CCA debuts new creative project with concert “Singing History”

Published by:

ushistory

We have started a new ongoing project at CCA, called CREATE☮PEACE.  To learn more about it, click the link.

Singing History: The American Story You Aren’t Taught in School

Featuring
The Starvation Army Band

Friday August 14, 7pm
Church of the Open Arms
3131 N. Penn, Oklahoma City
                                                            
Freewill Donations, give what you can:  $1?   $5?   $50?

Fundraiser for the Center for Conscience in Action
centerforconscience.org

You are invited to attend a unique musical event, where history gets revised to include the progressive contributions of workers, people of color, women, LGBTQ, leftists and the entire 99%.

Please share and spread the word:

Continue reading

Chelsea Manning supporters gather in Oklahoma hometown to celebrate her 27th birthday and demand release from prison

Published by:

Manning Birthday in Crescent 008 (2) (640x480)

NEWS RELEASE

On Wednesday, December 17, for the second year, supporters of Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) will celebrate the Oklahoma-born whistleblower’s birthday in her hometown of Crescent, which is about 40 miles north of OKC. The event is hosted by last year’s sponsor, the Center for Conscience in Action (CCA), now joined by local chapters of Amnesty International throughout the state, with a grant from Amnesty USA to help with expenses.

The event will take place in the middle of the small rural town, at El Palmo Restaurant at 224 N. Grand (Map: goo.gl/maps/gu2a2),beginning at 6:30 pm. Representatives from CCA and the Equality Center of Tulsa will speak.

Manning, who will be 27, was an Army intelligence analyst stationed in Iraq who leaked thousands of documents to Wikileaks in 2010, exposing war crimes and unjust detainment, torture and prisoner abuse, diplomatic deception and embarrassingly candid communications relating to US policies in the war on terror. Court-martialed in 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years and is serving that sentence at Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas. Immediately after the verdict, Manning announced her medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and desire to live as a woman, along with the change of name.

CCA has held numerous support events for Manning since her arrest in the summer of 2010, joining the international support network that funded the legal defense and continues to raise funds for an appeal and advocate for a pardon or clemency as well as proper medical treatment for the gender dysphoria. Amnesty has also been advocating on Manning’s behalf for several years and has named her one of the world’s top political prisoners and among their “individuals at risk” for whom global action is promoted.

The party will be combined with an advocacy letter-writing campaign, as well as cards and letters to be sent to Manning at Ft.Leavenworth. Donations will be collected for the support network’s drive for the legal appeal case.

Since her sentencing, Manning herself has become more and more vocal about her case and with thougthful criticism of US national security policies, having published op-eds in The New York Times, The Guardian, and other newspapers as well as through Amnesty and the Chelsea Manning Support Network websites.

Amnesty has several chapters in Oklahoma, including OKC, Norman High School, OSU and Tulsa.

For more information:
Chelsea Manning Support Network – chelseamanning.org
Amnesty International Petition – campaigns.amnesty.org/actions/write-for-rights-chelsea-manning

CCA to Present 2014 Awards for Courageous Peacemaking

Published by:

MANNING-1000

2014 award trio

Recipients: Sadie Mast, Chelsea Manning, and Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance

The Center for Conscience in Action, along with local friends and supporters, will honor Oklahoma peacemakers in a program on Sunday, October 26 in Oklahoma City.

This is the fourth year that CCA (formerly the Oklahoma Center for Conscience and Peace Research) has recognized Oklahomans who have contributed to a culture of peace by courageous individual action, but this year, rather than a single award, several will be presented.
“We are very excited to expand our annual recognitions this year, and especially with the particular individuals and groups we have selected,” said Rena Guay, CCA’s Executive Director.

The 2014 awardees are Sadie Mast, who will be honored for her many years of service to local peace organizing; Chelsea Manning, a native of Crescent, Oklahoma, who is serving a 35-year sentence at Ft. Leavenworth for exposing war crimes; and Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, a small but powerful group of activists who have used direct action and creative public awareness campaigns to help Oklahomans better understand the connections between energy policy, environmental justice and state economic policies.

