The Pacific Yearly Meeting Peace and Social Order (PYM-PSO) Committee convenes monthly conference calls for Southern California Quarterly as well as College Park Friends who have concerns about peace and justice. Friends in Pacific Yearly Meeting are welcome to take part and will be listened to and supported as much as we are able, spiritually as well as practically. We help bring concerns to Quarterly and Yearly Meeting, organize/sponsor interest groups, and recommend speakers. Our next monthly conference call will be on Wednesday, Nov 30, at 7:30 pm. Conference call number is: 712-770-4010. Access code: 830-785. Here are some concerns that have been discussed in recent calls.
1) Police Accountability (Black Lives Matter). Several of our members are involved in this issue and are wondering: What are meetings doing to address issues of racism, militarization of the police, and police accountability? For recent AFSC action opposing police militarization, including civil disobedience and arrests, see https://www.afsc.org/document/report-urban-shield-abandoning-hope-not-building-hope and https://www.afsc.org/story/promoting-security-or-fearmongering-islamophobia-and-policing
2) Sentencing Reform and Correction Act (S 2123). This will be the focus of this year's FCNL lobby day. For more info, and to take action, go to fcnl.org and see letter below.
3) Standing Rock Statements by AFSC, FNCL and New England Yearly Meeting. These Quaker bodies are calling on us to support the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies who are opposing an oil pipeline and taking a “nonviolent stand to protect the water, land and climate for future generations.” In their call for prayer and support for Standing Rock, New England Friends write: “We affirm that we see God at work in the courageous action of those in the protector camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, In their ongoing struggles we see the convergence of struggles for indigenous rights, climate justice and liberation from white supremacy, moving with the power of the Spirit, raising up a vision of a world renewed.” Please call the President at Comments: 202-456-1111. Switchboard: 202-456-1414. Statements by AFSC, FCNL and New England YM are available at their websites. See http://neym.org/rsej/news/minute-support-standing-rock-committee-racial-and-economic-justice
4) Follow up on the FWCC Sustainability Minute. The PSO, FWCC and Unity with Nature Committees resolved to work together on this concern. We are asking Meeting to report on what concrete actions they are taking towards sustainability? http://fwcc.world/fwcc-news/living-sustainably-and-sustaining-life-on-earth-the-minute-from-the-plenary
Write to your Senators and thanks them for co-sponsoring the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123). Ask them to help bring it to the floor. Here some text to consider using:
"Disproportionately long prison sentences for certain crimes, combined with laws that prevent successful re-entry into civilian life, have created a system of mass incarceration that unfairly impacts poor communities and people of color. These bills together reduce several lengthy mandatory minimum sentences, give judges more discretion, and lower the population in federal prisons.
"This bill has strong bipartisan support. Please work with your colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help pass it into law."