Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

East Bay and San Francisco Branches

Work to Advance Peace, Justice and Human Rights



Excerpts from article by Mary Hanson Harrison

WILPF US members, friends, colleagues, and the public just took a demanding and inspiring journey into the future; for two weeks – August 9 thru August 22, the WILPF US Section 34th Triennial Virtual Congress zoomed its way around the globe.  Two-hundred-and-forty-one people registered (241), five received scholarships and 30+ panelists and speakers who were comped, came together to produce WILPF US’s wide-ranging and diverse itinerary; reaching nearly 300 people participating in, listening to, and/or donating to “Women, Power, and Social Justice: Building from Strength” WILPF US Congress.

There were 28 webinars: from “HOW TO’S – Seeking Solutions” on weekday evenings, grounded in building local pathways to strengthening legislative advocacy, membership, fundraising, building branches, calling out the military recruitment of youth (SEE ARTICLE BELOW), preserving branch history, caring for the homeless and newly housed and children’s peace camps, to presentations as far away as Ghana and the Americas – Costa Rica and Cuba; Europe – Norway; Middle East -Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel seeking peaceful solutions.

Outstanding speakers like Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, who opened our weekend with the imperative to work with the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) as a movement led by those most impacted by poverty and inequality and to have the moral courage to change the system.  The voices of Vandana Shiva, Maude Barlow, and Mary Grant on environmental challenges from corporate takeovers to the degradation of Mother Earth added to that imperative.  Moderated by Nancy Price, Barbara Arnwine and Jan BenDor gave a lucid and chilling presentation of threats to our democratic system of voting.  Paul Kivel, founder of Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), provided a pathway for systemic white racism to be confronted, leading to its end. Rickey Diamond and Marybeth Gardam (Women$Democracy IC) spoke on economic justice for women and children, giving hope for overcoming the staggering injustice for women.  Patricia Hynes added her perspective on feminist foreign policy.  Sikowis (Christine) Nobiss and Janna Pratt revealed more of the whitewashing of the history of Indigenous boarding schools in Canada.  Dolores Huerta reminded us how all the issues we work on are connected and integral to social justice for field and frontline workers.  Patricia Wells Solorzano presented about creating theater with Latinx farmworkers. Beatriz Schulthess (Costa Rica), WILPF International’s America’s Representative to the International Board talks about the continuing effects from colonialism, followed by an update from Beatriz and Janet Slagter, the Alternate Representative to the America’s, on WILPF International’s upcoming changes. Matt Hoh, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, gave us an update on Afghanistan.

Videos of Congress events are available on YouTube, thanks to the hard work of Ellen Thomas. One quick way you can get to the WILPF US YouTube channel for now is via Bit.Ly Go to WILPF Triennial US Congress and click on View Full Playlist. A list of all the Congress recording links will be provided by eAlert once the editing process is complete.


A Presentation at the Triennial Congress by our Before Enlisting Team

On August 17th, our Before Enlisting group talked and answered questions about our counter recruitment work in high schools and community colleges during a 1 1/2 hour presentation. We all were thrilled with the reception we received from the participants, who were engaged and supportive throughout, with many excellent questions and comments. We hope those of you who were unable to attend our event can take the time to watch the YouTube. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about what we are doing and what we are trying to accomplish. If you go to the link above, our presentation is #20. Or you can go directly to our presentation here .


Twenty years of needless war. 170,000 dead. 2 TRILLION dollars spent. And now, further heartbreak as fleeing families desperate to escape to safety cram into evacuation aircraft.

We have seen this story time and time again after horrific, war-first, egocentric, nation-building U.S. military adventurism around the world — whether in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan. What’s happening in Afghanistan is a devastating reminder of the enormous consequences ahead if we fail to stop this cycle of endless war and forced displacement from repeating yet again.

As Representative Barbara Lee said in an Op Ed in the Los Angeles Times:

For decades, the United States has been obsessed with the guns of war. America’s militaristic approach to our foreign policy has not made our country any safer. It certainly has not made the countries we bomb safer. Meanwhile, we have neglected urgent needs here at home: climate change, our crumbling infrastructure, inequities in education and healthcare, and ingrained poverty.

Washington has become set in a way of thinking that militarizes every problem in our society — such as arming our police with surplus military weapons or detaining children seeking safety at our borders. Inevitably, it is Black and brown people who bear the heaviest burden from this emphasis on war-fighting. Our adversarial mind-set treats neighbors as enemies and forces our police into the guise of an occupying army.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, warned us of three connected evils in the world: racism, poverty and militarism. I’ve spent my entire life fighting all three. The world’s ills cannot be eradicated at the barrel of the gun. Instead, we must deeply invest in peace-building, diplomacy and growing the capacity of local civil society globally.(to read the full Op-Ed, click here)




Begins at Grove St. and Hyde Street near Civic Center

March down Market Street to end at Embarcadero Plaza

The new Texas law prohibiting most abortions after six weeks is the most restrictive in the country. This law and any law denying abortion is unconstitutional and the Supreme Court has failed to act.

Come join Women’s March SF and partners in defending reproductive justice, rights, and freedom for all people. Bring your family, friends, signs, water. Masks are required for COVID safety.

There will not be an in person Rally before or after the March. For more information, go to Women’s March.

What does an Afro-Latina progressive Afghanistan War Veteran Have to Say about Racism & Militarism?

Racism & Militarism: An honest conversation about the intersection of racism and militarism with Brittany Ramos DeBarros.

When: Sunday October 17, 2021 2-3 p.m. Pacific time

Where: Online via Zoom  –  Register here.Who: Brittany Ramos DeBarros is an activist, progressive Afro-Latina veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, former organizing director of About Face: Veterans Against the War.

What: Brittany brings unique insight into the connection between Racism and Militarism. She comes from a “conservative, patriotic, military family” and went to war believing the U.S. wanted to help the Afghani people, but came home hurt, angry and feeling betrayed by a system that covered up greed and corruption with the veneer of freedom. When she spoke out, she was threatened with court martial. 

For more information contact eastbaypeaceaction@gmail.com or call (510) 524-6071.


Local branch web pages

www.WILPFEastBay.org or www.WILPFSF.org

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