Inauguration Celebration in Philly Jan.20, 11 am-2 pm


Can't make it to Washington? Please join us!


Watch and celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States.

      WHERE: The Fox and Hound, at 1501 Spruce Street in Philadelphia

      WHEN: Tuesday, January 20th.  11 am to 2 pm, or later

      WHO:  YOU & YOUR FRIENDS including: Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia, Neighborhood    Networks, Philadelphia NOW & more.


Please forward widely.


Marlena Santoyo 215-247-4385 Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia

John Hogan 215-753-2657 & Neighborhood Networks




Philadelphia Action for Gaza


•     Thursday, 1.15.09, Penn March for Gaza: 11AM - 1PM


March for Gaza from the Bridge to the Button with Penn for Palestine, leaving from the bottom of the bridge (in front of ABP on 38th and Locust) and marching to the Button in front of the library and back for two hours.

•     Friday 1.16.09-Grandparents for Peace Demonstration on S 15th St  - east side – South of Walnut) from noon to one

•        Fri 1.16.09- Consulate Mourning Vigil 4:30pm planned by Arab community [contact Linda Hannah,] Location: The Israeli Consulate— 1880 JFK Blvd — Philadelphia.

•        Saturday 1.17.09-Obama Protest, 30th Street Station [contact Koyuki,]

•        Monday 1.19.09-Tables at Gallery, Rittenhouse, 69th Street, ect. [contact Betsy,]

•        MLK Day Candlelight Vigil focused on impact on Women and children, 5:30, Israeli Consulate: [contact SUSTAIN at]




Saturday, January 17th / Honor King's legacy, Stop the War(s)!

        Yes, We Can! Rally and Parade for Peace


      Reception: 9am-10:30am at William Way Center 1315 Spruce St

      Rally: 11am - Philadelphia City Hall West side (15th & Market)

      Parade to Barack Obama's People's Inauguration Train Launch Event (TBA)


(Time of rally and parade subject to change depending on President-elect Obama's schedule)

For more information: Brandywine Peace Community 610-544-1818 Penn Action 267-240-9819, Coalition for Peace Action 609-924-5022

Posters & flyers to be downloaded, printed and distributed




Saturday, January 17, 2009:  Prevent Gun Violence March


Leave at 2:45 p.m. from Broad and Poplar, marching to a rally in front of a gun shop at 9th and Spring Garden at 3:30 p.m.  This is an interfaith event,  organized by Father Paul Washington's son.  This is an on-going interfaith effort.  There are about 30 different churches actively involved.  Contact:  (267) 519-5302 or email them at



Honor King's Legacy, Stop the War (s), YES, WE CAN!
Join the Rally & Parade to Barack Obama's "whistle stop" Inaugural
Train Launch, Phila. - Wash, DC, 30th St. AMTRAK Station
United for Peace & Justice - Delaware Valley Network,

9a.m. - Peace rally/Parade Reception (join us for coffee/juice,
donuts and bagels), William Way Center, 1315 Spruce St.; The reception/rally (which has been moved indoors) will begin at 9am at William Way Center, 1315 Spruce.  The rally will begin at 10am , with the plan being at this point for the parade to commence at about 10:30am from Wm Way Center, stopping at west side of City Hall, 15th & Market, around 11am, and then onto 30th St. Station.  Come on out. Followed
by Rally & Parade, with rally stop at Phila. City Hall (west side), 15th
& Market Streets, to site of the Obama inaugural "whistle stop" train
launch (time: TBA). 
Down load flyer at and spread the word. 

