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Spring Days of Action to End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance, Global Militarization

Today we issue an international call for Spring Days of Action – 2014, a coordinated campaign in April and May to:

          End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance and Global Militarization

The campaign will focus on drone bases, drone research facilities and test sites and drone manufacturers.

The campaign will provide information on:

1. The suffering of tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza who are under drone attack, documenting the killing, the wounding and the devastating impact of constant drone surveillance on community life.

2. How attack and surveillance drones have become a key element in a massive wave of surveillance, clandestine military attacks and militarization generated by the United States to protect a global system of manufacture and oil and mineral exploitation that is creating unemployment and poverty, accelerating the waste of nonrenewable resources and contributing to environmental destruction and global warming.

In addition to cases in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, we will examine President Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific, where the United States has already sold and deployed drones in the vanguard of a shift of 60% of its military forces to try to control China and to enforce the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership.  We will show, among other things, how this surge of "pivot" forces, greatly enabled by drones, and supported by the US military-industrial complex, will hit every American community with even deeper cuts in the already fragile social programs on which people rely for survival.  In short, we will connect drones and militarization with "austerity" in America.

3. How drone attacks have effectively destroyed international and domestic legal protection of the rights to life, privacy, freedom of assembly and free speech and have opened the way for new levels of surveillance and repression around the world, and how, in the United States, increasing drone surveillance, added to surveillance by the National Security Agency and police, provides a new weapon to repress black, Hispanic, immigrant and low-income communities and to intimidate Americans who are increasingly unsettled by lack of jobs, economic inequality, corporate control of politics and the prospect of endless war.

We will discuss how the United States government and corporations conspire secretly to monitor US citizens and particularly how the Administration is accelerating drone surveillance operations and surveillance inside the United States with the same disregard for transparency and law that it applies to other countries, all with the cooperation of the Congress.

The campaign will encourage activists around the world to win passage of local laws that prohibit weaponized drones and drone surveillance from being used in their communities as well as seeking national laws to bar the use of weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

The campaign will draw attention to the call for a ban on weaponized drones by RootsAction.org that has generated a petition with over 80,000 signers

http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6180

and to efforts by the Granny Peace Brigade (New York City), KnowDrones.org and others to achieve an international ban on both weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

The campaign will also urge participation in the World Beyond War movement.

The following individuals and organizations endorse this Call:

Lyn Adamson – Co-chair, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

Dennis Apel – Guadalupe Catholic Worker, California

Judy Bello – Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones & End the Wars

Medea Benjamin – Code Pink

Leah Bolger – Former National President, Veterans for Peace

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

Sung-Hee Choi – Gangjeong Village International Team, Jeju, Korea

Chelsea C. Faria – Graduate student, Yale  Divinity School; Promoting Enduring Peace

Sandy Fessler – Rochester (NY) Against War

Joy First

Bruce K. Gagnon - Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Holly Gwinn Graham – Singer/songwriter, Olympia, WA.

Regina Hagen - Darmstaedter Friedensforum, Germany

Kathy Kelly – Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Malachy Kilbride

Marilyn Levin and Joe Lombardo – Co-Coordinators, United National Antiwar Coalition

Tamara Lorincz – Halifax Peace Coalition, Canada

Nick Mottern – KnowDrones.org

Agneta Norberg – Swedish Peace Council

Pepperwolf – Director, Women Against Military Madness

Lindis Percy, Coordinator, Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases  CAAB UK

Mathias Quackenbush – San Francisco, CA

Lisa Savage – Code Pink, State of Maine

Janice Sevre-Duszynska

Wolfgang Schlupp-Hauck- Friedenswerkstatt Mutlangen, Germany

Cindy Sheehan

Lucia Wilkes Smith – Convener, Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) – Ground Military Drones Committee

David Soumis – Veterans for Peace; No Drones Wisconsin

Debra Sweet – World Can’t Wait

David Swanson - WarisACrime.org

Brian Terrell – Voices for Creative Nonviolence

United National Antiwar Coalition

Veterans for Peace 

Dave Webb – Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)

Curt Wechsler – Fire John Yoo! (a project of World Can’t Wait) – San Francisco, CA

Paki Wieland, Northampton (MA) Committee to Stop War(s)

Loring Wirbel – Citizens for Peace in Space (Colorado Springs, CO)

Women Against Military Madness

Ann Wright – Retired US Army colonel and former diplomat

Leila Zand - Fellowship of Reconciliation

 

Add your name by emailing it to: nickmottern@earthlink.net and watch for updates at http://KnowDrones.org

Cut Off the NSA’s Juice

By Norman Solomon

The National Security Agency depends on huge computers that guzzle electricity in the service of the surveillance state. For the NSA’s top executives, maintaining a vast flow of juice to keep Big Brother nourished is essential -- and any interference with that flow is unthinkable.

But interference isn’t unthinkable. And in fact, it may be doable.

Grassroots activists have begun to realize the potential to put the NSA on the defensive in nearly a dozen states where the agency is known to be running surveillance facilities, integral to its worldwide snoop operations.

Organizers have begun to push for action by state legislatures to impede the electric, water and other services that sustain the NSA’s secretive outposts.

Those efforts are farthest along in the state of Washington, where a new bill in the legislature -- the Fourth Amendment Protection Act -- is a statutory nightmare for the NSA. The agency has a listening post in Yakima, in the south-central part of the state.

