Saturday, August 01, 2015

Peace Vigil, Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on Friday, August 7, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, the Walpole Common

Please join the Walpole Peace and Justice Group  for a peace vigil, ‘ Hiroshima & Nagasaki: 70 Years - Never Again’ on Wednesday,  Friday  August 7, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM,  on the Walpole Common at the corner of Main and West Streets. Seventy years after the United States atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and 45 years after the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the 9 nuclear weapons states have yet to take the next step of negotiating  a total abolishment of nuclear weapons. We join with peace groups, people of faith, community groups, and all people who care about the future of humanity to call for all countries to disarm nuclear weapons. Join us for some readings and  a time of observance and reflection. 

See the Massachusetts Peace Action website for a list of other events remembering  Hiroshima & Nagasaki, http://masspeaceaction.org/home/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/FAITH_HIRO_NAGA_FLYER_FINALISH_5.pdf

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Why the War on Drugs is a Failure

Retired State Police undercover officer Jack Cole will give a talk, Why the War on Drugs is a Failure, at the Walpole Public Library on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:00 PM. Jack Cole knows about the “war on drugs” from several perspectives. He retired as a Detective Lieutenant after a 26-year career with the New Jersey State Police—fourteen in narcotics, mostly as an undercover officer. His investigations spanned cases from street drug users to international drug trafficking organizations.

Jack is passionate in his belief that the “war on drugs” has been an abject failure, that it is steeped in racism, is needlessly destroying the lives of young people, has expanded the militarization of our law enforcers, and has escalated the rate of police shootings. For four decades the US has fueled its policy of a “war on drugs” with over 1.5 trillion tax dollars and increasingly punitive policies. Over 50 million nonviolent drug arrests have been made. Jack asserts that despite all the money spent and all the lives destroyed, illicit drugs are cheaper, more potent, and much easier to access today than they were at the beginning of the “war on drugs” 45 years ago. Jack’s talk will give the audience an alternative prospective of the US “war on drugs” from the view of a veteran drug-warrior turned against the war.

Jack is a founding member and for eight years was executive director of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. LEAP is an international organization representing cops, judges, prosecutors, and prison wardens which believes that to save lives and lower the rates of disease, crime and addiction, as well as to conserve tax dollars, we must end drug prohibition. It believes that a system of regulation and control is far more effective than one of prohibition. Jack is now their Board Chair and an international speaker.

The Library is at 143 School Street, Walpole, MA. The talk is sponsored by the Walpole Peace and Justice Group.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Walpole Peace and Justice Group is sponsoring a screening of the Documentary Film, 'Broken On All Sides: Race' on May 13, 2015 7:30 PM at the Walpole Public Library


Please join us for a screening of the documentary film, Broken On All Sides: Race, Mass incarceration & New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S. on May 13, 2015 7:30 PM at the Walpole Public Library in the Community Room. This compelling documentary by Matthew Pillischer shows how the war on drugs and racial inequities within our criminal justice system have lead to mass incarceration of people of color.

The documentary gives a visual presentation of statistics and personal stories showing the racial disparities in the war on drugs. It shows how people of color are targeted for arrest, get harsher sentences, and experience the terrible impact of mass incarceration. While the majority of illegal drug users and dealers nationwide are white, 75% of those imprisoned for drug offenses have been Black or Latino. Today the U.S has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s prisoners. “The documentary centers around the theory put for­ward by many, and most recently by Michelle Alexander (who appears in the movie), that mass incarceration has become ‘The New Jim Crow.’

Through inter­views with people on many sides of the criminal justice system, this documentary aims to answer questions and provoke questions on an issue walled-off from the public's scrutiny.” There will be a discussion following the screening. The Library is at 143 School Street, Walpole, MA. The screening is sponsored by the Walpole Peace and Justice Group.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Walpole Peace and Justice Group Events

·         April 8, 2015 , 7:00 PM: Discussion on Racism, the War on Drugs, and Mass Incarceration on Wednesday, at the Walpole Public Library, the Pinnacle Room
The discussion will reference the bookThe New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.  This NY Times Best Seller is eye opening in its careful presentation of history and statistics, showing how the “war on drugs” has resulted in the mass incarceration of people of color and has been used to institute a racial caste system.  The incarceration of people of color has been devastating to their families, resulting in mass unemployment and poverty. Arrest records follow people the rest of their lives, affecting their opportunities for employment and even their right to vote. Sponsored by the Walpole Peace and Justice Group.

