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Nonviolent Resistance


Three Strikes Against the Empire

October2011: Three Strikes Against the Empire

Joint Solidarity Statement by the October2011 Movement, the National Catholic Worker Gathering and SOA Watch South Florida/ SouthCom Watch

Grassroots resistance actions are being coordinated around the country in early October. Three efforts in particular share common cause:

  • The October2011 Movement in Washington, DC to decry the start of the eleventh year of war on the people of Afghanistan and the onset of the federal austerity budget, and to stand up to corporate rule and militarism;
  • The National Catholic Worker Movement and Nevada Desert Experience to demonstrate at Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada where armed drone aircraft are headquartered and controlled on their "hunter-killer" missions around the world, and at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS, formerly the Nevada Test Site) where various experiments are conducted which perpetuate the US nuclear arsenal;
  • School of the Americas Watch South Florida / SouthCom Watch to march to the new headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command (SouthCom) outside of Miami, Florida, which is responsible for all U.S. military operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Our struggles are interconnected and we organize in solidarity with each other.

The nonviolent resistance actions in Washington, DC will start on October 6, 2011, on the 10-year anniversary of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Thousands of people have pledged to gather on that day, to nonviolently resist the corporate machine by occupying Freedom Plaza to demand that America's resources are invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation. Nonviolent direct actions at the NNSS and at Creech AFB are going to take place on October 9 at the culmination of the 3 day Catholic Worker gathering, also being coordinated with the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space's annual Keep Space for Peace Week, October 1 to 8. The march on the U.S. Southern Command, with the intention to close it down and to reclaim the sacred land for the peoples of the Americas, will also take place on October 9, 2011.

These actions are united in the effort to build a world in which the values of justice, cooperation, and respect for the earth are upheld. We believe that people power and grassroots organizing are essential for achieving lasting socio-political change.

October2011 Movement, october2011.org
Margaret Flowers, 202-688-2444 / 518-543-6920
Pete Perry, 202-631-0974

National Catholic Worker Gathering, www.lvcw.org
John or Katie, Las Vegas Catholic Worker, 702-647-0728
Jim or Megan, Nevada Desert Experience, 702-646-4814

SOA Watch South Florida / SouthCom Watch, SOAW.org/southcom
Linda Belgrave, 305-801-8245
Ray Del Papa, 754-423-0051


To Whom Do We Now Turn?

"The Democratic Party is running away from its traditional role of protecting the poor, the elderly, and the working class," writes Congressman Dennis Kucinich.  "To whom do these groups now turn?"

We turn to ourselves, Congressman.  You know that.  And you know I love you.  But we've got to stop turning to people, much less parties.  It's killing us.  We can work with you and all of our friends, but we're going to have to do this ourselves.  There's nobody so poor, so elderly, so working class, so sick, so weak, or so wounded that they can't help this country a hell of a lot more themselves than can your colleagues, Congressman, the vast majority of whom, politically speaking, aren’t worth a bucket of warm spit.

Tim DeChristopher's Statement to the Court

Peaceful Uprising

Thank you for the opportunity to speak before the court.  When I first met Mr. Manross, the sentencing officer who prepared the presentence report, he explained that it was essentially his job to “get to know me.”  He said he had to get to know who I really was and why I did what I did in order to decide what kind of sentence was appropriate.  I was struck by the fact that he was the first person in this courthouse to call me by my first name, or even really look me in the eye.  I appreciate this opportunity to speak openly to you for the first time.  I’m not here asking for your mercy, but I am here asking that you know me.

History Is Knocking

Prisoners Have Nothing to Gain By Eating

Prisoners risking death by refusing food in the Pelican Bay supermax, and those hunger striking in solidarity in prisons around California are a judgment of our sickness. "The degree of civilization in a society," said Dostoyevsky, "can be judged by entering its prisons."

Civilization is something we no longer seem to aspire to. The United States locks up more people and a greater percentage of its people than anyone else. We lock them in training centers for anger and violence. We subject them to rape, assault, humiliation, and isolation. We throw the innocent in with the guilty, the young with the old, the nonviolent with the violent, the hopeful with those who've lost all interest in life.

