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- Join UNAC at the rally to end Stop and Frisk in New York City.
As you may know, there will be a very important rally and silent march against Stop and Frisk in New York City on June 17. At a May 6 New York City meeting called by UNAC and the Muslim Peace Coalition we decided to support the demonstration and build a contingent where we will be marching with the demands of: End Stop and Frisk, Stop Spying on Muslims, Stop Promoting Islamophobia, Stop Waging War on Us.
Our antiwar and anti-Islamophobia contingent will gather with some others at 110th St. and 8th Ave at 1 PM (this is different than what was sent out before). Please join us.
There are downloadable flyers for our contingent and the rally at the UNAC web site at www.UNACpeace.org.
The march is organized by SEIU 1199, NAACP, National Action Network and others.
Endorsers of our contingent include: UNAC, Muslim Peace Coalition, Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan NY, Interfaith Center of NY, May 1st Workers and Immigrant Rights Coalition, Muslim alliance in North America (MANA), Women in Islam, Solidarity with Iran, International Action Center, Free Mumia Coalition, International Socialist Organization, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Venceramos Brigade, Muslim Consultative Network, DRUM, Pakistan USA Freedom Forum, Bail Out the People Movement, Occupy Hartford, Ct. Indefinite Detention Coalition, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms.
For transportation information to New York for June 17, please contact Toka at 860-680-7247 or Mongi at 860-514-8038 from Connecticut, Joe at 518-439-1968 from upstate, NY, for Boston, Marilyn at 781-316-2018. For all other areas, please send an email to UNACpeace@gmail.com
Please spread the word about the rally and our contingent.
- Join UNAC to protest at the political conventions
At the UNAC convention in March, we voted to support demonstrations at the Democratic and Republican conventions. On our last Coordinating Committee Conference call we voted to make a financial contribution to organizations organizing both protests. Please start organizing transportation from your area for these demonstrations. Information can be found at the web sites below:
Protest at the Democratic Convention: http://wallstsouth.org/
Protest at the Republican Convention: http://marchonthernc.com/
- Support those arrested in Chicago at the NATO/G8 protests
The Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild has condemned the actions of the police during their attacks on the anti-NATO & G8 protesters in Chicago on May 20. Their report can be found here: http://nlgchicago.org/.
As you may know, there are still 8 people being held on serious felony charges. These include the NATO 5, all with terrorism charges under an Illinois law. Their defense is being organized by Occupy Chicago. Please go to the Occupy Chicago web site for more information on the defense: www.Occupychi.org.
Please call States Attorney Anita Alvarez at 773-674-6209 and demand that all charges be dropped against the anti-NATO/G8 protesters.
- Victory for Carlos Montes.
There has been an important victory in the case of Carlos Montes. Due to public protest, three felony charges against him have been dropped on the condition that he plea “no contest” on a single count of perjury with no jail time. The original charges could have resulted in 18 years in state prison.
This victory is due to the defense efforts of those of us who supported him. A very public campaign was waged in support of Montes. This shows that, even during this period of continual attacks on civil liberties, victories can be won when a public campaign is waged. When their attacks are done in the public eye, the government realizes that it will pay a political price for attacks on our civil liberties and will often back off.
Carlos Montes’ home was raided on May 17, 2011 by combined forces of the LA County Sheriff’s Swat Team and the FBI, by crashing his door down at 5 a.m. with automatic assault rifles drawn. Montes’ charges centered around the fact that he owns firearms. This apparently is illegal for someone convicted of a felony. The prosecutor claimed that Montes had been convicted of a felony for allegedly throwing an empty soda can at a demonstration that took place decades ago.
Montes is a longtime Chicano community and antiwar leader. His case should be seen in the context of the other 23 antiwar and solidarity activists who have had their homes raided by the FBI and who have been handed subpoenas to appear before a federal grand jury. The victory in the Montes’ case shows the way forward for others who are attacked by the government including the other 23 antiwar and solidarity activists, the NATO protesters, Muslims and others. Montes’ and the other 23 antiwar and solidarity activists are being defended by the Committee to Stop FBI repression. You can support these defense cases at www.stopfbi.net.
More Than Entrapment, More Than a Frame-Up, the Crucifixion of the NATO 3, Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly. The NATO 3 are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, June 12.
