*NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE*
*9635 Overland Rd. Mount Horeb, WI 53572*
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
August 21, 2014
Dear Mr. President,
We write to you as people committed to nonviolent social change with a deep
concern for a variety of issues that are all interrelated. As
representatives of organizations that normally do not have a voice and have
little influence in the places of power in Washington, DC, we areorganizing
under Campaign Nonviolence, a campaign that is pulling people together
across the country to nonviolently bring about change in the areas of
poverty, war, and climate crisis. These issues are too urgent to delay and
not attend to immediately and so we would like to meet with you or a senior
representative at the White House and discuss our concerns on September
23. During the week of September 21, we will be joined in solidarity with
hundreds of actions around the country focusing on war, poverty, and the
climate crisis organized under Campaign Nonviolence.
Poverty is adversely affecting the quality of life for too many Americans.
The people are suffering from lack of food, health care, education, a
living wage, adequate housing, and the list goes on. For example, tens of
millions of Americans represent just part of the 842 million hungry people
in the world according to the United Nations World Food Programme.
According to recent statistics from the US Department of Agriculture almost
15 percent of US households are food insecure. It is unconscionable that
we have children in the United States going to bed hungry. These numbers
do not reflect the recent cuts in food stamps that is now wreaking havoc
across the country. Just a portion of the bloated Pentagon budget
redirected towards human need could alleviate this suffering.
Unending war and imperialism is destroying both our country and the world.
Within the last 13 years we have experienced how the United States has
responded to international crisis with violence. Our government has waged
wars in violation of international law with a failed Middle East policy
that leaves a whole region mired in violence and instability, launched an
illegal drone war, tortured and illegally detained individuals, and refused
to get rid of nuclear weapons capable of annihilation of all life on the
Our disregard for the causes of climate chaos is leading to the destruction
of the planet. Being controlled, in part, by the fossil fuel industry our
government has not been willing to sign onto international treaties to end
climate chaos or to stand up against the Keystone Pipeline. In the
the Pentagon*, Joseph Nevins states, ?The U.S. military is the world?s
single biggest consumer of fossil fuels, and the single entity most
responsible for destabilizing the Earth?s climate.?
We believe that another way is possible and that there are alternatives to
the life threatening policies that our government has promoted and that
have been so destructive to the people of the world.
When you were elected president, people had such hope for a change. Yet
what we got was a government that continued the policies of the Bush
administration. You are NOT the people?s president, and the voices of the
people are not being heard.
We demand that you change course with the present policies and listen to
the people and not the corporations. Here are three policy changes that we
want to see implemented before you leave office. These changes would make
the world a better place for all of our children and grandchildren,
including yours. These changes would only be a beginning, but would
provide a good start.
1. End all drone warfare. It is illegal and immoral.
2. Establish a living wage for all workers.
3. Initiate and work for an international treaty for swift verifiable
action to reverse climate change. Listen to the scientific community and
not the fossil fuel industry.
We have not had access to the decision-making process like the oil lobby,
the financial and corporate sector, and the arms industry have over the
years. If people and groups such as ours had this same kind of access we
very well may not have rushed to war and occupation on false pretense,
"tortured folks", continued to operate the criminally complicit Western
Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation at Fort Benning, had the
devastating and destructive oil spills in addition to still considering the
Keystone Pipeline, or had civil unrest caused by American society's
structural violence, unresolved racism, and failed economic policies.
A new approach to leadership is required to address the problems and crises
we all face. We have the audacity to hope that you or a senior
representative will meet with us on Tuesday September 23, 2014. This is
the day we will come to the White House from all around the country to meet
with you. Thank you President Obama.
Ken Butigan, Pace e Bene Executive Director
John Dear, Pace e Bene Outreach Director
Joy First, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
Malachy Kilbride, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
Max Obuszewski, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance