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Dear Colleagues, dear Friends:
First of all, thank you very much for organizing the very interesting and important Peace Event in Sarajevo from June 6th to 9th, which you’ve called “the biggest international peace event 2014.” You have put together a compelling program.
Weeks ago I purchased my flight tickets to Sarajevo. I looked forward to the meetings and discussions with colleagues. I was also grateful for the opportunity to show a film, “The Killing Floor,” and to co-present a workshop about the first Global Action Day against the Use of Drones for Surveillance & Killing on October 4, 2014.
Only very recently did I notice that the donors for Peace Event Sarajevo include not only respected NGOs and foundations, but also the French Foreign Ministry (Ministère des Affaires Etrangères) and USAID (United States Agency for International Development).
How can this be? What do the governments of France and the United States hope to achieve by financing a peace event in Sarajevo? Have you perhaps heardthis same concern from other conference participants?
After all, the U.S. is by far the most aggressive war power in the world, with annual military spending that dwarfs that of all other countries and with operations all over the planet in violation of the sovereignty of other nations and international law. Among European nations, France is playing a particularly aggressive role, especially in Africa, and is working to persuade its European partners in NATO and the EU to join in more military ventures, often in the guise of “peacemaking” and “humanitarian” intervention.
Since I am a U.S. citizen, in the remainder of this letter I wish to explain more fully why I strongly object to the acceptance of a donation from USAID for a peace conference.
As you must know, USAID was founded at the height of the Cold War in 1961 and has played a controversial role in U.S. government destabilization efforts in various countries ever since, beginning with Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The USAID website sets forth the mission of this agency:
“USAID is a U.S. Government agency that provides economic, development, and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States.”
“Although technically an independent federal agency, USAID operates subject to the foreign policy guidance of the President, Secretary of State, and the National Security Council.”
“Further, since 9/11, America’s foreign assistance programs have been more fully integrated into the United States’ National Security Strategy.”
Over the years, many countries have expelled USAID. In 2012 Russia expelled USAID because of “attempts to influence political processes through its grants,” and Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Venezuela called on all the Latin American ALBA countries to expel USAID.
It seems that these countries had good grounds to expel USAID. For example, in 2013 Wikileaks exposed how USAID worked in Venezuela to destabilize its government. In April 2014, an investigative article by the Associated Press exposed USAID attempts to destabilize Cuba by setting up a Cuban Twitter service. Some 40,000 Cubans joined the Twitter service, unaware of the U.S. role in setting it up. They also were unaware that the U.S. government was monitoring their private Twitter communications. The U.S. had planned to subsequently intervene in Cuban social networks by sending messages to the Twitter subscribers with the aim of fomenting unrest in Cuba. Reporting on the Cuban Twitter scandal, the well-known U.S. independent news program Democracy Now asked: “Is USAID the New CIA?”
Nearer to Sarajevo, USAID has played a leading role in the U.S. “regime change” effort in the Ukraine. USAID of course supports the coup government in Kiev, which includes acknowledged fascists and has unleashed terror and death on countless Ukrainians. Over the last twenty years, USAID pumped $1.8 billion into various Ukrainian projects, including $1.25 million to subsidize the pro-Kiev media in advance of the May 25th presidential election. In May 2014 USAID brokered a U.S. government loan guarantee of another billion dollars.
And here in Germany, USAID is partnered with AFRICOM, the United States Africa Command in Stuttgart, which is part of the Pentagon and the central command for all U.S. military ventures in Africa, including intelligence gathering, illegal drone murders, clandestine special forces ventures, and providing training and assistance for African military forces allied with the U.S. The U.S. military activities in Africa are often conducted in close association with those of France, and the U.S. has provided France with Reaper drones for use in Africa. To summarize, USAID provides a “humanitarian” veneer for brutal neo-colonial policies in Africa. USAID is the glove on the massive U.S. military fist.
Acceptance of the USAID donation damages the reputation of Peace Event Sarajevo 2014 and of its participants, and undermines the conference’s credibility.
Acceptance of the donation also helps the nefarious USAID to spruce up its image through association with well-respected peace activists, so that USAID can continue to “talk of peace” while preparing wars.
