|Progressive Calendar 07.15.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 05:59:40 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 07.15.08 1. Violence/women 7.15 12noon 2. Banner/WAMM 7.15 4:30/6pm 3. Michelle Gross 7.15 5pm 4. Trans health 7.15 6:30pm 5. Open discussion 7.15 6:30pm 6. RNC/KFAI 7.16 11am 7. Cops/our rights 7.16 1pm 8. Womens Consort. 7.16 5:30pm 9. Paul Street - Barack Obama's deceptive left impression 10. Tom Burghardt - Class crowd control: the calmative before the storm --------1 of 10-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Violence/women 7.15 12noon Tuesday, 7/15, noon to 1 pm, brown bag presentation on Legislative Initiatives and Advocacy on Violence against Women, Advocates for Human Rights, 650 - 3rd Ave S, suite 550, Mpls. Register by 7/11 with mhunt [at] advrights.org or 612-341-3302 ext 107. Info at http://www.mnadvocates.org --------2 of 10-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Banner/WAMM 7.15 4:30/6pm Bannering Action followed by WAMM New Member Meet-Up Tuesday, July 15, 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. Corner of Nicollet Avenue and Burnsville Parkway, Burnsville. Join former FBI agent and Time Magazine person of the Year Coleen Rowley in highly visible bannering against war. 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Caribou Coffee, 12601 Nicollet Avenue, Burnsville. New, current and re-activating WAMM members welcome. Meet with an experienced WAMM member and peace activist who was once a part of Peace Fresno, the group featured in Michael Moore's "Farenheit 11" and who began a Cindy Sheehan solidarity rally in St. Paul. Receive a WAMM packet with bumper sticker, button, activist info and hear about upcoming local opportunities to be involved. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364. --------3 of 10-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Michelle Gross 7.15 5pm St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts in St. Paul on Tuesdays at 5pm, after DemocracyNow!, midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am. All households with basic cable may watch. Tues, 7/15, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 7/16, 10am "Holding Police Accountable" Interview of Communities United Against Police Brutality organizer Michelle Gross. Hosted by Eric Angell. (a repeat) "Our World In Depth" is available worldwide: www.ourworldindepth.org features video streaming... to the world. visit www.ourworldindepth.org, watch, comment and spread the news! --------4 of 10-------- From: David Strand <lavgrn [at] gmail.com> Subject: Trans health 7.15 6:30pm We hope you can make it to our first-ever "Trans Health Matters" Community Forum on July 15! We plan to make this a regular event for our communities. See below for details! -Max from the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition TRANS HEALTH MATTERS A free Community Health Forum for trans and allied communities Presented by the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition Tuesday, July 15, 2008 6:30 -- Social time with refreshments provided 7-9 -- Facilitated community discussion Location: Spirit of the Lakes UCC, 2930 - 13th Avenue South (at East Lake Street), Minneapolis, MN 55407 What's on your mind when it comes to transgender health care? Getting and maintaining insurance coverage? Finding the right surgeon? Learning how to be your own best health care advocate? Locating a doctor? MTHC invites you to join with other community members for the first Trans Health Matters, an ongoing forum to discuss issues and concerns surrounding health care for ourselves and for our communities. Everyone is welcome: transgender, genderqueer, intersex, transsexual, M to F, F to M, crossdresser, partner, family, friend and ally. Be sure to come and bring a friend! Spirit of the Lakes is wheelchair-accessible with free parking lot. So that people with multiple chemical sensitivities can participate, please refrain from wearing perfume or other scented products. --------5 of 10-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Open discussion 7.15 6:30pm Tuesday, July 15 is Open Discussion night. Maybe you have a topic you would like to discuss. If so, don't be shy. It would be fun to get a discussion going around it. Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. --------6 of 10-------- From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> Subject: RNC/KFAI 7.16 11am TRUTH TO TELL Wednesday, July 16 -11:00AM: THE REPUBLICANS ARE COMING! PART II - Passive or Aggressive? KFAI Radio, 90.3 Minneapolis /106.7 St. Paul / Streamed [at] KFAI.org A CivicMedia/Minnesota production The Republican National Convention (RNC) has been on our local agenda for a couple of years and dozens of groups and agencies have been preparing to accommodate the 115,000-120,000 conventioneers, media hounds, protesters, lawyers/legal observers and police personnel will descend on St. Paul's Xcel Center September 1st for four days of the chaotic crowning of the party's Presidential nominee, confronted by protests and potential clashes of all kinds and a series of counter-convention activities at various locations through the Twin Cities. Which protest and communications strategies are the most effective and wise? TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL brings into the KFAI studios representatives of the wide