Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2006

Author of "Why Mommy is a Democrat" and I Debate

I actually like Jeremy, and this was a mostly civil exchange, but the debate between the progressive anti-war Greens and the "stay the political course" Dems continues:

Jeremy Zilber writes:
Happy holidays to you as well, Pete.

I agree that many factors played a role in the Iraq war, and some Democrats MAY have had something to do with it when SOME of them authorized a use of force AS A LAST RESORT, but even that isn't clear. It isn't at all clear that a lack of authorization from Congress would have stopped this war. Bush didn't heed the words of the authorization itself, as it clearly required that he exhaust peaceful strategies before taking military action, which he didn't do. Moreover, Bush has demonstrated time and time again that he believes himself above the law and the Constitution, and he claims to be getting his instructions directly from God. I sincerely doubt that if Congress has not voted for that authorization he would have suddenly said, "ok…

My friend assaulted in front of Lockheed Martin

A good friend of mine from the D.C. Anti-War Network was assualted by some violent police just yesterday. He was giving some good information on cluster bombs and Lockheed data when he was very roughly assaulted by Montgomery County Police.

The Video

The Occupation Project

Draft National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance
Working Proposal for NCNR's work with:
The Occupation Project –
Launch: February 5, 2007 and continuing for a minimum of eight weeks

Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV) is organizing a campaign of
nonviolent civil resistance and civil disobedience to our government's
continued funding of war in and occupation of Iraq. The National
Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance has embraced this proposal, dubbed
"The Occupation Project," and look forward to working in coordination
with the campaign, The Declaration of Peace, Veterans for Peace, and
other endorsing coalitions.
The Occupation Project calls upon each Representative and Senator to
make a public pledge to vote against additional funds for the Iraq
war. The campaign calls for nonviolent direct action at the offices of
those legislators who do not make such a pledge. The campaign is
specifically focusing upon the supplemental funding bill for the war
and occupation, which…

A personal interlude

As winter truly begins here in D.C., we are getting ready for this year's Washington Peace Center Peace and Justice Awards and Fundraiser. It will be this coming Saturday (the 16th), 6 p.m. at Foundry United Methodist Church on 16th Street NW.

Among those honored for their dedication and service to peace and justice are two dear friends: Malachy Kilbride and Donte Smith. Malachy I have known for more than three years now, we are both heavily involved with the D.C. Anti-War Network (DAWN). And Donte I only met in person recently, but we wrote when he was in prison for the action at School of the Americas (WHINSEC) the year before. They are both wonderful activists and extraordinary organizers. The peace and justice movement is lucky to have them.

Also, organizing is really ramping up for January 27th's major anti-war mobilization. It is time for the movement to come together and keep up the pressure on Congress to defund the war. Many activists are being distracted by another iss…

A Tale of Two Campaigns

I was on a Declaration of Peace Conference Call last night. It was exciting to begin to hear the peace and justice movement getting ready to launch into its next phase following the midterm elections. The main thrust of the call was the campaign to defund the illegal and immoral war and occupation of Iraq.

As part of this campaign, and probably the most intense, will be what Voices for Creative Nonviolence and the National Campaign of Nonviolence Resistance will undertake beginning February 5th and lasting through March -- visiting and probably sitting in at many congress people's offices. The Declaration of Peace Coalition has decided to join this effort. It is expected that during the month of February and into early March Congress will likely pass record-large supplemental budgets paying for the continued war and occupation. It is expected that the military requests will amount to somewhere between $100 Billion to $120 Billion.

This intense phase will be called The Occupation Pro…

Call it exactly what it is...

It appears the mainstream media will now begin to call the deep sectarian violence in Iraq exactly what it is -- a civil war. The conflict has been increasing in its bloodshed for several months now. Just a couple days ago I saw General Odom say it was time to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from this disaster immediately.

I truly hope this is the beginning of the end. Here is The Boston Globe article:

Bucking White House, NBC says Iraq in 'civil war'
Usage increasing in news media
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | November 28, 2006

WASHINGTON -- NBC's "Today Show" host Matt Lauer yesterday told millions of American television viewers, many sitting at their breakfast tables, that the network would buck the White House and from now on describe the Iraq war as a "civil war."

