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 global health pandemic posed by the coronavirus is affecting us all, and is changing rapidly every day. We are getting a glimpse of what this will mean for our future, and what it can teach us about our world. The pandemic reminds us of the fragility of our tightly-coupled social systems and supply chains. Getting through coronavirus will be an exercise not just in building societal resilience, but relearning the values of cooperation, compassion, generosity and kindness, and building systems which institutionalize these values. This is a time for solidarity and action. It is an opportunity for real and systemic change. View the video here.
Sanctions Kill” is an excellent webinar that you can join at UNAC’s website (United National Anti-war Coalition). The speakers included Carlos J. Ron Martinez, Vice Minister for North America; Bashar Ja’afari, Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations; Francisco O. Campbell, Nicaraguan Ambassador to the United States; Ana Silver Rodriguez Abascal, Charge des Affaires, Permanent Cuban Mission to the United Nations; Omawale Clay, representing Zimbabwe; and Majid Takkt-Ravanchi, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations.
The US has imposed economic sanctions against 39 countries. In many cases, this denies them access to medicine and medical equipment as well as access to world markets for food and other necessities. During the coronavirus crisis the US, with the highest death count in the world, has upped the sanctions against countries like Iran and Venezuela, and has tried to weaponize COVID-19 to bring down governments that will not follow the dictates of Washington and Wall Street. The UN has asked that sanctions be loosened during this crisis but the US has done the opposite. Now is an important time for the people in the US to come out strongly against these sanctions, which are simply war by other means.
ACTION: Sign the Open Letter to the Government of the United States and the United States to end sanctions now.
MAY One WILPF Call
Our featured speakers on the call were Cindy Domingo and Leni Villagomez Reeves, who co-chair the Cuba and Bolivarian Alliance Committee. They gave a very passionate report about the attempted United States-sponsored failed coup attempt in Venezuela, Cuba’s development of a possible drug treatment for COVID-19, and Cuba’s role in helping other countries during the pandemic. They also talked about the impact of the continuing blockade and increased sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela during this world crisis. They suggested actions and gave links for information.
TAKE ACTION: Go to the Saving Lives Campaign website to endorse the campaign to expand US-Cuba_Canada Medical Collaboration.
The second part of the call, which drew 54 participants from WILPF branches around the country, was taking a poll to first find out how much interest there was in continuing Solidarity Actions, given the uncertainties about what these actions will look like during the next year or longer. An overwhelming majority supported continuing the Solidarity Actions. The members also voted yes to working on actions for 2020 on two themes:
1. Support the United Nations’ Call for Global Ceasefire and an End to Sanctions during the Pandemic, which could include a focus on the 75th anniversary of UN and Hiroshima/Nagasaki
2. People-oriented Economic Bailout/Reset, which could include Healthcare for All, student loan forgiveness, and worker protections.
A temporary committee was formed to help plan these virtual Solidarity Actions. We will be meeting on Thursday, May 28th 15 4pm via Zoom. If you are interested in joining this committee, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register for One WILPF calls, click here. NEXT CALL Thursday, June 11 4PM
During our confinement, you can listen to PAST ONE WILPF CALLS HERE.
What can we do? There are organizations that are specifically doing election work and targeting swing states for the 2020 election, and they need your help. Two national organizations, Swing Left and Vote Forward, with branches in the East Bay and San Francisco, have a goal of sending 10 million letters with handwritten notes to residents of swing states, encouraging them to vote. Swing Left has letter writing parties by Zoom. They are also doing phone banking.
There are a lot of organizations working on voting rights and election protection. Check out this article entitled 8 Voting Rights Organizations To Know Before The 2020 Elections Roll Around. The organizations include: Let America Vote, Common Cause, League of Women Voters, American Civil Liberties Union, Spread the Vote, Election Protection, Asian Americans Advancing Justice/Asian Law Caucus, Brennan Center for Justice.
TAKE ACTION: Endorse Care Income Now: A long-time activist on women’s issues who is also active with the PPC locally, Rachel West, asked WLPF-SF and East Bay to endorse the Open letter to governments – A Care Income Now! for the care-givers of the world, mostly women and girls, often immigrants.
The Anti-Lockdown Protesters Have a Twisted Conception of Liberty
“Most American support the lockdowns and want the government to bring the coronavirus under control before opening up the economy. But “most” is not “all,” and a small minority is eager to end all the restrictions now, even as the virus spreads and Covid-19 caseloads continue to grow.
“A small faction of that minority has taken to the streets in vocal opposition to stay-at-home measures and the politicians responsible for them. They carry guns and wave Confederate flags and denounce virus mitigation strategies as “tyranny,” an imposition on their liberty to shop, consume and do as they please.
“The vast majority of these protesters — like the vast majority of those who want to prematurely reopen the economy — are white. This is in stark contrast to the victims of Covid-19 (who are disproportionately black and brown), as well as those who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic (who are also disproportionately black and brown), as well as those who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic (who are also disproportionately black and brown), as well as those who have been or will be forced to work — or work more — as a result of reopening (the service workers and laborers, who are again disproportionately black and brown).“
Here’s the link to the complete New York Times article
WILPF US DEMANDS REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
- thorough investigation of the failure of this administration and Congress to exercise “due diligence” in being prepared for a pandemic and the delayed, disorganized and fragmented response that has cost so many lives and pitted state against state; this failure comes on top of a healthcare system already decimated for years by federal and state “austerity” cuts and private care facilities protecting their profits;
- universal healthcare as a basic human right, with funding now for mental health services, to respond to increased gender-based violence and domestic violence;
- appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all essential workers – in health care, transportation, all aspects of food production and sales, sanitation, public safety, and in other essential areas; it is reported that one in three jobs designated as essential are held by women, with non-white women most likely doing these low-wage job often no healthcare;
- decarceration and other serious steps, including PPE and immediate safety and health measures, to protect prisoners, and adults and children in ICE detention, from surging COVID-19;
- restoration of tens of millions of dollars repeatedly cut from underfunded Indian Health Services, to provide urgently needed COVID-19 treatment for underserved, vulnerable Native Americans and Alaskan Natives;
- an end to the military-industrial-congressional complex stranglehold on our economy and lives; systematic annual cuts in the over $750 billion military budget, including closing the 800 US military bases around the world and ending unneeded weapons purchases, nuclear weapons upgrades, and new weapons systems;
- an end to all unilateral US sanctions undermining emergency response to COVID-19 in the “targeted” countries.
While those currently in power in Washington and in corporate boardrooms – weapons manufacturers and investors – would like us to believe we must sacrifice everything for “security”, we reject this policy of militarism and propaganda of fear. “True security is found not in domination and weapons of war, but in peaceful international cooperation.” (Patricia Hynes, Traprock Center for Peace and Justice)
Accordingly, we call upon all nations, including the US, to join us in endorsing the call of UN Secretary General Guerres and supporting inclusive peace negotiations.
Next WILPF EAST BAY/SF PLANNING MEETING
Saturday, June 13 10am by Zoom.
If you would like to join us virtually, you are very welcome. Just send an email to email@example.com and we’ll send you the information you need to join the call.
HAPPY 105TH BIRTHDAY WILPF!
EXPLORE WILPF TODAY
Local branch web pages
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