Family and Friends,
Thanks to an outpouring of generosity from so many of you, this year’s (Half) Marathon for Peace raised more than $11,700 for US Labor Against the War. That is $4,200 over the $7,500 target. Heartfelt thanks to one and all.
Events just in the last few days highlight the urgency of rebuilding a powerful peace and anti-militarist movement: The coup in Bolivia. Trump green-lighting racist murder with his pardon of three U.S. servicemen convicted of war crimes. Full throated support in Washington for the latest Israeli killings in Gaza. In this perilous context, USLAW will put every dollar to good use.
After the race in Raleigh, my partner Ellen and I travelled for ten days through the Carolinas and Alabama; I did some book events and meetings, but mainly we were on a home-made Civil Rights Movement/Black History tour. We visited historical sites, museums and memorials in Charleston, Tuskegee, Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham and several smaller towns. There were inspiring tributes to the tenacity and courage of the 1950s-60s movement that changed this country right alongside reminders of what they were up against. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice (the ‘lynching museum’) in Montgomery was especially powerful – a real gut-punch. Being there just a few weeks after spending a day at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima underscored the horrors imperial and racist violence have visited upon humanity.
And the Black communities surrounding the sites where major victories were won in the 1950s and ’60s – dispossessed and abandoned to poverty by the powers-that-be – sounded a wake-up call of how much work remains to be done.
The threat is immediate. We cannot underestimate the consequences if the Donald Trump-Steven Miller-Alt-Right drive for a racialized authoritarian state – for long-term white supremacist minority rule – holds power for five more years. I know everyone receiving this email is proceeding as you think best to turn the country around. For my part, I think the approaches offered in a recently posted collection of articles from Organizing Upgrade – ‘Left Strategy as 2020 Looms” – offer effective ways forward. (Full disclosure – I’m one of this website’s editors). The package includes an interview with Working Families Party leader Maurice Mitchell; articles by Working America Founder Karen Nussbaum, State Power Caucus leaders Anthony Thigpenn and Jon Liss, organizer-strategists Claire Tran and Jacob Swenson-Lengyel, and historian Van Gosse; and a set of questions to focus discussion and debate. You can find it at:
Thanks again for your support of US Labor Against the War. I am so fortunate to be connected to such a dedicated and generous community of people. My best to all.
Peace and always hope,
October 3, 2019
Family and Friends
I’m running my 14th annual Marathon for Peace in Raleigh, North Carolina November 3 to raise money for US Labor Against the War (USLAW) and I’m asking for your support.
U.S. militarism is shedding blood across the globe, accelerating climate change and feeding a national security state that threatens every domestic social justice movement. And even if we succeed in defeating Trump and his white nationalist coalition in November 2020, it will take massive pressure from the grassroots to stop U.S. wars, end the military’s grip on the federal budget and clear a path to radical change.
Building on 16 years of work bringing internationalism to unions and working class people across the U.S., USLAW is vital component of what’s needed to build that pressure. USLAW’s newest co-convener is union organizer Yasemin Zahra who came from a village of tea farmers in Turkey to the states at the age of seven. Her message is that “the obligation of our incoming group of energized, young, diverse leaders is to position the labor movement to be the powerful vehicle for international worker solidarity and help shape the moral and political vision our labor movement requires.”
Can you pitch in to make sure USLAW has the resources to make this vision a reality? You can donate at this link:
As you may have noticed from the subject line, this year’s run is a half, not a full, Marathon. After pounding out 39,000 miles, including 40 Marathon races, in the last 24 years – and spending 72 years on the planet – my body is no longer able to cover 26.2 miles without injury. So this year I’ll do just 13.1 miles. But since each mile is tougher, I’m asking for $1.50 or $3.00 per mile rather than just one dollar or two. So please consider donating $20, $40 or more to USLAW to reach this year’s $7,500 goal. Here is the donation link:
Or you can send a check made out to USLAW to USLAW, 1030 15th St. NW #153, Washington DC 20005. (If you want to claim a tax deduction, make your check payable to “USLAW-AFGJ”)
Please be as generous as you can. Thanks, Peace and Hope!
PS: Regarding strategies for ousting the racist and authoritarian Trump coalition from power and starting a new cycle of progressive change, check out recent postings on Organizing Upgrade (I’m among the site’s editors) at: https://organizingupgrade.com/