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Latest news


Hiroshima Day Remembrance

Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 | 4:16pm | Comment on this

Hiroshima Day Remembrance

Thursday, August 6th noon

Riverfront Park-meet between the Carousel and the river.

We will be releasing white flowers in the river in observance of lives lost in the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Please RSVP here


Peace, People, and Prosperity

Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

USAction Pentagon Sign on Letter-PJALS

As the Federal Budget battle continues with Obama’s version containing the highest Pentagon budget in our Nation’s history we are calling on Congress to enact a budget that provides for true security and prosperity.

America’s path to prosperity and security depends on a prosperous and secure world. We all do better when all do better. We are all more secure when we are all more secure.

Please read the letter and add your name to the  here.

Please RSVP here


Position filled – Office Manager at PJALS

Thursday, Jul 9, 2015 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

Thank you for your interest — this position has been filled. 

The Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane engages everyday people to build a just and nonviolent world. We are a multi-issue membership organization committed to community organizing and grassroots leadership development for peace, economic justice, and human rights. Come be part of our team!

Qualifications:

Applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to social justice. Skills required include:

  • Excellent organization, work habits, and follow-up.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills.
  • Ability to build respectful relationships with people unlike oneself; working across race/ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, faith, and other identities.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Must have knowledge of Word, Excel and Google Docs; knowledge of Salesforce preferred.
  • Desire to contribute to organizational success.

Responsibilities include:

  • Maintain accurate donor records.
  • Recruit, train, and manage volunteers for data entry and related administrative needs.
  • Create and update procedural manuals for record-keeping.
  • Anticipate office supply needs, order supplies, and track inventory for regular meetings, events, office functioning, & mailings.
  • Sales merchandise ordering & inventory.
  • Keep offices & break room organized.
  • Volunteer coordination duties for events such as recruitment (including by phone, email, and other tools) and tracking hours.
  • Event and meeting communications, reminders, and promotions including phone calls, emails, and social media.
  • Assist with responding to member and public inquiries, event planning, and meeting room reservation.
  • Contribute to team effort by accomplishing other results as assigned.

5-10 hours a week. $15/hour. Reports to the Director. Ideal start date July 28.

Please send cover letter and resume with 3 references to lmoore@pjals.org.

 


Summer Leadership Workshop: Invest in People, Not the Pentagon!

Thursday, Jun 4, 2015 | 2:02am | Comment on this

Trainers: Mike Prokosch, Peace Action and Doug Hall, National Priorities Project

Come strengthen our local organizing to advance beyond war and militarism to build peace! Explore how Pentagon spending fits into current national budget struggles and links back to our own community’s needs and global human rights. Learn how we can effectively talk about Pentagon spending and respond to common arguments. Our path to security and prosperity depends on a secure, prosperous world. We all do better when we all do better!

Saturday, June 20

9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Unitarian Universalist Church, 4340 W. Fort Wright Drive

No cost. Donations gladly accepted!


PJALS Turns 40, With A Purpose

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

pjals logoBy Tim Connor

Where did the time go? This coming year will mark PJALS’s 40th year—hosting, organizing and generally radiating good works from Spokane.

To mark this remarkable milestone—of a transformative social change organization growing from a seedling to a mature oak in one of the nation’s most conservative regions—PJALS staff and volunteers are already headed in at least two directions.

The first is to compile and organize the photographs, articles, and event memorabilia that chronicle the organization’s rich history and personalities. The second is to make the most meaning and use of the anniversary as a springboard to the future, especially to recruit new PJALS activists and supporters.

To be sure, Spokane still has its social and political roots in Gilded Age economics and militarism. But it is becoming a more diverse, tolerant and worldly city as a result of the work that PJALS has initiated and supported over the years. The 40th Anniversary will be an opportunity to chronicle, celebrate and set new courses for change.

If you have stories, photos, and/or memorabilia from PJALS history, or if you’d like to join the Anniversary Team, please contact Suzy at shalberstadt@pjals.org. For announcements about celebrations of our 40th, watch this space.

 


Greetings and salutations from the Young Activist Leaders Program!

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 3:15pm | One comment.
Young Activist Leaders discussing self care

Young Activist Leaders discussing self care

By Jamie McDaniel

We have been working our hardest to prepare ourselves to be the greatest possible leaders of tomorrow. Last month we worked on reaching out to the community by means of public speaking and building a community power map. A community power map is an extremely important tool to utilize because it one of the most effective ways to analyze who holds the power and how we can sway them to see things are way.

For the month of May, we practiced the art of self-care — which as we all know is often overlooked in our line of work. My personal favorite aspect of this workshop was creating a “word box” in which we put many words that hold significant meaning to us so that in times of trouble, we can draw on one of our words to empower us.

The turnout for YALP has been excellent the past few months and many of us are gearing up and getting ready to attend our Young Activist Leaders Program graduation on June 16th. Let’s hear from some of our graduates:

Bri Gardiner would like all of our supporters to know, “YALP has been an amazing opportunity for me. It has not only connected me with other young activists but it has taught me how to make a difference!” Read more »


Fear, Itself and Other Dangers

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

Rusty NelsonRusty Nelson on Peace and War

Earlier in my lifetime, Americans had an affinity for memorable statements of their elected leaders. In spite of philosophical, political, and religious differences, we could be inspired by catch phrases, warnings, and imperatives like Kennedy’s, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Eisenhower’s great popularity was no match for the spiraling power of the military-industrial complex, but we certainly remember his warning, today.

In the 21st Century, the messenger may have brilliant rhetoric and universal insight and still fall flat with a jaded and cynical public. Obama has electrified his fan base with his words and delivery, over and over, but he can’t find resonance with critics who are hung up on one or two issues that make him the enemy. We’ll go back decades, at least, for a presidential quote or go with a contemporary outsider.

It’s not surprising that Franklin Roosevelt, with four terms, is remembered for more presidential zingers than anyone else. FDR was an orator in the golden radio years, and he seems to have struck a chord, as the U.S. entered World War II, with his declaration that, “The only thing we have to fear is fear, itself.” It’s a legendary line, and most of us have taken it for granted as a wise slogan from a president determined that his country, his people will not tremble in the face of powerful enemies, hardship and sacrifice. I invite you to be a little cynical about the famous sentence. Read more »


Smart Justice Spokane Updates — Smart Hiring and community member voices!

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

Smart Justice Spokane logo with wordsBy Liz Moore

In March, the Board of Spokane County Commissioners added two community members to the Spokane Regional Law and Justice Council (SRLJC), a change long advocated by Smart Justice Spokane to bring the voices of those impacted by the system to the decision-making body. Recruitment for these positions will begin soon — if you are interested or would like to encourage others to apply, please contact me and I’ll make sure you hear more!

