A living wage for all!

This is why every person in every job needs to be paid a living wage. And why everyone else needs a minimum income from the government. A caring life is about sharing.

Family Members and Survivors of Ayotzinapa 43 to Speak in Santa Rosa

Last September, a caravan transporting 43 students from Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers' College of Ayotzinapa, on its way to a protest, was stopped by police and the apprehended students handed over to a criminal syndicate. The students have since disappeared, and this has caused a nation-wide human rights controversy in Mexico. On April 7th, parents and classmates of some of the missing students will stop in Santa Rosa as part of their speaking tour.

Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence

On Friday, March 27th, 100 Thousand Poets for Change and the Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County brought poet/contributors of Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence to Gaia's Garden Restaurant.

Michelle Wing, editor and contributor                  

Diane Madrigal

Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence is a collection of prose and poetry pieces of a hidden tragedy: violence in homes, living in fear, and forced silence. Authors from every walk of life and every aspect of this difficult issue raise their voices as one to end this silence, to bring freedom and release for themselves and others. These words will inform and inspire readers: give them eyes to see, a way to express, and motivation to act.

Dianna Grayer and Sheridan Gold                          

Kalia Mussetter

Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence was created as a labor of love, to give the women and men who had the courage to write and read their stories in the YWCA’s Changing Hurt to Hope: Writers Speak Out Against Domestic Violence series sponsored by the YWCA a broader audience, to reach others so that they too, may find healing, and to support the vital work of the YWCA Sonoma County as it addresses domestic violence locally.

Ann Hutchinson, editor and contributor      

Bailey                              

Gaia's Garden

Music was provided by Now and Zen

  Now and Zen

To order the book and benefit the programs at the YWCA:

http://www.kintera.org/site/apps/ka/ec/catalog.asp?c=7pLNLVPpEbLWH&b=9203357&en=dmKPJ6OPLcLYJgPSKbKVIcM2InKTIaPTLkK2LfN4LwLfG&CategoryID=1051557

For more information:

Michelle Wing, Ann Kutchinson and Kate Farrell

Cry of the Nightbird, P.O. Box 1168, Cloverdale, CA 95424 or cryofthenightbird@gmail.com

 

Social Justice Week at Sonoma State - 3/23-27/15

See the next post for more information about the Peace & Justice Center's involvement in Social Justice Week.

50th Anniversary Anti-War Teach-Ins

March 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the first anti-war teach-ins on university campuses in 1965. As part of Social Justice Club's Social Justice Week (3/23-27/15) at Sonoma State, the Peace & Justice Center and Veterans for Peace Sonoma County are hosting a full day of teach-ins.

Vietnam War veterans, Iraq War veterans, 1960's activists, nonviolence educators and healthcare professionals will be part of the panels.

Here's the schedule:

10:00 to 11:45 a.m. - Teach-in #1 - The Vietnam War and Beyond
Noon to 1:30 p.m. - Poetry and Stories from Veterans and Activists
1:45 to 3:15 p.m. - PTSD, Moral Injury and the Costs of War 
3:30 to 5:15 p.m. - Teach-in #2 - The Vietnam War and Beyond
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. - Post-9/11 Wars and Protest
 

Sonoma State University, Cooperage Room 3

National Mobilization to Say "No!" to Drones Begins Today

 The national mobilization of nonviolent resistance to shut down killer drone operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan,Yemen, Somalia, and everywhere begins today - 3/4/15.

People from Sonoma County and the Peace & Justice Center will be participating in this imortant action in the desert. We'll be organizing a report back after they return!

Petition: No More War Weapons for Police

No More War Weapons for Police!

The Peace & Justice Center's Freedom from Militarization Project is asking you to sign this petition, which will go to your representatives and the president.

Last year Ferguson, Missouri, made the news. As attention fades, the Pentagon continues to unload war weapons on local police all over the U.S.

But support in Congress to halt this madness is growing. Congressman Hank Johnson has just reintroduced his bill – the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act.

http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=10990

The continued use of aggressive military tactics by local law enforcement makes clear that Congress must take dramatic action to reduce local forces’ access to military equipment under the Defense Department’s 1033 transfer program. The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act contains three key provisions that would reduce militarization:

  • Preventing outright the transfer of some of the most aggressive military equipment, including rocket launchers and other explosive devices.
  • Ending the program’s requirement that local forces use transferred equipment within a year of receiving it. As it is now, this requirement incentivizes unnecessary use.
  • Requiring all recipients to account for the equipment they receive. Some local forces have been observed gifting or transferring their equipment to other entities; our bill prohibits that.

Public opinion is clear on this issue. A survey from libertarian-leaning Reason-Rupe polling found that 58 percent of Americans believe local police should not be given military weapons. Editorials from the New York Times, Newsweek, Mother Jones and countless other publications have called for ending police use of military equipment. Support for ending police militarization is wide and bipartisan.
 
However, we still face some staunch opposition from many in the GOP. Their recent attempt to silence me and undercut this legislation didn’t work, but be sure that they will try again.
 

America’s Radioactive National Park

February 25, 2015 by Paul DeRienzo

Door to a contaminated area in the T Plant at the Hanford Reach National Monument. By Paul DeRienzo.

Door to a contaminated area in the T Plant at the Hanford Reach National Monument. By Paul DeRienzo.

Among the items in the $600 billion National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress last year is a measure establishing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which encompasses three sites central to the development of nuclear weapons.

Supporters see the park — a monument to the Manhattan Project, the super-secret wartime effort that built the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 and killed 200,000 people—as a long-neglected commemoration of the bomb project. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation reported in 2001 that the development and use of the atomic bomb during World War II was “the single most significant event of the 20th century.”

Located at Los Alamos, New Mexico; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and Hanford, Washington, the park will be jointly run by the National Park Service and the Department of Energy. U.S. senators from the three states involved sponsored the legislation, but notably, the park itself was left unfunded.

***

Former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a vocal opponent of commemorating the Manhattan Project, had blocked passage of the park proposal until he lost his 2012 re-election bid. Responding to the park’s supporters, who claim the monument is a celebration of technological achievement and not the bombing of civilians, Kucinich replied: “The technology which created the bomb cannot be separated from the horror which the bomb created.”

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Did the US Prison Boom Lead to the Crime Drop? New Study Says No

By Juan Thompson Feb. 19, 2015

Louisiana — a state whose motto is Union, Justice and Confidence — is known for many things. The Bayou State is the birthplace of jazz, Creole, and Cajun food, and New Orleans is the site of the country’s largest annual Mardi Gras Carnival. But as the Times-Picayune found in a major series years ago, Louisiana is also “the world’s prison capital,” with an incarceration rate that is “nearly five times Iran’s, 13 times China’s and 20 times Germany’s.”

Last week, a new study from the Brennan Center for Justice reaffirmed Louisiana’s grim status as the world’s leading jailer. “Louisiana incarcerates 1 in 75 adults, that’s twice the national average [496 people per 100,000] and the highest in the world,” said the Brennan Center’s Lauren-Brooke Eisen. But the crux of the study was not the state’s prison boom. Instead, researchers sought to explain what caused the dramatic drop in crime in the United States over the past couple decades — and to what extent the decline can be linked to the expansion of the prison industrial complex. In the past 20 years, Louisiana — in tandem with the rest of the country — has experienced a drastic drop in crime at the same time the state’s prison population has doubled.

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