Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center
Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center

Encouraging peaceful solutions since 1969

Children’s Asylum Resolution

Peace DoveResolution adopted by the board of the Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center of Walnut Creek, California in support of granting unaccompanied child migrants refugee status and political asylum.

A.            Whereas nearly 70,000 children are expected to show up alone at our border this year, driven violently out of their countries and with their government not willing or able to protect them,

B.            Whereas our laws have clear precedents for this humanitarian crisis and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees recommends to designate most of the Central Americans fleeing regional violence and gang extortion as refugees,

C.            Whereas we receive mounting evidence that these children are escaping Honduras, El Salvador and parts of Guatemala to save their lives, to prevent becoming sex slaves or being forcefully recruited to join drug gangs and become murderers themselves,

D.            Whereas 400 personal interviews of 1 hour each that where conducted on the children by the UN Agency of Refugees have revealed that 58% of them have received specific death threats, often by gangs leaving body parts in front of their houses, which have urged their parents to pool their meager resources and send them on their dangerous journey North rather than face certain death at home,

E.            Whereas gang violence qualifies as grounds for international protection and the US has granted many claims to children with attorneys requesting asylum, therefore we have a proven legal framework to handle these cases,

F.            Whereas the scale of this humanitarian challenge pales in comparison to the 2 million+ Syrian refugees, with 700,000 of them received by Turkey alone, after we encouraged them to do so even when they have a country 12 times smaller than we do and are already 7 times as crowded (per square kilometer, Turkey has 94 people and our United States only 13),

G.            Whereas this crisis is regional, it requires a concerted effort by the US to coordinate a unified response with other countries in the region, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, therefore the burden of future migrations can be shared in the region,

H.            Whereas this call for help can galvanize the compassion of communities all over the US, with families offering loving homes and schools as the children wait for the courts to decide their future,

 

Therefore the Board of Directors of the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center of Walnut Creek, California resolves:

1.            To encourage our Immigration Authorities to expedite the processing of these young asylum seekers so they can be eligible to be hosted by their relatives and by volunteer American families as they wait for their court date.

2.            To encourage our State Department to set up safe houses and processing centers within Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to pre-qualify them, as we have done in the past in Vietnam and Haiti, giving high priority to those who have been already targeted by the criminal gangs.

3.            To encourage our Government to coordinate their efforts with neighboring countries, for example giving preference to a host country where children already have relatives or friends willing to host them.

4.            To encourage our political leaders and fellow Americans to extend compassion towards these innocent children, while embracing the promise represented by each one of them.

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HIROSHIMA MEMORIAL / PROTEST EVENT

failure to disarmGather at Livermore Lab on Wednesday, August 6 – HIROSHIMA DAY 2014 – Vasco & Patterson Pass Road, Livermore

 

 7:30 AM: Moment of Silence, music, art, speakers

 8:30 AM: Short procession to northwest corner gate where those who choose will peacefully risk arrest

 On the 69th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we invite all who seek peace and justice to gather at the location where scientists are developing nuclear weapons. Each new weapon design involves “upgraded” features able to rain unimaginable devastation on a moment’s notice anywhere on Earth. The budget request reveals that 89% of the Livermore Lab’s funding (more than a billion dollars) will go to nuclear weapons activities in the coming year.

Co-sponsored by the Mt.Diablo Peace & Justice Center, American Friends Service Committee, Asian Americans for Peace & Justice, Campaign nonviolence/Pace e Bene, Ecumenical Peace Institute, Fr. Bill O’Donnell, Social Justice Committee/Newman Peacemakers, Jane Addams Peace Association, Livermore Conversion Project, No Nukes Action, Oakland CAN, Peace Action West, Seven Generations, Tri-Valley CARES, Western States Legal Foundation, Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (Monterey).

 

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REESE ERLICH – AUTHOR & INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER

Reese Erlich - Inside Syria Head ShotERLICH WILL DISCUSS HIS NEW BOOK, INSIDE SYRIA

In doing research for this book Erlich interviewed rebel leaders and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad so as to provide a much clearer understanding of the complex dynamics underlying the Syrian civil war, and why it is so crucial for the Middle East, the U.S., and the world. Through his many contacts in Syria, Erlich reveals exactly who is supporting Assad and why, describes the agendas of rebel factions, the horrific plight of thousands of Syrian citizens caught in the crossfire, the role of the Kurds, the continuing influence of powerful Iran, and the conflicted policies of U.S. leaders.

 ”Reese Erlich’s reporting and investigative journalism around the world has been highly enlightening, and speaking personally, has been of great value to me in my own work on global issues and current affairs.” — Noam Chomsky

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14th

6 PM Potluck ~ 7 PM Speaker

MDUUC – Bortin Hall at 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek

Tickets: $10 in advance or $15 at the door. FREE for Students.

Purchase advance tickets and/register HERE

or call (925) 933-7850.

Presented by Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center and Friendly Favors

Reese Erlich’s history in journalism goes back over 40 years. He first worked as a staff writer and research editor for Ramparts, an investigative reporting magazine published in San Francisco from 1963 to 1975. Today he works as a full-time print and broadcast, freelance reporter. He reports regularly for National Public Radio, CBC, ABC (Australia), and Radio Deutsche Welle. He is special correspondent for GlobalPost. His television documentaries have aired on PBS stations nationwide.

Erlich’s book, Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You co-authored with Norman Solomon, became a best seller in 2003. The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of US Policy and the Middle East Crisis was published in 2007. Dateline Havana: The Real Story of US Policy and the Future of Cuba was published in 2009. Conversations with Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence and Empire, was published in September 2010. Inside Syria: the Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect, comes out in October 2014.

Erlich shared a Peabody Award in 2006 as a segment producer for Crossing East, a radio documentary on the history of Asians in the US. In 2012 Erlich’s radio special on Syria won the Explanatory Journalism award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California. His article about the U.S. use of depleted uranium ammunition was voted the eighth most censored story in America for 2003 by Project Censored at Sonoma State University. In 2002 his radio documentary, “The Russia Project,” hosted by Walter Cronkite, won the depth reporting prize for broadcast journalism awarded by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors declared Sept. 14, 2010, to be “Reese Erlich Day” in honor of his investigative journalistic work. The resolution read, in part, “Investigative reporters are under attack in the U.S. and around the world. Mr. Erlich exhibits the finest qualities of such reporters willing to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

 

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THE ALAMO RUN!!


cropped dogWas held on Sunday, June 22, 2014

We had our 2nd annual 5k run/walk on the Iron Horse Trail and Danville Blvd. in downtown Alamo

Proceeds will benefit our educational programs!

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Over 100 runners participated.  We had kids, and dogs and loads of fun.

THANKS TO ALL OUR SPONSORS, PRIZE DONORS, VOLUNTEER MONITORS AND PARTICIPANTS FOR MAKING THIS WORTHWHILE!

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

Solar Universe full page ad

 

Capture MOUNTAIN CAMP AD

banner Security etc logo

AND THE WINNERS ARE!  

Top Female overall: Tori Tyler (27) of Danville  17:08      Top Male overall: Tim Keenan (52) of Walnut Creek 17:13

Women 1—19: Chloe Chapman (12) Walnut Creek  25:27 ;  Women 20-29: Tori Tyler (27) Walnut Creek 17:08 ;  Women 30-39: Nicole Miller (39) Alamo 24:02

Women 40-49: Lorena Cicciari (46) Danville 27:57 ;  Women 50-59: Holly Starr (59) Walnut Creek 24:35 ; Women 60-69: Diane Correa (63) Danville 30:48

Women 70-99: Dee Farkas (86) Lafayette  55:51 ; Men 1-19: Nicholas Ward (17) Danville 18:31 ; Men 20-29: Anthony Ziebarth (27) Citrus Heights 18:58

Men 30-39: Clint Newman (33) Oakland 23:22 ; Men 40-49: Kevin Downie (44) Dublin 18:03 ; Men 50-59: Tim Keenan (52) Walnut Creek 17:13

Men 60-69: Bill Hermans (62) Concord 21:40 ; Men 70-99: Rob Robinson (70) Alamo 27:19

FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF TIMES FOR ALL RUNNERS CLICK HERE

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

 

 

 

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Our webstore is NOW OPEN!

