Women Rising for Peace and Justice announce campaign and activities

Announcing a Women’s Anti-War Day of Action

Part of the National Week of Resistance for Justice and Peace in the spirit of Martin Luther King

War, poverty, and racism—the three evils named by Martin Luther King—are intimately linked to the oppression of women. Together they form strands of a rope binding people worldwide. Untangle that rope by joining in a women’s day of action. In conjunction with a week of resistance to the U.S. war against Iraq, we will weave a multicolored web of peace, to bind and transform the warmakers.

Why a women’s action? Because women have a unique stake and a valuable perspective on issues of war and peace.

Poverty is a women’s issue: The vast majority of people worldwide living in poverty are women and children, who also form the majority of war refugees. The war against Iraq will divert desperately needed funds from social programs, health care and education.

Racism is a women’s issue: Women of color and women of discriminated groups bear the double burden of race and sex oppression.

War is a women’s issue: Women die under the bombs, see their homes, families, and ability to provide for the next generation destroyed. War exalts the values of toughness, hardness and aggression that a patriarchal culture assigns to men, and denigrates compassion, nurturing, tenderness, and love.

Make January 17th a day to express your solidarity with the women of Iraq, Palestine/Israel, Colombia, and other war-torn areas of the world, and call for a shift of national priorities away from war and militarism and toward a national agenda that affirms life.

Come to Washington DC for Martin Luther King weekend:

*Hold our women legislators accountable, and support, reward, and generally cheer on the women of courage among our elected representatives.

*Weave a web of peace in a candlelight vigil and ritual at dusk on Friday, January 17th.

*Participate as a contingent in the January 18th peace march.

*Form women’s affinity groups to participate in the larger, all-genders nonviolent civil disobedience on January 19, and use our peace web to bind and transform institutions of war.

*Join the Women’s Peace Vigil at the White House. The women’s peace vigil was initiated on November 17, 2002 and will continue until March 8, International Women’s Day. The vigil is a constant presence in front of the White House and a constant reminder to the decision-makers in Washington, DC, that millions of people in the U.S. and around the world oppose a pre-emptive attack on Iraq. Drop by the women’s peace vigil while you’re in DC for the MLK Jr. weekend activities or on any other day. For more information, call (202) 393-5016. Consider extending your stay in Washington, DC so you can to join the vigil. The Vigil can help you find housing if you are participating in the vigil for at least two days.

All actions are women-initiated and women-led, but men are welcome to join and/or support.

Organize in your home communities!

*Organize a women-led candlelight vigil in your community at dusk on Friday, January 17. Encourage participation by the diversity of women and women’s groups that make up your community.

*Stand with Women in Black in your community in opposition to the war.

*Organize a meeting, teach-in, speak-out, and/or press conference on how women in your community are affected by the three evils of poverty, war, and racism.

*Lobby your women Senators and Representatives. Set up meetings with your women representatives to ask them to speak out against war and push for a national agenda that reflects the values of peace, compassion, generosity, and recognition of the interconnectedness of the whole human family. We need them to use their positions of power to lobby for our agenda!

*Contact the media. Organize locally a Women against War press conference that includes women from the business and labor communities, religious women, women community leaders, and others. Write opinion pieces and letters to the editor and call in to radio talk shows to spread the message that women oppose war and want the $200 billion that would be spent on a war against Iraq redirected to health, education, housing and the welfare of our children and elderly.

*Put a light in your window to symbolize your commitment to peace.

International Women:

We ask for your support and solidarity. Please let us know if you can plan a vigil or activity in support of our actions, and send us your messages of support.

Please post your events to www.unitedforpeace.org, and/or www.codepink4peace.org.

For more information, contact the Women’s Peace Vigil at 202-393-5016.

You can also join our organizing listserve by sending an email to ufp_womenscaucus-subscribe@lists.riseup.net
with “subscribe” in the subject heading.

Mid-January is the most crucial time to stop the war against Iraq. Thousands of people are expected to come to Washington, DC on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend to participate in anti-war protests and to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy of organizing against war, militarism, racism, and injustice.

United for Peace, the new national anti-war network, and Black Voices for Peace are coordinating a week of anti-war activities, including a non-violent civil disobedience on Jan. 19. International ANSWER is calling for a mass rally on Jan. 18 with a solidarity rally in San Francisco. Black Voices for Peace is organizing a conference for justice and peace on Jan. 20 and is encouraging churches throughout the country to incorporate a peace and justice message into their services that Sunday.

Women Rising for Peace and Justice is a caucus of United for Peace, and includes Unreasonable Women, Code Pink for Peace, many contingents of Women in Black, and other women’s groups.

Huwaida Arraf

“If the people lead, the leaders will follow”