Thursday, September 29, 2016

Weekly Update:  Friday, September 23, 2016

Next DPP Meeting
Monday, October 3: 6:30-8:30pm, at the Vietnamese Center/42 Charles St., Fields Corner, Dorchester.
(PLEASE NOTE: This meeting is a week earlier than usual due the Columbus Day holiday on the second Monday)

DPPer Rosemary Kean sent this article along:
The hard truth about Terence Crutcher and Tulsa:
WHAT KIND OF WHITE PERSON DO YOU WANT TO BE?
If America were a song, the killing of unarmed black people by the police would be a standard chord progression or rhythm, the sort of indistinguishable background noise that you hear so often you might not even notice it anymore… The police killing of Terence Crutcher is also a reminder of how the ugliest parts of America’s history and culture of racial violence against black people are still with us. As the Tulsa police took less than 30 seconds to kill Crutcher, officers can be heard describing him as a “big, bad dude.” Terence Crutcher is not an ogre, troll or bear. He is a human being — a brother, son, father and friend…  I implore white Americans to watch the video recorded killing of Terence Crutcher by the Tulsa, Oklahoma, police (or the many other examples of similar incidents) and to ask themselves the same question: What type of white person do you want to be?  I offer a reminder as you undertake this personal moral accounting. Do not forget that silence and inaction in the face of such wrongdoing and bigotry are in fact complicity with them.    More

If you don’t understand Black Lives Matter after Terence Crutcher’s death, you never will
Countless studies, statistics, investigations, and anecdotes tell us that a person’s race can determine the kinds of interactions he or she will have with the police — and how likely it is that he or she will survive the encounter.  At this point, this reality is largely beyond debate. Yet the topic of unarmed black people being killed by law enforcement officers at wildly disproportionate rates is often dubbed controversial, and is framed as an issue about which reasonable people can disagree. It’s not…  The phrase “black lives matter,” which has been used to draw attention to the problem, has inspired its own pushback, with critics suggesting it means that “blue” (police) lives, or nonblack lives in general, aren’t important. That’s hugely confused.   More

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WARS ABROAD, WARS AT HOME

In Boston only, QUESTION 5 would enact the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in the city, which would allocate a small real estate tax surcharge (with matching state funds) to finance affordable housing, preserve open space and historic sites, and develop outdoor recreational opportunities.  More information at Yes for a Better Boston. DPP’s neighborhood allies like New England United for Justice (NEU4J) and Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA) support this measure as a (very modest) measure to address the housing crisis. NEU4J is organizing door-to-door canvasing, which it invites DPPers to join. 
DPPers opposed Statewide Question 2, which would, if passed, allow for an exponential expansion of publicly-funded but privately-run Charter Schools, and which represents an attack on public education and public school teachers (and their unions).  QUESTION 2 IS BAD FOR OUR SCHOOLS:  it would allow the state to approve 12 new Commonwealth charter schools every year forever, eventually draining billions of dollars from our schools. Charter school proponents have millions of dollars from hedge funds and corporate backers, including the chair of the state board of education. People power needs to stand up for children in our public schools.
Sign up to volunteer at https://saveourpublicschoolsma.com/.

Big money pours into Massachusetts to undercut public schools
This Election Day, Massachusetts voters will be voting on whether to lift the state’s cap on the number of charter schools allowed to open. A recent poll showed 48 percent of voters opposed to lifting the cap and planning to vote no on question two, while 41 percent were in favor. Dozens of local school committees, along with the state Democratic party, have already voted to oppose the measure. 
But despite this widespread opposition, there’s a very real chance the measure will pass, for one simple reason: money. Wealthy opponents of public education are pouring money into the state. Walmart heirs Jim and Alice Walton have given a combined $1.8 million. Hedge funders and bankers have given hundreds of thousands of dollars more. In fact, the pro-charter camp has put $11 million into this fight, much of it from out of state… As if to drive the point home what kind of a fight this is, the charter backers have hired the ad firm that did the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads.    More

