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PROTEST US KILLER DRONES, JUNE 29, 2013 AT 3PM

900 block of Dolley Madison Blvd., Langley, VA
 
The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance calls for a protest at the Central Intelligence Agency on June 29, 2013 starting at 3PM opposing the continued use of drones by the US Military and CIA. The US Military is using drones in it's illegal wars of aggression and the CIA in particular is killing people with these extrajudicial death squads of the skies. We must come out and protest the killer drones and hold the CIA and US Government officials accountable.
 

Panel and Forum on the Disappearing Civil Liberties in The United States.

Where:  St. John’s Church, 2727 College Avenue, Berkeley, California

When:  June 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Americans' civil liberties are vanishing at an alarming rate, jeopardizing not only democracy but even the rule of law. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law by President Obama in January 2012, gives the President indefinite detention powers that threaten essential rights.

On June 11, an accomplished and energetic panel of speakers will outline the threats posed by the NDAA and as well as actions underway to challenge it. They will address critical questions such as: How can we act together to restore the rule of law? Is it too late to protect the civil liberties of future generations? 

Birgitta Jonsdottir (MP Iceland – Pirate Party) Poetician, Director of the International Modern Media Institute, co-producer of the aerial weapons team WikiLeaks “Collateral Murder” video,  Bradley Manning supporter, and plaintiff-litigant in the NDAA case Hedges v. Obama.  

Daniel Ellsberg America's most well-known whistleblower, Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers and changed Americans' attitudes about the Vietnam War. He is a founding board member of the Bradley Manning Support Network and the Freedom of the Press Foundation and plaintiff-litigant in the NDAA case Hedges v. Obama.  

Nadia Kayyali Legal fellow and organizer with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.  She has worked at the ACLU of Northern California, Bay Area Legal Aid, Common Ground Collective in New Orleans, and Occupylegal, where she supported Occupy activists at sites across the Bay  Area. 

Norman Solomon: Journalist, media critic, anti war activist, co – founder of Rootsaction.org, author of  “War Made Easy”.

Moderator:  Robert Jaffe, Volunteer Attorney challenging the NDAA in the case Hedges v. Obama. 

     Attendees will have a unique opportunity to learn more about and reflect on the increasing government surveillance of its citizens, including whistleblowers, journalists and activists. This surveillance is often conducted in the name of "security" and war powers, but is actually a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution. The very people who are calling Americans' attention to our government’s corruption, global militarization, and extra-judicial assassinations are being targeted for surveillance.

     However, the profound ongoing shift toward governmental overreach affects not just whistleblowers and journalists: it affects us all. On June 11, an interactive and co-creative discussion will highlight opportunities for direct action and real change.

     Sponsors include ACLU Berkeley Chapter, Alameda County Against Drones, Aquarian Minyan, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, CodePink, San Francisco 99% Coalition.  St. John’s Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, Occupy Bay AreaJewish Contingent, RootsAction.org.

I Am Bradley Manning

Flash! Bradley Manning Pleads Guilty to Reporting War Crimes

Bradley Manning Pleads Guilty to Ten Charges.

Bradley Manning wasn't committing a crime, he was reporting crimes.  First the torture of Iraqi dissidents by the puppet government then firing on wounded being evacuated. 

Chase Mader at Huffington Post wrote in 2011:

When Bradley Manning deployed to Iraq in October 2009, he thought that he’d be helping the Iraqi people build a free society after the long nightmare of Saddam Hussein. What he witnessed firsthand was quite another matter.

Dirty Wars Opens in D.C. Weekend of June 7-9

Dirty Wars, the new film featuring Jeremy Scahill, is playing every day at 12 noon, 2:30pm, 5:00pm, 7:30pm, and 9:55pm at Landmark's E Street Cinema, 555 11th St NW, Washington, DC

You can buy tickets now:
http://www.landmarktheatres.com/market/WashingtonDC/EStreetCinema.htm

Following the 12:00, 2:30, and 5:00 showings on June 7th, Amnesty International's Jiva Manske will lead a discussion of the film and of activism that can address some of what the film covers.

Following the 7:30 showing on June 7th, Code Pink will lead a discussion of issues surrounding the film.

Following the 2:30 screening on June 8th, RootsAction's David Swanson and Yemeni-American activist Rooj Alwazir will lead a discussion of the film and in particular of an imprisoned journalist whose story is told.

Following the 5:00 and 7:30 screenings on June 8th, Jeremy Scahill will take questions.

Following the 2:30 and 5:00 showings on June 9th, Afghan War whistleblower Matthew Hoh will lead a discussion of the film and whistleblowing.

For a more in-depth discussion, the following free and public event has been planned:

WHAT: Discussion of Jeremy Scahill's new film and book Dirty Wars

WHO:

  • Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield and star of the film by the same name.
  • Rooj Alwazir, Yemeni-American activist and co-founder of SupportYemen media collective.
  • A former operative with the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (name to be revealed at the event).

WHEN: 5-7 p.m., Saturday, June 8, 2013

WHERE: Busboys and Poets restaurant at 5th and K Streets NW, Washington, DC
http://www.busboysandpoets.com/about/5th-k

SPONSORS: Amnesty International, Code Pink, Peace Action, Iraq Veterans Against the War, RootsAction, Veterans for Peace.

Busboys is a restaurant, and you can order dinner during the event.
Books will be sold and signed.

Sign up on Facebook for Busboys event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/463016100456362/?fref=ts


and for opening weekend in general:
https://www.facebook.com/events/275208689282159/

Learn more: http://dirtywars.org/screenings/details/1785/5791

Companies use a progressive tool in very non-progressive ways: The "Cloudy" Skies Corporations Want to Sell You

By Alfredo Lopez

 

It's the nature of the shallow, consumer-driven, dream-drunken culture our society tries to impose on us that we popularly adopt terms without knowing what they mean and, more often than not, they don't mean much of anything.

Such is the case with "the Cloud".

Most people who use computers believe they know what it is except that everyone seems to have a different definition. From a satellite-based storage system to a virtually invisible network to a collection of hard drives all over the world to a new form of storage that doesn't require computers to...whatever new definition pops up this week. In any case, you have heard of the "cloud" and probably aren't sure what it really is.

Action for Bradley Manning Everywhere

h/t Ciaron O'Reilly

REPORT by Ben Griffin, Veterans for Peace, on June 1st London solidarity for Bradley Manning outside the U.S. embassy. 

PHOTOS June 1st, London solidarity for Bradley Manning outside U.S. embassy

VID  (2 mins 30 secs) Collage of speakers Peter Tatchel, singer David Rovics, military resister Michael Lyons, woman from Bradley's hometown in Wales, Veterans for Peace Ben Griffin

VID (2 mins 30 secs) Michael Lyons, Veterans for Peace, British Navy medic imprisoned for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan





VID (8 mins) Craig Murray former British ambassador to Afghanistan, whistleblower on torture


Ft, MEADE, MARYLAND, U.S.A.
VID (4 mins 40 secs) June 1st. Solidarity, Daniel Elsberg speaking, outside Ft. Meade site of military trial beginning on Monday June 3rd





REPORT & PHOTOS from Ft. Meade June 1st. solidarity with Bradley Manning


BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
VID (5 mins) Solidarity for Bradley Manning Brisbane, U.S.A.

Veterans For Peace Stands With Bradley Manning!

Mass Rally at Ft. Meade, Maryland, Saturday, June 1

Court Martial Begins on Monday, June 3,

Military veterans are turning out in force to show support for PFC Bradley Manningthis Saturday, June 1, 1 pm at Fort Meade, Maryland, on the eve of his historic court martial, which begins on Monday.  The diminutive 25-year-old Manning, who has acknowledged giving classified Army documents to Wikileaks about U.S. conduct of the wars Iraq and Afghanistan, is facing the possibility of life in prison. In what many people see as “overkill,” the Army has charged him with “Aiding the Enemy,” the most serious of 22 charges. 

Veterans For Peace is also organizing local marches and rallies on June 1, including in Seattle,Washington, (2 pm at Westlake Park, march to Victor Steinbreuck Park) and London, England (2 pm rally outside of US Embassy).  See contact info for Seattle and London, below.  Veterans For Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War will also participate in International Days of Action, June 1-8, in over 100 cities around the U.S. and worldwide, to demonstrate widespread support for PFC Manning.

What Manning released through Wikileaks was evidence of the routine killing of civilians by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the routine cover-up of these war crimes. The Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diaries also revealed that military and civilian leaders were lying to the U.S. people when they presented rosy assessments of the progress of those wars.

“Bradley Manning is a hero who wanted to aid the public, not a traitor who wanted to aid the enemy,” said Gerry Condon, a spokesperson for Veterans For Peace. “It is a shame that our nation did not pay more attention to the information he shared with us three years ago. Many lives could have been saved -- hundreds of Afghani civilians and hundreds of U.S. soldiers.”

PFC Manning has been held in prison for over three years, much of it in solitary confinement and under other abusive treatment, as documented by the United Nationsl Special Rapporteur on Torture.

The Army's court martial of Manning, which begins on Monday, is expected to continue throughout the summer, with the prosecution presenting over 100 government witnesses, many of them in secret testimony.  Veterans For Peace will participate in a daily vigil outside the front gate of Fort Meade.

The Army's presecution of Bradley Manning coincides with the Obama Administration's crackdown on whistle-blowers and journalists alike.  Over twice as many people are being prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act than in all previous administrations combined.

On Thursday, February 28, Bradley Manning detailed how he released classified military and government documents to Wikileaks, and he explained why he did so.

“I believed if the public, particularly the American public, could see this it could spark a debateon the military and our foreign policy in general as it applied to Iraq and Afghanistan. It might cause society to reconsider the need to engage in counter terrorism while ignoring the human situation of the people we engaged with every day.... I felt I accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience.”

One of the most moving aspects of Manning’s testimony was his explanation as to why he released the so-called “Collateral Murder” video, which shows the gunning down in Baghdad of two Reuters journalists and bystanders by American soldiers in a US Apache helicopter. Manning described being deeply troubled by the video, especially the crew’s “lack of concern for human life” and lack of “concern for injured children at the scene.”

Veterans For Peace, an international organization with chapters in over 100 cities, demands that the US Army drop all charges against Bradley Manning and release him from prison immediately.


                           or visit
www.veteransforpeace.organd www.bradleymanning.org

Manning and the Media: panel discussion, June 2 in D.C.

When: June 2, 20135:00-7:00 PM ET
Where: All Soul’s Church, 1500 Harvard Street NW, Washington DC, 20009 (Directions)
 
How has WikiLeaks changed and influenced journalism thus far? How will Bradley Manning’s trial affect the way the press functions in the U.S.?
 
Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, Government Accountability Project director and DOJ whistle-blower Jesselyn Radack, Center for Constitutional Rights president emeritus Michael Ratner, and former State Department employee Peter Van Buren will tackle these questions in a panel discussion at All Soul’s Church in Washington D.C. on Sunday, June 2, 2013, from 5-7 PM ET.
 
The panelists will examine how the information released by Bradley Manning helped shaped the public’s understanding of war, diplomacy, and government secrecy, and the way the press reports on each. They’ll explore how the government’s unprecedentedly broad interpretation of “aiding the enemy” in prosecuting Bradley Manning gravely threatens press freedoms in the United States.
 
Bradley Manning faces 21 charges and a potential life sentence for passing hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, exposing atrocities and corruption in order to spark a debate about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
Can’t make it to Washington D.C.? We’ll livestream the event at bradleymanning.org.
 
This event comes just one day after our major rally at Ft. Meade on June 1 and one day before Bradley Manning’s court martial begins, on June 3
 
The Bradley Manning Support Network, a project of a 501(c)3, funds 100% of PFC Manning's legal fees and educates the public about his case.

2013 Tax Day and the Global Day of Action on Military Spending

By Peace Blog

April 15, 2013 Japanese Peace Boat

April 15, 2013 Japanese Peace Boat

We need a movement that is global and grassroots, that will take action, educate and generate an alternative vision for global economic security for all. 

By Judith Le Blanc – Field Director, Peace Action

US Tax Day was different than Tax Days of the past. It was also the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS.) Events were organized around the world to make the release of the annual report on military spending by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. 

In the US and around the world, tens of thousands of leaflets were distributed, street theater, flash mobs, vigils, educational events, visits to parliaments, and marches were organized to draw attention to the impact of militarism on governments’ ability to respond to global problems of equity, justice and a secure future.

In South Korea, a group made an entertaining video using well-known children’s characters, Teletubbies, to make their point.

In the UK, a forum was conducted in the House of Parliament on why military spending should be redirected to meet human needs.

In Chile, actions were organized in nine cities.

See reports on other international actions on the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) website.

United States

Foreign Policy In Focus (project of Institute for Policy Studies) staff and interns. April 15, 2013

Foreign Policy In Focus staff and interns at the White House on April 15, 2013.

In 33 states and 86 cities and towns, peace, economic justice, faith based groups used Tax Day and GDAMS to continue grassroots pressure on Congress to change national spending priorities and end the austerity drive to cut jobs and human needs to balance the federal budget. The 86 events were not the total number of Tax Day actions. Other groups like Americans for Tax Fairness held events nationwide as well.

This year, the federal budget struggles gave new impetus to a coalition of groups and networks who traditionally organize Tax Day events to join with economic and racial justice groups to be a part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS.) Find the full list and contact info at the end of this blog.

In some cities, local affiliates of national groups supporting GDAMS worked together. In other towns or cities, new coalitions came together or individuals took action all with the goal of joingan international day of grassroots education on the distorted priorities reflected in 57% of annual US federal discretionary spending going to the Pentagon along side of tax loop holes for the rich and corporations while community services are cut and jobs lost.

Creative use of social media and online materials

The National Priorities Project, AFSC, Coalition on Human Needs, USAction, War Resisters League & Toolbox for Action and Social Action and Peace Action created background materials and  online interactive educational tools and leaflets. Sample Tweets were shared for use on Twitter and memes were created for Facebook.

A Thunderclap was organized and reached 233,071 people on Facebook and Twitter with the message, “ “Our Tax $ should go to the programs we need, not to Pentagon waste.”

Tax Day: a day of action, education and reflection.  

VA Organizing at teh Richmond, VA post office on April 15, 2013

VA Organizing at the Richmond, VA post office on April 15, 2013

We were present at countless post offices and town squares to engage our neighbors in conversation and reflect on why we must end the militarization of the federal budget. We used creative efforts to stir up awareness and engage our communities in changing national spending priorities from wars and ever-newer weapons to life!

Below are a few of the creative actions organized across the country. Go to the GDAMS Facebook page to see more pictures and reports.

Some groups focused on the most expensive, wasteful Pentagon budget item, the F35 military aircraft. For example, USAction reported “affiliates from coast to coast reminded America that twenty-six cents of every dollar we pay in taxes goes to the Pentagon – including colossal albatrosses like the F-35 fighter jet, nicknamed the “Fiasco-35.”  They mobilized 34,000 calls to Congress to stop the funding in order to provide urgently needed social services.

Others drew attention to what we need for a secure future. The third annual “If I Had a Trillion Dollars” Youth Film Festival sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee and The National Priorities Project culminated in Washington, DC on April 13-15. Watch the winning video, “Dear Congress Invest in US.”  It was nominated for  People’s Choice Award, keep your fingers crossed!

