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Uniting to build peace for future generations

Current Activities

Save the Date:
Pathmakers to Peace with Amy Goodman
Thursday, November 12 at Plymouth Church!

Honoring Amy Goodman!

Thursday, November 12 , 6--9:30 pm
Plymouth Church, 57 Orange St., Brooklyn 
between Henry and Hicks in Brooklyn Heights. [MAP] 

Doors open at 6 pm for appetizers and drinks; program will begin at 7 pm.  Dinner and wine will be included.

Tickets go on sale August 15, 2015!

Please visit brooklynpeace.org or call 718-624-5921 for tickets.

 

BFP Has Been Waging Peace By Urging Diplomacy, Not War, With Iran.

Jul 5, 2015

Over the last few months Brooklyn For Peace volunteers, led by the group's Peace And Economic Justice Committee (PEJ) have been out in the streets urging success for the diplomatic agreement that the Obama administration, along with its five partners, have been negotiating with Iran over that country's nuclear programs. The peace movement has for years been advocating the use of discussion to settle disputes rather than resorting to military force and war which had been the policy of  Bush and Cheney and their Neo-Con allies.


A BFP table at the Fifth Avenue Fair in Park Slope
this May. Over 1,500 postcards were collected at
this table and others over the last few months.


A table this weekend at Fort Greene Park where
another 200 postcards were signed by residents
demanding that their Congress members and
Senators support diplomacy vs. war with Iran.

In one on BFP's most successful peace campaigns the volunteers have distributed thousands of flyers, talked to people at street corner tables, collected over 1,500 postcards to Brooklyn's Congress members and Senators, and sent a delegation to Senator Charles Schumer's office to demand that he support the negotiations and cease his efforts,  in league with GOP hawks, to scuttle the agreement. Senator Schumer is one of the Senate's leading receiver of funds from the pro-Israel lobbying group, AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee), a group that vehemently opposes rapproachment with Iran. By undermining his own President's foreign policy, Schumer has been playing a disgraceful role, one, if successful, will make a third Mid-East war likely.


BFP Chair Charlotte Phillips, MD, speaking to
Senator Schumer about his Iran policy.


The Brooklyn For Peace delegation to
Senator Schumer's office on May 12, 2015.

The agreement, if negotiations with Iran are successful, will be concluded by July 9th. As that date approaches, the anti-diplomacy forces have unleashed a heavily-financed campaign on TV and in the print media to cast aspersions on it, claiming that the President and Secretary of State Kerry are giving Iran too many concessions and that Iran can never be trusted. But most experts on these talks disagree and say that the only alternative to that agreement would be the use of U.S. military force.


Over ten thousand copies of this flyer
have been distributed to Brooklyn
neighbors during the BFP Iran Diplomacy
campaign.

 


One of several new Iran Diplomacy
buttons that BFP has created.

It's make or break time for peace versus war as the clock ticks down these last few days. In the face of the furious attempt to overturn the agreement, it's important for peace forces to turn up the heat. Calls and letter should be made to Congress member and Senators urging support for diplomacy and peace. From our experience in Brooklyn, the sentiment to let the diplomacy succeed is very high. Make those calls now: (877) 762-8762.

Iran: War or Peace?

The United States and five other countries are about to conclude an agreement with Iran that will settle differences over that nation’s nuclear programs. The agreement will go a long way toward normalizing relations with Iran and establish a regimen on inspection that will block Iran's pathway to a nuclear weapon, and eliminate a possible major security threat without resorting to war. (It should be noted that even U.S. intelligence agencies have never made the claim that Iran does have or intends to develop a nuclear weapons program.) During the next few weeks, Members of Congress will decide where they stand on the final Iran deal. It's important for Congress to hear strong, pro-diplomacy statements from the people they represent.

Use this link provided by Win Without War to email your legislators and ask them to support diplomacy - not war - with Iran.

If successful, the agreement will help calm the Middle East, a region that is boiling with crisis. The Republicans want to kill the agreement with Iran but they can’t do it without help from Democrats.

Senator Charles Schumer is teaming up with pro-war Republicans to undermine the President and destroy any possibility of reaching a settlment with Iran. If successful, Iran will be free to pursue nuclear weapons, (although it has our country’s position with its partners will be weakened and a yet another war will be brought much closer.

In the Senate, the GOP is trying, with major help from Charles Schumer, to assemble a vetoproof vote that can scuttle President Obama’s diplomacy.

In the House, a group of Democrats are supporting diplomacy by signing on to Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s Congressional letter... but some of our Bklyn Reps have not signed on.

Members of Congress are already hearing from those hawks trying to scuttle any agreement. Their arguments are as predictable as they are false. These are the same people who dragged our country to war in Iraq through lies, misinformation, and fear mongering. Let's not let them do it again!

Use this link provided by Win Without War to email your legislators and ask them to support diplomacy - not war - with Iran.

Your phone call is also important!
Call (877) 762-8762 to speak directly with your Senator and Representative's office on this issue.

Inform yourself on the issue:

Check out the Forum which BFP held in January 2014 on the topic  of negotiations with Iran about its nuclear energy program:
Give Diplomacy a Chance!
Iran, the U.S., and the UN in Search of a Nuclear Deal:

with Ervand Abrahamian, Professor of Middle East History, CUMY, and Carolyn Eisenberg, Professor of American Foreign Policy, Hofstra University; Co-Founder of Brooklyn For Peace; moderated by David Tykulsker, Vkce-Chair, Brooklyn For Peace: January 23, 2014Highlights (Part One):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g_u_bewmuM

Highlights (Part Two)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B86io2IC1vg

Also check out:

Gareth Porter speaking on Manufactured Crisis (Feb. 2014)

Call both Senators - tell them to support the President and diplomacy, NOT war!

Senator Schumer has signed on to a GOP bill that tries to scuttle the agreement. Tell him NO! Ask him to give diplomacy and peace in the Mid-East a chance.

Senator Gillibrand has NOT signed - thank her and tell her to stand for peace and diplomacy.

Thank Congressman Hakeem Jeffries for supporting diplomacy with Iran.

BFP Visits Schumer's Office On His Iran Policy
And Demands: 'Speak Out For Diplomacy!'

May 12, 2015

Under the auspices of Brooklyn For Peace (BFP), a delegation of six peace advocates met with aides to the U.S. Senator from New York, Charles Schumer. Meeting at his midtown Manhattan office, the delegation was a diverse slice of the Senator's constituents. The purpose of the visit was to let the Senator know of the strongly-held disappointment at his cooperation with some of the Senate's most virulent pro-war members who have been unstinting in their efforts to derail the negotiations and agreement with Iran, hammered out by the President and John Kerry and five other nations  over disputes with Iran's nuclear program.


The BFP delegation to Senator Schumer.
Left to right: Matthew Weinstein, Ervand Abrahamian,
Lucy Koteen, Bruce Altschuler, Veronica Nunn
and Bernard Tuchman

Brooklyn For Peace has argued that the President has made a break from the policies of the Bush / Cheney administration which drove our country and the world into two horrific wars that cost thousands of lives, trillions of dollars and resulted in the boiling cauldron of conflict and civil war that is Middle East today. The peace movement has always supported that course of action: diplomacy over military violence! The delegation told the aides that support for negotiations and diplomacy rather than the use of U.S. military force and war is the proper and correct course of action in settling disagreements and that they are aghast that the Senator, who claims a progressive mantle, is joining with the very same pro-war forces that led to war in the past and who are proposing the same solution again in dealing with Iran. They pointed to recent statements and articles by John McCain and John Bolton (former Bush ambassador to the UN), both of whom have called for bombing Iran to curb what they say is Iran's ambition to develop nuclear weapons.

Lucy Koteen, past president of Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats (CBID) and a member of BFP, opened the discussion pointedly asking why the Senator has embarked on a course that seems to dovetail with some of the Senate's most notorious war hawks. She presented a resolution of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, which Schumer addressed several weeks ago. The resolution was sharply critical of his behavior in the Senate regarding the agreement with Iran.

She was followed by BFP Board Member, Matthew Weinstein, who cited the staggering $1.6 trillion price tag of the two previous wars and warned that scuttling the agreement with Iran would inevitably lead in the direction of another costly and destructive war for which the Senator would be held responsible for the role he's play in cooperating with pro-war forces in the Senate. Weinstein asked how the Senator expected to fulfill his stated goals of meeting the urgent needs of the American people while spendingscarce tax dollars on wars instead.

The two aides, Alex Katz and Lane Bodian (the latter is the Senator's Legislative Director for Israel and Iran Affairs), denied the Senator, who is slated to become the Democratic Minority Leader, was teaming up with the GOP to break the agreement or that his actions put him in the same camp as pro-war senators. They pictured him instead as a consummate senator who knows how to compromise and as a "man who knows how to get things done" in a legislature with a Republican majority."  But, they said, he firmly supports diplomacy but wants to insure that the agreement is a "good one," stating that right now he feels it has too many loose ends. This skepticism was disputed by Ervand Abrahamian.  Abrahamian is Distinguished Professor of Iranian and Middle Eastern history and politics at the City University. He delivered a very thorough review of the specifics of the interim agreement and said it was a "very good deal" from the U.S.'s perspective. The demands of the Senator and the Republican opponents of the agreement are for "a better deal" but that, he claimed, is no more than a constantly moving "goal post" with one concession after another being demanded of the Iranians even after they have agreed to serious concessions already contained in the interim agreement.  He cited the recent statements of Henry Kissinger who originally supported the contents of the present agreement but now claims they "don't go far enough."


BFP's current flyer on Iran.
You can download it here.

When the aides asked which the BFP members would prefer: a Senator who knows how to compromise in order to get things done or one who would stand strongly for diplomacy and peace without giving in to the GOP obstructionists, the delegation answered "Yes, one who stands for diplomacy first and foremost!" That, they said, would constitute real leadership and would put action behind mere words of support for diplomacy. With his prestige, they said, the Senator could move the Senate toward supporting the President's diplomacy and that would be the true mark of a progessive leader. Bruce Altschuler cited numerous polls showing a strong majority of Americans favoring the negotiations and said the Senator should be taking his cue from that strong sentiment.

BFP Vice Chair, Veronica Nunn, said that in the final analysis this is about individuals and human beings and if your actions don't follow your words in support of diplomacy then the words end up signifying nothing. Bernard Tuchman, another member of the BFP delegation, remembered that back in the early 90's Mr. Schumer was initially opposed to the Gulf War. "His instinct was correct back then," he said and he should be following that instinct today because the dangers are all too real that the failure of this agreement may very well lead to yet another Mid East war.

The delegation left the office on good terms with the Senator's aides but with clear differences on the role that Mr.  Schumer is playing in that body. We asked for a follow-up with the Senator directly and were told that they would try to arrange such a meeting. In the meantime, Brooklyn For Peace will be out on the streets, garnering support for the agreement and trying its utmost to prevent another Middle Eastern war. If you want to help our streetcorner campaign you can contact us at pej@brooklynpeace.org.


BFP members collecting signatures on postcards
to Senator Schumer and other elected officials.
They are urging support for diplomacy vs. war
with Iran. To join the campaign,
email pej@brooklynpeace.org

 

 

 

 
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