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Listening, asking & thinking

Friends,

The weather right now is so welcoming, even when the greater climate is not. We have plenty of work to do together on the streets and in places of community gathering. 

Come take part in the work of listening and learning about ways we can be in solidarity with people of Honduras, who feel impacts of U.S. policy from immigration, police militarization, environmental degradation and more. Tomorrow, join us for a potluck at 5:30 p.m. ahead of of Jennifer Ávila's presentation about independent journalism in Honduras. Ávila visited Idaho and Oregon last week with Witness for Peace NW, and wrote this about her conversations there:

"...We also talked about the memory that we’re missing, the identity that we’re searching for, the citizenry that we intend to form through journalism with Contracorriente. Here, thousands of kilometers away, there were several people listening, asking, and thinking about actions they can take. How we can strengthen the solidarity between people, who also feel crushed by corrupt, racist, patriarchal systems that benefit the elite and that devastate everything in their path."

(Read her full article here: "Solidarity to resist ICE")

Also this week, WPJC is hosting a workshop about systemic racism through the perspective of Colin Kaepernick's protest (registration is open here) and joining with the Alternative Library to welcome the Bread & Puppet Theater to Laurel Park for a spectacular, theatrical performance of "The Grasshopper Rebellion Circus. Details are below for both!

Hope to see you out there!
-WPJC


P.S. Last week, WPJC board member Junga Subedar spoke at a demonstration in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence, covered in the Western Front, and continues to support hunger strikers in Northwest Detention Center: "Asylum seeker at Tacoma jail goes 50 days without food." Be sure to follow the Whatcom Civil Rights Project on Facebook to stay updated on WCRP's work. 

Tuesday: Potluck & guest speaker from Honduras


Community members are invited to a potluck to be followed by Jennifer Ávila’s presentation, “The Silencing of Dissent: How Freedom of the Press is Threatened in Honduras."

Ávila is a Honduran journalist, artist, and documentary filmmaker, who co-founded Contra Corriente, a multimedia, youth and women-led media platform. She is the featured speaker in Witness for Peace Northwest’s 2018 tour. 

The potluck will start at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, and the talk at 6:30, both at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church (2600 Lakeway Drive).

Ávila’s award-winning work has been shown in international film festivals, and has represented a crucial documentation of the ways U.S. and Honduran policy from deportations to mega-projects have affected the most vulnerable Hondurans.

She spent six years at Radio Progreso, an essential bulwark of freedom of expression in an increasingly hostile environment for journalism, before co-founding Contra Corriente in 2017. While at Radio Progreso, she directed “Guardiana de los Ríos” (about the defense of rivers incarnated by Berta Cáceres), “No Se Van” (about the whys and hows of migration), and “Libertad Tiene Nombre de Mujer” (about women organizing to protect community territory).

If you miss it: Ávila will also speak at the Fairhaven World Issues Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at noon at Fairhaven College.
11:30-1 p.m., October 15
Dignity Vigil
Downtown bus station (Railroad and Magnolia)

6:30-8 p.m., October 15
"Sista in the Brotherhood" screening with SHIFT
BTC's
Settlemyer Hall (3028 Lindbergh Avenue)

5:30 p.m., October 16
"The Silencing of Dissent" + potluck
Christ the Servant Lutheran Church (2600 Lakeway Drive)

6-7:30 p.m., October 17
Taking a Knee for Racial Justice
WPJC (1220 Bay Street)

6:30-8:30 p.m., October 17
Candidate forum: Whatcom County races
County Council Chambers (311 Grand Ave.)

2-5:30 p.m., October 18
What would Truth and Reconciliation mean for Washington State?
Northwest Indian College (2522 Kwina Road)


4-5 p.m., October 19
Peace Vigil
Corner of Magnolia and Cornwall

6 p.m., October 19
Veterans for Peace chapter meeting
Co-Op Connections Building (405 E. Holly St, Room 103)


4-6 p.m., October 20
Families of Color Bellingham
BRUNA press + archive (221 Prospect)

12:30 p.m., October 27
Film screening: "Dawnland"
Pickford Film Center (1318 Bay Street)

7:30-10 a.m., November 2-4
Cancer Speak-out, Cancer Shout Out!
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (16159 Clear Creek Rd. NW in Poulsbo)
You can still register for this Wednesday's "Taking a Knee for Racial Justice" workshop. Go here to sign up: https://www.whatcompjc.org/racial-equity.html

The Grasshopper Rebellion Circus


Bread & Puppet Theater comes to Laurel Park in Bellingham this Friday, Oct. 19, at 5 p.m., performing "The Grasshopper Rebellion Circus," which explains and teaches riot and rebellion against intolerable situations with the help of state-of-the-art paper-maché weaponry and the appropriately riotous Bread and Puppet Brass Band.

After the performance, Bread & Puppet will serve its famous free sourdough rye bread with aioli, and their “Cheap Art” – books, posters, postcards, pamphlets and banners from the Bread and Puppet Press – will be for sale. 

Bread & Puppet Theater is an internationally celebrated company that champions a visually rich, street-theater brand of performance art filled with music, dance and slapstick. Its shows are political and spectacular, with huge puppets made of paper-maché and cardboard.

The show will be presented by the Alternative Library in collaboration with the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, with $10-25 suggested donation requested for the performers, and no one turned away for lack of funds!

Educate voters on the Home Fund


The Bellingham Home Fund needs your help to win in November! Most voters still don't know what the Bellingham Home Fund is or what it has accomplished (over 500 affordable homes build and preserved since 2012, with 200 more underway). We need you to help us get the word out! Sign up here to volunteer or call/text Galen at 360-728-6543. Thank you!

 

Film festival seeks volunteers


The 19th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival will take place in early 2019. Get involved now to help shape the festival's program and publicity. Attend the planning meeting on Monday, Nov. 5, from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center. If you can't attend, or have other questions, please email Martina at martinaboyd@gmail.com.

Call for workshop proposals


The organizing committee for the 2019 Whatcom Human Rights Task Force Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Saturday Conference is currently accepting workshop proposals.

The theme of this year’s conference, Remaining Awake Together: Nurturing a Revolution of Values, draws on the principles Dr. King delineated in his speech, “Beyond Viet Nam, A Time to Break Silence” at Harlem’s Riverside Church on April 4th, 1967, exactly one year before he was assassinated. His message remains as urgent today as it did over 50 years ago.
 
Now in its 21st year, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Saturday Conference offers a rare opportunity for people of all ages and walks of life to share our stories, lift our voices to call out injustice, and take actions that will help make Dr. King’s ideals reality.  

The conference will take place on Saturday, January 19, 2019, at Whatcom Community College Syre Student Center. It will feature a participatory “People’s Keynote” designed to encourage conversation and build bridges, along with morning and afternoon workshop sessions. If you are interested in participating in the 2019 conference, please complete the workshop proposal online at: http://mlkconference.org/submit-a-workshop-proposal/

Update from Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty


The Washington State Supreme Court issued its unanimous ruling in the Gregory case, declaring the death penalty unconstitutional because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner. The ruling also converted all of the states current death sentences to the sentence of life without parole. 

Governor Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson held a press conference that included a promise from Inslee to veto any proposed "fix" to the unconstitutional law that was struck.  

In the press conference, Ferguson promised to again propose legislation to end the death penalty. With this court ruling, there is no viable death penalty, but legislative repeal would take the unconstitutional law off of the books so any future effort to bring back the death penalty would have to start from scratch rather than "fix" a law.  

So, for now, our work isn't changing. We will continue to work on passing a repeal bill in the 2019 legislative session.

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