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RESEARCH EDUCATION DIALOGUE ACTION

REDA SEPTEMBER 2012 THE PUBLICATION OF THE DALLAS PEACE CENTER

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and Dallas LGBTQ Pride Month


THE DALLAS PEACE CENTER works for peace through justice in North Texas and around the world.

The Dallas Peace Center 5910 Cedar Springs Rd. Dallas, TX 75235-6806 214-823-7793 www.dallaspeacecenter.org

RÉDA Cover Art Esperanza Gama Sol de la Noche Maya, 2011 Serigraph, 22" x 30" Serie XVIII Produced by the Serie Project Photo by Scott David Gordon

DPC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & RÉDA EXECUTIVE EDITOR KELLI OBAZEE MANAGING EDITOR PATTY BATES-BALLARD ART EDITOR RHONDA VARSANE DPC PHOTOGRAPHERS WALID AJAJ, TUNDE OBAZEE, PATTY BATES-BALLARD

2012 BOARD MEMBERS PRESIDENT REV. RYAN KOCH VICE PRESIDENT/TREASURER JOHN FULLINWIDER SECRETARY ZARA TARIQ DR. QAISAR ABBAS REV. DIANE BAKER MAVIS BELISLE SADDYNA BELMASHKAN LEN ELLIS SARA MOKURIA SAM NANCE ERIC REECE AFTAB SIDDIQUI REV. L.CHARLES STOVALL

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Contents Hispanic Heritage Month: A Latino perspective on peace and justice ............................................................ 3 Pride, Queer Justice, Liberation…It’s not just about “us” ................................................................................ 6 The Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote – Su Voto Es Su Voz ...................................................................... 9 Why I joined the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote: In it to win ............................................................ 12 Why I joined the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote ................................................................................ 14 The 8th Annual Summer Dinner Lecture featuring Shahid Buttar .................................................................. 15 Iraqi students discuss peace with North Texas peers .................................................................................... 18 The crisis in Syria: Dallas Peace Center position statement .......................................................................... 20 The big question behind Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day .................................................................................. 21 Lips sewn, mouths taped ............................................................................................................................... 25 DPC intern travels to Colombia to investigate labor rights violations ........................................................... 28 Workers Defense Project: New to Dallas and ready to work ........................................................................ 31 Tar Sands Blockade stops Keystone XL pipeline ............................................................................................ 33 Hiroshima bombing remembered in Dallas ................................................................................................... 35 Who is keeping us safe from low-level radioactive waste? ........................................................................... 37 First Unitarian Church of Dallas: Living our values ........................................................................................ 39 Summer of Peace ........................................................................................................................................... 41 Peace Begins With Me ................................................................................................................................... 42 The Gas Drilla-Thrilla on Marilla .................................................................................................................... 43 The American DREAM? .................................................................................................................................. 47 Latino Print Collection Comes to the Latino Cultural Center ......................................................................... 50 Autumn Peace and Justice Calendar.............................................................................................................. 52

RÉDA (Research, Education, Dialogue, Action) is the quarterly publication of the Dallas Peace Center. RÉDA is published in September, November, February, and May. Please click here for submission deadlines. To submit content, please submit an inquiry to reda@dallaspeacecenter.org.

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Hispanic Heritage Month: A Latino perspective on peace and justice By Rene Martinez, M. Ed. Director, LULAC District 3

Photo: Zaul Ocampo

September 16 through October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month. With our proximity to Mexico, many in this country will be thinking about Mexican culture, values, and history. Yet the true history of Latinos is a fusion of Spanish, Iberian, Indian, African, and later Mestizo cultures, each creating a fabric of events in the evolution of numerous Latin American countries and nations in South America, Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico. All of these regions were settled, conquered, Christianized, and exploited by the Spanish and Portuguese monarchs. Some were victimized by the French and English.

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Out of this turmoil and colonization from 1510 to 1900, numerous mestizo, criollo, and indigenous leaders surfaced to fight for justice and peace: Tupac Amaru in Peru, Cuauhtemoc, Fr. Miguel Hidalgo, and Fr. Jose Maria Morelos in Mexico are a few that gave their lives for their beliefs of freedom and independence. Rejecting systems of government that advocated for ethnic and racial hatred, other heroes surfaced, including Jose Marti in Cuba, Toussaint L'Ourverture in Haiti, and Benito Juarez and Emiliano Zapata in Mexico. These visionary leaders sought agrarian reform, liberty from oppressive dictators, freedom of speech, and the creation of a democratic republic. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (pictured above) flour-


ished in colonial Mexico through her writings on liberty, women's rights in education, and rejection of oppression by the Viceroys of Mexico and Spain.

death. Salazar was violently killed by L.A. County Sheriff Deputies. Both men left their community legacies of leadership, bravery, and a penchant for change.

These are a few of the early figures who laid the groundwork for 20th century Mexican American leaders espousing the tenets of peace and nonviolence. The Civil Rights period of the 1960's brought to the forefront men like Cesar Chavez, representing farm workers, and journalist Ruben Salazar in Los Angeles. Both wrote and advocated for a non-violent movement of Chicanos, a term signifying Mexican American activist made popular in the 1960's.

Many Chicano leaders and educators have followed these forerunners of the Chicano movement to advocate for educational, political, police-community, and later immigration reform. After Jose Angel Gutierrez was elected to the Crystal City, TX school board in the late 60's, many more local municipalities, states, and congressional districts experienced the first elections of Chicanos to public office. The student school walkouts and boycotts of the 1960's and 70's, focused on educational reform in public schools, were the precursors of major demonstrations, school walkouts, and marches in 20062007 from California to Texas protesting immigrant bashing and discriminatory legislation. The influx of Latin American immigrants into the United States, resulting from the Zapata-led Revolution of 1910-18, 20th century economic and political crises in Central and South America, WWII and the Bracero Program of the 50's, Castro’s Cuban Revolution of 1959, President Ronald Reagan's Amnesty of 1986, and the continuing migration from Mexico, joining the many thousands of Mexicans who lived in the southern U.S. before it was the U.S., has produced a vibrant Latino community across the U.S.

Photo: Mr. Martinez

The boycott of grapes championed by these men led to reforms like union contracts that ensured decent wages and medical care for those working in the vineyards of California and Texas, as well as the streets of major urban areas of the Southwest. Chavez, like Gandhi, fasted to near-

Racial and ethnic discrimination in public schools, disenfranchisement within the political system, and a lack of economic opportunities for many young Latinos and Mexican Americans has always been part of the Latino American experience. Yet upon reaching in the last decade a critical mass of 10 million undocumented immigrants, spurred by the (continued on p. 5)

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(cont. from p. 4) failing Mexican economy and drug wars, Latinos have witnessed a dramatic shift toward more virulent and violent anti-immigration reactions at all levels of the American political system.

years. Nieto, while pledging support for immigrants abroad, faces continued challenges with the war against the narcotraficantes and an economy that continues to sputter.

The historical transition from Spanish colonies to Mexican states and now to U.S. states informs the current federal union/states’ rights struggle with its prominent features of ethnocentrism, a belief in cultural assimilation, and continued segregation of the poor and uneducated immigrant. Yet some of these U.S. states, including Texas, will become predominantly Latino within the next 10-15 years, according to researcher Dr. Steven Murdock. Indeed, he believes Texas will be over 60% Latino by 2030.

In light of the resulting exodus of wealthy and upper middle class Mexicans to the United States, the issue of education looms ever larger for justice-minded individuals. How will Congress address Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the Dream Act after the November election? Much has been written, researched, and debated about public school educational reform, high school retention of Latino students, the effectiveness of dual language instruction, and closing the achievement gap between Latinos and non-Latinos. Creating a climate of learning, student engagement, raising educational expectations, and improving educational leadership and instruction are all pieces of the puzzle of Latino student achievement, coupled with the growing challenge of developing meaningful parental engagement in the schools. Accomplishing these objectives can increase the number of first generation Latinos entering college ranks and establishing meaningful roles in the workforce. A new generation of leadership sustainability among Latinos is critical. My personal view is that with improved student achievement and attainment, promising leadership will grow and develop. The immigrant population will continue to grow, impacting our schools, government, health system, and more importantly our political platforms.

This summer’s Presidential Election in Mexico reinstated the Partido Revolutionario Institucional (PRI). Newly elected President Enrique Pena Nieto represents the latest in a cyclical challenge the United States has faced over the

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How non-Latino Americans embrace this growing demographic change will be the deciding factor in whether our country will flourish or continue to be divided among racial, ethnic, and economic lines.


Pride, Queer Justice, Liberation…It’s not just about “us” By Eric Reece, DPC Board member

It is the season of Pride, as Dallas celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month. During this time, my reflections of Pride focus on the blessings in my life and the community of which I am a part. My Pride wraps around being Black, Southern, Working Class, Same Gender Loving, a progressive Christian, and blessed to understand the intersections of those identities and how they work in my life. I feel Pride in being with and learning with others who are part of a tradition that has resisted assimilation, held die-ins, risked lives at pride celebrations, and is hated, all in hopes that the work we do means working towards liberation...Pride grounded in the principles and values of Queer Liberation. The mainstream LGBT equality movement is almost done. The policy issues that the mainstream movement has made the central focus of its agenda are already won. In 2009, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Act, added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories for federal hate crimes statutes. In 2011, the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy ended after 18 years, allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military. That same year, the Respect for Marriage Act was introduced and ultimately will void the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, laying the groundwork for federally recognized same-sex marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership status, which is just right around the corner. Also, the Obama administration has made many administrative and policy changes that benefit LGBT people, in the areas of Medicaid, hospital visitation, and passport changes. But what now?...This is the

question state and national LGBT equality organizations are exploring. In early 2012, the Queer People’s Movement Assembly provided an evolving definition of Queer Liberation, which seeks liberation for ALL peoples through working for the recognition of our whole selves; the integrity of the relationships and families we embrace; self determination in choices for our bodies in sexuality, gender, eroticism, disability, safety, and privacy; the dignity of our spiritual practices; fairness in our economic systems, our work, and its compensation; full access to participation in and benefiting from society’s institutions; human rights for all; and justice as a birthright for all. A movement based on those principles means working for the participation within our full humanity for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and (continued on p. 7)

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universalizing our focus to make sure that everyone’s basic needs are accounted for, regardless of how people choose to live their lives, and that a sense of public responsibility or common good exists again.

