|Progressive Calendar 08.23.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 01:28:14 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.23.07 1. SPNN/youth video 8.23 6pm 2. Cam/bike/walk 8.23 7pm 3. Freya/Smith poem 8.23 7pm 4. Palestine 8.23 7pm 5. GP convention 8.23 7pm 6. Palestine vigil 8.24 4:30pm 7. Iraq war/film 8.24-30 8. Pax Christi 8.25 9am 9. KFAI planning 8.25 9:30am 10. PodCamp 8.25 10am 11. NWN4PMinnetonka 8.25 11am 12. Art of peace 8.25 12:30pm 13. CIA terrorist/f 8.25 2:30pm 14. Marv/fish fry 8.25 5pm 15. Peace brunch 8.26 10:30am 16. RNC protest art 8.26 1pm 17. StillwaterVigil 8.26 1pm 18. Michelle Gross - Free speech working group is anything but 19. Sunsara Taylor - How will you leave your mark on the world? 20. Michael Dickinson - Spying by flying drones 21. Saul Landau - The authority to abuse the Constitution 22. Mumia Abu-Jamal - The politics of promises 23. ed - Consenting adults (poem) --------1 of 23-------- From: Mike Wassenaar <wassenaar [at] spnn.org> Subject: SPNN/youth video 8.23 6pm SPNN's Youth Department has been holding Neighborhood video camps all around Saint Paul this summer. We will be featuring the work of Saint Paul middle-school aged youth Thursday night 8/23 from 6-7:30pm at the SPNN Studios, 375 Jackson in Downtown Saint Paul. Come see what talented youth media makers have to say about issues that are important in Saint Paul! For more information about SPNN Youth programs, visit our website, www.spnn.org --------2 of 23-------- From: Cam Gordon <camgordon333 [at] msn.com> To: Cam/bike/walk 8.23 7pm Please join me for my next Roundtable Discussion on Biking and Walking in Minneapolis. The Council has approved a Downtown Transportation Action Plan, incorporating some improvements to the bike and pedestrian grid downtown. Staff will be exploring the "Copenhagen Model" of enhanced bike facilities. A citywide Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan is being drafted this summer. Non-Motorized Transportation funds continue to support new bike/ped projects. The City is even working on a "bait bike" program to catch and deter bike thieves. Come find out what changes are coming for downtown and what new projects will be coming to your neighborhood, and share your ideas for how we can get even more neighbors walking and biking: Thursday, August 23, Brackett Park, 2728 39th Ave S, 7-9pm. Cam Gordon Minneapolis City Council Member, Second Ward 673-2202, 296-0579 cam [at] camgordon.org http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/council/ward2/ http://secondward.blogspot.com/ --------3 of 23-------- From: Write On Radio <writeonradio [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Freya/Smith poem 8.23 7pm Write On Radio! Thursday, August 23, our guests are poets Freya Manfred and Thomas R. Smith. They will be reading their poetry at AMAZON BOOKS on Thursday, August 23th, from 7-8 p.m, part of statewide reading series for Scott King's RED DRAGONFLY PRESS. Freya will read from MY ONLY HOME (2000) and from SWIMMING WITH A HUNDRED YEAR OLD SNAPPING TURTLE (due NOV 2007). After hearing some of the poems in SWIMMING, Robert Bly said, "This is Freya Manfred with the gloves off." Freya says they're poems about lakes, love, and life written by a snapping turtle. Thomas R. Smith will read from his 2007 Red Dragonfly Press collection, WAKING BEFORE DAWN. There are poems about love, commitment to the life of art, elegies, and poems about the war and being awake to the deceptions perpetrated on the American people. He'll also throw in a handful of poems from his KINNICKINNIC chapbook, forthcoming next year from Parallel Pres, and maybe even one about a snapping turtle (the unofficial animal of western Wisconsin poets)! Plus, a sneak preview of the spoken word performance "I-35" with poet Lynn Gray. Write on Radio! features live readings, poetry, performances, spoken word recordings, in-depth interviews with local, national and international authors & writers. Write on Radio! Airs 11 am - noon central time Thursdays at 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul or live/archived on-line at www.kfai.org --------4 of 23-------- From: Barbara Nordstrom-Loeb <loebx001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Palestine 8.23 7pm DIALOGUE ON THE WALL: FORM + CONTENT GALLERY- 210 N. 2nd St., Mpls, MN 612/436-1151. www.formandcontent.org; Gallery hours: Thursday- Saturday, 12 noon-6 pm and by appointment. Thursday night Aug. 23. "Dialogue on the Wall"; a wide ranging political, historical and cultural conversation moderated by Rabbi Joseph Edelheit, Director of Jewish Studies and Professor at St Cloud State University and including Steve Hunegs, Executive Director of the JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council) Minnesota and the Dakotas, Dennis Fox, emeritus associate professor who has recently worked in both Israeli and Palestinian universities and Rabbi Amy Eilberg. Others not yet confirmed may join the panel. 7:00 reception, program at 7:30pm "Dialogue on the Wall" is an architectural installation combined with multi-media, artistic and performance works that explore the issues and competing narratives of the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict. The core of the installation is a 10-foot high concrete-like wall built inside the Form + Content gallery, representing the controversial "Separation Wall" between Israel and the Occupied territories. This wall dramatically separates the gallery into two spaces which are used for display, presentation, and performance. The installation is intended to question ideologies, challenge preconceptions, provoke thought and conversation, and to demonstrate in a personal manner the nature of this intractable conflict. The project began as a "virtual installation" (http:// www.twowalls.blogspot.com/ ) designed by architect Jay H. Isenberg and