Peace & Justice

Our new logo

It’s taken 38 years, but finally, as part of its effort to reach out and attract more people in our community to the work of the Modesto Peace Life Center, the Center’s Board has chosen an official logo, which you see here.

Board member Dan Onorato asked MJC computer graphics teacher Kathy Landess to engage her students in creating a design that conveyed the work and purpose of the Center. The logo the Board selected among all the student work is the creation of very a talented designer, Stephanie Jones.
The Board heartily thanks Kathy and all her students, especially Stephanie, for their enthusiastic commitment to this project.

Peace Camp was a success with 70 participants including the kids pictured here at Camp Peaceful Pines. Photography by Anna Garcia


Lilah Capp in detective mode at Peace Camp. Photography by Anna Garcia


Wednesday, August 6:  Join the Modesto Peace Life Center at its Annual Peace Center Hiroshima Remembrance and potluck, Legion Park, 6:30 pm. Bring food and drink to share. Candlelight vigil at the Tuolumne River.

Saturday, August 9: Join Tri-Valley CAREs and other Bay Area groups for “Looking Back, Looking Forward;” a commemoration with speakers, music and activities at the Livermore nuclear weapons Lab. Stand together to insist that the U.S. stop developing new nuclear bombs and, instead, move to the abolition of nuclear weapons and war.

Near the Lab’s fence line, we will erect the “nuclear maze,” through which participants can walk, learning as they go about the impacts of nuclear weapons and nuclear power on local and global communities.

Listen to a keynote address by Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka, an Hibakusha (survivor) of the Nagasaki bomb, and music by Kaylah Marin.

Where: Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, Corner of Vasco Rd. and Patterson Pass Rd., Livermore. Gather and enter the “nuclear maze” at 10:30 a.m., observe a moment of silence at the time the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki at 11:02 a.m. Keynote speaker and music to follow.

More info: Tri-Valley CAREs,,  or email

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.

Peace Essay Contest winning essays 

Medical evidence supports detainees’ accounts of torture in us custody
Physicians for Human Rights

Cambridge, Mass. (PRWEB) June 18, 2008 – Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has published a landmark report documenting medical evidence of torture and ill-treatment inflicted on 11 men detained at US facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay, who were never charged with any crime. The physical and psychological evaluation of the detainees and documentation of the crimes are based on internationally accepted standards for clinical assessment of torture claims. The report also details the severe physical and psychological pain and long-term disability that has resulted from abusive and unlawful US interrogation practices.

“Rigorous clinical evaluations confirm the enormous and enduring toll of agony and anguish inflicted for months by US personnel on eleven men who were detained without any charge or explanation,” stated PHR President Leonard Rubenstein. “Their first-hand accounts, now confirmed by medical and psychological examinations, take us behind the photographs to write a missing chapter of America’s descent into the shameful practice and official policy of systematic torture.”

Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact documents practices used to bring about excruciating pain, terror, humiliation, and shame for months on end. These practices included, but were not limited to:

In the foreword to the report, Maj. General Antonio Taguba (USA-Ret.), who led the U.S. Army’s investigation into the Abu Ghraib detainee abuse scandal, wrote:

“After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.

“Ending the use of torture, while essential, is not enough. The United States government must make this right. Those responsible for these abuses must help heal the grievous harm inflicted in our name,” said PHR CEO Frank Donaghue. “PHR is calling for full investigation, accountability, an official apology, and reparations, including medical and psychological treatment for the survivors.”

To download PHR’s Broken Laws, Broken Lives report (PDF), visit
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) mobilizes the health professions to advance the health and dignity of all people by protecting human rights. As a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, PHR shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

Cold Shoulders By KATHY KELLY - t r u t h o u t | Perspective

“No Nuclear Weapons” interview with George Schultz by SARAH VAN GELDER - YES Magazine

Livermore Lab seeks Hazardous and Explosives Waste Permit By ROBERT SCHWARTZ - From Tri-Valley CARES July 2008, Citizens' Watch

Senate will not fund the Reliable Replacement Warhead - From FNCL, The Friends Committee on National Legislation

The surge of Iraqi prisoners By CIARA GILMARTIN - From Foreign Policy in Focus, May 7, 2008

The cost of the Iraq War for the people of Modesto

On June 30th, President Bush signed into law a $162 billion War Supplemental spending bill, providing an additional $130 billion for the Iraq War alone. This new funding brings the total allocated for the Iraq War to $656.1 billion.

The National Priorities Project has updated its local cost of war numbers to reflect this new total, also showing what this war funding could buy your community if it was spent on domestic needs instead.

Taxpayers in Modesto, California will pay $394.1 million for total Iraq war spending approved to date. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:

More information:
© 2007 National Priorities Project  

No Soldier Left Behind is a campaign promoting a comprehensive plan to end the war in Iraq and improve the security and well being of Iraqis and Americans. This means making truly effective investments in political, economic and diplomatic strategies. But our first step must be to bring every soldier home, and end the failed occupation of Iraq.

Learn more at Peace Action West: