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Contribute to the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center
[Artist: Adapted from Leila Abdel Azaq - NODAPL Sing]

Friends,

Coming up on May 5th is a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. This is an opportunity to recognize that cultural genocide, erasure of Native stories and narratives, and the objectification of indigenous women and girls are all very intentional elements of settler colonialism and state violence.

As of April 24, NPR reported that

  • The Navajo Nation has the third highest coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. after New York and New Jersey
  • The federal government spends less on Native health care per capita than it does on Medicare recipients, prisoners and veterans
  • Native Americans are being labeled as “other” in data collection of this health crisis
The disregard to indigenous folks' reality is deadly. As an organization dedicated to promoting positive alternatives to violence, WPJC will continue to strive to uplift indigenous voices and stand in solidarity with communities who are too frequently overlooked. To understand a bit more about how racism, patriarchy, militarism and colonialism intersect, please listen to Leilani Rania Ganser's story and speech at the UN General Assembly here [Trigger Warning: sexual assault].
 

WPJC has been busy as ever during this time! Last weekend, we had the pleasure to host an online workshop with Native feminist, scholar and educator Talia London called “Sharing Our Voices in Times of Social Distancing”. This weekend, we will be co-hosting a webinar with speaker Dan Kovalik on “The effects of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran during COVID-19 and Pacific NW organizing for human U.S. government policy everywhere.” Please join us! 

Stay tuned for more opportunities to join WPJC in our online actions, and as always, take a look at our updates and events list for other organizers’ actions. 
 

In peace,

Marii Herlinger & Aline Prata
WPJC Intern

Are You Our Mystery Donor?

We've received two donations of $5 each via WECU on 03/06 and 04/06 from an anonymous angel that we'd like to acknowledge! If you're inclined, please send us an email at office@whatcompjc.org letting us know who you are so we can show our appreciation! Regardless, thank you for your contribution and we hope to be in touch soon.
Also, here's a reminder that you click here to become a monthly contributor of the Center and help promote Peace & Justice in Whatcom County.

Help us Plan International Day of Peace 

International Day of Peace, WPJC's biggest event of the year, will be celebrated online on September due to coronavirus. We're still looking for volunteers to help make it a success!

We are cooking up some interesting projects this year—join us to be part of an awesome Planning Committee for another great event!
Please contact Josh Ceretti at joshinformant@gmail.com as soon as possible to join!

Say No to Sanctions

Add your name to this open letter to the US Government and the UN, demanding an immediate end to sanctions against targeted countries. 

Respect WTA Workers, Wear Your Masks

WTA asks the community to please be mindful of their employees' health and wear your masks. Also—a reminder to please make essential trips only! Check out the WTA Facebook page for more transportation safety tips. 

Reminder to Join WPJC Board Member Josh Ceretti's Book Club! 

Love to read? Want to join a community of fellow book-lovers? Board member Josh Ceretti has started a book club and has begun with this book by an incredible queer Black artist. If you want to keep updated, email quarantinebookclub@gmail.com to be included! This is a great way to stay connected during social distancing.

5:30-7:00 p.m. (PDT), April 30
Championing Creativity and Advocacy Towards a Nuclear-Free World
Register at link above.

10 a.m. (PDT), May 1
Webinar: Food Insecurity and COVID-19
Register at link above.

11 a.m. - 3:15 p.m., May 1
International Workers Day Community Caravan + Online Action
Route posted on Facebook page, linked above (Seattle, WA)

1-2:30 p.m. (PDT), May 1
May Day Message from Angela Davis
Register at link above.

4-5:00, May 1
Friday Peace Vigil
Corner of Cornwall and Magnolia

4-5:00 p.m. (PDT), May 1
Webinar: Defending Asylum During COVID-19
Register at link above.

5-6:00 p.m., May 1
May Day Rally Online
Register at link above.

9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., May 2
WWFOR Spring Assembly: Peace and Justice in a Time of Coronavirus
Register at link above.

6:00 a.m. (PDT), May 2
World Conference 2020: Youth Assembly (No Nukes)
Register at link above.

3:00-4:30 p.m. (PDT), May 3
Webinar: Dan Kovalik on the Effects of US Sanctions on Venezuela and Iran Before and During COVID-19
Register at link above.

1-2:30 p.m. (PDT), May 5
Reclaiming Cinco de Mayo with Dolores Huerta
Register at link above.

2:00 p.m. (PDT), May 5
Intersectionality Matters: Online Conversation
RSVP at link above.

5:00 p.m. (PDT), May 5
Addressing the Crisis of Missing Murdered Native Women: National Lobby Training
Register at link above.

