Baltimore Activist Alert February 3 – 6, 2015
"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours." - Martin Luther King Jr.
Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center.
Go to www.baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com. If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to BNC, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218. Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski [at] verizon.net.
1] Books, buttons & stickers
2] Web site for info on federal legislation
3] Join Nonviolent Resistance lists
4] Buy coffee through HoCoFoLa
5] How can middle school students get involved?
6] Selfies for Daksh Sood
7] Yemen, a success? – Feb. 3
8] Annual Environmental Legislative Summit -- Feb. 3
9] No JHU Drone Research -- Feb. 3
10] Book talk THE AGE OF DIGNITY – Feb. 3
11] Film "The Man Who Saved the World" -- Feb. 3
12] What Does Arab, Desi, and Muslim solidarity look like for #BlackLivesMatter? – Feb. 3
13] Black Lives Matter – Feb. 3
14] Book “Black Labor White Wealth: The Search for Economic Justice” – Feb. 3
15] Egyptian blogger to speak – Feb. 4
16] “Energy Security in the Caribbean: Unique Challenges” – Feb. 4
17] The Role of the U.S. Churches in the BDS Movement – Feb. 4
18] See the Dalai Lama film – Feb. 4
19] Nonviolence training – Feb. 4
20] Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly Monthly Organizing Meeting – Feb. 4
21] Johann Hari presents “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs” - Feb. 4
22] Protest Colin Powell – Feb. 4
23] Stop the Exelon-Pepco merger – Feb. 5
24] Phone bank for Housing for All Rally – Feb. 5
25] From Mississippi to Ferguson – Feb. 5
26] Book talk “Letters to My Black Sons” – Feb. 5
27] Fight for Net Neutrality – Feb. 5 - 6
28] Silent peace vigil -- Feb. 6
29] See the film AMERICAN GUN -- Feb. 6
1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available. “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Donate your books to Max. Call him at 410-366-1637.
2] – To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/. Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.
3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR]. It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed. It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to the war in Iraq. To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to mobuszewski at Verizon dot net. Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.
THE NOTICES LIST will include only notices of NCNR actions and related information and is open to any interested person to subscribe. It will be moderated to maintain focus & will include periodic notices about getting involved in NCNR national organizing. To join the NOTICES List, send an email message to mobuszewski at Verizon dot net.
4] – You can help safeguard human rights and fragile ecosystems through your purchase of HOCOFOLA Café Quetzal. Bags of ground coffee or whole beans can be ordered by mailing in an order form. Also note organic cocoa and sugar are for sale. For more details and to download the order form, go to http://friendsoflatinamerica.typepad.com/hocofola/2010/02/hocofola-cafe-quetzal-order-form-2010.html. The coffee comes in one-pound bags.
Fill out the form and mail it with a check made out to HOCOFOLA on or before the second week of the month. Be sure you indicate ground or beans for each type of coffee ordered. Send it to Francine Sheppard at 5639B, Harpers Farm Rd., Columbia 21044. The coffee will arrive some time the following week and you will be notified where to pick it up. Contact Francine at 410-992-7679 or FrancineMSW@aol.com.
5] – I spoke at the Crossroads Public Charter School recently. And a school representative asked how middle school students can be involved in social justice issues. If you have any ideas, let Max know at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at Verizon dot net.
6] – Selfies for Daksh Sood: Next steps for reuniting a 3-year-old child, barred from Canada, with his Ottawa parents. Canada has barred a 3-year-old child from ever living in Canada with his Ottawa parents, all due to an honest error in immigration paperwork. Over 6,000 people have signed a petition calling for Daksh Sood to be allowed into Canada to live with his parents. Sign at https://www.change.org/p/citizenship-and-immigration-minister-chris-alexander-allow-3-year-old-daksh-to-live-in-canada-with-his-parents?just_created=true.
If you have children of any age, why not take a picture of yourself with them holding the following sign: Kids Need Their Parents, Bring Daksh Sood to Canada. Post your picture on your own Facebook page with a link to this petition https://www.change.org/p/citizenship-and-immigration-minister-chris-alexander-allow-3-year-old-daksh-to-live-in-canada-with-his-parents?just_created=true.
