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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 August 24, 2020


 

Climate Change Leaves Visible (or Invisible) Impacts

 

Fires in Colorado, California Leave Front Range Shrouded in Haze

Four major wildfires in Colorado, including one outside Grand Junction deemed the second largest in state history, left Pikes Peak invisible for much of the week in the Colorado Springs metro area. On Sunday morning, the 125,000 acres burned in the Pine Gulch fire came close to the 137,000 acres burned in the 2002 Hayman fire, the state’s largest.

The statewide smoke was augmented by more than 500 fires throughout California, a new record that confirmed what former Gov. Jerry Brown called “the new California annual abnormal normal – fires year after year.” Contrary to President Trump’s claim that the fires were caused by a failure to rake leaves in national forests, scientists agree that the annual events are the result of climate change, more people living in forested areas, and the impact of excessive fire suppression in past years.

This week, two major hurricane systems are predicted to make landfall on the Gulf Coast within a day of each other. This fulfills the US Weather Service prediction that 2020 will be one of the busiest hurricane seasons in years. The fact that the tropical storms are named Laura and Marco, going midway through the alphabet before Sept. 1, indicates the named hurricanes could well exceed the letters of the alphabet by the end of the year.

In addition, new weather phenomena became commonplace in 2020, bearing names like bomb cyclone, derecho, and fire tornado. A derecho that blew through Iowa two weeks ago was officially clocked in Cedar Rapids at speeds of more than 150 mph, making it the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane – with no advance warning. Last week was the first time the Weather Service had issued an advance forecast for a fire tornado, due to conditions in Sierra foothills wildfires conducive to the formation of fire vortex storms.

While the multiple catastrophes have given rise to jokes about the unlucky year of 2020, environmentalists say they should be no surprise. Most computer models suggested that by the early 2020s, the climate would hit a tipping point where weather calamities become commonplace. Last week, Sierra Club issued a statement saying the climate catastrophes are here now, so what we see in late summer may well be our future.
 

ICE Detainees in Teller County Ask to Be Deported

In our last eWeekly, we told you about eight ICE detainees secretly transported to the Teller County Jail by ICE, and how they started a hunger strike. Last week, the detainees gave up their hunger strike, and several asked to be deported, because they said giving up the chance to argue to stay in the U.S. would be worth getting out of the Teller County Jail. Activists are hoping to continue publicizing their plight, so that ICE is shamed into cutting ties with Teller County for detainee transfers.

The move comes as The New York Times carried a front-page story August 17 revealing that a private-security company, MVM Inc, has contracted with DHS/ICE to house children of detainees in hotels in Texas and California. While conditions there are certainly better than the border camps used for immigrant children a year ago, the secrecy with which the program is conducted indicate that ICE and private corporations are trying to create a shadow policy for how immigrants are treated.  

Teller County is becoming an unfriendly place for undocumented detainees to end up. In past decades, the county displayed roughly similar politics to Douglas County or the Monument area in north El Paso County, but in recent months, Woodland Park and surrounding villages have become a magnet for Trump supporters and anti-immigrant demonstrations. Progressives seeking to aid detainees report a hostile mood among arch-conservative citizens in WP, Divide, Florissant, and similar small towns in the area. As bad as the Aurora ICE detention facility may be, it appears to be far safer than the Teller County Jail.




 

 


 

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
 

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.
 

PPJPC/PPLD Fall Plans Begin With Library's "Ruth and the Green Book" Puppet Show, Available for Viewing Beginning Sept. 12

We’ve dropped mention of emerging plans for a series of youth events, held in conjunction with Pikes Peak Library District, to meld 2020 Peace Camp themes with All Pikes Peak Reads. We are looking for Peace Camp alumni and other teen participants to review and discuss books on racial justice, as well as to prepare online programs for younger children. Events will take place through the fall alongside PPLD’s own events. The first PPLD event will be a puppet show from an Atlanta-based group around the picture book, “Ruth and the Green Book.” This will be a virtual YouTube event beginning Sept. 12, through the month of September, that families will sign up for. Here’s PPLD’s initial information on the puppet show – registration starts Aug. 15, and only one person need register for a family.

The Center for Puppetry Arts presents a live action and puppet rendition of Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s children’s story, Ruth and The Green Book. Ruth and her parents travel south to visit family but encounter many people who are unfriendly to black travelers along the way. This lively production brings understanding and enlightenment about an oppressive era in US history. 

Registration begins August 15. Please register only one person for this program and we will send you a link to view the puppet show online.
 

 

Moms Demand Action Plans Aug. 29 Virtual Meeting on Election Plans

This coming Saturday, Aug. 29, at 10 AM, join Moms leaders from all over Colorado as we organize for the election season and work to get #gunsense candidates elected!  Learn about exciting races where seats can be flipped and how to get involved. This is a virtual meeting and you will receive an email with meeting details.
RSVP HERE

Ongoing..Write postcards for local Gun Sense Candidates.  Email Actnow232@gmail.com if you would like a stack of postcards to personalize and then return to the candidate for future mailing.
 

 

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 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.
 

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/

 
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