Weekly Update 3.11.19
"We must teach ourselves to believe that peace is not a 'utopian vision', but a responsibility that must be worked for each and every day."
Jody Williams (1950-Present)
Anti-Landmine Activist, Author of My Name Is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, and Windham County, VT Resident
This week, WeCAN readers, we will explore the life and career of 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Putney, VT resident Jody Williams as part of our nod to Women’s History Month.
Ms. Williams was studying international politics in the 1980s when she became involved in aid work in war-torn El Salvador. Landmines were a constant threat to the civilian population and she was given responsibility for providing artificial limbs for children who had lost arms and legs.
From 1991 on Jody Williams was a driving force in the launching of an international campaign against landmines. By 1997, thanks to her strength and organizational talent, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) had 1,000 organizations from 60 countries on its list of members. At that time she became the 10th woman – and third American woman – in its almost 100-year history to receive the Prize. Since her protests of the Vietnam War she has been a life-long advocate of freedom, self-determination and human and civil rights.+
The Ottawa Convention, which was signed by 120 states and entered into force in 1999, will always be associated with the names of Jody Williams and the ICBL. It banned the use, production, sale, and stock-piling of anti-personnel mines. In addition it contained provisions concerning mine clearance and the obligation to provide humanitarian assistance.*
Like others who have seen the ravages of war, she is an outspoken peace activist who struggles to reclaim the real meaning of peace – a concept which goes far beyond the absence of armed conflict and is defined by human security, not national security. Williams believes that working for peace is not for the faint of heart. It requires dogged persistence and a commitment to sustainable peace, built on environmental justice and meeting the basic needs of the majority of people on our planet.
Since January of 2006, Jody Williams has worked toward those ends through the Nobel Women’s Initiative, which she chairs. Along with sister Nobel Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi of Iran, she took the lead in establishing the Nobel Women’s Initiative. They were joined at that time by sister Nobel Laureates Wangari Maathai (Kenya), Rigoberta Menchú Tum (Guatemala) and Betty Williams and Mairead Maguire (Northern Ireland). The Initiative uses the prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize and the influence and access of the women Nobel Laureates themselves to support and amplify the efforts of women around the world working for sustainable peace with justice and equality.
She holds the Sam and Cele Keeper Endowed Professorship in Peace and Social Justice at the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston where she has been teaching since 2003. In academic year 2012-2013, she became the inaugural Jane Addams Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Social Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Her memoir on life as a grassroots activist, My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize was released by the University of California Press in early 2013. Click here for more information on Jody's work.
*Jody Williams – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2019. Sun. 10 Mar 2019. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1997/williams/facts/>
From WeCAN Reader Ann Smith of Lean Left, VT:
The Koch Brothers have a long term strategy to control the judiciary across the country. This year’s battle is the WI Supreme Court, where they hope to elect Scott Walker’s former legal counsel on April 2.
You can fight back by donating to Lisa Neubauer: https://judgeneubauer.com/contribute/
Read more on the Koch Bros plans: https://americansforprosperity.org/afp-scale-efforts-courts-2018/
Read more on the WI race: http://votingmatters.blog/2019/03/kochs-buying-judiciary/
HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, MARCH 10th, 2019
Rally with Bernie Sanders in Keene, New Hampshire
Sunday, March 10th, 2019 at the Colonial Theatre (95 Main Street, Keene, NH, 03431). Doors open at 2:30pm. Event starts at 3:30pm. RSVP to attend.
Bernie is coming to New Hampshire for the first time since launching our campaign for President, and you can be one of the first to say you’ll join him. Together we must build an unprecedented grassroots movement never before seen in American politics. Our campaign will only be successful if people like you are involved.
No single candidate can take on Donald Trump and the billionaire class of this country alone. We must do it together. Our campaign is about bringing people together to transform our country and create a government that works for all of us, not just the one percent. Team Bernie looks forward to seeing you there!
Undeterred in Brattleboro
hosted by Undeterred and People Helping People
Sunday, March 10th, 2019 at the Latchis Theatre (50 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-7pm. There will be a Q and A afterword, so please stick around! For more information about the film please check out this website: http://undeterredfilm.org.
Undeterred is a documentary about community resistance in the rural border town of Arivaca, Arizona. Since NAFTA, 9/11 and the Obama and Trump administrations border residents have been on the front-lines of the humanitarian crisis caused by increased border enforcement build up. Undeterred is an intimate and unique portrait of how residents in a small rural community, caught in the cross-hairs of global geo-political forces, have mobilized to demand our rights and to provide aid to injured, oft times dying migrants funneled across a wilderness desert. The film was made by Eva Lewis, a resident of Arivaca and long time member of People Helping People in the Border Zone (PHP). Undeterred was created in close collaboration with the Arivaca community and members of PHP.
HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, MARCH 11th, 2019-SUNDAY, MARCH 17th, 2019
Celebrate Mudlucious March!: A Hands-On Cooking and Eating Event
Monday, March 11th, at the Brattleboro Food Coop (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Community Kitchen (use the 7 Canal Street entrance). 6pm-8pm. Free childcare available. Call Shareholder Services to reserve your place at 802-257-0236.
Knock the mud off your boots and come on over to the Co-op. Join us in preparing three whole food, plant-based recipes: Potato Leek Soup, Moroccan Stew, and Key Lime Pie. Bring a friend, an appetite, and mostly... your enthusiasm!
Fossil Fuel Reduction and Confessions of Climate Deniers
Tuesday, March 12th, 2019 and Thursday, March 14th, 2019 at Hyde Park Soapbox (16 Washington Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6:30pm.
This meeting aims to organize for serious climate rescue legislation at our Representative Town Meeting (RTM).
On New Years Day Bernie Sanders said, "We must look at climate change as if it were a devastating military attack against the United States and the entire planet. And we must respond accordingly." -- in a word, like in a war. We will take this call, made on New Years Day, for our own resolution and begin legislation according to the crisis that Sanders suggests.
Hopefully people will see that climate rescue will require sacrifice. And hopefully people will begin to put conservation into law at the RTM, but first an understanding must be reached at the Soapbox, and at RTM.
I am a climate denialist. Everyone -- scientists, statespeople, your townspeople and youth most of all, say that the climate crisis is an emergency. We may point at the deniers, but in reality we and the deniers are the same: we refuse to take serious action. We are all in denial, and when we deny our fear, it weakens us. The house is on fire, people are dying, everything we cherish is in danger, and our minds blank at the glare. We don't know what to do. But in an emergency not knowing what to do is not an option.
I have heard young girls -- 14,15 (Editor’s note: and me, too, at 36) -- talk about not having children because adults have so damaged the world. Think of these children, and your own. And think of everything we do for them and with them: the dreaming, playing, and the work to pay for the dreaming and all. We must protect all these things. These will mean nothing SOON if we don't act seriously NOW. If the Washington and Montpelier won't act, then we must try, and maybe we can make a model.
Brattleboro will come together at the March 23rd Representative Town Meeting at the High School. In preparation for that we meet on Tuesday and Thursday (March 12 and 14) to organize around presenting authentic stories and concerns about climate crisis and offer your plans to begin climate rescue at the RTM. We will strategize about advocating enforceable new measures (other than recycling) and preventing obstructionist and denial from diverting real climate rescue discussion. The resolution on the agenda is designed for us to rewrite. The particular measures, if any are approved, don't matter. What matters is that we admit our fear and harness its power, and that we try together to raise the issue to the next level.
Brown Bag Lunch: Brattleboro Democracy Forum with Tim Kipp
organized by We Celebrate Democracy / Civil Rights for All
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden/Strolling Of The Heifers (157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-1pm.
Join us as Tim Kipp talks about the Jim Crow System in US History, exploring how deeply embedded the structure of racism is in our history. Please come and join the conversation.
Tim taught US history, political science and law for 39 years. He has been a political activist since the 1960s.
Solidarity Climate Change Rallies in Brattleboro
Friday, March 15th, 2019 at 7:40am, 12pm, and 4pm.
Across the world, youth are gathering on March 15 to focus the attention of local, state and national legislators on protecting our resources and environment. Join young people of southern Vermont to demand that lawmakers do what they can to steer us from climate disaster, and protect our frontline communities who are already suffering the consequences of it. Gather peacefully to share ideas and ensure that future generations can live to experience a healthy natural world. Help us make space for the voices of our students, a considerable portion of our community, many of whom are too young to vote. Bring signs, songs, and knowledge. Bring your stories and passions. Bring respectful arguments, and a willingness to listen. Please see individual details below:
Climate Rally #1: Brattleboro High School
Friday, March 15th, 2019 in front of Brattleboro Union High School (131 Fairground Rd, Brattleboro, VT 05301) at 7:40am-8:45am.
