Monday, July 27, 2015

Jerry Berrigan presente!/Pushing for the Dismantling of Anti-Climate, Pro-War Economies


I am greatly saddened to report that Jerry Berrigan, brother of Dan and Phil, died at 5 PM on July 26, 2015.  Know that he led an exemplary life.



Kelly writes: "This is a historic time, and perhaps the historic time, a perfect storm of challenges to the survival of our species which it does not now seem we can conceivably weather without all hands on deck."

Los Angeles skyline visible through smog. (photo: Getty)
Los Angeles skyline visible through smog. (photo: Getty)

Pushing for the Dismantling of Anti-Climate, Pro-War Economies

By Kathy Kelly, teleSUR

22 July 15

  James Hansen wants profits to be tied to lower carbon emissions.

Last weekend, about 100 U.S. Veterans for Peace gathered in Red Wing, Minnesota, for a statewide annual meeting. In my experience, Veterans for Peace chapters hold “no-nonsense” events. Whether coming together for local, statewide, regional or national work, the Veterans project a strong sense of purpose. They want to dismantle war economies and work to end all wars. The Minnesotans, many of them old friends, convened in the spacious loft of a rural barn. After organizers extended friendly welcomes, participants settled in to tackle this year’s theme: “The War on Our Climate.” 

They invited Dr. James Hansen, an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, to speak via Skype about minimizing the impacts of climate change. Sometimes called the “father of global warming”, Dr. Hansen has sounded alarms for several decades  with accurate predictions about the effects of fossil fuel emissions. He now campaigns for an economically efficient phase out of fossil fuel emissions by imposing carbon fees on emission sources with dividends equitably returned to the public. 

Dr. Hansen envisions, at long last, the creation of serious market incentives for entrepreneurs to develop energy and products that are low-carbon and no-carbon,  “Those who achieve the greatest reductions in carbon use would reap the greatest profit. Projections show that such an approach could reduce U.S. carbon emissions by more than half within 20 years — and create 3 million new jobs in the process.”

Steadily calling on adults to care about young people and future generations, Dr. Hansen chides proponents of what he terms “the fruitless cap-and-trade-with-offsets approach.”  This method fails to make fossil fuels pay their costs to society, “thus allowing fossil fuel addiction to continue and encouraging ‘drill, baby, drill’ policies to extract every fossil fuel that can be found.” 

Making fossil fuels “pay their full costs” would mean imposing fees to cover costs that polluters impose on communities through burning of coal, oil and gas. .  When local populations are sickened and killed by air pollution, and starved by droughts or battered or drowned by climate-change-driven storms, costs accrue for governments that businesses should repay. 

What are the true costs to society of fossil fuels? According to a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) study, fossil fuel companies are benefiting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, US $10 million per minute, every minute, each and every day. 

The Guardian reports that the US$5.3 trillion subsidy estimated for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments. 

Dr. Hansen began his presentation by noting that, historically, energy figured importantly in avoiding slave labor.  He believes some energy from nuclear power is now necessary for countries such as China and India to lift masses of their populations out of poverty. 

Many critics strenuously object to Dr. Hansen’s call for reliance on nuclear power, citing dangers of radiation, accidents, and problems with storage of nuclear waste, particularly when the radioactive waste is stored in communities where people have little control or influence over elites that decide where to ship the nuclear waste. 

Other critics argue that “nuclear power is simply too risky, and more practically speaking, too costly to be considered a significant part of the post-carbon energy portfolio.” 

Journalist and activist George Monbiot, author of a book-length climate change proposal, Heat, notes that nuclear power tends to endanger “haves” and “have-nots” equally. Coal power’s deadliest immediate effects, with historic casualties clearly outpacing those of nuclear, are linked to mining and industrial areas populated by people more likely to be economically disadvantaged or impoverished. 

Climate-driven societal collapse may be all the more deadly and final with grid-dependent nuclear plants ready to melt down in lockstep with our economies. But it's crucial to remember that our direst weapons – many of them also nuclear – are stockpiled precisely to help elites manage the sort of political unrest into which poverty and desperation drive societies. Climate change, if we cannot slow it, does not merely promise poverty and despair on an unprecedented scale, but also war - on a scale, and with weapons, that may be far worse than dangers resulting from our energy choices. Earth's military crisis, its climate crisis, and the paralyzing economic inequalities that burden impoverished people are linked. 

