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Edumacation Secdatary Arne Duncan Wants Military Schools

By Bruce Gagnon
Dandelion Salad
space4peace.blogspot.com
Dec. 21, 2008

Chicago teacher Jesse Sharkey writes:
“In the past couple years, Arne Duncan [Obama's pick for Secretary of Education who hails from Chicago] has been turning public schools over to private operators–mainly in the form of charter and contract schools — at a rate of about 20 per year. Duncan has also resuscitated some of the worst ’school reform’ ideas of the 1990s, like firing all the teachers in low-performing schools (called ‘turnarounds’). At the same time, he’s eliminated many Local School Councils and made crucial decisions without public input.”

“To me, the thing that made Duncan’s role clear came after three months of organizing at Senn High School, the community school where I teach, against the Chicago Board of Education’s proposal to install a Naval Academy.”

“After an inspiring campaign that involved literally hundreds of people in the biggest education organizing effort in the area in decades, we forced Du…

Final outcome of the Ghosts of Iraq War: Judge suspends fines and jail time

By Eve Tetaz


As was anticipated Judge Morin sentenced us to five days in jail(suspended as the prosecutor didn't think it was worth the expense to jail us), 6 mos. probation, and a heavy fine. He then allowed us to give our sentencing statements. After I gave mine, I told him that I would refuse probation and would not pay the fine. (Last time I refused, I was sent to jail.) Each of my codefendents gave his or her statement followed by the same refusal. After the last defendant spoke, the Judge gave a new ruling, as follows:

None of us would be required to be on probation, none of us has to pay a fine, and all of us were sentenced to one day in jail already served because we had spend the night and a day in jail waiting for arraignment.

It is apparent to me, that Judge Morin was moved to change his ruling because of the justice of our actions. I think I can speak for the others when I say, "We will not be silent." We will continue to speak truth to power.

Amen and Hallelujah…

President Obama Shut Down Guantanamo : “Yes You Can!”

Submitted by Malachy Kilbride on Thu, 12/11/2008 - 12:50pm

Next month in January the American people will joyfully celebrate the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama and the end to the criminal Bush Administration. Americans will celebrate the belief in our freedom, our vote, and the conclusion of eight years of an unaccountable regime that brought us into war and occupation on lies. We will celebrate the hope for much needed change. But how can anyone truly celebrate freedom and change when Americans know of the inhumane treatment and torture of the Guantanamo prisoners?

In one month Americans will also mark the 7th year the Guantanamo Bay camp received the first prisoners into that dark, tragic, and shameful place. By now, if Americans are unaware that hundreds of men and some boys have languished in Guantanamo for years without charge, without access to lawyers, without due process or the habeas corpus rights granted to prisoners by law-abiding civilized governments the…

Letter to the local peace and justice movement

Our fellow DC area activist-organizers,

There has been much change during the last couple years within the local peace and justice movement. The changes we have witnessed have included dissolution of the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN) as a group but not the commitment of several of its participants, there has been an increase in levels of nonviolent resistance actions, the revitalizing of the Washington Peace Center as a dynamic force in the wider DC metro community, and most recently the founding of a capacity-building coalition for future mobilizations, known as Activist Coalition of DC (ACDC). However, there is an important and vital need to share resources, creativity, and skills to unite collective energies and move beyond being only somewhat effective to being successful in our peace and social justice struggles. This needs to be our highest priority.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that the U.S. Government was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world…

I was one of the 53 spied on by the Maryland State Police

The Maryland State Police spied on me, and placed me in a database. Despite being fully committed to nonviolence, I was categorized as a terrorist. This has been a pretty hot item with the press in Maryland. Apparently my Work with DAWN (DC Anti-War Network) and the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance attracted their attention. Below is one of the latest stories. Funny thing, I received a copy of my file and they didn't even have a physical description of me. Also, no photo, and about 80% of it was redacted. So I will most likely be part of the ACLU lawsuit against MSP.

Senators press for spying answers
Annapolis
By LIAM FARRELL, Staff Writer

U.S. Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski are pressing federal agencies for answers on whether they have any knowledge or information about the Maryland State Police's spying on anti-death penalty, anti-war, and environmental activists.

Mr. Cardin and Ms. Mikulski, both Maryland Democrats, were joined by Democratic U.S. Sen…

Demanding Indictment of Bush and Cheney: Nov. 10th

Dear friends,

By the time you read this letter we will likely know who our next president will be. But whether Obama or McCain wins the election, we need to continue our work calling for peace and justice. We must continue to demand that the new president ends the occupation of Iraq and does not escalate military action in Afghanistan. We also must call for justice and demand that Bush and others in his administration are held accountable for the murders of millions of innocent people from Iraq, from Afghanistan, and almost 4200 US soldiers.

Our work is far from over. I will be flying to Washington, DC to join other activists from around the country in an action on November 10 at the Department of Justice. This action is being organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) www.irqpledge.org following the principles of nonviolence that we have learned from Gandhi, King, Day and others.

In September organizers from NCNR sent a letter to Attorney General Michael …

Ghosts of War on Trial

Peace activists Eve Tetaz (DC), Maria Alwine (Maryland), Ellen Barfield (Marlyand), Tim Chadwick (Pennsylvania), Joy First (Wisconsin), Judith Kelly (Virginia), Art Landis (Pennsylvania), Linda LeTendre (New York), Max Obuszewski (Maryland), and Manijeh Saba (New Jersey) went on trial yesterday selecting a jury of their peers. All 10 of them face a maximum sentence of six months in prison for speaking out in the U.S. Senate Gallery on March 12, 2008. All 10 citizens of conscience were calling on their elected representatives to cease funding an illegal war and occupation to the tune of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars.

Nine of the 10 defendants are pro-se defendants in this trial brought by the U.S. Government. The trial continues today, and likely Wednesday in courtroom 312 of DC Superior Court, Carl Moultrie Building, 500 Indiana Avenue NW. All defendants are affiliated with the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (www.iraqpledge.org).

For more info: Joy First, 608-23…

17 Uighurs in Guantanamo Released, Appear in Washington Friday!

Today in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, 17 uighur men detained and imprisoned for seven years, first in Afghanistan and then in Guantanamo Bay were ordered to be freed and released to the U.S. Judge Ricardo Urbina rejected the government's argument that the men, all of whom were declared non-enemy combatants four years ago should remain detained against their wills in a state of legal limbo.

Judge Urbina ordered the immediate release of all the men, and scheduled a hearing for Friday at 10 a.m. to discuss the details of the men's acclimation to living inside the U.S.

Uighurs are an Islamic ethnic group residing in western China. Many want to separate from the Chinese regime and form their own homeland. For this reason, China does not want their return, nor do many of them wish to return due to the likelihood that they would be imprisoned and tortured for their beliefs. A small uighur community will house the men for a temporary period in the Washington Metro a…

The Washington Peace Center co-sponsors an evening with Vincent Bugliosi

Bugliosi: “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”
Friday, October 17, 2008 at 6 p.m.
University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law
Building 38, 2nd Floor, 4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

Mr. Bugliosi, a highly successful prosecutor in Los Angeles and author of “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” will appear at a Washington, DC law school to present a tight, meticulously researched legal case that puts President George W. Bush on trial in a courtroom for the murder of more than 4,100 American soldiers fighting the war in Iraq.

Bugliosi’s argument is simple. Bush wanted a war with Iraq. He had to show that preemptive invasion of Iraq was justified. To do this Iraq had to be an imminent threat to the United States. There were two major problems. Bush couldn’t prove any connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. More importantly, his own 2002 classified intelligence estimate findings of the National Intelligence Estimate (NEI) of 2002,…

War and Poverty: Out of sight, out of mind

This morning, I rolled out of bed and grabbed a bus downtown. I was determined to be bear witness to what many in our country have never seen, and seldom ever hear of... The last 50 homeless men were kicked out of Franklin Shelter at 13th and K Streets NW. Out of sight, out of mind.

