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Atpeace Makita, a single mother of five children who turned to activism after her water was shut off by the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, talks with Dennis Trainor, Jr. about the Detroit Water Brigade and what it is like to living during the current push for the privatization of the water supply.
Only the Polar Ice Caps contain more fresh water that The Great Lakes.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, The Great Lakes are the largest surface fresh water system on the Earth, providing 84% of North America's surface fresh water and 21% of the world’s supply.
Videos: How Do We Get to Peace? With David Swanson, Jill Stein, Kristin Christman, and Steve Breyman
The 16th annual Kateri Peace Conference in Fonda, N.Y., was organized around these three quotations of Buckminster Fuller:
"In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete."
"I'm not trying to counsel any of you to do anything really special except dare to think. And to dare to go with the truth. And to dare to really love completely."
"Love is omni-inclusive, progressively exquisite, understanding and compassionately attuned to other than self."
Watch the discussions of each quotation below or here, and check out the video of Jill Stein singing and jamming on a boat on the Erie Canal!
By John Grant
On Monday, I decided to spend my evenings flipping back-and-forth between Fox News and MSNBC as the two cable channels dealt with the dueling stories of the United States tiptoeing into a third war in Iraq and the sudden appearance of what appeared to be a police state in a little town outside St Louis. From Monday to Friday, the Ferguson, Missouri story has gone from that of a bizarre and dangerous war zone to one of a relief-filled carnival in the streets.
Originally posted at AcronymTV
While Benjamin Netanyahu has practically been given an anchor chair at CNN during Operation Protective Edge to pound home a narrative that almost everyone else in the world (save for 100% of US Senators) has rejected; namely that Israel is a victim of terror and not a perpetrator, telling the counter narrative is left to media outlets without ties to major corporate interest and/or ties to the duopoly here in the United States.
Originally posted at AcronymTV
Awareness of, and commitment to the movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is growing both here in the United States and around the world.
Describing BDS in an early 2014 piece, Beth Perry wrote:
“It’s a broad tactic aimed to pressure the state itself to change. But it also reserves a special focus for companies that are actually involved in — and make hefty profits from — occupation policies. These organizations may be forced to pay attention to the boycott very soon — and they may not be the ones you’d expect.”
Close the gate
I’m not home.
Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog
On July 30, the Republican minority of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, headed by Sen. David Vitter, released a report titled "The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA."
The plaque was accepted by co-founders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans, to overwhelming applause from an audience of about 100 people. In his remarks, Knox thanked CODEPINK for the great courage its members have shown and for the sacrifices they have made for peace. “CODEPINK is the most innovative, effective, and visible antiwar presence in the United States. Its approaches to peace and opposition to war are contemporary and receive more media and government attention than any other peace group. CODEPINK has shown what volunteers can do with limited resources. Their service is an inspiration to the world.”
In learning of the award, Jodie Evans remarked, “What a wonderful honor for tens of thousands of women and men of CODEPINK who take action, write letters to the editor, organize locally, travel globally, and live intentionally to create a more peace filled world. I feel blessed to work with this posse of angels who live from their hearts and gather under the banner CODEPINK, and those we collaborate with around the world who know that war is not the answer and the money we spend on war, weapons, and violence needs to be invested in our communities to achieve the peace and justice we all desire.”
Medea Benjamin noted: “After more than a decade of perpetual war, the American people are both war weary and war wise, understanding that a military response to violence only leads to more violence. While the military contractors and weapons manufacturers have made a killing, the rest of us - at home and abroad - have had to deal with death, suffering, PTSD, corruption, and depleted economies. I am honored to be part of a vibrant peace movement in CODEPINK and beyond, a movement that is now gaining traction with the general public that is more and more wary of calls for foreign military adventures. We don't do this work for recognition, but after so many years of exhausting work, getting this prize from the US Peace Memorial Foundation inspires us to continue our efforts to build a world where we take care of each other and our precious planet, and send the weapons-makers back to the drawing board to come up with a new set of products that are not designed to kill.”
