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Millions world-wide have seen Davis Guggenheim and Al Gore's Academy Award nominated documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth." A jarring portrayal of our planet in peril. The film is monumentally important. Yet as much as I've considered the content of the film, I've considered its title even more. "An Inconvenient Truth." No flowing alliteration. No catchy phrase. Just the fact. "An Inconvenient Truth." It's brilliant.
In this world, more specifically in this nation, where convenience is highly prized, inconvenience is the enemy. It's a sign of failure. The cornerstone of this capitalist society is the acquisition of enough wealth and power to hand all inconvenience over to someone else. The gardener. The housekeeper. The nanny. Perhaps the driver. Maybe the chef.
Nearly 1,000 students shut down Highway 217 in two-hour standoff with police
By Matt Cota / KSBY-6
UCSB students go on strike to protest the war in Iraq. Nearly a thousand refused to work, shop or go to class. And late this afternoon, the protesters shut down a major South Coast highway.
It started as a student strike -- the simple act of not going to class to protest the war in Iraq. But after an hour of speeches at an Isla Vista rally, the crowd grew restless.
By Steven Sherman
Just thought people might be interested in learning that David Price (D) of North Carolina had his office occupied today by anti-war protesters demanding he vote against any funding of the war. Six were arrested. About forty demonstrators supported the occupation outside the office. Price enjoys huge electoral majorities here (the 'Triangle', i.e. Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh) and is an ace obfuscator, unparalleled in his ability to confuse progressives about his actual positions on issues.
By Medea Benjamin
I arrived in Vicenza in northeastern Italy today for the big protest against a new US military base that is happening tomorrow. I am staying in the home of the main organizer of the anti-base protest, a lovely middle class Italian "housewife" with a nice home and driving a BMW. She, and the other women who started this are amazing. They have never done anything like this before, and they are such great organizers that they are now expecting over 50,000 people for the march tomorrow.
Activists read the names of Maryland and Iraqi Dead, Call for Her to Stop Funding the War
Washington, D.C: Twenty Maryland residents occupied Senator Barbara Mikulski’s Hart Senate Building office in protest over her refusal to use Congress’s power of the purse to end the occupation of Iraq. During the occupation, which filled her office, lasted almost two hours and ended without arrest, the nonviolent activists read names of American and Iraqi war dead, and held a banner saying "Not One More Dollar. Not One More Life." Numerous Maryland press outlets covered the event.
Scores of students expected, Dozens of professors have signed petition in support, 3 unions have officially and unofficially endorsed
Commemorating the anniversary of the largest protest in human history 4 years ago in anticipation of the Iraq war
12 noon Walkout and Rally in center of campus at 116th and Broadway
March from Columbia to Harlem and back
2pm-Evening Teach-in, Lerner Student Union
Show your love today for imprisoned war resister Agustin Aguayo and his family by sending a Valentine's Day donation or letter of support today! Agustin Aguayo, Iraq War veteran and conscientious objector, faces seven years in prison. His court martial is scheduled for March 6 on a U.S. military base in Germany.
Ways to support Agustin:
Donate to Agustin's legal defense.
Forward this e-mail to friends and networks with a personal message asking them to support Agustin.
Supporters of Lt. Watada rally in San Francisco during anti-war march 1/27/07.
Next step after mistrial victory
Courage to Resist.
The military was hoping to court martial Lt Watada on February 5 and send him to prison as an example. Instead, the military judge forced a mistrial, partially out of fear of Lt Watada putting the war on trial. Your letters and phone calls today may make significant difference.
Students joining national protest against Iraq war
Variety of strikes, rallies planned on campuses Thursday
By Tanya Schevitz, San Francisco Chronicle
It hasn't reached the level of the campus peace movement during the 1960s, but students at more than a dozen colleges from San Francisco State University to Columbia University in New York will stage strikes and rallies Thursday to protest the war in Iraq.
By Marcy Winograd
Tuesday, in Glendora, California, at the home office of hawkish GOP Congressman David Dreier, aides to the lawmaker shoved peace activists out of Dreier's office and locked the door after the activists issued a citizen's arrest warrant for the lawmaker. With John Gannon of Free Speech TV rolling the camera, activists demanded to see "whoever is in charge around here."
Two six-foot tall beefy Dreier aides emerged from their offices, admonishing peace activists to make an appointment if they wanted to talk about Dreier's position on the US occupation of Iraq.
Iraq War to be put on trial in Washington, DC along with Non-violent Peace Activists on Valentine’s Day
WHO: Over 50 religious and secular peace activists arrested on Capitol Hill last September for acts of non-violent civil resistance to the war in Iraq
WHAT: Trial on charges of Unlawful Assembly and Crossing a Police Line
WHERE: District of Columbia Superior Court, 500 Indiana Ave., NW, Washington, DC
WHEN: Valentine’s Day – Wednesday, February 14, 9:00 a.m.
By Sacramento Coalition to End the War
Purses - lots of them - to be delivered Tuesday to Rep. Doris Matsui's office to encourage her
to vote to end new funding for Iraq War
SACRAMENTO - Purses - piles of them - will be delivered Tuesday to Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, in an effort to convince the congressperson that she and Congress have the power to end the war and occupation of Iraq by yanking the purse strings and cutting off future funding.
BY COLONEL (RETIRED) ANN WRIGHT
Courage on the battlefield is not the only place where that quality is shown by military personnel. It takes guts and courage for a soldier to refuse to deploy to Iraq with one’s unit because he believes the war is illegal. Very few in our country resign from their careers, much less risk imprisonment, on a point of principle and conscience.
First Lieutenant Ehren Watada is the latest in a series of war resisters who has been in front of a military court-martial for his belief that the war in Iraq is a war of aggression based on untruths told to the American public and Congress. As a war of aggression, Watada has characterized the war as a crime against peace, hence, according to international law, a war crime. Going to Iraq would make him complicit in a war crime. Two other US Army soldiers will be court-martialed within the next month for their opposition to the Iraq war, making seventeen who have faced jail rather than compromise their conscience.
Friday, March 2 (M2), will be a day of civil disobedience and direct action against the war machine in Pittsburgh. The main action will be an attempt to barricade the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), a branch of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) that develops robotic vehicles and weapons delivery systems for the U.S. Army and Marines.
M2: Shutdown NREC
7:00am: Gather in Friendship Park (Friendship Ave and Mathilda St in Bloomfield)
By Jeff Paterson
FORT LEWIS, WA -- In a complex and confusing turn of events, Army lead
prosecutor Captain Scott Van Sweringen reluctantly requested, and was
granted a mistrial in the case of First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada,
the first military officer to publicly refuse to fight in Iraq.
In summation, the day after the prosecution rested a poorly presented
case against Lt. Watada for "missing movement" to Iraq and two counts
By Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith, The Nation
A military judge in Fort Lewis, Washington, has declared a mistrial in the
court-martial of Lieut. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer
prosecuted for refusing to go to Iraq. A new trial is believed to be
unlikely before summer, if at all. The mistrial represents a significant
By Bill Simpich, www.truthout.org
First Lt. Ehren Watada knew exactly what his case was about - and that scared the judge.
There was absolutely no reason to stop the Watada trial.
The judge's claim that Lt. Watada did not fully understand a document he signed admitting to elements of the charges is completely untrue (see Melanthia Mitchell, AP, 2/8/07).
The military seized on that claim and complimented the judge for "protecting the rights of the accused" in granting the mistrial.
By Marjorie Cohn
When the Army judge declared a mistrial over defense objection in 1st Lt. Ehren Watada's court martial yesterday, he probably didn't realize jeopardy attached. That means that under the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution, the government cannot retry Lt. Watada on the same charges of missing movement and conduct unbecoming an officer.
Lt. Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse orders to deploy to Iraq. He claimed those orders were unlawful because the war is illegal and he would be an accomplice to war crimes if he followed them.
By Mike Barber, Seattle Post-Inteligencer
Double-jeopardy prohibition might thwart retrial.
Fort Lewis - The Army court-martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, which ended in a mistrial Wednesday, may have stranger turns ahead: Prohibitions against double jeopardy may keep prosecutors from having a second trial, his lawyer and another legal expert say.
By Scott Galindez and Geoffrey Millard, www.truthout.org
Fort Lewis, Washington - The court-martial of First Lt. Ehren Watada, a commissioned US Army officer who refused deployment to Iraq on the basis that he believed the war was illegal, has ended in a mistrial, a military court judge ruled Wednesday.
In a stunning defeat for military prosecutors, Lt. Col. John Head, the military judge presiding over Watada's court-martial, said he had no choice but to declare a mistrial because military prosecutors and Watada's defense attorney could not reach an agreement regarding the characterization of a stipulation agreement Watada signed before the start of his court-martial. The government characterizes the stipulation agreement as an admission of guilt by Watada for "missing movement" and making statements against the Iraq war that resulted in charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 7) - "Justice prevailed today as Lt. Watada's court martial was declared a mistrial," said Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).
"The court improperly denied Lt. Watada's right to a defense by blocking him from explaining why he believes the war in Iraq is illegal," Kucinich said. "Procedural decisions by the court have effectively denied Lt. Watada the right to engage in a protected activity -- freedom of speech.
By David Swanson
Is the Army incompetent or fed-up with Bush? If you said both, you win the grand prize. And Lt. Ehren Watada may just have won his freedom. Barbara Cummings just phoned me from outside the court to say they'd ended in a mistrial and scheduled a new trial for March 19th at 4 p.m. The mistrial is the result, she was told, of the Army closing its case yesterday and then trying to introduce something new today. There's a prevalent rumor, she said, that the Army will not go through with the new trial. But a rumor is only a rumor, and it's possible the Army fully intends to press its case and try to do a better job of it.
This fits with reports of how well the trial has been going for Watada, but the question remains: did the Army cause a mistrial on purpose? The reports are that the prosecutors requested a mistrial. So, the question is really: why?
In any event, Watada has already set an example for others, and it seems reasonable to hope that this result will help boost the number of men and women who find the nerve to follow his example.
The AP and Reuters stories below give a slightly different account of the mistrial from Barbara's. The News Tribune article below sheds some light. It appears Watada's case has been strengthened and the Army's key evidence thrown out. That would appear to give some plausibility to the rumor that the Army will drop the case.
Barbara Cummings just called from outside the Watada court martial to say that a woman who was inside came out and said a mistrial is possible. Apparently the Army rested its case yesterday and then continued its case this morning, which - I guess - is not allowed. Barbara also reported on some speculation that the Army might be so fed up with Bush that it's intentionally aiming for a mistrial.
By Mary Francis
I am at Ft. Lewis at the Lt. Watada trial. I was in the courtroom today and WE KICKED ASS!!! Here's a little update. Feel free to share.
The prosecutors are 2 young (35?) guys up against Lt. Watata's atty, Eric Seitz who has 40 years of experience in military law defending war resisters and COs ... Seitz is OUTSTANDING!!!!!
The prosecution called 3 witnesses and then after cross and recross,
By Bill Simpich and Scott Galindez, t r u t h o u t
Ft. Lewis, Washington - On the second day of the court-martial of First Lt. Ehren Watada, it seemed at times that the prosecution witnesses were really defense witnesses.
The day began with opening statements. The prosecution laid out the following charges:
Charge I: Violation of the UCMJ, Article 87
By Bill Rau for www.consumersforpeace.org
Washington, D.C., February 5, 2007
The arrests started just five minutes after people entered Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) office in the Senate Office Building. The first of a planned three-month series of occupations of U.S. legislators’ offices was designed to demand specific action to quickly end the U.S. war in and occupation of Iraq.
IRAQ VETERAN DENNIS KYNE: "AIN'T GOING' BACK AGAIN"
IRAQ WAR VETERAN DARRELL ANDERSON: "DIE FOR YOUR WAR -- TELL ME"
LT. EHREN WATADA RALLY, VET AND FOLKSINGER FROM PORTLAND