Email your picture to Immigration Minister Chris Alexander (Minister@cic.gc.ca, Chris.Alexander@parl.gc.ca) and Prime Minister Stephen Harper (email@example.com), and blind copy the Rural Refugee Rights Network (firstname.lastname@example.org). Cut and paste the text of the petition at https://www.change.org/p/citizenship-and-immigration-minister-chris-alexander-allow-3-year-old-daksh-to-live-in-canada-with-his-parents?just_created=true and add your names at the bottom, along with additional comments you feel moved to include. Be polite in your comments, as they all reflect on the family!
In Subject Line of your email, mention something about supporting Daksh Sood, your city, etc. (i.e. I'm in Toronto and support Daksh Sood, Kids Need Their Parents or Bring Daksh Sood Home to Canada, Family Reunification is Critical!) Email email@example.com. Matthew Behrens, Rural Refugee Rights Network, can also be reached at 613-267-3998 or http://rrrncanada.blogspot.ca./.
7] – Get over to Georgetown University, 3700 O St. NW, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, WDC, on Tues., Feb. 3 at 12:30 PM. Last September, in announcing military operations against ISIS/ISIL, President Obama referred to Yemen as a US policy success, to the bafflement of many within and outside the country at the time. The jury was still out on our drone-dependent security/CT operations, the economy was in disarray and the political transition - a relative bright spot - was dimming. Recent events call the September judgment into even more question. What is really happening, and what does it mean for the US, the region, and the Yemenis? Go to http://guevents.georgetown.edu/event/yemen_-_if_this_is_a_policy_success_what_does_failure_look_like_with_ambasssador_barbara_bodine#.VMpfRNLF9Fs%20.
8] – The 2015 General Assembly started with many new elected officials, and a brand new administration. In this time of transition it's up to us to make sure our environmental values are heard in Annapolis. Join Maryland League of Conservation Voters and its environmental partners for the 21st Annual Environmental Legislative Summit on Tues., Feb. 3 from 4 to 6 PM at the Miller Conference Room, Miller Senate Building, 11 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401. Learn about the environmental agenda for the next 4 years. Maryland has made tremendous strides and become a national leader on environmental issues. And while Maryland is not immune to the nation’s tough economic times, we have stayed the course to protect what is important to us: a legacy to pass on to future generations that ensures that all Marylanders have access to clean air, clean water, and unpolluted lands. RSVP at https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/288/personal2.asp?formid=meetedfund&c=4458971.
Work diligently for babies, bees and the Bay by introducing the Pollinator Protection Act. The growing and widespread use of toxic neonicotinoid pesticides is a major contributor to the alarming decline of honey bees. This poses a serious threat to our food supply, wildlife and to human health. The Pollinator Protection Act will label nursery plants treated with these toxic, bee-killing pesticides and will restrict their consumer use. RSVP at https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/288/personal2.asp?formid=meetedfund&c=4860735.
9] – Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" each Tuesday at 33rd & North Charles Sts. Join this ongoing vigil on Feb. 3 from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. Call Max at 410-366-1637.
10] – Join Sarita, executive director, Jobs With Justice, and co-director, Caring Across Generations, on Tues., Feb. 3 at 6:15 PM in a celebration of the release of “The Age of Dignity,” a wonderful new book written by my good friend and Caring Across Generations co-director Ai-jen Poo. John Cavanaugh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, will join us at Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St. NW, WDC 20009, to discuss the changes we need in our culture and public policy for all people to age with dignity, independence and choice. Use the U Street Metro Station (Green/Yellow Lines). RSVP at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/caring-across-america-busboys-and-poets-tickets-15444869019.
11] -- See a screening and discussion of "The Man Who Saved the World," hosted by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, 1212 Van Munching Hall (Tyser Auditorium), College Park, MD on Tues., Feb. 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cissm-special-event-screening-and-discussion-of-the-man-who-saved-the-world-tickets-15376708148.
