Peace House Clear Actions Newsletter 2016

 

                  December 2016 Clear Actions Newsletter                       
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FROM YOUR EDITOR editor

by Elizabeth V. Hallett
  (Index)
Elizabeth V.  Hallett, Peace House Chair

Dear Clear Actions Readers,

Your Peace House staff and volunteers offer you this Holiday Quarterly as a labor of love and an expression of our commitment to the defense of free speech, human rights, compassionate care and the civil rights of each person living under our system of government.

We are very interested in your response to the content you will see here. It offers news of our twenty-five-year and climbing Uncle Food’s Diner; our support to help start Vision Quilt; our Peacemaker Awards in of support of nonviolent and courageous resistance to corporate take-overs; the amazing voices of Winona LaDuke, Veteran’s for Peace and my mother, Elizabeth R. Hallett, 92, from Standing Rock; and the un-championed witness of journalist Lucy Edwards reporting on her witness of recent events in Honduras. You will also hear from of our new Board member, Andy Seles, on the TPP and corporate extraction and appreciate articles by our ever-faithful Herb Rothschild. We are bringing you cutting-edge, original material from people you know in our community, as well as beyond it. We provide a collective alternative voice to what you may be hearing or reading elsewhere.
In the new year, Peace House will be bringing you more about the Racial Equity Coalition; GLBTQ issues; as well as updates on themes mentioned above.
  • Does this Quarterly inform you? What would you like to see covered?
  • Does our work inspire you to make a financial contribution to Peace House? If so, you will help to stem the tide of fake news; racism; religious intolerance; and human rights violations as well as the cultivation of a culture of nonviolence, compassion and justice.

We will be happy to receive your tax-deductible contribution to these values!  Our Peace House mailing address is PO Box 524, Ashland, OR, 97520.

Special end-of-the year kudos and gratitude to our Communications Coordinator, Linda Sturgeon, who faithfully gives us bi-weekly calendars; tracks and includes community resources all year and whose graphic genius inspires and informs each Quarterly. Linda is a gift.

Please keep the light of the Holiday Spirit alive in your daily practices and receive our thanks for your involvement with Peace House, as a reader, a donor, a volunteer, a person of faith in the essential goodness of the Human Being. We are here because you are!

Here is wishing you a creative, engaged and active year ahead!

In peace and solidarity for more justice and compassion in 2017!

Elizabeth V. Hallett
Clear Actions Editor and
Peace House Board Chair
 
Volunteers are welcome and appreciated – email us at
info@peacehouse.net or call 482-9642

 

UFD Buys a Ginormous Fridge to Make Service More Efficient

by Elizabeth V. Hallettrefridge
 (Index)

Uncle Food’s Diner is a major and on-going Peace House project, after 25 years of continual service.

Depending upon the season and the time of the month, we are serving 75 to 150 people meals every Tuesday evening, working in collaboration with the United Methodist Church, the Food Angels, the Food Bank, and the Jackson County Fuel Committee.

We depend upon fundraisers such as The Empty Bowls Project and foundation grants to keep going. These kinds of support have helped with food, as well as new aprons, storage for equipment and supplies, AND a new industrial refrigerator we are very pleased to have.

We continue to get new volunteers. The people that we serve also volunteer and help. There are 35 to 40

volunteers, including SOU students who come to help out. We also participate on the Annual Fest for Peace in collaboration with Ashland Citizens Peace Committee.

For Thanksgiving we received turkeys from the local Bed and Breakfast places as well as many individuals who generously donated. We are very thankful to be working with the United Methodist Church and their compassionate ministry.

We give thanks for their hospitality as well as the Super-coordinator-genius of Maren Faye and our head dishwasher, Mark Edwards.

Uncle Foods Diner Thanksgiving Dinner 2016
Fundraisers for Uncle Foods’ Dinerfundraisers
by Elizabeth V. Hallett
 (Index)
Art by Leslie Dwyer.
We provided soup this year for the Annual Clay Folk Sale held at Brammo, in appreciation for the bowls that they have donated to our annual fundraiser held in the Spring. When you see this logo, you will want to watch for the date of the next marvelous Empty Bowls Gathering.
Thanks to all those who have contributed to its success!
The Peace House Board wants to express our thanks to the following individuals and foundations whose generosity over the last twelve months has been critical to our success:
  • Ashland Food Coop Foundation
  • John Barton
  • The Carpenter Foundation
  • Chaney Family Foundation
  • Elizabeth Coker
  • Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation
  • Sandra Coyner and Joseph Graf
  • Megan Danforth
  • Haines Philanthropic Foundation
  • Betty and Curt Jones
  • Patie Millan Group
  • John and Becky Neumann
  • Herb and Fran Petschek
  • Bonnie and John Rinaldi
  • Herbert and Deborah Rothschild
  • Wendy James Selden Family Trust
  • Spartan Management
  • Kathryn and Barry Thalden
  • Trinity Episcopal Church Foundation
  • Reed and Carolee Walker Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation on Edna Wardlaw Charitable Trust
  • Don Wells
Honduras Outreach SponsorshipHonduras

 Honduras Journal  

by Lucy J. Edwards 

(Index

 
All photos by Lucy J. Edwards, PROAH
 
Honduras Journal

November, 2016

 

Ashland resident Lucy Edwards has been doing human rights accompaniment in Honduras since 2010. A coup d’état in the country in 2009 created a human rights crisis that continues today. She is a volunteer with the Honduras Accompaniment Project, known by its Spanish acronym PROAH. Her husband, Dr. Jim Phillips, anthropologist at Southern Oregon University, is author of Honduras in Dangerous Times, published in 2015 by Lexington Press.

