Friday, August 10, 2018

Baltimore Activist Alert -- August 11 - 16, 2018


64] Volunteer with DC Central Kitchen – Aug. 11
65] National Lighthouse Day – Aug. 11
66] Chester County Peace Vigil – Aug. 11
67] Meet and Greet – Aug. 11
68] Cat Yoga Aug. 11
69] Restorative Justice – Aug. 11
70] Support Pat Elder – Aug. 11
71] Pig Fundraiser – Aug. 11
72] Teach-In on gun control Aug. 11
73] Art of Misdirection – Aug. 11
74] Baltimore against hate – Aug. 12
75] Improv at the BES – Aug. 12
76] Baltimore against hate – Aug. 12
76] Hate not welcome == Aug. 12
77] Green Party Meeting – Aug. 12
78] Protest the Pentagon – Aug. 13
79] Protest the NRA – Aug. 14
80] "No Drone Research at JHU" – Aug. 14
81] A refugee’s perspective == Aug. 15
82] The Gaza generation == Aug. 16
83] Do you want to join a peace caravan?
84] Emergency Demonstration against an attack on Iran or North Korea  
85] JONAH HOUSE NEEDS WORKERS FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
86] Donate books, videos, DVDs and records  
87] Do you need any book shelves?
88] Join the Global Zero campaign
89] Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil

64] -- On Sat., Aug. 11 from 8:45 AM to noon, volunteer with DC Central Kitchen, 425 2nd St. NW, WDC 20001.  Get tickets at 2239dccentralkitchen2018.eventbrite.com.  Join 2239 to help DC Central Kitchen prepare more than 5,000 meals to combat hunger.  The 5,000 free meals dished out each day are loaded into our fleet of trucks and distributed at little or no cost to 80 nearby homeless shelters, transitional homes, and nonprofit organizations, saving them money and nourishing their clients. Check out https://www.facebook.com/events/1113896908786601/.

65] – On Sat., Aug. 11 from 10 AM to 5 PM, enjoy the National Lighthouse Day Celebration, hosted by Concord Point Light House, 700 Concord St., Havre de Grace 21078. There will be music and children’s activities throughout the day. The ice cream social includes FREE ice cream from 1-3 PM! Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/279614572813398/.

66] – Each Saturday, 11 AM – 1 PM, Chester County Peace Movement holds a peace vigil in West Chester in front of the Chester County Courthouse, High & Market Sts. Go to www.ccpeace.org. Email ccpeacemovement@aol.com.

67] – On Sat., Aug. 11 from 11 AM to 1 PM, there is a Meet & Greet, hosted by Southeast German Shepherd Rescue at Pet Valu, 711 W. 40th St., Baltimore 21211. Come out to Petvalu to meet some dogs! Learn about German Shepherds and how you can help rescue as many as we can. Get a tee shirt and other items for sale. Go https://www.facebook.com/events/255330321681559/.

68] – On Sat., Aug. 11 from 1 to 2 PM, check out Cat Yoga, hosted by the Humane Society of Carroll County, Inc., 2517 Littlestown Pike, Westminster 21158.  Focus on https://www.facebook.com/events/246933555923684/.

69] – On Sat., Aug. 11 from 1 to 5 PM, catch a Reunion Intro to Restorative Justice Re-integration Circles at St. Luke's Mission Center, Wesley Room, 3655 Calvert St. NW, WDC 20007, just off Wisconsin Ave. NW.  Register  at https://www.facebook.com/stlukesmissioncenter/.

Restorative Justice is a philosophy and set of practices that engage community in building relationships and repairing harm through inclusive dialogue, deep understanding, and shared power. This workshop will be largely experiential and learning-by-doing. The skills learned can be modified and applied in many facets of life, including schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, justice system, families, etc.  Contact Sal Corbin at sal.corbin@yahoo.com.

70] – There is an organizational meeting for Pat Elder’s congressional campaign on Sat., Aug. 11 from 3 to 5 PM at the New Deal Café, 113 Centerway, Greenbelt. Help hand out flyers at Metro stations after Labor Day. Go to www.elderforcongress.org.

71] --  On Sat., Aug. 11 from 4 to 6 PM, get over to the Crafting With Pigs Fundraiser, hosted by Whispering Rise Farm & Animal Sanctuary.  The cost is $15.  Everyone will be able to meet, feed and socialize with our 60 resident potbellied pigs. Kids will also enjoy various Nature and Pigs themed crafts with treasures to take home!  All donations support the growth of the Sanctuary to help expand and help more animals in need. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/464240494034959/.

