WILPF US Section Branch Reports Summer 2007
Dee Hunt emailed the following to me: “In April 2007, we hosted Jody Dodd, U.S. WILPH leadership and outreach coordinator, who conducted workshops on non-violence and civil disobedience at local churches and at the university, in addition to speaking about water privatization and pathways to resisting the Iraq war. She also gave us a wonderful orientation about WILPF and had great suggestions for fundraising and building membership.
On June 26th, we partnered with several local peace organizations to co-sponsor a forum entitled Day of Action to Restore Law and Justice, which coincided with the ACLU–sponsored Day of Action in Washington, D. C. The speakers were: Susan Wingrove, President, Board of Directors, Alaska ACLU; Karen Button, an independent journalist who had recently returned to Alaska from interviewing Iraqi refugees in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon; and a representative from Amnesty International who presented on the “Stop Torture” campaign.
One of our members has coordinated (and I participate in) a “Truth in Recruiting” group which has successfully worked with the Anchorage School District to develop and adopt procedures which more clearly define the parameters and guidelines for recruiting activities. These procedures will be in place to implement this Fall. Our next step is to recruit and train volunteers to “adopt a school” where at least monthly they will interface with career/school counselors, monitor recruiting activities, be available to talk with students about peace alternatives, and to clarify, when needed, information about the military and military recruitment. Training is beginning this week.
Some of us are involved with a local Quakers effort called “Alaska Eyes Wide Open.” Since 2004, the American Friends Service Committee (a Quaker peace and justice organization) has toured the Eyes Wide Open around the country in a deeply moving exhibit of boots, shoes, and photo panels reflecting on the enormous human cost of the war in Iraq. Reminiscent of the Viet Nam War memorial, this exhibit has a simple artistic vision and powerful moral clarity. This May, the national exhibit was turned into state exhibits, and organizing committees are working on local showings across the country. For the Alaska exhibit we plan on approximately 15 pairs of military boots to represent the Alaska resident service members killed in the war, plus approximately 90 boots to represent the Alaska based soldiers who have lost their lives. We are seeking 200 pairs of civilian shoes to symbolize the Iraqi civilian causalities. Each pair of boots and shoes will have a tag with the name and age of the soldier or civilian represented.
A WILPF subcommittee is delving into water quality as related to Alaska mining. We are studying the issue, attending lectures, making contacts with potential partners, attending the North American Indigenous Peoples Mining Summit this week here in Anchorage, and developing a film series. This work dovetails with research I am doing for a tribal consortium concerning the proposed Donlin Creek gold mine in western Alaska”
Tucson (005): Pat Birnie emailed me links to summaries of what their branch has been up to this past year (divided by Fall and Spring events) and also included two items that are not on the website. For ease of reading and formatting purposes I have taken out contact information that was relevant only to particular events.
September 16: 2 pm “Will Your Vote REALLY Count?” Speaker John R. Brakey of Americans United for Democracy, Integrity & Transparency in Elections and leader of campaign against Diebold Touch-Screen voting machines, with information about new trickery by those who manipulate elections.
(October 6, 6:30 pm (Friday) Keep Space for Peace event. Not at Quaker House. See inside).
(October 15, 2 pm (Sunday) Molly McKasson’s report, interviewing Iraqi refugees. See inside).
October 21: 2 pm “AZ Ballot Measures: Border Issues and Same-Sex Unions” Panel includes Alexis
Mazon, Attorney for Derechos Humanos, and Les Pierce with Arizona Together, Wingspan, Tucsonans for Sound Solutions, and is President of the Arroyo Chico Neighborhood Association.
(November 5, 2:00 pm See Invisible Theater’s “A Single Woman” life of Jeanette Rankin.
November 18: 2 pm “Sex and War: Women and the Military” Speaker Sheila Tobias, Tucson author and Feminist. She is Co-Author of “Women, Militarism and War”.
December 16: NOON Pot Luck Luncheon; 1 pm “School of the Americas” New play about the last days of Che Guevara by members of Borderlands Theater. Thanks to Barclay Goldsmith and his talented actors and actresses.
Special WILPF Events
STUDY/ACTION GROUP ON MIDDLE EAST
WILPF is sponsoring a study group on Israel/Palestine. The group meets monthly, 6:30 pm on the fourth
Wednesday of the month, at the NW Neighborhood center. The next session will be Wednesday, Sept. 27. The study group is led by Mohyeddin Abdulaziz and Racheli Gai. There are reading assignments for every discussion session, at the end of which, the group decides on the topic for the next meeting.
Challenge U.S. Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East.
STUDY/ACTION GROUP ON CURBING EXCESSES OF CORPORATE POWER
Abolish Corporate Personhood Corporations v Democracy
Democracy Ownership Group (DOG) Discussion & Action Planning
Fall 2006 Schedule: 6-7:45pm, Columbus Library (SE corner of Columbus Blvd. and E. 22nd St):
September: Monday, 9/18 November: Monday, 11/13
October: No Meeting December: Monday, 12/11
Please mark your calendar now and plan to come and offer your ideas and expertise. We're developing the theme
''Racism and Anti-Community Policies Drive War and Hurt Us All - STOP CORPORATE GREED!''
A Report on the recent WILPF West Region Corporations v Democracy caucus meetings 7/20-23 in Portland.
Planning is continuing for: our new website, www. AbolishCorporatePersonhoodAZ.org, to be linked with the WILPF USA website & their web page
on Corporations v. Democracy; a possible author event (David Sirota, Hostile Takeover, Ted Nace, Gangs of America, others); the next Free Film Series on Corporate Power - suggestions are requested for titles which connect war and corporate profit; tentative start date for the Film Series Sun., Nov. 12 (after Election Day!)
STUDY/ACTION GROUP “SAVE THE WATER”
This group will meet 6:30 pm the 1st and 3rd Wednesday evenings at Quaker Meeting House, 931 N. 5th Ave., starting October 4. Nancy Graham will moderate this discussion group.
We will meet twice a month to discuss global and local water issues, and to plan and implement one or two action projects. Save the Water is one of two current major WILPF Campaigns.
KEEP SPACE FOR PEACE Program 6:30 pm Friday, October 6 at 1st Christian Church.
Vegetarian Supper at 6:30 (Joe Bernick special), and video “Weaponization of Space”, a talk by Mel Hurtig, Canadian author and researcher from the World Peace Forum last June in Vancouver, B.C. Cost $5 donation.
WILPF joins the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space in a week of international protests against the world’s sole superpower’s plans to spend trillions for “full spectrum dominance” of land, sea, air and SPACE. Tucson’s Raytheon Missiles Systems Corporation is a key player, with its Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle & more. The
Tucson Raging Grannies will sing a few songs, as well.
MOLLY MCKASSON will present a program 2 pm Sunday, October 15 at Quaker Meeting House, 931 N. 5th Ave. telling of her visit to Syria and Lebanon in July, and talking with refugees from Iraq. Organized by Global Exchange, this trip enabled her to have independent access to people affected by the U.S. occupation. Molly’s group video-taped many of the interviews, and she will share some of these remarkable conversations. Tell your friends of this important glimpse of the real effect of U.S. policies and invite them to join you to hear her story. Molly is a community activist and past City Council member.
A SINGLE WOMAN 2 pm Sunday, November 5 at Invisible Theater, 1400 N. 1st Ave. $25 This is a powerful, dramatic and timely play about Jeannette Rankin…the funny, brilliant, warm and irascible woman who in 1920 was elected the first woman in the U.S. Congress. She voted against both World War I and II. She led a Peace Parade at the 1932 Republican Convention with WILPF founder Jane Addams, calling for peace planks to outlaw war forever. She opposed the Korean War, led a brigade of 5,000 women against the Viet Nam War. She was an activist for equal pay, child labor laws, for immigrant rights, helped found the ACLU in 1933. Written and performed by WILPF members Jeanmarie Simpson and Cameron Crain, from Reno, NV. WILPF plans a special reception for Jeanmarie and Cameron following the performance.
JOIN ANNUAL VIGIL AT “TOYS R US” to PROMOTE PEACEFUL GIFT CHOICES
On Friday, November 24 and Saturday, December 23, join WILPF from 2 to 3 pm at Toys R Us, 5355 E. Broadway, to campaign for shoppers to choose non-violent toys and games for their holiday giving.
NONVIOLENCE: THEORY AND PRACTICE This course, led by Meredith Little and Jane Kroesen, will be offered September 12 through October 17, six consecutive Tuesday evenings at the Pima Monthly Meetinghouse from 7 to 8:30 p.m. (come at 6:45 to socialize), 931 N. 5th Ave.
The course consists of lectures, discussion, and experiential exercises, with handouts which contain suggested readings. Topics include Jesus’ teachings on nonviolence, Gandhi’s experiments with truth, neurobiology of aggression, nonviolence in self defense, nonviolence in social change, and the myth of redemptive violence.
NONVIOLENT PEACEFORCE COMMEMORATES VICTIMS OF 9/11 AND VICTIMS OF WAR.
In a brief ceremony we will commemorate the victims of 9/11/01 and of wars since then, and together take a pledge of nonviolence. 9 pm Monday, Sept. 11, El Tiradito Shrine, 356 S. Main, next to El Minuto Restaurant. On September 11, 1906, Gandhi inspired 3,000 people to take a solemn pledge to use nonviolence as a way of life.
JOIN SOA WATCH for November 17-19 protests. Go to Ft. Benning, GA to protest the School of the Americas, or the No More Torture Vigil at Ft. Huachuca, Sierra Vista,
TAKE PART IN THESE ONGOING PROTESTS: (for details, call 312-9988)
Every Wednesday morning, Recruitment Center, 2302 E. Speedway; Oppose militarization of our society.
Every Thursday, 5 to 6 pm, Federal Bldg., 300 W. Congress; Oppose U.S. Intervention everywhere. Every Friday, 5 to 6 pm, Speedway & Euclid; Women in Black; Oppose Middle East violence & everywhere Monthly Raytheon Missiles Corp. Hermans Rd. entrance Early morning, Irregular schedule.
Monthly Davis Monthan Air Force Base Early morning, Irregular schedule.
Border Issues Border Action Network 520-623-4944; Derechos Humanos 520-770-1373
January 20: 2 pm. “Impacts of U.S. Border Policy on Arizona Wildlife and Wildlands” Speaker: Jenny Neeley, Southwest Representative of Defenders of Wildlife.
February 17: 2 pm. “Nuclear Power is a Threat to the U.S. Economy and can only Compound
the Global Warming Crisis” Speaker: Russ Lowes, author of “Energy Options for the Southwest, Part 1, Nuclear and Coal Power” (about the dis-economy of Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station near Phoenix . His book was the basis for canceling two additional reactors at Palo Verde). Lowes is a Tucson resident and accountant for Child and Family Resources, Inc., a large social service non-profit.
March 17: 2 pm. “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: My Story” Speaker: Quynn Elizabeth, daughter of a Vietnam Vet whose family life was wrenched by PTSD. She is author of “Accepting the Ashes,” her personal experiences with PTSD. See www.acceptingtheashes.net
April 21: 2 pm. “Counter-Recruitment: growing movement in Tucson” Panel in formation, including parents of students in local high schools who have challenged pushy military recruiters in our schools.
May 19: NOON Pot Luck Luncheon Program 1 pm: “Honoring our Foremother, Jane Addams Speaker Gloria McMillan, WILPF member, Ph.D. and English Instructor at U of AZ, founder of the Tucson Balkan Peace Support Group, http://dakotacom.net/~glomc/TBPSG. Gloria is author of the novel Waking the Dead about 1893 immigrants who came in contact with Jane Addams at Hull House. WILPF’s award-winning children’s books from the Jane Addams Peace Association will be on display.
Special WILPF Events!
Abolishing Corporate Personhood! WE MUST RECLAIM THE COMMONS!
