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In our war culture we learn to define the "other" -- the "outsider" -- as an "enemy" from our earliest hours. The "enemy" is depersonalized in wars to make killing easier, so that it's easier not to care and to close our eyes and hearts to the inflicted horrors that all wars are. What needs to happen is a total transformation. We need to recognize the humanity of others – one way to do that is to welcome war refugees (sometimes mistermed migrants or immigrants by the media) – as we take responsibility for the consequences of the wars waged in our names by our government.
Those of us who work for peace day after day, week after week, year after year, decade after decade are among those who do take that step toward recognition of the humanity of others. We abhor the bombs dropping on children, mothers, fathers, grandparents. I always think – hey – there are people down there – it's not shock and awe it's murder! I find it very painful when I stand with my sign for peace and people in my community drive past shouting out justifications for bombing and killing – even one time - thankfully only one time- "nuke 'em". The violence here and wars there are out of control, we are eclipsed by events that worsen daily and our voices continue unheeded.
A full-page ad calling for every public figure, elected politician and media outlet to stand up against the "dangerous tide of hatred, violence, and suspicion" that is being expressed across the U.S. with more than 700 organizations and individuals appeared in the Thursday, December 10, 2015 New York Times.
The ad launches a campaign opposing racism, bigotry and violence called #We Are Better Than This.
There are 60 million refugees in the world, the same number as were refugees at the end of WW II.
On October 31 in an unprecedented joint warning, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross called for "states to stop conflicts, respect international law and aid refugees." Criticizing the global response to the refugee crisis, Ban Ki-moon said, "In the face of blatant inhumanity, the world has responded with disturbing paralysis."
The Grand Staircase in the Massachusetts State House reverberated with the call to Close Pilgrim NOW this afternoon as citizens held a two hour speakout detailing every aspect of the problem.
The Pilgrim nuclear plant is operated by Entergy Corp. which has said it will close the reactor in 2019. Even the nuclear-loving NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) has designated this plant one of the three most unsafe in the nation.
From the first notes of “O sisters, let’s go down…down to the river to pray, studying about that good old way…” a concert to launch Rise Again A Group Singing Songbook was one of the more uplifting and heartfelt evenings of recent experience. The event was sponsored by Cambridge Forum, it was recorded and will be available at their website.
Today John Lennon would be 75 and the radio played his song Power to the People. Earlier this week a couple thousand people made a peace sign in New York's Central Park in response to Yoko Ono's call to honor John's birthday in this way.
Arlington United for Justice with Peace responded to the moveon.org call for local peace vigils in support of the Iran agreement that is currently before Congress for a vote.
Despite the rain, twenty people stood out for an hour at Arlington Town Hall on Thursday, September 10 from 6 to 7 pm.
Pres. Obama celebrated May 25th as the"...the first Memorial Day in 14 years that the US is not engaged in a major ground war..." (my emphasis).
Free! Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed have been released from prison for their Transform Now Plowshares action on July 28, 2012.
I've used up some personal time this week to join the folks gathered down at Moakley Federal Courthouse in the morning to protest the death penalty as the trial enters its final stage.
This is my soap box speech from the Park Street demo, Sat. Feb. 21. Thankfully it was not so cold as it is today!
The global situation is careening out of control
Every country the U.S. and/or NATO have bombed is in a state of chaos: Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and Afghanistan. US warmongers are not satisfied with all that chaos, they are sparring with Russia over the Ukraine – playing a very dangerous game with a nuclear armed power
Mobilize for a Nuclear Free, Just, Sustainable World Instead! (We've done it before and can do it again)
On January 22, 2015 the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of the doomsday clock two minutes closer to midnight.
"This is about doomsday; this is about the end of civilization as we know it," said bulletin executive director Kennette Benedict. "The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon," she said.
Today the doomsday clock was moved forward to three minutes to midnight. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said in a statement today: "World leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of leadership endanger every person on earth."
Last night members of Arlington United for Justice with Peace went to see the timely movie Selma that just opened at our hometown movie theater, The Capitol.
The actors give rather understated performances in a slow-paced film punctuated by violence. The bombing of the Birmingham church is set squarely at the beginning and although I knew what was coming I jumped at the horror of it: Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair.