Numerous U.S. peace organizations have been mobilizing for policies that counter global warming, and protect the environment, in addition to opposing the Bush administrations occupation of Iraq and threatening to attack Iran. This includes “Global Exchange (http://www.globalexchange.org), Codepink (www.codepinkalert.org), and Care2 (http://go.care2.com/) who have been working on many environmental issues. This includes a number of organizations, among them Global Exchange, holding the Green Jobs Now national day of action, September 27, with 620 events in 50 states. The events focused on calling for government and private action creating green jobs, building “a green economic justice movement that values people and the planet over profits.” For more information go to: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=5iSEp4SCJgA2KF3Gn023OyFqpeCWHoO4, or WWW.GLOBALEXCHANGE.ORG.
The same is true around the world. Avaaz.org island states’ petition campaign, in September, worked to raise a worldwide chorus of support for a group of small islands’ leaders putting a resolution before the United Nations calling upon the Security Council itself to address climate change to keep their islands from disappearing as oceans rise. Part of the concern is that “for the first time in human history, the North Pole can be circumnavigated — the Arctic ice is melting more quickly than almost anyone anticipated. Now, small island nations — where homes are, at most, mere meters above sea level — are preparing evacuation plans to guarantee the survival of their populations. They are on the frontline, experiencing the first wave of devastating impacts from climate chang, which soon will threaten us all. President Remengesau of Palau, a small island in the Pacific, recently said: ‘Palau has lost at least one third of its coral reefs due to climate change related weather patterns. We also lost most of our agricultural production due to drought and extreme high tides. These are not theoretical, scientific losses — they are the losses of our resources and our livelihoods…. For island states, time is not running out. It has run out. And our path may very well be the window to your own future and the future of our planet.’ Beyond the islands, countries like Bangladesh — population, 150 million — face losing large parts of their landmass. The experience of our planet’s most vulnerable communities serves as a warning sign of the future world we can all expect: extreme weather growing in intensity, conflict over water and food supplies, coasts disappearing and hundreds of millions made refugees. For more, go to. http://www.avaaz.org/en/sos_small_islands/?cl=123248274&v=2098.
The grassroots Internet forum On the Frontlines of Climate Change was launched, June 12, 2008, by UNESCO, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issue (SPFII) and the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) in response to the threats of climate change already being faced many small island, rural and indigenous communities whose voices have remained largely on the sidelines of climate change debates. The goals of the Frontlines forum are to: Draw international attention to the knowledge and experiences of indigenous communities and peoples living in small islands, the Arctic and other vulnerable environments; Seek community-level observations on climate change impacts, as well as local efforts to cope with and adapt to these changes; Provide an opportunity for communities to voice their observations, experiences and concerns, and to share and exchange them with other communities; Build up a global database of local observations, experiences, practices and coping strategies; Support community-based research and educational activities related to climate change; Heighten the profile and impact of indigenous peoples and their knowledge in international climate change debates. A series of discussions is in progress and are posted periodically at: www.climatefrontlines.org. The Climate Frontlines forum welcomes questions and suggestions to improve the forum’s relevance and outreach by sending to: email@example.com.
At the dawn of 2009, Avaaz sees, “We’re on the cusp of 2009–the most important year in climate history. By the end of this year, at a massive summit in Copenhagen, humanity will come together and reach a global accord on climate change. If the treaty is strong, it will avert climate disaster and unleash a vibrant green-energy economy. If the treaty is weak–or, worse yet, if talks collapse–then the coming years and decades will bring rising seas, extreme hurricanes, floods, droughts, and millions of climate refugees. We–citizens everywhere–will decide between these two futures. At this moment, presidents and prime ministers around the world are developing their negotiating positions for 2009’s climate talks. Over the last two years, Avaaz members have shown that people power can change leaders’ minds; in the last two weeks alone, more than 200,000 of us succeeded in pulling back the German government’s attempt to undermine the European Union’s climate agreement. In Bali last year, we moved Japan and Canada. And voters have decisively rejected climate obstructionism in the US, Australia, and other key countries. This year is the ultimate test. And Avaaz will be launching its most ambitious, most strategic, and–if enough of us join in–most effective climate campaign yet, all focused like a laser on a strong global treaty in Copenhagen.” For more go tohttp://www.avaaz.org/sprint_to_copenhagen?cl=158890584&v=2570”
The Sierra Club, in late August, stated that it agrees with T. Boone Pickens, that the Bush Administration is wildly exaggerating how much oil there is to be found off-shore and in Alaska, and supports parts of his “Pickens Plan” — a two-pronged plan he details in a massive million dollar advertising buy running nationally now. In the ad, Pickens says the current debate over drilling “misses the point”. The current political emphasis on whether or not to open up more of the coastline to drilling is a distraction, a Karl Rove-style “head fake.” “And while the Sierra Club doesn’t agree with Pickens on everything — we do agree with the elements of his plan, which includes a huge increase in the investment and production of wind power, and giving consumers the choice to replace foreign oil with American natural gas for cars and trucks, in the period while we wait for all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.” For President Obama’s first day, the Sierra club is saying, “There’s nothing like a fresh start. On his first day in office, President-elect Barack Obama could make four decisions that would start 2009 with a “clean slate” of energy policies. These four policies would have an immediate impact by cutting global-warming pollution and spurring a clean-energy economy. We call these four policies the Clean Slate Energy Agenda: Reduce global warming emissions quickly by making it possible for over a dozen states to implement their clean car requirements. Require new and existing coal power plants to limit their global warming emissions. End destructive mountaintop removal mining by stopping coal companies from being allowed to dump rock and waste into valleys and streams (see Environmental Developments Below about huge recent toxic coal ash spill into waterways). Restore America’s international leadership in the fight to end global warming by publicly committing the U.S. to cut its CO2 emissions at least 35% by 2020.” The Sierra club continues to work to limit pollution more broadly, protecting people, places, air and water. For more information, contact the Sierra club, 85 Second St., San Francisco, CA 94105, http://action.sierraclub.org/site/R?i=_FZekciD0SWKHSR8oj_jaw.
The Environmental Defense Fund, concerned about the lost past eight yeas in the face of a growing environmental crisis, last fall launched Green Energy Agenda for 2009. holding that: “Global warming is the biggest environmental threat facing the planet today, and it’s getting worse. – America’s reliance on foreign oil and other fossil fuels is undermining our economic competitiveness in the 21st Century. These two threats have merged into an enormous opportunity for a historic breakthrough in Washington—2009 is a watershed moment to cut global warming pollution and unleash green energy innovation.” EDF states that science shows the crisis building. “The planet has a fever and it’s getting worse. The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas, is higher today than at anytime in at least the last 800,000 years. So far, this is the warmest decade on record and the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1997. Polar ice is melting at a record pace in both poles imperiling local animals like the polar bear and threatening to accelerate the warming trend.” The organization holds that the economics of environmental decay and growing scarcity of fosil fuels is, “Unleashing an energy revolution. This summer will be remembered for $4 gas and eight straight months of job losses in the U.S. One economic bright spot has been the growth of the green energy economy. More than 25,000 wind turbines are now operating in the U.S. — just a start according to many energy analysts who predict that wind could make up 20% of America’s energy by 2030. Solar energy is also exploding. Today, the American Solar Energy Society predicts that 1 out of 4 Americans will be working in the renewable energy or energy efficiency fields by 2030. A strong cap on global warming pollution will have a double benefit – it will directly address the climate threat and create market incentives that will spur energy innovation.” EDF believes that in politics, “an opportunity grows.” Despite wide-ranging and shameful opposition by the current administration, there were signs of hope in 2008 that our nation’s leaders are prepared to actually lead. Perhaps the high water mark occurred in June, when 54 Senators registered their support for a comprehensive limit on greenhouse pollution. Though a filibuster killed the measure, it was ample evidence of a turning political tide. Other signs of hope: 32 states, including Florida, North Carolina, and California have taken action to limit global warming pollution and invest in clean energy solutions. 358 mayors, representing 55 million Americans, have demanded action by signing the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement. Both presidential candidates have registered strong support for climate action. No matter the November outcome, we expect a more sympathetic and cooperative Administration come January. But, powerful obstacles remain. We should count on high pressure lobbying by big coal and other polluting industries. There will almost certainly be another filibuster when climate legislation again reaches the Senate floor; we will need no fewer than 60 Senators willing to bring the measure to a vote.”
As a solution, the Environmental Defense fund offers a plan. “Our vision for 2009 is to work with a new Administration to enact landmark climate legislation. Our strategy for 2009 has five pillars: Highlight the connections that link global warming action to America’s energy and economic future. The same solutions that reduce climate pollution can also help create millions of new green jobs and revitalize America’s economy. Reach across the aisle. These are bipartisan issues. No matter who wins in November, we expect to be working with a cooperative administration to make the dramatic changes that are now overdue. Concentrate on the transition and the first 100 days. The transition period between November 5th and January 20, 2009 is especially critical as the President-elect selects his team. The first 100 days will be the new President’s best opportunity to guide the nation’s agenda. We will campaign intensely during this period to get solid “cap and trade” bills introduced in both houses of Congress. Round up the UNUSUAL suspects. America’s economic and energy future is bringing together an unusual and growing coalition for action – small businesses, farmers, fishermen, mayors, and many Fortune 500 companies. Hold legislators accountable. One lesson we learned during our 2008 efforts is that elected officials can be swayed when their actions are highlighted in home town papers. We’ll employ that tactic where necessary to make sure members of Congress never forget that the folks at home are watching.” For more information go to: http://edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=29336.
Earthjustice is petitioning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Protect People from Pesticide Poisoning from endosulfan, “a dangerous pesticide in the same family of chemicals as DDT. the notorious pesticide that was banned in 1972 because it poisoned people, wildlife, and the environment. Like DDT, endosulfan is a serious threat to people — especially farmworkers and children. The European Union and many other countries have already recognized this danger and have banned endosulfan’s use. Acute exposure to endosulfan can lead to serious health problems, including nausea, vomiting, brain damage, coma, and even death. Additionally, endosulfan has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and miscarriage as well as developmental problems in young children. A study found that children exposed to endosulfan when they were fetuses had a significantly higher incidence of autism. ndosulfan has been found in our food and water supplies and due to its high mobility it has even been detected in remote national parks, on Mount Everest, and in the Arctic! Despite these risks, EPA continues to permit endosulfan’s use in agriculture.” For more information go to: http://action.earthjustice.org/campaign/endosulfan_1008/iwsik5gr0885m33?.
SaveOurEnvironemnt.org, a coalition of environmental organizations, in September, was working to prevent the Bush administration and the Department of Interior from putting into place regulations that would severely weaken the endangered species act. Currently, all Federal agencies must subject any plans that would potentially affect endangered animals and plants to an independent review by the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service. Bush’s proposed new rules would allow projects, such as dam and highway construction, to proceed so long as the agency in charge decides they would not harm vulnerable species. For details, go to: http://ga3.org/campaign/0908_endangered_species/xuninw84p7m8mxxm?. The National Resources Defense Council has been opposing the Bush administration’s efforts to have the Bureau of Land Management change its rules to allow oil shale and tar sands development on two million acres of U.S. government wildlands in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah for the production of dirty fuels. For more go to: NRhttp://www.nrdconline.org/campaign/biogems_yellowstone_0908. Care 2 was concerned, last fall, that “Oil and other dirty energy sources have enjoyed unfair tax subsidies for decades. The current tax credit for renewable energy helps level the playing field a bit, but it is set to expire at the end of the year!” The organization has been organizing to get congress to, “give lean, renewable energy sources a fighting chance to become more significant alternatives to dirty energy.” For more information go to: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/0mTD/wLUy/JroH.
Earthwatch, the world’s largest environmental volunteer organization, founded in 1971, works globally to help the people of the planet volunteer realize a sustainable environment. Earthwatch has programs in more than 40 counties, with more than 120 field sites. The organization supports scientific research and pairs volunteers with scientists on environmental issues. For more information go to: http://www.earthwatch.org/.
