Past Program Updates

Program Update! February 11, 2007
A look at What's Happening In WILPF Program

U.S. Social Forum
Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign
Save the Water Campaign
DISARM Issue Committee

U.S. Social Forum
WILPF is planning a robust presence at the U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta, June 27-July1, 2007.

Attention! All Campaigns and Committees: 
submit your proposals as soon as possible since space for programs is limited and cannot be guaranteed.  Proposals are due March 1!

Submit proposals to: http://www.ussf2007.org/node/add/content_ussf_2007_session_propos
Please send duplicate proposals to Kate Zaidan at kzaidan@wilpf.org so WILPF can coordinate and publicize our work effectively.

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East
Several branches have asked for our Visioning Project toolkit to help discuss developing a feminist, activist U.S. policy in the Middle East.  We have nearly completed toolkit materials.  Until we send it, use the Study Guide to help you.  We also encourage discussions around Jimmy Carter's book, "Peace Not Apartheid," hopefully leading to a deeper understanding of complexities in the ongoing Middle East struggle.  We encourage linking the dual
occupations: Israel over Palestine, and the U.S. over Iraq and Afghanistan.  We remind members that articles posted on the website from WCUSP reflect the views of their authors, and may not represent the views of our leadership team or of the campaign.

Save the Water Campaign
At the Save the Water Campaign launched the Great Lakes Initiative, including the initial phone calls to the WILPF branch leaders who are active in the region. We are inviting them to participate in exploratory work to gather information regarding the extent of awareness of the problems related to pollution, access to portable water etc.  Depending on the responses, we would consider organizing regional forum or conference for the region to coordinate save the water actions. We held two member and branch-wide conference calls  on Feb. 5 and 6 to include people who are interested in the campaign who have not been active with the leadership team.  There was infusion of new energy as well as exchanges of branch activities, such as our presence at the Commission on Sustainable Development, presentations in University of Maryland Baltimore County campus and more.

DISARM!
Read EYE on Congress Alerts on 2008 military/domestic budget. Join March 5-9 DISARM visits to Congress. Send letters re budget and/or disarm issues c/o Kate Zaiden for hand delivery. Register now for March WILPF seminar on global military spending ( Geneva), GN annual space meeting (Darmstadt), April ANA D.C. Days, May NPT Prepcom (Vienna) or June Social Forum (Atlanta).   DISARM team members observe challenges to U.S. nuclear and war policies under international law.  All details at www.disarm.wilpf.org .


Program Update! January 11, 2007
A look at What's Happening In WILPF Program

U.S. Social Forum
Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign
DISARM Issue Committee

U.S. Social Forum
WILPF is planning a robust presence at the U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta, June 27-July1, 2007.

Attention! All Campaigns and Committees:  submit your proposals as soon as possible since space for programs is limited and cannot be guaranteed. 

Submit proposals to: http://www.ussf2007.org/node/add/content_ussf_2007_session_propos
Please send duplicate proposals to Kate Zaidan at kzaidan@wilpf.org so WILPF can coordinate our work effectively.

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East
Women Challenge U.S. Policy:  Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East (WCUSP) leadership team is compiling materials for the Woman’s Vision Project.   Materials will help members begin the process of forming a vision for an alternative U.S. policy in the Middle East, incorporating  a feminist, activist framework for a lasting peace, with  justice for all of the region's residents.  We are encouraged that a few of our branches are forging ahead with these discussions, and encourage our branches to use the Study  Guide which we have created.  Through discussions of current policy, many good ideas for change emerge.  To request our tool kit, created to guide you in visioning, email Kate Zaidan at kzaidan@wilpf.org.

DISARM!
Say NO to downgrading disarmament at the UN! Read the urgent action alert from Reaching Critical Will and the Geneva office at http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/action/saveDDA.html . Contact UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon now! Alert includes Ban's address, fax number and sample letter. Disarm Team members MacGregor Eddy and LInda Richards and a carload of Ashland OR WILPFers are in Tacoma Washington January 20-21 for Citizen's Hearings (  http://www.wartribunal.org/ ) on the illegality of the Iraq War under International Law prior to Lt. Watada's Court Martial. Read DISARM UPDATE for other current actions ( www.disarm.wilpf.org )


Program Update!
A look at What's Happening In WILPF Program

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign
DISARM Issue Committee
Corporations V. Democracy
Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee


Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East
Our Middle East Campaign, WCUSP, spent this past week writing an action alert for our members called "Starvation is Not the Path to Peace," Check it out at http://wilpf.org/campaigns/WCUSP/newsaction.htm. Our sections in the Middle East have responded that this is the right thing for us to do.  Our Israeli, Lebanese, and Palestinian sections are all alarmed that the escalation of violence in the region has caused a humanitarian crisis which effects the most vulnerable--children, elderly, etc.In addition to the alert, we continue to work on creating our materials for the Visioning Project on creating a feminist alternative foreign policy in the Middle East.

DISARM!
Boston WILPF Mil-Corp Project sent Joan Ecklein to Geneva to present a paper on citizen efforts to stop Bioweapons research at Boston University.  She spoke to delegates at the UN Sixth Bioweapons Treaty Review Conference.  Download the paper ( http://disarm.wilpf.org/septoct06/06bioweapons.htm) Read about WILPF efforts to save the Bioweapons Treaty ( http://disarm.wilpf.org/septoct06/06bioweapons.htm ).  And start an effective Mil-Corp project of your own! 

Corporations V. Democracy
Jan Edwards tells us of a controversial book that proposes to oppose corporate power by establishing a public trust for the commons.  "Capitalism 3.0" is by Peter Barnes, the founder of Working Assets.  You can download it at http://www.onthecommons.org.  We urge you to read it, discuss it, and let us all know what you think. 

Advancing Human Rights
The United Nations Association of Greater Milwaukee (WI) has asked AHR committee member Rose Daitsman to moderate a panel discussion on “Human Rights at Home” scheduled for Saturday, Dec.  9.  This discussion will be a follow-up to the Milwaukee Human Rights Coalition's very successful intergenerational roundtable held in September, with support from the WILPF Racial Justice Grant Program.  WILPF member and Milwaukee Poet Laureate Peggy Hong will open the event by reading from her work. 

At the request of several NGOs, the U.S.  State Department hosted a meeting this week to discuss the content and timeline for several human rights reports currently underway.  Tzili Mor represented WILPF at this meeting, and AHR will be taking up some of her suggestions for effective follow up.  In addition to some specific implementation issues, WILPF is concerned that the treaty monitoring process be as inclusive and educational as possible, involving state and local government officials as well as community-based groups and non-profit organizations.  Currently under construction are reports on two optional protocols under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, one having to do with children in armed conflict (recruitment and use of child soldiers, obligation for their reintegration and post conflict welfare) and the other on the "sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography." Also in process is the U.S.  periodic report under the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).  The State Department expects to submit these three reports in about six months, but it is unclear what if any input from organizations like WILPF will be sought or used.  The report will include appendices detailing "programs and partnerships" in South Carolina and Oregon, so we would like to be in touch with any WILPF human rights defenders from those two states immediately.  Also: please watch this space for possible future mobilizations in relation to the CERD reporting process.


Not a member? Need to renew? Join WILPF! Your membership dues support WILPF's work for racial and economic justice, "save the water", women's rights, disarmament, and ending U.S. intervention.
Go to http://wilpf.org/get-involved/join.htm

WILPF is a grassroots organization. We deeply appreciate your support of the United States Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. http://wilpf.org/get-involved/donate.htm


Program Update! November 16, 2006
A look at What's Happening In WILPF Program

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign
Save the Water Campaign
DISARM Issue Committee
Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee
Legislative Working Group
Women and Cuba

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East
Women Challenge U.S. Policy:  Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East (WCUSP) Leadership Team members met for planning in Austin, Texas, deciding to move ahead with actions for all of our branches and members' involvement.  Our first priority is the humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Territories resulting from reduction in aid to the Palestine Authority after the election of Hamas.  We are calling for the restoration of humanitarian aid and not arms sales. We also will do a special mailing on involvement in the campaign via study groups, a new  Visioning Project, having speakers, lobbying, and doing coalition work.

Save the Water
The Save the Water Campaign’s Leadership Team is busy designing and composing a brochure for the campaign. Nancy Price tabled for two and one-half days at the 17th Annual Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, CA. In the next weeks, the Campaign will sponsor three programs on water democracy and racial justice at which the award-winning documentary "In the Light of Reverence" will be shown.  On November 30, Caleen Sisk-Franco, of the Winnemem will talk about how the Mt. Shasta spring waters that are being taken for bottling by three different corporations. On December 2, Bay Area WILPF members are invited to an afternoon showing in San Francisco.  On December 6, an evening program titled "The Spirit of Water" will be sponsored at Southern Oregon University. Representatives of the Klamath and Winnemem Wintu tribes will speak. These programs are made possible through generous donation from the Pond Foundation Racial Justice Fund.


DISARM Issue Committee
Urgent EYE Alert asks members to help stop dangerous US/India nuclear deal  in lame duck Congress ( http://disarm.wilpf.org/NovDec06/IndiaEYE%20alert.htm).Tucson Raging Grannies invited to sing at court  trial   http://arizona.indymedia.org/news/2006/11/51961.php  . Boston Branch DISARM rep goes to the UN Bio-weapons Treaty Review Conference in Geneva (http://disarm.wilpf.org/septoct06/06bioweapons.htm ).    WILPF joins new national network pursuing war profiteers (http://disarm.wilpf.org/NovDec06/MerchantsofDeath.htm).

Check DISARM UPDATE weekly (www.disarm.wilpf.org).

Advancing Human Rights
WILPF AHR is making plans for involvement in the US Social Forum (USSF) which will be held in Atlanta June 27-July 1, 2007. WILPF will take a lead role in organizing the USSF Women's Working Group for the World Court of Women.  WILPF'ers wishing to take part in organizing the World Court of Women please contact Pat Willis at pwill06@coastalnet.com. AHR is co-sponsoring Human Rights: A tool for change in Massachusetts? Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 1pm to 5pm, Boston Public Library.  This conference is an opportunity to deepen understanding of international human rights and the role in their enforcement on this 58th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The Barnstable County Human Rights Commission (HRC) has been wildly active in our efforts. On September 25 at the Sandwich Town meeting we beat back an article proposed by the town selectmen that would have required all businesses to register that they did not nor would not hire  undocumented workers. Also, we will celebrate International Human Rights Day on Saturday, 9 December at Cape Cod Community College.  

