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Activists Rally to Close Guantanamo and End Indefinite Detention as Part of Global Day of Action

 Protests in 40+ Cities Worldwide

Protests come exactly one year after President Obama recommitted to close down the detention facility

Washington, D.C. — On Friday, May 23, one year after President Obama once again promisedto close the detention facility at Guantanamo in a speech at the National Defense University, Witness Against Torture, Code Pink, The Center for Constitutional Rights, World Can’t Wait, and more than 30 other groups are banding together to say “Not Another Broken Promise!”  They are calling on President Obama make good on his commitment to close the prison this year.

The President’s pledge last May came amidst a mass hunger strike at the prison by men protesting their indefinite detention.  Since then only a handful of men have been released from Guantanamo, where hungers strikes and brutal forced-feedings continue.

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, says: “When I interrupted Obama's 2013 speech to say that he had the power to free those Guantanamo prisoners already cleared for release, the President said my voice was worth listening to. With most of the prisoners still trapped in the hell of Guantanamo, I wish the President would listen to his own words and close the prison.”

“There is no excuse for keeping Guantanamo open,” says Jerica Arents from Chicago.  “The President has the power to shutter the prison and needs to do it, or his promise is meaningless.”

Demonstrations will be held in Washington, D.C. (at the White House, 11 am); in New York City (Times Square, noon); in Chicago (Water Tower Park, 4:30 pm); San Francisco (Powell/Market 4:30 PST); and in 40 other cities in 8 countries, including England, Australia, and Germany.  A Full list, with time and place info, is at: http://witnesstorture.tumblr.com/post/82873599205/may-23-2014-global-call-to-action-to-close-guantanamo

“In big cities and small towns, the outpouring of support for the Global Day of Action has been amazing,” says Witness Against Torture organizer Chris Knestrick.  “Guantanamo continues to shock the conscience.  The people of the world want it closed.”

At the protests, activists will wear black hoods and orange jumpsuits, update the situation at Guantanamo, and perform theatre to dramatize the ongoing abuses at Guantanamo.

WHAT: Global Day of Action to Close Guantanamo and End Indefinite Detention

WHERE: Washington, NYC, Chicago, Raleigh, London, Sydney, Toronto, and other cities.

WHEN: Friday, May 23, 2014  (see tumblr link above for details)

WHO: Human Rights and Anti-Torture activists

Southwestern Energy Executive Mark Boling Admits Fracking Link to Climate Change

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

An Executive of a major shale gas development company has conceded what scientists have been saying for years: global shale gas development has the potential to wreak serious climate change havoc.

Best known for his company's hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") activity, Southwestern Energy Executive Vice President Mark Boling admitted his industry has a methane problem on the May 19 episode of Showtime's "Years of Living Dangerously" in a segment titled, "Chasing Methane."

World Can't Wait at the Left Forum

World Can't Wait is presenting four great panels at the Left Forum. We look forward to meeting you there.Left Forum 2014 will be at  John Jay College New Building, 524 West 59th St, NYC. Our panels will be on Saturday May 31st and Sunday June !st. Check them out below.

Vast Surveillance of Whole Populations: The NSA Revelations One Year Out   Session 2 on Saturday, May 31st from 12:00 pm - 1:50 pm in Room 1.85

Coming Out of The Abortion Closet

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Kelly Carlin, in this clip from the full Acronym TV episode (The Catholic War On Women, watch the full episode here) decides to come out of the abortion closet:

“I’m outing myself here, I’m outing myself in my (forthcoming) book.  I had two abortions when I was a teenager. I was a reckless crazy girl… I was really privileged (and) I was lucky. I had parents who had money. I had access to access to a clinic, it was private and it was the way it has been done for rich people forever.”

Patriarchy and Religion: Built to Oppress Women

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

In this clip from the full Acronym TV episode (The Catholic War On Women, watch the full episode here) Katie Klabusich and Kelly Carlin answer host Dennis Trainor, Jr.’s questions:

How much does religious dogma and/or men in long white dresses with funny hats hold women back from being an equal member of society?

If the Church is built inside of a Patriarchy, so to then, is the State. Can we reform this system from within through legislation while maintaining a patriarchal system?

Episode breakdown |

Not Another Day in Guantanamo! Not Another Broken Promise!

