U.S. Peace Council

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The U.S. Peace Council was created by the Communist Party USA and was launched as the official U.S. national section of the Soviet front, World Peace Council at a November 1979 conference in Philadelphia.[1]

On the weekend of November 12-13, 1979, the U.S. Peace Council was established in a meeting at International House on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. US rep. John Conyers twice addressed the conference.[2]

Mission

In a brochure distributed at its second convention in November 1981, the USPC explained its support for disarmament and Third World revolutionary organizations:

"The campaign to stop weapons of mass destruction cannot be separated from support for the peoples of Southern Africa, Asia and the Middle East ... The movement to defend and consolidate détente is at the same time a movement to halt the forces that seek to crush struggles for liberation. The demand for jobs and rebuilding the cities of our country is simultaneously a demand to reduce the military budget, from which we must get the billions of dollars needed for that task."[1]

Communist origins

In Lawrence S Wittner's 2003 book, Toward Nuclear Abolition: A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament, Rob Prince, a 15 year veteran of the Communist Party USA National Council describes how he was "part of a nucleus of Communist Party activists" that established the U.S. Peace Council in 1978/79.[3].

Communist Party "intermediate form"

In 2010, Angelo D'Angelo, Ed Wlody and Kevin Keating wrote a paper for consideration at the Communist Party USA's 29th National Convention, entitled "To Build Our Party — Rebuild Left and Intermediate Forms" calling for the re-establishment of party "intermediate forms".[4]

In the past, the Party helped to launch left and intermediary forms. Many will remember their initials: NAIMSAL (National Anti-imperialist Movement in Solidarity with African Liberation), WREE (Women for Racial and Economic Equality), TUAD (Trade Unionists for Action and Democracy), USPC (the US Peace Council, an affiliate of the World Peace Council), NAARPR (National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, "The Alliance") and others.

Chapters 2010

Circa mid 2010, the U.S. Peace Council expanded from around three chapters (including Michigan and New Haven) to ten chapters;[5]

1970s leaders

On Nov. 1, 1979, the Communist Party USA newspaper Daily World credited three veteran CPUSA organizers for laying the organizational basis for the USPC by "working for years to establish local committees, organize delegations from the U.S. to international meetings of the WPC, and distribute information about the Peace Council to activists in the United States." Those named included Pauline Royce Rosen, "who coordinated all WPC activities in the U.S. for many years" and led what in effect was a CPUSA front serving as a cover for the WPC, the National Center to Slash Military Spending, which dissolved in 1980 and recommended to its supporters they join the USPC and CNFMP; Sylvia Kushner of the Chicago Peace Council; and Elsie Monjar of the Los Angeles Peace Council.[6]

Sandy Pollack, a top Communist Party USA official, became the USPC's "international solidarity coordinator."[7]

List of founding sponsors of the U.S. Peace Council, November, 1979.[8] "Partial List of Sponsors";

1980s leaders

As at March, 1982, the following took active roles in the USPC - founding, speaking or listed as workshop leaders:[1]

As at March, 1982, the published list of USPC sponsors included:[1]

Peace Council officers

U.S. Peace Council Officers and Executive Board, 1983 -85; [10]

Co-Chairpersons:

Vice-Chairpersons:

Executive Director:

Executive Board:

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Workshop on Human Needs and Military Spending

A Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Workshop on Human Needs and Military Spendingwas held in June 1979 at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. It was sponsored by the USPC and the Southern Organizing Committee for Economic and Social Justice SOC SOCEJ, both Communist Party USA fronts. According to the June-August, 1979 edition of the U.S. Peace Council newsletter "Peace and Solidarity", the workshop was supported by:

"Among the workshops' leaders and speakers were:

Mention of SOC's newsletter, "Southern Fight-Back", P.O. Box 811, Birmingham, AL, 35201

"Eighty activists from grass-roots groups in 20 communities in nine Southern states met to discuss the nation's bloated military budget, how it affects programs that could help local communities and what can be done about it."

Call to conference

The "Call" to the U.S. Peace Council Third National Conference to be held October 14-16, 1983, was published in the Communist Party USA newspaper Daily World September 8, 1983, p.8-M and listed the following scheduled participants:

U.S. Peace Council's Tenth Anniversary National Conference, Boston, Mass., Nov. 10-12, 1989

An ad/notice was placed in the Guardian, November 8, 1989, concerning an upcoming U.S. Peace Council national conference. The text of the notice was:

"End The Cold War Fund Human Needs" U.S. Peace Council's Tenth Anniversary National Conference - Boston, Mass., Nov. 10-12, 1989

Speakers Include:

(NB: identifications provided by KeyWiki)

Six Workshops Include: - Saving the Environment - Redirecting National Priorities - Converting the Economy to Civilian Production - World Without Intervention - New Thinking on Disarmament - Human Rights as a Peace Issue

U.S. Peace Council, 11 John Street, Suite 806, New York, NY 10038[11]

Additional information on the conference came from the CP's newspaper, the People's Daily World (PDW), Nov. 1, 1989, Page 2, "Peace Council set for 10th anniversity meet."

Also, two "USPC-sponsored concerts" were held in the last week of October in support of the conference. The first, on Saturday, Oct. 28th, featured the following people and groups:

This event was held at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Another concert, held the next night, featured the same performers each Havens, and attracted 850 people at Brandeis University.

