Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Baltimore Activist Alert - November 3 - 5, 2015

24] "Getting Screwed: Sex Workers and the Law" – Nov. 3
25] Bee swarm – Nov. 4
26] Kirkuk – Nov. 4
27] Crime in Venezuela – Nov. 4
28] Real Development Respects Human Rights – Nov. 4
29] Crisis in US-Russia Relations – Nov. 4
30] Latin America confronts the U.S. – Nov. 4
31] Go get McDonald’s – Nov. 4
32] Protest mass incarceration – Nov. 4
33] Know your rights – Nov. 4
34] Celebrate the UN – Nov. 4
35] Justice and Mercy – Nov. 4
36] Film WE ARE MANY – Nov. 4
37] Nonprofit housing meeting – Nov. 5
38] Situation in Syria –Nov. 5
39] Cardinal McCarrick Award Benefit – Nov. 5

24] – On Tues., Nov. 3 at 7:30 PM @ Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201, Alison Bass presents "Getting Screwed: Sex Workers and the Law."  This is a vivid narrative-driven account of how current U.S. laws against prostitution harm sex workers, clients, and society.  Bass weaves the true stories of sex workers with the latest research on prostitution into a gripping journalistic account of how women (and some men) navigate a culture that routinely accepts the implicit exchange of sex for money, status, or even a good meal, but imposes heavy penalties on those who make such bargains explicit. Along the way, Bass examines why an increasing number of middle-class white women choose to become sex workers and explores how prostitution has become a thriving industry in the twenty-first-century global economy. Situating her book in American history more broadly, she also discusses the impact of the sexual revolution, the rise of the Nevada brothels, and the growing war on sex trafficking after 9/11.

Drawing on recent studies that show lower rates of violence and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, in regions where adult prostitution is legal and regulated, Bass makes a powerful case for decriminalizing sex work. Through comparisons of the impact of criminalization vs. decriminalization in other countries, her book offers strategies for making prostitution safer for American sex workers and the communities in which they dwell.  Allison Bass is an award-winning author, journalist, and professor. A long-time medical and science writer for the Boston Globe, Bass now teaches journalism at the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. Call 443-602-7585.  Go to http://www.redemmas.org

25] – Meet at 14th and R Sts. NW, WDC, on Wed., Nov. 4 from noon to 1 PM as local gardeners, beekeepers, food safety advocates and bee-lovers will swarm Ace and True Value to ask the home improvement retailers to remove bee-killing pesticides from store shelves. They join more than 5,000 people that will deliver letters to the retailers in over fifteen cities across the U.S. as part of a national week of action. A coalition led by Friends of the Earth, Organic Consumers Association, Sum of Us, Sierra Rise, Pollinate Minnesota, Beyond Pesticides, and other allies will deliver half a million petition signatures to the Ace and True Value Corporate Headquarters in Chicago, urging the retailers to eliminate products and plants pre-treated with bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. Then walk to the Logan Hardware, 1734 14th St. NW & rally out front. Later walk to True Value, 1623 17th St. NW & rally out front.  Bring a sign and dress in your favorite bee costumes. Email beeaction@foe.org or visit www.foe.org/beeaction.

26] – On Wed., Nov. 4 from noon to 1:15 PM, the Middle East Institute, 1761 N St. NW, WDC, e is pleased to host Dr. Najmaldin Karim, governor of Kirkuk province since 2011, for a discussion about the province's precarious place at the center of the Iraq war against the Islamic State. While ISIS militants control the western reaches of Kirkuk, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and local police have prevented the fall of Kirkuk city and most of the oil-rich province. Kirkuk hosts hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons who have fled ISIS aggression. With funding and support from the Baghdad government disrupted, the challenges facing Kirkuk are mounting. 

Gov. Karim will review the threat posed by ISIS and how local government is trying to deliver for Kirkuk's Kurdish, Arab, Turkmen, and Christian citizens while in the grip of a security and humanitarian crisis. Go to http://www.mei.edu/events/kirkuk-iraqi-keystone-and-isis-target or https://www.facebook.com/events/1479746262333156/.

27] – Come to the Kay Spiritual life Center at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW, WDC, on Wed., Nov. 4 at noon for a talk about organized crime in Venezuela.   This event will feature Luis Cedeño, Executive Director of Paz Activa. Paz Activa is a Caracas-based organization dedicated to reducing violent crime and enhancing citizen security in Venezuela. Pizza will also be served. RSVP to kslc@american.edu.

28] – Amazon Watch, CIEL and Coalition for Human Rights in Development invite you to a "Green-Bag Lunch" presentation Real Development Respects Human Rights - Two initiatives working to ensure that development finance respects human rights on Wed., Nov. 4 from 12:30 to 2 PM at Amazon Watch / CIEL Conference Room, 1350 Connecticut Ave. NW, #1100, (Above Cosi, Dupont Circle South), WDC.  Development should improve lives and not cause harm. Yet, whether it’s a dam project in Mexico or an expanded highway in India, too often development projects have adverse impacts on the human rights of communities, resulting in physical and economic displacement and degradation to the environment upon which their lives depend. By the time a community learns about the possible negative impacts of a project and decides to mobilize, it can be too late.

Two initiatives, the Coalition for Human Rights in Development and the Early Warning System, aim to ensure that all development finance institutions respect human rights. Learn more about how the Coalition brings together social movements and civil society organizations across the globe to change how development banks do business. See how the Early Warning System works to ensure that communities have the information they need to understand proposed development projects, their impacts, and potential advocacy strategies to protect their rights.   The presenters are Gretchen Gordon, Coordinator, Coalition for Human Rights in Development, and Jocelyn Soto Medallo, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL). Gretchen has 15 years’ experience in organizing, coalition building, and policy advocacy around issues of human rights and economic globalization. Jocelyn leads CIEL's work on ensuring that development finance respects human rights and protects the environment and communities.

29] – Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Dean of the House of Representatives is hosting The Crisis in US-Russia Relations, from Ukraine to Syria: Is Congress Overlooking its Causes and Potential Solutions?  It will take place on Wed., Nov. 4 at 2 PM in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237.  The panelists are as follows: Jack F. Matlock, Jr., Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987-1991 under President Ronald Reagan and President Bush; John Pepper, former Chairman and CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company, and former Chairman of Disney and of the Yale Corporation; Ellen Mickiewicz, Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University; and  Stephen F. Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies, History, and Politics at New York University and Princeton University. The Ukrainian crises represents a low in U.S.-Russian relations not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union - and the recent Russian intervention in the Syrian Civil War is only making things worse.  American and Russian jets flying bombing missions in close proximity to one another raises the possibility of a military accident between two nuclear-armed powers.  As the New York Times warns, the complicated and shifting landscape of alliances leaves us "edging closer to an all-out proxy war between the United States and Russia."

The majority of Americans never lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 or the darkest decades of the Cold War - they have led lives without the looming specter of nuclear war.  But the areas of conflict between our nations are growing - the conflict in Ukraine, the expansion of NATO, Russia's involvement in Syria, and other lesser issues are driving a new wedge between the U.S. and Russia.  While most would agree that conflict between the United States and Russia benefits no one, the likelihood of such conflict, as well as the serious consequences it could bring, is not being adequately discussed on Capitol Hill.  In the interest of fostering more robust debate on U.S.-Russia relations, Rep. Conyers will convene an informal hearing featuring four eminent American experts on the subject.  All four are members of the Board of the recently re-founded American Committee for East-West Accord (www.eastwestaccord.com) a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose purpose is to promote public discussion and debate about the state of U.S. and Russian relations.

30] – Latin America Confronts the United States is a talk by Tom Long, Lecturer, University of Reading, on Wed., Nov. 4 from 4 to 5:30 PM in Room 300, School of International Service, American University,  4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, WDC 20016. Visit http://www.american.edu/sis.  Contact Sarah Riley at 202-885-1623.

31] – You don’t have to search far to find examples of bad corporate behavior from McDonald’s Corporation. Workers in its stores, workers in its supply chains and even teachers and their students have all been exploited by this behemoth of a company.

Workers across multiple sectors are waging campaigns to hold McDonald’s accountable to the people who produce and serve their food and the communities in which they operate. Come for a discussion about these efforts to bring justice to workers across McDonald’s global supply chain. Justice for Food Chain Workers: Panel & Reception takes place on Wed., Nov. 4 from 4 to 6 PM at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 25 Louisiana Ave. NW, WDC 20001.  Get tickets at https://www.flipcause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/Mjc1Mw==.  Speakers will include McDonald’s workers who are struggling to organize, workers from Taylor Farms, a McDonald’s supplier, organizers from the Fight for 15 campaign and a legal analyst to explain the recent franchising decision that could make organizing workers nation-wide easier.  The event is a fundraiser for the Food Chain Workers Alliance, of which International Labor Rights Forum is a founding member. The suggested donation is $25, but no one will be turned away for lack of ability to pay.

32] – YOU ARE INVITED to take action on Wed., Nov. 4 at 6:30 PM at the Business Center, University of Baltimore.  Join the fight against the destructive results of mass incarceration. This is a critical problem in Baltimore and Maryland that can be turned around. See an award winning film on mass incarceration, followed by a discussion led by former inmates. Then get down to work and plan for advancing the agenda in the 2016 Maryland Legislature. 