 Padre Melo faces police at a new toll booth outside El Progreso

There is always a process of unfolding on coming home from Honduras. I have not yet been home a full week, and so am still in the midst of understanding of what I experienced on this most recent three week trip accompanying Honduran Jesuit Ismael Moreno, SJ, known as Padre Melo.

 

Padre Melo is the director of Radio Progreso, a radio station based in the northern Honduran city of El Progreso. He also directs a Jesuit investigative team that works on human rights. That team goes by the acronym ERIC, equipo de reflexión, investigación y comunicación. Padre Melo is known internationally for his human rights advocacy in the face of intimidation and death threats. In 2015 he was awarded the prestigious Rafto Prize in Bergen, Norway. Many Ashlanders met Padre Melo when he visited Oregon in 2013.

 

In Honduras, I spend a lot of time with Padre Melo’s team. They include some 35 journalists, broadcasters, lawyers and investigators. Many are quite young; all are courageous. All have lost friends or loved ones in the human rights disaster that is Honduras. In 2014, colleague Carlos Mejia Orellana, the station’s marketing director was murdered in his home. His murder is still unsolved and in October, 2014, the public prosecutor in his case was also murdered. (Note: After my return, in the second week of November, a single individual was found guilty in court in El Progreso for Carlos’ murder. Lawyers close to the case say there were numerous irregularities, and a flawed investigation and trial. To his family and colleagues, the case is still unsolved.)

 

US POLICY: CARSI and the Alliance for Prosperity

 

The United States is Honduras’s strongest international supporter, providing military and police assistance, equipment and training under CARSI, the Central American Regional Security Initiative, through the Alliance for Prosperity, a 2.6 billion dollar, five year, three country plan. At times portions of US security assistance funds are halted, when state-sanctioned violence becomes so obvious that it cannot be ignored. That’s happened a couple of times in recent years, like when police were caught killing suspected gang members in extrajudicial executions. The police are often directly connected to these gangs, working hand in hand, and killing rivals or eliminating witnesses to police crimes.

Murder and Impunity

 

Most recently some US funds were halted when indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was murdered March 2, 2016, by a death squad that included active and retired military and a private security employee of the international corporation building a huge hydroelectric project on a river in indigenous territory. Cáceres was winner of the 2015 Goldman Prize for her courage and leadership in defense of protecting that river, the Gualcarque, sacred to the Lenca. She was a prominent human rights and environmental defender, and her murder has mobilized an international community in solidarity with Hondurans challenging the violence and corruption of extractive industries and their deadly practices.

 

A Death List

 

In May, two months after Cáceres’s murder, Honduran journalist and a particularly coherent critic of the Honduran regime, Félix Molina, survived an assassination attempt in the capital of Tegucigalpa. He survived with gunshot wounds to both legs. In June, the Guardian published an article based on testimony from defecting Honduran military members who say they fled rather than participate in Berta Cáceres’s murder. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/21/berta-caceres-name-honduran-military-hitlist-former-soldier)

They revealed the existence of a death list that had included Cáceres and other Honduran social leaders. The defectors were from a Honduran special forces unit that had received recent training from US Marines and the FBI.

 

The organization Berta Cáceres led, COPINH, continues to be a target of repression and assassination. Four months after Cáceres’s killing, in the first week of July, COPINH community leader Lesbia Janeth Urquía, 49, was murdered in Marcala, La Paz. Her body was found in the municipal dump. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/07/honduras-murder-lesbia-janeth-urquia-berta-caceres)

 

US Certifies Honduras Human Rights

 

And while the family and human rights advocates have demanded an independent investigation into Cáceres’s assassination to identify the authors of the crime, the government of Honduras has impeded those efforts, with support of the US Embassy. It seemed particularly cynical to learn that recently the US State Department quietly certified Honduras as having made progress in respecting human rights, thereby releasing approximately $55 million dollars to the government of Honduras. The certification was made on September 30, but not published in the Federal Register until October 14. Perhaps the State Department hoped we wouldn’t notice. Meanwhile, on October 9, there were two assassination attempts against current COPINH leaders Tomás Gómez Membreño and Alexander García. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/11/honduran-activists-survive-assassination-berta-caceres
Padre Melo speaks against the privatization of the public highways

The Extraction Model of Development

 

The US presence in Honduras and its support of the government there is ostensibly directed at addressing official corruption–of which there is plenty, interdicting the drug trade between Colombia and the United States, and impeding migration of Hondurans to the US. But I would argue that the real purpose of US policy and militarization in Honduras is to promote the unfettered extraction of resources by multinational corporations and wealthy Honduran interests, regardless of the human rights, environmental and international legal consequences. This is the economic development model outlined in the Alliance for Prosperity. It aims to attract foreign investment and through its security initiatives, militarize local policing to support that investment. The country’s legislators have granted thousands of concessions to foreign corporations to extract minerals, dam rivers for hydroelectric projects, and build dozens of toll booths across the country’s public highways, controlling and impeding the free movement of Hondurans in their country. In recent months, Padre Melo has become a strong voice challenging the toll booths. They have been built by domestic and foreign banking interests to collect tolls from motorists for thirty years. The roads were built with Honduran tax revenues, and are maintained by vehicle fees and gas taxes. Padre Melo argues the toll booths, which are guarded by police and special forces COBRAS, are unconstitutional. 
The toll booth in Siguatepeque on the main north-south highway

The murders have not stopped in Honduras. Two campesino movement leaders were murdered the day I arrived, October 18. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/19/honduras-land-rights-activists-killed-unified-peasant-movement) José Ángel Flores, 64, was president of MUCA, movimiento unificado campesino del Aguán. Silmer Dionisio George was a MUCA community leader. They were gunned down leaving a MUCA meeting in Tocoa, Colon. Flores had survived an assassination attempt in April of 2015. Both men had protective measures granted by the InterAmerican Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) because of threats. Almost everyone I know in Honduras has IACHR protective measures, or had loved ones who had these measures before they were murdered. It is an international legal designation telling the government of Honduras that it has an obligation to investigate threats and attacks against human rights defenders, and if possible to mitigate those threats. Padre Melo and several members of his team have IACHR protective measures. Félix Molina had them since before the attempt on his life.  Berta Cáceres and Carlos Mejia Orellana had IACHR measures in place before their murders.

  

New Trend-Deporting International Witnesses

 

One way the international human rights community shows solidarity is through international accompaniment. This practice is now under threat. On October 25, Spanish volunteer Luis Diaz de Terán was detained while entering the country at the airport in Tegucigalpa and deported. (https://www.fidh.org/es/temas/defensores-de-derechos-humanos/honduras-retencion-y-deportacion-del-observador-internacional-de) Luis began working in Honduras in 2013 with my team, PROAH. In recent years he has accompanied COPINH as an international volunteer, where he witnessed threats and harassment against Berta Cáceres and other COPINH leaders and members. Luis’s deportation is the second since Berta Cáceres’s murder. A young Italian volunteer was anonymously targeted online and then deported without legal process by the government of Honduras. In Luis’s case, he was accused by customs agents as having defamed Honduras in the international community and deported. 
Padre Melo blesses the coffin of Fernando Alemán Banegas, 28,] murdered October 30. His mother Esly sits in the pew beside the coffin.

A Funeral

 

On October 30, we received the devastating news of the murder of Fernando Alemán Banegas, 28, oldest child of human rights defender and social leader Esly Banegas. http://defensoresenlinea.com/asesinan-hijo-de-la-defensora-de-derechos-humanos-y-actual-coordinadora-general-de-copa/ The next day a group of us left El Progreso early so that Melo could celebrate Fernando’s funeral mass in Tocoa. Melo is very close to the family and I had met Esly on various occasions. There is a terrifying practice in Honduras to kill the young adult children of social leaders to incapacitate their work. His murder happened on the day of a primary election in Tocoa, where his mother Esly was a Libre Party pre-candidate for Mayor.

 

At his funeral Padre Melo lamented the number of young people murdered in Honduras, the number of mothers and fathers in anguish as they bury their children. A funeral should be a celebration of life, he said, with sorrow but with great joy for a life well lived, filled with love and experience. No mother and no father should have to bury their murdered child. But that is the experience for too many parents in Honduras.

 

A few days later, on the Day of All Souls, on his morning radio program Padre Melo named the many friends and colleagues who have died in the violence since the 2009 coup. Many were people I had met in the six and a half years I have done international accompaniment. I return to Ashland holding their memories and filled with fresh grief for Fernando’s family, a witness to the suffering that is too much a product of US policy in Honduras.

 

(Link to action item, Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act)
Or directly to petition:
 
Keeping Gun Violence Awareness Alivegun
by Elizabeth V. Hallett
 (Index)

Peace House has often served as a sponsor for the green shoots in our community or the grassroots organizations that need a platform for their initial development. We provide a designated account for them to receive funds for their work and help them to get started. These groups then go on to form much more sturdy organizations as they get their own nonprofit status.

Cathy DeForrest shown with quilt pieces.
This year we have been pleased to work with Cathy DeForrest and her amazing team of activists in their rapidly expanding outreach to create awareness, conversations and healing related to gun violence. The Project has reached into many local schools as well as some in other places. The Core Team is interacting with the National Veterans Arts Museum in Chicago, with incarcerated youth in Alameda County, CA., a San Francisco mother who lost her son to a random gunshot, inmates at San Quentin Prison, CA, a filmmaker who works with refugee children in Arizona, and the national organizations named Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. These are just a few examples! Their organizational capacity has quickly expanded to reach communities of people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington, Washington D.C., Denver, and Roseberg, OR to name a few! The project has touched all ages and many with stories that need to be heard and healed. This brings gun violence out into the light of day where it can be discussed. The artwork can help people to make simple and profound statements to challenge the culture of violence we are all working to change.
Vision Quilt recently received its own nonprofit status and we are proud to say we could help them to grow so quickly! They are excited to offer quilt construction kits to interested communities across the globe. The vision is, indeed to have a quilt as big or bigger than the AIDS Quilt that was displayed in Washington D.C. in the 1980’s that will propel awareness and visibility about how gun violence touches our lives.

 The Humanitarian Film Fest filmfest

by Elizabeth V. Hallett
 (Index)

In Preparation for the arrival of Father Roy Bourgeois, Peace House Collaborated with the SOU United Nations Association and the International Students Association to show films about US involvement in Central and South America, as well as the School of the Americas Watch response over the years, under the direction of SOA Watch Founder Roy Bourgeois.

SOA Watch uses nonviolent demonstrations to call attention to what is happening regarding human rights violations in Latin America with the tacit support of the United States government. Repressive governments, such as Honduras and El Salvador are allowed to receive US dollars while operating with impunity to assassinate human rights activists, environmentalists, indigenous people trying to protect their rivers and land; journalists, and lawyers.
 
Thousands of demonstrators have participated in annual vigils calling for a higher moral and humanitarian understanding of the effects of US militarism on those being repressed in Latin American countries, frequently caught in the politics of corporate extractive that occur with disregard for indigenous communities, their rightful ownership of resources, and the protection of their rivers. Their experiences mirror what is going on in the US at Standing Rock and many other pipeline sites, for instance.
Father Roy has spent a total of four years in prison for his belief that the SOA/WHINSEC should not be training Latin American military or exporting the tactics of suppression that are being used to protect the power structures if a few families in each country at the expense of the people whose land, lives and sovereignty are being attacked.
Dr. Jim Phillips

Anthropology Professor Jim Phillips addressed the nature of the repression in various countries and the ties to The SOA/WHINSEC. After years of outcry from human rights organizations here and abroad, the US Army changed the name of its international military school form the School of Americas to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC.

