Tuesday, June 27, 2017

DPP Black Lives Matter at Ashmont

Stand Out for Black Lives at Ashmont Station

 Next Stand Out is on July 20, 5:30pm-6:30pm
Join us every 3rd Thursday of the Month

DPP Update - June 23, 2017

Next DPP Meeting
BBQ/Potluck and informal Discussion!
Monday, July 10: 6:00-   Home of Emmy and Dan, 8 Carruth St.
Please a dish or drinks if you can.

We’ll have a report from Jared on the Chicago “People’s Summit” and discuss Didi Delgado’s provocative article  
Whites Only: SURJ And The Caucasian Invasion Of Racial Justice Spaces

*   *   *   *
Come to the next monthly 
Dorchester Standout for Black Lives
Thursday July 20, 5:30-6:30 PM 
(and the third Thursday of every month)
at Ashmont T station plaza

Come to the next monthly Dorchester Standout for Black Lives
Thursday July 20, 5:306:30pm  (and the third Thursday of every month)  at Ashmont T station plaza.  There were 40 people at our June 15 standout!

We will hold a big banner saying “We Believe that Black Lives Matter” and Black Lives Matter signs (including about a variety of issues that impact Black lives), and hand out fliers to pedestrians and drivers stopped at red lights. Please join us; all are welcome!
Remaining dates this spring and summer are:
June 15, July 20, August 17, and September 21. Kelley kelready@msn.com or Becky, beckyp44@verizon.net, or call Dorchester People for Peace 617-282-3783

*   *   *   *
At our last DPP meeting we heard a rundown of upcoming legislation and actions by Lew Finfer of MCAN(Massachusetts Community Action Network).  Here are the pending bills, supported by MECAN, Mass Alliance,  union-backed Raise Up Massachusetts and other progressive organizations.  DPP will discuss how to help signature collecting for the FAIR SHARE AMENDMENT. Please contact your legislators to ask their support for the following bills:

Hearing was held on Tuesday, June 13th. This Bill (S. 1048 | H. 2172) would give all people partially paid time off if they or a family member are seriously ill plus for maternity, paternity, and adoption leave as well.

This Bill (S. 1004 | H. 2365) will be implemented in increments over 4 years. The Fight for $15 would raise wages for over 932,000 low wage earners in Massachusetts.

This bill (S. 791 | H. 2308):
·         To repeal long mandatory minimum sentences on drug convictions which drive imprisonment and racial disparities in who goes to prison
·         Filed by Governor Baker, which is extremely limited, inadequate, and does not address mandatory minimums.
·         On reforming solitary confinement

“SAFE COMMUNITIES ACT” (An Act to protect the civil rights and safety of all Massachusetts residents) This bill (Bill # S.1305 | H.3269) would stop local and state law enforcement officials from cooperating with ICE federal agents on the detention and deportation of immigrants and prevents discrimination against Muslim and other immigrant communities.

*   *   *   *

The hard reality of today's level of inequality is this: For an increasing share of the population—black and white—the market no longer works to serve basic needs like housing, health insurance, child care, or college education. As the share of income held by the middle 60 percent declines, the top 10 percent’s share continues to grow, and within that, the top 1 percent…  For Democrats, the problem with language that emphasizes the white working class as a separate problem from rising inequality of income and wealth is that it will racialize the debate rather than emphasizing the common assault on all who are not rich…  They need to focus on the urgency of the effect of income inequality on American democracy. They need to sound the alarm. And they need to wake up and see who they are in bed with. The power elite of the party think they have freed themselves of a dependency on union support. But the Wall Street vision of the economy is poison for workers of all races and for Democrats.   More

Following Ossoff Loss, Democrats Urged to Embrace 'Bold Progressive Vision'
"There are two lessons in the Georgia results," Galland argued. "One, that the Resistance movement is putting deep red districts and states in play. Two, even so, Democrats cannot take any race for granted—and if they want to win these tight races, they must do more than just be anti-Trump and spend millions of dollars. They must put forward a bold progressive vision for our country, running on core Democratic values."  Galland went on to note the Ossoff campaign failed repeatedly to place the Republican healthcare plan—which is deeply unpopular—at the center of attention, instead opting to focus on "cutting spending" and opposing Medicare for all.  "Democrats will not win back power merely by serving as an alternative to Trump and Republicans," she concluded…  Critics, however, have argued this is precisely the approach that has failed time and time again; it "hasn't been doing well for Democrats for quite some time," wrote policy analyst Ben Spielberg…  "Would Ossoff have won if he ran on an economic justice agenda? We don't know," Spielberg concluded. "But we do know that he lost doing the opposite."  More

Obamacare repeal would be one of the biggest cuts to the welfare state in history
Throughout the modern history of Congress, lawmakers have inexorably expanded progressive social policies, and while conservatives have successfully forestalled expansions to the social safety net, they've had very little success in reversing them.  Right now, however, Republicans have a chance to buck that trend, as they prepare legislation aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The Senate bill released on Thursday, coupled with the House bill passed earlier this year, would be exactly the kind of cuts to the welfare state that conservatives have consistently failed to achieve.  The repeal measure, which follows weeks of unusual secrecy in its drafting, would bring down taxes, eliminate hundreds of billions of dollars in outlays on the social safety net and curtail the federal government's involvement in a crucial sector of the economy.   More

Poll Shows 'Overwhelming' Hatred for Trumpcare
Just following the release of the Senate's "morally bankrupt" healthcare bill—which would impose deep cuts to Medicaid, eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, and give enormous tax breaks to the wealthy—an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll published on Thursday found Americans "overwhelmingly" dislike the House version of the legislation.  "By a 3-to-1 margin, the American public holds a negative view of the American Health Care Act, legislation that House Republicans passed last month and that President Donald Trump supports," NBC's Mark Murray observed. "Just 16 percent of adults believe that House health care bill is a good idea, versus 48 percent who say it’s a bad idea."   More

Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor in the United States
The Federal Prison Industries (FPI) under the brand UNICORE operates approximately 52 factories (prisons) across the United States. Prisoners manufacture or assemble a number of products for the US military, homeland security, and federal agencies according to the UNICORE/FPI website. They produce furniture, clothing and circuit boards in addition to providing computer aided design services and call center support for private companies.  UNICORE/FPI makes its pitch for employing call center support personnel to firms thinking about offshoring their call center functions. The logic is that, hey!, they may be prisoners, but it’s keeping the jobs in the USA that matters…  In January 2017, the Prison Policy Initiative (prisonpolicy.org) worked up a study titled Following the Money of Mass Incarceration. It shines the light on some of the unsettling reasons why the USA will never be able to reduce its reliance on mass incarceration. Those who depend on money that the prison industry provides will never give it up. It’s not just private companies but local communities, bondsmen, unions all the way up to the US Department of Defense who collect fees or purchase UNICORE/FPI products and services at dirt cheap prices.   More

