Originally posted at PopularResistance.org
In 2008, the Democratic party dropped its language dropped its old abortion language ("safe, legal and rare"), which had asked that women not have abortions unless they absolutely must, and changed the official platform.
In other words, it stopped patronizing women into feeling like Abortion is something they should apologize for. Instead, the Democratic party position now reads: "The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right."
by Debra Sweet What would it take? We are wrangling over this. A lot of people thought that to close Guantanamo it would take electing Barack Obama. Our guest on World Can't Wait's national conference call this past Thursday evening, Carlos Warner, said he thought that in 2008. A federal public defender for Northeast Ohio, Carlos represents 13 men still detained there, which he has visited "at least 30 times." He describes his clients as "artists, poets, musicians, and some just regular guys who have had a very difficult life." These are the stories & voices we will bring to life this coming Friday in protests around the world.
By World Can't Wait It would be hard to have missed Michelle Obama's photo with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, displaying sad eyes as she gave the pre-Mothers Day President's talk Saturday, assuring the public that the US would do everything it can to help rescue the hundreds of girls kidnapped by the Islamic fundamentalist group Boko Haram in Nigeria. We hope this turns out like the New York Police Department's Twitter campaign recently, which asked for photos of people with #MyNYPD, and got barraged with photos of police brutality from Occupy protests, stop & frisk arrests and unjust murders by the NYPD.
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Lay down your arms in Ukraine!
Stop NATO !
The peace movement in Germany shares with many people the concern for peace in Europe. Nothing is good in Ukraine. The situation is stretched to breaking point, further escalation is to be feared. It is 5 minutes before midnight.
The transitional government is significantly influenced by representatives of the neo-fascist party "Svoboda" and the right-wing militant group "Right Sector“. Their goal is to fight the people in eastern Ukraine, opposing by military force those in the East who demand greater autonomy and self-determination. The recently convened "Round Table" is a sham, because the representatives of the “breakaway” regions are excluded.
The sabre-rattling in the West is completely inadequate to the seriousness of the situation. The ones seeing Russia as the big troublemaker and aggressor, have understood very little of the conditions in and around Ukraine. The authorship of international tensions in Eastern Europe lies in the policies of the EU and NATO, who have pushed their borders towards both Russia and Ukraine. They now want to gag Ukraine economically with a contract of association and bring it into a military posture against Russia. What was once conceived as a "common European home", degenerates into a Western-dominated Europe in which Russia is assigned the role of at best a servants' chamber. Common security is different!
What Ukraine and the region need are an immediate cease-fire and the beginning of a negotiation process with all parties involved. The peace movement demands:
Do everything to achieve a lasting ceasefire in Ukraine.
From EU and the federal government of Germany, we demand a policy of de-escalation in the Ukraine and to reduce tensions with Russia;
No economic sanctions ! Withdrawal of the " Association Agreement " !
To the media in our country, we demand a proper reporting and to tone down the rhetoric.
No tolerance of, and no cooperation with, fascist forces in Ukraine!
Stop the eastward expansion of NATO! Ukraine must remain non-aligned.
No arms exports into the region !
Create trust : for example, by convening a European Security Conference and the strict respect of the prohibition of force enshrined in international law.
Common security rather than confrontation!
Demonstrations, rallies and other actions will be held on Saturday, May 31 throughout Germany, at 11:55 am with the common signal to Ukraine : LAY DOWN YOUR WEAPONS !
Federal Friedensratschlag: http://www.ag-
The difference between participating in the Global March against Monsanto and voting in the European and Local Elections
Note: In Ireland local and European elections will be held one day before the Global March against Monsanto which will take place on the 24th of May. This post was written mainly for an Irish readership.
first published on News-Beacon-Ireland 21st of May 2014
by R. Teichmann
contributed by the author
Protests in 40+ Cities Worldwide
Protests come exactly one year after President Obama recommitted to close down the detention facility
Washington, D.C. — On Friday, May 23, one year after President Obama once again promisedto close the detention facility at Guantanamo in a speech at the National Defense University, Witness Against Torture, Code Pink, The Center for Constitutional Rights, World Can’t Wait, and more than 30 other groups are banding together to say “Not Another Broken Promise!” They are calling on President Obama make good on his commitment to close the prison this year.
The President’s pledge last May came amidst a mass hunger strike at the prison by men protesting their indefinite detention. Since then only a handful of men have been released from Guantanamo, where hungers strikes and brutal forced-feedings continue.