The bill throws down a challenge to the NSA, seeking to block all state support for NSA activities violating the Fourth Amendment. For instance, that could mean a cutoff of electricity or water or other state-government services to the NSA site. And the measure also provides for withholding other forms of support, such as research and partnerships with state universities.

Here’s the crux of the bill: “It is the policy of this state to refuse material support, participation, or assistance to any federal agency which claims the power, or with any federal law, rule, regulation, or order which purports to authorize, the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant that particularly describes the person, place, and thing to be searched or seized.”

If the windup of that long sentence has a familiar ring, it should. The final dozen words are almost identical to key phrases in the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

In recent days, more than 15,000 people have signed a petition expressing support for the legislation. Launched by RootsAction.org, the petition is addressed to the bill’s two sponsors in the Washington legislature -- Republican Rep. David Taylor, whose district includes the NSA facility in Yakima, and Democrat Luis Moscoso from the Seattle area.

Meanwhile, a similar bill with the same title has just been introduced in the Tennessee legislature -- taking aim at the NSA’s center based in Oak Ridge, Tenn. That NSA facility is a doozy: with several hundred scientists and computer specialists working to push supercomputers into new realms of mega-surveillance capacities.

A new coalition, OffNow, is sharing information about model legislation. The group also points to known NSA locations in other states including Utah (in Bluffdale), Texas (San Antonio), Georgia (Augusta), Colorado (Aurora), Hawaii (Oahu) and West Virginia (Sugar Grove), along with the NSA’s massive headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland. Grassroots action and legislative measures are also stirring in several of those states.

One of the key organizations in such efforts is the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, where legal fellow Matthew Kellegrew told me that the OffNow coalition “represents the discontent of average people with … business-as-usual failure to rein in out-of-control domestic spying by the NSA and other federal departments like the FBI. It is a direct, unambiguous response to a direct, unambiguous threat to our civil liberties.”

In the process -- working to counter the bipartisan surveillance-state leadership coming from the likes of President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, the House Intelligence Committee’s chair Mike Rogers and the Senate Intelligence Committee’s chair Dianne Feinstein -- activists urging a halt to state-level support for the NSA include people who disagree on other matters but are determined to undermine the Big Brother hierarchies of both parties.

“By working together to tackle the erosion of the Fourth Amendment presented by bulk data collection,” Kellegrew said, “people from across partisan divides are resurrecting the lost art of collaboration and in the process, rehabilitating the possibility of a functional American political dialogue denied to the people by dysfunction majority partisan hackery.”

From another vantage point, this is an emerging faceoff between reliance on cynical violence and engagement in civic nonviolence.

Serving the warfare state and overall agendas for U.S. global dominance to the benefit of corporate elites, the NSA persists in doing violence to the Constitution’s civil-liberties amendments -- chilling the First, smashing the Fourth and end-running the Fifth.

Meanwhile, a nascent constellation of movements is striving to thwart the surveillance state, the shadowy companion of perpetual war.

This is a struggle for power over what kind of future can be created for humanity.

It’s time to stop giving juice to Big Brother.

________________________________________

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” Information about the documentary based on the book is at www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org.

Hear David Swanson Speak in Maine

Visit PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick.

David Swanson in Brunswick, Maine
Feb. 15, 2014 Saturday
3 - 5 p.m. Curtis Memorial Library
Sign up on Facebook.
Flyer: PDF.

David Swanson in Portland, Maine
Feb. 15, 2014 Saturday
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Lee Hall, Wishcamper Center, USM, 34 Bedford Street
Parking in garage next to Wishcamper
Flyer: PDF.

Talks & Book signings.

Free and open to the public.

David Swanson will discuss and sign copies of his new book, War No More: The Case for Abolition.

Swanson's books include When the World Outlawed War, named by Ralph Nader as one of the six books everyone should read; the best-selling classic War Is A Lie, and Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, of which Glenn Greenwald said, "There have now been many books written which chronicle the imperial, lawless presidency of the Bush era, but Swanson’s superb new book is one of the very few to examine how we can recover from it and reverse its pernicious trends."

Swanson is the host of Talk Nation Radio. He helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011. Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a
communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign.

He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org and works for RootsAction.org. Swanson is Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet.

These events are co-sponsored by: PeaceWorks, PeaceActionMaine, GlobalNetWork, CodePink Maine, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Maine Veterans for Peace, Brunswick Friends Meeing, PAM Action Committee.

For more information contact mSpiess@myfairpoint.net 207-865-3802.

Citing DeSmogBlog Series, "FrackNation" Screening Cancelled by MN Film Festival

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

"FrackNation," the documentary film about hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") with close conservative movement ties, recently had its showing cancelled at Winona, Minnesota's annual Frozen River Film Festival (FRFF).

Open Letter to The 85 Richest People on The Planet (cc: Kevin O’Leary) VIDEO

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org Responding to the Oxfam report that concluded that the world's 85 richest people own the same amount as the bottom half of the entire global population, self appointed spokesperson for the global elite, and celebrity Judge on the reality show The Shark Tank Kevin O’Leary,applauded the news, stating that is  “fantastic news (…) the motivation everybody needs (…) it inspires everyone to want to be like the 1%” and scoffing at the idea of “re-distribution of wealth” stated, “ I celebrate Capitalism.” His remarks inspire this open

What we learned touring Close Guantanamo NOW

by Debra Sweet         5 years ago yesterday Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo. But the Obama administration is still making arguments in US federal court, and to the public that indefinite detention is necessary in Bagram, Afghanistan, as well as other places. From Guantanamo and beyond: indefinite detention and other forms of torture are wrong and must be stopped!

