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To mark the beginning of the next phase of accused whistle-blower
Bradley Manning's pre-trial hearings and noting that he has spent 825
days in prison, some under torturous conditions, World Can't Wait
organized an activity on August 27, 2012 at Grand Central Station in NYC.
By Stephen McKeown and Coleen Rowley
On July 28th 2012, Michael Wali, Megan Rice, and Greg Boertje-Obed entered the Y-12 National Security Complex at Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the pre-dawn hours by cutting a fence. They hoisted banners, spray painted messages, and poured their blood on the nation's only storage facility for weapons grade highly enriched uranium. They were arrested and immediately charged with misdemeanor trespass. Several days later, charges were raised to felony level, so the trio is now facing up to a $600,000 fine and 16 years in prison.
Eva Westheimer was recently arrested for shutting down a strip mine in West Virginia, along with Radical Action for Mountain People's Survival ( http://rampscampaign.org ). Westheimer is a junior at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She describes the recent action she took, the ongoing campaign, and what motivates her.
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Monday, August 27, 2012
Gather at 4:30 at the NW corner of 42nd and Lexington. Enter Grand Central at 5 pm.
Walkers will hold "I am Bradley Manning" masks, carry small flags saying "Free Bradley Manning" and "Blowing the Whistle on War Crimes Is NOT a Crime." We will walk and freeze to the sound of whistles and will flier those scurrying to get their trains. -
host of Democracy Now!
to speak at University of Virginia
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Friday, September 28, 2012
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
South Lawn Commons
Nau Auditorium (Nau 101)
1550 Jefferson Park Ave.
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Free and open to public.
Democracy Now! is on the road for a 2-month, 100-city tour, starting with the Republican National Convention in Tampa and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, running up to Election Day, holding public events to help raise critical funds for the public broadcasters that carry Democracy Now!. The tour route covers many of the electoral swing states, going beyond the mainstream media's obsessive focus on the latest poll numbers and candidate gaffes, to see on the ground how people are organizing, the impacts of restrictive voter ID laws that are making it harder to vote, and how the massive influx of campaign cash following the Citizens United decision is changing how our democracy works.
Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan will sign copies of their new book, The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope.
Nonpartisan organizations are invited to table at the event. Contact: David Swanson email@example.com 202-329-7847.
Please print this flyer (PDF), make copies, post and hand out everywhere.
In a few places around the country groups are working to make August 27th a local or national holiday as a result of reading "When the World Outlawed War."
“Last night I had the strangest dream I’d ever dreamed before,” wrote Ed McCurdy in 1950 in what became a popular folk song. “I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to war. I dreamed I saw a mighty room, and the room was filled with men. And the paper they were signing said they’d never fight again.” (Here are a few videos: Johnny Cash - Pete Seeger - Simon and Garfunkel - John Denver - Serena Ryder.)
That scene had happened in reality on August 27, 1928, in Paris, France. The treaty that was signed that day, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, was subsequently ratified by the United States Senate in a vote of 85 to 1 and remains on the books (and on the U.S. State Department’s website) to this day as part of what Article VI of the U.S. Constitution calls “the supreme Law of the Land.” Frank Kellogg, the U.S. Secretary of State who made this treaty happen, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and saw his public reputation soar — so much so that the United States named a ship after him, one of the “Liberty ships” that carried war supplies to Europe during World War II. Kellogg was dead at the time. So, many believed, were prospects for world peace. But following World War II, for the first time ever people were prosecuted for the brand new crime of making war -- these charges explicitly justified by the Kellogg-Briand Pact. And the wealthy nations have not gone to war with each other since. War continues against and among poor nations only, much to our shame. But the possibility of eliminating war entirely if we choose has been well established.
IMAGE: the author at Frank Kellogg's house in St. Paul, Minn. Photo by Coleen Rowley.
The Kellogg-Briand Pact and its renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy is something we might want to revive. This treaty gathered the adherence of the world’s nations swiftly and publicly, driven by fervent public demand. We might think about how public opinion of that sort might be created anew, what insights it possessed that have yet to be realized, and what systems of communication, education, and elections would allow the public again to influence government policy, as the ongoing campaign to eliminate war — understood by its originators to be an undertaking of generations — continues to develop.
We might begin by remembering what the Kellogg-Briand Pact is and where it came from. Perhaps, in between celebrating Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Yellow Ribbon Day, Patriots Day, Independence Day, Flag Day, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and the Iraq-Afghanistan Wars Day legislated by Congress in 2011, not to mention the militaristic festival that bombards us every September 11th, we could squeeze in a day marking a step toward peace. I propose we do so every August 27th. Perhaps a national focus for Kellogg-Briand Day might be on an event in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., (if it safely reopens following the recent earthquake) where the inscription below the Kellogg Window gives Kellogg, who is buried there, credit for having “sought equity and peace among the nations of the world.”
We would be celebrating a step toward peace, not its achievement. We celebrate steps taken toward establishing civil rights, despite that remaining a work in progress. By marking partial achievements we help build the momentum that will achieve more. We also, of course, respect and celebrate the ancient establishment of laws banning murder and theft, although murder and theft are still with us. The earliest laws making war into a crime, something it had not been before, are just as significant and will long be remembered if the movement for the Outlawry of war succeeds. If it does not, and if the nuclear proliferation, economic exploitation, and environmental degradation that come with our wars continue, then before long there may be nobody remembering anything at all.
Another way to revive a treaty that in fact remains law would, of course, be to begin complying with it. When lawyers, politicians, and judges want to bestow human rights on corporations, they do so largely on the basis of a court reporter’s note added to, but not actually part of, a Supreme Court ruling from over a century back. When the Department of Justice wants to “legalize” torture or, for that matter, war, it reaches back to a twisted reading of one of the Federalist Papers or a court decision from some long forgotten era. If anyone in power today favored peace, there would be every justification for recalling and making use of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. It is actually law. And it is far more recent law than the U.S. Constitution itself, which our elected officials still claim, mostly unconvincingly, to support. The Pact, excluding formalities and procedural matters, reads in full,
The High Contracting Parties solemly [sic] declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.
The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.
The French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand, whose initiative had led to the Pact and whose previous work for peace had already earned him a Nobel Peace Prize, remarked at the signing ceremony,
For the first time, on a scale as absolute as it is vast, a treaty has been truly devoted to the very establishment of peace, and has laid down laws that are new and free from all political considerations. Such a treaty means a beginning and not an end. . . . [S]elfish and willful war which has been regarded from of old as springing from divine right, and has remained in international ethics as an attribute of sovereignty, has been at last deprived by law of what constituted its most serious danger, its legitimacy. For the future, branded with illegality, it is by mutual accord truly and regularly outlawed so that a culprit must incur the unconditional condemnation and probably the hostility of all his co-signatories.
Please sign up on FaceBook:
Please bring signs, banners, posters!
1 p.m. at the Free Speech Wall.
Please print lots of these flyers to hand out:
Here's what the flyers say:
Go, Obama, Go!
While you wait . . .
It's important that we remind ourselves why we're here, and what we're cheering for!
President Obama keeps a list of "nominees" for murder and holds meetings on Tuesdays to pick the winners. We can ask him who got the nod yesterday. The list includes adults and children, men and women, boys and girls, Americans and non-Americans. See: New York Times, May 29, 2012.
President Obama has enlarged the U.S. military three years in a row, deployed it to more nations, engaged it in more secret wars, and invented a new form of warfare using drones. The drone wars are killing large numbers of people and creating vastly greater numbers of refugees. Their illegality is not a concern, following Obama's war in Libya conducted despite the opposition of Congress, and the current U.S. role in a civil war in Syria unilaterally announced by the White House. These are on top of a war in Afghanistan that Obama tripled in size and intends to continue for two-and-a-half more years before continuing at an unspecified smaller scale for 10 more years after that, despite 70 percent public opposition now.
In fact, legality has been removed from all discussion, as President Obama has publicly instructed the Attorney General of the United States not to prosecute any members of the Central Intelligence Agency for torture. President Obama, together with Congress, has "legalized" imprisonment without trial for Americans or non-Americans (something Obama's Justice Department is currently struggling to uphold in court), as well as rendition, and torture (now a policy choice rather than a crime).
The Obama administration has engaged in an unprecedented assault on whistleblowers, charging more than all previous administrations combined under the Espionage Act, creating a climate of secrecy and fear, torturing Bradley Manning, and maneuvering in an extensive effort to gain custody of Julian Assange and try or at least punish him for journalism.
This unprecedented militarism was the inevitable result of our failure to hold Bush and Cheney responsible for their crimes. It carries with it the inevitable trade-off on the domestic side. Over half of federal discretionary spending (and rising) now goes to war preparation. Obama's major complaint with the U.S. media is that, "He particularly believes that Democrats do not receive enough credit for their willingness to accept cuts in Medicare and Social Security" (New York Times, Aug. 7, 2012). The concentration of wealth in the hands of the few has advanced faster under Obama than under Bush. Corporate trade agreements have been created at a faster pace. The destruction of the earth's atmosphere has continued at a faster pace.
