Social Justice Calendar of Western Massachusetts

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Events for September 16, 2020

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10:00 am

Virtual Lobby Day: Change the Flag and Seal and Ban Native mascots!

September 16 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Change the Flag and Seal, ban Native Mascots, protect Native heritage

Four hundred years after the Pilgrims landed In Plymouth, it is long past time for Massachusetts to begin to reckon with its racist and damaging history with Native Americans.

Join this virtual lobby day to call on State Legislators to pass the Indigenous Legislative Agenda. The bill to change the state flag, seal, and motto has unanimously passed the Senate and awaits action in the House. The bills to ban Native American sports mascots in Massachusetts public schools and to preserve Indigenous antiquities await action in both chambers.

We will start the lobby day with a briefing from leading activists and legislators. Then, each of us will call our own legislators as well as a list of other legislators to push them to act. When you register, please give us either your address or the names of your rep and senator, so we can plan the calls.

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6:00 pm

The Wars Are Here: How Our Post-9/11 Wars Helped Militarize Our Police

September 16 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The Costs of War Project is releasing a new report documenting how the post-9/11 wars have intensified police militarization in the United States. To coincide with this launch, the Watson Institute is hosting a livestream panel with scholars, civil society advocates, and a member of Congress to discuss the connection between militarization both abroad and at home, and to reflect on how this phenomenon is especially apparent in the current moment.

The panel will feature Jessica Katzenstein, a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Brown and lead author of the report. Fanna Gamal, Binder Fellow at the UCLA School of Law, will provide historical context on the racial politics of police militarization. We will also hear from Yasmine Taeb, Senior Policy Counsel of Demand Progress, who is leading advocacy efforts on anti-militarism at home and abroad; Rahna Epting, Executive Director of MoveOn, who will reflect on the current grassroots energy to take on these structures, particularly from a racial justice standpoint; and Representative Hank Johnson, Congressman from Georgia’s 4th District, a lead sponsor of legislation to de-militarize police.

The event will be livestreamed at

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7:00 pm

Global Cooperation or New Cold War? The People’s Foreign Policy

September 16 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

"If Trump loses in November and can be forced out of office, building opposition to U.S. militarism and the foreign policies of a Biden administration will likely be the social justice movement’s biggest challenge," writes Max Elbaum in Organizing Upgrade. Meanwhile, both the Trump Administration and the Biden-led Democratic Party are moving on a path of confrontation with China, writes Tobita Chow in The Nation.

Max Elbaum was a member of Students for a Democratic Society. has been active in peace, anti-racist and radical movements since joining SDS in Madison, Wisconsin in the 1960s. The third edition of his book, Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che, was released by Verso in 2018. He was editor of War Times, a free antiwar weekly during the anti-Iraq war movement of the early 2000's, and is now a member of the editorial collective of Organizing Upgrade, founded in 2017 to gather left organizers to discuss strategy and share organizing models that respond to the profound dangers and the real opportunities of this political moment.

Tobita Chow is the direc­tor of Jus­tice Is Glob­al, a spe­cial project of People’s Action that is build­ing a move­ment to cre­ate a more just and sus­tain­able glob­al econ­o­my and defeat right-wing nation­al­ism around the world. Tobita has been organizing campaigns for corporate accountability and racial and economic justice in Chicago since 2009. He was a key leader in bringing Moral Mondays to Illinois and served as Chair of the Board of Directors of The People's Lobby. He holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and a Master’s Degree in Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Cosponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action, Organizing Upgrade and Justice is Global

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