Cumberland County mass shooting reignites gun control debate, Atlantic City Press, Ahmad Austin, May 30, 2021
After nearly a year of home confinement for most of the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cities around the country have started 2021 with gun violence occurring at a record pace. That nationwide increase was felt locally with a May 22 mass shooting in Fairfield Township that killed three and injured 11 at a house party.
The shooting has prompted Gov. Phil Murphy to call for federal action to combat gun violence. As is often the case with the issue of gun control, Murphy’s comments have been both applauded and criticized by multiple organizations in the state.
[..] The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the gun reform advocacy group Coalition for Peace Action, agrees with the governor that the state and country should have tighter gun laws.
Moore also showed his support for “several of the bills (Murphy) mentioned, like microstamping bullets so ones that are used in crimes can be traced to the purchaser,” he said, “and closing major loopholes on obtaining a gun, like the ability to get them at gun shows and online without a background check.”
Divest Princeton holds “Earth Day, No Delay” rally at Nassau Hall -- Daily Princetonian, Paige Cromley, April 26, 2021
On Saturday, April 24, roughly 100 people gathered in front of Nassau Hall for an “Earth Day, No Delay” rally held by Divest Princeton.
Participants called on the University to move faster and more decisively against climate change, specifically advocating for the divestment of its $26 billion endowment from fossil fuel companies and the ending of its research partnerships with corporations like ExxonMobil.
Reverend Bob Moore from the Coalition for Peace Action spoke about humanity’s spiritual responsibility as “caretakers of this earth, not destroyers or exploiters.”
Invest In Solution, Not Pollution: Activists Tell Princeton U. -- Princeton Patch, Sarah Salvadore, April 26, 2021
Students and local activists gathered at Princeton University on Saturday to urge the institution to divest its endowment from fossil fuels.
The message was loud – 'divest from pollution, invest in solution.'
The rally, organized by Divest Princeton was the culmination of several days of programming around Earth Day.
The rally began with organizers calling for justice for victims of police shootings and anti-Asian hate across the country. Attendees held up signs and told the university that 'delay was denial' when it comes to climate change.
Co-sponsors of the rally were Princeton Environmental Activism Coalition, Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), Princeton Mutual Aid, and Princeton Against Gun Violence.
"Not only is the climate catastrophe happening already, but it is also impacting poor people and people of color disproportionately. This is a justice issue, not just an environmental issue," said the Rev. Robert Moore, Executive Director of CFPA.
"This university says, 'Princeton in the nation's service.' Well, our country needs Princeton to serve the nation by getting rid of global warming now."
Rally to urge Princeton U.’s divestment from fossil fuels -- Community Bulletin, NJ.com, April 23, 2021
A rally calling on the Trustees of Princeton University to divest its endowment from fossil fuels is scheduled for 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at the campus’s Fitzrandolph Gate at Nassau and Witherspoon streets, in front of Nassau Hall.
Divest Princeton, made up of students, alumni and faculty, is the rally sponsor and primary organizer. It has been advocating for the past year for Princeton University to cancel all current and future investment in the fossil fuel industry. Co-sponsors include the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, Princeton Environmental Advocacy Coalition and Princeton Against Gun Violence.
Princeton University’s Resources Committee is expected to recommend in support of divestment at the Council of the Princeton University Community meeting on May 3. From there, it would go to the Board of Trustee’s Committee on Finance, and then to the full board for approval. It is expected to be on the board’s May agenda.
“Princeton University has shown itself to be responsive to calls for moral progress, as when it divested from South Africa in 1985; and, recently, removed Woodrow Wilson’s name from its School of Public and International Affairs,” said Coalition for Peace Action executive director the Rev. Robert Moore. “Each of these took sustained struggle and pressure to be actualized. Now we invite the public to join in pressing for the urgent divestment from fossil fuels to help slow a rapidly worsening climate crisis before it’s too late.”
Scheduled to speak at the rally along with Moore are Ryan Warsing, Isabel Rodrigues, Hannah Reynolds and Katie Massie from Divest Princeton; Princeton Undergraduate Student Government sustainability chair Mayu Takeuchi; Princeton Mutual Aid organizer Daniel Ponton; and Princeton School of Public and International Affairs Phd candidate Malini Nambiar.
Members of the public are encouraged to attend. All attendees must wear face masks and practice social distancing.
‘Asian Americans are Americans’ – rally in Princeton refutes anti-Asian sentiments -- by Lea Kahn, Princeton Packet, March 29, 2021
The Rev. Robert Moore of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action welcomed the crowd, setting the stage for the rally and its speakers.
“We stand in solidarity with you as we face an epidemic of hatred,” Moore said.
Moore said there are two foundational beliefs in Christianity and Judaism: all people are created in the image of God, and every person deserves to live in peace. Those are basic human rights, he said.
“We are all precious in God’s eyes. We must say ‘no’ to hate, we must say ‘no’ to violence, and we must say ‘yes’ to peace. We need to stand up for each other,” Moore said.
Large Crowd Rallies in Solidarity With Asian American Community -- Donald Gilpin, Town Topics, March 31, 2021
More than 500 people, overflowing Hinds Plaza outside the library and the Witherspoon and Hulfish streets area, gathered in Princeton on Saturday afternoon, March 27, to rally in solidarity with the Asian American community.
The mood of the two-hour event was at times reverent and mournful, at times angry, loud, and determined. There were frequent chants of “Enough is enough” and others, and history lessons, including many personal examples and chronicling the legacy of racism in the United States and prejudice and violence against Asians. Many impassioned expressions of support and solidarity came from all quarters of the Princeton community.
The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, stated, “We are in solidarity with the Asian American community as they face the epidemic of hatred, and we will overcome this.”
He described the large diverse rally crowd as an example of “the beloved community” and added, “We stand up for each other. We stand in solidarity with each other. And we stand for the love that will always overcome and triumph over hate.”
In a follow-up phone conversation on March 29, Moore emphasized the large turnout, the strong messages, and above all the importance of the solidarity manifested at Saturday’s rally. “We always want to stand in solidarity with any group that is suffering from that kind of hate, discrimination, and violence,” he said. “Whoever is suffering is not standing alone. There are a lot of people of good will who want to stand in their corner.”
‘We are not your model minority’: Stop Asian Hate rally and vigil takes to Hinds Plaza -- Anika Buch and Isabella Shutt, The Daily Princetonian, March 28, 2021
“Our existence is resistance,” said Sadaf Jaffer, former mayor, current Chair of the Inclusion & Equity Committee in Montgomery Township, and Postdoctoral Researcher in the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS), at a Stop Asian Hate rally and vigil in Princeton this weekend. It was held to condemn the recent acts of violence against members of the Asian and Asian American community as well as to emphasize America’s long history of anti-Asian sentiment.
On March 27 at 1 p.m., hundreds of people gathered at Hinds Plaza for the rally. Protesters, who were instructed to be socially distant by organizers, appeared spread out and masked. Along with stickers and incense sticks, the organizers distributed extra masks, while emphasizing a social distancing protocol.
The event began with a speech from Reverend Robert Moore from the Coalition for Peace Action, who concluded, “We’re here to say no to that hate, no to that violence, and yes to peace.”
Photo by Krystal Knapp, Planet Princeton
"The entire plaza was full of people, and a portion of Witherspoon Street was shut down to accommodate the overflow crowd that filled the street and a portion of Hulfish Street. The rally and vigil featured speakers including elected officials, activists, representatives from nonprofits and community organizations, professors, and students."
Published as a letter to the editor in March 20 Trenton Times; and quoted in front page article in March 24 Town Topics.
I am heartbroken and outraged by the recent mass shooting in Atlanta in which a white male shot and killed eight people, including six Asian-American women.
During the past year of pandemic, the epidemics of gun violence and racial hatred have dramatically worsened. Nationally, gun murders have increased to almost 20,000.; and hate crimes against Asian Americans have surged to nearly 3,800 in the past year.
These inter-related epidemics require us to respond with more than thoughts and prayers. People of conscience need to urgently advocate for sensible gun safety measures such as requiring gun purchasers to have permits to purchase their guns; and a three-day waiting period after purchasing a gun before being able to pick it up. These measures could have prevented the Atlanta shooting.
I am also appalled at statements by Captain Jay Baker of the County Sheriff’s Department that the shooter was just having a bad day and didn’t act out of racial animus. Such dismissiveness is inexcusable and greatly increases the harm to the Asian American community. Captain Baker’s social media includes anti-Asian racist posts, and he should be fired.
Readers wanting more information or to get involved are encouraged to visit peacecoalition.org.
The Rev. Robert Moore
The writer is Executive Director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action.
In recognition of his activism against the war and for his extensive work with the Coalition for Peace Action, the organization chose him to receive The Patriot for Peace Award not long after 9/11. “He was the perfect person for the award,” says the Reverend Robert Moore, the executive director of the CFPA. “He was authentically patriotic, loyal to an America that stands as a beacon of democracy. He was a true public servant. We benefited greatly from his vast experience and from his devotion to what is right. I was honored to know him and to work with him so closely for so long.” At the ceremony at the Princeton Battle Monument, which commemorates George Washington’s victory on July 3, 1777, Ray described the award as the greatest honor of his life.""
"NJ gun permit applications spiking -- how fear brought unprecedented demand," by Alex Napoliello, Trenton Times, January 14, 2021
Statistics show when there are guns in the home, they are more likely to be used in a domestic violence situation or to aid in suicide, gun control advocates say.
“I grew up on westerns when the good guy with the gun always shot the bad guy with the gun and always beat him,” said the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action. “There’s a certain level of Wild West mentality here that I think is dangerous and misleading. What the actual statistics show is that if you do get a gun and have it in your home, it’s far more likely to be used against somebody who resides in the home than an intruder.” (Click here for full article.)
"South Jersey pastor to lead virtual Princeton MLK multifaith service," NJ.com Community Bulletin, January 13, 2021
The Rev. Dr. Charles Boyer, pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Woodbury, will be the lead preacher for the annual multifaith service honoring the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — this year taking place online 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18.
The service has been held annually for over three decades and is co-sponsored by the Princeton Clergy Association and the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action. It has been hosted live at various houses of worship in Princeton until this year. Due to the pandemic, this year’s program will be online; information for attending can be found by clicking here.
In addition to Boyer, the service will include faith leaders and music from a range of faith traditions, including AME, Baha’i, Baptist, Christian Science, Jewish, Muslim, Presbyterian, Sikh and United Church of Christ.
“We are thrilled to have such a prominent faith leader on social justice as our preacher this year, as well the most diverse group of faiths represented,” said Coalition for Peace Action executive director the Rev. Robert Moore, who has served as chair of the planning committee for the annual MLK service since 2017. “We will also have powerful and spiritually uplifting music.” (Click here for full press release.)
"Many MLK Day Tributes Planned Despite Restrictions of Pandemic," by Anne Levin, Town Topics, Jan. 13, 2021
For more than three decades, the annual Multifaith Service co-sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action and the Princeton Clergy Association was hosted live at various houses of worship in Princeton. This year, the event paying tribute to King is online at 7 p.m. The Rev. Charles Boyer, founder and director of Salvation and Social Justice, and pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Woodbury, will preach. The service will also include faith leaders and music from a wide range of faith traditions including AME, Baha’i, Baptist, Christian Science, Jewish, Muslim, Presbyterian, Sikh, and United Church of Christ.
“We are thrilled to have such a prominent faith leader on social justice as our preacher this year, as well the most diverse group of faiths ever represented in the leadership of the service on the official holiday for Dr. King’s birthday,” said the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, in a press release. “We will also have powerful and spiritually uplifting music. We strongly encourage interested people from all backgrounds to visit peacecoalition.org to find the information to participate in this major annual event.” (Click here for full article.)
"Advocates argue paper ballots are key to secure elections in NJ," by Genesis Obando, NJ Spotlight News, Jan. 5, 2021
At the time she began questioning whether her ballot was cast or not, Harris said she was an average citizen involved with the Coalition for Peace Action, attracted to the group’s rallies and its push for peace. She says that voting is important to the group because it helps them elect candidates that best align with their beliefs.
“If we don’t have the ability to have secure and competent elections, then we have just lost the power to affect change with our legislative branch,” said Harris. Harris and the Coalition for Peace Action have fought to make hand-marked paper ballots the primary way New Jersey votes.
Harris and Irene Etkin Goldman, the board chair for the Coalition for Peace Action, started a Voting Integrity Task Force within the organization after the lawsuit took off. The goal was to educate voters and to lobby for the use of handwritten paper ballots in all elections.
Despite the unfounded allegations of mail-in voter fraud this year, Goldman and Harris are adamant that this election season was successful and hope that election officials and lawmakers consider using the same paper ballots to secure future elections. But to also make the proper accommodations for disabled voters so they can vote using a ballot-marking device.
“Voting by mail as a concept turned out to be great, but it’s successful because it is a paper ballot,” said Goldman. “A voter casts their vote and it’s counted through an optical scanner, but then it can be audited, and a human eye can see what a human hand marked.”
“We’re going to have to remain very vigilant, because after the pandemic we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Harris. (Click here to read full report.)
“Princeton Responds to Coronavirus Threat” read the February 5 Town Topics headline. At that point the “threat” seemed overstated and the community’s “response” — assessing individuals who had recently traveled to Wuhan, China — seemed more than sufficient to dispel any risks. [...] In the ensuing eleven months of 2020, the COVID pandemic changed the town of Princeton as it changed the lives of almost everyone across the globe.
[...] In response to the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general and the increased threat of war with Iran, the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) led a rally for diplomacy not war with Iran on January 11. In leading up to the 2020 elections, the CFPA also conducted its extensive Peace Voter Campaign, including peace voter guides. The CFPA also co-sponsored a Save the Post Office rally on August 22 and a Protect the Results rally in Princeton on the day after the election.
(Click here to read full article, detailing the highlights of 2020 in Princeton)
"150 rally to ‘protect the results’ of presidential election," by Michael Mancuso, NJ.com, November 5, 2020
On the day after Election Day, at a rally at Hinds Plaza in Princeton, the message was concise and clear: ‘Protect the Results.’
It was one of more than 100 such named rallies scheduled across the state and country in response to lawsuits from President Donald Trump, challenging counting procedures in the as yet undecided election.
In his remarks at the Princeton rally, Rev. Robert Moore, Executive Director of Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, said, “In a democracy the voters choose the leader. The leader does not get to choose the voters… We’re here to tell President Trump. We’re here to tell The United States Supreme Court. Protect the Results.”
"Protect The Results rally urges counting of every vote," by Andrew Harrison, Princeton Packet, November 5, 2020
Several local organizations in Central Jersey rallied residents to Princeton’s Hinds Plaza to resist any measures to stop the counting of mail-in ballots, as those votes continue to be counted across the country to determine America’s president in the 2020 election.
“In America, in a democracy, the voters select the leader and the leader does not select the voters. We are here to say protect the count, protect the results, because the vote is one of our most fundamentals rights as Americans,” said Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of Coalition for Peace Action. “If we don’t protect this it will continue to erode.”
Moore added that mail-in and provisional ballots are just as valid and important as the votes conducted on Election Day.
“I do not care what party or who someone is voting for, every single American who votes should have their vote counted. That is what democracy is all about and how we determine who the winner of this election is,” he said. “That is what we are here to insist on. The president is planning on sending his team of lawyers, maybe to go all the way to the Supreme Court, to stop the vote of mail-in voters. That is abhorrent. That is why we are out here today to say stop it before it even starts.”
Chants of “Every Vote Counts, Every Voter Counted” were voiced from those in attendance at the rally during the late afternoon event. With handmade signs raised by attendees urging the importance of counting the vote, calls to action to uphold democracy were issued by featured speakers and organizers.
"Princeton rally participants call for every vote to be counted," Planet Princeton, November 5, 2020
People gathered on Hinds Plaza in Princeton Wednesday afternoon to spread the message that every vote should be counted in the general election. Presidential candidate Joe Biden won two more states Wednesday evening, Wisconsin and Michigan, as the mail-in ballot count continued. President Donald Trump is pursuing legal challenges to stop the mail-in ballot count in some states.
The “Protect the Results” rally was sponsored by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, Indivisible Princeton, and Indivisible Cranbury. Attendees wore face masks. Many people brought posters to the event, which was one of several hundred rallies held across the country on Wednesday.
Advance coverage of 11/4 Protect the Results Rally in Princeton in NJ.com &Planet Princeton.
Event also covered in the print version of Town Topics.
Letter to the Editor on Iran Sanctions, Published in the Trenton Times, 10/14/2020
On October 8, the Trump Administration imposed draconian new sanctions on Iran, which include the threat to violently board Iranian cargo ships to enforce them. This is an utterly reckless and potentially catastrophic provocation that could lead to war—a real “October surprise” by a President far behind in all major polls. Unfortunately, with so much campaign noise, this step to the precipice of war has been ignored.
Even before COVID-19, U.S. sanctions on Iran were the source of immense suffering. New U.S. sanctions will only make it far more difficult for people in Iran to access critical medical equipment and humanitarian aid.
Trump’s maximum pressure campaign has meant maximum failure. U.S. sanctions only strengthen hardliners in Iran by allowing them to deflect blame for their people’s suffering, rally support against an external threat, and justify the repression of grassroots peoples’ movements for systemic change.
Broad, sectoral sanctions are war by another name. Their intended purpose is to inflict such pain on the population as to provoke regime change. To prevent the very real danger of war, the U.S. must end its deadly sanctions, disavow the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign and re-engage in good-faith, multilateral diplomacy. For more information, visit peacecoalition.org.
The Rev. Robert Moore
The writer is Executive Director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action.
The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), was even more adamant about the urgency of this election. “To claim that ‘this election is the most important in our lifetime’ is often hyperbole,” he said, “but this time I don’t think it is. We’re at a place where we have an utterly incompetent right-wing ideologue in the presidency. He has no respect for democratic norms or the Constitution.”
Moore continued, “It is clear that this is somebody who should not be president of the United States, on so many counts. Among them is his position on gun violence and peace issues. This is a very dangerous period, and he’s impulsive, irrational, anti-science. There are so many things troubling about Donald Trump’s leadership.”
CFPA initiatives this year include the Peace Voter Campaign, conducted by the CFPA since 1995 and this year focusing on Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which Moore described as “a swing area in a swing state.” The CFPA Peace Voter Guide compares the candidates on ten different issues, with particular emphasis on issues of peace and violence. It will be published as a signature ad in at least one, possibly two, Bucks County newspapers.
The first three issues are all related to gun violence, which, Moore says, suburban women in particular have been very responsive to. Based on CFPA research of the candidates’ statements and actions, the Peace Voter Guide notes that Biden supports a National Assault Weapons Ban, universal background checks for all gun sales, and a “red flag” law allowing judges to order removal of guns from anyone posing imminent danger. Trump is opposed to those measures, the Peace Voter Guide reports.
Also, for the second New Jersey congressional district, the CFPA is publishing a Peace Voter Guide electronically, comparing the views of candidates Amy Kennedy (D) and Jeff Van Drew (R). “We are non-partisan,” Moore emphasized. “We try to make sure voters are educated on the issues.”
Demonstrators Urge: “Save the Post Office,” “Protect the Vote” -- by Donald Gilpin, Town Topics, August 26, 2020
Calling on authorities to “save the post office,” “defend democracy,” and “protect the right to vote,” about 50 demonstrators gathered at the Alexander Road Post Office in Carnegie Center on Saturday morning, August 22, as part of more than 800 nationwide rallies that day.
“Our demand today is that the post office continues to do its job and deliver our ballots quickly to us and then back to our county governments for counting,” said event co-organizer Frank von Hippel, senior research physicist and Princeton University professor emeritus in the Program on Science and Global Security.
In the event co-sponsored by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), von Hippel joined with Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, Princeton University Computer Science Professor Andrew Appel, CFPA board member and Treasurer Mark Pepper, and CFPA Chair Irene Goldman in calling on Congress to protect the postal service from Trump administration attacks, and to act to safeguard the integrity of the mail and the upcoming election, which during the pandemic will be conducted more than ever before through mail-in ballots.
Speakers also called on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to resign in the wake of slowdowns and service cuts. “These rallies give notice that we are alert to what is happening in our country,” said von Hippel. “They let our elected officials and other people inside our government, including the post office, know that we will support them if they defend our democracy.”
Decrying an “attack on the postal service” and an attack on people’s right to vote,” Zwicker expressed optimism that people across the country were “coming out to let their voices be heard, to say, ‘Don’t mess with my mail, save our United States Postal Service and protect democracy.’”
Zwicker described legislation he is promoting in the New Jersey State Legislature that ensures that people can track their mail-in ballots on a state website. “We have to be sure that every single vote is counted, because every single vote matters,” he said.
“How dare the president use the USPS as a pawn to win an election and acknowledge to the people that that is what he is doing,“ said a statement read by Goldman from Jonette Smart, president of the Trenton branch of the NAACP. “Now is the time for Americans of all backgrounds to stand as one America and demand full services restored to the USPS. The USPS is an institution that no matter where you live, what color you are, how much money you make, works for all American people.”
Goldman, in a telephone conversation Monday, pointed out that health protocols required that the gathering be limited to about 50, and she praised the demonstrators for all wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing as they listened and cheered, many with posters and banners, outside the post office building.
She emphasized the importance of paper ballots, which the CFPA has advocated for many years, and she criticized “the abuse of power” of the Trump administration in attempting “to decimate the USPS.”
She continued, “That is unconscionable, and Donald Trump’s intention was to limit the USPS so that absentee ballots would be diminished, voting by mail would be diminished, and therefore controlling votes to disenfranchise enormous groups of people. The president is using the tactic of fear to control the vote. I trust the U.S. postal system. I do not trust the current postmaster general to protect and provide the service on which this country has depended for centuries.”
Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello, by phone Monday, stated that more than 250,000 ballots for the November 3 election will be printed starting in early September and mailed out, with return postage paid, by the first week in October to all registered voters in Mercer County.
“The system worked out well in the July primary,” Covello said. “Everybody got their ballots.” She urged voters to fill out the ballots and mail them right back or drop them in one of the county drop boxes, where ballots will be picked up by election officials. The county will have a total of 13 drop boxes, one of which will be at the municipal building in Princeton. Ballots must be postmarked by November 3 and received within seven days of the election.
Covello stated that her office was proceeding with the mailing of ballots in accordance with an executive order from the governor, regardless of pending lawsuits by the Trump campaign against New Jersey and by the New Jersey attorney general against the post office to restore cuts in budget and service.
Covello, who has been county clerk, implementing vote-by-mail since 2008, stated, “I am concerned that the mail must go through for vote-by-mail to be effective. We’ve never had any problems with vote-by-mail. In fact, most people find it to be a safer option than voting machines because you have a paper trail. So I find it to be a very reliable method of voting. I’m disappointed that people are having concerns about it now all of a sudden.”
"Spend less on weapons, more on programs of social uplift," co-authored by the Rev. Robert Moore & William Hartung, August 13, 2020, Star Ledger
As the House and Senate consider the Pentagon budget this year and in the years to come, they should act to reduce the department’s bloated budget and shift funding to what Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. described as “programs of social uplift.” New Jersey’s congressional delegation will have an important say in this ongoing debate.
Proposed spending on the Department of Defense comes in at the massive sum of $740 billion this year. That’s more than the levels spent by the next 10 nations in the world combined and higher than expenditures at the peak of the Korean and Vietnam wars. These huge expenditures represent more than half of the federal government’s discretionary budget, squeezing out federal spending on virtually everything it does other than funding for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Discretionary outlays cover investments in housing, education, transportation, job training, the environment, energy development, scientific research, and more.
The COVID-19 pandemic and longstanding demands to address racial and economic inequality cry out for a new approach to protecting Americans who rely less on guns, bombs and aircraft carriers and more on public health and community development initiatives.
Late last month, as a result of initiatives spearheaded by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI), Congress had a chance to weigh in on the question of whether to shift funds from the Pentagon to meet other urgent needs. They promoted measures in both houses of Congress to reduce the Pentagon’s top line by 10%, without reducing funding for military personnel or defense health programs.
Adopting this approach would have provided a good down payment on the new approach to security that is sorely needed in this new era, while freeing up urgently needed funds for public health, jobs, education and other essential services in the communities that need them most. Unfortunately, both amendments were defeated, but they received unprecedented support that will set the stage for similar measures next year. Within the New Jersey delegation, Sen. Cory Booker and Representatives Frank Pallone, Donald Payne and Bonnie Watson Coleman voted in favor of the 10% cut.
There is no lack of programs to cut to reach the goal of a 10% reduction in the Pentagon budget. First and foremost, Congress should roll back the Pentagon’s plans to build a new generation of nuclear-armed bombers, missiles, submarines, and warheads at a potential cost of over $2 trillion over the next three decades. Current costs for the nuclear enterprise are running at almost $50 billion per year. These expenditures are both dangerous and unnecessary. The United States possesses thousands of nuclear weapons when experts have suggested that a few hundred would be more than enough to dissuade any nation from attacking the United States. The ultimate goal should be to eliminate these world-threatening weapons altogether.
Of particular concern are land-based, Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), which former Secretary of Defense William Perry has described as some of the most dangerous weapons in the world because the president would only have a matter of minutes to decide whether to launch them in a crisis, greatly increasing the chance of an accidental nuclear war. The Pentagon wants to triple spending on these risky systems in this year’s proposed budget.
The F-35 combat aircraft is another system ripe for reductions. Analyses by the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight have shown that the F-35 may never be fully ready for combat, due to a raft of performance and cost issues.
Last but not least is the Pentagon’s massive bureaucracy. A study by the Defense Business Board has indicated that the department could save $25 billion per year just by eliminating excess bureaucracy. The Department of Defense employs over 600,000 private contractors, many of whom do jobs that are redundant, and can be done by government employees for less money.
The debates of this year and next could be critical turning points in how we conceive of our priorities and how we define safety and security. The New Jersey delegation has a critical role to play in these discussions. It’s time to redefine security and focus on the real threats to our lives and livelihoods.
Rev. Robert Moore is the Executive Director of the New Jersey-based Coalition for Peace Action.
William D. Hartung is the Director of the Arms and Security Program at the Center for International Policy.
"High school student draws crowd for candlelight vigil in memory of George Floyd," by Andrew Harrison, Princeton Packet, June 17, 2020
Hundreds of people would gather around the tercentennial fountain in Heritage Park in Cranbury to participate in a candlelight vigil for George Floyd and other victims of police violence and racial discrimination.
Individuals and families of every age, race and nationality took part in the vigil as sundown occurred on June 14. Attendees were brought together by Princeton High School junior Isabel Sethi, who organized the peaceful protest.
For Sethi, viewing the death of Floyd while he was in police custody, was the moment when she knew she could not be a bystander as people pushed for reforms on policing and racial discrimination.
“Watching the now infamous George Floyd video, the video of his arrest and subsequent death was really the catalyst for me. Law enforcement officials are expected to serve and protect citizens yet they killed one of their own with so much indifference,” Sethi said. “They did not care that he said he could not breathe; they were more annoyed with people asking them to stop. I knew whatever small way I could contribute I needed to do that.”
The candlelight vigil was co-sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action and the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice. Organizers estimated that more than 250 people were in attendance during the evening.
Speakers for the vigil included Princeton High School science teacher Joy Barnes-Johnson, Cranbury Mayor Matt Scott, chief activist Robt Seda-Schreiber at the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, Princeton University professor of African American Art History Chika Okeke-Agulu, parish associate for the First Presbyterian Church of Cranbury Rev. Joanne Petto, and Rev. Bob Moore of the Coalition for Peace Action.
Hundreds, mostly young adults, gathered Sunday night at Heritage Park to honor George Floyd and other victims of police brutality.
The event was organized by Isabel Sethi, 17, a junior at Princeton High School, and several other guest speakers were in their early 20s.
"I'm only 20 years old ... there are so many young faces in the crowd," said Dominique Hazel-Criss, a rising junior at Rutgers University and representative for the Black Lives Matter chapter of Rutgers. "When they say we're the future, they mean it.
“We're the future lawyers (and) the future policymakers ... the future educators," she said. "Those racist police, those racist policymakers ... they were once the future too and that is the problem."
[...] Sethi organized the protest in conjunction with the Coalition for Peace Action and the Bayard Rustin Center after watching the video of Floyd’s death.
"‘It has to end’: Protesters in Princeton demand justice for Floyd's death," by Marissa Michaels, The Daily Princetonian, June 3, 2020
Over 1000 protesters gathered outside FitzRandolph Gate on June 2 — chanting, kneeling, and listening — to protest the deaths of George Floyd and other black Americans, especially those at the hands of police.
The protest is one of many that emerged out of last week’s high-profile killing, when Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, while three other officers stood by. In the Floyd family’s private autopsy, the death was ruled a homicide by mechanical asphyxia.
The four officers were fired immediately and Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Chauvin had 18 previous complaints against him.
