The US and turmoil in the Middle East: an update on the latest crises

When: Thursday, August 7, 2014, 7:00 pm
Where: Cambridge Friends Meeting • 5 Longfellow Park • off Brattle St - Harvard T • Cambridge
2014 Aug 7 - 7:00pm
Firsthand report from Palestine and analysis of Iraq and Syria

Raed JarrarRaed Jarrar, policy impact coordinator for AFSC, was in Jerusalem July 10-17 as Israel launched the attack on Gaza.  Raed will report on his experiences and also focus on analysis of the current situation in Iraq.  The presentation will describe overarching US policy in the Middle East including Syria and Egypt, and how the peace movement can take action.

Jarrar was born and educated in Baghdad and currently lives in Washington D.C.  He has been a leading commentator on the US in Iraq since the invasion of 2003.
sponsored by United for Justice with Peace
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Boston Remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Moving from Violence to Unity

When: Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Where: First Church in Boston • 66 Marlborough St • Arlington T • Boston
2014 Aug 6 - 3:00pm
2014 Aug 6 - 5:30pm

69 years later, it’s time to fund jobs in Boston’s communities –
not militarism and violence

Memorial Procession





  Assembly and Invocation:

First Church in Boston, Berkeley & Marlborough Streets

Procession through Public Garden, Boston Common, past State House

Ceremony at Boston City Hall

Tina Chery, Louis D. Brown Peace Institute

 “Soran Bushi” Japanese Dancers

Taiko Drumming 

Please join us for the 2nd annual memorial procession to take action in building a non-violent world free of the atrocities of nuclear weapons, militarism, and oppression.


 This year, we will bring together music, dance and talks to commemorate the 69th year of the Hiroshima & Nagasaki tragedies. Almost 7 decades later, it's time to fund jobs in Boston's communities, not militarism and violence! Let's show that there is a connection between violence in the community and the mass destruction caused by these weapons.

Tina CherySpeaking during the ceremony will be Tina Chery, President and CEO of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute. After her oldest son passed away due to gun violence, she founded this institute to educate and outreach to the families of homicide victims. She subsequently developed the Peace Curriculum with the aim of creating a safe environment for young people. Integrating classroom discussions and community service with an emphasis on peace and peacemaking, this curriculum is an effective intervention for reducing juvenile crime. 

Massachusetts Peace Action initiated this event; Dorchester People for Peace helped bring it to Boston. The First Church in Boston generously opened its doors and embraced Boston Remembers Hiroshima & Nagasaki. 

SponsorsMassachusetts Peace Action, Dorchester People for Peace,
American Friends Service Committee, Arlington Street Church Social Justice Committee, Arlington UJP, Bikes Not Bombs, Boston Mobilization, Cape Codders for Peace & Justice, Cape Downwinders, Leverett Peace Pagoda, Massachusetts Senior Action (Cambridge chapter), Newton Dialogues on Peace & War, Pilgrim Coalition, United for Justice with Peace, Veterans for Peace/Smedley Butler Brigade, Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom – Boston Branch (list in formation)

Download the Flyer: Boston Remembers Hiroshima

Read:  Cambridge Chronicle coverage of last year's event and Watch: Cambridge Cable TV coverage

contact: Massachusetts Peace Action, 11 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138 · · 617-354-2169

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Almost 70 years after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Joseph Gerson, AFSC's disarmament coordinator, answers questions about the legacy of the 1945 atomic bombings.   Originally posted at

Why do people each year commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Joseph GersonCommemorations of the first atomic bombings held across the United States and around the world provide a means to remind ourselves, our communities and elected officials that we continue to face the danger of nuclear annihilation, and that action for nuclear disarmament is an urgent necessity. Commemorations open spaces to educate the public—especially young generations—about the human consequences of nuclear war.

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2000 People March in Boston to Stop Attack on Gaza

Over 2,000 people marched through the streets of Boston on July 22, rallying to stop the attack on Gaza.  From Copley Square to the State House, the streets were flooded with people.  The chants were loud: "Free Gaza" -- "Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israeli crimes" -- and "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." 

At the State House there were over 20 people who risked arrest by staging a die-in.  With the violence by Israel escalating daily, more and more children and civilians are being killed, so something had to be done.  Drones are now flying over Gaza, killing children while they play at the beach.

Gaza has been under siege, surrounded by Israeli checkpoints where they have no place to go.  The siege must be lifted and Gaza must be free.  And so, "Free, free Palestine" was changed over and over to let everyone know what the protest was all about.

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Fracked Gas Pipeline in Massachusetts?

On July 30, 2014 from 11 AM to 1 PM, there will be a rally at the State House in Boston to welcome and join the “rolling marchers” who are walking to protest a proposed pipeline of fracked gas running through their communities. 

This is a proposed high-pressure gas pipeline to run from New York, to Richmond in Berkshire County and through to Dracut, north of Boston. 

Petitions in opposition to this project will be presented to the legislature and governor.  You can sign them here:

Brief Overview

The company planning this pipeline is Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners.  The project is called the “Northeast Expansion Direct.”

The cost of this pipeline is estimated at 3 billion dollars (some of) which would be paid by a new tariff on electric ratepayers. 

This proposed pipeline would run through hundreds of private properties including farmland and apple orchards in the hill towns of Western Massachusetts!

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Fears of new conflict in Iraq spark protests

Photo by: John Wilcox
WAR-WEARY: Protestors such Thea Paneth from Arlington United for Justice with Peace, protest on Boston Common yesterday.
From the Boston Herald - Sunday, June 22, 2014

By: Antonio Planas

Anti-War Protesters Voice Opposition To U.S....

Opposition to a return of U.S. combat troops to Iraq is being voiced from Boston Common to Capitol Hill. WBZ-TV's Jim Smith reports

About 75 people opposed to U.S. military intervention in Iraq rallied on Boston Common yesterday as insurgents led by an al-Qaeda breakaway group expanded their offensive in a volatile western province, capturing three strategic towns.

The protest was organized by United for Justice with Peace and other affiliated groups who fear that President Obama’s decision to send 300 military advisers to join 275 U.S. troops already in Iraq to quell the insurgency may draw the country back into combat.

“I saw a lot of death and destruction for no reason,” said Iraq War veteran Michael Sullivan, 29, of Shirley. “We shouldn’t go back in because we’re causing more harm to ourselves — we need to let them settle it.”

Sullivan was deployed to Camp Liberty outside Baghdad for 10 months, beginning in 2005. Sullivan, with the group Veterans for Peace, said the U.S. intervention in Iraq created “false hope” among Iraqis and American military intervention didn’t change the instability in the country.

Protestors holding signs, some reading “No New War on Iraq” and “Don’t Bomb Iraq Again,” said they were concerned the limited intervention by the U.S. government might spread to all-out war.

Thea Paneth, 55, of Arlington, said the U.S. has been in and out of Iraq since the early 1990s and nothing has changed except far too many Iraqi civilian deaths.

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Protesters march to support Palestine and Boycott, Divestment and Santions

On July 9 in Boston over 100 people chanted to end apartheud in Israel and to “Free Free Palestine."   With more than twenty different organizations represented, including UJP, the spirited group started at Park Street and walked through downtown, stopping  at different BDS campaign target sites:

o Macy’s, to demand that they stop selling SodaStream,

o Veolia, to respect human rights and not try and to break up the Boston School Bus Drivers Union,

o Finally, to pension fund TIAA-CREF to divest from occupation profiteers.

Israel continues to escalate its war on Palestine and especially Gaza, and more and more Palestinians are being killed. Responding to the call of Palestinian civil society for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is an effective way to support the Palestinian struggle.

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