The NAACP Moratorium On Charters Really Matters To Our Public Schools
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples, the nation’s oldest and most highly recognized civil rights organization, called for a national moratorium on charter schools this summer. Soon after, a bipartisan chorus of charter supporters cried foul attempting to present the so- called choice offered by charters, as well as other attributes of corporate education reform, as the next logical step in the Civil Rights Movement. It is all the more curious when many of the same people, like Trump, have been mostly silent on other issues impacting communities of color. They offer no support for the contemporary Black Lives Matter Movement. But, they can hardly contain their indignation when efforts are made on behalf of communities of color to block corporate education reform measures like high stakes testing and unregulated publicly financed charters.  More
Media Ask Which Candidate Can Better Exploit Our Irrational Fear
The media’s tendency to focus on horserace issues—who’s up and who’s down, what the cosmetics are of an event rather than the substance—is routinely derided by media critics, and mocking it has become something of an election year tradition. But one 2016 topic in particular, terrorism, has become the hot horserace topic of the year in a way that goes beyond the silly to the potentially damaging…  Something missing from these reports is any discussion of the relative danger of terrorism. The reporters begin with the premise that voters are afraid of it, never challenging the underlying rationality of those fears.   The reality is that terrorism remains, objectively, a very minor threat. (One is 82 times more likely to be killed falling out of bed than by a terrorist.) But by framing the issue as an urgent danger, with two candidates “dueling” over opposing ways of addressing this menace, the media further inflate terrorism’s importance.   More

Hillary Clinton is taking the black vote for granted, says America’s first elected black governor
Former Virginia governor L. Douglas Wilder thinks Hillary Clinton has blundered by trying to turn the presidential election into a referendum on Donald Trump. “When I ran for office, I never mentioned my opponent’s name. I always said, ‘Vote for me for these reasons,’” the 85-year-old Democrat said during an hour-long interview here yesterday. “Even today, she still needs to develop a message.”  Wilder, who in 1990 became the first elected black governor in U.S. history, said he knows many African Americans, especially millennials, who may not vote. “A lot of Democrats tell me they don’t see the need,” he lamented. “It’s not so much that people are turned off by Hillary as it is that they’re not turned on by anybody.”  …“You cannot win this election without the African American vote,” he added. “Hillary obviously has the necessary qualifications. … But tell me how what you’ve done relates to what (the black community) needs.”   More

A View of Small-Town Decay and Support for Trump
When Rothwell matched his company’s voluminous polling and opinion data with demographic information, Zip Code by Zip Code, he found that the highest levels of Trump support came from places where health was poor and economic mobility stagnant. Within these places, the most intense support for the casino mogul came from those people who are doing comparatively well economically: the insurance agents, the wives of contractors…  If you were applying a moral gloss, you might say that these are responsible people in irresponsible places. If you were not, you might just say they were lucky in places where many others were not. The conservative language of inequality is not yet mature, in part because it is muddied by racial and national resentments, but it exists, as an intense sense of precariousness.  More

Colin Kaepernick on death threats: if I'm killed 'you've proved my point'
Kaepernick’s stance has prompted many other athletes to show their support. Several other NFL players have sat, knelt, or raised fists during the Star-Spangled Banner, and World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe has chosen to kneel before US international soccer games. Scores of high school and college players have also picked up the cause.  But Kaepernick has not received universal support. Donald Trump said “maybe [Kaepernick] should find a country that works better for him”, while failed presidential nominee Ted Cruz said: “To all the athletes who have made millions in America’s freedom: stop insulting the flag, our nation, our heroes.”  Kaepernick said he was the target of racial slurs and other insults before last Sunday’s NFL game at Carolina.   “There’s a lot of racism in this country disguised as patriotism and people want to take everything back to the flag but that’s not what we’re talking about,” he said on Tuesday.   More