Climate Rally #2: Student Strike for Climate
Friday, March 15th, 2019 at Pliny Park (corner of Main and High Streets, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-1pm. Join school age climate awareness strikers at Pliny Park (they've been striking on Fridays since December!) and let your voices be heard.
Climate Rally #3: Climate Mass Action
Friday, March 15th, 2019 at Pliny Park (corner of Main and High Streets, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-5pm. Everyone is encouraged to come and make your voice heard.
Other ways to participate:
- Join our sign-making gathering Sunday, March 10 at 10AM at The Drawing Studio, 28 Williams St, to connect and collaborate. No artistic talent necessary. Bring materials (cardboard, paints, markers), creativity, conversation.
- Spread the word! Share this link. Call your friends (or your legislators) and tell them why climate action is important to you.
- Educate yourself. Expose yourself to uncomfortable viewpoints. Research what you feel strongly about. Ask questions!
Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, March 15th, 2019 (and every Friday) at TD Bank Brattleboro (215 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT). In front of the building. 12pm-1pm. Signs will be provided
TD is a major investor in Tar Sands. TD helps to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. What You Can Do (besides attending the vigils): If you’re a TD depositor, change banks! Founded in 2005, Post Oil Solutions is a 501c3 community organizing project in Southeastern Vermont whose mission is to help empower the people of the Central Connecticut River Valley bioregion in this era of global warming and climate change to develop sustainable, resilient , collaborative, and socially just communities leading to a self- and community-sufficient post petroleum society.
Brown Bag Lunch: Will Venezuela Cause a Domino Effect? A Conversation About the Venezuela Crisis Within the Larger Context of Latin America With Aynn Setright
Friday, March 15th, 2019 at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-1pm. For questions about accessibility or disability-related accommodations for this event, please call 802-258-3527.
The public is invited to join Aynn Setright, School for International Training Academic Dean for Latin America, from noon-1 p.m. on Friday, March 15, for a brown bag lunch conversation at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden in downtown Brattleboro. Setright will discuss the current political and social crises in Venezuela -- with the disputed presidency of Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó -- within the framework of larger social and political changes in Latin America. She will also discuss U.S. intervention in the region as well as the role of other global powers including China and Russia.
As a graduate student, Setright went to Nicaragua with a social justice organization called Witness for Peace. She became a long-term volunteer with Witness for Peace and from 1985-87 she drove an ambulance in the war zone and worked with a rural Catholic parish in the northern mountains of Nicaragua. From 1987-93, she was coordinator of a small development organization, Proyecto Cristo Rey, working with 800 war refugee families in 16 resettlement communities in Matagalpa and what is now known as the North and South Autonomous Caribbean Coast Regions. This project was awarded the Institute for Policy Studies Letelier-Moffit Memorial Human Rights Award in 1991.
A native of Wyoming, Setright earned a BA in international studies from the University of Wyoming and an MA in Latin American and Caribbean history from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN), Managua. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Zulia, Venezuela, and is currently completing her dissertation on Central American ecofeminism. She was appointed SIT academic dean for Latin America and the Caribbean in September 2016. Prior to this position, she served as academic director for SIT Study Abroad in Nicaragua since 1999. She is a member of the Latin American Studies Association and participates in the Central American Studies Section of LASA as well as in the Central American Historians Association.
Brattleboro Winter Farmers Market
a project of Post Oil Solutions
Saturday, March 16th, 2019 (and every Saturday thru March 30) in the C.F. Church Building (80 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 10am-2pm. Accepting credit, debit, and EBT. Crop Cash turns $10 EBT into $20 every week. Lunch cafe and live music. For info email [email protected], call 802-869-2141, or visit us at www.brattleborowinterfarmersmarket.org.
New Location! Larger and more accessible. Free Parking. All local - farm produce, meats, syrup, fresh baked goods, cheeses, fruits, cider, pickles, preserves, handmade jewelry, pottery, soaps and more. Building community every week.
4th Annual Creative Black-Tie Gala
hosted by Southern Vermont Young Professionals
Saturday, March 16th, 2019 at The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center (10 Vernon Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7:30pm-10pm. Admission includes lite food, music, and access to all of the galleries, but bring some cash for the bar and raffle. Tickets for YP Members are $15, and the promotion code is in your membership email! Tickets are $20 for non-members.
