Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Baltimore Activist Alert - July 6 -7, 2016

18] Requiem for a River – July 6  
19] Colombian Peace Process – July 6
20] Drone Data and Transparency – July 6
21] Sierra Club’s Energy Committee Meeting – July 6
22] Misogyny workshop – July 6
23] Rep. Cummings, no to TPP – July 7
18] – Hear about the Requiem for a River. This is a discussion on the Future of the Mekong, specifically on-the-ground impacts of Mekong hydropower development, with a focus on The Economist’s Requiem for a River essay. It is happening at the Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave. NW, 8th Floor, WDC 20036, on Wed., July 6 from 10:30 AM to noon. Go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1c1HpE0rKTK71VgbkOF8OqdJZ7mslIbXOanLEkSfHlBY/viewform.  Hydropower development in the Mekong basin has long been contentious as six riparian countries pursue individual and uncoordinated plans for use of the river’s water. China’s cascade upstream dams in Yunnan province and Laos’ plans for mainstream dams in the lower Mekong generate significant political fault lines over the impacts of hydropower on vital downstream fisheries and agricultural yields and the millions of people who depend on them in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.  Jon Fasman’s elegiac essay, "Requiem for a River", published earlier this year in The Economist brings the realities of life along the Mekong from China to the Delta in Vietnam into sharp focus, giving brief, insightful vignettes of the way that development is affecting millions who live along the Mekong River’s banks and their concerns for the river’s future.

19] – Amazon Watch and Healing Bridges invite you to a "Green Bag" presentation The Devil's in the Details, Lessons from the Kofan struggle for the Colombian Peace Process, on Wed., July 6 from 12:30 to 2 PM at Amazon Watch / CIEL Conference Room, 1350 Connecticut Ave. NW, #1100, (Above Cosi, Dupont Circle South), WDC.  Celebrate the Colombian government's and the FARC's efforts to end their fratricidal war, the Kofan Traditional Authorities' struggle for survival illustrates a key challenge for a lasting peace, namely, the failure of Colombian institutions to fulfill their mandates. The recent two-week national strike and marches by indigenous, afro-descendent, and rural peoples at more than 100 points throughout Colombia highlighted the state's failure to make good on its past commitments.

The government's deficiency in observing the rule of law and respecting basic democracy is revealed by zeroing in on the details. In the Kofan case, the factor that exacerbates all of the problems that keep the Kofan at a state of imminent risk of physical and/or cultural extermination is the Directorate of Indigenous Affairs' unwillingness to treat the Kofan people with respect, instead propping up an organization that is in essence a criminal enterprise. When one adds to that the failure of other state institutions to fulfill their basic mandates, one gets the deplorable state of affairs that continue to ravage the indigenous peoples of Colombia. Carlos Salinas directs Healing Bridges, accompanying the Kofan Traditional Authorities (shamans) of the Colombian Amazon, translating their needs into petitions to the Colombian Government and engaging outside actors so that the petitions are respected. Salinas has been in Kofan territory more than fifty times over the past twelve years.

20] – Drone Data and Transparency: Putting New Drone Casualty Data into Perspective on Wed., July 6 from 1 to 2:30 PM at the Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave. NW, 8th Floor, WDC 20036.  RSVP at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1PJasEe5DC9nCui23Q1mtOym4Im8ucgcKrCmarRVel9c/viewform. On July 1st, the Obama administration provided long-anticipated information concerning civilians killed by U.S. drone strikes in areas outside Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria since 2009. This release represents the first such public disclosure of casualty figures from U.S. drone operations after years of secrecy and assurances of greater transparency. The president also issued an executive order requiring annual disclosures on strikes and civilian casualties.

Please join the Stimson Center for a discussion on the release of the drone casualty data and executive order, and what they contribute to the greater understanding of the extent and impact of the U.S. drone program. Experts will provide analyses of the casualty figures, discuss how the information compares to current assessments and understandings of the U.S. drone program, and offer insights on what the release of this data and the executive order may mean for the next administration. It will feature Hina Shamsi, Director of the National Security Project, American Civil Liberties Union, Scott Shane, National Security Reporter, The New York Times, and Rachel Stohl, Senior Associate, Stimson Center.

21] – The Sierra Club’s Energy Committee Meeting is happening on Wed., July 6 from 7 to 9 PM, hosted by the Maryland Chapter, at Suite 202, 3000 Chestnut Ave., Baltimore MD 2121.  The leader is Richard Reis - 301-325-8001 or rich.reis1@gmail.com.  The Committee mission is: “Moving Maryland beyond coal by advancing clean renewable energy and energy conservation” We meet monthly, alternating in Baltimore, College Park, and Silver Spring (or by phone) to advance our mission. We focus on: 1. Coal plant retirement, especially Crane, Wagner, Chalk Point, and Dickerson by 2020. 2. Decarbonize the electrical sector – 40% of electrical energy will be from clean renewable sources by 2025. 3. Achieve a 2% aggregate reduction in energy demand per year through 2025. The meetings are also a chance to meet your fellow Club members and activists.

22] –   At the Washington Peace Center, 1525 Newton St. NW, WDC, on Wed., July 6 from 7 to 9 PM, join a workshop in identifying systemic and institutional causes and effects of anti-black misogyny. By the end of the training, you'll be able to identify the ways in which interpersonal and intrapersonal racism manifests in the lives of black femmes and women. Additionally, you'll be given tools to address not only our personal anti-black racism against black femmes and women, but also what we encounter as witnesses.

23] –   On Thurs., July 7 from 5 to  7 PM, come to Rep. Elijah Cummings' office, 1010 Park Ave., Baltimore 21201, to tell him to vote against the TPP. Congressman Cummings is the head of the Democratic Party Platform Committee. Obama recently gave orders that the platform committee must support the TPP, even though Democratic voters are opposed to it. As Cummings heads to the next round of platform talks in Florida, let's send a strong message that the TPP is betrayal. Is Cummings going to obey a lame duck president or the will of the people? Tell Cummings to Flush the TPP! Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/1273022732737761/.

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 

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