On May 23rd of last year, President Obama again promised to close the detention facility at Guantanamo.  His pledge came in response to the mass hunger strike by men protesting their indefinite detention and to the renewed, global condemnation of the prison.  One year later, far too little has changed: few detained men have left the prison and hunger strikes and forced feeding continue.

Demonstrations will be taking place across the United States and the world to demand that President Obama and the US Congress end indefinite detention and close the detention facility at Guantanamo.

Sunrise Anti-Drone Protest At West Point

Meet us at the the United States Military Academy on May 28,2014  to protest when Obama speaks at the West Point commencement. We'll be on public roads at two West Point gates as cars enter the campus for the ceremony.  We will gather at 6:45 am near the Stoney Lonesome Gate of West Point just off Route 9W, one exit north of the exit leading to Highland Falls, NY, home of West Point.

The Catholic War on Women {aTV 005}

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

DISCUSSED: Abortion, Pope Francis, Patriarchy, Does the choice movement need an “it gets better” campaign to empower women to not hide/ apologize about their abortions?, Roe v. Wade, Clinic defenders, Abortion stories, How the Bible teaches women to abort unwanted pregnancy, Bad Choices, Being a target of a pro-life “wanted” poster, Abortion as a local issue, Single women who love sex and don’t want babies.

Kelly Carlin and Katie Klabusich join Dennis this week on Acronym TV.

The latest on ThisCantBeHappening! radio: Interview with Jailed Occupy Activist Cecily McMillan's Attorney Martin Stolar

By Dave Lindorff


In this edition of Progressive Radio Network's "ThisCantBeHappening" radio program, host Dave Lindorff, focuses on the case of Occupy Movement activist Cecily McMillan, currently jailed at Riker’s Island without bail while awaiting sentencing on a conviction of felony assault of a police officer.

One Day We Will All Strike for More Than One Day

An international one-day strike by fast-food workers is something new, and also something old.  People without a union are organizing and acting in solidarity.  Others are joining in support of their moral demand for a living wage.  They're holding rallies.  They're shutting down restaurants.  They're using Occupy's people's microphone.  They're targeting the one-percenter CEO of McDonald's who apparently is paid $9,002 per hour for the public service of ruining our health with horrible tasting processed imitation food.

Jeremy Brecher has released a revised, expanded, and updated edition of his 40-year-old book, Strike, that includes the origins of these fast-food worker strikes and puts them in the context of a history of the strike in the United States dating back to 1877. This opening passage of Chapter 1 sets the context beautifully:

"In the centers of many American cities are positioned huge armories, grim nineteenth-century edifices of brick or stone. They are fortresses complete with massive walls and loopholes for guns. You may have wondered why they are there, but it has probably never occurred to you that they were built to protect America not against invasion from abroad but against popular revolt at home."

And what revolts there have been! Brecher's book should be read for inspiration.  The most marginalized of workers have repeatedly taken matters into their own hands and won radical changes for the better.  Success has followed selfless acts of solidarity.  Failure has followed strategic calculation and compromise.  The potential for greater victories has been frustrated time and again by the decision not to press working people's advantage forward -- a decision generally made by labor unions.

The vision of replacing capitalism has driven the efforts that have reformed it.  A century ago, World War I provided the excuse to beat back workers. But their demands exploded upon the war's conclusion.  Workers took over Seattle and ran the city, effectively replacing the government.  In the 1930s, coal miners opened their own coal mines. Unemployed workers during the great depression joined picket lines in support of striking workers rather than competing with them.  Workers at a rubber factory in Akron developed the sit-down strike, which spread like wildfire and might work well in McDonald's restaurants all over the world today. Customers could join workers by sitting in at tables and not eating.  We could bring our own food; McDonald's has internet.

Brecher's book brings the story of strikes, including general strikes, up to the present.  The lessons it teaches open up possibilities not usually considered. Brecher sums up what we're up against:

"The ideology of the existing society exercises a powerful hold on workers' minds. The longing to escape from subordination to the boss is often expressed in the dream of going into business for yourself, even though the odds against success are overwhelming. The civics book cliché that the American government represents the will of the people and is therefore legitimate survives even in those who find the government directly opposing their own needs in the interests of their employers. The desire to own a house, a car, or perhaps an independent business supports a belief in private property that makes expropriation of the great corporations seem to many a personal threat. The idea that everybody is really out for themselves, that it can be no other way, and that therefore the solution to one's problems must come from beating other people rather than cooperating with them is inculcated over and over by the very structure of life in a competitive society."

