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  • This holiday season, let’s make our politics honor food’s sacred nature

    Food is sacred. Regardless of one’s religious views, there is something special about people coming together at this time of year to share a meal with loved ones. We take the time and labor to enjoy some distinctive plates, whether it’s tamales and pozole, maybe roast turkey or perhaps baba ghanoush. Good food is hard to put a price on, especially when it’s reflective of our traditions and connections to the land. But powerful actors often use food not for peace, but as a weapon of war. Whether it’s Russia’s strategic disruption of Ukrainian grain shipments and covering farmland with landmines or Israel’s cutting of civilian access to food and water in Gaza and turning of farmland into settlements — depriving access to food is done for political objectives. The U.S. is by no means above the fray in such matters. Our government’s Food for Peace program, which became part of the Farm Bill beginning in 1954, drives indigenous farmers in developing countries out of business as they cannot compete with our cheap, overproduced commodity crops that flood their markets. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can promote policies to ensure that everyone has access to culturally appropriate food and the necessary means to grow it for themselves and their communities. Global movements, such as La Via Campesina, demand as much in calling for food sovereignty. Central to food sovereignty is the idea that food neither should be used as a weapon nor a commodity. Moreover, the best way to respect our distinct food traditions is to democratize our food system by empowering people to grow their own food, push back against corporate power and support historically marginalized people of color. There is no better way for us to begin to make such changes than by getting involved in our ongoing Farm Bill discussions. We have almost a year to do so, as congressional dysfunction has led lawmakers to delay passing new legislation until September. In terms of details, first, we should push our lawmakers to increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) accessibility. They can do this by including bipartisan bills within the Farm Bill that would dedicate more resources for people to purchase locally sourced produce at farmers markets and support local governments with the means to teach consumers how to prepare food on their own by scaling up programs such as SNAP-Ed. There’s also the need to make sure that as our population changes, we support our next, diverse generation of small farmers. The Fair Credit for Farmers Act would do just that, making important reforms at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Specifically, the bill addresses the history of racist discrimination that farmers of color have experienced by mandating that USDA officials provide specific reasons when loans are denied and empowering farmers to sue the government in the event of wrongdoing. To ensure that people who grow our food can earn a living, Vermont U.S. Sen. Peter Welch’s Fairness for Small-Scale Farmers and Ranches Act would begin to make a powerful change. This legislation would halt mergers of large-scale agribusiness firms while requiring a review of recent large-scale acquisitions. Increasing concentrated markets, according to Mary Hendrickson of the University of Missouri at Columbia, subjects farmers to whatever processors will pay for their produce and consumers to inflated prices at the grocery store. While giving farmers a fighting chance by making markets more competitive, Welch’s bill also dedicates $100 million more to the Local Agriculture Market Program, which helps producers promote their products at farmers markets and that revitalizes local food chains. The unifying, life-giving properties of food are put on display this time of year as we build and celebrate community. Ongoing military conflicts betray this principle by using food as a weapon. We can do better, and the Farm Bill gives us one chance to do so. This next year, let’s work on policies that truly let us honor the food that makes us who we are. _____________________ Jim Goodman is a retired dairy farmer from Wonewoc, Wisconsin, and board president of the National Family Farm Coalition. Anthony Pahnke is an associate professor of international relations at San Francisco State University and vice president of the Family Farm Defenders, an advocacy group for farmers and consumers. Posted on January 2, 2024 on the Family Farm Defenders website - Written by Jim Goodman and Anthony Pahnke (NFFC president and FFD vice president) Published in the Chicago Tribune, Dec 25, 2023

  • WNPJ member groups ready to start out 2024 with events and action alerts - Jan 1st e-bulletin

    WNPJ + Weaving the Web for Environmental Justice + other statewide events *********************************** The WI Network for Peace and Justice is the umbrella non-profit organization supporting the work of 81 member groups around Wisconsin. **************************** Environmental Justice WNPJ has received a grant from BEA for Environmental Justice. The agenda of our 2024 environmental justice task force will be to create a coalition of frontline organizations which can bring focus and strength to our collective efforts for a clean and healthy environment for all. To learn more about Building Equity and Alignment for Environmental Justice: https://bea4impact.org/fund To learn more about WNPJ’s 2024 environmental justice efforts, you are welcome to this month’s Weaving the Web. VIRTUAL Thurs Jan 4, 12 noon – 1 pm Monthly Weaving the Web, All welcome. This event will be hosted by WNPJ Board member Dena Eakles and introducing Dean Mullen and a new WNPJ member group, WI for Environmental Justice. Via zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89361313008?pwd=UmxCOUcxL3ZFb244aXp0SnBVTFRSZz09;  Meeting ID: 893 6131 3008 - Passcode: 797041; +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago). Questions? Contact: office@wnpj.org *************************************************** Spotlight on the 8-week course from Sinsinawa on Sacred Waters JustFaith Series-Sacred Water Beginning Monday, January 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. CT, Eric Anglada, Sinsinawa’s Ecological Programming Coordinator, will be leading an eight-week JustFaith Series: Sacred Waters via Zoom. Through reading, discussion, video, community-building, and prayerful contemplation, our group will delve into topics of watershed discipleship, natural disasters and the climate crisis, clean water access, pollution, plastics, water health, and environmental racism. We’ll aim to equip participants to restore the health of our rivers, lakes, oceans, and waterways through advocacy, grassroots organizing, and daily decision-making. Before the first session, please acquire a copy of Nancy Castaldo’s, “When the World Runs Dry: Earth’s Water in Crisis.” Registration ends January 5, and the fee is $75 per person. You must be able to commit to attending six of the eight sessions. Contact Arrangements at 608-748-4411 or visit our website at https://sinsinawa.org/moundcenter  for more information. *************************************************** WNPJ member groups and affiliates issue Statements and Action Alerts on Hamas/Palestine/Israel See the developing list here: https://www.wnpj.org/post/statements-from-wnpj-groups-and-their-national-affiliates-on-palestine-israel-hamas Petitions to sign https://www.change.org/p/sign-and-share-this-urgent-petition-calling-for-a-ceasefirenow-in-gaza-and-israel and phone calls to make. Go to the Madison Rafah Sister City sites: http://madisonrafah.org/   and/or https://www.facebook.com/madisonrafah to learn more. And some success in Wisconsin:  Senator Baldwin calls for a humanitarian Ceasefire in Gaza. https://captimes.com/news/government/tammy-baldwin-calls-for-humanitarian-ceasefire-to-resume-in-gaza/article_9ad03a06-a041-11ee-bb10-1759b6ae3389.html WNPJ member groups, World Beyond War – Madison, Building Unity, and others have been protesting & occupying Baldwin’s office in Madison for weeks. https://worldbeyondwar.org/world-beyond-war-madison-pressures-senator-tammy-baldwin-to-support-a-ceasefire-in-gaza/ *************************************** Upcoming Events this week for WNPJ groups: MADISON Mon Jan 1, 12 noon – 1 pm Monday Noon Vigil for Peace – Meet at the corner of MLK, Jr. Blvd and Doty St.  This is a holiday. For more information, call Tim at 608-630-3633. Ceasefire Vigil at Senator Baldwin's office - Madison Tuesday - Friday, Jan 2 - 5, from 11 am - 4 pm daily Senator Baldwin's office 30 W Mifflin St, 7th floor, Madison We will be inside and outside her office, talking with her staff, making music, reading names of the dead, poems, stories, statements, articles, being silent, and whatever else people are inspired to offer. Hosted by Madison for a World BEYOND War and Building Unity. Towards war abolition in the new year, Stefania and Janet, Madison for a World BEYOND War warabolition@gmail.com VIRTUAL Thurs Jan 4, 12 noon – 1 pm Monthly Weaving the Web, WNPJ’s Drop-in Hour. All welcome. This event today will be hosted by WNPJ Board member Dena Eakles – introducing Dean Mullen and a new WNPJ member group, WI for Environmental Justice. Via zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89361313008?pwd=UmxCOUcxL3ZFb244aXp0SnBVTFRSZz09  ; Meeting ID: 893 6131 3008 - Passcode: 797041; +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago). Questions? Contact: office@wnpj.org VIRTUAL Thurs Jan 4, 6:30 – 8 pm Learning about Peace. Isn’t it time we study peace for a change? Echo Valley Hope will offer The Prem Rawat’s Foundation’s (free) Intro to The Peace Education Program. Clarity, appreciation, inner strength, self-awareness, understanding, dignity, choice, hope, peace and contentment… These are the topics of a free ten-week, video based and interactive course on peace that is used worldwide in schools, prisons, senior centers, veterans groups and more. If you would like to get a first hand look at how the course is run, please register in advance: https://bit.ly/3N2trzP . For more information: Contact Dena Eakles 608-606-4450, dena.eakles@gmail.com LaCROSSE Thurs Jan 4, 12 noon - 12:30 pm Weekly Women in Black Peace Vigil. Meet at Main St & 4th Street South. A weekly vigil for peace every Thursday. Contact Deborah. dbuffton@yahoo.com VIRTUAL Thurs Jan 4, 6 pm - 8 pm WILPF Monthly Book Club – “On Tyranny” -  To get the zoom link, reply to: wilpfmadison@gmail.com. Madison’s Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom chapter.  For questions or more info, contact  608-609-7961 http://wilpfmadison.org/ MILWAUKEE Sat Jan 6, 12 noon - 1 pm Peace Action WI - Weekly STAND for PEACE: 27th and Oklahoma. Each Saturday, a different location. Join us. Bring your signs. info@peaceactionwi.org    https://www.peaceactionwi.org/stand_for_peace Appleton Sat Jan 6, 11 am – 12 noon Fox Valley Monthly Stand for Peace. Houdini Plaza, West Lawrence Street. Every month - the first Saturday! Bring your signs! Organizer: Ronna Swift ronnajean61@gmail.com VIROQUA Sat Jan 6, 11 am - 12 noon Driftless Palestinian Solidarity Weekly Vigil. Meet at Decker and Main. Action Alert: The Driftless Palestinian Solidarity group has written a petition to demand that Senator Tammy Baldwin support a ceasefire in Gaza. We are trying to get this initiative going throughout the state of WI. If your group is interested in getting signatures, please email  Debbie.a.dudek@gmail.com. Thank you for your help! ******************************************************* If your group would like to get your events posted in the weekly e-bulletin – JOIN US! https://www.wnpj.org/membership Here’s your chance to read Network News https://www.wnpj.org/newsletter *********************************** Videos of the 32nd WNPJ Annual Fall Assembly are now available: "Every Drop Counts: Coming Together for Water https://www.wnpj.org/post/2023-fall-assembly *********************************** You can open any of our weekly WNPJ e-Bulletins from the archive and copy the web address to share with others. **********************************