Conservatives have long been arguing that the rise of political violence is, if not entirely a problem of the Left, at the very least coming from both sides of the spectrum. They would point to incidents like yesterday’s shooting, the various protests that turned violent in Berkeley over the last few months, neo-Nazi Richard Spencer getting sucker-punched, or Kathy Griffin’s photoshoot involving a fake severed Trump head as examples of the broad left’s turn to unacceptable violence.  But even if one were to allow these as examples, it’s become increasingly clear that around the world today the use of violence for political ends has been, and continues to be, overwhelmingly a feature of the Right…  It’s hard to believe it’s a coincidence that far-right militia groups began proliferating at the same time that GOP politicians and conservative personalities were claiming Obama was a sinister, alien threat, and even a terrorist, bent on undermining American values. Of course, many on the Right would probably tell you that these far-right extremists and their ideology have little do with mainstream conservatives and their beliefs. But if so, one has to wonder why then GOP leaders and conservative media harshly criticized the usually sacrosanct Department of Homeland Security in 2009 after it put out a report warning about the threat of right-wing extremists.   More

The  Castile Jury Was Stacked With Pro-Gun, Pro-Cop, Middle-Aged White People
It’s a verdict that’s maddeningly, infuriatingly and heartbreakingly illogical, yet consistent with every jury in this country that’s been asked to rule on the deaths of black people at the hands of police. The U.S. system of criminal injustice fails black folks from start to finish by design…  There were just two black people on the jury of Castile’s supposed peers…  The rest of those selected for the jury were overwhelmingly middle-aged white Minnesotans, many of whom expressly stated support for police or a belief in the infallibility of the criminal justice system.   More

Injustice Is Not a Glitch, It's a Feature: Reflections on the Murder of Castile
Philando Castile is dead because Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot him, within less than 40 seconds of approaching him at his driver’s side window. Yanez claims he feared for his life, and he feared for his life, supposedly, because Castile informed him he had a gun and was ostensibly reaching for it, even as the dash cam recording suggests Castile was calm and polite to Yanez. Of course, this makes no sense, and surely in a society less infected with the pathogen of what Jody David Armour calls "Negrophobia," we all would see why…  So we are left with the ineluctable conclusion that Yanez feared for his life because Philando Castile was a black man with a gun, and for no other reason. Although licensed to carry it, such a thing means little, either to police, the NRA or those “All Lives Matter” folks…  If a system is established to produce certain outcomes, and then proceeds to regularly and routinely produce them, upon what basis can we rationally suggest that the system is malfunctioning? Quite the opposite: If a system is established on the basis of unfairness and inequity, the only actual malfunction would be if that system suddenly and inexplicably began to produce justice.   More

Since Trump’s election, 20 states have moved to criminalize dissent
In what is being called the “biggest protest crackdown since the Civil Rights Era,” Republicans in at least 20 states have put forward or passed laws with the intention of making protest more difficult and the punishment for expressing dissent more draconian since President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January…  Republican lawmakers, it appears, have been emboldened by Trump’s open contempt for free expression. News outlets, alarmed by the trend, have kept a running tally of states with anti-dissent laws in the works. Common Dreams reported in April that the number had reached 19, up from 10 in January. Now, according to The Daily Beast, 20 states are in the process of attempting to suppress peaceful resistance.   More

75 Years for Protesting in Black?
But what civil liberties advocates find especially disturbing is the prosecution’s apparent strategy. With the first of the trials set for March 2018, there is scant evidence to substantiate the severity of charges against the activists. Only a handful of defendants who allegedly committed acts of rioting are named in the indictment. The rest of the indictment refers to “members of the conspiracy” to riot. Little evidence is offered other than that the alleged conspirators wore dark clothing, similar to outfits worn by black bloc brigades whose anti-capitalist presence at demonstrations is associated with property destruction…. “Obviously, it’s hard to know you could be facing a lot of time,” said Olivia Alsip. “We’re facing a maximum of 75 years, which is multiples the amount of time I’ve been alive. This case isn’t really about what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s about smothering any form of dissent that occurs that’s a threat to the state.”   More

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

The Trump Administration’s Penchant for Escalation in Syria Must Be Challenged
From launching a volley of Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base, to repeatedly bombing pro-Syrian government forces, to shooting down a Syrian Air Force jet this past weekend, the Trump administration’s proclivity for escalation has led to a new chapter in the Syrian civil war. In this chapter, the threat of the U.S. sliding into all-out war with the Syrian government is higher, and the threat of direct confrontation with Russia is perhaps the highest it’s been since the Cold War.  Looking first at U.S. policy towards the Assad government, each new clash between U.S. and Syrian forces increases the likelihood of U.S. priorities in Syria officially expanding to include forcibly undermining or even toppling the Assad government… It’s unclear whether shortsighted battlefield decisions are now shaping U.S. policy in Syria more than any long-term strategy, or whether these escalations are in fact designed to draw us into a full-scale confrontation with Assad, but either way, the trajectory of U.S. policy in Syria has taken a turn for the far worse.   More

White House Officials Push for Widening War in Syria Over Pentagon Objections
A pair of top White House officials is pushing to broaden the war in Syria, viewing it as an opportunity to confront Iran and its proxy forces on the ground there, according to two sources familiar with the debate inside the Donald Trump administration.  Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, and Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top Middle East advisor, want the United States to start going on the offensive in southern Syria, where, in recent weeks, the U.S. military has taken a handful of defensive actions against Iranian-backed forces fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  Their plans are making even traditional Iran hawks nervous, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, who has personally shot down their proposals more than once, the two sources said.   More

This Is How Great-Power Wars Start
Besides the risk of escalation with Russia, the more the United States starts directly attacking Shiite militias, the more likely the Iranian nuclear deal will completely break down. This would reopen the possibility of a U.S. war with Iran. Even before that point, Iran would likely react to counter the United States in the region by exerting much more aggressive influence over Baghdad. The nightmare scenario would be an Iranian puppet like ex-Prime Minister Nouri alMaliki getting back into power, and issuing a demand for U.S. forces to leave Iraq, which would put Washington in a vexed position of either accepting or returning to direct rule.   More