diversity of organizations of varying agendas for the coming visitors and query them on their strategies and planned tactics for participating in what many consider will be a circus they'd rather not be around for. We talk with convention organizers, arts, peace and protest leaders, law enforcement and just plain folks over several show to clarify for listeners what we can expect to see on the news each night. GUESTS: SEGMENT 1: COALITION TO MARCH on the RNC & STOP the WAR JESS SUNDIN Coalition to March on the RNC & STOP the War MICHELLE GROSS Citizens United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) KATRINA PLOTZ Coalition to March on the RNC & STOP the War DOUG MICHEL Coalition to March on the RNC & STOP the War SEGMENT 2: PEACE ISLAND CONFERENCE of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers SUSU JEFFREY Peace Island Conference Organizer, Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers DENNIS DILLON Peace Island Steering Committee Chair, Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers SEGMENT 3: TRUE BLUE AND FRIENDS ANDREW HINE True Blue INVITED: LIZZ WINSTEAD Comedian/Satirist, ROBIN MARTY, IndyMedia --------7 of 10-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: Mpls/cops/rights 7.16 1pm June 24, 2008 UPDATE TO YESTERDAY'S URGENT ACTION ALERT: CITY COUNCIL GIVES COPS GREEN LIGHT TO USE RUBBER BULLETS ON PROTESTERS; DELAYS ACTION ON PROTECTING PROTESTERS We normally try our best not to blow up your inbox with emails but this is an urgent update to the situation we alerted you to yesterday. As we told you yesterday, the Minneapolis City Council deviously plotted to strip away important protections for activists including a prohibition on the use of rubber bullets, restrictions against police confiscating cameras and harassing journalists and legal observers, etc. Turns out that the hearing on the Cam Gordon proposal to return those protections to the community is being delayed until the next council cycle at the request of the MPD. So, in other words, this council can strip away our protections without as much as a public hearing or even advance notice of their plans but they allow the cops to tell them when to have a hearing on the proposal that might restore some of those protections--makes you wonder who they really work for. AT THIS POINT THERE IS NO NEED TO COME TO TOMORROW'S PS&RS COMMITTEE MEETING unless you just want to sneer in the council members faces for doing this to the community. Save your time off and use it when this item will come up on their agenda. We need a mass turnout of people on this day: Wednesday, July 16, 1:00 p.m. Minneapolis City Hall 350 S 5th Street, Room 317, Minneapolis WE STILL NEED YOU TO CALL AND EMAIL CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS. This is very important and should be done as soon as possible. Call them all but concentrate on the members of the PS&RS Committee: Don Samuels, President 673-2205 Don.Samuels [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Paul Ostrow 673-2201 Paul.Ostrow [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Cam Gordon 673-2202 Cam.Gordon [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Diane Hofstede 673-2203 Diane.Hofstede [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Barb Johnson 673-2204 Barbara.Johnson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Gary Schiff 673-2209 Gary.Schiff [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Talking points: 1) It is an outrage that they would rescind an ordinance that provides important protections to the community without even knowing what they were passing and without seeking the community's input. 2) How dare they empower police to use rubber bullets on protesters when we are only weeks away from protests against the RNC? Was this by design? 3) Do they honestly believe police should be allowed to confiscate cameras, harass legal observers and infiltrate organizations that haven't broken any laws? PLEASE, PLEASE contact your council member and the council members on the PS&RS committee listed above. And make your plans now to pack the council chambers on July 16th. --------8 of 10-------- From: Bonnie Watkins <bonnie [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Womens Consortium 7.16 5:30pm RSVP for Get Connected #28 Register Today for the Women's Consortium Annual Meeting #28! Connect, Renew, Enjoy.... Are you a faithful meeting-attender, or is this computer your only link to humanity? Are you are an honored veteran of feminist activism, or a curious newcomer? All of the above, depending on the day of the week? My dear FMA, COLs, HVs, and CNs, we need your wisdom and energy at the 28th annual meeting of the Minnesota Women's Consortium! Wednesday evening, July 16 5:30PM - 8PM Crossroads Room, St. Michael's Lutheran Church 1660 West County Road B (near Snelling & County Road B) Roseville, Minnesota 55113 No time to read further? Just drop me a line [mailto:Bonnie [at] mnwomen.org] to RSVP. Agenda highlights: Unveiling of the Consortium's Member Group Directory,an awesome resource with purpose & services available from all 171 of our member groups, more info than we can ever put online. Supper, table talk, & introductions of all the people & organizations present. I always marvel at the diversity of issues, strategies & resources we bring together for changing the world. (Also great for enriching