Call Governor to Veto SB999 Today!
Annual WILPF POTLUCK LUNCHEON & Phyllis Bennis coming to town
Raise the Minimum Wage Now! Rally and Lobby Day in Harrisburg

Beyond Dictators and Occupation: A Way Forward in Iraq  -  Samir Adil, President of Iraq Freedom Congress
Will Congress vote against women in the military?  NARAL Pro-Choice America
Urge Congress to Renew the Voting Rights Act ,  United Church of Christ
Conscience and Paying for War - FCNL
Support genuine immigration reform:  Sign the May 17 National Lobby Day petition

* Miami Janitors Win!
* Will the Real John McCain Please Stand Up?
* Retired CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Takes on Rumsfeld Over Justification for Iraq Invasion *
* FBI Counterterrorism Unit Spies on Peace Group School of the Americas Watch *
* FBI Targeted Freelance Journalist Covering FTAA Miami Talks *
* Evo Morales Nationalizes Gas Resources in Bolivia *- (and more)



Call Governor to Veto SB999 Today!

Please call the Governor today at 717-787-2500 and ask him to VETO SB 999 (He only has until Sunday to Veto it, that's why I am suggesting phone calls today).
        This bill has been put forward as voting reform legislation, and although it has some good points, it also contains many bad sections which, from my perspective, unfairly target urban voters because it would allow county boards of elections to move polling locations as close as 10 days prior to an election, and it can move them to locations outside the district!   I thank the League of Women Voters for also taking a prominent lead on this one!    Larry Frankel of ACLU said: "Unfortunately as a result of the amendment to Senate Bill 999, you are now being asked to sign legislation that runs counter to the spirit and principles of the Voting Rights Act. It is estimated that this legislation could affect more than 200,000 voters statewide who will find, pursuant to section 7 of the bill, that their polling places have been moved in the middle of the current election cycle.  The ACLU believes that requiring the relocation of polling places so close to what will likely be a hotly contested election could lead to confusion and disruption on Election Day.
                                                - Barbara Burgos DiTullio   Women's Law Project ,

                        Annual WILPF POTLUCK LUNCHEON & Phyllis Bennis is coming to town!

                                Saturday, May 13, 12:30 p.m.
                                Aulenbach House 29 W. Tulpehocken Ave. (in Germantown)
        Most of you know Phyllis as an activist, an analyst and a prolific and insightful writer and speaker.
 Her latest book is: "Challenging Empire: How People, Governments, and the UN Defy US Power."
      Come and be part of WILPF's 91st year of challenging empire.  Info:

Saturday: Delaware County Peace Festival
Sunday: Mother's Day Concert for Peace @Brandywine Peace

John Flynn, one of the Delaware Valley's most compelling
singer-songwriters, will perform a free concert

The annual Peace Festival, sponsored by the Peace Center of
Delaware County, will be held on the beautiful one acre grounds of
the Springfield Friends Meeting House; 1001 Old Sproul Road in
Springfield, Delaware County; from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. John
Flynn's Kid's Concert begins at 2:00 p.m. and the main stage
concert will start at 3:00 p.m.

In case of rainy weather, the event will be held indoors at the
Swarthmore Friends Meeting House, 12 Whittier Place, in
Swarthmore. Festival goers can check the Peace Center Web site
at or call 610-328-2424 for up to date
information on the day of the event.
For more information on the 2006 Delaware County Peace Festival
contact Terry Rumsey at 610-328-2424 or e-mail

Raise the Minimum Wage Now! Rally and Lobby Day in Harrisburg

        Tuesday, June 5, 2006
        Rally 12:30 PM Capitol Rotunda
The PA House voted to increase the minimum wage to $7.15/ hour by a vote of 146-50. The Senate leadership has refused to allow a vote in 9 years on minimum wage. There are enough votes to pass a $7.15 minimum wage if a vote is allowed. Its time to stop the gridlock and allow a vote so Pennsylvania's working poor can get a raise. All workers deserve a living wage!

Keep in mind a poll conducted by the Gallup Poll on small business owners and the minimum wage.  It found
        1) that 80% of business owners hire new employees above the minimum wage
        2) 86% of small business owners felt that the minimum wage had no effect on their business
        3) 46% of small owners thought the minimum wage should be raised and only 34% thought it should remain at $5.15. 
        16% thought it should be lowered or eliminated.
- For more info contact the Raise the Minimum Wage Coalition  215-557-0822


10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.   Talk Radio Program with Sandra Dungee Glenn (Member, School Reform
Commission)   On WURD 900 AM--call in number is 215-426-1310.

6:00-8:00 p.m.   Workshop: "Build Your Own Computer"   Nonprofit Technology Resources,
 1524 Brandywine St., Philadelphia, Pa   $25 per session   To register, call 215-564-6686.

