Sunday, October 04, 2015

Some actions and events in October

October 7th is the anniversary of the beginning of the war in Afghanistan.  I haven't heard of any actions planned around here, but has a global campaign to flood social media platforms with opposition at 12pm on the 7th (see ). 

There is still the anti-war vigil ever Friday, 5-6pm at Village Plaza (corner of East Franklin Street and Elliot Road) in Chapel Hill.  A vigil to Stop the Arms Race and Build a Culture of Peace is every first Wednesday of the month, 12-1pm at the Century Post Office on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh.  There is also a vigil against the death penalty every Monday, 5-6pm outside Central Prison (corner of Hunt Drive and Western Boulevard) in Raleigh. 

The NC Big Sweep trash cleanups were supposed to be this weekend, but because there has been more than a week of wet weather, and it is still raining, many cleanups have been moved to next weekend.  Check with your local waterway conservation group for details.  For Durham, see:

Durham's first annual Monarch Festival will be held at Sandy Creek Park (3510 Sandy Creek Drive, near South Square, but there will be shuttles from overflow parking) Saturday, October 10th 12-4pm.  Monarch butterflies link much of North America together, migrating from Canada and the USA to winter in a small area of mountain forest in Mexico, and in recent years their numbers have declined.  Several local and state organizations and businesses organized the festival to celebrate this famous butterfly, and there will be a parade, talks, music, a butterfly release, a performance by Danza Los viejitos de Michoacán and more.  Mayor Bell, Mexican Cónsul Javier Díaz de Leon, Canadian Business Association of North Carolina President Paul Meade, and NC Senator Mike Woodward will speak.  Sandy Creek Park, on a tributary of New Hope Creek in western Durham, is certified monarch habitat, with the milkweed they need as caterpillars, flowers to provide nectar for the butterflies, and shelter.  Everyone will get plants or seeds to start creating their own monarch-friendly habitat.  See:  

October 10th is the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington, DC and there will be a demonstration with the theme "Justice or Else!"  International ANSWER is organizing for the event:
[ There will be a presentation "Justice or Else: 20th Year Anniversary of the Million Man March" Tuesday, October 13th 7-9pm at the Stanford L Warren Branch Library in Durham.  From the Library website: 

October 10, 2015 marks the 20th year anniversary when 1-million black men gathered in Washington, DC at the behest of Minister Louis Farrakhan "to declare their right to justice to atone for their failure as men and to accept responsibility as the family head." Since then "the country finds itself embroiled in case after case of black men dying while in police custody or facing what some view as an unfair shake by the justice system." Join Durham NOI student minister Amon Muhammad for a discussion on the history and contemporary legacy of the March.]

The biannual Friends of the Durham Library book sale is coming up October 16th-18th and is a good place to find new and old books and other media at a cheap price, and it benefits the Durham County Library ( ).  There are also often classics of Marxism-Leninism in the philosophy and history sections. 

Monclair State University Professor Grover Furr has a new book out, on the contentious Katyn Forest Massacre during WWII, but for now it is only available in French (though he also wants people to get the word out to their local academic libraries).  The publisher's website is: and it can be bought on Amazon's French and Spanish sites, , and .

November 1st is the deadline to nominate trees for Durham's Finest Trees, recognizing trees for size, historical importance, or other significance. Winners will be announced at an Arbor Day event next March.  I can think of several trees to nominate.  I heard about this through Greener Durham's page on Facebook, and the announcement is at:  

I don't think there is very much public awareness of a catastrophe that is slowly unfolding in NC and many other states.  The non-native emerald ash borer crossed the border from Virginia in 2013 and a quarantine on ash wood and trees was imposed for a few counties, but in early September the entire state was quarantined, because the beetle has been detected in several places, including Orange, Durham, and Wake counties.  It shouldn't have been able to spread so much if the quarantines worked, because the beetle only spreads a few miles a year under its own power.  Based on what has happened where it arrived earlier, this beetle is going to kill just about every ash tree, and apparently it attacks fringetrees as well.  Regular insecticide treatments are the only way to save individual trees.  A lot of people might not know what an ash is, but these are common and economically important trees, and it looks like they are going to vanish, for at least some time, which is going to cause problems for us and an even greater catastrophe for native species that depend on ash or fringetrees.  For example, the familiar (?) tiger swallowtail butterfly eats ash as a caterpillar, though it has options.  It is thought that the borer reached the USA in packing materials, so is this a disaster caused by sending industry to East Asia?  I might post an article about this, but for general information, see:

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd, with the mayor and city council up for election, offices that people might not hear about very often, but with a lot of influence over how we live and some influence on higher levels of government. 

[There is a local primary election October 6th.  For information see the State Board of Elections website: or the Durham Board of Elections: ]

From a local peace and justice calendar:  Disgraced: One Dangerous Dinner Party: Pulitzer prize-winning play by Ayad Akhtar "explores Muslim-American citizens' sense of self-identity and the Islamophobia that has strained our society's fabric at its seams." Sept 16 -Oct 4, Paul Green Theatre, Country Club Rd at corner of Paul Green Dr, Chapel Hill. Playmakers Repertory Company,, 919-962-7529. Submitted by Charles M. Jones Peace and Justice Committee

Congratulations to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, a national peace and justice organization that has been around for 100 years this fall, while the Triangle branch is 80 years old!  [See for more information, including an anniversary celebration the evening of November 6th in Chapel Hill.  WILPF is organized as a women's group, but there are also male members.  Their Wake-Up Call program with peace & freedom news is on WCOM 103.5 FM every Wednesday from 5-6pm and streamed at , and is now also on The Peoples Channel every Thursday at 10pm.] 

The fundraising for new editions of Barefoot Gen (see earlier post) succeeded.  The Farm Labor Organizing Committee is fundraising for a youth program in Ohio ( )