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Out of Occupy, a New Populist Political Party Forms

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Carl Gibson, co-founder of U.S. Uncut, is joining with other Occupy Wall Street organizers to launch a new populist political party. While more details (including the name of the party and the identities of other key organizers) will be available when the group launches on March 20, the party will be explicitly anti-capitalist.

Obama on Between Two Ferns: Did He Get Across To The Young ‘Invincibles’?

 Originally posted on PopularResistance.org http://youtu.be/T71dBQ-FyAA) It is hard not to give Barack Obama points for his recent appearance on Between two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. In genuinely disarming post-hipster fashion, the President was transparent about his reasons for appearing on the program. "I would not be here if I did not have something to plug, Zack,” the president informed his expertly inept host. And plug away he did, in a direct appeal to reach younger citizens to sign up at healthcare.gov. Young people do not want to pay for health insurance.

Zimmerman, At Gun Show, Wonders Why World Is Mad With Him

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

George Zimmerman, singing autographs at a gun show in Orlando, Florida over the weekend, wondered why people are angry with him.

Here is one possible answer:

Here is the thing, George, people know that it is not an aberration for a wanna be cop like you to patrol a neighborhood with a loaded gun and, upon seeing an African American kid whom you did not recognize, assume that kid was a threat, and then tail that kid with your itchy finger on the trigger of your loaded gun and initiate and then escalate a situation that resulted in that unarmed kid murdered and killed by you, Georgie.

Testimony: Record 36% of North Dakota Fracked Gas Was Flared in December

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

The recent March 6 House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing titled "Benefits of and Challenges to Energy Access in the 21st Century: Fuel Supply and Infrastructure" never had over 100 online viewers watching the livestream at any point in time. And it unfolded in an essentially empty room. 

Is Minimum Wage Another Distraction? Let's talk Basic Income, Shall We?

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Cheri Honkala of the Poor Peoples Economic Campaign and Vice President of the Green Shadow Cabinet joins the host Dennis Trainor, Jr. and the Resistance Report panel (Nicole Carty (The Other 98%), Julianna Forlano (Absurdity Today) and Joel Northam (Acronym TV Contributor) - to discuss the jobs crisis in the United States, the perpetually underemployed, and the impact of a raise in the minimum wage versus a policy that guaranteed an income for all.

An Open Letter To The Middle Class (spoiler alert: F*ck You)

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Dear Middle Class:

Fuck you.

Perhaps I should back up a bit and try that again.

One of the most frustrating things for me on those occasions when I get suckered into listening to the mainstream media is the lamentation and hand wringing over the shrinking middle class.

While I don’t have any money in the bank and the only assets I have are a computer a video camera and a rusty old mountain bike, most people would look at where I live and where my children go to school and label me squarely in the middle class.

I usually accept that label.

VIDEO: Class, Race, and War - Resistance Report One-Hour Pilot

Viewer support keeps this going. Fund with a one time donation or click here to become a monthly sustainer of Acronym TV Host Dennis Trainor, Jr. navigates a lively panel discussion with Nicole Carty (The Other 98%), Julianna Forlano (Absurdity Today), and Joel Northam (Resistance Report contributor). Special guests also include Mychal Denzel Smith (The Nation), Kateryna Ruban (expert in Ukraine and Russian history), and Cheri Honkala (Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign).

Bring the Making Peace Exhibit to Your Country, City, Town

 
 
Targeting the general public and especially young people, Making Peace essentially explains what key elements are necessary to create a 'Sustainable Peace', while paying tribute to the people who — all over the planet — devote their time, energy and resources to the cause of peace and how these persons and organizations have shaped and influenced the course of the 20th century. www.makingpeace.org
 
The exhibition was curated by Ashley Woods (formerly with Magnum Photos) and produced by the International Peace Bureau (IPB), the largest peace federation in the world and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1910). www.ipb.org
 
In the words of Mr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, President of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace and former Director-General of UNESCO: 
 

"this is an extraordinarily powerful exhibition that pays tribute to a century of peace making and a wide range of peacemakers across the globe. At the same time it serves as a call to action for ordinary citizens to become involved in peace activities of all kinds, and in so doing to promote a global culture of peace"

 
To learn more and to bring Making Peace to your town, contact ashley@makingpeace.org
 
See the inauguration in Geneva: 
 

Feb. 26,2014; A Day of Outrage & Remembrance for Trayvon Martin & Jordan Davis

Hoodies Up!
Targets Up!
Fists Raised!
We’re Standing Up!
No More Murder of Black Youth!

Agent Orange Awareness Campaign

 A Catherine Karnow Project
 
The importance of this project: 

As a National Geographic photographer, I have covered many humanitarian injustices, but my heart is in Vietnam.

Through my photography work with the Ford Foundation I became aware of current humanitarian issues associated with Agent Orange.  We all remember the harmful effects of Agent Orange during the time of the Vietnam War.  Most people are not aware, though, of the ongoing devastation visited on the offspring of those exposed to the chemicals.  

There are two reasons why children born today are afflicted with life-altering deformity and disease.  First: despite the end of the war and the years of friendly relations between the US and Vietnam, there has never been a systematic cleanup of the affected regions.  Neither the chemical companies involved, nor the US government nor the Vietnamese government have remediated the areas so devastated by the US Army.  The chemicals still in place continue to impact individual lives.  Second: though few people are aware of this, Agent Orange, horrifyingly, carries a genetic legacy.  Those affected by Agent Orange pass their genetic injury to their children.  Those children and their grandchildren are born with physical deformity, are born barren and/or are born with devastating cancers.  

Imagine if this were occurring in the U.S.  There would be a call for justice, for compensation, for remediation. 

That the US government is responsible for this devastation, and that US companies are directly involved, creates an imperative for action.  That the victims are far away and out of sight should not translate into inaction on the part of the US government.


 
How you can help:

We would like to ask you to join us in an Agent Orange Awareness Campaign to get the word out about this tragic problem.  We propose to use powerful, emotional and sensitive photography and video content to tell this story in a devastatingly immediate way.  We plan to tell this story to policy makers and thought leaders in the U.S., Europe and at the UN. 

We are calling upon my father's former friends to lend their names and stature to the campaign, and are honored that journalist Peter Arnett is a partner.  We are establishing collaborations with media organizations and influential exhibition spaces in order to get our content to as many people as possible.

The Urgency:

April 2015 will mark the 40 year anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.  This anniversary will provide an ideal moment to call the world's attention to the lingering effects of the war and of Agent Orange on the families, communities, and the economy of Vietnam.

We have until March 4th to reach our goal of $27K. If we do not raise $27K, all donations are returned, and we get no funding at all.
 
Every contribution helps.  Please donate today at:
May we count on you to visit this link and give what you can spare? More importantly, will you please share this letter with your friends, colleagues, and influential people, so that we can meet our fund raising goals and begin to tackle this devastating legacy of the Vietnam War?
 
Thank you so very much.
 
Warmly,
Catherine
 
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Redact This! An Interactive eBook: Artists Against Torture

Check out this video with Noam Chomsky and others.

If the Defense Department's Not Defensive, What Would Be?

Militarism has made us less safe, and continues to do so.  It is not a useful tool for protection. So, what is?

Studies over the past century have found that nonviolent tools are more effective in resisting tyranny and oppression and resolving conflicts and achieving security than violence is.

Wealthy militarist nations like the United States think of their militaries as global police, protecting the world. The world disagrees. By a large margin people all over the world consider the United States the greatest threat to peace.

The United States could easily make itself the most beloved nation on earth with much less expense and effort, by ceasing its "military aid" and providing a bit of non-military aid instead.

The momentum of the military-industrial complex works through the hammer-nail effect (if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail).  What’s needed is a combination of disarmament and investment in alternatives -- alternatives like diplomacy, arbitration, international law enforcement, cultural exchange, and cooperation with other countries and people.

The most heavily armed nations can help disarmament in three ways. First, disarm — partially or fully. Second, stop selling weapons to so many other countries that don’t manufacture them themselves. During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, at least 50 corporations supplied weapons, at least 20 of them to both sides. Third, negotiate disarmament agreements with other countries and arrange for inspections that will verify disarmament by all parties.

The first step in handling crises is to stop creating them in the first place. Threats and sanctions and false accusations over a period of years can build momentum for war that is triggered by a relatively small act, even an accident.  By taking steps to avoid provoking crises, much effort can be saved.

When conflicts inevitably do arise, they can be better addressed if investments have been made in diplomacy and arbitration.

A fair and democratic international system of law is needed.  The United Nations needs to be reformed or replaced with an international body that forbids war and allows equal representation to every nation.  The same goes for the International Criminal Court.  The idea behind it is exactly right. But if it only prosecutes tactics, not the launching, of wars. And if it only prosecutes Africans, and only Africans not cooperating with the United States, then it weakens the rule of law rather than expanding it. 

Pakistani victims and family members who have charged the CIA with murder in their courts, and whose courts have declared U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan illegal, are charging the U.K., Germany, and Australia through the ICC with the crime of assisting in U.S. drone murders. But if the U.S. cannot be charged because it's not an ICC member, and if U.S. allies will end up walking free because the U.S. has a U.N. veto, justice is not being done -- the alternative of the rule of law to the rule of force is not really being tried.  Reform or replacement of our international bodies, not abandonment, is needed.

Here's a list of approaches that could move us in the right direction, from a movement working to advance them.

And here are a few specific projects:

Set up conversion commissions.

Get free money for transition.

Participate in the Global Day of Action on Military Spending.

Spring Days of Drone Action.

Support peace in Syria.

Oppose push for war on Iran.

I recently had the opportunity to speak about this movement at an event in Portland, Maine, where people turned out in the middle of a snow storm to discuss ending all war forever:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AevhD6JFDB0

You might find the next video more interesting, as it includes both me and Shenna Bellows answering questions about militarism and peace making.  Bellows is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate challenging Republican incumbent Susan Collins:
 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfhMOGk-KMY#t=1072

SPRING DAYS OF DRONE ACTION - 2014

Protest When John Rizzo Interviewed at Fordham 2/15/2014

On January 30, war criminal John Rizzo spoke at Fordham University in an interview with the director of the University’s Center on National Security. War Criminals Watch organized a protest at the event. We distributed leaflets about Rizzo to the attendees who filled about two/thirds of the law school’s amphitheatre. Nick Mottern of kNOwdrones stood throughout the talk with a banner saying "No Drone Killing" along with three of us who had Rizzo war criminal posters held high. (Other sizes of the downloadable poster can be found here).

Tim DeChristopher Interview - Climate Change is The Context of Our Times

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

http://youtu.be/Tqwd9hZ8n6A

An Interview with Tim DeChristopher, the founder of Peaceful Uprising who is widely known known for one of the more creative acts of non violent insurrection and civil disobedience in recent memory when he disrupted a government oil and gas lease auction in order to protect fragile land in southern Utah from long term damage. That story became the subject of the documentary Bidder 70, and that act resulted in DeChrispher spending 21 months in federal custody.

Celebrate World Social Justice Day – February 20

By Brian J. Trautman
 
In one of his most famous writings, "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said of injustice, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” In other words, the very existence of injustice has implications for us all. Thus, we each have a responsibility to actively challenge unjust power structures wherever they should surface. According to the United Nations, “the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have never been more relevant than they are today.” Structural injustices are pervasive in the United States, perhaps more than in any other Western industrialized nation. They include record levels of economic inequality and mass incarceration and attempts to slash entitlement programs, restrict women’s reproductive rights, and erode voting rights. Globally, injustice exists more frequently in other forms, such as poverty, hunger, worker exploitation, sex trafficking, resource privatization, and severe restrictions on women’s and gay rights. In every corner of the world people’s rights and dignity are under constant assault by different forces.

Presidential Restraint Is Alive and Well

... among people who are not the president.

On Presidents Day, RootsAction.org set up a petition in response to this news:

"An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say," the Associated Press reports -- "and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year."

The petition reads:

"Mr. President, Without making any exception for the president, the Constitution requires adherence to the Fifth Amendment. 'Due process' is mandatory, not optional. Legality is a question of law, not policy. You are not allowed to kill whoever you want on your own say-so."

Within the first several hours, over 10,000 people had signed. You can sign it too.

Here are some of the comments that people have posted:

"Has the CONSTITUTION become an - OPTION ???" —S. Schwenchy, CA

"And we thought Bush was a liar!" —Richard Wilkey, TN

"And you are also not allowed to pass judgement on someone before they are judged by a jury of their peers as you did in the case of Pvt. Manning. I thought you were better than that. My bad." —John Nettleton, OR

"Please, just stop murdering suspicious people. This is like what happened to Trayvon Martin, but there's no trial afterward." —Tim Ferguson, CA

"Expedience is not an excuse. We can't be the good guys just because we say so, we have to act on it too. Killing terrorists just creates more terrorists." —Boola Lomuscio, MA

"A country which can imprison indefinitely its citizens without due process, without ever charging them with any wrongdoing is not a democracy. Period. Let alone the country which can KILL citizens without due process, without ever charging them with any wrongdoing. Obey the law. Obey the Constitution." —Jamil Said, CA

"A President is nothing more than a servant, and if he commits a crime, it is ten times the crime and should have ten times the penalty." —Ronald Denner, MI

"According to the Nuremberg Principles if we remain silent while our government is engaged in illegal activities, then we are complicit, we are equally guilty of being in violation of international law and of going against our most dearly held values. It is our responsibility as citizens, as taxpayers, as voters, to speak out." —Robert Stevens

"All labels aside, ANY president who does not follow his oath needs to be impeached. It really is that simple." —Robert Horan, OH

"All presidents seem to think that the Constitution is for the people to obey, not them. The 5th Amendment provides due process for American citizens. If one suspects criminal activity against the USA, then the suspect must have his day in court. This is part of the democratic process, and NO ONE, NOT EVEN THE PRESIDENT, IS ABOVE THE LAW!" —Robert Glasner, CA

"Amendment IV -- 'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures' -- Does that include the life of the person?" —David Bean, OR

"America is supposed to have the rule of law, not of men. I don't care how well-intentioned people are; if the precedent is set, then less well-intentioned people will take advantage of it." —Deborah Goldsmith, CA

"Among other reasons, drone strikes kill innocents without exception, and you know it, Mr. President, and that's not something to accept regardless of what your military advisers believe." —Marianne Kenady, WA

"Are we back in the dark ages where the king decides to behead anyone he wants? Seems that way. I don't think that is where we want to be, none of us." —Kenneth Walton, IA

"Are you still a constitutional lawyer? - - Then, why are you acting as you are? That is, choosing and selecting American citizens for annihilation." —William See, OR

"Believe it or not, murder is murder. Murdering a murderer is still murder." —Frank C Benjamin, NY

"Don't stray from the mandates, including the Constitution, you have been sworn to uphold. People accused of crimes are supposed to be tried by a jury of their peers, not one man on a power trip." —John Davis, ME

"Execution of citizens without any due process, especially a jury of peers, is one of the hallmarks of a totalitarian government -- no matter how much the tyrant pleads otherwise." —Robert Anderson, CA

"Execution without arrest and fair trial is unethical, immoral and goes against all American values." —Patricia Robinett, MO

"Extraordinary renditions and torture perpetrated by the Bush Administration was illegal and immoral. Killing without due process, especially an American citizen, is even worse." —Audrey Bomse, FL

"Following our example, I guess it is ok for foreign governments to send drones over our territory to murder dissidents from their country?" —Michael JamesLong, OR

"For a constitutional lawyer, our President does not honor, in any way, shape or form, the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th & 8th amendments to the U.S. Constitution." —Lisbeth Caccese, CA

Read thousands more, pick your favorites, add your own:
http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=9288

Ignoring injustice: Philly Black Officials Silent On Police Brutality

By Linn Washington, Jr.


Philadelphia -- Back in 1978, a respected newspaper columnist in in this city blasted local black elected officials for their failure to criticize police brutality – the scourge that ravaged blacks for decades, often with the sanction of white elected officials like then Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, a former city police commissioner.

The Story of My Arrest at David Petraeus' Speaking Engagement

By  Deb Vanpoolen 

The Essential Facts:

As I sat in that room, I decided my action would be designed to send a fissure through David Petraeus’ edifice of lies with the intent to reach someone with the truth who desperately needed to hear it like I once did.

February and March 2014 War Criminals Appearances

Check out the February and March 2014 War Criminals appearances/protests to see if any of them will be in your area. Join a protest or start one.  On our website you will find posters and leaflets for your event. If you like, we will assist you in organizing and getting the word out for your event.

Jailed, 79 year old Irish Peace Activist: ‘STOP DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE’

this is a press release by Shannonwatch and was posted on www.News-Beacon-Ireland.info


 


Imprisoned peace activist Margaretta D’Arcy has reiterated her assertion that Shannon Airport’s runway is being used improperly for the purposes of war, and has called on the Minister for Defence Alan Shatter to stop defending the indefensible military use of the airport. Speaking to John Lannon and Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch this Monday, she said that the State has a responsibility to ensure the proper use of the airport and to protect it against security threats.

Free Kareem Khan

As you may have heard, Kareem Khan, an anti-drone activist and drone victim, has been disappeared. Kareem lost his brother and son in a 2009 strike in North Waziristan. On February 5th, he was taken from his Rawalpindi home by men in Pakistani police uniforms. He was getting ready to travel to meet with European parliamentarians next week to discuss his demands for accountability. Kareem is also featured in Madiha Tahir's film Wounds of Waziristan. Democracy Now! did a segment on his disappearance also.

As of this morning, the Lahore High Court has ordered Pakistan's intelligence agencies to produce Kareem on February 20th. Now is the time to put pressure on Pakistani and US officials to make sure he is released as soon as possible.

To that end, we have planned a Twitter storm for TOMORROW, Thursday, February 13th from 11am- 12am EST. (Yes, that's a 13 hour campaign).

Code Pink has also planned a protest TODAY in Washington, D.C. in front of the Pakistani Embassy at 4pm.
More details to follow.

We will tweet under the hashtag #FreeKareem to the Pakistani ambassador to the US, the State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry and PML-N, the ruling party of Pakistan. Please do the same to amplify our demands.

Here are some suggested tweets:

Suggested tweets to @JalilJilani (Pakistani ambassador to the US) and @pmln_org (Pakistan's ruling party): 

  • .@JalilJilani @pmln_org Kareem lost a brother and son. Now, he’s lost his freedom. #FreeKareem #nodrones
  • .@JalilJilani @pmln_org Prove you are a democratic govt. #FreeKareem #nodrones
  • .@JalilJilani @pmln_org Who’s afraid of Kareem Khan? #FreeKareem #nodrones
  • .@JalilJilani @pmln_org Kareem speaks out against drone attacks. Gets disappeared. #FreeKareem #nodrones
  • .@JalilJilani @pmln_org We need democracy not disappearances. #FreeKareem #no drones

Suggested tweets to @statedept and @johnkerry:

  • .@statedept @johnkerry The US killed his family. Pakistan disappeared him for speaking about it. Ensure his freedom! #FreeKareem
  • .@statedept @johnkerry Pakistan disappears anti-drone activist. Is this how @statedept promotes democracy? #FreeKareem
  • .@johnkerry Kareem’s family was killed by US drone in Pakistan. He was disappeared on Feb. 5 for speaking out against drones. #FreeKareem
  • .@statedept Kareem’s family was killed by a US drone in Pakistan. He was disappeared on Feb. 5 for speaking out against drones. #FreeKareem

Also, please call the following numbers to demand Kareem's immediate release:

Pakistan Embassy: 202.243.6500

Pakistan Desk of the US State Dept: 202.647.9823

And, please sign this petition.

