In the News

Wisconsin mining law reforms benefit polluters

"After the passage of Act 1 [the Bad River Watershed Destruction Act], one of the last protections for ecologically critical watersheds in gold and base metal exploration areas in Oneida, Taylor and Marathon counties is the Mining Moratorium Law," write Al Gedicks of WNPJ member group Wisconsin Resources Protection Council (and former WNPJ Board member) and Dave Blouin of the Sierra Club in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Yet mining companies have said their top priority is repealing Wisconsin's mining moratorium - also called the "prove it first" law.

"That the North American mining industry cannot meet the Moratorium Law is a problem of its own making and purely reflects the fact that mining metallic sulfide ores remains proven to be unsafe," add Gedicks and Blouin.  "Our clean air and drinking water and the critical habitats and healthy environment we all depend on are threatened by the mining industry's so-called reforms."

Bill would limit drone surveillance in Wisconsin

A bill introduced by state Representatives Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva), David Craig (R-Town of Vernon), Frederick Kessler (D-Milwaukee) and Chris Taylor (D-Madison) would prohibit law enforcement and individuals from using drones without a warrant, except in special circumstances. It would also bar the private use of drones equipped with video or audio equipment, or with a weapon.

The ACLU of Wisconsin applauded the bill. 

Conservation Congress passes resolutions against mining law

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.

Critique of the Senate immigration bill

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."

Drones, sanctions and the prison industrial complex

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 in the news

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.

WNPJ members featured in the news

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, 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.

Good works and commentary by WNPJ members

WNPJ members and member groups continue to contribute their time and their thought. Please click on titles to read entire articles.

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.

Ain't nothin' like the real thing: Adoptive moms can breastfeed, with some added effort. Before she adopted her daughter, Masha, WNPJ board member Janet Parker found a La Leche League book, Breastfeeding an Adopted Baby and Relactation.  "I actually didn't realize it was possible to breastfeed an adopted child, but when I learned about it I thought I would give it a try," says Parker. "Having those times every day of calm and close time with my baby is really special. All those benefits are equally important for a child who is adopted." Masha is now 7 months old. Isthmus,
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