Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Ph: 410-366-1637 or 727-543-3227; Email: mobuszewski at



Contact: Max Obuszewski [410] 366-1637 or 727-543-3227 or mobuszewski at

WHO: The Pledge of Resistance was formed for individuals willing to engage in nonviolent civil resistance to first prevent and later to protest the war in Iraq. It is affiliated with several national peace groups, including the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance and United For Peace & Justice.

Baltimore Pledge members are still concerned about the disastrous situation in Iraq, made even worse by the ascendancy of the organization called ISIS. ISIS has engaged in exceedingly brutal acts in both Iraq and Syria, and there has been much discussion of what can be done about preventing the organization from making further inroads in both countries. In an attempt to better understand the situation, the Pledge invited Jim and Deborah Fine, who live in Bristol, Pennsylvania, to Baltimore to speak.

WHAT: The couple returned in September 2014 from Erbil, Iraq after working there for five years with the Mennonite Central Committee. Their principal work was with refugees fleeing the various conflicts, including the Yazidis who are being terrorized by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The stunning advances of ISIS have put all ethnic and religious groups in the area, including moderate Sunni Arabs, at risk. For some groups the threat approaches genocidal proportions. The U.S. has responded with air strikes. Yet, from President Obama on down, everyone agrees there is no military solution. The Fines will address “MISSING FROM THE WAR NARRATIVE: Why it will be hard for the U.S. to contain and weaken, let alone degrade and destroy, the Islamic State.”

WHEN: Friday, January 30, 2015 at 7:30 PM

WHERE: Free School Classroom, Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201

WHY: It is important to garner information from people working in an area of concern who are not affiliated with the government, the military or a contractor profiting from the war. When in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish Region, the Fines administered MCC’s relief, development, and peacebuilding work with Iraqi partner organizations throughout the country. Deb also taught English and mentored K-12 teachers in the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil. This past summer, they witnessed the influx of tens of thousands of Christians, Yazidis, and others into Erbil and Dohuk provinces as Islamic State forces took over Mosul and the towns and villages of the Nineveh Plain east and west of Mosul.

Prior to serving with MCC Jim worked on Iraq and other Middle East issues at the Friends Committee on National Legislation in Washington. Deb taught history in a public high school. Both served with the American Friends Service Committee in Jerusalem in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Deb holds an MA in Middle East history from Georgetown University, and Jim holds an MA in comparative religion from Columbia University.


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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