Floyd’s death was caught on camera, and the video has sparked outrage throughout the country. Other videos of police using force against civilians show rising tensions at many protests.
[...] The protest began with demonstrators kneeling for a moment of silence held for eight minutes and 46 seconds, representing the amount of time that Chauvin kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck.
Following the silence, there was a series of speakers, beginning with Imani Mulrain ’23, and including Princeton native Sumiayyah Stephens, Associate Professor of African American Studies Ruha Benjamin, Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts Tracy K. Smith, and Witherspoon Street Presbytarian Church Reverend Lukata Mjumbe.
[...] The event was organized in just two days and was sponsored by Not in Our Town, CHOOSE, PHS MSAN, PHS PULSE, Princeton Latinos y Amigos, Labyrinth Books, Princeton YWCA, Code Equal, Housing Initiatives of Princeton, and the Coalition for Peace Action.
Letter to the Editor: "This Memorial Day, It's Not About Fighting, but Reuniting the World," by Ed Aguilar, published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 29, 2020
To the Editor:
This Memorial Day is unlike any other, yet all too familiar. We mourn the fallen-- whether they are American draftees and servicemembers who perished in too many wars in the last two centuries; whether they are millions of children, women, and men civilians who perished in those wars; whether they are the survivors of the fallen, who live with their memories and their grief. This year, we will add at least another 100,000 Americans, most of them civilian victims of a needless tragedy born of a combination of a new virus which came from Nature and knows no bounds, and the negligence and folly of too many political and social leaders in the world who did not do their duty to stop, listen, and protect our peoples from this scourge, or who acted too little, too late, and without exercising leadership, here and abroad.
It doesn't end there. We need to actually enforce social distancing, mask-wearing, and continued caution, now more than ever, as the nation cautiously reopens its doors to business and schools, and works for longer-term reforms and remedies. If not, Dr. Anthony Fauci has already told us what will happen-- a (continuing) new wave, potentially as deadly than the first, or even greater, as the disease hits the global South, with even less protection, and continues in the North. Please heed the call of UN Secretary-General Guterres: War is not the answer, especially now. We need a global cease-fire of civil and international conflicts, so that we, and the people of all nations, can focus on the unity we need, to overcome and stop this virus. And sanctions not only don't succeed, they hurt the most innocent. It will take years, but this is a struggle in which humanity can and must find a common purpose, or it will find a common fate.
Pennsylvania Director, Coalition for Peace Action
"Peace Action Coalition Agenda Features Voter Drive; Forums with Chomsky, Klare," by Donald Gilpin, Town Topics, May 27, 2020
"Seeking to maximize its impact for peace in the upcoming elections, the Coalition for Peace Action’s (CFPA) nonpartisan 2020 Peace Voter initiative is focusing on candidates in New Jersey congressional Districts 2 and 4 in the July 7 primary and plans to target general elections in those districts plus Districts 3 and 7 in November, along with the presidential election race in Pennsylvania.
Peace Voter can wield the greatest influence in the contests that are expected to be very close, said CFPA founder and Executive Director the Rev. Robert Moore. So far Peace Voter has conducted press briefings with 2nd District leading Democratic candidates Brigid Harrison and Amy Kennedy, who will be competing for a spot on the November ballot to run for congress against the Republican (recently switched from Democrat) incumbent Jeff Van Drew. " (Click here for full article.)
"Resist Trump’s Wrecking Ball Approach to Longstanding Peace Agreements!" by the Rev. Robert Moore, Op-Ed News, May 22, 2020
President Trump’s May 21 announcement of US withdrawal from the 30-year-old Open Skies Treaty is yet another example of his wrecking ball approach to the entire architecture of hard-won agreements to peacefully prevent war.
For starters, it is blatantly lawless. Trump himself signed into law a requirement that Congress be notified 180 days in advance of the President starting the process to withdraw from such treaties. Trump completely disregards that and acts like a king above the law.
The Open Skies Treaty took an important confidence building approach to preventing war by increasing transparency about what Russia, the US and other signatories do with military assets. It reduces the chance of misperception and miscalculation that could lead to catastrophic war by accident.
This is the third major arms control agreement Trump has withdrawn from; the previous two were the Iran Nuclear Agreement and the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Agreement. In each of those prior cases Trump alleged non-compliance by other parties and demanded capitulation.
Predictably, when that didn’t happen, instead of seeking to engage in dispute resolution procedures in those treaties, Trump just withdrew. He asserted that he would be able to negotiate a better treaty to replace the ones he abrogated. But nothing like that happened in either case.
Trump also announced that he is starting talks on extending the New START Treaty, the last remaining nuclear arms control agreement with Russia. But compounding the major diplomatic fiascos above, he insists that China, which has a tiny nuclear arsenal compared to the US and Russia, be an added party to that extension. There is zero chance it will happen. So, it amounts to a poison pill that will destroy the last remaining restraint to prevent a new nuclear arms race.
Trump has taken the wrecking ball to the entire architecture of treaties and diplomacy, which will certainly lead to a major new arms race and greatly increased danger of major war.
The best way to oppose Trump’s juggernaut of blowing up peace agreements is to support a bill in Congress advocating extension of the New START Treaty. Click here to learn more and email your members of Congress!
The Rev. Robert Moore, Executive Director of the Coalition for Peace Action
May 22, 2020
"'The thing that bothers me the most is that it could give people the mistaken impression… that somehow those laws don’t apply in those municipalities and of course, that’s wrong,' said Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action which helps run Ceasefire New Jersey.
The state has one of the lowest per capita gun deaths in the country, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data and Moore worries any effort to rescind gun laws could increase those deaths.
Still, gun activists across the state say they won’t stop until they can reverse the laws they argue infringe on their rights." (Click here to read full article.)
Advance event coverage: "Hands Up pays homage to lives affected by gun violence," NJ.com
and " PRIME Gallery Presents HANDS UP (A Campaign for Peace)," New Jersey Stage
Click here for event details. Ceasefire New Jersey will be speaking at this art gallery fundraiser,which will serve as a tribute to the lives that were lost during the 2019 Jersey City shootings on Martin Luther King Drive this past December. The tribute will also feature the works of artist Jahahd Payne, a victim of gun violence, pictured below.
A percentage of proceeds for the show will be donated to Ceasefire NJ.
"We have learned several important lessons from the debacle in Iowa: always have a paper ballot that can be recounted in an emergency and can be audited to assure the accuracy of the tabulating machines; use the least amount of technology for voting to minimize machine errors and potential hacks; create the most secure and resilient voting system to give voters confidence in election results.
Unfortunately, New Jersey fails on all counts. Using paperless, aging, insecure machines can lead to failed elections. We must take action now, before it is too late, to make sure that the June primary and November presidential elections create an accurate record of voters’ intent. Contact your county officials and demand hand-marked paper ballots and optical scan tabulating machines (the most secure and least expensive voting system)!
In 2005 the legislature passed a law requiring voter verified paper ballots and in 2008 a law requiring post-election audits. Neither law was implemented because of lack of funds. The federal government has awarded New Jersey $11 million for election security.
Tell Governor Murphy that this money should be used to purchase optical scan machines for New Jersey to enable implementation of the existing laws!" (Click here to read full article.)
"More than 200 protestors gathered for a “No War with Iran” rally at Hinds Plaza next to the Princeton Public Library on Saturday afternoon, January 11.
Under sunny skies with spring-like temperatures, 10 different speakers from political, academic, religious, and military communities addressed the crowd, many of whom carried signs or posters expressing anti-war sentiments.
Sponsored by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), along with the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice (BRC), Muslims for Peace, and Indivisible Cranbury, the rally was a response to the January 3 drone killing of Major General Qasem Soleimani ordered by President Trump.
Protestors carried signs bearing such messages as “Diplomacy Not War,” “Trump Lies and People Die,” “Remove Trump,” Prevent WW III,” “No Imperial Presidency,” and more.
“Say No to War,” sang singer/songwriter Sharleen Leahey. “What are we gonna tell our children? When are we gonna end all this madness?” as the audience joined in on the chorus.
“What needs to happen now is serious engagement and diplomacy,” CFPA Executive Director the Rev. Robert Moore told the crowd. “We know that diplomacy works. It’s time to have diplomacy, not war with Iran.”" (Click here to read full article.)
"Hundreds Attend 'No War with Iran' Protest in Town," The Daily Princetonian, by Evelyn Doskoch, Jan. 12, 2020
“We know that diplomacy works,” said CPFA Executive Director Reverend Robert Moore, as the crowd cheered and applauded. “We know it works with Iran. And it’s time to have it happen again. Diplomacy, not war with Iran!”
At the Princeton rally, speakers described the current political situation and argued against American military action. Rallygoers bore signs saying “Diplomacy Not War,” “Remove Trump,” “Hands Off the Middle East,” and “Prevent WWIII,” among others.
Other speakers in attendance were CFPA board member, Irene Etkin Goldman, U.S. and U.K. veteran fighter pilot Richard Moody, Democratic Party Vice Chairman Ali Mirza of Long Island’s Nassau County, Chief Activist Robt Seda-Schreiber of the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, and former UN official Salim Lone. (Click here to read the full article.)
"Peace Coalition Plans Anti-War Rally, Voter Campaign, Multifaith Service," Town Topics, by Donald Gilpin, Jan. 8, 2020
"The Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) announced Tuesday that a Rally for No War with Iran will take place from 12-1 p.m. this Saturday, January 11, at Hinds Plaza adjacent to the Princeton Public Library.
[...] Another top priority for CFPA in the coming months is its Peace Voter Campaign, which it initiated in 1995, the first of its kind in the country. It has been a pioneer ever since in what has become a national model for effectively influencing elections for peace and gun violence prevention, according to Moore.
[...] The Rev. Dr. Deborah Banks, pastor of the Mount Pisgah AME Church of Princeton, will be the speaker for the Princeton Clergy Association’s Annual Multifaith Service to Commemorate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 20 at 7 p.m. Diverse faith leaders from a wide range of traditions will lead the multifaith worship service." (Click to read full report.)
"Traffic, Affordable Housing, Political Activism Grab 2019 Headlines," Town Topics, by Donald Gilpin and Anne Levin, Dec. 25, 2019
"In a town with so many high-powered organizations, Sustainable Princeton (SP), the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice (BRC), and the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) seemed to grab a particularly large share of the headlines in 2019.
... The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) faced many challenges on domestic and international issues in 2019. Gun violence prevention was a top priority throughout the year, with CFPA taking leadership in the passage of six new gun safety laws in New Jersey.
CFPA continued to advocate for intensified diplomacy with North Korea and Iran in its “Diplomacy, Not War” campaign, and sustained its drive to oppose the development and spread of nuclear weapons.
Under the leadership of Executive Director the Rev. Robert Moore, CFPA co-sponsored a number of forums, conferences, demonstrations, and interfaith services in support of peace and the environment, and it recently launched its Peace Voter 2020 Campaign to maximize its impact on next year’s elections."
"West Milford officials declare township sanctuary for 'lawful gun owners' in resolution," NorthJersey.com, by David M. Zimmer, December 16, 2019
"The Rev. Bob Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, said he appreciates the spirit of activism in the sprawling semi-rural community. However, he said the resolution is “wrongheaded and dangerous.”
“I’d like to see where they’re getting their information because red flag laws … are shown and proven to work,” Moore said. “It’s not just common sense. There was a potential shooter here in Princeton that they seized guns from. He was threatening to hurt people.”
Red flag laws give law enforcement officials the ability to temporarily remove weapons from people who are deemed by a judge to be a danger to themselves or to others." (Click to read full article with more quotes from Rev. Moore.)
"Longtime Russia expert Fiona Hill warned in her testimony in the impeachment inquiry that the Russians are going to hack into the 2020 election.
In 2018, the Democrats won almost all of the congressional seats in New Jersey, some by a very thin margin. The Republicans have vowed to take back those seats, so 2020 will see hard-fought races and potentially close elections. Because most of New Jersey votes on touchscreen machines without paper, a recount or audit is impossible. We will not be able to identify any hacking of the machines, foreign or domestic, and the machines themselves are very old and subject to breakdown or errors.
For 15 years, the Coalition for Peace Action has been calling for a transition to hand-marked paper ballots, optical scan machines to tabulate the votes, and ballot-marking devices for the disabled.
Neither Republican nor Democratic administrations have heeded this call, even though Gov. Phil Murphy made a signed campaign pledge to fund paper ballots and optical scan machines. It is time for the governor to fulfill his campaign promise.
I urge all those concerned to contact the governor and their county freeholders and demand hand-marked paper ballots for the 2020 primary."
- Stephanie Harris, Hopewell; chair, Voting Integrity Task Force, Coalition for Peace Action
"Spiritual adviser to Obama speaks on white nationalism," by Elizabeth Shwe, The Daily Princetonian, Nov. 12, 2019
"Reverend Jim Wallis, spiritual adviser to former president Barack Obama, was a guest preacher at the Princeton University Chapel on Sunday, Nov. 10.
Wallis was invited by the Coalition for Peace Action, a grassroots citizens organization based in the town of Princeton, to preach for its 40th Anniversary Multifaith Service and Conference. Wallis also spoke at the conference later in the afternoon at Nassau Presbyterian Church.
Wallis is the founder of Sojourners, which he describes as “a movement, here and around the world, trying to put faith into action for social justice” since 1971. Sojourners originated from a group of students from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, who began discussing their relationship between their faith and political issues around the Vietnam War.
Wallis known for being politically vocal, particularly against President Trump. He believes that the current administration is anti-immigrant, anti-truth, and white nationalist, and that those qualities are deal-breakers for any person who claims to be a follower of Jesus.
“White nationalism isn’t just racist. It’s antichrist,” Wallis said. “To demean women, harass with assault — it’s not just sexist, it’s antichrist. Racism is antichrist. He [Trump] is the best marketer for the worst in America.”
“Trump is striking fear in the people, which leads to hate, which leads to violence. Fear. Hate. Violence. That’s the direction he’s taking us,” Wallis added.
Wallis does not think that Trump’s policies agree with the teachings of Jesus.
“Jesus says you welcome the stranger, meaning the immigrant. Well, how are we welcoming the stranger? Building a wall? Really? That doesn’t work,” Wallis said." (Read full article here.)
"Coalition for Peace speaker urges the end of nuclear weapons," by Lea Kahn, Princeton Packet, Nov. 13, 2019
"Mankind has tried to harness and control nuclear energy in both war and peace, but the result has been death and disaster – from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Since there are likely to be more unforeseen accidents and tragedies, mankind has no choice but to disarm and search for solutions to provide energy and weapons.
That’s the message that Shiho Kikuzaki Burke delivered at the Coalition for Peace Action’s 40th anniversary Conference for Peace, which was held Nov. 10 at the Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton.
The Coalition for Peace Action seeks to abolish nuclear weapons.
Burke is intimately familiar with the topic of nuclear bombs. Her parents survived the attack on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, which was the first time that a nuclear bomb was unleashed on a civilian population." (Read full article here.)
"Daniel Ellsberg, a renowned whistleblower since he released the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times almost 50 years ago; and Jim Wallis, Sojourners magazine founder and editor, will be the headline speakers at a November 10 Princeton peace event, including a Multifaith Service at the Princeton University Chapel in the morning and an afternoon Conference for Peace at the Nassau Presbyterian Church on Nassau Street.
The 40th Anniversary Conference and Multifaith Service, sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) and co-sponsored by 37 area religious and civic groups, will also feature Ray Acheson, the U.S. representative of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons; Shiho Burke, who lived in Hiroshima until she was 13 and whose parents were present during the Hiroshima atomic bombing; Jenny Town, a research analyst at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C., and the managing editor and producer of 38 North, a web journal focusing on North Korea; and Frank von Hippel, Princeton University professor emeritus, MacArthur Prize recipient, and former assistant director of the White House Science Advisor’s Office." (Click here to read full report, and click here to register for the Conference!)
"Mercer’s Voting Machines: Old, Hackable, and Not Going Anywhere," by Rob Anthes, Front Page of U.S.1, Oct. 30, 2019
A voting machine malfunction in 2004 led Hopewell resident Stephanie Harris to file a lawsuit
that continued through the administrations of three governors. Photo by Suzette Lucas.
This past summer the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a report on the Russian government’s attacks on America’s election infrastructure. The report said there was an urgent need to secure America’s voting machines. It recommended states replace outdated and vulnerable machines with, at least, a voter-verified paper trail and to begin conducting statistically sound audits.
But in many New Jersey counties that won’t happen.
“It’s our feeling that the 2020 election will be one of the most important of our lifetimes, and New Jersey will be voting on a very, very vulnerable system,” said Harris, who now serves as chair of the Coalition for Peace Action’s voting integrity taskforce. “The whole thing is extremely frustrating.” (Click to read full in-depth article.)
"County buys $310K armored vehicle, but freeholders question if cops need military gear," by Olivia
Rizzo, front page of the Trenton Times, Sept. 14, 2019
"Rev. Robert Moore, of Princeton, is the executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, and represented its members at the meeting. Moore said he was concerned that the purchase of the armored vehicle would contribute to poor police-community relations in the county.
“Police militarization neither reduces the rate of violent crime nor changes the number of (officers assaulted) or killed, according to a study of 9,000 enforcement agents in the United States,” said Moore. “We all know that whether it’s intentional or not, in most cases it’s not, that there is a really strong bias in police action against people of color.”" (Read full article here.)
Letter to the Editor on Armored Vehicle Purchase, published in Trenton Times Sept. 17, 2019
Thank you for your coverage of the Mercer County Freeholder vote authorizing $310,000 to purchase an armored vehicle. Your reporter’s quote of my statement of opposition was accurate, but left out a key comma which made it hard to understand.
It should read: “We all know, whether it’s intentional or not, and in most cases it’s not (comma), that there is a really strong bias in police action against people of color.” My point was that most racially biased actions by law enforcement, is unconscious and therefore unintentional. But the results are still deadly.
For example, a recent study by Professors at Rutgers and two other universities concluded African Americans are 2.5 times as likely to be killed by police as whites.
We were certainly disappointed that the purchase was approved by a 4-2 vote. Kudos to Freeholders Andrew Koontz and Samuel Frisby for their no votes. I urge readers to contact those two to thank them; and to contact the others to express their opposition. Use http://bit.ly/armoredvehicle to find how to contact them.
The last thing we need is more militarization of police that undermines positive police-community relations, the most important metric for safety of the community and the officers.
The Rev. Robert Moore
The writer is executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action.
"N.J. county set to buy armored vehicle despite fears of ‘militarized’ policing," by Nicholas Pugliese, WHYY, Sept. 11, 2019
"A number of local organizations have come out against the purchase, however, including the NAACP of Trenton, and the Princeton Community Democratic Organization.
Rev. Bob Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, pointed to a recent study by a Princeton University researcher that found “militarized” policing tactics, such as the use of SWAT teams, neither reduces violent crime, nor keeps police safer.
“And we know for sure, of course, from the experience of Ferguson, that it really wrecks things in terms of police-community relations and sends exactly the wrong signal,” Moore said. A show of force by police in that city in 2014 only fueled the anger of those protesting the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer.
Several local groups also object to the vehicle’s price tag, especially since New Jersey counties already have access to the three armored vehicles owned by the State Police." (Read full article here.)
"Pushback builds against Mercer County $300,000 armored car purchase," by LA Parker, The Trentonian, Sept. 9, 2019
"King sounded the alarm about racism, materialism and militarism.
His final topic tethers a situation being played out with Mercer County Freeholders who eye a request made by Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler. The county's top law enforcement officer supports the purchase of a $287,000 armored vehicle.
Opponents of the proposal condemn what they call a "militarization" of county law enforcement. Freeholders will discuss the matter on Tuesday (6 p.m) followed by a vote on the matter on Thursday, Sept. 12. Coalition For Peace Action, a Princeton-based organization, urged county residents and other peace enthusiasts to contact freeholders or attend a meeting to stop the purchase." (Read full article here.)
"Nakashima Speaks at Hinds Plaza Rally Commemorating Hiroshima, Nagasaki," Town Topics, by Wendy Greenberg, August 7, 2019
"Monday evening’s commemoration of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki took on a broad, timely message as speakers addressed immigrant detention at the U.S. southern border; recent U.S. shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas; and nuclear crises between the U.S. and Iran and North Korea.
The event on Hinds Plaza, sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), began with the peaceful strains of the shakuhachi, a Japanese flute played by Glenn Swann, and ended in candlelight. A minute of silence was observed at 7:15 p.m., which corresponded to 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima (the Nagasaki bomb was dropped August 9).
“Unfortunately, there is no guarantee this will never happen again,” said CFPA Assistant Director Niki VanAller. The grassroots group calls for abolishing nuclear weapons, encouraging a peace economy, and halting weapons trafficking through changing public policy and education.
“I think the event did a really good job of relating the past to the present and interconnected forms of violence,” VanAller said Tuesday. “The goal is not to say whether the bombings were right or wrong, but to remember the devastation was horrific, and today we have more powerful weapons, so we have to prevent that from happening again.”" (Read full article here).
Speakers Dr. Rob Goldston and Mira Nakashima (photo by Wendy Greenberg)
"Tightening Gun-Control Laws and Making NJ Smarter about Smart Guns," by Colleen O'Dea, NJ Spotlight, June 14, 2019
"A year after New Jersey enacted a half-dozen bills that beefed up its already tough gun control laws, Assembly members on Thursday took the first step toward passing another eight restrictions. On the docket, a new bill to correct problems with the state’s current smart-gun law that would finally bring these handguns that advocates say can save lives to market.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee’s two-hour hearing brought out dozens of activists on both sides of the gun-control debate, and committee members heard many of the same arguments that are part of the national discussion: Control advocates said tighter controls save lives; gun owners complained about infringements on their Second Amendment rights. All but one of the measures cleared the committee with the four Democrats voting “yes” and the two Republicans voting “no” or abstaining. The eighth bill passed unanimously.
...Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, said New Jersey has the fifth-lowest rate of gun deaths per capita in the nation because of the strict firearms laws.
“New Jersey already has good laws, but they need to be made even better to save more lives,” Moore said. He cited studies that found gun deaths dropped 40 percent in Connecticut a decade after the state strengthened its laws, while deaths increased 16 percent in Missouri after that state weakened its gun statutes. “These are the facts. Gun safety laws save lives.”
Moore was one of the proponents of the smart gun law New Jersey enacted in 2002 and said the bill, A-1016, that seeks to revise that law will also save lives." (Click here to read full article).
"A Look at 8 Gun-Control Measures NJ Lawmakers are Considering," by Michael Symons, New Jersey 101.5, June 14, 2019
"Eight gun-control bills were advanced Thursday by an Assembly committee, including a proposal that would make firearms purchaser identification cards valid for four years, rather than indefinitely, and require training before a person could obtain them or purchase permits.
The package also would change the state’s personalized handgun law by requiring such "smart guns" to be available at retailers but not exclusively, should the technology reach the market; expand rules for how guns are stored in homes; regulate the sale of handgun ammunition.
“We have very good laws already, but they need to be made even better to save more lives,” said the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action and its Ceasefire NJ project." (Click here to read full article).
Bolton’s saber-rattling toward Iran
Reports of a U.S. aircraft carrier being sent toward Iran to counter a supposed imminent threat are eerily reminiscent of the lead-up to the Iraq War, one of the biggest boondoggles in U.S. military history. National Security Advisor John Bolton, one of the same warmongers who advocated that disastrous war of mass deception and never expressed regret, is at it again.
Three years after the Iraq War, the American public realized they had been neo-conned into it. We in the Coalition for Peace Action organized to help elect an anti-war majority in the U.S. House. Even then, it was five more long years, and up to a million casualties later, before the U.S. stopped that war.
Saber rattling with threats of attack on Iran could trigger a catastrophic war far worse than Iraq. Iran is a much larger country, with a far more powerful military and the ability to inflict severe damage in the region and around the world.
Sustained diplomacy is the only thing that can succeed in preventing war and nuclear proliferation.
- The Rev. Robert Moore, Princeton
The writer is Executive Director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action.
'“Guns Down” Author To Present New Ways to Stop Gun Violence," by Donald Gilpin, Town Topics, May 1, 2019
Igor Volsky, author of Guns Down: How to Defeat the NRA and Build a Safer Future with Fewer Guns (2019), will speak on Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton on Cherry Hill Road.
Volsky is the co-founder and executive director of Guns Down America, which is dedicated to building a future with fewer guns. Formed in 2016 after a mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, the organization has a new approaches to combating gun violence, creating a ranking system that gives large banks letter grades based mainly on their connections to gun makers and groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Volsky, according to an April 4 New York Times article, said he hoped the grading system would put pressure on banks to support gun control measures in the same way that many companies have taken stands on other social issues. (Click here to read full article)
Letter to the Editor on Yemen Legislation, Trenton Times, April 8, 2019
"Nuclear Weapons Experts Speak At CFPA Membership Gathering," Town Topics, Donald Gilpin, April 3, 2019
"Reduce the danger of nuclear weapons was the message at the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) membership renewal gathering Sunday, March 31 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton.
A crowd of about 75 CFPA members heard three nuclear weapons experts — Zia Mian, co-director of Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security; Rob Goldston, Princeton University physicist; and Lydia Wood, campaign coordinator at NuclearBan.US — present the case for nuclear disarmament and the means to achieve it. CFPA Executive Director the Rev. Robert Moore introduced the speakers and moderated the proceedings.
... Moore noted the extensive questioning by the audience and the high level of engagement. “Any time nuclear weapons get used, there’s the risk of catastrophic destruction beyond what any of us can imagine,” he concluded. “We need to use every possible means to save ourselves from destroying ourselves.”" (Read full article here).
"Princeton Protestors, Experts at State House Press Peace Agenda," Town Topics, by Donald Gilpin, March 13, 2019
"“NO U.S. WAR ON VENEZUELA!”: About 30 demonstrators gathered on Nassau Street in Palmer Square Monday afternoon, calling for a prohibition on unauthorized military action in Venezuela. Earlier in the day Princeton physicists Zia Mian and Frank von Hippel and Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) Executive Director the Rev. Robert Moore testified in Trenton in support of an anti-nuclear Assembly resolution sponsored by Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker." (Click to read full article!)
""No US War on Venezuela Vigil" takes place in Palmer Square," by Naomi Hess, The Daily Princetonian, March 12, 2019
Picture by Claire Thornton
"At the protest, CFPA Executive Director Reverend Robert Moore, a retired pastor, explained why he believes the United States should not use military force in Venezuela.
“The situation in Venezuela is getting worse and worse,” Moore said. “Even worse than that, among the fifty that are supporting Maduro’s opponent, we’re the only country saying we might intervene militarily, and that is outrageous. We need to take that off the table.”
Moore acknowledged the crisis facing Venezuela and advocated for non-military action." (Read full article here).
Click to watch Back Story with Joan Goldstein, featuring Executive Director, Rev. Bob Moore!
Dr. Joan Goldstein talks with three guests, a professor of Astrophysics at Princeton University; a Research Scholar, and a Minister with Peace Action Coalition on the dangers in today's world of the marketing of nuclear power internationally. One guest, Bruce G. Blair Research Scholar in the Program on Science and Global Security, and Co-Founder of Global Zero had just returned from an international conference in Munich and discusses their concerns.
"More than 300 spirited demonstrators gathered in Hinds Plaza outside the Princeton Public Library at noon Monday to protest President Trump’s emergency declaration to obtain funding for a border wall.
Warning against “an imperial presidency,” “fascism,” and the deterioration of democracy, ten speakers, including ministers, politicians, public officials, and others, expressed strong opposition to Trump’s actions and called for resistance on numerous fronts.
Blustery winds and cold temperatures did not temper the determination and anger of the speakers and their supporters, who repeatedly chanted “No Emergency, No Wall, No Wars,” and held up signs proclaiming “Stop Trump,” “Dictatorship is Un-American; Congress Rules the Purse,” “We Stand With Immigrants and Asylum Seekers,” “Fake Emergency, Fake President,” and other similar sentiments.
“It might be cold right now, but our blood is boiling,” said the Rev. Carlton Branscomb of the First Baptist Church in Princeton. “We are hot against this issue in front of us now, so let us stand up together.”" (Read full article here).
"Protestors denounce Trump’s national emergency declaration to fund border wall," NJ.com, Patti Sapone, Feb. 18, 2019
"More than 200 people gathered in Princeton Monday to protest President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency to obtain funding for a wall along the Mexican border.
It was one of many protests planned across the nation. In Princeton, they gathered at Hinds Plaza near the Princeton Public Library
The theme was, "No Emergency, No Wall, No Wars," and it was organized by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action in collaboration with the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice and Moveon.org.
Many of the protestors carried homemade signs expressing opposition to the wall, and Trump.
Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert was among the many speakers. She said President Trump has a bad habit of calling real things fake and pretending that fake things are real.
“The truth is, illegal crossings are down over the past two decades, there is no crisis at our nation’s border,” Lempert said. “We do have problems with our immigration system, but wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on an unpopular and ineffective wall is not going to help, it will make things worse.”" (Read full article here).
This letter was also published in the Trenton Times on Feb. 8, 2019
The current crisis in Venezuela, with an anti-democratic, dictatorial leader bringing it to the point of collapse, is profoundly troubling. But given the long history of US military interventions in virtually every nation of Latin America, it is outrageous that President Trump is threatening that yet again. Previous interventions, frequently executed secretly by the CIA, have usually made the situation worse, not better.
Most distressing is the damage to America’s reputation as a great democracy, the supposed leader of the “free world.” Since World War II, Freedom House has ranked the world’s nations in terms of how democratic they are.
Shamefully, the position of the US — which had until now ranked at or near the top — has fallen significantly in the 2018 ranking just released. The US now ranks behind Latvia and Greece.
Donald Trump has repeatedly violated democratic norms, most recently threatening to undermine the Constitution to fund his Wall without Congressional action. So, it’s not surprising that Trump threatens military action in Venezuela while refusing to collaborate on peaceful approaches.
It is urgent that Trump rescind the threat of military intervention.
- The Rev. Robert Moore
The writer is executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action.
Letter to the Editor on No First Use in Trenton Times, Feb. 2, 2019
"Multifaith Service Honors M.L. King, Celebrates Diversity," by Donald Gilpin, Town Topics, Jan 23, 2019
"A congregation of almost 300 packed the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton on Monday night to commemorate the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Hosted by the Princeton Clergy Association (PCA) and the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), the multifaith service was conducted by more than a dozen faith leaders from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions, with several area choirs and musicians also participating.
Ruha Benjamin, chair of the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Princeton and Princeton University associate professor of African American Studies, delivered the sermon: “The Year is 2069: What in the WorldHave We Done?”
Reflecting on King’s message for our time, Benjamin urged, “Nothing short of a revolution of values, in King’s words, can lead to a shift from a thing society to a person society.”" (Read full report here).
"In the forefront of political activity in Princeton, the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) and its executive director, the Rev. Bob Moore, were constantly in the news. From spearheading gun-control initiatives with its Ceasefire NJ Project to advocating for abolition of nuclear weapons and urging “diplomacy not war” in negotiations with North Korea and Iran; to its leadership in promoting conferences, multifaith services, candlelight vigils, and the March for Our Lives, the CFPA is experiencing perhaps the busiest period in its more than 35-year history." (Read full article here).
Letter to the Editor in Trenton Times, Dec 10, 2018
Preaching to a congregation of about 800 in the Princeton University Chapel on Sunday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, iconic civil rights, religious, and political leader, called for hope and perseverance in the current troubled political climate.
“Is it dusk moving toward midnight or dawn moving toward noon time?” he questioned in his sermon leading off the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) annual Multifaith Service and Conference for Peace.
Joining Jackson at the afternoon conference attended by about 250 at the Nassau Presbyterian Church, speakers included Ambassador Wendy Sherman, head of the U.S. team that negotiated the Iran nuclear agreement; Ray Acheson, a leader of the International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons; Leon Sigal, director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project at the Social Science Research Council in New York; and Bill Hartung, an internationally recognized expert on Pentagon spending and the global arms trade. (Read full article here.)
CFPA's Executive Director, the Rev. Robert Moore, with the Rev. Jesse Jackson before the Multifaith Service for Peace
"Should it be illegal for N.J. cops to drink while carrying guns? Grieving family says yes," Rebecca Everett, Trenton Times, Nov. 4, 2018
"In Texas, it's illegal to carry a gun into a bar.
In Tennessee, you can bring your handgun into a bar, but you can't have even a sip of alcohol.
In Iowa, the threshold for when you're too drunk to carry a gun is the same as driving: .08.
Many states have similar laws -- but not New Jersey.
It may be because the state's strict laws mean most carrying handguns are current or retired officers, and you might think cops know better than to get drunk while armed.
But that's exactly what happened when Michael Gaffney lost his life to a drunk, off-duty cop in 2016.
Now that his killer has been convicted, his loved ones want lawmakers to create and pass a bill they're calling "Gaffney's Law."
[...] After hearing about the proposed law Friday, Rev. Robert Moore, the executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, in Princeton, which includes the anti-gun violence group CeaseFire, said it sounds like the kind of legislation his group could get behind.
"We should proactively take steps to stop that from reoccurring," he said of Gaffney's death.
He said it would need refining, such as specifying whether the legal limit would be .08, as it is for driving a car.
"It certainly sounds like a good idea and a reasonable, common-sense idea," he said." (Read full article here).
"Hundreds Join Vigil, Prayer Service for Tree of Life Victims," by Donald Gilpin, Town Topics, Oct. 31, 2018
"“It was important to go to a place where you feel supported, where you feel we’re in this together and we’re going to make it through,” said the Rev. Bob Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action. “It was heartening to see such a big turnout, people from across the faith spectrum. It was very uplifting and empowering.”
[...] In a press statement issued on Monday, Moore condemned “this virulent act of anti-Semitism and hate in the strongest possible terms” and also denounced the “inflammatory rhetoric” emanating from the White House. The statement urged all citizens to join the CFPA and their Ceasefire NJ project in calling for a national assault weapons ban. “They are weapons designed for the battlefield and are the weapon of choice for many mass shooters,” Moore wrote. “When they were nationally banned from 1994 to 2004, the number of deaths with them went down by two-thirds.”" (Read full article here).
Letter to the Editor - "Reverend says President's push to leave INF Treaty a bad decision," in the Princeton Packet, Oct. 24, 2018
To the editor:
I was proud to be a leader for building pressure and support for the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed in 1987, which banned land based medium range nuclear weapons for the US and the then Soviet Union (USSR). Those weapons, which had begun being deployed first by the USSR and then by the US, could reach Moscow in six minutes and put a hair trigger on nuclear war, making it much more likely.
President Donald Trump has just announced his intent to withdraw from this crucial treaty, which started a decades long series of nuclear reduction treaties and has helped reduce the numbers of nuclear warheads globally from 70,000 to about 15,000. Just as with the Iran Nuclear Agreement, instead of trying to fix existing treaties that are verifiably reducing the nuclear danger, he withdraws.
This continues Trump’s pattern of withdrawing from major treaties such as the Paris Climate Agreement, which undermines hard won gains toward reducing the two major threats to human survival: nuclear war and the climate crisis. It undermines a cornerstone of US security and strength as a global leader collaborating with countries around the world.
On top of that, the Trump Administration is planning a technological escalation of the US nuclear arsenal that will cost $1.7 trillion (about $15,000 per taxpaying household) and trigger a new nuclear arms race.
I know from over 40 years of full time organizing toward the global abolition of nuclear weapons that, with sustained citizen activism, major progress has been made, and can be again. Readers wanting to be involved in such efforts are urged to visit peacecoalition.org or call the Coalition for Peace Action at (609) 924-5022.
- The Rev. Robert Moore
The writer is executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action.
Letter to the Editor - "Peace organization supports Menendez," in the Princeton Packet, October 3, 2018
To the editor:
Recent polls show the U.S. Senate race in New Jersey is now a toss-up. As executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), I’ve had extensive experience with Sen. Bob Menendez and his senior aides. I’m writing to urge voters who care about gun violence prevention and international peace issues to support Sen. Menendez.
Sen. Menendez has been a champion of all legislation to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in the U.S. He advocates for universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and many other critical gun safety initiatives.
Sen. Menendez was a strong, outspoken opponent of the Iraq War. When the last nuclear weapons reduction treaty came before the Senate in 2010, Sen. Menendez was a leader in its successful ratification.
When the Iran Nuclear Agreement was up for consideration, Sen. Menendez met with our delegation before deciding to oppose it in 2014. While we were disappointed with his decision, when President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from that agreement, he decided to advocate for the country to remain in it.
I urge New Jersey voters who care about peace and violence reduction in the US and abroad to vote for Sen. Menendez on November 6.
-Rev. Robert Moore, Executive Director, Coalition for Peace Action
"Ocean County Residents Rally for Peace," by Bob Vosseller, Jersey Shore Online, September 26, 2018
"All they were saying was give peace a chance. More than 50 people came out to chant, sing, and discuss the need and benefits of ending all wars to make the world a better place during a rally held in front of the Toms River Township Municipal building on Washington Street.
The rally, which included music, numerous signs, posters and banners and a march around the sidewalk of the downtown area, was hosted by the Green Party of Ocean County. The rally was co-hosted and included speakers from Our Revolution Ocean County, Green Party of Monmouth County, Industrial Union Council, Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War, Coalition for Peace Action, New Jersey Revolution Radio, Help Not Handcuffs and several other organizations." (Click to read full report).
Letter in Response to John Haines, Town Topics, September 19, 2018
As Executive Director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), I’m writing in response to the letter from John Haines in your September 12 edition.
Responding to the earlier letter from CFPA Assistant Director Niki VanAller, he characterized her assertion that “Iran has no nuclear weapons to date” as among her “serial mis-statements.” He then goes on to list alleged actions by Iran that he finds troubling, but in fact never refutes Ms. VanAller’s statement.
That might be because it’s not refutable. As part of the Iran Nuclear Agreement reached in 2015, the International Atomic Energy Agency has conducted the most stringent nuclear verification regime in history. They have not only repeatedly certified that Iran has no nuclear weapons, but also that it doesn’t have enough nuclear weapon grade material to make even a single nuclear warhead. If that Agreement is preserved, that would remain the case until at least 2025.
I know of no reputable expert who disagrees with Ms. VanAller’s factual statement that Iran currently has no nuclear weapons. Ms. VanAller and I work closely with world class nuclear weapon experts, a number of whom are scientists at Princeton University.
Thank goodness that Republican and Democratic Presidents for over 50 years have rejected the kind of linkage to other issues that Mr. Haines expresses, and instead have pursued focused verifiable agreements restricting and reducing nuclear weapons. As a result, the US and Russia have stopped nuclear weapon testing and reduced their nuclear arsenals by nearly 80%.
Our other assertion that the US has over 7,000 total nuclear warheads was slightly outdated. The most recent number as of late June, according to reputable sources is 6,550. However, under the rules of the START Treaties, that counts each US strategic bomber as carrying just one warhead, when they could carry up to 20.
The smaller figure cited by Mr. Haines is the number of strategic (long range) deployed warheads. The 6,550 number includes tactical (short range) warheads, as well as those held in reserve, in storage, and awaiting dismantlement. If needed, the latter three categories could be quickly re-deployed, and the US would have about 7,000 deliverable nuclear weapons.
Finally, Mr. Haines speculates how many US soldiers might have been killed without the atomic bombings. I therefore close with my following quote included in the press release for our annual Commemoration each year: “The purpose of these Commemorations is not to look back with 20-20 hindsight to question whether the atomic bombings in 1945 were justified. What’s done is done. Rather, our reason for having these commemorations is to remember the absolute horror that nuclear weapons represent, and the real and growing threat they present today.”
The Rev. Robert Moore is Executive Director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action.
"Dems' Bill Pushes Murphy to Move Faster on New Voting Machines," NJ 101.5, by Michael Symons, Sept. 10, 2018
""It would be our desire that 100 percent of any federal funds be used for new voting machines,” said Stephanie Harris, chairwoman of a voting integrity task force for the Coalition for Peace Action, which advocates for voter-verified paper ballots.
Harris estimates that optical-scanner voting systems, in which a person uses a pen or pencil to mark a ballot that’s then run through a machine for counting, would cost $36 million statewide if it purchased or less if it is leased.
The Brennan Center for Law and Justice at New York University estimates it would cost between $40.4 million and $63.5 million for New Jersey to replace all its voting machines.
Harris said Gov. Phil Murphy promised funding for optical-scan machines as a candidate but didn’t deliver in his first budget. She said the Legislature hasn’t in years, either, even after enacting a law in 2005 requiring voter-verified paper ballot machines by 2008.
“The voters of New Jersey are now at significant risk, and our government has failed us,” Harris said.
“The outrage is that the proposal of the use of federal money is to be used on a pilot project which, in their words, is a very small pilot project,” Harris said. “So if it’s only a few areas in a few counties in New Jersey, that means that the bulk of the voters in New Jersey will not benefit at all from those federal dollars.”
The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, said the proposed legislation – S2884/A4409, also sponsored by Sen. James Beach, D-Camden, and Assemblyman Roy Freiman, D-Somerset – is “a good start” toward voter-marked paper ballots.
“Pretty much anything that is electronically based can malfunction and be hacked,” Moore said. “It’s actually shameful that New Jersey is one of just five states that doesn’t have that essential security device in place.”" (Click to read full article).
Letter to the Editor on Kavanaugh's Nomination, Trenton Times, Sept. 7, 2018
"Jackson, Sherman Highlight Coalition for Peace Fall Conference," by Donald Gilpin, Town Topics, Aug. 29, 2018
"The Rev. Jesse Jackson will be the keynote speaker at the Princeton University Chapel on November 11, preaching at the 39th Annual Multifaith Service sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA).
For the CFPA’s Conference for Peace that afternoon at the Nassau Presbyterian Church, the renowned civil rights, religious, and political figure will be joined by Wendy Sherman, lead U.S. negotiator for the Iran nuclear agreement; Ray Acheson, steering group member for the International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons and part of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning effort last summer to pass the nuclear weapons prohibition treaty at the U.N.; and Bill Hartung, internationally-recognized expert on the issues of Pentagon spending and the global arms race.
“I’m thrilled to have such a dynamite collection of speakers, with Jesse Jackson kicking it off,” said CFPA Executive Director the Rev. Bob Moore.
“There’s a great lineup of speakers,” CFPA Assistant Director Niki VanAller concurred. “Jesse Jackson has been a leading voice for peace for so long. He speaks to a wide audience, different generations, and different backgrounds.” She went on to note Jackson’s involvement in working for a peaceful resolution to the current Korean nuclear arms conflict. “He recently returned from South Korea, where he was spreading a peace message, advocating more humanitarian approaches to Korea,” she said." (Read full article here).
"Coalition for Peace Action Responds To Letter on Use of Atomic Weapons," Town Topics, Aug. 29, 2018
To the Editor:
In his August 22 letter [“Personal Experiences Lead to Different View of Weapons Used Against Japan”], Mr. Bill McJames of Hillsborough takes issue with the Coalition for Peace Action’s annual gathering to commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Like many, he believes that the two atom bombs dropped on Japan in 1945 were the primary cause of the Japanese surrender and thus prevented massive casualties on both sides from an otherwise inevitable U.S. land invasion of Japan.
It is worth mentioning that modern historians vigorously dispute this interpretation of the causes for the Japanese surrender. However, the focus of the Annual Commemoration held by the Coalition for Peace Action is not to look backwards in time and decide if the bombings were right or wrong. True, the destruction caused by those two relatively small atomic bombs was horrific. But the detonation of just a fraction of the thousands of today’s immensely more powerful nuclear weapons could essentially end life on our planet. That is the awful future we must strive to prevent.
And that is why we favor diplomacy, not war, with Iran and North Korea. Thanks to diplomacy, Iran has no nuclear weapons to date; and if President Trump hadn’t withdrawn from the Iran Nuclear Agreement, Iran could not produce such weapons for at least a decade. North Korea does have dozens of nuclear weapons. But the U.S. has over 7,000 of them, far more than anyone can argue might be useful for deterrence.
Agreements like the one with Iran have decreased the danger of nuclear weapons. The U.S. should move back into compliance with the Iran Agreement and should pursue a verifiable agreement with North Korea as well. And we should also enter into negotiations that reduce the threat of nuclear weapons for everyone.
In remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki each year, the Coalition for Peace Action calls for the global abolition of nuclear weapons. This is not an impossible dream. After all, our nuclear reduction agreements with the former USSR have reduced nuclear warheads by about 80 percent to date. And a global agreement could be achieved by all nations complying with the UN’s Nuclear Ban Treaty, which was overwhelmingly approved last summer. Instead of rationalizing the past, we must move forward into a nuclear-free future.
Assistant Director, Coalition for Peace Action
"N.J. is getting $10M to safeguard elections from hacking. It may not be enough," by S.P. Sullivan, Trenton Times, Aug. 17, 2018
"Stephanie Harris, the chair of a voting task force at the nonprofit group Coalition for Peace Action, said New Jersey's election vulnerabilities date back far longer than 2016.
Her group was part of a years-long legal fight to force New Jersey to replace its current machines -- most of which collect and record votes electronically -- with ones that produce a paper record that can later be audited if questions arise.
Harris said the most immediate threat to election integrity in New Jersey had "nothing to do with Russia, but with human error or a malevolent action" in local elections, where a race can hinge on a handful of votes.
She said Gov. Phil Murphy -- who told her group during his campaign that he supported the move to paper ballots -- could issue an executive order speeding up the process in time for the November elections." (Read full article here).
Trenton Times Letter to the Editor, "Push for Peace on Korean Peninsula, "August 16, 2018
"Activists call for denuclearization 73 years after Hiroshima, Nagasaki," by Samantha Brandbergh, The Princeton Packet, August 10, 2018
"Messages of peace, love and unity echoed through Hinds Plaza last Sunday, as attendees remembered how history was changed forever the moment American forces dropped the only two nuclear weapons ever used in an attack more than 70 years ago.
Hosted by the Coalition for Peace Action, the evening was predominantly used as a time to mark the 73rd anniversary of the World War II nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where upwards of 15,000 and 75,000 people were instantly killed, respectively.
At 7:16 p.m., which corresponds with the moment at 8:16 a.m. JST when the bomb dubbed “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, attendees held a moment of silence.
Following that somber display, the Solidarity Singers of the New Jersey State Industrial Union Council performed before Nobel Peace Prize nominee David Steinberg gave a poetry reading.
And while a major focus was on the two Japanese cities and their shared nuclear devastation, the evening of remembrance also featured presentations on a variety of topics, from abolishing nuclear weapons to the importance on non-violence in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and beyond." (Click here to read full coverage of the event).
"About 90 people gathered downtown in Hinds Park last Sunday evening for a rally to commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and “to bear witness to the urgent need for global nuclear weapons abolition,” according to the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), which sponsored the event.
In addition to the keynote speech by nuclear weapons historian Alex Wellerstein on “Reinventing Civil Defense,” poetry readings by 2018 Nobel Peace Prize nominee David Steinberg, and a performance by the Solidarity Singers, the program featured a visit from Black Lives Matter leader Hawk Newsome, who was piloting a small group of marchers on their way from New York City to Washington D.C. to counter-protest the Unite the Right rally planned for this weekend in D.C. on the anniversary of last year’s violent white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville." (Read full coverage by clicking here).
"Action Must Be Taken to Protect Our Votes," Letter to the Editor by Stephanie Harris, CFPA Member, in The Princeton Packet, August 8, 2018
"To the editor:
Less than four months remain before one of the most consequential elections of our time, and New Jersey is one of five states that still vote on unauditable paperless direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines. The U.S. intelligence community has stated that these electronic voting machines are a threat to our national security. Intelligence officials believe that Russia attempted to manipulate the results of the 2016 election in almost one-third of the states in the nation and that it will try to do so again this year.
Paperless electronic voting machines cannot be trusted to count votes accurately, are easily manipulated by malevolent actors and the resulting votes are not verifiable after the fact. Evidence of manipulation became clear in an election in Cumberland County in 2011, which had to be decertified and conducted again because the DRE machines wrongfully gave the winner’s tallies to the loser.
In 2005, our state legislators sought to protect New Jersey from threats to the accuracy, integrity and security of our elections by passing legislation requiring a voter-verified paper ballot for every vote cast. Four years later, they required a manual audit of those paper ballots. However, neither of those critically necessary laws has ever been implemented due to lack of funding.
Prior to the 2017 gubernatorial election, then candidate Phil Murphy pledged to the Coalition for Peace Action to replace all of our aging paperless voting machines with paper ballots and optical scan technology and to implement the audit law. Even without the purchase of new precinct-based optical scanners, paper ballots could still be counted by the central optical scan machines in each county used for tabulating absentee ballots, and should be made subject to the already existing manual audit law.
Our state legislature has done nothing to solve the threat that continued use of paperless DREs will subject our elections to this November. We know that other states have successfully transitioned to paper ballots with optical scanners in two months’ time without incident. With courageous leadership, New Jersey could achieve this as well.
Please urge Governor Murphy to keep his promise and protect our upcoming elections. Decertify all paperless DREs in this state immediately, and require paper ballot voting systems in time for the November elections."
Chair of Voting Integrity Task Force
Coalition for Peace Action
PRESS RELEASE - "Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemorations in Princeton & Doylestown Aug. 5-6," published in Common Dreams, August 1, 2018
The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) is sponsoring three events in conjunction with the 72ndanniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On Sunday, August 5, the first commemoration event will begin with a Bring-Your-Own Picnic at 6 PM (no alcoholic beverages permitted), followed by a Program from 7:00-8:45 PM at Hinds Plaza, adjacent to the Princeton Public Library at 65 Witherspoon Street.
The Program will begin at 7:00 PM and will include a minute of silence at 7:16 PM, which corresponds to the Japanese time that the bomb dropped on Hiroshima (8:16 AM on August 6), killing about 140,000 civilians and gravely wounding hundreds of thousands more.
The Program’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Alex Wellerstein, a historian of nuclear weapons from Stevens Institute of Technology. His general research interests are in the history of nuclear technology, government secrecy, and Cold War science. Poet David Steinberg, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, will read poems. The Solidarity Singers of the New Jersey State Industrial Union Council will provide music.
Also on Sunday, August 5, CFPA Executive Director, the Rev. Robert Moore, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who has been working full time to globally abolish nuclear weapons for over 40 years, will preach on The Faith Imperatives of the Nuclear Weapons Era at the 10 AM Christian Worship Service at Christ Congregation, 50 Walnut Lane in Princeton. The public is invited.
“The purpose of these Commemorations is not to look back with 20-20 hindsight to question whether the atomic bombings in 1945 were justified. What’s done is done. Rather, our reason for having these commemorations is to remember the absolute horror that nuclear weapons represent, and the real and growing threat they present today. On this 72nd Anniversary, we call for building on last summer’s passage of the Nuclear Ban Treaty at the UN, and re-commit ourselves to working for the global abolition of nuclear weapons so such total destruction can never again be inflicted,” said the Rev. Robert Moore, CFPA’s executive director.
This New York Times Magazine article mentions a conference in Lansdale, PA that was co-organized by the Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare, a CFPA project.
The article also highlights Chris Antal several times, a Unitarian Universalist minister with whom INDW works frequently.
"Prayer Service and Vigil for Peace Seek Diplomacy Not War With Korea," by Donald Gilpin in Town Topics, June 13, 2018
"As preparations were continuing in Singapore for the summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, 50 people gathered at the Nassau Presbyterian Church on Sunday evening for an hour-long multifaith service for peace inside the church followed by a candlelight vigil outside.
Sponsored by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, the service was organized by the Rev. Dave Davis, senior pastor of Nassau Presbyterian and president of the Princeton Clergy Association, along with CFPA Executive Director the Rev. Robert Moore, and featured contributions from 10 different area faith leaders.
Applauding the progress made so far in the summit talks, Moore said, “I’m pleased as long as the momentum goes forward. Diplomacy involves sticking with it even if you’re only getting a partial success.”
Moore commented on the “positive, respectful” tone of the proceedings and the “great potential for progress.” He mentioned, “It’s going to take some time [about 15 years according to some experts] for the denuclearization of North Korea, but we have momentum now to confront this challenging, complex situation.”" (Read full report here).
"Trump's foreign policy highly dangerous," Letter to the Editor in the Trenton Times, May 27, 2018, by Marc Tolo, CFPA's Vice Chair
"Bolton Wants War," Letter to the Editor in the Trenton Times, May 17, 2018, by the Rev. Bob Moore
"Iran Entanglements Ignite Two Rallies, In Town and at P.U.," by Donald Gilpin, Town Topics, May 16, 2018
"Only one day after Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, about 70 people gathered for an emergency protest rally organized by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), calling on the president and/or Congress to reverse that decision.
CFPA Executive Director Bob Moore described Trump’s decision as “outrageous, deeply disappointing, totally wrong-headed.” He continued, “Yes, we have concerns about Iran’s behavior, but we have to engage and resolve our problems through diplomacy — diplomacy not war. We can still salvage this agreement, but we may be on a track now that leads to military confrontation.”
Other speakers included Princeton University physicist Rob Goldston, an expert on the Iran nuclear agreement; Iranian-American physician Ahmad Farzad; Frank von Hippel, professor emeritus of public and international affairs at Princeton University and former assistant director of the White House Science Advisor’s office; Mark Pepper, CFPA treasurer; and Niki VanAller, CFPA assistant director.
“Trump said some things to us, most of which were lies,” Goldston said. Pointing out “falsehoods” “alternate facts,” and “misleading statements” in Trump’s rationale for reneging on the agreement, Goldston argued that Iran had not been the perpetrator of terrorist attacks on the U.S. in the past 20 years; that Iran had essentially stopped its nuclear program in 2003, and all Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s evidence to the contrary came from before 2003; and that the U.S. needs to continue working with its international partners — the European Union, Russia, and China, who have remained in the agreement." (Read full article here).
"Coalition for Peace Action to host emergency rally tonight to protest Trump’s decision on Iran deal," by Kyrstal Knapp, Planet Princeton, May 9, 2018
"In response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision on Tuesday to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Agreement, the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action will hold an emergency protest rally on Hinds Plaza from 5 to 6 p.m. this evening, May 9, to call on the federal government to reverse the decision." (Read full article here).
Coverage on May 9th Emergency Iran Rally & June 3rd Membership Dinner, by Donald Gilpin in Town Topics, May 9, 2018
"With U.S.-Iran relations on a delicate footing, the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) had beenpressing government officials to maintain the agreement that has halted, or at least delayed, Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.
“It’s not perfect. Iran’s behavior is troubling, but you can’t solve all the problems in one agreement,” said CFPA Executive Director the Rev. Bob Moore.
Moore had anticipated Trump’s decision and warned of possible consequences of withdrawing. “It’s likely Iran will pursue nuclear weapons on a fast track if we withdraw from this agreement. Things could go downhill very quickly.”
Just at press time, Moore announced that the CFPA will hold a rally at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, in Hinds Plaza to oppose Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran.
On a more positive note, Moore pointed out astonishing progress between North and South Korea and reported that Korea expert Jessica Lee, interim executive director at the Council of Korean Americans, will be the keynote speaker at the CFPA 38th Anniversary gathering on Sunday, June 3 at the Mackay Campus Center of Princeton Theological Seminary.
Lee was a staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives, first handling the Asia portfolio for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and as a senior legislative assistant for a member of the House Ways and Means Committee." (Click here to read full article).
"The End of the Korean War? Videos of DMZ “Two Koreas” Meeting, and More," by Ed Aguilar, in The Peace Report, April 28, 2018
"The reasonable approach once again, is that of President Moon Jae-in. His formula for a Roadmap to Peace, is “Action-for- Action.” That is, over a defined period, say two years, “the North takes steps to dismantle its nuclear arsenal” and in return gets “economic benefits and security guarantees.” Moon sees himself as an honest broker—he recognizes that both Trump and Kim will have to concede some of their hardline points in order to achieve a workable Roadmap. The final reward for all, is a permanent Korean Peace Treaty.
As a director of the Coalition for Peace Action, I’ve watched many negotiating projects take place, from New START with Russia, to the Iran Agreement, both of which we actively supported, and which took years of concentrated talks—and need to be continued, not ended. It is time for Trump and Kim to concentrate their minds and their policies, and sign on to a Roadmap to a permanent peace in the Korean Peninsula." (Click to read full article).
"Press Trump to Maintain Peace," Letter to the Editor in the Trenton Times, by the Rev. Bob Moore, April 25, 2018
Joan talks with the Rev. Bob Moore, Executive Director, Coalition for Peace Action, and Dolores Phillips, Legislative Director of Ceasefire NJ. in a thorough, timely and informative look at where we are today. They were joined by Rev. Carol Haag, Unitarian Universalist Minister. And even as they shared views on assault weapons, unbeknownst to them, gunfire was reported at a Maryland high school. Rev. Moore pointed out that Assault Weapons were Banned in New Jersey since 1991, and banned nationally from 1994 to 2004 but were dropped in a "sunset clause." Dolores Phillips underscored the need for legislation. All of the speakers noted the upcoming March for Our Lives set for Saturday, March 24th in many parts of the country including Washington, D.C. and Princeton. Click here to watch video!
"Ghost Gun Legislation" on WMBC-TV, featuring interview with Rev. Robert Moore, CFPA's Executive Director
"Former Gov. Florio, gun violence activists, offer blueprint," by Matthew Hersh, Tap Into Newark, April 12, 2018
"The panel discussion, which was attended by mostly university students, included several grassroots anti-gun violence advocates, including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence/Million Mom March, Moms Demand Action, and the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action.
