June 23, 2016
Dear Friend of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy,
As Americans prepare to elect a new president, it seems that world peace is more elusive than ever and that elites are increasingly determined to stamp out democracy, as are the resurgent forces of the far right. At such a time, it is essential that CPD be able to continue initiatives in support of democratic and social justice movements and promoting a democratic, peaceful United States foreign policy.
To sustain our efforts, we need your help. Thanks to your generosity, we’ve supported the campaigns below in the first months of 2016. We’re asking for your support to continue our work in the challenging months ahead.
- In January 2016 CPD released a sign-on statement “End All U.S. Support for the Government of Saudi Arabia,” which was carried in The Nation and The Progressive magazine. The statement was translated into Arabic and circulated in the U.S. and internationally. It began:
We call on the Obama administration to end the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia and to stop providing the Saudi regime with military and diplomatic support. The execution in January of Sheikh Nimr al–Nimr, an opponent of both Sunni and Shiite sectarianism and an advocate of a non-violent strategy, is only the most recent example of the barbarity of the Saudi dictatorship; the government carried out at least 157 executions in 2015, many of them by grisly beheadings. Saudi Arabia's outrageous oppression of women is well known and, as Amnesty International has documented, the regime systematically represses dissent with flogging and other forms of torture, equates criticism of the government and other peaceful activities with terrorism, and continues to discriminate against the country's Shia minority. Washington has issued only pro–forma expressions of "concern" about these human rights violations, while in practice maintaining solid support for the Saudi regime...
and went on to condemn the Saudi government’s bloody war in Yemen and its support for repressive regional regimes such as the governments of Egypt and Bahrain.
- In March CPD, along with many other organizations, co-hosted CODEPINK’s “2016 Summit on Saudi Arabia” in Washington, DC -- the first major event in this country to challenge the ongoing support for the reactionary, misogynist government of Saudi Arabia. Over 250 people attended the conference. The event was jam-packed with information and analysis; the entire program is available on the Real Network News website.
- In February we circulated a report from the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran titled “Hardliners Handpick Candidates to Block Moderates and Rig Election.” The report documented the unelected Guardian Council’s election violations:
- 3000 reformist applicants (99%) disqualified for Parliament in first vetting.
- 63% of all applicants disqualified in first vetting, reduced to 40% in second round.
- Prominent ayatollahs excluded from Assembly of experts for their moderate affiliations.
- In most of Iran’s provinces, the Council handpicked the only candidates that could run for Assembly of Experts seats.
- None of the 16 women who applied to run for the Assembly of Experts were approved.
- In February we welcomed new Campaign for Peace and Democracy endorsers Aaron S. Amaral, Riad Azar, Saulo Colón, Mike Friedman, Sam Friedman, Carol E. Gay, Trevor Harrison, Stanley Heller, Temma Kaplan, Despina Lalaki, Nicholas Evangelos Levis, Michael Löwy, Paul Mackney, Gloria Mattera, Ian McMahan, Deborah Meier, Saskia Sassen, Gar Smith, Laura Veit, Nantina Vgontzas, Joe White, and Ella Wind. The full list of CPD endorsers and their affiliations is available here.
- In April we held a public forum in Astoria, Queens, entitled “The Refugee Crisis: Reports and Analysis from Syria, Turkey and Greece.” Despina Lalaki, Yasser Munif, Costas Panayotakis, and Mowaffaq Safadi were the speakers. The event was co-sponsored by CPD and AKNY-NY- Greece Solidarity Movement.
- In April we let people know about the extensive North America book tour by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami, authors of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War, a powerful defense of the Syrian Revolution’s democratic heart, even as the revolution is under assault from Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies on the one hand, and ISIS and al Nusra on the other. The tour took place throughout the U.S. and Canada.
- In May CPD promoted two panels at the New York City meeting of the Left Forum. The first, "Refugees, War and Austerity: the View from Syria, Greece and Turkey," was sponsored by CPD, AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement, New Politics, and MENA Solidarity Network-US, and featured Nidal Bitari, Costas Panayotakis, Iannis Delatolas and Daniel Johnson. The second was entitled “Toward a Revival of the U.S. Anti-War Movement,” with Medea Benjamin, Ashley Smith, Nidal Bitari, Dan Fischer, and Stanley Heller. The latter panel was sponsored by the new Revive the Peace Movement Network, in which CPD is one of the participating groups.
- In May Joanne Landy, CPD Co-Director, wrote an article for New Politics, “The Foreign Policies of Sanders, Trump, and Clinton: America and the World In 2016 and Beyond.” The article is not an official CPD statement; it can be found on both the New Politics and CPD websites.
CPD depends on your contributions, so please give as generously as you can.
To donate on line, visit our website. You can mail your check made out to Campaign for Peace and Democracy. For credit card gifts, mail the amount, card number, expiration date and your name, noting if it’s a one-time or a monthly donation. Foreign donations must be made by U.S. money orders or checks payable in U.S. currency drawn on U.S. banks. Our address is Campaign for Peace and Democracy, 2808 Broadway, #12, NY, NY 10025.
Donations are tax-deductible. Thank you very much in advance for your support -- we could not survive without your help.
In peace and solidarity,
Joanne Landy and Thomas Harrison
Co-Directors, Campaign for Peace and Democracy