To paraphrase Winston Churchill, rarely in history has so much been so wrong with a case in which so much is at stake. The story of the NATO 3 is either the story of the most inept, harebrained terrorists in history meeting the Keystone Cops, or a terrifying retaliation by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's police department for the posting of a Youtube video which documented illegal police behavior.
Chris Hedges' and Joe Sacco's new book, "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt," is a treasure. Hedges wrote the plain text. Sacco produced the text-heavy cartoon sections and other illustrations, which even I -- not a big fan of cartoon books -- found to enrich this book enormously.
Some years ago, I watched a screening of a film about Daniel Ellsberg and the release of the Pentagon Papers. The film was shown in the U.S. Capitol, and Ellsberg was present, along with others, to discuss the movie and take questions afterwards.
I've just read Chris Hayes' new book "Twilight of the Elites," and am reminded of the question that progressive blogger and then-Congressman Alan Grayson staffer Matt Stoller asked Ellsberg.
What, Stoller wanted to know, should one do when (following the 2003 invasion of Iraq) one has come to the realization that the New York Times cannot be trusted?
The first thing I thought to myself upon hearing this was, of course, "Holy f---, why would anyone have ever trusted the New York Times?" In fact I had already asked a question about the distance we'd traveled from 1971, when the New York Times had worried about the potential shame of having failed to publish a story, to 2005 when the New York Times publicly explained that it had sat on a major story (about warrantless spying) out of fear of the shame of publishing it.
But the reality is that millions of people have trusted and do trust, in various ways and to various degrees, the New York Times and worse. Ellsberg's response to Stoller was that his was an extremely important question and one that he, Ellsberg, had never been asked before.
It's a question that Hayes asks in his book, which can be read well together with Chris Hedges' "Death of the Liberal Class." Hedges' book goes back further in U.S. history to chart the demise of liberal institutions from academia to media to labor. Hayes stays more current and also more conceptual, perhaps more thought-provoking.
Hayes charts a growing disillusionment with authorities of all variety: government, media, doctors, lawyers, bankers. We've learned that no group can be blindly trusted. "The cascade of elite failure," writes Hayes, "has discredited not only elites and our central institutions, but the very mental habits we use to form our beliefs about the world. At the same time, the Internet has produced an unprecedented amount of information to sort through and radically expanded the arduous task of figuring out just whom to trust." Hayes calls this "disorienting."
While I have benefitted from Hayes' brilliant analysis, I just can't bring myself to feel disoriented. I can, however, testify to the presence of this feeling in others. When I speak publicly, I'm often asked questions about how to avoid this disorientation. I spoke recently about the need to correct much of what the corporate media was saying about Iran, and a woman asked me how I could choose which sources of news reporting to trust. I replied that it is best to watch for verifiable specifics reported by multiple sources, to begin by questioning the unstated assumptions in a story, to study history so that facts don't appear in a vacuum, and to not blindly trust or reject any sources -- the same reporter or outlet or article could have valuable information mixed in with trash. Such critical media consumption may not be easy to do after a full day's work, I'll grant you. But it's not any harder to do than reading the New York Times and performing the mental gymnastics required to get what you've read to match up with the world you live in.
By Dave Lindorff
There will be all kinds of dancing around the issue of why progressives lost the recall campaign against union-busting Tea Party Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin on Tuesday, with the Obama campaign trying to claim that it was not a reflection on him or his popularity, the Democratic Party saying it was not their battle, and the labor movement, sadly, blaming it all on right-wing money. They’ll all be saying that it doesn’t matter, and that the important thing is to focus on helping Democrats win in November.
For activist, author, and blogger David Swanson, it really is about the never-ending struggle for social and economic justice; the same battle that has been fought since time began. And for him, “success” or “defeat” cannot be defined by one election or one Supreme Court ruling. For Swanson, “victory” may be generations away, but that does not deter him from keeping the activism fires burning via every avenue he can find.
“I don’t necessarily tell people not to lose hope,” Swanson said in a recent interview with Wisdom Voices. “I think there’s a problem with having a dependency on hope. I don’t go through these cycles of being hopeful and then being despondent. I actually enjoy activism. I don’t think activism is something temporary that we do it once and then everything will be fixed and then we stop. I think it’s permanent and it should be permanent. Activism is more enjoyable than sitting home and griping. It provides me a way to enjoy living every day.”
Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, Swanson is a prolific writer and author of several books, the most recent being:
- The Military Industrial Complex at 50 (2012)
- When the World Outlawed War (2011)
- War Is A Lie (2010)
- Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union (2009)
Information on his books and other articles can be found at his web site: www.davidswanson.org.
Activism has been rooted in almost all of Swanson’s adult life. He 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, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN. John Nichols of The Nation magazine once said: “David Swanson will be remembered and well recognized as the citizen who held up a lamp in the darkness and cried, as did good Tom Paine: ‘We have it in our power to begin the world over again.’ ”
“The most important work I think is educational,” Swanson said. “By that I mean activism has to take a kind of broad term organizational effort. It’s not in passing a particular bill or electing a particular person. Setbacks shouldn’t get us down. If all of our hopes lie in (President) Obama turning out to be better than he claimed to be or all of our hopes are in un-electing (Wisconsin Governor Scott) Walker, we’re setting ourselves up for defeat because we can lose a particular battle and because elections can be the wrong place to be putting our emphasis to begin with. I think we should be putting about 95 percent of our efforts into educating and organizing and mobilizing non-violent struggle and maybe 5 percent into elections.
“But that doesn’t mean I’m not disturbed about what’s going on in our country today. I’m extremely disturbed that the primary business of our government has been mass murder and the preparation for mass murder. And we’ve given presidents powers that kings never had, and most of us will be completely oblivious to that fact as we grill out and shoot off fireworks on another 4th of July.
“And I find it extremely disturbing that we are ruining our earth’s atmosphere for our children and grandchildren. I think we either go down fighting or we win by reversing these trends. But to sit back and watch TV, and say we can’t do anything or we lost an election seems to me immoral. Maybe that’s because I really do enjoy activism.
“We are in a struggle for our lives…a struggle that will not see victory come for generations. And we don’t have to be martyrs about it or somehow make ourselves victims about it, but it is something we have to understand will just go on. But even for people who have demanding day jobs, they are doing a ton of work for peace and justice. People do it in different ways; mine happens to be writing.”
And although the struggle for economic and social just has been a continuing and historic struggle, Swanson does sense something “different” about what’s happening today.
“Historically everyone has thought that their age was the crisis or turning point in history,” he said. “I think in a certain sense we are in a more dangerous time globally than we’ve seen before. I say that in terms of the environmental devastation that is ruining our atmosphere and our ecosystem as well as in terms of our proliferation of weapons that can destroy life on earth.
“Those twin dangers are unprecedented in the military empire of the United States in terms of military spending and production and the number of bases and our presence in occupations around the world. No one has ever had an empire remotely resembling this. It is something we haven’t seen before and it’s incredibly dangerous and destructive environmentally as well as other terms. For example, the U.S. military is our biggest consumer of oil and uses the highest percentage of oil that it fights wars for. It’s an incredibly dangerous cycle.
“And, we are in a place in history that we’ve never been before in terms of our democracy. We’ve done away with more civil liberties, more checks and balances. We have formally legalized a form of campaign bribery. We have less control over our so called representatives in Washington.
“Granted, you can go back in history and find whole chunks of the populace who were forbidden from voting or were slaves or were shut out of the process, but there’s always been popular activism and popular media. And that’s missing today. We are now in a place in which majority opinion is just ignored in Washington by both parties. We’ve never so empowered a set of parties and we’ve never so shut out popular opinion even as we continue to wage wars in the name of democracy.
Swanson points to some positive developments such as the rise of the Internet to counter the corporate controlled main stream media. “If you poll the American people on what we actually want, if majority opinion really ruled, we’d be in a much better place than we’ve been in the past. But we have less activism today and much greater belief in the futile inability of activism. We have people believing they are a minority when they are a majority on positions such as taxing the rich, green energy, etc. We have people believing activism doesn’t work and so we should sit home and be miserable, and that’s a very dangerous trend.
“People want to understand how what they are doing can do some good. They’ve been taught that only elections matter or that the things we see daily are the only things that matter. And then we give up. That’s the wrong frame of mind to be in. We have to tell people the good their work is doing…even if that good doesn’t show up for a long time and even with the fact that the government is trying to hide from us the way we influence it.
“There’s value in election campaigns if they build a movement, if they organize, if they educate, whether they elect an official or not. It’s an added plus if they do. But fundamentally we’re currently electing people in a pair of parties that have sold out and are doing the work of their funders.”
