Archive: 06/2010

TAKE ACTION Stop Sen. Janssen's Arizona-style Bill

Paul Olson, President
Nebraskans for Peace

As you know, the anti-immigrant ballot measure in Fremont vote ended up passing despite our efforts by about 4,000 to 3,000. This is discouraging. But remember that the original petition to put this issue on the ballot received more than 3,000 signatures (over 4,000 if we include the signatures that Fremont authorities could not validate) and few in Fremont were speaking out against it at the beginning. Though we lost the election, progressive forces obviously gained some traction. The credit for what gains we made go to Kirsten Ostrom, Krista Kjelgaard and their local Fremont allies; to the Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest and its allies, to the churches which took a position, and to a lot of people like UNL Professor Miguel Carranza and civil rights lawyer S. A. Mora James who put in much hard work. We lost but not for lack of trying. 

At the last NFP State Board meeting, the board of directors authorized us to join coalitions to oppose the State Senator Charlie Janssen, Arizona-type anti-immigrant legislation proposed for Nebraska. Appleseed is organizing such a coalition, and Nebraskans for Peace will be sending representatives to the July 8 meeting. 

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NO to Pipeline Across Nebraska!

NFP

TransCanada is one of North America’s largest providers of gas storage and pipeline services. It also owns, controls or is developing approximately 11,700 megawatts of power generation. TransCanada’s 30-inch Keystone Pipeline is presently under construction and will extend 2,151 miles to transport crude oil from the tar sand mines near Hardisty, Alberta to Cushing, OK and southern Illinois. It is shown as the solid line in the map below and crosses Nebraska from the crossing of the Missouri River near Crofton south to the Kansas border near Fairbury.

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Crossing the Color Line in Nebraska

Civil rights activist and long-time NFP member Hugh Bullock died this past week after a recent health crisis.  For over half a century, Hugh and his surviving wife Leola fearlessly championed the rights of African Americans in Nebraska, challenging discriminatory practices in housing, employment and opportunity wherever they found them.  In February 2008, their close friend and activist colleague Lela Shanks chronicled some of the experiences Hugh had to daily contend with as a postal worker in 1950s Nebraska for the Nebraska Report.  In tribute to Hugh’s contributions to justice and racial equality, we are posting the article in its entirety.  For most readers, this is absolutely unknown history, and once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop.

Lela Shanks Interviews Hugh Bullock

The idea for this interview came about over lunch with Hugh and Leola Bullock and other friends. Hugh began telling about the discrimination he faced in 1953 in Lincoln as the first African American hired to work for the U. S. Postal Transportation Service. As I listened to him, I began choking up, remembering similar problems my late husband, Hughes, had faced as the first African American hired by the Denver Social Security Administration in 1956. My husband had to go to Baltimore for training, but because of legal segregation, he was not permitted to stay or eat in the downtown hotel where his fellow white trainees were housed. He stayed across town at the black YMCA. Since the Y had no cafeteria, he ate out of cans, got ptomaine poison, had to have his stomach pumped, and almost died. I decided to interview Hugh in honor of my Hughes and all the other black men and women who have endured racial discrimination in order to break down employment barriers in America. -- Lela Shanks 

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Demonstrators Target U.P. Over Its Coal Transportation

OMAHA WORLD-HERALD
FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2010
BY JOE RUFF
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

Approximately 50 people demonstrated at Union Pacific Corp’s headquarters at 14th and Douglas Streets on Thursday to spotlight coal’s role in global warming. Union Pacific gets more than 20 percent of its revenue from transporting coal to power plants on its trains.

Nebraskans for Peace and several other groups invited environmentalist and writer Bill McKibben to speak at the demonstration. 

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Join Bill McKibben in Omaha June 17th

Internationally renowned global warming activist and writer Bill McKibben (visit Democracy Now! for a recent interview) will lead a protest over the use of coal energy Thursday morning June 17 in downtown Omaha.  The 11:00 a.m. protest will be held in front of the Union Pacific’s corporate headquarters at 14th and Douglas Streets to spotlight Nebraska’s leading role in the transport of this dirty and deadly energy.

Author of the first book to address the global warming threat, The End of Nature (1989), McKibben has been sounding the alarm about fossil fuels and carbon emissions for over two decades.  He is the founder of 350.org, the worldwide campaign to cap carbon dioxide particles in the atmosphere at 350 parts per million.  The 350.org website features a host of internationally acclaimed “350 Messengers” warning of the precarious spike in greenhouse gas emissions, including NASA climatologist James Hansen, U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chair Rajendra Pachauri (who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore) and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

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