The No Trump Military Parade coalition of 250 organizations held a Peace Congress in Washington, D.C., on Saturday in place of the Trump military parade, which they helped to stop. On Sunday, veterans and military families marched to commemorate Armistice Day. Consortium News live streamed both events.
In a historic show of opposition to the glorification of war and waste of millions of public dollars, the coalition has gone beyond a traditional peace group to include anti-poverty, housing, the environment and more.
The Peace Congress is bringing together organizations and activists working to build a stronger peace movement that seeks to end the wars both at home and abroad.
The Peace Congress recognizes the following:
- Budgeting federal dollars for the Pentagon translates to less funds for necessities such as education, health care, transit, housing and more.
- The foundations of United States foreign policy are racism, violence and colonialism, which play out in our schools and communities.
- U.S. imperialism fuels suffering and death around the world that rebounds as hatred towards the U.S. and greater insecurity.
Saturday’s Peace Congress event opened with a panel featuring Ajamu Baraka of Black Alliance for Peace, Angela Bibens of the Standing Rock Legal Collective, Bernadette Ellorin of BAYAN USA, Cheri Honkala of the Poor People’s Economic and Human Rights Campaign, Eli Painted Crow, a veteran and mother of veteran sons, Joe Lombardo of the United National Antiwar Coalition, and Netfa Freeman of the Institute for Policy Studies, who works on issues of African solidarity and police violence.
After the panel, which focused on the current environment and building the peace movement, the Congress ran as a general assembly for the rest of the day. Movement leaders and activists identified obstacles to building a stronger and more effective peace movement, opportunities, goals and next steps.
The event seeks to build a movement to end U.S. wars at home and abroad. In the recent midterm election, despite record federal spending on wars and militarism as well as never-ending wars, the issue of ending war was absent from the political debate. That is because both the parties in power are beholden to the weapons industry, military contractors, and security state, and the industries that benefit from their existence.
Along with the Peace Congress, there was a solemn march on the Washington, D.C., mall on Sunday, led by veterans and military families to commemorate Armistice Day.
The veteran occupation, concert and protests will be held at McPherson Square on Saturday and Sunday. See here for details.
Saturday, Nov. 10
The Peace Congress was held at Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church, 201 4th St., SE, Washington, D.C., Fellowship Hall.
9 a.m.: Registration and breakfast
9:30 a.m.: Opening Panel challenges and opportunities for building a movement to end U.S. wars at home and abroad.
11 a.m.: General Assembly on challenge and opportunities.
12:30 p.m.: Lunch box lunches provided
1:30 pm: General Assembly on areas for collaboration and next steps
5:00 p.m.: Peace Congress adjourns
Sunday, Nov. 11
March to Reclaim Armistice Day
This is a solemn march led by veterans and military family members. All are welcome to march to honor all victims of wars, soldiers, civilians and resisters. White poppy wreaths will be left at each site. Taps will be blown.
9 a.m.: Gather in the grassy area near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Look for the Veterans for Peace white flags.
9:30 a.m.: March begins. March route will include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Women’s Memorial, World War II Memorial.
11 a.m.: World War I Memorial