The Democracy Organizing Group is moving ahead with plans for early 2007.
January meeting date: Wednesday, 1/31/07. We meet at 6pm at the Columbus Library, E. 22nd St. at the southeast corner with Columbus Blvd. Parking is on the south side of the building and the entrance faces it. Snacks are provided ~ but please feel free to bring something to share. (RSVP! The schedule is subject to change.) Monthly meeting dates will be scheduled on 1/31. Planning includes:
> A new free film series on ''War and Corporations: the military-industrial complex hasn't gone away...now it's on steroids.'' We have a new list of about a dozen films and will start the scheduling, perhaps again at Bookman's or other locations.
> Community Forum with Jan Edwards and Nancy Price: We have an exciting, tentative plan to invite Jan Edwards back, with Nancy Price (Water Issues as a major part of reclaiming the commons), in early April(?) for a Corporations/The Commons/Water Campaign event;
> We are closer to getting a Corporate Power website up and running! If you'd like to see your visual/graphic/thematic/etc. ideas ''incorporated'' into it, and/or have some expertise in the mechanics of cyber-telecommunications, please join us on the website planning committee. Please RSVP asap for the meeting date/time/location;
> Allying with the Alliance for Democracy: Two of our core group members are also in the AFD; Therefore, we anticipate working with those grassroots folks on our common issues, i.e., Democracy and ''the Commons.''
> Lobbying our City Council to pass an ordinance which defines ''person'' only as ''natural person,'' a big step forward in abolishing ''corpirate personhood''! [ Like that typo! ]
Please RSVP to Joyce Smith at email@example.com / 888-8010.
WILPF Study/Action group “Save the Water” The WILPF Water Issues group meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday evenings beginning Jan 3. We meet at the Quaker Meeting House at 6:30 pm. Bring your supper if your evening is otherwise too crowded. We have been discussing mining and watering lawns.
Re-examining Israeli-Palestinian Conflict & US Involvement (4th Wednesdays) WILPF's Middle East Campaign examines the role of U.S. policy in the dynamics of current conflicts. It will evaluate dimensions seldom discussed regarding Palestine, Israel and the region. What economic interests underlie the power struggles in the region? What U.S. policy changes will end violence and promote justice? The campaign will work to bridge gaps, engage diverse groups in developing a women's vision for U.S. foreign policy, and join with women in the region to claim U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325's promise that women's active participation can bring peaceful, democratic resolution to the conflicts.
The discussion will be led by Israeli-American Racheli Gai and Palestinian-American Mohyeddin Abdulaziz. The study group will meet at 6:30 pm each 4th Wednesday, starting January 24 at Northwest Neighborhood Center, 2160 N. 6th Ave.
WILPF to Honor Col. Ann Wright & Cindy Sheehan At the Community Event featuring Col. Ann Wright and Cindy Sheehan, February 25, WILPF will present awards to these two inspiring women for their selfless, assertive drive to end U.S. military action in Iraq. Col. Wright had served in the U.S. Army 29 years before joining the U.S. diplomatic corps. She served with distinction in many countries, including Uzbekistan, Granada, Somalia, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. At the beginning of the U.S. invasion of
Iraq, Col. Wright resigned from her diplomatic mission in Mongolia, objecting to the illegal war. She has been outspoken ever since, urging an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey Sheehan who was killed in Iraq, is a co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, and set up Camp Casey, adjacent to the Texas Whitehouse, to demand of Bush ”WHY?!!” She has been relentless in her efforts to stop the Iraq war.
Join WILPF’s Annual Tax Day Leafleting, Monday, April 16 WILPF members and friends give leaflets to postal patrons telling taxpayers how our tax monies are spent and how we think they SHOULD be spent.
Martin Luther King Day Events, Monday, Jan 15 8:30 a.m. gather at Old Main on the U of A Campus, and march to Reid Park for the 10 a.m. rally at the amphitheater in Reid Park.
Monday Evening Film-Discussion series continues: Voices Against War, Racism and Oppression will resume, starting February 12. This popular discussion series will be held at the U of A auditorium Rm S - 210 in the A & E Building at Speedway & Mountain (easy parking!). The opening film is an excellent documentary on Guantanamo. Later films focus on toxins in our food.
25th Annual Peace Fair, Saturday, Feb. 24 Don’t Miss this Great Annual Event: 10 am to 4 pm. Come hear WILPF’s Raging Grannies!
Ongoing Weekly (or monthly) Protests: For info, parking, etc., on protests, call 312-9988.
Wednesdays: 8 to 9 am near Recruitment Center, 2302 E. Speedway. To oppose the militarization of society. Thursdays: 5 to 6 pm at the Federal Building, 300 W. Congress. To oppose U.S. Intervention everywhere. Fridays: 5 to 6 pm at Euclid & Speedway, opposing violence in Middle East & everywhere (Women in Black). 6:30 to 7:30 am once a month at Raytheon Missiles factory, Nogales Hwy, 3rd light south of Valencia. 7 to 8 am once a month at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Golf Links and Craycroft entrance.
International Women’s Day: March 8 - watch for notices of local events.
Local Peace & Justice TV Programming! Stuart Thomas is the producer and talk-show host for “World Harmony: Can it Happen?”, a live peace & justice show on Access Tucson TV, with new guests and subjects two Thursdays each month (repeats on weekends following, see schedule below.) He interviews the do-ers and movers in the peace and justice community and is working toward a regular spot on JOLT talk radio at KJLL, 1330 AM radio. Stay tuned for further information. His programs can be seen on Cox Cable Channel 97, Comcast Channel 72, and online: Search www.accesstucson.com and click on “Access Tucson”, next look for "NOW PLAYING" and click "Watch Online", and finally click "Watch Channels 72/97". Programs will be rebroadcast on Saturdays, from Noon - 1:00 pm on Cox Cable Channel 99, Comcast Channel 74, and online by following the directions above and finally clicking "Watch Channels 74/99".
The two items from the email are as follows: There are two items not included. One is the donations of the JAPA children’s books. We donated one set of 5 books to a newly established library at the Tucson Detention Center that serves troubled local youth. The other set of 5 we donated to Safford Elementary/Middle School, a school that serves low income, mostly Hispanic students.
The other item not covered in our newsletters is the activities of WILPF’s Tucson Raging Grannies. Those activities are seldom planned enough in advance to be included in our newsletter. We have a very outdated web site www.wilpftucson.org/Grannies.html that doesn’t even include the action that made us famous, July 13, 2005 http://arizona.indymedia.org/news/2005/07/28573.php (which may not still be on line). Following that action, other Grannie gaggles were formed around the country, and many (previously formed and new ones) have had their own Recruitment Center Actions, and we have been much in demand for community events in and near Tucson.Our Grannies have sung at the annual Tucson Peace Fair, the annual Womans’ Commission Reception, Jobs with Justice Labor Day picnic, annual ACLU 4th of July picnic, protest at Ft. Huachuca (in support of the annual Ft. Benning protest about the torture school at the SOA), at a Solar Festival near Earth Day, a protest at a Wal-Mart event, and other events to which we have been invited to sing. We did a very colorful Anniversary event of our July 13 action, ending up at Senator McCain’s office, but the media refused to cover it, so it “didn’t happen” as far as the public is concerned. Most unusual of Grannie singing events was when the Judge invited the Grannies to sing at a court hearing at which 6 protesters were being tried for blockading Raytheon Missiles the previous March 20. (The judge saw all those Grannie hats, and our Attorney asked the judge if she would like to hear the Grannies sing, and surprisingly, she said, “Sure!”) (Of those 6 who protested at Raytheon Missiles, I am the only WILPFer who was involved. in that action, but the Grannies sang at a pre-trial Rally at the street in front of the court house, then filed in to attend the court hearing.)
Phoenix (006): I spoke with Barbara Taft who told me their branch has not been able to do as much as they would like, mainly as a function of their being so geographically spread out. However, the branch was active this year. On March 24th they held a luncheon for International Women’s Day. They tabled at a teach-in at Arizona State University. This teach-in is an annual event and while they couldn’t put together a workshop for this year, in years past they have. They participated in a demonstration/march against the war on January 27th at which they marched to their two senators’ offices. The branch also tabled at a Charlie King concert. At the Eyes Wide Open Project at ASU they took care of grief counseling. Finally, in September they will be having another meeting focused on a report back from Bolivia and to elect new officers.
San Diego Group: Julie Saltman emailed me the following: “Our San Diego group meets only quarterly and always does a Postcards for Peace & Justice project at each meeting. Sometimes we have a speaker, and usually a Roundtable of Concerns when we each speak about our current concerns about peace & justice in our community, country, and the world. We have an extensive Literature Table at each meeting. We are trying to attract younger members but they are generally busy with work and/or children, but we keep publicizing our meetings and getting new folks to come sometimes. Our new contact person is Millie Chazin who handles all our email notices (about 50). Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org We also have a phone tree for a smaller number (15) for those who don't have email. We are now rotating the chairing of our meetings, and have also subdivided all the volunteer tasks to involve more of our people”.
Sierra Foothills (018): I spoke with Millee Livingston, she faxed the following to me: “We meet every three months. In between we present educational programs in coalition with Social Action Committee Sierra Foothills Unitarian Universalists, AAUW, Gold Country Beterans for Peace, Auburn Area Democratic Club, Placer Arts Council and others. We are off for the summer. We have approximately 40 members with a core group of 8-10 members. Attendance at meetings varies. Our next meeting will be in the fall to set plans for 2008. The Branch continues to participate and help organize the Annual Community Celebration for Martin Luther King, Jr. We receive good media coverage when we annually present the Jane Addams Children’s Award Books to our local library. We spread the word and members marched in the Women’s Equality Parade last year and expect to do the same so this year (August 25th). We sent a delegate to the WILPF West Gathering in Portland, OR. We continue to write Letters to the Editor and Legislators on all subjects that we hold dear. We organized a tribute to Molly Ivins and commemorated the 4th year of the War in Iraq. Our Peace March banged pots and pans at our vigil held on March 18. The front page press set off continuing dialogue from the Auburn Community, most letters were in favor of stopping the war and bringing the men and women home. We have presented a Public Forum on South Korea for April 21 with Gwyn Kirk (San Francisco WILPF) in coalition with those organizations mentioned above. We are working on presenting a Public Forum on Health Care For All (HCA) on May 31 in Coalition with Nevada County HCA and with those organizations mentioned above. We participated in the book group/discussion for the Season of Non-Violence in April.”
Berkeley – East Bay (010): Sandy Thacker emailed me the following: “Here are a few things that our East Bay group has been doing this year:
We had a Phone-a-Thon in Berkeley, encouraging people to call their Senators and Representatives to insist on a deadline to bring our troops home from Iraq. We have set up tables outside a local bookstore and at a local movie theatre in Oakland to hand out flyers and gather signatures on petitions opposing the war in Iraq. We are organizing, in conjunction with the San Francisco branch, our upcoming Cluster Meeting, to be held in Berkeley on Saturday, December 8, 2007. One of our members, Margot Smith, went with a peace group to Iran and put together an excellent documentary film which she is showing around the state. Members attended the Japanese Peace Lantern Ceremony in Berkeley on Sunday, August 5th. We are sending our a monthly e-mail action to our members called "Another Voice for Peace" Madeline Duckles writes a legislative report and we submit articles for our joint newsletter with Women for Peace”.