Syria the Latest Case of US ‘Stumbling’ Into War
Atlantic (6/9/17) earnestly pondered if the US was “Getting Sucked Into More War in Syria.” “Even as Washington potentially stumbles into war…” was how the article’s discussion began.  One of the most common tropes in US media is that the US military always goes to war reluctantly—and, if there are negative consequences, like civilian deaths, it’s simply a matter of bumbling around without much plan or purpose…  When US empire isn’t reluctant, it’s benevolent. “Initially motivated by humanitarian impulse,” Foreign Policy‘s Emile Simpson (6/21/17)  insisted, “the United States and its Western allies achieved regime change in Libya and attempted it in Syria, by backing rebels in each case.”  …War, of course, isn’t a “mistake.” Nor, unless your country is invaded, is it carried out against one’s will. The act of marshalling tens of thousands of troops, scores of ships, hundreds of aircraft, and coordinating the mechanisms of soft and covert power by State and CIA officials, are deliberate acts by conscious, very powerful actors.   More

How America Armed Terrorists in Syria
Gabbard’s “Stop Arming Terrorists Act” challenges for the first time in Congress a U.S. policy toward the conflict in the Syrian civil war that should have set off alarm bells long ago: in 2012-13 the Obama administration helped its Sunni allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar provide arms to Syrian and non-Syrian armed groups to force President Bashar al-Assad out of power. And in 2013 the administration began to provide arms to what the CIA judged to be “relatively moderate” anti-Assad groups—meaning they incorporated various degrees of Islamic extremism.  That policy, ostensibly aimed at helping replace the Assad regime with a more democratic alternative, has actually helped build up al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise al Nusra Front into the dominant threat to Assad…  The Obama administration’s Syria policy effectively sold out the U.S. interest that was supposed to be the touchstone of the “Global War on Terrorism”—the eradication of al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates. The United States has instead subordinated that U.S. interest in counter-terrorism to the interests of its Sunni allies. In doing so it has helped create a new terrorist threat in the heart of the Middle East.   More

UAE and US accused of running 'secret prisons' in Yemen
The United Arab Emirates runs at least two secret prisons in Yemen and "disappears" high-profile inmates abroad for interrogation by US spies, two separate investigations alleged on Thursday.  A report by Human Rights Watch said UAE forces were arbitrarily arresting or forcibly disappearing Yemenis and appeared to have "moved high-profile detainees outside the country" including to a base in Eritrea.  In a separate investigation, US defence officials told the Associated Press that US forces had participated in the interrogations of hundreds of prisoners in the Emirati-run jails inside Eritrea and Yemen.  The UAE is a key member of a Saudi-led military coalition that entered Yemen's conflict in 2015 to battle on the government's side against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.   More

The Criminal 'Laws' of Counterinsurgency
There also must be the realization that our “national security” apparatchiks — principally but not solely the CIA — have served to exponentially increase the numbers of those people who hate the U.S. Some of these people turn to terrorism as an expression of that hostility. Anyone who is at all familiar with the CIA and Al Qaeda knows that the CIA has been Al Qaeda’s most important “combat multiplier” since 9/11, and the CIA can be said to have birthed ISIS as well with the mistreatment of incarcerated Iraqi men in U.S. prisons in Iraq…  In addition to the harm the CIA has caused to people around the world, the CIA works tirelessly at subverting its own government at home, as was most visible in the spying on and subversion of the torture investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The subversion of democracy also includes the role the CIA plays in developing and disseminating war propaganda as “information warfare,” upon the American people. This is what the Rand Corporation under the editorship of Zalmay Khalilzad has described as “conditioning the battlefield,” which begins with the minds of the American population.    More

The Saudis -- now joined by Trump and his foreign policy team -- have characterized the conflict as a war to blunt Iranian influence and the Houthi rebels have been cast as the vassals of Tehran.  In reality, they have longstanding political and economic grievances that predate the current conflict and they would undoubtedly be fighting at this moment with or without support from Iran.  As Middle Eastern expert Thomas Juneau recently noted in the Washington Post, “Tehran’s support for the Houthis is limited, and its influence in Yemen is marginal. It is simply inaccurate to claim that the Houthis are Iranian proxies.” … It’s bad enough that the Obama administration allowed itself to be dragged into an ill-conceived, counterproductive, and regionally destabilizing war in Yemen. Trump’s uncritical support of Saudi foreign policy could have even more dangerous consequences. The Saudis are more intent than Trump’s own advisers (distinctly a crew of Iranophobes) on ratcheting up tensions with Iran.   More

Secretary Tillerson Eschews Iran Diplomacy in Favor of Regime Change
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson indicated he has no plans for negotiations with Iran and expressed favor for moving to support elements within Iran intent on regime change during testimony on the State Department budget in the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday. Tillerson’s remarks are certain to ratchet up tensions with Iran, where elements remain deeply suspicious of U.S. intentions and have levied charges on ordinary citizens for alleged collaboration with hostile powers…  On top of Tillerson’s effective endorsement of regime change, the top diplomat gave no indication that he had considered engaging Iran diplomatically. In response to a question from Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) on whether he would press his Iranian counterparts on the whereabouts of his constituent, Bob Levinson, who disappeared in Iran in 2007, Tillerson stated “I have no current schedule to meet with the Iranians.”   More

*   *   *   *

Israel vs. the United Nations: The Nikki Haley Doctrine
The United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, seems to be championing a single cause: Israel.
When Haley speaks about Israel, her language is not merely emotive nor tailored to fit the need of a specific occasion.  Rather, her words are resolute, consistent and are matched by a clear plan of action.  Along with Haley, the rightwing Israeli government of
Benjamin Netanyahu is moving fast to cultivate the unique opportunity of dismissing the United Nations, thus, any attempt at criticizing the Israeli Occupation…  Sidelining the UN, then, also meant that the US would have complete control over managing the Middle East, but especially the situation in Palestine…  The US has supported Israel quite blindly at the UN throughout the years. Haley seems to adopt an entirely Israeli position with no regard whatsoever for her country’s allies, or the possible repercussions of dismissing the only international body that still serves as a platform for international engagement and conflict resolution.   More

Will New Saudi Crown Prince Usher in Open KSA-Israeli Alliance?
The Gulf Arab “game of thrones” took a dramatic turn Tuesday in Riyadh with the sudden ousting of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and the issuance of a decree by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud naming his son, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, as the next in the line of succession…  Across the Arab world, reports have swirled about a significant faction among Saudi royals hoping to move forward with the Israelis to carve out a nominal “Palestinian state” within the Occupied Territories, which in reality would be an Israeli-dominated enclave and “gussied up Palestinian prison” with a “fife-and-drum corps, and control over nothing” that Palestinian American historian Professor Rashid Khalidi has spoken of.  The establishment of this “state,” in the minds of Trump and the faction Mohammed allegedly represents, would then usher in the normalization of ties between the Israelis and the Saudi alliance comprising the kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain. Indeed, the Saudi-Israeli “condominium” has long worked in concert against their common foes in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Iran.  More

Americans disproportionately leading the charge in settling the West Bank
In recent years the main sources of immigration to Israel have been France, Russia, Ukraine and the United States. But while far more immigrants arrived in Israel last year from those first three countries, the United States took first place when it came to the number of immigrants moving to the settlements…  While French Jews accounted for 16 percent of all immigrants last year, their share among the settler immigrants was just over 2 percent. While Russians accounted for 27 percent of all immigrants, their share among the settler immigrants was just under 2.5 percent. For Ukrainians, these two numbers were 22 percent and just under 2 percent respectively. But while Americans accounted for just 10 percent of all immigrants, their share among the settler immigrants topped 9 percent. Similar trends were evident in the 2015 figures from the statistics bureau…  The Israeli government, therefore, knows better than to openly publish advertisements offering special rewards and financial incentives for those who build, buy or rent homes in the West Bank. That doesn’t mean, though, that it lacks more discreet ways of nudging newcomers over the Green Line.    More

'Devastating' survey shows huge loss of Israel support among Jewish college students
The current Israel advocacy programs are not working, and Jewish college students are the leading defectors from Israel support. ‘The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values’  … According to the report’s executive summary, since 2010, claimed knowledge of Israel has increased 14 percentage points nationally (from 23% to 37%) and is up among every demographic group (except for college students, where it is down 16 percentage points, from 50% to 34%). These increases, however, have not translated into increased favorability, which is down 14 percentage points (from 76% to 62%) nationally and by large margins across the board…  “The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values. This is huge! Devastating,” she said.   More

Saturday, June 24: Racism and Human Rights in Israel/Palestine, 7:30 pm, Beacon Hill Friends House
6 Chestnut St, Boston.  A Panel Discussion with Eve Spangler is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Boston College, Nadia Ben-Youssef is a lawyer and human rights advocate and Sa’ed Atshan is an Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College.

Thursday June 29: Reclaim Roxbury Planning Forum: 6pm @ Dudley Library). The city is currently deciding how to build on public land in Roxbury, land that used to be housing that was destroyed by the city during Urban Renewal in the 1960-70’s. The city is saying they are including our voices in the process, but ultimately they are not allowing us to make decisions on land in our own community.

Tuesday, July 18:  National Bird, a film about the secret US drone assassination program, 7 pm, Central Square Library, 45 Pearl St, Cambridge.  Why is our government killing thousands of people around the globe they can’t even identify?  Directed by Sonia Kennebeck, this powerful documentary follows the dramatic journey of three whistleblowers who are determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the hidden U.S. drone war, which has escalated under President Trump.

Monday, June 26, 2017

BLM June stand out

Stand Out for Black Lives at Ashmont Station

 Next Stand Out is on July 20, 5:30pm-6:30pm
Join us every 3rd Thursday of the Month

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dorchester People for Peace Solidarity Project!

Dorchester People for  
Peace Solidarity 
Why Manchester? Why Portland? Why Syria?
Are all Muslims Extremists?
What do Muslims Believe?
This talk was very well received and is available for other venues. 
CONTACT emmyrain@gmail.com

Speaker: Hayat Imam
Hayat is a Muslim Feminist, Member of Dorchester People for Peace, and a long time Activist for Social Justice.

Boston Public Library
Lower Mills Branch - June 22

DPP works with other local groups to build a Multi-Racial Peace Movement: End wars abroad and work for justice at home. For more information, go to www.dotpeace.org or call 617-282-3783

Saturday, May 20, 2017

May 19, 2017 newsletter

Next DPP Meeting
Monday, June 12: 6:30-8:30pm, at the Vietnamese Center/42 Charles St., Fields Corner, Dorchester.
*   *   *   *
Save the date!
Sunday, June 4
Dorchester Day Parade
Join the DPP contingent – and come to the cookout after!
(Look for details in upcoming DPP Updates)

*   *   *   *

Becky writes:
The first monthly Dorchester Standout for Black Lives happened yesterday (Thursday, May 18,) during evening rush hour at the Ashmont T station plaza and intersection.  50 people took part, a few of whom were passersby who saw us and joined in.  The DPP members who were there and who organized it were happy with the turnout and the friendly tone of the action, and the large amount of car horn-honking in support. There was one car driver yelling "All lives matter," but no other overt negative reaction that I'm aware of.  One African American woman was so happy to see us there that she went and bought us a couple of gallons of cold water and some plastic cups!
The next Standout for Black Lives will be Thursday, June 15, 5:30-6:30 PM, at the corner of Dorchester Ave. and Ashmont St. Please plan to come, and let Kelley or Becky know if you're willing to help.

For more info
write Kelley or Becky, kelready@msn.combeckyp44@verizon.net, or call DPP at 617-282-3783
*   *   *   *
Emmy sent this along, writing:
Dan and I sent this letter out to people who we know contributed to the Standing Rock fundraising.  We also sent it to the people who gave us their info.  However, there are some who did not sign up and who contributed by cash.  So we thought it might be good to put this into the newsletter.

Standing Rock December 4th, 2016
A’ ho Mitakuye Oyasin,  (Lakota Sioux for Hello all my relatives)
We want to thank everyone who contributed to Standing Rock.  The money all you gave helped in so many vital ways.  Veterans for Peace, Dorchester People for Peace, myself and Emmy want to be completely transparent with the money that was raised and where it had been spent. 100% of the funds went to helping Standing Rock, Water Protectors and Veterans. Many of you may have heard that Standing Rock is over, but this is far from the truth.  The many that were a part of this movement have taken the sacred fire throughout the world where it continues to burn.  Many of the Water Protectors and Veterans stay in touch and they continue the work of climate change, native and treaty rights, and standing up to big oil throughout the US. Some are in Flint Michigan right now at Camp Promise protesting the lead in the water there.  Some are working in the movement to divest from banks funding the pipelines.  Some are working on the many legal battles that will be ongoing for years.  Please know that your help at Standing Rock was of vital importance.

*   *   *   *
If you haven't signed this crucial petition yet in support of the Jim Brooks Community Stabilization Act, PLEASE SIGN IT NOW!  Boston needs community stabilization, not resegregation. Thanks for signing! #right2remainjustcauseboston.org
Monday, March 6th, over 350 supporters attended the Boston City Council's hearing on the Jim Brooks Stabilization Act and pressed our councilors to pass it immediately.  Right now, the Act is sitting in the Government Operations committee. We call on the chair of this committee, Councilor Flaherty, to pledge to support this Act and bring it to a full City Council vote now."