The SRLJC also adopted its mission statement: “to create and sustain a cost-effective regional criminal justice system that builds a healthy and strong community by fostering the best possible outcomes for the community, including reducing recidivism and increasing system collaboration.” Adopted goals include: “Include community members, particularly those who are impacted by the system, in the reform efforts through meaningful participation on the SRLJC and its Subcommittees;” and “Evaluate and address racial disproportionality in the criminal justice system and have a commitment in all departments to achieve racial equity.”

These goals are important commitments to real change coming!

In April, Spokane City Council voted unanimously to support the City’s new hiring policy, which gives applicants with criminal records a fair opportunity to be considered for City employment. The Council asked the City to work with the Human Rights Commission to publicize the new hiring policy across the community, and 2) track city hiring data and report on the policy’s impact.

Congratulations and thanks to all the folks who courageously shared their own powerful real-life stories of the collateral consequences of convictions and incarceration. And thanks to all who emailed, called, and came to show support! As partners in Smart Justice Spokane, we’ve known from the beginning: nothing stops the cycle of crime like a living wage job! Our community works best when everyone in our community can work!

 


Spring Flowers!

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

Here’s what you’ve been part of making happen just in the last 3 months:
* “My Name is Rachel Corrie,” a powerful production at GU with a full house & Craig & Cindy Corrie!
* Mothers & Families for Smart Justice founding meeting!
* Activist in Residence – the last of four workshops at EWU, with a total of over 500 student contacts and many great conversations with young folks passionate about social justice.
* “Arms of Compassion” around the NAACP
* International Women’s Day symposium outreach
* “Stand Against Racism” rally
* Chris Hedges exhorted the packed house at The Bing on the “moral imperative of revolt!”
* Smart Justice Spokane quarterly meeting with Center for Social Inclusion’s President Glenn Harris
* “Race: The Power of An Illusion” workshop with 100 folks, then the Train the Trainer with 42 amazing facilitators (pictured above)
* “Rise Up Singing” Opening Reception of our Action Conference, sponsored by Veterans for Peace
* Our 6th annual Peace & Economic Justice Action Conference featuring Judith LeBlanc’s “Fry Bread Theory of Social Justice” and super fantastic workshops!
* PJALS delegation in “No H8 Spokane” Unity March
* Police Accountability Coalition meeting with Police Ombudsman Commissioner Adrian Dominguez
* Earth Day outreach
* Peacekeeper training with organizers of May 1 Immigration March from M.E.Ch.A. de EWU
* PJALS delegation in May 1 Immigration March with M.E.Ch.A. de EWU leading!
* Young Activist Leaders workshops on “Organizing Our Selves & Our Work,” “Events that Kick A**,” “Public Speaking,” “Community Power Mapping,” and “Self-Care: Body, Mind, and Contemplation.”
* “Inside the Activist Studio: A Conversation with Winona LaDuke and Liz Moore” at EWU
* Welcomed St. George’s 2nd Grade class and helped them tour our block and learn about how our work relates to our community
* “Bread and Roses” Benefit Auction success!
THANK YOU! Your involvement and support makes a difference!


“Seeing Our Plans Turn To Action” – Practicum Reflection by Victoria Huckabee

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

Victoria HuckabeeInterning at PJALS has been an amazing experience for me and I have learned about so many different areas of community organizing and macro level social work. I am grateful for every experience I had at PJALS from participating in police accountability meetings and activities to planning the Mothers and Families for Smart Justice group, and even making hundreds of event reminder phone calls. Interning at PJALS has taught me community organizing, leadership skills, and formed my professional identity. I feel confident and satisfied in the work I have done and in the work I will continue to do with the skills I learned at PJALS.

Looking back on the year I remember how little I knew about community organizing at the first event I was a part of, which was the Smart Justice Community Symposium. I remember feeling a little useless and somewhat in the way because I had so many questions and wasn’t really sure what I was doing. As the year progressed and I felt more confident in my abilities I began to own my projects and take pride in my work. When I compare my symposium experience to our most recent event, which was the auction, I am really able to see how much I changed and grew over the course of my internship. The auction was a very different experience for me than the symposium was. At the auction, I felt confident in the work I was doing, took charge of my projects, and stepped up to help out wherever I was needed. I also noticed a difference due to the relationships I built with members and volunteers and it feels great to be a valuable member of the team. Read more »


“A Sense of Needing to Contribute” – Practicum Reflection by Teresa Kinder

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

Teresa KinderInterning at PJALS has provided me with a unique opportunity to learn mezzo and macro level social work practice. I learned what advancing social change really means and what working for a better tomorrow looks like. Students in my social work cohort question whether they are really making a difference. At PJALS I have never questioned if my work is making a difference. Being an intern has shown me my own faults and areas for improvement but also how to make a difference in the community.

At the start of the year I started at another internship. I remember hearing fellow interns Jamie and Victoria talk about all the work they were doing at PJALS and feeling a sense of needing to contribute to this work.

Starting my internship at PJALS, one of the first things I was a part of was a demonstration about the Department of Justice report on torture tactics employed by the Bush administration and developed at Fairchild Air Force Base. This small demonstration was my first look into the injustices perpetrated in our country and one action we can take to counter injustice. Read more »


“My Journey as a Warrior of Social Justice” – Practicum Reflection by Jamie McDaniel

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

Jamie McDanielAs my year as an intern here at PJALS comes to a close, I have truly begun to notice the impact my time here has made on me as a person and how much of this practice I have soaked up like a little social-justice sponge.

An example of this is in my final policy class at school, now my fellow students seek me out and want to work with me on projects or ask my advice on assignments and perspectives. It is extremely empowering to know that people can turn to me for help and assistance on issues that are not taught enough in our Bachelor’s of Social Work program. I have enjoyed being able to share what I have learned here with everyone around me and it has truly been a unique and enlightening experience.

My fondest memories at PJALS are mostly made up of our rallies and protests. It’s the time where we put all the taxing office work into action, taking to the streets with a purpose. I can remember my first protest for Condoleezza Rice’s visit Spokane and how nervous and excited I was to finally get to be part of something great and bigger than myself. There are not any words to describe how it felt to shout chants into the bullhorn for the very first time. Read more »


We stood strong: “Invest in People –Not the Pentagon!”

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

Global Day of Action on Military Spending, Spokane

A dedicated team of PJALS members gathered on Tax Day to make our values visible:

When we spend more than half of our federal budget on the Pentagon, it doesn’t make us more secure. Let’s stop pouring money into defense contracting, and look for comprehensive solutions that address the root causes of conflict. Our security requires investment in education, good jobs, infrastructure, nutrition, health care, affordable housing and other services that provide economic security to our families and a brighter future for our children.


