|Progressive Calendar 07.07.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2006 03:57:51 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 07.07.06 1. Labor peace rally 7.07 8am 2. fFunch lunch 7.07 11:30am 3. Road/Guantanamo/f 7.07 7pm 4. Pentel/governor 7.07 7pm 5. Cram with wamm 7.08 10am 6. Alt to military 7.08 10:30am 7. AWC/Colombia 7.08 5:30am 8. MIBA/IndyBiz bash 7.08 6:30pm 9. Girls intl forum 7.08-16 10. Democracy Now - Mexican elections 11. Alan Jones - Mexican election: another stolen presidency? 12. Joshua Frank - Hillary a perfect neocon on Iraq and Israel 13. ed - Finding your butt (poem) 14. ed - Ode to the blowed (poem) --------1 of 14-------- Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2006 13:59:19 GMT From: Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council <betsy [at] mplscluc.com> Subject: Labor peace rally 7.07 8am Rally for Labor Peace Agreement Holiday Inn Select International Airport, 34th Ave S & Hwy 494 (across from M/SP airport) July 7 - 8-8:30am -Holiday Inn Select Bloomington broke federal Labor law to such an extent as to cause the NLRB to overturn the election results. -UNITE HERE has met with management and asked for a Labor Peace Agreement, which management rejected. Please join us at this important rally, and call Mike Wilke, GM of Holiday Inn Select Bloomington, and ask him to sign the Labor Peace Agreement. Mike Wilke can be reached at 952-854-9000. For questions or comments, please contact Martin Goff at 612-379-4730 ext. 14. -------2 of 14-------- From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: fFunch lunch 7.07 11:30am Meet the FFUNCH BUNCH! 11:30am-1pm First Friday Lunch (FFUNCH) for Greens/progressives. Informal political talk and hanging out. Day By Day Cafe 477 W 7th Av St Paul. Meet in the private room (holds 12+). Day By Day has soups, salads, sandwiches, and dangerous apple pie; is close to downtown St Paul & on major bus lines --------3 of 14-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Road to Guantanamo 7.07 7pm TC Opening FRI JULY 7 @ Landmark Cinema: RQOD TO GUANTANAMO Part documentary, part dramatization, this is the terrifying first-hand account of three British citizens who went to Pakistan for a wedding, but ended up being held for two years without charges in the American military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The three were eventually released, and no formal charges have ever been made against them. The film's critical stance towards the British and American governments has already engendered significant controversy since its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear for Best Director (Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross). Official Web Site Directors: Michael Winterbottom & Mat Whitecross Cast: Riz Ahmed, Farhad Harun, Arfan Usman, Shahid Iqbal, Sher Khan, Jason Salkey, Jacob Gaffney, Mark Holden, Duane Henry, William Meredith, Payman Bina, Adam James, Ian Hughes, James Buller, Mark Sproston MPAA Rating: R Run Time: 1hr 35mins Release Year: 2006 Country of origin;UK --------4 of 14-------- From: Ken Pentel <kenpentel [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Pentel/governor 7.07 7pm Ken Pentel Green Party endorsed got governor. July 7, Robbinsdale Whiz-Bang Days, 7pm outside the gate then we go in for $5. (Just behind the Robbinsdale Water tower at Hwy 100 and Co. Rd. 42.) --------5 of 14------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Cram with wamm 7.08 10am WAMM Book Club Saturday, July 8, 10am to 12noon Residence of Lucia Wilkes Smith, 2615 Park Avenue, Minneapolis. Book: "Theocracy" by Kevin Phillips. Open for people to join at any time. FFI: Email <rabbas [at] usinternet.com>. --------6 of 14-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Alt to military 7.08 10:30am The 2nd Saturday of each month), 10:30 am, Coalition for Alternatives to Military Service (or CAMS, a counter-recruitment group) meets at Twin Cities Friends Meeting, 1725 Grand, St. Paul. Contact Mary at wamm [at] mtn.org --------7 of 14-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: AWC/Colombia 7.08 5:30am Saturday, 7/8, 5:30 and 7 pm, Antiwar Committee fundraising dinner for Colombia delegation with Asian grilled delicacies. FFI: awcmere [at] hotmail.com or website www.antiwarcommittee.org --------8 of 14-------- From: Tim Dykstal <tim [at] metroiba.org> Subject: MIBA/Indy biz bash 7.08 6:30pm Celebrating Our Independents! Party at the BLACK DOG CAFÉ IN SAINT PAUL ON SATURDAY, JULY 8, AT 6:30 P.M. Come, mingle with, and learn about the independent businesses that make the Twin Cities area such a unique and vibrant place to live." [Saint Paul] - The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) and the Metro Independent Business Alliance (MetroIBA) declare the week of July 1-7 Independents Week, a celebration focusing on the contributions of independent businesses to our communities and economy. "It's a time to reflect on the importance of economic democracy and community self-determination by celebrating the nation's locally owned independent businesses and the stake each citizen has in shaping their home town's future," stated AMIBA director Jennifer Rockne. "MetroIBA invites all members, prospective members, and friends to help us celebrate," said Tim Dykstal, MetroIBA Executive Director. "We're having a party at the BLACK DOG CAFÉ IN SAINT PAUL ON SATURDAY, JULY 8, AT 6:30 P.M. Come, mingle with, and learn about the independent businesses that make the Twin Cities area such a unique and vibrant place to live." Dykstal added that, in addition to showcasing MetroIBAs accomplishments during the first year of its existence, the event will offer attendees the opportunity to discuss hot-button issues of concern to area businesses, such as the stadium deals recently passed by the Minnesota Legislature. MetroIBA is affiliated with the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) and is part of a growing national movement of communities rallying to support their independent businesses, take control of their local economies, and reverse the trend of chains and big boxes displacing locally owned businesses. AMIBA is joined by the Council of Independent Restaurants of America (CIRA), the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the American Specialty Toy Retail Association (ASTRA), the American Booksellers Association (ABA), the Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) and other concerned citizens nationwide united to celebrate Independents Week. "Independents Week is a national celebration," said Dykstal. "Other IBAs will be holding similar