Thursday, July 9, 2020
Thursday, July 2, 2020
Pax Christi International opposes Israel’s plans for annexation and calls on the international community to hold Israel accountable for violations of international law.
Pax Christi International vehemently opposes Israel’s plan to annex any area of the West Bank including the Jordan Valley. We recognise East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights as illegally annexed under international law. We continue to condemn Israel’s 53-year occupation of the West Bank and its 13-year blockade of Gaza. We stand in steadfast solidarity with our Palestinian sisters and brothers whose freedom, dignity and human rights are threatened by this current proposal and Israel’s previous actions.
We endorse the statement by the Council of Patriarchs and Heads of the Holy Land Churches  which expresses grave concern over any such unilateral action to annex land. We add our voice to the growing denunciation of Israel’s flagrant disregard of international law , the Geneva Convention  and resolutions agreed upon by the United Nations General Assembly  and Security Council . We stand with those countries, civil society and human rights organizations, denominations and religious communities and people of conscience who call for Israel to immediately end their plans for annexation .
As the global Catholic movement for peace and nonviolence, Pax Christi International is deeply concerned that actions to annex any portion of the West Bank will extinguish the last glimmers of hope for a just and lasting peace in the land we call holy and has the potential to spark righteous anger and unrest throughout the region.
For 75 years, Pax Christi International has promoted nonviolence as a tool for responding to injustice and has encouraged dialogue to foster reconciliation and negotiated peace agreements. We believe that all parties in a dispute warrant respect and acknowledgement. Annexation undermines these principles placing the rights and very humanity of one group as inconsequential to the expectations of another.
We believe there is another way to secure the rights and safety of Israelis and Palestinians. This unilateral action is counterproductive to creating real security, justice and peace.
The end of World War II saw the birth of a new international world order that enshrined human rights and set standards for the behaviour of nations. Pax Christi International, founded during this momentous time, is deeply concerned that Israel’s decision to pursue annexation of land taken by military force not only violates but jeopardizes the norms and dictates of that world order, which is already seriously threatened.
Annexation, and/or the implementation of the Trump administration’s “Deal of the Century”, will formalise Israel’s strategic and persistent efforts to create “facts on the ground” and will be the death knell for a viable Palestinian state. For decades, a two-state solution which acknowledges the rights and security of both Palestinians and Israelis as equal neighbours has been upheld by the Vatican , United Nations and the international community. If Israel continues with its plans, as articulated, realisation of a two-state solution will be rendered impossible. This will cause irreversible damage to the fulfillment of the inalienable right of Palestinians to self-determination, as guaranteed in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations , and will hinder efforts for them to create a flourishing Palestinian state.
As Palestinians have incrementally lost ownership and access to their land and natural resources through land confiscation, home demolitions, discriminatory planning laws and unbridled settlement expansion, all tools of creeping de facto annexation, the international community has watched yet remained unwilling to stop these illegal actions.
July 1st 2020 is the date Prime Minister Netanyahu may test the international community’s resolve to protect and defend principles they have enshrined as the bedrock of a civilized world. It is on that date that the coalition government is expected to put forth its plans for unilateral annexation of occupied Palestinian territories, a proposal that will have a devastating impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children, women and men. This is the world’s Kairos moment to take immediate and forceful action or be complicit in this plan.
Pax Christi International calls on the international community and United Nations member states not only to speak out against these illegal actions but also to foster the courage to hold Israel accountable by imposing specific and meaningful consequences.
We ask all Pax Christi Sections and Member Groups
to join with Church leaders and members of faith communities to
- express their solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis who oppose annexation, occupation and the blockade of Gaza;
- urge dioceses to exercise their right to make financial investments and consumer choices based on standards of ethical and social responsibility;
- speak out in opposition to Israel’s illegal and unilateral plans for annexation at this crucial moment;
and to call on their elected representatives to urge their government to:
- oppose Israel’s plan for annexation;
- outline what specific actions they will take in response to any annexation including but not exclusive of:
- ending all arms trade and military security cooperation with Israel
- suspending military and other financial aid to Israel while they are in violation of international and humanitarian law,
- implementing sanctions on trade with illegal settlements including boycott of settlement products and companies benefitting from settlement activity;
- declare that they will not recognise any unilateral change to the established 1967 borders;
- hold Israel accountable for violations of international and humanitarian law;
- recognize the State of Palestine.