(Times are tentative due to the TBA time Obama Train. Visit or or call Brandywine
Peace Community, 610-544-1818; Penn Action, 267-240-9819;
or Coalition for Peace Action, 609-924-5022) 

Martin Luther King Birthday Concert at Peace Center of Delaware County
7pm - 5th Annual Martin Luther King Birthday Concert w/ Tom
Mullian & Friends, special guest hip hop artist ThaTruth, at the
Peace Center of Delaware County/Springfield Friends Meeting,
1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield, PA.  Light refreshments.
Directions and flyer available at 
Admission: $5.00. Co-sponsor: Brandywine Peace Community

Inaugurate Justice, Make War No More...Resist Lockheed Martin!
Hear the words and walk in the steps of Dr. King on the eve of the
2009 Presidential Inauguration!

Lockheed Martin, Mall & Goddard Boulevards, Valley Forge/King of
Prussia, PA,  including nonviolent civil disobedience*.

Lockheed Martin is the world's largest weapons maker, the U.S.'s
chief nuclear bomb contractor, and the Iraq War's chief weapons
profiteer. Lockheed Martin is also the chief arms supplier to Israel.
The F-16 attack jets raining death on the people of Gaza were built by Lockheed Martin.

Brandywine Peace Community
P.O. Box 81, Swarthmore, PA 19081 - (610) 544-1818






(HfH) is a nonprofit agency that provides free lodging

and support at volunteer-host homes as a caring response to  the housing

needs of patients and their families who come to the Greater  Philadelphia

area for specialized medical care. We thus began this November

a citywide host recruitment campaign to add at least 100 new host-homes 

to our network.  To date, 49 new families have become hosts.

 You and your friends are therefore invited to attend an informational session 

to learn how you may become hosts or help to recruit new hosts:


    WHEN:     Monday, January 26, 7:00-8:30 PM.

    WHERE:   Temple Beth Zion Beth Israel

                    300 S. 18th Street, Center City.

 HfH Director Mike Aichenbaum along with HfH staff and a number of veteran hosts

will be on hand leading a fun program showing how easy and rewarding it is to be

a host. Light refreshments will be served. For more information or to RSVP, please

contact us by phone or email.  As always, thank you for your time in receiving our

periodic emails and for your interest in helping patient-families in need.

      Tammy Forstater Outreach Coordinator





3 Important Community-Based Water Projects in Developing Countries


Learn about and contribute to community-based water projects in developing

countries!  Event will include exhibits, speakers, photographs, videos,

music, wine, and hors d’oeuvres.

*Tap Project: Providing safe drinking water to children worldwide

*International Action: Chlorinators for Haiti *Traveling Mercies: Water

pipelines around the world

View full flyer at


      When: Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

      Where: Historic Fairmount Waterworks Interpretive Center, 640 Water Works

      Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19130

For reservations or more information contact 215-438-5323 or

This is a program of the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom,

Philadelphia Branch




Inauguration Day Lesson Plans


Posted January 12th, 2009 in New Resources



I am pleased and excited to tell you about an educational resource

developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for

Inauguration Day. The historic election of President-Elect Barack Obama

and the eager anticipation of his inauguration on January 20 by young

and old alike present an exciting opportunity for educators. To help

take the best advantage of this extraordinary event, PDE has developed a

series of short lesson plans that teachers may use to prepare students

for participation in the events of Inauguration Day.


There are three sets of lesson plans, one set for elementary students; a

set for middle school students and a set for high school students. Each

set has four fifteen-minute lessons that can be used in the days leading

up to January 20 and culminates with age appropriate activities for

Inauguration Day itself. The lessons are aligned to the Pennsylvania

Academic Standards for Civics and Government and include


We are also hoping to have live reporting via blog from student

correspondents available on the PDE website on Inauguration Day to help

students across Pennsylvania and the nation get a sense of the "live"

experience in Washington, D.C.


These lesson plans are available on the PDE website at  Please share this information with

teachers and staff. We hope that you find these resources useful in your

classrooms as our students take part in this historic day as citizens of

Pennsylvania and the nation.


Jerry Zahorchak, Secretary of Education







DO NOT OPEN FOR ANY REASON. DELETE IMMEDIATELY. THE TROJAN STEALS ALL PASSWORDS AND USER IDs. SPREAD THE WORD. Do not open "Obama Acceptance Speech". It places a virus on your computer!