We're back for our fourth year of fun and fundraising for the So.VT YP's!
Join the Southern Vermont Young Professionals on March 16th for the Creative Black-Tie Gala, your chance to dust off your funkiest threads to eat, drink, and mingle with the YP community.
Not a member yet? Click through to the Eventbrite page and you'll find a link to join.
Gasping Whiteness: Play and Community Workshop to Benefit The Root Social Justice Center
hosted by The Root Social Justice Center and Sandglass Theater
Sunday, March 17th, 2019 at Sandglass Theater (17 Kimball Hill, Putney, VT, 05346). 1pm-3pm.
Ages 10 years+. 100% of the proceeds from the performance will benefit The Root Social Justice Center. Tickets and more information can be found at www.gaspingwhitenessputney.brownpapertickets.com.
The play and community workshop Gasping Whiteness explores the impact of white supremacy on parenting in progressive, middle class communities.
The play tells the stories of two families (one white and one African-American) as they encounter divides of race and struggle to respond. Presented as a staged reading, Gasping Whiteness runs one hour and is followed by a one hour facilitated dialogue, exploring how the themes of the play speak to our lives and our stories. The cross-racial, cross-generational ensemble includes playwright Will MacAdams and social justice educator/theatre maker Trenda Loftin (who co-directs and also performs in the piece); two Western MA child actors, ages ten and eleven; and Atlanta-based visual artist Angela Davis Johnson, who developed its visual landscape.
The 28th Annual Women's Film Festival
sponsored by the Women’s Freedom Center
Friday, March 22nd, 2019-Saturday, March 30th, 2019 at the New England Youth Theatre (100 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). Times vary with performances.
The 28th annual Women’s Film Festival in Brattleboro, VT is a celebration of movies from around the world, and a platform for women to tell their own amazing stories. Over the course of two weekends 35 documentaries, feature films, and shorts will be screened. Something for everyone! With films about the arts, friendship, activism, sports, lesbian/queer lives, motherhood, gender roles, religion, fashion, radium, romance, and so much more.
Film schedule can be found here: http://womensfilmfestival.org/festival-schedule/
Tickets for individual films are $10/generous, $9/general admission, $8/discounted admission. A five-movie pass is available for $40. Passes can be purchased online at: womensfilmfestival.org/tickets , in person at Everyone's Books in Brattleboro, or by calling 802-257-7367 during business hours.
The event raises funds for the vital work of the Women’s Freedom Center, the non-profit domestic and sexual violence organization providing shelter, advocacy and support to southeastern Vermont for over 45 years.
Thanks to these generous sponsors for helping make the Women’s Film Festival possible: Chroma Technology Corp, SIT Graduate Institute, Thompson House, Brattleboro Area Hospice Brattleboro Food Co-op, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Tracy J Sloan Cpa, Windham Movement Apparel, Sobo Studio, Vermont Jazz Center, Green Mountain Crossroads, AIDS Project of Southern Vermont, Gallery in the Woods, and more.
ICE/CBP Resistance & Defending Human Rights Training
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 at the Brattleboro Food Coop (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Community Room (please use the 7 Canal Street entrance). 1pm-3pm. This training is offered free of charge, but registration is requested with your phone number. Please contact Tim Stevenson at [email protected].
ICE Checkpoints are going up unannounced (they can do this within 100 miles from the border, seacoast, international airports). People vulnerable to ICE and Border Patrol actions are being snatched away on their way to work or to appointments at an alarming rate. They are held in the Dover, NH detention facility, and deported.
We need to inform and help re-direct those individuals, and at the same time demonstrate strong community resistance to ICE and CBP.
Two women, Kira Kelley (National Lawyers Guild) and Asma Elhuni (United Valley Interfaith Project) are offering trainings.We need people at various risk or inconvenience levels of involvement, from warning motorists at highway overpasses with bright banners about an upcoming checkpoint, and driving cars with signs attached in loops on the Interstate, to non-cooperation as a driver when asked for name at checkpoints, and spreading information on 'Know Your Rights' at our own "checkpoints". This training will prepare you to carry out any of these tasks. Please get back to Tim ASAP if you (or anyone else you know) would like to participate in this ICE/CBP Resistance & Defending Human Rights Training, so that you might participate in any of the kind of actions mentioned above. Thank you for considering this important opportunity.
Know Your Rights in the Era of #MeToo: A Community Conversation
co-sponsored by the Women’s Action Team, the Women’s Freedom Center
Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6pm-8pm.
This is a free event. For more information please contact [email protected].
We want to empower women and all survivors of sexual violence to know their rights, with the goal of creating a community where people are not afraid to come forward with their stories. Join the Women's Action Team, the Women's Freedom Center and our guest speakers for an open community conversation.
Cara Cookson, Victim Rights Attorney
Deborah Lee Luskin, Writer, Speaker, and Educator
Michael S. Lewis, First Amendment Attorney
James Valente, Trial Lawyer
Climate Change Café Presents: Climate Vision 2020
a project of Post Oil Solutions
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6:30pm-8pm. Free. Light Refreshments Available. For more information please email [email protected].
Returning to the Café after his well-received talk in 2017, Climate change specialist Dr Edward Cameron will present the key lessons from the 2018 IPCC 1.5C report and outline a vision for building a low-carbon, climate-resilient and inclusive economy in Vermont, throughout the United States and across the globe. He will look beyond the climate change challenge and explore how each of us can use this moment to build a just and sustainable world for all.
Edward Cameron is a Senior Advisor (Consultant) with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. He has worked with policy makers in the U.S, as well as internationally through the UN to be more ambitious on the climate.
RESOURCE FOR WeCAN: Rapid Response Text Alert System
When WeCAN began Song & Solidarity set up a Rapid Response Text Alert System for WeCAN Groups. Directions for signing up are on WeCAN's website, here: https://www.wecantogether.net/rapid_response We were reminded of the Rapid Response text alerts system as President Trump moves towards firing Mueller. In the event Mueller is fired, MoveOn is planning a nation-wide simultaneous protest. The trick will be to get the word out fast if/when the time comes. We are grateful to Song and Solidarity for providing this service.
STANDING REGULAR MEETINGS
Brattleboro State Representatives’ Updates and Community Conversation
First Saturday of the Month, alternating between 10am and 4pm (2.2.19 was at 10am). Location information to follow. Childcare available upon request by contacting [email protected].
As promised, all three of your Brattleboro State Representatives, Mollie Burke, Emilie Kornheiser, and Tristan Toleno, will gather in Brattleboro to host a community conversation and share updates from the first few weeks of the legislative session. Our series of monthly conversations— scheduled for the first Saturday of the month— will alternate between 10am and 4pm.
Women Veterans Weekly Coffee and Tea Social
Thursday Mornings at Brattleboro Legion Post 5 Inc. (32 Linden Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-10am.
All female veterans are invited to join in the Women Veterans group coffee held at the American Legion. All women veterans are welcome. You do not need to be a Legion member.
Lost River Racial Justice, Black Lives Matter-South, and People Of Color Caucus Regular Meeting
Reoccurring racial justice organizing meetings every 2nd Monday at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio of the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) on the First Floor. 6pm-8pm. Childcare provided. Fragrance & nut free space.
Youth 4 Change
Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month from 5:30pm-8pm.
For more information please contact Youth 4 Change at [email protected].
5:30pm: Drop in homework time and art making
6:30pm: Meeting and Organizing
Youth 4 Change is for local-area youth 12-22 interested in political organizing around local/state/national social justice issues that are important to them. Brattleboro area advocates and educators are holding a space, and assisting youth in building a strong personal tool kit to organize for change. Using a variety of creative methods, we aim to enable youth with tools for resilience, courage and compassion, while fostering their ability to speak up about issues that matter to them, and to take action in the name of love and liberation for all people. Come explore issues of racial, economic and gender justice through art, movement, first-hand accounts and contemplative practices. Connect with area youth around the issues that matter to you and strengthen your tool kit for action!
ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING
Sundays at 12pm on Brattleboro Community Radio 107.7FMTo stream live: Visit www.wvew.org
Indigo Radio, deepening understanding and making connections! IndigoRadio is a group of area educators seeking to learn through engaging with others in our community and throughout the world. We will be talking about educational and social issues both globally and locally and connecting them to our lives and Brattleboro community. Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indigoradiowvew/. For archive recordings of past shows: https://soundcloud.com/user-654648353.
Have a wonderful week, Friends! We look forward to seeing you at an event, march, rally, or meeting this week.