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Diplomacy Triumphs as Historic Iran Deal Relaxes Mideast Tensions

After years of sanctions, suspicion, war threats, and negotiations, six world powers and Iran announced a comprehensive deal this morning to resolve disputes over Iran's nuclear program and roll back sanctions.  

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Hiroshima & Nagasaki: 70 Years — Never Again!

A Call to Observe Hiroshima & Nagasaki Week in Massachusetts

August 6-9, 2015

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Peace & Planet Protest Demands Urgent Action on Nuclear Disarmament

Appeal to the Peace and Climate Movements

We are at a crossroads, faced with a climate crisis that threatens to end our world as we know it.

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MFSO, Presente!

The peace movement has lost one of the tallest trees in the forest.  The loss of MFSO so soon after the memorial service for its co-founder Charley Richardson is a reminder that our movement and our organizations are only human and that change is eternal.

Mass Peace Action's work has been enriched by our alliance with Massachusetts MFSO leaders Charley and Nancy Lessin, Melida and Carlos Arredondo, Sarah Fuhro, Bonnie Gorman, Maureen and Michael Hearn, Kevin and Joyce Lucey, Deb Forter, and Sam Diener, among others. We are also most grateful for Bonnie Gorman's service on our Board where she has brought her lifetime experience and passion as a veteran, nurse and Gold Star family member to our work.
 
I am personally grateful for the work I shared in the past with MFSO activists Mary Hladky and Lionelle Hamanaka in the UFPJ Afghanistan Working Group and on Jobs Not Wars, and with Samantha Miller in the UFPJ coordinating group and the launch of UFPJ's current website.
 
As the urgency of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts begins to fade, priorities change and so do we.  It is more important than ever that we keep our eyes on the prize, stand together and find ways to sustain lifelong organization and develop leadership and activism for peace and justice.  
 
MFSOPresente!
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Coalition Urges Legislators: Stop Cuts, Close Loopholes, Trim Pentagon

Boston, July 10-- The State Legislature should send a strong “anti-austerity” message to Washington to reverse devastating federal budget cuts, witnesses said today at a Statehouse hearing. Led by veteran community leader Mel King, 40 speakers from community, labor and peace groups, elected officials and policy experts urged the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs to pass the “Budget for All Resolution” (H 3211 and S 1750) to oppose federal cuts that threaten to reverse the state’s economic recovery and throw the state budget into deficit again. “Which side are you on?,” King asked legislators.

Community leader Mel King
Modeled on language passed by voters by an average 3 to 1 margin in each of the 91 cities and towns where it was on the ballot last November, the Budget for All Resolution urges Congress and President Obama to generate new revenues to invest in jobs by closing corporate tax loopholes, taxing the top 2% earners, ending the war in Afghanistan quickly and redirecting Pentagon spending to jobs and human needs.

“There is reason to fear that through budget cuts or a retreat from crucial programs, Washington would undo much of what we have accomplished in Massachusetts,” State Treasurer Steven Grossman stated in written testimony. “The people of Massachusetts have expressed support for these resolutions at the ballot box. I respectfully request that your committee do the same by reporting it favorably.”

“The lights were out in two Head Start classrooms in my town because of sequestration,” said Rep. David Rogers of Cambridge. “The lives of our future citizens are being formed. We are spending too much on the military, and there is too much of a gap between the haves and the have-nots. The Budget for All has got it right and we should pass it,” he concluded.

Several speakers testified to the devastating local effects of the $1 trillion in across the board “sequester” cuts that kicked in on March 1, with a 5% cut in every federal program, to be followed by 8% cuts annually for the next decade. The automatic cuts are the second stage of the $2.2 trillion “cuts only” approach to the federal deficit passed by Congress in the 2011 Budget Control Act.

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Visions: America after Hegemony

Cole HarrisonWith the Iraq war fading into memory even as the country still simmers, the U.S. peace movement faces the need to reframe its message.

We have spent the last 10 years resisting the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – tragedies that have not only devastated those two countries and taken tens of thousands of lives, but have left thousands of returning veterans with lifelong disabilities and taken a huge toll on our national economy.

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Cole HarrisonAs Congress prepared to vote on “fiscal cliff” legislation, 7 Massachusetts State Senators and 18 State Representatives appealed to the Massachusetts Congressional delegation Dec. 31, asking them to promote only budgetary policies that are consistent with a non-binding ballot question on the federal budget supported overwhelmingly by Massachusetts voters in November.

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Budget for All Update, November 2, 2012

There are only four more days until election day!  The issues raised by the Budget for All are at the center of the national debate, as commentators debate whether Democrats and Republicans will make a “grand bargain” to cut Social Security, Medicare, and human services and allow military spendin

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Budget for All Update, October 22

Rep. Mike Capuano heads up a group of community and political leaders who will speak out for the Budget for All this Thursday, October 25, 10am, at the Codman Square Health Center, 637 Washington Street, Dorchester.   Five blocks from Shawmut (T).

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Budget for All Update - October 15

October 15, 2012

Take the day off on Election Day!  In only three short weeks, one million Massachusetts voters will decide on the Budget for All Referendum, and many of them will not be clear about it before walking into the polling places.   We need volunteers to hand out palm cards or flyers at the polls to reach out to those voters as they walk in.  

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Budget for All Update

October 7, 2012

Dear Budget for All organizers,

Yard signs and rally signs came in this week!   They look great and are going fast, so if you'd like some for your town, be sure to speak up ASAP!  We're asking a donation of $3.50 for yard signs (if available - only a few left) and $1 for rally signs (coated paper, 18x24).  Below, B4A supporters at Somerville's HONK Festival yesterday.

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4,500 Letters Presented to Sens. Kerry, Brown

About 60 people rallied Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Boston at Sen. Kerry's and Brown's offices.   We raised 4 demands to the SuperCommittee:

No More Cuts!                          Tax the 1%!

End the Wars!                           Invest in Jobs!

Clifton Sims and Susan Lees address SuperCommittee anti-cuts rally at Sen. Kerry's office
Clifton Sims and Susan Lees in front of Sen. Kerry's office (letters are next to Sims, wrapped in red ribbons)

Boston voters signed about 4,500 letters making these 4 points at the polls on election day.  We delivered the 4,500 letters plus 700 additional petition signatures and hand-written cards to Sen. Kerry's deputy state director Roger Lau and his health care specialist Stephen Meunier.   We then moved to the sidewalk in front of Sen. Scott Brown's office and presented another copy of the 4,500 letters to Sen. Brown's state director, Jerry McDermott.   We secured pledges from both offices to send a written response to everyone who wrote a letter.

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Protesters Demand Sen. Kerry Represent US!

Egypt Solidarity Protest Demands Mubarak Ouster

Egypt Solidarity Protest, Copley Square, Boston, Feb 5 2011

Saturday, February 5

300 protesters thronged Copley Square today demanding the downfall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and an end to U.S. aid to the Mubarak regime.

The spirited protesters sang the Egyptian national anthem, chanted, and repeatedly marched around Trinity Church chanting and singing.

photo by Sherin Shaaban

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