Action Alert Memo for Peace and Economic Justice #3

Cover Letter to CPUSA Districts, Clubs, Members and friends
on the materials of the Action Alert for Peace and Economic Justice #3
November 20, 2001



In this Directory:



In the wake of the terrible events of September 11, the US and world economies have gone from downturn to full-blown recession.



Hundreds of thousands of American workers are losing their jobs and estimates are that only 38% are eligible for unemployment benefits. Millions are losing healthcare and basic incomes. So-called welfare reform has destroyed any possible safety net. Meanwhile, government bailouts, like the emergency package for the airlines, will put billions in corporate pockets and leave the workers in the streets.



At the same time the Pentagon estimates that a billion dollars a month is being spent for Bush's phony war on terrorism in Afghanistan. And it is increasing by the day. Bush and the ultra-right are using our national emergency to radically increase military spending and defense contractor profiteering, and corporate profiteering generally.



Linking the economic and social crisis facing millions of working and oppressed people, to the fight to end the bombing of Afghanistan is necessary in order to build a peace movement which is broad enough and big enough to prevail.



Though this is easier said than done, it is the task of our time. To put it another way, the challenge is to connect and build a many-sided struggle against the ultra right and the Bush administration's policies.



Labor and other organizations in the mass movement are already demonstrating their readiness to fight on these economic questions, from the public workers' strike in Minnesota to the fight on Capitol Hill for economic relief for working families that the AFL-CIO has begun to wage. We have to find ways for our clubs to be part of and help to build these struggles.



The National Board discussed this at its meeting last week, and the Organizing Department is working with the Labor Department to come up with some plans, ideas and tools for this work.



This packet of materials is just a start; enclosed are a number of sample resolutions on key economic issues, as well as some ideas for peace initiatives around which broader support could be built, such as the idea of a bombing pause.



We are suggesting that clubs and districts discuss the possibility of undertaking one or more of these initiatives:



Organize or participate in visits to congressional representatives between now and the holidays, to discuss the economic emergency, as well as the war and the fight against terrorism.



Pass one of the enclosed resolutions in union locals, community organizations, etc., Organize a public forums.



Wherever possible, we should aim for these initiatives to be undertaken as coalition efforts, and if there is already something 'in the works,' we should participate.



We are setting some national goals for these initiatives, and will be working with key districts to guarantee the meetings with Congress people. We will also do our best to provide you with other materials that might be helpful, for instance, more background and facts to support the resolution on strengthening unemployment compensation.



We are working to build the biggest, broadest people's movement against the ultra right, for peace and economic justice. These are lofty aims -- but they require lots of down to earth initiative, creativity and hard work.



We know not every club can do everything -- obviously! -- but hopefully everyone can do something.



A note about the People's Weekly World:



Clubs have been doing wonderful work covering and analyzing the many complicated facets of the new political situation. We should take advantage of the interest people have in what's going on to build the PWW's circulation. We should try doing a special mailing of the paper with a cover letter to friends, supporters and coalition partners soliciting subs. And, please, if your club doesn't have a bundle, paper consider ordering one -- just call at 212-924-2523 X210, or email pww@pww.org.



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