Justice Updates – January 7, 2020

Please call your Senators and Representative and urge them to use the power that is rightfully theirs to stop the president’s march to war with Iran. Ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 2354 or S. 1039, that would ensure that President Trump cannot take military action against Iran without congressional authorization – except in response to an attack on America or its armed forces. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your members of Congress. Tell them that now is the time to exercise real courage and choose diplomacy over violence and peace over war.

What’s happening in Iraq? “Ominous developments, attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq, U.S. retaliation and turmoil at the U.S. embassy, could drag Iraq deeper into the U.S.-Iranian confrontation. Urgent steps are needed to break this predictable but perilous cycle.”  Read Rescuing Iraq from the Iran-U.S. Crossfire.

Call your senator!  The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act has stalled in the Senate because the house version “closed the infamous “boyfriend loophole,” which excludes people convicted of stalking or abusing a non-spouse partner from the scope of laws that limit an abuser’s ability to obtain firearms. (Existing law covers a narrower set of relationships, such as those in which the abuser lived with or had a child with the victim.) Addressing this gap in the law has long been a priority for activists. Why?  Nearly half of women homicide victims in the United States are killed by current or former male partners, according to a 2017 study, and the Giffords Law Center says domestic-violence victims are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if their abuser can obtain a gun.” Here’s more.

What climate changes are happening around the world? Washington Post journalists and photographers traveled around the world to see. Their series  2°C: BEYOND THE LIMIT describes a growing crisis. “Aaliyah Kasaiuli slept in on the last morning in her home, almost everything packed for the move. It was time to finally abandon this house, and later, this Yup’ik village clinging to the edge of North America, near the Bering Sea. It was one of 14 places that a team of Washington Post journalists traveled to in the past year to see the accelerating reality of climate change. What moved them were the people they met, their homes and lives transformed. Their work has led to a continuing series — 2C: Beyond the Limit. Four Post photographers share their stories in this visual atlas of a growing crisis.”

This administration has been climate deniers from the beginning and worked actively to roll back laws that would reduce pollution and improve climate damage. How do we justify destroying our beautiful world?

Some hopeful news about the Death Penalty in Ohio.  Governor Mike DeWine has stopped executions in Ohio stating that he does not believe the death penalty is an effective tool to keep communities safe.  In a recent news conference is said “What keeps us safer is locking up repeat violence offenders and throwing away the key…there are a lot of things we do, and a lot of things that we can do, that are more important as far as safety than the capital punishment debate.”  Take a minute to write to Governor DeWine to thank him and also encourage him to work with the Ohio Legislature to propose legislation to abolish the death penalty.  Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder has made statements expressing his decline in support for the practice. Write to him urging legislation to abolish the death penalty.

What would happen if women were running the country?  In an interview on Singapore’s Today, President Barack Obama suggests that if women were put in charge of every country for the next two years, the result would be gains “on just about everything.”

Listening can make a huge difference in building peace. What do your listening skills look like? “Good listening is not a matter of technique but of having the willingness to enter into another person’s life. Many bad listeners can’t be there for someone else because they are too locked into themselves. For them, everything has to be filtered through their own experience and concerns.” Read more.

If you want to use the Blessed are the Peacemakers resources for an associate group or study group, here are the materials and the video.

What’s happening to our family in Iraq?  This article No Christmas Tinsel in Iraq in Solidarity with Protesters features Cardinal Louis Sako and notes that leaders of Iraq’s Christians unanimously cancelled Christmas-related celebrations in solidarity with the protest movement.

In a letter dated December 13, our sisters wrote:

The situation in Baghdad is not good. It is entering the 54th day today of demonstration. The intent was to have a very peaceful demonstration but sadly many of these demonstrators have been killed. The government is not doing anything or changing their polices. Young men and women are determined that they will not end the demonstration until they get what they want— “a county”.  Our school in Baghdad had been closed for a month; now it reopened, but still students are not attending. They prefer to go to demonstrations. The north part of the country (Nineveh plain and Kurdistan) has not been affected by all this. What you read about Cardinal Sako plan is true, the church’s Christmas celebrations will be very limited in all the country this year in solidarity with our young people in the middle and southern part of the country and in solidarity with families who lost their beloved ones in the past months. Please keep this country in your prayers. If you can share the news you see on the web about Iraq with other people will be very helpful. The world is not reacting to what our young people are doing. They left their homes and have been demonstrating because they want a free Iraq— they want a country.

In a recent visit to Thailand, Pope Francis “appealed for greater international commitment to protect women and children “who are violated and exposed to every form of exploitation, enslavement, violence, and abuse.” To read the full story by Nicole Winfield on The Independent: Click Here

Many families in poverty experience food deserts, the lack of affordable grocery stores within reach. Online grocery delivery services might be the answer. See how here.

And now some good news… sort of. An analysis from the Gifford Law Center shows that states have enacted 137 measures to restrict gun access and reduce gun violence since the Parkland, Florida shooting.   There is still a long way to go.






Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

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