events around the country. We have a reason to celebrate - these friends and neighbors embody the spirit of entrepreneurism and individuality in our community. Our citizens are integral to ensuring we keep these businesses that help define who we are and contribute to our sense of place." For more information, contact Dykstal or visit the MetroIBA website at www.metroiba.org <http://www.metroiba.org/>. Contact: Tim Dykstal, 651-399-9847, tim [at] metroiba.org Executive Director, Metro Independent Business Alliance P. O. Box 4126 Saint Paul, MN 55104 --------9 of 14-------- From: erin [at] mnwomen.org Subject: Girls intl forum 7.08-16 Saturday, July 8 - Sunday, July16: Girls International Forum, 62 girls (ages 12-18) from eight different countries will create a Girls Platform for Action. The girls, and their women mentors, will be developing Action Plans to address global issues such as education, health and economic empowerment. You can get involved. Find out how by calling 651/645-3636. --------10 of 14-------- Dem Now transcript re Mexican Elections with David Brooks, Gilberto Lopez Rivas, John Ross, George Grayson Populist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and conservative Felipe Calderon both claim victory in Mexico's closest-ever presidential race. Lopez Obrador is now calling for a full recount after charges of voter fraud and manipulation. We go to Mexico City to get a report and host a roundtable discussion on the election. [includes rush transcript] The party of populist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is demanding a full, vote-by-vote recount in Mexico's closest-ever presidential race. A preliminary count of the votes cast in Sunday's election gave a slim lead to conservative candidate Felipe Calderon. But federal election officials acknowledged Tuesday that more than three million ballots - or eight percent of the total - remain uncounted. In the latest tally, Calderon leads Lopez Obrador by just over 0.6 of a percentage point, meaning the race is still too close to call. On election night, both of Mexico's major television networks said their exit polls showed a statistical tie. Two hours later both candidates claimed victory in Mexico City. The new election results were released on Tuesday after Lopez Obrador made charges of fraud and manipulation of the vote. His party is calling for a full recount of all 41 million votes claiming that some voting places were counted twice while others weren't counted at all. Although a formal recount will begin today, electoral authorities will only be required to re-check tallies from each ballot box. Lopez Obrador has been running on a progressive platform calling for greater aid to the poor; free medical care and food subsidies for the elderly; the rewriting of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement; and the end to the further privatization of the country's oil and gas industries. Meanwhile Felipe Calderon has received the strong backing of the business community. a.. David Brooks, U.S. Bureau Chief for Mexican Daily newspaper La Jornada. b.. Gilberto López Rivas, anthropologist with the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City. He is also a frequent contributor to La Jornada. c.. John Ross, a regular contributor to the Nation, Counterpunch and La Jornada. He has also written three books chronicling the Zapitista movement in Mexico. His latest is "Making Another World Possible: Zapatista Chronicle 2000-2006" to be published by Nation Books in October 2006. His most recent article about the Mexico elections is on the Nation.com website and is titled "Disputed Election Raises Tensions in Mexico." d.. George Grayson, professor of Government at the College of William and Mary. He also writes a regular column for "Milenio Semanal," a weekly magazine in Mexico. Professor Grayson's latest book is about presidential contender, Andrés Manuel López Obrador and is titled "Mesías Mexicano," - in English, "Mexican Messiah." RUSH TRANSCRIPT AMY GOODMAN: On election night, both of Mexico's major television networks said their exit polls showed a statistical tie. Two hours later, both candidates claimed victory. This is Lopez Obrador speaking in Mexico City. ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR: [translated] I want to tell the Mexican people that, according to our data, we won the presidency of the republic. AMY GOODMAN: Felipe Calderon also claimed victory on Sunday night. FELIPE CALDERON: [translated] We have won the presidential elections, and that data will be confirmed by the Federal Electoral Institute. AMY GOODMAN: The new election results were released on Tuesday after Lopez Obrador made charges of fraud and manipulation of the vote. His party is calling for a full recount of all 41 million votes, claiming that some voting places were counted twice, while others weren't counted at all. Although a formal recount will begin today, electoral authorities will only be required to recheck tallies from each ballot box. Lopez Obrador has been running on a progressive platform calling for greater aid to the poor; free medical care and food subsidies for the elderly; the rewriting of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement; and the end to the further privatization of the country's oil and gas industries. Meanwhile, Felipe Calderon has received the strong backing of the business community. We're joined now in our Firehouse studio by David Brooks, the U.S. Bureau Chief for the Mexican daily newspaper La Jornada. On the phone from Mexico, we're joined by Gilberto Lopez Rivas. He's with the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City, frequent contributor to La Jornada. We're also joined on the line by John Ross, a journalist and author who has written three books chronicling the Zapatista movement in Mexico. His latest book is called Making Another World Possible: Zapatista Chronicle 2000-2006. And we're joined by Professor George Grayson, Professor of Government at the College of William and Mary. He also writes a regular column for a weekly magazine in Mexico. We welcome you all to Democracy Now! David Brooks, let's begin with you. Were you surprised by the vote? DAVID BROOKS: The election had been neck-and-neck for the last couple months, although Lopez Obrador's people had expected to win by 2, 3, 4 percentage points, so everybody was a bit upset about this tie. And the question is now that nobody quite knows what the result is in Mexico. And that uncertainty and that doubt that has been brought upon the electoral institution for not being clear about what happened with these three