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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 September 28, 2020


 

Breonna Taylor: Once More Into the Breach

 

Inadequate Grand Jury Response Sparks Nationwide Protests

The summer of discontent over police brutality continued into the official start of fall last week, as a grand jury in Louisville returned an indictment against only one of three police officers involved in the shooting of Brionna Taylor – the officer who shot indiscriminately into neighboring apartments. The two officers directly responsible for shooting Taylor were not charged. The decision sparked days of protests in Louisville, with two police officers shot by anb armed protester, as well as protests in other cities, including Brooklyn and Portland.

In response to the grand jury finding, PPJPC Executive Director Gabe Cordova posted: “This is unacceptable in every way imaginable and justice must be served. In Colorado Springs it is more important than ever to be proactive and not reactive as Kentucky is having to be during this time. It is not acceptable for any one associated with law enforcement to be on the newly formed commission in Colorado Springs and in honor of Breonna Taylor's death I ask for those who support a separate CSPD Oversight Committee separated from City Council to reach out to me. Let us be the real changemakers in the USA and Colorado for real and progressive, peaceful and just change.”

There was a certain irony in seeing Kentucky’s Black Attorney General insisting that the grand jury responded to the facts brought before it, while the mayor of Louisville, the family of Breonna Taylor, and leading trial attorneys across the country claimed that the grand jury probe was flawed to begin with, because it did not deal with the faulty search warrant that caused police to execute the assault on Taylor’s apartment to begin with.  Attorney General Daniel Cameron said that the grand jury heard that a neighbor clearly heard the police shout “Open up!” before they entered the apartment, yet many media outlets said they had interviewed several neighbors who had heard no such warning.

Later in the week, Kentucky’s only Black woman state legislator, Attica Scott, was charged with felony rioting, despite the testimony of several owners of buildings where windows were broken, who said Scott played no role in destroying property. The indiscriminate charging of protesters fits in with a nationwide trend of felony rioting charges, which we explored in the last two weeks of eWeekly. There is every reason to expect this trend will continue.

 

Moms Demand Action Plans Electoral Phonebank Next Weekend!

Thank you to all those who have joined with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense and other organizations to support Gun Sense Candidates.  Your help is needed on the phones.  Even those of us who shy away from phoning people are eager to have brief meaningful conversations with voters ahead of this history election.  Training, support and comradery are in store on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 in our weekend of action.  Please go to http://bit.ly/COMOMSWOA to sign up for more information.
 

PPJPC Seeks Interest for Officers of Board

 

This month, 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. ntial 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 (719) 963-2979, or Gabriel.Cordova01@gmail.com.  

 

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
 

NWTRCC Conference to Go Virtual

The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee was originally going to hold its 2020 meeting in Colorado Springs, a venue NWTRCC has used before. But Covid restrictions have transformed the conference to an all-virtual one on “Defunding Militarism and Creating a New Normal,” slated for Nov. 7 and 8. You can check out the program HERE.
 

Active for Justice Podcast Covers 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/

 

Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Seeking Volunteers During Election Season

CIRC is seeking volunteers to raise immigrant rights issues during the election season. Here’s a message we’ve received from CIRC:

We’re building a grassroots movement of our family members, community members, and allies to make sure we turn out to support immigrants this November, and we’re counting on people like you to join our movement. 

Most campaigns focus only on high-propensity voters and leave immigrants and people of color behind, but our strategy is to engage with immigrant communities directly. We will be hosting virtual events and phonebanks to do community outreach today through election day. Everything we are doing this 2020 election cycle is digital.

Will you sign up to get involved? We have countless volunteer opportunities, and we need your sWe’re building a grassroots movement of our family members, community members, and allies to make sure we turn out to support immigrants this November, and we’re counting on people like you to join our movement. 

We have countless volunteer opportunities, and we need your support. You can apply HERE.



 

PPJPC to Partner with Hear Here and PPLD for November Youth Poetry Open Mic for Racial Justice

Fall 2020 joint promotion of events between PPJPC and Pikes Peak Library District will include the joint development of a Youth Poetry Open Mic, focused on racial justice and social justice themes, tentatively set for the second week of November. While an outdoor event would be preferred, weather permitting, we are also looking at socially-distanced indoor venues as well. The planning team will contact local school districts and youth groups, with the goal of following up the open mic with a series of winter on-line journaling and poetry critique events. In the meantime, we hope to do promote a series of October events from Poetry 719, Hear Here, and PPLD, including All Pikes Peak Reads selections. Stay tuned for more information!