Check http://woundsofwaziristan.com/kareem-khan/ for updates. 


Also, the "Dear Kareem" Campaign

We want people to write a 1-2 sentence note/ msg beginning with "Dear Kareem", take a photo of it and email it to us at freekareemkhan@gmail.com. IF we get at least 20 of these together, I will post them on the website and we will ask more people to send their photos and launch it as a continuous campaign til Feb 20th. A sample is attached.

In solidarity,
Zohra Ahmed

Federal Grants Available to Help Cities and Towns Adjust to Military Cuts

Thanks to: Mayors for Peace, the Institute for Policy Studies, and the New Priorities Network.

The budget deal at the end of 2013 reduced the bite sequestration will take out of the military budget.  But about $30 billion will still be coming out of Pentagon spending for 2014, and more the next year, as the nation begins its postwar military downsizing.

Communities across the country will be affected.  For the most part we don’t know which ones.  But economic development professionals agree on one thing: getting ahead of the curve is critical to a successful economic strategy. 

Is as much as 2-3% of your city’s economy dependent on military contracts?  Then you are eligible to get federal help to prepare an adjustment strategy.

Accessing these funds doesn’t mean you’re unconcerned about your existing jobs base.  It just means you’re doing what you can to have a Plan B in place if that base takes a hit.

New Federal “Plan B” money available

The Office of Economic Adjustment in the Pentagon (oea.gov) has one mission: to help communities affected by military downsizings, either from base closings or military industry contract losses, with transition planning grants and technical assistance (see program guidelines at 1 and 2 and below). 

The Obama administration is ramping up and fast tracking this assistance

Who is eligible? 

Military-dependent communities, regions and states. Dependency has a low threshold—only about 2-3% of a community’s workforce need be employed in the military industry to qualify.

How does the process work?

Mayors and other public officials take the lead in securing these funds and then involving economic development professionals and community, worker and business stakeholders in planning an economic transition.

Whereas before OEA couldn’t offer assistance until a contract cancellation had been announced, those rules have changed.  Now OEA supports advance planning—before the job losses hit.

In addition to supporting transition planning—financially and with hands-on technical assistance—OEA will help connect communities to support from other federal agencies to implement the economic transition plans they construct using OEA planning funds.

Capitalizing on this challenge and opportunity

Adjusting to the military downsizing will be a challenge for communities across the country.  State and community leaders need to seize the chance to turn this challenge into the proverbial opportunity: to help their communities chart a path to new economic activity not dependent on wartime levels of military spending. 

Public officials can contact OEA directly to open a dialogue on getting the process started, at 703-697-2130.  Miriam Pemberton at the Institute for Policy Studies is available to answer questions and offer suggestions.  Contact Miriam@ips-dc.org or 202-787-5214.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

OEA Defense Industry Adjustment program guidelines at:

https://www.cfda.gov/?s=program&mode=form&tab=step1&id=d789a8baOa42a998d6bb68193b7f978.

https://www.cfda.gov/?s=program&mode=form&tab=step1&id=905e9d27307ef8c49ec2f3b9df7df7d3b41.

##

 

Tuesday Feb 11: Day We Fight Back v NSA Surveillance

by Debra Sweet          President Obama recently announced that the vast NSA spying will continue, with a few restrictions. Edward Snowden and the journalists who are still releasing stories from the files he made available are being called spies and being threatened with assasination by members of the US Congress. Once again, the role of those commiting crimes, and the victims, are reversed. 

It’s always darkest before the dawn: The Irrepressible and Irreplaceable Pete Seeger

By Dave Lindorff


I never really knew Pete Seeger, but he taught me how to play the banjo.

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