|Progressive Calendar 09.20.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2007 01:00:34 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 09.20.07 1. General strike 9.21 2. Circus amendment 9.21 9:30am 3. Vs military/KFAI 9.21 11am 4. China/organs 9.21 12noon 5. Human rights panel 9.21 1pm LOCATION CHANGE 6. Palestine 9.21 4:30pm 7. IraqWar moratorium 9.21 4:30pm 8. GlobalWarming/fish 9.21 6:30pm 9. Impeach 9.21 7pm 10. GMfood/FBI/film 9.21 11. Womens Hall Honor 9.22 8am 12. WelfRight yd sale 9.22 8:30am 13. UofM strike 9.22 10am 14. NWN4P Minnetonka 9.22 11am 15. Mizna party 9.22 7pm 16. Global inequality 9.22 9pm 17. Naomi Wolf - A shocking moment for society 18. Cynthia McKinney - Police tasering & Kerry 19. Brendan Cooney - Body-snatched nation / lessons of the taser 20. Lydia Howell - I've seen American torture 21. Eva Liddell - In 1969 we already knew what 2007 would look like 22. John Nichols - Hillary's Rx for another health care reform failure --------1 of 22-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: General strike 9.21 SEPTEMBER 21, 2007 ;GENERAL STRIKE FOR PEACE DON'T WORK! DON'T SPEND!!!! http://www.generalstrikeforpeace.com If Congress cannot or will not stop the war, the people must. Strike for peace on 21 September 2007. On 21 September 2007 we will not work and we will not spend. We will demonstrate against war. Join us. Show your support for peace. Don't work. Don't spend. The general strike is the most powerful action we can take to show our opposition to the actions of those in charge of the war machine. Much, if not all, of their power derives from the economic engine we fuel with our labor and with our consumption. Every bit of labor we withhold and every reduction in our consumption is power we retain from them. That is why George Bush's advice to us in response to the 911 tragedy was to go out and spend. He and the rest of the masters of war know that a portion of every dollar you spend and every dollar you earn is siphoned out of the economy to finance war and to provide profits to the merchants of death. You have the power to keep this money from the masters of war. While it is obvious that you must work and you must spend in order to survive, you can for a day or part of a day withhold your labor and refuse to spend any or some of the money you have earned. The war machine can operate in the face of a certain amount of dissent. Its power to do so is, however, limited. There is a point at which sufficient solidarity between the people can cause the war machine to grind to a halt. Our goal is to get sufficient participation in the 21 September 2007 general strike to raise the level of dissent beyond that at which the war machine can continue to operate. We will then strike again on 19 October 2007 and again on 16 November 2007. In December we will strike for two days on the 21st and the 22nd. Imagine 22 December 2007 as an utter holiday gift buying failure for the corporations. We can make it happen. We can stop war. To do so, however, requires your participation. If you are ready to commit to striking, tell us. If you are willing to help us organize or have suggestions as to how people can participate, contact us. If you are willing to help support the effort financially, donate. If you want to become a listed supporter, let us know. If you have questions, ask. http://www.generalstrikeforpeace.com SUPPORTERS** denotes national organizing committee member Noam Chomsky, MIT Cambridge MA Howard Zinn, Historian, MA Roz Zinn, Artist, MA Margaret Randall, Writer. Albuquerque, NM Dr. Neal Blumenfeld, Psychiatrist. Berkeley, CA Utah Phillips, Folksinger, CA Father Dan Berrigan, Writer. NY Liz McAllister, Jonah House. Baltimore, MD Jerry Berrigan, Catholic Worker. Kalamazoo, MI Brad Lyttle, Chicago Peace Activist Dave Rovics, Folksinger Ken Tilsen, Attorney, Hudson, WI Staughton Lynd, Historian, Lawyer. Niles, Ohio see his paper on general strikes lynd.pdf Marv Davidov, Founder - Honeywell Project; 1961 Freedom Rider, Minneapolis, MN Vernon Bellecourt, American Indian Movement. Minneapolis, MN Mel Duncan, Human Rights Activist. St. Paul, MN Polly Mann, Co-founder, WAMM, Mpls., MN Barbara Mishler, Co-founder, Minneapolis War Resisters League. Mpls., MN Wanda Brown, Business Woman. Wisconsin Peace Activist Phyllis Goldin, Psychiatrist. Wisconsin Peace Activist Robert Bly, Minnesota Poet Mahmoud El Kati, Historian, Teacher. St. Paul, MN Phil Berrigan, called for general strike before he died; see his article berrigan.pdf Sr. Megan Rice, Nevada Desert Experience Sister Rita Steinhagen Chapter of War Resisters League National Lawyers Guild - Minnesota Chapter Larry Long, Troubadour, Educator, Minnesota Medea Benjamin, Co-founder Code Pink and Global Exchange, San Francisco, CA Jeritt Lovell, Professor of Criminal Justice - Cal State Fullerton; Peace and Justice Activist, CA Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers, Berkeley, CA Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Non-violence, Chicago, IL Jeff Leys, Voices for Creative Non-violence, Chicago, IL Harvey Wasserman, Historian - Environmentalist, Columbus, OH Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice John LaForge, Nukewatch, Luck. WI Michele Naar-Obed, Plowshare activist and Catholic Worker, Duluth, MN Loaves and Fishes Catholic Worker Community, Duluth , MN Dr. Michael Uhl, Veterans for Peace, Toledo, OH Becky Lourey, Former Minnesota State Representative, Senator and candidate for governor, Kerrick, MN Winona LaDuke, Founder, White Earth Land Recovery Project, White Earth, MN Peter Rachleff, Professor of Labor History, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN Matilda Paxton, Author of How To Peace, Communications Co-chair, SEMN Alliance of Peacemakers, Pine Island, MN People for Peace and Goodwill, Northfield, MN Annie Young, Community Activist and Elected Officeholder, Mpls., MN Dean Zimmerman, Peace Activist, Freedom Summer/Civil Rights Activist, Environmental Activist, FCI Englewood, Littlton, CO Jenny Heiser, Lifelong Activist for social, human, and economic justice, Mpls., MN Tonya Sneed, First Grade