  • PEACE ACTIVIST BRIDGING THE DIVIDE IN RURAL WISCONSIN Dec 22, 2023 | Featured, OpEd in the WI Muslim Journal

    Photo of bridge by J. Eassa . Dena Eakles, author, podcaster, peace activist and farmer using her talents to cultivate the reality that we are one race, one planet. The bridge symbolizes the potential to connect the rural/urban sense of the other. https://wisconsinmuslimjournal.org/peace-activist-bridging-the-divide-in-rural-wisconsin/?fbclid=IwAR0cHpjbbWBjn4Lqkgr69d3IqX7x-2LeR8rODk-vh3CgaobXLSwQVH3Bg3k My journey to living on a small farm in southwestern Wisconsin came after a twenty –two year stint in the flatlands of Chicago. The decision to live a rural lifestyle followed decades of study with Indigenous people, the study of Chinese medicine and other non-western thinking peoples. It was done with an understanding that something was missing in our dominant culture’s psyche and I believed that a huge part of the lacking was our belief in dominion over Nature. I also believed the idea of the “rugged individual” had done more harm than good. “Pulling oneself up from the bootstraps” completely negates the reality of our interconnectedness and genuine need for one another. I longed for the sense of community that I had witnessed among my Indigenous friends. When I asked my Dine (Navajo) mentor about buying land, she said, “Buy the land, it will teach you”. And twenty-two years later her words still echo true. My endeavor then became to buy land that could be shared and with it came the hope to foster community. Life’s experiences had broadened my sense of community.  I cherished the diversity of food and thought that nourished my sense of self – and that self was not willing to be limited to a singular set of beliefs and would definitely not be willing to engage in the politics of separation that has become the cultural norm. In Chicago and through travel, I flourished in the human community and grew to appreciate our diversity as our strength. I did not reckon with the lack of diversity in rural life, nor did I anticipate the intentional rise of Christian nationalism and white supremacy that would follow. The hills and valleys of Southwestern Wisconsin are reminiscent of my Pennsylvania birthplace. And for the most part, the people are similar in demeanor and as the saying goes; they are the salt of the earth. Over the past two decades, I have witnessed the cultivated fear of “Other” being introduced to rural people who are predominately white and Christian. It came on slowly at first. 9/11 had given the perfect excuse for heightened patriotism. Fear has long been the means used to control the thinking of people. Politicians grabbed hold of that fear and the media barraged us as we willingly followed the lies of “weapons of mass destruction” to committing the horrific atrocities in Iraq.  Fear of “Other” grew as politicians realized the power of it. Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker bragged of the use of divide and conquer as the dismantling and unraveling of social nets began. Religious leaders echoed the fear of Muslims and the label of terrorist was given to everyone who was different or challenged status quo thinking. All the while the small family farms were being replaced by industrial agriculture and the simple ways of rural existence were being withered away. Farmer suicides became more frequent as did the use of meth and abuses of alcohol. It’s a strange thing about the family of man, sometimes when we are faced with change rather than trusting in the One we profess to admire, we instead cling to dying ways. Instead of listening to our own hearts, we give power to people willing to manipulate and devour us. Ironically, the fear of brown people also extended to the migrant workers who continue to labor in agriculture with little compensation or care. The demand for border walls and tightened immigration protocols gave way to inhuman ICE detention centers and rushed deportations with little to no resistance from rural white folks. If anything, the cloak of superiority and US exceptionalism continued to grow. Obama’s election proved too much for our unfinished business. We have never owned up to our attempted genocide of Native Peoples or of our slavery of human beings. Trump opened the wound of division and fueled it with violent discourse, but he did not do it in a vacuum. Christian churches moved towards Zionism, preaching “End Times” and forgoing the gospel of love for stories of revenge and fear. Rural airwaves are full of hate speech in the name of Christianity. One devout listener explained to me that she kept guns because one day Muslims would be coming and she wanted to be able to defend herself.  After regaining my composure, I asked her if she had ever met a Muslim. “No”, she replied. I countered with “Maybe that would be a good place to begin.” After a thoughtful moment she agreed. The murder of George Floyd and the rise of white supremacy were frighteningly evident with every “Blue Lives Matter” and “We Back the Badge” sign.  They signaled safe haven for those refusing to exercise human empathy and compassion. One could easily succumb to the lack of humanity and allow hopelessness to win, but I will tell you this: I will never give up on us. Human beings have the choice of doing good or doing harm. We have the ability to be clear and brilliant or to remain in the darkness of ignorance. To flourish, we need one another. This is not the time for people of good will to cower. This is our time to shine. In this moment, when the United States backed, Israeli genocide of Gaza is seemingly unrelenting; there is something else afoot. Marginalized peoples are coming together to throw off the yoke of separation. Immigration and Indigenous rights, abolition, Black Lives Matter, and environmental justice activists are finding commonality. The annihilation of Gaza is revealing itself to be yet another colonial land grab and the 28th session of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-28) gave Israel the storyline it needed. We, the people of the world,  are now to “transition” to natural gas. And Israel has recently granted twelve permits for natural gas drilling off the coast. There have always been lies told to support warfare. People have always been led away from their humanity so the killing can continue unchecked. Our effort must be to dismantle the lies and to champion our shared humanity. There is no other way. We need more people to demand permanent ceasefire and peaceful resolution in Gaza and throughout the world. It is my hope that those of us who can will step out of the indoctrinations that we have been steeped in – and return to our humanity, which surely awaits us. Bridging the divide is not hard. Breaking bread, finding commonality, laughing together and sharing in our mutual grief  – human being to human being – is our way out. I urge Christians who have not succumbed to nationalism and superiority to find ways to connect with their rural counterparts.  Do not let the indoctrination go unchallenged. For most, the cognitive dissonance of hate cannot hold up to kindness and love. Let that be our antidote. I welcome Muslim and Arabic people to come and enjoy rural environs. Nature, too, holds a healing for all of us. I welcome learning new ways to mend the rural / urban divide. I welcome the diversity of thought and especially of food! Let us proudly cultivate the reality that we are one race, one planet. Let us fall in love with the earth and celebrate one another again.  Those of us who can must be unrelenting in our desire for peace.  And know however daunting, it is possible. Editor’s note:  The Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine is a collection of esteemed, diverse activists from 60 local and statewide organizations.  Wisconsin Muslim Journal is inviting people from this group to share their perspective and voice on our pages.  Today’s guest editorial writer is Dena Eakles. She represents the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice for the Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine.  Eakles recently interviewed Janan Najeeb, convener of Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine, on her podcast called “Conversations” which aired on WDRT 91.9. Dena Eakles is founder of Echo Valley Hope and Echo Valley Farm. You can find their blog at letkindnesswin.com . Board member of Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, Dena is an activist for peace and environmental justice. They serve on the executive committee and writing committee of Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine. Dena is author of The Peace Warrior. letkindnesswin.wordpress.com soundcloud / Dena echovalleyfarmwisconsin.com https://echovalleyhope.org 608-606-4450

