Take Action This Week! – Becky Rafter, Executive Director

Recently, Georgia WAND held our 15th Annual REAL State of the Union at Ben Hill United Methodist. We had a dynamic event with 11 local leaders of different backgrounds coming together to engage, listen, and share crucial strategies for liberation and resistance during this historic political moment.

Coming out of this forum was a call to work together across issues, organizational collaborations, and differences so that together we are stronger. Toward that end, we need the help of Georgia WAND folks in advancing

awareness about the need to end state violence, transition public resources back to our communities.

Recent acts of state violence in Georgia, such as ICE raids against Latino immigrants and the APD killing of Deandre Phillips, are directly connected to federal war spending and the $1 trillion slated to restart the nuclear weapons program. The connections are cultural, political, and economic. A bloated militarized budget starves the domestic economy of investment that could raise the standard of living of the vast majority of American citizens. The culture of endless war elevates a cult of brutality over cultural values of diplomacy and compassion. The political power of the wealthy is most directly protected by police, military, and private security firms that protect white supremacy and corporate activities that undermine the common good.

The current U.S. security state coincides with a time of record domestic income inequality and incarceration of Black and Brown people. The U.S.’s racist, misogynist, militarized society starves vulnerable communities of human rights and public resources. Meanwhile it injures the water, air, and food we need to be whole. In addition to state violence against men and families of color, our warring country has resulted in multiple epidemics of cultural normativity: child sexual enslavement and assault; murders and attempts on the lives of transfeminine women, transmasculine men, gender non conforming people, and LGBQ people; and domestic violence against women.

The Shell Bluff community in Burke County, GA and Georgia WAND are using a nuclear harm reduction approach to protect Georgia communities. In addition to monitoring the environment for radionuclides and heavy metals to identify toxic pathways and sources, we are working to mitigate the harm caused by the nuclear and other toxic industries in the area. This includes helping lead a long-term, rural-centered economic transition toward investment in sustainable, civilian, “green”, safe, and secure jobs, research, and development. How can we support Shell Bluff residents and connect their struggle to other concerns across Georgia?

In Congress, the Georgia General Assembly, and the Atlanta City Council are several bills in the hopper addressing issues of state violence under a “security state”, such as nuclear weapons “red button” access, broken windows policing, the death penalty, guns in schools, water contamination, protecting immigrants, and beyond. We must connect the dots between state violence, corporate control, political inaccessibility, and injustice against our families. Georgia WAND, multiracial, multigender, intergenerational, and transpartisan, is committed to doing multi-issue work across differences. We must work together.

So please join other concerned individuals, artists, organizational partners, and entrepreneurs in taking action. End state violence / militarism. Protect our safety, health, environment, democracy, and jobs and further racial, economic, and gender justice.

Have a say in how our communities define safe & secure: Dialogue, Strategize, Plan! 
When: Thursday Feb 23, 5:30-7:00pm
Where: Georgia Hill Building, Suite 202
RSVP: Lindsay Harper, Lindsay@georgiawand.org or 404-524-5999
FREE food will be provided
–Please let us know if you could help provide child care.

–Also can you help volunteer Mon-Wed to do outreach for the meeting?

Thanks! I look forward to hearing what folks are thinking and how we can move collectively!