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Showing posts from January, 2007

Speaking Truth to Power; Cutting Off Warmonger Kissinger

My friend Midge Potts is back in town and doing some fantastic activist work:

I am riding a wave like I can barely describe right now... I went to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing this morning knowing it was about "Iraq options," but had no idea Henry Kissinger would be there... My heart was beating SO hard, but could not sit by and listen to Kissinger and a fat cat Republican Senator talk about how we needed to be in Iraq "until the job was done"... SO, I stood up, cutting them off in mid sentence, and yelled, "The American people voted to end the war in Iraq!" and held up a small banner I had made that read "Bring Service People Home Now."

I was escorted out of the room by Capitol Police and went with them peacfully... They detained me for about 10 minutes, then let me go without arrest or citation. In fact, they said I could stay in the building if I would not go back in the hearing. So I hung around outside the hearing room so pe…

A Washingtonian's Perspective on the Major Peace Mobilization

It was big. It was really really big. The mass media is of course downplaying the numbers, saying it was barely 100,000. Some reports say the Park Police doesn't give figures anymore for demonstrations, but "secretly said it was maybe a little less than 100,000." What kind of reporting is that? Well, it's false. I stood in about the same place I stood at that NARAL abortion rights rally a few years back that everyone said was 500,000 -- well this looked to me to be just as big. As the speakers started, thousands and thousands were still arriving from the Smithsonian Metro station. I would guess the crowd was between 400,000 and 500,000. UFPJ naturally went with the higher end and said it was definitely half a million.

But beyond numbers, I think this whole mobilization with a long list of eloquent speakers made a difference and got enough news coverage to be noticed. Congress cannot ignore that this peace mobilization happened. They cannot ignore that a little more th…

Three Anti-Torture Activists Argue Case Before DC Court of Appeals

Tuesday January 23rd at 11:00am oral arguments were heard in District of Columbia Court of Appeals regarding the conviction of David Barrows, Peter Perry, and Midgelle Potts. The three were arrested while kneeling on the plaza of the US Supreme Court on February 9th, 2005 protesting the confirmation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his part in permitting torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guatanamo Bay. They were convicted in DC Superior Court June 30th 2005 for violating Title 40 sec. 6135 of US Code.

Mark Goldstone delivered oral arguments for Dave Barrows, while Pete Perry was represented by William.Becker, and Midge Potts was represented by William Dansie. In addition an amicus brief was submitted to the court by Czech Ambassador to the United Nations Martin Palous, who contrasted the observance of free speech by the European Union to the lower court’s decision in this case. The appellants’ arguments were focused on the lack of notice and the ambiguity of the statute.

“…

The truth about Hillary

The former first lady, Hillary R. Clinton, has announced her formal candidacy for the Democratic nomination of president. If the party selects her as president it would be a grave mistake. It would be a solidifying of the Democrats' timidity, an embracing of a hollow middle ground where it becomes more Republican-lite than a true opposition party. Of course there are the dumbasses that can't resist the cool factor of voting for a former first lady, or the need to vote for any female Democrat running for president. But I think in the end, most Democrats will look into their souls and realize that not only do they no longer want to be the party of timidity, they'll realize that Hillary doesn't really stand for much at all. I mean what the heck are her core values? It sure beats me!

Hillary stepped away from universal health care when it failed during her hubby's tenure in office. Now, in her recent announcement, she says she wants to secure health care for "more&…

Bringing some hope to a land of oppression

Into a land of abuse and repression, a Memphis woman goes with God
By David Waters
Contact
January 16, 2007

After spending a quiet holiday with her parents in East Memphis, Meredith Walsh went back to her work last week at a remote clinic three miles from one of the world's grimmest police states.

It took her 69 hours -- including 50 in the air and nine on a bus -- to get there. Along the way, she found time to read "Finding George Orwell in a Burmese Teashop," a journalist's account of the brutal oppression in Burma's past and present.

Meredith lives and works in Thailand near its border with Burma, whose military regime has been condemned by the

United States and the United Nations. When Meredith left Wednesday, she knew that as she moved farther from Memphis, her fellow travelers would smile less and interest her more.

"It's much harder now to come back home to Memphis than to go," said Meredith, 28, who spent the first 18 years of her life in the relati…

Update on Chinese dissident Gao

January 1, 2007

2006 Year In Review for Chinese Democracy Mvmt

By John Kusumi

From a China Support Network perspective, what happened this year? 2006 was "Tuidang, Year 2." Tuidang refers to a campaign, ever more insistent, urging all Chinese to quit from the Chinese Communist Party and related organs; and more broadly, for China on the whole to leave behind the CCP. In 2005, "Tuidang, Year 1," 7 million people quit the Communist Party. In 2006, 10 million people quit the CCP, for a total of 17 million resignation statements -- all posted at the Tuidang web site.

The tires have been slashed on China's Communist Party, and it is increasingly unpopular. Those ten million resignations represent excellent news and "the air going out of the tires." Yet, a few more events happened this year, allowing us to claim 10 million and change. The type of change that we would really like to see is China's transition to a democratic, post-communist regime; throughout…

The Results From Our Military Commissions Act Trial

This was my latest trial, today...

