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The Justice & Peace eWeekly is a weekly survey of upcoming events, local news and activism opportunities. Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who might be interested.

 


Week of July 6, 2020


 

Protests, Virus Resurgence Leaves Tempers Frayed Over 4th


CSPD Looks for Arrests After the Fact in I-25 Blockade

Colorado Springs Police initially took a hands-off approach to a Black Lives Matter march on the evening of June 30 that briefly blockaded I-25 at Bijou. But after the fact, CSPD cited two protest organizers and scoured photos and video images, looking for more protesters to ticket or arrest. In Aurora, police arrested two people for protesting early in the morning of July 4 over the killing of Elijah McClain. Earlier in the week, the police had assaulted an outdoor violin concert honoring McClain. The new tough line taken by police in Colorado mirrored a crackdown nationwide, most visibly in the Seattle CHOP autonomous zone, which was raided and shut down by city orders on July 1.

What was more evident than law enforcement activity, however, was the behavior of white residents, often armed, who challenged both demonstrators and people on the street. Many events went viral on social media in Missouri, Florida, and Michigan as right-wingers went from parading with arms to actually brandishing arms against citizens. Over the 4th weekend in Seattle, one demonstrator was killed and one critically injured when a driver in a Jaguar deliberately plowed through a street protest. Social psychologists attributed some of the events to supremacists feeling that their backs were against the wall, but they also pointed to the renewed community shutdowns caused by Covid-19 resurgence as “driving people a little bit crazy.”

Many communities and states urged people to scale back their July 4 plans, particularly as nationwide new cases of Covid reached a record late last week of 50,000 in a single day. If there is good news, death rates appear to be flattening, both because Covid is striking a younger audience, and because the virus is mutating to become both more infectious but less lethal. Experts with the CDC warn, however, that the summer surge could lead to bigger hospitalization and death rates in the fall. As a result, governors throughout the country weighed whether citizens could cope with a full lockdown for a second time.

The lack of leadership at the federal level gives other nations a perception that the United States is abandoning any common views. Last week, the European Union voted to continue to bar U.S. residents from visiting Europe at least through the end of 2020 and potentially well into 2021. Some leaders in Europe said the new spikes in Covid cases were an indicator that the U.S. was an irresponsible nation. European media have been front-paging stories of citizen confrontations, so that EU citizens think that the problem is much broader than President Trump.

In such an atmosphere, we can only reiterate: Be kind. Don’t be a jerk. Wear a mask. Maintain social distance. Avoid provocations. And realize that you may have to maintain these physical and mental guidelines well into 2021.
 

RAWtools Offers
 "Taking Stock" as a YouTube/Facebook Resource Following June 28 Debut

RAWtools debuted its new poetry video, “Taking Stock: Loaded Words and Bullet Points” last Sunday to rave reviews. The video features local poets reading works on issues of gun violence. The video was directed and produced by Mary Sprunger-Froese and Lauren Weaver, and includes poems from Jonathan Andujar, former Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Susan Peiffer, NAACP activist Rosemary Lytle, and PPJPC Chair Loring Wirbel.  The video is now on YouTube for viewing at any time, you can find it here: https://youtu.be/8t16wRcVHa4
 

Pikes Peak Women Release a Call to Action, Summer-Long Program to Address Racial Injustices

Pikes Peak Women, a local group of leaders that include former PPJPC Chair Melissa Marts, Citizens Project Executive Director Deb Walker, and Indy Give! Director Barb Van Hoy, released the following statement on Wednesday, June 10:

Pikes Peak Women stands with those who are horrified by the brutal murder of George Floyd  by Minneapolis police on May 25, and those  of Breonna Taylor,  Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray Jr., Walter Scott, Oscar Grant III, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, and too many more.  As mothers, as sisters, as friends we thought we were doing the right things to support and advance equality.  We were wrong!
 
Our efforts have been too little and our voices too weak.  Too often our silence spoke louder than our efforts.   As the great leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” 

We can do better.  We must do better. The community of Fannie Mae Duncan and “Everybody Welcome” must come together to lead the way through advocacy, collaboration, and peaceful protest. 

We cannot claim to know the racism and discrimination experienced by our Black colleagues on a daily basis, but we can learn.  It is no longer enough to ask “Am I racist?” but rather “HOW am I racist?” and, even more so, “How can I use my privilege to advocate through positive action, relationship building, and communication to the broader community that racism is NOT welcome here?  Not here in the Pikes Peak region.  Not here in the United States.”

The leadership of Pikes Peak Women is committed to becoming effective allies, leading the charge to examine our white privilege and systemic racism to finally deliver the promise of equality at all levels for people of color. Many of you have attended our programs on media bias, political advocacy, and running for office.  You have learned from Pikes Peak Women and brought your unique perspectives and truths to our forums. Now is the time to declare your commitment by adding your voice and story to the chorus of those demanding justice and reform for equal treatment, access, and respect for communities of color.  Women are a powerful force in this community.  Just 100 years ago women gave their hearts, their efforts, and their lives to deliver suffrage to women.  We can move mountains when moved to action, and now it is more important than ever to commit to action! 

