Sunday, July 05, 2015

Upcoming events for the week of July 5, 2015


UPCOMING EVENTS

All during July:  DISPLAY AT FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN ASHEVILLE
NC Peace Action is sponsoring a display of posters on the Hiroshima bombings in 1945. These will be at the First Congregational Church, UCC on Oak Avenue all during July.

07/06/15 DINNER WITH PROGRESSIVES
Please join us this Monday night at Green Sage in Westgate in Asheville. This Monday is an open forum with three announcements:  Democracy Now Intern Kim Hoang will give a brief announcement about the Civics of Justice film series; Bridget McCurry will talk about voter registration in WNC and the introduction of new methods being used and Randy Bernard, regional coordinator for MoveOn will talk briefly about the 2016 election and MoveOn's involvement. Dinner is at 5:30 PM and program will be  from 6 to 7 PM. Please RSVP with Cheryl so she can give a headcount to Green Sage. Her email is ctorengo@gmail.com.  

07/07/15 ASHEVILLE TRANSIT COMMITTEE MEETING 
Time is 3:30 to 5 PM and location is First Floor Conference Room at Asheville City Hall.

07/07/15 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE PLANNING MEETING
The next meeting will be held at North Asheville Community Center at 37 E. Larchmont Road in Asheville in the basement level. Time is 6 PM.

07/08/15 CIVICS OF JUSTICE FILM SERIES
Democracy North Carolina and Working Films are collaborating to launch the Civics of Justice Films Series. The month-long screening series will bring newly released and award-winning documentaries to ten cities across North Carolina during the month of July. The screenings and dialogues will help local community members develop a deeper analysis of the relationship between civic engagement and issues including criminal justice and policing, environmental justice, and economic justice. This film will be “Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory”. The film documents the aftermath in Ferguson, Missouri following the death of Michael Brown and highlights the complexity of local municipal politics and the activism of Black Lives Matter.  After the Department of Justice released a blistering report finding systematic racism and prejudice against blacks in the Ferguson Police Department, protests continued, the police chief and several Ferguson officials resigned, and two police officers were injured in a shooting. This problem, however, is not unique to Ferguson. St. Louis County is made of around 90 municipalities, each with their own police departments and courts. Residents report similar discriminatory treatment at the hands of law enforcement. And with so many different jurisdictions, a small infraction like an expired license plate can turn into dozens of fines and eventually warrants. Those in St. Louis who live below the poverty line are faced with the reality of buying food or paying fines. The documentary turns to the residents of St. Louis County to tell what it’s like to be racially profiled and under siege. Following the one-hour film, there will be a discussion and Q&A. Other sponsoring organizations include the Racial Equity Institute, Green Opportunities, Mountain People’s Assembly and the Racial Justice Coalition. Free and open to the public. Location is A-B Tech in Ferguson Auditorium at 340 Victoria Road in Asheville. Time is 6 to 8 PM. This is a Facebook event, and you can RSVP at the Asheville Civics of Justice Film Screening.

07/08/15 GREEN DRINKS
A Solution to Climate Change that will Grow our Economy. Citizens’ Climate Lobby believe that politicians don’t create political will, they respond to it! This international grassroots advocacy organization has worked tirelessly over the past few years focusing on national policies to address climate change. Brad & Steffi, lead organizers for two local CCL chapters, will explain how their proposed solution, called Carbon Fee & Dividend, will work to mitigate carbon emissions as well as grow our economy, jobs, and GDP. Brad Rouse is a lead organizer and Congressional Liaison for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and an independent consultant in the fields of energy policy, energy planning, and energy efficiency. Steffi Rausch is lead organizer for the Asheville Citizens’ Climate Lobby as well as owner of Evolv, a local web design & development company. Location: The Green Sage at 5 Broadway Street in downtown Asheville. Socializing: 5:30 PM Programming: 6 PM

07/08/15 JUST PEACE IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE MEETING
This meeting will be at 9:30 AM at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church at 117 Montreat Road in Black Mountain.

07/11/15 CITIZEN’S CLIMATE LOBBY MEETING
Next monthly meeting will be on Saturday, July11th from 12:30 - 3 PM at Kairos West Community Center at 742 Haywood Road in west Asheville. At this meeting we will discuss our Lobby days in Washington DC and next steps to get a city & county resolution done to work from the ground up in our state. Please come and volunteer for the many opportunities that we provide to make REAL change in the world we live in! Guest Speaker: Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of Franciscan Action Network. Now that the Pope has released his encyclical on climate change, how can we best leverage Francis’ message for policy action? In the run up to the Pope addressing Congress and the UN in September, what messages should we be putting forward in the media? For answers, we’ll turn to Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of the Franciscan Action Network, a grassroots organization amplifying the justice efforts of Franciscans and Franciscan-hearted people around the country. Contact Citizens Climate Lobby - Asheville Chapter at asheville@citizensclimatelobby.org for more information.

