Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In honor of Bradley Manning

Photo came from Facebook.

What Bradley Manning revealed to Americans - a partial list:
1. There is an official policy to ignore torture in Iraq.
2. There is an official tally of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
3. Guantanamo prison has held mostly innocent people and low-level operatives.
4. The State Department authorized the theft of the UN Secretary General’s DNA.
5. The U.S. Government withheld information about the indiscriminate killing of Reuters journalists and innocent Iraqi civilians.
6. The State Department backed corporate opposition to a Haitian minimum wage law.
7. The U.S. Government had long been faking its public support for Tunisian President Ben Ali.
8. U.S. officials were told to cover up evidence of child abuse by contractors in Afghanistan.
9. The Japanese and U.S. Governments had been warned about the seismic threat at Fukushima.
10. The Obama Administration allowed Yemen’s President to cover up a secret U.S. drone bombing campaign.
11. Known Egyptian torturers received training from the FBI in Quantico, Virginia.

From this link.

Chief Seattle




"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect."
-          Chief Seattle, Duwamish (1780-1866)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

From Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting



MINUTE approved at Swannanoa Valley Meeting for Business on 4/7/13

Brought by the Peace & Social Concerns Committee, duly seasoned.

As Quakers we endeavor to listen deeply to the concerns of everyone involved in a conflict in the belief that no lasting solution to conflict can come unless the just claims of all can be respectfully heard and their just claims can in some measure be satisfied. In the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which so sorely torments the international community generally and the peoples of the Middle East in particular, Israel's just claim for security is fully heard and supported by our government, and we join with the great majority of Americans who support Israel's claim for a secure existence.

The just claims of the Palestinians, on the other hand, are not widely recognized nor discussed in this country. Further, they receive little support from our government. Several from our Meeting have had direct experience with the on-the-ground realities in Israel/Palestine and others in the Meeting have undertaken a journey to educate themselves, through reading, conversations and forums about the claims of each side. We believe that three Palestinian claims deserve our support.

1) The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory. Article 49 of that Convention specifically prohibits an occupying power from transferring members of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. Thus the steady acquisition of Palestinian land for Israeli settlement development and the expropriation of natural resources such as water are illegal and are eroding the Palestinian's right to a viable homeland.

2) The Israeli domination of Palestinian land denies the Palestinians right to personal freedom, national sovereignty and self-determination. This domination through continued expansion of exclusively Jewish towns and highways is preventing substantive peace negotiations from taking place.

3) The Palestinians also claim that those who support these illegal Israeli settlements by buying products produced there are contributing to the perpetuation of a grave injustice against the Palestinian people. People may be unaware of the origin of these products, but once they are made aware that they are illegally produced on The West Bank, they have the responsibility not to be complicit in a continuing injustice.

In support of Palestinian justice, as well as in support of a peaceful and lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we encourage our members and all citizens not to buy products (eg., Soda Stream, Ahava cosmetics, etc) made in the West Bank settlements.

As members of the Religious Society of Friends who believe that all women and men are our sisters and brothers we are led to respond to the cries of suffering of the Palestinian people by supporting the boycott campaign until the Occupation has ended and the basic human rights of those living under the intolerable conditions of this Occupation, which we regard as both illegal and immoral, are secured.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Truth



The above photo came from an email from the Support Bradley Manning group.

“Ultimately, the artist and the revolutionary function as they function, and pay whatever dues they must pay behind it because they are both possessed by a vision, and they do not so much follow this vision as find themselves driven by it. Otherwise, they could never endure, much less embrace, the lives they are compelled to lead.” ~ James Baldwin

Sunday, July 28, 2013

How Come?



Letter to George Bush in June 2005:

How come no one was fired for the intelligence failures of 9/11? 

How come no one was fired for the intelligence failures of claiming WMDs were in Iraq? 

How come no one was fired for the extremely poor post war planning in Iraq? 

How come no one was fired for claiming that Saddam had something to do with al Qaeda and 9/11? 

How come no one was fired for the continuing hellish mess in Iraq? 

How come no one was fired for all the scary things said about "smoking guns" and "mushroom clouds" that were never true? 

How come Powell was not fired for his performance in front of the UN? 

How come I could figure out the there were no nuclear WMDs in Iraq way back in 2002 and you could not? 

How come I knew that any possible chemical or biological WMDs in Iraq could not hurt the USA and you could not? 

How come you have not resigned for all this lying and ineptitude? 

Didn't Jesus say, "love your enemies" and "turn the other cheek"? 

How come you claim to be "born again" in Jesus and you don't follow his teachings at all?

 **********************************

Here it is 2013, so here are a few more questions for Obama:

How come various financial institutions crashed our economy and no one was arrested?

Why are services to the poor being cut, and education and health care being cut, while we are starting up another war in Syria?

How come Guantanamo is still open?