I got to the front of the shelter at 6:55 a.m. There were a couple of the men standing out front with some young white folks, mostly students, some anarchists. One man, I had seen the evening before when we chanted and protested in the nearby intersection, was on the lower steps of the shelter loudly expressing himself. I thought of the Biblical figure of John, the voice crying out in the wilderness. Alone but full of truth.

"They don't care, they go about their business, they don't care about people like us," he shouted. "And for (Adrian) Fenty? He doesn't give a damn! Those in power, they are baby killers."

I was speechless, but I nodded in agreement. Those in power are ba…

VETERANS FOR PEACE END ARCHIVES OCCUPATION ON HIGH NOTE

"We may be back again soon," Vets add

Washington -- Five military veterans, all members of Veterans For Peace, are breaking camp from their perch on the National Archives building this morning, taking with them their 22x8-ft. banner demanding “DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION. ARREST BUSH AND CHENEY: WAR CRIMINALS!” that has overlooked their 24-hour action on a narrow ledge 35 feet above Constitution Ave.

Tarak Kauff, 67, former Army Airborne, who provided ground support throughout, said in a phone interview, "We're always told to 'write your Congressman,' and we have. Only this time we brought a letter they couldn't miss. We've made our point writ large that Bush and Cheney are war criminals and must be arrested and prosecuted. Impeach them if we can, but we're not holding our breath for Congress to act. The kingpins of this criminal administration will be brought to justice, along with many of their lieutenants."

Elliott Adams, VFP president, …

Gays and Lesbians Opposed to Violence (GLOV) Reforms

As appeared in Metro Weekly...

Stirred to Action
Viciousness of recent anti-gay attacks spurs community reaction
by Will O'Bryan
Published on September 18, 2008

Perhaps a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to motivating a community, a picture -- far more than flow charts of crime statistics or bullet points in a report -- may actually be invaluable. Add to that picture a compelling online essay, and you have the start of a community movement.

With a number of publicized attacks against local gay people in recent months, from Nathaniel Salerno's attack on a Metro train in December to Michael Roike and Chris Burrell being beaten to the ground near the 14th and P Streets NW intersection in August, the viciousness Todd Metrokin suffered in Adams Morgan in July -- written about on The New Gay blog by his friend Chris Farris in late August -- may have been a tipping point.

''There are the anecdotal stories you hear from your friends,'' says Pete Perry, a loca…

Speaking of Elitists...

From The Plank...

Last night Mitt Romney got on stage at the Republican Convention and railed "Eastern elites" that have been running Washington. For a true change, he said, "look for the sun in the West, 'cause it's about to rise and shine from Arizona and Alaksa!"

Yes, something from Arizona was certainly shining at the convention, but it wasn't the sun. It was Cindy McCain's citrine dress from Monday night. And her three-carat diamond earrings. Oh, and don't forget the Chanel J12 white ceraminc watch.

Cindy's dress, designed by Oscar de la Renta, cost $3,000, and the watch, another $4,500. Her four strand pearl necklace cost between $11,000 and $25,000, and her shoes set her back $600. But the real whoppers were the earrings, priced at $280,000, putting the total cost of the outfit beteween $299,100 and $313,000.

An average citizen living in the Mat-Su Valley (where Palin's hometown of Wasilla is located) would have to work for over 10 ye…

Organizers' Meeting for GLBT Anti-Violence Working Group

There has recently been an upswing in anti-gay hate crimes in the Adams Morgan and 14th Street areas of DC. A small group of us have decided to start organizing a Working Group...

We will meet 7:30 PM Monday, at the DC Center, 1111 14th Street NW, Suite 350.

Here is a tentative agenda, but I would like to have additions by Sunday night.

