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Peace Activists Join Huge People's Climate March

Youth filled the streets at People's Climate March

A huge march of 300,000 people wound through Manhattan's midtown  on the westside on Sept. 21 demanding urgent and substantive action to deal with global warming.  Peace activists from all over Massachusetts joined in, pointing to the overlap in issues and common cause.  Organized labor also held a pre-march rally as did faith communities, and convergence of issues was a theme of the day.  Hopefully UN General Secretary Ban Xi-Moon, who also marched, will feel lots of support from the people as he tries to pressure reluctant goverments such as the USA into action.

United for Justice with Peace (UFPJ), the national network of which UJP is an affiliate, held a workshop on uniting our strategies atSaturday's conference preceding the march.  Jackie Cabasso, UFPJ national co-ordinator, described the desire and plans to reenergize UFPJ as foreign policy, war and peace questions again take a prominent position on the US agenda.  Closer work with local groups such as UJP will be important.

Several speakers addressed organizing lessons for strategy.  Among was Michael Eisenscher from Labor Against the war.  He spoke of the need to weave three strands together: economic justice as well as peace and environment.   He called on peace activists to not only oppose particular wars but to challenge the structural reasons why there is one war after the other.   Eisenscher said a new concept on national security must be articulated: based on values and addressing social problems.    Eisenscher spoke of the need to dismantle the military industrial complex by moving to a green, peace economy.  Conversion from military to civilian produvtion is crucial as the jobs issue must be addressed and no worker left behind. 

Former co-chair Lisa Fithian echoed the challenge for the peace movement to go further than it has in the past.  Michael Mcphearson from Veterans For Peace emphsized the need to relate the message to community and what is happening day-to-day In people's lives.  The importance of immigrant rights was also touched upon.  The workshop set forth challenging but exciting tasks for the peace/antiwar movement in the new period. 

More photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.868620959844576.1073741826.110930342280312

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