(cont. from p. 6) Queer (LGBTQ) people, and for all people to have dignity, safety, and liberation. This movement calls for us to work from a place of multiplicity, plurality, and transformation. Intersection-ality does not mean that we work only with LGBTQ people with similar politics. WE work with a larger movement, pushing for liberation of all people globally and within coordinated and useful roles. The focus of this movement is on Liberation, as opposed to and fundamentally different from limited notions of civil equality. Civil equality leaves many queer identities vulnerable to other forms of state and interpersonal violence- especially where race, class, gender identity, disability, immigration, and criminal status mark the ways in which we experience queerness. The mainstream LGBTQ movement has focused on defining “our” issues in narrow ways, such as the focus on gay marriage as the avenue to legal and civic rights, rather than universalizing our health care, our social security, and our child support. Queer Justice is about

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Even in the broader “left” movement, we organize and live with crisis-driven movements. We identify the crisis…poverty, housing, the prison system, antiMuslim and anti-Arab racism, homophobia and heterosexism, transphobia… Then we think of a way to respond to the crisis/problem. We make sure everyone else sees the problem by talking about it, writing about it, and explaining it over and over again. Sometimes we try to change the problem by organizing people in our communities to show up for marches and protests. Sometimes we try to change the problem by organizing people in the legislature to pass laws. Very often we try to change the problem by changing how people think about the problem, and along the way we make great friendships with people, go to the same parties, we fall in love with each


changing policy and changing ideas, rather than creating the infrastructures that actually support us day to day. Queer justice movements operate by through educating people about the big picture while also finding streetbased ways to make health care, job training, schools, and housing available for folks who don’t have them. Queer justice movements held and continue to hold the importance of SONG, OF STORYTELLING, OF THE RADICALNESS OF CREATION, always recognizing culture as the central value of who we are, how we live, and how we connect to each other. other, and we watch our world become a series of gatherings around the crises we want to fix. This is important work, but it lacks the reality of our everyday lives. When uncomfortable things happen, when we don’t know how to show up for each other, when trauma and struggle thrusts itself even more intensely into our daily lives, our actions often stutter or fall apart. Queer Justice principles call for our movement to be stronger. Queer Justice principles urge us to become stronger by focusing on the larger un-glamorous but deeply important connections and relationships of an interconnected community. We are being called to create interconnected communities based on the value of deep responsibility to each other, no matter who we are. This means showing up for people even when it isn’t easy; living with the uncomfortable as well as the comfortable. Currently we define ourselves by the crises we have to change, rather than by the relationships we seek to honor, the vision we seek to dream, and the communities we seek to strengthen. Our focus is on

The Queer justice movement means ending the practice of organizing around privilege and working for social change while excluding the most vulnerable among us. Anything less is just continuing the status quo. It calls for a commitment to the values of economic justice and demands that we all have a safe place to live, enough healthy food to eat, a way to get well when we are sick, and clothes to wear when we are cold. With those basic needs met, all of us are enabled to be well, safe, and have a sense of belonging so that we can thrive. It’s simple. Queer Justice focuses on a safe and sane world for EVERYONE. Seeking solutions to economic injustice, environmental degradation, structural racism, and unchecked power are the tenets. Queer Justice strives and struggles for democracy (small ‘d’). Queer Justice movements grounded in those values are my continual source of PRIDE; a pride that fuels my spark to continue to struggle, connect, and Transform myself and the society in which I live.

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The Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote – Su Voto Es Su Voz By Patty Bates-Ballard

The Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote – Su Voto Es Su Voz is a collaborative coalition focused on engaging underrepresented communities in civic participation. Coalition members are the Dallas Peace Center, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and CitySquare. The effort engages North Texans by leveraging the leadership of faith based organizations, educational institutions, community centers, and other communities of influence.

Recent events demonstrate that communities within the Rising American Electorate, those who are aged 18-35; Hispanic/Latino; African American; or single women, are underrepresented by elected officials. As a result, these groups suffer from social injustice in areas such as financial stress and employment, health, education, criminal justice, law enforcement, immigration, and voting rights. It is the right and duty of every person to raise our voice and engage with decision-makers to improve the condition of all families and communities. While the coalition’s initial focus will be the fall general election, the underlying purpose of this effort is to lay a foundation for long term civic engagement by a broader group of North Texans than currently are engaged. Volunteers are welcome and needed right away and throughout the election season. Please call 214-823-7793 or send an email to vote@dallaspeacecenter.org.

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Late Breaking Voter ID News: The Texas Voter ID law was ruled unconstitutional on August 30. While the state will appeal, the ID requirements for the November 2012 election will be the same as they always have been.


Above: V is for Vote! at the August 3 Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote luncheon at Dallas City Hall

Below: NAACP President Dr. Juanita Wallace speaks about voter education. The Voter Education team: Yonwi Bell, Claudette Brown, Elizabeth Walley, and Ricardo Medrano

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Above: Attendees of the August 3 Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote luncheon speak about their commitment to increasing civic engagement Below: Dallas Peace Center Board Member Aftab Siddiqui speaks to attendees of the August 4 Community of Influence gathering at Dallas Masjid of AL Islam

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Why I joined the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote: In it to win By Rev. John Morris, Jr., St. Mark AME Zion Church

There is a movement afoot called the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote. I say movement because I don’t believe it’s going to be a one-time event or a passing activity that fades away after its goals are met. No, this get out the vote movement intends to continue to challenge voters to stay engaged in the political process regardless of who wins at the polls so that citizens can take ownership in the processes that impact their lives. Because of concerned individuals like Mrs. Kelli Obazee of the Dallas Peace Center, I was inspired to get involved. I found myself working in this movement. I was asked about my reasons for participating in this movement. As I pondered that, I was taken back to one of our earlier meetings when I put forth the idea that this movement could find a theological underpinning in the story of the Biblical character, Nehemiah and the Old Testament book bearing his name. I’ve come to realize that Nehemiah’s story is my story. As I revisited Nehemiah’s challenge, I found the motivation for my involvement in this coalition through: Call Nehemiah heard that Jerusalem’s walls had been torn down. In those times, the walls of a city were a symbol of the community’s strength, political power, safety, and stability. The imagery of the wall’s severe state of disrepair had to be unhealthy for the city’s inhabitants. The burning of the gates cut off all hope of recovery. But, Nehemiah felt a sense of calling to the work of rebuilding the Jerusalem community. So it was with me. There was a deep sense of a call to the work of voter engagement. Many Dallas communities are inhabited by people who have been left

out of the processes that should be helping rebuild and revitalize their communities. The exclusion leads to voter apathy and disenfranchisement. The same voice that called me into the Christian ministry was the same voice that beckoned me to get involved in helping the people that I serve to hear the call to work at rebuilding their own community. Connect To do his work, Nehemiah needed resources. He first received assistance from the king, thereby connecting with government resources. He then connected with community leaders of Jerusalem to broker a buy-in from them to implement their own turnaround. I rejoice over these new connections in the Dallas community as I have entered the conversation to get people working together to improve our plight. The connections across many lines have been so rewarding and hold out so much promise for a productive effort through the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote. These connections (continued on p. 13)

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(cont. from p. 12) have helped me to get on a fast learning curve to understand how communities can be empowered through voter education and engagement. These connections have added a new dimension to my practice of pastoral care and empowerment. Compassion I don’t know how anyone can be effective in working with people without compassion. Whenever I think of compassion, I am reminded of how often the Gospels indicated Jesus’ compassion for people. It is especially moving when one does the etymology on the word; (com = with + passion = suffering). Christ entered into our suffering with us. Nehemiah chose to leave the comfort of the king’s palace to join in the suffering of his people in Jerusalem. I find this work requires compassion for the people we’re trying to reach. Many have been marginalized. If they don’t vote, they have no voice. If they have no voice, their needs will be overlooked. I want to help them find their voice. Commitment If there is to be continued engagement among the voting populace, there must be a continuing commitment to the objectives of this movement. Nehemiah cultivated a commitment from his constituents who had

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an interest in seeing the city restored to its former prominence even with forces aligned against him. I’m committed to this cause because I know that there are voters who historically sit on the sidelines. I know that there are those who profit from voter apathy. I know that there are many voices that are stifled because they don’t know how to organize, mobilize, and become the new “game changers.” So, I’m committed to help and to do all I can to make that happen by being a part of this coalition, pictured above. Continuance I don’t think we can ever say that this work will reach a point of completion. There will always be issues of concern in our community. There’s a new generation of voters emerging. The objectives of this Coalition are timeless. Therefore after the elections, we’ll need to: 1). Hold accountable those elected to office, 2). Advocate for just laws and compassionate government, and 3). Be proactive as legislative bodies make decisions that affect our families. I’m in this because I look forward to the day when this kind of effort won’t be necessary; when government is transformed and we become a just society. But until then, I’m committed to do my part to see it happen.


Why I joined the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote By Imam Khalid Shaheed, Dallas Masjid of AL Islam

As Imam of Dallas Masjid of AL Islam, located in South Dallas, I am acutely aware of the problems and plight of disenfranchisement and the need for greater social justice in our society. I am happy to report that in the faith of Islam there is a strong emphasis on this endeavor. First of all, when you translate the word Islam to English it means peace that comes from surrendering to God All Mighty, the highest power. With that said, most of us are aware that there is no peace without justice. Islam attempts to bring about this justice in doctrinal ways. The message of Islam is found in Quran. There is a verse in the Quran that is very well known to Muslims, it is called the verse of Righteousness, 2:177. This verse distinctly tells us what righteousness is in Islam. First, this verse dispels the notion that righteousness is somehow demonstrated by way of some formality or ritual. Also, it makes clear that belief ALONE is not righteousness. After the verse tells what righteousness is not. It says specifically what it is. The verse tells us that it is a combination of beliefs and action. It has a strong social element in it. In other words, to only do what religious people do inside the walls of our sanctuaries is not enough. To have great dignified rituals is laudable but not necessary useful. Righteousness in Islam is not just being good but it is being useful. What I love the most about this wonderful verse in the Quran is that the whole definition of righteousness, including the beliefs and social action, is predicated on LOVE.