Below are several links to films shown on November 15th, 2016.

ENGLISH (dialogue in Spanish with English subtitles, Voice-over in English)

Password: cheek

 

ESPAÑOL (dialogos en español con voz en off en español)

Clave: chekeleke

 

BILINGUAL (ENGLISH/ESPAÑOL) (dialogue in Spanish with English subtitles, voice-over in English with Spanish subtitles)
vimeo.com/makilatv/resistencia-eng+esp

Password/clave: cheke

 

BILINGUE (FRANÇAIS/ESPAÑOL) (dialogues en espagnol avec des sous-titres en français)
vimeo.com/makilatv/resistencia-fra
Mot de passe: cheke
(download the .zip, then ‘unzip’ it to find templates for the poster, FB event, etc…)
Peace Maker Awards Dinner 2016 awardees
by Elizabeth V. Hallet
 (Index)

 

Photo of awardees from left to right: Father Roy Bourgeois, Grandmother Agnes Pilgrim Baker, Peter Buckley, Senator Alan Bates, Rogue Valley Peace Choir

 See photo slideshow of 2016 Awards Dinner  

Each year, Peace House chooses to recognize Peace Makers both nationally and locally who have given of their time and put themselves on the line for justice and nonviolence. The represented areas of activism include the spiritual, those who work from within the democratic system, the musical and those who work as a voice of conscience and organized nonviolent protest against violations of human rights that are done in the name of the US citizens.
This year, we have been very pleased to honor Father Roy Bourgeois, founder of the nationally known SOA Watch, which challenges the former School of the Americas, now Western Institute for National Security Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation involved in training Latin American military leaders and troops to maintain repressive governments such as Honduras and Paraguay.
Father Roy attended our awards dinner as the keynote speaker, traveling from Fort Benning, Georgia for the occasion. SOA Watch has an annual vigil to call attention to the injustices created by US and Latin American repression and human rights violations visited upon those who get detained in the crosshairs of immigration issues, including mothers and children.
We also presented awards to:
  • Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim, chair of the International Council of the Thirteen Grandmothers and spiritual leader of the Confederated Tribe of Siletz;
  • Peter Buckley, retiring Southern Oregon Congressional Representative
  • Dr. and Senator Alan Bates – a posthumous award
  • The Rogue Valley Peace Choir
Thanks to our Awards Dinner Team!
  • Marsha Bennett
  • Surya Bolom
  • Shaun Franks
  • Elizabeth V. Hallett
  • Elizabeth R. Hallett
  • Herbert Rothschild
  • Connie Saldana
  • Donna Swanson
  • Joanie Jurikocitch
  • Linda Sturgeon

Some important links:

Winona LaDuke Speaks: Home Girl takes on
  the North Dakota Pipelinewinona

by Elizabeth V. Hallett

(Index)

Peace House and the Southern Oregon University Department of Native American Studies collaborated to bring Winona LaDuke to speak November 15th in the Rogue River Room of the Stevenson Student Union.

An honoring song led by singer Brent Florindo and the Singers for the Singing Drum filled the room as Winona LaDuke and her mother, artist Betty LaDuke, stood together with the audience, allowing the voice of the people to penetrate the room.

The room was packed to capacity, as students from the Native American Students Association spoke about their studies and introduced Winona LaDuke.

Through a highly effective PowerPoint presentation, the nationally known environmental activist and former Green Party vice-presidential addressed a long history of broken treaties, environmental degradation, and corporate land grabs. These activities were orchestrated without any participation from the native people affected by corporate and governmental collusion to encroach on native land rights.

Ms. LaDuke discussed the danger the North Dakota pipeline poses to the safety of Missouri River water if a pipeline were to be dug under it, with the potential for oil leaks that would contaminate drinking water for some eighteen million Americans downstream.

She described the Standing Rock Water Protectors and the resistance at the North Dakota site as only one of the places in which the oil pipelines are jeopardizing the environment, showing a map of pipeline systems across the country that all pose environmental threats, along with fracking extraction, as corporate oil interests pursue their agenda to extract resources for private and corporate

At the end of the talk, retired Native American Studies Professor David West, publicly presented the Peace House 2006 Peacemaker Award for Agnes Baker Pilgrim that she had been unable to accept earlier at the annual Peace Maker Awards Dinner.

Please see the link below for facts about pipeline extraction. You will find much information regarding the environmental issues involved in the pipeline corporate extraction economy and effects on the environment

http://www.honorearth.org/fact_sheets

There have been 85 pipeline oils spills in 20 years. In North Dakota alone there are 55 pipelines. Many are old and need to be repaired. Often the oil companies just leave them to create new pipelines rather than repair the old ones. 
 
No Spiritual Surrenderspiritual
By Elizabeth R. Hallett 

    (Index)

Standing Rock November 17, 2016:
At the main gate a hand-made sign reads “No SpirituaI Surrender”. I’m on Media Hill, a designated part of the camp. Spread out below are tents, teepees, yurts, and assorted vehicles, covering an area about a half or three quarters of a mile in diameter. The circumference is lively with flags, on poles 20 feet high, set twenty feet apart, flapping happily in the 25 degree constant winter wind. More flags flap among the camp structures, each flag represents a tribe or organization. Adding to the energy, prayer ties enliven the long-poles emerging from the teepee tops. Human movement is purposeful and currently directed at winterizing. Chain saws gnash constantly at logs, cords of wood are being stacked.  A blizzard is on the way and the purpose and energy displayed equal the urgency of the prospect. Rachel, Jessica and I are privileged to be guests here and bear witness to our Native Americans, and indigenous folk of other nations, as they stand against the continuing assault on this and future generations.
 
