"Bring Back Paper Ballots"
Letter to the Editor in Star Ledger. Also appeared in Trenton Times, Hunterdon County Democrat, and Princeton Packet.
By Stephanie Harris, Chair of Task Force on Voter Integrity, Coalition for Peace Action
I am a co-plaintiff, with the Coalition for Peace Action, in an 8-year-old lawsuit seeking voter-verified paper ballots in New Jersey. Thirty other states use paper ballots, which can be audited or recounted, while New Jersey continues to use insecure and unverifiable electronic voting machines.
How ironic that Gov. Chris Christie is willing to spend $12 million for a special election, while about the same amount could have been used to purchase more secure voting equipment, for which the state has claimed there are no funds. [Read More]
"Editorial: Coalition for Peace Action Picks Worthy Honorees for 32nd Anniversary Celebration"
Trenton Times, 05/29/2013
A towering figure of the Civil Rights movement and a former chief executive of New Jersey will be celebrated this week, along with more than three decades of efforts toward peace.
Lifelong Trenton resident Edith Savage-Jennings and former Gov. Jim Florio will help the Coalition for Peace Action mark its 32nd anniversary this weekend at the Princeton Theological Seminary.
The two already have helped New Jersey become a saner, safer place. [Read More]
"We Will Not Be Intimidated"
Courier Times Letter to the Editor by Cathy Leary and Bill Deckhart, Co-Coordinators of CFPA Buxmont, 05/28/13
On the afternoon of May 11 there was no baseball in Morrisville. The reason there was no baseball is because people said they were bringing guns to Williamson Park.
The May 11 rally, organized by BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action, as well as more than 15 cosponsoring groups, was to support universal background checks. Current Pennsylvania law allows private sales of some long barrel guns without a background check. Currently, proposed legislation in Pennsylvania (House Bill 1010) would mandate that private purchases and transfers adhere to a background check.
There were concerns by police because counter-protestors planned to exercise their right to openly carry firearms in the park, and so police advised Little League officials to cancel or move the scheduled games. Yet Morrisville officials and organizers of the event felt the brunt of public outcry, not the people who were planning to bring guns to the park. [Read More]
"Anti-Gun Flash Mob Leaves Its Mark on Newark"
The Star Ledger, 05/19/2013
The Art=Ammo flash mob laid down its anti-gun message this afternoon at a Newark park, where more than a dozen volunteers sprawled on the ground as others traced their outlines in chalk, leaving behind a macabre crime-scene collage meant to call attention to gun violence.
"We think it's really important that people be able to visualize the effects of gun violence," said Nikio Bocour, a project coordinator for Ceasefire New Jersey, who helped organize the event in conjunction with Manhattan-based Art=Ammo. [Read More]
"Former PA Governor Ed Rendell Joins Coalition for Peace Action for Anti-Gun Violence Rally in Trenton, Morrisville, PA"
Trenton Times, 05/11/2013
The Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action staged a rally against gun violence today starting in Trenton and continuing with a march across the Delaware River to Morrisville, Pa.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell was among the speakers for the event, which was scheduled as a pre-Mother's Day call for peace and gun control. [Read More]
"Rally for Gun Safety Draws Hundreds"
The Intelligencer & Bucks County Courier Times, by Naomi Hall, 05/12/2013
As victims of gun violence spoke about how universal background checks might have saved a loved one’s life, pro-gun supporters jeered and yelled remarks Saturday in Morrisville’s Williamson Park.
Steve Kesselman of Holland raised his voice above the crowd to briefly talk about the loss of his 20-year-old son from a deadly shotgun blast after an argument last year. [Read More]
MORRISVILLE BOROUGH –The emotionally-charged debate over gun control broke the serenity of Williamson Park Saturday afternoon as peace activists and gun owners verbally clashed over the issue of universal background checks, leaving the town’s Little League players no place to play ball.
On one side of the debate were members of the Coalition for Peace Action, which obtained a permit to use the park’s stage and grounds for a pre-Mother’s Day Rally against gun violence, one of many taking place across the country.
On the other side of the issue were gun owners who joined the rally with signs touting the Second Amendment, which guarantees a citizen’s right to bear arms. [more]
Letter to the Editor to Bucks County Courier Times
May 24, 2013
I am distressed that, on the whole, in your coverage of our May 11 Rally Against Gun Violence in Morrisville you allowed yourself to be manipulated by counter-protestors opposing sensible gun safety legislation. I expect better, based on the thorough, fair, and balanced coverage we’ve had previously. Thankfully, the May 12 online article by your reporter, Naomi Hall, stayed true to that pattern.
But the remainder of your coverage before and after the event was misleading and focused on the wrong issue. As we explained, in written and verbal communications with your staff, when we reserved the stage at Williamson Park, the Morrisville authorities knew that Little League games were scheduled the same day. They saw no conflict, as the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) and the 25 co-sponsoring groups are all peaceful.
It was only when counter-protestors announced their plans to also protest and openly carry guns that the Little League leaders, advised by local and state police, decided it would be best to cancel or move the games scheduled after 1 PM that day. Your newspaper even quoted officials confirming that, yet you continued to argue that CFPA should re-schedule. That was unfair and wrong. [more]
"Gun groups and Bucks County Little League teams may play hardball in Morrisville"
May 6, 2013 in PhillyBurbs, web site for Bucks County Courier Times and Bucks County Intelligencer
Morrisville Little League President Dan O’Connell said Saturday that about 600 Little Leaguers from throughout the county are scheduled to meet May 11 at Williamson Park for about 30 games on eight fields. The problem, as he and many parents see it, is that the park will also be the site of a peaceful rally by about 200 people who want mandatory background checks to buy guns, and a potential counter-protest.
“I’m not upset with the Bux-Mont Coalition for Peace. I am not against the Second Amendment, and I have no problem with what they are looking to do, but now I hear pro-gun groups are going to be involved and they will be carrying firearms. How can I have all these kids playing baseball with that as a backdrop?” he said. [more]
The cuts to Social Security and Medicare that President Obama promoted in his budget are not only wildly unpopular, but likely to accomplish nothing that could not be done more fairly (“Obama tackles entitlements,” April 11).
The budget eliminates the recent automatic cuts to the Pentagon budget, when these modest cuts would more than pay for whatever will be saved by hurting seniors, children, and the disabled. Why would the president give the bloated Pentagon budget a pass and target the most successful legacy of the New Deal? The answer lies in what he consults: Wall Street, which stands to gain from diverting funds from Social Security and continuing to throw money at the weapons industry. [Read More]
About 200 people rallied for what they called “common sense gun safety laws” outside the Bucks County Courthouse on Saturday in Doylestown.
The event was organized by Mary Avino, who helped create Bucks Against Gun Violence following the slaughter of 26 students and teachers in Newtown, Conn., in December.
Avino, of Churchville, and several speakers talked about the need to pressure lawmakers to make gun trafficking a federal offense, have federal background checks for every gun sale, ban the so-called military-style automatic weapons and high capacity magazine clips. [Read More]
As the national debate over gun control continues to rage, local residents on both sides of the issue gathered in Bucks County on Saturday to let their voices be heard.
More than 100 people joined a rally with CeasefirePa and other anti-gun violence groups outside the Doylestown Courthouse where they called for universal background checks on all firearms. [Read More]"Candidate Haas Would Join Mayors Against Illegal Guns if Elected"
To the Editor:
On March 20th I attended a forum, “Guns in a Civil Society,” sponsored by the Peace & Justice Committee of Holy Trinity and St. Helen's. The forum featured two speakers. Former Mayor Thomas Jardim spoke about the constitutional right of gun ownership while the Rev. Robert Moore of the NJ Coalition for Peace Action spoke about the religious context for dealing with gun violence. The speeches were followed by a discussion with people voicing their views about various approaches to preventing gun violence. I applaud this group’s effort to have a calm, informative, and useful discussion in our community about this issue.
