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PROTEST: Tell John Kerry world says no to war on Syria

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7 September 2013 |
stopwar.org.uk

EMERGENCY PROTEST
TELL JOHN KERRY NO WAR ON SYRIA
Monday 9 September 8am
Foreign Office
Whitehall
London SW1

US secretary of state John Kerry is touring Europe trying to drum up support for a war on Syria that opinion polls around the world show is opposed by majorities in most countries. Two thirds of Americans say no to war. Close to 75% of people in Britain are opposed, which no doubt was what motivated MPs in parliament to stop David Cameron taking this country into yet another war in the Middle East on the coat-tails of US foreign policy.

Barack Obama was isolated at the recent G20 meeting, at which only the French government was prepared to commit to a military attack on Syria. Latest polls show that most people in France are opposed to president Hollande's backing of Obama's drive to war, saying they feared it could "set the entire region ablaze".

The attack Barack Obama is planning is illegal under international law without the backing of the United Nations security council. It will not help to solve the civil war in Syria which is causing such suffering for the Syrian people, but will only further inflame the conflict, as we have seen happen in all the US-led interventions in the region over the past decade -- in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. What is needed in Syria is not more devastation and death at the end of a barrage of US Cruise missiles, but serious moves towards a negotiated political settlement.

On Monday 9 September, John Kerry will be in London banging his drums for more war, as his boss Obama prepares a national address he will make on Tuesday trying to persuade the American people and US Congress that yet more war is what's needed to help bring peace to Syria.

Stop the War has called a protest on Monday 9 September, at 8am, when John Kerry will be meeting British foreign secretary William Hague at the Foreign Office in Whitehall. If you can, please join us to tell Kerry that the world says no to war on Syria.

* A new motion that has now been been tabled in Parliament urging US representatives in Congress to reject war. Please use Stop the War's lobbying tool to urge your MP to support this motion: http://act.stopwar.org.uk/lobby/58.

* Stop the War will call a protest at the US embassy in Grosvenor Square, London on the day the of the debate in the US Congress, which is likely next week. Details will be publicised on the Stop the War website and through our Facebook and Twitter.

* No Attack on Syria
Public Meeting
Wednesday 11 September
Conway Hall, Red Lion Square on Wednesday 11 September at 7pm.
More details here:
http://stopwar.org.uk/events/rally-no-to-war-on-syria

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US embassy: protest against intervention in Syria


 


1) US embassy: protest against intervention in Syria




Public opinion and the anti-war movement stopped UK military intervention in Syria. Now we have to stop Obama. Join us at the US Embassy.
 

Tuesday 3 September, 5.30 - 7pm
US embassy, Grosvenor Square, London W1A 2LQ

9th September - Day of Action: Next Monday we will hold a second protest at the US embassy as the US Congress debates intervention in Syria. More details soon.

Read more


2) Parliamentary briefing: The Case Against Intervention in Syria
Hosted by Jeremy Corbyn MP
with Diane Abbot MP

Stop the War Coalition is supporting a parliamentary briefing organised by the office of Jeremy Corbyn MP to discuss intervention in Syria. An invitation has been sent to all MPs.

The briefing is open to the public. We recommend you arrive shortly before half six as there is a short security check at the main entrance. Just tell the security staff which room you are going to and they will let you in.
 

Wednesday 4 September 6.30pm - 8pm,
Thatcher Room, Portcullis House, SW1A 2LW

 


UK Peace Movement Stopped Cameron, Continues to Help Us Try to Stop Obama


Stop the War bulletin | August 2013 | stopwar.org.uk


We stopped Cameron, but Obama still plans war: demonstrate tomorrow

The defeat of Cameron's war plans last night was a historic moment.

It represented the victory of mass anti-war opinion over the interests of the UK elite that has been enthusiastically participating in US-led wars over the last decade and more.

There can be no doubt that the hundreds of demonstrations, protests, rallies and pickets of the last twelve years  have been central to bringing the war makers low and making it impossible for Cameron to join in another catastrophic attack.

Congratulations to every single person who has taken action against war over those years. Protest has been successful.  We have made a difference.


Obama and the US remaining allies are still committed to an attack on Syria. Britain was the key US ally. Forcing Cameron out of the war is a big blow to the west's war plans. Now we must redouble our efforts to stop any attack on Syria.

The world will be watching London tomorrow, we need the biggest possible turnout to send a message around the globe that the anti war majority is staying in the streets.

Please do everything to spread the word there is a facebook event here.

To keep the pressure up we are calling a picket of the US embassy on Tuesday 3 September at 5.30pm. More details to be announced shortly.

Parliament Says No to War! Congress Considers Saying Something.

Great work by our UK friends at StopTheWar.co.UK

And great work in the USA: On Aug. 31 Obama said he will seek Congressional authorization.

Now we need to move Congress along to ensure that Obama doesn't get it.

Obama has released a dodgy dossier.

“Wag the Dog” – The Sequel Set in Syria

By George Galloway

Over the last couple of weeks a western-backed (and armed) military junta slaughtered many hundreds of Egyptians in broad daylight live on television. The death toll, still concealed, may have been thousands.

The west confined itself to disapproving words and calls for “restraint” on “both sides” – even though the victims were unarmed.

In Syria hundreds of people have just been slaughtered in circumstances which are entirely unclear, and the west is about to launch (in our case without parliamentary approval with the prime minister acting from a beach in Cornwall) a military attack with entirely unforseen consequences on Damascus.

There is a “Wag the Dog” element about this, and indeed the war of President Clinton’s penis satirised in that masterful award-winning movie has already proved a handy diversion from Egypt before its even started.

