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The United States Military Presence in the West Pacific Region in 2014
Source: Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative 

Dear community,

As I thought about writing to you all, I couldn't help but think about how timely and transformative this past Marshallese Week of Remembrance has been! You can (re)watch the recordings of the commemoration ceremony, storytelling event and day of action on COFA Alliance National Network of Washington Facebook Page to learn more about their advocacy for nuclear justice.

Right as we witnessed the escalation of patriarchal, white supremacist gun violence against Asian Americans domestically; the past Week of Remembrance has showed us a different way: by uplifting the voices of API (Asian/Pacific Islander) community members here and abroad, the event helped us remember that we are not alone.

In this moment of tremendous grief and sorrow, I want us to remember and be accountable to the history of white supremacy and anti-Asian hate in our own region - please email me at office@whatcompjc.org if you'd like a copy of the Perilous History of White Supremacy in Bellingham/Whatcom County Zine to learn more. It is also important to highlight that the historically adversarial position of the U.S. against China and Asian/Pacific Islander communities - whether in terms of foreign policy ("pivot to Asia"), military occupation and/or ideological struggles - is directly connected and has contributed to the rising rates of domestic hate crimes that we're observing. 

Collective healing can only be achieved as we acknowledge and transform the root causes of oppression at home and abroad, and that includes advocating continuously against militarism and for peace and social justice together!

In solidarity,

Aline Prata
Executive Director
Whatcom Peace & Justice Center


Withheld wages, dangerous workplaces, and racial and gender discrimination are all illegal in Washington. But these laws aren't always enforced. That creates real injustice for some workers, particularly for Black and Indigenous folks and people of color who are most likely to face these violations.

The Worker Protection Act (HB 1076) will allow workers to file whistleblower suits in court if their company breaks the law. HB 1076 would promote fair treatment of workers, hold law-breaking companies accountable, and level the playing field for law-abiding employers.

HB 1076 has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate labor committee. Please tell your Washington state senators to APPROVE HB 1076, the Worker Protection Act!

Email your legislator with a template using the link here.

Support Retroactive Overtime Pay for Farmworkers (Bill SSB-5172)

On Tuesday, March 9th SSB-5172 passed 37-12 in the Senate. It now needs to pass the House of Representatives. This substitute bill would require overtime pay for farmworkers and allow for retroactive pay up to three years.

Read more about SSB 5172 and the racist history of labor laws in this country from labor activist Jeff Johnson here.

Call your representatives and urge them to pass SSB-5172 as written. 

Find your Washington State representative contact info here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

12-1:30 p.m., March 26
FILM & Discussion: Keepers of Nations--The Power of Women of African Descent

4-5 pm, March 26
Friday Peace Vigil
Corner of Magnolia and Cornwall

March 27
National Day of Action Stop Anti-Asian Violence
Hosted by CODEPINK

2-3:30 p.m., March 27
Socialists In Solidarity Against Misogyny, Racism, Union Busting & Imperialism
Hosted by Workers World Party

5 p.m., March 28
Federal Budget 101 Webinar
Hosted by Beyond the Bomb

2-3:30 p.m, March 28
Art in Resistance 
Co-hosted by WPJC

1 p.m., March 29
Women's History Month Community Spotlight
Hosted by the Munro Institute at WWU

5 p.m., March 31
Expedition Reclamation: Behind the Lens

4-5 pm, April 2
Friday Peace Vigil
Corner of Magnolia and Cornwall


Art in Resistance

 

The WPJC is co-hosting this upcoming event in Witness for Peace's "Building Peace in Colombia: Resistance, Unity & People Power" event series!

Join us this Sunday (March 28th) at 2 p.m. for an art-filled session with Congreso de los Pueblos (Congress of the Peoples). We're looking forward to inspiring art performances as well as artist statements about the role art plays in resistance.

You can register for the event here,
 

HB1099 has a hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee this Saturday, 3/27, at 10AM. PLEASE take a few minutes from your day to advocate for HB1099 and ensure that our cities and counties are planning for affordable housing and a resilient climate future:

1⃣Sign in PRO: futurewise.org/1099pro
2⃣Email the committee: futurewise.org/1099committee
3⃣Submit written testimony: futurewise.org/1099testimony
 

Urge Senators Billig, Liias and Saldaña to bring HB1090 to the Senate floor for a vote ASAP!

Image reads: Ban on private detention. HB1090 call to action. Senate rules: move HB1090 to the Senate floor ASAP! HB1090 has landed in the Senate Rules Committee. Lets keep the momentum going and make sure we keep HB1090 moving towards the Governor's desk! Call, email, and tweet the Senators. Move HB1090 to the Senate floor ASAP! Hashtag Shut Down NWDC, Hashtag Free Them All

 

Call to Action by La Resistencia: Please email, tweet, and call Senators Billig, Liias, and Saldaña. Urge them to move HB1090 out of committee and to the Senate floor NOW! You can email directly or use a pre-filled form here. Keep the pressure on Senators to get this bill one step closer to the Governor's desk so it can be signed into law!
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, corporations continue to profit off of people’s misery. It’s time for WA to take a stand and to say NO to profiting off of people’s imprisonment. Help WA move one step closer to prohibiting for-profit prisons in our state. 
Andy Billig
Llama/Call: (360) 786-7604
Correo electrónico/Email: andy.billig@leg.wa.gov
twitter: @andybillig
Marko Liias
Llama/Call: (360) 786-7640
Correo electrónico/Email: marko.liias@leg.wa.gov
twitter: @senmarkoliias
Rebecca Saldaña
Llama/Call: (360) 786-7688
Correo electrónico/Email: rebecca.saldana@leg.wa.gov
twitter: @sensaldana

Demand Hazard Pay for Bellingham Grocery Store Workers NOW!

Three days ago, the Bellingham City Council voted 5 to 1 (with one absence) to direct the City's legal department to draft a grocery worker hazard pay ordinance and bring it to the Council at their next meeting on April 12th. 
Take action now and let Council Members know you support hazard pay and appreciate essential grocery store workers!
 
Women around the world are on the move! Join us for our community spotlight to learn about how women are organizing & reclaiming their power. We’ll hear about the struggles & victories from community leaders in WA & NM working for labor rights, reproductive justice, and liberation: FUJ (independent farmworker union), Falastiniyat (diasporic Palestinian feminist collective), Indigenous Women Rising (reproductive justice organization), & Mariposa Fund (abortion fund). 

Register here.

Expedition Reclamation: Behind the Lens


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2021 AT 5 PM PDT
Step behind the scenes for this live, virtual crowdfunding event featuring filmmakers and characters from Expedition Reclamation, a short documentary highlighting 12 Washington-based
Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color exploring their joyful, resilient, and transformative relationships to outdoor recreation.
With dynamic panel discussions, a peek into the filmmaking process, screening of the film trailer, swag raffles, and Q&A, we’ll dig into what it means to create a Brave Space and what it looks like to challenge the norms in filmmaking and outdoor recreation as a multi-racial, women-led, storytelling and community-building team.
RSVP to receive the Zoom link at bravespaceproject.org

By MoveOn — Following another deadly massacre, in Colorado—once again conducted with a military-grade AR-15 assault weapon—and on the heels of a mass shooting in Atlanta, GA, fueled by anti-Asian hate, we need more than thoughts and prayers. We need leaders who will act to confront violence.

We need common-sense gun reform laws, and we need action.

Can you call your senators today and say that it's time to end Republican abuse of the filibuster, the right-wing obstruction, and Mitch McConnell's stranglehold on our country? Tell your senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, to end the filibuster, so we can get things done.