  • WNPJ events and Action Alerts for the week of Dec. 18th

    WNPJ member groups holding Candlelight Holiday Vigils .....calling for a permanent CEASEFIRE and an End to Drone Warfare + other statewide events below… *********************************** Tuesday in Madison - 4:30 pm - Read more about this event below - in the events section. **************************** SPECIAL CANDLELIGHT HOLIDAY VIGIL AGAINST THE DRONES OUTSIDE THE GATES OF VOLK FIELD TUESDAY DECEMBER 19,  3:45-4:45 pm Followed by Social Gathering with Hot Chocolate, Coffee, and Cookies 5:30-6:30 pm, Hatch Public Library Community Room 111 W. State St., Mauston, WI In this the darkest time of the year, our hearts are heavy as the assault against our brothers and sisters in Gaza continues.  We know that the Israeli military is using drones as one of their ways to attack the civilians in Gaza, and so we continue to call on the U.S. government to help bring an end to these illegal war crimes, and no longer provide drones and other weapons to Israel. December marks the 12th anniversary of our vigils at the gates of Volk Field.  We have also had multiple nonviolent civil resistance actions where we have been arrested as we peacefully walk onto the base to talk with the personnel at the gate house.  Volk Field continues to provide training to personnel in operating the RQ Shadow drone, a smaller drone that carries out reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, and is likely also now weaponized. So during these dark times, this will be a special vigil where we will light candles and somberly remember the victims in Gaza, remember that we are there to call on our government to end drone warfare, and remember that we are working to bring light into the world. DIRECTIONS - To get to the vigil, take the Camp Douglas exit off Interstate 90/94 between Mauston and Tomah.  When you exit take County Rd. C to the northeast.  You will see the base straight ahead, but follow County Rd. C to the right and within a few blocks is a wayside park.  We park our cars on the side of the road at the entrance to the wayside.   There are no bathrooms available during the winter months THE VIGIL - We will gather at the wayside around 3:30 for introductions and to review the plan for the vigil, and then process together to the gates of the base where we will hold a solemn vigil for one hour to remember those killed by drones.  Participants can stand in silence or read poems and stories about the effects of drone warfare.  It is important that the voices of the victims be brought to the gates of Volk Field. Bring posters if you can. A WORD ABOUT THE WEATHER – If you have questions about the vigil because of the weather, please make sure to call Joy at 608 239-4327 or Bonnie at 608-256-5088 for an update before you make the drive. CARPOOLING -  If you are interested in carpooling to Volk Field from Madison, please contact Bonnie at 608-256-5088. We hope to see you at the vigil on Tuesday December 19.  If you can’t come this time, mark your calendar.  We usually vigil on the 4th Tuesday of every month.  If you have any questions please call or email Joy at 608 239-4327 or joyfirst5@gmail.com or Bonnie at 608-256-5088 or blb24@earthlink.net of the WNPJ member group, Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars *************************************************** WNPJ member groups and affiliates issue Statements and Action Alerts on Hamas/Palestine/Israel See the developing list here: https://www.wnpj.org/post/statements-from-wnpj-groups-and-their-national-affiliates-on-palestine-israel-hamas Petitions to sign https://www.change.org/p/sign-and-share-this-urgent-petition-calling-for-a-ceasefirenow-in-gaza-and-israel and phone calls to make. Go to the Madison Rafah Sister City sites: http://madisonrafah.org/   and/or https://www.facebook.com/madisonrafah to learn more. *************************************** The WI Network for Peace and Justice is the umbrella non-profit organization supporting the work of 81 member groups around Wisconsin. Upcoming Events this week for WNPJ groups: MADISON Mon Dec 18, 12 noon – 1 pm Monday Noon Vigil for Peace – Meet at the corner of MLK, Jr. Blvd and Doty St.  For more information, call Tim at 608-630-3633. MAUSTON Tues Dec 19, 3:45 – 6:30 pm SPECIAL CANDLELIGHT HOLIDAY VIGIL AGAINST THE DRONES – see the Spotlight above. MILWAUKEE Tues Dec 19, 11:30 am – 1 pm CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER TO END RACISM - St. Bakhita Catholic Worker, 3138 N. 2nd Street. Sent to WNPJ by Casa Maria Catholic Worker - casamariamke@gmail.com MADISON Tues Dec 19, 4:30 – 5:30 pm Candlelight Vigil calling for a permanent ceasefire. Meet in front of Senator Tammy Baldwin's Madison office (State St. corner of the Capitol Square.) The vigil will provide community leaders of faith and/or conscience the opportunity to speak out for the need for an immediate ceasefire. This vigil will end with an optional 10 minute candlelight march from Senator Baldwin's office to Representative Mark Pocan's office, where we will leave thank you cards for his being one of the first 60 lawmakers to call for a ceasefire. Senator Baldwin has not yet joined these lawmakers. We are hopeful that with the extra pressure from thousands of her constituents, she will soon join the growing global outcry calling for a ceasefire. Please invite others to join you, promote this candlelight vigil on Facebook (https://fb.me/e/6AKE3g6eh) and don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions. If a member of your community is interested in being one of the people speaking at this vigil, please call 608-630-3633 to discuss that possibility. Tim Cordon, Building Unity Coalition - (608) 630-3633 and Jane Kavaloski, Chair of Interfaith Peace Working Group MILWAUKEE Wed Dec 20, 12 noon – 1 pm Anti Gun Vigil.  Meet at Dunham's Sports, South 108th Street. Dunham advertises and sells guns and assault rifles. Organizer Casa Maria Catholic Worker  casamariamke@gmail.com MILWAUKEE Wed Dec 20, 5: 30 - 7: 30 pm WISDOM's End the Lockdowns and Justice Reinvestment Community Forum - Turner Hall, Vel R. Phillips Avenue. Representatives Ryan Clancy and Darrin Madison have confirmed attendance at the event and WISDOM is still awaiting response from other Milwaukee legislators. WISDOM leaders will provide a presentation about their vision of justice reinvestment and attendees will be able to share testimonies with lawmakers. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. The restaurant will be open for attendees to purchase their own food and drinks if desired. Panel and broadcast will occur from 6-7:30 p.m. Broadcast will be live streamed on Milwaukee Turners and WISDOM Facebook pages. office@wisdomwisconsin.org MADISON Wed Dec 20, 6 – 8 pm POTLUCK FOR GAZA | PHONEBANK FOR HUMANITY at Pasture & Plenty, 2433 University Ave. It’s a phonebank potluck! Let food bring us together in collective action. Bring a Palestinian dish or dessert to pass, and join us in contacting our reps to bring an end to the humanitarian atrocities happening daily in Gaza for the last 2+ months. We will not let Palestine be erased. We’re calling for CEASEFIRE NOW as the first step on the road to ending the occupation of Palestine. Bring stamps & a writing utensil, a cell phone or computer. Paper, envelopes, contact info for reps, & scripts will be provided.  PLEASE SHARE. NO RSVP NECESSARY. Sent to WNPJ by Madison Rafah Sister City Project . http://www.madisonrafah.org VIRTUAL Wed Dec 20, 6 – 7 pm Webinar - Legacy of Agriculture at Sinsinawa: 175 Years of Farming - Laurana Snyder, Sinsinawa Mound’s Horticulturist and Farm Coordinator, will be presenting via Zoom. Farming has been a way of life at the Mound since 1847, when Father Samuel Mazzuchelli founded the order of Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa. This presentation will walk you through the past legacy of farming at Sinsinawa and explore where the future of farming is taking us. The fee is $10 per person, and registration ends Monday, December 18. Contact Arrangements at 608-748-4411 or visit our website at https://sinsinawa.org/moundcenter  for more information. VIRTUAL Wed Dec 20, 7 pm Crawford Stewardship Project CAFO Committee meeting via zoom. Protect your township from industrial ag. Join us! Discussion and information about township “CAFO Operations Ordinances”. These are becoming the go-to way for our rural communities to set higher standards for the industry than the minimal regulations provided by state permitting and the restrictive Livestock Siting Law. Our struggle to work through the existing state and county permitting process for Roth Feeder Pig II has shown clearly that if we want to address the many community concerns about these operations, other avenues must be pursued. Most importantly, these ordinances must be done proactively, as any existing permits will be grandfathered in, so don’t wait until a proposal hits to act!  Join us via Zoom Meeting ID: 774 440 0739 By phone:     +1 312 626 6799 LaCROSSE Thurs Dec 21, 12 noon - 12:30 pm Weekly Women in Black Peace Vigil. Meet at Main St & 4th Street South. A weekly vigil for peace every Thursday. Contact Deborah. dbuffton@yahoo.com MADISON Thurs Dec 21, 3 – 4 pm JustDane’s Longest Night Homeless Persons' Memorial Service - Capitol Square North Garage, East Mifflin Street. We will gather at 3:00 p.m. on the Capitol Square, hold a brief outdoor service, and then proceed around the Capitol. This gathering place is near the bench where 38 year old Dwayne Warren’s body was found on June 16th, 2009. Dwayne was experiencing homelessness, he died of sepsis, a blood infection that could have been treated with a simple antibiotic prescription. Dwayne’s death helped bring the community together to create this annual event. info@justdane.org MADISON Dec 21, 6 pm Durango’s Old Timey Rascal Holiday Peace Concert! High Noon Saloon, East Washington Avenue. All ages show! Tickets are $10 with 100% of proceeds going toward humanitarian assistance for displaced victims of ongoing wars through the International Committee of the Red Cross. For more info, visit: https://www.high-noon.com/event/durangos-old-timey-rascalsholiday-peace-concert/. Sent to WNPJ by Madison Infoshop peckjone@wisc.edu SINSINAWA Thurs Dec 21, 6:30 – 8 pm Wild Church: Winter Solstice – At Cavanaugh Park. Eric Anglada, Sinsinawa’s Ecological Programming Coordinator, will be leading the program. Fire and song, ritual and community, prayer and quiet: this inclusive, outdoor gathering is centered on honoring this day of equal light and dark. In a time of planetary upheaval, it is crucial to recover our elemental sense of connection and kinship with Creator and Creation. We are inspired by Celtic tradition and the Wild Church movement. No registration is required and a free will offering is welcome. Contact Arrangements at 608-748-4411 or visit our website at https://sinsinawa.org/moundcenter  for more information. MILWAUKEE Sat Dec 23, 12 noon - 1 pm Peace Action WI - Weekly STAND for PEACE: Meet at Port Washington/Silver Spring. Each Saturday, a different location. Join us. Bring your signs. info@peaceactionwi.org    https://www.peaceactionwi.org/stand_for_peace VIROQUA Sat Dec 23, 11 am - 12 noon Driftless Palestinian Solidarity Weekly Vigil. Meet at Decker and Main. Action Alert: The Driftless Palestinian Solidarity group has written a petition to demand that Senator Tammy Baldwin support a ceasefire in Gaza. We are trying to get this initiative going throughout the state of WI. If your group is interested in getting signatures, please email  Debbie.a.dudek@gmail.com. Thank you for your help! ******************************************************* If your group would like to get your events posted in the weekly e-bulletin – JOIN US! https://www.wnpj.org/membership Here’s your chance to read Network News https://www.wnpj.org/newsletter *********************************** Videos of the 32nd WNPJ Annual Fall Assembly are now available: "Every Drop Counts: Coming Together for Water https://www.wnpj.org/post/2023-fall-assembly *********************** Join WNPJ – www.wnpj.org **************************************** Interested in a yard sign? WNPJ has yard signs available!  yardsigns@wnpj.org See our new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WisNPJ "Like" us and follow us! Questions? Contact info@wnpj.org You can open any of our weekly WNPJ e-Bulletins from the archive and copy the web address to share with others. Sign up here to get on the e-bulletin list: **********************************