07/11/15 MALAPROPS PRESENTATION
A professor of economics at Southern Methodist University, Dr. Ravi Batra and his work have appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, and the U.S. News and World Report, among many others. His book, End Unemployment Now “offers practicable solutions to many of the economic problems plaguing America,” according to Publishers Weekly. Dr. Batra is the author of several other books including The New Golden Age: The Coming Revolution Against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos. Time is 7 PM, and location is Malaprops in downtown Asheville.

07/13/15 to 07/25/15 DRONE QUILT PROJECT IN ASHEVILLE
The Drone Quilt Project has been approved by the Asheville Area Arts Council and will be exhibited at their Grove Arcade gallery from July 13 to July 25, Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM. Veterans for Peace Chapter 099, WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility and Just Peace for Israel/Palestine will be co-sponsoring this event. Join us as we remember the victims of US and Israeli drone bombings. Please contact Ken at jonesk@maine.edu or call 207-233-3087 for more information.

07/13/15 COMMUNITY DISCUSSIONS ABOUT USE OF FORCE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT
The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office will host a series of community meetings for discussions about the use of force by law enforcement.  Time is 6 PM. Location is Roberson High School. The meeting will allow people to hear from Sheriff Van Duncan on the training and education that deputies receive regarding use of force, and Duncan will answer questions from community members about the topic. “We want to share with the public the law as well as the policies that we operate under when making use of force decisions,” Duncan said. “Being transparent with the public will hopefully create a shared understanding of law enforcement’s obligations as well as duties in protecting the public.” The question-and-answer portion of the program will be moderated by Lucia Daughtery of the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council. This forum is free and open to the public.

07/13/15 TRANSITION ASHEVILLE SOCIAL
Transition Asheville Social: Is Local Resilient? Scale, Sustainability and Resilience of the U.S. Food Supply by Laura Lengnick. Most of the activity around sustainable and resilient community redesign has focused at the local scale, including newly emerging climate change adaptation efforts, but is local the foundation of a sustainable and resilient future?  Recent research suggests that reorienting development efforts to the regional scale may offer more sustainability and resilience benefits. Time is 6:30 to 8 PM. Location is Parish Hall at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on Charlotte Street in Asheville. 

07/13/15 BUS TO VOTER RIGHTS MARCH IN WINSTON-SALEM
Bus tickets available to the Voter Rights Rally in Winston-Salem on Monday, July 13. $25 round trip from Asheville. Leaving at 1 PM and returning about 10 PM. Pick up location TBD. To purchase tickets via Paypal, www.mountainmoralmonday.org and scroll down to "Donate" link. Be sure to let us know how many tickets and names of riders. If you prefer to mail a check, make payable to Mountain Voices Alliance, PO Box 8052, Asheville, NC 28814. Please also include a note with number of tickets and names of riders, as well as a cell phone number. For more information, go the website listed above. This is sponsored by the Mountain People’s Assembly. 

07/14/15 VETERANS FOR PEACE MEETING
Time is 6:30 PM and location is VFP HQ at the Phil Mechanic Studios: 109 Roberts Street in Asheville. 

07/15/15 GREEN DRINKS
Join us July 15th, to hear from Sunil Patel of Patchwork Urban Farms. Learn how Patchwork is creating a movement to reconnect our lives with our landscapes, and find out how you can plug in. Patchwork is regenerating our urban landscapes and making the groundwork for a vibrant food and farming economy. The time for concerted action is now! Time is 5:30 for socializing and 6 PM for programming. Location is the Green Sage at 5 Broadway in downtown Asheville.

07/18/15 SIERRA CLUB ANNUAL PICNIC
Location is the Blue Ridge Parkway sheltered picnic grounds (Bull Mt. Rd. off Riceville Rd.) Time is noon to 4 PM. Directions: Exit 7 on I-240; go east on Tunnel Rd for 2 miles; turn north on Riceville Rd; go 1.3 miles and turn west on Bull Mt. Rd. The fenced-in, sheltered picnic area is on the left about ½ mile up the road. Please bring a potluck dish to share and your own settings. Drinks will be provided. 

