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If the Defense Department's Not Defensive, What Would Be?

Militarism has made us less safe, and continues to do so.  It is not a useful tool for protection. So, what is?

Studies over the past century have found that nonviolent tools are more effective in resisting tyranny and oppression and resolving conflicts and achieving security than violence is.

Wealthy militarist nations like the United States think of their militaries as global police, protecting the world. The world disagrees. By a large margin people all over the world consider the United States the greatest threat to peace.

The United States could easily make itself the most beloved nation on earth with much less expense and effort, by ceasing its "military aid" and providing a bit of non-military aid instead.

The momentum of the military-industrial complex works through the hammer-nail effect (if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail).  What’s needed is a combination of disarmament and investment in alternatives -- alternatives like diplomacy, arbitration, international law enforcement, cultural exchange, and cooperation with other countries and people.

The most heavily armed nations can help disarmament in three ways. First, disarm — partially or fully. Second, stop selling weapons to so many other countries that don’t manufacture them themselves. During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, at least 50 corporations supplied weapons, at least 20 of them to both sides. Third, negotiate disarmament agreements with other countries and arrange for inspections that will verify disarmament by all parties.

The first step in handling crises is to stop creating them in the first place. Threats and sanctions and false accusations over a period of years can build momentum for war that is triggered by a relatively small act, even an accident.  By taking steps to avoid provoking crises, much effort can be saved.

When conflicts inevitably do arise, they can be better addressed if investments have been made in diplomacy and arbitration.

A fair and democratic international system of law is needed.  The United Nations needs to be reformed or replaced with an international body that forbids war and allows equal representation to every nation.  The same goes for the International Criminal Court.  The idea behind it is exactly right. But if it only prosecutes tactics, not the launching, of wars. And if it only prosecutes Africans, and only Africans not cooperating with the United States, then it weakens the rule of law rather than expanding it. 

Pakistani victims and family members who have charged the CIA with murder in their courts, and whose courts have declared U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan illegal, are charging the U.K., Germany, and Australia through the ICC with the crime of assisting in U.S. drone murders. But if the U.S. cannot be charged because it's not an ICC member, and if U.S. allies will end up walking free because the U.S. has a U.N. veto, justice is not being done -- the alternative of the rule of law to the rule of force is not really being tried.  Reform or replacement of our international bodies, not abandonment, is needed.

Here's a list of approaches that could move us in the right direction, from a movement working to advance them.

And here are a few specific projects:

Set up conversion commissions.

Get free money for transition.

Participate in the Global Day of Action on Military Spending.

Spring Days of Drone Action.

Support peace in Syria.

Oppose push for war on Iran.

I recently had the opportunity to speak about this movement at an event in Portland, Maine, where people turned out in the middle of a snow storm to discuss ending all war forever:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AevhD6JFDB0

You might find the next video more interesting, as it includes both me and Shenna Bellows answering questions about militarism and peace making.  Bellows is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate challenging Republican incumbent Susan Collins:
 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfhMOGk-KMY#t=1072

SPRING DAYS OF DRONE ACTION - 2014

Protest When John Rizzo Interviewed at Fordham 2/15/2014

On January 30, war criminal John Rizzo spoke at Fordham University in an interview with the director of the University’s Center on National Security. War Criminals Watch organized a protest at the event. We distributed leaflets about Rizzo to the attendees who filled about two/thirds of the law school’s amphitheatre. Nick Mottern of kNOwdrones stood throughout the talk with a banner saying "No Drone Killing" along with three of us who had Rizzo war criminal posters held high. (Other sizes of the downloadable poster can be found here).

Tim DeChristopher Interview - Climate Change is The Context of Our Times

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

http://youtu.be/Tqwd9hZ8n6A

An Interview with Tim DeChristopher, the founder of Peaceful Uprising who is widely known known for one of the more creative acts of non violent insurrection and civil disobedience in recent memory when he disrupted a government oil and gas lease auction in order to protect fragile land in southern Utah from long term damage. That story became the subject of the documentary Bidder 70, and that act resulted in DeChrispher spending 21 months in federal custody.