7:00-9:00 p.m.   International Concerned Friends & Family of Mumia Weekly Meeting
4601 Market St., 5th floor, Philadelphia, PA   For info, call 215-476-5416.

12:00 to 1:00 p.m.. Vigil Against the Occupation in Palestinse
15th Street between Walnut & Locust

4:30 p.m.   Anti-war leafleting and picket
Market & 11th Sts., Philadelphia, PA   For info, email

5:00 p.m.   Vigil--Women in Black
Swarthmore Train Station, Park Ave. & Chester Rd., Swarthmore, PA   For info, email


10:00 a.m. to noon
"Talking Union" weekly call-in radio show, 1340 AM

noon-1:00 p.m.   Peace Vigil   Rte. 38 & Cherry Hill Mall Dr., Cherry Hill, NJ
For info, email

1:00-2:00 p.m.   Protest at Ferber Furs
1708 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA   For info, email

5:00-7:00 p.m.   Radio Show: "Labor to Neighbor" with hosts Janet Ryder, Pat Eiding &
Pete Matthews   900 AM WURD--215-634-8065.

7:30 p.m.   Books Through Bars Packing Cafe   The A Space, 4722 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA
Help pack books to send to prisoners.   Email


4:30-5:30 p.m. Peace Vigil Federal Building, 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA
Sponsored by House of Grace Catholic Worker For info, email .

5:00 p.m. Vigil for Peace
Outside Unitarian Society of Germantown, 6511 Lincoln Dr., Phila For info, see

7:00 p.m. Peace Vigil
Germantown Ave. & Bethlehem Pike, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA For info, see

7:30 p.m. International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement Weekly Meeting
Uhuru House, 1021 S. 49th St., Philadelphia, Pa   For info, see



Beyond Dictators and Occupation: A Way Forward in Iraq  -  Samir Adil, President of Iraq Freedom Congress

        Wednesday 17 May - 7:00 PM
        Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia
The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace, and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.
Beyond Dictators and Occupation: A Way Forward in Iraq (Speaking Tour: 2 - 18 May)
- INFO: Peter Lems, American Friends Service Committee Tel: 215/241-7170

Will Congress vote against women in the military?  NARAL Pro-Choice America

There are 350,000 women serving in the U.S. military, making up
almost 15 percent of all active-duty personnel. But federal law
does little to protect their reproductive rights.

:: Congress has forbidden military hospitals from allowing
abortion care, except in cases of life endangerment, rape or
incest - and in the latter two cases, the woman herself must pay
for the services.

:: Military health-care facilities are not required to carry
emergency contraception (the "morning-after" pill).

Please take action today to defend the rights of those who
defend us. Urge your lawmakers to support amendments that would
improve the health care of women in the military when they
consider the Defense Authorization Act:

 Urge Congress to Renew the Voting Rights Act ,  United Church of Christ []

 A bipartisan group of congressional leaders joined this week to introduce legislation in the House and Senate to renew key provisions of the Voting Rights Act which are due to expire in 2007.  The Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 (H.R. 9/ S. 2703) would renew several sections of the Voting Rights Act.
The expiring provisions require certain states and counties with a history of voting discrimination to get federal approval before changing their election laws and procedures.  They guarantee that citizens who are not fluent in English have full access to voting and receive the language assistance they need to cast an informed ballot.  Finally, they give the U.S. Attorney General the power to send federal observers to monitor elections and deter and document discriminatory conduct.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is considered our nation's most effective civil rights law for its ability to vigorously protect the right to vote of all Americans.   The Act has enfranchised millions of racial, ethnic and language minority citizens by eliminating certain discriminatory practices and removing other barriers to political participation.  Over the last 40 years, the Act has been renewed four times by bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate.  Permanent provisions which will not expire in 2007 include Section 2 which bans racial discrimination in voting nationwide, and Sections 4 and 201, which ban literacy tests nationwide.

Contact your members of Congress and urge them to support and swiftly renew expiring provisions of the Voting Rights Act.  Click to send a message to your members of Congress in support of H.R. 9/S. 2703.
For more information about the Voting Rights Act and its renewal, please visit

 Conscience and Paying for War - FCNL

On May 16, the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund is joining up with the Center on Conscience and War to lobby members of Congress about conscientious objection issues. There will be briefings and lobbying appointments going on all day here in Washington. Even if you are far from Washington, you can join in. This would be a good day to send a message to your legislator about the importance of acknowledging conscientious objection to military service and to military taxes. (For more information on the lobby day and for further background information on conscientious objection to military taxes, see
        Two potential initiatives address issues of war tax resistance and conscientious objection and will be the focus of:
        the May 16 lobby day
 - Religious Freedom Peace Tax bill (H.R. 2631) - Military Conscientious Objection Act - Religious Freedom Peace Tax Bill
The first step in encouraging action on these issues may be your engagement with your representative and senators about the idea of conscientious objection and its centrality to the faith of some who may be in your meeting, church, or community.
        - Friends Committee on National Legislation * phone:  * toll-free: (800)630-1330

