Cleveland Peace Action stands with Sheikh Jarrah Families in Palestine

By Mark Weber

Cleveland Peace Action unequivocally condemns the evictions of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and the accompanying violence by Israeli soldiers, police, and settlers, as well as Israel’s latest bombardment of Gaza. We stand in full solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against apartheid, colonialism, and military occupation; and for equality, human rights, and self-determination.

At least 36 Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and in two other neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are facing abrupt and brutal evictions from their homes as part of Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. In addition, armed Israelis have raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, and Israeli missiles have slammed into civilian neighborhoods in Gaza killing scores of people including children.

These latest attacks in East Jerusalem follow violent attacks in April which were led by racist Zionist gangs shouting “death to the Arabs.” Israeli terrorism against Palestinians is almost always ignored by the Israeli and U.S. governments and is partially funded by right-wing donors in the United States. Cleveland Peace Action demands that the U.S. Government cut off the almost $4 billion in military aid given to Israel annually; the end of the occupation, the right of return for all refugees; and the dismantling of Israeli apartheid.

We stand with Palestinian Arabs in their struggle to retain their land and homes.

Downsizing the Military-Industrial Complex

posted in: Events, News

Annual Membership Meeting
Cleveland Peace Action and Cleveland Peace Action Education Fund
Friday, May 14, 2021

View video of the Annual Meeting and Sen. Nina Turner’s keynote – passcode [email protected]

7:00 – Annual Meeting: Board Member/Officer Elections and Volunteer Recognition

7:30 – Keynote speaker: Nina Turner“Downsizing the Military-Industrial Complex”

All Cleveland Peace Action members are entitled to vote in Board Elections. A member is anyone who has made a contribution of time and/or money to Peace Action (local or national) in the last two years.
2021 Board Member Election Two-year term beginning 5/7/21: Francis Chiappa, Meghan Donovan, Dena Magoulias,  *Mary Ober, *Stephanie Riccobene

Officers: One-year term beginning 5/7/21: Mark Weber, President, Dena Magoulias, Treasurer, Meghan Donovan, Secretary

Two-year term beginning 7/24/20 (no vote necessary) Don Bryant Chantal Dothey Elizabeth Kravanya Faten Odeh Thomas Sodders Mark Weber   *Indicates new board member

Volunteer Recognition: Don Bryant, Bill Fickinger, Walter Nicholes, Rosemary Palmer


Keynote speaker: Nina Turner“Downsizing the Military-Industrial Complex”
Nina Turner was a Cleveland City Council member from 2006 to 2008 and an Ohio State Senator from 2008 to 2014. She supported Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential campaign and became president of the Sanders-affiliated group Our Revolution in 2017. She served as national co-chair of Sanders’ 2020 campaign. Turner is now a candidate in the 2021 Ohio 11th Congressional District special election.

Free and open to the public.

Money and Centrist Politics are Big 2020 Election Winners

By Mark Weber

In 1970, within the tiny Socialist Party of the United States, there was a fierce debate over what was then called “realignment.” The realignment forces led by Michael Harrington (1928-1989) argued that third parties were never going to be a winning strategy for the democratic left. Harrington argued that the left should pour its energies into working within the Democratic Party so that the party would be pushed to the left policy issues. Harrington’s position was adopted by the Socialist Party. However, within two years the venerable old Socialist Party (founded in 1901) would split into three factions. Harrington’s faction became the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC) which later merged with much of the New American Movement (NAM) to form the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Following the first Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016, the membership of DSA soared until presently it is around 65,000. It is by far the largest socialist organization on the left and has a number of its members sitting in Congress. Now, more than 50 years after Mike Harrington wrote about realignment in his book, Toward a Democratic Left, the question still remains: what about the Democratic Party?

In 1970, within the tiny Socialist Party of the United States, there was a fierce debate over what was then called “realignment.” The realignment forces led by Michael Harrington (1928-1989) argued that third parties were never going to be a winning strategy for the democratic left. Harrington argued that the left should pour its energies into working within the Democratic Party so that the party would be pushed to the left policy issues. Harrington’s position was adopted by the Socialist Party. However, within two years the venerable old Socialist Party (founded in 1901) would split into three factions. Harrington’s faction became the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC) which later merged with much of the New American Movement (NAM) to form the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Following the first Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016, the membership of DSA soared until presently it is around 65,000. It is by far the largest socialist organization on the left and has a number of its members sitting in Congress. Now, more than 50 years after Mike Harrington wrote about realignment in his book, Toward a Democratic Left, the question still remains: what about the Democratic Party?