Dr. Hansen thinks that the Chinese government and Chinese scientists might marshal the resources to develop alternatives to fossil fuels, including nuclear powered energy. He notes that China faces the dire possibility of losing coastal cities to global warming and accelerated disintegration of ice sheets. 

The greatest barriers to solution of fossil fuel addiction in most nations are the influence of the fossil fuel industry on politicians and the media and the short-term view of politicians. Thus it is possible that leadership moving the world to sustainable energy policies may arise in China , where the leaders are rich in technical and scientific training and rule a nation that has a history of taking the long view. Although China’s CO emissions have skyrocketed above those of other nations, China has reasons to move off the fossil fuel track as rapidly as practical. China has several hundred million people living within a 25-meter elevation of sea level, and the country stands to suffer grievously from intensification of droughts, floods, and storms that will accompany continued global warming. China also recognizes the merits of avoiding a fossil fuel addiction comparable to that of the United States. Thus China has already become the global leader in development of energy efficiency, renewable energies, and nuclear power. 

What’s missing from this picture? The Veterans for Peace earnestly believe in ending all wars. Deepening nonviolent resistance to war could radically amend the impact of world militaries, especially the colossal U.S. military, on global climate. In order to protect access to and global control of fossil fuels, the U.S. military burns rivers of oil, wasting the hopes of future generations in the name of more securely killing and maiming the people of regions the U.S. has chosen or may one day prefer to plunge into brutal, destabilizing wars of choice, ending in chaos. 

Corruption of the global environment and compulsively frantic destruction of irreplaceable resources is an equally sure, if more delayed, manner of imposing chaos and death on a mass scale. The misdirection of economic resources, of preciously needed human productive energy, is yet another. Researchers at Oil Change International find that “3 trillion of the dollars spent on war against Iraq would cover all global investments in renewable power generation needed between now and 2030 to reverse global warming.”

John Lawrence writes that “the United States contributes more than 30% of global warming gases to the atmosphere, generated by 5% of the world’s population. At the same time funding for education, energy, environment, social services, housing and new job creation, taken together, is less than the military budget.” I believe that “low carbon” and “no carbon” energy and energy efficiency should be paid for by abolishing war. Lawrence is right to insist that the U.S. should view problems and conflicts created by climate change as “opportunities to work together with other nations to mitigate and adapt to its effects.” But the madness of conquest must end before any such coordinated work will be possible. 

Sadly, tragically, many U.S. veterans fully understand the cost of war. I asked a U.S. Veteran for Peace living in Mankato, MN, about the well being of local Iraq War Veterans. He told me that in April, U.S. veteran student leaders at Minnesota State's Mankato Campus, spent 22 days gathering daily, rain or shine, to perform 22 push-ups in recognition of the 22 combat veterans a day – nearly one an hour – currently committing suicide in the U.S. They invited the Mankato-area community to come to campus and do pushups along with them. 

This is a historic time, and perhaps the historic time, a perfect storm of challenges to the survival of our species which it does not now seem we can conceivably weather without all hands on deck. Whoever arrives to work beside us, and however quickly they arrive, we have heavy burdens to share with many others already lifting as much as they can, some taking theirs up by choice, some burdened beyond endurance by greedy masters. The Veterans for Peace work to save the ship rather than wait for it to sink. 

Many of us have not endured the horrors that drive 22 veterans a day, and countless poor in world regions that the U.S. empire has touched, to the final act of despair. I would like to think we can bring hope and comfort to those around us, bearing burdens together, sharing resources, and learning to join courageous others in the work at hand.

C 2015 Reader Supported News

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Sunday, July 26, 2015

'Heart! Heart! Heart!': Jerry Berrigan, at 95, on greatest moment in life of conscience

'Heart! Heart! Heart!': Jerry Berrigan, at 95, on greatest moment in life of conscience


Jerry Berrigan, in 2010: In his 90s, a life shaped by the example of his parents. (Mike Greenlar |

Sean Kirst | By Sean Kirst | The Post-Standard
on July 25, 2015 at 6:29 AM, updated July 25, 2015 at 1:54 PM

Jerry Berrigan can offer plenty of first-hand stories about giants.

Dorothy Day, one of the founders of the legendary Catholic Worker movement, was a friend. Day believed in "a revolution of the heart," in the idea of hospitality and community for those who have the least.