Reproductive Rights in a State of Emergency

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

http://youtu.be/uo0_e5aVYA8

This Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which protected a women’s decision to have an abortion was marked by thousands of anti-abortion activists taking part in a march for life in Washington, D.C. Carrying signs saying “I AM the pro-life generation”, and “conceived from rape, I love my life” marches converged on the National Mall Wednesday and marched to the Supreme Court.

While public opinion on abortion has not shifted much since the 1970s, the war on female reproductive rights, which was raging at a fever pitch in 2013, continues to escalate.

Students Rally To Topple The TPP

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.orgClick here to stop Fast Track of the TPP: http://www.stopfasttrack.com Former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that if the people knew what was in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it would be impossible to get it signed. The Obama administration is going to great lengths to make sure that people do not know what is in the TPP before it gets signed into law, and have made “fast tracking” the TPP bill a top priority.

State Dept's Keystone XL Contractor, ERM Group, Also OK'd Controversial Pebble Mine in Alaska

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

A DeSmogBlog investigation has revealed Environmental Resources Management Inc. (ERM Group) — the contractor performing the U.S. State Department's environmental review for the northern half of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline — gave the greenlight to Alaska's controversial Pebble Mine proposal in June 2013.

To Dump Citizens United, We Need To Legalize Democracy

Originally posted at AcronymTV

This is an excerpt from the documentary, Legalize Democracy.

The premiere of the full documentary will be airing on Free Speech TV (FSTV) Tuesday, January 21, 2014- and all throughout the week

Check here for full listing, including how to watch live on the web.

Legalize Democracy
Written and Directed by
Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Produced by
AJ Russo and Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Cinematographers
Messiah Rhodes
Paul Westlake

Color, Titles, and Graphics 
AJ Russo

Original score
Goldi

Post Audio Engineer
Tom Hutten

Additional Camera
Arthur Louis

To Dump Citizens United, We Need To Legalize Democracy

Originally posted at AcronymTV

This is an excerpt from the documentary, Legalize Democracy.

The premiere of the full documentary will be airing on Free Speech TV (FSTV) Tuesday, January 21, 2014- and all throughout the week

Check here for full listing, including how to watch live on the web.

Legalize Democracy
Written and Directed by
Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Produced by
AJ Russo and Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Cinematographers
Messiah Rhodes
Paul Westlake

Color, Titles, and Graphics 
AJ Russo

Original score
Goldi

Post Audio Engineer
Tom Hutten

Additional Camera
Arthur Louis

Hear David Swanson Speak in Maine

Sign up on Facebook.

Get flyer: PDF.

David Swanson in Brunswick, Maine
Feb 15, 2014 Saturday
3 - 5 PM Curtis Memorial Library

Talk & Book signing
Free and open to the public

David Swanson will discuss and sign copies of his new book, War No More: The Case for Abolition.
Swanson's books include When the World Outlawed War, named by Ralph Nader as one of the six books everyone should read; the best-selling classic War Is A Lie, and Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, of which Glenn
Greenwald said, "There have now been many books written which chronicle the imperial, lawless presidency of the Bush era, but Swanson’s superb new book is one of the very few to examine how we can recover from it and reverse its pernicious trends."

Swanson is the host of Talk Nation Radio. He helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011. Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a
communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidenttial campaign.

He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org and works for RootsAction.org. Swanson is Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet.

This event is co-sponsored by: PeaceWorks, PeaceActionMaine, GlobalNetWork, CodePink Maine, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Maine Veterans for Peace.

FMI or to co-sponsor contact mSpiess@myfairpoint.net 207-865-3802

If MLK Were Alive Today ... [video]

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org http://youtu.be/J3h45EBjOokAmong the most common refrains one might hear on or around Martin Luther King, Jr. day is "If Martin Luther King, Jr were alive today he would …" and here the speaker or author would no doubt insert evidence that the great civil rights leader would be leading the charge for whatever campaign or cause most inspires the speaker/ author.

Vandenberg’s Role in US Global Domination

Implications of US “Pivot” into the Asia-Pacific

 22nd Annual Space Organizing Conference

March 14-16, 2014      

Santa Barbara, California

Conference Program

Friday, March 14

2:00 pm Hospitality lounge & Conference registration at La Casa de Maria Retreat Center (800 El Bosque Rd, Santa Barbara). All guests should check in at the registration office, and then proceed to Casa San Ysidro.

3:30 pm Leave for Vandenberg AFB

4:00 – 5:30  Vigil at Vandenberg AFB

6:00 – 7:30  Dinner at Casa San Ysidro house

-         Welcome by Dennis Apel (Guadalupe Catholic Worker House)

-         Music by Holly Gwinn Graham (Olympia, Washington)

8:00 – 9:30 Showing of Ghosts of Jeju documentary film

Saturday, March 15

7:30 am  Breakfast at Casa San Ysidro house

9:00 – 11:00 Introductions and local updates

11:15 – 12:00 Presentation by Bard Wormdal (Norwegian journalist) on his book The Satellite War

12:00 – 1:30  Lunch and awards

3:00 - 4:00 Presentation by Tamara Lorincz (Canadian activist) on Conversion & Demilitarisation

5:15 – 6:15 pm  Dinner

6:30 pm Move to Trinity Episcopal Church (1500 State Street)

7:00 – 9:00 Community program at Trinity Episcopal Church (free and open to public)

-         Welcome by David Krieger (Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

-         Dennis Apel (Guadalupe Catholic Worker House)

-         Dave Webb (GN Chairperson, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Leeds, UK) 

-         Andrew Lichterman (Western States Legal Foundation)

-         Christine Hong (Korea Policy Institute and US Santa Cruz)

-         Mary Beth Sullivan (Social worker & peace conversion activist, Bath, Maine)

-         Music by Tom Neilson & Holly Gwinn Graham

Sunday, March 16

7:30 am Breakfast

9:00 am – 12:00  Global Network annual membership meeting (Election of board, coordinator’s report, budget review, strategy & planning discussion, next meeting decisions, 2014 Keep Space for Peace Week theme)

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Check out of retreat center

============================================================

□Please sign me up for a sleeping space at the retreat center on March 14 & 15.  Enclosed is _________ (Pay what you can best afford between $50-$150)  Meals are included.

