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UK Uncut: peacefully occupying, then turning tax dodger bank branches into schools, community centers, libraries, forests..."because it's society that's too big to fail, not a broken banking system."
Saturday, February 19, 2011
from The Guardian/UK:
Barclays Branches Targeted in Protests Against Tax Avoidance
UK Uncut mounts direct action against 50 branches as Barclays admits it paid 1% corporation tax in 2009
by David Batty
More than 50 branches of Barclays bank across the UK have been targeted by activists protesting against tax avoidance.
The direct action by UK Uncut, taking place in more than 30 towns and cities including London, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham, came as Barclays was forced to admit it paid just £113m in UK corporation tax in 2009 – a year when it rang up a record £11.6bn of profits.
Reactions to Aristide's Impending Return - by Stephen Lendman
After receiving his diplomatic passport to return, Haitians eagerly await his arrival. For them and millions of global supporters, it can't come a moment too soon. Reactions express varying views.
On February 18, AP headlined "Aristide backers march amid talk of Haiti return," saying:
In Port-au-Prince, thousands rallied in support "as people close to the former leader say he plans to return soon from (US-forced) exile in South Africa."
Marchers "seemed largely festive, with loudspeakers blaring music and young men drinking beer in the hot sun." Eugene Mirthil, an unemployed worker, spoke for others saying:
"We must have the return of Dr. President Aristide as a simple citizen to help us get better as a country as a people."
Washington calls his return disruptive ahead of March 20 runoff elections. Maryse Narcisse, Aristide's spokeswoman, said:
Obama on Palestinian Rights: "Nyet" - by Stephen Lendman
On February 18, as expected, Washington vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal under international law. The vote: 14 yes, America the sole no, isolating the US and Israel on this long festering issue. The measure had nearly 120 co-sponsors.
In a post-vote briefing, ambassador Susan Rice outrageously lied, saying:
"....as the United States has said on many, many occasions for many years, we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued settlement activity."
Unsaid was that America, for many decades, funded Israel generously to build them, a process continuing grievously under Obama, besides outlandish amounts of military aid, support for Israel's occupation, and partnering in all its aggressive wars.
In a February 18 press release, Americans for Peace Now (APN) expressed "disappointment," APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee, saying:
UPDATE: Ben Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor from the World War II Nuremberg War Crimes Trials and founding father of the International Criminal Court, will make an important statement on U.S. foreign policy at an event with David Swanson and Sandy Davies in Boca Raton on Feb. 26, 2011.
David Swanson and Nicolas "Sandy" Davies in South Florida on Feb. 26, 2011
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
Islamabad--By now journalists everywhere (except in the US) have come to the conclusion that there is far, far more to Raymond Davis than is being revealed by the US or by Pakistani officials. That he was engaged in anti-state activities in Pakistan and that the two young men he killed were intelligence agents tailing him is virtually an accepted fact.
The US, never famous for its diplomacy (The Ugly American, which made that point more than half a century ago, became a best seller and a very successful movie, starring Marlon Brando), seems to have discovered fresh depths to its strong-arm, coercive diplomacy. The mere fact that no less a personage than the US President has asked that this low-ranked person be granted absolute immunity, is indicative of the US desperation to get him him out of Pakistan and its court system.
<------- Remember these? They were a big joke and joy for a group still calling themselves republicans and happened as the Country were sending Military Troops into war once again, wars that still continue, and never a real apology for their joke. I'll bet some of them still have some handy to be used and laughed about when their need arises to do so as they wave the flag and condemn others who don't agree with them. Oh and while they seem to get joy about Soldiers being wounded in our wars and awarded the "Purple Heart" these were pointed directly at a brother In-Country Vietnam Navy Veteran, my tour there, as a Navy GunnersMate 3rd, was my last year of my four '70-'71.
US Workers: Resurgent or Waging a Rearguard Action? - by Stephen Lendman
For decades, organized labor has been hammered after painful years of organizing, taking to the streets, going on strike, holding boycotts, battling police and National Guard forces, and paying with their blood and lives before real gains were won.
Important ones included an eight hour day, a living wage, essential benefits including healthcare and pensions, and the pinnacle of labor's triumph with passage of the landmark 1935 Wagner Act, establishing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). It guaranteed labor the right to bargain collectively with management on equal terms for the first time, what's now sadly lost.
After signing it on July 5, 1935, Franklin Roosevelt said:
When a satirist published a phony U.S. government report in 1967 that recommended against allowing peace to ever break out, most people seemed to fall for the prank. Members of the news media were either in on the joke or victims. The copy I have is marked up with a yellow highlighter by someone who grew angrier and angrier through the book's pages. Toward the end, when the authors of the "report" advocated reviving slavery, the previous owner of my copy scrawled "BULL SHIT" in all caps across two pages.
This will be a familiar experience to anyone who has ever used both Twitter and sarcasm. No matter how outrageous the joke, there are those who will take it seriously and who will insist on taking it seriously even after having been let in on the joke. Thus the "Report From Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace" still has believers in its authenticity despite being an obvious prank.
