Mt Diablo Peace & Justice Center
Resolution Regarding HR 5732 and U.S. Intervention in Syria
WHEREAS the Mt Diablo Peace & Justice Center believes that respect for and enforcement of international law is essential; and
WHEREAS international law has been undermined by U.S. and NATO aggression against Iraq and Libya; and
WHEREAS the consequences of this aggression have been immense destruction and the spread of violent sectarian terrorism which is now impacting Europe and North America; and
WHEREAS the U.S. government has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year since 2011 in support of a violent opposition seeking overthrow of the Syrian government; and
WHEREAS the US led coalition is conducting air strikes and ground operations in Syria without the authorization of the Syrian government; and
WHEREAS on 17 September 2016 the US led coalition conducted air strikes in Deir Ezzor (eastern Syria) killing at least 62 Syrian soldiers and injuring over 100; and
WHEREAS the U.S. Central Command explanation that this was a “mistake” is questionable since the U.S. has never supported the Syrian Arab Army in its battles with ISIS; and
WHEREAS the U.S. Congress is considering House Resolution 5732 which calls for assessment and planning for a potential “No Fly Zone” in northern Syria which would constitute an act of war, taking over the skies above another country, and could easily lead to conflict with Syria and its allies;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Mt Diablo Peace & Justice Center calls on our supporters to speak out strongly against the U.S. policy of overthrowing foreign governments since history has shown this policy leads to extremism and chaos; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Mt Diablo Peace & Justice Center opposes HR 5732 because it will lead to more not less bloodshed; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Mt Diablo Peace & Justice Center calls on the U.S. government to respect and abide by international law and the U. N. Charter which says, “ All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
Passed by the Board of the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center on October 17, 2016
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Reese Erlich & Rick Sterling
presented their analyses of the conflict in Syria at a recent Center Forum held October 13, 2019.
CLICK HERE FOR AN INFORMATIVE VIDEO RECORDING OF THE EVENT.
Erlich is a world–renowned journalist and author of Inside Syria, The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect.
Sterling is co-founder of the Syria Solidarity Movement and a researcher who travels and writes extensively on the Middle East.
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The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center recently signed on to an Ad Hoc Coalition of organizations against U.S. intervention in Syria. For more information and to sign on as an individual please go to: link to coalition website.
Here is the message we need to convey:
U.S. Hands Off Syria
An Urgent Message for Peace on the Eve of Wider War
We raise our voices against the violence of war and the enormous pressure of war propaganda, lies and hidden agendas that are used to justify this war and every past U.S. war.
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, endorse the following Points of Unity and will work together as an Ad Hoc Coalition to help put an end to the regime change intervention by the United States, NATO and their regional allies and the killing of innocent people in Syria:
- The continuation of the war in Syria is the result of a U.S.-orchestrated intervention by the United States, NATO, their regional allies and reactionary forces, the goal of which is regime change in Syria.
- This policy of regime change in Syria is illegal and in clear violation of the United Nations Charter, the letter and spirit of international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- This policy of forced regime change is threatening the security of the region and the world and has increased the danger of direct confrontation between the United States and Russia, with the potential of a nuclear catastrophe for the whole world.
- War and U.S. and EU sanctions have destabilized every sector of Syria’s economy, transforming a once self-sufficient country into an aid-dependent nation. Half the Syrian population is now displaced. A UN ESCWA report reveals these U.S. sanctions on Syria are crippling aid work during one of the largest humanitarian emergency since World War II. The one third of Syrians refugees in surrounding Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have been hit hard by U.S. cuts to UNICEF. This forces desperate refugees to struggle to reach Europe.
- No foreign entity, be it a foreign government or an armed group, has the right to violate the fundamental rights of the Syrian people to independence, national sovereignty and self-determination. This includes the right of the Syrian government to request and accept military assistance from other countries, as even the U.S. government has admitted.
- Only the people of Syria have the inalienable right to choose their leaders and determine the character of their government, free from foreign intervention. This right cannot be properly exercised under the conditions of U.S.-orchestrated foreign intervention against the Syrian people.
- Our opposition is to forced regime change in Syria by U.S.-backed foreign powers and their mercenaries. It is not our business to support or oppose President Assad or the Syrian government. Only the Syrian people have the right to decide the legitimacy of their government.
- The most urgent issue at present is peace and putting an end to the violence of foreign intervention that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions of Syrians both internally or as refugees abroad.
Based on these Points of Unity, we, as individuals and organizations—in an Ad Hoc Coalition—agree on the following demands and commit ourselves to working together to help achieve them:
- An immediate end to the U.S. policy of forced regime change in Syria and full recognition and compliance by the U.S., NATO and their allies with principles of international law and the U.N. Charter, including respect for the independence and territorial integrity of Syria.
- An immediate end to all foreign aggression against Syria, and serious efforts toward a political resolution to the war.
- An immediate end to all military, financial, logistical and intelligence support by the U.S., NATO and their regional allies to all foreign mercenaries and extremists in the Middle East region.
- An immediate end to economic sanctions against Syria. Massive international aid for displaced people within Syria and Syrian refugees abroad.
Only in a peaceful and independent Syria, free of foreign aggression, can the people of Syria freely exercise their sovereign rights, express their free will and make free choices about their government and their country’s leadership.
We invite all supporters of peace and peoples’ right to self-determination around the world to join hands of cooperation in this effort to achieve these most humanitarian demands.
We need jobs, healthcare, education and an end to racist police violence here at home, not U.S. wars abroad!!
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In recent weeks, several deeply troubling events have taken place. These events include the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police, the assassination of multiple police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, and the police blowing up a murder suspect with a bomb attached to a robot.
While the exact circumstances surrounding each of these deaths have yet to be determined, one thing is very clear: We have a problem with violence in this country. And, race is routinely a contributing factor in the violence we perpetrate, experience, and hear about every day. Despite the suffering and injustice we witness on an almost daily basis, we cannot give up hope. We cannot give up hope that the problem of violence in America will be tamed. We can, and we must continue to work to create a more peaceful and just world.
While we are far from having all the answers, we may take refuge and comfort in the fact that conversations are happening and steps are being made to eradicate such unnecessary violence in our country. Today, or any day for that matter, as you wake up to face another horrific news story, please remember that your work and membership through the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center, your participation in center events and programs, and throughout our community and our nation is making our world safer and happier. Remember that your contributions are helping lift people up, create powerful connections to mobilize change, and address many of the root causes of inequality, injustice, and violence. For this, we thank you.
Board Members’ statement 7/18/2016
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Resolution in Support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
(“The 2015 Iran Agreement”)
Whereas, an international agreement has been negotiated by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, UK and the USA) plus Germany with Iran, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and informally known as the P5+1 Iran Agreement; and
Whereas, the plan calls for major reductions in Iranian capacity to produce enriched uranium or plutonium and agreement to not enrich beyond a level far below that required for military use, and the agreement calls for continuous monitoring and allowance for inspections and verification for 15 years, and in return, the P5+1 countries will lift economic sanctions on Iran and unfreeze Iranian assets in foreign banks; and
Whereas, the Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center believes this plan is a positive step toward a foreign policy based on negotiation and compromise rather than force, and
Whereas, for the past 12 years the US government and allies have invaded, bombed and destabilized governments they did not like; the US and allies invaded Iraq (2003) , bombed Libya (2011) and have funded the armed opposition in Syria (2011-present); and
Whereas, the consequences of this policy have been disastrous at home and abroad, with conditions vastly worse in Iraq, with chaos and terrorism having taken over Libya, and with close to 250,000 people having died, and another 10 million people displaced in Syria; and
Whereas, it is now estimated the US invasion of Iraq will ultimately cost about $3 trillion, with many thousands of Americans killed, and hundreds of thousands seriously injured physically or psychologically; and
Whereas, we note that many of the opponents of this agreement are the same organizations and individuals who promoted the invasion of Iraq and who have encouraged war with Iran; and
Whereas, we note that the agreement has been attacked with false claims, exaggerations and falsehoods just as there were false assertions about “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq; and
Whereas, if the USA fails to endorse the agreement, the other countries involved will likely proceed, without the USA, and this would damage American credibility on the world stage; and
Whereas, we believe this agreement is a significant and overdue step toward a foreign policy which uses diplomacy and negotiation rather than force, and that the alternative to diplomacy on this issue could be war;
Therefore, be it resolved that the Board of the Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center supports the JCPOA; and
Therefore, be it further resolved that the Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center urges our congressional representative to fully endorse the agreement, and vote in its favor.
Dan Reynolds, Board Chair
Resolution passed August 31, 2015
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The Board of the Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center passed the following resolution on September 15, 2014
Whereas recent events in Ferguson, Missouri have shown that even small police departments have acquired military hardware such as armored personnel carriers (APCs), grenade launchers, military-style “Fritz helmets,” and camouflage uniforms that are conspicuous shows of authority in built-up areas, and
Whereas Davis, California had acquired an APC and seeks to dispose of it (1) and Saddleback College of Mission Viejo, California has acquired an APC, even though the Campus Police force has 10 or fewer officers (2), and
Whereas the use of SWAT team actions has soared from a few hundred annually in the 1970s to more than 50,000 per year by 2005 (3) and SWAT team use has shifted from hostages, barricades, and active shooters (7 percent of uses as analyzed by the American Civil Liberties Union (4)) to routine police tasks such as drug searches and serving search warrants (80 per cent); SWAT teams infrequently find contraband (36 per cent); and often involve forced entry into private residences (65 per cent) and involve risk to innocent people, including children, and
Whereas militarized police can be cut off from their communities rather than be engaged with their communities, as happened in Ferguson, Missouri, and exceed their mission to protect and serve the public, as when battle-clad police in Ferguson fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protestors (5) and also invaded a McDonald’s restaurant to arrest reporters (6), and
Whereas there are far too many police actions resulting in citizen deaths that should result in questioning, arrest, or non-fatal use of force instead.
It is concluded that:
The militarization of police has reached unjustifiable levels,
Militarized police often threaten the public they are to protect and serve, and
The combination of militarized police and pervasive surveillance poses a threat to the civil liberties of Americans.
Therefore, be it resolved that:
The militarization of police needs to be stopped immediately, SWAT team use restored to hostage, barricade, and active shooter situations, and military weapons and equipment returned from police departments to the Federal government for storage or disposal.
BOARD OF THE MOUNT DIABLO PEACE AND JUSTICE CENTER, WALNUT CREEK
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MT. DIABLO PEACE & JUSTICE CENTER
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT
WHEREAS, the Mount Diablo Peace & Justice Center upholds the ideals of equal justice under the law, racial justice and human dignity for all; and
WHEREAS, the recent deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and too many others, compel questioning of whether or not equal justice under the law is possible for young men of color – particularly poor, young men of color; and
WHEREAS, these deaths are indicative of a growing social-economic division threatening the current and future well-being of people of color and the larger society; and
WHEREAS, while we recognize there have been some strides within police departments across the nation to engage in constructive dialogue and good faith efforts to improve relations between officers and communities of color and young people, there are still problems that exist and improvements that are needed in order to protect lives; and
WHEREAS, while we recognize that most police officers carry out the mission to protect the public in a manner that is honorable and professional, it is also true that incidents of racial profiling are still a very serious issue; and
WHEREAS, we express solidarity with the thousands of protestors in the Bay Area and throughout the nation who are peacefully expressing their outrage and frustration at the deaths of unarmed African-Americans; and
WHEREAS, while we profoundly believe and insist that all black lives matter, we also believe that the growing divide between “haves and have nots” in American society undermines the realization of that belief in the actual workings of the criminal justice system, our schools and economy,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we encourage people to engage in dialogue around the concepts of equal justice under the law, racial justice and “institutional racism”; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mount Diablo Peace & Justice Center supports Black Lives Matter forums, community meetings and peaceful demonstrations; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Mount Diablo Peace & Justice Center joins with local schools, districts, labor and community groups to call for the creation of a national model for community policing and well-funded, thoughtful programs for youth that divert marginalized young people into academic and career programs, and an end to institutionalized racism in the criminal justice system.
Dan Reynolds Adopted by Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center Board on June 15, 2015
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Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center – Resolution – Against Linguistic Racism
Whereas, language is power; and
Whereas, the term “dog whistle language” defines seemingly neutral language (such as “welfare queen,” “food stamp president,” and “the undeserving”) used by politicians, those in the media, and others as a substitute for explicit racial pejoratives to trigger and promote racial anxiety, create racial division, influence the way people vote, and nurture a political climate that has allowed income inequality to expand while appearing innocuous, disguising open class warfare; and
Whereas, dog whistling cannot be resisted by refusing to talk about race because this allows constant racial insinuations to go unchallenged, creating fear and feelings of racial superiority among many whites; and
Whereas, dog whistle racism rests in “colorblindness”;
Whereas, the core stories of colorblindness —that discrimination against minorities has ended, their inferior social positions are deserved, and contemporary whites are innocent victims of reverse discrimination—underpin dog whistle portrayals of nonwhites as threats to imperiled whites; and
Whereas, some politicians, Supreme Court Justices, and others contend that colorblindness means government should not take race into account even to promote racial equality; and
Whereas, some politicians and others use veiled racial references to persuade white voters to support policies that weaken unions and public pensions, defund public schools, block improvements to health care, and favor the extremely rich yet threaten their own interests; and
Whereas, racial politics has destabilized the American middle class—white and nonwhite members alike; and
Whereas, inequality and exploitation are the enemies of all people; and
Whereas, addressing linguistic racism allows American society to combat economic inequality; and
Whereas, the Board of Directors of the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center sees the issue of combating economic inequality as being in line with the mission and vision of the Center
Therefore, be it resolved, that the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center condemns “dog-whistle” politics, and political rhetoric of colorblindness, and encourages Americans to condemn it whenever it is used; and
Be it further resolved, that the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center will work to combat racism by focusing on educating Americans about racism’s persistent cultural presence, and ways to transcend it; and
Be it further resolved, that the Board of the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center will work to create inclusive environments, expose and eschew linguistic racism, and promote equality; and
Be it further resolved, that the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center encourages its members to work to create inclusive environments, expose and eschew linguistic racism, and promote equality; and
Be it further resolved, that the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center calls upon government at all levels to promptly promote inclusiveness, expose and eschew linguistic racism, and promote equality.
Daniel Reynolds, Board Chair November 17, 2014
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70 Years of Nuclear Weapons – At What Cost?
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CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!
We had a record number of schools participating this year – 42!
Painting by Second Place High School Art Winner
Anna-Sofia Giannicola, Las Lomas High School
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