By SYLVIA WEINSTEIN
The first Mothers Day proclamation was proclaimed by Julia Ward Howe in a poem titled “Mothers Day Proclamation, 1870.” Julia Ward Howe wrote the lyrics for the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Her poem starts out with:
“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or tears! Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
“Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy, and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
“From the bosom of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, ‘Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.’
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of council.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the human family can live in peace, each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient, and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.”
Not bad for a woman who wrote this before the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean war, the Vietnam War, the many, many wars against the people of Central and South America, the war against the people of the Middle East, Iraq, and now on the brink of a much bigger war, the war against the people of Yugoslavia and any other country that stands in the way of continued profits for the world imperialists!
Imperialism has decided it has waited long enough for the Eastern European countries to jump onto the “free world,” which is not going to be free to the people of Eastern Europe. This war against Yugoslavia is a real wake-up call to Russia, China, and Cuba that “Uncle Sam Wants You” real bad.
Let’s view the “free world” in its richest country, the USA. These figures are from Stephanie Salter’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle, April 11, 1999:
Hundreds of thousands of America’s children are suffering from disease, hunger, serious injury, and educational failure from living in substandard shelter, 21,000 children have stunted growth, and 120,000 suffer anemia because their families must choose between food and rent.
Ten thousand children between the ages of four and nine are hospitalized for asthma attacks each year because of cockroach infestation at home.
Meanwhile, less than one-third of households (29 percent) owned stock worth more than $5000 in 1995.
Almost 90 percent of the value of all stocks and mutual funds owned by households was in the hands of the top 10 percent. And that top 10 percent wants the wealth of the rest of the world too.
They are willing to bomb any country back to the Stone Age in order to get it.
So, happy Mothers Day to all of those who march against the NATO (U.S.) war. Some day, we will have a real happy Mothers Day, when the workers of the entire world arise and take it for themselves.