BOSTON, April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in anyone's memory Women's International League for Peace & Freedom – US Section branches will be standing together on one day, with one message, in 23 cities. More than half of the 40 branches in the US will take the unusual step of coordinating their message to point the public to the often ignored truth: that climate change and environmental degradation are inextricably linked to human rights abuses, economic injustice and militarism that produces endless wars. WILPF will participate in and organize Earth Day events across America will include that message.
"Our branches have a strong independent streak," notes WILPF US President Mary Hanson Harrison. "And that's a good thing usually because it means we lead from the grassroots and each branch has the opportunity to pursue our Mission in ways that inspire action on the local level. We work from a Local to Global perspective, connecting global events to the real world issues our members face in their communities."
But with so many attacks on the values that proudly progressive WILPF women hold dear, it's time to speak with one voice on the most critical issues.
This Earth Day, their message is clear:
Peace & Planet Before Profit.
Twenty-seven of the branches are using social media posts and photos of their members holding thematic banners and signs. Twenty-three of the branches are planning to hold their own Earth Day themed events or collaborate with their local community events, in order to get the word out to the public: unregulated corporate greed threatens our democracy, will lead to more war, more environmental ruin, faster climate catastrophe and extreme weather events, more human rights abuses, a consolidation of power and a transfer of wealth from the middle class to the 1%. Greed threatens life on the planet in very real ways.
Branches are collaborating in many locations with organizations like NRDC, 350.org, Sierra Club, Marches for Science around the country, Food & Water Watch, Interfaith Power & Light and National Family Farm Coalition, as well as their usual allies Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, American Friends Service Committee, and Unitarian Universalist Social Action Committees.
"Americans are not making the connection between our environmental crises and the increasing budget for the military," Hanson Harrison notes. "The US military is a huge contributor to the climate crisis and one of the largest users of petroleum on the planet. The Obama administration authorized a trillion dollars for the upkeep and maintenance of old nuclear weapons and creation of newer smaller, more portable and more powerful nuclear weapons, even though our military leaders have said these weapons are largely unusable, given the long-term planetary consequences for a nuclear weapons attack. These trillions of dollars could be going towards creating green jobs, subsidies to support sustainable green energy, ending the whole nuclear chain from uranium mining on sacred native lands to radioactive waste storage issues."
Robin Lloyd co-leads the DISARM Committee of WILPF US. She notes that climate change and extreme droughts have caused resource wars in parts of the world which are now experiencing warfare and huge refugee flight. Refugees fleeing war-torn countries and nations with extreme weather or drought and famine are easy targets for human trafficking operators and other human rights violations. So CLIMATE JUSTICE+WOMEN+PEACE are all connected.
Nancy Price, coordinator of the WILPF National EARTH DEMOCRACY Committee explains that WILPF has produced informative Infographic cards which connect the dots between CLIMATE JUSTICE+WOMEN+PEACE. "Water shortages, extreme weather, refugee flight and the challenges of protecting children or vulnerable elders in areas of war or conflict always are always hardest on women, the poor, and people of color. But we don't always see the connections, according to Price. "These convenient colorful cards explain the issues and suggest actions the public can take to make a difference."
President Hanson Harrison urges the public "to stand with us on Earth Day wherever they are and demand PEACE & PLANET BEFORE PROFIT. Make your own sign with your location and the theme. Snap a photo of yourself holding the sign and post it on social media. Ask your friends to join you, like and share the photo and take their own!". As WILPF women across the US remind us, Earth Day is a good time to stand up for Mother Earth. It's the only planet we've got.
ABOUT WILPF US:
WILPF was founded in 1915 by Jane Addams and international women dedicated to peace, veterans of the women's suffrage movement, who traveled to Europe and conducted an international Congress to attempt to stop World War I.
The Manifesto of that time was recently updated on our 100th Centennial and is an eloquent document and statement of our values.
We have been active in intersectional issues that affect peace, women's rights, extreme militarization, global trade unfairness, labor rights, civil rights and protests against war and the root causes of war since our founding. WILPF was active in the Civil Rights Movement and has always provided a voice to women in conflict zones to propose pragmatic peace initiatives.
We enjoy 'standing' at the United Nations and work through international programs to advocate for small arms treaties, nuclear weapons bans, a reduction of NATO armaments, curtailing unfettered capitalism that threatens human rights and environmental resources.
Read more about our history at http://wilpfus.org/story/history and http://wilpf.org/wilpf/.
In the US, in contrast to newer, mostly virtual organizing, WILPF presents a consistent presence and a recognizable local personal face for progressive values in 40 communities across the US, with consistency of community involvement, strong support for activists, and sisterhood. Our work seeks to educate about the connections between environmental degradation, the erosion of human rights in favor of corporate rights, and the threat both pose to our "Democracy". We come at our work from an appreciation of the value of the Commons, the benefits of public institutions and public service, the rights of individuals (especially women) to rise, to stand together in solidarity for peace and freedom. We stress peaceful means of dissent and education to help people connect the dots between disparate news stories and a pattern of abuse of power.
WILPF US: www.wilpfus.org
WILPF US FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/wilpfus/
WILPF SOLIDARITY EVENT on Facebook: for PHOTOS of Branch Banners
Mary Hanson Harrison, WILPF US President 515-771-6131 firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Lloyd, Co-Chair WILPF DISARM COMMITTEE 802-862-4929 email@example.com
Nancy Price, EARTH DEMOCRACY COMMITTEE Chair 530-758-0726 firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to contact any of the local branch event coordinators on our attached list for interview questions. Attachment includes all local events and contact info.
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SOURCE Women's International League for Peace & Freedom - US Section