Call to Conscience
Nat T. Bender
6/14/2003
call program1dwan

Dwan Waters

program2gene

Gene Glazer of Veterans for Peace

program2madelyn

Madelyn Hoffman of NJ Peace Action

program3greg

Greg Payton of NJ Labor Against War

program4cnjspeak

Dr. Rumu DasGupta of the Central Jersey Coalition for Peace and Justice

program5aclu

American Civil Liberties Union

program5timor

East Timor Action Network

program66ted

Ted Glick of the Green Party

program6ed1 program77lisa

Lisa Davis of People's Organization for Progress

program7larry

Larry Hamm of People's Organization for Progress

program8henry

Henry Rose of Blacks for Social Justicd

signsbushlied signscentralnjsign
signshome signsjane signsjennifer
signsonehundredyears signspasign signsrd
tablesosimpson1

Robert Simpson of Brother Sun Solar in Wayne...

tablesoxygenfuelcell

demonstrating a hydrogen fuel cell which can harness solar power to produce energy.

wbai

WBAI, 99.5 fm, "Peace and Justice Radio"

Progressive Communities Unite for “Call to Conscience”

A coalition of peace and social justice groups from throughout central and northern New Jersey came to broaden the debate about war and U.S. military interventionism Saturday in Military Park in downtown Newark. Speakers denounced the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq, and the continuation of policies of international military interventionism and domestic repression.

Braving the passing thunderstorms, bicycle groups rode from as far away as Plainfield and Paterson to trek into Newark and meet marchers, train contingents and bus riders. The emphasis on mass transit and human powered locomotion served as a conscious statement on the role of gasoline in fueling the drive to war.

Organizers Dwan Waters and NJ Peace Action director Madelyn Hoffman welcomed the crowd of activists and concerned citizens to the “Call for Conscience” to discuss the critical link between peace and social justice and environmental issues.

Speakers expressed concern that current Bush administration policies will lead to incursions into Iran, Syria or other countries that Bush had identified as being part of “the axis of evil.” Gene Glazer of Veterans for Peace, called for the administration to produce any traces of the weapons of mass destruction, which initially served as justification for the war. World War II vet Glazer characterized the leadership of the military as “chicken-hawks” because President Bush, Vice-President Dick Chaney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield advocate warlike postures for the U.S., although each managed to side-step military action when they were eligible for service.

Fellow veteran Greg Payton, representing NJ Labor Against the War, talked about how his Vietnam service was based on the lie of Vietnamese aggression at the Bay of Tonkin and the weapons of mass destruction argument used by Bush served as a similar fictitious justification in Iraq.

The affects of a war economy on domestic issues served as a hot topic for speakers from

the Central Jersey Coalition for Peace and Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union’s New Jersey chapter, the Green Party of New Jersey, the People’s Organization for Progress and Blacks for Social Justice.

With funding cuts for health and education coupled with repressive drugs laws and sentencing guidelines for non-violent offenses, current domestic policies amount to class warfare against poor and minority communities, according to Dr. Rumu DasGupta, who spoke on behalf of the Central Jersey Coalition for Peace and Justice.

Ted Glick of the Green Party claimed that, “The American people do not support the war effort,” and Larry Hamm of the People’s Organization for Progress called for the immediate return of U.S. troops from Iraq and trial of Bush administration leadership for war crimes.

Lisa Davis, also of the People’s Organization for Progress called upon New Jersey citizens to urge their State legislators to oppose the reappointment of Deborah Poritz to the State’s Supreme Court, citing the judge’s poor record on racial profiling.

And Henry Rose, of Blacks for Social Justice, concluded the program by characterizing the repressive treatment of minorities as an extension of the U.S. agenda of empire building at home and abroad. Rose’s critique likened military occupation with domestic police containment policies and racial profiling tactics.

By Nat Bender

For more information about the groups represented in the “Call to Conscience” see:

American Civil Liberties Union 973-642-2084 www.aclu.org
Central Jersey Coalition for Peace and Justice

732-345-8400

www.njpeace.org
East Timor Action Network 718-596-7668 www.etan.org
Green Party NJ 732-560-0276 www.gpnj.org
NJ Labor Against War 973-699-6209 www.njlaboragainstwar.org
NJ Peace Action 973-744-3263 www.njpeaceaction.org
People’s Organization for Progress 973-801-0001 www.njpop.org
Veterans for Peace 201-876-0430 www.veteransforpeace.org
WBAI,99.5 fm 212-209-2800 www.wbai.org