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... for social justice

The Washington Peace Center is an anti-racist, grassroots, multi-issue organization working for peace, justice, and non-violent social change in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area since 1963.

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Volunteers Marching during Iraq Anniversary 2011
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Occupy Our Homes at the Dawn Butler Eviction in DC
Image by DC 51 Collective

The Next 50 Years: Building a New World. By Vasudha Desikan

The following is the transcript of a speech that was given by WPC board member, Vasudha Desikan, at our 50th Anniversary party in May.

This past weekend, I was obsessively watching “Friday Night Lights” on Netflix. For those of you who don’t know, the show is about this Texas high-school football team that is down and out, until this passionate but straight talkin’ coach with a vision instills them with hope and discipline, and they end up going to the State championships. I won’t give any more spoilers, promise.

The Purpose of Protest By David Hostetter

For me, the fiftieth anniversary of the Peace Center has two meanings. On one level, realizing that I have been associated with the Center for 30 of my 51 years makes me feel much like I did when I received my first solicitation from AARP last year: How can I be so old? On another, it reminds me that I made a commitment to the Center from which I have derived a great deal of satisfaction. In the autumn of 1983 I climbed up the narrow stairs to the attic offices the Center then had in the Friends Meeting of Washington, and in my heart I have never come back down. It has been my honor to serve the Center as a volunteer, staff person, board member, and financial supporter.

"Totally Self-Inflicted Damage": U.S. on Verge of Default as Pain from 16-Day Shutdown Spreads

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The partial shutdown of the federal government has entered its 16th day, and the nation is now on the brink of a default as the government’s borrowing authority ends tomorrow. On Tuesday, Fitch Ratings warned it could cut the the U.S. government’s AAA debt rating if a deal to raise the debt limit is not reached. In a statement, Fitch said, "The prolonged negotiations over raising the debt ceiling ... risks undermining confidence in the role of the U.S. dollar as the preeminent global reserve currency, by casting doubt over the full faith and credit of the U.S." The Senate appears to be moving closer to a deal to reopen the government and raise the debt limit, but the Republican-controlled House of Representatives failed twice Tuesday to produce its own plan.

Happy Anniversary Afghanistan!

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October 7 marked the 12th anniversary of the Afghanistan War, but you wouldn’t know it by reading the papers. In fact, “America’s longest war” has become so unpopular that both the media and the Obama administration have done everything in their power to sweep the whole matter under the rug hoping that people just forget about it. But it’s hard to forget about it when US troops keep getting blown up like they did on Sunday. Just look at this from CBS News:

“A bomb killed four U.S. soldiers in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, American and Afghan officials said. They were the latest casualties in a 12-year conflict that shows no signs of slowing down despite a drawdown in foreign forces.” (“Four U.S. troops killed in south Afghanistan”, CBS News)

Why Race Matters in the Government Shutdown

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The shutdown of the federal government which began at midnight today is a body blow to our economy that could prove difficult to bear. Coming on the heels of the automatic budget cuts of sequestration, which are already forecast to cost 750,000 jobs this year, and three years of an anemic economic recovery, the furlough of almost a million federal workers is just not what the economy needs right now. The shutdown was touched off by a Senate vote yesterday to turn down a measure that would have kept the government operating for 10 weeks in exchange for a one year delay in Obamacare.

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