Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
East Bay and San Francisco Branches
Work to Advance Peace, Justice and Human Rights
The East Bay and San Francisco Branches of WILPF would like to wish all of you a Healthy, Happy and Peaceful New Year!
East Bay and SF Branches Annual Retreat Saturday, January 14th, 11am-3pm
Each year the East Bay and San Francisco branches meet to review our accomplishments for the past year and talk about our plans for the coming year, decide on our our priority projects, and discuss ways to integrate recruitment of new members in all of our activities.
We will meet Saturday, January 14th from 11 am to 3 pm in the Social Hall of Betty Traynor’s co-op (near Geary and Laguna/38 bus in S.F.)—a three hour meeting with one hour for a potluck lunch and socializing.
If you would like to join us to meet and share with other members, and learn more about our two Branches’ past activities and future plans, you are very welcome. To RSVP, email Sandy at email@example.com or call her at 510-967-9622. We will have carpools for people who would like to attend. If you are unable to come in person but would like to join part of the meeting via Zoom, please let us know in your RSVP so that we can try to set that up and send you a link with an agenda and other information.
JOURNEY FOR JUSTICE, WITNESS AT THE BORDER
EL PASO, TX
December 9-10, 2022
by Arla Ertz
My husband, John, and I drove to El Paso on Friday, Dec. 9, to meet up with friends, who were headed there from San Francisco to join up with the Journey for Justice caravan. Journey for Justice was organized by Witness at the Border to learn about, raise awareness about, and bear witness to the plight of migrants at border crossing sites along the southwest border of the US. The caravan started in Brownsville, TX, and is headed to San Diego.
Although I was not traveling with the caravan, I feel fortunate to have been able to participate in the El Paso portion of the campaign. That first night in El Paso the Journeyers all gathered in a park across the highway from Ft. Bliss, where unaccompanied minor migrants are “housed” in tents pending moving on to sponsors or other situations. We vigiled around an illuminated banner that glowed “FT. BLISS IS NO PLACE FOR CHILDREN!” Ft. Bliss is the largest military base in the US (and world)—about the size of Rhode Island. At the time of this vigil, about 2 dozen participants from around the country braved the cold night air. More people arrived over the course of the weekend, and more join the caravan as it proceeds west.
The next morning a special invitation was added to the day’s itinerary. A professor at the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP) invited those interested to come to the Institute for Oral History to view art created by children at the infamous Tornillo Detention Center during family separation. This professor initiated the art program because she was deeply concerned about the children’s trauma resulting from being away from their country and apart from their parents. In the Detention Center, they asked the children to express what they remembered about their country, what they liked/missed about it, etc. The display was compelling. I was astounded by how elaborate some of the pieces were, especially given the simplicity of the materials and the age of the artists (13-17).
After that we were given a guided tour of an exhibition at the UTEP Centennial Museum. The exhibition is called “Pasos Ajenos: Social Justice and Inequalities in the Borderlands.” Following the museum visit, there was a lunch for caravan participants at a local cafe, hosted by the National Lawyers Guild. During the lunchtime program, caravan participants spoke movingly about their reasons for participating and their backgrounds that led to their decision. Organizers gave inspiring, heartfelt talks about the purpose and import of this action, and emphasized the critical role of the banners, signs, and flags on the vehicles in calling attention wherever they went to the unjust treatment of migrants. The next morning, our friends left with the caravan at 7:30am, headed for the next stop: Columbus, NM.
End-of-Year WILPF US Membership Renewal
Some of you who receive this newsletter are active members of WILPF US, and we want to thank you for your continued support. For those of you who for various reasons have not renewed your membership for several years, please consider renewing this year to help us continue our crucial work. As WILPF’ers, we work in solidarity to address ongoing nuclear proliferation, existential threats to our democracy, continuing human and civil rights’ struggles, capitalism run amok, and relentless attacks on the planet.
We truly are more powerful together! Your membership renewal now helps us keep feminist peace activism strong across the US in 2023.
You can renew by check, made out to WILPF US Section:
WILPF US Section
PO Box 13075
Des Moines, IA 50310
Message from WILPF International
In 2022, our WILPF community came together to continue to work for feminist peace across six continents. This was a year of extreme challenges, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Taliban rule in Afghanistan, an escalating climate crisis, coups and seizures of power, and backsliding of feminist commitments by some governments. But it also brought powerful opportunities for feminist movement-building and solidarity, including on Afghanistan, Ukraine, Palestine, and the environment.
Amidst our campaigning and advocacy, WILPF co-created our 2022-2025 International Programme, which will guide our work for the next three years. Members and staff met for two weeks in July for our triennial International Congress to discuss and approve the International Program together, and make other important decisions about the future direction of our collective work.
Golden Rule Sailing to Cuba
The historic Golden Rule anti-nuclear sailboat will sail to Cuba at the end of December. The Golden Rule, owned by Veterans For Peace, is visiting Cuba to:
Implement the missions of the Golden Rule Project and Veterans For Peace to “to end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons.”
Educate the public about the Cuban Missile Crisis, which nearly caused a nuclear war. The lessons can help us all understand how to avoid such a fate in the future.
Support ending the US blockade of Cuba. Veterans For Peace has long opposed the blockade, which is particularly harmful in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Contribute to the worldwide effort to help the people of Cuba to rebuild and recover from this disaster. We will hopefully visit the most impacted area, Pinar del Rio, and report back on the recovery efforts.
Express our friendship and solidarity with the people of Cuba.
EXPLORE WILPF TODAY
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