Seven Arrested at Hancock Air Base Calling a Halt to Drone War Crimes: Order of Protection Delivered for the Children of the World

Seven Arrested at Hancock Air Base 

Halt Drone War Crimes! 

Order of Protection Delivered for the Children of the World

Syracuse July 23, 2014   Earlier today eight Atlantic Life Community activists joined with Upstate Drone Action at the main gate of Hancock Air Base, in Syracuse, New York. Hancock is the home of the 174th Attack Wing of the New York State Air National Guard. The 174th Attack Wing pilots weaponized MQ9 Reaper drones over Afghanistan – killing and terrorizing an uncountable number of civilians.

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The eight delivered a People’s War Crimes Indictment to the Hancock chain of command by affixing it to the fence after being refused by the base personnel.  Also delivered was an Order of Protection on behalf of the children of the world who are subject to U.S. drone surveillance and attack.

The eight issued a statement that began with a list of names of persons who have been killed by drone strikes; “Syed Wali Shah, 7 years old, killed by an American drone strike. Momina Bibi, mother and midwife, killed by an American drone strike. Tarik Aziz, 16, killed by an American drone strike…  This Must Stop!  We are a community of peacemakers who resist war, racism and greed. We stand … in solidarity with men, women and children being terrorized by US military aggression.”

The group blocked the entrance to the base and took up positions for vigil.  Brian Hynes, NYC Catholic Worker, was allowed to vigil on the side of the main entrance, usually prohibited.  Seven from the group – from Vermont, Maryland, New York City, and Ithaca were arrested.

The seven are being charged with Trespass. Two of the defendants, Clare Grady and Martha Hennessy were also charged with violation of an Order of Protection.  Liz McAlister and Erica Brock were charged with Disorderly Conduct. Clare Grady and Martha Hennessy are being held on $10,000 bail. Felton Davis, Erica Brock, and Joan Pleune are all being held on $2,500 bail.

Three of the arrested are grandmothers.  On July 10th, 2014, drone activist and grandmother, Mary Anne Grady Flores, was sentenced to one year in jail for violation of the same Order of Protection, taken out on behalf of the Colonel of the base.  She is currently out on $5,000 bail pending appeal. A higher court has found the order to be invalid.  

The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Warswww.upstatedroneaction.org is made up of antiwar organizations and formed around resistance to the MQ-9 Reaper Drone program at Hancock Field Air Force Base.

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Partial kinda sorta victory for Shoshana Hebshi

 

We’ve written about Shoshana Hebshi twice and about the hideous, Kafka-esque injustice she suffered at the hands of the United States government, via our friendly abusers at the TSA, Frontier Airlines, and law enforcement, aka the police.

Read the rest at ABombazine.

Gaza by David Rovics

Eight Activists Blockade Entrance Gate at Hancock Air Base, Syracuse, NY

Syed Wali Shah 7 years old, killed by an American Drone strike. Momina Bibi, mother and midwife, killed by an American drone strike. Tairk Aziz, 16, killed by an American drone strike…  This Must Stop!

We, members of the Atlantic Life Community, come to Hancock Air Force Base, the national maintenance and control center of the MQ9 Reaper Drone, to protest these lethal drones, the latest weapon being used in endless war.  We are a community of peacemakers who resist war, racism and greed. We stand here today in solidarity with the men, women and children being terrorized by US military aggression. Our witness mourns the senseless deaths of our brothers and sisters, victims of drone strikes from this base and adds our voice to all people of the world who cry for peace.

Today we deliver to the base two important documents central to our witness: a war crimes indictment addressed to President Obama, Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel, the full military chain of command, and the local police and Sheriffs Department of the Town of De Witt, NY. By continuing to protect the war crimes of drone warfare, these public officials perpetuate a legacy of violence and racism first imposed upon indigenous people on this land. The second document is a People’s Order of Protection, which asks the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard to stay away from the Children of the World and their families, including their homes, schools, places of play and work.

The terror and bloodshed caused by the Reaper drones lies on all of our shoulders. As Thomas Merton once wrote, “if you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed – but hate these things in yourself, not in another.”  Therefore, we come to the gates today in atonement for our complicity in these crimes and to resist the atrocities of drones, to resist our nation’s endless wars and to cultivate a culture of love and not fear. 

