Progressive Calendar 08.23.07
From: David Shove (
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]>
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,

--------2 of 23--------

From: Cam Gordon <camgordon333 [at]>
To: Cam/bike/walk 8.23 7pm

Please join me for my next Roundtable Discussion on Biking and Walking in

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

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]

--------3 of 23--------

From: Write On Radio <writeonradio [at]>
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

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

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

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

--------4 of 23--------

From: Barbara Nordstrom-Loeb <loebx001 [at]>
Subject: Palestine 8.23 7pm

612/436-1151.; 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:// ) 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]>
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]>
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]>
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.

--------8 of 23--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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]

--------9 of 23--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: KFAI planning 8.25 9:30am

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 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


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

QUESTIONS: If you want to know more about this exciting gathering, you can
talk with Janis Lane-Ewart, janislaneewart [at], 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] Summer Hours: June 1 - Aug. 31st 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
M-Th 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Friday

--------10 of 23--------

From: Tim Erickson <tim [at]>
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:
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]>
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]>
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.

--------13 of 23---------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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]

--------14 of 23---------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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]>
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]>
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]

--------17 of 23--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
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

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]>
Subject: Free speech working group is anything but

Communities United Against Police Brutality
August 20, 2007


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 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
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

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
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]

--------20 of 23--------

Spying by Flying Drones
Little Brother is Watching You
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

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:




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

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
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
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

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
or at mdickinson [at]

--------21 of 23--------

The Authority to Abuse the Constitution
The FBI's New Power
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

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

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

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 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]

--------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]>

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

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."

Subscribe to Liberation News:

--------23 of 23--------

 Consenting Adults

 Mark your ballot for
 the lesser evil. Consent
 to the death machine.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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