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Rusty Nelson on Peace and War: “Making History”
Rusty Nelson on Peace and War: “Making History”
For years, I have railed against the wholesale use and abuse of certain inescapable terms in the popular lexicon of American discourse. Along with certain obscenities that continue to nibble away at my own vocabulary, “The Economy” is one that stands out. Pundits, politicians and pedagogues seem to agree that the term has the same meaning for me that it does for Matt Shea, Bill Gates, and Domantas Sabonis. “The Economy,” of course, bounces off me differently than it does anyone else, including my children and their children, and I resent the implication that I’m just another naked chick in a crowded nest, open wide for whatever worm that differently-feathered parent figure dangles above me. 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 »
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 »
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)
US Militarism and the girls of Nigeria
by Liz Moore
More than two hundred girls kidnapped in Nigeria have caught the sympathy of many in the West, and that attention has helped to prompt US military aid as part of the effort to rescue them.
It started as a simple #BringBackOurGirls call gaining amplification on social media. Then came the names of the girls, which I and others re-posted as a way of making more specific and more powerful our call for their return. And then, wiser people pointed out that listing the girls’ names puts them in greater danger in the future and violates their right to decide whether or not to be public about their experience. I had to pause my urge to help to learn whether my actions were actually helpful or harmful.
The world clamor, led by protests by parents in Nigeria, led to greater attention and some international response. The US government response, of course, was to offer “counter-terrorism assistance.”
Let us pause again to see if our offer of help is actually helpful. Read more »
It is the Zimmerman mindset that must be found guilty
Like millions of people across the country, I was very saddened when I learned a Florida jury had found George Zimmerman not guilty of murder nor manslaughter for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin. Read more »
Yelling “Fire!” In A Crowded Bill of Rights
Rusty Nelson on Peace and War
Cassandra, in ancient Greek stories, has become a more and more compelling character to me as I’ve observed the politics of institutional violence. What curse could frustrate you more than being able to see the future clearly while every other mind is completely closed to any warning or constructive comment you might offer? Watching epic, human-driven disasters unfold was much less painful before I realized two essential facts: The violence residing within me is part of the problem, and there is always an alternative to violence.
Our national conversation is full of presumptions that immutable conflicts emerge from the blue, with no way to anticipate or prevent them. What a waste of talk. Read more »
Pulling at the Threads of Violence in our Culture
By Rev. Dr. Todd F. Eklof, The Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane
What a privilege it was to moderate during PJALS’ February 7th panel discussion on violence. We don’t hear about most the violence that occurs every day in our country or in our communities, but the recent and terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, as well as those in places like Aurora, Colorado, the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, and far too many others, have reminded us all that something must be done now! Read more »