A ceasefire is the first step toward peace and liberation

December 11, 2023
A ceasefire is the first step toward peace and liberation


The following statement was adopted by the CPUSA National Committee at their meeting on Sunday, December 3, 2023.

The fight for a ceasefire in Israel and Palestine is gathering momentum. The millions signing petitions, calling and writing to their elected officials, and taking to the streets have so far pushed 53 members of Congress to call for a ceasefire or cessation of hostilities. At least 11 cities across the U.S. have joined the call, including Detroit, Seattle, Atlanta, Akron and Oakland, and grassroots pressure is building in many more, as peace forces march city by city to their local municipal council meetings. State legislators across the country are also issuing joint or individual calls for peace.

Organized labor is increasingly playing its role in the fight. A petition backed now by nearly 40 unions representing more than 800 thousand workers, and the Coalition of Labor Union Women, is being circulated on shop floors across the nation. Other unions in the U.S. have separately issued their own calls for peace, including the APWU, representing more than 200 thousand postal workers. Going a step further, the Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council expressed its opposition to union involvement in producing or transporting weapons destined for Israel, and the UAW is forming a working group to pursue a just transition from a war economy to a peace economy.

Importantly, the NAACP and other African American movements have joined the call for an end to the violence. Many other organizations representing communities of color, women, immigrants and youth have endorsed Rep. Corrie Bush’s resolution calling for a ceasefire.

No amount of bombs or bullets can bring security to the people of Israel or secure Palestinian people’s rights. Our comrades in Israel and Palestine have called on us to fight to end the war, and for the release of all the hostages and political prisoners, both Palestinian and Israeli. As we struggle to defend the free speech rights of the peace movement here at home, we must also demand an end to the repression of the peace movement in Israel, which is now demanding Netanyahu be removed from office.

A ceasefire is the necessary first step toward negotiations, not mediated by the U.S., and with the participation of the UN, leading to a lasting political solution in which Palestinians enjoy the right to their own state, alongside Israel, and the right to return, free of occupation. Once a ceasefire is won, it will be our job to help ensure this negotiation process moves forward.

Our communities are being plundered by the war industry, forced to subsidize the profits of the weapons and oil corporations, and the big banks that back them. Half a million people in the U.S. go through homelessness each year, 26 million lack health insurance, 11 million children can’t depend on their next meal, and more than 20 million people can’t drink the water coming into their own homes. Yet, more than one trillion dollars is spent on war each year, and more than $200 billion is spent on police, deportation, and locking people up.

At our party’s recent peace conference last month, a plan of action was developed to organize in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and college campuses to build popular and political support for a ceasefire, cutting the military budget, abolishing nuclear weapons, and what the Poor People’s Campaign champions as a Third Reconstruction. To these ends, legislation in Congress has already been proposed around which a movement on the ground and a peace contingent in government can be built.

More must be done to end the many forms of economic warfare and political interventions waged by the U.S. against countries around the world, to end U.S. imperialism’s Cold War 2.0 against China and Cuba, and to shut down U.S. foreign military bases, NATO and AFRICOM. Organizing a mass movement that will be able to take on these advanced demands begins with consistent efforts over time to develop our roots in the struggles working people around us are engaged in, unearthing the relationship between these immediate needs and our collective need for peace, and organizing around concrete, winnable political campaigns that can take the struggle for peace to a higher level.

Winning these campaigns depends, in part, on taking care to ensure the balance of forces at all levels of government allow for the preservation of basic democratic rights and the continued, open democratic struggle to strengthen them. This includes running our own candidates at the local level, and fighting alongside our working class and people to defeat MAGA right forces up and down the ballot in 2024, staying focused on the issues affecting people’s daily lives. Labor’s right to organize depends on it. The right to vote depends on it. Women’s right to control their own bodies depends on it. The right of immigrant families to live together without fear depends on it. And yes, our ability to fight for peace depends on it.

So, comrades, let’s go forward and build that movement! Long live Palestine! Long live the Communist Party of Israel! Long live the Communist Party USA! Long live our freedom struggle for democracy, equality, and peace!

Image: Healthcare workers at Yale New Haven walk out to rally for Palestine by Karishma Kaur (Twitter)


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