News & Announcements



SAVE THE DATE
Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice
Board Meeting: August 6th, 2017
4:00 PM at the Friends Meeting House, 1104 Forest St., Charlottesville

Hope that you will join us


City of Charlottesville Passes Resolution Asking Congress to Fund Human and Environmental Needs, Not Military Expansion

posted Mar 20, 2017, 8:11 PM by David Swanson

Charlottesville, Va., City Council Monday evening, March 20, 2017, passed a resolution opposing President Donald Trump's budget proposal, which shifts funding to the military from many other programs. The draft resolution brought up for consideration reads as follows. It was passed with a few alterations. The final version should soon be posted online by the City, as should video of the meeting in which it was read aloud and discussed.

Fund Human and Environmental Needs, Not Military Expansion 

Whereas President  Donald J. Trump has proposed to  divert $54 billion  from human and environmental spending at home and abroad in order to increase the military budget, bringing military spending to well over 60% of federal discretionary spending; and

Whereas the citizens of Charlottesville already pay  $112.62 million in federal taxes  for military expenditures, an amount that each year could fund locally: 210 elementary school teacher salaries;  127 new clean energy jobs; 169 infrastructure jobs;  94 supported employment opportunities for returning citizens; 1,073 preschool seats for children in Head Start; medical care for 953 military veterans; 231 college scholarships for CHS graduates; 409 Pell Grants for Charlottesville students; healthcare for 3,468 low-income children;  enough wind power to power 8,312 households; healthcare for 1,998 low-income adults;  AND solar panels to provide electricity for 5,134 households.

Whereas economists at the University of Massachusetts have documented that military spending is an economic drain rather than a jobs program;[1] and

Whereas our community’s human and environmental needs are critical, and our ability to respond to those needs depends on federal funding for education, welfare, public safety, and infrastructure maintenance, transit and environmental protection; and

Whereas the President’s proposal would reduce foreign aid and diplomacy, which help to prevent wars and the victimization of people who become refugees in our  community, and 121 retired U.S. generals have written a letter opposing these cuts;

Be it therefore resolved that the City Council of Charlottesville, Virginia, urges the United States Congress, and our representative in particular, to reject the proposal to cut funding for human and environmental needs in favor of military budget increases, and in fact to begin moving in the opposite direction, to increase funding  for human and environmental needs and reduce the military budget.  

1. "The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: 2011 Update,"  Political Economy Research Institute,
https://www.peri.umass.edu/publication/item/449-the-u-s-employment-effects-of-military-and-domestic-spending-priorities-2011-update

*****

Passage of the resolution followed the proposal of a different version by a large coalition of local groups.

At Monday's meeting, the resolution passed by a vote of 4-0, with one abstention.

City Council Member Bob Fenwick, a veteran of the U.S. war in Vietnam with two sons veterans of that in Afghanistan, said that cutting back on military adventurism makes people better off. "We have had enough of war," he declared.

City Council Member Kristin Szakos drafted the resolution version above.

Also voting in favor were Council Members Wes Bellamy and Kathy Galvin.

In my view, this is an important statement to Congress, the country, and the world from our city council which has chosen to represent us. Charlottesville did not make a familiar and misleading statement exclusively against spending cuts, which would have fueled predictable and irrelevant demands for smaller government. Charlottesville addressed the reality of money being moved from everywhere else to the military, and urged the deeply moral action of moving money in the opposite direction.

It's worth noting that the assertion that military spending is an economic drain is a reflection of the fact that tax cuts produce more jobs than military spending. Military spending produces fewer jobs than does never taxing money in the first place. The study cited above does not, of course, assert that military jobs do not exist.

WEDNESDAY LENTEN SERIES AT TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH

posted Feb 19, 2017, 7:07 PM by CCPJ News

Trinity Episcopal Church is hosting a series of Wednesday evening programs during Lent.

After a soup supper, we will watch a podcast, “Faith and Race”—an interview series designed to help churches of all colors host constructive dialogue about faith, race, and the church.

For 5 Wednesdays in Lent, starting March 8:

                        5:45pm  Soup Supper

                        6:45pm  Podcast and Discussion

.  The invitation is to all interested persons. 

Trinity is located at 1118 Preston Ave., with parking behind the church and on the street.

If you have questions or would like more info please contact Pastor Cass Bailey at 293-3157 or cass@pastorcass.com.

 

MEMORIAL TO BILL ANDERSON

posted Feb 19, 2017, 7:04 PM by CCPJ News

Last year Charlottesville lost another “drum major for justice.”  Bill was involved in peace, reconciliation, and justice work in Charlottesville and around the world.  He was the president of the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice for many years. 

Bill was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church and Trinity will be honoring Bill’s life with a memorial seating wall that will be a part of the renovation of the church’s backyard into a play area and outdoor worship space.  The church has received a gift toward this effort but needs an additional $10,000.  If you would like to help remember Bill Anderson in this way, you are invited to make a memorial contribution.  No contribution is too small.

Contributions may be sent to:

Trinity Episcopal Church

1118 Preston Avenue

Charlottesville, VA 22903

 

If you have questions or would like more info please contact Pastor Cass Bailey at 293-3157 or cass@pastorcass.com.

Good Riddance to Robert E. Lee

posted Feb 9, 2017, 9:41 AM by David Swanson

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, the city of Charlottesville, Va., city council has voted to remove an imposing statue of Robert E. Lee (and the horse he never rode in on) from Lee Park, and to rename and redesign the park.

The statue of this non-Charlottesvillian had been put up in a whites-only park during the 1920s at the whim of an extremely wealthy and racist individual. So, for a representative government to vote, following a very public deliberative process with voluminous and diverse input from city residents is -- if nothing else -- a step toward democracy.

I think it's much more as well. There are two issues at stake here, neither of them dead issues from the past. One is race. The other is war.

Following the vote of City Council, two Republican candidates for governor Corey Stewart and Denver Riggleman declared their outrage. "You cannot revise history. Only tyrants attempt to erase history. This is tantamount to denouncing your own heritage. I will do whatever I need to, both now and as governor, to stop this historical vandalism. We must fight to protect Virginia’s heritage," said Stewart. "This continued assault from Democrats on Virginia's history and heritage is unacceptable. As governor, I will protect the monuments of our heritage, but not just of the Civil War, mind you. . . . Not only are they standing in conflict with a number of Virginia's laws, but they are spitting in the face of veterans of every conflict — no reminder of any sacrifice by any veteran of any conflict should be torn down by the liberal thought police," said Riggleman.

Now, Charlottesville has been here for centuries. It has very few public monuments, virtually all of them to war makers. There's George Rogers Clark on horseback setting off to participate in genocide. There are Lewis and Clark exploring, with Sacagawea kneeling beside them like a dog. There are the giant equestrian statues of Robert E. Lee and also Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, plus the traditional generic Confederate soldier. There's the monument to murdering 6 million Southeast Asians in the Vietnam War. There are a couple of statues at UVA, one of Thomas Jefferson, one of a pilot who died in a war. And that's about it. So, virtually all of Charlottesville's history, good and bad and indifferent, is missing.

Where are all the great academics and artists and civil rights activists and environmentalists and performers and poets and suffragettes and abolitionists and athletes? Where, for that matter, is Queen Charlotte herself (long rumored, accurately or not, to have had African ancestry)? Where is the history of the native Americans who lived here without wrecking the earth's climate? Where is the history of education, of industry, of slavery, of segregation, of advocacy for peace, of sister-city relationships, of welcoming refugees? Where are women, children, doctors, nurses, business people, celebrities, the homeless? Where are either the police or the protesters? Where are fire fighters? Where are street musicians? Where's the Dave Matthews Band? Where's Julian Bond? Where's Edgar Allan Poe? Where's William Faulkner? Where's Georgia O'Keefe? One could go on forever.

Claims of "erasing history" are ludicrous. Choosing to glorify and memorialize some little bits of history is all that is ever done when monuments are added, removed, or swapped out for others -- or when they're left standing. Most of history will always remain unmemorialized in our public spaces. Adding new memorials while leaving Lee and Jackson in place would still amount to supporting what Lee and Jackson monuments communicate. And the decision to leave Jackson there does just that. It communicates primarily two things: racism and war. Apart from the artistry of the sculptures, apart from the personalities of the dead soldiers, these are statements of racism and war. And it matters.

A country that can make someone like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III its attorney general has an ongoing struggle with racism. Symbols that have stood for racism for decades, symbols of a war fought for the right to expand slavery, must be set aside if we are to move forward.

A country that empowers people like Steve Bannon has a problem with the limitation of history to wars. Bannon claims that history goes through cycles, each one opened by a worse war than the one before, with a new one just around the corner. (And if history won't oblige, Bannon hopes to do his bit to facilitate the supposedly inevitable.)

Obligatory tangent for partisan readers: the leading expander of militarism during the past eight years, needless to say, has been a gentleman named Barack Obama.

Most of Charlottesville's history has not been war. There is nothing inevitable or natural or glorious about war. The vast majority of U.S. wars have no Charlottesville memorials. The entirety of local and U.S. efforts for peace have no public recognition in Charlottesville. Some are proposing that redesigned parks include some indication of aspirations and struggle for peace. That, I think, would be progress.

Workshop on whiteness and racial justice

posted Jan 11, 2017, 7:44 PM by CCPJ News

Thursday, Jan. 12, 7-9pm: Visiting Professor from VCU to lead Workshop
SURJ Charlottesville (Standing Up for Racial Justice) presents  Archana A. Pathak, Ph.D of VCU who will lead a workshop on whiteness and racial justice, approaching the question: "Why do we need to talk about whiteness when it comes to racial justice?"
Where: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church (717 Rugby Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22903)
The discussion will be geared toward understanding white privilege in racial justice, where folks can learn about, understand and bridge the differences and connections between white and non-white experiences with and around racism.
Archana A. Pathak, Ph.D. (University of Oklahoma, 1998) is a post-colonialist feminist scholar activist who examines issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, and scientific imperialism from a social justice perspective. Academically trained in Intercultural Communication and qualitative research methodologies, she utilizes autoethnography to explore the ways in which we tell ourselves and each other who we are. She has also served as the President of the Board of The Conciliation Project, a not for profit social justice theater organization that addresses issues of racism and oppression.
For more information, email SURJCville@gmail.com .

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