The new policy, which NBC News said would cover all its news shows, could become a benchmark in public opinion about the war, according to media specialists.

Some media analysts compared it to CB…

Agustin Aguayo's case

I attended the appeals hearing today of conscientious objector Spc. Agustin Aguayo, 34, at the D.C. Circuit Federal Court downtown. It was interesting, and there was some hope that Agustin will in fact prevail in his quest to be declared an official war objector and be released from the Army.

When Agustin first signed up for the Army as a medic, recruiters told him he would not have to carry a gun. This was latter proved to be false. On occasion he did carry a gun in Iraq, but refused to load it.

Elsa Rassbach, an American peace activist residing in Germany, was there and she has become a dear close friend to Agustin and his wife Helga. Attorney Peter Goldberger presented some persuasive arguments to the three judges hearing the appeal. Other peace activists J.E. McNeil, Gael Murphy, Kevin McCarron and myself were also on hand this morning to hear the oral arguments. Goldberger said it will likely take the judges 5-10 days to come to a decision and present a written decision.

Helga and A…

Pelosi and a Mandate for Peace

Hello my bloging readers! I write this essay today, having completed a protest jury trial and preparing myself to organize for a late January anti-war mobilization being lead by coalition leaders I'm not very enthusiastic about to say the least.



At this point, the Dems have won a solid majority in the House and a slim majority in the Senate. It remains my sincere belief that the only way to end the war and occupation in Iraq (and probably stop an attack on Iran) is to utilize the power of the purse. This would be to cut off funding of continued war and occupation of Iraq, to call for all groups to continue and intensify their negotiating process and begin with paying repair expenses to that nation's infrastructure. Military funding in this theater should be solely used for an orderly phasing out of U.S. troops from Iraq, and I believe this could be completed by April 2007.


In Congress' last session Jim McGovern of Mass. introduced HR4232. This bill essentially called for all…

Mistrial declared in our Rumsfeld case

Rumsfeld has been replaced by Robert Gates, former CIA director. The timing could not be better! Below is the press release I wrote late Thursday afternoon.

Defendants Receive Mistrial in Rumsfeld Protest

WASHINGTON – Three peace and justice protestors tasted victory yesterday when a District of Columbia jury of 12 men and women failed to reach a verdict in their trial stemming from a nonviolent action on May 18 th at the residence of Donald Rumsfeld, the former secretary of defense.
The defendants were surprised by the deadlocked jury. After more than four hours of deliberation the six men, six women jury informed Associate Judge Harold Cushenberry Jr. of the D.C. Superior Court that they held strong opinions and could not reach a unanimous verdict. The charge leveled against David Barrows, Pete Perry and Mari Blome is a misdemeanor which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $100 fine.
The nonviolent protestors were arrested in the fro…

Rumsfeld Trial Continues

Today the trial of the remaining Rumsfeld three continues today. We have what I think is a diverse and fair jury. Maximum sentence is six months in prison for nonviolently delivering an anti-war and anti-torture message to Donald Rumsfeld's residence at 2206 Kalorama Road in May.

I wish I could write more, but I can't right now. No media coverage yet, as this is obviously a tough time with the elections going on.

Please note, a couple days ago the Army Times, Navy Times and Marine Times published an editorial calling for Rumsfeld to step down as secretary of defense.

Rumsfeld 4 Jury Trial to Begin Monday

WASHINGTON – Four peace and anti-torture activists will appear in court Monday, November 6 th in a jury trial stemming from a protest against a war with Iran, at Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's home in May.
The four nonviolent protestors were arrested on May 18th by the Secret Service when they entered the front yard of Rumsfeld's mansion in the Kalorama neighborhood of northwest Washington. They are charged with unlawful entry and face a maximum sentence of six months in prison, and $100 in fines.
Pete Perry and David Barrows of the D.C. Anti-War Network (DAWN) will defend themselves, with Washington attorney Mark Goldstone serving as attorney advisor. Mari Blome and Katie Heald, affiliated with Code Pink are represented by Washington attorney Ann Wilcox.

