Free State Peacemongers – Protest Sen. Cardin’s opposition to Iran Deal Monday!

September 4, 2015
MD peace proponents at Sen. Cardin's office two weeks ago, we'll have many more on Monday at the Labor Day parades!

MD peace proponents at Sen. Cardin’s office two weeks ago, we’ll have many more on Monday at the Labor Day parades!

Next week, Congress will take up the historic peace agreement with Iran, with votes expected in the House of Representatives and Senate by the end of the week. Our junior senator, Ben Cardin, has just announced that he will vote against the Iran accord.  In addition, he is planning to introduce legislation that will undercut the deal.  This is unacceptable, and we need to show Sen. Cardin that we are extremely disappointed in him—there is still time for him to change his mind.  Sen. Cardin is marching in two Labor Day parades on Monday. Please join us to tell him that we did not elect him to support Netanyahu’s right wing government over the interests of the U.S. and world peace!

WHAT: Members of Peace Action, Pax Christi, MoveOn, Code Pink, Progressive Maryland, Council for a Livable World, and other pro-peace organizations will vigil at two Labor Day parades (Kensington and Gaithersburg) where Sen. Ben Cardin will march.  We will urge Sen. Cardin and other undecided members of Congress from Maryland to support the nuclear agreement with Iran and to oppose any “poison pill” bills that will undercut the deal.  We will hold signs, chant, and distribute fliers.

WHEN:  Parades are Monday, Sept. 7 at 10 am in Kensington and 1 pm in Gaithersburg.

WHERE:  Meet up locations:

Kensington:  9:30 am at the Safeway Parking lot, 10541 Connecticut Avenue.

Gaithersburg:  12:30 pm at intersection of Odendhal and Russell (one of the corners of Lake Forest mall). U.S. Rep. John Delaney, undecided on the Iran deal as of today, will also be at this parade.

Bring your home-made signs supporting the Iran agreement! Bring a friend, or send and post this alert to your friends, family and social media networks.

BACKGROUND: Marylanders from across the state are mobilizing to encourage their Congressional representatives to support the nuclear deal with Iran. The agreement will restrict Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear bomb and will likely prevent another war. Despite the fact that there are now enough votes in the Senate to sustain a presidential veto of expected resolutions of disapproval, the struggle is not over, as other legislation that will undercut the Iran accord is expected to be introduced next week. We need to keep the pressure on and fight these bills.

We need your voice for peace! Please join us on Monday!

Also, please call Cardin’s office at 202/224-4524 to express your displeasure at his opposition to diplomacy!


Please Join Us – National Day of Action for Iran Deal this Wednesday!

August 24, 2015

Cardin_group

What: National Day of Action for Iran Deal
When: This Wednesday Aug. 26
Where: Sign Up Here and Details

We’ve been waiting for this moment. Peace Action has taken action for a peace agreement with Iran for over a decade. Thank you for your consistent advocacy.

Finally that agreement is within reach.

But, as you know, the war hawks are spending millions on an advertising and lobbying campaign to kill the Iran deal. We simply cannot let them succeed.

We need to turn up the volume – especially in the key districts of undecided members of Congress. A strong grassroots showing can counteract the hawks’ cash, since we represent the majority of Americans who support this deal.

Will you join fellow Peace Action members and other pro-peace neighbors this Wednesday, August 26, at the office of key members of Congress?

Click here to sign up and for complete details.

Because the stakes are so high, we’ve joined in coalition with other progressive organizations like Credo, MoveOn, and Win Without War to organize this national day of action. We need to make sure Congress hears our voices loud and clear.

We’ll let Congress know the best way to stop a war is through proactive diplomacy long before the preparations for war begin. We must frame this for undecided members of Congress as a momentous decision between war and peace.

On Wednesday, August 26, at more than 200 events, Peace Action members and allies will gather at the offices of key senators and House members to deliver petitions, raise our voices for peace in local media, and send a national message—will you be there?

