Saturday, February 20, 2016

From The Archives- Alabama, Goddam- The Late Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird"- A 50th Anniversary Encore

A YouTube film clip of a section of the movie based on Harper Lee's novel, "To Kill A Mockingbird", as background for this entry. May this literary gem be read and watched for another fifty years.


To Kill a Mockingbird, Gregory Peck, black and white, 1962

This film is an excellent black and white adaptation of Harper Lee’s book of the same name. The acting, particularly by Gregory Peck (and a cameo by a young Robert Duval), brings out all the pathos, bathos and grit of small town Southern life in the 1930’s. The story itself is an unusual combination, narrated by Peck’s film daughter Scout (and presumably Lee herself), of a coming of age story that we are fairly familiar with and the question of race and sex in the Deep South (and not only there) with which we were (at the time of the film’s debut in 1962) only vaguely familiar. That dramatic tension, muted as it was by the cinematic and social conventions of the time, nevertheless made a strong statement about the underlying tensions of this society at a time when the Southern black civil rights struggle movement was coming into focus in the national consciousness.

The name Atticus Finch (Peck’s role) as the liberal (for that southern locale) lawyer committed to the rule of law had a certain currency in the 1960’s as a symbol for those southern whites who saw that Jim Crow had to go. Here Finch is the appointed lawyer for a black man accused of raping a white women of low origin- the classic ‘white trash’ depicted in many a film and novel. Finch earnestly, no, passionately, in his understated manner, attempts to defend this man, a brave act in itself under the circumstances.

Needless to say an all white jury of that black man’s ‘peers’ nevertheless convicts him out of hand. In the end the black man tries to escape and is killed in the process. In an earlier scenario Finch is pressed into guard duty at the jailhouse in order to head off a posse of ‘white trash’ elements who are bend on doing ‘justice’ their way- hanging him from a lynching tree. On a mere false accusation of a white woman this black man is doomed whichever way he turns. Sound familiar?

The other part of the story concerns the reactions by Finch’s motherless son and tomboyish daughter to the realities of social life, Southern style. That part is in some ways, particularly when the children watch the trial from the “Negro” balcony section of the courtroom, the least successful of the film. What is entirely believable and gives some relief from the travesty that is unfolding are the pranks, pitfalls and antics of the kids. The tensions between brother and sister, the protective role of the older brother, the attempt by the sister to assert her own identity, the sense of adventure and mystery of what lies beyond the immediate household that is the hallmark of youth all get a work out here. But in the end it is the quiet dignity of solid old Atticus and the bewildered dignity of a doomed black man that hold this whole thing together. Bravo Peck. Kudos to Harper Lee.

*****In Search Of Lost Time… Then-With 1960s School Days In Mind

*****In Search Of Lost Time… Then-With 1960s School Days In Mind


From The Pen Of Bart Webber

Several years ago, maybe in 2007 or 2008 Sam Lowell, the locally well-known lawyer from the town of Carver about thirty miles south of Boston, wrote some small pieces about the old days in the town, the old days being for him the 1950s and 1960s, the time of the golden age of the automobile and relative abundance but also if mocking the ephemeral materialist nature of the times also the red scare Cold War night with its threats of some errant Russkie bomb landing of top of us. At that time the town was mainly a rural outpost, the usual Main Street and drive on through like many such places in outer America, where instead of the usual rural occupation of farming, truck or raising staple crops on fertile land,  the cranberry bogs, the marches and water pits, and boggers (as kids we called them “boogers” not knowing what the hell bogs were about although knew what nasty boogers were from the eternal kids picking their noses) held sway and dominated a fair part of town life, ran the town politics and determined the ethos, determined the ethos to the extent that was possible in post-World War II America where the older cultural norms were rapidly being replaced by a speedier and less homespun way of doing business.

In the teenage life line-up, the only one that was important in Sam’s world then, since he was not a low-life bogger and had no bogger roots he had gravitated to those whose families like his  that were connected with the shipbuilding industry about twenty miles up the road. So you would have seen Sam and his corner boys on any given Friday or Saturday night if not dated up holding up the wall in front of Jimmy Jack’s Diner over on Main Street daring, with the exception of Jack Callahan the great school football running back and fourth generation bogger who hung with them because he thought they were “cool,” any of the bogger clan to do anything but go in and order food or play the jukebox.

