Peace and Justice Updates – 7.7.2020

Speak Out Against the Death Penalty

Billy Wardlow committed a robbery and murder in 1993, when he was just 18. He has always expressed remorse, and he maintains that there was never a plan to kill anyone, but that during the robbery Mr. Cole resisted and the gun went off.

Mr. Wardlow is scheduled to die for that crime today. Please Click here to read Wardlow’s petition asking the US Supreme Court to take his case, and call Texas Governor Abbott at 512-463-2000 to ask for mercy for Billy Wardlow.

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As we shared in last week’s Justice Updates, there are three Federal Executions scheduled next week. Please use this link to sign a petition supporting a ban on federal executions, click here to sign a letter to the Administration, and click here to send a petition to the Administration and the Justice Department asking for an end to the death penalty. 

Click here to learn more about the death penalty in America.

“Assault Weapons Ban in the Americas” Webinar

Our weak gun laws are killing our children, our friends, our families, and our neighbors.

Please join Dr. Stephen Hargarten from the Office of Global Health, Medical College of Wisconsin & Network for the Prevention of Gun Violence in the Americas, Kyleanne Hunter from Brady, Po Murray from Newtown Action Alliance, Eve Levenson from March For Our Lives, Manuel Oliver from Change the Ref, Phillip Alpers from Sydney School of Public Health, & Eugenio Weigend from Center for American Progress to discuss the efforts to #BanWeaponsOfWar.

July 9, 2020 1:00-2:30PM EST

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 7/1/2020

Protest the Death Penalty
Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court failed to act with mercy, which may mean the first federal executions in 17 years on July 13, 15 & 17 in Terre Haute, Indiana. Death Penalty Action will be there.

Please click here to find actions that you might take to protest these executions, including petitions, witness opportunities, and more.

The 27th Annual Fast & Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty at the US Supreme Court is well under way. ALL PROGRAMS ARE BEING STREAMED LIVE on the Starvin’ for Justice Facebook Page at 11am, 1:30pm, 4pm and 7pm today and Thursday.

You do not need a Facebook account to watch, or to see the archive of programs already completed. The full schedule is here. Please note that the opening and closing events require registration, which is here.

Monsanto Pays Up
Bayer, following its 2018 acquisition of Monsanto, will pay up to $10.9 billion to settle nearly 100,000 individual lawsuits alleging that exposure to the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup causes cancer.

This $10.9 billion settlement is yet another landmark moment that signals a turning tide against agrichemical giants like Bayer. For decades, Monsanto assured farmers, farmworkers, pesticide applicators, and homeowners that glyphosate was harmless, even with prolonged exposure. For too long, mega-corporations have profited from toxic pesticides, obscured the risks associated with them, and avoided taking responsibility for the damages they have caused. Following the three previous verdicts, Bayer sees the writing on the wall and is seeking to mitigate its losses by settling and paying up now.

No More Genetically-Engineered Seeds!
For years now, pesticide industry giants have been peddling their genetically engineered (GE) technology kits: modified seeds and the herbicides that go with them. Clear evidence shows this system is dangerous, brittle and failing, yet these corporations are now doubling down. Right now, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering a request from Monsanto (recently acquired by Bayer) to approve a new GE corn seed engineered for use with five different herbicides.

The “creation” of a corn seed that can survive five different herbicides is likely to increase the use of those herbicides, putting the environment and wildlife in those areas at risk.

Click here to tell the USDA to prevent Monsanto’s use of genetically-engineered corn seeds.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates – 6.24.2020

ZOOM Discussion of USCCB Letter Addressing Racial Equality
On three consecutive Thursdays: June 25, July 2, and July 9, from 3 pm EDT to 4 pm EDT, the Archdiocese of Louisville will conduct a three-part discussion on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Letter, “Open Wide Our Hearts, the Enduring Call to Love.”

Ms. Jane Cruthirds will be facilitating this discussion.

The agenda for the discussions is as follows:

June 25- Introduction to the Pastoral Letter, pages 3-10
What is Racism? -Theological underpinnings – “made in the image and likeness of God” and Jesus’ sacrifice for all.

July 2 – Cultural Context, pages 10-20
The experience of Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic peoples living in the US. Saints and servants in the US working towards inclusivity; The Urgent Call to Love

July 9 – Walk Humbly with God, pages 20-32
Call to Action (acknowledge, encounter, accompany, educate, etc.)

