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Letters to Editors
Dec. 12th We had a special meeting with Mike Prokosch during
which we discussed how to have more effective monthly meetings,
and scheduled a retreat for Saturday, January 13th. We also agreed
to endorse the March on Washington January 27-29th.
After many months
of requesting the opportunity, MVPP has been invited to present
a counter recruitment table at Greater Lawrence Technical High
School on Jan 10th.
Nov 17-19 MVPP
members, Arthur Brien and Boryana Taconni joined 22,000 other protesters
in Fort Benning, Georgia, at the School of the Americas Watch
protest. They received a rousing sendoff by MVPP members attending
a special meeting with Mike Prokosch on Nov. 16th, during which
we accessed some of our current issues and concerns.
Nov. 21 MVPP
had its annual Stone Soup meal, during which $175 was raised
for Oxfam as well as enough money to pay for 2 Thanksgiving meals
for local families\
Nov. 28 monthly
MVPP meeting - discussed strategies for local counter-recruitment
activities, and established a new committee to work in Lawrence
and other communities. We voted to support Sean Donahues trip
to Oaxaca with Witness For Peace with a small donation.
October 1 United
for Justice and Peace (UJP) Rally on Boston Common Several
MVPP members attended the UJP rally in support of The Declaration
of Peace initiative to end the war in Iraq. Singer and activist
Holly Near joined speakers Elena Letona (Director of Centro Presente)
and Andy Sapp (Iraq Veterans Against the War). MVPPs Pat Scanlon
also sang his new song Where is the Rage at the rally.
October 5 MVPP
Members Participate in Protest at Textron Systems in Wilmington,
MA MVPP joined Frances Crowe and The Northampton Committee to Stop
the War in Iraq in organizing the protest at Textron Systems. Several
MVPP members participated in the protest along with Code Pink, the
Grannies and people from throughout the state. Textron is one of
2 companies producing the largest number of cluster bombs in the
US. These highly explosive bombs are responsible for the injuring
and killing of many civilians in the areas where they are used.
October 13 & 14 MVPP Member Pat Scanlon Sings at Arlington
East on Cape Cod Singer and songwriter, Pat Scanlon, appeared
at the Nauset Regional High School on Cape Cod to memorialize those
who have died in Iraq. Pat performed his 2 latest anti-war songs
Ive Got a Feeling Ive Been Here Before and
Where is the Rage at this event sponsored by Cape Codders
for Peace and Justice and Veterans for Peace Cape Cod Chapter
MVPP Attends Lawrence Bread and Roses Festival
MVPP attended this annual festival in Lawrence to provide information
on counter-recruitment efforts in the area and to promote the upcoming
speaking engagement of Helen Caldicott in Newburyport.
MVPP Attends Paws for Peace Festival in Amesbury, where kids
learn that gentle respect is good for puppies and kids.
MVPP attended this festival sponsored by KIDS and K9ASSIST, a non-profit
organization working for the betterment of animal and child welfare.
information on counter-recruitment, facts about immigration issues
and the upcoming appearance of Helen Caldicott.
MVPP Member Niki Rosen Featured in Newburyport Newspaper
Niki Rosen, who has vigiled in Market Square in Newburyport since
before the start of the Iraq War, was featured in an article in
the Newburyport News.
MVPP Attends Andover Know Your Town Day
MVPP attended this event to provide information on counter-recruitment,
efforts for peace and Helen Caldicotts speaking engagement
on September 23 in Newburyport.
click to see more of Brenda's pictures.
MVPP Recipient of Grant for Counter Recruitment
MVPP received a generous grant from Sisbros, a non-geographical
covenant community. The grant will help MVPP to expand its counter
recruitment efforts in the area.
September 21 Candlelight Vigils in Newburyport & Andover
to Support The Declaration of Peace MVPP organized candlelight vigils
in Newburyport and Andover in conjunction with The Declaration of
Peace initiative to end the war in Iraq.
September 23 MVPP Sponsors Dr. Helen Caldicott at Newburyport
City Hall MVPP was the proud sponsor of Dr. Helen Caldicott in Newburyport
where over 120 people gathered to hear Dr.Caldicott speak about
the dangers of nuclear power and complacency in our dangerous world.
Dr. Caldicott was given a warm reception and MVPP was grateful for
the support of several co-sponsors for this event. See
longer review in Newsletter.
Many of our
letters were published and there were
articles about Pat Scanlon, Bobbie Goldman,
and Niki Rosen.
6 Phillips Academy Hosts Military Families Speak Out (MFSO)
With the assistance of MVPP, MFSO's co-founders, Nancy Lessin and
Charley Richardson, and Andy Saap from Iraq Veterans Against the War
spoke to approximately 80 high school students at the W.E.B.DuBois
Colloquium. A number of MVPP members attended the event.
July 25 MVPP
The agenda this month included:
Helen Caldicott September 23 in Newburyport
of other upcoming events including Holly Near concert at
Street Church, Bread and Roses Festival in Lawrence and Andover
- vote to endorse
The Declaration for Peace.
July 29 MVPP
at Lowell Folk Festival
MVPP, in conjunction with the Greater Lowell Peace and Justice Group,
had a table at the festival to provide information on counter-recruitment,
depleted uranium and the war in Iraq to many festival attendees.
June 1 MVPP
at Lawrence Technical High School
After much effort on the part of MVPP, 2 of its members, Jim and
Mary Todd, were allowed in to the high school to offer counter-recruitment
information to the students. An estimated 80-100 students visited
their table in the cafeteria. "Think
Before You Enlist" packets were also provided for the administrators
and guidance department. The Boston Globe and Lawrence Eagle Tribune
both featured articles on the event.
June 16 Annual Meeting
Mario Rodas Speaks at MVPP Annual Meeting and Potluck.
Over 50 MVPP members and friends attended the annual meeting and
heard Mario Rodas, the young Guatemalan student facing deportation,
speak about the government's efforts against him. His deportation
has been delayed and MVPP will continue to support his cause and
that of other hard-working illegal immigrants.
President's Annual Report
New Officers elected
Speaker: Mario Rodas: facing immigrant deportation:
June 17 MVPP Joins March for Workers Rights in Lowell
MVPP members attended the march sponsored by the Merrimack Valley
Project to support the right of immigrants to work in this country.
June 18 Hispanic
Week Parade, Lawrence
10 MVPP members joined the parade in Lawrence to celebrate the richness
of the hispanic culture.
Thanks for the pictures Ray!
June 23 MVPP Presents Op-Ed Article in Lawrence Eagle Tribune
MVPP member, Chad Montrie wrote a compelling essay on the importance
of students and parents being fully informed regarding decisions
about military service.
June 27 MVPP
The agenda included:
a talk by Helen Caldicott in September
Pat Scanlon in the release of his new CD "Where is the Rage?"
regarding endorsement of the Declaration of Peace initiative.
The agenda this month included:
- Updates on
counter-recruitment efforts and action around depleted uranium
on how to assist in flood relief in the Merrimack Valley with
donations voted for the Bread and Roses Housing Trust as well
for an Iranian family in the area whose home was flooded
- Final arrangements
for MVPP's annual meeting on June 16 with a pot-luck dinner and
Le Le Mam
Chorus at the UU Church in Andover, May 27
MVPP co-sponsored this group of 7 Dutch women who are touring the
US as representatives of Musicians without Borders. Musicians
without Borders travel the world to promote nonviolence thru
song and dance. The chorus was incredibly beautiful and inspiring!
April 1 Joanne
Hammill featured at the Coffeehouse at Locke Street. MVPP and
the Merrimack Valley Chapter of Amnesty International co-sponsored
this captivating singer/songwriter at
the Unitarian Universalist Church in Andover.
April 14 Vigil
against the death penalty on Reading Common. MVPP supported
this annual Good Friday vigil, RingAround
the Common, sponsored by the North Chapter of MA
Citizens against the Death Penalty.
Survivor of Depleted Uranium Speaks. Dr. Doug Rokke spoke
at several locations in New Hampshire sponsored by New Hampshire
Peace Action. Several MVPP members heard Dr. Rokke speak about his
experience, first investigating the dangers of depleted uranium
for the US government, and then dealing with depleted uranium poisoning
Business Meeting April 25
this month included updates on:
an MVPP library with books, videos and DVDs.
efforts with the Lawrence School Dept. on how to offer students
information regarding options to the military.
- Efforts to
educate the public about the dangers of depleted uranium and House
bill HP2410 which calls for the study of DU exposure and gives
special attention to "uranium exposed veterans".
March for Peace, Justice & Democracy in NYC
April 29. 19 MVPP members joined an estimated 350,000
people for a spirited march and festival in NYC. Activists from
at least 19 states (some from as far away as California) joined
to create a massive coalition to work toward changing the course
of this country.
March 7 Walk
for a New Spring: Reclaiming the Ground of Peace began 2/19
in Leverett, MA. Buddhist monks from the Leverett Peace Pagoda joined
MVPP members for the weekly peace vigil outside Raytheon in Andover
on Tuesday at 6:30 AM. MVPP members then joined the Walk for a New
spring to North Andover, Lawrence and then to the UU Church in Andover
for a pot-luck supper and prayer. Walk for a New Spring continues
its walk throughout MA and ends at the State House in Boston the
first day of spring.
Rally and march in Boston Over a dozen MVPP members joined
an estimated 3000 people in the march from Dudley Square to the
Boston Common for a rally to mark the 3rd anniversary of the Iraq
war and to demand Stop the Violence, Stop the War at Home
and Abroad Unite against Poverty, Racism, Sexism, and War
Bring the Troops Home Now!
Boryana, Bob, and Carolyn joined the protest at the St. Patricks
Day breakfast at the Boston Convention Center. The protest was
sponsored by Military Families Speak Out and Veterans for Peace,
to urge Massachusetts politicians to speak out against the war.
Ralph joined the Walk for a New Spring in the afternoon, as they
protested the proposed BU BioWeapons lab.
in Newburyport 26 MVPP members and friends gathered in Newburyport
as well to mark the anniversary of the Iraq war
vigil in Andover. 25 MVPP members and friends gathered in Andover
center to mark the 3rd anniversary of the Iraq war. Songs, poems,
bagpipes, banjo and reflections acknowledged this somber anniversary.
March 24th -
MVPP speaks at Merrimack College. Mary and Jim Todd spoke
to 2 classes in Religious Studies on how their peace activism comes
out of their religious beliefs. Professor Suzanne Scholz invited
MVPP to her classes.
March 25 - Bobbie,
Becci, and Barbara attended the UJP conference: From Baghdad
to Boston, Organizing for Justice and Peace, where they were
inspired by a number of excellent speakers, including Dr. Entisar
Mohammad Ariabi, Iraqi pharmacist touring US with Code Pink, Nancy
Murray, ACLU, and speakers on Palestinian election, the legacy of
Katrina, and current economic picture.
MVPP met with officials from Lawrence High School and Lawrence Vocational
Technical School to start the planning for counter-recruitment
efforts for this spring and fall.
Feb. 4 MVPP
co-sponsored folk singer Geoff Kaufman at the Andover UU
Feb. 22 MVPP
joined MoveOn for a Constitution vigil in Andover center.
Around 20 people gathered for a reading of the Bill of Rights to
protest the Bush administrations assault on civil liberties.
Feb. 28 MVPP
held its monthly business meeting and voted to make donations
to: UJP, UFP, Mass Peace Action, US campaign to end Israeli occupation,
International Rescue Committee and WAND Peace Fellowship and Scholarship
Fund. Also discussed were events to mark the 3rd anniversary of
the Iraq War March 18 and 19, the Peace Mobilization in NYC April
29 and plans to start a lending library of videos, DVDs and
books that reflect our concern for peace, justice and the environment.
Jan. 4 Over
100 people gathered at the Andover Library for a town meeting
with Congressman Marty Meehan to discuss his position on Iraq.
Although Congressman Meehan has been very vocal about the need for
an exit strategy in Iraq, the crowd encouraged him to take a bolder
stance for an immediate withdrawal of troops. Many MVPP members
attended and were vocal regarding their feelings about the corruption
of this administration.
Jan 4 MVPP President
Bobbie Goldman joined approximately 500 people who attended at an
emergency town meeting called by Congressman Edward Markey
to discuss the Bush Administrations program on domestic surveillance.
Congressman Markey was joined by Carol Ross, Executive Director
of the ACLU of MA and Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director of the
Electronic Privacy Information Center. All three expressed grave
concerns and outrage about the Constitutional crisis in the US today.
They asserted that increasing concentrations of executive power
have weakened and degraded the oversight functions of the judicial
and legislative branches of government. Congressman Markey returned
to Washington with an overwhelming mandate from the crowd to set
limits on executive power and to expect President Bush, just as
any other American, to obey the law.
Jan. 6 MVPP
held its January Potluck dinner and discussion at the United
Methodist Church in North Andover. Around 35 MVPP members and friends
attended as well as members of the Salimye Mosque in Methuen. Following
the delicious dinner, participants had a discussion about being
Muslim in the US in todays political climate. Members of the
mosque shared information about the Islamic faith as well as the
difficulties and stereotyping they have encountered since the 9/11
attacks. It is an MVPP tradition to collect donations for Adopt-a-Minefield,
an organization to clear landmines, at this Potluck dinner. Our
generous members and guests donated $300 for Adopt-a-Landmine and,
in addition, $445 was collected for Mercy Corps, an organization
that provides heat shield blankets for the victims of the earthquake
in Pakistan. MVPP added $200 to that sum from the treasury to donate
a total of $645 to Mercy Corps.
Jan .14 Bobbie
Goldman, Becci Bachman and Bob Connor attended a statewide meeting
sponsored by UJP and Military Families Speak Out to assess the
unsuccessful Bring Our National Guard Home petition drive
and to work on other strategies to bring the guard home. Discussion
focused on tactics to influence Massachusetts Congressmen, efforts
to initiate town meeting and district resolutions and ways to utilize
the media to better educate the public. Participants left re-focused
and re-energized for the work ahead.
Jan. 21 Around
150 people attended Pat Scanlons CD release concert
at the Unitarian Universalist Church in North Andover. Pat is an
environmental activist, Vietnam Vet and singer-songwriter/banjo
player. It was a spirited and enjoyable concert and a very generous
crowd donated almost $500 for mercy blankets for earthquake survivors
in Pakistan. MVPP co-sponsored the evening and many members attended.
MVPP raised over $300 selling refreshments and items from the information
Jan. 22 MVPP
member Masood Skeikh spoke at the worship service at Unitarian
Universalist Church in Andover. Masood shared his feelings on how
his life has changed as a Muslim living in the US since the 9/11
attacks and also explained some of the beliefs of the Muslim faith.
Masood made a wonderful presentation and communicated so well the
love and acceptance inherent in the Muslim faith.
Jan. 24 MVPP
held its monthly business meeting at North Parish Unitarian
Universalist Church in North Andover. Topics of discussion included:
efforts to educate the public about depleted uranium dangers, tactics
to continue counter-recruitment efforts in Lawrence and recent and
upcoming events including plans for rallies in March on the third
anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. Sub-committees were formed
to address counter-recruitment efforts, DU programming, and to make
recommendations about donations.
for highlights in 2002 - 2003, 2004, 2005,
People for Peace meets monthly, on the fourth Tuesday,
at 7:30 pm, at
North Parish Church, North Andover.
Merrimack Valley People for Peace (978) 685-1389
P.O. Box 573
North Andover, MA 01845
to post on the website to firstname.lastname@example.org