Sunday, May 21, 2006

Press release on my latest arrest

*Four Peaceful Demonstrators Arrested On Rumsfeld's Doorstep
Activists attempted to deliver a message asking peace in Iraq and Iran*

WASHINGTON - May 19 - Four peaceful demonstrators were arrested at 5:30pm today as they attempted to deliver a message of peace to Donald Rumsfeld's residence on 2206 Kalorama Road in Washington, D.C. They were charged with unlawful entry for nonviolently attempting to deliver the message, which urged the Secretary of Defense to end the war in Iraq, not go to war with Iran, bring all U.S. troops home now, and stop the torture of detainees.

The four arrested are: Peter Perry, 36; David Barrows, 52; Katie Heald, 27; and Mari Blome, 50. The protesters are members of the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN) and CODEPINK: Women for Peace.

The attempted delivery and subsequent arrests followed a march from the White House to Donald Rumsfeld's residence. The 150-person march down the streets of Washington, D.C. began after demonstrators delivered a petition with 40,000 signatures to the White House, calling on the Administration not to attack Iran.

"I came all the way from Portland, OR to give a message from my community that Donald Rumsfeld should be fired for taking us into this disastrous war," said Katie Heald of CODEPINK. "The American people want the troops to come home from Iraq,"

David Barrows, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and black hood reminiscent of the infamous Guantanamo prison, said "torture is illegal and immoral, and Donald Rumsfeld is responsible for the inhumane treatment of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. He must be held accountable."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Perhaps the PDA should grow some backbone itself

The Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has quite a following within the peace movement. However, I am critical of their hostility to supporting progressive anti-war third-party candidates in the general election cycle.

Here is my recent letter to them:

I believe Kevin has this right. PDA's unwillingness to support independent or third party anti-war candidates against a more corporate/"middle-of-the-road" Democrat in the general election in many ways effectively makes them a tool of the status quo. I admire many involved with PDA, but I think they need to realize the political terrain underneath them is shifting.

I asked a couple of them two weeks ago if they would endorse the candidacy of a friend of mine who is vehemently anti-war and calling for Bush's impeachment. They replied no, as this person is running a a Republican. Never mind that she's running as a Republican in an open primary against the incredibly corrupt Roy Blunt. So there you have it. Should we continue to pursue the path of partisanship in our loathing of Bush, or should the political discourse widen and become more inclusive when the anti-war movement goes to the polls?

I could make the argument that party labels mean less and less these days. You have "progressive" Kwesi Mfume saying that it will probably be OK to bomb Iran, you still have many Dems supporting the Patriot Act and continually funding the war with billions and billions and billions of taxpayer dollars. The Democrats are tightly married to corporations. The Democrats are often scared of their own shadow, despite the growing support for the anti-war movement. However, they are great at giving tepid lip service and going on about how Bush bungled the whole affair.

The Democrats also tend to take minorities and gays for granted. But how many of them really support gay marriage? How many of them are really trying to stop gentrification? Look at the orgies between the elected Democrats and developers right here in D.C.!

The PDA has consistently called on their party leadership to grow some backbone, and it hasn't -- just more meaningless lip service. So maybe PDA now needs to do the most courageous thing itself and leave the party. Again, I do not mean to disrespect people who have worked very hard on this cause, I simply want to intensify this important discussion.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Old news but still interesting

I keep forgetting to post this on my blog... I interupted Condi Rice's opening statement at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the supplemental funding for war and occupation of Iraq about six weeks ago. These hearing are open to the public. A day before five of us interrupted the House committee. Then the next morning I went by myself to the Senate hearing. I only wished I had waited a little longer, as only four senators were assembled when I stood and asked all of them: How many of you have children in this illegal and immoral war? Blood is on your hands and you cannot wash it off." But I was caught by CNN, NBC Nightly and NPR, as well as mentions in AP and Reuters.

Here is a portion of an MSNBC story:

Democratic senators were skeptical.

“You’ve been telling the American people that the situation in Iraq is not that dire,” said Sen. Herb Kohl of Wisconsin. “But Mr. Secretary, with all due respect and speaking for a majority of the American people, that is hard to swallow. From the beginning, the administration’s Iraq strategy has been an amalgamation of misdirection and missteps.”

Rice, who spoke first to the committee, was briefly interrupted by a protester who shouted “blood is on your hands” and “how many of you have children going to war.”

After security escorted the man from the room, another protester interrupted, saying, “Fire Rumsfeld. Fire Rumsfeld. This is an illegal and immoral war.”

President Bush, whose low job approval ratings are partly because of the Iraq war, has refused to set a timetable for the troops to come home, saying troops can be withdrawn as Iraqi security forces take over security.

Here is the link for the full story:

And some blogs are kind of funny, I don't usually promote other blogs. But, heck, I am known as "the guy with balls" on this one: