Progressive Calendar 06.03.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2010 19:53:45 -0700 (PDT)
               P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   06.03.10

1. Signs/nurses    6.04 8am
2. Dolan in court  6.04 8:30am
3. Torture/KFAI    6.04 11am
4. FFUNCH          6.04 11:30am
5. Vigil v torture 6.04 12noon
6. Courtwatch      6.04 3pm
7. March/free Gaza 6.04 3:15pm
8. Palestine vigil 6.04 4:15pm
9. Save our sons   6.04 5:30pm

10. James Abourezk - The Israeli spin-machine in overdrive
11. Ali Abunimah   - The day the world became Gaza

--------1 of 11--------

From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at]>
Subject: Signs/nurses 6.04 8am

FYI - if anyone is free this weekend for sign making, there's a signup
form link in the below e-mail. The one-day strike, if it happens, is set
for next Thursday.

From:    "Geri Katz" <Geri.Katz [at]>

We need nurses, supporters, friends and family members to join us for
strike picket sign making this weekend.  We'll be working in two shifts
(8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.) on Friday, Saturday and
Sunday, June 4-6.

We'll be gathering here at the MNA Office (345 Randolph Avenue, Suite 200,
St. Paul, MN 55102) and need help creating and assembling thousands of
picket signs that will be used in the event that we strike for patient
safety on June 10. In order to help us plan better, please fill out the
information form so
we know on what day(s)/time(s) you'll be coming.

Thank you! Geri Katz Minnesota Nurses Association

**Sign the petition to support

--------2 of 11--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: Dolan in court 6.04 8:30am

Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan Ordered
to Appear in Court and Explain Lack of Discipline in CRA Cases
Friday, June 4 at 8:30 a.m.
Hennepin County Government Center, Room 757

As a result of our Writ action, Judge Susan Burke has ordered Minneapolis
Police Chief Tim Dolan to appear in her courtroom on June 4th to explain
why he has been violating the law in failing to issue discipline based on
the CRA's findings of fact in sustained cases.  For more information on
the case, see This
should be some amazing courtwatching--don't miss it!

--------3 of 11--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Torture/KFAI 6.04 11am

Radio Broadcast: the WAMM Tackling Torture at the Top Committee (T3)

Friday June 4, 11:00 a.m. "Catalyst: Politics and Culture" on KFAI Radio,
90.3 fm (Minneapolis), 106.7 fm (St. Paul) or Tune in to
hear from activists on WAMM's T3 Committee. The UN declares June to be
"Torture Awareness Month" and there will be many Twin Cities events
related to this (see WAMM calendar for events). Also, listen for a
commentary on Israel's attack against the Freedom Flotilla for Gaza,
humanitarian aide ships by Catalyst host-producer, Lydia Howell. Endorsed
by: WAMM. FFI: Visit

--------4 of 11--------

From: David Shove <shove001 [at]>
Subject: FFUNCH 6.04 11:30am

YES we';re meeting even tho the Big Blank Weekend looms ahead, the weekend
everyone is SomeWhere Else (god knows or cares where). But this Friday a
few of the Stalwart Regulars (no sunshine eaters/talkers they) will
assemble at Day By Day! Not even The Fourth can stop us! Upward! Onward!

Join us.

Ffunch 7.03 11:30am

First Friday Lunch (FFUNCH) for progressives.
Informal political talk and hanging out.

Day By Day Cafe 477 W 7th Av St Paul.
Meet on the far south side.

Day By Day has soups, salads, sandwiches, and dangerous
apple pie; is close to downtown St Paul & on major bus lines

--------5 of 11--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Vigil vs torture 6.04 12noon

Vigil Against Torture: Daily, Noon to 1:00 p.m. at 300 4th Street South
(Federal Courthouse Plaza), Minneapolis. Join others at a vigil against

--------6 of 11--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: Courtwatch 6.04 3pm

Courtwatch Paul Hansen Friday, June 4 at 3:00 p.m. Hennepin County
Government Center

Some of you joined us a couple of years ago when we protested the Newport
City Council over ongoing harassment by the local police of CUAPB board
member Paul Hansen.  Paul continues to experience harassment from police.
In this latest incident, he was changing the locks on a rental property he
owns when cops accused him of having a knife.  When they searched him and
none was found, he was charged with felony terroristic threats.  They
handcuffed him so tight that his wrists bled before handing him a ticket.
This is just the latest in a long string of bogus charges.  We need to let
the cops know that we have Paul's back.

--------7 of 11--------

From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at]>
Subject: March/free Gaza 6.04 3:15pm

March to End the Siege of Gaza, Solidarity with Freedom Flotilla Activists*

Friday, June 4th at 3:15pm, Leaving from the State Capitol steps in Saint
Paul and marching to the Minnesota Trade Office (32 Minnesota Street, St.

Early Monday morning, The Gaza Freedom Flotilla was raided by Israeli
military commandos in international waters who fired live ammunition on the
civilian passengers, killing at least 9 people and wounding scores more. The
flotilla was a humanitarian aid convoy of 6 ships en route to the Gaza strip
carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid, including food, medical supplies,
construction materials. On board were more than 600 passengers from over 40
countries including activists, parliamentarians, journalists, and doctors.
The flotilla's stated purpose was to break the inhumane Israeli blockade of
Gaza's borders which has deprived its population of more than 1.5 million of
mobility and access to basic needs since 2007.

While the violent raid of the Freedom Flotilla in international waters is
itself a horrific assault on human life and a repressive act of state
violence by Israel, it is but one expression of Israel's ongoing apartheid
program in Palestine.

On Tuesday, Minnesotans entered Senator Amy Klobuchar's office to demand a
political response to both the killings on the flotilla and the inhumane
blockade of Gaza.

This Friday, we will go to the MN trade office to demand an end to local
economic relations between Minnesota and the State of Israel as part of a
larger project of ending all US financial sponsorship of the Israeli war
economy. The Minnesota Trade Office facilitates the relationship between
Minnesota-based corporations and the State of Israel. In 2008, Minnesota
companies made over $10 million on goods exported to Israel.

The blockade of Gaza and the occupation of Palestine cannot be sustained
without the military and financial support of the United States. This year
alone the US will give a total of $2.8 billion to the state of Israel. The
US also supports the occupation of Palestine through military aid in the
form of technology, training, and weapons.  In Minnesota, companies with
Israeli contracts directly profit from the systematic violent assault on
Palestinian life in the occupied territories.

Join us Friday to show that we will NOT tolerate the murder of activists
and the undue persecution of Gazans. March on the Trade Office and demand
NO MORE TRADE! TAKE DOWN THE BLOCKADE!  For twitter updates on the march,
text "follow DASWO" to 40404 and visit our website at Email us at [at]
 Organized by Direct Action To Stop War & Occupation (DASWO).*

--------8 of 11--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine vigil 6.04 4:15pm

The weekly vigil for the liberation of Palestine continues at the
intersection of Snelling and Summit Aves in St. Paul. The Friday demo
starts at 4:15 and ends around 5:30. There are usually extra signs

--------9 of 11--------

From: Friends for a Non-Violent World <info [at]>
Subject: Save our sons 6.04 5:30pm

Save Our Sons Fundraiser
June 4, 5:30pm-8pm

Save Our Sons (SOS) is FNVW's friend and ally in bringing more justice
into the criminal justice system. FNVW is co-sponsoring SOS's upcoming
fundraiser, and we urge everyone to attend.

Here are the particulars:
When:June 4, from 5:30 pm to 8pm

Where: At the home of FNVW Board Member Gail Daneker -1791 Dayton Ave.,
Saint Paul.

What:There will be a program of information and music sure to inspire,
and a bounty of food and drink. It is a chance to make contacts with
people and organizations working every day for serious change in the
arena of criminal justice. This is a "$25 if you can, less if you can't"
event, and all are warmly welcomed.

Save our Sons was started in 1994 by Melvin W. Carter Jr. and a group of
dedicated men from within the community. The SOS leadership and
volunteers work with county and state juvenile justice system partners to
assist the youth served by these institutions in their transition to
adulthood, providing them with norms, values, and opportunities through
education and relevant adult relationships.

Core activities at SOS include twice a month Saturday Academies. These
two and a half hour sessions are an intense heart-to-heart with young men
brought from Ramsey County Correctional Placement, Boys Totem Town (BTT).
Melvin Carter leads all of these sessions which, like FNVW's Alternatives
to Violence Project, teach young men alternative strategies and choices
for dealing with the violence in their lives.

SOSis a non-profit 501(c)3, so your donation will be exempt within the
current laws.