Mothers and Families for Smart Justice

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

SJS logo with wordsBy Victoria Huckabee

Do you have an incarcerated loved one? Join the Mothers and Families for Smart Justice group! We are a group of people who either have an incarcerated loved one or have been affected by the prison system in some way and feel passionate about making positive changes to support people who are dealing with incarceration.

We meet monthly to support one another, provide community education, and advocate for policy change. Meetings are held on the last Thursday of each month at 6:00 pm at the Parish Center at St. Aloysius church located on the Gonzaga campus at 330 E. Boone Ave. Spokane, WA 99202. If you want more information please call Colleen at 509-230-7123. All are welcome!

 


Thank you to all our “Bread and Roses” Benefit Auction donors, volunteers, and guests!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | 5:17pm | Comment on this

Auction highlights

 

 

No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,

But a sharing of life’s glories, bread and roses, bread and roses.”

Thank you for supporting our work together for human rights, economic justice, and peace. Read more »


Spokane Supports Pasco – End Police Brutality

Thursday, Apr 30, 2015 | 1:13pm | Comment on this

Join MEChA de EWU and Tri-Cities Community Solutions at 2pm in Volunteer Park Pasco, WA as we come together for the 3 month anniversary of Antonio Zambrano-Montes’ death.

Use the facebook event page to organize carpools.

Donate to support gas money via this button — PJALS will pass through 100% of donations via this button to folks who are carpooling.

donate now button

 


On Iran: Say “Yes” to Peace!

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 | 1:13pm | Comment on this

Finally some good news! After a marathon of diplomatic efforts from seven nations, a Framework Agreement on Iran’s nuclear program has been reached. This opens the door to further non-proliferation efforts and to a dramatic improvement in US-Iranian relations, after decades of frozen enmity. Most Americans desire a diplomatic solution to the conflict with Iran. But without significant grass- roots mobilization, that aspiration will be thwarted.

[a message from our friends at United for Peace & Justice]

Read more »


Support Smart Hiring for folks with conviction records!

Thursday, Apr 9, 2015 | 9:09am | Comment on this

Smart Justice SpokaneShow your support: Monday April 13, 6:00 pm at the Spokane City Council Meeting, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd

Share & invite your friends here!

In Smart Justice Spokane, we’ve known from the beginning that nothing stops the cycle of crime like a job! Our community works best when everyone in our community can work!

Please join us at the City Council meeting on Monday April 13 at 6 pm to show your support for the City’s new hiring policy, which gives applicants with criminal records a fair opportunity to be considered for City employment! The City Administration implemented the policy in December, but there was no publicity.

You can show your support by attending or by testifying! Read more »


Invest in People. Not the Pentagon

Wednesday, Apr 8, 2015 | 11:11am | Comment on this

We will be gathering at the Fountain in Riverfront Park for our Tax Day Action as a part of Global Days of Action Against Military Spending. Join us at 4:45pm on Wednesday, April 15th as we call on Congress to Invest in People – Not the Pentagon.

When we spend more than half of our federal budget on the Pentagon, it doesn’t make us more secure. Let’s stop pouring money into defense contracting, and look for comprehensive solutions that address the root
causes of conflict. Our security requires investment in education, good jobs, infrastructure, nutrition, health care, affordable housing and other services that provide economic security to our families and a brighter future for our children.

We will have visuals showing the breakdown of the federal budget, signs to wave calling for funding for people-not the Pentagon, and literature to pass out to folks in the community.

Facebook event to share with others.

For more information, contact Shar at slichty@pjals.org


“Bread and Roses” Benefit Auction: Friday May 8

Tuesday, Apr 7, 2015 | 11:11am | Comment on this

Eventbrite - PJALS 2015 Bread & Roses Benefit Auction

 

Bread & Roses Benefit Auction Friday May 8

 

Friday May 8, 2015

5:30 – 9:30 pm

Bread & Roses Benefit Auction

A Friday evening of dinner, live & silent auctions, and fun as we celebrate our work together! Host a table of 10 for $250. Tickets on sale for $25 ($30 after May 1)

April 21-24, 2015

“Got Item” Days

This is an opportunity for members & supporters to drop off donated items for the Auction. What are we seeking: Experiences, cabin or condo getaways, gift certificates to local businesses, tickets to events, or tangible items.

Eventbrite - PJALS 2015 Bread & Roses Benefit Auction


2015 Peace & Economic Justice Action Conference

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 | 6:18pm | One comment.

 

**Online ticket sales end at noon on Friday, March 20–You may register at the door at either the reception or conference**

Eventbrite - 2015 Peace and Economic Justice Action Conference

Rave reviews about our Action Conference:

  • “Great variety of programs and the opportunity to meet new people!”
  • “It gave me inspiration and hope.”
  • “Surrounded by the energy of like minded people, rare in Spokane!”
  • “Open discussions, amazing positive energy, and equality.”
  • “I met amazing people and the mingle times were so productive and interesting. The energy at this conference and the reception was amazing. Wow! It is hard to feel hopeless about America’s current state when getting together to make a change like this.”
  • “Idealistic but practical. Motivating, energizing.”

We want YOU to join in this year!

Early Bird Registration Open!

Enjoy Early Bird Registration Rates – through March 12th, add $5 after March 12th:
• $40 General Public
• $30 members of PJALS and co-sponsoring groups
• $15 Living Lightly (self-identified low-income, students, seniors, etc)
• Limited “workshare volunteer scholarships” are available—please contact Teresa at tkinder@pjals.org for info. Two-hour workshare shifts include set-up, registration table, resource table, clean-up, etc.  Read more »


PJALS brings Chris Hedges to Spokane: Tues March 10, 2015, 7:00 pm at the Bing

Monday, Mar 9, 2015 | 12:00am | Comment on this

Chris Hedges

Wages of

Rebellion:

The Moral Imperative of Revolt

Peace and Justice Action League is excited to host Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and writer Chris Hedges in Spokane!

“Champion of the 99% – Mortal Enemy of the 1%” 

–Los Angeles Press Club

Tuesday March 10, 2015, at 7:00 pm at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague

Tickets: $20 at the door -$10 student 

Box Office opens at 6:30 pm

We are riding the crest of a revolutionary epic, from the Arab Spring to movements against austerity in Greece to the Occupy movement and beyond. From the vantage point of a world on the edge, Chris Hedges investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution, rebellion and resistance. Hedges’ message is clear: popular uprisings in the United States and around the world are inevitable in the face of environmental destruction and wealth polarization.