At the conclusion of the festival, 65 young people made 24 Congressional visits on Capitol Hill delivering the summary of the GDAMS report and then did an action on the National Mall. A delegation went to meet with the Department of Education. Money for books, not bombs!

American Friends Service Committee youth delegation to the US Department of Education on April 15, 2013.

American Friends Service Committee youth delegation to the US Department of Education on April 15, 2013.

 

In Milwaukee, WI, Tax Day was the first time for lobbying for young people in Peace Action Wisconsin’s Teen Peace Council. They created moving testimonies with photos on the impact of prioritizing the Pentagon over human needs for their families and community. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s staff warmly received them.

In Maryland, just before Tax Day, Montgomery County Peace Action partnered with Progressive Maryland for a Maryland Coalition to Fund Our Communities six-stop “Prosperity Not Austerity” bus tour that began in Baltimore, visited Annapolis, took in the Maryland suburbs and ended up at the US Capitol. Tour stops included a school in Baltimore, a church that helps feed those in need, a community college in Prince George’s County and a public library in Silver Spring. Speakers included the state director of the AFL-CIO, the President of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1994, a Memorial AME church minister and USAction Executive Director, Jeff Blum.

Peace Action Binghamton University (NY) April 15, 2013 Cup of Peace Song event.

Peace Action Binghamton University (NY) April 15, 2013 Cup of Peace Song event.

In Binghamton, NY, 45 students participated in Peace Action Binghamton University chapter’s Have a Cup of Peace Song competition with cash prizes. After the performance a video created by the students called the Cost of War was shown followed by a discussion.

In Royal Oak, MI, Michigan Citizen Action and Peace Action MI partnered for a “Pull the Pork from the Pentagon” rally.  750 leaflets were handed out calling on US Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, chair of the Armed Services Committee, to keep a focus on reining in wasteful Pentagon spending. The Macomb Daily Tribune, Detroit Free Press and Detroit News covered the event.

 In Charleston, WVA, West Virginia Citizen Action Group joined West Virginia Patriots for Peace in distributing 500 leaflets at the downtown post office, with the message, ‘Call US Senator Manchin to cut Pentagon Pork.” The event was covered in the state’s largest newspaper, the Charleston Gazette.

In Des Moines, Iowa, a rally was held in front of the Iowa Economic Development Authority organized by American Friends Service Committee and the Catholic Peace Ministry. Speakers included an AFSCME Retiree, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, American Friends Service Committee, Iowa Citizen Action Network, Alliance for Retired Americans, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, Progress Iowa and small business owners.

In Kansas City, MO, a Tax Day demonstration with the theme,” The U.S. Deficit Debate is a Crime” was organized by the American Friends Service Committee and cosponsored by Jobs Now!, Kansas City Federation of Teachers, Occupy KC, PeaceWorks/KC, and Physicians for Social Responsibility/KC. Representatives from endorsing groups testified before the Jackson County Legislature’s Finance and Audit Committee on the Move the Money Campaign that is focused on changing the federal budget priorities.

Demonstration and leafleting in downtown Cleveland, OH on April 15, 2013.

Demonstration and leafleting in downtown Cleveland, OH on April 15, 2013.

In MA, due to the bombing of the Boston Marathon, the Tax Day/GDAMS actions were postponed in Boston, Northampton and Fall River. In Boston, American Friends Service Committee and Mass Peace Action working with the Budget for All Coalition are organizing a May 16 the march and rally endorsed by a cross section of labor and community groups: Mass. AFL-CIO, Mass. Jobs with Justice, Mass. Alliance of HUD Tenants, Disability Policy Consortium, Sierra Club/Boston, Boston Workers Alliance, ACTUP/Boston, Human Rights City Boston & Beyond, Survivors Inc, SEIU Local 509 Lavender Caucus, American Federation of Government Employees Local 3258 and  Local 1164 and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Rallies in Northampton and Fall River will also be held on May 16 & 17. For more information: http://masspeaceaction.org/

For more US reports go to the GDAMS website.

We need a movement that is global and grassroots, that will take action, educate and generate an alternative vision for global economic security for all. 

Acting together with our sisters and brothers around the world to highlight the impact of military spending on meeting global human needs is an important step towards a national dialogue on US foreign policy.

To succeed in reordering government priorities and compelling changes for an economy that guarantees decent, union, good paying jobs, requires that we move towards multi-lateral action and stronger, more equitable , diplomatic relationships with countries around the world to solve the urgent political, economic and security issues.

Peace Action was proud to be the Global Day of Action on Military Spending US convener this year. Peace Action affiliates worked with our allies  on events in 15 states.

On a national level, it was yet another wonderful opportunity to work closely with organizers who went the extra mile for a successful US GDAMS events: American Friends Service Committee, Coalition for Human Needs, Fellowship of Reconciliation National Priorities Project, New Priorities Network and USAction! Big thanks to Mary Zerkel (AFSC), Angela Evans (CHN) and Barabara Helmick (UASAction) for helping to collect local reports and photos…and OSPG (On the Spot Political Guidance!)

And a hearty thank you to the GDAMS staff: Colin Archer, Secretary General of the International Peace Bureau and Mylene Soto, Program Coordinator, International Peace Bureau and GDAMS 2013.

