Tags >> rights
Dec 07
2009

Palestine

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , volunteer , speaker , rights , protest , poverty , politics , peace , news , justice , international , government , events , education , activism

Bruce Robinson

News reports from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip typically focus on clashes between Arab “militants” and the Israeli army. But when the dust clears, what is life there like for the Palestinian people?

Even for non-violent peace activists, simply being in the occupied Palestinian territories can be dangerous. Maggie Coulter offers two examples.

The military policies behind the Palestinian occupation are not unanimously supported by the Israeli populace, and Coulter reports that she found a number of local organizations there that are working to end or mitigate those policies.

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 13
2009

Peace and Justice

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , Sonoma County , Santa Rosa , rights , protest , politics , peace , nonprofit orgs , news , media , legislation , justice , history , government , families , environment , community , activism

Bruce Robinson

The Sonoma County Peace and Justice Center is celebrating 25 years of activism this weekend, while also preparing to carry on their efforts as long as they are needed.

While much of the energy of the peace center activists was directed toward national concerns, founding member Shirley McGovern recalls that they were also able to respond to local situations in their immediate community, which she found especially gratifying.

As the Peace And Justice Center moves into its next quarter century, Susan Lamont is looking forward to the convergence of activism between environmentalists and social justice advocates.

The Peace and Justice Center will celebrate its first 25 years on Saturday, November 14th at the. Sebastopol Veterans Memorial Building, 282 High Street in Sebastopol. The event begins at 4:30 with wine, appetizers and music during a silent auction featuring art, services, jewelry, food, wine and more. Dinner will take place around 6:15.

The evening will include featured speaker, Medea Benjamin founder of Global Exchange and CodePink The cost with reservations is $35 ; $40 at the door, if room is available.

It is our time as a community to celebrate all the work we have engaged in for 25 years: the journey we have walked with the poor, the wars we have opposed, the solidarity with the marginalized, and the support for the immigrants. It is an opportunity for our peace and justice community to come together to celebrate all our years of growing together and making a difference in our county, our nation and our world.

 

 

 

Nov 09
2009

Schindler Exhibit

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , rights , religion , Petaluma , international , history , families , children , activism

Bruce Robinson

The story of German factory owner Oskar Schindler and the hundreds of Jews he shielded from the Nazis has been a successful novel and an award-winning film. Now his actual history is coming to the  Petaluma Museum.

 

The images below are part of the Leopold Pfeffferberg-Page collection, which he donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1993, explains Senior Historian Peter Black.  There is also a summary of Schindler's story, provided by the Museum, at the bottom of this page.

Oskar Schindler (third from left) at a party with local SS officials on his 34th birthday. Schindler attempted to use his connections with German officials to obtain information that might protect his Jewish employees. Krakow, Poland, April 28, 1942. —Leopold Page Photographic Collection, courtesy of  U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

At Yad Vashem, the Israeli national institution of Holocaust commemoration, Oskar Schindler stands next to the tree planted in honor of his rescue efforts. Jerusalem, Israel, 1970.
—Leopold Page Photographic Collection, courtesy of  U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Leopold Pfeffferberg was one of the men on Schindler’s famous list, and was also instrumental in interesting writer Thomas Keneally in Schindler’s story. Keneally’s book, originally published as Schindler’s Ark, was a fictionalized account of his story which  won the Booker prize in 1982. But Holocaust Museum historian Peter Black points out there is now a formal biography of the man, too.

In 1939, the year Germany invaded Poland and launched World War II, Oskar Schindler was living in Moravia, Czechoslovakia, a region with a high ethnic German population. He joined the Nazi party on February 10, 1939. He assumed responsibility for a formerly Jewish-owned factory in Poland and eventually established a second under his ownership. The new factory became a haven for its approximately 900 Jewish workers for much of the war.

Although he amassed a fortune exploiting their labor and trading on the black market, he protected them by insisting they be housed at his factory rather than the local labor camp, Plaszów, which was run by a sadistic SS commandant Amon Leopold Göth. In late summer 1944 as the German war effort was collapsing, Schindler, through negotiations and bribes from his wartime profits, secured permission from German Army and SS officers to move his workers and other endangered Jews to Brünnlitz, near his hometown of Zwittau, where he had been assigned to oversee a new munitions factory. Its workers were placed on “Schindler’s List” and were transported to the factory where they remained in relative safety throughout the remainder of the war.

Asked in 1964 why he had intervened on behalf of the Jews, Schindler replied, “The persecution of the Jews in the General Government in Polish territory gradually worsened in its cruelty. In 1939 and 1940 they were forced to wear the Star of David and were herded together and confined in ghettos. In 1941 and 1942 this unadulterated sadism was fully revealed. And then a thinking man, who had overcome his inner cowardice, simply had to help. There was no other choice.”

 

Nov 05
2009

Voyage of Discovery

Posted by Bruce Robinson in tourism , students , rights , religion , poverty , ocean , international , Ideas , Green , environment , education , coast , climate change , carbon

Bruce Robinson

There’s nothing like seeing other parts of the world first-hand to give one a different perspective on “home.” A Sonoma State professor who did just that last summer with his students in the international Semester at Sea program, reports back.

The Semester at Sea program offers educational voyages that go completely around the world, and shorter trips, such as the summer voyage in which Rocky Rohwedder participated. Rohwedder, a professor of Environmental Studies, explains how that was structured.

That sequence was set up to ease the touring students into new cultures, by beginning with western European nations that have much in common with the United States. But as they traveled eastward around the Mediterranean, Rohwedder recounts, the changes became more dramatic.

As he traveled, Rocky posted regular blog entries from the trip, with many photographs embedded. In this one, he is seen with his son Ryder, in a public marketplace in Fes, Morocco.

 

Click here to find out how to apply for a semester at sea.