April 27, 2007 Program Update
A look at What's Happening In WILPF Program
Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign
Save the Water Campaign
DISARM Issue Committee
Haiti Issue Committee
Advancing Human Rights
Building the Beloved Community
Just a reminder of the most painless option for creating an "income stream" for WILPF and JAPA--use the link below to put the Goodsearch.com search engine button at the top of your screen-register Jane Addams Peace Association as your "charity" of choice. Every time you use it to look something up, it donates to WILPF!
WCUSP is receiving reports from leadership team member Odile Hugonot-Haber, currently visiting Israel and the West Bank. She attended the Second Annual Conference on Nonviolent Popular Joint Struggle in Bil'in, which focused on the separation Wall and was well-attended, and she will be reporting back on visits with our WILPF Israel and Palestine Sections.We also remind you to keep the pressure on Israel to release Palestinian women, children and seniors from Israeli prisons, where they often spend months without visits from families unable to get visitation or travel permits. (See our International Women's Day Action Alert on this topic: http://wilpf.org/womens_day_action)
One of WILPF's campaign initiatives is to pressure the UN Human Rights Council to create a binding convention on Water as a Human Right. We have created a petition to send to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights demanding implementation and accountability of the Human Right to Water. We've also developed a pledge to boycott bottled water. These are great for tabling! Download from http://wilpf.org/water_news
Free trade deals such as NAFTA, CAFTA and WTO/GATS put our public water commons on the market for private profit, and threaten the availability of safe and affordable drinking water for all. The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) or “Fast Track” process allows the White House to negotiate and sign free trade deals that deny Congress and We, the People, a voice. More detailed information in the latest Peace and Freedom. We need to be vigilant, because what the headlines say and what really happen to communities are different in many cases. Get "Stop Fast Track" postcards from the WILPF office! Water Bottles are now available for $20.00. Contact Program Coordinator Kate Zaidan at 215-563-7110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Urgent! Go to http://disarm.wilpf.org/MarApr07/DISARMACTIONNOW.htm for current information on legislative action we must support to get our nation back into the United Nations disarmament treaty system NOW before it is too late. Read the DISARM report on visits to Congressional members and staff in Washington D.C. April 23 to 28. Our world is in crisis but there is new hope and WILPF wisdom and action is sorely needed NOW. US WILPF is setting up a broad legislative action program effective soon. Until then read DISARM UPDATE and EYE ON CONGRESS and report results of home district legislative contacts on all military issues (including current wars) to DISARM via email@example.com.
Committee members Joan Drake and Shirley Pate met with the Bolivian ambassador recently to convey concerns about Bolivian troop participation in the UN peacekeeping effort, or MINUSTAH, in Haiti. MINUSTAH troops have been accused repeatedly of committing gross human rights abuses against Haitian citizens. The Ambassador promised to share our concerns with Bolivia’s Defense Minister who returned recently from Haiti to assess whether Bolivia should continue its participation. The Committee will proceed to visit embassies of other countries that contribute troops to MINUSTAH. The Committee will co-sponsor a workshop on Haiti withTrans Africa Forum and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti for presentation at the US Social Forum (USSF). Marge Van Cleef will represent the Committee on the Workshop panel. Over the next few weeks, the Committee will continue lobbying efforts on debt cancellation for Haiti, granting Temporary Protected Status to Haitian refugees and pursuit of an investigation into the role of the US in the 2004 coup d'etat.
Most Dangerous Women bookread officially launched on Monday, April 16, however there were some problems with registration. Send an e-mail to Scotty@wilpf.org to register. Books available at wilpf.org/resources. The deadline is Friday, April 27. The Women's Court is getting a lot of focus and attention. Coordinated Strategy to Prevent War gained a lot of momentum from the NCWO summit on March 26 in Washington DC where WILPF organized a successful panel featuring Noeleen Heyzer and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (represented by her aide), with Kristi Fults moderating. We will be taking this action to WILPF members in the spring branch mailing and at the “partner roundtables” being organized by WAND in 10 key states over the summer. Laura Roskos will talk about the Coordinated Strategy at the annual A World of Women for World Peace conference in Dallas on May 5. The Milwaukee Working Group has committed to preparing a CERD shadow report for the state and identified a volunteer to be lead writer/editor. This is the first WILPF branch to come on board as anchoring a locally specific shadow report. The U.S. government's second periodic report under the CERD treaty was released earlier this week and can be downloaded from <http://www.state.gov/g/drl/hr/race/cerd_report/>. The Massachusetts CEDAW Project hosted speakers from California (Hannah-Beth Jackson) and Canada (Bruce Porter) for a continuing legal education seminar on “Implementing Human Rights in Massachusetts: Legislative Strategies and Responsibilities.”
On Saturday, April 28th about 40 WILPF members from Northern California WILPF branches will be meeting in Fresno, CA for a Cluster meeting. First on the agenda will be an interactive exercise on race and class facilitated by BBC member Vickie Fouts. Vickie will then give a presentation about the Building the Beloved Community issues committee and a report about the Fresno Branch’s recent book discussion using Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel. You can learn more about the exercise and the book at www.paulkivel.com.