Bill Ofenloch  NYC Catholic Worker 

Liz McAlister  Jonah House, MD

Felton Davis   NYC Catholic Worker 

Martha Hennessy   NYC Catholic Worker

Clare Grady   Ithaca Catholic Worker

Joan Pleune Granny Peace Brigade  

Erica Brock   NYC Catholic Worker

Ukraine News - July 23, 2014


Russian Defense Ministry publishes data regarding Malaysian Boeing crash - Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United States


Russia Shares MH17 Boeing Radar Data - Aviation Week


VIDEO (English): The Russian Defense Ministry holds a press conference on MH17 Boeing crash, shows radar data (Full Version) - YouTube


Su-25 fighter detected in close approach to MH17 before crash: Moscow (VIDEO) - RT News


10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash - RT News


Updated: Geolocated Video Shows Suspected Buk Moving From Rebel Controlled MH17 Crash Site Towards Russia (VIDEO) - Interpreter_Mag


Locals Say Rebels Moved Missile Launcher Shortly Before Malaysian Plane Was Downed, Twitter photo apparently captures the trail of smoke from the rocket in Snizhne (VIDEO, PHOTO) - buzzfeed


Ukrainians report sightings of missile launcher in rebel controlled area on day of MH17 crash - theguardian.com


Satellite Trajectory Of Flight MH17 Released: Malaysia Airline's Flight Path And Missile Site Revealed (PHOTO) - ibtimes.com


Jet Wreckage Bears Signs of Impact by Supersonic Missile, Analysis Shows - NYTimes.com


MH17 and Moscow’s Magical Mystery Jets - The Interpreter


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U.S. believes Ukrainian separatists shot down plane by mistake - LA Times


U.S. to release intelligence on Malaysian plane downing: State Department - Reuters


VIDEO: President Obama Remarks On Ukraine - C-SPAN.org


U.N. Security Council unanimously approves probe of crash in Ukraine - LA Times


Ukraine separatists apparently cut up, looted parts of Malaysia jet - chicagotribune.com


Pro-Russian rebels hand over MH17 black boxes to Malaysian investigators at last, days too late - Mail Online


MH17: Black Boxes on Malaysia Air Offer Limited Value in Ukraine Probe - Businessweek


Ukraine opens criminal cases against Russia’s defense minister and a businessman calling both “accomplices of terrorists” - NEWS.GNOM.ES


The Kremlin ‘Specialist for Creating New Independent States’ Moves to Eastern Ukraine - The Jamestown Foundation

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Barbecuing the Palestinians: Once it was Nazis Leveling the Warsaw Ghetto, Now it’s Israel’s IDF Leveling Gaza

By Dave Lindorff


About six years ago, as part of his Bar Mitzvah, my son Jed did a project on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, producing his own graphic novel about the undergound fighters who used courage, creativity and the city’s sewer system to, in some small way, offer resistance to the murderous program of the Nazis to exterminate Poland’s Jews. 


Talk Nation Radio: A Year in Prison for Protesting Drone Murders

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-a-year-in-prison-for-protesting-drone-murders

Mary Anne Grady Flores (pictured, far right) and Judy Bello have long been among those protesting drone murders in Afghanistan conducted at Hancock Air Base in Upstate New York.  Grady Flores is out on bail and facing a year behind bars for allegedly violating an Order of Protection, a legal order normally used to protect someone from domestic violence but currently used to "protect" the commanders of an Air Force base from some 50 nonviolent demonstrators.  Learn more:

http://upstatedroneaction.org

http://deconstructedglobe.com

Read this background:

Harassing the Drones, by Kathy Kelly.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

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Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

Independent Irish TDs (MP's) arrested and released after highlighting Irish Government's complicity in wars and torture

by R. Teichmann, first published on www.news-beacon-ireland.info

 

 

The history of the Irish government’s complicity in war and torture by inaction is long. For years the US military has  used Shannon Airport for transporting war materials and troops as well as for ‘rendition’ flights, i.e. transporting human beings to places where they are tortured.

 

This is not surprising as the red carpet is rolled out for any US-multinational corporation that comtemplates manufacturing or basing services here. In addition, in violation of the Irish constitution, which enshrines ‘neutrality’, succesive Irish governments have entered into military alliances through their participation in the so called ‘Partnership for Peace’ with NATO and through various treaties with the EU into the military structure of that construct.

 

Harassing the Drones

By Kathy Kelly, written for teleSUR English, which will launch on July 24

Kabul-- On July 10, 2014, in New York State, Judge David Gideon sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores to a year in prison and fined her $1,000 for photographing a peaceful demonstration at the U.S. Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field  (near Syracuse) where weaponized Reaper drones are remotely piloted in lethal flights over Afghanistan.  Dozens have been sentenced, previously, for peaceful protest there. But uniquely, the court convicted her under laws meant to punish stalkers, deciding that by taking pictures outside the heavily guarded base she violated a previous order of protection not to stalk or harass the commanding officer.

Mary Anne is a 58 year-old grandmother of three, from Ithaca, New York, where she is part of the Upstate Drone Action

Since late 2009 this grassroots group has persistently raised awareness about the consequences of drone attacks in Afghanistan, the global epicenter of U.S. drone warfare.  In December 2012, the U.S. Air Force revealed that U.S. drones had struck targets in Afghanistan 477 times during just the preceding year. Members of the Upstate Drone Action, alarmed by the proliferation of drones and the ease with which they kill suspects far from any battlefield, are troubled in general to live in a society that so automatically and heedlessly chooses warfare over other available solutions to its problems.

Hundreds have gathered in Syracuse, NY, for events the Coalition has organized, including nonviolent civil resistance at the Hancock base.  

Frustrated by the tenacity of war resisters willing to risk arrest, the commander at the base, Colonel Earl Evans, has sought and received an “Order of Protection Grant” - a restraining order - from the DeWitt Town judges, claiming that peace activists posed a threat to his personal safety as an individual when they protested there. 

At first, the thought of such an order imposed on nonviolent demonstrators seems merely laughable. These orders of protection are typically used in domestic violence cases, against stalkers, or to protect a victim of (or witnesses to) a crime.  How could a U.S. military commander, living in a fortified base, surrounded by advanced weaponry and the soldiers preparing to use it, be threatened by unarmed civilians like Mary Anne?  She, like most of her companions in the coalition, has worked throughout her adult life to prevent bloodshed and killing.

But De Witt courts have upheld Colonel Evans’s right to be protected from the peace activists, and so everyone with an OOP who crosses the boundary (which isn’t clearly marked) outside the military base risks being charged with contempt of court for violating the order.  Mary Anne had lingered for a few moments with the group she wanted to photograph to ask her sister, Ellen, something about the camera she was using.

During her court case and at her sentencing hearing, Mary Anne tried to help Judge Gideon understand that young people like the Afghan Peace Volunteers, (APVs), with whom I’m now living, here in Kabul, are threatened by the drones. She and other coalition members have already presented the court with a letter from Raz Mohammed, an APV whose brother-in-law was killed by a drone, asking that the U.S. courts issue a mandate protecting him and his family from sudden annihilation by remote control.

In Syracuse, NY, a Probation Department pre-sentencing report had recommended no jail time at all for Mary Anne, noting that she has been the major caregiver for her mother and that the infraction didn’t warrant incarceration.  But Judge Gideon worried aloud that if he didn’t jail Mary Anne, she might thumb her nose at the courts and again risk arrest. 

Judge Gideon has tried numerous peace activists in the De Witt Town Court for their actions protesting drone warfare.  “This has got to stop,” he declared, in a moment of exasperation following an earlier court hearing. It seems that he imposed this sentence on Mary Ann because he and other authorities want to deter activists from gathering peaceably to petition, as the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment phrases it, “for redress of grievances.” 

“I hope she feels proud,” said Abdulhai, a member of the APVs here in Kabul, when he learned that Mary Anne was sentenced to a year in prison.  “She has a good heart.  She thinks about other people far away.” Abdulhai’s smiling face appears on many of the posters carried by activists when they appear in court and when they demonstrate at the base.  In the photo, he’s wearing a blue scarf which the APVs use to symbolize the same blue sky shared by all humans. His sign says: “We want to live without war.”

Mary Anne Grady Flores wearing the blue scarf in court

“Laws should be made to protect human beings,” said Faiz, also part of the APV community.  “Laws shouldn’t protect ways to kill other people.  Here in Afghanistan, the U.S uses drones to kill children, moms, and ordinary people.  I hope the judge will think about this.”

At her sentencing hearing, Mary Anne told Judge Gideon that a series of judicial perversions brought her before him. “The final perversion,” she concluded, “is the reversal of who is the real victim here:  the commander of a military base whose drones kill innocent people halfway around the world, or those innocent people themselves who are the real ones in need of protection from the terror of US drone attacks?”

Is it a crime to take photos of peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment right, or is it a crime to take multiple drone reconnaissance photos of private Afghan homes in villages and subsequently use the information to target and kill Afghans without detention or trial?

Mary Anne and the Upstate Drone Action activists have a deep grievance. They object to using Reaper drones to fire Hellfire missiles into homes and communities where Afghan civilians, including children, could be killed. They raise crucial questions about the likelihood of drone attacks exacerbating and prolonging wars, conflicts and other armed strife.  Aerial spies insertable anywhere, ready to kill suspects by missile strikes, make the entire world a battlefield where the U.S. is a combatant. What’s more,  this is a technology other nations and non-nation groups are seeking to acquire.  Blowback could cause spiraling levels of lethal exchanges. Even think-tanks like the Stimson Center, itself in part funded by weapons manufacturing corporations, have begun publicly questioning the effectiveness of drone warfare.

As peace activists, we should voice our concerns about the U.S. military’s accelerating reliance on weaponized robotics before every branch of government, including the judicial branch. 

The problem is not that Mary Anne lacks appreciation for the law of the land. She’s exercising her First Amendment right to assemble peaceably for redress of grievance. The problem is that Judge Gideon refuses to challenge military elites, some of whom never, ever want people of compassion and conscience to interfere with their use of threat, force, and even assassination to control people in other lands.

Mary Anne has appealed her case, and a NY judge has released her from prison until the appeal is resolved.  Another activist, Jack Gilroy, awaits sentencing, and in coming days and weeks, more activists will be tried on similar charges in the De Witt Town court. Judge Gideon and his fellow DeWitt Court Judge Robert Jokl have many more opportunities to think about these critical issues.  I hope they’ll be influenced by having encountered some of the finest people in the world as they hear the cases of peace activists in upstate New York.

Kathy Kelly (Kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org)

Kerry's Third Cousin Relationship With Truth


Empty Shirt's Unenviable Record for Veracity
By Ray McGovern
 

The last time major war loomed on the near horizon, Secretary of State John Kerry played fast and loose with the facts. On Aug. 30, 2013 he solemnly claimed, no fewer than 35 times, "We know" the government of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for chemical attacks outside Damascus on August 21.

The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions

All nonviolent struggles are conducted simultaneously in the political and strategic spheres, and these spheres, which are distinct, interact throughout. I have discussed this at length elsewhere: see The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach. Despite this, only rarely have nonviolent struggles been conducted with a conscious awareness of this vitally important relationship. Gandhi’s campaigns were very effective partly because he understood the distinction and relationship between politics and strategy in nonviolent struggle. And the failure of many campaigns can be attributed, in part, to the fact that most activists do not.

DRONES: Free Online Screening on July 30th -- You'll Want to See This

There's a chance to watch DRONES, the movie, online on July 30th and then to join a discussion with filmmakers and experts.  There's a preview video below. The movie's website is at http://dronesthefilm.com and the free screening is at http://demandprogress.tv/drones

I saw a screening of this film back in November at the drone summit in DC. It's wonderful. I was a bit put-off and staggered, to be frank, at the time, because someone involved with the film bragged about how inexpensively it had been made, and yet the budget was so unfathomably huge that I knew that if an anti-war organization had that kind of money we could hire organizers all over the world and quite possibly make the abolition of war a major mainstream force. 

And, of course, you can't simply ask if the money was well spent, because no one will say that it was spent to end the practice of drone murder.  The director and the cast, of course, say they wanted to make a socially important film about a serious issue, but not what they wanted to accomplish, beyond raising questions and being entertaining.  Everyone's always happy to say that a film opposes racism or cruelty to animals or bullying, but not war. 

But, you hundreds of millions of odd-balls who, like me, happen to give a damn whether your government is murdering people in your name with your money will, in fact, want to make this film a huge viral success.  I'm telling you, right now, it's a good one.  It is indeed entertaining.  It's not simple, predictable, pedantic, or preaching.  But neither is the film itself reluctant to face head-on the banal, evil, arrogant mass-murder engaged in by these young people who dress up in pilots suits to sit at desks in trailers taking orders from military bureaucrats and private contractors, and ultimately from a president who reviews a list of potential men, women, and children to murder on Tuesdays. 

Drones look like a golden opportunity to war makers who don't want to ask Congress or the U.N. or the public, don't want to send in armies, just want to target people and groups for death anywhere in the world and obliterate them with the push of a button from an air-conditioned -- or, sometimes not so air-conditioned -- office.

But drones also look like a golden opportunity to those of us who have been trying to point out that murder and war are distinguished only by scale.  I suspect that many who cannot see the bombing of a city as murder will see the drone-targeting of an individual as nothing else -- particularly if they watch this film.

If you can watch the film and not want to Ban Weaponized Drones, watch it again.

Libya News - July 22, 2014


In a week Libya clashes between rival militias over Tripoli airport kill 47 - Fox News


Libya Airlines Cut Operations 70% After Damage to Planes - Bloomberg


Libya: Airport battles lead to at least US$200-mln losses - asiainsurancereview.com


VIDEO: Tripoli airport destroyed by clashing militias - YouTube


VIDEO: Tripoli Airport: Afriqiyah Airways A330 plane explosion - YouTube


Libyan militias' battle for Tripoli airport forces hundreds of families to flee - The Guardian


Libyan air controllers strike to protest against airport shelling - Reuters


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Seven killed in clashes between army and Islamic militants in Libya's Benghazi - Reuters


VIDEO: Army helicopter bombs Ansar Al- Sharia positions in Abu Atni Benghazi - YouTube


Militia Behead Filipino Construction Worker Allegedly Because He Was Non-Muslim, Philippines raises alert level 4 in Libya - ibtimes.com


U.N. mission pulls staff from Libya - usatoday.com


Update: Kidnappings, Ransoms and Stability In Libya - The Libyan Insider


Libya publishes parliamentary election results, Liberals Set to Oust Islamists in Libya Parliament - Naharnet


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Rebels siphoning off Libya’s oil bring Tripoli to halt - The Times


Eni, Repsol Expatriates Evacuated from Libya - WSJ


Libya asks U.N. Security Council for help protecting oil, ports - Reuters


Libyan Turmoil Sends Oil Prices on a Roller Coaster - WSJ


Libya Has Resumed Oil Exports, But Will It Last? - oilprice.com


Recent Violence Will Hurt Libyan Economy, Oil Revenue, Experts Say - ibtimes.com


Reserves crisis jeopardizes Libya's future - Al-Monitor


Libya will exhaust monetary reserves in 5 years - Al-Monitor


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Egyptian border guards killed at a military checkpoint near Libya, gunmen unknown - www.ajc.com


