September 22 2006 Program Update

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign
Save the Water Campaign
DISARM Issue Committee
Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee
Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee

1. Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East

Members of the WCUSP leadership team are making plans for a planning retreat in November.  A major emphasis for the next month or so will be attempting to get aid restored to the Palestine Authority, emphasizing the humanitarian costs of the removal of aid when Hamas was chosen in the democratic elections which the U.S. had urged.  We will be stressing the dire economic status of Palestinians, especially in the Gaza Strip, which has been exacerbated by the cut-off of these funds. Leadership team member Yvonne Simmons recently attended the IEC meeting and has filmed commentary by attendees there from our sections in the Middle East.  We continue to speak to branches as requested, with recent talks to Montclair, NJ, and Delaware County, PA, as well as other locations, and a planned talk in San Diego.  Our work on the
recently-released  Feminist Action Guide to Challenging US Policy is getting a lot of "buzz" and we hope all of the branches will take up the guided discussion as laid out therein, and will keep up with current events by going on-line. Order the guide online at www.wilpf.org

2. Save the Water

Linda Park, a LT member from Cleveland is attending the Second annual Great lakes Conference. The event is sponsored by the Healing Our Waters Great lakes Coalition from 9/22 to 9/24. The conference features sessions organized around the Great Lakes Regional  Collaboration’s strategy teams, which are designed to identify concrete steps  for the water restoration efforts.

Blue October: Several Water LT members will be involved in these events. Blue October is an international month of action to challenge corporate control of water and to protect water as a shared natural resource available to all. On October 31, 2004, the people of Uruguay voted to amend their constitution to recognize this fundamental right. The constitution now guarantees that piped water and sanitation be available to all Uruguayans, and it bans for-profit corporations from supplying this public good. Blue October celebrates this historic move by challenging corporate control of water through global action!

Organizing activities are taking place around the world during the coming month of October. Some events include a 3-day conference in Montevideo , Uruguay , Oct. 28-31, a youth environmental school in Colombia, protest at the Coca-Cola India headquarters in Gurgaon, India, House Parties across the U.S.to build support for the  Stop Suez Campaign, featuring the new documentary film Fuere(Get Out!), street celebrations in La Paz , including a dance show by the Cochabamba dance group based on the water war of 2000, tap water challenges as part of the Think Outside the Bottle Campaign, a variety of civil society actions around the United Kingdom to show support  right-to-water including sign-ons and photo stunts, and a kick-off of the Mexican campaign "The right to water in the Constitution" with activities in several states of the country.
                            

3. DISARM Issue Committee

Yesterday, for International Peace Day, Boston WILPF led Boston women's organizations in hosting Helen Caldicott in a series of events.  Thanks for so much hard work from Boston WILPFers.  Report your own events to carol.disarm@gmail.com  and read about them on DISARM UPDATE.
 
Space for Peace Week is upon us!  Click on  http://disarm.wilpf.org/July-August%2006/KSFPja.htm for lots of resources from WILPF, Global Network, and Reaching Critical Will. Also access info on UN World Space Week and our plans to report all events to the UN in support of  existing Outer Space treaties and a new PAROS treaty or protocol banning weapons and war in space.
 
Check out the strong international resolution just passed at the IEC meetings in London at http://www.wilpf.int.ch/resolutions/2006.htm#paros . WILPF hopes every Branch (and member-at-large!) will DO SOMETHING, however simple, and report to WILPF at carol.disarm@gmail.com . If possible report your plans by September 27  for inclusion on the Global Network list, but we'll keep collecting reports until mid-October.
 
On September 29 DISARM Team members MacGregor Eddy, Ellen Barfield and Carol Urner will all be coming into Minneapolis/St Paul to meet with the WILPF Branch there and to take part in the WRL facilitated, WILPF co-sponsored Merchants of Death Conference.  MacGregor Eddy will lead workshops on  war profiteers in the space program as we seek to build a national network of Mil-Corp watchers working for conversion to a peace economy. Monday, October 2, Gandhi's birthdate, WILPF will join a demonstration at Alliant, a major space and nuclear war profiteer. We hope for many WILPF events around the world during the week, and on Saturday, October 7 many organizations will again gather at Vandenberg Air Force Base for the twice annual major demonstration there against the U.S. military space program and its war promoting profiteers.

4. Building the Beloved Community

 
The BBC is updating it's website to include more resources.  Vickie Fouts of Fresno, CA has proposed a Pledge to Heal Racism in My Life.  It can be accessed at: www.icujp.org/04.10.06_racism.html.  Feel free to print the pledge and collect signatures under it for your branch or to return to the original organizers, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace:  www.icujp.org.  New WILPFer and BBC member Ashley Reynolds from Decatur, AL shared with the committee the media blackout regarding the current "disaster recovery" legislation designed to keep poor people and people of color out of New Orleans.   Although the federal and state governments are providing large amounts of aid to homeowners, businesses, and landowners, almost no money is dedicated to helping renters.  Ashley is in the process of sending letters to notables to alert them of the situation and hopes to get a response to rectify this injustice.  For more information, you can contact her at: equalaccessalabama@hotmail.com.

5. Advancing Human Rights

The Advancing Human Rights committee submitted a proposal to the National Council of Women's Organizations on developing "A Coordinated Strategy to End War: A Women's Agenda." It  was well-received, in 3 minutes, and unanimously referred to staff and steering committee to report back on feasibility and going forward or not at the November meeting. There were eight instant seconds from the floor. The issue committee is also launching a book club on Jane Midgley's book "A Women's Budget". Details on how to join will be emailed soon, in the meantime, you can order the book by going to wilpf.org/resources. The UNSCR 1325 webpage is online! Check it out at http://wilpf.org/issues/humanrights/scr_1325.html.

online pharmacy