Group of Catholic religious communities that promote “peace and social justice issues”
The 8th Day Justice Center is a consortium of Catholic religious communities that works on what it calls "peace and social justice issues," seeking to create “a more just world” by acting as “a critical alternative voice to oppressive systems and [working] actively to change those systems.” In most need of immediate transformation, says the Center, are what it identifies as the hallmarks of American life: discrimination, bigotry, imperialism, and militarism. According to the Center, too many Americans continue to suffer inequities as a result of their “ethnicity, religion, cultural background, gender, socio-economic class, and sexual orientation.” The Center also condemns the evils of globalization, big business in general, and "any effort to expand the powers of the World Trade Organization.” It prefers a socialist economic model that could ensure “a just distribution of resources.”
On September 12, 2001 -- the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- the 8th Day Justice Center issued a statement that accused the United States of having provoked the attacks, and exhorted the Bush administration to eschew any military response: “We recognize that such an act of terrorism is a result of systemic violence. The economic and military policies of the U.S. have resulted in untold poverty and deaths globally, which causes many to view the U.S. as a perpetrator of such violence. We believe that an escalation of violence as proposed by U.S. leaders will only perpetuate the cycle of violence. Therefore, we call U.S. political, religious, and civil leaders to respond with reconciliation based on social justice rather than revenge; open dialogue rather than inflammatory rhetoric; peaceful nonviolent alternatives rather than plans for war; respect for all peoples rather than stereotypes and blame; [and] restraint rather than retaliation, examining the impact of U.S. policies on the global community rather than proclaiming innocence.”
The 8th Day Justice Center has also accused the U.S. government of engaging in “the scapegoating and murder of whole communities, religions and nations to protect national interests.” Along those lines, the Center regards the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as an “immoral and illegal” undertaking that was based on “inaccurate” rationales put forth by a President who willfully “manipulated the public trust.” The Center further alleges that torture “has become a normal part of the [U.S.] occupation” of Iraq; that America routinely sends “prisoners to other countries for the purpose of torture”; that “Iraq’s infrastructure has been devastated” by the U.S. military; and that “astronomical military spending steals from people who are made poor through cuts in social programs.”
The 8th Day Justice Center is led by Catholic nuns, many of whom have been arrested and jailed for their participation in disruptive demonstrations. It is a member organization of the Abolition 2000 anti-war coalition, and maintains strong ties to Voices in the Wilderness (VW) and the World Social Forum. One of the Center's more notable figures is the Cathic priest and anti-war activist Bob Bossie, who co-founded VW and Plowshares.
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