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Challenging Oppressive Statements
As in previous years’ “Challenging Oppressive Statements” workshops, I found that most of the people attending this workshop find it frustrating when exposed to a statement they feel is oppressive to others. They usually express a desire to have some helpful tools to express their feelings about derogatory or abusive statements that others make when they hear them. The problem is that unless we have learned and practiced ways of expressing our concerns about behaviors like that, we have a tendency to escalate the violent behavior or just go away feeling frustrated.
The people attending this workshop were given some examples of how to think about the behavior in a way that may be helpful to decompress the frustration and speak out in a way that can be helpful to themselves, and to people who make insensitive, or abusive, generalized statements about others, often without realizing the harm they may be causing.
With a little guidance and encouragement given in the workshop, a little practice in small group sessions, and a handout they can use to construct further thought and practice for effective responses, I am hopeful the people attending this workshop went away with some feeling of empowerment to deal with these kinds of difficult encounters in their futures.
PJALS Receives Fellowship of Reconciliation Local Hero Peace Award
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.”
Responding to Manufactured Fear
by Whitman Neruda
This is in response to the Aug. 13 Inlander article, “Manufacturing Fear.”
First, our view as progressives is this: we don’t want big, intrusive government; we want an effective, responsive government and a human-scaled, people-first economy. We want to mid-wife a transformed America adept at non-violent communication and the skills that negotiate our differences, much in the way of a good marriage, out of love and respect.
We believe everyone has the right to talk about injustice, perceived or experienced.
The problem is too many people on both sides agitate and exaggerate, fear mongering and slandering their way through cyber space. They appear psychologically addicted to the adrenalin of hate. Read more »
Our priority areas for 2016-17
As determined by our member priority survey responses and our Steering Committee!
- A Just Society: Smart Justice and Police Accountability
- Peace: Truth in Recruitment, Consciousness-Raising about Militarism, and Mobilizing against War!
- Human Rights Community Organizing: Building collective power with targeted communities.
- Ending the Death Penalty in Washington as our top legislative priority.
Exposing & transforming systems of violence & oppression to create beloved community and build a just and nonviolent world.
Powerful award-winning play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” to be shown in Spokane
By Justin Mauger
On Monday March 2nd, 7:00 pm, the award-winning play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” will be shown at the Magnuson Theater on the campus of Gonzaga University. This play is brought to the Gonzaga Campus by PJALS’ Palestine-Israel Human Rights Committee in collaboration with Gonzaga student Forrest Potter and featuring actress Erin Fitzgerald. This play is presented free of charge and open to the public. We hope that PJALS members will join us in attendance at this important event.
Rachel Corrie was a gifted writer and peace activist from Olympia, Washington. As a student at The Evergreen State College, she proposed an independent-study program and went to the Gaza Strip, Palestine, to create a Rafah-Olympia Sister City relationship, where, in her work as a peace and human rights activist she helped protect Palestinian homes from illegal demolition. While practicing Gandhian nonviolence, clad in fluorescent orange and shouting over a bullhorn, she was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer as she attempted to stop the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home in the city of Rafah. Read more »
Another Look at the Cycle of Violence
I believe you know that support for capital punishment in this country: is diminishing; was only a foot deep when it was a mile wide; is based upon fear and ignorance rather than common sense or justice, and; is always weakened when executions are honestly examined as factors in the cycle of violence in our communities and institutions.
You should also know that Gov. Inslee’s moratorium on executions is little comfort to the men on our death row in Walla Walla, who believe they are likely to be killed when a new governor takes office. Believing this is a splendid time to ban the death penalty and that public enlightenment is the best way forward, the Inland Northwest Death Penalty Abolition Group wants Spokane to see its new production of The Exonerated on November 21 or 22, at Gonzaga University. The Center for Justice produced two performances of The Exonerated, five years ago at the Civic Theatre, and is co-sponsoring this show, which will, again, be directed by Bryan Harniteaux, Spokane’s attorney/playwright. Read more »
Nonviolence in Action: Peacekeeping for Successful Protests
We are offering a great workshop for protesters, organizers, and folks thinking of volunteering as peacekeepers for any social justice cause! Our Oct 1 workshop will focus on preparing for our Oct 9 protest when Condoleezza Rice speaks at the Convention Center, but the skills are completely transferable. Come learn how trained peacekeepers can help create a successful demonstration or action for social justice and peace. 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!
No cost. Donations gladly accepted!
Community Building, 35 W. Main, Wednesday, Oct 1
Food at 5:30 (light refreshments)
Training begins at 6:00 pm and will finish at 8:00 pm.
Successfully completing this training makes you eligible to join PJALS’ Peacekeeper Team, but there is NO obligation and it’s open to all interested. We offered this same workshop on August 6 with wonderful participation from a great group of new and experienced peaceniks.
We are building up our pool of trained peacekeepers and our team of trainers. If you’re interested in becoming a trainer for this workshop, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re planning on offering more workshops in April and June 2015, so we need your skills!
Role playing at August Training:
Director’s reflection: How to build peace
This spring, as we sat down with our 2013-2014 community organizing interns to talk about their experience with us, we realized that somehow none of them had led chants into a bullhorn, none of them had held banners while we marched, none of them had managed sign-in at a rally. We were shocked when we realized we hadn’t held a major march or rally since our rapid response in September which was part of the successful national push-back against US war on Syria.
This summer has looked far different! Starting with a Global Day Against Military Spending action, we’ve mobilized in April rain, May sun, June heat, July 4th weekend traffic, and late July wildfire smoke for actions calling to “End the Spiral of Violence: End these Endless Wars” with a focus on opposing increased US military presence in Iraq, extending our occupation of Afghanistan into 2016, and US-funded military attacks on Gaza.
Repeatedly as we get ready to mobilize, I look for the writings of thought-leaders and opinion-makers on what to call for instead of the latest proposal to bomb. This is especially necessary because the pro-war extremists have been pretty consistent about adding a humanitarian talking point to their list of reasons war is the answer, and that talking point is effective. Read more »