Success Story

Blackwater/Xe Flees Jo Daviess County, IL.

..but mercenary training continues elsewhere. WNPJ member, Dan Kenney (, co-coordinator of "No Private Armies" sends this update: "Nearly four years ago citizens joined together in a small church near Mt. Carroll Illinois forming No Private Armies/ Clearwater to Stop Blackwater. The citizens group worked for four years to get Blackwater, now Xe, to leave Illinois. The last major demonstration held at the Blackwater/Xe training site in northwest Illinois occurred April 27th 2009 and resulted in 22 arrests.  Blackwater was once the largest and most powerful mercenary company in the U.S. making over $1 billion in U.S. contracts. But now beleaguered with lawsuits, and having undergone massive changes in the company’s administration the sole owner of Blackwater, Eric Prince has moved out of the country and put the company up for sale."

Decision on SOA Visas reversed! Grassroots pressure works - thanks!

The two speakers named by the SOA Watch's Latin American partners to represent them at the SOA Watch vigil (Nov. 19-21, 2010) were denied entrance to the United States. Both Gerardo Brenes - a Costa Rican graduate of the SOA and activist with the Quaker Peace Center in San Jose, and Alejandro Ramirez - a university student and activist with the Youth Resistance movement in Honduras, had their visa applications rejected by the U.S. embassies in their countries last week. However, due to a grassroots outcry following the Action Alert last week, this decision was reversed! Thanks for your part.....and read more

Norma Berkowitz Honored by UNA-USA Dane County

Norma Berkowitz, Madison,  received the Global Citzen award on Oct. 24th from Kathie Beckett, outgoing president of the UNA-USA Dane County chapter . Norma's work with the group FOCCUS was recognized at the annual banquet on this, the 65th anniversary of the founding of the UN. FOCCUS is a WI-based group - with roots in the UW-Madison School of Social work.

Bring Our War $ Home: How we did it

Sally Weiss and Carl Moos, organizers from the Alliance for Peace and Justice of Western Massachusetts, report on their success in winning City Council approval of a "Bring Our War Dollars Home" resolution (full text, .pdf) that directs the city to instruct their Congressional representative to vote against further war funding. Describing a campaign that started with signature-gathering (even at the town dump) and moved through numerous public venues, Sally and Carl say,  "Whether we won or lost the final vote, a key valuable outcome of the effort was the prolonged time of having the question of our war dollars before the public, getting many people thinking and talking with their family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors, and therefore being willing to participate in the Public Forum.  Read more about Bring Our War $ Home here...

Across the nation, towns reject anti-immigrant laws

The Houston suburb of Tomball, Texas became the latest community to reject anti-immigrant ordinances, turning down proposals to make English the town's official language and to prohibit undocumented immigrants from renting property or owning businesses. Local lawmakers in Nebraska, Idaho, and Ohio have recently pulled back from efforts to enact harsh anti-immigrant measures after the towns of  Farmers Branch, Texas and  Hazleton, Pennsylvania racked up millions in legal costs defending their own anti-immigrant ordinances against legal challenges. The public backlash against Arizona's anti-immigrant SB1070 has also raised worries among residents about potential damage to their town's reputation. "Why put this wonderful city on the national map of racism and hatred?" asked Tomball resident David Smith.

Osseo-Fairchild School District ordered to drop "Chieftains" nickname and logo

In the first test case for a new law giving the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction the power to review schools use of race-based mascots, the DPI has ordered the Osseo-Fairchild School District to drop its Chieftains nickname and logo after the determining the nickname and logo were race-based and promoted discrimination and harassment. "This is a wonderful decision. The DPI got it exactly right," said Barb Munson, of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association Mascot and Logo Task Force.
The DPI decision was in response to a complaint filed by Carol and Harvey Gunderson, residents of the Osseo-Fairchild School District.

UW activists played key role in forcing Nike to pay lost wages to Honduran workers

Student activists at UW-Madison are celebrating a victory after playing key role in winning restitution for 1200 Honduran workers who had been employed manufacturing Nike merchandise and then were fired without being paid millions in back wages. In April, after a months-long campaign by the Student-Labor Action Coalition, the UW became the first university in the U.S. to cancel its apparel contract with Nike over the issue of back pay for the fired workers. Cornell University then threatened to cancel its Nike contract as well and officials at other universities warned Nike that it would face larger student protests once the fall semester began, ultimately forcing Nike to agree to pay back wages to the Honduran workers.

Celebrating 30 years of nonviolent nuclear resistance

Two hundred anti-nuclear activists from across the country gathered in early July in Oak Ridge, TN for a powerful celebration of nonviolent resistance marking the 30th anniversaries of Nukewatch, (a WNPJ member group),  the Nuclear Resister, and the first Plowshares disarmament action.

There was music, there was talking, there were puppets and Fourth-of-July burgers and watermelon -- and a birthday cake, pictured.

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