Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stop Torture Now vigil Saturday

NC Stop Torture Now ( www.ncstoptorturenow.org ) will hold a short vigil at the Johnston County Airport, home base for torture taxi and CIA front company Aero Contractors, Ltd, this Saturday (the 27th) at 9:30am.  They are pushing for the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's report on the treatment of CIA detainees before Congress recesses.  Aero Contractors is allegedly mentioned by name in the report.  Participants should wear orange and bring signs to the new terminal, at 3149 Swift Creek Road in Smithfield.

STN adopted Swift Creek Road through the NC Adopt-a-Highway program and will pick up trash after the event.  Anyone age 12 or over is welcome to participate (but kids age 12-17 have to be supervised by an adult).        

Monday, September 22, 2014

Report back from the people's climate vigil in Chapel Hill

I saw about 80-100 people at the vigil at Peace and Freedom Plaza in Chapel Hill. It was just across Franklin Street from UNC, but it looked like the crowd was mostly from the community (though it was almost all white), with a range of ages.  Solarize Chapel Hill (solarizechapelhill.org) had a table offering a free residential or business solar assessment (but only for Orange County locations) and information about financing and how fast solar would pay for itself.  There will be a NC Conference on Religion and Climate Change Monday, October 13, 10am-3pm at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Raleigh, on "the moral duty to take care of creation" (RSVP www.eventjoy.com/e/creationcare , contact info is northcarolinacreationcare at gmail). I might have missed some other flyers.  The founder of UNC Freedom Club (uncfc.web.unc.edu , also on Facebook and Twitter) spoke and gave out some literature.  When things are looking bleak, I often wonder if human civilization and nature in general are fundamentally incompatible (also emerging technologies versus human life), and major changes are definitely needed, but this seems to be anti-industrial anarchism I can't agree with, being more optimistic about technology and a Marxist.  

Trekking around the UNC campus afterward I found flyers for a Spartacist League "Meet the Marxists" event September 18th.  They probably do this every fall, but I doubt there is a club at UNC.  FRSO (the one that publishes Fight Back!) seems to be gone, leaving anarchists as the only trend left of liberals organized at UNC.  I don't think there is even a Green group.  An SDS zine came out in the spring, promising activity this semester, and advocacy groups like Student Action with Workers and SEAC are still around, but not many political groups.              

Saturday, September 20, 2014

More local people's climate actions

You can find other People's Climate Mobilisation demonstrations at:  http://events.peoplesclimate.org/event/peoples_climate/search/

Around here, it does not list the event in Raleigh, but I didn't know about the march at 2pm tomorrow on Duke's West Campus.   

Besides tomorrow's day of action around climate change, there has also been a lot of talk about resisting the new war in Iraq and Syria, but so far it is mainly about lobbying Congress. If the Administration knows what it is doing, I see this war against the Islamic State as a pretext to control Iraq and topple the secular government of Syria, and there will be "boots on the ground."  And all of this relates to oil and the climate change resulting from powering civilization with oil.        

Friday, September 19, 2014

Vigils for climate justice this Sunday in NC

For people not taking the Greenway Transit bus from Durham to NYC for the People's Climate March this Sunday, there will be vigils for climate justice Sunday (the 21st) in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Asheville:

Vigil 2-3pm at Peace and Justice Plaza in Chapel Hill (in front of the Post Office on Franklin Street, opposite UNC).  It is being organized by the United Church of Chapel Hill's United Earth Ministries.

There will be a prayer vigil at 4pm at the Community United Church of Christ in Raleigh (814 Dixie Trail), organized by the Triangle Interfaith Alliance, but with other sponsors, such as the Wake County Audubon Society.

There will be a vigil and voter registration 1-3pm at the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville.

This seems to be a religious initiative (see NC Interfaith Power & Light for more information: http://www.ncipl.org/event/local-vigils-and-rallies/ ), but people of all faiths and none should demand that action be taken to deal with climate change.  This year should be a wake up call for our area.  It is probably impossible to say if our greenhouse gas emissions caused the unusual weather patterns this year, but the impacts have been obvious and may be long-lasting.  After the repeated and late cold snaps and ice last winter, there have been very few butterflies around this summer, in numbers of individuals and diversity of species.  That was followed by an unusually cool and wet summer, which helped my corn, but I wonder if this strange weather heralds another bitterly cold winter.  Note that our winters could get worse for a while even though the Earth as a whole is warming up; snow isn't evidence that human-caused climate change isn't happening.      

