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June 2020

Unite Against Racism: Weekly Vigil supporting Black Lives Matter

June 26 @ 5:00 pm - 5:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 5:00 pm on Friday, repeating until October 30, 2020

Field Park, Williamstown, Field Park
Williamstown, MA 01267 United States
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You are invited to join in a weekly gathering to mourn and deepen our collective resolve to promote justice.
We will gather weekly on Fridays at 5 pm, starting this Friday, June 12, at Field Park in Williamstown (the green on the rotary). Together, we will join in respectful silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, in honor of George Floyd and the countless other Black people killed by police brutality and other forms of white supremacist violence. We aspire to practice this every week until the November election.
All are welcome. We hope that this weekly gathering may serve to deepen our commitment as a community to dismantle systemic racism. We recognize that Williamstown, too, must uproot white supremacy. Williamstown, too, must change so that those of us who are Black can breathe. We gather on Fridays to recognize these truths and recommit ourselves to the work.
Please wear a mask, practice social distancing, and invite your friends and family.
You are invited to bring signs or works of art if you are so moved. Anger is welcome. Rage is welcome. Grief is welcome. Exhaustion is welcome. We welcome all heartfelt expressions in honor of Black liberation and ending white supremacy.
Parking is available at the Williamstown Public Library and the Old Williams Inn.
Please spread the word!
Questions? Contact Rachel Payne at 617-309-0186 or rachel.r.payne@gmail.com

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Town Hall with Sen. Ed Markey

June 28 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

All are invited to join Massachusetts Peace Action as we talk about the issues with Sen. Ed Markey!

After opening remarks, Mass. Peace Action members will question Markey on issues such as:

Police violence and militarized policing

Responding to COVID

Turning the COVID crisis into opportunity

The Green New Deal

Nuclear weapons, nuclear testing, new nuclear systems, and arms control treaties.

Military budget cuts for FY2021

Relations with Iran

Sanctions: do they do more harm than good?

Israeli annexation: is it appropriate to vote for military aid?

We'll close with a reminder of what you can to do re-elect Markey to the U.S. Senate!

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Protest Campus Injustice

June 29 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Please join us AGAIN THIS MONDAY AT 4:30 ON THE CAMPUS GREEN at Westfield State University!!!

(This will be a PEACEFUL protest and we will be taking steps in order to follow SOCIAL DISTANCING.)

Last Monday... we met with the administration at WSU to discuss our disappointment with how issues are being handled insufficiently. (Issues of rape being threatened as well as racism issues on campus.) After sharing the laws and policies that the campus are hiding behind with them verbatim- they chose to stand behind the statement that they cannot disclose anything at this time. This is unacceptable.

Now they choose to release a news article from our university president (who is in CA) claiming they are doing so much for racism and campus inclusivity. It’s a joke and we need to call them on their lies.

If you have a story to share- whether you can attend or not- please reach out! We would love to give you the opportunity to speak, or speak on your behalf if you would like.

We will be protesting AGAIN THIS MONDAY the issues of protecting a rapist as well as a photo of a student in blackface since the president and university has failed to work with us at resolving this at a speedy pace. The university was given more than enough time to contact students about when we can expect this to be resolved and they gave the middle finger to that request when they chose to send out a campus wide email today with no mention of these issues and their resolution.
Please spread the word so that we get a turnout and our voices will be heard!

We are also looking for individuals who would want to speak on the racism on campus. There will be speakers on sexual assault on campus as well from sexual assault survivors. We are looking for more to speak on this subject as well.

Again- this Monday, June 29 at 4:30 on the Westfield State University campus green!!!! (In front of the library)

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Authoritarianism or Democracy: Chomsky, Van Gosse, dePass

June 29 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

RECENT AUTHORITARIAN ACTIONS OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION:
• Sending the military to attack peaceful anti-racist protesters
• Launching armed thugs against state governments & encouraging police violence
• Firing Inspectors General without cause
• Lying about the Corona Virus
• Assaulting Truth & Science
• Packing the Courts with Right-Wing “Judges”
• Refusing to accept the oversight of Congress
• Undermining the independence of a free press
Register now for a webinar featuring Noam Chomsky, Van Gosse, and Ty dePass.
Please join us for the webinar and in the struggle for democracy and constitutional government.
Noam Chomsky is Laureate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona and Professor Emeritus of M.I.T. He has long been among the leading critics of U.S. foreign and military policies, neoliberalism and political corruption in the U.S. and other nations.
Van Gosse is a Professor of History at Franklin & Marshall. After writing about the New Left “movement of movements” for some years, he now studies black politics between the Revolution and the Civil War. He has been active in peace and solidarity work since the 1980s (CISPES, Peace Action, United for Peace and Justice) and helped found Historians Against the War, now H-PAD, in 2003.
New York-born Ty dePass was an anti-racist activist in Boston in the 70s and 80s. He is now a member of Simple Justice in Columbia, SC, and deejays Latin-Caribbean dance music drawing inspiration from Cuban independence fighter Antonio Maceo.
Sponsored by the Authoritarianism Study/ Action Group of Massachusetts Peace Action.

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Renew New England Launch Rally

June 30 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Join us as we launch Renew New England – a groundbreaking new coalition of leading racial justice organizations, labor unions, frontline communities, and environmental advocates fighting for a region-wide Jobs Guarantee to tackle mass unemployment, economic and racial inequality, the coronavirus pandemic, and climate change.
We’ll hear from Bernie, Ayanna, Varshini, Ro, and Rev. Mariama, introduce the slate of 100+ candidates, and explain how you can get involved to elect the bold leadership New England needs right now.

