2001 Annual Report
On November 17, New York City People's Life Fund held its 2001 Annual Meeting at the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute. Following below is the text of our update to membership:
A New Phase in U.S. History
With the collapse of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon, the U.S. enters a new phase in its history. The perpetrator is not a nation but groups of fervent believers willing to sacrifice their lives in missions of destruction. At the time of this writing, Congress has passed a joint resolution. Although it falls short of a full declaration of war, the resolution is very like one in that “it authorizes the use of force against those nations, organizations or persons the President determines planned…or aided the terrorist attack.”
This gives President Bush extraordinary power to involve us in a full scale war and to inflict great damage on civilian populations. It is a fearful delegation of power. And with that delegation of power, the very real possibility that some country/countries will use biological and chemical weapons.
As Dave McReynolds says,
“The policies of militarism pursued by the U.S. have resulted in millions of deaths, from the historic tragedy of the Indochina War, through the funding of death squads in Central America and Colombia, to the sanctions and air strikes against Iraq. This nation is the largest supplier of conventional weapons in the world—and those weapons fuel the starkest kind of terrorism from Indonesia to Africa. The early policy of support for armed resistance in Afghanistan resulted in the victory of the Taliban—and the creation of Osama bin Laden.”
Turning a New Page—a Pledge System
In light of recent events, now is the crucial moment for the New York City People's Life Fund to intensify and expand its granting and lending activities. Until now, the Fund has relied on rechanneled war tax resistance moneys and a loan program that accepts moneys for a year or more. Looking to the future, NYC PLF is currently seeking to institute a pledge system in order to nourish the upsurge in political and social protest as well as to continue building on past efforts. We urge you to join this groundbreaking pledge drive. The Life Fund is the only New York City funding group that addresses the needs of alternative New York City groups exclusively.
In a letter from CHIPS (Christian Help in Park Slope), Sister Mary Maloney writes:
“We purchased two sturdy tables with attached benches for mothers and children, and the elderly. We are indeed grateful to you and all of the staff, volunteers and friends of New York City People's Life Fund.”
In addition NYC PLF does the following:
- Grants moneys to seedling projects likely to be bypassed by traditional funding agencies.
- Combines protest (war tax resistance) with the building of effective alternatives in the community.
- With years of solid achievement, NYC PLF carries on the traditions of the Sixties as a direct descendant of the nonviolent antiwar protest movement.
In the last several years the People's Life Fund has achieved a significant presence in the city alternative movement. Community groups have persistently sought grants to: mount street theater; produce organic fertilizer, enable gay/lesbian expatriate Latinos to communicate, empower women enmeshed in the foster care system, finish repairs on a community center, to name but a few efforts.
You would be hard-pressed to find a more diverse, enterprising and worthwhile group of projects. With the Life Fund's activities administered by two part-timers putting in about 8 hours a week, we have reached out and continue to reach out to play a unique role in helping community groups to realize their hopes and dreams.
For further information, please write us.