07/19/15 ETHICAL HUMANIST SOCIETY OF ASHEVILLE PRESENTATION
“Lessons from Jane: The Enduring Urban Wisdom of Jane Jacobs” will be presented by David A. Johnson, FAICP, at the Sunday, July 19th meeting of the Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville, 2 to 3:30 PM, at The Friends Meeting House, 227 Edgewood Road, Asheville, NC.
A half century ago, a feisty New York journalist changed how we think about cities and economies. In her remarkable career, Jane Jacobs challenged established urban planning orthodoxies, defeated the bulldozers of Robert Moses and showed us how to look at and improve our neighborhoods. Informal discussion and refreshments will follow the presentation. All are welcome. For more information, contact: asheville@aeu.org or 828 687-7759.

07/21/15 MIND THE GAP TOUR
These informational tours are organized by Children First/Communities in Schools of Buncombe County. The tours are held each month and last about 1 hour. They are led by the Executive Director of Children First/Communities in Schools, Allison Jordan, and you get to meet some of the children that are served through the summer camp program, as well as become informed on all of the programs that are  provided, including our advocacy work. The goal is to alleviate the barriers of poverty experienced by local children and families. This includes food pantry, emergency financial assistance, clothing closet, and work on public policy at the local and state level. Time is 8 AM. To reserve a seat on the bus for the tour or for more information, contact Kaitlyn at KaitlynB@childrenfirstbc.org or call 828-259-9717.

07/21/15 PANEL DISCUSSION/RECEPTION ON DRONE QUILT EXHIBIT
This will be held at the Grove Arcade Gallery from 5 to 7 PM. Ken Ashe of Veterans for Peace and Bill Ramsey of Just Peace Israel/Palestine will be discussing drones and their impacts. Free and open to the public. More information to follow. Please contact Ken at jonesk@maine.edu or call 207-233-3087 for more information.

07/23/15 MOUNTAIN TRUE LEGISLATIVE WRAP UP MEETING IN HENDERSONVILLE
Catch up on the environmental outcomes of this legislative session, current priorities, and how you can get involved in holding our lawmakers accountable to the public they serve. For more information and to RSVP http://action.mountaintrue.org/page/s/2015-legislative-wrap-ups. Time is 6 – 8 PM and location is The Taproom at Monte’s at 2024-G Asheville Highway in Hendersonville (I saw another listing with a different location, so please check.)

 07/30/15 MOUNTAIN TRUE LEGISLATIVE WRAP UP MEETING IN ASHEVILLE
Catch up on the environmental outcomes of this legislative session, current priorities, and how you can get involved in holding our lawmakers accountable to the public they serve. For more information and to RSVP http://action.mountaintrue.org/page/s/2015-legislative-wrap-ups. Time is 6 – 8 PM and location is Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar in the Grove Arcade.

07/31/15 ASHEVILLE BUNCOMBE FOOD POLICY COUNCIL
Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council will host a Meeting Of The Whole: A Celebration of Interdependence. Time is 6 - 9 PM and location is Stephens Lee Recreation Center in Asheville. We will gather to plant seeds for capacity building and strengthening our local food security movement in a Collective Impact framework, and to celebrate our growth as a community dedicated to a sustainable food system.

08/01/15 PEACE WALK FROM SWANNANOA TO OAK RIDGE
August 1-August 8, Peace Walk from Swannanoa to Oak Ridge. Buddhist monks from the Great Smoky Mountains Peace Pagoda will lead a 7 day walk, 10 miles a day, from Swannanoa to Oak Ridge, TN to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Oak Ridge is where the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was built and where nuclear weapons work continues to this day. All are invited to join for the whole walk, or any part of it, for a day, even hours.  The walk will begin on the morning of Aug 1 and be followed with a potluck dinner in Asheville (time and place TBD) for walkers and others who are interested. It will continue on the morning of Aug 2 from Vance Monument, west towards Oak Ridge. On Aug 8, walkers will join commemorative activities being conducted by the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA). For more information, contact Ken Jones, jonesk@maine.edu.

08/05/15 SIERRA CLUB MEETING
Sierra Club meeting on Waterfalls & Wildflowers - join us for Timothy Spira's presentation on "Exploring Waterfalls & Wildflowers in the Southern Appalachian Mountains".  Tim's latest book is Waterfalls and Wildflowers in the Southern Appalachians: Thirty Great Hikes. Tim is emeritus professor of botany at Clemson University. Location is Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place, (corner of Charlotte & Edwin). Time is 7 PM.  Contact: judymattox@sbcglobal.net, or 828-683-2176 for more information.

