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The Resistance in Obama Time
By BILL QUIGLEY, COUNTERPUNCH
Since President Obama was inaugurated, there have been over two thousand six hundred arrests of activists protesting in the US. Research shows over 670 people have been arrested in protests inside the US already in 2011, over 1290 were arrested in 2010, and 665 arrested in 2009. These figures certainly underestimate the number actually arrested as arrests in US protests are rarely covered by the mainstream media outlets which focus so intently on arrests of protestors in other countries.
Given that President Obama daily authorizes the firing of hellfire missiles and the dropping of cluster bombs in places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, it was awful odd seeing him wax eloquent this week about the “moral force of non-violence” in places like Egypt and Tunisia.
Editor's Note: Asking Afghans what they think of U.S. Taliban "peace talks" produces answers one doesn't encounter in the United States. Here's a response to that question from Hakim, a.k.a. Teck Young Wee, of Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers.-DCNS
BAMYAN PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN -- The Obama administration (and NATO) wants to
1. Withdraw gradually in proclaimed Victory and win the 2012 US elections (and NATO to establish their role as the ‘global policemen’ along with the US)
2. Establish permanent military bases in Afghanistan
3. Maintain their hegemony in the region, increasingly important in the light of their diminishing influence in a revolutionizing Middle East.
BBC News - 19 May 2011
A US governor has signed a bill requiring a French railway company to disclose its role in the Holocaust if it is to win state contracts.
Martin O'Malley of Maryland signed a bill aimed at Keolis, a Paris company owned by French national railways SNCF.
The company had bid to operate commuter trains in the state of Maryland.
Historians say SNCF moved 76,000 Jews to Nazi camps during the Holocaust. The laws' supporters say it will force disclosure of war records.
"We hope this legislation can become a national model sooner rather than later so that Holocaust survivors who are still with us can know that the atrocities inflicted upon their families and their people will remain in our minds, will never be forgotten and will never be repeated," Mr O'Malley said on Thursday.
By Bruce K. Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
This morning I received an urgent message (see below) from Jeju Island, South Korea saying that yesterday eight leaders of the protest effort against construction of a Navy base had been arrested. Global Network board member Sung-Hee Choi was one of those arrested - her second time in recent months.
Gangjeong village resident Professor Yang Yoon-Mo is now in his 45th day of his hunger strike while in jail for trying to block a construction truck. He has vowed to die in jail unless base construction is halted.
By Linn Washington, Jr.
Three days after President Barack Obama visited Ground Zero in New York City on May 5th with his message of "justice being done" with the slaying of terrorist Osama bin Laden, disturbing news broke about this administration's blocking of a quest for justice in the infamous May 1970 killing of four Kent State students.
Those four students fell in a barrage of gunfire on May 4, 1970 by Ohio National Guardsmen who opened fire during a peaceful protest against the Vietnam War on Kent State’s campus. That lethal fusillade of 67 shots during a 13-second period also wounded nine others, some seriously.
That blocking action by Obama officials includes an apparent unwillingness to investigate new evidence providing damning insights about that shooting orgy forty years ago, which heightened criticism about U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam and about the abuse of domestic political dissidents.
By Press TV
Security forces in troubled eastern Afghanistan open fire on anti-US protesters, killing at least four people and wounding several others.
The deaths come after hundreds of angry Afghans staged a protest against the killing of innocent civilians at the hands of foreign forces, a Press TV correspondent reported.
The protest took place in Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province on Saturday.
The protest comes after NATO troops killed a 12-year-old boy in an overnight raid in Nangarhar.
In a separate incident on Thursday, a 12-year-old girl was killed in the same province after foreign troops hurled a hand grenade towards her.
Hundreds of civilians have lost their lives in US-led airstrikes and ground operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past few months, with Afghans becoming more outraged over the seemingly endless number of deadly assaults.
By John Grant
I know when night has gone
That a new world's born at dawn.
I'll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.
-- Sons Of The Pioneers
We live in frustrating times for anyone politically opposed to the relentless militarization and financialization of virtually every facet of life in America.