(Seemingly every boy in town from junior high on, if not before, had his corner boys for protection against a dangerous world outside the corner, or something like that if you asked them. If you wanted an explanation more than that of self-preservation professional sociologists and cracker barrel philosophers of the time spent endless hours of their time analyzing that angst-driven night and could give you their take on the phenomenon although as usual they were about twelve steps behind  the curve and by the time they had caught up these guys were shedding their angst and alienation for Zen rock and roll, drugs, Nirvana and the Kama Sutra not necessarily in that  order.)

Sam had seen that small town Americana all change over his long association with the town, including a few terms as a town selectman, although the boggers were still there, still moaning about their collective water tax bills, and still a force on the board but the drift over the decades was for the town to become a bedroom community for the sprawling high tech industry running the Interstate corridor about ten miles away. Sam though hung up with some old age nostalgia twist wrote about the old neighborhood now still intact as if time had passed that hell’s little acre by (the new developments were created on abandoned bog lands to the benefit mainly of Myles Larson, the largest bogger around), largely still composed of the small tumbledown small single family homes with a patch of green like that he grew up and came of age on “the wrong side of the tracks” (along with three brothers all close in age in a five room shack, Sam had never, except in front of his parents, ever called it anything but that). Sam sighed one time to his old friend from that very neighborhood Bart Webber after they had put the dust of the old town behind them for a while on the hitchhike road west that the “acres” of the world will always be with us. Markin, in his “newer world” turn the old world upside down phase did not want to hear that, blocked it out when Sam would bring the idea up on the road. That said a lot about Markin, and about Sam as well.   

Wrote too about the old (painful, the painful being that the school drew the more prosperous new arrivals staring to come into town leaving the boggers over at John Alden Junior High and subjecting him to lots of taunts about his brother hand-me-down clothes, silly saran wrapped-brown lunch bag bologna sandwich lunches with no dessert, no twinkles, cupcakes, Jello or anything at all fruit even, stuff like that) days when he attended the then newly built Myles Standish Junior High School (such places are now almost universally called middle schools) where he and his fellow class- mates were the first to go through starting in seventh grade. In that piece he mentioned that he was not adverse, hell, he depended on “cribbing” words, phrases and sentences from many sources.

One such “crib” was appropriating the title of a six-volume saga by the French writer Marcel Proust for one of those sketches, the title used here In Search of Lost Time as well. He noted that an alternative translation of that work was Remembrances of Things Past which he felt did not do justice to what he, Sam, was trying to get a across. Sam had no problem, no known problem anyway, with remembering things from the past but he thought the idea of a search, of an active scouring of what had gone on in his callow youth (his term) was more appropriate to what he was thinking and feeling.       

Prior to writing those pieces Sam had contacted through the marvels of modern technology, through the Internet, Google and Facebook a number of the surviving members of that Myles Standish Class of 1962 to get their take on what they remembered, what search that they might be interested in undertaking to “understand what the hell happened back then and why” (his expression, okay). He got a number of responses, the unusual stuff that people who have not seen each for a long time, since the old days as school and so are inclined to put up a “front.” To show that the trajectory toward state prison or whore-houses which Miss Winot or one of them had predicted was to be their fate had been put behind them long ago, so endlessly going on and on about beautiful houses in beautiful neighborhoods putting paid to the dust of the dingy old town, what they had done with their lives in resume form, endless prattle about grandchildren (Sam admitted to a certain inclination that way himself so he was more forgiving on that issue) and so forth who also once Sam brought the matter up wanted to think back to those days.

One of those classmates, Melinda Loring, whom Sam in high school although not in junior high had something of a “crush” on but so did a lot of other guys, after they had sent some e-mail traffic to each other, sent him via that same method (oh beautiful technology on some things) a copy of a booklet that had been put out by the Myles Standish school administrators in 1987 commemorating the 25th anniversary of the opening of the school. Sam thoughtfully (his term) looked through the booklet and when he came upon the page shown above where an art class and a music class were pictured he discovered that one of the students in the art class photograph was of him.        

