By Sade Swift, Black Alliance for Peace.
Atlanta, April 4, 2017 – Distinguished human rights activist and 2016 Green party Vice-Presidential nominee Ajamu Baraka today announced the formation of the Black Alliance for Peace, an organization that will oppose U.S. militarism and its devastating effects on poor and working-class communities both domestically and globally.
The announcement coincides with the 50th anniversary of the landmark speech in opposition to the war in Vietnam by Dr. Martin Luther King at Riverside Church in New York City. After declining to criticize U.S. involvement in Vietnam for several years, Dr. King realized that opposing the war was his moral obligation and inseparable from his civil rights work. “I came to the conclusion that I could no longer remain silent about an issue that was destroying the soul of our nation,” he said.
50 years later, the U.S. continues to engage in questionable military actions around the world and insert itself into conflicts on every continent. The stated intent of the Trump administration to dramatically increase the defense budget while eviscerating or killing important social programs has again underscored the umbilical link between the military industrial complex and the chronic economic and social deprivations faced by communities of color in general and the black population in particular.
Through educational activities and organizing, and drawing from the black-led pro-democracy and social justice struggles in the South during the civil rights movement in the 1960s and ‘70s, The Black Alliance for Peace will forge this connection into an agenda for change. “By linking the issues of state violence and militarism, BAP will concentrate its efforts on opposing both the U.S. global military agenda as well as the war and repression being waged on black and brown communities domestically,” Mr. Baraka says.
Mr. Baraka has embarked on a Power to the People national tour that will continue through May 12 and will be speaking about the Black Alliance for Peace as well as other human rights issues that he spotlighted during the 2016 presidential campaign.