You are hereActivism

Activism

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /usr/local/share/drupal-6.31/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

Making the hero pay: A Nation’s Betrayal

By Dan DeWalt


This week, the government began their assault against private Bradley Manning. Even though he has already plead guilty to misusing classified documents and faces twenty years in prison, prosecutors want him branded as having aided the enemy, with a life sentence to go along.

Recent Revelations are Worse Than Our Worst Nightmare: Privacy Disappears in a Prism

By Alfredo Lopez


This past Thursday (June 6), The Guardian (the British newspaper) and the Washington Post simultaneously reported that the National Security Agency has been collecting staggering amounts of user data and files from seven of the world's most powerful technology companies.

Join Me in D.C. Saturday

Saturday June 8 is packed in Washington, D.C.  Here's where I'll be and I hope to see you! --David Swanson

PROTEST CIA DRONE KILLS

I'll be speaking to a group of protesters of drone murder in front of CIA headquarters.  We'll be there from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  You can park next door at Langley Fork Park at 6414 Georgetown Pike McLean, VA 22101.  Join us!

REMEMBER THE USS LIBERTY
USS Liberty survivors and their families and friends will gather at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery at noon to remember the 34 who were killed on June 8, 1967. Memorial services will commence at 1:15 p.m. Sign up here to join us!
https://www.facebook.com/events/186293598165055/

VIEW SCREENING OF DIRTY WARS
Following the 2:30 screening of Jeremy Scahill's film "Dirty Wars" at E Street Cinema
Yemeni-American activist Rooj Alwazir and I will lead a discussion of the film and in particular of an imprisoned journalist whose story is told. The theater is at 555 11th St NW, Washington, DC.  You'll want to buy tickets now:
http://www.landmarktheatres.com/market/WashingtonDC/EStreetCinema.htm

Check out other screenings with other speakers
http://warisacrime.org/content/dirty-wars-opens-dc-weekend-june-7-9

JOIN JEREMY SCAHILL TO DISCUSS DIRTY WARS
Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield and star of the film by the same name.
Rooj Alwazir, Yemeni-American activist and co-founder of SupportYemen media collective.
And a former operative with the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (name to be revealed at the event).
Join us at 5-7 p.m. at Busboys and Poets restaurant at 5th and K Streets NW, Washington, DC
http://www.busboysandpoets.com/about/5th-k

SPONSORS: Amnesty International, Code Pink, Peace Action, Iraq Veterans Against the War, RootsAction, Veterans for Peace.

Busboys is a restaurant, and you can order dinner during the event.
Books will be sold and signed.

Sign up on Facebook for Busboys event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/463016100456362/?fref=ts

and for opening weekend in general:
https://www.facebook.com/events/275208689282159/

Learn more: http://dirtywars.org/screenings/details/1785/5791

People Turn Out for Bradley Manning

By Gerry Condon

The court martial of Bradley Manning recessed on Wednesday after three days. Because the court room testimony is proceeding quicker than anticipated, the next of the government's 141 witnesses will not be available until Monday. Lawyers and activists alike welcomed the break, except for a few who had planned to attend the court martial on Thursday and Friday.

The first three days of Bradley's court martial featured testimony from computer forensics experts, infamous hacker Adrian Lamo (who turned in Bradley to Army intelligence after chatting online with Bradley), and a parade of Army witnesses who were his instructors, supervisors and co-workers in intelligence gathering in Iraq. The court proceedings arguably were to Bradley's advantage. His lawyer David Coombs elicited testimony that undercut the aiding the enemy charge as well as other attempts by Army prosecutors to cast Bradley in an unfavorable light.


For summaries and complete transcripts
of the court martial testimony, go to www.bradleymanning.org


Tons of Media Coverage

The virtual media blackout of the prosecution of Bradley Manning has ended, with the beginning of his court martial. You can find tons of media coverage here and a very interesting article in New Yorker.


VFP Board member Gerry Condon, who is anchoring VFP's presence at Fort Meade, reports being interviewed by a dozen radio stations in the U.S. and abroad. This is a BIG story around the world, and many foreign reporters showed up for both the court martial and the rally that preceded it.


Veterans For Peace featured in Real News Video from Fort Meade Rally (5 min).
featuring VFP members Ward Reilly, Gerry Condon, David Swanson and Ann Wright.

Ward Reilly is misidentified as Bob Meola of the Bradley Manning Support Network.


Eisenhower Chapter Gives HERO OF PEACE Award to Bradley Manning

At the Monday morning vigil outside of Fort Meade, just prior to the beginning of the historic court martial, the Eisenhower Chapter of Veterans For Peace (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina) presented a Hero For Peace award, in the form of a beautiful plaque, to Bradley Manning. Eisenhower Chapter president John Heuer who serves on VFP's Board of Directors, presented the award to Jeff Paterson of the Bradley Manning Support Network. The award will be passed on to Bradley through his lawyer, David Coombs. 


The plaque reads as follows:


When the violence of war kills the innocent, our shared humanity cries out against the brutality. When the deceit of war attacks truth, our shared hope for justice compels some to testify and all to listen.

