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Middle East

Beheadings, Bombings and Bullets: Medea Benjamin on our New Wars in Syria and Iraq

When: Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 4:00 pm
Where: Harvard Science Center D • 1 Oxford St • Harvard T • Cambridge (LOCATION CHANGE)

How should we respond to the new US war in Iraq and Syria and the dangers this war may unleash in our violent world? 

The U.S. attacks on Syria launched Sept. 22 are a disastrous setback for peace, for the rule of law, and for sound U.S. foreign policy.  Why did the US launch them, how can we stop them,  and what are the nonviolent alternatives we should advocate?

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Syria, Iraq and ISIS: Understanding the New War; How Should the Peace Movement Respond?

When: Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 2:00 pm
Where: Cambridge Friends Center • 5 Longfellow Pk (off Brattle St.) • Harvard T • Cambridge

     o Prof. Elaine Hagopian on understanding the war

     o Activist views on the peace movement's response

     o Discussion on what to do next 

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Organizing Meeting for a Coalition Against the U.S. War in Iraq & Syria

When: Monday, October 27, 2014, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: encuentro 5 • 9 Hamilton Place • across from Park St T • Boston

The U.S. attacks on Syria and Iraq are a disastrous setback for peace, the rule of law, and for a diplomatic resolution of the upheaval in the Middle East.

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UJP Statement on the campaign to prevent a U.S. attack on Syria

Today the U.S. is NOT bombing Syria. Yes, the U.S. is still training armed groups to send into Syria. It is maintaining severe sanctions. Its warships patrol the area. And CIA spooks of all kinds roam the whole region while commando attacks take place in nearby countries.

But today we are not bombing Syria. This fact, which seemed so unlikely to be true just weeks ago, is due to the widespread public opposition to this war in the U.S. and abroad which for the first time thwarted the desires of an American president to go to war.

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Report Back from Lebanon. Featuring: Mira Rifai

When: Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Where: First Church in Cambridge • 11 Garden St - Hastings Room • Harvard T • Cambridge

What Went Wrong?: The Causes of Democratic Breakdown in Egypt

When: Thursday, April 23, 2015, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: Harvard University, CGIS, Knafel 262 • 1737 Cambridge Street • Cambridge

SPEAKER(S)  Carrie R. Wickham, professor, Department of Political Science, Emory University

Free and open to the public


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ISIS: Then and Now

Origins and Future of ISIS

 Note: Prof. Elaine Hagopian’s talk on Dec. 10 at a UJP sponsored program covered the historical origins of the conflicts in the Middle East, and also much information on ISIS, which is presented here in summary.

View video at

 ISIS developed out of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and is therefore one consequence of the US invasion and occupation starting in 2003.  Local Sunni tribes cooperated with the US during the “surge” or “Arab awakening” in 2007 fighting Al-Qaeda.   They expected to be rewarded by being part of the Iraqi government.  However, the Shia regime under Maliki pursued sectarian policies and imprisoned and killed Sunni leaders.   Al-Qaeda in Iraq was able to regroup and recruit Sunni support, and rebranded as  ISIS.  It grew into a decentralized but well organized group, with money from Saudis and captured US weapons including tanks.   

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FORUM - On ISIL and the President's AUMF Proposal

When: Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Where: Livestreamed From Washington DC • Rayburn 2237 • link to be provided
What: CPC Peace and Security Taskforce Forum on ISIL and the President’s AUMF Proposa
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Boston Protest Against War Authorization Bill In Congress

Feb. 21, 2015-Boston Common:

About 20 anti-war protesters held a speakout against Obama's request for authorization to use military force against Iraq and Syria.

Braving the cold sub-freezing temperatures, activists spoke out against the prospect of endless war this authorization would give the US.

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The Village Under the Forest

When: Sunday, January 25, 2015, 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: S. Brookline • RSVP to for location

This South African film explores the remains of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya. An excellent overview of the role of the Jewish National Fund and how it confiscates Palestinian land. This film was extremely hard to get so we aren’t able to lend it at this time. (See the attached list of films we own and are happy to lend for small group screenings.)

Come at 5:30 for modest refreshments; the film will start promptly at 6:00. LOTS of easy parking although not near a subway stop. A donation to our film fund is appreciated.


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UFPJ Conference Call with Raed Jarrar and Jamal Abdi

When: Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm


Challenges for the Peace Movement: Update on US policy towards Iran and ISIS



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Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect

When: Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Where: United Church • 30 Common • Parking in the lot to the right of the church, driveway past Center for Community Counseling and Education • Walpole

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.” Recently returned from northern Iraq, Erlich 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.

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Rally: No New U.S. War in Iraq & Syria!

When: Saturday, November 15, 2014, 8:00 am
Where: Park Street MBTA Station • Park St & Tremont St • Boston

Soldiers withdrawing from Iraq in 2008

Rally and march to Downtown Crossing with a mock drone and die-in. 

On Friday, Nov. 7, President Obama doubled down on the war in Iraq and Syria, ordering 1500 more troops on the ground in Iraq and requesting over $5 billion in funding.

  • Stop the Bombing - 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

It appears that Congress is about to give the President authorization to carry out an ever-expanding war in Iraq and Syria.

Our leaders say that these new wars will last for years. But over the past 13 years, this country has already spent one trillion, five hundred billion dollars for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and other parts of the Middle East and South Asia.

These military actions have brought hundreds of thousands of deaths, but neither peace nor security. Meanwhile, these hundreds of billions of dollars could have been used instead to provide for jobs, human needs and renewable energy.

The current campaign to sell this war has nothing to do with protecting us or the people of the area. Instead, it is intended to secure control of the area by repressive governments and sectarian militias allied (for the time being) with Washington.

The current bombing campaign is a violation of the U.N. Charter and the U.S. Constitution. In its sweep through Syria and Iraq, ISIS is using modern U.S. weapons that were previously sent into the region in order to stabilize a corrupt and brutal regime in Baghdad and to overthrow Syria’s government.

Is bombing an answer to these sectarian conflicts? Do these actions reflect the interests of working people in the U.S. or the peoples of the Middle East?

We should not be involved militarily in a sectarian conflict that our war in Iraq set off. Rather, we should support a policy of non-intervention and self-determination. Any real and lasting solution to the problems in the region must come from the peoples of that region themselves, not from the Pentagon. 

Call Congress toll-free at 877-429-0678 and say: 

“I want you to speak out strongly and to vote against against proposals that authorize use of military force and support for armed groups in Syria and Iraq. ”

Save the date for an educational forum on Syria and Iraq featuring Prof. Elaine Hagopian, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 7pm.

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

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We Demand Peace in Iraq & Syria

When: Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 7:00 am
Where: Park Street MBTA Station • Park St & Tremont St • Boston

Reese Erlich: First Hand Report: Assad, ISIS, Obama & US Middle East Policy

When: Sunday, November 9, 2014, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: Grace Vision Church • 80 Mt. Auburn Street • #71 bus from Harvard Square • Watertown

Reese ErlichForeign correspondent and investigative reporter Reese Erlich recently returned from northern Iraq where he interviewed displaced Yazidis, peshmerga fighters and US diplomats. He will discuss the growing influence of extremist rebel groups and why the US bombing campaign will hurt both Americans and people of the region. Mr.

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