Women's International League for Peace and Freedom St. Louis Branch

The last page in our 100 year WILPF St Louis Chapter

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At our Spring quarterly meeting, with heavy hearts, we decided that we no longer had the capacity to continue as a branch of WILPF.  We gave notice at our May 2022 Membership meeting of the dire financial situation of the group and also the lack of able bodies to fill board positions.  The situation has not changed.  It is bittersweet to have a final look at our office in the WCC. It will be vacant by the end of March. We will continue to have a PO Box there until the end of the year.

On Saturday, March 4, there will be hot tea and the leisure of several hours to peruse the metal file holders and racks of things and books. You may find these things stir memories of causes, events and influence campaigns. You remember all the effort, time and progress made through the years and friends made in the process. You may find in the office a memento to take.

We need to get rid of a lot of plastic plates, dinner ware and napkins!
Join us on this last page of the last chapter of our WILPF StLouis branch on Saturday March 4th from noon to 2:00 at the office in the World Community Center.

We will continue to have the website through November 2023. Come and reminisce!

Lynn Sableman

Hiroshima & Nagasaki Webinar 2023

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August 9, 2023 8:00 PM ET, 7:00 CT, 6:00 MT, 5:00 PM PT You Must Pre-Register for the Webinar HERE or click on the link below https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIvd–qpzwrGd3sagSx58fD0Ijqt3x_b2zZ
Madelyn Hoffman: Co-Chair of the Green Party Peace Action Committee (GPAX) Madelyn will moderate the program. Daniel Kovalik: Labor and human rights lawyer who teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh Law School. Lynn Sableman: Member of the At-Large Disarm/End War Group of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Greg Coleridge: Co-Director of “Move to Amend” and author of “The Depth of Change: Selected Writings and Remarks on Social Change” (2022). Chrissy Stonebraker-Martinez: Co-Director of the InterReligious Task Force on Central America. Penny Hess: Chairwoman of the African People’s Solidarity Movement and is an expert on why colonized people deserve reparations. Haig Hovaness: Co-chair of the Green Party Peace Action Committee
For More Information, email outreach@missourigreenparty.org or call 314-495-8006.

Women’s March and nuclear abolition

by Lynn Sableman

The Women’s March this year was on the same day as the Entry Into Force Day of the Treaty on the Prohibition Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). This was the second year of the Bomb Ban, now nuclear weapons are illegal in International Law. This was a cold Sunday at the Worlds Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. The crowd size was about 70 sign bearing Reproductive Justice Activists. The speakers were elected officials from the city and Dr. Love Holt an organizer for the cause. The crowd was enthralled. There was call and response. Instead of a March they danced!
 I found the organizer was warm and welcoming about having the Nuclear Weapons Ban pop up join the Abortion Ban protest. League of Women Voters had a table and so did the Uhuru Solidarity Movement.  I felt there was a connection between denying a woman  freedom of choice and nuclear weapons (catastrophic death and destruction that we didn’t vote ). Are these a vestige of colonialism?

  The speakers mentioned stories of the consequences of denying healthcare and how this  will hit the Black and Latina community’s hardest.     
   The WILPF Disarm/ End Wars committee had sent  handouts with QR codes that take you to an online petition to President Biden  and to your senators requesting they sign and ratify the TPNW. I handed out 40.
      The  pop up attracted some good interest. People took pictures of the Quilts, “32 Broken Arrows” and “Nuclear War Plan”. There was interest in the cube suspended from a structure , “The Daily Gamble” . When a lot of interest was shone I handed out the current Peace and Freedom magazine or business cards with out Website and contact info. This was the best exposure so far.

