Peace House News for July 2019

Peace House News for July 2019

Our newsletter is published approximately six times a year and sent out to our mailing list. To receive a print copy in your mailbox, send your address to Anne Murray at mailings@peacehouseok.com. The subscription is free; donations to defray costs and support the work of the Peace House are gratefully accepted.

July, 2019

Dear Friends of Justice, Peace, Love and the World

We open our mail every day with excitement and hope. The “return envelopes” in our mail always give us a lift – – We open them first. Seeing your names connects us with joy to our Community of friends, allies, activists and supporters. We thank you for your spirit, encouragement, affirmation, donations and love.

The Coming National 2020 Elections particularly pique our energy and determination. It seems as though everything we stand for – and will not stand for – is at stake in these elections. Of course we know that “government can’t solve everything,” but we need new faces at all levels, to do better things, right?

On July 4th, we celebrate(d) the Best that America is, has been, and can be. We hung flags from the tree in front of the Peace House, (U.S. and LGBT) standing for all our national hopes. We are not naïve. We remain conscious of America’s historic sins, faults, shortcomings, violence, greed, racism, empire-building and wars-for-unseemly purposes. Every generation nudges America closer to living up to our best ideals. Building energy now for the 2020 Elections is something we can all do for America and the world.

Oklahoma’s election choices may be limited, but we all have a voice and a community – not just in Oklahoma. Let’s inspire and spread encouragement – – help others get registered to vote and motivated to vote. Let’s Repeat the Sweep of 2018.

HERE’S WHAT PEACE HOUSE IS UP TO:

Vigils for Earth, every Monday noon. Beginning on March 25th, we’ve been gathering at noon on the corner of NW Expressway & Pennsylvania Ave, across the street from Penn Square Mall. From 12:15 to 12:30, we sing, read, pray, testify, and pledge to be the Best Lovers of Earth That We Can Be. Join us. Our big signs draw honks from passing traffic …

“Americans Against the Next War” We meet every Friday in Moore with AANW – the Oklahoma group working to prevent and oppose military action and war in the Middle East. We opposed the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and are working to prevent war against Iran. We’ve met with Congress members, had letters and Op-Eds published. We mounted a billboard campaign in 2013 with billboards from Tulsa to Texas saying, “Tell Congress: No War on Iran.”

BILLBOARDS FOR PEACE, AGAIN – – And You Can help: AANW plans another billboard campaign this year with the same message: “No War on Iran.” Mounting 20 billboards across Oklahoma will cost $40,000. Will you participate in this effort by contributing $10? $100? $1000? Handling checks will be the tax-deductible nonprofit “Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans”. To help, make out a check of any size to IA-100, write “Billboards” in the memo line, and return the check to The Peace House in our enclosed return envelope (Delightful Idea: Consider including a donation to the Peace House)

Justice For Julius Campaign: The Peace House, Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and OK Conference of Churches are collaborating on the campaign for Commutation of Sentence for Julius Jones. The annual Banquet of OK-CADP was June 8th, and Julius Jones’ parents, family, friends and allies were there. The 2918 ABC documentary “The Last Defense” detailed Julius’s wrongful conviction. It can be viewed on the website okcadp.org. Julius’s fate is now in the hands of the Oklahoma Pardon & Parole Board and Governor Kevin Stitt, to whom we appeal for commutation of Julius’s sentence to life-in-prison or freedom.

Green New Deal: The “Sunrise Movement” and others formulated the “Green New Deal” – the Resolution introduced into Congress with 104 co-sponsors by US Senator from Massachusetts Ed Markey and US Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from NYC, the Bronx (it’s House Resolution 109 and Senate Resolution 59). It’s the only plan put forward to address the three interwoven crises of climate catastrophe, economic inequality, and racism. Science and human decency demand they all be addressed. It’s up to us – our voices and advocacy – to make the elements of the Green New Deal important. See SunriseMovement.org.

Photos by Pat Hoerth Batchelder

OKC Pride Parade: AMAZING

   Some 130 floats and marching entries paraded past an estimated 70,000 or more jubilant spectators.

   The Peace House float featured drummers, lots of rainbow flags and large readable signs proclaiming:

 – NO WAR ON IRAN

 – BLACK LIVES MATTER

 – GLOBAL WARMING is Real,

        Human-Made, Serious, and

        Demands Action NOW!

See our photo at left

Immigration Action:

   America’s appalling policies dehumanizing families and children seeking asylum demand redress.

   The Enclosed Leaflet makes contacting Congress easy.

   Wednesday Noon Vigils at ICE offices in OKC continue into their second year.   For information email Rev. Lori Walke:  rev.loriwalke@gmail.com.

   Demonstrations at Fort Sill in Lawton decry the detention of children there, reminiscent of the interment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War.

   Trips to the border have involved thousands from religious and political groups across the country.

 U.N. International Day of Peace:  Always September 21.   2019 Theme: “Climate Action for Peace”

The United Nations International Day of Peace – “World Peace Day” – officially on Sept. 21 every year, was first celebrated in 1981, and is dedicated to peace education. This year, on Sept 23rd, the United Nations is convening a Climate Action Summit urging concrete and realistic national plans to accelerate action to implement the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement signed by 175 nations. Stay tuned for announcement of Peace Day plans by the Oklahoma City United Nations Association.

“Global Climate Strike” – 9/20 thru 9/27, Friday thru Friday, 2019

For a complete description, check the website www.GlobalClimateStrike.org.  Youth Climate Strikes have been held in this country and around the world. Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg started the movement by skipping school herself every Friday to advocate for climate action by the Swedish government. The Global Climate Strike in September is officially sponsored by Bill McKibben’s organization www.350.org, which seeks online registration and actions.  Both websites are collaborating.

THE 2019 PEACE FESTIVAL will be Saturday, November 9th (always on the 2nd Saturday in Nov: Veterans Day). Same time, Same place. Mark your calendars and prepare to bring friends to visit tables and booths of 60 organizations and friends, and do Shopping for Christmas, Channukah, Kwaanza, Solstice.

ONWARD!   We close with our gratitude to you and this appeal:  Send us a contribution if you can (to support the billboards-For-Peace project, enclose a check to PAAIA).  WE SEEK NEW AND YOUNG PEOPLE.  Send us name(s) and addresses of folks who might appreciate receiving a trial copy of our Peace House letter, Alerts, Event announcements, and News. There is no charge, for anybody (but of course we do appeal as we can).

Peace and Onward,

Nathaniel “Batch” Batchelder

Anne Murray

Donna Compton

John Walters