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BFP Summary of Activities in 2005
Who's still dying?? Who's still lying?? And who's profiting?? In March, the second anniversary of US invasion and occupation in Iraq, BFP led a march from the Brooklyn Promenade to the military recruiting station on Flatbush Ave.
We sponsored an April Forum on the pros and cons of pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq.
We organized Brooklyn activists and packed eight buses full of protestors to the September 24 anti-war march in Washington DC.
Our Brooklyn Peace Petition, addressed to Senators Clinton and Schumer, continues to gather signatures, demanding that they stop voting money to fund the Iraq war.
With our encouragement, the Brooklyn Congressional delegation has been the strongest in Congress in legislative opposition to the Iraq war.
With a growing relationship with Black Veterans for Social Justice, we are seeking to increase public awareness of the impact of the Iraq war on those Brooklynites who have been on the front lines.
We have gathered thousands of signatures for our petition to Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein to demand better policy for NYC students, informing parents and students about their right to keep personal information private and not available to military recruiters.
We continue to leaflet at public high schools, distributing multilingual &qyot;opt-out&qyot; forms and information about how to go to college without joining the military.
We have encouraged introduction of Amendment 680 to the NYC City Council, which would ban military recruiting in NYC public schools, and generated support for it with a postcard campaign.
Our Third Annual Peace Fair was a huge success. More than 100 community organizations along with over 2,000 attendees came to participate in this year's Fair.
Outreach to schools resulted in more involvement of Brooklyn children in UNICEF, fostering international awareness and the ethic of social responsibility.
We participated in the May 1 international demonstration here in NYC calling for the abolition of all nuclear weapons worldwide.
Furthering the goal of promoting mutual understanding and peace between Palestinians and Israelis, we sponsored a workshop on "How to Talk to Your Aunt Fanny about Israel-Palestine" and co-sponsored a film showing of Route 181: Fragments of a Journey.
We sponsored public meetings with a group of Palestinian students from Gaza who spoke about their life experiences under Israeli occupation, and also with Teddy Katz, a leading organizer in the Israeli peace movement.
We invited local elected officials to a house meeting with Ghaza Briegieth, member of the Parents Circle and founder of the Palestinians for Reconciliation and Peace Center.
Energized by a community meeting eye-witness report from Darfur and Chad, and a workshop at the Peace Fair, our Darfur committee has been focused on addressing the Human Rights violations occurring in Darfur, and is working to increase awareness of the crisis, as well as to collect supplies for refugees.
Outreach and Recognition
The willingness of our volunteers to help out with many tabling opportunities has helped us to broaden our reach throughout the community, encouraging Brooklynites to sign petitions and learn about peace and justice issues. •Press attention to our events in 2005 included articles about our work in the Brooklyn Downtown Star, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New York Star, Metro, Courier-Life papers throughout Brooklyn, and various online postings.
Fund-Raising and Community-Building
Our June event Summer Sunset on the Barge and our December event Summer in South Africa at the I-Shebeen Madiba Restaurant were both very enjoyable and successful fundraisers and strong community builders.
Our first silent auction, both live at Madiba and online, connected local artists, businesses, and service workers with BFP members, while raising needed funds.
Intern and Volunteer Opportunities
We provided opportunities for young people to engage in a concrete and practical way with our peace and justice work by offering opportunities for volunteers (particularly high school students with community service requirements, as well as energetic retirees) and interns (who receive a modest stipend).
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