See photos and other details at: www.uspeacememorial.org/
CODEPINK is the first organization to be recognized in this way by the Foundation. Previous Peace Prize recipients are Chelsea Manning, Medea Benjamin, Noam Chomsky, Dennis Kucinich, and Cindy Sheehan. Nominees considered this year include American Friends Service Committee, Garry Davis, Psychologists for Social Responsibility, the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, and David Swanson. You can read about the antiwar/peace activities of all recipients and nominees in our publication, the US Peace Registry.
Our highly focused mission is to honor Americans who stand for peace by publishing the US Peace Registry, awarding an annual Peace Prize, and planning for the US Peace Memorial in Washington, D.C. These projects can help move the United States toward a culture of peace, as we honor the millions of thoughtful and courageous Americans who have taken a public stand against one or more U.S. wars or who have devoted their time, energy, and other resources to finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts. We celebrate these role models as they inspire other Americans to speak out against war and for peace.
Please help us continue this important work. Become a Founding Member and have your name permanently associated with peace. Founding Members are listed on our website, in our publication the US Peace Registry, and eventually at the National Monument.
Charlie, Jolyon, Lucy, and Michael
Board of Directors
Originally posted at AcronymTV
“What once was maybe a Christian-Fascist movement against women’s right to abortion really got elevated and brought into the halls of power,” says Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy. “Starting with Ronald Reagan, continuing under Bush, escalating Bill Clinton (quiet as it is kept: Bill Clinton who signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which became the foundation for the recent Hobby Lobby decision).”
Originally posted at AcronymTV.com
“There is a big difference between being anti-pornography and anti sex worker,” says Taylor. “Stop Patriarchy does stand firmly against pornography, against the sex industry, against the commodification of women’s bodies, against the sexualized degradation of women, and just to be real: what is going on in pornography today is exactly part of this whole revenge against women. I don’t understand how anyone could claim to be for women’s rights and find (pornography) empowering or something we should celebrate.”
Taylor sums up her argument by saying: “There is no difference between the Pope and the pornographer. Both reduce women to objects. You could be a breeder or you could be a sex object.”
Originally posted at AcronymTV
Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy sat down with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV just days before leading a month long Abortion Rights Freedom Ride in Texas. The freedom ride is currently underway and will run through September 1, by which time Texas is expected to close all but six abortion clinics statewide.
A new film called Wisconsin Rising is screening around the country, the subject, of course, being the activism surrounding the mass occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol in 2011. I recommend attending a planned screening or setting up a new one, and discussing the film collectively upon its conclusion. For all the flaws in Wisconsin's activism in 2011 and since, other states haven't even come close -- most have a great deal to learn.
The film tells a story of one state, where, long ago, many workers' rights originated or found early support, and where, many years later, threats to workers' rights, wages, and benefits, and to what those workers produce including education in public schools, were aggressively initiated by the state's right-wing governor, Scott Walker.
The joy and inspiration created by the public resistance to that threat were intense. The occupation, the singing, the marching, the creative props and protests, the donations for pizza from around the world, the parades, the rallies, the concerts, the firefighters and police officers spared in the legislation but choosing to join with the rest of the public anyway, the growing crowds, the growing awareness of the power of nonviolent action, the legislators bringing their desks out onto the grass to meet with constituents in the cold snow or fleeing the state to deny the governor a quorum, Fox News propaganda showing a violent rally supposedly in Wisconsin but with palm trees in the background, the Wisconsinites hauling plastic palm trees to the capitol, the high school students joining the occupation on behalf of their teachers, Governor Walker unable to step outdoors without protest -- all of this energy and activity is accurately conveyed in Wisconsin Rising. For over three weeks, Wisconsin's capitol was occupied, and the reminders of it are still frequently visible there.
The Wisconsin legislature rammed through its horrendous legislation despite the public opposition. The film does not hide that awful defeat. But the same would have happened had there been no opposition. The question is whether the opposition did any good and whether it could conceivably have succeeded had wiser decisions been made -- and whether power was tapped that could be enlarged still further. I think the answer to all of these questions is yes.