*   *   *   *
Please save the dates for these upcoming City Life/Vida Urbana actions to support tenants fighting Evictions and displacement in Dorchester. Let me know if you can commit to come to either of these. It would be great if folks can help get others to come out to support these tenants in Dorchester. I am working with the tenants at Victory Rd and this is their first rally/action. Let's show them that when they fight - we will show up and fight with them.
Saturday, May 20: high noon: March to defend our member Marie Perpignant. Marie has received rent increases of 50% over the last year and a half. We will gather at her house at 12pm at 86 Church St. in Fields Corner and march to the owner's house in Savin Hill.
Sunday, May 21: Rally at 15 Victory Rd. Tenants here have organized to fight large rent increases from Wallace Management. They will hold a support rally in the courtyard at 2pm on Sunday, May 21.

*   *   *   *

Trump’s first full education budget:
Deep cuts to public school programs in pursuit of school choice
Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, public-service loan forgiveness would end and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework and other services would vanish under a Trump administration plan to cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, according to budget documents obtained by The Washington Post.  The administration would channel part of the savings into its top priority: school choice. It seeks to spend about $400 million to expand charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools, and another $1 billion to push public schools to adopt choice-friendly policies…  The proposed cuts in long-standing programs — and the simultaneous new investment in alternatives to traditional public schools — are a sign of the Trump administration’s belief that federal efforts to improve education have failed. DeVos, who has previously derided government, is now leading an agency she views as an impediment to progress…  The budget proposal calls for a net $9.2 billion cut to the department, or 13.6 percent of the spending level Congress approved last month.   More

Education Privatizers Have Burrowed into Almost All 50 States
Only three states do not have some form of privatized K-12 education in their public schools, a new nationwide map and accompanying analysis has found, showing how much the charter school and school choice movement has grown in recent years.  Those states are North Dakota, Nebraska and West Virginia, the only states given an “A” grade by the Network for Public Education, a non-profit that opposes privatization, loss of local control, over-testing of students, and other non-governmental efforts that seek to commoditize public schools.  All the other states and the District of Columbia have some mix of charter schools, charter authorizing authority outside local school districts, online charter school, voucher programs where taxpayers pay for private schools, tax credits for sending children to private schools or educational savings accounts, which is another form of a voucher program, according to the NPE State Report Card 2017 More

Dr Martin Luther King famously said "a nation that continues year after year to spend more on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." Since Dr. King's time the US discretionary budget has year after year devoted the lion's share of the tax dollar to militarism. President Trump's proposals make a bad situation much worse. The priorities are clear: cuts for departments and programs that ensure Americans’ safety, health, and well-being in order to fund the largest military increase in modern times and an enormous tax break to the 1% who already avoid paying their fair share.

(right) Rep. Keith Ellison introduces the People's Budget in front of the White House, May 2, 2017

March and Rally for the People's Budget
Wednesday, May 31, 11:30 am
Tip O'Neill Federal Bldg, 10 Causeway St., Boston- Rally
march to JFK Federal Building, 15 Sudbury St., Boston

Rev. Barber: America needs a new Poor People’s Campaign
Though Trump’s presidency is the culmination of a violent backlash against the Second Reconstruction that Dr. King and many others led, the future of our democracy depends on us completing the work of a Third Reconstruction today… The fights for racial and economic equality are as inseparable today as they were half a century ago. Make no mistake about it: We face a crisis in America. The twin forces of white supremacy and unchecked corporate greed have gained newfound power and influence, both in statehouses across this nation and at the highest levels of our federal government. Sixty-four million Americans make less than a living wage, while millions of children and adults continue to live without access to healthcare, even as extremist Republicans in Congress threaten to strip access away from millions more. As our social fabric is stretched thin by widening income inequality, politicians criminalize the poor, fan the flames of racism and xenophobia to divide the poor, and steal from the poor to give tax breaks to our richest neighbors and budget increases to a bloated military.  More

ACLU Reveals Bills in 20 States Aiming to Criminalize Peaceful Protest
Since the election of Donald Trump, public protests such as the Women's March, Climate March and the March for Science, have flourished. In response, more than 30 bills spanning 20 states have been introduced in an effort to increase the penalties for peaceful protest, according to the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU). Representatives from the United Nations (UN) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) wrote to the US government in late March 2017, expressing concern over these bills and requesting an explanation regarding their "[incompatibility] with US obligations under international human rights law." …"This flood of bills represents an unprecedented level of hostility toward protesters in the 21st century. And, many of these bills attack the right to speak out precisely where the Supreme Court has historically held it to be the most robust: in public parks, streets and sidewalks," Vera Eidelman of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project told The Guardian.    More

Trump Nominates Actual Fascist David Clarke for Department of Homeland Security
Words like fascist and authoritarian get thrown around too promiscuously. But there is no other way to describe David Clarke, who today announced that he was named assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. (The Department has not confirmed Clarke’s appointment.) Clarke occupies the extremist, anti-democratic fringe of far-right officials, even by the standards of the Trump administration. Clarke, a Milwaukee sheriff, rocketed into national prominence as a conservative provocateur by virtue of his rabid opposition to Black Lives Matter. Clarke is African-American, which has given him broader license to attack protesters in unbridled terms that thrill Republicans. He calls the group “Black Lies Matter,” or “black slime,” railing against its members as dangerous thugs. Clarke argues that not only does BLM go too far in its advocacy of criminal-justice reform, but that the cause itself is categorically illegitimate. He has lectured protesters to “stop trying to fix the police, fix the ghetto.”   More

JESSE JACKSON: The Lie About Voter Fraud is the Real Fraud
Unlike voter fraud — which every independent study shows is essentially a myth — voter suppression is real and growing. The most significant outside factor in the 2016 campaign was not the scattered cases of voter fraud, or Putin’s hacking, or even former FBI Director Comey’s interventions. The most significant factor was the suppression of the vote — particularly the black vote — in North Carolina, Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee. As Berman has argued, federal court records show that “300,000 registered voters, 9 percent of the electorate, lacked strict forms of voter ID in Wisconsin.” A recent study by Priorities USA, a Democratic PAC, estimated that Wisconsin’s harsh voter ID laws “reduced turnout by about 200,000 votes” — disproportionately black votes. Trump won the state by 22,748 votes.   More