computer modeler Ron Haselius, which imagined the collision of the Separation Wall and the Western Wall. The installation is funded in part by Rimon, The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, an initiative of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation --------5 of 23-------- From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net> Subject: GP convention 8.23 7pm Fellow Greens: As your delegate to the National Green Party, I am formely inviting you all to join in a meeting tomorrow Thurday 9/22/07 at our new office on University Ave in St Paul on how to best present our option for hosting the national Green Party Convention in Minneapolis 2008. Your input is highly valued and I will tell you all that there is a very good chance that we could be hosting it. We will also talk about logistics and increasing our volunteer base. So far the meeting will have many of the State Wide CC there (Virgil from Duluth should be on my speaker phone) Cam Gordon, Ken Pentel, the other national delegates, Heidi Sheen and a host of other Green "luminaries." The only person missing from the list is YOU. Any questions, please call me Your Delegate Michael Cavlan (612)327-6902 --------6 of 23-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Palestine vigil 8.24 4:30pm Friday, 8/24, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end the occupation of Palestine, Snelling & Summit Aves, St Paul. Karen, 651-283-3495. --------7 of 23-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Iraq war/film 8.24-30 8/24 to 8/30, film "No End in Sight" about the incompetence, recklessness and venality that led to Iraq's descent into chaos, Uptown Theater, Hennepin & Lagoon, Mpls. www.landmarktheaters.com --------8 of 23-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Pax Christi 8.25 9am Saturday, 8/25, 9 to 10:30 am, Pax Christi Twin Cities invites all to reflect and pray together to help sustain our nonviolent center, lead by Sr. Mary White, St Joan of Arc Parish Center, 4537 - 3rd Ave S, Mpls. lynncibuzar [at] yahoo.com --------9 of 23-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: KFAI planning 8.25 9:30am COMMUNITY MEMBERS URGED TO ATTEND THE AUGUST 25th KFAI STRATEGIC PLANNING MTG. Stop griping abut the media and BECOME THE MEDIA...that is, make your voice heard about what KFAI priorities should be. Lydia Howell, host-prod.CATALYST Fridays, 11am on KFAI RADIO Message to KFAI E-Newsletter List from Janis Lane-Ewart, Executive Director, KFAI. Questions/need more information? Please contact Janis at 612-341-3144, Ext. 23 or janislaneewart [at] kfai.org: KFAI Volunteers, Programmers, Staff, Board Members, Listeners and Underwriters are urged to SAVE THE DATE SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2007 You're invited to participate in a strategic thinking session focusing on KFAI's 2010 Strategic Plan - Visions and Strategies WHERE: TO BE DETERMINED TIME: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Coffee, tea, breakfast snacks and lunch will be provided. WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU: This is your community radio. Your input is valued and needed. This is a great opportunity for you to give input into KFAI's current vision statements and assist in increasing the momentum for success. QUESTIONS: If you want to know more about this exciting gathering, you can talk with Janis Lane-Ewart, janislaneewart [at] kfai.org, 612.341.3144 ext.23 or check in with another planning committee member: Mary Bensman (Board President) Leigh Combs (KFAI Programmer) Jeremy Nichols (Board Member) Al McFarlane (KFAI Progammer) Chamath Perera (Board Member) Glen Powell (KFAI Programmer) Executive Director KFAI, Fresh Air Radio Radio Without Boundaries 1808 Riverside Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55454 612/341-3144x23 612/341-4281 fax janislaneewart [at] kfai.org Summer Hours: June 1 - Aug. 31st 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. M-Th 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Friday www.kfai.org --------10 of 23-------- From: Tim Erickson <tim [at] e-democracy.org> Subject: PodCamp 8.25 10am For those interested in using digital tools to improve democracy, there is an interesting opportunity coming up in few weeks. PodCamp Minnesota Everyone is welcome, and the event is free. Sign up here: http://podcamp.pbwiki.com/PodCampMinnesota Saturday, August 25th 2007 10am-4pm Flat Earth Brewery 2035 Benson Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55116 Parking: Street Parking This event is not about e-democracy. BUT, podcasting could be a great tool for building e-democracy. It would appear that PodCamp Minnesota is based upon a grassroots model of self-organized "unconferences" that have been popping up around the country. Talk about a model for Democracy. If you're looking for a very professional and well-organized event, this MIGHT not be the place to go. If your looking for spontenaity, creativity, and energy - then I suspect you will find it here. I'm not affiliated with PodCamp Minnesota (not yet), so I don't really have much info. However, it does look like the kind of thing that folks ought to know about, so I'm announcing it here - without the permission or encouragement of the organizers. It would be great to get someone to attend this event on behalf of St. Paul E-Democracy and think about ways that we might include Podcasting in the work that we do! --------11 of 23-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Minnetonka 8.25 11am NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7 and 101. Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the fountain. We will walk along the public sidewalk. Signs available. --------12 of 23--------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Art of peace 8.25 12:30pm Saturday, 8/25, 12:30 to 5 pm, Art of Peace festival at Loft Literary Center, panels, exhibitions and workshops with authors including Roseanne Bane, Heid Erdrich, Deborah Keenan and Victoria Safford, Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave S, Mpls. www.loft.org --------13 of 23--------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: CIA terrorist/f 8.25 2:30pm Saturday, 8/25, 2:30 pm, free 90-min film "Posada Carriles: Terrorism Made in the USA," about CIA-supported Cuban terrorist, Rondo Library, 461 N Dale St (at University), St Paul. mncuba [at] usfamily.net --------14 of 23--------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Marv/fish fry 8.25 5pm Saturday, 8/25, 5 to 11 pm, Marv Davidov benefit 76th birthday fish fry, $50/plate fresh-caught bass, wine, 2615 Park Ave, Mpls. 612-874-7715. (McDonald sisters sing, Marv tells colorful stories.) --------15 of 23-------- From: Sister Pat Keefe <melduncan [at] nonviolentpeaceforce.org> Subject: Peace brunch 8.26 10:30am Annual Brunch Fundraiser for Nonviolent Peaceforce Brunch Put on by the Sisters of St. Jospeh and Consociates of St. Stephens With a program by Mel Duncan, executive director of Nonviolent Peaceforce You are invited to a Brunch at St. Stephen's Church, 2211 Clinton Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. Sunday, August 26th from 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM Sliding Scale Donation $5.00 to $ 25 + Bring your friends and family! Delicious brunch and delectable company! Nonviolent Peaceforce 425 Oak Grove Street Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403 --------16 of 23-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: RNC protest art 8.26 1pm Volunteer Day: RNC protest art Sunday 8/26 @ 1pm @ AWC Office, 1313 5th St SE, room #213, Mpls. Join us for the first of many pre-RNC art-making efforts. To send a clear message to the Republicans when they meet in St. Paul in 2008, we will need banners, signs, buttons, t-shirts and more! Artistic abilities optional- there's plenty to for everyone to do. Organized by the Anti-War Committee ( 612.379.3899 or info [at] antiwarcommittee.org). --------17 of 23-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 8.26 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------18 of 23-------- Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 23:51:03 -0500 From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] minn.net> Subject: Free speech working group is anything but Communities United Against Police Brutality EMAIL NEWSLETTER August 20, 2007 ... FREE SPEECH WORKING GROUP IS ANYTHING BUT Working Hard to Repress Free Speech in Preparation for RNC Protests When the Minneapolis city council proposed joint sponsorship of the Republican National Convention, some council members rightly expressed concerns about free speech. Cam Gordon proposed a "free speech working group." While perhaps a good idea on paper, this is yet another one of Cam's working groups with no community members on it. Instead, it is populated with city officials who are mostly either out-of-touch or openly hostile to free speech. (The ACLU is represented on the working group but, as they say, their client is the Constitution. They have made no effort to involve the movement or keep us informed.) To make matters worse, the working group has been meeting in secret and hasn't published their agendas or minutes. The community had to go to great lengths to get the date and location of their most recent meeting. We had gotten word that the working group was looking at a really terrible ordinance that would repress free speech for all but the most wealthy and mainstream groups. Props to the about 20 activists who showed up to the working group meeting and let it be known how the community feels about that proposed ordinance. It's a good thing they were there because a revised and even more repressive version of the ordinance was presented at that meeting. The proposed ordinance would require all groups holding public events involving 25 or more people to go through a cumbersome permitting process, in which a city agency could decide if the location the group has chosen is "suitable." This would eliminate the ability to call emergency demonstrations. The ordinance would ban demonstrations downtown 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. - prime times for reaching commuters. Protests would also be banned from neighborhoods - a huge issue for us, since many serious police brutality cases occur in neighborhoods. Advertising an event before the permit is approved would be a misdemeanor. Even if an event had a permit, under the ordinance cops could show up and revoke the permit on the spot and arrest everyone present for being at an unpermitted event, which would also be a misdemeanor. This would undoubtedly lead to abuse by police. Quick actions by activists at that last meeting may have given the working group members pause about bringing forth this bad ordinance, which appears to have been authored by the city attorney's office. Still, even if the working group doesn't recommend it, the Public Safety and Regulatory Services committee of the city council could take it up on their own. We can't let that happen. Call the mayor and your city council member and let them know we don't want any new ordinances that will limit free speech, especially with the Republicans coming to town. Contact info can be obtained at http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/government/ If something like this becomes law, we will have our free speech rights repressed for years to come. Use your free speech now - while you still have it - to let city officials know how you feel about their attempt to end run the First Amendment. As soon as we have confirmation of the next so-called "Free Speech" working group meeting, we will let the community know so you can plan to attend. --------19 of 23-------- How