million votes, what's happened with the preliminary results, has led for more uncertainty, and so now we're in uncharted terrain in Mexico. AMY GOODMAN: George Grayson, you're with the College of William and Mary, a professor who writes a weekly column in Mexico. Can you talk about your reaction to the vote? GEORGE GRAYSON: I agree with David. I was out on election day as an observer visiting various precincts, and I found it to be a relatively calm, orderly process, except their so-called special precincts, casillas especiales, where if you happen to be a tourist from another part of Mexico, you can cast your vote. Regrettably, the election law only allows these special precincts to have 750 ballots. And I was in the neighborhood of the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, where there are just thousands and thousands of tourists on the weekend. And in the five special precincts around the Basilica or in that particular borough of the city, all of them ran out of ballots, and they were looking for another place to vote. I think that was probably more bureaucratic incompetence and the failure of the legislature here to update a law that's about 11 years old. But otherwise, the voting seemed to go smoothly. AMY GOODMAN: John Ross, you've been writing extensively, well, for years and in the lead-up to the election and now afterwards. Your assessment today of what the numbers mean that have so far been revealed and how this reverberates with the past? JOHN ROSS: I think I'd like first to say that we need to put this in context. This is the most important election that Mexico has had perhaps since the Mexican Revolution. This is an election which will tell us whether Mexico is part of North America or is, in fact, in alignment with the left democracies in Latin America that have developped. This is an election that's been based on the class war. Lopez Obrador represents the poor people in this country. This is poor versus rich, brown versus white, worker versus boss. This is, in fact, an electoral class war, and in fact, if the election isn't straightened out real quickly it's not only going to be an electoral class war. My assessment is that, in relation to what Professor Grayson said, that you can't tell anything from what happens in the poles on election day, elections here are stolen before, during and after the election, and so now we're in the aftermath, and we saw the disappearance of 3 million votes from the PREP, from the preliminary totals. Only 2.5 million have been put back in there. There's still 600,000 votes out there. I personally believe that those votes were not counted on Sunday night to give the impression that Felipe Calderon had won the election. The PREP, of course, can't determine who won the election, but if we look at the news media, particularly the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, they're all giving it to Calderon on the basis of this PREP, from which the Federal Electoral Institute withdrew 3 million votes, in order to give the impression that Calderon had won, and I think that's a measure of how the Federal Electoral Institute is active throughout this entire electoral process. Way before the campaigns began in January, when Luis Carlos Ugalde was appointed president of the IFE, we began to see a pronounced bias against Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and in favor of Felipe Calderon in the decisions that the IFE and Ugalde were making. This latest event where three million votes disappeared and then were placed back in after Ugalde was called on it, and he only on a television interview yesterday morning admitted that these votes had been taken out. The other thing, Amy, that we really have to look at is that there's an enormous disparity between the numbers of votes that have been cast for senators and deputies and those for the president. And interestingly enough, in those states in which the PRD, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's party, has won the elections, there are much many fewer votes for the president than there are for the senators and deputies, whereas in the states that the PAN now controls, there are many more votes for the president than there are for the senators and the deputies. And the state that's most, I think, blaring here is the state of Tabasco. There were 13% more votes for the president than there are for senators and congressmen. And I say that Tabasco is an interesting case, because both the candidate from the PRI, Roberto Madrazo, and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador are natives of Tabasco, and of course there would be a much higher vote for president than there would be for senators or deputies. So, that's where we are. Today, they begin to tally up the districts. There's going to be a huge fight about whether or not you get to open up the ballot box, open up the bags in which the ballots are counted, and recount those things. What we're seeing here is a replay of the 1988 election, which was stolen from Cuauhtemoc Cardenas by an electoral authority that was then part of the government. The IFE is supposed to be autonomous. But we're seeing a replay right down to the fact that on Saturday night two poll-watchers [inaudible] were shot, were killed. After the 1988 election was stolen from Cardenas, hundreds and hundreds of his supporters were killed in political violence here. AMY GOODMAN: Your response, Professor George Grayson? You, too, are in Mexico City right now. GEORGE GRAYSON: I think it's been a public relations nightmare for the Federal Electoral Institute because Lopez Obrador was asserting that there were several million votes that hadn't been tallied, and the head of the institute did recognize that yesterday. I think it's too early to say that the fix is in. And one of the problems was when they constituted the political council of IFE, which, as John Ross said so accurately, supervises the election, issues credentials and gives a preliminary tally, Lopez Obrador's party wasn't included on that nine-member council. And I think it was a mistake by the main political forces here not to just lock the various party leaders' room and insist that they have someone from Lopez Obrador's party. Now, his party can be feisty, sometimes downright cantankerous, but it was a major error, I think, of Congress and of the government secretary not to include his party in the race. Before we get to the point of painting him as some kind of a Franklin Roosevelt, I wrote a book about him that was published two months ago; followed him for three years and went to his hometown of Tepetitan in rural Tabasco, and I think he's done a service to the nation in that he's focused on the plight of the poor here, because 10% of the elite control 45% of the wealth. And it's especially -- these disparities are especially notable in the south. And if you look at a map of the vote on Sunday, it's virtually the north versus the south, the north being the more developed and more U.S.