Rainmakers Ozeania studies possibilities for restoring the natural environment and humanity’s rightful place in it. These studies include, but are not limited to: The large scale desalination of sea water and the use of so distilled water for irrigation, reforestation, preventing and extinguishing forest fires, and improving the quality of city life by clearing smog, toxins and pathogens out of air. The establishment of wildlife sanctuaries in some regions where forests and waterways have been regenerated. Fixing CO 2in marine biomass and the use of that biomass as food, fuel and fertilizer. The establishment of sanctuaries in the ocean for whales and other marine species there. Raising ores and other deposits, such as fertilizers and natural gas, off the ocean floor and processing them without pollution or ad ding heat or CO2 to the atmosphere. Transporting marine products inland and developing safe, permanently habitable, structures there. Rainmakers Ozeania hopes that its web-site will become a filing cabinet and clearing house for proposals for doing the above, at: http://rainmakers-ozeania.com/0annexanchorc/about-rainmakers.html.
Green Ships is asking Congress to act to speed the development of new energy efficient ships that can take thousands of trucks off Atlantic and Pacific Coast highways, moving freight up and down the costs with far less carbon emissions and more cheaply. Green ships says, “This is the finding of ‘Green Ships Can Fight Global Warming,’ a report by Stas Margaronis, president of California-based Santa Maria Shipowning & Trading, Inc. [which has a direct interest in the plan]. The report is based on a ten-year effort to build fuel-efficient, low-emission ships to transport freight on U.S. marine highways. Margaronis argues that coastal or short sea shipping can remove tens of thousands of trucks from our roads and highways every day, significantly impacting our environment and infrastructure, making our roads safer and less congested, and bringing savings to consumers, shippers and taxpayers. Margaronis proposes creating low-carbon freight corridors in partnership with trucking companies. Ships powered by ultra-low sulfur diesel would be contracted by shippers and truckers to haul containerized truckloads along coastal corridors, with trucks used for pick-ups and deliveries. Electric-powered trucks would eventually replace diesel trucks, cutting fuel costs and emissions. Among the report’s findings: The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that there is a 31,000 peak truck traffic load on the Pacific and Atlantic coast highways, I-5 and I-95. Margaronis proposes to remove 10,000 trucks from each highway by shifting their freight to 66 short sea ships, built at a cost of around $3.3 billion. In contrast, the proposed widening of the I-710 freeway in Southern California is estimated at $5.5 billion. One heavy truck carrying 25 tons of freight consumes 370 percent more fuel per ton than a tug and barge carrying 1,750 tons of freight. A heavy truck will generate 230 percent more carbon dioxide (in grams per ton-kilometer) than a ship that transports as much as 8000 tons. Transport ships that sail between U.S. ports must be owned and operated by American citizens, and built at U.S. shipyards. But the Bush administration’s opposition to Title XI maritime loan guarantees has denied the American shipbuilder and shipowner access to capital, undermining start-up shipping and shipbuilding in the United States. Developments in green technology promise a cleaner transport system. The Port of Los Angeles has already contracted for electric-powered trucks for short-haul delivery. And more ships are using diesel-electric marine engines, creating the potential of a battery-powered, carbon-free-emission vessel.” For more information go to: http://www.greenships.org/greenships-cover.html.
Last summer the Environmental Defense Fund’s Corporate Partnerships team launched Climate Corps, modeled on the Peace Corps, in which MBA students worked as efficiency consultants and showed leading companies first hand how they can cut emissions and save money. For more information, go to: http://action.edf.org/ct/XpNXbm61NmDP/.
There have been growing complaints that the militarization of police departments in the United States has made it increasingly difficult for people to demonstrate peace fully and properly, and legally state their complaints and proposals. Amnesty International released the following press statement about widely complained about excessive police “security” activity around the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, MN, Friday, September 5, 2008. “Use of Force Against RNC Protesters “Disproportionate,” Charges Amnesty International.“[London]–Amnesty International is concerned by allegations of excessive use of force and mass arrests by police at demonstrations in St. Paul, Minnesota during the Republican National Convention (RNC) from September 1-4, 2008. The human rights organization is calling on the city and county authorities to ensure that all allegations of ill-treatment and other abuses are impartially investigated, with a review of police tactics and weapons in the policing of demonstrations. The organization’s concerns arise from media reports, video and photographic images which appear to show police officers deploying unnecessary and disproportionate use of non-lethal weapons on non-violent protestors marching through the streets or congregating outside the arena where the Convention was being held. Amnesty International urges that an inquiry be carried out promptly, that its findings and recommendations be made public in a timely manner. If the force used is found to have been excessive and to have contravened the principles of necessity and proportionality, then those involved should be disciplined, measures put in place and training given to ensure future policing operations conform to international standards. Police are reported to have fired rubber bullets and used batons, pepper spray, tear gas canisters and concussion grenades on peaceful demonstrators and journalists. Amnesty International has also received unconfirmed reports that some of those arrested during the demonstrations may have been ill-treated while held at Ramsey county jail. Amnesty International is also concerned at reports that several journalists who were covering the RNC were arbitrarily arrested while filming and reporting on the demonstrations. They include host of independent news program Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman, and two of the program’s producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, who were both allegedly subjected to violence during their arrest. A photographer for the Associated Press (AP) and other journalists were also arrested while covering the demonstrations. Kouddous described his arrest to media, “…two or three police officers tackled me. They threw me violently against a wall. Then they threw me to the ground. I was kicked in the chest several times. A police officer ground his knee into my back…I was also, the entire time, telling them, ‘I’m media. I’m press….,’ but…that didn’t seem to matter at all.” Amnesty International recognizes the challenges involved in policing large scale demonstrations and that some protestors may have been involved in acts of violence or obstruction. However, some of the police actions appear to have breached United Nations (U.N.) standards on the use of force by law enforcement officials. These stipulate, among other things, that force should be used only as a last resort, in proportion to the threat posed, and should be designed to minimize damage or injury. Some of the treatment also appears to have contravened U.S. laws and guidelines on the use of force. The U.N. standards also stress that everyone is allowed to participate in lawful and peaceful assemblies, in accordance with the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For more information, please contact the AIUSA media office at 202-544-0200 x302 or visit our website at www.amnestyusa.org.
Antiwar activity remains on going in the U.S. by numerous organizations and people, On Saturday, September 20, members of 18 peace and justice organizations across the country, including CODEPINK engaged their neighbors and asked them to sign a petition urging the next Congress to bring our troops home within a year. For more information go to: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=McCpNaobcaxcVmR9sKU0%2BuMArUloCEP3.
