• Extinction Rebellion and Citizens Assemblies

    Extinction Rebellion and Citizens Assemblies by John M Repp  “only nonviolent rebellion can now stop climate breakdown and social collapse” is the subtitle of the book: Common Sense for the 21st Century by Roger Hallam (London: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2019) Roger Hallam writes that real change happens when ordinary people break the law i.e., do nonviolent direct action. He gives his book a title that reminds us of Tom Paine’s Common Sense (January 1776) which sparked the American revolution. The book reads like a short 95-page instruction manual for a nonviolent revolution. Hallam uses “reverse engineering”, imagining what a successful nonviolent revolution would look like and then works back to the steps and preparations needed to achieve it. He means…

  • More Trains, Not More Lanes: “a climate solution hiding in plain sight”

    Planes, (fancy) trains and automobiles won’t help us meet our climate goals. by Mary Paterson | July 5, 2023 (reprinted from Real Change, the Seattle homeless paper by permission of the author) Real Change began an important discussion this spring about how our state legislators and governor are ignoring the need for East-West passenger trains between Seattle, Auburn, Ellensburg, Yakima, and Spokane (‘It’s Just Negligence…,’ March 15, 2023). Modernizing our existing rail routes — think Amtrak for the 21st century — can help us reduce “vehicle miles traveled” and slash our emissions by 2030, which we must do according to warnings from scientists about climate change.  Trains on our existing rail network are a climate solution hiding in plain sight. They’d also help…

  • Labor Struggles – Where’s Our Contract?

    Labor Struggles – Where’s Our Contract? by Cindy Cole Over the past few years labor unions organizing successes have been in the news.  But some big companies have used fierce union busting tactics, like firing workers who organize, requiring captive audience anti-union meetings, threats to shut down a worksite and more to fight this trend. Despite that, the independent Amazon Labor Union has been able to organize several Amazon warehouses.  Also, Starbucks workers have organized 21 cafés in the last few years.  However, over a year after the success of these organizing drives neither union has been able to secure a first contract. We need to look at the right to collective bargaining as a two-step process: 1) organizing a…

  • June 2023 issue of newsletter now posted!

    The latest issue of our newsletter, The Pacific Call is now available!  Click here to read or download the pdf version.  Individual articles from this June 2023 newsletter have also been posted.  The full URL for the newsletter is https://wwfor.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/PacificCallJune2023.pdf Articles include: The 2023 Washington State Legislature Activity.  Bruce Radtke provides a summary of some of the 2023 Washington State Legislature activity. Education in Finland.   Newsletter editor John M Repp discusses what the U.S. could learn and ideas we could adapt by applying policies of Finnish schools. Poetry by Jean Gant Delastrada.  Jean is Co-Chair of the Olympia FOR chapter, and poetically describes her wishes for the world, and also comments on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear…

  • The 2023 Washington State Legislature Activity  

    Summary of some of the 2023 Washington State Legislature activity by Bruce Radtke You may have been watching the Washington House and/or Senate to see if a bill you favor passed.  For further information on any bill, look online app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo. It is an excellent website. If it was to ban the sale of assault-type weapons in WA, that bill passed (HB1240).  Another gun safety bill requires a background check and a 10-day waiting period for firearms purchases, and it also passed (HB1143). A major goal for several legislators was to pass housing legislation to increase housing.  Housing discrimination due to restrictive real estate covenants was covered by a bill to create covenant home ownership accounts (HB1474).  Another bill that passed…

  • Education in Finland  

    Education in Finland by John M Repp  Finland has one of the best educational systems in the world. Yes, they are a small country compared to the United States, but we must remember that our school systems are city, county or state based, not nationally based. One of the biggest barriers to improvement in the United States is the idea, often unstated, that we cannot learn from other countries. This is a recipe for failure. We can learn a lot from Finnish educational practices, and we know that improving our educational systems should be a key focus of our efforts to make our country better. Finns want to have a trust-based system, not a control-based system. Finland trusts its teachers.…

  • Poetry by Jean Gant Delastrada

    Wish Poems  #1 and #2 by Jean Gant Delastrada I wish the leaders of nationsCould talk like four-year-olds doAt their preschool peace tables. I wish the urge to competeCould fade into The urge to cooperate  I wish people hated war So much they would Give their all for peace. I wish there were remediesFor greed and crueltyAnd the human weakness of tribalism. I wish inventors wouldConcentrate on eliminating evil. I wish more people could learnTo love their enemies I wish peace and loveWould prevail for everyone Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons  Fragment of a Poem by Jean Gant Delastrada Ring the bells,Wave your signs on streetcorners,Nuclear Weapons are now illegal! January 22, 2012The Treaty has entered into force. Of…

  • Prosecuting Big Oil for Climate Deaths  

    Prosecuting Big Oil for Climate Deaths by John M Repp Harvard Environmental Law Review recently accepted a 70-page paper to be published in 2024, suggesting that prosecutors start charging the big oil companies with homicide for the deaths caused by climate change. Oil companies have already been sued by cities for financial damages caused by heat waves, wildfires, and rising seas. And federal prosecutors charged British Petroleum with manslaughter for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The company pleaded guilty and paid billions in fines and penalties. It is well known that the oil companies were told by their own scientists as early as the 1950’s that the use of their product would cause climate change. Their response was many massive…

  • Cracks in the Oligarchy

    Cracks in the Oligarchy by John M Repp Jimmy Carter said in 2015 that the United States of America is “an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery”. In response to a question on the Thom Hartmann talk radio show about the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision, Carter added: “we have just seen complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.” So, even though we still have elections at local, state, and federal levels, we are not a democracy. Of course, we hear the contrary all the time, especially when our system is compared to our geopolitical rivals, Russia, and China. Oligarchy means rule by the few. In the United States today, the few who rule are the…

  • 2023 WWFOR Spring Assembly: Report  

    2023 WWFOR Spring Assembly The theme of the 25th annual WWFOR Spring  Assembly was Evolving Nonviolence. by David Lambert. David chaired the planning committee for this event. Our keynoter, Helena Cobban, shared her background of growing up in England. At age 21, she worked as a war correspondent in Beirut, Lebanon, while caring for her two small children. She came to the thinking that no matter how the war started, it needed to be stopped! She took her two children and left the Lebanon and her work there as a war correspondent in 1981. She has witnessed many war zones, reporting that just as many people die from lack of hygiene, medications, food, and lack of other humanitarian needs as…