JACBA - CONNECTING TO THE LARGER WORLD
Join WILPF and and 100 other peace and justice groups, who have organized “ Move Over AIPAC”, a gathering in Washington, DC from May 21-24, 2011, to expose the American Israeli Public Affair Committee (AIPAC) lobby and build the vision for a new US foreign policy in the Middle East. WILPF works to abolish all war, and demands that US foreign policy in the Israeli/Palestinian region shift from a position of funding militarism and violence to a stance of advancing economic development, human rights for all, and sustainable and inclusive peace.
Israeli/Palestinian culture and history resides in the heart of our civilization. Conflict in this region brings about destruction to our selves as human beings, while inflicting the ongoing terror and devastation of war. Despite the efforts of many Israelis and Palestinians citizens to make rapprochements with one another and create peace, the Israeli government has pursed a politics of occupation, murder, humiliation, siege and war supported by huge US subsidies in the form of foreign aid, including loans for arms sales. Hatred and violence in this region has been institutionally sustained, and must come to an end.
Israeli/Palestinian culture and history resides in the heart of our civilization. Conflict in this region brings about destruction to our selves as human beings, while inflicting the ongoing terror and devastation of war. Despite efforts of many Israelis and Palestinians citizens to make rapprochements with one another and create peace, the Israeli government has pursed a politics of occupation, murder, humiliation, siege and war supported by huge US subsidies in the form of foreign aid, including loans for arms sales. Hatred and violence in this region has been institutionally sustained, and must come to an end.
May 2, 2011
Justice Done or Missed Opportunities?
On Sunday, President Obama announced that the United States conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, and strongly proclaimed “justice has been done.”  “Justice has been done” was then reiterated throughout our nation and the entire international community. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed Osama bin Laden's death claiming that he was personally “relieved that justice has been done.” Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berusconi, further stated that bin Laden’s killing was not only “a great result for the United States but also for all democracies,” and Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib said that “getting rid of bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide.” Americans chanted in the streets and sang patriotic songs.
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), US Section extends our hearts to all people who have suffered as a result of violent acts of terrorism, but deeply challenges the belief that “justice has been done” when the blood of another has been spilled – even if it was a person who caused great harm. In choosing, once again, to use force rather than to pursue justice through established rules of law, the US. Government missed out on profound opportunities to advance universal guarantees of human rights, strengthen peace and security, and open pathways for greater understanding and reconciliation.
NEW Nuclear Weapons Abolition Bill Needs Your Support Now - Take Action
|Explosion at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (AP Photo/NTV/NNN Japan)|
Washington DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has introduced the "Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act," which re-directs the money from nuclear weapons to provide carbon-free, nuclear-free energy resources.
Click here to view and download the text of the legislation, HR-1334, introduced by Rep. Holmes Norton, HR-1334 (pdf)
Click here to write your Representative asking for co-sponsorship of this legislation IMMEDIATELY.
No nuclear power plant has been built in the U.S.A. since 1974, and the new nuclear power plant construction being planned is only possible because the U.S. taxpayer will have to provide what Wall Street won't: 100% loan guarantees, and funding nuclear waste repositories on as yet unidentified sites. Nuclear power provides 20% of this country's electric energy; we can easily follow Germany's lead in committing to building no new plants, and replacing those still on-line with renewable and sustainable energy sources. We must all keep the memories of both Fukushima and Hiroshima alive wherever we go.
In the current political climate, the Tea Party is capturing media headlines and the voices for racial justice continue to go unheard. Racist incidences and commentaries are more prevalent since the election of the first African American president. More states are considering immigration laws similar to Arizona and racial divides are widening. Is this because of the policies put forth by President Obama or is this the United States of America showing its true colors and exposing all the subtle forms of racism that have existed during the terms of Caucasian presidents?
In 2009, WILPF and the Building Beloved Community issue committee, sponsored Racial Justice Trainings in 14 branches, who invited their local allies and community partners. We are continuing this tour in 2011, conducting interactive, community building trainings that explore systemic racism and white privilege and how, even as social justice activists, they affect our own thinking and attitudes. The trainings will again be facilitated by Sha'an Mouliert, a WILPF member from Vermont and racial justice consultant and trainer.
On day four of the USSF, a few of us from WILPF joined hundreds in celebrating the 95th birthday of Grace Lee Boggs. Grace is a philosopher, a feminist and a community organizer who has lived and worked in Detroit with her (now deceased) husband Jimmy Boggs, since 1953. (Grace is the same age as WILPF, and we wanted to give her a bouquet and claim her as a sister, which we did after the ceremony). It was through hearing the loving accolades and songs and poems that Grace has inspired that helped me understand the powerful culture of resistance and creativity that she has helped create within the shell of abandoned capitalism in Detroit. I would guess that the Social Forum might not have taken place in Detroit were it not for the long-term organizing and community building spearheaded by the Boggs.
Seated in a wheelchair in a large room at the Cobo Center, she traced her life, from the first birthday that she remembered, to today. One could tell that her studies of Hegel, her translations of Karl Marx, and her work in the 40’s and 50’s with the Caribbean writer CLR James were vivid experiences that continue to guide her thoughts and actions today.
Celebrate Jane Addams Birthday - Support Women Peacemakers!
This fall marks the 150th anniversary of Jane Addams' birth and the 10th anniversary of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325. To mark this historic occasion, WILPF is launching a special project designed to bolster women's active engagement in conflict resolution and prevention. The new Advancing Women as Peacemakers (AWP) Project will educate citizens on the history of women as peacemakers, stressing the interconnectedness of gender equality and peace, and the unique roles women can and have played in peace negotiations. This fall, AWP will sponsor a national speaking tour and workshops featuring women peacemakers from conflict areas around the world. WILPF branches and other groups are encouraged to join this initiative and host a workshop. For more information, please contact Tanya Burovtseva, AWP Project Coordinator, at (617) 266-0999 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women voting in Afghanistan
The evidence that the war in Afghanistan is a catastrophe just keeps piling up. Despite General McChrystal’s efforts to reduce civilian deaths, we just learned that so far this year the number of civilians killed by NATO has more than doubled.
This includes a botched raid where special operations forces killed five innocent civilians – including two pregnant women – and then tried to cover it up. Just last week, troops fired into a bus full of civilians, killing as many as five people and causing a firestorm of protest. The Associated Press (4/12/10) has reported that: “With troop levels rising amid heightened violence, at least 2,412 Afghan civilians were killed in fighting last year, an increase of 14 percent from 2008, according to the United Nations … NATO earlier this month confirmed that international troops were responsible for the deaths of five people, including three women, killed Feb. 12 in Gardez, south of Kabul. An Afghan government report on the incident claims U.S. special forces had mistaken their targets and later sought to cover up the killings by digging bullets out of bodies, according to investigators who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak with the media.”
Earlier this month, the WikiLeaks website released a harrowing video from 2007 of a U.S. Army Apache helicopter opening fire on a group of civilian men in Bagdad, two of whom were journalists working for Reuters.