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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 January 11, 2021


 

A Week of Insurrection and Sedition

Cult of Trump Collapses Within Hours of Jan. 6 Siege

The power of Donald Trump to spearhead populist revolt dissolved with remarkable speed last week, after the president gave a speech to a rally Jan. 6 in which he called for demonstrators to “show you are strong, not weak,” by marching to the Capitol building. Hundreds of armed protesters then entered the Capitol building, trashing offices and Congressional chambers, leaving five dead in the melee.

After Vice President Mike Pence refused to consider a declaration of the 25th Amendment declaring Trump unfit for office, dozens of Democrats drew up papers for a second impeachment declaration. This time, even a few Republicans like Sen. Lisa Murkowski joined in support of impeachment, calling for the president to leave office immediately. In response to warnings from some Republicans that impeachment would fail to unite the country, supporters of the plan pointed out that a double-impeachment would bar Trump from running for office again, and would deny him federal pensions. Rep. Nancy Pelosi talked to the Joint Chiefs of Staff to work out ways for the president’s “nuclear football” of missile launch codes to be overridden, denying Trump the power to declare war in his last days in office.

The unanimity with which Democrats and Republicans denounced the assault on the Capitol left Trump diehards confused and demoralized. Many tried to blame “Antifa infiltrators,” an idea the FBI quickly dismissed. In a series of national actions through Saturday evening, the FBI arrested more than 100 participants in the Wednesday riots, including such sedition “celebrities” as “QAnon shaman” Jake Angeli (who wore buffalo horns and a painted face in the riots), newly-elected West Virginia legislator Derrick Evans (who resigned from office), and heavy-metal guitarist Jon Schaffer. The FBI made a point of saying dozens of tipsters had contacted the FBI to offer information on Schaffer, including fans of his band Iced Earth.

This echoed a universal feeling of “Turn ‘em in” to those who participated in Wednesday events. Prior to the rally, Democrats had won control of the Senate by taking both Senate seats in Georgia. Hours later, the Senate and House began joint confirmations of Electoral College votes, which were disrupted when 12 (later 7) senators and more than 100 representatives tried to bring up false and specious allegations of voter fraud. The rioter assault on the Capitol was intended to disrupt this hearing, and all senators and representatives were evacuated to the nearby National Defense University, a secure Army base. They returned at 7:00 p.m. and concluded the confirmation of Joe Biden as president by 2:30 a.m.

But shortly thereafter, all senators and representatives who had been involved in the challenge were denounced, with talk of expelling them from Congress. Sen. Josh Hawley, a leader of the rebels in the Senate who had attended the rally Trump addressed, saw his book contract with Simon & Schuster cancelled, and was also denounced by his political mentor, former Sen. John Danforth. Hawley was excoriated by Missouri’s two largest newspapers, while Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas faced calls for ouster from across the political spectrum. Here in Colorado, several progressive groups called for the immediate resignation of Rep. Doug Lamborn and Rep. Lauren Boebert.

Trump was permanently barred from Twitter, as were former national security advisor Michael Flynn and Trump attorney Sidney Powell. Trump launched a new site on the conservative social-media platform Parler, only to see both Apple and Google ban the Parler app from their online stores. On Saturday, many employees of Amazon Web Services went on strike to demand that Amazon cease hosting Parler, with the result that Parler found itself without a web host beginning Sunday night. Some analysts in Washington were talking of actions against Parler’s 27-year-old libertarian CEO John Matze for creating a platform of hatred.

While many treat love of Trump as a cult of personality, the anger on the right began long before Trump, and is tied to a global racist populist movement of exclusion and bullying. Even if the appeal of the entire Trump family dwindles to zero, populists will be looking for new battles to fight, some of which may be violent both before, during, and after Inauguration Day.

Here’s where peace activists must use double caution in condemning populists. First, if broad charges of sedition and insurrection are used against dozens or hundreds of rioters, such charges might later be invoked against progressive groups. While the label of "sedition" carries historical meaning, it can also be used as a broad-brushed brand. Those indicted must have specificity in their charges. Also, if the cancel culture against right-populism becomes too severe, by effectively denying right conservatives any social venue for speech, several million people in this country may become more alienated and violent, with localized armed secessionist activities becoming a real possibility.

Nevertheless, we can use the language of nonviolence and hoped-for dialogue while drawing firm lines of acceptable dialogue. Acceptance of rational logic and the scientific method must be a given – there can be no discussions with people who hold fabulist beliefs or conspiracy theories. Second, denunciation of "experts" is meaningless - in a complex economy, everyone must be an expert in something. Third, opposition to elites of both left and right must take purely nonviolent forms. Bringing a weapon to a protest or speaking of assault on others can and should mean the immediate disenfranchisement of those who carry a gun in order to protest. Because the end result of Wednesday’s violence was so beneficial to progressives, it is easy to get smug about the weeks and months to follow. But it will take all our love and ingenuity to respond to populism and its apparent collapse in a way that does not spark even greater violence.
 

City Clears Midland Trail on Monument Creek of Homeless Camps on Jan. 6

 

The city of Colorado Springs has warned homeless citizens that it would conduct sweeps of the Midland Trail on a regular basis year-round. The city hopes to pressure the homeless to seek shelter space or alternative housing, because camps too close to the creek are considered an environmental hazard. As long as housing shortages do not exceed a certain arbitrary number, the police can legally sweep the homeless from the camps and throw away any belongings found. Because the cleanup took place the day of the national assault on the Capitol, it was quickly forgotten, though its arbitrary nature will be remembered by those working with the homeless.

 

Peak Environment Podcast 66 Covers Sustainable Holiday Season

Join Studio 809’s Peak Environment for its Podcast 66, which examines sustainable holiday practices. The holidays are coming and that means shopping, gifts, and food. Do you approach the holidays mindful of the environmental impact of all these activities? This episode explores sustainable options for this holiday season. Konrad Schlarbaum, sustainability coordinator for Pikes Peak Community College shares low-impact holiday gift-giving practices, and fills us in on the virtual PPCC Green Holiday Fair. Lorrie Myers, of Who Gives a SCRAP, updates us on the shop’s just completed move to larger quarters at 810 Arcturus Drive, which expands the shop’s offerings.

Who Gives a SCRAP is a donation based scrap store that carries arts, craft and hobbies supplies in addition to unique vintage finds. The store was founded on the belief that the reuse of goods and materials is the most efficient, environmentally friendly and economically viable way to reduce the waste stream. In its five years of existence, Who Gives a Scrap has diverted over 213 tons of clean, reusable materials from ending up in the landfill.

You can hear the latest podcast at:
http://studio809radio.com/66-sustainable-holiday/

You can also check out Podcast 65, in which Dave Gardner, originator of Studio 809, provides a holiday-appropriate look at relative environmental impacts of flying, driving, bus, train, bicycle, on foot, even staycations - What do we need to know to make responsible decisions about the way we move about? This program is based on an Oct. 23 presentation Gardner made to the Pikes Peak Environmental Forum. It includes results of a Lund University study on carbon footprints, a study of green flight bookings, and a discussion on whether physical conferences have a future in the post-pandemic world.

You can hear Podcast 66 here:
http://studio809radio.com/does-flight-make-footprint-big/
 

PPJPC Seeks Interest in Officers for Board

PPJPC is distributing flyers to Colorado College, UCCS, and Pikes Peak Community College to seek student membership on our board. We also welcome board members from the general public. If you are interested in nominating yourself or someone else to a board position, contact us at (719) 963-2979, or Gabriel.Cordova01@gmail.com.  
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RAWTools Offers "Taking Stock" as YouTube/Facebook Resource

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

 

Tickets for MLK Virtual Breakfast Still On Sale

Colorado College decided last summer that the annual Martin Luther King Day breakfast would be an all-virtual event. On Dec. 18, the college opened an Eventbrite site to sell tickets for this online event. Price per person is a suggested $5, but the college encourages patrons to buy tickets for others, or to make larger donations for the participating organizations, which include Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission. The theme for the event, and for the coming 2021 year, is “Community Out of Chaos: Change Now!” The keynote speaker is Cornell Brooks, past President & CEO of NAACP & Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Social Justice at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The Zoom event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. Cleo Parker Robinson virtual performance. The 2021 breakfast will include multiple breakout sessions and musical performances. To purchase your tickets for this event, visit Eventbrite HERE:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/colorado-springs-mlk-day-community-events-2021-tickets-132434145093


 

Jan. 22 Celebration of UN Treaty Making Nuclear Weapons Illegal

 

Two days after inauguration, on Friday, Jan. 22, the new UN treaty abolishing nuclear weapons (Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons) goes into effect, or “enters into force” in UN parlance. While the U.S. was not a signatory, the number of nations signing on means that the treaty bears the impact of international law. Protesters will gather at City Hall on Jan. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to raise awareness locally, and in Washington, where the new Biden administration will need to hear from those who support nuclear arms reductions.

Local activist and artist Mary Sprunger-Froese is asking for a celebratory theme of “Ding, dong, the nukes are dead,” with busking, dancing, mime, and snack activities. Be ready to help hold a large banner, but also be ready to have a good time! (Masks and social distancing will be observed.)






 

Educating Children of Color Conference Goes Virtual Jan. 16 - THIS WEEKEND!

 

PPJPC has worked with the Educating Children of Color conference for several years. For 2021, the conference will be virtual, on Saturday, Jan. 16. The keynoters this year are Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, educator and author of Trauma Stewardship in the Age of Overwhelm, and Tim Wise, nationally-known, anti-racist author of White Like Me, as well as 8 other books.  Other presenters include African American educators and authors Dr. Carolyn Strong, Dr. Regina Lewis, and Eric Bailey, among others.
Your $35 for registering for the Summit will go to the scholarship program which has thus far awarded more than $199,000 in scholarships and educational gifts as well as 200 laptops to students attending the ECOC summit.  This year, the Summit will be awarding $20,000 in scholarships and educational awards to students.

