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The First Free Store on February 29 was a huge success! Thanks to the efforts of folks from C.R.O.W & SUPER we shared clothe items, food, water and had great convos with folks from all ages and backgrounds at the office!

Women's Role in the Struggle for Peace & Justice


Dear friends, 

Happy Women’s History Month! Here at the Center, we know that women have always been in the frontlines of the work for peace and social justice. We hope hat as you voted this week, you remembered the fight for women's suffrage and the struggles of many others who still don’t have their civil rights respected at this day and age! It is key in times as today, to remember that the roots of International Day of Women are grounded in radical intersectional* struggle and that, whether acknowledged or not, we are makers of history and peacekeepers in our own communities and abroad. 

In honor of women’s history month here are a few links, action items and resources highlighting current feminist struggles:
  • Read about the working class roots of international women’s day here.
  • Support and get inspired by working class women of color leadership in the fight for housing and tenants rights: from the Oakland Moms 4 Housing to the Bellingham Tenants Union in our hometown and Seattle's campaign to ban evictions during the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • Contribute to Chelsea Manning’s Legal Funds to Resist a Grand Jury Subpoena. 
  • Defend our trans sisters against incarceration & understand how it is all connected! Join La Resistencia for a webinar on COVID-19, impacts on detained folks and the campaings to shutdown Northwest Detention Center & End Trans Incarceration. Zoom number bellow, under “Local Action” in or on facebook.
  • Explore this article from SOA Watch Field Organizer, Dévora González exposing and condemning US militarized collaboration and training of Latin American state agents and Border Patrol/ICE staff. US-led and supported violence that devastates communities and is one of the root causes of forced migration North. 
    The Guardian has also recently published that “more than two-thirds of the migrants fleeing Central America’s northern triangle countries – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – experienced the murder, disappearance or kidnapping of a relative before their departure, according to a new study by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF)”.
  • Understand and  support the work on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women at home, who are struggling with murdering rates 10 times higher than the national average. 
  • Show up in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en indigenous leaders struggling against militarism and the police just North of the border, where 28 people were arrested just this past month, including three matriarchs – Tait, Freda Huson and Brenda Michell. 
  • Learn from and uplift the uprisings in South America against femicide and gender violence #NiUnaMenos #NotOneMore Can we build a truly intersectional feminist mass movement like that in the U.S.? 
  • Defend abortion and reproductive rights for all
  • And learn how sanctions hurt women and are responsible for the aggravation of COVID-19 crises in Iran.

UPDATES:

Last month, we had the pleasure to co-host two movies at the Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival and to engage our community in an important dialogue about ending endless wars and the fights for freedom in Gaza. We also joined forces with C.R.O.W (Coalition to Re-Organize Workers) & SUPER (Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights) on Saturday February 28th to share resources and serve our community with our first Free Store (pictured above)!

Over the past few weeks, we also had two new members join the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center Board of Directors. Please welcome Yoav Litvin and Robert Yerachmiel Sniderman to the community - their bios will be posted soon on our website and social media! Let’s also take a minute to congratulate our former E.D. and current Board Treasurer, Janet Marino, for making into the list of 52 Women of Whatcom County awarded by the Bellingham League of Women Voters During their Centennial Celebration - you’re an asset and inspiration to our community! 

We now have INSTAGRAM! If you haven’t started following us on instagram yet, this is a great time to do so: @whatcompjc
Our page is fresh out of the oven and full of updates for you! 

COVID-19:

A lot is changing in the next couple of weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak officially reaching our county; so please stay tuned but calm, check in with your elders, avoid crowded places and wash your hands.
We are trying to compile some resources and helpful information to share on the WPJC webpage soon as well as our social media, including a statement on grassroots community organizers demands concerning COVID-19. Feel free to send links our way via email at office@whatcompjc.org under the subject: COVID 19 Resources. 

In peace and solidarity,

Aline Prata
Executive Director
Whatcom Peace & Justice Center
 
Intersectionality Definition* (from Oxford Dictionary): "the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage." 
 

Rest in Power Karen & Dotty


On the note of powerful women we are saddened to announce the passing of long-time activists Dotty Dale and Karen Keill.

They both passed near they loved ones this Tuesday morning, March 10th in different hospice facilities in Whatcom County. Dotty and Karen were both an example of strength, courage and solidarity for all of us in Whatcom County and we wish the family our condolences in this time of grief.

In the words of Linda Allen let's honor "these two justice warriors heading off, hand in hand, to the next great adventure.  Love will carry them, and us, as we carry on their great work."
 

Free Climate & Health Training for Health Professionals in Vancouver, WA!