The verse of Righteousness in the Quran says the motive must be LOVE of him (God Almighty), only. Hence the proper motive is a unique element that Islam associates with righteousness. If the social action is engendered for any other reason, it is tainted in Islam and thus not a righteous act. These same sentiments are found throughout the Quran, such as in 90:13- 19. Finally, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in a famous saying said that if you see a wrong, you should first attempt to change it with your hands. If you cannot do that, you seek to change it with your mouth. If you cannot change it by speaking out against it, then you hate it in your heart and that is the weakest of faith. These are the reasons that I am honored to be part of the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote.

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The 8th Annual Summer Dinner Lecture featuring Shahid Buttar By Yonwi Bell, DPC staff member

A great and harmonious meeting of hearts and minds occurred on July 12th in Dallas. Dallas Peace Center members and friends alike came to learn more about how they could make continued progress in the communities in which they serve.

The coalition’s mission is to engage underrepresented communities in civic participation. The effort will focus on the "Rising American Electorate" those who are aged 18-35, Hispanic/Latino, African American, or single women.

Kelli Obazee, Director of Dallas Peace Center, opened the evening by announcing that 2012 is the 31st year of the Dallas Peace Center playing and active leadership role in advocating peace and justice throughout the Dallas area.

Obazee then reminded the participants about what links all of us together, and the need to take action for the benefit of our brothers and sisters and our communities.

The Dallas Peace Center has protested injustices, petitioned for justice, and helped train and support peace advocates within the city. Recently, the Dallas Peace Center joined with the Dallas Chapter of the NAACP, CitySquare, and other prominent civil activists from throughout Dallas/Ft. Worth to form the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote - Su Voto Es Su Voz. .

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The poem “Imagine A World” was delivered by Len Ellis, former Director of Dallas Peace Center. The reading depicts the world in which all us work to see achieved in our country and world: Where the rights of all people are respected and disputes are settled by the rule of law for the common good… Where all people have food, shelter, and access to medical care, and children are born into and raised by healthy families and communities…


Where economic practices create wellbeing for all stakeholders including communities and the environment. The delicious and plentiful buffet provided by Bridge Bistro was a perfect complement to the keynote lecture by Shahid Buttar. A civil rights attorney and constitutional scholar, Shahid Buttar is Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC). Buttar began revealed that We The People who live in the “home of the brave and land of the free” have been living in a lie since the passing of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978 by President Carter. Buttar said FISA is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment of the constitution, which guarantees freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. Buttar also demonstrated how our rights have continued to be violated to greater and greater extent, up to the most recent

passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this year. Buttar said that the NDAA is similar to the government dangling a “carrot” in from of the public’s face, daring us to diverge from the ideal path and cause uproars that could be considered terrorist or treasonous acts. Through the NDAA, the government and military have the right to detain nonmilitary persons (citizens) indefinitely without charge or trial, and they can be held in military confinement indefinitely. “When is enough, enough?” he asked. He said that people across the world 20 years ago equated America with true freedom. People from other countries would rush to come to experience the liberties that we now try to force their respective governments to adopt and up hold. Yet our own country has become the land of social control and monitoring. If what you are portraying is not in accordance with “the plan,” be prepared to face the ramifications, Buttar said. He (continued on p. 17)

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(cont. from p. 16) cited the newest wave of government surveillance, which he said is easily susceptible to hackers and other negative influences. Buttar explained that our government now has the ability to gather everyday citizens’ private information, emails, and tap into phone calls through drones that fly across the country. In addition, he shared that some Yale professors have reported that CIA agents have been monitoring speech in their classes. Buttar closed by linking all of these concerns together because they are all unconstitutional. Nevertheless, he said, the people who are part of organizations like Dallas Peace Center can advocate for the constitution, thrive through our community activities, and make great waves of change. He said that the diversity of the Dallas Peace Center holds a vast amount of power and voice, and that it is important that it continues its efforts. Buttar then stressed the importance of the newly formed Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote - Su Voto Es Su Voz because its mission touches on the very foundation of

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the Dallas Peace Center’s mission to “promote a just and peaceful world through constructive action in education, dialogue, reconciliation and advocacy.” Buttar urged that each citizen take three actions: 1) Attend a Town Hall meeting or other public event, 2) Visit your representative's office, and 3) Organize a public action. Further information can be found at http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/498/si gnup_page/august-recess. You can sign up and complete easy steps to engage your members of Congress. It is vital to make our voices heard on these violations of constitutional amendments and the civil rights of every person in this great country. How to promote civil liberties with Members of Congress -What you can do:    

Attend a Town Hall meeting or other public event Visit your representative's office Organize a public action Study suggested talking points to sharpen your advocacy


Iraqi students discuss peace with North Texas peers By Saif Pardawala, DPC Intern, and Yonwi Bell, DPC Staff member

The DFW World Affairs Council and the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, together with the Dallas Peace Center, hosted a group of Iraqi high school students at the Dallas Peace Center Monday, July 23rd. The event centered around a discussion between North Texas youth and their peers visiting from Iraq, and was followed by a reception and display of artwork made by the Iraqi students. Both the paintings as well as the discussion focused on a common theme of peace. The discussion proved to be most engaging for both the Iraqi visitors and the local

youth. The discussion was divided in two groups with an equal number of participants from Iraq and North Texas. They were given a set of questions centered on seeking ways to debunk stereotypes and false perceptions. These questions opened a platform for dialogue aimed at establishing a better understanding on both sides and differentiating between an idealist and a realistic approach to establishing peace. A dominant theme of the conversation was the way in which typical Iraqis view Americans. Given the (continued on p. 17)

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(cont. from p. 18) controversial 2003 invasion and prolonged military presence in Iraq, the common assumption that Iraqis hold a negative view of Americans was shown to be untrue. In fact, young Iraqis throughout the discussion portrayed Americans citizens as friendly and open, while noting that the American government often causes significant distrust and anger. Someone asked how this view was shaped, considering that the military presence was the most direct source of contact these students previously had with Americans. The response was that they realized that the army did not reflect the average American citizen, who they considered mostly very decent, and even some held in very high regard. However, there was a view that the American intervention brought with it a lack of security. Though they agreed that there were certainly positive aspects of the invasion, such as bringing a more open society, it also led to increased sectarian violence and instability. This lack of security seemed to be the core issue around which the discussion in one small group was based. In this group, some young Iraqis’ statements reflected a lack of hope because they saw the current state of affairs to be out of their hands. At the same time, the other small group reflected determination to make a difference in both of their countries’ outlooks of, and interactions with each other. Their burning hope for a better tomorrow for their countries stays on their mind and heart. They are determined there will a healthy and happy country within their lifetime, and they will play a role in making that difference. The Iraqi youth voiced strong determination for their group to take an individual stand. They vowed to help

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their country grow, and to obtain an education and the experience they will need to help rebuild Iraq’s government and economic system. This small group asked that the world, including their own people, understand that they are at a 35-year disability compared to Iraq’s neighbors that are oil-rich as well. The youth said that the American government could help to establish a better Iraq by helping the citizens provide for themselves with the limited funds and resources that are being provided. Possibly most importantly, they urged support for education for the citizens of Iraq of all ages, including post-graduate work. In seeking to determine ways to counter the sources of instability, a number of requirements were identified. It was agreed that priority should be placed on education and promoting professional knowledge in the aims of advancing society. Furthermore, many Iraqi students believe there is a need for a strong, creative leader guided by the US, a direct reflection of their positive view of Americans and the hope that they can bring peace to Iraq. A point of contention raised about conflicting interests inherent in installing a puppet subservient to US interests was dismissed as the price they are willing to pay for security. An element of hope for the future of Iraq was still prevalent throughout the discussion. The group determined that “one united hand” of the people is necessary to unite the diverse groups and establish a just and democratic country. The discussion laid a foundation for understanding on both sides because voicing issues and needs, and brainstorming ways that they can be fulfilled, are the first steps toward long-lasting peace.


The crisis in Syria: Dallas Peace Center position statement The Dallas Peace Center condemns in the strongest terms the atrocities being committed by the Syrian government against its civilian population. According to media reports thousands have been killed so far and thousands have been detained. Such actions might constitute war crimes and indeed crimes against humanity. We demand the Syrian government immediately cease killing civilians and stop the shelling of residential areas especially in Homs, Dara'a, Hama, Baniyas, Aleppo and suburbs of Damascus. We further demand that opposition armed groups immediately cease killing of civilians who are deemed to be supporters of the Government. We condemn the atrocities being committed by all sides. The Dallas Peace Center unequivocally denounces calls by American political leaders to further militarize an already dire situation. The United States and its allies must refrain from injecting heavy arms and ammunition into the country. We wholeheartedly support the courage and respect the wishes of many Syrians who are mounting nonviolent protests. When nonviolent protest turns violent because of "outside forces" it dishonors those who have gone before. The danger of Syria erupting into an all out civil war, similar to what a horrified world witnessed in former Yugoslavia, is too painful to imagine. As in Yugoslavia, many ethnic, sectarian and religious fault lines exist in Syrian society whose collapse could de-stabilize the country and possibly the entire region. One of the neighboring

states most likely to be drawn into the conflict is Lebanon, where skirmishes between pro and anti Syrian supporters have already broken out. The Syrian population is a mosaic of Kurds, Christians, Druze, Alawite Shias and Sunnis. Civil and human rights of all Syrians must be respected.

We hope that the Arab League and regional powers such as Turkey, the United States and the European Union will actively seek a negotiated rather than a military solution to the crisis. We regret the resignation of Kofi Anan as UN-Arab League special envoy after prolonged attempts to get Syria to fulfill the six-point peace plan We appeal to the Arab League, US, NATO and neighboring countries to help the fleeing Syrian refugees and make their lives in their temporary abode safe and secure till they are able to return to their homes. We are hopeful that violence will cease in Syria and the noble aspirations of its people will usher in an era of peace and prosperity.