08/06/15 COMMUNITY DISCUSSIONS ABOUT USE OF FORCE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT
The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office will host a series of community meetings for discussions about the use of force by law enforcement. Location is North Buncombe High School. Time is 6 PM. The meeting will allow people to hear from Sheriff Van Duncan on the training and education that deputies receive regarding use of force, and Duncan will answer questions from community members about the topic. “We want to share with the public the law as well as the policies that we operate under when making use of force decisions,” Duncan said. “Being transparent with the public will hopefully create a shared understanding of law enforcement’s obligations as well as duties in protecting the public.” The question-and-answer portion of the program will be moderated by Lucia Daughtery of the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council. This forum is free and open to the public.

08/06/15 CLEAN ENERGY IN THE MOUNTAINS EVENT 
Clean Energy in the Mountains is back! Come have a beer with us on August 6th at Highland Brewing Company on Old Charlotte Highway in Asheville. This event will gather NC Sustainable Energy Association members and clean energy leaders from across the Southeast as we recognize the forward progress happening in the western North Carolina region and beyond. Enjoy local catering and a Highland beer while connecting with friends and colleagues. Please register by Monday, August 3rd. Find out how to register, or ask for more information from Christy at christy@energync.org or 919-832-7601 ext 111. Time is 5:30 to 8:30 PM.

08/06/15 CREATION CARE ALLIANCE GENERAL MEETING
All are welcome to take a moment to listen to one another, renew our spirits and learn about ways to engage the work of caring for creation.  Join us! Location is First Baptist Church of Asheville at 5 Oak Street in downtown Asheville and time is 5:30 to 7 PM. Be a part of the conversation. Call (828) 258-8737 or email: creationcare@mountaintrue.org for more information.

08/08/15 HIROSHIMA REMEMBRANCE IN OAK RIDGE TN
There will be more information to come on this event and there will likely be carpooling from Asheville.

08/20/15 COMMUNITY DISCUSSIONS ABOUT USE OF FORCE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT
The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office will host a series of community meetings for discussions about the use of force by law enforcement. Location is Owen High School. Time is 6 PM. The meeting will allow people to hear from Sheriff Van Duncan on the training and education that deputies receive regarding use of force, and Duncan will answer questions from community members about the topic. “We want to share with the public the law as well as the policies that we operate under when making use of force decisions,” Duncan said. “Being transparent with the public will hopefully create a shared understanding of law enforcement’s obligations as well as duties in protecting the public.” The question-and-answer portion of the program will be moderated by Lucia Daughtery of the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council. This forum is free and open to the public.

08/25/15 MONTREAT COLLEGE REMEMBRANCE OF MLK
In the last weekend of August, at the Anderson Auditorium, Montreat College, there will be a week of remembrance of  Martin Luther King’s address at Montreat in 1965.  There will be nine speakers; the main speaker will be U.S. Representative John Lewis. More information to follow.

*******************************************
ONGOING EVENTS
*******************************************
TUESDAY
Veterans for Peace have a weekly vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square, Vance Monument

WEDNESDAY
Haywood Peace Vigilers have a weekly vigil at 4 PM at Haywood County Courthouse in Waynesville

THURSDAY
Asheville Homeless Network meeting at 1 PM at A-Hope on North Ann Street in Asheville.  
Youth Outright Poetry Night at United Church of Christ on 20 Oak Street in Asheville at 5 PM

FRIDAY
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the City Hall in Hendersonville
Women in Black have a monthly vigil at 5 PM at Vance Monument in Asheville (first Friday only)

SATURDAY
Transylvanians for Peace and WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility have a weekly vigil at noon in front of the courthouse in Brevard. Call 884-3435 to confirm. 
Third Saturdays – Asheville’s Green Grannies invites the public to “sing for the climate” at Pritchard Park at 5 PM.

SUNDAY

Youth OUTright meeting from 4 to 6 PM at First Congregational United Church of Christ at 20 Oak Street in Asheville. Ages 14 - 23 only.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Rev. Dr. Barber's words


Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
June 24, 2015

[The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is the architect of the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement, president of the North Carolina NAACP and pastor of the Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro. This is the sermon he gave after the Charleston massacre.]


A deeper meaning of forgiveness in the Christian nonviolent tradition reveals a critique that knows when the perpetrator has been caught but the killer is still at large.

There is a scripture that says we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the powers and rulers of the darkness. Within the nonviolent faith tradition, it has always been clear that hate cannot drive out hate and evil cannot drive out evil. And so the Christians at the Charleston Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church who were able to forgive the murder of nine of their fellow worshipers 48 hours after losing their loved ones are consistent with their faith. Jesus said as he was being murdered by the state, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

But this forgiveness should not be misinterpreted as a dismissing of the greater evil. The forgiveness in Charleston is also an act of resistance to the attempts to lay the blame for this horror at the feet of one man. If America is serious about this moment, we cannot just cry ceremonial tears while at the same time refusing to support the martyred Reverend Pinckney and his parishioners' stalwart fight against the racism that gave birth to the crime.