Check out The AHR Webpage on 1325 in the US. at www.wilpf.org/humanrights/1325

WILPF Legislative Working Group
WILPF-wide Legislative Working Group (in formation)
In light of the recent election results, we would like to move quickly to create a cohesive, section-wide legislative platform. Items to be discussed include:

    * Congressional Action Network (CAN) - proposed by the Cuba Committee
    * Eye on Congress - expanding the Disarm Committee's e-newsletter
    * Best Practices for Legislative Action Alerts
    * Make Peace a Reality Postcard Project
    * Working with our active DC Branch
    * Creating a virtual legislative office.

The Legislative Working Group will work over email and via conference calls. Please email Program Chair C.J. Minster (cjminster@gmail.com) if you are interested in participating in this working group.

Women and Cuba

Cuba Issues will meet in conference call Monday to reassess our goals and future as an issues committee. Some members will attend the Peace Women International Conference in Cuba at the end of November. The Love Loss and Longing exhibit is touring the US and recently opened in Sacramento. Be on the lookout for it in your area or arrange a booking through the Latin American Working Group.(www.lawg.org)
Not a member? Need to renew? Join WILPF! Your membership dues support WILPF's work for racial and economic justice, "save the water", women's rights, disarmament, and ending U.S. intervention.
Go to http://wilpf.org/get-involved/join.htm

WILPF is a grassroots organization.
We deeply appreciate your support of the United States Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. http://wilpf.org/get-involved/donate.htm


Program Update! October 22nd,2006
A look at What's Happening In WILPF Program

Next Update Due: Thursday, November 2nd

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign
Save the Water Campaign
DISARM Issue Committee
Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee
Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East
Women Challenge U.S. Policy:  Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East (WCUSP) campaign has been preparing for a meeting the first weekend of November in Austin, TX, at which we will be working on our plans for the upcoming year.  We are focusing on how to get aid to the Palestinians back on the U.S. agenda. Hamas' election in a fair and democratic process led to the cut-off of U.S. aid and the refusal
of Israel to remit tax money collected from the Palestinians  while Hamas remains a part of the Palestinian government.  We are concerned about the humanitarian issue (high unemployment and other economic
issues have led to widespread malnutrition), the rise in animosity that occurs under these circumstances, and the right of one government to dictate to another who they can elect to leadership positions.
 
We are also publicizing our Feminist Study Guide on the Middle East  and we encourage branches to lead a study group and engage members in discussion on the included topics.  We are beginning to advertise to
other organizations.  We have heard  rave reviews of the guide and we are looking at publishing additional, smaller pamphlets on specific issues not included in the original, based on requests we have received for additional information for study.

Save the Water

Blue Water Campaign continued good part of October.  Many branches had house parties where videos such as “Theist, In the Light of Reverence” were shown.  There were discussions, and action plans materialized in the several branches. There were water related conferences in Cape Cod and other pars of MA, NY, and NH and Olivia Zink and Nancy Price led some of the workshops. Linda Park and Yoshiko Ikuta attended the Great Lakes Restoration Conference sponsored by coalition of environmental organizations around the Great Lakes including Canada and Wisconsin.  The attendees were members of various government environmental agencies and nonprofit NGOs such as Sierra Club.

 Yoshiko expressed some concerns about the news of the plans for the US Navy using Great Lakes for target practice.  We talked about organizing protest actions.  There are enough environmental, commercial and recreational groups expressing their opposition to such plans.  Unfortunately, Canada approved (begrudgingly) the US Navy proposal.

There will be a few Leadership team members attending in the US Social Forum to be held in Atlanta, GA from June 27 to July 1 in 2007.  See www.ussf2007.org for more details. Because it is more of the grassroots organizing by minority groups, we might learn something new and refreshing.  There will be a conference call about preparing for this forum and few Nancy Munger and Nancy Price will represent the Water Campaign for the conference call.

The new anti-bottled water brochure will be made available soon.  The branches should contact Kate Zaidan at the National Office if interested.

GATS Initiative Update: Negotiators for the WTO are drafting new rules that will allow corporations to challenge national, state and local regulations just because the regulations might be considered too “burdensome” for corporate business interests.    Under these “domestic regulation” rules---local and national laws protecting water and water services – could become violations of the GATS regulation.  One could foresee how the corporate policy such as WTO and GATS would supersede any regulations formulated by the democratically elected government entities, and people would lose much of protection for safe water access and thus promote further privatization of water.

DISARM Issue Committee
Participate in the WILPF post card campaign supporting H R 2420 and a ban on weapons in space. (http://www.wilpf.org/legislative/postcards.htm ) Read about Vandenberg Air Force Base demonstration with eleven Japanese anti-nuclear activists for Keep Space for Peace Week and brief reports on other KP4S events at http://disarm.wilpf.org/septoct06/WILPFKP4Sevents.htm . DISARM  also needs longer reports, including photos when possible, for submission to the United Nations World Space Week  (October 4 to 10) for printing in their annual publication.  (Send to caroldisarm@gmail.com) Details on the UN week, sponsored largely by aerospace corporations like Lockheed and Raytheon are at http://disarm.wilpf.org/July-August%2006/UNworldspaeweek.htm .

Minneapolis/St Paul Branch is now using the Mil-Corp Manual as a basis for their Challenging Corporate Power study of local war profiteering corporations.  Ellen Barfield, Carol Urner and MacGregor Eddy of the DISARM team met with the Branch during KS4P week and also participated in a demonstration at Alliant Tech (major missile defense and nuclear weapons contractor).  The three team members were there for the national Merchants of Death Networking Conference (facilitated by War Resisters League and co-sponsored by WILPF). Read a report at  http://disarm.wilpf.org/septoct06/merchantsofdeath.htm

Also read WILPF statements on the North Korean nuclear test, join the AHR/CEDAW reading group on Women and the U.S. Budget, and lots more on DISARM UPDATE at   www.disarm.wilpf.org .

Building the Beloved Community

Sha'an Mouliert will be facilitating Star Power at Illinois College's Women's Conference October 28th.  She'll also be part of panel discussing women being active participants in society.  November 4th Sha'an will be facilitating a conflict resolution workshop with WCUSP Leadership Team in Austin, TX.

Advancing Human Rights
The AHR “Virtual Book Read” featuring Jane Midgley’s Women and the U.S. Budget is up and running. The main page for the book read is http://wilpf.org/book_readings/  and it has a link at the bottom left corner to the sign in page for the book read. Jane Midgley’s comments have been posted. WILPF made announcements in the Branch Mailings and in the all members’ e-mailing on October 4. Scotty Michaelson, discussion moderator reports that although twenty-five people have contacted him about joining the group, only 12 have registered on-line. It’s not too late to participate. New topics are introduced each Tuesday. Copies of the book are available for purchase at a reduced price through the WILPF website.

Intergenerational Community Roundtable on Human Rights held at the America’s Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee on September 15 exceeded the organizing committee’s expectations with around 80 people in attendance. The committee agreed to write a local city statue for Human Rights, and formed a drafting subcommittee. There was good participation and discussion, following introductory remarks by AHR co-chair Laura Roskos. Watch for more details and Rose’s picture in the forthcoming issue of Peace and Freedom!

WILPF has formed a subcommittee to coordinate our presence at the US Social Forum planned for Atlanta, June 27-July 1, 2007. Pat Willis is representing WILPF on the National Women’s Caucus Working Group (WCWG), which meets monthly in conference calls facilitated by WCWG chair, Loretta Ross. Pat has proposed that the WCWG hold a World Court of Women as their high profile event; two other proposals have been made to the WCWG as well as a motion to form a subcommittee on Peace and Security. The WCWG has been established to monitor and ensure gender equity in the USSF program and to facilitate working relationships among women’s organizations planning to be part of this event. If you wish to be included in the WILPF subcommittee or want more information about how to get involved in the USSF, please contact Pat Willis at pwill06@coastalnet.com. Pat is also working with Nicci Simmons of 1000 Peace Women Around the Globe to organize a workshop on UN Resolution 1325 at the WSF 2007 in Nairobi.

Laura Roskos and Gillian Gilhool attended the inaugural meeting of working group established by the National Council of Women’s Organizations to further develop the Coordinated Strategy to Prevent War: A Women’s Agenda plan of action. Committee member Phyllis Yingling is renewing the relationships she built during her years as WILPF President in an effort to gauge the level of support for this proposal among some of the NCWO’s 200 member organizations. The working group has until Nov. 14 to complete its feasibility analysis. If you want to help with outreach, coordination or technology for this large scale effort, contact Laura Roskos at Roskos@masscedaw.org.

Not a member? Need to renew? Join WILPF! Your membership dues support WILPF's work for racial and economic justice, "save the water", women's rights, disarmament, and ending U.S. intervention.
Go to http://wilpf.org/get-involved/join.htm

WILPF is a grassroots organization.
We deeply appreciate your support of the United States Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. http://wilpf.org/get-involved/donate.htm


Program Update! A look at What's Happening In WILPF Program
September 22, 2006

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign

Save the Water Campaign
DISARM Issue Committee
Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee
Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee

1. Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East

Members of the WCUSP leadership team are making plans for a planning retreat in November.  A major emphasis for the next month or so will be attempting to get aid restored to the Palestine Authority, emphasizing the humanitarian costs of the removal of aid when Hamas was chosen in the democratic elections which the U.S. had urged.  We will be stressing the dire economic status of Palestinians, especially in the Gaza Strip, which has been exacerbated by the cut-off of these funds. Leadership team member Yvonne Simmons recently attended the IEC meeting and has filmed commentary by attendees there from our sections in the Middle East.  We continue to speak to branches as requested, with recent talks to Montclair, NJ, and Delaware County, PA, as well as other locations, and a planned talk in San Diego.  Our work on the
recently-released  Feminist Action Guide to Challenging US Policy is getting a lot of "buzz" and we hope all of the branches will take up the guided discussion as laid out therein, and will keep up with current events by going on-line. Order the guide online at www.wilpf.org

2. Save the Water

Linda Park, a LT member from Cleveland is attending the Second annual Great lakes Conference. The event is sponsored by the Healing Our Waters Great lakes Coalition from 9/22 to 9/24. The conference features sessions organized around the Great Lakes Regional  Collaboration’s strategy teams, which are designed to identify concrete steps  for the water restoration efforts.

Blue October: Several Water LT members will be involved in these events. Blue October is an international month of action to challenge corporate control of water and to protect water as a shared natural resource available to all. On October 31, 2004, the people of Uruguay voted to amend their constitution to recognize this fundamental right. The constitution now guarantees that piped water and sanitation be available to all Uruguayans, and it bans for-profit corporations from supplying this public good. Blue October celebrates this historic move by challenging corporate control of water through global action!

Organizing activities are taking place around the world during the coming month of October. Some events include a 3-day conference in Montevideo , Uruguay , Oct. 28-31, a youth environmental school in Colombia, protest at the Coca-Cola India headquarters in Gurgaon, India, House Parties across the U.S.to build support for the  Stop Suez Campaign, featuring the new documentary film Fuere(Get Out!), street celebrations in La Paz , including a dance show by the Cochabamba dance group based on the water war of 2000, tap water challenges as part of the Think Outside the Bottle Campaign, a variety of civil society actions around the United Kingdom to show support  right-to-water including sign-ons and photo stunts, and a kick-off of the Mexican campaign "The right to water in the Constitution" with activities in several states of the country.
                            


3. DISARM Issue Committee

Yesterday, for International Peace Day, Boston WILPF led Boston women's organizations in hosting Helen Caldicott in a series of events.  Thanks for so much hard work from Boston WILPFers.  Report your own events to carol.disarm@gmail.com  and read about them on DISARM UPDATE.
 
Space for Peace Week is upon us!  Click on  http://disarm.wilpf.org/July-August%2006/KSFPja.htm for lots of resources from WILPF, Global Network, and Reaching Critical Will. Also access info on UN World Space Week and our plans to report all events to the UN in support of  existing Outer Space treaties and a new PAROS treaty or protocol banning weapons and war in space.
 
Check out the strong international resolution just passed at the IEC meetings in London at http://www.wilpf.int.ch/resolutions/2006.htm#paros . WILPF hopes every Branch (and member-at-large!) will DO SOMETHING, however simple, and report to WILPF at carol.disarm@gmail.com . If possible report your plans by September 27  for inclusion on the Global Network list, but we'll keep collecting reports until mid-October.
 
On September 29 DISARM Team members MacGregor Eddy, Ellen Barfield and Carol Urner will all be coming into Minneapolis/St Paul to meet with the WILPF Branch there and to take part in the WRL facilitated, WILPF co-sponsored Merchants of Death Conference.  MacGregor Eddy will lead workshops on  war profiteers in the space program as we seek to build a national network of Mil-Corp watchers working for conversion to a peace economy. Monday, October 2, Gandhi's birthdate, WILPF will join a demonstration at Alliant, a major space and nuclear war profiteer. We hope for many WILPF events around the world during the week, and on Saturday, October 7 many organizations will again gather at Vandenberg Air Force Base for the twice annual major demonstration there against the U.S. military space program and its war promoting profiteers.

4. Building the Beloved Community

 
The BBC is updating it's website to include more resources.  Vickie Fouts of Fresno, CA has proposed a Pledge to Heal Racism in My Life.  It can be accessed at: www.icujp.org/04.10.06_racism.html.  Feel free to print the pledge and collect signatures under it for your branch or to return to the original organizers, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace:  www.icujp.org.  New WILPFer and BBC member Ashley Reynolds from Decatur, AL shared with the committee the media blackout regarding the current "disaster recovery" legislation designed to keep poor people and people of color out of New Orleans.   Although the federal and state governments are providing large amounts of aid to homeowners, businesses, and landowners, almost no money is dedicated to helping renters.  Ashley is in the process of sending letters to notables to alert them of the situation and hopes to get a response to rectify this injustice.  For more information, you can contact her at: equalaccessalabama@hotmail.com.

5. Advancing Human Rights

The Advancing Human Rights committee submitted a proposal to the National Council of Women's Organizations on developing "A Coordinated Strategy to End War: A Women's Agenda." It  was well-received, in 3 minutes, and unanimously referred to staff and steering committee to report back on feasibility and going forward or not at the November meeting. There were eight instant seconds from the floor. The issue committee is also launching a book club on Jane Midgley's book "A Women's Budget". Details on how to join will be emailed soon, in the meantime, you can order the book by going to wilpf.org/resources. The UNSCR 1325 webpage is online! Check it out at http://wilpf.org/issues/humanrights/scr_1325.html.

Not a member? Need to renew? Join WILPF! Your membership dues support WILPF's work for racial and economic justice, "save the water", women's rights, disarmament, and ending U.S. intervention.
Go to http://wilpf.org/get-involved/join.htm

WILPF is a grassroots organization.
We deeply appreciate your support of the United States Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. http://wilpf.org/get-involved/donate.htm


Program Update! 9-12-06
Next Update Due: Thursday, September 21st

*****************************
Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee
Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee
Cuba Issue Committee
DISARM Issue Committee
Corporations V. Democracy Issue Committee
*****************************

1. Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee

AHR update on planning for WILPF’s participation in the US Social Forum (USSF)in Atlanta June 27-July 1, 2007.  AHR co-chair Pat Willis participated in what she considered a very exciting conference call with the USSF Women's Caucus conference call. Pat will be on a monthly conference call up until the USSF in June 27-July 1 2007. Next call is Sept 22 at 1pm EST. Others welcome to join by contacting Pat at pwill06@coastalnet.com for info or registering on-line at www.circleconnections.com for upcoming call notices. Several decisions were made on this first call including a theme for the Women’s Caucus and events: "Another World is Possible for Women"  Those interested in being on this working group should contact WILPF Program Chair, C.J. Minster (cjminster@g-mail.com) and AHR co-chair Pat Willis (pwill06@coastalnet.com).

AHR Committee member from Milwaukee, Rose Daitsman has been the lead organizers for The Milwaukee Human Rights Coalition’s intergenerational roundtable on human rights. Two local heroes who have recently passed away will be honored at this event, including James Cameron, founder of America’s Black Holocaust Museum.

Watch for registration information for AHR’s “Virtual Book Club” featuring Jane Midgley’s Women and the U.S. Budget.  Copies of the book are available for purchase at a reduced price through the WILPF website.


2. Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee
Buidling the Beloved Community issues committee has sent a letter to CBS in protest of their upcoming season of 'Survivor" where teams will be split long race lines. Several members of BBC sent their own letters.

Fresno, CA WILPF's Uprooting Racism book discussion group and many of it's members also sent letters to CBS corporate office and local affiliate. Fresno WILPF & their Uprooting Racism book group members joined local Methodist churches and others in a protest at the local CBS
station on Sunday, September 10th. The Methodist Church called for protest at local affiliates nationwide.


3. Cuba Issue Committee

Latin American Working Group's latest publication, "Retreat from Reason: U.S-Cuban Academic Relations and the Bush Administration"  will be publicly presented on September 18, 2006 from 4-6 pm at The George Washington University's Elliot School building ( Suite 601)  located at 1957 E. St, NW in Washington, DC.  "The report examines the history of and regulations on academic, scientific, and cultural exchange between the United States and Cuba. It is  written by an international team of U.S. and Cuban scholars.

Reminder of the March and Forum in Washington DC on September 23rd in support of the Cuban Five. Especially after the outrageous 11th Circuit decision denying them a new trial, we have a deep sense of duty to be in front of the White House to demand their freedom.


4. DISARM Issue Committee

 
All Branches are encouraged to participate in Keep Space for Peace Week October 1 to 8.  WILPF is co-sponsoring internationally and nationally with Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.  Access resources at http://disarm.wilpf.org/July-August%2006/KSFPja.htm.  This year WILPF is reporting all events to the United Nations (UNOOSA) in support of the 1967 Treaty on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and also of negotiations to a new treaty on Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space. Please encourage other organizations to sponsor their own events.  Send all reports to WILPF at carol.disarm@google.com.  Vandenberg Air Force Base Protest October 7.  Download the flier for the Space for Peace Week demonstration co-sponsored by WILPF and GN at http://www.vpeaceldf.org/docs/Oct7flyer.pdf. Merchants of Death Conference, September 27 to October 2.  MacGregor Eddy and DISARM co-chairs Ellen Barfield and Carol Urner will join in developing a nationwide network monitoring and challenging war profiteers. They will visit with Minneapolis and St. Paul WILPF and participate in a demonstration at Alliant for Space for Peace Week.  Alliant also produces cluster bombs, DU and nuclear weapons.The gathering is facilitated by War Resisters League and co-sponsored by WILPF and others.

5.Corporations V. Democracy Issue Committee

>From the C. v. D. Issue Committee:  The C. v. D. subcommittee of Jim  and Tomi Allison, Maggie Rawland, Sherry Hutchison and Virginia  Rasmussen completed the revision of the CCP, APR study packet and  sent it to Kate Zaidan for final edit and production.  Production  will be aided by money from the annual C. v. D. budget.  Upcoming  event:  Forum on Electronic Voting Machines:  Democracy at Risk,  sponsored by the Bloomington (IN)  branch, Sept. 13.

Good luck,
Jim and Tomi Allison

 


Program Update! 7 - 06

Next update due: Thursday, July 13

WCUSP Campaign
Cuba Issues Committee
Corporations V. Democracy Issues Committee
DISARM Issues Committee

WCUSP issued an Action Alert on June 29. It begins:

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, US Section calls upon the US government to unequivocally condemn Israeli use of  collective punishment and illegal detention.

Please read the entire alert at:
http://wilpf.org/campaigns/WCUSP/articles/collective_punishment.html

On June 21, WCUSP launched the "Restore US Aid to the Palestinian Authority" Campaign.
From our press release:

"Our demands are clear." said National Campaign Organizer Libby Frank of WILPF U.S. "The U.S. must accept the January 2006 election of Hamas as the voice of Palestinian people and re-instate funds that have been illegally withheld since the election."

Update from Cuba Issues:
IFCO/Pastors for Peace.  A number of banches will sponsor stops for the caravanistas and some on the issues committee will be participants in the challenge.Dates follow
June 17-July 1: Caravan routes with educational presentations and aid collections throughout the US and Canada.
 
The Trilateral Sister Cities Conference in Kingston, ON. was a success.  WILPF was a sponsor and Carol, Nancy, Lisa , Regina or myself would be glad to share details with those interested.
 
It is my understanding that the Women and Peace conference slated for Nov in Cuba will not take place. We propose working on a smaller scale conference by and for WILPF women in CUBA in the upcoming year.

Corporations V. Democracy
The Des Moines branch will host David Korten, author of “When  Corporations Rule the World,” Oct. 5-8.

The Cape Care Resolution Campaign (www.capecare.info) means to put  health care decisions  into community hands.  The resolution has  passed in 9 of 12 town meetings. Next step:  Specify the plan.

The Bloomington branch condensed Greg LeRoy’s book on corporate tax  dodging for distribution to local officials, who have since become  more resistant to corporate tax subsidies.  See bloomingtonwilpf.org,  “Local Agenda.”

DISARM!  Dismantle the War Economy program report, June 16, 2006

STOP MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAN!  DISARM and WCUSP jointly developed a WILPF statement on U.S-Iran relations  and suggestions for Branch action.  Find them in your Branch  Quarterly mailing packet and on www.wilpf.org, Both items and  lots of background details and links on the current Iran crisis are at http://disarm.wilpf.org/May%20June/Iran-India.htm .  (We must keep up the pressure.  The U.S. has at last offered to enter into direct negotiations with Iran, but we must emphasize unconditional and  ensure failure is not used to justify bombings.)

NO NUKES! NO WARS! Campaign during Hiroshima/Nagasaki week.  WILPF has a major role in this national/international effort.  Read all about it, access important links, loads of information and report your own actions to the world at http://disarm.wilpf.org/May%20June/Hiroshima.htm

KEEP SPACE FOR PEACE WEEK plans proceed apace.  WILPF is co-sponsoring this annual week nationally and internationally with Global Network.  Start your own plans now and see  http://disarm.wilpf.org/May%20June/KSFP2006.htm .

Read lots more on the DISARM UPDATE home page at www.disarm.wilpf.org. Read MacGregor Eddy’s statement at sentencing for Vandenberg action at http://disarm.wilpf.org/May%20June/MacGregorsentencing.htm ,  Submit your own Branch anti-war and disarm related events to carol.disarm@gmail.com .


Program Update! 5-23-06
Next update due: June 1, 2006

DISARM
Advancing Human Rights
Cuba
Haiti

DISARM!! Dismantle the War Economy
 
(Details on these items and more are on DISARM UPDATE. Focus issue is  Iran and India: Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power. Go to  www.disarm.wilpf.org

CURRENT ACTIONS:

May 20 Armed Forces Day demonstration at Vandenberg Air Force Base.  Co-sponsored by WILPF DISARM with participation of California WILPF Branches near Vandenberg. Check DISARM UPDATE for details.
May 28 Shoshone people demonstrate at Nevada Test site against Divine Strake simulated nuclear bunker buster test.  WILPF endorses the Shoshone actions and MacGregor Eddy of DISARM team will represent us there.
Recent Branch Actions:   May 13 Philadelphia Branch sponsored Phyllis Bennis on Challenging Empire: How, People, Governments and the UN Defy U.S. Power.   Read the book!  Watch our website for Boston Branch report on successful recent meeting with WILPF sponsor Yolanda King on living the way of nonviolence.   More reports on great Branch Events on http://disarm.wilpf.org/May%20June/Branch%20events.htm . Send yours!
Reports on DISARM and the UFPJ nuclear tent, April 29 are now up on our DISARM UPDATE website.  DISARM works closely with the UFPJ nuclear weapons working group led by member Jackie Cabasso.

COMING EVENTS:

June 23-28: World Peace Conference in Vancouver, Canada.  Four members of DISARM team and Susi Snyder plan to go.  ABOLITION 2000 and Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space annual international meetings will take place there.   Register NOW!

August 6-9:   Time to plan for Hiroshima Nagasaki week.  DISARM can provide information on corporations near you profiting from nuclear weapons.   Raise community awareness of WMD in our midst!

October 1-8: Keep Space for Peace Week posters and event registration forms are ready now.  Let the WILPF office know how many you need. WILPF is co-sponsoring the week nationally and internationally.

###

Advancing Human Rights

We are seeking organizational endorsements for a shadow report documenting US violations of Article 20, paragraph one, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), prohibiting "any propaganda for war." If you are connected to any peace and justice, civil libertarian, or media advocacy groups who might be interested, please e-mail Gillian (grgilhool@verizon.net) or Laura (masscedaw@yahoo.com) and we'll be happy to forward the report along with endorsing procedures to the relevant organizational contact. This report will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee at the end of May for consideration in advance of the committee's meeting with US government's delegation in July. Resolutions condemning US violations of the ICCPR and the International Convention Against Torture have been introduced at the annual meetings of the American Humanist Association and the National Women's Studies Association. If you would like help drafting a similar resolution for adoption by a group to which you belong, please let Gillian or Laura know.

###

Women & Cuba

1. WILPF endorsed the May 20 Hands Off Venezuela and Cuba National March and Rally in Washington DC. We encourage all those who can to attend this important event to protest current U.S. foreign policy towards these two countries.   Similarly coordinated events occurred in other cities including Los Angeles and Seattle.

2.  WILPF has also endorsed the Trienniel U.S.-Canada-Cuba Conference to be held on June 9 - 11 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  for more information, check out www.uscsca.org  The conference will have representatives from all of the Cuban provinces and will be the largest delegation to visit North America.

###

Haiti
Haiti Issue Committee Report, April, 2006
Haiti Featured at the Venezuela Solidarity Conference:
In early March, WILPF Haiti Issue Committee members, Marge Van Cleef, Joan Drake, Jacqueline Nerrette and Shirley Pate, offered a workshop on Haiti at the National Venezuela Solidarity Conference that was held in Washington, DC.  The workshop was well-attended and included a lively Q&A session.  From solidarity activists to Venezuelan government officials, it appears that Haiti is a priority and will always have a place on the Venezuelan agenda.

Haitian President-elect, Rene Preval, Visits US:
The President-elect of Haiti, Rene Preval paid a visit to the United States during the week of March 27.   He first visited New York where he participated in a special UN Security Council session on Haiti.  In this session, Mr. Preval stressed the need for significant international assistance to help rebuild Haiti.  Further, he requested that the UN peacekeeping force, MINUSTAH, remain in Haiti a while longer to establish security in the country.  Yet, he specifically stated that he wants MINUSTAH to focus its resources on training Haitian police, whose numbers he plans to increase once he assumes the presidency.

Mr. Preval arrived in Washington on March 29.  Members of the Haiti Issue Committee participated in activities surrounding the visit of Haiti’s President-elect, Rene Preval, to Washington, March 28-30. Mr. Preval was received at the White House by George Bush and was received by the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States.  The final event in the US was a talk before (and with) the Haitian community of Washington.  Over 400 attended.

It should be noted that regardless of the venue, Mr. Preval was consistent in his remarks about the need to help the poor of Haiti.

A very insightful assessment of the challenges that lie ahead for  President-elect Preval and the people of Haiti can be found in the April 1, 2006 press statement of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) entitled, “Giving Haiti’s New President a Good Launch,” at: http://shrunklink.com/?dgx

May 18 – Day of International Solidarity with the People of Haiti:

It was on May 18, 1803, during the slave revolution, that the flag that would represent the soon-to-be Republic of Haiti was born.  It is a huge holiday in Haiti and wherever Haitians are found in the Diaspora.  Over recent years, the Haitian military and ex-soldiers have tried to claim the holiday as their own.  But, the people maintain that it is a day to rejoice in their independence from colonial occupation and should have nothing to do with militarization.

In this spirit, several Haiti solidarity groups are sponsoring an international day of solidarity with the people of Haiti.  They are asking that those who wish to organize an event in their community consider organizing panel discussions and teach-ins, show Haiti films, hold a protest, etc.

You can find complete information about May 18 Haiti Liberation Day Activities at:
http://www.margueritelaurent.com/solidarityday/18_06pressrel.html
Submitted by Shirley Pate:  magbana@aol.com

Program Update! 5-8-06
Next update due: May 18, 2006

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East (WCUSP)
Water Campaign Program Update
Corporations V. Democracy
Advancing Human Rights
DISARM
Building the Beloved Community
Haiti

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East (WCUSP)

Join our email list! To communicate with other WILPFers active in the WCUSP campaign, or simply for more information, please subscribe to our new email list:
http://wilpf.org/mailman/listinfo/wcusp_wilpf.org

Leadership Team Available for Branch / Community Visits
Leadership team member Libby Frank just got home from speaking to several Northern California branches, including San Francisco, Berkeley, and Palo Alto. She was also a featured guest on Pacifica radio last week. If you would like to hear from a member of our leadership team in person, and can provide travel expenses and hospitality, please contact our speakers bureau coordinator, Barbara Taft, at beejayssite@yahoo.com

Stop Cat Initiative

We encourage you to look into how the US government funds and facilitates the sale of Caterpillar equipment to the Israeli government for use in the destruction of homes and lives in Palestine. As you know, a Caterpillar bulldozer killed Rachel Corrie, a young American peace activist. Her family is currently suing Caterpillar and the Israeli government, and WCUSP is organizing to insist that the case be handled within the court system, rather than by the administrative or legislative branches. To become active in this initiative, please contact Marlene Santoyo at marlsan@cavtel.net

Democracy Now! segment:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/16/1458237
Stop Caterpillar campaign:
http://www.catdestroyshomes.org/article.php?id=516
Jewish Voice for Peace:
http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/publish/Corrie_v_Caterpillar.shtml

Human Rights at Home and Abroad Initiative
We are extremely concerned for the fate of Dr. Sami Al-Arian, who has been wrongfully imprisoned by the US government since February 20, 2003. He recently agreed to a plea agreement with the US government, with the understanding that he would immediately be freed and voluntarily deported from the US. Instead, the presiding judge sentenced him to more time in prison. To become active in this initiative, please contact Barbara Taft at beejayssite@yahoo.com

Background information from WILPF: http://wilpf.org/campaigns/WCUSP/ME%20peace%20action.htm#freesami
Arab American News reports on the plea agreement:
http://www.arabamericannews.com/newsarticle.php?articleid=4999
New York Sun reports on the biased sentencing:
http://www.nysun.com/article/31973

Dual Occupation Initiative
Occupation is wrong, period. We call on our sister WILPFers who are active in anti-Iraq war actions, to join us in this initaitive. We want people to understand the connection between US and Israeli military occupations, and the collusion between the two governments. If you would like to be in touch with us on this issue, please contact Odile Hugonot Haber at odilehh@gmail.com

Study Guide Coming Soon
We realize that many WILPFers would like to use a study guide to delve into our campaign. Our subcommittee - Odile, Pat, Yvonne, and Barbara - has been hard at work gathering articles for this guide. We expect it to be available by the end of the month. In the meantime, please join our listserv and check both the main WILPF website and the WILPF blog for educational material.
Listserv: http://wilpf.org/mailman/listinfo/wcusp_wilpf.org
Website: http://wilpf.org/campaigns/WCUSP/
Blog: http://wilpf.blogspot.com

respectfully submitted by C.J. Minster, WCUSP National Board member

Water Campaign Program Update: 5/8/2006
    * In Michigan, actions are being taken to prevent diversion of Great Lakes water by taking actions regarding SB 850 to HB 5366 so that any diversion of Great Lakes water would require approval by the legislature.  Current Water Resources Development Act -- a federal law that gives governors of the Great Lakes states the authority to veto  out-of basin diversions is not strong enough.   Nestle Water Corporation is challenged in a lawsuit.
    * Nancy Price attended Grassroots Action Festival in New York and presented the concept of “Precautionary Principle”
    * Cape Cod Group is creating a brochure describing adverse health effect of bottled water.
    * Santa Cruz branch is going strong with the Water Issue Study Group
    * Cleveland branch participated in Peace Week event held at Cleveland State University.     "In the Light of Reverence" was shown. 
    * The leadership team members accepted Angel Shannon's offer to be a point person.
    * Angel Shannon is proposing to write a statement re: Access to Water as Human Right. Nancy Price is proposing to write an article about Inside Bottled water.  Both offers were gratefully accepted by the rest of the leadership team.
###

Corporations V. Democracy

 Twenty plus people attended the 10-session "Challenge Corporate  Power" course initiated by the Des Moines branch, whose members are  planning a film festival for September.  The revision of the WILPF  study packet continues apace.  


Advancing Human Rights
WILPF intern Kriti Fults completed her project of designing a resource kit to encourage branches to hold workshops on Security Council Resolution 1325, and mailed out a prototype to AHR committee members last week. Kristi will be looking for feedback over the summer, before making the kits more broadly available. She has also decided to sign-on as a much welcomed permanent member of the AHR committee! Congratulations to Kristi on her graduation from Bryn Mawr and upcoming wedding.
 Also apropos SCR 1325: WILPF U.N. staff member Milkah Kihunah spoke at Columbia University on Thursday, May 4 on the topic of "Gender-Based Violence in the Conflict in Darfur."

AHR along with Disarm worked to enlist the US section of WILPF as an endorser of a national day of action to stop “Divine Strake,” a test planned for June 2 at the Nevada Test Site on Western Shoshone land. This operation will involve the explosion of a 700 ton “bunker buster.” Because the goal is to stop the test, and to not expose anyone to undue health risks from the actual blast, protest actions will take place at the Nevada Test Site Peace Camp, located across Highway 95 from the test site and in local communities on May 28th. A flyer describing Divine Strake and plans for the day of action was prepared and distributed at the April 29th rally and march in NYC by WILPF’s very capable program director, Kate Zaidan. Go Kate!

WILPF also signed on to a 50 page shadow report detailing “Gender and Sexualised Violence in the context of Detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, and Afghanistan & Privately Inflicted Violence.” This report which connects U.S. use of sexualized torture to its complacent tolerance of domestic and intimate partner abuse was prepared by the International Women’s Human Rights Law Clinic at City University of New York’s School of Law. Over the coming months, AHR committee members will be working to publicize the contents of this report among US women's organizations and the academic community. Follow-up work with committee members will by done by staff of WILPF International’s office in Geneva. The U.N. Committee on Torture questioned the U.S. about its record of compliance with the International Convention against Torture in Geneva on Friday, May 5. The AHR committee, and in particular Gillian Gilhool, is continuing work on a shadow report detailing U.S. violations of Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which will be taken up by the U.N. Human Rights Committee in July. 

AHR committee member Laura Roskos will be presenting at a workshop on “Lessons from Katrina: Engaging students in documenting violations of economic human rights in our communities” on May 16. This training will provide faculty and service learning professionals with a general framework for how to carry out a human rights documentation project and how to apply it as a service learning tool in the classroom. Participants will learn about what Economic Human Rights are and how they are protected by the UN system, will participate in hands-on exercises analyzing human rights violations after Hurricane Katrina, and will learn about ongoing human rights documentation projects that they can engage in with their classes. This workshop is sponsored by the Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights and S.O.U.L.S. Community Service Center at Suffolk University, the Massachusetts CEDAW Project, Massachusetts Campus Compact, Human Rights Educational Associates, and the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative.  

DISARM
WCUSP please note that Ellen Barfield, DISARM co-chair, is back from her latest trip to the Middle East and is available to speak to Branches.  This time she travelled to Israel and Palestine to meet with former Israeli and Palestinian enemy war fighters now seeking non-violent solutions. Ellen has considerable experience in Middle Eastern issues from which to share.  Save the Water please note that DISARM is working with a UFPJ alliance to feature Bechtel's role in nuclear weapons development during the HIroshima/Nagasaki week memorials and demonstrations.  DISARM and Save the Water can link on this issue, since Bechtel is a major corporation involved in water privatization, as featured in the video Thirst.  Go to our May-June DISARM UPDATE which can now be accessed at  www.disarm.wilpf.org or indirectly through the WILPF home page. Download the latest EYE Alert: your letters and phone calls have resulted in another  victory since now the Senate and the House have both voted for no permanent bases in Iraq.  But now we have to fight the first funding for a laser anti-satellite weapon, a long step toward war in space.  Californians please note: the flier for the May 20 WILPF DISARM co-sponsored demonstration at Vandenberg Air Force Base can also be downloaded from the UPDATE, as well as lots of other current information.  The focus issue for May-June is Iran and India: Nuclear weapons and Nuclear Power. You'll plenty of information available, WILPF statements, and suggestions for action. Also read the Shoshone plans to resist the simulated nuclear test, Divine Strake, on June 2. WILPF has joined the supporting coalition and we urge WILPFers to help raise the issue in their local communities, or at the Nevada test site. And finally, access the great new WILPF Legislative Toolkit feature that will facilitate sending emails to Congress or newspaper editors directly from our WILPF website.  Thanks to Dave, our great webmaster! for this new feature!

Building the Beloved Community
      From Vickie Fouts of Fresno, CA...

I was one of the speakers at the Fresno May Day - A Day Without Immigrants event, representing WILPF and the only white speaker. I told the crowd I was mainly there as a white women, a social justice activist and a white ally to all people of color. I told them that HR4437 etc isn't just a brown issue, but must also be a white issue, especially for white progressives who say they are for social justice, just because it is the right thing to do. I told them that if undocumented workers are to become felons the new prisons, prison guards and cost to house the prisoners will mainly be paid for by white middle-class tax payers. The white middle-class who employs undocumented gardeners, housekeepers, nannies could also become felons. I asked my white brothers and sisters to join the struggle. I did forget to say that it is a human rights issue, not a race issue. But we often think of better things to say after the event.

My speech was interrupted several times with rounds of cheers and applause. When I returned to the crowd several people thanked me. It warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

There were few progressives and whites in the crowd As some have said this was an event for immigrants and not for white progressives, but I feel it was important for me to be there as an ally. Maybe next time there will be thousands of us who attend as allies.

I believe that WILPF was one of the very few progressive mainly white groups who endorsed the event. I believe I was asked to speak because I have worked hard the past four years to work with communities of color and have attended their events and have tried to be a good white ally as much as I can and personally knew almost all of the planners. We must walk our talk when we talk about working for diversity and with the working-class. It has been hard work but yesterday talking to a sea of 15,000 people made it all worth it. I felt proud, honored and strong to have been called to speak. You can check out pictures of the event if you wish at http://www.indybay.org/news/2006/05/1819583.php and see what I saw as I stood on the 2nd floor balcony of our City Hall and addressed the crowd. It was awesome!

I guess what I am saying that doing hard work to be a white ally does work and is noticed. It is worth the time and effort.

               From Donna Lamb of New York City, NY...
On April 11th I conducted my workshop "White Privilege: What Is it, and How Does It Show Itself?" at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. Then, April 26 - 29 I was at the 7th annual White Privilege Conference, held this year at the University of Missouri at St. Louis, facilitating  2 sessions on "The White Response to Black Reparations."

               From Jeanmarie Simpson of Reno, Nevada...
On April 29, Cameron Crain and I presented "A Single Woman" in Santa Cruz for the annual fundraiser of the WILPF
branch there. It was a wonderful event, well attended and by such a warm, exuberant activist audience! I worry that we're preaching to the choir in those situations, but every once in awhile it's really great to be able to, as Brian Willson says, "remind the choir that they can be more revolutionary." And to be received so lovingly is a great shot in the arm that keeps us going.

               From Joyce McLean of Santa Cruz, CA...
Add that Jeanmarie's play got the choir at least four new members, funds to do our work and tons and tons of good
will.

               From Sha'an Mouliert of Troy, VT...
My workshop proposal for "Theater of the Oppressed" has been accepted  by the AAUW (American Association of University Women) National Conference for College Women Student Leaders scheduled for June 7-9,
2006, in Washington, DC.  http://www.aauw.org/nccwsl.  It is scheduled for Friday, June 9th, Session #3 at 3:00 - 4:30pm.  I'll be bringing some handouts for display at the registration table.  Many thanks to Phyllis Yingling of Cantonsville, MD for bringing this conference to our attention.

Last month, as a result of attending a pilot diversity and racial  justice program (Paij Wadley-Bailey of Montpelier, VT and I were involved), Interfaith Diversity Education Offerings sponsored by the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ's Uprooting Racism Task Force , several Sunday School students in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont staffed a booth on racism at a local Youth Town Meeting.  The booth provided music and pancake recipes from various cultures as  well as computers linked to the following site:

http://www.pbs.org/race/002_SortingPeople/002_00-home.htm which is informative and tests ones knowledge of race in this country...I highly recommend it.  Donna Lamb and I will be presenting Creating Caring Communities (part of the East Coast Tour) with the Pittsburgh, PA, branch May 20th.  For more information contact Edith Bell edith.bell4@verizon.net or Sha'an mouliert@vtlink.net

Haiti

Haiti Featured at the Venezuela Solidarity Conference:

In early March, WILPF Haiti Issue Committee members, Marge Van Cleef, Joan Drake, Jacqueline Nerrette and Shirley Pate, offered a workshop on Haiti at the National Venezuela Solidarity Conference that was held in Washington, DC.  The workshop was well-attended and included a lively Q&A session.  From solidarity activists to Venezuelan government officials, it appears that Haiti is a priority and will always have a place on the Venezuelan agenda.

Haitian President-elect, Rene Preval, Visits US:

The President-elect of Haiti, Rene Preval paid a visit to the United States during the week of March 27.   He first visited New York where he participated in a special UN Security Council session on Haiti.  In this session, Mr. Preval stressed the need for significant international assistance to help rebuild Haiti.  Further, he requested that the UN peacekeeping force, MINUSTAH, remain in Haiti a while longer to establish security in the country.  Yet, he specifically stated that he wants MINUSTAH to focus its resources on training Haitian police, whose numbers he plans to increase once he assumes the presidency.

Mr. Preval arrived in Washington on March 29.  Members of the Haiti Issue Committee participated in activities surrounding the visit of Haiti’s President-elect, Rene Preval, to Washington, March 28-30. Mr. Preval was received at the White House by George Bush and was received by the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States.  The final event in the US was a talk before (and with) the Haitian community of Washington.  Over 400 attended.

It should be noted that regardless of the venue, Mr. Preval was consistent in his remarks about the need to help the poor of Haiti.

A very insightful assessment of the challenges that lie ahead for  President-elect Preval and the people of Haiti can be found in the April 1, 2006 press statement of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) entitled, “Giving Haiti’s New President a Good Launch,” at:

http://shrunklink.com/?dg

May 18 – Day of International Solidarity with the People ofHaiti:

It was on May 18, 1803, during the slave revolution, that the flag that would represent the soon-to-be Republic of Haiti was born.  It is a huge holiday in Haiti and wherever Haitians are found in the Diaspora.  Over recent years, the Haitian military and ex-soldiers have tried to claim the holiday as their own.  But, the people maintain that it is a day to rejoice in their independence from colonial occupation and should have nothing to do with militarization.

In this spirit, several Haiti solidarity groups are sponsoring an international day of solidarity with the people of Haiti.  They are asking that those who wish to organize an event in their community consider organizing panel discussions and teach-ins, show Haiti films, hold a protest, etc.

Shortly, we will provide more information about background materials and more ideas on how you can demonstrate your solidarity with the people of Haiti on May 18.  If you have general questions, please e-mail Shirley Pate at hcvp@haitioye.net/hcvp.

Submitted by Shirley Pate:  magbana@aol.com


Program Update! April 14, 2006
Next Update Due Thursday, May 4
note: due to the holidays, many of our members have taken a couple of days off to be with their families and friends. Stay tuned for next program update for a full report!

Save the Water Campaign Update
Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee
DISARM: Dismantle the War Economy Issue Committee
Haiti Issue Committee

Save the Water Campaign Update
Seven members of the Water Campaign team leaders had three-day retreat in Lakewood, Ohio (Yoshiko's condo)
The purpose of the meeting was to review our past accomplishments, review how consistent our program content has been to the original Save the water campaign statements for short and long term goals; and plan our future actions strategically. We were able to assign tasks so that we can move forward more efficiently.

Some of major discussion included issues of privatization, maneuvers made by GAT, World Bank etc. Development of actions to alert the communities about impacts of large corporation such as Coca Cola and Nestles operating under different names filling the super market shelves There will be increased effort against bottled water as a tool for public education. More complete report will be made available in a near future.

At the end of the retreat on March 26 we felt that we met most of our goals set for the retreat.

Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee Update
Creating Caring Communities. The pervasiveness of racism in our society has caused the Thomas Merton Center to bring a series of anti-racism workshops to Pittsburgh. The first one is a 3 hour workshop on Saturday, May 20 at 2pm, (location still TBA) and is co-sponsored by the Pittsburgh branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). This workshop is also sponsored by the BBC's East Coast Tour racial justice grant and is facilitated by BBC members Donna Lamb and Sha'an Mouliert, Chair. For more information, contact Edith Bell edith.bell4@verizon.net or Sha'an Mouliert mouliert@vtlink.net


DISARM: Dismantle the War Economy for April 14:
BRANCH ACTIONS: Check our DISARM UPDATE for info on the many Branch activities and for resources on tax day leafleting. Bloomington and Philadelphia Branch will be among those leafleting. Philadelphia Branch is featuring, Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, May 13 speaking on the theme of her new book," Challenging Empire: How, People, Governments and the UN Defy U.S. Power". MUST READING FOR US ALL. Tuscon Branch is featuring Maggy Zanger on April 15, who has trained independent journalists in Iraq, speaking on expectations and efforts of Iraqi people to participate in the restructuring of their country despite the death grip the US and its many enemies hold on the country. Southern California Branches prepare for WILPF sponsored May 20 Armed Forces Day demonstration at Vandenberg Air Force Base with Medea Benjamin (Code Pink), Bob Mitchell (Gold Star Families for Peace) and Que Keju (Marshall Islands target for missile defense ICBMs). Download flier at http://www.vpeaceldf.org/docs/vandenberg-may20andjune15v2.pdf. We look for reports from eastern Branches participating in the UFPJ anti-war march and festival in New York on Apirl 29. Contact www.reachingcriticalwill.org if you can help for WILPF in the anti-nuclear weapons tent.

DISARM COMMITTEE ACTION:
Watch EYE on Congress alerts for action info on the budget, getting out of Iraq, and aggressive new nuclear weapons programs. WCUSP please note: Ellen Barfield will be returning from Israel/Palestine around April 17 and can speak to WILPF sponsored groups. Reserve before end of April for the International Vancouver Peace Conference and for the Global Network International Conference. Susi Snyder and other active international and U.S. WILPFers will be there. Events are June 23-28 and Info will be on our DISARM UPDATE. Our DISARM committee is now preparing for Hiroshima/Nagasaki week with UFPJ and ABOLITION 2000, and for Space for Peace Week with with international WILPF and Global Network. Branches will want to do the same. Watch our DISARM UPDATE for details. And of course we must focus energy on preventing bombing of Iran and the aggressive new U.S. nuclear weapons programs.

Haiti Issue Committee Report, April, 2006
Haiti Featured at the Venezuela Solidarity Conference:

In early March, WILPF Haiti Issue Committee members, Marge Van Cleef, Joan Drake, Jacqueline Nerrette and Shirley Pate, offered a workshop on Haiti at the National Venezuela Solidarity Conference that was held in Washington, DC. The workshop was well-attended and included a lively Q&A session. From solidarity activists to Venezuelan government officials, it appears that Haiti is a priority and will always have a place on the Venezuelan agenda.

Haitian President-elect, Rene Preval, Visits US:

The President-elect of Haiti, Rene Preval paid a visit to the United States during the week of March 27. He first visited New York where he participated in a special UN Security Council session on Haiti. In this session, Mr. Preval stressed the need for significant international assistance to help rebuild Haiti. Further, he requested that the UN peacekeeping force, MINUSTAH, remain in Haiti a while longer to establish security in the country. Yet, he specifically stated that he wants MINUSTAH to focus its resources on training Haitian police, whose numbers he plans to increase once he assumes the presidency.

Mr. Preval arrived in Washington on March 29. Members of the Haiti Issue Committee participated in activities surrounding the visit of Haiti’s President-elect, Rene Preval, to Washington, March 28-30. Mr. Preval was received at the White House by George Bush and was received by the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States. The final event in the US was a talk before (and with) the Haitian community of Washington. Over 400 attended.

It should be noted that regardless of the venue, Mr. Preval was consistent in his remarks about the need to help the poor of Haiti.

A very insightful assessment of the challenges that lie ahead for President-elect Preval and the people of Haiti can be found in the April 1, 2006 press statement of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) entitled, “Giving Haiti’s New President a Good Launch,” at:
http://shrunklink.com/?dg


Program Update for March 31st 2006: What's happening in WILPF
Next Update Due: Thursday, April 13

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign
Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee
DISARM: Dismantle the War Economy Issue Committee
Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee
Corporations V. Democracy Issue Committee

WCUSP
The Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East (WCUSP) Campaign has been reading about the Israeli Lobby and US Middle East Policy. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University wrote a study of the Israeli Lobby. An edited version appeared in the March 23, 2006 volume of the London Review of Books. This research has sparked debate on all sides of the political spectrum. While the WCUSP leadership team does not have a consensus opinion on the Mearsheimer / Walt research, we welcome the debate on
the causes of US policy in the Middle East. We believe it is important to recognize both the power of lobbying in creating government policy and the continuation of US hegemonic aggression since World War II.
Please go to the News and Action Alerts Section of our webpage for more information: http://wilpf.org/campaigns/WCUSP/newsaction.htm

Building the Beloved Community
Fresno, CA WILPF has received a $500 racial justice grant from National WILPF. They will be doing a book discussion of "Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice" by Paul Kivel. They will be meeting for five sessions, every other month, starting March 25th. Fifty-eight women have signed up with about 1/2 WILPF members and 1/2 community members. The group will be facilitated by five members from the National Coalition Building Institute.

The BBC has received a $1750 racial justice grant from National WILPF to present the East Coast Tour of Creating Caring Communities Workshop (for details) http://www.wilpf.org/issues/uforje/UFO_actions.htm for the Catonsville, MD branch of WILPF (with invitations to Baltimore, Coucher, and DC branches) June 10th, and in Pittsburgh, PA in May.

Members and branches are sending answers to the survey on racism for the International Committee on Racism. You can access it at http://www.wilpf.org/issues/uforje/racism_survey.htm

Donna Lamb presented Being an Effective Activist-the Personal side and Sha'an Mouliert's workshop Creating Caring Communities at the National Conference on Organized Resistance at the American University in Washington DC, February 3-5. You can access details and photos at http://www.wilpf.org/issues/uforje/bbc_in_dc.htm

The Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee brochure is available in PDF and can be downloaded at http://www.wilpf.org/issues/uforje/BBC%20Brochure.pdf

DISARM: Dismantle the War Economy for March 31:
Branch Actions: Jane Midgley finished a productive west coast book tour (supported by WILPF Branches) on Women and the U.S. Budget. Boston WILPF has helped produce a video on dangers of bio-defense research. Santa Cruz Branch has sent hundreds of postcards to their Senators asking for a ban on DU weapons, and shown DU documentary locally. We're gathering reports of WILPF events in the March13 to 20 week of action to end the occupation of Iraq. Tucson WILPFers joined in blockading Raytheon, producer of Tomahawk Cruise missiles used in the Shock and Awe bombing, with some arrests, Portland OR WILPF helped organize over 20,000 in one of the world's three largest demonstrations. Ellen Barfield (Baltimore Branch) joined the war veterans marching from Mobile to New Orleans. Committee Action: WILPF is co-sponsoring international Space for Peace Week and related events with Global Network. Susi Snyder is now at a UNIDIR symposium in Geneva -- led by China, Russia and Canada, on preventing an arms race in outer space -- and is helping us lay the foundations. Now it is also time to look ahead to April (and even May). Ellen Barfield is travelling with U.S. war veterans to Palestine and Israel in early April to meet with former warriors in that conflict who have now turned to non-violence. She is willing to speak to WILPF Branches and WCUSP when she returns. Eastern Branches can participate in the UFPJ sponsored nuclear tent at the April 29 anti-war and pro-justice march and festival in NYC April 29 (endorsed by WILPF). Western Branches can join the WILPF DISARM sponsored demonstration at Vandenberg Air Force Base with Medea Benjamin and a Marshall Islander on May 20. Everyone can prepare for the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl Disaster on April 26 by gearing up to resist the new U.S. energetic promotion of nuclear power. We're still looking for someone to go to Kiev for the Chernobyl conference there April 22-26. Details on all of the above and more on DISARM UPDATE accessed through www.wilpf.org.

Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee
Progress in Milwaukee! A High School student group chapter of Amnesty International is embarking on a program to educate themselves and the students of their school about CEDAW! Rose Daitsman was invited to speak at their meeting last week about her experiences at the Training for Local Treaty Implementation which included observing the CEDAW committee in action. She was gratified by the reception and the interest in the local Human Rights Coalition!

The Barnstable County Human Rights Commission met recently with Cape Cod VNA to learn and listen to some of the stories that the foreign language interpreters --who work with English speaking medical staff, and accompany, or assist immigrant/none English speaking people treated in the local health care settings-- have to tell of their experiences observing how people are treated. The reports are not good, and provide evidence of ongoing racism in the health care arena. Barnstable County established the Human Rights Commission last fall, in response to a well organized advocacy campaign by the Cape's Anti-Discrimination taskforce, led by WILPFer Jacqueline Fields and Johanna Flacks. Now, as a Commissioner on that body, Jackie is struggling to get the office set up and staffed, and to secure adequate funding for its operations.

Corporations V. Democracy Issue Committee
WILPF on Cape Cod has joined in the creation of the Cape Care Resolution Campaign. This concerns a non-binding resolution in spring town meetings to petition the county government to further develop a proposal for a single-payer, community-owned health insurance program for everyone on Cape Cod. It is nothing less than a taking of our health care into our own hands, a great use of municipal and county governing processes.


What's happening in the world of WILPF Campaigns and Committees
Next update due: Friday, March 31

Save the Water Campaign
Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign
Building the Beloved Issue Community
Disarm! Issue Committee
Corporations V. Democracy Issue Committee
Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee

Save the Water
Cleveland Meeting: The plan for the retreat in Cleveland is being completed. Seven members of the Water Campaign leadership team plan to attend the retreat from March 23 and March 26. Main purpose of the meeting is to work on strategic planning for the coming three years of the campaign based on the WILPF Mission Statement...We will consider application for some grants as well.

Jody Dodd and Linda Park attended NCOR meeting in Washington DC. Olivia Zink and Nancy Price are attending the Mexico City World Water Forum representing WILPF and Water campaign in particular. Board Member: Nancy Munger agreed to represent the Water Campaign to the Board this spring. Branch Activities: Cape Cod will have people going around in “water costumes” on Water Day and then have an evening program where the focus will be local water people on local problems.

Local Update: In NH, the governor has asked the Army Corps of Engineers to step in on some wetland questions. A statewide statement from the governor will be issued on Water Day. A local ordinance has been introduced and it will probably pass. Kate worked on a corporate accountability event on World Water Day. The Philadelphia branch will have a presentation on the campaign. DVD presentation of In the Light of Reverence and Thirst will planned in several events across the country. The Study Guide book and Tee Shirts were sold out and more will be produced for sale in a week or so.

The Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East (WCUSP) Campaign
The Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East (WCUSP) Campaign urges everyone to join us in commemorating the third year since Rachel Corrie's murder. Protest US support for Israel's continued military intransigence and demand corporate accountability from the Caterpillar Corporation. Actions are planned for March 16 and March 22; please see the WILPF website for more information. Over the last two weeks, WCUSP drafted a new policy statement for US WILPF. It will be included in the pre-board meeting mailing to the national board so that they have time to review it before discussing it at the upcoming board meeting, April 7-9. We are looking forward to engaging WILPFers and the larger peace community with our vision. We are continuing our work to create a Study Guide. We are working with a Portland artist to create a logo - and welcome help from other artistic WILPFers to help us design items for fundraising / campaign promotion.

Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee Update
As part of the BBC's collaboration with WCUSP, Barbara Taft has submitted the survey on racism, as well as, Sha'an Mouliert for the state of Vermont (as per the Human Rights Commission).

Disarm!
1) Today in Santa Barbara CA, March 16, is the trial of MacGregor Eddy, who is challenging Vandenberg Air Force Base and the Pentagon on the basis of the Vandenberg Principles and International Law. WILPF DISARM sponsored a public forum on the trial on March 15, and members from several California Branches will participate in the pre-trial rally today at the court house.

2) Last week Pat Birnie, Carol Urner and Jody Dodd were in Geneva for the WILPF International Women's Day Seminar on the next step toward abolition
of nuclear weapons: negotiation of a treaty banning further production of fissile materials. The following day we presented a WILPF statement,
supported by 58 other women's organizations, to the UN Committee on Disarmament. The CD, which works by consensus, has been stalled for nine
years by U.S. objections to further negotiations, but this year we found signs of hope among delegates determined to find a way out of the impasse.

3) In our WILPF seminar we also laid plans for support of a treaty banning Depleted Uranium weapons. We met with WILPF international officers and staff and came away inspired by their strength, commitment and clear minds.

4)Eastern WILPF members are urged to register for ANA D.C, days March 26-29. Go to http://www.ananuclear.org/ for info and details. Lobby with the expert nuke watchers from around the United States. It is an effective group and you will learn much!

5) Last week Ellen Barfield (DISARM co-chair) and Jean Verthein (our UN representative to Reaching Critical Will) and other DISARMers were present at the Commission on the Status of Women. Watch for their report on issues relative to disarmament on our DISARM website. 6)Details and reports on all of the above and more (including Branch actions to stop the IRAQ war this weekend) should be up on our DISARM UPDATE website by Monday, March 20.

Corporations V. Democracy
The Columbus conference originally scheduled for October 2006 has been postponed until early 2007 (local activists will be too busy with the November election). On Friday, March 17, a radio broadcast on Corporations and Democracy will feature Frances Moore Lappe on democracy and Jan Edwards on the natural commons. The proceedings will take place in Fort Bragg, CA, and will be aired by KZYX FM at 1 P.M. Pacific Time. Today the Bloomington (IN) branch will conduct a reading of Rachel's Words.

Advancing Human Rights
This past Saturday, Rose Daitsman, along with two other members of the Milwaukee Working Group on Human Rights (Diane Lindsley for Zonta, International and Jaime McBrady for US Women Connect) presented their program at a meeting of the Greater Milwaukee United Nations Association-USA to great acclaim bringing new members and resources into their collaborative project to devise a human rights remedy for their local community. They are building towards a larger, community education forum for the fall.

WILPF finally found its niche in the working group of US civil society organizations collaborating on the preparation of several shadow reports for the Human Rights Committee in response to the 2nd and 3rd period reports filed by the US government last fall under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Gillian Gilhool was able to make contribute to the revision of a statement on US violations of Article 20 initiated by the Madre and the International Women's Human Rights Law Clinic at CUNY. Article 20 of the ICCPR has to do with political propaganda promoting war.

The committee organized a roundtable Monday evening, March 6 during the UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting in New York.. Titled "Women Engaged: Powerful Multipliers in US Human Rights Organizing," it was hosted by the Columbia University Partnership for International Development and held at one of Jean Verthein's stomping grounds - the Columbia School of Social Work..US WILPF's other UN representative, Anita Pulier, also participated. Laura Roskos moderated, with informative, enthusiastic presentations by Tonya Williams Women & Katrina Project, US Human Rights Network; Ejim Dike New York City Human Rights Initiative, Urban Justice Center; and Marilyn Clement HealthCare Now! about their work. Photos and the audiotape may make it possible to share the conversation later on with WILPF branches around the country. Synergies abounded. The session, planned in honor of Ione Biggs, longtime chair of the WILPF CEDAW Committee, also celebrated the CSW's 50th Anniversary and International Women's Day..

Gillian Gilhool participated in some of the Peacewomen Project's activities around the CEDAW meeting in late January on behalf of the committee. You can find her report on the Bolivarian Republice of Venezuela's appearance before the CEDAW Committee at www.peacewomen.org. ..


February 17 2006 Program Update!
Next deadline: Thursday, March 2

1.WCUSP Campaign
2. Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee
3. Corporations v. Democracy Issue Committee
4. Program Committee
5. DISARM Issue Committee
6. Haiti Issue Committee


1. WCUSP Update:*

The leadership team of Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East is working to receive board approval through the consensus process to proceed with actions as an organization against a piece of legislation which would severely restrict US diplomatic and humanitarian cooperation with the Palestinian people as a punishment for the results of their recent parliamentary elections. We find the erroneously-named 'Palestinian anti-terrorism act of 2006' (H.R. 4681) to be a mean-spirited bill which would cause a great deal of human suffering and would put our own nation in further danger of attack. We are opposed to it on humanitarian grounds, and urge you to oppose it also. (We are close to consensus on this issue; for more information go to http://www.endtheoccupation.org.)

2. Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee:*

The BBC has been busy. Donna Lamb and Sha'an Mouliert presented their workshops Being
an Effective Social Justice Activist and Creating Caring Communities at the National Conference on Organized Resistance (NCOR) in Washington, DC, February 4-5 where the BBC's new brochure debuted. The brochure was a group effort. Kate Zaidan did a wonderful job designing it. A full report of the conference along with pictures will be posted on our website. Sheila Martel from Leonardtown, MD, also attended the conference. Vickie Fouts of Fresno, CA, is organizing
a book study group, they will be reading Paul Kivel's UPROOTING RACISM. The committee has been very supportive of each other and we have discussed several issues amongst ourselves using non-violent communication, thanks to Jeanmarie Simpson of Reno, NV. Our membership has grown by two Julia Federico, an intern at national and Lettie Polite from Ashville, NC, one of the original co-chairs of UFORJE.
submitted by Sha'an Mouliert - chair

3.Corporations V. Democracy Issue Committee:*

Columbus in October: Michael Greenman reports that the national organizing committee for the October national conference on corporate accountability will convene in Columbus on Feb. 24-26. New Project in Des Moines: Members of the Des Moines branch (www.unitedfordemocracy.org) have revised the 10-session CCP, APR course for their next presentation of the course on April 2. A Feb. 4 strategy session marked the beginning of a "United for Democracy" project that identified three focal points: campaign reform/voter- owned elections, communication with legislators, and greater awareness of the corporate power issue. Reaching the Public: Members of the Bloomington (IN) branch have discovered the joys of castigating Wal-Mart, then watching themselves doing so on local access TV.

4. Program Committee *

What exactly does the Program Committee do? The following—on the role and goals of the committee—is drawn from our work plan for the year. And wait ‘til you see our activities!

Purpose of the Program Committee: To contribute to the fulfillment of the mission, goals, and objectives of WILPF-US and International by advancing the program of the US Section.

“Advancing the program” includes activities to

1. Facilitate coordination and collaboration among the campaigns and
committees and the branches, with special emphasis on promoting
the campaigns at the branch level;
2. Identify and strengthen program around common interests and
emerging issues;
3. Identify and address “gaps” in program in relation to the
section’s mission;
4. Maximize opportunities for involvement of members in programmatic
activity;
5. Recruit new members by promoting involvement in programmatic
activity;
6. Further fundraising efforts around program activities.

5. DISARM Issue Committee*

Susi Snyder just confirmed that wider WILPF will join DISARM in co-sponsoring /Space for Peace week/ with Global Network this year, and we invite you all to help us, locally, nationally and/or internationally. Yoshiko Ikuta has just translated into Japanese our /International Women's Day/ Greeting to be shared with Japan WILPF and thousands of other women there, expressing our support for the pacifist constitution's Article 9 and our shame that the U.S. is fostering the rebirth of militarism in Japan. GOOD NEWS: The judge will allow MacGregor Eddy to make her case in court challenging Vandenberg and the Federal government on the basis of the Nuremberg Principles and international law on March 16, and many California WILPFers plan to join a rally of support at the Santa Barbara Federal Court House. Read details on these items and more on our DISARM UPDATE accessible from www.wilpf.org <http://www.wilpf.org/>.

6. Haiti Issue Committee*

Shirley Pate & Joan Drake of the Washington, DC, Branch; Jacqueline Nerette of the Baltimore Branch; and former WILPF Board Member Marge Van Cleef of Bryn Mawr, will co-lead a workshop at the Hands Off Venezuela Conference sponsored by the Alliance for Global Justice at George Washington University's Elliott School of Foreign Affairs in Washington, DC on March 4 and 5.


February 7 2006 Program Update!

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign
WILPF Save the Water Campaign
Haiti Issue Committee
Challenge Corporate Power, Assert the People's Rights Issue Committee
DISARM! Dismantle the War Economy Issue Committee
WILPF Program Committee

Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East (WCUSP) Campaign Update

The WCUSP leadership team had a whirlwind meeting in Portland, Oregon February 3-5. The Portland and Washington County branches were delightful hosts, and we thoroughly enjoyed a potluck dinner with them on Saturday night. We are thrilled to announce Three Initiatives we will be focusing on this year:

Human Rights at Home and Abroad - The connection between the USA Patriot Act, discrimination against Arabs and Muslims in the US, and the de-humanizing and torture of Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East.

Dual Occupation - The connection between the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the Israeli occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. We hope to work closely with our sister WILPFers who are already engaged in anti-Iraq War vigils and actions.

Stop CAT - As a member organization of the US Campaign to End the Occupation, we will increase our members' awareness and activity in the ongoing Stop Caterpillar Campaign, working to end the sale of Caterpillar bulldozers to Israel which are used to raze people, houses, and communities in Palestine.

http://www.endtheoccupation.org - US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
http://www.stopcat.org - The primary grassroots coalition website
http://catdestroyshomes.org - Created and maintained by Jewish Voice for Peace
STOP CAT Point Person: Marlene Santoyo marlsan@cavtel.net or 215-247-4385

If you'd like to get more involved in the WCUSP campaign, please let us know! Contact our co-chairs, Tura Campanella Cook at turacc@earthlink.net or Odile Hugonot Haber at odilehh@gmail.com

WILPF Save the Water Campaign

The Save the Water Campaign is gearing up for two big events: World Water Day our campaign strategy retreat, both slated for the end of March. We are encouraging WILPF members to organize an action or educational event to call for "Water not War" on March 22, World Water Day. The Campaign is pleased to be sending Olivia Zink, leadership team member, to Mexico City for the Fourth World Water Forum. The Save the Water Campaign presented a workshop at this weekend's National Conference on Organized Resistance on the Bottled Water Boycott. The campaign is excited to announce that we have two water video's available from the national office, "In the Light of Reverence" and "Thirst". If you would like to rent these videos, email Kate Zaidan at kzaidan@wilpf.org.

Haiti Issue Committee The crisis in Haiti deepens

More deaths and police/MINUSTAH brutality have been reported over the past weeks as political instability worsens and the promised national elections have been postponed for a fourth time. The release of political prisoner Father Gerard Jean Juste for treatment in Miami of advanced leukemia complicated by pneumonia is the only "bright" spot in the picture since last August's WILPF Congress. The New York Times published an important expose on January 29th; in an unusual front-page story running to 4 pages, it detailed the players behind the scenes and the way in which the removal of President Aristide was accomplished by a cadre of political and corporate operatives. The story was made possible only by the revelations of former US Ambassador to Haiti Brian Curran. With 30-years of service to this country as a member of our diplomatic corps Curran was fired by the Bush administration in 2003 because it was felt he was not playing ball with their plans for a coup. The Haiti Issues Committee has published regular updates on the situation via our list serve, recommending actions that WILPFers can take in response to challenge and calling for a better US policy toward our Caribbean neighbor.

Challenge Corporate Power, Assert the People's Rights Issue Committee

Members of the Des Moines branch will stage their second Challenge Corporate Power conference next Saturday, Feb. 4. They hope to take their show on the road when the Iowa winter has passed. The Des Moines branch, as a frequent user of our educational materials, has a particular interest in a recently begun project of the Corporations v. Democracy Issue Committee, a possible revision of the WILPF CCP/ APR study packet. We would like to hear suggestions about revision from any member who has gone through the 10-session program of study. The Bloomington (Indiana) branch used the county library for a free public showing of "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices." Attendance was excellent, the ensuing discussion lively. Also in Bloomington, a WILPFer's letter to the editor about corporate abuse of subsidies resulted in a productive meeting with the president of the city council and the city's redevelopment director about more stringent city standards in the awarding of subsidies.

DISARM! Dismantle the War Economy Issue Committee January Program Report:

Read details on WILPF DISARM’s new DISARM UPDATE website, accessible from the top right hand corner of www.wilpf.org. Submissions are welcome from all WILPF members.

• In January-February we feature the military budget versus a women’s peace budget. Val Mullen (Vermont) will issue DISARM EYE reports after Congress resumes January 31.

• DISARM serves as the major U.S. link to Reaching Critical Will. Jean Verthein (NY Metro) profiles staffer Jennifer Nordstrom in the January/ February DISARM UPDATE.

• Pat Birnie (Tucson) and Carol Urner (Portland OR & Los Angeles) \fly to Geneva with staff member Jody Dodd in early March for a WILPF International Women’s Day seminar on Depleted Uranium. They’ll also observe the UN Disarmament Committee. Look for reports in the March-April DISARM UPDATE featuring nuclear issues.

• Two DISARM leadership team members have had Federal Court trials in January. In the January 26 trial of co-chair Ellen Barfield (Baltimore Branch) the Judge dismissed the case for failure of the Federal Prosecuter to supply evidence. Ellen was arrested last July for attempting to deliver a letter to the National Security Agency re illegal spying.

• WILPF members from six Branches attended the January 19 trial of MacGregor Eddy (Monterey Branch) in Santa Barbara. The trial continues on March 16. The Judge may allow the lawyer to argue the case on “necessity,” citing the Nuremberg Principles.

• Ellen Barfield, Jean Verthein and Claire Gosselin (Boston) from our Leadership Team, and several other WILPFers active on DISARM concerns, will participate in the UN Commission on the Status of Women meetings beginning February 25. Reports in March.

• Our January- February DISARM UPDATE reports significant disarmament related activities from 16 Branches. Submit your own reports to carol.disarm@gmail.com .

(Note: DISARM web mistress Carol Urner is new to the website process, and has been “learning by doing.” She is now taking a course. Expect improvement. Comment/suggestions welcome.)

WILPF Program Committee

The members of the Program Committee are very much involved in developing a work plan for the year that will enable us to look at "program as a whole" -- all activities in which WILPF members are engaged as WILPF members. With a better understanding of how we express our convictions in action, we hope then to reinforce what is and identify what else, if anything, we need to do. Developing a work plan doesn't sound too exciting, but we think the outcomes will be!