Peace and Justice Center of Nevada County

Upcoming Events

Feb
27
Tue
11:00 am Weekly Climate Demonstration
Weekly Climate Demonstration
Feb 27 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Weekly climate demonstrations take place in Grass Valley every Tuesday from 11am-12pm. The demonstrations are hosted by volunteers from Sunrise Movement, Extinction Rebellion, and Elders Climate Action and collect signatures for a petition for Grass[...]
4:30 pm Full Circle Demonstration Garden...
Full Circle Demonstration Garden...
Feb 27 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
The Full Circle Demonstration Garden next to the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility at the Nevada County Government Center has weekly garden work days on Tuesdays at 4:30pm. New volunteers are also welcome, and there is[...]
Feb
29
Thu
5:30 pm YHRC Kit Packing Parties (weekly)
YHRC Kit Packing Parties (weekly)
Feb 29 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Every week Yuba Harm Reduction Collective hosts a kit packing party to supply the week’s need of kits of testing strips, narcan, smokables, and all other harm reduction supplies needed. These parties last from 5:30-7:30[...]
Mar
1
Fri
6:30 pm Nevada County Mutual Aid Monthly...
Nevada County Mutual Aid Monthly...
Mar 1 @ 6:30 pm
Every month on the first Friday of each month at 6:30pm at the Madelyn Helling Library community room Nevada County Mutual Aid hosts its monthly community meeting. These meetings discuss projects for the future, recaps[...]
Mar
5
Tue
11:00 am Weekly Climate Demonstration
Weekly Climate Demonstration
Mar 5 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Weekly climate demonstrations take place in Grass Valley every Tuesday from 11am-12pm. The demonstrations are hosted by volunteers from Sunrise Movement, Extinction Rebellion, and Elders Climate Action and collect signatures for a petition for Grass[...]
4:30 pm Full Circle Demonstration Garden...
Full Circle Demonstration Garden...
Mar 5 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
The Full Circle Demonstration Garden next to the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility at the Nevada County Government Center has weekly garden work days on Tuesdays at 4:30pm. New volunteers are also welcome, and there is[...]
Mar
7
Thu
5:30 pm YHRC Kit Packing Parties (weekly)
YHRC Kit Packing Parties (weekly)
Mar 7 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Every week Yuba Harm Reduction Collective hosts a kit packing party to supply the week’s need of kits of testing strips, narcan, smokables, and all other harm reduction supplies needed. These parties last from 5:30-7:30[...]
Mar
12
Tue
11:00 am Weekly Climate Demonstration
Weekly Climate Demonstration
Mar 12 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Weekly climate demonstrations take place in Grass Valley every Tuesday from 11am-12pm. The demonstrations are hosted by volunteers from Sunrise Movement, Extinction Rebellion, and Elders Climate Action and collect signatures for a petition for Grass[...]
4:30 pm Full Circle Demonstration Garden...
Full Circle Demonstration Garden...
Mar 12 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
The Full Circle Demonstration Garden next to the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility at the Nevada County Government Center has weekly garden work days on Tuesdays at 4:30pm. New volunteers are also welcome, and there is[...]
Mar
14
Thu
5:30 pm YHRC Kit Packing Parties (weekly)
YHRC Kit Packing Parties (weekly)
Mar 14 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Every week Yuba Harm Reduction Collective hosts a kit packing party to supply the week’s need of kits of testing strips, narcan, smokables, and all other harm reduction supplies needed. These parties last from 5:30-7:30[...]

No upcoming events

Gaza Hospital Update

These Gazan babies had to be removed from incubators because of the siege on fuel for electricity. Five have already died. Our military aid tax dollars at work. Ready to support a cease fire yet, or do you still want to debate the issue?

Give Peace a Song Nov 18th Concert

NEW Give Peace a Song event!
Saturday, November 18, 2-5pm at Seaman’s Lodge in Pioneer Park, Nevada City

Our 20 voice “New Peace Choir” will once again be singing out for peace and justice, along with other musical guests and speakers.

Featuring The New Peace Choir (secular songs of Peace & Hope)
Elena Rayo Trio
Chris Olander, Poet
Nory Fussell & Earbuds
Surprise guests & speakers 

You can optionally RSVP on Facebook, as well as invite others: https://fb.me/e/5bbxUWpIA

Israel’s leaked proposal to evict all Gazans to Egypt

https://www.vice.com/en/article/5d9jqx/israel-gaza-leak-displacement-nakba

Alternative sources for Palestine-Israel Info

Palestine-Israel News Sources:

