A Year-End Update from Mass. Peace Action – and Appeal for Your Help

Boston Common rally to welcome the entry into force of the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, January 2021
Boston Common rally to welcome the entry into force of the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, January 2021

by Frances Jeffries

What a year!  Much has been said about the pandemic and the adjustments that were required of all of us. One huge missing piece has been the opportunities to exchange ideas and to plan actions with you in face-to-face meetings.

Despite the challenges, our members have continued and increased their activism.  During that time, your financial support was critical. The response from other members and from new participants was extraordinary. We now have over 100 activists who regularly participate in group meetings, 1,800 members who give financial support, and 18,000 email subscribers!

I’ve only hinted at what an extraordinary year it has been.  We have held 125 public events—including webinars, rallies, conferences, and house parties– this year, drawing over 15,000 participants.  Our supporters sent well over 30,000 messages to elected officials on 65 topics ranging from Afghanistan to Venezuela.  Though your generosity, we were able to add a third full time staff person, our organizer Amar Ahmad, and we mentored 15 interns in 2021 to stimulate youth activism and to accommodate the high level of interest as our busy members planned events and new programs.

Rally outside Rep. Jim McGovern's Northampton office, November 12, 2021. MAPA photo
Rally outside Rep. Jim McGovern’s Northampton office, November 12, 2021. MAPA photo

It’s never been needed more. The political environment for peace is extremely difficult.   While President Biden withdrew US forces from Afghanistan, extended the New START Treaty, and made symbolic gestures on Israel/Palestine, he has continued Trump’s hawkish foreign policies on nearly everything else. Congress is rapidly increasing the Pentagon budget, even above Biden’s requests, and is poised to dig itself into a totally unnecessary new Cold War with China.  The Democrats’ limited effectiveness in delivering on their promises to the people remind us that political conditions in Washington could well get worse rather than better in the years ahead.

In response, our eight volunteer-led working groups are tackling:

  • Nuclear Disarmament
  • Middle East Wars
  • No Cold War with China and Russia
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Palestine/Israel
  • Fund Healthcare Not Warfare
  • Peace and Climate
  • Racial Justice/ Decolonization.

We also sustain

  • the Raytheon Antiwar Campaign
  • the Massachusetts Peace and Justice Network
  • the No First Use Campaign
  • and we convene the Massachusetts Progressive Action Table.

Our two organizations, Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund, which accepts tax-deductible donations and uses them for educational purposes, and Massachusetts Peace Action, which engages in advocacy and political campaigns, together have a 2020 fundraising goal of $215,000.   Thanks to you, we’ve raised $182,522 so far.  That still leaves $32,478 to raise in December to meet our goal.

With your generosity, we can exceed our goal and enter 2022 in a strong position to pressure the Biden Administration for a pro-peace agenda!

Please donate today to Massachusetts Peace Action or to make a tax-deductible donation to Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund.   The best way to give is to join the 190 members of our Partners in Peace program, which spreads your donation over the year by paying a small amount each month or quarter.  You can also mail a check to 11 Garden Stree, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Your participation will help write the story of 2022!  Join us in ensuring that the voices for peace and justice are loud, clear and effective.

— Frances Jeffries chairs MAPA’s Fundraising Committee and is active in our Nuclear Disarmament Working Group