Hate Crimes Against American Muslims Most Since Post-9/11 Era
The trend has alarmed hate crime scholars and law-enforcement officials, who have documented hundreds of attacks — including arsons at mosques, assaults, shootings and threats of violence — since the beginning of 2015.  While the most current hate crime statistics from the F.B.I. are not expected until November, new data from researchers at California State University, San Bernardino, found that hate crimes against American Muslims were up 78 percent over the course of 2015. Attacks on those perceived as Arab rose even more sharply. Police and news media reports in recent months have indicated a continued flow of attacks, often against victims wearing traditional Muslim garb or seen as Middle Eastern.   More

How corporations rig the rules to dodge the taxes they owe
In recent years, corporate profits have reached record highs, and so too has the amount of untaxed profits U.S. corporations have stashed offshore: $2.4 trillion. And it is estimated corporations could owe as much as $700 billion on those profits. In short, corporations are dodging more and more of their tax responsibilities.  While the statutory tax rate on corporate income is 35 percent, estimates of the rate corporations actually pay put the effective rate at about half the statutory rate. Driving this divergence between what corporations are supposed to pay and what they actually pay is a combination of offshore profit shifting and tax avoidance. Multinational corporations pay taxes on between just 3.0 and 6.6 percent of the profits they book in tax havens.  More

Elizabeth Warren Just Gave Hillary Clinton a Big Warning
Warren’s speech, delivered at the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund, cast the upcoming presidential election in stark economic terms. She described the tax-slashing, deregulatory approach laid out by Donald Trump and contrasted it to a laundry list of populist economic policies embraced by Hillary Clinton… But towards the end of her remarks, Warren noted that “personnel is policy,” and continued:   “When we talk about personnel, we don’t mean advisors who just pay lip service to Hillary’s bold agenda, coupled with a sigh, a knowing glance, and a twiddling of thumbs until it’s time for the next swing through the revolving door, serving government then going back to the very same industries they regulate. We don’t mean Citigroup or Morgan Stanley or BlackRock getting to choose who runs the economy in this country so they can capture our government. No.”    More

Clash Between Saudis and 9/11 Families Is Escalating in Washington
On Monday a constellation of lobbyists for Saudi Arabia, which has spent more than $5 million this past year to buy influence in Washington, called a crisis meeting to try to stop legislation allowing the families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue the Saudi government for any role in the plot. On Tuesday the 9/11 families, represented in their multibillion-dollar lawsuits by lawyers including Jack Quinn, a former White House counsel with deep relationships in Washington, demonstrated outside the White House to pressure President Obama not to veto the legislation, as he has vowed to do…  The four-page-long bill, known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, unanimously passed the House and Senate, and has major national security and diplomatic consequences for the United States. It would alter a 1976 law giving other countries immunity from lawsuits in the United States and force them to face federal lawsuits if they are found to have played any role in a terrorist attack that kills Americans on United States soil.    More

9/11 Victims Family Member:
OBAMA, DON’T SHIELD THE SAUDIS!
JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, S.2040) is a well-thought out, powerful piece of anti-terrorism legislation. It does exactly what it says — it brings all those who fund terrorism to justice… One effective way to stop terrorists is to attack them at the root of their enterprise: their terrorist funding… It goes without saying that the largest benefactor of terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is the incubator for global jihad. Saudis build madrassahs where fiery Imams like the late Anwar Awlaki preach hate, print and distribute school books that teach violence against infidels, and pay large sums of protection money to terrorists like Osama Bin Laden.  Notably, the Saudi role in radical jihad does not stop at underwriting terrorism — it carries into logistical support of individual attacks, as well. This logistical role is how the Saudis are linked to the 9/11 attacks.   More

US Air Force Grounds F-35s It Just Declared Ready for War
On Aug. 2, the Air Force said 10 F-35s at Hill Air Force Base in Utah were ready for war. Forty-four days later, those planes have been grounded in the latest embarrassing setback for the most expensive project in Pentagon history…   The grounding order affects 57 aircraft, some of which belong to Norway, officials said. Fifteen of them are operational jets, the 42 others are in various states of production.  The grounding interrupts a general wave of progress for the $400 billion [actually $1 trillion!] program, which made its debut at the Farnborough Air Show in England this summer and has been getting rave reviews from pilots. (In 2014, an engine fire caused the previous high-profile grounding and scotched the plane’s first planned trip to Farnborough.)  More