"We were not breaking a law," Perry said. "We were peacefully delivering an anti-war and anti-torture message to a public official we hold responsible for the unlawful entry of Iraq and the sanc…

Global warming could cause economic depression, report warns

As a Green, I am extremely concerned about global warming. Finally, even conservatives are beginning to acknowledge the current reality of global warming and what this could mean for rising ocean levels. Our local Pacifica Radio station, WPFW, was discussing new findings today. And then I ran across the following article. Signing onto the Kyoto Protocols should be just the first step for our government.

By William Neikirk

Chicago Tribune

(MCT)

WASHINGTON - Left unchecked, global warming could drive the world economy into a depression similar to the devastating downturn of the 1930s, the British government said Monday in a report that appeared designed to influence politics in the United States.

The report, written by Nicholas Stern, head of the British Government Economic Service and a former World Bank economist, said the environmental cost of global warming could range between 5 percent and 20 percent of the world's gross domestic product, or total annual economic output, after 2050.

My opinion of "Death of a President"

I went last night with a couple good friends to see "Death of a President," one a frequent co-protestor and the other a very long-time friend and fellow native of D.C. We celebrated my birthday at a very good Chinese restaurant in the now rapidly dwindling Chinatown before we headed for Landmark's E Street Cinema. This is a great theater with a lot of very good independent and foreign films. It is also the only theater in the D.C. area to show this controversial film.

The acting is kind of mediocre, as I was unimpressed and couldn't suspend disbelief while watching the supposed heartfelt reflections of a Chicago police officer, an FBI agent, a Secret Service agent and President Bush's speechwriter on the infamous day of October 19, 2007. That's the day President Bush is assassinated. The actual shooting, in the lobby of a downtown Chicago hotel was kind of unexciting, and although the outcome of discovering who was indeed the assassin was unsurprising -- it wa…

This Tuesday we act when Bush signs the Military Commissions Act of 2006

Please join The Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture (WRRCAT) on Tuesday October 17, at 9:00 am in front of the White House to demonstrate our profound opposition to the "Military Commissions Act." DAWN and Montgomery
County Peace Action have endorsed this action, as well as others.

President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law during a ceremony at the White House. The law would fundamentally change American interpretation of the Geneva Conventions. We'd like to have a sizable number outside of the White House to convey to the American public that there are still some Americans who support Common Article 3, of the Geneva Convention that prohibits "cruel," "humiliating" and "degrading treatment" and "outrages upon personal dignity." President Bush and the US Congress contend that this language is vague. The President claims it doesn't give "clear" guidance about what is
permitted and what is prohib…

On being a Green and searching for a new job

I have begun my search for a job, which will have some meaning for me and will hopefully be personally rewarding. A good part of this afternoon, I will spend working on my resume and checking out a bunch of different progressive non-profit organizations on the Web.

Here are a few I am very interested in:
Peace Action
U.S. Public Interest Research Group
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Public Citizen

Regarding USPIRG, I noticed one of their canvasers today outside of my work. If you see these young guys and gals around town, talk to them. Sign their petition, offer to buy them lunch. They are doing some great work, and the work is very demanding! Here are some of the important environmental campaigns they have taken on right now:
USPIRG Campaigns

I guess the environment is something I have not yet taken on in my blog. Of course the earth is our home, and there's more all of us could do. I do make my best attempts to buy only recycled paper products. I am the only one in my house w…

Update on Rumsfeld 4 and further reflections on 9/26 and 9/27

On Tuesday Mari Blome, Katie Heald, David Barrows and I appeared in court in regarding the unlwaful entry charge stemming from the May 18th Rumsfeld protest. We were prepared to go to trial, which will be a jury trial since the maximum sentence is six months in prison. However, the matter has been postponed until November 6th. I am not very hopeful of getting much media attention, as this is the day before the election.

Mari (Tobi) and Katie are associated with Code Pink. David and I are with the D.C. Anti-War Network (DAWN). We continue to be enthusiastic about arguing our first amendment rights before a jury of our peers.

One supporter joining us in the court house was the brave Eve Tetaz, an over-70 local peace activist who was also with us on 9/26 and 9/27. On 9/26 (the Senate side action) Eve was knocked to the ground by aggressive Capitol Hill Police and recieved a large bump to her head before being arrested. The very next day (the House side action) she chose to risk arrest, and…

Two Days of Resistance

On September 26th and 27th, two wonderful coalitions came together on Capitol Hill to express nonviolently their outrage over the war and occupationof Iraq. On Tuesday 71 people were arrested in three different locations focusing on the Senate. On Wednesday 26 people were arrested in front of the House Rayburn office building, and soon after three women were arrested in the House gallery during a debate over a bill which will now gradually scale back habeas corpus, the guiding light of our judicial system.

Both days got scant media coverage, but both the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance and the Declaration of Peace became stronger and are already contemplating future actions.

I was arrested among the second group on Tuesday, as we blocked one entrance to the Russell Senate Office Building. Before us, a group mostly from Baltimore were arrested as they tried to bring a coffin with pictures of the war dead to the West Lawn of the Capitol. After us, about 40 were arrested inside …

Wash Post: Week of Action Begins

Antiwar Push Starts Near White House; 34 Arrested

By Sue Anne Pressley Montes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 22, 2006; A08

A group of ministers, veterans and peace activists attempted to deliver a "declaration of peace" to the White House yesterday, kicking off a week of vigils and other activities in 350 communities across the country calling for the prompt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Thirty-four people were arrested here and charged with disorderly conduct after they demanded to speak with President Bush, then refused to leave the west gate of the White House. As part of an initiative of more than 400 groups, many of them religiously affiliated, the activists said they had to "bear moral witness" against the U.S. military role in Iraq.

"We are in a time of peril, and people of morals have got to stand up," said the Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., who founded the D.C.-based Hip Hop Caucus to involve youths in political and social action and …

Sunday Die-In at White House

Yesterday, a half-dozen of us participated in a dramatic die-in in front of the White house, as dozens of tourists watched and discussed our nation's aggressive and immoral role in the war and occupationof Iraq.

A small group of us have become a little frustrated by the low turnout at Camp Democracy and the relative lack of willingness on the part of many participants there to take concrete anti-war action.

We donned t-shits with messages like "Young Iraqi Boy, Cluster Bomb," "U.S. Soldier, Friendly Fire," "Iraqi Civillian, Tortured" and had fake blood packets underneath. We covered the t-shirts with normal looking button down shirts and behaved like tourists at first.

When we did the action, two others became spokespersons and reminded all the onlookers that this is what war is about as we lay there bloodied with our messages, and that their tax dollars are being spent this way. They also urged people to learn more by stopping by Camp Democracy.

Four Vets Detained at Pentagon

4 Iraq War Vets Detained at Pentagon

Tell A Friend

by David Swanson

Online at: http://www.campdemocracy.org

Speakers available for interviews: http://www.campdemocracy.org/speakers

Four Iraq War Vets Detained at Pentagon

What: Press Conference with veterans who have been detained, and possibly arrested, at the Pentagon

When: 9:30 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 10, 2006

Where: Camp Democracy on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., near Fourth Street.

Four veterans of the current war in Iraq and one supporter (a total of five young men) were detained at the Pentagon today after they attended an open house and left behind flyers providing information about the lethal effects of depleted uranium.

The five (if released) and leaders of Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Veterans for Peace will hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, Sunday, September 10, at Camp Democracy, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., near Fourth Street.

The veterans observed literature available in the Pentagon's chape…

Camp Democracy Begins!

Although Camp Democracy does not start until tomorrow morning, the 5th of September, there have already been people staying over night watching the tents near the intersection of 15th and Constitution Avenue N.W., located between the Washington Monument and the American History Museum.

This is an exciting time for the movement. Finally, about two-thirds of Americans agree that the war and occupation in Iraq must be ended, Americans are also aware of how they are being short-changed at home. There must be more funds for Hurricane Katrina relief, there must be healthcare for all Americans and it's time to stop the chipping away of our civil liberties! The question is how do we transform this sentiment into action?

Friday and Saturday night, my friend Jamie, a young peace and justice activist camped the nights on site. Friday he was rained on and there was some flooding under two of the tents. Saturday, I went down to visit with him briefly with a mutual friend after we saw the docume…

Two Days of Nonviolent Direct Action in September

Direct Action Planned for September 26th & 27th at the U.S. Congress.
Peace-loving people are moving to make nonviolent history in September 2006.