 

 


 

City Council Tentatively Names 11 Members and Two Alternates to Police Accountability Board
 

 The Colorado Springs City Council came to an informal consensus Sept.14 on members of the Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission, and will vote on the appointments Sept. 22. PPJPC Executive Director Gabriel Cordova was a finalist out of more than 800 applicants, but did not make the final cut. Those named are Joe Aldaz, Kate Angulski, Justin Baker, Rachael Flick, Janice Frazier, Steve Kern, Terry Martinez, Dennis Moore, Luis Velez, Deb Walker, and Brent Windebank. The two alternates are Rosita Camargo and Felicia Embry. Congratulations to all nominees, and it is becoming evident the commission will be busy from the first day of appointment.


 

Colorado Coalition Promotes Letter-Writing Campaign for Nuclear Abolition

The Colorado Coalition for the Prevention of Nuclear War  encourages you to send a letter to the editor of your local paper this week expressing support for the Nuclear Ban Treaty which is on the table for ratification by individual nations.   Should it be ratified by 50 nations then it becomes International law.

September 21 is the International Day of Peace. September 26 is the UN Day for Nuclear Abolition

Why a UN Day for nuclear abolition?
The UN General Assembly established this day in 2013 out of concern by the overwhelming majority of UN member countries at the risk of a nuclear war and the ongoing nuclear arms race. There are over 14,000 nuclear weapons in the world, many of them primed and ready for launch in minutes.

In addition, about $100 billion per year is being spent to design, develop and deploy nuclear weapons. This money should instead be spent on climate protection, sustainable development, public health and :"building back better" from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UN general assembly established the day to promote the complete elimination of nuclear weapons through a nuclear weapons convention, an agreement involving nuclear armed, nuclear allied, and non-nuclear countries.

Letter to the Editor Model   (325 words as is)  Use this letter and make adjustments as you like.   The more unique your letter is the more likely it will be used.

In the midst of pandemic and election focus our attention has been withdraw from the two greatest threats to US national security: Climate change and nuclear holocaust.  Both threats MUST be addressed Internationally.

Both of these are hardly mentioned even though US budget priorities and administration policy move in opposite directions from reasonable solutions.

Massive commitments have been made towards “modernizing” the nuclear weapons complex and creating new useable nukes. The latter has led to increased military posturing and another nuclear arms race .

The United States has withdrawn from treaties designed to reduce nuclear weapons including the IMF treaty, ABM Treaty, the 6 nation JCPOA agreement with Iran to halt Iranian nuclear weapons development , and the Paris Climate accords. The US has led efforts to prevent the Nuclear Ban Treaty from ratification at the United Nations.  From afar the United States looks like a nation unwilling to work cooperatively to reduce the threat of accidental or intentional nuclear weapons use, as well as working with the rest of the world to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the damage being caused by Climate Warming.

It is important that we elect leaders who will change this dangerous unilateral path we are on. Money committed to nuclear weapons development and Space Warfare should be redirected to human need and to greening our aging infrastructure. We should ratify the Nuclear Ban Treaty and rejoin international Climate Change mitigation efforts.  Just as “No one is free till everyone is free” so “No one is secure unless all are secure”. As one great religious leader said long ago, “He who would be greatest of all must be the servant of all” (rather than the dominator of all.) Mk 9:35

We pay for Climate Change intensified disasters through increased insurance costs, lost lives.  Changes in climate threaten world food production via drought, increasing storms, and flooding, new diseases, economic collapse, refugees, unstable governments, and increased potential for nuclear weapons use.

Media Outlets for Letters ((the active links on the name of the source will take you directly to their letters link.):
Colorado Springs Gazette     (300 word limit)

Colorado Springs Independent (Letters not published in print, but column could be considered)

Boulder Camera     (750 Word limit)

Denver Post   (200 word limit)
Fort Collins Coloradoan   

 

Peak Environment Podcast 60 Covers "Voices for Wolves" in Election Year

 

The 2020 election in Colorado is shaping up to be historic, but not for the reasons you might think. Voters in Colorado will get the chance to direct wildlife managers to reintroduce gray wolves, nearly 80 years after they were eradicated on behalf of the livestock industry.

In this interview, Delia Malone, Mike Phillips, and Rob Edward, three friends and longtime wolf advocates, discuss the importance of wolves to Colorado’s future.

You can find the latest podcast, Podcast 60, here:
http://studio809radio.com/voices-for-wolves/

In another recent podcast, 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/

 
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