December 25, 2011

The officers and staff of USLAW wish you, your family and friends joy filled holidays and a new year that brings more peace, equality and justice to the world! NEA PandJ has been a member of USLAW for several years due to the donation of individual members on the Executive Board. You, too, can join this important group.
Peace and Justice Midwest wishes you a great holiday season.

December 15, 2011

Call Your Senator about the National Defense Authorization Act

HR 1540, the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), was approved by the House yesterday on a vote of 283 - 136. Democrats were split, 93 -93. Rep. Braley was the only Iowa legislator to vote no. This bill includes a lot of stuff, including authorization of almost $670 Billion for FY 2012 expenditures for the Pentagon and for the Afghan war. It also includes provisions that allow for indefinite detention of anyone accused of terrorism, and eliminates a previous amendment which specified no Afghan war after 2013. This bill no longer bears the threat of a veto by the President.
It appears this bill will come to a vote in the US Senate today Dec. 15th. Please call Senators Harkin (202 224-3254) and Grassley (202 224-3744) or your US Senator and urge a NO vote.. Ask your friends to do the same.

December 8, 2011

PEACEFUL Demonstration

What: Rally and Occupation of Pres. Obama's IA Campaign HQ in DM
Date: Sat. Dec 17, 2011
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Site: 621 E. Second St, DM IA

Please consider doing the Obama Pres. Offices occupation and risk
arrest. Or sponsoring someone from your group who can, by offering to
help pay a their fines and court cost. Please recommend to any peace
or justice groups and org. that you belong to sponsor someone in your
group to officially represent them at the occupation and risk

Come the last week of Dec. the whole world will be watching. This is
as good a time as I have ever sense in my 35 yr peace making career
when doing a simple nonviolent low risk civil disobedience witness can
make a big difference in the political life of our nation.

Anyone considering joining Elliott Admans, IA VFP's Ed Bloomer and
Jeff Strottman, Rev. Robert Cook and DMCW Frank Cordaro (The five
people so far who have signed on the risk arrest.) must contact Frank
Cordaro and / or Gil Landolt before hand.....

Please feel free to pass this invite on to others...

DMCW Frank Cordaro


Gil Landolt 515 333-2180; Frank Cordaro 515 282-4781

December 2, 2011

Small World

At this time of the year when giving is in so many minds, read what some are doing to make life better for children around the world.
Dear Friends,
I’m sharing this with you either because you are a parent, work with children or have demonstrated a commitment to our global community of children. My friend John is pioneering an initiative to create a global consciousness about the well being of children world-wide. Read and enjoy!
Today we are launching a new organization called Small World. The mission is to create a global community of parents and families committed to ensuring a peaceful, livable, just planet for all children on earth.
We invite you to join us as a founding member by signing the pledge for all children.
The threats to the present and future well-being of children are many, but they can be overcome by a much more powerful force -- the united power of love and concern in action for our children, for all children everywhere.
We know what a challenge it is managing the day-to-day demands of life, much less fitting in a rally or letter to the President. With this in mind, Small World will provide ways to take meaningful actions in concert with others from the global to the personal level. Small World will help create, cultivate and connect parent & family networks. We’ll share ideas, resources, strategies and actions to bring about a world that is worthy of the imagination, laughter, joy and dreams of each and every child.
Together, we have the power to create a world where every child lives without fear of war and violence, on a livable planet with a stable climate and healthy life support systems, in societies that provide the necessities of life for all children, everywhere in our one Small World.
We are just beginning. We welcome and encourage your ideas, energy and commitment to make this vision a reality. Please join us by taking the first simple step of signing the pledge for all children.
Alisa, Amelia, Ann, Ayize, Carolin, Dianne, Jacques, James, John, Jon, JP, Julie, Karen, Kathleen, Kim, Launa, Lynn, Mike, Pete, Rebecca, Steve, Zahara

Death Penalty

Mike Farrell was our guest speaker at the RA in 2009. He is an activist who is making a difference. Below is an update on
Working for alternatives to the death penalty

2011 has been a year of tremendous achievements, heartbreaking losses and, at last, real hope for change in California.

In March, Illinois followed New York, New Jersey and New Mexico and abolished the death penalty. Two months later, we at Death Penalty Focus were thrilled to honor Illinois Governor Pat Quinn at our Annual Awards Dinner. Governor Quinn, who had long supported the death penalty, spent two months deliberating on his decision. At our event he spoke eloquently about his change of heart. "If the system can't be guaranteed 100% error-free, then we shouldn't have the system," Quinn said. "It cannot stand."

April brought the incredible Jeanne Woodford to Death Penalty Focus as our new Executive Director. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Jeanne, please hear me when I say that she is our secret weapon for ending the death penalty in California - and beyond. As the warden of San Quentin State Prison, Jeanne experienced the pain of overseeing four executions. After leaving San Quentin, she was appointed to head the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Today, the more people Jeanne has the opportunity to meet and talk with, the more support we gain for ending the death penalty. It’s almost that simple. Put Jeanne in front of a group of death penalty supporters and before long their support begins to evaporate. We are thrilled to have her on board.

I am also thrilled that, last week, Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon halted executions in his state. In a simple but uncompromising statement, he echoed the growing distaste for capital punishment being heard in many of our courts, our legislatures, churches, and homes. "I am convinced,” he wrote, “we can find a better solution that keeps society safe, supports the victims of crime and their families and reflects Oregon values. I refuse to be a part of this compromised and inequitable system any longer; and I will not allow further executions while I am Governor." Bravo Governor Kitzhaber!

September brought the heartbreaking execution of Troy Davis. Yet, even on that most awful day, Mr. Davis himself understood that his death would galvanize support for ending this barbaric practice. On his last day he said, "There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country…Never stop fighting for justice and we will win!"