72] – On Sat., Aug. 11 from 5 to 7 PM, be at a Teach-In on Gun Control, hosted by Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, WDC 20008. P&P’s series of teach-ins addressing the most urgent political problems of our day returns with a discussion of gun control in the United States. What are the best ways to prevent further deaths by gun violence in this country? What are the most rapidly attainable ways? What actions are available for private citizens to take, and how can we keep ourselves and our communities safe? Participants will include Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign; Zion Kelly, gun control activist and March For Our Lives speaker; and Craig Whitney, journalist and author of “Living with Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment.” See https://www.facebook.com/events/200323640642369/.

73] – On Sat., Aug. 11 at 6 PM, catch up with Professor James Small: America and the Art of Misdirection, hosted by Everlasting Life Vegan Restaurant, 9185 Central Ave., Capitol Heights 20743. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/1864315860331437/.

74] – Activists and organizers from Baltimore are traveling to D.C. Sunday. Aug 12, together to prove to the far right that they will be outnumbered and out-organized wherever they go. We want to rally our communities and stand in solidarity against hate, violence and oppression. It takes all people of conscience to stand up to the fascists. Gather outside Baltimore's Penn Station (1525 N Charles St) starting at 9:30 AM for a speak out with light breakfast and coffee. After the speak out, take the MARC train to D.C. together. In D.C., there will be a rally at Freedom Plaza starting at noon, 14th and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.   We can take the Red Line Metro (subway) from Union Station 2 stops to the Metro Center stop, then walk 3 blocks south to Freedom Plaza.

Pack snacks and water, dress for the weather, and prepare to chant, march, and make a ton of noise!!  Facebook event for the DC rally: https://www.facebook.com/events/1828840477181321/.  Contact Richard Ochs, Peace Action, Bmore4peace.org, at 443-846-6638.

75] – Usually, the Baltimore Ethical Society, 2521 St. Paul St., Baltimore 21218, meets on Sundays, and generally there is a speaker and discussion at 10:30 AM.  On Sun., Aug. 12, the topic is “Improv at the BES.”  There is an improvisational theater group on a drop-in basis, open to people having any level of improv experience. Six people (one of whom just moved) have been very committed and have participated just about every week. This group includes both BES members and nonmembers. Some have some prior experience while two have never done anything like this before in their lives. The name “Humanist Improv Group” is appropriate because really good improv is based on humanist principles, the chief one being that bringing out the best in others is the way to bring out the best in ourselves. While many view improv as a vehicle for getting quick laughs and being the star of the show, the core of good improvisational theater is paying close attention to and supporting scene partners along with maintaining the “truth” of the scene. Call 410-581-2322 or email ask@bmorethical.org.

76]   On Sun., Aug. 12 from noon to 5 PM, get over to Hate Not Welcome: No Unite The Right 2, hosted by 350 DC in Freedom Plaza, 14th St. NW and Pennsylvania Ave., WDC 20004.  Rally in Freedom Plaza.  At 3:30PM, March to Lafayette Square. Nearby Metro stations, Farragut West and McPherson, will be closed and the Metro Center station will only serve Red Line trains. The Red Line shutdown continues between NoMa-Gallaudet and Fort Totten. The Orange, Blue, and Silver Lines are expected to have heavy delays. Please consider alternative transportation such as Metro Bus, cab, or bike.  Email shutitdowndc@protonmail.com.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1828840477181321.

77]   On Sun., Aug. 12 from 4 to 6 PM, the Baltimore Green Party is meeting at 1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21201-5749.  Engage in popular education, strategic decision making, and general camaraderie. All Greens and allies are welcome.  To be a decision making member of the local, you must live in Baltimore City, choose Green as your official voter affiliation, complete the membership form at bgp.nationbuilder.com/membership and sign up for monthly dues. See https://www.facebook.com/events/255096055094858/.

78] – There is a weekly Pentagon Peace Vigil from 7 to 8 AM on Mondays, since 1987, outside the Pentagon Metro stop.  The next vigil is Aug. 13, and it is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.  Email artlaffin@hotmail.com or call 202-882-9649.  The vigil will be outside the Pentagon's south Metro entrance and in the designated "protest zone" behind bicycle fences across from the entrance to the Metro.  By Metro, take Yellow Line and get out at the "Pentagon" stop. Do not go to the Pentagon City stop! Go up south escalators and turn left and walk across to protest area. By car from D.C. area, take 395 South and get off at Exit 8A-Pentagon South Parking. Take slight right onto S. Rotary Rd. at end of ramp and right on S. Fern St. Then take left onto Army Navy Dr. You can "pay to park" on Army Navy Dr.,  and there is meter parking one block on right on Eads St. Payment for both of these spots begin at 8 AM.  No cameras are allowed on Pentagon grounds. Restrooms are located inside Marriott Residence Inn on corner of S. Fern and Army Navy Dr.

