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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 April 15, 2019


 

Protesters Get Positive Response at Space Symposium

Speakers at Broadmoor Talk of Space Force Headquarters, Army Space Brigade in Colorado

The April 8 protest outside the opening ceremony of the 35th Annual Space Symposium at the Broadmoor garnered positive responses. “Astrid Physicist” (Mary Sprunger-Froese) sang a new rendition of “Fly Me to the Moon,” which won good feedback from educators and journalists.

Inside the four-day symposium, Colorado’s role in the national Space Force to be formed next year took center stage. In the 1990s, Peterson Air Force Base was headquarters of U.S. Space Command. Now, Peterson, Schriever, Cheyenne, and Buckley Air Force Bases are listed as potential homes for the new Space Force. Meanwhile, the Army is ready to formalize the 1st Space Brigade, quietly founded in commercial buildings in southeast Colorado Springs. The Army wants to make a former brigade headquarters at Fort Carson when the Space Force is activated.

Mark Lewis of CS Action took a great video of the action at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyT38ZPtgiU

Here is the text for the flyer handed out by Citizens for Peace in Space at the protest:

Good Things and Bad Things in Outer Space
     Neil de Grasse Tyson's recent best seller frames the issue succinctly: -The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and The Military.  The opening pages of the book recount Dr. Tyson's experience as an attendee at the 2003 Symposium when he was a board member of the Space Foundation. He had an awakening that day as he encountered a group of "uninformed" protesters outside the meeting hall.

     In detail he tells us what he's talking about.  You can't have good stuff in space without contributing to the war stuff. And he brushes aside counter arguments.  Attempts at putting the brakes on space war such as The Outer Space Treaty and the Treaty to Prevent an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) are extremely naive and not worth pursuing.  An unspoken corollary to his thesis is that the status quo of the military and economic order is a given.  That is what makes attempts at radical change impossible. Consumer capitalism has the excess funds to keep it going.

    The budgets of the giant aerospace corporations—Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics—plus a host of smaller Pentagon dependent companies—spell it out.  They do a lot of good things in outer space and they do a lot more warlike things in space.  The dual projects are joined at the hip.  Gotta take the one with the other.  The rich countries have to arm themselves to the teeth to protect a status quo which allows positive developments in space.  It has been ever thus.  Change the dynamic at your own peril, Dr Tyson argues. 
 
    Well – last year Google engineers refused to build a security tool to win military contracts – and then Google dropped the Pentagon’s AI contract after employees refused this ‘business of war’.  In February of this year Microsoft employees asked for a cancellation of military contracts and urged “cease developing any and all weapons technologies”, concluding their letter with  “As employees and shareholders we do not want to become war profiteers.”

Are any of you candidates for this kind of uprising?  Dr. Tyson may not have the last word.  Things could be different.   We welcome your doubts and discussion.”

 

AfJ Podcasts

The Active for Justice PPJPC Podcast, like all Studio 809 podcasts, has debuted on iTunes and on Google Podcasts, with an imminent Spotify appearance anticipated. The second PPJPC Active for Justice podcast went live last weekend, to coincide with the recent RAWtools book tour hitting the city on March 23. In the podcast, PPJPC Executive Director Victoria Stone interviewed RAWtools founder Michael Martin and its arts coordinator, Mary Sprunger-Froese, who joined with Josh Rumpel, the gun violence activist featured in the first AfJ podcast.

The title of the second podcast is “Eat, Pray Peace: How Can We Make This Podcast About Gun Violence Unnecessary?” The speakers discuss a recent shooting in which a mother killed her three children. It’s not a mass shooting, but it is gun violence. Part of the challenge: a belief that guns are a problem-solver, something that gun laws alone won’t solve. Also discussed: the myth of “redemptive violence,” the notion that we need guns to protect us from people with guns. American society tends to think there is some good violence (by police, military, etc.), but of course it is still violence. Also on the agenda: the “wild west” persona. We’re obsessed with having power OVER people instead of power under people and lifting them up.

The non-profit Martin founded, RAWtools, turns guns into garden tools, “changing the story from death into life” (with a team of volunteers being taught how to blacksmith). He is also co-author (with Shane Claiborne) of the new book, Beating Guns. The book explores how we got into the place we’re in today with so many shootings. Ten percent of the gun owners are holding this conversation hostage. The hope of the book is that we stop killing each other.

As artist-in-residence at RAWtools, Mary Sprunger-Froese hosts workshops at RAWtools. Justice activist Josh Rumpel has spent a year studying gun violence.

