Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
East Bay and San Francisco Branches
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WILPF AND BLACK LIVES MATTER
Statement by the United States Section of WILPF
We stand in solidarity with the protestors of police brutality and systemic racism calling to defund the police, because Black Lives Matter. No one should have to suffer the heavy emotional and physical burden of generations of inequality, constant oppression, discrimination, and trauma.
The pandemic of racism has taken George Floyd’s life. He joins countless others who have been killed due to racism. Here are just some of their names: Treyvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Freddie Grey, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, Sandra Bland, John Crawford III, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Emmett Till and many more.
Enough is enough!
We must defund the police and shift the money to public health and mental health services, housing, and other human needs.
WILPF US MAKES DEMANDS TO THE U.S. GOVERNMENT REGARDING THE CORONA VIRUS 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 Guterres and supporting inclusive peace negotiations – with women equally represented at the peace table.
All children of the world have access to clean water and affordable health care, are well fed, and live free of fear in homes with loving people around them.
The global health pandemic, racial injustice demonstrations and economic collapse posed by the coronavirus is affecting us all. This has not been helped by huge financial assistance to military, corporations and the rich, leaving out the middle class Americans, the unemployed, the elderly and the poor. Getting through coronavirus and the economic collapse 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.
There is a more extensive report by WILPF-US titled “Police and Workplace Murders: Two Intersecting Pandemics“
THE MASS POOR PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY
AND MORAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON
JUNE 20, 2020
The Poor People’s Campaign – PPC – Plans for June 20: WILPF is one of the first groups to sign on to the PPC. They will be doing their Moral March on Washington now as a Digital Justice Gathering, two-hour programs to watch: Saturday, June 20 at 7 am (PT), and then repeated at 3 pm (PT) and repeated again on Sunday, June 21 at 3 pm.If you haven’t signed up to be part of the virtual Mass Assembly on June 20, use this link to sign up: specific RSVP link for WILPF
On the One WILPF call on June 11, we heard a good presentation on the PPC given by Mary Bricker-Jenkins, WILPF‘s liaison with PPC: https://wilpfus.org/story/one-wilpf-calls/
Now is the time to reimagine what is necessary and possible in this country. From policing and militarism to voting rights, workers’ rights, welfare, health care, education, indigenous sovereignty, water and environment, the demands of this Campaign present a comprehensive, transformative political and moral agenda for this nation. Click here for the Poor Peoples Campaign most recent demands around COVID-19 and systemic racism.
ENDORSEMENT OF CARE INCOME NOW
CONGRESSWOMAN LEE CALLS TO CUT PENTAGON BUDGET AND REPRIORITIZE PROGRAMS THAT KEEP US SAFE
Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced a resolution calling for significant cuts to the Pentagon budget. Last year’s $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act was the largest on record, coming at the expense of health care, education, infrastructure spending, and public health research. In the middle of a global pandemic, it’s more clear than ever that wasteful spending on unnecessary and endless wars does not keep our country safe or healthy.
“For years, our government has failed to invest in programs that actually keep our country safe and healthy.The prioritization of defense spending and the under investment in public health has led to10 times more deaths from COVID-19 than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. By over-prioritizing the Pentagon and military solutions, our country is drastically underprepared for any crisis that needs a non-military solution.
“We cannot continue to prioritize funding for a department known for its waste, fraud, abuse, and failure to pass an audit – especially when the money to ‘protect national security’ is failing to protect our most vulnerable citizens. Our foreign policy has been militarized to the point that we must repeatedly resort to military solutions for non-military problems.
“People expect Congress to focus on those threats most likely to harm them — not waste their money on expensive weapons designed for the wars of yesterday while the most potent threats to Americans struggle to attract funding. Redundant nuclear weapons, off-books spending accounts, and endless wars in the Middle East don’t keep us safe.
“We all want to provide the best for our men and women in the armed services. Especially at a time when families across the country are struggling to pay the bills or are on food stamps– we need to take a hard look at every dollar and reinvest in people. It’s time to cut weapons of war and prioritize the well-being ofour troops, anti-poverty programs, public health initiatives, and diplomacy.
“Congress needs to prioritize our safety and our future, not more war.”
The full text of the resolution can be found here.
CALIFORNIA’S ACA 5 COULD REINSTATE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN THE STATE
A bill that could reinstate affirmative action in California is moving through the Legislature. It has passed the Assembly by a 2/3 vote and now must pass the Senate by a 2/3 vote. If that happens, it will then go on the November ballot.
For more information about the bill and what you can do to help pass or endorse ACA 5, go to the Opportunity for All Coalition.
NEXT WILPF PLANNING MEETING: Saturday, July 11 at 10 am by Zoom. If you would like to join us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send you the link to join the call.
To register for One WILPF calls, click here. NEXT ONE WILPF CALL July 9, 4PM
During our confinement, you can listen to PAST ONE WILPF CALLS HERE:
EXPLORE WILPF TODAY
Local branch web pages
WILPF East Bay, P. O. Box 13083, Oakland, CA 94661
WILPF-San Francisco, P. O. Box 590253, San Francisco, CA 94159
National WILPF www.wilpfus.org
International WILPF: www.wilpf.org