What Does FNVW Do?
 Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) - AVP is a national and
inter-national volunteer-run program that conducts workshops in
resolution of conflict through non-violence. AVP is in demand in prisons
and communities across the US and has been successful in countries
plagued with violence. AVP is so successful that the Government of Rwanda
has made it the cornerstone of its post-genocide reconciliation program.
Currently, almost 2000 volunteers serve as AVP facilitators in the US,
with 52 residing in Minnesota.

--------10 of 11--------

The Israeli Spin-Machine in Overdrive
Dershowitz to the Rescue?
June 3, 2010

Armed Israeli commandos, the elite of the elites, rappelled to the deck of
a Turkish ship carrying humanitarian relief supplies to the 1.5 million
prisoners in the Gaza concentration camp.

Although the Israelis did not see the attack as an attack, but an action
only to defend themselves, as only Israelis have a right to do. It is a
right that Palestinians do not have, nor do the other activists who were
attempting to deliver the supplies to the Gazans It appears, from the
scanty non-Israeli news available, that the Turkish ship was some 40 miles
or more off the coast of Gaza, and that the activists aboard were not
armed, except with kitchen knives and some clubs lying around the ship
that they could round up when they were surprised by the Israeli

In the melee that followed, nine activists were dead -- mostly Turkish --
and several were wounded. Reports tell us that several of the brave elite
commandos were also injured, one of them with gunfire from a gun an
activist took away from one of the commandos. The Israeli propaganda spin
machine was ready in an instant to spin the news their way about the
incident. They were said to be, of course, entitled to defend themselves,
a mantra chanted over and over again by the Israeli talking heads we've
seen on American television. Listening to these commentators' paeans to
Israel's conduct, It's very much like listening to a bully who, after
punching someone smaller in the jaw, requires the victim to apologize for
getting his face in the way of the bully's fist.

Even more thrilling were the American television commentators becoming
instant pro- Israeli dittoheads, the very same characters they laughingly
bring up when discussing Rush Limbaugh. One of the first stories
attributed to the Israeli propaganda machine was that the commandos were
armed only with paint guns--you know, the kind of weapons red-blooded
American middle-aged men use to shoot at each other on weekends here in
America. We all know how harmless they are. Somehow the Israeli government
was unable to stop a couple of reports which told of the commandos whining
that they were set upon by these radical terrorists with metal clubs and

President Obama took a strong stand against violence. He did not actually
say, "why can't we all just get along?" But when he expressed his regrets
over the loss of life, a whiff of Rodney King's famous words blew over the

What is desperately needed now is legal advice from Alan Dershowitz ,
perhaps America's top Israel apologist. If you remember, Dershowitz was
the legal expert who once wrote in the New York Times that, not to worry,
the Israeli Supreme Court was always there to protect the rights of the
Palestinians living under occupation. We are certain that the Israeli
Supreme Court is sincere in its efforts to protect the rights of the
Palestinians living under the illegal occupation, but it's obvious that no
one has told the Court about the Palestinian home demolitions, the
Palestinian olive trees uprooted by Israeli settlers, and the multiple
beatings visited on Palestinians who tend to object to being treated like

We are waiting for Professor Dershowitz to inform us that, because Israel
is at war, it is perfectly legal to fly 40 miles out to open sea and drop
armed pirates on the deck of vessels carrying humanitarian aid to the
residents of Gaza. He will also be able to explain that the ongoing
occupation of Gaza by Israel is legal, on grounds that Hamas took over
Gaza by force. He will, no doubt, be able to explain that the supervised
democratic election during which Hamas won a majority of seats in the
Palestinian governing body somehow doesn't count. He will, by deft
semantic footwork, be able to make us forget about how the Zionists first
created Israel by the Zionists' ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

In fact, many of those who were driven out of their homeland by the
violent Zionist assault in the 1940s, today are living in the cramped and
poverty stricken Gaza strip, along with their children and grandchildren.
Professor Dershowitz will surely be able to tell us that most Gazans, who
are forced, by virtue of Israel's occupation, to live on about a dollar a
day, will be extremely happy to get rid of Hamas. Perhaps he will also be
able to explain why Hamas, which has never strayed out of their own
homeland of Palestine to fight their occupiers , is branded as a terrorist
entity by the United States at the behest of Israel. Or he will surely
explain why Egypt has cooperated with Israel on the illegal blockade of
Gaza. The reason of course, could not possibly be the billions of dollars
in foreign aid paid by the U.S. taxpayer to Egypt to keep that government
in line so Israel can continue to brutalize the Gazans

The Gazans have absolutely no sense of humor about the situation, but that
lack surely can't be because they are constantly short of food, medicines,
fuel, and other necessities of life. They did, as we have noticed, turn
more sour-faced after the Israeli military used the entrapped Gazans as
shooting gallery targets in 2008, where more than 1,200 civilians were
killed by the Israeli military's tanks, jets, and howitzers.