  • Action Alert from Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin - Madison

    Because of the prior concern by WNPJ members about the bedding of the F-35s in Madison, I want to inform you of an important decision that is being considered by the “Personnel and Finance Committee” of the Dane County Board on December 18.  2023 Resolution 168 is a proposed Joint Use Agreement (JUA) among the airport, state, and federal military officials. Among other details, this proposed Joint Use Agreement includes: Rent for airport use by the National Guard for the next 10 years will be $100! The military would have “indemnity,” - be free forever from liability for “hazardous substance exposure or pollution of or contamination to air, land, water, person or property” that might result from providing those fire and rescue services. The proposed agreement, which has multiple indemnification clauses for the military, would leave the County, City, and taxpayers responsible for the cost of all past and future water pollution from PFAS. Cleaning PFAS out of our drinking water, streams, lakes, and water shed could likely cost many millions of dollars! County Supervisors Yogesh Chawla, Heidi Wegleitner, Sarah Smith, Michele Ritt and Jacob Wright, have written modifications to the JUA that they want the “Personnel and Finance Committee” to consider at their December 18 meeting.  The full County Board will meet on December 21.  (See Revised JUA below) This is a very short timeline, but your voice is critical in this decision. Please sign the letter to Dane County Board supporting postponement of JUA on Dec-18 and Dec-21 (Link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScy9wDdHxH9e5VvLbd9DwO5raVnrpbTZwlwma29TCk1nMYV1w/viewform) In addition, please forward this information, with the attachment, to your Dane County networks, friends, and family. Thank you so much. Jane H Kavaloski Safe Skies Clean Water jhkavaloski@gmail.com

  • No matter where you live in Wisconsin this week of Dec 11 - WNPJ member groups have an event for you

    WNPJ + Network News is out for delivery + WNPJ’s Fall Assembly Videos are Available + “Longest Night Homeless Persons' Memorial Service” Dec 21 in Madison + Gaza updates +  other statewide events… ********************************** Here’s your chance to read the Fall edition of WNPJ's Network News. If you're a WNPJ member, it should be arriving in your mailbox soon! https://www.wnpj.org/post/wnpj-fall-2023-newsletter In this issue: ·         Ceasefire action ·         Madison for a World Beyond War - by Anthony Walker ·         WNPJ Moving Forward on Environmental Justice - WNPJ receives BEA Grant - by Dena Eakles ·         Words from Lance Green, original 32 yr member of WNPJ and first newsletter editor ·         Book Review by David Nordstrom "Peace: A Very Short Introduction" ·         HISTORY: Defeat of Crandon mine in Wisconsin a pivotal victory - by Al Gedicks, excerpted from The Cap Times, October 5, 2023 ·         State of the Network Excerpts and video links from the Oct 28 WNPJ Fall Assembly: “Every Drop Counts – Coming Together for Water”: ·         Dean Hoegger of Clean Water Action Council ·         Lynn and Nancy Utesch, area farmers ·         Rights of Nature Wisconsin Initiative with Terry Dawson and WISDOM representative David Liners ·         WNPJ Peacemaker of the Year Award 2023 presented to Bill Christofferson ·         WNPJ celebrates the life of George Paz Martin by Julie Enslow ·         Jonathan Ward joins the 2023–24 WNPJ Board ·         Sold Down the River – the Struggle for Clean Water, Rural Justice, and a Better Farm Bill - by John Peck of Family Farm Defenders *********************************** Videos of the 32nd WNPJ Annual Fall Assembly are now available: "Every Drop Counts: Coming Together for Water” You can watch the video of Mark Foreman and Mary Kay Bauman presenting Bill Christofferson (center) of Vets for Peace Milwaukee with the annual WNPJ Peacemaker Award 2023  - and much more – here: https://www.wnpj.org/post/2023-fall-assembly *************************************************** Spotlight on JustDane’s Longest Night Homeless Persons' Memorial Remembrance This year’s Longest Night Homeless Persons Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, December 21st.  We will gather at 3:00 p.m. on the Capitol Square at the intersection of East Main, South Pinckney Street and King Street, Madison. We will hold a brief outdoor service and then proceed around the Capitol. This gathering place is near the bench where 38 year old Dwayne Warren’s body was found on June 16th, 2009. Dwayne was experiencing homelessness, he died of sepsis, a blood infection that could have been treated with a simple antibiotic prescription. Dwayne’s death helped bring the community together to create this annual event. Each year we like to create memorial cards for each of the individuals remembered at the event, and for those who may have passed and been remembered in previous years. Eventually we would like to create a Remembrance Wall that would include these cards and could travel to various locations to serve as a traveling memorial to those we mourn. While the service is primarily intended to remember our neighbors who were homeless when they died, it is also a place where people who are formerly or currently homeless can remember others that they lost but were unable to attend a funeral or memorial service. With that in mind, we are asking that, if you have someone you would like remembered at the service, that you provide us a little information about the person, their gifts, interests, qualities you admired, anything you would like to share. Please complete this form by Dec. 11, 2023. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf-EGyFEZSlw-oN_FhnmNahh88u6ZexG4-9OXPZBsPxT6DPhA/viewform info@justdane.org ************************************* WNPJ member groups and affiliates issue Statementsand Action Alerts on Hamas/Palestine/Israel Read statements from our member groups:https://www.wnpj.org/post/statements-from-wnpj-groups-and-their-national-affiliates-on-palestine-israel-hamas Petitions to sign https://www.change.org/p/sign-and-share-this-urgent-petition-calling-for-a-ceasefirenow-in-gaza-and-israel and phone calls to make. To learn more, see the Madison Rafah Sister City sites: http://madisonrafah.org/  and/orMadison Rafah Sister City Facebook Page Special Note: The Madison Common Council passed the ceasefire resolution by unanimous consent following public testimony that was overwhelmingly in favor. If you want to thank them, the email address to do that is allalders@cityofmadison.com Check out these images from the Dec 9th Rally for a GAZA Ceasefire.... in Madison: https://wibailoutpeople.org/2023/12/09/thousands-march-in-madison-wisconsin-for-palestine-december-9-2023-demand-stop-the-u-s-israeli-genocidal-apartheid/ More photos and video: https://www.facebook.com/wibailoutpeople.org/ https://www.facebook.com/werisefightinglaborpodcast/ Event organized by: https://www.facebook.com/wiscoforpali **************************************** Upcoming Events this week for WNPJ groups: MADISON Mon Dec 11, 12 noon – 1 pm Monday Noon Vigil for Peace – Meet at the corner of MLK, Jr. Blvd and Doty St.  Call Tim at 608-630-3633 to see if this is happening today. MADISON Mon through Fri, Dec 11 to 15, 9 – 5 pm Ceasefire Vigil at Tammy Baldwin's office – 30 W Mifflin St. 7th Fl.  World Beyond War Madison is inviting individuals and groups to take chunks of time to vigil for a ceasefire.  Could be inside the office or downstairs on the sidewalk, reading names of the dead, or whatever you are inspired to do. You can sign up for an hour or more, on your own, with friends or with a group you are part of. "Ceasefire vigil at Senator Baldwin's office." Options here to  Sign Up. Contact warabolition@gmail.com to learn more. VIRTUAL Tues Dec 12, 7:30 – 9 pm December Membership Meeting of Madison DSA. | Zoom | Passcode: 639152 . We will have Alders Marsha Rummel and Juliana Bennett for a discussion on housing. Contact: dsamadison@gmail.com VIRTUAL Tues Nov 12, 7 – 8:15 pm Native Book Discussion: The Land is Not Empty – Sinsinawa. Join Eric Anglada, Sinsinawa’s Ecological Programming Coordinator,  for a zoom discussion about the book, “The Land is Not Empty”, by Sarah Augustine. This prophetic book reframes the colonization of North America, investigating ways that the Doctrine of Discovery continues to devastate indigenous cultures, and even the planet itself, as it justifies exploitation of both natural resources and people. This is a powerful call to reckon with the root causes of a legacy that continues to have devastating effects on indigenous peoples around the globe and a call to recognize how all of our lives and our choices are interwoven. Registration ends December 11, and the fee is $10 per person. Contact Arrangements at 608-748-4411 or visit our website at https://sinsinawa.org/moundcenter  for more information. MILWAUKEE Wed Dec 13, 12 noon – 1 pm Anti ROTC Vigil. Meet in front of Marquette U Library.  We ask Marquette to stop training our young how to kill the enemy rather than doing good to the enemy. Casa Maria Catholic Worker  casamariamke@gmail.com LaCROSSE Thurs Dec 14, 12 noon - 12:30 pm Weekly Women in Black Peace Vigil. Meet at Main St & 4th Street South. A weekly vigil for peace every Thursday. Contact Deborah. dbuffton@yahoo.com MADISON Thurs Dec 14th 6:30 - 7:30 pm, Lights Up for Palestine - Meet near the Overture Center, downtown Madison, corner of N. Henry and West Dayton. Contact: Cassandra Dixon of Madison Rafah Sister City Project https://www.facebook.com/cassandra.wi EAU CLAIRE Fri Dec 15, 5 – 6 pm Monthly Peace Stand. Meet at Wisconsin 93 Trunk & Golf Road. The 3rd Friday of each month is Peace Stand time in Eau Claire, going on since 2004. We gather with, we visit one another and sometimes we sing. Stand and be counted. Mark Helpsmeet is with Northern Spirit Radio, a member group of WNPJ. Contact for more information: helpsmeet@usa.net VIRTUAL Fri Dec 15, 5 – 6 pm Webinar: A History of Common Vegetables – Sinsinawa. Have you ever looked at a potato and wondered how such a humble spud made its way into cuisine around the world? Laurana Snyder, Sinsinawa Mound’s Horticulturist and Farm Coordinator, will be a leading our discussion. We will learn all about where your food really comes from and how humans domesticated and distributed some of the most common vegetables we consume today. Registration ends December 13, and the fee is $10 per person. Contact Arrangements at 608-748-4411 or visit our website at https://sinsinawa.org/moundcenter  for more information MADISON Fri Dec. 15, 7:30 pm and Sat Dec 16, 2:30 and 6:30 pm Proud Theater: Commercial Break. At the  Madison Youth Arts Center (1055 E. Mifflin)  - an exciting weekend of theater and performance pieces written by and starring the talented youth of Proud Theater Madison, the city's premier LGBTQIA+ and Allied youth theater troupe. Tickets are a suggested price of $10 – for reservations email: reservations@proudtheater.org More info, visit: https://proudtheater.org/  Sent to WNPJ by Madison Infoshop peckjohne@gmail.com Madison Sat. Dec. 16,  6:00 pm Fundraiser for Hannah! Say “NO” to Cop City. Social Justice Center (1202 Williamson St.) This is a benefit for our friend and neighbor, Hannah Kass. Come for free food, music, and to learn more about the Atlanta forest defenders and their dubious criminal prosecution. By now you've probably heard that the City of Atlanta wants to hand hundreds of acres of forest to the Atlanta Police Foundation where they are planning to build a hyper-militarized police training facility. Several Stop Cop City (aka Defend the Atlanta/Weelaunee Forest) co-defendants were indicted on bogus RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) charges in a highly political prosecution against a broad social movement fighting urban deforestation and police militarization. One of these co-defendants, PhD student, Hannah Kass, (UW Geography Dept. and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies) needs funds to support her bail, legal, travel, and other expenses. Hear a few words from Hannah and other local activists about Cop City and the growing danger of police-sponsored repression. None of us is safe until all of us are safe! You can learn more about this struggle here: https://defendtheatlantaforest.org/ Donations for Hannah came be made via Venmo here: https://account.venmo.com/u/madisonsolidarity You can also share this event via Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/368969032341037 Sent to WNPJ by Madison Infoshop peckjohne@gmail.com MADISON Sat Dec 16, TBD Holiday Caroling with 350 Wisconsin. Place TBD. The Art Collective and the Divest & Defund team are organizing a holiday "caroling" event where we will sing familiar tunes with alternative, climate change - related lyrics. Some of the songs will call upon certain banks to stop funding fossil fuels. This action will take place on December 16, but other details are being worked out. We'd love to have you join us - the more the merrier! For more information,  contact divest.defund@350wisconsin.org MADISON Sat Dec 16, 10 am – 4 pm  HUMANS Solidarity Summit. At the Social Justice Center, 1202 Williamson St. Details and registration are here. 10am - gather in person for a little breakfast and then participate in the virtual summit together. And/or show up after the 11-1 clusterflocks session. From 1-3 pm there’s a casual reception with food and drink -  before having fun with our friends around the world in from  3-4 pm - online karaoke with Marilyn. Sunday's session is all online UNLESS we hear from members who need to access in person. That day includes Technicollab Dreams (11-1) then the wrap up, mutual aid market, and board election (1-2). The whole schedule is at the event link. Join or renew at https://madisonman.coop/   . MILWAUKEE Sat Dec 16, 12 noon - 1 pm Peace Action WI - Weekly STAND for PEACE: Meet at 76th/Layton. Each Saturday, a different location. Join us. Bring your signs. info@peaceactionwi.org    https://www.peaceactionwi.org/stand_for_peace VIROQUA Sat Dec 16, 11 am - 12 noon Driftless Palestinian Solidarity Weekly Vigil. Meet at Decker and Main. Action Alert: The Driftless Palestinian Solidarity group has written a petition to demand that Senator Tammy Baldwin support a ceasefire in Gaza. We are trying to get this initiative going throughout the state of WI. If your group is interested in getting signatures, please email  Debbie.a.dudek@gmail.com. Thank you for your help! RACINE Sat Dec 16, 12:30 – 1:30 pm Stand for Ceasefire in Irael and Palestine. Meet at  909 Dr Martin Luther King Dr . We have signs and banners for all! JOIN US today and on Dec. 9th and 16th! We also remind everyone to continue to call your representatives a number of times a week—-for a CEASEFIRE NOW. Contact: www.facebook.com/RacineCoalitionforPeaceJustice/ MADISON Sun Dec 17, 10:30 am Memorial Service for Helen Woodson: Sent to WNPJ by Mary Beth Schlagheck mbspeace1@charter.net, Helen was the originator of the Monday Noon Peace Vigil in MAdison, 42 years ago. *********************************** The WI Network for Peace and Justice is the umbrella non-profit organization supporting the work of 80 member groups around Wisconsin. Join WNPJ – www.wnpj.org **************************** You can open any of our weekly WNPJ e-Bulletins from the archive and copy the web address to share with others. ******************************************************* If your group would like to get your events posted in the weekly e-bulletin – JOIN US! https://www.wnpj.org/membership **************************************** Interested in a yard sign? WNPJ has yard signs available!  yardsigns@wnpj.org See our new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WisNPJ "Like" us and follow us! Questions? Contact info@wnpj.org

  • WNPJ Fall 2023 Newsletter

    This issue is full of articles from our members and news from WNPJ! In this issue: Ceasefire action Madison for a World Beyond War - by Anthony Walker WNPJ Moving Forward on Environmental Justice - WNPJ receives BEA Grant - by Dena Eakles Words from Lance Green, original 32 yr member of WNPJ and first newsletter editor Book Review by David Nordstrom "Peace: A Very Short Introduction" Excerpts and video links from the Oct 28 WNPJ Fall Assembly: Every Drop Counts – Coming Together for Water: Dean Hoegger of Clean Water Action Council Lynn and Nancy Utesch, area farmers Rights of Nature Wisconsin Initiative with Terry Dawson and WISDOM representative David Liners WNPJ Peacemaker of the Year Award 2023 presented to Bill Christofferson WNPJ celebrates the life of George Paz Martin - by Jonathan Ward joins the 2023–24 WNPJ Board Sold Down the River – the Struggle for Clean Water, Rural Justice, and a Better Farm Bill - by John Peck of Family Farm Defenders HISTORY: Defeat of Crandon mine in Wisconsin a pivotal victory - by Al Gedicks, excerpted from The Cap Times, October 5, 2023 State of the Network

  • Spotlight on the WNPJ member group, Mary House

    Dear Friends of Mary House ... It has been 34 years since our first chilly December at Mary House and thanks to you we are still here, looking forward to welcoming families who have traveled to visit a loved one in the Federal Correctional Facility at Oxford. We’re grateful for the honor of spending time with these children who have come such a long way to spend precious hours in a difficult and sometimes terrible place. And we are beyond thankful to all of you who have supported Mary House over the years and kept our doors through thick and thin. It is thanks to you, our extended family, that this experiment in mercy and solidarity is still alive here in the fields of Wisconsin. When our guests come through the door it is thanks to you that the lights are on and the fridge is full. It’s thanks to you that the beds are made and the water is hot, and its thanks to you that we have the joy of welcoming these strong, determined, loving children. I know there are families making plans now, and children who are waiting, patiently or not, for the day they arrive and walk through the metal detector for a visit that’s been anticipated for weeks or months, or maybe for a whole long year. We are grateful to you for making this possible, and I hope you will consider supporting hospitality at Mary House in the year to come. Since Mary House opened, the US prison population has grown every single year. Today the United States is home to the second largest number of prisoners worldwide, second only to China (and Gaza, the world’s largest open air prison). Roughly 1.68 million people were behind bars in the U.S. in 2023. If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated 1 of every 20 US residents (5.1%) will serve time during their lifetime. Seventy percent of convictions in our justice system result in prison or jail time, making our rate of incarceration the highest in the world. Over five million children in the United States have experienced the incarceration of a parent and an estimated 2.7 million children will face the coming holidays with a parent behind bars. These children and their families struggle not only with the loss of a parent but also with the financial burdens that come with incarceration, and which will continue to impact their families long after the sentence has been served. It is the youngest members of these families, children who have committed no crime, that pay the greatest price for our national addiction to incarceration. Two-thirds of the parents serving time in prison have never had a visit from them, largely because they are incarcerated too far away from their children for visiting to be possible for families already coping with the financial burden of imprisonment. So the children who will stay at Mary House this Advent and holiday season are beating the odds, at great cost to their families, and they deserve every ounce of our respect and support. They are doing the ONLY thing that is known to reduce the chances of an incarcerated person returning to prison after release: They are preserving ties to loved ones outside the bars. All year long these children have been doing the real work of Christmas, and the coming holidays will be no exception. Many of them have been looking forward to traveling here for months, and I’m grateful to all of you for helping us greet them when they finally climb out of the car and drag their pillows and backpacks through our door. For many of them the winter trip they’ll make to Wisconsin is their family’s only vacation. Travel costs have risen and for many of the families who visit us wages have not kept up. These children are choosing a long trip through a cold landscape to arrive in a concrete visiting room over a trip to Disney, and their families are choosing to bring them here over everything else they might be longing for. As the world around them grows ever more divisive, and civility and kindness are harder and harder to find, we would do well to look to these children for advice on how to live in the world we have made. In this time when we seem to have lost our humanity, they are clinging to theirs. They have priorities that should put our furious consumption to shame. They know it’s not the shoes, or the phone, or the mountain of shiny wrapping paper that matters. When they find their way through the door and past the metal detector they will have left all that behind and brought only their own good hearts. So I am deeply grateful to you for your help in making sure this house remains here for these children and the adults who cherish them, this holiday season and throughout the coming year. I know that I’ve been asking for your help to keep this house open for a long, long time, and I’m so grateful for your generosity and your confidence in Mary House over the years. Without you, our small extended family with the big kind, generous, heart, we would not be here at all. Thank you for helping us welcome these children and their families, and for keeping our doors open in the year to come. May your own family and loved ones be safe and well this holiday season, and may your new year arrive with courage and hope. Thank you all for your kindness and your generosity. With deepest gratitude, Cassandra Dixon, for Mary House - Dec 2023 Your contribution to Mary House, in any amount, is tax deductible. Please use our PayPal link at https://www.paypal.me/MaryHouseHospitality, or visit our website at www.themaryhouse.org. Choose “support” in the menu, then choose “donate”. Or you can mail a check to 3579 County Road G, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965 Thank You!! When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flocks, the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among the people, to make music in the heart. -Howard Thurman PS: I would like to apologize personally to anyone I’ve failed to respond to or thank over the past year. It has been the most challenging year I can remember and I greatly regret having been less than fully present for Mary House. I was assaulted by an Israeli settler in March while I was in Palestine, had a fractured skull, and spent a lot of the summer recovering, And since October 7 I have been so shocked and devastated by the ongoing genocide in Gaza, and so terribly worried for the lives, safety and future of dear friends in the West Bank, that I seem to be moving through thick mud. I am deeply grateful to all of you, and especially to our guests, for forgiveness, patience and understanding in this heartbreaking time. Cassandra Dixon 3579 County Road G, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965 (608) 844-4162 maryhousewis@gmail.comwww.themaryhouse.org

  • WNPJ's Week of Dec 4th - Check out the Calendar and Action Alerts - and Jump In!

    WNPJ is Weaving the Web this week with a Conversation on “Ending War” + Worker Justice WI Posadas + All Out for Palestine March in Madison + other statewide events… *********************************** The WI Network for Peace and Justice is the umbrella non-profit organization supporting the work of 80 member groups around Wisconsin. **************************** You can open any of our weekly WNPJ e-Bulletins from the archive and copy the web address to share with others. ********************************** VIRTUAL Dec 7, 12 noon – 1 pm WNPJ’s Monthly Weaving the Web Drop-in Conversation Hour. Hosted this month by Jonathan Ward, new Board member of WNPJ. Jon is a retired U.S. diplomat, Army veteran of the Gulf War, and a member of the Milwaukee Chapter of Veterans for Peace. He recently completed Ending War 101 - World BEYOND War and will share some learnings to lead off the conversation on "Ending War." Zoom info: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89361313008?pwd=UmxCOUcxL3ZFb244aXp0SnBVTFRSZz09 ; Meeting ID: 893 6131 3008 - Passcode: 797041; +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) Organizer: office@wnpj.org ***************************************** Worker Justice Center WI Posadas holiday celebration! Friday, Dec 8, from 5 – 11 pm, Labor temple lounge, 1602 S Park Street. Madison Worker Justice Center WI is thrilled to bring back our Posadas holiday celebration! Bring your entire family and join us on December 8th for FREE pozole, rice and beans, light refreshments, live music, and piñatas filled with candy! Stop by one of the tabling unions to learn about new job opportunities. We'll also share what being unionized now means for our future, exciting actions we are planning to take in 2024, and our new co-op initiative. Plus, we’ll open the floor for workers to give their testimony! And…..if you or your organization would like to donate items to our event, we thank you in advance for your generosity! Here are some of the items we’re still looking for: 48oz soup paper bowls (300), dinner paper plates (300), large packages of napkins (4), plastic spoons, forks, and knives (300/each), colorful table cloths (20), glassware cups (200), and juice boxes (100). Si quiere hacer una donación, puede traerla a la oficina de Justicia Obrera Wisconsin, WJW, (1602 S. Park St. #115) o póngase en contacto directamente conmigo, socorro@workerjustice.org. To make a donation, please make a drop-of at our main office (1602 S. Park St. #115) or contact Socorro Cortez for any questions at socorro@workerjustice.org. *************************************************** MADISON Sat Dec 9, 1 pm - All Out for Palestine Rally . At the State Capitol, East Main St. Sent to WNPJ by Madison Rafah Sister City Project : www.facebook.com/madisonrafah/ ********************************************************* Videos of the 32nd Annual WNPJ Fall Assembly are now available: "Every Drop Counts: Coming Together for Water Check it out! https://www.wnpj.org/post/2023-fall-assembly *********************************** Upcoming Events this week for WNPJ groups: MADISON Mon Dec 4, 9am - 5pm World BEYOND War vigil at Senator Tammy Baldwin's office. 30 W Mifflin St 7th floor. There will also be a picket outside on the sidewalk. The front doors are locked. You can wait for someone to exit or call us at 608-217-2248. Please come join us and bring friends. Contact: warabolition@gmail.com MADISON Mon Dec 4, 12 noon - pm Celebration of the 42nd anniversary of the Monday Noon Vigil for Peace – Meet at the corner of MLK, Jr. Blvd and Doty St On the first Monday of December in 1981, a weekly vigil for peace started in Madison, Wisconsin. For over 38 years straight, on almost every Monday that wasn't a national holiday, the vigil occurred in downtown Madison. (approximately 2,000 vigils) One of the founders and the person who kept it going all of those years was Mary Beth Schlagheck. She and her husband John plan to join us for this celebration. The Vigil took a pause in 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about this celebration and the possibility of a restart of the Monday Noon Vigil for Peace in Madison, please call Tim at 608-630-3633 or see the facebook post. VIRTUAL Mon Dec 4, 6:30 pm – 8 pm Learning about Peace – with Echo Valley Hope. Isn’t it time we study peace for a change? Echo Valley Hope will offer The Prem Rawat’s Foundation’s (free) Intro to The Peace Education Program. Clarity, appreciation, inner strength, self-awareness, understanding, dignity, choice, hope, peace and contentment. These are the topics of a free ten-week, video based and interactive course on peace that is used worldwide in schools, prisons, senior centers, veterans groups and more. If you would like to get a first hand look at how the course is run, please register in advance: https://bit.ly/46GQtEh . For more information: Contact Dena Eakles 608-606-4450, dena.eakles@gmail.com VIRTUAL Mon Dec 4, 7 – 8:15 pm Sustainable Buildings: Identifying Leverage Point for Climate Action with 350 WI. Did you know that about 40% of global carbon emissions are attributable to buildings? Changing the way we build new buildings — and renovate existing buildings — will play an important role in meeting our global climate goals. Join 350 Wisconsin at our monthly meeting to hear from Ben Austin, Sustainability Lead at the Madison construction firm J.H. Findorff & Son. Ben will address the opportunities and challenges of taking climate action in the building sector. ONLINE VIA ZOOM: Register in advance for the meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIkd-qupz8jHtCx2JikRB3t05iy0Jney9AW#/registration Contact: https://350wisconsin.org/monthly-meetings/ VIRTUAL Thurs Dec 7, 12 noon – 1 pm WNPJ’s Monthly Weaving the Web Drop-in Conversation Hour. Hosted this month by Jonathan Ward, new Board member of WNPJ. Jon is a retired U.S. diplomat, Army veteran of the Gulf War, and a member of the Milwaukee Chapter of Veterans for Peace. He recently completed Ending War 101 - World BEYOND War and will share some learnings to lead off the conversation on "Ending War." Zoom info: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89361313008?pwd=UmxCOUcxL3ZFb244aXp0SnBVTFRSZz09 ; Meeting ID: 893 6131 3008 - Passcode: 797041; +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) Organizer: office@wnpj.org LaCROSSE Thurs Dec 7, 12 noon - 12:30 pm Weekly Women in Black Peace Vigil. Meet at Main St & 4th Street South. A weekly vigil for peace every Thursday. Contact Deborah Buffton - dbuffton@yahoo.com RACINE Thurs Dec 7 3 pm Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice "End the Lockdowns" Rally . Racine County Courthouse, 730 Wisconsin Ave. It is time to end the lockdown and address alternatives to mass incarceration. We call on the Racine County District Attorney, our local judges and our local officials to stop sending people into inhumane conditions. Learn more here. VIRTUAL Thurs Dec 7, 6:30 – 8 pm WILPF Monthly Virtual Book Club- Let's talk about and share...POETRY. We'll talk about... poetry of Clint Smith, Eve Ewing & others. You are invited to bring a poem or two that you would like to share with others during our time together. It could be from one of these poets or from another poet. Respond to wilpfmadison@gmail.com for the Zoom link. MADISON Thurs Dec 7, 4:30 – 6 pm Lights Up for Palestine Vigil Protest! Corner of Monroe Street and West Lawn on Madison's west side. Join Madison-Rafah Sister City Project and Palestine Partners to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor now estimates the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza since October 7 at 20,000, including those missing under the ruble with little hope of survival. At least 15,271 have been killed, including 6403 children. Please join us to call for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian aid. https://www.facebook.com/events/338123062157647?ref=newsfeed MADISON Fri Dec 8, 5 – 11 pm, Worker Justice Center WI Posadas holiday celebration! Labor temple lounge, 1602 S Park Street. See the Spotlight above to learn more… MILWAUKEE Sat Dec 9, 12 noon - 1 pm Peace Action WI - Weekly STAND for PEACE: Meet at Hwy 100/North. Each Saturday, a different location. Join us. Bring your signs. info@peaceactionwi.org https://www.peaceactionwi.org/stand_for_peace VIROQUA Sat Dec 9, 11 am - 12 noon Driftless Palestinian Solidarity Weekly Vigil. Meet at Decker and Main. Action Alert: The Driftless Palestinian Solidarity group has written a petition to demand that Senator Tammy Baldwin support a ceasefire in Gaza. We are trying to get this initiative going throughout the state of WI. If your group is interested in getting signatures, please email Debbie.a.dudek@gmail.com. Thank you for your help! RACINE Sat Dec 9, 12:30 – 1:30 pm Stand for Ceasefire in Irael and Palestine. Meet at 909 Dr Martin Luther King Dr . We have signs and banners for all! JOIN US today and on Dec. 9th and 16th! We also remind everyone to continue to call your representatives a number of times a week—-for a CEASEFIRE NOW. Contact: www.facebook.com/RacineCoalitionforPeaceJustice/ MADISON Sat Dec 9, 1 pm - All Out for Palestine Rally . At the State Capitol, East Main St. Sent to WNPJ by Madison Rafah Sister City Project : www.facebook.com/madisonrafah/ Madison - Palestine Solidarity Week: Dec 2nd - 10th Learn more and register here..... https://linktr.ee/solidaritymadison ******************************************************* If your group would like to get your events posted in the weekly e-bulletin – JOIN US! https://www.wnpj.org/membership Join WNPJ – www.wnpj.org **************************************** Interested in a yard sign? WNPJ has yard signs available! yardsigns@wnpj.org See our new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WisNPJ "Like" us and follow us! Questions? Contact info@wnpj.org