Celebrate World Social Justice Day – February 20

By Brian J. Trautman
 
In one of his most famous writings, "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said of injustice, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” In other words, the very existence of injustice has implications for us all. Thus, we each have a responsibility to actively challenge unjust power structures wherever they should surface. According to the United Nations, “the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have never been more relevant than they are today.” Structural injustices are pervasive in the United States, perhaps more than in any other Western industrialized nation. They include record levels of economic inequality and mass incarceration and attempts to slash entitlement programs, restrict women’s reproductive rights, and erode voting rights. Globally, injustice exists more frequently in other forms, such as poverty, hunger, worker exploitation, sex trafficking, resource privatization, and severe restrictions on women’s and gay rights. In every corner of the world people’s rights and dignity are under constant assault by different forces.

Presidential Restraint Is Alive and Well

... among people who are not the president.

On Presidents Day, RootsAction.org set up a petition in response to this news:

"An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say," the Associated Press reports -- "and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year."

The petition reads:

"Mr. President, Without making any exception for the president, the Constitution requires adherence to the Fifth Amendment. 'Due process' is mandatory, not optional. Legality is a question of law, not policy. You are not allowed to kill whoever you want on your own say-so."

Within the first several hours, over 10,000 people had signed. You can sign it too.

Here are some of the comments that people have posted:

"Has the CONSTITUTION become an - OPTION ???" —S. Schwenchy, CA

"And we thought Bush was a liar!" —Richard Wilkey, TN

"And you are also not allowed to pass judgement on someone before they are judged by a jury of their peers as you did in the case of Pvt. Manning. I thought you were better than that. My bad." —John Nettleton, OR

"Please, just stop murdering suspicious people. This is like what happened to Trayvon Martin, but there's no trial afterward." —Tim Ferguson, CA

"Expedience is not an excuse. We can't be the good guys just because we say so, we have to act on it too. Killing terrorists just creates more terrorists." —Boola Lomuscio, MA

"A country which can imprison indefinitely its citizens without due process, without ever charging them with any wrongdoing is not a democracy. Period. Let alone the country which can KILL citizens without due process, without ever charging them with any wrongdoing. Obey the law. Obey the Constitution." —Jamil Said, CA

"A President is nothing more than a servant, and if he commits a crime, it is ten times the crime and should have ten times the penalty." —Ronald Denner, MI

"According to the Nuremberg Principles if we remain silent while our government is engaged in illegal activities, then we are complicit, we are equally guilty of being in violation of international law and of going against our most dearly held values. It is our responsibility as citizens, as taxpayers, as voters, to speak out." —Robert Stevens

"All labels aside, ANY president who does not follow his oath needs to be impeached. It really is that simple." —Robert Horan, OH

"All presidents seem to think that the Constitution is for the people to obey, not them. The 5th Amendment provides due process for American citizens. If one suspects criminal activity against the USA, then the suspect must have his day in court. This is part of the democratic process, and NO ONE, NOT EVEN THE PRESIDENT, IS ABOVE THE LAW!" —Robert Glasner, CA

"Amendment IV -- 'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures' -- Does that include the life of the person?" —David Bean, OR

"America is supposed to have the rule of law, not of men. I don't care how well-intentioned people are; if the precedent is set, then less well-intentioned people will take advantage of it." —Deborah Goldsmith, CA

"Among other reasons, drone strikes kill innocents without exception, and you know it, Mr. President, and that's not something to accept regardless of what your military advisers believe." —Marianne Kenady, WA

"Are we back in the dark ages where the king decides to behead anyone he wants? Seems that way. I don't think that is where we want to be, none of us." —Kenneth Walton, IA

"Are you still a constitutional lawyer? - - Then, why are you acting as you are? That is, choosing and selecting American citizens for annihilation." —William See, OR

