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A Fall Full of Activity!
Heres’ what we’ve been up to together, made possible by members!
Gratitude Potluck & Membership Meeting, Sept 10
Hosted “Race: The Power of an Illusion” training, Sept 26
Welcoming 3 new Social Work practicum students! (see their introduction elsewhere in the blog!)
Young Activist Leaders Open House, orientation, fall retreat, and workshop!
PJALS 40th Anniversary Kick-off , Oct 15
Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation speaker Becky O’Neil McBrayer, Oct 20. Listen at pjals.org/t/death-penalty/
Action: Support Refugees & Civilians. No US Escalation in Syria & Iraq, Nov 5
Leadership Workshop: How to Effectively Communicate with Lawmakers, Nov 19
Action: Humanity is Indivisible, Nov 20
Actions & Resources for Peace in Israel & Palestine, Iraq, and Transparency in US Drone Targetting
Sen. Murray: 624-9515
Sen. Cantwell: 353-2507
Rep. McMorris Rodgers: 353-2374
Tell them: We have to build a better world for all our kids, and it has to start with each of us. Elected leaders must hear our demands that our money be spent to create true peace with justice, not to send more missiles or drones around the world. End drone use. End US war, occupation, and military aid in Iraq & Afghanistan. End military aid to Israel.
Special message for Senator Murray: “Please tell the senator to vote against the additional funding to Israel in TODAY’s Defense Appropriations bill, especially since Israel is massacring people in Gaza right now.”
Jewish Voice for Peace: Join the 64,000 who’ve signed our Open Letter telling Israeli leaders to stop killing civilians.
Just Foreign Policy: Urge President Obama and your representatives in Congress to demand that Israel refrain from bombing Wafa Hospital and other medical facilities in Gaza protected by international humanitarian law by signing our petition at MoveOn.
Avaaz: As a new round of violence kicks off in Israel-Palestine and more children are killed, it’s time to take definitive non-violent action to end this nightmare. Our governments and companies have continued to aid, trade and invest in the status quo, but we can stop this cycle of violence if we call on key banks, pension funds and businesses to pull out their investments — add your voice now.
United for Peace & Justice: Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Barbara Lee (D-CA) have just introduced House Concurrent Resolution # 105, a privileged resolution under the War Powers Resolution that will force a debate and vote on U.S. military intervention in Iraq. It will come up for a debate and vote within fifteen days of the date in which it was filed. Call Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers now at 353-2374 to ask her to co-sponsor.
CREDO: Sign the petition: Demand transparency on U.S. drone strike targets: According to a number of civil and human rights groups, drone warfare has led to hundreds of civilian deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia – and a possible violation of international law. We want the government to name who it has killed with U.S. drones, where, and why, including an explanation of the legal authority and evidence supporting each of those killings.
Information & Resources:
Stopping the Spiral of Violence: PJALS’s Shar Lichty on Praxis Radio
“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)
Israel’s hypocritical claim of “self defense” goes largely unquestioned in U.S. media
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
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
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.
Marching for Immigration Reform
Jeremiah Manes and YALP alum Molly Ftizpatrick carry the PJALS banner at the May 1 2014 march for Immigration Reform. PJALS Organizer Shar Lichty and member Mark Hamlin offered a Peacekeeper training for MEChA de EWU members who organized the event.
A Part of Us All
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.
Your Snowflakes created a Blizzard for Accountability
Our snowflakes created a facebook blizzard that could not be ignored! Thank you to the more than 40 individuals who helped spread the message: Mayor Condon failed the voters; Council: Reject the new police contract; Police Accountability for Spokane NOW! Click here for the collage all the “snowflakes”!
We helped to call out Mayor Condon on his complete failure to listen to the voters who overwhelmingly passed Prop. 1 and put pressure on the Council to unanimously reject the police contract.
There is still a lot of work ahead for us to achieve independent oversight for the Office of Police Ombudsman but for now let us bask in our victory!
“Move, Cathy–Get Out of the Way!”
PJALS members join OneAmerica for Immigration Reform Action Nov 13
Momentum for commonsense immigration reform is growing. But Speaker John Boehner has yet to schedule a vote. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers continues to stand behind him. And 1,100 people are deported each day. We spoke out to call on GOP leadership to vote on a pathway to citizenship this year!
Members of Washington Community Action Network and PJALS as well as college students from Whitworth, EWU, and Whitman were arrested in a civil disobedience action to convey the urgency of comprehensive immigration reform.
For EWU graduate, immigration reform worth risking arrest
Originally published by The Spokesman-Review (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/sep/22/for-ewu-graduate-immigration-reform-worth-risking/) about a former PJALS intern
by Kip Hill
Lucia Vazquez’s tears didn’t begin flowing until she and more than 100 other women seated themselves in the road near the steps of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I was crying because I just saw how many women were risking going to jail,” the 24-year-old Eastern Washington University graduate said.
Vazquez participated in the largest civil disobedience demonstration to date pressuring Congress to pass a full-scale overhaul of the nation’s immigration policies.
On Sept. 12, she and 114 other women blocked traffic on Capitol Hill in an attempt to force the House of Representatives to take up a legislative package passed by the U.S. Senate in June. Gestating under the gaze of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators and representatives since January, the legislation would beef up border security, increase the number of visas available for temporary workers and create a new “pathway to citizenship” for immigrants living in the United States illegally.