When Day visited Jerry and his wife Carol in Syracuse, she spent a night at their home in the Valley.

Just over 50 years ago, Jerry traveled to Selma for the great march for voting rights, part of a contingent led by the Rev. Charles Brady of Syracuse. By sheer chance, they had an opportunity to meet Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

That was three years before King was shot to death by an assassin. Berrigan said his overwhelming reaction – in a place where he witnessed the essence of raw hatred – was a sense of just how willing King was to put himself at ultimate risk, for a higher cause.

Decades earlier, as a young American soldier during World War II, Jerry had served Mass for Padre Pio in Sicily. Pio was revered among Catholics for bearing the stigmata, the wounds of Christ, and he'd later be canonized as a Catholic saint.

At 95, Jerry offers those tales in a voice as soft as a whisper, an English teacher pausing to contemplate the impact of each word, face illuminated by sunlight pouring into the house. Yet when asked about his larger approach to the world -- how he found his way to the principles linked to the family name -- he does not turn to moments found in history books.

He speaks instead of his father, asking for a glass of water.

Of his mother, telling a stranger to come in.

Of the moment when Jerry pushed a doorbell at a back door in East Syracuse, and the gift was the strength that sustains him today.

In those stories, amid times of global grief, he finds his hope.

Jerry and his brother Dan are the last surviving siblings of a Syracuse family renowned for activism. Dan and Phil, another of six brothers, became Catholic priests. In 1963, after witnessing King's "I have a dream" speech, they wrote an open letter to The Post-Standard, challenging Syracuse to confront rigid borders of segregation.

"Those who help others to freedom," Dan and Phil concluded, "have themselves taken the first step toward becoming free men."

In that way, like Jerry, they lived out a family creed. A few years later, their opposition to the war in Vietnam – including the burning of federal records at a draft board in Maryland – led to arrests that gave Dan and Phil an international profile, and put them on the cover of Time Magazine.

Jerry and Carol Berrigan, 2001, after being named recipients of the Dorothy Day Award - for helping those in need - in Central New York. Jerry and Carol Berrigan of Syracuse have been given the Dorothy Day Award for their work with the poor.John Berry | The Post-Standard 

Phil died in 2002. Dan, in fragile health, lives with other retired Jesuits at Fordham University.

Until their arthritis grew too severe for them to use their pens, he and Jerry would write to each other every week. Even now, when it is difficult for them to speak by telephone, Jerry's grown children serve as intermediaries in sending messages back and forth.

In their 90s, the brothers share an appreciation that became their way of life:

They are among the last witnesses to the quiet mission of their parents, Tom and Frida Berrigan.

Jerry still follows the daily news of the world, the relentless accounts of war, terror and bloodshed. Asked if his belief in peace remains unshaken, he responded with a smile that seemed to rise from nowhere, and he answered by telling a few stories ....

His building blocks.

The Berrigans, devout Catholics, often worship at St. Lucy's Church, where Jerry said he defines his faith by the example of his mother:

"It means," he said, "always remaining open."

During the Great Depression, when he was a child, the Berrigans lived near some railroad tracks in Galeville. Wandering strangers, hungry and jobless, often traveled past their house.

A man once came to the door, his body trembling as he asked for food. Frida didn't know him, but she could tell he was ill. She feared for his well-being. She brought him in. He stayed for months, until he rebuilt his strength. To the Berrigan boys, Jerry said, he was simply Mr. Kirby.

Once he left, the Berrigans never heard from him again, but the point – for Tom and Frida's six children – had been made.

"We are not to reject anyone," Jerry said.

His father was a union organizer, an early activist in efforts to confront the ongoing racial divide in Syracuse. Jerry described his dad as "a peaceful man," and one of the son's most vivid memories is a day when Tom Berrigan came home so exhausted from his shift on a lighting crew that he stepped off a truck and collapsed onto the grass by their house.

Jerry asked what he could do to help. Tom said he'd like a glass of cold water. More than 80 years later, Jerry remembers what the most fundamental of gestures, at that moment, meant to his father:


For years, Jerry taught composition, literature and Shakespeare at Onondaga Community College. He and Carol were close to Rev. Ray McVey, a selfless Catholic priest who embodied the Dorothy Day philosophy. They joined McVey in visiting prisoners in jail. They helped him establish Unity Acres, a place of respite for homeless men.