Jewish Voice for Peace  www.jvp.org

Democracy Now               www.democracynow.org

Code Pink                            www.codepink.org

American Friends Service Committee     www.afsc.org

B’TSelem                             https://www.btselem.org          

Common Dreams             www.commondreams.org

The Gray Zone                  www.thegrayzone.com

The Intercept                    www.theintercept.com               

Veterens For Peace        www.vfp.org

Electronic Intifada            www.electronicintifada.org

The Chris Hedges Report              www.chrishedges.substack.com  

The Real News Network                               https://therealnews.com/

Mint Press News                              https://www.mintpressnews.com/

Mondoweiss                                      https://mondoweiss.net/

Palestine Portal                                                https://www.palestineportal.org/

Videos:

The Greater Context of the Genocide in Gaza (youtube)

Gaza Fights for Freedom (Documentary)  (youtube)

Watch Born in Gaza (Netflix required)

Husam Zomlot, Head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK interview 

Democracy Now Interview with Mohammed El-Kurd  

Democracy Now interview with Refaat Alareer

Breakthrough News    https://www.youtube.com/@BreakThroughNews

Books:

The General’s Son      Miko Peled

A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy         Nathan Thrall

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine: Pappe, Ilan

Gaza: An Inquest into its Martyrdom  Norman Finkelstein

The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine    Rashid Khalidi

PJCNC Statement on Israel Gaza war

10-23-23

I learned of the October 7, 2023 atrocities committed by Hamas with much sadness, and feel great empathy for the families that lost loved ones, as a Jew who has worked on a Kibbutz and a humanThe Peace and Justice Center believes that violence creates a spiral that destroys our world and brings suffering to all eventually.

Also as a Jew, I feel great responsibility to tell the rest of the story.  I grew up in a neighborhood of Holocaust survivors and vowed to never remain silent in the midst of a genocide.  I don’t approve of the 75 years of ethnic cleansing and apartheid that has brought us to this sad day, nor do I approve of the vengeful acts against helpless civilians, half of whom are children, in Gaza that are ongoing: no water, no food, no electricity, bombardment of schools, hospitals and houses of worship, and no medical facilities to take injured children to. 

Israel portrays this as a war against Hamas, but most do not know that Hamas was actually supported at its inception by Israel in an attempt to create a fundamentalist Islamic enemy for the secular Palestinian liberation movement, like the US did with the mujahedeen in Afghanistan.  Few also know that despite all the implausible commotion about how unprepared Israel was for the attack, Israel admits that it was warned about the attack by Egypt and other sources.  The right wing government of Israel’s strategy is clearly to eventually annex Gaza and the West Bank occupied territories.  What stops them from doing so is the “demographic problem”.  In other words, there are enough Palestinians in total to outvote Jewish Israelis.  So Israel is trying hard to reduce the Palestinian population by making their lives unlivable in the occupied territories, by expulsion, by violence.  Although we will probably never know for sure, it’s not hard to imagine this government cynically allowing the October 7 security breach in order to create the pretext for emptying Gaza of its 2 million plus Palestinians.

For now, we must advocate for a ceasefire to prevent genocide, and a prohibition on US military aid to Israel .  Subsequently, the blockade must be ended and the apartheid conditions must end.  One major obstacle to this is the outsized power of the Israel lobby in US politics, where groups like AIPAC massively fund primary challenges to any legislators who speak out for Palestinian rights.  Israel’s policies do not make Israelis safer.  A negotiated settlement is the only path to safety.

Jeffrey Gottesman

Give Peace a Song

NEW LOCATION AND TIME:
SUNDAY, November 5, 4:30 pm – Wild Eye Pub, 535 Mill Street, Grass Valley, CA
we’ll SING OUT FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE

Due to a last minute change this event will now be at the above time and location. We apologize for the inconvenience.


We are happy to announce the Peace Center of Nevada County will be hosting two events coming up this November! Our 20 voice “New Peace Choir” will be singing out for peace and justice on November 5 at Wild Eye Pub, starting at 4:30pm. Along with the choir we’ll have Chris Olander, NC Poet Laureate delivering us some of his powerful poetry, the Earbuds with Nory Fussell and Bob Polucha, and other surprise guests and speakers. We have invited many of our local social justice groups to join us and promote their message with materials and handouts.

Admission is $5.00 per person, or $10.00 per family and that will get you in to enjoy an afternoon of inspiring music and spoken word. Please join us!

Our second event takes place November 18 at the Seaman’s Lodge in Nevada City. We are thrilled to have Elena Rayo (wife of the late Saul Rayo) join us. – more details to follow.

Remember Us?

