Thursday, April 2, 2020

Baltimore Activist Alert -- April 2 - 4, 2020

55] Covid-19 and Human Rights
56] A nationwide letter-writing campaign
57] The Joy of Birds
58] National Political Education call – April 2
59] We Want Bernie Team Conference Call – April 2
60] Virtual Seder training session – April 3
61] White House vigil – April 3
62] Telephone town hall about the economic relief available – April 3
63] Urge the city to appeal incinerator ruling – April 3 - 4
64] Fire Drill Friday – April 3
65] Peace and justice vigil – April 3
66] Coronavirus Time Bomb – April 3
67] Poor Peoples Campaign event – April 3
68] Media Coverage of War in Syria April 3
69] Fighting racism during a coronavirus crisis -- April 3
70] Two Berrigan Books still in print
71] Emergency Demonstration against an attack on Venezuela or Iran  
72] Donate books, videos, DVDs and records
73] Do you need any book shelves?
74] Join the Global Zero campaign.
75] Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil
55] -- Amnesty International has developed a 15-minute virtual course — perfect for middle school-aged students and adults alike — that explores how COVID-19 is affecting human rights. Register at  Through videos and interactive quizzes, you can learn how you can take action to promote solidarity.

56] Indivisible is launching a partnership with VoteFWD. It’s a nationwide letter-writing campaign to reach voters in key states before the 2020 election to maximize impact and increase turnout. Indivisible is encouraging groups to hold digital letter-writing parties so that Indivisibles can continue connecting with their communities but from the safety of their own homes. Many groups are already utilizing the VoteFWD tool, and now there is a nationwide launch. Click here to check out the new letter-writing resource for more ways to plug into the movement digitally:

57] Audubon Maryland-DC recommends spending time in nature to help folks seek solace, the governor’s stay-at-home decree makes this difficult. For now, you can immerse yourself in Audubon’s The Joy of Birds when your spirits need a boost --

58] The Maryland Poor People's Campaign on Thurs., April 2 from 8:30 to 9:30 PM will host an online National Political Education call. Click here to register:  You must RSVP for access information.

59] – We Want Bernie Team Conference Call on Thurs., April 2 at 9 PM ET. To get on the call, dial 605-313-5148 and use Participant Code: 914389.  Please RSVP so we're sure to have enough lines set aside --  Invite all your Bernie loving friends!  

60] - If you're planning on holding a virtual Seder to connect with friends and family this year, please join J Street for a virtual Seder training session on Fri., April 3 at noon ET. The training will run through strategies for building and engaging communities online, and share how to use the J Street Haggadah.  Go to

61] – The Dorothy Day Catholic Worker will host a peace vigil at the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, WDC, on Fri., April 3 at noon.  Contact the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 202-882-9649,  

62] – On Fri., April 3 at 12:30 PM, Congressperson John Sarbanes is holding a telephone town hall to share information about the economic relief available to Marylanders and Maryland small businesses impacted by the coronavirus crisis. ​​​​​​​​​​​Officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Maryland Department of Labor will help answer your questions and point you to helpful resources.​​​​​​​​​​ You can livestream the event at

63] – The Energy Justice Network informed me that a federal judge struck down the Baltimore Clean Air Act. This law, passed unanimously by city council last year, would have forced two large waste incinerators in the city to close by this September because they refused to meet modern pollution standards. One of them is the city's largest air polluter -- the Wheelabrator ("BRESCO") trash incinerator. The judge got it wrong. Federal and state laws clearly allow local governments to pass stronger clean air laws. Urge the city to appeal. JOIN the Network for one of these online Zoom meetings to learn more about what happened and how you can help. On Fri., April 3 from 2 to3 PM go to  On Sat., April 4 from 2 to 3 PM, visit 

64] – Building on the momentum gained over the last five months, Fire Drill Friday will continue virtually on Fri., April 3 at 2 PM. Jane Fonda  will be joined by friends, actors, activists, youth, Indigenous leaders, climate experts, and representatives from impacted and underrepresented communities. Together, we will keep the pressure on politicians to adopt a Green New Deal, end new fossil fuels, and enact a just transition to a renewable economy that protects workers and communities.

