Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – February 2020

Time to Renew Your WILPF Membership—or to Join!

For information, contact Evonne Waldo at evonnewaldo@yahoo.com.

Send your renewal to WILPF Fresno Branch, P.O. Box 5114, Fresno, CA 93755.

WILPF membership is $35/year. All of this goes to the national WILPF organization. Because there is no national provision for a low-income rate, many people who can give a little extra so that we in Fresno can provide a low-income or student rate.

All money used by Fresno WILPF to help our community is raised locally, with the annual Craft Faire and other efforts and donations.

WILPF Fresno in the Resistance. Join Us!

These are bad times. But they are not the first bad times or the worst bad times in history.

Reaction, war, racism and repression have always been, like violence, as American as apple pie. Nor are they unique to the United States.

“It is our duty to struggle,” as Assata Shakur said, but I have included a different quote from her, along with others that also reflect strength and courage.

Fresno WILPF is a group of people who offer commitment and integrity in struggle. Our arms are hope and solidarity. We welcome you.

“Action is indeed the sole medium of expression for ethics.”—Jane Addams

—Leni Villagomez Reeves

Black History Month

“Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

—Rosa Parks

“Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories.”

—Amilcar Cabral

“Conventional wisdom would have one believe that it is insane to resist this, the mightiest of empires, but what history really shows is that today’s empire is tomorrow’s ashes; that nothing lasts forever, and that to not resist is to acquiesce in your own oppression. The greatest form of sanity that anyone can exercise is to resist that force that is trying to repress, oppress and fight down the human spirit.”

—Mumia Abu-Jamal

“Dreams and reality are opposites. Action synthesizes them.”

—Assata Shakur

Membership Brunch—March 28

Save the Date, Invite a Friend. At the Wolk Folk Garden, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. WILPF Women and Suffrage, Then and Now.

Raging Grannies and Teatro de la Tierra performances!

The Pentagon and Water Pollution—March 19

Save the Date. Pat Elder will be in Fresno on Thursday, March 19, at 7 p.m. at the Fresno City College Old Administration Building (OAB) 251.

Sponsored by the WILPF Earth Democracy National Issue Committee and co-sponsored by Veterans for Peace.

The WILPF Earth Democracy National Issue Committee has been awarded a Patagonia Environmental Fund grant for a new project in California: “The Pentagon: Exposing the Hidden Polluter of Water.” This supports our work bringing the environmental, water and health justice communities together with the peace movement to expose the extent of the military’s responsibility for the current nationwide drinking water and health crisis.

Exposing the Hidden Polluter of Water: The Pentagon by Pat Elder

“In March, I will visit 20 California cities to speak on the threat to public health posed by the Pentagon’s reckless use of carcinogenic chemicals on military bases across the state.

“I’ll call out the DOD on its contamination of California’s precious water resources through the use of deadly per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

“These ‘forever chemicals’ have been used for 40 years in routine military exercises to extinguish petroleum-based fires, even though suitable fluorine-free firefighting foams are available and are used around the world.

“The military allows the cancerous materials to leech into the soil to contaminate surface water and groundwater in adjacent communities. PFAS cause a host of cancers, several childhood diseases and severely damages a woman’s reproductive health. When sued by states, the DOD says it is free to poison people and the planet by claiming ‘sovereign immunity.’

“Meanwhile, mainstream news sources like the LA Times are under-reporting the prevalence of the chemicals in drinking water. See my article: ‘Telling Half the Story’ (www.civilianexposure.org/telling-half-the-story/).

“The state must establish maximum contaminant levels under 10 parts per trillion for all PFAS, and pregnant women must be warned not to drink water containing PFAS.”

For more information, see www.militarypoisons.org.

Film: The Long Shadow—Feb. 28

The Long Shadow, a documentary film about White privilege, will be shown on Friday, Feb. 28, at 6:45 p.m. at the Sanctuary of the Community United Church of Christ to honor Black History Month. A reception and discussion in the Social Hall will follow the film.