Global Exchange and other peace groups were very active in demonstrating at both the Democratic and Republican presidential conventions and on other occasions last fall: with a NO War NO Warming Platform: Withdraw all U.S. troops and military contractors from Iraq. Invest in a clean energy economy-public transit, ultra-efficient vehicles and renewable energy. Respect international law and the sovereignty of other nations. Re-engage as a leader in the international community, contribute to a global solution to global warming. Move from unilateralism and pre-emptive strikes to international cooperation and diplomacy. Start with Iran. Take dirty money out of politics, placing voters ahead of corporate and dirty energy interests. End torture, respect human rights, and restore habeas corpus. Replace “free trade” agreements with fair trade deals with other countries that protect workers’ rights and the environment. Implement humane and comprehensive immigration reform that affirms the dignity and integrity of immigrant families. Promote an equitable peace plan between Israel and Palestine. For more information go to: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org.
Israeli peace and human rights organizations including Gush Shalom (Gush Shalom, p.o.b. 3322 Tel Aviv 61033, Israel, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en) and the Other Israel (The Other Israel, p.o.b. 2542, Holon 58125, Israel, ph/fax: +972-3-5565804, email@example.com, http://otherisrael.home.igc.org/), and Coalition of Women for Peace (050-8575730) as well as international peace organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVJ: http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org) remain very active in opposing Israeli policies repressive of Palestinians, while calling for genuine peace efforts on all fronts. During the summer and fall there were continued attempts to transport food, medicine and other supplies to blockaded Gaza, while protesting the Gaza Siege, the continued construction of the wall and the taking of Palestinian land by the government and by settlers, while continuing to promote positive steps for peace on all fronts. With the Israeli attack on Gaza, there were regular large-scale protests and calls for peace. Gush Shalom published an ad in Haaretz, December 30, 2008: “CEASE FIRE NOW! This war is inhuman, superfluous and harmful. Nothing good for Israel will come out of it! The killing of hundreds of Palestinians and the destruction of the infrastructure of life in the Gaza Strip are abominable acts. Those who hope to reap electoral profits from them are greatly mistaken. A ground invasion will cause even greater harm, destroy what is left in Gaza and cause many casualties – Israelis and Palestinians, soldiers and civilians. If, after hard battles, the Israeli army will succeed in conquering the ruins of Gaza, the result will be, at most, to drive Hamas underground and to increase their influence both in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank. The attack, which has already deepened the hatred, will AROUSE the whole civilized world against us, RAISE all over the region a new generation that will hate the State of Israel even more, INCREASE the impact of Hamas, UNDERMINE even more the status of peace-seeking Palestinians, PREVENT Palestinian unity, without which there can be no peace. On behalf of thousands of Israelis who have demonstrated in the streets of Tel-Aviv within hours after the start of the war, we demand: To stop at once the attack on Gaza! To propose – and to maintain – a cease-fire that will include the end off all violent actions by both sides, a real opening of the border crossings and the termination of the blockade against the population of the Gaza Strip. To start a dialogue with Hamas. Hamas is an integral part of Palestinian society and the Palestinian political system. Without their participation, all negotiations and agreements are meaningless. Gush Shalom, P.O. Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 — firstname.lastname@example.org — www.gush-shalom.org.” Among the organizations joining in calling for an end to the Gaza attacks have been: the Monitoring Committee of the Arab Citizens in Israel, Ahoti, Alternative Information Center (AIC), Anarchists against the Fence, Balad, Banki, Bat Shalom, Coalition of Women for Peace, Combatants for Peace, Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Da’am – Workers’ Party, Gush Shalom, Hadash, Hithabrut – Tarabut, Indymedia, Israeli Communist Party (Maki), New Profile, Public Committee Against Torture (PCATI), Ra’am – Ta’al, Sadaka-Re’ut, Social TV, Student Coalition – Tel Aviv University, Ta’ayush, Tandi (Democratic Women), The Campus is Not Silent, The Shministim (High school Seniors’) Letter, Women in Black, Yesh Gvul, Zochrot.
On December 26, the Israeli peace alliance complained, in Haraatz, “ It is Israel which broke the truce – already a month and a half ago, in early November, the State of Israel broke the truce in a series of military attacks on Gaza, which caused the death of six Palestinians. In this way, the government of Israel, with its own hands, brought a rain of Qassam missiles upon the heads of the inhabitants of Sderot and the other Gaza Border communities. Afterwards, every time that the situation started calming down, more Palestinians were killed by the army, their killing provoking new salvos of missiles. Now, the government is using the breaking of the truce as the pretext to launch a new military offensive. An offensive which would cost the lives of civilians, and would not achieve any of its declared aims – certainly not the aim of bringing calm to the inhabitants of the border area. It is Israel which is responsible for the poverty and despair, entailed by the siege on Gaza – already for months the million and half inhabitants of Gaza live under an Israeli siege, with stoppages of water and electricity and a severe lack of vital goods. The Hamas government is already for weeks stating that it would be possible to restore the truce, should Israel agree to open the passages and allow the entry of goods, products, gasoline and people into the Strip. The government chooses consciously to ignore the Hamas declarations and cynically chooses, for electoral purposes, the path of war.”
Peace and justice organizations continue to object to illegal actions by settlers in the occupied West Bank against Palestinians, and the biased action of Israeli authorities in the face of that action. For example, Ma’an News Agency, “Settlers steal farmer’s horse, police punish… the farmer,” Nov. 24, 2008, http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=33483, “Israeli horse rustlers have deprived a West Bank Palestinian farmer of his livelihood. ‘While I was busy with one of my daughter’s engagements, settlers from the Efrat settlement came and stole my 1,600 dollar [USD] horse. This horse is my only means of income and I use it to plow people’s land,’ Ibrahim Suleiman Muhammad Salah, a 45-year-old Palestinian farmer from Al-Khadr explained. After the incident, Salah rushed to the Israeli police to complain and accuse the settlers of theft. Salah says the police refused to listen to his claim, instead accusing him of ‘causing problems’ at the station. In the end, he was forced to pay a fine of 1,000 Israeli shekels (250 US dollars).” Meanwhile, in November, the Israeli government told the Supreme Court that the Migron settlement was illegally established on privately-owned Palestinian land and must be removed, but that Defence Minster Barak made a deal with the settlers allowing them to stay on “for some more years” and to build for an alternative settlement in another West Bank location. A lawyer acting on behalf of Peace Now, moved that the judges reject the deal and order an immediate removal of the settlers. (see: http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=30180).