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The big question behind Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day By J Kendel Johnson

I really had not paid much attention to the national demonstration brewing when I was driving down the street recently near my home in Arlington and thought, “Wow! That place is mobbed!” Then I realized it was a Chick-fil-A, actually a day after official "National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." I went online to read news reports about the level of national participation in the anti-gay marriage event, and began to feel stunned that so many of my fellow Americans would rally in support of inequality. The acute awareness hit home that, this time, I am one of the ones being called unequal – that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” does not include me in so many Americans' minds – many of them my neighbors, and surely even some of them people I know and love very dearly. That was sobering. In my hometown in Oklahoma, the Chickfil-A also was flooded with customers on August 1st. Police were required to keep the peace and direct the overwhelming amount of traffic. A large, vocal number of people in the community where I grew up have not been traveling along with me on my journey of acceptance, love and celebration of who I am. Also sobering. I was married for 10 years to a very smart, loving woman who did her best to see only the best in me and meet the misery of living with someone who hates himself with compassion and understanding. Today, I don’t marvel that it took me so long to overcome my self-hatred, because owning and letting people know I am gay

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would have been so costly, even lifethreatening, in certain circumstances. Every time I left the house growing up, my mother called out “Remember who you are!” A lovely-sounding sentiment, perhaps, but I knew its truly urgent message was, “Don’t act in a way that will bring judgment and shame upon you or our family.” What else would you say to a child you’re sending out into a community that panics and attacks difference with kneejerk hostility? When using beliefs about God to teach people to fear and disdain difference and deny “all men are created equal,” is there any dissimilarity between religious leaders and teachers, and those who are being persuaded and socially compelled to take their teachings to heart, whether they are Christians in Oklahoma or Muslims in the Middle East? At the same time, will attacking and vilifying people engaging in such tactics bring us peace and recognition and preservation of equality? Overpowering – even disarming – those with different perspectives and


life experiences only brings momentary quiet, not safety, equality, or peace. The big question for me is, “How can we help our brothers and sisters find the safety, calm, and peace that they’re longing for – the release from feeling so afraid of living with people who show up ‘different’ and the dread of any sociallyunacceptable difference being discovered in themselves?” It’s a question critical to our survival, and there are as many potential answers as there are human beings. I think “living in this question” is essential. I believe Marshall Rosenberg’s model of Nonviolent Communication (also know as NVC or Compassionate Communication) opens us to possibilities we hadn’t thought of before

– possibilities that can support everyone in flourishing and thriving, without compromise or sacrifice of anyone’s precious values. Compassionate Communication points us in the direction of a powerful and potent new way of living with ourselves and cocreating with others that I believe is an inevitable next step in human evolution. It remains to be seen, I guess, whether the idea that we can overpower others to achieve peace becomes outdated in time for humanity’s survival. The other answer to “the big question” that comes immediately to (continued on p. 23) (cont. from p. 22) my mind is that, like those who walked with Martin Luther King,

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we must simply and resolutely stand for the ideal of equality. Christianity, along with every other religion and major spiritual teaching, is based on growing and nurturing love for ourselves and all living things, especially our fellow human beings, so far as I can tell. Fundamental teachings often get twisted and distorted, as we know. But it also seems observable to me that, over the arc of time, humanity is always improving its ability to practically implement what it means to love, and to actually put love into practice. That’s why the African slaves were freed in the U.S. That’s why the right to vote was eventually acknowledged for black men, and later, all women. We continue to stagger our way forward, even as we live with the effects of our past ignorance- and fearfueled beliefs and the actions that sprang from them. When proponents of gay marriage began speaking out and receiving national media attention in the 1990s, my first thought was “Are you crazy?!! You’re free of all legal entanglements and government interference! Run free!!” Then I began to understand that same-sex couples go without rights, benefits and protections at critical times in their lives, especially where illness, death and ownership of property are concerned. And it just hit me: Either we’re all equal, or we’re not.

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As we find our way to putting the concept of love into action, let us do the same, explicitly, with the concept of equality and what it means to hold precious “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” We’re staggering our way forward, learning how to love, learning what having true equality really means. Those of us who want to see equality extended to everyone, regardless… regardless of anything… can stand for it, fearlessly and resolutely, generously and compassionately, demonstrating by example to those who have yet not journeyed forward with us the kind of world we want to live in – and how impossible it is for them to succeed in resisting its arrival. We can engage wisdom and courage to stand for equality, and seek comfort and soothing for the pain we feel when see our brothers and sisters resist it. Or we ourselves can resist, deride and decry their current perspectives, prolonging the suffering for all of us, and delaying the greater possibility. One day, all humanity will surely look back and wonder, “Why did they do anything to cause delay for one minute?” For more information on Compassionate Communication, please visit: www.CNVC.org www.NVCDFW.org www.FWCompassion.org


ONE MAKES A DIFFERENCE The Dallas Peace Center’s Peace Education Program The Dallas Peace Center’s “ONE MAKES A DIFFERENCE” youth curriculum provides a strong intellectual and ethical foundation that encourages academic excellence, enhances self-esteem, increases community understanding and civic engagement, and inspires future global leaders. The curriculum is inspired by the simple and profound belief that ONE MAKES A DIFFERENCE. The goal of the program is to encourage participants to piece together their personal stories and histories in a way that deepens their understanding of interconnectedness and peace. When young people have the opportunity to share their knowledge in a group, they can teach each other a lot. Each person in the group is a teacher, learner, and listener creating new knowledge and relationships built on trust. The twelve two-hour sessions included in the ONE MAKES A DIFFERENCE program incorporate heart/mind coherence, self awareness, conflict resolution, non-violent communication, and civic engagement. Join us as we launch a program that empowers our youth to charter their destiny for success. The ONE MAKES A DIFFERENCE program currently needs additional funding. You can be the ONE who MAKES A DIFFERENCE for young people in our community by making a donation today. To donate, click here, or for more information, email us or call 214-823-7793.

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Lips sewn, mouths taped DPC & allies show support for Colombian GM workers on hunger strike By Bethany Carson, DPC Intern

On August 1, four men sewed their lips together in a quest for justice. Pictured above, they are four of the 13 remaining members of ASOTRECOL, the union of injured workers and ex-workers at the General Motors assembly plant in Bogota, Colombia. Last year, 68 workers were illegally fired for injuries they acquired in their jobs that required strenuous, repetitive motion. Initially, all went on strike in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, set up in makeshift tents and protesting the implementation of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement despite non-compliance with the Labor Action Plan. They were ignored by GM and the U.S. Embassy, and numbers dwindled as those who could still work, or had other options left the strike. Those who were left began to lose houses, could not pay utilities, or feed their families.

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On August 1, the 13 remaining workers declared a hunger strike and four sewed their lips together to show their dedication to taking their strike to the death. Three more men joined the strike after GM walked out of a mediation at the Colombian Ministry of Labor. This dramatic action is their last effort to capture the attention of the international media and pressure GM to give them the compensation and medical care they deserve, and return them to jobs in the company they are able to do without further aggravating their injuries. North Texas peace and justice groups decided that we could not be silent. On Saturday August 11, members of the Dallas Peace Center, CodePink, and Occupy Dallas engaged in an all-day protest in front of the GM Assembly Plant in Arlington. Protesters taped their mouths in solidarity with the hunger strike and set up


a tent symbolizing the workers’ camp in front of the U.S. Embassy. Signs displayed our message (pictured above): “GM, Don’t Let Them Starve” and “Protect Workers Everywhere.” Acknowledging the fact that U.S. taxpayers are now shareholders of GM, another sign read “Stop Using My Tax $ For Exploitation.” Several reporters took photos and interviewed protesters. We had many honks of support, and also spoke to some curious GM workers who wished us luck after learning about the hunger strike. Members of the Dallas organizations also are taking part in a world-wide rolling fast in solidarity with the hunger strikers. On August 15, for the National Day of Action in support of the GM workers, over 80 people fasted nation-wide, letters were delivered to GM dealerships around the country, and protests were held at the GM headquarters in Detroit, the GM CEO’s

house in McLean, Virginia; and Pioneer Square in Portland, Oregon. Numerous articles have been published, including ones by the Wall Street Journal, AFL-CIO, and WOLA. Despite this publicity, General Motors still refuses to admit that the ASOTRECOL workers’ injuries were work-related, and has issued a statement saying that they will not negotiate. Although their statement also asserts that they are following Colombian labor laws, they have been sanctioned for “losing” the medical records of the workers now on hunger strike, and were never investigated for the conditions that workers experienced a year ago at the plant in Bogota. Six non-governmental organizations and peace organizations released a counter-statement disproving GM’s claims. The hunger strikers have now gone over a month without food. (continued on p. 27)

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(cont. from p. 26) The U.S. Embassy has cut off the electricity they need to refrigerate their medicine, and one worker has already been hospitalized. Please take action now to tell GM, your Congress members, and the U.S. State Department that you care about these workers. Also, tell your local GM dealership that you will

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boycott their vehicles until GM cares for these workers. Get Involved! Sign the change.org petition. Send pre-written letters. Join the Facebook event .