Read more »


Rusty Nelson on Peace and War: Trying to Support the Troops

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 | 12:12pm | Comment on this

Rusty Nelson on Peace and War: Trying to Support the Troops

               It must have been several years ago because the signs we held said “Free Bradley Manning,” and we Vets for Peace didn’t have to defend Chelsea Manning’s transgender rights while bringing attention to the persecuted, military whistle-blower Americans were trying to ignore. At an event in Riverfront Park, I was approached by two burly young men who said they were active duty military and considered Manning to be a traitor. They thought the army intelligence analyst’s reporting a massacre by U.S. helicopter crews was insignificant compared to the release of other classified information to Wikileaks. At least they knew something about the case. But then, they issued a challenge they might like to have back, now. “If you want to do something for an American soldier, put our government to work to free Beau Bergdahl.”

How things change. Private Manning, known now as Chelsea, is serving a 45-year prison sentence while the soldiers she reported remain uncharged and unpunished. Sgt. Beau Bergdahl is back in the U.S. after a controversial hostage/prisoner exchange, awaiting a decision on whether he will be charged with a crime. The story is different from the one several years ago, and several men from his unit want to see Bergdahl punished for being a deserter and putting them at risk. Read more »


We are Tipping into Repeal

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 | 12:12pm | Comment on this

We are Tipping into Repeal

by Shar Lichty

              While I was working on the freedom to marry campaign I watched the nation reach a tipping point and a flood of states passing legislation following Washington successfully defending it at the ballot. I have been working on the death penalty for nearly 9 years and am witnessing the same thing occurring at a national level –we are tipping into repeal! Read more »


Our 6th Annual Peace and Economic Justice Action Conference

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 | 12:12pm | Comment on this

Our 6th Annual Peace and Economic Justice Action Conference

by Teresa Kinder, intern

March is bringing with it this year’s Action Conference that has become the largest gathering of over 200 progressive thinks from across Washington and neighboring states. This year we will be hosting 24 fabulous workshops on a broad range of issues focusing on education, action, and skill building.

Conference goers tell us the Conference provides a “great variety of programs and the opportunity to meet new people!” Another reported, “I met amazing people the mingle times were so productive and interesting. The energy at the conference and the reception was amazing. Wow! It is hard to feel hopeless about America’s current state when getting together to make a change like this.”

This year come and learn how you can build creative and effective actions in Eric Ross’s ‘Escalation of Creative Nonviolent Direct Action Tactics’ workshop. Also learn how to effectively talk to your legislators with Gloria Ochoa, Blaine Stum, Lori Kinnear, and Shar Lichty.

The Conference will feature workshops focusing locally and internationally. Join David Brookbank and Jan Treecraft in ‘Nicaragua: Cristiana, Socialista y Solidaria.’ Or, travel  with Mary Rupert and Larry Shook in ‘Journey to Afghanistan and Back with a Young Soldier.’

Join us March 20th for the reception before the conference for a great evening of socializing. Then come on Saturday March 21, for the Peace and Economic Justice Action Conference. For full details and to register go to http://pjals.org/2015conference. Let your voice be heard.

 


Meet Our Action Conference Keynote–Judith LeBlanc

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 | 12:12pm | Comment on this

Meet Our Action Conference Keynote

By Shar Lichty

              We are thrilled to have Judith LeBlanc, Senor Organizer with Alliance for a Just Society as our Keynote Speaker at this year’s Peace & Economic Justice Action Conference. Check out our fantastic list of workshops and register now to enjoy early bird rates at pjals.org/2015conference.

Judith is currently organizing a project to create a national Native leadership network to provide support for strategic planning and capacity building trainings in Indian Country.

She was the Field Director for Peace Action, a national grassroots organization representing 90,000 members committed to a fundamental change in U.S. foreign policy. She coordinated the Move the Money Campaign, an effort to organize grassroots coalitions of community, labor and peace groups to change national spending priorities from wars and weapons to fund jobs and public services as one of the steps towards a “new economy” that works for all.

She has worked on a national level for over 30 years on campaigns ranging from labor rights, racial justice to peace, and disarmament campaigns. She served two terms as a national co-chair of United for Peace and Justice, the national coalition that organized the movement to oppose the 2nd war in Iraq. In 2014 she received the National Priorities Project’s Democracy Champions Award.

Judith is a member of the Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma. She lives in Harlem, New York.

 


Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation member calls for end to death penalty

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 | 12:12pm | Comment on this

Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation member calls for end to death penalty

by Jamie McDaniel

              The night when PJALS hosted Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation member Pat McCoy proved to be an evening of powerful words which instilled the will to fight for the abolition of the death penalty in the community.

Pat McCoy invited us into his past to be able to see how he, as the loved one of someone who has been murdered, really feels about use of capital punishment on their perpetrators. His story having come out of Spokane made his message even more powerful because it hit literally so close to home. Pat’s sister was murdered in Spokane in 1974, a time when the death penalty was not legal in Washington.

Pat expresses that there is not a single member of his family that wishes the revenge, which the law thinks we all desire, was sought. He said, “We were satisfied that he was convicted and confined.” He expressed to us the importance of closure for the family, which is not done when a murder is put to death, but when the case itself is over so that the family can behind the healing process. With the help of Jason Ortiz, anot

her member of Murder Victim’s Families’ for Reconciliation, the audience was taught about the importance of what the death penalty really means in our society; both fiscally and personally.

 


Young Activist Leaders Program report: “Justice needs to be done in society!”

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 | 12:12pm | Comment on this

Young Activist Leaders Program report: “Justice needs to be done in society!”

by Jamie McDaniel, intern

             Greetings from your YALPistas! We have had an exciting and educational last few months in the Young Activist Leaders Program, and we are very grateful for our workshops! We are always looking forward to the third Tuesday of every month!

I know first hand that our young activist leaders are the coolest, most interesting and enlightening individuals out there. YALP member Kacy Kräcke says, “I think YALP is very useful when it comes to being a successful organizer. Everyone in this program knows the importance of what justice needs to be done in society.”

Another YALPista, Trung Nguyen, says, “YALP gives the younger generation the chance to truly make a difference in the community. YALP proves that young people want to do more than sit around. We want to make a lasting, positive effect.”

I could not agree more with you guys!

 


Welcome Social Work Practicum Student Teresa!

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 | 12:12pm | Comment on this

Welcome Social Work Practicum Student Teresa!

by Liz Moore

              Teresa Kinder is a senior at EWU, completing her social work practicum with a Community Organizing Internship at PJALS. “I was tired of seeing people around me thinking they couldn’t make a difference,” she says.

“I’m passionate about lots of social justice issues. Everything is so important, and for me it depends on what has momentum at the moment. I do love LGBT issues, anything around that is my passion.”