Jerry was arrested and jailed so often for taking part in peaceful protests that he's lost count, he said, of how many times he wore handcuffs.

From all of it, this treasury of stories, he said the greatest moment in his life occurred in that back yard in East Syracuse. For years, Jerry and Phil studied to join the Josephites, an order of Catholic priests dedicated to the African-American community. Eventually, Jerry decided to step away.

In 1954, he was invited to a gathering at the home of Peg Snyder, who was dean of women at Le Moyne College for seven years and would become a groundbreaking voice at the United Nations for improving the global status of women. Carol Rizzo, one of Peg's friends, came over to share slides of a trip to Italy. When she heard someone at the back door, she answered it.

After 61 years, Carol and Jerry both remember that instant when they first stood face to face. They were married in autumn 1955. They'd raise four children. Jerry speaks of
them as the core of all he did. As for Carol, he describes her with three words:

"Heart! Heart! Heart!"

Through her, over the years, he could always find his way to his.

Long ago, he decided against becoming a priest for what he said was the most fundamental of reasons: "I wasn't holy enough."

Carol, upon hearing that, reacts with disbelief. What she sensed when she met him, she said, is what he still demonstrates each day:

Jerry Berrigan, she said, is "the holiest man I've ever known."

Sean Kirst is a columnist with The Post-Standard. Email him at or send him a message on Twitter.
© 2015 All rights reserved.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

'Corporate Influence Has Won': House Passes Anti-GMO Labeling Bill

'Corporate Influence Has Won': House Passes Anti-GMO Labeling Bill

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Legislation dubbed the DARK Act had backing of powerful groups who poured money into defeating state-level GMO-labeling efforts

A sign in support of GMO labeling seen in North Portland, Oregon. (Photo: Tony Webster/flickr/cc)

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation that would block states from requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods, or GMOs—a move that consumer rights groups decried as corporate power defeating Americans' right to know what's in their food.

The bill, H.R. 1599—dubbed the “DARK Act” (Deny Americans the Right to Know) by its critics—passed 275-150. (Click here to see the roll call...)

It was backed by the food industry, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association and Monsanto Company, which have poured money into defeating GMO labeling initiatives.

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, a group that opposed the bill, explains: "The bill that passed includes provisions that would preempt states from labeling GMOs or enforce already passed GMO labeling provisions (like Vermont’s Act 120), and would prohibit states from having any oversight of GMO crops, for example, a county-wide ban on growing GMOs or GMO-free zones in certain organic seed-producing areas. Instead, this bill would create a voluntary federal GMO labeling standard for companies, weakening already deficient regulations."

It was co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), who said following the vote that bill "provides needed clarity in food labeling."

Among those disappointed in the passage of the legislation is the Center for Food Safety.

"Passage of this bill is an attempt by Monsanto and its agribusiness cronies to crush the democratic decision-making of tens of millions of Americans. Corporate influence has won and the voice of the people has been ignored," stated Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety.

Environmental Working Group (EWG) was also opposed to the bill, and cited widespread public support for labeling GMOs. 

"It’s outrageous that some House lawmakers voted to ignore the wishes of nine out of 10 Americans," said Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for EWG.

The outcome of the vote was a "foregone conclusion," he continued, because "this House was bought and paid for by corporate interests."

But Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association, stressed that the fight is far from over—so expect resistance.

"We are committed to stopping this outrageous, anti-consumer, anti-democracy legislation from succeeding," Cummins said. "We will do so by mobilizing a massive opposition movement that transcends political party affiliations, and that unites consumers of all ages with organic farmers and retailers whose livelihoods are threatened by this legislation, and with the medical and scientific experts who are outspoken about the potential health and environmental risks associated with GMO crops and foods.

"It’s time to hold every member of Congress accountable. Either they stand with Monsanto and Big Food in support of the DARK Act, or they stand with the overwhelming majority of their constituents for truthful labeling and consumer choice," Cummins stated.

Instead of H.R. 1599, hundreds of farm, public interest and environmental organizations have urged (pdf) passage of bipartisan legislation that would require labeling of GMOs.

For now, the battle moves to the Senate, where, as the Des Moines Register reports, no similar legislation exists.  EWG's Faber says his group is "confident the Senate will defeat the DARK Act."

Kimbrell expressed optimism as well, stating, "We remain confident that the Senate will preserve the rights of Americans and stand up for local democracy."