□Please send me local hotel information in the Santa Barbara area.

 
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502
globalnet@mindspring.com
www.space4peace.org
http://space4peace.blogspot.com/  (blog)
 

Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Protest John Rizzo at His Book Discussion -1/30- Fordham Law School

Join War Criminals Watch and CodePink in silent protest with signs against John Rizzo on 1/30/2014 We'll have signs that describe his war crimes charges and hope you might make your own.  The event will be iat Fordham Law School, 140 W. 62nd St.

"Make Guantanamo History" Rally & Protest - Jan 11, 2014

 Over 200 people gathered in pouring rain at the White House on the beginning of the 13th year of operation of the Guantanamo prison to demand Close Guantanamo Now. A contingent of people in orange jumpsuits and black hoods lined up in front of the White House with placards that read “Close Guantanamo.” Speakers from many groups briefly spoke of the horrors of the prison, stories of the prisoners and their families.

Protesting Torture at the Smithsonian Museum

We Need A Democracy Movement To Fix This Shit

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org>

As the late populist and journalist Molly Ivins once said: “It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.”
Extending those liberties and constitutional protections to corporations is antithetical to the principles of Democracy. While the Supreme Court has been slowly granting rights of persons to corporation for over 100 years, the phrase “Corporate Personhood” entered the popular lexicon soon after the January 21, 2010 Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court Case.

Chelsea Manning Awarded Sam Adams Integrity Prize for 2014

Announcement by Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII)

The Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) have voted overwhelmingly to present the 2014 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence to Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning. 

A Nobel Peace Prize nominee, U.S. Army Pvt. Manning is the 25 year-old intelligence analyst who in 2010 provided to WikiLeaks the "Collateral Murder" video – gun barrel footage from a U.S. Apache helicopter, exposing the reckless murder of 12 unarmed civilians, including two Reuters journalists, during the “surge” in Iraq.   The Pentagon had repeatedly denied the existence of the "Collateral Murder" video and declined to release it despite a request under the Freedom of Information Act by Reuters, which had sought clarity on the circumstances of its journalists' deaths.

Release of this video and other documents sparked a worldwide dialogue about the importance of government accountability for human rights abuses as well as the dangers of excessive secrecy and over-classification of documents. 

On February 19, 2014 Pvt. Manning -  currently incarcerated at Leavenworth Prison - will be recognized at a ceremony in absentia at Oxford University's prestigious Oxford Union Society for casting much-needed daylight on the true toll and cause of civilian casualties in Iraq; human rights abuses by U.S. and “coalition” forces, mercenaries, and contractors; and the roles that spying and bribery play in international diplomacy.

The Oxford Union ceremony will include the presentation of the traditional SAAII Corner-Brightener Candlestick and will feature statements of support from former SAAII awardees and prominent whistleblowers.  Members of the press are invited to attend.

On August 21, 2013 Pvt. Manning received an unusually harsh sentence of 35 years in prison for exposing the truth -- a chilling message to those who would call attention to wrongdoing by U.S. and “coalition” forces.

Under the 1989 Official Secrets Act in the United Kingdom, Pvt. Manning, whose mother is British, would have faced just two years in prison for whistleblowing or 14 years if convicted under the old 1911 Official Secrets Act for espionage.

Former senior NSA executive and SAAII Awardee Emeritus Thomas Drake has written that Manning "exposed the dark side shadows of our national security regime and foreign policy follies .. [her] acts of civil disobedience … strike at the very core of the critical issues surrounding our national security, public and foreign policy, openness and transparency, as well as the unprecedented and relentless campaign by this Administration to snuff out and silence truth tellers and whistleblowers in a deliberate and premeditated assault on the 1st Amendment."

Previous winners of the Sam Adams Award include Coleen Rowley (FBI); Katharine Gun (formerly of GCHQ, the National Security Agency’s equivalent in the UK); former UK Ambassador Craig Murray; Larry Wilkerson (Col., US Army, ret.; chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell); Julian Assange (WikiLeaks); Thomas Drake (NSA); Jesselyn Radack (former ethics attorney for the Department of Justice, now National Security & Human Right Director of the Government Accountability Project); Thomas Fingar (former Deputy Director of National Intelligence, who managed the key National Intelligence Estimate of 2007 that concluded Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon four years earlier); and Edward Snowden (former NSA contractor and systems administrator, currently residing in Russia under temporary asylum).

The Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence are very proud to add Pvt.  Manning to this list of distinguished awardees.

New Yorkers Protest Bush at Javits Center

On the morning of Mon., January 13th, about 25 people gathered outside NYC’s Javits Center to protest the presence inside of former George Bush who was giving the breakfast keynote (closed to the press) at the National Retail Federation's Annual Convention. War Criminals Watch/World Can’t Wait activists, who had put the original call out for the demonstration, were there with a large banner and posters. We Will Not Be Silent had their striking black and white posters.