In the coming months Pikes Peak Women will be collaborating  with our community partners to draft programs that educate us so we can be stronger – and louder – allies in this fight for equality. The details have yet to be formulated and we do want to hear from you on suggested topics that you think would be helpful.  Here are some sample topics:  White Privilege – What Is It?  What are police guidelines on Use of Force?  How are schools educating our children on civil rights, discrimination, privilege?  What is the penalty for CSPD officers who don’t wear their body cameras or turn them on?  What is our history of civil rights in Colorado Springs?  The list is likely to be long, but we would welcome your ideas.  Feel free to share this memo with your friends and neighbors.  We welcome all suggestions.
 
We cannot remain silent. We must fight systemic racism and inequality, the historic absence of respect, and the denial of justice to our friends, neighbors, family members, and fellow citizens who are people of color.  We commit to learning to be true allies in this movement.  We ask each woman of the Pikes Peak region to JOIN US.
 

PPJPC Works with PPLD to Contact Teen Peace Camp Alumni in Preparation for Alternative Fall Events

Plans for a three-month series of events to take the place of the summer 2020 Peace Camp are well under way, and Pikes Peak Library District is working with PPJPC to align events with planned PPLD events such as All Pikes Peak Reads. We are focusing on Racial Justice and Understanding Cultures for our fall program, which will include online activities, shows, and events along with reading appropriate for both older and younger students. Later in July, we will be contacting those over 12 who have served as Peace Camp counselors, or who would like to do so, to help plan reading for young adults, as well as video presentations for elementary-aged kids that the teens can help produce. Stay tuned for more details!

 

Colorado Poor People's Campaign Calls for July 7 "Blackout"
 

The Colorado branch of the national Poor People’s Campaign has called for a day-long “Blackout” on July 7 in support of Black Lives Matter. Participants are asked to not spend any money on this day, but if purchases are made, they be made through Black-owned businesses. For more information on Blackout, visit www.blackoutday.org.
 

 

Active for Justice Podcast Covers Plowshares Nuns' March 5 Speech

 

 Thanks to Greg, Dave, Rick, and everyone at Studio 809 (who are currently on a virus semi-sabbatical) for editing the presentation Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert gave at All Souls Church on March 5. We were lucky to host the sisters for several events prior to the quarantine being enacted locally. We have also listed the latest two Peak Environment podcasts of Studio 809 below, though it may be a few weeks before additional podcasts are added.

Plowshares Podcast here:
http://studio809radio.com/active-justice-yes-humanity-mar-05-2020/

 

PPJPC Seeks Interest for Officers of Board

While we at PPJPC identified potential board members at our Feb. 29 annual meeting, we are seeking your help as we reconstitute post-quarantine. If you are interested in nominating yourself or someone else to a board position, contact us at info@ppjpc.org or media@ppjpc.org. After double-checking with candidates, we will send out a slate of board candidates for member approval.
 

New Webinar on Hybrid Warfare

About Face: Veterans Against the War and World Without War partnered in late March to present a webinar that is now available for viewing online. “The Age of Hybrid Warfare” is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/gZK40p10MOA. You can also check out the PowerPoint slides that go with the webinar at tiny.cc/wij4nz.  This seminar looks at the creation of “permanent war” environments when economic warfare, “lawfare,” cyberwar, and other methods augment traditional avenues of armed conflict.
 

Peak Environment Podcast 59 Examines Regional Sustainability

 

Studio 809’s Peak Environment has released the second of two podcasts featuring Konrad Schlarbaum of Green Cities Coalition. Schlarbaum, the sustainability coordinator at Pikes Peak Community College, talks about “Updating the Regional Sustainability Plan.” How can we improve the Pikes Peak Region 2030 Plan?  Schlarbaum lays out his suggestions.

You can find Podcast 59 here:
http://studio809radio.com/pe-ppr2030-updating/

Podcast 58 covers a presentation Schlarbaum made Feb. 8 at the Pikes Peak Foodshed Forum, on local food and indigenous roots. The podcast also features keynote speaker Michael Alcazar.

You can find Podcast 58 here:
http://studio809radio.com/indigenous-land-management/


 

Concrete Couch Offers Summer Online Zoom Sessions and Face-to-Face Small Classes at Hillside

Our friends at Concrete Couch have expanded their spring Zoom offerings in two directions. Weekday Zoom classes will continue to be offered, following a general schedule of Food on Monday, Art on Tuesday, Construction on Wednesday, Science on Thursday, and a Friday session on Mindful Movement, including yoga and dance. There is also a new “Teach One Thing” program for those aged 9-17, who are prepared to commit to five hours for preparing a class on a favorite subject to teach, and then teaching it online. Find out more at www.concretecouch.org . Steve Wolf tells us that Concrete Couch is looking for teachers, too, so drop him a line at teach@concretecouch.org.

Concrete Couch also is offering its first paid classes, in which five kids and five instructors will join at Concrete Coyote Learning Laboratory, Colorado Springs Food Rescue, Hillside Community Center, and other locations. The students will learn a variety of art, construction, science, stonework, and ecology skills. Participants must bring their own water, snacks, mask, and gloves. Morning sessions from 9 to 10 a.m. are for those aged 9 to 12, while sessions from 10:00 to 11:30 are for 13 to 17 year-olds. The classes began June 8, so check with Christine at the email below for possible late entrants. The classes run from June 8 to August 14. The cost is $50, though there are scholarships available, and each student that attends at least 9 of 10 classes gets 100% of tuition back. For more information, contact Christine Flores at christine@concretecouch.org.
 
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