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“Citizens United” anniversary sparks D.C. summit, rally, national meetings

FOR THE PEOPLE Summit convenes in Washington D.C. Jan. 20 to 22

WASHINGTON D.C. Jan. 14, 2011 — To mark the first anniversary of the controversial “Citizens United” Supreme Court ruling, a coalition of advocacy groups and concerned citizens will host the For the People Summit, including a strategic conference at the Washington Plaza Hotel and a “We the Corporations” vs. “We the People”rally at the U.S. Capitol.

In Washington, Summit events will include:

  • Lobby Day on Capitol Hill (Jan. 20) supplemented by Lobby Days around the country
  • Artist showcase & Party For the People (Jan 20, 6 to 9 PM at K Street Lounge)
  • “We the Corporations vs. We the People” Rally (Jan. 21 at 11 AM at the U.S. Capitol Area 9)
  • Two-day Summit (Jan. 21 and 22 at the Washington Plaza Hotel at Thomas Circle)

CLICK HERE for updated list of speakers.

Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign and Annabel Park of the Coffee Party are two of the principal organizers. “It’s very hard to make progress on any issue without addressing the problem of money in politics,” Park said, “because right now it takes a nearly impossible amount of effort for ordinary people to compete with the daily influence that entrenched lobbyists enjoy. To succeed, we need to step outside the traditional left-right-center framework and find common cause across the political divide.”

“The greatest political reform of our time will be to abolish the legal concept of ‘corporate personhood’ and the inherently anti-democratic equation of money with political speech,” Moyer said. “I believe this monumental task will be achieved in the coming years built on a foundation of community-based battles to return power to the People.”

Nancy Price, Co-chair of the Alliance for Democracy, said she is impressed with the emerging coalition, for which she has served as an adviser. “The Summit will be an open discussion putting aside political, cultural, and ideological differences because the problem of money in politics is uniting America like few issues can,” she said. “80% of us disapprove of the Citizens United decision. 87% disapprove of the job Congress is doing. The American public will not accept a future in which we are no longer a self-determining people.”

Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, is also advising and will be speaking at the Summit.  “Nearly a million Americans have signed petitions against the Supreme Court’s decision to expand corporate rights,” she said. “We are coming together on the anniversary of this terrible decision because, regardless of party labels, we are Americans first and foremost and we must reject the Court’s efforts to undermine the power of We the People in our democracy.”

Bradley Manning Walking in the Footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Kevin Zeese

“The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong. . . that we have been detrimental to . . .life . . . . The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways,” said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when speaking of the Vietnam War.

Florida Is Next Stop on "War Is A Lie" Tour

David Swanson and Nicolas "Sandy" Davies in South Florida on Feb. 26, 2011

Click for flyer (PDF):

David Swanson will discuss and sign copies of "War Is A Lie".
Sandy Davies will discuss and sign copies of "Blood on Our Hands".

3-5 p.m. Saturday, February 26, 2011
Saint Andrews Estates South Auditorium
6045 Verde Trail South
Boca Raton, FL 33433

PLEASE RSVP to nparker0511 at gmail dot com

Sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America

"While most media continue to ignore the US-installed disaster in Iraq, author Nicolas Davies refuses to do so, and his book 'Blood on our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq' could not be released at a better time. This sweeping work covers US policy in Iraq that spans decades, and is written as a call to action for the US to begin following international law—not just in Iraq, but everywhere. For it was the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq that, more than perhaps anything else, continues to defile what is left of the tattered reputation of the US." -Dahr Jamail

"David Swanson’s War Is A Lie may be the most comprehensive antiwar statement available in the English language." — Kevin Young

"Not since General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket has a simpler, more brilliant, or truer book been published." — Geoffrey Millard

“David Swanson despises war and lying, and unmasks them both with rare intelligence. I learn something new on every page.” — Jeff Cohen

Minnesota Statute 609.713 Terroristic Threats

My blog entry for 26 November 2006 was entitled Hate Mail, Vandalism and Other Matches and advised readers to complain loudly and officially if they became the victims of hate mail, vandalism and threats. I’m not sure how convincing I was. The recent shootings in Tucson, the Pentagon, the Holocaust Museum, in Wichita, Knoxville, Pittsburgh, Brockton, and Okaloosa County, Florida show an escalation in the seriousness and magnitude of the problems.