...[Community involvement] is critical in advancing any movement for the long term, said the Rev. Robert Moore of the Coalition for Peace Action.
“That's what people power looks like. That's what democracy in action looks like. We have a big challenge ahead and if you're a student and want safe schools then you better get out and vote,” Moore said." (Read full article here).
"Two Student Leaders, Former Govt. Official Highlight CFPA Event," by Donald Gilpin in Town Topics, April 4, 2018
"Andrew Weber, former assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs, and two student leaders for gun safety, Princeton High School senior Dziyana Zubialevich and Princeton University freshman Ben Bollinger, will be featured at a Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) gathering on Sunday afternoon, April 8, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton on Cherry Hill Road.
Zubialevich was the initiator and lead organizer of the Princeton March for Our Lives rally, which drew more than 4,000 people to Hinds Plaza on March 24 to demonstrate against gun violence and show solidarity with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Bollinger, founder and leader of Princeton Against Gun Violence at Princeton University, was a principal organizer of the March 14 walkout and demonstration at the University and of the University’s participation in the March for Our Lives. CFPA co-sponsored both the March 14 and March 28 events.
CFPA Executive Director the Rev. Bob Moore commented on “this emergence of new young leaders, not willing to buy into the status quo,” and his organization’s decision to honor Zubialevich and Bolling at the CFPA April 8 gathering.
“What’s really exciting for us this spring is this new leadership that’s come in since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida,” he said. “There’s been a huge upsurge in attendance and responsiveness and success of these events, and we want to recognize that, to recognize this important new development and what the young people are doing.”
Bollinger noted the high level of engagement in the movement to oppose gun violence. Citing the six anti-gun violence bills that passed the New Jersey General Assembly last week, Bollinger stated, “There’s real change happening in New Jersey. It’s not something that’s going away. This movement will continue.”" (Click here to read full article).
"“I was very surprised,” said student organizer Dziyana Zubialevich. “About 1,600 registered online. We expected about 800 С then almost 5,000 showed up.”
The Princeton High School senior continued, “This movement is student-led. This gives people hope, voice С especially the younger generation. And parents and grandparents also want to support their children. I’ve worked on political campaigns before, but this is different. This movement has changed the situation. On gun control it’s been difficult to get our voices heard, and to get politicians to listen, but it’s very powerful this time.”
In a Facebook post the following day, Zubialevich wrote, “Thank you all so much for coming yesterday. The event turned out great! Now it’s time to turn the march into something actionable,” urging her followers to contact their legislators. On Monday in Trenton lawmakers seemed to have heard the new voices and felt the power of their pleas, as the New Jersey Assembly voted to pass six different bills to tighten gun restrictions.
The bills will go to the state Senate, which must also pass them before they go to Governor Phil Murphy to be signed into law.
“I’m exhilarated,” said the Rev. Bob Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, a co-organizer of the rally. Moore, who sent two bus loads off to the national march in Washington early Saturday morning, then drove to Westfield to speak at a rally, before returning to speak at the Princeton rally, described how his organization had printed 500 fliers, thinking that would be enough.
“It was exciting, empowering,” he said. “The weather cooperated. It was a great collaboration between young and old. I’m thrilled with how it went.” He hastened to mention the “amazing results already” from Monday’s vote in Trenton, but was not optimistic about further breakthroughs in Washington. “I don’t foresee much movement until Congress changes hands,” he said.
Describing a “tipping point” that has been reached in the wake of the Parkland shooting and over 300 other school shootings since Newtown five years ago, Moore noted, “There’s a new wave of activists. Can they apply this momentum in national elections? Both the youthful idealism and the passion are important.”" (Read full article here).
Photo from Doylestown March for Our Lives, co-sponsored by CFPA, featured in New York Times photo gallery, March 25, 2018
(photo by Mike Maney)
(photo by Scott Friedman)
"The March for Our Lives Rally March 24 at Hinds Plaza in Princeton drew thousands of people from around the area. Among the speakers and musicians were Dziyana Zubialevich, a senior at Princeton High School; the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of Coalition for Peace Action, which has Ceasefire NJ as a project under its umbrella; Rabbi Arnold Gluck, Temple Beth-El, Hillsborough; Ben Bollinger and Joe Redmond, student leaders of the newly formed Princeton Against Gun Violence at Princeton University; Glenda Torres, who has been a victim of gun violence; David Brahinsky, a local folk musician; and Beverly Owens, director of music, Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church." (Click for more photos!)
"Making history: At Princeton rally, thousands call for action to end gun violence," by Krystal Knapp in Planet Princeton, March 24, 2018
(photo by Alicia White)
"Thousands of people packed Hinds Plaza and neighboring streets in downtown Princeton on Saturday afternoon to demand that elected officials take action to end gun violence.
The gathering, organized by Princeton High School senior Dziyana Zubialevich with the support of several local organizations, was the largest rally ever at Hinds Plaza. Princeton residents say the event was the largest rally in Princeton over the last quarter century or more. Supporters packed the plaza, and Witherspoon Street had to be blocked off because people filled the street from Spring Street to Paul Robeson Place, also gathering on side streets and parking lots, or watching from area buildings and waving posters from windows."
"High school senior organizes Princeton March for Our Lives," by Krystal Knapp in Planet Princeton, March 24, 2018
"Zubialevich said she decided to organize that march because she wants to contribute as much as she can to this student-led movement.
“Gun control and the prevention of gun violence have been important issues to me for a long time, and organizing the march was a great opportunity to spread awareness and motivate people to be politically active and participate in the fight for common sense gun laws,” she said.
Zubialevich handled all the logistics for the event with the help of Moms Demand Action, the League of Women’s Voters and The Coalition for Peace Action.
“Organizing the March for Our Lives has been very inspiring because of all the support I’ve received from local organizations as well as people from Princeton and surrounding areas,” she said. “I truly believe that this movement can create change in our country and hope to organize similar events in the future.” (Read full article here).
"As part of the national mobilization called March for Our Lives, a Princeton rally initiated by Princeton High School senior Dziyana Zubialevich will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 24 on the green at the rear of Palmer Square in front of the Nassau Inn.
The Princeton event is one of over 800 across the country being held that day in solidarity with the national march and the high school students from Parkland, Florida, where a mass shooting took place on February 14, killing 17 and wounding 14.
Zubialevich is partnering with the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), which is a co-sponsor of the event. CFPA is also sending two buses to the national March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, with a limited number of seats left. Reserve online at peace coalition.org or call (609) 924-5022.
“According to Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been more than 300 school shootings in the United States since 2013,” said Zubialevich. “Knowing this, it is easy for individuals to feel as if they have no control over the issue. However the students in Parkland have inspired me as well as hundreds of others across the country to take action and work towards change instead of giving up.
“Organizing this march and seeing the immense support from organizations as well as individuals in the area has been amazing, and I am excited to see people of all ages, ethnicities, and religious backgrounds come together and work towards common-sense gun laws.”
CFPA Executive Director the Rev. Bob Moore added, “We are pleased to invite those who support common-sense gun safety measures, such as a national assault weapons ban and universal background checks, to attend the Princeton Rally or reserve for our buses and join us in Washington on March 24. We are especially excited to support the leadership of young people demanding such common-sense steps, and urge the public to join us.”"
"Why NJ gun sales are rising again after the 'Trump Slump,'" March 29, 2018, by Erin Petenko on NJ.com
"Rev. Robert Moore -- executive director of Coalition for Peace Action, a pro-gun control advocacy group based in New Jersey -- said the gun control measures being debated were only about "keeping guns away from people that shouldn't have them."
"Unfortunately, I'm not in control of what people perceive," Moore said.
He said he was just as concerned about the daily epidemic of gun violence as he was about mass shootings. Gun violence deaths rose in 2016 after years of little change, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"It's been extremely hard -- we once in a while get a success," Moore said. "The last big legislation was in 1994 ... the stranglehold of the [National Rifle Association] has dominated since then."" (Read full article here).
"GUEST OPINION: There is a blueprint for breaking the NRA stranglehold," by The Rev. Robert Moore Mar 22, 2018, on centraljersey.com
"The fact that we were successful in breaking the NRA’s stranglehold in New Jersey at least partly inspired the successful effort the next year to pass the National Assault Weapons Ban. Unlike the New Jersey ban, that included a grandfather clause. Nonetheless, reputable studies showed that the national ban resulted in a nearly two-thirds reduction in shootings with assault weapons.
We can beat the NRA again, and pass a new National Assault Weapons Ban and other gun safety measures. The incredible leadership of students has been truly inspiring, and we have been pleased to begin collaborating and working synergistically with these new young activists.
But it is nearly impossible that significant change will happen quickly. We need to make this a major issue in the 2018 Congressional elections. In the 2006 mid-terms, the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), of which Ceasefire NJ is a project, helped make the Iraq War a litmus test issue, and the majority of those elected opposed that war. By 2008, then-President George Bush agreed to end U.S. participation in that war.
Even though many high school students can’t yet vote, all of us can play an activist role in helping make gun safety a litmus test issue in congressional elections, including this spring’s primaries and the November general election. That will need to be followed up by continuing to challenge the NRA’s stranglehold by lobbying, public education, protests, and media work.
On March 24, millions are expected to come to Washington D.C. and have marches and rallies in more than 750 communities across the nation. CFPA is actively supporting the national march and local marches in our region. If this activism is sustained over time, we can again break the NRA’s stranglehold." (Click here to read full article).
WHYY Segment about toy guns, featuring Interview with CFPA Executive Director, the Rev. Robert Moore
"“You don’t want to be encouraging belligerent play between young people, and things that actually shoot projectiles could do that,” said the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Princeton, New Jersey-based Coalition for Peace Action. “You have to think of the various ways that people might encounter this, especially in a school setting where large numbers of youngsters have been killed.”
Still, Moore, 67, has many fond memories of playing with a water gun during his childhood in West Lafayette, Indiana.
“I got in trouble when I brought a squirt gun to my high school on the last day of school,” he laughed. “The principal didn’t like it at all.”
“I can see that they’re fun, especially in the warm weather,” he said. “Why not run and play (with a water gun)? In general, outside the school setting, I don’t see any significant problem. When it’s used in context of a school, though, there is a little more of a gray area there. Sensitivity has been heightened in our schools, and that may be a good thing. But it has a bad side to it, because we don’t want this to be the new normal.”" (Click here to read and listen to full segment).
Insider NJ Podcast: Politically Direct Episode #9 With Special Guest Dolores Phillips Of CeaseFire NJ
"Korea Talks: Might They Lead to Peace?" Letter to the Editor in The New York Times, by CFPA's Pennsylvania Director, Ed Aguilar, March 9, 2018
A photograph released by North Korea’s state-run news agency of the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, right, meeting South Korea’s chief delegate, Chung Eui-yong, in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Monday. (Korean Central News Agency).
To the Editor:
Re “North Korea Asks for Direct Talks, and Trump Agrees” (front page, March 9):
The United States and South Korea, if things go well, are to be congratulated for taking the first steps toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Of course, naysayers will cry that Presidents Moon Jae-in and Trump are naïve, are taking a big risk and should never trust a North Korean leader. But the alternative is far worse — military force and a war of unintended, devastating consequences.
Besides, we don’t need to trust the North. We need to verify, every step of the way, and I’m sure any deal will include strong verification provisions. What is needed in East Asia is the rule of law.
To make this a permanent structure, the next step is a peace treaty — an end to almost 70 years of belligerence and tensions. It could also be a victory for Korea economically, and an economically healthy North and South Korea would be the biggest guarantor of peace in the region.
EDWARD A. AGUILAR
The writer is Pennsylvania director of the Coalition for Peace Action.
"Letter to the Editor: Positive Diplomactic Overture between North, South Korea," by the Rev. Robert Moore, in The Princeton Packet, March 9, 2018
"Menendez must act to end unauthorized war in Yemen," by CFPA's Assistant Director, Niki VanAller, in The Princeton Packet, March 9, 2018
"These proposed N.J. gun control laws just moved forward after hours of heated debate," by S.P. Sullivan, Trenton Times, March 1, 2018
From left to right: Kip Cherry, CFPA's Political Action Committee Co-Chair; Dolores Philips, Ceasefire NJ's Legislative Director; and the Rev. Bob Moore, CFPA's Executive Director, all testifying in favor of six gun violence prevention bills on Feb. 28, at a NJ State Legislature Assembly Judiciary Committee Hearing.
"Wednesday's hearing drew such a large turnout that legislative staff had to set up an overflow room where proceedings were streamed live.
...Out in force were members of the clergy and gun control advocates from groups including Ceasefire NJ and Moms Demand Action. Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, asked lawmakers to do whatever they good to restrict access to armor-piercing bullets and high-capacity magazines.
"People should not be able to have these weapons of war," he said. "They are designed for the battlefield but they are being used over and over to kill innocents."" (Read full article here).
Click here to watch video from NJTV, "Assembly committee takes up package of stricter gun laws," featuring part of Rev. Robert Moore's testimony in favor of passing the laws.
"After hearing hours of testimony, NJ lawmakers vote to advance six gun bills," by David Levinsky, Feb. 28, 2018, in the Burlington County Times
"Gun control advocates from groups such as Moms Demand Action, the Brady Campaign and Ceasefire NJ defended the bills as common-sense restrictions that would save lives. Some pushed for even stronger restrictions, such as a complete ban on semiautomatic rifles.
“People should not be able to have weapons of war,” said the Rev. Robert Moore, director of the Coalition for Peace Action. “They are designed for the battlefield, but they are being used over and over to kill innocents.”" (Read full article here).
"Gun control: N.J. Legislature closer to approving 'red flag,' other measures after debate," by Nicholas Pugliese, Feb. 28, 2018, MyCentralJersey.com
The Rev. Robert Moore of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action was on the other side of the debate and responded to arguments made by President Donald Trump and others that arming more people would make schools and other public venues safer.
"The notion that by giving more people guns and sending them into crowded situations, whether they're schools or whatever, is totally a mistaken notion and makes no common sense," he said." (Read full article here).
"The clouds, symbolic of the mood—another mass shooting, another demonstration and pleas to our state and federal leaders to do something.
Horns were blaring in support. This Langhorne event, quickly assembled, yet again. They demanded action from lawmakers—from universal background checks, limits on ammunition purchases, banning assault rifles and longer waiting periods before gun buys."
"Gun Control Advocates Rally in Langhorne," by Christian Menmo, in Bucks County Courier Times, Feb. 17, 2018
"Friday’s rally was sponsored by several activist groups including the BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action and The Peace Center in Langhorne.
“There’s no quietness here,” said coalition organizer Cathy Leary, referencing the constant blare coming from car horns as passing drivers responded to the signs requesting they honk for support.
“Something has to be done,” Leary said. “At minimum I’d like to see universal background checks (prior to gun purchases). I personally would like to see an assault weapons ban. Children are dying. I support owning firearms. I’ve owned firearms, but this is a no-brainer. When the country didn’t have (assault rifles available) we didn’t have these mass shootings.”
Leary is also in favor of more specialized care for those suffering from mental illness, but she considers that is an entirely different conversation than “sensible, common sense” gun control when it comes to preventing these types of killings.
“What happens is they get intermixed and then nothing changes. Ever,” she added.
Kathey O’Brien, of Solebury, said she’s been outspoken on the issue since the 1980s.
“It’s getting worse and worse,” she said Friday. “Too many of our babies and children have died.”" (Click to read full article).
"We must act to prevent more mass shootings," by the Rev. Bob Moore, in Letters to the Editor, The Princeton Packet, Feb. 16, 2018
"Yet another mass shooting occurred at a school in Florida on Feb. 14, killing at least 17 people and wounding at least 14. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.
But we must do more than offer thoughts and prayers, we must act to prevent more mass shootings. They are now occurring in the U.S. at an average of more than one per day. It is especially alarming that this is the 18th school shooting of 2018." (Read full letter here).
"More than 40 demonstrators holding signs and candles gathered in Palmer Square Friday evening to support an Olympic Truce vigil in conjunction with the opening of the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games. Sponsored by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, the vigil was part of an internationally-coordinated effort to urge diplomacy to peacefully resolve the North Korea issue." (Photo by John Lien)
"Activists held a vigil Feb. 9, the opening day of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, in front of Philadelphia City Hall. The event, called by the Coalition for Peace Action, was held to demand “Diplomacy not war” and “Support the Olympic Truce.”" (Read full article here).
OPINION: "Diplomatic surge building on the Olympic truce needed to resolve the North Korea nuclear crisis," by the Rev. Robert Moore, in The Princeton Packet, Feb. 9, 2018
"President Trump’s bellicose, reckless threats against North Korea and belittling their head of state in 2017 led to a dramatic escalation of cascading tensions and counter-threats. In response, North Korea threatened to do an atmospheric H-Bomb test and to shoot down American aircraft like those recently flown near their border. The North Koreans actually shot down a U.S. aircraft in 1969, so this should not be taken as an idle threat.
Through miscalculation and foreclosing options to de-escalate, such a war of words could well escalate into actual war, even nuclear war. Widely respected experts - as detailed in a November 2017 column by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times - have estimated the danger of war, even nuclear war, as high as 60 percent. Many have added that we are closer to nuclear war than any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Thankfully, the two Koreas began 2018 with reciprocal steps of diplomacy, which have so far resulted in several face-to-face negotiating sessions, re-opening a hotline for urgent communications, and North Korea sending athletes, musicians, and cheerleaders to the Olympic games starting on Feb. 9. We need to build on this promising Olympic Diplomacy and expand it into broader negotiations to resolve the Korean nuclear issue." (Read full op-ed here).
"Candlelight Vigil to Support Olympic Truce Will Take Place Friday in Palmer Square," from Town Topics, Feb. 7, 2018, by Donald Gilpin
"As the Winter Olympics open in South Korea, an Olympic Truce vigil, sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), will take place on Friday in Palmer Square from 5-6 p.m.
“This vigil is building on a long history of Olympic Truces and peacemaking, a tradition of worldwide truce at the time of the Olympics,” said CFPA executive director the Rev. Bob Moore.
Moore described “belligerent rhetoric” between North Korea and the United States “getting worse and worse.” He added, “Many were worried about escalation and increasing risks of miscalculation. Then on January 1 the North Korean leader held out an olive branch. South Korea agreed. ‘Let’s start talking. Let’s get to the Olympics.’ That cooperation has de-escalated the rhetoric.”
North Korea will send athletes, an orchestra, cheerleaders, and a high-level delegation to the Olympics, and the two Koreas have agreed to march together in the opening ceremony and create a joint team for women’s ice hockey. Earlier this year a communications hotline between North and South leaders was reactivated." (Read full article here)
"There were, on average, 3.75 unintentional gun deaths each year in the state between 2009 and 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control. During the previous decade, an average of 11 people died each year, according to the data.
The decline may be due to the state's gun laws, said the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, which includes the gun violence prevention campaign CeaseFire NJ.
Over several decades, the state has made leaving a loaded gun where a child can access it punishable by imprisonment, and required sellers to provide trigger locks or locked gun cases with each gun purchase, among other laws.
"I think these laws made a difference," Moore said." (Read full article here).
NJTV NEWS, "Gun rights group files suit to overturn concealed carry law"
Click here to watch 3-minute segment, featuring a critique from our Executive Director, Rev. Bob Moore.
"Advancing in Thought and Action," in The Hawk Newspaper (St. Joseph's University), by Sam Henry
"Erin Davison ’19, who attended the march in Philadelphia for the second year, thought that even though fewer people attended this year, there was still the same energy.
“I thought this year was a little more intersectional,” Davison said. “This year the organizers really made an effort to include diverse dialogue.”
Davison is the vice president and communications director of the St. Joe’s chapter of Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA SJU). Coalition for Peace Action is a national nonpartisan organization that focuses on issues of peace and justice.
“A big part of Coalition for Peace Action is grassroots organizing and getting people on the ground doing things,” Davison said.
Davison wants to bring this political involvement to St. Joe’s through CFPA SJU.
“There are not a lot of super politically active or politically engaged students and there tends to be the belief that being political means being divisive when that’s not the case,” Davison said." (Read full article here)
"Protesters Fill the Streets for the Women to the Front Rally in Doylestown," by Freda Savana, in Bucks County Courier Times, Jan 21, 2018
CFPA BuxMont co-sponsored the rally.
"Throngs of sign-carrying women and men streamed into the heart of Doylestown Borough on Sunday to denounce social and racial injustice and call for an end to those “trying to hijack our democracy.”
About 1,000 people, some pushing strollers and others in wheelchairs, joined in the “Women to the Front” anniversary rally that began in front of the former Bucks County Courthouse on East Court Street, before marching toward Main and Court streets. The enthusiastic, peaceful crowd shouted support for equal justice and an end to all forms of discrimination, as organizer Liz Dooley told them their efforts, and those like them across the world, are helping “build a better community, a better country and a better planet.”" (Read the full article here).
This letter to the editor appeared on January 25 in The Bergen Record
On Thursday, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved its iconic Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight, the closest it’s been to nuclear war since 1953 at the height of the Cold War. The Bulletin’s announcement cited “hyperbolic rhetoric” that has dramatically increased the danger of nuclear war by accident or miscalculation. Experts estimate the danger of nuclear war as high as 60 percent.
South Korea recently joined in Olympic diplomacy with North Korea that builds on a tradition of Olympic truces dating back nearly 3,000 years. Already a key hotline for crisis communication has been re-opened, and North Korea will send athletes and an orchestra to the Winter Olympics scheduled to start on Feb. 9.
This is a promising opening that could de-escalate tensions and jumpstart diplomatic negotiations. The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) strongly advocates diplomacy, nor war with Korea.
Diplomacy has worked before, with a 1994 agreement which, over the next eight years, prevented at least 100 North Korean nuclear weapons. More recently, diplomacy with Iran produced an agreement that peacefully resolved the nuclear crisis there.
-Rev. Robert Moore
Arts Council, Multifaith Service Highlight Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebrations, Donald Gilpin, Town Topics, January 17, 2018
The evening’s multifaith service, sponsored by Coalition for Peace Action and the Princeton Clergy Association, featured participation by leaders from a range of different faiths.
“We enjoyed participation from so many different houses of worship and faith backgrounds, as we united together to show the world that we stand together for love, justice, and peace,” said First Baptist Pastor the Rev. Carlton Branscomb.
“Beloved, no matter what your background or tradition, remember that love conquers all and unites us all. We do not have to accept a world filled with fear and division,” he continued.
The Rev. Bob Moore, who delivered the sermon, described himself as “standing in Dr. King’s holistic, prophetic tradition and speaking out on rejecting all forms of racism and bigotry, as well as militarism, and in support of the beloved community.”
In his sermon titled “Holistic, Prophetic Beloved Community,” Moore emphasized that King’s agenda included not just civil rights, but also world peace, trade union issues, and a campaign for poor people. (Click here to read full article).
Chris Christie's Final Acts: Bills He Made Law and Killed, from Drones to Circus Animals, NJ.com, January 16, 2018
New Jersey has now banned “bump stocks,” controversial firearm accessories allegedly used by the shooter in last year’s Las Vegas massacre.
The devices can be affixed to semiautomatic riffles to allow them to fire bullets, mimicking automatic weapons.
But under the new law — which takes effect immediately — anyone who owns one has 90 days to surrender them to authorities. Retailers have 30 days.
Christie, a Republican, signed the law even though he has long opposed new gun-control measures in the state.
“We applaud Gov. Christie's signing into law of a ban on bump stocks, the device used by the Las Vegas mass shooter to effectively turn his weapons into fully automatic machine guns, leading to the largest mass shooting in modern US history,” said The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action. "We are very pleased that partisan politics played no part in this move toward making the people of New Jersey safer from such mass shootings." (Click here to read full article).
National Politics Inspired a Year of Protests, Anne Levin and Donald Gilpin, Town Topics, December 27, 2017
The Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) also took up the charge, co-sponsoring a rally on the steps of Trenton City Hall in early February ”Against the Muslim Ban and Bigotry.” And Princeton University ratcheted up its resistance, with Eisgruber joining 47 other American college and university presidents in a letter to Trump urging him to rectify or rescind his executive order, and followed up with an amicus brief on February 13 against the immigration order.
Two additional initiatives from the White House created consternation and fear in the Princeton community in the late summer and fall. The CFPA and its executive director, the Rev. Bob Moore, reacted forcefully and directly to Trump’s threats against North Korea, issuing statements and staging a number of rallies throughout the fall for “diplomacy, not war.” Click here to read full article.
Coalition for Peace Action Holds Holiday Vigil, Program in Princeton, Front Page of Town Topics, December 20, 2017
The Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) held a Candlelight Vigil for Diplomacy, Not War in Palmer Square last Thursday, followed by a Peace Potluck and a Peace Program at the Nassau Presbyterian Church. About 20 people braved the cold weather for the vigil, and more than 50 overall participated in the evening’s events.
CFPA Executive Director the Rev. Bob Moore, who for 40 years has been organizing for peace full-time, expressed mixed feelings of hope and apprehension in the face of recent events. In particular, he emphasized “momentum toward this war with North Korea,” citing experts who claim that the prospects of a nuclear war are “chillingly realistic.”
Earlier last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had proposed direct talks with North Korea without preconditions, which Moore described as “a realistic posture” and ”a chance to de-escalate tensions and jumpstart the diplomatic process.” Tillerson’s proposal, however, was quickly countermanded by a tweet from President Donald Trump suggesting that negotiations would be a waste of time, and both White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee and National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster followed up in supporting Trump’s rejection of Tillerson’s overture.
“It’s so frustrating,” Moore said. “Diplomacy can work if you’re committed to it and have the patience and personnel to follow up. I appreciate that Secretary Tillerson put that out there, but I’m very discouraged that the Trump administration has reacted again by essentially saying diplomacy is worthless. It’s not. It’s really the primary alternative to war. We’re drifting toward war and that’s scary.” Click here to read full article.
N.J. Moves Closer to Banning this Gun Accessory Used in Las Vegas Shooting, The Trenton Times, November 30, 2017
New Jersey on Thursday got one step closer to banning a firearms accessory allegedly used by the gunman in the Las Vegas mass shooting.
The state Assembly's law and public safety committee voted 8-0, with one abstention, to advance a Democrat-sponsored bill that would prohibit the sale and possession of "bump stocks" in the state.
Bump stocks can be affixed to semiautomatic riffles to allow them to fire bullets more rapidly, mimicking automatic weapons, which are mostly illegal in the U.S.
A fierce national debate over the accessory emerged in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre. The gunman had 12 of the devices in his hotel room, allegedly helping him to kill 58 people and injure 500 more in a matter of minutes.
WHAT THE BILL WOULD DO: The legislation (S3477/A5200) would prohibit the sale and possession of bump stocks in New Jersey and set up criminal penalties for those who violate the ban. Violators could face three to five years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, or both. Click here to read full article.
About 400 gathered at the Princeton University Chapel for a Multifaith Service for Peace on Sunday, followed by an afternoon conference at Nassau Presbyterian Church, where participants considered “The Challenges of Peace in the Trump Era.” The event was sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) and 40 other area religious and civic groups.
Though much of the subject matter was bleak, focusing on nuclear clashes and potentially escalating conflict with Iran and North Korea, the tone of the proceedings was at times upbeat.
“Everybody left feeling elated and energized,” said CFPA Executive Director the Rev. Bob Moore, who stood at the back of the Chapel at the morning service with a range of other faith leaders С Sikh, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish С who all shook hands and wished peace to each member of the congregation on the way out.
“We share so much,” Moore continued. “The emphasis is always on division, but we emphasized joining together in our diversity, coming together. It helps people feel lifted up. You feel energy, empowerment, and hope.” The Princeton University Chapel Choir, directed by Penna Rose, provided a rich assortment of uplifting interfaith music for the service.
At the afternoon conference, featured speakers included University of California Professor Reza Aslan, scholar of religions and best-selling author; Costa Rica’s United Nations Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez, who presided over negotiations earlier this year that led to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons supported by 122 nations; New Jersey Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, a leader on peace legislation; Rutgers Associate Korean History Professor Suzy Kim, author and executive committee member of Women Cross the DMZ; and Harvard Professor and award-winning author Elaine Scarry. Click here to read full article.
Princeton Peace Coalition Ramps up in Age of Trump, National Tragedies, Trenton Times, November 10, 2017
This article also appeared in the November 12 print editions of the Trenton Times and Star Ledger
PRINCETON -- While Princeton-based Rev. Bob Moore has spent the last 36 years fighting against violence, and aiming to educate others about peaceful living, he said this year feels different.
He said he's never experienced so many crises all at once.
Moore is the executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action group, which aims to educate and advocate for the global abolition of nuclear weapons, a peace economy -- how the government spends on defense -- and an end to weapons trafficking domestically and internationally.
This year, the United States has experienced two of its most deadly mass shootings in the country's history, and President Donald Trump has suggested via Twitter that the country is ready, if necessary, for a nuclear war.
While the coalition is a non-partisan organization, members lobby, march and advocate for policies that align with its mission.
"I can't think of a time where there's been this much happening at once, it's really pretty overwhelming," Moore said. "We're basically dealing with three crises simultaneously. Gun violence because of Las Vegas, the threat of nuclear war with North Korea, and now Iran." Click here to read full article.
On Sunday, November 5, the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) held a rally for Diplomacy, Not War with North Korea and Iran in Hinds Plaza, Princeton. This rally coincided with nationally-organized events this week in support of diplomacy. Approximately 80 people attended, and speakers included The Rev. Robert Moore of the Coalition for Peace Action, Princeton University physicist Rob Goldston, and several others.
Letter to the Editor in Response to Texas Shooting
This letter to the editor appeared in the November 7 edition fo the Trenton Times.
URGENT: NATIONALLY BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS TO PREVENT MASS KILLINGS
by the Rev. Robert Moore
Yet another mass shooting occurred at a Texas church on November 5, killing 26 people. We must act to prevent more mass shootings, which are now occurring at an average of more than one per day.
We don’t yet know this shooter’s motives, but we do know that he used an assault weapon, mass shooters’ weapon of choice. They are meant for the battlefield, which is the only place they should be allowed. They can rapidly fire bullets as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger. We need to ban them nationally.
New Jersey’s Assault Weapons Ban remains the strongest such ban in the nation. In 1993, we in Ceasefire NJ helped successfully defend the NJ Ban against an NRA effort to rescind it. The fact that we were successful in breaking the NRA’s stranglehold in New Jersey helped inspire the passage the next year of a ten-year National Assault Weapons Ban, resulting in a 2/3 reduction in crimes using them.
We must pass a National Assault Weapons Ban again. But it will take average citizens to persistently advocate for it. To learn more, visit peacecoalition.org and click the Ceasefire NJ icon on the right.
“The Challenges of Peace in the Trump Era” is the title of the 38th Annual Conference and Multifaith Service for Peace sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action and co-sponsored by 30 religious and civic groups in the region, on Sunday, November 12 at different locations in Princeton.
Professor and author Reza Aslan will preach at the multifaith service at 11 a.m. at Princeton University Chapel. Faith leaders from a range of world religions will co-lead the liturgy. The service is free and open to the public. Aslan is a tenured professor at the University of California, Riverside and serves on the board of Chicago Theological Seminar. His new book, God, will be available for sale at the conference. Click here to read full article.
Judiciary Committee Hears Testimony on Voting Security (click here for video), NJTV News, October 26, 2017
Stephanie Harris said twice her ballots were not counted. Once in 2004, her vote didn’t register.
“I was advised to redo that. I redid it three times and the poll worker shrugged and said, ‘Well, I think it cast that time,'” said Harris, who chairs Coalition for Peace Action‘s Voting Integrity Task Force.
Harris said she learned to vote by paper, using a mail-in ballot as she did in the June primary. But two months later, she got a letter.
“My vote was not counted because it was found a month late in a stack of mail in the Hamilton, New Jersey post office,” said Harris.
Former Cumberland Regional School Board member Cindy Zirkle said it was expensive to challenge and reverse what happened to her in a 2011 Democrat committee race and her school board candidacy in 1982. Click here to read full article.
Click here for video coverage of a Vigil for Las Vegas, held in Union on October 6, 2017. Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) Executive Director Rev. Bob Moore was a speaker.
Op-Ed from Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) Executive Director, Rev. Bob Moore
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the nearly 600 victims and their families of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history last Sunday night in Las Vegas. The mass carnage made that city into what can only be described as a war zone. But our response needs to include more than prayers and moments of silence.
We must adopt pro-active and effective measures to prevent gun violence, which claims over 90 American lives per day. Before 2009, New Jersey was a close second among the states in legislation and regulations to do so. As a result, we had one of the lowest rates of gun violence per capita.
But since Gov. Chris Christie took office, he has vetoed almost every piece of gun-violence prevention measure passed by the Legislature, and has promulgated regulations that make it easier for more people to carry guns. So New Jersey has probably slipped to fourth best on such measures now, with Connecticut and New York joining first place California in the top three. Click here to read full article.
UNION, NJ – A candlelight vigil was held Friday evening outside Town Hall in remembrance of the victims of the rent Las Vegas shooting...
Reverend Robert Moore of the Coalition for Peace Action and Ceasefire New Jersey, the state’s leading gun violence prevention group, said, “someone who had no respect for human life created a warzone right here on our own streets. There’s nothing else to call it except a warzone."
Moore said combat veterans witnessed the scene and reported that they hadn’t seen anything so horrible even on the battlefield. “And yet it’s happening on our streets. The weapons the shooter used to kill or wound those 600 people were assault weapons – the weapon of choice for most mass killings. Weapons of war do not belong on the streets of America because they are used in mass killings, over and over.”
Moore said New jersey banned assault weapons in 1991, the strongest assault weapon ban in the country. Moore described his organizations successful efforts to keep the NRA from getting the ban repealed.
“We are here tonight to grieve for the 600 sisters and brothers killed or wounded,” said Moore, “and to honor their souls. But we need to do more than grieve. We need to act. We need to be mindful when we go into the voting booth.” Click here to read full article.
The Bucks County chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held a vigil Thursday night for the victims of Sunday's Las Vegas shooting, in which 59 people were killed and over 500 injured.
The vigil began at the Middletown Friends Meetinghouse, where numerous attendees spoke.
The group then marched up Maple Avenue to the Peace Center in Langhorne. Click here for the article and more photos.
Statement by the Rev. Robert Moore in response to Las Vegas mass shooting. Featured on Common Dreams, October 3, 2017
WASHINGTON - Our thoughts and prayers go out to the nearly 600 victims and their families of the largest mass shooting in US history last Sunday night in Las Vegas. The mass carnage made that city into what can only be described as a war zone. But our response needs to include more than prayers and moments of silence. We need to act to prevent more mass shootings, which are now occurring at an average of more than one per day.
The weapons of choice for such mass shootings are known as assault weapons. They were designed for the battlefield, which is the only place they should be allowed. They can rapidly fire bullets as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger. They were easily adapted by the shooter to become automatic weapons in which a single pull of the trigger can spray bullets with no pause. Click here to read full statement.
About 50 people, many carrying signs, gathered in Palmer Square at noon on Saturday to rally for diplomacy, not war with North Korea.
In a demonstration organized by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) in response to heated rhetoric and threats, including President Trump’s threat at the United Nations last week to “totally destroy” North Korea, eight different speakers called for de-escalation and diplomacy rather than the saber-rattling that has been characteristic of the dialogue on both sides.
“Unfortunately, we continue to see more of the same bluster and counterproductive threats coming from Donald Trump,” wrote CFPA Executive Director Bob Moore in response to Trump’s UN speech. “Less than a year into office, Trump has managed to take what was a difficult, challenging situation, and turn it into a major crisis that puts the world on the verge of a catastrophic nuclear war. Threats and bombastic tweets are not leadership. They won’t keep America safe, and they need to stop.” Click here to read full article.
Physicist on Global Security – Emergency Rally on North Korea Nuclear Crisis for Diplomacy, Princeton Strong, September 25, 2017
Princeton, NJ: Tiger Park, Palmer Square – The Coalition for Peace Action of Princeton, NJ holds an Emergency Rally for Diplomacy, not war with North Korea. Former White House Science Advisor Professor Frank von Hippel, Senior Research Physicist, Professor of Public and International Affairs, Program on Science and Global Security, provides a history of US / Korea affairs as a member speaker. NJ Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, the Rev Robert Moore, and the Rev. Carol Haag among speakers at the rally. Click here for video footage.
Letter to the Editor in Response to Trump's U.N. Speech
This letter appeared in the Trenton Times on September 20, 2017.
Donald Trump’s first speech to the United Nations was a catastrophic failure of American leadership. Instead of deescalating the North Korea nuclear crisis and taking urgent steps to peacefully resolve it, Trump threatened to “totally destroy North Korea.”
We need to stop this escalating roll toward a nuclear war, and quickly deescalate the North Korean crisis diplomatically. Trump’s speech is yet another reckless escalation in the tensions between North Korea and the United States that edges us closer to nuclear war.
There is no military solution to this problem. North Korea’s nuclear weapons are hidden deep underground and mobile, unable to be destroyed in a preemptive strike.
Trump has managed to take what was a difficult, challenging situation, and turn it into a major crisis that puts the world on the verge of a catastrophic nuclear war. Threats and bombastic tweets are not leadership, they won’t keep America safe, and they need to stop.
Diplomacy has worked with the North Koreans before, and it can work again. We will not be deterred in our efforts to prevent another disastrous U.S.-led war. The fate of the region and the world depends on it.
The Rev. Robert Moore
The writer is Executive Director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action.
Letter to the Editor on Diplomacy, Not War with North Korea
This letter was in the Princeton Packet on August 25, 2017.
On Monday, August 21, ten days of joint war games with the US and South Korean military are slated to start. They are highly threatening and provocative rehearsals for war—including assassination of North Korean leadership—involving tens of thousands of soldiers simulating strikes on North Korea.
North Korea has recently toned down its rhetoric and has expressed its intention to postpone a threatened missile launch that would come near Guam. It has also shown strong interest in a proposal to freeze its nuclear weapons development in return for suspension of war games like that above.
I’m writing to express strongly that we in the Coalition for Peace Action support such a diplomatic alternative. We started our Diplomacy, Not War when the danger of war with Iran was increasing over its move toward development nuclear weapons capability. We believe a similar approach is needed for North Korea.
There is no military solution to the North Korea nuclear issue. The only effective way to de-escalate this crisis and avoid war—possibly nuclear—is intensified, sustained diplomacy. We call on our elected officials to urgently advocate for pursuing diplomacy, not war, with North Korea.
Readers wanting more information, can visit peacecoalition.org or call (609) 924-5022.
The writer is Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, the largest peace group in the region.
The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CPA), expressed his alarm at the events in Charlottesville and at the tepid response to those events from President Trump. “This was an act of domestic terrorism,” Mr. Moore said, “and for the president to say, ‘We’re critical of all sides,’ without specifically condemning the white nationalists or neo-Nazis, that’s ridiculous.”
He continued, “The white nationalists used violence. That’s horrifying. They have the right under the First Amendment to express their views, even though those views are repugnant to me and most Americans, but to say the two sides are equally at fault is throwing out all respect for human rights and for the dignity of all people. This president seems to want to not criticize these people because they’re part of his base.”
Commenting on the size and spirit of the crowd, Mr. Moore added, “We felt heartened by the turnout. It was a diverse crowd. We cannot stay silent in the face of this.” Click here to read full article.
Photos: Vigil in Newtown condemns racism, violence, William Thomas Cain, Bucks County Courier Times, August 15
Hundreds took part in a vigil Monday in Newtown to condemn racism and the weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Participants started the corner of State and Center streets where they listened to speakers, then walked to the Newtown Friends Meetinghouse. The event was sponsored by Rise Up Doylestown, The Peace Center of Langhorne and Show Up for Racial Justice.
Bucks County Residents Rally for Peace In Wake of Charlottesville Violence, Alexandria Hoff, CBS Philly, August 14
NEWTOWN, Pa. (CBS)–On a crowded street corner in Bucks County at least 100 voices sang out the verses of Peter Paul and Mary’s, ‘If I Had A Hammer’.
Their intentions were made clear with signs reading, “Love Thy Neighbor. No Exceptions” and “End White Supremacy” and it made an impression on at least one person passing by.
Letter to the Editor on North Korea Crisis
The letter below was sent to 17 newspapers on August 9, 2017 and appeared on August 10 in the Trenton Times. If you see it published please let us know! You can also write and send your own letter to your local paper(s)!
August 9, 2017
President Trump has threatened to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if North Korea continues to threaten the United States. He sounds like the leader of North Korea - not the leader of the United States.
For many years, North Korea has routinely made belligerent threats against the United States and its allies. Just as we reach the 72nd anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, President Trump is making thinly veiled threats to again use US nuclear weapons if they continue the same behavior!
Such reckless and bellicose threats make a horrifying situation far worse, and greatly increase the risk that the US will slide into another war, possibly nuclear.
The UN Security Council just unanimously passed new stronger sanctions against North Korea’s nuclear program. We should build on that encouraging diplomatic success.
There is no military solution to the North Korea nuclear issue. Their nuclear weapons are hidden and mobile, impossible to destroy in a preemptive strike. The only effective way to de-escalate this crisis is intensified, sustained diplomacy. Such an approach led to verifiable dismantling of Iran’s nuclear weapons capability in 2015, and could work now.
Readers wanting to learn more can visit the CFPA web site peacecoalition.org.
The Rev. Robert Moore
The Coalition for Peace Action sponsored a vigil Sunday to commemorate with the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Participants were invited to join a Doylestown Friends Meeting to worship prior to holding the vigil at State and Main streets in Doylestown Borough. Another vigil sponsored by the group will be held Wednesday in Princeton, New Jersey to commemorate the bombing of Nagasaki.
Hiroshima Day vigil to be held Sunday in downtown Doylestown, Michele Haddon, Bucks County Courier Times, August 2, 2017
A peace vigil will be held 2 p.m. Sunday in Doylestown Borough as a solemn commemoration of Hiroshima Day and to celebrate the recent adoption of a global nuclear ban treaty.
The vigil will take place at the corner of State and Main streets.
An estimated 214,000 lives were lost in the two U.S. bombings which took place in August 1945, just three days apart from one another in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Click here to read full article.
*Also published in the Princeton Packet on June 23, 2017
The June 14 mass shooting at a congressional Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., before the annual congressional charity baseball game, is yet another horrifying reminder of the human death and suffering caused by America's continuing epidemic of gun violence.
Just that one day, there were mass shootings in Brooklyn and San Francisco, bringing the total of such shootings this year to over 150 -- an average of one every day. My prayers are with all those victims, every one of whose life is precious in God's sight, as well as with their loved ones.
There can be absolutely no justification for such mass violence. All Americans, regardless of political party or any other aspect of their identity, deserve to be safe from gun violence.
It is critical not only to mourn, but also to organize. The Ceasefire NJ Project of the Coalition for Peace Action has successfully led efforts to preserve New Jersey's Assault Weapons Ban, passage of the first Childproof Handgun Law in the nation and, most recently, to keep guns away from domestic abusers. Those interested in becoming involved are encouraged to visit peacecoalition.org and click the Ceasefire NJ icon on the right-hand side. Click here to read full article--scroll down to the last (and longest!) letter.
TRENTON -- A "Peace Train" will be leaving the Trenton train station Saturday morning to join the Women's March to Ban the Bomb in New York City. The march coincides with negotiations for a Treaty to Globally Ban Nuclear Weapons, which is taking place at U.N. Headquarters.
Led by the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), of Princeton, the Peace Train will host a pre-boarding rally at the station at 9:30 a.m. Women peace leaders will speak briefly before boarding the train.
"This is a crucial opportunity to support finishing a treaty for the global abolition of nuclear weapons, so nobody, including terrorists or nations, will be able to threaten nuclear holocaust," said Erica DeKranes, Assistant Director of the CFPA." Click here to read full article.
N.J. Senator: Let's Avoid a Russian Hack, Protect N.J.'s Vote, Sen. Linda Greenstein & Rev. Robert Moore, Star Ledger, June 12, 2017There has been a great deal of news about efforts by Russia, and perhaps others, to rig and hack U.S. elections. Could such efforts to undermine one of the most sacred rights in a democracy -- voting -- succeed in the future?In 2017, the eyes of the nation will be on the only two states that will hold gubernatorial and state legislative elections: New Jersey and Virginia. How can we be sure that our New Jersey election will not be corrupted by hacking?
Sadly, the answer to date is we can't be. At least not as long as we continue to use the antiquated electronic machines that -- as respected Princeton computer science professors demonstrated in recent court cases -- are eminently hackable to the point where they can be rigged to change an election's outcome. Click here to read full article.
Letter Signed by the Coalition for Peace Action appears in The Hill: Human Rights Groups Urge McMaster to Tighten Rules on Drone Strikes by Ellen Mitchell, The Hill, June 1, 2017
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, will present the keynote address at the Coalition for Peace Action’s (CFPA) 37th Anniversary Membership Dinner and Gathering on Sunday, June 4 in the Mackay Campus Center of Princeton Theological Seminary.
At the program the CFPA will also honor the Muslims4Peace organization and three state legislators who have championed the prevention of gun violence.
Mr. Wilkerson, who currently teaches at the College of William and Mary, has been a leading critic of the Iraq War and of America’s use of drone warfare.
“He has a more sweeping critique of militarism dominating our relations with other countries,” said the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based CFPA. “We are unfortunately relying on the military more and more for solving problems.”
Mr. Moore noted that Mr. Wilkerson has stated that supporting Colin Powell in his argument for the Iraq invasion was “one of the worst mistakes of his life. There was a cabal that was skewing the intelligence. Powell let himself get duped, as the vice president and the secretary of defense were most involved in cooking the books.” Click here to see full article.
Selling Weapons to Saudi Arabia is Hypocritical, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 24, 2017 (letter by our PA Director, Ed Aguilar)
The Trump family began its foreign tour in Saudi Arabia for a reason: sales of military equipment, totaling more than $110 billion ("Trump, Saudis sign huge arms deal," Sunday). All the talk of live-and-let-live with Islam - while an improvement over the anti-Muslim rhetoric of the campaign - cannot hide the hypocrisy of this fact.
Freedom House, which advocates for human rights, calls Saudi Arabia "one of the worst human rights abusers in the world," violating the rights of women and minorities, including Christians, Jews, and non-Sunni Muslims. Yet, President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tilted heavily toward Saudi Arabia and the six Gulf Cooperation Council states. This is a shortsighted policy that will not bring peace to the Middle East.
Also, the administration's strategic posturing in support of Turkey and Russia, with their anti-democratic leadership, is not a good sign. We need a U.S. government that will stand up for the rights of women, children, minorities, and the dispossessed, not just those in control of huge arms budgets.
Tillerson has said this is a "realistic" policy. Is it realistic, however, to rally in favor of despotic rulers and ignore their disadvantaged youth, women, and minorities? I don't think the vast majority of citizens of those countries will think so.
Edward A. Aguilar, Pennsylvania director, Coalition for Peace Action, Philadelphia
As nuclear crises heat up with North Korea and the Iran Nuclear Agreement being threatened, a forum addressing ways to reduce the danger of nuclear war happening from miscalculation, accident, or diplomatic failure will be held Tuesday, May 16 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The Nukes and Democracy Forum takes place in Bowl 16 downstairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, at Prospect Street and Washington Road.
Speakers will include Dr. Bruce Blair, a former nuclear missile launch officer and co-founder of Global Zero, who is currently a researcher with Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security (PSGS); Zia Mian, a physicist and co-director of PSGS, who is an expert on nuclear weapons; The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action; and Erica DeKranes, assistant director of the Coalition. Click here to read full article.
"Participants in a 'penny poll' last week at Communiversity voted for 72 percent of their tax dollars to go into education, health care and the environment, with just 13 percent to the military. In fact 54 percent of the discretionary budget for Congress for FY 2016 was allocated for military spending, and President Trump recently proposed a $54 billion increase for the armed forces.
'The disconnect is striking,' said the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), which conducted the poll. 'When people are allowed to express their priorities, they don’t mesh with the federal government.'" Click here to read full article.
Local defenders of clean water receive help from a hero in their field, Bucks County Courier Times, May 4, 2017
On April 5, the Saint Joseph's University Chapter of the Coalition for Peace Action held a nuclear panel event, "Nukes and Nuggets," sponsored partially by the university's International Relations Program. The panel figured three key speakers: Dr. Frank von Hippel Dr. Zia Mian, and Ed Aguilar.
Local Organizations Hold Vigil to Protest PennEast Pipeline and Other Pipelines, Bucks County Courier Times, April 4, 2017
"Affixed to the red tablecloth on the table in the community room of St. Ann Parish, Lawrenceville, was a display of variations of the word 'Peace' – 'Pacem,' 'Paz,' 'Salam,' 'Shalom,' 'Frieden' and 'Paix.'
The display not only caught the attention of the 110 people attending an evening of interreligious dialogue Feb. 14, it also represented the theme of promoting peace.
'The more we learn about people, cultures, faiths, and the more we learn about the teachings of peace in our faith traditions, the more we can become God-like,' said Martha Andrade-Dousdebes, a member of St. Ann Parish who initiated a panel discussion of different faiths with Trinitarian Father Gerard Lynch, pastor, and Gary Maccaroni, parish pastoral associate." Click here to read full article.
Applying the Golden Rule to Our Current Situation, Op-Ed by Rev. Robert Moore, Princeton Packet, March 17, 2017
Hundreds Attend University Day of Action, Responding to Recent Trump Initiatives, Town Topics, March 8, 2017
"Hundreds of students, faculty members, and others crowded into more than 60 different teach-in sessions at Princeton University’s Frist Campus Center Monday, as part of a Day of Action in responding to new Trump administration policies and the current political climate.
The event was organized by Princeton Citizen Scientists (PCS), created by graduate students after last November’s election, and Princeton Advocates for Justice (PAJ), a coalition representing more than 25 different campus organizations advocating for human rights.
Dealing with a wide range of issues from local to global — civil rights, knowledge and democracy, international peace and security, climate and environmental challenges, the teach-ins, led mostly by faculty and staff, took place in eleven different locations in the Frist building from 9 a.m. until after 8 p.m.
'Don’t Panic, Organize,' 'Let’s Figure This Out Together' the posters read, accompanying an array of yellow 'Day of Action' t-shirts, as participants moved from session to session throughout the day. They looked over the tables set up in the Frist lobby area: Citizens Climate Lobby, Coalition for Peace Action, Pace Council for Civic Values, Fair Elections Legal Network (voter registration), and many others." Click here to read full article.
An orange swastika is painted on a sculpture on the Princeton University campus. A Jewish cemetery is desecrated in Philadelphia. Bomb threats are called in to Jewish community centers all over the country, including Cherry Hill.
This recent rash of anti-Semitic acts has hit close to home, and local religious leaders are addressing the issue. The Princeton Clergy Association released a letter last week signed by Rabbi Adam Feldman of The Jewish Center of Princeton, the Reverend David A. Davis of Nassau Presbyterian Church, Bob Moore of The Coalition for Peace Action, and Jana Purkis Brash of Princeton University Methodist Church.
'We know of Muslims who feel threatened today by certain policies and statements being made in many public forums and then this week we witnessed acts of hatred directed at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia,' the letter reads. 'This is not only disrespectful to the deceased and their families but it also violates so many of our religious traditions of demonstrating honor to people after they pass away and honoring religious institutions. These actions must stop.'" Click here to read full article.
Executive Director Rev. Bob Moore on NJTV News Discussing H.R. 38 (Concealed Carry Reciprocity) Gun Bill
"President Donald Trump showed catastrophic ignorance when he said recently, 'If countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack.' As President Ronald Reagan wisely stated, 'A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.'
The United States and Russia each have about 7,000 of the 16,000 nuclear weapons that currently exist. A highly reputable study showed that using as few as 100 of these doomsday weapons could cause 2 billion deaths — about 30 percent of humanity.
The use of even a small part of the global stockpile could easily lead to a nuclear conflagration that could end life on earth. Spiritual and ethical leaders have concluded that the only moral choice is to negotiate their abolition as rapidly as possible, and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty requires that as a matter of international law.
The president needs to be pressured to build on previous treaties to further reduce nuclear weapons and urgently seek their global abolition. Congress also should put sensible and effective restraints on him by passing the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act recently introduced."
Rev. Robert Moore
"A rally 'Against the Muslim Ban and Bigotry,' co-sponsored by The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), took place on the steps of the Trenton City Hall Monday, as federal courts, which had temporarily banned the administration from enforcing two parts of Mr. Trump’s order, considered the federal government’s appeals against their ruling...
Monday’s rally drew a diverse group of about 250 'energetic and passionate' participants, according to Reverend Robert Moore, executive director of the CFPA. In addition to Mr. Moore, speakers included Muslim leaders, Hispanic community leaders, and a Lutheran minister who is the grandson of two Holocaust survivors.
Noting the 'strong sense of unity' in opposition to the Muslim ban, which he described as un-American and contradictory to the country’s core values, Mr. Moore added that the president’s measures are also counterproductive to fighting terrorism. 'If the president and his advisers see this as a war against Islam, they’re actually driving away people who have been our main allies in fighting terrorism. This directive actually makes us less safe.'
He continued, 'We have to keep speaking up. I’m heartened by this grassroots movement. I felt blessed to be there, part of the beloved community that Dr. King envisioned. It’s what gives me hope.'" Click here to read full article.
"TRENTON - More than two hundred people were in attendance at a 'Trenton Rally Against Islamophobia and Bigotry' held on the steps of City Hall Monday afternoon.
The long list of speakers included Mayor Eric Jackson along with representatives from various religious traditions, elected officials and members of social organizations.
Jackson proclaimed the gathering a 'call for unity.'
Imam Qareeb A. Bashir of the Islamic Center of Ewing (who is also the city's Director of Trenton Department of Fire & Emergency Services), was one of the speakers.
Rev. Daniel Eisenberg, Pastor of St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church in Trenton, told of his two relatives who were holocaust survivors and immigrants.
The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) with the United Mercer Interfaith Organization were sponsors of the event, which also included chants and song."
"Bob Moore, of the Coalition for Peace, said Trump’s Muslim ban and the wall are 'two of the worst things' to make the country safe.
'The best allies of all in the fight against terrorism have been the Muslim community,' the pastor said. 'This president is not making us safer, he’s making us less safe, and he is dividing us.' Click here to read full article.
"To the Editor:
On Saturday January 21, the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action co-led a bus of approximately 55 people to Washington D.C., in collaboration with NJ Citizen Action. The march was energizing and exciting, unifying men and women across a variety of issues.
In addition to our bus, numerous individuals and organizations led several buses from Princeton. Our area was well-represented at both the national march in Washington, D.C., as well as “sister-marches” in Trenton, New York, and Philadelphia.
The Coalition for Peace Action's Bucks County, PA coordinator Cathy Leary was featured in pictures and a video of Women's March "sister rallies" in Bucks County. Click here for video coverage. Over 1,000 people attended the rallies on January 21. CFPA organizers, supporters, and members participated in local marches as well as the main Women's March in Washington, D.C.
Pennsylvania Director Ed Aguilar featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Any Nukes Are Too Many," Dec. 29. 2016
"Longtime Republican political operative Kenneth J. Duberstein responded to concerns about Donald Trump's tweets on nuclear escalation ("Trump: Boost nuclear capability," Friday) by saying it's intended to show allies that there's "a new sheriff in town." This was intended to reassure us.
But many of us have lived through a time when nuclear escalation was hardly reassuring. Rather, we spent years promoting the idea of ratcheting down the nuclear threat between the Soviets and the West. And, for many years, it seemed to be working. As recently as 2011, the United States and the Russian Federation achieved the New START Treaty, which reduced the total number of armed nuclear weapons to 1,550, by 2018. We should keep cutting.
That treaty is still in effect, but it won't mean much if the "new sheriff" keeps his promise to be "unpredictable" in foreign policy. The last thing people need is unpredictability in the world of nuclear weapons.
I hope Trump and his children make a simple New Year's resolution: "We resolve to do more to bring peace and justice to the world. We resolve to utilize our vaunted power of deal-making to lower tensions and make deals that help to keep the peace, not risk the ultimate horror, a nuclear war."
Edward A. Aguilar, Pennsylvania director, Coalition for Peace Action, Philadephia
"Bi-partisan bill will keep guns away from domestic abusers" Packet Online, Nov. 30, 2016
"On Nov. 21, a bipartisan bill (A4126) to keep guns away from domestic abusers, passed by an overwhelming 60-2 vote in the New Jersey Assembly. The bill had earlier passed by 32-0 in the state Senate, where its number was S2483.
Ceasefire NJ (CFNJ), a project of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) advocated strongly for this bill, including coordinating statewide lobbying for it.
I applaud Senate Republican Leader Sen. Tom Kean Jr. for joining with Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Loretta Weinberg to make this a bipartisan effort in the New Jersey Senate, and the New Jersey Assembly that only two members (of a total of 80) voted against the bill. This shows that bipartisan cooperation can lead to concrete steps that make the people of New Jersey safer from the scourge of gun violence.
I also hail the many grassroots supporters around the state that contacted their state legislators in support of this important bipartisan bill. We in CFNJ were delighted to work with groups like Moms Demand Action, which had a visible contingent at the State House to stand with CFNJ and others.
Your readers can find further information by visiting the CFNJ Campaign page at www.peacecoalition.org, or by calling 609-924-5022.
The Rev. Robert Moore"
Click here to read the article.
"Chris Christie gets bipartisan gun bill he might like" Asbury Park Press, Nov. 28, 2016
"The Rev. Robert Moore, spokesman for Ceasefire New Jersey, a gun control advocacy group, said he’s been advised by Assemblywoman Gabrielle Moscera, D-Gloucester, a prime co-sponsor, that Christie plans to sign.