-oriented part of the country, the south being less developed, lots of natural resources but mal-distribution of income and larger indigenous populations. But Lopez Obrador, for his genuine commitment to poor people, does have messianic tendencies. He would lead marches from Tabasco to Mexico City, which he called "exodus" marches. When he became mayor of Mexico City, he rechristened the city the "City of Hope," La Ciudad de la Esperanza. He calls himself the little ray of hope. And during his first three years as mayor, he regularly distorted or perverted actions of the city council. They passed a bill, for example, requiring all motorists to have auto insurance. He simply told the Secretary of Transportation not to enforce that. The city council passed legislation saying we want a transparency council, so we can have a local Freedom of Information Act. He tied that initiative up in knots, and so now it has become a toothless tabby cat. So he has a strong commitment to the poor, but he also has a belief that law is the will of the people, not actions of elected officials. AMY GOODMAN: Professor George Grayson, we'll get response after break. Professor Grayson speaking to us from Mexico City; John Ross also there; independent journalist David Brooks in studio here in New York, of La Jornada, Mexican newspaper. When we come back we'll also speak to an Gilberto Lopez Rivas, who is an anthropologist in Mexico City. [break] AMY GOODMAN: I'm Amy Goodman, as we talk about the elections right now in Mexico. The PRD candidate, Lopez Obrador, has called for a recount, with the officials saying it's too close to call, though many are calling it for the PAN candidate. We have a roundtable of people to speak. In addition to John Ross, independent journalist in Mexico City, we're speaking with Professor Grayson there, David Brooks of La Jornada in our New York studio, and we're now joined by Gilberto Lopez Rivas, anthropologist with the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City. Can you first share your reaction to this election -- they say the closest in history -- and this latest news of the three million votes that have not yet been counted? GILBERTO LOPEZ RIVAS: Well, I think that we have the phantom of the fraud election and state election appearing now in the public opinion and letters. Hundreds of letters in electronic means of communication are counting the irregularities and the forms in which this fraud is carried on by the Institute of Federal Elections. And I think that the counting of the votes could clear this fraud or could confirm that there is complicity between Ugalde, who is the head of the Institute of Federal Elections, and the President Fox. So now we have, as the other professor said, a nation divided by the vote but united in the clarification process that is needed to accept any president in the future. So I think that we are in the middle of a big conflict that is going to explode in these days. The counting, you have to finish at the end of the week. But I think that the people is not so happy with what is happening now. AMY GOODMAN: In terms of history, going back to Cuauhtémoc Cardenas, 1988, afterwards there was terrible violence. A number of people were killed. Lopez Obrador being one of the top aides to Cardenas at the time. Do you see this being repeated today? GILBERTO LOPEZ RIVAS: Yes, but with the difference that we have a society more clear, with more consciousness of what is happening. And if we have a modernization of fraud by the means of the electronic counting, we have also the democratization of what is happening by the means of the electronic mail. So what is happening now is that I receive hundreds of mails that are calling to demonstrations. As a matter of fact, today we have several demonstrations in front of the electoral body counting. So, I think that the society, Mexican society, cannot afford another fraud and especially with this officially difference that today appears in only 0.63% of difference between one and the other candidate. So I think that there are more forces, political and social forces, that are going to oppose to this kind of result. AMY GOODMAN: The Los Angeles Times is reporting today suspicion among Lopez Obrador's supporters was heightened Monday when the investigative magazine Proceso, citing police intelligence sources, reported that senior Interior Ministry officials had attempted to shape media coverage on election night. Ministry officials called the news directors at Mexico's two leading television networks and requested that they not broadcast the results of their exit polls, Proceso reported, those exit polls, of course, showing that Lopez Obrador was in the lead. GILBERTO LOPEZ RIVAS: Yeah. It's completely -- the behavior of the means of communication -- the television, especially -- is completely in the side of the government, because, well, we have a legislative reform that gave them the complete monopoly of the media. So I believe that the behavior during the night of the election was completely suspicious, and nobody explains why they don't give the election exit polls that in another occasion was kind of something natural. And everybody's talking about that there is a big complicity between the big means of the media and the electoral body and the power. So, this belief is going to thousands and thousands of citizens that are very, very angry at what is happening. So I think that we are going to have days and weeks and probably months, and I think that we are not going to have a president in several weeks that is going to be accepted for the Mexicans. AMY GOODMAN: David Brooks, can you talk about the role of U.S. consultants in Mexico, specifically Dick Morris? DAVID BROOKS: I mean, the campaign of Felipe Calderon became much more successful once it went negative and it started borrowing U.S.