"Believe it or not, murder is murder. Murdering a murderer is still murder." —Frank C Benjamin, NY

"Don't stray from the mandates, including the Constitution, you have been sworn to uphold. People accused of crimes are supposed to be tried by a jury of their peers, not one man on a power trip." —John Davis, ME

"Execution of citizens without any due process, especially a jury of peers, is one of the hallmarks of a totalitarian government -- no matter how much the tyrant pleads otherwise." —Robert Anderson, CA

"Execution without arrest and fair trial is unethical, immoral and goes against all American values." —Patricia Robinett, MO

"Extraordinary renditions and torture perpetrated by the Bush Administration was illegal and immoral. Killing without due process, especially an American citizen, is even worse." —Audrey Bomse, FL

"Following our example, I guess it is ok for foreign governments to send drones over our territory to murder dissidents from their country?" —Michael JamesLong, OR

"For a constitutional lawyer, our President does not honor, in any way, shape or form, the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th & 8th amendments to the U.S. Constitution." —Lisbeth Caccese, CA

Read thousands more, pick your favorites, add your own:
http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=9288

Ignoring injustice: Philly Black Officials Silent On Police Brutality

By Linn Washington, Jr.


Philadelphia -- Back in 1978, a respected newspaper columnist in in this city blasted local black elected officials for their failure to criticize police brutality – the scourge that ravaged blacks for decades, often with the sanction of white elected officials like then Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, a former city police commissioner.

The Story of My Arrest at David Petraeus' Speaking Engagement

By  Deb Vanpoolen 

The Essential Facts:

As I sat in that room, I decided my action would be designed to send a fissure through David Petraeus’ edifice of lies with the intent to reach someone with the truth who desperately needed to hear it like I once did.

February and March 2014 War Criminals Appearances

Check out the February and March 2014 War Criminals appearances/protests to see if any of them will be in your area. Join a protest or start one.  On our website you will find posters and leaflets for your event. If you like, we will assist you in organizing and getting the word out for your event.

Jailed, 79 year old Irish Peace Activist: ‘STOP DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE’

this is a press release by Shannonwatch and was posted on www.News-Beacon-Ireland.info


 


Imprisoned peace activist Margaretta D’Arcy has reiterated her assertion that Shannon Airport’s runway is being used improperly for the purposes of war, and has called on the Minister for Defence Alan Shatter to stop defending the indefensible military use of the airport. Speaking to John Lannon and Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch this Monday, she said that the State has a responsibility to ensure the proper use of the airport and to protect it against security threats.

Free Kareem Khan

As you may have heard, Kareem Khan, an anti-drone activist and drone victim, has been disappeared. Kareem lost his brother and son in a 2009 strike in North Waziristan. On February 5th, he was taken from his Rawalpindi home by men in Pakistani police uniforms. He was getting ready to travel to meet with European parliamentarians next week to discuss his demands for accountability. Kareem is also featured in Madiha Tahir's film Wounds of Waziristan. Democracy Now! did a segment on his disappearance also.

As of this morning, the Lahore High Court has ordered Pakistan's intelligence agencies to produce Kareem on February 20th. Now is the time to put pressure on Pakistani and US officials to make sure he is released as soon as possible.

To that end, we have planned a Twitter storm for TOMORROW, Thursday, February 13th from 11am- 12am EST. (Yes, that's a 13 hour campaign).

Code Pink has also planned a protest TODAY in Washington, D.C. in front of the Pakistani Embassy at 4pm.
More details to follow.

We will tweet under the hashtag #FreeKareem to the Pakistani ambassador to the US, the State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry and PML-N, the ruling party of Pakistan. Please do the same to amplify our demands.

