Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – June 2021

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – June 2021
Melissa Fry building WILPF’s shed at the Dakota EcoGarden with fellow WILPFer Gerry Bill. Photo courtesy of LVR

Yes, You Saw That Right: We Have a Disarm Committee

For all who have been wanting to work on issues of peace and disarmament, e-mail mjfry2008@icloud.com. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons with the ultimate goal being their total elimination, went into effect Jan. 22. The United States is not a signatory.

—Melissa Fry

WILPF Congress in August Will Bring Us Together

Save the Dates!

Our 34th Triennial Congress—WOMEN, POWER and SOCIAL JUSTICE: Building from Strength!—program committee put out an invitation for proposals for presentations: roundtables, panel discussions, branch presentations, interviews and entertainment (e.g., music, art, theater).

For this congress, we want to bring in the voices of as many of our 35 branches as possible. To that end, planning committee members held Zoom calls with branches to discuss the issues they have been working on and could make presentations about at the congress. There will, of course, be presentations by our issues committees as well.

So far, there are submissions on transforming the economy, counter-recruitment, working in coalition with the Poor People’s Campaign, violence against women, indigenous issues in the United States, recognizing and uprooting colonialist world views and policies and stopping military recruitment of young people, and ideas for indigenous issues, challenging the UN Food Systems Summit, ending global violence against women, restoring the commons, uprooting racism, effective written communication for activists, ending CAFOs, blue communities, hearing voices from the Americas, performances by the Raging Grannies and what does “social justice” mean for our practice?

The WILPF–US 34th Triennial Congress—WOMEN, POWER and SOCIAL JUSTICE: Building from Strength!—will be held Aug. 13–15 and 20–22 with in-between weekday evening meetings. It will be online so that all can participate.

—Jan Slagter

Vandana Shiva to Speak at WILPF Congress

The Bill for Passing through the Gates of the 1%.

Jean Hays, chair of WILPF’s Earth Democracy Committee. Photo courtesy LVR

Did you know that Microsoft was just granted a patent by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) declaring that “Human Body Activity associated with a task provided to a user may be used in a mining process of a cryptocurrency system.”

Vandana Shiva, author of Oneness vs. the 1%, points out that this patent is an intellectual property claim over our bodies and minds. Does this disturb you?

She goes on to say that planting freedom seeds just now, at a time when all freedoms for all beings are being closed down for the bottomless freedom of the 1%, calls for a “quantum leap in our imagination, in our capacity for creative nonviolent resistance and our capacity for compassion and love.”

Shiva will speak at the WILPF U.S. Congress in August. She will also address additional topics from her recent book. She reminds us that we must change our ways from the destructive accumulation of more and more wealth to the realization that we share this planet with other beings. We have a duty to care for our common home. 

—Jean Hays

Unpacking Racism: A Critical Reflection Is Necessary (Part 1)

Dr. Jean Kennedy. Photo courtesy of Dr. Jean Kennedy

By Dr. Jean Kennedy, OB/OD PsyD

Facilitator for WILPF Unpacking Racism and Understanding Your Blind Spots

“I’m introspective because sometimes I want to take sides. And yet I know assumptions are taken of me because of my skin color.”

With the world watching the proceedings of the Derek Chauvin trial a few months ago and hoping for a fair verdict, we learned about another police shooting, only miles away from the trial, of another unarmed Black man, Daunte Wright. Before we knew it, there were other shootings of Black bodies—16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant and Andrew Brown Jr. Attorneys for the families of both Bryant and Brown claim these were unjustified shootings of unarmed Black persons.

Again, riots took place that seem to be the language that gets America’s attention. These tragedies come quickly, too quick in fact. It’s easy for us to become emotionally detached. And yet, can you imagine what thoughts go through the minds of Black folks when they are at the mercy of police officers. What is it that our police/peace officers do not get about their mistreatment of people of color?

We heard a lot about police training during the Chauvin trial. With all the training given to these police officers, how could they still get it wrong? But if a person does not want to learn, there is little incentive that you can give to that individual.

We can develop police trainings, be it quality assurance, race sensitivity, implicit bias, crisis de-escalation and/or all the policing policy mandates, but if the “student” does not want to learn, nothing will change. So when we are talking about police reform, it has to be more than a philosophical conversation.

These events create a critical reflection in order to unpack racism. Communities of color in this country are far too disposable in the eyes of our police officers. There will be little change in police shootings of unarmed people of color until that officer can see that an unarmed Black or Brown person has not been a “threat” to a police officer. More shootings will take place. It is as simple as that.

—Dr Jean Kennedy

Syringes to Cuba Campaign

Cuba makes its own vaccine. Photo courtesy of Granma newspaper

The Syringes to Cuba Campaign is going well. Thank you, fellow WILPFers, from my heart, for contributing to this!

Syringes are now what TP and hand sani were at the start of the pandemic, and Cuba is suffering under the U.S. blockade, in place for more than 60 years and intensified during the pandemic. Cuba is short about 20 million–30 million of the syringes it needs. Vaccinating Cuba will help vaccinate the world as Cuba has committed to share biotech expertise and vaccines with other countries.

The National Network on Cuba, which includes the WILPF Cuba and Bolivarian Alliance Committee, has combined with the Canadian Network on Cuba, the Saving Lives Campaign and Global Health Partners to purchase syringes for Cuba.  

Donations to the appeal can be made at ghpartners.org/syringes4cuba/.

Checks payable to Global Health Partners (with “Syringe Campaign” in the memo) can be sent to Global Health Partners, 39 Broadway, Suite 1540, New York, NY 10006.

“Charity is humiliating because it’s exercised vertically and from the top. Solidarity is horizontal and involves mutual respect.”—Eduardo Galeano

Join the committee! We also invite you to participate in the activities of our vital committee. Our next meeting is June 18 at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom. There is a lot going on, not only with Cuba solidarity but also in Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America. Contact Leni at lenivreeves@gmail.com.

—Leni Villagomez Reeves

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

June 10, Thursday, 7 p..m. online. Watch your e-mail for an announcement and link or call-in number. For more information, contact Teresa or Leni at lenivreeves@gmail.com or taca_03@ymail.com.

June 23, 3 p.m. (4th Wednesday of each month). Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities.

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

Send questions and information updates to Evonne Waldo at evonnewaldo@yahoo.com.

WILPF membership is $35/year. Contact Evonne about the low-income rate, which is sponsored by our contributions above the $35 that goes to the national organization.

COMMITTEES—STILL AT WORK though we cannot meet in person.

Contact Melissa Fry at mjfry2008@icloud.com.

Contact Jean Hays at skyhorse3593@sbcglobal.net.

Contact Cheryl Caldera at grammy44cac@gmail.com.

Contact Jean Hays at skyhorse3593@sbcglobal.net.

Contact Leni at lenivreeves@gmail.com.

Contact Bev Fitzpatrick at dfitzpatrick29@comcast.net.

Contact Evonne Waldo at evonnewado@yahoo.com.

Zoom discussion held the last Sunday of each month at 6.30 p.m. To join, RSVP to drjeankennedy@yahoo.com or text 559-270-1023.

1st Wednesday, noon, at the Courthouse. Contact Bev at dfitzpatrick29@comcast.net.

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  • Community Alliance

    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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