February 3, 2012 eNews: WILPFers in Action!
Join WILPF to Demand Congo Action!
Become allies in the growing international movement for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo! Support our Congolese sisters and brothers in bringing an end to this devastating war that is being fought on the bodies of women and children.
After fifteen years of conflict, the UN has called Congo "the rape capital of the world." Watch Eve Ensler's impassioned plea for the women of Congo.
This conflict is international and complex. All warring groups are fighting over the area's vast mineral wealth—especially the minerals that we use every day in our laptop computers and cell phones. WILPF Boston Branch has been working tirelessly to enact legislation to make Massachusetts the second state after California to enact Congo Conflict Minerals legislation!
DISARM! Ensuring a Nuclear Free Future
STOP NUCLEAR TESTING NOW! On February 25, shortly after midnight, the Pentagon and Strategic Command plan a test launch of another Minuteman III intercontinental missile from Vandenberg AFB. It will be aimed at Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, in the South Pacific. Read MacGregor Eddy’s article on page two(PDF Download) of the current Global Network Space Alert. Download a flier (PDF Download) you can adapt for leafleting or letter writing. Write to your editor, your Congresspersons and President Obama to stop these tests and work for a Nuclear Free Future now.
EDUCATE CONGRESS ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND POWER: Reserve your space NOW for D.C. days with WILPF and Alliance for Nuclear Accountability Saturday March 17 through Wednesday March 21. Click here for a housing reservation form and links to ANA for D.C. Days registration and more information on D.C. days.
Building the Beloved Community
Martin Luther King, Jr. (photo courtesy of Library of Congress)
The Building the Beloved Community issue committee is based on the teachings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. "Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict. For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, the Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence."
Peace in Asia and the Pacific: Alternatives to Asia-Pacific Militarization
As the U.S. persists in military interventions across the Middle East, Central Asia, and expansion into East Asia, and while the U.S. economy AND people continue to struggle under the burden of excessive military spending, East Asian and Pacific nations are caught up in costly and dangerous arms races. In October of 2011, representatives of WILPF's newly merged End Wars and DISARM Issue Committees attended Peace in Asia and the Pacific: Alternatives to Asia-Pacific Militarization - a two day conference organized by American Friends Service Committee and the American University Nuclear Policy Institute. The overarching goal of the conference was to build capacity and solidarity between U.S. and Asia-Pacific peace movements: to challenge Asia-Pacific militarism; advocate for constructive alternatives; and promote economic security.
To read WILPF’s Issue Committee members’ full report click here.
WILPF Members Occupied the Courts
by Marybeth Gardam
As early as November, 2011 National Move To Amend started organizing people from around the country to mark the 2nd Anniversary of the Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court’s notorious giveaway of democracy, unleashing unlimited political contributions for corporations. Events that ranged from holding banners across busy highways to rallies outside Federal Court Houses were planned.
In the end, over 130 cities participated in the national day of action. WILPF members were well represented around the country, with rousing rallies and street theater. Not everyone who participated reported specific details of their event, but we know that Cape Cod WILPFers joined their Boston WILPF sisters at the Federal Court house for a rally in pretty cold temperatures. Mary Zepernick bundled up in layers and long underwear beneath her I MISS DEMOCRACY get-up. In Des Moines there were two events, including a FUNERAL MARCH FOR DEMOCRACY at the Rotunda of the State Capitol building on Thursday, Jan. 19th and a Rally at the Federal Building on Friday, the 20th.
Hull House Closes After More Than 120 Years
By Tammy Webber | Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Hull House, the Chicago social services organization founded more than 120 years ago by the Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams, closed Friday after running out of money.
The agency said the poor economy resulted in more demand for its services but also made it harder to raise money to cover its costs. Hull House has been providing child care, job training, housing assistance and other services for 60,000 people a year in the Chicago area.
The agency had announced plans to close in the spring, but Friday's shutdown was unexpected, striking some 300 employees with a devastating and unexpected blow. They received layoff notices and final paychecks and then spent the day packing their belongings and saying tearful good-byes. Many said they were startled to learn their insurance ended almost two weeks ago.
NOTE: The 2012 winners of the Jane Addams Book Awards will be announced at Hull House Museum on April 28, 2012, in conjunction with the JAPA spring board meeting. (While the settlement house is closing, the Hull House Museum remains open and healthy.) For more information, visit the Jane Addams Peace Association website.