We count as heroes of peace, those willing to sacrifice themselves to save the innocent, those willing to suffer from lies to reveal the truth, those willing to be condemned by criminals for disobeying them, and those willing to be persecuted to stop the brutality.

 

These are the deeds of Bradley Manning.

 


Monday Morning Vigil at Fort Meade

A vigil will take place outside the front gate of Fort Meade on Monday morning, when the court martial resumes, and every Monday morning thereafter, beginning at 7 am. A Friday morning “visibility action” is also being planned.


Bradley Manning Contingents in Washington DC and Boston Pride Parades Saturday

VFP members will join in the Bradley Manning contingent of the Gay Pride Parade in Washington, DC this Saturday, June 8. The Parade begins at 4:30 p.m. from 22nd St. & P Sts. NW.
Contact in advance for details for the contingent meeting time and location: 206-499-1220.


VFP's Smedley Butler Brigade will march in the Boston Pride parade this Saturday,
June 8, with the message "Free Bradley Manning."  They invite other chapters to join them.  Assemble between 10;30 am and11 am at the corner of Boyleston and Exeter streets (one block from the Copley T station).  For more information, email Pat Scanlon at patscanlonmusic@yahoo.com.


Loads more information is available at
www.bradleymanning.org.

 

Bradley Manning Support Network

Fight over truth underway in courtroom

Report on the first week of the trial, protests, solidarity actions, and press coverage.

Rally in Sydney, Australia

International week of action. June 1-8. Rally in Sydney, Australia.

After a grueling 3 years in prison awaiting trial, 3 time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bradley Manning’s court martial has begun. Supporters held actions in solidarity with the heroic whistleblower. On June 1st the largest rally of supporters yet was held at Fort Meade, and throughout the week more than three dozen events were organized around the world.

On the first day of the trial the defense and prosecution faced off with opening statements that both asked “what would you do” if you were given access to evidence of the true nature of the war, civilian murders, illegal torture, unnecessary secrecy and thousands of documents revealing government corruption? What would you do if your reports to superiors were ignored, and if you learned that the American people had been lied to?

Rally in Seoul

Rally in South Korea



Rally in Toledo, OH



Rally in Portland, ME

In his opening arguments defense lawyer David Coombs highlighted that Bradley Manning is not your typical soldier - rather he is a conscientious soldier who cared more than most about people, fellow soldiers and Iraqi civilians alike. Bradley Manning, he explained, is a "Humanist," who prior to deploying to Iraq had that printed on his dog tags as his religious preference. For Bradley Manning the horrors of civilian and his fellow soldier’s deaths were troubling and transforming: it inspired him to learn the truth about the war, a war that we now know, thanks in part to Bradley and the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, has been based on lies. Read Bradley Manning Support Network correspondent Nathan Fuller’s report on the opening statements from the first day of the hearing.

On the second day, hacker and informant Adrian Lamo who in 2010 reported Bradley to authorities and then published private chat logs via Wired and the Washington Post, confirmed for the court Bradley’s conscientious motivations for releasing the information. The remainder of the second and third days of the hearing focused largely on Bradley’s training. Witnesses testified that he performed his duties well and he was praised for being well organized and computer savvy.

Many of the charges against Bradley are specified three different ways. First that Bradley was not authorized to access the information, at least in the way he did. Second that he violated regulations in transferring that information from secure to non-secure computers or media. Finally, that he gave the information to WikiLeaks. The latter is the only part Bradley has admitted to. Witnesses agreed that Bradley indeed had authorized access to all of the information, and that it was normal for additional, unauthorized programs and files, to be installed on these secure computers. Read the Support Network’s reports from day 2, and from day 3.


Supporters were blocked from wearing Truth t-shirts in the court room on the first day, but the decision was later overturned.

Bradley Manning and supporters received a lot of positive press over the week. The New York Times highlights supporter efforts in its article “Manning’s supporters are loud and online!”, while Rolling Stone magazine rips into media outlets that failed to understand Bradley’s motives, or to grasp the big picture: “The debate we should be having is over whether as a people we approve of the acts he uncovered that were being done in our names.” And former US Representative Dennis Kucinich takes Bill O’Reilly to task, defending Bradley Manning’s actions on the Bill O’Reilly factor. Watch the video here.

Transcripts of the trial are now available thanks to the Freedom of the Press Foundation who have hired a stenographer. Throughout three years leading up to this court martial no transcripts have been issued from the numerous pre-trial hearings. It has been up to bloggers, journalists, and Bradley’s supporters to take notes by hand in court. The hiring of a stenographer by the public brings a touch of transparency back into the court. Read transcripts from the first week.

World Can't Wait Panel Videos from Historians Conference

On Sunday, April 7, 2013, H. Candace Gorman esq., former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and former National Security Administration executive and whisteblower Thomas Drake spoke at the Third National Conference of Historians Against the War called "The New Faces of War," which was held at Towson University. Gorman participated on a panel called "Indefinite Detention and War Against Iran: How Are These Strands of US Foreign Policy Connected?" These videos were produced by Stephen Roblin and Spencer Compton.