12] – Go to the Washington Peace Center, 1525 Newton St., WDC, on Tues., Feb. 3 at 6:30 PM to hear What Does Arab, Desi, and Muslim solidarity look like for #BlackLivesMatter? Every 28 hours, a Black person in America is murdered at the hands of the state. This form of systemic violence is deeply interconnected to structural racism, and the larger devaluation of Black lives. The recent events from Ferguson to NYC have galvanized individuals who want to move from being passive allies to active allies in solidarity with eradicating structural racism and oppression. This workshop will be facilitated by Darakshan Raja, Program Manager, Washington Peace Center and Khadija Mehter with the DC Campaign Against Police Brutality. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/416637231835095/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular&fref=nf.
13] – Beyond the Classroom at U of MD, 1102 South Campus Commons, Building 1, College Park, will host on Tues., Feb. 3 at 7 PM a talk with D.C. #BlackLivesMatter Activists. In August 1964, activist Dave Dennis gave the eulogy at the funeral of James Chaney, a black civil rights worker who was killed in Mississippi at the start of the Freedom Summer. Dennis refused to make the typical eulogy and instead gave an emotional call to get angry and organize, "I don’t grieve for James Chaney. He lived a fuller life than many of us will ever live. He’s got his freedom, and we’re still fighting for ours. I’m sick and tired of going to the funerals of black men who have been murdered by white men...I’ve got vengeance in my heart tonight, and I ask you to feel angry with me. I’m sick and tired, and I ask you to be sick and tired with me." His eulogy, sparked by tragedy, marked a turning point of the Freedom Summer, mobilizing sharecroppers, domestic workers, and ordinary black Mississippians to join the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
In August 2014, the death of Michael Brown, Jr. at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri sparked nationwide protests around police brutality as a symptom of larger racial justice issues that plague communities of color every day. D.C. has seen sustained protests since August, and #DCFerguson is the grassroots, community group that has emerged and shaped the local response around ending "Jump-Out" Squads by police, addressing economic justice, and unequivocally demanding that Black Lives Matter. #DCFerguson has marched, rallied, staged die-ins, and teach-ins. On Feb. 3, three of the young organizers will share their stories of what inspired them to take action and discuss the strategies, tactics, and goals for the movement locally and nationally. See https://www.facebook.com/events/926604874030762/?ref=6&ref_notif_type=plan_user_invited.
14] – At the Emergence Community Arts Collective, 733 Euclid St. NW, WDC 20001 on Tues., Feb. 3 at 7 PM, the National Black United Front is holding a Sankofa Study Circle. Discuss the book “Black Labor White Wealth: The Search for Economic Justice” by Dr. Claud Anderson. Continue to build a Black Economic Base. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/418364994997646/?ref=6&ref_notif_type=plan_user_invited.
15] – On Wed., Feb. 4 at noon at the Kay Spiritual Life Center Lounge, American University, WDC, hear from Maikel Nabil, a political activist and blogger known for promoting liberal and democratic values in Egypt, who campaigned for peaceful relations between Egypt and Israel. He received the first Freedom Award in 2011 from the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY), was chosen as the Honorary Writer of the year 2012 by the mideastyouth.com, and was considered among the best Egyptian bloggers by The Daily Beast in January 2013. RSVP at KLSC@AMERICAN.EDU, and go to www.american.edu/ocl/kay.
16] – On Wed., Feb. 4 from noon to 5 PM, as a follow-up to the Vice President’s Caribbean Energy Security Summit, the American Security Project, 1100 New York Ave. NW, 7th Floor West Tower, WDC, will host a conference -- “Energy Security in the Caribbean: Unique Challenges.” The conference will examine the problems faced by the islands--energy insecurity, affordability, and availability. Uniquely, the islands in the Caribbean have few indigenous fossil fuel resources, so virtually all of their energy needs are met by imported fuel oil, the price of which can make or break the government’s budget. See http://www.americansecurityproject.org/event/conference-energy-security-in-the-caribbean-unique-challenges/.