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, says: “When I interrupted Obama's 2013 speech to say that he had the power to free those Guantanamo prisoners already cleared for release, the President said my voice was worth listening to. With most of the prisoners still trapped in the hell of Guantanamo, I wish the President would listen to his own words and close the prison.”
“There is no excuse for keeping Guantanamo open,” says Jerica Arents from Chicago. “The President has the power to shutter the prison and needs to do it, or his promise is meaningless.”
Demonstrations will be held in Washington, D.C. (at the White House, 11 am); in New York City (Times Square, noon); in Chicago (Water Tower Park, 4:30 pm); San Francisco (Powell/Market 4:30 PST); and in 40 other cities in 8 countries, including England, Australia, and Germany. A Full list, with time and place info, is at: http://witnesstorture.tumblr.
“In big cities and small towns, the outpouring of support for the Global Day of Action has been amazing,” says Witness Against Torture organizer Chris Knestrick. “Guantanamo continues to shock the conscience. The people of the world want it closed.”
At the protests, activists will wear black hoods and orange jumpsuits, update the situation at Guantanamo, and perform theatre to dramatize the ongoing abuses at Guantanamo.
WHAT: Global Day of Action to Close Guantanamo and End Indefinite Detention
WHERE: Washington, NYC, Chicago, Raleigh, London, Sydney, Toronto, and other cities.
WHEN: Friday, May 23, 2014 (see tumblr link above for details)
WHO: Human Rights and Anti-Torture activists
ARTICLE 36: I move that Town Meeting endorse Article 36 as two separate resolutions as they appear on the screen.
1. WHEREAS, the use of drones, often referred to as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), raises far -reaching concerns about targeted governmental killings, the loss of constitutional protections, privacy, democracy, and the rule of law,
2. WHEREAS, drones now being marketed to domestic law enforcement agencies, potentially could be armed with weapons, including tear gas, rubber bullets and firearms,
3. WHEREAS, drone technology as a means of data collection has the potential for misuse affecting individual privacy and civil liberties, freedom of association and assembly, equal protection, and due process,
4. NOW, THEREFORE; BE IT RESOLVED, that this Resolution declares that no agency of the town of Amherst, nor any agents under contract with the town, will operate drones in the immediate airspace over Amherst in a manner that violates the constitutional rights of its residents,
5. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town of Amherst affirms that within the town limits, landowners and tenants, subject to state laws and local ordinances, have exclusive control of the immediate reaches of the airspace and that no drone, unmanned aircraft, or other airborne object shall have the “public right of transit” through this private property.
1. WHEREAS, drones have been used intentionally to kill people in foreign lands including at least two American citizens, without a
public judicial process,
2. WHEREAS, such a use of lethal force without due process is a misuse of governmental powers specifically prohibited in the United States Constitution,
3. WHEREAS, drones have killed many non-targeted people including children,
4. BE IT RESOLVED, that the town of Amherst request its representatives, Congressman Jim McGovern and Senators Elizabeth
Warren and Edward Markey, to introduce a resolution in the United States Congress to end the practice of extrajudicial killing by armed drones, to specifically withhold money for that purpose, and make restitution to those who have been killed or injured through the actions of the United States government, the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, and their private contractors.
As we’ve been reporting here for years, many of us have used all sorts of methods to fight TSA abuse.
There’s not just one way to resist. There are several. That’s true for all kinds of protest, about all kinds of things. There’s never just one way. The point is to stand up against injustice when you see it, whether or not you’re successful. Fighting the TSA is a longterm battle, not a short one.
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us a secret memo that gets us out of the bit about Thou-shalt-not-kill.
And, lo, as I was driving home from the committee hearing I was pulled over for speeding, and I said unto the officer, "I've got a memo that lets me speed. Would you like to see it?" and he said, "No thank you, and not your grocery list or your diary either."
Transparency in drone murders has been a demand pushed by U.N. lawyers and pre-vetted Congressional witnesses, and not by the victims' families. Nobody asks for transparency in child abuse or rape. "Oh, have you got a memo that explains how aliens commanded you to kill and eat those people? Oh, well that's all right then."
Seriously, what the filibuster?
I don't want to see the memo that David Barron wrote "legalizing" the killing of U.S. citizens with drone strikes, after which (or is it beforehand?) I'll decide whether he should be a federal judge.
Laws don't work that way. A law is a public document, known to or knowable to all, and enforced equally on all. If a president can instruct a lawyer to write a memo legalizing murder, what can a president not instruct a lawyer to legalize? What's left of legality?
Let's assume that the memo argues with great obfuscation that, in essence, killing people with drones is part of a war and therefore legal, will we better off or worse off after watching all the human rights groups and lawyers bow down before that idol?
