The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Judith LeBlanc, Office 212-868-5545, Cell 917-806-8775

March On Wall Street, April 4 National Mobilization

Peace and Justice Groups March to Honor Rev. King and Oppose Wars in Iraq and

NEW YORK, New York

Saturday, April 4, will mark the tragic anniversary of Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr.'s death in Memphis, TN. It is also the anniversary of
his 'Beyond Vietnam' speech at Riverside Church, NYC one year earlier.
In the historic speech, Dr. King decried the 'triple evils' that
plagued the nation - 'racism, extreme materialism, and militarism.'

We humbly suspect that Dr. King would be with us on Saturday, April 4,
marching with United For Peace and Justice to Wall Street and pressing
for our campaign, 'Beyond War, A New Economy Is Possible.'

April 4 Pre-march Press Conference

11:00 AM at the corner of Broadway and Leonard Street, Manhattan, NY

April 4 March on Wall Street with coworkers of Dr. Martin Luther King,
religious and community leaders sponsored by United for Peace and

Press Availability: Rev. James Lawson, co-worker of Rev. King,
organizer of Freedom Rides and life long advocate for nonviolence. Rev.
Dr. Brad R. Braxton Senior Minister of the Riverside Church, the site
of Rev. King's April 4, 1967 speech, "Beyond Vietnam."

Photo opportunities at Leonard Street and Broadway at 11 AM and at corner of Wall Street & Broad Street at 1 PM.

United For Peace and Justice calls for an end to the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan and for a new and better approach to resolving the economic
crisis, one that combines much-needed investments in our communities
with environmental restoration and moves towards a green economy. Just
as Dr. King said in his Riverside speech, we need to 'rapidly begin the
shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society.'

Many people, in this country and beyond, have pinned their hopes on
President Obama and the change he promised. His domestic agenda,
outlined in his budget, takes steps in the right direction. However,
his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, as well as the ongoing
occupation of Iraq, threaten to obliterate the most progressive aspects
of Obama's domestic agenda, just as the war in Vietnam ruined the
presidency of President Lyndon Johnson.

"We have had enough of war! We need to devote all of our energy and
attention to addressing the global economic and climate crises, to
improving education, housing and health care in this country, not
squandering $12 billion per month on the occupations of Iraq and
Afghanistan," said Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator of United for
Peace and Justice.

More war is not the answer, and until fundamental changes are made in
U.S. foreign policy -- an end to blank-check support for Israel, an end
to U.S. occupation and military bases in Arab lands, an end to threats
to Iran, an end to the chimera of the Global War on Terror, an end to
hypocrisy on nuclear proliferation, and concrete steps to address
legitimate grievances in the Arab and Muslim world -- whatever we do in
Afghanistan or Pakistan or Iraq, short of a massive occupation which
would be immoral and we can't afford, is doomed to failure.

President Obama's domestic economic agenda - investing in resolving
pressing problems on jobs, health care, education, housing and climate
change - is put at grave risk by our exorbitant (possibly over $3
trillion) and seemingly endless wars. We can't afford to forego the
crucial investments we need to make our communities stronger. We simply
can't afford more war.

Dr. King observed in his "Beyond Vietnam" speech that the country's
commitment to a serious program of investment in human needs in the
mid-1960s was "...broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle
political plaything of a society gone mad on war."

King's words still ring, chillingly, across four decades, "A nation
that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense
than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

United for Peace and Justice urges people throughout the nation to join
our call for peace with justice, rather than an escalation of war. Let
us recognize and act on Dr. King's "fierce urgency of now" as we
"rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle
for a new world."

United for Peace and Justice was founded, in 2003, to build a coalition of local and national peace and justice organizations to prevent the War on Iraq. The conflicts raging around the world today make it clear that the need to work for peace remains more important than ever. That is why UFPJ reorganized, in 2008, as a network and now operates with an all-volunteer Coordinating Committee, supported by one part-time staff member who assists with UFPJ action alerts, campaigns, and organizing. They meet weekly to manage the ongoing communication and administrative requirements of the network.