The Peace and Justice Center of Nevada County is an “umbrella” 501c3 non-profit organization which provides educational and other social justice programs to the public, and we also sponsor other local activist groups that speak out for racial justice, raise awareness of climate change and promoting peace in our country and around the globe. Founded by local folk hero and peace activist, Bruce “Utah” Phillips some 20 years ago, we’ve been going strong for these many years holding protests, street actions, rallies and marches. We presented political and activist films for over 10 years. We are currently reaching out to the younger generations for new members to join our Board. We feel the need to pass the torch to the youth to carry on the important work of raising awareness and developing new approaches to peace and social justice issues, including environmental issues and climate change. Please contact us at ncpeaceandjustice@gmail.com if you or your group may be interested in joining the leadership of the Peace Center. We have non-profit status, and we have insurance to cover your activities.

Occupy Beale October Occupation Camp, 10/18 – 10/19

Join the Occupy Beale Climate Action and Peace Camp Potluck, and Demonstration Outside the Schneider Gate. Gather at 6pm Wednesday for a Vegetarian/Vegan Potluck and Meeting. Demonstration/Vigil/Action from 6-8am Thursday.

Who is Policing the Police?

The Community Oversight Task Force took a deep look at police training in our community.  We were particularly interested to know what training the Sheriff’s deputies had in the months and years prior to the February 2020 incident resulting in the death of Sage Crawford.  It is our opinion that anyone who listened to the dispatch audios and watched Sheriff Moon’s car cam videos of the entire incident would have had a hard time determining that Sage Crawford was in a rational state of mind.  Those videos showed a distraught woman with two kids fearful that the police officers were going to take her children.  She had not committed a crime.  

The first issues is, why wasn’t the Sheriff’s new pilot program in operation?  This is the program where a County Behavioral Health expert and a Sheriff’s deputy work together in dealing with mental illness calls that has been functioning since February.  We learned the answer: the deputy was sick that day so the team was not called. We also learned the program operates only 4 days/week 10 hours each day.  What happens if a mental health crisis comes at midnight on a Saturday night?  Does Nevada County need a 24/7 “CAHOOTS” mobile crises team program that would take these calls away from Law Enforcement?  

The next question was why didn’t the Sheriff’s deputies exhibit any expertise in interactions with persons with mental illness?  Why was there no show of humanity or compassion? Why didn’t the Sheriff’s deputies utilize de-escalation techniques?  Why didn’t they use less than lethal force against her?  In our research, we learned that since 2017 the California Penal Code has mandated the “Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training” to develop and disseminate guidelines and training on:

  1. The cause and nature of mental illnesses and developmental disabilities.
  2. How to identify indicators of mental disability and how to respond appropriately in a variety of common situations.
  3. Conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques for potentially dangerous situations involving a person with a mental disability.
  4. Appropriate language usage when interacting with a person with a mental disability.
  5. Alternatives to lethal force when interacting with potentially dangerous persons with mental disabilities.

Yet, none of these techniques were followed in the matter of Sage Crawford, or of Gabriel Strickland, also shot and killed by police officers in 2019.

Then there was the matter of the Black Lives Matter Protest on August 9, 2020, in Nevada City.  The “investigative report” just came out concluding, the police officers present needed more training.  In our research, we learned that since July 1, 1999, all police officers in the State of California are to be trained in handling acts of civil disobedience, including (1) Reasonable use of force; (2) Dispute resolution.; (3) Nature and extent of civil disobedience, (5) Public and officer safety; (6) Documentation, report writing, and evidence collection.; and (7) Crowd control.

Anyone who attended the August 9 protest would attest to the complete lack of crowd control or de-escalation methods employed by law officers that day. Is there a question in anyone’s mind that the “counter-protestors” who appeared to disrupt the peace BLM protestors expressed hate for people of color?  If this was not their message, why were they there?  The events of that day, that we all watched on social media depicted angry men who tore banners, signs, and cell phones from protestors’ hands; we watched as they yelled “You don’t belong here;” and we watched as they wrestled protestors to the ground.  Even more disturbing, we watched as police officers appeared to side with and walk beside the counter-protestors.   Penal Code section 422.6 defines hate crimes and penalties.  That section states “(a) No person, whether or not acting under color of law, shall by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate, interfere with, oppress, or threaten any other person in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him or her by the Constitution or laws of this state or by the Constitution or laws of the United States….” Yet that is what we all saw that day.  None of the Grass Valley Police, the Nevada City Police, or the Sheriff’s deputies who were present at the protest saw it necessary to defend the counter-protestors attacks on the first Amendment of the Constitution, nor does the Nevada City investigative report even mention this.  

In the Community Oversight Task Force’s work we have also learned that virtually all of our law enforcement officers’ records are considered “personnel files” and not subject to public disclosure.  We can well understand the need for privacy of officer’s home addresses, medical records, even disciplinary records, but training certificates?  Wouldn’t it be directly in the interest of the public to know that our officers are properly trained in crowd control, de-escalation, mental illness, homelessness issues, and civil disobedience law? The incidents described above raise serious concerns about the level of training our officers are getting and the public has no way to determine the answer to those questions.