One day we will all strike, and we will strike for more than a day. We will strike until we replace the "very structure of life" with different ones.  We'll strike forever, occupy everything, and never give it back.

Should Women Apologize for Abortion?

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Kelly Carlin and Katie Klabusich on Acronym TV discuss the war on women.

We Demand An Accounting For War Crimes

Saturday May 10th a core of 15 anti-torture activists anchored the seventh annual protest of University of California accommodation and promotion of Boalt Hall 'Torture Professor' John Yoo. Defying the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility finding that professor Yoo and his boss,now federal district court judge Jay Bybee, were guilty of 'professional misconduct,' Berkeley Law administrators continue to harbor an unrepentant advocate for illegal policies deployed by the Bush regime.

Many graduates and their guests accepted and wore orange ribbons in support for repudiation of U.S. torture practice.

World Can't Wait applauds the potential of this new generation of lawyers and judges to prosecute the crimes of arbitrary detention, torture, and suppression of civil rights prescribed by John Yoo's 'Unitary Executive' theory (that "if the President does it, it's legal").

Professor Yoo not only supports U.S. targeted assassination policy; he complains that President Obamaisn't being hawkish enough in the War on Terror:

"Yoo's flippant attitude toward killing civilians is noteworthy in two ways. First - the obvious - 
is that it reveals a truly sick disregard for the killing of innocent human beings...
The second reason it is noteworthy is that Yoo argues trying to avoid killing civilians who are in the vicinity of enemy combatants doesn't apply 'to wartime operations.' Leave aside the legal reasoning for a moment and consider if Yoo would support the same standard in reverse."
 

A university that allows a war criminal to teach constitutional law under prejudice of 'academic freedom' is protecting war crimes.

 

Fire John Yoo... Close Guantanamo... Ground Killer Drones

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Outside Berkeley Law Graduation 2014. More Outside Berkeley Law Graduation 2014. Morephotos here; thanks Bindu!

Protest President Obama Speaking at West Point Commencement

Sunrise Anti-Drone-War Protest
 
Protesters are asked to gather at 6:45 am near the Stoney Lonesome Gate of West Point just off Route 9W, one exit north of the exit leading to Highland Falls, NY, home of West Point.

Obama: Humanity & the Planet Come First!

On May 14,2014 President Obama will be in New York City for a fundraiser at the home of a major financier of deals worth billions of dollars.  Let's be a visible presence saying no to the Keystone XL pipeline and all the other outrages against humanity and the planet.  Sponsors (list in formation): World Can't Wait, 350NYC, 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Sane Energy Project.

Meet on the corner of 79th St. and 5th Ave, Manhattan  NYC 10075

World Can't Wait at the Left Forum

World Can't Wait is presenting four great panels at the Left Forum. 

We look forward to meeting you there.

May 31-June 2014  -  John Jay College New Building - 524 W. 59th St. New York, NY

 

Panal 1 - Vast Surveillance of Whole Populations: The NSA Revelations One Year Out

Three Reports on the Rutgers May Teach-In on Condoleezza Rice

By Deanna Gorzynski, World Can't Wait volunteer

The palpable excitement and satisfaction of the Rutgers students success
with exiling war criminal Condoleezza Rice from their commencement
exercises didn’t take long for me to see. Hours before the teach-in I was
at a Staples making copies for World Can’t Wait posters, some 50 miles
north of Rutgers, and as I left a young employee ran up to me excitedly, “She’s
not speaking at Rutgers, we put an end to it!”

Ukraine: Severe Violation Against Human Rights by the West

Ukraine: Severe Violation Against Human Rights by the West

by Dr. Dieter Duhm

I am not at all writing this contribution with a pro-Russian attitude. I am writing it because a global crime is happening in Ukraine, which is a horrendous disgrace. Regardless of what may have happened, the transition government in Kiev has no right to fight the pro-Russian activists in eastern Ukraine with military means. War is fundamentally no means for solving conflicts, for war always generates more war. We know this from history. But the injustice in this case goes even further because (with the exception of some riots that happened) the pro-Russian activists have actually not wanted anything more than to demand their civil rights.