In the film we see people withdrawing their money from a bank that funds candidates like Walker. That can and should continue.
We see a choice made to withdraw energy from protests and demonstrations and nonviolent resistance and camps and marches and a general strike, in order to put all of that energy into recall elections. The lessons of all of those labor songs sung at all of those rallies are not followed. Instead, an effort is made to pretend that the system works and that slightly better personalities in positions of corrupt power will solve everything. Massive popular energy went into a contest where it could not compete with massive money.
What might have happened instead? Energy could have stayed with the occupation, drawing inspiration from and giving inspiration to activism around the United States and the world. I remember Michael Moore pointing out at the Wisconsin occupation that 400 people in the United States had as much money as half the country, and pundits compelled to note that that was true. An education campaign about the division and concentration of wealth would have been time better spent. Creative means of keeping working people's wealth with working people, rather than handing it over to Wall Street, would have been wiser use of euphoric enthusiasm.
An effort might also have been made to build even wider state-level solidarity by recognizing the state of Wisconsin, like the other 49 U.S. states, as a victim of a federal budget gone off the deep end of plutocratic plunder and militarism. The federal government does not support education or any other human need, at home or abroad, in remotely the way that it could if it curtailed spending on war preparations, giveaways to corporations and billionaires, or both. What if Wisconsin were to convert from weapons to peaceful industries, tax major federal tax evaders at the state level instead, and call for a Constitutional Convention to recriminalize bribery? What if the money Wisconsinites dump into elections went into setting up and supporting independent media outlets in Wisconsin instead?
What if three enjoyable, energizing, inspiring weeks of effort wasn't seen as a record long action, but as the opening preview of much longer struggles? What if the pressure were to build back up, and a different direction were chosen this time, the direction of nonviolent resistance rather than naive compliance? Wisconsin, at least, has done its warm ups. Most states are still in the locker room.
The 16th Annual Kateri Peace Conference will be held with Fonda, NY, as its base on August 15th and 16th.
Extensive information on the nature of this event (I've been before and highly, highly recommend it. --David Swanson) is available here: http://kateripeaceconference.org
On Friday, August 15, from 10 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., the third annual day of reflection associated with this conference will be held at the bucolic National Kateri Tekawitha Shrine in Fonda. The day of reflection will be led by Thomas Gumbleton, a Roman Catholic Bishop from Detroit who for many decades has raised his voice, with great personal consequence, against war, militarism and social injustice.
On Friday evening, the Conference will officially open at 7 p.m. with the first ever "Rocking the Boat for Peace" cruise on the Erie Canal, leaving from Herkimer, NY. On board will be conference keynoters:
- DR. JILL STEIN, former Green Party Presidential candidate;
- DAVID SWANSON, author, journalist, radio host, organizer, blogger, World Beyond War director;
- KRISTIN CHRISTMAN, local writer and peace philosopher;
- BISHOP THOMAS GUMBLETON;
- HOWIE HAWKINS, Green Party candidate for Governor of New York;
and many others eager to consider the conference theme of transformation in a transformationally beautiful and peaceful setting. The evening promises to be a fun filled one and a lovely chance to have a great time with some powerful voices for peace and justice.
On Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. we'll have the opportunity to engage in a day long "conversation" with our speakers ( see above and including DR. STEVE BREYMAN) and fellow conference attendees through a series of questions designed to move us from a consideration of issues confronting us as concerned global citizens to a contemplation of strategies and solutions . The day's structure is designed to promote reflection, solidarity, and action.
Saturday's discussion promises to be extremely informative, enlightening, and energizing. Hope to see you there!
Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org
Texas Governor Rick Perry is on the record with his objective to “make abortion a thing of the past.” Looking at the evidence, it is hard not to come to any other conclusion than the war on women is being won by a radical and regressively religious agenda.