Will You Leave Your Mark on the World? Back to School During Wartime By SUNSARA TAYLOR CounterPunch August 21, 2007 College should be a time and a place to learn about the worldto go from the galactic to the microscopic, to learn of different cultures and art forms, to get into philosophy and history and questions of meaning and of truthto explore things that have been kept from you, to plunge into the exciting process of discoveryto meet people from different parts of the world and different perspectivesto stretch social and political boundaries and to get into different scenes. It's supposed to be a time to stay up all night talking, making music, reading poetryto be part of resisting and rebelling against everything that is wrongto make a statement about who you want to be and what kind of world you want to live into look at the world as it really is, and to begin to forge your role in relation to it. But you are doing this at a time when all this is being reined in, when powerful forces are trying to shut it down - precisely because discovering how the past has shaped the present, coming to grips with how your life will shape the future, and seeing how all of this is bound up with and will influence the lives of billions around the world - has higher stakes now than probably ever before. The World You Come To You didn't carve up the earth with manmade borders, subjugate whole peoples, drive millions from their families and homelands in a desperate search for work in the leaner and meaner globalized economy - but you can't escape the fact that the clothes on your back, the food you eat, the roads you drive on, the computers you use were all made through this global system of capitalist exploitation and plunder, including of millions of children literally chained to machines working 12, 14, 16 hours a day. You didn't rip up the earth's beautiful landscapes and burn its fossil fuels, sending towers of filthy smoke billowing into the skies, to feed the cutthroat competition of capitalist corporations - you didn't decide that beef cattle for the cancerous spread of fast food chains around the world was worth massive deforestation and displacement of indigenous peoples - that concern about the extinction of species and the melting of the ice caps should be ridiculed by government and major media - but you are now inheriting a world teetering dangerously close to destruction. It was not your hands that chained millions of Africans in slave ships across the murderous Middle Passage, that sold children out of their mothers' arms on auction blocks, that saddled up with the night-riding KKK and dragged Black people from their homes, or shot them down in urban streets when they dared to rebel or even walked with a little bit of pride - but you live each day in a country whose wealth flows directly from the veins of those slaves and whose deep-rooted racism is alive and well in its murderous response to Hurricane Katrina and the racial cleansing of New Orleans since. You weren't the ones cheering and waving the U.S. flag as nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, incinerating hundreds of thousands in slow and agonizing deaths as flesh hung from their bodies and their cities burned and burned and burned around them - but you live in the country that did this, the country that stockpiles more nukes than any other, the country that is threatening to use these weapons of mass death preemptively. It wasn't you who first enshrined the idea that women's only value was as breeders of children, helpmeets of men, or objects of sexual plunder - you aren't the patriarchs who enshrined these ideas in the religious texts of every major religion - but you are living at a time when no woman in any corner of the globe grows up free of the fear or the reality of being raped, brutalized, mutilated, disrespected, or owned, and religious fundamentalist subjugation of women is on the rise everywhere. And no, it wasn't you who sanctioned the Presidency of George Bush, who with his unjust and immoral wars waged for empire, his fascist remaking of U.S. society, and his Dark Ages religious fundamentalism has taken this imperialist society into even more extreme, repressive, and rapacious directions - but even as you read this, there are innocent people being chained to ceilings, stripped naked, and tortured in your name. The Choice Let's face it - you, like everyone else, have had your circumstance largely determined by forces beyond your control. It would be easy to hide behind this. Without a doubt, there are options and rationales being held out there for you to "do for yourself" or maybe "just do your part." But whether you chose it or not, all of these crimes have been laid at your doorstep and what you do - or don't do - will shape the circumstances and lives of millions and millions of people around the planet for generations to come. You have laid out before you the promise of the possibility of achievement, of personal acquisition, of a place at the table and comforts and safety and "protection" and all the rest. You can use your education, your talents, your creativity, your ambitions to run this hamster wheel, to scarf up as much as you can from high up on the global economic "food chain," and to do as those who enforce this whole system of global plunder are hoping you will. Or, you can refuse to be confined by narrow horizons. You can resist. You can challenge unjust authority, you can expose the government's lies and its crimes, you can put your body into the political fight against the war grinding up hundreds of thousands in Iraq and the new wars currently being planned. You can be about ending racism and the hatred of immigrants being whipped up with deadly consequences. You can be about shattering the oppression of women and gay people. You can dare to take on and break people out of the