Peace & Justice




Peace and Social Concerns Committee

Peace and Social Concerns helps put our Quaker principles into action in the areas of peace and justice. Peace and Social Concerns also supports the leadings of individuals: for example, some among us have been led to visit prisons, while others have traveled to areas of international conflict. Recent activities of the Committee include co-sponsorship with other religious communities of International Day of Peace activities on Boston Common; holding a monthly Meeting for Worship at Textron Industries, maker of cluster bombs; organizing the yearly Good Friday Witness for Peace on Boston Common; holding informational gatherings with guest speakers; and organizing fundraising events.

Meets monthly on 1st Tuesdays at 7:00 pm. For more information contact office@fmcquaker.org with subject “attn. Ghanda DiFiglia or Kim West”.



 

Meeting for Worship near Raytheon

Quakers Praying for Peace: For the past six years, Quakers have been meeting for worship every third Sunday of the month from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm next to signs reading Quakers Praying for Peace adjacent to the grounds where Textron Defense Systems manufactures an especially gruesome “cluster bomb,” used by our military and also sold to other countries.

Textron has announced that it will cease producing and selling cluster bombs in March of 2017. We will continue our Meetings for Worship until then. Textron also makes components for nuclear weapons.

On the third Sunday of every month, Friends are now holding a Meeting for Worship in front of one of the many Raytheon offices and laboratories in the Boston area. Raytheon (“Light of the Gods”) is the nation’s and the world’s fourth largest defense contractor, and the leading manufacturer of guided missiles including the Tomahawk cruise missile used recently in Syria and the weapons dropped by Saudi Arabia on Yemen. The facility on Concord Avenue is one of their premier research and development sites.

The worship is open to everyone, and is a clear opportunity to embody our Beneficial Cycle by deepening worship, strengthening community, and increasing our witness in the world.

We gather in front of Raytheon on Concord Avenue, Cambridge (intersection at 10 Moulton Street), from 10:45 am to 11:45 am. The Meeting for Worship continues the seven-year tradition of gathering at Textron Industries in Wilmington, makers of the infamous cluster bomb. They have discontinued cluster bomb production.

Carpools leave FMC at 10:30 am. You can park on Wheeler Street, two blocks east of Raytheon. For more information, contact John Bach at 970-209-8346 or johnmbach@yahoo.com. The following link provides more information on Raytheon: Facts about Raytheon

We stress that this is not a protest, vigil, or demonstration; nor is this a politicization of our spiritual faith, but rather honoring our Testimony of Peace, and taking our practice to a very dark area of cruelty and barbaric war making. It is, we think, a very faithful way to enact the Beneficial Cycle of deepening worship, strengthening community, and increasing our witness.

For more information contact office@fmcquaker.org with subject “attn. John Bach”.



 

All-Meeting Worship at Textron

Once a year, since 2011, Ministry and Counsel has asked the whole Meeting to gather (as able) for morning worship on the third Sunday in October at Textron. Large signs that read “Quakers Praying for Peace” inform passersby what is happening.

Why do we worship at Textron? Each person has some responsibility for the root of war. A loving Spirit would not have weapons made that kill hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. How do we contend with the evil that humans do, and the love that we long for? One response is to go to Textron to pray, asking ourselves, and encouraging others to ask, “Where do wars come from?” For those unable to attend in Wilmington, the Meetinghouse will be open for worship. Activities will be provided for children in the Friends Center, as well as lunch and extended care (until about 1:00). Parents are encouraged to bring children who are able to participate in the worship at Textron; students of junior high age and above are highly encouraged to come.

To request lunch and extended care for your child in Cambridge, please contact the First Day School Coordinator at fds@fmcquaker.org at least a week in advance.



 

(Un)fair Harvard

No matter where you go, there are lessons to be learned—especially on university campuses. One lesson that Harvard teaches through its actions [“Housekeepers vs. Harvard,” Sarah Leonard, April 10] is the primacy of profits over ethics. One lesson that the striking DoubleTree housekeepers enflesh is the nobility of struggle for decency and fairness. Which lesson is worthier?

As the Nicaraguan poet Giocanda Belli says, “Solidarity is the tenderness of the peoples.” The Harvard community is indebted to the workers for reminding us of that lesson and giving us the opportunity to act like truly educated and compassionate people.
JOHN BACH
Quaker Chaplain at Harvard University
CAMBRIDGE, MASS.



 

Minute on Israel/Palestine

TempleMountWide

A view of East Jerusalem from the Temple Mount.
(Photo: Jonathan Vogel-Borne)


After a year-long series of threshing meetings, in early 2016 meeting for worship for business approved one of two proposed minutes concerning FMC’s response to the conflict in Palestine-Israel. The first, Minute One (or “Friends Meeting at Cambridge (Quaker) Statement on US Role in Israel/Palestine”)–principal author, Skip Schiel–has been approved. Minute Two (or “Some Thoughts about Peacemaking, Palestine, and Israel From Friends Meeting at Cambridge (Quakers)”)–principal author, Cliff Harrison–is about Quaker peace making generally and has not yet been approved.

We are seeking our unique response, as Quakers and as a whole Meeting, to the conflict. The issue was forwarded to the Meeting by the Peace & Social Concerns Committee. A threshing session is a formal meeting for worship for business where no decision is expected. It is a time to listen deeply to one another and to the Spirit for guidance on a specific and challenging issue.

Skip Schiel

In 2015 Skip made a three-month photographic journey to Palestine and Israel. His many photos, writings, and workshops are available on his homepage Teeksa Photography as well as the film and book “Eyewitness Gaza.”

  • Links to other information compiled by the Israel-Palestine Working Group of New England Yearly Meeting
Skip Schiel

Skip Schiel, Gaza, 2009
(Photo: Ban Al-Ghussan)




 

Good Friday Peace Witness

For more than 50 years, Quakers and friends from other groups have stood in silent vigil on the Boston Common at Park St. from 11:00 am to
1:00 pm on Good Friday, witnessing to the power of peace in a broken world. For more information contact office@fmcquaker.org with subject “attn. Kim West or Ghanda DiFiglia”.

On Friday, April 3, 2015, Quakers and friends from other groups stood in witness to the destructive force of thermonuclear weapons. We handed out this leaflet describing our purpose.

On Friday, March 25, 2016, we witnessed to Black Lives Matter and handed out this leaflet.



 

International Day of Peace

In 2002, The United Nations established September 21 as the International Day of Peace (IDP), which provides a date for individuals, organizations, and nations to share in celebrations and acts of peace. Special activities and celebrations take place all over the world in over 150 countries. Locally, members of FMC plan a celebration with numerous religious and peace organizations. As it has for the past few years, the 2017 event will feature music, art, dance, poetry, song, stories, and messages of hope on September 24 (the Sunday closest to the actual IDP) from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm on the Boston Common near the Park Street MBTA Station.

For more information, contact office@fmcquaker.org with subject “attn. Ian Harrington”, or visit www.idpboston.org



 

Friends Committee on National Legislation

A national Quaker lobby group consisting of tens of thousands of people who lobby Congress in matters for peace and justice. For more information or to join, visit the FCNL website.