How come our court systems are not adequate for prosecuting criminals who engage in terrorist acts?

How come Bush was not arrested for violating the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg Principles when he started the war of aggression on Iraq?

How come YOU are allowed to do him one better and violate the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg Principles AND not even get Congressional approval for a new war of aggression against Libya and Syria?

Why are you murdering children with drone bombs in several difference countries?  Do you WANT endless wars and terrorist attacks?

Why isn’t the United States helping people in the world instead of drone bombing and shooting them?

Are YOUR intentions to run this country into the ground, and take away all our civil rights?

Why are you setting a record for charging whistle blowers (who inform the American people about what your administration is doing) with espionage? Do you think the American people are the enemy?

Why are you ignoring the First Amendment and going after journalists?

Why are you collecting so much data on the American people? What do you intend to do with it?



Saturday, July 27, 2013

Poem



Picture is from the Cherohala Skyway at sunset.

The world is too much with us
by William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,      
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

Friday, July 26, 2013

From Langston Hughes

“Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.”
― Langston Hughes, The Collected Poems

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Uncle Sam



This photo came from a Facebook post.


“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.”  -- George Bernard Shaw

Snowden is the eighth person to be charged with violating the espionage act under the Obama administration. This is more than double of all prior presidents combined. We are a fascist state now.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Defense spending


…And you yourself would mutter when
You took the things that once were men,
And sped them through that zone of hate
To where the dripping surgeons wait;
And wonder too if in God's sight
War ever, ever can be right.
– From “Foreword” by British ambulance driver, Robert Service

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

War


John Milton, 1648:

For what can war but endless war still breed?
Till truth and right from violence be freed,
And public faith clear'd from the shameful brand
Of public fraud. In vain doth valour bleed
While avarice and rapine share the land.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Upcoming events in the Asheville area this week







Watercolor of Bradley Manning by Deb Vanpoolen






UPCOMING EVENTS

MORAL MONDAYS IN RALEIGH: Across from the legislative building (16 W Jones St) in Raleigh. Organized by the NAACP. Contact: info@naacpnc.org. No information on a bus going to Raleigh from Asheville on 7-22, but Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville is organizing a bus for July 29. Cost is $20. Reserve tickets here: http://uuasheville.org/social-justice/

ONGOING UNTIL JULY 29, 2013:  SUMMER HEAT AND WALK FOR OUR GRANDCHILDREN - http://www.2013walkforourgrandchildren.org/  

07/22/13 ASHEVILLE EARTH SABBATH CELEBRATION
The Earth Sabbath Celebrations are contemplative and experiential services which utilize community building exercises, readings from many faith traditions, music, video, ritual, movement, chant, guided meditation and other modalities to reach deep into the grief and love we feel for our Earth and help both salve and energize our spirits so we can continue the work of restoration and repair of and with the Creator and creation. Time is 7 PM and location is St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Asheville.

07/24/13 COMMUNITY BUILDING & ECOLOGICAL REGENERATION
Join Asheville Green Drinks Wednesday July 24th for a presentation on community building and ecological regeneration! We need to take seriously ideas like, “live locally” and “it takes a village to raise a child.” As noted systems thinker Margaret Wheatley said, “Whatever the problem, community is the answer.” Living locally enhances our local economy, the quality of our food (grown locally), and it has us commute and thus pollute less. Time is 6 PM and location is The Thirsty Monk at 92 Patton Avenue in Asheville. Come early or stay late for community networking.

07/24/13 WATER QUALITY MONITORING
WNC Alliance invites volunteers to sample water in the French Broad River basin. Meet at Westfeldt Park at 280 Old Fanning Bridge Road. More info at 258-8737. This is from noon to 3 PM and will be every Wednesday until 9/25/13.

07/25/13 RE-IMAGINING QUEER & FEMINIST SPACES
Three amazing zinesters -- Sarah Mae (Giving it Up), Elvis Bakaitis (Homos in Herstory), and Dana (Introduce to Major Benefactor) -- share and read from their work, all touching on the theme of queer and feminist spaces. Location is Firestorm in Asheville and time is 7 PM.

07/26/13 OUR VOICE EVENT
Nourish the Soul – Traveling Postcards. Please join us on Friday July 26th from 1:00 – 3:00 at Homewood (19 Zilcoa Street) as we welcome Traveling Postcards founder, Caroline Lovell, and create handmade works of art and inspiration to be shared with women that have experienced sexual violence. We are so thankful to Event Coordinator and Sponsor, Lynn Karegeannes, who is helping arrange the event and share her experience working with Traveling Postcards. Attendees will have the assistance of local artists, if needed, in creating their own personalized works of art with messages of hope, healing, and empowerment. Coffee and desserts will be served. Proceeds from the event benefit Our VOICE and Traveling Postcards. For more information or to be a sponsor of “Nourish the Soul – Traveling Postcards”, please contact us at (828) 252-0562. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased through the link on this website:  http://www.ourvoicenc.org/news/nourish-the-soul-traveling-postcards/

07/27/13 SUMMER HEAT AT THE WHITE HOUSE
Protest by 350.org.