Here's where to call: 

  • Sen. Murray - (202) 224-2621
  • Sen. Cantwell - (202) 224-3441
[WPJC Note: the Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats have a quick and easy form to find the right number for you AND provide a template. The form is here.]

We'll still have more work to do to tackle the culture of violence, which is a constant in our country, from the Capitol insurrection, to the anti-Asian mass shooting in Atlanta, to the massacre in Colorado. We need to address its root causes and white supremacy, and we need to invest in confronting gun violence as a public health epidemic.

But we can start with wildly popular measures, which are ready to go.

To get there, we need to end the filibuster. And we can. Now.

Rachel Corrie: Commemorating 18 Years


On March 16, 2021, eighteen years after her stand in Gaza, the Rachel Corrie Foundation held a roundtable discussion commemorating Rachel Corrie's life, legacy, and commitment to Palestinian solidarity.

Huwaida Arraf, Ahmed Abu Artema, Dr. Yasser Abu Jamei, and the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project came together to discuss vaccine apartheid, grassroots resistance, and transnational connections in Gaza and abroad. 

Watch this important discussion now!

Hollaback! is a nonprofit that teaches bystander intervention. In response to the rise in Anti-Asian American harassment, they have partnered with Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) to adapt their bystander intervention training to meet this moment.
Sign up for one of their workshops here.
 

URGENT ACTION: FOUR BAHRAINI MINORS TRIED AS ADULTS

Four minors are on trial in Bahrain before Branch Four of the High Criminal Court, a court specializing in terror-related cases, on charges including arson and handling Molotov cocktails. At least two of them have been interrogated without the presence of their lawyers.

TAKE ACTION:

  • Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.

  • Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 30.21. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Minister Khaled bin Ali Al Khalifa

Ministry of Justice

82 Road No. 72

Diplomatic Area

Manama, Bahrain

Fax: +973 1753 0574

Twitter: @Khaled_Bin_Ali

Ambassador Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa

Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain

3502 International Drive NW, Washington DC 20008

Phone: 202 342 1111 I Fax: 202 362 2192

Email: ambsecretary@bahrainembassy.org

Twitter: @BahrainEmbDC

Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER:

Your Excellency,

I write to you today to express my serious concern about the situation of four minors – Husain Abdulrasool Salman Abdulla Husain (16), Sayed Hasan Ameen Jawad Abdulla (16), Faris Husain Habib Ahmed Salman (17) and Mohammed Jaafar Jasim Ali Abdulla (16) – who are being tried as adults before Branch Four of the High Criminal Court, a court specializing in terror-related cases. They stand charged with arson for handling (and using) Molotov cocktails on 14 February 2020 in Karrana, a village north west of the capital, Manama. They each face between two and ten years in prison.

On 30 November 2020, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) summoned Husain Abdulrasool, interrogated him without the presence of a lawyer or a parent, and detained him. The CID referred his case to the prosecution unit for terrorism crimes. On 10 February 2021, the CID summoned the other three boys and their fathers and told them to attend court the next day. On 11 February, the court held the four boys’ first trial hearing during which three boys were formally charged and detained. All four denied the charges. Later, the CID interrogated Sayed Hasan without the presence of his lawyer or father. The court held two further hearings on 16 and 24 February. The next one is scheduled for 4 March 2021. The 4 boys remain held at the Juvenile Reform and Rehabilitation Center at Dry Dock.

As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Bahrain is in breach of its obligations. Being under the age of 18, the four boys are children and should be treated in accordance with the principles of a child justice system. The Committee on the Rights of the Child has stated that “children… should always be dealt with in specialized child justice systems” and “treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child’s sense of dignity and worth”.

In light of the above, I urge you to investigate the reasons why the boys have been interrogated without a lawyer or legal guardian and urge you to refer their cases to the child justice system. I call on you to treat all four boys in a manner consistent with their best interests as children and ensure that detention is used only as a measure of last resort, and for the shortest possible time; and prioritize use of alternatives to custody, throughout proceedings.

Yours sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

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