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Multiethnic Israeli Youth Movement Succeeds in Halting the Netanyahu Annexation Plan

It all started after Netanyahu and Trump announced their illegal Annexation Plan. We initiated “Teen against the Annexation”, a petition which collected more than 400 signatures of young activists from all over Israel. The statement was widely shared on social media, discussed by youth online and reported in the Israeli press. We swarmed social media with stories about the occupation to educate Israeli teens about the atrocities their government send soldiers to commit and to mobilize them against the annexation and in resistance to militarism.

On the 6th of June, to commemorate the 53rd year of the occupation, we joined others in Mesarvot netowork (which supports those who refuse to be soldiers of the occupation) and participated in a joint Jewish-Arab mass demonstration in Tel Aviv. More than 10,000 people joined, holding “Palestinians Lives Matter” signs and calling for  just peace. It was the biggest demonstration against the Israeli occupation in the last decade (!), and we are proud that Mesarvot members took an active role in organizing it and in promoting it to teens and youth.
 

In the following weeks we organized a direct protest in front of the house of Benny Gantz,  Minister of Defense and Netanyahu’s vital coalition partner. Under the radar, Gantz ordered a special enlistment of reserve army troops, as Israel was preparing for resistance in the annexed territories. The ongoing pressure led Netanyahu to back down from his promise for the settlers and revoke his policy of an immediate annexation in July. Washington and Dubai are stealing the credit of the achievement of left wing activists, as the Israeli halted all preparations for the annexation of Palestine!

Now, we directed our efforts toward the ongoing mass demonstrations in Jerusalem. For the past month, a permanent protest zone occupies the area around Prime Minister Netanyahu’s official residence. Thousands of Israelis are coming weekly to protest the political corruption, police violence and destruction of democratic norms by the government.We chose to join these protests as part of a progressive block with a unique message: End the occupation and liberate the Palestinians people. We hold banners calling for democracy for all and murals of Iyad al Hallak who was murdered by Israeli police. We face police violence and many of us were unlawfully arrested in every demonstration, while others were assaulted by organized groups of pro-government hooligans. Our message is that true freedom cannot coexist with military oppression, and that each one of us has a personal obligation to depart from evil and do good.

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In solidarity,
Eden Lumerman

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4th Friday Film: Selma, online discussion

In continued support of the Black Lives Matter movement that has swept the USA, for our Fourth Friday Film Forum this month, the Peace and Justice Center presents a film discussion on the film “Selma” (2014).  It is important that all Americans know and understand the history of racism in the U.S.  Selma gives us an important piece of that history, because of the nonviolent resistance efforts of Martin Luther King, John Lewis and others that the Civil Rights Act, and Voting Rights Act of 1965 were enacted.  Selma is directed by black activist, Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, Selma, Alabama became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated with President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Due to COVID-19 we cannot show the film at our usual venue, the Helling Library, so everyone is asked to independently watch the film (available on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix) and then join us for a Zoom discussion.  Members of the Peace Center will host and moderate a ZOOM ROOM discussion on Friday evening, August 28, 2020 at 7:00 pm. You must email your request to join the Zoom discussion to ncpeaceandjustice@gmail.com.  On that day and before 6:00 you will be sent a Zoom invitation link to join us at 7:00 p.m. on the 28th   We look forward to seeing you in the Zoom Room!  

Together, We Can Stop the Theft of this Election

We stood up on the streets by the hundreds in solidarity with black lives.  Now we will fight, from home, to save the endangered votes of people of color and students from a vicious voter suppression scam.

How to stop the planned fix on the 2020 Election before it happens:

1-Buy and read Greg Palast’s new book, How Trump Stole 2020 online at www.gregpalast.com.  Palast is the country’s leading journalist exposing election cheating.  17 million voters of color have already been purged from registration rolls and will not be able to cast their votes.  Millions more will not receive a requested vote-by-mail ballot, or have it disqualified.  Voters of color and students will be forced to wait in line for many hours during the pandemic, while suburban voters vote in ten minutes.  Like the presidential elections of 2000, 2004 and 2016, this one will be stolen as well, along with critical down-ballot races.  The polls are wrong because they do not take these factors into account.  While you are on www.gregpalast.com, make a tax-deductible contribution to help them support lawsuits against voter suppression in many states.  Urge friends to buy the book, and give it as a gift.  We are trying to make it a bestseller so the mainstream media can’t ignore it. 

