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Oppose Senate resolution imposing new sanctions on Iran

So far Massachusetts Senators Warren and Markey haven’t signed  onto this hawkish Menendez resolution, but they haven’t spoken out against it either.  UJP urges everyone to call Sen. Warren and Markey to oppose S1881which seeks to impose new sanctions on Iran.

 47 Senators Take AIPAC’s Word Over U.S. Intel Community

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China's New Economic Model: Towards Justice and Sustainability

China watchers in 2013 focused on the Communist Party central committee third plenum held in November, where the new leadership detailed the national socio-economic development plan through 2020.  This was the first opportunity for the new General Secretary Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to detail their policy direction.

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UJP meeting discusses Iran and Syria: opposing US sanctions

Activists gathered in Cambridge on Nov. 20 to discuss the projected agreement among the US, Iran and other powers to put Iranian development of its nuclear power program on hold in exchange for release of billions of dollars of frozen assets. Peace activists greeted the development as a rare opportunity to make some real progress. This could be the first step towards a larger, more permanent settlement leading to a significant relaxation of tension in the region.

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 Josh Ruebner, national advocacy director of the US-Campaign To End the Israeli Occupation, spoke in Cambridge Sept. 29 on his new book, "Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israel-Palestine Peace."   The US-Campaign is the largest national coalition working on Israel/Palestine and Palestine solidarity issues; its campaigns include cutting US funding to Israel and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

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UJP Holds Forum on Conflict in Syria

Peace, Justice Organizations Plan Syria Protests

"Dirty Wars" film challenges peace movement

Duncan McFarlandJeremy Scahill's documentary film "Dirty Wars" is an excellent expose of JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command), the expanding, menacing, mostly secret assassination unit that reports only to the President.   We hear of kill lists, night raids, kill campaigns, unnamed targets.  But the questions remains -- what to do about it?  

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UJP Forum on Marathon Bombings Raises Critical Issues

Fuel on the Fire: Oil and the Iraq War (event report)

Duncan M cFarlandTerry Rockefeller of Families for Peaceful Tomorrows hosted a book party July 26 featuring Greg Muttitt talking about his book  "Fuel on the Fire: Oil and the Iraq War".   A wide ranging discussion followed.  Greg focused on the role of oil in the war on Iraq.  About 60% of the world's oil reserves are in the Middle East, with about 10% in Iraq.

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UJP Teach-in Aims to Stop a New War in the Middle East

Duncan McFarlandUJP, Dorchester People for Peace, and the Boston University Antiwar Coalition cosponsored a teach-in on April 28 hosted by the Suffolk University Government Department at the Suffolk Law School in Boston. Entitled "New War in the Middle East? A Teach-in on Iran," the ambitious program featured two panels with several university professors, students and a public official.

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Chinese politics: notes on the case of Bo Xilai

Summary: in Fall 2012 strict term limits will lead to major turnover in the top leadership of the Chinese Communist Party at the 18th Party Congress.  Politics will be a hot topic among China watchers this year.  However, the highly publicized fall of Chongqing leader Bo Xilai from his high positions probably has more to do with corruption and illegal actions than political struggle.  Continuity of policies seems more likely than major change.
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Report on UFPJ's National Conference

Duncan McFarlandUFPJ held its first national conference in over three years in Philadelphia on Feb. 25-26, 2012.   The working conference was well attended, with 80 people representing/members of about 25 organizations.
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Report on the UJP Strategy Meeting: “Getting It Straight on Iraq”

Duncan McFarlandUJP devoted its Jan. 14 strategy meeting to understanding what is happening in Iraq at this important yet confusing juncture. At the time of the runup to the Iraq War starting in Summer 2002 there was a huge expansion of the national peace movement; UFPJ was organized as the umbrella coalition. On Feb. 15 2003 antiwar demonstrations were organized in New York City and in many countries, the largest global protest in history.

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The Military Budget and the Peace and Justice Movement

Duncan McFarlandSummary: in 2011 there was a shift in dialogue from regarding Pentagon budget requests as untouchable to discussion of cutting the military budget; this is a big step forward.  However, no significant cuts in core programs have actually been made and no monies moved from military to social programs.  These difficult tasks remain.

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"Ending the Endless Wars" Conference

The first panel at the UJP conference. Left, Max Elbaum. Right, Najib Saliba and Ann Wright.   Photos by Pat Westwater-Jong
UJP's 10th anniversary conference, Ending the Endless Wars and Occupations, drew 250 Boston area peace activists to an all-day movement building conversation October at held at Suffolk University, and cosponsored by the Suffolk Department of Government.  The gathering was UJP's largest since the height of the Iraq war in 2006. 
Assistant Prof. Brian Conley welcomed the conference, which drew dozens of Suffolk undergraduates, to Suffolk University.  Shelagh Foreman of Peace Action read remarks, "No Justice, No Peace", by ex-Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner.   He congratulated UJP on ten years of work and emphasized the importance of the justice component, citing UJP's work to stop BU's dangerous level 4 biolab as an positive example.  Turner reminded us of Martin Luther King's "three evils" of war, racism and poverty and said that all must be addressed as part of the same system.   Turner advised us to persist in our efforts and not get discouraged in case of adversity.
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