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2019 Annual Meeting: Sanctions + Regime Change + War = Empire
March 9 @ 12:00 pm - 5:30 pm$10 – $30
Sanctions + Regime Change + War = Empire
Massachusetts Peace Action 2019 Annual Meeting
Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church, 1555 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
Two years into the Trump presidency, are we witnessing adjustments in the imperial U.S. foreign and military policy? How should the peace movement focus its efforts?
Escalating threats of regime change against Iran and Venezuela, continued war in Yemen and Somalia, greater support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, a rapidly growing military budget, and new nuclear weapon designs, all show that the U.S. national security apparatus works constantly to maintain control of a global empire. Yet current policies with respect to Afghanistan, Syria, and Korea suggest that the U.S. is no longer committed to fighting and occupying everywhere, in every country, at all times, but is choosing priorities.
A new wave of progressive Democrats has entered Congress, and the 2020 presidential election is starting. Is a group of pro-peace Democrats emerging? If so, how much are they breaking with the assumptions of American exceptionalism? What effect might they have on U.S. foreign policy?
Join us in demanding an end to militarism and a turn towards peace. At Massachusetts Peace Action’s 2019 annual meeting, we will present the organization’s program plan for members’ approval, hear from our keynote speaker, discuss in small breakout groups how to take action, elect board members, and hear a financial report. Register today!
Not a member yet? Pay your 2019 dues to ensure voting rights at the meeting, receive newsletters, and support our work (or you can pay dues as part of the meeting registration process).
Keynote Address by Lawrence Wilkerson:
The American Empire—A Fall From Grace?
Scholars of the U.S. national security state sometimes denote a watershed period that commenced the state-building effort which transitioned the federal republic the Founders began in 1787 into what we are today. As the Constitution more or less institutionalized the first effort, the 1947 National Security Act did the second. Recently, the national security state-building effort thus set in motion in 1947 was powerfully accelerated by the tragic events of 11 September 2001, events that traumatized the nation. What President Dwight Eisenhower identified in 1960 in his Farewell Address as a more or less creeping and pernicious influence on liberal democracy, after 9/11 became a torrent of democracy-eroding influences. It is important to the people of this country that we pause and examine how this deadly process operates today. Indeed, our destiny as a free people depends on it.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Massachusetts Peace Action’s keynote speaker this year, has had a long career in the military and US government. He is currently a distinguished professor of government and public policy at the College of William and Mary and was Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005.
Some might be surprised that someone with his pedigree, a man who helped sell the false choice of war with Iraq in 2003, would find common cause with the peace movement. But since leaving the Bush administration, Wilkerson has been a vocal critic of that invasion, his role in it and the ongoing War on Terror now in its 17th year. Furthermore, he condemns the trillions this nation spends on war and asserts the U.S. is not a democracy but a war state that forces its will on the global community.
Like the peace movement, Wilkerson works on longterm strategies to resolve these conflicts. Leveraging his expertise and privilege, he has partnered with the Friends Committee on National Legislation to garner Congressional support for the Iran nuclear deal. Similarly, he has worked to end the illegal U.S. support of the Saudi/UAE war on Yemen. He has spoken at Code Pink and Veterans for Peace conferences and independent media outlets like The Real News and ActTVism Munich routinely seek his professional insights as a military scholar.
It is not news that we live in uniquely precarious times. We have an administration being run by ruthless neoconservatives, intent on regime change in Iran and Venezuela, while the President and his family face unprecedented corruption charges at the federal and state level. Our next steps must be weighed carefully. Wilkerson’s insider’s perspective and expertise on American Empire can help us understand the challenges, strategize effectively and work to expand our reach.
Watch Larry’s talks:
Join one of the following breakout groups for in-depth discussion:
The Green New Deal—how should the peace movement respond?
Yemen and Raytheon: a Massachusetts War and the new anti-war movement
Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba: Responding to the US Assault on Latin America’s Left
Moving Peace Issues in Congress
The Peace Agenda in the Massachusetts Legislature
Withdrawing from nuclear arms control agreements and the new arms race
Rep. Ilhan Omar: Reacting to the ongoing backlash, turning the tables
12:00 noon – Registration and literature tables open; Lunch
1:00 pm – Program Presentation and discussion
2:00 pm – Keynote Speaker – Lawrence Wilkerson
3:00 pm – Break
3:15 pm – Breakouts. See breakout topics
4:45 pm – Business meeting
Finance and Fundraising Report
Register: mapa-annual-meeting-2019.bpt.me/ $15 for members, $10 students and low income, $25 for all others; free to members of MAPA campus chapters. Literature table $25, includes one admission.
Accessibility: Part, but not all, of the meeting will be wheelchair accessible. The Program Presentation and the Keynote Speaker will be held in the sanctuary, which is wheelchair accessible. Take the ramp to the left of the building, after alerting someone inside to let you in. The lunch, breakouts, and business meeting will be held in the basement, which is not wheelchair accessible.