Here are some suggested tweets:

Suggested tweets to @JalilJilani (Pakistani ambassador to the US) and @pmln_org (Pakistan's ruling party): 

  • .@JalilJilani @pmln_org Kareem lost a brother and son. Now, he’s lost his freedom. #FreeKareem #nodrones
  • .@JalilJilani @pmln_org Prove you are a democratic govt. #FreeKareem #nodrones
  • .@JalilJilani @pmln_org Who’s afraid of Kareem Khan? #FreeKareem #nodrones
  • .@JalilJilani @pmln_org Kareem speaks out against drone attacks. Gets disappeared. #FreeKareem #nodrones
  • .@JalilJilani @pmln_org We need democracy not disappearances. #FreeKareem #no drones

Suggested tweets to @statedept and @johnkerry:

  • .@statedept @johnkerry The US killed his family. Pakistan disappeared him for speaking about it. Ensure his freedom! #FreeKareem
  • .@statedept @johnkerry Pakistan disappears anti-drone activist. Is this how @statedept promotes democracy? #FreeKareem
  • .@johnkerry Kareem’s family was killed by US drone in Pakistan. He was disappeared on Feb. 5 for speaking out against drones. #FreeKareem
  • .@statedept Kareem’s family was killed by a US drone in Pakistan. He was disappeared on Feb. 5 for speaking out against drones. #FreeKareem

Also, please call the following numbers to demand Kareem's immediate release:

Pakistan Embassy: 202.243.6500

Pakistan Desk of the US State Dept: 202.647.9823

And, please sign this petition.

Check http://woundsofwaziristan.com/kareem-khan/ for updates. 


Also, the "Dear Kareem" Campaign

We want people to write a 1-2 sentence note/ msg beginning with "Dear Kareem", take a photo of it and email it to us at freekareemkhan@gmail.com. IF we get at least 20 of these together, I will post them on the website and we will ask more people to send their photos and launch it as a continuous campaign til Feb 20th. A sample is attached.

In solidarity,
Zohra Ahmed

Federal Grants Available to Help Cities and Towns Adjust to Military Cuts

Thanks to: Mayors for Peace, the Institute for Policy Studies, and the New Priorities Network.

The budget deal at the end of 2013 reduced the bite sequestration will take out of the military budget.  But about $30 billion will still be coming out of Pentagon spending for 2014, and more the next year, as the nation begins its postwar military downsizing.

Communities across the country will be affected.  For the most part we don’t know which ones.  But economic development professionals agree on one thing: getting ahead of the curve is critical to a successful economic strategy. 

Is as much as 2-3% of your city’s economy dependent on military contracts?  Then you are eligible to get federal help to prepare an adjustment strategy.

Accessing these funds doesn’t mean you’re unconcerned about your existing jobs base.  It just means you’re doing what you can to have a Plan B in place if that base takes a hit.

New Federal “Plan B” money available

The Office of Economic Adjustment in the Pentagon (oea.gov) has one mission: to help communities affected by military downsizings, either from base closings or military industry contract losses, with transition planning grants and technical assistance (see program guidelines at 1 and 2 and below). 

The Obama administration is ramping up and fast tracking this assistance

Who is eligible? 

Military-dependent communities, regions and states. Dependency has a low threshold—only about 2-3% of a community’s workforce need be employed in the military industry to qualify.

How does the process work?

Mayors and other public officials take the lead in securing these funds and then involving economic development professionals and community, worker and business stakeholders in planning an economic transition.

Whereas before OEA couldn’t offer assistance until a contract cancellation had been announced, those rules have changed.  Now OEA supports advance planning—before the job losses hit.

In addition to supporting transition planning—financially and with hands-on technical assistance—OEA will help connect communities to support from other federal agencies to implement the economic transition plans they construct using OEA planning funds.

Capitalizing on this challenge and opportunity

Adjusting to the military downsizing will be a challenge for communities across the country.  State and community leaders need to seize the chance to turn this challenge into the proverbial opportunity: to help their communities chart a path to new economic activity not dependent on wartime levels of military spending. 

Public officials can contact OEA directly to open a dialogue on getting the process started, at 703-697-2130.  Miriam Pemberton at the Institute for Policy Studies is available to answer questions and offer suggestions.  Contact Miriam@ips-dc.org or 202-787-5214.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

OEA Defense Industry Adjustment program guidelines at:

https://www.cfda.gov/?s=program&mode=form&tab=step1&id=d789a8baOa42a998d6bb68193b7f978.

https://www.cfda.gov/?s=program&mode=form&tab=step1&id=905e9d27307ef8c49ec2f3b9df7df7d3b41.

##

 

Tuesday Feb 11: Day We Fight Back v NSA Surveillance

by Debra Sweet          President Obama recently announced that the vast NSA spying will continue, with a few restrictions. Edward Snowden and the journalists who are still releasing stories from the files he made available are being called spies and being threatened with assasination by members of the US Congress. Once again, the role of those commiting crimes, and the victims, are reversed. 

It’s always darkest before the dawn: The Irrepressible and Irreplaceable Pete Seeger

By Dave Lindorff


I never really knew Pete Seeger, but he taught me how to play the banjo.

Irish activists protest today against military use of Shannon Airport and launch petition

Today Irish peace activists will protest against the use of Shannon Airport and the jailing of Margaretta D'Arcy. The peace Orgaisation AFRI (Action From Ireland, www.afri.ie) has also launched a petition 'Respect Ireland's constitution: end U.S military use of Shannon'. You can sign the petition by going to this link http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-respect-ireland-s-constitution-end-u-s-military-use-of-shannon.

The Global Elite is Insane

In a recent report titled ‘Working for the Few: Political capture and economic inequality’ Oxfam informs us that ‘Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population’. Their report goes on to recommend that the World Economic Forum, an elite gathering held annually in Davos, Switzerland, take economic and political measures to ensure a more equitable distribution of wealth.

VIDEO: Massive Resistance Building to Stop KXL

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Michael Nigro produced this exclusive for the Resistance Report.

Last week, the State Department has released the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the proposed northern leg of the controversial and long-embattled TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

As Steve Horn, of DeSmog Blog notes:

Keystone XL's Northern Leg: A Fracked Oil Pipeline Along with Tar Sands

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

On January 31, President Barack Obama's U.S. State Department released its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the northern leg of TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The State Department's FEIS argues that the northern half of Keystone XL, if built, "remains unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands, or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States."

Super Bowl Friday Trash Dump: State Dept Releases KXL Final Environmental Review

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

The State Department has released the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the proposed northern leg of the controversial and long-embattled TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Image credit: Kris Krug.

In a familiar "Friday trash dump" — a move many expected the Obama administration to shun — John Kerry's State Department chose to "carefully stage-manage the report's release" on Super Bowl Friday when most Americans are switching focus to football instead of political scandals. **See bottom of this post for breaking analysis**

Anticipating the report’s release, insiders who had been briefed on the review told Bloomberg News the SEIS -- not a formal decision by the State Department on the permitting of the pipeline, but rather another step in the department’s information gathering -- “will probably disappoint environmental groups and opponents of the Keystone pipeline.”

And, indeed, the new report reads“Approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed Project, remains unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands, or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States.”

This reiterates one of the earlier draft’s most heavily criticized conclusions that the pipeline is “unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands,” and thus avoids a comprehensive assessment of those climate impacts.

In June 2013, President Obama said in a speech announcing his Climate Action Plan at Georgetown University that he would only approve the permit if it was proven that “this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution."  

The final environmental review is being released on the heels of damning revelations about the close ties between the Canadian pipeline builder, TransCanada and Environmental Resources Management (ERM). ERM was hired by the State Department to conduct the environmental review.

Spring Days of Action to End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance, Global Militarization

Today we issue an international call for Spring Days of Action – 2014, a coordinated campaign in April and May to:

          End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance and Global Militarization

The campaign will focus on drone bases, drone research facilities and test sites and drone manufacturers.

