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We cannot bomb our way to peace


The cost of U.S.-led airstrikes on Syria this weekend, in taxpayer dollars, exceeded $92.4 million (which includes only the 66 Tomahawk cruise missiles fired on three Syrian targets on Friday). Following the attack, the missile manufacturer Raytheon saw its stock shares surge to an all-time high.

With taxes due this week, do you know where your income tax money really goes? This chart from the War Resisters League breaks it down.

War is good business for Raytheon. The U.S. leads the world in military spending. Look at the 2019 budget of the U.S. government and you'll see an increase of $69 billion more for endless war and drone strikes that have killed over 5,000 civilians in Iraq and Syria since October 2014, and $75 billion allocated for aircraft, missiles, tanks, and contractors including Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.

Economically, strategically, and ethically, attacks like this are bad for communities of working families. That is rarely made clear in the mainstream media. Please seek out and share analyses from sources that take into account international solidarity. Here are a few:

Thank you,


Workshop: Working Toward Racial Equity

In this workshop open to learners at all levels, participants will learn some ways to examine their privilege and recognize what it feels like to be the target of stereotypes. You will learn tools to analyze non-inclusive policies and practices in your sphere of influence and share strategies to dismantle them.

Thursday, April 19, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center. Please register at:

Call for volunteers

We are continuing to train new volunteers for Alternatives to Military Service. If you would like to get involved, please come to the orientation on Monday, April 23, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at WPJC's office, 1220 Bay Street. 

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Advocacy Team welcoming new members

Since June 2015, a network of advocacy teams across the country has been advocating at the Congressional level for peace and justice. So far, grassroots relationships with Congress have played a leading role in protecting health care and resisting drastic increases in Pentagon spending.

FCNL invites you to build the skills and relationships you need to influence Congress by joining the Whatcom Advocacy Team. Advocacy Teams are groups of people who work together to make change by building relationships with their members of Congress and with the media.

Advocacy Teams include Quakers and others in local communities who use their power as constituents to foster congressional champions for peace and justice. There are over 80 teams made up of 1,300 people in 37 states. FCNL’s support, alongside a national community of advocates, help drive advocacy for the long haul.

If you are interested in getting involved, please listen to this information session from FCNL, and then call WPJC at 360-734-0217 or email

4-7 p.m., April 17
Global Day of Action on Military Spending
WPJC (1220 Bay Street)

6:30-8:30 p.m., April 17
Chief Ernest Alfred: Fish Farm Occupations in BC
WWU's Fairhaven College Auditorium

7-9 p.m., April 17
Cast in Sand with Najla Mohamedlamin
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship (1207 Ellsworth)

Noon-1:20 p.m., April 18

Fairhaven World Issues Forum: Indigenous People in Global Context
WWU's Fairhaven College Auditorium

5-8 p.m., April 18
Exploring Equity and Cultural Humility
Everson Library (104 Kirsch Drive)

5:30 p.m., April 18
Middle East Prayer Vigil
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship (1207 Ellsworth)

7-9 p.m., April 18
Intersectionality: Intersections in the Black Lives Matter Movement
First Congregational Church (2401 Cornwall Avenue)

5-6:30 p.m., April 19
Justice for Birchwood
1650 Birchwood Avenue

5:30-7 p.m., April 19
Workshop: Working Toward Racial Equity
WPJC (1220 Bay Street)

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

6 p.m., April 20
Veterans for Peace monthly chapter meeting
Co-op Connections Building (405 E. Holly Street, Room 103)

11 a.m.-1 p.m., April 23
Volunteer Training: Alternatives to Military Service
WPJC (1220 Bay Street)

11:30 a.m-1:30 p.m.., April 23
Dignity Vigil
City Hall (210 Lottie Street)

4-5 p.m., April 29
Cultural Orientation to Coast Salish Concepts of Time and Space
Bruna Press + Archive (221 Prospect Street)

7-9 p.m., May 8
Melvin Goodman: Whistleblower at the CIA
Garden Street Methodist Church (1326 N. Garden)

Budget for a Better World

This year, Tax Day is Tuesday, April 17, 2018. We will be gathering at 4 at WPJC (1220 Bay Street) to share knowledge around U.S. taxpayer dollars funding weapons and wars, and to share ideas for budgeting for a better world. We will then hit the streets of Bellingham to spread the word about the federal budget breakdown and ways to work for a better-world budget. Please join us!