Voices From Around The World Calling For Guantanamo To Be Closed

by Debra Sweet       There are two pertinent questions which demand answers if we are to force the U.S. to close the illegal torture camp at Guantánamo, and go on to end indefinite detention by the United States.  Why did the Bush regime open it in 2002 in a U.S. military base set in Guantánamo Bay on a colonized piece of Cuban land seized from Cuba at the culmination of its war of independence from Spain, known here as the Spanish-American War, in 1898?And why are sections of the U.S. ruling class holding onto this prison so tightly, even expanding its infrastructure, that Obama's six year old promise to close it has become a cruel joke to most of the men who were there when he campaigned in 2008?

Building a Global Movement to End All War

I've been involved in starting enough activist campaigns and coalitions to know when one has more potential than any other I've seen.  When hundreds of people and organizations are signing up on the website before you've announced it anywhere, and nine months before you plan to officially launch, and when a large percentage of the people signing on ask how they can donate funding, and when people from other countries volunteer to translate your declaration into other languages, and when committees form of volunteer women and men to work on a dozen different aspects of the planning -- and they actually get to work in a serious way, and when none of this is due to anything in the news or any statement from anyone in government or any contrast between one political party and another, then it's time to start thinking about what you're going to help build as a movement.

In this case I'm talking about a movement to end, not this war or that war, but the institution of war as an acceptable enterprise for the human species. The declaration of peace that people and groups are signing reads, in its entirety:

"I understand that wars and militarism make us less safe rather than protect us, that they kill, injure and traumatize adults, children and infants, severely damage the natural environment, erode civil liberties, and drain our economies, siphoning resources from life-affirming activities. I commit to engage in and support nonviolent efforts to end all war and preparations for war and to create a sustainable and just peace."

This can be signed at http://WorldBeyondWar.org -- and we fully expect a million people to sign it in short order. There's a great weariness in resisting militarism piecemeal, in reforming or refining war, in banning a weapon or exposing a tactic. All of that is a necessary part of the work. This will be a campaign of numerous partial victories, and we'll be directing our efforts toward various strategic weaknesses in the military-industrial complex. But there is enthusiasm right now for stopping not just missile strikes into Syria, not just deadly sanctions and threats to Iran, but stopping also -- as part of these actions -- the thinking that assumes war must always be with us, the casual discussions of how "the next war" will be fought.

So, we've set up an online center for addressing the concerns of the anyone who thinks we might need to keep war around or who thinks war will stay around regardless of what we do. We address a number of myths, including the myths that war is inevitable, and war is necessary, and war is beneficial.  Then we provide a number of reasons for ending war, including these:

War is immoral.

War endangers us.

War threatens our environment.

War erodes our liberties.

War impoverishes us.

We need $2 trillion/year for other things.

We've also provided an explanation of how nonviolent tools are more effective in resisting tyranny and oppression and resolving conflicts and achieving security than violence is, in other words how we can be more secure without war and without preparations for war.

This movement to abolish war, will be a movement to create a better world in which we are better able to address real crises, such as those in the earth's natural environment, rather than manufactured crises, such as the urgent need to drop missiles on Syria -- which vanishes the moment we block that proposal.

Our plan is to announce on the International Day of Peace, September 21, 2014, a broader, wider, more mainstream and more international movement for peace and nonviolence than we've seen in a while, and a coalition capable of better uniting those doing good work toward that end in various corners of the globe and of our societies. 

But we've only just begun to work out our plans, and we'd like everyone's input. If you go to http://WorldBeyondWar.org and sign the declaration, it will ask you to indicate how you might like to be involved beyond that. You can check any of a number of ways or invent your own.  You can get involved in shaping our thinking and our plans and activities.  You can also enter a brief statement of your own.  Here are a few of the many entered already:

"I support this proposal and agree with this great and important initiative to abolish militarism and war.  I will continue to speak out for an end to the institution of militarism and war and for institutions built on international law and human rights and nonviolent conflict resolution." — Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate

"As a 29 year veteran of the US Army/Army Reserves, retiring as a Colonel and having served as a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and resigning in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war, I firmly believe war does not resolve political issues.  We must work diligently to force the governments of our nations to use diplomacy, not weapons." —Ann Wright

"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it." — Noam Chomsky

"It is so inspiring to see a new group coming together not to focus on a particular war or weapons system, but on all war--everywhere. And it's great to have such beautifully crafted arguments about why war is not inevitable and how war contributes to so many other global ills. This coalition is worthy of Martin Luther King's call to end violence and instead put our energies and resources into 'life-affirming activities.' Bravo!" —Medea Benjamin

"We must work to end all war because: 1. In war there are no winners, only losers. 2. To thrive, humans need peace, which cannot be created by war. 3. We need all our ingenuity, creativity, technology and will to find a solution to runaway climate change. We cannot afford the military-industrial complex." — Sally Reynolds, Abingdon Peace Group

"The abolition of war is an idea whose time has come. We are at a transformative moment in history. Our Mother Earth is under siege from destructive global warming and industrialization. It is essential that we mobilize to save our planet. War is a cruel and untenable distraction, draining trillions of dollars and incalculable losses of intellectual firepower away from the essential work that needs to be done to create a livable future for humanity." — Alice Slater, Global Council of Abolition 2000

"War is a crime against humanity. When 90% of the casualties of war are civilians including children, its time to End ALL WARS! The world badly needs the resources to meet human and environmental needs. Wars are not making us more secure, but creating more enemies. There are more effective means of achieving security than war and killing other people's children. As former President Eisenhower said, 'I like to believe that the people of the world will want peace so much that governments will have to get out of the way and let them have it.' When the people of the world decide to end war, we can end it. At least 99% of the world's people do not benefit at all from all the wars our governments are waging. The time is NOW. Please join us." —David Hartsough

http://WorldBeyondWar.org

Days Before Casselton Oil Train Explosion, Obama Signed Bill Hastening Fracking Permits on ND Public Lands

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

On December 20, both chambers of the U.S. Congress passed a little-noticed bill to expedite permitting for hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") on public lands in the Bakken Shale basin, located predominantly in North Dakota. And on December 26, President Obama signed the bill into law. 

