‘Make Levees Not War’ was one poignant and powerful sign at the peace vigils across the nation September 24th – connecting the dots eloquently between empire building abroad and de-funding of communities at home. In the neo-conservative age, our mantras have shifted. We find ourselves pleading for levees not love. As the consequences of de-funding our communities reveal themselves, it is radical indeed to look at shoring up the most basic forms of government – those that exist to make sure our water is potable, our children have schools, and we have communication systems that function in good times and in bad. Our nation had a staggering moment of consensus during the early days of Katrina. We all knew that we did not want to find ourselves or any other member of our community relegated to the superdome. Let’s build from that consensus.
The Country, Our Communities, The Gulf Coast
Hurricane Katrina revealed a national disaster in leadership and priorities. A change of course is needed now! The role of government is to protect the rights and promote the health, safety and well being of all people living in this country. We, the undersigned, call upon our elected leaders to take action to Rebuild America: The Country, Our Communities, The Gulf Coast.
1. Create Real Security: The gap between the super-rich and everyone else has never been greater. It threatens our ability to Rebuild America. We want: a. Fair tax contributions from corporations & the wealthy. b. A livable minimum wage. c. A real safety net to protect people’s basic needs of healthcare, food, shelter & education. d. Public employment projects that put people to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.
2. Withdraw from Iraq: The US occupation of Iraq is now directly endangering US security and inflaming civil war in Iraq. We demand an orderly withdrawal of all US forces in Iraq, and the creation of a true international relief effort to rebuild that country. We want Oregon’s Governor to call for the return of the state’s National Guard from Iraq.
3. Protect the Rights of All: Since 9/11, the federal government has militarized society in the name of ‘National Security’. True safety means protecting the rights of all people and creating a society that offers everyone a decent standard of living. These basic rights are outlined in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Geneva Conventions. We therefore demand: a. Respect our Bill of Rights! Abolish the USA PATRIOT ACT and the REAL ID ACT. b. A realistic, fair, and humane immigration policy. c. Close down all secret prisons. Stop torture. Due process for all prisoners at home and abroad.
4. Build Sustainable Communities: Promote Energy Conservation as National Security. The energy crisis damages our security, our economy, and our environment. We say: Rebuild America with public investments in energy efficiency and conservation- to create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign sources – using the Apollo Alliance as a model.
Rebuilding America starts with accounting for the Co$t of War. Click HERE to learn more.