Just because Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch don't recognize the U.N. Charter or the Kellogg Briand Pact is not a reason for us not to. Laws don't work that way. Laws remain law until they are repealed. These laws have not been. If a memo can make a murder part of a war and therefore legal, we are obliged to ask: What makes the war legal?
The answer is not the U.S. government, not the pretense that the president can declare war, and not the pretense that Congress has declared eternal war everywhere. The U.S. government is in violation of the U.N. Charter and of the Kellogg Briand Pact.
Or let's assume the memo says something else. The point is not what it says but its purported power to say it. The law against murder in Pakistan and the law against murder in Yemen don't cease to exist in Pakistan and Yemen because a new Jay Bybee, willing to say whatever's needed to become a judge, writes a secret memo -- or a public memo.
And, as this conversation plays out, think what it will have U.S. editorial pages all silently assuming about the legality of murdering non-U.S. citizens. If a memo is needed to kill U.S. citizens, what about the other 99% of drone victims? That, too, is not how actual laws work. The laws against war don't prevent war only on U.S. citizens. The laws of Pakistan don't protect only U.S. citizens. The amendments in the U.S. bill of rights, for that matter, don't apply only to U.S. citizens.
Now, the memo is likely to describe people who are an imminent threat to the United States. And our newspapers are likely to remind us that President Obama made a speech claiming that one of the four U.S. citizens known to have been killed under this program was such a threat. It will be tempting to point out that Anwar al Awlaki, on the contrary, was already on the kill list prior to the incident that Obama claims justified putting him there. It will be tempting to point out that nobody's made even a blatantly false argument to justify killing the other three U.S. citizens, much less the thousands of other human beings.
We shouldn't fall for those traps. A president is not legally allowed to invent criteria for killing people. Never mind that he doesn't meet his own criteria. We should not be so indecent or so lawless as to engage in such a conversation. We should not want to see the blood-soaked memo.
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No justice at the US DOJ: AG Holder’s Big News about Prosecuting Chinese Spying and a Crooked Swiss Bank are a Joke
By Dave Lindorff
The Justice Department is really pumping out the pointless prosecutions these days.
Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog
An Executive of a major shale gas development company has conceded what scientists have been saying for years: global shale gas development has the potential to wreak serious climate change havoc.
Best known for his company's hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") activity, Southwestern Energy Executive Vice President Mark Boling admitted his industry has a methane problem on the May 19 episode of Showtime's "Years of Living Dangerously" in a segment titled, "Chasing Methane."
World Can't Wait is presenting four great panels at the Left Forum. We look forward to meeting you there.Left Forum 2014 will be at John Jay College New Building, 524 West 59th St, NYC. Our panels will be on Saturday May 31st and Sunday June !st. Check them out below.
Vast Surveillance of Whole Populations: The NSA Revelations One Year Out Session 2 on Saturday, May 31st from 12:00 pm - 1:50 pm in Room 1.85
Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org
Kelly Carlin, in this clip from the full Acronym TV episode (The Catholic War On Women, watch the full episode here) decides to come out of the abortion closet:
“I’m outing myself here, I’m outing myself in my (forthcoming) book. I had two abortions when I was a teenager. I was a reckless crazy girl… I was really privileged (and) I was lucky. I had parents who had money. I had access to access to a clinic, it was private and it was the way it has been done for rich people forever.”
To contact Bartolo email email@example.com
Originally posted at PopularResistance.org
In this clip from the full Acronym TV episode (The Catholic War On Women, watch the full episode here) Katie Klabusich and Kelly Carlin answer host Dennis Trainor, Jr.’s questions:
How much does religious dogma and/or men in long white dresses with funny hats hold women back from being an equal member of society?
If the Church is built inside of a Patriarchy, so to then, is the State. Can we reform this system from within through legislation while maintaining a patriarchal system?
Episode breakdown |
by Nobel Women’s Initiative
(Ottawa)—May 12, 2014.
Referring to the development of weapons that could select targets and kill people without any human intervention as “unconscionable”, 20 individuals and organizations who have won the Nobel peace prize today issued a joint statement endorsing the call for a preemptive ban on these fully autonomous weapons.
The Marshall Islands have sued nine nuclear nations to compel compliance with the Nonproliferation Treaty, which requires the elimination of nuclear weapons. We speak with Rick Wayman, director of programs and operations at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Rick is a graduate of Marquette University’s College of Business Administration and has a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management and Political Advocacy from the School for International Training. Rick began working full-time on nuclear weapons issues with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK before moving to California in 2007 to join NAPF. Learn more at http://nuclearzero.org
Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.