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NEW WARS / OLD WARS – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


GARETH PORTER: How the Pentagon sank the US-Russia deal in Syria - and the ceasefire
Another US-Russian Syria ceasefire deal has been blown up. Whether it could have survived even with a US-Russian accord is open to doubt, given the incentives for al-Qaeda and its allies to destroy it. But the politics of the US-Russian relationship played a central role in the denouement of the second ceasefire agreement.  The final blow apparently came from the Russian-Syrian side, but what provoked the decision to end the ceasefire was the first ever US strike against Syrian government forces on 17 September.  That convinced the Russians that the US Pentagon had no intention of implementing the main element of the deal that was most important to the Putin government: a joint US-Russian air campaign against the Islamic State (IS) militant group and al-Qaeda through a “Joint Implementation Centre”. And it is entirely credible that it was meant to do precisely that.   More





Was it Mutiny? U.S. Rulers Split Over Syria
Last weekend’s American air attack on Syrian Army positions at Deir al-Zor that killed more than 60 Syrian soldiers and resulted in a temporary victory for ISIS forces was a blatant bid by the Pentagon and the CIA to sabotage any prospect of cooperation between U.S. and Russian forces in Syria. In a very real sense, it is a mutiny against a lame duck president who, certainly since 2013, has attempted to achieve regime change in Syria without allowing the jihadists to take power in Damascus.  The mutineers include civilian and military elements of the Pentagon -- probably including Obama’s own Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter – the CIA and other intelligence services (but not the Defense Intelligence Agency, whose analysts warned of the rise of ISIS in 2012). They are encouraged and emboldened by the prospect that a President Hillary Clinton will declare a “no fly zone” over Syria – a move that would necessitate, under U.S military doctrine, an all-out attack on all of that country’s aircraft and anti-aircraft weapons systems, resulting in a war with Russian forces.   More


SYRIAN PROPAGANDA WAR, Chapter XXXIX. . .
The one-sided media coverage of the breakdown of the US-Russia agreement for a partial ceasefire continues daily.  Of course it is difficult to ascertain the facts in any case, but the MSM seldom makes any pretense of objectivity, even if the biases are often difficult to notice by a general public woefully misinformed and long fed on a diet of US government – Democratic, in this case – propaganda.  If you want to hear a different point of view, unfiltered by MSM “reportage” you can watch an English-language interview with Bashar al-Assad here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTIXZGSPl4c (text here: http://sana.sy/en/?p=88686 if you prefer).  Of course, Assad heads a regime guilty in its own ways of many crimes.  And, his assertions, like those on all sides in this war, should not be taken as automatic truth. However, instead of reading second-hand contempt in our press, it is worthwhile to listen and judge for yourself.

On another front in the propaganda war, the liberal magazine The Nation published an appeal by supposed Syrian secular democrats appearing to condemn all outside interference in Syria.  The well-informed and generally astute blogger Asad AbuKhalil commented:

The signatories to this statement, like Sadiq Al-Azm, have been advocates of NATO intervention from the very beginning and most of the writers here work in Gulf regimes media, which have been calling for MORE--not less--US intervention in Syria.  Burhan Ghalyun is even one of the signatories.  Their protest is not against US military intervention in Syria but against US agreement with Russia over the cease-fire

And amid the relentless MSM focus on opposition zones under siege by Syrian government forces, we rarely hear about or are encouraged to empathize with the victims on the other side – these villages, among many others, and 150,000 civilians trapped by Daesh/ISIS in government-held Deir-ez-Zor, scene of a US air attack against the defenders.