Your update from Gaza: Ignorance is NOT bliss

Christina Zola [] -January 14 Wednesday 7:31 PM

Do these numbers mean anything?

Death toll as of 2PM January 14th: approximately 1,013 Palestinians, 10 Israeli soldiers, three Israeli civilians. Wounded: 4,500 Palestinians, with wounded Israelis unreported. Approximately one third of the Palestinian victims are children.

Those are the statistics. Where are the stories behind the statistics?

There's a decided lack of footage from the war zone. Israel wants it that way-the BBC reports that "Israel has been aiming for total air supremacy in more than one way in Gaza - it wants to dominate the airwaves of the news organizations with its own narrative. The Israeli military and the government press office have got round a ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court that a pool, or controlled group, of media be allowed in by saying that it is too dangerous."

Media access to Gaza is a critical fulcrum in the shifting war for public perception. It's all too easy to hear only one side of the argument - even for journalists who are seeking balance. It is critical that independent observers--  including journalists-- be given access to Gaza. Yesterday.

Here's a short list of headlines from the past 24 hours regarding media access:

Israel's Losing Media Strategy

Israel media on defensive over Gaza war coverage

Media frustration over Gaza ban grows

Israel Explains Gaza Media Restrictions

 Why Israel is denying access...

Despite the December 31st ruling by Israel's own High Court that permits journalists to enter Gaza in groups of 12, the borders remain closed. Perhaps they want to avoid more difficult questions like those posed by Alex Thomson from Channel 4 news (London), who, on January 8th confronted Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister, regarding allegations that Israel knowingly blocked the Red Cross from accessing sites, including Zeitun, where shelling by the IDF left 30 dead.

But a conversation between a journalist and an unnamed Israeli official offers an interesting perspective on this media tug-of-war. Rachel Maddow spoke with Richard Engel (who has been reporting on the war in Gaza from outside Gaza)... Watch the original footage starting at 4:10 on MSNBC:

RM: Richard, one of the major factors that affects how the international community views the what's happening in Gaza is how much access we have to information, how many images, we get how close reporters can get... it's important to note that you are not inside Gaza, that you are on the  Israeli border close to Gaza. Have you heard anything about whether or not Israel will live the restrictions on allowing foreign journalists into Gaza?

RE: Every single day, reporters have been petitioning to the Israeli government to ask for access ... one Israeli official had an interesting explanation of this. He said that right now, Israel doesn't' want foreign journalists or journalists in general inside the Gaza strip, reporting about the humanitarian situation in there, reporting about the military activities--partly for tactical reasons... they don't want anyone giving away battle details which is understandable--but mostly to try and manage the image and the Israelis have timed this out. This official told me that he expects this operation, while negotiations are taking place, will last several more days and that after that, reporters would eventually be allowed in, but at that stage Israel is assuming the United States will mostly be focused on all of the coverage around the inauguration and that viewers simply wont' care at that point.

Perhaps Israel can be persuaded to open the borders to journalists and human rights observers before Obama's swearing in on the 20th? It's worth a try.

What can YOU DO? Contact the State Department today

The Arab American Institute calls on the State Department to urge the Israeli government to act immediately and allow reporters into Gaza in accordance with the Israeli High Court Ruling of December 2008. We've set up an Action Alert on our website with a draft letter that you can quickly and easily send to the State Department. Send your letter today, and send the link to your friends and colleagues, urging them to do the same: click here to do it NOW.

 What can you do with your children?

Send a message of support to Gaza's Children

This morning, my five year old son and I were walking to school when he suddenly stopped and asked me, "Is there a war in Arabia?" I looked at him, embarking on a new day without a care, and thought of all the images we here at AAI have forced ourselves to view, images of children in very dire circumstances. My eyes filled with tears for the children of Gaza.

If you, too, are at a loss to explain this war to your children, if your heart goes out to the families trapped in the Gaza Strip, there is one small thing you can do. Write the children of Gaza a letter:

ANERA works with thousands of young children in Gaza every day. Our Milk for Preschoolers program reaches more than 20,000 preschoolers, providing fortified milk and biscuits to help fight malnutrition. The Palestinian Womens' Union and Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children, both in Gaza, participate in ANERA's scholarship program. And our psychosocial work in community centers helps children cope with traumas brought on by violence and years of deep poverty.

Together, with ANERA staff and partners, we will get messages to Gaza's children that people all over the world care about them. Select messages will be posted at soon.  

Click here to write a letter to the children of Gaza.

Media watchdog barks...

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) posted its report on the abysmal job the media is doing in holding Israel up to the standards of international law. This report is worth reading in its entirety, but we'll pull the introduction:

U.S. corporate media coverage of the Israeli military attacks that have reportedly killed over 900--many of them civilians--since December 27 has overwhelmingly failed to mention that indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets are illegal under international humanitarian law.

Israel's recent aerial attacks on Gazan infrastructure, including a TV station, police stations, a mosque, a university and even a U.N. school, have been widely reported. Yet despite the fact that attacks on civilian infrastructure, including police stations, are illegal (Human Rights Watch, 12/31/08), questions of legality are almost entirely off the table in the U.S. media.

 Without fair and accurate reporting, ignorance breeds contempt.

Ignorance and fear of The Other is winning this war, and when the shrapnel settles, everyone will be able to count themselves among the losers. The Bush administration's constant stoking of America's fear of terrorism, combined with the Israeli media strategy linking their attack on Gaza to the 'global war on terror' makes it difficult for Americans to recognize the humanitarian crisis that exists. All Palestinians have become terrorists. How else to explain this?

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) at a rally on Tuesday:  "To misquote Shakespeare, something is rotten in Gaza and now it's time to take out the trash." (reported here and here)

During a large, pro-Palestinian rally in Times Square in New York on Monday, a small, fringe group of pro-Israel demonstrators were caught on camera with their ignorance hanging out:

Right in front of the stage, a man held a banner reading, "Islam Is A Death Cult." Rally attendees described the people of Gaza to me as a "cancer," called for Israel to "wipe them all out," insisting, "They are forcing us to kill their children in order to defend our own children." A young woman told me, "Those who die are suffering God's wrath." "They are not distinguishing between civilians and military, so why should we?" said a member of the ... messianic Orthodox Jewish Chabad-Lubavitch group that flocked to the rally. 

And a sampling of recent headlines from around the globe indicates that hatred -- which is not the provenance of any one party -- is on the rise:

 France 'hit by anti-Semitic attacks since Gaza'

U.K. anti-Semitism 'surge' since Gaza attack

Report: Israeli racism against Arabs "at an all-time high"

 Tonight's final word comes from a resident of Sderot...

Nomika Zion writes from Sderot, one of the south Israel areas besieged by rockets in past years, rockets whose psychological toll is well documented in Western media. And yet, loss of her freedom of speech is more fearful to her than the rockets.

I am afraid of the Qassam rockets. Since the current war started I have hardly dared to go beyond the bounds of our street. But I am much more afraid of the inflammatory and monolithic public and media discourse that is impossible to penetrate. It scares me when a friend from the "Other Voice" is verbally attacked by other residents of Sderot while being interviewed and expressing a critical opinion about the war, and afterwards gets anonymous phone calls and is afraid to return to his car for fear that something will happen to him. It scares me that the other voice is such a small one and that it's so hard to express it from here. I am prepared to pay the price of isolation but not the price of fear.

I am frightened that, underneath the Orwellian smokescreen of words and the pictures of [Palestinian] children's' bodies that are especially blurred for us on TV as a public service, we are losing the human ability to see the other side, to feel, to be horrified, to show empathy.... It is a fragile democracy where you have to weigh every word with care, or else.