  • Tribute to George Paz Martin

    Tribute to George Paz Martin, by Julie Enslow George Paz Martin, 1946-2023 George Paz Martin was born in 1946 in the Philippines, the WWII love child of an island beauty and a black American GI. His father brought them to the United States after the war and George was raised in Milwaukee’s black community. At the age of 16 their parish priest, civil rights leader Fr. James Groppi, took George with him to Washington DC for the March on Washington . There, George was 20 feet from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. It changed his life. After years of working for non-profits in the areas of economic development, civil rights, homeless vets, health care for the homeless, gang violence and a stint in marketing and promotion, George ended up in 2000 working in the Ralph Nader for President campaign and became a leader in the Green Party. He joined Peace Action Wisconsin and became totally committed to peace and justice, nuclear disarmament and anti-war organizing. In 2001 he became program director for Peace Action WI and joined the national effort to stop a US war on Iraq. He was chosen as national co-chair of United for Peace and Justice for 8 years. George was a powerful, dynamic speaker, an excellent organizer and had the ability to bring people together. His international work for peace led to over 20 trips to Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. He was interviewed on radio and TV in over 120 countries. Twenty years ago, WNPJ had its annual meeting during intensive efforts to prevent a U.S. war on Iraq. George Martin was there and passionately proposed a statewide action at our US Congressional home offices. WNPJ and George organized sit-ins at three of Sen. Kohl’s offices simultaneously. In Milwaukee we occupied Kohl’s office four days and three nights. If George was here today he would be calling for WNPJ to again promote joint actions around the state at congressional offices to stop the Israeli genocide against the people of Gaza. Let us do all we can to help bring justice and peace to Israel/Palestine. Julie Enslow of Milwaukee November, 2023

  • Events and Action Alerts for the week of Nov. 27 with WNPJ member groups! Lots going on!

    The WI Network for Peace and Justice is the umbrella non-profit organization supporting the work of 80 member groups around Wisconsin. **************************** SPOTLIGHT on Palestine Products found at the Madison 27th Annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival - Sat. Dec. 2nd! Sat. Dec. 2nd 8:00 am – 3:00 pm Monona Terrace (1 John Nolen Dr.) We're back and we're in person - right next door to the Dane County Farmers Market. Let us be your best choice for good karma socially responsible gift giving! More info? https://www.fairtrademadison.org/ Be sure to join MRSCP, Palestine Partners, Madison Playgrounds for Palestine and dozens of other great fair trade vendors at Madison's annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival. This year more than ever we ask you to help Palestinians to remain and thrive on their land by buying the great variety of beautiful and useful products that our three groups are able to bring to you. In spite of the situation, we do have a good supply of embroidery, ceramics, olive wood products, earrings, Hirbawi keffiyehs, olive oil, olive oil soap, zaatar, and more. We will also be promoting awareness of the crisis in Palestine, and raising funds for Gaza relief & the Madison-Masafer Yatta Olive Grove. Madison Rafah Sister City Project http://www.madisonrafah.org *************************** SPOTLIGHT on Building Unity – In Milwaukee Fall Unity Summit - with Building Unity in Milwaukee We are Rising UP! We are Building a Unity Plan! Saturday, 02 December, 10:00 am - 07:00 pm 4201 N 27th St 7th floor, Old North Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53209, USA Building Unity (BU) - The name of a multi-group project with the goal of facilitating a more united Wisconsin-wide movement for peace, justice, sustainability, and democracy. Wisconsin Unity Plan Project - The latest BU collaboration project by BU partners. Pulling together a diverse collection of Wisconsin groups and communities with the goal of creating the Wisconsin Unity Plan: (https://tinyurl.com/WIUnityPlan). Current Highlights of the Wisconsin Unity Plan (also referred to as the Unity Plan or UP) - This evolving and living document will highlight our shared statewide intentions to build a strong participatory democracy that will lead us toward the more rational and moral choices of world peace, social justice, and ecological sanity. More info: www.buildingunitywisconsin.org or call Building Unity at 608-630-3633 ************************** Madison - Palestine Solidarity Week: Dec 2nd - 10th Learn more and register here.....https://linktr.ee/solidaritymadison WNPJ member groups and affiliates issue Statements and Action Alerts on Hamas/Palestine/Israel See the developing list here: https://www.wnpj.org/post/statements-from-wnpj-groups-and-their-national-affiliates-on-palestine-israel-hamas Petitions to sign https://www.change.org/p/sign-and-share-this-urgent-petition-calling-for-a-ceasefirenow-in-gaza-and-israel and phone calls to make. Go to the Madison Rafah Sister City sites: http://madisonrafah.org/ and/or https://www.facebook.com/madisonrafah to learn more. ********************************************************* Upcoming Events this week for WNPJ groups: FITCHBURG Mon Nov 27, 10 am - 12 noon UN Monthly Discussion Group - Meet at the library, 5530 Lacy Road. (This group meets on-line on the 2nd Monday of each month. Contact Sam Romano for the zoom call-in details.) This group meets on the 4th Monday of the month. Questions? Agenda and readings for the day? Please bring along concerns and topics you’d like to discuss or share information with us ahead of meeting. Contact: Sam Romano sromano@charter.net Camp Douglas, Volk Field Tues Nov 28, 3:45 – 4:45 pm Monthly Vigil Against the Drones . To get to the vigil, take the Camp Douglas exit off Interstate 90/94 between Mauston and Tomah. When you exit take County Rd. C to the northeast. You will see the base straight ahead, but follow County Rd. C to the right and within a few blocks is a picnic wayside where you can park. The wayside is now closed for the winter, but you can legally park on the side of the road. There are no bathrooms available during the winter months. We need YOU there. Arrive at the wayside around 3:30 so we have time for introductions and to process to the base together. WE MUST BRING THIS TERROR THAT THE US GOVERNMENT REIGNS DOWN ON OTHERS TO AN END! The vigil at Volk Field is a legal vigil where we will be on public property. As always, it will be a solemn vigil, remembering the victims of US government drone attacks. We will gather at the wayside around 3:30 for introductions and to review the plan for the vigil, and then process together to the gates of the base where we will hold a solemn vigil for one hour to remember those killed by drones. Participants can stand in silence or read poems and stories about the effects of drone warfare. It is important that the voices of the victims be brought to the gates of Volk Field. Bring posters if you can. If you are interested in carpooling to Volk Field from Madison, please contact Bonnie at 608-256-5088. We usually vigil on the 4th Tuesday of every month. If you have any questions please call or email Joy at 608 239-4327 or joyfirst5@gmail.com or Bonnie at 608-256-5088 or blb24@earthlink.net. Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars MILWAUKEE Wed Nov 29, 12 noon - 1 pm ANTI-GUN Vigil. Meet at Dunham's Sports, S 108th St. Dunham advertises and sells guns and assault rifles. Sponsored by Casa Maria Catholic Worker House. www.facebook.com/CasaMariaCatholicWorker/ MADISON Wed Nov 29, 7 pm UNA-USA Dane County Annual Membership Meeting. At Christ Presbyterian Church. East Gorham St. The agenda will include presentation of the revised bylaws as well as board nominations. See https://www.wnpj.org/member-organizations-list/united-nations-association---dane-county-chapter MILWAUKEE Wed Nov 29, 7 pm Veterans for Peace #102 November chapter meeting. At St. John's On the Lake, 1800 N Prospect. Contact: MKE Vets for Peace vfpchapter102@gmail.com LaCROSSE Thurs Nov 30, 12 noon - 12:30 pm Weekly Women in Black Peace Vigil. Meet at Main St & 4th Street South. A weekly vigil for peace every Thursday. Contact Deborah Buffton (check with organizers – as this is a holiday) dbuffton@yahoo.com MADISON Thurs Nov 30, 6 - 7 pm Vets for Peace #25 and WORLD BEYOND War Madison: Anti-war Film series "Theaters of War". Meet at the Madison Public Library - Central, West Mifflin Street, Rm 302. The film tonight is "Theaters of War: How the Pentagon and CIA took Hollywood" . Discussion following the films. If you’ve seen Top Gun or Transformers, you may have wondered: Does all of that military machinery on screen come with strings attached? Does the military actually get a crack at the script? Theaters of War digs deep into a vast new trove of recently released internal government documents to bring the answers to these questions into sharp focus. Traveling across America, filmmaker and media scholar Roger Stahl engages an array of other researchers, bewildered veterans, PR insiders, and industry producers willing to talk. In unsettling and riveting detail, he discovers how the military and CIA have pushed official narratives while systematically scrubbing scripts of war crimes, corruption, racism, sexual assault, coups, assassinations, and torture. From The Longest Day to Lone Survivor, Iron Man to Iron Chef, and James Bond to Jack Ryan, Theaters of War uncovers an alternative “cinematic universe” that stands as one of the great Pentagon PR coups of our time. As these activities gain new public scrutiny, new questions arise: How have they managed to fly under the radar for so long? And where do we go from here? We hope you’ll join us! Questions, ideas, RSVP? warabolition@gmail.com MADISON Sat Dec 2, 8 am – 3 pm Madison’s 27th Annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival! At Monona Terrace (1 John Nolen Dr.) We're back and we're in person - right next door to the Dane County Farmers Market. Let us be your best choice for good karma socially responsible gift giving! More info? https://www.fairtrademadison.org/ Info sent to WNPJ by Madison Infoshop – jepeck@wisc.edu and by Madison Rafah Sister City Project MILWAUKEE Sat Dec 2, 10 am – 7 pm We are Rising UP! We are Building a Unity Plan! 4201 N 27th St 7th floor, Old North Milwaukee. See details above on the Building Unity Spotlight. APPLETON Sat Dec 2, 11am – 12 noon Fox Valley Monthly Stand for Peace. Houdini Plaza, West Lawrence Street. Every month - the first Saturday! Bring your signs! Organizer: Ronna Swift ronnajean61@gmail.com MILWAUKEE Sat Dec 2, 12 noon - 1 pm Peace Action WI - Weekly STAND for PEACE: Meet at East Locust Street & North Oakland Avenue. Each Saturday, a different location. Join us. Bring your signs. info@peaceactionwi.org https://www.peaceactionwi.org/stand_for_peace VIROQUA Sat Dec 2, 11 am - 12 noon Driftless Palestinian Solidarity Weekly Vigil. Meet at Decker and Main. Action Alert: The Driftless Palestinian Solidarity group has written a petition to demand that Senator Tammy Baldwin support a ceasefire in Gaza. We are trying to get this initiative going throughout the state of WI. If your group is interested in getting signatures, please email Debbie.a.dudek@gmail.com. Thank you for your help! RACINE Sat Dec 2, 12:30 – 1:30 pm Stand for Ceasefire in Irael and Palestine. Meet at 909 Dr Martin Luther King Dr . We have signs and banners for all! JOIN US today and on Dec. 9th and 16th! We also remind everyone to continue to call your representatives a number of times a week—-for a CEASEFIRE NOW. Contact: ww.facebook.com/RacineCoalitionforPeaceJustice/ VIRTUAL Mon Dec 4, 6:30 pm – 8 pm Learning about Peace – with Echo Valley Hope. Isn’t it time we study peace for a change? Echo Valley Hope will offer The Prem Rawat’s Foundation’s (free) Intro to The Peace Education Program. Clarity, appreciation, inner strength, self-awareness, understanding, dignity, choice, hope, peace and contentment. These are the topics of a free ten-week, video based and interactive course on peace that is used worldwide in schools, prisons, senior centers, veterans groups and more. If you would like to get a first hand look at how the course is run, please register in advance: https://bit.ly/46GQtEh . For more information: Contact Dena Eakles 608-606-4450, dena.eakles@gmail.com ******************************************************* If your group would like to get your events posted in the weekly e-bulletin – JOIN US! https://www.wnpj.org/membership Join WNPJ – www.wnpj.org **************************************** Interested in a yard sign? WNPJ has yard signs available! yardsigns@wnpj.org See our new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WisNPJ "Like" us and follow us! Questions? Contact info@wnpj.org