Click here to sign up and for complete details.

If this deal is voted down you know exactly what the war hawks will be pushing for. Many of the candidates running for president have already made clear that war is their Plan B. After over a decade of non-stop war we can’t let that happen.

Click here to join us on this coming Wednesday August 26.

Thanks again for making peace possible.

Humbly for Peace,

Kevin Martin
Executive Director
Peace Action

P.S. – Please plan to join us on Wednesday and help spread the word via email and social media to folks you think would be interested in coming out. Who knows, you might make some new peace-mongering friends!


Marylanders, show up for peace with Iran at Sen. Cardin’s offices tomorrow!

August 19, 2015

Geneseo chapter

Here is a great opportunity to raise your voice for peace in support of the Iran peace deal. Please come join us in Baltimore, Rockville, Bowie or on Capitol Hill if you can and spread the word to other Maryland peace-mongers!

Peace Action;  Peace Action Montgomery;  Maryland United for Peace and Justice; CODEPINK;  Baltimore Pledge of Resistance

MD Voters Urge Sen. Ben Cardin to Support Iran Deal
Vigils to be Held at 4 Cardin Offices; 5,572 Petitions to be Delivered

WHAT: Community members will hold street demonstrations at three of Sen. Cardin’s regional offices and at his Capitol Hill office on the same day. These voters will urge Sen. Cardin to support the nuclear agreement with Iran.  A petition supporting the deal and urging members of Congress to vote for it will be delivered to staff at the Rockville office, listing 5,572 signatures of MD residents

 

WHEN:  Rockville, 12 noon; Baltimore, 4 p.m; Bowie, 4 p.m.; Hart Senate Office Building, noon.


WHERE
:

 

100 S. Charles Street

Tower 1, Suite 1710

Baltimore, MD, 21201

 

451 Hungerford Drive

Suite 230

Rockville, MD, 20850

 

10201 Martin Luther King Jr.

Highway, Suite 210

Bowie, MD, 20720

 

509 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC, 20510

BACKGROUND: Marylanders from across the state are mobilizing to encourage their Congressional representatives to support the negotiated deal with Iran. The deal will restrict Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear bomb and will likely prevent another war.

“The success of the nuclear talks proves that diplomacy works.  These history making negotiations may open the door for more talks on issues like human rights and regional security that will further reduce Middle East tensions,” said Kevin Martin, executive director of Peace Action.

Recent polls show that a vast majority of Americans oppose military intervention with Iran and support the agreement, with American Jews expressing even stronger approval of the deal.

“Senator Cardin should vote for this amazingly tough agreement and he should also encourage his Senate colleagues to do so,” said Tony Langbehn, coordinator of Maryland United for Peace and Justice.  “The people of Maryland want peace, and this historic diplomatic deal is a critically important step in that direction.”

The petition signatures were collected at StopWarWithIran.com since the announcement of the Iran nuclear deal by a broad coalition of progressive groups, including CREDO, MoveOn.org Civic Action, Win Without War, Campaign for America’s Future, Daily Kos, Democracy for America, Demand Progress, USAction, Peace Action, Peace Action West, The Nation, United for Peace and Justice, Progressive Democrats of America, CODEPINK, Council for a Liveable World, Just Foreign Policy, Left Action, NIAC Action, The Other 98%, RH Reality Check, RootsAction, Women’s Action for New Directions, and Watchdog.net. Activists have also made more than 49,000 phone calls to Democrats in Congress through the StopWarWithIran.com website since the deal was announced.

Organizations Supporting These Actions at Cardin’s Offices:  Maryland United for Peace and Justice, Peace Action Montgomery, Baltimore Pledge of Resistance, Code Pink, Peace Action
Websites:  http://peaceactionmc.org
http://mupj.org


Peace Action Statement from Hiroshima-On 70th Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Japan

August 5, 2015

IMG_0609Hiroshima, Japan — August 5, 2015 — On the 70th Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings (August 6th and 9th), Paul Kawika Martin, the policy and political director of the United State’s largest peace organization, Peace Action, released the following statement from the official commemoration in Hiroshima.