death grip of the hateful brand of Christian fundamentalism that enshrines this subjugation as divine. You can defy the right-wing student brownshirts trying to cleanse the campuses of subversive ideas and critical thought. You can throw your fist in the air and get way out there - the way young people have in every heroic struggle for justice and liberation in the past - bringing hope to people around the world and challenging and inspiring others to resist throughout society. You can act urgently and set in motion political resistance and upheaval powerful enough to drive the Bush regime from power and to open up the possibility of a whole different world. And you can learn. You can find out about the human beings and their lives being shaped and destroyed by all this. You can look deeper at the structures that have caused all this, the ideas that have reinforced all this. You can investigate solutions that have been curtained off - behind the "caution tape" of the official keepers of ideas and "solutions," written off even by many who hate the way things are but who have themselves been misled or havesettled in - to see what has truly been accomplished through the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed and exploited throughout the world. You can even dig beneath the simplistic and cynical refrain of "power corrupts" that serves simply as an excuse to leave things the way they are. You can - and you should - explore the truly breathtaking things that have been accomplished when the masses have held revolutionary state power in places like the Soviet Union or China, when they were really revolutionary. You can stand on the shoulders of all of this - of those who have sacrificed and struggled, who have dared to dream and to live and to fight for the emancipation of all of humanity - and you can be a part of taking all of this so much further. If you've read this far, you're someone who wants to change the world. Don't listen to the cynics and the worldly wise who tell you you can't, who try to lower your sights. History shows that the dreamers and fighters are right. Follow your principles, work to realize your deepest and highest aspirations, and follow THAT where it leads you. And while you do that, check out and engage with the works of Bob Avakian: his re-envisioning of the communist project; his analysis of current world events and the challenges before people who want a different world; and the answers, approaches, and questions he is putting forward about what is involved in making a revolution that can remake the whole world in a truly liberating, viable, and lasting way. Do all this as we work together to resist and reverse the mounting horrors - including the fight sharpening up now over whether the campuses will be centers of resistance or sites of imperialist indoctrination. Your life is either going to count for something - or it is going to count for nothing. The world is intolerable. It is crying out for justice. Don't look away from it. Sunsara Taylor writes for Revolution Newspaper and sits on the Advisory Board of The World Can't Wait Drive Out the Bush Regime. She can be reached at: sunsarasworld [at] yahoo.com --------20 of 23-------- Spying by Flying Drones Little Brother is Watching You By MICHAEL DICKINSON CounterPunch August 22, 2007 Last month I flew from Istanbul to London to deliver four of my collages to be included in an exhibition of Stuckist artists at the A Gallery in Wimbledon. It had been a long time since I've been back in England, (apart from a stopover last September after one of my pictures of the Prime Minister led to my arrest and expulsion from Turkey). This time I was in London for a week and had time to notice the changes. I was mostly struck by the huge increase in security'. I had a taste as we changed planes at Amsterdam airport, every passenger being x-rayed, physically frisked by guards and made to remove shoes before being allowed on the plane (with shoes back on, of course.) I had occasion to use London Bridge railway station several times during my stay. There were uniformed transport police strutting everywhere carrying guns or gathered in loafing gangs. They say you're getting old when policemen begin looking young. I suppose I am, because they looked young to me, and most like arrogant trigger-itchy bully boys, and reminded me that innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, suspected as a terrorist was held down in a train at Stockwell Tube Station and shot in the head 7 times by just such a little gang. While waiting for your train you are constantly reminded to remain alert by recorded tannoy announcements. Zomboid male and female voices alternate to soothe and warn: "ARMED POLICE PATROL THESE PREMISES 24 HOURS A DAY." "BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR UNNATTENDED PACKAGES. REPORT UNUSUAL BEHAVIOUR OR ANYTHING THAT SEEMS SUSPICIOUS." "DO NOT LEAVE LUGGAGE UNNATTENDED. UNATTENDED LUGGAGE MAY BE TAKEN AWAY, DAMAGED OR DESTROYED." Often announcements on other platforms play at different times, so you hear a mlange of security warnings echoing around the station all at once, repeating each other, maddening and brain-numbing. And there are CCTV surveillance cameras everywhere not only at the train stations. Attached to lampposts in the streets, on traffic lights, in buses, atop buildings, outside and inside houses, shops and offices, scanning and spying 24 hours a day. According to the latest studies, Britain has 4.2million CCTV cameras - one for every 14 people in the country - and 20 per cent of cameras globally. 