Teresa is a graduate of the Mead school district. Her first step to put her values into action was to attend a meeting with Washington CAN. She volunteered with them on paid sick days. “I had worked at Walmart and I saw what it was like to not have paid sick days. It was ridiculous. I saw people who were sick working, and I worked in meats, so sick people are touching your food all the time. I saw people who were taking care of their families, and if they missed a day of work, they wouldn’t be able to afford something for their kids, so no matter how sick they were, they were at work. It was a huge issue.”

“My favorite thing about being at PJALS,” says Teresa, “is hearing from so many people and learning about so many things I didn’t know were issues before. Anytime I see something where people are actually doing something and actually making a difference — I haven’t been around people before who are even trying. I’ve learned about things like race inequalities — I had always heard they were there but had never seen them, now I have learned and now I notice and see things that were always there. Another big issue I’ve learned about has been with people who were incarcerated, that had never occurred to me ever.”

Teresa says she’ll be different after this internship. “I feel like I’m not afraid to talk about issues anymore. I’ll have more skills and knowledge about how to run groups and organize anything in general.”

 


Welcome Social Work Practicum Student Jamie!

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 | 12:12pm | Comment on this

Welcome Social Work Practicum Student Jamie!

By Victoria Huckabee

           Jamie McDaniel is a senior in the Social Work program at Eastern Washington University. She is from the Spokane area and enjoys spending time with her family and her new dog, Momota.

She is passionate about human rights and loves protesting for anything she feels is a worthy cause. At PJALS she works mostly on abolishing the death penalty.

In addition to being a full time student and intern, she also works as shelter staff at Crosswalk Teen Shelter and is a visitation specialist at Empowring Inc Services. Jamie loves to travel and spent the summer exploring Ghana, the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, France, Manaco, Italy Switzerland, and Denmark.

Jamie is still undecided about her plans after graduation, but she is considering graduate school and joining the Peace Corps.

 


PJALS at EWU—An Activist in Residence update

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 | 12:12pm | Comment on this

PJALS at EWU—An Activist in Residence update

By Liz Moore

Young people are curious, interested, have developed their own opinions already, draw on their own meaningful experience, and ask great questions. This is what I’ve observed speaking in classes and holding workshops at EWU last year and this year as the first ever EWU Activist in Residence. In January I spoke in 19 classes over two days, ranging from Philosophy to Chicano History to Feminist Methodology to Criminal Justice to African American Family. I jogged from building to building and spoke to over 300 students about PJALS, about whether the elite hold power or whether it’s in the hands of the people, and the what & why of Smart Justice Spokane’s campaign for criminal justice reform.

In every class and at every Activist in Residence workshop, I share  the Power Elite Model and the People Power Model from Bill Moyer’s book Doing Democracy. Heads nod as I described the power-holders at the top acting upon us through laws, myths, norms, and institutions. When I asserted that we individually and collectively have the autonomy and authority to decide to withdraw our consent and to challenge those in power, students smile and nod again. EWU students experience and assert these two realities on a daily basis as young people, people of color, low-income folks, and other facets of identity.

You’re invited to the final Activist in Residence workshop on Thursday March 5, 3:30 to 5:30 in Monroe 205: “Approaches to Activism: Making the Road by Walking,” a panel discussion with Jude McNeil, Sandy Williams, Blaine Stum, Reb. Deb Conklin, and me. Come join the conversation!


Welcome Social Work Practicum Student Victoria!

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 | 11:11am | Comment on this

Welcome Social Work Practicum Student Victoria!

by Jamie McDaniel

Victoria Huckabee is a full time social work student and single mother of two boys, Luke and Logan.

Her academic journey began pursuing a certification in American Sign Language which led her to the Bachelors of Social Work program at Eastern Washington University. She will graduate this spring. After graduation,  Victoria plans to enter the advanced standing program to pursue her Masters degree.

Victoria is committed to working for social justice on a large scale and push for reforms and improvements in the system. She is especially passionate about criminal justice reform and peace.

A fun fact about Victoria is that she has a pet sheep named Scout who thinks he is a dog!

 


Powerful award-winning play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” to be shown in Spokane

Thursday, Feb 5, 2015 | 2:14pm | One comment.

Corrie play header

By Justin Mauger

On Monday March 2nd, 7:00 pm, the award-winning play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” will be shown at the Magnuson Theater on the campus of Gonzaga University. This play is brought to the Gonzaga Campus by PJALS’ Palestine-Israel Human Rights Committee in collaboration with Gonzaga student Forrest Potter and featuring actress Erin Fitzgerald. This play is presented free of charge and open to the public. We hope that PJALS members will join us in attendance at this important event.

Rachel Corrie was a gifted writer and peace activist from Olympia, Washington.  As a student at The Evergreen State College, she proposed an independent-study program and went to the Gaza Strip, Palestine, to create a Rafah-Olympia Sister City relationship, where, in her work as a peace and human rights activist she helped protect Palestinian homes from illegal demolition. While practicing Gandhian nonviolence, clad in fluorescent orange and shouting over a bullhorn, she was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer as she attempted to stop the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home in the city of Rafah. Read more »


Supporting Spokane’s Trans* Community

Monday, Feb 2, 2015 | 4:16pm | Comment on this

trans* flagI was shocked and saddened to learn of the physical attack on a trans* woman on West Main on Friday night, sending her to the hospital. An attack anywhere is unacceptable but I find myself especially troubled by an attack taking place across the street from our offices and in a business whose owners have gone out of their way to support equality, the freedom to marry, and the recognition of everyone’s full humanity.

Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane joins our community’s good wishes for the victim’s quick recovery and full well-being. We also join the call for a full investigation and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice quickly. Read more »


We demand: Prosecute Torturers!

Monday, Dec 15, 2014 | 10:10am | Comment on this

This week as a nation we learned more about our own country’s use of torture, authorized by extremists such as Vice President Cheney, President Bush, Secretary of State Condi Rice, and others throughout the Bush administration. The hundreds of pages released make several things horrifyingly clear:
- The torture program was worse than what most Americans know. As the report notes, it was “brutal.”
- The torture program was ineffective and provided no real intelligence information.
- The torture program harmed and damaged our reputation all over the world.

It was wrong from the start, but this report just provides more evidence of that.

The report also speaks to the importance of work led by PJALS co-director Nancy and Rusty Nelson, with so many long time PJALS members, to expose the role of Spokane psychologists Mitchell and Jesson in creating and promulgating these torture techniques in exchange for more than $80 million in contracts. (See Shawn Vestal’s latest coverage here)

Torture or complicity in torture has been a felony under U.S. law, and the United States has been party to treaties requiring that it prosecute whenever there is sufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction. Top officials involved in the torture reported on, including Bush and Cheney, have repeatedly and shamelessly admitted to authorizing acts of torture and asserted that they would do so again. They’ve made these confessions on national television.

Talk of “turning a corner” and “never again” is worse than useless rhetoric if accompanying the act of openly embracing lawlessness. Accountability for torture today is critical for stopping it tomorrow!

We demand: Prosecute Torturers!

On Monday at 5:00, join PJALS members as we gather at the Main Street entrance to RiverPark Square to hold signs and share leaflets to encourage other community members to make their voices heard too. RSVP or invite your friends here.

Please sign and share these 4 important petitions! Be part of the groundswell:

 


“The Role of Religious Reconciliation for Stability in Iraq.”

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

“The Role of Religious Reconciliation for Stability in Iraq.”

Thursday, January 29th, 2015,  7:00 pm. at Gonzaga University, Jepson Bldg. Auditorium

Free and Open to the Public

Pax Christi Spokane, the local chapter of the national and international Catholic Peace and Justice organization Pax Christi (http://www.paxchristi.net/ & http://paxchristiusa.org/)  has invited Dr. Sarah AK Ahmed, of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME) and Mustafa Mahmood, a Gonzaga student from Iraq who volunteered with FRRME last summer, to speak on “The Role of Religious Reconciliation for Stability in Iraq.”   The event will take place Thursday, January 29th, 2015, 7:00 pm. at Gonzaga in the Wolff Auditorium, and it will be free and open to the public, although the main target audience is Gonzaga students. The objective of the event is to raise awareness of the complex situation in Iraq, which affects us not only globally but also locally.

The intended outcome addresses ways in which our community can build a more compassionate, inclusive climate around the cultural and religious diversity.

The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation not only provides medical care and humanitarian relief in the heart of Baghdad’s Red Zone, it works to promote peace through inter-religious dialog.   According to FRRME’s mission statement, “Without genuine reconciliation, there can never be lasting peace.”  The foundation works for reconciliation by engaging religious leaders in dialogue, and helping them use their influence to promote peace.  The founder of FRRME, Reverend Canon Dr Andrew White, chairs Iraq’s High Council of Religious Leaders (HCRLI).  “We understand that religion and politics are intimately linked in the Middle East, so a religious track is essential to a balanced peace process. When religion goes wrong, it goes very wrong. But if religion is part of the problem, it must form part of the solution – a wholly secular approach will not suffice.”  FRRME also runs a health clinic which works to reconcile Iraqis at a grassroots level through its model of employing Sunni, Shia, Christian and Jewish staff. http://frrme.org/what-we-do/reconciliation/

Sarah Ahmed is the Director of Operations for the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME) as well as the personal assistant to Rev. White.  She is a peace, human rights, and women’s right activist.  Of her experience in Iraq, Sarah writes, “what is happening to people in Iraq, from persecution to starvation to killing, is affecting the population in more ways than the rest of the world can even imagine.”  Besides her current relief effort aiding Iraqis displaced by ISIS, she also currently serves as a volunteer dentist in a medical center in Baghdad, providing quality health care free of charge to anyone who needs it, and she created the non-profit organization, Because, I Love Peace, which promotes peace through letters of love, hope and support to those struggling in Iraq (https://www.facebook.com/Becauseilovepeace/info?ref=page_internal.

Mustafa Mahmood is an engineering student at Gonzaga, who returned to Iraq in the summer of 2014 to work with Dr. Ahmed providing food and supplies to thousands of displaced minority Christian families.  Not only is Mustafa highly engaged in Gonzaga’s student body, he is also very active in peace and justice efforts within the Spokane community.  Mustafa is also a gifted poet whose writings eloquently communicate what it is like to be a refugee from a war-torn country (http://news.gonzaga.edu/2012/iraqi-student-poet).  Both Sarah and Mastafa are Iraqi citizens and belong to the Muslim faith.

The presentation on Thursday night will focus on the situation in Iraq, not only regarding the humanitarian crisis, but also most especially the religious conflict that permeates the life of the citizens, particularly regarding Christians and Muslims.  She will talk about FRRME’s work on religious reconciliation.  Mustafa will speak from a personal experience on being an Iraqi citizen, and his work with Sarah.  We hope to get Mustafa to share some poetry as well.  The presentation will conclude with suggestions on how folks can concretely support and nurture reconciliation among international students from the Middle East and those in the Spokane community.   They will end with an open question and discussion period.


The Exonerated: America has a legal system. It needs a justice system

Friday, Nov 14, 2014 | 11:11am | Comment on this

 America has a legal system.

It needs a justice system.

The Exonerated

 A dramatic reading of the actual words of six wrongfully condemned persons who emerged from death row to reclaim their lives.

Written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen

Directed by Bryan Harnetiaux and Jack Delehanty

Hosted by Gonzaga University Dept. of Theatre and Arts at the
Magnuson Theatre-Gonzaga University

Fri. Nov. 21 (limited number remaining available at the ticket booth at 7pm)

& Sat Nov. 22nd (online sales end at 7:30pm 11/21-tickets will be available at the booth at 7pm 11/22)

Eventbrite - The Exonerated: America has a legal system. It needs a justice system.

$10 general admission/$5 student

With local veteran actors: Jeff Mooring, Denise Hairston, Michael Reid, Wes Deitrick, Andrew Biviano, Steven Blount, A’dell Whitehead, Mary Alberts, Jim Sheehan, and Rusty Nelson

To volunteer please sign-up here. Volunteers attend at no charge.

Produced by PJALS Inland NW Death Penalty Abolition Group with support from: Community Building Foundation, Mary Alberts, Janet Fowler & Tom Schmidt, Myrta & Maurina Ladich, Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, ACLU-WA, Center for Justice, Mary Pat Treuthart, Dennis Medina, Yak Research, Pax Christi, KYRS, Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Criminal Law Society-GU Law School, Spokane NAACP, Veterans for Peace-Spokane Chapter, Student Awareness League of SCC, and EWU School of Social Work.

 For more information, contact Shar at slichty@pjals.org or 509-838-7870


Two reasons to feel hopeful in Spokane

Sunday, Nov 2, 2014 | 5:17pm | Comment on this

young activist leadersHope is precious, and when I find it I try to pay attention to it and share it. So I want to tell you about 2 experiences I had just last week that lifted my spirits, buoyed my energy, and gave me concrete reason for hope.

Last Tuesday, Shar and I met this year’s Young Activist Leaders–and they are wonderful! They talked about their shared values: equality, education for all, civil rights and liberties, an attainable American dream, world peace, equitable distribution of wealth! And they discussed what they want to make happen to advance those values: prioritize, begin huge things with strategy and confidence, get other people on board and engaged to participate, and map power, resources, allies, and decision-makers. These dedicated, passionate leaders of our own community are not kidding around about their values or their plans, and knowing them makes me feel hopeful about what’s happening in Spokane and what will happen in the future! Even better, I really love knowing we can support them to sharpen their skills and hone their leadership for social justice!.

