November eNews: Blow the Whistle and Get Involved!

Blow the whistle on militarism and violence against women!

This year, WILPF women around the world will be marking the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (November 25–December 10) by blowing whistles at local municipal headquarters or Occupy sites to draw attention to the related problems of militarism and violence against women.

Here’s how you can join us in taking action:

Blowing whistles. By literally making noise, participants are echoing the metaphorical whistleblowing that has drawn attention to the dangers of militarism and war culture that perpetuates violence against women. Blowing whistles also builds on the momentum generated by the film The Whistleblower, highlighting human trafficking as a horrific consequence of our patriarchal war culture, something WILPF International, WILPF US, and many WILPF branches are already involved with. Contact your local branch to find out when a demonstration is planned. Read more...




Also, please let us know what inspires you. Email us at




Carolyn Doherty, Charlotte Kish, and Kathy Russell singing “No More” (Detroit)

Occupy Together

The issues of corporate power and military spending have long been at the core of WILPF’s work, so it’s no surprise that WILPF women around the country have been turning out in support of their local Occupy Together movements.

WILPF, US has issued a statement affirming the organization’s support for Occupy Together, but as always, the grassroots efforts of WILPF women who stand with the 99% are demonstrating our true commitment to the cause.

In Portland, Oregon, WILPF members occupied Pioneer Square, carrying “Even in the heavens war is hell” posters and distributing information about the militarization of space. Since many of the Pentagon’s unmanned drones have been developed in Oregon, they were able to make clear connections between military spending and local issues.

In Sacramento, California, WILPF women from several nearby branches joined the protests, and also donated tents, tables, and other equipment to the occupiers’ encampment.

In Boston, Massachusetts, WILPF women were among those arrested outside Bank of America. Other members have been proudly sporting their WILPF buttons at Occupy Boston General Assembly meetings.

Reita Ennis and Teddi Richmond outside Bank of America shortly before being arrested (Boston)

WILPF women have also been involved in Occupy Together demonstrations in Ashland, Oregon;Bloomington, IndianaChapel Hill, North CarolinaDes Moines, IowaDetroit, MichiganIowa City, Iowa;Milwaukee, WisconsinPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania;Oakland, CaliforniaRaleigh, North CarolinaSanFrancisco, CaliforniaSanta Cruz, California; andWashington, DC.

If you have more stories of WILPF women’s participation in the latest form that our ongoing struggle against military spending and corporate power has taken, please send them along. Let the world know that WILPF is standing in solidarity.





Labor, Peace, Anti-Poverty, and Environmental Activists Stand Together

 by Marybeth Gardam, WILPF Corporations vs Democracy Committee (CvD) Co-Leader

Cheri Honkala, National Coordinator for the Poor People's                     Economic Human Rights Campaign


Keynote speakers Tom Hayden and Cheri Honkala were introduced by Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, who welcomed all to his city. “Everyone has heard that Madison city and state employees have one of the best benefits packages in the country," he said, citing reasons why allies of Governor Scott Walker claim the workers are already too privileged and need to give up pay and bargaining rights. “What they don’t often say is that they are also among the lowest paid in the nation," Soglin explained. “I’m personally proud of that fact,” Soglin continued. 












Join the Cause: Save the Water

A resolution was passed in the WILPF National Congress to expand the scope of the Save the Water issue committee’s work to include such topics as:

• The human right to water

• The climate crisis and rights of nature;

• Environmental trespass by corporations;

• The problems of nuclear and other waste, such as from mining and oil and gas extraction;

• Food sovereignty and support for sustainable agriculture;

• Healthy food systems

In this way, WILPF’s work will not only align with the eco-climate justice movements, but also become more integrated with the goals of International WILPF’s Working Group on the Environment.


With your help, we can carry out this new mandate and excitingly broad program. We will create new sub-committees for individual subject areas and invite you to join the listserve so we can discuss together how to move forward and develop the programs and materials we need for education and action by members and branches. We welcome all who would like to become active in this work with us. Please email the Save the Water leadership team if you would like to step forward and join with us. Read more... 



Move Your Money—Bank Local

Move Your Money… Bank Local… Bank Transfer Day… Break with your bank! No matter what you call it, the movement is huge and gaining momentum. What started with an idea on Arianna Huffington’s television show took over a year to gain wide spread attention, but it has “legs” now, thanks in great part to Occupy Wall Street.

The anger of Occupy’s protestors has been channeled in many parts of the country into the practical, concrete action of divesting in mega-banks and opening accounts in local banking institutions. Breaking with your “too-big-to-fail” bank turns protest into action—words into deeds. What is a more powerful message to the mega-banks than taking away their money? What could more effectively undermine their power over our lives and our communities than a huge divestiture action—a “little investors” movement in every part of the country—people investing their money in their communities  by  banking where their hearts are.

Green America, MoveOn, Bill Maher, and Michael Moore have all joined the movement, as has Van Jones and Rebuild the American Dream. Bank Transfer Day is the latest to generate a huge response—a call by an L.A. businessman on Facebook to transfer accounts from Wall Street banks to credit unions on November 5. Read more...



    Over one thousand people attended theDemocracy Convention in late August in Madison, Wisconsin, including many WILPF members. Madison WILPF shared a table with WILPF National Corporations vs Democracy (CvD) Committee. The large turnout signals a new understanding among disparate groups about the need to stand together in alliance in order to gain the power necessary to even the odds between human persons and corporate persons.  


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