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To: Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Barbara Lee, Speak For Us All
To Barbara Lee,
Under the incoming administration we ask you to keep on speaking for us. We ask you to work with us in our efforts to turn our country off the road of empire which is built on the giant triplet of evils identified by Dr. King –– racism, materialism and militarism.
We ask you to lead in achieving the actual end of nuclear weapons, their research, development, deployment and threatened use. We ask you to continue to ask for a significant reduction of the military budget and the reallocation of the resources to civilian use. We ask you to lead in the ongoing effort to end the militarization of the police and to put a stop to their ongoing violence against people of color.
We ask you to lead in the work to build both locally and on an international scale an economic structure which will serve the needs of all people. Thus we ask you to take the lead in opposing unbalanced and harmful deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).
We ask you to lead in achieving justice for Native American people whose lands and treaty rights have been under attack for many years. We ask you to help develop national policies which protect the land and the water which sustains all life. We ask you to lead as we welcome refugees and immigrants who come to our country seeking safety and a good life.
We ask you to support the people of Haiti as they strive for democracy and justice in a world which ignores the more than two hundred years of repression against their country founded by the world’s first successful slave rebellion.
We ask you to continue to speak against war. Particularly we ask you to be outspoken against the chaos the U.S. is creating in the Middle East. We urge you to work against U.S. efforts to overthrow the government of Syria. We ask you to speak out to recognize that the majority of Syrian people prefer now to keep in power a heavy handed secular ruler while they work nonviolently to achieve a more democratic government.
We ask you to point out and criticize the conduct of our “allies” both in the Middle East and also in other parts of the world and to work to stop our government’s support of repression –– repression of native peoples, repression of women, repression of religious people who are on the other side of a religious divide from the ruling sect. The focus of this examination would include, among others, Israel and Qatar and India under its current Hindu nationalist rule and Myanmar.
We are particularly concerned with the violations of international and U.S. Law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Leahy amendments to the Arms Export Control Act, in the uncritical support the U.S. gives to Israel. Our government gives Israel massive quantities of military aid which is used in its assaults on Palestinians, and in its apartheid treatment of Palestinians both in the Occupied Territories and within Israel proper. Is this not complicity in Israel’s human rights abuses? We urge you to speak firmly in opposition to Israel’s expansion of settlements into land acquired by military occupation in 1967. These settlements are in clear violation of international law. We ask you to work for a lifting of the cruel and inhumane siege of Gaza, which has been in place since the people of Gaza democratically voted into power a government by the Hamas party –– which Israel had originally helped to found. We urge you to support the use of the nonviolent Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) actions to work for an end to Israel’s apartheid practices.
We ask you to support the efforts of the people of Korea and Japan as they oppose the expansion of U.S. bases in their countries. We ask you to shed light on the dangers of the “Pacific pivot” as the U.S. engages in military exercises threatening North Korea and sails warships close to China.
The actions of our government abroad are mirrored by actions within our own country. We ask you to support the work of Black Lives Matter to end the targeting of people of color by police and private “security” forces. We ask you also to support Native American people working to protect the land and waters they have historic ties to, which ties are actually recognized by the treaties which are so frequently broken by our government. We ask you to work to end the ongoing militarization of our police forces around the country, which have focused on these two movements as well as others.
We know we are asking a lot of you, Congresswoman Lee, so we want to assure you that as you lead the way toward a more just and peaceful world, we are with you every step of the way.
As you speak for us, we will be speaking for you.
Why is this important?
Barbara Lee has a high reputation of speaking truth to power.
We ask her to stand on that ground and speak again on some major issues coming up in the next administration.