                        ACTION PAGE:

The last time Congress held any hearings on gas prices they didn't even put the oil company executives under oath. Those executives didn't even have perjury hanging over their heads. You can insist on a simple thing like this and bring real truth to light on a topic that is hurting every American.
        Why don't the petroleum companies put some of their moth-balled refineries into production?  Hmm -- can't say there is a shortage of production facilities. Where are the tangible benefits of tax-break incentives offered to investors in homeland related oil production that could be offered to the American taxpayer?  Hmm -- is anyone awake at the helm?

Support genuine immigration reform:  Sign the May 17 National Lobby Day petition
Go to:

United Farm Workers []

Please remember that affordable insurance to supplement Medicare
is available to Alliance members through the Alliance's Retiree
Health Plan! The Retiree Health Plan Annual Open Enrollment
period is underway now through July 15th, 2006. During this
period, Medicare-eligible retirees and their spouses are
guaranteed acceptance with no waiting period, regardless of
pre-existing health conditions. Visit
for further details, or call 1-866-298-9117 to receive your free
Retiree Health Information Kit and your open enrollment
application. No agent will call you - everything is handled
through the mail.



*  Miami Janitors Win!

On May 1, after their 9-week, hard-fought strike at the University of Miami, janitors have secured the right to form a union and raise living standards for their families.
        More than 4,000 of you sent letters to UM President Donna Shalala urging her to ensure workers' rights to exercise their freedom to unite their strength in the workplace. So far, workers have won a 25% raise and access to health insurance for the first time. Many students, religious leaders, community organizations, and national leaders offered their support. This inspiring victory came on the same day millions of immigrant workers and their supporters took part in a national day of action to highlight their contributions to the nation.  The Miami janitors are showing that when workers stand up, their voices can be heard."
        Thank you - we couldn't have done it without your help! In solidarity, Aisha Satterwhite,

* Will the Real John McCain Please Stand Up?

When Senator John McCain ran for president in 2000, he denounced
right-wing extremist Jerry Falwell as one of America's "agents of intolerance".
        Now it seems that McCain has set out to become the darling of the radical religious right by:
 Announcing he would support a federal constitutional amendment banning
 gay marriage after sharply denouncing a ban in 2004,
 Proposing legislation that would allow taxpayer money to be spent on religious schools,
 Supporting the South Dakota recently enacted abortion ban,
 Accepting Jerry Falwell's invitation to speak at the radical religious college, Liberty University.

What happened to the "ethical decision making" of John McCain?


We saw the consequences of the absence of a coherent
and forceful Left in the 2004 presidential election,
when most on the left and the center-left rallied
behind a centrist Democratic candidate while the third
party forces were hopelessly divided. Leaving aside the
historical left abdication of the space of the
opposition to the Democrats, the fact is the Democrats
do not occupy that space, except in electoral terms.
Their campaign was bereft of sharply defined issues:
they neither defended their social liberalism nor
mounted an attack against the Bush administration's war
and economic policies, which have been directed against
the working class, and they barely mentioned the Bush
betrayal of the environment or challenged his claim
that the U.S. economy was on the mend.


New York - Members of the International Women's Commission, in New
York for meetings with UN officials, expressed concern that the
results of the Palestinian elections are being seen as a reason to
disengage from the peace process, when in fact, this is a critical
moment to explore a resumption of negotiations. If not seized now,
they said, the chance will be lost.

The International Women's Commission (IWC) is comprised of Israeli,
Palestinian and international women who came together in July 2005 to
work towards a just and sustainable peace based on a two-state
solution. They are in the United States to meet with UN and US
officials to gather support. In describing their mission here, they
emphasized that recent opinion polls show that an "overwhelming
majority among Israelis and Palestinians favour negotiated rather than
unilateral further disengagement."

Colette Avital, deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset, emphasized that
this is the first time since 1967 that a majority of the Knesset
favour a two-state solution. While previously, people thought that a
two-state solution was something that would have to be lived with, she
said, public sentiment is shifting on this. "Most people now feel it
is a necessity; unless there is a Palestinian state, Israel is also in danger."

Moderate voices exist in the political community, on both sides, which
must urgently be identified and supported to ensure engagement. "Hamas
is not a homogenous bloc," said Amal Khreisheh, Director, Palestinian
Working Women Society for Development. "There are moderate voices
within Hamas who must be encouraged to shape the national dialogue."

