Peace and Justice Center of Nevada County

Upcoming Events

Feb
27
Tue
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[...]
Mar
15
Fri
4:00 pm Unmask Kevin Kiley Abortion Righ...
Unmask Kevin Kiley Abortion Righ...
Mar 15 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Every Friday from now until an undetermined time the NC Democrats will be hosting an abortions rights demonstration to raise awareness about CD3 representative Kevin Kiley’s anti abortion views. The demonstration for October is on[...]

No upcoming events

THE UNION OP ED BY PJCNC 12-12-23

https://www.theunion.com/news/community/ideas-opinions-jeffrey-gottesman-peace-and-justice-center-opposes-violence-because-it-begets-more-violence/article_765fa450-9848-11ee-9a44-371d520e9ccb.html

Amnesty International Report: Israeli Apartheid

Amnesty International Report: Israeli Apartheid

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/02/israels-apartheid-against-palestinians-a-cruel-system-of-domination-and-a-crime-against-humanity/

Another perspective, another choice, we can decide.

By Laurie Millar, member of the Peace Choir

I wish to tell my story and “perspective” of what I believe is going on in the world. We all have Free Will and must decide what is right for ourselves. My story is unique to me, my history, my bloodlines, DNA, how I was raised and the experiences I have had with peace and conflict over the years. Lately, my husband and I have been drawn to historical documentaries on the suffering, resistance and resilience of Black Americans in their past history and then the learning about the prolonged destruction of Native American cultural ways of life, family-group-tribal connections and people, and the deliberate seizing of their lands since the time of white man’s discovery of the Americas. It is still going on today.

I grew up with my parents and 4 siblings during the 1950’s, 60’s and early 70’s in both the Midwest and Los Angeles, California. As a young adult I lived in Hawaii, Wyoming (for 2 weeks), the Midwest once again—back to my birthplace on Lake Michigan–and eventually settled in California. I have experienced wars and conflict all my life, despite officially advocating for peace. Without too much detail, my parents tried to raise their children with tolerance for others, peace and love but they were not without their cultural and religious biases and thus, as an adult, I got to examine their perspectives and ask why.

In the 60’s I witnessed the L.A. Watts riots and was painfully aware that there was something underneath it all. It did not make sense– the stories we were told– that the Black rioting was due to “them attacking their own people and stores”. Shortly after this, we moved to Detroit where bigger, more dangerous “race riots” broke out in 1967. We could see the fires from our home at night! I was confused, scared and wondered why this had to happen again? I had the privilege as a teenager to go to a half black, half white religious camp where I made friends with people of color and realized they were just like me. Our church youth group helped black teens build a teen center in Detroit and my college thesis involved interviewing black senior citizens on their nutritional needs and practices. I parked in the worst neighborhoods in Detroit for my interviews and was not afraid, although several people told me I should be. My college days and research in nutrition brought the desire and opportunity to work with Native Americans at the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in North Dakota. Shortly before I was scheduled to go (with all my research completed) two white FBI agents were killed during a Native Indian Movement resistance activity on the reservation and my trip was canceled. I was crushed.

I mostly ignored the Viet Nam war during the 60’s and early 70’s but knew of friends’ brothers or boyfriends who had been killed. Then there was Kent State, not far from my home, where the war had come home to our own country and young adults. Young adults all over the country were protesting. Three leaders for peace were assassinated in quick succession, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Over the years I have been aware of the many wars our country has been involved in or started, especially the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq right after 9-11. My brother was in the Navy then and told me about his role as “protector for the Middle East and islands we knew nothing about like Grenada”. He couldn’t wait to get out! The whole thing seemed pointless to me, and I feared for his safety and his life.