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By Dave Lindorff
Occupy activist Cecily McMillan, convicted on May 5 of second-degree felony assault of a New York cop whom she and witnesses claimed had grabbed her breast from behind, bruising it, stood her ground before her sentence was rendered, refusing the judge’s insistence that she should “take responsibility for her conduct.”
The deepening police state USA: More on Washington's coordinated Occupy Crackdown, and the Dark Side of the Boston Bombing (Par
By Dave Lindorff
Part II of Dave Lindorff's interview by Kathy Swift on Santa Barbara's RadioOccupy. Lindorff continues talking about his investigation into the FBI's and Homeland Security Department's hidden campaign to crush the Occupy Movement, based upon the thousands of documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act campaign of discovery by the Partnership for Civil Justice. Lindorff also talks about his investigation into the men from Craft International, the Dallas-based mercenary firm who's personnel appear to have been hired (by someone -- likely the DHS) to be at the Boston Marathon a year ago.
By Judy Bello
MaryAnne Grady-Flores was convicted in DeWitt Town Court last night on 2nd Degree Contempt of an Order Of Protection. Grady-Flores, who did not intend to violate the Order despite its immorality and invalidity, was taking pictures of others at the base - the Ash Wednesday Witnesses - who engaged in nonviolent civil resistance blocking the front Gate to Hancock base for which they were subsequently acquitted.
In a heinous abuse of an instrument meant to protect the innocent from violence, Orders of Protection are being used to protect violent transgressions of international and moral law from citizen oversight. While trying to publicize and support a movement to ground the drones and end the wars which take countless innocent lives, Grady-Flores was arrested for noncompliance with an order that does not specify particulars outside of how you might attack another human, something she would never do. She understood the Order to mean that she was forbidden to join the protest.
The Guilty verdict was proffered by a jury 5 minutes after they had asked the judge for a legal definition of "keep away", and he had replied that they "are the sole triers of fact'.
The two-day trial included testimony from Colonel Earl A. Evans who is the party protected by the OOP, Catholic Priests Father Bill Pickard and Tim Taugher, Catholic Workers Bill Frankel-Streit and Ellen Grady, sister. Grady-Flores also testified on her own behalf.
By T., a teacher from Odessa -- submitted by Bruce Gagnon
I have lived in Odessa since my early childhood and adore this sunny south city with its hospitable and witty people. Odessa is a multinational city which is reflected in the names of its streets: French and Italian Boulevards, Greek and Bulgarian Streets, Moldavian district, etc. Odessa was built according to a decree issued by the Russian empress Catherine the Great over 200 years ago as a Russian port city on the Black Sea. And it was constructed by French and Italian architects and engineers invited by Catherine. That is why it is said to resemble Paris …
During the Soviet period Odessa was a part of the Ukrainian SSR – one of the 15 republics comprising the USSR at the time, though it was Russian, both by its population and the language it spoke. But it was not of principal importance for the numerous nations and nationalities living there, as all of them had equal rights and comprised one and the same Soviet people. When I studied at school there were Russians, Ukrainians, Jews and Bulgarians in my class, and it didn’t matter – we were the citizens of one and the same country.
After the USSR collapsed, the Ukrainian Republic became Ukraine and started building its own independent state seeking to prove its self-sufficiency and ability to become a powerful and prosperous state. But it failed. Instead the state succeeded in splitting and embroiling the two people inhabiting it – Ukrainians and Russians. Being a teacher I can definitely state that in 23 years of independence there appeared a generation of young people brought up in a Russophobic spirit. It was made possible due to the anti-Russian policy of the state which tried to shift the discontent of its citizens from itself onto its external neighbour-state – Russia (the so-called “younger-brother syndrome”). But to make hatred to one’s fraternal people a country’s national idea is, to my mind, absurd and a crime against its own people.
Ukraine could be called “an artificial state”. If one takes interest in its history, it will turn out that the state has existed in its present form not so long ago, and consists of heterogeneous parts. One of the major reasons of the present crisis in Ukraine is that the neo-nazi and Russophobic ideology of one of these parts, Galicia, is imposed upon the entire Ukraine. The slogans of the Kiev “Maidan” like “Glory to Ukraine! – Glory to heroes!”, “Nation is above all!”, “Death to enemies!” are the slogan of the nationalists and Bandera-followers from the west of Ukraine. Their enemies are Russians, and their heroes are Bandera, Shukhevich and the like, who were fascists’ henchmen during the last war, and who became notorious for their flagrant atrocities against peaceful population in the west of Ukraine.
