WILPF BUSINESS MEETING
June 13, Thursday, 7PM, at Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N Van Ness. This meeting is open to all members.
WOMEN IN BLACK
June 5, 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)
June 26 3PM (4th Wednesday of each month) Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. Let Jean know if you have ideas for a program. Listen!
Now on Blog Radio: WILPF member Dr Jean Kennedy, Keeping It Real
Meetings on selected Mondays at 7PM. Call Ellie at 229-9807 for details.
Our two WILPF interns, Alex Williams and Rosie Funes, have finished their internships and will be graduating next week. They came into their own this second semester networking with the CSUF Women’s Alliance to start Women in Black on campus. They were inspired by their ACLU training and lobbying in Sacramento. They participated fully in the Earth Democracy week-end and Earth Day and faithfully tabled at CineCulture three times a month. These are just some of the things they were involved in this semester. Rosie is going to Cambodia to volunteer with orphans for a few weeks; Alex’s plans are uncertain though I think her mind and heart were captured on lobby day. We all wish them the best.
Paul Prado, an intern from last year, has been accepted in the graduate program at CSUF. Congratulations, Paul. —-Joan Poss
JAPA BOOKS ANNOUNCED
On April 27 the new Jane Addams children’s book awards were announced for 2013. They sound wonderful; our branch donates a set of books each year to the Downtown Children’s library and in June we are donating a set of 2012 books to the West Fresno children’s library.
Books for Younger Children: Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson; Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers, by Sarah Warren; We March, by Shane Evan.
Books for Older Children: We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March, by
Cynthia Levinson; Marching to the Mountaintop: How Poverty, Labor Fights and Civil Rights Set the Stage for Martin Luther King Jr’s Final Hours, by Ann Bausum; Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World, by Sy Montgomery.
FRESNO LIGHT BRIGADE IN ACTION
On April 29 and 30 the Fresno Light Brigade (FLB) went to Beale Air Force Base in Marysville, California with their NO DRONES message lighted with “code pink” colored LEDs. Beverly Fitzpatrick and Mike Bridges joined members of Code Pink and activists from other areas to protest President Obama’s U.S. killer drone program.
The first demonstration was held Monday from 3:00 – 5:00 outside the gate, as Military and Civilian personal were coming and going from work. then we had discussion about the next days direct action and future plans, with potluck. After dark the FLB pink lights shone bright in the dark night outside the main gate.
It was decided that we would take direct action and block the road into the base with banners and people, lining the road with messages; Drones Fly, Kids Die; Stop Killer Drones; Kill the Drones Not Innocent People…SUPPORT PEACE. Finally, the CHP had to be called in to clear traffic – there were hundreds of cars in several directions.
Beale AFB is home to the U2 spy plane and the Global Hawk, the unmanned surveillance drone that is an “accomplice” in drone killings
Five people were arrested around 8 AM, attempting to deliver a letter to the Beale AFB commander. Those arrested were briefly held on misdemeanor charges, which could result in six months in jail if convicted in federal court.
HOW TO SAVE THE DELTA – AN EARTH DEMOCRACY REPORT
On May 3 and 4 Jean Hays, a part of WILPF’s Earth Democracy Team, Fresno Branch, attended a super-informative workshop in Stockton on the subject of Gov. Brown’s proposed peripheral tunnels which will make their way under parts of the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The workshop: Training the Trainers, was sponsored by Restore the Delta. About 60 people attended. The majority of Friday was spent touring the Delta, by land and by water, getting to know the beauty, bounty and fragility of this network of land and waterways. Saturday’s full day included learning facts and debunking myths about the Delta, learning who will ultimately pay for the tunnels, most effective ways of doing a media interview, earthquake facts about the Delta, a comparison of alternatives to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, and details of a better solution than the proposed tunnels.
Here are some facts. Cost of the tunnels is unknown and could rise to $61.5 billion or more. The Brown Administration’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the tunnels to export water, two-thirds of which would go to support corporate agriculture on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, would be paid for by water ratepayers. Earthquake risk is greater to the existing Delta canals, dams and local pipes than to Delta levees. Rather than a huge investment in faraway tunnels let’s instead make the levees in the Delta more resilient and prepare all California communities to be less reliant on imported water. If sea levels rise due to climate change, Delta levees can be raised incrementally as part of regular maintenance. As for the myth that the best thing to do with the Delta is to return much of it to habitat, it makes no sense to turn its 100,000 acres into habitat in order to send water to irrigate toxic land on the West Side of the San Joaquin Valley and arid land in the South, nor to allow it to be used in the hydro-fracking process.
There is a better solution:
- Strengthen the existing levees
- Reduce the amount of water taken from the Delta, as state water experts urge
- Route fresh water through the Delta
- Increase reliance on local water supplies and improve water conservation
These words of wisdom come from Barbara Barrigan-Parilla and her Restore the Delta staff: Instead of destroying the Delta to feed the water demands of billionaires’ mega-farms and desert developments, let’s end the myth of “surplus” water and, instead, retire toxic lands that do not drain properly and are unsuitable for farming. California needs to fix and upgrade its local water and wastewater systems. These investments are crucial to making our water systems more reliable in a water-scarce future.