DPC intern travels to Colombia to investigate labor rights violations By Bethany Carson, DPC Intern

In late July I traveled to Colombia as part of a Witness for Peace delegation to Colombia investigating labor rights violations after the April 2012 implementation of the US – Colombia Free Trade Agreement. The group (picture above) met personally with unions, the indigenous government, and peace activists who told us of grave human rights violations still happening every day: paramilitary assassinations of union leaders, death threats, mass displacement of entire towns to make way for mining, civilians caught in the crossfire between armed actors, and widespread impunity in the face of this violence. In fact, Colombia has the highest rate of labor-related violence in the world, and

more than 90 percent of crimes remain unpunished. We also got a good idea of how corporations operate in Colombia, and the truth is shocking. There is strong evidence that multinationals contract with paramilitary forces to assassinate, attack, or intimidate union leaders who are becoming too troublesome for their bottom line. In 2001, Sinaltrainal, the International Union of Foodworkers, sued Coca-Cola in U.S. courts, accusing the company of assisting in the murder of several unionists. Today the entire Sinaltrainal board is still under death threat, and are forced to drive bullet-proof cars for (continued on p. 29)

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(cont. from p. 29) protection. As more mining permits are granted to multinationals on indigenous and Afro-Colombian lands, paramilitaries make way for large-scale mining by increasing assassinations and attacks that displace entire towns that had survived on the land for hundreds of years. These attacks continue to add to Colombia’s 5.2 million internally displaced people, a number second only to Sudan. In effect, little has changed since the signing of the Labor Action Plan last year that was designed to remedy the labor violence and maneuvers used by companies to restrict workers from organizing to protect their rights. This plan banned the use of cooperatives to restrict labor rights, made subcontracting illegal, and promised more labor regulators to investigate violations. The implementation of the Free Trade Agreement was supposed to be contingent on the enforcement of this plan, but three months after the FTA went into effect, our delegation saw with our own eyes that the plan is not being enforced. Companies are skirting the new laws by converting to Associated Stock Companies (SAS), so that workers are still subcontracted, and cannot unionize. In the port at Buenaventura, subcontracting is so extreme that subcontractors can disguise themselves as unions and most workers actually are employed by a company that itself subcontracts to a subcontractor. Any worker who belongs to a real union is blacklisted and cannot find work. The result is that the actual employers can get away with horrific treatment of workers. Those who tie the boats that come in at the port only get paid for the two minutes they are actually tying the boat, but are forced to stand at their post all day, and are not even permitted bathroom breaks. Paramilitaries still enforce this status quo:

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Although homicides have fallen in Buenaventura since the implementation of the FTA, forced disappearances have skyrocketed. General Motors’ Colombian branch, Colmotores, is one of the many companies not complying with labor laws. Our delegation met with ASETROCOL, the union of workers and ex-workers at the GM assembly plant in Bogota. These workers were dismissed illegally last year for injuries acquired from their jobs that required repetitive, strenuous motions. For a year, they have been on strike in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota. They are protesting the implementation of the FTA despite non-compliance with the Labor Action Plan, and the U.S. government’s ignorance of their situation even though taxpayers are now General Motors shareholders. On the last day of our delegation’s visit, we heard that these workers would begin a hunger strike on August 1, and would sew their lips shut to demonstrate commitment to their hunger strike and attract the international press. The story on page 25 gives the latest on the strike and what DPC is doing to help. These workers, and Colombia as a whole, need the eyes of the world to monitor the violence and displacement that has already increased after the implementation of the FTA. Based on what our delegation heard, we wrote a report to the U.S. Embassy denouncing continuing labor-related violations and non-compliance with the Labor Action Plan. Read our report here. As U.S. residents, we cannot ignore this situation any longer, because with each purchase of a product made by these companies, we are complicit in the violence against labor leaders and civilians in Colombia.


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Workers Defense Project: New to Dallas and ready to work By Greisa Martinez, Workers Defense Project

The Workers Defense Project (WDP), founded in August 2002 in Austin, TX to address the problem of unpaid wages for low-wage workers, is celebrating ten years of service and opening a new Dallas office. Proyecto Defensa Laboral (as WDP is known in Spanish) is a membershipbased organization that empowers lowincome workers to achieve fair employment through education, direct services, organizing and strategic partnerships. WDP is a worker center and part of a national movement of organizations that seek to provide low-wage workers with the resources they need to improve their

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working and living conditions. The project provides a source of power and hope for many low-wage workers who have little access to these important resources. WDP is one of the few organizations in Texas working to address workplace abuse faced by low-wage workers. Workers Defense Project is one of the most established worker centers in the South and a leader in fighting for fair conditions for working people. Over the years WDP has been at the forefront of developing leaders within the low-wage worker community and has launched several initiatives to address


playing field so honest businesses and to ensure a strong and sustainable construction industry. Through hard work and collaboration WDP and its partners won the passage of Senate Bill 1024, known as the Wage Theft Law, ended a loophole that allowed employers who have committed wage theft — the failure to pay workers for their services and time — to evade prosecution by simply paying a fraction of what they owe an employee: JUSTICE for workers and their families. The We Count! Get out the Vote Campaign aims to shift the power imbalance in Texas politics away from businesses in favor of working families by educating and empowering under-represented populations to vote in the 2012 elections. The campaign focuses on reaching lowwage Latino voters, young voters, and faith-based institutions to participate in local and state elections.

the issues that their members face. Two of these initiatives are explained below.

The stage for this campaign is Dallas, Texas, and more specifically Oak Cliff. The Workers Defense Project seeks to galvanize Latino voters in Oak Cliff to rally at polling locations in November and vote for fair labor, honest business and for JUSTICE for workers.

The Build a Better Texas campaign is a joint effort between WDP and honest construction businesses; taxpayers; construction workers and their families; faith leaders, and safety advocates.

With the goal to serve and empower Dallas worker, the Workers Defense Project will be opening its offices located 534 W. Tenth St. Dallas, TX 75208 this month.

The campaign brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to build a strong and sustainable industry by rewarding good business practices and leveling the

For more information on WDP and how you can join workers to fight for Justice, visit www.workersdefenseproject.org or email volunteer@workersdefense.org.

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Tar Sands Blockade stops Keystone XL pipeline By Tar Sands Blockade

On August 28, four landowner advocates and climate justice organizers locked themselves to the underside of a massive truck carrying 36″ pipe intended for Keystone XL pipeline construction. The truck remained parked, idled at the entrance of the pipe yard, rendering construction activity impossible. Seven blockaders in all were arrested. Blockaders from the Red River valley to the Gulf Coast have united to realize their collective vision of a world without toxic tar sands pipelines being forced through the homes of families who don’t want them. The blockaders were trained this summer to conduct peaceful civil disobedience to defend their homes. This act of peaceful civil disobedience comes in the wake of a recent court decision condoning TransCanada’s use of eminent domain for private gain. Last week Lamar County Judge Bill Harris ruled in a shockingly abbreviated fifteenword summary judgment that Texas farmer Julia Trigg Crawford cannot challenge TransCanada’s claim that it is entitled to a piece of her home. The underwhelming ruling was emailed to Ms. Crawford’s attorney late in the evening of August 15 from the Judge’s iPhone. The concerns of the blockaders go well beyond TransCanada’s appalling contempt for property rights. As Tammie Carson (pictured top right), a lifelong Texan living in Arlington explained, “I’m doing this for my grandchildren. I’m out-

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raged that multinational corporations like TransCanada are wrecking our climate. The planet isn’t theirs to destroy, and I’m willing to take a risk to protect my grandchildren’s future.” Denny Hook, a retired Methodist minister from Gainesville Texas, described himself as “An environmentalist that happens to be a minister.” In taking action today, Hook hopes to inspire more people to join the movement. “Things are so dire that if all of us don’t rise up we won’t make it. This pipeline is the difference between Earth on the edge and Earth over the edge.” In the face of this waking nightmare, blockaders have little choice but to act out of conscience. We simply have no time left to wait for the legislative to catch up with the judicial. We won’t allow our homes and our futures to slip through regulatory loopholes! Tar Sands Blockade is a coalition of Texas and Oklahoma landowners and climate organizers using peaceful and sustained civil disobedience to stop the construction of Keystone XL. “The blockade is an expression of people who have spent years using every available avenue afforded to them, and nothing has worked,” explains Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson Ron Seifert. “The urgency of this crisis is galvanizing supporters who understand that doing nothing involves a greater risk than taking action.”


Tar Sands Blockade

Tar Sands Blockade

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Hiroshima bombing remembered in Dallas By Mavis Belisle, DPC Board member

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo Nam Myoho Renge Kyo Nam Myoho Renge Kyo More than 100 voices joined together August 5 to chant in honor of those who died August 6, 1945 in the bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima, and subsequently from the bomb's effects. The commemorative memorial service for the first use of an atomic weapon in war was cosponsored by the SGI-USA Dallas Buddhist Center and the Nuclear Free World Committee of the Dallas Peace Center at the Buddhist temple. The program began with music by Universal Rhythm and a dance performance by Tsurumi Bateman (pictured at right). Her story/dance is called “Akagi Komoni no Ura.” It is a man's song to his infant child whose mother has died, saying that the moon, like its mother, will watch over it. Attendees viewed video of a hibakusha, a survivor of the bombing, in Japan, and live video of another survivor, Mrs. Sayako Pass, now living in East Texas. Each related her experiences the day of the bombing, and in the days following. After an explanation of the paper cranes and incense offering, those at the service came solemnly and respectfully to add their cranes to the strings and their incense to the burner, filling the room with the sound of chanting and the fragrance of frankincense. Neil Mukherjee of the SGI-USA Dallas Buddhist Center spoke of the significance of the memorial program. Quoting the words of SGI president Daisaku Ikeda, he said, "Many of the young men of my gen-

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eration were incited by the military government to go proudly to the battlefront and give their lives there. The families left behind were praised for their sacrifice as military mothers-- a term deemed to carry high honor. But in reality, what a devastating tumult of pain, grief and misery swirled in the depths of their hearts! A mother's love, a mother's wisdom, is too great to be fooled by such empty phrases as 'for the sake of the nation.'" Mukherjee went on to describe the Hiroshima bombing by the B-29 bomber named the Enola Gay after the mother of the pilot, Paul Tibetts. Called “Little Boy,” the single bomb exploded at 8:16 a.m., "annihilating within seconds the entire city and its surroundings. An estimated 80,000 to 140,000 people died within 2 seconds, and the city was reduced instantly to rubble." The bomb, designed in the secret Manhattan Project, was equivalent to 20,000 tons of TNT, and used Uranium-235 as fissile material. "Its effects were devastating," Mukherjee continued, "and the bomb delivered its destruction in three successive stages."


