Rivers of Blood II, 2017 Call to Action
“…This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls “enemy,” for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers…”
– Martin Luther King, Jr. from Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
The words of Martin Luther King Jr. at Riverside Church, fifty years ago and exactly one year before his assassination in 1968, are just as powerful today calling us with urgency to speak out, renounce our comfort, act, and break the silence to the ongoing US wars and militarism. The obscene immoral military budget and the waging of endless wars are not sustainable and threaten us all with annihilation. Every day we remain silent and embrace our comfort is another day the poor and victims of militarism in the United States, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, and Palestine live in fear, misery, and hopelessness. Now, is the time to break our silence and act!
The multiple places of US war-making from the recent dropping of the most powerful non-nuclear weapon, MOAB, on Afghanistan to the illegal drone program terrorizing, maiming and killing innocents in numerous countries, to the upgrading of the nuclear arsenal call us to action. The US must engage China and Russia with real diplomacy and threatening war with North Korea is madness!
This violence of empire, this militarism, is the new norm for our young people. War is the backdrop of their lives. It is a given. However, the reality is that it is a theft of their future. President Trump, who dined on chocolate cake while bombing Syria, has called for an extra $54 billion increase in Pentagon spending which does not include the planned trillions in the nuclear weapons arsenal. The Pentagon, where future resource wars are planned, is the largest consumer of fossil fuels in the world. The climate crisis is reaching a tipping point. The climate crisis and nuclear weapons pose a threat to ALL life on the planet. We must protect Mother Earth and her children!
Ten years ago, the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) organized an action in the US Capitol called Rivers of Blood. The idea was that the US Congress controls the purse strings for war and that the congress has a responsibility to end the wars and cut the US military budget. The rivers of blood flow through the US Capitol because of the complicity of congress for these wars and endless militarism.
NCNR has decided to organize actions over the next year holding up King’s Beyond Vietnam speech. We will hold our first action this June calling for a Rivers of Blood II action at the US Capitol. In addition, we will remember those who joined us ten years ago for the first Rivers of Blood resistance action but are no longer with us. We remember Steve Mihalis, Tim Chadwick, Joe DeRaymond, and Peter DeMott. Presente!
For the voiceless victims of our endless wars, for our children and future generations, and for our planet we must break our silence, give up our comfort, and act!
We call on all who seek peace and justice in the world to join us for this Rivers of Blood II action of nonviolent civil resistance.
We will take action on Wednesday July 12. We will meet at 10:00 am at the Union Station food court near the Walgreens for our final planning meeting. If the weather permits, we will leave shortly to go outside for our meeting, so try to be on time.
Please wear a t-shirt that has been painted with red paint to simulate blood.