News Stories


PJALS Receives Fellowship of Reconciliation Local Hero Peace Award

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

PJALS received FOR’s Local Hero Award for outstanding service to the community in Nov. 2015 in New York City. The January issue of The Fig Tree features a story about long time PJALS member Mark Hamlin’s trip to NYC to accept the award on behalf of PJALS.

“As part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) in New York City in November, Mark Hamlin of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS) was on hand to receive FOR’s Local Hero award for PJALS as one of its affiliates.

PJALS is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015-2016.

Mark not only gave an acceptance speech on the importance of PJALS work for peace and justice in the region, but also learned about FOR’s history at a centennial exhibit at Union Theological Seminary’s James Chapel.”


Civil rights groups rally for more law enforcement oversight

Tuesday, Sep 8, 2015 | 2:14pm | Comment on this
Author: Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter , jeffhu@kxly.com
Published On: Sep 02 2015 06:57:32 PM PDT
SPOKANE, Wash. -A national trend toward more police accountability has now caught up with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.On Wednesday, several civil rights groups, including the Center for Justice and the NAACP called for independent citizen oversight of sheriff’s deputies in use of force incidents. Those groups and about a thousand people who’ve signed a petition want the Spokane County commissioners to pass a new ordinance requiring independent citizen oversight. Read more »

Petition for sheriff’s office independent review is a political move, Knezovich says

Tuesday, Sep 8, 2015 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

September 2, 2015

Petition for sheriff’s office independent review is a

political move, Knezovich says

Kip Hill
The Spokesman-Review

Calling the process of selecting an ombudsman for the Spokane Police Department “a political nightmare,” Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich on Tuesday dismissed a petition requesting independent civilian oversight for his department as redundant.

“This is being driven by a few political opponents of mine,” Knezovich said at a news conference called a day before organizers planned to deliver more than 1,000 signatures to Spokane County commissioners requesting a new body to oversee operations of the Sheriff’s Office. Read more »


Center for Justice, others voice new concerns with SPD body cam policy

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 | 5:17pm | Comment on this

Originally published by the Inlander (http://www.inlander.com/Bloglander/archives/2014/07/16/center-for-justice-others-voice-new-concerns-with-spd-body-cam-policy)

Posted By Jacob Jones on Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Police accountability advocates today voiced several new concerns about the Spokane Police Department’s proposed usage policy for officer-worn body cameras, taking issue with vague recording requirements and a perceived lack of public input.

The Center for Justice issued a letter dated July 16, also signed by the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane and other local groups, saying advocates found the latest draft policy insufficient to ensure body cameras would provide reliable oversight.

“Unfortunately,” the letter states, “the current version of the policy supports a purpose mostly of discretionary surveillance, not of transparency and accountability.”

A promotional photo of the chest-mounted Taser Axon Body camera Spokane Police will start wearing in September. - TASER

A promotional photo of the chest-mounted Taser Axon Body camera Spokane Police will start wearing in September.

Advocates expressed the most concern with the rules defining what and when an officer must record. The proposed policy says “most” police encounters “shall” be recorded, but a section specifically listing many common, required interactions was removed. Read more >>


Stopping the Spiral of Violence: PJALS’s Shar Lichty on Praxis Radio

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 | 3:15pm | One comment.

“Host Taylor Weech talks with Shar Lichty, organizer at the Peace and Justice Action League, about the upcoming rally and march “Stop the Spiral of Violence: End These Endless Wars” in Spokane and the issues of U.S. imperialism and cultural violence that will be addressed there. In the second half of the hour, they are joined by phone by Hakeem Bashir, a Gazan PhD student at Washington State University, who shares his perspective on the current violence directed at Gaza and how it fits into the overall story of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.” (Praxis Radio)

Listen to the podcast here >>


Israel’s hypocritical claim of “self defense” goes largely unquestioned in U.S. media

Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 | 9:09am | Comment on this

Originally published by the Inlander (http://www.inlander.com/Bloglander/archives/2014/07/12/israels-hypocritical-claim-of-self-defense-goes-largely-unquestioned-in-us-media)

Posted By Taylor Weech on Sat, Jul 12, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Weech_2.jpg

Taylor Weech

Five days ago, when I interviewed Ayman Nijim, a Gazan masters student working on his degree in Vermont, the bombardment of his neighborhood and other major population centers in Gaza had barely begun. Since then, he has posted updates that tally the numbers of dead and wounded in his town and others in the besieged area and memorialized specific friends killed in the bombing. While the news we see here might portray the success of Israel in targeting Hamas specifically, the stream of images coming directly from Gaza tells a different story. An ambulance carrying wounded to a hospital that can’t sustain electricity for more than 12 hours a day targeted and destroyed; homes, churches, and stores bombed without warning; children dead in their parents’ arms or missing entire pieces of their bodies. Read more >>

 


Photos: Iraq Anti-War Protest

Monday, Jun 30, 2014 | 11:11am | Comment on this

Originally published by the Inlander (http://www.inlander.com/Bloglander/archives/2014/06/20/photos-iraq-anti-war-protest)

Posted By Matt Weigand on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Approximately 30 Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane activists met on the median between Ruby and Division at North River Drive on Thursday during rush hour to protest the possible threat of bombing Iraq.

The group handed out fliers to motorists stopped at red lights, who gave a wide range of reactions to the protest, from supportive honks and waves to angry comments and obscene gestures.

Michael Poulin protests against the threat of bombing Iraq. - MATT WEIGAND

See and read more at Inlander >>


A Part of Us All

Monday, May 5, 2014 | 1:13pm | Comment on this

Originally published by the Inlander (http://www.inlander.com/spokane/a-part-of-us-all/Content?oid=2300159)

By Rachel Dolezal

“Mayday, Mayday, Mayday,” seemed to be the call of more than 100 protesters lined up to march in Spokane last week, seeking urgent immigration reform. “We have written letters, gone on hunger strikes, made phone calls and are marching again to send a message to Cathy McMorris Rodgers that this issue is important to the people she represents,” said Dr. Martin Meraz-Garcia from Eastern Washington University’s Chicano Education Program. “This is about having compassion for others. It’s a humanitarian issue we should all care about.”

While immigration reform is supported by more than 70 percent of Americans, the small gathering at last Thursday’s march suggests an underrepresentation of regional voters. “All people should understand that immigration reform is important, because these people are a part of our society and the backbone of our workforce,” said Jackie Vaughn, a leader of MEChA de EWU, a Chicano student group. “We need people to be proactive and not just passively supportive.” Key legislation overwhelmingly passed the Senate in 2013, but if that bill, S. 744, does not make it to a vote in the House by this August, the movement will suffer a major setback.

Read more at the Inlander >>