You are hereNonviolent Resistance
By John Grant
Some years ago, I was photographing a constitutional law professor for a magazine article on his book, and while I composed my shots I employed the usual half-minded topical banter to keep things on course. The professor was pretty progressive and knew I was a veteran antiwar activist. I was muttering something about constitutional rights.
In the lens, I noticed him chuckling at something, so I pulled my eye away from the camera and looked at him. He was grinning now.
“John, you know they abrogated the Constitution long ago,” he said, his tone a bit patronizing but also mixed with camaraderie and humor.
“Oh, yeh!” I said. “I forgot about that.” We both laughed, and I went on with the shoot.
I couldn’t help thinking about that conversation as I read the story in The New York Times about the new powers being given to individual FBI agents to snoop on citizens they subjectively deem dangerous.
Exciting times over here, to say the least! The June 14th Flag Day Rebellion against economic tyranny is growing much stronger and more rapidly than anticipated. As a small part of a decentralized movement, it’s hard to measure the overall impact, but my email inbox is exploding with support and interest. This movement is definitely succeeding in uniting people from all over the political spectrum. Hardcore progressives and libertarians have found common cause. Liberals who are sick of “spineless Democrats.” Conservatives who have had enough of “crony-capitalist and imperial Republicans.” Apolitical people who are sick and tired of living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to get by. The foreclosed upon. The unemployed. People desperately surviving off of food stamps.
A Global Day of Action Set for November 26, 2011
by Stephanie Westbrook
This past weekend in the Montpellier, France, over 100 activists from 9 countries gathered for the first ever European Forum Against Agrexco. Delegates from Italy, UK, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Palestine joined the French organizers for two full days of workshops aimed at strengthening the boycott campaign against the Israeli agricultural export giant.
Agrexco is Israel's largest fresh produce exporter and European markets account for the vast majority of their sales under the brand Carmel. The Israeli government's 50% stake in the company as well as their marketing of 60-70% of the fruit and vegetables grown in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank have made Agrexco a prime strategic target for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
By Dave Lindorff
Federal Judge Filipe Restrepo, a man with a solid history as a defender of civil liberties and civil rights, and a defense attorney by training and private practice experience, seems sadly to have gotten a bit thin-skinned after donning the robes of a federal judge.
As my colleague Linn Washington wrote earlier this week, the judge lost it when Hampton Coleman had the effrontery to write a 28-word letter to Restrepo questioning the judge’s integrity and his commitment to “blind justice,” and warning that “we the people” would be “watching and listening very carefully” to the judge.
Feed the hungry, get arrested. Repeat.
When other nations' governments go off track, their people do something about it. In Tunisia and Egypt people have nonviolently claimed power in a way that has inspired Americans in Wisconsin and other states, as well as the people of Spain and the rest of the world.
Washington, D.C., is the weakest point in our democracy, without which state-level reform cannot succeed. Most Americans want our wars ended, our corporations and billionaires taxed, and our rights expanded rather than curtailed. We want our money invested in jobs and green energy, not a global military that can't stop itself. Our government in Washington goes in the opposite direction, opposing popular will on these major issues, regardless of personality or party.
The big banks have sold us out.
Democrats and Republicans have sold us out.
No one is defending our interests.
Our future is going up in flames.
It’s time for us to stand up and defend ourselves.
Trillions of dollars in fraudulent activity by the big banks on Wall Street caused our current economic crisis. Paid off politicians from both parties, along with secret deals made by the Federal Reserve, gave trillions of taxpayer dollars and subsidies to the very people who caused our crisis. After taking our tax dollars, they had the audacity to give themselves all-time recording-breaking bonuses and consolidate wealth in unprecedented fashion within the economic top 0.01% of the population.
By Bruce Gagnon
A weak and thin Yang Yoon-Mo (right) released from jail after 60 day hunger strike
Gloria Steinem bows along the Gangjeong coastProfessor Yang was released from jail today. He was sentenced to one and one-half years in jail with a suspended sentence but with two years probation. There can be no doubt that the international outcry on his behalf has helped spring him from the jailhouse.
Regina Pyon, staff person at SPARK in South Korea, reports, "Yang didn't mention yet about his hunger strike. The first word he spoke was 'Is Gangjeong peaceful?' and 'My struggle will be continued to the end. Gangjeong villagers are the teacher who led me to the road of justice.'
Sung-Hee Choi will go on trial June 10. She has ended her hunger strike and urges others to end their hunger strikes at this time.
We are thrilled at the release of Professor Yang Yoon-Mo but deplore the strict conditions of a two year probation which is obviously intended to silence him politically.
Our plan to send MacGregor Eddy to Jeju Island on behalf of the Global Network remains in place. She will be there for the June 10 trial of fellow Global Network board member Sung-Hee. People are already responding to our fund appeal to pay for her travel. We must not let our voices die down now. People must continue to spread news about Jeju Island and keep the heat on to halt the Navy base construction.
American feminist activist Gloria Steinem visited the Gangjeong village in recent days along with a delegation of Korean women. I am certain that her visit was a huge lift to the villagers who have been working so hard for the past four years to bring this issue to the world's attention.
We are so proud of our friends in Gangjeong village and all the South Korean activists who have worked so hard to support them. It is an honor for us to work together in this good struggle for peace.
Many NGOs in South Korea launched the "Korean National Committee against Jeju Naval Base Construction" on June 1. They plan to hold a press conference on June 8 and are requesting that international activists send a joint statement for the news conference. We will begin now to put that statement together. Let me know if your organization would like to be listed as a signatory on this basic statement of our support for the Gangjeong village struggle against the Navy base.
We will keep you posted as we get more news about Yang and Sung-Hee. Thanks for keeping up with all this.
By Ken Ferguson
Cupar, Scotland--This county town of Fife, is not exactly a news hot spot. Probably the last big story here was the landing of Italian
balloonist Vincenzo Lunardi nearby in 1785 at the end of a 43-mile flight from
However the small town’s sleepy Sheriff court is about to host a key
legal case involving a US student from New York and two anti Israeli
protestors who have been charged with racism.
For the information of US readers, in Scotland the Sheriff isn’t some John Wayne figure with the star on his chest, but is rather the bewigged judge presiding over the local court.
This case centers on an incident at nearby St. Andrews University, where
two students are facing racially aggravated conduct charges after
allegedly making comments and gestures critical of the State of Israel
and its flag.
Press reports are already in danger of prejudging the case, with
Memorial and Veterans Day Hypocrisy - by Stephen Lendman
Annually America's warrior tradition is commemorated in major media editorials and op-eds, honoring fallen men and women for reasons not explained. More on that below.
On May 29, The New York Times headlined, "Among the Graves This Memorial Day," saying:
Besides families mourning soldiers "recently lost in Iraq or Afghanistan....(t)here is still a generation mourning friends, relatives and fellow servicemen lost in Vietnam, Korea and World War II...."
"Whatever you make of the wars in which those soldiers fought, whatever you make of war itself, their sacrifices are real and permanent," omitting what most needs explained about imperial arrogance responsibility for lost lives.
The Chicago Tribune headlined, "Hoist a glass for Red," saying:
By Anthony Scott, Killeen Daily Herald
Out of protest against the deployment of soldiers with mental injuries to war, Iraq Veterans Against the War teamed up with Under the Hood Outreach Center and Cafe to set up a watchtower outside Fort Hood's East Gate.
The protesters stood their ground all day Thursday, from start to finish of the post's entire duty day. As cars went by, some passengers honked and shouted.
"We built a tower and the tower's based on putting (III Corps and Fort Hood Commander Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell Jr.) accountable to all the suicides that are happening at Fort Hood and to all the soldiers not getting the proper (mental health) treatment that they need," said Kyle Wesolowski, an Iraq war veteran who recently left the Army with a conscientious objector discharge.
Wesolowski toured Iraq from 2008-09 with the 1st Cavalry Division and is now the manager at Under The Hood Cafe, an outreach center for soldiers.
"We're going to leave him accountable for all of these things now and until the future," he said. "Now we're trying to talk to (Campbell) to sit down with him. We've given him over 600 emails to be sent to him from our supporters from IVAW members alike."
Wesolowski said one of the things that needs to be done is let soldiers heal from mental health problems before deployment.
"A lot of soldiers are falling through the cracks," he said. "They're being redeployed to Iraq with many of these mental conditions."
The protest was part of Operation Recovery, an IVAW campaign to stop the deployment of traumatized troops.
Prior to the protest, the group went on post Wednesday morning to III Corps Headquarters and asked for a meeting with Campbell, said veteran and organizer Aaron Hughes.
"We were refused again," he said. "We're tired of being ignored."
Led by Wesolowski, a group of six of the veterans went to III Corps Headquarters and asked to meet with Campbell at the reception desk. The Army did not grant the request, said organizer Scott Kimball, a veteran who recounted the experience on the IVAW website.
Kimball said because they did not make contact with Campbell the group was putting him on watch.
The next day at the watch tower, Wesolowski led the crew of protesters by listing a number of complaints, including the fact that in 2009 more than 7,000 soldiers were on antidepressant or antipsychotic medication and military suicide rates increased 150 percent from 2001 to 2009.
Fort Hood also has the highest suicide rate of any Army post at 22 cases of suicide last year, nearly twice as many cases as any other post. Increased cases of military sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury were also problems, he added.
"We believe they need to get the help they need," Wesolowski said. "To heal, and not be redeployed: That to me is an Army value. To respect every service member when they're in trouble."
Contact Anthony Scott at email@example.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.
I left the Wisconsin Capitol today (May 25, 2011) with a heavy heart after Walker signed into law one of the most oppressive voting rights laws in the country.
However, it lifts my spirits to see that the people of Wisconsin are continuing to act in resistance and we are not going to roll over and take whatever Walker wants to give us.
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.