Peace Event Sarajevo 2014 should immediately return the USAID donation.
If for some reason it is not possible to return the USAID donation, Peace Event Sarajevo organizers should at the beginning of the conference disclose to all conference participants all details concerning the USAID donation, including how it came about, its amount, and any donor letters, contracts or correspondence.
Furthermore, Peace Event Sarajevo organizers must assure conference participants that their contact data and other personal information have not been and will not be made available to USAID for future schemes to influence social networks as was attempted by USAID in the Cuban Twitter project.
This article is a Truthout original.
Author Elsa Rassbach is US citizen, filmmaker and journalist, who often lives and works in Berlin, Germany. She heads the “GIs & US Bases” working group in DFG-VK (the German affiliate of War Resisters International, WRI) and is active in Code Pink, UNAC,No to NATO, and the anti-drone campaign in Germany. Her film short “We Were Soldiers in the ‘War on Terror’” has just been released in the U.S., and “The Killing Floor,” her award-winning film set in the Chicago Stockyards, will be re-released next year.
Originally posted at PoprularResistance.org
Several activists who were early initiators behind the Occupy movement have formed a new political party, The After Party. Carl Gibson and Radio Raheem are among them and they join Dennis to discuss the launch and future plans.
In the second half of the show, comedian Lee Camp, who performed at several Occupy encampments, talks about his new weekly comedy show, Redacted Tonight, now airing on RT every Friday night at 8:30 and 11PM EST.
About Reacted Tonight with Lee Camp |
This is a crosspost from www.news-beacon-ireland.info
published on Shannonwatch 2 June 2014
republished here under the term of Fair Use
On Tuesday May 27th, two members of Shannonwatch appeared in Ennis District Court to answer a charge under the Public Order Act, Section 8. This related to an incident that took place on October 13th 2013.
Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog
On Friday May 30, just a few days before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced details of its carbon rule proposal, the Obama Administration awarded offshore oil leases to ExxonMobil in an area of the Gulf of Mexico potentially containing over 172 million barrels of oil.
Memorial for Civic Activist John Judge Sustains His Legacy
Two hundred admirers of the late civic activist and historical researcher John P. Judge fostered his legacy during a memorial service May 31 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D), a next door neighbor and close friend, described Judge as an extraordinary truth-seeker in the spirit of the ancient Diogenes. And, Kucinich continued, "what better place for it than Washington, DC -- the capital of smoke and mirrors?"
Join the first Global Action Day Against the Use of Drones for Surveillance & Killing - October 4, 2014
As global citizens who believe in justice and the rule of law, we oppose weaponized and surveillance drones because their deployment:
- is used for extrajudicial "targeted" killings based merely on suspicion -- murders -- even of children inside and outside of war zones,
- violates democratic rights of freedom of speech and assembly and the right not to be unreasonably searched,
- terrorizes populations in targeted territories, thereby fueling hatred and increasing the cycle of violence,
- lowers the threshold to war and initiates a new round in the arms race,
- leads to the development of autonomous killer robots, thereby making even more horrifying wars likely.
We demand that all governments cease the production and acquisition of armed drones, as well as their research and development, and work towards a worldwide ban of these weapons.
We further demand that our governments prohibit the use of drones for surveillance and prohibit using space satellites, ground stations, and military bases to enable drone surveillance and to trigger drone killings.
We call on people all over the world to join us in the Global Day of Action on October 4.
To add your endorsement to this call or to send a URL link regarding your October 4th protest event, contact Colleen from CODEPINK at email@example.com.
Come to the Left Forum -5/31 & 6/1/2014 -in New York City to hear World Can't Wait/War Criminals Watch empowering 4 panels. Share this widely and invite all your friends, fellow & sister workers and family! Our first panel, Sat. 5/31- 3:20-4:50 pm is on CUNY students present struggle to shut down its restored ROTC after 40 years off campus & end Gen David Petraeus' tenure at CUNY.
Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org
note: This is an episode clip. The full episode, The Healing Power of Psychedelics, will publish at Acronym TV on Thursday, May 29.
Amber Lyon, 3-time Emmy award winning journalist, describes how her work as a journalist covering social justice issues lead to her suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and how experience with Ayahuasca cured her of the disorder and led to a radical spiritual and career shift.
I have been reading accounts of your recent trial and conviction following your arrest at the Occupy Wall Street celebration at Zuccotti Park in 2012.
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.
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
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.”
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 |
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.
Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org
DISCUSSED: Abortion, Pope Francis, Patriarchy, Does the choice movement need an “it gets better” campaign to empower women to not hide/ apologize about their abortions?, Roe v. Wade, Clinic defenders, Abortion stories, How the Bible teaches women to abort unwanted pregnancy, Bad Choices, Being a target of a pro-life “wanted” poster, Abortion as a local issue, Single women who love sex and don’t want babies.
Kelly Carlin and Katie Klabusich join Dennis this week on Acronym TV.
The latest on ThisCantBeHappening! radio: Interview with Jailed Occupy Activist Cecily McMillan's Attorney Martin Stolar
By Dave Lindorff
In this edition of Progressive Radio Network's "ThisCantBeHappening" radio program, host Dave Lindorff, focuses on the case of Occupy Movement activist Cecily McMillan, currently jailed at Riker’s Island without bail while awaiting sentencing on a conviction of felony assault of a police officer.
An international one-day strike by fast-food workers is something new, and also something old. People without a union are organizing and acting in solidarity. Others are joining in support of their moral demand for a living wage. They're holding rallies. They're shutting down restaurants. They're using Occupy's people's microphone. They're targeting the one-percenter CEO of McDonald's who apparently is paid $9,002 per hour for the public service of ruining our health with horrible tasting processed imitation food.
Jeremy Brecher has released a revised, expanded, and updated edition of his 40-year-old book, Strike, that includes the origins of these fast-food worker strikes and puts them in the context of a history of the strike in the United States dating back to 1877. This opening passage of Chapter 1 sets the context beautifully:
"In the centers of many American cities are positioned huge armories, grim nineteenth-century edifices of brick or stone. They are fortresses complete with massive walls and loopholes for guns. You may have wondered why they are there, but it has probably never occurred to you that they were built to protect America not against invasion from abroad but against popular revolt at home."
And what revolts there have been! Brecher's book should be read for inspiration. The most marginalized of workers have repeatedly taken matters into their own hands and won radical changes for the better. Success has followed selfless acts of solidarity. Failure has followed strategic calculation and compromise. The potential for greater victories has been frustrated time and again by the decision not to press working people's advantage forward -- a decision generally made by labor unions.
The vision of replacing capitalism has driven the efforts that have reformed it. A century ago, World War I provided the excuse to beat back workers. But their demands exploded upon the war's conclusion. Workers took over Seattle and ran the city, effectively replacing the government. In the 1930s, coal miners opened their own coal mines. Unemployed workers during the great depression joined picket lines in support of striking workers rather than competing with them. Workers at a rubber factory in Akron developed the sit-down strike, which spread like wildfire and might work well in McDonald's restaurants all over the world today. Customers could join workers by sitting in at tables and not eating. We could bring our own food; McDonald's has internet.
Brecher's book brings the story of strikes, including general strikes, up to the present. The lessons it teaches open up possibilities not usually considered. Brecher sums up what we're up against:
"The ideology of the existing society exercises a powerful hold on workers' minds. The longing to escape from subordination to the boss is often expressed in the dream of going into business for yourself, even though the odds against success are overwhelming. The civics book cliché that the American government represents the will of the people and is therefore legitimate survives even in those who find the government directly opposing their own needs in the interests of their employers. The desire to own a house, a car, or perhaps an independent business supports a belief in private property that makes expropriation of the great corporations seem to many a personal threat. The idea that everybody is really out for themselves, that it can be no other way, and that therefore the solution to one's problems must come from beating other people rather than cooperating with them is inculcated over and over by the very structure of life in a competitive society."
One day we will all strike, and we will strike for more than a day. We will strike until we replace the "very structure of life" with different ones. We'll strike forever, occupy everything, and never give it back.