Sunday, December 25, 2005

NCNR's Next Action

I am writing today in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Who spoke these words in 1967:

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

I am an organizer with the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance (one of the primary organizers of the 9/26 action at the White House), and as mentioned on your recent conference call we are organizing visits, and many sit-ins at local congressional offices following MLK Day. Many affinity groups may choose to remember Dr. King by electing to do a sit-in should their representative be very resistant to changing course on this illegal and immoral war and occupation.

We are asking groups to request that their representatives support Rep. Jim McGovern's (D-MA) bill to stop funding for the war and occupation. And that their sentaros introduce similar legislation. We feel that doing a nonviolent action in the quest for peace is an excellent way to pay tribute to Dr. King, whose famous anti-war speech at Riverside Church in NYC happened exactly one year before his assassination.

Below is a link to Dr. King's anti-war speech, something some brothers and sisters may choose to recite should they participate in a sit-in.

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/MLKapr67.html

In peace and solidarity,
Pete

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Police State in Philadelphia

Below is a recent post on a Philly-based blog. I find this scene truly sad, but all too common. Meanwhile in the national news the National Security Agency has been exposed on spying on its own citizens and keeping extensive files on more than 100 peace groups. What has happened to liberty in America?

Monday, December 12, 2005
Philly Peace Protest Turns Violent as Police Lose Their Cool (again)
When George Bush's motorcade rolled into Center City Philadelphia today the President was greeted with a loud and sustained chorus of boos and whistles from the crowd of protesters that assembled outside the president's hotel. Bush was in town to deliver a speech about the latest in Iraq. (transcripts of Bush's speech) This was the 3rd in a series of four events staged by the White House to respond to critcs of Bush's Iraq policy. Later across town, Pennslyvania Congressman John Murtha, the hawkish democrat and war veteran whose recent challenge to end the war effectively reframed the Iraq debate, responded to the president's latest Iraq assessment charging that the continued US presence in Iraq undermines any political progress. "The Iraqis are not against democracy!" Murtha said, "they are against our occupation."

It was towards the end of today's protest that things turned decidedly nasty as police charged the crowd, clubs in hand, wrestling a number of protesters to the ground. What had been a peaceful and pleasent demonstration quickly disovled into mayham and confusion as Philly's finest essentially turned "attack dog" on the crowd. It was not immediately clear what kind of threat the cops perceived when they began their assult on the crowd, but they arrested two (black) men who had joined today's rally with their family. Just a few minutes before the altercation, I actually spoke to the two men involved. When they were initailly approched by the plain-clothed policeman none of us had any idea that this guy was a cop. He seemed like a goon to me, out to cause trouble. While the plain-clothes policeman was wrestling one of the men to the ground, his shirt was raised, exposing his badge and gun. Almost immediately, a half dozen more cops (all in uniform) descended on the scene. I believe their aggressive response just made things worse, basically scaring the shit out of everyone at the scene. All the while the crowd chanted out "the world is watching!!" and "SHAME!!" I should note that the fracas was also witnesses by the young sons and the grandmother of the victims who looked on in horror while police brought all the force they had to bear on the two men. No one had any idea at the time what could have possibly provoked the police to act out on the crowd like that.

Local media later reported that police had concerns that one of the men involved was carrying a dangerous object, which turned out to actually be a glass of hot cider. Harmless enough, if you ask me, afterall it was freezing outside. I also later learned from a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter that one of the men involved was taken to the hospital and released. The other is in lockup at the 9th Police District, charged with assult on a police officer. Bitterly ironic.

While I am tempted to vent my frustration at what i saw towards the police, that would be too simplistic of a target. I think what i witnessed today is a byproduct of the politics of fear, a fear that is so prevelant in this country nowadays, as methodically employed and cafefully cultivated by the Bush Administration. In this post-9/11 world, the government seems to have masterfully exploited our sense of fear by inundating us with scarey, color-coded, mostly abstract messages that eat away at our peace of mind. Has it gotten to the point where everyone in the country is so "on edge" that a simple thermos of cider can set the cops into an asswhippin' frenzy?? After what I witnessed today, my answer is an emphatic YES.

