you can. To donate on line, visit our website. You can mail your check made out to Campaign for Peace and Democracy. For credit card donations, mail the amount, credit card number, expiration date, and your name, indicating whether this is a one-time donation or a gift that recurs monthly. Foreign donations must be made by U.S. money orders or checks payable in U.S. currency drawn on U.S. banks. Our address is Campaign for Peace and Democracy, 2790 Broadway, #12, NY, NY 10025. Donations are tax-deductible.
Thank you very much in advance for your support -- we could not survive without your help.