“Here in Hiroshima, on the 70th Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of this city and Nagasaki, we remember the hundreds of thousands of casualties caused by the most basic of nuclear weapon designs and know that we never want another populous to suffer from such a bomb. Even worse, today’s nuclear weapons are several to hundreds of times more destructive.

Clearly, these horrific weapons are no asset to any country. The current U.S. plan to waste $1 trillion over the next thirty years modernizing, maintaining and replacing delivery systems must be stopped.

President Obama should heed his Prague speech and live up to U.S. obligations under the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) by significantly reducing America’s 7,100 nuclear warheads.

Additionally, the agreement reached with Iran will verifiably block it from getting a nuclear weapon, making it paramount that the U.S. Congress support the accord.”

This is Mr. Martin’s fourth trip to Japan as a guest of one of the largest peace groups, Ginsuikin. He will also travel to Nagasaki for the commemoration there and to Okinawa to work with the super majority of locals who oppose the U.S. military bases there.

Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to the conflicts with Afghanistan and Iran. The public may learn more and take action at http://www.Peace-Action.org. For more up-to-date peace insider information, follow Peace Action’s political director on Twitter. http://twitter.com/PaulKawika


Iran Deal – Keep Dialing for Peace! Congress Needs to Hear from You!

July 27, 2015

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About two weeks ago we celebrated the historic deal with Iran we all worked on over the last decade.  As you know, the agreement would make it impossible for Iran to build a crude nuclear weapon for at least 15 years with intrusive inspections and monitoring to last indefinitely.  Once Iran complies with blocking the pathways to a nuclear weapon, sanctions will be lifted.

Despite overwhelming support by nonproliferation experts, former diplomats and others, Republican mega-donor, Sheldon Adelson, who just last year said the U.S. should use a nuclear weapon on Iran, and his friends are pouring tens of millions of dollars to kill this important accord.  Some of this money is being used to do paid “patch through” calls that use scary rhetoric and automatically connect people to congressional offices.  While the quality of these calls are low (uninformed callers who aren’t constituents), several congressional allies tell me that they are getting more calls against the deal.

This is where you come in, Congress has until early fall to vote on the agreement.  We need to keep positive calls, ringing in Congress every week until the votes.  Will you make three call a week for peace?

Call Congress!  (855) 68 NO WAR (686-6927 toll free)  First, ask for each of your Senators, when finished call your Representative and say:

I am calling to ask that my Senator/Representative publicly support the historic Iran agreement and vote to support the deal.  My name is XXX and I live in CITY AND ZIP CODE.

Then, forward this important email to your friends, family and colleagues.

You can reach most offices from 9 AM – 6 PM Eastern M-F.  Outside those hours, some offices allow you to leave messages or you can try local offices.

Please take a moment to make a few calls and forward this email.  Do it now.

With your help, we pressured the Bush and Obama administration to use diplomacy instead of war to solve conflict with Iran.  With your help, we created the political space that allowed the international community to reach this diplomatic agreement with Iran.  Now, with your help, we will make sure that Congress doesn’t scuttle the peace by voting against the deal.

Will you please take the above actions today?

Thank you for your efforts to finalize a victory and further steps for peace in the Middle East.

Humbly for Peace,

Paul Kawika Martin
Political Director
Peace Action


Peace Action Iran article on MSNBC.com, please help promote!