Health professionals are essential messengers to inspire action. Join Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility in Vancouver, WA on March 22nd for this free education and advocacy training event focusing on the latest on climate change and health, and how to effectively promote solutions.

RSVP here
 

Wish List: Office Needs


Want to make the Center more cozy?! We are accepting donations of the following items:
  • Energy-efficient space heater
  • Electric Kettle
  • Large White Board  
Please contact us to make arrangements for contributing.

WA Mass Meeting (M.O.R.E Tour Stop)


Friday, March 20 in Seattle

Join in the Seattle stop of our National Tour for Mobilizing, Organizing, Registering and Educating! The event will include a Moral March and a Mass Meeting. At the meeting, we will hear from community members directly impacted by systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the corrupt moral narrative. Refer to the poster above for more details, and RSVP here.

4-5 p.m., March 13
Friday Peace Vigil
Corner of Magnolia and Cornwall


7-8:30 p.m., March 13
Ranked-Choice Voting Presentation
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St

12:30-2:30 p.m., March 15
Online: Covid-19, Shutdown NWDC, & End Trans Detention Webinar
Northwest Detention Center

6:30-8:30 p.m., March 15
More Earth Care, Less Warfare
Woodland Park Presbyterian Church (Seattle, WA)

5-7 p.m, March 16
Coffee with Congress
The Viking Union, WWU

5:45-7:45 p.m., March 16
Free Screening: "nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up"
Pickford Film Center

9 a.m.-6 p.m., March 16th -18th  
Parent-Teen Mediation Training
Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center 

5:45-7:45 p.m., March 17
Free Screening: "The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open"
Pickford Film Center

6 p.m., March 17
Talkin' Toxics: Cleaning Up Whatcom's Waterfront Workshop
2309 Meridian St



5:30-7:30 p.m., March 19
Imperfect Democracy Lecture
Whatcom Museum

4-5 p.m., March 20
Friday Peace Vigil
Corner of Magnolia and Cornwall

5:30 p.m., March 20
M.O.R.E Tour Stop: Moral March and Mass Meeting
Seattle Public Library and Plymouth Congregational Church

6-8 p.m., March 20
Veterans for Peace Monthly Chapter Meeting
Bellingham Food Co-Op Connections Building (405 E. Holly St, Room 103)


March 20-21 (registration required)
11th Annual Peace & Justice Action Conference
Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane

10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., March 22
Free Climate and Health Training for Health Professionals
Vancouver Public Library, WA




 

Sign the petition to ensure WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gets a safe return home to Australia!


Exposing crimes is not a crime, but Trump has requested to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States for trial on 18 charges under the Espionage Act carrying up to 175 years in prison.

While awaiting trial, it appears that Assange's mental and physical health is in question. UN special rapporteur Nils Melzer reported that he has been deliberately exposed to inhuman and degrading treatment that could be described as psychological torture. The petition calls on the U.K. government to act in favor of freedom of expression, in defense of journalism, and in respect to Assange's human rights. 

Please sign this urgent petition to the U.K. government: Don't extradite Assange to the US. Instead, we urge you to release him and ensure his safe passage home to Australia.
 
Add your name to this letter of support for Representative Ilhan Omar and her Path to Peace. Help let her know that people throughout the country support her foreign policy vision!

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is one of the few voices in Congress who regularly advocates for diplomacy and for a fundamental shift in our militaristic foreign policy. She just unveiled a bold set of legislation titled a Path to Peace—which represents a radical new approach to global affairs that moves from militarism to policies based on peacebuilding, human rights and international law.
 

Her package of legislation includes:

  • a bill that would give Congress more power to limit sanctions by limiting the ability of the executive branch to wage economic war without congressional oversight;
  • legislation to reduce support to countries that commit abuses;
  • a $5 billion transfer of military funding to create a Global Peacebuilding Fund;
  • proposals to require the U.S. to join UN agreements on children’s rights and migration and International Criminal Court;
  • a direction to U.S. officials to craft a robust international deal to address the massive displacement of people around the world.
Sign the letter thanking Rep. Ilhan Omar for her Path to Peace proposal here.

Via WA Against Nuclear Weapons Coalition: "A heart-wrenching poem about radioactive racism and the long quest for peace and justice, written and spoken by ICAN campaigner Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner of the Marshall Islands, where the United States conducted 67 nuclear test explosions."

Support Nuclear Justice by standing in solidarity with impacted communities - Support SJM 8017!