17] – The Palestine Center, 2425 Virginia Ave. NW, WDC 20037, will host a discussion on the Role of the U.S. Churches in the BDS Movement on Wed., Feb. 4 from 1 to 2 PM. Spiritual groups have often been at the frontlines of human rights movements in the U.S. In recent years there have been dramatic positions taken by faith-based groups such as the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the United Church of Christ and the U.S. Mennonite Church, to divest from corporations that aid the Israeli occupation and contribute to human rights abuses against Palestinians. The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Divestment is hosting a panel to look at the role and significance of the churches in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the origins of this role, their landmark achievements, and challenges along the way. Panelists include Philip Farah of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace and David Wildman of the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Global Ministries. RSVP at http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/d/EventDetails/i/50110/pid/897.
18] – The Dalai Lama will be in Washington for the premiere of “Dalai Lama Awakening,” a documentary narrated by Harrison Ford, at the Angelika Pop-Up Cinema, Union Market, at 6:30 PM on Wed., Feb. 4. Go to www.DalaiLamaFilm.com. The evening will include a Q&A with director Khashyar Darvich.
19] – The Washington Peace Center, 1525 Newton St. NW, WDC, on Wed., Feb. 4 at 7 PM, is continuing its Nonviolent Direct Action training. Roll up your sleeves and delve deeper into some of the staples for nonviolent action: campaigning and strategy. Rosa Lozano and Noor Mir will go through some staples for nonviolent strategizing: brainstorming, power analyses, goal-setting and envisioning, and some of those long-term planning tools that any movement-builder should have a firm grasp on. You'll leave with a better sense of how to push your campaign forward, establish clear goals, messaging and methods of communication, and manage group dynamics across various identities and backgrounds. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/808338375904740/.
20] – The Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly Monthly Organizing Meeting is happening on Wed., Feb. 4 from 7 to 8:30 PM at 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21218. Call 443-221-3775.
21] –Johann Hari presents Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs on Wed., Feb. 4 at 7:30 PM @ Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201. On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the prohibition of drugs, Hari set off on an epic three-year, 30,000-mile journey into the drug war to uncover its secrets – and he found that there is a startling gap between what we have been told and what is really going on. The book tells the story of this war through the stories of people Hari met or learned about on his long journey - from Baltimore girl Billie Holiday, who he reveals was stalked and killed by the founder of the war on drugs; to a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn; to a Baltimore cop who saw what the drug war is really all about; to the only country to ever legalize all drugs, from cannabis to crack, with remarkable results. Call 443-602-7585. Go to http://www.redemmas.org.
22] – Retired Gen. Colin Powell will be speaking on Wed., Feb. 4 at 8 PM at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium, 1021 Dulaney Valley Rd., Towson 21286, as part of the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Visiting Professorship Series. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was born in Harlem in 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx. He later became the 65th secretary of state and the first African American to hold the position. His talk, entitled “Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust, and Values” is an insult to all of us who protested the Iraq War. So the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore will protest outside from 7:15 to 8 PM. RSVP to Max at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at Verizon dot net. If you choose to go inside to protest, there is a $10 general admission. On February 5, 2003, Powell made a presentation at the United Nations claiming Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction as a prelude to the invasion. The hypocrite actually opposed the war.
23] -- Stop the Exelon-Pepco merger by taking action on Thurs., Feb. 5 at 10:30 AM against the country's largest nuclear power utility, Exelon, 750 Pratt St, Baltimore. As the Maryland Public Service Commission enters its last week of accepting public comments, join Public Citizen, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, PowerDC and people from across Maryland, D.C. and Delaware at a rally to show the widespread public opposition to this merger.
RSVP at http://action.citizen.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12674. A takeover by Exelon of Pepco would be a disaster for ratepayers and for the growth of renewable energy in our region. It would saddle us with the burden of Exelon's uneconomic, dangerous reactors and radioactive waste for generations. We can't let it happen. Go to www.nirs.org.
24] – On Thurs., Feb. 5 at 5:30 PM, do phone banking with CNHED at WeWork Wonder Bread Factory, 641 S St. NW, WDC, to invite supporters to the upcoming Housing for All Rally. The rally is the big opportunity to show city officials (including Mayor Bowser) the power the people represent. Visit http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5483/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=72978%20.