 Your registration of $35 will go towards supporting these scholarships to youth of color – to support them in their higher education endeavors.  Please go to https://educatingchildrenofcolor.org  to learn more about the Summit, and to register or donate to this very worthy community effort.  This is one way in the New Year we can help to promote equity and to support students in our community.  With thanks to the ECOC Board, and especially to Judge Regina Walter, who work tirelessly to make this summit happen.
 
 

Police Commission to Hold First Comment Session on Jan. 19

 

The city’s Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission established a new set of public forums in a meeting Jan. 4, and the Colorado Springs Police Department simultaneously announced the hiring of Transparency LLC to independently examine CSPD’s use-of-force data to search for such trends as race and class discrepancies.
The commission plans on holding town halls on Jan. 19 and Feb. 5, in which citizens will be invited to address racial bias, crisis response models, and use of force. While Transparency’s work will be conducted over the course of many months, it is hoped that the findings of an independent consultant can dovetail with the comments of citizens at the first two planned town halls, and at anticipated public meetings held later in the year.
 
  
 

Concrete Couch Season at Concrete Coyote Park Includes "Saturday Morning Grab Bag"

Our friends at Concrete Couch have posted their winter schedule, which includes a variety of hands-on outdoor events at Concrete Coyote Park, 1100 S. Royer. All events are free. One of the popular programs is SATURDAY MORNING GRAB BAG, which offers two sessions (10am to noon, and 1pm to 3pm). These programs are tailored to participant's interests, and include trail building, sculpture building, wood construction, dry stacking stone work, environmental restoration, aquatic science, etc. Participating in each Grab Bag group is limited to 5 participants, and require mask wearing. Kids under 13 also need an adult chaperone.

The Concrete Couch team is also free offering construction training to other non-profits. This program works especially well if your group 1) wants to learn basic carpentry skills and 2) needs something built, like a shed, bench, gate or shade pavilion. CC provides all the tools and (recycled) materials. Contact trainings@concretecouch.org to set up a program for your team.

On the Concrete Couch calendar, you can also check out regular virtual sessions on weekdays, including Cool Science and School of Rock. Visit HERE 
 

Pikes Peak Women Launch "Elevating" Podcast Series

Pikes Peak Women expanded their “Elevating” Podcast series with a new series, “Women Making Change,” with the first episode featuring Stephany Rose Spaulding. Elevating Pikes Peak Women covers a wide array of diverse topics and critical issues for local women, hosted by former Mayor and community icon Mary Lou Makepeace. During each episode, local women of diverse backgrounds, ages, and political persuasions explore their experiences, values, and beliefs about local issues that affect the women in our community. Here’s an introductory clip to tell you a little about the PPW podcast.  Our October focus was on Voting Matters, covering topics like the mechanics of voting and how to negotiate your way through the long ballot of issues that are of critical importance to women. Going forward, we're planning episodes on Black Women's Lives Matter, Life in the Time of COVID (including the high rate of women's unemployment and the effect on the family), and Education in the Time of COVID.  We all know that the burdens of the pandemic are falling disproportionately on women, in their roles in the workplace and in the family, so we are looking to women who are change agents and supportive voices to bring us to higher grounds.
The new podcast with Dr. Spaulding is HERE

Thanks to our partner Studio 809, you can easily find and listen to all recent episodes here. The podcast is also available via SpotifyLibsynRadio Public, and Apple 
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Do YOU have something you'd like to add to the general conversation? Feel free to contact us with any comments, questions, and ideas at pikespeakwmn@gmail.com.

PIKES PEAK WOMEN
Mary Lou Makepeace, Marcy Morrison, Denise Abbott, Karole Campbell, Lindy Conter, Susan Davies, JJ Frazier, Kimberlie Griffis, Melissa Marts, Michelle Ray, Cianna Reider, Beth Roalstad, Carrie Simison, Barb Van Hoy, Deb Walker, Kayla Zowada
 
 

Catch the Nov. 14 Lynching Memorial

If you missed the Nov. 14 memorial for lynching victim Preston John Porter at Denver’s Creekside Park, you can view the ceremony at the Colorado Lynching Memorial web site HERE.

Participants in the ceremony  included Rosemary Lytle, president of NAACP state conference; Aurora poet laureate Jovan Mays; Episcopal Church Bishop Kym Lucas; Rev. Tawana Davis of Soul2Soul Sisters; Gov. Jared Polis; Denver Mayor Michael Hancock; and Denver City Council Member Candi CdeBaca.

The marker commemorates the Nov. 16, 1900 lynching in Limon of 15-year-old railroad worker Preston Porter Jr., falsely accused of killing a girl. Porter was one of four African Americans known to have been lynched in Colorado, who are being recognized by the CLM project.
   

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