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Showing posts from September, 2008

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…