Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
East Bay and San Francisco Branches
Visit our web page at: www.WILPFEastBay.org or www.WILPFSF.org
Contact us at: East Bay WILPF, PO Box 13266, Oakland, CA 94661
National WILPF web site: www.wilpfus.org,
International WILPF website: www.wilpf.org
California WILPF: www.//wilpfcalifornia.org/
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Support the important work of WILPF US
You may have been remiss in your dues. Link to www.wilpfus.org or send $35-$150 to: WILPF US, 11 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116
Get involved! Join us at our monthly planning meeting
Next meeting will be Saturday, December 17th, 10-12am
at Tarea Hall Pittman South Berkeley Library
1901 Russell St, Berkeley 94703 (3 blocks north of Ashby BART)
Action: Anti-war Leafleting: Join us every Wednesday from 11:30 to noon Grove St. entrance to S.F. Main Library. Call Betty to confirm, (415-931-1126)
SAVE THESE DATES: WILPF sponsored
“Peace Talks” featuring local Women Authors
3rd Sundays: March 19, May 21, July 16, and Sept 17, 3-5 pm
sponsored by WILPF East Bay and San Francisco branches.
May 21 Susan Griffin at the Ed Roberts Campus near Ashby BART
July 16 Roxanne Dunbar- Ortiz at 518 Valencia in San Francisco
Sept 17 Maxine Hong Kingston at the Ed Roberts Campus near Ashby BART
Madeleine Rees, President of International WILPF,
Speaks out on the U.S. Elections
November 9, 2016
I didn’t think we would have to write this. I hoped I would not have to write this. It did not seem possible that a man like Donald Trump could ever be considered as a fit and proper person to hold office. He has shown himself to be a misogynist, a racist, and dismissive of all minorities. He has become President on the basis of lies and the politics of hatred. This is a tragic day for the U.S. and because of its role in the world, for us all.
That’s how I feel, but let us pause. We cannot understand exactly why this has happened. One thing for sure is the refusal of so many people – especially white men – to accept a woman as a leader, especially not one that is a self-declared feminist … (which shows we have much work to do in how we all address that, men even more so than women). The other reasons I can only speculate upon – although there are multiple theories being put forward, and which the establishment everywhere should to pay attention to. There has been a revolt against the machine, as there was in Brexit, against the failed neoliberal economic order. The feeling of having no control over government, of alienation and despair has been important in driving both elections. What is tragic is that it is the extreme right which has seized the moment to rally people in both countries, and will probably do so in Europe. The electorate have not paid attention to the policies but to the feelings and the need for an identity, narrowly constructed. The consequences of all this we can imagine – and they are not good.
Our challenge now is to persuade people of a different way of addressing the failure of the current machine. We have one. It is embodied in how WILPF has worked and analyzed the world since 1915. We do not give up on that, not now, not ever as what we are offering would bring what so many people are demanding but are running to the wrong people with the wrong policies to provide it. What we now need to do is to organize. Feminists worldwide, both men and women, need to step up to the challenge.
Trump is a man without real convictions, other than his self-belief and narcissism. He is a deal maker. We have no choice than to deal with him, but on our terms. There is some hope; his position on free trade deals, his dislike of a confrontation with Russia … these are the things we must push. But first we have to push back on his misogyny and racism. On that we can build, even with the women who voted for Trump, but who are unhappy with his position on women, and see if we can get them to join in specific demands on addressing inequalities, violence and the unacceptability of his past conduct; ”guarantees of non repetition” as a condition for continued support.
We must look forward. We are in this for the long haul. We can see this as a galvanizing moment which focuses us more than ever on the need to engage in the political, (much as it is unpleasant in the main), but if we do not then we leave it to others to dictate. We need to build solidarity across borders through our WILPF Sections and with the like-minded to progress our vision and strategy for achieving a peaceful world. Look to the people in government and parliament that we can work with, across the political divides. And we must avoid picking up the gauntlet of vituperative discourse, of showing contempt for those who disagree with us. It is what has happened in the UK over Brexit on both sides and it will for sure happen in the U.S. That binary has to be resisted.
The horror of the U.S. election is now over and we have to deal with the consequences. We have to show that we too are up to the challenge.
Join us in Oakland for the Bay Area Women’s March on January 21st at 10am.
The Women’s March on Washington is a national movement for women, men, and children who stand for human rights, civil liberties, diversity, and compassion for our shared humanity.
The goal of this day is for women to stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country. This all-inclusive, non-partisan event allows us to send a bold message to our administration and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. This is not a protest, political or anti- anything event. We support the advocacy and movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. HEAR OUR VOICE.
We in the Bay Area will unite locally with the main march in DC and sister marches in every state and major metropolitan area across our great country to stand together for justice, tolerance and inclusion for all.
In California there are groups organizing for the DC March and several sister marches being held on the same day throughout the state. This document will be updated as details evolve over time.
If you are interested in finding out more about one of the January 21 sister marches in the Bay Area please follow the links below:
San Francisco https://www.facebook.com/events/1516849161665234/
Look for more details about Women’s Marches in Washington D.C. and in the Bay Area in our next Newsletter.
WILPF stands with Standing Rock Sioux tribe against the Pipeline
Answer the call of our Sisters at Standing Rock Camp, who urge us to phone the White House at 1-303-816-3559 to ask President Obama to investigate potential human and civil rights violations and reject this dirty Dakota Access pipeline once and for all!
Now that Native American leaders have vowed to stay all winter and have filed a lawsuit against the police, funds are urgently needed and can be donated via the #NoDAPL Solidarity website. The story gets more complicated with a water cannon and stun grenades attack on demonstrators in freezing weather that created such outrage and cost (15 million) that Sheriffs Departments are refusing to send troups stating public outrage and costs. Now a North Dekota federal court is prohibiting tribes from protesting the Bakken pipeline on their own reservation. This was in reponse to a suit files by the Dekota Access.
Please read our September 19, 2016 statement, Water Is Life: WILPF US Stands with Water Defenders against the Pipeline, which makes clear that if Congress passes the TPP in the Lame Duck Session, export of fracked oil and gas will increase exponentially, along with all the associated infrastructure—pipelines, expanded ports, and oil-bomb trains and huge ocean tankers—leading to increased carbon footprint, further environmental harm to people and to Mother Earth, and global warming and extreme weather events.
Join us for the California Cluster meeting in Sacramento Saturday Feb. 4th
Details in next newsletter. The cluster meetings are a great way to meet other WILPF members, find out what other WILPF Branches are doing, and figure out ways we can support each other and work together on local, state, national and international issues.
JOIN OUR ONE WILPF CALLS
These are monthly member-led conference calls, and offer ways for members to connect, share resources and solutions, and plan strategically for the future. The focus is on solutions, moving forward, and collaborating to make WILPF stronger and our work more visible. We are planning a WILPF Solidarity Event for April 2017. If you want to help, join the calls.
If you have internet access and want to be notified of the next ONE WILPF call, you can email Marybeth Gardam at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don’t have internet access but would still like to join the call, please contact Annie at 510-339-1395 for the conference call phone number and access code.
Put the calls on your calendar now!
Dec. 8, Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 9, April 13, 11, June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, Sept 14
December 8th Call features Medea Benjamin of CODE PINK discussing how WILPF and Code Pink can work more closely and strategically in collaboration.
January 12th Call features Ray Acheson of REACHING CRITICAL WILL discussing how WILPF US members can work more strategically with RCW’s upcoming calendar of events and objectives. www.reachingcriticalwill.org
February 9th Call features the MOST DANGEROUS WOMEN Book Group Discussion. See the Winter 2016 Peace & Freedom for more information about choices of books and authors. (If you are not getting WILPF Peace and Freedom magazine
At our November WILPF planning meeting, Palestinian Nawal Slemiah shared her story of founding an embroidery cooperative for Women In Hebron, empowering over 150 women in the villages around Hebron using their artistic skills to make beautiful embroidery items. She showed a short video: http://www.tullypartnerships.org/site/partners/women-in-hebron/ She was accompanied by Maureen with Fresno WILPF who founded Tully Partnership, a non-profit, to help sell the embroidery items here in the U.S. They also sell online at http://www.tullypartnerships.org/site/shop/
WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM, UNITED STATES SECTION
STATEMENT ON SYRIA
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, United States Section (WILPF US), makes the following statement regarding the ongoing situation in Syria:
We recognize that the intervention of foreign powers in the fighting within the nation of Syria has served to escalate, rather than to diminish, the level of hostilities. We specifically call upon our own United States of America (USA) government to cease the delivery of weapons and its active participation in the fighting in Syria, and to stop all arms transfers. We make this request considering the grave humanitarian situation on the ground, which we believe is being exacerbated by USA participation. We recognize that other nations are also involved in similar ways, and we would hope that military withdrawal by the USA might encourage others to do likewise.
We believe that the only solution to the crisis in Syria is one which is led by the Syrian people themselves. We realize that the complexity of the situation is difficult for outsiders to understand. We also do not believe that any single group or faction has all the answers. What we do know is that Syrian civilians are being left with few options, that many have fled their homes and are living elsewhere as refugees, and that others have either died in the hostilities or are slowly dying of starvation. We abhor the loss of life and the indignities to home, family and life itself that are the result of this current situation. We call for an immediate ceasefire and the lifting of all blockades that prevent food and medical supplies from entering as well as Syrians who wish to leave from doing so. We also condemn the bombing of hospitals and schools, heinous acts in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions. We call for an increase in humanitarian aid to the population at risk and continued assistance for the refugees. We hope that all other nations involved in the conflict, including but not limited to Russia, Iran and Turkey, will also cease any arms shipments or military engagement in Syria. We urge and support a universal goal of the de-escalation and immediate cessation of armed conflict in Syria.
We agree with Middle East scholars and other experts, including USA military personnel, who are strongly opposed to a no-fly zone, which they claim could very probably lead to a war with Russia. We also believe a no-fly zone would prevent necessary humanitarian aid from being delivered to the people still living in Syria, and would be antithetical to the goal of immediate cessation of conflict in Syria. The USA must do all in its power to bring the war in Syria to an end before thousands more Syrian citizens are killed or become refugees. We urge that the USA immediately cease its involvement in supporting any military action in Syria in any form and take on, in addition to working to provide food and medical aid, the encouragement of the parties to participate in peace talks once a ceasefire has taken hold.
Therefore, we urge the USA government to take the following actions:
- Withdraw from all fighting within Syria and elsewhere that is having an impact on Syria and work for a ceasefire there; and under no circumstances attempt to undertake a “no-fly zone” of any kind over or around Syria;
- Work in coalition with other nations to agree not to provide military support of any kind to or for Syria;
- Provide humanitarian aid and allow medicine and food and supplies to be delivered via air or other means to the Syrian people (which also means choosing not to establish or utilize any USA-devised “no-fly” zone);
- Take no action that would impede the safe passage or movement of Syrians who have left Syria and/or are returning to Syria and/or those Syrians who wish to leave;
- Immediately allow large numbers of displaced Syrians into the USA for refuge, and provide the federal financial and infrastructural resources necessary to assist localities in sheltering and sustaining these refugees;
- Encourage, without attempting to co-opt, the process of bringing the Syrian parties to peace negotiations;
- Assist in the rebuilding of Syrian infrastructure – its buildings and public works systems in particular – by providing material support, with “no strings attached;” and
- Reaffirm the human and sovereign rights of all Syrians and act accordingly toward them.
For more information and suggestions on how you can become involved, link to http://wilpfus.org/news/updates/wilpf-us-statement-syria