Peace & Justice

Wednesday afternoon at Modesto Peace/Life Center

Wednesdays, the Peace/Life Center is usually open from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. Bring brown bag lunch. Come by for some coffee or tea or to chat or to see a film or browse through various books and magazines. Beverages will be provided.



Saturday, February 23, 2008

Peace Life Center

720 13th St., Modesto

8:30 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.

New report on Lab anthrax release demanded


(Info from Livermore “Tri-Valley Cares”)

“Over the hills and far away” — no, not Grandmother’s House, it’s Livermore Lab we go, where research has continued unabated on nuclear weaponry for many years. Tri-Valley Cares has been the site of an anti-war action for many years, with vigils and demonstrations with San Joaquin Valley residents often participating. And it’s not far away, only a short distance from the Central Valley. Members of our own Peace Life Center continue to vigil there every year.

Nuclear materials are still stored there (plutonium and highly enriched bomb-grade uranium) and are vulnerable to theft, terrorist attack or release in a catastrophic event (such as an earthquake). The Department of Energy (DOE) has no tangible plan to remove the nuclear material.

Scarier is the recent report that the lab officials covered up a major anthrax release which was reported by Tri Valley Cares in October. They demanded a new and complete environmental report and public hearings. Multiple Freedom of Information Act requests have also been filed.

“We aim to ensure that the public has a say in whether or not Livermore Lab opens an even more deadly bio-warfare agent research center,” said Marylia Kelley, the groups’ Executive Director.

Staff Attorney Robert Schwartz explained, “In light of the numerous violations of law that led to the anthrax accident, we call on the U.S. Dept. Of Energy, which owns Livermore Lab, to redraft its Environmental Assessment for the new bio-lab and re-circulate the document for public comment.”

“Moreover, we are asking DOE to fully analyze the anthrax release and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and hold public hearings before moving forward with new, even more dangerous experiments involving a plethora of potential lethal biological warfare agents.”

Anthrax was released, and the unsuspecting workers who opened the box had to be placed on the antibiotic Cipro. Livermore Lab’s priority was to keep it mum , which it did for two years. Nonetheless, Tri-Valley Cares found out and took it public. Today, Livermore Lab stands poised, not to remedy its anthrax accident, but to open a more deadly and dangerous bio-warfare agent research center. The DOE is slated to release a poorly done, incomplete environmental assessment. It will be used to justify the first bio-warfare agent research center in the nation to be located inside a classified nuclear weapons facility – mixing bugs and bombs at Livermore Lab.

ACTION: TRI-VALLEY CARES is preparing to go to court to foil this dastardly plan. You can help by sending money for the lawsuit to: Tri-Valley Cares, 2582 Old First St., Livermore, CA 94551. For information call (925) 443-7148. The Livermore lab may endanger us all.

Portents of an anti-nuclear upsurge

Hearings on death penalty begin Jan. 10
From Death Penalty Focus

The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice will hold the first of three public hearings on the death penalty on Thursday, January 10, State Capitol Building Room 4203 from 9:30am - 12:30 p.m.

Experts will present research and testimony on racial and geographic disparities in death sentencing, costs, problems with juries and other important topics. The Commission will also hear from the public and listen to the experiences of victims’ families and others affected by the death penalty system.

Show the Commissioners and the media that you and a growing number of Californians reject the death penalty as solution to crime and violence. [Please note: not everyone in the audience will be allowed to make comments, so Death Penalty Focus will hand out buttons and stickers you can wear during the hearing to show your support. You can submit written comments to the Commission by visiting

Additional hearings will be held on:

• February 20 - Los Angeles, Location TBA.

• March 28 - Santa Clara, University of Santa Clara Law School, Room TBA.

Learn more at and

Update: Battlefield without Borders

Dear Friends,

I’ve just returned from a very successful two-week book tour in New England and New York, and I’m writing with an update of our effort to assist Iraqi families who’ve fled violence and now live in increasingly desperate conditions in Jordan and Syria. Since April, sales of Battlefield without Borders have supported a new program of assistance to Iraqi families, called the Direct Aid Initiative (DAI). Below is information about DAI.

