Enews September 2007
As always, September indicates a change of season, school begins, and it seems that activism is ramping up to end the War. In this Enews we have an excellent report that United For Peace and Justice has provided, the Peoples Report on the Iraq War. We hope you find it useful in your work. We also remind you to join WILPF in the streets on October 27th as we demand "Bring the Troops Home, Leave No One Behind." UFPJ has organized 14 regional actions across the country. Look for actions in your area. We have an Alert about the Jena 6 and ask that you take immediate action for justice. This case of racist injustice must not be allowed to stand. And finally, we say good-bye to Mary Day Kent, who has been the Executive Director since 1999. Words cannot express the deep love and appreciation the staff have for her and we will miss her!
United for Peace and Justice has produced an assessment of the situation on the ground in Iraq that contrasts sharply with the comments from General Petraeus, which barely mention the impact the U.S. war and occupation has on the lives of the people of Iraq.
Prepared by Phyllis Bennis and Erik Leaver, researchers at the Institute for Policy Studies, Iraq: The People's Report, takes an honest look at what this war has cost the people in Iraq and our communities here in the U.S."
People everywhere want the war to end, but Washington has failed to take decisive action. With each passing month, nearly 100 service-people and countless more Iraqis are killed, some 12 billion of our tax dollars are spent, and the death and destruction continue. Our communities – from New Orleans to Minneapolis – are neglected and suffer the consequences.
From Boston to Los Angeles, from New York to New Orleans, on October 27th the people will speak: We want this war to end, and we want it to end now!
Last fall in Jena, Louisiana, the day after two Black high school students sat beneath the "white tree" on their campus, nooses were hung from the tree. When the superintendent dismissed the nooses as a "prank," more Black students sat under the tree in protest. The District Attorney then came to the school accompanied by the town's police and demanded that the students end their protest, telling them, "I can be your best friend or your worst enemy... I can take away your lives with a stroke of my pen."
Win a chance to stay with Chris Morin, our very own WILPF President in her fabulous Bed and Breakfast, Lavender Sea! Buy an online raffle ticket beginning August 17, 2007. Enter as many times as you wish. Raffle tickets are $10 each. Drawing will be September 17th. To purchase a raffle ticket click on the link! We'll send you your ticket numbers in an email shortly after we receive your purchase.
After eight years, Mary Day Kent is leaving her position as Executive Director of US Section WILPF. Her first introduction to the members of WILPF was at the 1999 Triennial Congress in St. Louis. Ever since then, it has been quite a road trip. Managing 5,000 members is no easy task and Mary Day's handling of emails, phone calls, building emergencies, budget crunches and ever changing boards is a credit to her calm nature.
On July 17, 2007, the U.S.Senate, in a showdown over national security measures, voted to give President Bush expanded authority to eavesdrop on suspected foreign terrorists without court warrants.The House earlier rejected a Democratic version of the bill by a vote of 218-207.
President Bush signed the latest version on August 5.WILPF strongly opposes this further intrusion on our democratic rights to privacy and urges our members, legislators and concerned citizens to work against its implementation and a further erosion of people's rights that will move us closer to dictatorship and away from democratic process.
The law expires in February of 2008 unless Congress acts to extend it.
WILPF is launching an exciting new initiative for Blue October, an international month of action celebrating the anniversary of Uruguay's historic move towards including the human right to water in their constitution.
Declare your schools, restaurants and local governments "Bottled Water Free Zones". We encourage branches and individuals to meet with their local restaurant owners to hang our "Bottled Water Free Zone" cling sticker in their window, letting their patrons know where they stand on unhealthy, expensive bottled water! Meet with teachers and government officials to create bottled water free classrooms, restaurants and public spaces all through the month of October!
This is a great way to educate your community on the problems of bottled water and the looming global water crisis. If you sign up for the Bottled Water Free Zone campaign, we will send you a package with bottled water brochures, cling stickers, talking points for restaurant owners and petitions asking your community to Boycott Bottled Water! The toolkit will be available by September 19.
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 the fundamental right to water. Their 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!