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Baltimore Activist Alert July 26 - 28, 2015

Baltimore Activist Alert July 26 - 28, 2015

 "I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours.
The initiative to stop it must be ours." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center.  Go to  If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to BNC, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218.  Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski [at]

1] Books, buttons and stickers
2] Web site for info on federal legislation
3] Join Nonviolent Resistance lists  
4] Buy coffee through HoCoFoLa
5] Two friends are looking to buy a house in Baltimore
6] Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition – through Aug. 16
7] WPFW needs volunteers – July 26
8] Stop the Youth Jail – July 26
9] Film “Time Is Illmatic” – July 26
10] Celebrate Cuban Revolution – July 26
11] The Great Equalizer – July 26
12] Pentagon Vigil – July 27
13] Marc Steiner on WEAA – July 27 – July 31
14] Art of Political Campaigning -- July 27 - 28
15] Solar Energy – July 27
16] Pledge of Resistance meeting – July 27
17] Generation ADA: Rise Up! -- July 28
18] Peace vigil in Chester, PA – July 28                                      
19] No JHU Drone Research – July 28
20] " The Sisters are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America" – July 28


1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available.  “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Call Max at 410-366-1637.

2] – To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to  Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at

3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR].  It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed.  It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to the war in Iraq.

To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to mobuszewski at  Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.  

THE NOTICES LIST will include only notices of NCNR actions and related information and is open to any interested person to subscribe.  It will be moderated to maintain focus & will include periodic notices about getting involved in NCNR national organizing.  To join the NOTICES List, send an email message to You will get a confirmation message once subscribed.  If you have problems, please write to the list manager at

4] – You can help safeguard human rights and fragile ecosystems through your purchase of HOCOFOLA Café Quetzal. Bags of ground coffee or whole beans can be ordered by mailing in an order form. Also note organic cocoa and sugar are for sale.  For more details and to download the order form, go to The coffee comes in one-pound bags.

Fill out the form and mail it with a check made out to HOCOFOLA on or before the second week of the month.  Be sure you indicate ground or beans for each type of coffee ordered.  Send it to Francine Sheppard at 5639B, Harpers Farm Rd., Columbia 21044. The coffee will arrive some time the following week and you will be notified where to pick it up. Contact Francine at 410-992-7679 or

5] – Janice and Max are looking to buy a house in Baltimore.  Let Max know if you have any leads—410-366-1637 or

6] – Come to American University, Katzen Arts Center, Third Floor, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW, WDC 20016-8031to see the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition. Go to

See the Maruki Panel exhibit. Six of the world-famous panels will be exhibited outside Japan for the first time in many years. There will also be a display of artifacts from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as 24 of the All Souls Church Honkawa School Children's drawings.  See the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition through Aug. 16. In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the attacks, this powerful show will include 20 artifacts collected from the debris of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as 6 large folding screens that depict the horrors of the event. The 1995 Nobel Peace Prize nominees, Iri and Toshi Maruki, created a total of 15 screens over 32 years from 1950. This exhibition, made possible by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, is meant to deepen understanding of the damage wrought by nuclear weapons and inspire peace in the 21st century. Call 202-885-1000.  Email Admission is free, and the exhibit hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, 11 AM to 4 PM.

7] – WPFW has Volunteer Opportunities for its fund drive. For example, phone volunteers are needed on Sun., July 26 from 9 AM to 10 PM.   Email or call 202-588-0999 x360. 

8] – Usually, the Baltimore Ethical Society, 306 W. Franklin St., Suite 102, Baltimore 21201-4661, meets on Sundays, and generally there is a speaker and discussion from 10:30 AM to noon. On July 26 the platform address is “Choosing Concrete Solutions – Over Concrete Plans.”  Tyrone Barnwell will report on the efforts of the 3 C’s Youth Initiative to block the proposed juvenile detention facility in Baltimore City (“Youth Jail”). 3 C’s is winning support from lawmakers at both the City and State levels. The State of Maryland commissioned the prestigious National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) to study the need for a Youth Jail. NCCD produced a report that identified specific scenarios with recommendations that if implemented would avoid needless costs to build any Youth Jail. The State is intentionally ignoring its own report and opting to push for more incarceration for more generations of African-American youth. None of the five NCCD Report scenarios requires any capital or construction costs. The recommendations would cost only a fraction of prison guards and other operational costs. Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Maynard admitted his agency had not even considered the NCCD Report. He said he’d welcome the opportunity, but wasn’t given authority to do so. NCCD showed proven approaches to beat back racist policies, but Governor O’Malley keeps pushing to incarcerate African-American youth.