Frances Causey, the director of The Long Shadow, hopes that “the film will prompt a national discussion about some type of reparations needed for the African American community. We haven’t even agreed as a nation to have a discussion on the history and effects of slavery.”

“One of my fears was—how can I as a White person possibly tell the story of African American slavery?” she said. “That story was not for me to tell, but slavery is also an ‘American’ story that White people need to claim responsibility for.

“My film also addresses the creation myths around the U.S., the fact that we were so committed to slavery at our founding and [the] implications of that. White imposition and violence in America against African Americans has continued even after the Civil Rights Act. Where we are today is a chance for White people to understand this terrible history and, more importantly, its impacts.”

The film is described as a disturbing story of power, privilege and prejudice revealing the human cost of our failure to reconcile America’s legacy of slavery and the racist rules that continue to rig the system against African-Americans.

This showing is sponsored by the Mission Committee of Community United Church of Christ with co-sponsorship by WILPF Fresno.

An Opportunity to Help at the Dakota EcoGarden

Photos by LVR

We have established a monthly Work Party in which volunteers and residents join forces to whip the garden into shape. The Korean United Methodist Church also usually joins us. We have some hard-working residents who have been weeding like crazy, prepping the large garden area for spring planting.

Usually the Work Party happens on the first Saturday of each month, but as the Community Alliance is a major disseminator of our information, this work party will be moved to the second Saturday, Feb. 8, so we can be sure more people will hear about it. We will plant seeds and seedlings to get our spring garden started.

You could come, help, feel good and see how we are trying to live up to our motto: “A green solution to homelessness.” You would get to see the new Sukkat Shalom, house of peace, featured in last month’s Alliance. The DEG is at 2231 W. Dakota Ave., just west of Hughes. Contact Nancy at 559-224-1738 or nancywaidtlow@gmail.com to let us know if you plan to be there.

We had a successful end-of-year donation drive. Thanks to all our donors. We pride ourselves in living simply, but maintenance and improvements, such as the outdoor kitchen and that beautiful new Art Dyson–designed bedroom structure do need a little investment. And, yes, insurance is our biggest expense.

Our donors make it possible for many to recover their independence who might not have had much of a chance. For more information, see our Facebook page (Dakota EcoGarden) or Web site (EcoVillageFresno.org).

—Nancy Waidtlow


The WILPF page is usually compiled and edited by Leni Villagomez Reeves (lenivreeves@gmail.com).

WILPF MEETING
Next meeting: Thursday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m., at Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N. Van Ness Ave. This meeting is open to all.

STIR IT UP–WILPF ON KFCF 88.1 FM
Listener-supported free speech radio for Central California

Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. (4th Wednesday of each month). Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. Tune in to 88.1!

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE
Meets monthly. Contact Jean Hays at skyhorse3593@sbcglobal.net.

LIBRARY COMMITTEE
Meets monthly. Contact Ann Carruthers at acarruthers@earthlink.net.

EARTH DEMOCRACY
Meets monthly to act on environmental issues. Co-chairs: Jean Hays and Catherine Fowler. Call 559-313-7674.

CUBA AND THE BOLIVARIAN ALLIANCE
Meets by phone and e-mail. Contact Leni at lenivreeves@gmail.com.

RAGING GRANNIES
Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 p.m. Call Patty at 559-999-9709 for details.

WOMEN IN BLACK
An international network of women committed to peace with justice. Usually meet the first Wednesday of each month at noon at the Fresno County Courthouse. Wear black, bring a sign if you wish and stand in silence for peace. For details, contact Teresa at taca_03@ymail.com or 559-360-8054.

MEMBERSHIP
Send dues to WILPF Fresno, P.O. Box 5114, Fresno, CA 93755.

For inquiries, information and updates, contact Evonne Waldo at evonnewaldo@yahoo.com.

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  • 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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