  It was the fourth time the folk art pop up “Nuclear in Abolition”  exhibit was set up since fall. Previously, with the help of  Veterans For Peace and five members of Conversations for  Political Change and World Community Center’s  Mike Baldwin and and Margaret Phillips social justice activists the demonstration in front of the Eagleton Building, our senators home offices, elicited a few car horn beeps of approval. This was to commemorate the nuclear horror of the Cuban Missile Crisis 60 years ago.
  The next exhibit was at the Ethical Society , thanks to Joyce Best. The Veterans for Peace Golden Rule Sail Boat was navigating the Mississippi River.  Back from the Brink nuclear threat reduction measures were explained and the Veterans for Peace received the Mayors Award naming this day to be the Veterans for Peace Day of Nuclear Abolition.  Twenty of us went to Olympia Taverna, a local restaurant, afterwards.

  The StLouis Oasis at Center of Clayton was another opportunity as a UMSL professor gave the most informative lecture on StLouis history of radiation contamination. She would be a great speaker for us to have come give a presentation to our peace community.

War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict

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Event at the Friends Meeting House Wednesday 7 December 20227pm

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Successful Golden Rule Peace Boat event

St. Louis, MO: Morning of 10/29 – morning of 10/31.
Docking at Sioux Harbor, near 1320 Second Street, Portage des Sioux
– Boat tours 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on October 29, 30
– October 30, 3:00 pm, Film, Presentations, Ethical Society – Becker Room, 9001 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63105

Read more about the Golden Rule project here

About the historical Golden Rule Peace Ship

Celebrate the Arrival of the “Golden Rule” Peace Boat in St Louis

Photo by Melissa Thurod, Republican Eagle, Red Wing, MN

Celebrate the Arrival of the
“Golden Rule” Peace Boat

Veterans for Peace is sailing in its campaign for a Nuclear-Free World!

October 30, 2022, 3:00 to 5:00 pm

Ethical Society of St. Louis, Becker Room

9001 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63105

Watch a film about the ship’s mission and its advocacy for a world without nuclear weapons. There will be a pop-up Nuclear Abolition Folk Art exhibit and a panel discussion.

Sponsored by Veterans for Peace & Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Admission is free, but donations will be appreciated!

Come see the Golden Rule! Tours available Oct 29, 30, 31 from 11 am to 2 pm at Sioux Harbor, near 1320 Second Street in Portage de Sioux, MO.

Gerry Condon, President of the Golden Rule Committee of Veterans for Peace writes:

I am happy to be sailing for a Nuclear-Free World at a time when people are waking up to the dangers posed by these weapons of mass destruction.

By taking action today to support a negotiated end to the war in Ukraine and the reduction and ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons, we can stop the possibility of nuclear annihilation.

The commitment of Veterans for Peace and others to the success of the Golden Rule’s mission is enormous. Hundreds of supporters have planned events, hosted the crew and donated on the upper Mississippi River. We are thankful for these efforts!

For more information, contact Helen Jaccard, 206-992-6364, vfpgoldenruleproject@gmail.com
or Lynn Sableman, 314-609-6918, lynnsableman@att.net

vfpgolenrule.org facebook.com/goldenrulepeaceboat

Picket line nuclear abolition action

60 years after the Cuban missile crisis. We have more work to do.

photos courtesy of Lynn Sableman

Speech at PeaceWorks KC’s remembrance of Hiroshima – Nagasaki

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from NucNews

Progress on treaty to prohibit nukes; focus on universities

Note: Ann Suellentrop prepared these remarks for the annual program, Remembering Hiroshima & Nagasaki: Never Again! That program will be given Aug. 7 in Kansas City, MO. It will be cosponsored by both PeaceWorks KC and Veterans for Peace. Ann, representing PeaceWorks and Physicians for Social Responsibility, begins with a reference to some 66 flags at the gathering.

Why do we fly these colorful flags today? Because they are a sign of great hope! They are the flags of the 66 countries that have ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first treaty to call for the complete destruction of all nuclear weapons and for compensation for the victims of nuclear production, use and testing, as well as for environmental remediation.

There is a lot happening around this Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. The first Meeting of the States Parties was held in June of this year, and many committees and working groups were formed. Scientists, legislators and activists from all over the world are working on details of the treaty, to make it concrete and workable. They will be reporting back on their progress in November and December of 2023 at the UN in New York City.

