Silicon Valley Pride is this Sunday, starting at 10 AM at Market and St. John. As community gathers to uplift and celebrate LGBT people, Pride offers an annual reminder of the continued dignified struggle of queer people domestically and around the globe, as well as a reminder of the importance of militant struggle to gain even marginal rights under an oppressive system.
The first Gay Pride parades were held in 1970 to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Like many gay bars, the Stonewall Inn was forced to regularly pay off the police. Police raids were nonetheless common, but on the night of June 28, 1969, the patrons decided to fight back.
As police attempted to arrest people from inside the bar, a crowd of around 500 gathered, fueled by simmering rage at mistreatment. Soon, arrestees were escaping as others in the crowd lit fires; some formed a singing chorus line, to which the police responded with a baton charge. Cop cars were smashed, the bar was burned down, and the gay liberation movement began in earnest.Read more...
Sharat G. Lin, in addressing the International Anti-war Anti-nuke Rally at the East Ward Cultural Center in Hiroshima held on August 5, 2018, offered a resolute apology for the U.S. government's dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. He called it a "monstrous war crime" that must never be allowed to happen again. He called for universal nuclear disarmament that must focus first on the U.S.A. and Russia, which have by far the largest nuclear weapons arsenals, rather than focusing exclusively on North Korea and Iran, of which neither have started any wars in the last century.
On the 73rd anniversary of the infamous U.S. dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, there were many memorials, rallies, and marches taking place in Hiroshima, both official and those organized by grassroots peace and justice activists.
The full text of his speech follows:Read more...
A report published last year in The Intercept revealed that Palo Alto-based Palantir, the $20 billion data-mining firm founded by Trump pal Peter Thiel, "provides the engine for Trump's deportation machine". A software program known as Investigative Case Management (I.C.M.), developed by Palantir Technologies for the Department of Homeland Security, will now also be used to facilitate and expedite the work of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.).Read more...
A large number of South Bay groups and individuals will gather in San Jose on the eve of Superbowl 50 to protest inequality.
WHEN: Saturday, February 6 at 7pm
WHERE: Plaza de Cesar Chavez
WHY: highlight the socioeconomic issues stemming from income inequality in the Bay Area; which is compounded and emphasized with the arrival of Super Bowl 50. To create and implement solutions to fundamentally address the variety of issues (racial inequality, homelessness, lack of affordable housing, gender bias, low wage jobs, disability access, etc...) pertaining to income inequality.
Attorneys supporting this demonstration will be present to protect our first amendment rights.
On September 27, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, will be welcomed at SAP Center in San Jose, California, as part of his global PR campaign. Join us at the event on September 27, in safe permitted free speech areas, to tell the other side of the story.
By Sharat G. Lin
Another World is Possible! The United States Social Forum 2015 was held in San José at the end of June. A thousand activists from hundreds of organizations worked on strategies for necessary alternatives and system change.
"Food Sovereignty." "Living on the Edge of Silicon Valley." "Taking our Health Back." "Crisis of the California Water Commons." "No More Deaths: Resisting Border Militarization." "Cooperative Economics." "Movements Making Media." These are just some of the more than a hundred topics discussed at the United States Social Forum held in San José during June 24-28, 2015.
Recognizing that human rights, social justice, and climate justice are connected on a global scale the movement for the World Social Forum was born in Brasil to provide a people's alternative to the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland. The first World Social Forum was held in Porte Alegre, Brasil in January 2001 because of the initiative and mass support of the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra (MST or Landless Workers' Movement). A total of 14 World Social Forums have been held in different cities in South America, Asia, and Africa.
by Sharat Lin
The World Social Forum in Tunis (24-28 March 2015) closes with resounding unity against global warming, neoliberalism, militarism, terrorism, and for the increasingly important role of women in making another world possible.
The opening march of the World Social Forum in Tunis on 24 March 2015 was from the Saadoun Gate of the old city (Medina) to the Bardo Museum where barely a week earlier Islamic State terrorists had shot their way into this most important museum of Tunisian history, killing 21 foreign tourists and one member of the Tunisian anti-terrorism brigade. Two of the terrorists were also killed by police. The march was together with thousands of Tunisians from all walks of life gathering to say, “Non à la violence!”
The closing march on 28 March 2015 was along Avenue Habib Bourguiba to the Place du 14 Janvier (date of the Tunisian revolution overthrowing Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011) included a particular emphasis on solidarity with Palestine.