Then on Wednesday last week, I got to facilitate a powerful community gathering on Race, Justin, Julie, BlaineMilitarization, Body Cameras, and Police Accountability with speakers Blaine Stum from the Spokane Human Rights Commission, Julie Schaffer from the Center for Justice, and Justin Pimsanguan from Don’t Shoot. The room was packed with members of our groups and others, including three members of our new Police Ombudsman Commission. Excellent points and questions were raised by this engaged, smart bunch of our neighbors and friends. The fact crowdthat so many people came together in our community to learn and to share their own questions and ideas left me energized and hopeful.

Neither of these experiences would have happened without people like you supporting PJALS and our sister organizations. There are plenty of reasons we can feel down or angry, and justifiably so. But when there are concrete reasons to feel a sense of hope, community, and possibility — let’s share those examples and move forward with greater energy!

Thank you very much for everything you do in our community and in our world!



Condoleezza Rice speaking in Spokane

Friday, Sep 19, 2014 | 1:13pm | Comment on this

Condi GuiltyWhitworth University is bringing Condoleezza Rice as part of their President’s Leadership Forum on Thursday, October 9th at the Convention Center. PJALS is working with Vets for Peace, IWW and Occupy Spokane to organize a nonviolent protest outside of her event. Gather at 11:00 am at the Community Building, 35 W. Main, to march together to the Convention Center. Our plans include giant heads, street theater, leafletting, and more.

Invite your friends on fb to join PJALS, Veterans for Peace, Occupy Spokane, and IWW to protest and tell the truth about Condi’s record here. Invite your friends to our Peacekeeper Training on Wed 10/1, 5:30 – 8p, here. Invite your friends to our sign-making party on Thurs 10/2, 5:30 – 7p,  here.

Download a pdf turnout flier here!

There are so many reasons to oppose Rice’s visit to Spokane and with military escalations in Iraq it has become very timely. While current military decisions are Obama’s, we must not forget the lies from the Bush administration used to justify the illegal Iraq war. Among the 935 false statements from the Bush administration following 9/11, 56 came directly from Rice. Read more »


People’s Climate March: Stop the Wars, Stop the Warming

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 | 12:12pm | Comment on this
Stop the Wars - Stop the Warming

Come march with PJALS as people all over the world mobilize together to say STOP Climate Change! To change everything, we need everyone. It’s time to Stop the Wars & Stop the Warming!

Sunday Sept 21, 1:30 pm

Cowley Park, 6th & Division

Invite your friends on Fb here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1471331796485754/?ref=22


The Costs Are Simply Too High to Get It Wrong Again!

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 | 12:12pm | One comment.

Stop - Tell Us How This Ends

In the past six weeks, America has flown nearly 3,000 missions, deployed more than 1,500 troops, and launched more than 150 airstrikes in Iraq.

Last week, the President announced that our latest war in the Middle East will be ramping up, with increased airstrikes in Iraq and soon also in Syria.

And–as early as today, Congress is going to vote on a controversial plan to send arms to Syrian rebels, pouring fuel on the fire of the Syrian civil war.

The pro-war extremists are working hard. Now is the time for peace-minded people to speak out and make OUR voices heard! Here are 4 ways:

1. Our representatives in Congress need to hear from you before they support another endless war in the Middle East! Today is a National Call-In Day, so your calls will add up with others!

Senator Patty Murray: 624-9515 (thank her for her past record on war on Iraq)

Senator Maria Cantwell: 353-2507

Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers: 353-2374 (thank hler for her vote to require Congressional approval of war on Iraq)

Message: “I’m calling to ask my legislator to vote against authorizing the use of military force against ISIS. Instead of rushing back to war, the U.S. should pursue alternative options, such as cutting off ISIS’s oil sales and stopping the flow of weapons to the region. Thank you!”

* Report your call below in a comment!

2. Be visible:
Get a NO WAR sign at PJALS, 35 W. Main and put it in your window or yard!

3. Connect and share:

like our page: facebook.com/peacejusticeactionleague and SHARE our images & articles to spread the word!

4. March with PJALS on Sunday Sept 21:

Come march with PJALS as people all over the world mobilize together to say STOP Climate Change! To change everything, we need everyone. It’s time to Stop the Wars & Stop the Warming!

Sunday Sept 21, 1:30 pm

Cowley Park, 6th & Division

Invite your friends on Fb here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1471331796485754/?ref=22


PJALS Priorities for Action 2014-2015

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 | 12:12pm | Comment on this
Deb Svoboda

PJALS Steering Committee Chair Deb Vangeisen Svoboda

As a collective of activists, PJALS staff, steering committee members, and committee chairs addressed the difficult task of prioritizing efforts when there are seemingly endless injustices being carried out through direct acts and perpetuated through acquiescence and silence.  Prioritizing our work aids us in focusing our “hands, heart, and head” efforts for a period of time for the best possible outcomes, leaving room for rapid response to an ever changing landscape.

As the Steering Committee Chairperson, I’m excited to share with you the three PJALS Priorities for Action 2014-2015. With your support through membership, volunteering, showing up, and lending your voice, PJALS can continue the movement for peace and justice. Read more »


Another Look at the Cycle of Violence

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 | 12:12pm | Comment on this
Rusty

Rusty Nelson on Peace & War

I believe you know that support for capital punishment in this country: is diminishing; was only a foot deep when it was a mile wide; is based upon fear and ignorance rather than common sense or justice, and; is always weakened when executions are honestly examined as factors in the cycle of violence in our communities and institutions.

You should also know that Gov. Inslee’s moratorium on executions is little comfort to the men on our death row in Walla Walla, who believe they are likely to be killed when a new governor takes office. Believing this is a splendid time to ban the death penalty and that public enlightenment is the best way forward, the Inland Northwest Death Penalty Abolition Group wants Spokane to see its new production of The Exonerated on November 21 or 22, at Gonzaga University. The Center for Justice produced two performances of The Exonerated, five years ago at the Civic Theatre, and is co-sponsoring this show, which will, again, be directed by Bryan Harniteaux, Spokane’s attorney/playwright. Read more »


MAIA PROJECT – Gaza Water Purification Unit update

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 | 12:12pm | Comment on this

This is a different update from what we originally planned to give, as since July 8, Gaza has been under almost constant attack from Israeli bombing and shelling, and Khan Younis, where “our” unit is located at Atfal Al-Ghad (Children of Tomorrow) pre-school and Kindergarten, has been particularly devastated.