According to a fact sheet distributed by the Rev. Moore, over 1,000,000 people have been killed by guns in the United States since 1968, the year Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Indeed, each year, on average, over 100,000 Americans are shot or killed. According to the CDC, the rate of death by firearms of children under the age of 16 in the US is significantly higher than 25 other industrialized nations combined. There is no question that there are myriad causes of these horrific statistics. But we do know instituting various policies, like universal back-ground checks, can make a difference. [Read More]
On Saturday at high noon, hundreds who favor new gun controls are expected to rally at the Doylestown Courthouse, but some worry about advance notice of the rally in this column.
Organizers want to gather as many assault weapons ban supporters as Doylestown can fit. Those who favor universal background checks, too. [Read More]
The Rev. Bob Moore of the Coalition for Peace Action in Princeton, which advocates for stricter gun-control measures, also said reducing the number of weapons in circulation, illegal or not, limited the risk of gun violence.
"The intent is good to try and reduce the availability of guns because that is what causes so many gun tragedies, whether it is the young person in the home who has access to a gun and is depressed or the [shootings] that just happened in Newtown," he said. [Read More]
"We are in a state that values and prizes the right to vote," Penny Venetis, a law professor at Rutgers University-Newark, told a three-judge appeals court panel in Trenton. "We believe that this court should review the record anew and look at the science very carefully." [more]
The plan approved by President Obama for a further reduction in the nation's nuclear arsenal would serve American and global security.
We have seen again in Mali and Algeria that extremists targeting Western interests care nothing about nuclear weapons and are not deterred by nuclear arsenals. Nuclear weapons, after all, cannot defend an oil refinery, or an American military base in, say, Kuwait. Only good intelligence and good relations can do that.
Next we should involve Russia, China, and others in mutual arms reductions. U.S. strength is based more on superior technology and goodwill built by Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In the second term, Clinton's successor, John Kerry, has the experience to take nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament to the next level.
A battle over gun laws is playing out this week in New Jersey. A total of 20 bills will be voted on this Thursday. The bills deal with everything from buying ammunition on-line to buying guns while you're on the federal terrorist watch list.
"Even in New Jersey alone, in 2011, there were 269 murders," said Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman. "So that will suggest to you that people are getting guns who shouldn't get guns."
If put into law, many of these bills will change how and where people buy guns and ammunition in New Jersey.
"All of these bills are of the same nature," said Reverend Bob Moore of Cease Fire New Jersey. "They are sensible, gun violence prevention, common sense measures." [Read More]
In his State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama mostly separated domestic and foreign policy, perhaps understandably, but let's connect some dots here.
The president mentioned the need to invest in our infrastructure, which is sorely needed and is also both a terrific job creator and economic stimulator. Specifically he noted there are 70,000 bridges needing repair. Let's get that done! Some will say there's no money for this, but of course there is -- it's just misappropriated right now in our bloated Pentagon budget, including useless, exorbitant Cold War weapons systems, maintaining more than 1,000 foreign military bases (many in countries that can defend themselves), unnecessary plans for nuclear weapons "modernization" and the $7 billion per month we continue to spend on an unwinnable war in Afghanistan, which the president says needs to continue for almost another two years, through the end of 2014. [Read More]
Nicola Bocour, the project director of Ceasefire NJ, noted that several rampages, including the one by Jared Lee Loughner, who shot 19 people, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, in Tucson in 2011, were stopped only when the killer paused to reload. The ban, she said, “would make it more difficult for shooters to inflict maximum damage in a short period of time.” [Read More]
Cathy Leary, Levittown
An estimated $31 billion to $60 billion in Defense waste and fraud related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was reported in 2011. Audit the Pentagon. (http://www.dodig.mil/Audit/reports/fy12/DODIG-2012-023.pdf)
Once more, last month, our country mourned a tragic shooting.
The Dec. 14, 2012, heartbreak in Newtown, Conn., took the lives of 20 children, six educators, a mother and her son, who took their lives and his own.
Somehow, this shooting affected our national psyche differently. The shootings in Columbine, Aurora and Tucson, not to mention the reality of gun violence here in Trenton, seem to be a part of our culture, which has,
sadly, accepted such tragedies. It’s possible that, finally, the fatal shooting of 20 first-graders in Newtown is a turning point for our gun-crazed nation. [Read More]
AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE: At the start of last week’s Coalition for Peace Action discussion on gun violence prevention at Trinity Church on Mercer Street, U.S. Representative Rush Holt (NJ-12) (second from left) greeted (from left) Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), Irene Goldman (CFPA board chair), and Marc Tolo CFPA vice chair). Mr. Holt has applauded President Obama’s efforts while commenting that “real progress will require Congress to act.” (Photo by L. Arntzenius)
In the wake of the recent shootings of schoolchildren in Connecticut and President Obama’s announcement of new executive orders and policy recommendations to reduce gun violence last week, almost 70 people met at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, last Thursday, January 17, to discuss ways of preventing similar massacres.
The public meeting was organized by The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) and took the place of its regular Committee for Political Action meeting. It was designed to draw attention to the coalition’s “Ceasefire New Jersey Project,” which, in recognition of the 20 children who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is asking for individuals concerned about gun violence to join in a “20 Calls in 20 Days Campaign” to prompt elected officials to act. [Read More]
Gov. Chris Christie took a middle road on gun control yesterday that continued his reelection makeover as an apostle of bipartisanship who is “above politics,” as a reasonable alternative to the Republican Right, and as a forceful but compassionate leader willing to take on the powers that be even within his own party.
One day after President Obama called for a national ban on military-style assault weapons that contain magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition and universal background checks for gun purchasers, Christie unveiled what he calls his antiviolence strategy.
Noting that New Jersey’s gun laws are the second most restrictive in the nation, after California, Christie said he is creating a bipartisan task force to study the broader issue of violence. Christie asked the commission to come back with recommendations not just on gun control, but on a broader “antiviolence” agenda that includes how to promote school safety, limit violent video games, and address the substance abuse and mental health problems that can lead to mass killings like the Sandy Hill Elementary School shootings in Connecticut.
Christie, who has future national ambitions as well as a gubernatorial reelection campaign this year, has seen his poll numbers soar both locally and across the country since he embraced the Obama administration and chastised Republican House leaders over their actions after Hurricane Sandy. He continued in that vein Wednesday by leveling a sharp-tongued attack on the National Rifle Association for its “reprehensible” ad suggesting that Obama could afford to oppose armed guards in schools because his children have armed Secret Service protection. [more]
The Philadelphia Inquirer January 8, 2013 By Jane Swift Dugdale, Bryn Mawr
The middle class has dodged most of the bullets from the Battle of the Cliff, but the guns from the promised negotiations on spending cuts are squarely aimed at us.
The president has expressed a willingness to reduce spending on popular programs like Medicare, and he’s still talking about entitlement reform, which means cuts to Social Security. Republican lawmakers are salivating at the prospect of getting these cuts.
Where in all this chatter is any mention of cuts to the bloated Pentagon budget? Numerous reports document that $100 billion a year could be safely cut from military spending, with hundreds of costly overseas bases as the chief culprits of overspending.
Other reports document that military spending is the least effective way to create jobs. Education, health care, renewable energy, and, yes, even tax cuts create more jobs than giving money hand over fist to the war industry, as we do now.
Let’s flip this script. First, cut the Pentagon. Remember, Social Security has added not one dime to our deficit.
The Philadelphia Inquirer Jan 4, 2013
by Walter Ebmeyer, Bryn Mawr,
Walter is co-chair of the Main Line chapter of CFPA
Now that the ship of state has navigated the fiscal shoals, Republicans in Congress are sharpening their knives to make spending cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. But 60 percent of our discretionary budget goes to the Pentagon, and if you believe that’s not trimmable, I have a very nice bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you.
Think about the thousand overseas bases now run by the Pentagon. For what? Just imagine what that costs us. Remember, a base is not just a base, it is an entire community, with dependents’ housing, schools, officers’ clubs, bowling alleys, and more. And we have a thousand of them! Let's make cuts there, not in grandma’s retirement pennies.
DECEMBER 20, 2012 IN PLANET PRINCETON
The Palmer Square Green glowed with the light of dozens of candles tonight as about 300 people from various faith walks joined together to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut.
Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and people of other beliefs gathered to take part in the “Gathering of Remembrance, Unity and Hope” sponsored by the Princeton Clergy Association, Coalition for Peace Action, the Princeton University Office of Religious Life, the Fellowship In Prayer, Palmer Square and the Nassau Inn.
"Our hearts, minds, thoughts and prayers are with the grieving families,” said Sutinder Singh of the World Sikh Council. “Every time I think of the tragedy, tears come to my eyes. Their families are part of our family. Their children are our children.”
“People have been killed at colleges, cinemas, places of worship — and now, as if to wake us all up — it has happened in an elementary school,” Singh said. [more]
Click here to see a photo gallery of 41 photos from Mercerspace.com.
Click here to see a front page article in the December 25 edition of the Princeton Packet. Many photos were in the hard copy edition, but none in the online version.
from Planet Princeton December 16, 2012 Photo by Seth Callen
About 50 people gathered at Palmer Square last night to remember the victims of the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. The event was organized by Moveon.org and CeasefireNJ, a project of the Coalition for Peace Action. The organizers called for stricter gun laws in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. [Read more]
By Rob Kall, OpEdNews, 11/12/2012
The Coalition for Peace Action (one of my favorite activist organizations, well worth connecting with if you are in PA or New Jersey) held a fundraiser, afternoon conference at Princeton, NJ yesterday. Speakers were, in order, Juan Cole, Amy Goodman and Noam Chomsky [Read more]
Special thanks to Leigha Cohen, videographer
CFPA collaborated with Peace Action Wisconsin to run a half page Signature Ad in the only statewide newspaper in the state the Wednesday before Election Day. It reached over 860,000 households! Click the preceding link to see how it looked. Thanks to everyone who supported this effort!
CFPA also published a half page Signature Ad in the Doylestown Intelligencer and Bucks County Courier Times on Monday, November 5, the day before the Election. This ad had a few more signers than the Wisconsin one above; the deadline was a bit later. It reached over 74,000 households. Click the preceding link and see how it actually appeared in the hard copy newspaper.Thanks to all who helped support this ad as well!
Reported by Kimberley Wallace on http://fios1news.com/longisland/node/17968 on Sept. 4, 2012
OLD BRIDGE, N.J. —As family and friends gathered to pay their final respects to one of the victims who was gunned down in Friday’s Pathmark shooting, the Coalition for Peace Action gathered in Trenton Tuesday to call for an end to gun violence. Advocates pushed for stricter gun laws that would require every person purchasing a firearm to a background check, and the passing of legislation that would regulate gun sales online. Advocates add that gun violence incidents have increased in recent months, in that according to the Coalition’s Rev. Robert Moore, over 80 people a day die in such incidents.
Newtown Patch Oct 17, 2012 By Kara Seymour, adapted
In an effort to prevent nuclear warfare from ever happening again, two survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings joined President Harry Truman’s grandson for an educational forum Tuesday. The forum was sponsored by the college’s Wordsmiths Reading Series and the BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action.[more]
CFPA Executive Director Rev. Bob Moore sent the letter to the editor below to 18 newspapers in the region on October 4. Please let the office know if you see it published!
October 7 is the 11th anniversary of the Afghanistan War, the longest in US history. Over 2,000 US troops have been killed, with tens of thousands more wounded. And nearly $572,000,000,000 of our hard-earned tax dollars have been spent, with very little to show for it.
President Obama has pledged to bring the remaining US combat troops home by the end of 2014, more than two years from now. An estimated 700 more US troops would die, thousands more would be wounded, and hundreds of billions more would be wasted, as the US becomes the latest victim in a country aptly described as the “graveyard of empires.”
Governor Romney, the Republican candidate for President, says he would leave it up to commanders in the field with no fixed timeline to bring our troops home. The last Republican Presidential candidate, Sen. McCain, said he saw nothing wrong with staying 100 years or more.
Clearly, President Obama makes more sense and has a better approach to Afghanistan. But I say why wait even two more years? Let’s bring the troops home NOW! Military experts say this could be safely accomplished in six months or less.
Hundreds if not thousands of lives would be saved, and hundreds of billions of dollars could be reinvested instead in job creation, education, infrastructure, and other urgent needs at home. For every soldier brought home, $1 million is saved—which could create 20 jobs at $50,000 each.
If your readers want to know more about CFPA’s efforts to end the Afghanistan war or other information, they can visit www.peacecoalition.org or call the regional office at (609) 924-5022.
The Rev. Robert Moore, Executive Director
By Minhaj Hassan | September 4th, 2012 - 1:02pm
Has anyone in the Seventh Congressional District heard either major candidate say anything about cutting military spending? The subject is timely as Congress gears up to talk budget next month as we head for the feared “Fiscal Cliff.” [Read More]
Shiho Burke’s family was ravaged when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.
Her father, Toru Kikuzaki, lost a sister and eventually died from cancer believed to have been caused by the radiation from the blast. Her mother, Mizuha Kikuzaki, lost her father and all three of her siblings.
Their families had their wealth virtually wiped out and had to sell their belongings as they struggled to rebuild not only their lives but their communities.
Today at St. Joseph Church, Burke, who lives in Somers Point, will tell her parents’ stories during the Coalition for Peace and Justice’s annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration in hopes of preventing similar tragedies from happening again. [Read More]
There was nothing small about "Little Boy," the atomic bomb that immediately killed 80,000 people upon explosion in Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945. Appalling images include flesh seared to the bone and faces without eyes, ears or a nose. But perhaps the worst sights of all were of nothing -- shadows burned into the ground or onto buildings where people doing everyday things were disintegrated by the bomb's immense heat.
Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace will harness the power of these silhouettes Sunday and Monday on the 67th anniversary of the bombing. On those days, the alliance's Shadow Project encourages people to trace chalk outlines of each other around Pittsburgh to memorialize Hiroshima victims and illustrate the horrors of nuclear war. [Read More]
Below is a statement issued by the Ceasefire NJ Project of the Coalition for Peace Action.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and their families and we extend our condolences on this Friday, June 20th, following the massacre at the Aurora Theater in Aurora, Colorado. Ceasefire NJ is deeply saddened that once again a massacre has occurred in the United States, with 12 lives senselessly taken by gun violence and another 38 people wounded. Unfortunately, however, mass shootings such as this tragedy in Aurora are not surprising because of the ease of access to guns, especially assault weapons, which have no place in the hands of private citizens. [Read More]
On June 21, Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution "calling on the U.S. Congress to bring all U.S. troops home from Afghanistan, to take the funds saved by that action and by significantly cutting the Pentagon budget, and to use that money to fund education, public and private sector family-sustaining job creation, special protections for military sector workers, environmental and infrastructure restoration, care for veterans and their families, and human services that our cities and states so desperately need."
The resolution was drafted by the Delaware Valley New Priorities Network, comprised of dozens of labor, neighborhood, faith, and peace organizations.
One of those organizations was Main Line Peace Action (MLPA) and one of the drafters was Jane Dugdale, resident of the Bryn Mawr section of Radnor Township. [Read More]
When Trita Parsi, a renowned expert on diplomacy with Iran, spoke before attendees at the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) annual membership dinner June 3, he offered an in-depth analysis of diplomatic efforts with Iran to date. It was clear that more flexibility, political will and diplomacy could result in a peaceful resolution to the Iran nuclear crisis. [Read More; scroll down to 6th letter on page]
Mitt Romney made the choice plain: “shrink our military ... to pay for our social needs” or “commit to preserve America as the strongest military in the world.” What may not be obvious to those hesitant to shrink the military is how much Romney’s vision really costs [Read More]
An open letter to Philadelphia Congressional Representatives Bob Brady, Chakah Fattah, and Allyson Schwartz: Important decisions are being made in Congress, giving more money to the military and taking away money from our states and communities. At the same time, Philadelphia City Council and School District are struggling with massive budget deficits. Catastrophe is right around the corner. [Read More]
On the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, Jose Rodriguez, former chief of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center, is attempting to rewrite the history of our country’s use of torture in the wake of 9/11. Rodriguez, notorious for ordering the destruction of videotape recordings of 2002 CIA interrogations showing the use of waterboarding and other torture tactics, has published the book “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives.”
The book is an attempt to justify his use of torture as an effective and necessary “tool” in the pursuit and capture of bin Laden. Unfortunately for Rodriguez, a chorus of voices and a preponderance of evidence tell us that the use of torture has been not only ineffective and unnecessary, but also illegal, according to international law to which the United States adheres. Not only that — torture is immoral when held up against the light of the values that people of faith hold most dear. [Read More]
As people dropped their tax returns off at the post office today, the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action asked them to weigh in on how they want those tax dollars spent through the annual “Penny Poll”. [Read More]
People participate in the annual tax day "Penny Poll" sponsored by the Coalition For Peace Action in front of the Princeton Post Office on Palmer Square, in which people are given ten pennies and encouraged to "spend" them in different categories to reflect how they would like their federal tax dollars spent. From left, Vanessa Kushner, Andrea Mazzariello, holding his son Max, 11 months, and Christine Williams. Michael Mancuso/The Times
As tax day approaches during these economic hard times, let's consider where our federal income tax dollars go. Might it be for supporting the economy, energy, science and the environment, or even health care and health research? No. [Read More]
During this Christian Holy Week, let’s remember how Jesus handled being arrested by an armed mob on Holy Thursday night. Peter used his sword to defend Jesus with “justified force.” But Jesus commanded him to “Put away your sword, for those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.” Even as he was about to be arrested, tortured and brutally crucified, Jesus refused to use armed force to defend himself or have his supporters do so. [Read More; Rev. Moore's letter is fifth on the page]
The Coalition for Peace Action received some great local coverage for its Say No To War With Iran Vigil, hosted by the Bucks County chapters, with photos in the Intelligencer and the Bucks County Courier Times. 30 people attended the vigil.
A special thanks to Sally Watts, who posted great photos as well as a short interview with CFPA Executive Director, the Rev. Robert Moore, on her blog! Click Here to see all of the photos and a video of the interview.
Fretting over the deficit continues to reverberate in the halls of Congress. As the quest for a balanced budget continues, I would urge Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick to cosponsor House Resolution 3974.
The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures seeks to make our nuclear weapons force the right size for post-Cold War 21st century America. House Resolution 3974 (SANE) seeks to cut outdated, obsolete weapons systems that have no relevance in the battle on terrorism. Of course, NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS will make the world a much safer place, but SANE is a good start, cutting over $100 billion over the next 10 years and moving away from the ridiculous notion of keeping nuclear weapons that have had no real role since 1989. [Read More]
The welcome news that North Korea has agreed to a moratorium on its production of nuclear weapons grade uranium and long range missile tests, as well as re-opening its facilities to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors demonstrates that sustained, determined diplomacy produces positive results.
That is a lesson that urgently needs to be applied to Iran’s nuclear program. Saber rattling with threats of attack if Iran crosses the “red line” of nuclear weapons capability is dangerous and counter-productive. US intelligence is unanimous in its judgment that Iran hasn’t yet decided whether to pursue its own nuclear weapon. If, God forbid, there is a military attack on Iran, it will almost guarantee that they will—the exact opposite of what the saber rattlers say they want. [Read More]
North Korea’s agreement to a moratorium on its nuclear weapons materiel and testing and its long-range missile tests, as well as its agreement to reopen its facilities to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors, demonstrate that sustained, determined diplomacy produces positive results.
That is a lesson that should be urgently applied to Iran’s nuclear program. Saber-rattling, with threats of attack if Iran crosses the “red line” of nuclear weapons capability, is dangerous and counterproductive. U.S. intelligence is unanimous in its judgment that Iran hasn’t yet decided whether to pursue its own nuclear weapon. If there is a military attack on Iran, it will almost guarantee that it will. [Read More]
Three cheers for the President, whose State of the Union address targeted some of the culprits of economic woe for millions of Americans -- fraudulent lenders and corporate off-shorers of jobs -- and vowed relief in the form of prosecution and tax code reform, to hold accountable those who have profited from lax law enforcement and tax loopholes. He even braved the rough waters of Pentagon spending cuts, by offering to use war savings to plug the deficit and mend our infrastructure, an offer guaranteed to bring crocodile tears from the Pentagon, used to ever-growing budgets [Read More]
Yesterday the nation and local groups and organizations celebrated the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Princeton University held its annual King Day celebration with speaker Bob Moses, a veteran of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
He is the founder and president of the Algebra Project, a national nonprofit organization that has helped thousands of students in urban and rural school districts develop essential mathematical skills. Such education is in the spirit of Martin Luther King.
The Princeton Clergy Association held an interfaith service with the Rev. Robert Moore of the Coalition for Peace Action as the speaker.
Such a sharing of faiths and beliefs is also in the spirit of Dr. King. [Read More]
Majahne Williams, 14 years old, takes part in a candlelight vigil to highlight the need to combat gun violence. Majahne lost her mom, Natalie Williams to domestic violence involving a gun, in December 2000. The vigil was held inside Niles Chapel in Princeton.
PRINCETON TOWNSHIP — With toasts, music and solemn moments of silence, peace activists celebrated the end of U.S. involvement in the Iraq War this week and paid tribute to both the soldiers and Iraqis killed in the nearly 9-year conflict.
“The last U.S. troops were withdrawn from Iraq about a week ago, and they were promised to be withdrawn by the end of 2011,” said Rev. Robert Moore, the executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action. “We have reached that milestone.”
There were whoops and cheers from the 65 or so people gathered Thursday night at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton to mark the end of the second-longest war in U.S. history, a war activists called unjust, unnecessary and far too costly in terms of dollars and lives. The group’s commemoration continues with a candelight vigil tonight in Trenton. [Read More]
While most Americans celebrate the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, most analysis to date suggests it was President Barack Obama who single-handedly accomplished this. At least Time Magazine made “the Protester” its person of the year.
It was actually the persistent activism of millions of concerned citizens that pressured Congress and even a Republican president to commit to bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq by the end of this year. [Read More, second letter down]
A recent report from New Jersey Policy Perspective on the state of middle- and working-class families didn’t reveal much to be optimistic about. Median household income has fallen over the past 10 years, and there are fewer jobs.
“We called 2000 to 2010 the ‘lost decade’ because what we’ve seen since the turn of the century is pretty much a complete loss of the gains made during the boom time,” said Deborah Howlett, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that conducts research on public policy issues in New Jersey.
Howlett made the comment Sunday night during a panel discussion on economic inequality and the Occupy Wall Street movement. The session was hosted by the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO).
Kate Whitman, assistant director of Princeton nonprofit Coalition for Peace Action, and Princeton University politics professor Nolan McCarty argued that the Occupy movements sprouting across the country are a natural response to the government’s failure to halt rising inequality. [Read More]
The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action address the crowd during the National Day of Action We are the 99% Jobs Rally, sponsored by the Mid Jersey Move On Council and other labor groups in front of the N.J. Statehouse in Trenton. (Star Ledger, 11/17)
Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick wants the drawdown of U.S. military troops in Afghanistan to begin now, and not in 2014 as planned by the Obama administration.
Fitzpatrick, who spent last week in the Middle East with four other congressmen, said his decision is based on conversations he had with service members in Afghanistan. Their “consistent message,” Fitzpatrick said, was more personnel are needed to get the job done.
Without a significant increase in their fighting force, Fitzpatrick said, “the people I spoke to say bring us home, and I agree.” [Read More]
The urgent need for U.S. budget priorities to shift from war to peace was the theme of the Thirty-Second Annual Conference of the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) on the Princeton University Campus today.
Among the featured speakers were Dr. Gordon Adams, a professor of foreign policy at American University who worked as a senior advisor to the president on national security and foreign policy, and Judith LeBlanc, National Field Director of Peace Action and former national co-chair of United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ).
A resident of Washington, DC, Adams (pictured above) spoke of his hometown as a "puzzle palace" faced with two major issues at a crucial point in history he referred to as an "inflection point": correct budget allocations and appropriate relations with the rest of the world. [Read More]
With unemployment only a percentage point away from Depression-era level and protesters holding demonstrations across the country, the American economy is in serious jeopardy. But there are positive steps to be taken, a panel of three experts, including Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, told a capacity crowd during a discussion on Sunday, November 6 at Nassau Presbyterian Church.
Sponsored by the Mid-Jersey MoveOn Council and several other organizations including the Coalition for Peace Action, the Princeton Community Democratic Organization [PCDO] and the Witherspoon/Jackson Neighborhood Organization, the discussion began with individual presentations and concluded with an extensive question-and-answer period. The event, which featured Mr. Krugman; Larry Hamm, state chair of the People’s Organization for Progress; and Carol Gay, president of the New Jersey Industrial Union Council, was part of the American Dream Movement’s national campaign to focus on the jobs crisis. [Read More]
PRINCETON BOROUGH — A national unemployment rate hovering around 9 percent is bad enough, but the jobless situation in Newark, where unemployment rates in some wards reach 70 percent, is “disastrous,” said Larry Hamm, president of People’s Organization for Progress.
For Princeton University economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, who argued that the problem of unemployment and its solutions are well-understood, the fact that “enormous suffering” like that in Newark continues is “surreal.”
PRINCETON — History does repeat itself and the job crisis that happened after the Great Depression is happening again. Government spending is the solution, according to panelists who spoke about the uncertainties in the jobs market and the ongoing economic crunch this weekend.
”From my perspective we are living in surreal times in a bad way,” said Paul Krugman, Noble Prize winner and Woodrow Wilson School Professor of Economics. “What makes it so surreal is that it is not a mystery why this is happening and it is not a mystery of how to solve it.”
His solutions: spending and government loans.
”There is just not enough spending, because my spending is your income and vice versa,” Mr. Krugman said at the event hosted by Mid-Jersey MoveOn at the Nassau Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoon. “If there is not enough spending in the economy, then you end up with a mass of unemployment, which is what we have.”
Bucks County residents took a cue from New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement protesting corporate greed to stage their own demonstration at Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick’s office in Middletown on Wednesday.
While Fitzpatrick was in Washington, D.C., participants in the peaceful grassroots protest waved signs outside demanding jobs before packing into his office to deliver an inch-thick packet of about 100 note cards signed by area residents. Each card asks that the congressman work to reduce military spending, fund community needs and end wars. [Read More]
I thank The Times for the excellent pictures in its Oct. 8 edition of the previous day’s rally on the Statehouse steps, protesting the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. Times readers might be interested in a summary of the speakers’ main points:
Jean Athey, who recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan, said there was tremendous suffering there, and that the people she met felt the U.S. was part of a proxy war being fought in their villages. While they disliked and feared the Taliban, most felt the presence of U.S. troops was only making the problem worse. [Read More; Rev. Moore's letter is the third one down on the page]
TRENTON — Even if the U.S. remains on a present path toward handing Afghanistan control of its security by 2014, anti-war protesters outside the Statehouse on Friday say the exit date is too far off.
The Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action organized the demonstration to mark the 10th anniversary of the beginning of war in Afghanistan, making it the longest conflict the U.S. has been involved in since Vietnam.
About 70 people participated in the rally, which featured several speakers, entertainment from a folk musician, and plans for a vigil on the Morrisville, Pa., side of the “Trenton Makes, The World Takes” bridge, where members were to wave anti-war posters and banners to rush-hour traffic leaving Trenton. [Read More]
On Friday, the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, peace activists greeted evening rush hour commuters with anti-war signs.
Members of the BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action stood in front of the Trenton Makes bridge in Morrisville to protest the war during Friday’s vigil.
“This war should have been stopped long ago, but we can’t undo history. “ said Robert Moore, the executive director of Coalition for Peace. “We can let the government know that it needs to stop now.” [Read More]
It was America’s first big counterstrike against terrorism after Sept. 11, 2001. Ten years later the debate goes on about the Afghanistan War.
Many feel the war, which began on Oct. 7, 2001, was and continues to be necessary, while others claim it’s been a tremendous drain on resources and question its effectiveness. People on both sides wonder why we’re still there after a decade. [Read More]
Please don’t call me a progressive. I am a liberal. Therefore you would think I trust what I read in the New York Times to be the truth. I don’t, not since 10 years ago when America was on the brink of another war and the Times printed articles that added to the war hysteria and repeated misinformation that helped lead us into a war built on bogus information.
On Oct. 7 we will mark 10 years at war. My mistrust of the media goes back to Watergate and Vietnam and was heightened by the press, television and radio coverage leading up to today’s wars. Many liberal reporters, editors and TV and radio pundits became in their own words “Bush’s useful idiots.” They were not alone. Many politicians, left and right, became cheerleaders for war. Some described themselves as Hawkish liberals, an oxymoron if I ever heard one. One of the most highly regarded men of our times, Colin Powell, was induced to speak out and propel us toward our first preemptive war. Who knows what price he paid for that? [Read More]
BRIDGETON -- Cumberland County recently replaced computer chips in all its voting machines and completed background checks on five technicians who service them as a safeguard against tampering and inaccuracy. [Read More]
MONROE — Singer-songwriter Sharleen Leahey entertained the Monroe Township Coalition for Peace on Wednesday morning with her folk songs and political satire.
The Monroe Coalition for Peace began the event five years ago in response to the war in Iraq, and this year it attracted a few dozen people.
”Mainly, we keep hollering ‘bring our troops home.’ That’s our main thing,” said Betty Kletter, one of the founders of the Coalition for Peace.
”Our emphasis is on peace, peace, peace,” she said. “President Obama promised to bring our troops home by August. I don’t see the promise being fulfilled. If you have heard of any parades welcoming our troops home, I’d like to know of them because I’d really like to attend.” [Read More]
I had the opportunity to attend Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick's town hall meeting on July 5 in Washington Crossing. When we arrived, the congressman was outside greeting people. As I said hello to the congressman I asked him why he continued to vote to fund war. He assured me that he was with me and voted against funding war in Libya. I then proceeded inside with my friends for the town hall.