Palestinian delegates stated that whatever they think about them,
Hamas was elected in a genuine democratic process, and on a range of
different issues, such as dealing with corruption and providing
services. Palestinians should be allowed to sort out their political
disagreements, they said, while governance continues. At the same
time, said Maha Abu-Dayyeh, Director of the Women's Centre for Legal
Aid and Counselling in Jerusalem, there are indications that Hamas
seems to be moving towards an acceptance of the idea that Mahmoud
Abbas could play a major role in negotiating with Israel. "If Hamas
agrees to negotiations, Fatah will not say no," she said. "This will
be the first time that negotiations could take place that both the
government and the opposition could support."

In a statement issued today, women on both sides declared that it is
more important than ever to reach out across boundaries. Unilateralism
is not the answer. As women and as politicians or activists in their
different struggles, they are committed to continuing the dialogue.
Moreover, they stated, they must be included in any peace negotiations
that may come about - as decisions will then be taken that will impact
Israelis and Palestinians for years to come.

"As women, we have a key role to play in meeting challenges and
starting the longer-term process of rebuilding communities, reviving
dialogue among all parts of society, and showing that there are other
ways to live," said Professor Naomi Chazan, former deputy speaker of
the Israeli Knesset. "Despite the fact that Israel, Palestine and
members of the Quartet have all pledged to implement Security Council
resolution 1325, which calls for increased engagement of women at all
levels of decision-making in conflict resolution, this intention has
still to be translated into practice."

The women will also be travelling to Washington, DC, to meet with U.S.
State Department officials and members of Congress.

Members of the IWC delegation visiting the United States
*       MK Colette Avital - Deputy Speaker of the Knesset (Labor Party),
        Chairperson, Committee for Immigration, Absorption, and the Diaspora
*       Professor Naomi Chazan - Former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset (Meretz Party)
*       Nurit Hajaj - Director, the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow
*       Rola Hamed - Project Coordinator, Heinrich Boell Foundation,Bat-Shalom board member

*       Maha Abu Dayyeh Shamas - Director, Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling
*       Amal Khreisheh - Director, Working Women Society for Development
*       Lama Hourani - Activist
*       Naila Ayesh - Director, Women's Affairs Center

International Members
*       Noeleen Heyzer - Executive Director, UNIFEM
*       Jessica Neuwirth - President, Equality Now
*       Simone Susskind - Adviser, Ministry of Justice, Belgium
UNIFEM is the women's fund at the United Nations, providing financial
support and technical assistance to innovative programmes promoting
women's human rights, their economic and political empowerment, and
gender equality in more than 100 countries. In 2006, UNIFEM is
commemorating its 30th anniversary. For more information, visit UNIFEM, 304 East 45th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY
10017. Tel: +1 212-906-6400. Fax: +1 212-906-6705.

* Retired CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Takes on Rumsfeld Over Justification for Iraq Invasion *
        Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld comes under fire from retired CIA analyst
Ray McGovern at a speech in Atlanta on Thursday. Rumsfeld was interrupted by
protesters several times in his address. We speak with McGovern and play excerpts from the event.

* FBI Counterterrorism Unit Spies on Peace Group School of the Americas Watch *
        The ACLU released evidence Thursday showing that the FBI has been monitoring
the peace group, School of Americas Watch. The group conducts research on
the U.S Army School of the Americas, now renamed the Western Hemisphere
Institute for Security Cooperation. SOA Watch is the latest organization
that has been found to have been subject to U.S government surveillance in the name of counterterrorism efforts.

* FBI Targeted Freelance Journalist Covering FTAA Miami Talks *
        Newly-released documents reveal that the FBI spied on freelance journalist
David Lippman as he was covering the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit
in Miami in 2003. The documents indicate Lippman was under surveillance for
being a "known protestor w/history." The American Civil Liberties Union is filing a lawsuit on his behalf.

* Evo Morales Nationalizes Gas Resources in Bolivia *
        Leaders from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela gathered Thursday for
an emergency summit do discuss Bolivia's decision to nationalize its natural
gas fields and refineries. We speak with Larry Birns of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs.

* Bullets in the Hood: Bed-Stuy Documentary Goes on Tour to Raise Awareness About Gun Violence *
        Downtown Community Television is launching an anti-gun violence tour in New
York City and elsewhere featuring the award-winning film "Bullets in the
Hood: A Bed-Stuy Story." The film was made by two 19 year-olds, raised in
Brooklyn's public housing projects, who had lost 11 friends to gun-violence in the streets of New York.

* Unplanned Pregnancy among Poor Increases 30% since 1994

* Watchdog Says U.S. Creating 'Climate of Torture'; UN Hearings Begin Friday

* Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER): OSHA Finds Yellowstone Cell Tower Emits Excess Radiation


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