That set off a train of memories about how in those days, days by the way when the community freely offered every student a chance to take art in school and outside as well unlike today when he had been recently informed that due to school budget cuts art is no longer offered to each student in school but is tied to some cumbersome Saturday morning classes at the out-of-the-way community center, he was encouraged in his pursuit of artistic expression. In seventh grade after noticing some seascapes that he had done in a crude quasi-impressionist style like the French painter Monet whose work he had seen at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where he and his brother Kenny had done a whirlwind tour of the place in about two hours going there mainly to see the Egyptian exhibits but stopping at the French Impressionists for some kindred reason Mrs. Robert’s encouraged him to become an artist, thought he had some talent, enough to carry into an art school if he worked at it hard enough. Later at Carver High his junior and senior year art teacher Mr. Henry thought the same thing after he had done some less crude and less imitative semi-Impressionist-like rural scenes from the bogs around town and some quite good Abstract Expressionist work when he discovered the work of Jackson Pollock. He was prepared to recommend Sam to his alma mater, the Massachusetts School of Art in the Back Bay of Boston.

Art for Sam had always been a way for him to express what he could not put in words, could not easily put in words anyway and he was always crazy to go to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to see some artwork by real professionals, especially in high school the abstract expressionists that he was visually drawn to (and would leave after viewing such modern masterpieces feeling like he at best would always be an inspired amateur since he did not have the vision to break off from what he already had seen and imitated, at least that is what he thought then). Part of the appeal of art was the kind of bohemian lifestyle he imagined they led, having read a few things in the encyclopedia about various artists like Gauguin and Van Gogh and that enflamed a kid who was stuck in a three boys to one bedroom shack of a house down in the wrong side of the tracks and part was the idea of breaking out, breaking out from the traditional art that you would see on people’s walls, stuff used as decoration. His idea was to create something that someone would buy and not put on the walls for decoration by maybe highlight in a room of its own as the next new thing in art. Those were on his better days, days when he had not seen museum pieces for a while and began to believe once he had the basics down he could take off from what Picasso, Miro, Pollack, Rivers, Dove and the others were trying to do. Those were the days when he had painted a weird scene in watercolor, a medium always hard for him to work in, that was something like a breakaway from a Georgia O’Keefe Southwest mountain painting which Mr. Henry wanted him to enter into the Art for Art’s Sake competition the Boston Globe was sponsoring and he won third prize, his best effort ever.  

The big reason that Sam did not pursue that art career had a lot to do with coming up “from hunger,” coming up the hard way. When he broached the subject to his parents after he won the prize (and had already been accepted in a local college based on his high SAT score in History), mainly his mother, Delores, lowered the boom, vigorously emphasized the hard life of the average artist, and old chestnut about the million failed artists for every Picasso, and told him that a manly profession like a teacher was better for a boy who had come up from the dust of society. (“Manly” her term, although she did not mean the practice of law which he had not aspired to at the time except that his cranky old grandfather would keep bugging him to be a lawyer after he had recited the Gettysburg Address as part of a school ceremony honoring Abraham Lincoln on the centenary of that event, but like all second-generation Irish mothers in that town when they got their tongues wagging some nice white collar civil service job to support a nice wife, nice three children and a nice white picket fenced house outside the “acre,” such were motherly dreams).

Sam wondered about that long ago mother’s sensible remark after seeing the photograph, after seeing that twinkle in his eye as he was creating something with his hands, some painting because outside the brush he was not very mechanically-inclined. Wondered about the fact that after a lifetime of working the manly profession of the practice of the law all he could conclude was that there were a million good lawyers (and he included himself in that category without any undue modesty he thought) but far fewer good artists and maybe he could have at least had his fifteen minutes of fame in that field. He might not have caught he Pop Art/Op Art waves that were carrying art forward then but maybe being around such artists would have made him push his personal envelope. He resolved to search for some old artwork stored he did not know where, maybe still in the attic of the old family house which after his parents passed on his unmarried older brother, Seamus, took over, the only one who didn’t flee the place like it was the plague, to see if that path would have made sense.  

Sam had had to laugh after looking at the other photograph, the one of the music room, where he spotted his old friend Ralph Morse who went on in the 1960s to some small fame in the Greater Boston area as a member of the rock group The Rockin’ Ramrods. Actually a bit more than small fame since they had fronted for the Stones when they came to the Boston area a few years later and had had a couple of local hits that went number one on the WMEX hot rock charts. Many an after concert party in Boston or down at the Surf Ballroom in Hull where they were a fixture and were “discovered” by Alex Ginsberg from WMEX one night when he was there because his girlfriend had heard about the band from a woman she worked with and had bugged Alex to go hear them and he pushed them forward after that found Ralph and Sam drunk as skunks talking about the old days when rock and roll music was not even let into the Morse household (his parents were Evangelicals and hated “the devil’s music”). Hell barely tolerated in the pious Catholic Lowell household (a truce declared when Sam’s parents purchased a transistor radio for him one Christmas at the Radio Shack so they could not hear the music). Ralph had eventually once the Ramrods broke up as such bands do when there are personal differences or in Ralph’s case when he wanted to try his luck as solo lead singer headed west to seek his fame and fortune but kind of fell off the face of the earth in the early 1970s out in Oregon and nobody even with today’s technology, Internet/Facebook and whatever else could help track somebody down, somebody who was not hiding under the radar anyway, has been able to find out his whereabouts, if any.

That Ralph look too set off a train of memories about how in those days, days by the way when the community freely offered every student a chance to take music in school and outside as well like with art classes unlike today when he had been informed recently that due to school budget cuts music is no longer offered to each student but is also tied to some cumbersome Saturday morning classes at the out-of-the-way community center. However unlike with his art teachers Mr. Dasher the slap-dash music teacher often went out of his way to tell Sam to keep his voice down since it was gravelly, and off-key to boot.

At the time Sam did not think much about it, did not feel bad about having no musical sense. Later though once he heard folk music, the blues and some other roots music he felt bad that Mister Dasher had put a damper on his musical sensibilities. (Mister Dasher who had a band of his own, you know a swing band, playing stuff for people like his parents from the big band era, Benny Goodman, Count this, Duke that to supplement his meager teacher’s pay was something of a flashy dresser and was taunted by the kids in class, taunted by Sam right along with the others as Mister Dasher, the Nighttime Flasher. In that innocent age nobody thought anything of it except kids caught up in the nation-wide “rhyming simon” craze but today no question such a moniker would bring heaven’s own wrath down on his poor head, Jesus.) Not that he would have gone on to some career like Ralph, at least Ralph had his fifteen minutes of fame, got Mick and the boys autographs and had a few of their leftover party girls but he would have avoided that life-long habit of singing low, singing in the shower, singing up in the isolated third floor of his current home where no one, including his longtime companion, Laura Perkins a woman with a professional grade voice that would make the angels weep for their inadequacies, would hear him. The search for memory goes on….  


In Honor Of Black History Month-From The Archives Of Women And Revolution-Black Freedom, Woman's Rights And The Civil War

In Honor Of Black History Month-From The Archives Of Women And Revolution-Black Freedom, Woman's Rights And The Civil War


Out In The Black Liberation Night- The Black Panthers And The Struggle For The Ten-Point Program -Five - A History Of One's Own

Out In The Black Liberation Night- The Black Panthers And The Struggle For The Ten-Point Program -Five - A History Of One's Own

What James “Big Daddy” Dixon did not know about history would fill a book said his boyhood friend Anthony Hilton. What Anthony meant by that, or what James thought he meant by that was the saga of the American experience was a book sealed with seven seals for him. James, not usually one to suffer a slight with a shrug of the shoulders, and he took the remark as a slight, a kidding slight, not to be avenged but a slight nevertheless, wanted to know more about what was on Anthony’s mind that cold February 1964 morning. Normally, James would not give a rat’s ass (a popular expression picked up by the kids, James and Anthony included, in the rat-filled tenement house on the corner of Washington Street in the high Roxbury ghetto where James and Anthony had grown up, and had come of age together before they parted company to go their separate ways in in this wicked old world) about what Mister George Washington did, or did not do, at Valley Forge. Or what madness Mister Andrew Jackson brought down on the English in front of New Orleans or whether Mister Davey Crockett was ill-advised to make that terrible, fateful last stand down in the Podunk Alamo or whether Mister Abraham Lincoln (Father Abraham in his grandmother’s home, a place where he was dumped more often than not when his late mother had her wanting habits on, wanting men habits on) meant to free the slaves or whether Mister Woodrow Wilson sincerely, hah,  wanted to “make the world safe for democracy” when he send American boys (including a grand uncle) over to Europe to do some hellish fighting in a war that lasted forever some years back or whether Mister Franklin Delano Roosevelt did, or did not, sell out to Mister Joseph Stalin at Yalta in the last big war or wherever it was that he was supposed to have done the deed.

