P.O. Box 1818
Peter Stuyvesant Station
New York, NY
Phone :646-408-5676 URL: Website
Antiwar organization founded by family members of 9/11 victims
Believes that 9/11 attacks should be dealt with via legal, not military, channels
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows describes itself as "an organization founded by family members of those killed on September 11th who have united to turn our grief into action for peace." The organization says that it hopes "to break the cycles of violence engendered by war and terrorism." Its membership consists (as of June 2006) of a core group of 200 family members (from 31 U.S. states and 7 foreign countries) who were directly affected by loss on 9/11, plus another 4,000 supporters who have joined its mailing list.
Peaceful Tomorrows defines its objectives as follows: "to promote dialogue on alternatives to war…; to support and offer fellowship to others seeking non-violent responses to all forms of terrorism, both individual and institutional; to call attention to threats to civil liberties, human rights, and other freedoms in the U.S. as a consequence of war; to acknowledge our fellowship with all people affected by violence and war, recognizing that the resulting deaths are overwhelmingly civilian; to encourage a multilateral, collaborative effort to bring those responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks to justice in accordance with the principles of international law; to promote U.S. foreign policy that places a priority on internationally-recognized principles of human rights, democracy and self-rule; to demand ongoing investigations into the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks … including exhaustive examinations of U.S. foreign policies and national security failures."
Peaceful Tomorrows has charged that the U.S. government routinely uses torture against prisoners captured in the war on terror. In November 2005 the organization crafted a letter to Congress which read, in part, as follows: "[I]n the days since [9/11], we have come to understand that … the memories of our loved ones … could be used to inflict more pain on more innocent people around the world. The latest and most egregious example has been the wholesale use, and defense, of torture as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy. Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and numerous global, clandestine detention centers have heaped shame and embarrassment on the values of America …"
The Peaceful Tomorrows website recently featured a May 21, 2006 letter penned by one of its members, the bereaved son of a victim of the 9/11 attacks. Explaining why he had testified at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui (to plead against the death penalty for the so-called "20th hijacker"), this man wrote: "Imagine if after the sentence of life in prison rather than the death penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui, instead of what we heard and saw, the headlines read, 'The Power of Love and Compassion Prevails in Death Penalty Trial -- Hearts Are Touched Around the World!' … I believe in restorative justice and that killing someone to teach people that killing is wrong is a very poor lesson."
A June 11, 2006 a letter by another Peaceful Tomorrows member, the sister of a 9/11 victim, was also featured on the website. Reflecting on the death three days earlier of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda terrorism in Iraq, she wrote: ". … While Zarqawi was undeniably a cruel, hateful and violent man, I am mindful that the Iraqi society he infiltrated and turned into a place of wanton civilian killing was made a fertile ground for terrorist organizing by the presence of our military. Our world would, I believe, have been far better served if Zarqawi had been captured and tried in a court of law."
In December 2008, Peaceful Tomorrows called it "commendable" that president-elect Barack Obama had pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center. The organization said that in light of "the extreme damage Guantanamo has done to our country," it would "push" the incoming administration "into keeping Obama's vow" and ensuring that the current detainees are "dealt with justly." Toward this end, Peaceful Tomorrows formed a "Close Guantanamo Committee" in partnership with Witness Against Torture and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Peaceful Tomorrows also worked closely on this issue with the ACLU and Human Rights First.
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