From anti-racism at the Putney Select Board to water protection in Serrano territory, aka, the San Bernardino National Forest of California, so much needs to be done. We are grateful to do it together.
-Rachel Siegel, Executive Director
Click here to for the quarterly Peace & Justice Center Newsletter
September 15, 2020
Views expressed by entities outside of the Peace & Justice Center do not necessarily represent the views of the PJC.
Both Vermont branches of the NAACP need support! They are dedicated to the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminating race-based discrimination in Vermont.
Steffen Gillom, founding chapter president of Windham County Chapter, shared his concerns about a racist facebook post made by Town Manager Karen Astley during the September 2 Select Board meeting. She did not respond gracefully as you can see in this video of the meeting (starting at about 1 hour).
Please call or send letters to demand that she take accountability and/or step down:
- Karen Astley, Putney Town Manager, (802) 387-5862, ext.11, Manager@putneyvt.org
- Joshua Laughlin, Acting Chair of Select Board Jlaughlin324@gmail.com
Tabitha Moore, founding chapter President of the Rutland County NAACP and State Director of the Vermont NAACP, also needs your help. Tabitha and her family are no longer safe in their home. She and her children have been targeted with threats, violent language, and racist attacks. Recently, Tabitha’s neighbor physically assaulted her while also calling the police on her. Her children live in constant fear. She recently did an interview with VT Digger outlining her experience.
Tabitha is raising money to move out of her current house to find safety for her and her family. Please consider donating. You can money directly to Tabitha via Venmo (@Tabitha-Moore22) or PayPal (paypal.me/tabithamoore22) to help her with moving and closing costs.
Tabitha and Steffen have done so much good work in Vermont to make it a place where BIPOC feel like they belong. They should be shown immense gratitude and grace.
At our monthly meeting on August 15, members of WMGMVP discussed the very real potential for actions by the POTUS that could well further threaten our democracy in the run up to the elections in November and into 2021. We discussed the great importance of all Peace and Justice and related groups being in close contact during this time and being prepared for a coordinated, rapid response to actions that may be taken by the President and others.
A US president has huge powers that remain largely hidden from the general public. This power lies in his basic power to declare National Emergencies and in the largely secret documents called Presidential Emergency Action Documents ready to be issued when the president declares a National Emergency.
As one can learn from the number of National Emergencies declared by US presidents since 1976, there have been many more declarations in recent years, with the current president having already issued 31 such declarations, by far the most, in less than one term of office: Since passage of the National Emergencies Act in 1976, every U.S. President has declared multiple national emergencies, some of them over two terms:
- Carter: 2
- Reagan: 6
- W. Bush: 4
- Clinton: 17
- Bush: 12
- Obama: 13
- Trump: 31 to date
The Peace & Justice Center staff stand in solidarity with the protest encampment outside the Burlington Police Department.
We share the demands of the protesters: Terminate officers Cory Campbell, Jason Bellavance, and Joseph Corrow. These officers have demonstrated violent tendencies, especially toward black men.1 There is no room for this in the world and there is certainly no room for it in Burlington.
The encampment started following a protest on August 25 organized by The Black Perspective after Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times in front of his four children in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The protest is being run as a decentralized democracy that centers the voices of Black and Indigenous People of Color.
For the past nine nights (as of September 3), dozens of people have slept and lived in Battery Park across from the police station. Deep community care and relationship–building is at the core of the encampment. They share resources, they cook for each other, and they lead programs on nonviolence and de-escalation. It is a beautiful thin. They are building a community that they want to live in — that all humans should live in — where those who are most marginalized are centered and accountability is taken for missteps.
All of the events listed below are happening online unless otherwise stated. This is a partial listing of event. See more in our public calendar. The PJC is not directly involved in all of these events. If you have questions about a non-PJC event, please reach out to the organization listed.
Tuesday, September 15
- 10am-12pm Tenant Skills
- 2-3pm American Sign Language Part I
- 6-8pm Keys to Credit
- 6:30-7:30pm Race Conversations (third Tuesday of the month through October)
Wednesday, September 16
- 1:30-2pm Virtual Energy Coaching: Button Up Your Home for Winter
- 9:30-10:30am New to Medicare Classes (every Wednesday)
- 5:30-7pm VT Women’s Mentoring Program: Mentor Training at Mercy Connections (every Wednesday)
Friday, September 18
- 5-5:45pm Pride Center We Wake Up Like This Tender, Brave Meditation Community (every Friday)
- 6:30 – 8:30pm Pride Center Friday Night Group (every Friday)
Saturday, September 19
- 9-11am Will Miller Green Mountain Veterans For Peace, Chapter 57 Monthly meeting
- 10am-12pm Caroline Fund Pro Se Legal Clinic
- Lawline of Vermont, 274 N Winooski Ave, Burlington
- 10am – 12pm Champlain Valley Amnesty International
Sunday, September 20
- 1-1:30pm Cathedral Church of St. Paul: Silent Vigil/Witness, Burlington (every Sunday)
- 2-3pm The Life of Alexander Twilight
- 3–5pm Soul Food Sundays (every Sunday)
Monday, September 21
- 6:30-8:30 Black Lives Matter Great Burlington Caucus Meetings (every Monday)
- 7 – 8:30pm 350VT Burlington Node Meeting (every Monday)
Wednesday, September 23
Friday, September 25
- 6-8:00pm Brooklyn Strong Light the Night Cancer Awareness Walk, live event at Winooski roundabout.
Monday, September 28
Action Highlight: Protect Water Petition
Nestlé Waters is the largest water bottling company in the world. For the past 30 years it has been removing as much as 162 million gallons a year from the San Bernardino National Forest under an expired Forest Service special use permit.
Boycott Nestlé products and write to Interim Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Vicki Christiansen:
We demand that you stop allowing Nestlé to illegally pump water from the San Bernardino National Park that the State of California has deemed unauthorized. It’s time the Forest Service fulfills its duty and mission to the people: to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests to meet the needs of present and future generations.
This water belongs in the forest, not in Nestlé’s plastic Arrowhead water bottles. Nestlé has no right to this precious resource, and it is the Forest Service’s job to respect California laws and put a stop to Nestle’s illegal water removal.
All events are happening online. Registration is required
Unpacking Whiteness Wednesday, September 16, 5-6pm. Formerly Toxic Whiteness Discussion Group, this space is held for white people to process how white supremacy culture is harmful to them. We hope by joining this space, white people will be allow the emotional needs of people of color to take priority in multi-racial spaces. Each month has a different topic. Space is limited. Click here to register. $10 suggested donation. No one turned away for lack of funds. Donations to be shared with The Black Perspective.
Fair Trade 101: Global Trade & Racism Saturday, September 19, 2-3pm. Racism exists everywhere, even in the ways we make daily purchases. Join us as we touch on historical and current global trade systems, how the continued marginalization of native communities has led to fast money, and how, in response to these problematic practices, the fair trade movement serves as an ethical alternative. We will show you how you can make a difference in the global market by utilizing fair trade principles. Click here to register. FREE.
Seeing & Disrupting Racism: A Focus on White Fragility, September 23, 10am-12pm. This introductory-level workshop defines racism and white fragility, explores how white fragility perpetuates racism, and gives ways to disrupt that cycle. This workshop was developed for predominantly white audiences, but all are welcome. Space is limited. Click here to register. $10 suggested donation, no one turned away for lack of funds.
Chocolate & Modern Slavery Saturday, October 24, 2-3pm. The cocoa industry generates over $130 billion a year. So why do companies like Hershey and Nestle still use exploitative child labor? Why, after admitting to it, do they continue to utilize it?During this discussion, we will explore the cocoa industry’s lack of accountability on a global scale, and how wealth distribution practices perpetuate generational poverty and enable modern slavery. Our hope is to not only educate but to inspire you to take action in a variety of ways that fit your lifestyle. Register here.
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New Member Drive
With your help, we work for racial justice, immigration justice, anti-militarism, and fair trade. We strengthen the fabric of all our overlapping issues. By building community, we fight fascism.
We count on our members for everything we do. Please consider joining today.
Please consider giving one of the following categories:
- Fixed Income/Student $15
- Individual $40
- Family $75
- Mover $100 – $249
- Shaker $250 – $999
- Changemaker $1000+
Together we are stronger. Together we can resist and rebuild. Please join us today. We currently have 650 members and have a goal to get 40 new members in September. Will you be one of them?
Click below to learn more and/or join.
Our store and center are closed but our work has not stopped!
We have volunteer needs including:
- Zoom tech support
- Facebook administration support
- E-news/database support
- Guest writing
- Store inventory
- Button making
- and more!
If you’d like to join our team of volunteers or to find out more details, please email our Volunteer Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
(reached via email or phone)
60 Lake Street,Suite 1C
(Next to Skinny Pancake)