07/28/13 MORAL SUNDAY IN BLACK MOUNTAIN
We invite all concerned citizens to an informational gathering on Sunday July 28th 2013 at 2:30 PM at White Horse Black Mountain in downtown Black Mountain North Carolina. Many mountain citizens have heard something of the actions of the NC Legislature in recent months. Many are eager for more information about the issues, more information about the process by which the legislature has passed these measures, more information about what the average citizen can do to seek positive change. No admission charge. Donations will be accepted for the NAACP. Music from David LaMotte, Bob Hinkle and others.

07/29/13 CONVERSATION ABOUT RACE RELATIONS IN THE USA
Kathryn Liss and George Friday will facilitate a conversation about the George Zimmerman verdict and it's implications for race relations in the U.S. The underlying assumption of White superiority continues to be a decisive factor in American institutions as we have seen in the workings of the judicial system and the outcome of this trial. Racism has changed the way it looks externally so that Americans can feel that we are treating everyone "equally" but we have not recognized the underlying assumptions which structure our institutions so that "equality" results in unfairness. This conversation will provide an environment in which to explore the configurations of structural racism to better illuminate where action needs to be taken. Time is 6 PM and location is Firestorm.

07/31/13 GREEN DRINKS MEETING
2013 North Carolina Legislative Wrap-up: come learn about environmental issues addressed in the recent NC legislative session and what all this means to environmentalists. Time is 6 PM and location is the Thirsty Monk in Asheville.

08/02/13 BENEFIT FOR PISGAH LEGAL SERVICES
A wine tasting, silent auction, and benefit for Pisgah legal services by the Hart Law Group. Location is Appalachian Vintner at 745 Biltmore Ave, Suite 121, Asheville and time is 4:30 to 6:30 PM. Cost is $10 at the door, please RSVP to Betsy at 828-210-3444.

08/05/13 MORAL MONDAY IN ASHEVILLE
Time is 5 to 7 PM and location is Pack Square.  R. William Barber from the state NAACP will lead the rally. Join thousands of us in a Western NC version of a Moral Monday protest to let our NC Legislature know how upset we are with all of the things they are doing.

08/05/13 DINNER WITH PROGRESSIVES MEETING
Dinner with Progressives is a social outlet for thoughtful people in Asheville NC. The gathering includes time to eat together and then enjoy presentations which focus on solutions for a brighter future. Dinner 6-7 PM and speaker 7-8 PM. Location is Firestorm Café & Books in Asheville.

08/07/13 SIERRA CLUB MEETING
Join us Wednesday August 7th for a presentation by Bob Wagner and Julie Mayfield, WNC Alliance’s co-directors, who will talk about various community efforts occurring around smart growth and transportation, including a deeper focus on the I-26 Connector Project. Smart Growth is a set of design principles that, among other things, encourages the development of compact, pedestrian-friendly communities, provides transportation and housing choices, encourages mixed-use development, and preserve and enhances downtowns and other urban centers. Environmental, design, and transportation advocates have long advocated smart growth, but health and aging advocates in Asheville are now picking up the baton.  Hear about their efforts and what we hope to accomplish working with them. Programming begins at 7:00 PM. Location is Unitarian Universalist Church at the corner of Charlotte and Edwin Streets in Asheville.

08/12/13 KATUAH EARCH FIRST GREEN SCREEN
KEF Green Screen -  Every second Monday of the month, Katuah Earth First shows videos on relevant environmental struggles. Time is 6 PM and location is Firestorm Café & Books.

08/13/13 VETERANS FOR PEACE MEETING
Time is 6:30 PM and location is VFP HQ at the Phil Mechanic Studios: 109 Roberts Street in Asheville. VFP Chapter 099: http://vfpchapter099wnc.blogspot.com/

08/16/13 WNC PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MEETING
The next WNC PSR monthly meeting will be at a private home near the VA Hospital. Brown Bag lunch at noon with meeting from 12:30 to 2 PM. Everyone is welcome. Please go to www.wncpsr.org  for more information, which includes how to get there and other details.

08/20/13 TRANSITION ASHEVILLE PERMACULTURE POTLUCK SERIES
Each Month in 2013, YOU are invited to share food, community connection, and explore new/old ways of thinking about land and community. On the 3rd Tuesday of each month, we will gather over potluck meal, and a different local permaculture teacher will present one of David Holmgren's 12 Principles of Permaculture. The August Potluck will feature Keri Evjy of Living Roots Design, and Janell Kapoor, of Ashevillage Institute and Kleiwerks International. They will co-present the principle of "Integrate Rather than Segregate". Make sure you bring something yummy to share (local/organic if possible), dishes and silverware. Location is Community Action Opportunities at 25 Gaston Street, and time is 5:30 PM.