One remedy might be recourse to the Law. In Minnesota making a Terroristic Threat is a misdemeanor and is punishable by ”imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.” Similar laws may exist in other states. Offenses to civil discourse may have to be taken up in the criminal courts as well as in civil courts. The Southern Poverty Law Center seems to have success using lawsuits against hate groups of all sorts.

Just a suggestion. Here are some links that cover the statute and how it is used.

Protest Today at FBI and at Quantico

Join Us!

January 17, 2011
Defend Free Speech and the Right to Organize!
Opposing War and Occupation is not a crime

Tell you friends, or RSVP via Facebook here!

Noon: Protest at FBI Headquarters
935 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC

1 p.m.: Convoy to Quantico Military Base
caravan to Quantico, Virginia (about 1 hour south of DC

Protest FBI Sureveillance and Harassment of Activists
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and honor the hundreds of courageous civil rights activists who fought for justice during the 1960s and 1970s, but were spied on, harrassed, undercut and villified by the FBI.

Protest surveillance, infiltration and attempts to entrap peace, environmental, animal rights civil rights and solidarity activists.

Stand up for the 29 peace and solidarity activists from Chicago, Minneapolis and Michigan who have been subpeonaed to appear before a grand jury purportedly investigating material support of terrorism, but really meant to intimidate international solidarity activists.

We'll convoy down to Quantico Marine Base at about 1 p.m. for a rally to support Bradley Manning.

Blowing the Whistle on War is Not A Crime!
Bradley Manning, is an army whistleblower who faces decades in prison for revealing truths about the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan and U.S. diplomacy. Manning, a 22 year-old Army intelligence analyst, is suspected of leaking the video “Collateral Murder,” which showed an U.S. helicopter attack that killed at least eleven Iraqi civilians. He is also accused of leaking the "Afghan War Diaries" -- tens of thousands of battlefield reports that explicitly describe civilian deaths and cover-ups, corrupt officials, collusion with war lords and a failing war effort; and thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables revealing , and thousands of documents relating to the war in Afghanistan, and thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables.

Currently, Manning sits in the brig at Quantico Marine Base -- in solitary confinement and under inhumane conditions. Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) have called for Manning’s execution.

We call on the Army to release Bradley Manning from his pre-trial confinement, and drop all charges against him.

Endorsed by: Defending Dissent Foundation, World Can't Wait, DC Bill of Rights Coalition, Montgomery County Civil Rights Coaltion,,, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, DC National Lawyers Guild, CodePink, Peace Action, Progressive Democrats of America, United for Peace and Justice, Witness Against Torture, Peace of the Action, Cindy Sheehan, Friends of Human Rights, Bradley Manning Support Network, Backbone Campaign (list in formation)

Angry Progressive Coalition to Protest Billionaire Gathering Hosted by Koch Brothers, Major Tea Party Funders

Progressives are planning huge counter-event to educate about the Kochs and their billionaire cronies, and peacefully march to give an alternative to their hard-right agenda.
January 16, 2011  |  By Don Hazen, Alternet

"They Will Never Tell Us Every Day We Succeeded"

By Mike Hersh, PDA

Monday, January 10, author/filmmaker Andy Worthington and World Can't Wait National Coordinator Debra Sweet joined David Swanson for a "War Is A Lie" book event at the Barnes and Noble bookstore near Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. The event was cosponsored by Progressive Democrats of America and several other peace and justice organizations. A crowd of 60 or more crammed into a narrow space between bookshelves to hear Swanson, a member of PDA's National Advisory Board, and his special guests. Before the talk began, event organizer Diane Wittner—director of Chesapeake Citizens—led the speakers and other area activists in honoring independent media hero Bill Hughes, who has chronicled, video recorded and photographed countless events, including this one. With characteristic modesty, Hughes reluctantly accepted an award, then he took his usual place behind the camera.   

After the Charm City Labor Chorus led the audience singing peace songs, PDA National Advisory Board member Swanson opened the panel with a quip about how the singing helped make up for Baltimore's most famous musical legacy, the Star Spangled Banner. He then explained, "I wrote this book because so many smart people told me they were outraged by the Iraq War because a president lied about a war." Swanson listed famous lies about wars and pointed out that every war is based on lies, including: propaganda falsely claiming Iraqis threw Kuwaiti babies from incubators (Gulf War); the Tonkin Gulf Resolution's claim that the North Vietnamese attacked a U.S. ship (Vietnam War); similarly false claims that Spain attacked the U.S.S. Maine (Spanish American War); that Mexicans were attacking Americans (Mexican American War); and even that Americans would be welcomed as liberators by Canadians and would win in a cakewalk, leading up to the War of 1812."

20 Years of US War on Iraq Marked Today in Washington DC


8:45am Mass at Sacred Heart Church 16th & Park Road NW ‘’Mass of Repentance for War’’ celebrated by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Sponsored by Pax Christi Metro DC

 10:30 am   Assemble at 16th & Park Road NW to get ready to march- bring your signs, banners, and puppets

 11 am           “March to Stop the War”- March down 16th street to the White House

12-1 pm        Vigil outside the White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW

2-6 pm        Teach-in at Foundry United Methodist 1500 16th St. NW  with live music, films, and guest speakers and actvists including;

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton – Kathy Kelly – Medea Benjamin - Celeste Zappala  - Joyce and Kevin Lucey - Ann Wright (by video) - Andy Shallal- Camilo Mejia – Brian Becker – David Swanson  - Liz McAlister – Sue and Bill Frankel-Streit – Ray McGovern, Thomas Nagy, Bill Samuel, Fr. Jim Noonan MM, Frida Berrigan, Janice  Sevre-Duszynska, MJ and Jerry Park, Kevin Martin, Judy Coode, Ellen Barfield, Coleen Rowley, Lou Wolf and more!                                          *Plan to do your own lunch & dinner

7 pm          Candlelight Vigil outside the White House marking the time the  Tomahawk Missiles exploded in Baghdad - please bring your own light for vigil       

Need a place to stay in DC? (Jan 14th & 15th until 7am Jan 16th) Sleeping bag space is available at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church 1525 Newton St NW 20010


January 15, 2011 marks the 20th year since the United States began to bomb Iraq. Since then millions of Iraqi people have been militarily occupied, injured, starved, killed, tortured, and imprisoned. Millions more have become internally displaced or refugees in other countries. The purpose of this witness in Washington, D.C. on January 15th is to draw attention to the fact that the United States has been using military force for 20 years that has led to the slaughter of Iraqis and the destruction of their country. It is our hope the United States will instead follow the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to abolish war and injustice


Click Here! To Download Event Flyer

Questions:  or Dorothy Day Catholic Worker (202)882-9649

Co-sponsoring Groups: The January 15 Peace Committee, Witness Against Torture, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Gold Star Families Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against War, Code Pink, United National Assembly Committee, Consistent Life,  WARISACRIME.ORG, Peace-Action, Veterans For Peace, Christian Peace Witness, War Resisters League, Answer Coalition, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, United For Peace and Justice,  Gray Panthers, Washington Peace Center, Pax Christi Metro DC, Little Friends for Peace, Peace With Justice Mission(DC), Dorothy Day CW(DC), Father Charlie Mulholland CW(NC), Northern Virginians for Peace & Justice,  Maryland United for Peace and Justice, Gray Panthers of Metropolitan DC, Peace-Action Montgomery County(MD), Jonah House(MD, Womens International League for Peace and Freedom (DC)

A Review: Revolutionary Violence and Ted Rall

By Charles M. Young

The Anti-American Manifesto
(Seven Stories Press)
by Ted Rall

Lots of books collect all the low-hanging fruit in the abundant orchard of corporate state crime and arrange it into a more or less digestible feast, and then they all conclude with a ringing exhortation to elect more Democrats to Congress, or build a third party, or challenge the legality of war through the courts, or write well-reasoned letters of protest to The New York Times, or impeach whoever is president, or go to more demonstrations, or drip more snark on the ruling class.

The reader sits alone at night with the question, “Is that all there is?”

Ted Rall seeks to answer that question in The Anti-American Manifesto. At the beginning of chapter one (“Kill the Zombie Empire”), he quotes the U.S Criminal Code that advocating the overthrow of the government by violence is unlawful, and then he advocates the overthrow of the government by violence.