The US groups supporting  Tax Day and the Global Day of Action on MIlitary Spending events: 

Alliance for Global Justice 

American Friends Service Committee 

Coalition on Human Needs 

Fellowship Of Reconciliation 

Foreign Policy in Focus, project of Institute for Policy Studies 

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance 

Jobs Not War Campaign

National Priorities Project 

National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee 

New Priorities Network 

Peace Action 

Pentagon Budget Campaign 

Progressive Democrats of America 

School of the Americas Watch 

United for Peace and Justice 

USAction 

US Labor Against the War 

Veterans for Peace 

War Resisters League 

Women’s International League for Peace And Freedom

IMBY: The Afghanistan War Comes Home to Philadelphia

By Dave Lindorff


(This article was originally written on assignment forwww.counterpunch.org)


Appearances/Protests of War Criminals

June 2013 War Criminal Appearances

George Bush      6/13-13 - Lakeside CA - protest

Michael Moore, Oliver Stone Sign NYT Ad to Close Guantanamo

 

by Debra Sweet          The powerful Close Guantanamo NOW message signed now by 1700 people including notable artists and writers, appeared in The New York Times just before President Obama spoke Thursday on how he will carry forward a “just” war, normalizing, and in some ways escalating U.S. use of targeted assassination and indefinite detention.  

LEFT FORUM: 3 War Criminals Watch/World Can't Wait Panels

 

Targeted Killing, Drone Warfare, Surveillance & Grassroots Resistance: the Obama Doctrine

Saturday, 8th of June  03:40 pm-05:20 pm, Room W622

June 1: Mass rally for Pfc. Bradley Manning at Ft. Meade

Speakers: Daniel Ellsberg, Birgitta Jonsdottir, Ethan McCord, Col. Ann Wright (Ret.), Lt. Dan Choi, Sarah Shourd
March: 2 PM, Reece Rd. and US 175, Ft. Meade, MD
Rally: featured speakers will talk at 3 PM, at Llewellyn Ave. and US 175
 
A thousand supporters of Army whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning will come from around the country for a mass demonstration on Saturday, June 1 at Ft. Meade, MD. They will use marching, theater, creative visuals and other actions to protest against his imprisonment, two days before his court martial is set to begin, on June 3, 2013.

 
Speakers for the rally will include Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower; Ethan McCord, the soldier who saved the children attacked in the Collateral Murder video released by WikiLeaks; Col. Ann Wright (ret.), the most senior state department official to resign in protest of the Iraq war; Birgitta Jonsdottir, Icelandic parliamentarian and co-producer of the Collateral Murder video; Sarah Shourd, hiker imprisoned by Iran turned prisoner rights activists; and Lt. Dan Choi, prominent anti-Don’t Ask Don’t Tell activist featured on the Rachel Maddow show.

To show their support for Bradley Manning's third consecutive Nobel Peace Prize nomination, the crowd will hang hundreds of handmade peace medals on the gates of Ft. Meade, each one representing 300 people who've signed a petition in support of him receiving the honor.
 
Buses will be coming to the event from Syracuse, NY, New York City, Philadelphia, Willimantic, CT, New Brunswick, NJ, Baltimore and Washington D.C. and more supporters will be joining them from across the country and the world. More than 1,200 people have signed on to attend at the event’s Facebook page.
 
Bradley Manning’s actions exposed the true number of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S.-supported torture in Iraq, and a pattern of corporate influence on U.S. foreign policy worldwide.
 
Despite pleading guilty to charges of mishandling classified information, which could put him in jail for up to 20 years, the military is pursuing 22 charges including one count of “aiding the enemy,” which carries a sentence of life without parole. By the time Manning’s trial begins on June 3, he will have been in prison for more than three years since his arrest in May 2010.
 
The Bradley Manning Support Network funds 100% of PFC Manning's legal fees and educates the public about his case.

Abolish the CIA

 

A message to RootsAction members from Douglas Valentine, author of
The Phoenix Program:
Lies about Iraq. Cash to corrupt Afghanistan.  Drone wars
waged in secret.  Blowback endangering us all. The CIA does not exist to defend our
freedoms. Wrapped in government secrecy, it exists to assure the political security of
rich political elites. CIA operations -- engaging in secret, legally protected wars, sabotage,
subversion, murders and tortures -- create enemies that Americans fear. And the agency
is an instrument of psychological warfare aimed at you and me. 

Background:
Douglas Valentine: The Phoenix Program
CNN: Karzai: CIA Promises to Continue Cash Payments
The Atlantic: Drone War Has More Victims Than Bush-Era CIA Scandals
Washington Post: An Alternative Explanation for Benghazi


It's time we stop funding this out-of-control agency.

CLICK HERE.

 

HOLDING OUR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE: FILING A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT FOR WAR CRIMES

 

It could have been any kind of gathering between friends as I sat with six others in Malachy Kilbride’s living room in Arlington, VA on the morning of May 21, 2013, drinking coffee and munching on pastries.  Besides Malachy and me, we were joined by David Barrows, Max Obuszewski, Manijeh Saba, Ray McGovern, and Ted Majdosz.  But there was a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air that morning.  We have risked arrest together many times before acting in resistance to the illegal and immoral actions of our government, but today we were going to try something different. 