Dershowitz may be able to tell us of the lesson we've all learned in the
past few years that Israel's vaunted military is all powerful, unless,
that is, if their intended victims decide to fight back, as Hezbollah did
when Israel invaded Lebanon four years ago. We can count as well the
unarmed peaceniks in the number of those who fought back, and who seem to
have won a battle against the elite commando unit which invaded the
Turkish humanitarian supply ship.

At least, the peaceniks did not whine, as the Elite Israeli Commandos did,
when they were wounded defending themselves.

One more event we can now expect is a letter, to be circulated for
signature to members of Congress by AIPAC, denouncing the humanitarian
activists for forcing the Israelis to attack and to kill many of their
group. I remember when Golda Meir, when she was Prime Minister of Israel,
stating in public that she could forgive the Palestinians for shooting at
the Israelis, but she could never forgive them for forcing the Israelis to
kill Palestinians. After all, it's all in the spirit of self defense. If
it works for the Israeli propaganda machine, it should work for the
Palestinians as well.

James Abourezk is a former U.S. Senator, who practices law in Sioux Falls.
He can be reached at georgepatton45 [at]

--------11 of 11--------

The Day the World Became Gaza
by Ali Abunimah
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Al Jazeera English
Common Dreams

Since Israel's invasion and massacre of over 1,400 people in Gaza 18
months ago, dubbed Operation Cast Lead, global civil society movements
have stepped up their campaigns for justice and solidarity with

Governments, by contrast, carried on with business as usual, maintaining a
complicit silence.

Israel's lethal attack on the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza may change that,
spurring governments to follow the lead of their people and take
unprecedented action to check Israel's growing lawlessness.

Lip service

One of the bitterest images from Operation Cast Lead was that of smiling
European Union heads of government visiting Jerusalem and patting Ehud
Olmert, the then Israeli prime minister, on the back as white phosphorus
still seared the flesh of Palestinian children a few miles away.

Western countries sometimes expressed mild dismay at Israel's "excessive"
use of force, but still justified the Gaza massacre as "self-defence" -
even though Israel could easily have stopped rocket fire from Gaza, if
that was its goal, by returning to the negotiated June 2008 ceasefire it
egregiously violated the following November.

When the UN-commissioned Goldstone Report documented the extensive
evidence of Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the
willful killings of unarmed civilians, few governments paid more than lip
service to seeing justice done.   Even worse, after Cast Lead, EU
countries and the US sent their navies to help Israel enforce a blockade
on Gaza which amounts to collective punishment of the entire population
and thus violates the Fourth Geneva Convention governing Israel's ongoing

Not one country sent a hospital ship to help treat or evacuate the
thousands of wounded, many with horrific injuries that overwhelmed Gaza's

Carrot and stick

The blockade has never been - as Israel and its apologists claim - to stop
the smuggling of weapons into Gaza.

Its goal has always been political: to cause the civilian population as
much suffering as possible - while still politically excusable - in order
for the Palestinians in Gaza to reject and rise up against the Hamas
leadership elected in January 2006.

The withholding of food, medicine, schoolbooks, building supplies, among
thousands of other items, as well as the right to enter and leave Gaza for
any purpose became a weapon to terrorise the civilian population.   At the
same time, Western aid was showered on the occupied West Bank - whose
ordinary people are still only barely better off than in Gaza - in a
"carrot and stick" policy calculated to shift support away from Hamas and
toward the Western-backed, unelected Palestinian Authority leadership
affiliated with the rival Fatah faction, who have repeatedly demonstrated
their unconditional willingness to collaborate with Israel no matter what
it does to their people.   "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet,
but not to make them die of hunger," senior Israeli government advisor Dov
Weisglass notoriously explained in 2006. By this standard the blockade -
supported by several Arab governments and the Quartet (the US, EU, UN
secretary-general, and Russia) has been a great success, as numerous
studies document alarming increases in child malnutrition as the vast
majority of Gaza's population became dependent on UN food handouts.
Hundreds have died for lack of access to proper medical care.