Photo credits to Bob Herbert and the Deleware NewsJournal.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

9/26 Defendants day in court

It was a remarkable day in federal court. The 9/26 defendants showed great courage and solidarity. Although, I paid my fine I wanted to go and give support.

A friend of mine reported earlier this evening that the defendants were still at the offices of John Norris,
Cindy Sheehan's attorney. NLG attorney Mark Goldstone is serving as attorney advisor for the defendants pro
se. The prosecution tried to screw the defendants by splitting them up their trials, and thus depriving
them of the defense they had already planned for. The judge first seemed to agree to this, but then
flip-flopped. The trial will continue tomorrow morning around 10AM at the Federal Courthouse at 3rd and
Constitution.

Mark Goldstone is our attorney in regards to the 2/8/05 protest I was arrested for at the lower steps of the Supreme Court. We are appealing the initial guilty verdict.

From today, here is the most recent AP story:

Sheehan to Return to Court for Second Day

By ELIZABETH WHITE
The Associated Press


WASHINGTON - War protester Cindy Sheehan and several others return to court Thursday for the second day of trials on misdemeanor charges of demonstrating without a permit outside the White House.

The protesters, who are being tried separately in one proceeding, took turns questioning police and arguing their cases Wednesday afternoon in front of U.S. Magistrate Alan Kay.

Charges against at least nine were dismissed, leaving about 30 protesters facing possible fines but no jail time if found guilty by Kay. The maximum fine each faces is $500.

Before the trial began, Sheehan announced plans to return to Texas next week to resume her anti-war protest near President Bush's Texas ranch, despite new county ordinances banning roadside camping.

Sheehan, who is expected to testify before Kay Thursday, was arrested with about 300 other anti-war activists Sept. 26 as they wrapped up a weekend of protests in Washington. It was the city's largest anti-war demonstration since the Vietnam War.


"If we stick together as an American people we can bring down the war criminals that are running our country right now," Sheehan told reporters at the end of the first day of the trial.

Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son Casey, a soldier, was killed in Iraq last year, and a dozen supporters are prepared to be arrested when they return to their makeshift campsite along the road leading to Bush's ranch, where he is expected to spend the holiday.

In August, Sheehan spent 26 days camped near Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch, where he was spending a working vacation.

A month later, McLennan County, Texas, commissioners approved new ordinances prohibiting parking on parts of 14 roads near the ranch - roughly a 5-mile radius - and banning camping in any county ditch. The laws also ban portable toilets in ditches.

---

Monday, October 17, 2005

NCNR readies for next action

After the September peace march and subsequent mass nonviolent civil resistance action at the White House, I can’t help but feel the tide of dissent and public opposition to our nation’s current road to imperialism rise. It now seems as if Katrina has finally exposed our government’s unjust priorities.

Within days America is expected to witness its two-thousandth death from combat operations in Iraq. Popularity for this war and occupation has slumped to an all-time low. A recent CBS poll reports 59 percent of Americans favor a withdrawal from Iraq as soon as possible.

And yet the American government stubbornly continues to fund an illegal and immoral occupation of a nation that never posed a credible threat to us. Meanwhile military recruiters routinely lie and manipulate the youth of our nation to sign up for a war of empire, possibly leaving them mentally or physically – or both -- scarred for life.

On November 17th and 18th, students, parents and peace activists will unite to tell our nation we want the war in Iraq to end and for military recruiters to vacate our schools and universities. The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition and the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance are organizing these two days of dissent and resistance.

Along with Clergy and Laity Concerned about Iraq, the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance, was the primary organizer behind United for Peace and Justice’s sponsored nonviolent direct action at the White House on September 26. During this historical action, 374 peaceful protestors were arrested as they requested a meeting with President Bush and hanged names and photos of those killed in this horrible conflict on the White House fence. Among those arrested were Cindy Sheehan, Dr. Cornel West, former diplomat Anne Wright and several religious leaders. The National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance was launched this year and has its roots in the Iraq Pledge of Resistance, which dates back to early 2003.