your personal contacts for the job hunt, elections connections, and more.) Voting (by organizational reps) on the 23 new organizations that have joined in the past year, candidates for the board of directors, and budget for the coming year. State of the Consortium - my entrancing annual 5-minute speech. Keynote by Dr. Rusty Barcelo, U of M VP for Equity & Diversity. A leader in creating the higher education "Agenda for the 21st Century," Rusty has seen the time arrive when women are a majority of college students and women of color have made gains as students, staff, and faculty. But she will clue us in as community members on the work that is still needed, and comment on these ideas from the landmark national project of 2000: - "We need to really move from incremental changes & adding equity and diversity as add-ons... to really transforming the academy and looking at what are the structural changes that we need to make a difference..." (Lynn Gangone, Nat'l Assn for Women in Education). -"If we are to have a voice, to lead and to command new levels of respect in higher education, we must not only survive in the system, but reconstruct a system where we can actually thrive as women and women of color..." (from Women of Color Preconference Session). - "Universities should be intricately intertwined with the communities of which they are a part, representing models of democracy, committed to social good & to social justice." (Vicky Ruiz, Arizona State U) - "Pool all resources/services throughout the college & university to determine the best way to serve community partners who share the vision to improve women's status & environment." (recommendations list) -- "And so, my sisters and brothers all, to the questions: Why so much focus on education... I can only respond with yet another question: if equal opportunity cannot be achieved within the academic community, where there is said to be great respect for rationality, for fairness and for equality, then where in the world can it be achieved?" (Johnnetta B. Cole, then professor at Emory University) How can you resist? Do write me today [mailto:Bonnie [at] mnwomen.org] to say you'll be there! We would love to have you prepay through our website [http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001q0l0e5_otXdHrYJo3Q6fNs6mqSRMqsS_w_lGrkApT1vGky5-jOGtnUHc5J7o4SIrjMjNozhthz0hp_FpER34j8Q33oszKW2GkGHrXN-xeeBy7ezhORZaiGgimO-tDmC9], but you can also mail a check to the address on our masthead (above), or pay Lorraine at the door. $45 covers your supper & the program, or take advantage of the $35 discount rate for paid-up individual members, for-profit Friends of the Consortium, and Seneca Falls Society members. If you are a member group president/chair, delegate, or alternate listed in the Member Group Directory, the cost is only $25. Everyone also has the option of "paying your age," which can be a scholarship for younger people or an opportunity to be proud of your 78 years. See you there! Yours in celebrating the survival and victories of the women's community - and our next adventures together! --------9 of 10-------- Barack Obama's Deceptive Left Impression By Paul Street Jul 14, 2008 ZNet The deception conducted by political "elites" is about more than specific factual lies. It is also and perhaps more significantly about the creation of a sense, a feeling, an impression, an atmosphere, and/or even a mood. Look at how the Cheney-Bush administration and the Pentagon worked with congressional allies and corporate media to manufacture early consent for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The war masters concocted and disseminated a large number of specific and materially false claims - factual lies - to build their case for "war." But it took more than that. Beyond the cooked intelligence, the White House and its partners and "free press" enablers created a sense and atmosphere of imminent danger. They generated the false impressions that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was linked to 9/11 and al Qaeda and that Iraq and the Arab and Muslim worlds posed grave threats to ordinary Americans. They set the mood for a bloody invasion. Another and different example comes from the supposedly "antiwar" presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Facing criticism from some of his leftmost supporters for his latest right-leaning actions and statements (on gun control, the death penalty, campaign funding, Iraq, Iran, Israel-Palestine, Latin America, federal wiretapping, economic policy...the list goes on), Obama has admonished his "friends on the left" for failing to pay sufficiently close and careful attention to him over recent months and years. Obama wants those increasingly irritated supporters and (more importantly) the corporate forces that manage the U.S. electorate to understand that his version of "progressivism" has never been left. He's got a point. From the beginning of his political career (in the Illinois legislature in 1996) through his historic presidential campaign, Obama has been a dedicated centrist. He has shown himself (for those willing and able to see) to be deeply respectful to - and invested in - dominant hierarchies and doctrines of class, race, nationality, religion, gender, and global power. A close and careful analysis of his record shows that he is man from whom the lords of capital and the masters