Friday, April 12, 2013

Good News- Clean Energy, Fossil Fuel Divestment, Protests against Drones and Military Spending

The military represents 57% of all our discretionary spending!           sign by Shirley Warren, photo by B Upton
April 15 is the Global Day of Action on Military Spending

In 2011, while 21,000 children died needlessly every day from poverty, hunger and preventable disease, $1.74 trillion went to military spending worldwide. People are rising up on every continent to put an end to this immoral use of resources and the insanity of war. To find a global event near you-

Look at what we spend compared to the next four biggest military spenders. There is clearly no existential threat to us from any country the way the USSR was in the Cold War. We could easily reduce spending without posing any threat to our security. Further, the Pentagon is rife with boondoggles like the F35 Joint Strike Fighter which cost US taxpayers $1.5 trillion and is still not deployed. This massive waste simply cannot be tolerated any longer.

Also, there is growing awareness that the costs of a war span generations. For instance, we spend over $40 billion a year on veterans benefits. Twenty-two billion of that is currently going to veterans from the Vietnam War and $5 billion is going, 68 years later, to families of WWII vets! Healthcare benefits for vets from Iraq and Afghanistan won't peak for another four decades. Our veterans deserve health care and all the benefits they need, but the next time cheer-leading begins for another war, we need to remember the long term costs in human suffering and in the economic devastation that war brings

Guardian of the Forest                                  B Upton
More Trees in US Today than 100 Years Ago

Hard to believe, but true and encouraging. Do you see the guardian above?

Maryland Abolishes Death Penalty

Maryland became the 18th state to abolish the death penalty and six states have ended capital punishment since 2007. 

Of 300 exonerated through post-conviction DNA testing,  25% were convicted of murder.

Renewable Energy Leading in 2013

Renewable energy accounted for 82% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity so far in 2013!


Students Demand Divestment from Fossil Fuels across the Country

In just the last couple of weeks, students from American University, Brown, University of Massachusetts, University of Michigan, University of Florida, Northwestern and more, all voted overwhelmingly for their schools to divest from polluting, fossil fuel companies. Colleges and universities have over $400 billion in endowment funds to invest. 

Students, faculty and alumni are demanding that they use this financial power to responsibly invest in a way that is sustainable, socially just and in alignment with their school's values.

To invite The Responsible Endowments Coalition to your school, contact them at

Clean Energy Candidates Triumph!

2012 showed that candidates who ran on clean energy and protecting the environment defeated their dirty energy opponents. 

Voters want candidates who stand up to polluters, favor higher fuel efficiency standards and who reduce carbon pollution from power plants.

Read the full report here

Nationwide Actions to Protest Drones

Innocent children and adults are being killed by drone warfare and it is igniting hatred and a desire for revenge in many around the world. More Americans are waking up to the immorality of drones terrorizing innocent people in Pakistan and other countries and to the threat they pose to our civil liberties. No Drones Network is coordinating dozens of actions in April across the country to end drone surveillance and warfare.   

ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is calling for April 13 to be a National Day of Action to say, "U.S. Drones Out of Africa, Middle East, Asia and Here!"

If you live in the Hudson Valley, take part by attending this event in New Paltz!
Anti-Drone Collage                                                                              B Upton

From the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter

Saturday, April 13, NEW PALTZ: A demonstration against pilotless drone warfare abroad and intrusive domestic drone surveillance at home will take place today starting at 11 a.m. with a rally and vigil in front of the Elting Library (93 Main St.). At 12 noon the participants will march with signs and leaflets through the downtown area, returning to the library. Many will stand with signs visible to heavy weekend traffic until 1:30 p.m. The event is being organized by the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter and is co-sponsored by New Paltz Women in Black, Occupy Southern Ulster, Middle East Crisis Response, Real Majority Project, Dutchess Peace, Dutchess Greens and other regional groups. Bring your own sign if you wish. Some signs and lots of leaflets will be available. There’s parking on Plattekill Ave., just south of main street and farther down the street at Village Hall. There will be nationwide anti-drone actions today, sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition. The largest will take place in Washington, with a White House rally and march. Information,,

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