 

Check the videos out at:

http://warcriminalswatch.org/index.php/take-action/70-reports-on-educational-events-a-films/1645-4-8-13-videos-from-world-cant-wait-panel-at-historians-against-the-war-conference

Close Guantanamo NOW Message More Relevant Than Ever

On Saturday, Day 115 of the prisoners’ hunger strike, we heard that the US had released a prisoner from Bagram, and two from Guantanamo back to their home country of Mauritania. We soon learned that only the prisoner in Bagram went home. Other than Omar Khadr (a child when he was captured and sent to GTMO), who was sent to Canada in 2012, no prisoners have been released since August of 2010. See Andy Worthington's stories of the Mauritanian prisoners, still waiting for justice.

Bradley Manning: Reistance More Relevant Than Ever

by Debra Sweet          US Government Begins 12 Week Military Trial of Bradley Manning Read reports, view photos/videos from protests around the country.  Saturday, we gathered at Ft.

PROTEST US KILLER DRONES, JUNE 29, 2013 AT 3PM

900 block of Dolley Madison Blvd., Langley, VA
 
The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance calls for a protest at the Central Intelligence Agency on June 29, 2013 starting at 3PM opposing the continued use of drones by the US Military and CIA. The US Military is using drones in it's illegal wars of aggression and the CIA in particular is killing people with these extrajudicial death squads of the skies. We must come out and protest the killer drones and hold the CIA and US Government officials accountable.
 

Panel and Forum on the Disappearing Civil Liberties in The United States.

Where:  St. John’s Church, 2727 College Avenue, Berkeley, California

When:  June 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Americans' civil liberties are vanishing at an alarming rate, jeopardizing not only democracy but even the rule of law. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law by President Obama in January 2012, gives the President indefinite detention powers that threaten essential rights.

On June 11, an accomplished and energetic panel of speakers will outline the threats posed by the NDAA and as well as actions underway to challenge it. They will address critical questions such as: How can we act together to restore the rule of law? Is it too late to protect the civil liberties of future generations? 

Birgitta Jonsdottir (MP Iceland – Pirate Party) Poetician, Director of the International Modern Media Institute, co-producer of the aerial weapons team WikiLeaks “Collateral Murder” video,  Bradley Manning supporter, and plaintiff-litigant in the NDAA case Hedges v. Obama.  

Daniel Ellsberg America's most well-known whistleblower, Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers and changed Americans' attitudes about the Vietnam War. He is a founding board member of the Bradley Manning Support Network and the Freedom of the Press Foundation and plaintiff-litigant in the NDAA case Hedges v. Obama.  

Nadia Kayyali Legal fellow and organizer with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.  She has worked at the ACLU of Northern California, Bay Area Legal Aid, Common Ground Collective in New Orleans, and Occupylegal, where she supported Occupy activists at sites across the Bay  Area. 

Norman Solomon: Journalist, media critic, anti war activist, co – founder of Rootsaction.org, author of  “War Made Easy”.

Moderator:  Robert Jaffe, Volunteer Attorney challenging the NDAA in the case Hedges v. Obama. 

     Attendees will have a unique opportunity to learn more about and reflect on the increasing government surveillance of its citizens, including whistleblowers, journalists and activists. This surveillance is often conducted in the name of "security" and war powers, but is actually a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution. The very people who are calling Americans' attention to our government’s corruption, global militarization, and extra-judicial assassinations are being targeted for surveillance.

     However, the profound ongoing shift toward governmental overreach affects not just whistleblowers and journalists: it affects us all. On June 11, an interactive and co-creative discussion will highlight opportunities for direct action and real change.

     Sponsors include ACLU Berkeley Chapter, Alameda County Against Drones, Aquarian Minyan, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, CodePink, San Francisco 99% Coalition.  St. John’s Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, Occupy Bay AreaJewish Contingent, RootsAction.org.

I Am Bradley Manning

Flash! Bradley Manning Pleads Guilty to Reporting War Crimes

Bradley Manning Pleads Guilty to Ten Charges.

Bradley Manning wasn't committing a crime, he was reporting crimes.  First the torture of Iraqi dissidents by the puppet government then firing on wounded being evacuated. 

Chase Mader at Huffington Post wrote in 2011:

When Bradley Manning deployed to Iraq in October 2009, he thought that he’d be helping the Iraqi people build a free society after the long nightmare of Saddam Hussein. What he witnessed firsthand was quite another matter.

Dirty Wars Opens in D.C. Weekend of June 7-9

Dirty Wars, the new film featuring Jeremy Scahill, is playing every day at 12 noon, 2:30pm, 5:00pm, 7:30pm, and 9:55pm at Landmark's E Street Cinema, 555 11th St NW, Washington, DC

You can buy tickets now:
http://www.landmarktheatres.com/market/WashingtonDC/EStreetCinema.htm

Following the 12:00, 2:30, and 5:00 showings on June 7th, Amnesty International's Jiva Manske will lead a discussion of the film and of activism that can address some of what the film covers.

Following the 7:30 showing on June 7th, Code Pink will lead a discussion of issues surrounding the film.

Following the 2:30 screening on June 8th, RootsAction's David Swanson and Yemeni-American activist Rooj Alwazir will lead a discussion of the film and in particular of an imprisoned journalist whose story is told.

Following the 5:00 and 7:30 screenings on June 8th, Jeremy Scahill will take questions.

Following the 2:30 and 5:00 showings on June 9th, Afghan War whistleblower Matthew Hoh will lead a discussion of the film and whistleblowing.

For a more in-depth discussion, the following free and public event has been planned:

WHAT: Discussion of Jeremy Scahill's new film and book Dirty Wars

WHO:

  • Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield and star of the film by the same name.
  • Rooj Alwazir, Yemeni-American activist and co-founder of SupportYemen media collective.
  • A former operative with the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (name to be revealed at the event).

WHEN: 5-7 p.m., Saturday, June 8, 2013

WHERE: Busboys and Poets restaurant at 5th and K Streets NW, Washington, DC
http://www.busboysandpoets.com/about/5th-k

SPONSORS: Amnesty International, Code Pink, Peace Action, Iraq Veterans Against the War, RootsAction, Veterans for Peace.

Busboys is a restaurant, and you can order dinner during the event.
Books will be sold and signed.

Sign up on Facebook for Busboys event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/463016100456362/?fref=ts


and for opening weekend in general:
https://www.facebook.com/events/275208689282159/

Learn more: http://dirtywars.org/screenings/details/1785/5791

Companies use a progressive tool in very non-progressive ways: The "Cloudy" Skies Corporations Want to Sell You

By Alfredo Lopez

 

It's the nature of the shallow, consumer-driven, dream-drunken culture our society tries to impose on us that we popularly adopt terms without knowing what they mean and, more often than not, they don't mean much of anything.

Such is the case with "the Cloud".

Most people who use computers believe they know what it is except that everyone seems to have a different definition. From a satellite-based storage system to a virtually invisible network to a collection of hard drives all over the world to a new form of storage that doesn't require computers to...whatever new definition pops up this week. In any case, you have heard of the "cloud" and probably aren't sure what it really is.

Action for Bradley Manning Everywhere

h/t Ciaron O'Reilly

REPORT by Ben Griffin, Veterans for Peace, on June 1st London solidarity for Bradley Manning outside the U.S. embassy. 

PHOTOS June 1st, London solidarity for Bradley Manning outside U.S. embassy

VID  (2 mins 30 secs) Collage of speakers Peter Tatchel, singer David Rovics, military resister Michael Lyons, woman from Bradley's hometown in Wales, Veterans for Peace Ben Griffin

VID (2 mins 30 secs) Michael Lyons, Veterans for Peace, British Navy medic imprisoned for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan





VID (8 mins) Craig Murray former British ambassador to Afghanistan, whistleblower on torture


Ft, MEADE, MARYLAND, U.S.A.
VID (4 mins 40 secs) June 1st. Solidarity, Daniel Elsberg speaking, outside Ft. Meade site of military trial beginning on Monday June 3rd





REPORT & PHOTOS from Ft. Meade June 1st. solidarity with Bradley Manning


BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
VID (5 mins) Solidarity for Bradley Manning Brisbane, U.S.A.

Veterans For Peace Stands With Bradley Manning!

Mass Rally at Ft. Meade, Maryland, Saturday, June 1

Court Martial Begins on Monday, June 3,

Military veterans are turning out in force to show support for PFC Bradley Manningthis Saturday, June 1, 1 pm at Fort Meade, Maryland, on the eve of his historic court martial, which begins on Monday.  The diminutive 25-year-old Manning, who has acknowledged giving classified Army documents to Wikileaks about U.S. conduct of the wars Iraq and Afghanistan, is facing the possibility of life in prison. In what many people see as “overkill,” the Army has charged him with “Aiding the Enemy,” the most serious of 22 charges. 

Veterans For Peace is also organizing local marches and rallies on June 1, including in Seattle,Washington, (2 pm at Westlake Park, march to Victor Steinbreuck Park) and London, England (2 pm rally outside of US Embassy).  See contact info for Seattle and London, below.  Veterans For Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War will also participate in International Days of Action, June 1-8, in over 100 cities around the U.S. and worldwide, to demonstrate widespread support for PFC Manning.

What Manning released through Wikileaks was evidence of the routine killing of civilians by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the routine cover-up of these war crimes. The Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diaries also revealed that military and civilian leaders were lying to the U.S. people when they presented rosy assessments of the progress of those wars.

“Bradley Manning is a hero who wanted to aid the public, not a traitor who wanted to aid the enemy,” said Gerry Condon, a spokesperson for Veterans For Peace. “It is a shame that our nation did not pay more attention to the information he shared with us three years ago. Many lives could have been saved -- hundreds of Afghani civilians and hundreds of U.S. soldiers.”

PFC Manning has been held in prison for over three years, much of it in solitary confinement and under other abusive treatment, as documented by the United Nationsl Special Rapporteur on Torture.

The Army's court martial of Manning, which begins on Monday, is expected to continue throughout the summer, with the prosecution presenting over 100 government witnesses, many of them in secret testimony.  Veterans For Peace will participate in a daily vigil outside the front gate of Fort Meade.

The Army's presecution of Bradley Manning coincides with the Obama Administration's crackdown on whistle-blowers and journalists alike.  Over twice as many people are being prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act than in all previous administrations combined.

On Thursday, February 28, Bradley Manning detailed how he released classified military and government documents to Wikileaks, and he explained why he did so.

“I believed if the public, particularly the American public, could see this it could spark a debateon the military and our foreign policy in general as it applied to Iraq and Afghanistan. It might cause society to reconsider the need to engage in counter terrorism while ignoring the human situation of the people we engaged with every day.... I felt I accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience.”

One of the most moving aspects of Manning’s testimony was his explanation as to why he released the so-called “Collateral Murder” video, which shows the gunning down in Baghdad of two Reuters journalists and bystanders by American soldiers in a US Apache helicopter. Manning described being deeply troubled by the video, especially the crew’s “lack of concern for human life” and lack of “concern for injured children at the scene.”

Veterans For Peace, an international organization with chapters in over 100 cities, demands that the US Army drop all charges against Bradley Manning and release him from prison immediately.


                           or visit
www.veteransforpeace.organd www.bradleymanning.org

Manning and the Media: panel discussion, June 2 in D.C.

When: June 2, 20135:00-7:00 PM ET
Where: All Soul’s Church, 1500 Harvard Street NW, Washington DC, 20009 (Directions)
 
How has WikiLeaks changed and influenced journalism thus far? How will Bradley Manning’s trial affect the way the press functions in the U.S.?
 
Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, Government Accountability Project director and DOJ whistle-blower Jesselyn Radack, Center for Constitutional Rights president emeritus Michael Ratner, and former State Department employee Peter Van Buren will tackle these questions in a panel discussion at All Soul’s Church in Washington D.C. on Sunday, June 2, 2013, from 5-7 PM ET.
 
The panelists will examine how the information released by Bradley Manning helped shaped the public’s understanding of war, diplomacy, and government secrecy, and the way the press reports on each. They’ll explore how the government’s unprecedentedly broad interpretation of “aiding the enemy” in prosecuting Bradley Manning gravely threatens press freedoms in the United States.
 
Bradley Manning faces 21 charges and a potential life sentence for passing hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, exposing atrocities and corruption in order to spark a debate about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
Can’t make it to Washington D.C.? We’ll livestream the event at bradleymanning.org.
 
This event comes just one day after our major rally at Ft. Meade on June 1 and one day before Bradley Manning’s court martial begins, on June 3
 
The Bradley Manning Support Network, a project of a 501(c)3, funds 100% of PFC Manning's legal fees and educates the public about his case.

2013 Tax Day and the Global Day of Action on Military Spending

By Peace Blog

April 15, 2013 Japanese Peace Boat

April 15, 2013 Japanese Peace Boat

We need a movement that is global and grassroots, that will take action, educate and generate an alternative vision for global economic security for all. 

By Judith Le Blanc – Field Director, Peace Action

US Tax Day was different than Tax Days of the past. It was also the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS.) Events were organized around the world to make the release of the annual report on military spending by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. 

In the US and around the world, tens of thousands of leaflets were distributed, street theater, flash mobs, vigils, educational events, visits to parliaments, and marches were organized to draw attention to the impact of militarism on governments’ ability to respond to global problems of equity, justice and a secure future.

In South Korea, a group made an entertaining video using well-known children’s characters, Teletubbies, to make their point.

In the UK, a forum was conducted in the House of Parliament on why military spending should be redirected to meet human needs.

In Chile, actions were organized in nine cities.

See reports on other international actions on the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) website.

United States

Foreign Policy In Focus (project of Institute for Policy Studies) staff and interns. April 15, 2013

Foreign Policy In Focus staff and interns at the White House on April 15, 2013.

In 33 states and 86 cities and towns, peace, economic justice, faith based groups used Tax Day and GDAMS to continue grassroots pressure on Congress to change national spending priorities and end the austerity drive to cut jobs and human needs to balance the federal budget. The 86 events were not the total number of Tax Day actions. Other groups like Americans for Tax Fairness held events nationwide as well.

This year, the federal budget struggles gave new impetus to a coalition of groups and networks who traditionally organize Tax Day events to join with economic and racial justice groups to be a part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS.) Find the full list and contact info at the end of this blog.

In some cities, local affiliates of national groups supporting GDAMS worked together. In other towns or cities, new coalitions came together or individuals took action all with the goal of joingan international day of grassroots education on the distorted priorities reflected in 57% of annual US federal discretionary spending going to the Pentagon along side of tax loop holes for the rich and corporations while community services are cut and jobs lost.

Creative use of social media and online materials

The National Priorities Project, AFSC, Coalition on Human Needs, USAction, War Resisters League & Toolbox for Action and Social Action and Peace Action created background materials and  online interactive educational tools and leaflets. Sample Tweets were shared for use on Twitter and memes were created for Facebook.

A Thunderclap was organized and reached 233,071 people on Facebook and Twitter with the message, “ “Our Tax $ should go to the programs we need, not to Pentagon waste.”

Tax Day: a day of action, education and reflection.  

VA Organizing at teh Richmond, VA post office on April 15, 2013

VA Organizing at the Richmond, VA post office on April 15, 2013

We were present at countless post offices and town squares to engage our neighbors in conversation and reflect on why we must end the militarization of the federal budget. We used creative efforts to stir up awareness and engage our communities in changing national spending priorities from wars and ever-newer weapons to life!

Below are a few of the creative actions organized across the country. Go to the GDAMS Facebook page to see more pictures and reports.

Some groups focused on the most expensive, wasteful Pentagon budget item, the F35 military aircraft. For example, USAction reported “affiliates from coast to coast reminded America that twenty-six cents of every dollar we pay in taxes goes to the Pentagon – including colossal albatrosses like the F-35 fighter jet, nicknamed the “Fiasco-35.”  They mobilized 34,000 calls to Congress to stop the funding in order to provide urgently needed social services.

Others drew attention to what we need for a secure future. The third annual “If I Had a Trillion Dollars” Youth Film Festival sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee and The National Priorities Project culminated in Washington, DC on April 13-15. Watch the winning video, “Dear Congress Invest in US.”  It was nominated for  People’s Choice Award, keep your fingers crossed!

At the conclusion of the festival, 65 young people made 24 Congressional visits on Capitol Hill delivering the summary of the GDAMS report and then did an action on the National Mall. A delegation went to meet with the Department of Education. Money for books, not bombs!

American Friends Service Committee youth delegation to the US Department of Education on April 15, 2013.

American Friends Service Committee youth delegation to the US Department of Education on April 15, 2013.

 

In Milwaukee, WI, Tax Day was the first time for lobbying for young people in Peace Action Wisconsin’s Teen Peace Council. They created moving testimonies with photos on the impact of prioritizing the Pentagon over human needs for their families and community. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s staff warmly received them.

In Maryland, just before Tax Day, Montgomery County Peace Action partnered with Progressive Maryland for a Maryland Coalition to Fund Our Communities six-stop “Prosperity Not Austerity” bus tour that began in Baltimore, visited Annapolis, took in the Maryland suburbs and ended up at the US Capitol. Tour stops included a school in Baltimore, a church that helps feed those in need, a community college in Prince George’s County and a public library in Silver Spring. Speakers included the state director of the AFL-CIO, the President of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1994, a Memorial AME church minister and USAction Executive Director, Jeff Blum.

Peace Action Binghamton University (NY) April 15, 2013 Cup of Peace Song event.

Peace Action Binghamton University (NY) April 15, 2013 Cup of Peace Song event.

In Binghamton, NY, 45 students participated in Peace Action Binghamton University chapter’s Have a Cup of Peace Song competition with cash prizes. After the performance a video created by the students called the Cost of War was shown followed by a discussion.

In Royal Oak, MI, Michigan Citizen Action and Peace Action MI partnered for a “Pull the Pork from the Pentagon” rally.  750 leaflets were handed out calling on US Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, chair of the Armed Services Committee, to keep a focus on reining in wasteful Pentagon spending. The Macomb Daily Tribune, Detroit Free Press and Detroit News covered the event.

 In Charleston, WVA, West Virginia Citizen Action Group joined West Virginia Patriots for Peace in distributing 500 leaflets at the downtown post office, with the message, ‘Call US Senator Manchin to cut Pentagon Pork.” The event was covered in the state’s largest newspaper, the Charleston Gazette.

In Des Moines, Iowa, a rally was held in front of the Iowa Economic Development Authority organized by American Friends Service Committee and the Catholic Peace Ministry. Speakers included an AFSCME Retiree, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, American Friends Service Committee, Iowa Citizen Action Network, Alliance for Retired Americans, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, Progress Iowa and small business owners.

In Kansas City, MO, a Tax Day demonstration with the theme,” The U.S. Deficit Debate is a Crime” was organized by the American Friends Service Committee and cosponsored by Jobs Now!, Kansas City Federation of Teachers, Occupy KC, PeaceWorks/KC, and Physicians for Social Responsibility/KC. Representatives from endorsing groups testified before the Jackson County Legislature’s Finance and Audit Committee on the Move the Money Campaign that is focused on changing the federal budget priorities.

Demonstration and leafleting in downtown Cleveland, OH on April 15, 2013.

Demonstration and leafleting in downtown Cleveland, OH on April 15, 2013.

In MA, due to the bombing of the Boston Marathon, the Tax Day/GDAMS actions were postponed in Boston, Northampton and Fall River. In Boston, American Friends Service Committee and Mass Peace Action working with the Budget for All Coalition are organizing a May 16 the march and rally endorsed by a cross section of labor and community groups: Mass. AFL-CIO, Mass. Jobs with Justice, Mass. Alliance of HUD Tenants, Disability Policy Consortium, Sierra Club/Boston, Boston Workers Alliance, ACTUP/Boston, Human Rights City Boston & Beyond, Survivors Inc, SEIU Local 509 Lavender Caucus, American Federation of Government Employees Local 3258 and  Local 1164 and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Rallies in Northampton and Fall River will also be held on May 16 & 17. For more information: http://masspeaceaction.org/

For more US reports go to the GDAMS website.

We need a movement that is global and grassroots, that will take action, educate and generate an alternative vision for global economic security for all. 

Acting together with our sisters and brothers around the world to highlight the impact of military spending on meeting global human needs is an important step towards a national dialogue on US foreign policy.

To succeed in reordering government priorities and compelling changes for an economy that guarantees decent, union, good paying jobs, requires that we move towards multi-lateral action and stronger, more equitable , diplomatic relationships with countries around the world to solve the urgent political, economic and security issues.

Peace Action was proud to be the Global Day of Action on Military Spending US convener this year. Peace Action affiliates worked with our allies  on events in 15 states.

On a national level, it was yet another wonderful opportunity to work closely with organizers who went the extra mile for a successful US GDAMS events: American Friends Service Committee, Coalition for Human Needs, Fellowship of Reconciliation National Priorities Project, New Priorities Network and USAction! Big thanks to Mary Zerkel (AFSC), Angela Evans (CHN) and Barabara Helmick (UASAction) for helping to collect local reports and photos…and OSPG (On the Spot Political Guidance!)

And a hearty thank you to the GDAMS staff: Colin Archer, Secretary General of the International Peace Bureau and Mylene Soto, Program Coordinator, International Peace Bureau and GDAMS 2013.

The US groups supporting  Tax Day and the Global Day of Action on MIlitary Spending events: 

Alliance for Global Justice 

American Friends Service Committee 

Coalition on Human Needs 

Fellowship Of Reconciliation 

Foreign Policy in Focus, project of Institute for Policy Studies 

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance 

Jobs Not War Campaign

National Priorities Project 

National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee 

New Priorities Network 

Peace Action 

Pentagon Budget Campaign 

Progressive Democrats of America 

School of the Americas Watch 

United for Peace and Justice 

USAction 

US Labor Against the War 

Veterans for Peace 

War Resisters League 

Women’s International League for Peace And Freedom

IMBY: The Afghanistan War Comes Home to Philadelphia

By Dave Lindorff


(This article was originally written on assignment forwww.counterpunch.org)


Appearances/Protests of War Criminals

June 2013 War Criminal Appearances

George Bush      6/13-13 - Lakeside CA - protest

Michael Moore, Oliver Stone Sign NYT Ad to Close Guantanamo

 

by Debra Sweet          The powerful Close Guantanamo NOW message signed now by 1700 people including notable artists and writers, appeared in The New York Times just before President Obama spoke Thursday on how he will carry forward a “just” war, normalizing, and in some ways escalating U.S. use of targeted assassination and indefinite detention.  

LEFT FORUM: 3 War Criminals Watch/World Can't Wait Panels

 

Targeted Killing, Drone Warfare, Surveillance & Grassroots Resistance: the Obama Doctrine

Saturday, 8th of June  03:40 pm-05:20 pm, Room W622

June 1: Mass rally for Pfc. Bradley Manning at Ft. Meade

Speakers: Daniel Ellsberg, Birgitta Jonsdottir, Ethan McCord, Col. Ann Wright (Ret.), Lt. Dan Choi, Sarah Shourd
March: 2 PM, Reece Rd. and US 175, Ft. Meade, MD
Rally: featured speakers will talk at 3 PM, at Llewellyn Ave. and US 175
 
A thousand supporters of Army whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning will come from around the country for a mass demonstration on Saturday, June 1 at Ft. Meade, MD. They will use marching, theater, creative visuals and other actions to protest against his imprisonment, two days before his court martial is set to begin, on June 3, 2013.

 
Speakers for the rally will include Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower; Ethan McCord, the soldier who saved the children attacked in the Collateral Murder video released by WikiLeaks; Col. Ann Wright (ret.), the most senior state department official to resign in protest of the Iraq war; Birgitta Jonsdottir, Icelandic parliamentarian and co-producer of the Collateral Murder video; Sarah Shourd, hiker imprisoned by Iran turned prisoner rights activists; and Lt. Dan Choi, prominent anti-Don’t Ask Don’t Tell activist featured on the Rachel Maddow show.

To show their support for Bradley Manning's third consecutive Nobel Peace Prize nomination, the crowd will hang hundreds of handmade peace medals on the gates of Ft. Meade, each one representing 300 people who've signed a petition in support of him receiving the honor.
 
Buses will be coming to the event from Syracuse, NY, New York City, Philadelphia, Willimantic, CT, New Brunswick, NJ, Baltimore and Washington D.C. and more supporters will be joining them from across the country and the world. More than 1,200 people have signed on to attend at the event’s Facebook page.
 
