In the News
A resolution to repeal the Iron Mining Bill (SB/AB 1) submitted by WNPJ members and allies at the April 8 Conservation Congress passed by wide margins in all four counties in which it was introduced. The total vote was 49-6 in Clark County, 221-67 in Dane County, 32-6 in LaCrosse County, and 158 to 79 in Milwaukee County. Total 460 yes, 158 no. The vote tallies are especially significant considering the resolution did not come to the floor for discussion until the end of the formal agenda, around 11:00 p.m. in Dane County.
Arizona-based grassroots group Derechos Humanos (colleagues of WNPJ Board member Karma Chavez) has a detailed critique of the proposed Senate immigration reform bill.
"The purported 'path to citizenship' is a cruel misrepresentation that has brought out both the anti-immigrant voices to cry out that 11 million 'should not receive citizenship,' and the immigrant community to believe that a fair process for their legalization will be put in place. Neither is a reality," the group states.
"As we tout the importance of family, this bill changes this priority by removing two preference categories from the family-based immigration process ... as well as creating 'merit' based visas and repealing the Diversity Visa Program, an important avenue for African and Caribbean immigrants. Importantly, the bill provides no avenue for LBGTQ families to reunite."
By Brian Terrell, a Catholic Worker and Co-Coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a WNPJ member group
In the final weeks of a six month prison sentence for protesting remote control murder by drones, specifically from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, I can only reflect on my time of captivity in light of the crimes that brought me here. In these ominous times, it is America’s officials and judges and not the anarchists who exhibit the most flagrant contempt for the rule of law and it is due to the malfeasance of these that I owe the distinction of this sabbatical.
WNPJ members comment on important issues.
Global Warming: WNPJ member Eric Hanson compares today's efforts to earlier conservation movements. "Conservation, whether the relatively complex notions of catastrophic global climate change or the familiar concepts of contour plowing or catch and release fishing, boils down to the common-sense goodness of one theme: What we have today we also want to be here for tomorrow." Read his article here. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/22/13.
Gun Control: Two letters to the editor by WNPJ members. Click on their names to view their letters.
The New Yorker magazine recently reported on a ceremony held in the village of My Lai, Vietnam, to commemorate the massacre that took place there forty-five years ago. It featured the life journey Mike Boehm, a Viet Nam veteran who founded Winds of Peace, Projects in Viet Nam, a WNPJ member group, to help the people of My Lai. “I dug up some old photos and there were children outside a primitive, dirt-floored school. I was looking at those photos and I saw what we had done. ...Those kids are now adults and their children now go to one of our new schools.” Read the story here.
Photo: Mike Boehm accepting the UNA -USA Global Citizen Award, 2008.
And the Capital Times interviewed Madeleine Para, of 350.org, a WNPJ member group concerned with climate change. “With a problem as big as climate change, if our government doesn’t move on it, all the other important things that are going on will not be sufficient,” said Para. read the interview here.
A Fresh Take on Giving. Homeless or other needy people can now enjoy a snack on State Street thanks to WNPJ member group the Autonomous Solidarity Organization and generous customers. The program called Suspended Coffee is now available at the Bakers' Window, and organizers hope it will spread to other businesses. “There are still people that care. It’s a good program. It’s awesome,” said Mike Cozens as he enjoyed a croissant recently. Wisconsin State Journal, 4/8/13.
WNPJ member group Solidarity Sing Along has been in the news a lot lately. Here are some recent articles and letters:
Frequent singer Sue Nelson (also of WNPJ member groups Rock Valley Fellowship of Reconciliation and Habiba Chaouch Foundation) writes to the Wisconsin State Journal, "Singing truth to power has been one of the joys of my life. Members of the Solidarity Sing Along have been singing over the noon hour at the Capitol for more than two years."
WNPJ members continue to make news! Please click on titles to read entire articles.
Dan S. Wang: Indie bookstores foster sense of community. The Capital Times, 3/20/13. Dan is board president of Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative, a WNPJ member group. (Photo: author Cecile Pineda (center) with Pam Kleiss (left) of Physicians for Social Responsibility - Wisconsin and Bonnie Urfer of Nukewatch (right), both WNPJ member groups)
Al Gedicks: Wisconsin is testing grounds for mining industry response to opposition. The Capital Times, 3/7/13. Al is executive secretary of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, a WNPJ member group. He is also the author of “Resource Rebels: Native Challenges to Mining and Oil Corporations."
John Kinsman: Did state lawmakers even read the mining bill? The Wisconsin State Journal, 3/15/13. John is president of WNPJ member group Family Farm Defenders.
For-profit colleges put on notice. AFT On Campus, 3/1013. Two years ago Michael Rosen, president of AFT 212 at MATC (a WNPJ member group), spearheaded a campaign to oppose for-profit Everest College's plans to move into Milwaukee. Although the initial effort was not successful, many of Rosen's fears were born out and the city passed an ordinance limiting financial aid to for-profit enterprises. In addition, Everest's parent organization "agreed to pay off all loans of students who dropped out of the college."