08/22/13 CELEBRATING THE YMI CULTURAL CENTER
“A history of the YMI Cultural Center” will be presented at the YMI Cultural Center at South Market Street in Asheville. Presentation by Dr. Darin Waters, Assistant Professor of History at UNCA. Time is 7 PM.

08/23/13 120TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE YMI CULTURAL CENTER
This celebration will be a block party at the corner of Eagle & Market Streets at 6 PM. There are other events planned this weekend to mark this occasion, please see www.ymicuturalcenter.org for more information.

08/29/13 MEDEA BENJAMIN READING & SIGNING
Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace co-founder presents her book, Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. Benjamin provides an extensive analysis of who is producing the drones, where they are being used, who controls these unmanned planes, and what are the legal and moral implications of their use. In vivid, readable style, this book also looks at what activists, lawyers, and scientists across the globe are doing to ground these weapons. Time is 7 PM and location is Malaprops Bookstore in Asheville.

09/04/13 SIERRA CLUB MEETING
Presentation on Stop GE Trees and Our Forests Aren’t Fuel. Social is at 7 PM and program starts at 7:15 PM.  Location is Unitarian Universalist Church at the corner of Edwin Place and Charlotte Street in Asheville.

09/06/13 MOVE TO AMEND REGIONAL CONFERENCE
Move to Amend Grassroots Regional Democracy Convergence will be held in Charlotte, NC. This conference is from September 6 to September 8. For more information go to https://movetoamend.org/.

09/08/13 LECTURE ON ‘CARING FOR CREATION AND YOUR SOUL’
Lecture by Dr. Matthew Sleeth, and is followed by conversation with Dr. Matthew Sleeth, Dr. Guy Sayles, Pastor, First Baptist Church, and Anna Jane Joyner, WNC Green Congregations. Event hosted by The Center for Faith and Life of First Baptist Church of Asheville, Blessed Earth, and The Western North Carolina Green Congregations. Time is 6 to 8 PM and location is First Baptist Church of Asheville at 5 Oak Street.

09/21/13 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

*******************************************
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 2 PM at Firestorm Cafe
Police Brutality Council (discussion) at 11 AM at Firestorm Cafe

FRIDAY
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the City Hall in Hendersonville

SATURDAY
Transylvanians for Peace and WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility have a weekly vigil at noon in front of the courthouse in Brevard
Third Saturdays – Asheville’s Green Grannies invites the public to “sing for the climate” at Vance Monument.

*******************************************
ACTIONS AND READINGS
*******************************************

FROM THE ACLU:

In California, hundreds of prisoners have been held in solitary for more than a decade – some for infractions as trivial as reading Machiavelli's "The Prince."

Gabriel Reyes describes the pain of being isolated for at least 22 hours a day for the last 16 years: “Unless you have lived it, you cannot imagine what it feels like to be by yourself, between four cold walls, with little concept of time... It is a living tomb...I have not been allowed physical contact with any of my loved ones since 1995...I feel helpless and hopeless. In short, I am being psychologically tortured.”

That’s why over 30,000 prisoners in California began a hunger strike – the biggest the state has ever seen. They’re refusing food to protest prisoners being held for decades in solitary and to push for other changes to improve their basic conditions.

Will you join me in signing the petition asking California Corrections Secretary to end long-term solitary confinement?


******************

VETERANS FOR PEACE INFORMATION


NEW PUBLICATION OF WAR CRIMES TIMES:http://www.WarCrimesTimes.org/
A publication of Veterans For Peace -- exposing the true costs of war.

Visit VFP HQ at the Phil Mechanic Studios: 109 Roberts Street (the corner of Haywood and Roberts), Asheville, 28801. (828-258-1800). Hours: Tue-Sat 11 to 3 PM.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Little Hands




Little Hands
By Lina Al-Sharif

Little hands
soft and round
cupped crayons,
in the corner of the paper,
drew smiley sun painted yellow
butterflies, swings, and green meadows,
huddled family, a house with small windows,
and a cloudless sky with a rainbow,

Little dreams,
thoughts of the unknown
as adventure bigger than their small world

Where they roam, float, and soar,

Laugh and agelessly grow,

Little hands,

But big tanks,

With calloused hands,

Found the house of small windows,

Tore the crayoned rainbow

Soft and round
became soon pillars of clouds,

Buried into the ground
so small a shroud
so quiet a sound,

Little souls

Soared with the dew
roamed with the dunes

Left our world too soon,

Little hands
now will rain young forever,
no longer drawing dreams on paper,

Little hands,
cup your hands together
and pray for their hands to be tied
forever,
forever and ever.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela!

