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Bush Family, Inner Circle at Center of Lawsuits vs. Denton, TX Fracking Ban<p>On November 4, <a href="http://www.desmogblog.com/
Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog
George P. Bush; Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
On November 4, Denton, Texas, became the first city in the state to ban the process of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") when 59 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of the initiative. It did so in the heart of the Barnett Shale basin, where George Mitchell — the "father of fracking" — drilled the first sample wells for his company Mitchell Energy.
As promised by the oil and gas industry and by Texas Railroad Commission commissioner David Porter, the vote was met with immediate legal backlash. Both the Texas General Land Office and the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) filed lawsuits in Texas courts within roughly 12 hours of the vote taking place, the latest actions in the aggressive months-long campaign by the industry and the Texas state government to fend off the ban.
The Land Office and TXOGA lawsuits, besides making similar legal arguments about state law preempting local law under the Texas Constitution, share something else in common: ties to former President George W. Bush and the Bush family at large.
In the Land Office legal case, though current land commissioner Jerry Patterson signed off on the lawsuit, he will soon depart from office. And George Prescott Bush — son of former Florida Governor and prospective 2016 Republican Party presidential nominee Jeb Bush and nephew of former President George W. Bush — will take his place.
George P. Bush won his land commissioner race in a landslide, gaining 61 percent of the vote. Given the cumbersome and lengthy nature of litigation in the U.S., it appears the Land Office case will have only just begun by the time Bush assumes the office.
The TXOGA legal complaint was filed by a powerful team of attorneys working at the firm Baker Botts, the international law firm named after the familial descendants of James A. Baker III, a partner at the firm.
Baker III served as chief-of-staff under both President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush and as a close advisor to President George W. Bush on the U.S. occupation of Iraq. He gave George P. Bush a $10,000 donation for his campaign for his race for land commissioner.
Photo Credit: Texas Land Commission
The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which exempts the oil and gas industry from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act for fracking, is seen by critics as the legacy of ashes left behind by the George W. Bush Administration.
Yet almost a decade later, the two lawsuits filed against Denton show the Bush oil and gas legacy clearly lives on and stretches from the state where the fracking industry was born all the way to Iraq and back again.
From World Beyond War:
Open this PDF for a joint statement from over 20 peace organizations and what you can do: Alternatives-to-War
Here’s a more in-depth answer to “What About ISIS?” from World Beyond War.
November 11 is Armistice Day. Here’s a tool kit from Veterans For Peace that you can use in celebrating and educating. And here’s an article describing how Armistice Day or Remembrance Day has been changed from a day of peace to a day of war — a history we have to know if we are going to change it.
Here’s a tool kit for all kinds of events developed by World Beyond War.
The first thing we can all do is sign the peace pledge if you haven’t, and ask others to do so if you have.
Are you keeping up with war abolition news on our blog?
Are you working on anything we can help with? Let us know!
Our Strategy Committee is putting the finishing touches on an educational booklet making the case to newcomers for why and how to end all war on earth.
If you’d like to join the Strategy Committee or the Media or Outreach or Events or Fundraising or Nonviolence or Research or Speakers Committees, please let us know.
If you don’t have the time to be that involved, do you have the ability to chip in a small donation to help fund our work?
Join Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism project, for an in-depth discussion on the crisis. We will discuss:
- Why is the Obama administration going back to war in Iraq and Syria?
- What is ISIS and why are they considered such a threat?
- Is this U.S. war helping the Syrian regime?
- Who – AND IN what country – is next?
Please join us for this important discussion – and invite your friends!
Understanding the U.S.-ISIS Crisis and Washington's New Wars: A Discussion on Context with Phyllis Bennis
Thursday, November 13, 2014
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST
You can participate in the webinar online or in-person with us in the conference room of the Institute for Policy Studies (1112 16th Street NW, Suite 600, Washington DC, 20036.)
If you will be joining us online, you can listen in using either using your computer's microphone and speakers or your telephone.
After entering your information at the above link, instructions on how to participate will be displayed and emailed to you.
We hope to see you there!
November 11th in the United States is marked and marred by a holiday that relatively recently had its name changed to "Veterans Day" and its purpose converted and perverted into celebrating war. This year a "Concert for Valor" will be held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
In the box at right is a blurb from the concert website. "Thank you for your service" and "Support the troops" are phrases used to get people to support wars without thinking about whether they should be supporting wars. Notice that you're supposed to thank veterans first and ask them which war they were in and what they did in it afterwards. What if you oppose war? Or what if you oppose some wars and some tactics?
Here's the disgusted response to the Concert for Valor from a veteran who's sick of being thanked for his so-called service:
"There is no question that we should honor people who fight for justice and liberty. Many veterans enlisted in the military thinking that they were indeed serving a noble cause, and it’s no lie to say that they fought with valor for their brothers and sisters to their left and right. Unfortunately, good intentions at this stage are no substitute for good politics. The war on terror is going into its 14th year. If you really want to talk about “awareness raising,” it’s years past the time when anyone here should be able to pretend that our 18-year-olds are going off to kill and die for good reason. How about a couple of concerts to make that point?"
I'm going to repeat here something I said in War Is A Lie:
Random House defines a hero as follows (and defines heroine the same way, substituting “woman” for “man”):
“1. a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
“2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child. . . .
“4. Classical Mythology.
“a. a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.”
Courage or ability. Brave deeds and noble qualities. There is something more here than merely courage and bravery, merely facing up to fear and danger. But what? A hero is regarded as a model or ideal. Clearly someone who bravely jumped out a 20-story window would not meet that definition, even if their bravery was as brave as brave could be. Clearly heroism must require bravery of a sort that people regard as a model for themselves and others. It must include prowess and beneficence. That is, the bravery can’t just be bravery; it must also be good and kind. Jumping out a window does not qualify. The question, then, is whether killing and dying in wars should qualify as good and kind. Nobody doubts that it’s courageous and brave. But is it as good a model as that of the man arrested this week for the crime of giving food to the hungry?