Fresno (012): After much phone tag, Jean Hays and I were finally able to connect. She gave me a rundown of what their branch has been up to. Their last retreat was a year ago. Around that time they were working on Stop the Hate Week and Gandhi’s birthday event. She told me about their work at Cal State Fresno, co-sponsoring events and speeches. They also participated in the Clothesline Project for Take Back the Night in October. In December they ran a Peace/Craft Fair with food, music, and entertainment. In January they co-sponsored Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration activities, including a parade and breakfast. In March they co-sponsored a film on femicide in Juarez, Mexico. A woman whose sister was a victim there spoke and the branch was able to table at the event. In April they co-sponsored Voices in the Wilderness for Creative Nonviolence. Kathy Kelly spoke and showed a documentary at this event. They also had their Spring Cluster in Fresno with several other branches. During this retreat a report was given on water issues and on a recent trip to Iran. They also had an event in April with a reception in the Peace Garden with the recently erected Jane Addams statue. In May, they held their Great WILPF Yard Sale as a fundraising event. In July they attended the conference in Bolivia and they are currently looking forward to another busy and active year.
Humboldt County (245): Becky Luening emailed the following report to me: “Co-sponsored book talks by Antonia Juhasz, author of The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time
Several members attended workshop at Humboldt State University (HSU) Education Summit presented by S.F. WILPF member Gwyn Kirk, "Resisting Militarism: Building Genuine Security" and met with Gwyn over lunch afterward.
Chair Becky Luening gave presentation about WILPF to Women's Studies Senior Seminar at HSU.
Tabled at Vagina Monlogues and Take Back the Night events on HSU campus, and at VFP-sponsored event featuring anti-war activist, retired Col. Ann Wright.
Hosted monthly potlucks in support of clients of The Emma Center, a local center that provides services and support for women survivors of abuse and trauma.
Held initial meeting of book group focused on Vendana Shiva's book, Earth Democracy.
Co-sponsored book talk and vegan potluck featuring Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet.
Currently working with local theatre folks on a local production of the one-woman play about Rachel Corrie, hopefully for this fall. Our branch contributed $100 in support of a March 2007 vigil coordinated by another local organization, Communities for Peace, in which people lined Highway 101 in Eureka, wearing paper "tombstones" representing the loss of lives in Iraq. Many of our members participated in the somber event held in lieu of the annual peace march.
In April 2007 our branch contributed $100 in support of a local conference on "the Status of Women in Humboldt County." Several of our members helped to organize the conference”.
Los Angeles (015): I spoke with Louise Katz Sullivan who gave me a roughly month by month breakdown of what their branch has been up to. Last September, they co-sponsored an event with Women In Black from Los Angeles in which the co-chair of WILPF in Israel, Aliyah Strauss gave a talk. There was a good turnout to this event and it was the beginning of a solid yearlong relationship with WILPF and WIB. In September they also had one of their members, who is also working on her dissertation on WILPF International, give a talk on WILPF International with regards to their past and present attitudes and work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In October, C.J. Minster and Jeanmarie Simpson gave a report back on the National Meeting. In November a human rights advocate gave a talk on US corporations and their involvement with helping to repress free speech in China. In January they decided to discontinue the monthly meeting as attendance had been a big concern, however they continued to hold events. Also in January, Hedy Epstein from the St. Louis branch gave a talk on being a child of the Kindred Transport and also about her recent trip to Palestine. Every January the branch participates in the West Side Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition involving a community fair at which WILPF had a table. Finally in January, the Dean from the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College gave a talk. In February, Daphne Banai, the Israeli representative to the WILPF International Executive Committee, and Taghrid Shbita, a Palestinian living in Israel, gave talks at three different venues. WILPF co-endorsed this event along with several other organizations such as the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Los Angeles Jews for Peace. In March, they held their Women’s International Day Luncheon at which California state senator Sheila Kuehl spoke. This was a very well attended event and included some non-WILPFers as well. In April they co-sponsored with the United Nations Association of Wittier a speaking event with Chalmers Johnson, author of Nemesis. WILPF had a table at this event. Also in April the branch went to meet with representative Henry Waxman. Ms. Sullivan explained that there are about 60 WILPF members in his district and they agree on most issues, except for those surrounding Israel. In May, the AFSC Middle-East representative in Los Angeles asked them to co-endorse and event with other organizations. The event was a talk on whether or not a two-State solution is still possible for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and was held at the UCLA. That night, after the event, at a member’s house the Executive Director of Gustan, a Jewish Bedouin Arab citizens organization, spoke on the conflict there. In June they co-sponsored a teach-in on ways to change or get rid of the bill AB900, which was an expansion of the California prisons. They’ve taken most of this summer off, however they will be getting together this August for a Garden Party and report back on the WILPF International Congress.
Sacramento (016): I spoke with Ellen Schwartz about their branch. She told me that on most Sundays they have a table at the very large farmer’s market in their area. They work a lot on the post card activities, particularly around defunding the war in Iraq. Ellen said in the Spring before the funding vote they were collecting postcards from people asking/demanding no more war funding and then would hand-deliver it to the local office for their congresswoman. The group also worked on a Stand-Up for Peace Project with David Dionisi as a subsidiary group of teachpeace.org. This is a project to help create a culture of peace. Towards this end, people were asked to draw pictures of peace signs and any messages they would like to go with it and have their picture taken (with a signed release form). Ellen worked on this project and sent about 80 pictures on CDs to Mr. Dionisi. The picture project can be found on the teachpeace website. Their branch also held a Middle-East study group, which met about 8 times and had a core group of about 9 people. They are working on putting together another study group as well. Finally the group did a lot of work around the Jane Addams Book Awards. Their community was putting on a Fine Arts Festival and the branch used this venue to promote the gifts. They were able to table for free for two days at this event. Ellen made two large posters with pictures of the books and explanations of why they were being given, she also shrank these posters down to standard paper size to hand out as flyers. Ellen also explained to me that Harriet Eddy was a friend of Jane Addams and lifelong WILPF member and also founded their local library and got accreditation for their high school. They borrowed a photo of Harriet Eddy from the local middle school (which is named after her) and had it on the table with information about her and WILPF along with membership material.
Monterey County (017): Susan Hubbard emailed me the following report: “Ongoing Vigils/Marches/Protests
Anti-War demonstrations – Monterey, first Sunday of each month; Salinas, every Saturday
morning (with Friends Fellowship and Salinas Action League)
Parades for Martin Luther King Day and “First Night Monterey”
Several Anti-Torture protests with orange jumpsuits, “headsacks” and jail cells.
Marching with Hotel and Restaurant union workers during contract renewals.
Vigils honoring the 3000th soldier killed and the 4th anniversary of the Iraq War.
Annual Veteran’s Day vigil. Marched in the 4th July Parade in Monterey after earlier in the year several WILPF members spoke before the Council against new rules which would have banned political speech and political groups (which apparently would have included WILPF) from the parade.
Committees/Opportunities for Action and Involvement
Democracy Unlimited of Monterey County – (formerly Abolish Corporate Personhood but
broadening scope, furthering the DUHC (Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County)
mission and vision.
SAVE Elections – uncovering election fraud and advocating a return to paper ballots
Clothesline Project – Domestic Violence
DATFAT – Direct Action Task Force Against Torture
DISARM – Keep Space for Peace – Vandenberg Air Force Base
Youth Rights – Counter-recruitment
Sound Out – Peace and Justice Singing Group
August 06 – Hiroshima/Nagasake Remembrance – Paper Lanterns floating on the Bay (the event will also be held on in August 07)
September 06 - Vigil urging UN intervention in Darfur
October 06 - Vandenberg protest for Keep Space for Peace week.
November 06 - 3 day campout protesting torture at the Presidio of Monterey gate
December 06 - Holiday party. WILPF carries doves in the First Night parade
January 07 – Tapestry of the Commons with Nancy Price; fundraiser for WILPF w/ Dave Lipmann, political humorist
February 07 – Public Speaking for Activists Workshop
March 07 – Clothesline Project display for International Women’s Day at Monterey Peninsula College followed by a Town Hall Meeting with our Congressman Sam Farr.
April 07 – Water Summit co-sponsored by Democracy Unlimited and Citizens for Public
Water One chapter member is currently attending the International WILPF meeting in Bolivia and 3 members are on a Pastors for Peace trip to deliver medical supplies to Cuba. Our chapter members have collected large amounts of supplies and raised funds for this trip”.
Penninsula/Palo Alto (020): I spoke with Lois Salo in the beginning of July and she asked me to look through their branch mailings and try to do their branch report from those. However, due to time constraints and the mailings being used by another intern, I was unable to complete this task. Ms. Salo asked me to call her again and she would give me the report if I was unable to glean it from their mailings. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get a hold of her again in time for this report.
San Francisco (023): Barbara Nielsen emailed a summary of their branch’s activity from 2006 and also added this: “We have been active in 2007 but haven't done a summary yet; we continue our weekly leafleting and will be participating in the second annual Women's Equality Day Parade in Sacramento on August 25. We have just begun periodic potluck socials so that we have some non-business related interactions and the response has been very favorable”. “We have settled for now on monthly brown-bag lunch meetings on Saturdays from noon to approximately 2:00 p. m. held at the Friends’ Meeting House at 65 9th Street, between Mission and Market Streets. The branch provides beverages. Meetings are facilitated, and minutes are kept, each meeting by volunteers, and the minutes-taker usually facilitates the following meeting. We had been meeting on the last Saturday of the month but as of the meeting on May 5, 2007, we are changing to the first Saturday of the month as there had been many conflicts during 2006 with the former schedule. We have an active core membership of a dozen or so who share in the basic tasks of keeping the branch going.
We have a branch email address: email@example.com, that is checked periodically
HIGHLIGHTS OF 2006 BRANCH ACTIVITIES:
January 14, 2006. A group from the branch attended a Town Hall Meeting on the war in Iraq convened by now-Speaker Nancy Pelosi at Marina Middle School. About 2,000 people attended. Code Pink protested Pelosi’s lack of action. Pelosi’s comments were largely pedestrian – not surprising but frustrating. We wrote a follow-up letter urging her to have much more backbone, to explore impeachment proceedings, etc..
March 3, 2006. Women and the U. S. Budget: Where the Money Goes and What You Can Do About It. NTanya Lee, Executive Director of Coleman Advocates for Children and Families, San Francisco, and Jane Midgley, former Executive Director of WILPF, were the speakers at this small meeting that was significant for the mix of people attending. We sold copies of Jane’s book. Aileen Hernandez chaired the meeting. We agreed that the branch would try to support the efforts of Coleman Advocates to get more City money allocated to children and families. We signed up for Jane’s monthly newsletter. We had hoped to have a third speaker – Jean Ross of the California Budget Project – to give a state-level perspective but she could not make it. We want to pursue this work in some way in the future.
March 8, 2006. The branch co-sponsored an event organized by Women of Color Resource Center (Oakland), entitled “Breaking Rank,” featuring two women of color former military medics who are speaking out against the war. Held at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, Aileen Hernandez and Betty Traynor attended this thoughtful program. March 18, 2006. March and demonstration against the war. We shared a table in the Civic Center plaza with the Gray Panthers. Eleanor Ohman’s puppet of G. W. Bush helped to draw people to our table. Also thanks to Ellen Schwartz for the details of organizing a Penny Poll. It was a great way to engage people in conversation. We even made some pennies!
Late March 2006. Branch members spoke on invitation from the Women Studies
Program at San Francisco State University on the history of WILPF, its current campaigns and local issues. We hope to be able to do something further with this group.
Outreach/leafleting Project. We started a regular Wednesday leafleting group on April 12, during the noon hour, at the cable car terminus at the Embarcadero BART/Muni stations plaza, as a way to be out in the street talking to people about the war, and urging them to make calls to Congress to bring our troops home from the Middle East. We also benefit from the weekly contact among branch members and toward the end of the year began taking lunch together after leafleting. A Thursday leafleting group started in Laurel Village on May 25, and leaflets from time to time as schedules allow. The leaflet language has changed, and as of December is re-written on a monthly basis.
April 20, 2006. The first meeting of the branch’s Water Study Group was held.
April 29, 2006. Libby Frank addressed the branch at its April meeting to update us on the status of WILPF’s Middle East Campaign. Our meeting was held at the Yet Wah restaurant on Clement and was well attended.