25 years after George Orwell wrote his prophetic novel '1984', Big Brother is alive and watching in Britain. The book reads more and more like a modern documentary every day. They probably have cameras inside churches too, but I didn't get a chance to find out when I went to visit Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral, because I was refused entry! The formerly free Abbey now charges a whacking 10 pounds entry fee, and 5 pounds for St Paul's, where they even have a turnstile! When I told the ticket seller that I couldn't afford to go in, and that they seemed to be serving Mammon rather than God, he told me to address any complaints in a letter to the Dean. As I was leaving the lobby I noticed a pretty message emblazoned on one of the glass doors: "YOU ARE NOW ENTERING THE GATES OF PARADISE, FOR A CHURCH IS THE HOUSE OF GOD." I snorted cynically. So, you have to pay to get into Heaven nowadays? Back to the spying. Of course, difficult though they may be to avoid, at least you are usually able to spot a surveillance camera and know when you are being filmed, but now along comes a new little surveillance device (only 70 cm wide) fitted with high-resolution still and color video cameras as well as infrared night vision capability, that actually flies! The battery-operated drone's four carbon-fibre rotors are so quiet they cannot be heard from the ground once it is higher than 50 metres, and at 100 metres up it cannot be seen with the naked eye. It takes off vertically and can be flown even when out of sight, because it beams images back to video goggles worn by the operator. Originally developed by a German company for military use, the remote-controlled drone has been enthusiastically adopted by the British constabulary to police public order situations and prevent antisocial behaviour. Last Saturday they used one for the first time at a major public event, to monitor crowds at the V music festival in Staffordshire, and officers said that the remote controlled helicopter helped capture offenders at the festival site. By Sunday there had been 62 arrests, and over 100 cautions, 32 of the arrests made for possession of drugs. Incidentally, at the same festival, popular songstress Lily Allen announced on stage during her gig that George W Bush is a "fucking cunt." She wasn't arrested. MW Power, the company that distributes the mini camera-plane in the UK, plans to improve the drone's capability by adding a so-called "smart water" spray - a liquid infused with unique chemicals which can be squirted onto a suspect from above. It infuses their clothes and skin and the chemical code can be used later to identify them. Perfect for picking out people in political demonstrations, for instance. Istanbul is virtually surveillance-video-free, and you can walk around without having to worry about your camera angle. You usually only see them in at the airport, in banks or outside exclusive clubs, but I suppose it won't be long before they're everywhere here too, as Turkey matches itself up with Europe. The police surveillance I have personally experienced here is a bit crude and obvious. My phone is bugged. There's a sort of echo that everyone notices. The radio technician controlling an international phone interview between me and Dr Susan Block on her radio show a few months ago detected that my line was being listened to. Last year, during the last few days between my release from custody and my leaving the country, I was followed quite obviously in the street by plain clothes cops, who admitted it when stopped and confronted. I learn that after I left the country my apartment block was under surveillance for several days, and police questioned other residents. They said that they'd seen me enter an apartment building on the European side and that I had never come out. (Huh?) They said that they thought I was a spy'. My neighbours pointed out that it hardly seemed likely after all the attention I had brought to myself with my protests. But such Chaplinesque techniques will disappear as Turkey strides into the 21st Century. Before long I'm sure there will be little drones in the skies over stanbul, too far up to see, watching and recording our every move. But, as Western technology develops even smaller and more sophisticated spy devices, even then Turkey might not be quite as up-to-date as their European neighbours, where in the streets, now free of obtrusive bulky surveillance cameras, one hardly notices the tiny flies that hover silently and zip past so quickly in and out of rooms. You'd hardly know they were there. Michael Dickinson, whose artwork graces the covers of Dime's Worth of Difference, Serpents in the Garden and Grand Theft Pentagon, lives in Istanbul. He can be contacted via his website http://yabanji.tripod.com/ or at mdickinson [at] kablonet.com.tr --------21 of 23-------- The Authority to Abuse the Constitution The FBI's New Power By SAUL LANDAU CounterPunch August 21, 2007 On August 4, ignoring former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who had spoken of Bush's "phony war" on terrorism, Congress authorized vast authority for repressive agencies to spy further on the public. Under the pretext of "fighting terror," the bill opens further already existing wide parameters for telephone and email intrusion without court warrants. As usual, Democrats capitulated. Some fearing the wuss label, others actually agreeing that Bush needed more power to diminish the already diminishing Bill of Rights to deal with the "terrorist threat." 41 House Democrats voted for the Bill, 16 in the Senate. Congress refuses to learn. In 1947, President Truman launched a bipartisan coalition to create new agencies to deal with the then mortal enemy the Soviet Union. Although Democrats launched the Cold War, some liberals began to object when extreme right wing Republicans like Senator Joe McCarthy took Truman's anti-Communist crusade "too far." Like the Cold War, Bush's anti-terrorism campaign increased the already vast powers of the secret agencies. Did Congress not recall that the most notorious spies were high employees FBI and CIA officials? The Bureau's Joseph Hansen and the Agency's Aldrich Ames sold the Soviets hundreds of thousands of "top secrets" before the USSR collapsed in 1991. Simultaneously those agencies spent fortunes spying on innocent citizens. Worse, FBI "informants" often doubled as "agents provocateurs." In the 1960s, anti war and civil rights activists learned to suspect those proposing violence and labeling skeptics "chickenshit." Such advocates regularly turned out to be FBI infiltrators. I recall a meeting during which one man screamed: "Let's kill a pig. That'll wake people up and show 'em, we mean business." Inevitably, such statements gained the support of a few nuts and indeed some violent scenarios actually took shape. By placing such characters inside the anti-Vietnam War and Civil Rights movements, the Bureau hoped to provoke violence so as to show the public that anti-war and civil rights activists were dangerous. Most citizens opposed the war and sympathized with anti-war protests, but drew a sharp line at violence. I recall at anti-Vietnam War meetings insisted on violent action as the only means could to bring about radical transformation. Later, I learned the cops had busted him on drug charges and turned him over to the FBI, who offered to drop the charges in return for his inciting groups to commit mayhem. Some of these "turned criminals" just infiltrated left groups and reported to their Special Agents about their plans and activities. From 1968-1973, the FBI placed 72 "informants" inside the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. A few of the infiltrators volunteered for such work out of patriotic feelings. One such informant worked for Karl Hess, a former Goldwater speechwriter and Libertarian. After spending a month at IPS, the informant confessed to Hess that he had permeated the Institute in order to report on its subversive activities. But he felt qualms after finding not one sign of unpatriotic activity. Indeed, he discovered lively debate, few agreements among fellows and not a trace of Soviet influence. As a result of his disclosure IPS filed suit and won a court order for the FBI to stop their illegal practices and not circulate material on IPS to other government agencies. In the late 1980s, IPS fellows discovered that the FBI had turned a book keeper and a janitor whose relatives faced felony charges. IPS endured the consequences when the bookkeeper failed to pay payroll taxes for several months and serious financial problems ensued. Congress has virtually ignored the FBI's role as a political police and allowed the Bureau to maintain its facade of fighting crime. Since the FBI did not get punished for using informants to provoke crimes, this MO clung like a dingleberry to the Bureau. Even before J. Edgar Hoover became director of the FBI in 1924, he had made his name by pursuing political radicals. In 1919-1920, he became a right hand man to Attorney General J. Mitchell Palmer, who carried out the notorious "Palmer Raids" against "radical aliens." Hoover built a PR apparatus that profiled his organization as tough on crime, while he collected massive amounts of data on everyone he could, including Members of Congress. Given this knowledge of the FBI's past wiretapping and data collecting of hundreds of thousands of innocent US citizens, one would have thought Congress might have reflected before authorizing the current bill, which expands the power of the Bureau and other agencies, opening the door to perfidy on a grander scale. Instead, the Members, some of whom feared getting labeled "soft on terrorism," voted carte blanche for the repressive agencies to "pursue terrorists." In the FBI's case, this means not only snooping into private affairs, but using agents provocateurs to create crime where none existed. On June 22, 2006, FBI Special Agents arrested seven African American men and accused them of conspiring to unleash a ground war against US targets. Five had previous arrest records for assault and possession of illegal drugs and weapons. Federal prosecutors told the media that this nefarious gang had links to al-Qaida and planned to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower in "support of a foreign terrorist organization." Most of the "plotters," residents of the Liberty City area, where some half a million African Americans share decaying space with recently-arrived Haitians, were unemployed. The announcement of the arrest came in the context of police busts in England where local terrorist cells also had supposed links to al-Qaida. When some reporters scrutinized the evidence, however, it turned out that the arrested men had no connection to some supposed central headquarters of the infamous world terrorist plotters. In England, angry local Muslims had learned bomb making not in the mosques, but on web sites. More than a dozen such sites existed even before 9/11. Thousands now exist. The FBI, however, fell behind technologically, failing even to obtain proper computer interfaces. It still lacks sufficient Arabic-speaking Agents who would be able to surf the Web and find some of the illicit sites. Throughout this country, millions of black Muslims resent the dominant culture. Alongside them, immigrants from the Muslim world now inhabit neighborhoods inside cities and in the suburbs. So, the FBI resorted to its old tricks. In Miami, however, the FBI targeted a group whose members had no knowledge of bomb-making; nor possessed sufficient computer literacy to search the web. Two paid FBI informants discovered Narseal "Prince Marina" Batiste. According to the indictments and court testimony, they posed as al-Qaida members and approached Batiste with a grandiose plan that he would lead. At "secret" meetings at a warehouse the FBI had wired for surveillance and even paid rent on the place, the infiltrators shared joints with Batiste and his buddies. It isn't clear from