Meeting tents are crowded. Orientation in one tent, non-violent training in another.  
Last evening there was a meeting for sharing of stories on de-colonialization attended by Jessica and Rachel. There are “neighborhoods” here; Klamath, Rosebud, Wahpeton (Minnesota)and many more.  Most have a cook tent and meeting tent. A central area has the sacred fire, tended night and day.  Nearby is a wellness tent, mental health tent, herbals tent reminiscent of the center aisles in the Coop.
 
At orientation this morning, spirituality was covered at many levels: respect, compassion, honesty, wisdom, humility. Protocols of behavior were prominent in the teaching; no alcohol, drugs, bad language, weapons of any kind. Prayer and ceremony are prominent. Very crowded!
 
This afternoon Rachel and Jessica are attending a session on non-violence and being on the front line. This evening we will go to the regular evening conversation. Both of them have obtained press passes. The press and persons in leadership are currently chief targets of police for incarceration.  While humor is not in short supply, beneath  is awareness of the importance and seriousness of the deeper issues: rule of law, survival of the biota and humans, civilization. Potable water and the concept of sacredness are the presenting issues.
 

We three are staying at the casino, 10 miles distant from camp. While resting this p.m., I saw Bernie on the Internet (Democracy Now) speaking in front of the White House, calling for sanity re: Standing Rock; respect for tribal lands, respect for science, care for water resources, an end to fracking and the need to leave fossil fuels in the ground.  On the local news it was reported there are 90 National Guards in the area and the number will become 130 this weekend. It is certainly the issue of our time, and a test of the native commitment. It is said the women but not men, when arrested, are strip searched.  I feel for the police who will have to live out their lives with memories of such brutality in service to our society, so enamored of the power of money.

 

Two of the Hallett Women at 4 AM in the Medford International Airport, November 15, 2016, Elizabeth R. Hallett and granddaughter, Rachel Hallett-Ralston

 

Wood-gathering at Standing Rock
From: eh <eh@97520.net>
Date: 11/20/2016 11:03 PM (GMT-07:00)
Subject: Re: Standing Rock
Yesterday was spent in the Klamath cook tent, at a table of grandmothers.  Mostly listened. At one point contributed the irony of Winona LeDuke’s urging me to come: ” we need whites to talk to whites”. The other grands assured me I would be doing so. What we don’t talk about, we don’t think about.
Beside protection of the water, they are concerned about Native American sovereignty. Treaties have been routinely broken, and encroachments are illegal. Standing Rock is yet another instance and this is their (our) line in the sand. One of the women at the table is a CPA.  Articulate group. Asked forgiveness, the least I could do, and it was heartfelt. Somewhat embarrassed reception. America needs truth and reconciliation.  We have foundations of slavery and genocide.
In orientation, women were asked to wear skirts. My flannel nightgown is my only skirt, so I don it over the sweaters and slacks, as the other women do.  Fashion is not a value here; keeping warm is. Rachel and Jessica are extremely attentive, and I take an arm on each side when on uneven footing. They set me up in a shelter  and launch forth to network. Rachel served dinner to 200 last night.  I’d prepared about 10 lbs. of broccoli, Jessica an equal amount of carrots for the stir fry.  I rested at the casino in late pm so missed dinner at camp, but my girls said it was delicious. There had been some conversation among the cooks  about herbs while I was there. Food is also  strong value here.  I believe it was said during WW 2 that there were 10 men  in the army for every fighter. This is neither a festival nor a military endeavor. The focus is spiritual;  warfare with evil,  with love and forgiveness as weapons of choice. Purity if mind and heart are requisite for serving on the front lines. Anger and hate are disqualifiers.
“Only after the, and the last river has been caught  last tree has been cut down, and the last fish has  been caught will we realize that we can’t eat money.”      
— Osage saying
Friday, November 25
Elizabeth Hallett, the Elder
The whole world is watching. Mongolians have contributed Yurts. Yurt Village has sprung up on tribal land. Māories ( New Zealand) are reportedly on their way to Standing Rock. We hear of indigenous South Americans preparing to come. American construction volunteers are building permanent structures on the tribal side of the Canon Ball River. Teepees are being winterized. Tribes have gathered.
We have seen Bernie standing on the sidewalk in front of the White House calling on our government to end the violence at Standing Rock, to leave fossil fuels in the ground. Democracy Now and Facebook inform us. How else would we know? 
Have you contacted your congressional representative or the White House lately? The answering aide was compassionate when I called. The White House Standing Rock phone line is 844-591-5889.  
Elizabeth R. Hallett

Veteran Finds Forgiveness, Peace At Standing Rockveteranstandingrock 

and  

(Index)

 

Watch all videos and complete story at:
http://peacehouse.net/veteran-finds-forgiveness-peace-in-standing-rock-fight/

Veterans Stand Ground with Pipeline Protesters at Standing Rock
CANNON BALL, N.D. – For months, Dustin Monroe has made the 11-hour drive from his home in Missoula, Montana, to this remote part of the frozen North Dakota plains to bring supplies and support to the thousands protesting the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Oceti Sakowin camp has become a second home, a place that has given him a new purpose.

As a Native American U.S. Army veteran, Monroe, 35, has for years struggled with regret. He struggled with fighting in the Iraq War for a nation that had displaced millions of his people. When he was deployed in Iraq, he says, he noticed the parallels between Iraqis and Native Americans.

Both, he said, had suffered for centuries from colonial rule, brutal military occupations and loss of their land through re-written borders. For Monroe, the fight at Standing Rock to protect the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s sacred lands and water was an opportunity to right those wrongs…continue reading.
FERC Denies

Jordan Cove Export Terminal and the Pacific Connector Pipeline lng By Hannah Sohl
(Index)

We have some amazing news.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) just decided to uphold their original decision and DENY the Jordan Cove Export Terminal and the Pacific Connector Pipeline!