Neurology Study Reveals What We Already Know: People of Color Get Worse Healthcare
Analyzing data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 2006-2013, they found that Black patients were 30% less likely to see an outpatient neurologist even after adjusting for social factors such as insurance coverage. Hispanic patients were 40% less likely. They looked at neurologic diseases such as stroke, headache, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy. According to the CDC, strokes kill over 130,000 Americans each year, about 5% of deaths. Strokes are also the leading cause of long-term disability. Furthermore, the risk of stroke is nearly twice as high for Black Americans as opposed to whites. Yet, despite higher rates of stroke, Black Americans are seeing neurologists, the experts on strokes, less… In fact, we’ve known this for almost 15 years. In 2003 the Institute of Medicine published a 764-page report that reviewed hundreds of studies. In the report, Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, they found that even when controlling for factors outside of the hospital system (insurance coverage, location, severity of disease, socioeconomic status etc), disparities remain. The bottom-line? Not only does racism on a societal level cause people of color to have worse health outcomes, so do the unconscious biases of those working in the healthcare system.   More 

We are, of course, beings with a complex sense of right and wrong, which can be messed with in disastrous ways. There are boundaries inside us that can’t be crossed without a great price being paid. Though the term moral injury is fairly new, especially outside military circles, the idea is as old as war. When people sent into conflict find their sense of right and wrong tested, when they violate deeply held convictions by doing something (such as killing a civilian in error) or failing to do something (such as not reporting a war crime), they suffer an injury to their core being…  In tallying the costs of war, what’s the price of a quick death versus a slow one? A soldier who leaves his brains on the wall in the den two decades after his war ended or one whose body remains untouched but who left his mind 10,000 miles away?   More

Chelsea Manning Is a Free Woman: Her Heroism Has Expanded Beyond Her Whistleblowing
She was the classic leaker of conscience, someone who went at the age of 20 to fight in the Iraq War believing it was noble, only to discover the dark reality not only of that war but of the U.S. government’s actions in the world generally: war crimes, indiscriminate slaughter, complicity with high-level official corruption, and systematic deceit of the public…  It is genuinely hard to overstate the significance of those revelations: Aside from exposing some of the most visceral footage of indiscriminate slaughter by the U.S. military seen in decades…. Even more significantly, revelations about how the U.S. military executed Iraqi civilians, then called in a bombing raid to cover up what they did, prevented the Iraqi government from granting the Obama administration the troop immunity it was seeking in order to extend the war in Iraq…    Manning’s struggles in prison, including her suicide attempts and grotesquely cruel punishments for them, were publicly reported. Although the military prison begrudgingly gave her some of the therapy she sought, authorities also imposed petty restrictions, including a refusal even to let her grow her hair and a failure to provide much of the support that was needed.    More

*   *   *   *
NEW WARS / OLD WARS – What Could Possibly Go Wrong
News reports claim that the US strike was defending a ”deconfliction zone” but this is a unilateral US designation to protect armed opposition rebel forces and their US trainers who are illegally based in Syria near the Jordanian border. It has nothing to do with the “de-escalation zones” brokered by the Russians and agreed to by the Syrian government and opposition rebels.  And, while it is useful to point out once again that this bombing violates US law in bypassing Congress, it is nevertheless true that all US military intervention in Syria is illegal under international law, whether Congress approves or not.

U.S.-led coalition jets reportedly struck Syrian and allied forces inside Syria, the coalition said Thursday. The area, which is near Syria’s border with Jordan and Iraq, is where U.S. and U.K. special-operations forces train Syrian rebels… The strikes deep inside Syria represent a major shift in U.S. policy. The Obama administration opted not to strike Assad or oust him using force despite his use of chemical weapons and crossing President Obama’s metaphorical “red line” in 2013 on the use of the such weapons. The U.S. focused instead on arming moderate rebels—an exercise that ultimately proved an embarrassing failure.   More

"Frickin' Illegal": Congressman Says Trump Has No Authority for Latest Syria Bombing
In the wake of news that the U.S. military bombed forces allied with the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday, at least one member of Congress is voicing dissent by saying President Donald Trump has no legal authority to order such attacks.  "The situation that led to today's strike is precisely why I warned against getting further entangled in the Syrian civil war without a clear strategy."  —Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)"For the second time in as many months, the U.S. military has conducted airstrikes against pro-Assad forces in Syria," said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). "The Trump Administration does not have congressional authorization to carry out military strikes against the Assad regime. Furthermore, the situation that led to today's strike is precisely why I warned against getting further entangled in the Syrian civil war without a clear strategy." …Along with other lawmakers and Middle East experts who have repeatedly warned against escalation in Syria, or the foolishness of further injecting the U.S. military into the nation's brutal and protracted civil war, Lieu said that Trump must make clear his intentions regarding Syria.  More

Urge your reps. to say

Take Action.

Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress has the sole authority to decide when U.S. military force will be used if the U.S. has not been attacked. Congress never authorized Trump to attack Syria, which has not attacked the U.S.

Trump Escalates Syrian Proxy War
Back in February, it was quietly reported that the CIA had discontinued its support program to rebels in Syria. A month later, a knowledgeable source from the region disclosed to me that the Trump administration and the Saudi defense minister, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had agreed during their meetings in mid-March for the Gulf states to re-open supply channels to their rebel proxies.   This was done, the source said, to keep the Syrian government’s army and its allied Russian air force occupied so that the U.S. and its Kurdish allies could continue dividing northern Syria, establishing a zone-of-influence throughout the lands they recapture from the Islamic State.  Concurrent with this was a similar effort in the southeast, where U.S. and Jordanian backed forces have been battling ISIS while attempting to establish control over the border with Iraq. The strategy was to use the fight against ISIS as a pretext for establishing a de-facto occupation of Syrian territory, where in the Kurdish-held regions the U.S. has already established multiple military bases and airfields.  More

Donald Trump Said Saudi Arabia Was Behind 9/11. Now He’s Going There on His First Foreign Trip
As a presidential candidate, he spent much of the election campaign needling, critiquing, denouncing and even threatening the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Yet as president, he is making his first foreign visit this weekend to … the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia… There will be handshakes, hugs and smiles galore. We will be expected to forget how Trump blasted the Saudi royals for being freeloaders and threatened them with an economic boycott. Speaking to the New York Times last year, Trump claimed that, without U.S. support and protection, “Saudi Arabia wouldn’t exist for very long.” The real problem, he continued, was that the Saudis are “a money machine … and yet they don’t reimburse us the way we should be reimbursed.” Asked if he would be willing to “stop buying oil from the Saudis” if they refused to pull their weight, Trump responded: “Oh yeah, sure. I would do that.”  We will be also expected to ignore the fact that Trump slammed the Saudi government for executing homosexuals and treating women “horribly.” In the third presidential debate last October, Trump attacked Hillary Clinton for taking $25 million from the Saudis, from “people that push gays off … buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly and yet you take their money.”

Donald Trump to announce $350bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia – one of the largest in history
Donald Trump will use his upcoming Saudi Arabia trip to announce one of the largest arms sales deals in US history - somewhere in the neighbouhood of $98bn to $128bn worth of arms. That could add up to $350bn over ten years.  The deal will be what the Washington Post said is a “cornerstone” of the proposal encouraging the Gulf states to form its own alliance like the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) military alliance, dubbed “Arab NATO."  … More American involvement, a more entrenched Nato-like military structure, and increased professional capability to match Nato forces may come about in the new Arab Nato alliance in part due to the motivation of Saudi Arabia. President Barack Obama's administration brokered more arms sales than any US administration since World War II - estimated at $200bn. They sold Saudi Arabia alone $60bn in arms, which sparked criticism by Democrats concerned with Saudi Arabia's alleged human rights violations.  More

Media to Trump: Don't Cozy Up to Dictators--Unless They're the Right Dictators
After a series of friendly gestures by President Donald Trump toward Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi over the past few months, US media have recoiled with disgust at the open embrace of governments that ostensibly had heretofore been beyond the pale…   Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) lectured Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the Times op-ed page (5/8/17) on “Why We Must Support Human Rights.”  …So the Trump administration’s announcement of a plan for not just a friendly visit to Saudi Arabia—scheduled for May 20–21—but also the sale of up to $300 billion in weapons to the oppressive regime, must have provoked the same outcry from these critics, right?
Actually, no. Thus far, the LA Times, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC and CBS haven’t reported on Trump’s massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia, much less had a pundit or editorial board condemn it…  John McCain, whose New York Times op-ed was unironically shared by dozens of high-status pundits, aggressively backs Saudi Arabia’s brutal bombing of Yemen, and has called for increased military support to the absolute monarchy.   More

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy ruled by Wahhabism, an intolerant form of Sunni Islam, and the Saudi state has supported movements such as Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban. The Saudi government fiercely discriminates against Muslims of other sects, bans public worship by Christians, and supports gender inequality. The Saudis opposed the 2015 U.S.-Iran nuclear deal even though it guarantees a world with fewer nuclear weapons.
Saudi Arabia invaded Bahrain to support that country's rulers during the 2011 Arab Spring, and it is presently making war in Yemen, where its airstrikes have led to many thousands of civilian deaths and risks a serious famine. Our country is providing indispensable military aid and support for the Saudi war in Yemen; in the last two years our government has sold over $20 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia. We refuel Saudi warplanes that have bombed schools, hospitals, marketplaces, weddings, and funerals.
Additionally, Saudi military actions have disrupted the food supply in Yemen. Yemen  imports nearly 90% of its food; according to the UN, 17 million Yemenis suffer from severe food insecurity.

Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain Should be Rejected
The potentially massive Saudi arms sale, involving precision-guided munitions (PGM) worth hundreds of millions of dollars, was suspended by Obama in December, in part due to independent reports that Saudi forces have repeatedly struck civilian areas, including locations the United States asked be off-limits…. The flow of new weapons to states involved in the conflict will only worsen the humanitarian situation. Ignoring UN findings that a military solution is not possible and pleas to unblock access to ports to help address the “largest humanitarian crisis in the world,” the port city of Hodeida is identified as a next target for the Saudi-led coalition. Despite being crippled by earlier strikes and blocked from receiving new cranes for unloading supplies, a significant portion of humanitarian assistance enters the country through the port. An attack there would likely further cut supplies and significantly escalate human sufferingMore

ALJAZEERA: Trump brings optimism for firmer US approach to Mideast
Going to Saudi Arabia first is a highly symbolic move for President Trump who is struggling with political troubles at home, but is drawing optimism from Arab leaders despite his deep unpopularity in Arab public opinion for his anti-Muslim commentary during the 2016 US election campaign.  The president will hold a series of meetings starting on Saturday with Saudi rulers, including King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Saudis want more US help confronting Iran and armed groups, as well as private investment in Saudi companies.  "You have a president who clearly, despite many negative comments he's made about Saudi Arabia, is treating them as an ally. The optics will be very good," said Aaron David Miller, a Middle East analyst at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington DC…  Trump will lunch with 56 invited Arab and Muslim leaders to discuss combating "extremism" and cracking down on illicit financing of armed groups, according to the White House. Trump will not come away empty-handed. The president expects to ink a $100bn arms sale with Saudi Arabia. Several leading American CEOs from companies will be meeting with Saudi counterparts to discuss potential investments in the kingdom's privatisation drive, Saudi Vision 2030.   More

The US Will Never Win the War in Afghanistan
President Trump hasn’t decided whether to sign off on his generals’ request for more troops for Afghanistan. Ironically, this would be one instance in which Trump — and the country — would benefit from repudiating President Barack Obama’s example. Instead of yet another troop surge in America’s longest war, now heading toward its 16thbirthday, Trump should adopt the advice that then-Sen. George Aiken (R-Vt.) offered about Vietnam in 1966: “Declare victory and get out.” General John W. Nicholson testified that he wants an additional 5,000 soldiers to break the “stalemate” in Afghanistan… The war has now cost us over $1 trillion, making it the second-costliest U.S. war, after World War II. In fiscal year 2017, the war will cost about $50 billion, nearly a billion every week. We’ve lost over 2,350 soldiers, with 20,000 more suffering injuries. And as Trevor Timm of the Guardian noted, in a couple of years, there will be soldiers fighting in Afghanistan that weren’t even born at the time of 9/11…  Trump should fulfill his campaign rhetoric and pull the plug. Praise the troops and bring them home. Use the money and lives saved to rebuild America. Redirect a tiny fraction of the United States’ bloated military costs fighting in Afghanistan to mitigating the refugee crisis and addressing that country’s needs.     More

Congress Is Drawing a ‘Red Line’ Over Trump’s Support for the Saudi War on Yemen
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen grows more dire with each passing hour. On May 3, Norwegian Refugee Council Secretary General Jan Egeland, who had just returned from a fact-finding trip to Yemen, wrote, “The world is letting some 7 million men, women and children slowly but surely, be engulfed by unprecedented famine. It is not a drought that is at fault. This preventable catastrophe is man-made.”  …Indeed, according to a recent report in The Washington Post, “Human rights activists have accused the Saudis of indiscriminate bombing in its campaign, saying it has killed thousands of civilians and reduced much of Yemen’s vital infrastructure to rubble.”  …Following up on an April 10 letter to President Trump, in which 55 House members demanded he “end, rather than increase, US logistical assistance for the Saudi-led bombings in Yemen,” a bipartisan group of 16 House members led by Wisconsin Democrat Mark Pocan and Michigan Republican Justin Amash have now written to Defense Secretary Mattis to express their “concern that Pentagon officials continue to advance ‘logistical and intelligence support’ for a Saudi coalition attack on Hodeida.”   More

