(Also available as PDF by clicking here: Pax Christi Tampa Bay March 2017.)
WEEKLY EVENTS calendar
- New Surly Fems Events Calendar
2. People’s Budget in St. Petersburg
3. Laundry Love: Soap and Pizza
4. Farmworkers march in Tampa
5. Rally in Tally against the death penalty
6. Thomas Merton on War Lenten Retreat
- Tiny Homes Festival
8. Black Resistance in St. Petersburg
9. International Peace in Space Conference
10. Think Globally, Act Communally: An Evening with Becca Stevens
11. Jeffrey Toobin on the Trump Court
12. Sasha Abramsky: The American Way of Poverty
13. Hopeful things from Rita Lucey
The resistance against the policies of the Trump administration continues. Along with the events listed below, a recently formed calendar of local events is remarkable in the quantity and scope of its activities.
Notable this week are the monthly Laundry Love in St. Petersburg on Monday, the Coalition of Immokalee Farmworkers March in Tampa on Wednesday, and the Rally in Tally against the death penalty on Thursday. Other opportunities below include protests, lectures, and chances for hands-on service.
Pax Christi Tampa Bay
PEACE FIRST SITE: Since 2002, Peace First has gathered on street corners weekly to speak for peace and justice. This presence is especially important now as a continuation of resistance to the current administration.
Peace First will demonstrate at the corner of 34th Street/US 19 and 22nd Avenue N. in St. Petersburg every Wednesday through April from 4:30-5:30 PM (map). Participants usually gather afterward at a nearby restaurant for a meal. For more information (FMI): SMcCown@tampabay.rr.com
FRIDAY NIGHT PICNIC ON THE PLAYGROUND IN ST. PETE: The Friday Night Picnic is a potluck picnic for hungry people, most of whom are low income or experiencing homelessness. The picnic continues to need potluck food, beverages, picnic supplies, and volunteers. The picnic, which serves over 100 people a week, is at 6:00 PM every Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 719 Arlington Avenue N. at Mirror Lake Drive in downtown St. Petersburg. FMI: http://uustpete.org/2014/09/17/friday-picnic-playground or (973) 768-3256.
WEEKLY BREAKFAST: Loaves and Fishes is a breakfast held at Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday mornings. Volunteers serve a hot breakfast to about 200 people. The breakfast is held on the third floor of Trinity Lutheran Church, 401 4th Avenue North in St. Petersburg.
The breakfast runs from 8:30-10:30 AM, and volunteers can participate in one or all of the shifts: early (7:30-8:30 AM) to help prep the meal; mid-meal (8:30-9:30 AM) for serving; and late (9:00-10:30 AM) for cleanup. Volunteers should go to the side of Trinity Lutheran Church and take the elevator to the third floor. Please contact G. W. Rolle at (727) 424-1088 to help.
1. EVENTS CALENDAR: The Surly Fems Events Calendar is a comprehensive listing of progressive political, educational, activist and cultural events in the Tampa Bay area: https://localendar.com/public/surlyfemevents?style=M4
2. PEOPLE’S BUDGET: Residents of St. Petersburg can go to https://andicastall.typeform.com/to/mFxb1q to take the People’s Budget survey to tell the City of St. Petersburg decide how to spend its budget surplus.
Laundry Love is an opportunity to help financially struggling people in St. Petersburg do their laundry. It is sponsored by the Missio Dei church and takes place the last Monday of every month. This month Laundry Love meets from 6:30-8:00 PMon Monday, March 27 at the coin laundry at 365 8th St S, St Petersburg, Florida (map). Organizers provide soap, coins and pizza for those washing their clothes.
Your assistance is always needed and appreciated. FMI on how you can support and participate in Laundry Love, call G. W. Rolle at (727) 424-1088.
- FARMWORKERS END NATIONWIDE TOUR WITH MARCH IN TAMPA: Join farmworkers andTampa Bay Fair Foodfor the grand Florida finale of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Return to Human Rights Tour in Tampa on Wednesday, March 29. They will call on Wendy’s and Publix Supermarkets to make a real, verifiable commitment to protecting the fundamental human rights of farmworkers in their supply chains by joining the CIW’s Fair Food Program.
The march begins at 5:00 PM at Publix GreenWise (2401 W Azeele St.) and concludes at Wendy’s (1615 W Kennedy Blvd) in Tampa. Parking will be provided.
The fourteen-day, twelve-city Return to Human Rights Tour (March 16-29, 2017) is the longest protest action in the last ten years of the Campaign for Fair Food, joining thousands of consumers in mobilizing for the national Wendy’s Boycott. The boycott, launched by farmworkers last March, has garnered support from tens of thousands of students, faith leaders, human rights, activists, and consumers of conscience across the country. In spite of the growing pressure, the final fast food holdout has dug in its heels and defended its decision to shift purchases away from Florida’s tomato industry —which the New York Times called the “best working environment in American agriculture” — and towards a Mexican industry, riddled with inhumane working conditions.