Filling the 'moral void'

While inaction and complicity characterised the official response, global
civil society stepped in to fill the moral and legal void.

In the year and a half since Cast Lead, the global, Palestinian-led
campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel (BDS) has been
racking up impressive victories.   From the decisions by Norway's pension
funds and several European banks to divest from certain Israeli companies,
to university divestment initiatives, the refusals by international
artists to perform in Israel, or the flashmobs that have brought the
consumer boycott to supermarkets around the world, Israel sees BDS as a
growing "existential threat".   At this point, the effect may be more
psychological than economic but it is exactly the feeling of increasing
isolation and pariah status that helped push South Africa's apartheid
rulers to recognise that their regime was untenable and to seek peaceful
change with the very people they had so long demonised, dehumanised and

Indeed, the BDS movement is only likely to gather pace: world-best-selling
Swedish author Henning Mankell who was among the passengers on the Turkish
ship Mavi Marmara kidnapped and taken to Israel, said on being freed: "I
think we should use the experience of South Africa, where we know that the
sanctions had a great impact."   The Freedom Flotilla represented the very
best, and most courageous of this civil society spirit and determination
not to abandon fellow human beings to the cruelty, indifference and
self-interest of governments.

The immediate response to Israel's attack on the Flotilla may indicate
that governments too are starting to come out of their slumber and shed
the paralysing fear of criticising Israel that has assured its impunity
for so long.

Growing gap

Indeed, the global reaction demonstrates the growing gap between the US
and Israel on one side and the rest of the world on the other.

While Israeli officials scrambled to offer justifications from the
ludicrous (elite commandos armed with paint ball guns) to the benign (the
attack was an "inspection"), the US has once again stood behind its ally

As the Obama administration forced a watered-down presidential statement
in the UN Security Council, Israeli apologists in the mainstream US media
repeatedly attempted to excuse Israel's actions as lawful and legitimate.

Senior administration officials, including [stooge -ed] Joe Biden, the
vice president, openly began to echo their Israeli counterparts that
Israel's attack was not only legitimate but justified by its security
needs.  Despite the predictable and shameless US reaction, international
condemnation has been unusually robust. In his speech to the Turkish
parliament following the attack, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime
minister, denounced Israeli "state terrorism" and demanded that the
international community exact a price.

Erdogan vowed that "Turkey will never turn its back on Gaza," and that it
would continue its campaign to lift the blockade and hold Israel
accountable even if it had to do so alone.

There are hopeful signs it may not have to.

European and other countries summoned Israeli ambassadors and several
recalled their envoys from Tel Aviv.

Franco Frattini, the Italian foreign minister and one of Israel's
staunchest apologists in Europe, said his country "absolutely deplored the
slaying of civilians" and demanded that Israel "must give an explanation
to the international community" of killings he deemed "absolutely
unacceptable, whatever the flotilla's aims".   Small countries showed the
greatest courage and clarity. Nicaragua suspended diplomatic ties
completely, citing Israel's "illegal attack". Brian Cowen, Ireland's prime
minister, told parliament in Dublin that his government had "formally
requested" of Israel that the vessel Rachel Corrie still heading toward
Gaza, be allowed to proceed, and warned of the "most serious consequences"
should Israel use violence against it. The boat - named after the young
American peace activist killed by Israeli occupation forces in Gaza in
2003 - is carrying Malaysian and Irish activists and politicians including
Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire.

Crossed a threshold

These are still small actions, but they indicate Israel may have crossed a
threshold where it can no longer take appeasement and complicity for

It is a cumulative process - each successive outrage has diminished the
reserve of goodwill and forbearance Israel enjoyed.

Even if most governments are not quite ready to go from words to effective
actions, growing public outrage will eventually push them to impose
official sanctions.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, may have hastened that day
with his fulsome pride in, and praise for, the slaughter at sea even after
the outpouring of international condemnation.   Despite its intensive
efforts to hide and spin what happened aboard the Mavi Marmara in the
early hours of May 31, the world saw Israel use exactly the sort of
indiscriminate brutality documented in the Goldstone Report.

This time, however, it was not just "expendable" Palestinians or Lebanese
who were Israel's victims - but people from 32 countries and every
continent. It was the day the whole world became Gaza. And like the people
of Gaza, the world is unlikely to take it lying down.

Ali Abunimah is author of One Country, A Bold Proposal to End the
Israeli-Palestinian Impasse and co-founder of The Electronic Intifada.


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