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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 May 11, 2020


 

Colorado Opens to Frayed Social Fabric

Growing Social Conflict Mirrored in Collapsed Business Supply Chains

PPJPC (along with many other pundits) has predicted for weeks that the second half of 2020 may prove more challenging than the Covid quarantine. As summer approaches and the lockdown is eased, all indications are that such predictions will come true. Across the nation, disputes are erupting over stay-at-home restrictions, some involving armed intimidation. Luckily, here in Colorado, there have been few disputes since the April Denver protests, outside of “rebel” restaurant owners in Calhan. This may be due largely to Gov. Polis’s phased lifting of restrictions. In other states, however, vigilante groups have targeted governors and state health officials, surrounding their homes in order to make veiled threats.

Meanwhile, otherwise rational people have been circulating videos suggesting a plot by Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates to invent Covid-19. The style of the videos resembles those on the right favored by InfoWars and Breitbart, but these “Plandemic” videos have lured many on the center and left looking for an easy target on which to lay blame for the virus. Partisan disputes, even those outside of elections, have hit a white-hot intensity not yet encountered during Trump’s tenure.

On the economic front, the national unemployment rate of 14.7% hit levels not seen since the Depression of the 1930s. While many of the job losses are expected to be temporary, problems in the survival of small businesses could lead to a massive hangover. A stroll through downtown Colorado Springs reinforces this image. Many businesses allowed to reopen remain shuttered, and those open for business have light foot traffic. Small stores dependent on time-sensitive inventory, such as book and music stores, report that national distribution networks have collapsed, and new shipments may not arrive for weeks or months. The slow trickle of employees going back to work could be followed by a slow trickle, even a fast flood, of businesses going under.

This is a time when members of PPJPC can put the practice of nonviolent communications to good use. We can acknowledge the pain of those kept at home, while emphasizing the good sense of social distance, and insisting that bringing weapons to a protest is never acceptable. On fake news and propaganda fronts, psychologists tell us that many people of sound mind resort to magical thinking in a serious crisis. Our friends cannot be swayed to rely on rationalism through shaming or ridicule. All we can do is quietly but insistently suggest the use of multiple sources of information. Using rational logic and the scientific method first and foremost does not imply putting down someone’s faith or emotionally-based thinking. Instead, we can show that rationalism is the most universal way of interpreting the world, since reliance on spiritual faith or authority is only relevant for one particular in-group. Remember that debates on political differences that are based on rationalism are hard enough; debates to disenfranchise magical thinking will be far, far harder.

On a local level, we can also encourage local food reliance and the support of local business as much as possible. Cooperative buying and farmer’s markets may take a while to re-open, but we should use them as much as possible. Support local retail operations, even if they can’t get the newest items. The only alternative would be to hand all consumer power to Amazon and its drone deliveries, a prospect sure to quickly destroy local businesses over the coming months.
 

Peak Environment Podcast 57 Returns to Critical Issue of PFAS Contamination

This is our third podcast on this subject (though not in a row), and this may be our latest and greatest.

The PFAS Story in El Paso County Colorado
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 the latest podcast here:
http://studio809radio.com/peak-environment-57-pfas-story/

And don’t forget to check out Podcast 56 on wolves, created in conjunction with Pikes Peak Area Sierra Club, which examines the necessity of wolves in the Colorado ecosystem. Colorado needs wolves – not merely to restore a natural balance or the wildness that we all seek – though wolves will do that if they are present for long enough, in sufficient numbers and with wide enough distribution  – but also to ensure that we pass on a Colorado intact, with a complete suite of native wildlife, to enrich future generations.
Podcast 56 is at:
http://studio809radio.com/peak-env-56-co-needs-wolves/

 

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.

 

Active for Justice Podcast Covers Plowshares Nuns' March 5 Speeches

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/
 

Moms Demand Action Thanks Members and Public for TESSA Support

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense wishes to thank the many individuals and families who provided items for the TESSA Safehouse supply drive. 

A special thank you to Ebenezer Baptist Church. The supply drive was a great success and a support to those experiencing intimate partner violence. 
 

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.

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.
 

Concrete Couch Seeks Students (and Teachers) for Online Courses
 

Our friends at Concrete Couch have joined school districts and nonprofits in offering online distance-learning classes. All are invited to visit concretecouch.org for the latest list of courses. In general, Mondays are reserved for courses on growing or preparing food; Tuesdays are for art; Wednesdays, construction; Thursdays for science; Fridays for mindful movement such as yoga and dance; and Saturdays are a wild card! Steve Wolf tells us that Concrete Couch is looking for teachers, too, so drop him a line at teach@concretecouch.org.
 
 
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