Will This World Ever Learn

On June 10, 2014 the U.S. Department of State issued a press statement in which it expressed its “deepest concern” about the events that have transpired in Mosul/ Iraq and affirmed its full support for a strong, coordinated response including the provision of “all appropriate assistance … to help ensure that these efforts succeed”. It does not need much imagination to understand the language and the message. Support provided by the US in confronting “urgent threats” of alleged acts of terrorism unavoidably involves coercive force, including the provision of all kinds of arms, munitions and war material. Will this world ever learn? Read the rest of this statement by the Geneva International Centre for Justice at the link below....



Dysfunction Continues with Mystery Censure

There must be a lot of cognitive dissonance at the Press Democrat. Sometimes they come out with great editorials - such as this one - and yet, when it comes time to support candidates for office, they almost always support the very people who run counter to the ideals expressed in their editorials. The Council and the PD Editorial office - a couple of three-ring circuses. See the Press Democrat's editorial at the link below....


June 11, 1962 - SDS Founded and The Port Huron Statement Issued

June 11, 1962 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
held its founding convention in Michigan and issued The Port Huron Statement, laying out its principles and program.

“In social change or interchange, we find violence to be abhorrent
because it requires generally the transformation of the target,
be it a human being or a community of people,
into a depersonalized object of hate.
It is imperative that the means of violence be abolished
and the institutions—local, national, international—
that encourage non-violence as a condition of conflict be developed.”


Horrors of the Occupation Go Way Beyond the Settlements

Horrors of the occupation go way beyond the settlements / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 8 June — Every decent citizen, both in Israel and around the world, must cry out against the many horrors of the Israeli occupation- which have little to do with any West Bank construction — …The mask was ripped off long ago, and Israel is no longer trying to hide that settlements are no more than a punishment. But they aren’t the real punishment. The real punishment is the continued tyranny. The settlements are a measure of Israeli intentions; they were built to eternalize the status quo and destroy any chances for agreements. But the real punishment is the insufferable injustices of the occupation, which are actually less discussed. We must stop talking about the settlements. The amount of settlers reached critical mass long ago, making the situation irreversible. Another 1,500 housing units won’t change much. Constructing them only proves that Israel intends to continue its colonialist endeavors, but housing units themselves are not the heart of the issue. The real problem is the totalitarian regime in the West Bank. It is the Palestinians’ biggest problem, as well as that of the Israelis, as their nation has become a false democracy … The international community should focus on the fact that there are two peoples here, one with every right and the other with none aside from the right to be occupied. Stop condemning Israel for each new apartment and caravan. Israel should be condemned and punished for creating insufferable life under occupation, for the fact that a country that claims to be among the enlightened nations continues abusing an entire people, day and night. Talk about the helpless fishermen in Gaza fired upon by gunships; talk about the children brutally arrested in the middle of the night; talk about the countless detentions without trial, about the families torn between Gaza and the West Bank, between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Talk about the light Israeli finger on the trigger; talk about the discriminatory courts, the daily dispossession, house demolition and destruction of villages; talk about the pasturelands turned into firing zones only to dishearten residents and expel them; talk about the soldiers who shoot out of boredom and the police officers who make arrests just because they can. Talk about the inherent apartheid in the West Bank, and the terrible chances facing any Palestinian child looking to build a life, or even just visit the beach, even if it’s only a short distance from his home. Talk about the Gazans who cannot export their goods, nor go anywhere – not to study, not to go to the hospital, not to visit family members or work outside their prison, the largest in the world. Talk about the thousands of prisoners, some of them political prisoners, who face inhumane discrimination, as opposed to their Jewish counterparts. Talk about the bureaucracy of occupation, another institutionalized method of abuse. Talk about the checkpoints, and the overwhelming injustices. Talk about the horrors of occupation.

Temporary Job Opportunity!


Temporary Job Opportunity! 6/25-7/28

Susan will be away for a month this summer and the Center is looking for someone to step in for 15 hrs. a week. Here's the info and the contact:
Temporary Part-time Coordinator of the Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County –

June 25 – July 28, possibility of continued employment.

The Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County is seeking a temporary Center Coordinator, while the current Center Coordinator is on vacation. The principle duties include keeping the Center open during business hours, interacting in person, on the phone, and through email with members and visitors.