Swanson specifically pointed to the recent New York Times article that described the drone killings by President Obama. “If somehow it had been revealed that Obama was really George W. Bush in disguise, we would have had millions of people surrounding and protesting at the White House. Somehow, we’ve imagined that when Obama does this, he somehow is wringing his hands with guilt or that everyone tells themselves that secretly Obama means well. Or that it’s our job to denounce Mitt Romney because some how he would be even worse. And that’s fatal for us as a country.
“If you can’t object to giving someone arbitrary power to kill, if you can’t object to that because you can imagine someone else coming up will be even worse, then we’ve really tied both hands behind our back.”
The son of a man who studied to be a preacher, Swanson carries that fiery vocal force in his talks and conferences he leads or supports. He was part of the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) at 50 conference in September 2011 and is one of the featured speakers at Peacestock 2012 at the Windbeam Farm in Hager City, Wisconsin.
“I’ve never understood there to be an alternative (to activism),” Swanson said. I would be miserable if I weren’t working a job to help save the world…if I were just working to make a buck.”
See below to hear David Swanson in his own words:
Graduation at Fordham: Worker Bees vs. Cowardly Drones
By Ray McGovern and Nick Mottern
We have reported on White House “Kill List” compiler and alumnus John Brennan’s second coming to Fordham for commencement inside Fordham’s Bronx campus http://warisacrime.org/content/priests-or-hench-men — (see embedded link “imaginative protests” on the line above the subhead, Bellying Up.) And several readers have expressed gratitude to learn that a few Justice-oriented graduates found inventive ways to protest this indignity at graduation on May 19.
By Nick Mottern
ORDINANCE of the City (Town, Village, County)
PROTECTION OF THE PUBLIC AGAINST USE OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES (DRONES)
1. United States airspace is the busiest in the world, with up to 87,000 flights per day, including commercial airliners and freight haulers, air taxis and private and military aircraft.
2. Unmanned aerial vehicles (referred to in the remainder of this ordinance as drones) are not now allowed in United States general airspace because of the threat they present to other aircraft. Under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 the FAA is directed to create regulations that will enable drones to fly throughout US airspace by September 2015.
3. Small drones, 25 pounds or under, are now permitted to fly in general airspace below 400 feet for the use of police and first responders, with FAA permission.
Produced by David Swanson, Christiane Brown of Talk Nation Radio
Left KU Channel
Thursday, May 30th, 2012 3:00 PM EST
Download as broadcast quality .mp3:
This week's Sprouts is a discussion with Chase Madar, author of the new book "The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story of the Suspect Behind the Largest Security Breach in U.S. History." Speaking with Madar is David Swanson, host of the weekly program Talk Nation Radio, produced in Charllottesville, Va. Madar discusses the voluminous information that Manning is accused of providing to Wikileaks and to us, and some of the startling insights it gives us into what our supposedly representative government has been up to. The show also looks at the official and public responses to Manning, his mistreatment, his legal status, and the fate of whistleblowers under the Obama administration.
Sprouts is a weekly program that features local radio production and stories from many radio stations and local media groups around the world.It is produced in collaboration with community radio stations and independent producers across the country.
The program is coordinated and distributed by Pacifica Radio and offered free of charge to all radio stations.
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is joining with a national coalition of religious and human rights groups in a National Week of Action Against Torture, Guantanamo and the NDAA. Co-sponsoring organizations are listed below.
Share this promotional video to encourage others to join us in June.
Friday, June 22: National Call-in Day to the White House & Congress
Saturday, June 23: National Tweet-in Day to the White House & Congress
Sunday, June 24: DC March Against Torture, Guantanamo & NDAA - Coalition Demonstration
- 1:00PM – 2:30PM
- Sign-up to join us for the march - We'll send exact event details closer to June 24.