Protesting War Criminal Rice's (Hypocritical) Speech "Why Democracy Matters" to Minnesota "Law Day" Participants

Women Against Military Madness’ “Tackling Torture at the Top” Committee will lead a demonstration outside the Minneapolis Hilton, 1001 Marquette Avenue South, beginning at 4:00 p.m.  (Thursday, May 23).  

A number of peace activists will be wearing orange jumpsuits, to keep reminding the world of the innocent Gitmo detainees who are on hunger strike because they are so hopeless at being held indefinitely without the right to even know of the charges against them.  

It should be recalled that Guantanamo was initially created by the Bush Administration (also under the tutelage of Condi Rice) by deliberate design, to illegally serve as a location where international and US Constitutional rule of law would not interfere with the indefinite holding and abuse of US prisoners.  Our efforts will hopefully bolster Obama to announce this afternoon in his scheduled “national security speech” (being reported by NY Times “Obama, in a Shift, to Limit Targets of Drone Strikes”) that he will reduce drone assassinations and apparently finally start releasing some of the Gitmo detainees.  

Why would the Minnesota legal community choose to invite, of all people, Condi Rice to speak here when she has repeatedly demonstrated little or no regard for U.S. law?  It should be recalled that Condi is the former official who made up “mushroom cloud” stories to help George Bush lie the U.S. into war on Iraq, killing over a million people, and who also gave the order to the CIA to torture.  Conspiracy to torture is a felony under U.S. Code in both Title 18, Section 2340 and 2441.  The Convention Against Torture requires the criminal prosecution of complicity in torture.   So, not only is the hypocrisy breathtaking but it’s doubtful the Minnesota legal audience will get an honest answer out of her ostensibly hypocritical speech entitled: “Why Democracy Matters.”  If theMinnesota “Law Day” participants actually cared about upholding the law, they would have their keynote speaker arrested for war crimes.  

Protest at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at 10 a.m. This Friday

You know how the government is owned by the lobbyists? Well, on Friday, we're marching on the lobbyists.

A group of unemployed workers and their families have spent the last week marching all the way from Philadelphia to DC, with the intent of marching on the US Chamber of Commerce's headquarters this Friday, May 24th. Their march is called "Operation Green Jobs," and they'll be holding the US Chamber accountable for buying off congress and using their millions to stop action on jobs, climate change, and a more equitable tax code.

WHO: Operation Green Jobs
WHAT: March on the US Chamber of Commerce
WHEN: Friday, May 24 at 10 AM
WHERE: 1615 H St NW, Washington DC 20062
If you can't make it in person, you can still join the virtual march at http://shutthechamber.org/virtualmarch. All you need to do is click the link, tell your story of how corporate greed has affected you, and your story will be seen by the world with your permission.

Whether it's any of the imperial wars for resources, catastrophic climate change, crippling poverty and unemployment or austerity, all roads lead to the US Chamber of Commerce and their lobbying efforts. Join the march in DC on Friday, or join the virtual march at http://shutthechamber.org/virtualmarch.

In solidarity,
Carl Gibson

Lead Organizer, Shut The Chamber

Final Push for Signers & Donors for NY Times Full Page Ad

by Debra Sweet               The timing could not be better for our message to appear in The New York Times.  We are making a major push today for $9,703 to place the ad immediately for publication on stand-by this week. President Obama will give a major speech Thursday at the National Defense University in Washington, reportedly about drones and Guantanamo. 

Jobs Not Wars Actions

Labor Day parade[DOWNLOAD PDF] Toolkit for Jobs Not Wars June Actions

Toolkit Contents

  • Connecting with Partners in Your Area
  • Ideas for Organizing Actions
  • Researching Federal Cuts to Social Programs
  • Researching Military Contractors and CEOs in Your Area
  • Focusing on Economic Conversion
  • Sample Press Release

The Jobs Not Wars campaign proposes actions throughout the country from Friday, June 21st to Wednesday, July 3rd. We are asking endorsing organizations to organize local actions or events that highlight the disparities between military contracts and social spending in the federal budget, as these play out in our communities. The aims of the actions are:

  • to make visible the sites and corporations where military contracts enrich a few, or serve immoral and useless wars, and the places and people hurt by federal budget cuts to social programs;
  • to put forward the vision and prospect of converting military spending to projects that both generate jobs and serve desperately needed and socially constructive ends;
  • to help create coalitions of local people, especially those who have not worked together before; and
  • to reach people that previous actions have not reached.

 

Our goal is to help create more awareness about the causes and effects of war, Pentagon spending, and budget cuts. We are compelled to peacefully stand up, articulate a vision, and demand change.

I. Connecting with partners in your area

Most organizations will want to work with other groups to organize an action or event. To identify local partners, feel free to contact members of the Jobs Not Wars campaign team: Michael Eisenscher (michaele@jobs-not-war.org); Mary Hladky (mhladky@earthlink.net); Sally Weiss and Carl Moos (sallyweissJNW@crocker.com), 413-320-2283; Michael McPhearson (michaelvfp@gmail.com); and John Lindsay-Poland (johnlp@forusa.org), 510-282-8983. We can also connect you with individuals in your area who signed the Jobs Not Wars statement.

Find Jobs Not Wars endorsing groups on this map. If you see other groups in your area whom you don’t know, check links to the groups on the Jobs Not Wars site, or contact us.

Find groups that organized actions to re-orient federal spending on Tax Day at this map.

Groups that organized actions for the Global Day of Action on Military Spending are listed here. Find groups that organized actions on drones in April at this map.

II. Ideas for Organizing Actions

Actions will place a spotlight on the priorities and needs of the majority of people.

The LEPOCO Peace Center in Pennsylvania organized a tax day walk in 2011 that witnessed outside the places that suffer under budget cuts proposed at both the state and federal levels – see photos here.

Groups may wish to focus on some specific issues of federal spending that you work on, or that are especially relevant in your area. These might include:

  • Protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits
  • Cuts to Head Start and public education
  • Excessive CEO compensation for military corporations and income inequality
  • F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and waste
  • Nuclear weapons development
  • US military aid to Israel
  • Use of weaponized drones
  • US military in Latin America

CODEPINK in April organized protests at General Atomics in San Diego (see Los Angeles Times coverage), maker of Predator drones, and at the home of its CEO in La Jolla, Calif.

Some groups have expressed interest in conversations between anti-war activists, social service proponents, and labor unionists.

What’s important is that you take organizing on federal budget priorities to a new place, use your imagination, and connect people who have been part of anti-war activism and advocacy for social services, as well as those impacted by federal budget cuts.

III. Researching the issues in your area

Researching Federal Cuts to Social Programs

Locating the Social Security office in your area. Social Security and Medicare benefits would be reduced in Republican and White House budget proposals by what is known as ‘Chained CPI.’ Locate the Social Security office nearest you at this site.

Food Stamps in Your Community. Use this interactive tool to find the number of people in your county receiving Food Stamps, how it’s changed since 2000, and the percentage of the population receiving them.

The National Priorities Project has created interactive tools to calculate how much the federal government spends in your state and county (and proposes to in 2014) by sector.

The Coalition on Human Needs produces Sequester Impact: Weekly Summaries that you can download or receive from CHN. You can also see a map of sequester impacts produced by the Center for American Progress, which may show some in your area, with links to news sources.

Download this Sequestration Toolkit (sample press release, letter to the editor, tweets, how to tell your story, helpful graphics) from the Half in Ten Campaign, a project of the Coalition for Human Needs, Center for American Progress and the Leadership Conference.

The National Education Association has an Ed Flight campaign (take a picture of yourself holding a paper airplane and post it to Congress)

MoveOn Petition:   Fix the Sequester Cuts for the Poor, Not Just Congressional Travel

Background Information:


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:  Congress Addresses Flight Delays But Leaves Other Sequestration Problems Unsolved by Sharon Parrott, Vice President for Budget Policy and Economic Opportunity, April 26, 2013.

Coalition on Human Needs:  Fear of Flying: Congress Fixes Waits in Airports but Lets the Poor Wait One More Year for Housing Vouchers, in Human Needs Report, April 30, 2013.

“21 Statistics About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Everyone Should Know” by Michael T. Snyder.

Center for American Progress, Sequestration Nation: Congress Acts to Ease Sequestration’s Pain on Air Travelers by Kwami Boadi, April 29, 2013.

Researching Military Contractors and CEOs in Your Area

1.   Draw on knowledge that you and allies have already developed. Many groups and activists have researched and acted around military contractors. While information often changes, this experience and knowledge can be important for understanding what the contractor does and how it contributes to war, logistics of protesting, company labor, economics of conversion, local government relations, etc.

2.   Contact Jobs Not Wars organizers to talk. We can help you talk through your action, learn about military contractor sites and social spending cuts, and connect with other organizers.

3.   Identify Pentagon contractors in your zip code or Congressional district. 

A. Use the web site usaspending.gov/advanced-search to search for Pentagon contracts in your area. In the field for “Department/Agency” select Dept of Defense (at bottom of list); select a fiscal year or years; in “Place of Performance Location” select a zip code, state or Congressional district, and click on “Search” button at top of screen.

B. Here is a list of the top 100 Pentagon contractors and the amount they received in 2012. Many of these contractors have multiple sites around the country in addition to their corporate headquarters, which can be a focus for Jobs Not Wars actions or events.

C. An initial map of military contractors is here.

D. The collaborative watchdog project Crocodyl produced critical informative profiles of 27 military contractors in 2010, posted here.

4.      Locate military contractor CEOs made wealthy by Pentagon pork.

A.  Find the addresses of homes of CEOs of larger corporations here.

B.  Find out how much the most highly paid Pentagon contractor CEOs are compensated from The Washington Post and Forbes.

C.  Learn about the revolving door between corporate contractors and Pentagon generals, Strategic Maneuvers: The Revolving Door from the Pentagon to the Private Sector, a report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

5.      Find out how much the corporation spent on lobbying and campaign contributions.

Pentagon contractors employ hundreds of lobbyists to influence federal government decisions, and contribute many millions to candidates’ campaigns, creating an unfair playing field and distorting policy. In the first three months of this year, while Congress and the White House made budget proposals, Pentagon contractors spent more than $33 million on lobbying. Use the Open Secrets database on lobbying and database on corporate campaign contributions.

6.      Learn about fraud, corruption of military contractors.

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) maintains a Contractor Misconduct Database that compiles information, reports, and sources on federal contractor fraud, kickbacks, discrimination, environmental pollution, etc., by corporation.

7.      Skills for researching military contractors.

Watch the webinar led by POGO researcher Nick Schwellenbach on researching military contracts. (62-minute video here)

Use the tools at Strategic Corporate Research: Looking Inside the Corporate World.

Focusing on Economic Conversion from Military to Non-Military Activity

Total Jobs Created1.  An important study by University of Massachusetts economists (pdf here) shows that “investments in clean energy, health care and education create a much larger number of jobs across all pay ranges,” including high-paying jobs (over $64,000 a year), than military spending does. Education spending generates more than twice as many jobs as Pentagon spending. Bruce Gagnon urges us to “to internalize those study results so [we] can write and speak about them clearly.”

2.  Miriam Pemberton of the Institute for Policy Studies has been researching and promoting economic conversion of Pentagon spending for many years. She’s produced this fact sheet on replacing defense industry jobs and an offer to collaborate with local activists for such transitions. She recently posted the top 10 myths of the jobs argument against military cuts as well as a short analysis of sequestration about why the Pentagon is due for downsizing.

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 [DOWNLOAD PDF]

Toolkit for Jobs Not Wars June Actions

Ensure That The NY Times Close Guantanamo Ad Gets Published

by Debra Sweet  Yesterday, Pentagon officials claimed the president has authorization to pursue war without limits of time or space, saying the Authorization of Use of Military Force passed in 2001 means war could go on, as Dick Cheney said, "for generations."

If We Don't Speak Out Now, When Will We?

by Debra Sweet          If you haven't signed and donated to publish the Close Guantanamo ad in The New York Times, please do so now & make it count DOUBLE: we get matching funds from a generous donor up to $5,000 by noon Friday, May 17.

100 Day Guantanamo Hunger Strike Press Conference at National Press Club Thursday, May 16, 10am

Washington, DC -- On Thursday, May 16th at 10am CODEPINK will be hosting a press conference in the Zenger Room at the National Press Club. As the health of the striking prisoners deteriorates, human rights advocates and military officials are speaking out, calling on President Obama to take immediate action to close the prison.

 

The High North and International Security Conference

June 27- 29, 2013, Kiruna, Sweden

Welcome to the land of the Midnight Sun in Northern Sweden!  Welcome to take part in a two-day conference and listen to a gathering of experts who will educate you about how space is used in global warfare.  2013 marks the 21st year of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

International authors and activists will give lecturers about how the North has developed to be one of the most important places for space warfare, how satellites and drones are used, and inform you about the dangerous National Missile Defence, the Galileo installations, radars and more. You will also be educated about the many NATO war exercises taking place in the North at the largest training field for war, called NEAT, which surrounds the City of Kiruna. Samic people will be present to tell about the impacts of these war exercises on their lives.

We have to be knowledgeable and take action. For that purpose we will have a vigil at Esrange - the world biggest space ground station a couple of miles outside the City of Kiruna.

q       Global Networks members and speakers will stay here: http://www.kiruna.fhsk.se/logi-konferens/boende/   

q       Kiruna Airport is located 10 km from the Centre. Buses are running. There are direct flights to Kiruna from Stockholm and Copenhagen.

q       There is no registration costs, the conference is free.

q       People have to pay for lodging. We expect people from the whole North. (See hostel list below)

q       Everyone have to pay $50 for one dinner and 2 lunches.

q       Breakfast will be available at the Malmfältets logi & Konferens, Campingvägen 3

 

Conference Programme:

Thursday June 27th

Arrival at Kiruna Airport. Coach to Kiruna. Speakers will be collected at the airport by Women for Peace.

17.00 - 20.00 Registration: Malmfältens logi and Conference, Campingvagen 3.

Gathering and snacks.

 

Friday, June 28th

8.00    Registration.

9.30    Gun-Britt Mäkitalo, Women for Peace,

            Siw Holma, parliamentarian for the Left Party

            Bruce Gagnon, Introduces the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

10.00  Bård Wormdal, Space Installations in the North - author, The Satellite War.

10.45  Representatives from Esrange or IRF inform about the space activities.

11.30  Questions and discussion.

12.30   Lunch

14.00  Departure for Esrange.

19.00  Dinner at Malmfältens Logi and Conference.

 

Saturday, June 29th

9.30  Lectures about Space-related issues:

National Missile Defence, Drones, Galileo, Esrange and so on.....Bruce Gagnon (US) Dave Webb (UK) Regina Hagen (Germany) and others not yet confirmed.

12.30 Lunch

14.00 Workshops about important issues. India-ESA Space Cooperation, War games - impact on the Samic Society, The Race for Arctic resources and more.

16.30 Gathering and discussion.

Dinner-place to be confirmed.

 

Sunday, June 30th  

9.00  – 13.00 Global Network yearly membership meeting (all are welcome)

 

Details about the conference/Visa letter requests: Agneta Norberg, lappland.norberg@gmail.com      

Hostels

Kiruna Hostel                                         www.hotelcity.se

Malmfältens logi & Conferens           www.logikonferens.se

Tommy´s House                                   info@tommyshouse.se

Youth Hostel Point North                   www.pointnorth.se

Yellow Hostel                                        www.yellowhouse.nu 

  

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Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
www.space4peace.org

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