-style fear campaign tactics and negative campaigning. Dick Morris was one of the informal consultants. He claims that he was never hired and wasn't full-time, but that he has said and admitted that he did have informal consultations with the Calderon campaign. AMY GOODMAN: Now, Dick Morris being the former -- DAVID BROOKS: Strategist for Bill Clinton, who then had to leave the public scene in disgrace and now is a Rupert Murdoch columnist, for Rupert Murdoch media. Part of what he contributed, as well as what operatives from the Aznar government, the ex-Prime Minister of Spain, Aznar, and other people to the campaign was to create a sense of fear about the possible -- because, actually projecting Lopez Obrador as a danger to Mexico, as a danger to the United States, as somebody who would be akin to a Hugo Chavez on our border. AMY GOODMAN: Not only akin, I was looking at a magazine from Mexico that had a chessboard with Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro beings the players and they're holding the pawn, who is Lopez Obrador. DAVID BROOKS: And the campaign also projected him as somebody who violates the law, who disregards the laws. AMY GOODMAN: As Professor Grayson was saying. DAVID BROOKS: Right, and part of that became the media campaign of saying this person is dangerous, doesn't respect the law, is willing to go to the streets and provoke violence and confront things. And all this -- up to the end of the campaign people were getting messages on their phones, as well as emails from the Calderon campaign, saying that if Lopez Obrador won you might lose your car, you might lose your business and you might lose even the right to practice your Catholic religion. And so, it intensified. This did have an effect and did close the polls and did polarize the election to a point, and that media campaign is now proceeding after the election, where most of Mexico's mainstream media, as well as the two monopoly television stations, have been projecting Calderon and giving a sense that he has won. There is no official result. The Federal Electoral Institute has said that the preliminary vote cannot be an indicator of who won or who lost, etc., etc. That media campaign has now crossed the border. And just yesterday, the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, all published editorials basically repeating some of the claims of Lopez Obrador as a danger, basically proclaiming that, in their view, Calderon has won the election, and saying that that's a good thing for Mexico and for the United States. Because, again, as the L.A. Times editorial subtitle says, editorial standoff reveals a populous candidate with undemocratic leanings. And they make this accusation because he proclaimed victory late Sunday night, but they failed to mention that the PAN was the first to proclaim victory and that Felipe Calderon, a few minutes after Andres Manuel said this, he said the same thing. So essentially what we have is this whole media campaign, very similar to what we've seen in this country, where the fight now is to use the media and use all the tools possible to proclaim yourself a winner without a basis in any of the facts. So what's happening, as well, and what I think the key is in Mexico is not what the fight is between Lopez Obrador and Felipe Calderon, but what about the people? And supposedly they're supposed to be the protagonists of this great democratic expression, and that's what's being violated right now. And that's what the fury is and the ire and the anger of people. Neither of these two candidates can claim to now represent the majority of Mexico. And so one of the questions is how is Mexico going to define how to proceed, and the protagonist can't be the candidates. The protagonist has to be the popular will. At least that's what we're told in a democracy. And the other factor there is, of course, that the U.S. has been very careful, the U.S. government has been very careful not to openly participate in this election, which is a wise thing to do. But it's no secret that the Bush administration, that Wall Street and, of course, the major media in this country favor Felipe Calderon, and that is also creating an issue of be careful what you read in the editorials, although the reports in most of these papers contradict the editorial. AMY GOODMAN: John Ross, from your vantage point in Mexico City and your years of writing on this issue, the Zapatistas, where does the whole movement fit into this? This week, Subcomandante Marcos was in a radio studio also alleging fraud. JOHN ROSS: Yeah. I -- you know, I've written a lot on the Zapatistas. The Zapatistas are in the middle of what is called the Other Campaign. I haven't been real happy with the Other Campaign. I think Gilberto is probably a better person to talk about the Other Campaign than I am. At this particular point, I think that the campaign has kind of -- it's kind of like a bicycle. When it doesn't go forward, it falls over, and it's kind of fallen over here in Mexico City. It pretty much limited its constituency to many young people, very much out of the mainstream of Mexican politics at this point and indeed is a contributor to the fact that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has had difficulty here, and there's been constant attacks on him by Subcomandante Marcos since the very beginning of this campaign. I wanted to take up another thing, because I think it's important, and also to respond to Professor Grayson, who wrote a hit piece, a book that was a hit piece on Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador: this question of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as being a violator of the law. We see statements in the New York Times by Ginger Thompson that he led violent demonstrations in Tabasco in 1996. I was with Lopez Obrador at those demonstrations in front of the PEMEX platforms. They were, in fact, nonviolent demonstrations. Just another example of how the U.S. press has turned this thing around. And, you know, here in Mexico City was accused of breaking the law because he tried to build an access road to a hospital out in Cuajimalpa in violation of a court order. They tried to bar him from the ballot. Major parties and Vicente Fox tried to bar him from the ballot. He put 1.2 million people in the streets. I was happy to march in that demonstration, the largest political demonstration in Mexico's history, last April. And they dropped the charges right away. The other thing is that, you know, when we say that the media has been very bad in this campaign, we have to understand that they're operating with the permission of the IFE. These hit pieces spots that ran for months and months that compared Lopez Obrador, inter-cut his face Hugo Chavez, Subcomandante Marcos, riots, lynchings, whatever you want, all these inter-cut his face, ran for months and months and months despite the objections of the PRD and of Lopez Obrador. It was only when there was a court order to have them removed that