Back in March, FERC denied the Jordan Cove LNG Export Facility and the Pacific Connector Pipeline because the risks to communities and landowners did not outweigh the benefits. In a ruling issued just a few hours ago, FERC upheld their decision!

In their decision, they said that they have given the pipeline company ample time to demonstrate that there is a significant need for the project, and Pacific Connector has not been able to do that.

We know that it is important we stay vigilant, as Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector Pipeline will likely take this decision to the courts.  But for now, let’s celebrate all of the amazing community organizing and work that has been done over the past 10 years to stop this project. When we organize, when we come together to protect our communities, our rivers, our climate, we win.

We are closer than ever to stopping this project once and for all!

We will let you know next steps soon, but for now, all I can say is WHOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!

Hannah, Robyn, Allie, Colin, and the rest of the team!
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Follow the campaign on facebook at Stop Jordan Cove or No LNG Exports

The TPP: Shadow of Corporate Extraction TPP

By Andy Seles

    (Index)

Welcome Andy Seles:
New Board Member
 
It can be argued that the recent election of Donald J. Trump for president was due, in large part, to his position on something which, not only both candidates, but the majority of the members of both political parties agree. We speak here of their opposition to the Transpacific Partnership, the proposed trade deal (with 12 Pacific Rim member states) that bypasses trade deal approvals by Congress instead protecting the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers here in Oregon and elsewhere.  The TPP has been called “NAFTA” on steroids as it would accelerate the outsourcing of jobs, however, an even greater cause for alarm is its ISDS provisions that threaten the sovereignty of participating nation states.
ISDS, Investor-State Dispute Settlement, is a chapter in the agreement that gives foreign firms (including U.S. corporations that create foreign shell subsidiaries) the special right to sue nations for compensation if they feel a government has passed a law that negatively impacts their profits or potential profits.  ISDS would effectively override the laws of local, state and national governments.  Suits would, in effect be “outsourced” to an international tribunal of highly-paid, corporate lawyers, lawyers who could very well be arguing a corporate plaintiff’s case at another time.
If this seems too unreal or hypothetical, consider some lawsuits which are increasing exponentially under NAFTA (North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement) and CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement):
  • Under NAFTA TransCanada is suing the U.S. for 15 billion dollars for our rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Under CAFTA Philip Morris is suing Uruguay because it doesn’t like the kind of medical warnings that country wants on its cigarette packages.

A number of gold mining companies have attempted to use ISDS rules to avoid local anti-mining regulations.  Pacific Rim, a Canadian company not under CAFTA, actually moved its subsidiary from the Cayman Island to Reno, Nevada to take advantage of CAFTA’s suit provisions.1

One recent example is the OceanGold suit against El Salvador because that nation attempted to close down a mine that was pumping arsenic into the San Sebastian River, killing aquatic life and poisoning drinking water of nearby citizens.

One of the reasons these lawsuits have been increasing is because they have become a “growth industry.” Corporations can theoretically make more money on the backs of governments than the actual sales of products. Nearly one hundred such suits have been filed in just the last two years whereas five hundred have occurred in the last twenty-five. Investor protection has become a regular part of law-school curricula.2 It is possible that under TPP ISDS provisions our local community actions against GMOs and their pesticides, for example, would be viewed as obstructions to free trade.  Worse, however, is the chilling effect such provisions have on the democratic process.  Member countries will think twice about enacting laws and regulations that might invite suit.  Once recent example here is Canada’s threat to sue the U.S. over country-of-origin meat labeling under the terms of the WTO (World Trade Organization).  Facing $3.8 billion in retaliatory tariffs by Canada and Mexico, our legislators agreed to no longer require country of origin labeling on beef and pork and chicken. At the hearing, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said that despite comments from President Obama that, “No trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws,” the bill to repeal Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act of 2015 shows that “trade agreements have a direct effect on our sovereignty.” 3  As George Orwell famously observed, “Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip, but the really well-trained dog is the one that turns his somersault when there is no whip.” Peace House believes that economic justice is a prerequisite to lasting peace.  The outsourcing of jobs and the poverty it brings notwithstanding, the abdication of responsibility to her people by a democratically elected legislature compromises justice and peace.  We are grateful to Senator Jeff Merkley for his sustained opposition to the TPP. Last year Peace House, along with 1500 others signed a letter asking Senator Ron Wyden to oppose the TPP.  It is our continued hope that he will vote against it should it be considered in the Lame Duck session of congress. For additional reasons why we should oppose the TPP, please see “10 Reasons Why You Should Oppose TPP…” at http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/21010-10-reasons-why-you-should-oppose-obamatrade

 
  1. http://fpif.org/free-trade-done-central-america/
  2. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/22/trade-agreement-troubles
  3. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/06/house-votes-to-repeal-country-of-origin-labeling-for-meat/#.WC9xljDTnIU
 
Hiroshima-Nagasaki Vigil 2016Nuclear
By Herbert Rothschild

(Index)