July 17, 2015
Paul Kawika Martin at a pro-democracy rally in front of the Iranian interests section in Washington, DC attended by nearly 1,000 Iranians

Paul Kawika Martin at a pro-democracy rally in 2009 in front of the Iranian interests section in Washington, DC attended by nearly 1,000 Iranians

Our Policy Director, Paul Kawika Martin, had this op-ed published by MSNBC (they gave it a less than great headline though). Please help promote the article by:

  1. Retweeting: https://twitter.com/PaulKawika/status/621810654962434049
  1.  Sharing: https://www.facebook.com/paulkawika
  1. Liking by going to the article and clicking the up arrow: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/the-iran-deal-isnt-perfect-its-better-another-war
  1.  Making positive comments.  Go to the article and comment.

 The Iran deal isn’t perfect. But it’s better than another war.

Now that the United States, other world powers and Iran have reached a final agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, the action on this historic chance for peace turns to Congress.

The legislative branch, authorized by President Obama to approve the Iran deal, now has great power and responsibility: They can either reject the accord, potentially killing diplomacy and putting the United States on a path to war, or allow the president to implement the deal and solidify American goals of blocking all of Iran’s paths to building a nuclear weapon and making the U.S., its allies, and the Middle East more secure.

RELATED: Obama: Without Iran deal, we risk more war

As Congress debates the merits of the final nuclear agreement, it would be wise to listen to the nuclear and non-proliferation experts who say this agreement will move Iran’s breakout time – the time to produce enough fissile material to produce a nuclear weapon – from the current three months to one year or more. They also point out that the agreement provides unprecedented inspections, monitoring and verification regimes, which would catch Iran if it cheated and “snap back” sanctions in short order.

Some lawmakers claim that the U.S. can get a “better deal.” But experts say there is no such thing.

Why? A better deal would require more pressure on Iran in the form of more sanctions, which have only worked when the entire international community participates. If the U.S. backs out of the deal, our partners aren’t likely to join us in the re-imposition of sanctions after they all just agreed to the deal on the table. Remember, it wasn’t just the Americans and the Iranians negotiating over the past decade and with great intensity the last few years: The British, French, Chinese, Russians and Germans all okayed this agreement, too. As Nicholas Burns, a former top U.S. negotiator with Iran, points out, the global sanctions regime would collapse if the U.S. walks away now from this international agreement.

The other alternative, military intervention, wouldn’t work and would be extraordinarily costly in blood and treasure. Military experts agree that even a highly successful war with Iran may only set its nuclear program back a few years and it wouldn’t destroy the country’s technological know-how. Intervention could also force Iran to do everything possible to obtain a nuclear weapon.

It’s very difficult to estimate long-term costs of wars. You must calculate long-term health care, interest on debt, opportunity costs, loss of productivity and other difficult variables. Nobel Prize-winning economists estimate the total costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars will run between $4-$6 trillion – nearly enough to fund the U.S government for two years. Now consider that Iran is nearly three times as populous as Iraq, four times larger geographically, and spends $8-$14 billion annually on its military compared to the few billion Iraq spent when the U.S. invaded in 2002.

RELATED: On Iran, no need to speculate about the alternative. We’ve already lived it.

Other experts posit that for just the first three months, targeted strikes on Iran’s nuclear program would cost nearly a trillion dollars, with expanded bombings of some military sites increasing the bill by several hundred billion and a full-scale invasion nearing a whopping $2 trillion.

Again, a war with Iran would likely have unpredictable consequences. Would a military intervention spark a larger war in the Middle East with Shiite militias attacking American assets in Iraq, Yemen and other countries? Iran has been linked to acts of terrorism from bombings to assassinations. If the U.S. or Israel attacked Iran, they could certainly use such tactics on American targets abroad and perhaps here at home. Iran’s naval capacity and anti-ship missiles could attack U.S. assets or start a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz, where 20% of the world’s oil passes, creating a spike in oil prices that would have a deleterious affect on the entire world economy.

The most important cost to consider is human. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have caused nearly 7,000 U.S. deaths, left well over 50,000 Americans physically wounded, countless mentally and emotionally scarred and, some claim, over one million civilian casualties. It would be difficult to predict the causalities from a war with Iran, but with the likely outcome not solving the problem, it’s clearly not worth the human or financial costs.

The international agreement with Iran keeps it from a nuclear weapon for a decade at least. There is no better agreement to be reached. The alternatives would fail and their price is unacceptably high. While it’s not a perfect path, it is the only path Congress should support publicly and vote to approve. I am contacting both my Senators and my Representative to tell them just that. I hope you’ll join me.

Paul Kawika Martin is the political and policy director of Peace Action, the largest peace group in the U.S. He can be reached on Twitter @PaulKawika.


Tell Congress to Give Diplomacy, and Peace, a Chance!

July 16, 2015

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Dear Kevin,

The ink had hardly dried on peace deal with Iran when opponents launched a multi-million dollar campaign to defeat the deal.  Make no mistake, Peace Action and our allies will need to go all out to insure we have the votes to sustain a presidential veto. I am forwarding Kevin’s alert from earlier this week and asking you to sign our petition and call your Senators and representative today at (855) 686-6927 (toll free)

So far, our coalition has collected over 100,000 signatures and generated over 13,400 calls to Congress.  Help protect this historic agreement.

Humbly for Peace,

Paul Kawika Martin

Begin Forwarded Message:

Dear Kevin,

You made history!

The peace deal reached this morning with Iran thwarting any nuclear weapon production is one of the most important diplomatic accomplishments of the century so far. It demonstrates that intelligence, patience, creativity and an openness to conflict resolution can prevent war.

Illustrating that, the history books, as usual, will be full of photographs of a handful of people, around a table.

But we know that thousands of our members and like-minded folks protected the talks by speaking up for diplomacy. Without you, attacks by the Iran hawks could easily have derailed diplomacy.  Peace Action was one of the first organizations to work on this issue by organizing a high-level meeting of NGO leaders over eight years ago.

Now we all need to make one final push to ensure that the peace deal makes it across the finish line.  Congress is likely to vote to approve or disapprove the deal in the next 60 days   Please take three simple actions now:

1.  Please sign this coalition petition to stop Congress from killing the agreement. 

2.  Call Congress!  (855) 68 NO WAR (66 927 toll free)  First, ask for each of your Senators, when finished call your Representative and say:

I am calling to ask that my Senator/Representative publicly support the announced Iran agreement and vote to support the deal.

3.  Forward this important email to your friends, family and colleagues.

Because we know that an epic battle is about to begin in Congress we’ve teamed up with 18 other progressive groups to send a strong message to Congress: don’t take us to war by destroying this peace deal.

Please take a moment to do as many of the three actions as you can above.  Do it now.

We know that many in the Republican party will do anything they can to deny the president a major foreign policy victory.  At the same time many Democrats have historically voted a very hawkish line on Iran.

This campaign brings together progressive groups to push the swing Democrats back to diplomacy.

The petition’s ask is simple but its political message is clear. It reads:

“Republicans are trying to take us to war by sabotaging the Iran nuclear deal. I urge you to support the deal and stop the Republicans from starting another war of choice in the Middle East.”

Can you please take the above actions today?

Thank you for your help during this historic moment,

Humbly for Peace,

Kevin Martin
Executive Director
Peace Action

P.S. -You’ve heard about the monumental agreement reached with Iran this morning on its nuclear program. A deal which you helped to bring about.  Now do as many of these three things that you can to seal the deal:

1.  Please sign this coalition petition to stop Congress from killing the agreement.

2.  Call Congress!  (855) 68 NO WAR (66 927 toll free)  First, ask for each of your Senators, when finished call your Representative and say:

I am calling to ask my Senator/Representative to publicly support the announced Iran agreement and vote to support the deal.

3.  Forward this important email to your friends, family and colleagues.

Take Action:

Tell Congress: Support the Historic Iran Deal!
Sign The Petition
Make Calls (855) 68 NO WAR (66 927 toll free)

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