  • Tunnels for Safety and Tunnels for Death - by Kathy Kelly Nov.22, 2023

    The Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal welcomes new registrants: The Tribunal launched Sunday, Nov 12, 2023 with a segment recounting repeated aerial bombardments of Gaza. Each week, for the next four months, we will email out a link to the next video segment, with periodic live-stream discussions of the evidence and of actions we can all take our communities (register here for the Dec 3rd discussion.). At the conclusion the jurors of the tribunal will render a verdict during a livestream event following which a detailed written report will be published. Below is an article focused on tunnels in war zones, the most alarming of which is an Israeli site storing nuclear weapons. - Kathy __________________________________________ Tunnels for Safety and Tunnels for Death by Kathy Kelly November 22, 2023 An underground nuclear arsenal in Israel dwarfs the tunnels alleged at a Gaza hospital. It’s one thing to burrow beneath the ground, digging to construct a tunnel for refuge, a passage of goods, or to store weapons during a time of war. It’s quite another to use one hand, as a small child, to try and dig your way out of the rubble that has collapsed upon you. Professor Mustafa Abu Sway, a professor based in Jerusalem, spoke sadly of the reality in Gaza where, he said, "one child dies every ten minutes." "It was not the death of a child," he said, "but the survival of one, that made me really very, very sad." He was speaking of a video which had emerged showing a child buried alive under rubble attempting to free herself with one hand. When we think of how to rescue suffering children from the unbridled carnage of numerous wars that have forced people to go underground, the vast network of tunnels built by the Vietnamese come to mind. To this day, tourists in Viet Nam visit a network of tunnels created by the North Vietnamese, extending from the outskirts of Saigon to the borders of Cambodia. Construction of these tunnels, used both for shelter and by soldiers, began during the French occupation of Viet Nam. Eventually, the complex system gave the North Vietnamese a form of leverage in their effort to fight against the United States military. Following the U.S. defeat in Viet Nam, weapon makers in the United States focused on developing ordnance that could destroy underground tunnels and bases. Bombs like the Paveway (GBU-27) were used against Iraq in Operation Desert Storm where they were deployed on February 13, 1991 to attack the Amiriyah shelter in Baghdad. At that time, families in the Amiriyah neighborhood had huddled overnight in the basement shelter for a relatively safe night’s sleep. The smart bombs penetrated the “Achilles’ heel” of the building, the spot where ventilation shafts had been installed. The first bomb exploded and expelled 17 bodies out of the building. The second bomb followed immediately after the first, and its explosion sealed the exits. The temperature inside the shelter rose to 500 degrees Celsius and the pipes overhead burst, resulting in boiling water that cascaded down on the innocents who slept. Hundreds of people were burned alive. In Afghanistan, on April 13th, 2017, The United States used a Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb nicknamed MOAB, the Mother of All Bombs, to destroy a network of tunnels in the Hindu Kush mountains. The United States had helped the Mujahideen construct these tunnels during their war against the Soviet Union in the late 1970s. The 21,000 pound MOAB, designed to destroy tunnel complexes and hardened bunkers, still affects the area where it was used. Locals say this harsh terrain has been haunted by a deadly, hidden hazard: chemical contamination. According to one local resident, Qudrat Wali, "All the people living in Asad Khel village became ill after that bomb was dropped." The 27-year old farmer showed a journalist red bumps stretched across his calves and said, "I have it all over my body." He said he got the skin disease from contamination left by the MOAB. When Wali and his neighbors returned to their village, they found their land did not produce crops like it had before "We would get 150 kilograms of wheat from my land before, but now we cannot get half of that," he says. "We came back because our homes and livelihoods are here, but this land is not safe. The plants are sick and so are we." One of the most alarming underground concentrations for massive destruction is located 53 miles from Gaza, where a complex now called the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center has developed at least 80 thermonuclear weapons. First built in 1958, the facility underwent a major renovation just two years ago. "To this day," writes Joshua Frank, "Israel has never openly admitted possessing such weaponry and yet has consistently refused to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the secretive site." A classic 1956 film depicting the horror of a Nazi concentration camp, Alain Resnais’s "Night and Fog," contains narration that at one point addresses how the terrible sites will be seen in the future. "Nine million dead haunt this countryside... We pretend that it could only happen once, in this place at that time… The icy water fills the hollows of the mass graves, while war goes to sleep, but with one eye always open." Living as we do in a world where countries like the United States maintain a permanent warfare state, we must reckon with the horrific cost of war – and the obscene profits. The Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal notes that weapons makers' stocks on Wall Street have risen 7% since the war started. Recognizing war never sleeps, we must keep our eyes wide open and acknowledge the horrendous toll as well as our responsibility to build a world beyond war. As much as we might long to grasp the hand of the child trying to free herself from underneath a collapsed building’s rubble, we need to imagine and long for the chance to grasp the hand of someone outside our own community, someone we’ve been taught to regard as an enemy or an invisible "other." Writing these words from a safe, secure spot feels hollow, but in my memory I return to the pediatric ward of an Iraqi hospital when Iraq was under a siege imposed by U.S. and U.N. economic sanctions. Agonized and grieving, a young mother, her world crashing in on her, wept over the dying child she cradled. I came from the country that forbade medicine and food desperately needed by each of the dying children in this ward. "Believe me, I pray," she whispered, "I pray that this will never happen to a mother who is from your country." This article first appeared in The Progressive Kathy Kelly (kathy.vcnv@gmail.com) is board President of World BEYOND War and a co-coordinator of the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal. With Voices for Creative Nonviolence and Voices in the Wilderness she traveled to war zones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza and Lebanon. Photos: 1. Reconstruction of a family room in the Vinh Moc tunnels, Quang Tri, Vietnam [Margrethe Store CC-BY 2.0] 2. Unofficial shrine remembering the victims of the bombing of the Ameriyah shelter in Iran on February 13, 1991 [Lloyd Francis] 3, Negev Nuclear Research Center [Declassified U.S. reconnaissance satellite image (1968) public domain] The Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal will hold accountable -- through testimony of witnesses -- U.S. Weapons manufacturers who knowingly produce and sell products which attack and kill non-combatants. These manufacturers may have committed Crimes Against Humanity as well as violated U.S. Federal criminal laws. The Tribunal will hear the evidence and render a verdict. Kathy Kelly

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