Barnwell is the Founder and Director of the 3 C’s Youth Initiative, a new African-American youth-led organization. The three C’s stand for Choose, Change, and Control. The 3C’s are committed to mobilizing other youth to be involved in the Choice, the Change, and the Control to speak on what will affect their education, empowerment and outcomes of their lives in Baltimore City. He believes that ending the cradle to prison pipeline that fuels mass incarceration of people of color means not just stopping bad policies and practices, but starting new ones that invest in ourselves and our communities. Learn more at Call 410-581-2322 or email

9] – On Sun., July 26 from 5 to 7:30 PM, come to Busboys and Poets, 5th and K Sts., 1025 5th St. NW, WDC, for a film screening and panel discussion on Nas’s landmark debut--“Time Is Illmatic.” The cost is $10, and it will get you a free copy of the WBL Journal and an exclusive WBL t-shirt.“ The event is brought to you by Words Beats & Life, Busboys and Poets, and The Hip-Hop Education Center.  Visit

10] – On Sun., July 26 from 5 to 7 PM, go to Baltimore Workers World Party, 2011 N. Charles St,, 1st Floor, Baltimore 21218 for a Celebration of Revolutionary Cuba.  See a special segment of the film “Fidel” by Estela Bravo with rare footage of the early days in Cuba’s revolution. Hear from David Card, a youth organizer with Workers World Party and FIST, and Leslie Salgado, Howard County Friends of Central America.  On July 26, 1953 a group of young men and women led by Fidel Castro attacked the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba while another group attacked the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Barracks in the city of Bayam.  Although this was a defeat for the revolutionaries, this event paved the way for the insurrection against Batista. It marked the beginning of the July 26th movement and is celebrated in Cuba and around the world.

In addition, this July 20, 2015, we witnessed the historic occasion of the reopening of the Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C. and the formal hoisting of the Cuban flag. This followed the freedom of the Cuban 5. Call 410-258-2240.  Go to

11] – Come to 625 Monroe St. NE, WDC on Sun., July 26 from 6 to 8 PM for the Edtech: The Great Equalizer? A panel of experts will discuss the educational inequities in the Washington, D.C. region.  The event will also highlight how technology is being used to address the region’s education challenges, as well as new and innovative technologies that could yield promising results. Organizations that will be represented on the panel include Teach for America DC, Quad Learning Inc., Critical Exposure and the D.C. public schools.  Before the panel discussion, there will be demonstrations and presentations from leading innovators in Edtech on the potential of their product to reduce educational disparities. 
Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with the panelists during a post event networking session. Attendees will also receive promotional offers from cove and Impact Hub DC. Go to

12] -- There is a weekly Pentagon Peace Vigil from 7 to 8 AM on Mondays, since 1987, outside the Pentagon Metro stop.  The next vigil is Mon., July 13, and it is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.  Email or call 202-882-9649.  The vigil will be outside the Pentagon's south Metro entrance and in the designated "protest zone" behind bicycle fences across from the entrance to the Metro.  By Metro, take Yellow Line and get out at the "Pentagon" stop. Do not go to the Pentagon City stop! Go up south escalators and turn left and walk across to protest area. By car from D.C. area, take 395 South and get off at Exit 8A-Pentagon South Parking. Take slight right onto S. Rotary Rd. at end of ramp and right on S. Fern St. Then take left onto Army Navy Dr. You can "pay to park" on Army Navy Dr.,  and there is meter parking one block on right on Eads St. Payment for both of these spots begin at 8 AM.  No cameras are allowed on Pentagon grounds. Restrooms are located inside Marriott Residence Inn on corner of S. Fern and Army Navy Dr. 

13] – The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday through Friday from 10 AM to noon on WEAA 88.9 FM, The Voice of the Community, or online at   The call-in number is 410-319-8888, and comments can also be sent by email to All shows are also available as podcasts at  

14] – You can’t win without the proper fundamentals. So join Campaigns & Elections for The Art of Political Campaigning (AOPC) to strengthen your campaign’s foundation and join the conversation on where the campaign industry is headed at the House of Sweden, 2900 K St. NW, WDC, on Mon., July 27 from 11:15 AM to Tues., July 28 at 11:30 AM. 

