Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Book Argues that Opposing Torture Still Matters

Dr. Rebecca Gordon to speak on her new book, Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States, on Tuesday, September 2, 2014, at 7:00 PM  at the Walpole Public Library, 143 School St. The talk is sponsored by the Walpole Peace and Justice Group. In her book Dr. Gordon argues that most perspectives on torture miss the point, by treating torture as a series of isolated actions that arise in extreme times of war and crisis. But institutionalized state torture is actually an ongoing, socially embedded practice.

The use of torture by the United States as part of the “war on terror” cannot be separated from a national history that includes state support for torture regimes abroad — as well the ongoing use of torture in U.S. jails and prisons. Torture still matters, because the United States is still torturing.

Mainstreaming Torture highlights the impact of the practice of torture not only on the persons most closely involved, but on an entire nation that accepts torture as a necessary price to pay for personal safety. 

Praise for Mainstreaming Torture

“This remarkable morally and politically challenging and courageous work confronts unblinkingly the profoundly disturbing truth that both popular and scholarly discourses in America consistently distort and sanitize the essential nature of the torture that has become a socially embedded practice in our country.”
Henry Shue, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford

“This excellent book challenges us to end torture. Not only by prosecuting the front line people who get caught, but also going after the high-ranking public officials who are torture’s intellectual authors.”
Bill Quigley, Professor of Law, Loyola University New Orleans

Rebecca Gordon teaches philosophy at the University of San Francisco, and works with War Times/Tiempo de Guerras.

Calling on the U.S. President and Congress to Stop Deportations

Members and supporters of the Walpole Peace and Justice Group  gathered on the Walpole Common on Saturday, August 2, 2014 and Wednesday,  August 6, 2014 to bring attention to the plight of the Unaccompanied Child Refugees. Tens of thousands of young refugees have fled Central  America and are seeking safety in the United States.  The vigil in Walpole called on the U.S. President and Congress to stop deportations, increase relief for America’s immigrant families, and protect unaccompanied children who have sought refuge in the United States.   

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Peace Vigil in support of the Unaccompanied Child Refugees on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, the Walpole Common

Please join the Walpole Peace and Justice Group  for a peace vigil in  support of the Unaccompanied Child Refugees. The vigil will be held on Wednesday,  August 6, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM,  on the Walpole Common at the corner of Main and West Streets. Tens of thousands of young refugees have fled Central  America and are seeking safety in the United States.  We urge the President and Congress to stop deportations, increase relief for America’s immigrant families, and protect unaccompanied children who have sought refuge in the United States.  U.S.  immigration policies must be sensitive to the plight of families who are often broken up due to deportation. The enormous amount of funds used for border enforcement would be better spent helping the countries from which these children come.   We bear significant responsibility as U.S. economic policies and past support of dictators and wars in Central America have contributed to conditions of violence and poverty in the children’s homelands.  Come stand in support of the children and speak out in support of Gov Patrick’s offer to house and care for child refugees here in Massachusetts.

Other Events and Upcoming Talks    

·         Stand Up for All Children – sponsored by The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

There is a march on Thursday, August 7, 2014,  starting at 5:30 PM from Copley to the  State House. The purpose is to demonstrate support for Central American children fleeing harm, for Governor Patrick's plan to temporarily house unaccompanied minors, and for all children seeking refuge.  For more information see http://miracoalition.org/images/stories/RokStories/rally_august7_flyer4pageenglish.jpg

·         An analysis of the Cataclysms in Gaza, Iraq and Syria – and U.S. Middle East Policy With Raed Jarrar (Just Back from Jerusalem!) - sponsored by United for Justice with Peace

Thursday, August 7, 2014, 7:00 pm
Cambridge Friends Meeting • 5 Longfellow Park • off Brattle St - Harvard T • Cambridge

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Peace Vigil Saturday, August 2, 2014, 10-11 AM to support Unaccompanied Child Refugees

Please join us for a peace vigil in  support of the Unaccompanied Child Refugees. The vigil will be held on Saturday,  August 2, 2014 from 10:00 to 11:00 AM,  theWalpole Common at the corner of Main and West Streets. Tens of thousands of young refugees have fled Central  America and are seeking safety in the United States.  We urge the President and Congress to stop deportations, increase relief for America’s immigrant families, and protect unaccompanied children who have sought refuge in the United States.  U.S.  immigration policies must be sensitive to the plight of families who are often broken up due to deportation. The enormous amount of funds used for border enforcement would be better spent helping the countries from which these children come.   We bear significant responsibility as U.S. economic policies and past support of dictators and wars in Central America have contributed to conditions of violence and poverty in the children’s homelands.  Come stand in support of the children and speak out in support of Gov Patrick’s offer to house and care for child refugees here in Massachusetts.

