March 2007 Program Update

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. ..

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