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Forum on human rights abuses on NC tobacco farms this Sunday

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee, the National Farm Worker Ministry, the NC AFL-CIO, and Triangle Friends of Farmworkers are hosting a panel discussion on abuses of farmworkers in the local tobacco industry, Sunday, July 27th, 4-6pm at the Pullen Memorial Baptist Church's Fellowship Hall (1801 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh).  Two British members of Parliament have been on a fact finding mission here for two days in relation to the company British American Tobacco and will speak about what they have seen and heard, as will farmworkers and advocates, including a representative from OXFAM.  FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez will lead a discussion of what can be done to improve conditions in the fields. Representatives Price and Butterfield were invited, but it isn't certain if they will show solidarity.      

Friday, July 18, 2014

Some upcoming protests

Against the Israeli attack on Gaza:

"Join concerned citizens and the Coalition for Peace with Justice in advocating for peace with justice in Palestine/Israel and an end to the shelling of Gaza

Saturday, July 19 • 12:00-4:00 p.m. • Capitol Building Grounds • 1 East Edenton St.• Raleigh, NC

Dr. Ralph McCoy, CPWJ member, Ralph was part of a delegation that visited Gaza in November 2012 as Operation Pillar of Defense, the Israeli shelling of Gaza, began.
Dr. Rania Masri, Arab-American writer, professor, and human rights activist, Dr. Masri is assistant professor at the University of Balamand in Lebanon. Her research and activism have centered on environmental justice, civil rights, and anti-war (Iraq) and anti-occupation (Palestine) and anti-apartheid (Israel).

Since the Israeli shelling of Gaza began on July 8*:

197 persons killed: 149 civilians including 38 children and 28 women
1,390 injured: 393 children and 252 women
20,000 displaced people in need of emergency food assistance
18,000 civilians have taken shelter in UNRWA schools
Water supply to 170,000 people cut due to Israeli rockets hitting water and sanitation facilities in 18 different locations
1,370 homes destroyed or severely damaged
79 schools damaged
23 health facilities damaged

* Source: United Nations 7/15/14"

Carrboro:  July 19th at 6pm at the corner of Weaver and North Greensboro streets [I'm not sure about this, because the announcement says it is on a Thursday).

Durham:  July 23rd at 5:30pm at the corner of Chapel Hill and Main streets (Little Five Points)
              July 25 at 6pm at the corner of Main and Gregson streets.

The ANSWER Coalition is organizing Stop the Massacre in Gaza! rallies in cities across the country in the coming week and a National March on Washington outside the White House August 1, starting at 1pm (www.answercoalition.org). 

There are also the regular vigils - Fridays 5-6pm at the corner of East Franklin Street and Elliot Road in Chapel Hill and the Stop the Arms Race and Build a Culture of Peace Vigil on the first Wednesday each month, 12-1pm at the First Century Post Office on Fayettville Street in Raleigh.  There is also an anti-death penalty vigil every Monday, 5-6pm, at Central Prison in Raleigh (corner of Hunt Drive and Western Boulevard).  

NC public worker union UE150's convention is this Saturday, the 19th, at NCCU and there will be a protest against State Budget Director Art Pope at 12pm at 1000 North Miami Boulevard in Durham (related to www.raiseupfor15.org).    

There will be a Vigil for Children at the Border Monday, July 21st at 7pm at Chapel Hill's Peace and Justice Plaza (corner of East Franklin Street and Henderson Street, at the Post Office across Franklin from UNC).  Organizers are also seeking donations of money or new pencils, crayons, paper, coloring books, small toys, etc. for detained minor asylum seekers.    

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Durham County Library seed banks and the Spring Book Sale

The Durham County Library is starting the Digging Durham Seed Library, where people can donate and check out seeds that grow well in the area ( http://durhamcountylibrary.org/2014/02/announcing-the-digging-durham-seed-library/ ).  The seed library is open for donations now, and seeds can be checked out starting on the 23rd.  The Library is also holding workshops on seed saving - there was one at the South Regional Library last Sunday, but there will be two more at the Southwest Regional Library April 12th, 3-5pm, and at the Main Library April 15th, 6:30-8:30pm ( http://durhamcountylibrary.org/2014/03/seed-saving-workshops/ ).  Hopefully this will encourage more people to garden or grow their own food, and it could help preserve food biodiversity.        

The Friends of the Durham Library's Spring Book Sale (one of two each year) is also coming up this weekend in the garage at the Main Library.  This Friday's sale, 4-7pm, is for FODL members only (new members can join starting at 2pm) and the regular sale is Saturday, 10-4.  On Sunday (2-5pm) you can buy a paper grocery bag of books for just $7.  The regular price is a dollar for hardcovers and trade paperbacks and 50 cents for smaller paperbacks, with higher (but still pretty low) prices for special items.  They have over 50,000 books, tapes, CDs, DVDs, flash cards, etc. This is one of my favorite annual events in Durham and it's a good place to find old or rare political works, though you have to search to find them.