But many World Social Forum participants joined yet another larger march against terrorism the next day where over 100,000 people marched from the Saadoun Gate to Bardo National Museum. Among the many chants and slogans was “Je suis Bardo,” mirroring the response in France to the recent terrorist attack on the offices of the journal Charlie Hebdo.
While the global Left generally focuses its opposition to foreign military interventions and social inequality, this World Social Forum has identified the dual right-wing dangers of Western military aggression and Islamist terrorism as threats to social progress and creating an alternative world.
An estimated 40,000 people from all continents -- but with a high participation from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East -- gathered at the El-Manar campus of the University of Tunis to discuss alternatives to neoliberalism, free trade, terrorism, global warming, among many other issues. The one uprising of the Arab Spring that has advanced socio-political democracy, even if only a little, has created a space to host the World Social Forum at an otherwise very unsettling time for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The venue gave this World Social Forum a heavy focus on Northern Africa (Tunisia, Western Sahara, Morocco, and trans-Mediterranean migrations, but less about Algeria, Libya, or Egypt) and the Middle East (especially Palestine, and struggles in Syria, Bahrain, and the Kurdish region). Sometimes controversies erupted as between Moroccans and participants from the Western Sahara, or between different groups of Syrians -- one favoring unity to fight ISIS and another to support the Syrian revolution. While Tunisian grassroots organizations were many, European NGO money was much in evidence. The WSF is staunchly secular left, yet the Islamic Republic of Iran had a booth here. While U.S. participation was almost invisible, there was a workshop here on “From Ferguson to Palestine”.
Most impressive was the sheer magnitude of the organization -- greeters at the airport, taking virtual possession of a major university campus during a break period, hundreds of local student volunteers, a sea of exhibit tents, an exhibition of political caricatures, free travel on the tram lines, and the confluence of so many peoples, cultures, and differences in political perspectives within the Left.
Greetings from the World Social Forum 2015 in Tunis.
Today the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Prop 8 was not valid. DOMA went down!California will have to recognize same-sex marriages. Congrats to the LGBT community and hooray for marriage equality!Read more...
A federal judge has ruled the Trump administration may not arbitrarily detain people seeking asylum. The judge ruled asylum seekers who have passed a credible fear interview should be given humanitarian parole, not indefinite detention. The suit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights First and the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies.
However, the Department of Health and Human Services is refusing to disclose how many migrant children separated from their parents at the border they are still holding. Last week, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said 2,047 separated minors were still in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. But the department has refused to give updated numbers even though the Trump administration is facing a July 10 court-imposed deadline to reunite all separated children under the age of 5 with their parents.
Keep informed and donate if you can:
From our Peace Dancer, Khalilah Ramirez. Join her and others for the weekly Dance of Peace class at the Center on Fridays from 10 to 11 am. You can find her writings on Silicon Valley De-Bug's website.
Greetings to all who are reading! This Week In Peace welcomes all, striving to be an example of amplified life. It’s what each person strives for. What each of us is born for, to prosper in life by learning to live in more effective ways. There are countless methods for this. The one we’re touching on today is the element of play.
Recently, I declared an allotted time (11am-1pm) to be “playtime.” Playtime is a sanctioned period when I allow myself to play, to experiment, to bend the “rules” and break routines as needed. The Dance of Peace is a major component of playtime because the spirit of dance is one of lightheartedness. Dance brings a sense of beauty, fun and freedom that lends itself to expansion.Read more...
Founded in 2008, the Dance of Peace has evolved from a solo street dance into a class, a column, video recordings, team stage performances, and organizational support from the San José Peace and Justice Center and Silicon Valley De-Bug. It is becoming a new sensation in social justice and peace in Northern California. Read more...
By Sam, SJPJC intern.
On March 30th, at least 15 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces while protesting for rightful return to their land. 1,400+ have been injured by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) shooters, making last Friday the bloodiest day Gaza has seen in years. The Israeli government has rejected requests for an investigation by the UN. The government and the media have made clear attempts to demonize the protesters, claiming that Israeli shooters were simply defending themselves rather than murdering the protesters who have been forced from their homes and treated as second class citizens. But why deny investigation if the shooters truly acted in self defense?Read more...
On Monday the 26th of February, Congress denied Trump's request to immediately review the lower court's decision that allows DACA to continue protecting over 600,000 recipients and blocks the president's administration's attempts to end the program on March 5th, as planned. Although the nationwide injunctions relieve some of the urgency for Dreamers, since March 5th is no longer the deadline for DACA renewals, DACA recipients with expired permits are still at risk while they wait for their renewals to be granted.Read more...