What Eisenhower Got Wrong

By David Swanson

Fifty years ago this Monday, President Dwight Eisenhower gave a farewell address in which he famously warned of the dangers of influence on our government by the "military industrial complex." Our current Secretary of War, Robert Gates, has proposed to retire this year and has recommended that his successors stop increasing the military budget. But Eisenhower didn't just bring this up on his way out the door. It was seven years earlier that he had remarked:

Peace and Justice Groups Ask Military to End Inhumane Treatment of Bradley Manning

January 12, 2011

Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
9999 Joint Staff Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20318-9999

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Army Chief of Staff
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington DC 20301-1400

Gen. James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps
3000 Marine Corps Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-3000

Colonel Daniel J. Choike, Base Commander
Marine Corps Base Quantico
3250 Catlin Avenue
Quantico, VA 22134-5000

Dear Adm. Mullen, Gen. Casey, Gen. Amos, Col. Choike,

The undersigned organizations are deeply concerned about the inhumane treatment of Pfc Bradley Manning, who has not been convicted of any crime, and yet has been subjected to six months of solitary confinement with no known end date. It has been reported by his attorney and a visitor that Manning's mental health is suffering from this cruelty, which serves no known judicial purpose and could result in Manning being found unfit to stand trial.

Your conduct, as judged by the information available to the public, appears to be in clear violation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, a treaty to which the United States is a party and which is therefore, under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land. The treaty is also enforced by US Code Title 18, Part I, CHAPTER 113C.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice states that "No person, while being held for trial, may be subjected to punishment or penalty other than arrest or confinement upon the charges pending against him, nor shall the arrest or confinement imposed upon him be any more rigorous than the circumstances required to insure his presence." The same UCMJ bans cruel and unusual punishments following convictions.

We urge you to come into immediate compliance with the law. As a U.S. citizen and as a member of the U.S. military, Bradley Manning has legal rights that are being grossly violated. If you have reclassified Manning as an enemy in some sort of war, the same is true. The US Code bans war crimes, defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party. The following are a few examples of the rights you are bound by the Supreme Law of the Land to respect for prisoners of war:

-Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated.
-The Power detaining prisoners of war shall be bound to provide free of charge for their maintenance and for the medical attention required by their state of health.
-Prisoners shall have opportunities for taking physical exercise, including sports and games, and for being out of doors. Sufficient open spaces shall be provided for this purpose in all camps.

This is not to suggest that Bradley Manning could rightly be considered some kind of Prisoner of War, but under international treaties which the U.S. has signed, EVEN POWs are guaranteed certain rights now being ignored in the case of Manning, a citizen of the United States. Manning is, in fact, being subjected to treatment almost certain to cause permanent psychological damage. Please see the enclosed letter from Psychologists for Social Responsibility to Robert Gates re. Bradley Manning on January 3, 2011. The following steps should, at a minimum, be taken immediately to mitigate the damage and increase the likelihood of Manning being capable of assisting in his own defense. He should be permitted:

-Lifting of the baseless POI (prevention of injury) status that allows guards to harass him with inquiries
-Extensive daily interaction with other accused but not convicted prisoners
-His meals in a common area with other accused but not convicted prisoners
-Nightly sleep undisturbed by light, noise, or interruption
-Sleep during daytime as desired
-Normal blankets
-Sight at all times of daylight or night's darkness
-Exercise in his cell anytime he wants
-At least three hours outside each day, and access to basic exercise and sports equipment
-Whatever reading material he wants

Please contact us to discuss this matter further at david at davidswanson dot org


Backbone Campaign, Bill of Right Defense Committee, CodePink, Courage to Resist, DC Bill of Rights Coalition, DC National Lawyers Guild, Defending Dissent Foundation,, Friends of Human Rights, Jobs for Afghans, Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition, National Accountability Action Network, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Peace Action, Peace of the Action, Progressive Democrats of America, Tackling Torture at the Top - subcommittee of Women Against Military Madness, United for Peace and Justice, Voters for Peace,, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Witness Against Torture, World Can’t Wait


Resettle Cleared Guantanamo Detainees in Berkeley

What: Press Conference and Rally "Resettle Cleared Guantanamo Detainees in Berkeley, Close Guantanamo, Support Wikileaks and Bradley Manning"

When: Wednesday, January 12, 2011
11:00 am, Press Conference, Berkeley Old City Hall, 2134 MLK Jr. Way
11:45 am, Procession in Orange Jumpsuits to Marine Recruiting Station, 64 Shattuck Square (@ University Ave.)
12 Noon, Rally at the Marine Recruiting Station, 64 Shattuck Square, Berkeley

Who: Codepink Women for Peace; Berkeley No More Guantanamos; Courage to Resist; Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission; Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute; Progressive Democrats of America; others in a coalition of peace and justice groups.


Blair is appearing before Chilcot for his recall evidence next Friday 21st January. We are calling a demonstration outside the inquiry at the Queen Elizabeth II centre Westminster (nearest tubes Westminster and st James's).