Kangaroo court convicts Occupy protester: DA Cyrus Vance Jr., Prosecutor for the Rich

By Dave Lindorff


Two and a half years after the Occupy Wall Street movement took the country by storm, injecting topics like income inequality and class war into the realm of permissible national political discourse for the first time since the 1930s, the nation’s legal machinery of repression has come down like a proverbial ton of bricks on the movement just as nationally coordinated police repression crushed its physical manifestation in late 2011.


May 2014 War Criminal Appearances & Protests

Following is a list of Appearance & Protests against US War Criminals in May 2014. We encourage you to participate in any protests or plan a demonstration in your area.  Please let us know and we will help you publicize your event. Check out our websites (www.warcriminalswathch.org) to download ready-made leaflets and posters.

Prevent GW Bush from entering Canada

George W. Bush plans to come to Toronto May 12th, 2014 in defiance of the United Nations Committee against Torture report that Canada's duty to prosecute foreign nationals suspected of torture applies to everyone entering Canada however temporarily. He is being invited by the 2014 Spirit of Hope Benefit for the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies for "A Conversation with President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush at at the Metro Toronto-Cnvention Center.  Lawyers Against the War is calling for a stop to this illegality. CANADA HAS THE DUTY UNDER THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE TO EITHER BAR BUSH FROM CANADA OR ARREST AND PROSECUTE HIM ON ARRIVAL.

United We Stand and Shout and Dance and Make it Better

I'm looking forward to speaking on Saturday, May 10, at the United We Stand Festival in Los Angeles (and at an earlier event) where dozens of speakers and musicians will be standing together against such evils as: "the PATRIOT Act, NDAA, NSA, war on drugs, drones, ... war, GMO, ... central banks, corporatism," and in favor of "Internet freedom, election reform, honest media/music/art, education/student leadership, the environment, ...."

This is nice timing, with Vermont having just become the first state to call for a Constitutional Convention to strip legalized bribery out of U.S. politics, and with the U.S. Senate planning a vote on a Constitutional amendment to allow Congress to limit said bribery. Sixteen states have urged Congress to act, which remains a quixotic pursuit. Even more disturbing than Congressional dithering is the failure of each of those 16 states to tack on a few words to do what Vermont has done and create a work-around should Congress members choose not to bite the greasy hand that feeds them.  Think about what must motivate that failure to add a call for a Constitutional Convention.

There's also the problem that should Congress and the states ever pass an amendment allowing Congress to limit campaign "contributions," Congress would still have to take the additional step of actually doing so. And you can guess as well as I can what Congress considers a reasonable limitation -- just look at the minimal limitations that Congress was imposing before the Supreme Court outrageously attacked those limits in Citizens United and McCutcheon, after which the impeachment of some justices, or the legislative removal of some powers from the Supreme Court would have made more sense than accepting that the Constitution needed changing. 

The Constitution was not intended to give rights to corporations or to equate bribery with the protected act of free speech.  But it's going to take a massive movement of public pressure to compel our government to read or rewrite the Constitution well.  So, perhaps we're just as well off rewriting it.  And that opens up all sorts of possibilities, most of which can't possibly be worse than what we've got now.  We could end the presidential system, the Supreme Court's unaccountability, gerrymandering, corporate monopolies -- including of communications media -- and the pretended legality of war.  We could create a guaranteed income and mandate environmental sustainability.

But without even diving that deeply into creating a better Constitution, we could add something like this:

<<The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law. The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

All elections for President and members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate shall be entirely publicly financed. No political contributions shall be permitted to any federal candidate, from any other source, including the candidate. No political expenditures shall be permitted in support of any federal candidate, or in opposition to any federal candidate, from any other source, including the candidate. The Congress shall, by statute, provide limitations on the amounts and timing of the expenditures of such public funds and provide criminal penalties for any violation of this section.

State and local governments shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for state or local public office or any state or local ballot measure.