James relationship to history was more up to date, more existential if he had known the word, or had asked Anthony what it meant (and if he had known the word then six-two-and even that Anthony would have known what it meant, Anthony always knew what the words meant, always). His world history was based on how much liquor had been served at his High Hat Club the night before (and how much he had been clipped for by those thieving negro brothers he had running the place), how his numbers runners were doing and whether the latest shipment from Mexico with that grade A reefer, that Acapulco Gold, would get here this month. And he expressed those world historic concerns to Mister Anthony Hilton (as he had done on other occasions) in no uncertain terms. What concerned him just that moment was whether Mister Honky (and he used that name freely in front of, and behind the backs of, his white associates) was going to continue to protect his operations in the neighborhood or not. And as he began to explain to Anthony (as he had also done many times before) the historical facts of his place in the sun in the Roxbury world Anthony stopped him short with this.       

“James, doesn’t it matter to you that you could be descended from kings, from great warrior -kings back in Mother Africa, back before bondage times and that our people could erect great works before the bloody honkys could figure out how to use a spoon to eat with(Anthony too , although college educated and ready to become a professor within a few years if things worked out right, maybe at Howard,  could speak the language of private black rage when he was among kindred, and James was kindred), doesn’t it matter that our history has been denied us. Not only that we were warrior- kings, but that we more than paid our dues when we came to this land all shackled up and bedraggled, that we built this country as sure as hell. That we fought our share, our freedom share with old Nat Turner, and a thousand other slave revolts, that our brothers stood with that old prophet angel John Brown at Harpers Ferry fight to make Mister Whitey red with rage, that our proud forbears right in this city formed a regiment, the Massachusetts 54th, to avenge our shackles in Civil War fight, and that we have put our brand on American culture from ….”                           

With that James, who also knew, knew from deep in his brethren soul, that Anthony was prepared to give him the whole entire panorama of the black experience on these damn shores if he didn’t stop him right then and there did so. Did it as he always did with his right arm extended out hand palm up- stop. And Anthony knowing the sign, ever since that one time fight to determine who was the king hell king of the tenement night, knew to stop. As he prepared to go James stopped him, handed him ten one hundred dollar bills from inside his suit pocket and said, “Use that for that damn Negro History project you are working on over a Boston University.” 

After their good-byes and had Anthony left, and after James had figured up the previous night’s receipts and determined that those thieving negro brothers had only nicked him a little, he, in the quiet of his office, thought about what Anthony had said, about the warrior- king part of it, for in truth that was the only part he remembered. And the next time Anthony came by he was going to ask him more about that, a lot more and for just that minute James “Big Daddy” Dixon wished he had a known history, a history of  his own… 

The original "Ten Point Program" from October, 1966 was as follows:[39][40]


1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our black Community.

We believe that black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny.


2. We want full employment for our people.

We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every man employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the white American businessmen will not give full employment, then the means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.


3. We want an end to the robbery by the white man of our black Community.

We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules was promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of black people. We will accept the payment as currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The Germans are now aiding the Jews in Israel for the genocide of the Jewish people. The Germans murdered six million Jews. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over 50 million black people; therefore, we feel that this is a modest demand that we make.


4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.

We believe that if the white landlords will not give decent housing to our black community, then the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that our community, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for its people.


5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.


We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of self. If a man does not have knowledge of himself and his position in society and the world, then he has little chance to relate to anything else.


6. We want all black men to be exempt from military service.


We believe that black people should not be forced to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that does not protect us. We will not fight and kill other people of color in the world who, like black people, are being victimized by the white racist government of America. We will protect ourselves from the force and violence of the racist police and the racist military, by whatever means necessary.


7. We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of black people.

We believe we can end police brutality in our black community by organizing black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all black people should arm themselves for self defense.


8. We want freedom for all black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.

We believe that all black people should be released from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial.


9. We want all black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their black communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.


