Tags >> war
Jun 09
2009

CodePink in Gaza

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , volunteer , students , rights , peace , parks , nonprofit orgs , news , justice , international , government , children , activism

Bruce Robinson

 In her recent visit to the Gaza Strip, a Sebastopol woman left behind some hot pink playground equipment, and brought back a heightened humanitarian concern for the region's residents.

CodePink , the San Francisco-based women's peace organization, assembled an international delegation of 66  that included Barbara Briggs-Ledson of Sebastopol, for a five-day visit to the Gaza Strip early this month, just ahead of President Obama's visit to Egypt. While they were there,the CodePink represetatives were given a letter from the leadership of Hamas to deliver to the President, inviting him to also visit Gaza. Read the letter here .

 The sliver of land known as the Gaza Strip comprises just 139 square miles, covering roughly the distance between Sebastopol and Petaluma and extending halfway out to the coast. Home to 1.5 million residents, nearly half of them children and youth, it is intensively urbanized--the refugee camps are blocks of concrete apartment buildings. So Barbara Briggs-Letson says she took particular pleasure in helping bring something colorful for the kids to that scene.

 




 Barbara Briggs-Letson (in white) smiles for the camera along with the Palestinian women who acted as translators for the  CodePink visitors. In addition to bringing and assembling the playgrounds, the CodePink delegation visited hospitals and other public facilities, Briggs-Letson says they also met with some of the area's political leaders.

Damaged buildings at every turn were a constant reminder of day-to-day dangers of life in the Gaza Strip, says Briggs-Letson. And there were others, too.

Below are some additional pictures of the pink new playground equipment in use.

 

 

You can see more photos from the Code Pink Gaza delegation's trip here

May 14
2009

Cindy Sheehan

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , war , speaker , protest , politics , policy , peace , news , justice , international , government , events , Congress , activism

Bruce Robinson

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan (right) was glad to see George W. Bush leave the White House. Now she's pressing his successor for more change in US military policies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Unless President Obama decides to take actions more in keeping with his campaign promises to quickly wind down the dual wars in the Middle East, Sheehan predicts his current high levels of international popularity will plummet.

In addition to recalling American troops, Sheehan believes that a key step toward rebuilding this country's credibility in the eyes of the world would be war crimes prosecutions of top Bush Administration officials.

 

 Sheehan, who is speaking this evening at Sonoma State University  (see flyer below),  has recently completed a new e-book,  Myth America
10 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution!
   Here's a peek at its Table of Contents:

 Myth One: America: Greatest Nation in the Universe!

Myth Two: Elections Matter

Myth Three: There's a huge Difference Between Dems and Repubs

Myth Four: It is Noble to Die in Robber Class Wars

Myth Five: The Central Banking System is good for the Robbed Class

Myth Six: It's a Privilege to pay Income Taxes to the Robber Class

Myth Seven: Housing, Health Care and Education are Privileges, too

Myth Eight: America has a Free Press

Myth Nine: The Environment, Who Needs it?

Myth Ten: 19 Muslims with box cutters were responsible for 9/11

Summary: The Case for (peaceful) Revolution.

The book is available only in digital format through Sheehan's website.

Apr 27
2009

Red Cross Heroes, 2009

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , war , teens , students , Sonoma , public safety , poverty , international , education , coast , children , activism

Bruce Robinson

The 6th annual "Real Heroes" of Sonoma and Mendocino Counties are being honored this week by the local Red Cross office. In this report we meet two of them.

 

   

His Bar Mitzvah is successfully completed, but Gabe Ferreck is not stopping his work on behalf of the displaced children of Darfur. Here he is pictured with the tabletop display he created for the  JWW Backback Project. In the audio clip below, Here he describes his next project for them, the Walk for Darfur.

  

 

How does a helicopter airlift rescue unfold? Pilot Paul Bradley (right)  gives a step-by-step account of the episode for which he was honored by the Red Cross this year.

 

Two of this year's other Red Cross Real Hero honorees are being recognized for actions that were truly a family affair.

 Through their Project Africa program, Food for Thought, the Sonoma County AIDS Food Bank, is now a sponsor of Hope Initiatives' soup kitchen and other projects in Namibia, including their new vegetable garden

 

It's not easy to measure progress in the medical effort to rein in HIV in Namibia, but Mark and Paula Nethedra  say some encouraging trends are beginning to emerge.

 

Click here to read about all of this year's Real Heroes.

Apr 12
2009

War Tax Resistors

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , protest , politics , peace , nonprofit orgs , justice , jail , Ideas , government , finances , budget , activism

Bruce Robinson

War tax resistance--refusing to pay a portion of one's annual IRS bill that funds military endeavors--is alive and well in Sonoma County.

 Larry Harper explains that he has been inspired in his war tax resistance by the example of the late Rabbi Michael Robinson (below), one of the founders of Sonoma County Taxes For Peace.


Eszter Freeman has in the past staged more dramatic protests than just withholding her tax payment. She recalls one from 1990 (pictured here, with Freeman at the center in black), in which she made and decorated a coffin as the legal tender she used for that's year's payment.

There are generally two options for people who choose to make an ethical statement with the tax money they withhold. One is putting those funds into an escrow account, where the money will fund positive social  purposes, but still can be drawn upon when and if the IRS eventually demands payment. The other is to redirect their taxes into a local fund to support constructive efforts in the community. Harper explains how that is done by Sonoma County Taxes for Peace.


 Sonoma County Taxes for Peace meets monthly. Call 823-9203 for details. Other sources for additional information about War Tax Resistance include:

Northern California War Tax Resistance

 The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund

Conscience and Military Tax Campaign Escrow Account

 

 

 

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