Campaign for Peace and Democracy

The Campaign for Peace and Democracy (CPD) is a New York-based organization that promotes "a new, progressive and non-militaristic U.S. foreign policy," in contrast to existing foreign policy, which CPD characterizes as "based on domination, militarism, fear of popular struggles, enforcement of an inequitable and cruel global economy and . . . persistent support for authoritarian regimes." [1] The hallmark of the Campaign’s work has been its efforts to seek out and work with dissidents and social justice movements worldwide, and to forge alliances between them and progressive movements in the United States. The organization has more than 100 endorsers, including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and Daniel Ellsberg; CPD’s full list of endorsers, statement of purpose, and other information can be found at the organization’s website [1]

Recent Initiatives

Since its inception the Campaign has been critical of U.S. imperial foreign policy while at the same time vigorously defending democratic rights everywhere, whether in countries allied with the United States or in countries targeted by the U.S. In recent years, the Campaign issued a 2002 sign-on statement, "We Oppose Both [8] The Campaign also posted a statement on the floods' political context by the Labour Party Pakistan and the National Trade Union Federation.[9] In October 2010 CPD issued a sign-on statement, "End the War Threats and Sanctions Program Against Iran: Support the Struggle for Democracy Inside Iran."

In December 2010 the Campaign declared its support for the work of Wikileaks and Julian Assange (and Bradley Manning, if he was involved), which revealed the cynical manipulation of other countries by the U.S. government. CPD enthusiastically welcomed the beginning of Arab Spring with the statement, "We Support the Democratic Revolution in Tunisia" on Jan. 16, 2011. A month later, CPD hailed the Egyptian uprising in the statement "Egypt After Mubarak" (Feb. 14), which also warned against the continuing power of the Egyptian military and elements of the old regime and called for the completion of the democratic revolution. As part of its ongoing work on behalf of the democratic movement in Iran, the Campaign led a delegation of peace and human rights activists in a visit to the U.S. and Iranian missions to the UN on Feb. 24, arguing with officials there that both U.S. war threats and sanctions program and Iranian repression should be ended. CPD opposed NATO intervention in Libya ("We support the Libyan Democratic Revolution and Oppose Western Intervention and Domination," April 16, 2011) and played an active role in building solidarity with the democratic opposition in Bahrain. The CPD statement, "End U.S. Support for Bahrain's Oppressive Government," which included hundreds of Bahraini signatures, was published in The Nation (June 6) and the New York Review of Books online (June 9). After Israeli soldiers on the Syrian border fired on Palestinian demonstrators in May, CPD issued a statement condemning "Israel's Murderous Attack on Unarmed Palestinians" (June 9). As the Arab Spring continued, the Campaign declared its ardent support for Syrian democrats: "CPD Salutes Syria's Courageous Democratic Movement" (June 9). In response to the savage violence of the Assad regime, CPD released both a "Message of Condolence and Solidarity From U.S. Peace Activists to the Syrian People" and an "Open Letter to the Syrian Government in Protest Against the Death of Non-Violent Activist Ghayath Mattar and Brutal Repression of Syrian Democratic Activists" (Sept. 16, 2011).


The group was founded in 1982 as the Campaign for Peace and Democracy/East and West (CPD/EW) by Joanne Landy and Gail Daneker. Its initial inspiration was the emergence of the independent Polish trade union movement Solidarnosc (Solidarity), and the massive upsurge of opposition to nuclear weapons represented by the nuclear freeze movement in the United States and the European Nuclear Disarmament (END) movement, which protested NATO deployment of cruise and Pershing missiles. CPD/EW was formed around a perspective of independence from both Cold War blocs; it dedicated itself to helping build a third alternative based on popular struggles for peace, human rights and social justice.[10]

Détente From Below

Embracing the idea of “détente from below," first articulated by British historian and peace activist E.P. Thompson, the Campaign insisted that lasting peace could not be achieved by relying on existing governments, with their own elite realpolitik agendas, but only by alliances of grassroots movements working across frontiers. In particular, CPD/EW strove to forge links among the Western anti-missile movements of the early 1980s, the U.S. anti-intervention movements then opposing the foreign policy of the Reagan administration, and Soviet bloc dissidents. CPD became widely known for its direct contacts with East-bloc activists, and provided many U.S. peace groups with the opportunity to meet them and support their democratic struggles.