Gush Shalom has been sponsoring a boycott against businesses that support the settlements, which have been committing numerous illegal acts against Palestinians. This fall, the Gush Shalom Movement congratulated the Barkan Wineries for moving away from the industrial zone of Barkan settlement in the northern West Bank, to Kibbutz Hulda within the internationally-recognized territory of Israel, saying, “This is an important act, removing one of the major economic mainstays of the settlements. We hope and expect that additional companies will follow the Barkan Wineries out of the Occupied Territories”. The Barkan Wineries had figured prominently on the Gush Shalom Settlement Boycott List since this list was first published some ten years ago. Gush Shalom activists had distributed leaflets, calling upon the public not to purchase the Barkan wines, at the entrances to supermarkets as well as at public gatherings such as the annual memorials to Yitchak Rabin held in Tel Aviv every November. Recently, The soft drinks company “Tempo” which holds ownership of the Barkan Wineries entered into a close partnership with the large Dutch beer company “Heineken”, became part of the worldwide Heineken Group and created a new company called “Tempo Drinks” of which the Dutch Heineken holds 40% ownership. With the Dutch government firmly opposed to Israeli settlement in the Occupied Territories and therefore was unhappy about a close partnership between a Dutch company and one based at a settlement, while continued links with a settlement company might have exposed the Heineken Company to considerable criticism in the Dutch public opinion and to a boycott campaign, in the Netherlands and in other countries, the move was a sound business decision. The company directors’ report to their stockholders stated: “In the past, the location of the company’s winery at the Barkan area caused a negative image and made difficult the exporting of the Barkan brands. The company is acting to change this image, especially in light of moving production activity to Kibutz Hulda. (…) Due to severe limitation caused by the size of the Barkan location, as well as due to problems connected with operating a winery beyond the Green Line, the company decided to remove the winery from the Barkan Industrial Zone and relocate it to the Hulda site”. However, while the Barkan Wineries have completely cut off any association with West Bank settlement ativity, the company – which owns many vineyards in various locations – still owns a vineyard at Avney Ethan on the occupied Golan Heights. Therefore, the Gush Shalom Boycott Committee decided, for the time being, to retain the company on its boycott list, saying “Since this is one vineyard out of many owned by this company, and since its general trend of dissociation from settlement activity is very clear, we hope that this last connection would be presently severed. We could then wholeheartedly remove the company from our boycott list.” For more information contact Adam Keller 03-5565804 or 0506-709603, http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/campaigns/boycott_settlements_products/boycott_eng.rtf.
At the time of the 60th anniversary of the birth of the State of Israel, Palestinian Civil Society organizations in the Bethlehem area, demonstrated on December 27, condemning “the massacres being committed in Gaza.” The protesters reacted to an Israeli bombing in Gaza in response to a rocket attack into Israel. The Israeli targets were police and administrative offices of the elected Palestinian government which were located in heavily-populated civilian areas. The Palestinian demonstrators stated, “Nearly 200 people were reported massacred so far by Israeli war planes bombings of the besieged Gaza strip. Hundreds were reported injured so far. The victims include men, women, and children and the number of victims are expected to rise rapidly. Join us today as we call for ending the massacres, ending the siege on Gaza, for reconciliation between all Palestinians, and for freedom.” Palestinian activists have expressed frustration that it is rare for the international media to report their peaceful protests. For more information contact: Khalid AlAzza 0545439263, Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh 0598939532, or Dr. Abdelfattah Abusrour 0599255573, http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/926/re71.htm. In Tel Aviv, December 27, at least 1000 Israelis protested the indiscriminate bombing in Gaza, and protests by Palestinians and Israelis have continued. Meanwhile, there have been demonstrations around the world calling for an immediate cease fire, with a very wide spectrum of peace oriented organizations actively involved in that call, as have been many governments and the United Nations.
In a press release, December 27, “The One Democratic State Group urges the International community and people of conscience everywhere to demand that Israel respect International law by ending its illegal occupation of all areas occupied since 1967, by respecting and implementing refugees’ right to return, and by freeing all political prisoners including members of the Palestinian legislative council. Since June 2006, Israel has kidnapped more than 64 elected Palestinian Legislative Council members and cabinet ministers, university lecturers, city mayors and health workers, including Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker, Professor Aziz Adwaik. Professor Adwaik is also Professor of Economics at An Najjah University in Nablus. Ahmed Saadat leader of the PFLP was just “sentenced” to 30 years imprisonment by the illegal military courts of the occupation regime. Israeli forces kidnapped Saadat two years ago from a PA prison in Jericho and kept him in solitary confinement since then. Saadat and other Palestinians refuse to recognize the authority of the court or to appeal to higher occupation courts. Israel currently illegally holds more than 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners. While Palestinians have different opinions on tactics of resistance to colonial occupation, we all share the same goals of freedom and self-determination and we all recognize the rights and obligations of occupied people to resist per tenets of International law. The One Democratic State Group calls on the international community, all academic institutions, and all international civil society organizations to demand: – The immediate release of Ahmed Saadat, Marwan Braghouti, Professor Adwaik, other elected legislatures and all Palestinian political prisoners. – The protection of civilian lives and property, as stipulated in international humanitarian law and international human rights law such as the Fourth Geneva Convention. -An end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, Israeli apartheid and Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people. -Implementation of International law including the rights of refugees to return to their homes and lands. For Comments contact: Dr. Asaad Abu Shark + 972 599 322636 (Gaza), Dr. Haidar Eid + 972 599 441766 (Gaza), Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh +972 598939532 (West Bank), http://www.odsg.org/co/.”
