[BALTIMORE, June 20] The United States Conference of Mayors, representing 1,200 cities with populations over 30,000, voted in their June 20 plenary session to call on the federal government to end America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and redirect that military spending to home land priorities.
The Conference of Mayors first convened during the depths of the Depression and mayors have met annually ever since; but the last time they addressed American military policy was when they called for an end to America's war in Vietnam.
Mayor Kitty Piercy, of Eugene, Oregon, introduced Resolution 59 stating , "Mayors call on our country to begin the journey of turning war dollars back into peace dollars, of bringing our loved ones home and of focusing our national resources on building security and prosperity here at home. Our children and families long for and call for a real investment in the future of America. It is past due."
Resolution 59 does not call for immediate withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, but calls with the "fierce urgency of now" to speed up those efforts as nationwide municipalities face cuts in services that affect all citizens and most especially those in the greatest need.
"Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death." - Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 1967 at Riverside Church, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a sermon and speech, "Beyond Vietnam: Time to Break Silence" and addressed three of America's demons; racism, materialism and militarism.
King called our government; "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" and "the war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit."
Being a person of faith, King knew the power within and that, "there is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war."