It is my birthday too - and I am always happy to share my birthday with this man, although he has been around a few years more than me. Hope he has a great birthday and many more!

Syria

The Crisis in Syria: Statement by the Steering Committee of U.S. Labor Against the War

Published in July 2013

  a. We oppose any U.S. Military intervention, direct or indirect, in the Syrian conflict
  b. The U.S. should focus on providing more humanitarian assistance through established internationally recognized neutral institutions and organizations
  c. There is no military solution to the crisis in Syria
  d. Initial steps to arm rebels will surely create pressure for further escalation, leading the U.S. into another quagmire
  e. We call on our government to reverse its decision to provide arms and other military support to the Syrian rebels
  f. The Syrian crisis is for the Syrian people to resolve by political negotiations
  g. There must be an immediate full arms embargo applied to all countries
  h. We support initiatives in Congress to prevent the U.S. from becoming embroiled in another armed conflict in the Middle East
  i. We call for using funds now spent on the military to address poverty, unemployment, inequality and numerous other social ills here at home and abroad
  j. By addressing these problems we will also increase our national security and reduce the need to resort to arms.

Racism hurts everyone


“The civility of no race can be perfect whilst another race is degraded. It is a doctrine alike of the oldest and of the newest philosophy, that man is one, and that you cannot injure any member, without a sympathetic injury to all the members.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"We are not for sale"


Snowden’s statement



"For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum," he said. "Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the US in article 14 of the universal declaration of human rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country…

“Although I am convicted of nothing, [the US] has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum…

"In the end, the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised – and it should be. I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many."
 Link to full article here.

None of us are free - if one of us is chained.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hounds of War



The Hounds of War are gathered round
To forge the battle plan,
They pat each other on the back,
And grasp their fellow's hand.
To battle stations they disperse
To carry on the fray,
These warriors of the word sublime
That makes us weep or pray.
They swing behind the keyboard now
That spits out their deceit;
Their goal, the end they desire,
That makes their life complete.
These victors suffer no regrets
As they pen brilliant epithets,
And so they ply their lonely craft,
And carve another's epitaph. ~ Willima Cook

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Upcoming events for the week of July 14, 2013


UPCOMING EVENTS

MORAL MONDAYS IN RALEIGH: Across from the legislative building (16 W Jones St) in Raleigh. Organized by the NAACP.  Contact: info@naacpnc.org. Link to Asheville bus (by Democratic Party) on Moral Mondays:  https://secure.actblue.com/page/bcdpmoralmonday. Cost is $20.

07/15/13 DISTRICT ONE COMMUNITY MEETING IN BUNCOMBE COUNTY
On Monday July 15th, 6-7 PM at Pack Library, your Buncombe County Board of Commissioners is coming to District One to hear directly from constituents. This meeting will be an opportunity for citizens to share ideas, concerns and questions with their county elected officials. Commissioners will be there to listen and respond. We hope you will find some time in your summer schedule to be a part. Hosted by Holly Jones and Brownie Newman.

07/16/13 MOVE TO AMEND PUBLIC PROGRAM
David Cobb, National Spokesperson for Move to Amend, will speak on “A Call to Action against Corporate Rule” at Lord Auditorium at Pack Library, Haywood Street, Asheville. Doors open at 5 PM, speaker at 5:30 PM and Q&A session at 6:30 PM. Learn about the nationwide campaign to amend the Constitution to return corporations to their earlier state when they were not given the rights of citizens, when money wasn’t speech and Congress could regulate money in politics. Find out what YOU can do to help make this happen. Light Refreshments will be served. For more information call: (828) 232-2883 or (828) 674-3046. More information below.

07/16/13 ASHEVILLE BEYOND COAL VIDEO RELEASE PARTY
Please come help us celebrate! Asheville Beyond Coal campaign invites you to our new video release, featuring Asheville’s 4-star certified Green Restaurants, French Broad Chocolate Lounge and The Green Sage! Time is 5:30 PM and location is the Chocolate Lounge on Lexington Avenue in Asheville. Information from Facebook, no contact information.

07/18/13 TOWARDS COLLECTIVE LIBERATION TOUR
Join us for a book tour and author event with longtime organizer and activist Chris Crass, with the release of his new book, "Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy." The book is for activists engaging with dynamic questions of how to create and support effective movements for visionary systemic change. It offers lessons for transformative organizing through a firsthand look at the challenges and the opportunities of anti-racist work in white communities, feminist work with men, and bringing women of color feminism into the heart of social movements. Time is 6 PM and location is Firestorm Café and Books in Asheville.

07/19/13 to 07/29/13 SUMMER HEAT AND WALK FOR OUR GRANDCHILDREN
http://www.2013walkforourgrandchildren.org/  Contact Steve at earthsun2@gmail.com or Richard at firepeople@main.nc.us for more information.

