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.
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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)

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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,, or call DPP at 617-282-3783
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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.

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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!
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."

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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 After May 14 - $40 at the door. All payment at the door.  For more information, please contact:

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.

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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
Alison Gottlieb:
Rosemary Keane