New Jersey Coalition Against War on Iraq

 

Home                 

About Us

Find A Local Group

Join Directory

Add an Activity (for organizers)

Organizing Materials

Statements

Press

Contact

 

KING OPPOSED VIETNAM WAR, WE MUST OPPOSE US WAR IN IRAQ

PEOPLE'S ORGANIZATION FOR PROGRESS
POST OFFICE BOX 22505
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY 07101-2505
(973) 801-0001


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
LAWRENCE HAMM (973) 801-0001
 /

KING OPPOSED VIETNAM WAR, WE MUST OPPOSE US WAR IN IRAQ
(Statement by Lawrence Hamm, Chairman, People's Organization For Progress, January, 2003)

During the last years of his life Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. opposed the war in Vietnam because he believed it to be unjust. His reasons for opposing the war were clearly laid out in his famous speech "Beyond Vietnam," which he delivered at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967.

After delivering the speech Dr. King faced a firestorm of criticism. Interestingly, he was assassinated exactly one year later on April 4, 1968.

Everyone should read this great speech by Dr. King. And any person having read the speech would understand that if Dr. King were alive today he would oppose the U.S. war in Iraq as unjust, unnecessary, immoral, and racist, which are the same reasons he opposed the war in Vietnam.

One of the reasons that King opposed the Vietnam War, in addition to the needless destruction of life, was because he believed that it undercut the ability of this country to eliminate poverty and inequality here at home. He pointed out more than 35 years ago the "facile" relationship between the billions that we are spending for war abroad and the abject conditions that exist in communities here at home.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq could cost the United States more than a trillion dollars. This is obscene. Rather than spending billions of our tax dollars on this war we should be using that money to deal with the needs of the people in this country.

That money should be used to create jobs with decent wages, eliminate poverty, hunger and homelessness in our nation, provide health care for all who need it, build housing and schools, increase scholarships and financial aid for students, assist farmers and small businesses, provide aid to our cities, fund mass transit and clean up our environment, and help our veterans from previous wars.

It is time for every person opposed to this war to act. All of us should talk about this war with our family and friends. We should educate ourselves and others about the war.

Call and write your elected officials and tell them to vote against any measures in support of the war. Urge community, religious, labor, and student leaders and organizations to also take action.

Make your opposition known by sending letters to the editors of newspapers in your area. Circulate petitions opposing the war in your community, school, and workplace. Distribute educational materials.

When we write and call about the war we should demand a halt to the invasion of Iraq, no preemptive strike, an end to the current bombing, lifting the sanctions, a negotiated settlement, and that our tax dollars be spent on people's needs and not on this unjust war.

Finally, you must get involved. Attend meetings and participate in demonstrations and protests against the war. Most importantly, join and become active in organizations such as the People's Organization and other groups that are taking a stand against the war.

-END-
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The People's Organization For Progress is a grassroots organization working for racial, social, and economic justice.