The 2016 Assembly of the World Peace Council was held November 18-19 in São Luís, Brazil, hosted by the Brazilian Center for Solidarity of the Peoples and Struggle for Peace (CEBRAPAZ), on the theme “Strengthen the peoples’ solidarity in the struggle for peace, against imperialism”. The following excerpt is from the presentation to the Assembly by Alfred L. Marder, President of the US Peace Council.
We are meeting at a time of global turbulence: wars raging in a number of countries, hundreds of millions of people roaming the earth looking for homes and employment. Climate changes creating havoc and concern. We of the World Peace Council must use this occasion to make a meaningful contribution to the struggle for peace. WPC must issue a global call for unity of all peace forces.
There is no room for sectarian or partisan considerations. A few days ago, the people of the United States elected a new president. In our opinion, this has created some confusion in the ranks of the global peace movement.
They have interpreted remarks made during the campaign by President-elect Donald Trump that appeared to coincide with the demands of the progressive peace movement. Of course, we would welcome a policy that would cease support of imperialist US to those forces trying to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria. Of course, we would welcome any move by the US to eliminate NATO, however, Trump only called for more financial contributions from NATO members. Of course, we would welcome President-elect Trump meeting with Vladimir Putin to remove NATO troops from Russian borders and to assist the Syrian government in establishing peace. However, these casual remarks cannot hide the reality that President elect Trump has called for an increased military budget already 57% of the total US budget, an increase in armed forces, an increase in naval forces, and continuation of the nuclear weapons program of the United States. He has called for the reestablishment of torture. He has spoken of Japan and South Korea establishing their independent nuclear weapons program. To those in the global peace movement who have ignored his positions in favor of these few casual remarks, we must say categorically, that President elect Donald Trump is not a peace candidate nor “good” for the peace movement.
How was it possible for this sexist, misogynist, homophobic, anti-immigrant, candidate to become the President of the United States. While he did not win the popular vote, missing only by 1 million votes, the arcane electoral system of the United States allowed him to win the states. This system came out of the early history of the United States when, in the founding, the slave owners were reluctant to leave the decision of electing a president in the hands of the people.
Thus, it became possible to win the individual states ignoring the popular vote. Since 1970 the working class of the United States has seen a constantly unequal distribution of the wealth of the country. The reality is there has been a constant sinking of the living standards, wages not meeting the cost of living, the loss during the recent recession of millions of homes and with globalization the evaporation of jobs and opportunities. This continued under the leadership of both major parties and at the same time the one percent of our country who controls our nation has become unbelievably wealthy and powerful. US imperialism has engaged us in constant wars since World War II.
At present, US is actively involved in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria. Sixty percent of its naval forces are in the Pacific. The US is pursuing new technologies for killing. And the US policies are once again haunting South America, supporting the right-wing oligarchs in their attempt to undo the progress that the working class and farmers of these countries have made over the past several years. The reality is that the US has been on a war economy ever since World War II and the major export of the US is finance and arms.
Donald Trump reached out to the disaffection of the working class who voted for him despite the racism, the sexism, the Islamophobia, campaign rhetoric. While we do not deem the US working class as racist, nevertheless, we recognize fully the damage this has done to the unity of the working class.
The US Peace Council is calling for the unity of all struggling forces for peace and justice in our country to unite against the capture of the political system by the most arrogant, anti-working class imperialists.
We are proposing that the global peace movement including the WPC organize an international day of demonstrations and actions after January 20, Inauguration Day for President-elect Donald Trump, to demand an end to the aggression on Syria and removal of NATO troops on the borders of Russia.