Speaking of Sex: An interview with Christopher Ryan
The psychologist and co-author of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality looks at what the evidence says about humans’ “natural” state.
SPECIAL BOOK EXCERPT: War is A Lie
“There has probably never been a war that hasn’t been explained as an absolutely necessary, inevitable, and unavoidable last resort.”
Making Friends in High Places
Three American peace activists meet their young Afghani counterparts.
From THE HUMANIST
If Bradley Manning turns out to be the hero he appears to be, he will not be the first "detained" at Quantico.
In fact, Quantico once locked up the most decorated Marine in history, a Marine who would have been running the Marine Corps rather than getting locked up by it if he had known how to brown-nose the swivel-chair commanders as he called them, a Marine who had helped create Quantico years before, the first senior officer in the U.S. military to be arrested in the 65 years following the Civil War, and a serious fearless principled democratic hero whose heroism had nothing to do with the nasty tasks he took on as a U.S. Marine.
And do you know what they locked him up for? For revealing that Benito Mussolini had run a little girl over in his car and not even stopped.
From The Nation Magazine:
"What's Disgusting? Union Busting!" Chant Wisconsin Crowds That Swell to 30,000; Key GOP Legislators Waver
by John Nichols
"I have never been prouder of our movement than I am at this moment," shouted Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt, as he surveyed the crowds of union members and their supporters that surged around the state Capitol and into the streets of Madison Wednesday, literally closing the downtown as tens of thousands of Wisconsinites protested their Republican governor’s attempt to strip public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights.
Also on CounterSpin today, public interest groups and media activists of all stripes lined up to oppose the Comcast-NBC merger. And among the coalition of anti-merger activists was... Bloomberg, the media company owned by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. So what did they want? And did they get it? Journalist Aram Roston took a look at Bloomberg's media policy activism in a new piece for the Nation magazine. He'll join us to talk about it.
Video: Bread and Puppets Circus Explains Everything - With Music, Magic, and Headless People on Stilts
The U.S. Economy:
Bread and Puppets Circus
Random Row Bookstore
Feb 17, 2011
Video by David Swanson
Did anyone ever stop and think how protest movements could grow so vibrantly fast in Tunisia and Egypt? Not that there was nothing to protest, quite the contrary. But how did they organize and blossom under such repressive regimes?
Read the rest at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/428
Middle East Protests, Violence and Strikes Continue - by Stephen Lendman
Whatever set them off, the genie is out of the bottle and spreading from Tunisia to Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Libya, Iraq, and perhaps America, in Wisconsin over proposed wage, benefits, and union bargaining rights cuts. A forthcoming article covers outrage in the US heartland, inspiring others Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, and perhaps wherever aggrieved workers reside, awaken, and react against intolerable outrageous policies.
On February 17, New York Times writers Michael Slackman and Nadim Audi headlined, "Bahrain's Military Takes Control of Key Areas in Capital," saying:
Egypt's Spirit Lands in Wisconsin - by Stephen Lendman
It landed, but it's too soon to know where it's going or how committed workers are to stay the course and spread it to other US states.
On February 16, however, former Senator Russ Feingold launched Progressives United.org (PU), an initiative he hopes will inspire "a new progressive movement" to hold elected officials accountable by challenging corporate influence in politics.
It also opposes the Supreme Court's January 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, sanctioning unlimited corporate spending in elections (the one dollar = one vote ruling by America's supremely pro-business court). Feingold called it:
Last night, Hillary Clinton had just delivered the line "and then they pulled the plug" during her speech on freedom of expression in Egypt, and smiled slightly, when the two security goons pounced on 71 year-old Ray McGovern, who had been standing with his back turned to her no more than 20 feet away. McGovern was wearing his Veterans for Peace t-shirt in silent protest of the wars, uttering not a single, solitary word. Taken aback by the suddenness and violence of the assault by the two smirking young thugs, one in a uniform, McGovern managed to call out as he was manhandled out of the room: "So this is America?' McGovern was then double-handcuffed, jailed, and left bruised and bloodied from the encounter.
Clinton never broke stride, paused, or even batted an eyelash. Her demeanor was such that she could have been drying her nails.
In the wake of WMD-liar Curveball's videotaped confession, Colin Powell is demanding to know why nobody warned him about Curveball's unreliability. The trouble is, they did.
Can you imagine having an opportunity to address the United Nations Security Council about a matter of great global importance, with all the world's media watching, and using it to… well, to make shit up – to lie with a straight face, and with a CIA director propped up behind you, I mean to spew one world-class, for-the-record-books stream of bull, to utter nary a breath without a couple of whoppers in it, and to look like you really mean it all? What gall. What an insult to the entire world that would be.
Colin Powell doesn't have to imagine such a thing. He has to live with it. He did it on February 5, 2003. It's on videotape.
Let's Move Rumsfeld Recently Published Memoir to Bookstore Section Where It Belongs - Fiction, Horror, Crime, You Decide.
Check out our bookmarks that you might insert in Donald Rumsfeld's new memoirs when you pass them by in your neighborhood bookstore. Feel free to copy front and back.
News from Veterans For Peace
216 S. Meramec Avenue St. Louis, MO 63105 (314) 725-6005 www.veteransforpeace.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Leah Bolger, firstname.lastname@example.org
VETERANS’ GROUP DEMANDS APOLOGY FROM SECRETARY OF STATE
HILLARY CLINTON WATCHES AS POLICE MANHANDLE PEACEFUL PROTESTER
George Washington University, Washington D.C., February 15, 2011.
Chevron Found Guilty, Ordered to Pay $8.2 billion in Epic Oil Contamination Fight
By Jeremy Hance, From Mongabay.com
It was the environmental legal battle that some believed would never end (and they may still be right). But today in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, after 18 years of an often-dramatic court case, Chevron was found guilty of environmental harm and ordered to pay $8.2 billion in damages, however the oil giant says it will appeal the ruling. The lawsuit was filed by indigenous groups in the Ecuadorian Amazon who argue that poor environmental safeguards from Texaco in the 1970s and 80s led to widespread oil contamination and high rates of diseases, including cancer, among the populace. In 2001 Chevron purchased Texaco and inherited the legal fight. For its part, Chevron has dubbed the ruling "illegitimate" and with an appeal will drag the case on longer.
By Henry A. Giroux, From Truthout
The following essay is excerpted from the preface to Henry Giroux's "Hearts of Darkness: Torturing Children in the War on Terror" (Paradigm Publishers 2010).
By Larry Everest
Today, millions of Egyptians are rising with rage and courage against the hated rule of President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power since 1981.
As Egyptians protesting in the streets were being killed, beaten, or rounded up in the streets of Cairo and other cities before the eyes of the whole world, Vice President Joe Biden defended Mubarak, saying, "Look, Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things and he's been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interests in the region: Middle East peace efforts, the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing the relationship with Israel. I would not refer to him as a dictator." (PBS Newshour, Newsmaker Interview, January 27, 2011)
War Criminals Watch will be hosting two panels at the Left Forum and will have a table in the exhibition hall. The panels are: From the Bush Regime's "War on Terrot" to "Obama's Contingency Operation" - Why We Resist and What We Learned From WikiLeaks Revelations. More details will follow soon.
By Robert Parry
From Consortium News
When you’re listening to the many tributes to President Ronald Reagan, often for his talent making Americans feel better about themselves, you might want to spend a minute thinking about the many atrocities in Latin America and elsewhere that Reagan aided, covered up or shrugged off in his inimitable "aw shucks" manner.
After all, the true measure of a president shouldn’t be his style or how he made us feel but rather what he did with his extraordinary power, what were the consequences for real people, either for good or ill.
Yet, even as the United States celebrates Reagan’s centennial birthday and lavishes praise on his supposed accomplishments, very little time has been spent reflecting on the unnecessary bloodbaths that Reagan enabled in many parts of the world.
Hillary Hypocrisy? Secretary Calls for Free Speech, while Vet Arrested, Abused Before Her Eyes for Exercising Free Speech
By Kevin Zeese
On Tuesday, February 15th Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech on the importance of Freedom of Speech in the Internet age. She focused her attention on foreign countries and chided them for curtailing the speech of their citizens.
During that speech Ray McGovern, a veteran who also served for 27 years as a CIA analyst, exercised his freedom of speech by standing and silently turning his back on Secretary Clinton. He was protesting the ongoing wars, the treatment of Bradley Manning and the militarism of U.S. foreign policy. He did not shout at the Secretary of State or interrupt her speech. He merely stood in silence. See the video here of the incident: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-Vy8fFnz18
Important New Information on Aafia Siddiqui's Case - by Stephen Lendman
Numerous previous articles discussed how Washington/Pakistani collusion victimized her. A brief recap explains.
In March 2003, after visiting her family in Karachi, Pakistan, government Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agents, in collaboration with Washington, abducted her and her three children en route to the airport for a flight to Rawalpindi. Handed to US authorities, she was secretly incarcerated at one or more prisons, including Afghanistan's Bagram for more than five years of brutal torture and unspeakable abuse.
Bogusly charged and convicted, she was guilty only of being Muslim in America at the wrong time. A Pakistani national, she was deeply religious, very small, thoughtful, studious, quiet, polite, shy, soft-spoken, barely noticeable in a gathering, not extremist or fundamentalist, and, of course, no terrorist.
Diplomatic and Consular Immunity: One Rule for Foreign Consulates in US, Another for US Consulates Abroad
By Dave Lindorff
President Obama, before he was a President or a Senator, was a constitutional law professor. He should know the law.
And yet in the increasingly dangerous show-down over Pakistan’s arrest and detention of Lahore consular contract “security official” Raymond Davis, who is charged with two counts of murder for the shooting deaths of two young Pakistanis on January 27, the president has grossly misstated what international law is with respect to the immunity from prosecution of diplomatic and consular officials.