Visit rawtools.org to volunteer, donate, or learn about workshops. Visit beatingguns.com to learn more about the book or see if there is a book tour stop in your area.
You’ll find the first two AfJ podcasts at new podcast at 
http://activeforjustice.libsyn.com/
 

Peak Environment Podcast Confronts the Fungus Among Us

Do you know your shrooms? Episode 22 of Peak Environment is on ‘Fungi, the Forgotten Kingdom.’ “All mushrooms are edible – at least once,” quips environmental scientist and mushroom expert Mike Essam, president of the Pikes Peak Mycological Society. Mike shared the wonders of fungi in this very popular talk at the March 22 luncheon of the Pikes Peak Environmental Forum. The photographs Mike showed are a key part of the presentation, so it’s recommended you view the slides (see the links in the show notes) while listening.
The new podcast is available at
http://studio809radio.com/peak-environment-22-fungi/
 
The previous podcast in this series continues to be a hot topic, as the state legislature is debating a ban on fire-fighting foam, which caused the contamination of groundwater currently experienced in the Fountain-Security area. For those that missed last month’s presentation from Fountain Valley Water Project, Studio 809 has created a podcast. #21 in the Peak Environment series, explaining the origin of the PFAS compounds that have contaminated water sources. The chemicals used in firefighting foam, Teflon, stain-resistant carpet, outdoor sports apparel, and even the lining of your movie theater’s popcorn bags, are everywhere. Since they were first developed in the 1950s, they’ve become so widely used that traces of them have been found in the most remote regions of the globe, and in the blood of over 99% of the U.S. population. They’re correlated with several types of cancer, and are believed to disrupt hormone balance and be particularly harmful to young, developing children. Locally, they’ve been a hot topic because unhealthy levels of the chemical have been found in the groundwater of communities just south of Colorado Springs: Fountain, Widefield and Security. The foam was widely used for fire-fighting training at Air Force bases across the country, including at Peterson AFB, and the Pentagon and Congress are currently debating the level of fiscal responsibility for contamination at dozens of bases.
Learn all about PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, sometimes called PFCs) in this fascinating presentation by Dr. Eli Fahrenkrug – Assistant Professor of Analytical and Materials Chemistry at Colorado College. Fahrenkrug, along with Dr. Tyler Cornelius, launched and runs the Fountain Valley Water Project, the first non-profit, non-partisan research group entirely focused on PFAS water quality in Southern Colorado.
The new episode is at http://studio809radio.com/peak-environment-21-pfas-contamination-water/

 

Urban Experience Plans May, September Events Featuring Multiple Speakers

Save the dates of May 18 and September 21. Our Urban Experience team is planning two of the multimedia tours of services for the homeless, featuring morning tours of downtown services and afternoon speeches at Penrose Library from multiple community leaders. We’ll have more details on the events as the dates get closer.
 
 

Free Recycling Through Earth Day (April 22)

E-Tech Recyclers is offering free recycling of electronics products daily through Earth Day, April 22. Obsolete computers, printers, fax machines, cabling and wiring can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2854 N. Prospect. No appointments are necessary.
 

PPJPC Offers Sound System for Community Group Rental

PPJPC has partnered with Studio 809 to purchase a portable sound system appropriate for indoor or outdoor use. If you are interested in arranging the use of this sound system, contact Victoria at (719) 632-6189.
 

Excellence Academy Can Use Thursday-Friday Food Donations

 PPJPC’s LEAD Excellence Academy can use donations of simple lunches, such as pizza and sandwiches, on the Thursdays and Fridays our classes are in session. The academy is offering classes at 315 S. Hancock, and is designed to help challenge the cradle-to-prison pipeline, a key mission for PPJPC in 2019. Our first students signed up in mid-January, but we are still accepting admissions for the Friday-Saturday sessions. If you are interested in helping out with food, contact Victoria Stone at (719) 632-6189.

Environmentalists to Respond to Colorado Springs Utilities' "Energy Vision" on April 18

Colorado Springs Utilities is hosting an Energy Vision Open House this Thursday, April 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Leon Young Service Center, 1521 S. Hancock. 350 Colorado members are worried that the conclusions might be a little stacked, so they are calling for everyone interested in local environmental issues to join them outside at 5:30 p.m. for a rally, and then to come in and make your voice heard! The rally will feature pizza, speeches, and a local musician. Sierra Club is asking those interest to RSVP at https://act.sierraclub.org/events/details?formcampaignid=7010Z000001a5ziQAA
 

 

Moms Demand Action Needs Volunteers for SMART


Volunteer with Be SMART.  Tabling events throughout the spring and summer to share info. about safe gun storage, preventing unintentional child deaths and teen suicide.  No expertise required, just a friendly smile. Email Julie Carr rjdcarr@aol.com if you know of an event we should be at or to volunteer with us!
 