- Download the flier here
- Use this sample message to invite your contacts to join us on June 24
- Facebook event page for June 24 event in DC
- If your organization or congregation would like to co-sponsor, please contact John Humphries
Solidarity events being planned for Chicago and San Francisco (details TBA)
- Day of Vigils across the USA - Register a vigil in your community
- Download a toolkit for local organizers
- View a list of events currently registered
List of co-sponsoring organizations (as of 5/25/12):
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
Witness Against Torture
America Come Home
American Civil Liberties Union
Bellevue/NYU Center for Survivors of Torture
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Center for Constitutional Rights
Council on American Islamic Relations
Dorothy Day Catholic Worker
Midwest Antiwar Mobilization
NC Stop Torture Now
Pax Christi USA
PEN American Center
Physicians for Human Rights
Rabbis for Human Rights-North America
Refuge Media Project
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition
United Nations Association - USA East Bay Chapter
Voices for Creative Nonviolence
War Criminals Watch
World Can't Wait
This Memorial Day Let’s Start Caring for Our Nation’s Veterans: No More Ducking the Real Cost of US Wars!
By Dave Lindorff
Whether he ever said it or not, I’m going to borrow from a quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln and alter it a bit to say: “American politicians must love war veterans -- they keep making so many more of them.”
What did thousands of people accomplish by protesting in Chicago this week during the NATO Summit? If you have thoughts on that, please write me. Mine: "NATO = Peace & Security," as banners across the Loop said? No, NATO = Protest, in Chicago, from here on out. The words "NATO Summit" were always accompanied by the word "protest" in Chicago media. This began to get people asking what we were protesting. When World Can't Wait went out to neighborhoods with our multi-language "Humanity & the Planet Come First," people asked, "are you the protesters? You're here!" Some of the most economically crushed, riding the bus from work, gave us small donations to support the protests. People opened their homes and hearts.
Thank you to all; CANG8 (Coalition Against NATO/G8), UNAC (United National Antiwar Coalition), Occupy Chicago, and all others that made this all rally and march against NATO/G8 possible. There are so many other groups, but I can't list them all here. And thank you to all who participated from seasoned veteran activists to the youth who were exercising their right to direct or participatory democracy for the first time. While so many others labored so long and so hard, my own part was almost infinitesimal. Andy, Joe and Pat of CANG8 were everywhere during the long months of organizing and this great march would have been much the lesser without them.
Yesterday was pretty intense. We arrived at Grant Park to a heavy police presence. Some of us had not slept well the night before after hearing the news of that the police had raided the homes of NATO protesters and then falsely charged them of “plotting terrorism". The police had also driven a car into a crowd of non-violent NATO protesters that same night.
National Lawyers Guild releases photo of alleged police infiltrator
The National Lawyer's Guild attorney for the three men charged with a major terrorist plot at the NATO summit in Chicago says they are being subjected to severe sensory deprivation. On the same day, the prosecution requested, and was granted, a delay of a preliminary hearing until June 12, in order, the Chicago Tribune reports, "to give prosecutors more time to assemble the case against them."
By Dave Lindorff
It seems pretty clear by now that the three young “domestic terrorists” arrested by Chicago police in a warrantless house invasion reminiscent of what US military forces are doing on a daily basis in Afghanistan, are the victims of planted evidence -- part of the police-state-style crackdown on anti-NATO protesters in Chicago last week.
I enjoy reading histories of past activism, including memoirs by long-time activists, such as Lawrence Wittner's new book, Working for Peace and Justice.
Almost every such account includes belated discoveries of the extent to which a government has been spying on and infiltrating activist groups.
And almost every such account includes belated discoveries of the extent to which government officials were influenced by activist groups even while pretending to ignore popular pressure.
These revelations can be found in the memoirs of the government officials as well, such as in George W. Bush's recollection of how seriously the Republican Senate Majority Leader was taking public pressure against the war on Iraq in 2006.
By Coleen Rowley
Audio from this week's Talk Nation Radio:
In the course of his recent talk on human rights after 9-11, David Cole, a Georgetown Law Professor and constitutional law expert, speaking about human rights and civil liberties after 9-11 with former Vice President Walter Mondale and Lawrence Jacobs at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in Minneapolis, opined that all three branches of US government have failed in major ways to correct recent abuses and that the main hope for our country now resides in actions by American civil society.
That inspired me to compile the following top ten list of what citizens can and should do instead of just sitting on our hands hoping for change, distracted by the naïve belief that voting is the only thing citizens need to do, that voting for politicians will end the wars or solve the country's serious problems.
1. Write op-eds and letters to the editor.
Many good activist writers have ceased trying to get their writings published in mainstream press. But you can increase your chances of being published by following some vital tips (peg your letter or op-ed to an existing news article and stay within the word limit) as well as working in small writing groups that include editor-types who can proofread other’s work.
It’s best to try first to get your piece published in mainstream or sites with an opposing bias instead of preaching to the choir but if that doesn’t work, your time is not wasted as you can still usually publish your writing on an online alternative news/opinion site.
Undermine the emotional buttons (fear, hate, greed, false pride, blind loyalty) type propaganda used to effectively manipulate the masses by pushing their opposites: courage, love, generosity, humility and critical thinking.
2. Paint a sign or make a t-shirt, grab a friend and get in the street, outside key locations and/or newsworthy events. Showing up and visibility count for a lot! Contact your Congressperson and Senators as often as possible; personal visits are worth more than telephone calls.
(When we tried showing up in October 2007, our banner ended up the next day on the front page of the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper! We were able to help reverse a bad decision: Coleen Rowley: Banning Desmond Tutu is NOT Minnesota Nice. It's .. and Tutu Decision Reversed -- University Mission ... Of course this inspired us to make hundreds of other banners to display during weekly peace vigils at busy intersections. For a time we even covered pedestrian footbridges with colorful anti-war banners.
3. There is a remarkable “Freeway Blogger” who singlehandedly made and put up thousands and thousands of important messages during these last years in key spots seen by millions of California drivers. So one person can do a lot! But if you’re not quite that outgoing or creative on your own, you can still step out of the silent majority and its bystanderism by joining a group.
Consider joining a non-partisan group like "Come Home America" that transcends partisanship by combining varying political ideologies, i.e. conservatives, libertarians, progressives, and greens who don’t agree on everything but are in substantial agreement (just as the “anti-Imperialists” counted members as diverse as Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie) in opposition to runaway militarism.
Some of the “Freeway Blogger’s” recent messages:
4. Resurrect the League of Women Voters and their true democracy building strategy of debating the real issues instead of voting based on someone’s $400 haircut geared to looking good in a TV ad. Organizing real debates with two opposing views potentially draws larger and more diverse audiences and can potentially change minds which is a big advantage over the typical church basement panel preaching to the choir.
The best real debate that I’ve seen in recent months is: National Security and Civil Liberties - Luncheon Debate (at SMU between torture-legalizer John Yoo and former Amnesty Int’l President Chip Pitts. Guess who won the debate?)
5. As we all know, art shows, theatre, comedy-satire and music all make the medicine (harsh reality) go down a lot easier.
Photo below is from our “Canvassing Against Torture” art show held during “June is Torture Awareness Month” last year.
6. Connect the dots! Explain to Occupy Youth how the costs of war and Empire's accompanying corruption are to blame for much of the current domestic miseries (foreclosures, lack of affordable health care, student debt, lack of jobs, price of gas, cuts to social safety net, environmental and climate change degradation etc.) Both parties’ politicians try to sell a "have your cake and eat it too" American dream whereby war costs and the Empire's rot from within are ignored. When people don't understand the "sorrows of empire" and the fact that there IS a big trade-off, there is little incentive to reign in military spending.
What would you do with $37 billion for Minnesota? (by the Minnesota ASAP project)
7. Paint your clothes and shoes and ditch the high fashion. Wear these messages to the grocery store, kids' sporting events, biking etc.
For example, when I do my triathlons, I always multi-task with this t-shirt logo:
First we painted them, then we threw them, then we mailed them. And now we wear them, even out in public to the grocery store! Send your Peace Shoes to the President!
8. Quickly click 5000 new Facebook "friends" and start "sharing" everything you’re doing. Maybe they’ll take the cue.
9. Carve a pumpkin, fly a kite or make papier mache for peace!
Carved by Bill Habedank for his annual Red Wing Pumpkin Show
(Peace Kites by Roger Cuthbertson)
Join the Avatars for Peace! Say No to Empire!
10. Make a FOIA request. File a lawsuit, like Chris Hedges, Naomi Wolf and Daniel Ellsberg have done to get the National Defense Authorization Act and its provision allowing military arrest and due-process free detention of American citizens held unconstitutional. FOIA requests and FOIA lawsuits can and are often prosecuted by ordinary requesters “pro se” without need of expensive lawyers. Nearly everything the public has learned of the terrible civil liberties abuses in recent years of “Top Secret America” has come from the FOIA process.
So these are my top ten but I just thought of an 11th! Send the list off to Letterman and see if he can do better!
