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Dear Friends,


This last Tuesday, President Biden announced new actions to respond to the increase of anti-API (Asian/Pacific Islander) racism in the wake of COVID-19. While this is a step in the right direction, we must not ever grow compliant with just the potential of change. As individuals, we must hold ourselves and our peers to be anti-racist every day, and as a community, we must hold our system to the same standard. We must acknowledge our history as a nation built on and continuously promoting white supremacy—anti-Asian racism isn’t “un-American” in an America of yesterday and today. 

In that same notion, we must allow ourselves time to grieve and heal. This last year has been long and full of sorrow and pain for many. Less than a month ago we lost 8 people in an action of white terrorism—today we still mourn. Join us this Saturday at Maritime Heritage Park on April 3rd for a Solidarity Vigil at 6:30 pm. If you can, bring candles and white or yellow followers, alongside wearing a mask and warm clothes. To come together as a community (re)committed to not just listening but to being loudly and actively anti-racist every day, seven days a week. Solidarity is more than a sign (or a bill) ━ it is a promise Whatcom County must act upon and keep every day.

In such a large world, these local acts of solidarity and community are crucial for us as activists and as humans. Every movement of change started small, localized—we hope you will continue to join us in making a just and peaceful change in our communities, in our nation, and in our world. 

In solidarity,
Devan Gunther
Whatcom Peace & Justice Center

Get involved!


WPJC is seeking volunteers for International Day of Peace 2021 Planning Committee!

2020 International Day of Peace was EPIC! It's time again to get to work on our biggest event of the year and we need your help! We're looking for an infusion of new energy, creative ideas, and networks to make this year's International Day of Peace event even better than last year.

We need volunteers of all ages, backgrounds, and skillsets, so please consider joining us in building the future of this event if it has moved you in the past. If you'd like to be involved this summer in planning this September 21st event, please reach out to joshinformant@gmail.com as soon as possible.

Join our survey and win $25 gift card for ANMLY & Fairhaven Pizza!


The WPJC has created a survey to better understand our performance through community feedback. Please fill out this survey to be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card to sister restaurants ANMLY and Fairhaven Pizza! Thank you!

Building Peace in Colombia


Co-hosted by the WPJC. Takes place on April 10th, at 4 pm.

Join PNW Solidarity and the WFP Solidarity Collective NW for a virtual presentation from our partner, Congreso de los Pueblos (Congress of the Peoples). Congreso is a decentralized, democratic grassroots network of popular struggles in Colombia. Participate in this webinar to learn about people's movements for human rights, indigenous rights, and environmental justice in Colombia. The webinar will be in Spanish with English interpretation. Please pre-register!

REGISTER HERE.

Rena Priest is the new WA State Poet Laureate!


Please join us in congratulating Rena Priest, the first Indigenous Washington State Poet Laureate.
April 1st marks the beginning of National Poetry Month, and to celebrate Washington State announced Rena Priest as the new Poet Laureate. Rena is a Bellingham-based poet, a member of the Lhaq'temish (Lummi) Nation and the newest Board Member of the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center! 
Over the years, Rena has blessed us with her beautiful and witty poetry opening International Day of Peace. In January, she officially joined the WPJC team serving as a Board Member. We are so lucky to have her! 
 


5 p.m., April 1
When They Speak Israel

5 p.m., April 1
Trans Day of Visibility: A Socialist Perspective

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

10 a.m., April 3
Revolution of Values

6 p.m., April 3
Solidarity Vigil

April 5-9
For the People Week of Action
Hosted by DFAD
 
9:30 a.m., April 6
Towards a Better China Strategy

April 7
National Call
Hosted by the FCNL

April 7
Sanctions Kill—Nicaragua in the era of US Sanctions

12:00 p.m., April 7
Thoughts on the Future of America’s China Strategy
Register here

7:00 p.m., April 7
China, the U.S., and the Risk of Nuclear War
Register here

9 a.m., April 8
Epidemics & Pandemics: Where Do They Come From?