If you look up “bravery” in the dictionary, by the way, you’ll find “courage” and “valor.” Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary defines “valor” as
“a soldierly compound of vanity, duty, and the gambler’s hope.
‘Why have you halted?’ roared the commander of a division at Chickamauga, who had ordered a charge: ‘move forward, sir, at once.’
‘General,’ said the commander of the delinquent brigade, ‘I am persuaded that any further display of valor by my troops will bring them into collision with the enemy.’”
But would such valor be good and kind or destructive and foolhardy? Bierce had himself been a Union soldier at Chickamauga and had come away disgusted. Many years later, when it had become possible to publish stories about the Civil War that didn’t glow with the holy glory of militarism, Bierce published a story called “Chickamauga” in 1889 in the San Francisco Examiner that makes participating in such a battle appear the most grotesquely evil and horrifying deed one could ever do. Many soldiers have since told similar tales.
It’s curious that war, something consistently recounted as ugly and horrible, should qualify its participants for glory. Of course, the glory doesn’t last. Mentally disturbed veterans are kicked aside in our society. In fact, in dozens of cases documented between 2007 and 2010, soldiers who had been deemed physically and psychologically fit and welcomed into the military, performed “honorably,” and had no recorded history of psychological problems. Then, upon being wounded, the same formerly healthy soldiers were diagnosed with a pre-existing personality disorder, discharged, and denied treatment for their wounds. One soldier was locked in a closet until he agreed to sign a statement that he had a pre-existing disorder — a procedure the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee called “torture.”
Active duty troops, the real ones, are not treated by the military or society with particular reverence or respect. But the mythical, generic “troop” is a secular saint purely because of his or her willingness to rush off and die in the very same sort of mindless murderous orgy that ants regularly engage in. Yes, ants. Those teeny little pests with brains the size of . . . well, the size of something smaller than an ant: they wage war. And they’re better at it than we are.
Ants wage long and complex wars with extensive organization and unmatched determination, or what we might call “valor.” They are absolutely loyal to the cause in a way that no patriotic humans can match: “It’d be like having an American flag tattooed to you at birth,” ecologist and photojournalist Mark Moffett told Wired magazine. Ants will kill other ants without flinching. Ants will make the “ultimate sacrifice” with no hesitation. Ants will proceed with their mission rather than stop to help a wounded warrior.
The ants who go to the front, where they kill and die first, are the smallest and weakest ones. They are sacrificed as part of a winning strategy. “In some ant armies, there can be millions of expendable troops sweeping forward in a dense swarm that’s up to 100 feet wide.” In one of Moffett’s photos, which shows “the marauder ant in Malaysia, several of the weak ants are being sliced in half by a larger enemy termite with black, scissor-like jaws.” What would Pericles say at their funeral?
“According to Moffett, we might actually learn a thing or two from how ants wage war. For one, ant armies operate with precise organization despite a lack of central command.” And no wars would be complete without some lying: “Like humans, ants can try to outwit foes with cheats and lies.” In another photo, “two ants face off in an effort to prove their superiority — which, in this ant species, is designated by physical height. But the wily ant on the right is standing on a pebble to gain a solid inch over his nemesis.” Would honest Abe approve?
In fact, ants are such dedicated warriors that they can even fight civil wars that make that little skirmish between the North and South look like touch football. A parasitic wasp, Ichneumon eumerus, can dose an ant nest with a chemical secretion that causes the ants to fight a civil war, half the nest against the other half. Imagine if we had such a drug for humans, a sort of a prescription-strength Fox News. If we dosed the nation, would all the resulting warriors be heroes or just half of them? Are the ants heroes? And if they are not, is it because of what they are doing or purely because of what they are thinking about what they are doing? And what if the drug makes them think they are risking their lives for the benefit of future life on earth or to keep the anthill safe for democracy?
Here ends the War Is A Lie excerpt. Are ants too hard to relate to? What about children. What if a teacher persuaded a bunch of 8 years olds, rather than 18 year olds to fight and kill and risk dying for a supposedly great and noble cause? Wouldn't the teacher be a criminal guilty of mass-murder? And what about everyone else complicit in a process of preparing the children for war -- including perhaps uniformed and be-medalled officers coming into Kindergartens, as in fact happens in reality? Isn't the difference with 18 year olds that we have a tendency to hold them responsible, at least in part, as well as whoever instigates the killing spree? Whether we should or not need not be decided, for us to decide to treat veterans with humanity while utterly rejecting any celebration of what they've done.
Here's CODEPINK planning a protest of the Concert for Valor. I urge you to join in.
I also encourage you to keep in mind and spread understanding of the history of November 11th. Again, I'm going to repeat, and modify, something I've said in a previous November:
Ninety-six years ago on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, fighting ceased in the "war to end all wars." The war brought a new scale of death, the flu, prohibition, the Espionage Act, the foundations of World War II, the crushing of progressive political movements, the institution of flag worship, the beginning of pledges of allegiance in schools and the national anthem at sporting events. It brought everything but peace.
Thirty million soldiers had been killed or wounded and another seven million had been taken captive during World War I. Never before had people witnessed such industrialized slaughter, with tens of thousands falling in a day to machine guns and poison gas. After the war, more and more truth began to overtake the lies, but whether people still believed or now resented the pro-war propaganda, virtually every person in the United States wanted to see no more of war ever again. Posters of Jesus shooting at Germans were left behind as the churches along with everyone else now said that war was wrong. Al Jolson wrote in 1920 to President Harding:
"The weary world is waiting for
So take away the gun
From every mother's son
And put an end to war."
Congress passed an Armistice Day resolution calling for "exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding … inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples." Later, Congress added that November 11th was to be "a day dedicated to the cause of world peace."
While the ending of warfare was celebrated every November 11th, veterans were treated no better than they are today. When 17,000 veterans plus their families and friends marched on Washington in 1932 to demand their bonuses, Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, Dwight Eisenhower, and other heroes of the next big war to come attacked the veterans, including by engaging in that greatest of evils with which Saddam Hussein would be endlessly charged: "using chemical weapons on their own people." The weapons they used, just like Hussein's, originated in the U.S. of A.
It was only after another war, an even worse war, a war that has in many ways never ended to this day, that Congress, following still another now forgotten war -- this one on Korea -- changed the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day on June 1, 1954. And it was six-and-a-half years later that Eisenhower warned us that the military industrial complex would completely corrupt our society.
Veterans Day is no longer, for most people, a day to cheer the elimination of war or even to aspire to its abolition. Veterans Day is not even a day on which to mourn or to question why suicide is the top killer of U.S. troops or why so many veterans have no houses at all in a nation in which one high-tech robber baron monopolist is hoarding $66 billion, and 400 of his closest friends have more money than half the country. It's not even a day to honestly, if sadistically, celebrate the fact that virtually all the victims of U.S. wars are non-Americans, that our so-called wars have become one-sided slaughters. Instead, it is a day on which to believe that war is beautiful and good. Towns and cities and corporations and sports leagues call it "military appreciation day" or "troop appreciation week" or "genocide glorification month." OK, I made up that last one. Just checking if you're paying attention.
Veterans For Peace has created a new tradition in recent years of returning to the celebration of Armistice Day. They even offer a tool kit so you can do the same.
In the UK, Veterans For Peace are marking what is still called Remembrance Day, and Remembrance Sunday on November 9th, with white poppies and peace banners in opposition to the British government's pro-war slant on remembering World War I.
In North Carolina, a veteran has come up with his own way of making every day Remembrance Day. But it's the celebrators of war that seem to be guiding the cultural trends. Here's the frequency of use of the word "valor" according to Google:
Bruce Springsteen will be performing at the Concert for Valor. He once wrote this lyric: "Two faces have I." Here's one that I'm willing to bet won't be on display: "Blind faith in your leaders or in anything will get you killed," Springsteen warns in the video below before declaring war good for absolutely nothing.
You'll need lots of information, Springsteen advises potential draftees or recruits. If you don't find lots of information at the Concert for Valor, you might try this teach in that evening at the Washington Peace Center.
From Veterans For Peace
Ringing 11 Bells For Peace
Each year, Veterans for Peace chapters across the nation meet in major cities to celebrate and remember the original Armistice Day as was done at the end of World War I, when the world came together in realization that war is so horrible we must end it now. Fighting ceased in the "war to end all wars" on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Congress responded to a universal hope among Americans for no more wars by passing a resolution calling for “exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding … inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.” Later, Congress added that November 11th was to be “a day dedicated to the cause of world peace.” Armistice Day is a reminder of the day that leaders came together to end the “war to end all wars.” However, we must also acknowledge that many soldiers had already determined that the fighting must end, during the Christmas Truce in 1914. As you likely already know, VFP is celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Christmas Truce this year, along with many allies across the world. Expect an e-mail from Casey on November 12th, as we enter the last few weeks leading up to December 24th. During that time, we want to tell the story of the Christmas Truce and explain the importance of the spontaneous decision of rival soldiers’ to lay down their weapons. This Armistice Day, in addition to hosting a local event, we are asking that members try to tie in the Christmas Truce message. You can learn more about the Christmas Truce Campaign here. Please consider hosting your own local Armistice Day event this year! Many chapters choose to ring bells, but other ceremonies include: Chalk Art, Candle Vigil, Marches, Street Theatre, Poetry Readings, or Reading of Names of the Fallen. Register your event here. If you would like some brochures, tabling materials, and button to give out at your event, email email@example.com.
Here are some ways that you can get involved with Armistice Day efforts:
- Reach out to clergy, invite them to participate in your event. Invite community members, local allies, and friends to join in the event. You can use the Armistice Invitation Letter, drafted by members in VFP Chapter 27.
- Download the press release, provided by VFP National, and distribute to local media.
- Share the “peace bell” image on social media.
- You can use these sample tweets for Twitter:
- @VFPNational rings bells 11 times on #ArmisticeDay instead of shooting guns into the air #VeteransDay #Peace
- #ArmisticeDay is a day of #peace. Celebrate by ringing 11 bells #VeteransDay @VFPNational
- WWI was "a war to end war." Celebrating its end was celebrating the end of all wars #ArmisticeDay #Peace #VeteransDay @VFPNational
- Celebrate #ArmisticeDay by ringing 11 bells at 11am today #VeteransDay @VFPNAtional
- Bells rung on the 11th month, the 11th day, at 11am in 1918, celebrate end of WWI "the war to end all wars" @VFPNational #ArmisticeDay
- Learn More About Armistice Day, and share the facts:
All participants are asked to read and share the Armistice Day Statement
“The Armistice of 1918 ended the terrible slaughter of World War I. The U.S. alone had experienced the death of over 116,000 soldiers, plus many more who were physically and mentally disabled. For one moment, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the world agreed World War I must be considered the WAR TO END ALL WARS. There was exuberant joy everywhere, and many churches rang their bells, some 11 times at 11 a.m. November 11, when the Armistice was signed. For many years this practice endured, and then slowly, it faded away. Now we do it again. We ring the bells 11 times, with a moment of silence, to remember the many soldiers and civilians killed and injured by warfare, and to make our own commitment to work for peace, in our family, our church, our community, our nation, our world.
GOD BLESS THE ENTIRE WORLD.”