 
 

Education Top Priority in Penny Poll for Tax Allocation

The penny poll conducted April 12 in downtown Colorado Springs found that education came out a clear winner in spending priorities by those participating, outpolling by double the amount the next highest favorite, nonviolence research and training. Four different categories tied for the third highest: Medicare for all, renewable energy/environment, food and agriculture, and affordable/low-income housing.  Then came public transportation, veterans benefits, the arts and culture, war and war preparation, refugee services, green new deal, diplomacy and foreign aid (least). 
 

Blanket Donations Still Needed at Springs Rescue Mission, Salvation Army Shelter

The appeal for blankets for homeless people continues on.  Our two local shelters say the need is still there. In fact, the Salvation Army has been forced to rent blankets. Additionally, donations of towels are also requested.  Both shelters offer the opportunity to shower for their guests. 
Gently used blankets, comforters, quilts, or throws – along with towels- can be dropped off as follows.  The Salvation Army accepts donations Mon- Fri, 9 am thru noon at their R. J. Montgomery Center, 709 S. Sierra, near Cimarron.  The Rescue Mission donation warehouse, west of their main campus, is located at 111 W. Las Vegas St. with drop off times Mon- Fri 9:30am-4:30pm and Sat 9-11am. 
If you have a heart to help a homeless person, please consider donating new or used items.
 
 
 

Colorado Springs Repeats Popular Renter Rights Program

The city’s community development division is repeating its popular “Renter Rights” program in association with Pikes Peak Library District and Colorado Legal Aid.  Three separate workshops will be held from the spring through the fall to discuss the rights and responsibilities of renters. Admission is free, but space is limited, and those interested should check with the web site for more information. The first session will be held at Library 21C, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, TODAY, Monday April 15, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. A summer workshop will be held Wednesday, August 7 at Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. The last fall workshop will be held Saturday, Oct. 12 at Sand Creek Library, 1821 S. Academy, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. For information on registering, go to https://coloradosprings.gov/renters101
 

Housing Storytelling April 19-22 Part of Fair Housing Month

A perfect companion to the city’s Renter Rights seminar will take place at Sand Creek Library as part of Fair Housing Month. The city’s community development division will present “Close to Home: A Fair Housing Storytelling Event” at Sand Creek’s Studio 916, 1821 S. Academy. Hours for this event will be 2 to 5 p.m. on April 19, 3 to 5 p.m. April 20, and 5 to 8 p.m. April 22. Admission is free, and attendees are encouraged to tell their stories of housing discrimination in their own words. For more information on Close to Home, visit https://coloradosprings.gov/community-development/article/calendar-event/close-home-fair-housing
 

ECOC to Present Two Summer "Diversity University" Sessions

Educating Children of Color will repeat its popular Diversity University in two June and July sessions at Pikes Peak Community College. They will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily from June 10 to June 14, and again from July 22 to July 26. The workshops will be facilitated by Dr. Regina Lewis and Judge Regina Walter. The cost is $50, and attendees will receive 40 contact hours for CDE licensure and 20 hours for CLE attorney credit. For an additional $137.50, attendees can receive 2.5 hours of graduate credit from Adams State University. For information on registration, contact Regina Walter at ecocinc@gmail.com, or 719-640-6633.
 

Author Rebekah Shardy Presents "Natural Intelligence" at ELIC May 4

Local environmental writer Rebekah Shardy, author of 98 Things a Woman Should Do in Her Lifetime, will give a presentation on “Natural Intelligence: Connecting to the Earth” on Saturday, May 4, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at East Library Information Center, 5550 N. Union Blvd. Do you know how to receive earth’s information, energy and inspiration? How did we get disconnected from our rightful relationship with nature? What are natural ways to LISTEN, SPEAK, GIVE & RECEIVE?

Deep in our hearts dwells a primal knowledge of our natural connection. This unique presentation validates and reminds us of our Earth-MotherWit. Share stories and ideas for cultivating your sacred relationship with Her. Presenter Rebekah Shardy is a teacher and author of 98 Things a Woman Should Do in Her Lifetime. She has been enriched by a lifelong conscious, creative and reciprocal connection with our natural world.

To RSVP, please call (970) 308-8393 by May 1, 2019

 
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