“Sadie Mast has been a force for peace and community building in Central Oklahoma for decades, and the organizations, causes and events she has contributed to are, literally, countless.” Guay said. “Chelsea Manning has sacrificed her freedom so that the world could know the realities of US war making. And Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance has revived in our community a critical factor in progressive organizing: resistance.”
The program will take place at Church of the Open Arms, 3131 N. Penn in OKC on Sunday October 26, beginning at 4pm. The public is invited to this free event. Light refreshments will be served.

Included in the schedule is a presentation about projects that CCA is involved with, including the Fort Hood Support Network, Restoring Justice Oklahoma and a community bicycle recycling program founded by Richard Geary.

Drop “terrorism hoax” charges against peaceful protesters, petitions demand of Oklahoma County DA Prater

Published by:

devon banner

Supporters to deliver over 14,000 signatures to demand end to politically motivated overreach

OKLAHOMA CITY – Supporters of the Center for Conscience in Action will gather at the Oklahoma County courthouse on Friday January 24 in support of two activists who have been charged with carrying out a “terrorism hoax” when extraneous glitter fell from a banner during a peaceful protest action at Devon Tower on Dec. 13, 2013.

The group will deliver letters and petitions to District Attorney David Prater calling for him to drop the charges against Stefan Warner and Moriah Stephenson, which they consider overreach by the police and DA office to discourage future protest in OKC.

devon banner

“Our city has a long history of nonviolent civil disobedience going back to the lunch counter sit-ins conducted by Clara Luper and her students in 1958,”  said James M. Branum, legal director of the Center for Conscience in Action. “We believe that Warner and Stephenson are following in that great tradition. We urge DA David Prater to drop the felony terrorism hoax charges in this case.”

The case has garnered media attention around the globe. Supporters from central Oklahoma and across the country have contributed over 14,000 signatures on two petitions related to the case.

The Devon Tower action was organized by the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance. For background and details on that protest visit www.gptarsandsresistance.org

A media availability will take place in the lobby of the Oklahoma County Courthouse at 3pm, prior to the group entering the DA’s office to present the materials to Mr. Prater. The organizers will also be available for interviews immediately after the drop off.

Some of the petition signatures will also go to Gov. Mary Fallin.

The Center for Conscience in Action, formerly the Oklahoma Center for Conscience,  is a group of organizations and citizens committed to nonviolent action to end war, injustice and environmental destruction, and to create a more equal and peaceful society through the development of personal conscience and collective action. For more info, see centerforconscience.org

War Resistance and Peace Work in Oklahoma – Fall 2013 Update

Published by:

Free Kimberly Rivera 021

Since our group was founded in 2004 as a means of support for conscientious objectors to war,  our commitment to work for those who take courageous stands against war has not wavered, but  we have been evolving as far as our specific projects and scope of the work. In 2013, we took a big leap in that continuing evolution, and decided to expand our vision to peace action that addresses the violence in our local communities and that impacts the very sustainability of our planet home.

One exciting aspect of these organizational changes is the creation of a new micro-grant program that will help fund local projects that bring a nonviolent approach to local justice and environmental activism.

For a full report on our new vision and the work we have done in 2013 and look forward to doing in 2014 and beyond, please read this post on our website.

 

Your financial support keeps our work for peace going

This will be but one of many appeals for a donation that you receive this month, all likely from organizations that deserve your support. But if you can, we hope that you can support our work with a tax deductible contribution through our fiscal sponsor, Joy Mennonite Church. We are funded through individuals, churches and other organizations that share our commitment to a just world through local action, understanding peace in the radical tradition of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and our recently deceased hero, Nelson Mandela.

