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The Washington Peace Center is an anti-racist, grassroots, multi-issue organization working for peace, justice, and non-violent social change in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area since 1963.

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Volunteers Marching during Iraq Anniversary 2011
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Occupy Our Homes at the Dawn Butler Eviction in DC
Image by DC 51 Collective

Supporters challenge Kim Rivera's separation from newborn in Fort Carson protest Sunday

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A handful of peace activists gathered outside of Fort Carson on Sunday to protest the military's continued detention of a self-proclaimed conscientious objector who recently gave birth.

At the heart of their concerns: Army Pfc. Kimberly Rivera's newborn son, Matthew, is not receiving breast milk because Rivera is not allowed to keep him with her at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in San Diego, where she's being held, according to her civilian lawyer, James Branum.

Rivera is being allowed to express milk via a hand pump for medical reasons but is not allowed to save and refrigerate the milk for her son, Branum said Sunday via phone.

Activists launch ballot initiative to raise DC minimum wage

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Activists and labor organizers launched an initiative Tuesday to get a referendum on the ballot in 2014 to raise the minimum wage in the nation’s capital to $12.50 an hour, and the hourly rate for tipped workers to $8.75, by 2017.

A coalition of labor groups, economic justice organizations and faith leaders support the proposal — spearheaded by an organization called Working Families, which was formed earlier this month specifically to advocate for the cause. The group was filing a petition with the Board of Elections on Tuesday and must collect 23,000 signatures — 5 percent of Washington, D.C. voters — before the measure can be put on the ballot next November.

Ohio Walmart Holds Food Drive For Its Own Employees

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Activists have long criticized Walmart for failing to pay its employees living wages, and instead relying on the state to step in and pay for the healthcare and food of workers. In Canton, Ohio, another Walmart recently demonstrated this kind of corporate welfare by holding a food drive—for its own employees.

“Please donate food items so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner,” reads a sign accompanied by several plastic bins.

Understandably, the food drive has sparked outrage in the area.

“That Walmart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate food to other low-wage workers—to me, it is a moral outrage,” Norma Mills, a customer at the store, told the Plain Dealer.

Here's Another Way the GOP Is Undermining Obamacare

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Scott Messick is a 54-year-old retired health insurance consultant from Conroe, Texas. His wife runs a small yarn shop. They're both on his former employer's health insurance plan for retirees, and Messick says that he and his wife together pay $964 a month in premiums, and a $12,000 annual deductible (the amount of money they have to pay out-of-pocket each year before the insurer will pay any expenses). Starting in January, their premiums will shoot up to $1,283 a month, he says. Earlier this month, Messick logged on to the federal insurance exchange website to shop for a new plan. (The federal government's health insurance website has so many problems that many Americans are not able to register for the site, let alone compare plans.

Reflections and Lessons After Four Decades of Organizing. By Lisa Fithian

2013 is a significant year in my work for justice. It was 50 years ago the National March on Washington made history and Dr. King wrote his famous letter from the Birmingham Jail. Fifty years ago, the Washington Peace Center was founded. Twenty-five years ago, I served as the Coordinator of the Washington Peace Center. Ten years ago, United for Peace and Justice was born, a campaign in which I continue to serve as a National Convener. One year ago, I joined the Peace Center Advisory Council. All of this work undertaken in the legacy and experience of all that has come before has come full circle for me as I prepared to march on August 24 to commemorate that 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

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