07/19/13 MICHAEL DANFORTH COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD LUNCHEON
Time is 1 PM to 2:30 PM and location is Kenilworth Presbyterian Church at 123 Kenilworth Road in Asheville. WNC Health Advocates honors Laurey Masterton with its Second Annual Michael T. Danforth Community Service Award. Laurey is a three-time cancer survivor with an indomitable spirit. She is a living-wage-certified employer and her company serves healthy, nutritious and delicious food. She has given selflessly to her community and works to educate the public about healthy food and about cancer. The cost of this event is $22, and you can get tickets here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6870952203/

07/19/13 to 07/21/13 REGIONAL GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY CONVERGENCE
This is organized by the Move to Amend movement, and will be held in Charlotte, NC. More information at http://movetoamend.nationbuilder.com/charlotte_2013_convergence

07/19/13 PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MEETING
Physicians, health personnel and everyone; all are welcomed at our monthly meetings! Bring a brown bag lunch around noon. The meeting will officially start at 12:30 and end about 2:00 PM. DIRECTIONS:  (Location is in vicinity of Veterans Hospital)  Proceed east on Tunnel Rd./US 70 (away from downtown Asheville) to one short block prior to the Blue Ridge Pky. overpass. Turn right (south) on Pleasant Ridge Dr., then turn right on the second street, Wagon Rd., then immediate left on Birchwood Lane to #18. For more information contact Dr. Terry Clark, Chair, 633-0892 or Dr. Lew Patrie, 299-1242.

07/19/13 WALK FOR OUR GRANDCHILDREN
This event is locally organized and is a walk from Camp David to Harper’s Ferry to the White House, where they will join in the Summer Heat protest. See 2013walkforourgrandchildren.org for more information. And all through walkers from Camp David to White House or Harpers Ferry to White House should register asap. Do this through email walkforgrandchildren@gmail.com. Please do this ASAP. See below for more information.

07/22/13 ASHEVILLE EARTH SABBATH CELEBRATION
The Earth Sabbath Celebrations are contemplative and experiential services which utilize community building exercises, readings from many faith traditions, music, video, ritual, movement, chant, guided meditation and other modalities to reach deep into the grief and love we feel for our Earth and help both salve and energize our spirits so we can continue the work of restoration and repair of and with the Creator and creation. Time is 7 PM and location is St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Asheville.

07/24/13 COMMUNITY BUILDING & ECOLOGICAL REGENERATION
Join Asheville Green Drinks Wednesday July 24th for a presentation on community building and ecological regeneration! We need to take seriously ideas like, “live locally” and “it takes a village to raise a child.” As noted systems thinker Margaret Wheatley said, “Whatever the problem, community is the answer.” Living locally enhances our local economy, the quality of our food (grown locally), and it has us commute and thus pollute less. Time is 6 PM and location is The Thirsty Monk at 92 Patton Avenue in Asheville. Come early or stay late for community networking.

07/26/13 OUR VOICE EVENT
Nourish the Soul – Traveling Postcards. Please join us on Friday July 26th from 1:00 – 3:00 at Homewood (19 Zilcoa Street) as we welcome Traveling Postcards founder, Caroline Lovell, and create handmade works of art and inspiration to be shared with women that have experienced sexual violence. We are so thankful to Event Coordinator and Sponsor, Lynn Karegeannes, who is helping arrange the event and share her experience working with Traveling Postcards. Attendees will have the assistance of local artists, if needed, in creating their own personalized works of art with messages of hope, healing, and empowerment. Coffee and desserts will be served. Proceeds from the event benefit Our VOICE and Traveling Postcards. For more information or to be a sponsor of “Nourish the Soul – Traveling Postcards”, please contact us at (828) 252-0562. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased through the link on this website:  http://www.ourvoicenc.org/news/nourish-the-soul-traveling-postcards/

07/27/13 SUMMER HEAT AT THE WHITE HOUSE
Protest by 350.org.

08/07/13 SIERRA CLUB MEETING
Join us Wednesday August 7th for a presentation by Bob Wagner and Julie Mayfield, WNC Alliance’s co-directors, who will talk about various community efforts occurring around smart growth and transportation, including a deeper focus on the I-26 Connector Project. Smart Growth is a set of design principles that, among other things, encourages the development of compact, pedestrian-friendly communities, provides transportation and housing choices, encourages mixed-use development, and preserve and enhances downtowns and other urban centers. Environmental, design, and transportation advocates have long advocated smart growth, but health and aging advocates in Asheville are now picking up the baton.  Hear about their efforts and what we hope to accomplish working with them. Programming begins at 7:00 PM. Location is Unitarian Universalist Church at the corner of Charlotte and Edwin Streets in Asheville

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ONGOING EVENTS
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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 2 PM at Firestorm Cafe
Police Brutality Council (discussion) at 11 AM at Firestorm Cafe

FRIDAY
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the City Hall in Hendersonville

SATURDAY
Transylvanians for Peace and WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility have a weekly vigil at noon in front of the courthouse in Brevard

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ACTIONS AND READINGS
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07/16/13 Organizer of National Move to Amend Campaign to Speak in Asheville

Move to Amend of Buncombe County, the local chapter of the national organization working to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling that “corporations are people,” will host David Cobb, one of the national organizers, from 5-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 16, at Pack Library in downtown Asheville. The meeting is free and open to the public, and will include light refreshments and an open Question & Answer session.

