PeaceUp: Financially Wiped Out

Friends,

We have some big news. It’s been a trying year for PeaceUp, yet we’re still holding strong. Please, take a moment to read the following.

First, our co-founder and friend Tim DeChristopher was hauled off to prison for speaking out against the corrupt relationship between our government and the fossil fuel industry. Though that injustice still stings, we stand by our commitment to meet that kind of intimidation with joy and resolve.

We were recently shocked by the news that we are one of over 200 non-profit projects, under the fiscal sponsorship of International Humanities Center, that have been financially wiped out in an astonishing act of apparent fraud. We are taking action to hold those responsible accountable, working with other affected projects and following up with proper agencies. (Read our post and FAQ’s on this here.)

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For the last few weeks, we’ve been reaching out to as many other IHC projects as we can (some of which are working to bring basic needs and rights to people living in war-torn countries in the Global South) in order to lead a unified response. A coalition has now sent in a request for an investigation to be conducted by California public officials.  This story is not only about us. It’s about standing together in solidarity, as we navigate this financial chaos.

For the time being,  we have moved under a local nonprofit umbrella, Living Rivers, whose director John Weisheit has been a trusted friend and ally since 2009. We’re also researching to begin the process of becoming our own autonomous non-profit structure. Peaceful Uprising is committed to the utmost transparency as this story unfolds. No matter what happens, know that we will do what we’ve always done–we’ll continue to fight for a just and healthy world.

We recently found the following letter from Joe Solomon in our inbox. Joe is writing to tell the climate movement how critical the work of Peaceful Uprising is and how important it will continue to be. The letter is addressed to the public and, in all humility, we would like to share with you what Joe said :

Joe Solomon“As 350.org‘s social media campaigner for the past two years, I spent most of my time tracking and responding to the mood of the climate movement. And I can tell you that for most of that time, the mood mostly went from hope to despair, back to hope, and back to despair, and on and on back and forth, until Tim DeChristopher and Peaceful Uprising came along. And then the mood dynamic went from hope and despair to courage and possibility. That’s when things changed.

It was Peaceful Uprising’s small and brave heart-centered crew that escalated the entire climate movement, creating the opening for 350.org, PeaceUp, and friends to doom the pre-destined Keystone XL pipeline. In other words, this band of quick-to-hug rebels helped inspire the biggest blow to the fossil fuel industry in history. That’s not something to let earnest humility wash away. These folks know what it means to put their bodies on the line, speak a clarion truth, and do it all with contagious love. Their actions–from Salt Lake City & beyond–undoubtedly changed the game for all of us last year.

Now we’re in 2012, but the year hasn’t really begun. It’ll begin when we feel it racing through us — when stories of courage are making all our hearts pound with possibility once more. And if there’s one group that can unleash that courage and possibility — it’s Peaceful Uprising. We need these guys. 2012, like every other year, is riding on a few thoughtful, committed citizens to change the world.

We need to help Peaceful Uprising get out of their financial drama, so they can help us make some real climate drama. So, if you’ve got a bit of spare funds, please give here. And give some thought-space to ways to get more [link to ways to help]. And soon, get ready to give our bodies to the cause too. This is the year to make moves.

Peaceful Uprising may be the best thing to happen to the climate movement since 350.org figured out global days of action. They kind of nailed localized moments of courage, which then ripple out around the globe. Tim DeChristopher was the first, so many heart-filled PeaceUp-ers followed, and you could definitely make the case that the 1,253 who were arrested to stop the Keystone XL pipeline were moved by Utah’s overflowing joy & resolve. I believe 2011 was a taste of what the Peaceful Uprising crew could inspire — and that to really kick-start 2012 into motion, we need them now more than ever.”

Keep PeaceUp alive.

-Joe Solomon

We have accomplished everything we’ve done so far because we are part of a movement made up of people who support one another. At the end of the day, no matter which organization or cause anyone identifies with, what unites us is a passion for a just and healthy world–an ideal we are willing to fight for against all odds.

As Tim put it, in his historic speech outside the courthouse following his trial, we aren’t simply individual fingers all alone out there — we’re part of a hand that can unite as a mighty fist which cannot be broken–if we stand together in times of vulnerability.

With your support, Peaceful Uprising will continue to push harder and go farther. We are known for demanding results and the next year will be no different. In the next twelve months we will use your donations to :

  • Continue the work we started with the Occupy movement, way back in June of last year.
  • Continue working with organizers of upcoming escalations of the movement, bringing a voice to PeaceUp’s Core Principles.
  • Keep pushing the fight against the tar sands, on the ground in Utah, and supporting our allies and the frontline communities nationally and globally.
  • PeaceUp CORR (Communities of Resilience & Resistance) is a national campaign to build, empower and provide resources to activists on how to create beloved community, inspire bold action and educate their community through Jury Empowerment, Transition Towns, and Community Audits.
  • Continue to educate our community in Utah on the tyranny of Rio Tinto’s Kennecott through our Rio Tinto Truth campaign.
  • Continue to bring song  and street theatre as tools for creating social change and building communities of resilience and solidarity.

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Peaceful Uprising has much more in the works and we have our sights set high. In the coming year we will continue to push the climate movement toward bolder, braver action — and we can’t do it without you. We need you in the streets with us in 2012, we need you harassing your representatives, working to get climate issues on the national agenda, and we need you to donate to help us accomplish this critical work.

More ways to help right now:

  • Spread this blog via Facebook & Twitter and blast it out to your networks via email
  • Tell 3-5 of your friends and colleagues and ask them to donate… any amount is helpful
  • Brainstorm any creative ideas to help us out
  • Join our mailing list to stay connected to our community

THANK YOU FOR STANDING WITH US. 

Solidarity, Joy & Resolve,
-Ash, Dylan, Henia, Jake, the Advisory Board & the rest of the PeaceUp crew-

What happened with International Humanities Center? (and other frequently asked questions)

Also read this great blog from The Nation: Help Peaceful Uprising Rebuild

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