May 27, 2006. Northern California WILPF Cluster Meeting. Held at the University
of California, Santa Cruz, Women’s Center, the theme of this meeting was Activism from a Full Cup, and focused on sharing and building on WILPF success stories from the previous year. Other objectives were to renew energy and commitment to activism for a better world, to create a vision for future work in WILPF through concrete action plans, and to develop a system for communication among WILPF Northern California branches. About 40 members attended this well-run, productive meeting, including branch members Gwyn Kirk and Barbara Nielsen. The next Cluster meeting will be held in Fresno on April 28, 2007.
Spring. We began communications with WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions
Education Fund) to explore holding a budget workshop co-sponsored by the branch and other progressive organizations.
July 2006. We confirmed the branch’s membership in the California Women’s Agenda (CAWA), and sent them a membership contribution. Aileen Hernandez is coordinator of CAWA, which facilitates information exchanges among its member organizations.
July 26, 2006. The branch welcomed members of the Berkeley-East Bay branch,
Tamara James, current co-president of US WILPF, the new development director, Judy Claude, of national staff, Linda Belle of the Jane Addams Peace Association, Sandy Silver of the Santa Cruz branch and former national president and other guests to an evening development reception held in a member’s home. Good food and company and issues discussed ranged from accurate mailing lists to solicitation and annual membership.
August 12, 2006. International ANSWER sponsored a rally in Civic Center and then a march. The tone of the event was primarily anti-Israel, as this was after Israel had begun bombing in Lebanon. Eleanor Ohman’s G. W. Bush puppet again drew many people to our table, and we displayed our Penny Poll, which once again made money! Eleanor Ohman was interviewed by a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle and her quote was prominently reported in the middle of the article published in the newspaper the next day! This event led to the branch’s subsequent discussions of members’ thoughts on the Middle East complexities and strengthened the branch’s shared values.
August 26, 2006. Women’s Equality Day Celebration, Sacramento. Branch members Marian Chatfield-Taylor and her granddaughter and Barbara Nielsen rode the train to Sacramento and to join Aileen Hernandez and family and friends who all participated in this splendid march from a wooded park to the Capitol steps under tree-shaded city streets. The weather cooperated and stayed only in the high 80s for most of the morning. Several hundred people from over 35 organizations participated in the march and then listened to a series of thoughtful speakers. Native American women chanted blessings. Many came in clothing from the suffragist era. We had stenciled WILPF sashes and carried one of our blue-and-white banners and were cheered by many! Plan is to have another next year but on a weekday, not a Saturday, as almost no one is downtown on the weekends and we would like to have an audience for this march. The evening for the march there was a discussion of the history of women’s suffrage and a showing of the film, “How Women Won the Vote.”
August 30, 2006. At the September 9 meeting, Aileen Hernandez reported on voter education forum, Women Rock the Vote!, sponsored by the California Women’s Agenda, the Department on the Status of Women, and the Women’s Leadership Alliance. The forum featured two panel discussions on Women in Elected Office and on Grassroots Campaign Strategies. The elected women panel included WILPF-SF’s member SF Supervisor Sophie Maxwell. Joan Blades of MoveOn.org spoke, and the movie, “A Passion to Lead,” about women in the California Assembly was shown. If this event is repeated the branch might inquire about its participation at some level.
September 21, 2006. The Declaration of Peace organization called for a candlelight vigil early evening at Civic Center Plaza. Barbara Blong, Leslie Roffman, Regina Sneed, Betty Traynor and Barbara Nielsen attended. There was music and chanting.
September 30, 2006. At our September monthly meeting, the branch voted to take on a project to publish Eleanor Ohman’s political cartoons, originally published in the Sun Reporter in the 1960s and 1970s, of which there are many. Eleanor, who at the meeting had shown us the book of her cartoons published by her nephew, was delighted with this action and gave us the rights to all of her work.
October 5, 2006. At the World Can’t Wait demonstration, members attended, as well as the appearance of Cindy Sheehan at Modern Times later in the day at 7:30 p.m. The week of October 1-8 was Keep Space for Peace Week; the branch is not formally involved this year but hopes to be next year and should discuss the action in Spring 2007.
October 11, 2006. Eleanor Roosevelt’s birthday happened to have fallen on a Wednesday, so we designed a special leaflet in honor of the day and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights! The leaflet-ers experienced new sensations interacting with the passersby when asking them to “Celebrate Human Rights” instead of to “Call Congress to Stop the War.” Although this event was fairly hastily planned due to a number of circumstances, it was viewed by all participants as a great success that we will make even better next year, handing out WILPF buttons and membership brochures and other material we will have by then.
October 22, 2006. Women of Color Resource Center’s 8th Annual Sisters of Fire Awards. The branch co-sponsored this inspiring event, attended by members.
October 28, 2006. In addition to being the monthly branch meeting, this day also was a large anti-war rally and march, attended by many branch members. We were visited by Santa
Cruz and Monterey branch members including Sandy Silver, who attended part of the branch meeting. The visiting members wore the blue with white WILPF logo sweatshirts and carried beautiful WILPF doves on sticks.
November 18-19, 2006. Katrina Teach-In at the Berkeley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, co-sponsored by the branch and Meiklejohn Institute and Peace Action.
November 25, 2006. At this morning branch meeting it was decided to purchase two sets of the Jane Addams Peace Association’s Children’s Book Award books for the San Francisco Public Library; one set for the Main Library and one set for a branch library, to be determined. Additionally, Regina Sneed is purchasing a set for the renovated Sunset Branch library which will re-open in January 2007.
November 25, 2006: The memorial for Eleanor Ohman, who died November 6, was held in the afternoon at the Aquatic Park Senior Center. The memorial was moving, and well attended and many branch members attended and helped with the silent auction of memorabilia offered by Eleanor’s family, including an amazing antique accordion. The Jane Addams Peace Association established for us an Eleanor Ohman Memorial Fund, to which we sent all monies raised at the memorial. The funds will be used for the cartoon publishing project.
December 2, 2006. Nancy Price addressed the branch and members of the Berkeley-East Bay branch about the work she has been doing on water. Sponsored by the Water Study Group, this event was well received. Nancy presented a film and discussed what is being done by the National Water Campaign. The Water Study Group has met throughout 2006, working its way through the Water Study Guide and other local resources.
December 7, 2006: Gwyn Kirk and Christine Ahn presented reports on Korea. Gwyn spent three months there earlier in the year and Christine has first-hand knowledge of is sues there, as well. A slide show was presented. The presentations were very interesting and informative. As elsewhere in the world, in South Korea the negative impacts of U.S. military bases are pervasive. Handmade shopping bags made from recycled aseptic juice boxes by Philippine women were available for sale, as were other peace and WILPF-related items. Throughout the Year: The branch has actively begun outreach to other progressive organizations to increase communications and knowledge to better utilize our collective knowledge and resources”
San Jose (025): I spoke with Joan Bazar who told me their branch has been working on corporation issues this year. She explained that last year the group worked on Middle East issues and the previous year on water issues. Their branch had a study group that met five times. After the conclusion of the study group, they participated in four events this past month, presenting corporation issues. They presented information at a joint meeting with the Older Women’s League (OWL); presented materials at a meeting for the Federation of Retired Union Members (FORUM). They also co-sponsored an Enron film event at the San Jose Peace Center where many of the members are also very active. They will be hopefully holding another meeting to allow for discussion time about that film as they ran out of time for discussion during the event. They’ll be holding a brainstorming meeting to help them determine next steps to take on corporation issues. Lois Fiedler organized the study groups on corporate personhood and was instrumental in the organization of events surrounding those issues. Ms. Bazar explained the group used the toolkits from the WILPF page and told me the skit was very useful after showing about 30mins of the film. On August 17th they will be honored with an Excellence Award at the Women’s Equality Breakfast. Their group has also been very active with the Raging Grannies. Shirley Kinoshita has worked extensively with the organization of this and helping the branch work with other groups in the community. They’ve spent significant time protesting against the Jeppeson Company; Ms. Bazar explained that this company arranges private CIA flights for extraditions. Finally, every year they host a Holiday Peace Fair on the first weekend of December. Ms. Bazar expressed her hope that the newly renovated San Jose Peace Center would be able to take more of a lead in the organizing of this event, as it’s a lot of work.
Santa Barbara (026): I spoke with Judith Evered. She told me the group has been working on a project called “Reigning in Corporate Power”. They’ve been hosting educational forums related to corporate power in relation to housing, water, and food. They’ve also been working on letter writings to politicians and hosting film events. They’re planning on showing a film to mark Nagasaki Day called “Original Child Bomb”. They will be hosting another water forum in the Fall with a panel and audience participation. Ms. Evered herself has been involved in nuclear power research, working on a book on the Diabalo Nuclear Power Plant near by. She would like us to send her materials on military spending if we have any available.
Pajaro Valley LIMPAL (027): Unfortunately, I was unable to get a hold of anyone at this branch.
Santa Cruz (028): I spoke with Sandy Silver who told me their branch has been busy this year. Every Friday they hold Peace Vigils. They have a very active water committee that recently had an op-ed piece published in the local paper about water bottles. They’re also working on desalinization issues, which are important to that area. They are also working in conjunction with a neighboring community to get local water back into local hands; apparently it’s in the hands of a German company at the moment. The branch also has a Peace Education Committee that’s working on using the Jane Addams Book Awards books to donate to libraries and schools. They’re also focusing their recruitment efforts on young mothers. Additionally they are sponsoring a young girls (ages 8 to 10) soccer team. Hopefully WILPF’s name will be on their jerseys. The team and coaches will all be presented with WILPF water bottles. Their Middle-East group is working with the Palestine and Israel Action Committee and has held a march downtown to end Israel’s occupation. The branch has also marched in the Pride Parade. They’ve protested the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Lab. On tax day every year they have a Penny Poll outside the post office that asks tax payers to determine for themselves where they would want their taxes to go, with the result being that very little would be chosen for military spending. They also have a good relationship with their representatives in Congress, one of which recently visited Cuba. They were able to help fund two members going to Bolivia. They have cluster meetings with other WILPF branches, mostly in Northern California, to collaborate and share ideas about twice a year. The branch itself has well attended (between 30-50 people, depending on the event) monthly program meetings. They also have a monthly planning meeting, attended by about 10-15 people. Finally, Julia Alvarez will be doing a book signing at a local bookstore and Sandy has been in contact with her, her publisher, and the bookstore and Ms. Alvarez will hopefully be mentioning WILPF.
Boulder (031): I spoke with Anne Marie Pois. She said the group has not been up to much this year as they only have 4 members. She explained that there’s a very active social justice group in Boulder so many of the activists just spend their time working with that group. They do have a Middle-East Study Group going on currently with about 10 people involved, 6 from the community. She said that Middle-East dialogue is very difficult in the community and that any talk of Israeli wrongs is generally regarded as anti-Semitism. I suggested their group work on hosting a feminist roundtable and she said she would look into it.
Greeley (033): I spoke with Elaine Schmidt who told me their branch has been very active. Every Saturday they host a peace rally or an anti-war protest (depending on whom you ask) from 11am until noon. They protest on four sidewalks towards the mall in front of popular restaurants like Olive Garden. They get a good response from the community but it’s also difficult to get people to come out so they decided to have themes to their protest. This past week they had a veterans theme. Elaine said they also spend a lot of time working on immigration issues. One member of their group in particular is very concerned with immigration issues and is also Latino and Elaine explained that this member is constantly thinking of great things to do to work for their rights. Elaine told me that racial profiling is a big problem there and so when someone feels they have been wrongly charged or harassed by police they are able to go to WILPF members who will advocate for them at the police station. Elaine said this has consistently gotten charges dropped. They also organize drives and drop off points for supplies to be sent to migrant workers, such as hats and shirts. The Colorado Progressive Coalition, which Elaine helped found, has also established itself in their community and works on immigration issues. Their branch has had several speakers this year. They had a someone come to speak about Hugo Chavez; about 24 people came to this event and it made the papers. They have had an anthropologist, Dr. Norberto Valdez speak several times to their group on connections between local and global issues and work. They’ve also had a speaker present on health care for all. The branch bought tshirts to wear together that say “Live Simply So Others May Simply Live”. They’ve also been working with the Mecha Group and United Farm Workers. Finally, the group has helped to host diversity meetings and conferences with students from the University of Northern Colorado.
New Haven (036): Spoke with Kathy McCarthy. She said the branch has done so much this past year she wasn’t sure she could remember it all! They showed a film called “The Future of Food” at a meeting. Kathy expressed an interest in trying to get a copy of this to our national office but is experiencing difficulty with doing that because of copyright protections. The film is about seeds that are sprayed with poison, also problems with genetic engineering, and seed companies telling farmers they own their land because their seeds are being used there. Kathy expressed her fear that logic such as that could mean that they own us as well. She also talked about work they’ve done on the Water campaign, particularly on May Day. In public spaces on May Day in New Haven, they educated people about the water issue. By doing this they recruited several new members and also filled several petitions. With regards to the Middle East campaign, Kathy stated that they have not done much, but she’s interested in trying to get the ball rolling on it. She said they will have a meeting in June, then will have August off and will meet again in September. She expressed an interest in receiving a toolkit on the Middle East campaign by that September meeting. Kathy also recalled the group getting a speaker from The Nation to talk about the war budget and how people, such as Dick Cheney, are profiting off of the budget and war.
Greater Hartford (207): Helen Raisz emailed me the following information: “As you know we are no longer a branch.. just a list of national WILPF members who live in the Greater Hartford area. We are all busy doing WILPF's work for peace and justice, but in different organizations.. Connecticut Citizens for Peace and Justice, Interfaith Coalition for Equity and Justice, Climate Change No Nukes NO War etc. If Audley Green comes down from Boston or Robin Lloyd from Vermont, we usually can get a good representation of the Membereship to hear them. We also support Vecinos Unidos (a welfare mothers group) as much as possible as individuals”.
DISTRICT OF COLOMBIA (044): I spoke with Joan Drake and Shirley Pate briefly. Shirley emailed me the branch report: “RECENT PAST ACTIVITIES OF WILPF-DC BRANCH
Members of the DC branch, including Joan Drake, Shirley Pate, and Moya Atkinson, participated in the March 17th mass mobilization at the Pentagon.
Moya Atkinson has been especially busy. She participated in several lobbying efforts on the Hill regarding the Iraq war and military spending targeting issues such as torture, violations of the US Constitution and habeas corpus resulting from passage of the Military Commissions Act, and funding for expansion of the Iraq war. In addition, Moya helped to organize several public forums on torture, the Iraq war, media bias regarding Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and the danger of a US invasion of Iran. WILPF-DC co-sponsored these events.
WILPF-DC purchased a DVD of "The Iron Wall," a documentary exposing the impact of the apartheid wall being built by Israel throughout the West Bank & Gaza. Joan Drake is working with the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace (WIAMEP) to arrange a forthcoming public screening and forum to discuss the issue. Hopefully, the film event will take place in September or October of this year.
Shirley Pate worked with a variety of Latin American solidarity, peace, and wormen’s groups to assemble co-sponsors for the debut of a film on Haiti, “We Must Kill the Bandits.” The film focuses on gross human rights abuses in Haiti since the coup d’etat there in 2004. The screening took place on June 5 with over a hundred people in attendance.
Various members of the Branch are engaged in additional issues: lobbying to support a national health insurance program and applying pressure to members of the US congress regarding the need to begin impeachment proceedings against the President.
FUTURE ACTIVITIES In the future, the Branch will continue to pursue the activities identified above. In addition, the Branch will focus on Cuba: helping US students apply for a free medical school education in Cuba, mounting a campaign to help free five Cubans unjustly incarcerated in the US for their attempts to fight terrorism against Cuba, and increase solidarity with a variety of women’s organizations in Cuba.
Also, the Branch will focus more on Palestine-Israel conflict by increasing contact with other groups working on the issue and sponsoring a speaker's bureau to increase speaking opportunities. Finally, the Branch will focus more on domestic issues including issues surrounding unjust incarceration and sentencing of African Americans and other people of color”.
Palm Beach County (045): I spoke with Susan Mosley and these women have been very busy. The helped form a coalition of activist organizations in the area and she attributed many of their actions to the successes of working together in this manner. The coalition consists of various peace groups, NOW, the Martin Luther King Jr. Coordinating Committee and many others (24 all together). Susan gave me an almost month by month run down of their work. In September they signed and demonstrated on a Declaration of Peace. These were demonstrations with lots of publicity from the local media and were well attended. On October 5th they had a demonstration “Vote Out the Rubber Stamp Congress that signed the Military Commission Act”. On October 7th they participated in a Keep Space for Peace Walk. On Jan. 1st they had a vigil for the 3000th soldier to be killed in the war, there was lots of television coverage for this event. On Jan 8th Bruce Gagnon from the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power spoke. Also in January, the group participated highly in Martin Luther King Jr. events, including judging an oratorical contest and participating in the closing breakfast. In March as an anniversary for the fourth year in Iraq, they participated in an enormous “tombstone project” with the Veterans for Peace. The put up over 3000 tombstones to mark the death of fallen soldiers and spent all day reading the names of all who had died. That night they hosted a candle light vigil which was well covered by the media. Also in March, they held a Water Workshop. In April they held an end of the year luncheon with WILPF, Code Pink, and the Raging Grannies. In May they sent around a petition to end the war and send the troops home. The also hosted an event entitled “Walk in Their Shoes” as a complimentary event to the tombstone demonstration to honor the innocent women and children dying in Iraq. On June 26th with the ACLU they held a “Restore Our Rights” rally to bring attention to and get rid of the Military Commissions Act. The coalition has access to a space on Saturdays that allows them to screen films. Last Saturday they hosted their first film event and next Saturday they’re hoping to show the film “Thirst”. In September they’ll be hosting a huge peace rally event at which Dennis Kucinich will be speaking. They also have a Keep Space for Peace event coming up. Finally, Susan wanted me to mention that one of their WILPF member Lil Cohen celebrated her 96 birthday this year! And is still very active in the community and goes to all the events that she can attend. Ms. Cohen was one of the founding members of the coalition and offers the rest of the group inspiration and wisdom.
Florida Atlantic University (201): I was unable to get in touch with anyone from this branch.
Springfield (055): I spoke briefly with Peggy Knoepfle. She said that their branch has been involved actively and consistently working with Pax Christi on vigils and letter writing campaigns to end the war. They’ve also taken part in local actions and are working with the Central Illinois Organizing Project and the Homeless United for Change. She explained that the group tries to have both a global and local outlook. She said that they are small and “getting older and poorer” and that working in coalitions allows them to be a stronger force. She also stated the branch uses the online resources on the Middle East and the weapons information and also expressed their desire to work more closely with the St. Louis and Rockford Branches.
Rockford College (220): I was unable to get a hold of anyone at this branch.
Southern Indiana (063): I spoke with Deborah Garretson who is the current president. First we talked about the Water Campaign and what if anything they’ve been doing. She said that they have the water study guide and have used it a little bit but that they’ve had their own local water problems that have eclipsed some of the international water issues they’d otherwise be working on. She explained that they are about 50 miles south of Indianapolis and that the city wanted to tap into their water supply. The group was very concerned about this and worked to fight this move by checking local laws and petitioning. Ms. Garretson said that the city doesn’t seem to be moving on it at the moment, but they as a group will need to remain vigilant on the issue. She also explained that the main person who was working on this issue in their group unfortunately passed away. Ms. Garretson talked about handing out literature on the water campaign at her local farmer’s market. She also had a petition available to sign. Ms. Garretson said that while they haven’t used the WILPF Middle East Campaign materials yet, they are still working on issues surrounding the campaign. Recently they had Michael Lerner, author of many books including “Healing Israel/Palestine” speak to them about Middle East issues. They also had Milton Viorst, author of “Storm from the East” speak to the group. Additionally, they sponsored an open to the public event on the status of Afghanistan led by a professor from Afghanistan who teaches at Indiana University. Ms. Garretson also discussed the group’s work with about 5 students at Indiana University. Their WILPF branch has been networking with these students and supporting them with events. She also discussed the successes their branch has had with the corporation study packet. They have been using the study packet at open sessions in their public library which has been well attended by about 20 people from the community. The started the group last month and expect it to wrap up in August. They are planning on offering the study group again. Finally, Ms. Garretson talked a bit about students from India that she met and as a result got involved with the tragedy of Bopaul involving Union Carbide and its continued aftermath on the people there. Ms. Garretson talked about how she spoke with Mary Day about presenting the case to the UN and Mary Day wanted to check with the Indian branches to see what they were doing first. Ms. Garretson expressed concern at not having heard anything on this issue in over a month and would like to be updated.
Des Moines (066): Diane Krell was going to email a report to me, however, I have not yet received it.
Maine (212): I spoke briefly with Christine Detroy. She reported that the group has been doing lots of peace work in the area, but not always under the WILPF name. She said they’ve been holding weekly vigils which are well attended by WILPFers every Friday since 9/11/01. They’re planning for a Peace Fair to take place on August 4th. This fair was proposed by Ms. Detroy and there will be a WILPF table there focused on water issues. She also added that herself and another WILPF member were honored by Maine Initiative for their work with WILPF and for peace.
Baltimore (078): I spoke briefly with Marliese Diaz she said “nothing. We’re not up to anything to be frank”. She went on to explain that several members are still active doing work in other organizations but are not necessarily representing WILPF in any capacity. She also said that they have had three very active members that passed away this past year so that’s affected their ability to work on any issues. She said she will update us if something changes.
Cantonsville (079): I spoke briefly with Viola Rideout. She said their group has not done much this year and explained this is mostly because their members are mostly elderly and many have been sick this year. She said they have been trying to work on water issues, particularly with respect to local issues of the Chesapeake Bay. They had a guest speaker give them a presentation on the Bay and make suggestions of further action they could take but they have so far been unable to implement the ideas.
Goucher College Branch (077): I was unable to reach anyone from this branch.
Greater Boston (081): I spoke with Nancy Ramsden who told me the Boston branch meets once a month with about 20 or 30 members at each meeting. The following report is a collaboration between my conversation with Ms. Ramsden and an email from Claire Gosselin who made some changes to the original write up I did:
One of the biggest projects is working to stop a Level 4 Biolab in Boston currently being built by Boston University in an area with a predominately African-American, Latin and Asian population. The lab has been stalled a bit by court cases on behalf of Safety Net, an organization of women from the community. WILPF has worked actively in coordination with Safety Net and the broader Stop the Bioterror Lab Coalition. Last fall, we worked together on a Biolab awareness event at the humorist “Jimmy Tingle’s Off Broadway Theatre” – this also raised funds for the biolab opposition effort and helped support Safety Net and WILPF’s participation in the US Social Forum this past July. Our Disarm team members Joan Ecklein and Claire Gosselin wrote about the lab and the former attended the Bioweapons Review Conference in Geneva last November to present and distribute the paper.
Some of our WILPFers are also Raging Grannies, who have been active in counter-recruitment work near high schools and are present at many rallies and events. Laura Roskos, cochair of the Advance Human Rights Committee, has been working on shadow reports and has encouraged others among us to participate; Human Rights work is also done with others as a coalition effort in Massachusetts. Our Program committee shows free films on peace, justice and women’s issues on a monthly basis at the Cambridge Public Library; open discussions follow the showings. Marie Jackson-Miller attended a water conference at UMass Amherst last fall and is planning a discussion group at her church this fall. We’ve participated with others in vigils near corporations involved in cluster bomb munitions.
