Garden of Peace

Michael David Battle is the 29-year old director of the Garden of Peace Project in Pittsburgh.

Garden of Peace Project was created to uplift, uphold, and empower the narratives and lived experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals and to address the lack of education, employment, healthcare, and housing, and the violence that impacts all LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Righteous Locals Help Syrian Refugee Family Settle in Pennsylvanian Town

Cross Lady Liberty comforts refugee child. Seen in London at rally against Trump's travel ban, 30 Jan 2017. (Alisdare Hickson from Canterbury, United Kingdom (CC-SA))

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. -- Jesus of Nazareth

On January 27, President Donald Trump issued an order banning entry to the U.S. of persons from certain Muslim-majority countries, and of all refugees. The sudden enforcement of that order drew 1000's of people to the nation's airports, and elsewhere around the world, to stand against religious discrimination and for due process of law, and to support refugees and those blocked by the travel ban. It also drew this comment from one person who has been working to help refugees settle:

When I see refugees now being shut off like that, I think, ‘How on earth can we be so hardhearted,’ ” said Harley Kooker, who first worked with refugees in Vietnam as a conscientious objector to that war. “I was always taught that we love whoever regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, you know, that’s who my Jesus is, that’s what my Jesus taught.”

Six Simple Ideas to Strengthen Democracy in America

Ms. Liberty Bears Six Good Ideas

Fair and reliable elections, an informed citizenry, wide participation in governance -- these are cornerstones of democracy. But the recent election in the U.S.A. has pointed out serious cracks in those stones. Gerrymandered districts weakened voters of one party, and made races non-competitive. Recently-erected hurdles stopped many from voting. Big media focused on the horse race, and ignored policy issues. Persons trafficked in misleading and fake news on social media. And, in the end, demagogy and crackpottery carried the day. What follows are six simple ideas that can, I think, be easily implemented, and that might well go a long way toward fixing those cracks and strengthening our democracy.

Pennsylvania transgender students sue their school district

Three transgender seniors at Pine-Richland High School, near Pittsburgh, have sued their school district over passage of a regulation passed last month that forces them to use the restrooms associated with the gender they were assigned at birth. Previously the district had allowed transgender students to use the restroom corresponding to their gender identity.

Twelve-year-old PA kid's speech goes viral

Ari Bowman is 12. He lives in the Wast Penn School District in Lehigh County, PA.

Ninth-grader Sigourney Coyle spoke to the School Board against allowing transgender students to use facilities matching their gender identity on August 24, declaring that her bodily privacy would be violeated is she were required to disrobe in the presence of transgender students.

During the East Penn School Board meeting, Coyle said she had been doing well in physical education in middle school last school year until she learned of the new federal directive. She subsequently refused to dress for gym in the girls locker room, and said Monday that she was given poor marks for failing to participate in the class.

I am a woman, and I identify as a woman, and you can't make me change in front of someone who I don't identify with — who is physically male.


Hellraisers Journal: -The International Socialist Review: Pittsburgh Steel Strike & Homestead Tactics

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age.
Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Thursday June 1, 1916
The International Socialist Review on the Pittsburgh Steel Strike

Pittsburgh Steel Strike, Blast Furnace Workers, ISR June 1916.png

Hellraisers Journal: New Castle, Pennsylvania, Remembers James Connolly, Editor of The Free Press

The great appear great to us,
only because we are on our knees:
-James Connolly

Friday May 19, 1916
New Castle, Pennsylvania - James Connolly Edited Socialist Free Press

From the New Castle News of May 15, 1916:

Irish Rebels of 1916, James Connolly, New Castle (PA) News w:text, May 15, 1916 .png

Hellraisers Journal: Illustrations & Report from the Anthracite Hills of Pennsylvania by Robert Minor

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age.
Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Wednesday April 12, 1916
From the International Socialist Review: Robert Minor: "In the Anthracite Hills"

Robert Minor, Company Shacks, Scranton PA, ISR Apr 1916.png