court records if the FBI also paid for the marijuana it supplied "plotters" who smoked while conspiring. The 32 year old Batiste had heard of al-Qaida, but wasn't sure what it stood for. The FBI instigators made Batiste swear loyalty to al-Qaida; then had him call on his local buddies to form an "Islamic army" in Miami. None had military training. Some could barely read. But Batiste assured the group in the midst of its collective marijuana buzz of greatness ahead. One of the paid FBI informers, Charles James Stewart, had gotten busted for rape. After he joined the group he fought with and killed one of Batiste's friends. Then he testified against the entire group. The other undercover plant - born in the Middle East - had a record for assault and marijuana possession. The FBI had promised him citizenship papers if he came through successfully. The terrorists included five U.S. citizens, one Haitian with a green card and one without. The FBI infiltrators promised Batiste and his seven man army boots, uniforms, guns, radios, vehicles and $50 thousand. Imagine how these poor men felt when army boots and some primitive electronic equipment appeared, including a small digital camera, a cell phone and $3,500 in cash! The FBI never supplied weapons or explosives. The money was a bit short of the $50,000 the informers boasted they would provide. None of the group knew how to use explosives or had formal weapons training. When the public learned of the pathetic nature of these dangerous terrorists, FBI Deputy Director John Pistole explained that the conspiracy was "more inspirational than operational." Yes, FBI informants inspired the plot with non-operational conspirators, as they did in previous eras against different enemies. Congress has just authorized more money and power to an agency that will no doubt use it to collect more files on US citizens and perpetrate more Miami style plots in the name of the "war on terrorism," Members of both House should enjoy their summer! LINKTV will air Saul Landau's classic 1968 film "Fidel" starting Friday, August 24 at 5pm Pacific. LINK is accessible on DIRECT TV Channel 375 and on DISH TV on Channel 9410. Saul Landau writes a regular column for CounterPunch and progresoweekly.com. His new Counterpunch Press book is A BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD. His new film, WE DON'T PLAY GOLF HERE (on globalization in Mexico) is available through roundworldproductions [at] gmail.com --------22 of 23-------- The Politics of Promises By Mumia Abu-Jamal [col.writ. 8/12/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal Liberation News <revolution_updates [at] yahoo.com> Have you watched a political debate lately? After all is said and done, does it leave you with hope - or despair? Can you really believe anything a presidential candidate says? Or is s/he saying what they think you want to hear? Do you feel like you're being lied to? Or hustled? Does the media coverage leave you feeling slightly nauseous? Several years ago, I took the time to watch the Bush-Kerry so-called debates. When I look back at those and other debates, I hear the tinny, almost ghostly echoes of promises past; like Bush's 2003 take on how the US should behave in the world. Bush said, "If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us." He added, "If we're a humble nation but strong, they'll welcome us." This administration has been many things, but "humble?" I don't think so. Bush is about as 'humble' (or "umble", in his words) as a French prince. But, this ain't a Red/Blue, or Republican/Democrat thing. It ain't even a black-white thing. It's a political thing. At a recently televised debate, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, the son of a Kenyan immigrant, told a YouTube caller that he didn't support reparations for millions of descendants of African slaves. He drew a cheap applause line, with a call for more education. (By the way, one wonders how many Kenyans, or Kenyan-Americans, for that matter, support reparations for the ruinous years of British exploitation and colonialism?) It was left to an Ohio congressman, the former 'boy-Mayor', Dennis Kucinich to proudly endorse the idea. Kucinich is a white guy. Most presidential candidates are going out of their way to sound tough and warlike, often by rattling sabers at Iran. Ironically, the same posturing that forced many politicians to go against their better judgments and inner convictions to grant a mad president war powers in the first place, now go out of their way to beat the drums of war again. And, for the same reason: to not appear 'soft'. For millions of people, the hunger for an end to the Bush regime is gnawing at their innards. But are they hungry for a Democratic warmonger, in the place of a Republican one? Is that change - or the same old madness, in another wrapper? Who, in their right mind, would now vote for more war? --- Mumia Abu-Jamal is a political prisoner in the United States, with what could be the final decision on his legal appeals possibly coming down this summer. That decision could give Mumia his freedom, a new trial, life in prison, or execution. It is time to turn up the heat against this injustice. Free Mumia! For more on the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal read: Top Ten "Fry Mumia" Myths Debunked (Myth #1) "Five eyewitnesses saw Mumia shoot officer Faulkner." http://indybay.org/newsitems/2007/07/19/18436405.php Subscribe to Liberation News: http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/liberation_news --------23 of 23-------- Consenting Adults Mark your ballot for the lesser evil. Consent to the death machine. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - 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 To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney
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