The Horrible Romney Alternative
OF COURSE you should not vote for Romney. But civil rights were not gained by avoiding the responsibilities of citizenship in order to pretend that every day is election day. Today is not election day. Today is an opportunity to communicate a message to the holder of an office that has been given unprecedented power (again, by allowing Bush to walk free). Women did not vote themselves the right to vote. The labor movement was not built by the current strategy of funding a corporate political party with working people's hard-earned pay. In that moment of voting, vote as you see fit. But censoring your criticism of your government, cheering as a spectator for one half of a corrupt government, treating government of the people as a spectator sport is working against what has always done the good you are intending to do here. We don't need well-meaning props in electoral commercials so much as we need activists, organizers, mobilizers, educators. If we reject any cuts to our Social Security and Medicare, if we insist on an end to all the killing, we will move the culture of the country and with it all the politicians. That's what's worked for centuries. Avoiding ugly facts has never gotten us anywhere.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Six out of seven protesters were arrested Thursday night after they held a peaceful sit-in inside President Obama's campaign headquarters and refused to leave.
The protesters marched to the headquarters after a 5 p.m. rally in Frank Ogawa Plaza in support of Bradley Manning, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.
By Dave Lindorff
International Call to Action:Support the General Motors-Colombia Hunger StrikersThirteen members of ASOTRECOL, the Association of Injured and Ex-Workers of General Motors Colombia, launched a hunger strike on Wednesday, August 1st outside the U.S. embassy to demand that GM justly compensate, provide medical care, and reintegrate over 200 workers who were fired after suffering work-related injuries. As proof of their commitment, the workers have sewn their mouths shut and plan to carry out the hunger strike to the death. August 24th marks the 24th day of their to-the-death hunger strike and 387 days of a tent occupation in front of the U.S. embassy in Bogotá. General Motors walked out of negotiations on August 6th and has since refused to return to the table. A few days ago Colombian authorities shut off the electrical supply to the hunger strikers' camp, leaving them without light and necessary medical equipment.Protests organized for August 24thDetroit: GM Headquarters, 300 Renaissance Center --- 12pmWashington D.C.: Capitol Hill --- 12pmNew York: Colombian Consulate --- 12pmBogotá: U.S. Embassy, 24/7São Paulo: Colombian EmbassyHanover: Colombian EmbassySPONSORS (as of 8/22): Witness for Peace; United Steel Workers; São José Metal Workers Union, Brazil (Sindicato dos Metalurgicos de São José dos Campos e Região); International Automotive Workers Council (Internationaler
Automobilarbeiterratschlag); Service Employees International Union 32 BJ; Occupy Wall Street Labor Outreach Committee; South East Michigan Jobs with Justice; Washtenaw Community Action Team; Graduate Employees’ Organization, AFT-Michigan, Local 3550; Lecturer Employees' Organization, AFT-Michigan, Local 6244; Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice; Moratorium Now!; U.S./Cuba Labor Exchange; Autoworkers Caravan; Organization for a Free Society; Solidarity; International Action CenterASOTRECOL website: www.asotrecol.com
Tell the City of Charlotte and the Democratic National Convention: Support the City Workers’ Demands for Basic Workers’ Rights!
Click HERE to sign
Click HERE to sign and send a message to the Charlotte City Council, the Obama administration, the Democratic National Convention Committee and others, telling them you support the City of Charlotte workers' demands for a city ordinance enacting a City Workers Bill of Rights.
Support the City of Charlotte Workers' Demands for a city ordinance inacting a City Workers Bill of Rights calling for:
An End to unfair disciplines
Payroll union dues deduction
Meet-and-confer with union representatives
Collective bargaining rights
Click HERE to sign!
By Kathy Kelly
At Maryhouse Catholic Worker, in New York City, word arrived, on a hot August day that, due to street construction, the water would be cut off for four hours the following day. The Catholic Worker community serves scores of guests each day, and the water shortage would have to be dealt with practically. Catholic Workers are legend for being practical in their approach toward problem solving, and in this matter a decision was quickly made: fill the bathtubs on each floor with water, post a sign that none of the toilets could be used, and quickly make one hundred or so egg salad sandwiches which could be served to guests at the door since it wouldn’t be practical to invite people indoors when there wouldn’t be any running water. How could they wash the dishes? What about the women who were accustomed to coming in and taking a shower? And how could you close off the toilets to the usual flow of guests?
The Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity is the first bi-national, independent, non-partisan, and non-violent initiative against organized crime, money laundering, HSCB, Citibank Bank and other greedy financial institutions that are equally responsible of the blood shed caused by the drug lords and their Mexican corrupted government serving them and causing the death of 60,000 in this administration, supported by the US government as well.
It is a movement to stop the violence by gun control and stop the prohibition on drugs, so that the problem can be addressed as a public health problem instead of a national security problem.
Headed by Poet Javier Sicilia whose son was murdered, this 100-people Caravan formed mostly by victims of the drug war just crossed the border, got to LA.
Please take a moment to read his words. It is worth the time! You can also help by telling your fellow Occupiers in the cities where the caravan will stop in its one-month ride to end up protest in front of the White House.
Saturday 18th they protested in Albuquerque, Sunday 19th in Santa Fe, and are now headed to San Antonio, Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland and NYC. Here is the link to the Caravan calendar in detail. http://www.caravanforpeace.org/caravan/?page_id=116
REGARDING OWS IN NYC: The caravan is headed to NYC! Arriving here in September 6th! If you can welcome and march with them with OWS signs at 6PM AT 490 Riverside Drive, New York, NY, it will be great support to the peace riders!!
There will be a vigil and a march. Invite all your friends!! If you cannot make it on Thursday, check the calendar for future activities on Friday.
Also, we need hands at the kitchen on Thursday and Friday. If you want and can volunteer for just one hour or if you know you might have time available, let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “kitchen help” so that we organize a schedule.
Thank you so much for your solidarity!!
A HuffPo article about the Caravan:
“Another critical reason for ending prohibition (and one that’s often overlooked in my opinion), is American national security. After ten years of service with the government’s two main border enforcement agencies, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), I know that an indefinite drug war in Mexico equates to an indefinite drug war here in the United States. Southwest border states (especially Texas and Arizona) are increasingly witnessing spillover violence, and this trend will only increase as Mexico’s plight becomes more dire in years ahead. The only way to end this is to eliminate the black market for illicit narcotics, or at least to minimize the deadly industry, and legalizing marijuana alone at this point would do much to accomplish that feat.
I spoke this past weekend at the Kateri Peace Conference in upstate New York ( http://kateripeaceconference.org ) along with Kathy Kelly, John Horgan, Ellen Grady, James Ricks, Matt Southworth, Walt Chura, and many others. Watch for the video, because a terrific discussion took place around a series of questions posed by the event organizers. The following are some of the initial responses I had prepared beforehand.
Why Work Against War
War engages me because of its unique relationship to morality. Killing is a long-standing taboo. Killing is often if not always the worst thing that can be done to someone. But killing on a larger scale, organizing numerous people to kill numerous other people is often treated very differently. When a government kills its own people, that's generally considered an outrage. But when a government kills another nation's people, that's not always viewed as a moral problem. In fact a government killing its own people is often used as a justification for another nation to come in and kill more of the first nation's people. Killing in war, and lesser crimes in war, are given a moral pass or even praised. A U.S. military sniper bragged on the debut episode this week of NBC's war reality show "Stars Earn Stripes" that he had "160 kills." Not that he killed 160 people. The people are erased in his language. "I have 160 kills." And the show itself is a dramatization of U.S. news coverage of U.S. wars, in which the only participants are Americans. The 95% of victims in our one-sided slaughters are rarely mentioned in U.S. news coverage, and on this new war-o-tainment show the heroic warriors attack empty fields, blow up guard towers with no guards, kick in doors of uninhabited houses, and spend so much time talking about how "real" it all is that none of them seem to notice that there are no enemies or victims to be found.
By Dave Lindorff
If you want to know how moribund the Democratic Party is, how completely owned by Wall Street the president is, and how sick our national politics have become, just consider Social Security.
Hundreds rally at Obama campaign offices for Bradley, veterans arrested (photos & video
The Bradley Manning Support Network, Afghans For Peace and SF Bay Iraq Veterans Against the War Call for Nationwide Actions at local Obama Campaign Offices September 6th 2012 during the Democratic National Convention! Free Bradley Manning!
Since Army PFC Bradley Manning’s arrest in May 2010 for allegedly sharing the “Collateral Murder” video and other evidence of war crimes and government corruption with the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, progressives and human rights activists have been asking, “Why isn’t President Obama stepping in to help Bradley?”
After all, it was President Obama who in May 2011 declared with regards to protests in the Middle East,
“In the 21st Century, information is power; the truth cannot be hidden; and the legitimacy of governments will ultimately depend on active and informed citizens.”
On Thursday, August 16, US military veterans in Portland OR, Oakland CA, and Los Angeles CA, occupied Obama 2012 campaign offices and faxed a letter of demands to the Obama campaign’s central office. Those letters began:
As those who have spent years serving our country, we have faith that as Commander-in-Chief, President Obama will do the right thing in answering our request.