January 11, 2014 -12th anniversary of Guantanamo Prison Opening

The Bush regime filled the off-shore prison at Guantanamo Bay by rendering men seized from around the globe into indefinite captivity, employing and legally justifying a program of torture they called "enhanced interrogation." Even Bush's team slowly began to release hundreds of prisoners for whom no case could be fabricated to justify prison. When Barack Obama was elected, he quickly promised to close it within a year... five years ago. It's still open, with new infrastructure added, and more personnel than ever. Most people in the U.S. have no idea there are still 82 prisoners there who were cleared for release years ago; 45 who the President says will never be charged or released; and "military commissions" trials are designed to cover the torture inflicted on the prisoners, depriving of them rights the U.S. has claimed to cherish.

Time to invite Occupy back to Wall Street: Is New York’s New Mayor De Blasio Really a Lefty or Just Another Progressive Poseur?

By Dave Lindorff


There is no question but that New York’s new mayor, Bill De Blasio, owes his landslide victory in the November election to the Occupy Movement.


Call for Local Spring Asia-Pacific Events Around the World

After twelve years of war in the Middle East and Central Asia, the Obama Administration is “pivoting” to the Asia-Pacific.  Sixty percent of the U.S. military forces are being deployed in the region to “contain” China.  The popular phrase in Washington to describe this process is a “re-balancing” of US forces.

The increased militarization of the US’s Asia-Pacific policies is anything but benign. It is fueling region-wide arms races, increasing the dangers of war, as we have seen in the territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, reinforces Japan’s transformation into a national security state, and has devastating impacts on the people of Jeju Island, Okinawa, Guam and Hawaii where new bases are being built.

The House Armed Services Committee will begin a series of hearings in February to further demonize China and to create the support for additional Congressional funding for the military “pivot”.  

The Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization invites peace groups, faith communities, and API solidarity groups to join us to counter-organize around those hearings this coming spring. We invite you to organize local or regional educational forums or other public events to create greater public awareness about the pivot. . 

Our plan is to follow up after the spring events by organizing a national conference on the Asia-Pacific in the fall of 2014. 

We will soon provide a list of Asia-Pacific resources including speakers, films, books, websites, and articles that could help further grow the issue in our communities.

The pivot is an issue that will touch every community.  The military industrial complex fully knows that in order to pay for the massively expensive “re-balancing” the remaining slim thread of social spending must be cut in order to pay for corporate imperial ambitions. The military also creates a large carbon footprint that will only exacerbate climate change.

We hope that with your collaboration, we can connect the dots between cancerous militarism, environmental degradation, a new costly arms race, and human rights abuses.

Please let us know if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions or would like to offer to become a local or regional sparkplug for these events.

Contact us at: JGerson@afsc.org or globalnet@mindspring.com

In peace, 

Christine Ahn – Women De-Militarize the Zone (DMZ)

Liberato Bautista - United Nations Ministry of the General Board of Church and Society

Jackie Cabasso – Western States Legal Foundation

John Feffer – Foreign Policy in Focus

Bruce K. Gagnon – Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

Joseph Gerson – American Friends Service Committee

Subrata Ghoshroy – Massachusetts Institute of Technololgy

Mark Harrison – United Methodist General Board of Church and Society

Christine Hong – Korea Policy Institute

Kyle Kajihiro - Hawaiʻi Peace and Justice

Peter Kuznick - American University

Judith LeBlanc – Peace Action

Hyun Lee – Nodutdol

Andrew Lichterman – Western States Legal Foundation

Ramsay Liem – Boston College

Kevin Martin – Peace Action

Stephen McNeil – American Friends Service Committee

Satoko Norimatsu - Peace Philosophy Centre (Vancouver)

Mike Prokosch – Working Group for Peace & Demilitarization in Asia & the Pacific

Arnie Saiki – Moana Nui Action Network

Chloe Schwabe - Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

Tim Shorrock - Journalist

Warren Buffett Buys Stake in Pipeline Company on Same Day as North Dakota Oil Train Explosion

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

On December 30, the same day a Burlington Northern Sante Fe (BNSF) oil train derailed and exploded in Casselton, North Dakota, Warren Buffett — owner of holding company giant Berkshire Hathaway, which owns BNSF — bought a major stake in pipeline logistics company Phillips Specialty Products Inc.

What Your Local Radio Stations Could Be Airing

Talk Nation Radio is a 29-minute program available every Wednesday for free to any radio station that wants to air it. Dozens are airing it now, and your local stations would probably be happy to do the same if they knew about it. Please let them know. It's syndicated by Pacifica Network. It's available at http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio and it's FREE.

Think how many people would then hear shows like these!

(Which you can hear online anytime and embed on your own website or social media page.)