Brussels, 19 June 2020
- https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/un-documents/document/sres2334.php https://www.mecc.org/mecc/2020/5/11/xob0k5pwd6udzfniax5dsy75v36532 https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/AIDA_calls_on_international_communityto_prevent_annexation_May2020.pdf https://cmep.salsalabs.org/ps-church-leaders-annexation https://www.theelders.org/news/elders-call-new-middle-east-peace-plan-counter-israeli-annexation-threat https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NUysXg67fjw3yadRNPoNuVCTBC3Ajatti7yrxpB4pW8/edit https://www.annexation.site/ http://www.elcjhl.org/liberation-not-annexation/
- http://bibliotecanonica.net/docsaq/btcaqf.pdf https://palestineun.org/about-palestine/diplomatic-relations/
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
MOVEMENT FOR PEOPLE’S DEMOCRACY (MPD)
AGENDA MAY 31, 2020 8:30 PM (Eastern Time)
CONFERENCE CALL: 1 (605) 313-5430
ACCESS CODE: 239182 #
· Reading of the minutes
· Old Business
· New Business (forming membership committee, etc.)
· Local MPD Chapter Reports
· Brief History of Mass Movement Organizations (Dr. Angelo D’Angelo)
· How to build a successful MPD Chapter (Mr. Conner Gillis)
· Good and Welfare
· Meeting Adjournment
Friday, May 8, 2020
Thursday, May 7, 2020
Recently, there has been an outpouring of praise for essential workers on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 05, 2020
by Carmen Martinez
I, like many others, have watched communities come together to applaud medical staff leaving a shift at hospitals. Similarly, labor and immigrant rights organizations have praised the workers keeping grocery store shelves stocked for a nation where residents have been locked away in their homes.
One group of people on the front line who have not received such attention for their important work is poultry plant workers. The spotlight is only on them now due to President Trump signing an executive order to keep meat processing plants operating during the pandemic.
While safety guidelines for people working in the industry during the pandemic have been issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are not binding, and the guidance itself is inadequate. If we are going to force workers into the processing plants, the best way we can show our appreciation to them is by ensuring that they are able to safely do their jobs – or take a break if they get sick. Last week, a CDC report noted that 20 meatpacking workers have died from the virus and almost 5,000 have been infected with the coronavirus.
As an outreach paralegal for the Southern Poverty Law Center, I have spoken to hundreds of people working in poultry plants in the Deep South. Long before COVID-19 became a safety issue, poultry workers frequently spent their workday in processing plants where hazardous conditions – and a lack of safety precautions – are frequently the norm.
COVID-19 has only made things worse.
Poultry workers have spoken out about the inadequate coronavirus safety measures. At the SPLC, we have heard reports of supervisors being provided personal protective equipment while processing line workers have had to go without. Also, employers have failed to put social distancing measures in place; people still work the processing line shoulder to shoulder with their coworkers.
For plants that have confirmed cases among their workforce, poultry workers are demanding that the plants be sanitized before they return to work. Other poultry workers are asking for paid leave, so that they may take time to care for themselves or their loved ones if they become ill – something they traditionally have not had in this industry.
In fact, we know that in the past some poultry plants have disciplined workers for taking a day for a routine medical appointment by placing a “point” on their attendance record, ultimately firing workers who accumulate a certain number of “points” under this harsh attendance system. Some poultry plants, rather than offer paid leave during the pandemic, have offered a modest bonus in exchange for working three months without missing a day.
In other words, instead of providing worktime flexibility and compensated time off, the processing plants are enacting policies that discourage taking time off and ultimately put workers and their families at risk.
To make matters worse, it was just last month that 15 poultry plants received waivers from the federal government to increase their processing line speed, putting output and profit over worker safety. The SPLC has long documented and reported on the injuries workers endure in poultry processing plants in the South, where line speeds can reach the maximum speed of 140 birds per minute. Since then, the poultry industry has lobbied the federal government for these waivers allowing them to increase line speeds up to 175 birds per minute.
Even without an employer turning up the line speeds or the threat of a pandemic, these workers have frequently endured a workplace where they face retaliation for taking leave for medical reasons; discrimination or harassment from management; and even a lack of bathroom breaks.
Overall, poultry work continues to be one of the most dangerous jobs available, which is why we’ve worked closely with the people who endure these conditions to reform this industry. And it’s one of the reasons why we’ve urged members of Congress to support workers with basic safety measures and time off if they become ill during this pandemic.
We must support poultry workers, not just because they help bring food to our tables, but because they are members of our communities who deserve to go home safely to their loved ones – even if there isn’t applause as they leave work.