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For two weeks now, Julian Assange has been at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, while he awaits the government's decision to offer him political asylum. Dennis Loo wrote about Assange's role in challenging the US empire, published just before the asylum request.
He ends with a challenge to us all:
One thing I can state for certain: no matter which party wins in November, or who is president, we will be facing a government intent on spreading empire, detaining indefinitely, surveilling almost everyone.A friend asked me recently if there's any hope for justice and accountability for the Bush era war crimes. He had campaigned hard for Obama, with the hopes many had, that Guantánamo would close, and that the Bush regime would face charges, or at least investigation for Abu Ghraib, for lying about WMD's, or at least for detaining thousands of people with no charge.
My name is MaryAnn Thomas, and I find myself living in an EXCEPTIONAL time.
A time when the myth of American moral superiority is being used to excuse, even
PROMOTE, cruel and intolerable crimes against humanity.
On the phone TONIGHT 10pm Eastern / 7pm Pacific with Kevin Gosztola of The Dissenter blog at Firedoglake, co-author of Truth & Consequences: The U.S. v Bradley Manning and the subject of this interview. We invite all onto a conference call to discuss Bradley's case, as we prepare to march for him in Pride parades this Sunday (see below for details).
We need your help to engage a very special intern this summer. For $1000, we will begin work on an online crowd-funding campaign to produce a two-minute pitch video to highlight the intent and goals of the e-book publishing of Redact This! a fantastic book of images by artists including Fernando Botero, Clinton Fein, Art Hazelwood, Daniel Heyman, Jenny Holzer, Frances Jetter, Ann Messner, Malaquias Montoya, Richard Serra (creator of the piece above) and David Zung. It includes text by Peter Selz and Debra Sweet and a timeline by designer and editor David Schwittek.
Please help give a boost to this campaign to raise the funds and get Redact This! published.
Hello to all the new friends we made at the American Humanist Association conference in New Orleans, especially to the Feminist Caucus who named me "humanist heroine." The AHA came out publicly last week for "restraint" against attacking Iran, and I believe it's one of the few national organizations to do so.
Video from the American Humanist Association Awards Banquet
Thanks for the response to my column last week on giving Obama "more time" for what? As I prepare for the American Humanist Association conference this week in New Orleans, where I'll be speaking on the theme "Humanity and the Planet Come First: Stop the Crimes of Our Government," I'm reading more on Obama's "Kill List" - and I recommend you look further into it as well.
What did thousands of people accomplish by protesting in Chicago this week during the NATO Summit? If you have thoughts on that, please write me. Mine: "NATO = Peace & Security," as banners across the Loop said? No, NATO = Protest, in Chicago, from here on out. The words "NATO Summit" were always accompanied by the word "protest" in Chicago media. This began to get people asking what we were protesting. When World Can't Wait went out to neighborhoods with our multi-language "Humanity & the Planet Come First," people asked, "are you the protesters? You're here!" Some of the most economically crushed, riding the bus from work, gave us small donations to support the protests. People opened their homes and hearts.
Yesterday was pretty intense. We arrived at Grant Park to a heavy police presence. Some of us had not slept well the night before after hearing the news of that the police had raided the homes of NATO protesters and then falsely charged them of “plotting terrorism". The police had also driven a car into a crowd of non-violent NATO protesters that same night.
Yesterday in Chicago we took to the streets for humanity and the planet! Watch video. As Obama met with Afghan president Karzai and told the world that "hard days are ahead in Afghanistan" we gathered with thousands in downtown Chicago in opposition to the war criminals meeting. Watch unedited video from the livestream of Friday's event: International Voices for Humanity and the Planet.
Protesters, Clergy, Community to Remember Victims of U.S. / NATO Wars
Monday, May 21 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Trinity Episcopal Church 125 E. 26th St., Chicago
We’re putting the focus on the victims of the US/NATO wars all week! Let's keep up the momentum: Spread the word and invite your friends to come along, learn about the crimes of NATO and get involved in the movement to put them to a stop. We are inviting people everywhere to contribute the names of victims of NATO violence, using the hashtag #NATOvictims. We will recite the names as part of a Memorial for the Victims of US/NATO Wars on May 21, the second day of the NATO Summit. Stay tuned for more details of the event -- to be released shortly.
Stop the Drone War Weekend @ Fordham & Radio City
Friday, May 18 – 5:15 pm. - Gather Main Entrance at 2853 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY.At 6:00 pm. Archbishop Timothy Dolan will be presenting the Fordham Baccalaureate Mass for the Fordham University Commencement for the Class of 2012. Urge Archbishop Dolan to speak out against the drones controlled out of Hancock Air Base in Syracuse, NY, which is part of his eccelesiastical province.
Protest When Obama Gives Barnard Commencement Address. Protest the ongoing, escalating and spreading wars! The commencement starts at 12:30. It will be held on the South Lawn of the Columbia campus. Meet outside the gates at 116th Street and Broadway. Sponsored by War Criminals Watch, World Can't Wait and Occupy Harlem. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday is the 2012 Commencement ceremony at UC Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall). How time flies! Yet another class of successful, proud graduates will celebrate Commencement having spent their entire law school career with a war criminal, as defined under international law and legal precedent, on the faculty. Torture Lawyer John Yoo is still at Boalt, teaching constitutional law, and ethics.
