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Latest news

Love in the Face of Hate: Keeping the Peace at Pride

by pjals Tuesday, May 24, 2016 | 10:10am | Comment on this

peacekeepers on the job for PPBecause love is stronger than hate, fear, and anger!

You are invited to our Nonviolent Conflict De-escalation Workshop:

Wednesday June 1, 5:30 – 8:00 pm, in the Community Building, 35 W. Main

Gay-obsessed zealots have increasingly protested Spokane’s Pride Celebration since Washington voters approved the freedom to marry. This workshop will explore nonviolence and de-escalation as an ACTIVE response to oppression and hate. We’ll focus on preparing for Pride (Saturday June 11). We’ll cover nonviolence principles and guidelines, techniques to defuse and de-escalate potentially volatile situations, and how to organize a team of peacekeepers. And, we’ll practice so we are more likely to use these new skills in real life!

Successfully completing this training makes you eligible to join PJALS’ Peacekeeper Team, but there is NO obligation. Open to all.


Why Volunteering Matters

by pjals Tuesday, May 10, 2016 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

PJALS exists because of people power, everyday people of all backgrounds collaborating together for ways to stop hate and militarism and police violence, racism and sexism and homophobia. Taking to the streets with heart-felt actions to affirm human dignity is a skill we learn together through community engagement and volunteerism. Drawing from our differences, accepting others as they are, we learn how to negotiate our way toward a vision of the common good and collective strength. By volunteering together, our individual vantage points form a web of light and life. Volunteering builds relationships, community resolve not just to react to problems but to advance solutions. Solutions that grow organically from volunteers interacting, engaging, exploring ideas in the spirit of mutual inquiry. Your ideas, rough or polished, are valid because you are valid. The best social justice leaders are those directly impacted by the issues.

But we can’t get to know you if you don’t volunteer. Read more »

Rally in Support of ACLU’s Lawsuit Against Mitchell and Jessen

by pjals Thursday, May 5, 2016 | 12:12pm | Comment on this

torture photoLast Friday morning members of PJALS and Veterans for Peace stood outside in the wind and rain in protest of a common enemy of humanity: torture. In the 1990’s, psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen designed an experimental torture plan that was then used on prisoners at the time. Victims of the method along with ACLU have filed a lawsuit against the two for their crimes. We stood in front of the federal building for two hours in anxious anticipation for the results of Mitchell and Jessen’s motion to dismiss the case. Thankfully the motion was denied, we found out later. We gathered to show our support of the lawsuit and to declare that we were all in agreement that torture should never be allowed. Our signs donned the words, “torture hurts us all,” “to condone torture is to deny yourself life,” “Who killed Gul Rahman?” and the like. Gathering with a group to showcase our stance against violence produced a strong sense of solidarity. Even more than showcasing our point, I found the most powerful part being in community with other PJALS members that are willing to fight for what is right.

Spring Member Drive – Will you fuel our work?

by pjals Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

pjals logo new colorJust as the PJALS community began celebrating 40 years, I joined PJALS because of its scope and range of work and values and because of all the amazing people I have met: passionate activists, dedicated volunteers, visionaries, poets, veterans, students, organizers, community leaders — everyday people from all walks of life.

Now it’s time for our Spring Member Drive.  I ask you to join me in supporting our work together!

Donate now

PJALS has survived for 40 years because the community needed it to survive, to speak truth to power. Now is the time to deepen our connections to eradicate war and poverty, to institutionalize equality instead of prejudices.

What sets PJALS apart from other groups? Members respond with a positive wave of answers: “Faces adversity.” “Tenacity.” Activism. “Depth and width of connections.” “Peace and social justice as a package.” “PJALS provides a structure to advocate for meaningful change.” Inclusiveness and collaboration. “People power.” “Networks so well.” “Broader focus.” Training. “Development of community skills and competence in a range of areas.” “Takes on edgier issues.” “I trust its integrity.”