Algeria foils Ansar Sharia plan to assassinate Al-Sisi - Echorouk Online


Egyptians fear Islamist militants gathering on Libyan border - defenceWeb


Foreign ministry urges Egyptians in Libya to take measures of ‘extreme caution’ - Daily News Egypt


Algeria, Tunisia to carry out joint military operations against terrorism along the border - middleeastmonitor


Algeria's Sonatrach recalls workers from Libya - TVC NEWS


Tunisia arrests 63 terror suspects, tightens security around militant hideouts - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Libyan jihadists in Syria and Iraq returning home to fight Haftar: security sources - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Ex-Libyan rebel commander appeals ruling on British torture case - Reuters

 

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Why Are Campus Administrators Making So Much Money?

Americans committed to better living for bosses can take heart at the fact that college and university administrators—unlike their faculty (increasingly reduced to rootless adjuncts) and students (saddled with ever more debt)―are thriving.

In 2011, the last year for which figures are available, 42 private college and university presidents received more than a million dollars each for their work.  Robert Zimmer (University of Chicago) was the best-paid, at $3,358,723.  At public colleges and universities, nine top administrators garnered more than $1 million each in 2012-2013, with the best-paid, E. Gordon Gee (Ohio State University), receiving $6,057,615.

What the TSA really thinks of you – as if you didn’t already know

It doesn’t take many brain cells to figure out that the TSA, institutionally and individually, holds us in contempt. In their eyes, we’re all potential terrorists. Also peons who have to be put in their place. Never mind that we pay their salaries, every penny of their $8-billion-a-year budget, and that they are supposed to facilitate flying, not impede it. 

Ukraine News - July 21, 2014

 

How Russia slipped Buk missile into Ukraine, Using intercepted calls and satellite imagery officials reconstruct sequence of events - The Times


How rebels in Ukraine built up their arsenal, it's unclear whether the Buk was stolen by rebels from a Ukrainian base or supplied by Russia - CNN


Russia may have trained Ukraine separatists to use Buk missiles, U.S. says - LA Times


MH17 crash: Ukraine officials reveal photo evidence of Buk missiles crossing border from Ukraine to Russia a day after the tragedy - The Star


Is this the Buk launcher that shot down MH17 being smuggled back to Russia? Motorist captures truck carrying Buk (VIDEOS) - Mail Online


VIDEO: Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs released a video it described as a Buk (with one missile missing) being transported in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border - YouTube


Geolocating The Video Of The 'Buk Headed Toward Russia’ (VIDEO) - Interpreter_Mag


High-tech spy satellites tracked missile's path to Malaysia Airlines jet - LA Times


TRANSCRIPTS: Ukrainian intelligence releases more intercepted calls between separatists and Russian intelligence agents discussing the location and disposition of Buk missiles in Donetsk - Forbes


The Kremlin man Kurginyan confirms separatists possess a Buk system - news.pn


VIDEO (Russian): Kremlin man Kurginyan confirm separatists having Buk missile  - YouTube


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Integrity of jet wreckage site in Ukraine compromised, Malaysia says - LA Times


MH17: Ukraine accuses rebels of interfering with evidence at crash site - The Globe and Mail


Lavrov, Kerry agree on ICAO's leading role in MH17 crash probe - CCTV News


Rebels to give Malaysia Airlines black boxes to the ICAO - FOXdfw.com


VIDEO: Separatists says black boxes from Ukraine crash site under their control - Mail Online


AUDIO: Separatists Recorded Trying To Get The Black Boxes To Moscow - Interpreter_Mag


VIDEO: First video to show "black box" at Ukraine crash site - YouTube


VIDEO: Video showing the free fall of Malaysia Airlines MH17 after being hit - YouTube


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Separatist Leader Bezler Confirms Audio Tape Authenticity, But Denies He Meant Malaysian Plane - Interpreter_Mag


Who was separatist Igor Bezler before he allegedly shot down MH-17? - Linux Beach


MH17: Rebel leader Bezler was sacked from job as undertaker for stealing - Telegraph


ARCHIVE: Itercepted conversation shows rebel commander Bezler involved in the killing of Ukrainian deputy Rybak (PHOTOS) - Ukraine Investigation

 

ARCHIVE: Alleged executions by rebel Igor Bezler - niqnaq

 

ARCHIVE: Some executions of hostages by Igor Bezler proved to be staged - stopfake.org

 

ARCHIVE: The story of separatist Igor Bezler extorting money from Ukrainian businessmen - Free Ukraine


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Planning for a Day of Peace

A few years back, prior to the International Day of Peace on September 21st, a school board member here in Virginia said that he would back a resolution marking that day as long as everyone understood that in doing so he was not opposing any wars.

Wars for peace, like sex for virginity, appear contradictory to some. But what about militarism for peace? What about war preparations and peace? A so-called "defense" department that arms the world; can that be compatible with peace? 

We need our governments to begin planning for a day of peace. Instead of investing everything in planning for war, preparing for war, and proliferating enough weapons to fuel plenty of wars, governments could invest in alternatives to war, nonviolent means of conflict resolution, moves toward justice that reduce conflict, international standards of law that make negotiations and diplomacy effective.

One of the tools that we can use to move our cultures and our governments toward planning for a day of peace is to ourselves plan for a day celebrating peace -- peace understood precisely as the elimination of war.  September 21st, the International Day of Peace, is one such day.  WorldBeyondWar.org is organizing events here.  And here is a list of events in the U.S. arranged on a map by Campaign Nonviolence. 

Groups and individuals interested in planning events this September can work with Campaign Nonviolence and Global Movement for the Culture of Peace and Peace One Day and A Year Without War.  Advocates of peace and environmental sanity who grasp the connections between the two may want to participate in a People's Climate March in New York City, September 20-21, and bring this flyer: PDF.

Some resources that can be used to create events of various types are here:

Screen and discuss the World Beyond War video.

Bring speakers from this Speakers Bureau.

Use this Prezi (similar to a Power Point) to present at a public forum. (Here's the same presentation as a PDF. Here's all the info to help you in a PDF.)

Here's a Power Point created by Russ Faure-Brac. (Also in older version of Power Point.)

And a Power Point by Coleen Rowley. (Also in older version of Power Point.)

Wear sky blue scarves and bracelets.

Use these flyers, sign-up cards, sign-up sheets.

Wear the message on shirts, stickers, cups, etc.

Listen to this music.

Videos, Articles, Books, etc.

At some events already planned for September 21, 2014, people will begin marking 100 years since the Christmas Truces of World War I.  You can find great information on World War I at 100 on NoGlory.org

You may want to screen Joyeux Noel: a film about the 1914 Christmas truce.  Or use this script for reenactment of a Christmas Truce: PDF. Here's more Christmas Truce information and videos. And if you're in the Northeast U.S. or the U.K. you might be able to attend or even set up a production of The Great War Theatre Project: Messengers of a Bitter Truth: Info in PDF.

Peace deserves more than empty platitudes compatible with the preservation of war as our largest public project.  Sometimes bringing truth back from propaganda is so jarring as to be humorous. "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work," said Woody Allen.  "I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don't want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment." We should not want peace only in our hearts or in the press releases of the Pentagon; we should want peace through the ending of war and the abolition of the institutions that continue to plan and create more wars even while they pretend to a sight degree of outrage that each new war has been successfully created.

Veterans to Deliver Letter to Israeli Ambassador to United States

Stop the Slaughter of Palestinian Civilians in Gaza!

Members of Veterans For Peace will deliver a letter to Israel's Embassy, 3514 International Dr. NW, WashingtonD.C. 20008, at 1:30 pm Monday afternoon, July 21. The letter calls on the government of Israel to immediately halt the bombing of Palestinian civilians and to withdraw all its troops and military assets from Gaza.  Colonel Ann Wright, who has visited Palestine and Israel several times, will head up the delegation.

The letter reads as follows:

To: Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer

From: Veterans For Peace National Board of Directors

Dear Ambassador Dermer,

As veterans who have witnessed the horror of war, we are deeply outraged by the state of Israel's slaughter of many innocent civilians in Gaza. The military assault against children, women and men, by air, by sea and now by land, is a clear violation of international laws of war and of human rights.   More than 300 Palestinians have been murdered, almost all of them civilians, nearly a quarter of them children. Thousands are wounded, including nearly 1,000 children.

Veterans For Peace joins millions of people all around the globe who are shocked by this vicious, one-sided slaughter. We understand the huge injustice of the Israeli occupation. Palestinians have been ethnically cleansed from their homes and forced to live in the Occupied West Bank, or in the open-air prison that is Gaza.

Mr. Ambassador, please tell the government of Israel to stop the massacre now! There should be an immediate end to all bombing and an immediate withdrawal of all Israeli military from Gaza.

Mr. Ambassador, please remind Prime Minister Netanyahu that you can bomb the world into pieces, but you cannot bomb it into peace.

Veterans For Peace calls for an end to the 8-year blockade of Gaza, so that normal trade and travel can occur.

Mr. Ambassador, please remind the government of Israel of the billions of dollars in aid that is provided to Israel by the United States. Veterans For Peace will push for an end to all military aid to Israel until such time as the Israeli occupation gives way to real peace negotiations based on the human rights of all the people concerned.

Veterans For Peace recommits itself to participating in the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and Israeli products.