The perpetrator has been caught, but the killer is still at large: the deep well of American racism and white supremacy that Dylann Roof drank from. These families are challenging the schizophrenia of American morality, which allows political leaders to condemn the crime but embrace the policies that are its genesis.

Many South Carolina politicians and others around the nation are decrying the killings but steadfastly refusing to quell their divisive race-implying rhetoric. They have condemned the violence but have not ceased their push for policies that promote race-based voter suppression; adversity toward fixing the Voting Rights Act; cutting public education in ways that foster resegregation; denying workers living wages; refusing Medicaid expansion; allowing the proliferation of guns; and flying the Confederate flag, a symbol of slavery, racism, and terrorism against African-Americans, at the state Capitol.

Some even use racial code words to criticize the president, all in the name of taking their country back and preventing its destruction. And they refuse to admit that there is a history of racialized political rhetoric and policies spawning the pathology of terroristic murder and violent resistance.

When they were murdered, Reverend Pinckney and his parishioners were advocating for a better life for people of all races. They were standing with fast-food workers demanding a living wage. They were calling for the Confederate flag to come down. They were fighting against voter suppression and for funding public education, expanding Medicaid to allow the poor and near-poor of all races to have healthcare. They were mobilizing for police accountability and marching for justice in the recent killing of Walter Scott, an unarmed African-American man shot in the back by a police officer in North Charleston.

These brave family members are telling America that you cannot focus only on Dylann Roof and absolve the nation of its historic sickness. In a profound way, they are saying that giving the killer the death penalty is not going to fix what ails us. Arresting one disturbed young man will not bring “closure” or “healing” to a society that is still sick with the sins of racism and inequality, where too many perpetuate the slow violence of undermining the promise of equal protection under the law, which preachers like Denmark Vessey, Martin Luther King, and Clementa Pickney fought for.

These family members are asking us to forgive the sinner but hate the sin. They are issuing a clarion call born of their pain and loss to create a society that truly embraces justice and equality, that ends the policies of racism and poverty that guarantee there will be more Dylann Roofs and more acts of terror, because only then will we apprehend the real killers.

In light of this, I believe real healing would be writing and passing a bipartisan omnibus bill in the name of the nine Emanuel Martyrs that implements Medicaid expansion, raises public education funding, passes living-wage requirements and new gun-control laws, removes the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Statehouse, and restores the Voting Rights Act.

The very seat Reverend Pinckney held in the state Senate is in jeopardy as long as Section 5 of the VRA has been gutted. And even if it passed, the current reform bill in the US House would exempt Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee from coverage. If we want closure, let us name a VRA restoration bill after the Emanuel Nine.


We have no choice. We must see transformative action, not temporary ceremonial displays. Until we deal with the issues of race, poverty, and violence that threaten to tear our nation asunder, it is not just America’s soul that is at stake, but America itself.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Drop the charges against Bree

Email from Color of Change:
Early this morning, a multiracial group of Carolinians led by teachers and activists took down the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol grounds — within an hour the state had raised the hateful banner once again in time for an 11 A.M. white supremacist rally. Bree, the Black woman who climbed the pole and cut down the flag, was arrested and taken into custody by Capitol Police. She should be promptly released from jail, any charges should be dropped, and the legislature should immediately vote to permanently remove the flag. 

According to a statement from the activists they took down the flag because:  

"We could not sit by and watch the victims of the Charleston Massacre be laid to rest while the inspiration for their deaths continue to fly above their caskets." 

The Confederate flag was born out of a government defending the enslavement of Black people and resurrected as an emblem for whites violently opposing racial integration. Any government that recognizes the flag is declaring that it cherishes a history of racial terror. Taking down the flag is just one step but one that strikes a blow at the visible symbol of white supremacy. Make no mistake about it, however, racism isn't just a flag or words it's baked into our economy and inequities in our democracy and criminal justice system. 

In Bree's own words: 

"It's time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality."

South Carolina officials have sided with white supremacists in choosing to restore the flag before a planned rally. The legislature must immediately vote to permanently remove the Confederate flag from the capitol and all state buildings.
This is a petition to sign to drop the charges against Bree and her companion.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

More war in Iraq


I guess really ending our war of aggression on Iraq was not good enough. So now our President is sending more troops there and doing some more bombing.

May God forgive him for this evil. I certainly do not.