We believe that the courts should follow the United States Constitution so that black people will receive fair trials. The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives a man a right to be tried by his peer group. A peer is a person from a similar economic, social, religious, geographical, environmental, historical and racial background. To do this the court will be forced to select a jury from the black community from which the black defendant came. We have been, and are being tried by all-white juries that have no understanding of the "average reasoning man" of the black community.


10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace. And as our major political objective, a United Nations-supervised plebiscite to be held throughout the black colony in which only black colonial subjects will be allowed to participate for the purpose of determining the will of black people as to their national destiny.


When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


We hold these truths to be self- evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariable the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

In New York City-In Honor Of Black History Month-Black History And The Class Struggle

In New York City-In Honor Of Black History Month-Black History And The Class Struggle

In Boston February 27th -From Veterans For Peace- Stand With Our Muslim Friends

In Boston February 27th -From Veterans For Peace- Stand With Our Muslim Friends 
TIME: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
WHERE: Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center,
(Largest Mosque in New England).
ADDRESS: 100 Malcolm X Blvd. Roxbury, MA
We are planning a gathering / program / rally at the Islamic Society of Boston on Saturday, February 27. This is the largest Mosque in New England, located in Roxbury, MA. We have been working with members of the Mosque to put together a program showing our support, as veterans, for our Muslim friends, neighbors and co-workers.
We anticipate the speaking part of the program to last about an hour then we will move inside to share conversation and snacks. The speakers will consist of veterans, Muslim members of the Mosque and invited guests.
We have all seen and heard the hateful xenophobia / Islamophobia language directed towards Muslims. These hateful attacks towards American Muslims continue to fester and in some cases have resulted in violence towards innocent Muslims here in the U.S. Local Muslims have told us of them being harassed on the street. If a Muslim woman is wearing a head scarf it makes her an easy target. Pat Scanlon, chair of our committee, says "I am friends with a Muslim family whose twelve-year-old daughter told me that she was harassed in the schoolyard by a boy in her class who was calling her a terrorist. This young girl is an Iraqi refugee, straight A student, popular and is the ultimate young American girl and proudly just became an American citizen. She does not wear a head scarf yet was targeted in the schoolyard by another student."
We as veterans intend to gather at the Mosque to show our support and solidarity with the Muslim community and to demand an immediate stop to this targeting of the religion of Islam and our Muslims friends with hateful rhetoric and actions. We want to make it clear that "Muslims are Not Our Enemy".
Please see our message below and please ask fellow veterans to join us to stand against this hatred, bigotry and Islamophobia.

Smedley Muslim Friendship Committee
Muslims are:
Friends, Neighbors,
Co-workers, Business Owners
Educators, Doctors, Nurses, Athletes, Police, Fire, Scientists,
Mail Carriers, Engineers, Politicians, Carpenters, Bakers and Candle-Stick Makers etc.
Muslims serve in the:
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard

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Latest Edition of Space Alert Available Online & in Print

Latest Edition of Space Alert Available Online & in Print
You will find our latest Global Network newsletter at this link just below.  Please give us a hand by sharing this email widely so others can see the newsletter.
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In Cambridge -Feb 27-- Music for Peace: All-Schubert Program

Feb 27-- Music for Peace: All-Schubert Program

When: Saturday, February 27, 2016, 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church • 1555 Massachusetts Ave. • Cambridge