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, author, psychotherapist, and spiritual leader of Congregation Nevei Kodesh in Boulder, Colorado, where she is the founder of the Palestinian-Jewish Listening Circle, commented in part in “The Jewish state of irony,” distributed by Common Ground News Service, September 18, 2008, http://www.commongroundnews.org, “When I travel to Hebron and hear that stones are handed out in the settlement store before the Sabbath so Israeli settlers can throw them at Palestinian children as they exit their school on Saturday; as I sit with my Palestinian friends, Hani and Rema, and watch their children play in an enlarged metal cage that protects them against settlers‚ attacks; as I look out the window of the home of my Christian friends in Bethlehem and see yet another hectacre of their olive orchards appropriated to the settlement on the hill˜I have only one response. Choking with grief, all I can manage to utter is: I am so sorry. Please believe me, this is not Judaism! I hope it is superfluous to state that in Judaism, the dignity of a human being is sacrosanct. Every human being, Jew and Gentile alike, is understood to be a creation of the Holy One. Therefore, the honour of the „other‰ is one of our highest values. He may not look like or act like you. He may be in your way, and even stand between you and your cherished plans. Nevertheless, “If a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. But the stranger who dwells with you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34). What a bitter irony it is for a people who have lived as the homeless ‘other’ for centuries to find itself in the position of forgetfulness now. And so we must defend Judaism as much as we defend the Jewish state, for what is a Jewish state if the values being expressed by that state are not, in the end, Jewish?”
Jerusalem Peacemakers hosted the second “Big Hug of Jerusalem.” June 24, bringing together 800 “lovers of Jerusalem”–Palestinians, Israelis and internationals around the walls of the Old City. “Under the palm trees we started with a small listening circle that grew as many passersby, Israeli, Palestinian, international joined us. Musicians played peace songs, then we formed a large circle and did a spiral dance and chant for unity. At the same moment as two hundred people were forming a line to ‘Hug’ the Old City near Jaffa Gate, we formed a chain of several hundred between Damascus and New Gates. Arab and Jew, young and old we stood on the green lawn overlooking the Old City Walls, holding 10 minutes of silence for the peace of Jerusalem. At that moment children flew kites right in front of us, it seemed as if the soaring kites were carrying people’s intentions upwards to the heavens.” shopkeepers, children, religious Jews, hippies, soldiers and police– joined us. “We led hundreds in a chant and ‘zikr’, chanting ‘Shalom, Salaam, Hu Hu’. Spiritual leaders Rabbi Menachem Froman, Sheikh Bukhari, a Hindu woman teacher from India, Haj Ibrahim and a guest from Jordan offered blessings. After drumming, singing and praying we lifted our hands in unison with an intention for healing the divisions in Jerusalem, honoring our shared love for this Holy City… The Big Hug is planned now to be an annual event. Thanks to organizer Dvora Pearlman.”
Jerusalem Peacemakers has been involved in many other peace initiatives. Forty American and Iraqi teenagers met for one week at the King Abdallah Academy near Amman, Jordan, in July. Sheih Bukhari and Eliyahu McLean were invited as keynote speakers to speak about their peace work. The teenagers were chosen from a wide variety of backgrounds and regions in both countries. “It was amazing to see how fast they were able to bond, and speak so openly about different points of view about US-Iraqi relations. The conference organizer, himself only aged 19 has initiated a project to pair American Universities with Iraqi high schools, supplying them with used computers and other equipment.” In Amman also attended a leadership course at the United Nations University on ‘Non-Violent Approaches for Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, Mediation and Peace Building’ and at “Promoting Peace Through Dialogue: an International Conference with a Focus on the Palestinian/ Israeli Conflict”, July 28-Aug. 3, with young adult activists and scholars from all over the world, including Jordan, Palestine, Japan, England, Yemen and Bahrain. McClean otes, “Jordan is now seen as an island of stability in the Middle East and has become the central meeting point for people from all over the region.”
Jerusalem Peacemakers held a two day retreat for the Abrahamic Reunion group of Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Druze religious and women leaders, in Zichron Yaakov, July 2-3, together with friends from the Rising Tide International and Center for Religious Tolerance centers in Sarasota, Florida. The group renewed a commitment to bring their religious communities to work together on projects that build bridges of trust and communication between Arabs and Jews. For more information contact Eliyahu McLean, Jerusalem Peacemakers, co-director, Jerusalem Peacemakers, PO Box 31894, Jerusalem, 91316 Israel, http://www.sulha.com/, or The Center for Religious Tolerance, 520 Ralph St. Sarasota, FL 34242.
Amnesty International (AI), in October, was concerned that, “Fifteen months after promising desperately needed peacekeepers, helicopters, and other critical resources to help end the mass killings in Darfur, governments have failed to deliver. UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) peacekeeping troops are still ill-equipped and well below authorized deployment levels. And innocent Darfuri civilians are still being violently murdered, raped, and driven from their villages.” AI was joined with other organizations to get international, including U.S., action on Darfur. For more on AI’s position on this and other issues, go to: http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/../c.goJTI0OvElH/b.953489/k.B86E/Action_Center_Home/siteapps/advocacy/ActionCenter.aspx.
This fall, Care2 was concerned that “The American war in Iraq has taken a heavy toll on the Iraqi people, and there are now 4.5 million refugees who’ve fled the fighting. Fortunately, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is there to help with innovative, effective strategies toward peace, human dignity and economic fairness.” “In the grisly reality of war, many refugees have lost limbs, and there is significant need for clinics that manufacture and fit prostheses. AFSC and its partners committed to fitting refugees living below the poverty line with needed artificial limbs. Also, making a living is an almost impossible task for Iraqi refugees, their savings emptied to flee the country. Many of these households are run by women, and AFSC helps provide training in job skills. This focus on empowering communities and ending injustice is what I admire most in AFSC. Because whether its opposing the war in Iraq or rebuilding villages in Burma destroyed by cyclones, AFSC works everyday towards a more peaceful and justice future.” For more information contact Care2.com, Inc, 275 Shoreline Drive, Suite 300, Redwood City, CA 94065, http://www.care2.com.
