News from KNOW – Dec. 7, 2014

News from KNOW - Dec. 7, 2014

** In this Issue - FCNL, StandUpKalamazoo, Drone vigil, COOKIES!!!
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is a leader in
demanding Congress
 lower the Defense budget in favor of human needs.

FCNL executive secretary Diane Randall will give a talk in
 Kalamazoo on
"Keeping Faith in Congress: Building Peace at Home and Abroad" on
 Saturday, Dec. 13
10:30 am-12:30pm, at the Kalamazoo Friends Meeting, 508 Denner St.
It is free and open to the public.
Please attend if you can, we all need to learn how to be effective
people’s advocates
 for peace and justice with our elected representatives.
For more information, please contact
 Raelyn Joyce: 

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In downtown Kalamazoo last Friday night, a large demonstration
 of at least 200 demanded
an end to racist policing practices, an end to
militarization of the police, and justice
for the victims of police killings of unarmed people of color.
 Thanks to all the organizers
 who did an incredible job of putting the action together
 in less than two days.
A peaceful and powerful unity message
 was sent to the community and to the nation from Kalamazoo.
  The participants were of all ages,
 but were led by young people.  Most hopeful to me personally
 was the large number of white folks who marched and who
 showed support along the way.
 This is indeed an issue of justice, which ultimately affects all of us.
Thanks to Lee Holdridge for recording the event so vividly.
 Here is the link to Lee’s powerful video:

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Candlelight Vigil to Ground the Drones- Friday, December 12 6-7 PM

Join us for a prayerful, peaceful gathering at the gates of the
Battle Creek Air National Guard
 base calling for Peace on Earth and an end to drone warfare.
 Those who would like to carpool
to the base from Kalamazoo can meet at Peace House at 5:15.
 Call 492-1206 with questions or to RSVP.
This is the first of what will be a monthly
vigil occurring (after this one) the
 first Saturday of each month from 12-1 PM.

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Message from PEACE HOUSE: Peace House Holiday Party! December 18, 5-7 PM

Every year, we invite the Peace House families
 to join us for a nice dinner, fun and games
and some holiday gifts. As usual, we need some help
 to make it happen:
Cookies: We love to have plates of cookies to serve
 at the end of the meal.
We will be gratefully accepting donations of these
 in the few days leading up to the party-
if you’d like to drop them off the day of,
 please communicate with us ahead of time:
 we will be in many places that day, and want
to make sure we connect with you and your cookies!
Socks, Hats, Mittens/Gloves: We will be sending
each child home with a new hat, set of mittens
 or gloves and pack of socks. We will be accepting
 these donations starting now- whenever is
 convenient for you-please drop them off at Peace House,
or give us a call, and we can coordinate a pick up.

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Martin Luther King Park maintenance help
Landscape Love work on the park is continuing, to honor
 Dr. King’s vision of peace and justice.  Bring heavy gloves,
 and a shovel or two would be helpful.
Next date is Saturday, Dec. 13 at MLK Park @1:30 pm  (weather permitting.)
Reply to if you can help or have questions.

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No War with Iran!
From CREDO (Thanks to Bobbi Jo) In a major success,
 the United States,
 five other world powers, and Iran agreed to extend
negotiations on Iran's nuclear program.
The fate of the talks will come down to whether
 enough Senate Democrats will stand with
 the president and Secretary of State John Kerry
 or whether they will join with Republican
warmongers like John McCain to pass poison pill
 legislation and sabotage diplomacy.
CREDO is joining with our friends at MoveOn to urge
 Senate Democrats to let the
 diplomats do their jobs, rather than seek to impose further
 constraints on what
 are already incredibly complex and politically
 sensitive negotiations.
Click on the link below and make the call.

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Cultural Corner--

“CitizenFour” is playing
at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema through Thursday.

A film about our nation’s staggering surveillance
 infrastructure and its impact on our freedoms.
 A real life thriller, which puts you in the room with
Edward Snowden, NSA whistle-blower,
 and two journalists, as they bring his revelations to the world.

“After seeing the film, you will never think the same way about your phone, email,
 credit card, web browser, or profile, ever again.” (Alamo Drafthouse review)

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43 Disappeared Students Means it's Time to End Plan Mexico Now

Sign this petition to tell President Barack Obama,
Secretary of State John Kerry,
 and your representatives in Congress that you want the U.S. to end all
funding of Plan Mexico (Merida Initiative), which is fueling violence,
 death and the drug war.
Your signature will be a part of nationwide actions
calling on the U.S. to end aid
to security forces perpetrating massive human rights
 violations brought to light by
disappearance of 43 students and tens of thousands of others.

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Kalamazoo Nonviolent Opponents of War (KNOW) is selling
 it’s famous homemade cookies
 this holiday season to raise funds for the
 Joe and Jean Gump Peacemakers Fund.
This fund will make available $250 yearly
 to those who need financial support to
 engage in peace related activities.
The fund is being developed to honor Joe and Jean Gump,
 who have devoted their lives to working for peace and social justice.
Joe and Jean have been
long-time anti-nuclear activists and served time in
 prison for their nonviolent resistance.
 In addition, Jean and Joe were founding members
of KNOW and have been active participants
 in KNOW and in the Southwest Michigan peace community for many years.
Joe passed away on March 8, 2014. 

Your cookie purchase will support the development of the peace fund.

To order cookies, email by December 10, 2014.
 Cookies will also be available without ordering ahead,
but ordering ahead will ensure that you get what you want!
 Cookie types include oatmeal chocolate chip,
 oatmeal raisin, and vegan peanut butter, or a combo pack.
 Specify how many dozen and which varieties you would like.
 Donation is $10/dozen.
 Cookies can be picked up on Sunday, Dec. 21
between 12-1pm at the KNOW Sunday vigil in front of the
federal building on Michigan Avenue,
or we can make other arrangements to get them to you.

Word to the wise, better reserve your vegan peanut butter
 cookies soon, they are particularly scrumptious!

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School of America's Watch Vigil: recap from Kalamazoo Peace Center

On Thursday, November 20th, a group of 16 Peace Center
 members and affiliates went to Fort Benning,
 Georgia for the School of America's Watch Vigil.
 We gathered there with thousands of other peacemakers
 from around the US, North and South America to demand
 the closing of School of Americas (now WHINSEC).
 WHINSEC is a school that is paid for by the tax dollars
of the American people, that specifically
 exists to teach local and international people violence,
 torture tactics, war mongering, and terrorism.

One Peace Center Collective member described the experience as
 "The SOA watch was moving in for so many reasons.
 I felt disgusted that there are members
 of mankind who perform the horrible acts
taught by the Schools of the Americas. I felt overwhelming
 sadness for the victims who have been tortured,
 murdered and interrogated by graduates of the SOA.
 In the end, our group left with a widespread feeling
of solidarity and empowerment,
 with a shared realization that much work needs to be done.
There is hope for change in the power of the people." -Allie Spring.

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Happy Holidays, peace and love from the
Kalamazoo Nonviolent Opponents of War