Tribute to George Paz Martin, by Julie Enslow
George Paz Martin, 1946-2023
George Paz Martin was born in 1946 in the Philippines, the WWII love child of an island beauty and a black American GI. His father brought them to the United States after the war and George was raised in Milwaukee’s black community. At the age of 16 their parish priest, civil rights leader Fr. James Groppi, took George with him to Washington DC for the March on Washington . There, George was 20 feet from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. It changed his life.
After years of working for non-profits in the areas of economic development, civil rights, homeless vets, health care for the homeless, gang violence and a stint in marketing and promotion, George ended up in 2000 working in the Ralph Nader for President campaign and became a leader in the Green Party. He joined Peace Action Wisconsin and became totally committed to peace and justice, nuclear disarmament and anti-war organizing. In 2001 he became program director for Peace Action WI and joined the national effort to stop a US war on Iraq. He was chosen as national co-chair of United for Peace and Justice for 8 years.
George was a powerful, dynamic speaker, an excellent organizer and had the ability to bring people together. His international work for peace led to over 20 trips to Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. He was interviewed on radio and TV in over 120 countries.
Twenty years ago, WNPJ had its annual meeting during intensive efforts to prevent a U.S. war on Iraq. George Martin was there and passionately proposed a statewide action at our US Congressional home offices. WNPJ and George organized sit-ins at three of Sen. Kohl’s offices simultaneously. In Milwaukee we occupied Kohl’s office four days and three nights. If George was here today he would be calling for WNPJ to again promote joint actions around the state at congressional offices to stop the Israeli genocide against the people of Gaza. Let us do all we can to help bring justice and peace to Israel/Palestine.
Julie Enslow of Milwaukee