We encourage all parties to search for a nonviolent path to peace. We urge both Hamas and the government of Israel to refrain from targeting civilians.  We especially call on the state of Israel to stop its massive violence now. It is time to recognize the human rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to return to the homes from which they were forced to flee in 1948.

Mr. Ambassador, the peoples of Palestine, Israel and the world deserve to live in peace and harmony.  The ultimate goal of Veterans For Peace is to abolish war. In the meantime, we stand ready to assist those Israelis and Palestinians who seek peace and reconciliation.

[signed]  Patrick McCann, President

for National Board of Directors

VETERANS FOR PEACE

www.VeteransForPeace.org

One Year Jail Term for Drone Protester at Hancock AFB, NYS

by Debra Sweet.     July 10, 2014: Syracuse, NY. Anti-drone protester Mary Anne Grady was sent to county jail for a maximum 12 month sentence for violating a temporary "Order of Protection" granted by a County Judge to explicitly to protect the Commander Evans of Hancock Air Force Base, who said he wanted to keep protesters "out of his driveway." Years of non-violent protest, including civil disobedience, led by the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and Stop the Wars, have focused public attention on the role of Hancock in remotely piloting US drones around the world, particularly Reaper drones over Afghanistan, and also in training drone operators.

US + Israel Collusion = DEATH in Gaza

Israel has unleashed another murderous campaign against Gaza. If your heart is sickened by what Palestinians are living and dying through now, let us confront – and act to help many people confront -- that all this violence is backed by the $3.1 billion in military aid Israel receives each year from the U.S. People of conscience must stand against and resist the crimes of our own government, and that includes U.S. political and military support for the crimes of its cohort, its allies, when those powers commit crimes against humanity funded by and therefore “made in the U.S.A.”

Kerry, Kerry pants on fire!: If You Believed the Secretary of State’s Poison Gas Lie, You’ll Love His Latest One

By Dave Lindorff


If the best the US can do to pin the blame for the Malaysia Flight 17 downing on Russia is to have Secretary of State John Kerry say that “circumstantial evidence” points to Moscow being behind it, we can be pretty certain it was not Russia at all.


Shoot-Down Over Ukraine Needs Context -- and Caution

 

 


Facts Needed on Malaysian Plane Shoot-Down

 

 

Editor Note: As usual, the mainstream U.S. media is rushing to judgment over the crash of a Malaysian airliner in war-torn eastern Ukraine, but the history of U.S. government’s deceptions might be reason to pause and let a careful investigation uncover the facts.

By Ray McGovern

It will likely take some time to determine who downed the Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 people onboard. Initial speculation is that someone with a missile battery mistook the plane as a military aircraft, but the precise motive may be even harder to discern.

Israel News - July 19, 2014


Israel takes Gaza war underground by targeting tunnels - The Washington Post


Full text of Israeli PM statement on Gaza, Netanyahu says ground operation launched in order to damage terror tunnels - Haaretz


IDF unearths at least 20 Gaza tunnels believed used to smuggle weapons - JPost


Why the Hamas tunnels are first priority in Israel's ground offensive - The Times of Israel


VIDEO: Israel army opens fire on 13 armed Palestinians infiltrating Israel via Gaza tunnel - Haaretz


VIDEO: Tunnel and Weapons Used During Hamas Infiltration into Israel - YouTube


VIDEO: IDF Givati Brigade Detects Terror Tunnel - YouTube


VIDEO: IDF troops enter Gaza Strip as operation continues - jspacenews.com


From Gaza, an Array of Makeshift Rockets Packs a Counterpunch - NYTimes.com


20 missiles found in UN-run school in Gaza, UNRWA apologizes to Israel and condemns a ‘flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises’ - The Times of Israel


The Mofaz plan for demilitarizing Gaza - The Times of Israel


-----------------------------------------------------

Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll reaches 274 amid fierce fighting - theguardian.com


20 Hamas fighters killed, 13 captured in first hours of ground offensive - The Times of Israel


Obama expresses concerns to Netanyahu about civilian Gaza deaths - Reuters


VIDEO: Obama Says Israel Has Right to Defend Itself, Is Concerned About Innocent Deaths - YouTube


US State Dep: Israel must do more to protect Gaza civilians - The Times of Israel


Kerry urges 'precise operation' from Israel in Gaza ground campaign, to target tunnels and avoid further escalation - Reuters


Hamas under pressure to accept immediate ceasefire in Gaza - theguardian.com


Hamas leader says Israel must 'lift siege' of Gaza before any ceasefire - Telegraph


VIDEO: Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal lays out terms of ceasefire - Telegraph


Arab World Increasingly Frustrated With Hamas - Algemeiner.com


REPORT: The Current Gaza Conflict: Arab World Losing Patience With Hamas - memri.org


Egypt says Qatar, Turkey and Hamas hurt Gaza ceasefire bid - Reuters


France asks Qatar to get Hamas to agree Gaza ceasefire: source - chicagotribune.com