Our next Public Forum takes place Friday evening October 1, 2021, from 6-8 PM. You may attend in person at the Madelyn Helling Library Amphitheater (to the right of the Library), or via Zoom link at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7796054733?
Email the Nevada County Peace and Justice Center at ncpeaceandjustice@gmail.com if you would like to join the Community Oversight Task Force working group. 

Lorraine Reich
Peace and Justice Center of Nevada County
Community Oversight Task Force

Join Us for a “Town Hall” meeting to discuss the Nevada City Police Department’s recent actions

The Community Oversight Task Force will be hosting a “Town Hall” style community meeting at the Madelyn Helling Library on August 27, 2021 from 6-9 p.m.  There will be a discussion over the failure of our Nevada City Police Department to properly respond to the BLM protest of 8/9/20.  Nevada City citizens spend over $500 per person on this police department.  Also to be discussed, should Nevada City continue to finance its own police department which takes up over 50% of the budget?  We will discuss ideas for the reformation of the NCPD to a Community Resource and Safety Department which may more appropriately meet the needs of our town.  We are inviting members of the City Council to attend.  The first meeting takes place at the Madelyn Helling Library on August 27, 2021 from 6-9 p.m. All concerned citizens are invited to attend.  

Here is a letter sent to the NC City Counsel:

Dear Nevada City Council,

With the George Floyd uprisings last year many communities have called for police accountability and reform to ensure against police discrimination and brutality, particularly against black, brown, and indigenous People who are rampantly being targeted, oppressed, jailed and even killed in America every day.   

In our own Nevada City, we have seen August 9, 2020, constitutionally sanctioned Black Lives Matter protestors suffer severe brutality and attack not by police officers, but by members of local hate groups.  While it was not the local police officers who assaulted or abused protestors, there was ample evidence presented that showed the complacency and complicity of the Nevada City Police officers who visibly walked with and supported the “counter-protestors.”  Ample video and testimonial evidence exists that reflects our Nevada City police officers were poorly trained and poorly equipped to handle the situation that day.  

We are the Community Oversight Task Force of Nevada County, a group of concerned citizens who have volunteered to delve into law enforcement standards and practices.  We have taken it upon ourselves to learn California law that governs police, and through the California Public Records Act we have obtained many records.  We have obtained the training records of all present Nevada City police officers and what we have discovered deserves your immediate attention. We have learned, that in fact none of our current officers have received current or updated training in the following pertinent areas:

  • Racial and cultural diversity
  • De-escalation techniques
  • Excessive Use of Force
  • Bias Training
  • Dispute resolution
  • Crowd Control
  • Civil Disobedience training

Anyone who attended the August 9 protest would attest to the complete lack of crowd control or de-escalation methods employed by law enforcement.  The events of that day, that many citizens  watched on social media, depicted angry men who tore banners, signs, and cell phones from protestors’ hands; we watched as they yelled “You don’t belong here;” and we watched as they wrestled protestors to the ground.  Even more disturbing, we watched as police officers appeared to side with and walk beside the counter-protestors.   

Penal Code section 422.6 defines hate crimes and penalties.  That section states “(a) No person, whether or not acting under color of law, shall by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate, interfere with, oppress, or threaten any other person in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him or her by the Constitution or laws of this state or by the Constitution or laws of the United States….” Yet that is what we all saw that day.  None of the Nevada City Police (or the Sheriff’s deputies) who were present at the protest saw it necessary to defend the Black Lives Matter protestors rights under First Amendment to the Constitution.

We are concerned with the clear message that was leveled at our community that day.  “Nevada City doesn’t welcome Black Lives Matter protests.”  In fact, there hasn’t been another Black Lives Matter protest in either Nevada City or Grass Valley since that August 9 event.  This matter must be addressed.  Our police officers must get the State Legislative and mandated trainings they are required to have.  Our Police Chief is accountable to ensure the officers are trained, and you, the Nevada City Council are accountable for hiring a police chief that makes sure the officers are properly trained.  

In addition, you should also be aware that since 2018 there have been five new hires on the NCPD – doubling the Police Officer staff – one in 2018, two in 2019, one in 2020, and one in early 2021.  Of those five new hires four had no prior experience, and all had no more education than the basic law enforcement modules.  Some were hired the same month they completed their education.  

It is part of our mission and mandate to expose these significant findings to our community, and they will be made public at the appropriate time.  Meantime, we wish to see that changes are made, and that local police are well trained to serve the community. Some of us who are Nevada City residents wish to be present at the Town Hall you have promised, on improvements to Nevada City Police Department, and whether Nevada City should continue to maintain and pay for its own police force.

Lorraine Reich, Attorney