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Artwork by Erika Mazza-Smith (Instagram: @bloobberry)

Year after year on Memorial Day, social media is flooded with messages of praise and commendation for those who have fallen in war. The problem in doing so is that it fuels the notion that there is glory in war, and the longer we have people enlisting in search of honor, the more people will die fighting in endless wars. 

The kind of narrative shift we need around war "heroes" and their "service" to this country is massive and, unfortunately, prone to being misinterpreted—many people view anti-war work as a vilification of their family members and loved ones who are veterans. This couldn't be further from the truth: it is out of love that we reject the glorification of war. We want our neighbors and community members home safe—all of them. We don't want any more precious and unprecedented human lives sacrificed to the war machine. 

WPJC works to draw lines between the militarism that draws blood abroad and the militarism that draws blood at home. The murder of George Floyd finally receiving much deserved media attention right now is a symptom of a militarized law enforcement and the racist surveillance state we live under. Raising our voices against war also requires raising our voices against the militaristic aggression and brutalization of bodies happening in our very streets. 

One way to memorialize those many lives lost in war is by taking action to prevent losing any more. In this newsletter you'll find opportunities to:
  • participate in a community caravan (online or in person) in support of prison abolition work
  • demand that Congress prioritizes healthcare over warfare
  • urge presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to run on a platform of peaceful foreign policy here
  • sign a letter in opposition of Trump's plans to resume nuclear testing
  • join the World Beyond War 2020 online conference
  • ... and more!

Wishing a happy and joyful Eid to those who observe Ramadan.

In peace,

Marii Herlinger
WPJC Intern

Urge Joe Biden Toward Peaceful Foreign Policy

More than 50 national progressive, anti-war, and faith organizations, representing millions of Americans, have penned the following letter to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, urging him to adopt a principled, peaceful foreign policy. Once it reaches 10,000 signatures, CODEPINK will deliver it to Biden. Add your name here.

Stop Trump From Testing Nuclear Weapons

In the middle of a global virus outbreak that has already taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, the Trump administration appears to be pushing for an end to the decades-long moratorium on nuclear weapons testing. This would have the deadly potential of kicking off a global arms race, and it must be stopped. Trump needs Congressional approval before beginning nuclear tests—sign (and share!) this petition calling on Congress to say no to nuclear testing. 

Help the People, Not the Pentagon!

Thanks to important pressure from Washington Against Nuclear Weapons Coalition and 60+ other organizations, the recent economic stimulus bill contained no new funding for the Pentagon! Contact your U.S. Senators here and urge them to keep additional Pentagon funding out of the Senate version of the next stimulus bill.

Honoring Our Board Member Janet Marino!

We are proud to share the news that our Board Member (and former E.D. of the Center) Janet Marino was featured on Bellingham's League of Women Voters list of 52 Women of Whatcom County. Congratulations Janet! Find her feature here
We are happy to announce that we've taken on a new intern: Aisha Mansour! Aisha is a Palestinian activist and member of Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights. We are thrilled to be deepening our relationship with the youth from SUPER and to welcome Aisha to the WPJC team. While we're at it, have you checked out "Meet the Team" series on instagram? Follow us @whatcompjc to learn more about board members, interns and what the WPJC team is up to!
9:30-11:30 a.m. (PDT), May 28
SOS from Immigrant Detention! #FreeThemAll Live Stream
Hosted by Detention Watch Network and La Resistencia

12:00 p.m. (PDT), May 28

Protecting Health Workers Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
Hosted by Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility 

2-3:30 p.m. (PDT), May 28
Land & Water Protectors Webinar: Fighting Fossil Fuels in the Pacific Northwest
Hosts listed at link above

2:00 p.m. (PDT), May 28
Resilience in a Time of Uncertainty Secrets to Thrive
Hosted by The Reverence Code Reset

5:30 p.m. (PDT), May 28
Digital Mass Meeting: A National Call for Moral Revival
Hosted by Poor People's Campaign

6-8:00 (PDT), May 28
Me and White Supremacy Thursday Book Circle 
Event held via Zoom.

2:30-4:00 p.m. (PDT), May 29
"Will Your Workplace Kill You?": Training on Organizing for Health and Safety for Workers
Hosted by International League of People's Struggle - Seattle/Tacoma

5-6:00 p.m. (PDT), May 30
Amnesty Celebration of Human Rights Feat. Dylan Connor
Hosted by Amnesty International Local Group 113

6:30 p.m. (PDT), May 29
EssentialNotExpendable: A Farmworker's Experience During COVID-19
Via Zoom.

10:00 a.m. (PDT), May 31
Sanctioned Countries Denounce New U.S. Military Threats
Second in series of Sanctions Kill webinars

12-5 p.m. (PDT), May 31
Community Caravan: A Day of Abolitionist Action
Hosted by WPJC, Shred the Contract, WWU SUPER, and WWUYDSA

10:00 a.m. (PDT), June 3
Statewide COVID-19 Housing & Homelessness Calls
Hosted by Housing Alliance

5:00 p.m. (PDT), June 3
National Advocacy Teams Call (feat. Iranian-American journalist Negar Mortazavi)
Hosted by Friends Committee on National Legislation

7:00 p.m. (PDT), June 4
Film Discussion: "Revolution Selfie"
Hosted by International League of People's Struggle - Seattle/Tacoma

6-8:00 (PDT), June 4
Me and White Supremacy Thursday Book Circle 
Event held via Zoom.

2-9:00 p.m., June 6
Annual Naked Bike Ride and Body Positive Block Party
More info at link above.

10:00 a.m. (PDT), June 10
Statewide COVID-19 Housing & Homelessness Calls
Hosted by Housing Alliance

2-3:30 p.m., June 10
Webinar: Keep Calm Parent On, Navigating the Teen Years
Hosted by Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center

6-8:00 (PDT), June 11
Me and White Supremacy Thursday Book Circle 
Event held via Zoom.

1:00 p.m. (PDT), June 16
Webinar: Rise Up to Shut Down U.S. Africa Command
Hosted by The Black Alliance for Peace

10:00 a.m. (PDT), June 17
Statewide COVID-19 Housing & Homelessness Calls
Hosted by Housing Alliance

4:00 p.m. (PDT), June 18
Action Organizing Call with Kazu Haga
Hosted by Pace e Bene (Nonviolence Service Project)

9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., June 23
Virtual Training: Understanding Conflict
Hosted by Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center

5-7:00 p.m. (PDT), June 23
Art Night: Liberty's Daughters
Hosted by Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Art credit: Erika Mazza-Smith (IG: @bloobberry)

Join the Community Caravan from the Whatcom Jail to WWU to Support Local Prison Abolition Efforts!

This Sunday, May 31, from 12-5 p.m., WPJC is coming together with student organizations Shred the Contract, Young Democratic Socialists of America, and Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights to lead a community caravan from the Whatcom Jail to the university campus. We will be calling on WWU administration to terminate its contract with Aramark, a food vendor with strong ties to the prison-industrial complex. We will learn about how local and global struggles against state, imperialist, and interpersonal violence are intimately connected. We will build power and come together in joy and rage to fight for our collective liberation!

You can register for the event here (there are options to participate from home, too!) and more information can be found at this link.
Photo credit: Xolotl Edgar Franx

Support Farmworkers on Strike in Eastern Washington

Packing shed workers in Eastern WA are organizing across six picket lines to demand safer working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 7th, over 100 workers at Allan Bros. Fruit walked out after at least fourteen of their co-workers tested positive for the virus. Shortly after, over 400 workers from five other packing facilities joined the wave of strikes, peacefully and legally demanding protections and hazard pay in response to this deadly pandemic.