Find out more »

July 2020

Resistance and Dissent in the Military, with Danny Sjursen and Dan Luker

July 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

In the past several weeks, as large-scale protests against police brutality and racism have swept the country, many Americans have seen heavily-armed troops patrolling the streets. Police around the country cracked down with brutal methods, shooting unarmed protesters with rubber bullets, extensively using tear gas, and brutally attacking and beating protesters.

President Trump has incited this violence, and in a memorable incident sent police and the national guard to violently disperse protests around the White House so he could walk to the nearby St. John’s church for a photo op, bible in hand. These developments point to the possibility of the military being used increasingly to crack down on protests and dissent.

At the same time, there has recently been a lot of dissent and debate within the military itself, from objections to the Pentagon’s handling of the Covid19 pandemic to growing discomfort with Trump’s apparent willingness to unleash brutal repression on protesters.

Danny Sjursen and Dan Luker will talk about debates within the military in the present situation, and discuss their own experiences with dissent and debate, resistance and rebellion as active-duty soldiers.
Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army Major and regular contributor to antiwar.com, Truthdig, The Nation, Tom Dispatch, The Huffington Post, and The Hill. His work has also appeared in Harper’s, The LA Times, and Buzz Feed. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge (2015). He co-hosts the progressive veterans’ podcast “Fortress on a Hill.” Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet.
Dan Luker is a leading activist with Veterans For Peace, Boston Chapter 9 – the Smedley Butler Brigade, an organization dedicated to the abolishment of war. He is a Vietnam Combat veteran and a long time advocate for peace. He organizes against the privatization of the Veterans’ Administration, and advocates for a substantial cut to the Pentagon budget. The Smedley Butler Brigade is the yearly sponsor an antiwar rally each November 11th, to reclaim Veteran’s Day and return it to its original name, Armistice Day, a celebration of an end to war.
This Program is sponsored by the Raytheon Antiwar Campaign, a coalition of peace and justice groups dedicated to opposing the military industrial complex right here in Massachusetts.

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America’s endless wars come home: the militarization of the police

July 2 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

The use of military equipment against Americans protesting police brutality demonstrates the link between militarization abroad and at home. The War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the bloated Pentagon budget, pork barrel politics of Members of Congress, have all led to systematic militarized violence against Americans. If police see themselves as soldiers, and the neighborhoods they patrol as battle space, then ordinary American citizens are the enemy.

This panel will discuss how we got to this point, and how to reduce the militarization of the police moving forward.

Andrew Bacevich, President of the Quincy Institute, will discuss the implications of militarized police for the civil-military relationship, and the impact of endless war on our domestic situation.

Bill Hartung, of the Center for International Policy, will discuss why the Pentagon has so much excess military equipment that ends up in the hands of police departments, and whether reform must begin with the Department of Defense or Congress.

Wayne McElrath, of the Project on Government Oversight, will explain the vulnerabilities of the 1033 program, and efforts to curtail the flow of equipment.

Sara DuBois, of the Pentagon Budget Campaign, will serve as moderator.

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Iraq: Occupation, Governance, Protests

July 2 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq by U.S. and British forces was a momentous event for Iraq, the region, and the world. Iraq has experienced political instability, corruption, deteriorating public services, economic decline, ISIS terrorism, and several protest waves. A new government was formed in May 2020 but protests continued, and the country now faces health challenges on top of economic, environmental, and security threats. This webinar will examine the structural and institutional defects that have generated citizen frustration as well as civil society initiatives. Introduced and moderated by MAPA Board member Val Moghadam, the webinar’s speakers will be political scientist Shamiran Mako and documentary filmmaker Terry Kay Rockefeller.

Shamiran Mako will speak about:
• Iraq’s political and institutional set-up since 2003
• Challenges of the complex power-sharing arrangement
• Iraq’s regional and international relations
• US economic and military interests in Iraq

Terry Rockefeller will talk about:
She will speak about:
• The protest movement in Iraq, from 2011 to the present, and especially the mass uprising that began in October 2019—the goals of the protests and the repression they have experienced.
• How Covid-19 is influencing the protests.
• Major initiatives of civil society in Iraq today: accountability for human rights violations of the protester, women’s rights, and environmental issues.
• Recent civil society efforts to build regional civil society solidarity on water issues.
• The need and potential for international solidarity with Iraqi civil society.

Moderated by Valentine Moghadam, professor of international relations, Northeastern University.

Sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action's Middle East Working Group

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FAMILIES FOR BLACK LIVES

This moment in the Black Lives Matter movement is teaching me that I need to educate myself and my children more regularly and more deeply on white privilege and the racial inequalities in our community and our country. The other thing I have learned is that I am not DOING enough. However, with the pandemic and the possibility of uncertain violence (a.k.a. tear gas), I don’t yet feel safe bringing my small children to a large in-person protest. This is when a caravan protest with a live educational radio show about race came to mind. Thankfully, Monte from 93.9 The River was also into the idea!
Below you'll find a link to the event details:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tiU-LVGSFzCG0qsDn-fNK91j8Fl1_2xZTI47W2fhSlw/edit?usp=sharing
Please share this event page with everyone you think might be interested!

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Take The Mic-Reading of July 4th speech ; Frederick Douglass

July 3 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Take the mic public speaking program for girls invites you & family to be a virtual reader for the famous speech Frederick Douglass famous speech of July 5th 1852
What to the slave is 4th of July?
This will take place on July 3rd at 1pm EST. Via Zoom!
Hi there,
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Jul 3, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Take the Mic
Register in advance for this webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_IzsZwCprR6O46nmU__ZDIQ
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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