That President Obama retract and apologize for remarks made in April 2011, in which he said Bradley Manning “broke the law.” Because President Obama is commander-in-chief, this constitutes unlawful command influence, violating Article 37 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and prevents Bradley from receiving a fair trial.
That President Obama pardon the accused whistle-blower, taking into consideration his 800 days of pretrial confinement. UN torture chief Juan Mendez called Manning’s treatment “cruel and inhuman,” as it included nine months of solitary confinement at Quantico despite Brig psychiatrists recommending relaxed conditions.
The Bradley Manning Support Network maintains hope that justice will prevail and that President Obama can be the vehicle of change on this issue, but first he needs to hear loud and clear from veterans and civilians across the country that the American people want amends for the unlawful torture of Bradley Manning, and believe he should be freed.
Organizers of the August 16 West Coast actions are now urging others to join them in a nationwide effort to hold actions at many more local Obama campaign offices on September 6th, the day of candidate’s nomination acceptance speech. We want to share messages of support for Bradley with Obama campaign offices from coast to coast.
Please contact email@example.com for more information about attending and/or organizing an event.
On Thursday August 16, as news broke that Ecuador was giving political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, World Can't Wait in NYC quickly put together a plan to demonstrate support for this brave decision. About 10 people who understand the significance of Wikileaks got together in front of the Ecuadorian Consulate with signs supporting the courageous stand of the Ecuadorian government: "small country - high ethics - big heart," "hands off Ecuador and Assange," and "thanks for standing up for law and morality."
We Don’t Need No Bloody Treaties: Britain Blows a Fuse over Ecuador’s Asylum Grant to Wikileaks’ Assange
By Dave Lindorff
The concerted and orchestrated campaign to capture Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and ultimately to hand him over to the tender mercies of a kangaroo court in the US, where he would likely be tried for spying and other possibly capital offenses, continues as Britain threatens the Ecuadoran Embassy with a police assault.
World Can't Wait will be in Charlotte, NC September 1-6 to protest these crimes.
- Join our contingent of orange jumpsuits and model drones to represent those who have been victims of these crimes for the mass march on Sunday, September 2. Rally 11:00 am, March 1:00 pm from Frazier Park, Charlotte NC
- Join us for street outreach and theater throughout the week. Help bring the message Humanity and the Planet Come First: Stop the Crimes of Your Government before the eyes of the world in Charlotte!
Chicago will witness the annual Air & Water Show this weekend. Weapons of mass destruction will screech across the sky and military recruiters will prowl for 'warm bodies' among the hundreds of thousands who come for an afternoon at the beach.
On Saturday, Aug 18, Chicago World Can't Wait, Occupy Chicago, No Drones Illinois, Protest Chaplains, Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ and many friends will challenge this glorification of war for empire and engage thousands who will be there. Dynamic political theater, interactive art, and the counter-recruitment message of We Are Not Your Soldiers will turn the biggest day of the year for military recruiting into a day for mobilizing to stop these wars for empire.
Early in September, Obama and the Democrats, who have carried forward some of the very crimes so hated under Bush, will gather at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC to affirm, bless, and continue US aggression around the world and unjust policies at home.
If you believed that wars of aggression, indefinite detention, torture, drone bombings, a presidential “kill list,” the outrageous suspension of core civil liberties, and the wars on immigrants and women were wrong under Bush, then they are just as wrong under Obama.
By Dave Lindorff
We’ve all heard it said by our teachers when we were in school, we’ve all heard it said by politicians, including presidents: “Democracies don’t start wars.”
The 14th Annual Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference will be held in upstate New York on August 17-18, 2012.
Speakers including Thomas Gumbleton, Kathy Kelly, John Horgan, Clare Grady, David Swanson, Matt Southworth, Walt Chura, and James Ricks will address the topic of revolutionary love.
Daniel Fearn has died. We will miss him badly. The entire Impeach for Peace and Justice section of this website was his doing:
Susan Clark and Woden Teachout's new book, "Slow Democracy," offers the civil equivalent to slow food. The goal of both is not slowness for its own sake, but quality, health, sustainability, and the pursuit of happiness.
We all know that the federal government ignores us most of the time, state governments nod in our direction once in a blue moon, and local governments listen to us quite often. So, there is an argument to be made for moving decision-making powers to the local level and engaging there.
By Linn Washington, Jr.
One year after riots rocked 66 areas across England for five days in some of the worst disturbances in that nation’s history, the issue that initially ignited those disturbances – police abuse – remains an unresolved problem.
Aug. 2, 2012
Hosted by Christina Malisoff.
August 17, 18, 2012, Fonda, N.Y., Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference