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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 June 1, 2020


 

Death of George Floyd Sparks Protests
in Colorado and Multiple U.S. Cities

Curfews Set in Multiple Cities as President Calls for Shooting Rioters

After four police officers were fired in Minneapolis following the kneeling-restraint suffocation death of George Floyd, protests erupted for three days in the Twin Cities, followed by protests May 28-30 in Denver, Portland, Albuquerque, Phoenix, L.A., New York City, Louisville, Columbus, and other cities. A march and rally was held in Colorado Springs on Saturday afternoon, May 30. Shots were fired in Denver on Thursday, and teargas was deployed. On Saturday, Denver set an 8 p.m. curfew and called out the National Guard.

Situations were similar in other cities. The arrest of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on a charge of murder on Friday only seemed to fan the flames. The Minnesota National Guard was called out, and a CNN news team was arrested in the early hours of May 29. In Los Angeles, rubber bullets were used on crowds near a downtown stretch of the 110 freeway, and a curfew similar to Denver’s was set on Saturday evening. Violent confrontations were reported in Philadelphia, Columbus, and Oakland, where a security guard was killed. Tensions remained high across the country through the weekend. However, Minneapolis city officials claimed that much of the local violence came from out-of-state agitators, most of them members of the white supremacist movement.

President Trump, already in trouble with Twitter for spreading lies about MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and about mail-in voting, tweeted in the middle of Thursday night that rioters should be shot. Twitter barred his tweet as “glorifying violence,” and threatened to remove the president from the social media platform. In response, Trump re-tweeted the comment on the official White House Twitter account. A day earlier, Trump had issued an executive order attempting to remove protections for social media from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, though few believe the president has the authority to do this. A group of Republican leaders who had met with Trump privately on Thursday about his Scarborough tweets, said off the record Friday that the nation was rapidly heading to a constitutional crisis. On Saturday, Trump said that any protests at the White House would be met with “vicious dogs and special weapons.”

It is well past time for communities of color to receive reassurance that police behavior does not mirror the actions in Ferguson and NYC in the middle of the last decade, though the events in Minneapolis suggest little has been learned, at least by law enforcement officers. PPJPC will be monitoring unfolding events online and on the streets. We encourage participants on all sides to show peace and respect. But we also caution citizens that events in the U.S. are rapidly turning repressive, and a multifaceted defense of rights and freedoms may be necessary this summer, ranging from the streets to legislative chambers.

 

Moms Demand Action Call for Wearing Orange on June 5

PPJPC has been involved in previous years with Moms Demand Action’s annual Wear Orange campaign. This is not changing due to the pandemic! On June 5 Americans will come together- safely from home- to #WearOrange and spread awareness about our country's gun violence crisis.  Join us by wearing orange, chalking your walk or putting a "We can end gun violence" sign in your car window.   Share a photo on social media and email us your photo to actnow232@gmail.com.   Text ORANGE to 644-33 to find out more and attend Colorado's virtual event. 

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense stands against all gun violence including police shootings.  Black Americans account for less than 13% of the US population but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white Americans.  Tell a friend and participate in Wear Orange this Friday, June 5 and amplifying the gun violence prevention message.  See WearOrange.org for more ways to go orange and to let us know you are participating.


 

Peak Environment Podcast 58 Examines Indigenous Land Management for Food

Studio 809’s Peak Environment has its first new episode since the lockdown! Konrad Schlarbaum, sustainability coordinator at Pikes Peak Community College and chair of Green Cities Coalition, presents a Pikes Peak Foodshed Forum presentation from Feb., 8, before the quarantine, on local food featuring keynoter Michael Alcazar.

You can find the latest podcast here:
http://studio809radio.com/indigenous-land-management/


Also be sure to check out “The PFAS Story in El Paso County,” the third Peak Environment podcast on PFAS. You can’t escape toxic PFAS chemicals. They are everywhere. Get an update on what we know and what’s being done about water contamination by PFAS (Perfluoroalklsubstance). Groundwater and surface water in portions of the Pikes Peak Region is known to have PFAS contamination, due to years of firefighting exercises at Peterson Field and the Air Force Academy (PFAS have been an ingredient in firefighting foam for decades). 

You can find Podcast 57 here:
http://studio809radio.com/peak-environment-57-pfas-story/
 

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.
 

Statement from PPJPC on Death of George Floyd

PPJPC issued this statement from Executive Director Gabriel Cordova on May 29:
To the Pikes Peak Community and Leaders of Peaceful Justice:

“I can’t breathe.” These were the last words uttered by Eric Garner as he was being murdered on Staten Island in 2014.

“I can’t breathe.” These were among the last words spoken by George Floyd as he suffered the same fate under hauntingly similar circumstances in Minneapolis on Monday evening.

This month I have had to explain many things to the youth I work with and some who are in my family on why this keeps happening in our communities and why the victims are people of color. I continue to fall short on my explanations and talks with them. How does one explain or ease the pain and fear they have inside when videos continue to show innocent black men being killed by what are supposed to be “Peace Officers”?

This is unacceptable and as a collective and as people of the U.S. we will no longer stand for this and justice must be served.

One thing that the Justice and Peace Commission stands behind and promotes is a clear and transparent investigation, the PPJPC also supports that these police officers never work in law enforcement or any capacity of sorts ever again. We demand proper charges to be filed against these officers. This then is in the court of laws hands and we promote a fair and just trial and if found guilty the convictions that fit this heinous death to be laid down upon them.

In addition, I can also provide some support with the opportunity I am provided during these horrific times and due to these unjust circumstances to share how to be brothers, sisters, friends, and family to incite change in the right way. I provide each of you the following as a road map taken from Civicus a nonprofit started in 1993 in Johannesburg, South Africa who believe in the same things that the Justice and Peace Commission does and that is building alliances within civil society organizations and individuals to strengthening citizen action and civil society for a more just, inclusive and sustainable world. To protect the fundamental civic freedoms that allow us to speak out, organize and act. Civicus and the PPJPC do this by defending civic freedoms and democratic values; strengthening the power of people; and empowering a more accountable, effective, and innovative civil society.
I encourage you to review and follow these strategies to incite the much-needed changes we have in the world and our own back door in the U.S.

https://civicus.org/protest-resilience-toolkit/strategies/

If you need more guidance or resources, please know the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission is here for these very things and will be a resource to all that need support in exploring ways to incite change.

Sincerely,
Gabriel Cordova
PPJPC Executive Director
May 29, 2020
 

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 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.
 

 

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 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.

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