In the second concert of our 2015-16 Music for Peace concert series, Artistic Director Victor Rosenbaum teams up with two brilliant young stars of tomorrow, violinist XinOuWei and cellist Joseph Gotoff!
“Arpeggione” Sonata, D. 821 for cello and piano
Violin Sonata in A Major, D. 574 (“Grand Duo”)
Trio in B-flat Major, Opus 99
Benefits Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund; part of the Music for Peace Series. Reserve seats for $25 in advance for Mass. Peace Action members, $35 for non-members, $10 for students, $35 at the door. Series of 3 concerts: member $65, non-member $80, student $25.
To reserve, write a check to “Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund” and mail to 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, or call 617-354-2169 with credit card number.  Or reserve seats online for the single concert or purchase online for the entire series.
The audience is invited to join the musicians and Peace Action members at a reception after the concert.
XinOu WeiViolinist XinOu Wei has performed across the United States, Europe and China. He made his debut at age nine with Shenyang Symphony Orchestra, and in 2002 he was chosen to be a part of the program “Perlman in Shanghai”. XinOu has performed at America-Israel Cultural Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Gala Celebration at Lincoln Center in New York, hosts by Itzhak Perlman. With a special interest in chamber music, he has collaborated with James Ehnes as well as leading the RĂªveries Quartet in performance for Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden and H.R.H Princess Madeleine. In addition to performing, XinOu also enjoys an active teaching career, having served as teaching assistant for Sally Thomas at Meadowmount School of Music in New York from 2009-2013. He has been a fellowship recipient at Aspen Music Festival and School, where he works closely with Hugh Wolff, Larry Rachleff, and Music Director Robert Spano. He holds a Master’s of Music degree from Mannes College of Music and in the spring of 2014 was awarded a full scholarship to pursue a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers.
IMG_4207.editCellist Joseph Gotoff is poised to become one of the leading musical voices of his generation.  Recent accomplishments include performances with world-renowned composer and pianist Lowell Liebermann of several of the composer’s own works, as well as other well-received performances in venues ranging from the City Museum of New York to Christie’s auction house.  Joseph studied evolutionary biology as an undergraduate at Princeton University, and received his Master of Music degree from Mannes College studying with Barbara Stein-Mallow.  Previous cello teachers include Thomas Kraines and the renowned pedagogue Orlando Cole, as well as chamber music studies with members of the Brentano and Juilliard string quartets.  An accomplished chamber musician, Joseph has been a participant at numerous summer festivals, including Kneisel Hall and the Castleman Quartet Program.  Joseph was recently awarded a scholarship to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at New England Conservatory, where he is currently studying with cellist Yeesun Kim of the Borromeo String Quartet.
Pianist Victor Rosenbaum, former chair of the New England Conservatory piano and chamber music departments for more than ten years, has performed widely as soloist and chamber music performer in the United States, Europe, Asia, Israel, and Russia, in such prestigious halls as Alice Tully Hall in New York and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has collaborated with such artists as Leonard Rose, Arnold Steinhardt, Robert Mann, and the Cleveland and Brentano String Quartets, among others. Festival appearances have included Tanglewood, Rockport, Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall (Blue Hill), Kfar Blum and Tel Hai (Israel), Masters de Pontlevoy (France), the Heifetz Institute, and more. He has been a soloist with the Indianapolis and Atlanta symphonies and the Boston Pops.  His highly praised recordings of Schubert and Beethoven are on Bridge Records and his recordings of Schubert and Mozart are on Fleur de Son. He serves on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music in New York, was Director and President of the Longy School of Music from 1985-2001, and is Music Director of the Music for Peace series.
Upcoming Events: 

In Cambridge-Peace Action-March 20th

Massachusetts Peace Action 2016 Annual Meeting

When: Saturday, March 12, 2016, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: First Church in Cambridge - Jewett Auditorium • 11 Garden St • Harvard T • Cambridge

Phyllis Bennis and Rep Jim McGovern

Keynote Speakers
Phyllis Bennis: The Syrian War, ISIS, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the US
Bennis is author of Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer
Rep. Jim McGovern: Amidst Today’s Turmoil, We Must Rebuild the Peace Movement
McGovern represents Massachusetts’ 2nd Congressional District.  Rep. McGovern will be awarded the 2016 Peacebuilders Prize for his leadership in Congress on peace and justice issues
Workshop Topics (Preliminary):
Building Peace in the Middle East: Diplomacy Wins, War Fails
Building America’s Strength the Right Way: Peoples Budget
Stopping the $1 trillion modernization of US nuclear weapons: First Step towards Nuclear Disarmament
Climate and Peace
Palestine and Israel
                10:00     Registration and Literature Tables Open
                11:00     Welcome
                                Phyllis Bennis – Remarks & Discussion
                12:00     Jim McGovern – Remarks & Discussion
                1:00        Lunch  
                1:45        Workshops Start
                3:00        Business Meeting
                                Board of Directors Election
                                Finance Report
                                Program Report, Discussion & Approval
                4:00        Adjourn
General admission $20; members, students, and low income $10 (includes lunch).  Register online here or mail a check to Massachusetts Peace Action, 11 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138.  Write "Annual Meeting" on the memo line.
Upcoming Events: 

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