The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition is a nationwide peace network organized and lead by more than 20 student and youth organizations dedicated to the pursuit of peace. Founded in 2001, the coalition has more recently focused its attention on resisting the presence of military recruiters in their schools and on their campuses.
In recent months, all branches of the military, with the exception of the Marines have reported significant declines in their recruitment efforts. The inability of military recruiters to reach their stated quotas provides the peace movement with a unique opportunity to capitalize on the momentum gained from the anti-war September anti-war mobilization in Washington.
According to reports this month, the Marine Corps achieved 102% of its goal for enlistments in the reserves and 100% of its goal for active-duty enlistments, according to figures released by the Defense Department. However, the Army's figures were 84% for the Army Reserve, 80% for the National Guard, and 92% for its active-duty force. As the nation's largest service, the Army needs to attract a larger number of recruits than the Marine Corps, the Navy or the Air Force.
Desperate for new recruits, Army officials said they were lowering from 67% to 60% the Army's goal for signing recruits who scored in the top half on its aptitude test. The Marines goal, however, remain unchanged.
The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition is officially calling for demonstrations and rallies at schools or community military recruiting stations across the country. They are declaring November 17th “Not Your Soldier Day.” Organizers are suggesting offering alternative recruitment fairs, demanding meetings with school administrators to discuss counter-recruitment demands, as well as other creative forms of protest.
On Friday, November 18th, The National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance, working with students, concerned parents and community activists throughout the country will be promoting and assisting, as much as possible, demonstrations involving nonviolent civil resistance and civil disobedience at military recruiting stations throughout the country. The day is being dubbed “National Stand Down Day.”

This nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience will be done in a loving manner and in a way as to present a moral challenge to military recruiters. Those who actively participate will accept the risk of arrest and realize they may be breaking a law. We understand, as Mahatma Gandhi once said: ”There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.”

NCNR will provide coordination and support as possible, for all manner of protests and demonstrations at recruiting centers. The campaign also recognizes and offers support to soldiers who take great risks to refuse fighting in this unjust war. Leaders of this campaign, including Gordon Clark, coordinator of the Iraq Pledge of Resistance and Stephen Cleghorn with Military Families Speak Out, said it is protestors’ “moral responsibility” to share that risk to the extent that they can, by preventing even more young Americans from being placed in such jeopardy.

Both NCNR and the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition will both be highlighting Section 9528 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2001, commonly known as the “No Child Left Behind Act.” This clause is coming under attack by local school boards, because it is putting America’s children at risk by requiring high schools to give military recruiters private contact information of its students.

Numerous articles have confirmed the transgressions by military recruiters across the country: concealing recruits' mental-health histories and police records; giving the military aptitude test without parental consent; enlisting recruits with criminal records and encouraging recruits to falsify drug use, as well as other manipulative and deceptive tactics.

The time is now for the peace movement to continue and intensify its resistance to the militarism of its youth. If you plan to organize an event in your school or neighborhood, please contact the organizers at http://www.nyspc.net/notyoursoldier.php and http://www.iraqpledge.org.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Arrested on 9/26


Sorry for the late posting on this historic event.

Three weeks ago, I was detained on a Metro bus with my dear friends Malachy, David Barrows, Midge Potts and D.C.-based Catholic Worker Art Laffin. We had been arrested for protesting in front of the White House and refusing to leave. We were protesting against the illegal and immoral war and occupation of a soveriegn nation which never posed a credible threat to our nation.

This action had been planned largely through conference calls hosted by United for Peace and Justice's (UFPJ) nonviolent direct action working group. The two groups who probably had the biggest hand in designing this momentous act of nonviolent resistance was The National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance (formerly known as the Iraq Pledge of Resistance) and Clergy and Laity Concerned about Iraq (CALC-I).

Participation in the event turned out to be larger than many of us imagined. The first one arrested was Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war movement's first true superstar. Most news articles written about the event lead with Cindy's arrest and barely mention the other 373 of us.

Speaking in Lafayette Square briefly before the action were Gordon Clark of National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance, Rabbi Arthur Waskow from Philadelphia and an Imam from New York City. The speakers had to stand on a wobbly milk crate. My friend from both NCNR and the D.C. Anti-War Network (DAWN), Pat Elder, and I struggled to support both the rabbi and imam. And as they took turns, the imam helped supprt the rabbi and then the rabbi assisted us in holding the imam steady. It was a physical -- expression of love and unity that buttressed the words in their brief but poignant speeches. I shed tears during this moment. I knew this was a powerful action, one that could lead to a wider movement of resistance and non-cooperation as we struggle to end this evil war and occupation of raw imperialism.

I marched with the group from The Ellipse to Lafayette Square, one group headed up 17th Street, while the other group of us headed up 15th. This gave a brief sense of encircling the White House. Wonderful photographs were taken of this procession, and it was a solemn event, bells were steadily rung, and buddhist monks tapped drums in unison. I saw my New York Friends, Jenna from 1,000 Coffins and Ai Mara with Not In Our Name. This was to be Ai Mara's first time being arrested. It was good to see Jenna who has played a big role in earlier marches and protest events. I also was able to briefly meet Rev. Simon Harak a Lebanese-American Jesuit, also from New York, face to face for the first time. He is a very thoughtful and dedicated practitioner of nonviolence, and someone I see eye to eye with on how we would like to see the movement progress. The Rev. and I had exchanged e-mail and had a phone conversation before, but it was nice to put a face to that voice.

What was most powerful about the event was that we all decided that our opposition to the war was great enough to submit to arrest and detention, although extremely brief. Before stepping into the arrest zone, I met up with my small affinity group who had decided to make the connection of this war to our own government's use of torture in Abu Gharib and Guantanamo Bay. We donned Orange jumpsuits and black hoods. I was a bit fearful of doing this, I wondered if my compatriots in NCNR would see this as "too radical" or "too angry and unforgiving." Would they dismiss this as more DAWN extremism? But I felt it had to be done, that the people should be reminded of all the pain and shame involved with our nation's evil practices of imperialism and dehumanization of other peoples. But my fear was unnecessary, we were not criticized, and while we were waiting to be taken into custody and processed, others came up to us and thanked us, over and over again.

At one point, we stood on the base of the White House fence, many said we provided a "good witness" to our nation's human rights abuses and provided a very sobering effect to the action. While we stood on the fence's base, a man jumped the fence and was immediately and very violently tackled by 8 or 9 secret service agents. Then were were told by the Park Police to step off the base. We reluctantly did, but after a couple minutes the four of us decided that we would resume our perch and tell them we were not going to make the same leap. We were then roughly snatched off the base and violently stumbled on to the cement. We laid there huddled together for a few seconds, and the crowd become very quiet. We then sat together and decided to be among the very last taken away by the police. We also decided, along with another group mostly from upstate New York that we would not cooperate with getting on the bus and would go limp. We were in this together, and it was an empowering feeling.

It was also empowering to see religious leaders and the extremely brilliant teacher and gifted orator Dr. Cornel West arrested with us. We were held until around 4:30 a.m., and overall were treated well by the Park Police. Many people talked about organizing similar actions intheir home states. Done Mueller was there from Alaska. Others were from California and Arizona. Mubarak Awad, a palestian man and founder of Nonviolence International was with us. A couple decades ago he was exiled by the Israeli government. It was exciting, it really felt like a true nonviolent resistance movement was being born.

So, I wait and wonder what will happen next in this movement? It is being written about in newspapers, online magazines, personal blogs. The word is spreading, it's mroe than just Cindy Sheehan getting arrested in front of the White House. It was in many ways a popular nonviolent action. Can we fill up the jails and disrupt the judicial system? Can we nonviolently shutdown recruiting stations, military bases, cities? What can we do to disrupt the business as usual standard of modern-day warmaking? I have faith that the masses are waking up to the lies which have been sold to them and questioning authority. They are sick of the killing and seeing young men and women coming home wounded and mentally scared for life.