11:00 a.m. (PDT), May 6
State of Democracy Weekly Check-In
Zoom hosted by Fix Democracy First

12-1:20 p.m., May 6
Presentation on The Nature and Necessity of Bees
Fairhaven College World Issues Forum

9:00 a.m. (PDT), May 7
Livestream: Virtual Voices of Courage
Hosted by Women's Refugee Commission

4-5:00, May 8
Friday Peace Vigil
Corner of Cornwall and Magnolia

May 11- May 15
WWU SUPER - Virtual Israeli Apartheid Week
Info to be posted on facebook and instagram

11:00 a.m. (PDT), May 13
State of Democracy Weekly Check-In
Zoom hosted by Fix Democracy First

12-1:20 p.m., May 13
Guest Presentation: Community-Based Education Approaches for Sustainable Development
Fairhaven College World Issues Forum

12-1:20 p.m., May 20
Presentations from Recipients of Adventure Learning Grant, On Their Findings
Fairhaven College World Issues Forum

Webinar with Dan Kovalik: US Sanctions on Venezuela and Iran before and during COVID-19 and PNW Organizing for a Humane Policy 

Dan Kovalik is a professor of international human rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He will be speaking about the detrimental impact of US sanctions, especially in Iran and Venezuela, as countries facing the brunt of US aggression struggle to acquire medicine and equipment necessary to fight COVID-19. At a time when the world needs international solidarity more than ever, the US is instead, according to Kovalik, “weaponizing the virus” to further punish countries such as Iran and Venezuela for refusing to bow to the US regime. Kovalik is calling for “an immediate change in course before more lives are lost due to our nation’s folly.”

Please join this Webinar via Zoom on Sunday, May 3 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. (Zoom registration link available here) to learn more about the impacts of US foreign policy in the time of COVID-19, reflect upon what actions we can take to prevent further loss of life, and organize ourselves across Washington and Oregon to replace the US government’s attacks on the people with cooperation and mutual support with people everywhere. You can also find more information at our Facebook page.
(Event co-sponsored by: Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, Seattle-Cuba Friendship Committee, LELO/Legacy of Equality, Leadership and Organizing, US Women and Cuba Collaboration, Latin America Solidarity Committee – Corvallis, Portland Central American Solidarity Committee (PCASC), Workers World PDXHands Off Venezuela PDX, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Portland Branch, Whatcom Democratic Socialists of America, Amnesty International Group 270, Veterans for Peace Chapter 111)

Join WPJC & Whatcom DSA International Mutual Aid Fundraiser for Iran and Pressure Members of Congress 

U.S. sanctions on Iran have denied Iranians the critical medical supplies needed for treatment of coronavirus. While we continue to put the pressure on policymakers to immediately ease sanctions, we recognize that the Iranian people deserve mutual aid and international solidarity now

That is why WPJC has teamed up with Whatcom DSA to raise funds for the Humanitarian Relief Coalition (HUREC), a coalition of Iranian-American humanitarian organizations legally licensed to provide masks, surgical gloves, disinfectant wipes, alcohol wipes, and hand sanitizers to medical clinics and hospitals that serve vulnerable communities in Iran, as well as food and other necessities to families affected. We are also calling on Washington State Members of congress to endorse this letter and press for an immediate easing of sanctions on Iran and delivery of humanitarian medical aid. Please join us! 

1) For a donation link or to visit our resolution, click here
2) To reach Members of Congress saying you wish them to support this resolution - Email or leave a phone message to: 
  • Rick Larsen (rick.larsen@mail.house.gov or 360 733-4500)
  • Senators Patty Murray (Senator@murray.senate.gov or 206 553-5545) 
  • Maria Cantwell (maria_cantwell@cantwell.senate.gov or 206 220-6400)

Help Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the U.S. Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by Supporting Anti-Nuclear Weapons Work

Back from the Brink is a national grassroots organization working to change U.S. nuclear weapons policy and lead us away from a future with nuclear weapons. They invite everyone to help honor the lives lost in the horrific bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with these two action items:

If you are part of an organization, sign on to joint position statement created by a coalition of nuclear disarmament groups that includes this call: “We must press our leaders to take the actions necessary to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again and to negotiate in good faith the global elimination of these most devastating weapons of mass destruction.” Please use this google form to add your group’s name to the statement.

If you want to individually support anti-nuclear weapons work, share the Hibakusha appeal with others in your networks. This petition was created by the survivors of the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is being circulated all over the world, and calls for the elimination of nuclear weapons. If you'd like to explore other options for promoting the Hibakusha appeal from your organization, contact lilly.ucs@gmail.com.

Save U.S. Postal Service from Privatization!

With businesses closed and the volume of mail greatly reduced, the USPS is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. The Postal Service is a vital lifeline for millions of Americans, yet Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to support USPS in the $2 trillion stimulus package. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump says he wants to  privatize USPS.

The next stimulus bill could be our last chance to save USPS before Secretary Mnuchin sells it off to private corporations. Tell Congress to support USPS!

Release Immigrant Children from Detention Centers: University of Washington Center for Human Rights Publishes Appalling Report On Juvenile Detention in WA & OR

The U.S. government has a longstanding practice of seizing immigrant children from their families inside the U.S. and detaining them indefinitely without charge, without due process, and without legal remedies. The practice is kept secret from the public, and researchers (including UW Center for Human Rights director Angelina Godoy) who try to learn the truth are subjected to legal harassment. 

The document identifies numerous violations of federal, international, and state law. Some children have been detained for a very long time. Three immigrant children are still detained under this policy in Cowlitz County, Washington. (Cowlitz County released all U.S. citizen juvenile detainees because of covid-19 concerns, but the immigrant children remain detained and at risk of covid-19.)

Take action! Email or call the Cowlitz County commissioners and ask them to release the immigrant children immediately and to give immediate notice of their intention to terminate the contract with ICE in 60 days. 

The Commissioners are:


And please ask Nathalie Asher, Director of ICE's Seattle Field Office, to return the kids to their families: Nathalie.R.Asher@ice.dhs.gov

Take Action! Protect Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Immigration Detention from COVID-19

Recent reports indicate that nearly 300 detainees have contracted the coronavirus in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities. We MUST act quickly to save lives and prevent a full-scale outbreak of COVID-19 among detained migrants. A bill in the U.S. House of Representatives has just been introduced that would release immigrants and asylum seekers held in detention and potentially save their lives. Send your letter to your representative and demand they move swiftly to protect asylum seekers!

Artist Credit: Jesus Guillen
Help Protect Farmworkers During COVID-19

Below are some action steps you can take to help support farmworkers during this time:


1) Call Governor Inslee (360-902-4111) to demand that farmworkers are adequately protected against COVID-19
2) Email WA State Employment Security (nick.streuli@gov.wa.gov) to stop processing and approving H2-A visa applications immediately for farms in WA State
3) Email Rep. Rick Larsen (go to this website to email: larsen.house.gov) to oppose HR 5038 (The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019) which will increase the number of H-2A guest workers and worsen working conditions for farmworkers

For more information on how to support farmworkers, click here.

Help Free Trans Asylum Seeker from Detention

Kelly Gonzalez Aguilar, a 23-year-old transgender woman, fled Honduras when she was 12 years old because of violence against her based on her transgender identity. US immigration authorities detained her in August 2017 and she has been locked up since while she awaits the results of her asylum claim. She fears becoming infected by COVID-19 because of the inadequate measures taken by authorities to protect detainees and staff from the virus.

Email Supervisory Detention and Deportation Officer Aaron B. Andrews to urge him to release Kelly on humanitarian parole. Amnesty International has provided a sample script and more info here.

Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation Spring Assembly: Peace and Justice in a Time of Coronavirus

The annual FOR Spring assembly will be held online this year on Saturday, May 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and will feature a series of workshops led by presenters representing several different advocacy and justice organizations around Western Washington. This is a great opportunity to learn about what organizing for peace and justice looks like with the changes that coronavirus has brought. Here is the schedule for the Spring Assembly: 

  • 9-9:15 am - Welcome & Introduction, Meditation, Land Acknowledgment
  • 9:15 am - Workshop # 1, Paul Chiyoken Wagner. Climate Emergency and stand against LNG facility in Tacoma
  • 9:50 am - Workshop # 2, Deborah Cruz and Betty Deveraux, Advocates for Immigrants in Detention Northwest
  • 10:25 am - Workshop # 3, Maru Mora Villapando, La Resistencia against NWDC, Community Organizer and Immigrant advocate
  • 11:00 am - Workshop # 4, Kwabe Amoah-Forson, The Peace Bus.
  • 11:35 am - Workshop # 5, Carly Brook, Kit Burns, Washington Against Nuclear Weapons.
  • 12:10 pm - Wrap-up, questions, comments, take aways, commitments
  • 12:30 pm - End
For more detailed information on the workshops and presenters, visit this link
WWU Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights Hosts Virtual Israeli Apartheid Week

Every Spring, WWU SUPER hosts an event for Israeli Apartheid Week on campus. It's a week that aims at bringing awareness to the ongoing apartheid in Israel and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, as well as celebrating ongoing Palestinian resistance and struggle against settler colonialism. It takes place the week of May 11th-15th to remember the ethnic cleansing of Palestine known as the Nakba (or Catastrophe) which occurred on May 15, 1948.

Since it will not be able to take place on campus this year, SUPER has decided to hold a virtual IAW where Palestinian artists from different parts of the country will come together to share their poetry, performances, and workshops with those participating. This event will be extremely beneficial and accessible for everyone to participate in and learn more about the ongoing occupation of Palestine and the ongoing resistance and solidarity of the Palestinian people.

This is a great learning opportunity—stay tuned via facebook and instagram for more information on how to attend this important event! 
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