September will put peace in Iraq back at the top the news agenda of this nation, and in a timely fashion. As national mid-term elections approach in November, the majority of American people now understand the folly and tragedy of the war in Iraq. Every day more and more understand that the war was a mistake and want it ended. Yet Congress is not heeding the voices or the will of the American people.

Therefore, the forces of nonviolence are on the move. Nonviolent opposition to the war in Iraq is emerging in many forms that are focused on reclaiming power in Washington, D.C. to end the occupation and bring our troops home. From Voters for Peace to Camp Casey III to Camp Democracy to the Declaration of Peace, people are committing their time, their treasure, their bodies and their energies to end
the war in Iraq and redirect the nation's…

Nonviolence Trainings at Camp Democracy

Here is a large part of my involvement with Camp Democracy at this point -- assembling and organizing the nonviolence trainings. On these dates Camp Democracy should either be on The Mall between Air and Space and the National Gallery of Art, or next to the corner of 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW (near the foot of Washington Monument).

Sept. 16 -- 10a.m.-1p.m.
Nadine Bloch
Gordon Clark

Sept. 17 -- 12p.m.-3p.m.
Mubarak Awad
Susan Crane

Sept. 18 -- 10a.m.-1p.m.
Michael Beer
Sunny Miller

Sept. 19 -- 10.am.-1p.m.
Tom Hastings
Judith Kelly

Sept. 20 -- 10a.m.-1p.m.
A)Ken Butigan
Liz Walz

B)Art Laffin
Judith Kelly

As suggested above, the permit situation is still a little bit in flux. But I think it will all work out! This is a great event with some different coalitions coming together -- women's rights groups, immigrant rights groups and plenty of peace and justice groups! There will also be movies, panel discussions, live music and more... Stay tuned!

Truth from the ground: A citizen report from Lebanon

The following is a citizen report from a native Lebanese on the ground. These are the kind of accounts most of us in America don't know about. I was with a couple friends this evening watching CNN for a few minutes, and the reporting was sickening. There was just this blind acceptance of what the Israeli military is saying and what our government has stated. I encourage everyone to look beyond the corporate, unquestioning mass media in our nation.

There are ordinary men, women and children in Lebanon being slaughtered by air attacks, and now by an actual invading ground force! Almost all of these people have very little to do with politics.

In other news, four peace activists were arrested for nonviolently protesting and standing in the State Department driveway today. They were demanding the U.S. stop blindly endorsing every thing Israel does and cease funding its military.

___
Dear All:

The below email is from a Lebanese friend who is explaining the situation out there.. Plz forward…

Camp Democracy Taking Shape: Where Were You?

The following is an update from key organizer, David Swanson.

Sunny Miller, from the famous Traprock Peace Center, and I are organizing a series of nonviolence trainings during Camp Democracy...

Where Were You When They Took Your Rights Away?
>
> By David Swanson
>
>
>
> Can you name the one country on earth where the government can steal
> elections, strip away basic rights, spy on citizens, and launch wars based
> on lies, but where the people do not take over the nation's capital in
> protest?
>
>
>
> If you said the United States, you'll be wrong on September fifth when Camp
> Democracy begins on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
>
> http://www.campdemocracy.org
>
>
>
> At long last, Americans are preparing to say "Enough is enough," and to do
> what Ukrainians, Mexicans, or any other people not drugged into acquiescence
> would do when things got this bad: occupy the capital city to demand peace,
> justice, and ac…

PDA Still needs to grow some backbone

This is a followup to my previous post regarding PDA's current ineffectiveness in changing the direction of the Democrats. Two higher-ups within the organization, including the national coordinator, have now told me more than once that PDA will endorse pro-war/corporatist Dems in a general election, even whent here is a progressive/anti-war Green or Independent in the very same election. How can they have any power with party leaders, if they are known to back whoever the party chooses come November. Every single time.

For those dedicated to peace, I offer the Voters Peace Pledge, rather than marching behind the PDA banner in 2006. Here is the link:
http://www.votersforpeace.us/signUp.jsp?key=1134

Below is what one of these PDA leaders wrote me about their strategy. I am convinced it is a flawed one and will alienate many from the peace movement, although I respect these two men as thoughtful individuals. In communications with PDA board members David Swanson (afterdowningstreet) and…