Registration includes two complete days of panel discussions and workshops, as well as access to exclusive networking events. Register now to join the lineup of political consultants, candidates, technologists and public affairs professionals for two days of discussions on what’s next in political campaigning. Register at

15] – Join the Brother Sun* solar purchasing group! Want to go solar at home? This summer, caring homeowners from congregations across Baltimore are coming together to form a solar buying coop. If you've ever wanted to go solar at home, now is your chance to do so in good company!

Based on the same principle as buying in bulk, the group will go through the process of purchasing home solar systems together. Guided by the Community Power Network, which has successfully organized several such coops previously, the group will select a contractor to install systems on all of the homes. Each participant will own their system and will sign their own contract with the chosen installer. By going solar as a group, participants will save up to 20% off the cost of a solar electricity system, and will have the support of the coop throughout the process instead of having to go it alone. This buying group is being sponsored by Interfaith Power & Light in partnership with several of Baltimore’s Catholic parishes and is open to any Baltimore-area homeowner.

Learn more about the basics of solar and how the coop works on Mon., July 27 at 7 PM at Notre Dame of Maryland University, 4701 N Charles St, Fourier Hall Room 103, adjacent to parking lot at Homeland entrance. RSVP to Clara Summers at  See or go to  The "Brother Sun Solar Coop" is a program inspired by Pope Francis' recent encyclical teaching on ecology, which in turn quotes Saint Francis' "Canticle of the Creatures." The Canticle praises "Brother Sun ... who is the day and through whom You give us light."

16] – The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore usually meets on Mondays at 7:30 PM, and the meetings take place at Max’s residence.  The next meeting is on July 27. The proposed agenda will include anti-drone activities, Freddie Gray, John Sarbanes/Ben Cardin, the Pride Parade, the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration and a September action in D.C. Call 410-366-1637 or email mobuszewski at

17] – Generation ADA: Rise Up! Join the 2015 March & Rally from the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H St. NW, to the U.S. Capitol on Tues., July 28 from 10 AM to 12:30 PM.  This annual tradition is an opportunity to take grassroots advocacy to the streets! Participants will march carrying signs and chanting in support of disability rights! Then, marchers will converge in front of the Capitol for an empowering rally. Complementary Do-It-Yourself Protest Sign Kits will be provided to Conference registrants who wish to participate. See

18] – Each Tuesday from 4:30 - 5:30 PM, the Catholic Peace Fellowship-Philadelphia for peace in Afghanistan and Iraq gathers at the Suburban Station, 16th St. & JFK Blvd., at the entrance to Tracks 3 and 4 on the mezzanine.  The next vigil is July 21.  Call 215-426-0364.

19] – Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" each Tuesday at 33rd & North Charles Sts. Join this ongoing vigil on July 21  from 5:30 to 6:30  PM.  Call Max at 410-366-1637.

20] – As part of Writers LIVE! Hear from Tamara Winfrey-Harris on Tues., July 28 at 6:30 PM at the Enoch Pratt Library, Central Branch, 400 Cathedral St., Baltimore 21201.  She will talk about her new book, " The Sisters are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America" in the Poe Room. Call 410-377-2966.  Go to

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs  


Saturday, July 25, 2015


An early atomic bomb detonation in Nevada desert. (photo: Getty)

  For the 31st year, the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee will remember the atomic bombings of Japan on August 6 & 9, 1945, which killed more than 200,000 people. It has been 70 years since these awful events occurred. Other organizations involved in the commemorations are Baltimore Quaker Peace and Justice Committee of Homewood and Stony Run Meetings, Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, Crabshell Alliance and Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore.

HIROSHIMA COMMEMORATION on Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 33rd & N. Charles Streets
5:30 PM Demonstrate against Johns Hopkins University’s weapons contracts, including research on killer drones, commemorate the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and remember Fukushima, Japan.

6:30 PM March to the Bufano Sculpture Garden on John Hopkins University Homewood campus.   Hiroshima Hibakusha guests, Mr. Goro Matsuyana, and Ms. Takako Chiba, will elaborate on their experiences with the atomic bombing. Ms. Yukie Ikebe will guide the Heartful Chorus, which will sing a cappella. 

8 PM Enjoy dinner at Niwana Restaurant, 3 E. 33rd Street, with our Japanese guests.

NAGASAKI COMMEMORATION on Sunday, August 9, 2015 at Homewood Friends Meeting, 3107 N. Charles Street
6 PM Savor a potluck dinner with members of the peace and justice community.

7 PM The death of Freddie Gray ignited a movement to seek positive social change.  Speaking on this issue will be Ralph Moore, a civil rights icon who once said “Economic justice is the one [issue] I’ve focused on most over the years. Various issues spill out from that; it’s been housing, it’s been hunger, it’s been education, it’s been jobs and it’s been anti-war.” 

After Ralph’s address, there will be a Q & A.  Then participants can share through verse, poetry or song how to cure the ill of poverty in Baltimore. The suggestions will be sent to the mayor and the City Council.
HIROSHIMA-NAGASAKI COMMEMORATION COMMITTEE, 325 East 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218 Ph: 410-366-1637 Email: mobuszewski [at]

"All dogs, and cats, and pigs, and goats, and cockroaches go to heaven: So says Pope Francis" by Bruce Friedrich

New York Daily News: For the first time in 2,000 years, the Pope Declares (Official Catholic Doctrine!): Animals Will Join Humans In Heaven.

I think that my article in the New York Daily News is breaking news that has not been reported anywhere else in the United States (maybe in the English-speaking world)—that the Catholic Church has an official position, for the first time ever, on animals in heaven.

You may recall that last December, there was quite the brouhaha when it was reported that the Pope had told a young boy that animals will go to heaven (the New York Times put the story on the front page). The story turned out to be wrong, and so there was another big round of “he didn’t say that” stories.

Here you go:


BRUCE FRIEDRICH is director of policy and advocacy for Farm Sanctuary, a national farm animal protection organization based in Watkins Glen, N.Y. He is a 1996 graduate of Grinnell College. Former CW and Plowshares activist. Contact:

"All dogs, and cats, and pigs, and goats, and cockroaches go to

heaven: So says Pope Francis" by Bruce Friedrich

The question of whether animals will join us in the afterlife finally has a definitive response from Rome.

It’s a topic that’s been long debated, with Popes weighing in unofficially on both sides. Last December, a story broke nationwide claiming that Pope Francis had declared that animals are going to heaven, but it turns out that the media had conflated two stories, and that it was actually Pope Paul VI who had, many years earlier, told a young boy that “one day we will see our animals in the eternity of Christ.”

Paul was later contradicted by Pope Benedict XVI, who said in a sermon that “for other creatures, who are not called to eternity, death just means the end of existence on Earth.”

Notably, neither of these were doctrinal statements, and Catholic theologians continued to disagree and debate.

But no more. Despite last year’s media mix up — and despite Paul’s and Benedict's contradictory statement — Pope Francis did just officially declare that animals will join us in heaven, in his June 18 Encyclical, which offers official and binding doctrine on the question.

And in fact, he has gone far beyond animals and the afterlife, linking animals to the Trinity and declaring that the Mother of God “grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for creatures of this world laid waste by human power.” For Catholics, the idea of Mary grieving for both the poor and animals, in the same sentence, is revolutionary.

So it’s almost anti-climactic that on the question of animals in heaven, Francis takes a stand: “Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place and have something to give those poor men and women who will have been liberated once and for all.”

The Holy Father reiterates this in the prayers that close the Encyclical, which are filled with pro-animal sentiments, including this: “Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.”

 It is important to realize that encyclicals are Catholic Doctrine. As Pope Pius XII explained, once the Pope opines in an encyclical on “a hitherto controversial matter, it is clear to all that this . . .

cannot any longer be considered a question of free discussion among theologians.” In other words, the Church has spoken.

 So what does all this mean for the faithful? If Mary is grieving for the suffering of animals, and if we will all be joining other animals in heaven, it seems only sensible that we do all we can to decrease cruelty to animals, and especially our complicity in that cruelty.

The most cruelty that is meted out by humanity against God’s other creatures is a result of eating meat, dairy and eggs. Indeed, the average American Catholic eats dozens of farm animals every single year, thus directly contributing to their suffering and death.

All of us can take a stand against this abuse by no longer eating animals or their products, and when we do, we’ll be acting in clear alignment with Catholic Doctrine.

 And God’s other animals will thank us when we meet them in heaven.

 Friedrich is director of policy for Farm Sanctuary, a national farm animal protection organization based in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

 © Copyright 2015 All rights reserved.

 Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs