The Issues : Social Justice"True peace is not merely the absence of tension. It is the presence of justice.” When Martin Luther King spoke these words in 1955, he was beginning to articulate a philosophy that focused on the positive affirmation of peace and the critical need “to harness man’s creative genius for the purpose of making peace and prosperity ( it. mine) a reality for all of the nations of the world." At Chicago Area Peace Action , we recognize that in all of our issues, be they the overseas wars, runaway military spending, global climate change, middle east peace, or nuclear abolition, there is a vital component of social justice. And inherent in any examination of social justice and the rights of the commons and the commonwealth, is a need to focus on economic justice and how the least among us can and should be protected from the avarice of the few. A bloated military and nuclear weapons budget designed to address conflicts that can never occur with enemies that no longer exist, “signifies, in the final sense,” President Eisenhower explained in 1953, “ a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” A very real component of the quest for Palestinian Statehood is not just for the god-given rights of political self determination, but for the inalienable right to plot their own economic future, and provide a better life for their children, as all people strive for. And the argument that the United States requires the largest standing army in history is necessary to protect of from foreign invaders is specious at best – when it has become clear that for at least a century, these forces have been assembled to impose our economic will on underprivileged populations around the world- while enriching a very narrow percentage of wealthy corporations an individual’s here at home. For these reasons, CAPA rejects idea that unfettered laissez faire economic policies will produce vibrant economies that serve the needs of all . We vigorously endorse the critical role that government, in its duly appointed role as representative of the people, must play in regulating and overseeing those institutions that would unfairly enrich themselves at the cost of the most vulnerable in our global society. We will remain committed to grounding all of work on behalf of non violent conflict resolution and the promotion of social justice in this understanding that the rights of the underserved and the underprivileged have a distinct economic justice aspect that cannot be ignored.
On issues concerning Iran, Syria, Israel-Palestine, Egypt and other parts of the world that emerge as urgently critical to world peace, U.S. foreign policy weighs heavily. Public opinion counts.
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