1. Introductions (5 mins)
-- assign roles

2. Review of recent hate crimes -- Is there truly a sharp increase this year? (10 mins)
-- do we have hard numbers?

3. How do we record and monitor MPD's response? (15 mins)
-- should we invite GLUU to the community meeting, or C. Dyer from Fenty's administration?
-- what do we know about the previous group that used to do this?

4. Organizing a community meeting -- where? when? (15 mins)
-- establish a list of tasks and assign them in prep for this meeting

5. Community education -- where do these hate crimes come from? (10 mins)
-- bullying, violence, starting with children
-- Pete will have a mock-up of a br…

Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested At the RNC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
www.democracynow.org

September 1, 2008

Contact:
Denis Moynihan 917-549-5000
Mike Burke 646-552-5107, mike@democracynow.org

ST. PAUL, MN—Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her. Video of her arrest can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfully detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman's crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being he…

Update from RNC re protests, cop raids

by Sonia Silbert, Co-Coordinator, Washington Peace Center

We woke up Sat morning to the news that three houses had been raided early in the morning. Two were houses of lead local organizers and one was a house of Food Not Bombs folks - they were all awaken to cops raiding their houses with guns drawn and were all detained while the cops went through the houses. Everyone in the houses was released except for 3 or 4 main local organizers - they were arrested and are being held without bail for "conspiracy to riot", "conspiracy to commit property destruction" and (my favorite) "conspiracy to plan civil disobedience".

Friday night at the convergence space there were two activist parents with their 5 year-old son with them during the raid. He was understandably frightened out of his wits at the sight of all these cops with guns handcuffing his dad and all their friends. Unfortunately, he and his parents were staying at one of the houses that was raided Sa…

High schoolers refusing war and occupation in Palestine

High school seniors send Olmert Barak letter saying they refuse to enlist in army carrying out Israel's policy of 'segregation, oppression, killing in occupied territories'; army reacts quickly, arrests teen at his Herzliya home a day after he was set to enlist.

Dozens of Israeli high school seniors who are looking to evade mandatory military service on moral grounds sent a letter Wednesday to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Education Minister Yuli Tamir and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi in protest of Israel's policy of "segregation, killing and oppression in the occupied territories".

As opposed to previous protests by the defiant teens, also known as refuseniks, the IDF responded harshly and arrested 18-year-old Udi Nir at his Herzliya home a day after he was supposed to enlist in the army. The teen was subsequently brought before a military judge.

Tali Lerner of the New Profile movement, which backs the refuseniks campaig…

Great video of Dennis K.

Why I am a fan of this man from Cleveland. He mentions HR 333: Resolved, That Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors; HR 1258: Impeachment of President Bush; HR 1345: additional impeachable charge against Bush...

WPC Board Member Maxit speaks truth to power in Beijing

‘Team Tibet’ Gets Deported for Displaying Flag
By Danielle Wang
Epoch Times StaffAug 9, 2008

NEW YORK—Three Tibetan supporters were deported from China when they unfurled a Tibetan flag an hour before the Olympic Ceremony started.

The three Tibetan supporters, Jonathan Stribling-Uss, 27, and Kalaya’an Mendoza, 29, and Cesar Pablo Maxit, 32, are Americans, with Maxit also holding Argentinean citizenship. Each displayed the Tibetan national flag and was taken away by police afterwards.

It is considered a serious crime to display Tibet’s national flag in China. When Stribling-Uss, Mendoza and Maxit arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport Saturday afternoon, they were greeted by friends, supporters and people of the Tibetan community.

“We proudly displayed the Tibetan flag in Beijing yesterday to shine a spotlight on the Chinese government's lethal military crackdown inside Tibet and its attempt to use the Beijing Olympics to cover up its human rights abuses there,” said Mendoza of N…

Cindy is on the ballot!