33] – Come to the November skillshare on your rights as an activist and protester in the DMV area at the Washington Peace Center, 1525 Newton St. NW, WDC, on Wed., Nov. 4 from 7 to 9 PM.  This skillshare will include a basic overview of protesting laws in the District, the types of laws that are used against protesters, how to put together legal support/jail support; and, the need for having a police liaison/legal observers. The skillshare will be facilitated by Samantha Miller at DC Action Lab, Kaajal Shah at DC Train the Movement, Caleb Medearis at the DC National Lawyers Guild, and Marques Banks from Black Movement-Law Project.  Participants will refrain from wearing any scented products or washing with them on the day of the skillshare to ensure access for people who experience chemical or fragrance sensitivity. Email Darakshan at Darakshan@Washingtonpeacecenter.org or call at 202-234-2000. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1479746262333156/.

34] – On Wed., Nov. 4 from 7 to 8:30 PM the USIP is hosting Celebrating Peace: 70 Years of the United Nations The SDGs, Goal 16, and a Vision for Peaceful Inclusive Societies.  The United Nations is celebrating its 70th year, and with this landmark anniversary, has chosen to integrate peace into the architecture that will govern development for the next 15 years. On November 4, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Alliance for Peacebuilding and the United Nations Association of the North Capital Area will host Ambassador Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, for a discussion on how to turn commitments of peace into action in today's global development assistance systems. Go to https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome-psyapi2&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8&q=Us%20Instituteof%20Peace%20celebrating%20peace%20united%20nations&oq=Us%20Instituteof%20Peace%20celebrating%20peace%20united%20nations&rlz=1C1EJFA_enUS661US663&aqs=chrome..69i57.25920j0j4.

35] – On Wed., Nov. 4 at 7 PM at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1313 New York Ave. NW, WDC 20005, join a City-Wide Call for Justice and Mercy with  Bryan Stevenson, best-selling author of “Just Mercy”, the featured speaker at this citywide event.  Individuals, congregations and community organizations from throughout the Washington, DC area are invited to attend. The focus of the evening will be on specific actions to create a fairer justice system and to meet the needs of citizens returning from incarceration. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-citywide-call-for-justice-and-mercy-featuring-bryan-stevenson-registration-18843650867.

36] – Get over to the Landmark E Street Theater, 555 11th St. NW, WDC, on Wed., Nov. 4 at 7:30 PM for the film WE ARE MANY.  Capturing the impact and legacy of over 15 million people marching in 800 cities across every continent to protest against the war in Iraq in 2003, has been the nine year labour of documentary-maker, Amir Amirani.  Filmed across seven countries, Amirani’s feature debut, WE ARE MANY, has been hailed by Screen International as ‘passionate and provocative’.  The film pulls no punches extracting shocking accounts from those who started the war, set against the prevailing public opinion, and charts the birth and rise of the people power movements now sweeping the world. RSVP to Samanthaelladavis@gmail.com with the number of tickets you are requesting.

37] – Join Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development, 727 15th St. NW (6th Floor Conference Room), WDC, on Thurs., Nov. 5 from 10 to 11:30 AM for the next meeting. Some of the agenda items are legislative agenda, Exelon-Pepco merger and a recap of action ideas.  See https://www.cnhed.org/.

38] – The situation in Syria will be examined at the Palestine Center, 2425 Virginia Ave. NW, WDC, on Thurs., Nov. 5 from 1 to 2 PM.  A light lunch will be served at 12:30 PM. Palestinians have not been fully integrated into Syrian society. Politically, they remain suspect and the regime’s commitment to their well-being is lukewarm at best. Not unlike many other groups in the Syrian conflict, Palestinians have been caught in the midst of the fighting among the various factions. Though, some have joined the anti-regime side, most insist on their neutrality in what they considered a Syrian domestic affair. This presentation will discuss the latest predicament of the Palestinian refugees in Syria and examine how the conflict has once again highlighted the vulnerability of Palestinian refugees in Middle Eastern civil wars. It will conclude with an assessment of the current situation and future of the Palestinian community in a war-torn country.

Faedah M. Totah is an associate professor in the Political Science Department at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA. She teaches courses on gender, development, and politics of the contemporary Middle East including political Islam. Visit http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/d/EventDetails/i/54918.

39] – On Thurs., Nov. 5 at 6 PM, the Franciscan Action Network Cardinal McCarrick Award Benefit will honor Rev. Fletcher Harper of GreenFaith at St. Francis Hall, 1340 Quincy St. NE, WDC 20017. Register at https://franciscanaction.org/cardinal-mccarrick-award-celebration-honoring-fletcher-harper. Contact FAN's Jason Miller at jmiller@franciscanaction.org or 202-527-7568.

Registration is now open for the second annual Cardinal McCarrick Award Celebration on Thurs., Nov. 5 at 6 PM at St. Francis Hall, 1340 Quincy St. NE, WDC 20017. Honor Rev. Fletcher Harper of GreenFaith. The suggestion donation is $100. Go to https://franciscanaction.org/cardinal-mccarrick-award-celebration-honoring-fletcher-harper.  Contact FAN's Jason Miller at jmiller@franciscanaction.org or 202-527-7568.

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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