of empire have nothing to fear. Many progressive Obamanists have been woefully derelict when it comes to investigating the historical record that shows this to be true. Some of them have gone to remarkable lengths to advance the silly idea that the real Obama beneath that record is a stealth "true progressive" -a Manchurian leftist doing "what he has to in order to win the presidency." Many of them have a painfully pale and partial sense of what they mean when they call themselves "progressives." And many have fallen prey to the illusion that Obama must be a left-leaning progressive because of the color of his skin. Still, I do not entirely blame many progressive Obamanists for becoming excessively invested in "their" corporate candidate. Obama likes to complain that voters see him as a blank sheet on to which they project their own particular world view and aspirations. But he knows very well that he and his corporate image and marketing consultants have done their best to sell Obama as a man for all moral and ideological seasons (as well they "should" given the ideology-blurring logic of the American "winner-take-all" "two party" and candidate-centered elections system). And Obama knows very well that his campaign has responded to widespread progressive sentiments and anger (fed by eight incredibly reactionary and plutocratic years under George W. Bush) by working to create the false impression among certain targeted audiences that he is a progressive, populist, and peace-oriented opponent of Empire and Inequality, Inc. I observed Obama pose as a left-leaning antiwar and social justice progressive again and again across Iowa during the long lead-up to his pivotal Caucus victory in that state. I saw his faux-left act in numerous large speeches, small town halls meetings, and in countless television commercials. In those speeches and ads, Obama played up his brief history as a community organizer and "civil rights lawyer" and deceptively trumpeted himself a strong opponent "from the beginning" of the Iraq "war." He tried to steal John Edwards' "populist" thunder by railing against NAFTA, Wal-Mart ("I wouldn't shop there"), Maytag (for abandoning workers in Galesburg, Illinois and Newton, Iowa), and the control of U.S. government by corporate interests - "the folks who write the big checks." Obama deleted his long record of accommodation with - and sponsorship by - powerful economic and political interests like (leading nuclear plant operator) Exelon, Lester Crown (a leading Maytag director), Henry Crown Investments, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros., UBS, Arial Capital, Google, the insurance lobby, Richard M. Daley, a number of corrupt Chicago real estate [under-]developers (including Tony Rezko), and the Council on Foreign Relations. He railed against big money control of U.S. politics even as he underpinned his soon-to-be record-setting funding base with massive bundled investments from the giants of Wall Street and while he took his economy policy counsel from pro-"trade" (corporate-neoliberal) economists from the University of Chicago and Harvard. From the start, "Obamanomics" has been a distinctly corporate-friendly tendency in the militantly centrist tradition of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and the Hamilton Group - something few voters would have guessed after hearing one of Obama's populace-pleasing speeches during the primaries. When primary candidate Obama denounced the "old politics of Washington," he talked about driving out the oil, insurance, and pharmaceutical lobbyists, not collaborating with Republicans on federal wiretapping, limiting consumer damages in civil lawsuits, and sustaining the criminal occupation of Iraq for an indefinite period. At one point last fall, I actually received a mailing from the Iowa Obama campaign telling me that I could "join the movement to stop the [Iraq] war" by caucusing for Obama. Never mind that Obama was (and remains) a fiscal and political supporter of the criminal occupation. My efforts to educate Iowa Democratic voters about the progressive Obama illusion stumbled on (a) the limits of my own persuasiveness and (b) the determination of many of those voters to accept almost as a matter of faith that Barack Obama was a left-leaning progressive. But both the voters and I were both up against (c) the Obama campaign's carefully crafted and well-funded effort to sell ("brand") their candidate to certain targeted voters and activists as some sort of left progressive. Should "left" Obama supporters have looked more deeply and critically into the reality of their candidate's record and world view beneath his image? Sure. Should they do the same now? Absolutely. But Obama and his campaign are leading agents in the manufacture of left illusion among progressive Democrats. There's an ugly undercurrent of blaming your own victim in Obama's recent criticism of his leftmost backers. Beneath this insulting treatment lurks Obama's sense that he can take left progressives' support for granted in light of the alternative: Mad Bomber McCain. He might want to re-think that. Obama's recent and ongoing lurch right, including his terrible vote for federal wiretapping (with retroactive immunity for telecommunications corporations), is costing him with left-leaning voters - not a small group. Obama is the likely winner in November. As his