Robert Parry on Syria in Reality and in the New York Times

Lisa Simeone on How the TSA Trains Us in Complete Obedience

Doug Fry: Humans Have Not Evolved for War

Andy Shallal on Why He Should Be Mayor of Washington D.C.

Adam Hochschild on Ending Slavery and Not Ending War

I'm Thankful We Can Abolish Debt

Stephen Kinzer on The Dulles Brothers

Manuel Perez-Rocha: 20 Years of NAFTA Is Enough

Ann Jones on How the Wounded Return

Margaret Flowers: Web Failures Just a Symptom of Obamacare's Illness

Max Blumenthal on Israeli Ethnocracy

72 Cities Demand Clean Air Act Be Enforced to Protect Climate

Stephen Canty: Once a Marine.

Nathan Schneider on the Occupy Apocalypse

Taking Kent State to the United Nations

Iraqi Students in the U.S.

Rep. Alan Grayson on Syria: House Will Vote No, Obama Will Heed

Patrick Cockburn: Missiles Won't Make Peace in Syria

Jean Bricmont: Keep Humanitarian Imperialism Out of Syria

Tim Shorrock on Peace and Its Opponents in Korea

The EPA Lies for Frackers and Tar Sands Producers

Rooj Alwazir: U.S. Drones Terrorize Yemen

Medical Experimentation on Children in Cold War America

Hunger Strikers and the Law vs. the Prison Industry

John Whitehead on Our Government of Wolves

Gar Alperovitz Points to Worker Ownership as Fix for Broken Democracy

Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire Says Syrians Oppose Intervention

Peter Kuznick Tells the Untold History of the United States

U.S. Peace and Justice Activists to Gather in Madison, Wisc.

Rick Rowley Tells How He Made the Film "Dirty Wars"

Guantanamo Is Getting Worse

David Vine on U.S. Bases All Over the World

Carl Gibson on Shutting Down the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Arun Gupta on Iraqis in California and Professor Petraeus

Highway Boondoggles Bypass Budget Crunch

Here Comes Corporate Nationhood

Pentagon Professor Says the U.S. Military Overpowers Civilian Rule and Should Be Demilitarized

Honduras Most Dangerous Country in World Thanks to Us

Jody Sokolower on Teaching Wars in U.S. Schools

Richard Wolff on Putting Workers in Charge at Work

Robert Shetterly's Portraits of Americans Who Tell the Truth

Wenonah Hauter on Foodopoly

Robert Fantina on War and the Bravery of Deserters

Norman Solomon on Iraq War Lies and New Online Activism

Nick Turse: Kill Everything That Moves

The Crisis in Mali and How to Stop Contributing to It

"I Killed People in Afghanistan: Was I Right or Wrong?"

Robert Pollin: There Is No Fiscal Crisis

Marcy Wheeler: Brennan Is Obama's Cheney

Reese Erlich on Bahrain and Syria

Stephen Zunes on Kerry, Hagel, Brennan, and Obama Part II

Shahid Buttar on Spying, Detention, Torture, and Zero Dark Thirty

Sam Pizzigati: What Serious Progressive Taxes Would Look Like

David Hartsough on Peace Work

Roy Hange on Struggle for Peace in Syria and Iran

Erica Chenoweth on the Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict

Michael McPhearson and Michael Eisenscher on Jobs Not Wars

Glen Ford on Black and Progressive Activism in the Obama Era

William Blum on America's Deadliest Export: Democracy

Brian Terrell Is Headed to Prison for Protesting Drones

Gar Smith on Nuclear Roulette

Mike Elk on Employers Telling Workers How to Vote

Green Party Presidential Nominee Jill Stein

Kucinich Says Failure to Impeach Bush Has Allowed Obama to Intensify Bush's Policies

How Did NATO Go Global?

Slow Democracy Is Better Democracy

Comedy as Political Force

War Tax Resistance

The Risks and Benefits of Political Theater in the West Bank

Sanctions on Iran -- March Toward War

How Young People Shut Down a Strip Mine in West Virginia and Why

The War on Whistleblowers With Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack

How Drones Appear from the Receiving End

Hidden History of the War on Iraq and Its Oil

Leah Bolger on the Upcoming National Convention of Veterans For Peace

Clinical Psychologist Bruce Levine Says U.S. Citizenry Particularly Inactive

U.S. Poverty Is Expanding and Worsening

An Israeli General's Son Meets Palestinians, Reverses His Beliefs

Bombs Bursting in Air, Alice Slater on Nuclear Weaponry in the World Today

Contempt, Congress, and Elizabeth Holtzman on How to Prosecute George W. Bush

Bruce Gagnon on U.S. Aggression Toward Russia and China

Sandy Davies on War, Weapons, and Obama

Chase Madar on the Passion of Bradley Manning

Marcy Winograd on Leaving the Democratic Party and Opposing War

Coleen Rowley's Top Ten Ways to Be a Good Citizen

Cindy Sheehan on the Venezuelan Constitution as a Model for the United States

Stephen M. Kohn on Our Government's Attacks on Whistleblowers

Rebecca Vilkomerson on Jewish Voice for Peace

Medea Benjamin on Drone Wars and This Weekend's Upcoming Drone Summit

Dahr Jamail: BP Oil Disaster Ongoing After Two Years

John Horgan on the End of War

Rocky Anderson on His Campaign for President

When a War Veteran Tortures His Daughter, and She Survives

The Power of Theater to End Militarism

3-Hour Military Test Secretly Administered in Thousands of High Schools

Students Hunger Strike for a Living Wage

Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy on Bahrain, AIPAC, and Military Spending

Paul Chappell on How We End War Forever 

##

2013 Resistance Report Year In Review

Originally Posted at AcronymTV

What an amazing year for the movement of movements that continues to develop here in the United States and around the world, and what an amazing first season of The Resistance Report.