Human Rights Fund (HRF), while continuing to work to stop torture, and have the U.S. prison at Guantanomo Bay closed, in September, expanded its campaign to Stop Arms to Sudan to address all countries that provide the arms fueling the crisis, saying, “While China continues to be the largest provider of weapons to Sudan, more than 30 other countries do as well, based on HRF’s research. The Stop Arms to Sudan campaign is working on many fronts to end this flow of arms – by seeking to persuade countries to unilaterally suspend their arms transfers to Sudan until violence abates, and by working to press for a more effective, expanded arms embargo at the UN.” HRF has released new data documenting all the countries that provide arms to Sudan, and in October hosted events in Washington and New York highlighting the problem of arms transfers to Sudan and positing recommendations for action. For more information go to: http://action.humanrightsfirst.org/ct/wp3_TxM1Lm2F.
Human Rights First (HRF) has been taking an Innovative Approach on Darfur: reporting in late December, “We want to stop the flow of weapons to the region as a way of changing the calculus and prompting a political solution. Last week we spoke before the U.N. Sudan Sanctions Committee to present findings from our recent field mission to a refugee camp in eastern Chad:… Our report earlier this year on who is supplying arms to Sudan, and recommendations for enhancing the current arms embargo, was well received in Washington and in the press. We are also working to support the arrest warrant requested against Sudanese President Bashir for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.” HRF has been working to Protect Human Rights Defenders, including collaborating in a 4-year quest for accountability by governments, involving generating tens of thousands of letters, emails, and signatures in support of human rights activists at risk, as well as direct communications. These, along with advocacy, contributed, in 2008, to the release from detention of human rights defenders in Pakistan and Columbia, and other nations. HRF efforts contributed to concrete steps by European institutions to fight hate crimes, in 2008, with countries that have been the targets of its work have made legislative and policy advances to strengthen their response to racist, anti-Semitic, and other bias-motivated violence. HRF’s 2008 Hate Crime Survey cast into the spotlight those countries in Europe, North America, and Russia where hate crimes are on the rise and response is deficient. In addition, there was a trial for the murder of Indonesian human rights activist Munir, which hopefully sets a very useful precedent. For more contact Human Rights First, 333 Seventh Ave., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10001, Communications@HumanRightsFirst.org, www.humanrightsfirst.org.
Search for Common Ground (SFCG) asserts. “While we recognize that large-scale change will not occur overnight, we believe that the Obama Administration will work closely with both friends and foes to achieve shared goals and build a more collaborative world. As the President-elect has written, “No one is exempt from the call to find common ground.” Today’s problems – whether economic, ethnic, or environmental – are simply too complex and interconnected to be settled in a beggar-thy-neighbor way. The earth is clearly running out of space, resources, and recuperative capacity to deal with wasteful conflict. We feel that it is in everyone’s best interest to find just solutions to global issues and provide dignified, decent lives for all. In this interdependent world, borders, legislation, and checkpoints cannot keep out terrorism, disease, and despair. There is a practical and ethical imperative for cooperation, and we see extraordinary opportunity ahead.”
SFCG is promoting engagement with the Muslim world, sponsoring a project with the Consensus Building Institute to help reverse deteriorated relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world. “To this end, we convened a group of 34 prominent Americans, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, ex-Republican Congressmen Vin Weber and Steve Bartlett, Ingrid Mattson, President of the Islamic Society of North America, and Tom Dine who headed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In September, the group, whose members are one-third Muslim-American, issued a report, Changing Course: A New Direction for US Relations with the Muslim World. (A 15-minute documentary on the report is also available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIn8HaGQLnY&feature=channel.) Under the leadership of Rob Fersh, we continue to implement the report’s far-reaching recommendations. Here are some comments on the report, that recommends more diplomatic engagement, even with Iran and other adversaries, and a major investment in economic development in Muslim countries to create jobs for alienated youth. It calls on the next president to use his Inaugural Address to signal a shift in approach, to immediately renounce the use of torture, and to appoint a special envoy within the first three months to jump-start negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.
SFCG is moving ahead with its peace and understanding building radio programs. During the next three years, it plans to produce and/or co-produce TV and radio drama series in at least ten countries, with plots based on soccer (or football, as the rest of the world calls it). Each series will encourage mutual understanding, cooperation, and democratization. Production has started in Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Morocco.
In MOROCCO’s slums, around Casablanca, SFCG, In partnership with Morocco’s National Initiative for Human Development and a network of local youth groups, is creating community mediation centers. “We seek to build a culture of dialogue by empowering 75 youth leaders through training and coaching.” “Just minutes from the cosmopolitan center of Casablanca, there exists Sidi Moumen, a parallel world of dilapidated shanties and high rises. From this neighborhood have come suicide bombers who launched two major attacks. To eradicate the problems of poverty, unemployment, and ideology, it is necessary to tackle the conflicts existing in communities like this one by bringing development and opportunity to those at risk.” “Mediation helps us resolve conflicts in a non-violent manner,” says Zachariah, who is 22. “I want to show others that it can change their lives.” SFCG has offices in Abidjan, Abuja, Beirut, Brussels, Bujumbura, Bukavu, Conakry, Freetown, Jakarta, Jerusalem, Kathmandu, Kiev, Kigali, Kinshasa, Luanda, Monrovia, Rabat, Skopje, Washington. For more information go to: http://www.sfcg.org.
Avaaz.org was urging action, at the end of November, as, “The brutal war in Congo is escalating, as a terrified Congolese people plead for Europe to send peacekeepers to protect them.(1) Today, two top experts warned that Congo looks frighteningly like Rwanda before the 1994 genocide and that only Europe can deploy a strong and neutral force fast enough to stop the bloodshed.(2) European leaders are wavering as their council meeting approaches – we have just one week to persuade them to act. We know how to do it — last week, Avaaz ran a hard-hitting advertisement in The Times of London, pressing UK leaders to support a European force or risk responsibility for genocide — their Africa minister called us immediately, and their position has shifted — the UK has moved toward supporting a European force! Now we need to take this effective ad campaign Europe-wide” For information go to: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/congo_europe_must_act/. Avaaz believes that it has found a real pressure point for leveraging change in Burma, the insurers who prop up the junta’s economic interests. Many of the Burmese Generals’ West-linked business ventures depend on one insurer: Lloyd’s of London, so Avaaz is having folks flood Lloyd’s and the media with E-mails and mail pointing out the company’s blameworthiness. “As key insurance deals come up for renewal, we can shift their cost-benefit calculations on support to the Burmese regime.” For more go to: http://www.avaaz.org/en/shame_lloyds_on_burma.