The meeting began with a PowerPoint presentation on what the congressman feels needs to be done to get this country back on its feet. His theme of the night seemed to be to cut spending and create jobs. According to Fitzpatrick, we are spending too much money, period. He went on to say how we could save money by cutting back on spending on our domestic needs. The congressman mentioned cuts to the budget everywhere — except the military budget. The proposed Pentagon budget for 2012 is $530 billion, with $118 billion allocated for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Read More]
On June 18, Rep. Barney Frank spoke to a full house of 225 at the Coalition for Peace Action’s 30th Anniversary Membership Dinner in Princeton. With Rep. Ron Paul, Rep. Frank co-chaired the bipartisan Sustainable Defense Task Force that included experts such as Dr. Lawrence Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense.
Rep. Frank asserted that US military spending was continuing as if we still faced an existential threat, as from Nazi Germany or the former Soviet Union. Those threats were over by 1989, when the Cold War ended. Yet US military spending has continued at unsustainably high levels, adding up to about $700 billion last year.
Rep. Frank’s Task Force recommended cuts of $1 trillion in military spending over the next ten years. That comes to about $100 billion per year. Rep. Frank explained that only included cuts from the core military budget. In addition, about $150 billion per year could be saved by ending US deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, making total annual military savings $250 billion.
If we make these sensible cuts, we would still have a military budget of $450 billion per year, more than the next ten highest nations combined. That would be a more than adequate defense. The $250 billion saved could create jobs and address the continuing economic crisis in the US.
Every soldier deployed in Afghanistan costs $1.2 million per year. For every soldier we bring home, 24 jobs at $50,000 each could be created here in the U.S. If we bring home all 100,000 from Afghanistan, that would create almost 2.5 million new jobs!
It’s time the US stopped trying to be the world’s policeman, and stopped getting into one endless war after another. This is a key to getting our economy back on track. Draconian cuts in basic human services will only make things worse. We need to move toward Smart Security, rather than tolerating ever-increasing budgets for military adventurism.
Those wanting further information, and/or to get involved can contact the Coalition for Peace Action at www.peacecoalition.org or (609) 924-5022.
The Rev. Robert Moore
The writer, who lives and works in Princeton Boro, NJ, is Executive Director of the Coalition for Peace Action and Pastor of East Brunswick Congregational Church.
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., gave the keynote address at the Coalition for Peace Action’s 30th anniversary Membership Dinner and Gathering on Saturday, June 18, at the McKay Campus Center of Princeton Theological Seminary.
Speaking to an audience of about 225, Rep. Frank talked about reducing Pentagon spending by $1 trillion over the next 10 years. He said we were still doing military budgets as if we had a threat to the existence of the United States, as we did from former Soviet Union. [Read More]
Speaking to the Anniversary Dinner of the Coalition for Peace Action in Princeton Saturday, Rep. Barney Frank talked about the need to reduce Pentagon spending. He said we were still doing military budgets as if we had an existential threat to the U.S., like from the Nazis or the former Soviet Union, even though all that changed as of 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down.
Given the tough economic times and strains on the federal budget, Frank advocated substantial reductions in the Pentagon budget: $150 billion from stopping the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars; and another $100 billion per year from the core Pentagon budget. This would reduce total military spending from about $700 billion per year to about $450 billion per year. That would still have the US spending more than the next ten largest national military budgets (of other nations) combined. [Read More]
FAIRFIELD TWP. — Fewer than 50 people stepped up to a single Sequoia touch-screen voting machine on Primary Election day.
Admittedly, that’s a low voter turnout total but apparently enough to cause controversy.
Due to the alleged unreliability of that brand of touch-screen voting machines, two candidates want the results voided and a recount or new election held. [Read More]
I want to congratulate U.S. representatives from our region who voted on May 26 to support the McGovern/Jones amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill, calling for a plan to expeditiously and safely bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan. While the amendment failed narrowly, 204-215, it gained 42 votes over last spring’s vote on the same amendment.
Congress members in our region who changed from “no” votes last year to “yes” this year include New Jersey Reps. Chris Smith and Robert Andrews and Pennsylvania Democrat Allyson Schwartz. I applaud all three of these for their responsiveness to their constituents, who oppose continuing the Afghanistan war by large margins. I encourage readers who are in their districts to contact them to thank them. [Read More]
(Chris) Bursk, a member of the Lower Bucks Coalition for Peace Action, said the U.S. could better save money by ending its military involvement in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq.Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the federal government has approved $1.28 trillion for military operations, according to a March 29 report by the Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress.
That figure of $1.28 trillion reportedly includes estimates for base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans' health care for Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom. [Read More]
PRINCETON BOROUGH -- Local peace activists expressed hope yesterday that the death of Osama bin Laden will hasten the end of the war in Afghanistan.
"In October we will have been in Afghanistan for 10 years, and it's time to get out," said the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action. "We hope this is part of what will happen as a result of bin Laden's death, that we will have closure in Afghanistan and Iraq."
Moore said he does not feel bin Laden's capture in any way vindicates this country for its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but is further evidence the wars were a mistake.
"They were basically irrelevant and counterproductive," he said. "More than 6,000 Americans have died, tens of thousands have been wounded, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed, and we have spent more than $1.3 trillion on the two wars combined. Most of that effort and money did nothing to help us find and capture bin Laden. We sent a small group of Navy Seals, who tracked him down using intelligence." [Read More]
Cathy Leary, Middletown
"The initial hope was always that Obama would announce that they're withdrawing the troops, but instead they say the troops are staying in Afghanistan. The other thing is, no media says that we helped train bin Laden and Mujahedeen forces. We created this, and it came back to bite us in the butt. I would have liked to see bin Laden come to trial. Nobody talks about going beyond and finding the reasons why terrorists want to attack America. Maybe if we address these issues, we could make the world and ourselves safer. But this knee-jerk reaction to his death, even though he's an evil man, isn't the sort of thing that should bring out patriotic fervor in us. Also, we shouldn't be bringing out a huge army. To fight terrorism, you need police work, undercover work and precise action. The invasion of Iraq was a miscalculation. Where does Iraq fit into this at all? Why aren't people decrying Bush and Cheney as mass murderers for what they did in Iraq? We are proponents of nonviolence. We would like there to be no terrorism, regardless of the root causes. The way to fight terrorism is to remove the need for terrorism and that involves being on the right side of issues of social justice."
Bill Deckhart, Falls, coordinator of BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action
"I was channel surfing when I came upon Celebrity Apprentice.' It is a show I never watch, but I tuned in for a few minutes. During that time, NBC flashed that the president would be delivering a speech. No details were offered. My immediate assumption was that it related to Libya. In the meantime, I accessed Facebook where a friend's son - who is in his freshman year at West Point - posted the simple message 'Osama bin Laden killed.' The President addressed the nation about 45 minutes later." [Read More]
PRINCETON BOROUGH —
More tax dollars should go to education, the environment and health care, and less to the military — at least according to people who were mailing in their tax forms in Palmer Square Monday.
The Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action conducted its annual tax-day “Penny Poll” on federal spending priorities in front of the Palmer Square post office, asking postal customers and passers-by to prioritize categories of programs.
“This year’s results remain consistent with results from over many years,” said the Rev. Robert Moore, CFPA’s executive director.
“We encourage taxpayers to contact their elected representatives to urge them to support more peaceful federal budget priorities.”
Each participant was handed 10 pennies and asked to distribute them among tubes marked Education, Health Care, Environment, Housing and Military.
The sixty-five people who participated gave education the most votes with 226 pennies, or 35 percent of all coins cast.
“It usually comes out on top,” Moore said.
Military spending garnered the least support, with 60 pennies or 9 percent backing.
The participants also received a handout with information on last year’s federal spending, Moore said.
As the tax-filing deadline ("This year you get an automatic extension," Friday) arrives, and a debate on deficits and federal budget priorities begins, one major area of the federal budget appears to be largely off the table: military spending.
