November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website,, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to, a multimedia blog and resource center.

War on Truth  From Warriors to Resisters
Books of the Month

The War on Truth

From Warriors to Resisters

Army of None

Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal

FAQ and links

See also August 26, 2005 Boston Globe story

Bring the National Guard Home

State Referendum Submitted in Massachusetts

August 11, 2005

A group of activists in Massachusetts is organizing a campaign to place a binding initiative on the November 2006 ballot requiring the governor to recall the Massachusetts National Guard from Iraq.

On Wednesday, August 3, 2005, seventeen registered voters in Massachusetts submitted their signatures to the Attorney General, asking that a binding referendum be placed on the 2006 ballot to bring the Massachusetts National Guard home from Iraq. Signers included members of Brookline Peace Works and the Executive Director of Traprock Peace Center, in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Harold Hubschman of Brookline, Massachusetts is a political consultant specializing in referenda. He is available to meet with volunteers and organizers in western Massachusetts on August 19, 20, 26 or 27, preferring August 20, and to discuss the initiative with key organizers in all regions of the state. Before this initiative was submitted, Hubschman spoke with several attorneys to discern the requirements of the law. Miller interviewed Hubschman about the initiative on August 4. He explains that Massachusetts is one of twenty-four states and first on the calendar in a sequence of deadlines for submitting a referendum. In each state the Attorneys Generals are the offices to call to find out your deadline for submission.

On September 7 the Attorney General will announce whether that language will be meet technical requirements here. We expect to then begin to collect 100,000 signatures to put this referendum on the ballot beginning September 21. Volunteers from all cities and towns in Massachusetts are invited to help.

If you would like to help collect signatures in your Massachusetts town, or at fall festivals and cultural events in Massachusetts, please send your contact information now to:

The exact legal language of the initiative is as follows:

An Act To Bring Our Troops Home

Be It Enacted By The People And By Their Authority:

SECTION 1. The governor shall take all necessary steps under G.L. c. 33, s. 39 and all other provisions of law or the Constitution and issue all necessary orders to bring about the immediate withdrawal of all Massachusetts National Guard troops subject to his authority from Iraq and their return to, or retention within, the Commonwealth.

Hear Harold Hubschman's interview by Sunny Miller

18:08 minutes; 6.3 mb at 48 kbps mono (suitable for radio airplay)

for low bandwidth (dialup) 16 kbps version; 2.1 mb

Sunny Miller, Executive Director of Traprock Peace Center, moderating tele-conference call with advisors, organizers and volunteers - 8/26/2005. photo © 2005 Charles Jenks


What does this mean?

If the initiative passes, the governor of Massachusetts is required to begin the process of recalling Massachusetts National Guard troops from Iraq, by whatever means state and federal law permit. The governor may not replace those troops by sending new troops to Iraq.

Is this constitutional?

Yes. Federal law (commonly referred to as the Montgomery Amendment and the subsequent Perpich decision by the US Supreme Court) does not allow a governor to recall or withhold National Guard troops from a particular country simply because of an objection to their deployment in that country. But the Supreme Court ruling does allow the governor to recall or withhold National Guard troops if they are needed to address a local emergency. Should this initiative pass, the governor of Massachusetts could request the recall of the state’s National Guards for the purpose of addressing the state’s increasing homeland security needs.

So if the initiative passes, it will have a practical effect?

Yes. It will instruct the governor to begin the process of bringing the state’s National Guard home, and if he refuse, voters can sue to compel him to comply.

What about other military personnel in Iraq that are not members of the National Guard?

The governor only has authority over the National Guard, and a ballot initiative can only address an issue whose scope lies within the authority of Massachusetts law. However, by placing this question on the ballot, it can also serve to create a mechanism for citizens to vote on the broader issue of bringing all military personnel home from Iraq.

Where does the process stand now?

The above initiative has been submitted to the Massachusetts attorney general for certification. On September 7, the attorney general will transmit the petition to the secretary of state, and on September 21, the secretary of state will provide petition forms on which to collect signatures. At that point, there is a nine week window to collect signatures.

How many signatures are needed?

To place an initiative on the Massachusetts ballot, it is necessary to collect the signatures of 66,000 registered voters. In a signature drive, typically one third of the signatures are invalid (signer is not registered, signature illegible, or so on), so it will be necessary to collect 100,000 signatures.


Not really. A reasonably motivated petitioner can easily collect 100 signatures in a weekend on a popular issue (and this will be a popular issue.) In four weekends, one petitioner can easily collect 400 signatures. So a team of 250 motivated petitioners can complete the signature drive in four weeks, less than half the time allotted.

Is this the most effective way to campaign to bring our troops home?

There are many disparate groups in Massachusetts working on this issue. This ballot campaign creates a framework for them all to work together to pass a law that would literally require the governor to begin the process of bringing the National Guard home from Iraq.

What about doing this in other states?

Including Massachusetts, there are 24 states that have the ballot initiative process. They are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.

If a version of this initiative were on the ballot in all 24 of these states, it would become in effect a national referendum on whether American troops should be brought home. It would be a vehicle for voters to tell Congress directly and unambiguously to bring our troops home.

See also

Copyright Notice to Audio Recordings, DVD and Transcript and Photographs

The Audio Recordings are Copyright 2005 Traprock Peace Center. All rights reserved.

The audio recordings are available for radio airplay, without prior permission, provided that the radio station notifies Traprock of the airing (413-773-7427) and provides attribution that includes the following information: "Sunny Miller interviewed Harold Hubschman for Traprock Peace Center,, on August 4, 2005. All rights reserved." All other public use requires prior permission. In particular, internet websites are encouraged to link to, but may not post, the audio on their sites without prior permission. Individuals may download mp3 audio files for private use only.

Please Note: The referendum has a certain time line - the earliest ballot opportunity is November, 2006. This does not imply that Traprock approves continuing the occupation for any length of time. From this writer's point of view (Charlie Jenks), this campaign will add pressure to end the occupation now.

Websites of organizers (please contact us about adding more)

Brookline Peace Works

Traprock Peace Center

See refendendum at

Office of Massachusetts Attorney General - Initiative Petitions

Page created by Sunny Miller and Charlie Jenks