Specifically, their demands include: measures to guarantee health and safety amidst the rising threat of COVID-19; the promise of no retaliation if a worker complains about lack of enforcement of safety measures; hazard pay to reflect the risks they are taking as essential workers; and a permanent hourly wage increase. These strikes have been met with serious opposition and intimidation tactics, including drone surveillance, management calling police to evict striking workers from the company's property, the hiring of replacement workers, and even a death threat. Meanwhile, Governor Inslee's emergency rules for housing in agriculture do not meet CDC guidelines for social distancing—they allow farmworkers to live in housing crowded with bunk beds where the virus can easily spread.

TAKE ACTION: Call each of these companies and urge them to negotiate with their workers and not retaliate against them for striking!

1) Allan Bros. Fruit in Naches, WA (509) 653-2625

2) Hansen Fruit in Yakima, WA (509) 457-4153 

3) Jack Frost Fruit Co. in Yakima, WA (509) 248-5231

4) Matson Fruit Co. in Selah, WA (509) 697-7100

5) Monson Fruit Co. in Selah, WA (509) 697-9175

6) Columbia Reach in Yakima, WA (509) 457-8001

Then contact Governor Inslee and the Attorney General's office to demand that workers receive immediate hazard pay (including time lost during the strike) and to register your dissatisfaction with the Emergency Rules for Housing in Agriculture. 

1) Governor Inslee's office: (360) 902-4111 (option 2 to skip the recording and leave a comment)

2) Office of the Attorney General, Labor and Personnel contact form

Urge Congress to Stop Foreign Military Sales to Duterte 

Sign on to the ICHRP-US letter to Congress, urging representatives to pass a resolution that will stop these two possible deals, funded by US taxpayers:
  • From Boeing and Lockheed Martin: helicopters, a long list of armaments, including rockets and air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles—a total offer of $1.5B to upgrade anti-insurgency capabilities against insurgent forces in the Philippines that do not even have any aircraft.
  • From Bell Helicopter and General Electric: attack helicopters and associated arms, including missiles, laser guidance missile systems, and semi-armor piercing high explosive Incendiary rounds—a total offer of $450M. These arms are among the same weapons Duterte has been using on Lumad and farming communities, resulting in the killing of civilians and destruction of livelihood and natural resources since 2016.
Taxpayer money must be used for mass testing, healthcare, guaranteed financial compensation for workers—not heavy arms and military aggression towards the people in the Philippines. Click here for more actions and info on the U.S. chapter of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines.

Keep Calm & Parent On: Navigating the Teen Years Virtual Workshop

Join Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center on June 10 at 2:00 p.m. for a FREE workshop led by Kate McLean (Associate Professor of Psychology at Western Washington University) and Emily Machin-Mayes (WDRC Youth and Training Program Manager). This training will cover:
  • Adolescent brain development
  • How teens make decisions
  • Dealing with strong emotions
  • Tips to resolve conflict
Especially during this time of increased household togetherness, WDRC is providing this tool for parents who may be struggling with their teens during the pandemic or who are simply interested in gaining stronger communication skills and learning how to resolve conflicts with their teens more successfully. Register or learn more about this training here.

World Beyond War Online Conference!

Join WBW on May 28-30 for 3 days of FREE online workshops and presentations on nonviolence and conversion to a peace economy. The conference will include sessions on how to shut down a weapons expo, conversion to a peace economy, and nonviolent strategies for conflict resolution, plus a virtual anti-war activists open mic session with live music. Register here!

Palestinian American Medical Association Fundraiser Goal Reached! 

Great news! WPJC and WWU SUPER's fundraiser for Israeli Apartheid Week was a major success: thanks to all of the amazing contributors, we raised $3,000 to support the Palestinian American Medical Association while they work to get medical supplies and healthcare to Palestinians suffering from COVID-19. A big thanks to all who contributed!
Copyright © 2020 Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, All rights reserved.

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