It is entirely implausible that the Syrian regime chose the moment of the arrival of a UN chemical weapons inspection team to launch a chemical attack on an insurgency already suffering reverse after reverse on the battlefield and steadily losing international support with each new video showing them eating the hearts of slain soldiery and sawing of the heads of Christian priests with bread knives.

In the absence of conclusive evidence one would have to believe that the Assad regime was mad as well as bad to have launched such a chemical attack at a time when it is in less danger than it has been for almost a year. I do not believe that Bashar is mad.

There is ample evidence that the Syrian rag-tag-and-bobtail insurgency, dominated by the most extreme fanatic franchises of Al Qaeda, has access to chemical weapons, indeed any weapons the rag-tag-and-bobtail coalition behind them can get to them.

The US has a long history of using such weapons – and worse – and not just in SE Asia. In the destruction of Fallujah in next door Iraq they slaughtered thousands with the same kind of cocktails.

Israel regularly shares its own chemical weapons stockpile with their neighbours in Gaza. Check the pictures of phosphorous gas raining down upon the UN schools and hospitals in Operation Cast Lead if you don’t believe me.

Britain introduced chemical weapons to the middle east in the first place, dropping gas on the “uncivilised tribes” of Iraq in the 1920s and wondering in parliament “what all the fuss was about”.

Does anyone believe that the foul dictatorships of the Gulf – like Saudi Arabia – wouldn’t give the Syrian rebels some of their chemical weapons? Especially if the purpose was to draw the big powers into the war?

Does anyone believe that a Syrian rebel army whose vile atrocities abound on YouTube wouldn’t use them, for the same purpose?

So now we wait for the summer-surprise attack on yet another Arab country by the former colonial powers. Another summer, another Muslim country under murderous bombardment by the last people on the planet whose motives are trusted by anyone in the Muslim world.

Meanwhile, the money, and the weapons, keep on flowing to the Egyptian junta. The blood of some people, as always, turning out to be of far greater consequence than the blood of others…

George Galloway MP
House of Commons
London.

Design by Gayatri

Memo from Oslo: If Peace Is Prized, a Nobel for Bradley Manning

By Norman Solomon
 
The headquarters of the Nobel Committee is in downtown Oslo on a street named after Henrik Ibsen, whose play “An Enemy of the People” has remained as current as dawn light falling on the Nobel building and then, hours later, on a Fort Meade courtroom where Bradley Manning's trial enters a new stage -- defense testimony in the sentencing phase.

Ibsen’s play tells of mendacity and greed in high places: dangerous threats to public health. You might call the protagonist a whistleblower. He's a physician who can't pretend that he hasn't seen evidence; he rejects all the pleas and threats to stay quiet, to keep secret what the public has a right to know. He could be content to take an easy way, to let others suffer and die. But he refuses to just follow orders. He will save lives. There will be some dire consequences for him.

The respectable authorities know when they've had enough. Thought crimes can be trivial but are apt to become intolerable if they lead to active transgressions. In the last act, our hero recounts: “They insulted me and called me an enemy of the people.” Ostracized and condemned, he offers final defiant words before the curtain comes down: “I have made a great discovery. … It is this, let me tell you -- that the strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.”

Alone Bradley Manning will stand as a military judge proclaims a prison sentence.

As I write these words early Monday, sky is starting to lighten over Oslo. This afternoon I'll carry several thousand pages of a petition -- filled with the names of more than 100,000 signers, along with individual comments from tens of thousands of them -- to an appointment with the Research Director of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The petitionurges that Bradley Manning be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Like so many other people, the signers share the belief of Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire who wrote this summer: “I can think of no one more deserving.”

Opening heart and mind to moral responsibility -- seeing an opportunity to provide the crucial fuel of information for democracy and compassion -- Bradley Manning lifted a shroud and illuminated terrible actions of the USA's warfare state. He chose courage on behalf of humanity. He refused to just follow orders.

“If there’s one thing to learn from the last ten years, it’s that government secrecy and lies come at a very high price in blood and money,” Bradley Manning biographer Chase Madar wrote. “And though information is powerless on its own, it is still a necessary precondition for any democratic state to function.”

Bradley Manning recognized that necessary precondition. He took profound action to nurture its possibilities on behalf of democracy and peace.

No doubt a Nobel Peace Prize for Bradley Manning is a very long longshot. After all, four years ago, the Nobel Committee gave that award to President Obama, while he was escalating the war in Afghanistan, and since then Obama's dedication to perpetual war has become ever more clear.

Now, the Nobel Committee and its Peace Prize are in dire need of rehabilitation. In truth, the Nobel Peace Prize needs Bradley Manning much more than the other way around.

No one can doubt the sincere dedication of Bradley Manning to human rights and peace. But on Henrik Ibsen Street in Oslo, the office of the Nobel Committee is under a war cloud of its own making.
__________________________________

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

Is America playing its last card?: Pissing Off Friends is a Doomed Strategy

By Dave Lindorff


Like an obnoxious drunk harassing everyone and spilling drinks at a party, the US has continued to make itself both loathed and laughed at in the wake of the revelations about the National Security Agency’s global spying program as revealed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. 


War and Whistleblowers - Why Bradley Manning Should be Free



Stop the War bulletin | stopwar.org.uk

Public Meeting Friday 9 August
War and Whistleblowers - Why Bradley Manning Should be Free

Bradley Manning faces a prison sentence of up to 136 years after being found guilty of 20 charges for revealing the war crimes carried out in our name. This public meeting, with speakers including Tariq Ali, Peter Tatchell, and Norman Solomon from the USA, will discuss the courage and sacrifice of truth-tellers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, who have exposed how the secret state wages perpetual war behind our backs. How can we protect whistleblowers from persecution by war-addicted governments? How can we campaign for the freedom of Bradley Manning?