A second edition of Battlefield without Borders has been published, with twelve new poems and a new foreword by Kathy Kelly. Thanks to the generosity of the publisher, Haley’s, I’m still able to give all but $2 of the sale price to Iraqi families. Because the first edition sold out quickly, I ordered twice as many copies of the second edition, with the goal of raising $25,000 for Iraqi families through its sale. I hope to sell many of these copies through the internet, because traveling frequently on book tours is not feasible. I will need your help to do this. Please consider buying a copy as a holiday gift or a birthday present, and pass this letter on to others who might be interested. Copies can be purchased at ( or by contacting me directly. [Copies are available at the Modesto Peace Life Center.]

Tax-deductible donations to DAI can also be made, through our fiscal sponsor, the Middle East Cultural and Charitable Society (MECCS). I can send a book(s) to anyone who makes a donation (contact me for more information about MECCS). Make checks payable to: MECCS/DAI, P.O. Box 382425, Cambridge, MA 02238.

I’ll close with the words of one of our Iraqi friends in Jordan. “We need you to be smart, to be determined, and to stay with us, for the rest of the world has forgotten us.” Thank you for your support.

David Smith-Ferri

Dave Cline Memorial Peace Summit Conference

Call initiated by CINDY SHEEHAN

Cindy Sheehan is convening the DAVE CLINE MLK Jr. MEMORIAL PEACE SUMMIT in San Francisco on January 18, 19, and 20, 2008. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday weekend was chosen by Cindy because he exemplified a uniter, a peacemaker and an advocate for non-violent constructive action. Space is limited to 125 participants.

The goal of the summit is to bring together peace and justice leaders and delegates from all across the country so that we can begin to mend divisions and come together in solidarity to end the war and occupation in Iraq.

The agenda will include analyzing our strengths and weaknesses and our goals. We will be creating a unified strategy and an action plan which will include effective tactics that will put real pressure on our politicians.

We will work on a plan for a broad-based, grassroots, unified national mobilization in March to mark the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. The idea of bi-coastal demonstrations in San Francisco and Washington DC will be explored before the peace summit.

Tentative Schedule



Evening: community dinner, speakers and free time in San Francisco :

Saturday: YEAR FIVE COMMITTEE with emphasis on Achieving unity and peace within our own peace community (facilitator to be announced ). This will be a mass gathering.

LIVE BLOGGING for those who cannot attend in person. Break-outs: small groups or committees. March Mobilization working groups meet.

Evening: community dinner, entertainment, socializing.

Sunday: Committees meet. Closing

Monday: If staying over for Martin Luther King’s birthday, San Francisco’s African American community has amazing events (TBA).

ACTION: Jamilla El-Shafei and David Rubinson, event organizers, need your help! Time is of the essence. Volunteer to help make this event possible We need help with: a web site, out-reach, logistics in San Francisco; creation of a Google group for volunteers; program workshop and speakers, entertainment, housing and coordinating catering at the event site.

To assist, email Jamilla at and put in the subject line: “Peace Conference” (In the near future a new email address to be used just for this event). Info:

Does Anyone Know?

Does anybody know
Where the war has gone?

Has it disappeared
Into a fog
Of wishful thinking?

Has it become victim
To the mind-sucking
We’ve all become numb to?

From buying the idea
Of “weapons of mass destruction”
To buying the idea
That things are getting better...

We’ve all become fools of the machine

Even if “things are getting better”
What the hell does “better” really mean?

Will it bring back the dead?
Will it heal all the wounds?
Will it help the helpless in Iraq?
Will it end our dependence on oil
Or turn our global terror back?

We stand at a crossroads
Coddled, confused, and totally
Full of crap

We stand on the edge
Lost, lonely, and befuddled
By a very inaccurate map

Like our forbears
Of Greece and Rome
We consume, conquer
And play...

Thinking the fires we’ve started
And the rocks we’ve set rolling
Won’t cover and consume us one day

By the way...
Does anyone know
Where the war is going?

— Jim Bush