Progressive Calendar 09.26.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 08:47:10 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    09.26.08

1. Felien/streets    9.26 11am
2. RNC/lawsuit/press 9.26 3pm
3. Palestine         9.26 4:15pm
4. Art/democracy     9.26 6pm
5. Take back night   9.26 6:30pm StCloud MN

6. KR Plotz     - Solidarity with diverse tactics at RNC
7. Lydia Howell - Solidarity with diverse tactics at RNC

8. ed           - Chop till you drop  (serial haiku)

--------1 of 8--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Felien/streets 9.26 11am

FRI.Sept,26, 11am KFAI Radio
CATALYST:politics&culture, hosted by Lydia Howell

Tune in for a conversation with ED FELIEN, talking about his
just-published book TAKE THE STREETS!. Felien's observations span activism
opposing the Vietnam War & continued resistance today to end the U.S.
occupation of Iraq. Felien is most known in the Twin Cities as the
longtime editor/publisher of PULSE, "your grassroosts alternative
newspaper of the Twin Cities" (which ceased publication last year) and
SOUTHSIDE PRIDE, a community newspaper in south Minneapolis. Felien has
been engaged in social justice and anti-war activities since the early
1960s and served one term on the Minneapolis City Council in 1972-73.

TAKE THE STREETS was written during and just after the May 1972 University
of Minnesota student strikes against the Vietnam War.  Students
effectively HELD THE U OF M CAMPUS FOR ALMOST A WEEK USING DIRECT ACTION.
Felein combines vivd storytelling and sharp political and strategic
analysis.  It's a book that should be read by every peace activist today -
whether they are a religious pacifist, a liberal Democrat, Leftist or
anarchist.

KFAI 90.3fm Mpls 106.7fm St.Paul http://www.kfai.org

EVENT SUN.SEPT.28, 3pm: ED FELIEN & his book TAKE THE STREETS!
May day Books,a non-profit,volunteer=run progressive bookstore
301 Cedar Ave. S.(basement of HUB Bicycle), West Bank, Minneapolis
(612_333-4719

Protesting the war(s): Lessons from 1972
By Lydia Howell , TC Daily Planet
September 23, 2008

As the U.S. occupation of Iraq grinds into its sixth year and activists
address the militarized police response to protests at the Republican
National Convention, a remarkable just-published historical document
should be required reading. Ed Felien's Take the Streets! was written in
1972, during and immediately after that year's tidal wave of Minnesota
protests of the Vietnam War.

Felien's eyewitness account balances reporting with an analysis of
politics, tactics, and strategy that remain sharply relevant to today's
anti-war movement.

Felien, his shoulder-length hair now more gray than blonde, but still
wearing t-shirts and jeans, is best known as the publisher and editor of
the Minneapolis newspaper Southside Pride and the now-defunct Pulse of the
Twin Cities, a "grassroots alternative" weekly newspaper. In 1972, Felien-
who holds a Ph.D. in European drama from the University of Minnesota - was
an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota's Experimental
College. He paid a price for his anti-war organizing on campus.

"They worked hard to fire me. I heard from other professors that the
university put the word out. I was purged, and then blacklisted, from
academia," laughs Felien. "They weren't interested in the kind of theater
I was teaching!"

On May 8, 1972, President Richard Nixon ordered the mining of Haiphong
harbor and the carpet-bombing of any place that could be deemed "military"
- this policy led to huge civilian casualties. In response, student
protests and strikes soared: from Berkley to Boston, from the University
of New Mexico to the University of Minnesota - even in Minnetonka. For
almost a week, students stopped business as usual on the U of M campus.

"You have to understand," says Felien, "that the 1960s really goes from
1963 to 1974 - when the Vietnam War ended. You can't really appreciate
that period without the music - the Beatles, Bob Dylan's "With God On Our
Side" and "Masters of War." The first day we took the streets, we built a
barricade on Washington Avenue. We tore down the gate of the [campus]
Armory. A fraternity on the corner had a car in their backyard that was to
be towed away. They gave us the car and we turned it over in the street
and set it on fire. Made for dramatic pictures - but it wasn't stolen like
the media said!"

"That same fraternity," continues Felien, "also had stereo speakers
blaring from a second story window, playing the Rolling Stones' "Street
Fighting Man." That's the way we felt. This is the moment - go for broke!
We're going to put an end to this war! This is no time for compromise
solutions!"

In his book, Felien gives a rare insider's view on how protest actually
happens: the debates and divisions, the challenges and the victories. Then
as now, there were debates about passive resistance versus direct action.
There were activists like Marv Davidov of the Honeywell Project (now
protesting AlliantTech every Wednesday), Students for a Democratic Society
(resurrected on some campuses last year), faith communities, and others
similar to those in today's peace movement.

Perhaps the most significant difference between 1972 and now is the
military draft. Felien argues for the draft to be reinstated. "If
everybody is subject to the draft," he says, "then everybody has to think
about what that means. Do I support the war? Am I willing to go to Iraq?
Right now, it's easier to not think about it. It's easier to think about
Darfur. We had motivated students in 1972 because they were subjected to
the draft and being sent over to commit genocide!"

"If everybody is subject to the draft, then everybody has to think about
what that means. Do I support the war? Am I willing to go to Iraq?"

Also, notes Felien, "it's more unlikely that drafted soldiers will fire on
protesters than professional soldiers will. There was a political movement
inside the military during the Vietnam War, primarily among drafted
soldiers."

In the wake of the RNC protests, tactics and strategy are up for debate.
Student protests in 1972 went beyond candlelight vigils to what Felien
calls "a kind of insurrection" - a movement that took place across the
country, reversing the escalation of and, finally, ending the Vietnam War.
Felien packs in a great deal of critical analysis while telling a dramatic
story that can't be put down.

Take the Streets! is a counterweight to the "politicians and generals"
perspective of traditional history - especially history written about war
and peace. Ed Felien has given today's activists inspiration as well as
practical knowledge.

"I think of (WWII conscientious objector and lifelong peace activist) Dave
Dellinger calling his autobiography More Power Than We Knew. That's a
beautiful slogan. We do have a lot more power than we believe. It's in the
interest of the government and the ruling class to get us to think we're
weak and powerless." Felien smiles broadly. "We put up those barricades to
say to people, "I want you to stop and think about what's happening to all
of us." That's the point of a barricade: not to close something off, but
to open something up!"

Lydia Howell, a winner of the 2007 Premack Award for Public Interest
Journalism, is a Minneapolis independent journalist writing for various
newspapers and online journals. She produces and hosts Catalyst: politics
& culture on KFAI Radio on Fridays at 11 a.m. For several years, she wrote
for Ed Felien's publications Pulse of the Twin Cities and Southside
Pride.


--------2 of 8--------

From: Jess Sundin <jess [at] antiwarcommittee.org>
Subject: RNC/lawsuit/press 9.26 3pm

Lawsuit seeks $250,000 in damages for police violence against anti-war
protester at RNC

Press Conference - Friday, September 26, 3pm
In front of City Hall, 15 Kellogg Ave, St. Paul

The first lawsuit resulting from police violence at the Republican
National Convention will be announced at a press conference Sept. 26.
Notice is being served on the cities of Saint Paul, Bloomington and
Minneapolis, along with Ramsey County that lawyers representing Mick Kelly
will seek $250,000 in damages. Kelly was shot at close range and injured
by police with a high velocity marking projectile at a demonstration
organized by the Anti-War Committee on the fourth day of the RNC, Sept. 4.

Said Katrina Plotz of the Anti War Committee, "Those responsible for
attacking our protest against the war on Iraq need to be held accountable.
Nearly 400 people were arrested. Riot police repeatedly met our
demonstration with tear gas and concussion grenades. We have every right
to speak out against the war. We demand all charges against anti-war
protesters are dropped. Those who stood in the way of our right to protest
will now answer for their actions."

Mick Kelly was carrying the lead banner in the march to the Xcel Center.
Police blocked the march route at 12th and Cedar.  He was shot after
police tore the banner off the poles that was holding it aloft.

Kelly, who was among the organizers of the massive anti-war march on the
first day of the RNC, has another lawsuit pending against the city of
Saint Paul stemming from an incident where he was arrested on June 5 for
passing out leaflets promoting an anti-war protest outside the Obama
rally.

The lawsuit is being pursued by attorneys Ted Dooley, Gena Berglund and
Peter Nickitas, all members of the National Lawyers Guild. Ted Dooley will
be among the speakers at the press conference.

Attorney Ted Dooley states, "Saint Paul took on the trappings of a police
state during the Republican National Convention. This lawsuit is about
obtaining a measure of justice for those who had their rights trampled
on."

For further information contact:
Katrina Plotz , Anti-War Committee, 651-769-4474
Attorney Ted Dooley, 651-292-1515
Mick Kelly, 612-715-3280*


--------3 of 8--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Palestine 9.26 4:15pm

Friday, 9/26, 4:15 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end US military/political support
of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, corner Summit and Snelling, St
Paul.


--------4 of 8--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Art/democracy 9.26 6pm

Friday, 9/26, 6 pm, internationally known artist Suzanne Lacy keynotes
Public Art and Democracy conference with keynote address, Macy's Skyroom,
12th Floor, 700 Nicollett Mall, Mpls.  http://www.ias.umn.edu or
612-626-5054.


--------5 of 8--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Take back night 9.26 6:30pm StCloud MN

September 26: St. Cloud State University Women's Center. 19th Annual Take
Back the Night Rally with speaker, Patricia Weaver Francisco, author of
"Telling: A memoir of Rape and Recovery". 6:30 PM in St. Cloud's Barden
Park, located across St. Cloud State University's Miller Center on 5th
Avenue South. March through downtown St. Cloud and through SCSU campus.


--------6 of 8--------

Anti-War March Organizers Express Solidarity and Respect for Diverse Tactics
by KR Plotz on Thu, 09/25/2008

Shortly after the RNC, Francisco Gonzalez, a guest blogger for Engage
Minnesota wrote an article called "March organizers failed to protect
message."
http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/article/2008/09/08/march-organizers-failed-...

This article was later posted on the Twin Cities Daily Planet website.
As a member of the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, I felt
compelled to respond. Gonzalez suggested that those who organized the
permitted anti-war march on the opening day of the RNC should have tried
to prevent "unruly elements" from engaging in direct action or should have
denounced those who did the next day. He suggested that our message was
stolen by "a few who acted mindlessly" and that we should have stood "side
by side with police" to denounce them.

I was troubled but not surprised by this analysis. Blaming fellow
protesters for police violence and judging those whose tactics involve
risking arrest have often marked the aftermath of mass actions. This
pattern of backstabbing and finger pointing has left movements fractured
and demoralized. In St. Paul, we deliberately tried to create something
different: principles that would allow us to focus our energy on the
injustice we oppose, engage in the tactics we feel are most strategic, and
do so in a way that would build our capacity and inspire unity, even among
activists of differing ideological backgrounds, experience levels, and
philosophies.

As someone who helped organize the permitted march on September 1, I want
to be completely clear about how we anticipated our demonstration
interacting with other protests that day. We were fully aware of well
developed plans to engage in direct action and civil disobedience on
September 1. We were not surprised this took place and do not agree that
our message was "highjacked" by anarchists. We worked in coalition with
several groups including the RNC Welcoming Committee to establish
principles of unity that would prevent counter-productive, "good
protester-bad protester" labeling. The "St. Paul Principles" we
established included a respect for a diversity of tactics (not just legal,
permitted ones) and we agreed that different tactics would be separated by
time or space so that we could complement, rather than interfere with each
other.

This was achieved with great success. On September 1st, 30,000 people from
a diversity of backgrounds, income levels, ages, and struggles marched
together under one banner: U.S. Out of Iraq Now; Money for Human Needs Not
War; Peace, Justice, and Equality for All. Also on September 1st, a
significant number of people chose to directly confront those most
responsible for war, poverty, and injustice by engaging in blockades and
other methods of direct action. Organizers of the permitted march
supported their decision to do so. Many of us believe that elements of
civil disobedience and direct action are appropriate and necessary for any
movement desiring to mount a serious challenge to the violent, imperialist
forces that are exploiting and destroying the lives of millions.

In his article, Gonzalez claimed that the RNC Welcoming Committee's
website indicated a desire for "violent confrontation." Anyone who was
present in downtown St. Paul during the RNC could see that it was the
police who were constantly unleashing violent confrontation. Who was it
that brought riot gear, tasers, rubber bullets, batons, and chemical
weapons to the streets of St. Paul? It was the police, whose only mission
was to protect power and privilege and crush anyone in their path.

The very use of the word "violence" to describe the actions of protesters
in the face of the police state we witnessed is ridiculous.  Pepper
spraying a girl repeatedly in the face after she attempted to hand a
flower to a police officer is violence. A broken Macy's window is not. And
even though some activists don't prefer property damage as a tactic,
maintaining some amount of perspective is important. What is a broken
window compared to a million Iraqis killed, or entire cities destroyed by
the U.S. occupation forces? A whole lot of windows get broken when the
U.S. drops bombs. Which is the bigger concern? Which is a real reason to
be pointing fingers?

I and other members of the Coalition to March on the RNC stand in
solidarity with all who spoke and acted against the Republican agenda in
St. Paul. We didn't denounce each other before the action and we aren't
going to start now. And we would never, EVER stand with the police at a
press conference and denounce our partners in the struggle. The very
suggestion is absurd after the systematic way the police attempted to
violently shut down ALL dissent at the RNC. On September 4th, members of
our coalition were shot at close range with rubber bullets while holding
an anti-war banner, tackled to the ground while chanting for an end to the
war, and attacked with pepper spray while holding signs demanding peace
and justice. This occurred in response to a large crowd who dared to march
after a city-issued permit had expired.

We demand that all charges be dropped against the 818 people who were
arrested September 1-4, including the RNC 8, who are unjustly accused of
"conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism." The only terrorists in
St. Paul that week were the police and the war criminals in the Xcel
Center.

Anyone professing a sincere commitment to justice should make an effort to
hold police accountable for their crimes at the RNC and to end the
criminal policies of war and oppression waged by the U.S. around the
world, rather than criticize march organizers for failing to shun our
fellow activists. We are committed to building and strengthening a diverse
movement for just social change. We are not interested in betraying and
judging one another.

Anyone waiting for us to do so or advocating such hypocrisy needs to wake
up. The most dangerous people in St. Paul that week were the delegates to
the Republican National Convention, as well as the army of mercenaries who
attacked people on their behalf. Anyone who opposes violence and property
destruction should join us in opposing current U.S. policy as a top
priority. Our military, police, and anti-immigration agents engage in
violence and property destruction every day for the benefit of wealthy
politicians and corporate executives. The system works against us. We must
work together, in diverse ways, against it.

-Katrina Plotz
Anti-War Committee
Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War

[If Gonzalez didn't exist the government would have to invent him - and
maybe it has. -ed]


--------7 of 8--------

Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 09:16:15 -0500
From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Solidarity with Diverse Tactics at RNC

NOTE: Those of us who have been subjected to and/or witnessed ACTUAL
PHYSICAL VIOLENCE AGAINST HUMAN BEINGS find it obscene to call 3 broken
windows at the RNC protests "violence". It insults those of us who
directly know what ACTUAL violence is TO EQUATE real violence against
people with the broken windows at the RNC (which by the way, may well have
been at least in terms of the Macy's window BROKEN BY AN UNDERCOVER POLICE
OFFICER, according to witnesses - in order to give cops a justification
for violence).

To say the "message was stolen" by anarchists is to remain in denial of
how corporate media operates. How often do local media REPORT ON ANY
ACTIVITIES OF THE PEACE MOVEMENT? Instead of protesting on the bridge
every Wednesday afternoon, perhaps, going in front of WCCO or the Strib
would be a better location!

Those of us who have worked over decades to get some kind of
accountability to the public who PAY the police to allegedly "protect and
serve" are deeply offended that some in the peace movement are more
concerned by minor property damage than by actual violence and an assault
on civil liberties by law enforcement at the RNC. (Of course, those of us
working on police accountability are NOT surprised by some white,
middle-class "peace activists" standing WITH police since these same
people are SILENT when the police beat, taser, choke and shoot 4 to 30+
bullets in to UNarmed civilians - the majority of whom are people of color
and /or poor) on a regular basis. Human rights abuses only seem to count
when they happen in OTHER countries - NOT our own, NOT even in our own
cities!) It's long overdue for privleged people who are never (or rarely)
subjected to the violence of the State to recognize the role police play -
on our streets and at the RNC: protesting the ruling elites - NOT We The
People. As the old labor song says, "Which side are you on?" I stand in
total solidarity with the Commentary commentary and hope others will
consider it for themselves.

Lydia Howell, MInneapolis


--------8 of 8--------

 The people chopper,
 knives whirling, advances on
 the protesting crowd.

 Just blood and bone bits.
 The crowd is 'dispersed'. "That'll
 show 'em!" laughs Cheney.

 "Next time I'll have 'em
 pureed, fed to steers, T-bone
 presents for my friends."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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