"First, the bomb was detonated 1,900 feet above ground over the center of the city, releasing a massive fireball and mushroom cloud, along with a strong shockwave and blasts of wind that moved at the speed of sound and flattened buildings, turned windows into shrapnel, and swept bodies away. The blast wave was felt as far away as 37 miles. Then an intense heat wave of "thermal radiation" followed, which along with a very bright blast of light made the ground or temperature soar to temperatures of up to 4000 degrees Celsius or 7,232 degrees Fahrenheit. thick, churning foam of flames and smoke, the co-pilot of the Enola Gay wrote down in his log, 'My God, what have we done?'" We must never forget," Mukherjee said," the devastation caused by such bombs, and we must re-determine to fight for better diplomacy and nuclear disarmament, with the clear recognition that today's nuclear bombs are over 30 times more powerful than those used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

“Everything within 2km of the hypocenter was completely destroyed or burned, and the city was enveloped in a sea of flames. Finally, the released flash sent out powerful infrared radiation and gamma rays that could penetrate through walls of buildings and attack the cells in human bodies, thereby causing serious long-term injuries including malignant cancers, radiation cataracts, and deformities to the individuals who survived and to the generations of family members after them. As Hiroshima had disappeared under a

The idea that nuclear weapons function to deter war and are thus a "necessary evil" is a core impediment to their elimination, he said. "It [the belief] must be challenged and dismantled." Mukherjee quoted President Ikeda's call for in inner transformation. "Crying out in opposition to war and nuclear weapons is neither emotionalism nor self-pity. It is the highest expression of human reason based on an unflinching perception of the dignity of life." Texas State Rep. Lon Burnam, also a speaker at the program, urged those present, to turn their commitment to political action to bring it to reality. Young adults of SGI-USA spoke of their commitment to peace and disarmament as well.

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Who is keeping us safe from low-level radioactive waste? By Susybelle Gosslee

I attended the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (LLRWDCC or the Commission) meeting on August 2nd at the State Capitol in Austin. The Commission and its members are responsible for administering the provisions of the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact between the states of Texas and Vermont.

This approval makes a total of 12 approved applications for waste allocations – each of which may consist of numerous shipments. Some of the problems with understanding the decision-making process develop from the fact that many documents, such as the budget and shipment information, are not made public before the meeting.

The West Texas county of Andrews is the “host” for a low level radioactive waste disposal facility, the Texas Compact Facility, which is operated by the private company, Waste Control Specialists (WCS). Vermont’s waste is shipped here for storage.

With little or no transparency, the Commission seems to be blocking public input, which is exactly why citizens need to speak out for good management of the process.

The Commissioners approved one more application for storage by WCS, although it was not an especially large amount of waste. Public Citizen and SEED Coalition opposed the application, and laid out a series of very valid health and safety reasons for not going forward.

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Citizens have a right to know about what is transported on their highways. When the State, or in other words, the taxpayers, takes possession of the WCS storage site in the future after the company abandons it, the taxpayers will pay for monitoring and security at the site in perpetuity, at a cost of many millions of dollars. When the storage facility was privatized, the money for storage went


to the company, instead of putting the money in escrow in the state coffers. The waste stored in Texas has varying levels of radioactivity. Ninety-three percent of the waste is coming from nuclear reactors and utilities, with medical waste and sealed sources for research and industry included in the remaining 7%. WCS originally focused on the image of medical gloves and booties predominately being stored at the WCS. Advocates estimated that medical waste would be 2 to 5% of the waste stored at the site. Financial assurances also are an issue. Financial assurances are designed to be the financial safety net if there is a financial loss during transportation or at the site. WCS is using stock in its sister company as its financial assurance, instead of a more traditional and solid means of ensuring that there will be money to cover clean-up costs later down the line. It would likely never be enough, but that's another matter. Other U.S. "low-level" radioactive waste facilities now have clean up costs that run from the millions into billions of dollars, and it didn't take too long before those facilities experienced leaks. Low-level radioactive waste barrels and containers just don't last forever. If there are problems at the West Texas site, or if there is a major accident and an environmental release of radioactivity, and the stock is not sufficient to cover the cost, the health impacts and clean-up costs could fall on the shoulders of Texans. The Texas Department of State Health Services is assigned the responsibility of determining transportation routes, but has failed

to do so. WCS reported that shipments of waste already have been made. They released just four dates of previous shipments, and said that one more shipment from Vermont would occur on the 9th. Apparently there have been six shipments to date with no estimates of the number of truckloads, since Compact Commissioners aren't asking questions, even though citizens are pushing for real answers. A minor amendment made by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will allow rail shipments as well. There will be transport of low-level radioactive waste on interstate highways, as required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but no notice of contents of the shipment will be released to safety personnel along the route. The Commissioners and the public received no data or information in writing before the meeting, and little information was provided by Mr. Rodney Baltzer, President of WCS, when he spoke. Mr. Baltzer said that the company considers the import agreements with waste generators and brokers confidential, since financial information is included, and not everyone pays the same rate. So the State of Texas is going to have to fight to get real financial data, despite the fact that a percentage of the import fees goes to the State and 5% goes to the County. How will Texans know if WCS is telling us the truth when no one can see the import agreements? Who will be sure that Andrews County and the State of Texas get their share of the revenues? Other problems are becoming apparent, and more information will be provided in future issues of RÉDA.

More on Nukes: Kristen Iversen, the author of FULL BODY BURDEN: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats, a book about living near a Colorado nuclear weapons plant, will speak on Tuesday, September 11 at First Unitarian Church, 4015 Normandy at Preston, in the Hallman Building, Room 305 at 7 p.m. Call 806-340-9358 for more information.

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Community Organization Feature • Honoring those who support our community

First Unitarian Church of Dallas: Living our values By Gwen and Alan Lummus, Social Justice Committee Chairs Unitarian Universalists are scarce in Texas, totaling about 6,000 church members. We UU’s hold diverse beliefs, but we do adhere to seven principles: 1) the inherent worth and dignity of every person; 2) justice, equity and compassion in human relations; 3) acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth; 4) a free and responsible search for truth and meaning; 5) the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process in our congregations and in society at large; 6) the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and 7) respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Most UU’s would agree that we believe we are here to live our values through what we do. We have gained immeasurable knowledge and our lives have been greatly enriched by living our faith values through involvement in our church, First Unitarian of Dallas, and in Dallas Area Interfaith (DAI). First Unitarian is one of the forty congregations and schools in Dallas and Collin Counties that comprise DAI. DAI is a multi-issue, multi-ethnic, multifaith organization providing a structure through which ordinary citizens can negotiate effectively with the government and private institutions affecting their lives. Through DAI, member institutions act in the interests of their families and local communities. We like to say that DAI teaches the art of citizenship. DAI develops its issues through hundreds of individual and small group meetings where leaders discuss problems affecting

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their families and communities. Our recent efforts have resulted in the establishment of SkillQuest, a job training program resulting in a degree or certification for available jobs with living family wages, benefits and a career path. A second effort is the Durable Medical Equipment Exchange, which recycles, refurbishes and re-distributes medical equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, and crutches. Several years ago we persuaded the city of Dallas to increase funding and recruitment efforts for several years for more police officers all over the city and to implement community policing, helping to reduce the crime rate to its lowest in years. But DAI’s greatest success is teaching the members of its institutions to become effective leaders so they can act on their values to bring about needed social change.


We also work with the Social Action Council at our church. With the dedicated members of this group we help to educate fellow members and advocate for action on issues such as green energy, water conservation, peace-making, women’s and children’s health, health care reform, immigration reform, voter education, and, through the UU United Nations Organization and the UU Service Committee, action on global issues. We welcome you to visit our church and join us on our journey. On September 9th we will kick off a congregational Year of Engagement and Service. Through this effort we will embark on a journey of learning and engagement in the community in three groups, neighborhood, community, and the world. Opportunities to connect with the world within and outside our church will abound. For more information, please visit our website at www.dallasuu.org

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Summer of Peace a summer of peace palomillas flying with flocks of geese surrounded by toallas de maize de otras tierras ready to wipe up tears\ of pent up fears ceremonial chants ready to be released home grown guaraches hip hop artists wearing brown different colors from all over town just hanging around maestras carrying arms full of books about a new recipe from brand new cooks cuentistas full of cultural stories about mothers full of glory filling parks on a Sunday afternoon with a big boon poets hurling palabras de sabor de puro amor musicians toying with notes wearing veterano coats smell of sage around the stage ashes lying on the floor carpenters mending fences pipe fitters cleaning rusty wrenches tears watering a beautiful garden empty vessels filled with hope not from dope ready to cope mal puesto dissipating community awaiting a contract ready for signing a blue moon arising no ink just blood brothers no more scarred faces stab wounds, broken bones broken minds, broken spirits wounded almas images of wooden coffins just a butterfly against a blue sky a new arco iris an addition of color brown indigenous icons a summer of peace an image of low riders against the backdrop of la madugrada a al pachucada batos locos transformed into political activists cockroaches full of rage scurrying around ready to take stage rapperos del sur con rappers del norte el quinto sol fulfilling a prophecy etched in history no longer a mystery no mas un verano de paz nada mas.

Ramon del Castillo Š 2007

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Peace Begins With Me By Len Ellis, DPC Board member

August 6, 2012 marked the 67th anniversary of the horrific atomic bombing of Hiroshima. In a Peace Ceremony Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told the 50,000 people who had gathered in memory of the event, and to hold the vision of world peace “We must never forget the horrors of nuclear weapons and we must never repeat this tragedy that has been engraved into the history of mankind. As the only country to be victimized by an atomic bomb and experiencing its ravages, we have the noble responsibility to the human race and the future of the Earth to pass on the memories of this tragedy to the next generation." In direct contrast to this affirmation of peace is the latest mass shooting, this time at a Sikh Temple. I am shocked and dismayed, feeling helpless and hopeless. I keep asking – “Why do my fellow human beings think killing is an answer? Why do people continue to kill their brothers and sisters? ” At times like this I find hope and wisdom in the words of John F Kennedy. I believe he was the last world leader who truly understood the importance of, and the power of, the individual. He recognized, honored and encouraged each person taking action and ownership of what happens in the world. You may ask – how does this relate to seemingly senseless killings? It relates because each and every one of us contributes to the consciousness of our

communities, to the consciousness of our planet. Yes, we are all connected, and what I do makes a difference, even though at the time I may have absolutely no idea of how or why. In a June 1963 speech on disarmament at American University, JFK said, “…every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward – by examining his own attitude toward the possibilities of peace…” In a speech to the UN in September of that year, Kennedy said “…peace does not rest in charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people…let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace, in the hearts and minds of all our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.” And so the question becomes, What am I willing to do for peace? Am I willing to raise my voice, to speak up for justice? To be a model for nonviolence in my community? Not just rail AGAINST violence or injustice or inequity, not just give lipservice that killing one another is deplorable, but to stand FOR a nonviolent community, to stand FOR justice and respect and tolerance and equality, to take ACTION FOR a nonviolent world? Folks, it’s the only way I know – to get off my butt and get involved, do my part (and I hope you will, too!) because I absolutely know that Peace begins with ME!

