WILPF BUSINESS MEETING
WILPF will meet Thursday, February 11, at 7 PM, at Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N Van Ness. This meeting is open to all members.
WOMEN IN BLACK
February 3, (first Wednesday of each month) at noon at Fresno County Courthouse. Wear black, bring a sign, and stand in silence for peace – we ask that you respect the silent vigil, please.
STIR IT UP – WILPF – ON KFCF 88.1 FM (LISTENER-SUPPORTED FREE SPEECH RADIO FOR CENTRAL CALIFORNIA)
February 24, 3 PM (4th Wednesday of each month) Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. You know you want to tune in!
Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 PM. Call Ellie at 229-9807 for details.
WILPF LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REPORT
Opposing the TPP
Members of our Legislative Committee had a very positive meeting with Rep. Jim Costa’s aide on Jan 12. We have been choosing a current topic each month since late 2014 and meeting with and/or delivering letters expressing WILPF’s stand on various topics. Our topic in January, as it was in November of 2014 was the TPP and the TTIP. We presented, along with our letter, a very informative fact sheet compiled by WILPF US and the Alliance for Democracy, stating our reasons for not supporting this flawed document. We met with Daniel Cisneros, a new Costa staff person. Daniel is local and is also attending San Joaquin College of Law. He is personally studying the 6000-page TPP document. It is his impression that Costa will not support the passage of TPP. We hope he is right. In the meantime, it is always a good idea to call the offices of our Congressional representatives to express our opinion. After all…we the people pay their salaries.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
Showing Up for Racial Justice
WILPF Fresno purchased 10 Black Lives Matter signs from Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). SURJ is a network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. We are considering canvassing our neighborhoods explaining white privilege, “Black Lives Matter” and other racial justice concerns, as we ask our white neighbors to put “Black Lives Matter” signs in their windows or on their lawns. This is just a first step. Anyone interested in joining this group please call Ingrid at 240-9205.
EARTH DEMOCRACY COMMITTEE REPORT
Fracking Tour Film
ED continues to be working on the editing and subsequent distribution of the DVD of our Fracking Tour. We hope to finish by the end of January. It is filled with amazing information and footage of the unbelievable misuse of oil field water and pollution of the air. Our tour guide, Tom Frantz, is the super-hero of the film as he narrates the saga of the powerful oil companies and their rape of the land, all of which is visible behind him as he speaks.
Cineculture Environmental Film – Racing Extinction
ED is extremely excited to be the co-sponsor of our yearly March CineCulture environmental film. This year we will be screening Racing Extinction on March 18. This is a “must see” film from the producers of The Cove. Here is a description of the film:
Oscar®-winning director Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) assembles a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. Spanning the globe to infiltrate the world’s most dangerous black markets and using high tech tactics to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction, Racing Extinction reveals stunning, never-before seen images that truly change the way we see the world.
REPORT FROM A GREAT WILPF INTERN
Say Hello to WILPF’s Intern
To be honest, I thought that as a WILPF intern, I would just have to hand out pamphlets at CineCulture and hold protest signs for Women in Black. Boy was I wrong and astonishingly surprised. I have learned that the work of WILPF is considerably broader than I had envisioned. WILPF has members in numerous community organizations throughout Fresno and during my first semester as the intern I became overwhelmed by all the organizations that WILPF has its hands in. As the WILPF intern I have been exposed to what I call “underground Fresno”. I say “underground” for the reason that I had no idea that all of these organizations were in Fresno and I was pleasantly surprised that they existed.
As the WILPF field supervisor, Joan Poss wanted to make sure that I familiarized myself with the progressive community and she introduced me to just about everyone we came in contact with. During the fall semester I attended many cultural and informational events around Fresno. I feel as though I have grown as a person and that my life has been enriched by what I have learned thus far. During the spring semester I hope to be more involved with the various WILPF committees, namely the Legislative, Library, and Building Beloved Community committees. I am proud to be a WILPF intern and I am excited for what this next semester holds.
— Sirina R Resendez
CUBA AND THE BOLIVARIAN ALLIANCE SOLIDARITY REPORT
Defend IFCO Pastors for Peace
The IRS Plans to Revoke IFCO’s Tax Exempt Status for Providing Aid to Cuba. A final decision could come at any moment….We need your help now!!
To sign the petition to the IRS and members of congress, go to https://www.change.org/do-not-remove-ifco-pastors-for-peace-non-profit-status or bit.ly/saveifco
For information and links, go to http://ifconews.org/
Copwatch, Cuban style, October 6, 2015. A police car pulled up in the little streetpark by the Centro MLK, which is in Marianao, a mostly poor, mostly non-white neighborhood of Havana with a reputation for toughness and revolutionary spirit. I was sitting on the porch with friends so I stood up and watched the encounter. Two cops got out, one with a clipboard in his hands; he spoke for a while to one of a group of young men who was playing a ball game half-way between handball and 4-square there and looked at his ID. After a while the cops went on their way. From the youth’s hand gestures and body language afterward it was clear he felt mistreated or unfairly singled out. No guns out, no search nor any touching, no lying on the ground or sprawling against a police car, no hands in the air, no violence. The kid was Black, of course. I think the cops were also – it is hard to tell whether people consider themselves Black here unless they are quite black indeed. I mentioned it to local folks I’d been sitting with. They commented that the police here are respectful, in most cases. They were inclined to lump police violence in the US in with the general violence of US society and think of it as all of a piece. They’re not right, but it’s very hard to explain. Racism as a legacy of colonial and imperialist domination was prevalent in Cuba before the Revolution, and prejudice has not been eliminated completely although systemic racism has been. It is nonetheless hard for Cubans to conceive of the deep vicious racism of the US.
—Leni Villagomez Reeves