Good news is steadily being reported, such as a bank in Italy deciding to totally divest from nuclear weapons. The treaty has stigmatized nuclear weapons, making them controversial investments. One committee I’m involved in is the Schools of Mass Destruction Working Group. Our group has made a flier for students, faculty and alumni with a QR code on it that immediately lets you sign a pledge against your university’s involvement with nuclear weapons. For example, many of the major universities in this entire region have relationships with Honeywell and encourage students to pursue careers there. To use the QR code is quick and easy. Open your camera app and focus on the QR code as if to take a picture of it, but don’t. Just hold your cell phone over it and touch the tiny yellow tab that pops up. This will take you to the page to sign the pledge.

Alumni, students, faculty–take action 

Will you take the pledge to save the world?

Seriously. Nuclear weapons are an existential threat—if they are ever used, it will essentially be the end of life on the planet. The nuclear powers have 13,000 nuclear weapons now and are spending billions of dollars building more—we are in a new global nuclear arms race.

Tom Scott and Patty Wernel hold a sign at a January 2022 rally for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons–calling on countries to repurpose nuclear weapon facilities for peaceful pursuits.

Stopping the nuclear arms race is not up to someone else. It’s up to us. So we are asking you to take the pledge. Since universities and colleges play a key role in US nuclear weapons production, we need to break that connection and separate our schools from the nuclear weapons complex.

Your school may be on the Schools of Mass Destruction list—directly involved in weapons production—or it may be investing in companies and financial institutions that are paying for nuclear weapons through its endowment. Either way, you can say, “No!”

The first step is easy. You can sign the pledge at https://universities.icanw.org/university_pledge.

You can also stay informed about what others are doing to end the nuclear threat.

The University PLEDGE for Universities, Colleges, and Schools 

We, the undersigned, 

Recognizing the entry into force of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on 22 January 2021 as a significant step toward the realization of a nuclear-weapon-free world, 

Sharing the deep concern expressed in the TPNW about the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons, and 

Recognizing the consequent need to eliminate these inhumane and abhorrent weapons, 

Hereby declare our deep concern about the links between our universities, colleges or schools and the U.S. nuclear weapons production complex, which contradict our personal values as well as the mission of our institutions, and 

Hereby pledge to abstain from research, development, and investments, as applicable, that contribute to the production, maintenance or financing of nuclear weapons, and 

Hereby urge our universities, colleges or schools to cut all ties with the U.S. nuclear weapons production complex, and to pursue the abolition of nuclear weapons as a global public good of the highest order and as an essential to the security and well-being of all peoples.

Lynn’s Corner — Summer Issue

   Hi StLouis WILPF, I had the pleasure of spending a week at the picturesque utopian village, 100 year old Chautauqua Institute in upper New York State. I highly recommend it. The speaker I want to tell you about during the week is the one who emphasized the importance of civil society activism in the defense of human rights and democracy.  Dr Kori Schake is an historian.  She is a senior fellow and the Director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Today’s subject is America’s role in the world order. Her research areas include foreign and defense policy studies, where her research areas include national security, civil military relations, and NATO. Previously she had a distinguished career in government with the state department, Department of Defense and the National Security Council at the White House. Dr Schake taught at King’s College, Stanford,West Point, Johns Hopkins University. She has written five books , the most recent: America vs the West: Can the liberal world order be preserved? 

   Sharkey’s lecture  focused on three main aspects, the international order including how the United States became so prominent, the contemporary challenges to the international order and how President Joe Biden has handled these challenges.

   Schake defined the international world order as the interaction of states as they attempt to preserve and advance their interests.  Historically the tools that states use for that are the strengths of their economy, the use of military force, but also, increasingly over the last several hundred years ideology. In the last 150 years The United States has been an incredibly disruptive force to the international order. In 1812 we demanded that the British rules apply to us. No taxation without representation. Britannia rules the waves and waves the rules, Dr. Schake says.

  USA has been a force for democratizing the world order. She gives an example of the British policy decisions during the American civil war, which include not recognizing the seceded states as a new nation. The two reasons were: in Britain there was a pro democracy movement aground, this contact with the US was anathema to the Royals, and secondly, the sheer numbers of Scottish and Irish  immigrants in the US north could have started a rebellion in Britain if The Crown recognized the confederacy. This led  to the first ever peaceful transfer of global dominance.  1923 the Washington Naval Cherry order set limits on the size of all naval ships globally.

   After WW2 the US was the only great power not destroyed and could dictate rules for the post war era.  FDR had the novel influence of using Woodrow Wilson’s ideas, every country gets a say, all were helped to rebuild in the post war era, the global institutions were created UN, IMF, World Bank and Washington Consensus created the new international world order. The broken part is the countries saddled with debt from corruption or unreasonable expectations. The important part is the Free World working together. Agreed upon rules included recognize the sovereignty and boundaries of countries, unless discussed thoroughly, these made the world safer for everyone. In 1980, 42% of the world was impoverished, today just 9% of the world’s population is impoverished, a huge accomplishment. 

   What we are seeing now is Russia defying the world order. Putin is using the old colonial “might makes right” . He says Ukraine has no rights to sovereignty, that Ukrainians have no rights to decide for themselves what their culture is, what language they speak, where their borders lie. She says this is what President Biden has gotten right. The principle of state sovereignty, that people have rights and loan them in limited ways by consent such as voting. 

  The rapid declassification of intelligence and sharing it broadly with the public has undermined the lies Putin spreads in propaganda to his people.

  Putin plans to terrorize the Ukrainians by assassinating civilians, he says. Biden and NATO countries are sending weapons to Ukraine, careful to avoid a US vs Russia open conflict that could lead to Russia’s physical destruction of the U.S.. A face off between two nuclear powers is omnicidal.

  The lesson Russia and China are learning if we hesitate to supply weapons is the US won’t risk war with another nuclear power. This emboldens China. Putin is threatened by Ukrainians being free and Democratic. Happy and creative people on Russia’s increasingly repressive life looks bad and create internal unrest. Putin has XI of China as best friend believing that the U.S. started this war to cause starvation and misery in the global south by cutting off wheat supplies and raising oil prices.

Martin Luther King and President Obama were fond of saying that the arc of history bends towards justice, that’s actually not true Dr.Schake says it only turns toward justice when people of  good faith grab a hold of it and wrench  it in that direction. Civil society activism is essential today as attacks on our democracy by one political party, not just the twice impeached guy who struggled to wrest the steering wheel toward congress deciding to keep him safe and away from the heavily armed mob. Trump knew that mob was his armed posy to turn over the free and fair election of Biden.

 The electors are being changed in every state to Big Lie believers. The UN is sending official observers in because our democracy is at risk of toppling. 

Dr Schake, a republican who voted for Biden, says activism of civil society is the superpower of free societies.

   Let’s remember that the vibrancy of civil society means show up and vote, do everything possible to encourage support for the rule of law and protecting  minorities. Don’t put up with lies,  say something and the guns, support peace. Your vote is your consent- watch who you are voting for. To learn more about effective activism read our May Members Meeting selection, From Changing Diapers to Changing the World.

News from our Allies – June 2022

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Highlights from our Allies – news or actions that have come across our plate and we think you may like them too:

Repeal the U.S. Military Selective Service Act – World beyond War

The Supreme Court ruling: Q+A – Planned Parenthood

We fight for bodily autonomy until all of us are free – Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

Women of Ukraine call for peace with justice, accountability and freedom – Nobel Women’s Initiative

NNEDV Is Gravely Concerned with the SCOTUS Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – National Network to End Domestic Violence

The Hunger in the Heartland Report Offers an In-Depth Look at Food Insecurity in Missouri — Empower Missouri

What Juneteenth means to Moms – Moms Clean Air Force

Collective Care is a Way of Life – NDN Collective

WPC call for anti-NATO actions around the NATO summit of 29-30 June 2022 worldwide

Anti-Carceral Feminism in Ecuador: Black Internationalism web series is back

Addressing the Crisis of Homelessness in Missouri – Empower Missouri