Donations can be made online with a credit card through Paypal, or mail a check made out to “Joy Mennonite” and mailed to:

Center for Conscience in Action
504 NE 16th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

 

Kimberly Rivera free and back home with new baby and family

CCA Legal Director James M. Branum was the attorney for war resister Kimberly Rivera, who was court-martialed this year after returning from Canada, and sentenced to six months at the Miramar military confinement facility in San Diego, California. CCA funding allowed James to represent Kimberly for a much lower than usual fee. Pregnant with her fifth child through all of this, Kimberly gave birth to a son on Nov. 26. She was released on Dec. 13, and is now back home in Texas with her family and new baby. The Riveras will need help getting back on their feet, and our ally organization Courage to Resist has fund set up for this purpose.

 

Chelsea Manning update

Manning Birthday in Crescent 008 (2) (640x480)CCA is a member of the Private Manning Support Network, and has been engaged in educational and advocacy work on the case since 2010. Being in Oklahoma, where Chelsea  (formerly Bradley) Manning was born and raised, has meant we feel a special responsibility – which is our honor – to bring attention and better understanding about the effects of Manning’s release of documents to Wikileaks.

This past summer, CCA Executive Director attended several days of Manning’s court martial. And just this week, on Chelsea’s birthday on Dec. 17, we organized a birthday party in her hometown of Crescent. We toasted her courage and sacrifice, and look forward to her being present for the next birthday celebration.

Two petitions asking for clemency/pardon are still active and need your signature:

Manning’s civilian attorney David Coombs recently did a fundraising tour of the west coast, and his talk in Seattle was recorded.  The video, and a transcript, are available online. Watch it here.

 

National response by peace activists keep Under the Hood alive

 Under the Hood is a GI rights café and resource center in Killeen Texas, near Ft. Hood, the largest base in the US. Its presence there is critical to effective outreach among the huge population of servicemembers in the area, who get info about and assistance with discharges, harassment and discrimination, sexual assault and other concerns. Earlier this year, the existing board of directors sent out an appeal for new energy and support from the wider peace community nationwide. Many organizations and individuals responded, including CCA. The result was a new board and advisory board, and we are happy to say that CCA’s two staff members are both on the advisory board that also includes representatives from Veterans for Peace, IVAW, Civilian Soldier, Courage to Resist, Center on Conscience and War, and the Military Law Task Force.

The new board and advisory board will be meeting on the ground in Killeen in January, and we will be part of that meeting, which will help plan and direct the future work of Under the Hood.

UTH has a holiday fundraising campaign underway; if you can help, or just want more information about their work, please visit underthehoodcafe.org.

 

GI Coffeehouse West Coast tour

 Speaking of GI rights and coffee, the three existing GI coffeehouses – Under the Hood, Coffee Strong in Washington,  and The Clearing Barrel in Germany — are working on an unprecedented joint project, an educational/fundraising tour of the US west coast early next year. CCA is a co-sponsor of this effort and is assisting with website development, promotion and other support needs. The coffeehouses serve as the face of the GI Rights movement to active-duty servicemembers. Keeping them alive and strong should be a priority for everyone who works to build a more peaceful and war-free world.

 

Rosalie Riegle’s history of war resistance from Dorothy Day to today

 We were thrilled to have a visit from oral historian and writer Rosalie Riegle in October. Her books add significantly to the important documentation of peace work, which often (usually?) misses the pages of the mainstream press in any but the most sensational and distorted coverage. We have a few copies of the following books left, which you can get from us directly for $30 each — less than the standard price in bookstores or online. Contact us if you are interested.

  • Crossing the Line: Nonviolence Resisters Speak Out for Peace
  • Doing Time for Peace: Resistance, Family, and Community

 

perpetualcalendarcover_2013smWar Resisters League update

CCA is the Oklahoma affiliate of the War Resisters League, which just celebrated its 90th year of working for peace by ending the scourge of war. They have published a perpetual calendar, which is a beautiful and useful tool for remembering historic events, and planning your own activist schedule. They can be ordered online for $14 each.

 

 

 


 

Keep up with the CCA’s work by following us on Facebook or Twitter (note that our Twitter handle has changed).

Thank you for your interest in and support for CCA. Have the happiest of holidays, and may 2014 bring us all the gift of real, transformative peace — at home, in our communities and across the world.

Gratefully,

Rena Guay, Executive Director

James M. Branum, Legal Director