Deborah Agre from our partner Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) told us in mid-August that they don’t yet have a report on the water units there, as the primary concern right now is keeping people safe, recovering the dead and treating the injured. What they do know is that the UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) schools in which the units are installed have been used as shelter for families fleeing bombs and needing shelter when their homes were destroyed, many of which were themselves bombed. Units that were built to serve hundreds of children during school hours have had to put out clean water for tens of thousands of people, 24 hours/day if they are working at all. MECA does not know yet how the units are performing at so far above capacity. Read more »


Nonviolence in Action: Peacekeeping for Successful Protests

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 | 11:11am | Comment on this

We are offering a great workshop for protesters, organizers, and folks thinking of volunteering as peacekeepers for any social justice cause! Our Oct 1 workshop will focus on preparing for our Oct 9 protest when Condoleezza Rice speaks at the Convention Center, but the skills are completely transferable. Come learn how trained peacekeepers can help create a successful demonstration or action for social justice and peace. We’ll cover nonviolence principles and guidelines, techniques to defuse and de-escalate potentially volatile situations, and how to organize a team of peacekeepers. And, we’ll practice so we are more likely to use these new skills in real life!

No cost. Donations gladly accepted!

Community Building, 35 W. Main, Wednesday, Oct 1

Food at 5:30 (light refreshments)
Training begins at 6:00 pm and will finish at 8:00 pm.

Successfully completing this training makes you eligible to join PJALS’ Peacekeeper Team, but there is NO obligation and it’s open to all interested. We offered this same workshop on August 6 with wonderful participation from a great group of new and experienced peaceniks.

We are building up our pool of trained peacekeepers and our team of trainers. If you’re interested in becoming a trainer for this workshop, please contact me at lmoore@pjals.org. We’re planning on offering more workshops in April and June 2015, so we need your skills!

Role playing at August Training:

Rick & Marianne

August training

Ted & Joan

Suzy & Deb

 


Director’s reflection: How to build peace

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 | 11:11am | Comment on this

This spring, as we sat down with our 2013-2014 community organizing interns to talk about their experience with us, we realized that somehow none of them had led chants into a bullhorn, none of them had held banners while we marched, none of them had managed sign-in at a rally. We were shocked when we realized we hadn’t held a major march or rally since our rapid response in September which was part of the successful national push-back against US war on Syria.

Stop the Spiral of Violence: End these Endless Wars

Stop the Spiral of Violence: End these Endless Wars

This summer has looked far different! Starting with a Global Day Against Military Spending action, we’ve mobilized in April rain, May sun, June heat, July 4th weekend traffic, and late July wildfire smoke for actions calling to “End the Spiral of Violence: End these Endless Wars” with a focus on opposing increased US military presence in Iraq, extending our occupation of Afghanistan into 2016, and US-funded military attacks on Gaza.

Repeatedly as we get ready to mobilize, I look for the writings of thought-leaders and opinion-makers on what to call for instead of the latest proposal to bomb. This is especially necessary because the pro-war extremists have been pretty consistent about adding a humanitarian talking point to their list of reasons war is the answer, and that talking point is effective. Read more »


Smart Justice Campaign: Ban the Box Win!

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 | 4:16pm | Comment on this

The Smart Justice Campaign just had a win! On August 4th, Spokane Mayor David Condon publicly asked the Civil Service to remove the box asking about criminal convictions from city employment applications, and that his administration will make changes to the process for conducting criminal background checks. This announcement comes after Council President Ben Stuckart and Spokane City Council Member Jon Snyder led on this issue by sending a letter to the City’s Civil Service Chief Examiner requesting that they ban the box.

Spokesman-Review wrote a great editorial in support making the connection that reducing barriers to employment for people with criminal records part of implementing smart justice.

This announcement is an important first step in creating fairer opportunities for people with criminal convictions to find employment and move forward.  Our thanks and appreciation to Council Member Jon Snyder, Council President Ben Stuckart, and Mayor David Condon. Read more »


We need you!

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 | 4:16pm | Comment on this

PJALS Inland NW Death Penalty Abolition Group (INDPAG) is busy gearing up for the legislative session and a push for legislative repeal of the death penalty. In addition to civic engagement, we seek to increase member engagement, public awareness, and participation from the local faith communities. We need you to help advance our work! Here are a few ways you can get involved and make a difference:

Attend a house gathering in your legislative district. In Sept. we have wonderful PJALS members in the 3rd, 4th, and 6th legislatives districts who are hosting gatherings in their homes. These gatherings will provide a great opportunity to meet other folks passionate about this work, learn more about our work and ways to make a difference. Will you join us at one of these lovely gatherings?

Invite our faith panel to speak to your congregation. We want to build upon and strengthen our relationship with the progressive faith community in Spokane while building capacity in Eastern Washington for our work to repeal the death penalty. Are you a member or pastor of a church that would like to host our panel for a discussion on the issue?

Be a part of planning our work. INDPAG meets on the 2nd and 4th Wed. of each month at 5:30pm in the Community Bldg. 35 W. Main. Do you have ideas on how to advance our work, an interest in planning, or a desire to get more involved?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, please contact Shar at slichty@pjals.org or 509-838-7870.


Friday, Aug 8, 2014 | 5:17pm | Comment on this

No War signUS fighter jets have begun airstrikes on Iraq and bombs are falling. Here’s some informative coverage from Democracy Now featuring Phyllis Bennis.

What can you do? Here are 6 things we can do together!

1 Call the White House at 202-456-1111 to say: Don’t Bomb Iraq! There is no military solution. Instead, prevent further humanitarian crisis with aid. No new Iraq war!

2 Call our own representatives to urge them to speak out against military intervention in Iraq! A strong reaction from Congress now could put the brakes on the intervention and prevent an escalating involvement.

  • Senator Patty Murray: 624-9515
  • Senator Maria Cantwell: 353-2507
  • Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers: 353-2374 — thank her for voting to require Congressional authorization!

3 Sign CodePink’s petition to Pres. Obama here, PeaceActionWest’s petition to Congress here, and Rep. Alan Grayson’s No New War petition here, and share them!

4 Connect with our Facebook page or group and follow us on Twitter as we share articles and links to educate ourselves and others!

5 Join our Rapid Response “No War on Iraq!” on Tuesday Aug 12 at the Riverfront Park Fountain!

From 4:45 to 6:15, we’ll hold signs and share fliers along Spokane Falls Blvd and at Stevens and Washington, to make our opposition visible, share information, and encourage others to act.

6 Get your very own No War sign for your lawn or window!

Come pick one up from the Sign Table in our hallway at 35 W. Main, now available 10a-5p Monday through Saturday whether we’re here or not. We’ll also bring signs to take home from our Rapid Response rally. H-frame wire stands are available too. We suggest a $5 donation but the most important thing is to get these signs visible in every neighborhood!

People like you turned the tide against US war on Syria. Let’s put the pressure on, right now, to say no to war on Iraq again as well!

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world!” — Howard Zinn, people’s historian