Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, East Bay Branch
110 41st St. (Piedmont Gardens) just off Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. You are invited to join us Saturday Sept 8 at 10 am planning meeting Meetings are the 2nd Saturday of the Month 10am-noon
Wilpf Cluster meeting in Sacramento in August
votes to form Wilpf California committee to coordinate and expedite political action on legislation and ballot measures by forming a committee to actively promote legislative bills and ballot measures as determined by newly forming WILPF California Committee. WILPF CALIFORNIA will be open to all California WILPF members who have the desire to involve our branches in political action within the constraints of our 501C4 status. It will determine a decision making process for determining what legislative bills and ballot measures to be supported. The procedure can be updated at each Cluster Meeting. It will be empowered to write letters of support, join lobbying efforts, and endorse the designated legislative bills and ballot measures in the name of WILPF-CAIFORNIA. It will establish a web based action site rationale:
1. With WILPF CALIFORNIA, we can leverage our 800+ California members to be a force in passing laws that reflect our core values.
2. WILPF CALIFORNIA, as a statewide presence, will articulate and promote WILPF positions on ballot measures and issues coming before the legislature in an effective manner, enhancing our voice on WILPF issues in those arenas and lend our support to other groups leading a common cause.
3. The activities of WILPF CALIFORNIA can serve to strengthen the California branches, potentially increasing membership and giving an anchor to at-large members while allowing branches and at-large members to work locally on WILPF statewide-shared issues.
4. WILPF CALIFORNIA will be empowered by the branches to take action so will be able to act more quickly without the numerous phone calls and email messages required now to get endorsements and write letters of support.
5. WILPF CALIFORNIA will develop a web based line of communication to and from all the branches for information dissemination, recruiting calls and letters to legislators, and quick decision-making.
31 leaders of California clusters attended the recent cluster including the new Director of Operations of National Wilpf Ria Kulenovic, National Board Members Darien De Lu chair, Nominating Committee; Joan Bazar chair, Personnel Committee; Ellen Schwartz co-chair, Program Committee and Sandy Silver co-president, Jane Addams Peace Association. Cluster meetings are informative and exciting! One meets experienced activists and gets exposed to the cleaver ideas of national issue committees and other branches. Reports against fracking, GMOs, plastic bags, foam food containers. Reports supporting nuclear free Middle East, nuclear free future, and elected Hamas. Ballot measures were reviewed and voted on. Cecile Pineda, Berkeley author, presented her new book Devils Tango, How I Learned the Fukusima Step by Step. WILPF (through DISARM-End Wars Issue Committee) is helping fund a book tour by WILPFers Cecile Pineda and Hattie Nestel to 11 communities near highly controversial nuclear reactors in Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. WILPF believes all four should be shut down. The lovely setting in communal housing and the vegan lunch set the ambience.
Wonder how how to Get Involved?
Consider joining one of WILPF’s National Committees. Become an expert for your local branch and fellow citizens. For a list of committees and contact information link to: http://wilpf.org/issues
Move to Amend Northern California Regional Grassroots Democracy Convergence
Report By Pheobe Thomas Sorgen
The first panel addressed the state of the global & US democracy movement. Regarding the question of reform v revolt, the consensus was that our system is too rotten to reform, but that we will work for related individual reforms, such as requiring labeling of genetically engineered food, along the peaceful revolutionary road. Re the role of electoral politics, we need a multi-party system. Meanwhile, support local progressive candidates or run for local office and make/maintain connections while standing up to Alec and stolen elections. What else? Canvass and table (with Move to Amend paper money rubber stamps) to connect with people and establish common ground. We also need to keep attending Congressional hearings and pushing for a strong amendment instead of the weak ones proposed that would merely overturn Citizens United. Have fun building the movement. Global grassroots networking is also encouraged. We support the Disclose Act, but don’t invest much towards treating this one of many symptoms. We tackle the root cause of multiple debilitating effects of corporate rule.
Passing the amendment is important, and the work must continue afterwards. We oppose constitutional rights for all corporations, even non-profits. Unions are outspent by for-profit corporate interests at least three to one. After our amendment passes, unions will do what they do best–organizing people.
Peace women Editorial
Highly militarized societies where weapons and guns are present in the daily lives of civilians constitutes a threat to the individual security of both women and men, but it is also a threat to sustainable peace and democracy. Women’s political participation in too many countries of the world is limited and made impossible by militarized structures. The connections between the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and the Disarmament Agenda is critical for the work done by WILPF on local, national and international levels and the two WILPF projects, Peace Women and Reaching Critical Will, constitute cornerstones in that work.!
Last month, during the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, we had the opportunity to clearly make the linkages between the work done on national and international levels, as WILPF members from several sections, including Sweden, Spain, Mexico, the U.S. and the Philippines, participated in workshops and events raising the issues of women’s security and disarmament.
A number of WILPF sections also raised the issue on the national level in the weeks leading up to the negotiations. WILPF DRC held a seminar on the theme, “United Nations Arms Trade Treaty: Engagement and Impact,” where the effects of the traffic of Small Arms and Light Weapons on women’s security was in focus. The section concluded their discussions with the statement that “a robust Arms Trade Treaty can make a difference for millions of people confronted with insecurity, deprivation and fear.”
WILPF Mexico arranged two workshops on the role gender plays in armed and violent crisis and how the UN Arms Trade Treaty can help to regulate and stop this situation within their national context. They concluded that there is a huge need to coordinate civil society to organize and protest against armed society and especially its effects against Mexican women.
WILPF has argued for an international arms treaty since our establishment in 1915. Even then, the connection between disarmament, sustainable peace, security and women’s participation was obvious to the founders. For interesting depth into this issue see link to WILPF’S own Reaching Critical Will http://reachingcriticalwill.org/
War Prevention 50 stories of People resolving Conflect
At our monthly meetings Nancy Hanawi, former professor of Peace Studies at UC Berkeley, is sharing resources available on peace. She presented a story from War Prevention Works 50 stories of People Resolving Conflict published by the Oxford Research Group. For their very interesting web site link to http://oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk./
We voted to support the National WILPF The Corporations vs. Democracy Working Group and the Earth Democracy Committee. They have prepared an informational introduction to Monsanto Corporation’s ‘crimes’ against the environment, food security, human rights and democracy.
ACTION: Take Action Now for Human Rights and Safe Water
Last week, thanks to your phone calls to Senators Kehoe (Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee) and Steinberg (Senate Leader Pro-Tem), the Human Right to Water Bill (AB 685) made it one step closer to law when Senate Appropriations voted to pass it along to the Senate floor for a vote.
Once again at this critical stage, the Safe Water Alliance, of which WILPF is a member, needs your calls. We aim to have the vote on next Tuesday, August 28th, so we want to begin to build the drumbeat and momentum now. The final vote has to be before August 31st.
Please call your State Senator’s office in Sacramento. For most of us our Senator is Loni Hancock 510 286-1333
We support “Yes” on AB 685, the Human Right to Water Act. You might state that this has been a four year effort and you wish to have your Senator represent you by voting “Yes” to be sure that finally all Californians have access to safe, affordable water for drinking, cooking and sanitation.
Last year, Governor Brown declared, “Clean drinking water is a basic human right…. Protecting the water we drink is an absolutely crucial duty of state government.” It is thrilling to contemplate that finally this bill will get to Governor Brown’s desk and he’ll sign into law the first Human Right to Water Act passed by any state.
For more information read: “Water crisis a moral mandate, matter of justice,” recent article in The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-f-schulz/california-water_b_1741646.html