 WE HAVE A GROWING SELECTION OF NOTECARDS

(with artwork from our Art & Writing Challenge kids!)

 

Flower for You photoshop version card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hand photo with bracelets.SERGIO LUB JEWELRY

peace bracelets

 

 

Zero Waste Home jacket
BEA JOHNSON’S GUIDEBOOK ON SUSTAINABLE LIVING

 

 

 

Click on “WEBSTORE” above for more information.

You can help support the work of the Peace and Justice Center!

 

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10 Reasons Why Americans Opposed Bombing Syria

Opposition to attacking Syria wasn’t limited to the traditional crowd–it drew in progressives, libertarians and Americans who simply wanted nothing to do with the civil war.

sf protesters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protesters in San Francisco against an attack on Syria.

Photo Credit: Steve Rhodes/Flickr

September 17, 2013 |

As I took part in rallies, marches, vigils, conference calls, personal conversations and meetings in the San Francisco Bay Area during the recent crisis over Syria, these are the reasons I heard that Americans opposed even a “limited” US strike on that country:

1 – It won’t do any good. The insanity of killing people with cruise missiles and other conventional weapons to “send a message” that killing people with poison gas is WRONG, was repeated over and over, to good effect.

2 – We’re supporting Al-Qaeda now, really?! I heard this at the August 4 Restore the 4th rally in San Francisco as this crisis started to build. I have the sense that this was mostly a libertarian and right-wing perspective, though Dennis Kucinich came down hard on this as well.

3 – Don’t get involved in someone else’s civil war. People expressed overall wariness not only about Al-Nusra and/or Al-Qaeda in Syria but also unease about the violent and divided Syrian “rebels.” Sometimes an ugly “let the bastards kill each other” or “they’re not worth us getting involved” message was a barely hidden subtext to this oppositional messaging.

4 – Iraq. The US didn’t help that country. Yeah, no kidding. For millions in this country who believed the propaganda in 2002-2003, the lessons from the horror of the Iraq War are finally sinking in. Many people saw a US “strike” as the beginning of Iraq II, and they weren’t having it.

5 – We’re not going to war for Obama. Republicans and Libertarians were the first and some of the strongest opposition; see Bruce Gagnon’s analysis. Some of this opposition was based in a racist desire to thwart our first “black” (really, biracial) president regardless of the issue, but some was principled opposition based on a lack of trust and respect for Obama’s policies overall, including his “dirty” drone strikes and special operations in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

6 – It costs too much, and we need the money at home. The Bring Our War $$ Home messaging has been circulating since 2009, and many people across the political spectrum picked up on it. Also sequester cuts happening simultaneously with this latest propaganda push, and the weak economy, added to the force of “we can’t afford it.”

7 – Our military has been stretched and overdeployed for too long. Active duty troops photographed themselves opposing another war – an unusual and brave move link. People didn’t believe Kerry’s/Obama’s reassurances about how limited a US (air) war on Syria would be.

8 – Afghanistan. The US is still engaged in a “hot” war, one that is still sending young Americans home in coffins or wheelchairs. Even if the mainstream media can’t be bothered to cover that war, Americans, especially veterans and military families haven’t forgotten.

9 – Libya. Americans are (dimly) aware that all is not right in Libya and there have been many unintended, negative consequences from the US/NATO air war there.

10 – The UK Parliament voted NO. Last but certainly not least. It’s one thing to say, write, chant “Say no to war” — it’s quite another, and more mobilizing, thing for our country’s closest ally to do so in a public vote of their legislature, pushed by their citizens. The vote being close didn’t even matter – it was an historic NO, and a pivotal moment in this crisis – and the push to “take it to Congress” really took off after this vote.

Final thoughts: This crisis isn’t over, and the US warships, jets and other machinery of destruction are still hanging fire in the eastern Mediterranean, at vast taxpayer expense. Going forward, we in peace/antiwar organizations, from whatever political perspectives, need to amplify these “talking points of the people” and stay ready to take action again.

There isn’t a single “movement” against war, but an informal, multifocal opposition from across the political spectrum. “Yelling at empty buildings” aka the huge marches of the past especially in DC, may be a tactic that’s outlived its usefulness. Americans live on our phones these days, and we found ourselves ready to use them to call Congress. The timing of this crisis was helpful – we were able to show up at representatives’ town halls during the August recess and speak our minds in person. For now, that was enough to avert a war. More may well be needed later in the year, as the military-industrial-media complex hasn’t gone away. But for now, let’s reflect on a rare, and much-needed victory, staying humble and nimble for the challenges ahead.

Janet Weil is a longtime CODEPINK-er and a co-founder of SF 99% Coalition and member of the Peace Center’s Advocacy Committee

 

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THANK YOU FOR SAYING “NO” TO WAR

IMG_3314

Just a few weeks ago the US government appeared dead set on attacking Syria. Media such as CNN seemed to be pushing for war with discussions where all sides want war.*  Meanwhile the powerful lobby group AIPAC was sending hundreds of their members to Congress to press for authorization for war. **
Secretary of State Kerry seemed to be pounding the drums of war more feverishly each day.
Now things look vastly more optimistic. Diplomacy and cooler heads have prevailed, at least for the moment.

 

OUR THANKS go to…..

  • The American people for saying loudly and clearly “We do NOT want another war.”

  • The British Parliament which said NO they will not join an attack.

  • Our Congressional representatives who listened and spoke out.

  • President Obama who listened and made the crucial decision.

Let’s hope this will be the start of a new era in international relations and US foreign policy.  The  credibility of our country is enhanced when the President listens to the American people and the international community  and when we respect and abide by international law.

Board of Directors, Mt Diablo Peace and Justice Center

* http://www.fair.org/blog/2013/08/28/the-new-crossfire-where-both-sides-support-war-with-syria/

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/09/15-0

** http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/world/middleeast/lobbying-group-for-israel-to-press-congress-on-syria.html

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/09/aipac-on-an-island-politico-report-says-israel-lobby-alone-in-pushing-for-war-in-syria.html

 

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Resolution of Support for the ACLU suing NSA

ACLU LogoMt Diablo Peace and Justice Center Resolution of Support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on their legal action against the National Security Agency (NSA) PRISM Program, the clandestine national security electronic surveillance.

- Whereas our Constitution is the highest law of our land, which no other law can challenge without a Constitutional Amendment, and whereas our Constitution must be obeyed by every US Citizen, specially by our government and its agents, who are publicly sworn to respect our Constitution since they have the highest potential to do harm if they do not, and

- Whereas our Constitution and its Amendments guarantee our right of free expression and privacy, and whereas the secret electronic surveillance program that the NSA has undertaken violates both our First Amendment rights of free speech and association, and our Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, and

- Whereas the National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander, after many false denials, has gone on the record admitting that thousands of NSA employees and contractors really do listen to our phone calls and read our emails without warrants to do either one, and

- Whereas listening to the phone calls and reading the email of Americans without the justified authorization of a judge is a felony crime, even under the Patriot Act, and therefore this means that the NSA is committing thousands of felonies a day, and

- Whereas the official “fact sheet” explanation about the NSA surveillance efforts posted on their website was removed after Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall had accused the agency of lying, and

- Whereas we are aware that whistle-blowers are fully protected by our laws when exposing an illegal conspiracy such as this one, therefore we support the granting of  immediate freedom from prosecution to the brave individuals that at great personal risk exposed this massive and secret spying ring on the American People. They deserve our highest recognition for making us aware of our enemies within, therefore

- The Board of Directors of the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center hereby supports the ACLU in its lawsuit against the NSA’s PRISM Program.

Board of Directors – Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center – www.OurPeaceCenter.org

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Freeing California from Nuclear Power Plants

Mt Diablo Peace & Justice Center Resolution passed by its Board of Directors on June 17, 2013

Rancho Seco plant (near Sacramento) was closed by public vote in 1989 after 15 years of troubled service and still having 20 years remaining in its operating license.

Rancho Seco plant (near Sacramento) was closed by public vote in 1989 after 15 years of troubled service and still having 20 years remaining in its operating license.

