This Week’s RESISTance Calendar

Late Additions to Calendar:


Sunday, May 21, 2017

     Fundraising event for the family of Francia Benitez, a local mother of two boys who is being detained by ICE and is facing deportation.  Help the family as they fight her detention.  Come to Our Lady of Health Church (1178 N. Mesquite) from 8:00-11:00am for gorditas, burritos, enchiladas, menudo and more.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

     Doña Ana County Board of County Commissioners meeting, 9:00am.  County building at 845 N. Motel Blvd.  Public input is #2 on the agenda.  MANY people will be making remarks regarding the need to fund our transit system.


     Legislative Community Meeting with Representative Angelica Rubio, Representative Nathan Small, and Senator Jeff Steinborn.  5:30-7:00pm at Alma D’Arte Charter School, 402 W Court Ave.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

     Annual International AIDS Candlelight Memorial will be held from 6:00-9:00pm at the NMSU Presley Askew Baseball Field, corner of Locust and Wells.  The event, sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health and Southwest Action Group, is free and open to the public.  Hear guest speakers, performers, and more.



Wednesday, May 24, 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, May 25, 2017

     Catholic Charities celebrates Santo Toribio Feast Day by offering free legal advice to immigrants all day, 8:30am to 4:30pm at their office located at 2215 S. Main St, Suite B, Las Cruces.  Appointments with legal staff will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.


Kickoff for El Paso Electric Public Advisory Group will be at 2:00pm at the EPE office, 555 S. Compress Rd, Las Cruces.  Merrie Lee Soules says a way to make sure that EPE serves our community is to join the Public Advisory Group (PAG).  Citizens on the PAG stopped the 2015 IRP from having precedential value and saved EPE’s New Mexico customers $22 million.


     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.



Saturday, May 27, 2017

     I don’t usually announce political party events, but this program sounds too good to miss.  The “Wall” and Money:  Who Wins and Who Loses? will be held at Noon in the Roadrunner Room of Branigan Library.  The Federation of Democratic Women of Doña Ana County presents “Conversations with Democrats.”  Guest speaker this month is Patrick Schaefer, the Executive Director of the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness at UTEP.  He works on cross-border economic and social development.  Prior to coming to UTEP, Mr. Schaefer held positions at the law firm of Uria Menendez, the Inter-American Development Bank, and, most recently, the World Bank Group.



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

     “Thirty Seconds to Midnight” by filmmaker Regis Tremblay will be shown in the Library of the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 S. Solano, Las Cruces beginning at 7:00pm.  Mr. Tremblay boldly states that humanity is on the brink of extinction.  Nuclear power is not safe.  48 of America’s nuclear power plants are leaking and there is no way to get rid of nuclear waste.  Climate change and global warming, if not mitigated immediately, will end the human experiment on earth sooner rather than later.  This shocking documentary traces U.S. genocides, military interventions and wars from the 15th century to the very present.  American Exceptionalism, Manifest Destiny, and the right to claim the earth and its resources as their own are the foundational beliefs that has humanity on the brink of extinction.  The showing is free, donations are accepted to offset the filmmaker’s travel expenses, and time to speak with Regis Tremblay will follow the film.

-compiled by Jan Thompson, janthompson0817@gmail.com


Hostage to the rules of espionage


By Robert C. Koehler

“Trump emphasized the need to work together to end the conflict in Syria” . . . and “emphasized his desire to build a better relationship between the United States and Russia.”

Welcome to the last paragraph of a Washington Post story the other day, a loose fragment of news, a homeless child, a cynical trigger. This is the story in which we learn that “President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week” and the let’s-be-friends comment was part of the official White House statement about the meeting, the point of which was to dismiss the Post’s allegations as false.

And indeed, the statement comes wrapped in cynicism, as though our proto-fascist, race-baiting, bomb-happy president carries the world’s hope for peace in his heart. Nonetheless, I feel the need to rescue this paragraph from the rest of the Post’s story, which details the latest manifestation of Russiagate in Trumpville.

The president, apparently in a moment of reckless, “off-script” conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, allegedly tossed some classified data — which came to us via an ally (Israel, according to the New York Times) and so was supposed to be handled with ultra-secrecy — into the evening’s festivities: “I get great intel,” he said to the Russians, an unnamed official who was present told the Post. “I have people brief me on great intel every day.”

And another Trumpboast dominates the news for several days. The story amounted to this, as the Post explains: “Under the rules of espionage, governments — and even individual agencies — are given significant control over whether and how the information they gather is disseminated, even after it has been shared. Violating that practice undercuts trust considered essential to sharing secrets.”

So, OK, the president was boasting like a college sophomore after his fourth beer and, in the process, he violated “the rules of espionage.” That’s the story. For several days, it came blasting at us with the intensity of a firehose. It was reported with the urgency of Armageddon, which is how every Trump story is reported. And then it passes and we move on to the next one.

My point is that there’s a lot more urgency here than there is news. The story is about the rules of the national and global security state — which, please be clear, is not the same thing as national and global security. The story does not penetrate into the world of secrets those rules guard, or address the crucial need to resolve the planet’s hemorrhaging military conflicts. Rather, it stays on the surface of the matter, yammering that a rule has been violated. And the rule is presented as objective reality.