Conciliation Resources (CR) continues its work in West Africa, begun in 1996, mostly in southern and eastern Sierra Leone during and after its 10-year civil war. CR’s jointly planned work with community groups and non-governmental organizations “underscores the important role we believe local people have in transforming their own violent conflicts and achieving lasting peace. We work with marginalized people to develop effective solutions to social, economic and political problems, understanding the value this has for tackling the root causes of conflict. Our work includes: Peacebuilding in local communities, helping partners organize community reconciliation meetings, supporting their peace monitoring and conflict mediation activities in south eastern Sierra Leone, and working with traditional authorities to help resolve conflict points; Rebuilding young people’s lives after war through our youth drop-in-centre in Kenema and work with local youth groups to help young men and women develop conflict resolution skills and become respected by their communities; Strengthening local justice, governance and security by building understanding between communities and the re-emerging judiciary and security structures to ensure access to and meaningful justice for communities as well as their greater involvement in security… Peacebuilding in the Mano River Union countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to strengthen relationships and learning between organizations, build their ability to monitor conflict trends and define their role in improving accountability in local governance. CR also works in the Caucasus, with a focus on the Georgian-Abkhaz and Nagorny Karabakh conflicts, supporting people working for lasting peace and change within their societies and across the conflict divides. The work includes dialogue and analysis, working with the media and strengthening civil society groups. In Fiji, “Our partner the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) works to prevent violent conflict and improve understanding between Fiji’s divided indigenous and Indo-Fijian communities. It is also dedicated to making sure the government complies with the Constitution.” “practical experiences of peacebuilding around the world offer important lessons for policymakers. We identify these lessons and make recommendations for more effective international policymaking on armed conflict. Our comparative learning project stems from our belief that sharing information on peace process is essential for effective peacemaking strategies. We work in partnership with civil society organizations in Colombia and the Philippines.” In the area of Governance and peacebuilding, “Conciliation Resources is working to help women, men and youth in conflict-affected communities voice their needs and engage effectively with politicians and policymakers in decision-making on issues that impact upon their everyday lives.” For more information conact Conciliation Resources, 173 Upper Street, London, N1 1RG, United Kingdom, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7359 7728, email@example.com, www.c-r.org.
Refugees International released a report, in July, that highlighted the disparity between military and humanitarian (including economic) aid being given to Sub-Saharan Africa, that could be increased with the launch of AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command that was created to consolidate and coordinate U.S. Security programs in Africa, but which could also lead to a greater militarization of aid on the continent. For more go to: http://www.refugeesinternational.org/content/issue/detail/10761 or http://transcendafrica.net/?p=206.
Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), is a global, non-governmental organization with more than 100 staff worldwide, which recruits, trains and deploys an unarmed civilian peacekeeping force. NP’s mission is to build a large-scale trained, international civilian nonviolent peaceforce that is sent to conflict areas to prevent death and destruction and protect human rights, thus creating the space for local groups to struggle nonviolently, enter into dialogue, and seek peaceful resolution. For more information go to: www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org.
Last fall, in the Philippines, the Peace Education Network appealed to government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to stop fighting and to heed the call expressed by many civil society groups in the country for the resumption of dialogues and negotiations between them. For details go to: http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/letterstotheeditor/view/20080906-159012/An-appeal-to-put-an-end-to-violence-in-Mindanao
In October, more than 800 representatives from organizations throughout the Americas met in the northern city of La Esperanza, Honduras to take a strong stand against the militarization of their nations and communities, and to demand the closing of all U.S. military based in Latin America and the Caribbean. For more see Laura Carlsen, “Hemispheric Conference against Militarization Says No to Merida Initiative, U.S. Military Bases,” Americas Updater, http://americas.irc-online.org/am/5605.
In Lebanon, in October, Women Empowerment: Peaceful Action for Security and Stability (WEPASS) initiated several projects and held events aimed at ending discrimination against women and encouraging them to become involved in social structures. Details are available at: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=96295.
Ecumenical teams called “Living Letters,” have been sent by the World Council of Churches to visit locations around the world where churches have been involved in conflict situations and working toward non-violence and reconciliation. The visits have been taking place in advance of the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation to be held in Jamaica in May 2011. A living letters team visited Ambon in the province of North Maluku, in Indonesia, July 18-19, July to learn about and support conflict resolution steps taken within the community, lead by religious leaders and women to heal differences and end the strife which broke into major violent conflict bringing hundreds of deaths and vast destruction from 1999-2004. More history and information are available at: http://www2.wcc-coe.org/pressreleasessp.nsf/index/Feat-08-14.html.
The Uganda Human Rights Commission announced a country wide civic education on Human rights issues, aimed at creating awareness about the rampant human rights cases in the country. The education program is supported by the European Union with a donation of 800 million. (Source: The New Vision: http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/10/10/645574).
In the past recent months, the Center for Global Justice has given attention to the growing financial crisis and the prospect of a major depression. “We convened a group to discuss what was happening and prepare a series of public programs to widen the discussion in San Miguel de Allende. The first program on October 15 posed the question “What is the Financial Crisis All About?” and featured a panel consisting of Jeff Faux, Cliff DuRand, Arturo Yarish and Marge Allen, chaired by Bob Stone. That was followed on October 29 with a second panel “Which Way Out of the Financial Crisis?” featuring Jeff Faux, Cliff DuRand and Betsy Bowman, again chaired by Bob Stone.“ (a video of this panel is available at: http://vimeo.com/2234376 and http://vimeo.com/2257542. Some of the panel presentations along with other significant articles on the subject are posted on our website under the general subject CRISIS, at: www.globaljusticecenter.org.
The Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) is developing an edited volume on “Building Cultures of Peace”, exploring how cultures of peace can be created and sustained through peace studies, scholarly research, k-12 education, and activism. For details contact Elavie Ndura-Ouédraogo,Ed.D., Associate Professor, Initiatives in Educational Transformation (IET), College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University. 10900 University Boulevard, MS 4E4. Manassas, Virginia 20110, (703)993-9424, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Ghana, the 1GHANA PEACE PROJECT aims at promoting a culture of peace and non-violence. For more go to: http://dailyguideghana.com/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6721.
The Boston Research Center has a new website at: www.brc21.org.