For Immediate Release
Michael McPhearson, Exec. Dir., Veterans For Peace 314-303-8874
Josh Brollier, Co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence 931-436-3616
Large Majority of U.S. Peace Activists Express Disappointment to Nobel Committee
Letter notes Anti-war Stance of an earlier U.S. Nobel Laureate, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
WASHINGTON - On December 9th, representatives of several dozen U.S. antiwar groups
posted an open letter to the Nobel Committee expressing regret that
President Obama, so close upon his receipt of this honor, has opted to
escalate the U.S. war in Afghanistan with the deployment of 30,000
The letter calls attention to statements made by the Rev. Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr., upon receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1964, when
he urged people to reject retaliatory violence. "President Obama has
insisted that his troop escalation is a necessary response to dangerous
instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan," the document states, "but we
reject the notion that military action will advance the region's
stability, or our own national security."
The signatories pledged "to mobilize our constituencies in the spirit
of Dr. King's nonviolent and committed example. His prophetic words
will guide us as we assemble in the halls of Congress, in local offices
of elected representatives, and in the streets of our cities and towns,
protesting every proposal that will continue funding war."
Signed by veterans and peace activists, religious leaders and community
organizers, the document represents one of the most widespread antiwar
coalitions in decades, including many of the organizations which, in
2003, brought millions onto the streets to oppose the U.S.-Iraq war.
Veterans For Peace is a national organization founded in 1985. It is structured around a national office in Saint Louis, MO and comprised of members across the country organized in chapters or as at-large members. The organization includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations including from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.