The right of the individual U.S. citizen to vote and to directly elect all candidates by popular vote in all pertinent local, state, and federal elections shall not be violated. Citizens will be automatically registered to vote upon reaching the age of 18 or upon becoming citizens at an age above 18, and the right to vote shall not be taken away from them. Votes shall be recorded on paper ballots, which shall be publicly counted at the polling place. Election day shall be a national holiday.

Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

During a designated campaign period of no longer than six months, free air time shall be provided in equal measure to all candidates for federal office on national, state, or district television and radio stations, provided that each candidate has, during the previous year, received the supporting signatures of at least five percent of their potential voting-age constituents. The same supporting signatures shall also place the candidate's name on the ballot and require their invitation to participate in any public debate among the candidates for the same office.>>

I'm confident that there are thousands of people who can draft this reform that well or better, that Congress will only scrape the surface (and that only if a Constitutional Convention is looming), that such a Convention actually happening would be a big step forward, and that people who are ready for serious change are starting to stand united: https://unitedwestandfest.com

Mayor From Okinawa Coming to Washington to Try to Stop the Base He Was Elected to Stop

U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa and Japan-U.S. Relationship: A Discussion with Nago City Mayor Susumu Inamine, Member of the Japanese House of Representatives (Okinawa) Denny Tamaki and other experts, facilitated by journalist David Swanson. 
When: May 20, 6pm - 8pm
Where: Busboys and Poets, (14th & V) 2021 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Sign up here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1440683952839158

Seventy years after WWII, Okinawa, one of the fiercest battlegrounds of the Pacific War (1941-45), continues to be occupied by U.S. military bases, mostly marine bases, posing threats to the safety, health, and life of people and the environment. Despite firm opposition by the majority of the people of Okinawa, U.S. and Japanese governments are forcing through their plan to build yet another marine airbase with a military port, with massive reclamation that is likely to cause damage to the endangered bio-diverse environment of the Northeastern shore of Okinawa. Mayor Susumu Inamine of Nago City, where the planned military base construction site is, was first elected in 2010 and re-elected this January, both on the platform of opposing the new base. Please join Mayor Inamine and a panel of experts think together about the U.S. citizens’ responsibility to bring justice and democracy back to Okinawa.

Sponsored by Busboys and Poets and the New Diplomacy Initiative.

Inquiry: Busboys and Poets, phone: 202-387-7638

New Diplomacy Initiative, info@nd-initiative.org

Killing of leaders was being planned: Exposing the Federal Government’s Plan to Crush the Occupy Movement (Part I)

By Dave Lindorff


  Listen to Dave Lindorff explain on Santa Barbara radio KCSB's Radio Occupy program how the federal government, in collusion with state and local police, and possibly with private bank and oil company security firms, planned to use "suppressed sniper fire" to assassinate the leaders of Occupy Houston, and perhaps also the leaders of other Occupy Movement actions around the country.

Rutgers Teach-In in protest against honoring Condoleezza Rice

GREAT NEWS! CONDOLEEZEE RICE WITHDREW FROM MAKING THE RUTGERS COMMENCEMENT SPEECH. A VICTORY FOR THE STUDENTS & TEACHERS OF RUTGERS. We assume the Teach-In will still occur, now as a victory celebration.

World Can't Wait at the Left Forum

World Can't Wait presents four great panels at the Left Forum.  Each panel will be moderated by World Can't Wait director Debra Sweet. 

 

Academic freedom under attack: A Conversation with Prof. Nel about an Attempt to Fire Tenured Faculty for their Private Online

By Dave Lindorff

 

This week's "This Can't Be Happening!" radio program on PRN radio features an interview with Dr. Phil Nel, a distinguished professor of English at Kansas State University, and an outspoken opponent of a current effort by the Kansas Board of Regents to impose a new "social media policy" on all the state's public higher education institutions -- a policy that would allow administrators to fire even tenured faculty for posting statements that "damage" the school or negatively impact "harmony" on campus.

 

Occupy Founders Launch The After Party in Detroit

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Some of the founding members of the occupy movement are launching a new political party – THE AFTER Party.

Carl Gibson is among them.

He says, “What sets The After Party apart is that 365 days out of the year it is a humanitarian organization. The way we organize politically, what sets us apart is that we are finding needs within the community, and then working to meet them using the community's assets.”

And, so is Radio Rahim, another After Party founding member and, yes the real life persona behind the character in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing says the following:

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