Download and print the Armistice's Day Message below
- Armistice Day Handout (292 KB pdf)
David Hartsough will be speaking about his new book, WAGING PEACE: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist and World Beyond War
Sunday, Nov 2 at 1pm at the San Francisco Friends Meetinghouse at 65 9th St in San Francisco (between Market and Mission near the Civic Center Bart station) and
Sunday, Nov 9 at 6 pm at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists at 1606 Bonita (at Cedar St) in Berkeley.
Afterward he will be signing copies of the book
David Hartsough knows how to get in the way. He has used his body to block Navy ships headed for Vietnam and trains loaded with munitions on their way to El Salvador and Nicaragua. He has crossed borders to meet “the enemy” in East Berlin, Castro's Cuba, and present-day Iran. He has marched with mothers confronting a violent regime in Guatemala and stood with refugees threatened by death squads in the Philippines.
Waging Peace is a testament to the difference one person can make. Hartsough’s stories inspire, educate, and encourage readers to find ways to work for a more just and peaceful world. Inspired by the examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Hartsough has spent his life experimenting with the power of active nonviolence. It is the story of one man’s effort to live as though we were all brothers and sisters.
Engaging stories on every page provide a peace activist’s eyewitness account of many of the major historical events of the past sixty years, including the Civil Rights and anti–Vietnam War movements in the United States and the little-known but equally significant nonviolent efforts in the Soviet Union, Kosovo, Palestine, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.
Hartsough’s story demonstrates the power and effectiveness of organized nonviolent action. But Waging Peace is more than one man’s memoir. Hartsough shows how this struggle is waged all over the world by ordinary people committed to ending the spiral of violence and war.
A note from David Swanson:
Crisis in the Middle East: Alternatives to War
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
2:00 pm EST
There is no doubt that ISIS needs to be stopped. However, military force is not the answer, and there are alternatives to consider. WAND has been advocating for strong international efforts focusing on unified economic and diplomatic strategies that include concrete approaches offered directly by women on the frontlines of building peace in Iraq and Syria.
Unfortunately the United States is now starting down a military intervention path that is leading toward another protracted war with high costs for the United States as well as Syria, Iraq, and the Middle East. As Congress returns for its post-election work, it must debate plans for the path forward.
Join us to discuss how we choose and navigate the path to peace and security. WAND’s Women, Peace, and Security Policy Director Julie Arostegui and Senior Public Policy Director Kathy Robinson will discuss strategies and offer alternatives to war.
1. Coast-to-Coast March for Climate Action Reaches D.C. Saturday
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Saturday, November 1 the Great March for Climate Action arrives at its destination in Washington, D.C. The Climate March departed Los Angeles on March 1, 2014 to inspire action on the climate across the country. The marchers marched 3,000 miles to reach D.C. through extreme weather conditions and past towering oil refineries, pipelines, fracking sites, uranium mines, and solar and wind farms.
The tens of thousands of interactions and conversations enjoyed along the way are immeasurable, but crucial to the understanding of the effects of climate change on the nation. The March gathers stories from across the country of hardships from anthropogenic climate disruption and will portray and represent the nation’s people when they arrive in D.C. on November 1st.
On November 1, the March will meet supporters at 8:30 am at the Elm Street Urban Park in Bethesda, Maryland to march for the last and final day into Washington, D.C. At 1 pm they will hold a closing ceremony at Lafayette Park to highlight stories from the marchers about their experiences along the way. A storytelling celebration will commence at 7 pm at St. Steven’s that evening, signifying the end of the 8-month march. Updates will be available on www.climatemarch.org/dc for all those who want to join in the triumphant arrival.
2. Peace Through Revolution
On November 1st and 2nd, the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations (BIBC) will emphasize the largely unreported cases of Africans who have fallen victim to police violence and murder by police throughout the U.S.
Starting at noon at Malcolm X Park the rally will feature a broad range of speakers that will include former NY City Councilman Charles Barron, Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report, Pam Africa from the MOVE organization and Friends and Family of the imprisoned Mumia Abu Jamal and Omali Yeshitela, Chairman of the African Socialist International and the Coalition itself.
The rally will end at 3 p.m. when the protest march on the White House will begin, the 5th such march since the 2009 founding of the Coalition, which had as a major aim the exposure of the Obama presidency as hostile to world peace and the interests of black and oppressed peoples within the U.S. and throughout the world.
Coalition leaders are calling on black people from throughout the U.S. to march with placards with the names and pictures of family members and friends who have suffered brutality and murder at the hands of the police
On November 2nd the Coalition will conduct a “teach-in” at Howard University, Blackburn Center beginning at 11 a.m. Presenters will discuss U.S. escalation of the wars in the Middle East as well as U.S. complicity in the Israeli massacre of Palestinians in Gaza Strip.
Other discussions will expose the Ebola scare in West Africa as continuation of U.S. and European war against Africa.
An important part of the teach-in agenda will deal with the mass incarceration of African people within the U.S. and the police murder and violence against black people that was brought to public attention with the murder of Mike Brown.
The police murder of Brown resulted in inspirational mass resistance by the people that defied police repression and attempts by some middle class African leaders who would sacrifice justice in the name of peace.
The theme for the entire two-day event is “Peace through revolution.” It is a theme that organizers feel necessary to direct attention to the fact that the attacks on world peace are a normal feature of the U.S. capitalist system that has its origins in the enslavement of African people and the land theft of the native people who suffered near-genocide in the “founding” of the U.S.
For more information the public is invited to call: 224-572-9887; 727-821-6620. Or go to http://blackisbackcoalition.org
Erica Violet Lee of Idle No More in conversation with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV on the eve of the largest Climate Justice march in history.
“It is important to acknowledge the Indigenous people who have been fighting this battle on the front lines for centuries,” says Lee. “The big marches and massive actions (like the People’s Climate March) serve as motivation. I take it back to my community (because) ultimately I think it is acts of everyday resistance that will change they way things are done.”
