No cuts to Social Security! Dan Yaseen, the Community Alliance newspaper advertising director (left) with the Raging Grannies in front of the Federal Building in downtown Fresno. The Grannies and other community members were celebrating the 78th anniversary of Social Security.

WILPF – July 2013

WILPF BUSINESS MEETING

There is no WILPF meeting in July. The WILPF Retreat will happen in August – watch this space for details.

WOMEN IN BLACK

July 3, first Wednesday of each month at noon at Fresno County Courthouse; come on the month in which your birthday falls! Wear black, bring a sign if you wish, and stand in silence for peace.

STIR IT UP – WILPF – ON KFCF 88.1 FM (LISTENER-SUPPORTED FREE SPEECH RADIO FOR CENTRAL CALIFORNIA)

July 24  3PM (4th Wednesday of each month) Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. Tune in!

RAGING GRANNIES

Meetings on selected Mondays at 7PM. Call Ellie at 229-9807 for details.

BEVERLY FITZPATRICK HONORED; PLEASE GIVE TOILET PAPER

Fresno WILPF member and outstanding Building the Beloved Community activist Bev Fitzpatrick was honored at the 21st anniversary of the Fresno Center for Nonviolence. She and Karen Goodman received the Way of Peace Award for their work with the Thursday Group, dedicated to supporting the dignity and humanity of homeless people and helping to meet their immediate needs. Somehow this group of dedicated volunteers has been able to mobilize more resources and serve people better than the city and county combined.  The headline is not a joke or a mistake. Toilet paper is urgently needed – it can be dropped off at FCNV, McKinley and Van Ness, between 11 and 3 o’clock.

DAKOTA ECOGARDEN WORK PARTY JULY 6

Fresno architect Art Dyson is about to see his Eco Shelter design get a real life tryout at the Dakota EcoGarden, 2231 W Dakota. Construction began at the June 15 work party. Put July 6, from 8 till noon, on your calendar for the completion of the first of five units. For more info, email nancywaidtlow@yahoo.com or call 224 1738. Donations may be made to The Eco Village Project of Fresno, 501c3#27 48209446, 4773 N Arthur Ave, Fresno 93705. Donations may be made to The Eco Village Project of Fresno, 501c3#27 48209446, 4773 N Arthur Ave, Fresno 93705.

FRESNO WILPF HOSTS GREAT CALIFORNIA CLUSTER MEETING

WILPFers from branches throughout California, including Fresno, Davis, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, East Bay, Peninsula, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Jose met at Pat Wolk’s on April 27.  We reviewed the California legislative advocacy campaign and ranked issues; nuclear power, water, fracking, single payer, gun control, and GMO were the top ranked California state issues. Opportunities for national participation were discussed. Members presented branch reports and issues committee reports. It seemed as if WILPFers from other areas were surprised to see the high level of activity in Fresno. We, in turn, felt supported, and informed by efforts of other branches. As Mary Perich and Ellen Schwartz wrote in their Cluster Meeting Report, “How encouraging it is to see our sisters so involved and so dedicated to righting wrongs and guarding the Earth.”

Many thanks to all who contributed their work to make this happen – Ann Carruthers, Georgia Williams, Ellie Bluestein, Barbara Reed, Lyn Graham, Maureen Walsh, and Jean Hays , Mary Perich, Diane Havelczeck, Goia Frank, Bev Fitzpatrick, Interns Alex and Rose and of course Pat Wolk.

EARTH DAY IN PERU ————  Ingrid Carmean

This year, Fresno WILPF member Ingrid Carmean celebrated Earth Day with the children of Cerro Alegre, Peru.
This year, Fresno WILPF member Ingrid Carmean celebrated Earth Day with the children of Cerro Alegre, Peru.

The children in Cerro Alegre, my town in Peru, celebrated Earth Day with a parade and signs about protecting the earth. About 400 kids had a great time parading around the town. In the afternoon 43 students picked up trash from the streets. They got about 30 large bags full in an hour. The garbage collection system is inadequate and many people throw trash in the river, the irrigation ditches or even in the street. Giving people means to use the municipal trash collection system and convincing them to use it is one of my projects.

Peru is being affected more by global warming than many other countries. Most of the population of Peru lives on the desert coast. There is little to no rainfall in this area. The water for the agricultural areas comes from summer rains in the mountains and then during winter by the melting glaciers. While the glaciers are still melting there is still water, but when the glaciers are finished this source of water will be gone. For more information see: http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/southamerica/peru/explore/aquafondo-the-water-fund-for-lima.xml

In this way the desert coast of Peru is much like the San Joaquin Valley, dependent on seasonal rains and snowfall in the mountains for its agricultural economy. The people of Peru are very aware of the fragility of their ecosystem. They all use florescent light bulbs and turn off every source of light when they are out of the house. Some even unplug refrigerators. My paper is made from sugar cane. When I look at Peru from this angle I wonder what I am doing here working on environmental problems. But then I look at the streambed in my back yard. It is covered by garbage thrown every day by the people who live here. And I remember why I am here. Plastics and Garbage!

CUBA SOLIDARITY REPORT – WE’RE GOING TO CUBA!

Fresno WILPF members Leni V Reeves and Gerry Bill, along with Sue Kern, will join with Cuba Solidarity activists from the US, Canada, Mexico, and even Europe to participate in the 24th Pastors for Peace US-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan. We will go to Santiago de Cuba, where we will help rebuild after the terrible damages of Hurricane Sandy and where we will participate in the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the start of the Cuban Revolution – the attack on the military barracks of Moncada. (Barracks have been converted to hospitals and schools all over Cuba. Moncada is now a museum and school complex.) No buses this year, but we will bring medications and medical supplies in our backpacks. This aid is not charity, but solidarity, and for those of us from the US it is also an apology for the brutal blockade imposed by our government, and for the suffering that the coercion to deny trade (even of essential medications and supplies like pacemakers) has brought to the people of Cuba. The essential message of the Caravan is: END THE BLOCKADE OF CUBA.

The send-off event in Fresno will be July 12, 6:30 PM at the College Community Congregational Church, on 5550 N. Fresno St, between Barstow and Bullard. Please come wish us well, have some potluck food, hear our music and speakers. We continue to appreciate Fresno WILPF’s co-sponsorship, along with FCNV, of the Fresno area participation in the Pastors for Peace Caravan. Contact Leni V Reeves 855-4511 or lenivreeves@gmail.com for more information.

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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