Peace and Democracy News

In the spring of 1984, CPD/EW published the first issue of its magazine, Peace and Democracy News; it printed a speech by Daniel Singer, the European correspondent for The Nation and author of books on Polish Solidarity, "A Plague on Both Their Houses",[11] which had been delivered at a CPD/EW forum entitled "In Solidarity With the Right to Rebel: Spotlight on Chile and Poland"; the forum had also featured the Chilean playwright and novelist Ariel Dorfman. Subsequent writers for Peace and Democracy News (later renamed Peace and Democracy) included Adam Hochschild, Richard Falk, Jan Kavan, Judith Hempfling., Randall Forsberg, Ann Snitow, Daniel Ellsberg, Mina Hamilton Stephen Shalom, Alex de Waal, and Matthew Rothschild, along with CPD staff writers Jennifer Scarlott, Steve Becker, Gail Daneker, Joanne Landy and Thomas Harrison.

Core Principles

Until 1995, when Peace and Democracy ceased publication and a decline in funding and popular support for a peace movement forced the organization into temporary dormancy, the Campaign (which changed its name to the Campaign for Peace and Democracy in 1990 to reflect the end of the Cold War) continued to mount campaigns, organize conferences and issue statements based on its core principles: opposition to nuclear weapons and military intervention, withdrawal of U.S. troops and bases from all foreign countries, an end to U.S. support for authoritarian states, and international economic policies to combat poverty based on aid and development aimed at popular rather than corporate needs.


Throughout the 1980s CPD insisted that independent peace and human rights groups in the Soviet bloc, not government-controlled "peace councils," were the genuine allies of Western peace movements.[12] It drew up joint statements by peace and human rights activists from both sides of the Cold War divide condemning the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile,[13] persecution of dissidents in Soviet Bloc states,[14] U.S. intervention in Central America,[15] the Tiananmen massacre in China,[16] and Israel's refusal to withdraw from the Occupied Territories.[17] As well as with END, the Campaign had close ties with the young Green Party in West Germany (especially with militantly democratic and radical leader Petra Kelly [18]), Solidarnosc and the independent antiwar movement Freedom and Peace in Poland,[19] Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia,[20] and peace groups in the Soviet Union.[21]


The fall of Communism in Europe was welcomed by the Campaign, but after 1989 the group expressed its dismay that the kind of radical democracy implicit in Polish Solidarity was eclipsed in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union by "the dogma that democracy means submission to blind market forces and the laws of social Darwinism".[22] It spoke out against the imposition of "shock therapy" policies which sought to replace the old Communist system not with economies centered on popular needs but instead with harsh policies that "fostered widespread economic misery".[23] During the 1990s, CPD opposed the aggression of the Yugoslav Army against the breakaway republics,[24] the first Gulf War and U.S. intervention in Haiti.[25] It sponsored debates over the issue of "humanitarian intervention".[26]

Revival in 2002

In 2002 the Campaign for Peace and Democracy was revived by co-directors Joanne Landy, Thomas Harrison and Jennifer Scarlott.

Campaign for Peace and Democracy, 2790 Broadway, #12, New York, NY 10025, USA Website: [2] Email: Facebook: Campaign for Peace and Democracy Co-Directors: Joanne Landy and Thomas Harrison

The Campaign for Peace and Democracy papers, including correspondence, flyers, and a complete set of Peace and Democracy News, available at the Tamiment Library.