2-Visit the Peace and Justice Center of Nevada City website, www.ncpeace.org, to see the options for volunteering to re-register disenfranchised purged voters, and register new voters, especially in “swing states”.  You can write postcards and letters to these voters, or text or call them.  Here are three great organizations that are coordinating for us to do this work.  Choose one and start saving democracy: 

-Reclaim Our Vote (non-partisan)https://actionnetwork.org/forms/reclaim-our-vote-signup

-Vote Forward/Swing Left (non-partisan) https://votefwd.org/  There is a local Nevada County campaign organized out of the Unitarian fellowship in Grass Valley that meets Thursdays at 4 on line.  To join, email Reine Thibeault at rthibeault.uucm@yahoo.com

-Stand Up America (partisan) https://www.standupamerica.com/

Jeffrey Gottesman

Nevada County for Black Lives Concert and Fundraiser

KVMR 89.5 FM Thursday 6PM-7:30PM

“I Am Not Your Ne-ro” (2018)

I Am Not Your Negro film poster

In support of the Black Lives Matter movement that has swept the USA, the Peace and Justice Center presents “I Am Not Your Ne-ro” (2018).  Some of you may object to the use of the much discouraged word “Ne-ro” for referring to African Americans, but you are asked to understand the context of those times.  In 1979, Author, James Baldwin (Black Like Me), wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends-Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript.   Master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race and racial injustice in America, using Baldwin’s original words and a flood of rich archival material. “I Am Not Your Ne-ro” is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present  #BlackLivesMatter movement.   Using Baldwin’s words, Peck has produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.

Due to the COVID-19 we cannot meet in person, so everyone is asked to independently watch the film (available on Netflix), and also available on YouTube (free).  Members of the Peace Center will host and moderate a ZOOM ROOM discussion on Friday evening, July 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm.

Hey, all you organizers and protestors of the Nevada County BLM movement, please join us and tell us what you think!

You must request to join the Zoom discussion by emailing us at ncpeaceandjustice@gmail.com.  You will be sent an invitation to join us and the link to your email account, no later than noon on July 24th.

Looking forward to seeing you in the Zoom Room!

Covid Memorial Day

MEMORIAL DAY IN THE TIME OF COVID BY William Larsen, Nevada City

Fifty one years ago I was in a Vietnam firefight where five of “our” guys were killed outright, and twenty seven wounded. “We” never knew how many ended up dying because “they” (our fearful leaders) never told “us”.

There was no way of knowing how many of “their” guys (the NVA) were killed or wounded. “WE” (“them” and “us”) never talked much.

The truth is, “we” never saw a soul in those fiery moments (only afterward when we found “their” dead and wounded). Just raging explosions blasting from the obscenely tangled jungle: AK-47 bursts, rocket propelled grenades, motor rounds followed by the thunderous explosions of “our” 155 millimeter artillery shells. Oh yeah, the “friendly fire”. Actually, not very friendly, and very, very indiscriminate, coming in so close because “we” were in direct combat with “them”, and then everybody got the shrapnel slicing through bodies, trees and limbs. In that moment  “WE” were one.

As the company medic, I tended to the wounded NVA soldiers after ”OUR” bloody affairs. This was done on the ground, where we found “them”, in the vast jungle hundreds of miles from the nearest village. It was the most primitive triage setting imaginable. Young guys, some obviously in their teens––as were “our” guys whose average age was 19––ripped up like their bodies had been put through a meat grinder. And “they” had the same look on their face as did “our” guys when “they” were the ones getting torn up. The same face, an old comrade told me a few years ago, that I had on mine when I got hit by three AK-47 rounds a few weeks later (no, I can’t find words to describe that look).

But it was that look, on many faces, which first made me realize WE are one. And it was the  loss of many friends––and “enemies––that made me understand how impossible it is to truly grieve for one without grieving for all. The heart, after all, is a vessel, and when the container is ruptured, the illusion that we control its content is shattered.

I grieve these losses in a way that is no longer voluntary, for their absence lives within me in a way it is not possible to deny. I grieve those on all sides who became trapped in the raging hell of all wars: dead soldiers, survivors and civilians; the wounded; those bereaved and those embittered. I grieve for those tortured in atrocities, and for those so damaged in their hearts they unleashed their agony upon others.

