We must act on all fronts to promote peace

At the People's Climate March in New York in September, Veterans for Peace board member Margaret Stevens introduced the new Veterans for Peace vision: Peace at Home, Peace Abroad.

The veterans -- black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Jewish, Muslim -- all share an opposition to war. But each of them carries other issues: unemployment, homelessness, experience of police excess, religious persecution. They suffer from air pollution and eco-racism when corporations dump poison where the poorest people live. That's why they were at the climate march.

Solidarity takes work. It isn't enough to quote President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Pope Paul VI that weapons built are a theft from the poor. Those of us who are working for peace have to stand with the poor and join them in their demands for better health care, education and housing.

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We have to make the links. One amazing example of making the links has been the response of activist Palestinians in Gaza to Ferguson, Mo.'s protest of police brutality -- a brutality experienced in Gaza. The young protesters in Ferguson didn't know about the Palestinians' struggle until that link was made and took poor and sometimes badly educated young activists in suburban Missouri into the larger world of human suffering 10,000 miles away. Those of us in the peace movement need allies, and Veterans for Peace is doing the work that builds solidarity.

To build the peace movement and develop a critical mass of opposition to the half a trillion dollars we spend on the military, we all need to link with those who oppose stop-and-frisk, mass incarceration, and militarization of the border. We need to link with Ebola fighters and the Nigerian families whose girls have been kidnapped. We are all in this together, and so we must act on all fronts.


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