Selected members


  1. ^ Statement of Purpose, March 2009, CPD website
  2. ^ CPD website, "We Oppose Both Saddam Hussein and the U.S. War on Iraq: A Call for a New, Democratic U.S. Foreign Policy."
  3. ^ The New York Times, Feb. 10, 2003
  4. ^ CPD website, “No More Blank Check for Israel
  5. ^ CPD website, “Iran Human Rights Leader Shirin Ebadi in Danger – Peace Activists Call on Tehran to Ensure Her Safety”; “Release Iranian Students from Prison Now!”
  6. ^ CPD website, “Crisis in Iran – A statement from CPD,” June 17, 2009; “CPD Question and Answer on the Crisis in Iran,” July 7, 2009
  7. ^ CPD website, “We Call for the United States to End Its Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
  8. ^ CPD website, "Urgent Pakistani Labor Appeal for Emergency Flood Support."
  9. ^ The Campaign also posted a statement on the floods' political context by the Labour Party Pakistan and the National Trade Union Federation.
  10. ^ “Welcome to our Readers,” Peace and Democracy News, Vol. I No. 1 (Spring 1984)
  11. ^ Peace and Democracy News, Vol. I No. 1 (Spring 1984)
  12. ^ Landy, Joanne, “Official Peace Councils and the Non-Aligned Peace Movement, Peace and Democracy News, Vol.III No.1 (Winter-Spring 1988)
  13. ^ “East-West Declaration Calls for an End to U.S.-Backed Loans to Pinochet’s Chile,” Peace and Democracy News, Vol.III No.1 (Winter-Spring 1988). Printed as a letter in The New York Review of Books, June 11, 1987
  14. ^ “U.S. Peace and Labor Activists Defend Polish Solidarity Leaders on Trial,” The New York Times, April 10, 1983; “Free the Jazz Section,” The New York Times, Dec. 18, 1986; “Crackdown in Prague,” The New York Review of Books, April 13, 1989
  15. ^ “Independent Voices, East and West, Speak Out Against Reagan’s Nicaragua Policy,” Peace and Democracy News, Vol. II, No. 2 (Summer-Fall 1986)
  16. ^ “China Spring” and Tiananmen Square Protest,” Peace and Democracy News, Vol. IV No. 1&2 (Winter-Spring 1990)
  17. ^ “Independent Peace and Human Rights Activists Call for an End to Israeli Occupation and for a Two-State Solution to the Middle East Crisis, Peace and Democracy News, Vol. III No. 2 (Winter 1988-89)
  18. ^ Scarlott, Jennifer, “Remembering Petra Kelly and Gert Bastian, Peace and Democracy News, Vol. VIII No. 1 (Summer 1993)
  19. ^ Michalski, Frank, “ ‘Freedom and Peace ‘ Movement Emerges in Poland” and “Freedom and Peace Declaration of Principles,” Peace and Democracy News, Vol. II No. 2 (Summer-Fall 1986)
  20. ^ “The Prague Appeal,” Peace and Democracy News, Vol. II No. 1 (Summer-Fall 1985)
  21. ^ Fitzpatrick, Cathy, “The Independent Soviet Peace Movement: An Interview With Two Founding Members,” Peace and Democracy News, Vol. II No. 1 (Summer-Fall 1985)
  22. ^ Editorial, Peace and Democracy News, Vol. V No.1 (Fall 1990)
  23. ^ Statement of Purpose, March 2009, CPD website
  24. ^ The Crisis in Yugoslavia,” CPD Statement July 10, 1991, Peace and Democracy News, Vol. VI No. 1 (Winter 1992)
  25. ^ “Campaign for Peace and Democracy Statement on U.S. Military Intervention in Haiti,” Peace and Democracy News, Vol. VIII No. 1 (Summer 1994)
  26. ^ Stephen Shalom, Branka Magas, Thomas Harrison, Richard Falk, Roundtable on Intervention, Peace and Democracy News, Vol. VII No. 2 (Winter 1993-940)

External links

  • Website
  • List of endorsers
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