Yet this accounts for 51 percent of the discretionary spending, the part of the budget that Congress can allocate however it chooses. That comes to over $750 billion, an average of nearly $6,000 per taxpaying household. Under Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed budget, it would continue to increase, and President Obama's alternative would only slow the rate of increase.
The bipartisan Sustainable Defense Task Force chaired by Reps. Ron Paul and Barney Frank concluded that military spending could be safely cut by 25 percent, providing an annual savings of $175 billion.
Those who agree are urged to contact the Coalition for Peace Action www.peacecoalition.org to help educate and advocate for such change.
Rev. Robert Moore
To the Editor:
As I write this, Congress is debating massive cuts in spending that will virtually eliminate early-childhood and teacher-training programs, as well as housing, job training, health and energy assistance for the poor and homeless, in the name of deficit reduction. At the same time, the wealthiest Americans are paying less and less in taxes, including the largest corporations. GE, the largest corporation in the nation, paid no tax last year and even received tax rebates. In addition, government spending for war-making continues to balloon, now twice what it was 10 years ago, much of it spent on an empire of close to a thousand foreign bases. Economists at the nonpartisan National Priorities Project estimate our military now spends $1.2 trillion/year of our tax dollars. This is well over half of the federal discretionary spending budget.
A budget is a moral document. It reflects our values. Does this budget reflect American values? To overflow the coffers of war-makers like GE by throwing money at wasteful weapons systems and on military personnel around the world while communities here at home go bankrupt? To allow the most powerful to trample on the least among us and cast them aside?
I know this budget does not reflect my values, and I challenge our congresspeople and their constituents to discern if it truly reflects their own values.
JANE SWIFT DUGDALE
The dangers and catastrophic consequences of radiation and nuclear waste continue to leach out of Japan through contamination of water, air and the food chain. Although we've been "sold" on nuclear energy as relatively safe and clean, it is evident now that the risk is too great.
Even as we intend to upgrade or make new reactors, where to store the waste still poses a problem. As plutonium, radioactive water and other toxins enter our environment, it's time to rethink the end result.
Nuclear weapons, too, are vulnerable to human error and unintended disasters. As we get further away from the horrors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, we must not forget the devastation left behind. We are bound not only by our humanity, but by our interconnectedness. The radioactive iodine spewing into the ocean and the chilling International Atomic Energy Agency Update Log (www. iaea.org) are daily reminders. In addition, the safety and security of accidents involving fissile material has long been noted.
As more and more countries get their hands on nuclear materials, be it for arms or energy, it's time to keep Fukushima in mind as we work toward a non-nuclear future. The health of our planet depends on it.
February 24, 2011 PRINCETON - Commander Robert Green, who served 20 years in the British Navy piloting nuclear armed aircraft, was the featured speaker at the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) Membership Renewal Party Wednesday evening at the Trinity Church in Princeton.
Commander Green resigned in 1982 over Prime Minister Thatcher’s decision to upgrade Britain’s nuclear submarine fleet. He is the author of four books on nuclear weapons issues, and autographed copies of his most recent, Security Without Nuclear Deterrence, were on sale at this event. [More]
February 26, 2011, TRENTON - Commander Robert Green is intimately familiar with the consequences of nuclear warfare. Green, retired after a 20-year career with the British Royal Navy, is now working, along with the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, to abolish nuclear deterrents.
Green's motivation, though, is unusual: He knows from his time as a pilot of nuclear-armed aircraft just what it would mean to drop an atomic bomb.
These experiences were the subject of Green's speech Wednesday evening to about 30 members of the Coalition for Peace Action who gathered at Princeton's Trinity Church for a membership renewal party. [More]
Irene Etkin Goldman sums up what drives her to seek fairness and truthfulness in five simple words: "If it's unfair, it's unfair."
That principle –– that everyone, regardless of who they are, what they look like or what they believe, is entitled to fairness –– is at the core of what she does in her life. Accordingly, she tackles one situation, one problem, and one person at a time, whether it's someone imprisoned wrongly in the former Soviet Union for revealing state secrets, rescuing "misappropriated" Russian artwork, or bringing together people of all faiths to enjoy Muslim and Jewish comedians, if it needs doing, Goldman gets it done.
In honor of her lifetime spent defending fairness, justice, and human rights, Goldman has been named a 2011 Tribute to Women honoree and recipient of its Fannie Floyd Racial Justice Award. [More]
NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP - Near Lockheed Martin, protesters said defense spending needs to be trimmed to reduce
the deficit and put Americans to work.
If the country is hurting for money, the solution is to cut the military budget and stop making defense contractors richer, area residents said Wednesday.
About a dozen members of the BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action and Brandywine Peace Community stood along the Newtown Bypass near the Lockheed Martin facility in Newtown Township holding signs such as one that read, "Resist Lockheed Martin the Face of War Making Today." [More]
PRINCETON — A U.S. official who publicly resigned in protest of the war in Afghanistan came to Princeton this week to discuss his feelings on the 10-year-old conflict.
New Jersey-native Matthew Hoh, a former Marine Corps captain in Iraq who went on to become a State Department Consultant in Afghanistan, spent close to two hours Tuesday night talking to and taking questions from the large crowd that packed the small auditorium of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton. [More]
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 -- Bring back ban on big ammunition clips
The horrifying gun rampage on January 8 in Tucson demonstrates again the devastating effects of allowing a lobby (the NRA and its allies) whose main goal is to encourage the sales and profits of the gun industry to dictate gun laws. [More]
January 08, 2011, PRINCETON BOROUGH -- The Coalition for Peace Action will host a presentation by Matthew Hoh, who became a senior official in the Foreign Service before resigning in 2009 in protest of the Afghan war, which he felt did not serve United States' interests. [More]
DECEMBER 31, 2010, PRINCETON TOWNSHIP -- President Barack Obama isn't the only one celebrating the U.S. Senate's recent ratification of a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia.
On Wednesday, Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) toasted the treaty with champagne and a hearty round of congratulations at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton. [More]
Wednesday was a day of celebration with the ratification of the new START treaty in the U.S. Senate, particularly for those like the Rev. Robert Moore who had worked feverishly into the late hours of the evening this week to encourage constituents in swing states to call their senators to vote in favor. It’s likely to be one of the major highlights of the Rev. Moore’s 30th year as the executive director for the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA).
Sunday, December 12, 2010 PRINCETON BOROUGH --When Donna Liu, former CNN news producer and manager, assembled her crew in Beijing in the spring of 1989, she expected to cover Mikhail Gorbachev's visit to China.
Instead, Liu found herself at the site of the pro-democracy demonstrations at Beijing's Tiananmen Square that ended in bloodshed that year.
Liu, who won an Emmy Award for her coverage of the events at Tiananmen Square, is now director for strategic initiatives at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.
She discussed her experiences in China with a small audience Friday at the Paul Robeson Center here. Liu said such discussions are essential to understanding and moving beyond the events at Tiananmen Square.
Charlie Wang, a junior at Princeton High School, organized the event with the co-sponsorship of the Coalition for Peace Action. [More]
December 9, 2010 A workshop on How to Beat Swords into Plowshares and Create Good Jobs in America is being sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, December 14 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton, 50 Cherry Hill Road (just up the hill from the light at the intersection of Route 206 and Cherry Hill). [More]
Last Updated Dec. 4, 2010 [...]Rev. Bob Moore, of the Princeton, N.J.-based Coalition for Peace Action, said that there must be a more concentrated effort in New Jersey to do away with guns.
“We need a national solution to this problem,” he told The Final Call.