12:00 p.m., April 8
Briefing on New UN DPRK Panel of Experts Report
Register here

3:00 p.m., April 8
Vienna Launch of the 2020 Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor
Register here

4-5 pm, April 9
Friday Peace Vigil
Corner of Magnolia and Cornwall

7 a.m.-12 p.m., April 10
Introduction to Unarmed Civilian Protection and Accompaniment
Register here

4-5:30 p.m., April 10
Building Peace in Colombia: Resistance, Unity, & People Power
Hosted by Witness for Peace

4-5:30 p.m., April 12
Is Russia truly our enemy? Should we risk nuclear war?

5 p.m., April 13
Venezuela-U.S. Relations

4-5:30 p.m., April 14
Anti-Racism Restorative Circle on Systems of Racial Inequity
Register here

7:30 p.m., April 15
Women of Color Social
Email office@whatcompjc.org for link

7 a.m., April 16
Pandemic Response: Lessons Learned from HIV/AIDS 

4-5 pm, April 16
Friday Peace Vigil
Corner of Magnolia and Cornwall

7-9 a.m. & 10 a.m.-12 p.m., April 17
Intro. to Nonviolent Communication
Register here

9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., April 17
Healing Destructive Divisions: Respecting Differences, Finding Common Ground

4-5 p.m., April 18
COVID Commemorative Group Reading
Hosted by Wheelbarrow Writers and Writers on the Wall

10:30 a.m., April 19
Bolivia - People Power, Hope & Solidarity
 

Say NO to proposed clearcut in the Nooksack Watershed!


Last summer the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) submitted the North Fork Nooksack Vegetation Management Project, which would open up around 1800 acres of forest in the Nooksack watershed to clearcutting. The USFS received over 1,000 public comments, the majority of which were against the project. 
In response, the USFS has released an Environmental Assessment, proposing 2 different plans: Alternative 1, their preferred plan which includes clearcutting, and Alternative 2, which doesn't include clearcutting and was created in response to the outpouring of public input. If we can rally as much community support as possible, we may have a chance at stopping the clearcutting!

April 3rd is the last day to submit a public comment for this Environmental Assessment: make a comment HERE.

Please take a minute to submit a public comment requesting that the USFS first conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), due to the magnitude of environmental impact this project would have on the watershed, salmon, and climate change. In addition, please request that the USFS do not adopt Alternative 1, or any other Alternative that involves clearcutting. 

Your comment can be short and sweet. A simple structure can be:
1) Introduce yourself and why this project is important to you.
2) Urge the USFS to conduct an EIS and not choose Alternative 1. 
3) Give 2 reasons why, for example clearcutting affects climate change, salmon habitat, landslide/erosion, etc.

Here are some talking points to help you:
  • The Forest Service should not be clearcutting in the 21st century.
  • The Canyon Creek Watershed has already been adversely impacted by logging, as clearly documented by the USFS Watershed Analysis for the basin (HERE).
  • Mount Baker Ranger District should advance selective thinning rather than clearcutting to meet its ecological goals and responsibilities.
  • Clearcut-plantation forestry degrades water quality and destroys salmon habitat by increasing the rate of erosion and landslides. Clearcutting makes water move faster through the hydrologic system, which means there is too much water in the winters and too little water in the summers.
Here is a link to a public comment by Brel Froebe for you to use as a reference.

COVID Commemorative Reading


Wheelbarrow Writers and Writers on the Wall present an event to commemorate loss in the year of Covid. The event takes place over zoom on April 18th, at 4 pm. Those who attend the event are invited to email loved ones' names to remember (to cherylnelson_nelson@hotmail.com) and to light a candle with us in memory of those we honor.

Red Wheelbarrow Writers is a non-profit, loose affiliation of working writers who produce independently, and who join together to support, encourage, and sustain one another. We welcome all writers to our monthly (virtual) Happy Hour to drink wine, share excerpts of works-in-progress, exchange news and views.

CLICK HERE TO ATTEND

For the People Week of Action


The For the People Act (HR1/S1), the boldest and most sweeping democracy reform bill in decades, just passed the House of Representatives. This bill protects the sacred right to vote, gets big money out of politics, stops partisan and racial gerrymandering, and creates a more accountable government.

Now, we must pass it in the Senate and send it to President Biden to sign into law.

But we need your help.

Join the Declaration for American Democracy Coalition April 5th-9th for the For the People Week of Action, where we will host a week of training and organizing to mobilize thousands of people across this country to make their voices heard on HR1/S1.

