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Showing posts from June, 2008

Cleveland Assembly and Our Plans for the Inauguration

This past weekend was the "National" Anti-War Assembly in Cleveland. It was a frustrating gathering of anti-war activists from many places across the country, but an overwhelming number were naturally from Ohio, to try and draft a plan for a mass mobilization. Most of the time was spent on specific language of their structure, specific language to be used within the movement, and ideological debates. There was a date set for Dec. 9 for regional anti-war mobilization. This decision might have been the most concrete, but the timing is obviously terrible -- wedged right in between major holidays.

Here in D.C. the Washington Peace center and the new peace and social justice organizing coalition has gotten behind organizing for the inauguration. Whether it is Obama or McCain, military expenses will continue to receive the majority of our budget, and critical domestic needs will continue to suffer. However, realistically we know that the image of this mobilization will likely diffe…

Empire cracks down on anti-war resistance

Thursday 19 June 2008
by: Bill Quigley, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

"We can never forget that everything that Hitler did in Germany was 'legal,' and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did was 'illegal.' It was 'illegal' to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany , but I am sure that if I lived in Germany during that time I would have comforted my Jewish brothers even though it was illegal ... we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive." Martin Luther King Jr.

There have been over 15,000 arrests for resistance to war since 2002. There were large numbers right after the runup to and invasion of Iraq . Recently, arrests have begun climbing again. Though arrests are a small part of antiwar organizing, their rise is an indicator of increasing resistance.

The information comes from the Nuclear Resister, a newsletter that has been report…

There are no leaders -- We are the leaders!

The National Anti-war Assembly in Cleveland just got a little more important. I sent this out to a lot of local organizers and others in the movement late last night:

This evening at our coalition organizing meeting it was revealed that UFPJ does not want to do anything for the inauguration, and will in fact will try and dissuade their member groups from doing anything on the inauguration. ANSWER may be similar; they have obtained permits, but have indicated that a lot depends on who wins the election.I was disappointed. However I was glad there was a lot of energy at our meeting and folks wanted to do something. There will be a big action(s) on January 20th!

A lot of folks are afraid of doing something too close to MLK Day. The fact is we SHOULD be doing something because it is MLK Day. We need to honor King's legacy, not just a part of it -- but ALL of it. And that includes challenging militarism, and concretely working toward the beloved community he envisioned.

Personally, it wil…

Supreme Court got it right; McCain is flat wrong

A couple days ago the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the writ of habeas corpus, a basic legal right at the foundation of our judicial system, for those held at the Guantanamo concentration camp. Habeas corpus has been around since the 17th century; it is the right for an individual to challenge their detention. In Guantanamo, men and teenage boys have been held there for years, some for now more than six years. Some were turned over to the U.S. military by bounty hunters in Afghanistan.

McCain believes this system should continue, Obama does not. This is a stark contrast between the two; one of the starkest yet during this campaign. To not respect one of the key legal rights which our Constitution was founded on is a serious flaw. Below is an article on McCain's recent blustering on this very topic. I wonder if he believes the North Vietnamese government had the right to hold him indefinitely and mistreat him.

McCain blasts ruling on Guantanamo
He calls decision 'one of the worst'…

Convicted Criminal Considers the Cause, and the Court

By Malachy Kilbride,
Washington Peace Center

Last week, as prisoners continued to languish in the infamous and illegally-run US concentration camp of Guantanamo, I was fortunate to join 34 fellow criminals in Washington DC at the District of Columbia Superior Court as our case, for an act of peaceful civil resistance, was heard by a judge and prosecuted by one of America’s officers of the court. Our court experience was far more than our unfortunate brothers in Guantanamo have received after 6 years in their open-ended confinement. Approximately 270 Guantanamo prisoners are held in captivity without charges, Habeas Corpus rights denied, access to civil courts denied, living in conditions of abuse, torture, and with little hope for life or liberty. Some have committed suicide because of their desperate situation.

On January 11, 2008 hundreds of people solemnly processed from The National Mall to The United States Supreme Court marking the 6th year of the prison camp to redress our grieva…

Eleven activists sent to jail for demonstrating at U.S. Supreme Court

By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Eleven peace activists received jail sentences May 30 after being convicted of misdemeanor charges in connection with a Jan. 11 nonviolent demonstration at the U.S. Supreme Court calling for the closing of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The 11 were among 34 people convicted of unlawfully gathering on the Supreme Court grounds by District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Wendell Gardner Jr. May 29 after a three-day trial. Their sentences ranged from one to 15 days, the length dependent upon the number of previous convictions stemming from other similar actions.

Six of those who were sent to jail are members of the Catholic Worker Movement. They are: Kirk Brown and Ed Bloomer of Des Moines, Iowa; Brian Terrell of Maloy, Iowa; Carmen Trotta of New York City; Arthur Laffin of Washington; and Bill Frankel-Streit of Louisa, Va.

Others receiving jail terms were Susan Crane of Baltimore, a resident of Jonah House who h…