FMI: Tampa Bay Fair Food or firstname.lastname@example.org
5. ANTI-DEATH PENALTY RALLY IN TALLY: Join FADP, Equal Justice USA, NAACP, Latino Justice, Florida Council of Churches, Orange County Black Voice, and Color of Change in Tallahassee this Thursday, March 30 at 12:30 PM to call on Governor Rick Scott to execute justice NOT people!
The death penalty unnecessarily wastes millions of taxpayer dollars above the cost of sentencing people to life in prison with no parole. Florida leads the nation with 26 people on death row exonerated and released due to wrongful convictions. Florida’s death penalty is rooted in racial bias: never in Florida’s history has a white person been executed for killing a black person. And there is no proof that the death penalty prevents violent crime or protects law enforcement officers.
Last week, after an extensive and non-partisan investigation of the facts of the death penalty process, State Attorney Aramis Ayala, elected on a platform of criminal justice reform, announced she would not seek death sentences in any cases in her jurisdiction. She acted responsibly and within her rights as State Attorney. Governor Scott, an extreme proponent of the death penalty, interfered in the lawful discretion and duties of the State Attorney and removed Ayala from an upcoming potential death penalty case.
This Thiursday people are rallying in Tallahassee to deliver a message to Gov. Scott’s office: Floridians are here to #StandWithAramis and to end the death penalty in our state. The rally will take place at The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001.
There will be buses picking up participants in the following cities:
Tampa | Faith Lutheran Church @ 7am
12703 North Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33608
St. Petersburg | Allendale United Methodist Church @ 7am
3803 Haines Rd N, St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Orlando | Walmart Neighborhood Market @ 7am
1101 S Goldwyn Ave, Orlando, FL 32805
Jacksonville | Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church @ 7:30am
2036 Silver St, Jacksonville, FL 32206
FMI, to register, and to secure a spot on the bus, click here.
- THOMAS MERTON ON WAR: RETREAT WITH JIM FOREST: Thomas Merton is well known as a spiritual writer and explorer and a person of conscience, deeply concerned about issues or racial justice and peace in a time when those issues were not front and center for many religious folks. Merton’s forthright comments on American society, war culture, and racial injustice are still on the mark. What can we learn from him about our war culture and about ourselves and our efforts to resist it?
Jim Forest was a member of the New York Catholic Worker, an editor of their newspaper, friend of Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. A life-long worker for peace, Jim is Secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship and has written many books, including All is Grace, a biography of Dorothy Day, Loving Our Enemies, on living the Beatitudes, and The Root of War is Fear: Thomas Merton’s Advice to Peacemakers. Merton’s “Letter to a Young Peacemaker” was written to Jim Forest.
The retreat will include talks by Jim, times of discussion, silence, and prayer. March 31st – April 3rd, 2017 at The Rush Center, Midfield, AL Cost: $60 day only, $65 for overnight FMI: Contact Mary’s House 205-780-2020 or email email@example.com
- TINY HOMES FESTIVAL: Tiny Home Festival features designs, construction options, and the benefits and challenges of living tiny. The Festival features five tiny homes on wheels and tiny home owners, builders and experts. The Festival will be on Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 10:00 AM–6:00 PM at St. Pete EcoVillage, 302 15th Street North in Saint Petersburg, FL 33705 (map) FMI and tickets, click here
- WORKERS, RACE AND CLASS: BLACK RESISTANCE FROM THEN TO NOW: Fight for $15, an organization of activists working for fair wages, honors the legacy and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the anniversary of his assassination by hosting a special panel discussion with leaders in St. Petersburg connecting the dots between Dr. King’s struggle for racial and economic justice and the battles we are fighting today.
Leaders of the historic 1968 sanitation worker strike in St Petersburg will speak on how those events connect with the fight for fair wages and worker rights today as the Trump administration gears up to expand Right to Work and decimate the working class. The discussion will take place on Tuesday, April 4 from 6:00-8:00 at the James B Sanderlin Center 2335 22nd Ave S., St. Petersburg, FL 33712. FMI: https://www.facebook.com/events/132159317314497/
- INTERNATIONAL PEACE IN SPACE CONFERENCE: “Pivot Toward War: US Missile Defense and the Weaponization of Space,” is the subject of the 25th Annual Space Organizing Conference and Protest of the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. The annual conference, which features activists and experts from seven countries and sixteen states, will take place from April 7-9 in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville, also known as the “Pentagon of the South,” is the home of weapons contractors, the Redstone Arsenal, and the Space and Missile Defense Command. Huntsville receives over $7 billion dollars in military spending every year. Even so, 14.2% of people in the area live below the federal poverty level.
