Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
East Bay and San Francisco Branches
Work to Advance Peace, Justice and Human Rights
If you would like to join the San Francisco WILPF contingent at the rally, you can contact Betty Traynor for more information. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
LET’S TALK ABOUT UKRAINE
Tuesday, March 21 12:00pm (Noon)
WILPF International is starting a new global call series for members: Let’s Talk. The first of these calls will be about Ukraine. Just over a year since the whole-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the war has taken new dimensions affecting and reflecting global geopolitics, spurring a record-level arms race and disaster capitalism, and impacting costs of living far beyond Ukraine and Europe.
Among feminists and peacebuilders, in spite of persistent calls for “No to War!”, peace in Ukraine has become a contentious topic, both inside Ukraine and around the world. Pacifist values are contrasted with impassionate stands for self-defense, which are contrasted with varying takes on imperialism.
Where is WILPF and where are WILPFers in this debate? Is the debate asking the right questions? Internal discussion has already started, notably among Sections in Europe and in the recent Advisory Board meeting. It is a good time to take a step back and think together beyond mainstream narratives, to grasp what a feminist analysis and what peacebuilding might look like in this context.
SHUT DOWN DRONE WARFARE!
Holloman Air Force Base, Southern New Mexico
APRIL 15-22, 2023 SPRING ACTION WEEK!
Co-sponsored by CODEPINK, Veterans For Peace, and Ban Killer Drones
Join us in the homeland of the Mescalero Apache Nation in southern New Mexico. We hope to mobilize 300+ peacemakers across the U.S. to converge at Holloman AFB, near Alamogordo, NM, for a week of peaceful nonviolent resistance against drone warfare and endless wars! ♥️🌵Make your trip more sustainable and get assistance with transportation.
Why Holloman? It’s the largest drone training base in the US: 600 pilots and operators trained EVERY YEAR! Help us build GI Resistance, which was the key to the ending the Vietnam War!
Please register early, even if your plans later change. This helps us in planning. Come for all or part of the week.
SAVE THE DATE: WOMEN AND PEACE
Monday, March 27, 6pm
Committees of Correspondents for Democracy and Socialism’s Socialist Education Project is sponsoring an event to celebrate International Women’s Month, featuring speakers: Darien De Lu, President of WILPF-US, Wei Yu, CODEPINK’s China is Not Our Enemy campaign coordinator, and Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director at Western States Legal Foundation. Register here.
STOP COP CITY
Deetje of the San Francisco branch and others have been following these protests on Native American land in Atlanta, where a police training and high tech center is being built. “Forest defenders” have occupied the area and the events are escalating in opposition to the police presence there. There are now 15 or more protesters in custody charged with “domestic terrorism”, a charge specially fashioned for these arrests. One man has been killed by police. The authorities seem to be doing everything they can to stifle this resistance, but they’re up against many organizations, environmentalists, the Black community, the Indigenous community and all its history of oppression, civil libertarians of all sorts, and probably many random dissidents (some of them militant, some pacifist, etc.)
In a letter from Chantaye McLaughlin of the Atlanta Metro Branch of WILPF, she raised several concerns about the project.
The land that it is being built on it is an old prison farm that was originally supposed to be utilized as a Conservation. It is being built in Dekalb County, a neighboring county to Fulton (Atlanta) and will have a devastating impact on the Black Communities and the toxicity of the climate that many breathe. Residents in the affected area have not been given any real data or information as to the impact on them as a community or as homeowners.
SOLIDARITY ECONOMY BANKING SOLUTIONS: MEET THE BANKER LADIES
Coming the day after International Women’s Day, this ONE WILPF program focused on how much women can support one another financially by being their own “banks”. For women of color banks can be dangerous places and ‘banking while Black’ has always been fraught. This woman-centered alternative gives women the power to change the dynamics in their favor.
Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein of University of Toronto introduced us to a centuries old form of alternative banking used by women in developing countries around the world, and by immigrants and refugees in North America. With no interest charged, this form of banking is based on doing good in small communities of women who are helping one another save money as a kind of mutual aid/solidarity economy model. Women helping women to save money for house down payments, student tuitions, cars to get to work, and weddings or gifts for children. With bank failures announced immediately after this call, alternative models make more sense for women.
We also heard a tribute to former DISARM Chair Carol Urner who passed on January 30th, and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. These peace icons continue to inspire us all
An OPEN LETTER from DANIEL ELLSBERG
Dear friends and supporters,
I have difficult news to impart. On February 17, without much warning, I was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer on the basis of a CT scan and an MRI. (As is usual with pancreatic cancer–which has no early symptoms–it was found while looking for something else, relatively minor). I’m sorry to report to you that my doctors have given me three to six months to live. Of course, they emphasize that everyone’s case is individual; it might be more, or less.
I have chosen not to do chemotherapy (which offers no promise) and I have assurance of great hospice care when needed. Please know: right now, I am not in any physical pain, and in fact, after my hip replacement surgery in late 2021, I feel better physically than I have in years! Moreover, my cardiologist has given me license to abandon my salt-free diet of the last six years. This has improved my quality of life dramatically: the pleasure of eating my former favorite foods! And my energy level is high. Since my diagnosis, I’ve done several interviews and webinars on Ukraine, nuclear weapons, and first amendment issues, and I have two more scheduled this week.
As I just told my son Robert: he’s long known (as my editor) that I work better under a deadline. It turns out that I live better under a deadline!
I feel lucky and grateful that I’ve had a wonderful life far beyond the proverbial three-score years and ten. ( I’ll be ninety-two on April 7th.) I feel the very same way about having a few months more to enjoy life with my wife and family, and in which to continue to pursue the urgent goal of working with others to avert nuclear war in Ukraine or Taiwan (or anywhere else).
When I copied the Pentagon Papers in 1969, I had every reason to think I would be spending the rest of my life behind bars. It was a fate I would gladly have accepted if it meant hastening the end of the Vietnam War, unlikely as that seemed (and was). Yet in the end, that action—in ways I could not have foreseen, due to Nixon’s illegal responses—did have an impact on shortening the war. In addition, thanks to Nixon’s crimes, I was spared the imprisonment I expected, and I was able to spend the last fifty years with Patricia and my family, and with you, my friends.
What’s more, I was able to devote those years to doing everything I could think of to alert the world to the perils of nuclear war and wrongful interventions: lobbying, lecturing, writing and joining with others in acts of protest and non-violent resistance
I wish I could report greater success for our efforts. As I write, “modernization” of nuclear weapons is ongoing in all nine states that possess them (the US most of all). Russia is making monstrous threats to initiate nuclear war to maintain its control over Crimea and the Donbas–like the dozens of equally illegitimate first-use threats that the US government has made in the past to maintain its military presence in South Korea, Taiwan, South Vietnam, and (with the complicity of every member state then in NATO ) West Berlin. The current risk of nuclear war, over Ukraine, is as great as the world has ever seen.
China and India are alone in declaring no-first-use policies. Leadership in the US, Russia, other nuclear weapons states, NATO and other US allies have yet to recognize that such threats of initiating nuclear war–let alone the plans, deployments and exercises meant to make them credible and more ready to be carried out–are and always have been immoral and insane: under any circumstances, for any reasons, by anyone or anywhere.
It is long past time–but not too late!–for the world’s publics at last to challenge and resist the willed moral blindness of their past and current leaders. I will continue, as long as I’m able, to help these efforts. There’s tons more to say about Ukraine and nuclear policy, of course, and you’ll be hearing from me as long as I’m here.
As I look back on the last sixty years of my life, I think there is no greater cause to which I could have dedicated my efforts. For the last forty years we have known that nuclear war between the US and Russia would mean nuclear winter: more than a hundred million tons of smoke and soot from firestorms in cities set ablaze by either side, striking either first or second, would be lofted into the stratosphere where it would not rain out and would envelope the globe within days. That pall would block up to 70% of sunlight for years, destroying all harvests worldwide and causing death by starvation for most of the humans and other vertebrates on earth.
So far as I can find out, this scientific near-consensus has had virtually no effect on the Pentagon’s nuclear war plans or US/NATO (or Russian) nuclear threats. (In a like case of disastrous willful denial by many officials, corporations and other Americans, scientists have known for over three decades that the catastrophic climate change now underway–mainly but not only from burning fossil fuels–is fully comparable to US-Russian nuclear war as another existential risk.)
I’m happy to know that millions of people–including all those friends and comrades to whom I address this message!–have the wisdom, the dedication and the moral courage to carry on with these causes, and to work unceasingly for the survival of our planet and its creatures.
I’m enormously grateful to have had the privilege of knowing and working with such people, past and present. That’s among the most treasured aspects of my very privileged and very lucky life. I want to thank you all for the love and support you have given me in so many ways. Your dedication, courage, and determination to act have inspired and sustained my own efforts.
My wish for you is that at the end of your days you will feel as much joy and gratitude as I do now.
EXPLORE WILPF TODAY
www.WILPFEastBay.org or www.WILPFSF.org
WILPF East Bay, P. O. Box 13083, Oakland, CA 94661
WILPF-SF, P. O. Box 590253, San Francisco, CA 94159
National WILPF www.wilpfus.org
International WILPF: www.wilpf.org