French boat Dignite of Freedom Flotilla II leaves Greece

The French boat "Dignité/Karama" (Dignity) left the Greek island Kastellorizo around 8:30PM local time on Saturday July 16, 2011, heading south. The ten passengers onboard view themselves as representatives of the whole Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human. The rest of the Flotilla's ships have been detained in different Greek ports, through bureaucratic obstruction, sabotage, sudden restrictions and withdrawals of flags.

The Dignité, sailing under a French flag, left Corsica on June 25th, and has, over the past weeks, been in Greek waters. It has now left- so far without being followed by the Greek coast guard or Navy.

ICC: International Justice Day 17 July 2011

Celebrating the 13th Anniverasary of a New International Justice System

July 17, 2011 - This Sunday, July 17, 2011, marks the 13th International Justice Day, commemorating the adoption of the Rome Statute, the document that established the International Criminal Court.

 

Melissa Kaplan, Deputy Director of Government Relations at Citizens for Global Solutions and Coordinator of the Washington Working Group on the International Criminal Court (WICC) said,

 

Korean Resisters to New U.S. Navy Base Arrested

From Christine Ahn, Global Network
 
Dear Friends:
I have very tragic news to report from Jeju Island South Korea.
 
At the crack of dawn on Thursday, undercover police officers came to Gangjeong village and arrested three major leaders of the peaceful resistance: Village Chief Kang Dong-Kyun, renowned peace activist Brother Song Kang-Ho, and base opposition leader Ko Kwon-Il.
 
The South Korean Navy (ROKN) and Minister of Justice Lee Gui Nam also issued a notice to Gangjeong village leader Kang Dong-Kyun and 76 other villagers and peace activists. This notice is a threat to these 77 individuals and civil society organizations for disturbing the construction of the naval base.

Blood on the Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson

Book Review by Gar Smith

It’s a good sign when the testimonials on the back of a 440-page autobiography include the likes of Noam Chomsky, Ed Asner and Martin Sheen. But that only hints at the praise directed at S. Brian Willson’s long-awaited memoir. The testimonials continue on the inside — for another seven pages — and include plaudits from Cindy Sheehan, William Blum, Kris Kristofferson, Norman Solomon, Peter Dale Scott, Cynthia McKinney and Country Joe McDonald.

This whopping epic (published by Oakland’s feisty PM Press) tells the story of a Vietnam-era soldier who entered the war as a red-blooded small-town recruit and emerged as a die-hard dissident, driven to expose and oppose not only warfare in general but also the US’ unique role in spreading military terror around the world.

Willson returned home to become a leading war resister — a man whose dogged determination to confront the war machine lead him to fast on the steps of the US capital and eventually cost him both legs — severed on September 1, 1987, when he was run over by an ammunitions-filled locomotive on the first day of a nonviolent protest on the railroad tracks leading to the Concord Weapons Station.

READ THE REST AT Berkeley Daily Planet.

The Gaza Flotilla and the Blood-Dimmed Tide

By John Grant

What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? ... You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell. Me, I was part of the nastiness now.

--Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

Lately, I find myself reading “noir” crime fiction and thinking about the genre as a way to explain the world. It may have something to do with the fact I’m an American critical of my government and losing hope that positive change is even possible. As hope evaporates, there seems less and less space between political reality and the criminal underworld. Or maybe it's the obverse of a militarist obsession with Tom Clancy and War On Terror thrillers.

The adherents of wealth, power and violence seem so entrenched and in control that those without power become doomed to ineffectual marginalization and, if they poke their heads up too far, in danger of having their intentions and actions criminalized.

Has U.S. Foreign Policy Ever Been Such a Mess?

Multiple Wars are Symptoms of the Need to Escape the Quagmire of Empire

By Kevin Zeese

I can't remember a time when the U.S. military has been stuck in so many war quagmires at once. Libya seems destined to fail unless the U.S. gets a lucky shot and kills Gaddafi. U.S. militarists are openly maneuvering to stay in Iraq -- the war Obama told us was over. Relations with nuclear-armed Pakistan are at their lowest levels ever. And, Afghanistan is getting worse with Obama’s minimal, slow withdrawal looking more like staying than leaving.