War and Whistleblowers - Why Bradley Manning Should be Free
Friday 9 August 7pm
Hilda Porter Room, TheWesley
81-103 Euston Street London NW1 2EZ

(2 minute walk from Euston Station)
For updates see: http://bit.ly/19ztF9N

Speakers:
Tariq Ali writer and activist, Peter Tatchell human rights campaigner
Norman Solomon US author and activist, Kate Hudson CND
Chris Nineham Stop the War Coalition


Norman Solomon, will speak at the meeting on his way from the USA to present to the Nobel committee in Oslo a petition with over 100,000 names calling for Bradley Manning to be awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Read more:
• Norman Solomon: Why Bradley Manning deserves the Nobel Peace Prize http://bit.ly/13vmjNi
• Owen Jones: What would be the ultimate show of gratitude to Bradley Manning? http://bit.ly/15uKa2U
• John Pilger: We have all been made witnesses to crimes against humanity" http://bit.ly/12Xs5gn
• Gary Younge: If Bradley Manning is an enemy of the state then so too is truth http://bit.ly/15wKpKr


Stop the War Coalition | office@stopwar.org.uk | 020 7561 4830

European Parliamentarians call on President Obama to free Bradley Manning

http://www.bradleymanning.org

Open Letter from Members of the European Parliament
to President Barack Obama and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

Pfc. Bradley Manning (photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Pfc. Bradley Manning (photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

As Members of the European Parliament, who were elected to represent our constituents throughout Europe, we are writing to express our concerns about the ongoing persecution of Bradley Manning, the young U.S. soldier who released classified information revealing evidence of human rights abuses and apparent war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army has charged Private First Class Manning with 21 different crimes, including ‘Aiding the Enemy’; a capital charge. To convict a person who leaked information to the media of “Aiding the Enemy” would set a terrible precedent. Although we understand the US government is not seeking the death penalty for Bradley Manning, there would be nothing to stop this from happening in future cases.  As it is, PFC Manning faces the possibility of life in prison without parole, recently rejected as “inhuman and degrading treatment” by the European Court of Human Rights.

On July 2nd , Army prosecutors closed their arguments in the case without having provided any real evidence that Bradley Manning aided the enemy, or that he intended to do so. In his defense against those charges to which he pleaded not guilty, PFC Manning was not permitted to bring any evidence of motivation. And in a statement calling on the court to allow a ‘public interest’ defense, Amnesty International said that this was ‘disturbing…as he has said he reasonably believed he was exposing human rights and humanitarian law violations.  Moreover, the prosecution provided no evidence that PFC Manning caused harm to U.S. national security or to US and NATO troops.

We agree with Amnesty International that the U.S. government should immediately drop the most serious charges against PFC Bradley Manning, and that to charge Bradley Manning with ‘aiding the enemy’ is ‘ludicrous’ – a ‘travesty of justice’ which ‘makes a mockery of the US military court system’.

“We’ve now seen the evidence presented by both sides, and it’s abundantly clear that the charge of ‘aiding the enemy’ has no basis,” said Widney Brown, Senior Director for International Law and Policy at Amnesty International.  “The prosecution should also take a long, hard look at its entire case and move to drop all other charges that aren’t supported by the evidence presented.”

Rather than causing harm, Bradley Manning’s release to WikiLeaks of the Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diaries shone much needed light on those occupations, revealing, amongst other abuses, the routine killing of civilians. The bleak picture painted by these war diaries contrasts greatly with the rosy progress reports being provided to the public by military and political leaders. PFC Manning has said he felt that if the American public had access to this information, this could ‘spark a domestic debate’ on American foreign policy ‘as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan’. Far from being a traitor, Bradley Manning had the best interests of his country in mind. 

The Iraqi people continue to suffer the consequences of this war, even after the withdrawal of foreign troops, with millions of homeless refugees and the resumption of sectarian violence. Meanwhile, eleven and a half years after the U.S invaded Afghanistan, that nation has yet to form a functioning democracy or to free itself from the Taliban and fundamentalist warlords. 

Bradley Manning:  ‘I felt that we were risking so much for people that seemed unwilling to co-operate with us, leading to frustration and anger on both sides. I began to become depressed with the situation that we found ourselves increasingly mired in year after year.’

Bradley Manning was witness to the wrongdoing of the U.S. military.  He says this ‘troubled’ and ‘disturbed’ him. But instead of ‘passing by on the other side’ like so many others, he acted in accordance with international law and with a strong commitment to truth, transparency and democracy. He wrote at the time that he hoped his actions would lead to “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms.” 

Bradley Manning also released information about the men who continue to be wrongly held in indefinite detention at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, Cuba.  Over one hundred of these prisoners have been carrying out a long, indefinite hunger strike, and 45 of them are being force-fed by U.S. soldiers.  This intolerable situation continues to undermine U.S. claims to promote freedom and democracy, compromising the standing of the US in the world and diminishing US moral authority.

Bradley Manning’s courageous action, for which he has three times been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was an inspiration to others, including Edward Snowden, who recently revealed massive U.S. government surveillance in the U.S. and also against European governments and citizens. 

We are concerned that the U.S. administration’s war on whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning is a deterrent to the process of democracy in both the United States and Europe. 