Upcoming Talks on Other important issues
An analysis of the Cataclysms in Gaza, Iraq and Syria –and U.S. Middle East Policy With Raed Jarrar (Just Back from Jerusalem!) - sponsored by United for Justice with Peace
Thursday, August 7, 2014, 7:00 pm
Cambridge Friends Meeting • 5 Longfellow Park • off Brattle St - Harvard T • Cambridge

Dr. Rebecca Gordon to speak on her new book, ‘Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States’
In her bookDr. Gordon argues that most perspectives on torture miss the point, by treating torture as a series of isolated actions that arise in extreme times of war and crisis. But institutionalized state torture is actually an ongoing, socially embedded practice.The use of torture by the United States as part of the “war on terror” cannot be separated from a national history that includes state support for torture regimes abroad — as well the ongoing use of torture in U.S. jails and prisons. Torture still matters, because the United States is still torturing.
Friday, August 1, 2014, 2:00 PM at the Framingham Public Library – Sponsored by Metrowest Peace Action
Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 7:00 PM at the Walpole Public Library – Sponsored by the Walpole Peace and Justice Group

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars

The documentary film,  “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars” will be shown on Tuesday, May 13, 2014,  7:00 PM, at the Walpole Public Library. In this film from Brave New Films, director Robert Greenwald investigates the impact of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere. The film highlights the stories of 16 year old Tariq Aziz, killed by a drone in 2011; and school teacher, Rafiq ur Rehamn, whose mother was killed and children hospitalized due to a drone strike in 2012. “Unmanned” includes more than 70 interviews. Prominent among these are a former American drone operator; Pakistani families of drone victims who are seeking legal redress; high ranking politicians and some of the military’s top brass, warning against blowback from the loss of innocent life. Following the film Eileen Kurkoski and Susan McLucas from the Eastern Massachusetts Anti-Drone Network will lead a discussion. The presentation is sponsored by the Walpole Peace and Justice Group. It will be held in the Community Room at the Walpole Public Library, 143 School Street, Walpole, MA. The presentation is free and open to the public.  It’s important for people to learn what our government is doing in our name.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Reminder of a Tax Day Vigil on Saturday, April 12, in Walpole, from 10 to 11:30 AM

 Please join us on Saturday,  April 12, from 10 to 11:30 AM, the Walpole Common at the corner of Main and West Streets.  Tax Day, April 15, is right around the corner.  On Saturday, we will stand in support of the Budget for All,  bringing attention to how our federal  tax dollars are used .   The U.S. military budget commands over 50% of all discretionary spending, dwarfing the amount spent for critical programs like transportation, veterans affairs, education, and housing.  Our country devotes more money to the military than the next 13 biggest military spenders in the world, combined!  The current Ryan budget proposal  targets  social services for even more devastating cuts.  

We need the Budget for All that supports social services and the needs of people. 
Walpole voters in precincts 1, 2, 6, and 7 sent a clear message to Washington on November 6, 2012 by voting 2  to 1 on the Budget for All ballot question.

The Budget for All calls on Congress to enact a budget for prosperity, not austerity. Its full text reads:

Shall the state Representative (or Senator) from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon the Congress and the President to:

1.    Prevent cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans benefits, or to housing, food and\unemployment assistance;
2.    Create and protect jobs by investing in manufacturing, schools, housing, renewable energy, transportation and other public services;
3.    Provide new revenues for these purposes and to reduce the long-term federal deficit by closing corporate tax loopholes, ending offshore tax havens, and raising taxes on incomes over $250,000; and
4.       Redirect military spending to these domestic needs by reducing the military budget, ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home safely now.

See the below leaflet with a Fact Sheet on the Budget for All and an invitation to a Boston Tax Day Rally and Forum on ‘We pay our taxes. Are we getting what we need?’, Saturday, April 12, 2014,  2 PM, Emmanuel Church  15 Newbury St.   Boston.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Peace Vigil on April 12, from 10 to 11:30 AM: for Tax Day

Please join us on Saturday, April 12, from 10 to 11:30 AM on the Walpole Common at the corner of Main and West Streets, bringing attention to how our U.S. tax dollars are used. April 15 is right around the corner, the day our Federal tax returns are due. We will be holding a  40 foot “Budget Banner”. The banner is comprised of multiple colored segments, graphically illustrating the federal government’s discretionary budget, including military, education, health and human services, housing, justice, labor, and environment. The length of each segment is proportional to the size of that program’s budget, clearly showing how much is spent for each. Discretionary spending accounts for  $1.15 trillion of the proposed 2014 budget. The banner gives visual significance to the large amount the US spends on Pentagon programs and the military. Our country spends more on the military than the next 13 biggest military spenders in the world, combined. The banner also illustrates how tiny are the portions going to social services, programs that are important to each one of us. The Ryan budget proposal particularly targets these social services for devastating cuts. We need the Budget for All that supports social services and the needs of people.