Erica speaks about the violence that goes hand in hand with Canada pushing through Keystone XL Pipeline, “pushing first nations people off their lands to get to resources on the lands. There is a lot of violence – especially towards Indigenous Women who are going missing and getting murdered in record numbers.”
Editor Note: An international community of resistance has formed against pervasive spying by the U.S. National Security Agency with key enclaves in Moscow (with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden) and in London (with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange), way stations visited last month by ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
By Ray McGovern
In early September in Russia, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told me about a documentary entitled “Citizenfour,” named after the alias he used when he asked filmmaker Laura Poitras to help him warn Americans about how deeply the NSA had carved away their freedoms.
When we spoke, Snowden seemed more accustomed to his current reality, i.e., still being alive albeit far from home, than he did in October 2013 when I met with him along with fellow whistleblowers Tom Drake, Coleen Rowley and Jesselyn Radack, as we presented him with the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence.
A year ago, the four of us spent a long, relaxing evening with Snowden – and sensed his lingering wonderment at the irony-suffused skein of events that landed him in Russia, out of reach from the U.S. government’s long arm of “justice.”
Wednesday October 22nd is the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Take 3 minutes to hear from “Uncle Bobby,” uncle of Oscar Grant, killed by Oakland, CA police, and youth from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network & Revolution Club of the Bay Area. Then, share it!
Doing a second grand NYC appearance just before Halloween, Gen. David Petraeus will be speaking at the 92nd Street Y. Quite scary! Given Petraeus' criminal responsibility for much of the war on Iraq and Afghanistan and given the current relentless US bombing of Iraq and Syria, this is an important time to be visibly protesting – drawing connections between what he advocates, his history and current and future US policy - to make a statement about Petraeus and about the continuing and expanding US wars. We also want to point out that the General continues to teach at CUNY's Macaulay Honors College, every Monday from 3:00-6:00.
“Stop Killing Us” Say Strong Youth Leaders in Ferguson, Missouri’s Weekend of Resistance to Police Brutality
FALL BOOK TOUR PUBLIC EVENTS
OCTOBER 1-14th NEW ENGLAND STATES
Oct. 2 Thursday
7pm Cambridge Friends Meeting, 5 Longfellow Park, Cambridge, MA Contact Skip Schiel 617-441-7756
October 3 Friday
7:00pm WAGING PEACE book talk and discussion at First Universalist Church, 59 Main Street in Essex, MA. Co-sponsored by North Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice, Merrimack Valley People for Peace, Amesbury Peace Center, Samantha Smith Chapter Veterans for Peace.
Rev. Art McDonald 978-768-3690 or 978-745-9019
October 5 Sunday
11am New England Peace Pagoda,100 Cave Hill Road, Leverett ,MA (just N. of Amherst) 25th Anniversary celebration with David offering keynote address. Ceremony, Interfaith Prayers, Lunch, Cultural Program.
Sr. Clare Carter 413-357-2202
October 6 Monday
Noon-1pm Hampshire College in Amherst, MA talk sponsored by Office on Sustainability and Spiritual Life Hampshire c/o Susal Stebbins Collins, 413-559-5282
4-5:30pm World Eye Bookstore, 156 Main St. in Greenfield,MA sponsored by Traprock Peace Center. Randy Kehler, 413-624-8858
7:30pm Putney Friend’s Meeting talk and discussion in Putney, VT (need street address) Contact Nancy Lang 802-365-0247
October 7 Tuesday
7pm Broadside Bookshop, 247 Main Street in Northampton, MA Andrea Ayvazian 413-584-5666 (Bookstore -413-586-4235)
October 9 Thursday
7pm Burlington Friends Meeting, 173 North Prospect, Burlington, VT Jean McCandless 802-862-8665
October 12 Sunday
10:30am Acadia Friends Meeting, Neighborhood House on Main Street, Northeast Harbor, Maine organizer: Martha Dickinson 207-667-5863
4pm College of the Atlantic student gathering at COA McCormick Lecture Hall, Bar Harbor. Contact Gray Cox or 667-5863
OCTOBER 14-27 PACIFIC NORTHWEST
October 15 Wednesday
7:30pm Annual Peace Lecture in Salem, OR at Hudson Recital Hall, Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center, Willamette University, 900 State Street Contact Peter Bergel 503-428-4280
October 16 Thursday
7pm Eugene Friends Meetinghouse, 2274 Onyx Street, Eugene, OR contact Peg Morton 541-342-2914
October 18 Saturday
2-4pm Discussion at Salem Friends Meetinghouse, 490 19th Street in Salem, OR
7:30pm Multnomah Friends Meeting, 4312 South East Stark, Portland, OR Joyce Zerwekh 503-282-0118
October 19 Sunday
7-9pm First Unitarian Church of Portland, Rm B 202, Buchan Bldg, Co-sponsored by Peace Action Group of Church and Veterans for Peace Chapter 72
October 20 Monday
6 pm Portland State Univ. Students United for Nonviolence (SUN) discussion in Rm. 333, Smith Memorial Student Union Building contact Adam Vogal 503-864-5910
October 21 Tuesday
7:30am – 8:30 AM Portland Pearl Rotary Club at 721 NW 9th Ave in Portland. Contact Jim Bowman
7:30 pm Olympia Friends Meetinghouse, 3201 Boston Harbor Road N.E., Olympia, WA
October 22 Wednesday
7pm University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 N.E. 43rd St, Seattle, WA sponsored by University Bookstore, Eileen Harte 206-632-5167
October 23 Thursday
7pm Port Townsend, WA talk at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2333 San Juan Avenue, PT, co-sponsored with local Quakers.
October 24 Friday
1pm radio phone interview in Port Townsend
7pm Whidbey Island gathering with Tom Ewell – details to follow
October 26 Sunday
EAST COAST WAGING PEACE Book Tour
November 18-24 WASHINGTON, D.C.