Punishing siege drags on for two Shiite villages in Syria
Dozens of towns have been all but destroyed in the 5 1/2-year conflict over Syria’s future, but this has been a different kind of suffering. A punishing siege imposed by Islamist rebels has cut off these two sister towns in northwest Syria for the last 18 months, leaving them at the mercy of truck bombs, mortar barrages, and the terrifying staccato of sniper fire.  The two towns lie in Idlib province, a predominantly Sunni Muslim region southwest of Aleppo. In March 2015, the entire province was overrun by a powerful jihadist coalition known as the Army of Conquest. The exception was Fuah and Kefraya, two Shiite villages whose roughly 17,000 residents have remained, even under a devastating blockade, loyal to the government. For most, there has seemed to be little choice: Shiite Muslims are seen as apostates by Islamist hard-liners, and the Army of Conquest has threatened to wipe them out.   More

Senate Approves Massive Saudi Arms Deal, "Indifferent to Yemen's Misery"
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to dismiss a bipartisan bill that would have blocked a massive $1.15 billion weapons shipment to Saudi Arabia, to the dismay of peace groups and rights advocates who have called on the U.S. to end its support for the brutal Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen.  The bipartisan resolution to block the weapons sale failed 71-27, with two senators not voting… "The very fact that we are voting on [this resolution to block the arms sale] today sends a very important message to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia that we are watching your actions closely and that the United States is not going to turn a blind eye to the indiscriminate killing of men, women and children," Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said during the floor debate.   More

--Massachusetts Senators Warren and Markey were among the 27 votes to support stopping the sale.
--Arms makers celebrate. . .  see here

Israel used to routinely oppose and lobby against arms sales to Saudi Arabia.  Not anymore!  Reflecting its new de facto alliance with the Saudi monarchy, Israel (and AIPAC) was silent on this issue, and all of its staunchest Congressional supporters of both parties supported the sale.

For the first time, Saudi Arabia is being attacked by both Sunni and Shia leaders


The Saudis step deeper into trouble almost by the week. Swamped in their ridiculous war in Yemen, they are now reeling from an extraordinary statement issued by around two hundred Sunni Muslim clerics who effectively referred to the Wahhabi belief – practiced in Saudi Arabia – as “a dangerous deformation” of Sunni Islam. The prelates included Egypt’s Grand Imam, Ahmed el-Tayeb of al-Azhar, the most important centre of theological study in the Islamic world, who only a year ago attacked “corrupt interpretations” of religious texts and who has now signed up to “a return to the schools of great knowledge” outside Saudi Arabia.  This remarkable meeting took place in Grozny and was unaccountably ignored by almost every media in the world…  Although they did not mention the Kingdom by name, the declaration was a stunning affront to a country which spends millions of dollars every year on thousands of Wahhabi mosques, schools and clerics around the world.   More

Ending the Iran-Saudi Cold War
It is understandable for Saudi leaders to feel vulnerable. Saudi Arabia is a young state that by itself is not capable of competing with Iran, given its population of roughly 20 million native citizens, upwards of 15 percent of whom are Shia Muslims that face routine discrimination... Saudi leaders have two choices before them. The first is to continue down their current path of pursuing aggressive, unilateralist foreign policies and preconditioning dialogue on quixotic notions of Iran having zero role in its neighborhood. This approach has been exemplified by the Saudis bombing Yemen with impunity, crushing pro-democracy protests in Bahrain, refusing to recognize the post-war democratic Iraqi government for six years, aiding and abetting terrorism (as attested by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump), and countering the Arab Spring revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, to name but a few destabilizing policies.   More



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ISRAEL, PALESTINE . . . and the U.S.

“88 senators press Obama to uphold US policy to veto one-sided UN resolutions”  Chances are you would not have heard about this unless you were a regular reader of the Israeli press – or a visitor to AIPAC’s web site. The bipartisan letter begins with the usual pious nod to “the two-state solution” but the meat of it is to pressure Pres. Obama to oppose any realistic pressure on Israel to negotiate in good faith and promise a veto on any “interference” from the UN.  Among the signers were Massachusetts senators Warren and Markey.  Bernie Sanders and a handful of other Senators declined.  Ironically, some prominent Republican senators --  Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Nebraska’s Ben Sasse – also refused to sign because the letter supported a two-state solution, which they and rightwing Republican donors like Sheldon Adelson, oppose.  Some useful commentary here.

There is an old joke based on a supposed conversation with the late Israeli Prime Minister (and war criminal) Ariel Sharon.  “Why doesn’t Israel become the 51st US state,” Sharon was asked. “Because then we would have only two senators,” he replied.

The Biggest Israel Aid Deal in History Will Bolster Occupation and the U.S. Defense Industry
The White House has described the recent $38 billion promised aid package to Israel, apportioned each year as $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing and $500 million in missile defense assistance over the course of 10 years, as an “unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.” A better description would have been the White House’s unshakable commitment to Boeing and Lockheed Martin’s quarterly earnings. U.S. “military assistance,” more accurately understood as a circular flow through which U.S. weapons firms profit off the colonization of Palestinian land and Israeli destabilization of the surrounding states, is a long-term structuring element of the U.S.-Israel “special relationship.”   More

81% of Americans Oppose $38 Billion Pledge to Israel
An IRmep poll fielded by Google Consumer Surveys reveals 80.8 percent of the US adult Internet user population says they would redirect the proposed spending toward other priorities. Caring for veterans (20.7 percent) was their top priority, followed by education spending (20.1 percent) and paying down the national debt (19.3 percent). Rebuilding US infrastructure was favored by 14.9 percent, while funding a Middle East peace plan received 5.8 percent of support. Only 16.8 percent said the $38 billion of pledged foreign aid should be spent on Israel.  More

When $38 billion is “not enough”. . .
US aid to Israel takes a partisan turn
Seven lawmakers signed on to legislation from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that would provide an extra $1.5 billion in missile defense and direct assistance to Israel's military next fiscal year. They object to the White House's efforts to short-circuit unsolicited annual aid hikes by Congress as well as the elimination of a 26% carve-out for Israel's domestic defense industry instead of US weapons-makers… The Obama administration portrays its effort to restrict congressional add-ons as a way to streamline budgeting and avoid recurring spending fights. As part of the package, Israel signed a letter vowing to return congressional appropriations beyond the MOU's agreed-upon amount during the next two fiscal years.  Earlier this year, the White House threatened to veto the House Defense spending bill for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, in part because it allocates $601 million for Israel missile defense, $455 million more than the Pentagon's request. The request for additional funding was made by the government of Israel, according to the report accompanying the Senate's version of the bill.   More

U.S. donors gave settlements more than $220 million in tax-exempt funds over five years
Private U.S. donors are massively funding Israeli settlements by using a network of tax-exempt nonprofits, which funnelled more than $220 million (about 850 million shekels) to Jewish communities in the West Bank in 2009-2013 alone, a Haaretz investigation has found.
The funding is being used for anything from buying air conditioners to supporting the families of convicted Jewish terrorists, and comes from tax-deductible donations made to around 50 U.S.-based groups.  Thanks to their status as nonprofits, these organizations are not taxed on their income and donations made to them are tax deductible – meaning the U.S. government is incentivizing and indirectly supporting the Israeli settlement movement, even though it has been consistently opposed by every U.S. administration for the past 48 years.   More     (More of this extensive Haaretz report here.)

The GOP’s Jewish Donors Are Abandoning Trump
In 2012, 71 percent of the $240 million that Jewish donors gave to the two major-party nominees went to President Obama’s re-election campaign; 29 percent went to Mitt Romney’s campaign, according to our analysis of campaign contributors, which used a predictive model to estimate which donors are Jewish based on their names and other characteristics. This ratio of support mirrors how Jewish voters cast their ballots in 2012… But in 2016, of the $372 million given to presidential campaigns so far by Jewish donors, 94 percent went to Democrats and just 6 percent went to Republicans. This is particularly interesting, since this figure includes donations to all of Trump’s primary opponents. If we ignore the primary losers and just focus on the nominees, 96 percent of all contributions went to Clinton… In raw dollars, Jewish donors have already given Clinton nearly double the amount they gave to Obama through the whole 2012 cycle. But donations to Trump amount to a third of what was given to Romney.   More