Time is Now to Say No War on Syria
and Yes to Practical Peace-Building Actions
With all three of our Congressional delegation saying they are “undecided” on authorization of military intervention in Syria, THIS IS THE WINDOW for us to act! All are hearing from constituents, and all need to hear from YOU!
The full Senate will vote this week; the House vote is not yet scheduled.
When you call, or when you talk to friends, here are the best resources I’ve seen about why we MUST say no to war with Syria and the practical peace-building actions we can take instead. Read more »
Talking to Electeds: No War on Syria
On Thursday a multi-generational delegation including PJALS members, Veterans for Peace, and clergy visited Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ office where we met with her District Director Louise Fendrich and Senator Cantwell’s office where we met with her Eastern Washington Representative Bryan Raines. Both said their offices had received many calls–keep ‘em coming! Here’s our quick debrief of our first meeting:
Each person shared his or her own story and most important reasons to vote NO on any authorization of military intervention in Syria: Read more »
Regional lawmakers hesitant to back Obama’s Syria plan
Originally published by The Spokesman-Review (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/sep/04/inland-northwest-lawmakers-hesitant-to-back/)
by Kip Hill
The Inland Northwest congressional delegation is treading softly as President Barack Obama seeks authorization to use a big stick in response to charges that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its people.
U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican serving on the Senate’s powerful Foreign Relations Committee, said he was reluctant to authorize any military action despite the “awful” and “horrendous” conditions in the country. During a committee meeting Tuesday, Risch questioned Secretary of State John Kerry about the country’s response if Russia, Iran, Israel and other regional actors embroiled themselves in the conflict.
“Probably the more likely actor would be Hezbollah,” Risch said, referring to the militant branch of Shiite Islam based in Lebanon that has aligned itself with the ruling regime. “They’re in that country fighting for Assad.”
Saying NO to Civil Liberties Violations
PJALS members at our July 3rd 2013 action against government violations of our civil liberties received positive responses from passersby.
Peace & Justice Action Committee: A new model to advance our work
by Shar Lichty
After a summer off, our Peace & Justice Action Committee (PJAC) will be resuming our meeting schedule on Sept. 19th with a new approach: leadership development and campaign-specific organizing. Read more »
Say NO to US War on Syria
War is not the answer! US military intervention in Syria will lead to more bloodshed and deaths. Come join members of the PJALS, Veterans for Peace, and people from all over Spokane as we make our “NO WAR” position visible. ALL WELCOME!
Say NO to US War on Syria
Saturday August 31, 2:00 pm
Riverfront Park Fountain at Howard & Spokane Falls Blvd
Here are 5 ways you can ACT NOW:
- Spread the word on Facebook about Saturday’s rally or download & post this flier
- Join us to make signs Friday at 2pm in the Community Building Lobby, 35 W. Main. Bring your own materials or use ours.
- Donate to support this rapid response at www.pjals.org/contribute –all gifts appreciated!
- Sign these three petitions–and share them!
- Educate yourself with these useful articles below.
Petitions to Sign and share:
- Prevent an Attack on Syria Now–call for alternatives – from Roots Action
- Demand that no military action be taken in Syria without prior Congressional authorization! – from Win Without War
- NO U.S. MILITARY INTERVENTION IN SYRIA! — from Credo
- NEW: Iraq Veterans Against The War’s statement Against Military Force in Syria:So long as non-military avenues exist, we demand their use before war. According to current opinion-polls, the majority of Americans share our deep opposition to military intervention. As veterans, we know all too well the limitations of military action to bring meaningful resolution, and this is why we now call upon the U.S. and international community to exhaust every available non-military option to ensure that a cease-fire is diplomatically secured in Syria. We firmly believe that the Syrian people have the right to self-determination and that international leaders should work tirelessly to secure a space within which the Syrian people can pursue a lasting reconciliation free of outside interference.
- 10 simple points to help you understand the Syria conflict
- Syria: Another Western War Crime In The Making
- Bob Dreyfuss, The Nation: No War With Syria
- IPA: An Illegal War Forced on Syria That Benefits Al-Qaeda?
- Mairead Maguire: Syria: No Armaments to Rebels
- Phyllis Bennis: There is No Military Solution to Syria
- More from the Institute for Policy Studies
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. … If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, … want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. …. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.
12 hours for everyday suffering
by Lucia Vazquez
To bring attention to the suffering and struggles of undocumented Americans, I participated in a 12-hour fast along with 10 other folks from Spokane and Walla Walla on July 3rd in front of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ office.
At first I was very optimistic of being able to do the full 12 hours with only water to drink yet as the day progressed I doubted being able to make it– my feet were sore, my head pounding, constant thoughts of food raced in my head.
My pain was nothing compared to the number of years families wait to see their loved ones, the deaths of innocent people attempting to seek a better future, the agony undocumented students experience knowing that tuition is due, the fear children face when their parents leave for work, the cruel reality that you’re one traffic stop from deportation–these are all real scenarios and being able to symbolized the suffering undocumented people face every day was my motivation. Read more »
Join Our Media Action Team
By Justin Filla
The Peace and Justice Action League is looking for individuals who would like to join our Media Action Team. This Media Action Team will consist of authors who would like to write letters to the editor for causes that PJALS focuses on. These letters will be submitted to The Spokesman-Review as well as other area publications. The goal of this action team is to get more progressive voices out in the Spokane community. Read more »