Photo by Allen Hallmark: Right, back row, Greg Obed-Boertje. Center, front row, Hideko Tamura Snider, child survivor of Hiroshima bombing and radiation.
Healing Our Nuclear World: What are We Waiting For?
In keeping with a long tradition of commemoration, Peace House and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) spearheaded a three-day vigil to remember the devastation and suffering caused by the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing at least 149,00 people and leaving untold numbers to die slowly over time.
There were opening and closing ceremonies in Lithia Park, and Transform Now Plowshares activist, Greg Obed-Boertje, made a special trip to the West Coast to be with us and describe his commitment to nonviolent nuclear weapons resistance. Lisbeth Rogers, film maker of “Hot Water” spoke and showed her film. The films “Invisible War: Depleted Uranium & the Politics of Radiation” and “Born at the Burnt Land,” which deals with depleted uranium weapons were also shown. Michael Neimann, PhD, spoke about Global Weapons Resistance.
The coalition of sponsors is a reflection of how well we are connected in the Rogue Valley, and holding an awareness of the devastating nature of war, nuclear and otherwise: Peace House, WILPF, Japanese Association of Southern Oregon; One Sunny Day Initiatives & OSDI Japan, Ashland Culture of Peace Commission, Occupy Medford; Veterans for Peace- RV Chapter 156, Ashland Congregational UCC, South Mountain Friends Meeting, Ashland Unity Church; Social Justice and Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; The Rogue Valley Peace Choir, Rogue Valley Healthcare for All Oregon; Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice; JCC Pacific Green Party, Justice and Peace Team of Medford Congregational Church, Medford Citizens for Peace and Justice
As any experienced social change group knows, events aren’t ends in themselves, but ways to achieve goals. The 2016 observance of Hiroshima/Nagasaki inb our valley was a highly successful educational and community-building event, but Peace House viewed it as part of a global campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. That means we must influence public policy.
In that regard, our first step after the observance was to encourage our supporters to join the national call-in to President Obama, who has the power as Commander-in-Chief to take several steps to lower the risk of nuclear catastrophe before he leaves office. They are:
  • Declare a No First Use policy. The U.S. currently maintains a policy that it is acceptable for it to use nuclear weapons first in certain scenarios. A No First Use policy would make nuclear war less likely.
  • Eliminate launch-on-warning. This would make mistaken launches due to computer error less likely.
  • De-alert the nuclear arsenal. Taking U.S. nuclear weapons off high-alert would allow decision makers more time to consider the use of nuclear weapons.
  • Remove U.S. nuclear weapons from foreign soil. This would decrease tensions with Russia and make nuclear war less likely.
If you didn’t get the action message earlier, there is still time to participate. By email (preferable) go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact and fill in the on-line form. By phone: 202-456-1111.

Early in 2017 we plan to bring together nuclear activists from around the state to strategize for action with the new administration and Congress. The reason why Oregon is positioned for leadership is that our U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley is a champion of nuclear sanity. He filed an important bill in the current Congress to cut funding for building new nuclear warheads and delivery systems, and at the Peace House awards dinner last year affirmed his commitment to abolition.

The occasion for our strategy meeting may be a visit from Kevin Martin, national president of Peace Action, the nation’s largest grassroots peace organization. Peace House is an associate group of Peace Action. Martin has told us that he plans to be on the West Coast early in the year and will make Oregon a stop to help us discern what part we can play in the national effort. We should be able to report on our progress in the next quarterly issue of this newsletter.
On-Going Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament ongoing
By Herbert Rothschild

(Index)

As any experienced social change group knows, events aren’t ends in themselves, but ways to achieve goals. The 2016 observance of Hiroshima/Nagasaki inb our valley was a highly successful educational and community-building event, but Peace House viewed it as part of a global campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. That means we must influence public policy.

 

In that regard, our first step after the observance was to encourage our supporters to join the national call-in to President Obama, who has the power as Commander-in-Chief to take several steps to lower the risk of nuclear catastrophe before he leaves office. They are:
  • Declare a No First Use policy. The U.S. currently maintains a policy that it is acceptable for it to use nuclear weapons first in certain scenarios. A No First Use policy would make nuclear war less likely.
  • Eliminate launch-on-warning. This would make mistaken launches due to computer error less likely.
  • De-alert the nuclear arsenal. Taking U.S. nuclear weapons off high-alert would allow decision makers more time to consider the use of nuclear weapons.
  • Remove U.S. nuclear weapons from foreign soil. This would decrease tensions with Russia and make nuclear war less likely.

If you didn’t get the action message earlier, there is still time to participate.
By email (preferable) go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact and fill in the on-line form.
By phone: 202-456-1111.
 

Early in 2017 we plan to bring together nuclear activists from around the state to strategize for action with the new administration and Congress. The reason why Oregon is positioned for leadership is that our U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley is a champion of nuclear sanity. He filed an important bill in the current Congress to cut funding for building new nuclear warheads and delivery systems, and at the Peace House awards dinner last year affirmed his commitment to abolition.

 

The occasion for our strategy meeting may be a visit from Kevin Martin, national president of Peace Action, the nation’s largest grassroots peace organization. Peace House is an associate group of Peace Action. Martin has told us that he plans to be on the West Coast early in the year and will make Oregon a stop to help us discern what part we can play in the national effort. We should be able to report on our progress in the next quarterly issue of this newsletter.
Two Economic Justice Ballot Measures: One Win, One Loss Twoeconomic
By Herbert Rothschild

(Index)

Ashland voters approved by 87% to 12% a measure that advises the state legislature to adopt the health care coverage system that a study currently underway by the Rand Corporation will determine is both universal and cost effective. Referred to the ballot by the city council, it was the result of sustained advocacy by Health Care for All Oregon-Rogue Valley Chapter. For several years HCAO has been working toward a single payer system for Oregon. It persuaded the legislature in 2015 to mandate and fund the study, which HCAO believes will conclude that single payer (Medicare for Everyone) will best meet the criteria for coverage.
A similar ballot measure easily passed in Eugene, though not with so lopsided a margin as in Ashland. The Corvallis city council had adopted the advisory earlier. HCAO will use these expressions of popular support to back its case at the legislature in the 2017 general session.
Measure 97, a statewide ballot measure that would finally have required large corporations to pay a fair share of state taxes, was defeated 60% to 40%. Its opponents, who put up more than $22 million to defeat the measure, succeeded in large part because they were able to portray the measure as a sales tax. This was partially true, since the measure proposed to tax corporations on their sales over $25 million. Of course, that didn’t mean that they could simply pass all of it onto the consumers, but they succeeded in convincing voters that they would.
Oregon will now face a budget shortfall of perhaps $1 billion for the 2017-2018 fiscal years. It is possible that Measure 97, although it lost, will convince lawmakers to pass legislation to raise corporate taxes in the upcoming session as a way to address the problem.
Peace House is a member of HCAO and also of Oregon Strong Voice. Through these collaborations it supported the two ballot measures.
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The Cost of War and The Economic Crises at Home costofwar
By John Marciano