I believe it is time to build the nonviolent resistance and noncooperation movement. We now have the momentum, let's keep it going!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Reuters' article on The Post withdrawing from right-wing march and concert

This event is scheduled for two weeks before Operation Ceasefire. Clearly it looks like The Washington Post is finally beginning to come to its senses. But there's a long road to travel to reclaim the credibility it had during the Watergate era... This event is disgusting and Clint Black should be ashamed. I am sure the 9/11 families will speak out very soon.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Washington Post dropped its sponsorship on Monday of a walk organized by the Pentagon to remember victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks and to support U.S. troops, saying it was possible the event would become "politicized."

The newspaper's news employees' union had urged the newspaper to reconsider co-sponsoring the Defense Department's "Freedom Walk," which it said was a political event.

Critics of the war in Iraq gathering for demonstrations in Washington beginning on September 24 also had criticized media outlets for co-sponsoring the Pentagon event. The Washington Post was one of several local media organizations that had signed on to promote the walk.

"As it appears that this event could become politicized, The Post has decided to honor the Washington-area victims of 9/11 by making a contribution directly to the Pentagon Memorial Fund," Eric Grant, a Post spokesman, said in the newspaper's Tuesday edition. "It is The Post's practice to avoid activities that might lead readers to question the objectivity of The Post's news coverage."

The Post article said the newspaper had notified the Department of Defense that it would no longer donate public service advertising space to promote the Pentagon walk.

The Post spokesman was not immediately available for further comment.

Leaders of the newspaper's unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild Local 32035 delivered a resolution to publisher Bo Jones' office stating its concerns over linking the paper to the Pentagon event, unit co-chairman Rick Weiss said.

"The statement urged Post management to reconsider the decision co-sponsoring this event in the interest of maintaining the paper's reputation for neutrality on polarizing issues of public policy," Weiss said.

According to excerpts published on the Editor and Publisher Web site, the resolution said: "Post news employees are subject to disciplinary action for participating in political activities that may be perceived as revelatory of personal opinions or bias. The Washington Post itself should be held to the same high standard."

The resolution said the prominent participation of country music star Clint Black belies arguments that the walk was not a political activity in support of the war in Iraq.

Black is headlining a concert outside the Pentagon after the walk. The guild unit's resolution said Black was "best known of late for his war-glorifying song 'Iraq and I Roll.' "

Friday, August 12, 2005

Operation Ceasefire in the news

You can go to Google and type in "'Operation Ceasefire' concert" and get a bunch of stories. Here is our press release:

Free Music Festival in Opposition to Iraq War
Diverse Musicians Discuss ‘Operation Ceasefire’
Concert and Rally showpiece of 4 days of massive action against the war

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today organizers of Operation Ceasefire, a new coalition of concerned musicians, held a press conference to announce a day long music festival and rally calling for an end to the Iraq War. The massive free anti-war concert/rally will be held at the Washington Monument on September 24th and will be a showpiece of what is expected to be 4 days of enormous protests in the nation’s capital in support of a full withdrawal of U.S. forces from the quagmire in Iraq.

The concert will bring together artists from several different genres, including: International Recording Stars Thievery Corporation, Punk-rock bands LeTigre, Bouncing Souls, Country music recording artist Steve Earle, independent artists Ted Leo + The Pharmacists, Wayne Kramer of the MC5 with the Bellrays, Socially conscious Hip-Hop groups like The Coup and Head-Roc, Latin rock group Machtres along with host Jello Biafra. Additional artists are likely to be added to the lineup which is scheduled to feature over 10 hours of live music.

At the press conference musicians joined with anti-war organizers from United for Peace and Justice to make the case for taking action to stop the war. Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation said, “The idea of this concert struck a chord with me. As a private citizen I want to do something because I am very much against all of the post 9/11 wars and occupation…I feel a moral imperative as a human being, who happens to be a musician, to take part in this event.” He added, “I look at our military budget and it is fifty cents of every tax dollar. I feel like we are a military with a country now. We sacrifice our youths, our economic security, and any remaining goodwill around the world.”