Qatar seeks role as Gaza mediator, Israel wary - Reuters


Turkey spars with Egypt over failed Gaza cease-fire bid - todayszaman.com


Turkish PM accuses Israel of terrorism, genocide; protesters pelt consulate with stones - Fox News


After violent protests, Israel to pull some diplomatic staff from Turkey - The Times of Israel


VIDEO: Turkey Police defend Israeli consulate from furious Palestine demo - YouTube


Abbas asks France to lobby Hamas for Gaza truce - GlobalPost


Hamas slams Abbas despite condemnation of Gaza op - Ynetnews

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

‘Strident’ reporting at the Times: Already Abused by Cop, DA and Court, Occupy Protester Now Trashed by NY’s Leading Paper

By Dave Lindorff


When a journalist in a news article refers to a woman as “strident,” you know what you’re reading is a hit piece, not a dispassionate report, and that’s what the New York Times offered up to readers in today’s piece about a court appearance yesterday by Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan.

Drone Activist Mary Anne Grady Flores Released on Appeal of Violation of Order of Protection

Mary Anne Grady Flores at sentencing at DeWitt Town Court, July 10, 2014

Last night Mary Anne Grady Flores was released on $5,000 bail from the Syracuse Justice Center after appearing before County Court Judge Thomas J. Miller who granted a stay of execution of her one year sentence, pending appeal of the Order of Protection granted to Col. Earl A. Evans by the DeWitt Town Court judges requiring drone protesters to stay away from the Hancock Airbase.

“The local judges of the Town of DeWitt have helped shut down the protests of the murder of Afghan civilians by drones piloted from the airbase.  They have prevented us from exercising our First Amendment rights by issuing the Orders of Protection on behalf of the base,” said John Hamilton of Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones.

Hancock is a training center for drone pilots, technicians and maintenance workers, as well as a hub of drone activities. From the base the unmanned aircraft are flown over Afghanistan, where they kill people, including numerous civilians.

Grady Flores, grandmother of three, was the first alleged violator of the 50 drone activists who have been given the Order of Protection in 2012. She was tried and sentenced for a year in jail.  Despite being out on bail, she still faces returning to jail. Her appeals process will take months.

“There are 30 upcoming trials over the next year. DeWitt Town judges threaten to sentence activists to a year in jail, many of them in their 60’s and 70’s,” said Judy Bello of Rochester. Bello noted that donations are essential to meet the costs of bail for so many as well as $5,000 transcripts for the appeals to move forward. 

“This is far from over! The drones are still flying and the killing continues. We invite people to join the non-violent witness at the base,” said Rae Kramer of the Syracuse Peace Council. 

  ###

The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Warswww.upstatedroneaction.org is made up of antiwar organizations and formed around resistance to the MQ-9 Reaper Drone program at Hancock Field Air Force Base.

Ukraine News - July 18, 2014


Malaysia Airlines passenger jet shot down over Ukraine, 295 dead - Fox News


Buk missile system suspected in Malaysia plane disaster, its radar could have led to mistakenly targeting a civilian plane - AP


VIDEO: Aftermath of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash, Burning wreckage and bodies scattered - YouTube


VIDEO: Unconfirmed (it may be fake) live footage of the ground impact of Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 - YouTube


------------------------------------------------------

Separatists stole Buk missiles from Ukrainian regiment A-1402 on June 29,  Buk seen in rebel controlled areas (PHOTO, VIDEO) - foxtrotalpha


Evidence of DNR separatists being in possession of Buk missile system since June 29 (PHOTOS) - LiveLeak.com


PHOTO: Deleted DNR tweet confirming Ukrainian separatists indeed have a Buk system - Twitter / RobPulseNews


Local Ukraine Residents Say They Saw Separatists With Missiles Suspected Of Taking Down Malaysia Plane - Business Insider


-------------------------------------------------------

Ukrainian security intercepts phone conversations of separatists admitting downing a civilian plane (TRANSCRIPT) - kyivpost.com


VIDEO (English Subtitles): Intercepted phone conversation of separatists discussing the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines airliner - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT (same as above, in case there is problem downloading the kyivpost): Intercepted calls of separatists admitting downing a civilian plane - Gladstone Observer


Thinking the Boeing 777 was a Ukrainian military transport plane, separatist commander Strelkov says: 'We Did Warn You — Do Not Fly in Our Sky'- Business Insider


VIDEO: Malaysia Airlines crash: Watch chilling video showing separatists appearing to celebrate downing of Boeing 777 thinking it was a Ukrainian military plane - Mirror Online

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Unbroken and out to expose US prison system: Exclusive Interview with Police Abuse Victim and Occupy Activist Cecily McMillan

By Dave Lindorff


In an exclusive intervew on the Progressive Radio Network’s “This Can’t Be Happening!” program, Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan, just released after two months of a three-month sentence to the Women’s Prison on Riker’s Island, talks about her conviction on a trumped-up charge of felony assault of a New York Police Officer. 


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