The 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United V. FEC opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending on elections. Mr. Cobb will speak on the history of the court decision and how it impacted the elections of 2010 and 2012 and will continue to do so in the future. He will also address ways that communities can work to abolish “corporate personhood” and reestablish a government of, by, and for the people.
“Corporate personhood is not an inconsequential legal technicality,” says Mr. Cobb. “The Supreme Court ruled that a corporation was a ‘legal person’ with 14th Amendment protections before they granted full personhood to African Americans, immigrants, natives, or women.”

Move To Amend is a grass-roots organization that was established to overturn the Citizens United decision as well as an earlier ruling, Buckley v. Valeo, which declared that money is speech.

Fifteen states and hundreds of cities and counties around the country have passed resolutions calling on Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to restrict the rights of human beings to human beings, reflecting both the original language of the Declaration of Independence (“We the PEOPLE”) and the original intent of the Constitution, when laws throughout the nation barred corporations from all but a narrow range of activities. North Carolina communities that have passed such resolutions include Asheville, Chapel Hill, Durham, Franklin, Greenville, Highlands, Raleigh, Sylva, and Orange County.

Doors will open for the July 16 event at 5, for sign-in and light snacks. David Cobb will speak at 5:30. For more information about MTA Buncombe County, contact Ruth at 828-232-2883 or at ruthachristie@gmail.com.

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July 22, 2013 – July 27, 2013 2013 Walk for Our Grandchildren

The science is clear. We must keep the majority of remaining fossil fuels in the ground. As NASA climatologist Jim Hansen has written, mining the Canadian tar sands means game over for the climate.

The new State Department study “cooked the books” on the impact of Keystone. The time is NOW for us to liberate our children and grandchildren from fossil fuels, beginning this year with the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. The buck stops at the President’s desk.

We must remind the President that stopping the Keystone XL pipeline from being built on US soil is one vital step which he can take unilaterally. He has spoken eloquently in the State of the Union about our personal responsibility to act on climate change. His words about our duty towards our children and the future are clear: “This is our first task, caring for our children… If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.” Our responsibility as citizens is to hold the president accountable to his own words.

So together we walk, children and adults, from Camp David, Maryland to Washington, DC, to tell President Obama and other policy makers that enough is enough. We must keep the majority of fossil fuels in the ground. We demand climate action now!  
Our arrival at the White House will coincide with Summer Heat, a week of action across the nation to address global warming and carbon pollution. Washington, DC will be at the epicenter of those efforts. We will walk in order to grow a strong spirit of discontent and nonviolent resistance for all to draw upon who will be engaged in this work.

The Walk itself will be a profound request and prayer for moral vision, determination, and courage to President Obama and all national and international policy makers. The Keystone XL pipeline must not be constructed across United States territory. We must do our part in trying to preserve Alberta’s boreal forest and the indigenous lands and peoples that tar sands mining is exploiting. We must keep the vast majority of coal, tar sands, shale oil and natural gas in the ground so that we leave our grandchildren the legacy of beautiful land, pure water and a stable climate, which we inherited from our ancestors.
As we walk, we look forward to talking to the people in the communities along our route. We will be listening for their concerns and ideas about how together we can respond to the dangers posed by fossil fuels. And we will take their message with us to the White House.

The Walk will conclude at the White House on Saturday July 27, with ceremony and non-violent protest as we deliver our message of Climate Action NOW to President Obama. Cost of the walk is $30 day for day hikers, $150 for through hikers, with scholarships available.


Supports of this event:
350.org
Sierra Club (both national and the Maryland Chapter)
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Energy Action Coalition
Environmental Action
iMatter – Kids vs Global Warming
Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light
Interfaith Moral Action on Climate
Maria Gunoe, 2009 Goldman Prize recipient

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Not happy about what is going on in Raleigh, then contact this guy:
Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
Phone: (919) 814-2000
Fax: (919) 733-2120

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From NAACP:
In 1955, a young black man in Money, Mississippi, went to the store to buy some candy. Fifty-seven years later, another young black man in Sanford, Florida, did the same. Both trips led to a murder — one of Emmett Till and the other Trayvon Martin.

It wasn't right when it happened in 1955, and it wasn't right in 2012. Responding to these injustices was a focus of my address to the 104th annual convention of the NAACP tonight. I spoke of the need to keep our convention theme in our minds and hearts — "We shall not be moved." Here's how we do it:


Standing for justice requires courage, but I am confident we have no shortage of that.

Courage is a group of young NAACP leaders channeling their hurt and frustration over an appalling verdict into a decisive call to action: to stop the violence. Whether on the South Side of Chicago, or a gated community in Sanford, Florida, we must end gun violence, no matter what the perpetrator looks like. It's Rosa Parks refusing to get up from her seat, and Medgar Evers refusing to take his. Titans of our civil rights movement who stood their ground, and who we celebrate this year on the 100th anniversary of her birth, and the 50th anniversary of his assassination. And courage is refusing to allow two black boys to be vilified for walking while black, and rejecting the notion that our children are seen as potential threats instead of the loving sons and daughters we raise them to be.

Thank you,
Roslyn BrockChairman, NAACP National Board of Directors

Friday, July 12, 2013

From World Can’t Wait



We urge people to go out publicly in every way they can think of. Read these indictments aloud on street corners, post them up online and on paper, tweet them, and participate in creative protests to bring the indispensable peoples' voice and actions into this politically intolerable scene.

The Indictments

We indict the U.S. government: For using mass surveillance on whole populations, with the intent to chill protest and dissent.
We indict the U.S. government: For indefinite detention and torture of prisoners at Guantanamo and other sites including torturing hunger strikers with force-feeding.
We indict the U.S. government: For wars of aggression, unjust occupations, and the use of drones, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians around the world
We indict the U.S. government: For the mass incarceration of over 2.4 million people in the United States, mainly Black and Latino, a program with a genocidal impact against these groups, including torture, solitary confinement, and unjust executions.
We indict the U.S. government and state governments: For making abortion and birth control increasingly illegal and inaccessible, endangering women’s lives.
We indict the U.S. government: For being a large contributor to climate change, sabotoging international efforts to curb greenhouse emissions and taking no real meaningful action to reverse the trajectory.
We indict the US government: for torturing, intimidating and prosecuting whistleblowers while covering up and not prosecuting those responsible for the war crimes and crimes against humanity.

We pledge mass public opposition to the crimes of our government, taking inspiration and finding common cause with those who around the world are rising up against oppression.

"The future is unwritten, which one we get is up to us."

Losing the center

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. ~ William Butler Yeats

Thursday, July 11, 2013

From School of the Americas Watch email

Photo of Father Roy Bourgeois by SOA Watch.


August 9th will mark the thirtieth year since Father Roy Bourgeois and two close friends first crossed the line. After fasting in protest at the entrance of Fort Benning, Roy, Linda Ventimiglia, and the late Father Larry Rosebaugh disguised themselves in the uniforms of high-ranking army officials and walked onto the grounds of base. It was three years after the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, and, with the arrival of 525 soldiers to Fort Benning from El Salvador for military training, Linda, Larry, and Roy had a special message to deliver. After the bugle was blown, and the lights turned out, the three made their way to the area near the Salvadoran barracks, remaining hidden within a small cluster of pine trees. Armed with a cassette player, and a tape of Archbishop Romero's last homily, Roy climbed high into a tree and played the speech. "His voice boomed into the barracks," Roy recalls. As the speech thundered in the sky, dozens of Salvadoran troops ran from the barracks to figure out the source of the voice. Also arriving on the scene were several heavily armed officials ordering Roy to climb down from the tree. The three were arrested, charged with criminal trespassing and impersonating an army officer, and were sentenced to a year and a half in prison. One year later, the U.S. Army School of the Americas was opened in Fort Benning after being forced to leave Panama by President Jorge Illueca in 1984. The resistance to the school from within Panama was a part of that country's strides toward independence, and their rejection of U.S. imperialism.

The U.S. resistance to the SOA/WHINSEC and U.S. militarization in the Americas grew from this original act of resistance. SOA Watch was formally founded in 1990, and has continued to grow since then. In the past 23 years, the U.S. has continued to tighten its grasp on Latin America and the Caribbean. It does not always employ the guns and the tanks to oppress people: there are other means of "protecting democracy". This includes the World Bank checkbook, the free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, CAFTA, and the US-Colombia TPA, and deregulation of economic markets. But as empire has grown, so has the resistance. Much of this is due to the tireless work of social movements, who relentlessly identify attacks on community building, cultures of peace, and self-determination and try to thwart the tools of imperalism before they are set in motion. These social movements are strongest when they stand in solidarity with one another. The struggle to close the SOA is united to many different struggles: the struggle for immigrant rights, the right of communities to control their own destiny, the right of workers to unionize, the struggle against police brutality in our communities, and the work to end the attack on whistleblowers who promote democracy by revealing the truth behind the lies.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The edge

Help me to be in the world for no purpose at all
except for the joy of sunlight and rain.
Keep me close to the edge,
where everything wild begins. ~ Tom Hennen