65] – There is usually a silent peace and justice vigil on Fridays, from 5 to 6 PM, sponsored by Homewood Friends Meeting, outside the Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St.  The next scheduled vigil is on April 3. Black Lives Matter.

66] – Pacem in Terris is launching a series of virtual community dialogues on a variety of issues related to peace, justice, and nonviolence. The sessions will take place via Zoom, and will include a special guest speaker, and center on a key question related to peace and justice. The first Community Conversation is scheduled for Fri., April 3 at 7 PM via Zoom, and the Special Guest is Carl Gibson, Journalist and Author.  His topic is Can Policy Be Violence? His recent article entitled, "Millions of Uninsured Americans Like Me Are a Coronavirus Time bomb" was published on February 28th in The Guardian. Register at

67] On Fri., April 3 from 7:30 to 8:30 PM, the B'nai Keshet synagogue in New Jersey is hosting a virtual event with Rev. Liz Theoharis. Register at

68] Helena Cobban is delighted to tell you that a 10-part webinar series "Commonsense on Syria" will continue with  Session 4 on Sat., April 4 at 1 PM and will feature Max Blumenthal and possibly another panelist, talking about Western media's role in Syria. Blumenthal is a journalist, author, blogger, and filmmaker. He was awarded the 2014 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Notable Book Award for his book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013). He is the founder and publisher of The Grayzone, an investigative news-site.

69] --   On Sat., April 4 from 4 to 5 PM, remember the Dr. King anniversary - Fighting racism during a coronavirus crisis, hosted by the Peoples Power Assembly and Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice. This is a National Webinar Press Conference. To register go to Look at

70] – Two books by Fred Wilcox are still in print.  The first one is “Fighting the Lamb's War Skirmishes with the American Empire” by Philip Berrigan and Fred A. Wilcox with a FOREWORD by Tripp York.  It can be purchased by Wipf and Stock:  It is a Memoir in paperback/ISBN: 9781532660078/240 pages/republished 8/21/2018/ Retail Price: $26.00/and Web Price: $20.80.

The second one is “Uncommon Martyrs The Berrigans, the Catholic Left, and the Plowshares Movement” by Fred Wilcox, who profiles members of this anti-war movement, whose Christianity compels them to acts of civil disobedience against the military industrial complex.  The ISBN is 0201522314/$6.50 for a hardcover, and it can be purchased at Powell's Books.  See

71] –   The Trump Administration is again beating the war drums.  Most recently, the target is Iran.  Should the Trump administration initiate an act of war against Iran, consider joining us. It is a violation of U.S. law for the Trump Administration to attack a country that has not attacked us, as only Congress can declare war. The Trump administration is nevertheless beating the war drums for war against Iran and Venezuela. Should a war criminal, John Bolton, convince Trump to attack either of these countries, such a military strike would demand an immediate and unequivocal response from us to show that we will not tolerate his abuse of power.

Let's mobilize to show that we the people will not tolerate another military adventure, which would be bound to have profound negative consequences. If a military strike against Iran or Venezuela takes place, then meet at 33rd and N. Charles St., Baltimore 21218. If the attack is before 2 PM local time, then the event will begin at 5 PM, local time. If the attack occurs after 5 PM local time, then the event will begin at 5 PM, local time, the following day. Contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.   

72] -- If you would like to get rid of books, videos, DVDs, records, tarps and table cloths, contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at

73] -- Can you use any book shelves? Contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at

74] -- Join an extraordinary global campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons: A growing group of leaders around the world is calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons and a majority of the global public agrees.  This is an historic window of opportunity.  With momentum already building in favor of Zero, a major show of support from people around the world could tip the balance. When it comes to nuclear weapons, one is one too many.

75] – A Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil takes place every day in Lafayette Park, 1601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 24 hours a day, since June 3, 1981. Go to; call 202-682-4282.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

“One is called to live nonviolently, even if the change one works for seems impossible. It may or may not be possible to turn the US around through nonviolent revolution. But one thing favors such an attempt: the total inability of violence to change anything for the better" - Daniel Berrigan

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

This Is What an Opposition Party Is Supposed to Sound Like

·         NATION
This Is What an Opposition Party Is Supposed to Sound Like
Bernie Sanders’s moral outrage and devastating sarcasm struck back against a GOP assault on poor and low-income workers. 
MARCH 27, 2020

Senator Bernie Sanders speaks on the Senate floor. (Senate Television via AP)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Nation believes that helping readers stay informed about the impact of the coronavirus crisis is a form of public service. For that reason, this article, and all of our coronavirus coverage, is now free. Please subscribe to support our writers and staff, and stay healthy.
Republicans are using the coronavirus outbreak as an excuse to do the same thing they did during the financial meltdown of 2008: wage class war against working Americans. This time, Bernie Sanders is refusing to let them get away with it.