Teacher and Peace Activist, Peoria, IL Anathoth Community, Luck, WI October Fifteenth Anarchist Collective, Toledo, OH Holly Brewer and M@, Activists and Co-creators of HUMANWINE, Boston, MA Freda Berrigan, Weapons Analyst, New York City, NY Martin Goff, Union Organizer, Mpls., MN Prince Myshkins, Singers, Actors, Madison, WI Nukewatch, Luck, WI Colleen Ryan, Peace Activist, Austin, TX http://www.generalstrikeforpeace.com --------2 of 22-------- From: christine [at] crymn.org Subject: Circus amendment 9.21 9:30am Be There- Final Vote on Circus Amendment this Friday, Sept. 21st, 9:30am!!! We can't stress enough how important your presence is, even if you can only stay a short while. On Friday, Sept 21, 9:30am, the entire City Council will be present to vote on the Animal Protection Amendment. Only 7 Council Members saw our numbers at the public hearing. We need to show the other Council Members just how many of us there are who want to see this historic amendment passed! As of Tuesday evening, we don't have nearly enough people signed up to be there. We need to overwhelm them with our numbers at the beginning of the meeting. RSVP TODAY. This is our ONE SHOT- please be there to help make it happen! Where: City Hall, 3rd Floor, Downtown Minneapolis Please RSVP TO CHRISTINE christine [at] crymn.org What: FINAL VOTE on Animal Protection Amendment, which will prohibit wild animal circuses in Minneapolis For more information: Please see Circus Reform Yes website: www.crymn.org --------3 of 22-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Vs military/KFAI 9.21 11am TUNE IN FRIDAY SEPT.21,11am to CATALYST on KFAI RADIO to hear AIMEE ALLISON, co-author of ARMY OF NONE (WRITTEN WITH Daviud Solnit) - an inspiring and practical handbook for the growing counter-military recruitment movement emerging on high school campuses across the country. Hosted by Lydia Howell. KFAI broadcasts in the Twin Cities 90.3fm Mpls 106.7fm St Paul LIVE STREANING and archived for 2 weeks after broadcast online: http://www.kfai.org --------4 of 22-------- From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: China/organs 9.21 12noon Human Rights Center & Program in Human Rights and Medicine Lecture Friday, September 21, 12pm, Mondale Hall (Law School), Room 65 David Matas, Esq., Winnipeg, Canada "Organ Harvesting in China, Human Rights, and Issues of Extraterritorial Legislation" (Co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota Amnesty International Law Students Group) /Report at http://organharvestinvestigation.net/. / Evidence exists of involuntary organ harvesting in China and organ trading in other countries, driven partly by the demand for organs from transplant tourism. To stem human rights abuses extraterritorial legislation has been applied in other contexts, making involvement abroad in a prohibited practice answerable upon return. Should this be asserted for organ trafficking and transplant tourism? Mr. Matas was Law Clerk to the Chief Justice Supreme Court of Canada in 1968-69 and has served as Canadian delegate to the Conference on the International Criminal Court in 1998, Delegation to the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust, and as the Director of the International Centre for Human Rights & Democratic Development. Mr. Matas has also taught constitutional law at McGill University and International Law, Civil Liberties, and Immigration & Refugee Law, at the University of Manitoba. He is recipient of the 2007 Tarnopolsky Human Rights Award of the Canadian Bar Association for contributions to domestic and international human rights. --------5 of 22-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] minn.net> Subject: Human rights panel 9.21 1pm Using UN Treaties for Justice in the Community CUAPB TO SPEAK ON HUMAN RIGHTS PANEL Human Rights and Racial Justice: Tools for Equality Friday, September 21 1-5pm University of MN Law School, Mondale Hall, Room 25 229 19th Avenue, Minneapolis LOCATION CHANGE - NOT at the U; see below for new location PANEL: 1) Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights: Overview of the UN Commission on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and how to use this as a tool for our local struggles 2) CUAPB: How to gather data on the effects of discrimination and how to use it to support our work (our data will be included in a shadow report to the CERD) 3) Maria Inamagua Campaign for Justice: A case study on using the human rights framework in the fight for social justice. As a member organization of the US Human Rights network, CUAPB is cosponsoring an event to educate the community about our work with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The United States government has turned in a report to CERD claiming that racism is no longer a big issue in the US. The report even cited the movie Crash as an example of this claim! To counter this ridiculous report, we're part of a national effort by grassroots groups to use statistics and other information in our own report to CERD. We have a unique contribution to make since we're one of the only grassroots groups in the country to maintain a database on police complaints. We'll be discussing the innovate use of our database in human rights work. Come learn about how international treaties and tools can be used for our work right here in the community. -- Subject: SEPT.21;LOCATION CHANGE Human Rights Training - Relocating in solidarity with striking workers. . . Human Rights and Racial Justice: Tools for Democracy Friday, September 21, 2007 / 1PM - 5PM Training & CLE Relocated Three Blocks ! (honoring the AFSCME workers? strike & picket line) We have relocated from the U of M Law School to The Cedar-Riverside Peoples Center Corner of Riverside & 20th Avenue Fourth Floor ? Room 408 Elevator available. We appreciate your solidarity on this move! Directions: from the U of M Law School, go two blocks south to Riverside Avenue; turn left (east) for one block. The Peoples Center is on your left at 20th Avenue & Riverside. We will be on the 4th Floor --- Room 408. Any questions? Call Tovah at 612-432-5531 or _TovahF [at] gmail.com_ --------6 of 22-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Palestine 9.21 4:30pm Friday, 9/21, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end the occupation of Palestine, Snelling & Summit Aves, St Paul. Karen, 651-283-3495. --------7 of 22-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: Iraq war moratorium 9.21 4:30pm Iraq War Moratorium Protest & Bannering FRI, 9/21 @ 4:30 pm @ Mayday Plaza, 3rd Street and Cedar Ave, West Bank in Minneapolis. The Iraq Moratorium Committee and the General Strike for Peace have called for making the 3rd Friday of every month a national day of activity against the war, beginning in September 2007. Organized by the Iraq Peace Action Coalition & Students for a Democratic Society @ the U of M. --------8 of 22--------- From: darrellgerber [at] earthlink.net Subject: Global warming/fish 9.21 6:30pm "The science of climate change and the potential effects of global warming on fish habitat" A presentation by Omid Mohseni The presentation will be on the controversies over global warming, the science behind the projected climate change, and the potential effects of a changing climate on fish habitat in lakes and streams. Omid Mohseni received his BS in Civil Engineering from University of Science and Technology of Iran in 1986. He worked as a civil engineer in Iran for 7 years and then joined the graduate program of University of Minnesota where he received his MS in 1995 and PhD in 1999. He is currently a member of the graduate faculty of University of Minnesota and the Associate Director of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, a multi-disciplinary engineering, environmental, biological and geological fluid mechanics research unit of University of Minnesota. Part of Omid Mohseni's research has been on lake and river hydrodynamics with emphasis on land use and climate change impacts on fish habitat. He has published three articles on climate change studies in peer-reviewed journals. Friday, September 21, 2007 6:30-8:30 p.m. Minneapolis Urban League 2100 Plymouth Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN For more information please call Karen Monahan 612-436-5402 This is a free event and food will be provided. --------9 of 22-------- From: Impeach for Peace Subject: Impeach 9.21 9.21 7pm Demand Rep. McCollum Support Impeachment! Last month, Impeach for Peace succeeded at Rep. Betty McCollum's Congressional District's Executive Committee Meeting. They agreed to have the Central Committee Hearing for the District vote on whether to call on Rep. McCollum to sign the impeachment resolution currently in Congress. Please join us at the meeting to encourage its members to vote for accountability. Rice Street Library (1011 Rice Street St. Paul, Mn 55117) at 7pm. We are on the schedule to introduce a resolution calling on the U.S. House to pass an impeachment resolution and to call on Betty McCollum to sign on to impeachment resolution H.Res 333. Show up with signs/T-shirts which are pro-impeachment! --------10 of 22-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: GMfood/FBI/film 9.21 9/21 to 9/23, documentary "Strange Culture" about a college professor/artist opening a show about genetically modified food whose wife dies suddenly and he is plunged into a situation involving dozens of FBI agents, haz-mat suits and still-lingering suspicion and post-911 paranoia, Bell Auditorium 10 Church St SE, Mpls. www.mnfilmarts.org --------11 of 22-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: WomensHallHonor 9.22 8am September 22: Honoring Women Worldwide. Creating a Women's Worldwide Hall of Honor. Panelists including Kathy Tunheim, President & CEO, Tunheim and Partners; Senator Patricia Torres Rey, District 62; Anita Barnett, National president of N.P.I.D. and V.P. of Gensler Design; Julie Snow, FAIA, Julie Snow Architects Inc and Nancy Stephan, Founder and ED of Honoring Women Worldwide. 8 AM- Noon. College of St. Catherine, Coeur de Catherine Ballroom, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul. $49-$65. More info and details 651/330-2746. --------12 of 22-------- From: Welfare Rights Committee - Alt Email <welfarerights [at] qwest.net> Subject: WelfRight sale 9.22 8:30am COME AND SHOP at the Welfare Rights Committee's Yard Sale. Date: 09/22/2007 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 pm (rain or shine) (if rain-inside church) Welfare Rights located in Walker Church 3104 16th Ave South, Mpls 612-822-8020 The Welfare Rights Committee is having their first ever-annual Yard Sale fundraiser. All precedes go to benefit the existence of the Welfare Rights Committee. We just moved into the neighbor. We will have information about US and our current campaign against Workfare/Slave Labor. Items in the sale . Plus size women clothes and accessories. . Infant and toddler clothing . Linens and towels . Games and toys for kids . Small house hold appliances, Furniture . Books, video tapes, cd's . Some electronics . Glasses, dishes, Christmas items . Nic Nacs and this and that! . Defective husbands AFTER SHOPPING, meet the members of the WRC and involved. Hear about our upcoming issues that the committee is working on. Hear about Workfare/slave labor and the Legislative Session. --------13 of 22-------- From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com> Subject: UofM strike 9.22 10am Every Saturday, 10am - 12pm Community / Labor Strike Support Committee meets every Saturday at Strike Headquarters - University Baptist Church, 1219 University Ave SE, Minneapolis. All supporters welcome. --------14 of 22-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Minnetonka 9.22 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. --------15 of 22-------- From: Mizna <mizna-announce [at] mizna.org> Subject: Mizna party 9.22 7pm Journal Release Party Saturday, September 22 Loft Literary Center. Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, 7-10pm. $5 suggested donation. Join Mizna in celebrating the publication of the 20th issue of its literary journal. This event will feature writers from the journal reading from their work. Co-presented with the Loft Literary Center and Dunn Bros. Coffee. Visit our website at http://www.mizna.org --------16 of 22-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Global inequality 9.22 9pm Revered Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am. Households with basic cable can watch! 9/22 9pm and 9/25 8am "Globalization and the Age of Inequality". Interview of the widely-read, Indian, muckraking journalist P. Sainath. (this show contains economics!). Hosted by Karen Redleaf. --------17 of 22-------- A SHOCKING MOMENT FOR SOCIETY;Student Tasered by Cops At Florida University by NAOMI WOLF Huffington Post Sept.18, 2007 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/a-shocking-moment-for-soc_b_64909.html#postComment Today's news shows a recognizable shock moment in the annals of a closing society. A very ordinary-looking American student - Andrew Meyer, 21, at the University of Florida - was tasered by police when he asked a question of Senator John Kerry about the impeachment of President George Bush. His arms were pinned and as he tried to keep speaking he was shocked - in spite of begging not to be hurt. A stunning piece of footage but unfortunately, historically, a very familiar and even tactical moment. It is an iconic turning point and it will be remembered as the moment at which America either fought back or yielded. This violence against a student is different from violence against protesters in the anti-war movement of 30 years ago because of the power the president has now to imprison innocent U.S. citizens for months in isolation. And because, as I have explained elsewhere, we are not now in a situation in which 'the pendulum' can easily swing back. That taser was directed at the body of a young man, but it is we ourselves, and our Constitution, who received the full force of the shock. There is a chapter in my new book, The End of America, entitled "Recast Criticism as 'Espionage' and Dissent as 'Treason,'" that conveys why this moment is the horrific harbinger it is. I argue that strategists using historical models to close down an open society start by using force on 'undesirables,' 'aliens,' 'enemies of the state,' and those considered by mainstream civil society to be untouchable; in other times they were, of course, Jews, Gypsies, Communists, homosexuals. Then, once society has been acculturated to that use of force, the 'blurring of the line' begins and the parameters of criminalized speech are extended - the definition of 'terrorist' expanded - and the use of force begins to be deployed in HIGHLY VISIBLE, STRATEGIC and VISUALLY SHOCKING WAYS against people that others see and identify with as ordinary citizens. The first 'torture cellars' used by the SA, in Germany between 1931 and 1933 - even before the National Socialists gained control of the state, during the years when Germany was still a parliamentary democracy - were informal and widely publicized in the mainstream media. Few German citizens objected because those abused there were seen as 'other' - even though the abuse was technically illegal. But then, after this escalation of the use of force was accepted by the population, students, journalists, opposition leaders, and clergy were similarly abused during their own arrests. Within six months dissent was stilled in Germany. What is the lesson for us from this and from other closing societies, some of them democracies? You can have a working Congress or Parliament; newspapers; human rights groups; even elections; but when ordinary people start to be hurt by the state for speaking out, dissent closes quickly and the shock chills opposition very, very fast. Once that happens, democracy has been so weakened that major tactical and strategic incursions - greater violations of democratic process - are far more likely. If there is dissent about the vote in Florida in this next presidential election - and the police are tasering voters' rights groups - we will still have an election. What we will not have is liberty. We have to understand what time it is. When the state starts to hurt people for asking questions, we can no longer operate on the leisurely time of a strong democracy - the 'Oh gosh how awful!' kind of time. It is time to take to the streets. It is time to confront those committing crimes against the Constitution. The window has now dropped several precipitous inches and once it is closed there is no opening it without great and sorrowful upheaval. We also need to understand from history that the temptation at a moment like this to grow more quiet - to stay out of the line of fire - is the wrong choice by far. History shows categorically that if citizens do not stand up now to confront and imprison the abusers, things do not get safer - they get much more dangerous for ordinary people, activist or not. I was scared when I wrote The End of America - personally scared because the blueprint I was tracing in the summer of 2006 showed clearly that protesters and critics would start to be hurt within the year. When I told a dear friend that I was scared, he gently reminded me of the history I was reading. He asked, will things be scarier for you and the ones you love if you speak up now - or if you are silent? We don't just need to speak up now. We need to act. It is time to rebel in the name of the flag and the founders. This post first appeared on PowellsBooks.Blog. Naomi Wolf is the author of The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Chelsea Green Publishing, Sept 2007. She is also a co-founder of the American Freedom Campaign, a grassroots and grasstops democracy movement. --------18 of 22-------- Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 11:53:01 -0500 (GMT-05:00) Subject: Cynthia McKinney: John Kerry, Impeachment, Election Fraud, Police Tasering Not only residents of the United States are being subjected to illegitimate authority due to two stolen elections in 2000 and again in 2004. The entire global community is suffering because of it. When John Kerry, 2004 Democratic Nominee for President had the opportunity to tell us and the world why he didn't fight for his own victory that the voters of this country gave him, John Kerry proceeded to talk while the student who asked the question was violently tasered by the police. That University of Florida student asked one of the central questions that the American people deserve to have answered. Kerry didn't even fight for the victory that the U.S. voters had given him. He remained mute as the Libertarian and Green Parties demanded to know what happened in Ohio. And took their meager resources to investigate election theft by Republicans in Ohio. And all of the revelations that have come out since then can be placed at the feet of these two Parties, and not the Democratic Party that would have benefited. It was the Libertarian and Green Parties, not the Democrats, that demanded that the will of the voters be respected. A student gets the taser for asking a simple question. But what's more frightening is the reaction of those in the audience who sat through the screams of the student being tasered, listening to Kerry who obviously became a man bereft of his senses. The student was harassed even as he attempted to ask his question, referencing Greg Palast's work, "Armed Madhouse." Pointing out the huge disfranchisement of black voters that marked both of Bush's "wins," he asked Kerry, "How could you concede the election on the day?" He asks why Kerry is not in favor of impeachment, then the students applaud when the police attack him at the microphone. From the video, it appears that he is literally picked up by the police and carried to the back of the room where he is put on the floor, handcuffed, tasered, carried out, and in the background one can hear Kerry talking--not trying to get the police officers to stop attacking the student--but blathering on, reminiscent of George Bush when the towers were hit. No police officer should be in the business of denying Constitutional rights to anyone; I am particularly chagrined when it appears that a black police officer participated in this attack on an innocent student. What is happening to us???? How much more will the people accept?? I was outraged as early as 2000 when Florida was stolen and the Democrats said nothing!!!! Now, innocent students get tasered just for asking questions. What kind of US Senator do we have who can't or won't answer a question about his own election that affects all of us??? We must channel our efforts into the kind of movement that has been successful in the past in our country. A movement that unites us all, regardless of the labels usually used to divide us. We the people must run for office and vote the current, non-representative crew out of office. We must become the government that is supposed to represent us. It is time for all of us to become involved now. There is room for everyone in this movement. I shudder to think what our country will become if we fail to act. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaiWCS10C5s --------19 of 22-------- Lessons of the Taser Body-Snatched Nation By BRENDAN COONEY CounterPunch September 20, 2007 As scary as it is to watch someone electrocuted for speaking his mind, the most horrifying parts of the Andrew Meyer incident at the University of Florida are the things happening on the periphery. (The video can be seen here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=HgrFSHZfD1o) There is the face of the woman on the right of the aisle, staring obediently ahead to Sen. John Kerry as Meyer is pinned to the ground just behind her. Or the man on the left smiling as the action comes right past him like actors tearing down the fourth wall. The only person with the power to stop the assault was the man with the microphone, and his affect never rose above flat. Shortly before the cops pressed the volts into Meyer's chest, Kerry can be heard droning, "Folks, I think if we all just calm down." The folks he is addressing, of course, are not the police but the few audience members who have risen from their seats. It's as if one is watching the end of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," with Meyer coming out as the last human who has not been struck by the pods that replace people with emotionless doubles. Perhaps half the comments of Youtube viewers support the Tasing as an apt treatment for someone so disruptive. Meyer may have been loud, attention-hungry and an awkward presence in the room, but the awkwardness is nothing compared with that of people trying to work out the concept of free speech in their online comments. "The First Amendment does not guarantee anyone the right to make a public ass of oneself at the expense of others..." writes Russ Thayer. Joseph (comment 87 on the New York Times site) agrees: "I hate to tell you, but the meaning of Freedom of Speech doesn't mean you can scream and shout at people. To exercise your right to Freedom of Speech you need to remain calm." Says Dusty Bottoms, also on the Times site: "Freaking idiot deserved it.... [H]ow many times does one have to be warned? I'm all for free speech, but do it in an intelligent way." The proportion of voices sympathetic to Meyer was altogether different among readers of the Times of London. Thirty-three thought the Tasing was wrong, and only three supported it. Should it be any surprise that readers of the foreign press are less authoritarian than readers of our mainstream media? Duncan Roy, a United Kingdom resident, posts this comment on the New York Times site: "If shouting and agitation were the criteria for tasing then our entire british parliament would be tazed! What is it with you Americans that you have become so frightened of free and passionate speech?" Police tasing students and others without cause is nothing new. A video of an even scarier incident at UCLA last fall can be watched on youtube at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=AyvrqcxNIFs Police Tased this student because he didn't have his student ID in the library. The cell-phone video shows an eerily passive group of zombies, inching slowly forward as the victim cries for help. Only after the student is hauled out of the library, still being tased, do a couple students start