Please do everything you can to attend and make the day a success. We will be organising a series of activities, stunts etc as part of the protest.

There is clearly real disquiet even in establishment circles about the evidence which has come out about the legality of the war. Now's our chance to bring this issue to the forefront of politics.

Further details of the time will be out soon but prepare for an early start.

Newsletter No.11835
12th January 2011
Tel: 020 7801 2768

Stop Racist Legislation in Virginia

State wide effort underway to stop anti-immigrant legislation in the General Assembly.
Virginia United Against Oppression says it aims to stop "all out assault" on undocumented people and workers in the Commonwealth.

A new group called Virginia United Against Oppression has formed a statewide campaign in Virginia to fight racist anti-immigration and anti-worker rights legislation in the General Assembly. The group has organizers statewide building a campaign against the "massive attack on all people living in Virginia".

You can visit the website for Virginia United Against Oppression at or visit them on facebook at

The Third Force Idea

By Ted Glick

Teach contentment.
Those for whom the taxes are destined
Demand sacrifice.
Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry
Of wonderful times to come.
Those who lead the country into the abyss
Call ruling to difficult
For ordinary men and women."
-Bertolt Brecht

Several times in columns over the last year or so I have written about the need for a "third force," a broad, independent and progressive united front.

Those people who know me might think this is nothing new. After all, for over 15 years I have been a leader of the Independent Progressive Politics Network, which has had unity-building for an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans as central to its mission. However, my conception of a 21st-century-second-decade "third force" has one major difference, which is:

Bradley Manning and the Rule of Law

By Kevin Zeese

The case of Private Bradley Manning raises legal issues about his pre-trial detention, freedom of speech and the press, as well as proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Putting aside Manning’s guilt or innocence, if Bradley Manning saw the Afghan and Iraq war diaries as well as the diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks what should he have done? And, what should be the proper response of government to their publication?

See You in Baltimore on Monday!

Here's a poster/flyer: PDF

David Swanson to Discuss, Sign Copies of "War Is A Lie" in Baltimore, Md.
January 10, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Johns Hopkins Bookstore
3330 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
(410) 662-5850

CONTACT info at

Special guests:
Andy Worthington, author of "Guantanamo Files"
Debra Sweet, director of The World Can't Wait
Cindy Sheehan, the Peace Mom
and other surprises!

Pledge of Resistance Baltimore
Chesapeake Citizens
Voters for Peace
Progressive Democrats of America/Maryland
Generations for Peace and Democracy
Indypendent Reader

"David Swanson’s War Is A Lie may be the most comprehensive antiwar statement available in the English language." — Kevin Young

"Not since General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket has a simpler, more brilliant, or truer book been published." — Geoffrey Millard

“David Swanson despises war and lying, and unmasks them both with rare intelligence. I learn something new on every page.” — Jeff Cohen

A Disturbing Meeting at the Gym

By Dave Lindorff

At the local YMCA today, I ran into a boy who was a childhood friend of my son. As my son goes to a public arts high school in Philadelphia outside of our local school district, I don't see much of his old grade-school friends any more. This boy, who used to be over at our house years ago at least once a week, recognized me right away, and said, "Hey Mr. Lindorff, I haven't seen you in years. How's Jed!"

I was impressed by how he'd grown up, tall and strong looking. He was headed for the basketball court. I asked him, since both he and my son are seniors this year, where he was applying for college, and he stunned me by saying he had signed up for the Marines. "I'm going to be going in after graduation," he said proudly. "The recruiter came to school, and he convinced me it's a good move."

I asked him what he planned to do, and he said, "Helicopter gunner! I'm really excited and proud!"

The Chemistry of Empire

In the beginning, chemicals collided and catalyzed, evolving a system of development from non-living to living things, proteins and nucleic acids interacting--greeting and meeting, dating and mating—in a metaphorical dance of romance. The recipe to make more was born. Now, chemicals portend the end. So much tells us so. An eye for an eye doesn’t just blind the world; it annihilates. The blueprint for reproduction becomes one of destruction.

I’m not relaxed.

Sen. Lindsay Graham advocates permanent military presence in Afghanistan, despite an objection from Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government.

And despite the deaths of thousands of military men and women during Bush’s war—the War OF Terror that passed seamlessly to Commander Obama. Last week, two US troops died in Iraq where combat ENDED months ago. Because the president told us so, even announcing the improved name of the non-war: Operation New Dawn.


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