Employing a combination of moral outrage and devastating sarcasm, the Vermont senator shamed Republicans in a Wednesday Senate floor speech that ripped into them for prioritizing corporate bailouts while objecting to providing a measure of security for low-wage workers who have lost their jobs as much of the American economy has ground to a near halt.

“How absurd and wrong is that? What kind of value system is that?” demanded Sanders, as he railed against a Republican amendment that would have constrained benefits at a time when the unemployment rate is skyrocketing. Even in the midst of the crisis, the senator thundered, “Some of my Republican friends have still not given up on the need to punish the poor and working people.”
In a matter of minutes, during a debate that focused on just one portion of a huge measure, Sanders illustrated how an opposition party is supposed to operate, and what it’s supposed to sound like. Refusing to let Republicans peddle the nonsense that invariably serves as a cover for the awful combination of bailouts for the wealthy and austerity for the working class, Sanders pushed back.

It was a fight Sanders expected to win, but it was the way he fought it that mattered: He hit as hard as the Republicans. And he claimed the moral high ground—inspiring the hashtag #ThankYouBernie to trend on social media as the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II wrote, “#ThankYouBernie for pointing out the immorality of Republicans funding big business & trying to strip out the few things in the bill to help poor & low income workers.”

Former senator Heidi Heitkamp, a moderate Democrat from North Dakota, circulated a video of the speech with the message, “I may not always agree with @BernieSanders but this is @BernieSanders at his very best. You go, my friend!”

Whether Sanders continues his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination as he trails former vice president Joe Biden or whether he folds at some point, his speech this week signaled that the senator will remain a transformative figure in the politics of the Democratic Party and the United States.
The fight that Sanders joined goes to the heart of concerns about the federal response to economic dislocation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. There is broad bipartisan agreement that Congress must move decisively to fund an urgent response. But there is a good deal of disagreement about how to respond to the economic fallout as states lock down in order to slow the spread of the deadly virus. There is a good deal of concern that the legislative process will be gamed by Republicans—and perhaps some Democrats—who are as inclined to bail out Wall Street in 2020 as they were in 2008. The wrangling over the Senate bill highlighted those concerns.
The $2 trillion relief package that the Senate approved Wednesday night does everything imaginable, and a few things that are unimaginable, for big business. The 880-page measure allocates $425 billion to create a fund controlled by the Federal Reserve, which permits massive loans to corporations. In addition, it makes $75 billion available for loans targeted to aid the airline and hotel industries.

The legislation is so friendly to big business that, even after it was reported on Thursday morning that a record 3.28 million people had filed for unemployment benefits, the Dow Jones surged because, as one analyst told CNBC, “the focus by the market now is on the fact we’re likely to get a historically large fiscal stimulus.” The wolves of Wall Street are excited by what economist Dean Baker correctly identifies as “the $500 billion slush fund that McConnell has made a centerpiece of the Senate bill.”

The measure would have been dramatically worse had Republicans not been faced with the reality of a divided Congress and the interventions of Senate minority leader Charles Schumer and his caucus, which fought for more than $100 billion for hospitals$150 billion dollars for state and local government, $30 billion in emergency education funding, $25 billion in emergency transit funding, vital initiatives for small businesses, and anti-corruption initiatives that Schumer said were toughened with the aid of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. The Democrats celebrated a plan providing direct payments averaging $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, as well as what Schumer dubbed “unemployment insurance on steroids.”

The package, as it was agreed to by Senate negotiators, featured a section—which Sanders and other progressives had championed—that supercharged unemployment benefits by promising out-of-work Americans up to four months of weekly unemployment checks from the states where they live and an additional $600 a week in benefits. It also established a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program to provide benefits to gig workers and the self-employed.

