MEETING NOTES FOR PEOPLE FOR PEACE, JUSTICE, AND HEALING
People for Peace, Justice, and Healing (Tacoma, WA)
December 12, 2009
Present for check-in at 10:00 a.m. at Associated Ministries, Tacoma, WA: Sallie, Nancy, Mark, and Colleen.
1. 'DISARM NOW PLOWSHARES' LETTER (Sallie)
Endorsed a letter of support for the Nov. 2, 2009, action (see text in addendum below).
2. GAZA DIARY READING DEBRIEF (Nancy)
Discussion of last Sunday's successful performance reading of Ed Mast's adaptation of Khulood Ghanem's diary from the 2008-2009 Israeli assault on Gaza.
1. ANNUAL BILL OF RIGHTS CELEBRATION (Colleen)
On Tues., Dec. 15, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Room 43 of the Trimble Forum Building on the campus of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, the ACLU-WA Pierce County Chapter will hold its annual Bill of Rights Celebration. Included will be a discussion on the struggles and triumphs of immigrants in Washington State. Former Centro Latino director Julio Quan will speak about the economic and social challenges immigrants confront daily and their successes in overcoming barriers. Martin Luther King Jr. scholar Mike Honey will attend and lead a few songs. The event is free and open to the public. (The Bill of Rights came into effect on December 15, 1791, when Virginia ratified the text and it came into effect, having been approved by three-fourths of the states.)
2. DIGGING DEEPER BOOKS FOR DECEMBER (Mark)
On December 14, UFPPC's Monday night book discussion group, Digging Deeper, will conclude its discussion of David Levering Lewis's God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 (W.W. Norton, 2008). On Dec. 21 & 28, Digging Deeper will discuss two books on the 2008 financial panic and the nature of money: In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic by David Wessel (Crown Business, 2009), and Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997; paperback 2001). Participation is free and open; meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. at the Mandolin Cafe, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA.
[People for Peace, Justice, and Healing of Tacoma, WA, endorsed the following letter on Dec. 12, 2009]
SUPPORT LETTER FOR DISARM NOW PLOWSHARES
We support the nonviolent disarmament action that took place in the U.S. on November 2, 2009, at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, where Trident nuclear weapons are stored or deployed on Trident submarines. These weapons constitute the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the U.S. Bill Bichsel, S.J., 81; Steve Kelly, S.J., 60; Anne Montgomery, RSCJ, 83; Lynne Greenwald, 60; and Susan Crane, 66, carried hammers into the secure nuclear bunker area to symbolically carry out Isaiah's injunction to "hammer swords into plowshares" [Isaiah 2.4]. Plowshares actions call for conversion of weapons of war into what is necessary for human life. They also poured out their own blood from baby bottles to make clearly visible the violence the bunkers hide. They sowed sunflower seeds: seeds of hope and international symbols of nuclear disarmament. They walked in the nonviolence of Jesus, whose message has often been obscured by the drumbeats of Empire.
During the civil rights and social change struggles in the U.S., South Africa, the Philippines, Poland, India, and many other countries, nonviolent civil resistance has been recognized as a necessary and responsible method for people seeking real justice and peace. In the spirit of these international struggles, the Plowshares cut through the fences at the Strategic Weapons Facility-Pacific to draw attention to the presence and intended use of these weapons.
We humans are on the edge of self-extinction, and on the edge of destroying all life on earth throug the mining, production, research, testing, use, and threat of use of nuclear weapons. Not only are thes weapons killing people now through the funding that ought to be used for human needs, but the production and testing of these weapons has caused genetic damage, cancers, and sickness to uncounted people around the world.
Nuclear weapons are indiscriminate killers of civilian populations, and the use or threat of use of these weapons is criminal and prohibited under international law: the Nuremberg Principles, Hague regulations, Geneva Conventions, and the U.N. Charter. In addition, the International Court of Justice in 1996 declared that the threat or use of nuclear weapons stands in opposition to international law. Thus the threat of use of nuclear weapons, the cornerstone of U.S. national security policy, is also a violation of international law.
Consequently, every person has a right and responsibility under the Nuremberg Principles to nonviolently oppose the existence of nuclear weapon systems and call for their abolition. All people can act responsibly in their local areas to eliminate nuclear weapons, as well as demand that the parties to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty at the May 2010 Review Conference set a firm date for the global abolition of nuclear weapons. International bodies such as Mayors for Peace are calling for all nuclear weapons to be eliminated by the year 2020. As nations turn their swords into plowshares, we become a human family that can eliminate war.