“Our actions are of significant importance in this age when doing so is often propagandized as unpatriotic by those who support war and hostilities as a solution to our nation’s disagreements with certain ideologies and cultures,” said Hip Hop artist Head-Roc. “As an artist I believe as many Americans do, that our actions in Iraq have been illegal, unjust and very misleading. I am a firm believer that the actions of this administration along with the handling of information in regards to the consequences of its actions are harmful to the well-being and future of not just American citizens, but many of our fellow world citizens.”

Speaking for United for Peace and Justice, Hany Khalil said, “We are coming to Washington, DC to bring pressure to bear on Congress and the White House to call for an end to the war on Iraq, to bring the troops home now, bring a stop to the torture, and to bring a stop to the military recruiters’ efforts to pressure young people to join the military. We want to see money that is spent now on the war and occupation spent to pay for the damage that the US government has done to the Iraqi people and their country as well as social programs here at home, which are badly needed, such as schools and healthcare.”

Michael Hoffman, Co-founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War said, “Many Veterans, just like myself, who after participating in the invasion of Iraq realize how wrong this was and that our foreign policy needs to change and that we need to bring our troops home now. Operation Ceasefire is going to wake people up.”

Another press conference participant, Elizabeth Frederick of Military Families Speak Out spoke of her boyfriend of over three years who has been stationed in Iraq since January. “My boyfriend’s contract ended in April of 2005, but because of stop-loss, he is still in Iraq and will not return until later this year. I’m not exactly sure when he is coming home because the dates keep getting pushed back. In July alone he was given three different return dates. According to him, the amount of chaos and disorganization over there regarding not only return dates, but also supplies, armor, etc. is simply appalling. Every conversation I have with Mike reinforces the fact that this war was based on lies and there are no clear goals or reasons for continuing the occupation. I can’t tell you how many times I have spoken to him on the phone and he has said, ‘none of us know what we are doing here.’...Last night four soldiers from Task Force Liberty were killed in an area north of Baghdad. Until I till I talk to my boyfriend again, I will not know if he was one of those soldiers. I don’t want anyone to feel that and I don’t want to feel it anymore.”

Most Operation Ceasefire performers were not in attendance at today’s press conference, but issued the following statements today.

Wayne Kramer of The MC5, “The soul of America weeps for the dead youth of this illegal and immoral war. It is time to step up and be heard. The place is here. The time is now.”

Greg Attonito of The Bouncing Souls, “It’s really mind boggling to me that any of us in humanity continue to wage war on each other for any reason. Has any one who started these wars watched the history channel lately? It doesn't work. We all have to refuse to take part in domination and control of other human beings. This is most important for military personnel. If they refuse to fight, war cannot happen. As long as the people agree to take part in war, it will continue. That also goes for all the little wars we continue to wage on a personal level. We can all stop war by standing up for ourselves in a non-violent way. In this way we empower ourselves and we empower the energy of peace for the entire world.”

Boots Riley of the The Coup, “With this war, there are millions of people the world over who are vocally against it. There are millions of people with a high level of clarity as to the economic motivations for this war. If we don't stop this war it will set a new precedent as to how easy it is for the ruling class to enact policies to which most of the population is diametrically opposed. We must stop this war.”

Johanna Fateman, “Le Tigre is proud to be involved with Operation Ceasefire. We condemn the illegitimate presidency of George W. Bush and his administration of criminals, liars and war-profiteers.”

Steve Earle, “This war is rapidly becoming the elephant in the drawing room that no one wants to talk about. Meanwhile people are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and we at home continue to walk around with targets on our backs.”