This is the miracle PJALS members sustain: an edgy, tenacious organization for peace and justice, with an integrity that engenders trust and engagement from everyday people.

Grassroots money protects us from being at the mercy of power. Your membership donation immediately fuels a reciprocal kind of action: the issues we work on — criminal justice reform, police accountability, peace, human rights & equality — reflect what matters in the hearts and minds of our members.

Will you support PJALS with a membership donation?  With our small budget and dedicated mostly-volunteer team, every gift matters!

Donate now


Whitman Neruda




Whitman Neruda

PJALS member

PASSION for Justice: A Conversation with Yvonne Wanrow Swan and Ken Isserlis

by pjals Tuesday, Apr 5, 2016 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

PASSION for Justice: A Conversation with Yvonne Wanrow Swan and Ken Isserlis

Thursday, April 21, 201642010_lg

6:00 p.m. Opening Reception

6:30-8p.m. Speakers and Conversation

Eastern Washington University Center (formerly Phase 1)

Auditorium-Room 122, EWU Spokane, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd.

Parking available in “yellow” lots or at meters. Limited free parking on street. Campus map here.

In a landmark 1977 Washington Supreme Court ruling, Yvonne’s criminal case brought to the forefront the discrimination against female defendants in the courts, and particularly against Native American women.

Yvonne Wanrow Swan is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Ken Isserlis is a local attorney who, in the 1970s, was a Peace and Justice Center staff person in Spokane. The Wanrow ruling played an important role in national criminal justice reform, the Spokane community, and the history of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS).

Join us for a conversation with Yvonne and Ken to learn of their experiences with this life changing and momentous event.

Celebrate 40 years of PJALS, where there is a PASSION for justice.

For more information on Yvonne’s case:

Story of Wanrow (Criminal Law Stories)

Yvonne Wanrow Hearing Transcript (April 26, 1979)

Spiral of Support in Spokane – Yvonne Wanrow (Swan) (1)




University Partners: EWU American Indian Studies Program and EWU School of Social Work Program



Bread & Roses Benefit Auction: Friday, May 20th

by pjals Friday, Apr 1, 2016 | 10:10am | Comment on this

Eventbrite - 2016 Bread & Roses Benefit Auction

BreadAndRoses-01 (3)


Friday May 20, 2016

5:30 – 9:00 pm

Bread & Roses Benefit Auction

A Friday evening of dinner, live & silent auctions, and fun as we celebrate our work together! Host a table of 10 for $250. Tickets on sale for $25 ($30 after May 6)

May 3-6, 2016

“Got Item” Days

This is an opportunity for members & supporters to drop off donated items for the Auction. What are we seeking: Experiences, cabin or condo getaways, gift certificates to local businesses, tickets to events, or tangible items.

Eventbrite - 2016 Bread & Roses Benefit Auction

Smart Justice Spokane Quarterly Meeting

by Cassandra Guerrero Tuesday, Feb 16, 2016 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

Smart Justice Spokane header-logoThe Smart Justice Spokane Quarterly meeting was a great turnout with lots of attendees that were anxious to hear updates about the coalition’s next steps. The first item that was announced was the launch of their new website: smartjusticespokane.org. The website is filled with lots of great information on their vision, accomplishments, projects, events, resources, and most importantly how to get involved with the coalition!

The next item that was discussed was the legislative updates to let the attendees know what bills to support to advance the Smart Justice Spokane goals. Those bills are The Fair Chance Act, The Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity Act, Legal Financial Obligation Reform, and Use of Deadly Force Bill.  We need to let our senators know that they need to support these bills and to educate them about the ways the current criminal justice operates to reduce opportunities for those in the criminal justice system long after they’ve done their time. This is our time to speak on behalf for those that have been silenced! One bill that we need to say no to is the Police Body Cameras bill because the bill does not go far enough to protect privacy rights for our citizens and this is a violation of our rights. Please contact Senators Padden and Baumgartner and let them know what we want!