79] –  On Tues., Aug. 14 from 10 to 11 AM,  join the monthly prevent gun violence vigil outside the NRA Headquarters, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030.

80] – Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" each Tuesday at 33rd & North Charles Sts. Join this ongoing vigil on Aug. 14 from 5:30  to 6:30 PM. Contact Max at mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net or 410-323-1607. 

81] –  August 15, 2018, 12:30 PM - UNRWA's Role and Impact in the Gaza Strip: A Refugee's Perspective - Featuring: Mohammed Eid, a 28-year-old Palestine refugee who is currently a Rotary Peace Scholar pursuing a master's degree in Global Studies and International Development through a joint program at the University of North Carolina and Duke University.  Held at The Jerusalem Fund, 2425 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037.  For more info: https://www.thejerusalemfund.org/events/upcoming/unrwas-role-and-impact-in-the-gaza-strip-a-refugees-perspective. 

82] – August 16, 2018 10 AM – Gaza's Next Generation: Life Inside the Strip & the Struggle for Palestine's Future - Featuring: Yousef Bashir and Mohammed Eid, moderated by Rhana Natour (PBS Newshour).  For more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gazas-next-generation-life-inside-the-strip-the-struggle-for-palestines-future-tickets-48568834692.  Held at the Foundation for Middle East Peace, 1319 18th Street NW, Second Floor, Washington, DC 20036.

83] – Do you have any interest in challenging the Trump administration for reneging on the Iran Deal? If yes, would you be interested in joining a Peace Caravan to the Iranian embassy in Washington, D.C.? Contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.  

84] – It is a violation of U.S. law for us 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 North Korea. The Mueller investigation is tightening the vise, and could cause Trump to attack those countries in order to divert attention from Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 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 preemptive military strike against Iran or North Korea takes place, then meet outside the War Memorial, 101 N. Gay St., Baltimore, MD 21202. If the attack is before 2 PM local time, then events will begin at 5 PM, local time. If the attack occurs after 2 PM local time, then events will begin at noon, local time, the following day. Contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.

85] – JONAH HOUSE NEEDS WORKERS FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE

After 44 years of resisting weapons and war, Jonah House is Baltimore is in danger of shutting down. Two of the three core members have announced their intention to leave the community as of May 2018. That leaves one core member, Joe Byrne, who will remain to recruit and re-form intentional community. But if no one steps forward, Jonah House will have to close.   Jonah House was founded by Phil Berrigan, Liz McAlister, and others, in 1973, during the Vietnam War. It was a center of resistance to that war. When the war ended, the focus of resistance became the nuclear arms race. This resistance blossomed into the Plowshares movement. Jonah House members have spent years in jail for Plowshares disarmament actions. Other members have spent years supporting them, and doing the work of the community in their absence. Resistance to weapons and war continues at Jonah House. More recently, Jonah House has also become involved in racial justice efforts in Baltimore, and the environmental justice movement.

  Jonah House is planted in the middle of a 22-acre, mostly-wooded cemetery in West Baltimore called St. Peter’s. Maintaining and slowly restoring St. Peter’s Cemetery is the work that pays the bills for the community. Jonah House also uses the property to serve the living as well as honor the dead. Our gardens and orchards feed the Jonah House community, and the surrounding neighborhood community, via a food pantry and weekly food distribution to low-income neighbors. We envision the cemetery—particularly the 11-acre forest patch—as a haven for the people of the neighborhood, international peace activists, and numberless living beings.

Jonah House is also an interfaith spiritual community. We pray or meditate together daily, and our spiritual practice informs and empowers everything we do, whether in the fields or in the streets. To continue the vision, Jonah House is looking for a few new core members willing to commit to a two-year stint. We are also open to short- and long-term interns (3 months to a year). The work of radical peacemaking, direct service to the poor, and stewarding the land requires workers. We pray that God will send laborers to the vineyard (yes, we have that too) and that Jonah House will continue to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable for another 44 years!  For more information, call 443-804-3410, or email us at engage@jonahhouse.org.

86] -- 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 comcast.net.

87] -- Can you use any book shelves? Contact Max at 410-323-1637 or mobuszewski2001 at comcast.net.

88] -- Join an extraordinary global campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons: http://www.globalzero.org/sign-declaration. 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.

89] – 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 http://prop1.org; call 202-682-4282.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

“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

Lawyers Turn to Activism as Civil Liberties Come Under Attack



Lawyers Turn to Activism as Civil Liberties Come Under Attack
Volunteer attorneys and legal advisers listen to testimony from the travel ban case as they wait to assist travelers in the international terminal at O'Hare Airport on February 7, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. A third of more than 500 pre-law students said the results of the 2016 election influenced their decision to become lawyers.

Volunteer attorneys and legal advisers listen to testimony from the travel ban case as they wait to assist travelers in the international terminal at O'Hare Airport on February 7, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois. A third of more than 500 pre-law students said the results of the 2016 election influenced their decision to become lawyers. SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES



August 10, 2018

To train a new generation of lawyers to fight for the rights of immigrants after the 2016 elections, Claire Thomas started an asylum clinic at the New York City law school where she taught.
In Seattle, Michelle Mentzer retired five years early as an administrative law judge so she could volunteer as an attorney with the ACLU.
And in Texas, Anna Castro traded her full-time job for contract work so she could prepare to attend law school to better serve her community.
The country is seeing a wave of legal activism as attorneys and attorneys-to-be have risen to defend civil liberties from the policies of the Trump administration and an increasingly conservative judiciary.
“Sometimes the law is taken for granted, like the air we breathe, and it’s not until we are gasping for breath that we can appreciate it,” said Kellye Testy, president of the Law School Admissions Council. Testy had served for 13 years as law school dean at Seattle University and the University of Washington in Seattle. “It is the lawyers who are there defending liberty and there when nothing else is going to help.”
And a new generation of social justice lawyers has apparently been inspired. Flat since at least the start of the Great Recession, law school applications are up nearly 9 percent. The number of people taking the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) through mid-July increased more than 23 percent over last year, according to the LSAC.
A third of more than 500 pre-law students said the results of the 2016 election influenced their decision to become lawyers, according to a survey by Kaplan Test Prep. “We need those young voices out there,” Testy said. “We need them to see that law can be a pathway to justice.”
It’s why Castro made the decision last year to step away from her full-time job to pursue a career in law. She had been working as communications director with Mi Familia Vota, a civic engagement organization, leading up to and after the 2016 election. As Trump’s policies have unfolded, she said, she wanted to explore other ways to effect the changes she knew would be needed in this country.
For her, this is also personal. Castro’s uncle, who like her parents came to the US from El Salvador, was detained and died after being deported last year. “I believe that we need more movement lawyers who understand the power of organizing and how clunky the law can be as a tool without popular education, in order to change the course the country is in now,” she said.
Today’s legal uprising harkens back to important chapters in US history, when attorneys used the law to advance important work for social change. Lawyers were the backbone of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, defying herculean obstacles to register voters; defending and seeking justice for those falsely accused, and standing alongside crusaders and activists as they protested in the struggle for social justice.
Lawyers partnered with labor to help improve conditions for American workers, and female lawyers led the progress on gender equality, including some who were denied admission to law school based on gender.
The LSAC and the LSAT were started seven decades ago, Testy said, “because law school admission was based on gender, or race, or religion or which college you attended or who your parents were and not individual merit. Schools came together to form a better way to assure quality and fairness.”
President Trump’s election triggered heightened concern over the erosion of civil liberties on multiple fronts — from the Muslim ban and abortion access to voting and gender rights. His administration hasquietly undone much of President Obama’s criminal justice reform legacy, replacing it with a more draconian vision of law enforcement.
There’s growing worry that the president of the United States is undermining the rule of law. So, increasingly, balance of power will have to rely on strong judiciary processes. And that takes a lot of lawyers, on both sides of all issues and rigorous testing in the courts.
Shortly after the election, Lawyers for Good Government mobilized 125,000 lawyers, law students, and activists nationwide, with the goal of defending democratic institutions and resisting “abuses of power and corruption.” Among their many actions was a disciplinary complaint with the Alabama State Bar Association against US Attorney General Jeff Sessions for perjury.
And the migrant crisis on the Mexican border sparked activism among a group of women lawyers who formed Lawyer Moms of America. In addition to engaging lawmakers, they are collecting airline miles and hotel points, and raising money to bring separated families together. The group’s 17,000-member roster of men and women, moms and non-moms continues to grow, co-founder Erin Albanese said.
Legal activism gained momentum in January 2017 when armies of lawyers showed up at airports after Trump’s Muslim travel ban stranded thousands of people around the world.
That spectacle inspired Eric Sproull to return to the practice of law after a decade-long hiatus. Sproull had been a lawyer in Chicago — representing minors in juvenile court in Cook County and volunteering and later working part time at a neighborhood clinic in Chicago. In 2006, he took leave to develop a career as a composer and music producer in Ann Arbor.
But after watching the chaos at the airport, he said, “I knew I wanted to practice law again, and I knew I wanted to focus on immigration law.”
Trump’s animus toward immigrants was clear from the start. He claimed that Mexico was sending rapists and murderers, and he pledged to bar Muslims from entering the country. His immigration policies have led to widespread deportations and family separations. And immigration law is where lawyers have been most active.
An adjunct professor at New York Law School, Claire Thomas is training the next generation to practice immigration law — but in a holistic way, she said. She recalled the day after the election when teary-eyed students, many of them immigrants, people of color, and LGBTQ, spoke about the fear of seeing their rights and that of their families weakened under Trump.
Right away, Thomas began hatching a plan for a clinic to train these students to become immigration lawyers. “My goal was that law students wouldn’t have any type of lifesaver complex, but would appreciate that clients’ lives are complex; and that while we are going to do everything we can for them as lawyers, we are also going to work with social workers and others who can help get them on a path to permanency and stability here in the United States.”
Her inaugural class was full. The clinic lasts an entire academic year, not just one semester as other clinics do, so students can see a case to the end — as much as that’s possible, she said, because little is predictable under this administration.
Amid DACA uncertainty, stricter requirements for those seeking asylum, and stepped-up deportation, the students have no shortage of cases. Thomas teaches her students how to find help for their clients among a network of service providers, from public assistance to mental health counseling. And “as the dumpster fire of the world burns brighter,” she said, she tries to make sure they understand the concept of vicarious trauma and the importance of self-care.
Word of an immigration raid affects everyone, clients as well as students — more than half of whom come from immigrant backgrounds. “They are fearful for their clients but also for themselves and their families,” she said.
As founder of Watson Immigration Law in Seattle and a British immigrant with Bangladeshi roots, Tahmina Watson understands that fear from both sides.
She served on the immigration working group for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and believed Trump’s campaign promises to get tough on immigrants were not just talk. After the election, Watson asked the local chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association to allow her to create a committee to respond to what she knew would be coming.
When the Muslim ban hit in January 2017, she helped lead the immigration lawyers’ response at the airport in Seattle and was part of a small team that created a web-based application for stranded immigrants trying to come home.
In July, she spearheaded the launch of a political action committee to fund the campaigns of South Asians seeking public office. And later, as migrant family separations on the Mexico border spiraled, she led the creation of another organization, Washington Immigrant Defense Network, combining the experience and skills of nonlawyers as well as immigration lawyers and non-immigration lawyers to provide free defense.
Watson and her fellow immigration lawyers are at the center of the maelstrom in the president’s hardline on immigration, as new policies and reinterpretation of old ones — most unseen by the public — have upended people’s lives. Prosecutorial discretion and other forms of relief available under President Obama are essentially off the table now.
It’s not lost on Watson as a Muslim and a naturalized US citizen that, for all the tools the law provides, Trump’s policies can still leave her and others like her as vulnerable as their clients.
“I would never have imagined that immigration laws could be used as a weapon for creating chaos and fear, for curtailing due process, and inflicting human rights abuses,” she said.
“It is crucial to recognize that this administration has plans to dismantle democracy as we know it,” she said. “Education, health care, climate change, public lands, social security, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights. And watch out for their attempt to reverse Roe v. Wade,” she said.
In the months after the 2016 elections, donations poured into legal organizations such as the ACLU as the work they did in defending and preserving Constitutional freedoms became even more vital.
It was why Mentzer, an administrative law judge in Seattle, decided to retire early and, in December 2016, was “writing letters to the ACLU, asking, “Can you use me?”
Before joining the Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings, Mentzer was a social justice lawyer, representing farm workers in Washington’s Yakima Valley and unions in Seattle.
“The ACLU has been at the forefront in preserving our democracy from an autocratic, right-wing, fringe administration; suing the administration as well as protecting the rights of those under attack, the LGBT and transgender communities and immigrants,” she said.
Mentzer is also politically engaged, working to help progressives flip a conservative seat in the district that includes her hometown of Bellevue, Washington. It’s important to have voices of courage willing to stand on the right side of democracy at every level of government, she said.
“It’s a constant mental exercise to feel knocked down and to pick yourself back up again, with an eye toward the positive arc of progression,” she said. “This election was the last gasp of the older white male. Demographics are on our side, and we have to keep reminding ourselves of these things.”
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This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

Lornet Turnbull ­­­­­­­­­­­­is a Seattle-based freelance writer. She most recently worked as a reporter for the Seattle Times, covering a range of social issues, including demographics, immigration and gay rights.
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.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




Baltimore Activist Alert - August 10, 2018


56] Train the Trainers Workshop – Aug. 10
57] WIB peace vigils – Aug. 10
58] White House vigil – Aug. 10
59] Solidarity with Immigrants Aug. 10
60] Teach-in & Interfaith Vigil – Aug. 10
61] Black Lives Matter – Aug. 10
62] Refugee Stories – Aug. 10
63] Ballroom Dancing – Aug. 10
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56] – On Fri., Aug. 10 from 10:30 AM to noon come to the Working Matters Train the Trainers Workshop covering the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (earned sick and safe leave) in Capitol Heights, MD with Progressive Maryland at Clout Workspace, 922 Hampton Overlook, Capitol Heights, MD. RSVP to Sulma at GuzmanS@publicjustice.org. 

57] – On Fri., Aug. 10 from noon to 1 PM, join a Women in Black peace vigil. A vigil will take place in McKeldin Square at the corner of Light and Pratt Sts.  STAY FOR LUNCH at Baba's Kitchen.  Warm-up, dry off, and enjoy a vegetarian chili lunch and lots of good conversation. Bring a side or topping for the chili.  There are still places at the table; invite a friend to come along with you.

  Another vigil is at Roland Park Place, 830 W. 40th St, Baltimore. 21211. However, if weather is iffy, contact Anne at awyattbr@gmail.com.  Lunch will take place at 1 PM at the RPP Café, 830 W. 40th St., Baltimore 21211.

  A third vigil will be in Chestertown, Kent County at Memorial Park at Cross Street and Park Row.  This vigil is looking for more peace bodies on the Eastern Shore.  Welcome to the network, Chestertown Women in Black.

Wear black. Dress for who knows what kind of weather.  Peace signs will be available. When there are others to stand with, you don't need to carry the burden alone. Do this to be in solidarity with others....when everything around us says “Be afraid of the stranger.” Carpool and parking available. Just send an email that you need a ride to: wibbaltimore@peacepath911.org.

58] – On Fri.,  Aug. 10 from noon to 1 PM, join the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in a vigil urging the powers that be to abolish war and torture, to disarm all weapons, to end indefinite detention, to close Guantanamo, to establish justice for all and help create the Beloved Community! This vigil will take place at the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Contract Art @ artlaffin@hotmail.com or at 202-360-6416. 

59] – On Fri., Aug. 10 from 3 to 5 PM,  get involved with Solidarity with Immigrants Picket, hosted by Baltimore Democratic Socialists of America at 3701 Koppers St., Halethorpe, MD 21227-1024. The US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) is the federal agency that administers the newly-formed "denaturalization task force," whose purpose is to revoke the citizenship of immigrants who are already naturalized US citizens. Stand in solidarity with all immigrants and in opposition to the deportation machine. We join the #AbolishICE movement in calling for amnesty for all undocumented people. We call on USCIS in particular to end the denaturalization task force, and to end its participation in this administration's racist attacks on immigrant rights.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/197680257762780/.

60] – On Fri., Aug. 10 from 3 to 7:15 PM,  participate in a Teach-in & Interfaith Vigil with Reps. Jamie Raskin and Eleanor Holmes Norton at the Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb St. NW, WDC 20016. This Teach-In on Effective Community Responses to Hate & White Supremacy will be held from 3 to 6 PM, and followed by an interfaith vigil until 7:15 PM. Reverend William J. Barber, II, president and lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, will deliver the keynote address, and Leonard Zeskind, Founder of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, will explain the current context of far-right organizing and vigilante violence. 

The teach-in will feature a panel discussion, entitled “Developing Effective Responses to Eliminate Hate.” The panel will feature Dr. Wes Bellamy, Vice Mayor, Charlottesville, VA; Dr. Randy Blazak, Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime; Lecia Brooks, Outreach Director, Southern Poverty Law Center; Monica Hopkins, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, D.C.; and Tony McAleer, Board Chair, Life After Hate.  Refreshments will be served throughout the teach-in and vigil.

Parking is available at Annunciation Church, 3810 Massachusetts Ave. NW, WDC 20016.  Please call Rep. Raskin’s D.C. office at 202-225-5341 with any questions. See https://www.facebook.com/events/210454709635454/.

61] – There is usually a silent 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 August 10. Black Lives Matter.   

62] –  On Fri., Aug. 10 from 7 to 9 PM,  check out The Refugee Stories Library, hosted by The Omi Collective at Femme Fatale DC Pop-Up Store, 4620 Wisconsin Ave. NW, WDC 20002. General Admission is $10. Join in for an evening of storytelling and community building: Listen to the enthralling stories of refugee storytellers, engage in one-on-one conversations, and learn why people are forced to flee their homes.  

The Refugee Stories Library gives voices to different perspectives and humanizes the roots and routes of the migration experience. The personal stories of refugees presented through the Refugee Stories Library Project challenge the simplistic refugee narrative that categorizes refugees into worthy and unworthy victims. By fleeing their home and becoming refugees, they are deprived of their identity as individuals. In addition, by the media, politicians, and the public there is a tendency to depict refugees in categories of two extremes, enemies to national security or victims that were mistreated. In the current environment, a sense of humanity and social agency is often absent in the depiction of refugees.

ALL PROCEEDS of the event will go to the Women’s group of the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), one of the organizations resettling refugees to the DMV area. The Women’s group empowers newly arrived refugee women in Northern Virginia and Maryland to navigate the challenges of their new life here in the U.S. See https://www.facebook.com/events/1853298431392879/.

63] – There is an opportunity to participate in ballroom dancing, usually every Friday of the month, in the JHU ROTC Bldg. at 8 PM.  Turn south on San Martin Dr. from the intersection of Univ. Parkway and 39th St.  Drive on campus by taking the third left turn. The next dance will be on August 10. Call Dave Greene at 410-599-3725.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.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

Thursday, August 9, 2018

See the paintings at Homewood Friends Meetinghouse on August 9/Scars of Hiroshima


Nagasaki Commemoration:

On Thursday, August 9 at 6 PM, the bombing of Nagasaki will be commemorated outside Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles Street.  Participants will demonstrate in favor of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which was adopted by 122 countries at the United Nations in 2017. This Treaty makes it illegal under international law to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. 
At 7:15 PM, Paul Magno, a long-time activist who now lives at Baltimore’s Jonah House will provide insight into the legal situation facing the Kings Bay Plowshares, seven Catholic activists, including Elizabeth McAlister, who were arrested at the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia on April 4, 2018.  They enacted Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares.” In 1984, Paul was a member of the Pershing Plowshares which did a disarmament action at a Martin Marietta plant in Orlando, Florida. Also to be discussed will be the Back From the Brink Campaign. Finally, Dr. Dick Humphrey will be remembered. RSVP to Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.
Published on Portside (https://portside.org/)

Scars of Hiroshima

August 8, 2018
Vijay Prashad
June 29, 2018
Newsclick

https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/field/image/HiroshimaPeace_8_8_18.jpg

  At the outskirts of Tokyo, beyond light manufacturing plants and small farms, sits an incongruous set of buildings. There is a traditional Japanese veranda near an attractive house, besides which sits a large blue building. In that building, on two floors, hang the soul of Japan – the paintings by Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki that are collectively called the Hiroshima Panels.

   Not long after the United States government dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Iri and Toshi Maruki left Tokyo for Hiroshima. Their uncle and two nieces died in the attack; Iri’s father died six months later. The Marukis – husband and wife – looked back at the impact those months had upon them as they opened their family house to the ‘bomb victims’. ‘We carried the injured, cremated the dead, searched for food and water, made roofs of scorched tin sheets,’ they wrote. We ‘wandered about just like those who had experienced the bomb, in the midst of flies and maggots and the stench of death’.

   Iri Maruki was trained in the suiboku ink-and-water technique of Nihonga painting, a combination of Japanese and European forms of art. Toshi Maruki was influenced by European art, namely the work of Marc Chagall and Käthe Kollwitz. In the ashes of World War II, the Marukis joined the Japanese Communist Party. Committed to pacifism and socialism, the Marukis spent the rest of their life documenting the horrors of war and the great human struggle to end suffering.

   One Atomic Bomb’, they wrote, ‘in one instant caused the deaths of more people than we could ever portray’. And yet, their first of fifteen panels, produced in 1950 captures in essence the massive destruction and trauma of that horrible weapon. The painting is called Ghosts. The last painting – Nagasaki – was done in 1982. Over thirty-two years, the couple painted these fifteen masterpieces, explorations of the human cost of brutality. Each painting comes with a short poem written by the couple. The poem for the first painting opens with this powerful stanza,

‘It was a procession of ghosts
In an instant all clothing burned off
Hands, faces and breasts swelled.
The purple blisters on their skin
Were soon burst and peeled off
Hanging down like pieces of rags’.

    Three paintings came in a hurry, all in 1950: Ghosts, Fire and Water. Then, the next year, two more. By 1955, they finished ten of their paintings. The tenth is important. It is called Petition. It depicts the fight by the survivors – known as the Hibakusha (explosive affected people) – to end the use of such weapons of mass destruction.

  The poem that comes with that painting reads,

‘In Tokyo’s Suginami Ward
A petition begun to women
Spread all over Japan.
Children, mothers, fathers, old people
Workers of all kinds –
Everyone signed.
For the first time the people of Japan
Asserted themselves with a silent cry.
A voice that echoed throughout the land
A call for Peace’.

    In Japan’s 1947 Constitution, Article 9 outlaws war as a means to settle disputes. It is a powerful clause, one that should be in the constitution of each country of the world. Japan was to have no army, only a Self-Défense Force. The following year, in far off Costa Rica, the people emerged from a terrible civil war to abolish the military. In 1949, Costa Rica’s Constitution adopted Article 12, which outlawed the military. Costa Rica remains one of the only examples of a modern state of some size with no military force and no membership in a military alliance.

    The point about a membership in a military alliance is essential. Iceland has no military, but it is an active member of NATO. Japan’s lack of a formal military should also not be seen as an absence of militarism. In a treaty with the United States in 1954, Japan essentially allowed the United States – which had been occupying the country – to discharge the military responsibilities of the state. US bases in Japan as well as an overwhelming presence of US troops would continue in perpetuity. There are more US troops in Japan than there are members of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces. These bases – including on Okinawa Island – hold nuclear weapons.

   Japan’s peace constituency - which included labour unions, women’s groups and the Communists – took to the streets against Japan’s subordinate position to US imperialism. On May 1, 1952, people took to the streets of Tokyo to confront the view that Japan should become the aircraft carrier for the United States. The police met the protestors with violence, leaving Bloody May Day in the lore of Japan’s left imagination. It was such protests, led by workers, that fired up the imagination of artists such as Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki, but also their peers – Ikeda Tatsuo, Ishii Shigeo, Nakamura Hiroshi, Yamashita Kikuji and others.

   In 1957, a 46-year-old woman – Sakai Nakano - went to a firing range in Gunma prefecture. She was collecting the shell casing to sell as scrap. Specialist 3rd Class William Girard of the US Army shot her to death. Girard was found guilty in a Japanese court but was allowed to leave for the United States on a suspended sentence. Nakamura Hiroshi’s ‘Gunned Down’ from 1957 captures the spirit of the violence and the outrage it provoked. These were commonplace incidents. They inflamed the spirit of the people.

   Yoshihiko Ikegami, former editor-in-chief of Gendaishiso, is telling us about the upsurge in the 1950s. Protests took place before the imperial palace, in a square that was known as the People’s Square. As these protests took place, Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki worked on their Hiroshima Panels. 
   
   One more panel – Floating Lanterns – from 1969 depicts the peace movements’ custom of commemorating August 6 – the day of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima – by floating paper lanterns in rivers and lakes. Other paintings by the Maruis emphasised protests for nuclear disarmament – not only of weapons, but of nuclear power plants. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s destruction by the 2011 tsunami was foretold by those who protested against nuclear power and nuclear weapons in people’s square and in the Hiroshima Panels.

   Ikegami takes us to the controversial Yasukuni War Shrine at the centre of Tokyo. This is a place where – it is said – the souls of the warriors now rest. In 1978, a thousand war criminals had their souls enshrined here. This is the heart of the controversy. Those who want to take Japan full-scale into military force worship the war dead, including the war criminals (most of whose activities were part of Japan’s brutal occupation of the Pacific Rim and of China). Emperor Hirohito refused to visit the shrine from 1978 to his death in 1990 because of the presence of these criminals.

  In 1970, the Masukis took their panels to California for an exhibit. They were asked about Japanese atrocities in China. This was at the time of the US war on Vietnam. The question marked them. They returned home and painted the massive ‘Rape of Nanking’. It is a powerful image, a repudiation of the war criminals and the wars of Japan. It is flanked by a painting of Auschwitz and another of the Minamata disaster (when a chemical factory leaked mercury into the Shiranuhi Sea and poisoned animals and humans). Brutalities of war and money framed the violence of Japanese military actions. It is a warning to Japan.

  Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine. He wants – with American encouragement – to return Japan to be a military power. Washington sees this as a check on China.
Ikegami leads us to a statue of a kamakazipilot inside the Yasukuni complex. People have left offerings before this statue of a young man who would have boarded a Japanese Zero jet and crashed into an American ship. The futility of the action was clear and yet it was encouraged. There is an echo here of Abe’s hostility to the peace moves in Korea and to the rise of China. Rather than find Japan’s place in this new order, Abe – the grandson of a war criminal (Nobusuke Kishi) – wants to assert Japan’s muscularity. This is quite opposed to the noble feelings of the Hiroshima Panels.
Outside the gallery, on a table sits a series of petitions. They seek a different Japan. A Japan dreamed about at the edges of the Hiroshima Panels.

   Vijay Prashad, the author of numerous books, is the Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research (thetricontinental.org) and is the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books (leftword.com).


Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.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