Criminals on Book Tour: John Rizzo Edition

Where to Protest:

Hi everyone,
I am sharing with you John Rizzo’s book tour in case anyone feels moved to organize a protest. Here are some tips on staging a symbolic arrest: http://www.codepink.org/article.php?id=6046
Thanks,
Nancy Mancias

BOOK EVENTS:
January 13, 2014, 7:00pm, John Rizzo - Company Man, Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA 94925 http://bit.ly/1cv05T2

January 14, 2014, 7:30pm, Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025 http://bit.ly/1cba1Ad

January 16, 2014, 7:00pm, John Rizzo Discusses and Signs Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA, Vroman’s Booktstore, 695 Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA http://bit.ly/1fNSBuh

January 18, 2014, 6:00pm, John Rizzo - Company Man, Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 http://bit.ly/1egmbYn

January 21, 2014, 6:30pm, Company Man: Thirty Years of Crisis and Controversy in the CIA, Central Library, Pratt Library, 400 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD 21201 http://bit.ly/1hKnG3e

January 30, 2014, 5:30pm, A Conversation with John Rizzo, Fordham Law School, Room 430, 140 West 62 St., NYC, New York http://bit.ly/1cX42wk

February 13-16, 2014, Savannah Book Festival, One Diamond Causeway, Savannah, GA http://bit.ly/KayTPC

RESOURCES:
Pakistani Drone Victims and Families Seek Arrest Warrant for Former CIA Counsel John Rizzo, CCR, July 19, 2011 http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/pakistani-drone-victims-and-families-seek-arrest-warrant-former-cia-counsel-john-rizzo

Inside the Killing Machine by Tara Mckelvey, Newsweek, Feb. 13, 2011 http://www.newsweek.com/inside-killing-machine-68771

Campaigners seek arrest of former CIA legal chief over Pakistan drone attacks, July 15, 2011, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jul/15/cia-usa

John Rizzo, Former Top CIA Lawyer, Says John Brennan Never Objected to Waterboarding, Feb. 12, 2013, Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/12/john-rizzo-john-brennan-_n_2666448.html


Is MoveOn Less Progressive Than the New York Times Editorial Board?

By Norman Solomon

The New York Times is hardly a progressive newspaper -- but when it comes to the surveillance state and ongoing militarism of the Obama White House, the establishment’s “paper of record” puts MoveOn.org to shame.

And so, the same day that the Times editorialized to excoriate President Obama for his latest betrayal of civil liberties, MoveOn sent out a huge email blast sucking up to Obama.

The Times was blunt in its Saturday editorial: “By the time President Obama gave his news conference on Friday, there was really only one course to take on surveillance policy from an ethical, moral, constitutional and even political point of view. And that was to embrace the recommendations of his handpicked panel on government spying -- and bills pending in Congress -- to end the obvious excesses. He could have started by suspending the constitutionally questionable (and evidently pointless) collection of data on every phone call and email that Americans make.”

But, the newspaper added: “He did not do any of that.”

As the Times editorial went on to say, “any actions that Mr. Obama may announce next month would certainly not be adequate. Congress has to rewrite the relevant passage in the Patriot Act that George W. Bush and then Mr. Obama claimed -- in secret -- as the justification for the data vacuuming.”

Let’s reiterate that the Times is far from a progressive outlet. It serves as a highly important megaphone for key sectors of corporate/political elites. Voicing the newspaper’s official stance, its editorials are often deferential to spin and half-truths from favored political figures. And much of the paper’s news coverage feeds off the kind of newspeak that spews out of the Executive Branch and Congress.

But on crucial matters of foreign policy, militarism and surveillance, the contrast between Times editorials and MoveOn is stunning. The “progressive” netroots organization has rarely managed to clear a low bar of independence from reprehensible Obama policies.

Instead, millions of people on MoveOn’s list are continually deluged with emails pretending that Republicans are the only major problem in Washington -- while nearly always ignoring Obama administration policies that are antithetical to basic progressive values.

And so, on the same day the New York Times was ripping into Obama’s latest affront to civil liberties and privacy rights, MoveOn was sending out a mass email that began by quoting from Obama’s 2008 convention acceptance speech -- as though his five-year record as president still makes him an apt source of inspiration: “The change we need doesn’t come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.”

After five years, MoveOn seems not to have noticed what the New York Times editorial board has often pointed out: that some of the change Obama has brought to Washington has not been in a progressive direction. As the Times put it in a follow-up editorial Sunday, at his latest news conference Obama “insisted that there was no evidence that the phone surveillance program was being abused -- a truly disturbing assessment given all the revelations since June.”

As usual, the MoveOn email did not include a single word of criticism, much less challenge, of Obama. Instead, the email blamed Congress for all the political obstacles to needed “change.”

This is typical. Year after year of the Obama presidency, MoveOn has been routinely silent on such crucial matters as U.S. drone and cruise missile strikes across borders, war in Afghanistan, assaults on press freedom and whistleblowers, and methodical undermining of precious civil liberties.

The intertwined warfare state and surveillance state have little to fear from MoveOn. And that’s tragic.

__________________________________________

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” Information about the documentary based on the book is at www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org.

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