The conference will focus on resisting the effort by the Trump administration to develop and deploy the next generation of Star Wars weapons, which will increase global instability and cost hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. Col. Ann Wright (US Army retired, diplomat) will be the keynote speaker. FMI, including a video to the conference and to the history and contractors of Huntsville, go to http://www.space4peace.org/
10. THINK GLOBALLY, ACT COMMUNALLY: An evening with Becca Stevens: Becca Stevens is an author, Episcopal priest and founder of Thistle Farms, a community of women healing from prostitution, trafficking and addiction. She began Thistle Farms in 1997 as a residential program offering housing, medical and dental care, therapy, and education free to women for two years. Residents and graduates are given employment through one of four social enterprises, allowing them to move towards independence. Stevens was named a “Champion of Change” from the White House in 2011 and a 2016 Top 10 CNN Hero. She will speak Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at the Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602. Doors open/welcome reception at 6:30 PM. Program begins at 7:30 PM. The event is free and open to the public. FMI and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/think-globally-act-communally-an-evening-with-becca-stevens-tickets-32354352740?aff=efbeventtix
11. JEFFREY TOOBIN: A senior analyst for CNN and staff writer for The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin is one of the country’s most esteemed experts on politics, media and the law. Toobin, who has covered all the major legal stories of the era, ranging from the nomination of four Supreme Court Justices to the trials of Michael Jackson and George Zimmerman, offers a unique look into the inner workings of the Supreme Court and its influence, as well as how the current administration will shape the court and, in turn, the nation. Toobin will speak Thursday, April 27 from 7:30 – 9:30 PM at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N WC MacInnes Pl, Tampa, Florida 33602. FMI: https://www.facebook.com/events/409409009397905/
12. Sasha Abramsky and the american way of poverty: Join author and journalist Sasha Abramsky, author of The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives for the Leif Nissen Social Justice Lecture Series of Temple Beth-El on April 30, 2017 from 5:00-8:00 PM at Temple Beth-El, 400 Pasadena Ave S, in Saint Petersburg, Florida 33707. Born in England, Abramsky studied at Balliol College, Oxford, and at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. Currently living in Sacramento, he teaches in the U.C. Davis writing program, while also a fellow at the NYC-based Demos think tank.
The lecture is sponsored in partnership with the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area, University, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater & Unitarian Universalists of St Petersburg. The event is free and a light dinner will follow. For more information, contact Temple Beth-El Social Action co-chair, Robin Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Temple office at (727) 347-6136.
- HOPEFUL THINGS: When asked how he remained hopeful after so many years of activism, Father Daniel Berrigan said, “By doing hopeful things.”
Here is a list of hopeful things compiled by hopeful activist Rita Lucey:
- Brisbane, Australia: Catholic workers remove a sword embedded in a cross – a symbol of war.
● Warton, England: a Methodist and a Quaker attempt to disarm warplanes bound for Saudi Arabia
● Jeju, South Korea: the community of resistance continues public protest while networking with Okinawa, Taiwan and other countries to halt military expansion.
● Falsane, Scotland home of Britain’s Trident nuclear missile submarine fleet: numerous activists arrested for protests
● Paris, France: Nineteen Greenpeace activists jailed for protesting against energy giant EDF for indiscriminate use of inferior materials in construction of nuclear facilities
● Menwith Hill, England the campaign for Accountability of American Bases (CAAB) continues. Founder (1992) Lindis Percy arrested again by British soldiers protecting the US run spy base.
● Okinawa, Japan Three activists jailed for opposition to expansion of US military bases in Okinawa.
● Brussels, Belgium A major international NO to NATO planned for May.
● Buchel AFB, Germany – 20 weeks of nonviolent resistance actions March 26-August 9 demand that U.S. nuclear weapons stockpiled there be sent home. Support for U.N. effort to ban nuclear weapons.
The most recent activities in the U.S.:
● Bath Maine: Twelve warship blockaders found guilty by jury. Judge sentences to 30 hours community service.
● Beale AFB, California: Drone resistance actions and continuous demonstrations, including yellow “-Crime Scene – Do Not Cross” tape plastered over the Beale AFB sign. “Perpetrators” given federal trespass citations.
● Washington, D.C.: At a Witness Against Torture (WAT) die-in at Hart Senate Office Building, nine activists arrested, the same number of deaths at Guantanamo of individuals never charged with crime.
For more, Google war resisters groups for a listing.
National War Tax Resistance: www.nwtree.org
Nuclear Resister email@example.com
caat.org.uk (Campaign Against the Arms Trade)