SHOWING UP FOR RACIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Peace begins in justice.
PJALS is committed to racial justice. Our Showing Up for Racial Justice committee works closely with accountability partners who are leaders in communities oppressed by racism. Together we identify needs and campaigns to support in Spokane while educating white people about our collective role in maintaining systems of race-based violence and the potential to take a new role in dismantling them.
Our priorities in the work for racial justice:
- We organize to end mass incarceration and racial disparities in our local criminal justice system, hold law enforcement accountable and end the death penalty in Washington
- We mobilize together for effective, restorative solutions driven by the experiences and needs of those impacted by the criminal justice system.
With our partners in the Spokane Immigrant Rights Coalition:
- We support and protect immigrant communities.
- We sponsor the Undocumented Immigrant Legal Defense Fund to defray the unjust costs of deportation cases for immigrants.
You are invited to attend SURJ’s committee meetings on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month from 5:30-6:30 pm via zoom. To join, email Shar Lichty at [email protected].
PEACE AND JUSTICE ACTION COMMITTEE
Building peace on a larger scale.
As an organization dedicated to building a just and nonviolent world, PJALS opposes the billions spent by the United States on war and protests the devastating impact of militarism on our national and local economies. We believe that all human, financial, and community costs of war are unacceptable. For all individuals to thrive, our country must commit to inclusive democracy and reject exploitation and violence in all forms.
PJALS members have led our region’s opposition of US militarism for 40 years! We stand together in spring rain, summer heat and smoke, and winter cold to tell the truth about the need to grow beyond militarism and stop our endless wars. We connect the dots between out-of-control military spending and cuts to lifeline programs for struggling families. We recognize and work to illuminate the deep connections between militarism, colonialism, structural and ideological white supremacy, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism, both nationally and world-wide.
We have a commitment to develop our stand for peace and to redefine our international peace and human rights work in the context of recent volatile escalation of militarism, anti-Muslim bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism. Our Peace and Justice Action Committee focuses on this commitment.
Ready to oppose militarism with us?
This committee meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, 5:30 pm via zoom. To join, email Jac Archer at [email protected].
YOUNG ACTIVIST LEADERS PROGRAM
The work for peace and justice starts early.
PJALS Young Activist Leaders Program (YALP) offers workshops for skill-building and political education. Participants explore social justice with other Spokane-area young people who value equality, human rights, economic justice, and peace.
The leadership development program is right for young people already active in or leading student groups, faith communities, and community groups, but also for folks still discovering activism. The workshops provides a gathering place for young people to ask questions, to educate each other, and to explore social justice work together, resulting in a vibrant network of friends committed to social justice.
Our topics include all these and more:
- Campaigns for Change: Planning and Coordinating
- How to Recruit and Mobilize
- Effective Meetings
- Event Planning
- Generating Media Coverage
- Public Speaking
- Nonviolence and Militarism
- Identity, Privilege, and Oppression
- LGBTQ+ Equality and Liberation
- Moving Racial Justice Campaigns
- Corporate Power: An Economic Reality Check
- Negotiating with People in Power
For more information or to join YALP, please contact Sarah at [email protected].
Our organizing is founded in active nonviolence.
In the traditions of Mahatma Gandhi, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez, Dorothy Day, Utah Philips, and millions of people all over the world, our work for justice and peace is founded in the principles and practice of active nonviolence and nonviolent resistance. We understand that nonviolence is more than a refusal to engage in physical conflict, but additionally requires “a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love.”
Our nonviolence guidelines are one way we put peace into action. As participants in PJALS actions, we agree to abide by and reflect upon these commitments:
- At all times, we will use our anger at injustice as a positive nonviolent force for change. Our attitude will be one of openness, friendliness, and respect toward all we encounter. We will convey this through words, symbols, and actions.
- We will refuse to return the assaults—verbal or physical—of those who oppose or disagree with us. We will protect those who oppose us from insults and attack.
- As participants in nonviolent events, we will follow the directions of designated coordinators. In case of serious disagreements, we will remove ourselves from the gatherings.
- We will refrain from insults and swearing. We will use no violence, verbal or physical, toward any person. We will not carry anything that could be construed as a weapon unless it is a personal health or accessibility tool.
- We will not run or use threatening motions. We will not damage any property. We will not bring or use alcohol or illegal drugs.
Ready to take active nonviolence to the next level?
We believe that trained community peacekeepers are one of our greatest contributions to effective nonviolent action for peace and justice. We host Peacekeeper Trainings where participants learn nonviolent de-escalation techniques for successful demonstrations. After successfully completing the training, volunteers are eligible to join our Peacekeeper Team.
Who are peacekeepers?
Peacekeepers are trained demonstrators who accept responsibility for the flow and tone of a demonstration. PJALS trains Peacekeeper Teams in the following roles and responsibilities:
- Facilitate the group achievement of the goals of the demonstration in a nonviolent way.
- Set the tone for action.
- Maintain nonviolent spirit and discipline.
- Provide information about the action and logistics.
- Communicate with demonstrators, organizers, and others.
- Defuse and deescalate conflicts.
- Act as buffer between demonstrators and police, counter-demonstrators, hecklers, etc.
- Help maintain the energy of the action by constructively participating in songs, chants, or moments of silence as indicated by the demonstration leaders.
- Facilitate movement of people where appropriate, including safe movement of marchers through traffic.
- Assist the demonstrators, not police them.
- Direct media to appropriate spokespeople.
- Help people handle their emotions; providing support and empathy.
- Distribute demonstration props to participants such as candles, flags, and signs.
- Anticipate potential conflict situations and taking preemptive action.
- Limit harm.
- Call for emergency medical or legal aid or support.
We can train you and members of your group to act as a Peacekeeper Team for your demonstration. The process of scheduling and organizing a training event for new Peacekeepers takes about two to three weeks. If you would like to request a PJALS team, please reach out two to three weeks before your demonstration is scheduled to occur.
Ready to learn nonviolent de-escalation for successful demonstrations?
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