Massachusetts Peace Action: 2016 Program Work Plan

We currently have 6 working groups and one standing committee, reflecting our priorities and the energy of our volunteers. Join a working group today! We coordinate our work with national Peace Action and its national network of 20+ state affiliates.

Abolish Nuclear Weapons – We aim to stop the $1 trillion dollar program to modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal. We’ll continue circulating our People’s Call to President Obama; hold a Dangers of Nuclear War conference at MIT on 4/2; continue our Subways Not Submarines project to align with transit advocates; and launch a Books Not Bombs effort and a letter to physicists. We’ll formulate a long-range campaign to roll back the nuclear modernization program and launch it in 2016. (Jonathan King, chair; Guntram Mueller, co-chair)

Peace in the Middle East We aim to end the U.S. military intervention in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen; impose an embargo on U.S. arms shipments to the region until the conflict is settled; increase funding for refugees and humanitarian and reconstruction aid; support diplomacy; weaken ISIS through smart, nonviolent means; pressure U.S. allies to stop military intervention; end U.S. support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen; and defend the Iran nuclear deal. Activities will include work with media, lobbying Congress, coalition building, and public education and action. (Prasannan Parthasarathi and Shelagh Foreman, co-conveners)

Palestine/Israel – We oppose U.S. facilitation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and seek to change U.S. policy. We launched two campaigns at our A New Day conference last November and will continue them in 2016: an effort to press members of Congress to speak out for international law and against Israel’s settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank; and the criticism of “junkets” in which the Israel lobby sends elected officials on all-expenses- paid trips to hear a one-sided story. We organize A New Day activists in each of the state’s nine Congressional districts. (David Zackon, convener; Jeff Klein, Eva Moseley, Susan Nicholson, Noble Larson, co-conveners)

Climate and Peace – Climate, peace, and social justice issues are deeply connected. This new working group aims to devise and launch one or two campaigns that lead to policy change and bridge the movements for peace and climate action. (Rosalie Anders and John MacDougall, co-conveners)

Boston Downwinders – Pilgrim Nuclear is a statewide problem. It is scheduled to close by 2019; we aim to ensure it closes as soon as possible; monitor the decommissioning process to ensure that the site is cleaned up and workers and communities are not negatively impacted; and work for fossil-free, nuclear-free energy. (Guntram Mueller and Paula Sharaga, co-conveners)

Economic Justice – The fight against corporate control and inequality is critical to the struggle for peace and against wars for corporate profit and control of oil and resources. We stand with labor, community, people of color, and faith groups that work for justice. We will work to pass the People’s Budget in Congress, building on the past four years of work for a Budget for All; support RaiseUp Massachusetts in its campaign for a millionaire’s tax and a $15 minimum wage; and stop the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other bad trade deals. (John Ratliff and Jonathan King, co-conveners)

Legislative and Political ActionWe track bills in Congress on peace and justice issues and develop a legislative agenda and legislative scorecard. We educate our members and legislators and seek to elect people who share our peace values. We seek to develop a coordinator and group of activists in each of our state’s 9 congressional districts who maintain consistent pressure on the members of Congress; some groups currently need coordinators. We also work on state legislation. (Bonnie Gorman and Carol Coakley, co-conveners).

Other Areas – We welcome, and will assist, volunteers who want to form working groups on other important peace issues, from Latin America to Asia to Eastern Europe to Africa to civil liberties and torture. We seek to form a writers’ group/ emerging issues group whose goal is to articulate a peace and justice response to new problems and issues as they emerge.

March 2016