Jello Biafra, “Hijacking 9/11 to invade Iraq is the worst mistake our government has made in my lifetime. The whole war on terror has been turned into a scam. Our lives are at stake. Our soldiers’ lives are at stake. The best way to support the troops is to bring them home, now. The most patriotic thing any of us can do is to rise up and fight our government when they break the law. No more illegal wars. No more torture on foreign shores. If we let the White House get away with any of this, Abu Gharaib and Gitmo at home are right around the corner.”

More information at WWW.OPCEASEFIRE.ORG

Sept. 24, 2005 - A FREE MUSIC FESTIVAL TO STOP THE WAR ON IRAQ!


THEIVERY COPORATION - BOUNCING SOULS

LE TIGRE - THE COUP - STEVE EARLE – TED LEO + THE PHARMACISTS

WAYNE KRAMER OF THE MC5 WITH THE BELLRAYS

HEAD-ROC – Machetres – HOSTED BY JELLO BIAFRA


Sponsored by esl music, Mintwood media collective,

UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE, and the DC Anti-War network

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Operation Ceasefire

I have been working hard on a promising project with Adam Eidinger, who ran during the last election as D.C.'s delegate to the House of Representatives on the Statehood/Green Party. Operation Ceasefire is an anti-war concert at the Washington Monument on the evening of the September 24th peace mobilization. Local electronica duo Thievery Corporation are fronting half the startup costs. They intend to make a live CD and DVD of the concert, and all proceeds will benefit United for Peace and Justice and the local group I am involved with the D.C. Anti-War Network.

Acts who have signed on to this historical concert:
Thievery Corporation
Le Tigre
Bouncing Souls
Steve Earle
Ted Leo and The Pharmacists
Head-Roc
Wayne Kramer of MC-5
Jello Biafra

We are excited with the potential for this event to grow! We will have a press conference this Wednesday at noon at The National Press Club in downtown D.C.

For a little more information:
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=3026

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Getting the word out: Event this Wednesday

Cities in America are on edge following the bombings in London a couple weeks ago where 55 people were killed. This was terrible. But so is the daily bloodshed in Iraq. Last night and today I posted some notices around town about a seminar hosted by the D.C. Anti-War Network entitled "From London to Baghdad: Why we must end the "War on Terror." It will be held in D.C. this coming Wednesday at 7 p.m. at The Flemming Center, 1426 9th Street, N.W. There will be a three person panel, including a representative from the National Coalition of Arab Americans. This is a needed event, as people both need to discuss this terrible tragedy and begin to learn more about the root causes.

Unfortunately, Blair and Bush are using the bombings to increase police power to invade individuals' property and privacy rights. People of Arab descent are being targetted; the stench of racism is spreading. In New York (and supposedly soon in D.C.) random searches of people's personal property is underway in the subway system. Authorities admit this is done without any probable cause present. This is terrible! We often like to hear our elected officials brag about how we are so "free" here. Our national anthem's lyrics: Land of The Free, and The Home of The Brave...

Here is the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Welcome to D.C.'s Left Wing Blog


Hi, I am a D.C. native and this is my left wing blog. This is where I get to share my ideas, my beliefs and my political convictions.

I believe our system of government is broken, and that only a popular bottom-up nonviolent mass revolution will be able to set our country on an enlightened path away from its continual destructive and immoral patterns of behavior engaged in on both a national and international scale.

I will be posting news, editorial, satire, reviews and random poltical and philosophical ramblings here. I hope to get some additions and feedback from my readers.

I quit the Democrats about two weeks after the 2004 election in November. I could no longer stay with a party that was basically complicit in Bush's crimes, his deceit, his extreme treachery. The Democrats are weak at best; they no longer present an opposition party or even a decent alternative to those dissatisfied with the increasingly one-party agenda of Our Nation. The Greens, I believe, do present a thoughtful, progressive and moral alternative.

In September both the United for Peace and Justice and Act Now to Stop War and End Racism will be holding massive peace and justice mobilizations in my hometown of D.C. I hope people will come to town to march on 9/24, and then engage in nonviolent direct action and/or civil disobedience on 9/26. Personally, I am an active member of a very active antiwar group locally. www.dawndc.net