Published by the Thomas Merton Center Published by Occupy Pittsburgh PITTSBURGH’S PEACE & JUSTICE NEWSPAPER VOL. 43 No. 1, January 2013 OCCUPY PITTSBURGH INSERT VOL. 2 No. 1, January 2013 IN THIS ISSUE What Do We Do Now? Page 1 & 4 Skyrocketing Health Care Page 11 Taxes, Taxes, Taxes Page 12 Photo courtesy of Philomena O’Dea What Price Security? Page 12 Francine Porter, at far left, stands dressed in the signature pink and black of her women’s peace group CODEPINK to coordinate with their pink-lettered anti-drone banner. Fighting Drone Warfare at Home Summit Against Racism, Jan. 26 by Tris Ozark by Francine Porter On November 24th, 60 activists stood on Forbes and Murray Avenues in Squirrel Hill, chanting, and holding signs to raise public awareness about our country's use of Drone warfare in the Middle East. A young girl approached me to ask, "What's a drone?" I explained that a Drone is a pilotless aircraft used for tactile bombing in countries where the Unites States feels terrorists groups are hiding. I explained that often, innocent civilians living in these war torn areas get caught in the crossfire, and many women and children have already been killed as a result. As she walked away, I realized that we, as activists, have a lot of things to do to educate the general public about these action-at-a-distance weapons that allow warriors to kill at a minimal risk to themselves. Drone strikes are infuriating civilians living in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia, creating feelings of hostility and hatred towards the United States. Imagine how Americans would feel if drones were hovering above their homes, posing a bombing threat any time of the day or night to their families. The Black and White Reunion (BWR), an organization working to end racism, racial profiling, and police brutality, will host its 15th Summit Against Racism from 9 a.m. (registration at 8) to 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 26, 2013, at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, 116 S. Highland Avenue 15206. Held annually on the Saturday after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the event is recognized as a day when everyone—from students to seasoned activists—can gather to start the new year by making or renewing and revitalizing commitments to ending racism in Pittsburgh. The $25 all-day admission includes continental breakfast, lunch, speakers, a commemorative program book, one-year membership in BWR, and several workshops from which to choose. Reduced admission ($10 per person) is available for students, groups of five or more, and low-income attendees. Some scholarships are available, and organizers say no one will be turned away. (Continued on page 14) What Do We Do Now? Open Wide The Window Of Change! by Michael Drohan The reelection of Barack Hussein Obama to the presidency Michael Drohan for four more years caused most of us to breathe a sigh of relief, because the alternative was so frightening. But, having breathed several sighs of relief, we are now overcome by a dark dose of realism. Really, is Obama’s reelection the realization of our dreams for the end of the multiple wars, covert and otherwise, that the U.S. is engaged in around the world? Does his reelection extend any hope for peace in the Middle East? Can we realistically hope for an end to the use of drones all over the world from a president who has expanded their use by several factors over the last four years? Can there be hope for addressing the frightening prospect of global warming and climate change in the coming four years? (Continued on page 4) (Continued on page 3) TMC works to build a consciousness of values and to raise the moral questions involved in the issues of war, poverty, racism, classism, economic justice, oppression and environmental justice. TMC engages people of diverse philosophies and faiths who find common ground in the nonviolent struggle to bring about a more peaceful and just world. January 2013 NEWPEOPLE - 1 PERMIT NO. 458 PITTSBURGH, PA PAID THOMAS MERTON CENTER, 5129 PENN AVE. PITTSBURGH, PA 15224 U.S. POSTAGE NON-PROFIT ORG.