The idealism of the Sixties and Seventies was overwhelmed first by Reaganism, then by the tsunami of post-911 fear and, finally, by the momentum of two, now three, on-going foreign wars. We live in an enforced condition of permanent war and unfettered piracy.
By BEN HARTMAN, 07/05/2011
Mordechai Vanunu tells 'Post' no country has offered him asylum but that if he is allowed to leave "I will get on first flight anywhere out of here."
Nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu on Saturday demanded that Israel rescind his citizenship in keeping with a new law that strips Israelis convicted of treason of their citizenship.
In a letter written to Interior Minister Eli Yishai and released to the media on Saturday Vanunu, a Beersheba native, says "I have no interest in Israeli citizenship, I don't want to go on living here." Rest of the article at the Jerusalem Post
May 5TH 2011
MK Mr. Eli Yishai
Minister of Interior
The State of Israel
Re: Revoking my Israeli Citizenship
I am Mordechai Vanunu that was kidnapped from Rome on September 30, 1986 by The Israeli Secret Services.
I was tried by The Jerusalem District Court and convicted of Aggravated Espionage, High Treason and Assisting the Enemy and I was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment. This followed an interview I gave to The London Sunday Times regarding the secret production of nuclear weapons materials in Israel.
I fulfilled the democratic principal of the right of the public to know.
I have served 18 years in Ashkelon Prison, mostly in solitary confinement.
I was released on 21 April 2004 with severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli Government.
Seven years past and the restrictions had been renewed again and again relying on The Emergency Laws from 1945.
Since my release I have lived 6 years in East Jerusalem and since September 2010 I live in Tel Aviv.
By Ron Ridenour
(Part II of journalist Ridenour’s political autobiography, Solidarity and Resistance: 50 Years With Che)
Wilfred Burchett was a key source of information for many of us who wanted to understand what the United States was doing against Southeast Asians. Burchett was an intrepid reporter for decades. He was the first correspondent to enter Hiroshima after the nuclear bombing and brought the world the military-censored news of its horrors.
By John Grant
Some men rob you with a six gun.
Some do it with a fountain pen.
“Pretty Boy Floyd”
We hear a lot about what democracy is about in America. Some of it is true and some of it is the usual boilerplate crap. Whatever you hear about the Cheri Honkala Green Party campaign for Sheriff of Philadelphia – and of course there’s a lot of crap going around -- one thing is true, it’s real democracy in action.
As a foreigner visiting Pakistan, this weekend's protests in Peshawar against U.S. drones remind me of prior Pakistani calls for sovereignty and independence.
On April 23, 1930, British troops opened fire on peaceful Muslim protestors in Peshawar in a vigil to gain their independence from British colonial powers. Eighty years later, the struggle for self-determination and democracy continues and is now a national theme for a country besieged by external interests.
On April 23, 2011, Pakistani women and men from around the country launched a national nonviolent movement to stop the U.S. from using drone bombs on their country.
From Foreign Policy
When Montgomery comes to Nabi Saleh
Posted By Mark Perry
On March 24, the Israeli government arrested Bassem Tamimi, a 44-year-old resident of the small Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, which is just west of Ramallah. Tamimi was arrested for leading a group of his neighbors in protest marches on a settlement that had "expropriated" the village's spring -- the symbolic center of Nabi Saleh's life.
By Matthew Cardinale, APN
(APN) DEKALB COUNTY -- Seven students were arrested during a stand-off with the Emory University administration tonight, Monday, April 25, 2011, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
Last week, APN reported that 150 students protested at Emory regarding its contract with Sodexo to operate its cafeterias. During that protest, two dozen students occupied the Administration Building, but they left the building after being threatened with arrest and after being promised a meeting with the University's President.
That meeting, which took place the following day at 5pm, was not fruitful, Alex Zavell, 20, an Emory sophomore majoring in Political Science, told APN in an interview.
What Does Not:
37 people who protest at Hancock Air Base near Syracuse against the use of drones are arrested Friday
Iraqis continue protests against the US Occupation and Maliki’s government in Mosul
Two weeks ago, we reported that a national sit-in movement launched across Iraq. The city of Mosul in northern Iraq seems to have become the epicenter of the continuing protests this week.
An estimated three hundred Iraqis initially set up tents in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul to demand an end to the U.S. occupation, the release of political prisoners, rewriting of the constitution, and the departure of what they call the ‘Green Zone’ government, headed by Nouri al-Maliki.
People give Obama $76,000 in order to sing him a brief song protesting his torture of Bradley Manning
To protest me for a mere $75,500 click DONATE above.
As she was being led out, she said: "Free Bradley Manning. I'm leaving. I hope I don't get tortured in jail."
"Where was I?" Obama said after her departure, continuing his speech. “That didn't break my flow."
By Pam Bailey, Mondoweiss
When the news first broke that Vittorio Arrigoni, the Italian who had been volunteering in Gaza with the International Solidarity Movement, had been kidnapped and murdered, the response in the U.S. and international media was similar to this comment by Charles Glass in The National: “After what happened to this brave young man, how many others will volunteer to take his place - when it may mean death to those who love them?”
The New York Times commented: “(The murder) raised embarrassing questions for Hamas about the security it says it has restored.... It also raises the specter of a growing boldness on the part of more extreme, virulently anti-Western Islamic groups in Gaza, which would pose a challenge not only to Hamas but to foreign activists promoting the Palestinian cause.”
By Ted Glick
Oh why can't you see
It's my life that's at stake
When you sell out our world
You are stealing my future.
Can you look in my eyes
As you gamble our lives?
When will you stop the lies
So that we can survive?
If you represent me
Not the fossil fuel industry
You must stop wasting time
Chasing your dollar signs.
Oh, say will you listen to
If you refuse to hear us now
Then we have to shut you down.
-sung to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner
There were two nonviolent civil disobedience actions that bookended the powerful Power Shift conference this past weekend in Washington, D.C. organized by the Energy Action Coalition. Because of these actions, and because of the success of Power Shift, there's reason to have hope that we could soon be seeing a much-needed, more massive, nonviolent direct action wing of the climate movement, of the progressive movement, led by young people.
Refuse to Leave Until President Implements a Living Wage
April 20, Williamsburg. Over 10 students at the College of William and Mary began a sit-in today at 9AM in President Reveley's office, refusing to leave until the administration implement a living wage. Many employees at William and Mary must take on multiple additional jobs to supplement what the college pays its full-time workers, and they still face the reality that even with multiple sources of income, they simply do not have enough money to support their families.
Last week, President Reveley had the opportunity to look through the budget with the Board of Visitors and find ways to relocate funds in order to pay workers higher wages. Instead of moving forward, President Reveley said that he is not ready to make living wages a reality and that he is not willing to find solutions to eliminate poverty on campus.
How do you get politicians living off legalized bribery to criminalize bribery? How do you persuade the corporate media to report on the interests of flesh-and-blood, non-corporate people? How do you take over a political party when the only other one allowed to compete is worse? These are not koans, but actual problems with a single solution.
It might seem like there are a million solutions: pass state-level clean election laws, build independent media, build a new party, etc. But the fundamental answer is that when the deck is stacked against you, you insist on a new deck. Power, as Frederick Douglas told us, concedes nothing without a demand. We cannot legislate our way out of plutocracy. Instead, we the people must seize power.
By Michele Naar-Obed, CPTnet
A new song was playing on Iraqi Kurdistan radio yesterday, 18 April, 2011, which included the lines, "Don't kill this generation" and "don't kill the future." While the song played, guns were blasting and tear gas filled the streets in both Suleimaniya and the KRG capital city, Hawler (Erbil).
Day 61 of Suleimaniya's daily demonstrations against corruption in Iraqi Kurdistan started early this morning. The CPT team arrived at 11:00. Music was playing from the stage and small groups of people were gathering. Two CPTers decided to use the quiet time to grab a cup of coffee and juice in a cafe next to the square. A few of the demonstration organizers were doing the same.
Meanwhile armed soldiers, the anti-terrorism unit, and police were positioning themselves around the square., with guns, tear gas, water cannons, and riot gear.