Over the course of the week, activists will hold Demand Democracy local actions across the country, conduct virtual advocacy visits with their Senators, and have the opportunity to attend Democracy Teach-Ins to learn more about issues like gerrymandering, voting rights and voter suppression, how to get big money out of politics, and how democracy reform can advance equality and social justice.

REGISTER HERE.

Grief & Healing in COVID-19 ~ A Connecting Community Digital Storytelling Event


Family Council member Monica Koller of Connecting Community will be hosting an event in partnership with the Mount Baker Foundation and Generations Forward this spring for parents and caretakers of children to share their stories and experiences with grief and loss in the past year. 

Each participating family will have the chance to create their own short digital story, as well as have the chance to talk with other families and hear their stories. The event will take place on zoom on the following Saturdays: May 15, May 22, and June 5 from 10 am-2 pm. There will be 10-12 participants and space is being prioritized for BIPOC families, LGBTQ families, disabled families, and poor and working-class families. Stipends of $150 are available for participants, thanks to the support of the Mt. Baker Foundation. 

Click this link to learn more and to apply to the event, and please send this opportunity to other parents and families who may be interested.

The sign-up is April 16th.

Free People from ICE Detention


Rep. Jayapal, Sen. Booker and Rep. Smith reintroduced the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, a transformative bill that would reset the immigration system to treat immigrants and asylum-seekers with dignity and respect.

Take Action Now:

End Gun Violence


Over the past two weeks, we saw horrific shootings in Atlanta and Boulder. There have already been over 100 mass shootings in 2021 and more than 7 during the month of March. .

Amnesty joined the Texas Invest in Us Coalition to secure funding for community-based organizations and community-led solutions by passing HB 1580 in the Texas statehouse. Universal Background Check legislation H.R.8 and H.R. 1446 have both moved to the Senate.

Take Action Now:
Representative Pramila Jayapal is leading the reintroduction of the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act. If passed, this bill would end mandatory detention; eliminate the use of private prison facilities for immigration detention; and protect parents, caregivers, and people who are at risk from the threat of detention.

If passed, the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act would transform the lives of thousands of people in detention, and bring our country toward a more just and humane immigration system — one where immigrants and asylum-seekers are treated with dignity and respect.

Urge your two Senators and your Representative to support the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act now!

STOP THE NEW NUCLEAR MISSILES


Opposition is growing in Congress to the proposal, in the Trump nuclear modernization plan, for a new generation of nuclear Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). These new missiles would actually increase the danger of nuclear war by accident: several factors, including the vulnerability of fixed silo missiles, and the resulting pressure to “use them of lose them” in response to a threat, could lead to a launch in response to a false alarm.

 

But the Air Force and defense contractors are lobbying intensely for the new missiles, and the outcome is still in doubt. Now Senator Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Khanna (D-CA) have introduced a bill to cancel the funding for the new ICBMs, and transfer the money to support vaccine research against corona virus variants and other pandemic threats.

 

Tell your Senators (preferably in your own words): We shouldn’t spend hundreds of billions on new missiles which would actually increase the risk of war. Please co-sponsor and support Senator Markey’s Invest in Cures Before Missiles Act.
 

Senator Patty Murray (D)
Contact form: https://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme
Washington, D.C. Office
154 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2621
Fax: (202) 224-0238
Toll-Free: (866) 481-9186

Senator Maria Cantwell
Contact email form: https://www.cantwell.senate.gov/contact/email
Washington, D.C. Office
511 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3441
Fax: (202) 228-0514

Check out Women's Voices from Central America: Impacts of US policies on Migration!

International Women's Day Event Video

 
In case you missed it, make sure to check out these videos from the International Women's Day event hosted by Friends of Latin America, Alliance for Global Justice, Migrant Roots Media, Pax Christi USA, CODEPINK, and Share El Salvador.
Given the current crisis at the US/Mexico border, and that so many of the migrants are coming from Honduras, the recordings of this event and the documentary itself provide invaluable teaching points and moments.

Original recording (primarily Spanish): (20+) Facebook
 
English version: WTF is Going on in Latin America: Women's Voices from Central America - YouTube
 
Just the documentary (bilingual): Women Displaced: Central American Migration made in the USA - YouTube
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