**still working on tour details
November 18 Tuesday
11am-12:30pm Montgomery Community College in Rockville,MD Contact Alonzo Smith 240-994-0115
November 24-December 6 PHILA AREA
November 25 Tuesday
7pm Medford Leas talk, 661 Medford Leas, Medford, NJ 08055
Toby Riley 609-654-3661 or 609-556-3207
November 26 Wednesday
1:30pm Crosslands talk, William Penn Room at 16 Kendal Drive, Kennett Square, PA Oranizers: Clarkson Palmer and
Jean Barker, 484-770-8184
4 pm Kendal talk, Kennett Square, PA Organizers: Peggy Brick and Carlie Numi 610-388-1869 or cell 301-502-5349
November 30 Sunday
12:30 pm Central Philadelpia Quaker Meeting, 15th and Cherry Streets, Phila George Lakey 215-729-7458 or cell 610-95-6165
December 1 Monday
7 pm Talk at Pendle Hill, 338 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA
December 2 Tuesday
2pm assembly at the theatre of Westtown School – Westtown, PA
December 4 Thursday
5pm book talk at Swarthmore (place to be announced) Lee Smithey
December 8-11 NEW YORK CITY
***We welcome ideas and contacts!!
CALIFORNIA Book Talks for Nov/Dec
Nov 2 Sunday
San Francisco 1pm SF Friends Meetinghouse, 65 9th Street
David Hartsough 415-751-0302
Nov 5 Wednesday
Chico 7pm Chico State University & Chico Peace Center
Dan Eberhardt 214-476-5846
November 9 Sunday
Berkeley 7pm Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship, Cedar and Bonita, Berkeley Cynthia Johnson 510-495-5132
December 16 Tuesday
Santa Rosa 7:15pm Friends House, 684 Benicia Drive, Santa Rosa Ann Scott, coordinator 707-573-4564
December 18 Thursday
Sacramento 7-9pm The Marxist school of Sacramento organized by PM Press – Sierra 2 Center, 2791 – 24th Street, Classroom 9 (between Castro Way and 4th Avenue)
For info or changes, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Veterans For Peace UK
Sunday 9 November 2014
Whitehall Place, London
On Remembrance Sunday, Veterans For Peace UK will walk to The Cenotaph under the banner “NEVER AGAIN”.
We will hold a ceremony at The Cenotaph to remember all of those killed in war.
Supporters of VFP UK are invited and encouraged to follow us to The Cenotaph.
1330 hrs Meet at Whitehall Place
1400 hrs Form up at Whitehall place
1410 hrs Move off from Whitehall Place
1415 hrs Arrive at The Cenotaph and carry out the ceremony.
1430 hrs Depart from The Cenotaph
1435 hrs Arrive back at Whitehall Place
1500 hrs Disperse from Whitehall Place
VFP UK enter the enclosure and line up facing the Cenotaph.
The song “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” will be sung, followers are encouraged to join in.
(Lyrics at the bottom of this page).
The poem “The Cenotaph” will be read
The Wreath will be laid.
The Last Post.
One minutes silence.
VFP will move off out of the enclosure and back towards Whitehall Place.
VFP Members – VFP UK Hoody, Shirt, Black Tie, Dark Trousers, Dark Shoes. Poppy (White / Red / Both / None).
Followers – As if you are attending a funeral.
Never Again Banner – To be carried by two VFP members at the front.
Wreath – To consist of 90% White Poppies and 10% Red to mark the huge proportion of civilians killed in modern warfare.
VFP UK Banner – To be carried by two VFP members at the rear and before the followers.
Only the designated film-makers Shaun Dey and Guy Smallman can enter the enclosure of The Cenotaph.
VFP Members will not be conducting interviews on the day.
Instructions for Followers
All are invited to follow us to The Cenotaph.
Followers are not to enter the enclosure of The Cenotaph.
No banners, placards or megaphones are to be carried by those following VFP UK.
Dress must be smart / sombre as if you are attending a funeral.
All attending agree to conform to the VFP UK Statement of Nonviolence
Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls picked them everyone
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the young girls gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young girls gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone to young men everyone
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the young men gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young men gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers everyone
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the graveyards gone, long time passing?
Where have all the graveyards gone, long time ago?
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers, everyone
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?
Protesters Meet Obama at SF Fundraiser:
No More War on Iraq, Stop Bombing Syria, U.S. Out of the Middle East
Emergency Protest Demonstration
Friday October 10: 3:30 PM into evening
At Obama’s Speech at the Democratic Party Fundraiser
3rd Street at Mission (outside the W HOTEL, 3rd and Howard)
President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak in San Francisco, addressing a Democratic Party fundraiser -- at the very moment that American air strikes are bombing Syria and Iraq.
World Can’t Wait and others (Code Pink, ANSWER Coalition) will demonstrate to denounce U.S. air strikes and other war moves, aggression, and military action in Syria, Iraq, and the entire region. They also demand an end to U.S. aid to Israel in the wake of the latest assault on Gaza this summer.
A replica of a war-fighting drone will fly over the protest.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, a renowned homebase of protest against U.S. wars over decades, protesters will gather at the fundraiser site for a rally. They will denounce this current air strike escalation , and all U.S. military action in the Middle East, both for its immediate stated motive and for its long-term impact.
In response to the Obama argument that renewed U.S. war in the region is necessary because of the aggressive moves by ISIS/ISIL/IS, the protesters dispute every citation by the government. World Can’t Wait states: “ISIS is bad, but the U.S. war for empire is even worse.”
Originally posted at AcronymTV
The murder of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Office Darren Wilson set off and wave of protests, the majority of which were non violent. The militarized police response and the violent repression of peaceful protestors will only get worse if the economic conditions of this country do not change radically and quickly, says David DeGraw, author of the new book, The Economics of Revolt. “If you want to change things through non-violent methods, the window of opportunity is closing fast. Very fast,” says DeGraw.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was working towards a guaranteed basic income for all when he was killed. Wealth inequality, neoliberalism, the actions of the Federal Reserve, along with the greed and theft of the global elite have made the call for a guaranteed basic income for all even more urgent in 2014 than in the 1960s.