the IFE moved to remove those from the air just at the beginning of June. Time and time again -- I think the most -- one of the most egregious errors, maybe a deliberate error, that the IFE committed during this campaign was to disenfranchise millions and millions of Mexicans north of the border by setting up a procedure where it was impossible for people, undocumented workers, in the United States to cast a ballot, although there is a law now that says they're allowed to cast that ballot. Indeed on Sunday when thousands of people caravanned out of Los Angeles down to Tijuana to vote -- and the PRD is extremely strong in Los Angeles -- they were denied to vote because there were not enough special polling places and because, as Mr. Grayson has indicated, there's only 750 ballots in each. So at every step -- and again, the bulk of those voters, millions of voters in the United States who are thought to be Lopez Obrador supporters were denied the ballot because of IFE procedures. AMY GOODMAN: Professor Grayson, your response? GEORGE GRAYSON: First of all, IFE wasn't enthusiastic about having the vote abroad. It was legislation passed by the Mexican Congress, which is elected, and I agree that the Mexican Congress is no model of efficiency. It does much better at blocking bills than passing them. But IFE simply had to abide by the guidelines, and the guidelines required expatriates to have to register in January, and so that meant that you were going to have a very small registration, only about 41,000 sought ballots, and maybe 32 or 33 thousand actually voted. Turns out, the overwhelming number of people who voted from abroad voted for Calderon, although one can assume that was a largely middle-class vote. With regard to the 1988 election, I was here for that one also, and undoubtedly the fraud was ubiquitous. But there wasn't much violence after that election, mainly because the loser, Cuauhtémoc Cardenas, who's run three times for president of Mexico unsuccessfully and is kind of an icon of the Mexican left and who did not support Lopez Obrador in this campaign, the election was in early July, I think July 6, as I recall, and about two months later he went into the Zocalo and made a speech in which he criticized the outcome of the election. He said he had been defrauded of the presidency, although, of course, the ballots were impounded, later burned, but he did not call the people to violence. There was a major split within what became the PRD at that time, and Cuahtémoc Cardenas acted in a -- I think a patriotic fashion, because he could have had a class warfare at that time. With regard to the spots, the negative campaigning here is really rather mild compared to what it is in the United States. It's just for 71 years one party controlled the system. And the candidates didn't have to -- at least the candidates of the official party didn't have to beat up on their opponents because they were going to win anyway. And Lopez Obrador does make intemperate statements on the stump. AMY GOODMAN: I'm going to give the last word to Gilberto Lopez Rivas. Your response and final comment. GILBERTO LOPEZ RIVAS: I agree with a lot of commentaries that make my colleagues. And what, for me, is important is what is going to be the reaction of the people, before the fraud that is carrying out by the federal institute. That is the main questions. And we have to go into what the people is thinking and what the majority of the people is thinking. Mexico was a specialist in electoral fraud, but we believe that we have been overcome this kind of situation, and now we return again to 12 years ago, and that is very dangerous today. It's completely dangerous. I think that if the tribunal, the electoral tribunal, that is the body that has to say who is the next president, doesn't take in account what is happening in the federal institute, this is going to be kind of riot in Mexico. AMY GOODMAN: We'll leave it there, and we'll certainly continue to follow the story of the Mexico elections. I want to thank you, Gilberto Lopez Rivas, for joining us, anthropologist with the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City; David Brooks here in New York, of La Jornada; John Ross who writes for The Nation and writes independently, a number of books, among them Rebellion from the Roots and The Annexation of Mexico; and Professor George Grayson of the College of William and Mary. I want to thank you all for being with us. --------11 of 14-------- Mexican Presidential Election: Another Stolen Presidency? The Country Threatens to Erupt if the Right Steals Another Election Alan Jones Jul 5, 2006 http://www.socialistalternative.org/news/article11.php?id=387 Latin America is in the midst of a continental revolt against the governments and ruling elites which have relentlessly followed neo-liberal free-market policies for more than a decade. Over 215 million, a staggering 41%, are "living in poverty" in Latin America while an additional 18% are facing hunger. As a result there has been an explosion of mass opposition. Struggles of workers, peasants, indigenous people, students and others exploited by capitalism and imperialism have erupted in Chile, Peru, Argentina, Colombia and many other countries. In Venezuela, and Bolivia, mass movements resulted in the election of left populist governments that challenge US imperialism. Polarized Elections The July 2nd elections in Mexico were a bitterly polarized electoral contest described by the New York Times as a contrast between "promise and fear." The "promise" part represented the empty promises for jobs and a decent life by the Harvard-educated, millionaire right-wing candidate of the National Action Party (PAN) Felipe Calderon. The "fear" was for the high anxiety of the Mexican and US ruling class over a possible victory by the radical populist Lopez Obrador, candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). Obrador was ahead in the polls for months before the elections and all exit polls indicated a lead for the PRD candidate. Yet, after the election, and with three million votes reported "missing," both Obrador and Calderon claimed victory. At the time of this writing, there were reports that Calderon was "ahead" by 0.6%, (Calderon and Obrador had roughly a reported 36% each and the PRI candidate had 21%) and there were going to be several recounts of ballots. On July 5, a later partial recount showed Obrador again in the lead, resulting in the Mexican stock market index falling 4% and the peso plunging against the dollar because of the uncertainty and tension. In the US and Mexican corporate media there were fears that there may be clashes as the polarization and anger against fraud threaten to explode to the surface. History of fraud The events that followed the election of July 2nd bear an eerie resemblance to the presidential elections of 1988 when the insurgent left candidate of the PRD Cardenas, was defeated by massive fraud after a "computer collapse" and the award of the election to Salinas of the corrupt PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party). Salinas, and after him Zedillo and current president of the PAN, Vincente Fox, went ahead with a massive program of privatizations and attacks on the living standards of millions of Mexican workers and peasants while opening the country to the plunder and exploitation of US capital through NAFTA. Millions of displaced and impoverished Mexican peasants and workers especially from the south had to emigrate internally to the new factories in the maquiladoras or as undocumented immigrants in the United States in order to survive. As a result of NAFTA, the real wages of unskilled workers have further declined since the collapse of the Mexican economy in the 1980s and Mexican workers are now facing mounting wage pressure from China. The imposition of Felipe Calderón as President would mean the continuation of the same policies, which are threatening to cause an explosion. The election took place as hundreds of thousands of miners, teachers and other workers were staging strikes and demonstrations across Mexico. The death of 65 coal miners in Coahuila state in February was followed by an explosion of struggles by miners and metal workers demanding an emergency wage increase, safe working conditions and an end to privatizations. Popular rebellion In July, 70,000 teachers in the state of Oaxaca were striking for higher wages. Following attacks by 1,700 riot police, teachers armed with sticks and stones fought running battles and eventually overpowered them. The movement in Oaxaca has broadened into a popular rebellion. Meanwhile hundreds of unions, and community organizations representing over 10 million workers are calling a nationwide general strike for July 28. The mass support for the campaign of Obrador, was an indication of the determination of the working class and the most oppressed to defeat the neo-liberal policies. Lopez Obrador campaigned as a populist adopting the slogan, "For the Good of Everyone, the Poor First." Obrador pledged to renegotiate sections of the North American Free Trade Agreement in order to protect domestic producers from US agricultural imports. At the same time, he has repeatedly made clear to business and banking groups that he can be trusted to safeguard their interests and balance the budget. A government led by Lopez Obrador would be a major irritant to George Bush who has thus far only had to deal with the compliant right-wing president Vicente Fox. His victory could possibly open the floodgates to a new wave of struggles by the Mexican workers and peasants and will have important repercussions north of the border on the Latino population in the US especially over the issue of undocumented immigrants. The remittances of Mexican immigrants in the United States-approximately $18 billion a year-is now the second most important source of foreign exchange, after oil, flowing into Mexico. The only way to defeat the electoral fraud organized by the ruling class and its operatives is for the independent unions and community organizations that supported Obrador to call mass demonstrations across Mexico, organize action committees and prepare for a general strike to bring the country at a standstill. However, it is unlikely that Obrador and the PRD will take such action as his program and policies hardly touches the heart of the crisis in Mexico - capitalism. The only way to reverse the attacks on the living standards of the mass of the population is to break completely with capitalism by nationalizing the banks, big industry and the large commercial enterprises. --------12 of 14-------- Hillary May Be Presidential Material, After All; On Iraq and Israel, she's a perfect neocon By Joshua Frank Antiwar - 5 July 2006 http://www.antiwar.com/frank/?articleid'47 There really is no way of getting around it. Sen. Hillary Clinton may well be future presidential material. From Manhattan to Hollywood, Hillary Clinton is pocketing enormous amounts of cash for her reelection campaign. Yet, Hillary is facing what seems to be fierce opposition from within her own party, as well as from third parties here in New York. The main reason candidates have signed up to challenge Hillary is her position, er, non-position on the disgraceful "war on terror." Hillary, in a letter to constituents last November, expressed her belief that the war in Iraq shouldn't be "open-ended" but was clear that she would never "pull out of Iraq immediately." She wrote that she wouldn't accept any timetable for withdrawal and won't even embrace a "redeployment" of U.S. troops along the lines of Rep. John Murtha. "I take responsibility for my vote, and I, along with a majority of Americans, expect the president and his administration to take responsibility for the false assurances, faulty evidence, and mismanagement of the war," Clinton wrote in her lengthy letter, which amounted to nothing short of denial for her own culpability in the mess. Sen. Clinton soon after reiterated her position to a group of Democrats in Kentucky. "The time has come for the administration to stop serving up platitudes and present a plan for finishing this war with success and honor," she said. "I reject a rigid timetable that the terrorists can exploit, and I reject an open timetable that has no ending attached to it." Translation: Clinton is all for an extended American stay in Iraq. She "takes responsibility" for her vote on the war, but won't admit that it was wrong. And of course, Clinton is still for "winning" this war. Whatever that means. In the same letter, Clinton hoped contingents of U.S. soldiers would remain in the region with "quick-strike capabilities. ... This will help us stabilize that new Iraqi government," she attested. "It will send a message to Iran that they do not have a free hand in Iraq despite their considerable influence and personal and religious connections there." Messages, I guess, carry more weight when they are delivered at gunpoint. "Watch out Tehran," Hillary seems to be declaring, "I'll strike quick." Such neoconish attitudes have upset antiwar activists, and now many are rallying 'round any alternative they can find to challenge Hillary in her bid for reelection this year. Jonathan Tasini, who is running against Clinton in the New York Democratic primary, is gaining the most visible support. His position on the Iraq war is solid, as he wants all U.S. troops home now. Tasini also believes that democracy in Iraq is a long way from developing, and argues that there will be no such thing in Iraq's future as long as the U.S. stays the course. "[The] invasion of Iraq has created a theocracy," says Tasini. "The people of Iraq have the right to decide what law they choose to follow." The Green Party is also tossing its antiwar weight into the ring with veteran antiwar Green Howie Hawkins winning his party's nomination. Hawkins still has to gather enough signatures to get his party's line on the ballot. The Libertarian Party of New York recently nominated Jeff Russell, who says he'd bring soldiers home as soon as possible, and the Socialist Equity Party is running Bill Van Auken, who wants to bring U.S. troops home now. None of the antiwar third-party candidates at this point in the campaign season have any real name recognition or financial backing. Even so, Tasini the Democrat does. Antiwar flyers plaster campuses throughout New York City touting his challenge to Hillary, and his campaign is being discussed on numerous antiwar blogs and e-mail discussion lists. Tasini's drive may soon spark some real tension among antiwar activists in New York, however, as many believe supporting Tasini will fail the movement against the war and set up Clinton for a 2008 run for president. For starters, they contend that Tasini is still a Democrat, which means that if he doesn't beat Hillary in September's primary election, he will most likely endorse her campaign and hand over his antiwar funds to the pro-war Democratic Party, something he denies. Another problem is Tasini may not even appear on the Democrat's ballot in September, he still has to turn in 15,000 Democratic signatures before that happens. And Hillary, despite her primary challenge, has already accepted her party's nomination in typical establishment style: ignore any challenges and stay on message, no matter how misguided it may be. The Working Families Party, the alleged labor party here in New York, endorsed Hillary on June 3 over Tasini, even though the WFP was one of the first third parties to oppose the Iraq invasion four years ago. No wonder the Democrats take us for granted. If the antiwar movement is to truly take on Hillary this election season, we need to challenge her all the way up to November, and Tasini won't cut it. The majority of New Yorkers who oppose the Iraq war aren't even Democrats and can't vote for Tasini in New York's closed primary elections. Supporting another antiwar candidate or voting "none of the above" may be the only way to hold Hillary Clinton accountable for her depraved Iraq war stance on Election Day 2006. Fortunately, antiwar activists can all agree on one thing: Hillary Clinton doesn't deserve our votes. And there are plenty of reasons why, including her atrocious position on Israel and Palestine. Sen. Clinton, along with her husband Bill, paid a visit to Israel last fall. The former president was a featured speaker at a mass rally that marked the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It was Hillary's second visit to Israel since she was elected to office in 2000. The senator did manage to take time out of her voyage to meet with the then-semi-conscious Ariel Sharon to discuss "security matters." Hillary also made her way to the great apartheid wall, which separates Palestine from Israel. As of now, the barrier is nearing completion, and when all is said and done the monstrosity will stretch to well over 400 miles in length. Palestinians rightly criticize the obtrusive wall on the grounds that it cuts them off from occupied land in the West Bank. Thousands have also been cut off from their jobs, schools, and essential farmland. Hillary and her Israeli allies don't get it. When you put powerless Palestinians behind a jail-like wall where life in any real economic sense is unattainable, you wreak pain and anguish, which in turn leads to more anger and resentment toward Israel's brutal policies. Indeed, the wall will not prove to be a deterrent to resistance, but an incitement to defiance. "This is not against the Palestinian people," Clinton said as she gazed over the massive wall. "This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the attitudes about terrorism." The senator's comments seem as if they were taken word-for-word from an AIPAC position paper. They may well have been. In May 2005, Sen. Clinton spoke at an AIPAC conference where she praised the bonds between Israel and the United States: "[O]ur future here in this country is intertwined with the future of Israel and the Middle East. Now there is a lot that we could talk about, and obviously much has been discussed. But in the short period that I have been given the honor of addressing you, I want to start by focusing on our deep and lasting bonds between the United States and Israel." Clinton went on to wail about the importance of disarming Iran and Syria, as well as keeping troops in Iraq for as long as "it" takes. It was textbook warmongering and surprise, surprise, Hillary got a standing ovation for her repertoire. It is no matter that Iraq will never see true democracy. The U.S. won't allow that. The imperial powers would never let an Iraq government form that embodied even the slightest hatred toward Israel or the U.S. Democracy in Iraq, like democracy in Israel, has clear limitations. Sen. Clinton's trip to Israel was just one of many more to come. Like her husband and the current Republican president, Hillary will never alter the U.S.' Middle East policy that so blatantly favors Israeli interests. Sadly, Clinton, if elected president in 2008, will praise and embolden the occupations - both in Iraq and Palestine. She won't pull out U.S. troops, and she won't cut U.S. funding to Israel. Like I said, Hillary Clinton may well be presidential material after all. --------13 of 14-------- Finding your butt: just ask BushCo where they left it when last they used it. --------14 of 14-------- Ode to the Blowed What is so yesterday as a faded balloon, wrinkled with stretch marks, limp as old celery? Who celebrates or mourns their passing? Use 'em and lose 'em, exploited and dumped. Rising today, sinking tomorrow pantless, taking leaks. Each balloon dreams of a quick glorious life dashing erratically through the air expelling all to the soul-satisfying sound of tail-embrouchure farting - flupp-pp-pp-pp-pp! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.