And suddenly I find myself careening backwards in time: The Bush administration has launched its war on terror and is preparing to invade Iraq and the mainstream coverage of this is sheer public relations for the invasion, completely dismissing the global opposition that has erupted across the planet. Fifteen years later, nothing has changed. The war and its subsequent ebb and flow of surges, the rise of terrorism, the collapse of the Middle East, the global flood of refugees — all of this is covered with a shrug, in a contextual void. And the planners and supporters of the invasion — the war-on-terrorists — remain securely in power, alarmed, apparently, about only one recent occurrence: the election of Donald Trump.

In the Post story, the only window on the larger reality in which we live is in that last paragraph, when a White House statement talks about “building a better relationship” between the United States and Russia. Such a statement has potentially world-changing consequences . . . except, alas, it’s not reported as news.

I’m not saying I believe Trump has the will or intelligence to advance the cause of global peace — or even much of an interest in anything beyond his own ego — but I am saying, if the media want to hold him accountable, they should do so in relation to the cause of peace, not the rules of espionage.

But, of course, neither George Bush nor Barack Obama — nor any American president — have ever been held accountable to the cause of peace, which is a remarkable fact to contemplate.

Another memory comes to mind. In the summer of 2004, I got a fundraising call from a member of the John Kerry presidential campaign; when I pushed him on where Kerry stood on the occupation of Iraq — needing to hear some indication he was against it — the caller eventually hung up on me in frustration. I was so troubled by this I called Kerry’s central campaign headquarters, where a spokesman expounded a point of view that I called at the time “Wolfowitz lite.”

“The antiwar voice, the soul of John Kerry’s support and a prime source of his funding . . . is totally shut out of this campaign,” I wrote.

And this voice is still shut out, but as a consolation prize we get to be spectators in our own democracy. As Chris Hedges writes:

“Forget the firing of James Comey. Forget the paralysis in Congress. Forget the idiocy of a press that covers our descent into tyranny as if it were a sports contest between corporate Republicans and corporate Democrats or a reality show starring our maniacal president and the idiots that surround him. Forget the noise. The crisis we face is not embodied in the public images of the politicians that run our dysfunctional government. The crisis we face is the result of a four-decade-long, slow-motion corporate coup that has rendered the citizen impotent. . . . Trump is the symptom, not the disease.”

So far the media have shown little curiosity beyond the symptom. I fear it’s because their benefactor is the disease.

Robert Koehler, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor.



NMSU to offer free Lamaze classes this summer

Expectant mothers looking for the extra confidence and support they need to prepare for childbirth can take advantage of free Lamaze classes offered by the School of Nursing at New Mexico State University’’s College of Health and Social Services.

Classes will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. beginning May 30 through July 3. Pregnant women can register for the classes anytime between 16 weeks and 24 weeks, and must be 24 to 32 weeks pregnant by the first class in the series. A labor support person is welcome to accompany pregnant women to the classes, which will be offered at the college, located at 1334 International Mall. Free parking is available off Jordan Street.

The classes will be taught by nursing faculty who are certified as Lamaze childbirth educators, with the support of nursing students.

“This series is open to those parents expecting a baby through the summer to mid-September,” said college assistant professor Martha Morales. “The next set of classes will begin around the end of August when school starts again.”

According to lamaze.org, Lamaze childbirth education classes provide expectant women and their support person the information they need to feel confidence in their body’s natural ability to go through the birth process and make the healthiest decisions for their baby. The classes alleviate the fears regarding the birth process and help in the management of pain.

The classes will cover options, including medications, for attaining greater comfort during labor and birth. Lamaze helps the expectant woman and her support person work effectively with their provider to make decisions, which make them feel good about, and ensure, a safe, healthy and satisfying childbearing experience.

To register for the classes, call 575-646-8089 or email moralest@nmsu.edu.



SWEC: Get rid of our national monuments? No way!

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument on Trump’s hit list

Writer and conservationist Wallace Stegner called national parks and monuments “the best idea America ever had.” Unfortunately, not everyone has caught on. The current administration in Washington has ordered a review of national monuments designated since 1996, including southern New Mexico’s own Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks monument, with an idea towards reducing or altogether eliminating some monuments to make way for mining, logging, and oil and gas extraction. The Department of the Interior is accepting public comments on this proposal though July 10, and they need to hear from you! Click here for more information and to submit your comments online.

Otero Mesa Still Wild, Still Threatened

Whatever happened to Otero Mesa? Nothing yet, and we want to keep it that way! The vast, beautiful, and ecologically important region in southern New Mexico is one of the largest desert grasslands left in North America.  The Bureau of Land Management is currently updating its resource management plan for the area, and we want to make sure Otero Mesa’s grasslands and wildlife are protected from industrial oil and gas development. Check out our new page on Otero Mesa by clicking here, and stay tuned for more updates.

NMSU biologist to talk about amazing new composting method

Join us for a Tuesday Talk with Dr. David Johnson, a molecular biologist and the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture at NMSU on Tuesday, May 23rd at 7:00 pm at the Southwest Environmental Center. Dr. Johnson has invented an incredible new method of composting. His research has garnered international attention and was recently highlighted in a book called, “The Soil Will Save Us” by Kristin Ohlson. This is the perfect opportunity to learn how to reduce your water usage and combat climate change in your garden at home! Click here for more information.

Save the date!

Mark your calendar! SWEC’s annual gala will be held October 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm at the new plaza in downtown Las Cruces. This year we are celebrating 25 years of protecting wildlife and wild places in the Southwest! Join us for great food from local restaurants, beer and wine, live music, a silent auction and dancing under the stars. Stay tuned for updates!


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    Events Calendar

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