David DeGraw, interviewed here by Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TVclaims the alternative is a violent revolution.
In his new book, The Economics of Revolution, DeGraw writes:
Originally posted at AcronymTV
Anne Petermann, has been banned from future U.N. Climate Conferances for her vocal activism. Here, she outlines the last decade of U.N. Climate Conference failures and false solutions.
About Anne Petermann |
Anne Petermann is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project. She is also the Coordinator of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees; the North American Focal Point for the Global Forest Coalition; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Will Miller Social Justice Lecture Series.
Originally posted at AcronymTV
About 50 protesters seeking justice for Mike Brown delayed the start of the second act of Brahms requiem on Saturday night at the St. Louis Symphony in a brilliantly executed creative protest captured by Rebecca Rivas of the St. Louis American.
(read more: http://www.popularresistance.org/demonstrators-disrupt-st-louis-symphony-singing-a-requiem-for-mike-brown/)
Wednesday, Oct 15 at 7:15 p.m. at Naro Cinema in Norfolk, Va.
LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM
Award-winning independent filmmaker Rory Kennedy’s new film chronicles a story few of us have heard before. During the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance crumbles. The prospect of an official evacuation of the remaining Americans and their South Vietnamese allies becomes hopelessly delayed by Congressional gridlock and a delusional U.S. Ambassador. With the clock ticking and the city under fire, a number of Americans take matters into their own hands, engaging in unsanctioned and often makeshift operations in a desperate effort to save as many South Vietnamese lives as possible. (98 mins)
David Swanson, RootsAction campaign coordinator and WorldBeyondWar director, will return to speak at the Naro from his home in Charlottesville. He is a nationally renowned journalist, teacher, peace activist, and author of War Is A Lie, When The World Outlawed War, and War No More: The Case For Abolition.
After the historic and inspiring People’s Climate March and Flood Wall Street actions showed the potential of our growing movement, discussion is taking place about how to put that power into action. The power demonstrated on the streets of New York was a signal that we are big enough and strong enough to take our government out of the grip of the fossil fuel industry. Without question we need to step it up and organize campaigns and actions that are at the scale and boldness needed, including multi-day direct action at specific targets.
We are writing to urge participation by as many people as possible in one such initiative: a week-long series of confrontational activities in Washington, D.C. November 1-7—Beyond Extreme Energy.
By taking these actions during election week, we will be sending a message to both parties in Washington that supporting extreme energy extraction is no longer the path of least political resistance. We recognize that party loyalty is incompatible with political power for a social movement, and we have been taken for granted for too long by politicians who are scared to stand up to the fossil fuel industry. It’s time to make it clear that a politician who green lights the fossil fuels industry’s attempts to poison our communities and ruin our climate will not get our votes under any circumstances.
The week will begin on Saturday, November 1, as the Great March for Climate Action concludes its cross-country walk, begun in early March in Los Angeles. These heroic marchers have inspired us with their determined, day-after-day commitment over what will be eight months when they march into DC.
Then, from November 3-7, following a day of meeting, planning and training on November 2, there will be nonviolent direct actions every morning to block the two entrances to FERC. On July 14th 25 people did this and were successful in disrupting business-as-usual for two hours until they were arrested. That experience will inform the bigger and stronger actions being planned for November.
There will also be demonstrations at other locations—perhaps the Energy Department, Dominion Resources, the White House, the American Petroleum Institute, Democratic National Committee headquarters, and neighborhoods in DC impacted by environmental and racial injustices—in the afternoon, challenging the web of denial throughout the government and industry about the seriousness of the emergency we are in.
Our invitation to you is this: Join the Beyond Extreme Energy actions for one or more days in Washington DC, November 1-7. Help sound a call for stepped-up multi-day actions and campaigns commensurate with the scale of escalating fossil fuel extraction, rampant environmental injustices in low-income and people of color communities throughout the world, and the emergencies inherent in climate change. Help model for others what necessary and effective climate action looks like as atmospheric carbon climbs ever faster on its way past 400 parts per million. Help build a movement that is more committed to climate justice than the fossil fuel industry is to profits.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Oh my friends, there are resources in us on which we have not drawn.” Let’s engage those vast resources of people power in our struggle for climate justice so we can keep fossil fuels in the ground. We know we have the power to stop extreme energy extraction, and now is the time to use it.
Tim DeChristopher and Rev Lennox Yearwood
Tim DeChristopher is a co-founder of Peaceful Uprising. His trial and subsequent two year prison sentence for disrupting a 2008 federal auction of oil and gas leases was the subject of the award winning documentary "Bidder 70".
The Reverend Lennox Yearwood is the President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus, a national nonprofit organization that equips young people to participate in elections, policy analysis, and service project.
Forced-Feeding is Torture! No Secret Courts!
Emergency Call to Action and Solidarity Fast – Witness Against Torture
Gather at the US Federal District Court (333 Constitution Ave) on October 6 and 7
8:30 am. 333 Constitution Ave, Washington, D.C.
On Monday October 6 a trial will begin in which attorneys for Wa-ei Dhiab will seek a stop to the brutal forced-feeding of men at Guantánamo protesting their indefinite detention and abuse at the prison. Witness Against Torture is calling for a public presence at the courthouse to demand an end to forced-feeding and the closing of Guantánamo.
Dhiab is a Syrian man held without charge or trial at Guantánamo since 2002 and cleared for release in 2009 by the US government. He has, according to his attorneys, been forcibly extracted from his cell and force-fed as many as three times a day since the start of the most recent Guantanamo hunger strike in the winter/spring 2012.
Dhiab’s lawsuit seeks an end to forced-feeding. Justice Gladys Kessler, who is hearing the case, has described forced-feeding at the prison as “painful, humiliating, and degrading.” The lawsuit is our best chance to have the courts do what President Obama has been unwilling to do — end forced-feeding.
Pack the Court – No Secret Trials Dhiab’s attorneys will present as evidence videotapes showing Dhaib being violently extracted from his cell and/or force-fed. The government has petitioned that the trial be held entirely in secret so that the press and public may not see or otherwise learn about the gruesome reality of forced-feeding. Judge Kessler has denied the request, describing the government’s request of a secret trial as “deeply troubling.” As of today, portions of the trial will be open to the public. We need to pack the courthouse and demonstrate that the torture of forced-feeding is immoral, illegal, and unacceptable. Plan on attending the hearing. The attorneys for Dhiab have requested that there be no signs or anything else that may irritate the judge. Our presence, and gestures of our protest such as orange ribbons on our clothes, will convey our protest. Click here to read more: ------------------------------ Fast for Dhiab and the Hunger Strikers — Fast for Justice Witness Against Torture is calling for an emergency fast in solidarity with Wa-ei Dhiab, other hunger strikers, and all the men at Guantánamo. Please consider fasting on October 6 and/or October 7. If you plan to fast, send an email to email@example.com. Please included in the email where you live and a brief statement as to why you are fasting. Witness Against Torture will report to the media, Dhiab’s attorneys, and the public the numbers of those fasting and convey, through attorneys, your messages to Dhiab and others at Guantánamo. Furthermore, please consider making two phone calls to: 1. Cliff Sloan at the State Department (202-647-4000) to insist he tells the military to stop the inhumane practice of force feeding prisoners on hunger strike and to work more quickly to shut the doors and empty the cells of the prison. 2. U.S. Southern Command (305-437-1213) to decry the conditions at Guantánamo, especially the force feeding. Example script: I am fasting for 24 hours in solidarity with the prisoners at Guantánamo, especially for those who are on hunger strike and being force fed. I am particularly mindful of Wa-ei Dhiab, a prisoner who is being represented by attorneys in Federal District Court October 6th and 7th. His attorneys are seeking a stop to the brutal force-feeding of men at Guantánamo protesting their indefinite detention and abuse at the prison I am calling today out of concern for him and for the rest of the prisoners. I am asking you to stop the inhumane practice of force feeding and resume releasing the number of prisoners on hunger strike. The men at Guantánamo have repeatedly expressed how important it is to them to know that people in the United States and the world fast in solidarity with them. Join us on Monday, October 6th at 8:30 am. 333 Constitution Ave, Washington, D.C. ------------------------------ Witness Against Torture on Social Media: ------------------------------ Donate to support our work: Witness Against Torture is completely volunteer driven and run. We have no paid staff, but do have expenses associated with our organizing work. If you are able, please donate here. www.witnesstorture.org
Pack the Court – No Secret Trials
Dhiab’s attorneys will present as evidence videotapes showing Dhaib being violently extracted from his cell and/or force-fed. The government has petitioned that the trial be held entirely in secret so that the press and public may not see or otherwise learn about the gruesome reality of forced-feeding. Judge Kessler has denied the request, describing the government’s request of a secret trial as “deeply troubling.” As of today, portions of the trial will be open to the public.
We need to pack the courthouse and demonstrate that the torture of forced-feeding is immoral, illegal, and unacceptable.
Plan on attending the hearing. The attorneys for Dhiab have requested that there be no signs or anything else that may irritate the judge. Our presence, and gestures of our protest such as orange ribbons on our clothes, will convey our protest.
Click here to read more:
Fast for Dhiab and the Hunger Strikers — Fast for Justice
Witness Against Torture is calling for an emergency fast in solidarity with Wa-ei Dhiab, other hunger strikers, and all the men at Guantánamo. Please consider fasting on October 6 and/or October 7.
If you plan to fast, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please included in the email where you live and a brief statement as to why you are fasting.
Witness Against Torture will report to the media, Dhiab’s attorneys, and the public the numbers of those fasting and convey, through attorneys, your messages to Dhiab and others at Guantánamo.
Furthermore, please consider making two phone calls to:
1. Cliff Sloan at the State Department (202-647-4000) to insist he tells the military to stop the inhumane practice of force feeding prisoners on hunger strike and to work more quickly to shut the doors and empty the cells of the prison.
2. U.S. Southern Command (305-437-1213) to decry the conditions at Guantánamo, especially the force feeding.
Example script: I am fasting for 24 hours in solidarity with the prisoners at Guantánamo, especially for those who are on hunger strike and being force fed. I am particularly mindful of Wa-ei Dhiab, a prisoner who is being represented by attorneys in Federal District Court October 6th and 7th. His attorneys are seeking a stop to the brutal force-feeding of men at Guantánamo protesting their indefinite detention and abuse at the prison I am calling today out of concern for him and for the rest of the prisoners. I am asking you to stop the inhumane practice of force feeding and resume releasing the number of prisoners on hunger strike.
The men at Guantánamo have repeatedly expressed how important it is to them to know that people in the United States and the world fast in solidarity with them.
Join us on Monday, October 6th at 8:30 am. 333 Constitution Ave, Washington, D.C.
Witness Against Torture on Social Media:
Donate to support our work:
Witness Against Torture is completely volunteer driven and run. We have no paid staff, but do have expenses associated with our organizing work. If you are able, please donate here. www.witnesstorture.org
Libeling a movement and its activists: Accusing Hong Kong Activists of Being Tools of US Policy is Both Ignorant and Dangerous
By Dave Lindorff
A number of progressive and left-leaning writers in the US have jumped on a report by Wikileaks that the neo-con dominated National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and various other US-government linked organizations with a history of subversion and sowing discord abroad are operating in Hong Kong to make the leap of “logic” that the democracy protests in Hong Kong must therefore be a creation of US policy-makers.