asking for badge numbers, to which the reply is: "Back up or you'll get Tased too." The alien pods haven't gotten us all, however. Based on the volume of comments people posted on the Meyer incident, watching the video clearly hit many Americans a lot harder than it did mainstream journalists. Mike Bellman of Columbia, Missouri, wrote, "I am ten times ashamed for the spectators who watched this debacle slack-jawed and motionless like they were watching the you-tube video online. Shame on citizens who idly watch this kind of abuse and not recognize it. Shame on all of them including John Kerry who didn't relieve the police of their duties. And finally shame on anyone who doesn't have the courage to question authority or believe that another American has the right to speak freely in an open forum. I am ashamed to live in this America and I weep for the US Constitution." And an "ECartman" wrote that a "lot worse happened in Berkeley in late 60's and early 70's.... Wish these students could get more incensed with what we are doing in Iraq everyday.... Don't expect this to happen though as these kids really got no soul." There's a whole racially charged aspect to the question of police authority that I can't begin to unpack here, but "Jargon" says on the Times site: "I am so sick of this blind, unquestionable trust that whites hold for police." On the spectrum of eeriness, watching Jimmy Kimmel laugh about the incident on late-night TV was strange, but not as bad as reading dismissive accounts of it in the mainstream press. Shameful ad hominem reporting appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Salon.com. It's as if these reporters can't keep these two concepts separate: "he was annoying" and "he deserved to be arrested and assaulted." This confusion reminds me of people I sometimes meet overseas who can't treat me as an individual because I come from the loathsome United States. The fact that Meyer's website features pranks and skits, notably that he carried a "Harry Dies" sign after the release of the last Harry Potter book, seems to have persuaded many people that he deserved what he got. Someone who exudes such a reclining air that he will probably never be on the receiving end of a Taser is The Washington Post's Emil Steiner, who writes, "Kerry's voice, however, was no match for Meyer's, who despite not having a mic continued to hog the audience's attention with such glib catch phrases as: Help me! Help!'..." This smug tone is jolted awake by the first comment below the piece, by a "Mark" from Rhode Island: "One word: FASCISM! Be afraid to ask vital questions in our free republic." Steiner refers to the "mysterious" yellow book Meyer recommended for Kerry. The book was Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast. Meyer identified the author as a top investigative journalist; the senator said he'd already read it. What's the mystery, aside from the stunning disconnect between body-snatched reporters and the citizenry they putatively inform? In observing the cultural milieu in which this incident took place, from the blank reaction of students and Kerry to online comments to press reports, there was an atavistic smack of the taste of what it was to be living in the United States in 2002 and 2003. It was the most haunting time I have known, when story after story in the mainstream press sold the war, and when friends of mine with college and law and medical and doctoral degrees jumped on the bandwagon, and I looked all around me and saw only pods. The question is when does it happen; when do the pods take over our souls in this land? Is it in adolescence, when we have individuality pounded out of us by the mob so eager to squelch any deviant thought or behavior? Is it in classrooms or in front of televisions? What is the pod? Surely Kerry was alive in Vietnam, when he saved his fellow soldiers, and when he came home to protest the war; but somewhere in 37 years of public life he got the lobotomy needed to win elections here. (Politicians with a pulse, such as Ralph Nader and Jessie Jackson, don't stand a chance.) Even after he had time to reflect, Kerry offered the Associated Press this safe pablum: "Whatever happened, the police had a reason, had made their decision that there was something they needed to do. Then it's a law enforcement issue, not mine." Lost in the melee was one of Meyer's questions: "Why not impeach Bush before he has a chance to invade Iran?" It's a question that, if seriously considered, would Tase the brains of zombies everywhere. Brendan Cooney is an anthropologist living in New York City. He can be reached at: itmighthavehappened [at] yahoo.com --------20 of 22-------- Just so white progressives will remeber that it si an everyday event that people of color and the poor - especially homeless people - are Tasered as the Florida student was. I witnessed this event in Minneapolis in May. Lydia Howell I've Seen American Torture by Lydia Howell Tue. May 22, 2007 I witnessed torture last week. Thursday, May 17th, was a beautiful Minnesota spring afternoon and I was mentally planning out the next phase of planting in my new spot in a community garden, while out running errands. I came out to the bus stop in the Rainbow Foods parking lot on 27th Avenue off East Lake Street - a few blocks from where the raids on immigrants took place two days later. Immediately, my guard went up, as a police car pulled up. Their focus was obvious: an African-American woman. Perhaps in her early 30s, she was even more vulnerable to law enforcement by two aspects of her situation that became apparent. Her white jogging pants and t-shirt were dirty. She gripped a luggage cart, with a battered overnight suitcase strapped on the bottom and various plastic bags tied all over it. I'd bet this week's pay she was homeless. In our age of relentless gentrification and contempt of the poor, being homeless is treated as a crime, where one is not only subjected to harassment and arrest, but, to beatings and theft of all one's belongings by police. It was also quickly clear that she was mentally ill. In a sing-song voice she repeated the same sentence endlessly. Yet, as the 1960s radical psychologist R.D. Laing observed in the 1960s: if one attempts to read the "metaphors of insanity", they are often very revealing. In fact, they often say a great deal about the insane, everyday cruelty of our culture that drives people mad. The woman was saying, over and over, "I'm not white and I'm not a star." One police officer was speaking too quietly to hear, but, at one point she said, "Talk to the store manager." Then, a Hennepin County Medical Center ambulance drove up. The police knew they were dealing with a mentally ill person and Mayor R.T. Rybak has made a number of reassuring speeches about MPD's Crisis Intervention Teams' officers trained to deal differently with mentally ill people after several mentally ill people were gunned down by police. There were about six of us at the bus stop, just five feet away. I remembering thinking that surely so many witnesses present would protect the woman from harm. The two EMT guys came forward and the second police officer was behind the woman. The woman made no threatening moves toward anyone, but, proclaimed with a bit more intensity, "I'm NOT white and I'm NOT a star." She was now surrounded by four big white men in uniforms. One cop behind her. The officer who'd been talking to the woman put one hand on her shoulder. Taking one step back, she jerked away and shouted,"Get your hands OFF ME!" Then, I heard the harsh buzz as the other police officer used a stun gun, Taser, on the woman. One. Two. Three. Maybe even a fourth time. Like the woman's reaction at the first officer's touch, I just reacted. Bursting into sobs and yelling, "STOP iT! You're FOUR BIG MEN! You DON'T have to Taser her! STOP IT!" The woman crumpled to the ground. I guess the EMT guys stepped in, but, I wasn't looking since the Taser cop now turned towards me. "She's OFF her meds! Did you want her to attack YOU?" Actually, it was the police that had scared me from the start. But, my body was now numb and I was in "de-escalate the cops" mode. That means; be still, maintain eye contact, keep one's voice low and use the word "sir" frequently. He threatened to arrest me for "interfering with a police officer', demanding I leave. Walking quickly across the Rainbow parking lot, I desperately hoped for another bus. Any minute the squad car might come and then, what? Luckily, the #7 pulled up and I jumped on. The Taser is touted as a "non-lethal" alternative to deal with aggressive suspects, without shooting them. No research has been done as to its longterm health effects. As many as 200 people have been killed by Tasers. Police departments are supposed to train officers on when they're allowed to use this device which administers a shock of 50,000 volts. Here's what Amnesty International says: "Many U.S. police agencies now ROUTINELY use Tasers to subdue UNARMED, non-compliant individuals who DO NOT POSE A SERIOUS DANGER to themselves or others...police have used Tasers against unruly school children, mentally disabled and elderly people and people who simply argue with officers..REPEATEDLY ADMINISTERED SHOCKS, sometimes while IN RESTRAINTS." (Emphasis added) The City of Minneapolis spent $160,000 on Tasers last year and plans on spending $861,000 this year on more Tasers. The Arizona-based company supplies thousands of U.S. police departments, and, also sells them to human rights abusing governments world-wide. AI also notes that these weapons are "portable...easy to sue..inflict severe pain at the push of a button and leave no marks." That sounds like the perfect torture device for abusing one's authority over others while evading all accountability. American torture didn't start in Abu-Graibe. That video of Los Angeles cops beating Rodney King - almost 60 blows with batons - exposed this reality more than 15 years ago. See Amnesty International at http;//amnesty --------21 of 22-------- In 1969 We Already Knew What 2007 Would Look Like By EVA LIDDELL CounterPunch September 17, 2007 By 1969 in the Haight in San Francisco when people referred to themselves as freaks rather than hippies a rumor started that the government was building concentration camps in the south of Texas and Arizona to throw us freaks into. The idea seemed credible - the police had started to come down pretty hard on a lot of us particularly the Panthers over in Oakland. People said things like, "this place is going to blow," or "the shit is comin' down man." The Haight was getting violent - already a lot of former "peace" people had guns. My husband and I found a mean semi-automatic in an old piano. A nasty gun that when fired had a kickback like it would jump right out of your hands. Altamont had been a dreary bust. Sitting near the front row in the thick of the mayhem hadn't been a wise decision. Getting out of there before the thing erupted into total chaos was the challenge. There was a nice couple sitting next to us. I think they were semi-hippies or something. They were scared and wanted out of there. We wanted out of there too. They told us they had a car parked nearby but didn't know how to get through the people who were getting more out of control by the second. It surprised us, their parking so close to the concert. We had walked miles to get there having being left off by a bus - one of hundreds that had taken people to about five miles within the farm. There was only one way to through all those people. I had been watching how the Hells' Angels maneuvered their way through the crowd - had even been one of their victims. They would stomp on top of people with all their might and kept on stomping on them 'til they got to where they wanted to go. That was the way the four of us got out. I started out first and stomped on people. I could hear their sounds of dismay and hurt but I kept on moving. I pulled the girl behind me grasping her hand real tight. Her husband was behind her holding her other hand and my husband had the rear as he pushed the girl's husband forward. I remember the girl was saying things like, "excuse me," to people as we walked on top of their heads. They had a nice car - once we got to it. We kept thanking them for saving us we rode back to the city. They kept thanking us for saving them. In the 60's and early 70's there was no computers and rarely a telephone. Nobody had a television. Once we got out of the city we lived for years in the woods. No plumbing, electricity or running water. Meager amounts of dough. We had a reel-to-reel tape player hooked up to a car battery. The thing ran forever. We never listened to the radio for any "news". We knew what it would say anyway. We stuck to our tapes of old blues musicians or be-bop. Vets out of 'Nam came around. We'd stay awake until the sun came up listening to their stories. Once those boys started talking about that war they couldn't seem to stop. The big revolution which we assumed would result in many of us being carted off to camps did not materialize. Still, there was a prescience to the idea itself. Sooner or later the government did build them. Only they're for Middle-Eastern people, Hispanics, African-Americans. You can't live off the grid forever no matter how determined you were to "get out of the system." Living without any dough was making people bitter and hard. People came "back in." Started watching the "news" again. The repetitious sequels of the demise of the great old republic which we knew was dead in '69. Nothing is really inevitable until it happens. Yet looking back at those years it feels inevitable - that we would be rightwhere we are now. That our grand old republic has finally reached what is its real, true level. It feels inevitable too that soon it won't even need to pretend that it was once something else. Eva Liddell lives in the Pacific Northwest. --------22 of 22-------- Clinton's Prescription for Another Heath Care Reform Failure by John Nichols Published on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 by The Nation Would someone please ask Hillary Clinton to stop coming up with health care "reform" plans that are less attractive than the dysfunctional system she proposes to replace? The former first lady, who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the 1990s by responding to the demand for a sane and humane system to deliver affordable medical care to all Americans with a plan to drown the ailing in a bureaucracy designed to augment the profits of the nation's largest insurance companies, is back with an equally heavy-handed and unappealing "reform" proposal. The senator from New York who has emerged as the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination - based, in no small part, on romantic misrecollections of her last foray into the nation's seemingly-endless health-care debate - wants to solve the crisis of the uninsured and the under-insured by requiring every American to obtain coverage. Of course, the ridiculous Mitt Romney decries the Clinton campaign proposal as "European-style socialized medicine". But Romney knows so little about health care that he cannot even pick a smart site for a press conference on the issue - he derided the Clinton plan in front of St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan, home of the Rudolph W. Giuliani Trauma Center - that is named for his chief rival in the Republican nomination race. The reality is that the Clinton plan is about as socialistic as a Ronald Reagan corporate tax cut. The Clinton plan maintains the current system of for-profit, insurance-industry defined health care delivery. The only real change is that, in return for minimal requirements regarding coverage of those with preexisting conditions, the government would pump hundreds of billions in federal dollars into the accounts of some of the country's wealthiest corporations. The plan's tax credit scheme would buy some more coverage for low-income families, which is good, but it would do so at a cost so immense that, ultimately, Clinton's plan will be as tough a sell as the failed 1993 "Hillarycare" proposal. America is ready for health care reform. But it is not ready for more bureaucracy, more expense and more revenue for insurance companies. Despite what Mitt Romney says, Clinton and the Democrats would have a far easier time selling "European-style socialized medicine" that what the senator from New York is peddling. And that does not even take into account the potential appeal of a uniquely American single-payer system that might intelligently combine the necessary efficiency of a publicly-funded and defined payment program for covering costs with the appealing prospect of allowing Americans to choose their own basic plans and doctors. Clinton could have proposed such a system. Indeed, she could have modeled it on the plan she and other members of Congress now enjoy. Instead, she chose to propose a scheme defined not by the needs or desires of the American people but by the demands of existing insurance firms and a dysfunctional for-profit health care industry. If the senator is nominated and elected, and if she advances the initiative she unveiled Monday, there will be no health-care reform. And America's uninsured and under-insured millions will be doomed to suffer for another decade or so because Hillary Clinton was incapable of extracting herself from the grip of the corporations that have made it so hard for the Americans to get the care they need. John Nichols' new book is The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism. Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson hails it as a "nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic [that] combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use of the 'heroic medicine' that is impeachment with a call for Democratic leaders to 'reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by the founders for the defense of our most basic liberties'"... Copyright 2007 The Nation [Hillary's plan to force all of us to fork over several thousand dollars yearly to a gang of worthless bluebloods is not a lesser evil. It is evil plain and simple; so is its proposer; and so is a vote for her in 2008. -ed] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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