Police militarization, human rights among upcoming lectures at WWU

BELLINGHAM — The militarization of American policing and the similarities of human rights movements across the globe are among the topics of the Winter World Issues Forum lecture series over the next few weeks.

The free forums, open to everyone, are held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays in Fairhaven College Auditorium on the Western Washington University campus unless otherwise noted. The lecture series is organized by Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Feb. 4: “War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing.” Seattle lawyer Peter Danelo will talk about the military weapons and vehicles being used by police departments, how that happened and what can be done about it.

Feb. 11: “Planting Trees: Protecting and Restoring the Environment in Guatemala.” Jorge Armando Lopez, community activist with the Chico Mendes Reforestation Project in Guatemala, discusses the greater contexts of environmental justice, climate change and indigenous peoples’ struggle for survival and sovereignty. Lopez will highlight his work in a Guatemalan village where he and others created a new environmental initiative with a focus on the reforestation of nearby community lands.

Feb. 18: “Pinkwashing; The Queer Critique of Israel’s Pro-Lesbian and Gay Politics in Historical Perspective.” Elise Chenier, associate professor of history and director of the Archive of Lesbian Oral Testimony, Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, will talk on how the Israeli government has been actively promoting the country as supportive of lesbian and gay rights, yet gay rights supporters in the West have rejected this on the grounds that the Israeli government is using it to cover up their actions against Palestinians.

A related event at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, in Communication 110 will feature Chenier giving a workshop for students and faculty on “interracial intimacies.” See interracialintimacies.org/how_to.html for more information.

Feb. 25: “Israel, South Africa and the Jim Crow South: Resisting Apartheid.” Omar Barghouti, Palestinian human rights activist and co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, will present the origins, motives, successes and inspirations behind the nonviolent global BDS movement. Barghouti will compare that to apartheid in South Africa and America’s civil rights movement.

7 p.m. March 4, location to be announced: “Undoing Border Imperialism.” Harsha Walia, South Asian activist, writer and educator, will offer insights for grassroots and social movement organizers on effective strategies to overcome the barriers and borders within movements to “cultivate fierce, loving and sustainable communities of resistance striving toward liberation.”

For more information on the World Issues Forum, go to wwu.edu/fairhaven/news/worldissuesforum.