Dear Supporter,

On behalf of the people of San Francisco and all whom dream of a better tomorrow, we are proud to announce that Cindy Sheehan is officially on the ballot as a candidate for California's 8th Congressional District Representative to the U.S. House. Cindy is only the 6th Independent candidate ever to be listed on a California election ballot.

There has been an overwhelming and unprecedented show of support among San Francisco voters for the Sheehan campaign's progressive agenda. Over the past few months, hundreds of volunteers and supports rallied around getting their voices heard in November's election. After collecting roughly 20,000 signatures, with at least 10,198 qualifying, the Sheehan campaign has proven its viability with flying colors.

Cindy's access to November's ballot is evidence of growing discontent among San Francisco voters with the Democratically lead U.S. congress and its inability to end the war, hold the Bush administration acc…

Sy Hersh: Cheney Plot to Attack Americans, Provoke War with Iran

Speaking at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, Seymour Hersh — a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New Yorker — revealed that Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran.

In Hersh’s most recent article, he reports that this meeting occurred in the wake of the overblown incident in the Strait of Hormuz, when a U.S. carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats. The “meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. ‘The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,’” according to one of Hersh’s sources.

During the journalism conference event, I asked Hersh specifically about this meeting and if he could elaborate on what occurred. Hersh explained that, during the meeting in Cheney’s office, an idea was considered to dress up Navy Seals as Iranians, put them on fake Iranian speedboats, and shoot at them. This idea, intended to provoke an …

Groups protest Hagee and his hateful group

Peace and Justice Groups Protest warmongering "Christians," Hateful Hagee


For Comment: Immediate Release

Malachy Kilbride, Wash. Peace Center, (202) 841-2230 July 18, 2008

Barbra Bearden, Peace Action, (301) 565-4050, ext. 330

WASHINGTON – Monday evening a coalition of peace and social justice groups wishing to foster greater understanding between faith traditions and stopping an illegal and immoral military strike on the nation of Iran will be protesting outside the Christians United for Israel Conference at the DC Convention Center.


When: 5:00-8:00 PM, Monday, July 21st

Where: 9th Street and Mass. Avenue NW, Across from DC Convention Center

What: Protest the right-wing Christians United for Israel Annual Conference, and raise awareness about preventing war with Iran and the importance of respecting world religions.


Iran, Israel and Nuclear Elephants

By Nadia Hijab, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies

Beyond the histrionics of US foreign policy, the real issue concerning an Iranian development of nuclear weapons is international nonproliferation – and, indeed, a world free of all nuclear weapons, argues Nadia Hijab.
Whatever else it is, Iran’s nuclear quest is not short on drama. Israel and Iran have just flexed their military muscles in highly publicized exercises and tests. The P5+1 - the US, Britain, France, Russia, and China, all permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany - just brandished another acre of carrots and rainforest of sticks at Iran.

In the US Congress, resolutions to impose a naval blockade against Iran, among other measures, have been cosponsored by nearly half the House and a third of the Senate, in complete disregard of the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate that says Iran no longer has an active nuclear weapons program.

These histrionics have cloaked the elephant in the room …

Civil resistance intensifies to evil policies so far this year

In honor of Independence Day, I was originally going to write a piece talking about the loss of our republic to the military-corporate empire we live in now, but I thought I would just save myself the additional frustration and post Max from Baltimore's report on civil resistance actions and trials thus far this year! Thanks Max...

Thanks to all of you who were able to risk arrest or to support such protests against the Iraq War. Let us continue to take the risks of peace. This list of appeals, arrests and legal cases is not all-inclusive. Please send additions, corrections and updates to mobuszewski at verizon.net. Included are arrests and pending cases in 2008.

JULY

20—[WDC] The government was to file a brief in response to the one filed on Dec. 29, 2007 by Mark Goldstone on behalf of Beth Adams, Ellen Barfield, Michelle Grise, Sherrill Hogen, Kathryn McClanen, Joan Nicholson, Max Obuszewski & Eve Tetaz with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. They are appealing co…