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Violent Pasts, Peaceful Futures

Hi everyone,

Hundreds in Whatcom County gather every year on International Day of Peace -- September 21 -- in solidarity with people around the world. In 1982, the United Nations declared this day an annual worldwide 24-hour cease-fire to envision what our world can look like without weapons, violence, and oppression.

"Violent Pasts, Peaceful Futures" is the theme of this year's International Day of Peace in Whatcom County. We will gather at the Majestic (1027 N. Forest, Bellingham), from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, September 21.

Together with Village Books, the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center is proud to announce this year's keynote speaker: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, child of tenant farmers. As a veteran of the 1960s revolution, she has been involved in anti-racist, anti-colonial, anti-imperialist movements, union organizing, and was one of the founders of the Women's Liberation Movement in the late 1960s.

Since 1973, Dunbar-Ortiz has focused on Native American and Ethnic Studies and worked with Indigenous communities for sovereignty and land rights and helped build the international Indigenous movement.

A historian, writer, and professor emeritus in Native American Studies at California State University, Dunbar-Ortiz is author of numerous Indigenous related books and articles, including "An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States." Her most recent book is "Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment."

In addition to the keynote speech, the evening will include the presentation of the 2018 Howard Harris Lifetime Peacemaker Award, which is awarded annually to a local peacemaker whose life's work is in the spirit of Howard Harris, one of the founders of Bellingham's peace vigil.

We are bringing back the community dinner hour from 6-7 p.m. The sliding scale for a plate runs $5-20, including dessert. Proceeds benefit the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center. Come and break bread with your community!

All the details are here, along with information on sponsorships and volunteering:

The Facebook event is here: -- please share it!

We hope to see you there!

P.S. Also happening September 21 is Drink & Dine for Peace. When you dine out that day at Brandywine Kitchen, Cafe Akroteri, or the Mount Bakery, these beloved local restaurants will donate a portion of proceeds to support WPJC. So even if you can't attend our main event, you can still take part in the day. (Stay tuned...we may add more restaurants to this list!)

Voting reminder

Primary ballots must be returned by next Tuesday, August 7. If you are a registered voter and received a ballot, be sure to submit it to a drop-box (map of drop-box locations: no later than 8 p.m.

Prosecutor race
The organizers' statement on the People's Forum with the candidates for prosecutor is available to read here, and includes a link to the video recording of the forum. (A video with captioning by cultural-linguistic community members will be available next week.)

You can also read about the forum in The Western Front.

Congressional candidates on nuclear weapons and climate issues 
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility created a candidate survey for all 2018 Congressional candidates, covering climate and nuclear weapons issues.

See what the candidates have to say:
4-5 p.m., August 3
Peace Vigil
Corner of Magnolia and Cornwall

6-8 p.m., August 4
H2A Community Forum
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship (1207 Ellsworth)

4:30 a.m., August 5
Farm Worker March for Dignity
Lynden to Bellingham

11:30 a.m-1 p.m., August 6
Dignity Vigil
Downtown bus station (Railroad and Magnolia)

6:30-8:30 p.m., August 7
Racial Justice Coalition monthly meeting
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship (1207 Ellsworth)

6 p.m., August 6
From Hiroshima to Hope
Northwest shore of Green Lake (Seattle)

2-4:30 p.m., August 25
Roundtable discussion: What about Audism?
LocalGroup Studio (221 Prospect)

September 21
International Day of Peace
The Majestic on North Forest

Gaza Freedom Flotilla 

Over the weekend, the Al Awda, one of the ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, was boarded by Israeli forces, who violently assaulted some of the 22 people on board. Much of the crew is still being detained in Israeli prisons. Please take action to protect them now:

A second ship, the Freedom, is on its way to break the blockade of Gaza today. For updates, follow Freedom Flotilla Coalition and 2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla - U.S. Section.

Gaza, Honduras, Marshall Islands, and more on WPJC's blog

This summer, many in WPJC's community have been researching militarism and taking action, as well as practicing skills in working for change. Check out these new posts on WPJC's blog to see what we've been up to.

Series by board member Matteo Tamburini about his time supporting the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in Italy:
Volunteer Sam Bottman reports on the work on Berta Cáceres (Sam is also working to get Rep. Larsen to co-sponsor a bill in her name to cease U.S. military aid to Honduras until human rights are respected by the country's security forces.): "What Berta fought for"

Writing by summer interns Hannah and Cherie after attending trainings on nuclear weapons and active nonviolence:

Campaign to End the Death Penalty hiring full-time organizer

washington coalition to abolish the death penalty logo
The Washington Coalition to End the Death Penalty was founded in 1986 in response to Washington State's reinstatement of its death penalty statute in 1981. WCADP is a single-issue organization and the sole statewide coalition with a direct focus on death penalty abolition.

Legislative abolition of the death penalty very nearly succeeded in Washington in 2018. In 2018 King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg came out publicly against the death penalty, joining a growing chorus of influential leaders including Governor Jay Inslee, former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, and current Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson who unapologetically oppose its use.

Looking ahead to 2019, the WCADP is well situated to lead abolition efforts in conjunction with local and national partners. To support this end, WCADP is hiring a full-time (exempt) Organizer. This is a grant-funded position with funding secured through December 2018. Grant funding is likely to continue in 6-month increments until abolition is achieved. The Organizer will report to WCADP’s Campaign Director. Position open until filled. Early applications are encouraged – resumes will be reviewed as they come in. Access the job description and information on applying here.

Copyright © 2018 Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, All rights reserved.

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