·         May 13, 2015  7:30 PM, Screening of the Documentary Film, Broken On All Sides: Race, Mass incarceration & New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S., at the Walpole Public Library, Community Room
This compelling documentary by Matthew Pillischer contains a visual presentation of facts and statistics and many personal stories that reinforce the issues raised by Michelle Alexander in her book. We will have a discussion following the viewing. See the website for more information on the documentary:  http://brokenonallsides.com/ . Sponsored by the Walpole Peace and Justice Group.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Reminder: Erlich talk on "Inside Syria", Nov 12th; Rally for Peace, Nov 15th

Reminder that  Foreign correspondent and investigative reporter Reese Erlich will give a talk on his new book “Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War  and What the World Can Expect” on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM at the United Church, 30 Common Walpole. Recently returned from northern Iraq, Erlick will also discuss the growing influence of extremist rebel groups and why the US bombing campaign will hurt both Americans and people of the region. The talk is sponsored by the Walpole Peace and justice Group. This timely book shows not only what is happening inside Syria but why it is so important for the Middle East, the US, and the world. People may park in the parking lot to the right of the church, using the driveway after the Center for Community Counseling and Education, and should enter the church by the right side door.

Also there is a Rally for Peace in Iraq & Syria on Saturday, November 15, 2014, 1:-3 PM  in Boston
Park Street MBTA Station, Park St & Tremont St, Boston.

Rally and march to Downtown Crossing with a mock drone and die-in.
  • No more military intervention in Iraq and Syria
  • Bring the troops home now
  • Stop sending weapons into the region which are leading to so much bloodshed
  • Support humanitarian aid, through neutral institutions, for victims of the conflict
  • Support self-determination and the demilitarization of the area
Call Congress at (202) 224-3121 and say: “I want Congress to reconvene immediately to fully debate a new “Authorization for Use of Military Force” (AUMF) that deals with Syria, Iraq, and ISIS. And when the vote comes, I want you to vote no.”

For more info or to help organize: United for Justice with Peace, 617-383-4857, info@justicewithpeace.org.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Walpole Peace Group sponsored talk on 'Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect' on November 12 at 7:30 PM

Please join us for a talk by Foreign correspondent and investigative reporter Reese Erlich on his new book “Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War  and What the World Can Expect.” See the press release below.
Foreign correspondent and investigative reporter Reese Erlich will give a talk on his new book “Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War  and What the World Can Expect” on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM at the United Church, 30 Common Walpole. Recently returned from northern Iraq, Erlick will also discuss the growing influence of extremist rebel groups and why the US bombing campaign will hurt both Americans and people of the region. The talk is sponsored by the Walpole Peace and justice Group. 
Through vivid, on-the-ground accounts and interviews with rebel leaders and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, journalist Reese Erlich explains the complex dynamics underlying the Syrian civil war. Through his many contacts inside Syria, the author reveals who is supporting Assad and why. He describes the agendas of the rebel factions and depicts the dire plight of the Syrian people caught in the cross-fire. He provides insights into the role of the Kurds, the continuing influence of Iran, and the policies of US leaders who seem interested only in protecting US regional interests. This timely book shows not only what is happening inside Syria but why it is so important for the Middle East, the US, and the world.
Reese Erlich  is an award-winning journalist and has covered the Middle East for almost 30 years, reporting from Syria five times and visiting all its neighboring countries. A full-time freelance journalist, he recently reported for CBS Radio and GlobalPost from the Kurdish Region of Iraq. In 2006 he shared a prestigious Peabody Award. 

People may park in the parking lot to the right of the church, using the driveway after the Center for Community Counseling and Education, and should enter the church by the right side door.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Talk by Dr. Rebecca Gordon on her book, ‘Mainstreaming Torture' in the Post-9/11 United States’ on Tuesday, September 2, 2014, at 7:00 PM

Please join us for a talk by Dr. Rebecca Gordon 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. 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. Dr. Rebecca Gordon teaches philosophy at the University of San Francisco. She will have copies of her book available for sale and for signing.

Other Events

Do we need better leaders or better citizens? Come explore this question on Wednesday, September 17, 7PM, at the Westwood Public Library for the Westwood/Walpole League of Women Voters opening meeting. Peter Levine, Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Tufts University, and author of ‘We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For’ will be sharing his novel theory of active citizenship, a diagnosis of its decline, and a searing critique of our political institutions. Levine, one of America's most influential civic engagement activists, argues that American citizens must address our most challenging issues. People can change the norms and structures of their own communities through deliberative civic action.  

People’s Climate March in New York City. Peace activists are called to join the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21stand to form a Peace and Climate Contingent. See the link, People’s Climate March  for more information. The march calls on the following principles:
·         We can’t effectively address climate change without ending war and militarism;
·         We can’t end war without ending the fossil fuel energy system;
·         We can’t address social injustice unless we stop using war to safeguard an economic infrastructure (based on fossil fuels) that requires vast social inequality.
·         We can’t end war unless we address the systemic inequality and corporate domination that requires it.

This march is an opportunity to make a statement on what is one of the most important issues of our lifetime.  “We are at a crossroads, faced with a climate crisis that threatens to end our world as we know it.”