Bradley Manning’s actions exposed the true number of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S.-supported torture in Iraq, and a pattern of corporate influence on U.S. foreign policy worldwide.
 
Despite pleading guilty to charges of mishandling classified information, which could put him in jail for up to 20 years, the military is pursuing 22 charges including one count of “aiding the enemy,” which carries a sentence of life without parole. By the time Manning’s trial begins on June 3, he will have been in prison for more than three years since his arrest in May 2010.
 
The Bradley Manning Support Network funds 100% of PFC Manning's legal fees and educates the public about his case.

Abolish the CIA

 

A message to RootsAction members from Douglas Valentine, author of
The Phoenix Program:
Lies about Iraq. Cash to corrupt Afghanistan.  Drone wars
waged in secret.  Blowback endangering us all. The CIA does not exist to defend our
freedoms. Wrapped in government secrecy, it exists to assure the political security of
rich political elites. CIA operations -- engaging in secret, legally protected wars, sabotage,
subversion, murders and tortures -- create enemies that Americans fear. And the agency
is an instrument of psychological warfare aimed at you and me. 

Background:
Douglas Valentine: The Phoenix Program
CNN: Karzai: CIA Promises to Continue Cash Payments
The Atlantic: Drone War Has More Victims Than Bush-Era CIA Scandals
Washington Post: An Alternative Explanation for Benghazi


It's time we stop funding this out-of-control agency.

CLICK HERE.

 

HOLDING OUR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE: FILING A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT FOR WAR CRIMES

 

It could have been any kind of gathering between friends as I sat with six others in Malachy Kilbride’s living room in Arlington, VA on the morning of May 21, 2013, drinking coffee and munching on pastries.  Besides Malachy and me, we were joined by David Barrows, Max Obuszewski, Manijeh Saba, Ray McGovern, and Ted Majdosz.  But there was a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air that morning.  We have risked arrest together many times before acting in resistance to the illegal and immoral actions of our government, but today we were going to try something different. 

Protesting War Criminal Rice's (Hypocritical) Speech "Why Democracy Matters" to Minnesota "Law Day" Participants

Women Against Military Madness’ “Tackling Torture at the Top” Committee will lead a demonstration outside the Minneapolis Hilton, 1001 Marquette Avenue South, beginning at 4:00 p.m.  (Thursday, May 23).  

A number of peace activists will be wearing orange jumpsuits, to keep reminding the world of the innocent Gitmo detainees who are on hunger strike because they are so hopeless at being held indefinitely without the right to even know of the charges against them.  

It should be recalled that Guantanamo was initially created by the Bush Administration (also under the tutelage of Condi Rice) by deliberate design, to illegally serve as a location where international and US Constitutional rule of law would not interfere with the indefinite holding and abuse of US prisoners.  Our efforts will hopefully bolster Obama to announce this afternoon in his scheduled “national security speech” (being reported by NY Times “Obama, in a Shift, to Limit Targets of Drone Strikes”) that he will reduce drone assassinations and apparently finally start releasing some of the Gitmo detainees.  

Why would the Minnesota legal community choose to invite, of all people, Condi Rice to speak here when she has repeatedly demonstrated little or no regard for U.S. law?  It should be recalled that Condi is the former official who made up “mushroom cloud” stories to help George Bush lie the U.S. into war on Iraq, killing over a million people, and who also gave the order to the CIA to torture.  Conspiracy to torture is a felony under U.S. Code in both Title 18, Section 2340 and 2441.  The Convention Against Torture requires the criminal prosecution of complicity in torture.   So, not only is the hypocrisy breathtaking but it’s doubtful the Minnesota legal audience will get an honest answer out of her ostensibly hypocritical speech entitled: “Why Democracy Matters.”  If theMinnesota “Law Day” participants actually cared about upholding the law, they would have their keynote speaker arrested for war crimes.  

Protest at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at 10 a.m. This Friday

You know how the government is owned by the lobbyists? Well, on Friday, we're marching on the lobbyists.

A group of unemployed workers and their families have spent the last week marching all the way from Philadelphia to DC, with the intent of marching on the US Chamber of Commerce's headquarters this Friday, May 24th. Their march is called "Operation Green Jobs," and they'll be holding the US Chamber accountable for buying off congress and using their millions to stop action on jobs, climate change, and a more equitable tax code.

WHO: Operation Green Jobs
WHAT: March on the US Chamber of Commerce
WHEN: Friday, May 24 at 10 AM
WHERE: 1615 H St NW, Washington DC 20062
If you can't make it in person, you can still join the virtual march at http://shutthechamber.org/virtualmarch. All you need to do is click the link, tell your story of how corporate greed has affected you, and your story will be seen by the world with your permission.

Whether it's any of the imperial wars for resources, catastrophic climate change, crippling poverty and unemployment or austerity, all roads lead to the US Chamber of Commerce and their lobbying efforts. Join the march in DC on Friday, or join the virtual march at http://shutthechamber.org/virtualmarch.

In solidarity,
Carl Gibson

Lead Organizer, Shut The Chamber

Informed Activist

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Stores:























Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.