Tuesday's highly secretive, midnight meeting between US President Obama and Afghan President Karzai was spun by the administration as somehow being about the end of US occupation of Afghanistan. The furtive, hurried, vague agreement signed by a deeply unpopular puppet government isolated inside multi-billion dollar US protection makes both sides look only more desperate for legitimacy.
We've recounted since 2009 the story of the NATO/US "surge" of troops and cash which Obama threw at the people of Afghanistan, leading to a surge in civilian deaths, further assaults on women's rights, more night raids and anger among the people at the occupiers. This agreement extends all that until 2024!
33 people were grabbed by county sheriffs on April 22, a few blocks from the main gate of Hancock Air Force Base near Syracuse NY. Faster than you can say “parading without a permit,” people at the front of a single file, silent march along a mostly deserted suburban road, were cuffed and stuffed into police cruisers. Others were arrested standing near the gate of the base, where people do a protest vigil every two weeks, because pilots based at Hancock control drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) over the skies of Afghanistan, and perhaps over other countries in the region.
Protest the Chicago NATO meetings May 12-21,2012- sign up now! Visible Protest Needed! The US-led NATO military machine is carrying out illegitimate, unjust, and immoral wars on six countries. When we visibly protest in Chicago at the NATO meeting, we will show the world that people here do not accept the crimes carried out in our names by the principal NATO countries. International media must see thousands of us demanding that our governments stop committing these war crimes. Humanity and the planet come first.
Shutting Down a Military Recruiting Office Near Little Kabul: Afghans for Peace Protest US War on Afghanistan
by Stephanie Tang
Friday, March 30, Fremont CA: Outraged by the March 11 massacre of 17 villagers in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province, people took to the streets of Fremont, California in a bold anti-war march and direct action that shut down the local Armed Forces Career Center (recruitment office) for the afternoon.
NO to NATO & U.S. Wars!
May 20-21 the NATO military alliance will meet in Chicago. Is this a sign of international cooperation and diplomacy at work in Obama's hometown, as NATO claims?
No. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military alliance through which the U.S. and its European allies dominate through military aggression, keeping the globe safe for Western imperialism. The greatest crimes of the US "war on terror," the massive death of civilians, the network of secret prisons and rendition, and the "humanitarian" interventions have all been done with NATO's forces and sometime, with its hand-wringing for appearance' sake. Bill Ayers writes in We Say NO to NATO:
- Please join with us from April 12-14 in Brooklyn to speak to our neighbors while a model drone is displayed and informational materials are distributed. This is being done in the Congressional district of Edolphus Towns, who is on the Drone Caucus. For more information, visit KnowDrones. An informative panal on Drones is happening on April 14.
- April 12
10 am – 2pm, Borough Hall Farmers Market, Joralemon and Court.
- April 13
10 am – 2 pm, Trader Joe’s, Atlantic and Court.
- April 14
John Yoo is speaking at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council at the Lowes Santa Monica Beach Hotel in Santa Monicom. We will picket on sidewalk outside hotel at 6 p.m.. Bring signs stating what you think about John Yoo and Torture. Wear orange jumpsuits and/or black hoods (black t-shirt works well) to represent the thousands that are tortured and still held in prison. The protest is called by World Can't Wait.
Protest When John Yoo Speaks on "Taming Globalization" 3/28 - 5:30-8pm
The New York Athletic Club 180 Central Park South, New York, NY
John Yoo, Professor of Law, Boalt Hall Law School, University of California-Berkeley and Former Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, United States Department of Justice
Join us for an important demonstration on Tuesday, March 27 in Baltimore, Md. in front of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall to protest war criminal Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who will be there for a speaking engagement. People will be mobilizing from around the area to attend this protest and transportation will be organized from different parts of the region.
For five years, McChrystal was the head of the Joint Special Operations Command, a highly secretive force within the U.S. military which carries out covert operations ranging from combat missions to assassinations. The Joint Special Operations Command grew in size and scope under McChrystal, and now Adm. William H. McRaven is pushing for even greater autonomy and for a vast increase in the Special Operations presence in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Under the US global war of terror, 40% of the US budget goes to preserve and expand the US empire, killing people in the Middle East to protect a global system of exploitation. As an integral part of the terror program, drones are a weapon of choice. The Obama administration is coordinating drone strikes in at least six countries: Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan. In fact, these drones are being used eight times more by the Obama administration than by the Bush regime, in programs run by the military and the C.I.A. Obama’s Office of Legal Counsel argues that such strikes are legally justified under international law, basing its argument on the Bush doctrine of borderless, endless “war on terror.” On an almost daily basis, drones circle miles above Earth, following targets. The pilots may live and work out of Colorado or on a base in upstate NY or even in some other part of the world.
On Thursday, March 15th, about 15 stalwarts protested George Bush's appearance at a meeting of the Drug, Chemical, and Associated Technologies Assn. to a host of NYPD and mixed reviews by those attending and those passing by. The demand to prosecute Bush for war crimes received lots of thumbs up as well as thumbs down and some analysis -- both cogent and not.
by Sharon Pavlovich, War Criminals Watch