Recently, the U.S. has been involved in first fighting Russia in Ukraine and then very quickly supporting the State of Israel against Palestine in the Middle East. This is NOT to excuse Hamas (whoever they may or may not be), but to look deeper at the history of wars begun by powerful State leaders who instigate and fund the endless creation of war as a “pretend” solution to conflict. Did we get to vote on this? Has this approach worked? Is one side any better off in the long run for the destruction of the people, places, resources and cultures of those groups of people they claim did something to them? Who really profits from conflict of any sort? For me, learning the history of groups oppressed as well as the oppressors’ role in escalating or starting conflict has been important– but more effective has been the acknowledgment of my own family history, trauma and that of people with whom I resonate. My first husband was part Native American as are my 3 children. Still in mid-life, after my first husband died, I met and later married a man who is half Japanese. Through his eyes and our shared history, I have learned of the trauma that thousands of good, contributing Japanese citizens of the United States suffered during W.W. II, being sent arbitrarily to “internment camps”, losing everything. As a young child I always resonated with the Native American culture, nature and the Buffaloes. It is a sad story, what happened to them, but what we see arising from our collective consciousness is that Native Americans are coming home to who they truly are, telling their stories and healing. How many of us have Native American blood within us? As they remember what happened and is still happening to them, they are becoming stronger and defining themselves as true “First Nation” people, contributing to our current cultural diversity in their own modern, organic ways and yet going back to their Native languages and customs. We, in turn, heal our ancestral karma so to speak by acknowledging the truth of our shared history with them. We are all spiritually connected to one another by our human nature and the conflict we see “out there” is also within us. Do not believe for a second that there will not be consequences for those perpetuating the continuation of violence, death and destruction toward minority groups of our fellow human beings. We have a choice. It is the choice to create peace– right here, right now in our own communities. We can decide not to pay taxes that go to fund the continuation of war as a business model. (Like the Quakers). Or, less drastic, we can open our hearts, listen to one another and learn from our shared history, including the last 3 years when someone else decided for us what constitutes good health with threats of punishment if we did not comply! We must be vigilant for more of the same in our own country which is likely to come again complete with all the many ways we are divided sister against sister, brother against brother. We have but a short reprieve. The war against human beings perpetuated by those in power as our only choice for conflict among races, nations, cultures and religions is universal. What is not known is that “we the people” have the power within and collectively to turn away from war, to resist and not participate and through working for peace create a better quality of life for all who desire it, including ourselves. Thank you for listening to my story and please check out the following references to learn more. You will find similarities in all wars and conflicts, even our own here in America. No one wins.

References:

“The 60’s Scoop in Canada”

“The American Buffalo” by Ken Burns

“The West” by Steven Ives and Ken Burns

“The Little Bird” PBS series

“Democracy Now”

“The Way of Knowingness” by Kim O’Neill

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

Beale AFB Protested by Chico Peace Alliance

By George Gold, guest contributor

Beale Air Force Base, just outside Marysville California, has as a mission to “Deliver persistent integrated reconnaissance and combat power.”

In September of 2022, the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report entitled, “The National Security Snapshot CLIMATE CHANGE RISKS TO NATIONAL SECURITY.” This report can be found here: https://www.gao.gov/assets/730/722656.pdf

Flooding, Melting polar ice, Migration trends, Rising sea levels, Catastrophic storms, and disruption of Base Utilities.


Some of the environmental concerns associated with the U.S. military presence and operations
are:

  • Base Operations. U.S. military bases, both domestically and overseas, require vast amounts of resources, including energy, water, and land. The construction and maintenance of these bases can lead to habitat destruction, deforestation, and ecosystem disruption.
  • Training. Military training exercises often involve the use of live ammunition, explosives, and heavy equipment. These activities can cause soil erosion, damage to vegetation, and contamination of soil and water with hazardous materials.
  • Toxic Chemicals. Historically, the U.S. military has used a variety of toxic chemicals, such as Agent Orange and depleted uranium, in its operations. These substances have long-lasting and devastating effects on the environment and human health.
  • Hazardous Waste. Over time, military activities generate significant amounts of hazardous waste, including chemicals, fuels, and munitions. Improper disposal and management of these wastes can lead to soil and water contamination.
  • Air and Water Pollution. The operation of military vehicles, aircraft, and ships often contribute to air and water pollution through the emission of greenhouse gases, particulate matter, and other pollutants.
  • Military Bases Abroad. U.S. military bases overseas often lead to tensions with local communities and governments over land use, environmental damage, and contamination issues.
  • Climate Change. The U.S. military is a significant consumer of fossil fuels, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.


Chico Peace Alliance Protest at Beale Air Force Base

This past September 2023 about a dozen members of the Chico Peace Alliance travelled to Beale’s front gate to deliver a message to pilots and support workers that is a little different than the expressed mission of Beale Air Force Base.

We wanted to share our views not often noted by the defense establishment about the hazards that are caused by the United States military industrial complex. The view that points out that peace is more important than war, and that the US defense infrastructure causes a huge negative environmental impact right here in Marysville and around the world.

We arrived just before shift change so that our signs of peace, love and misunderstanding could be seen as they left the base.

Cross that white line as you approach the Front Gate and you can be arrested for trespassing. Where’s that white line? The military police car stationed at the gate will be glad to show you.

We decided on this visit we would stay behind the line and thereby we displayed several large banners along both sides of that entry / exit road with our message of peace love and understanding. And, a few of the departing workers actually flashed us the peace sign! But whether flashing a peace sign or not, EVERYONE leaving the Base, saw us, our signs, our banners, and thereby our message.

And we weren’t alone. Aside from the Base military police officer / car that was parked just on the public side of the white line, the entire time we were there, there were three California Highway Patrol cars and one County Sherriff’s car that parked themselves just about 30 yards from our main set up location.

The United States Military budget for 2023 is $857.9 billion. So, let’s see, if we just cut that budget by 10%, that would mean that some 85 billion dollars could be used to provide food for the shocking rise in child hunger across the United States, alleviate the crushing debt of so many students, solve the devastation of homelessness, work to address the negative impact of climate change, hmm, what a concept.

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