Endorsements for Nov. 5 2017 CC Meeting
- Black Lives Matter Policy Platform
- Peace Pentagon Hub
Movement for Black Lives Policy Platform
Proposal by Sam Koplinka-Loehr, Field Organizer & Outreach Consultant for NWTRCC
In the summer of 2016, the Movement for Black Lives organization released a powerful policy platform that was hailed as one of the most powerful organizing documents of the past decade. It came out of the work of dozens of Black-led organizations from around the country that came together to plan and envision an entire platform that seeked to challenge white supremacy, anti-blackness, and state violence with concrete and strategic goals.
If you haven’t checked it out already, you can read the entire platform online: https://policy.m4bl.org/about/
The platform is divided into six major demands: End The War On Black People; Reparations; Invest-Divest; Economic Justice; Community Control; and Political Power. As many of you have heard me talk about before, three portions in particular dovetail with our work in powerful ways. These are the demands to end the war on Black people, have reparations, and to invest-divest.
In her article, “What the Black Radical Tradition Can Teach Us About Rebuilding the Antiwar Movement,” Ciara Taylor described the platform as “considerably the most powerful antiwar document the United States has seen in a long time.” There are a number of reasons for this, but perhaps the most notable is the platform has brought together hundreds of mostly black-led organization with a demand to immediately reduce the military budget by half and invest that money in Black and Brown communities. This demand includes closing over 800 U.S. military bases, eliminating sale of weaponry to violators of human rights, reducing the use and stockpiling of nuclear weapons, and returning all troops. They also demand reparations to countries impacted by US imperialism and state violence, as well as Black communities here in the States.
Over the past year, the platform has already been critical to our work. We have relied on the document itself, and had dozens of conversations with founding members and endorsers about the connections between tax resistance, reparations, and divestment. The platform was a guiding document for our redirection campaign this past year, where war tax resisters in close to a dozen different communities collectively redirected $20,000 in tax dollars to organizations that are led by Black, Brown, and Indigenous people working for liberation. I think this is a great opportunity for us to continue to take a stand against anti-blackness in organizing spaces and build stronger relationships with Black liberation groups.
There are a lot of portions to the Policy Platform. It includes demands to re-prioritize federal spending from policing incarceration to community education, health care, and other human needs. We definitely won’t all agree on every portion of the platform, but I believe this to be a chance to follow and support the leadership of Black organizers from around the country that have put untold hours into this truly change-making document. I encourage you to take some time to look over the platform and I propose that the NWTRCC Coordinating Committee endorse the Policy Platform.
By endorsing we will be listed on the Policy Platform website, be included in opportunities to collaborate on organizing projects. Over the past year, Movement For Black Lives organizers have worked on local policy changes in communities around the country, have done webinars and conference calls on each portion of the platform, organized around building Black labor on mayday, done support for Black political prisoners, coordinated organizing projects from all of their founding members under the demands, supported local campaigns for racial justice, and more.
The Movement for Black Lives Policy Platform has hundreds of organizations that are part of the “United Front” and “Endorsing Organizations.”
Some of the organizations include:
Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100)
Southerners On New Ground
Philadelphia Student Union
Alliance for Educational Justice
Black Lives Matter Network
Highlander Research and Education Center
Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
The National Conference of Black Lawyers
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
The Worker’s Center for Racial Justice
The BlackOut Collective
Open Democracy Project at Crescent City Media Group
Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth
Dignity and Power Now
Center for Media Justice
Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota
BIG: Blacks in Green
Mothers Against Police Brutality
Jobs With Justice
Philly Coalition for REAL Justice
Citizen Action of New York
Jewish Voice for Peace
Working Families Party: People of Color Caucus
Queer Palestinian Empowerment Network
New York Communities for Change
The Power Shift Network
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Partnership for Working Families
Prison Action Network
United for a Fair Economy
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Californians United for a Responsible Budget
To see the full list, visit https://policy.m4bl.org/about/
The Peace Pentagon Hub asked to join NWTRCC as an affiliate, with the introduction below, but also asked if we would join the Peace Pentagon Hub. Ruth sent her information about affiliation and they would like to be accepted as an affiliate which is not usually an extended process but good for the CC meeting to approve.
But mainly the discussion for this list is the request to also join the Peace Pentagon Hub. You can follow the links below to see their website, but this link is also useful as far as discussing the question of our joining them – http://www.peacepentagon.net/member-menu.
Here’s the initial email from Rev. Laura M. George, J.D., Executive Director
Allow me to introduce myself:
I am the Executive Director of The Oracle Institute, a 501(c)(3) educational charity dedicated to the conscious evolution of humanity. I am an attorney and an interfaith minister.
Oracle studies the nexus between religion, politics, and civil rights, exposing outdated doctrine so that humanity may collectively progress into a new era of peace.
We operate an award-winning publishing house, a multi-faith spirituality school, and a peacebuilding practice.
Currently, we are building the “Peace Pentagon” in southwestern Virginia, a retreat and resource center for organizing social justice campaigns and global peacebuilding efforts.
Oracle also manages the Peace Pentagon HUB, a networking site for social progressives in Virginia.
I am writing because we are interested in becoming an Affiliate Member of NWTR.
I was first introduced to the peace taxpayer movement more than a decade ago by Ed (now deceased) & Georgia Pearson – perhaps you know them?
And I took a tax resistance class at a Code Pink/Veterans for Peace workshop in Asheville, NC a few years ago.
Also, David Swanson is a friend of mine, and he will be speaking at the Oracle Campus in the spring, along with Dr. Glen Martin, president of the World Constitution and Parliament Assoc.
We also would be honored if NWTR joined the Peace Pentagon HUB as a National Co-Sponsor.
Thank you for the important work you are doing to build a compassionate New World, and I look forward to commencing a purposeful and productive partnership.