(Index)

The Cost of the Iraq War

In 2008, Nobel Economics Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard scholar Linda Bilmes wrote The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict. Testifying before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in 2013, however, Stiglitz stated that the eventual costs of the war “would easily be in the $4 trillion range.”

Overall US cost for the $4 trillion Iraq War:
US-325 Million population (November 2016), $12,308
per person.
State population figures (2015) and war cost (
all population and money figures rounded off)
: California: 39.1 Million and $481 Billion; New York State: 19.8 Million and $244 Billion; New Jersey: 9 million and $111 Billion;
Oregon: 3.8 million and
$47.2 billion.

City and county population figures (2015) and war cost: Jackson County, OR: 206,000 and $2.5 Billion; Camden, NJ: 77,000 and $948 Million; San Bernardino, CA: 216,000 and $2.6 Billion; Los Angeles: 3,971,000 and $48.9 Billion.

 

The Economic Crises at Home

We live in a time of great economic distress, when cities, counties and states struggle to repair a crumbling infrastructure, keep libraries and schools open, support essential public safety needs, maintain Medicaid and other healthcare benefits, and provide housing for the homeless-who include untold thousands of veterans. The distressing stories of these economic crises fill our nation’s newspapers. They have one thing in common: there’s a shortage of funds for important human programs that make for a vital and decent society, and this shortage is directly related to the cost of the Iraq War and other endless US wars abroad. Below are some representative stories that highlight these economic crises.

The library board in Camden, New Jersey “is preparing to close all three of its branches by the end of the year, saying its funding has been slashed so drastically that it cannot afford to keep operating.”
The City University of New York faces hard times. The “leaking ceilings have turned hallways into obstacle courses of buckets. The bathrooms sometimes run out of toilet paper. The lectures are becoming uncomfortably overcrowded, and course selections are dwindling, because of steep budget cuts…” Faculty and staff members “have not had a raise in six years.”
New York State “has more than $250 billion in unfunded needs to repair its infrastructure over the next 20 years, but no long-term plan to pay for it.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that pension and healthcare costs for police and firefighters in that city “are projected to rise from $506 million of the general fund budget this year to $789 million by 2016.”

New Jersey has halted all non-essential transportation repairs because its trust fund is nearly out of money.  The New York Times claims that the “former manufacturing behemoth” of Philadelphia is “edging toward a financial precipice … centered on the cash-starved public school system.” It’s a cash-flush city, however, when it comes to funding wars.

One of the most financially distressed cities in the country is San Bernardino, California. As the Los Angeles Times reported, the “once … sturdy, middle class ‘All-America City,’ is now bankrupt … and a symbol of the nation’s worst urban woes.” This was only compounded by the tragic fact that the city had to seek help to pay costs from the terrorist attack there in December 2015.

The Community Action Program of Jackson County, Oregon (ACCESS) provides “food, housing, warmth and other essential services to Jackson County’s low income children, families, seniors and people with disabilities.” ACCESS continues its struggle to find affordable and available rentals for homeless veterans and others who are similarly affected.

At the national level, the New York Times reported that the Postal Service “is Nearing Default as Losses Mount.” It can’t make a $5.5 billion dollar payment due this month and “may have to shut down entirely” if it can’t get help from Congress.

What lessons can be drawn from the staggering cost of the Iraq War?

A nation that wastes trillions on endless wars but cannot afford libraries and schools is one on the verge of fiscal and moral collapse. When we hear that there are no funds to provide housing, jobs, and healthcare for all our people, we only need point to the millions and billions going from our cities, counties, and states to pay for the Iraq War-and other endless wars. We must ultimately decide whether we will fund vital human needs-or unconstitutional and unjust wars that bankrupt us financially and morally.

Review of John Marciano’s book in CounterPunch by Luciana Bohne
To Our Members, Thank You!ToMembers
 
We appreciate your active involvement in Peace House.  Look for our email announcements, engage on the Peace House and Uncle Foods Diner facebook pages.  And don’t forget to visit our web site with its online calendar.
Volunteers are welcome and appreciated – email us at

info@peacehouse.net or call 482-9642

Peace House  
 
For 32 Years,

We’ve Advanced Peace

“Peace is not the

absence of conflict, but

the presence of justice.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Peace House On-line: informative, energizing, fun!

Have you been visiting our website at www.peacehouse.net?

Have you become our “friend” on Facebook? These sites are always up-to-date, filled with video clips, photos, and accounts of our activities.

 
Left top row: Linda Sturgeon, Elizabeth Hallett, Kathleen Gamer, Shaun Franks.
Left bottom row:  Ben Morgen, Sandra Coyner, Maren Faye.
  Peace House Board of Directors
 Elizabeth Hallett, Chair
Shaun Franks, Secretary
Connie Saldana, Treasurer
Sandra Coyner
Kathleen Gamer
Ben Morgen
Andy Seles

Staff

 

 Elizabeth Hallett, Program Manager

Surya Bolom, Acting Office Manager

Maren Faye, UFD Food Coordinator
Linda Sturgeon, Communications Coordinator

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