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

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

By Susan Lamont, Center Coordinator

“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.

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

Maybe this is more complicated than either reaction.

Andy Lopez was growing up in a country that was sending him some very conflicting messages. This is a gun worshipping country. This is a country which believes strongly in violent solutions. The Santa Rosa Police Department encouraged small children to play with real weapons in a local park. The culture assigns god-like status to its law enforcement and military. Capitalism says that we can't infringe on the rights of a company to sell replica “toys.” Parents dress their babies in camo! How can we then turn to a young boy and tell him he's not supposed to be influenced by this culture? You really can't have it both ways.

Peace & Justice Center Joins ACLU Sonoma County Andy Lopez Statement

The Sonoma County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has issued a statement  in support of the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez , listing seven proposals in the wake of the tragic shooting of the 13-year-old.

The ACLU Chapter calls for the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office to take a new approach to community policing, recommends a thorough reassessment of the use of force by law enforcement agencies throughout the county, and demands an immediate independent review of the facts in the fatal shooting of Andy Lopez on Oct. 22 with full public disclosure of the results of all investigations.

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

http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/11/justice-coalition-for-slain-andy-lopez-founded/

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

http://warisacrime.org/content/10-more-years-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.