*   *   *   *

Netanyahu’s Predictable Traps to Sabotage Peace
One of these traps is the demand that, as a precondition for restarting negotiations, the Palestinians recognize Israel as the “Jewish state.” Predictably, Netanyahu set this trap in his first White House meeting with Trump. No matter that in 1993 the Palestinians recognized “the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.” No matter that neither Egypt nor Jordan was ever required to embrace Zionism in their respective peace deals. No matter that this demand is quite understandably a non-starter for the Palestinians, as Netanyahu understands all too well…  Over the past 50 years, successive Israeli governments have settled more than half a million Israeli civilians on lands occupied in the 1967 war. They have done so in defiance of international law, U.S. policy, and the spirit and goals of the peace process. Now, “pragmatic” voices from the right-wing, the center-left, and possibly even some Gulf states, are adopting Netanyahu’s call for a shift in U.S. policy to legitimize the settlement enterprise for the first time in history. This trap is perhaps the most insidious of all, with such a shift in policy touted as an easy way to neutralize an issue that has been a source of endless conflict with Israel and promote peace.   More

All 50 U.S. Governors Say Boycotts of Israel “Incompatible” With American Values
The governors of all 50 U.S. states on Thursday released a statement strongly denouncing boycotts of Israel as “antithetical to our values and the values of our respective states.”  Governors United Against BDS, a group organized by the American Jewish Committee, pointed out that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign seeks “to isolate Israel—a pluralistic nation with deep cultural, familial, security, educational, scientific and commercial bonds with our state and with the United States as a whole—rather than recognize the profound mutual benefits of our engagement with it.”  The BDS campaign, the governors asserted, “would also undermine peacemaking by suggesting that economic and political pressure on Israel can replace real negotiation.”  …[Texas Governor] Abbott signed an anti-BDS bill into law earlier this month, saying at the time that he was “proud” to do it in honor of Israel’s 69th Independence Day. Other anti-BDS bills have become law in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, South Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, Florida, Alabama, California, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Arkansas, and Iowa. New York governor Andrew Cuomo approved a similar measure by executive order.  Advocates of these measures have emphasized that they do not raise any First Amendment issues, as private parties are still free to protest, boycott, or speak out against Israel in any way. However, states may be obligated to protect taxpayer money from being used to promote or support discrimination based on religion, race, or nationality.   More

Jewish Nation-State Bill: Israel’s Precarious Identity is Palestine’s Nightmare
The Israeli Knesset (parliament) has hurriedly passed a new bill that defines Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people.” Although the association between Jewishness and Israel goes back to the foundation of the state, the new law also carries clear discriminatory elements that target the country’s Arab communities, numbering nearly two million people…  While so-called Israeli Arabs enjoy a semblance of rights – a fact that is often underscored by Israel as a proof of its democratic credentials – millions of occupied Palestinians exist completely outside the system. The only rules that applies to them are the rules of war and guidelines set by military courts and carried out by occupation soldiers.
But nearly a fifth of Israel’s own population – native Palestinians – are subjected to an array of discriminatory laws that collectively render their fundamental human and political rights devoid of substance. ‘Adalah’, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, has established a database of new and proposed bills at the Knesset that discriminate against Palestinians and privilege the Jewish citizens of Israel.  More

Israel Lobby Files anti-BDS Bill:
State Senator Creem of Newton and Representative Paul McMurtry of Dedham have filed a legislation that would attack free speech and nonviolent protest - the exact last thing we need in the Trump era. Creem and McMurtry's bills, SD.922 and HD.779, are framed as anti-discrimination legislation. But in reality they would penalize supporters of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for justice, as well as other social movements that employ time-honored tactics of nonviolent economic pressure. If Creem and McMurtry had introduced this bill in 1975, it would have made activism against South African Apartheid substantially more difficult.

*    *    *    *

Saturday, May 20: RALLY FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION, 2-5 PM, Boston Common @ Beacon & Charles StOn May 20, thousands of parents, educators, and students are uniting to demand:  Full funding for public education, Pre-K through college - Debt-free public higher education - Less testing, more learning - Equitable access to quality education for all students.  RSVP and find a ride from locations around the state here!  Share with your friends on Facebook here.

Thursday, May 25:  Standout for Palestine Solidarity at Harvard Graduation, 3:30 - 5PM, In front of the Holyoke Center construction site, Harvard Square.  With thousands of people thronging Harvard Square, this is an important time to stand in solidarity with Palestinians.  We will call attention to the 50th anniversary of the Israeli Occupation, and the 6th week of the Hunger Strike by Palestinian Prisoners (assuming it is ongoing).  Our message to the Harvard Graduation speaker, Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg: stop censoring Palestinian posts and blocking the accounts of Palestinian journalists and editors!   Please help spread the word and plan to join us!

Saturday, May 27: Alternatives to Violence Project National Conference, Public Session:, 1-9pm, Lasell College, Newton.  Featuring: Adam Foss, Plenary  MA Governor’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and  Dr. Bernard Lafayette associate of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., and  co-Founder of AVP. Educational Breakout Sessions on: An AVP Model for De-escalation Training AVP’s work with Veterans Building Community with Youth at RiskAVP and New Brain Science Changing Prison Culture Working in the Reentry/Recovery Community Dinner And an Evening performance and discussion by The Dworin Group, Dance and Song. Join AVP facilitators and other members of the Boston community creating meaningful change. Before May, 14 - $30 email registration to Registrar@avpusa.org. After May 14 - $40 at the door. All payment at the door.  For more information, please contact: Program@avpusa.org.

Monday, June 5: Protest Israel's 50-Year Military Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, 5-8pm, Cambridge City Hall, 759 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge. On June 5th 2017 Israel will have occupied the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights for 50 years.  Join local Palestine solidarity organizations in protesting the ongoing occupation. We will be taking action against Hewlett Packard, one of the many companies that profit off of the occupation and surveillance of Palestinians. https://www.facebook.com/events/1967462893474636/

*    *    *    *
CONTACTING DPP and Joining Our Work:
To make it easier to get involved with DPP, we've decided to publish contact info for our coordinators in every issue of this update. We will also regularly publish upcoming meetings of work committees, create a brochure or flyer about DPP, and greet new people at monthly meetings with an explanation of how we work. Here's how to reach them.

Facilitation Team: 

Sydney Miller       sydsail@gmail.com
Alison Gottlieb:    asgottlieb1@gmail.com
Rosemary Keane  rosemarykean@yahoo.com