Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
East Bay and San Francisco Branches
Get involved! Become better informed!
Work to Advance Peace, Justice and Human Rights
THE PENTAGON: EXPOSING THE HIDDEN POLLUTER OF WATER
The Pentagon’s reckless use of fire-fighting foams containing cancer-causing agents has contaminated California’s soil, groundwater, and surface water. The military has been poisoning California with these fluorinated surfacants for the last 50 years. They’re covering it up and they’re lying about it.
Join us at two events celebrating World Water Day:
Saturday, March 21st at 7-9pm
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
1924 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA 94709 Church
Sunday, March 22nd 1-4pm
The Women’s Building Auditorium
3543 18th Street #8, San Francisco
Speakers will include Pat Elder, Patricia Haynes and Gar Smith
Pat Elder is an investigative journalist with Civilian Exposure, an organization based in Camp Lejeune, NC that tracks how the military poisons people around the world and chronicles the stories of individuals who have been exposed to toxic contamination through their military service. Pat’s focus is on documenting contamination caused by the military’s use of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, (PFAS) in routine fire-fighting drills. Pat is a board member of World BEYOND War.
Patricia Hynes is a retired Professor of Environmental Health from Boston University School of Public Health and author and editor of many books and articles on militarism, feminism and environmental justice.
Gar Smith is a Project Censored award-winning investigative journalist and editor emeritus of Earth Island Journal. He is the author of Nuclear Roulette, editor of The War and Environment Reader, a co-founder of Environmentalists Against War and a board member of World BEYOND War.
OUR WORK IN COUNTERING MILITARY RECRUITMENT IN LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS
In the past year this hard working group has created an excellent website: BeforeEnlisting.org, prepared handouts for classroom and Career Day visits, tabled with veterans at high school Career Days, and made presentations with veterans in high schools and community colleges throughout the East Bay. We are now seeking funds to expand our program and hope to develop materials and information that can be used by other WILPF branches around the country. The military spends over $1 billion a year on recruitment! It’s David and Goliath, but we all know how that story ended!
WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER
American Friends Service Committee (edited version)
The cost has been devastating. The post-9/11 wars have directly killed over 800,000 people —including more than 335,000 civilians—and countless more have been impacted by hunger, disease, and trauma. American military aggression has contributed to the displacement of 21 million people and crippled multiple economies for a generation. The U.S. has spent more than $6.4 trillion and expanded our unaccountable surveillance state to unprecedented levels.
These are staggering numbers; yet somehow, we have become numb to them. The distance of the violence, the advent of drones and other war technologies, and sheer time elapsed have combined to sanitize war. Instead of being a catastrophic event, war has become an unfortunate reality.
Two decades worth of evidence make it clear—this is who we are as a country.
But it’s not who we have to be. With the recent escalation of violence with Iran, fueled by yet another president bypassing Congress to commit an act of war, we have a chance to change the paradigm. And we as young people are the ones who must do it.
From Greta Thunberg admonishing world leaders for their inaction on climate change to Parkland activists putting their foot down on gun violence, we have proven that our generation is hungry for change and ready to lead. And now, as the president toys with yet another needless conflict abroad, it’s time for us to stand up to endless wars.
And above all, we will have to recognize this as a systemic problem. Endless war has become an institutional reality of American politics, so dismantling it will require institutional change. For two decades now, Congress has neglected to limit the president’s powers, essentially abdicating its responsibility over war and peace. And all the while, Congress has signed off on ever-growing military budgets while turning its back on the hungry, poor, and sick.
We—and the world as a whole—deserve better. Through letters, phone calls, protests, op-eds, and social media posts, we need to call for a better Congress. A Congress that is willing to repeal outdated Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, which have been unjustly used to wage war in dozens of countries across the globe. A Congress that favors diplomacy over unchecked military spending. A Congress that prioritizes the future of this planet over military gains overseas.
Through our votes and our advocacy, we have more power than we realize. It is on us to take a stand for peace and demand more from our government.
TAKE ACTION NOW: WILPF DISARM End Wars has organized WILPF member participation in gathering signatures on a petition to the Senate, in support of the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. WILPF is a founding member of Nobel Peace Prize-winning ICAN and supports the legislative work of NuclearBan.US.
WILPF US STATEMENT ON IRAN AND THE MIDDLE EAST
January 23, 2020 (edited version)
“We reject the US government’s unilateral stand as the world police and Trump’s focus on attacking and killing an individual, rather than using diplomacy.
In the current situation, with Iraq totally destabilized and Iranians suffering from violence, insecurity, hunger, lack of prospects and imposed sanctions, this assassination adds fuel to the fires smoldering in the Middle East. In addition, this US action can undermine the ongoing peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan and damage the international consensus that has developed on peace efforts, not only for Afghanistan but for the whole region.
Wars in the Middle East must end. This latest US escalation of violence is part of a long record of aggressive intervention by the US, NATO, and US allied forces in this explosive region.
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom has been pointing to some root causes of war and violence: power relations, economic profit, and the humiliation of the “other.” In the fragile situation of Iran after the US exit from the nuclear treaty, attacking and destabilizing the current Iran regime is not helpful. When the US attacks the Iran government, Iranians’ popular support for their country is only strengthened. Also, feelings of hate and revenge are amplified in the Iranian population, feeding the spiral of violence.
Contrary to supporting the development of diverse and democratic inclinations in Iran, the actions of the US government open the way for a more radical and militarized regime. The people of Iran are caught in the middle.
WILPF US has repeatedly criticized the ongoing US government threats and strategy of deterrence through weapons of mass destruction. War destroys cultures, the natural environment, and human beings. By continuing to raise the threat of using nuclear weapons against Iran, as well as other states, the Trump administration’s rhetoric stirs up uninformed attitudes among more extreme segments of the US electorate. War – even in the minds of people – is unacceptable.
The US administration fails to discuss or publicize the dire global and political consequences that make unthinkable any – even very limited – use of nuclear weapons. WILPF US emphasizes that there is no justification for the use of nuclear arms.
The US must lead by example. It is time for a new foreign policy. The ruins of Syria show us what our country can become. Spreading weapons and hate can bring only war and destruction, not just to the Middle East but to the US and to the world.
Feeling frustrated? It helps to GET INVOLVED!
JOIN US AT OUR NEXT PLANNING MEETING
Saturday March 14 10am-noon
Rockridge Public Library. Oakland
ONE WILPF CALLS
A good way to become involved from your home is to join our Monthly One WILPF calls on the 2nd Thursday of the month. Please join us.
Thursday, March 12, 4pm
featuring Jackie Cabasso WSLF wslfweb.org and
Marylia Kelly TriValley Cares Trivalleycares
To register click on link below and you only need to pre-register once. https://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/NW7UOTL6KBLOV3E Past calls are available to listen to here:
EXPLORE WILPF TODAY
Local branch web pages
www.WILPFEastBay.org or www.WILPFSF.org
WILPF East Bay
P. O. Box 13083, Oakland, CA 94661
P. O. Box 590253, San Francisco, CA 94159
National WILPF www.wilpfus.org
International WILPF: www.wilpf.org