|Progressive Calendar 09.28.09||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 06:28:52 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 09.28.09 1. Rally v weapons 9.28 7:30am 2. Uhcan/health 9.28 6pm 3. Amnesty Intl 9.28 7pm 4. Oil on Ice/Alaska 9.28 7pm 5. Zora Hurston 9.28 7pm 6. Palm oil/true cost 9.28 7pm 7. Spector/RNC/court 9.29 9am 8. Palm oil/true cost 9.29 12noon 9. NWN4P vigil 9.29 4:45pm 10. RNC court watch 9.29 6pm 11. RNC 8/waffles 9.29 6pm 12. Vonnegut/book club 9.29 6:30pm 13. Rose ensemble 9.29 7pm ----NADER DAY---- 14. Nader in town/KFAI 9.30 11am 15. Nader/UofM law 9.30 12:15pm 16. Nader/MPR/KSTPtv 9.30 3pm 17. Bridge vigil/Iraq 9.30 5pm 18. Culture jamming 9.30 7pm 19. Nader/book talk 9.30 7pm 20. Bill Quigley - Street report from the G20 21. Peter Dreier - First they came for ACORN 22. ed - Dead heart dead head (poem) --------1 of 22-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Rally v weapons 9.28 7:30am Call for Protest at the Defense Alliance of Minnesota Roundtable Lockheed Martin Tactical Systems, 3333 Pilot Knob Rd Eagan, MN Monday, September 28 7:30 a.m., event goes until noon The Defense Alliance of Minnesota, whose stated mission is "to network and expand Minnesota's defense industry," is hosting a roundtable of Minnesota defense contractors AND government officials, including Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. Join Project to Stop the War Industry (PSWI) in protesting at the event in order to call attention to this collusion of government with the private sector in the increase of weapons production and profit from war. No more war profiteering, no more war. For more information on the Defense Alliance of Minnesota, go to www.defensealliance.com For more information on the protest, to co-sponsor, or to act as a legal observer, contact Project to Stop the War Industry at projectatk [at] gmail.com --------2 of 22-------- From: Joel Albers <joel [at] uhcan-mn.org> Subject: Uhcan/health 9.28 6pm Our 7th Cookout to plan NEXT ACTIONs, MONDAY (NOT tuesday) sept 28th. Cookout 6PM, MTG 7PM. At Joel's house 3500 35th Ave S. Mpls,MN 55406 (Longfellow N'Hood). Today's action is our 10th since June 2 ! Joel Albers Clinical Pharmacist, Health Economics Researcher Universal Health Care Action Network - MN Community/University Collaborative Research www.uhcan-mn.org email: joel [at] uhcan-mn.org phone: 612-384-0973 address: 3500 35th ave S Mpls, MN, 55406 --------3 of 22-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 9.28 7pm Augustana Homes Seniors Group meets on Monday, September 28th, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the party room of the 1020 Building, 1020 E 17th Street, Minneapolis. For more information contact Ardes Johnson at 612/378-1166 or johns779 [at] tc.umn.edu. --------4 of 22-------- From: Christine Frank <christinefrank [at] visi.com> Subject: Oil on Ice/Alaska 9.28 7pm A 3CTC FREE SCREENING OF: OIL ON ICE A Dale Djerassi/Bo Boudart Production In Association With Lobitos Creek Ranch Narrated by Peter Coyote Narrated by Peter Coyote, Oil On Ice is an award-winning film about the ever-looming threat of oil & gas drilling posed by the profit-hungry fossil-fuel industry in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The documentary explores what it means for the ecosystems, migratory wildlife and the traditional hunter/gatherer ways of the Gwich'in People, all of which are already heavily stressed by the ravages of ongoing and accelerating climate change with temperatures in the Arctic Circle warming at twice the global average. Tremendous environmental damage has already been done by the fossil-fuel extraction industry at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska's North Slope. Plus, there have been numerous oil & gas leases sold by the Bush Administration to the Energy Giants that will allow them to further develop reserves on the continental shelf in the Chuckchi and Beaufort Seas, putting at risk all marine and shore life in the region. The latest threat is being posed by the Obama Administration itself as the Interior Department considers the sale of more leases in Bristol Bay, which if allowed, would destroy the vital fishery that is there. The continued suicidal and genocidal burning of hydrocarbons with no apparent end in sight is rapidly pushing Earth's climate system to the brink of catastrophe and must be halted. Oil On Ice gives viewers an idea of what is at stake if this "Drill, Baby, Drill" mentality of the Carbon Barons is allowed to come to fruition. The screening will be held on Monday, September 28 at 7:00 PM at Mayday Books, 301 Cedar Avenue South, on the West Bank in Minneapolis. It is sponsored by the Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities (3CTC), is free and open to the public. The Clean-Energy Vigil to Cool Down the Planet takes place on the plaza outside the bookstore at 5:00 PM, (Weather permitting), followed by the 3CTC Business Meeting at 6:00 PM. All are welcome. For more information, EMAIL: christinefrank [at] visi.com or PHONE: 612-879-8937. SAVE MOTHER EARTH! SEE YOU THERE! --------5 of 22--------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Zora Hurston 9.28 7pm Soul of a People: the Federal Writers' Project On Monday, September 28, 7 p.m., acclaimed actress Regina Marie Williams presents /Jump at the Sun/ a one-woman show based on the life and times of Zora Neale Hurston, at the Central High School Black Box Theater, 275 Lexington Parkway N., Saint Paul. This is a collaborative event with the Central Touring Theater, who will present a brief introductory program. --------6 of 22-------- From: Carrie Anne Johnson <greenwarriorbunny [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Palm oil/true cost 9.28 7pm U.S. Agribusiness: The New Colonialism? The Problems with Cargill's Palm Oil Expansion in Papua New Guinea Featuring Matilda Pilacapio, a human rights and environmental advocate from Papua New Guinea and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) Monday Sept. 28, 2009 7-9 PM University of Minnesota Coffman Memorial Union President's Room, 3rd Floor 300 Washington Ave. S.E. Minneapolis Come learn about the true cost of palm oil and how to get involved in RAN's Rainforest Agribusiness Campaign. Used in half of all consumer products and increasingly in industrial biofuels, palm oil has become one of the world's largest drivers of tropical rainforest destruction. Rapidly expanding into the bio-diverse forests of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, palm oil is displacing local Indigenous populations and causing great ecological and social conflict. Cargill, Minneapolis-based agribusiness giant, is the largest importer of palm oil into the United States and one of the largest producers of palm oil in Papua New Guinea. Ms. Pilacapio has witnessed firsthand Cargill's leveling of rainforests, polluting of rivers, and the resulting social upheaval on traditional communities in her region. Co-sponsored by Eco Watch and Rainforest Action Network. For more information on the event contact debram [at] ran.org or call 773-343-2939 For more information on RAN's work: www.ran.org/cargill or www.theproblemwithpalmoil.org. Join our RAN Mpls Meetup group at: http://www.meetup.com/RANMinneapolis/ Matilda Pilacapio - Human Rights Advocate, Papua New Guinea Matilda Pilacapio is a human rights advocate from Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, where she works as a grassroots environmental organizer. She has held numerous positions in provincial government, including a term as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry. Matilda has founded or served as president for a number of education, environment, and women's groups, including the Milne Bay AIDS Council and the Alatau Women's Association. Matilda is currently working with the organization Milne Bay Women in Agriculture to strengthen traditional agricultural systems in response to Cargill's expanding oil palm plantation in the region. Cargill, U.S. agribusiness giant based in Minneapolis, is one of Papua New Guinea's largest producers of palm oil and has increasingly come under scrutiny for the negative social and ecological impacts of their oil palm plantations. The island nation also contains some of the world's remaining intact rainforests and almost 7 percent of global biodiversity. --------7 of 22-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: Spector/RNC/court 9.29 9am MAX SPECKTOR, RNC 8 DEFENDANT, IN COURT SEPTEMBER 29 Tuesday, September 29, 9:00 a.m. Ramsey County Courthouse 15 W. Kellogg, Room 1040, St. Paul In advance of the upcoming hearing for all of the RNC 8, Max Specktor will be in court on Tuesday, September 29. Max and his lawyer Larry Leventhal will argue a motion to suppress evidence regarding the contents of the vehicle in which he was a passenger when the vehicle was searched without a warrant on September 1, 2008. Come support Max at the first hearing since early this spring! It's in room 1040 of the Ramsey County Courthouse at 15 W. Kellogg Boulevard in St. Paul. Arrive early and look for the Defend the RNC 8 t-shirts! For questions about getting there or anything else, email info [at] rnc8.org. --------8 of 22-------- From: Margaret Beegle <beegle [at] louberts.com> Subject: Palm oil/true cost 9.29 12noon Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy The True Cost of Palm Oil Join us for a brown bag lunch with the Rainforest Action Network to learn about the true cost of palm oil. Tuesday, September 29, 2009 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy 2104 Stevens Ave So. Minneapolis, MN Used in half of all consumer products and increasingly in industrial biofuels, palm oil has become one of the world's largest drivers of tropical rainforest. destruction. Rapidly expanding into the bio-diverse forests of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, palm oil is displacing local Indigenous populations and causing great ecological and social conflict. Cargill, Minneapolis-based agribusiness giant, is the largest importer of palm oil into the United States and one of the largest producers of palm oil in Papua New Guinea. Our featured speaker, Matilda Pilacapio, has witnessed firsthand Cargill's leveling of rainforests, polluting of rivers, and the resulting social upheaval on traditional communities in her region. Co-sponsored by Eco Watch and Rainforest Action Network. For more information on the event contact debram [at] ran.org or call (773) 343-2939. Refreshments provided. For more information on RAN's work: www.ran.org/cargill or www.theproblemwithpalmoil.org IATP works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. IATP has offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Washington, D.C., and Geneva, Switzerland. iatp.org Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Support IATP with a donation. --------9 of 22-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P vigil 9.29 4:45pm NWN4P vigil every Tuesday. Corner of Winnetka and 42nd Avenues in New Hope. 4:45 to 5:45 PM. --------10 of 22-------- From: Do'ii <syncopatingrhythmsabyss [at] gmail.com> Subject: RNC court watch 9.29 6pm RNC Court Watchers are in need of participants to help with organizing court information, documentation and etc. RNC Court Watchers Meetings are every Tuesday, 6 P.M. at Caffeto's. Below is announcement for our meetings. Preemptive raids, over 800 people arrested, police brutality on the streets and torture in Ramsey County Jail. Police have indiscriminately used rubber bullets, concussion grenades, tasers and chemical irritants to disperse crowds and incapacitate peaceful, nonviolent protesters. The RNC-8 and others are facing felonies and years in jail. We must fight this intimidation, harassment and abuse! Join the RNC Court Solidarity Meeting this coming Tuesday at Caffetto's to find out how you can make a difference in the lives of many innocent people. Caffetto's Coffeehouse and Gallery (612)872-0911 708 W 22nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55405 Every Tuesday @ 6:00 P.M to 7:00 P.M participate and help organize RNC court solidarity. For more information, please contact: rnccourtwatch [at] gmail.com THE PEOPLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED! --------11 of 22------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: RNC 8/waffles 9.29 6pm [The waffle truth] RNC 8 WAFFLE DINNER Tuesday, September 29, 6:00 p.m. Walker Church 3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis The RNC 8 invite you to a FREE dinner - cooked by them!. Susan Gaertner and Bob Fletcher may have impressively waffled on terrorism enhancements, but we guarantee the RNC 8's waffles will come out on top! Also unlike Fletcher, we're not afraid of vegans, and both vegan and vegetarian options will be available. If you couldn't make it to Max's court date in the morning, come to the dinner and find out how it went. See you there! -------12 of 22-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Vonnegut/book club 9.29 6:30pm This Tuesday is our Little Book of the Odd Month Club, and we are reading Kirt Vonnegut's last book, Man Without a Country. Please come even if you haven't read it. The next book for our Little Book reading for November is War is a Racket by Smedley Butler. If you have a good "little" book for January, please recommend 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. --------13 of 22-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Rose ensemble 9.29 7pm "Il Poverello" Workshop with The Rose Ensemble Tuesday, September 29, 7 p.m. Merriam Park Branch Library, 1831 Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 651-222-3242 or friends [at] thefriends.org The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and members of The Rose Ensemble present a unique program about the music composed in honor of St. Francis of Assisi on Tuesday, September 29, 7 p.m., at the Merriam Park Branch Library, 1831 Marshall Ave., Saint Paul. Don't miss the opportunity to hear members of The Rose Ensemble, the Twin Cities' premier early music vocal group, present a workshop and discussion about the music for its upcoming concert "Il Poverello: Exploring the Life and Deeds of St. Francis of Assisi." "Il Poverello" focuses on arguably one of the best known medieval saints -- the patron saint of animals and ecology -- and the concert will feature centuries of hymns, dances and motets in honor of the St. Francis, as well as early Italian spiritual songs and light-hearted readings by and about Francis himself. These programs are free and open to the public. For more information, please call The Friends at 651/222-3242 or go online at www.thefriends.org <http://www.thefriends.org/>. For more information on The Rose Ensemble, or to purchase tickets for the upcoming concert, please visit www.roseensemble.org. --------14 of 22-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Nader in town/KFAI 9.30 11am Ralph Nader; author, consumer activist, several-time presidential candidate and social justice activist will be visiting Minnesota on Wednesday, September 30. KFAI with Andy Driscoll, Truth to Tell at 11am with guest Ralph Nader: His work; his influence; his races; his advocacy; his first work of fiction. This will be the first week of KFAI's Fall Pledge Drive and a very limited supply of Ralph's new book, "Only the Superrich Can Save Us" will be given away as premiums with pledges above a certain amount. Tune in to hear what that will be! And call 612-375-9030 to pledge your support to TruthToTell and all of KFAI's community-based public radio shows. KFAI - 90.3FM-Minneapolis/106.7FM Saint Paul and STREAMING at http://www.KFAI.org WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 - 11:00AM - LIVE In-Studio! RALPH NADER His work; his influence; his races; his advocacy; his first work of fiction: "Only the Superrich Can Save Us" Ralph Nader will be in Minneapolis September 30 to speak and sign copies of his new book of fiction that envisions fifteen of the nation's most prominent and wealthy men colluding to return the United States to its original premises and its original promise - absent corporate personhood, and corruption of the fundamental concepts embodies in the Constitution and the social contract brought here by European settlers (despite the colonial mentality that drove Native Americans from their lands). The controversial founder of the US consumer movement and a force in establishing safety standards in the production and sale of everything from automobiles to appliances to toys also stepped into the political arena in 2000 as a candidate for president and the reverberations have never ceased - for good or ill. Ralph Nader is our only studio guest this week. TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN will query Mr. Nader about his life, his work, his politics - and, yes, his first work of fiction (using real people - like Warren Buffett, Phil Donahue and George Soros). Limited copies of "Only the Superrich Can Save Us" will be available as pledge premiums during this edition of TruthToTell. We may take a limited number of calls during this Pledge Week show. --------15 of 22-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Nader/UofM law 9.30 12:15pm Ralph Nader to Speak to Students at Law School Attorney and political activist Ralph Nader will present "Law School, Law Firms and the Corporate Supremacists: The Struggle for Justice" at the University of Minnesota Law School on Sept. 30, 2009. The lecture will be in Room 25 of Mondale Hall from 12:15-1:15 p.m. Overflow seating will be provided in Rooms 30 and 50. The lecture will be recorded and posted on the Web site at a later date. The lecture will address the social responsibilities of attorneys and is directed toward students at the Law School and graduate students in the Department of Political Science. It is co-sponsored by the Law School and the Institute for Law and Politics. Nader, a 1958 graduate of Harvard Law School, launched his lifetime of consumer activism by exposing the unsafe design practices of the automobile industry, and his 1965 book, Unsafe at Any Speed, is credited with being the catalyst for passage of the 1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. He was also instrumental in passage of the Freedom of Information Act (1966) and the Wholesome Meat Act (1967) and in creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Occupational Health and Safety Organization, the Disability Rights Center, the Center for the Study of Responsive Law, and many other organizations. In 1990, Life magazine named him one of America's Top 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Since then, Nader has remained in the political and activist arenas through his persistent opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement and his four presidential bids (1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008). The latest of his more than 30 books, Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!, will be released nationally Sept. 22. --------16 of 22-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Nader/MPR/KSTPtv 9.30 3pm MPR, 91.1 FM, 3:00pm (prerecorded) Nader on TwinCitiesLive, KSTP - channel 5 at 3:00pm http://www.twincitieslive.com/ http://twincitieslive.com/article/10751/ --------17 of 22-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Bridge vigil/Iraq 9.30 5pm The visiting Iraqi Delegation from Najaf, Iraq will be at the Peace Vigil on the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge this Wednesday, September 30 from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. If you have been to the bridge or have never come before, please join us this Wednesday to greet our honored guests. They will be visiting the site of decade-long vigil that has held public witness against sanctions, war and occupation for the past ten years. The vigil will be followed by a short gathering during which delegates will introduce themselves. Representatives of Twin Cities Peace Campaign and Women Against Military Madness will be at the southeast/Marshall Avenue side of the bridge. Background: A delegation of 14 men and women from Najaf, Iraq - Minneapolis' newest Sister City is visiting the Twin Cities September 18 through October 2, 2009. The visit will be the first official exchange between the two cities. The delegates will be hosted by the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project (IARP), along with Meet Minneapolis: Official Convention + Visitors Association, the University of Minnesota, Women Against Military Madness, Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus Iraq and other local organizations. The planning committee has arranged an extensive agenda for the delegation, including a visit to the Minneapolis City Council, tours of notable sights in the Twin Cities, a tour of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and discussion of Native American art, meetings with local government and business leaders, visits with University of Minnesota professors and officials, and an afternoon at a Minnesota lake. The delegates, coming as peacemakers and guests, will help set a foundation for future years of visits and sharing between Minneapolis and Najaf as Sister Cities. For a full schedule of public events, visit IARP's website at www.reconciliationproject.org/. --------18 of 22-------- From: Fluffy Singler <fluffysingler [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Culture jamming 9.30 7pm Exco: The Experimental College of the Twin Cities presents: >From Abbie Hoffman to Hothead Paisan: A Brief History (and Practice) of Culture Jamming The term culture jamming comes from broadcasting terminology for jamming the airwaves and involves ways of making your own media to counter the media messages we see every day. We'll look at the history of culture jamming, including the Situationists International and the Yippies from the 1960s, feminist zines from the 1980s and 1990s, among others. We'll watch movies, including the Situationist classic "Can Dialectics Break Bricks" and the movie "Conspiracy" about the Chicago 8. We'll also have discussion, and participate in some low cost/low tech (but potentially high visibility) culture jamming of our own such as zines and spoof ads. Wednesday nights Sept 30th - October 26th 7-9 pm Blegen Hall at the University of Minnesota To register, go to http://www.excotc.org or call excotc [at] gmail.com. For course questions, call 651-276-4758 --------19 of 22-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Nader/book talk 9.30 7pm Nader's Booksigning - 7pm Magers & Quinn Booksellers present Ralph Nader, reading, discussing, and signing copies of his new book Only the Superrich Can Save Us (A Novel) - 7pm Wednesday September 30 at First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Avenue S, in Minneapolis. "In the cozy den of the large but modest house in Omaha where he has lived since he started on his first billion, Warren Buffett watched the horrors of Hurricane Katrina unfold on television in early September 2005. . . . On the fourth day, he beheld in disbelief the paralysis of local, state, and federal authorities unable to commence basic operations of rescue and sustenance, not just in New Orleans, but in towns and villages all along the Gulf Coast. . . He knew exactly what he had to do. . ." So begins the vivid fictional account by political activist and bestselling author Ralph Nader that answers the question, "What if?" What if a cadre of superrich individuals tried to become a driving force in America to organize and institutionalize the interests of the citizens of this troubled nation? What if some of America's most powerful individuals decided it was time to fix our government and return the power to the people? What if they focused their power on unionizing Wal-Mart? What if a national political party were formed with the sole purpose of advancing clean elections? What if these seventeen superrich individuals decided to galvanize a movement for alternative forms of energy that will effectively clean up the environment? What if together they took on corporate goliaths and Congress to provide the necessities of life and advance the solutions so long left on the shelf by an avaricious oligarchy? What could happen? This extraordinary story, written by the author who knows the most about citizen action, returns us to the literature of American social movements - to Edward Bellamy, to Upton Sinclair, to John Steinbeck, to Stephen Crane - reminding us in the process that changing the body politic of America starts with imagination. For the past forty-five years Ralph Nader has challenged corporations, government agencies, and institutions to be more accountable to the public. In 1965, Unsafe at Any Speed changed the face of the automobile industry and made Ralph Nader a household name. As a result of his efforts, cars have more safety features. His lobbying and writing on the food industry insured that the food we buy is required to pass strict guidelines before reaching the consumer. One of his greatest achievements was the 1974 amendment to the Freedom of Information Act that gave increased public access to government documents. This brought freedom of press to a new level, resulting in increased access for journalists. Ralph Nader has co-founded numerous public interest groups including Public Citizen, Critical Mass, Commercial Alert, and the Center for Study of Responsive Law. In 2004 Nader is mounting his second bid for president of the United States as an independent candidate, and today continues to be a relentless force for grassroots activism and democratic change in the United States. "One of the 100 most influential Americans in the twentieth century."--Time "From auto and airline safety to 'the insurance game,' Nader wins praise as consumer crusader..."--Booklist Ralph Nader is available for interviews. Publisher contact: Ruth Weiner ruth [at] sevenstories.com For further information about this event, contact: David Unowsky 612/822-4611 davidu [at] magersandquinn.com MAGERS & QUINN BOOKSELLERS 3038 HENNEPIN AVENUE SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS MN 55408 612-822-4611 www.magersandquinn.com --------20 of 22-------- [The same thing happened here last year, with the collaboration of the mayors and city councils. None of them should be returned to office. Vote non-incumbent this November in Mpls & StPaul. -ed] Street Report from the G20 by Bill Quigley September 27th, 2009 Dissident Voice The G20 in Pittsburgh showed us how pitifully fearful our leaders have become. What no terrorist could do to us, our own leaders did. Out of fear of the possibility of a terrorist attack, authorities militarize our towns, scare our people away, stop daily life and quash our constitutional rights. For days, downtown Pittsburgh, home to the G20, was a turned into a militarized people-free ghost town. Sirens screamed day and night. Helicopters crisscrossed the skies. Gunboats sat in the rivers. The skies were defended by Air Force jets. Streets were barricaded by huge cement blocks and fencing. Bridges were closed with National Guard across the entrances. Public transportation was stopped downtown. Amtrak train service was suspended for days. In many areas, there were armed police every 100 feet. Businesses closed. Schools closed. Tens of thousands were unable to work. Four thousand police were on duty plus 2500 National Guard plus Coast Guard and Air Force and dozens of other security agencies. A thousand volunteers from other police forces were sworn in to help out. Police were dressed in battle gear, bulky black ninja turtle outfits: helmets with clear visors, strapped on body armor, shin guards, big boots, batons, and long guns. In addition to helicopters, the police had hundreds of cars and motorcycles, armored vehicles, monster trucks, small electric go-karts. There were even passenger vans screaming through town so stuffed with heavily armed ninja turtles that the side and rear doors remained open. No terrorists showed up at the G20. Since no terrorists showed up, those in charge of the heavily armed security forces chose to deploy their forces around those who were protesting. Not everyone is delighted that 20 countries control 80% of the world's resources. Several thousand of them chose to express their displeasure by protesting. Unfortunately, the officials in charge thought that it was more important to create a militarized people-free zone around the G20 people than to allow freedom of speech, freedom of assembly or the freedom to protest. It took a lawsuit by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU to get any major protest permitted anywhere near downtown Pittsburgh. Even then, the police "forgot" what was permitted and turned people away from areas of town. Hundreds of police also harassed a bus of people who were giving away free food - repeatedly detaining the bus and searching it and its passengers without warrants. Then a group of young people decided that they did not need a permit to express their human and constitutional rights to freedom. They announced they were going to hold their own gathering at a city park and go down the deserted city streets to protest the G20. Maybe 200 of these young people were self-described anarchists, dressed in black, many with bandanas across their faces. The police warned everyone these people were very scary. My cab driver said the anarchist spokesperson looked like Harry Potter in a black hoodie. The anarchists were joined in the park by hundreds of other activists of all ages, ultimately one thousand strong, all insisting on exercising their right to protest. This drove the authorities crazy. Battle dressed ninja turtles showed up at the park and formed a line across one entrance. Helicopters buzzed overhead. Armored vehicles gathered. The crowd surged out of the park and up a side street yelling, chanting, drumming, and holding signs. As they exited the park, everyone passed an ice cream truck that was playing "It's a small world after all". Indeed. Any remaining doubts about the militarization of the police were dispelled shortly after the crowd left the park. A few blocks away the police unveiled their latest high tech anti-protestor toy. It was mounted on the back of a huge black truck. The Pittsburgh-Gazette described it as Long Range Acoustic Device designed to break up crowds with piercing noise. Similar devices have been used in Fallujah, Mosul and Basra Iraq. The police backed the truck up, told people not to go any further down the street and then blasted them with piercing noise. The crowd then moved to other streets. Now they were being tracked by helicopters. The police repeatedly tried to block them from re-grouping ultimately firing tear gas into the crowd injuring hundreds including people in the residential neighborhood where the police decided to confront the marchers. I was treated to some of the tear gas myself and I found the Pittsburgh brand to be spiced with a hint of kelbasa. Fortunately, I was handed some paper towels soaked in apple cider vinegar which helped fight the tears and cough a bit. Who would have thought? After the large group broke and ran from the tear gas, smaller groups went into commercial neighborhoods and broke glass at a bank and a couple of other businesses. The police chased and the glass breakers ran. And the police chased and the people ran. For a few hours. By day the police were menacing, but at night they lost their cool. Around a park by the University of Pittsburgh the ninja turtles pushed and shoved and beat and arrested not just protestors but people passing by. One young woman reported she and her friend watched Grey's Anatomy and were on their way back to their dorm when they were cornered by police. One was bruised by police baton and her friend was arrested. Police shot tear gas, pepper spray, smoke canisters, and rubber bullets. They pushed with big plastic shields and struck with batons. The biggest march was Friday. Thousands of people from Pittsburgh and other places protested the G20. Since the court had ruled on this march, the police did not confront the marchers. Ninja turtled police showed up in formation sometimes and the helicopters hovered but no confrontations occurred. Again Friday night, riot clad police fought with students outside of the University of Pittsburgh. To what end was just as unclear as the night before. Ultimately about 200 were arrested, mostly in clashes with the police around the University. The G20 leaders left by helicopter and limousine. Pittsburgh now belongs again to the people of Pittsburgh. The cement barricades were removed, the fences were taken down, the bridges and roads were opened. The gunboats packed up and left. The police packed away their ninja turtle outfits and tear gas and rubber bullets. They don't look like military commandos anymore. No more gunboats on the river. No more sirens all the time. No more armored vehicles and ear splitting machines used in Iraq. On Monday the businesses will open and kids will have to go back to school. Civil society has returned. It is now probably even safe to exercise constitutional rights in Pittsburgh once again. The USA really showed those terrorists didn't we? Bill Quigley represented Pere Jean-Juste many times in Haiti along with the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Port au Prince and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Bill is on leave from Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans serving as Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He can be reached at: quigley77 [at] gmail.com. --------21 of 22-------- First They Came For ACORN by Peter Dreier Sunday, September 27, 2009 CommonDreams.org First Big Business, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Lou Dobbs, the Religious Right, the Wall Street Journal, Mitch McConnell, and Karl Rove came for ACORN, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not ACORN. Then they came for SEIU, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not SEIU. Then they came for the Apollo Alliance, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the Apollo Alliance. Then they came for the Center for American Progress, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the Center for American Progress. Then they came for the Sierra Club, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the Sierra Club. Then they came for the National Organization for Women, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the National Organization for Women. Then they came for the other community organizers, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not community organizers. Then they came for AFSCME, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not AFSCME. Then they came for the National Council of La Raza, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the National Council of La Raza. Then they came for the NAACP, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the NAACP. Then they came for the ACLU, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the ACLU. Then they came for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Then they came for the National Council of Churches, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the National Council of Churches. Then they came for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Then they came for the AARP, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the AARP. Then they came for the Teamsters, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not Teamsters. Then they came for the Catholic Worker, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the Catholic Worker. Then they came for UNITE HERE, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not UNITE HERE. Then they came for the Immigrant Solidarity Network, and, the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the Immigrant Solidarity Network. Then they came for the National Education Association, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the National Education Association. Then they came for the U.S. Student Association, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the U.S. Student Association. Then they came for the American Association of University Professors, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the American Association of University Professors Then Big Business, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Lou Dobbs, the Religious Right, the Wall Street Journal, Mitch McConnell, and Karl Rove came for the Democrats -- and there was no one left to speak out for the Democrats. [What pitiful wretches they are. -ed] Peter Dreier is E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, and director of the Urban & Environmental Policy program, at Occidental College. He is coauthor of Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century and The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a Livable City. He writes regularly for the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, and American Prospect. --------22 of 22-------- We have two dead heart dead head parties, They and Them. Neither one is Us. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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 vote third party for president for congress now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8
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