We hereby urge you to end the persecution of Bradley Manning, a young gay man who has been imprisoned for over three years, including ten months in solitary confinement, under conditions that the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez deemed “cruel and abusive.”  Bradley Manning has already suffered too much, and he should be freed as soon as humanly possible.

Signed,

Marisa Matias, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal
Christian Engström, Member of the European Parliament, Sweden
Ana Maria Gomes, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal 

Gabi Zimmer, Member of the European Parliament, Germany 
Paul Murphy,  Member of the European Parliament, Ireland 

Sabine Wils, Member of the European Parliament, Germany

Jacky Henin, Member of the European Parliament, France
Alda Sousa, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal
Martina Anderson, Member of the European Parliament, Ireland
Nikola Vuljanić, Member of the European Parliament, Kroatia
Sabine Lösing, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
Lothar Bisky, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
Helmut Scholz, Member of the European Parliament, Germany 

Willy Meyer, Member of the European Parliament, Spain

Mikael Gustafsson, Member of the European Parliament, Sweden

Marie-Christine Vergiat, Member of the European Parliament, France

Patrick Le Hyaric, Member of the European Parliament, France

His 'Crime' is Patriotism, not Betrayal Like Hale's Philip Nolan, Snowden has Become a 'Man Without a Country'

By  Dave Lindorff

 

In Edward Everett Hale's short story "The Man Without a Country," US Army Lt. Philip Nolan, following a court-martial, is exiled from his country, his citizenship snatched away, leaving him doomed to sail the seven seas confined to a Navy vessel, unable to make any country his home. His crime: being seduced by a treacherous leader to betray the US of A, the country of his birth.

In Obamaland, ‘Rule of Law’ is for the Other Suckers: US (and French) Courts Have Ruled Head-of-State Immunity is Absolute

By Dave Lindorff


It is clear that the entrapment and forced landing in Austria of the official airplane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales was the work of the US, which was obviously behind the decision by France and Portugal to deny air rights to the flight, and which also was obviously behind the Austrian government’s demand to be allowed to search the jet after it landed. After all, those countries have no interest themselves in capturing US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, who is only Obama’s and the NSA’s quarry. 


Servile Euro Leaders Cave Under US Pressure: Bolivia's Morales Dissed and Pissed as Diplomatic Immunity Ignored

By Dave Lindorff


Those of us who have been saying that the US has become a weak, or at least more ordinary power among many in the world because of its military failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and because of its economic decline, will have to recalibrate our analysis after watching the pathetic behavior of the leaders of Russia, Germany and France under pressure from the Obama administration not to allow Edward Snowden to gain asylum in those countries or even to escape his purgatory in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

Public Support Grows for Snowden in Europe: Germany and France Should offer NSA Whistleblower Asylum

By Dave Lindorff


Europeans are pissed off at the US, in the wake of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden’s latest revelation that the US was aggressively spying on its European allies, both at their and the European Union’s embassies in Washington, and in Europe itself, gleaning not information about terrorism, but inside-track knowledge about trade negotiation positions and other areas of disagreement or negotiation.


Parliamentary meeting: No new intervention in Syria


Stop the War bulletin | July 2013 | stopwar.org.uk

1) Parliamentary meeting: No new intervention in Syria
2) National Conference 2012


1) Parliamentary meeting: No new intervention in Syria



Stop the War is supporting a parliamentary briefing to discuss the Syrian crisis and build opposition within Parliament to the further militarization of the conflict that Cameron and his allies propose. The meeting is open to the public - so please come along.
 

Wednesday 3rd July, 7pm
Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House
London SW1A 2LW

Speakers include Peter Hain MP
Chair: Jeremy Corbyn MP


The US, Britain and France are threatening to send arms to the opposition in Syria and are also talking about imposing a no fly zone over much of the country. This escalation of their intervention, which so far has been covert, is the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria by the regime. This allegation comes from CIA intelligence, an unreliable source given its record on the Iraq war.

There is one simple fact which stands out in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya: war to avoid humanitarian disaster has always created greater humanitarian disaster. We are told that the aim is to save lives, but in all these cases the result was a much higher death toll.

Please lobby your MP to encourage them to attend the briefing and to oppose British military intervention in Syria. You can contact your MP directly with our online lobbying tool.


 


2) National Conference 2013

Stop the War Coalition's 2013 National Conference will be held on 14 September 2013 at The Old Cinema, University of Westminster, London. National Conference is the major democratic forum within the Coalition and sets the policy and objectives for the upcoming 18 months. Conference will begin with registration at 9.30am and runs until 5pm.

Conference is open to national members and delegates from affiliated local anti-war groups, trade unions and political campaigns and parties. Affiliated bodies can submit motions for consideration by delegates. This is the main opportunity to help shape the anti-war movement in Britain over the coming months and we strongly encourage everyone who can to attend.

Please reserve the date in your diary. Details of registration cost, eligibility for delegates and deadlines for motions will be posted on the Stop the War website and sent by email soon.
 


Stop the War Coalition | office@stopwar.org.uk | 020 7561 9311

The Protest of Obama in Berlin

Obama's Visit to Berlin - Our Demonstration on June 17th 
By Elsa Rassbach

For the official visit of President Barack Obama to Berlin on June 18th & 19th, ca. 800 people protested against US policies in a lively demonstration through central Berlin. The main banner reads "Against War, Repression and Racism!" The call for the demonstration was by a broad coalition of peace, civil rights, and solidarity movements and takes as its theme the red penalty card, used in many sports, indicating that a player has committed an offense so serious that she or he must immediately leave the game. 

At the climax of the demonstration, the protesters made a human chain encircling the US Embassy, which is next to the Brandenburg Gate where Obama was to speak. Because of the high-security lockdown of central Berlin during Obama's visit on June 18th & 19th, this broad-based, legal demonstration to the US Embassy could only be scheduled prior to his visit. Other demonstrations took place throughout Berlin on June 18th & 19th. 

See also: June 18th RT video of demonstration and an interview with Elsa Rassbach, Code Pink Germany, who spoke about drones at the demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1bnhOIOvPY&feature=youtu.be


 ____________________________________________________________________


YES WE CAN: Show Obama the Red Card

Show US Policy its Borders

For many, Barack Obama's election had inspired hope of positive changes in US foreign and domestic policies: a roll-back of aggressive US imperial aggressions and arms policies, sustainable peace initiatives for the Middle East, initiatives for global disarmament, shutting down Guantánamo, steps toward ending racism in the US penal system and domestic social justice.

Six years later, his administration has fulfilled none of these hopes – on the contrary. Murderous drone attacks have dramatically increased, the so-called "war on terror" has been intensified and, behind its smokescreen, even more democratic rights are dismantled, government expenditures on arms and warfare have skyrocketed, while poverty, desperation, and social decay is spreading in the USA.

 

An alliance of Peace, Civil Rights, Solidarity Movements, and Free Mumia Initiatives is calling for "red-carding" US government policies.

Demonstration and Human Chain in Berlin, June 17, 2013

Begin: 17 o'clock at the Bertolt-Brecht-Platz

End: Pariser Platz in front of the US Embassy

 

Stop the "War on Terror" – Ban Combat Drones

Global military dominance has remained the declared objective of US policy, even under President Obama. US combat drones are murdering and spreading terror in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Under Commander-in-Chief Obama, US troops and secret service agents are active in dozens of countries of the Middle East and Africa, as well as in other regions of the world. The sovereignty of weaker nations, as well as international law and human rights are constantly violated. People are tormented in torture prisons. Guantánamo is but one example of this US government policy.

We call for an end to US drone and special commando liquidation policies; a ban on combat drones; Guantánamo's immediate closure; compensation for the victims and their families.

Expansion of wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, military aggression and threats, interference in the domestic affairs of other nations and even subversion – no end is in sight. 750 foreign US military bases constitute the centers of operations and interventions for current and future wars.

We call for "Bringing all troops home;" Shut all US bases abroad.

The USA is the world champion in armament. With an arms budget of $682 billion, the Obama administration has the USA accounting for nearly 40 percent of the entire world's arms expenditures. The USA and Russia account for 95 percent of the world's approx. 19,000 nuclear weapons. Though both countries are reducing the quantity of their nuclear warheads, the USA is modernizing its nuclear arsenal and installing missile defense shields.

We call for a world without nuclear weapons and missile defense shields. The US nuclear weapons based in Büchel, Germany must be removed.

 

Defend Democracy and Civil Rights – Dismantle the Racist Penal System!

Democratic and human rights are under constant threat in the USA. Surveillance technology is used to intensify repressive controls and destroy democracy. The security state is being expanded. The militarization of the police and domestic deployment of the military are increasing. The US accounts for twenty-five percent of all the prisoners on the planet (while representing merely five percent of the world's population.) Private prison companies are making lucrative profits from these prisoners. The USA is one of the few industrialized nations still applying the death penalty. Since 1977 more than 1300 death sentences have been carried out.

We are calling for safeguarding democratic and human rights; putting an end to the racist and political penal system as well as the death penalty; Freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Cuban 5 and all other US political prisoners!

Bradley Manning, a 25-year old US soldier, exposed war crimes, torture, corruption and secret service intrigues of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to the public. Those responsible for these crimes are handled with impunity, while Bradley Manning is persecuted. For more than three years, he has been in pre-trial confinement, suffering at times under inhumane prison conditions. He is charged among other things, with espionage and aiding the enemy.

We call for Freedom for Bradley Manning. Those who are responsible for, who committed, and covered up the war crimes belong in prison, not Bradley Manning. Bradley Manning deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his courage.


Solidarity with Latin America – End US interference

Progressive governments have come to power in many Latin American countries. This has brought about a change in the relations between the Latin American countries and in their relationship to the industrialized countries of the northern hemisphere. Regional integration projects are providing alternatives to the discriminatory North-South relations. US policy, using intelligence services and exerting direct influence, is attempting to protect the interests of the international raw materials conglomerates and torpedo Latin American governments' policies.

We call for a halt to US interference in the democratic developments of Latin America and an immediate end to the blockade of Cuba.


The German government must engage itself – in favor of a peaceful foreign and security policy

German foreign and security policy is multifariously implicated (predominantly within a NATO framework) in US policies of arms buildups, military interventions and the imposition of economic and natural resources interests on southern hemisphere nations. This is why it also seeks to procure combat drones. US drones in African air space are piloted from US bases in Germany (AFRICOM in Stuttgart and Ramstein). The German government appears to be quietly tolerating this, making itself complicit in this internationally illegal aggression.

We call for: No combat drones for the German military; no use of German territory for the illegal US drone missions; end all foreign interventions of the Bundeswehr. The German government must orient its foreign policy strictly on a non-violent peace policy. Germany must make an active contribution toward creating the conditions for a just and equitable development process in the countries of the southern hemisphere.

Berlin, May 31, 2013

Occupy Gezi Through Eyes of OWS

BY CARL GIBSON
http://www.occupy.com/article/occupy-gezi-through-eyes-occupy-wall-street-organizer  
 
[]

As the Occupy Gezi movement picks up steam In Turkey, mothers of protesters have formed a human chain around the protests blocking police from attacking their sons and daughters. Justin Wedes, one of the earliest organizers and participants of Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park, was in Istanbul last week taking part in the protests. Justin is an administrator of the @OccupyWallStNYC twitter account and was one of the first activists arrested by the NYPD at the Liberty Square occupation in 2011. I spoke with him about his experience in Istanbul.

CARL GIBSON: So what was the scene when you got off the plane and left the airport? Describe what you saw when you made it to the square.

JUSTIN WEDES: When I got to downtown Istanbul, the police were retreating from Gezi Park. They had been attacking the protesters for 2 or 3 days with tear gas and water cannons, but the protesters held fast. As police were leaving, the park and the square were being flooded with more people. The park itself was very festive and joyous after the police left. It was hard to tell who was partying and who was protesting. It was a beautiful, autonomous zone.

[]

CG: I’ve heard some people say that this is more similar to Tahrir Square than it is to Zuccotti Park. Having been one of the original members of Occupy Wall Street from day one, what’s your response to that?

The Piano Man and Love in Gezi Park

By PopularResistance

“If Music be the Food of Love…”

Piano concert in Taksim. Via @sinanchakmak

Piano concert in Taksim. Via @sinanchakmak

Istanbul, June 14, 1201 hrs.

Dear people,

Every revolution needs its heroes. Ours is called Davide. He is the pianoman.

Yesterday and tonight he has been playing in Taksim for twelve hours straight, until ten o’ clock in the morning. When the rain started, people held a canvas over him and his piano, and he continued to play. ‘Imagine’, ‘Let it be’, ‘We are the World’, ‘Bella Ciao’, etc. etc. Fifty meters away there was a row of police buses and water cannons ready for the final attack. On the other side, candles were burning in honour of the people who died in the protest.

Protest Saturday: Stop Western Intervention in Syria


Stop the War bulletin | June 2013 | stopwar.org.uk

1) Protest Saturday: Stop Western Intervention in Syria
2) Public meeting: Woolwich and the War on Terror
3) Together Against War


1) Protest Saturday: Stop Western Intervention in Syria
 

US Embassy Grosvenor Square London W1A 2LQ
Saturday 15 June 2013 1pm


This week senior US administration figures are discussing a big escalation in the supply of weapons to the Syrian opposition - a policy that has been pushed by Britain and France for months now.

Washington is even considering the possibility of no fly zones - the prelude to the horrific bombing campaign carried about by Britain and France in Libya.

The West's real concern is not a peaceful resolution but that the balance of power is shifting in Assad's favour.

Outside intervention in the civil war is already fracturing states in the region along sectarian lines.

If the West pumps more weapons in to Syria it can only increase the level of killing. It will ratchet up the tension making the prospect of meaningful negotiations ever more remote and threatens to spread war across the region.

Stop the War has organised a protest outside the US embassy at 1pm this Saturday June 15. Please make sure you attend and spread the word.

Take action

  • Join our protest at the US Embassy on 15th June. We are the majority but they will only listen to us if we mobilise!
  • Share the event with your Facebook contacts.

Read more on Syria

Others events


2) Public meeting: Woolwich and the War on Terror

Conway Hall
7pm Thursday June 26


The terrible attack in Woolwich confirmed what the anti-war movement has warned of from the start: that the devastation caused by the war on terror will come back to haunt us. The reality of our foreign wars - drone attacks, night raids, indefinite detention and abuse of prisoners - causes  bitterness across whole regions of the world. Campaigning against the wars is central to stopping a racist backlash.

With

People of UK Say No to Attacking Syria


Stop the War bulletin | June 2013 no.5 | stopwar.org.uk

1) Protest: Stop Western Intervention in Syria
2) Together Against War


1) Protest: Stop Western Intervention in Syria
 

US Embassy Grosvenor Square London W1A 2LQ
Saturday 15 June 2013 1pm


A poll in the Observer on Sunday
showed that majority opinion in Britain is against any kind of military intervention in Syria. Only 24% of the UK public is in favour of sending arms to Syria. It also showed that 72% believe after the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan, Britain should give up its addiction to  foreign military intervention.

The poll shows ordinary people displaying a level of good sense sorely lacking in Western government circles.

The British and French governments are pushing to increase the arming of the Syrian opposition by ending the arms embargo. The White House has said in the past few days that its top priority in Syria is to impose regime change. All this is likely to harden the opposition against negotiations, and to prolong and spread a war which is already destabilising Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

The West's concern is not democracy but control of the wider region. They are risking a conflagration. Stop the War has called a protest at the US embassy in London as the G8 leaders gather in Northern Ireland.

Jeremy Corbyn MP and Stop the War officers delivering the Syria statement to Number 10.

Take action

  • Join our protest at the US Embassy on 15th June. We are the majority but they will only listen to us if we mobilise!
  • Share the event with your Facebook contacts.

Read more on Syria:


2) Together Against War



For over a decade Stop the War has mobilised millions against war. The movement has relied on the participation of those who marched, attended meetings and pressured the government to end their wars. Stop the War has maintained its ability to play a leading role in demanding an end to the War on Terror because of the mass membership and affiliation of the broad movement.

To increase our power to stop war we must stand together against war.

Join Stop the War today to ensure a revitalised movement that is ready to stop new interventions in Syria, Iran and beyond.

Your membership of Stop the War will allow you to have your say about our work alongside a coalition of anti-war organizations, and your monthly or yearly membership fee will help us maintain and grow our vital campaigns work.
 


Monthly contributions by members of Stop the War have allowed us to

  • maintain an office to support the campaigns work of a network of local anti-war groups across the UK and respond to changing events by providing speakers for the media and public meetings
  • hold an an anti-war conference in February that brought together 1000 activists to assess the War on Terror 10 years after the invasion of Iraq and decide the future role of the movement in preventing new military interventions
  • launch a national campaign against UAVs, or drones, after it was announced that Britain's drones in Afghanistan are controlled at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.
  • produce a popular anti-war web site www.stopwar.org.uk with the best content from a wide range of journalists and anti-war activists.


You can join online or by telephone on 020 7561 9311

Stop the War Coalition | office@stopwar.org.uk | 020 7561 9311

Teargas in ResIstanbul

Solidarity Statement with the People of Turkey from WRL's Facing Tear Gas Campaign

Over the past several days, Turkey has seen some of its largest mass mobilizations in years. Protesters are pouring into Taksim Square, Gezi Park, and other public spaces throughout the country in the thousands to reject neoliberalism and government-backed urban gentrification. As they brave vomit-inducing tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, and live ammunition, it is clear that the people of Turkey are demanding much more than simply the conservation of Istanbul’s precious remaining green space. Rather, what we are witnessing in Turkey is a broad movement of people from various classes, ages, religious sects, and political backgrounds calling for real democracy. It is also imperative to contextualize this recent uprising as a continuation of many struggles that Turkish citizens have undertaken for years around economic justice, rights of minorities (including the Kurdish people), and resistance to mandatory military service.

Since 2010, the uprisings in the Arab world catalyzed a chain reaction of revolutionary change across the globe that shook dictatorships and repressive governments at their core. Turkey is no exception to this, and as members of the Facing Tear Gas Campaign, we are moved and inspired by this growing new movement.

However, we have also borne witness to immense amounts of military and police attacks on nonviolent protestors, including the use of tear gas and related chemical weapons as tools of war on protest, free speech, and democratic movements. In Istanbul, there is evidence of tear gas coming from at least two U.S. companies— Defense Technology (Casper, WY) and Nonlethal Technologies (Homer, PA)— and one Brazilian company, Condor Non-Lethal Technologies (Rio de Janeiro). Together, these companies manufacture the tear gas used to hurt people and repress popular movements in Egypt, Bahrain, Palestine, the United States, Greece, Canada, and now Turkey. Additionally, there are reports of Turkish law enforcement directly shooting civilians with tear gas canisters, which can cause injury or death.

If you are in Turkey (or know people who are), please contribute your experience toward our collective effort to end the use of tear gas. Please save and photograph any gas canisters or incidents of their use, and let our campaign know. This is the best way to expose the companies providing chemical weapons to the Turkish military and police. Share your story on our Facing Tear Gas Tumblr, follow us on Twitter @resistwar, tweet using the hashtags #teargas or #chemicalgas, or email us at facingteargas@warresisters.org. For more information about the companies involved, the movements who face their tear gas, and our campaign, visit facingteargas.org

The Facing Tear Gas Campaign salutes the peoples of Turkey and the world in solidarity with this growing movement. As the protests grow across various cities across Turkey, including at the capital Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Diyarbakir and beyond, the slogan “Taksim is everywhere, resistance is everywhere” resonates across the globe. Indeed, Taksim reminds us that another world is on its way, one free of weapons, militarism, and state violence, and toward a truly dignified freedom.

Nobel Women’s Initiative Conference: Women Mobilizing for Peace in Conflict

By Ann Wright

I am honored to be attending the Nobel Women’s Initiative, “Moving Beyond Militarism and War,” May 28-30, 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Six women Nobel Peace Laureates and 80 women from around the world are gathering to discuss the weighty and seeming insolvable problem of getting past the militarism of our world and the financial need of politicians and corporations to wage war.  Nobel Peace Laureates Mairead Maguire, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Leyamh Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman will attend the conference, as well as women activists from war conflict regions.

The Reason for Hunger Strikes-from Northern Ireland to Guantanamo

By Ann Wright

I'm in Northern Ireland and yesterday on May 20, 2013, I spoke with several members of the Northern Ireland Parliament. With over 100 prisoners in Guantanamo on a 100 day hunger strike, the Obama administration would be wise to talk to some of them too--about the importance and legacy of hungerstrikes.

In 1981, Pat Sheehan was one of the Maze Prison hunger strikers-a hunger strike that brought huge international attention to the Northern Ireland "Troubles," with the goal of forcing the British government to treat those imprisoned as political prisoners, not criminals. Hunger strikers demanded the right to wear civilian clothes, the right to education and recreational opportunities, freedom from work obligations, and a set of other benefits not afforded to other inmates.Pat was on the hunger strike for 55 days and still alive when the hunger strike was called off by the prisoners.

 Bobby Sands became the most famous of the 10 who died during the hunger strikes when he was elected to Parliament while on the hunger strike-Francis Hughes, Raymond McLeish, Patsy O'Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McElwee, Michael Devine also died.

After one prisoner died from his lung punctured from a feeding tube through the throat, the British ended force feeding those on hunger strikes.  The British government eventually granted most of the hunger strikers’ demands.  Public opinion changed dramatically in favor of those imprisoned and on the hunger strike.

Now Pat Sheehan is a member of the Northern Ireland Parliament. The Good Friday Peace Accord brokered by the Clinton administration brought to a close, a violent chapter in British and Northern Ireland relationships.  The Peace Accord allowed former political prisoners to become part of the political process.

One never knows the future of those who have been imprisoned for political crimes--after peace talks, many may become political leaders, like Gerry Adams and Pat Sheehan.  No one can predict the future paths of those in Guantanamo, but one can be assured that the continued imprisonment of those cleared for release from Guantanamo is disastrous for the individual and for the United States.

President Obama would be wise to call former hunger striker and now Northern Ireland Parliamentarian Pat Sheehan!

About the Author:  Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel.  She also worked as a US diplomat for 16 years and served in US Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.  She resigned from the US government in 2003 in opposition to President Bush’s war on Iraq.  In 2006, she was on a delegation to Guantanamo, Cuba to challenge the US prison at Guantanamo.

Anti-Drone Protest in the German Parliament

Three women and one man from the Berlin Peace Coordination intervened yesterday during the parliamentary debate in Berlin regarding possible German acquisition of weaponized drones. The anti-drone activists, who are co-founders of the campaign "No Combat Drones!," sought to call attention the gravity of the upcoming decision by the German government, either for or against weaponized drones, in light of the growing international struggle to ban such weapons.

In solidarity with actions of U.S. peace organizations such as Code Pink, the German activists raised their hands -- which were painted blood-red -- and called out "Ban Combat Drones, sir!" when the speaker of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) came to the microphone. The Berlin activists were aware that they were violating regulations of the German Parliament. Their personal information was taken, and they were told that charges would be brought against them.

Strong Antiwar-Protest @ Berlin University Against German Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière

http://cooptv.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/massive-antiwar-protest-berlin-university/

Massive Antiwar-Protest @ Berlin University on Wed, April 10

Students shouting down German Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière

German Defence Minister wanted to speak at Berlin’s Humboldt University on the role of the Bundeswehr
But students did not let him speak at all. The CDU politician finally gave up.

Dozens of students on Wednesday prevented  an a speech at the Humboldt University in Berlin by Germanys Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière. The CDU politician wanted to give a lecture on “Army of Unity – The contribution of the Bundeswehr to social cohesion”.

But right from the beginning was the minister was greeted by about 300 students with rhythmic clapping and chanting as “Thomas, we love you” and was prevented from speaking. After some time, however the protesters shouted exclusively slogans like “Never again Germany”, “Germany sucks” and “No more war”. Several groups had mobilized in recent days over the Internet to protest against the event.

De Maizière then tried to come up with the students this week, writing on a computer, “Who’s afraid to hear an argument” It remained just as unsuccessful as the request of University President Jan-Hendrik Olbertz.

After about half an hour the defense minister left the university

Upon leaving de Maizière told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa): “I think it is not a sign of strength, to avoid such a discussion It’s of no use.”. Nevertheless, he would continue to occur at universities. “I do it gladly. Berlin is not everywhere.”

Icelandic leader supporting Bradley Manning in the U.S.

Hundreds gathered in Judson Memorial Church in New York City to hear Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, who worked with WikiLeaks to produce the 'Collateral Murder' video in 2010, discuss the trial and persecution of Army private Bradley Manning. Manning passed the video, which shows U.S. Apache gunners shooting unarmed journalists and civilians in Iraq, to WikiLeaks in 2010 hoping to expose criminal activity and to make Americans more aware of their government’s abuses abroad.
 
Jonsdottir joined a panel, along with FireDogLake’s Kevin Gosztola, independent journalist Alexa O’Brien, and media critic Peter Hart, for a discussion moderated by Sam Seder. They recounted Manning’s legal proceedings and his detention exceeding 1,000 days without trial, including nearly a year of solitary confinement and several mornings of forced nudity -- conditions the U.N. torture chief called "cruel, degrading, and inhuman."
 
In attendance were musicians Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground and Laurie Anderson, documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney, investigative journalist Greg Palast, and about 300 others.
 
Before the panel discussion, attendees viewed the Collateral Murder video, Laura Poitras’s short documentary about the video and Manning’s description of it, and they viewed and purchased photo stills from the video. They also bid on artist Molly Crabapple’s portraits of Bradley Manning. Proceeds went to the Bradley Manning Defense Fund, which covers 100% of Manning’s legal costs and is funded by grassroots donations around the world.
 
Bradley Manning recently took responsibility for releasing hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks as an act of conscience, in a guilty plea of 10 lesser offenses which would amount to up to 20 years in prison. However, the government is pursuing all 22 of its original counts against Manning, including “aiding the enemy,” which would carry a life sentence without parole. Manning’s trial is scheduled to start June 3, 2013, at Fort Meade, Maryland. He returns to court this week for a pretrial hearing, from April 10-12.
 
View the recorded panel discussion here, along with more information about the event and the Collateral Murder video itself: http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/pentagon-papers-whistleblower-daniel-ellsberg-invites-you-to-a-bradley-manning-event

Germany Sees Rise of Campaign Against Combat Drones

By Elsa Rassbach

Leading national and local peace and justice organizations in Germany have launched a major campaign to oppose the German government's recently revealed plan to acquire combat drones (weaponized drones).

The organizations met together in Hannover earlier this month to begin the joint campaign. As a first step, they drafted an appeal—"No Combat Drones"—which was made public this past Sunday. Close to one hundred German organizations and hundreds of individuals have already endorsed the Appeal, signaling a very strong interest in this issue.

The Appeal will be circulated throughout Germany during the annual Easter weekend peace marches.  The German activists plan to continue the campaign until the German government and military agree to abandon the plan to make use of combat drones.

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