ascendancy approaches, it is urgent that progressively inclined U.S. citizens peel off the layers of seductive deception to see Obama and the Democrats for what they really are - partners in corporate and imperial domination. My forthcoming book "Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics" is not an effort to help elect the arch-authoritarian messianic militarist John McCain. It is designed to help progressive and other citizens distinguish myth from reality in understanding the meaning of Obama. Besides giving a deep historical interpretation of Obama's political and ideological origins and essence, it seeks to help position activists and citizens to respond positively and productively to the Obama phenomenon in coming months and years. That starts by differentiating the really existing Obama from the Obama that many wish to see. Veteran radical historian Paul Street (paulstreet99 [at] yahoo.com)lives in Iowa City, IA. Street is the author of Empire and Inequality: America and the World Since 9/11 (Boulder, CO: Paradigm), Segregated Schools: Educational Apartheid in the Post-Civil Rights Era (New York: Routledge, 2005); Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007); and Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, order at: www.paradigmpublishers.com/Books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=186987) --------10 of 10-------- The Calmative Before the Storm by Tom Burghardt July 14th, 2008 Dissident Voice Ours is a social system spinning wildly out of control. Wherever one glances, the political-economic-ecological crises engulfing late capitalism are insolvable in terms of structural reforms that might mitigate the system's approaching zero hour. Call it the proverbial band-aid over gangrene syndrome; a plethora of terminal "fixes" that fix nothing. During periods of extreme crisis, ruling class elites and the technocratic "wizards of armageddon" who serve them - bankrupt authoritarians without authority - harbor a not-so-secret longing for "magic bullets" that will put things right. Thus, the quixotic crusade by politicians, military planners and corporate grifters out to make a buck to discover what they hope will be an antidote to the spreading virus of desperation and anger gripping the planet as the alleged "beautiful world" promised by neoliberalism morphs into an unlimited - and endless - low-intensity "war on terror" waged against the world's poor. A futile quest to be sure, while the immense, untapped social potential for resolving humanity's most pressing needs - food, shelter, healthcare, repair of the environment - are grimly shuttled "off world" to various "green zones" and "secure, undisclosed locations" where science, and scientists, function as the equivalent of nerdy call-girls in the "Pentagon Madame's" little black book of atrocities. In "'Non-Lethal' Weapons: Where Science and Technology Service Repression," I began a preliminary inquiry into "less than lethal" weapons research; that investigation continues. Calmative Agents For six decades, the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have explored ways to harness biochemical substances as incapacitating weapons of war. During 1977 congressional hearings, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence published material on "Project MKULTRA, The CIA's Program of Research in Behavioral Modification". While the media focused on the sensationalistic dosing of unsuspecting "subjects" with LSD and other psychoactive substances during unethical CIA and Army experiments, purportedly as a means to gain "control" over the minds of "enemy agents" or "target populations," the demise of MKULTRA supposedly signalled that research into these forbidden zones were a closed book. Unfortunately, this is not the case. While "mind control" as a weapon of war has proven chimerical, the Pentagon has hardly neglected its search for biochemical agents as mechanisms for repressive domination. Under the broad heading "calmatives," such research continues to this day. The now-defunct Sunshine Project offered a preliminary assessment and defined calmatives as, chemical or biological agents with sedative, sleep-inducing or similar psychoactive effects. Chemical calmative weapons such as BZ (3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, a compound related to scopolamine) were developed during the Cold War. Proponents of calmatives are creating a new and alarming legal ambiguity surrounding their use. . The US Department of Defense (DoD) arguments imply the creation of two loopholes in the Chemical Weapons Convention: the possible definition of psychoactive substances as riot control agents, and a distinction between "military operations other than war" [MOOTW] and armed conflicts. In the latter, DoD argues that even toxic chemicals would be of operational utility. ("Non-Lethal Weapons Research in the U.S.: Calmatives and Malodorants," The Sunshine Project, Backgrounder Series #8, July 2001) In other words, while deploying these agents in the "battlespace" is prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention, their use on civilian populations during MOOTW, "if classified as riot control agents, can be acceptable". As Neil Davison, a researcher at the University of Bradford's Disarmament Research Centre (BDRC) describes, >From a military perspective, specific characteristics of such agents have been seen as follows: (1) Highly potent (an extremely low dose is effective) and logistically feasible. (2) Able to produce their effects by altering the higher regulatory activity of the central nervous system. (3) Of a duration of action lasting hours or days, rather than of a momentary or fleeting action. (4) Not seriously dangerous to life except at doses many times the effective dose. (5) Not likely to produce permanent injury in concentrations which are militarily effective. However, contemporary definitions emphasise rapid onset of action and short duration of effects, characteristics which reflect the current preoccupation with counter-terrorism and the associated convergence of military and policing requirements. Generally for reasons of politics and public relations rather than accuracy these weapons have also been referred to as "calmatives" and "advanced riot control agents". (Neil Davison, Bradford Disarmament Research Centre, "Off the Rocker" and "On the Floor": The Continued Development of Biochemical Incapacitating Weapons, Bradford Science and Technology Report No. 8, August 2007) [emphasis added] As Davison narrates, BDRC's title refers to the nomenclature assigned these substances by Cold War researchers. Broadly speaking agents were colloquially divided into "off the rocker" agents having psychotropic effects and "on the floor" agents causing incapacitation through effects on other physiological processes. "Off the rocker" agents prevailed since the safety margins for other agents, including anaesthetic agents, sedatives, and opiate analgesics, were not considered sufficiently wide for them to perform as "safe" military incapacitating agents. This is hardly an academic exercise considering that the Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) is carrying-out on-going experimentation into what it euphemistically calls "Human Effects Research" to develop an "Advanced Total Body Model (ATBM) for predicting the effects of non-lethal impacts". The JNLWP non-lethal human effects community has begun to increase its focus on improving the characterization and quantification of NLW effectiveness. In other words, researchers are attempting to better answer the question of how well the human response relates to desired mission outcomes. This area of research is critical to ensuring that the end user will get reliable, repeatable, and safe results from future non-lethal capabilities. ("Human Effects Research," Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program, April 10, 2008) Perhaps, the JNLWD "human effects community" should ponder the "living laboratory" on display during the October 2002 Moscow Theatre siege. Under "real world" conditions, 50 Chechen terrorists (some allegedly linked to the Afghan-Arab database of disposable intelligence assets known as al-Qaeda) and 129 hostages were killed when Russian OSNAZ forces pumped an aerosolized fentanyl derivative through the ventilation system. A KGB-developed "psycho-chemical gas" known as Kolokol-1 was the suspected calmative used during the "rescue". Kolokol-1 has been described by medical experts as being 1000 times more potent than morphine. When a normal dose of fentanyl enters the brain, it is quickly redistributed throughout the body and acts as a short-lived anesthetic. A larger, more concentrated dose however, is not so easily redistributed and remains concentrated in the brain and shuts down normal respiratory functions. This was the mechanism that caused the Moscow deaths; hostages were chemically suffocated by their "rescuers". The former Soviet Union however, wasn't alone in looking at fentanyl derivatives as "non-lethal' incapacitating agents. In 1987, the U.S. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) had established a "Less-Than-Lethal Technology Program," and awarded its first contract to the U.S. Army's Chemical Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CREDEC, [rebranded as the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center [ECBC)] ) at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, "for a feasibility assessment of a dart to deliver an incapacitating agent to stop a fleeing suspect," BDRC reports. According to Davison, "the requirement for rapid immobilization apparently led to consideration of fentanyl analogues, in particular alfentanil". However, its "low safety margin was a major problem". The prototype delivery system was a failure and NIJ moved on. But "mission creep" being what it is the military, perhaps "inspired" by NIJ's pursuit of incapacitating agents for civilian police use, quickly adopted the "less-than-lethal" terminology and rekindled its own interest in fielding such weapons. By 1990, Davison writes, the "Army terminated their 'Incapacitating Chemical Program' and reinvented it as the 'Riot Control Program'". Through slight-of-hand tricks designed to circumvent the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, the Pentagon sought to place incapacitating agents in the same category as irritant riot control agents (RCA) such as pepper spray. However, the British Medical Association (BMA) in its 2007 report, "The Use of Drugs as Weapons," raised serious ethical concerns for healthcare professionals' involvement in what they term "tactical pharmacology" as deployable "non-lethal" weapons. To wit, The use of a drug as a method of warfare would constitute a violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Ambiguity in the text of the CWC leaves open the possibility of the use of a drug as a weapon for the purposes of "law enforcement including domestic riot control". There is also a question as to whether some drugs fall within the definition of a biological weapon as defined in the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). It is vital that the international community makes every effort to ensure that these weapons conventions remain intact. The development and deployment of drugs as weapons for whatever reason risks undermining the norms these conventions represent. Serious questions are raised by the BMA over the state's proposed use of drugs as weapons. Indeed, the use of these agents by military and security forces "is simply not feasible without generating a significant mortality among the target population". The BMA concludes, "it is and will continue to be almost impossible to deliver the right agent to the right people in the right dose without exposing the wrong people, or delivering the wrong dose". But over and above "tactical" considerations, the BMA avers, >From an ethical perspective, healthcare professionals need to begin a deeper examination of their roles in relation to such use of biomedical knowledge and medical expertise for hostile purposes. This is, ultimately, a matter relating to health because the lives and wellbeing of humans are at stake. But as we have seen in the anemic response by many American healthcare professionals to CIA and U.S. military torture policies at Guantnamo Bay and transnational "black sites," biomedical knowledge has been perverted for devilish "national security" considerations. Indeed, some doctors, nurses and psychologists - military officers and/or "outsourced" contractors - like their Argentine and Chilean colleagues during the "dirty war" period of the 1970s and 1980s have been complicit in U.S. war crimes. This too, seems to be the case as Pentagon specialists transform drugs into "tactical" weapons. By 2000, the Pentagon's JNLWD was pressing for a range of programs to develop new incapacitating agents, rechristened as we have seen, as "non-lethal" weapons. Indeed, Davison reports that the U.S. Army issued a solicitation under its Small Business Innovation Research programme that included a request for proposals on "Topic# CBD 00-108: Chemical Immobilizing Agents for Non-Lethal Applications". "Phase I" sought "to identify new agents and agent combinations including an analysis of ..recent breakthroughs in pharmacological classes such as Anesthetics/analgesics, tranquilizers, hypnotics and neuromuscular blockers.," Davison reports. Program design and testing regimens would lead to the development of an appropriate delivery system(s) and the consideration of "dual-use" applications of the technology by the military and civilian law enforcement agencies. Potential military uses, according the JNLWD solicitation included "meeting US and NATO objectives in peacekeeping missions; crowd control; embassy protection; rescue missions; and counter-terrorism" whereas law enforcement applications cited were "hostage and barricade situations; crowd control; close proximity encounters, such as, domestic disturbances, bar fights and stopped motorists; to halt fleeing felons; and prison riots". In other words, military/law enforcement deployment of "calmatives" are envisaged as weapons for social control. [When the rich come and kick us in the teeth, they have to be able to stop us from kicking them back. It's their right to hurt others without ever being hurt back. One-way pacifism. -ed] The JNLWD awarded its initial "Phase I" contract to Ann Arbor, MI-based capitalist grifter OptiMetrics Inc., for work on the program at ECBC. As of this writing, there is no available information on "Phase II" or "Phase III". If the program panned-out, the JNLWD isn't saying. However, research continues at Pennsylvania State University's (PSU) College of Medicine and the Navy's Applied Research Laboratory (ARL). The ARL/PSU study sought to, * Define the advantages and limitations of pharmaceutical compounds as calmatives with potential use in non-lethal techniques. * Provide a comprehensive survey of the medical literature utilizing pharmaceutical agents to produce a calm state with potential for use as a non-lethal technique. This information will provide a current database of the relevant literature on calmatives. * Provide an in-depth review of selected calmatives identified by the literature search with high potential for further consideration as a non lethal technique. * Identify and recommend promising new areas in pharmaceutical drug development that are poised to uniquely meet the requirements of calmatives as non-lethal techniques. (emphasis added) Davison notes that the October 2000 ARL/PSU report, The Advantages and Limitations of Calmatives for Use as a Non-Lethal Technique, concludes ominously that "different chemical agents would be required for different scenarios with ..different mechanisms of action, duration, of effects and different depths of 'calm'". While the report doesn't specify a delivery system, Davison writes "the authors envisage a variety of delivery routes including 'application to drinking water, topical administration to the skin, an aerosol spray inhalation route, or a drug filled rubber