Do you want more information on military spending and taxes to share with your congregation or organization on Tax Day? Please send an email to, and along with your request, please let us know where you want to see more taxpayer dollars allocated.

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Indigenous People in the Global Context

Lee Maracle at the Fairhaven World Issues Forum
12-1:20 p.m., April 18, WWU Fairhaven Auditorium
 (FA 300)

There are 350 million indigenous people in the world, all are in a similar circumstance. They are still classically colonized, robbed of their territory and live on the periphery of a globalized imperial economy that is threatening the globe. Generally speaking the Indigenous people have been “dumbed down” to a pre-civilized state. It is generally agreed that Indigenous people were non-scientific, non-theoretical, incapable of abstraction and so forth. In fact, science is just now catching up to some key understandings that Indigenous people have had for a very long time. For the most part, Indigenous people are oral and therefore cannot be believed, nor studied by western intellectuals. Why is this a problem?

Ms. Maracle is the author of a number of critically acclaimed literary works including: Ravensong [novel], Canadian Scholar’s Press, Bobbi Lee [autobiographical novel], Three O’clock Press, Daughters Are Forever, [novel] Theytus Will’s Garden [young adult novel] Theytus books, “Bent Box” [poetry] Theytus books, “I Am Woman” [non-fiction], Polestar/Raincoast and the co-editor of a number of anthologies including the award winning publication, “My Home As I Remember” [anthology] Natural Heritage books. Ms. Maracle is widely published in anthologies and scholarly journals worldwide. Ms. Maracle is a member of the Sto: Loh nation. 

What Bellingham can learn about designing housing for the 21st century

Bruna Press + Archive and in collaboration with Paul Schissler and Galen Herz are pleased to present an exhibition featuring Vienna, Austria’s innovative approach to housing, architecture, and affordability, as well as urban, neighborhood, and community development.

The Vienna Model: Housing for the 21st Century – on view at 221 Prospect Street through April 28, 2018 – presents social housing in the context of a stable housing market where over 60 percent of Vienna’s residents live in homes owned by the municipality or limited-profit organizations and where almost everyone who lives in Vienna can afford to live in the city.

This exhibition (curated by Wolfgang Förster and William Menking) illustrates how Vienna has an expanded menu of urban planning options. Bringing the exhibit to Whatcom County provides a space for dialogue around the future of our local cities and towns, where we hope the quality of life will be affordable.

The Vienna Model spotlights eight key principles through a series of photographs and interpretive displays: Social Mixing, Developing New Urban Areas, Diversity and Integration, Citizen Participation, Environment and Climate Protection, Developing Existing Housing Stock, Building on the Outskirts, Use and Design of Public Spaces, and the Role of Art. These principles have made Vienna one of the most livable cities in the world without making homes unaffordable for the people who live and work there.

Related events

6:30-7:30 p.m., April 16: Documentary film screening: How to Live in Vienna (2013)

6:30-8 p.m., April 25: Documentary film screening: Urbanized (2011)

1-4 p.m., April 28: Community Discussion: What If...?
Join local community activists, professionals, representatives, and residents in a discussion on what a better housing future might look like and what lessons from Vienna might work in our region.

We acknowledge that the activities of Bruna Press + Archive take place on the sacred and ancestral home of the Lummi and Nooksack peoples. We are grateful for their loving stewardship of the land and its inhabitants, and intend to be good guests and neighbors as we recognize their sovereignty and rich cultural practice + heritage.

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

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