Marshallese community members and health advocates are calling for justice for the US nuclear weapons testings of the Cold War. March 1st marks the anniversary of the Castle Bravo Test: Castle Bravo was the first in a series of high-yield thermonuclear weapon design tests conducted by the United States at Bikini AtollMarshall Islands, as part of Operation Castle. Detonated on March 1, 1954, the device was the most powerful nuclear device detonated by the United States. Please lend your voice in support of COFA Alliance National Network of Washington, who is leading the call for justice.
 
SJM 8017 calls on Congress and the President to:
  1. Restore federal benefits for COFA migrants, including Food Stamps and Medicaid
  2.  Ensure that Marshallese, Micronesian and Palauan communities are counted in the 2020 census
  3. Begin work on COFA renewal negotiations
Use the following script to call/email/tweet at the House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee members - urging them to vote yes on SJM 8017.

"Please vote yes on Senate Joint Memorial 8017 executive committee hearing in State Government and Tribal Relations today at 1:30! This SJM is about fairness, justice and opportunity. Passage of SJM 8017 will increase the pressure on the U.S. Congress to restore Medicaid and Food Stamps, which were taken from COFA migrants by Congress in 1996. Restoring Medicaid and Food Stamps means health coverage and better overall health. We thank you for your support!"
 
Gregerson, Mia (D)
Chair
 
328 John L. O'Brien Building (360) 786-7868
Pellicciotti, Mike (D)
Vice Chair
 
304 John L. O'Brien Building (360) 786-7898
Walsh, Jim (R)
Ranking Minority Member
 
428 John L. O'Brien Building (360) 786-7806
Goehner, Keith (R)
Assistant Ranking Minority Member
 
122C Legislative Building (360) 786-7954
Appleton, Sherry (D)

 
132F Legislative Building (360) 786-7934
Dolan, Laurie (D)

 
318 John L. O'Brien Building (360) 786-7940
Hudgins, Zack (D)

 
438A Legislative Building (360) 786-7956
Mosbrucker, Gina (R)

 
431 John L. O'Brien Building (360) 786-7856
Smith, Norma (R)

 
435 John L. O'Brien Building (360) 786-7884

 


Please contact your representatives and tell them that you support the abolition of the Death Penalty.  SB 5339 would abolish the death penalty in our State. It has already passed the Washington State Senate, and is now headed to the House Rules Committee.

You can tell your representatives you support SB 5339 here: https://abolishdeathpenalty.salsalabs.org/2020-campaign/index.html

 

Webinar: How's it all connected? COVID-19, shutdown, NWDC and End Trans Detention

Don't Award Martin Selig for Renting to ICE - Sign the Open Letter

 
We're joining our friends at Never Again Seattle in asking the Seattle Jewish Film Festival to rescind its award to Martin Selig, ICE profiteer. Read on for more info from Never Again Seattle. Sign & share their open letter!

"Why is the Seattle Jewish Film Festival giving an award to Billionaire developer Martin Selig who rents offices to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

The festival plans to honor Selig as an agent of “arts, philanthropy, and change” at its opening night gala on March 19th. But Selig is also an agent of injustice who causes harm to our communities by renting to ICE.

Join us in calling on the Seattle Jewish Film Festival to rescind its award to Martin Selig, ICE profiteer.

Last summer, I spoke with Selig in front of his downtown building during a Jewish-led protest for migrant justice. As a Jew with family members who died in the Nazi Holocaust, I asked Selig, an immigrant who fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1939, how he could profit from ICE terrorizing today’s immigrants. 

Selig walked away from the interaction, but our group of Jews, immigrants and allies stayed to protest how ICE detains, cages, and deports tens of thousands of people seeking refuge in the US every year. 

ICE separates children from their families and deprives migrants of adequate food, water, and basic sanitation. At least seven people have died in ICE custody just since October. 

Each generation of Jews has passed down the phrase “never again” because we have a responsibility never again to allow anyone to experience the persecution that our ancestors experienced in the pogroms and the Nazi Holocaust. Sadly, “never again” is happening now.

The Seattle Jewish Film Festival has a choice not to reward Martin Selig for renting to ICE. 

Join us in letting the Seattle Jewish Film Festival know that as Jews, we have a commitment to supporting migrant justice, not ICE terror, even when it means having difficult conversations with members of our community.

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/dont-award-martin-selig-for-renting-to-ice/



Sincerely, 
Wendy Elisheva Somerson, Seattle Never Again Action Network

Applications Open for Peace Fellow Program 

The WWFOR runs the Mike Yarrow Peace Fellowship (MYPF), a year-long Fellowship that includes a Fellowship Grant to work on a nonviolent social change project of your choice and includes a multi-day intensive training in nonviolent direct action for high school and college age youth, ages 14-23.  Info https://wwfor.org/mike-yarrow-peace-fellowship/

 

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