bullet'". Perhaps the authors propose drugging municipal water systems to suppress "anti-social behaviors" such as a general strike or mass antiwar protests to achieve their goal of effecting "different depths of 'calm'"! The ARL/PSU report concludes: "The extensive survey of the literature conducted on calmatives serves to emphasize that the 'time is right' with respect to considering pharmaceutical agents.. as new a new class of 'non-lethal' weapons. (emphasis added) The time is "ight" indeed as the JNLWD considers newer and ever-more insidious methods of repression! Currently under development are programs that employ unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as a delivery system for calmatives as well as other "non-lethal" weapons. With tens of billions of dollars invested by the Pentagon in UAVs since the 1990s, a small, though significant area of interest is the use of UAVs as a "non-lethal" dispersal platform. One 1998 study concluded that a "UAV-dispenser system could be used with any UAV with a 40 lb or more payload capability". The JNLWD has funded development of an "unmanned platform" to "spray liquid payloads" by remote control at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). According to Davison, SwRI engineers developed a computer-controlled unmanned powered Para foil (UPP) equipped with a payload that dispenses liquid spray while in flight. Developed for the Marine Corps Non-Lethal Directorate, the system is intended to provide non-lethal crowd control options for the U.S. military. The UPP was fitted with a pan-tilt camera to continually locate the impact point of the liquid spray. Using computer-assisted flight modes and the camera image, a remote operator can direct the UPP over a target at low altitude and release the spray. [Say, like over crowds of protestors at the RNC in St Paul this fall. -ed] Similarly, Raytheon was "tasked" with "assessing the feasibility" of delivering "non-lethal" payloads, including chemical agents from its Extended Range Guided Munition. Another "major recommendation" was for "further development of unmanned vehicles to deliver 'non-lethal' weapons including chemical agents at long distance with greater accuracy," Davison reports. Just this week, The Guardian reported a new "tool" appeared in the Pentagon's "non-lethal" weapons arsenal. The U.S. Army's XM1063 155mm howitzer launched projectile is capable of scattering "152 small non-explosive submunitions over a 1-hectare area; as each parachutes down, it sprays a chemical agent". [Say, along W 7th. -ed] Designed by major corporate grifter General Dynamics for the U.S. Army's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, the XM1063 is touted as the latest in a series of "non-lethals" which will "'suppress' people without harming them". The Guardian reports, Testing of the XM1063 was completed successfully last year and it is due for low-rate production from 2009. Ardec says that the production decision is on hold awaiting further direction from the program manager. It seems the decision on whether to enter a new age of chemical warfare now rests with the military rather then civilians. Unless put under pressure, the US Army seems unlikely to give any details of what's in the surprise package until it is used. And maybe not even then. (David Hambling, "U.S. Weapons Research Is Raising a Stink," The Guardian, July 10, 2008) As we have seen in this outline, there is no question that research into these appalling weapons systems will continue. The Defense Science Board (DSB), which advises the Pentagon on science and technology issues, have recommended that work on "non-lethal" weapons - including so-called 'calmatives' - move forward. In 2004, the DSB concluded that "Applications of biological, chemical or electromagnetic radiation effects on humans should be pursued". Davison notes that in the section on "strategic payload concepts" the report states: * Calmatives might be considered to deal with otherwise difficult situations in which neutralizing individuals could enable ultimate mission success * The principle technical issue is the balance between effectiveness (i.e., the targets are truly "calmed") and margins of safety (i.e., avoiding overexposure and resulting fatalities of neutral bystanders) * The treaty implications are significant But as with other treaties to which the U.S. is a signatory, notably the Geneva Conventions, the U.N. Convention Against Torture and the now-renounced Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, "national security," in the Orwellian sense understood by the United States, always trumps human rights and the rule of law. The democratic Republic which most Americans have long-cherished is rapidly falling by the wayside as economic crisis, endless wars and ecological collapse fuel moves by the U.S. ruling class to complete constructing their corporatist police state. It within this context, that "calmatives" and other "non-lethal" weapons technologies arise: both as metaphor and method for an ever-more sinister rebranding of fascism. Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press. Read other articles by Tom, or visit Tom's website. This article was posted on Monday, July 14th, 2008 at 9:32 am and is filed under Fascism, Human Rights, Military/Militarism, Science/Tech. Send to a friend. 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