TRIAL POSTPONED AFTER IMPASSE IN COURTROOM

www.veteransforpeace.org

Charges of "Disorderly Conduct-Blocking Passage" Not Presented in Timely Fashion by Prosecution

Washington, DC—The pro se trial scheduled to begin today for 19 peace activists – including members of Veterans for Peace and one World War II veteran – stemmed from arrests made on March 19, 2011, on the sidewalk near the White House, and has been postponed after the two sides disagreed on the version of the law that should be used in the trial.

DC Superior Court Judge Russell F. Canan continued the trial until 9:30 am, Monday, August 29, 2011 – only after defense attorneys Ann Wilcox and Deborah C. Anderson raised concerns that Assistant Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Tamara Barnett, brought forth new charges just days before the start of the trial date. The judge was concerned that the defendants had not been properly arraigned and notified of these charges.

Electricity Cut off to Imprisoned US Boat to Gaza

By Ann Wright

This morning at 10am, the shore electricity was cut off to the Audacity of Hope, the US Boat to Gaza , that has been impounded at the US Embassy/Greek Coast Guard dock, near Piraeus, Greece, just outside of Athens.

Its over 100 degrees and a Russian grain ship loading grain is spewing grain and dust over the entire.area-it is miserable! Six women that are staying onboard to protect the boat' four are over 60 years old.

The Greek Coast Guard is probably caught in the middle--they are probably ready to release us, but the political part of the government wants to keep us in port to suck up to the Israeli government even more!.

Call the Greek Embassy in Washington and .the Greek consulates around the Country and the State Department-Kim Richter Write a text message 202-647-8308

Embassy of Greece
2217 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Tel. 202.939.1300
Fax. 202.939.1324
Office Hours:

Consulate General - New York
69 East 79th Street

Going Neutral on Obama? Not on a Moving Train!

How often have we been told that we can't have a serious nonviolent movement resisting our government's destructive path as long as the Democrats are better than the Republicans?

How often have we been told that we can't back third-party candidates as long as the Democrats are better than the Republicans?

This week has seen an inordinate number of realizations that the Democrats are as bad as or worse than the Republicans. And what has the response been?

Activist groups are proposing not to donate money to President Barack Obama. Some have even suggested declining to volunteer for him. Most responses have been even weaker than that. Citizens have transformed themselves into pundits and announced that Obama will not be reelected.

VETERANS, PEACE ACTIVISTS HAVE THEIR “DAY IN COURT” TO CHALLENGE MARCH 19 WHITE HOUSE ARRESTS

http://veteransforpeace.org

On Monday, July 11, 2011, nineteen veterans, members of Catholic Worker and other long-time peace activists will have a pro se trial in DC Superior Court, stemming from arrests on the White House sidewalk March 19, 2011, the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

After the 8:00 a.m. press conference, they will then proceed to a trial, which will be held in Courtroom 313 of DC Superior Court.

The March 19 action raised issues of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the cost of the war to American society, and the continued detention of whistleblower Bradley Manning. One hundred thirteen persons were arrested on the White House sidewalk by US Park Police, and 19 of those will proceed to a trial on charges of Failure to Obey a Lawful Order and Unlawful Assembly-Disorderly Conduct.

America is a Sick Country

By Dave Lindorff

In ways little and huge, it is clear that we live in a nation, a culture and a society that is terminally ill.

The latest outrage -- the likely execution of a Mexican convicted in Texas of the brutal slaying of a 16-year-old girl in blatant violation of a universally adopted international treaty that requires that as a foreigner he be able to notify his home country’s consulate of his case -- is evidence of this sickness, which appears to have both physical and mental aspects.

As a journalist I have traveled widely in the world, often in police states like China or Laos, and I have always trusted in the fact that if I ran afoul of those police, at least I could count on the fact that the authorities would be legally bound to notify my embassy, so that I could get international attention and, hopefully, legal assistance.

Activists conducting 'fly in' to Israel

This Friday, July 8, hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists are planning to fly to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport in a display of solidarity with Palestinians living in the occupied territories.

According to organisers, at least 500 people have already scheduled flights to Israel, including Palestinians that will fly from Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa.

READ THE REST.

Prisoners Across at Least 6 California Prisons Join Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers

Strike Could Involve Thousands of Prisoners
Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros
Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition
Office: 510 444 0484
Cell: 510 517 6612

Oakland— More than 100 hours into an indefinite hunger strike started at Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit, prisoners in at least 6 state prisons have joined in, with participation potentially growing into the thousands. Hunger strikers at Pelican Bay and other prisoners participating are protesting the conditions in the Pelican Bay’s Security Housing Unit (SHU).

Dozens of U.S.-based and international human rights organizations have condemned Security Housing Units as having cruel, inhumane, and torturous conditions. SHU prisoners are kept in windowless, 6 by 10 foot cells, 23½ hours a day, for years at a time. The CDCR operates four Security Housing Units in its system at Corcoran, California Correctional Institution (CCI), Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW) as well as Pelican Bay.

Greek Coast Guard Seizes Canadian Ship Bound for Gaza

'Thirty captains' on intercepted Canadian boat for Gaza

Thirty pro-Palestinian activists on a Canadian boat bound for Gaza that was stopped out of a Greek port Monday for breaking a ban, defied authorities by claiming they had all captained the ship.

Thoughts on July 4th: Our Incredible Shrinking Constitution

By Dave Lindorff

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day that the nation’s founders, gathered in Philadelphia a few miles from my house (which as it happens was already standing and about 28 years old already at the time), at great personal risk, signed the Declaration of Independence, with its ringing declaration that all men--Americans and everyone else, too--are born equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Five years ago at this time, I was just starting my road trip promoting my book, The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin’s Press, 2006), which documents the wholesale assault, by then President George W. Bush, and his chief consigliere, Vice President Dick Cheney, on those bold concepts and on the subsequent Constitution and Bill of Rights which those same founders set up as the guiding principles of this nation.

SUNSHINE FOR WEST POINT RECRUITS

By Nick Mottern

The morning sky was blue and cloudless on Monday, June 27, 2011 as Gayle Dunkelberger, Bennett Weiss and I stood on the entry road to West Point’s Stony Lonesome Gate to greet the cadet Class of 2015 on R-Day, reception day, as they arrived with family and friends to be inducted into the Army and US military culture.

It was a beautiful day as the rising sun brought long, diminishing shadows from the woods along the road and lit the grass and trees on the surrounding hillsides to brilliant greens. It was a perfect day for young men and women to embark on a college career that also carries with it the glory attached to military service and the benefits that might accrue from being an officer graduated from the most famous military school in the United States.

Flotilla Update

U.S. Boat to Gaza Seized by Greek Authorities
and Captain Jailed

Passengers Determined to Free Captain
and Set Sail Again

Athens--After a two hour stand off at sea, the U.S. Boat to Gaza - The Audacity of Hope - was seized by the Greek Coast Guard and forced to return to the port of Piraeus under military escort. The boat's captain has been put in jail, charged with disturbing sea traffic--which includes endangering the lives of those on the ships-- and disobeying a police order to remain at dock. The crew is being detained on the boat, which is being held at a military dock just outside Athens. Most of the 36 passengers remain on the ship in solidarity with the captain and crew.

The Gaza Flotilla: Fear of Unscripted Non-Violent Action

By John Grant

Israel and its international operatives are working overtime to stop the 10-ship Gaza flotilla from leaving Athens. The Audacity Of Hope, with 40 Americans on board, tried to leave the harbor Friday only to be chased down and threatened by an armed Greek Coast Guard boat and forced to return to a dock. Trumped-up charges may be brought against the captain of the boat. Greece is now prohibiting all boats from leaving. Another boat had a propeller shaft cut and a third was equally disabled by some kind of sabotage. Others have suddenly been plagued with questions about their insurance or their seaworthiness. Israel has openly threatened to bar news organizations with reporters onboard a flotilla boat from entering Israel for ten years. The US government has made vague threats that it might charge US citizens in the flotilla with something.

Speaking Events

2015

August 27, Chicago

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