The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship endorses the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) platform in its entirety.
The platform, released in early August, 2016, outlines local, state, and federal policy demands with outlines of the problems in the US, proposed solutions, specific actions, examples of model legislation when it exists, resources, and lists of organizations and groups that are already working on particular issues. The demands cover a wide variety of intersecting issues, all of which are also of concern to the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and our mission to opposing war in all its forms.
The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, whose staff and executive committee leadership is all white, seeks to follow the leadership of the “collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the country” who have outlined these policy demands that communicate an inspiring vision that we believe reflects a vision of the Empire of God. In rejecting the empire values of white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, Islamaphobia, anti-semitism, nationalism, patriarchy, destruction of creation, and economic exploitation, the M4BL platform seeks to create a society based on values that the United States has claimed but never lived up to. In our Christian understanding, the vision articulated by the M4BL platform is of a society based on Gospel values of justice, equality, and the acknowledgment that each person is made in the image of the Divine.
This platform recognizes the inter-connectedness of all peoples and the intersectionality of struggles for justice and dignity against the violence of oppression, particularly oppression and violence that is codified and upheld by the state. We read these words of this platform and feel called, once again, to the Gospel work of solidarity and accompaniment:
“We stand in solidarity with our international family against the ravages of global capitalism and anti-Black racism, human-made climate change, war, and exploitation. We also stand with descendants of African people all over the world in an ongoing call and struggle for reparations for the historic and continuing harms of colonialism and slavery. We also recognize and honor the rights and struggle of our Indigenous family for land and self-determination.”
This acknowledgement of the interconnectedness of all life and the intersections of struggles for justice and freedom leads the M4BL to support the Palestinian struggle for justice and self-determination, and end of US military aid to Israel, the movement to divest from fossil fuels, 50% cuts to the US military budget, demilitarization of police, and ensuring the right to healthcare, housing, quality public education, and employment for all. These are only a few of the policy demands of this platform that PPF is already committed to, and the platform calls all of us to work together to create a world in which Black Lives Matter, because a world in which Black life truly matters is a world free of empire values and systemic violence.
PPF stands with other partners and friends, including Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA), Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN), and others, who have also endorsed the Movement for Black Lives platform and calls on others to do the same and to daily commit ourselves to dismantling systems of white supremacy and the war on Black people.