January 3, 2009

RCPJ protests Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip

Rev. Glen Halbe addresses RCPJ protesters Saturday

The Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice held its first protest of the new year today, on Monument Square, opposing Israel's bombing of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, which have left more than 400 Palestinians dead.

Almost simultaneously, CNN was reporting a ground invasion by Israeli troops, further escalating the decades-old conflict.

Dr. Wayne Johnson, a retired UW-Parkside prof, told the three-dozen protesters, "the current disaster is only the symbol" of the long, painful history in the region. "There are more than enough thugs to go around," he said.

The Rev. Glen Halbe, a retired United Church of Christ minister, said, "we gather here in the blindness of hope." He charged that "Israel lied" about about dropping leaflets warning civilians to get out of the neighborhoods it was just about to bomb.

The crowd was led in the now-familiar anti-war chant: "What do we want? A ceasefire! When do we want it? Immediately." "Sustainable... now... end the blockade... stop U.S. support... a real peace process." Behind the protesters stood Santa's chalet, while the poles supporting their peace and U.S. flags were stuck in a mound of snow that just two weeks ago was a representation of Santa himself.

Pete Wicklund of the Journal Times has a more complete report on what the speakers said, and a response from Rabbi Martyn Adelberg of Congregation Beth Israel Sinai.

Upcoming events planned by the RCPJ include:

  • Stand for Peace. Monthly Racine stand for peace will resume on April 18.
  • Thursday, Jan. 8: “The Myth of Democracy in Colombia,” presentation by Sr Pat Chaffee, 7 p.m., Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church. 7th Street & College Avenue, Racine. Info: Wayne Johnson, 262/639-7149.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 13: “Immigration, Race, & Ethnicity: The View from Wisconsin & Racine,” sessions on Tuesdays through 17 February, 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., HOPES Center, 506 7th Street, Racine. Info/registration 262/898-2940.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 13: “War, Inc.,” Videos for Peace, 7 p.m., Peace Action Center, 1001 Keefe, Milwaukee.
  • Thursday, Jan. 15: Regular meeting of the Racine Coalition for Peace & Justice. This meeting will be held at the Chancery Restaurant in the Racine Harbor.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 21: Start of ten-week Spanish class, 4:30 pm or 5:30 pm, HOPES Center. Info/registration: Dixie VanRemmen, 262/554-5464.
  • Monday, Feb. 2: “Health Care for All,” presentation by Wisconsin Senator Kathleen Vinehout, 6:30 pm, Siena Center, 5635 Erie, Racine 53402. Info: Sr Rita Lui, 262/639-4100 x1230.
  • Thursday, Feb. 5: “Change Viewed from Abroad,” foreign student panel on the international response to Barack Obama, 7 pm, Olympia Brown UU Church, College & 7th Street, Racine. Info: Wayne Johnson, 262/639-7149.
  • Thursday, Feb. 19: Regular meeting of the Racine Coalition for Peace & Justice, 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 7 p.m. at the César Chávez Community Center, 2221 Douglas Avenue (access and parking off Charles Street).
  • Feb. 13-22: MayaWorks delegation to Guatemala. Info: 312/243-8050, .
  • Tuesday, Feb. 17: “Fair Trade and Food Sovereignty,” presentation by John Peck & John Kinsman, Family Farm Defenders, 6:30 p.m., Siena Center, 5635 Erie, Racine 53402. Info: Sr Rita Lui.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 24: “A Moral Foreign Policy,” presentation by John Nichols, Family Farm Defenders, 6:30 p.m., Siena Center, 5635 Erie, Racine 53402. Info: Sr Rita Lui.


  1. The Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice was out today stomping their feet because Israel is defending itself. It's their right to protest... however, where were they when Hamas was hurling hundreds of bombs at Israel?

    So can it be assumed that when a terrorist group attacks a country it's OK according to RCPJ but when that country fights back it's not?

    Killing Terrorists is bad but killing Israelis is OK?

    Careful RCPJ, your Hypocrisy is showing.

  2. Perhaps its the fact that Israelis that are being killed is what makes it ok?
    For the last two or so years rockets made in Iran have been fired into Israel aimed at anyone that can be hit but that is OK.
    Iran keeps talking about burning Israel in a sea of fire and Iran is try to build a nuke or two gee where might they use that at?

  3. Off topic a bit but we are talking about the Racine loony left. At the yes we can meeting this AM there where less then 5 Blacks/Hispanics if that. I thought Obama has fixed Racism?
    No Sheilds
    NO QA
    NO Oliver
    NO Lumpkin
    No Fair

    Is this group only for rich whites who feel guilty?

  4. downtown_racine1/03/2009 6:27 PM

    The yes we can meeting ? LoL what's that now ?

  5. Maybe RCJP should watch something other them CNN


  6. Joe Hill:

    How many African Americans go to county GOP meetings? How many rich people do?

    Silly question? Except the county GOP doesn't even pretend to care about black people, and yet, you don't criticize their demographics. Why is that? Why are they not held to the same standard?

    Maybe if you and others like you did, the GOP might have won the election.

    Let good people do good things, and if you don't have anything to contibute, stay out of the way.

  7. Anon 8:21

    For two groups that claimed they were reaching out to each other and Mr Fair using the mantal of the son of God for his race in the First I was surprised that Mr. Keith 'KPD" Fair was not in the front row. Sitting next to Jessie Jackson Jr (#5)

  8. Pete,

    While you were promoting RCPJ did you think to ask them Stu's point?

    Where was there protest when Hamas was sending hundreds of rockets into Israel?

  9. Just a comment on the response to Joe Hill's remarks. That poster made a very interesting (perhaps Freudian) statement. "... the county GOP doesn't even pretend to care about black people".

    The statement is 100% correct. The poster seems to be aware that it's the DEMOCRATS who make race an issue and PRETEND to care about black people.

  10. Just so there is no misunderstanding HAMAS has call not for talks but for the complete destruction of the State of Israel for quite some time.

  11. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230733155685&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    The love between Hamas and fellow Arabs. Can you feel it?