By Paul Shannon
Every day United States’ involvement in the war increases. Every day the death toll and suffering mount. And every day the danger of terminal nuclear war remains ever present as one side or the other gains the upper hand. In response, many leaders around the world, including Pope Francis, are calling for negotiations as they recoil in horror at the bloodshed and the dangers that lie ahead.
Over the past 15 months, MAPA has responded strongly to the war, but on an ad hoc basis. In April, however, MAPA’s board approved the launching of an eight-month priority campaign to draw on available resources for an all-out effort to mobilize what we hope will be growing sentiment around the world in favor of negotiations.
The reality is that there is no unity in the peace movement itself or in the general population around the war. This new campaign is based on the hope that, whatever our differences with each other, we can agree that it is time to raise high the demand for a ceasefire and serious negotiations involving Russia, Ukraine, and the United States.
An organizing committee for the new campaign has been established. A core activity will be tabling in public areas, asking the public to sign postcards calling on our senators and Congressional Representatives to stop singing war songs and to start speaking and acting for ceasefire and negotiations. This public activity will be backed up with a strong social media campaign, regular lobbying of our Massachusetts delegation, letters to the editor and op-eds, and monthly educational webinars and articles that examine the roots of the war and challenge official narratives.
The campaign will participate in the national Peace in Ukraine coalition anchored by Code Pink and will give its full support to gathering names and finances to place an ad against the war in a national publication. It will give visibility to the Global Appeal to be issued by the upcoming Vienna Peace Conference in June.
Depending on developments, the campaign could engage in nonviolent civil disobedience and promote a national demonstration for negotiations in the Fall.
We need your involvement! If you are interested in participating in the Campaign’s organizing committee (which meets every 2 weeks) or in the tabling, social media, letter writing, or legislative sub-committees, please contact Paul Shannon at 617-623-5288. If you wish to be part of the support group for the campaign so as to be made aware of upcoming activities in which you can participate as you have time and interest, Please sign up here.
This is the time to get involved. The remaining months of this year will be crucial for Ukraine, Russia, and all of us.