This level of care for vulnerable workers disturbed Republican Senators Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham, and Ben Sasse. Their objection? “Unless this bill is fixed, there is a strong incentive for employees to be laid off instead of going to work. This isn’t an abstract, philosophical point—it’s an immediate, real-world problem,” the senators claimed in a press statement, continuing:

If the federal government accidentally incentivizes layoffs, we risk life-threatening shortages in sectors where doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are trying to care for the sick, and where growers and grocers, truckers and cooks are trying to get food to families’ tables. This isn’t who we are as Americans; this isn’t what we do in a crisis. We must sadly oppose the fast-tracking of this bill until this text is addressed, or the Department of Labor issues regulatory guidance that no American would earn more by not working than by working.
Sanders responded immediately:
Unless these Republican Senators drop their objections, I am prepared to put a hold on this bill until stronger conditions are imposed on the $500 billion corporate welfare fund to make sure that any corporation receiving financial assistance under this legislation does not lay off workers, cut wages or benefits, ship jobs overseas, or pay workers poverty wages.
When the Republican amendment was debated Wednesday, Sanders held nothing back.
“So now I find that some of my Republican colleagues are very distressed. They’re very upset that somebody who is making $10, $12 an hour might end up with a paycheck for four months [amounting to] more than they received last week,” raged the senator. Aiming sarcastic fury at the Republicans, he shouted:
Oh, my God, the universe is collapsing. Imagine that! Somebody is making 12 bucks an hour, now, like the rest of us, faces an unprecedented economic crisis with the 600 bucks on top of their normal, regular unemployment check might be making a few bucks more for four months. Oh, my word, will the universe survive?
Noting that “these very same folks had no problem a couple years ago voting for a trillion dollars in tax breaks for billionaires and large profitable corporations,” Sanders added, “But when it comes to low-income workers, in the midst of a terrible crisis, maybe some of them earning or having more money than they previously made—oh my word, we gotta strip that out.”
The Senate did not strip it out. The Republican amendment failed, and the objecting senators folded—joining the full Senate in voting for the overall bill.

What was striking, and what will be remembered, is that in this chaotic moment Bernie Sanders framed an urgent debate around the fundamental premise that “one thing we must not do is punish low-income workers.”
John Nichols is The Nation’s national-affairs correspondent and host of Next LeftThe Nation’s podcast where politics gets personal with rising progressive politicians. He is the author of Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America, from Nation Books, and co-author, with Robert W. McChesney, of People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Baltimore Activist Alert -- April 1 - 5, 2020

44] Pax Christi USA's Movie of the Week – April 1 - 5
45] "USA Activism: How can we help the cause?"  – April 1
46] Community Meeting on Antisemitism -- April 1
47] Sew Face Masks – April 2
48] Student Loan Workshop: COVID-19 Relief and Policy Updates – April 2
49] Discuss how to prevent gun violence during COVID-19 – April 2
50] Discussion about the mental health implications of the pandemic – April 2
51] Phone Banking for Bill! – April 2
53] Launch of national phone-banking for Jamaal Bowman April 2
54] Book talk “In Paradigm Lost” – April 2
44] -- Pax Christi USA's Movie of the Week, in recognition of the birthday of Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers, is "Cesar Chavez" starring Michael Pena. It's available for rental on Amazon and other streaming services.  Each week, since so many of us are under "stay at home" orders, self-quarantined, or on lockdown, Pax Christi USA will recommend a "movie of the week" for us to watch and discuss in solidarity. The series is called "#AloneTogether Movie of the Week. Go to

45] -- You are Invited to Join in on Wed., April 1 at 7:30 PM on the Webinar "USA Activism: How can we help the cause?"  RSVP at

46] -- Jewish Voice for Peace is holding a Community Meeting on Antisemitism on Wed., April 1 at 8 PM EST. Join Rabbi Alissa Wise and JVP members and staff for a community conversation on antisemitism, its impacts, and what JVP can do as an organization. Register at

47] – Sew Face Masks for UMMS hosted by Pets on Wheels, P.O. Box 44176, Baltimore 21236, on Thurs., April 2 through April 30 from 1 to 4 PM. As many of you know, the hospital systems in the United States have been and will continue to be challenged to meet the needs of patients who may be COVID-19 positive. In light of this, in the coming weeks many hospitals will need additional personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued guidance approving the use of cloth masks, and anyone who has sewing experience should consider making cloth face masks to be delivered to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) for distribution.  There is a PDF for making folded masks at, and there are links below with detailed instructions, including a video, for making fitted and folded masks.

For example, there is DIY Cloth Face Mask (fitted mask):; and Folded Mask:  Both of the websites listed above follow CDC guidelines and have links to the CDC website. Unlike the N95 masks, these are not designed to prevent COVID-19 entirely; however, they will prevent some transmission, and the CDC has approved them for use. Once you have made the masks, please send them via mail to Susan Dorsey, 5401 Hamlet Avenue, Baltimore 21214.  If you have any questions about connecting with Susan, please email her ( Susan will deliver the face masks to UMSON weekly, and UMMC will arrange to send someone to UMSON to pick them up.

If you have questions, or need additional guidance for making the masks, please feel free to reach out to Deb Greenspan, who is coordinating this effort with Susan. Her email address is  Go to

48] – Join a free Student Loan Workshop: COVID-19 Relief and Policy Updates. The discussion will start online or via telephone on Thurs., April 2 at 2 PM ET.  Last week, the federal government approved a $2 trillion stimulus package that includes relief for people with federally-held student loans. Get help in understanding these recent changes and how they may affect your student loan payments.  RSVP at

49] – Join Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Brady Legal, Team ENOUGH, Guns Down America, and more for a webinar to discuss how to prevent gun violence during COVID-19. Explore the increase in firearm sales, what local leaders can do amid these uncertain times, and how activists can continue to demand for change. It will take place on Thurs., April 2 at 2 PM EST.  Register at

50] – On Thurs., April 2 from 3 to 4 PM ET, please join Physicians for Human Rights for the third in an ongoing series of webinars as our board members Dr. Gail Saltz and Dr. Kerry Sulkowicz lead an online discussion about the mental health implications of the pandemic, including the anxiety that comes with uncertainty, differentiating COVID-19 symptoms from anxiety symptoms and Mental health tips for frontline defenders and their families.  You are encouraged to submit questions for consideration at Please note, pre-registration for this call is required:,A5DE,1TO2EP,124NY,1.

51] – Phone Banking for Bill! by Friends of Bill Henry on Thurs., April 2 from 5 to 8 PM at 2801 Sisson St., Baltimore 21211. . With a lot of voters in Baltimore City being renters, sometimes the only way a campaign can reach them is through phone calls. Please come out and make a few calls to voters to let them know why Bill Henry is the right choice for Comptroller.  You can sign up here at: See

52] – Communities United’s very first VIRTUAL event begins on Thurs., April 2 from 6 to 7:30 PM, Virtual Committee Night Potluck: Food For ThoughtYou can join on your phone, laptop or tablet at  You can do it the old fashioned way by dialing in at 929-205-6099 and then entering the meeting ID: 204374327#.  Guest speakers are looking forward to sharing recent victories in Annapolis and next steps. If you have a favorite quarantine recipe to share, have it handy at check-in!

53] – On Thurs., April 2 at 7 PM ET, join SUNRISE join in the launch of national phone-banking for Jamaal Bowman of New York’s 16th Congressional District. Jamaal has been an educator for 20 years in his community. He's an incredibly inspiring candidate who is generating tons of grassroots support to take on an entrenched establishment incumbent. The future is always on his mind, and education is his top issue. He has a vision to make sure that the students of today are getting trained for the Green New Deal jobs of tomorrow, and is fighting to make that a reality. To participate check out

54] -- Hear a conversation and book signing with Ian S. Lustick, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations on Thurs., April 2 at 7 PM at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church Family Center, 10 Old Church Road, Wilmington, DE 19807. Why have Israelis and Palestinians failed to achieve a two-state solution to the conflict that has cost so much and lasted so long? “In Paradigm Lost,” Lustick brings 50 years as an analyst of the dispute to argue that negotiations for a two-state solution are counterproductive. Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs can enjoy the democracy they deserve but only after decades of struggle amid the unintended but powerful consequences of today's one-state reality. There will be a book signing following the conversation. RSVP to

To be continued

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs