Weekly RESISTance Calendar

July is Immigrant Heritage Month and Disability Pride month





Wednesday, July 19 2017

     Public Hearing on Campaign Finance Disclosure at the County Commission, 845 N Motel Blvd.  Common Cause urges you to attend this hearing from 9:00-noon.  Legislation is currently pending before the NM Secretary of State.


     Anti-war Vigil every Wednesday (since 9/11/01) from 4:00-5:00pm at the federal court building, Church Street at Griggs.




Thursday, July 20, 2017

     “Women in Transition Information Fair” will be hosted by Grandma’s SOULAR Power from 10:00am-2:00pm at First Christian Church, 1809 El Paseo Rd.  Community organizations, city & state agencies will have information on helping to make changes in your life.  All women welcome.  Free admission.


     Soulidarity vigil every Thursday from 5:00-5:30pm.The Thursday water protector vigil is now being held at Albert Johnson Park in front of the Library rather than at the federal court building.  MORE SHADE and more traffic. Stand in opposition to Dakota Access, Keystone XL, and all other oil pipelines being constructed across the land of indigenous and Native peoples in violation of treaties and with disregard for sacred spaces.


     “Pride” is the July film shown by the Social Justice Committee at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 S. Solano.  Based on a true story, the film depicts a group of lesbian and gay activists who raised money to help families affected by the British miners’ strike in 1984.  The union was reluctant to accept the group’s support due to the union’s public relations’ worries about being openly associated with a gay group.  “R” rated for occasional strong language and two scenes of a sexual nature.  Film starts at 7:00pm in the Library, free popcorn, donations accepted.




Saturday, July 22, 2017

     Southern New Mexico New Progressives Public Meeting on health care will be held 11:00am in the Roadrunner Room of Branigan Library (2nd floor).


“Why America Needs Healthcare for All” is the topic of a monthly Conversations with Democrats.  Special guest, Dr. James G. Lenhart, MD, FAAFP, MPH, will travel from Tacoma, WA, to be the conversation leader.   Don’t miss this exceptional speaker from 2:00-4:00pm at Arrowhead Park Early College High School, 3600 Arrowhead Dr., Las Cruces.  To read his book prior to his talk, go to www.amazon.com/Conversations-Paco-America-Needs-Healthcare/dp/0615471099.



Sunday, July 23, 2017

     Political Correctness – The Evolution of a Concept will be the topic for the Roundtable discussion at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 S. Solano.  The panel of Dr. Martha Loustaunau, Peter Goodman, Sureyya Husain and Bob Hearn will consider how meanings have changed, the relationship to free speech, perceived excesses, limitations, and political usage of the term.


–Jan Thompson janthompson0817@gmail.com



Veterans Call on U.S. to Sign Nuclear Ban Treaty



By Brian Trautman, Gerry Condon and Samantha Ferguson

On July 7th, 2017, the United Nations (UN), in a historic decision, approved a legally binding instrument to ban nuclear weapons, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Months of negotiations involving over 130 countries began in March of this year, culminating in a final draft endorsed by 122 countries. The treaty marks a significant milestone to help free the world of nuclear weapons.

The treaty emphasizes “the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons.” It forbids participating states “to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” Additionally, it explains that the complete elimination of nuclear weapons from international arsenals “remains the only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstances.”

In keeping with a history of being unwilling to relinquish its massive nuclear arsenal, the U.S refused to enter treaty negotiations and used its status as the sole remaining international superpower to organize a boycott that influenced approximately 40 countries.

U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki R. Haley defended the absence of the U.S. from the negotiations, stating, “There is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons, but we have to be realistic. Is there anyone who thinks that North Korea would ban nuclear weapons?” Veterans For Peace (VFP), a nonprofit working since 1985 to abolish war and nurture peace and the only veterans non-governmental organization (NGO) represented at the UN, released a statement in response, strongly criticizing the U.S.’s refusal to participate, noting that the discussions were a “series of missed opportunities by the United States to use its position as the world’s undisputed military power to change the course of history … and end the danger and peril that nuclear weapons pose to the world.”


Humanity has been at the brink of a nuclear exchange on multiple occasions since the end of World War II, including times when the decision to launch was seconds from happening. An urgent question, then, is why these close calls, as well as the brutal and unnecessary annihilation of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that preceded them, failed to convince all governments that nuclear weapons represent an existential threat to humanity, thus nuclear disarmament must be a top priority?


The Doomsday Clock, maintained since 1947 by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, is a symbol of the risk of a human-caused global catastrophe, specifically of the rate of climate change and the potential for a nuclear exchange. It is reset periodically depending on global conditions. Presently, the Clock is at 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the closest to midnight it has been since 1953, the start of the arms race between the U.S. and former Soviet Union.


Certainly, the possibility of nuclear war was heightened with the unpredictable brinksmanship of President Donald Trump, who, in reference to nuclear weapons, once asked, “If we have them, why can’t we use them?” This is the sort of irrational thinking to which Albert Einstein, whose theory of relativity gave rise to the atomic bomb, may have been referring when, in 1946, a year after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he warned the world of the tragedy nuclear technology would bring: “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”


Previous global action to prevent the use of nuclear weapons has included the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) of 1963, which curtailed nuclear testing but did not eliminate it. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) of 1996 would have prohibited “any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion.” However, despite signing the treaty, the U.S. and other nations, such as India, North Korea and Pakistan, never ratified it. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968, which was signed by nearly all nations, including the U.S., mandated that all participants pursue nuclear disarmament “in good faith.” Despite the relative effectiveness of the NPT and the end the Cold War of reducing a sizeable portion of the global stockpile, an estimated fifteen thousand nuclear warheads are still held by nine nations. Two of these nations — the U.S. and Russia — possess over ninety percent of the total.


The world now has the first-ever treaty to ban all nuclear weapons, and the U.S. remains steadfast in their contempt of the possibility of peace. In a statement released by the U.S., UK, and France, the three nations asserted that they “do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it” alleging that “this initiative clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment.”


The most significant threat to human survival and the biodiversity of our shared planet, apart from climate change, is a world in which nuclear weapons continue to exist. Yet, instead of negotiating in good faith to reduce and eventually eliminate its nuclear arsenal, the U.S. continues to develop new, more accurate, and more lethal nuclear weapons, while deploying “missile defenses” that make a nuclear first strike more possible and more likely.


The ongoing U.S. wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East, particularly in Syria, along with the confrontational U.S. military posture toward Russia, China and North Korea, are creating conditions that could all too easily trigger a catastrophic nuclear war. Veterans For Peace remains committed to transforming U.S. nuclear, military and foreign policy from global dominance to global cooperation. This work includes convincing the U.S to recommit itself to the UN Charter which forbids military intervention and requires respect for the sovereignty of all nations.


One of the founding principles of Veterans For Peace is a call to end to the arms race leading to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons. VFP’s Nuclear Abolition Campaign is a feature of this effort. Several notable manifestations of this campaign include a statement released last year calling for nuclear disarmament in our lifetime. Earlier this year, VFP endorsed the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017, introduced by Sen. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Lieu (D-Calif.). Support for the historic Golden Rule antinuclear sailboat, a national project of VFP, continues with the boat’s current voyage down the West Coast, which is dedicated to supporting the UN Treaty. VFP also participated in the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb, held last month in New York City and worldwide.


The next hurdle, getting all remaining nations to sign and ratify the treaty. The treaty will be open for signature to all States on September 20th, 2017 at the UN General Assembly. It will go into effect within 90 days of ratification by 50 countries.


These are dangerous times indeed, but such dangers can focus the collective mind and create new possibilities for real change, if activists and organizers are prepared to seize the moment.


Let this be the generation that will finally ban nuclear weapons. It’s not just about peace and justice; it’s about the survival of all life on earth.



Brian Trautman and Gerry Condon serve on the Board of Directors of Veterans For Peace (VFP) and Samantha Ferguson is Program and Event Coordinator with VFP’s National Office. To learn more about VFP, visit https://www.veteransforpeace.org/.


Weekly + RESISTance Calendar

Saturday, June 17, 2017

     La Frontera Fair Trade Store is open for the third summer.  The store is at Nopalito’s Galeria, 326 S. Mesquite St, Las Cruces, and is open from 9:00am to 6:00pm every Saturday from June 3 through Aug. 26.  All proceeds from the sales go to the women who produce the products because the store is staffed entirely by volunteers.


PFLAG Prideweek Kick-off at Pioneer Women’s Park from 9:00am to Noon.  Bagels & burritos, music, speakers, fun for the whole family.


Rally to Defend Health Care to be held at Albert Johnson Park (in front of Branigan Library) from 10:00am to Noon.  Participating groups:  We’re In Indivisible, Democratic Party, Office of Senator Martin Heinrich, ProgressNow New Mexico, ACLU, Health Action NM, Planned Parenthood, and Las Cruces Coalition for Reproductive Justice.  Hear personal stories and listen to your political leaders, doctors, and other health care providers discuss needs in Dona Ana County.  Bring signs:  Protect My Care, Save the ACA, Defeat TrumpCare, Medicare for All, Save Medicaid, or your own brilliant creations.


Support of Local Immigrant Family sponsored by CAFé.  Religious leaders, including Bishop Oscar Cantu and Father Tom Smith, will speak out in support of Francia Benitez-Castano and her family at a press conference at 10:00am at Holy Cross Retreat Center (600 Holy Cross Rd) followed by mass at 11:00am.


Women’s March to Ban the Bomb in New York City and other cities.  No sister action is planned yet for Las Cruces.



Monday, June 19, 2017

     Attend the Las Cruces City Council meeting that starts at 1:00pm in Council Chambers, City Hall.  Agenda items include resolutions of support for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and for the Paris agreement.  The Green Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor welcome your attendance.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

     World Refugee Day.  Let’s work to free immigrants from detention and welcome them to our communities as refugees.  Sadly, here in the U.S., we are detaining thousands of people who should be protected, supported, and empowered to forge a new life away from the violence and trauma they have fled.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

     Anti-war Vigil every Wednesday (since 9/11/01) from 4:00-5:00pm at the federal court building, Church Street at Griggs.



Thursday, June 22, 2017

     Soulidarity vigil every Thursday from 5:00-5:30pm at the federal court building, Church Street at Griggs.  Stand in opposition to Dakota Access, Keystone XL, and all other oil pipelines being constructed across the land of indigenous and Native peoples in violation of treaties and with disregard for sacred spaces.


–Jan Thompson janthompson0817@gmail.com




SWEC: Resist Mexican Wolf Extinction Plan

Resist Trump’s Fake Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released an updated recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf, and it is bad news for the struggling wolves. This plan would suppress wolf numbers, sharply limit their distribution and hand over the rare wolves’ management to political appointees on state game commissions — people who usually don’t like wolves. We hate to be dire, but the truth is that this is more of an extinction plan than a recovery plan. It puts politics over science. It’s a recovery sham!

What You Can Do:

1)      Protest! The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold four public meetings in NM and AZ to answer questions and accept written comments on their draft plan. Let’s pack them with wolf supporters to show them what we think of their flawed plan. Come early to prepare and protest! SWEC will be taking a van up from Las Cruces to the T or C meeting, and carpooling is being arranged for all the protests. Take a road trip for lobos!

2)      Speak out! Tell the USFWS that its plan stinks. Comments are accepted until August 29, but why wait? Do it today! You can find talking points here.

Panel to discuss border wall at Progressive Summit

SWEC will join with the ACLU and NM CAFE on a panel to discuss the border wall and related issues at the Southern New Mexico Progressive Summit this Saturday, 7/15, in Las Cruces. The event is sponsored by ProgressNow NM and starts at 9 am. Our panel begins at 1:15 pm. President Trump’s proposed border wall and promise to unleash a deportation force of border agents threatens to separate families, expand surveillance, sever tribal lands and private property, and disrupt important wildlife migration corridors. That’s why we’re all working together to fight the further militarization of our communities and wild lands. Come learn more at this event.

End of Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park?

SWEC was instrumental in getting the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park established a decade ago. Now the park is in trouble, due to budget cuts and low visitation rates. NM State Parks is considering some type of joint management arrangement with NM Department of Game and Fish. There will be an open house on Saturday, July 22, 10 am to 2 pm at the park to provide information to the public about the future of the park. If you care about this jewel along the Rio Grande near Mesilla, please attend. You might want to ask questions like the following:

  • Will the park continue to exist as a state park?
  • Which agency will manage it?
  • Will the focus of management continue to be on nature preservation, education and habitat restoration, or something else?
  • Will this arrangement with NMDGF be permanent, or only until there is more money for state parks?
  • Will hunting and fishing be allowed?
  • Will this arrangement result in greater promotion of the park, so that more people know about it and visit it?
  • Will the park’s classroom continue to exist, or will it be converted to offices?

For more info, contact NM State Parks at 888-667-2757.

SWEC’s latest newsletter now available

SWEC’s Summer 2017 Mesquite Grill newsletter is now available on our website or at the office. If you are a member, look for it soon in your mailbox. Note the article on page 4 and send us your ideas about what $25 billion could buy, instead of a border wall!



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