Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
East Bay and San Francisco Branches
Work to Advance Peace, Justice and Human Rights
END THE ENDLESS WARS TEACH-IN
On March 20, Peace Action sponsored a teach-in entitled End the Endless Wars: US Troops out of the Middle East with Danny Sjursen, Kathy Kelly, Jamie Eldridge, Phyllis Bennis and Vijay Prashad, moderated by Kevin Martin.The sponsors were Massachusetts Peace Action, Chicago Area Peace Action, Maryland Peace Action and Peace Action Wisconsin. You can listen to this terrific video here.
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IT’S NOT ABOUT COUNTING WOMEN–BUT MAKING WOMEN COUNT
Webinar Event – March 24, 2021 10:30-noon
As part of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), WILPF partners from Syria, Yemen and Libya will provide contextual feminist accounts and analysis to redefine women’s meaningful participation in social, economic and political processes in conflicts beyond the quantitative approach of counting women at tables.
The moderator will be Salma Kahale, Interim MENA Director at WILPF. There will be opening remarks by Madeleine Rees, Secretary-General at WILPF.
The panel will include Hajer Sharief, Co-founder of Together We Build it (TWBI), Libya; Oula Ramadan– Executive director at Badael, Syria; and Wajd Barahim – Feminist Peace Project Coordinator at Peace Track Initiative (PTI), Yemen
VIRTUAL VALENTINE’S DAY EVENT A SUCCESS
On February 13th, a group of WILPF’ers from the San Francisco and East Bay branches got together via Zoom to reconnect with old friends and share what we all have been doing, A few women talked about how they got involved with WILPF. We shared what we as branches have been doing and what some of our plans are for the coming year. We celebrated the United Nations Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons coming into force. As of January 22, 2021, all nuclear weapons are illegal. Rosa del Duca from our Before Enlisting group played the guitar and sang three wonderful songs about peace and justice. Thank you to everyone who joined us. We would like to find more ways to stay connected and engaged with our members in 2021. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOLDEN RULE PEACE SHIP COMING TO BAY AREA IN JUNE
The Golden Rule Peace Project, sponsored by Veterans for Peace, is sailing their ship to the Bay Area. Due to Covid-19 restrictions on entering other countries and limitations on gatherings, they have decided to bring Golden Rule back to California. They will sail out of Hawaii in early May and arrive in San Francisco Bay in early June. You can follow the progress on their tracking system.
Golden Rule will remain in the Bay Area through October where presentations, boat tours, and sailing are being planned (as Covid restrictions permit).
San Francisco and East Bay branches are hoping to plan some peace events to celebrate their arrival in the Bay. Stay tuned!
WILPF US 34TH TRIENNIAL CONGRESS
A VIRTUAL EVENT AUGUST 13-15 AND 20-22
Beverly Fitzpatrick, who is on the planning committee for this year’s triennial congress, joined our monthly meeting to talk about plans for the 34th Congress. She is talking to branches to find out their ideas for events and workshops at the Congress. She will be sending us more information at the end of March, so look for an article in the April newsletter. Mark the dates on your calendar!
HONORING AFRICAN WOMEN WHO STRIVE FOR JUSTICE
On Friday, March 26, the DISARM Committee will host a webinar “Honoring African Women who Strive for Justice,” at 11:30 am PT
Please click here to register in advance for this Zoom meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
All who take part are invited to speak about the woman you want to honor, for 3 to 5 minutes. Please contact Robin Lloyd, email@example.com, ahead of time if you’d like to speak, and, if possible, send a photo of the honoree to Robin’s email address to use when you speak. (Men are welcome to propose women.)
Already a man from Côte d’Ivoire is proposing Edith Pulcherie, who is in prison for challenging the extension of the term of the president there. A new American in the US from Uganda will honor Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi, the wife of Bobi Wine, who was an opposition candidate in the recent Ugandan election.
What African woman, or women’s group, do you know, or have heard or read about, today or in history, that should be honored? We want especially to hear suggestions from our WILPF sections in Africa.
STATEMENT ON THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT OF 2021
by Rev. Dr. William Barber, II, Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Shailly Gupta Barnes
This month marks the one-year anniversary of the pandemic stay-at-home orders from 2020. Throughout this crisis, the Poor People’s Campaign has continued to show how fundamental inequalities along lines of race, income, and access to basic needs created the fissures within which this pandemic has wrought such pain. Before the pandemic, there were 140 million people who were poor or low-income and 40% of the population could not afford a $400 emergency. One year later, more than 500,000 lives have been lost, millions of people have lost their jobs and are on unemployment, and millions more are at risk of homelessness and hunger. Even as the vaccine is being distributed across the nation, people are dying at record numbers and inequities exist in access to the vaccine and health care.
We know that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed last week will bring much needed relief to the nation, and for the first time in a generation, poverty is on the national agenda. Due to the tireless work of this Campaign and so many others, the political and economic narrative is shifting. ARPA clearly shows that pandemic relief requires relieving also the injustices of poverty and systemic racism that brought us to this point.
Importantly, ARPA shows that poverty and systemic racism can be addressed through policy. After decades of blaming the poor for their poverty, we are seeing policies that begin to lift from the bottom without work requirements or shaming the poor. Policies that prioritize the poor are front and center, including policies that give money directly to the poor, and we are spending these resources without hand-wringing over the budget. Many of ARPA’s provisions embrace our Campaign’s 14 Policy Priorities to Heal the Nation, including additional stimulus payments ($400 billion), unemployment insurance ($300/week), food security ($12 billion), housing assistance ($35 billion), utilities assistance ($5 billion), the expanded Child Tax Credit, resources for public schools ($130 billion), childcare ($39 billion), Head Start ($1 billion), and aid to state, local and tribal governments ($350 billion). There is also funding for students with disabilities ($3 billion) and indigenous people, including for Indian Health Services and education (+$9 billion). In fact, early estimates suggest that ARPA will reduce child poverty and economic insecurity by 10-45%.
While the passage of ARPA is a necessary step in the right direction, it is only the first of many to follow. We recognize that these gains are only temporary, including that many of the poverty-reducing extensions expire in less than one year. Indeed, we must measure the $1.9 trillion in light of the need at hand. Provisions that improve the conditions of poor and low-income people must be made permanent and expanded into public investments to realize our full potential as a nation. We must not only reduce child poverty, but end it, and end the poverty of their parents. We must extend eligibility to all immigrants and pass laws that guarantee health care, housing, water, welfare, jobs and incomes for everyone. We must have and demand a $15 minimum wage that progresses to a living wage. We need to collect and monitor the impact of COVID-19 by race, income, occupation, and geography. We need a new poverty measure so we can see the true extent of want and address it adequately and to the fullest extent of our national resources. We need to be relieved of housing debt, medical debt, student debt, and other debts that cannot be paid. We must save Oak Flat and protect our sacred rights to religion and democracy. We’ve known what is necessary and now we can see it is possible. Forward together, not one step back!
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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