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The Gas Drilla-Thrilla on Marilla Making a difference through civic engagement By Marc W. McCord, FracDallas

On Wednesday, August 1, the Dallas City Council began a process that will lead to re-writing our gas drilling ordinance in anticipation of applications for drilling permits. The council was briefed by an environmental representative, followed by a briefing from an industry representative. The briefing had to be moved from the scheduled briefing room to the chambers due to the huge turnout of interested citizens came downtown at 1:00 pm on a weekday to show their interest in how the new ordinance will be structured. It didn’t take long for things to get testy. To understand the August 1 drama, one must know that on May 16, the Dallas Gas Drilling Task Force briefed the City Council about its 8-month effort leading to recommended changes to the existing drilling ordinance. At that briefing, Mayor Mike Rawlings stated that he wanted briefings from the environmental/citizens side and from the pro-industry side. He asked Councilman Scott Griggs to select a speaker for the environmental/citizens briefing and he asked Sheffie Kadane to select a speaker to present the industry point of view on August 1. Councilman Griggs selected Terry Welch, a local attorney who represents clients on both sides of the issue and who was a task force member, to deliver the environmental presentation. Councilman Kadane selected Ed Ireland of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, a pro-industry lobbying group, to deliver the industry perspective. Se-

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lection of speakers was the sole responsibility of the two Councilmen without interference or persuasion from the mayor or other Council members. Even before the briefing on August 1, some members of the Gas Drilling Task Force, including Chairwoman Lois Finkleman, Margaret Keliher, John McCall, and David Biegler had engaged in what became a public e-mail thrashing of Terry Welch for being the speaker on the environmental side. They said that he was giving a “minority opinion” report on task force work without an opposing view being possible. Those task force members made some rather inappropriate claims that overlooked the fact that Mr. Welch had done nothing to select himself as the speaker, and that he was NOT speaking as a task force member, but rather as a private citizen who had a right to speak when asked. The members also overlooked the fact that Councilman Kadane could have picked one of them to deliver the pro-


industry presentation rather than choosing Mr. Ireland. In her opening remarks to the Council on August 1, Ms. Finkleman alluded to the false claim that Mr. Welch was giving an unrebutted “minority report.” She asserted that the task force has fairly considered all opinions and fairly voted on their recommendations. The truth is that agreement on several major points had been made between the various task force members and then, on the very last meeting day, an effort spearheaded by David Biegler rolled back those agreements in favor of a pro-industry bias that in my opinion compromised protections for citizens’ health and safety, property values, and the environment. Back to August 1. Each speaker was given 30 minutes to present his briefing to the council, after which time council members asked questions. Mr. Welch received what could only be described as a cross-examination by several coun-

cil members including Jerry Allen, Sheffie Kadane, Tennell Atkins, and to a lesser extent Linda Koop and Mayor Rawlings. After addressing concerns about safe setback limits and variances that would be allowed, drilling in parklands and in the floodplain of the Trinity River, Mr. Welch was repeatedly questioned for more than an hour by elected officials who strongly favor drilling over the welfare and safety of neighborhoods and citizens. Yet Mr. Welch stood his ground and defended his recommendations strongly. He cited scientific facts, legal precedent, and historical data related to gas drilling in numerous states including peer reviewed health studies conducted by recognized scholars and university research departments. Next, Ed Ireland presented a briefing that claimed the natural gas industry always does things safely and for the benefit of the community. (cont. on p. 43)

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(cont. from p. 42) He cited industrysponsored reports and studies that claim no pollution of groundwater or surface water has occurred, and he claimed economic numbers that appear to be so far from reality as to border on outright lies. Ireland stated that Fort Worth has seen 110,000 new jobs created, had enjoyed an $11 billion per year economic benefit, and said that the city and school district had realized some $730 million in additional revenues, all related to natural gas exploration and production. He did not mention that Fort Worth reaped $53 million in revenues in 2008, only $19 million in 2009, and $38 million in 2010, or that the 2010 revenues, which were only about 71.7% of the 2008 revenues, were realized only because there were more than four times as many gas wells in 2010 than in 2008, indicating a big drop off in production revenues. Mr. Ireland also referred to the Fort Worth air quality study released last year as proof that gas drilling has not damaged air quality. Yet the authors of that study stipulated that it was a very limited snapshot of a few selected wells over a limited period of time, and that a much more comprehensive study would have to be undertaken before any realistic conclusions could be drawn. The Fort Worth study did not have constant air monitoring during hot summer months when ozone production is the greatest, and many of the air samples were taken upwind of the point source for emissions rather than downwind, where the results would have been much greater and more accurate. Mr. Ireland also said that electric motors, which Dallas is considering requiring on

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all equipment used to explore for gas, are actually more polluting than diesel motors. And, he claimed that it is quite possible that the far eastern edge of the Barnett Shale may hold greater reserves than the heart of the formation which has been explored extensively for over ten years. That claim flies in the face of a statement made by oilman T. Boone Pickens that, “Nobody will ever make any money drilling for oil and gas in Dallas.” Following Mr. Ireland’s comments, questions asked by Mr. Kadane and Mr. Allen were structured to fully support Mr. Ireland and allow him to elaborate on claims, some patently false, that he had made during his briefing. When asked by Councilman Griggs if local earthquakes were related to injection well operations, Mr. Ireland claimed that there is no conclusive evidence of that, though he did allow that it was possible, and perhaps even probable. Mr. Ireland also defended companies not fully disclosing all chemicals used, saying that producers may not know what subcontractor frac’ing companies are using, and would therefore not be able to disclose everything, even though it could be mandatory that subcontractors reveal 100% of what they are pumping into our ground and water. Mr. Ireland went on to suggest that vapor recovery units (VRUs) should not be required because the “dry” gas in our area does not emit the types of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) that cause major smog and health problems. An independent study by SMU’s environmental engineering department found that natural gas exploration and production in the Barnett Shale is responsible


for more ozone pollution than all the vehicular traffic in the entire DFW area combined, and a study by Cook Children’s Hospital found that asthma rates in the Barnett Shale are many times higher than in non-gas producing areas of Texas. In the end, it was an educational day with few surprises. The Dallas City Council still has a sharp learning curve to maneuver before re-writing our gas drilling ordinance. We can only hope that our elected officials take this job seriously and perform due diligence on this issue, rather than seeing dollar signs. If they do the latter, it is likely they will make decisions that greatly imperil the health and safety of citizens, reduce property values, severely damage our environment, and lead to costly repairs of our roads and bridges that will be borne by taxpayers who receive no benefit from the gas production.

Current rates for natural gas are only about one-third the breakeven cost of production. Lease agreements for exploring city-owned property state that producers have to recover all costs plus a 15% profit before the city receives any royalty income. It is entirely possible that we could reap the damages and costs of natural gas exploration without ever seeing a penny of royalties. It is even more likely that we will never recover the true cost to taxpayers, regardless of the amount of revenues generated. The gas drilling issue mandates an active, concerned, involved citizenry. It is important to know the issues and talk to your elected officials to let them know that you demand they place the health and safety of citizens, the protection of their property values, and the environment before the financial interests of the gas producers and their investors, most of whom are NOT residents of Dallas.

Energy Tomorrow

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The American DREAM? By Hector “Pastor Chuco” Duran, Phoenix, AZ “For He will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in His sight.” -Psalm 72:12-14 All over the United States, the debate over legal status has split many parties and individuals on political and social fronts alike. State governments have gone as far as to enact their own legislation, further complicating immigration in America. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled most of the Arizona Senate Bill 1070 unconstitutional, declaring only the portion of the law allowing Arizona State police to investigate the immigration status of an individual stopped, detained, or arrested if there is reasonable suspicion that individual is in the country illegally. Through rigorous battles in court, in the media, and in communities all over the United States, the argument of immigration has become heated, and caused a significant rift between many races, genders, and nationalities throughout the nation. As they appeal to the standards of the “American Dream,” they often forget that their families too, at one time, were immigrants. Due to the large numbers, as well as generalizations and stereotypes, the primary focus of the immigration debate is focused on the United States / Mexico border issue, even though many immigrants from all over the world have entered or have remained in this country illegally. Some Americans remind us that the areas of great debate near the borders of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California were at one time part of Mexico, referencing the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that was infringed upon; evidence in their appeal for more lenient immigration standards. Other Americans cite 9/11 in the ar-

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gument for more stringent immigration laws as a matter of public safety, while maintaining that those coming from south of the border are taking jobs away from hard working American People. As the country continues to debate the argument of homeland security versus amnesty, President Barack Obama recently announced that his administration would stop deporting young undocumented immigrants who match certain criteria previously proposed under the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Politicians on the right and left wings continue to argue the merits of the DREAM ACT, the proposed federal legislation that was first introduced in the United States Senate on August 1, 2001. While the White House announcement to defer prosecution for childhood arrivals is a partial solution, ten U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have filed suit against the policy. Also, states like Arizona have taken actions to withhold state benefits like in-state tuition from undocumented immigrants. The debate has now escalated into a ten year debacle with no end in sight, leaving these young innocents to ponder their own futures. In 1999, a five year old girl named Disnny entered this country illegally with her family. She was a mere child when she entered into the United States across the Yuma, Arizona border with her clan, seeking refuge and the possibility of realizing their own “American Dream.” Over the years, Disnny became assimilated into American culture, losing most remnants of her heritage and (continued on p. 47)


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(cont. from p. 45) language without her consent over the course of her childhood. As a 13 year-old, Disnny now finds she is no longer welcomed in the only country she has known as home. Yet she is estranged from her “homeland,” a complete foreigner oblivious to the culture of Mexico. Another casualty to immigration reform without her consent, Disnny has received a public education in Tempe, Arizona, maintaining a 3.8 grade point average, all the while unaware that her participation was illegal because of her immigration status. Today, undocumented immigrant minors like Disnny can obtain permanent residency status only through their parents. Aside from special provisions for unaccompanied minors, there is no independent method for them to accomplish permanent residency. Normally, a child brought into the country without an immigration visa first would have to leave the U.S. to apply for a visa, although returning to his or her country of birth would not guarantee a path to a visa. Attempts to return legally often face road-blocks such as three-year to ten-year bans on re-entering the U.S. The DREAM Act not only would provide Disnny and other young men and women with undocumented status the opportunity to realize their own American Dream of advancement and success, but also would provide them the option to stay in the country they now know to as home. Though the bill calls for a temporary conditional residency, students like Disnny who exhibit good moral character and who have arrived in the U.S. illegally as minors would be able to live their dream while further committing to their education or military service in the United States to show their gratitude. Their academic achievements and positive influence would be rewarded with an opportunity of privilege in permanent residency or citizenship status. Providing this opportunity to undocumented immigrant minors would offer a

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sign of appreciation for their hard work in school. It also would impart respect for their status as human beings, and validate their achievements while further allowing them to consent to this conditional residency; a consent that was not an option for them to give as children when their families first entered this country without legal documentation. Allowing these young men and women the option to seek higher education or volunteer for military service as a part of their conditional residency would not only dispel further argument of their loyalty, but also would prove that the United States is still a country of promise. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempesttossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." As depicted in the artwork by Monica Jordan on the previous page, to many, it seems these words that are etched into our own Statue of Liberty are meant for a select few with influence, and not for those of meager and marginal existences. Entitled “Death of an American Dream for Latinos,” Monica’s representation of the tattered American and Mexican flags reflects the dichotomy many undocumented immigrants experience: unfamiliar with their country of origin yet living in a country that rejects them. Thus the dream is indeed dying for a lot of young Latinos, and so La Virgen de Guadalupe cries. But how does one explain to young, educated men and women that they must pay for decisions made by their parents when they were children? Surely all children deserve the chance to achieve their dreams. Nothing short of this ideal really makes sense in America, if we are still the “land of the free.”


Latino Print Collection Comes to the Latino Cultural Center By Kelly Grajeda, Assistant Director of the Serie Project

If you mention the Serie Project or Coronado Studio to someone under the age of forty and not directly involved in the Latino arts scene, mostly likely you will be met with a lack of recognition. Yet Sam Coronado’s nonprofit serigraphy organization and separate commercial screen printing studio in Austin, Texas is very well-known by Latino cultural arts leaders. This year marks the Serie Project’s 20th anniversary, which is currently being both celebrated and contemplated within the organization. In almost every interview conducted, Sam Coronado credits a 1991 trip to Self Help Graphics & Art in Los Angeles as the model and preface to the Serie Project. The mission and operations of the organization inspired him to make serigraphy, or fine art silkscreen printing, available to Latino artists in the South, and to add to the history of printmaking’s role in Latin American art, particularly Mexican and Chicano art history. While technically complex, screen printing's versatility and affordability are showcased in its capacity to produce mass quantities of a variety of images, and because of this, printmaking has served as a communicative medium to distribute political and cultural ideas in a fast and creative way for almost a century in Latino culture. In 1993, Coronado continued this dialogue with the founding of the Serie Project and has since produced over 300 culturally relevant and provocative serigraph prints in a collaborative artist-in-residence program, all at no cost to the artist. The “at no cost to the artist” is one of the most defining aspects of the organization, and is just one part of many that makes it truly special. Each year, the Serie Project hosts 8-15 established or emerging artists through its residency program to produce limited editions of serigraph prints. Housing, materials, and the guidance of a Master Printer are provided for

the artists during their week-long stay, and afterwards, half of the 50 print edition created is given to them for their own profit. The cover of this magazine is graced by one of the prints, Sol de la Noche Maya, by Esperanza Gama. The organization also works to market the remaining half to the public, collectors, and cultural institutions to help fund the operational budget and continue the residency program. The Smithsonian, University of Texas at San Antonio, and the Mexic-Arte Museum (which serves as the official archives of the Serie Project) are just a few institutions that have complete suites of the Serie Project’s collection. Exhibitions in galleries and museums are also fundamental to the promotion of the artists and the Serie Project; over the past 20 years, the collection has been displayed locally, nationally, and internationally. Roughly 75% of all Serie Project artists are of Latin American or Latino descent, and the organization has hosted and helped boost the careers of hundreds of these artists from around the globe since its inception. Both established and emerging artists have participated in the residency program, which only continues to attract interest. Paloma Mayorga, a 23-year old artist who recently completed a print with the Serie Project, speaks about this interest and the subsequent impact of each artist’s print on the content of the collection. “The group of artists that have been selected each year is so diverse, that the visual conversations that happen between the generations of prints (continued on p. 49)

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(cont. from p. 48) are beautifully revealing about the contemporary Latino experience. It’s like a narrative being created by different voices, each with something unique to contribute,” she says. Like many of the predominant art and culture institutions in Texas who have announced budget shortfalls and the need to generate more revenue in the past two years, the Serie Project’s own budget continues to wane with each passing fiscal year. The organization has been able to continue to operate on tightened budgets, largely due to its popular internship program, which is truly the heart (and muscle) of the Serie Project. The continuing existence of the residency program will depend on how much revenue the organization can generate in the coming year. If the residency program ends, the promotional and marketing efforts of the collection will continue, but the unique opportunity for artists will not. Despite the Serie Project’s lack of recognition amongst the younger, non-Latino generations, there has been increased interest in the organization that speaks to its cultural importance and legacy. An upcoming exhibition of Serie Project prints will open September 14th at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas. The People of Paper: New

"No Pasarán!" by Julio Eloy Mesa Serie III

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"Round 10" by Vincent Valdez Serie X

September 2012

Figuration from the Serie Project, curated by Tatiana Reinoza, a PhD candidate in U.S. Latino art history at the University of Texas at Austin, will showcase recent prints from the collection that examine portraiture and the depiction of the body. In tandem with that exhibition is a retrospective of Sam Coronado’s personal work titled Corazones y Guerras. The McNay Art Museum in San Antonio will feature another Serie Project exhibition this month. While significant energy is focused on this year’s residency and more fundraising efforts, the selection process for Serie XX is underway, and it should prove to be a stellar year. There is no doubt that those involved in the Latino arts understand the contributions of the Serie Project. Serie has become a gathering place where artists connect. It continues to introduce emerging and unknown artists to a collection full of established artists and build their careers, according to Herlinda Zamora, the Cultural and Arts Education Manager of the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin. No matter the future state of the residency program, the Serie Project’s past, present, and future role in the Latino arts will continue to be one that educates and initiates an artistic discourse with its outstanding collection of prints.

"Sun Raid" by Ester Hernandez Serie XV

"Señorita Juice" by Paloma Mayorga Serie XIX


Autumn Peace and Justice Calendar - Then and Now September 7, 2012 Lyle Lovett benefit for CitySquare 8pm at the Majestic Theater September 11, 2012 FULL BODY BURDEN author Kristen Iversen 7pm at First Unitarian Church September 11, 2001 Al Qaeda terrorists flew three airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; a fourth airliner crashed in Pennsylvania before reaching the U.S. Capitol Building. September 13, 1993 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn. September 13, 1983 The European Parliament voted to phase out promotion and advertising of war toys. September 11, 1973 Chile's armed forces staged a US-supported coup d'etat against the government of President Salvador Allende, the first democratically elected socialist head of state in Latin America. September 16, 2012 Dallas LGBTQ Pride Parade and Festival September 21, 2012 International Day of Peace September 28-October 1, 2012 BePeace Training, Catholic Renwal Center, Ft. Worth September 28, 2012 Deva Premal in concert 7:30 pm at the Lakewood Theater for Earth Rhythms September 29, 2012 GOTV Block Party 9am-5pm at St. Mark AME Zion Church, 2311 E. Illinois September 29, 2012 Day of Dignity 10am-1pm at Dallas Masjid of AL Islam, 2604 S. Harwood October 1, 1851 Black and White citizens of New York rescued William Henry, a fugitive slave, from jail. October 2, 1869 Mohandas K. Gandhi was born in the Gujarate State of India. October 7, 2012 Fiesta Latinoamericana, 9am-7pm at the Arts District in downtown Dallas (free) October 7, 1998 Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten and left tied to a wooden fence post. Five days later, he died of his injuries. October 12, 2012 Día de la Raza in Mexico and many other Latin American countries October 12, 1945 Pfc. Desmond Doss received the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving 75 soldiers on Okinawa. A conscientious objector, he had enlisted in the Army but did not carry a rifle. October 12, 1492 Christopher Columbus encountered peaceful and friendly people when he landed in what is now the Bahamas. That evening, he wrote about the natives’ suitability to be slaves. October 16, 1984 Desmond Tutu, Archbishop of South Africa, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Historical Dates Source: PeaceButtons.info

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The Dallas Peace Center Mission The Dallas Peace Center, established in 1981, promotes a just and peaceful world through constructive action in education, dialogue, reconciliation, and advocacy. DPC Guiding Values Non-violent Action – action that compels us to construct systemic change in conflict by winning over hearts and minds. Constructive Conflict – a process that provides opportunities to attend to varied viewpoints, and serves as a mode of truthfinding and community building. Collaborative Strategies – the desire to join with others with similar goals and objectives to build mutual support; generate ideas and alternatives; take collective action and expand resources. Inter-connectedness – the discovery of the many reciprocal connections we have that move us towards a sustainable and just human presence.

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ReDA - September 2012  

The publication of the Dallas Peace Center, covering Peace and Justice issues in Texas and the world.

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