Upon completion, 5 hours of Catechist Certification will be awarded:  2.5 hours in Catechetics/Ministry Praxis and 2.5 hours in Catholic Social Teaching

Please join our ZOOM meeting below for each session.

Time: Jun 25, 2020 02:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 281 918 5442

Password: 171251

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Supporting the Palestinian People
The Palestinian-led BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement for freedom, justice and equality upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.

Fifteen years after its launch, the BDS movement is more urgent than ever. Enabled by the US and the EU, Israel has for decades entrenched what dozens of UN human rights experts have recently called its “21st century apartheid.”

Palestinian civil society is urgently calling for targeted, lawful sanctions against Israel to end Israel’s apartheid regime and to counter its plans to formally annex large parts of the occupied Palestinian territory.

The time for cutting military trade and research with Israel, for banning trade with its illegal settlements, for holding its war criminals accountable, and for ending free-trade agreements with it is long overdue.

To celebrate BDS@15 and our collective impact in resisting Israeli apartheid, there are 15 actions to choose from to grow our movement, including:

  • Educating about Israeli apartheid and mobilizing pressure to end corporate and state complicity in it.
  • Supporting calls for targeted sanctions against Israel, including cutting military trade and banning illegal settlement trade
  • Joining academic, cultural and sports boycott campaigns
  • Declaring community spaces Apartheid Free Zones
  • Supporting racial and economic justice struggles led by Black, Indigenous and other communities of color.

Please click here to find out more about the BDS movement and how you can help.



Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Justice Updates 6.15.2020

Please join our colleagues at NETWORK in advocating for policies that advance justice and equity by supporting the Justice in Policing Act.

Email your elected officials to support this legislation NOW.

The Justice in Policing Act will hold police accountable and fundamentally change the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they are meant to serve. We need legislation that will hold law enforcement officers accountable for misconduct and excessive use of force, de-militarize the police, create a National Police Misconduct Registry, and end racial and religious profiling in policing.

Passing the Justice in Policing Act is an important immediate step for our nation. Email your Senators and Representative today!

We are celebrating some great news from the Supreme Court this week. Monday, the Court declined to hear 10 gun-rights cases brought by the gun lobby.

This is a HUGE victory for gun safety nationwide and an important defeat for the gun lobby! This decision leaves in place crucial restrictions on assault weapons, concealed carry licensing, and other lifesaving gun responsibility laws.

One of the laws that the gun lobby objects to is Initiative 1639, a ballot initiative already approved by the people of Washington State that:

  1. Defines the term “semiautomatic assault rifle” to include all semiautomatic rifles.
  2. Raises the minimum age for purchasing semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21.
  3. Imposes a 10-day waiting period before being allowed to claim a rifle from a firearms dealer.
  4. Expands background checks to include medical records requiring a waiver of HIPAA rights

Despite the fact that this bill was APPROVED BY THE VOTERS, The NRA and the gun lobby have filed THREE lawsuits in an attempt to stop Initiative 1639. This is just one of the lawsuits that the Supreme Court has refused to hear.

It was almost exactly a year ago that the Dominican Sisters of Peace adopted a corporate stance against the death penalty. Sadly, the Justice Department under the Trump Administration has reinstated the death penalty for criminals convicted of federal crimes.

The following prisoners are slated for execution by lethal injection this summer at the  U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, IN.

  • Daniel Lewis Lee, July 13,
  • Wesley Ira Purkey, July 15.
  • Dustin Lee Honken, July 17
  • Keith Dwayne Nelson, Aug. 28

We believe that the death penalty should be abolished because it is contrary to our Catholic faith. Please put your faith in action by calling your representatives or the Governor of Indiana Eric Holcomb. Ask them to respect the dignity of God’s people by cancelling these executions.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Justice Updates: 6.10.2020

Ohio lawmakers are advancing Stand Your Ground — a dangerous and racist policy known for helping white shooters avoid prosecution and putting Black Americans at further risk of gun violence.

Stand Your Ground laws encourage the escalation of gun violence in avoidable situations and do not deter crime. HB 381 would allow a person to shoot to kill another person in public, even if there is a safe and clear way to walk away from the danger. This racist policy is associated with increases in gun homicides and disproportionately impacts communities of color.

Send your state representative a message urging them to OPPOSE HB 381 by clicking here.

The June issue of Stop Trafficking is now available. Click here to download the PDF version. 

Sr. Barbara Kane shared this article on how we can support our friends, neighbors and co-workers of color during this very painful time. Click here to read.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates