30th Anniversary of the Handshake Between Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein

Ten years ago we celebrated the 20-year-old friendship of Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein by walking through the Santa Rosa Mall reenacting their handshake. Now it's the 30th anniversary! That's Concetta Pirello, Debra Birkenshaw Harrow, Heidi Fantacone, and April Hurley.


Federal Judge Rules Against N.S.A. Phone Data Program

WASHINGTON — A Federal District Court judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency program that is systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls most likely violates the Constitution, and he ordered the government to stop collecting data on two plaintiffs’ personal calls and destroy the records of their calling history.


Transforming Anger Into Nonviolent Power

Anger is reasonable and justified in the face of abuse and exploitation. What matters is what we do with it.

By Stephanie Van Hook, Director of the Metta Center, Petaluma

As Leymah Gbowee [12] stood in front of a crowd of women at her church in Monrovia, praying for an end to the civil war that was raging in Liberia, she had no idea of the consequences that were about to unfold.

Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez formed


A new, powerful coalition of Latino, social justice, green, progressive Democrats, student, civil liberties, peace, and other groups has emerged in Sonoma County, California. The killing of 13-year-old Andy Lopez by sheriff’s deputy Erick Gelhaus on October 22 unites them.

Over forty members of diverse groups met–many who had never been in a room together–on November 19 to strategize about how to keep the strong momentum going in response to the slaying of Lopez. Many of those who spoke identified themselves as mothers or fathers, who felt the pain of the parents whose son was taken from them......

10 More Years in Afghanistan


When Barack Obama became president, there were 32,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  He escalated to over 100,000 troops, plus contractors. Now there are 47,000 troops these five years later.  Measured in financial cost, or death and destruction, Afghanistan is more President Obama's war than President Bush's.  Now the White House is trying to keep troops in Afghanistan until "2024 and beyond." 

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is refusing to sign the deal........

Daniel Ellsberg Celebrates with the Peace & Justice Center

Photograph by Jane Jarslberg

On Saturday, November 9th, the Peace & Justice Center honored whistleblowers, past and present. Daniel Ellsberg, of Pentagon Papers fame, gave an impassioned speech in defense of whistleblowing in the name of freedom. He accepted an award for himself and for John Kiriakou, formerly of the CIA, who is in prison for releasing information about the use of water boarding by the CIA.

Donate to Help Victims of Typhoon Haiyan

Bill McKibben's 350.org has submitted the following agencies accepting donations for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Below is a partial list of relief agencies accepting donations to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan:

The Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County's Statement on the Killing of Andy Lopez

It must be very painful for the family of Andy Lopez to hear and read the incredible amount of victim blaming that has been directed at an unarmed, innocent boy. We are grateful that, in spite of this, the Lopez family has found such overwhelming support from the community and we are in awe of the ability of his parents to be so present within that community in their time of great sorrow.

“He shouldn't have been carrying that replica of an AK-47.” Sounds just like, “She shouldn't have been wearing that short skirt,” doesn't it? Blame the victim.

Yet, “He was just a child!” doesn't factor in that children now shoot and kill.

Maybe this is more complicated than either reaction.

Open Letter from Anthony Rodrigo Lopez

Open Letter from Anthony Rodrigo Lopez

Dear Friends of Andy,

My name is Anthony Rodrigo Lopez and I am the brother of Andy Lopez who was murdered by a sheriff in Santa Rosa, California on October 22. My brother was carrying a toy gun in broad daylight and in ten seconds was shot to death right down the street from our house. This sheriff, Erick Gelhaus, is supposed to be an expert in guns. This was not a mistake for him. He knew what he was doing. Andy was just a kid going to play with friends. And because of Erick Gelhaus, he will never come home again. I miss my brother. And I am learning more about what happened to Andy and I see what has happened to many other people around the country who have been murdered and tortured by police. All of the other families who are left with an emptiness because of police brutality. There is police brutality everywhere. We must have justice for Andy and all police brutality must be stopped.

Multi-Organization Call for a Citizens' Review Board

"We are a coalition of  Sonoma County human rights and social justice groups who have come together to suggest that the US Civil Right Commission revisit Sonoma County in light of the recent killing of thirteen-year old Andy Lopez by a Sonoma County Sheriff Deputy on October 22. In 1998 the California Advisory Committee of the Commission came to Sonoma County for an all day hearing regarding a spate of questionable civilian killings in the 1990s and in 2000 issued a very comprehensive report which sided with the community concerns.