And now the entire environment is mounting an attack against US––a counter attack actually, against the war of relentless, human consumption against OUR world––and “we” continue to be in opposition to “them” in devising a unified response to OUR global pandemic. To so many, it would seem, the war waged between ourselves is more important than survival itself, and that “our” welfare can somehow be enhanced by inflicting suffering onto “others.” It is my fervent prayer that this premise is untrue

So I contemplate my losses this year with an especially heavy heart.  I am not nearly wise enough to truly understand humanity’s addiction to war, but I do believe the very notion of warfare itself originates with the delusion that we are separate. That there truly are entities such as “them” and “us”.  War has taken much from me, but much has also been given. I relish the core realization that came out of my war experience: the longer I live, the less able I am to discern one life as separate from all life. As we go forward in this mad, loving doomed dance that is both our plight and our salvation, I grieve for us all. 

Support Peace Budget Resolution: Action Item

From Paula Orloff: Please sign and forward this link for the California Peace Budget Resolution. It’s  short and easy to sign  the petition, and after you sign, there is an easy link to facebook and twitter if you  want to pass it on. Or you can send this link below via email, text or other social media to friends.   PS Check out the beautiful photo in the title of the resolution!
Ask California Legislators and Governor to Back Peace Budget Resolution
Ask California Legislators and Governor to Back Peace Budget ResolutionClick the link to email your state legislators and governor.

UPDATE  ON CONGRESSIONAL PROPOSALS TO MOVE SOME OF OUR HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS IN MILITARY TAXES and California Peace Budget support for them.
The California Peace Budget Resolution is a version of Representative  Barbara Lee’s H Res 1003  regarding wasteful Pentagon spending, supporting  50% cut to the bloated defense budget, and redirecting the funds to essential needs and services.    Senator Bernie Sanders in the Senate called for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to cut 10% in annual Pentagon spending and reinvest it in education, health care and poverty reduction. https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-cut-the-pentagon-by-10-to-hire-more-teachers-build-more-homes-and-create-  Summaries of both proposals are below.
  Lee’s  and Sanders’  proposals need support.  Even if not adopted this time around, we need to keep the attention on using some of our  hundreds of billions of military taxes for community investment and welfare, not warfare.    The California Resolution is directed to the California Governor and Legislators.  It  asks them to  pressure Congress to redirect some of the hundreds of billions of our military taxes for constructive programs like those addressed by Lee and Sanders.  It is an updated version of Local Peace Budget Resolution which was adopted by the Conference of Mayors of large cities in 2017.  
 David Swanson of World Beyond War is gathering names of organizations and individuals that sign on to the California Peace Budget Resolution.   If the California Governor and Legislature supports it, they could lend weight to Lee’s, Sanders’,  or similar moves to redirect our military taxes to human and environmental needs. 
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio.He is a 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Swanson was awarded the 2018 Peace Prize by the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation. Longer bio and photos and videos here. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook, and sign up for: Activist alertsArticlesDavid Swanson newsWorld Beyond War newsCharlottesville news.

Happy White Male Property Owner’s Independence Day

While we are watching the fireworks tonight, let’s recall that one of the principal but seldom recalled causes of the American Revolution of 1776 was the Somerset Case in London in 1772.  The high court of England ruled slavery illegal in England.  American colonial planters panicked, fearing that this precedent would be applied to the 13 colonies as well.  Their enormous amassed wealth was primarily in African slaves.  Thus, slave-owning planters became the leaders of the American Revolution, as Dr. Gerald Horne, author of The Counterrevolution of 1776 observes.  It’s not hard to see why the African slaves and freedmen sided overwhelmingly with the British in the War of Independence and the War of 1812.  Indians felt the same way.  A century earlier, in Bacon’s Rebellion, white settlers of the frontier demanded more British support for their seizing and settling of Indian lands, a war which England was also losing its stomach for.  So would I be unpatriotic if I ask what the United States would be like if the War of Independence had gone the other way?  Well, I suppose the answer is, Canada.  Enjoy the fireworks!     Jeffrey Gottesman

Say No to Drone Warfare at Beale AFB. Save innocent lives.

45 minutes from Grass Valley, drone pilots are remotely sitting at computers and picking out people of color for death in the Mideast and Africa. Join our monthly peaceful vigil at the intersection of South Beale Road and Ostrom Rd.—near Linda, Wheatland and Marysville.  Thousands of airmen and women drive by and see our signs.  End the drone wars.  June 23 3-5 PM.  Expect very hot weather.  Info: 941-320-0291 or 530-615-9545.

Juneteenth Commemoration

Join us June 19, 2020 Brunswick 4-6 PM

Juneteenth commemorates the day the last slaves were set free by the Union army in 1865 to experience a decade of relative freedom before being sold into apartheid by Rutherford Hayes in order to win the presidency. Jeffrey