By Sam, a San Jose Peace & Justice Center Intern
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, commemorating their widespread involvement surrounding the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This agreement is an incredible step towards disarmament; it clearly “outlaws the worst weapons of mass destruction and establishes a clear pathway to their total elimination.” It was signed by 122 nations. The US, however, is unsurprisingly absent from the list.Read more...
by Cameron, a Peace & Justice Center intern
World maps may seem different in a few years, adding more national identities and differing country borders to the existing diagrams. Many movements for national sovereignty have surged within the past few months, especially in Iraq, Cameroon, and Spain.
While the call for an independent Kurdistan has been apparent for over a decade with a referendum taking place in 2005, Israel has just recently openly supported the idea, legitimizing its plea for independence. Even though 92.7% of voters within the Kurdish northern region of Iraq supported annexation, the rest of the Middle East opposes an independent Kurdistan, especially to those nations with a large Kurdish population, including Turkey, Iran, Armenia, and Syria. The majority of opposition relates to a concern of the large oil deposits where Kurdistan would be located. Additionally, validating Kurdistan in Iraq allows for other Kurds to substantiate secession from their respective countries. Facing extreme opposition, the future of an independent Kurdish nation looks wary; however the resilient will of the Kurdish people shines brighter with hope than it ever has.Read more...
By Sam, a San Jose Peace & Justice Center Intern
Last September, quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem. Amid a flurry of criticisms asserting that his action was un-American, he stated that he could not "show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." (CNN) He specifically cited the issue of police brutality as a prominent motivation for his action.Read more...
By Cameron, a San Jose Peace and Justice Center Intern
In wake of the recent catastrophes occurring in and around the Gulf of Mexico (including Hurricanes Maria, Harvey, Katia, AND Jose; both earthquakes within Oaxaca and Puebla; and the United States' political controversy of North Korean engagement) the attention of the United States media has retracted from the genocide of the Rohingya, which continues to this day.
The Rohingya, a Muslim-majority group of people situated in the north-west of Myanmar, bordering Bangladesh, have faced wave after wave of violence over the past half-century. For many years, the Myanmar government has consistently been placing pressure upon the Rohingya to evacuate. The government has restricted their rights to work and travel, and only limited numbers can enter certain professions like law and politics.Read more...
Khalilah Ramirez and Sharat Lin brought the Dance of Peace and music to crowds gathered to view the total solar eclipse in Stayton, Oregon on August 21, 2017.
People from across the country and many foreign visitors were awed by the moment of totality which takes only a few seconds to transition from reduced sunlight to complete shadow. Viewing parties in public parks and open spaces unified all people for the unmatched experience of viewing a total solar eclipse in person. There are no words to fully describe we saw in the sky! The Dance of Peace reached out to reaffirm that all people can find peace in humanity and peace with nature.
Dan Mayfield is president and Jeff Lake is a Board member of the Collins Foundation, the fiscal sponsor of the Peace & Justice Center and responsible for the Collins House.
Photo shows Constance Carpenter, Dan Mayfield, Jeff LakeRead more...
by Sharat Lin...Three mass actions of nonviolent resistance to newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump in San José, California brought about very different police responses. The Riseup for Justice march on January 20, 2017 (nearly a thousand participants) and the Women's March on January 21, 2017 (estimated at 30,000) proceeded completely peacefully. However, the Disrupt J20 march by youths on January 20 (fifty participants) was met without warning by brutal police force resulting in three arrests and dispersal of the crowd.
The Rise Up for Justice march and rally organized by a broad coalition of 50 local organization took to the streets of San Jose on January 20, surrounding the Federal Buildling and hosting speakers at the start and end of the march.
The following is the speech by SJPJC Coordinator Michele Mashburn at Rise Up for Justice rally at San Jose City Hall on January 20, 2017.....
Two in 10 people are disabled in the US. The hardest part is that disability transcends class, age, gender, and race. Disability Rights include issues of accessibility and safety in transportation, architecture, and the physical environment; equal opportunities to live independently, employment equity, education and housing; and freedom from discrimination, abuse, neglect.Read more...
October 9 2016, by Sharat Lin...SOAW (School of the Americas Watch) Border Convergence brought together 800 social justice activists to the first cross-border conference in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora.
Founded with the goal of exposing the U.S. government's School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia, SOAW has been demanding the closing of the "School of the Assassins" as it is known throughout Latin America.Read more...
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