March 2012 news
WILPF Action Toolkit on the Arms Trade Treaty
by Ms. Ray Acheson, Project Director, Reaching Critical Will
|Image courtesy of ControlArms|
Reaching Critical Will has prepared an action toolkit for WILPF members onthe Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). This packet includes background about the treaty, information about WILPF's position, and ideas for advocacy that each section can undertake. Please find the toolkit online by clicking here.
On February 13–17, 2012, all UN member states will gather in New York for the final ATT Preparatory Committee (PrepCom). This meeting will be primarily focused on procedural matters for the negotiating conference, which will be held on July 2–27, 2012. Reaching Critical Will, WILPF's disarmament project, will be monitoring this final PrepCom. As with the past three PrepComs, we will be posting statements and documents online, and coordinating and writing for a daily newsletter and online blog together with activists from other organizations. Read more...
Shut it Down Arrested for Trespass After Bringing Valentines to Entergy
BRATTLEBORO, Vermont—Lending heart to the campaign to end nuclear power forever, the nine women of the Shut It Down Affinity Group brought a Shut It Down Valentine on Monday to the headquarters of Entergy Corporation, which operates the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon.
Each wearing a Shut It Down Valentine for Entergy, the death-masked women walked for about twenty minutes in a silent circle in Entergy’s driveway. Every several seconds, one of the women struck a small gong to signify the death knell for Entergy, the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, and nuclear power everywhere. Read more...
|Image by Phil Roeder via Flickr Creative Commons License|
Suddenly, the U.S. Supreme Court has an opportunity to re-consider its ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, a ruling that has threatened our democracy. The Court is now faced with a recent case from Montana, about that state’s century-old Corrupt Practices Act, which bars corporate spending on campaigns there. The Montana Supreme Court recently upheld the law. However, the U.S. Supreme Court recently put a stay on that state court ruling, allowing corporate money to flow unabated in Montana this year.
Justices Ginsburg and Breyer made an extraordinary statement along with that stay, essentially calling on their fellow Justices to treat the Montana case as their opportunity to re-consider Citizens United:
“Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this Court’s decision in Citizens United... make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations "do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption." ... A petition for certiorari will give the Court an opportunity to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway.”
There’s suddenly a real chance that the Supreme Court could revisit Citizens United! So...the CvD Committee is asking WILPF branches across the U.S. to write letters to the editor (LTEs) of your local news media to urge support for the Supreme Court to reconsider this disastrous ruling. Read more...
President of Pakistan Section Shares Experience Working in Pakistan
Sameena Nazir, executive director of Potobar Pakistan—the Organization for Development Advocacy, and the president of WILPF’s Pakistan section shared her perspective of working in Pakistan on February 21 at the home of Joan Ecklein. While in Pakistan, her priority was organizing women in the changing landscape, which was determined by the war waged by the U.S. in bordering Afghanistan. She explained the history of Pakistan as one of two countries created purely as religious countries and living under the continuous uncertainties of military vs democratic regimes.
She also shared the present atmosphere in Pakistan where daily life involves drone attacks and targeted killings of Pakistani soldiers by Afghani forces. Sameena is currently in the U.S. to attend the CSW review at the UN in New York. Read more...
Earth Democracy Updates
by Nancy Price
From the local to the global, WILPF women are engaging in many ways through our Issue Committees to create the peaceful world we want for our families and communities based on social, economic, and environmental justice. The new Earth Democracy Issue Committee, expanded from Save the Water, has four sub-committees: theRights of Nature, the Human Right to Water and Health, Food Democracy/Local Economy, and Climate/Renewable Energy. Soon, we'll launch our new website pages! We invite anyone with a passion for one of these topics to join us so we can work together to develop educational materials and actions for each sub-committee. It is our hope that soon each committee will have 10–15 members, at which point we can create a list serve for that committee.
These are challenging times, but there is great opportunity to seize the day and work on grassroots initiatives that directly challenge corporate control of our economy, society, culture, politics, and environment. To do this, we need to hear from you. We need your ideas and skills. In March, we will begin to hold once-a-month Earth Democracy conference calls and we look forward to getting to know you. To join in this exciting work, subscribe to the Earth Democracy list serve here.
WILPF International Statement on Syria
On February 23rd, 2012, WILPF International issued a Statement demanding a ceasefire in Syria, and the Syrian government’s compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law. WILPF’s Statement highlights the role of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to provide non-militarized monitoring and assessment to address the mounting evidence of Crimes Against Humanity in Syria. The OSCE is an intergovernmental organization made up of 56 countries, including the U.S., with a mandate that promotes arms control, human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections. Recognizing the devastating consequences of the UN Security Council’s use of the responsibility to protect doctrine (R2P) in Libya—that was viewed as legitimizing military intervention by NATO—WILPF’s Statement demands that regional bodies, like the Arab League, work with the OSCE and other multilateral bodies to pursue diplomatic means to address the Syrian crisis. Read WILPF International Statement.
Reminder: The National Board Meeting is scheduled for March 4, 2012.
This meeting will take place via conference call. For more information, click here.