It's easy to get discouraged by the news. A seemingly endless oil spill. Seemingly endless wars. But there is reason to hope--even reason to celebrate--the power of grassroots organizing. This month has been chock full of victories for those who hunger for (and work for) peace. Read about the successes below and then move that energy into taking action, telling Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi to step up and lift the liability cap for BP and other oil companies, put an end to offshore drilling and pass a clean energy bill!
The Gaza Freedom Flotilla was a breath-taking global effort, with over 700 people from 42 countries putting themselves at risk to lift the inhumane siege on Gaza. It is tragic that 9 people lost their lives in this effort, but thanks to the flotilla, world attention is focused on Gaza. Even the U.S. policy has been affected, with President Obama now calling the Gaza closure "unsustainable." Col. Ann Wright, a flotilla passenger and world renowned peace activist, is touring internationally to talk about her experience--bring Ann to your town or donate to help her spread the truth about the flotilla massacre.
On the domestic front, we have also seen the power of grassroots activism. After an 18-month protest by CODEPINK and other peace activists, the U.S. military decided to shut down its Army Experience Center at the Franklin Mills Mall in Northern PA! This glorification of violence was a prototype designed to be rolled out to malls across the country. Great work, CODEPINK PA, Coalition for Peace Action, and allies, for shielding our children from one more shameful attempt to lure them into war.
We also want to applaud the parents, students and peace activists in Maryland who pushed for--and won--a statewide law that stops the information about high school students from being automatically sent to military recruiters.Maryland is the first state to pass such a law, and their victory is inspiring activists around the country.
In the midst of the Gulf oil disaster, we can celebrate one victory for the environment. Thanks to the thousands of you who called and emailed, the U.S. Senate voted down a measure from Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to gut the Clean Air Act by weakening regulations that keep harmful pollution out of the air we all breathe.
Let's keep the victories coming! This week, in the lead up to the June 19th BP day of action, DC CODEPINK and a coalitioin of environmental groups have an line up of actions around the country to protest BP and push for clean energy. While the oil execs have been on the hot seat in Congress, let's not let Congress off the hook.
Speaking of hot seat: Tell Senator Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to vote on lifting the liability cap, to put an end to offshore drilling and to pass a clean energy bill that will move us into the post-fossil-fuel era.
Building people power for a green, peaceful planet,
Dana, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Joan, Jodie, Medea, Nancy, Prerna, Rae, and Victoria