Coleen Rowley was Chief Division Counsel in the FBI's Minneapolis office who exposed pre-911 failings and testified to Congress. Her memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller in connection with the Joint Intelligence Committee's Inquiry led to a two year long Department of Justice Inspector General investigation. Rowley was one of three whistleblowers chosen as persons of the year by TIME magazine. In April 2003, following an unsuccessful attempt to warn the Director and other administration officials about the dangers of launching the invasion of Iraq, Rowley stepped down from her legal position to go back to being a Special Agent. She retired from the FBI at the end of 2004 and now speaks, writes, and takes action for peace.
By Joshua Brollier
I feel compelled to comment on a few things I have heard in the past week during the lead up to and duration of NATO protests here in Chicago. Mainly, I feel disheartened by the way the media and consumerism have shaped national opinion and attitude when it comes to these specific anti-NATO demonstrations. Two friends of mine, whom I highly respect in other aspects both personally and professionally, have made comments that seem to echo too much of the hysteria and general misunderstanding as to why people are protesting and what being a participant in a social movement entails.
Yesterday in Chicago we took to the streets for humanity and the planet! Watch video. As Obama met with Afghan president Karzai and told the world that "hard days are ahead in Afghanistan" we gathered with thousands in downtown Chicago in opposition to the war criminals meeting. Watch unedited video from the livestream of Friday's event: International Voices for Humanity and the Planet.
Protesters, Clergy, Community to Remember Victims of U.S. / NATO Wars
Monday, May 21 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Trinity Episcopal Church 125 E. 26th St., Chicago
A huge crowd gathered for several hours and marched for over two miles in the hot sun to oppose NATO and U.S. wars on Sunday in Chicago. Finishing the march outside the NATO meeting, numerous U.S. veterans of current wars denounced their previous "service" and threw their medals over the fence, a scene not witnessed since the U.S. war on Vietnam.
This event, with massive turnout and tremendous energy, saw the participation of numerous groups from Chicago and the surrounding area, including students, teachers, and activists on a variety of issues, as well as anti-war activists and Occupiers from around the country and the world. No one can have been disappointed with the turnout, but it might have been bigger if not for the fear that was spread prior to Sunday. In the face of that fear, Sunday's action was remarkable.
MAY 20, 2012, MILITARIZED CHICAGO -- Next month in Baltimore they're going to celebrate the War of 1812. That's what we do with wars. We say they're the last resort. We say they're hell. We say they're for the purpose of eliminating themselves: we fight wars for peace. Although we never keep peace for wars. We claim to wage only wars we have been forced into despite all possible effort to find a better way. And then we celebrate the wars. We keep the wars going for their own sake after all the excuses we used to get them started have expired. The WMDs have not been found. Osama bin Laden's been killed. Al Qaeda is gone from the country where we're fighting it. Nobody's threatening Benghazi anymore. But the wars must go on! And then we'll celebrate them. And we'll celebrate the old ones too, the ones that were fought here, the ones that were in their day not quite so heavily painted as last resorts or humanitarian missions.
Last year Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee persuaded Congress to create an Iraq-Afghanistan Wars holiday. It's on our calendars now along with Loyalty Day (formerly May Day), Veterans Day (formerly Armistice Day), Memorial Day, Yellow Ribbon Day, Patriots Day, Independence Day, Flag Day, Pearl Harbor Day, and of course September 11th, among many others. Last week there was an Armed Forces Spouses Appreciation Day. The military holiday calendar is like the Catholic saints' days now: there's something every day of the year.
But there's no celebration of the times we avoided war. We claim to prefer peace to war, but we don't make heroes of those presidents or Congresses who most avoided war. In fact, we erase them. Our history books jump from war to war as if nothing happened in between. Nobody celebrates 1811, only 1812. Even the peace movement doesn't celebrate the past decade's prevention, thus far, of a war on Iran.
Three activists in Chicago for the NATO Summit protests — Bryan Church, Jarred Chase, Brent Betterly — are being charged with a major terrorist plot and "material support for terrorism" after they posted a video of police threatening the three with violence during the NATO summit. The terror attacks were to include numerous Chicago police stations, Obama’s national campaign headquarters in the Prudential Building, and Rahm Emanuel’s home in Ravenswood. The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) contends the charges are fabricated and that the arrests are retaliation.