We Stand for Peace and Justice

# We Stand for Peace and Justice
By Michael Albert

A new web site, “We Stand for Peace and Justice” offers a statement, included below, for signing. The site provides links for public discussion and means to comment.

The statement has about fifty initial signers including Noam Chomsky, Boaventura Santos, Mairead Maguire, Walden Bello, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Medea Benjamin, and more.

Over the past few days, invitations seeking initial signers made clear the hope that the statement is self explanatory. Initial signers indicated they hope it will attract a massive list of final signers which activists can then use to link up separate efforts, foster cross constituency and inter movement mutual aid, and foster a tone that is positive even while seeking to stop reactionary trends.

The statement follows, below, but first, you might reasonably wonder, was their opposition to signing when invitations went out? And yes, there was some.

A few replied saying it’s a great statement, but why should I bother signing it? What is the point of signing a statement like this? One added, time going to this ought to go to face to face organizing where people are instead.

The response to these perfectly reasonable concerns, which indeed convinced some of these few to sing, though not all, was – we should sign out of solidarity, sign to reveal support for a multi issue mutual aid orientation, sign in hopes sufficient numbers will sign and engage with others in discussions and face to face explorations so this will help local and regional efforts, sign to cross borders, sign to cross constituencies, sign to provide a tool and spirit that might aid face to face organizing in neighbourhoods, workplaces, schools, and families. The reply convinced all but a very few of those who hesitated on these grounds. I should say, as well, that the reply was the reasoning that got me aboard.

A more frequent reaction, from perhaps a third of those solicited, was silence. These invitees didn’t reply to the request at all. They didn’t even acknowledge receiving it. Perhaps they simply didn’t get it. Or misplaced it. Or perhaps they reflexively dismissed it without a close look because that is what they do regarding appeals for signatures (Truth be told, I admit that I am usually in that camp.)

In any case, maybe this group who didn’t say no, but who also didn’t say yes, will sign on soon. I surely hope so. But for many of them, and for the initial signers, and for many others who will soon sign, what may prove even more important then the first step of signing, is the potential second step of writing to friends, family, neighbours, schoolmates, and workmates, urging that they sign too, while using social media to promote the statement, and, most of all, for those in position to do so, while writing articles, or doing interviews, or entering discussions on line, chats, commenting, and so on, to make the (We Stand for Peace and Justice) site visible and credible.

You can read the statement below. Will you add your name? Will you circulate the link to folks you know? If you happen to write articles or engage in online or social media exchanges, will you add to those efforts references to the statement? If you work in media, especially at an alternative media outlet, will you urge your mates not only to sign the statement, but to use their media platform to report and thereby to try to assist and enrich the effort?

If we all do these things, however much our circumstances and other commitments permit, what will result? It certainly won’t engender an instant international transformation. But it may aid many other efforts and endeavours, and perhaps it will even foster some original gains while abetting other efforts already occurring. To me, that seems worth some time.

Put differently, if we sign and urge others to sign, if we discuss and urge others to discuss, if we refine and improve and urge others to refine and improve the statement, will the sign ups climb to 10,000, to 100,000, to 500,000?

If signings do grow dramatically, given the multi issue orientation of the statement, given its obvious desire to induce linkages, to foster mutual aid, to engender cross constituency connections, to inspire local discussion and formation, to move from opposing fascistic perversions arising around the world to asserting liberation activism and organizing, will the efforts prove beneficial? Sign and we will hopefully see. Please visit the site for more information & sign up.