Office tasks include opening the Center, Monday through Friday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; responding to phone calls; greeting visitors; answering emails and correspondence; renewing supplies; creating an optimal environment; maintaining the wall and website calendar; scheduling the room use; contacting members and donors; attending semi monthly Board meetings, and assisting with the Peace Press.

Pay is $17/hr. Email letter of interest and resume, to tommy@sonic.net, by 6/18/14. Call Tomas Phillips 707 235 2200 with any questions.

Andy Lopez - Reflections on his 14th Birthday - a Birthday Deprived

Andy's parents - Sujey and Rodrigo
June 2nd, 2014
by Elbert "Big Man" Howard
Today, I just keep thinking about Andy Lopez and his family. I am thinking about how young Andy Lopez never lived to see his 14th birthday, thanks to murdering Deputy Erick Gelhaus .
On October 22, 2013, 13-year-old Andy Lopez was walking in a field in broad daylight, in his neighborhood. He was on his way to one of his friend's homes, doing nothing criminal, doing nothing wrong, just a child, on his way to see his friend. Suddenly, with no warning, within seconds, he was ambushed and killed in cold blood by Gelhaus, a trained assassin from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department.
Why was Gelhaus even present in this largely Latino Santa Rosa community? The answer to this question lies in the decades-old analogy: "The police occupy our community like a military troop occupies a foreign territory. They are there to brutalize and kill us because they have their orders to do so."
On the day of Andy's murder, no crime had been committed or reported so Gelhaus was simply on a seek-and-destroy mission. He did what he and others like him are paid to do, without fear of public outrage or punishment. Gelhaus knew that there was no chance of prosecution because the Sonoma County District Attorney is on the same racist, reactionary team which includes judges, city government officials and big money political supporters. In the end, they believe that the law is what they say it is.
On the other hand, as in times past, the community and Andy's loving family members, are still demanding to know when District Attorney Ravitch is going to divulge the results of her investigation to the public. What are the results of her "prolonged investigation" of the killing of this child, Andy Lopez, by this "servant of the people", Erick Gelhaus?
Jill Ravitch has the office, the money and all the tools to get the job done that she was (supposedly) elected to do. Why doesn't she do it? Past history and present events show us that the systemic failure to deal with these injustices has resulted in the continued loss of lives at the hands of Law Enforcement agencies in Sonoma County - a loss of sixty-one human beings since 2000 - 61 human beings who mattered to their families... and to us. 
Elbert "Big Man" Howard                                     Santa Rosa, CA                            June 2, 2014
Elbert "Big Man" Howard is a founding member of the Black Panther Party, and an author, lecturer, and community activist in Sonoma County.

June 2nd is the 14th Birthday of Andy Lopez and the work for justice continues! Birthday party and more!

Celebrate the Life of Andy Lopez on his 14th Birthday!
Saturday, June 7, 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Join us in a community march to celebrate Andy's life and call attention to the law enforcement brutality which ended his life. We will begin with music and speeches in the Dollar Tree parking lot on Sebastopol Rd., followed by a march beginning at noon to Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa with a rally to begin at 1:00 p.m.

The work for Justice for Andy! continues.

After Andy was killed, in response to public anger, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors created the Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force. The Task Force, in turn, created three subcommittees: the Law Enforcement Accountability Subcommittee, the Community Policing Subcommittee, and the Community Engagement and Healing Subcommittee.

It is a goal of the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez (JCAL), of which the Peace & Justice Center is a member, for there to be members of the community at all the meetings of this Task Force and subcommittees. We need the Task Force to understand that we are watching them and that we want a say in their work. Our numbers are small and we are hoping that some of you will want to be at some of these meetings - just once or as many times as you can. We ask that you make a public comment - a general one at the beginning or one in relation to the agenda - and we'd love it if you could identify yourself as being with JCAL, the Peace & Justice Center, or another social justice group.

The meetings will be held through early next year. Here is the schedule for the upcoming summer.

The Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force will meet June 9th, July 14th, and August 11th at 6:00 p.m., 2227 Capricorn Way, Santa Rosa Room, Santa Rosa

The Law Enforcement Accountability Subcommittee will meet June 2nd, 16th & 23rd, July 7th & 21st, and August 4th, 18th & 25th at 5:15 p.m., County Center, Board Chambers, 575 Administration Dr., Room 102A, Santa Rosa

The Community Policing Subcommittee will meet June 9th & 23rd, July 14th & 28th, and August 11th & 25th at 3:00 p.m., Lawrence Cook Middle School, Classroom #1, 2460 Sebastopol Rd., Santa Rosa

The Community Engagement & Healing Subcommittee will meet June 2nd, 16th & 30th, July 7th & 21st, and August 4th, 18th & 25th at 6:00 p.m., County Center, Community and Government Affairs, Room 113A, 575 Administration Dr., Santa Rosa

Protest plans if D.A. Jill Ravitch announces that she is not indicting Deputy Gelhaus
We are asking that all protest be peaceful
On the day she announces, we will gather at the Dollar Tree parking lot on Sebastopol Rd. at 4:00 p.m.
On the day after she announces, we will gather at Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa at 5:30 p.m.
On the Saturday following the announcement will will gather at Courthouse Square at 1:00 p.m. for a March for Justice
Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez

"All governments lie." - Daniel Ellsberg

Half a block from the State Department, a bus shelter is now displaying a billboard nearly six feet tall with a plea from Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg to “tell the truth with documents that reveal lies or crimes or internal projections of costs and dangers.” On the sign, Ellsberg also urges: “Don’t wait until a new war has started, don’t wait until thousands more have died… You might save a war’s worth of lives.”
The billboard, located on 23rd Street NW in Washington, is scheduled to remain there throughout this month. It’s the first step in public outreach by ExposeFacts, a new organization for whistleblowing that will formally launch on Wednesday morning when the ExposeFacts.org website goes live and the group begins its first day with a news conference at the National Press Club (9:30 a.m., Zenger Room).
NSA whistleblowers William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe will speak at the news conference along with EPA whistleblower Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and journalist Barbara Ehrenreich, a member of the ExposeFacts editorial board. The ExposeFacts organization is part of the nonprofit Institute for Public Accuracy.
ExposeFacts “aims to shed light on concealed activities that are relevant to human rights, corporate malfeasance, the environment, civil liberties and war,” the group says -- and its website will feature a whistleblower submission system known as “SecureDrop.”
The June 4 news conference will release a video statement by Ellsberg, who revealed the Pentagon Papers in 1971. The text of that statement, below, is being released now. The actual video will be released Wednesday morning. 
Statement by Daniel Ellsberg:
I’m very happy to join with other whistleblowers in supporting an organization called ExposeFacts, whose aim is to encourage whistleblowing and independent journalism, and preserve democracy.
All governments lie, and they all like to work in the dark as far as the public is concerned, in terms of their own decision-making, their planning -- and to be able to allege, falsely, unanimity in addressing their problems, as if no one who had knowledge of the full facts inside could disagree with the policy the president or the leader of the state is announcing.
A country that wants to be a democracy has to be able to penetrate that secrecy, with the help of conscientious individuals who understand in this country that their duty to the Constitution and to the civil liberties and to the welfare of this country definitely surmount their obligation to their bosses, to a given administration, or in some cases to their promise of secrecy.
And as someone who served four different administrations, two Republican and two Democrat, I can say that when officials are assured that they will not be held accountable for their decision-making or for their choices or for their arguments or their considerations, even very intelligent men and women are capable of making crazy policies -- stupid, disastrous -- as we saw in Vietnam, and in Iraq, and right now on the subject of the climate.
The ability to know every aspect of a source’s dealings with a journalist, or with a member of Congress, really is a deadly threat to democracy. ExposeFacts is an organization that intends to counter that effect by making it more possible -- in the face of this technological onslaught -- to making it more possible for sources to tell their truths when government is off the rails here and to make it possible for us to get it back on track, to hold people accountable -- in other words, to preserve democracy itself and its benefits, which are very very great. I’m proud to be a supporter of this organization, and I look forward to the change in atmosphere that it can bring about.
-- Daniel Ellsberg

International Conscientious Objector Day

International Conscientious Objector Day

May 15


Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez - plans for protest

Protest plans if D.A. Jill Ravitch announces that she is not indicting Deputy Gelhaus
We are asking that all protest be peaceful
On the day she announces, we will gather at the Dollar Tree parking lot on Sebastopol Rd. at 4:00 p.m.
On the day after she announces, we will gather at Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa at 5:30 p.m.
On the Saturday following the announcement will will gather at Courthouse Square at 1:00 p.m. for a March for Justice
Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez