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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 27, 2020


 

County Pushes Public School Opening Date
to August 17


July 22 Teacher Protest Indicates Continued Concern Over Safety

Following a teacher protest outside Health Department headquarters in Centennial Hall July 22, the El Paso County Health Department issued guidelines late Wednesday night saying schools should open no earlier for in-classroom learning than Aug. 17. But the guidelines allow great leeway in how this would be implemented. District 11, for example, decided on Friday July 24 to give elementary and middle-school students the choice of distance learning or in-school classes all five days of the week. High school students could choose all-remote learning, or attending classes two days a week. (Preliminary studies indicate that older students are more likely to transmit and gain symptoms of Covid-19, with younger students less likely.) Variants of this scheme have been announced for Districts 20 and 49, though all districts caution that this could still change rapidly, depending on pandemic trends over the next two weeks. District 20 announced late July 24 that school would not begin until Aug. 24 at the earliest.

On a national level, the Centers for Disease Control caved to administration pressure after pushing back for two weeks on White House demands to emphasize open schools. On July 24, CDC issued guidelines that clearly bore the hand of White House manipulation, stating districts must plan for regular school years. Such a mandate seems particularly ludicrous in the South, Southwest, and California, where continued spikes in Covid-19 cases make an in-classroom fall semester unlikely

 

Sarah Jackson of Casa de Paz to Discuss Her New Book at Wild Goose Meeting House This Sunday, August 2

Sarah Jackson, the founder of the Casa de Paz immigrant shelter house in Aurora, and the recipient of the inaugural PPJPC Dorothy Schlaeger peacemaker award in 2018, will discuss her new book, “The House That Love Built” in an outdoor event (with social distancing) at Wild Goose Meeting House, 401 N. Tejon, this coming Sunday Aug. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5.00. copies of her book, co-written with Scott Sawyer, will be available for purchase.

Jackson has won international acclaim since opening the house in 2012. It has expanded from an original apartment to a full house that serves both the families of those recently detained by ICE, as well as detainees recently released from the nearby ICE Detention Facility in Aurora. Casa de Paz has served migrants from across Central and South America, as well as asylum seekers from Africa, Asia, and Europe.


Jackson (left) with former PPJPC Board Chair Melissa Marts

Her speech is entitled, “One Woman's Questioning What It Means To Be An American--And A Christian--In Light Of A Broken Immigration System.” Advance tickets are available through EventBrite  HERE

You can see a YouTube speech of her speech to PPJPC in January 2018 HERE.                               . Loring Wirbel, Chair of the PPJPC board, reviewed her book in Goodreads HERE.

Moms Demand Action Focuses on Fall Elections with the First of Candidate Forums

Moms Demand Action is spending the fall season prior to elections supporting candidates bearing the organization’s Gun Sense Candidate designation.  On Tuesday, July 28, from 6:30-8 PM, the public can join Moms Demand Action volunteers to reach out to voters via text to support Gun Sense Candidate Stephanie Vigil in her race to win a state house seat. We will meet virtually to hear from the candidate, get an overview of the text banking process and then start texting while on zoom.  RSVP HERE.

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” in late June 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
 

Rally at Greenwood Village City Hall Features Nathaniel Rateliff, Flobots, and Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers

Colorado musicians and supporters led by Nathaniel Rateliff, The Flobots, and Wesley Schultz of Lumineers held an evening march and rally Monday night, July 20, outside Greenwood Village City Hall. The city council in the South Denver suburb passed a resolution that seeks to bypass a statewide police accountability law by providing full indemnification for police officers in defiance of the state law. The musicians said they would boycott the Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre within Greenwood Village limits until the resolution is rescinded. Even the Phil Anschutz-owned AEG Entertainment said it would review the city resolution’s status when concerts begin again, and possibly not issue concert tickets in Greenwood Village. So far, Greenwood Village shows no sign of backing down.
 

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/

 

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!

 

PPJPC Releases Statement on Colorado Springs State Representative's Call for Federal Troops
 

The issue of federal troop deployment to U.S. cities showed no signs of abating last week. On Thursday, Colorado Springs State Rep. Dave Williams (R), sent a letter to the White House asking for federal troops in Colorado. In response, several representatives and local mayors in the state sent statements of support to Gov. Jared Polis, who said such troops would never be welcome in Colorado. PPJPC issued the following statement on Friday regarding Williams’ letter:

As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission refrains from direct partisan comments or endorsements on issues. When partisan debate hits a level of rancor that threatens to disrupt both decorum and the law, PPJPC will occasionally speak out. Unfortunately, incidents such as Rep. Ted Yoho’s obscene verbal assault on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez show us that typical bipartisan debate not only violates the ideals of nonviolent communication, it violates anyone’s ideas of civility.

On July 23, State Rep. Dave Williams (R) of Colorado Springs called Gov. Jared Polis a “selfish bastard” and asked the White House to send federal troops to Colorado. In his name-calling, Williams was mimicking what the governor had said about those who don’t wear masks; this invective might be overlooked as inappropriate language on the part of both speakers.

Not so Rep. Williams’ call for federal troops. Instead of working with his own state government to implement effective local solutions, he shirked his responsibility and called for an unconstitutional act. It is unconstitutional for a president to send uniformed regular units of the armed services to within U.S. borders to quell domestic disturbances. It is also unconstitutional to call for domestic deployment of militarized law-enforcement troops of agencies like Department of Homeland Security, without the consultation and concurrence of local and state officials. By calling for such unconstitutional actions, Rep. Williams has demonstrated his unwillingness to participate in governance through democracy. PPJPC calls on Rep. Williams to apologize and rescind his request for federal troops immediately.
 

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/

 

Virtual Town Hall Meeting Wednesday (July 29) on Plastic Bag Fee Ballot Proposal

350 Colorado Springs’ efforts early in the month to enact a city-wide fee on the use of plastic bags has resulted in a virtual town hall meeting to be held July 29, hosted by City Council Member Yolanda Avila. A city council vote would not result in an immediate fee; instead, a ballot measure would be placed on the November ballot for a 10-cent fee for plastic bags. In the proposal, the City would receive 60 percent of the bag fee and 40 percent would be retained by the business. The City would use revenue from the fee for funding City wide clean up events in the City’s parks, rights-of way and other public properties, educational activities related to the environment, programs and infrastructure to reduce waste, and mitigation of the effects of waste in the City’s public spaces. The town hall meeting will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and will use the Microsoft Teams platform, though users do not need a Teams application to participate. In order to participate, you must email Carly Hoff at Carly.Hoff@coloradosprings.gov, and instructions on joining the conference will be sent prior to the town hall.
 

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.
 
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