We stopped a war on Syria. Now let’s make peace take hold!

We made history this week!. How often have the American people risen up to stop a war before it started?  Can you help us organize this outpouring of energy?

Massachusetts Peace Action, our members, and peace groups across Massachusetts joined with national Peace Action and peace groups nationwide in the past two weeks to demonstrate, rally, vigil, write letters and lobby Congress.  

Sen. Ed Markey, Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Mike Capuano, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Stephen Lynch, Rep. Richard Neal, Rep. John Tierney, and the  5 major Democratic candidates in the vacant Congressional District 5, all made statements critical of the rush to war.

Together we played a key role in stopping the president’s proposal to attack Syria, and called for real alternatives and solutions based on serious multilateral diplomacy, adherence to domestic and international law, and massive humanitarian aid.

The people of Syria, and the region, need an arms embargo (including by U.S. allies Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey and by the U.S. itself), a cease-fire, and diplomacy to settle the Syrian civil war, more than they need cruise missile attacks.

While the immediate threat of an attack has passed and hopes for diplomacy are high, we must keep the pressure on Congress and remain vigilant.  There is still a serious threat that the administration and Congress may come back with a “compromise” resolution which could authorize a U.S. attack if diplomatic efforts to secure and disarm Syria’s chemical weapons  don’t bear immediate fruit. 

But as Senator Joe Manchin of West Virgina said on MSNBC Tuesday night after President Obama’s speech: “Military might is not what defines a superpower. You have to have super patience. You have to have super negotiating power and diplomatic resources. And you have to have super humanitarian aid where needed. We have the possibility of doing all of that.”

Peace Action initiated an ad hoc national coalition back in June, when few groups were working on Syria, to generate a petition drive, public education and organizing resources and pressure on Congress. While other issues were a higher priority for most organizations and activists at the time, this groundwork paid off handsomely in the last few weeks as the threat of a U.S. attack grew.

In addition to collaboration with this national coalition of peace, labor, faith-based and community organizations, the mobilization in just the last few weeks by our network of Peace Action chapters and affiliates from Massachusetts to California – vigils, protests, congressional pressure and getting our message out in the media  –  has been extremely impressive and effective.

Of course, as a grassroots organization, we can’t do anything without your help. We ned to keep the pressure on Congress, and keep educating the public, to not only stop an attack but offer real solutions to resolve the horrible civil war in Syria.  This is a big opportunity to offer our vision of a more sustainable, peaceful, democratic and just U.S. foreign policy, which has become too heavily militarized.

Won’t you please help us continue our effective short-term work, and hold up that vision of a more peaceful world? Please give $5, $15, $100, $500 or whatever you can.