Originally posted at: PopularResistance.org
Whoops! What crisis?: Time to Go on the Offensive to Improve, not just Save Social Security and Medicare
By Dave Lindorff
The wind has suddenly been knocked out of sails of those critics of Social Security and Medicare in Washington -- Republican and Democrat -- who have for years been warning direly that the two programs were going bust. Suddenly their favored “rescue” plans for these crucial programs -- turning to a stingier way of calculating the annual inflation adjustment, raising the retirement age, and even reducing benefits for Social Security, and cutting benefits for Medicare -- don’t make sense to anyone.
Masked & Black-Clad Mourners will March on Consulate in Memorial for Thousand Gazans Killed
NEW YORK, NY — Members of the arts and activism collective We Will Not Be Silent will march upon the Israeli consulate at 12pm EST today, Thursday July 31, 2014. Donned in black clothing and face masks, the group hopes to memorialize the names of the Palestinians who have lost their lives in the recent bombardments of the Gaza strip.
We Will not Be Silent has issued the following statement in advance of today's march:
"In the name of decency we must act. Artists and activists, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and atheists, we join together to create an arresting visual presence on the streets of NYC. We carry the names of the dead in Gaza. We march to the Israeli Consulate. We are the March of The Dead.
"We will create a representation of the carnage from the war crimes perpetrated by the State of Israel on the civilian population of Palestinians in Gaza.
"'We will not be silent...we are your bad conscience...we will not leave you in peace.' - The White Rose resistance movement against Nazi Germany"
WHAT: Protest march on Israeli Consulate, creative visuals.
WHEN: Thursday, July 31st, 12PM EST
WHERE: Israeli Consulate, 800 2nd Ave, New York, NY
WE WILL NOT BE SILENT is an artist/activist collective that has been in existence since 2006. Through the creative use of language embodied on shirts and emboldened on signs held up in public spaces, we respond to current social justice issues, encouraging creative, direct public-actions where many people can participate.
Civil Disobedience at Israeli Embassy with CodePink
July 30 at 11am at Israeli Embassy, 3514 International Drive, N.W., Washington DC
Update: July 30: ADC has vigil for Gaza at the White House at 7pm.
August 1 Briefing on Gaza on Capitol Hill
Peace Witnesses for Hiroshima and Nagasaki
with Jonah House Community, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and other friends from the Atlantic Life Community.
August 6 Nonviolent witness at the Pentagon. Meet on corner of Army-Navy Drive and Fern St. @ 11:45 a.m. Witness from Noon - 1:00 p.m.
August 9 Meet at 16th and H St. NW at 11:45 a.m. and process to White House for a Noon - 1:00 p.m. witness.
August 9, An Evening for a World Beyond War
Originally posted at PopularResistance.org
“We are a diverse group of people who have come together against the Israeli occupation and against the massacre. However,” says Kash Nikazmrad, an organizer with Students for Justice in Palestine, “every massacre, every occupation, every act of colonialism always has a mechanism and a supporter. The supporter in this situation has been America.”
Nikazmrad is one of the organizers behind the Los Angeles “Stop The Massacre in Gaza” events.
Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog
Greenpeace USA has released a major new report on an under-discussed part of President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan and his U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carbon rule: it serves as a major endorsement of continued coal production and export to overseas markets.
As Israel continues its unspeakable brutality, violating not only international law but basic human decency by targeting children, hospitals, mosques and private residences, its many outrages are being widely publicized, thanks to social media. One can access YouTube and see Israeli soldiers using Palestinian children as human shields. Facebook is awash with pictures of bloody, dismembered, dead children, victims of ‘the most moral army in the world’. Twitter is filled with links, all showing not only the horrors that Israel is inflicting, but the many worldwide demonstrations supporting Palestine. Numerous large such demonstrations have been held in Israel itself.
Originally posted at PopularResistance.org
An interview with Jason Leopold.
There are many crimes committed in the pursuit of, or as an accessory to, the crimes of US Foreign Policy. I’m not exactly sure where to rank the operation of Guantanamo Bay on that list, but consider these numbers, compiled by the Center for Constitutional Rights:
779 men and boys have been imprisoned at Guantánamo since January 2002. 100% of them are Muslim.
Of the 149 who remain there, 78 have been cleared for release for years but are still imprisoned. President Obama’s Task Force has designated 38 men for indefinite detention without charge or trial.
Independent Irish TDs (MP's) arrested and released after highlighting Irish Government's complicity in wars and torture
by R. Teichmann, first published on www.news-beacon-ireland.info
The history of the Irish government’s complicity in war and torture by inaction is long. For years the US military has used Shannon Airport for transporting war materials and troops as well as for ‘rendition’ flights, i.e. transporting human beings to places where they are tortured.
This is not surprising as the red carpet is rolled out for any US-multinational corporation that comtemplates manufacturing or basing services here. In addition, in violation of the Irish constitution, which enshrines ‘neutrality’, succesive Irish governments have entered into military alliances through their participation in the so called ‘Partnership for Peace’ with NATO and through various treaties with the EU into the military structure of that construct.
A few years back, prior to the International Day of Peace on September 21st, a school board member here in Virginia said that he would back a resolution marking that day as long as everyone understood that in doing so he was not opposing any wars.
Wars for peace, like sex for virginity, appear contradictory to some. But what about militarism for peace? What about war preparations and peace? A so-called "defense" department that arms the world; can that be compatible with peace?
We need our governments to begin planning for a day of peace. Instead of investing everything in planning for war, preparing for war, and proliferating enough weapons to fuel plenty of wars, governments could invest in alternatives to war, nonviolent means of conflict resolution, moves toward justice that reduce conflict, international standards of law that make negotiations and diplomacy effective.
One of the tools that we can use to move our cultures and our governments toward planning for a day of peace is to ourselves plan for a day celebrating peace -- peace understood precisely as the elimination of war. September 21st, the International Day of Peace, is one such day. WorldBeyondWar.org is organizing events here. And here is a list of events in the U.S. arranged on a map by Campaign Nonviolence.
Groups and individuals interested in planning events this September can work with Campaign Nonviolence and Global Movement for the Culture of Peace and Peace One Day and A Year Without War. Advocates of peace and environmental sanity who grasp the connections between the two may want to participate in a People's Climate March in New York City, September 20-21, and bring this flyer: PDF.
Some resources that can be used to create events of various types are here:
Screen and discuss the World Beyond War video.
Bring speakers from this Speakers Bureau.
Use these flyers, sign-up cards, sign-up sheets.
At some events already planned for September 21, 2014, people will begin marking 100 years since the Christmas Truces of World War I. You can find great information on World War I at 100 on NoGlory.org
You may want to screen Joyeux Noel: a film about the 1914 Christmas truce. Or use this script for reenactment of a Christmas Truce: PDF. Here's more Christmas Truce information and videos. And if you're in the Northeast U.S. or the U.K. you might be able to attend or even set up a production of The Great War Theatre Project: Messengers of a Bitter Truth: Info in PDF.
Peace deserves more than empty platitudes compatible with the preservation of war as our largest public project. Sometimes bringing truth back from propaganda is so jarring as to be humorous. "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work," said Woody Allen. "I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don't want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment." We should not want peace only in our hearts or in the press releases of the Pentagon; we should want peace through the ending of war and the abolition of the institutions that continue to plan and create more wars even while they pretend to a sight degree of outrage that each new war has been successfully created.
by Debra Sweet. July 10, 2014: Syracuse, NY. Anti-drone protester Mary Anne Grady was sent to county jail for a maximum 12 month sentence for violating a temporary "Order of Protection" granted by a County Judge to explicitly to protect the Commander Evans of Hancock Air Force Base, who said he wanted to keep protesters "out of his driveway." Years of non-violent protest, including civil disobedience, led by the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and Stop the Wars, have focused public attention on the role of Hancock in remotely piloting US drones around the world, particularly Reaper drones over Afghanistan, and also in training drone operators.