Two Years after Gaza War, Not a Single War Crime Indictment
Two years after the Israeli military offensive on Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” more than half of the civilian structures destroyed during the war have yet to be reconstructed, and Palestinian residents of the coastal strip are still finding bones amongst the ruins. And two years after that devastating offensive, Israeli authorities are again proving what previous experience with the Israeli system has long made clear: Israel is unwilling to conduct genuine, independent investigations into suspected war crimes, and does not hold those responsible to account, as required by international law.  At total of 2,251 Palestinians were killed during the 2014 war, most of them civilians, including 299 women and 551 children. More than 18,000 civilian structures were destroyed, including hospitals and essential infrastructure.   More


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OTHER EVENTS

Saturday, September 24:  BOSTON:  U.S. HANDS OFF SYRIA DEMO, 1 PM, PARK ST STATION, BOSTON. Hands Off Syria! Picket and Street Rally.  The US bombing of Syrian Government's Army positions in the Eastern city of Deir ez-Zor on Saturday 9/17/16 is a very dangerous escalation in the 5 year US Imperialist campaign of Regime Change, the complete overturn of the legally elected and internationally recognized government of Syria. The US Anti-war movement must say NO to this US war on Syria NOW!   Call to Protest by International Action Center (Boston), United National Anti-War Coalition, Syrian American Forum, Committee for Peace and Human Rights-Park St Peace Vigil, Veterans for Peace, Bishop Filipe Teixeira OFSJC, Charles Clemons Touch 106.1 FM, Women's Fightback Network,Steve Kirschbaum VP USW 8751Boston School Bus Union,  Moorehead for President/Lilly for VP Campaign of Workers World Party Boston (partial. List in formation)  facebook event page (please share widely!):  https://www.facebook.com/events/623831724443590/?ti=icl

Saturday-Sunday, October 1 –2:  HOMELAND (IRAQ YEAR ZERO) BY ABBAS FAHDEL,  The Harvard Film Archive is pleased to present HOMELAND (IRAQ YEAR ZERO) BY ABBAS FAHDEL from October 1 – October 2, 2016 with filmmaker Abbas Fahdel in person. $12 Special Event Tickets.  Abbas Fahdel in person, Saturday October 1 at 7pm, Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) – Part 1. Before the Fall, Sunday October 2 at 7pm, Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) – Part 2. After the Battle http://hcl.harvard.edu/hfa/films/2016sepnov/homeland.html  Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) is a riveting home-movie chronicle of life in Iraq before and after the US invasion. Offering all-too-rare images of everyday life in Iraq, the film closely follows extended family members and friends of director Abbas Fahdel as they brace for the long impending attack and then struggle to survive the disastrous consequences of American imperialism. Leaving the invasion itself eerily absent, Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) is cleaved into two epic chapters starkly separated by a dark, gaping chasm. Before the Fall offers a touching portrait of middle-class Iraq, assembled from extended domestic scenes and debates among Baghdad friends and neighbors, as well as a wedding that becomes an emotional centerpiece of the entire film. After the Battle bravely takes to the street to survey, with shock and unspoken outrage, the ruthless destruction of public and private space wrought by the occupying US forces.

Saturday, October 15: MUSIC FOR PEACE: An Evening of French Music, 7:30pm at the Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church, 1555 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.  A Fundraiser for Mass Peace Action. Featuring  Ayano Ninomiya, violin, Carol Ou, cello, Mana Tokuno, piano. Poulenc Sonata for violin and piano, PiernĂ© Sonata for cello and piano, Chausson piano trio. More Details Here ~ Purchase Tickets  First concert of MUSIC FOR PEACE 2016-2017 SERIES, Three Sundays of chamber music to support our work for a more peaceful U.S. foreign policy. Victor Rosenbaum, Music Director. Cost for the series of 3 concerts: $60 for Massachusetts Peace Action members, $85 for non-members, $25 for students.  Purchase tickets for the series or join Massachusetts Peace Action now!) Cost for a single concert: $25 for members, $35 for non-members, $10 for students.