Now, let us turn our attention to the 2020 election and beyond. In 1970, the Democratic Party of Harrington’s day, was a loose coalition of urban machines, people of color, a Southern “Dixiecrat” wing, and the labor movement. On the National level and outside the South, the Democrats stood for a variety  of social democratic measures like national health insurance and no-tuition college education. Labor backed the Democrats and Business backed the Republicans. Fifty years later the political landscape has changed almost beyond recognition.

The 2020 election was the most expensive in American history. According to Open Secrets, it cost about $14 billion up and down the ballot, which was about twice as much as what was spent in the 2016 election. For their narrow victory, the Democratic Party outspent Republicans by a margin of $6.9 billion to $3.8 billion. Deregulated  “outside” donations, mostly from very wealthy individuals, came to about $3 billion which mostly came through Super PACs. The two major parties themselves raised another $3.6 billion, mostly from wealthy people. In contrast, spending by the labor movement and by various “social welfare” groups barely passed the $100 million mark. Only about 22% of all donations to candidates came from those who gave $200 or less.

In other words, the rich paid for the 2020 election and it is they who will be its principal beneficiaries.

We have seen a kind of “realignment;” although not the kind that Mike Harrington envisioned. The Democratic Party has made significant inroads into Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and Wall Street hedge fund managers; while many nonunion white workers switched to the GOP. The Democrats were ensured Silicon Valley backing after Bill Clinton gave the high-tech big shots what they most wanted: patent and copyright protection for their income along  with financial deregulation. So the realignment has sent white workers to the GOP while more and more well-to-do voters have switched to  the Democrats. The old-fashioned union and working-class families that  once were the backbone of the Democratic Party have shrunk in number; while new support comes from affluent suburbanites and the wealthy.

Some on the left have always demanded a third party that would compete with the Democrats and be more progressive on issues like Medicare for All, and the Green New Deal. However, while many people say they would back a third party, no third party (except for the Green Party) has yet to emerge. Even during the Depression (1929-1941) no third party was able to compete and be a force. Third parties must deal with undemocratic state election laws, lack of money, and, most important, lack of a base. This is unlikely to change in time for 2022 or 2024.

As we recover from the 2020 election, those of us on the left must face the fact that the white working-class support for the GOP is up; while support from the wealthy for the Democrats is also up. This means that the Democrats will hew to the center  so as to  not alienate its new wealthy backers. 

I suggest that we need to keep this new partial class shift in the two parties as we plan our political work and our outreach to both elected officials and candidates.

Mike Harrington died of throat cancer in 1989. No doubt he is turning over in his grave. 

Cleveland is Breaking the Silence, April 5th at 7pm

posted in: Events, News

We invite you to join us in an intersectional local event to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Time to Break the Silence” speech of April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York City. This historic speech condemned US militarism, racism and poverty, and represented a significant expansion of Dr. King’s thinking on the root causes of the challenges U.S. society faced.

We will read excerpts from Dr. King’s speech and discuss its relevance for today in NE Ohio. View our reading of the speech on YouTube

Cleveland co-sponsoring organizations include: A Greater Buckeye, Black Lives Matter Cleveland, Black Spring Cleveland, The Cleveland Observer, Cleveland Nonviolence Network, Cleveland Peace Action, Coalition for a Better Life, dba Peace in the Hood, Coalition to Stop the Inhumanity at the Cuyahoga County Jail – Bail Reform and From Inside Committees, Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, End Poverty Now!, Interreligious Task Force on Central America,Neighborhood Connections, New Era, Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, Ohio Poor People’s Campaign, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland, Young Latino Network.

Our local work is in coordination with the national Breaking the Silence effort. This coalition is conducting a national event and supporting creation of local events. Their multi-year purpose includes encouraging formation of local coalitions to work on these intersectional issues going forward to drive change and transformation. The national event will be held on April 4, 2021, the 54th anniversary of the speech.

Local contacts:

200 Meters: Palestinian Film Streaming April 7-20, 2021

posted in: Events, News


We are proud to share that Cleveland Peace Action is a Community Partner for the 45th Cleveland International Film Festival! We are supporting the film, 200 Meters. Screening will take place entirely online from April 7-20, 2021. Tickets on sale now. Use our discount code PEACE and you will receive $1 off the purchase of any film festival ticket. Most films are available nationwide, so make plans to support independent film and its filmmakers.

200 Meters, a feature film by Palestinian director Ameen Nayfeh, premiered at the 77th Venice International Film Festival in September 2020 where it won the BNL People’s Choice Audience Award as part of the Venice Days competition. It features Ali Suliman as a father cut off from his family by the Israeli wall. who pays a smuggler to get him across. View trailer

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