July 4: Picnics to Honor Human and Environmental Rights

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Let’s use July 4 to celebrate all those who have stood up for peace and non-violence, social and economic justice, environmental sanity, human rights, and a world of love and generosity!
We at the Network of Spiritual Progressives invite you to create a local picnic to honor all those in the past and all those in the current world (including YOU) who have taken steps to move the world toward a more loving and just, peaceful and non-violent, environmentally sustainable and generosity-filled reality. Not just the famous people, though we’ll also honor the MLK jrs and the freedom riders and the women who were in the vanguard of the 2nd wave of feminism and the brave glbtq people who fought against homophobia, but ALSO the people who took risks at a smaller level, in their personal lives, possibly alienating friends or family or risking their professional or job advancement, or in other ways that you can tell us. So bring your stories to this celebration.
Here in Berkeley where our office is, we are inviting anyone in Northern California who wants a different kind of energy on July 4 than that of “rockets were there, the bombs bursting in air,” to come to an NSP (Network of Spiritual Progressives) picnic starting at2 p.m.at Picnic Area No. 1 of the Live Oak Park, 1301 Shattuck ave, Berkeley (look for us–you’ll find us in a somewhat hidden area). At2:30we’ll have vegetarian pot-luck. At3:30we’ll start the program and Achi Ben Shalom will lead the music. Please bring songs, poetry, your own stories of how you’ve stood up for peace, justice and/or environmental sanity, and your musical instruments to sing along! We’d welcome your political organization, synagogue, church, mosque or ashram to cosponsor this event with us–let us know! Later that night you’ll be invited to celebrate the Sabbath with Rabbi Lerner at his home at7 p.m.–an energy that will offset the noise of fireworks, at least partially.
Admission: Free with a main course vegetarian dish sufficient to feed 10-12 people.
For all others: Create a picnic in your local area! Ask people to bring stories, songs, poems, and vegetarian potluck food, and spend some of the time shmoozing and celebrating all those who have contributed or taken risks to create the kind of world we are all seeking. And please ask people to go to the website to read our Spiritual Covenant with America, and to the Moveon.org site where they can sign the petition for the ESRA Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. There could be no better way to be a real patriot than to get behind this amendment to the Constitution which goes far beyond what Move to Amend is seeking–because ESRA would ban ALL money from national and state elections and only allow public funding of elections, plus it would severely reduce corporate ability to run the world and undermine the life-support system of the planet by requiring that the larger corporations (with incomes above $50 million/year) get a new corporate charter once every five years, which they could only get if they could prove a satisfactory history of environmental and social responsibility to a panel of ordinary citizens advised by environmental experts and receiving testimony not only from the corporation but from people around the world who had been impacted by that corporation. Read the full version atwww.tikkun.org/ESRA.
Make this July 4 a joyous celebration and honoring of people who at some point in their lives put their time, energy, and/or money in service of the struggles to use the wonderful freedoms won by past generations of Americans to advance the cause of peace, social and economic justice, human rights, environmental sanity, women’s liberation, glbtq rights, and/or against sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, materialism, selfishness, and/or xenophobia.
If you have friends, neighbors or family members who have participated in these struggles, perhaps even people who have never really been acknowledged for their contributions to these struggles, but even if they have, PLEASE INVITE THEM TO COME TELL THEIR STORIES!!
We invite you to bring any musical intstrument you can play! And songs and/or poetry of the movements or the struggles you wish to honor. And bring a vegetarian dish –enough to feed 10-12 people if you can. No charge to come–IT’S FREE.
NO fire works, NO noise makers. Children Welcome. Sponsored by Tikkun Magazine, Beyt Tikkun, Tikkun and the NSP–(interfaith and secular-humanist-welcoming) NETWORK OF SPIRITUAL PROGRESSIVES. And ask your own local organizations to co-sponsor this one in the Bay Area for all in Northern California, or to join with you in creating and publicizing your own local event! If you send us the info by the first of July, we’ll list your event in a follow-up email we’ll send out.