WRRCAT: Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture

For Immediate Release: Jan. 17, 2006

CONTACT: Jean Athey, 301-570-0923 or 202-291-2258 jlathey@hprg.com
See statements and background at: www.wrrcat.org


Charges Dismissed for All Protesters in Oct. White House Action
against Torture and Military Commissions Act of 2006

Washington, DC, Jan. 17, 2007-- U.S. Judge Deborah Robinson dismissed the government’s case against all 16 defendants today in charged with “interfering with agency functions.” The 16 had attempted to present a “People’s Signing Statement” opposing the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006 to President Bush at the White House on Oct. 17, 2006. That morning, Bush ceremoniously signed into law the act defendants said legalizes torture for the first time in our nation’s history and broadly denies Habeas Corpus protection -- a right guaranteed ever since the Magna Carta of 1215.

At a news conference in front of th…

Happy Birthday Dr. King!

Tomorrow I will be risking arrest as we enter a motion in the Federal Court on behalf of the nearly 500 men and boys held illegally and immorally, many tortured, at Guantanamo Bay. Dr. King warned us from his jail cell in Alabama: "An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Sadly, this injustice at Guantanamo and several "black sites" operated around the world by the CIA is being carried out and diligently expanded by our own government. I am morally shocked and totally opposed to this policy of extraordinary rendition, suspension of habeas corpus and torture. And I am glad to learn that Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan are arriving in Cuba as I write this.

If you are anywhere near D.C. tomorrow, please join us!
11:45AM-12:15PM March from Supreme Court to Federal Court, Prettyman Building, 333 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
12:15-3:30PM Rally in the court's plaza with speakers, reading of the names and street theater.

I leave you with this quote from Dr. King…

If not now, when?

By Mike Ferner, VFP member

Passing the grim marker of 3,000 U.S. troops killed in Iraq briefly focused Americans' attention on the war. But we live in a big country with lots of malls.

To be sure, the death of 3,000 soldiers is tragic and sickening, yet we are a nation of over 300 million and most families have not lost a loved one. Even with some 32,000 G.I.'s requiring medical evacuation for wounds, most Americans still do not personally know a casualty of this war.

But what if our fellow citizens were killed and wounded at the same rate as people in Iraq? Here's the math.

Last fall the British medical journal "Lancet" published a study done by researchers from Johns Hopkins University estimating that the midrange number of Iraqis dead "as a consequence of the war" was about 2.5 percent of that country's population, or roughly 655,000 people. Over 90% of those died from violence.

Comparable casualties in our country would mean that every person in Atla…

State of the Movement and World Can't Wait Press Conference

Hello my readers, my life is changing as '07 begins. I have decided to apply to graduate schools for a Masters in Education or Library Science. I will never lose my love and deep appreciation for the peace and justice movement, but I feel that for the next year and a half to two years my actual organizing will be almost entirely put on hold. Right now, it kind of feels like breaking an addiction, but it won't really take off until the wonderful action on January 11th is over. This date marks five years that men and boys -- some as young as 9 -- have been taken to Guantanamo Bay and held indefinitely with no charges filed. This issue is really inspiring me to do something. And, then, beyond that -- I will be returning to school and trying to get my life back into financial order to some degree.

Here is a paragraph from something I wrote a couple friends a couple days ago:

"To be honest, after our vigil at Memorial Bridge last night I also feel a little bit beaten down by th…

Declaration of Peace Press Release

The Declaration of Peace

Defund the War and Declare Peace
For Immediate Release

Contact:

Daniel Malec, 850-591-4009

Ken Butigan, 360-402-4761

http://declarationofpeace.org/



WASHINGTON – Today the American people learned of the 3,000th U.S. soldier's death in the war-torn and occupied nation of Iraq. Grassroots peace and justice activists throughout the nation are holding candlelight vigils and mourning the loss of life, both American and Iraqi, in a war they view as both tragically unnecessary and immoral.

"Today, U.S. foreign policy disregards the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis in pursuit of U.S. hegemonic interests," said Danny Malec, organizer with Declaration of Peace, an anti-war coalition, which held more than 350 protests and numerous acts of civil disobedience against the Iraq war and occupation in September. "There is no other way forward than ending the occupation of Iraq and suppor…

Memorial Bridge Vigil Tuesday Evening

"Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan will join local activists on the Memorial Bridge during a candlelight vigil planned for Tuesday, January 2nd, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

(Arlington, VA) - Peace activists from Gold Star Families for Peace, Arlingtonians for Peace, Code Pink, Northern Virginians for Peace & Justice, the DC Antiwar Network (DAWN), and other local groups will mark the death of the 3,000th American soldier in the Iraq War on January 2.

They will gather from 5 to 7 p.m. on the Virginia side of the Memorial Bridge to commemorate this loss as well and the loss of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. The solemn event will feature a candlelight vigil. The groups are calling for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Similar vigils are being planned in several hundred locations across the
country.

Participants are encouraged to bring candles, appropriate signs and props. The Virginia entrance to the Memorial Bridge is a particularly busy and dangerous intersection. Please…