Today (March 30, 2019), members of Veterans For
Peace Chapter 180 gathered, along with co-sponsors Peace Fresno, Fresno WILPF,
and the Fresno Center For Nonviolence in solidarity with the worldwide mass
mobilization to Oppose NATO, War & Racism!
Our Demand: No US war on Venezuela!
The text below is taken from the website of No2NATO, an ad hoc coalition formed to organize the National Mobilization Against NATO Summit in Washington DC. It explains perfectly WHY we gathered today, not just in Fresno and Washington DC, but in cities and towns around the world. A big thanks to the folks from our sister groups Peace Fresno, Fresno WILPF, and Fresno Center For Nonviolence, as well as all the lovely people who showed their support today!
April 4, 2019, will mark the 51st anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the internationally revered leader in struggles against racism, poverty and war. And yet, in a grotesque desecration of Rev. King’s lifelong dedication to peace, this is the date that the military leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have chosen to celebrate NATO’s 70th anniversary by holding its annual summit meeting in Washington, D.C. This is a deliberate insult to Rev. King and a clear message that Black lives and the lives of non-European humanity, and indeed the lives of the vast majority, really do not matter.
Since its founding, the U.S.-led NATO has been the world’s deadliest military alliance, causing untold suffering and devastation throughout Northern Africa, the Middle East and beyond. Hundreds of thousands have died in U.S./NATO wars in Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yugoslavia. Millions of refugees are now risking their lives trying to escape the carnage that these wars have brought to their homelands, while workers in the 29 NATO member-countries are told they must abandon hard-won social programs in order to meet U.S. demands for even more military spending.
Dr. King’s words linking the three evils of American society: Militarism, Racism and Poverty, and his deeply profound remark that every bomb that falls on other countries is a bomb dropped on our inner cities, reveal the deep-rooted relationship between militarism and the social, racial, economic and environmental injustices that now impoverish whole cities and rural communities and have plagued our society and the world for a long time. It was exactly one year before he was murdered that Rev. King gave his famous speech opposing the U.S. war in Vietnam, calling the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world” and declaring that he could not be silent.
We cannot be silent either. As Rev. King taught us, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”