And for Odessa, which heroically fought with [against Hitler] the fascist invaders, for Crimea (which “returned back home to Russia”), as well as for the whole southern and eastern Ukraine, such an ideology is unacceptable and arouses rebuff. There are lots of ethnic Russian and Russian-speaking people here who are traditionally strongly attached by Russia. So in many cities, Odessa inclusive, people started participating in peaceful protest marches demanding, in particular, a referendum as to the future state structure arrangement.
They do not want to be second-rate people, they want to stay on the land where they belong, to speak their native tongue, and to live in peace with their Russian neighbours-brothers, as well as with the whole world. But the Western-backed (US first and foremost) unelected fascist regime in Kiev does not want to take into account their inalienable right to their culture and national identity, so confrontation and repressions started. The propaganda of the Ukrainian media is stirring up the information war, the journalists trying to tell the truth have to leave the country. The Russian TV channels are cut off. A parliamentary deputy, Oleg Tsaryov, the only presidential candidate who tried to inform the government and the world public about the opinion of the people living in the south-east, is now subject to criminal prosecution and is being relieved from inviolability of a deputy.
On the Internet there has recently been promulgated the telephone talk between Tsaryov and the second-richest Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoysky (the latter is said to stay behind and pay for organizing the flagrant provocation and massacre in Odessa, as well as for organizing punitive squads for fighting the people’s volunteer corps in the eastern regions of Ukraine), in which Kolomoysky was threatening Tsaryov and his family.(ref) As a result, millions of people in the south-east do not feel themselves protected, fear about their future and seek protection and salvation from their brothers-Slavs living in Russia. That’s why the slogans “Russia!”, “No to junta”, “No to fascism!” and “Putin!” were sounding during their peaceful protest marches. These thousands of people are neither "separatists", nor "terrorists" as they are often called by the pro-Kiev media, they are just peaceful citizens wishing to be heard.
Now the split in Ukraine has turned into a real war against its own people, with a great number of victims. The horrible massacre and the succeeding burning of dozens of people in Odessa is, to my mind, a peak in the fratricidal war. I am neither a politician, an expert, nor an investigator, so I am not to judge exactly what forces are behind these events. But having read lots of information and opinions on the Internet I understand that it is definitely a provocation in the dirty game of big politicians and oligarchs in their struggle for redivision of the world, power and money. Now only children do not understand that the West does not want to see the truth about the events in Ukraine because the stakes in this game are geopolitical. The fight is for hegemony in the world between Russia and the USA, and Ukraine just happens to be the battlefield between these two “great powers”. It is quite natural that Russia does not want to have NATO “at its door”, and a US naval base deployed in Odessa. Neither do the Russians living here.
Whether the crime in Odessa will be investigated or not, is a big question. I personally am not at all sure of it. But it is impossible to put up with the fact that 48 Odessites (and, by the grapevine, much more) have been burned alive, as in Byelorussian village of Khatyn. We have been seeing their charred bodies while sleeping and have cried our eyes out imagining their sufferings. There has never been such a horrible crime against humanity in Odessa since the war of 1941-1945. My parents were fighting then against Hitler invaders, my father was awarded to many orders and medals, my mother had two medals too – one “For the Defense of Stalingrad”, and another one “For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War”. So I cannot accept the fact that neo-nazism and fascism as represented by the current junta (and there is no other name for this unlawful and criminal government) is established in Ukraine. After the Odessa Khatyn there will never be a single and united Ukraine. Fascism/nazism is a terrible evil, and if it is not immediately stopped, it will keep growing and sprawling like cancer.
I was so glad when, thanks to Olga, I got an opportunity to contact you: now we have some hope to bring the truth about Odessa and Ukraine to the people all over the world. I would be happy if my letter could at least a little helpful for you in your noble and important activity, that of struggle for peace.
On May 23rd of last year, President Obama again promised to close the detention facility at Guantanamo. His pledge came in response to the mass hunger strike by men protesting their indefinite detention and to the renewed, global condemnation of the prison. One year later, far too little has changed: few detained men have left the prison and hunger strikes and forced feeding continue.
Demonstrations will be taking place across the United States and the world to demand that President Obama and the US Congress end indefinite detention and close the detention facility at Guantanamo.
Meet us at the the United States Military Academy on May 28,2014 to protest when Obama speaks at the West Point commencement. We'll be on public roads at two West Point gates as cars enter the campus for the ceremony. We will gather at 6:45 am near the Stoney Lonesome Gate of West Point just off Route 9W, one exit north of the exit leading to Highland Falls, NY, home of West Point.
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