VFP Statement on "Rage Against the War Machine" Demonstration

February 15, 2023

Veterans For Peace has not taken a position to either endorse or oppose the demonstration "Rage Against the War Machine"

By the Veterans For Peace Board of Directors

Please note: This demonstration is not related to, endorsed by, or featuring a performance by the band Rage Against the Machine.

VFP logo

We at Veterans For Peace (VFP) have been resisting and protesting wars at home and abroad for over 35 years. We know that one demonstration in Washington, DC will not determine bring about an end to wars and redirect resources from a war economy to a peace economy. We know that members of the Rage Against War Machine Coalition do not support our quest for human rights, treatment, and equality in this society for all people. We are a broad-based organization composed of local chapters, national projects, and working groups with a national board of directors elected by the membership. Our Statement of Purpose centers on the goal of peace at home: peace abroad, increasing public awareness of causes and costs of war, resisting racism and repression in our home communities, healing the wounds of war, and building a just and peaceful society.

Veterans For Peace national has not taken a position to either endorse or oppose the demonstration “Rage Against the War Machine” in Washington, DC on February 19th. There has been a great deal of discussion about this event with VFP members arguing passionately for VFP to endorse and others equally passionately arguing the opposite-that VFP should not endorse. We in the VFP national leadership have an obligation to represent the majority of our members. Our membership is deeply divided for political and cultural reasons related to the composition and political positions of some of the current endorsers. We have decided that the most fair position is for the national board to take no position, meaning that members and chapters are encouraged to do as they wish without pressure from the leadership. Many VFP members and speakers have decided that they will be at the Washington demonstration and at other, local supporting events so VFP will be a presence regardless of the lack of a national endorsement. To endorse this event would have caused a huge disruption in VFP and had little effect on the outcome of the demonstration.

We stand with other organizations that have either not endorsed, not been requested to endorse or have pulled their endorsements like: United National Antiwar Coalition, ANSWER Coalition, Black Alliance for Peace, Poor People’s Campaign, United For Peace and Justice, Peace in Ukraine Coalition, CODEPINK, and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). 

We are all opposed to the war in Ukraine and are calling for diplomacy, no more weapons for endless war. We are calling for redistribution of monies from defense, pentagon, and war spending to services for the people: climate, health, social services, education, jobs, housing, resisting racism and repression in our home communities.  

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