“While we understand that crime is definitely tied to poverty, hopelessness and racism, we are fighting to stop the flow of guns into our state,” Rev. Moore said. “We wish we could address the whole picture, but for now our priority is to stop the easy access to guns.” [More]
Last April, the New START Treaty was signed by U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev. During the last six months of exhaustive hearings and briefings, Secretary of Defense Gates, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the head of the Missile Defense Agency, every Director of SAC (which has control of all U.S. nuclear weapons), and numerous former Republican and Democratic officials all gave our senators the same message: the New START treaty makes us safer and should be ratified by the Senate. [More]
PRINCETON TOWNSHIP -- In three days, it will have been 65 years since the United States dropped the second of two atomic bombs on Japan, an event that devastated the city of Nagasaki where Yasuko Ohta worked as a 15-year-old student.
Ohta, now 80, was just 1.3 kilometers -- less than a mile -- from ground zero at Nagasaki when the atomic bomb detonated. [More]
July 31, 2010 A controversial Army Experience Center in a northeast Philadelphia shopping mall will soon close its doors after a two-year pilot program. With regard to its military outreach efforts, the multimillion-dollar facility has declared "mission accomplished," but opponents question the Army's version of reality.
At the center, teenage boys sit in a row of Army-green recliners facing flat-screen monitors. They square off in video war games like the popular Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Once visitors register and prove they're 13 years or older, they're given free access to the facility's array of war-themed games. [More]
April 22, 2010 The START treaty between the US and Russia is a good start towards reducing the threat from nuclear weapons. The Senate should quickly ratify it. Fewer nuclear weapons make America and the world safer from the growing threat of nuclear weapons being used again. It sends the right message to the rest of the world: the place to begin reducing nuclear weapons is with the U.S. and Russia, who continue to have 95 percent of the world’s arsenals. [More]
A dozen demonstrators vowed to keep protesting until the closing of what they called an immoral operation.
Protester chants to close the Army Experience Center rang through the entertainment corridor of Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon.
"We remember Dr. King. Close the A-E-C."
"For peace - Close the A-E-C."
"For justice - Close the A-E-C," chanted about a dozen local peace group members, as they paid homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his passion for peace while calling for the closure of what they termed an "immoral" operation. [more]
Wednesday, June 24, 2009 - I’m the son of a navy officer. My dad fought in World War II and the Korean War. I was about 12 at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and I was full of bravado. I thought, “hey, let’s blow ‘em off the face of the earth.” Of course there are millions of human beings living in Cuba; how could you say something so cavalier? But I was twelve years old. I was a hawk on Vietnam as well.
I liked building things, so when I got to college I majored in engineering. My very first semester, I was going to the student center where Dow Chemical was recruiting and of course, they were the makers of napalm. There were protesters outside showing pictures of children who were burned by napalm, and I said, “Wait a minute — this isn’t what the good guys are supposed to be doing.” That really got me thinking, and led me to the journey I’ve been on since I was 18 years old. ... [more]
Thursday August 6, 2009, PRINCETON TOWNSHIP - Katsuyuki Nigahisa was playing in the school yard when he saw a mushroom-shaped cloud rising from the direction of Hiroshima. The 10-year-old didn't know what to make of the strange, huge cloud in the sky. It wasn't until the next day, when a neighbor arrived from Hiroshima covered in burns and soot, that Nigahisa's family learned of the catastrophic event described in Japanese as the "Pkia don" -- the flash and boom.
When he and his family set out for Hiroshima to find out if their relatives were safe, they saw a vision of complete devastation along the way: mangled remains of buildings, miles of burnt ruins, a dead cart horse lying with his belly up facing the scorching sun, but no bodies, because they had been cremated. For three days, they searched for their relatives and finally found them, all badly injured, their homes destroyed. They didn't realize during the tearful reunion that within a year, a grandmother and a cousin would die from the aftereffects of radiation. Sixty-four years later, the sorrows of a childhood shadowed by the dropping of the atomic bomb remain in the hearts of those who were there. Some, like Nigahisa, have taken that sadness and channeled it into helping other victims and pushing for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Nigahisa was one of two atomic bomb survivors, known as Hibakusha, who shared their stories last night at the commemoration of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More than 65 people attended the annual event at the Institute for Advanced Study, sponsored by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action and the Fellowship In Prayer. ... [more]
Friday, July 3, 2009, PRINCETON BOROUGH -- Religious communities across the country need to join together to stop gun violence and should recruit young people in their cause, a Philadelphia minister told area peace activists yesterday. . . .More than 50 people attended the event to kick off the Fourth of July holiday weekend, relaxing with a picnic and peace songs before the awards presentation that focused on gun violence and peace in Iran.
"Peace is indeed patriotic," said the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the coalition. "It's the most patriotic thing we can do." Moore used the occasion to remind attendees about the power people have in a democracy to unite and organize for change. Recalling the peace movement's victory in the effort to halt the repeal of the assault weapons ban in New Jersey, he said, ""We are powerful. We have power for peace, power for preventing violence." ... [more]
Tuesday, June 23, 2009 -- The anti-war crusader said she'll continue to speak against U.S. policies despite the new administration. Cindy Sheehan's methods have evolved since she first took her anti-war message to the streets. The California-based activist said this week she doesn't put much stock in peace marches and petitions anymore. She encourages people instead to shift the country's balance of power by supporting independent media sources, growing food at home and discouraging people from enlisting in the military. That was some of the advice she gave a crowd gathered Monday at the BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Warrington, Sheehan's latest stop to promote her new electronic book, "Myth America." ... [more]
Monday, June 22, 2009 -- The woman best known for holding a vigil in front of George W. Bush's Texas ranch to protest the war in Iraq encouraged area activists yesterday to continue their efforts in the struggle to promote peace. Gold Star mother Cindy Shee han addressed about 50 people at the Unitarian Universalist Congre gation of Princeton yesterday as part of a weekend of talks organized by the Delaware Valley Veterans for America and sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action and the Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War." . . . [more]
Monday, June 8, 2009 -- "Carrying a banner decorated with stars of David, crosses, and crescents, nearly 100 Jews, Christians, and Muslims marched together in Trenton during the Tri-Faith Walk on Sunday, May 31. Cosponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action and Fellowship in Prayer, the 3.7-mile walk was the second of three events inspired by Rep. Rush Holt’s (D-Dist.12) statewide initiative to promote religious understanding and appreciation of diversity." . . . [more]
Saturday, January 5, 2009 -- More than three years have gone by since the New Jersey Legislature required the state to install modern voting machines that provide printouts of each vote -- the paper trail that experts regard as essential to far and accurate elections. The machines are still nowhere in sight.
Deadlines have been imposed and proved meaningless. The latest dealine was New Year's Day, which of course has passed. Technically, the state is in violation of its own law, but nobody seems to care. Gov. Jon Corzine has said he will do something . . . [More]
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 -- The New Jersey Senate did the state's voters a big favor last week when 21 of them voted against a pilot project to equip some voting machines with printers. But wait. Isn't the proverbial paper trail exactly what voting- reform advocates have been after since the Florida 2000 hanging chad debacle? A verifi able receipt system is, in fact, what reformers have pushed for, but the pilot project proposal in the Senate last week was a clunker from the start.. . . [More]
Sunday, December 21, 2008-- Now certain to miss a year-end deadline to have voting machines that produce a paper trail, state officials are mapping out alternate ways to fix New Jersey's voting system that could include replacing touch-screen machines with optical scanners. . . . [More]
Monday, December 15, 2008 -- Today, the state Legislature is expected to consider a bill to remove the requirement that voting machines produce voter-verified paper records by Jan. 1, 2009, and to replace that re quirement with a pilot program for adding printers to a few of New Jersey's voting machines.If the results of that pilot program prove acceptable, the rest of the state's electronic voting machines will be retrofitted, . . . [More]