Whereas our State of California has already recognized the environmental and health dangers of nuclear power generation by not allowing new plants to be built in our State,

Whereas the Rancho Seco plant near Sacramento was closed by popular vote in 1989, and the San Onofre plant near San Diego is now in the process of being permanently retired, and whereas the last remaining California nuclear power plant at Diablo Canyon near San Luis Obispo has already served most of its useful life;

Whereas geological studies have shown that the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant is located near several active earthquake fault lines, and scientists have discovered that, in the past, powerful tsunami-type waves have impacted the coastline where this plant is located, so that it has become clear we have the risk of a Fukushima-type disaster that may cause us to lose many lives and the use of part of our State for generations to come,

Diablo Canyon plant (near San Luis Obispo), last one still operating at huge risk.  It is located near 2 active earthquake fault lines and this coast had Fukushima-type tsunamis in the past.

Diablo Canyon plant (near San Luis Obispo), last one still operating. It is located near 2 active earthquake fault lines and this coast had Fukushima-type tsunamis in the past.

Whereas nuclear power plants suffer from generic problems, including steam generator failures, that makes them likely to unexpectedly fail and leak radioactive and carcinogenic poisons into our environment,

Whereas scientific findings indicate that nuclear power plants in California have released radioactive isotopes into our biosphere that has accumulated in our children’s bodies, resulting in increased rates of childhood cancer and leukemia, and undermining their vitality and reducing their chances to lead healthy and productive lives,

San Onofre plant (near San Clemente, between Los Angeles and San Diego). Closed in June 7, 2013 - 17 years ahead of schedule - due to health risks concerns.

San Onofre plant (near San Clemente, between Los Angeles and San Diego). Closed in June 7, 2013 – 17 years ahead of schedule – due to health risks concerns.

Whereas levels of radioactive Strontium-90 in U.S. children’s baby teeth are now at levels equal or superior to the levels that prompted President Kennedy to ban atmospheric nuclear weapons testing in 1963 to safeguard the safety of future generations,

Whereas the 2012/2013 Transmission Plan of the California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO) reports that closing the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant would have no significant impact on the reliability of the CAISO transmission system assuming alternative generation is made available,

Whereas the growing ability of existing and new renewable energy sources to satisfy our energy needs have made it no longer necessary to expose the people of California to the health, safety and security risks associated with nuclear power plants,

We the board of the Mount Diablo Peace and Dr Jerry BrownJustice Center, taking all the above facts in consideration, declare our full support to the work coordinated by Dr. Jerry B. Brown, Director of the World Business Academy’s Safe Energy Project, to accelerate the closing of Diablo Canyon, the only remaining nuclear power plant in California.

Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center

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Our Peace Center Annual Membership Meeting

IMG_0936Our Annual Membership Meeting was held on Saturday June 22 in Walnut Creek.  We shared an abundant and nourishing potluck, heard introductions from our current Board Members and from our nominees to the board as selected by our Selection Committee.  All present members were given a ballot and were asked to vote for their chosen officers.  We are pleased to announce that all current members that were up for re-election after their 3-year term, and all 4 nominees were elected unanimously to our board, which is now 16 people strong, the most powerful board in our history.

4 New MembersOur four newly elected board members are: 1. Connie Loosli from Walnut Creek, an Education Specialist for the Lindsay Wildlife Museum; 2. Pandora Bethea from Crockett, an English teacher at Deer Valley High in Antioch; 3. Rick Sterling from Walnut Creek, a retired senior electronics engineer at UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory; and  4. David Seaborg from Walnut Creek, an environmental leader and founder of the World Rainforest Fund.

IMG_0966We also brainstormed in small groups to find the most important issues we should address this coming year, and we had the pleasure to hear from Dr. Jerry B. Brown, an expert on nuclear radiation who is working to prematurely close Diablo Canyon, the last remaining nuclear power plant in California and who recently received a resolution of support from our Peace Center. Our next Annual Membership Meeting will be in June 2014 – The date and location shall be announced next spring.  We hope you will come and vote with us. See more images of our meeting at:  www.flickr.com/photos/lub/sets/72157634294216746

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Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center - 55 Eckley Lane Walnut Creek, CA 94596 - (925) 933-7850

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