“This shows that bipartisan cooperation can lead to concrete steps that make the people of New Jersey safer from the scourge of gun violence,’’ Moore said.
Moore said “grassroots supporters around the state’’ made a difference by contacting their district legislators “in support of this important bipartisan bill.’’ Click here to read full article.
Vigil Featured in Bucks Country Courier Times
The Coalition for Peac Action (CFPA) Bucks County, PA Chapter held a vigil for the Standing Rock Water Protectors on Tuesday, November 22. The vigil was held at the United Christian Church in Levittown, PA, and followed up on last week's vigil held at the same location. Click here to see the full article.
Protest and Vigil to Support Standing Rock on Front Page of Bucks County Courier!
On Tuesday November 15, the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) Bucks County, PA Chapter organized a protest and vigil at United Christian Church in Levittown, PA. This event was featured on the from page of the Bucks County Courier print edition. Click here to read the online edition and to see more photos.
Gathering in Solidarity with Standing Rock Water Protectors featured in Bucks County Courier
This event was co-sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) with Arrows at the United Christian Church (Levittown, PA) on October 23.
"More than 125 people gathered at United Christian Church in Falls on Sunday afternoon to show solidarity with Native Americans who oppose the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline. The gathering, organized by Morrisville-based Arrows 4 American Indians, raised more than $1,000 to help the Standing Rock Sioux tribe." Click here to read the full article!
Coalition for Peace Action Executive Director Rev. Bob Moore featured in NJ 101.5 article on NJ gun laws
The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of Ceasefire New Jersey, said he’s pleased New Jersey remains one of the states with the strongest gun safety laws in the country.
“It means that New Jersey citizens are safer,” he said. “Studies show New Jersey has the fifth lowest rate of gun violence per capita in the country right now and I think that’s largely because of our relatively strong gun laws. But we could still make them stronger and we’re working on that.” Click here to read the full article!
Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Terrorism and Gun Violence Featured in Town Topics!
Multifaith Vigil in Palmer Square Supports Victims of Terrorism
Responding to the explosions in New York City and Seaside Park last weekend, the Coalition for Peace Action and Muslims for Peace are collaborating on a rally and candlelight vigil to take place Friday evening, September 23, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Palmer Square.
“This is particularly important because of Islamophobia, which is rearing its ugly head again as a result of these incidents,” said the Rev. Robert Moore of the Coalition. “The idea was initiated by Mustafa Abdi, director of Muslims for Peace, with whom we have been partnering for a number of years. I’m particularly pleased because a big part of the idea is to proactively gather people from different backgrounds, to stand against gun violence and terror.”
Ceasefire NJ feautured on TV News Program
Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) Executive Director Rev. Bob Moore and Ceasefire NJ Legislative Director Dolores Phillips appeared on the TV news program BackStory with Joan Goldstein to discuss gun violence. Click Here to see the video!
Peace vigil marks anniversaries of Hiroshima, Nagasaki bombings
Bucks County Courier Times
William Johnson/For The Intelligencer
The Coalition For Peace Action's BuxMont chapters sponsored a vigil for peace Saturday in Doylestown to mark the 71st anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in the final days of World War II. The United States bombed Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945; Nagasaki, Aug. 9, 1945.
Same article also published in the Home News Tribune Monday, 27 June 2016
In several of the most recent high-profile mass shootings in the United States, the gunmen used semiautomatic AR-15 style rifles.
“It’s the weapon of choice for a mass shooter,” said Rev. Robert Moore, spokesman for Ceasefire New Jersey, a gun control advocacy group. “That’s more than a coincidence.”
Moore said New Jersey’s assault rifle ban in 1990 inspired the federal ban that became law in 1994, which expired 10 years later.
New Jersey’s ban is the strongest in the country, he said, primarily because there was no grandfather clause that allowed guns already owned or on the market to still be owned and sold as in the now-expired federal ban.
The law prohibits possession of dozens of specific brands and any firearm that is identical to any of them. It outlaws revolving cylinder shotguns, "street sweepers," semiautomatic shotguns with either a magazine capacity exceeding six rounds, a pistol grip, or a folding stock and any semiautomatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding 15 rounds.
The crux of New Jersey’s ban is the limit on high-capacity magazines, Moore said.
“Typically mass shooters want big clips (magazines),” Moore said. “The shooter in Newtown left his smaller clips at home.” (Read Complete Article)
TRENTON - While partisan gun measures stalled anew in Washington, state lawmakers in Trenton pushed back against Gov. Chris Christie on gun control, advancing a measure advocates say would bar the governor from loosening New Jersey firearms laws.
In Trenton, the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, by a vote of 3-2, approved a bill that would block new Christie-backed guidelines for obtaining a handgun-carrying permit from taking effect. Hours later, the U.S. Senate, responding to last week’s shooting massacre in Orlando, Florida, blocked two Republican and two Democratic gun bills — the best Washington could muster in the wake of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
In Trenton, however, the legislative gun fight remained alive
The Rev. Robert Moore of the Peace Coalition, which favors new gun-control meausres, called Christie's guidelines "ill-conceived."
"The idea that we should have more people to have concealed carry guns makes the situation more dangerous," Moore said. "It buys into this fantasy that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." (Read Complete Article)
Multifaith services aimed at healing after Orlando violence By L.A. Parker, The Trentonian The Orlando night club mass murder tragedy remains part of our daily life as we process pain, hurt and hate.
In the midst of fear and limited by an inability to frame this event, we have every right to question the existence of all powers, any deity or God of our understanding.
We will need time for partial healing but such an incredibly deep emotional, physical and spiritual wound requires community and expression.
To that end, and detailed in this email communication, a Multi-Faith Gathering for Orlando and Beyond is planned for Tuesday, June 21 in Princeton. (Read Complete Article)
Gun bills advance in Trenton -Meanwhile, federal efforts stall in Senate debate Tuesday, June 21 Home News Tribune
TRENTON - While partisan gun measures stalled anew in Washington, state lawmakers in Trenton pushed back against Gov. Chris Christie on gun control, advancing a measure advocates say would bar the governor from loosening New Jersey firearms laws.
In Trenton, the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, by a vote of 3-2, approved a bill that would block new Christie-backed guidelines for obtaining a handgun- carrying permit from taking effect. Hours later, the U.S. Senate, responding to last week’s shooting massacre in Orlando, Florida, blocked two Republican and two Democratic gun bills — the best Washington could muster in the wake of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
In Trenton, however, the legislative gun fight remained alive.
The Rev. Robert Moore of the Peace Coalition, a pro-gun control organization, called Christie’s guidelines “ill-conceived.”
“The idea that we should have more people to have concealed-carry guns makes the situationmoredangerous,”Moore said. “It buys into this fantasy that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” (Read Complete Article)
A Multi-Faith Gathering for Orlando and Beyond is planned for Tuesday, June 21, in Princeton.
Presented by the Princeton Clergy Association and teh Coalition for Peace Action, the gathering will begin with a multi-faith service from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Sanctuary of Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau St. in Princeton (across from Palmer Square).
Confirmed participants for the service include:
The Rev. Carlton Branscomb, Senior Minister, First Baptist Church, Princeton.
Imam Hamad Chebli, Islamic Society of Central NJ.
Hazzan Joanna S. Dulkin, Cantor, The Jewish Center of Princeton.
Rabbi Adam Feldman, The Jewish Center of Princeton and Vice-President, Princeton Clergy Association.
Daniel Fernandez, HiTops Education Director of LGBTQ Concerns.
The Rev. Lauren McFeaters, Associate Pastor, Nassau Presbyterian Church.
The Rev. Robert Moore, Executive Director of the Coalition for Peace Action and Co-Pastor of Christ Congregation, both based in Princeton.
The service will include the reading of the names of the 49 killed in the Orlando mass shooting, and lighting candles for each. Music will also be part of the one hour service.
From 8 to 9 p.m., a rally and candlelight vigil will take place at Tiger Park in the front of Palmer Square. Attendees are asked to bring signs and/or candles, if possible. Limited numbers of pre-printed signs and candles will be available. Speakers are still being confirmed.
Members of the public are invited free of charge to the 7 p.m. service and/or the 8 p.m. rally and candlelight yigil.
Further information is available at the Coalition for Peace Action website, peacecoalition.org or by calling its office at (609) 924-5022. (Read Article Online)
N.J. Dems seek to override Christie on domestic violence gun ban By Claude Brodesser-Akner | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The Star-Ledger on June 16, 2016
TRENTON — State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said Thursday Democratic lawmakers will push to override Gov. Chris Christie's veto of a bill that would force those convicted of domestic violence in New Jersey to surrender their guns and their permits to buy new ones.
Flanked by Assemblywoman Gabriela M. Mosquera (D-Camden) and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), Sweeney told reporters at the Statehouse that the mass shooting in Orlando earlier this week made their override attempt especially timely.
"If that doesn't send a signal that we need to do more to protect our citizens, I don't know what does," Sweeney said.
Dolores Phillips, legislative director for Ceasefire New Jersey, said that if the public were made aware of the facts about guns role in the death of abused women, "they would grab their pitchforks and be at the front door of the statehouse" to demand an override.
"Let's grab those pitchforks!" Philips shouted, to applause. (Read Complete Article)
Can weapons used in Orlando shooting be purchased in gun-tough N.J.? By Claude Brodesser-Akner | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The Star-Ledger June 16, 2016
TRENTON — Would New Jersey's tough gun laws have prevented the shooter in the nation's worst mass killing in Orlando, Fla., from purchasing the weapons used in the attack?
Omar Mateen, the gunman responsible for killing 49 people with his Sig Sauer MCX purchased the weapon legally in Port St. Lucie, Fla., at a gun store near his home. He also legally purchased a Glock 17 handgun the following day, which he also carried during the attack.
New Jersey's gun laws do not ban a modified form of the weapon but prohibit larger magazines allowing more bullets to be fired before reloading. Those who advocate for gun rights and those who push for gun control both say some aspects of New Jersey laws would have made it tougher for Mateen, but that more is allowed here than many may think.
"The shooter in Newtown had smaller clips and chose to leave them at home," said the Rev. Bob Moore, director of the Princeton-based Coalition For Peace, which oversees Ceasefire New Jersey. "He took large capacity magazines instead, because he wanted to shoot a lot of people." (Read Complete Article)
The Coalition for Peace Action’s gun violence prevention group, Ceasefire NJ, invites members of the public to its monthly advocacy committee meeting on Thursday, June 16 to discuss a possible vigil or public witness in response to the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. The meeting, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton, will start at 7:30 p.m.
“Our hearts are broken, and our prayers and condolences go out to the victims of the Orlando mass shooting, the largest in U.S. history,” said the Princeton-based group’s leader, the Rev. Robert Moore, in a statement. “Of the eight such high profile mass shootings in the past year, starting with Charleston, seven of the shooters used assault weapons. It is the weapon of choice for mass shooters. These weapons of war are designed to kill as many as quickly as possible on the battlefield. It is outrageous and unconscionable that we allow these weapons in our civilian communities. New Jersey passed one of the first Assault Weapons Bans in the nation, and has the strongest ban still today — it’s the only ban with no grandfather clause. (Read Complete Article Online)
Lower Bucks residents hold vigil for Orlando shooting victims The Bucks County Courier Times Wednesday, June 15, 2016 Sadness and disbelief marked a Langhorne vigil held in memory of the 49 victims killed by a gunman at a night club in Orlando, Florida.
More than 30 people turned out Wednesday night for the vigil in front of Mayor's Playground. Some motorists honked as they passed by the vigil on the busy corner of Maple Avenue and Pine Street.
Vigil attendees held signs that read "We stand with Orlando." The signs had a rainbow-colored square with a white heart in the middle.
One of the vigil's organizers, Cathy Leary, of the BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action, led a moment of silence. Vigil organizers then read the names of the 49 victims who were killed. (Read Complete Article)
Concerned citizens must pressure officials to ban assault weapons The Princeton Packet The Rev. Robert Moore, Princeton
Our hearts are broken, and our prayers and condolences go out to the victims of the Orlando mass shooting, the largest in U.S. history. Of the eight such high-profile mass shootings in the past year, starting with Charleston, seven of the shooters used assault weapons. It is the weapon of choice for mass shooters.
These weapons of war are designed to kill as many as quickly as possible on the battlefield. It is outrageous and unconscionable that we allow these weapons in our civilian communities. New Jersey passed one of the first assault weapons bans in the nation, and has the strongest ban still today—it’s the only ban with no grandfather clause.
When the National Rifle Association tried to rescind New Jersey’s ban in 1993, we were proud to be a major part of successfully mobilizing citizens to prevent that. In the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a legislative miracle in over 40 years of violence-prevention organizing, not a single member of the New Jersey state Senate voted to rescind the ban in March 1993. We showed that the stranglehold of the NRA on elected officials could be overcome. (Read Complete Article)
Princeton Groups Respond to Mass Shootings in Orlando Planet Princeton June 13, 2016
A gathering is being planned in Princeton in response to the mass shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando, but a date for the event has not been set yet. We will post more information when it becomes available.
On Thursday night at 7:30 p.m., The Coalition for Peace Action will host a meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton at 50 Cherry Hill Road to plan a vigil or public witness, as well as other activities. (Read Complete Article)
Across North Jersey, people pause to question and mourn
June 12, 2016 By Christopher Maag, Linda Moss and Minjae Park
Hours after the worst mass shooting in American history, Jeff Kracht sat in his home in Clifton and cried. He cried for the dead and wounded lost in Orlando, Fla., and he cried for something he does not want to lose: trust in his neighbors. He could see them well from his second-floor office, where the windows look out on the entire block, and he could see the American flag he keeps hanging in front of the house.
The fact that the shooter carried out the attack using a high-powered assault rifle resonated with both sides of the debate concerning New Jersey's gun laws.
"It's just horrifying and heartbreaking. This is an epidemic," said the Rev. Robert Moore, whose group Coalition for Peace Action runs a project called Ceasefire NJ to press for tighter gun laws. "It's just horrifying to think that these weapons of war are really on our streets and killing so many people." (Read Complete Article)
'Gasland' director to attend screening of his latest film on climate change at historic Newtown Theatre Bucks County Courier Times Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Newtown Borough >> American film director, playwright and environmental activist Josh Fox, best known for his award-winning documentary, “Gasland,” will appear in person at the Newtown Theatre, 120 North State Street, Newtown, on June 18 at 2 p.m. to speak about his latest film on climate change, “How to Let Go of the World (And Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change).”
“How to Let Go of the World” is Fox’s personal take on climate change. Covering 12 countries on six continents, he presents a message of hope and creative possibility. Just before the Democratic National Convention, a national, family-friendly March for a Clean Energy Revolution will occur in Philadelphia on Sunday, July 24. Organizers hope the film will inspire Bucks County residents to participate. Josh Fox is a resident of Milanville.
There is no admission charge, but at the end of the film, donations will be accepted. The event is sponsored by 350 Bucks County PA, Coalition for Peace Action, and Delaware Riverkeeper Network. (Read Complete Article)
Effort to block Christie's new handgun rules advances By S.P. Sullivan | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The Star-LedgerJune 02, 2016
TRENTON — State lawmakers on Thursday advanced an effort by Democrats to block Gov. Chris Christie's proposed changes to regulations concerning handgun carry permits in New Jersey.
A state Assembly committee approved two pieces of legislation intended to fight the governor's attempt to loosen the state's tight restrictions on such permits.
The committee advanced a resolution (ACR 175) already approved by the state Senate that would effectively reverse recently announced changes to the State Police permitting process.
The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, said the governor's support for broadening access to carry permits was based on "a Wild West fantasy that the good guys will always shoot the bad guys and knock them dead."
"The real world just doesn't work that way," Moore told the committee. (Read Complete Article)
Letters: Get serious about abolishing nuclear weapons The Philadelphia Inquirer June 02, 2016
"We must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without" nuclear weapons, President Obama's said during his moving visit to Hiroshima, site of the world's first use of such a bomb against a city ("Death fell from the sky," Saturday). Those words echoed his Prague declaration, in which he called for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, leading to a Nobel Peace Prize.
Obama's visit to Hiroshima was a noble gesture, but the logic of his words - and of our times - demands that we begin the process of serious negotiations to abolish nuclear weapons so that never again can a Hiroshima happen anywhere on Earth.
The Coalition for Peace Action is holding a rally and candlelight vigil from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, the eve of President Obama’s unprecedented May 27 visit to Hiroshima.
The rally will be at Hinds Plaza, next to the Princeton Public Library. The rally will convey appreciation for Obama’s decision to make the visit, as well as call on him to announce concrete steps toward a world without nuclear weapons. (Read Complete Article)Christie needs to snap out of Wild West fantasy, strengthen N.J. gun laws | Opinion By The Rev. Robert Moore Star-Ledger The Star-LedgMay 20, 2016
Following the lead of pro-gun extremists, Gov. Chris Christie recently proposed new gun regulations that would make it easier for more New Jersey residents to carry guns, including concealed ones.
Wayne LaPierre of the NRA endlessly repeats the mantra: "The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
Changes to state gun laws by the Christie administration are being met with stiff opposition from Democrats.
But this idea is grounded in Wild West fantasies like those on 1950s television shows, and doesn't hold up to common sense and thoughtful scrutiny. As of 2013, there were 357 million guns possessed by 317 million Americans, the most guns per capita of any country in the world.
Yet the U.S. has a higher rate of gun deaths than any other industrialized country, about 33,000 per year. For the first time last year, gun deaths were higher than fatalities from auto accidents. But less than 1 percent of gun deaths in the U.S. are classified as justifiable shootings for self-defense. The idea that "good guys" could prevent a lot of gun deaths if enough were armed contradicts factual analysis and common sense. (Read Complete Article)
CFPA's Membership Dinner & Gathering slated for June 11 By The Rev. Bob Moore The Trenton Times
PRINCETON — Prof. Andrew Bacevich, a Boston University professor, retired US Army Colonel, and author, will keynote the Coalition for Peace Action's (CFPA) 36th anniversary Membership Dinner and Gathering on Saturday, June 11 in the MacKay Campus Center of Princeton Theological Seminary. MacKay Campus Center is off College Road near the intersection with Alexander Street, and there is plenty of free parking nearby.
Bacevich is Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins. Andrew Bacevich is also a retired colonel and Vietnam War veteran. He is the author of eight books, including the just-published America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History which will be for sale at the event. (Read Complete Article)
I welcome President Obama's decision to be the first sitting U.S. president in the nuclear age to visit Hiroshima, the site of the first use of nuclear weapons ("Obama to make history with visit to Hiroshima," Wednesday). Remembering the horror and destruction wreaked by a relatively small nuclear weapon compared with today's nuclear weapons is crucial to generating the global will to move toward abolishing such weapons worldwide.
The last nuclear reduction treaty was in 2010, between the United States and Russia. The United States has plans to rebuild its nuclear arsenal, and Russia, North Korea, and others are making nuclear weapons. (Read Complete Article)
Leader of Region's Largest Grassroots Peace Group Response to Obama's Visit to Hiroshima By The Rev. Robert Moore, Director, Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) Tuesday, May 10, 2016 Common Dreams
WASHINGTON - The Rev. Robert Moore, Executive Director of the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), the largest grassroots peace group in the region, responded with the statement below to today’s May 10 announcement that President Obama will include a visit in Hiroshima during his upcoming trip to Japan.
“I welcome President Obama’s decision to be the first sitting President in the nuclear age to visit Hiroshima, the site of the first use of nuclear weapons during World War II. This has great symbolic significance, especially following the President’s inspirational speech calling for a world without nuclear weapons in Prague in 2009.
Remembering the utter horror and destruction wreaked by a relatively small nuclear weapon, compared to today’s nuclear weapons, is crucial to generating the global will to move toward abolishing such weapons worldwide. But we can’t get that result just with lofty speeches; concrete actions are needed. (Read complete article)
ISSUE | HIROSHIMA
President Obama's visit to Japan will show how far we've come since World War II ("Obama to make history with visit to Hiroshima," Wednesday). Japan is the leading U.S. ally in East Asia.
The visit will provide an opportunity to begin to chart the future beyond nuclear weapons. Just as the United States was first to develop nuclear arms, we should take the lead toward a world free of this menace. (Read complete article)
Tomlinson ducks meetings to discuss gun-control measure
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 Bucks County Courier Times
By CATHY LEARY, Director, Buxmont Coalition for Peace Action and MARY AVINO
Why won’t state Sen. Robert Tomlinson, R-6, explain why he won’t help keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons?
Recently, I ( Cathy Leary) was one of several constituents of Sen. Tomlinson’s who had scheduled a meeting with the senator to discuss state Senate Bill 1049, bipartisan legislation that would establish comprehensive background checks on gun sales in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, when our contingent arrived for the meeting, we were informed that the senator was not available to discuss this critical issue with us. (Read Complete Article)
Supporters of universal background checks on all gun purchases in Pennsylvania will hold a vigil Friday to honor victims of gun violence.
At least 50 people are expected to gather 5:30 p.m. at Pine Street and Maple Avenue in Langhorne.
"We do this around Mother's Day to honor the mothers who've lost children to gun violence," said Cathy Leary, of the BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action.
The demonstration is sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action, Bucks Against Gun Violence, Bucks Safe, The Peace Center and Women's Advocacy Coalition. The Women's Advocacy Coalition is a new participant this year.
PRINCETON — Princeton's Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) will be screening Robert Greenwald's just-released documentary film "Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA" on Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton.
Leading a discussion following the film will be Dolores Phillips, legislative director of the Ceasefire N.J. Project of the CFPA, and Rev. Robert Moore, the CFPA's executive director. (Read Complete Article)
Forty people attending a discussion on the proposed Elcon Hazardous Waste project were warned Sunday that approval of the facility would further pollute an area already saturated with landfills and other chemical companies.
The program, held at United Christian Church in Falls, was sponsored by Coalition for Peace Action, 360 Bucks and Clean Air and Water Council, a new group that like the others is a local organization seeking to prevent or limit industrial pollution. (Read Article)
Watch CFPA's Executive Director, Rev. Bob Moore in a round table discussion on a TV show on "Building Interfaith Communities" March, 2016, Back Story with Joan Goldstein, Princeton Community Television!
Community Building. Guests include: Rev. Bob Moore, Executive Director for the Coalition of Peace Action and Co-Pastor of Christ Congregation, Princeton, NJ; Rabbi Adam Feldman, The Jewish Center, Princeton, NJ and Imam Qareeb Bashir of the Islamic Center, Ewing, NJ and President of the Islamic Council of Greater Trenton
Kean to hold conference on global anti-Semitism
Leading educators, writers, and experts will offer analysis and testimony at the Conference on Global Anti-Semitism at Kean University on Sunday, March 13. The all-day event, held in the STEM building on the campus in Union, is sponsored by the university’s Jewish Faculty and Staff Association.
Conference organizers laid out a Plan of Action in response to what they say is “an explosive rise in overt worldwide anti-Semitism.” (Read Complete Article & Conference Schedule)
2:30-4 Panel on anti-Semitism and Israel:
• Prof. Thane Rosenbaum, director of the Forum on Law, Culture & Society at NYU Law
• Prof. Mahnaz Afridi, director of Manhattan College’s Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center
• The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, Princeton, and pastor, East Brunswick Congregational Church and Livingston Avenue United Church of Christ, New Brunswick
ISSUE | CAMPAIGN 2016 The Philadelphia Inquirer
Tuesday, February 2
Trumponomics just don't add up
We know what Republican presidential front-runner Donald Drumpf thinks about Latino immigrants and Muslims. But the media must do a better job of alerting the public about Trumponomics. This is truly voodoo economics, based on magical thinking that works on TV but not in reality.
He thinks he can give himself and super-wealthy people a tax cut by reducing the top rate to 25 percent and eliminating the estate tax (which would save his family billions). At the same time, he says he'll eliminate income taxes for 72 million households, simplify the tax code, keep Social Security well-funded, and increase military spending.
These things just don't add up. It is not sound economics. We should not follow this Pied Piper over a financial cliff; it's like 2007-08 all over again.
Drumpf's history of four casino-and-resort-company bankruptcies should be a warning to us all.
|Edward A. Aguilar, Pennsylvania director, Coalition for Peace Action, Philadelphia
Response to Implementation of Iran Nuclear Agreement
The Coalition for Peace Action Applauds Iran Agreement Success; Urges Permanent Agreement and Diplomatic Efforts with Syria and North Korea By The Rev. Robert Moore in Common Dreams Monday, January 18, 2016
WASHINGTON - Responding to the announcement that Implementation Day has been reached for the Iran Nuclear Agreement, meaning Iran has verifiably taken steps moving it at least 15 years away from being able to make a nuclear weapon, the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), the largest peace group in the region, today made the following statement:
“Sustained and determined diplomacy has moved Iran from what experts assessed as a few months, before the Agreement, to at least 15 years away from being able to make a nuclear weapon. This historic agreement, now implemented, makes the U.S. and the world a safer place. I applaud the negotiators representing all the participants for this historic success, as well as the Obama Administration for championing it. (Read Complete Article)
Diplomacy helps stave off conflicts
Because of diplomacy, Iran's capacity to build a nuclear weapon is at least 15 years away instead of a few months, experts have projected ("Iran deal complete," Sunday). The historic agreement that took effect Saturday makes the United States and the world safer. I applaud the negotiators who worked it out and the Obama administration for championing it. Sens. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D., Pa.) and Cory Booker (D., N.J.) helped pass the agreement.
Naysayers who contended that Iran would never honor its obligations have been proven wrong. Instead of sanctions or war, the United States and the international community peacefully prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons through negotiations. (Read Complete Article)
Howard Speaks Out on Gun Control, Backs Strong Measures to Counter ViolenceThe Town Topics Princeton, NJ January 13, 2016
Also responding positively to Mr. Obama’s initiatives was Princeton-based Ceasefire NJ New Jersey’s oldest and largest gun violence prevention group.
“We applaud President Obama for taking concrete action to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in America,” said Reverend Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, of which Ceasefire NJ is a project. (Read Complete Article)
WATCH: Who's right in this N.J. gun debate over Obama's gun plan NJ Advanced Media for NJ.com By Enrique Lavin January 7, 2016
We invited two New Jersey activists on opposing sides of the gun debate to tell us how they think the president's order would impact law-abiding gun owners in the state.
We spoke to Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action , which is affiliated with CeasefireNJ.
On the other side, we spoke to Alexander Roubian, president of the New Jersey 2nd Amendment Society.
Give Obama credit for setting sights on gun control
Lead Letter to the Editor By CFPA's Executive Director the Reverend Robert Moore
The Philadelphia Inquirer Thursday, January 7, 2016
I'm also pleased that the president is adding federal resources to improve gun safety technology (smart guns), the kind of public-health approach that dramatically reduced deaths from auto accidents. Ceasefire NJ was proud to spearhead the country's first childproof-handgun bill in 2002, but its implementation has been stymied by the National Rifle Association. The president's measures may finally help it come into existence.
I applaud him for not scapegoating mentally ill people for gun violence but instead devoting an additional $500 million to treat such people.
Finally, I applaud incorporating more data, including from the Social Security Administration, to prevent those with disabling mental illnesses from buying guns. For more information, go to peacecoalition.org or call 609-924-5022.
Rev. Robert Moore, executive director, Coalition for Peace Action, Princeton (See Article Online)
Obama action on guns felt in New Jersey
Asbury Park Press January 6, 2016
Coalition executive director the Rev. Robert Moore said he wants Obama’s decision to not only stay in place but to serve as a foundation for more tightening of access to firearms.On the other side are gun control advocates, including Ceasefire NJ, an arm of the Princeton group Coalition for Peace Action.
“I think this will pass muster. I don’t think it’s taking away anyone’s right to anything,’’ he said. “The president is saying because of an epidemic of gun violence, we need to do better at keep guns out of the wrong hands. I think these steps will go a long way.’’ (Read Complete Article Online)
Princeton 2015: A Year of Progress and Protest
December 30, 2015 Town Topics
As town and University plans and projects progressed, protests helped define the year 2015. A sit-in by Princeton University students citing Woodrow Wilson’s racist beliefs drew national attention to the campus and the town. There were additional demonstrations in reaction to national events such as the murders at a church in Charleston, South Carolina and the more recent mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. On the University campus, at Hinds Plaza, and at marches through town, there were silent and not-so-silent demonstrations in support of gun control and related issues. (Read Complete Article)
Lawmaker Wants To Close Loophole That Lets People Buy Guns Without Background Checks
By Tom Sofield December 15, 2015 LevittownNow.com
What State Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D-31) thinks is a “common sense idea” is having trouble moving forward in Harrisburg.
Despite bipartisan support, Santarsiero, a Democrat also running for the U.S. House of Representatives, said he is having trouble moving House Bill 1010 up for a vote in the House. He said he has support from lawmakers of his own party and even Republicans.
The bill would close a loophole that allows the purchase of long guns during private sales ineligible for background checks. It would also ban persons on the national terrorism watch list and no-fly list from purchasing firearms legally.
If the bill becomes law, Santarsiero and supporters from the BuxMont Coalition for Peace, Bucks County Against Gun Violence, Bucks County Peace Center, CeaseFirePA, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action believe it could help save lives and prevent some mass shootings. (Read Complete Article)
Memorial in Falls honors victims of mass shootings on anniversary of Sandy Hook
Posted: Monday, December 14, 2015 By Anthony DiMattia, staff writer
Monday's gloomy backdrop was appropriate for the third anniversary of one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. With heavy hearts, members from local, state and national gun-safety groups planted 1,289 American flags at Snipes Farm in Falls to honor the victims from each mass shooting since the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Among those in attendance were members of Bucks Against Gun Violence, Bucks County Peace Center, Bucks Safe, Bucks County Woman's Advocacy Coalition, BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action, CeaseFirePA, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. Each called for stricter gun laws that they say will prevent future mass shootings, which they defined as any shooting of four or more people. (Read Complete Article and Watch Video Online)
Bucks County groups stress quest for
peace in a violent world
Posted: Friday, December 4, 2015 By Anna Coleman, Bucks County Courier Times
Recent acts of terrorism have brought tragedy to every corner of the globe.
We should commemorate the lives of those we have lost and spend time in thought and prayer. But this is also a time for action, a time to stand up against violence and hatred, not to answer with more.
It is time for a different answer, an answer that is peace and love.
Sharing these feelings, a friend and I attended the candlelight vigil in Langhorne that the Courier Times covered a few weeks ago. We were immediately inspired by the hope felt among the crowd. Hope for a time when protest like that one will not be necessary, for a time when we will not grieve for ones lost in acts of violence.
I was inspired by the adults who surrounded me that night. Their assurance that a time like that will come filled me with a sense of determination to see it myself. (Read Complete Article Online)
CFPA's Annual Holiday Gathering slated for Dec. 5
By Rich Cuccagna December 04, 2015 The Trenton Times
PRINCETON — As the nations of the world meet for the Paris Climate Summit from the end of November until December 11, the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) will hold its Annual Holiday Gathering, centered on its No Wars, No Warming campaign, which makes the connection between the climate crisis and war, on Saturday, December 5 from 2-5 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton, 50 Cherry Hill Road, Princeton.
The gathering starts with a potluck from 2-3 p.m.; attendees should bring a healthy dish to share, followed by the program from 3-5 p.m. It is free and open to the public. (Read Complete Article Online)
Langhorne vigil draws crowd to honor victims of terrorism
By Matt Schickling November 24, 2015 The Wire
At rush hour on Monday, a busy Langhorne intersection became a place of peace.
Small groups gathered on all four corners of where Routes 213 and 413 meet with lighted candles and signs calling for peace in the world. “We are all one family,” “Love thy neighbor,” and “Peace on earth,” they read, messages aimed to honor the victims of terrorism throughout the world.
The vigil was organized and sponsored by the Bucks County Human Relations Council, BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action, Interfaith Community of Lower Bucks, The Peace Center and Zubaida Foundation. (Read Complete Article Online)
Video by Bill Fraser | Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Bucks County Courier Times
Community members held a candlelight vigil in Langhorne on Monday, November 23, 2015, to honor recent victims of terrorism and all those who are suffering around the world. (Click to Watch Video)
Peace Activists Rally for Victims of Terror
Monday, November 23, 2015 By Elizabeth Fisher
Bucks County Courier Times (Click here for Complete Coverage)
Candlelight Vigil For World Peace Greets Commuters
By Tom Sofield November 24 LevittownNow.com
Several dozen people stood at Langhorne Borough’s busiest intersection Monday during rush hour to call for world peace.
The “Light Up Langhorne” event was organized by the Interfaith Community of Lower Bucks, BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action, The Peace Center, Zubaida Foundation and Bucks County Human Relations Council.
The candlelight vigil was put together in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut, organizers said. The rally was to think of all those who are suffering around the globe. (Read Complete Article Online)
Protestors challenge Christie's stance on Syrian refugees
By Lindsay Rittenhouse The Trenton Times November 22, 2015
PRINCETON — "For refugees, plenty of space, but we can't fit racist hate." That was the message Sunday of residents, activists and religious leaders who protested Gov. Chris Christie's comments on Syrian refugees outside Drumthwacket, the governor's residence in Princeton.
The Central New Jersey Democratic Socialists – operating out of New Brunswick, Freehold and Princeton – organized Sunday's rally through social media after Christie announced on Nov. 16 that he feels the United States should not admit any refugees from the Syrian civil war, not even "orphans under age 5." (Read Complete Article)
Issues of inequality focus of Princeton Peace Conference
Front page of The Trenton Times By Lindsay Rittenhouse on November 09, 2015
Princeton's Coalition for Peace Action Conference brought local residents, activists and various ethnic and religious group leaders to Nassau Presbyterian Church on Sunday for its 36th annual peace conference.
This year's conference focused on all types of national and international issues directly hindering peace.
J. Jondhi Harrell – founder and executive director of the Center for Returning Citizens – spoke from firsthand experience to the injustices of mass incarceration.
Having been incarcerated for 25 years, Harrell said he raised his four daughters and one son from a prison cell and that it tore his family apart, as it does for all men and women behind bars. (Read Complete Article Online)
Bucks County Courier Times By Margaret Gibbons Friday October 16, 2015
A Bucks County lawmaker is calling for the public’s support of proposed gun-safety legislation to close a loophole that allows private purchases of long guns such as rifles, assault rifles and shotguns without a background check.
The proposed legislation would extend background checks already in place for handguns to those purchasing long guns through private sales, such as purchases at a gun show.
The proposed “common sense” legislation will help enforce existing laws, “not create a whole new system of unreasonable regulations,” said Democratic state Rep. Steve Santarsiero. (Read Complete Article)
Rally for gun safety, H.B. 1010 spotlights voices for ‘commonsense’ reform
Rep. Steve Santarsiero October 15, 2015 PAHouse.Com
NORRISTOWN, Oct. 15 – On the Montgomery County Courthouse steps today, prominent Pennsylvania lawmakers, gun-safety advocates, domestic-violence experts and victims of gun violence rallied behind a plan to enact universal background checks for gun purchases in Pennsylvania.
House Bill 1010, sponsored by state Rep. Steve Santarsiero, D-Bucks, would require all firearms – including the private sale of long guns – to be done before a licensed firearms dealer or county sheriff in order to complete a background check on the purchaser’s criminal history or involuntary commitment to a mental health facility. Currently, state law does not require that background checks be conducted for the private purchase of long guns.
Gun-safety advocates from CeaseFire PA, Moms Demand Action, Everytown, Bucks Safe, Bucks Against Gun Violence, DelCO United, Heeding God’s Call, Coalition for Peace Action and PA United for Background Checks attended the event. (Read Complete Article & Watch Video of Rally )
Mobilizing to Stop Gun Violence
Front page of the October 14, 2015 Town Topics
At a press conference Monday at Hinds Plaza, government officials and members of the clergy were joined by citizens concerned about the rise of gun violence in this country. The group is pressuring New Jersey senators to override Governor Chris Christie’s recent veto of a bill that would have required anyone seeking a gun permit to notify local law enforcement if they are attempting to have their mental health records expunged. Mayor Liz Lempert, shown here at the microphone, introduced State Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, who is pictured between Senator Linda Greenstein and the Reverend Bob Moore of the Coalition for Peace Action. Mr. Sweeney said the governor’s veto of the “common sense” gun safety legislation was done to placate conservative voters. Reverend Moore said, “Let us put partisan politics aside and put the protection of the public from gun violence first — for at least one day.” The override vote will take place October 22. (Read Article Online )
Sweeney: I Will Call State Police if Legislature Doesn’t Vote on Gun Control Bill
10-12-15 By Brenda Flanagan NJTV NEWS
“We can no longer be silent! We can no longer sit idly by as mass shootings escalate across the United States!” said Rev. Bob Moore.
With gun control advocates like Moore, from Coalition for Peace Action/Ceasefire NJ, voicing full support — Senate President Steve Sweeney took the podium in Princeton to put his colleagues on notice: he will call them into session later this month for a second shot at overriding Governor Christie’s veto of SB 2360. The bill requires notifying local police whenever someone with documented mental illness seeks to expunge that record before applying for a gun permit. (Click Here to Read Complete Article and Watch Video Footage)
Sweeney vows to send N.J. State Police to find senators absent for gun override
By Susan K. Livio | NJ.com October 12, 2015
PRINCETON — State Senate President Stephen Sweeney announced there will be another attempt to override Gov. Chris Christie's veto of a gun control bill next week, and warned his colleagues who dare to be absent: We'll come find you.
Standing among two dozen elected officials and gun-control advocates Monday, Sweeney said he would "put the house on call" and would use his authority to send State Police to find any of the other 39 senators who are no-shows for the Oct. 22 voting session.
"Let us put partisan politics aside and put the protection of the public first, for at least one day!" shouted The Rev. Robert Moore, the executive director for the Coalition for Peace Action. (Click Here to Read Complete Article )
Coalition for Peace Action thanks Senator Cory Booker
in Support of Iran Deal - Sept. 25, 2015
On Friday, September 25, the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), NJ Peace Action, Moveon, and NIAC, participated and co-sponsored an event thanking Senator Cory Booker in his Newark-NJ office, for his support on the Iran Accord. CFPA was met by Senator Booker's staffer, Zoe Baldwin (center with flowers) and interviewed by Ang Santos, from WBGO News Radio.
Peace Groups Thank Sen. Booker In Support of Iran Deal By Ang Santos, WBGO News Newark, September 25, 2015
Peace advocacy groups gathered at Senator Booker’s office in Newark with sun flowers and hand written letters to thank him for his support of the Iran nuclear agreement.
Reverened Bob Moore of Coalition for Peace Action says it’s been a two year initiative that required a lot of attention and citizen engagement.
“Change comes from the bottom up,” said Moore. “So we said, this is a democracy. This is how democracy is supposed to work, and what it’s supposed to look like. We the citizens are supposed to be influencing our elected officials.”
(Read and Listen to Complete News Coverage)
CFPA screening 9/11 documentary Sept. 27
By Rich Cuccagna The Trenton Times, September 16, 2015
In the wake of the recent anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) will hold a screening of the documentary "In Our Son's Name" on Sunday, September 27 at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton.
"We are honored to host this powerful film about affirming values of peace and nonviolence in the wake of the worst terrorist attack in US history. We encourage members of the public to come and learn about this transformative journey of peace," said Alesha Vega, CFPA Assistant Director. (Read Complete Article)
Booker's visit to Livingston temple brings needed civility to the Iran debate The Star Ledger By Tom Moran September 8, 2015
Once in a while, democracy inspires. As it did this morning when U.S. Sen. Cory Booker visited a temple in Livingston to explain his support for the new agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons.
The questions, from a crowd of about 75 Jews and non-Jews who gathered at Temple B'nai Abraham, were penetrating. The speakers had done their homework. (Read Complete Article)
CFPA Leaders and friends were present at the meeting with Senator Booker in Livingston, NJ on September 8, 2015. See Recent Events.
See guests Dr. Robert Goldston, Professor US DOE Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Dr. Frank von Hippel, Professor of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, speak on the U.S. Iranian Nuclear Deal on Princeton Community Television's BackStory with Joan Goldstein HERE
Read physicists and long-time CFPA sponsors, Rush Holt and Frank von Hippel, answer technical questions on the Iran Nuclear Deal HERE!
Video: Give peace a chance
(See footage from the Peace Rally
and interviews from CFPA's Alesha Vega and CFPA PA's Ed Aguilar, here)
As the Congress considers its action on the recent U.S.-Iran Nuclear Agreement, the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, joined by the PA Coalition for Peace Action and the BuxMont Coalition, held a vigil Saturday in Princeton, New Jersey, to show their support for the deal. Video by Kim Weimer
Day of Peace
August 18, 2015 The Intelligencer
Kim Weimer/Staff Photographer
Give peace a chance
Cathy Leary with BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action joins other activists Saturday, August 15, 2015, in Princeton, NJ to show her support for the U.S. Iran Nuclear Agreement. The vigil is part of a global day of peace to show support for the deal with over 50 cities participating worldwide. (See Complete Article)
Give Peace a Chance!
On July 14, after nearly two years of tough negotiations, an Agreement on the Iran Nuclear Issue was reached. For obviously partisan reasons, many Republicans came out against the agreement before it was even delivered to them. On August 6, the Senate’s third ranking Democrat, Chuck Schumer, also came out against it.
I am reminded of a slogan many of us used in opposing the Vietnam War: Give Peace a Chance! Polls show that a majority of Americans support this Agreement, and want it to be implemented. But Congress now has until September 17 to take action and could reject the deal, possibly even over-riding a promised Presidential veto.
Walking away from this hard-won agreement will result in Iran being able to get a bomb in as little as two weeks, while having international sanctions collapse. The US would be soon face another disastrous Middle East War, far worse than the ones in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Read Complete Article)
CFPA's Executive Director, Rev. Bob Moore's, Reponse Letter to the Editor as seen in the hard copy print version of the August 12, 2015 Trenton Times
You have run several letters to the editor recently responding to my published statements regarding the Iran nuclear agreement and the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Regarding the first, the agreement is based on verification, not trust. While Iran’s behavior until the Interim Agreement freezing and taking initial steps toward curtailing Iran’s nuclear program in November 2013 generated doubts, almost all experts rate their compliance since then as excellent.
The verification of the Iran Nuclear Agreement would be the strongest, most intrusive in history. There will be 24-7 monitoring of all declared sites for the entire nuclear production chain, from uranium mining to its final use. Suspect covert sites would be subject to prompt, intrusive inspections.
Yes, some of the limits on Iran’s centrifuges and amount of enriched uranium it can possess begin to sunset after 10-15 years. Diplomacy requires compromise, and this is the best agreement that could be reached after 22 months of tough negotiations. It keeps Iran at least one year away from obtaining a bomb for up to 15 years. The strongest in history inspections remain in place permanently. (Read Complete Article)
The Iran nuclear deal is crucial for peace in the future
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette August 7, 2015
Letter to the Editor co-authored by CFPA's Western PA Coordinator, Jo Schlesinger
The Iran nuclear agreement, confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, appears to be everything that was predicted in the Joint Plan of Action, and more. After more than two years of intensive negotiations, diplomacy has mapped out a future that keeps Iran from imminent access to the bomb and keeps the United States from another catastrophic war in the Middle East.
Criticism is loud and well-funded but not fact-based. All key components of the deal that the United States sought were achieved: 97 percent cuts in uranium stocks, rigorous inspections and a long-term additional protocol, which subjects Iran to significantly added inspections and transparency. In return, sanctions will be lifted but can be reinstated at any time. (Read Complete Article)
Peace Vigil on 70th Anniversary of Dropping of Atomic Bombs
WNPV1440 AM Radio August 5, 2015
“It time to retire nuclear weapons on the 70th anniversary of the bombings.”
Thursday at 6pm the Coalition For Peace Action and the Doylestown Friends Meeting Peace and Social Concerns Committee will co-sponsor a peace vigil at State and Main streets in Doylestown.
“We will fly four banners that say abolish nuclear weapons. Paper Origami Peace Cranes will be handed out. We have to realize that nuclear weapons are not good for the planet.”
Coalition for Peace Action Assistant Director, Alesha Vega says, the coalition supports the deal President obama recently reached with Iran. (Read Complete Article Online)
Peace vigil in Doylestown to commemorate Hiroshima, Nagasaki
The Intelligencer August 5, 2015
Four large "Abolish Nuclear War" banners will fly Thursday at a vigil in Doylestown hosted by the Coalition for Peace Action to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The CFPA is calling for the mandatory retirement of nuclear weapons.
"The purpose of these commemorations is not to look back with 20-20 hindsight to question whether the atomic bombings in 1945 were justified. What's done is done," said the Rev. Bob Moore, CFPA executive director. "Rather, our reason for having these commemorations is to remember the absolute horror that nuclear weapons represent and the real and growing threat they present today."
The first event, on Wednesday in Princeton, New Jersey, will include a picnic with a moment of silence at 7:16 p.m. to coincide with the exact time, 8:16 a.m. Japanese time Aug. 6, that the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, in the last days of World War II. The picnic and outdoor program will be at Albert Hinds Plaza, next to the Princeton Public Library at 65 Witherspoon St. (Read Complete Article Online)
'Crockpot season,' thoughts on nuclear deal with Iran | Letters
The Trenton Times July 31, 2015
Iran has agreed not to make a nuclear weapon under terms spelled out in months of negotiations. As the poll on page A10 of The Times (the OPINION page) of July 22, 2015 revealed, the majority of Americans support the agreement with Iran. Although it will be based on diligent verification of all technical aspects of possible bomb making, the same poll shows that many Americans believe that Iran will not adhere to the agreement. It is not surprising because many biased politicians and pundits are engaged in short-run opposition and scare tactics rather than in the big picture of stopping a troublesome nation from becoming the next nuclear nation.
Historians will remind us that, in the midst of the Cold War with a nuclear arms race between the United States and the former USSR, the top leaders, Reagan and Gorbachev (who had little reason to trust each other), met in Reykjavik, Iceland, and discussed the reduction of nuclear weapons. The result of their talks was the agreement a year later to remove Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces from Europe and to continue to negotiate other reductions in nuclear weapons. The lesson from Reykjavik is that conflicting nations can enter into agreements to reduce nuclear threat. All members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives should seriously consider their responsibility in working toward a nuclear free world. The agreement with Iran is a bold step and includes steadfast verification of all possible phases of Iranian nuclear weapons development. (Read letter online)
Carol Kiger Allen, Coalition for Peace Action Board Secretary
Coalition to commemorate anniversary of Hiroshima bombing
On Page 3 of the printed version of the The Trenton Times , July 28, 2015
The Coalition for Peace Action will have a Commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the Hiroshima bombing anniversary, Wednesday, Aug. 5. The Commemoration will begin with a bring-your-own picnic at 6 p.m. (no alcoholic beverages permitted), followed by the outdoor program at 7 p.m. and an indoor Program from 7:30-9 p.m.
Both the picnic and the 7 outdoor portion of Commemoration Ceremony will be in Albert Hinds Plaza next to the Princeton Public Library at 65 Witherspoon St. The indoor program will be in the Community Room of the Library from 7:30-9. In case of rain, the picnic will be cancelled and the entire program beginning at 7 will be in the Community Room of the library.
"The purpose of this commemoration is not to look back with 20-20 hindsight to question whether the atomic bombings in 1945 were justified," said coalition Executive Director the Rev. Robert Moore. "What's done is done. Rather, our reason for having these commemorations is to remember the absolute horror that nuclear weapons represent, and the real and growing threat they present today.
Plan for Christie gun law changes not put forward yet
On Front Page of the printed version of The Bergen Record July 19, 2015, By Dustin Racioppi The Record (Bergen County)
Three weeks after Governor Christie said, in a late-night email on the eve of his presidential campaign, that he would propose “common-sense” changes to New Jersey’s gun regulations, no plan has been put forward.
Christie’s decision was met with a mix of praise and criticism — in some cases from the same people. While the governor announced he would make the regulatory change, he did not sign legislation on his desk that would close a loophole in the state’s gun law requiring domestic violence offenders and those with restraining orders against them to give up all their firearms. Bill sponsors and critics of the Republican governor expressed disappointment, and some said it served as an example of how Christie is trying to appeal to a conservative base.
“It looks to me like he’s playing [to] a particular audience,” said Dolores Phillips, legislative director of the advocacy group Ceasefire NJ.
She called it a “deceptive practice” and said the press release “gives the appearance of policy initiatives to benefit his presidential campaign and clearly is using his office staff and official website to do so.” (Read Complete Article)
Front page of paper version of Town Topics July 2, 2015
Speaking at the Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace and Racial Justice held in response to the previous week’s shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., Director of the Coalition for Peace Action and Co-Pastor of Christ Congregation in Princeton Rev. Robert Moore told the gathering “We stand together in unity as a community of love.” The event was organized by CFPA, the Mt. Pisgah AME Church and the Princeton Clergy Association. (See article online)
Critics see politics behind Christie’s move to ease gun permits for domestic-abuse victims and lack of action on bill to stop abusers from getting guns.
The Record (Bergen County) July 1, 2015 By Dustin Racioppi STATE HOUSE BUREAU
Critics say it’s no coincidence Christie OK’d only one of them
Gun rights advocates and domestic violence activists both see what Governor Christie did Monday night to New Jersey’s firearms regulations as a common-sense step to help victims of abuse.
But that’s where the agreement ends and the suspicion starts.
In a late-night announcement on the eve of his candidacy for the White House, Christie moved to loosen regulations and expedite reviews of gun permits sought by domestic violence victims. But while that would hasten a victim’s ability to get a gun, a bill that would take away guns from domestic violence offenders sat unsigned on his desk.
Given Christie’s low approval ratings and need to cultivate conservative support in his campaign for the Republican nomination for president, some saw his moves less about victims and more about the governor’s quest for the White House, which he made official 14 hours after announcing the regulatory change. (Read Complete Article)
Prayers for peace: In wake of Charleston massacre, vigil participants call for racial justice, gun control
Jun 25, 2015
Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday night in downtown Princeton for a prayer vigil that doubled as a call for gun control and racial justice on the one-week anniversary of the church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina.
An interfaith collection of clergy led prayers for peace, for South Carolina’s and the country’s leaders and for the families of the nine black victims killed at the Mother Emanuel AME Church by a young white man armed with a handgun.
The Rev. Deborah Brooks, pastor of the historically black Mt. Pisgah AME Church on Witherspoon Street, called the shooting a “racist act.” (Read Complete Article)
Remembering the Charleston 9: Hundreds Gather on Palmer Square for Interfaith Prayer Vigil
June 26, 2015 by Krystal Knapp Planet Princeton
At one point during the march in downtown Princeton, the line of people stretched all the way from Nassau Street down Witherspoon Street, across Paul Robeson Place, beyond the Arts Council of Princeton.
Almost 400 people marched from the Mt. Pisgah AME Church on Witherspoon Street to Tiger Park on Palmer Square, and another 100 or more joined them at the square on Wednesday night, the one-week anniversary of the shootings at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Read Complete Article)
Princeton prayer vigil scheduled in response to Charleston church shootings
By Nicole Mulvaney June 22, The Times of Trenton
PRINCETON — A march and prayer vigil will be held in Princeton Wednesday night in response to the church shootings in Charleston last week.
The event is organized by Mt. Pisgah AME Church — the same denomination as the South Carolina congregation — along with the Princeton Clergy Association and the Coalition for Peace Action. (Read Complete Article)
Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace and Racial Justice Wednesday
By: Linda Arntzenius June 23, Town Topics
In response to the recent shooting at a Black Church in Charleston, the Mt. Pisgah AME Church in collaboration with the Princeton Clergy Association and the Coalition for Peace Action, will take place Wednesday, June 24, from 7 to 8:45 p.m. The event will begin with a March from Mt. Pisgah AME Church (the same denomination as the church where the shooting occurred), 170 Witherspoon Street. Supporters are urged to gather the front of the church for the approximately quarter mile March to Tiger Park, Palmer Square. Those who are unable to march are welcome to go straight to Tiger Park. Area faith leaders will offer prayers and reflections followed by a candlelight vigil as darkness falls. For further information, visit www.peacecoalition.org or call (609) 924-5022. (Read article online)
Opinion: To prevent war with Iran, remember deceptions of war with Iraq
The Times of Trenton guest opinion column June 06, 2015 by the Rev. Robert Moore and Richard Moody
The question recently was raised to presumed presidential candidate Jeb Bush whether, knowing what he knows now, he would have started a war with Iraq, as his brother, President George W. Bush, did in 2003. His initial answer, on which he flip-flopped a number of times in the days following, was yes.
We tend to believe his first answer, partly because it was unvarnished before any public blowback — but even more because many of his top foreign policy advisors include those who championed the rush to war using manipulated intelligence on Iraq. It is crucial to remember the truth about what led to that war, as we may be on the verge of being neo-conned into another even more disastrous war — with Iran. (Read Complete Article)
Letter: Beware same group of agitators who are pushing for another war
By The Times of Trenton Letters to the Editor on June 08, 2015
The guest opinion article "To prevent war with Iran, remember deceptions with Iraq" (June 7) was right on the mark.
Ironically, some of the neo-conservatives who got us into the deadly and unnecessary war with Iraq are front and center again, this time about Iran. Sadly, much of the media is playing the same compliant role as before.
The war-mongers and the military-industrial complex about which President Eisenhower warned us need to portray a demonic enemy for them to prevail. It saddens me to think that the American public could be fooled again, at what cost in human life and suffering one can scarcely contemplate. (Read Article Online)
-- Eugene F. Horan,
Anti-Violence Rally: ‘I Never Know Which Saturday There’s Going To Be A Funeral’
LevittownNow.com By Tom Sofield, April 23, 2015
Pastor James G. Evans III of Norton Avenue Baptist Church in Bristol Township is tired of conducting funerals for parishioners who died due to violence.
Last Sunday, Evans along with about 100 people of all faiths marched from the Norton Avenue church, down Green Lane to a service at the House of Prayer. Chants of “stop the violence” echoed through the streets as the group called for an end to gun violence.
“We can act like it ain’t happen and doing funerals – or we can do something about it,” he said.
Evans said he’s conducted several funerals over the past few years for victims of gun violence, some from Bristol Township and some from outside the area.
Cathy Leary of the BuxMont Coalition for Peace said the rally was supported by passersby and neighbors who voiced their support and honked as the group walked down Green Lane with a police escort. (To read complete article, Click Here)
Bristol Township Community calls for end to Gun Violence
By Beth Fisher Bucks County Courier Times
From left to right: Marie Rosenberg, Bucks Safe; Cathy Leary, BuxMont CFPA Director; Movita Johnson Harrell, The Charles Foundation; Pastor Brown of Bristol
Marchers from Norton Avenue Baptist Church, the House of Prayer, and the Bucks County community call for An End to Gun Violence.
For more pictures, Click Here to view via Facebook. (You do not need a Facebook account to view the pictures)
Click here to watch a powerful video from the event. (Video By: Chloe Elmer/Staff Photographer Bucks County Courier Times)
"I am in awe at the strength of the people in this video. If this does not make you want to stand up and let your voices be heard I am not sure what will." -Cathy Leary, BuxMont CFPA Director
Residents of Bristol Township and surrounding areas gathered at Norton Avenue Baptist Church to call for an end to gun violence in their community.
“We’re in a war,” Pastor James D Evans III said. “The casualties are devastating our community.”
Cathy Leary, of the BuxMont Coalition for Peace, spearheaded the event that attracted about 100 people to pray and march the streets calling for peace.
“Faith-based is going to lead the way,” Leary said of the numerous organizations involved in the campaign for peace.
Prayer services started at Norton Avenue Baptist Church, after which the crowd marched down Green Lane to the House of Prayer, chanting “stop the violence; save our children,” and holding signs that read “Communities working together to end gun violence.”
Neighbors in their yards and drivers passing by waved and called out encouragement and thanks. (To read complete article, Click Here)
Princeton Public Library screening 'Countdown to Zero' April 19
By Rich Cuccagna | Times of Trenton on April 07, 2015
A screening and discussion of "Countdown to Zero" will take place Sunday, April 19, at 3:30 p.m. at Princeton Public Library. Part of the Global Cinema Café series, the film traces the history of the atomic bomb. It also examines the present state of affairs: nine nations possessing nuclear weapons capabilities with others racing to join them with the world held in a delicate balance that could be shattered by an act of terrorism, failed diplomacy, or a simple accident.
Following the screening, Bruce G. Blair, a research faculty member at Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security, will speak and lead a discussion. Blair is the co-founder of Global Zero, serves on the Secretary of State's International Security Advisory Board, and often testifies before Congress. He has produced a PBS series and many documentaries, including "Countdown to Zero." (To view article online, Click Here )
The event is co-sponsored by the library, Global Cinema Café, Coalition For Peace Action and Whole Earth Center.
On Iran, Congress has to heed vox populi
The Philadelphia Inquirer Monday 6, 2015 Letter to the Editor By Edward A. Aguilar, Pennsylvania director, Coalition for Peace Action
In reaching a framework for a final agreement to limit Iran to a peaceful program under the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, the parties have shown great political will, putting diplomacy and peace over threats of aggression and bombing in the longest negotiating marathon in many years. But it's not over.
Congress, particularly the Senate, now must show the bipartisan political will to support and enforce this framework for a deal. The proposal by Sens. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) to weigh in before the agreement is signed in June puts the cart before the horse and contradicts 225 years of constitutional practice.
Polls show that Americans, by a two-thirds majority, support these negotiations - by more than 70 percent in Pennsylvania. Congress should follow the better angels of our nature, not irresponsible calls for a larger war and devastation in the Middle East.