25] – "From Mississippi to Ferguson, Lessons Learned, the Road Ahead" is happening on Thurs., Feb. 5 at 7 PM at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, 430 E. Belvedere Ave., Baltimore 21212. Doors open at 6:30 PM, and refreshments will be available. Tie in lessons from SNCC tactics of the 1960s to today's upsurge against police violence and injustice. The speakers, Larry Rubin and Courtney Mercado, have been/are deeply involved in today's struggles and their history. The Charm City Labor Chorus will enhance our program through song. RSVP to Cindy at 443-275-1095.
26] – Karsonya Whitehead will read from her book Letters to My Black Sons”on Thurs., Feb. 5 at 7:30 PM @ Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201. “Dear boys: I found out today that I was going to be a mommy. It took some time for me to believe this because there is nothing that I have done in my life that has prepared me for this moment. I am not sure if I can be the mommy that you deserve to have. How can I mother you when I have not been able to mother myself? How can I give you the tools to survive this brutal world when I have not been able to craft these tools to save myself? How can I stand up for you when my whole life has been spent trying so hard to stand up for myself? I am not perfect. I am flawed. And now, I am pregnant.” And so begins Karsonya Wise Whitehead’s poignant and heart-wrenching letters to her sons. For fourteen years, she has been charting every step of their development, from the womb through their toddler years and now as teenage boys. She has used their lives as a lens through which to examine and deconstruct the world. From her fears about 9-11 to her conversations with them about the protests in Ferguson, every moment allows the reader to have unique insight into what it means to be a black mother raising black boys in a race-conscious, post-racial America. Call 443-602-7585. Go to http://www.redemmas.org.
27] – From Thurs., Feb. 5 at 8 PM through Fri., Feb. 6 at 1 AM, learn about the fight for net neutrality at Marx Café, 3203 Mount Pleasant St. NW, WDC. You can help ensure an open Internet for all. Grab some dinner or drinks and listen to DJ Diaspora, playing her all-vinyl mix of broken beat, deep house, electronic and African and Latin beats. See https://soundcloud.com/dia-spora/goddamn. Donations to Popular Resistance are appreciated, but all are welcome. Check out www.Popularresistance.org for more on net neutrality. See https://www.facebook.com/events/1481039328853701/?ref=6&ref_notif_type=plan_user_invited.
28] – There is usually a silent peace vigil on Fridays, from 5 to 6 PM, sponsored by Homewood Friends and Stony Run Meetings, outside the Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St. The Feb. 6 vigil will remind us that War Is Not the Answer and that there is the need to stop torture, and prosecute the torturers. Following the vigil, there will be a potluck dinner and a DVD screening.
29] – The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee, Baltimore Quaker Peace and Justice Committee of Homewood and Stony Run Meetings and Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility are continuing the FILM & SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS DVD SERIES. After dinner at 3107 N. Charles St., around 7:15 PM, a DVD will be shown with a discussion to follow. There is no charge, and refreshments will be available. Call 410-366-1637 or email mobuszewski at Verizon.net.
The series theme is CAN WE SAVE THE PLANET??? See AMERICAN GUN [USA, 2005]. The film centers around three stories dealing with the results of gun use. One story is about an inner city school principal, Forest Whitaker, in Chicago, who threatens one of his most promising students with expulsion after catching him with a handgun. In Oregon, a single mother, Marcia Gay Harden, tries to protect her son, after a Columbine-like massacre. Finally, an A student at the University of Virginia, Linda Cardellini, who works at her family's gun shop gets a gun after his best friend’s near rape at a fraternity house. Also starring are Donald Sutherland, Amanda Seyfried and Tony Goldwyn. The screenplay was written by Steven Bagatourian and Aric Avelino, and directed by Avelino in his debut. The film was influenced by stories about how students brought guns to school, not necessarily to use them, but as protection because of the dangerous neighborhoods they live in or have to walk through.
To be continued.
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.
"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