We have occasional potlucks where we often include an informative presentation as well as informal time to get acquainted. Recent gatherings featured an environmental slide show by Grace Ross, impressive Green Rainbow Party candidate for Governor; and another updated us on member Susan MacLucas’s efforst to end genital mutilation in Mali.
Boston WILPFers have also been active in progressive gatherings, including: the United for Peace and Justice Conference in Chicago where Elisabeth Leonard serve as WILPF representative; several joined in Robin Lloyd’s annual retreat in Vermont, and others were active presenters at the US Social Forum in Atlanta; five attended the WILPF International congress in Bolivia, one as a US delegate.
We have tables at most major events, including the Cambridge Peace Day. We've worked on changing legislation involving invasive and destructive criminal background check practices for ex-offenders, a cause promoted most actively by member Laurie Taymor-Berry. On Mother’s Day, we joined with the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute to raise money and awareness through a Mother’s Day Walk for Peace in Dorchester, a community that has been hard hit by increasing gun violence. We participate regularly in the postcard Make Peace a Reality Project and sometimes meet with our representatives.
For fundraising, Pat Morris hosted a great fun-fundraiser dinner October 11 at which she played the role of Eleanor Roosevelt, with proceeds for the US Section. We are now working on an appeal letter and dues follow-up.
We recently renovated our Web site, thanks to Dave Onion, and have two discussion lists (WILPF only and another for articles and commentaries). Most members are involved in other organizations and the branch works actively in coalitions with other area groups.
We now have a rapid response team for endorsements and sponsorships. We aim to produce two newsletters per year. We’ve attended workshops on civil disobedience and War Tax Resisting, a play on Grace Paley “Shades of Grace.” We hold an annual retreat every fall; these may entail improving fundraising, learning nonviolent strategies and techniques, and how to better coordinate and carry out our work overall.
Cape Cod (084): Candace Perry emailed me a summary of the branch’s activities in the past year from their July/August newsletter:
“Water Women have been everywhere—Brewster in Bloom, Chatham Fourth of July, Eastham Windmill Weekend, and Wellfleet Oyster Festival—spreading the word about water concerns as well as creating the study curriculum for WILPF’s national campaign, “Save the Water.” In November we co-sponsored the highly successful Wastewater Forum with the League of Women Voters, in March showed the World Water Day Film, and in May were represented at the UN!
WILPF members were active and critical in the planning and execution of Arlington East, and our members continue to be dynamic contributors to Cape Care and the Cape Cod Human Rights Commission.
Cape Cod WILPF co-sponsored the Dreams of Freedom Conference (ending modern slavery) and helped fund it with a grant from the Joan Patchen Fund. We also co-sponsored the Torture in Our Name event.
We held a Women in Black demonstration and continue to take part in weekly Anti-War Vigils. WILPF continues to organize and populate the Labor Day and Memorial Day Anti-War Demonstrations, noting that we’re getting more support each time.
Television and radio welcomed us. We produced a No War Toys public service spot on C3TV in December, and WILPFers appeared on WOMR radio, WQRC radio, and “Talking Together” television shows.
Fundraisers this year included the Silent Auction at the Jane Addams Dinner, the Susan B. Anthony Memorial Walkathon, and the June Yard Sale.
WILPF co-sponsored, with the New Provincetown Players, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend Peace Plays, and we served as the panelists for the discussion which followed.
WILPF members were the coordinators of the Cape Cod Chapter, Freedom to Marry Coalition of Massachusetts.
We honored artists at the Jane Addams Dinner, held a special WILPF meeting for the Upper Cape, participated in Holocaust Commemoration, spoke at Harwich High School on Human Rights, had a table at the Multi-Cultural Fair, and attended the First United States Social Forum”.
Ann-Arbor / Ypsilanti (092): I spoke with Odile Hugonot-Haber. She explained that their group is nonexistent. Although she did talk about actions that WILPF members she knows have participated in. She told me about 2 lifetime members and 5 others that marched in Washington recently. I’m going to email her to make sure she still wants to be listed as a branch on the website. She asked that I email her when I’m done with the report about the extent to which people are using or implementing programs on the Middle East Campaign.
Detroit (093): I spoke with Laura Dewey. She said that their branch has not been too active this year, outside of the occasional event co-sponsorship. She explained that there are really only three members at their branch. One is quite elderly, and while active is limited in her capacity to participate too much. The other two members are just really busy. She told me about an event for the fall they are trying to plan to help bring in new members. The event will take place on October 14th around Jane Addams’ birthday. They would like older members to share their stories about feminism, activism, and WILPF membership. The event will mostly be to socialize, share stories and bring in new members. There will also be exhibits. Ms. Dewey said she will probably order some resources and materials from us as the date approaches but she wants to wait a while to make sure the event will take place. Ms. Dewey expressed concern about the future of the organization, not because of funds, but due to a lack of membership, she hopes this event will help.
Greater Lansing (094): Unfortunately, I was unable to reach anyone from this branch in time for the report.
Little Traverse Group: I spoke with Bruce Sanderson and his wife. Bruce is 92 and very hard of hearing, so his wife took over and said she’s active with him so she could pretty much speak for him. They said that they have one or two meetings a year and don’t do more than that because everyone in the group is very old. They still have a directory of members though and send out regular email updates. They expressed their satisfaction with the high degree of activism in the area and want us to send them brochures to pass out to other groups and younger people. Next year if we call, they would like us to contact instead: Barbara MacArthur at (231)547-6960, she writes their digest for the group.
Minnesota Metro (101): I spoke briefly with Leslie Reindl who told me she did not have time to give me a report of their activities and that a summary could be found in their branch mailings. I let her know I was unsure whether or not I’d be able to actually go through their mailings due to time constraints and their being used by another intern for a different project. As suspected, I was not able to go through these mailings before the completion of internship. I also tried to email Doris Marquit, however she said she’s been “out of commission” for a while and it was best to speak with Ms. Reindl.
St. Louis (106): Spoke with Joyce Best who told me to email Mary Jane Schutzius through email, I did so and she replied back with the following report: “WILPF ANNUAL REPORT (2006 - 2007)
St. Louis Branch
April 22, 2007
WILPF began this past year with a pot luck dinner at the Regional Arts Commission on April 30, 2006. During table talk we discussed WILPF and personal questions, answers to which were then summarized in the May Bulletin. Since then we have managed to maintain the St. Louis branch in a relatively active manner. We continue to seek new members and collaborate with other peace and justice groups in the area.
During our annual Planning Meeting, August 16 at the World Community Center, the advantages of using modern technology to stay connected were explained once again, and we brain-stormed how to address locally the two National campaigns of "Save the Water" and "Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace in the Middle East." We continue to collaborate with the American Friends Service Committee, Citizens for Global Solutions the Freedom of Choice Council, the Instead of War Coalition, Jobs with Justice, Missourians for Single Payer Universal Health Care, Missourians for Tax Justice/Tax Justice for a Healthy Missouri, the Peace Economy Project, the UNA, and Women in Black.
We maintain contact with all members and subscribers through our monthly Bulletin, which is our greatest expenditure. Federal and State legislation, contents of branch mailings from National, U.S. WILPF resolutions, Post Card Actions, and Eye on Congress alerts, issues and meetings important to St. Louis WILPF are routinely noted, as well as news about members. Local issues included the new voting machines, problems with Eminent Domain, and raising the Minimum wage.
We staffed an informational table at the July 22-23 International Institute's Festival of Nations and coordinated the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Memorial in Lewis Park on August 6, with a panel on the Non-Proliferation Treaty vis-à-vis the Bush proposal to give nuclear technology to India. The evening ended with the traditional floating of candle-lighted "boats."
On November 20, the Middle East Committee coordinated "The Great American Speak Out: The People State Their Views on U.S. Policy on Israel/Palestine" and invited U.S. and Missouri incumbents and candidates to hear and react to constituents' statements. Only one candidate attended (he had lost Nov. 7, but came to express his opinion that we should bomb all our enemies). A summary of the 16 statements was sent to each of those invited.
December 28 we enjoyed holiday cheer at Jane and Tom Mendelson's home and warmly welcomed some new members and a few we hadn't seen in a while. St. Louis WILPF was invited to collaborate with Brit Tzedek v'Shalom in the presentation at Central Reform Congregation by two Combatants for Peace, one a former Israeli Defense Forces counter-terrorism officer, and the other a Palestinian activist and former Israeli prisoner. We publicized the January 28 event in our Bulletin and made sure other groups heard about it.
We continued with noontime "Brown Bags": on the video "Last Best Chance" and a discussion led by Yvonne Logan; a comparison of the Irish and Palestinian elections by international observer Mary Ann McGivern; an excellent session on Immigration Law Reform with Joan Suarez; reports by Hedy Epstein on the Congressional Accompaniment Tour to Israel and Palestine, by Debra Penna-Fredericks of her visit to Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Syria with Code Pink, and by Pat Chaffee on the Christian Peacemaker's delegation to Israel and Palestine; the video "How to Impeach a President"; and lastly, acknowledged nuclear expert Kay Drey explaining why nuclear power is not the answer to the energy crisis.
St. Louis WILPF members are usually the majority at the monthly Women in Black vigils in the University City Loop, and traveled to Fulton, MO in September to vigil with the women there. We distributed the War Resisters League's flyer on "Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes" at the
Main Post Office on Monday, April 16 (Missouri tax returns were due that day; Federal returns not until the next day).
Through compiling this report on the past year, beginning with the 2005-2006 Annual Report and reviewing the eleven issues of the Bulletin, several thoughts came to mind: we are still struggling with the same issues both nationally with Democrats in leadership roles, and locally in Missouri and St. Louis; dare we name the underlying cause as the economic system; we could have done so much more with more members; we must not be discouraged but carry on in order to be true to ourselves and our vision of a better world.
Let's keep on keeping on! St. Louis WILPF will be there.
Mary Jane Schutzius, Retiring President
***Mary Jane will only be the contact person until October, after that we should contact Yvonne Logan***”
Mid-Missouri (200): Therese Folsom emailed the following to me: “There are a few things I want to mention that influenced our activities. I returned to school for the entire year of 2006 and was studying until mid-February to take a board examination. That cut down on my activities with WILPF very much. A very active member also moved early this year to Oregon. We miss her very much.
On another note. Could you check and see if Marge Vance is now listed as our branch's new national contact? I emailed Jody Dodd while she was on vacation and I am not sure if the new information got entered into your National contact database.
August, 2006 – Yard sale to benefit Mid-Mo WILPF
October, 2006 - Co-sponsored with other Columbia, Mo peace organizations the visit and program given by Ann Baltzer, an American Middle East activist and a volunteer with International Women’s Peace Service.
October, 2006 – Worked with the local Sierra Club to organize a showing of the movie “Thirst” at the Columbia Public Library. Scott Dye, the director of the National Sierra Club Water Sentinel program spoke after the movie and answered questions about protecting local water.
Fall and Winter, 2006 – One member worked with local GRO (Grass Roots Organization) members to express opposition to the demolition of local public housing. She attended many meetings, wrote an Op-Ed, LTE’s and worked with the people living in the public housing to educate the public. Another member produced a video interviewing the residents of the Park Ave Community for distribution.
February, 2007 – Co-sponsored a program sponsored by Global Action about the physical and emotional effects of the Iraq War on soldiers and citizens of Iraq. One of our members also attended the entire program.
March, 2007 – Participated in and donated to the planting of a Tree for Peace at a local park in conjunction with the march to protest the invasion of Iraq.
April, 2007 – Had a booth at the Columbia Earth Day festival. Distributed materials on the WILPF Save the Water Campaign.
May, 2007 – Had our annual Mother’s For Peace picnic.
Spring, 2007 - Co-sponsored with other Columbia peace organizations a visit and program given by Combatants for Peace, a group of Israeli and Palestinian individuals who were actively involved in the cycle of violence in our area. One of our members also transported the participants from the St. Louis airport to Columbia.
Spring, 2007 – Voted to support a local woman who works with the English As a Second Language program with a one-time donation of $50.00.
Spring, 2007 – Donated money to support a Columbia City Councilwoman to travel to a workshop on violence and racism.
July, 2007 – Co-sponsored a program on “Bringing Nonviolence Home – Working against domestic violence and sexual assault as part of the peace agenda”. Rus Ervin Funk presented.
July, 2007 – Signed and donated towards running an signature ad opposing war, especially the use of nuclear weapons, in the local paper on the Hiroshima anniversary.
July, 2007 – Sent $50.00 to Central Vermont WILPF to support their trip to Bolivia.
July, 2007 – Purchased stainless steel WILPF water bottles to sell as a fundraiser and increase the awareness of the bottled water issue.
Summer, 2007 – Members wrote a letter and an Op-Ed announcing the local WILPF branch opposition to building a biodefense lab in Columbia, MO. A new member attended strategic public hearings. Her husband even wrote a song in opposition.
Summer, 2007 – Another new member became the Mid-Mo WILPF representative to the Columbia Peace Coalition. She also agreed to become the new national contact for our branch.
Applied to table at the Sustainable Living Fair in September in Columbia. We want to use this opportunity to help educate our community about the use of bottled water”.
Missoula (107): Spoke with Flo Chessin. She told me the group is still around but not very active. She explained that the members are very old, the youngest are in their 60’s and that all the young people in the community are involved with other organizations. The community itself is quite active, but there’s a peace center and a big moveon.org group in the area, also Women in Black and Code Pink. She said they do still have meetings though and they write congressman about various issues, host discussions, and occasionally co-sponsor events.
Essex County (107): I was unable to reach anyone at this branch.
New York Metro Office (125): I spoke with Molly Klopot. She reminded me that they were the office that founded the Raging Grannies and then spoke a little bit about how active they have been this year attending lots of demonstrations and marches and creating and singing health care songs. She said they’ve used documentaries to view on their own at home and then have discussions, all have been related to WILPF’s major campaigns. They’ve done lots of tabling at various events and always have WILPF literature out. At Christmas time they tabled with pamphlets on not buying war toys for children. At tax time they had pamphlets regarding where and how tax dollars are spent. They’re branch is very involved in Health Care Now, which now runs out of their office. Ms. Klopot also talked about the Granny Peace Brigade that their branch founded. She said in January they went to Washington, D.C. and visited every senator’s office to talk and give them material on ending the war. They also have a legislative committee which has a very active campaign involving tabling in well visited public spaces. At these events, members have campaign literature and policy information available along with lists of phone numbers of legislators and the members’ cell phones so that citizens can call their legislators about important issues on the spot. They also participate in anti-recruitment activities, with material available to parents and students on important nights like parent-teacher conference nights. They have also participated in vigils, picketing Wal-Marts, getting signatures for International Women’s Day, and hosting a theatre party for an anti-war play. Finally they have participated in many demonstrations and marches in the area in the past year and work in coalitions with other activist organizations. Ms. Klopot explained that one of their members doing a lot of work recently had a baby and this has thrown their office into a bit of a disarray which they are currently in the process of recovering from. They hope to be doing more work soon and are planning on targeting membership of younger people, especially through documentaries and their advertisements on craigslist.
Triangle Area (130): Lucy Lewis emailed me a link to their branch’s website with a summary on it:
“Triangle WILPF Highlights May 06-May 07
· Cosponsored William Powers’ talk about his latest book, “Whispering in the Giant’s Ear: Chronicle from Bolivia’s War on Globalization” at the CH Public Library.
· Joined in endorsing NC for Fair Wages campaign to increase the minimum wage to $6.15 – ultimately successful!
· Hosted WILPF National Co-president Tamara James and Linda Belle Executive Director of the Jane Addams Peace Association at the CH Public Library.
· Initiated a two-month Water Justice study group using the WILPF Save the Water curriculum.
· Organized a vigil for Middle East peace. Along with the Coalition for Peace with Justice and SURGE, we called for an end to the Israeli invasion of Gaza and Lebanon, an immediate cease-fire, a call for negotiations without preconditions including all concerned parties, and an end to US arms shipments to Israel.
· Joined other OCPC members in the annual Hiroshima commemoration, including the Grannies, Zen chanting, and local speakers.
· Mary Lou Smith, an Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA Board Member and the Coordinating Director of the Coalition for Peace with Justice in NC spoke at a public WILPF program about the Middle East crisis and how people can work for a just and sustainable peace.
· Ruth Zweidinger, Triangle WILPF, spoke on the current health crisis and what can be done. Ruth is also chair of the Orange County Democratic Party Policy and Action Committee Task Force on Health Care and a former Board member of North Carolina Committee to Defend Health Care.
· Organized a program with Gail Phares, Witness for Peace, recently released from 3 months in prison for civil disobedience at the School of the Americas, at the CH Public Library.
· Joined people around the state in picketing Harris Teeter stores (we were in Durham, Chapel Hill and Greensboro) to protest working conditions for Smithfield pork processing workers.
· Kicked off monthly book club of social justice readings.
· Sister Joyce Hummel, a Dominican nun from Long Island, NY and sister of WILPFer Lori Hoyt., was the monthly WILPF speaker. For many years Joyce’s vocation has focused on eco-spirituality and related curriculum development.
· Connie Gates and Marguerite, WILPF, spoke about the Crisis in El Salvador and our sister WILPF branch there. JANUARY
· Co-sponsored a program at the CH Public Library on Lebanon and Its Aftermath with former Triangle resident and professor Rania Masri and her father Rifaat Masri.
· Peggy Misch, Triangle WILPF, reported on her recent trip to Palestine with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions with a public program on How Can We Help to Bring about a Peaceful and Just Peace in Palestine/Israel?
· Members traveled to DC to join the national protest against the Iraq war.
· Pat Willis, WILPF, reported on plans for the first US Social Forum.
· WILPF joined with 5,000 others for the HKonJ (Historic Thousands March on Jones Street) demonstration in Raleigh organized by the NC NAACP for a 14 point program of social justice and peace issues.
· Local Code Pink members spoke to WILPF about their group and its activities.
· Joined demonstration to support jailed and hunger fasting Palestinian political prisoner Sami Al Arian in Butner.
· Went to Fayetteville once again to protest the 4th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
· Jean Chapman, WILPF, spoke about Living and Being Peace and her recent desert Nevada Peace Walk.
· Joined other sponsors in organizing Peace in the Pit with Sami Rasouli, a founder of Muslim Peacemaker Teams.
· Joined Greensboro community in peace rally with Cindy Sheehan.
· Vigilled for peace to commemorate Mother’s Day in May.
· Traveled to Smithfield for the trial of WILPFer Francis Coyle and seven others arrested in April at Aero Contractors as they tried to deliver "arrest warrants" for three pilots linked to the private air carrier, which contracts with the CIA to fly persons thought to have links to terrorists to countries that allow torture.
· Joined other members of the Orange County Peace Coalition in annual Memorial Day observance in Carrboro, including singing by the Raging Grannies
· Reviewed past year and set goals and organized committees for upcoming year at annual retreat”
Cleveland (133): I spoke briefly with Vicky Knight in the beginning of the summer. She said she would snail mail the report to the national office. I left a reminder message for her on August 8th. However, as of the end of this internship I have still not received the report.
Ashland (140): Jill Mackie emailed the following to me: “This year we stood for the end of this Iraq Occupation at each protest in the valley.Having sent many letters to the news papers, post card actions and calling congress. Our efforts to educate the citizens on water, healthcare , the disarming of our government was presented monthly at our meetings.
Oct. we had events for Keep Space 4 Peace week with CPA. and Eyes Wide Open.
Dec. 6, we held a Water Honoring Ceremony with Nancy Price. We cosponsored with OSU College,and The Native Americans.
Linda Richards was in Fort LewisWa. to help with Lt. Watada Trial Oct. 2006
March 14,2007 For Women International Day we with Sou Women's Resource Center, League of Women Voters of Ashland presented the Showing Of IRON JAWED ANGELS with 200 people present.
March 17 2007 Bring the Troops Home. Fund Books Not Bombs in Medford Or. WILPF with Medford CPC. Linda Richards was part of the Peace Forum with Dennis Kyne, a disabled Vet. State Rep Peter Buckley was present.
May 10 2007.. Reclaim The Day, The Real Meaning Of Mother's Day program..We had 100 present with music, dance and honored 19 important women though out our history ending with Molly Ivies.
May 24, 2007 Dr. David Ray Griffin, Debunking 9/11. We cosponsored with SOUL Students for Truth on SOUL campus. 350 in attendance.
July 4, 2007 The City of Ashland Parade. Made a banner blue and white, From The Stove To The Streets, for Molly Ivins. We had pots and pans, aprons, chanted for 2 miles Molly said Get out Side, Make some Noise, Stop this War..!!!
July 25, 2007 The showing of Motherland Afghanistan at OSU theatre to help send Selene Aitken to Kabul Afghanistan. She will lead a week of Nonviolent Communication courses to many leaders. The Women's Resource Center at SOU helped. 75 attended and welcome donations.
Aug. 6-9 2007. Hiroshima- Nagasaki Vigil 22nd year in Ashland. This year the largest vigil ever presented. We held pre events of singing, letter writing, and nonviolent communication skills with listening. The opening ceremony was in our City Park with our Mayor John Morison ,a Mayor For Peace, with song and Kayak Drummers. Our presents was all day on the plaza with speakers, music, petitions,peace cranes folding, talking to others on Thur.also.Then on Tue & Wed. we had DVD's and a play, with Don Wells.PhD speaking. The committee was outstanding having 16 sponsors and our own web www.atomicvigil.net. We also did a radio ad.
5 members presented to our City Council water bottles along with information on Nectar of the Frauds during City Hall Meeting. We have 11 new members. Our very special thanks is given to Linda Richards who is on The Disarm committee, traveled to Germany, Ar. & Atlanta for the first U.S. Social Forum. She will be moving to OSU Corvallis Or. in Sept. We have more to do .. Peace Jill”
Portland (141): Georgia Pinkel emailed me the following from their annual review of branch activities: “Ongoing Actions: Weekly: Wednesday Vigils – 6th year. Friday WIB Vigils. Monthly: 11 Newsletters editions to >300 members, friends, legislative contacts and peace network. 11 Board Meetings – 1st Friday of the month 1:30 pm. Participated in: Hiroshima Remembrance – 8/2006. Vancouver Peace & Justice Fair- 9/2006, City Council Action to End the War/Bring Troops Home 11/06, Children’s Peace Fair 11/06, End the War Rallies 3/18/07 & 3/19/07, Clothesline Project. Sponsored Events: Hosted the WILPF West Gathering July 2006, Keep Space for Peace events – sponsored by Holly Gwinn Graham 10/06, Local SOA Sendoff event 11/06, Declaration of Human Rights Readings/PPRC 12/06, Anne Feeney Concert Fund Raiser – 1/07, JAPA Book Presentation at Concordia College, WILPF Disarmament Post Card Project. Las Lomas Project/Congress Fund Raiser: Tabled at Events: NW Community OutReach, 2 World Affairs Council events, Events at 1st Unitarian Church – Rich Corporateson presentation 11/06. Local WILPFers published locally (Alliance, Peace & Justice Works, Oregonian): Carol Urner, Natasha Beck, Olivia Watt, Yvonne Simmons, Karen James. Speakers Bureau: Georgia Pinkel, Mary Rose, Barbara Drageaux. Various members involved in actions with related groups: Code Pink, Seriously Pissed –off Grannies, Raging Grannies, Iran Affinity Group.”
Washington County (142): I spoke with Marilyn Grendele who told me their “branch is dying”. She said this past year they had only three members, then it dropped to two, and now it’s just her. She said she will join up with the Portland Branch and see if she can get something started back up in her area next year. She was disappointed but resigned to try again. She said to take their branch off the list but that she will call and let us know if the branch starts back up again.
Philadelphia (146): I spoke with Heather Shafter who gave me a brief summary of their branch’s activities. They hosted their annual luncheon in which the Philadelphia Granny Peace Brigade was given the Peace Dove Award. They have three very active committees. Their Middle-East Committee has been busy writing many letters to the editor on relevant issues. They have also been working on a glossary of Mid-East terms and in the near future Lois Schwartz will be giving a talk on her tour of Israel and Palestine with the AFSC. Their Save the Water Committee had a public and WILPF attending viewing the film “Thirst”. At the annual luncheon they had a water tabling event at which they asked participants to drink water and guess where it was from, in order to help highlight water issues. Their Military Issues Committee has also been hard at work and hosted an event titled “Violence in Our Culture, World, and Neighborhood” at which three experts participated with community members in a roundtable discussion. Finally, the branch is currently planning an event called “Making Whiteness Visible” at which Sha’an Mouliert will be speaking.
Harrisburg (147): I spoke with Mary Herzel. She reported that the only thing the group has been up to is holding a vigil for victims of the war and to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The vigils are held the first Monday of every month from 12-1. She said fewer and fewer people go to these, because she thinks everyone is “so disgusted they just don’t know what to do”. She said the group cosponsors events when they can. Tuesday they are going to Washington with the ACLU. She said the group really hasn’t been doing too much else this year. I asked if they had been working on the Water or Middle East Campaigns and she said no, they are just trying to focus on the wars. She repeated her disgust with the presidency and our involvement in war. She said they didn’t need any new materials or resources.
Norristown (152): I spoke with Sally Bishop. She said they haven’t worked much on the Middle East campaign but the group has worked the Water Campaign and other issues. She told me about how one member made an enormous sculpture out of plastic gallon jugs and brings it around with her to events and hands out WILPF Water Campaign literature. She works for several other groups as well, but Sally says she always hands out WILPF stuff as well. She talked about other events and programs the group has been running. They collected money for the Save Darfur fund. They had a group showing of the video “Fuera”, and reviewed the Middle East report as a group written by Libby Frank. Sally said they are working on a plan to get new members into the group. It includes actively sending email updates to people who have expressed an interest in the past, offering rides to meetings, and personally calling people to invite them to meetings. In September there will be a Community Day and WILPF will have a table. Sally would like current brochures and some bumper stickers for tableing, she also will be pushing the Water Campaign at that event. Sally said at the end of January they were in Washington with other WILPF members against the war. She was happy to report that almost all of their members attended that event. Finally, she reported that during the anniversary of the war they participated in a well attended event in Germantown. It was a march for peace including lots of WILPF members, other activist groups, and lots of community members.
Delaware County (156): I spoke briefly with Carol Seeley who told me that at the moment, their branch is “asleep”. She said she will email me with a summary of the rest of their activities in this past year, however, at the time of the completion of this project I had not yet heard from her.
Pittsburgh (160): I spoke briefly with Edith Bell who then forwarded me the following update: “The highlights of Pittsburgh WILPF branch season were our two performances in March of Most Dangerous Women, a readers’ play, written by Jan Maher and Nikki Nojima Louis about the founding of WILPF in 1915 and the women who worked for peace since. 30 participants presented the play at Chatham College, a women¹s college in Pittsburgh, and at the Geyer Performing Arts Center in Scottdale, about an hour from Pittsburgh. Martha Oliver of Scottdale directed the play, and Mimi Yahn directed the music, performed by our Raging Grannies and several soloists. 200 and 100 people were in the audience respectively, and the play was very well received. People were awed by our founding mothers. These events brought us 5 new WILPF members and some much needed funds. The Pennsylvania Labor History Society asked us to perform the play at their annual conference in September, when Crystal Eastman¹s work, one of the founders of WILPF, will be commemorated.
We co-sponsored a Women’s Day celebration at Market Square with Code Pink, where our member Eva Havlicsek spoke.
We co-sponsored, and the Raging Grannies performed at the Iraq war anniversary rally.
On a bitter cold “Tax Day”, April 17, we handed out 400 flyers on the Federal Budget, next to the post office where we had posters, showing where our tax money goes, and how it effects Pennsylvania. We also conducted a “penny poll”, offering people the opportunity to express how they would like their tax dollars to be used, by distributing 10 cents, we gave them, into jars labeled healthcare, education, housing, food and the military. The military got 1 cent and the rest was pretty evenly divided among the rest of the categories. The Raging Grannies added fun to the event.
In May Susan Smith, who was part of the WILPF Cuba research delegation in November of last year, presented a very enlightening program on Cuba, with special emphasis on education and healthcare.
We co-sponsored a Town Hall meeting on the Human Cost of War, with speakers on social services, healthcare and the military budget. Our Congressman Doyle and aides of the other regional Congressmen and Senators were present to respond. People from the overflow crowd had plenty of questions and comments.
Also in May two of our WILPF members, Anita Fine and Edith Bell, were recognized by the Thomas Merton Center with New Persons Awards for their activism on peace and justice issues over a long period of time.
Pittsburgh branch contact: Edith Bell 412-661-7149 firstname.lastname@example.org”
Houston Branch: I spoke with Lynn Furay who told me that their annual peace camp just wrapped up and went well. It's a day camp for eight year olds that runs for from 9am to 3 pm with about 25 kids attending. Lynn and I discussed for some time her thoughts on peace education and how she wishes it was more stressed within WILPF and other organizations. Additionally, she expressed a desire to see more networking opportunities for those involved in peace education and peace camps. Last year, their branch produced a water study which they took to their city council to give a report. They had a Hiroshima Commemoration Day event during which they gave paper cranes. She also told me about the branch's participation in the Houston Peace and Justice Center and the utility of working in coalition with them since they have a bigger membership. We spent a significant amount of time brainstorming ways their branch could try to illicit some younger members, and I hope it works out for them!
Salt Lake City (189): I spoke briefly with Ann Chalmers Pendell who told me their branch hasn’t done anything this past year, but they’re happy to still be listed with WILPF. Jody told me to tell them that it is fine to still list them and we’re now going to list them as a group.
Central Vermont (193): Esther Farnsworth emailed a quick summary to me of what their branch has been up to: “What we are doing: Linda Leehman and I are going to Bolivia to the International Congress. We will be videotaping the Congress. We also will go on an educational trip with Global Exchange. We also will be videotaping that to share what is going in Bolivia with those back home. We produce a weekly video program called "Down by the Riverside" on public access. We try to bring to the public issues
that main line media doesn't cover. We are working on a program for Hiroshima Day - we float candlelit boats on the river, have an art project for children and peace dancing. We established a Peace Park several years ago and work on that regularly. Some of our members attend a weekly peace vigil. We attended Robin Lloyd's gathering at the Wing Farm. Some of our members sing with the Raging Grannies. Some of our members write regularly to newspapers. Some of our members work to close down Vermont Yankee, the nuclear power plant in Vermont. One of our members wrote a wonderful play based on the book, "Voices of Chernobyl. They put on the play on several times”.
N. Vermont / Burlington (210): After much phone tag, Judith Joseph emailed the following
to me: “Our branch met monthly to plan events and discuss current national and local concerns. Membership in the branch grew slightly overall however the number of active members remained low (5-8). Attendance at events was also good but this did not always translate into new members attending meetings and remaining active. Our major events for the period were:
October 18, 2007 – A celebration of Eleanor Roosevelt's Birthday with Madeleine Kunin (a former governor of Vermont ) delivering the keynote address. Approximately 75 women and men attended. Eleanor Roosevelt's contributions to the expansion of human rights and women’s rights was the focus of the event. The Raging Grannies from Burlington WILPF and Central Vermont WILPF performed.
February 24, 2007 – Launch party for our spring project, Women and the US Budget. Approximately twenty women attended a day long event featuring a presentation by aides in Senator Bernie Sanders' office on the impact the president's proposed budget would have on women and children in Vermont. The group engaged in a "dreamstorm" during the afternoon to develop a budget that would truly reflect our vision of a society that promoted peace, justice and a healthy planet.
In preparation for the event, members read and discussed Jane Midgley's book, Women and the U.S. Budget. Following the event, we invited women in Vermont who were active in issues of economic justice (such as women who worked on welfare issues) to join us at monthly meetings to discuss the impact of military spending on social services in Vermont.
August 6-9, 2007 – WILPF tabled for three days on the main street in downtown Burlington to raise awareness of the devastation of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb attacks and to promote a nuclear free future. We were joined by several anti-nuclear groups in Vermont and New England.
The next major upcoming event we have planned is a "Dangerous Women's Tea Party" on September 9, 2007 to celebrate Jane Addams birthday and to hear a report from the Vermont delegates to WILPF's International Congress in Bolivia”.
Seattle (161): ***Lost this write up in a data loss from hard drive, need to call again***
Madison (165): I spoke with Lea Zeldin. She reported that their branch has been busy with member and public education meetings on water issues, health care, and impeachment. She also talked about a new low power radio station that is opening up in their community which WILPF and some other non-profits will have programming access too. They will be able to run public educational and political shows from 10am until 10pm.
Milwaukee (166): Rose Daitsman emailed the following to me: “While the Milwaukee Branch is small, we are a powerful group of women. Many of our active members are leaders of other progressive local organizations. It is a problem in trying to organize local activities for WILPF. However, we do function quite well in coalition with other groups.
We have consistently donated Jane Addams Book Award books to libraries. When we make such a donation, we usually couple it with a meeting at the library.
In the past we were involved in at least three productions of Most Dangerous Women, the Readers Theater documentary by Jan Maher. This past year we introduced the book to the community in collaboration with a feminist bookstore in Milwaukee “Broad Vocabulary”. Jan was present at a reading at the people’s cultural center for arts and technology known as Bucketworks.
Inspired by Jan’s work, one of our members, Peggy Hong, currently Poet Laureate of Milwaukee, is producing a new play about Women and War called “Dreams of an Undemolished Home”. The play is a series of soliloquoys based on blogs by Iraqi women and interviews with people on the streets of Milwaukee.
Among the collaborative efforts was a program on Water at the new Urban Ecology Center. The main speaker was Peter McElvoy a member of the committee that drafted the Great Lakes Water Compact. The program which was held in September 2006 was organized by Joyce Ellwanger.
Another collaboration was with the UNA –Milwaukee Chapter was a program for International Women’s Day on Women and Violence. Peggy Hong, poet Laureate of Milwaukee, opened the program with poetry readings.This program featured a panel discussion which included a speaker on CEDAW – Diane Lindsley, a speaker on Domestic Abuse and the Rights of the Child – Carmen Pitre of the Mayor’s Task Force on Family Violence, a speaker on Youth and Violence in the Community – Jayme Montgomery of the Black Student Union. In addition the program featured a display of T-Shirts from the Clothesline Project which our branch had spearheaded for 9 years in the Milwaukee area. This program was coordinated by Rose Daitsman and Susan McGovern.
In April 2007, we donated some children’s books to a library where we held a program on the plight of the Palestinian people. The program featured Sister Virgine Lawler who reported on her trip to Palestine to help with the olive harvest there.
We hope to sponsor a program this fall to introduce the play “Dreams of an Undemolished Home” to the community. Janet Nortrom, WILPF member and chair of the Women’s Group at the Unitarian Chair and Rose Daitsman will arrange this program.
In addition, at least three of our members are involved in the Milwaukee Human Rights Coalition effort to prepare a shadow report on CERD.
Any questions, please contact Rose Daitsman 414-964-0863”