The campaign will provide information on:

1. The suffering of tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza who are under drone attack, documenting the killing, the wounding and the devastating impact of constant drone surveillance on community life.

2. How attack and surveillance drones have become a key element in a massive wave of surveillance, clandestine military attacks and militarization generated by the United States to protect a global system of manufacture and oil and mineral exploitation that is creating unemployment and poverty, accelerating the waste of nonrenewable resources and contributing to environmental destruction and global warming.

In addition to cases in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, we will examine President Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific, where the United States has already sold and deployed drones in the vanguard of a shift of 60% of its military forces to try to control China and to enforce the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership.  We will show, among other things, how this surge of "pivot" forces, greatly enabled by drones, and supported by the US military-industrial complex, will hit every American community with even deeper cuts in the already fragile social programs on which people rely for survival.  In short, we will connect drones and militarization with "austerity" in America.

3. How drone attacks have effectively destroyed international and domestic legal protection of the rights to life, privacy, freedom of assembly and free speech and have opened the way for new levels of surveillance and repression around the world, and how, in the United States, increasing drone surveillance, added to surveillance by the National Security Agency and police, provides a new weapon to repress black, Hispanic, immigrant and low-income communities and to intimidate Americans who are increasingly unsettled by lack of jobs, economic inequality, corporate control of politics and the prospect of endless war.

We will discuss how the United States government and corporations conspire secretly to monitor US citizens and particularly how the Administration is accelerating drone surveillance operations and surveillance inside the United States with the same disregard for transparency and law that it applies to other countries, all with the cooperation of the Congress.

The campaign will encourage activists around the world to win passage of local laws that prohibit weaponized drones and drone surveillance from being used in their communities as well as seeking national laws to bar the use of weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

The campaign will draw attention to the call for a ban on weaponized drones by RootsAction.org that has generated a petition with over 80,000 signers

http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6180

and to efforts by the Granny Peace Brigade (New York City), KnowDrones.org and others to achieve an international ban on both weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

The campaign will also urge participation in the World Beyond War movement.

The following individuals and organizations endorse this Call:

Lyn Adamson – Co-chair, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

Dennis Apel – Guadalupe Catholic Worker, California

Judy Bello – Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones & End the Wars

Medea Benjamin – Code Pink

Leah Bolger – Former National President, Veterans for Peace

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

Sung-Hee Choi – Gangjeong Village International Team, Jeju, Korea

Chelsea C. Faria – Graduate student, Yale  Divinity School; Promoting Enduring Peace

Sandy Fessler – Rochester (NY) Against War

Joy First

Bruce K. Gagnon - Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Holly Gwinn Graham – Singer/songwriter, Olympia, WA.

Regina Hagen - Darmstaedter Friedensforum, Germany

Kathy Kelly – Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Malachy Kilbride

Marilyn Levin and Joe Lombardo – Co-Coordinators, United National Antiwar Coalition

Tamara Lorincz – Halifax Peace Coalition, Canada

Nick Mottern – KnowDrones.org

Agneta Norberg – Swedish Peace Council

Pepperwolf – Director, Women Against Military Madness

Lindis Percy, Coordinator, Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases  CAAB UK

Mathias Quackenbush – San Francisco, CA

Lisa Savage – Code Pink, State of Maine

Janice Sevre-Duszynska

Wolfgang Schlupp-Hauck- Friedenswerkstatt Mutlangen, Germany

Cindy Sheehan

Lucia Wilkes Smith – Convener, Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) – Ground Military Drones Committee

David Soumis – Veterans for Peace; No Drones Wisconsin

Debra Sweet – World Can’t Wait

David Swanson - WarisACrime.org

Brian Terrell – Voices for Creative Nonviolence

United National Antiwar Coalition

Veterans for Peace 

Dave Webb – Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)

Curt Wechsler – Fire John Yoo! (a project of World Can’t Wait) – San Francisco, CA

Paki Wieland, Northampton (MA) Committee to Stop War(s)

Loring Wirbel – Citizens for Peace in Space (Colorado Springs, CO)

Women Against Military Madness

Ann Wright – Retired US Army colonel and former diplomat

Leila Zand - Fellowship of Reconciliation

 

Add your name by emailing it to: nickmottern@earthlink.net and watch for updates at http://KnowDrones.org

Cut Off the NSA’s Juice

By Norman Solomon

The National Security Agency depends on huge computers that guzzle electricity in the service of the surveillance state. For the NSA’s top executives, maintaining a vast flow of juice to keep Big Brother nourished is essential -- and any interference with that flow is unthinkable.

But interference isn’t unthinkable. And in fact, it may be doable.

Grassroots activists have begun to realize the potential to put the NSA on the defensive in nearly a dozen states where the agency is known to be running surveillance facilities, integral to its worldwide snoop operations.

Organizers have begun to push for action by state legislatures to impede the electric, water and other services that sustain the NSA’s secretive outposts.

Those efforts are farthest along in the state of Washington, where a new bill in the legislature -- the Fourth Amendment Protection Act -- is a statutory nightmare for the NSA. The agency has a listening post in Yakima, in the south-central part of the state.

The bill throws down a challenge to the NSA, seeking to block all state support for NSA activities violating the Fourth Amendment. For instance, that could mean a cutoff of electricity or water or other state-government services to the NSA site. And the measure also provides for withholding other forms of support, such as research and partnerships with state universities.

Here’s the crux of the bill: “It is the policy of this state to refuse material support, participation, or assistance to any federal agency which claims the power, or with any federal law, rule, regulation, or order which purports to authorize, the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant that particularly describes the person, place, and thing to be searched or seized.”

If the windup of that long sentence has a familiar ring, it should. The final dozen words are almost identical to key phrases in the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

In recent days, more than 15,000 people have signed a petition expressing support for the legislation. Launched by RootsAction.org, the petition is addressed to the bill’s two sponsors in the Washington legislature -- Republican Rep. David Taylor, whose district includes the NSA facility in Yakima, and Democrat Luis Moscoso from the Seattle area.

Meanwhile, a similar bill with the same title has just been introduced in the Tennessee legislature -- taking aim at the NSA’s center based in Oak Ridge, Tenn. That NSA facility is a doozy: with several hundred scientists and computer specialists working to push supercomputers into new realms of mega-surveillance capacities.

A new coalition, OffNow, is sharing information about model legislation. The group also points to known NSA locations in other states including Utah (in Bluffdale), Texas (San Antonio), Georgia (Augusta), Colorado (Aurora), Hawaii (Oahu) and West Virginia (Sugar Grove), along with the NSA’s massive headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland. Grassroots action and legislative measures are also stirring in several of those states.

One of the key organizations in such efforts is the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, where legal fellow Matthew Kellegrew told me that the OffNow coalition “represents the discontent of average people with … business-as-usual failure to rein in out-of-control domestic spying by the NSA and other federal departments like the FBI. It is a direct, unambiguous response to a direct, unambiguous threat to our civil liberties.”

In the process -- working to counter the bipartisan surveillance-state leadership coming from the likes of President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, the House Intelligence Committee’s chair Mike Rogers and the Senate Intelligence Committee’s chair Dianne Feinstein -- activists urging a halt to state-level support for the NSA include people who disagree on other matters but are determined to undermine the Big Brother hierarchies of both parties.

“By working together to tackle the erosion of the Fourth Amendment presented by bulk data collection,” Kellegrew said, “people from across partisan divides are resurrecting the lost art of collaboration and in the process, rehabilitating the possibility of a functional American political dialogue denied to the people by dysfunction majority partisan hackery.”

From another vantage point, this is an emerging faceoff between reliance on cynical violence and engagement in civic nonviolence.

