Three days after the 9/11 attacks, Rep. Barbara Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against going to war. She recognized that a “rush to launch precipitous military counterattacks runs too great a risk that more innocent men, women, children will be killed.”
She faced isolation, threats, and condemnation from huge pro-war majorities in the Congress and across the country. But she held her ground, and has remained a leader in fighting for cuts in the military budget and the repeal of the authorizations for war that George W. Bush launched 20 years ago.
Despite her isolation in Congress, Rep. Lee did not stand alone. Anti-war and other progressive organizations stood by her. Over the years, they mobilized powerful movements that succeeded in transforming public opinion into widespread opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
To share her reflections on what has transpired in the 20 years since 9/11 and where we go next, Rep. Lee was interviewed by Amy Goodman, host and executive producer of Democracy Now!
Rep. Lee then engaged in conversation with Tope Folarin, executive director of the Institute for Policy Studies, Diane Randall, general secretary of FCNL, and Stephen Miles, executive director of Win Without War, about the lessons they have all learned 20 years after 9/11.
Together, they discussed how to build new political momentum towards cutting the military budget in half, both to fund human needs at home and to end the wars that are destroying so many lives abroad. They also discussed the importance of mobilizing the public for diplomacy and development, and not for militarism.
This event was co-hosted by the Institute for Policy Studies, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), and Win Without War.