Note: This same LTE was released in the April 7, 2015 online version of the Herald News
|Edward A. Aguilar, Pennsylvania director, Coalition for Peace Action Friends Center, Philadelphia, peacecoalition.org
PRINCETON: 'Unmaking the Bomb' authors to highlight Peace Coalition membership event
DATE POSTED ONLINE: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in the Friday, March 27 Hard Copy Edition The Princeton Packet
Dr. Zia Mian and Dr. Frank von Hippel, co-authors of the recently published book “Unmaking the Bomb,” will make a presentation on their book for the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) Annual Membership Renewal and New Member Welcome Gathering on Sunday afternoon, March 29, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton, 50 Cherry Hill Road.
Dr. Mian directs the Project on Peace and Security in South Asia at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security. Previously, he has taught at Yale University and Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, and worked at the Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, Massachusetss, and the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad.
A former assistant director for national security in the White House Office of Science and Technology, Dr. von Hippel’s areas of policy research include nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, energy, and checks and balances in policymaking for technology. (To read the Complete article online, Click Here )
Unmaking the Bomb Authors to Speak at Peace Coalition Event
Town Topics, Written by Linda Arntzenius Friday March 27, 2015 Online Version
Letter: Continue talks with Iran - seek understanding for a peaceful world
The Trenton Times, Letter to the Editor by peace activist and member of the Coalition for Peace Action Richard Moody, March 18, 2015
I write in reference to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent warmongering speech before Congress and the subsequent extraordinary open letter sent to Iran by 47 Republican U.S. senators.
I believe Iran is highly unlikely to attack Israel -- or the U.S. Although the exact number is unknown, it is reported that Israel has between 75 and 400 nuclear warheads. It also has nuclear armed submarines. Iran's ayatollahs have stated they are not pursuing a military nuclear option, since Iran -- unlike Israel -- is a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, an agreement two of our supposed allies with nuclear capability have also not signed: India and Pakistan. (To view Richard Moody's complete letter to the editor in the Trenton Times, Click Here; The same letter appeared in the Crested Butte News on April 3, 2015)
IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS
The Philadelphia Inquirer, Letter to the Editor by CFPA, Philadelphia Director Ed Aguilar January 29, 2015
ISSUE | IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS
Congress should go easy with sanctions
The Kirk-Menendez bill on Iran sanctions is seriously flawed, and, as Prime Minister David Cameron noted during his visit, such congressional action would undermine the unity of the United States with the allied powers at the Iran nuclear talks. Because it's coming from the British prime minister, a close ally, Congress should pay close attention.
This bill is flawed for both legal and strategic reasons. First, it would violate the painstakingly negotiated Joint Plan of Action by Iran and the allies. Rather than isolating Iran, its passage would isolate and weaken the U.S. position at the upcoming talks. These negotiations are critical to keeping Iran's nuclear program a peaceful one, not a strategic threat to the United States, Israel, and the region. (To view in the Philadelphia Inquirer online, Click Here and scroll to the bottom.)
|Edward A. Aguilar, Pennsylvania director, Coalition for Peace Action, Philadelphia, Peacecoalition.org
Successful talks with Iran are in U.S. interests
Wed, Jan 28 Pittsburgh Post Gazette by JO SCHLESINGER, Western PA Coordinator - CFPA
Although the United States and its international allies are within reach of a working framework agreement on Iran's nuclear program, escalating tensions and a bill to increase sanctions threaten to undermine it.
The current negotiations with Iran provide the best opportunity we’ve ever had to guard against a nuclear-armed Iran. With patient and persistent diplomacy, the international community has come a long way toward resolving this issue peacefully. Now with negotiations between the P5+1 (the United States plus five other nations) and Iran nearing conclusion, Congress should do nothing that could risk jeopardizing the talks. I urge Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey to oppose the increased sanctions legislation and support ongoing diplomacy. (To read complete article, Click Here)
Opinion: Shine a light on U.S. policy
of drone warfare
Sunday, January 11, 2015 Op-Ed The Trenton Times by Rev. Robert Moore
In this season of the shortest, darkest days of the year, many faith traditions focus on the divine promise of light. In an oft-quoted verse, the Hebrew Bible summarizes the theme: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light...” (Isaiah 9:2).
With the recent release of the more than 500-page U.S. Senate Report on Torture, light has been shone on a dark chapter, the so-called “war on terror.” The CIA secretly tortured suspects, subjecting them to techniques widely recognized as torture under U.S. and international law. (To read complete article, Click Here)
Regarding "Senate probe unveils CIA brutality"
Letter to the Editor by The Rev. Robert Moore- December 11, 2014 The Record
I applaud the Senate Intelligence Committee for its thorough, detailed report on the CIA's practice of torture. I'm proud to be a citizen of a country that is willing to admit when it does wrong.
Torture violates the values of my faith, as well as our nation's basic values. Using torture has further corrupted the CIA. The report shows that it attempted to hide the use of torture from then-Secretary of State Colin Powell and that the CIA was later caught spying on its own oversight committee.
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., strongly supported this report. When he was tortured in North Vietnam, what helped sustain him was the belief that his nation was above such heinous activity.
Predictably, the CIA and its supporters are asserting that valuable information was obtained by using torture. With full access to the classified record, the report thoroughly documents in detail why that is false. Even using common sense, we know that a man who is tortured will say whatever he thinks will make his torturers stop.
We must demand that we remove the stain of torture from our nation's present and future. Only then will we as a nation be on the moral path toward justice, peace and reconciliation.
The Rev. Robert Moore
Princeton, Dec. 11
Coalition for Peace Action holds
Sandy Hook vigil
Monday, December 15, 2014 By Rich Cuccagna Times of Trenton
PRINCETON — Coalition for Peace Action led a vigil on Sunday, Dec. 14 to commemorate the 26 victims who died due to gun violence on the same date two years ago in Newtown, Conn.
Twenty of those victims who were murdered that day were children.
At its peak, about 30 people took part in the vigil.
To begin the vigil, 13 individuals each held two candles to represent the 26 fallen victims to gun violence at Sandy Hook Elementary.
The crowd chanted things such as “Remember Newtown!” and “No more Gun Violence!” throughout the vigil. (to view article online, Click Here)
Coverage of the vigil also ran in the Wed., December 17 hard copy edition of Princeton's, Town Topics
Religious leaders hold gun vigil on
Sandy Hook anniversary
Sunday, December 14, 2014 By ANTHONY DIMATTIA Bucks County Courier Times
Religious leaders and congregants gathered Sunday in Bristol Township for a vigil to end gun violence.
About 100 people gathered in the Norton Avenue Baptist Church to pray on the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Two years ago today, 26 innocent human beings, 20 of them small children, were killed in cold blood by guns.” said the Rev. Bob Moore. “The guns of a single individual.”
The vigil, led by religious leaders from across the area, included sermons and calls to help bring stricter guns laws across the U.S.
“If the culture of our nation is to change, then it must be through prayer,” said the Rev. James Evans of Norton Avenue Baptist Church.
The Rev. Robert Coombe, of Yardley United Methodist Church, said he was there “out of anger” for what gun violence has done throughout the country.
“I wish our nation could have this conversation we need to have, it’s so critical,” he said. “The violence is in the guns, but I’m astounded by the violence from within us.”
The Rev. David Brown, of Fox Chase United Methodist Church, said his niece is a public school teacher in Newtown, Connecticut.
“After that terrible tragedy, her daughter’s swim team had fewer members,” he said.
Brown stressed the need to promote straw gun purchase laws and to prohibit the sale of weapons at gun shows.
“Our work with heeding God’s call is to prevent the gun shops selling to buyers that they know are going to put those guns on the street,” he said.
Evans said all the sermons were meant to inspire and motivate the community to promote change.
“People have become so reactionary instead of being proactive,” he said.
The room, which was filled with men, women and children, joined hands in song as the hour-long vigil commenced.
“We need to have peace and not gun violence, but it’s going to take work and it’s going to take persistence,” Evans said.
Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action to host annual holiday gathering
By Amy Reynolds | Times of Trenton on December 09, 2014
PRINCETON — The Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action will host its annual holiday gathering Friday at Nassau Presbyterian Church, located at 61 Nassau St., across from Palmer Square.
During the event, the coalition will honor CFPA chairwoman Irene Etkin Goldman, who is finishing her 10th year as chair, organizers said.
“We urge all who want to help recognize and honor Irene Etkin Goldman for 10 years of superb leadership as CFPA board chair, hear a wonderful children’s musician, and celebrate the holiday in a spirit of peace to come and join us on Friday, Dec. 12,” said the Rev. Robert Moore, CFPA executive director. (to read complete article Click Here)
Protesters take to Nassau Street in Princeton
By Max Pizarro 12/08/14 Politicker NJ
PRINCETON – Nassau Street looked like mass carnage an hour ago, as a couple hundred protesters lay down suddenly on the cold sidewalk in a mass protest of conditions leading to the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in Staten Island.
For a few moments, they were silent.
Then the voices of people affiliated with the Princeton University Center for African American Studies and the Coalition for Peace Action filled the December air.
“Black lives matter! Black lives matter! Black lives matter!”
After a few moments, they walked up Nassau in the middle of the street, the chant changing over at one point to, “Whose streets? Our streets! Whose streets? Our streets!" (to view article online Click Here)
L.A. PARKER: Princeton peace rally
eyes the why of the tiger
By L.A. Parker, The Trentonian Posted: 11/28/14
Slogans add strength to initiatives whether they get used in addiction recovery or social activism.
“Just for today” or “Let Go, Let God” support daily efforts for people who face issues regarding drugs, alcohol, or other unhealthy behaviors.
Small words such as “Love” or “Peace” or a simple peace sign are potently powerful.
Civil unrest that connects to events occurring in Ferguson, Mo. always tether to “No justice. No peace.”
That meme resounded during a Princeton rally last week as several hundred people marched for both peace and justice in Ferguson.
Participants listened as speakers invoked ideas that celebrated U.S. freedom, particularly a right to assemble and protest.
That the rally had been planned regardless of a grand jury decision, made clear that the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action group, understood both mission and purpose. (to read complete article Click Here)
Princeton students and residents hold protest of Ferguson decision
By Isaac Avilucea 11/27/14 The Trentontian
Hundreds of demonstrators peacefully assembled Tuesday night at Tiger Park on Nassau Drive in Princeton in a show of solidarity with civil rights leaders and family members of a Michael Brown, a black unarmed teenager who was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., in August.
The rally came a day after a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer responsible for his death.
“This is another sign that racism is still a problem in this nation,” said Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, one of the sponsors of the rally, along with the New Jersey chapter of Progressive Democrats of America and the Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton. Moore, who is white, was one of several people who acknowledged his “white privilege” and handed the microphone off to a number of influential community leaders – including ones from the black community. They implored the crowd that words are insufficient to beat back a rising tide of “police militarization” and encouraged them to follow up with the state’s political leaders to ensure something is done to address their concerns. One of the event organizers, Mary Ellen Marion, cited a rash of police-involved shootings in New Jersey as proof law enforcement’s use of lethal force isn’t isolated to Ferguson. (to read complete article Click Here)
Princeton rally follows Ferguson verdict
By Martin Griff The Times of Trenton on November 26, 2014
PRINCETON — About 250 people attended a rally sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action in Princeton Tuesday evening.The gathering at Tiger Park on Nassau Street was held the day after the St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.
“The goal is to bring awareness to the people and show that we stand together in solidarity with the people of Ferguson that this is unjust what has happened and we want a peaceful result to come of this, not more injustice,” said Alesha Vega, coalition assistant director. (to see complete article and pictures Click Here)
Over 200 join Palmer Square protest over grand jury decision on Michael Brown case
In 11/28/14 edition of the Daily Princetonian
Over 200 students, faith community leaders and Princeton residents joined in vigil on Tuesday at Palmer Square for Michael Brown and all victims of police brutality. Representatives of local churches, elected officials and University trustees gave remarks. This vigil occurred a day after a grand jury ruled that Darren Wilson, a policeman from the suburbs of St. Louis, Mo., would not be facing charges in the August shooting death of 18-year-old African-American Michael Brown. Wilson had shot Brown multiple times in the middle of the day on a residential street after an alleged altercation between the two. [more]
Princeton: Tutu daughter gives
sermon at peace service
"For me, this is a spiritual high-water mark because of such a wide range of faiths coming together," said the Rev. Robert Moore, the executive director of CFPA. "This is grand work in the great spiritual traditions in the world, which are all centered around peace.
Ms. Tutu’s sermon was followed with Jewish, Muslim and Sikh prayers for peace in addition to the Exchange of Peace where attendees stood up and shook hands with each other, bestowing well wishes and peace one another. Several people made sure to give a handshake to U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, who attended the service that morning. For Rep. Holt, the service was an important community event.
"I always look forward to the annual Interfaith Service for Peace — it’s a reminder that through the centuries and across the religions people continue to hope and pray to work for peace," he saidt. "That it’s not naive or pointless, but a higher calling and duty."
"The idea is to support peaceful alternatives — the world has too much war already," said Rev. Moore. (to read complete article Click Here)
Daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks at
35th annual peace conference in Princeton
By Times of Trenton Staff Writers on November 11, 2014
The daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu was among the speakers Sunday for the 35th Annual Conference and Interfaith Service for Peace hosted by the Coalition for Peace Action.
Other speakers included Amy Goodman, an author and host and executive producer of Democracy Now!; Jamal Abdi, policy director of the National Iranian American Council; and Ariane Tabatabai, a Stanton Nuclear Fellow, Harvard University who has published on the Iran negotiations. (to read complete article Click Here)
Chancel Choir concert will remember lives lost to gun violence (on Sat. November 1, 2014)
Tutu, Goodman to Speak At “Seal the Deal” Event
by Town Topics October 23, 2014
The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) will present its 35th Annual Conference and Interfaith Service for Peace, titled, “Seal the Deal on the Iran Nuclear Issue” on Sunday November 9 in Princeton.
The event features Amy Goodman and Naomi Tutu, the daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Ms. Tutu has worked on race, gender, and peace issues around the world. Ms. Goodman is an award winning journalist, renowned author, and host and executive producer of Democracy Now! (to read complete article, Click Here)
Coalition for Peace Action holding peace event in
ByRich Cuccagna October 21, 2014 The Times of Trenton
PRINCETON — "Seal the Deal on the Iran Nuclear Issue" is the title of the 35th Annual Conference and Interfaith Service for Peace sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) and co-sponsored to date by 31 religious and civic groups in the region on Sunday, November 9 in Princeton.
Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has worked on race, gender, and peace issues around the world, will appear at an individual Sponsor-only Reception and Dinner from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, November 8 at the Nassau Inn in Princeton. (to read complete article Click Here)
By Terrence T. McDonald in October 2 online version The Jersey Journal
The mayor's plan is backed by Ceasefire NJ, which lobbies for stricter gun control laws. Nicola Bocour, the group's project and legislative director, said the policy could have a "huge impact" by illustrating to vendors that their profits could be affected if they don't "take gun violence seriously."
L.A. PARKER: The only thing truly worth fighting for is Peace
By L.A. Parker in September 20 online version The Trentontian
Happy International Peace Day. Ready? Wrestle. My son, along with his mother, about 75 George School students, plus, parents, and chaperones travel to New York City to rally for world initiatives that reverse global warming. Also, on the geopolitical table, is a push for peaceful resolutions of disagreements, hence the moniker “Stop Global Warming, Stop Global War.” While many press for world peace, influenced by worthy organizations such as Coalition for Peace Action, a personal admission confesses internal wars of ego, anger, jealousy, and a litany of other human characteristics that erupt. If New York City is out of your travel or pay grade then check out the Coalition for Peace Action website www.peacecoalition.org. for local peace activities.
Princeton-based Peace Action Education Fund awarded
By Cristina Rojas in Spetember 19 onine version Times of Trenton
The Peace Action Education Fund, the educational arm of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, was awarded a $75,000 grant from the Foundation to Promote Open Society to put together a faith community response and education outreach campaign around drone warfare.
Don't become embroiled in another Mid-East war
Letter to the Editor Published on September 16 The Princeton Packet
By The Rev. Robert Moore, Princeton
President Obama has presented what he believes is a viable strategy to eliminate ISIS, but for me his speech raised as many questions as it provided solutions.
We’ve seen how unintended consequences of military action can spiral out of control, causing more pain and suffering in the region and hurting our security. U.S. air attacks, and the civilian deaths they cause, have often served as recruitment tools for groups like ISIS. Too many U.S. weapons have already fallen into the hands of the extremists.
No combat boots on the ground? We already have close to 1,300 troops in Iraq, and may need to send more, and possibly into Syria as well, for any number of contingencies that might arise. It also presumes that many nations in the region will provide such "boots," but very few are making such commitments so far.
Why isn’t there more emphasis on effective nonviolent alternatives for countering ISIS? We could crack down on oil dealers purchasing ISIS’s oil on the black market. Why not restart UN-sponsored negotiations to end the Syrian civil war and charge ISIS leaders with crimes against humanity in the International Court?
Best of all would be for the U.S. to take global leadership in curtailing global warming by a "race to the moon" type of push for rapidly shifting away from oil, gas, and nuclear toward clean renewables like solar and wind. By doing so, we would undermine petro-dictatorships in the Middle East, Russia, etc., and act most effectively for No Wars, No Warming.Let’s emphasize these alternatives before becoming embroiled in another Middle East war, a probable quagmire-to-be. For more information, visit the Coalition for Peace Action web site, www.peacecoalition.org or call 609-924-5022
International Day of Peace Celebration in Medford Lakes on Sept. 21
Published in September 8 South Jersey Local News
The Protestant Community Church of Medford Lakes (Cathedral of the Woods) will have a special program on Sunday, Sept. 21, in conjunction with the International Day of Peace. Distinguished speakers and interactive workshops will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, will join Rev. Steve Winkler of PCC for a special worship service at 10 a.m. to start the events.
Rallying Against Racism
Written in August 27 Town Topics
Sponsored by the Coalition for Pea ce Action and Not In Our Town, Saturday’s March and Rally for Justice for Michael Brown was attended by as many as 125 people. Among the speakers were CFPA Executive Director, The Rev. Robert Moore; the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church Carlton Branscomb; and, at the lectern, Rutgers Professor Emeritus Daniel Harris. Some of the participants express their thoughts in this week’s Town Talk. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)
Protesters rally against Michael Brown's death in Princeton march, speeches
Rev. Bob Moore, who serves as executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action in Princeton, spoke about his shock not only at Brown’s death, but also at the way peaceful protesters have been treated in Ferguson since Brown was killed. “What country am I looking at?” Moore asked. The militarization of police forces around the country poses a major threat to the country, he said. “We need to stop this,” Moore said. [more]
by Erica Chayes in August 13 Princeton Sun
The evening of Aug. 5 had just begun to cool as members of the Coalition for Peace Action gathered in Hinds Plaza. Princetonians enjoyed picnics from home or a nearby café while waiting for the Commemoration of Hiroshima to commence. Baskets of neon origami and an arrangement of paper-crafted sunflowers that read, “Nuclear Abolition Now!” brought color to surrounding black and white photographs of Hiroshima victims and devastation. [more ]
Keep talking with Iran about its nuclear program
letter to the editor in July 22 Trenton Times and July 25 Princeton Packet.
Negotiations over Iran's nuclear program have resulted in creative flexibility and verified compliance with the restraints in the interim agreement that reached the six-month mark July 20. As a result, negotiators have extended the talks for another four months, until late November (“World powers agree to extend nuclear talks,” July 20, nj.com).
I urge our U.S. senators and representatives in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to seize this opportunity to publicly speak out in support of diplomacy. New sanctions or other saber-rattling measures could undermine the progress our diplomats have made toward a multi-year agreement that guards against a nuclear-armed Iran and the risk of a major war over this issue.
Readers who want more information on how Congress can support a peaceful resolution of the dispute over Iran's nuclear program can visit the website of the Coalition for Peace Action's Princeton regional office, peacecoalition.org, or call weekdays at (609) 924-5022.
The Rev. Robert Moore,
The writer is executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action and co-pastor of Christ Congregation.
Do not re-engage U.S. in war in Iraq
lead letter to the editor in June 21 Trenton Times
also published in June 24 Princeton Packet
President Barack Obama announced Thursday that the U.S. would be sending up to 300 military advisers to Iraq, adding that the U.S. is now ready to make “limited, targeted” airstrikes if the situation on the ground dictates it. I am deeply troubled by this re-engagement in war in Iraq.
This is a dangerous escalation of U.S. military involvement in a problem the president himself has said has no military solution. It is also a dangerous retreat from the conditions that the president set for U.S. engagement.
What is needed in Iraq is a political solution. The domineering, exclusionary policies of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are what are fueling the sectarian tensions and led to the renewed civil war in Iraq.
History has shown that military advisors can become ground troops, despite the best intentions. President Obama is still threatening airstrikes, which would be counterproductive and firmly make America part of what is a growing Iraqi civil war.
President Obama needs to listen to the American people and not restart the Iraq war.
-- The Rev. Robert Moore, Princeton
The writer is executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action and co-pastor of Christ Congregation.
U.S. Rep Rush Holt honored by Princeton-based peace coalition
on page 3 in June 9 Trenton Times
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th) addresses members of the Coalition for Peace Action during the coalition’s 33rd annual membership dinner at the MacKay Campus Center of the Princeton Theological Seminary yesterday. (James McEvoy/The Times)
For just the second time in its 34-year history, the Coalition for Peace Action bestowed its highest award to U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th District) yesterday afternoon.
“Your cause has been my cause,” Holt said in his keynote address after receiving the George F. Kennan Distinguished Peace Leadership Award during the coalition’s 33rd anniversary membership dinner at the Princeton Theological Seminary. “The work of perfecting our union has thus remained an unfinished task. We are up to it as a nation, and I’m privileged to be your partner in working to finish that job.”
In his remarks to nearly 200 people in attendance, Holt compared the current Global War on Terrorism to the Cold War, saying that in both instances the power of fear caused the United States to be unable to “live up to its professed values.” [more]
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt to Be Honored at Coalition for Peace Action Event
Posted 5/12 by Krystal Knapp on planet Princeton
Rush Holt, who will be retiring from the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of 2014, will be honored by the Coalition for Peace Action next month. Holt will receive the George F. Kennan Distinguished Peace Leadership Award at the Coalition for Peace Action’s 33rd anniversary membership dinner and gathering on Sunday afternoon, June 8, at the MacKay Campus Center at Princeton Theological Seminary. The Award is the Coalition’s highest honor, and this will be the second time it is being presented in the organization’s 34 year history. Holt will also be the keynote speaker at the event. [more ]
Gun safety rally sparks controversy in Langhorne
(front page of May 7 Bucks County Courier Times)
The Bucks Coalition for Gun Safety holds a pre Mother's Day Vigil in Langhorne Monday afternoon. Supporters marched along Maple Avenue from the Peace Center to state Rep. Frank Farry's office where they were met by an equally sizable group of gun rights supporters. Here Sheryl Kesselman of Holland speaks to those assembled about how she lost her son, Corey, to gun violence on May 25, 2012.
By Elizabeth Fisher Correspondent
Members of the Bucks Coalition for Gun Safety held a pre-Mother's Day Gun Safety Rally on Monday that started out peacefully with a march from the Bucks County Peace Center in Langhorne. [more]
Groups Meet at Gun Protest Outside of State Representative’s Office
posted on May 6 on LevittownNow.com
Tom Sofield May 6, 2014
The sun was shining Monday as several dozen people on both sides of gun debate met outside State Rep. Frank Farry’s office on Maple Avenue in Middletown’s Langhorne section. [more ] Credit: Tom Sofield/LevittownNow.com
Imagine what the U.S. could do with the money given to the military.
Letter to the Editor by Jo Schlesinger, Coalition for Peace Action PA
April 15, 2014 in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Do you know where your federal taxes go? Maybe you’d choose for them to be spent on education, or maybe infrastructure, clean energy, affordable college tuition, veterans or science. The United States spends more on the military than the next 13 biggest-spending countries combined. One might wonder why, with our wars winding down, we need to pay 40 cents of every dollar to the military. [Read more ]
Celebration of the Persian New Year
March 30, 2014
Mary Iuvone of The Times of Trenton was on hand at the Persian New Year celebration co-sponsored by the Coalition of Peace Action to capture some of the fun. See a few of her photos below, and click here to see the full set.
Protesters March Against Drones Center In Horsham
By Nicole Foulke
March 29, 2014 BucksCounty Courier Times (Subscription required. Full article below for convenience.)
Three Buddhist monks, having walked from Massachusetts, covered their saffron robes with rain parkas, wrapped their drums in plastic bags and joined peace groups on Saturday to trek another 2½ miles to the Horsham Air Guard base to protest the planned ground-control command center for drone operations.
Members of the Nipponzan Myohoji order, the monks made the protest a part of their 13th annual journey of peace, called a “Walk for a New Spring,” from the New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Mass., to Washington, D.C.
“We wanted to pray and express our deep yearning and our deep belief that we should renounce all drones in this country. It’s a very frightening direction to go in,” said monk Clare Carter. “I think it’s more deadly than other forms of combat because we’re more removed,” added Carter.
According to Master Sgt. Christopher Botzum, the public affairs representative for the fighter wing, the command center, which should be functional in 2015, will have pilots in Horsham flying the MQ-9 Reaper RPA, an aircraft that is remotely controlled and monitored during flights.
“You’re flying over enemy territory and you see two people digging a hole. Are they fixing a pipe or are they planting an IED?” asked Botzum. “With the remotely piloted aircraft, we can way better assess what’s going on, and that information is transmitted to various intelligence agencies or whoever will make the decisions.”
According to Botzum, activities that used to require a large number of people overseas can now be accomplished with the RPAs, and the military can now protect more soldiers.
“I remember tears in my eyes after sending some of these guys out, whereas I don’t have to wipe tears from my eyes here,” he said.
Robert Smith of the Brandywine Peace Community in Pennsylvania and the Rev. Bob Moore of the Coalition for Peace Action in New Jersey, began what Moore referred to as a campaign in both states against all military RPAs, including the planned Horsham center.
According to Smith, there needs to be a discussion about what Americans want for their future. He and his colleagues plan to strengthen their campaign in the coming months. “We are now in a new era of drone war and surveillance. It has to be reversed. It has to be stopped,” he said.
Opinion: Vital Measures Will Help Curb Gun Violence
Opinion piece by Nicola Bocour, Legislative Director of Ceasefire NJ
published March 28, 2014 in the Bergen Record
A New Jersey Assembley panel voted to support a bill (A2006) that would reduce the maximum capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. While the bill is significant, the concept is not new, nor is it unique. What the Legislature seeks to do is to join other states that have moved to a 10-round limit. [read full article]
Photos of Membership Renewal Gathering
click here to see photos by Michael Mancuso from page 3 of March 18 edition of the Trenton Times
Medea Benjamin, center, peace activist and author, who was detained and physically abused recently at Cairo's airport by Egyptiain police without explanation, then deported to Turkey, speaks and autographs a copy of her book "Drone Warfare, Killing by Remote Control" for George McCollough at the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) annual memberhship renewal gathering in Princeton.
Debate Heats Up Over NJ Proposal To Ban Large Ammo Clips
March 14, NJ Spotlight
The debate over whether New Jersey should ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds appears to come down to whether one believes that the smaller clips will deter mass shooters or hinder citizens using guns in self-defense.
Supporters of the ban, including groups like Heeding God’s Call and Ceasefire NJ, say that it would force shooters to pause and reload, creating opportunities for potential victims to escape or for law-enforcement or others to apprehend a gunman... [read full article]
We must not undermine peace efforts with Iran
Letter to the editor in January 14 Pittsburgh Post Gazette
The Senate will vote in the next few weeks on Senate Bill 1881, the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, which would impose new sanctions on Iran. This shortsighted piece of legislation could undo the progress made in months of negotiations. Although both Pennsylvania’s senators, Bob Casey and Pat Toomey have co-sponsored SB 1881, now is not the time to give up on the needed steps toward peace, in violation of the interim agreement Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated and signed in Geneva.
From a Washington Post article printed Dec. 13 in the Post-Gazette (“U.S. Punishes Sanction Violators in Iran”), “both Iran and key U.S. allies abroad would perceive the U.S. as acting in bad faith, potentially undermining international support for the very sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table,” according to Wendy Sherman, State Department undersecretary for political affairs. This failure of diplomacy could then become a pretext for new threats of U.S. or Israeli aggression against Iran.
Even former national security advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft have pointed out in a joint letter, “additional sanctions now against Iran will risk undermining or even shutting down the negotiations.” Sabotaging diplomacy would jeopardize the unprecedented progress our diplomats have achieved to guard against yet another war, and yet another nuclear-armed nation.
Let us not undermine our two countries’ first fragile steps toward peace.
Western PA Coordinator
Coalition for Peace Action