Serving the warfare state and overall agendas for U.S. global dominance to the benefit of corporate elites, the NSA persists in doing violence to the Constitution’s civil-liberties amendments -- chilling the First, smashing the Fourth and end-running the Fifth.

Meanwhile, a nascent constellation of movements is striving to thwart the surveillance state, the shadowy companion of perpetual war.

This is a struggle for power over what kind of future can be created for humanity.

It’s time to stop giving juice to Big Brother.

________________________________________

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” Information about the documentary based on the book is at www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org.

Hear David Swanson Speak in Maine

Visit PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick.

David Swanson in Brunswick, Maine
Feb. 15, 2014 Saturday
3 - 5 p.m. Curtis Memorial Library
Sign up on Facebook.
Flyer: PDF.

David Swanson in Portland, Maine
Feb. 15, 2014 Saturday
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Lee Hall, Wishcamper Center, USM, 34 Bedford Street
Parking in garage next to Wishcamper
Flyer: PDF.

Talks & Book signings.

Free and open to the public.

David Swanson will discuss and sign copies of his new book, War No More: The Case for Abolition.

Swanson's books include When the World Outlawed War, named by Ralph Nader as one of the six books everyone should read; the best-selling classic War Is A Lie, and Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, of which Glenn Greenwald said, "There have now been many books written which chronicle the imperial, lawless presidency of the Bush era, but Swanson’s superb new book is one of the very few to examine how we can recover from it and reverse its pernicious trends."

Swanson is the host of Talk Nation Radio. He helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011. Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a
communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign.

He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org and works for RootsAction.org. Swanson is Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet.

These events are co-sponsored by: PeaceWorks, PeaceActionMaine, GlobalNetWork, CodePink Maine, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Maine Veterans for Peace, Brunswick Friends Meeing, PAM Action Committee.

For more information contact mSpiess@myfairpoint.net 207-865-3802.

Citing DeSmogBlog Series, "FrackNation" Screening Cancelled by MN Film Festival

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

"FrackNation," the documentary film about hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") with close conservative movement ties, recently had its showing cancelled at Winona, Minnesota's annual Frozen River Film Festival (FRFF).

Open Letter to The 85 Richest People on The Planet (cc: Kevin O’Leary) VIDEO

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org Responding to the Oxfam report that concluded that the world's 85 richest people own the same amount as the bottom half of the entire global population, self appointed spokesperson for the global elite, and celebrity Judge on the reality show The Shark Tank Kevin O’Leary,applauded the news, stating that is  “fantastic news (…) the motivation everybody needs (…) it inspires everyone to want to be like the 1%” and scoffing at the idea of “re-distribution of wealth” stated, “ I celebrate Capitalism.” His remarks inspire this open

What we learned touring Close Guantanamo NOW

by Debra Sweet         5 years ago yesterday Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo. But the Obama administration is still making arguments in US federal court, and to the public that indefinite detention is necessary in Bagram, Afghanistan, as well as other places. From Guantanamo and beyond: indefinite detention and other forms of torture are wrong and must be stopped!

Reproductive Rights in a State of Emergency

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

http://youtu.be/uo0_e5aVYA8

This Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which protected a women’s decision to have an abortion was marked by thousands of anti-abortion activists taking part in a march for life in Washington, D.C. Carrying signs saying “I AM the pro-life generation”, and “conceived from rape, I love my life” marches converged on the National Mall Wednesday and marched to the Supreme Court.

While public opinion on abortion has not shifted much since the 1970s, the war on female reproductive rights, which was raging at a fever pitch in 2013, continues to escalate.

Students Rally To Topple The TPP

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.orgClick here to stop Fast Track of the TPP: http://www.stopfasttrack.com Former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that if the people knew what was in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it would be impossible to get it signed. The Obama administration is going to great lengths to make sure that people do not know what is in the TPP before it gets signed into law, and have made “fast tracking” the TPP bill a top priority.

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