WNPJ Action Alerts: Week of February 6th

Action Alert 1: Feb 4th: No War on Iran actions in Wisconsin
Action Alert 2: Lobby day to stop mining bill in Senate
Action Alert 3: Urge DNR to register stream as mine-damaged
Action Alert 4 - Madison: Wisconsin uprising alive and well after one year
Action Alert 5: Help provide clean water to children in Gaza


Action Alert 1: Feb 4th: "No War on Iran!" actions in Wisconsin
Background: Saturday, February 4th is a national day of action against a war with Iran, with events scheduled in more than 40 U.S. cities, including Madison, Milwaukee and Racine. The protests come as the U.S. is escalating its program of threats and pressure on Iran, with two U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups now in the seas off the Iranian coast. News reports indicate a new Special Operations commando team has been sent to countries neighboring Iran, prompting writer Tom Englehardt to ask, "How would we react to news that  a new elite Iran­ian com­mando team was op­er­at­ing in the U.S.-Mex­i­can bor­der re­gion?" Even though Defense Secretary Leon Panetta admitted as recently as January 8th that Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon, President Obama said in his State of the Union address that "No option is off the table" with regard to Iran, a phrase widely understood to be a threat of military attack.
Take Action: Madison: Meet at the State Street corner of the Capitol for a rally from 3pm-5pm. Milwaukee: Join Peace Action at 11 am for a press conference at their offices, 1001 E. Keefe, followed by an 11:30 am march to the bridge over the Milwaukee River on Capitol Drive for the weekly Stand for Peace. Racine: Vigil from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at Highways 311 & 20 (northwest corner)
Contact for more info: Madison: Barbara Smith, Barb at barbara@merr.com Milwaukee: Peace Action, 414-964-5158,     dan@peaceactionwi.org Racine: Dick Kinch, 262-764-9968, racinepeace@yahoo.com


Action Alert 2: Lobby day to stop mining bill in Senate
Background: Last week, the state assembly voted to pass a mining bill that would fast-track a mining project in northern Wisconsin by limiting public input and environmental oversight. The mining bill would eliminate contested case hearings on proposed mining permits, reduce the number of public hearings during the process from six to two, make it easier for mining companies to fill wetlands and divert navigable waters, chop the amount of revenue received by local community impact funds by 50%, cap the reimbursement paid by an applicant to the DNR at far less than the true cost to the state of a permit, limit the time for permit review to 360 days, establish presumptive approval of permits, and put the state at odds with federal regulators over flood plain ordinances and archaeological sites.
Take Action: Opponents of the legislation see some hope that the bill can be stopped in the Senate. Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is organizing a special lobby day for Thursday, February 16th, from 12-5:00pm, meeting at the Madison Concourse Hotel and in the State Capitol Building. Click here to RSVP.
Contact for more info: Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, 608-661-0845, info@conservationvoters.org


Action Alert 3: By Feb. 20th: Urge DNR to register stream as mine-damaged
Background: As legislators debate a mining bill that would gut environmental regulation of mines (see above) people near Ladysmith, WI are dealing with the toxic aftermath of the Flambeau mine, which was shut down in 1997. Streams in the area of the mine have been polluted by mine runoff, including a small tributary of the Flambeau river labeled by the Department of Natural Resouces as "Stream C", which flows over the southeast corner of the Flambeau Mine site. Stream C has consistently had levels of copper (and sometimes zinc) over the concentrations established by the DNR as representing “acute toxicity" causing the DNR to include Stream C in its proposed 2012 list of “impaired waters."
Take Action: Flambeau Mining Company will be actively lobbying the DNR to take this stream off the impaired waters list, in part because the designation could impact a lawsuit filed under the Federal Clean Water Act against the mining company for its toxic discharges of metals. Please send an email by Feb. 20th to either dnrimpairedwaters@wisconsin.gov or AaronM.Larson@wisconsin.gov by Feb. 20th to urge the DNR to accurately record Stream C as impaired for copper and zinc and to ask that the DNR require Flambeau Mining Company to clean up the toxic mess it has left behind. After the 20th, the public comment period for this issue will close.
Contact for more info: Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, online contact form here...


Action Alert 4 - Madison: Wisconsin uprising alive and well after one year
Background: Beginning on Saturday, February 11th people from across Wisconsin will converge in Madison for a Week of Action to commemorate the one-year anniversary of last year’s Wisconsin Uprising and the sustained occupation of the Capitol building.  The Week of Action will include two rallies, a march from UW-Madison to the capitol building, and a Documentation Station inside the Capitol to help preserve the collective memory of those historic events, with audio recorders, cameras, and artistic materials available for people to share their stories of the past year. Documentation Station organizers ask anyone who participated in the protests to bring signs, posters, photographs (digital files or printed), pins, and other memorable items to contribute to the project, which will be located in room 415 NW on Tuesday, February 14th,10am - 6pm and room 300 NE on Wednesday, February 15th, also10am - 6pm.
Take Action: Please join in one or more of the following events: 1) Thursday, February 9th; 7-9pm, The Wisconsin Uprising One Year On: What Happened and What Next?, 2) Saturday, February 11th; 11am-1pm Wisconsin Day! Rally to Kick-off a Week of Action, 3) Tuesday, February 14th; 12:15pm, I Still ♥ UW March and Rally, 4) Thursday, February 16th; 7-9pm One Year Later - Lessons from the Wisconsin Uprising, 5) Sunday, February 19th; 2-5pm WisConvocation Public Planning Session.
Contact for more info: Adam Porton, Wisconsin Wave, porton68@gmail.com, online contact form here...


Action Alert 5: Help provide clean water to children in Gaza
Background: WNPJ member group Madison-Rafah Sister City Project has joined with Middle East Childrens Alliance to provide water filter/desalination systems for schools in Rafah. They have already provided money for a system at the Tuyar Al-Jena (Birds of Paradise) kindergarten and the Rafah' Girls' Preparatory School A, and are now working to provide clean water to a third school, Al-Shuka Prepatory Girl's School. Large parts of Gaza's water and sewer systems were destroyed by Israel during Operation Cast Lead in 2008, and the continuing Israeli blockade has made repairs nearly impossible. A 2009 examination by the UN Environment Program found that well water in Gaza had a concentration of nitrates six times higher than the level recommended by the World Health Organization, a level that can lead to anemia among children and methemoglobinemia (“blue infants” syndrome) among infants.
Take Action: Madison-Rafah Sister City Project has already raised over $4000 of the $11,500 needed to pay for a water filtration  system at Al-Shuka Prepatory Girl's School. Please make a donation to help complete the project, either by mail at: MRSCP, PO BOX 55371 Madison, WI 53705 (make checks payable to MRSCP and please write "WATER" on the memo line) or click here to pay online.
Contact for more info: Barb Olson, Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, 608-238-1227, rafahsistercity@yahoo.com


WNPJ is forwarding these weekly alerts from member organizations, individual members and national affiliates. If you are a WNPJ member and have an alert you would like posted , please send it to Steve Burns at: outreach@wnpj.org