- Calls for the federal government to dramatically cut military spending, and to redirect that money instead to social welfare programs and alternative energy sources
- Supported the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street Movement
Launched on October 3, 2010, the New Priorities Network (NPN) contends that in order for the U.S. to thrive economically, the federal government must “radically change” its “spending priorities.” Specifically, says NPN, the government should “substantially” cut funding for the Pentagon—whose budget has long been “far more than is needed to defend people in the United States”—and redirect that money instead to “social programs to meet working people’s needs.” “The people hardest hit” by the alleged underfunding of such programs, NPN claims, are “communities of color and low-income communities.”
In addition, NPN maintains that some military-related expenditures should be reallocated for the promotion of a “transition to a sustainable energy future” where wind power, hydropower, and solar power would largely replace the nation’s reliance on oil and coal. This, says NPN, would limit carbon dioxide emissions enough to “kee[p] the global temperature increase at an acceptable threshold.”
- build long-term coalitions between local and national organizations whose work centers around issues related to peace, labor, religion, economic justice, and racial justice;
- _“mobilize [public] anger” and “pressure Congress” to change polic_ies by introducing anti-military-spending resolutions to local city councils, community organizations, labor unions, and church congregations;
- organize speakouts and town hall events where they can impugn state and local budget cuts, emphasize the need to increase tax revenues by means of a steeply progressive income-tax structure, and call for cuts in military spending;
- hold trainings, support sessions, briefings, and webinars designed to teach the principles of effective grassroots organizing;
- hold grassroots conference calls where organizers can brainstorm and collaborate;
- stage “visibility actions” such as “banner drops” at congressional offices and other public forums;
- coordinate “sign-on letter” campaigns where local and state legislators sign letters to Congress that say, in effect: “Don’t cut us, we’re already starving; raise taxes and cut Pentagon waste instead”;
spread the NPN message by writing letters to the editor, putting out press releases, contacting media outlets, and speaking directly to congresspeople; and
- consistently invite new organizations to join the NPN network;
In 2011, NPN supported the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street movement and its crusade against those described by NPN as “really rich people” who were “doing very well” financially while evading their duty to pay their fair share of taxes.
In the fall of 2014, NPN addressed the matter of the al Qaeda offshoot known as ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), a powerful and well-funded terrorist group that in recent months had seized control of vast swaths of those two countries—brutalizing, enslaving, slaughtering, and in many cases crucifying or beheading its victims in the process. Counseling against military intervention by the U.S., NPN said: “There’s no military solution to ISIS’s atrocities. In fact, military action will make solutions impossible down the road.… Pentagon cuts didn’t create ISIS. Excessive militarism did…. Bombs can’t destroy an ideology. No troops. Boots on the ground created the mess we’re in now.” The proper course of action, the Network explained, would be for the U.S. to work diplomatically “with Iran” and “through the UN” while pouring vast sums of money into “humanitarian relief for the war-displaced.” Moreover, NPN emphasized that “the Pentagon’s budget should still be cut and we still need that money in our communities.”
The NPN member network consists of scores of national organizations such as the Alliance for Global Justice, the American Friends Service Committee, Code Pink, the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, Historians Against the War, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, the National Priorities Project, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Pax Christi USA, Peace Action, Progressive Democrats of America, United For Peace and Justice, the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the U.S. Peace Council, Veterans for Peace, the War Resisters League, WarIsACrime.org, and Women’s Action for New Directions.
In addition, NPN also includes local and regional branches of such groups as AFSCME, the American Federation of Teachers, the Black Radical Congress, Citizen Action, the Service Employees International Union, UNITE HERE!, and Women in Black.