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Latest news

Hundreds Stand for Peace

by pjals Friday, Jul 15, 2016 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

vigil photoAt a vigil-rally jointly sponsored by PJALS and the NAACP, hundreds of people gathered outside the county courthouse on July 9 in a show of solidarity and support in the aftermath of the killings in Minnesota, Louisiana, and Dallas. Among others, Phil Tyler, president of the NAACP, Sandy Williams, publisher of The Black Lens newspaper, and our own Liz Moore, PJALS director, offered inspiring words and their perspectives on a week of horror and tragedy, ways to heal, things to consider from a black mother’s point of view, and the importance of getting involved to end racism and violence.

The gathering itself of a diversity of communities was a beautiful example of unity and love. At one point a lone protester tried to disrupt the gathering but he was met with a collective refusal to be drawn into argument and tension, with love, hugs, and acceptance. Mr. Tyler effectively defused the tension by offering him his moment to speak, to name his issue, and it turned out, he, too, in his awkward way, was asking for love, a world of love and peace.

It was a moment of collective understanding among the people that we all suffer the residual trauma of violence and injustice and we mustn’t allow bitterness to divide us. As others have noted, only recognition, understanding and insight can rob trauma of its power. And by working together, building relations, we create the path to that recognition and understanding.

Up On The Roof

by pjals Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

 Right smack dab in the middle of town/I found a paradise that’s trouble-proof (Up on the roof)
And if this world starts getting you down/There’s room enough for two up on the roof (Up on the roof
)—Gerry Goffin/Carole King

PJALS Steering Committee members Taylor Weech and Louise Chadez sponsored a fundraising party on June 27 up on the roof of the Saranc building in downtown Spokane. Dozens of their invited friends came to hear poetry by the Love and Outrage Collective, music by Lucas Brookbank Brown and PJALS director Liz Moore. All in all, we raised a little over $1600!

We met many new people, some from as far away as Guatemala recently settled in Spokane. Others were long time supporters/veteran activists and some were graduates of PJALS’s Young Activist Leaders program. Plus, friends and family of many of the attendees.

If you would like to host a fundraising rooftop party for your friends and family, comrades and allies, co-workers and neighbors to have an opportunity to learn about all the amazing work the Peace and Justice Action League is engaged in, we can help you with the planning. You do the inviting, decide on the theme if any, whether there is entertainment or poets or whatever vibe you want to make of it; we’ll walk you through it. PJALS director Liz Moore, will be there to speak about PJALS triumphs and needs. Contact us at amurillo@pjals.org

The Celebration Continues!

by pjals Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

condiPlease keep this date and place in mind: Thursday, July 21 at 5:30 pm-7:30 pm Saranac/Community Building 25-35 W Main Ave, Spokane, Washington 99201

Our continuing 40th anniversary celebration rolls into summer. Join wonderful like-minded PJALS members on the Saranac Roof Top (rain location: Community Building Lobby) to celebrate summer, our 40th anniversary, and all our marvelous PJALS volunteers!

This is our summer general membership meeting but all are welcome including newcomers interested in learning more about PJALS.

This is a pot-luck event. But please don’t hesitate to join us just because you have nothing to bring. We will be honoring our many volunteers who are the lifeblood of the movement for peace and justice in Spokane and  Eastern Washington. These are the people who remind us by their actions that we, the people, are the true, legitimate power in a democracy not the institutional powerholders.

The Saranac rooftop is always shaded by the afternoon. It’s the perfect place to share food and drinks and listen/watch  testimonies of our history, vision for the future, stories and memories,  and to network, sign up and join up with PJALS. For those who are interested in and curious about the Peace and Justice Action League, here is where your activist life can begin.

Pride…and then, pain

by pjals Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 | 4:16pm | Comment on this

13346769_10154129670101893_1795580373583024717_nWe had the largest number of volunteers serving on our Peacekeepers team this year. Seventeen people ranging in age from young to old showed up to help keep the peace during Spokane’s 25th Anniversary Pride Day parade and festival. Some followed alongside the parade route while others monitored the religious protestor’s circle at the park entrance, forming a human, porous, barrier between them and the thousands of beautiful individuals and families who showed up to celebrate their love and respect for the LGBTQ community. Peacekeepers served to remind folks not to engage with the hateful rhetoric and, in a few instances, to calm down bitter feelings and urges to escalate the tension into physical acting out against the religious agitators. Read more »

Young Activist Leaders Class of 2016

by pjals Thursday, Jun 16, 2016 | 4:16pm | Comment on this

0615161711aWith great pride and more than a little sadness at their departure, PJALS held a graduation ceremony for the 2016 class of the Young Activist Leaders program at the Community Building. This was an exceptional group of young leaders this year with nearly half of them being women of color. Three of the Latinas also worked as interns for PJALS providing invaluable support and spearheading the Truth in Recruitment program doing outreach work at Rogers High School about alternatives to joining the military. Read more »

Summer Gathering for Justice in Portland

by pjals Tuesday, Jun 14, 2016 | 3:15pm | One comment.

Registration is now open: Click here to register!

For two years now, PJALS has been networking and collaborating with Portland’s NAACP and Seattle’s Mothers for Police Accountability to form the Northwest Community Coalition for Police Accountability In order to strengthen our regional solidarity and develop a long-term, strategic framework, a Summer Gathering of activists will held in Portland at Portland State University on Aug. 12-13, a Friday and Saturday.

We hope a huge Spokane contingency will be there. People like you and your friends and allies. Read more »

Beyond Memorial Day

by pjals Tuesday, Jun 14, 2016 | 2:14pm | Comment on this
Rusty Nelson

Rusty Nelson

This is not for Memorial Day, but it’s being written over Memorial Day weekend, a time I’m at odds with many neighbors, extended family members, fellow veterans and fellow people of faith. In spite of solidarity in our anti-war community, I feel hostile and oppressed when the dominant culture prattles on about “ultimate sacrifice” and other fabricated concepts used to enhance the fantasy that the Pentagon is the author and finisher of our freedom, that every flag-draped corpse represents the best America has to offer, that dying in a murderous effort against another culture is a sacred gift to humanity. Read more »