In all, the USPC held events at Harvard University, Simmons College (part of Boston University), Yale University, and Brandeis University. Regarding the Saturday concert, the PDW wrote that "State Sen. John Daniels highlighted the significant contributions to the city made by the New Haven Peace Council." (The (NHPC) was an affiiate of the USPC and was run by CPUSA members including Al Marder and John Marsalka's wife.. CITATION NAME)

"Daniels, candidate for mayor in next week's elections, said the NHPC sparked the formation of the city's official "Peace Commission" and its concern for international activities."

U.S. Peace Council newsletter - "Peace and Solidarity"

Address: U.S. Peace Council 7 E. 15th Street, Room 408 New York, New York.

Issue: Sept.-Dec. 1980, Volume 2, No. 3

Names of USPCstaff/members;

Issue: May-June 1981

Names of USPC staff/members;

This issue also announced the formation of the Peace Education Fund, Inc. led by Abe Feinglass - "veteran trade union leader, member of the USPC board, and vice-president of the World Peace Council. It's address was: 7 E. 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

Future USPC publications will concern "Reagan's strategies for the Caribbean and South Africa" and "a study by Frank Chapman and Damu Smith on "Blacks and the Military Budget".

Activities of U.S. Peace Council Local Chapters

New York Peace Council, article, Daily World (DW), "N.Y. meet to discuss peace and the elections", April 27, 1984, P. 10.

"A citywide meeting to discuss the role of the peace and solidarity movements in the 1984 elections has been called by the New York Peace Council for Saturday, May 5."

  • Arnold Braithwaite - chairperson of the NY Peace Council. "In this critical year, the N.Y. Peace Council sees as paramount the defeat of Ronald Reagan and elected officials who support his administration and its policies".
  • Miriam Friedlander - New York City Council will speak. "She is the sponsor of Council Resolution 568, which opposed the homeport plan (i.e. for U.S. nuclear missile-armed ships).
  • a representative - from the liberation movement in El Salvador will also speak.
  • Michael Myerson - Executive Director of the USPC will speak at the opening session on "The Peace Movement and Elections."
  • Rev.Tony Watkins - Disarmament Coordinator for Clergy and Laity Concerned (CALC) will speak at the closing session on "The Global War Plan and the Need for an Anti-War Movement."
  • Judith Watkins -
  • Gilda Fasullo - Childcare is available by calling ...

Braithwaite, Friedlander and Myerson have all been identified in sworn congressional testimonies as members of the CPUSA, with Myerson being a high-ranking leader.

U.S.Peace Council Petition on Korea

In December 2010, Alfred L. Marder, Catherine Goodman and Bahman Azad were listed as the originators of a U.S. Peace Council "Petition to President Barack Obama and Congress to end the Korean War and Normalize Relations".[12]

We call on U.S. government to stop its repeated “war games” threatening North Korea, to stop demonizing but rather recognize North Korea as a sovereign nation, to engage the North Korean government in meaningful direct talks to end the Korean War, to sign a peace treaty, to remove all U.S. military bases and troops from South Korea, to negotiate with North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons as part of global nuclear abolition, and to normalize diplomatic and trade relations between the two nations.

Iran Forum

An anti-war forum entitled “Syria & Iran: The Next War?” was held in New York, June 10 at the Solidarity Center. It featured anti-war veterans from the Iranian, Israeli and U.S. militaries, and was organized by United for Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace and the U.S. Peace Council. The International Action Center hosted the meeting and IAC co-founder Sara Flounders chaired. All the speakers were members of the VFP Iran Working Group.

Michael Kramer, secretary of VFP Chapter 021-Northern New Jersey, was in the Israeli Defense Forces during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. His personal experiences as a settler and combatant led him to reassess his views on Zionism and the role of the U.S. in the Middle East. He is now a supporter of Palestinian self-determination, the right of return of all Palestinians to their homeland and the Arab cause for independence and self-determination, and an IAC volunteer.

He described Israel as an “unsinkable aircraft carrier” for the Pentagon and an enforcer of U.S. interests in the Middle East.

Faraz Azad, an American-Iranian living in the U.S., served in the Iranian Air Force from 1971 to 1973. Faraz ‘s activism dates to his 1973 arrival in the U.S., first as a student activist and then as a member of the National Board of the U.S. Peace Council. He is the chair of VFP’s Iran Working Group, organizational secretary of the U.S. Peace Council, co-chair of Iran Pledge of Resistance, and nongovernmental organization representative of the World Peace Council at the United Nations.

Faraz urged the political movement in the U.S. to reach beyond itself to educate others on the nature of imperialism, on how and why the U.S. is threatening Syria and Iran, and on how U.S. wars abroad hurt people in the U.S. He challenged groups and individuals to leave their comfort zones and find ways to work together to stop this war drive.

Michael McPhearson, who is originally from Fayetteville, N.C., was a field artillery officer in the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division during the 1991 Gulf War. He is the national coordinator for United For Peace and Justice and a national board member as well as a former executive director of Veterans for Peace. He is a member of Military Families Speak Out, works closely with the Newark, N.J., based People’s Organization for Progress and publishes the mcpearsonreport.org, expressing his views on war and peace, politics, human rights, race and other things.[13]

References